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Has Your Email Marketing Flopped? 10 Reasons Why (And What To Do Instead)

When it comes to directing the attention of warm leads and current customers, absolutely nothing is more effective – or less expensive – than email marketing. Email is the most scalable marketing solution in the world. Its cost-effectiveness is unparalleled. It costs only a few cents to communicate with ten or ten thousand people.
That’s why, depending on your offering and your conversion rates, email marketing can have wacky-sounding ROI (2000% and even more.) You’re getting something for practically nothing.

You might scratch your head at this idea. Maybe you’ve never signed up to an email list. Maybe you’ve never clicked on a link in an email. Maybe the idea 86% of people actually want to hear monthly from companies they do business with makes no sense to you at all.

But the numbers are clear: When you have thousands of unique website visitors a month, email marketing is your most powerful conversion engine. If it’s not working for you, that doesn’t mean “no one wants to read emails.” It means yours aren’t connecting.

But there’s a bright spot:

If the way you’re doing things with email isn’t working yet, you can always change.

Every email blast is a chance to start over.

And once you start doing things right, you will start seeing results.

Email is all about continuous improvement. It gives you the chance to sharpen your understanding of what appeals to certain buyer personas – in the aggregate – instead of trying to persuade just one person.

If you’ve got email woes, they probably boil down to one of these problems:

1. Your Email Is Getting Caught Up In Spam
Believe it or not, spam filters aren’t that sophisticated. The vast majority of filters depend on basic signals like what words a message uses. Innocuous words like “free” and “deal” can lead to problems with deliverability. So can mistakes in your email privacy regime, like failing to make your unsubscribe link visible enough (or easy enough to use.)

2. Your Headlines Aren’t Compelling Enough
Most people will at least scan the headline and text preview of an email message before they decide what to do with it. Your headline is the most important thing in any message, since it determines whether the rest gets read. Luckily, you can improve headline writing by split testing email blasts with different headlines to see which one is more effective.

3. Your Name Isn’t Recognizable Enough
For the most part, the personal touch works in digital marketing. Sometimes, though, it can confuse things. If someone sees a message is from “Bob” and they don’t know any Bob, it’s going straight into the trash. Far more effective is something like “Bob @ YourBrand.” This way, recipients will learn to recognize both your brand and the individual sender.

4. You’re Operating in Europe
Don’t look now, but big changes in data privacy laws have arrived in the EU. Even if you are based in the United States, you can be fined millions for data privacy issues related to email. The newly-minted “right to be forgotten” will make European customers less valuable for many businesses. Consider whether connecting with them still makes sense.

5. Your Message Is Hard To Read Or Navigate
Remember that the vast majority of email reads now take place on mobile devices, especially cell phones. With that in mind, you should use a responsive email template for all of your mailings. Responsive content automatically adapts to the display or input being used. That raises your conversion rates by making your messages easier to navigate with thumbs.

6. Your Messages Don’t Add Enough Value
A good email focuses on what your customers are interested in, not what you’re interested in. No matter what product or service you’re promoting, make sure readers understand what’s in it for them. Don’t succumb to the temptation to email about every little success you have or change you make. Users will quickly tune this out, even if they don’t unsubscribe.

7. Your Messaging Isn’t Segmented Properly
Email communications should be targeted to each stage of the buyer journey. For example, someone who is just figuring out their problem – in the Awareness stage – has different needs than a current customer. Without segmentation, wires get crossed and people get irrelevant emails. It only takes one of these to convince them you don’t know them well enough.

8. Your Scheduling is Wonky
Most people only really start paying attention to emails when they start getting them on a regular basis. When someone signs up for your distribution list, let them know exactly how often they can expect to hear from you – weekly or monthly are best. Once you have a plan, stick with it. Consistently seeing your name will raise engagement and brand awareness.

9. There’s No Endgame
If people are opening your emails, looking at them, but not doing anything else, they may not understand what you want them to do next. Unless it’s a special occasion (like a customer’s anniversary), never email someone just to say “hi.” Emphasize one course of action, preferably using several links to a single landing page on your site where they can find out more.

10. Your Emails Aren’t Personal
Personalization is the name of the game when it comes to email. At the very least, using the recipient’s first name in the header and greeting is one of the most powerful ways to make a connection. Use your data wisely to personalize email and provide useful resources. Subscribers will reward you by becoming more invested in your content.

Stop trying to make email work for you – and start succeeding. Our campaigns get you noticed by your subscribers. To get email’s power on your side, contact New York Ave today.

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