Stay Out of Trouble: Avoid These Email Marketing Traps

Email marketing: Where were we before it? Nowhere, that’s where.

It’s become one of the hallmarks of modern marketing campaigns, and why not? It’s easy to master, it tells a story, it’s compelling, it’s immediate, and most importantly — it’s effective. When it comes to connecting with potential customers or clients, it’s the next best thing to a face-to-face interaction.

According to this article from, “Email marketing can allow you to create targeted and personalized messages. This can help you to build meaningful relationships with your customers. It can also improve response rates to your direct marketing campaigns.”

Here are some B2C marketing stats to give you a quick idea of just how effective email marketing can be, when done properly:

  • Email subscribers are 3 times more likely to share feedback on social media.
  • Over 70% of retailers indicate that email marketing is their go-to method of client retention.
  • Email is customers’  preferred method of getting promotional materials.

So what’s the issue? Why isn’t email marketing the unicorn of digital marketing?

For the simple reason that email marketing traps exist for every company, no matter how big or successful. There are several issues that crop up repeatedly for digital marketers, and they need to be understood in order to be overcome. That’s where we come in. Below, we’ll outline the email marketing metrics you need to be tracking in order to enhance and make the most of your email marketing campaigns; then we’ll outline what the main email marketing traps are and let you in on real solutions for each problem.

Understanding Email Marketing Metrics Leads to Email Marketing Success

Email marketing metrics are, essentially, ways of measuring your email marketing campaign’s effectiveness. According to a webinar hosted by, there are seven main email marketing metrics:

  1. Delivery rate

This refers to the rate of successfully delivered emails to their intended recipients. A lower delivery rate results in a lower amount of recipients. Easy enough, no?

  1. Open rate

This term refers to the number of subscribers who actually open your emails. The higher the open rate is, the higher the click rate is, the higher the probability of customer engagement is, the higher the probability of an eventual purchase is. Basically every step in the email marketing process is potentially affected by the open rate.

  1. Click rate

The click rate refers to the number of clicks made by the consumer in an email. It’s essentially measured against the number of emails sent.  

  1. Unsubscribe rate

This is pretty self-explanatory — it refers to the number of customers who unsubscribe to an email campaign.

  1. SPAM complaints

As much as we’d like to tune out these folks, they provide essential info about our email marketing technique, and let us know when change or tweaks are needed, and the extent to which an overhaul might be necessary.

  1. Active ratio

These are our fans, our biggest supporters, our bread and butter — they are the percentage of customers who are consistently engaged in terms of open rates and click rates.

  1. Post-Click activity

This guy is a big one: post-click activity is super important when measuring the effectiveness of all the previous steps. Post-click activity refers to actually sealing the deal. Was the website visited? Was the item bought? Did the customer return? In sum, did all of the things we did to get the customer’s attention actually pay off?

The more we can pay attention to these stats, the better and more effective our email marketing strategies will be.

Email Marketing: Traps, Pitfalls, and Solutions

If there were no downsides to email marketing, it wouldn’t be a real thing. Everything’s got its pluses and minuses, and just like understanding metrics helps to measure email marketing success, knowing what to avoid is paramount to building an ultimately successful email marketing campaign.

Here’s a handful of potential problems you might run into with an email marketing campaign:

Issue: You’re not earning new subscribers.

Solution: If this is happening, you’re not stating the benefits of your product/experience clearly or effectively enough. Explain why consumers want and need your product using very few, yet very powerful, words.

Issue: Your open rates are low.

Solution: Subject lines, subject lines, subject lines! You need short. You need power. You need personalization. Incorporate those three things into a subject line and your open rates will increase.

Issue: Your deliverability is low.

Solution: Avoid like the plague the words buy, cash, earn money, save money, click, free, trial, etc. etc. you get the point. Pretend you’re the customer, and you’re scanning your inbox. Something that walks and talks like spam, likely is spam.

Issue: You aren’t retaining subscribers on a regular enough basis or broad enough scale.

Solution: It’s like UX 101 always says: Determine your intended audience. Spend enough time doing this, and the rest of the funneling process will happen on almost on its own. Be relevant, be smart, be deliberate, and your retention rates will increase.

These are only some of the issues you might encounter, but everything is connected: if you follow these guidelines, your campaigns will be more successful overall.