An email marketing automation strategy is designed to attract prospects, keep in touch with existing customers, provide information, and drive sales. And a truly effective email marketing strategy works well in conjunction with all of your other marketing tactics.

Because the average person gets hundreds of emails a day and has evolving tastes and interests, it can be tricky designing an email marketing automation approach that creates excitement and propels customers to action. Even if you write great copy and send it to a wide range of potential and existing customers, your email could still fail to capture their attention.

You could be missing the mark in several areas, and improving any (or, preferably all!) of them is sure to encourage more clicks and sales. Here’s a few areas to take a look at where your email marketing automation strategy could be falling short.

Failure to Reach Your Target Market

Whether your email is reaching your intended audience depends on the nature of your email list. Mass emails sometimes work, but targeting your customers based on their demographics, wants, or needs is a better strategy.

For example, if you design a campaign targeted toward women and your email list includes a lot of men, those men will likely immediately delete the email. This is not to say that men are never in the market for gifts for the women in their lives, but overall this marketing approach will probably need some fine-tuning.

At the same time, it’s important not to make your email list too narrow. Creating a message that targets too small or specific of an audience will probably be ineffective. Instead, broaden your message to cover a wider client base.

Concentrate on sending emails to those who have already expressed an interest through mailing list forms on your website. Offer sign-up incentives such as one-time discounts.

It’s important to determine the wants and needs of your customers by studying how they react to your posts. Your email marketing automation software should be able to track opens, clicks, subscriptions to mailing lists, and conversions.

Once you find the strategy that works, build upon it!

Failure to Connect With Your Customers

Let’s say you have a great product or service, but for some reason you are failing to connect with your target customers. Here are some tactics to consider.

Create a message that is personal, addressing customers by name. Customize your return address, as well, so that it comes from an individual.

Find the right length for your email. If the email is too long, too short, or too choppy, readers could lose interest in your message. Keep your content relevant, too, so that customers remain engaged and wanting more.

Add images and graphics to break up large blocks of text, but be judicious with them as content remains key. And by all means, make sure the text is proofread and edited well.

Be conscious of how frequently you reach out to customers. Bombarding them with emails and special promotions can come across as pushy and ultimately reduce interest. Find the right balance, though, because too few messages can allow potential customers to forget all about you.

Make sure your email message is easy to read on mobile devices as well as on larger screen formats. If customers have to scroll back and forth to read a single sentence, they will get frustrated and give up.

If your message is on target but your email is still unopened, try sending the email at a different time of day. Experiment with sending in the morning, around lunchtime, in the evening, or when you think your potential customers might be receptive.

Failure to Reach the Inbox

There are general rules to help you create emails that won’t go directly to the spam folder. Keep your email list up to date and avoid “undeliverables” to bad addresses.

Pay close attention to your subject line; make sure it’s engaging and grabs attention. And be careful not to overuse CAPS, emojis, or punctuation marks as these can trigger spam rules.

Ensure that your return address is personal by using a real person’s name instead of the more general or Give your customers an opportunity to reply to your email.

Failure to Convert

Do not forget to drive customer action by providing links to more information, freebies, or your product site. Offer an irresistible discount to entice them to act quickly.

Ask for feedback through surveys, and engage customers with quizzes or other activities.

At the same time, be sure your customers can reach you on various social media sites. If you do get a conversion, offer opportunities for sharing with friends and family.

Failure to Monitor Results

Your email marketing automation software is a great tool that lets you know what works and what is a waste of time. Monitor the percentage of clicks or conversions, and note the time of day or week that shows engagement, customer demographics, what product generates sales, or what approach connects with the most customers.

Always be on the lookout for ways to improve your campaigns. Be open to myriad options, whether it’s changing the color, font or graphics, or drafting a whole new message.

If a customer unsubscribes from your email list, take the opportunity to ask why. Find out whether it’s the product, message, approach, or just a lack of interest.

Do Not Give Up On Email Marketing

Email marketing automation offers amazing opportunities to reach your customers and, when done right, can be among the best returns on your investment in digital strategy.

Be sure to pay attention to the specifics about what works and what doesn’t when you set your initial email marketing strategy. Take this information seriously and tweak your approach as needed to convert emails to greater sales and revenue.

Katrina McAfee
Over the past 10 years, Katrina has created and implemented marketing plans for industries ranging from health care, transportation, animal welfare and rescue, hospice communities, and much more. At SharpSpring, Katrina’s main focus is coordinating lead generation marketing activities to boost sales for the company.