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7 Email Marketing Challenges Most Businesses Are Facing

7 Email Marketing Challenges Most Businesses Are Facing

Email marketing is among the most effective methods of reaching and converting your audience. In fact, one study found that 76 percent of subscribers make purchases after receiving marketing emails, which is probably why 97 percent of businesses use email marketing these days. But despite its overall effectiveness, email marketing is not without its challenges. With this in mind, Campaign Monitor surveyed hundreds of marketers at businesses to find out what they struggle with when it comes to email marketing. While a whopping 80 percent did say their email marketing strategy seemed to be successful, they still had numerous challenges with this part of their marketing mix. Below are the top seven email marketing challenges that Campaign Monitor reported.

1. Engagement Rates

Of the businesses surveyed by Campaign Monitor, 58 percent said improving engagement rates among email recipients was their main goal. But for 44 percent, that’s been a big challenge. If you can relate, you’ll likely see a difference in engagement by ensuring your emails are packed with interesting, relevant information. Better yet, make sure they’re personalized for each buyer persona you want to target.

2. Customer Acquisition

Campaign Monitor also found that 52 percent of marketers said their main objective was to get new customers. More specifically, they wanted customers who actually planned to buy something, not people who would simply read the email and take no action. But 35 percent said this was their number one email marketing challenge, so not everyone has success reaching this goal. If you struggle with this, keep in mind that email marketing is 40 times more effective at reaching new customers than social media. So consider that when you’re trying to decide how much time to put into each marketing tactic to improve customer acquisition.

3. Customer Retention

Once you get new customers, you want to keep them, right? About 40 percent of marketers seem to agree with that, as this is their goal. And that makes sense, because it’s certainly cheaper to keep customers than to try to get new ones. But 18 percent said customer retention is also their number one challenge! If this is a problem for you, make sure your email content is interesting enough to cut through all the clutter most people get every day, so you can stand out in the minds of your current customers

4. Email Personalization

About 38 percent of marketers mentioned that better personalization was their main goal. But nearly as many—36 percent—said it was also their greatest challenge. And that’s unfortunate, because the more personalized the email is, the more relevant and interesting it is to readers. In fact, as Campaign Monitor pointed out, emails that have personalized subject lines lead to about 760 percent more revenue. Clearly, it pays to personalize marketing emails!

5. Brand Awareness

Campaign Monitor found that 37 percent of marketers mentioned getting more people to see their brand was their main goal, while 24 percent said it was their main challenge. Luckily, there are lots of ways to do this, from email marketing and social media to paid ads and events. No matter which method you choose to boost brand awareness, make sure you track your progress by tools meant for measuring this.

6. Data Quality

Just 32 percent of the marketers surveyed said improving customer data was a big goal, but 54 percent said it was a huge challenge. After all, the more personalized your marketing methods are, the better results you’ll get—and you need customer data to properly personalize your emails. Collecting this information lets you know the gender, location, birthdate, styles, behaviors, and more of your target audience, which can help steer your content in the right direction. You can start getting this information by making sure your website includes sign-up forms that ask the right questions.

7. Marketing Costs

Most of the other marketing challenges involve increasing certain positive attributes, from brand awareness to engagement. But the last one centers on decreasing one big issue: marketing costs. In fact, 17 percent of marketers said they mainly want to lower their costs, and 20 percent said that’s their number one challenge. One way to reach this goal is to look for marketing tools that only have the capabilities you need, so you’re not paying extra for features you won’t use. If you can personalize it to your own company’s needs, even better!

Now that you know some of the most common email marketing challenges, think about what your own are. You’ll find that you can reduce some of these issues by focusing on improving your content, which this guide should help you with: 6 Ways to Engage Email Subscribers With Creative Content (And Drive Sales). Plus, you can see a visual representation of these top seven marketing challenges in Campaign Monitor’s infographic!

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Eric Vidal

CEO at The Marketing Scope
Eric Vidal, an industry expert with over 25 years of marketing and technology experience is passionate about providing insight and education on the latest martech trends and techniques. Eric speaks and writes for various publications like The Marketing Scope and Future Of Work to name a couple. Eric has been a marketing leader for companies of all sizes. He has extensive experience working to achieve measurable business results for organizations like IBM, Cisco, WebEx, Canon USA, West Corp., Dynamic Signal, SAP and more. Connect with Eric on LinkedIn.
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