5 Signs of A Poor Email Campaign


5 Signs of A Poor Email Campaign

While social media marketing gets all of the hype and attention, for most marketers, email still remains the preferred communication channel for direct consumer campaigns.

Unfortunately, very few of us feel that our email marketing campaigns are a success.  While speaking with colleagues, we often here stories of poor open-rates, weak KPI conversion and shrinking database numbers.

The adoption of social media has certainly impacted email marketing, but not to the point where email marketing is obsolete (that story is best saved for another post).

Email marketing still has a key position in your interactive marketing strategy, but you need to ensure that you are nurturing and growing your database, rather than using it as a last minute marketing technique.

5 Signs of A Poor Email Campaign:

Sending the Same Content in Consecutive Emails

As with all of these signs, our first example sounds simple enough, but is often difficult to resist.  Sending duplicate content, or even new copy about the same subject, is a signal to your subscriber that you are using this communication opportunity as a sales ploy.  Think of it in magazine terms, you would never see Budget Travel run a highlight piece, let alone a feature, on the same topic in consecutive issues.  But email marketers do it all of the time…especially our hospitality brothers.

‘Well, we need to promote event ‘X’ and have to run the copy multiple times.’  Uh, no, you don’t.

Here is another tip, if your readers did not take action the first time, the chance / percentage that they would take action after a second email becomes significantly smaller…especially if nothing about the offer has changed.

Show your list value with new content in each email.

Lack of Segmentation

Even basic segmentation is a must at this point.  Geographic, topic-based, demographics…what ever you can segment by is a step above the classic shotgun approach of email.

Segmentation allows you to deepen and strengthen your relationship with the consumer by showing them you are listening to their needs.  Plus, it allows you the opportunity to increase KPIs and conversions by sending specific messages / content to the audience that is most likely to act upon it.

Increase your conversion metrics with segmentation.

Being Too Vague During Sign-Up

‘Sign-up for our email newsletter.’

All too often the line above is the only description a consumer has when signing up for your email offerings.  This generic sign-up process may result in more subscriptions at first, but will also cause significant spam and unsubscribe issues during the campaign.

Using the tip above, begin segmenting your email database at sign-up with subject options.  Separate your lists by newsletter, alerts, deals, special offers…whatever subjects will be used during your campaign.  Yes, you will receive fewer subscriptions than the generic list, but these lists  will present (again) a greater opportunity for conversions and long-term relationship building.

Be specific during the email sign-up process.

Missing Social Connections

Sure, add the Twitter and Facebook icons to your email, but let’s take it a step further and really integrate the email campaign with our social channels.

Ask your consumers for their Facebook or Twitter profile name during the sign-up process.  Tell them that you will not use these for spam, but simply to measure social reach and provide greater connections / options for communication.  Use this data to determine what percentage of your email list is also on certain social networks.

Post a modified, perhaps exclusive version, of your email newsletter content on your Facebook page.  If you are already creating the email in HTML, which you are, adding it to Facebook is quite easy.  Again, create additional chances for connection with the content.

Explore options to connect your email list and content with your social media marketing channels.

Committing to an Unrealistic Schedule

Weekly, monthly, yearly…regardless of the schedule, do you always find yourself scrambling for content at the last minute?  Trying to send out a monthly email simply because you arbitrarily set a schedule when creating the campaign is a drain on your resources and apparent to your audience when they read the email.

Unless you have a solid and reliable source of content to feed a scheduled email, simply do not commit yourself to a schedule.  One of my favorite (and must-read emails) is one titled ‘Infrequent Mailings.’  As the name suggests, the are infrequent and random, but as the consumer, I know they are only sent when the email has real value and interesting content.

No new content, no email.

Do not commit yourself to an email schedule, simply send an email when you have something to say.

There you have it, 5 tips for a better email campaign.

Sure, they sound simplistic, but how many of us are actually implementing all 5?


Troy Thompson, a self-described technopologist, is a respected blogger, consultant and thought-leader in the Tourism / Travel Marketing industry. The Managing Editor at Travel 2.0, Troy has been providing unique interactive and marketing solutions to a variety of clients for more than a decade.


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