Could your emails stand out more? Is anyone even reading them when they come through?
It doesn’t matter how well-planned your email marketing campaign might be, if no one is reading it… it won’t do you much good.
If you’re noticing the scales tip out of your favor, getting less and less engagement—it’s more than just frustrating. Just because you’ve had a bad week, or even a few of them, doesn’t mean quit now. Email marketing is still a valuable tool for small businesses to engage, re-engage, and connect with their customers. Everyone wants to stand out against the crowd. It’s only natural. You’re trying to to occupy the same space as all the other pool building, service and repair companies near you. So.. how do you stand out?
Email is not as urgent for people to read or reply to as it used to be. Emails promising deals or sales or something amazing are constant. If they can’t tell yours is valuable immediately… why would they even open it?
It’s not always easy to pinpoint precisely what’s going wrong, but we have five of the most common things that might be holding your email campaign back—and effectively burying you against competitors.
For pool service companies looking for an edge online against their competitors—strategy is vital, but so is understanding. There’s no shame in taking a step back and thinking about your next move. Remember, you can’t fix what you don’t understand.
5 Reasons Customers Aren’t Reading Your Emails
1. They’re Overwhelmed with Emails
Most people with email addresses have the same issue: they get too many emails. Between subscriptions, reminders, and messages from loved ones – business emails often get lost in the clutter. Unread emails add to the chaos. In fact, it can add so much that customers might never open yours – instead, deleting it in one fell sweep. In a survey of 500, 56% claimed to receive 25-49 emails daily. However, around 74% of the participants said they open and read 10 or fewer every day. These people, in that case, are getting anywhere from 15-29 emails per day that they never read. (Thanks, email fatigue…)
How to Combat Email Fatigue
Send Them More Routine Emails – it might seem easy to just say, “send fewer emails,” but you may want to look at how often you send your emails. Send emails at least once a month, so you don’t get forgotten – but no more than once a week. This way, the customers will begin to expect an email from you on a timetable rather than rolling their eyes when they get “yet another one.”
Use Shorter, More Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines – You want to grab your audience before they read your email. If your subject line is too long, the “meat” of it will get cut off or glazed over. If you put something short, punchy, and easy to digest right at the beginning, they’ll be much less likely to delete it without at least opening the email first.
Make Sure You’re Sending Relevant, Helpful Content – Is the content you’re sending valuable? Every eblast and newsletter doesn’t need to include the most ground-breaking information, but why would they open it if you’re not offering your audience value? Ensure you’re not wasting their time because that might happen even if you don’t realize it. A “filler” email or two isn’t a big deal, but if it becomes a pattern, they’ll eventually start skipping more.
2. Your Newsletters Go to an Abandoned Folder or Email
People might miss your emails because you’re sending them to an old or infrequently checked email. About 62% of survey respondents claim they have an email they only use for promotions or sign-ups. This means they’re likely not checking it as often as their primary or work address. If your sales emails are going to non-primary accounts, your job is so much harder than it has to be.
What might be happening is possibly even simpler than that. When Gmail rolled out its categories for customers who wanted to quickly sort through “urgent emails,” it created a new hurdle for businesses. Suddenly, their marketing emails and newsletters were all relegated to the promotions folder. Only 19% of “promotions” emails, according to studies, get opened on average.
How to Improve Your Open Rates & Avoid the Promo Folder
Don’t Put Too Many Links in your Email – Keep your overall number of links under five, ideally around 2-3. This way, the most relevant, valuable information is still clickable and pulling readers in, but you aren’t inundating them with a hundred different links. The more links, the more overwhelmed your readers will be. Instead – try segmenting your comment into critical points, and link externally throughout, so readers can navigate and know where they want to click through in the first place.
Ask Subscribers to Save your Contact – Getting subscribers to connect with you and your content is easier said than done – but getting into their contacts book is a good step. Contacts are less likely to show up as spam, which can give your email a better chance of visibility.
Avoid Spam Trigger words – Avoid words that might be triggering your post as spam. Spam trigger words are keywords or phrases email providers have flagged; essentially, “if it sounds too good, it probably is.” Spam filters mark these words as suspicious, as it seems you’re trying to trick your audience into reading them. Phrases associated with scams, gimmicks, schemes, promises, free gifts, and more – look at what you’re using within your email, and if you find trigger words, try removing them.
3. Your audience Isn’t Segmented Properly
If you’re sending email blasts to an extensive list with no filtering, your content can’t possibly be relevant to everyone. The right segmentation can help you improve open rates, engage readers, and increase revenue. It does all of this while also ensuring your content is relevant to the segment. You can send the same campaign to different audience segments, testing variations to see which gets more opens and click-throughs. Try sending an email with the subject line “We miss you!” to the less-engaged audience group. Meanwhile, send one with the subject line “Thanks for your support!” to a more-engaged one instead. If your audience isn’t segmented, you might not be tailoring your subjects, content, or copy to feel more personalized. Over time, this can make people feel like it’s “just another” newsletter, and they’ll click out.
Ways You Can Further Segment Your Audience
By Demographics – Gender, Age, Income, Job Title
By Past Purchases – One-time or Consistent Customers
By When They Last Purchases
By Where In Their Buyer’s Journey
4. You’re Sending Emails at the Wrong Time
Finding the right time to send an email is one of the hardest parts of email marketing. There’s no “perfect time” for every business, every audience, and every service – there are always going to be factors you don’t consider, and that’s why it takes work. Not only can it vary wildly based on day or location, which is its own issue. It can also be affected by recipient preference, email fatigue, or just customers randomly interacting or not with an email when they usually would do the opposite.
Now, on the whole, research suggests that the best email times are during regular weekday business hours within your time zone, roughly 9 AM to 5 PM. As a rule of thumb, this time accounts for 53% of all email opens. Over the weekend or beyond this time range might hurt your open rates, as many people will avoid that same inbox and “unplug” in their downtime.
Optimizing Your Email Sending Times
Try Sending Friday Emails – This is consistently a day with the highest open and click-through rates, possibly because people have lighter schedules at the end of the workweek and more time to check and clear their email queues than any other day.
Avoid Mondays – Mondays are, by and large, email clear-out days, as people work through the emails, they received over the weekend to get better settled in for their week.
Test New Days and Times – Research shows Tuesdays and Thursdays are good days for people to open marketing emails, but see how these changes affect your click-through rate and adjust as needed. Your audience might behave differently, so it’s good to watch it.
5. Your Content Needs Work
Are you writing emails that sound nothing like your brand’s other content? Does it feel like meaningless copy, or filler words meant to sound good? Of course, you should tell recipients about your business and why working with you is such a great idea, but you don’t want to email them all about yourself. Instead, make sure your content is the recipient first, as they will be consuming the content. You can do this by thanking them for subscribing, explaining the benefits they’ll enjoy with you, and so on.
Ensure every email’s tone is consistent with your website, socials, and blogs. You’ll be leading people from your email to a page on your website, so the overall feel should be similar between marketing materials for the best user experience. This is especially important when setting your tone with the welcome email, as it sets up the rest of your campaign and, on average, will get a 86% higher open rate than other newsletters. Make an excellent first impression, and hook them with the right kind of copy.
How to Improve Your Email Content
Address a Problem – Why should they be reading your email? Addressing the problem(s) your readers face and offering solutions will help tug at their pain points so they inherently will see more value in your newsletters. It will also allow them to connect better with your content, as you feel more in tune with their needs – whether, through free advice, or your quality products or services, you need to give them a reason to stay engaged.
Automation – Automating your welcome list will ensure that everyone who subscribes will immediately get a welcome email – that way, they can instantly connect with you and your brand and make sure those emails are going through to the right inbox.
Consistency – Send emails consistently (i.e., once a month or week) with clear, helpful messages relevant to your audience. This will help them better connect with your brand and your emails and come to expect the email if it’s done routinely.
Of course, you might be doing everything seemingly right, and still not getting the conversion you want out of it. It could be a mix of other reasons, or something completely out of your control—sometimes, you need eyes on the outside to help you figure out exactly what’s going on, and how to fix it.
Being too close to a problem can on it’s own be an issue – and that’s where we come in. We have a team of marketing professionals, skilled writers, and pool experts at the ready, we’re at your disposal to run strong, converting campaigns and spice up your marketing tactics, be it advertising, email, SMS or more.
Not sure what you need? Reach out, schedule a consultation with our team and we can put together a package that works for you and your business – with all of your unique needs kept in mind.