Successful email marketing: beating the barriers in your next campaign

Contrary to popular perception, even at the end of 2014, email marketing was still the software-for-email-marketingmost widely used marketing communications channel in the B2B arena.  (B2B Marketing)

If you are not seeing the email channel as a money making machine, you have the wrong strategy ~ Hans Smellinckx, Online marketing guru

There are a few tricks of the trade, that will make all the difference when it comes to having marketing emails (referred to as eDMs) opened, read and then the all important acted upon as click throughs, subscriptions and purchases.

In this post, we explore the most common barriers to eDM success; and offer some hot tips on how to override them to win business and build leads.

Barrier One: In-box Overload

Email marketing remains a widespread practice, making inbox overload one of the biggest barriers to getting the attention of potential buyers.

For the best results, markers must try to understand who the target audience is and then, from whom the email should come from.


  • Make sure your data is up-to-date & relevant prospects are targeted
  •  Send email from a real person instead of a company or function – so ghopkins[at] rather than marketing[at]
  • Use email software/marketing list to personalise your content
  • Understand what devices people read emails on
  • Use the ‘FW:’ function or ‘RE:’ when following up on a previous email. It tends to increases opens as it stands out in people’s inboxes and adds a sense of urgency.

Barrier two: “This email isn’t for me” >> DELETE

Click Me! Click Me! People have their own way of deciphering which emails are clickable, and which are not.  Having a killer title to spark their interest is key. Hand-in-hand with this goes the content of your email. Knowing your market first is what will set you apart from competitors every time. Understand your prospects; what do they want? What would they like to hear and most importantly what can you offer them?  If you can convey all this in a snappy, to the point subject line, you’re winning.

Just how clean is your data? Identify where your data requires attention, allowing you to choose which areas to improve.

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  • Write subject lines that are short, descriptive and give the reader with a reason to explore your message further
  • Avoid splashy or cheesy phrases which often cause your email to be ignored
  • Think informative, clear and compelling
  • ‘Incentify’ (note: not an actual word) your email. Indicate that valuable, relevant information is contained inside

Barrier three: Wariness of sales oriented emails

Many prospective clients will see your email, but can automatically assume that the contents are indeed to sell. In these instances, the perceived value to the prospect for reading your email is low.

Matt Byrd offers some great advice here “Use low commitment CTAs. Emails are invites, landing pages are parties”.


  • Direct readers to your home page, or a targeted landing page for more information rather than having the focus of your email based on purchasing something
  • Build trust in your brand by offering incentive s such as a free whitepaper or e-book
  • Avoid trickery – the email is what the title suggests

A recent example for a Make It Happen B2B client, prompted readers to visit a registration page and sign-up for a complimentary webinar/session with a consultant.
This idea of offering something through your email justifies why you have contacted them in the first place.

Barrier Four: Time Constraints

Time constraints come in from two angles. One being when your prospect is most likely to be receptive to opening and reading your eDM. The other being how much ‘time’ your prospect is willing to put into considering the content of your email.


  • The general rule with B2B, is to schedule emails during the following times:
    B2B: Tuesday to Thursday between 9:30am and 3:00pm
    B2C: Friday to Sunday between 5:00pm and 8:00pm
  • Make sure your emails are mobile friendly and easy to read. Your audience will most likely be reading emails from a mobile device, which could also mean potential sales.
  • Get to the point as fast as possible. If your offer can’t be read in between 15-20 seconds, you might want to consider culling some content.
  • Include call to actions that tell your audience what to do next such as : “click here”, “buy now” and “view our range”.

Barrier Five: Spam Filters

Email marketers who may be sending permission-based emails are spam filtered frequently. As a general rule you can expect to lose 10-20% of emails, mostly due to overzealous spam filters.


  • Ensure that your campaign adheres to the email marketing laws outlines in Anti-Spam Act
  • Always include a ‘from’ address. Emails from unknown senders are immediately reported as spam
  • Always include your physical mailing address and a phone number in the email
  • Keep your email size under 30kb. Avoid unnecessary text and images
  • Provide an unsubscribe link within the email such that it is prominently visible to the recipient. This will help you avoid spam labeling. The unsubscribe link must be active within at least 30 days of sending the email.

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