Public Relations


Five reasons why your email campaigns are not working

September 2020

Reading time: 5 minute(s).

As a small or medium-sized business (SME), email marketing is likely to play a huge role in your overall strategy when it comes to winning new business and nurturing new leads.

But successful email marketing campaigns can be hard to come by. Spending all that time and effort with seemingly little or no reward? That’s frustrating, right?

Thankfully, when it comes to email campaigns, we’ve been there, done it and bought the proverbial t-shirt.

People receive hundreds of emails a day. They will only pay attention to yours if they feel there’s something of benefit for them.

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What's going wrong?

Sure, we’ve made mistakes along the way – we’re only human after all – but the key thing is learning from them to make sure you avoid the common pitfalls that can turn your email campaign to junk even before you’ve hit ‘send’.

We’re now sharing our experience with you – to give you a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to email marketing.

#1: Your subject line doesn’t catch your reader’s eye

First impressions count. In a sea of noise, you need to make sure your email stands out in a crowded inbox, attracting that all important click to open. Long-winded subject lines simply don’t cut it here. Keep it short, keep it snappy and keep it clear.

#2: You email is either too text heavy or overly reliant on images

Getting the balance between words and pictures can be tricky.

Purely text-based promotional emails belong in the last century, nobody has time to read an essay about your product.

But, even though 40% of people reportedly respond better to visual information than plain text, not all your readers can even load images in their emails, meaning all your design efforts have gone to waste. Striking a happy medium is the aim, using both words and images to convey your message.

Also, make use of ‘alt text’ to describe your images for those who can’t physically see them in their email system.

#3: It’s not all about you – what’s in it for the reader?

People receive hundreds of emails a day. They will only pay attention to yours if they feel there’s something of benefit for them. Ignore the temptation to shout about your successes and show how great you are – focus instead on how your customers can benefit from your awesome skills and services.

Every piece of communication should be with the customer in mind, what it means for them and why they stand to benefit from it.


#4: You have no call-to-action (CTA)

What is the point in an email marketing campaign if there’s no Call to Action? You need to give the reader something to do and make it easy for them to do it. Don’t write your CTA in plain text. It won’t stand out and just means extra work for the reader (and who’s really going to copy and paste a link into a new browser window just to see what it is you’re selling?).

Always include a clickable, clear and prominent CTA. A bright button with a clear message works wonders.

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#5 One size doesn’t fit all

Never treat your audience as a uniform group, we’re people, we’re diverse, we’re different. Divide your audience into clear lists with different interests and personas and make sure you send relevant content to the right list. This ‘hyper-targeting’ strategy can have a huge impact on potential customers, with heavily personalised content helping create an impression that you really ‘get’ them and know precisely what it is they want, need and crave.



So there you go. Now you know the five common mistakes which regularly scupper your email marketing campaigns, and we’ve even given you tips on how to avoid them. Remember, people have short attention spans and several companies are competing for attention in their inbox. Stand out with an email that balances visuals and text and has a CTA button worth clicking on.

Good luck!

September 2020 | Laura Pearce