Top Email Marketing Challenges & Problems: How To Solve Them

No matter how hard you try, not all the time your email campaign is going to perform well as you expected or set goals for. 

A lot of times email marketing is about struggling with the common email marketing challenges and resolving them. 

Sometimes it can be not getting any engagement on  your emails or subscribers are not just opening your emails in the first place 

It can be regarding the growth of your email list as getting stagnant or ineffective. In one way or another, you will be haunted by enormous email marketing problems. 

So, with so many moving parts in running an email marketing campaign, it is essential to track and analyze.

But for that, and further to resolve the issues, you need to first identify the problems, obstacles, and challenges you face in email marketing. 

So here are the top ones that are faced by most of the email marketers and business owners across the world, and also how to resolve them. 

email marketing challenges and problems

Building and Maintaining an Email List

The Challenge:

Creating a high-quality email list takes time and effort.

You must ensure that you are attracting the right audience and that they are interested in what you have to offer.

How To Resolve It? 

  • Offer incentivized people to sign up, such as a free ebook or discount code. Make sure your signup form is easy to find and use.
  • You can regularly clean your email list to remove inactive or invalid email addresses.

Open and Click-Through Rates

The Challenge:

Even if your emails are delivered, there is no guarantee that they will be opened and clicked on.

How To Resolve It? 

  • Write attention-grabbing subject lines, personalize your emails, segment your email list, test different send times and frequencies, and ensure your emails are optimized for mobile devices.

Deliverability Issues

The Challenge:

Emails can get caught in spam filters or not even make it to the inbox at all.

How To Resolve It? 

  • Use a reputable email service provider, subscribe to email marketing best practices, avoid using spam trigger words, and test your emails on a regular basis to ensure delivery.

Mobile Optimization

The Challenge:

People are increasingly checking their email on mobile devices, but not all emails are mobile-friendly.

How To Resolve It? 

  • Use a mobile-responsive email template, keep your emails brief and to the point, use large fonts and buttons, and test your emails across multiple devices.

You Are Sending Too Generic Emails 

One word considered the enemy of marketing, be it in social media or email marketing, is “generic.” 

Nothing going generic works in marketing because you are always targeting the audience. The more specific you get, the more personalized and even custom you get, and the higher your chances of conversion. 

Going generic means sending one type of email to everyone; it means sending so much irrelevant information. 

It also drops your email open rates, engagement rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.  

Most companies still send one template email to a generic list without personalization or segmentation. 

Why Does It Happen? 

When you send generic content to a universal or rather wider range of audiences, it doesn’t attract them because it will be irrelevant to them. 

Instead, there are higher chances of increased bounce rates and spam filtration, and some people might mark you as spam hurting your sender’s reputation. 

Without targeting the audience with the relevant and exact type of content they are looking for, people will not open the email or engage with it. 

Suppose you are not interested in fishing, but you are getting a good offer on fishing pole products even a good email you won’t open or look at. You might delete or even spam it 

It is as simple as that! 

How To Resolve It? 

To resolve the problem of having your emails too much generic, you need to go the opposite and make it as personalized as you can, and here are some ways you can do so: 

  • Craft the subject line according to the subject and your target user. Use something creative, curiosity-infused, and value-driven. Think about what would grab the attention of your target user.
  • Use the header or subject line that shows your brand image. Make sure you add your company logo to brand your emails and messages.
  • Could you make sure you use the first name of the recipients in the email subject line and the body of the email?
  • You can use segmentation to categorize your subscribers or customers according to their preferences, interests, behaviors, and past purchases to send them personalized emails.
  • It is crucial to avoid cliches in your email subject line and email copy because that’s the first thing people get put off by.
  • Use images in your emails to give your emails more visual context and make them more appealing to your target audience. Also, images help you humanize the emails as well. 

Lower Customer Engagement Rate 

One of the most prominent email marketing challenges for 2022 is customers or subscribers not responding to emails. 

Marketers often ask why their subscribers are not engaging with the emails they have been sending.  

And you might simply have a very low customer engagement rate when you compare the number of emails you send with the number of subscribers you have. 

This becomes even more confusing when you do open your emails but do not engage with them in any way. 

Your aim is to draw a specific kind of response from your subscribers, be it taking them to your website, reading your blog, or even replying. 

Why Does This Happen? 

A low customer engagement rate is a common email marketing challenge for marketers and business owners. 

First of all, if you are starting or building the contact list, you might want to give it some time.  

Other than that, chances are you have one of the following reasons for not getting enough customer engagement. 

  • You don’t know your target audience well 
  • You are not personalizing the content 
  • You are not using segmentation to make your message specific 

So, let’s deal with all of these factors for not getting customer engagement. 

You don’t know your audience well. 

This is actually the biggest reason why you are not getting customer engagement. And this seems to be true for most of the businesses dealing with this challenge. 

You have to understand that people live in an age with so many services, tools, and subscriptions that they receive at least more than 50 emails per day. 

So, they have the very little attention span. Hence it becomes crucial that you are relevant enough for them to be attended. 

Otherwise, presumingly, they will not even open your email or open it to change its ‘ Read’ status. 

So, understanding your audience and defining their persona will help you reach a highly relevant audience and be more inclined to attend to you. 

You would need customer data to send them relevant emails at the right time. These emails will likely grab their attention and appeal to their specific interest. 

Knowing your audience to a certain depth with detailed data like their demographics, profession, preferences, past purchases, previous interactions, psychographics, etc, will help you craft a better value-driven email. 

You are not personalizing the Content. 

Personalizing is about using customer data profiling and crafting more personalized-based emails to the targeted subscribers. 

Fundamentally, it is about humanizing your emails and your approach rather than making it obviously corporate, boring, and robotic. 

If your messages lack the human touch, conversational tone, and a few little elements of personalization that make an email feel like it was sent by a person referring to a particular person, it won’t be appealing enough. 

Even psychologically, email users are practicing ignoring sales, marketing, and spammy messaging, basically anything that doesn’t relate to them personally. 

Personalization is a popular email marketing trend of the past year, and it will be in 2022, so it is disastrous to ignore. 

You’re not segmenting your email list. 

Segmentation allows you to create groups or segments of subscribers on a particular common factor. It is a way to categorize your email list for further personalization. 

Segmentation can help you create multiple email variants that you can send to specific segments to improve engagement. 

You can also try and test different combinations of subject lines and email content to see what works best for you by sending them to specific segments rather than the whole email list.

Your Email Are Going To Spam Folder 

You are spending a lot of time crafting the perfect email campaign with everything all set – from the design to the email copy. 

But only to find out that a great number of your email is delivered right to your recipients’ junk or spam folder. 

It is disheartening and frustrating, especially for new marketers and business owners, to see their efforts wasted. 

Why Does It Happen? 

Well, there are many reasons for your email getting into the spam folder. 

One can be your sender’s reputation; another can be not passing the spam filtration, and much more. 

It is basically a series of mistakes you make to make your emails appear to be spam in the eyes of the email client or other mediators. 

How To Resolve This?

There are a lot of things you can do to ensure that your emails don’t end up in the spam folders; here are a few things to do

  • Make sure to verify your domain, as it negatively affects your email deliverability. 
  • Set up the double opt-in email subscription
  • Assure to use a person’s name in the email address 

Customer Acquisition 

One of the biggest challenges for any business is to acquire customers. That’s why so much strategy and investment go into customer acquisition

It is challenging to get people who are potentially your customers to click on the subscribe button for your email newsletter.

The goal of acquiring customers is to be in touch with them constantly, so even if they are not ready to buy from you now, with some time and nurturing, they might buy later. 

 It is also a sustainable model of building a community, audience, or consumer base that consistently engages with you and buys from you to keep your business afloat. 

According to Marketing Metrics, there are 60% higher chances of customers making a purchase who already have bought from you at least once. 

But getting people to give their email addresses in the first place is a challenge to get further down into this customer acquisition pipeline. 

So, for businesses, acquiring potential customers on a consistent basis is a withstanding problem. 

Why Does This Happen? 

Why is customer acquisition a challenge?  Well, it takes a lot of promise and value proposition towards a customer to get their email contacts. 

Do you have to ask yourself how easily you give your email address anywhere? Or Do you go to every website and give away your email contacts? 

Even by behavior, people are not motivated to do anything without something in return. Why would this be any different? 

More importantly, giving an email address is like giving access to someone in your house where they can wait for you to meet them. 

You allow them to interact with you in a personal and intimate space. They don’t have to ask you every time before they send you a message. 

Then the other reason is visibility, so getting email addresses becomes tricky because you need to be visible enough to attract them. 

Many websites or businesses fail to utilize the art of getting email addresses through known channels such as pop-ups and other creative solutions. 

How To Resolve This? 

To improve customer acquisition, you have to act on all different strategies to attract an audience to sign up, such as  : 

  • Using timing-induced pop-ups on your website 
  • Create a powerful, relevant, and valuable lead magnet 
  • Developing multiple sign-up forms across your website
  • Include a sign-up form in your blog articles. 
  • Sharing a link to your sign-up form on your social media 
  • Asking in-person customers/prospects to sign-up 

Customer Retention

Just like customer acquisition which is about getting prospects onboard, is a challenge, retaining your customer, also called customer retention is another to handle. 

Even if you are getting customers, they buy from you or subscribe to you but once the product is delivered to them or they subscribe, they stop engaging with you. 

There is no engagement further from their side, hence the least chance of repeat purchasing getting from them. 

And repeat customers are the backbone of your business finance. The same with your inactive subscribers, which really disturbs your email campaign metrics. 

Why Does It Happen? 

This is primarily because their attention span is decreasing with growing options for customers, making it difficult for them to stick with one brand. 

So, you must be very impactful and promise to make them stay longer and retain them in your customer or subscriber base. 

Customer retention is also crucial for business because retaining customers will cost you way less in customer acquisition than a new customer. 

Well, repeating customers or engaging subscribers is the best for the business. 

How To Resolve This? 

To improve your customer retention, you need to develop a long-term relationship with your customers. 

This needs to be through sending them a series of custom emails before and after buying the product. The same goes for subscribers, only after subscribing through welcome emails. 

Here’s what more you can do to retain customers/ subscribers

  • Try to engage with your customers/subscribers regularly 
  • Provide them with value that they cannot get somewhere else 
  • Give them exclusive discounts and coupons
  • Share free products, freebies, and other resources with subscribers. 

Low Delivery Rate 

The firstmost challenge of email marketing is its very delivery of it to the targeted subscriber or recipient. 

The delivery rate of an email campaign is calculated by the number of emails delivered to the recipients’ inbox. 

Then further subtract them from all those soft and hard bounces from the total gross number of emails that you have sent. 

Divide that number by the gross total of the emails sent. 

This is the delivery date for your email campaign. 

A low delivery rate assures your project failure in the long game of email marketing. Also, it puts negative remarks on your brand image. 

You have to play at the high chance of your email being discovered or noticed by the recipients in order to be opened. And that starts from your email getting landed in your recipient’s inbox.

The deliverability of your email ensures whether your email marketing campaign is a success or a failure. 

Your aim for the deliverability rate of your emails must be 95% or above. 

Why Does It Happen? 

There can be many reasons for your low deliverability. First can be your unknown or unfavorable sender’s reputation, which might prevent you from reaching people’s inboxes. 

Your emails may have been marked as spam which can be another reason. 

It usually questions your email’s ability to pass through spam filters which protect recipients from spam emails. 

It is essential to thoroughly assess your emails to improve their chances of landing in people’s inboxes. 

How To Resolve It? 

There are various practices and strategies you need to adopt in order to improve the deliverability of your emails, as follows: 

  • Avoid buying or renting an email list 
  • Do not send emails to recipients who have bounced them repeatedly 
  • Avoid using all caps in your email subject line 
  • Don’t use exclamation in your email subject line 
  • Use double opt-in forms to get an email address 
  • Don’t attach files, images, or videos to your emails. 
  • Don’t use spam trigger words. 
  • Always use a familiar and personalized sender’s name 
  • Remove inactive users from your email list 
  • Don’t overstuff your email with too many images and texts 
  • Get an email accreditation certificate from a third-party

Your Email List Isn’t Growing Enough 

Perhaps the most important aspect of every successful email marketing campaign is their email contact list or the email database. 

It is crucial to determine the effectiveness and activeness of your email contact list, which comes from the fact of how active or at least highly relevant your contacts are. 

And then there is another problem, a common challenge for marketers when their email stops growing, or it isn’t growing enough in the first place. 

Consistency in getting new email contacts is very crucial for the success of your email marketing campaign. 

Why Does It Happen? 

If you ask why your email list is not growing, there are some simple explanations as follows: 

  • You are not getting enough or too much website traffic
  • Your lead magnet is not powerful enough to get sign-ups 
  • You are not using creative strategies to get more email signups
  •  You are limited to just one sign-up form on your website. 

And other lack of efforts towards not reaching the maximum relevant audience and ineffective value proposition in exchange for asking for an email address. 

How To Resolve It? 

So what can you do with this email marketing challenge?  What can you do to grow your email list on a consistent basis? 

Here are a few pointers on how you can resolve this challenge : 

  • Make it easy for your customers, prospects, or visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter first to find it easily, so easily visible to your website and quickly fill up the form.
  • Give them a relevant and invaluable incentive to get their email address in the exchange. It should be valuable enough for them to share their contact.
  • Make it more profitable and value-driven for them to subscribe to your newsletter, maybe by giving them exclusive discounts or freebie downloads.
  • Leverage your social media follower or audience base to grow your email list. Share your newsletter subscription link on social media posts and in your profile. 

You Have Too Big Of A Contact List 

On the one hand, the problem can be not growing the email list, but on the other extreme, having too big of a contact list is also a problem to have. 

If your contact list is too long, it becomes challenging to manage it. And then, it starts to impact the dynamics of your email marketing metrics. 

With more and more users, you will get higher bounce rates, inactive users, deliverability issues, and basically, all your challenges with emails get doubled. 

Why Does It Happen? 

This happens with one obvious fact with increasing numbers of subscribers, you have higher chances of inactive users, more bounce rates, and other issues because there is a larger probability of getting these. 

Also, you have to understand that not all of your email list subscribers will be active, engaged, or even existing. 

Email lists need consistent cleaning for this single reason, and when you have a larger number of subscribers, this problem gets magnified. 

How To Resolve It? 

The one and only effective way to manage your big contact list and not lose its effectiveness is regularly clean it up. 

Here are some tips on how you can clean up your email list : 

  • Remove all those email contacts where you see your emails are not delivered or getting bounced repeatedly.
  • Look for inactive users in your email list. Which of the email addresses are the least interactive or not interactive ever?  You can make one last try to revive those by offering them some exclusive specific offer, but among the subscribers who still do not respond, remove them.
  • Remove all those generic email accounts which are not exactly people but from organizations such as info@, contact@ or help@, and others.
  • Make sure that new subscribers deliberately want to be part of your subscription, so use a confirmation email link to ensure. 

Sending Too Many Emails 

Increased frequency of emails is also a common problem for marketers, especially for new marketers or business owners. 

Once you get permission to send emails to the subscribers, you might be tempted to get overboard with it.  

Many marketers fall into the trap of setting up a high frequency of emails sent to their subscribers. It goes like 3 to 5 emails daily, which is quite too much. 

According to a study conducted by The Technology Advice, 43% of subscribers want their companies to send emails less often. 

Sending too many emails also puts companies on the radar of getting spammed. Even if not, it can be a negative remark on the business’s brand image. 

Your customers or subscribers might consider you desperate or too intrusive. 

This gets even worse when your emails don’t give any value. Rather, it is more about your products and offers, which gets annoying. 

Why Does It Happen? 

Why do brands feel tempted to send a higher frequency of emails to their subscribers?  

Well, it comes from them being tempted to over-communicate. It somehow gives them the wrong impression that reaching out more in the numbers will give them higher engagement or sales. 

It is also from the companies who are not focussing on building long-term sustainable relationships with their subscribers.

The eagerness to sell more, fast, and easily, along with the insecurity of brands to be noticed and accounted for, makes them desperate, hence sending too many emails. 

Apart from that, if a high frequency of emails is a strategy, then to some degree, it can work, and that is also for some particular kind of brand or business. 

But higher frequency emails are still okay and different from sending too many emails.


How To Resolve It? 

To improve your results and not send too many emails, here are some recommendations to follow for businesses : 

  • Think from the perspective of your users. Rather than sending them emails on particular days or setting up the frequency, think of what they need. The least you can go for is one email at least a month.
  • Another approach is to look at the behavioral pattern of your subscribers so far. How they respond when you send emails twice a week, and how they respond when you send once a day. The data is the best determiner to get fixed on.
  • One of the effective ways to set frequency is to ask your subscribers directly. Rather than guessing or even going for the data, you can send out question forms or ask how many emails they expect in a week or month while signing up.


How often should I send emails?

It depends on your audience and your goals. Generally, you don’t want to send too many emails and risk overwhelming your subscribers, but you also don’t want to send too few and risk being forgotten. Test different send frequencies to see what works best for your audience.

What’s the best time to send emails?

Again, it depends on your audience and your goals. Some studies suggest that Tuesday and Thursday mornings are the best times to send emails, but it’s best to test different send times to see what works best for your specific audience.

How can I improve my email open rates?

Write attention-grabbing subject lines, personalize your emails, segment your email list, and test different send times and frequencies.

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