Email is easy.
Well, that’s what most people think. It’s why people apply for email marketing positions with the impression that it’s simply sending a few emails out.
But email is actually difficult. It’s tricky to manage and even trickier to figure out why something went wrong. That’s why, more than ever, it’s important to use root cause analysis to determine why your email program isn’t performing to your satisfaction. And with email, it’s important to find out why before it’s too late.
Why bandaging doesn’t work…
Say you’re having issues with your open rates. Your first instinct might be to change the subject line. If subscribers aren’t opening your email, it’s likely that they just need a better message, right?
Well, maybe. But chances are there is something deeper going on when you see steep declines in open rates. A subject line might help, but it absolutely won’t fix the issue underneath.
So ask yourself- why? Why are people not opening the email? Well, it might be because they aren’t interested, but it could also mean they aren’t getting the email at all. Ask yourself why again. Soon enough, you might be coming to conclusions far off from the original subject line idea. Perhaps it is a major issue of deliverability, a matter of send time, or the cadence of emails is too frequent. If this issue was “fixed” by just changing the subject line, over time this could have turned into a much bigger open rate decline.
When to ask “why”?
The real question is: why wouldn’t you ask why?
A trick to better email marketing is to always ask the 5 whys- even when things are going well! If you see an unusually high click through rate on your last email send, ask why. You might come up with “the message was relevant” but it’s time to ask why again. “Well, because we were sending a promotion to a segmented list.” Keep going down the rabbit hole. This is the best way to come up with critical insights that will improve your program going forward!
And of course, when things go wrong, this allows you to get to the root of the issue. Even something as simple as less transactions from an email could mean something else is going on (such as a landing page not working or missing information).
Don’t just schedule your emails and walk away. If you want to see more success, get to the bottom of every aspect of your email marketing program. Trust me, it will pay off!