What Are The Shortfalls With Email Marketing?


I have 5 email accounts and spend at least an hour sifting through the bulk of them. The personal emails I read and reply. The rest, I skim. It’s a hodgepodge of email marketing at its finest. Company newsletters. Retailer promotions. Blog post updates. Campaign ads. Other miscellaneous stuff. Some I open and read. Most of it, I trash. If a sender reverts to loading my inbox with too many emails a day, I unsubscribe.

From a marketer’s standpoint, I fully understand the importance of email marketing. It’s one of the most effective means of communicating to your target audience. You have a brand to promote, products and services to sell and time sensitive offers to get out there. In addition, personalizing these email campaigns and fine tuning the process is no easy feat. I commend the time and effort involved with email marketing.

If there’s any question as to what works and what doesn’t in the world of email marketing, or if you’re simply looking for creative inspiration, there’s no shortage of information out there. From infographics to instructional videos, there’s an endless stream of effective email marketing tips and advice.

As the recipient of these emails, I often wonder, “What’s with all of the shortfalls?” If your email lands in my inbox, it’s because I’ve made purchases from your company, utilized services, signed up for emails, expressed interest in receiving updates, etc. So, why am I junking your emails without opening them?

1. The subject lines have a lot to be desired. On average, you have about 3.2 seconds to make an impression. The subject line is going to make it or break it. I am more apt to click on a Spiegel ‘Up To 80% Off Your Style List” email or the “Home Sale? You Bet. Last Day? Yes, Way” email from Target than some generic title that lacks important information in the subject line.

2. Click bait. Nothing irritates me more than click bait, especially with marketing emails. If I come across a subject line that reads “Want to save money when you shop? Find out how” I’m not going to open the email even if I’m familiar with the retailer. I’ve been a savvy shopper my entire life, I very seldom pay full price for anything and I frequently use online coupons. I already know how to save money. Do you want my attention? Let me know there’s a coupon inside or how much I can save.

3. Email content. Like most of the population, I’m busy. I don’t have the time to read emails bloated with irrelevant content. As the saying goes, “Don’t bury the title.” Make your point. Engage my interest. Motivate me to want more of what you have to say or offer. Why should I click on the link/s within the email? If there’s a coupon, make it as effortless as possible to use it.

4. I ignore my spam folder completely. There are quite a few steps that need to be taken to ensure any type of email campaign isn’t filtered to spam boxes or violates CAN-SPAM Act regulations. If there are too many hyperbolic phrases, capital letters, broken links, etc., your email will land in my spam box. All of your time and effort to put together a stellar email marketing campaign is wasted. Take the extra time and learn how to avoid spam filters.

5. The email lacks personalization. I’ve shopped at various retailers for years and their email content is personalized based on the purchases I’ve made, the frequency, etc. It’s obvious they involve the use of Omnichannel Personalization. However, there are a few retailers who will send me promotions for products that don’t fit my lifestyle. I don’t have kids. I’m not a sports enthusiast. I will never go camping. Why am I getting emails highlighting sales for baby strollers, tents, and team paraphernalia? These go unread and sent to my trash folder.


About Author

Proud Mom of 3 rescue dogs, dog biscuit baker, geek, writer, social media guru, java junkie, and a believer in all things Wabi Sabi. Technology touches my life every single day. And, you can bet I have something to say about it.

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