5 Things to Learn From a Failed Email Campaign

By on June 8, 2018

Email marketing is enormously popular, and for good reason. Billions of people use email giving brands a direct line of communication with consumers.

Capitalizing on that communication can result in hugely successful marketing campaigns with strong returns on investment. For every $1 your business spends on email marketing, you’ll see, on average, a $38 return.

Though that’s an average figure and certainly not guaranteed. In fact, email marketing’s variability means that it’s easy to start a campaign that doesn’t convert. What ads work on some people simply doesn’t work on others, meaning the occasional failure is almost expected.

Successful marketing then, depends on learning from those failures and regrouping. As the old adage goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The same idea applies to creating converting email campaigns.

So today, we’re breaking down five things you should take away from a failed email campaign. There’s no such thing as wasted time if you’re learning.

1. Keep Your Email List Fresh

Every email campaign starts with the same thing; your mailing list. Email addresses you’ve collected through forms, social media, or possibly bought through a third-party. These are your target consumers…or at least that’s the idea.

If your campaign failed your email list is the first place to look for problems. Are the email addresses current? How many did you gather in last six months? If you purchased them, do you know if they’re even relevant to your product niche?

Focus on using emails you’ve recently collected. Those are consumers you know have an interest in your product and that want more information about your brand.

2. Personalization is Key

People want businesses to treat them like individuals. In the world of social media, it’s no longer acceptable to treat consumers as a group. Sixty-nine percent of consumers say that a personalized experience solidifies their loyalty to your brand.

If your campaign failed it’s important to look at your larger message. Were your emails targeted to consumers as an entity or consumers as individuals? Did your subject lines address the consumer by name? Was the body text directed at the specific consumer?

Generic emails hurt your campaign. When compared to generic emails, personalized emails improved click-through rates by an average of 14 percent and conversions increased on average 10 percent.

That means an improved ROI simply from including a personalized message and using the consumer’s name.

3. You’re Missing the Target

Let’s start with a scenario. Your company sells several different products, and you create an email campaign promoting those products. First, you go through your email list and then send an email to every consumer. The more messages the more click-throughs, right?

Wrong! It’s a common mistake that casting a wide net works best. Think about your own email account. You only want emails about products that you’re interested in. Consumers are the same way.

It’s called segmented marketing. Targeting consumers with product-specific emails breaks your campaign into “segments.” If Dan signed up for the coffee mailing list don’t send him emails about your new blenders. Though you could send him emails about your new coffee filters.

And seventy-two percent of consumers agree with Dan, saying they expect brands to cater to their unique wants, needs, and expectations.

Segmenting works under the same principle as personalized emails. People appreciate you “thinking of them” and sending them relevant content. Make them think you care, and you’ll see sales soar.

4. Content Sells

Many brands don’t think twice about email content when crafting their campaigns. You can use the consumer’s name, segment your campaign, and still fall flat if your content doesn’t inspire the sale.

Lame, confusing, and misleading sales pitches just bore, annoy, and confuse consumers. And if your email doesn’t put them in the right mood, it’s off to the spam folder forever. You only have one chance to impress.

Think of your email content like a story. You need to grab consumers’ attention, give them something useful, and then wrap it up (get a click-through). Give them written and visual content to maximize your campaign.

5. Analysis Maximizes ROI

The worst part of your failed marketing campaign isn’t the fact you didn’t see positive ROI. Everyone makes mistakes and it’s expected that some campaigns won’t yield the results you want. But it’s what you do with the failure that makes all the difference.

Let’s pretend you’ve vetted your email list, personalized the emails, segmented the campaign, and crafted your high-quality content. But something still went wrong. Start over and try again, right? Not quite yet.

Before you start your next campaign it’s crucial to understand what went wrong so you don’t make the same mistake twice. Enter campaign analysis. With modern email management software you can track delivered messages, opened messages, what links consumers clicked, which landing pages consumers saw, and more.

If your links didn’t perform well maybe the content didn’t inspire click-throughs. If people click-through but didn’t buy any products, maybe your campaign ran well but your landing pages failed.

Analysis can help you identify your issues and craft new campaigns that yield better return on investment.

Putting it All Together

A failed email campaign doesn’t mean that your product won’t sell or that email marketing isn’t right for your brand. Rather, it’s an opportunity for learning.

It’s very important to remember that one failed campaign isn’t worth abandoning emailing marketing altogether. Not every campaign can, or will, become a success.

Rather, keep in mind the five above things to take away from your failed email campaigns to ensure you’re learning from your mistakes. With a little practice, you’ll see your click-throughs, conversions, and ROI soar.

About Roberto Garvin

I am Roberto Garvin, co-founder of Mofluid. It is absolutely amazing to see how technology continues to evolve, from email to browsers, search engines and mobile. I am fortunate to witness it all and I'm really excited to see what’s next!
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