The Culprits of Email Marketing Failures


When EM campaigns fail

Whether you are already involved in an email marketing campaign or you’re simply considering the possibility of launching an email marketing campaign it is important to understand that email marketing (EM) does not always work as effectively as expectations may set forth. This means that sometimes, despite your best efforts, or sometimes in spite of your best efforts, the email marketing campaign you create will either not generate the degree of success you anticipated or may not generate any success at all for a variety of reasons.

Some of these reasons may be a lack of interest from your target audience, failure to properly execute your email marketing strategy, poor planning of your strategy, or poor execution of that strategy. This article will take a look at some situations in which email marketing is not effective, and will offer some suggestions for dealing with these situations.

Let’s consider for a moment the reason that a lack of interest from target audience members can result in a failed email marketing campaign. It is already a known fact that some target audiences have often been the recipients of offers and information in which they have absolutely no interest or use for; this occurs when marketer(s) fail to complete sufficiently adequate research that would otherwise identify those offers, and that content which the particular audience(s) have expressed interest in.

Importance of research

So that having been said it is critically important that before you – as an email marketer – invest time, energy and money into an email marketing campaign, you might find it worthwhile to hire a consultant and task him/her with conducting market research which should provide valuable feedback such as demographics for the target audience and information on the probability of these target audience members being responsive to email marketing. This last piece of information in particular should help the business owner to determine whether or not s/he should pursue email marketing as an advertising option.

In other wordsm, if market research indicates that members of your target audience are not likely to purchase the products or services you offer online, or they don’t even use the Internet to research these products or services, investing in an email marketing campaign is not worthwhile. You may enjoy a small degree of success from this marketing effort but it is not likely significant enough to warrant the time and effort required to achieve this small degree of success.

Another aspect of email marketing which can cause your marketing campaign to result in failure is the inability to properly execute your marketing plan. Attention to such execution of whatever marketing plan you have in place is important because even the best formulated marketing strategy can flounder if you are not able to properly execute the steps required to accomplish the plan’s objective.

Sloppy work spells doom

For example, you may plan to use digital newsletters – or ebooks – as a critical component of your email marketing campaign; but if these digital information products do not appear to be professionally designed and written, or they frequently arrive late and do not offer valuable information, readers are not likely to invest in your products or services based solely on these digital offerings. In each aspect of your email marketing campaign, you should strive to ensure that information you provide to your email recipients is informative, accurate and interesting, if not compelling. This type of copy is more likely to pique the interest of readers.

Finally, poor planning can cause an email marketing campaign to falter. For example, if you were to issue a component of your email marketing campaign hoping to generate a huge interest in your products and receive a great deal of interest, you should be well prepared and have the ability to sell your products. Not having enough stock on hand after you undergo a marketing effort can be a critical mistake because potential customers may lose interest if they have to wait for the products.

Poor planning = less profits

This is just one example of poor planning causing problems; but poor planning can cause a host of different problems including potential customers losing interesting, the creation of confusion regarding your products and services and even potential customers being angered by your email marketing. In any scenario under which poor planning – and/or poor execution of a solid plan – can be identified as the reason for failures of email marketing campaigns, the results will almost always be loss of potential and existing customers which, when translated, is a loss of revenue and profits for your business.

Email Marketing Advertisements: Contrasting Views


Internet marketers debate

There has long been a debate among Internet marketers about whether or not advertisements should be made a part of marketing emails which are sent to subscribers; and more specifically, whether such ads and promotions in the form of product links and banners would be considered acceptable to the overall marketing community. The topic has been hotly debated for years, with some Internet marketers being strongly in favor of placing advertisements in email marketing while others having been strongly against the use of any kind of advertisements in email marketing.

As is often the case with most debates, there is the group which consists of those who take a more neutral stance and therefore are not either firmly for or against the use of advertisements in email marketing campaigns. This article will take a look at both sides of the argument in an effort to raise the level of awareness about this subject, invoke reasonable thought on the issue, and allow the reader to formulate his/her own opinions on whether or not this subject is worthy of discussion and the attention paid to it by marketers as well as other entities, not the least of which is the FTC.

Two sides of the debate

Let’s start with the group of Internet marketers who are strongly favor the inclusion of advertisements in emails that are distributed for marketing purposes. Those who favor the use of advertisements view the sale of advertising space in email marketing materials, such as emails or enewsletters, as a way to generate profit from any given email marketing campaign based on the belief that this tactic puts less pressure on an Internet marketer to meet expectations of email distribution list members, since emails are already generating a profit, even if they do not entice the email recipients to make a purchase.

On the other hand, those marketers who are firmly against the use of advertisements in email marketing are of the opinion that such inclusions make the emails seem more like spam and less like interesting and valuable information which just happens to include marketing materials. Those on this side of the fence feel as though any advertisement in an email marketing campaign should be subtle advertising for the products and services offered by the distributor of the email and not advertisements for businesses who have paid for an advertising spot in a given email. They believe the original emails are acceptable but additions to them are spam.

Could neutrality be a guide?

Still others are someone in between (on the fence) because they haven’t taken a position in this debate, perhaps for several reasons; but some of the reasons they have not taken a position could be revealing in the sense that any of these reasons – or none of them – could determine whether or not marketing emails that include advertisements is as important an issue as the the two previous groups have insisted it is. In other words, if the main reason for this group’s neutrality is indifference then there is not much to be revealed; but if the main reason is that, legality or best practices adhered to by the email marketer renders his/her emails acceptable whether or not it contains advertisements, then perhaps the rest of us might need to follow their example.

In most cases these ‘neutral’ individuals might believe it is acceptable for advertisements to appear in marketing emails as long as the ads do not overshadow other, more useful and valuable information which, in most email marketing campaigns, is the original intent of such emails. Understanding therefore, that this middle of the road concept could define the position of certain Internet marketers who adhere to it as not firmly for or against placing advertisements in emails which are distributed for marketing purposes as long as the email marketer (email sender) adheres to industry best practices and does not violate the CAN-SPAM Act.

In the grey

In view of the above, it is important to point out here that information in this article is vague by design because it leaves more of an opportunity for you, the reader, to form your own opinion about this issue. Such vagueness is important because the subject is largely a matter of personal preference where each reader must decide for him/herself whether or not s/he agrees with either side or chooses to take a middle of the road stance. As readers of this article may have opinions that could be influenced by whether or not they are considered to be marketers or consumers we understand the delicate nature and significance of the subject matter and how their preferences can be impacted.

One the one hand consumers may be less likely to appreciate advertisements in emails intended for marketing purposes because they might feel it distracts from the original products. On the other hand however, marketers may be more apt to be accepting of such advertising because they can understand the financial gain which is possible. So when evaluating opinions about the use of advertising, it is important to note whether or not the individual offering an opinion is involved in advertising, as it may be more worthwhile to seek out opinions from consumers since they are more likely to share the beliefs of your potential customers.