Why Emailing is Ineffective

20 replies
...Because most folks don't have the slightest idea what they're doing.

You can build a client base with email, but you have to know how to do it.

I received an email today that was all wrong. I've ran poor email marketing campaigns and very successful email marketing campaigns. So, I know a little bit about what works and what doesn't. Plus, I'm a customer first and I know what would provoke me...

The email I received had a subject line of "Voicemail Follow-up." I opened it because I'm weird and like to open every email. The subject line was not enticing in the very least. I don't know if many of you here would have opened it, but that's neither here nor there...the subject line was not appealing.

Secondly, the "From" name was one that had only a first and last name. Sorry. We're not on a first and last name basis. Instead of "John Doe", you should be "John @ Wonderlead" or something like that... (Wonderlead is not the real name of this company, but I'm trying to protect the somewhat innocent here).

Third, it starts with:

"Hi Elise,

I'm following up on the voicemail I just left..."


Well, that's not the worst thing he could have said, but it's not true. I didn't get a voicemail.

On top of that, valuable space is wasted to tell me that. We don't have a "working" relationship yet - so the fact you left me a voicemail should not be at the very beginning of the message. I'm busy. I have other things to do than be reading your email. I have the entire Warrior Forum to read.

Ok, fourth...

"Wonderlead can help you:
  • Increase campaign conversions by 50+%
  • Decrease cost per lead by 68%
  • Decrease campaign launch time by 50+%"


I don't care what Wonderlead can do. Is this email about me or you?

You're also assuming I know what a conversion is. Many marketing folks do, but this is something to discuss after you know me and my level of understanding of marketing terminology.

The statistics look bogus...especially the one that says, "Decrease cost per lead by 68%." How can you be that specific? You know nothing about me or my business. What if you can decrease it by 71%? What if you only decrease it by 61%? These numbers are good and great if you know more about my business and have proven experience, but at this point, they just look really, really bad...

Believe it or not, there's more... Fifth...

"When would you be available to check-out Wonderlead and see whether we can do the same for you?"

Ummm... never! Well, #1 this contradicts everything you just said in your fancy bullets. You made it seem like you know me and you know it will work. At any rate, this sentence is weak. It offers no real call to action. It leaves too much room for the reader to put the message off. Something like "Would Monday at 10am or 3pm be better for you?" Make me make a choice. Passive aggressive emailing only works on lay downs who were waiting on you to email them.

Lastly (yes, there is more and this is it)...

Please give me a call at your convenience at the number below.

Don't ask me to call you. You have provided nothing of value to me. If you're going to ask someone to call you over email, you should be dangling a nice carrot in front of them. Point. Blank. Period.

These are just a few things...I could go deeper. But, this is the reason why emails "don't work." This is why emails are ineffective...

Back to the drawing board, folks. I'm off my soapbox...
#emailing #ineffective
  • Profile picture of the author NewAge29
    Or you could just call them and talk to them.
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    • Profile picture of the author EnzoBlaque
      Originally Posted by NewAge29 View Post

      Or you could just call them and talk to them.
      Indeed.. I don't know many business owners that do thousand £ deals via e-mail.
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      • First and most important thing is to get the Subject line right when you are doing emails.....

        You can have the best written email on earth but if the subject line sucks then it is not going to get open.

        If you get that one part right then you have a better chance of getting your email open.
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        • Profile picture of the author Amber Jalink
          I'll admit, half the battle too is having the RIGHT email address.

          You could potentially have a good subject, and a great email - but a lot of times it's difficult to get a true contact email.

          Just this past week I was expanding my client base and doing some website research (to get contact info).

          *Most* websites now have an "info @" email address, because their designers are smart enough to know that it's gonna get a ton of spam, and so it's going to get a 99% spam (aka: in the dump folder) rate.

          Obviously not all of them - but a good majority.

          One thing though: (Tip for anyone who does use email) - actually GO to the website of the business you're trying to connect with, even if you have an email address... just to double check. Don't always assume its the "contact us" page - I've found more direct emails by clicking on the "staff" or "about" pages that have proven to be more effective.

          Emailing is like cold calling: you're still cold "emailing". They don't know you from the next guy. The difference is, on the phone, you might get more info, but you still have to get past the gatekeeper which isn't easy.

          But at the same time, it's a numbers game. You can make 300 phone calls and get 1-5 appointments, or you can send 300 emails and get a few replies... IF the email is good enough.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonchanning
    emailing is effective if your doing penny stock tickers. lols! that actually make people money!
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    • Profile picture of the author econnors
      Originally Posted by NewAge29 View Post

      Or you could just call them and talk to them.
      Very true - for those who know what they're doing, though, email can be very effective. It has the potential to be so effective that you can make a living from it alone. IMHO, a very good living.

      Originally Posted by jasonchanning View Post

      emailing is effective if your doing penny stock tickers. lols! that actually make people money!
      It can be effective doing ANYTHING. Amateurs need not apply, though...
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  • Profile picture of the author prismkuet
    Email marketing could be effective if it can be designed properly. First thing is making an attractive subject so that people feel interest and open the mail. You really gave much time reading the mail. What I think, is after opening the mail we should give the offer in shortest possible wording because our prospective customer should not have enough time read a lot. And the worst thing seems to me is
    Please give me a call at your convenience at the number below.
    How does someone believe that someone else will call him to make a sell when his offer is not important for him!
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  • Profile picture of the author prismkuet
    Email marketing could be effective if it can be designed properly. First thing is making an attractive subject so that people feel interest and open the mail. You really gave much time reading the mail. What I think, is after opening the mail we should give the offer in shortest possible wording because our prospective customer should not have enough time read a lot. And the worst thing seems to me is
    Please give me a call at your convenience at the number below.
    How does someone believe that someone else will call him to make a sell when his offer is not important for him!
    Signature

    check out the Pros and Cons of CPA

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  • Profile picture of the author MorpheusMirror
    Originally Posted by econnors View Post

    Don't ask me to call you. You have provided nothing of value to me. If you're going to ask someone to call you over email, you should be dangling a nice carrot in front of them. Point. Blank. Period.
    The law of WIIFM is broken again. Why should I buy from you value that can be easily understood is forgotten by all of the hype marketers. This conversation sounds like a verbal conversation a graphics person and I were having yesterday evening.
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    Even if you get the subject line right, and get the email opened it can still backfire. I sent out some emails awhile back to photographers looking to do a joint venture by offering mobile websites to their customers and making money from them by including them in their higher end packages.

    So my subject line was:

    Looking for a Wedding Photographer

    I got a scathing email back from one guy reaming me that my subject line was a lie, and that I was trying to sell something, and that because I wasnt honest in my dealings that I wouldn't be successful with anyone.

    So I sent him an email back saying that I actually WAS looking for a photographer to partner up with. He eventually calmed down and was fairly interested in learning more about the details.

    The point is that email is like any other medium, to a certain extent its a numbers game.
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    • Profile picture of the author econnors
      This is all good stuff guys. I love discussing the opportunities that exist with email.

      Originally Posted by prismkuet View Post

      Email marketing could be effective if it can be designed properly. First thing is making an attractive subject so that people feel interest and open the mail. You really gave much time reading the mail. What I think, is after opening the mail we should give the offer in shortest possible wording because our prospective customer should not have enough time read a lot. And the worst thing seems to me is

      How does someone believe that someone else will call him to make a sell when his offer is not important for him!
      Exactly! The worse part is, he thought that those statistics made his offer important. I don't like numbers that much.

      Originally Posted by MorpheusMirror View Post

      The law of WIIFM is broken again. Why should I buy from you value that can be easily understood is forgotten by all of the hype marketers. This conversation sounds like a verbal conversation a graphics person and I were having yesterday evening.
      People break that law a lot. I see so many posts on this thread with messages and calling scripts that are too focused on the salesperson. Most likely the person you contact knows your getting something out of the deal if you sign up. There's no reason to beat them again and again with what you think, what you like, what you can do, etc.

      Originally Posted by EnzoBlaque View Post

      Indeed.. I don't know many business owners that do thousand £ deals via e-mail.
      How many do you know that have tried? I mean...really tried. Test after test after test...if nothing more, email serves as a good low-pressure introduction. The business owner doesn't have to read it if they don't want to...

      Originally Posted by Claudine Waskowycz View Post

      First and most important thing is to get the Subject line right when you are doing emails.....

      You can have the best written email on earth but if the subject line sucks then it is not going to get open.

      If you get that one part right then you have a better chance of getting your email open.
      Right - the focus isn't just on opening, though. We really need to focus on getting the recipient to take action.

      Originally Posted by Amber Jalink View Post

      I'll admit, half the battle too is having the RIGHT email address.

      You could potentially have a good subject, and a great email - but a lot of times it's difficult to get a true contact email.

      Just this past week I was expanding my client base and doing some website research (to get contact info).

      *Most* websites now have an "info @" email address, because their designers are smart enough to know that it's gonna get a ton of spam, and so it's going to get a 99% spam (aka: in the dump folder) rate.

      Obviously not all of them - but a good majority.

      One thing though: (Tip for anyone who does use email) - actually GO to the website of the business you're trying to connect with, even if you have an email address... just to double check. Don't always assume its the "contact us" page - I've found more direct emails by clicking on the "staff" or "about" pages that have proven to be more effective.

      Emailing is like cold calling: you're still cold "emailing". They don't know you from the next guy. The difference is, on the phone, you might get more info, but you still have to get past the gatekeeper which isn't easy.

      But at the same time, it's a numbers game. You can make 300 phone calls and get 1-5 appointments, or you can send 300 emails and get a few replies... IF the email is good enough.
      You're right. The company that I work for -- we read ALL emails. So, folks that want to sell us stuff have a greater advantage. However, I think this is where having a good email management program comes in handy. You can see which emails bounced, which ones were never opened, and which ones were opened. Once you see someone has opened the email, that is a good way to lead into following up with them...maybe via phone...especially since you've "warmed" up that cold call...

      Originally Posted by xlfutur1 View Post

      Even if you get the subject line right, and get the email opened it can still backfire. I sent out some emails awhile back to photographers looking to do a joint venture by offering mobile websites to their customers and making money from them by including them in their higher end packages.

      So my subject line was:

      Looking for a Wedding Photographer

      I got a scathing email back from one guy reaming me that my subject line was a lie, and that I was trying to sell something, and that because I wasnt honest in my dealings that I wouldn't be successful with anyone.

      So I sent him an email back saying that I actually WAS looking for a photographer to partner up with. He eventually calmed down and was fairly interested in learning more about the details.

      The point is that email is like any other medium, to a certain extent its a numbers game.
      You're totally right. The subject line was a bit misleading. Subject lines are VERY tricky. Split testing a small segment of your contact list would be helpful to see if you got the subject line right. You can then send the "winner" to the entire group.

      After that, You want to get their attention with something they find valuable and go from there. I fully support the idea of having your email link to a landing page where you can provide more value and learn more about clients who are interested in what you offered in the email.
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  • Profile picture of the author leorocking25
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author econnors
      Originally Posted by leorocking25 View Post

      Emailing in not much effective in these days. To attract client and traffic you should rather try to do in some other ways. That would be better.
      Why do you feel it isn't effective? Have you personally tested it? If you have and don't mind sharing, what were your results?
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    • Profile picture of the author Aemilia
      Originally Posted by leorocking25 View Post

      Emailing in not much effective in these days. To attract client and traffic you should rather try to do in some other ways. That would be better.
      Three SOLID Reasons Why Email Is not going anywhere
      Email Is A Currency
      Everyone has an email address. It is just as important as your favourite facebook app. True Email as a service is fighting it out with other services for online communication, it is however, undeniably ubiquitous in a way that other social media networks are not.

      As of May 2010, 39% of US Internet users had never used a social network, compared with only 6% who had never sent or received an email. (Source)

      If you want to reach the majority of your audience, email is still the safest bet no questions.

      IT'S A UNIQUE IDENTIFIER
      The email address remains the unique identifier online; you really cannot get around your day to day official activities without an email. Facebook requires an email,before you become a member. other Social network just link in from them. Just about every platform, official or unofficial requires an email address. you use it to log into almost everything, so it would take a lot for it to become obsolete.

      IT'S A COVETED RESOURCE
      According to research conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing is expected to generate an ROI of $44.00 for every dollar spent on it in 2011. Go figure

      Reason: More customers are engaging via email: 93% of email users have opt-in relationships with a consumer brand, as opposed to 15% on Facebook and 4% on Twitter (according to Chris Brogan, president of New Marketing Labs).
      This value has been recognized by most social media networks. Facebook launched Messages, which provides each user with an @facebook.com email address, because it understands the importance of email in the social graph. Google+ is also tying email more directly into social media activity, blurring the distinction between the two. (sources)

      Need more proof?
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  • Profile picture of the author Aemilia
    so many theories on email marketing.
    so many marketers tend to forget that people are really not dumb (ok, may be some ). they are just plain curious.

    That curious tendency is what marketers hope to exploit.

    I delete 95% of emails I get everyday without reading them.... why?
    because i do not have a relationship with them. If i open an email, it is because I voluntarily opted in for a reason and they still provide valuable information.
    when I sense I am been bamboozled with irrelevant offers and info... I just hit the delete button.
    I believe same goes for everyone out there.....

    Email marketing, inspite of the social revolution going on, is here to stay. utilise it properly and you will have your subscribers eating out of your hand.

    Bottom line.... you are emailing people not robots.... only a matter of time before the delete button comes into play.
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  • Profile picture of the author adrixe
    For me, It's actually working. for about 100 emails I sent our to offer seo. I got 10 clients from it. Not bad. But I haven't had the time to find prospects to email again.

    What I say from my email is that Im a local business and present them with the results of my clients and my own results.

    Have them go to my site to verify myself and a page with the offer.

    I only offer my services on the same niche as I am so I think it helps
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    • Profile picture of the author econnors
      Originally Posted by adrixe View Post

      For me, It's actually working. for about 100 emails I sent our to offer seo. I got 10 clients from it. Not bad. But I haven't had the time to find prospects to email again.

      What I say from my email is that Im a local business and present them with the results of my clients and my own results.

      Have them go to my site to verify myself and a page with the offer.

      I only offer my services on the same niche as I am so I think it helps
      Are you closing these prospects on the phone or is the entire process happening over email?
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    I would never really say it's ineffective, but maybe inefficient.

    People will talk about insane conversions with email but even if some of them are telling the truth, it isn't the norm. It also isn't something that will be the same in every niche, and every service and every price point.

    I'm doing some exhausting and extensive testing right now which I will post the results maybe in a month. I'm not talking a couple hundred or thousand emails... I'm talking about 200-500K emails.

    Email marketing isn't a marketing plan... it is one thing that you can do to help your business grow, to help branding, to help increase sales, to use it as a tool! It isn't a substitute for getting on the phone, it's another technique.

    MOST people will get a sale per 1,000 emails. If you're harvesting and mass sending, it's probably around 1 sale per 3,000 emails in b2b. b2c much lower conversions than that.

    If you mix cold calling, with email marketing, linked in, SEO, PPC, and direct mailing... you will likely have a thriving business experiencing RAPID growth.
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  • Hi there
    Email marketing could be effective if it can be designed properly. Get interesting subject so that people will open the mail. Important is to have good subject right and then the content.

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author econnors
    Anyone here done any subject line research? I've found that in studying subject lines and how they relate to consumer behavior -- including "you're invited" in the subject line tends to do very well. Another good one is "what happened?"

    Both of those examples resonate a more personal connection with the person you're emailing.

    If you say "What happened?" folks are concerned as to what happened and how they can possibly fix it. It gives them the impression that something is wrong, they forgot to do something, etc. This would be a good follow up email when you sent another email that the recipient didn't open for whatever reason.

    The "you're invited" in the subject line can help because the bottom line is -- a good majority of people like to be invited places. So, if you're inviting them somewhere, they are more likely to click and open it. They never know what they're being invited to. This one works well for things like webinars, seminars, etc. It also works if you're "inviting" them into some sort of special program.

    Naturally, you don't want your subject lines to be deceptive, but you want to craft them in such a way that it makes people want to open. It's got to be good enough for them to think...well, if I don't open this, what could I be missing out on?
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  • Profile picture of the author mwds120
    Originally Posted by econnors View Post

    ...Because most folks don't have the slightest idea what they're doing.

    You can build a client base with email, but you have to know how to do it.

    I received an email today that was all wrong. I've ran poor email marketing campaigns and very successful email marketing campaigns. So, I know a little bit about what works and what doesn't. Plus, I'm a customer first and I know what would provoke me...

    The email I received had a subject line of "Voicemail Follow-up." I opened it because I'm weird and like to open every email. The subject line was not enticing in the very least. I don't know if many of you here would have opened it, but that's neither here nor there...the subject line was not appealing.

    Secondly, the "From" name was one that had only a first and last name. Sorry. We're not on a first and last name basis. Instead of "John Doe", you should be "John @ Wonderlead" or something like that... (Wonderlead is not the real name of this company, but I'm trying to protect the somewhat innocent here).

    Third, it starts with:

    "Hi Elise,

    I'm following up on the voicemail I just left..."


    Well, that's not the worst thing he could have said, but it's not true. I didn't get a voicemail.

    On top of that, valuable space is wasted to tell me that. We don't have a "working" relationship yet - so the fact you left me a voicemail should not be at the very beginning of the message. I'm busy. I have other things to do than be reading your email. I have the entire Warrior Forum to read.

    Ok, fourth...

    "Wonderlead can help you:
    • Increase campaign conversions by 50+%
    • Decrease cost per lead by 68%
    • Decrease campaign launch time by 50+%"


    I don't care what Wonderlead can do. Is this email about me or you?

    You're also assuming I know what a conversion is. Many marketing folks do, but this is something to discuss after you know me and my level of understanding of marketing terminology.

    The statistics look bogus...especially the one that says, "Decrease cost per lead by 68%." How can you be that specific? You know nothing about me or my business. What if you can decrease it by 71%? What if you only decrease it by 61%? These numbers are good and great if you know more about my business and have proven experience, but at this point, they just look really, really bad...

    Believe it or not, there's more... Fifth...

    "When would you be available to check-out Wonderlead and see whether we can do the same for you?"

    Ummm... never! Well, #1 this contradicts everything you just said in your fancy bullets. You made it seem like you know me and you know it will work. At any rate, this sentence is weak. It offers no real call to action. It leaves too much room for the reader to put the message off. Something like "Would Monday at 10am or 3pm be better for you?" Make me make a choice. Passive aggressive emailing only works on lay downs who were waiting on you to email them.

    Lastly (yes, there is more and this is it)...

    Please give me a call at your convenience at the number below.

    Don't ask me to call you. You have provided nothing of value to me. If you're going to ask someone to call you over email, you should be dangling a nice carrot in front of them. Point. Blank. Period.

    These are just a few things...I could go deeper. But, this is the reason why emails "don't work." This is why emails are ineffective...

    Back to the drawing board, folks. I'm off my soapbox...
    Excellent points! It's funny how many people in marketing simply aren't critical thinkers!
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