Top 4 Things That are Killing Your Email Marketing and How to Fix It

We all know just how important email marketing is to eCommerce businesses. As an online store owner, you need to not only provide killer content, but you want shoppers and potential shoppers to engage with your emails… Because engagement equals traffic, and traffic, leads to sales.

To start your year off right, here are the top 4 things that could be killing your email marketing and tips on how to rectify them.

1: Your Subject Lines Aren’t Up to Scratch

According to Hubspot 33% of respondents open emails based on the subject line alone. What this means for online store owners is that if your subject line is not on point, you’re killing your email marketing before you’ve even started.

There are a number of tips you can put into practice to improve your subject lines this year to breathe life back into your email marketing campaigns. Like we discussed in our Beat the Average With 10 Email Marketing Tips for eCommerce, try subjects that are clever and funny, ask questions, tease or create anxiety to improve your open rates with your subject lines.

Here are a few other ways to resolve the problem:

A/B Test to the Max

Test your subject lines before sending to your whole database to find the best subjects for your audiences that yield the best results.  A lot of email platforms allow you to select two subject lines, test to a small portion of your list, and then will automatically send to the subject line that has the highest open rate.

Don’t Sound Spammy

Certain buzzwords in subject lines will give the impression that you’re spamming your user. According to MailChimp, words such as ‘Free’ or ‘Help’ or ‘Reminder’, should also be avoided as they are proven to negatively affect email open rates. Also, avoid using all caps, excess symbols and over punctuating.

Be Personal

According to Adestra, 22% of people are more likely to open an email that is personalized. If you’re not adding the recipient’s name in your subject line, try adding it and testing your open rate results.

If you’re looking for more subject inspiration, check out Digital Marketer’s 101 Best Email Subjects of 2016.

2: Your ‘From’ Settings are Too Generic

It’s not only your subject line that affects your open rate. Another leading factor is the name you select for your ‘From’ name. A generic name could be killing your open rates and your email marketing results. For instance, if the name for your support@website.example is just listed as ‘Support’, or ‘Marketing’ from your marketing mail address, the lack of that personal touch could make it more likely that your emails will be ignored.  

Instead, use your store brand name like the below, or a personal name to make email less intrusive and spammy and therefore more likely to be opened. Plus, you will reduce the risk of important emails, from confirming subscriptions to transactional mails, being missed — like these leading merchants below:

transactional marketing emails

3: You are Not Segmenting Your Database Enough

According to research MailChimp did, 14% of email marketers get a better open rate when segmenting their target audiences. When it comes to marketing, it’s not one size fits all and sending mass email blasts to your whole database could be destroying your open rates.

Segmenting your database lists based on location, amount previously spent and a number of other factors in 2017 will allow you to use subject lines, content and deals aimed at specific markets — all ultimately increasing your overall results. You can segment your market manually or through your email marketing platform, and can be done using the following parameters: Language, location, gender, age, buying behavior, etc.

Take this newsletter example from Airbnb that I found in my inbox this week, not only did they send me suggestions based on recent searches within prices ranges I have book in showing their segmentation superpowers, but the handy search bar and clear call-to-actions got me to click through.   

Example of Segmented Marketing Email - air bnb

Tracking this important information and segmenting accordingly to these parameters will allow you to send cross selling and up-selling emails based on previous purchases which will help convert more sales. Check out our full guide to email marketing platforms to find the best platform for your segmentation needs.

4: You Don’t have Automated Emails  

Automated emails and transactional emails are more than just about streamlining your sales funnel. Automated emails can be triggered in certain cases, all contributing to your email marketing efforts to improve your marketing strategies.

According to Smart Insights, automated mails sent on triggers like mentioned above can yield 70% higher open rates. With these stats, can you afford not to add them to your email marketing plans?  There are hosts of options in a variety of email platforms that allow you to manage automatic emails as part of the transaction process. Here are some examples you could automate in 2017 include:

  1. Trigger emails when users have abandoned their cart before purchasing
  2. Trigger emails after a potential customer has subscribed to your newsletters
  3. Trigger emails when a purchase has been made, which can include up-selling options.
  4. Trigger emails during the postal process

We dug into this a little deeper in our previous post, How too Make, Use, and Perfect Automated Email Marketing Workflows for eCommerce, where we looked at each time of workflow you should follow for automated emails directed at potential customers and previous shoppers as part of your complete marketing plan.


These include: the welcome flow, the abandoned cart workflow, the purchase workflow and the VIP customer flow. Additionally, don’t forget to keep your automated emails personalized like our merchant Fit Girls does with their confirmation mail here:

Fit Girl - Welcome email Marketing example for eCommerce

There you have it, the top 4 things you can do to help your email marketing perform at its peak. Don’t forget to add those pop-ups to grow your database and to stay tuned for more 2017 marketing tips and trends.

If you’re looking for email marketing services that can help you ace your campaigns this year? Check out this article!


Nicole Blanckenberg

Nicole is a content writer at StoreYa with over sixteen years experience and flair for storytelling. She runs on a healthy dose of caffeine and enthusiasm. When she's not researching the next content trend or creating informative small business content, she's an avid beachgoer, coffee shop junkie and hangs out on LinkedIn.



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