3 Reasons Why Your Promo Emails Might Be Bad


In some of our projects, promotional emails bring up to 80% of all the sales from email communication. If you see that your promotional emails are no longer effective, search for the reasons and improve the situation as fast as you can.


How to understand that your emails are bad

You can compare email communication with teenage relationships. First, when you’re only getting to know each other, you’re extremely happy and try to please your partner, but, as time goes by, you start fighting over nothing. And no gifts/discount coupons can get you out of the spam folder and make subscribers open your emails again.

If you want to know what’s going on in your relationship with the subscribers before it’s too late, pay attention to these indicators:

  1. Open Rate and Click Rate. These are the most obvious ones, but they’re the most noticeable. If you see a steady decline, it’s time to do something.
  2. Unsubscribe rate. People unsubscribe even from the most interesting emails, but try to keep this rate below 0.4%.
  3. The drop in sales from promotional emails. It’s okay that everyday promotional campaigns may seem very unimpressive if you compare them with “Black Friday”. So always pay attention to the share of sales from all your campaigns, not just the biggest ones. 

Now that you know what metrics to analyze, let’s take a look at why they may go down.

Reason 1. High churn rate

Churn rate is a metric that shows how fast you lose your subscribers. You can count it down using this formula:

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The main reasons for unsubscribes:

  • emails come too often;
  • your offers are not catchy;
  • your subscribers receive too many emails from other sources.

What you should do if people unsubscribe from your emails

With every email you send, you’ll get unsubscribes, that is a never-ending process. The main thing here is to keep your database growing. And there are two ways to achieve that:

Use lead capture

Lead capture means collecting information about potential customers that show interest in your company. This is a very powerful tool if you use it wisely.

Pay attention to these details:

  1. Set up a lead capture form and motivate your website visitors to subscribe. Figure out what makes them interested: you can offer them a gift or a discount. Or maybe they just like your content, and no additional motivation is needed.
  2. Always do what you promised. If the lead capture form says that users will get a discount coupon, and they receive something else, your story will end before it begins.
  3. Start working with your subscribers right after you get their email addresses. If you only capture leads, your readers will forget that you exist pretty soon. And then nothing will stop them from unsubscribing.

Create Subscription Management Center

This tool lets your subscribers decide what emails they want to read and how often they want to receive them. For example, Litmus offers subscribers to choose only relevant campaigns.

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You can place the Subscription management center on the unsubscribe page. In this case, users can change their preferences instead of unsubscribing from your emails completely.

Reason 2. Irrelevant offers

The truth is: subscribers stop opening emails if they don’t find your offers appealing. Every email you send should hit the target.

How to make targeted emails

Use segmentation

Segment your subscribers to send each category only those emails they want to receive.

For example, you can use a pop-up signup form:

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This pop-up does not only bring you leads by giving people a tempting offer but also helps you segment the audience according to their interests: skin care, makeup, or hair & body.

Personalize your emails

Segmentation goes hand in hand with personalization, i.e. adapting the content of emails to your readers’ interests. Just calling a person by their name is not personalization, but if you add special product recommendations and send relevant emails to each of the segments, it’ll be much better.

Show your subscribers that you know them by offering them relevant items as Cole Haan does:

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Make friends with your readers

Personalization is a huge step, but it’s even better when subscribers look forward to receiving your emails. Be more natural, and don’t forget that you deal with real people.

For example, you can be cool like Fitvine and crack some jokes.

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You can be more human-like by admitting the fact that sometimes you make mistakes too. Take a look at what Gobe does. They noticed an error in their system and sent an email of apology to their subscribers with a small gift to make it up to their readers. Such emails show people that you care about them.

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Reason 3. Dead email subscribers

If you capture a lot of leads and don’t interact with them at all, in a couple of years you’ll get a ton of inactive subscribers: some of them have changed their email addresses, and all the rest forgot about you. If you don’t want to start from scratch, optimize your database and start working with it.

Validate your email database

You can divide your email list into 4 groups: new, loyal, sleeping and dead email addresses. You can experiment while working with the first three groups, but there's a crucial rule for the fourth one: dead addresses (meaning invalid email addresses) must be deleted from your email list!

Use Double Opt-In

That’s a must and can save you a lot of time and effort. With Double Opt-In, all the potential subscribers receive an additional email containing a confirmation link. Trust me, it can make your life much easier because your database won’t be full of bots and invalid email addresses. Otherwise, the deliverability rate will go down, which may result in ESPs considering your emails to be potentially dangerous and sending them directly to the spam folder.

Reactivate subscribers

If you see that subscribers are losing interest in your emails, you can still get them back. If they stopped reading emails half a year ago, face it, they won’t return. That’s why reactivation should be an automated and never-ending process, not just a you-stopped-reading-our-letters message once a year.

Bottom line

To keep your email sequences effective, remember these things:

  • keep your churn rate low;
  • capture new leads;
  • create a subscription management center;
  • use segmentation and personalization;
  • get rid of dead email subscribers;
  • optimize your database.

 maria teneva vf4O1OwtPnk unsplash 600Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash