Five Reasons Why Your E-Mail Campaign Failed
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Everything was perfect, so you believed. You designed an attractive e-mail promotion, mass sent it to your address list, then waited for the sales and leads to roll in. However, the response you received wasn't quite as impressive as you'd hoped, and after all the research and statistics were gathered you saw that your e-mail campaign suffered a low open rate and virtually no traffic to your website. What went wrong? Why did so few people take advantage of your sale or offer?

E-Mail marketing doesn't have to be a tricky business, but that doesn't mean one can simply shoot off a mail and expect miracles. When preparing an effective e-mail advertising campaign, one must take note of a number of factors in order to maximize results - a good open rate and high response to your Web site or brick and mortar store. If your latest e-mail out yielded little to no response, here are a few possibilities as to why your campaign failed:

1) You triggered too many spam filters.

As e-mail programs employ craftier spam-filtering techniques, the chances that a legitimate mail may be captured with the junk grows. If you find the response to your latest campaign was less than desired, it's possible your e-mail didn't pass inspection. Take a look at the design: is it more graphics-intensive and does it use little text? Does the subject header read like something a spam mailer would send - using words like "guaranteed" or "free" or "save"? While these trigger words may not always mark a mail for the junk folder, using an improper combination of graphics and text can be detrimental to your campaign.

2) Your subject header wasn't compelling enough.

If your e-mail recipients receive tens to maybe a hundred messages a day, yours could get lost in a sea of love notes, news alerts, and other advertisements. Oftentimes a user will simply click unread messages straight to the trash without reading them, particularly if the mail doesn't appear to be compelling enough to open. Your subject header is the initial contact with your customers - and if it doesn't attract interest it will be ignored. Offering a big sale or discount on services might not be enough to prompt an open. Consider being creative and even a bit enigmatic with your e-mail subject headers. Make your customers want to read your mail.

3) Your mail wasn't "user friendly".

While it can be fun constructing a beautiful e-mail with graphics and interactive features, bear in mind not all of your readers will see the mail as you have designed it. Some users will read your mail on browser-based mail accounts like Yahoo or Hotmail, while others will use Eudora, Outlook, or other inbox software. Sometimes what you have designed may turn out completely different in another person's mail, and may result in enough broken images and text to discourage a reader from clicking to your site. When creating a mail, consider how to be accommodating in your design so the message gets across to as many recipients as possible.

4) Your content lacked punch.

Did you offer anything of substance in your last e-mail: a discount coupon, a tantalizing new product, or helpful tips to entice readers to visit you for more information. As people sift through their e-mail, they want information presented to them in a concise manner - if you have nothing of interest to offer, the reader is going to the next message without giving yours further thought. Now, this doesn't mean you have to give away the store with every mail you send out, but consider what you have to offer that will attract readers to your products and services.

5) You offered no point of sale or contact

Perhaps your mail passed the first four elements of a good campaign: a good balance of graphics and text, a subject header that grabbed attention, and a good sales offers. All you needed to close the deal was a noticable point of contact so readers could reach you. Perhaps, however, the link to your online store or the contact information for your business was too buried in the mail that people couldn't find it. Therefore, because contacting you was too difficult people gave up. It's important in every mail you send that your URL, phone number, or address is prominent so customers can easily get in touch with you. Don't let something so simple prevent your from getting sales and leads.

If you want to create a strong e-mail campaign with a high rate of opening and click-throughs, consider the elements needed to make your pitch successful. Balance the content for a general audience, hook them with a compelling offer, and provide a visible point of contact for your business. Done properly, you can watch your traffic and sales grow.

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