Marketers, let’s talk about your emails. Are people opening your messages at the rate you had hoped for? If not, don’t beat yourself up because the median click-through rate for email is only 1.3%. But that doesn’t mean you have to just sit there and accept it.

A survey by email analytics software company, Litmus, found that the ROI on marketing email clocks in at a $38 return for every dollar spent. With numbers like that, figuring out why customers are blowing off your emails should be a priority.

At first glance, it may seem like there’s no rhyme or reason to the madness, but as a matter of fact, there is! Let’s look at five reasons why your emails end up in the trash folder.

1. Snooze-Inducing Subject Lines

Subject lines are a critical piece of the email marketing puzzle. Lack of a compelling reason to open your message is one of the biggest reasons customers ignore promotional emails, even from their favorite brands.

Tired subject lines like, “Today’s Deals!” or “Exclusive Offer!” are so overused that they barely register on anyone’s radar. These kinds of subject lines could apply to anyone, anytime, at any part of the customer journey. On the other hand, the open rates on personalized subject lines are about 14% higher than their generic counterparts.

One of the easiest ways to personalize your emails is to use the insights gleaned from other aspects of your marketing like previous website engagement or phone conversations you have with customers. Invoca’s conversation analytics scan conversations to catch keywords or phrases you can use to optimize your emails with highly targeted messaging based on the conversation. For example, if a conversation included keywords or phrases that indicated an interest in a specific product, you can use these insights to craft a follow-up email all about that specific product.

2. Weird Layout and Design

Sometimes we spend so much time trying to get the wording of an email just right that we forget to pay attention to the overall look of the email. Outdated fonts (we’re looking at you, Comic Sans), baffling graphics, and crazy color palettes are overwhelming and out of place in professional marketing emails.

Emojis are gaining traction as a fun but subtle way to engage customers. Use them judiciously, however. “Emoji marketing success hinges on more than just concept and execution. Incorporating the language into your campaign is, all said, a judgment call based on knowing your audience and respecting your customer,” recommends Contently’s Tessa Wegert.

3. The Content is Not Relevant

The most perfectly crafted, potentially award-winning email campaign will still fall on its face if it ends up in the wrong set of inboxes. Segmented campaigns are the order of the day and can drive up to a 760% increase in revenue.

Marketing technology has come a long way from the days of flinging identical messages at every customer in your database and seeing what sticks. Invoca’s call intelligence tools make quick work of slicing and dicing customer phone call data into useful records that help you target the right customers at the right time. When you target messages based on specific demographics, you don’t risk wasting the customer’s time or your resources on emails that won’t ever get opened.

4. Not Mobile Optimized

Since 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices, there’s simply no excuse not to optimize every single email message for mobile. It’s absolutely worth the extra effort when you consider that 65% of people prefer to contact a business by phone.

Your customers are already reading emails on their mobile devices and they like to make phone calls, so the reasoning is clear. Failing to optimize your email for mobile is just not an option.

While you’re perfecting your email content, be sure to pay attention to the preview text. It’s a little excerpt of a full-length email that appears in the inbox overview of a mobile email app. Good preview text can mean the difference between an email that gets opened and a message that gets swiped right into the trash folder.

5. Disconnected From the Rest of the Customer Experience

Emails are an important part of a cohesive omnichannel experience. You’re already gathering copious amounts of data on your customers so put it to good use to trigger emails based on the real-time activities of your callers and website visitors.

Consumers are willing to share their personal data but they want to know brands are using it responsibly to give them a better overall experience. Invoca helps you connect information like call and cookie data, customer IDs, campaign names so you can deliver consistent messaging at every customer touchpoint.

We’re not going to lie, there are no guarantees that email marketing techniques that work today will be a smash hit tomorrow. But if you avoid these five email mistakes, you’ll be on the right path to deliver a successful omnichannel customer experience.

Do you want to learn more about the impact of phone calls on email marketing? Download your copy of our eBook, Email Meet Phone Calls.

Email, Meet Phone Calls
Lisa McGreevy

Posted by Lisa McGreevy

Lisa McGreevy is a professional freelance journalist and blogger with more than 18 years experience covering enterprise products and services, brand marketing, and emerging technology. Lisa is based in Tampa, FL. Follow her on Twitter @LisaH.