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FFU Recap: Why No One's Reading Your Emails


Mar. 2017
30

We held our very first FoxFuel University class this week, giving folks a look at some of the most common reasons Email Campaigns underperform. Oddly enough, we found that many of these reasons are also applicable to your failing relationship, so you may try a few of these tips next time you're trying to figure out why your significant other is sleeping on the couch. Here's a quick recap of the key points we touched on:  

 

 

1. Your pick-up lines are awful.

Is your name Free Wifi? ’Cause I’m feeling a connection ;)

Your subject line is the first interaction the user has with your email. If it's not engaging enough to convince them to open the email, then the rest of your content won't matter much.

 

How to fix it:

  • Be concise – take a look at your email app on your phone - how many words of the subject line do you see on average?
  • Be specific – there should be a direct correlation between your subject line and the first thing the reader sees when they open your email.
  • Test your options – your audience is unique to you. Pay attention to how they're engaging.

 

 

2. You talk too much.

You have a lot to share with the world, but a single email probably isn't the best medium.

 

How to fix it:

  • Do a value check – is every sentence truly valuable to the reader?
  • Use visuals – break up your content with strong relevant imagery.
  • Highlight key points – make sure the reader's attention is drawn to the most important information.

 

 

3. You're not being clear.

Interpretation is a tricky thing. Make sure you're being very clear about what you're asking the reader to do.

 

How to fix it:

  • Use headlines – tell them what they're getting into up front if they continue reading
  • Be bold with your button – buttons are far more effective in making the desired action very clear.
  • Early & obvious CTA – "If your main call-to-action falls below the fold, then as many as 70% of recipients won’t see it." – Hubspot

 

 

4. You're boring.

Corporate or professional brands are not boring; irrelevant brands are boring. You don't have to use gifs from The Office to be engaging.

 

How to fix it:

  • Know yourself – know the value you offer and be confident in it.
  • Talk like a human – behind every Armani suit and CEO title is a person. Talk to the human, not the suit.
  • Use strong visuals – strong does not mean loud and ostentatious. Strong means relevant visuals that evoke the desired experience you want associated with your brand or offering.

 

 

5. Your outfit is ridiculous.

Speaking of ostentatious visuals... keep it clean and simple. When in doubt, leave it out.

 

How to fix it:

  • Limit to 3 fonts – of course, we'd recommend getting a designer's eye to make sure the fonts play nicely together. But this is a good rule of thumb to keep yourself in check.
  • Use relevant images – every image should directly correlate to your message. If it doesn't add value, nix it.
  • Careful with the glitter – if you have 6 CTAs that are bright red buttons at the top of your email, you'll end up overwhelming your reader. Keep it simple.

 

 

6. You're not attentive.

If someone expresses interested in you and you wait 3 months to respond, you can't expect them to be engaged when you finally reach out. Pay attention to your reader.

 

How to fix it:

  • Set auto responders – really easy way to make sure they feel the love. Any time you capture an email address, send them an automatic "Thank you! Here's a few more things you might like..."
  • Be consistent – every other week or every other month, just be a consistent, reliable source of information for your reader.
  • Stick to a calendar – you don't have to plan every email for the next 12 months, that's not realistic. But having a general idea of what topics you'll feature will help avoid the last-minute scramble to throw content together.

 

 

7. You can't take a hint.

On the other end, if they're not engaged, know when to cut your losses.

 

How to fix it:

  • CAN-SPAM is real – black-listing is a thing and it can happen to you. Don't send to folks who didn't ask for it.
  • Honor unsubscribes – make sure that the readers who unsubscribe are actually removed from your list to avoid that bitter telemarketer association.
  • Ask for closure – breakup emails are an excellent way to offer closure to the relationship. Let them know you've noticed they haven't opened your email in 6 months and give them the opportunity to re-engage or cut the cord.

 

 

8. You're not listening

Global stats are great and valuable to an extent. But your reader's relationship with you is unique, and you need to pay attention to how often they're reading, what they're clicking, and when they're bailing on you.

 

How to fix it:

  • Measure
  • Measure
  • Measure

  Interested in learning more about email marketing? Give us a shout at info@foxfuelcreative.com.

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