Successful but challenging is how most businesses described their email marketing campaigns.
Challenges with engagement, personalization, communication, customer retention, and brand awareness are just some of today's pain points.
For you, it might be one, some, or all of these.
Whichever it is, your struggle is genuine, and to overcome it, you have to familiarize yourself with the available technologies, various digital marketing channel goals, and your customers' changing preferences.
But the benefits of email marketing are worth the effort.
You can overcome these email marketing challenges by understanding what they are and knowing what actions to take.
And we're going to help you with, by explaining and providing solutions to the top email challenges in 2021.
Table of Contents
1. Increasing Audience Engagement Rates
When it comes to email marketing, low engagement rates are a universal problem. When surveyed, 58% of marketers said they needed to increase theirs, and 44% of those were failing at doing so (The Marketing Scope 2019).
These statistics might be misleading.
The percentage could be much higher because what business doesn't want to increase its email marketing ROI! And you do that by increasing your Open Rates (engagements).
It's a game of percentages; the more people who open your email, the higher your chance of converting sales.
FINDING YOUR PROBLEM:
Open rate analytical data provides information regarding the performance of your email strategies. For instance, if your engagement rates are low, the average open rate for all industries in 2019 was 22.15% (SuperOffice.com, 2020), it's most likely because of one of the following reasons.
- Your subject line isn't resonating with your audience.
- You're sending too many or too few campaigns.
- Your content is too vague for your audience.
- Relevancy: Only send relevant and targeted information - statistics show that 56% of people unsubscribe due to receiving content irrelevant to them (Campaign Monitor 2020).
- Segmentation: Apply segmentation to your strategy by putting your audience into different groups based on their demographics, likes, and interests.
- Subject line: Test your subject line to ensure it targets your audience.
Personalization: Personalized emails are proven to increase open rates and are especially useful when combined with automated transactional emails, like birthday deals, promotional emails, and post-purchase follow-ups.
Let's look at how you do it:
2. Improving Email Personalization
If we opened every inbox email, there'd be no need for personalized emails. However, we don't, a recent survey tells us that the average open rate in 2020 is down to 17.80% (Campaign Monitor ). We're even less inclined to open a sales pitch email unless, of course, we need what it's offering; in this case, we want such emails to jump out and grab our attention; this is where email personalization comes in.
Email personalization is a tactic used to build relationships with your subscribers. It's proven to increase audience engagement rates and move them along the path from subscribers to purchasers.
- For increasing open rates: Use merge tags to personalize your subject lines by inserting unique user data into your emails. For example, you can insert subscriber's names, locations, or other dynamic content.
- For lead nurturing: Not every email subscriber's ready to buy; at first click, it's below 50%, but after 18 months, this increases to 75%. In the meantime, you build on the relationship using personalization strategies.
It pays to personalize.
Data shows that emails with personalized subject lines can increase your ROI by 760%!. Proving that it's one of the most powerful tactics for building relationships and nurturing leads.
Next, we'll look at how you can increase that % even further:
3. Increasing Customer Acquisition
A never-ending email marketing pain point is gaining new customers, especially ones that buy your products or services. So much so that 35% of email marketers surveyed said it was their #1 challenge!(The Marketing Scope 2019)
Why's it difficult?
Customer acquisition is a problematic growth strategy because of the following reasons:
- As your customer base grows, your untapped market shrinks.
- CAC (customer acquisition costs) have been rising steadily over the past five years.
- Acquisition only refers to obtaining a new customer; there's nothing to say they won't churn (leave) further down the line!
HOW TO INCREASE CUSTOMER ACQUISITION:
Email is proven to be 40 x more effective at customer acquisition than Facebook or Twitter, but only if you manage your interactions.
Use a CRM:
- Customer Relationship Management System: CRMs can help you overcome some of the email challenges by enabling you to systemize and manage your interactions with recurring and newly acquired customers. The continuously updated detailed analysis gives you in-depth insights into developing new, improved customer acquisition and retention strategies.
Now you have them; you have to keep them:
4. Improving Customer Retention
If you don't retain your customers, you'll find yourself in an expensive customer acquisition loop. Because acquiring new ones can cost five times that of keeping existing ones!
Some other statistics you should know are:
Increasing customer retention by 5% can lead to an increase of 75% in profits (SuperOffice 2020). The selling success rate to existing customers is 70%, falling to below 20% for new ones. However, regardless of these impressive statistics, businesses lose, on average, 20% of their customers annually!
HOW TO RETAIN YOUR CUSTOMERS:
Proven strategies for retaining customers are:
- Build trust
- Use automation for engaging - CRMs
- Only send relevant information.
- Provide value.
- Leverage customer feedback.
- Provide excellent customer service.
Email gives you a platform to be in touch with your subscribers frequently. The last thing you want to do is to lose their interest by sending out generic information.
Think about what they’re going through and be with them in their journey.
If you’re catering to professionals, share actionable insights, upcoming trends, and pieces of advice. With the rise of remote work due to the pandemic, you send out articles about work-from-home productivity, time management, and work-life balance.
Stay relevant with information that evolves with them and their changing needs.
One tactic that can increase the effectiveness of all of the above is branding, as it provides the cohesive glue needed to bind them and instill the trust required to acquire and retain your email customer list.
5. Increasing Your Brand Awareness
Instant identification helps overcome some of the email communication challenges, and you achieve it with branding.
It's all the content you put online, from your website, logo, social media platforms and posts, emails, blogs, videos, images, and written content, and here's a strange statistic regarding it!
Under 40% of marketers surveyed said that getting their brand seen was their #1 goal!
This other 60% might be missing the point as a recognized brand is proven to convert six times faster than one that's not due to consumers trusting brands they know and use. Why any business owner wouldn't prioritize branding as their number one goal can only be down to a possible lack of understanding regarding its importance.
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR BRAND AWARENESS:
Branding takes work, and you could read a years-worth of posts about it. Fortunately, some tools can help you create your brand, market it, measure platform performance, track traffic, and inform you how to maximize your ROI.
The bottom line is:
If customers recognize your brand when they see your email, click on your link, and end up on your website, you'll be in a far stronger position to turn them from a subscriber into a lifelong customer.
THE LAST WORD
72% of millennials surveyed prefer business communications to come via email.
40 percent of B2B marketers said email newsletters were critical to their continued content marketing success.
99% of online consumers view their email every day, and it's proven to be the preferred way to receive updates from brands.
As a marketer, you can't and shouldn't ignore these statistics.
Your success in overcoming your email marketing challenges in 2021 depends on it.
1) What are some core pain points in email marketing?
Challenges with engagement, personalization, communication, customer retention, and brand awareness are some of today's core pain points. And in order to overcome it, you have to familiarize yourself with the available technologies, various digital marketing channels, and your customers' changing preferences.
2) How can I increase my audience engagement rates?
Some tips to increase your audience engagement rates are:
- Send relevant and targeted information.
- Apply segmentation to your strategy by putting your audience into different groups based on their demographics, likes, and interests.
- Test your subject line to ensure it targets your audience.
3) How does email personalization help me deal with my email marketing challenges?
There are 2 main advantages that can be gained through personalization:
- Increase open rates: Use merge tags to personalize your subject lines by inserting unique user data into your emails. For example, you can insert subscriber's names, locations, or other dynamic content.
- Lead nurturing: Not every email subscriber's ready to buy. At first click, it's below 50%, but after 18 months, this increases to 75%. In the meantime, you build on the relationship using personalization strategies.
4) How can I improve customer retention?
Some proven strategies for improving customer retention are:
- Build trust and credibility of your brand.
- Only send relevant information.
- Provide value in every engagement.
- Provide excellent customer service by leveraging feedback.