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10 Uncomfortable Email Marketing Realities

10 uncomfortable email marketing realities you may not want to hear. Because we all need a reality check at times.


Artist Katerina Kamprani's famous artwork of a key with an uncomfortable turning plate to illustrate visual discomfort

10 uncomfortable email marketing realities


Today's blog is a little different. We're keeping it short because information we may not want to acknowledge is best received in bite-size snippets.


Buckle up.



Reality 1: Email isn't a silver bullet


If you have a weak offer, or your brand isn't well supported, email isn't going to solve your problems.


Focus on your offer first, make sure you're targeting the right audience, and then build an email strategy to serve them.


That's how you win at email.




Reality 2: No one likes a cold introduction


As much as we all realise cold email sending is unethical (and often, illegal in parts), there is still the temptation to obtain audiences without their permission.


Yes, we do (potentially controversially) agree that cold email outreach for direct sales in some B2B industries is necessary and helpful, it should never be the case for marketers, and in bulk.


Respecting the inbox is crucial for building subscriber relationships.


Begin relationships well.




Reality 3: You have to segment well


If you blast emails at the list with no thought to whom you're appealing, you'll alienate your audience pretty quickly.


There's a time and place to appeal to everyone, but consider where in the product or lifecycle your subscriber sits, and speak to that.


You'll find your engagement, and all the good things that come with that, improve.


Try it. Start soon.




Reality 4: Email isn't an island


If email is all you're relying on to make money, you're putting all your eggs in one basket. A risky play.


Email can't simply grow out of email. Use your other audience touchpoints to help grow your audience and integrate those environments where possible.


Your digital presence matters for audience growth and brand awareness.


These support email big time.




Reality 5: You need to get to the inbox


There's no point in having an email strategy if you aren't focused on getting into (and staying in) audience inboxes.


Follow good practices and keep engagement high. Your email metrics will help you with this, so keep an eye on those regularly.


You'll get those emails where you need them.



Artist Katerina Kamprani's famous image from the Uncomfortable series of works of a door with a completely misaligned staircase off to the right of the door entrance

Reality 6: Analytics can't be ignored


Open rates, click-throughs, unsubscribes - your email metrics tell a story. But are you listening?


Analyse your data regularly, identify trends, and adapt your strategy accordingly. You'll learn so much more if you sincerely care about your subscriber engagement.


You'll gain an upper edge.




Reality 7: Email's a marathon, not a sprint


Building a successful email list takes time and consistent effort. Don't expect overnight results, because you're only going to grow despondent.


Focus on providing value, building trust, and nurturing leads. Inputs matter far more for your growth than outcomes. Those come with time and careful effort.


Slow and steady wins the email race.




Reality 8: You should welcome unsubscribes


But what about my list growth? What about it if someone doesn't find value in what you're sharing?


Rather than keep subscribers in the hopes they'll have a sudden change of heart when you can focus on the quality of who you're building relationships with on email.


It's not how big it is, it's how you use it (list, that is).




Reality 9: Accessibility is non-negotiable


Intending to contribute to an inclusive society, it's any email sender's responsibility to ensure that every member of their audience can consume and engage with their email content.


Alt-text is a must, good use of header tags and solid colour contrast are key areas to begin. Do away with those image-only emails, those massive walls of endless, ill-formatted copy, and all the images with text layered over them.


Let's build emails that anyone can interact with.




Reality 10: Less is often more


Bombarding your audience with endless promotions will clog their inboxes and damage your reputation. You may already be making this mistake.


Instead, offer valuable content that speaks to a single goal every time you send an email.


This also counts in your email design. White space is in. Use it well, and use text and images sparingly and strategically. You'll stay ahead of those competitors who send emails with offers lost amongst clutter.


Your audience will thank you for it.



Let us know what you thought of this reality check and if you're guilty of falling into the trap of making these mistakes or misconceptions.


What would you add to this list of 10 uncomfortable email marketing realities? Let us know if you enjoyed today's 'punchier' format too. Drop a reply here.





Before you go! You'll need an audience to send emails to before you begin. Learn the fastest ways to grow your email list today by using the tried and tested Email Database Growth Playbook.


Click here or on the image below to get your FREE copy👇


Preview of The Ultimate Database Growth Guide for Email Marketing by Email Expert Africa

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