5 Email Marketing Conversion Killers

by Melle Staelenberg
03 February 2015

Email marketing is often praised as the most cost-effective form of digital marketing, with the highest return on investment. But are you really getting the best bang for your buck? Here, we reveal five common mistakes that can really hurt your email conversions – and how to avoid them.

1) Poor Segmentation

Do you segment your customers, or simply blast out emails? Many organisations are moving away from batch & blast campaigns for one simple yet powerful reason: it’s not effective. What you should be doing is using the information you have to segment your customers. Capture basic user preferences and interests when customers first subscribe, so you can market to them in a more personal way. Even if you don’t have such preferences on file, you can learn a lot from how and where your subscribers interact with your communications. Using email tracking, you can see where subscribers are opening their emails and then segment them by state or city. Next time you’re running an in-store promotion in certain areas, you can target your email specifically to those users nearby and drive higher conversions.

2) Untested Subject Lines

The subject line is the single most powerful part of your email as it determines whether or not subscribers open the email in the first place. Testing and tweaking your subject line is essential to make the right impact. There are several ways to test subject lines, including A/B testing. Try a few variations when creating your next campaign and evaluate the performance of each one using small test sends. You might be surprised at what works and what doesn’t.

3) Lack of Authentication

Are your emails meeting authentication standards? Gmail, Outlook.com and Yahoo Mail have strict rules around authentication. If you don’t meet those standards, your emails might show up as ‘delivered’ in your email marketing dashboard, when they are actually sitting in the Junk/Spam folder. Using SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) is crucial for high inbox placement, yet 1 out of 4 legitimate emails fail to pass the standard authentication tests, according to Google. We don’t need to tell you that an email delivered to a Junk folder has less chance of being opened than one that was delivered straight to the Inbox – so don’t take the risk.

4) Ignoring Responsive Design

In Australia, more than 50% of consumers now open emails on a mobile device. Yet there are still companies that continue to code emails optimised for regular computer displays and not mobile. If your open rates have been dropping over the last 24 months, this could be why. Your email marketing strategy needs to be mobile-first, with emails designed to be concise and digestible for those viewing from a small screen. This includes responsive design, which allows the email to change in layout and content based on screen size. It comes at no surprise that even the most basic responsive design techniques result in greater click-through rates.

5) Unclear Call to Action

The clearer and more targeted your offer is, the more chance it will result in conversions. We’re not saying your email needs to read like a Home Shopping TV ad, but you should include clear call-to-action buttons throughout your message. Many people purely skim-read emails, so if it takes them too long to find out how to take up the great offer, your email will head straight to the Trash.

Email is a powerful marketing tool, but not all emails are created equal. Take a good look at your campaigns from last year – did you commit any of these five email marketing sins? If so, now is the time to right the wrongs and realise your conversion goals.

If you would like to learn more about Salmat's email service, click here or call us on 1300 725 628.

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About the author
Melle Staelenberg
Business Manager

Melle has been with Salmat since 2010. In his current role, Melle is responsible to maximise business value from Salmat’s core products, including email and mobile. His product expertise combined with a strong focus on research and a healthy dose of creativity helps driving Salmat’s digital roadmap. Melle holds a Masters degree in Business Economics and a BA in New Media & Digital Culture and is passionate about all things digital. Being Dutch, he likes to cycle – he’s also a big Ajax fan (the football team, not the cleaning product)!

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