Have your email marketing results been sickly?  Any idea why?  Although you may be tempted to blame the overwhelming number of emails that flood inboxes daily and the ease in which they can be deleted, don’t.   A report by HubSpot cites that email marketing remains the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention in the US.  The report also claims that 59% of B2B marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue and 49% of B2B marketers spend more time and resources on email than on other channels.

So then, what’s ailing your email efforts?  Follow this diagnostic checklist and get your email on the road to recovery.

It’s not all about you
When it comes to subject lines, “Our January Banking Newsletter” is as effective as “Our Annual Family Holiday Newsletter” for getting mail opened and read.  Don’t be offended, but no one cares about you.  They care about what you can do for them.   Give them a reason to open your email by offering tips or asking questions that intrigue them.  However, be careful to avoid spammy words such as buy, free, save, sale, discount, % off, guarantee, discount, and above all – never use Viagra…at least not in your subject line.

Greetings from the Unknown
Will your recipients recognize the name of your email’s sender?  Use your full brand name (do not abbreviate) and never use No-Reply@YourDomain.com.  The latter sends a clear message that you’re only interested in one-way communication.

More is Less Effective
No one wants to read several, or even one, long rambling article.  Present the viewer with an intriguing teaser and a link to read more.  If they want to read more (and of course they will), they will click through to the full article which should reside on your website. 

Make an Appearance
If your email is all text with little or no design at all, you run the risk of no one reading it.  Using a clunky template will make you look like unprofessional.   Using a design, however professional, that looks nothing like your brand will likely confuse your reader.  Email software has come a long way and now creating a template that reflects your brand is easy.  Easier still is to have a marketing professional create a template for you.

Hold the Phone
According to Website Magazine, 64.5% of emails were opened on smart phones or tablets in Q2 2014.  Therefore, make sure your email is not only legible on a smart phone, but ensure that links are easily found and your call to action is impossible to miss.

Testing One, Two, Three
If your message is worth sending, then it’s worth sending right.  View your email on Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox.  What works well on one browser can look askew on another.    Do the same with smart phones and tablets.  Then, when you are ready to send, test your subject line by dividing your list and sending to segments using different subject lines and see if there is a noticeable difference in the open rates.

The Personal Touch
Your message should be relevant to your audience.   Sending an email promoting pool supplies in January will make you look disconnected to your Michigan customers although it makes perfect sense to your customers in Florida.  Segment your lists and create content accordingly.

Read ‘em and Weep
Of course, in the end, if your content isn’t informative, compelling or entertaining, your email and your brand reputation may be DOA.

Contact the email marketing professionals at Electrum Branding for help building your database, creating an email template and creating powerful content that makes an impression.