Why Is My Email Marketing Not Working?

Feel like your email marketing is a huge waste of time right now? You work on your newsletters, send out your content, and hear nothing but crickets. Nobody’s opening your emails, nobody replies, and nobody buys.

If email is meant to be such a fantastic marketing platform, why isn’t yours working – and what can you do about it?

It can be frustrating when you aren’t getting the results you expect from your marketing.
But before you start tweaking or give up altogether, it’s important to look at the metrics you’re using to measure success and think about some of the key factors that might be holding you back.

In this blog, you’ll learn why open rate isn’t everything and how to improve the performance of your email marketing. Let’s get to it!

Is It Really Not Working?

To understand if your email marketing strategy is working or not, you need to be clear on your goals and the metrics you use to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

There are so many variables that can impact your campaigns – from the deliverability and frequency of your emails to the size of your list and the relationship you have with your audience.

Before you start fixing things that may not necessarily be broken, ask yourself what “not working” actually means to you.

  • Are you looking at someone else’s metrics and declaring yourself a failure in comparison?
  • Are you seeing a low open rate or click-through rate and assuming that’s a bad thing?

The metrics you use to qualify success are important, so make sure you’re looking at the ones that matter most.

Why Your Open Rate Isn’t Everything

Many business owners assume that open rate is one of the most significant indicators of success, mostly because that’s one of the main numbers your email marketing platform likes to show you.

Most people want to know what a good open rate is. But, this is a problematic metric to determine because it depends on your industry, how many subscribers you have, and if they’re engaged with your newsletters.

Open rates are crucial to note for your own analytics, so you can see if they are going up or down. But, it’s less important to compare them to other businesses or industry standards.

Keep track of your open rate so you can notice if it begins to increase or decline, but don’t assume that yours is “bad” just because it’s lower than what you read on the internet.

The Email Marketing Metrics That Matter

So, if open rates aren’t a good way to measure success, what is? Email marketing is a great way to engage your community and build your authority. But ultimately, you want it to provide a great return on investment.

That means you should be looking at how much money you are making per subscriber per month.

Many factors affect this metric, such as open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates, but you also need to consider what you’re promoting and how often you’re making offers.

Consider Your List Size

Bear in mind that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to list size. Smaller lists can be beneficial, too.

The bigger your list, the more your deliverability and open rate will drop percentage-wise. A smaller list of engaged subscribers will give you a higher open rate, but the negative is that you have a smaller sample size with less data.

You should still aim to grow your list, but don’t panic if that growth results in a slight drop in some of your metrics.

Clean Out Your Email List

One of the best ways to boost your metrics and make your email marketing more effective is to regularly clear out your email list.

If you haven’t reviewed your list for a while, chances are it’s populated with a range of “empty” email addresses. People may have changed to new addresses and let the old one go. They may have made a typo when they signed up, or used a spare email that they rarely check.

While a larger email list might seem like a good thing, your email marketing metrics will look much worse if half your emails are arriving in unused inboxes – or into the inboxes of uninterested people!

Return to your list every one or two months to have a good clean-out. Look at who’s opening and engaging with your emails. Find the people who aren’t and run them through a re-engagement campaign. If they don’t become interested after this, delete them from their list.

This may seem scary, but if these subscribers are not interacting with or interested in your business, they will not miss you, and you will not miss them!

Even better, once you get rid of these unengaged subscribers, you’ll see an instant increase in your open rate and the other key metrics we’ve mentioned above.

Don’t Be Afraid To Make An Offer

Many businesses owners are wary of becoming too pushy, so they don’t utilise their email marketing to sell or make offers to their audience. This could actually be one of your biggest marketing mistakes.

If you’re not including a call to action that will help grow your business, you probably aren’t going to get the results you want from your email campaigns – and you’re definitely not going to see that vital money per subscriber number.

Sure, your emails need to be helpful and engaging to your audience, but they should also encourage them to take action. If you constantly send them content without asking them to act, you’re training them to passively read and delete your emails.

The fact is, if you don’t make offers or tell people where to go, they won’t do it. So don’t be afraid to include a call to action on every email, whether that’s sending them across to a blog, getting them to go to an online shop, or asking them to reply.

Is Email Marketing Still Worth It?

The truth is, email can generate more sales in your business than any of your other marketing channels, but you need to do regular list housekeeping, study the right metrics, and utilise your emails to encourage action.

Do that, and you should see an increase in the metrics that matter most.

You also need to be consistent with your communications. If you find that you aren’t getting around to sending that newsletter or sales opportunity as often as you’d like, then let me help you do it!

As an email marketing specialist, I can help you make the most of your email database by sending a regular newsletter to your list.

You can check out all my Email Marketing Packages here.

Book a free 20-minute call with me today, and we’ll get you started.

My preferred email platform is Mailchimp (note this is an affiliate link).


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Debbie Mills Robertson
Online Course Creation | Email Marketing | Website Design
027 345 7000


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