Main Challenges of Email Marketing & How You Can Overcome Them

Posted by Chris Riviera | Updated September 23, 2021

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

Email marketing is right on top this year as well, featuring extravagantly high ROI of $44 on $1 investment. But with more companies using this medium poses unique concerns for the future. That would be truer when these concerned are combined with hi-tech alternative giving new and smarter ways to reach out to the audience. 

This post features top challenges email marketing is going to experience as we move towards the end of this year. We’ve also recommended some ways to help you tackle those issues so that you may keep getting high returns on your email marketing activities. 

Top Email Marketing Challenges

Main Challenges

Over 59% of businesses see email marketing as the best source of revenue generation for their brand. In the years to come, this dependency on email marketing is only going to increase. That’s due to the distrust in social media which continues to grow. Plus, there is a growing need from the customer end of authentic connection.

That indicates email optimization efforts – more focused and personalized – because it is going to be crucial to keep succeeding and getting higher revenues from an email marketing strategy.

Challenge #1: Understanding Your Consumer

Main Challenges of Email Marketing

If you have in-depth and personal information about your audience, you can fine-tune your email marketing campaigns pretty easily. Moreover, if you’re able to bring relevance, be more specific about their needs, and find tangible ways for them, it will help your emails, as well as your business, stand out among other ordinary campaigns that subscribers wouldn’t want. 

So, discover the needs of your audience through 
a) Segmented campaigns
b) Personalized Emails

Audience Segmentation

Segmentation is a marketing concept where we break our audience into smaller groups so that we can provide more relevant products. By implementing this strategy to your email marketing campaign, you’ll be able to offer relevant content to each individual based on some specific features:

There are several different ways of segmentation, including:

  • Demographics: based on age, gender, etc.
  • Survey responses
  • Geographic location
  • History of purchases
  • The current position in the sales funnel
  • Preferences 
  • Website behavior

Most brands are not using segmented emails at all. To be precise, more than 20% of marketers don’t use this technique. Then there are some brands that don’t use it to its fullest potential. 

Personalize your messages to improve the conversion rate

Personalization is perhaps the best and the only way to retain your place customers’ inbox and convert them. Personalized emails help in creating a real B2C relationship between your brand and your audience. This is the reason why they can increase your email open rate by 26%

How can you personalize your emails?

  • By adding recipients name in the subject line
  • By sending them your wishes (accompanied by a little present) on their birthday or anniversary
  • Recommend products based on their past purchases (or engagement)

How much you can personalize depends upon how much you know about your audience. By that, we mean, how good your segmentation is. 

If you have a database full of each customer’s specifics you’ll have the liberty to test different personalization techniques and choose the best one. In response, you’ll see increased loyalty from customer’s end that always accounts for more revenue over time. 

Challenge #2: Retaining Existing Customers vs Targeting New Ones

Multi Tasking Challenge

According to Campaign Monitor’s study, 20% of your customers give you 80% of your sales. This is the reason why marketers value current customers and they want to keep them happy all the time. 

Your email marketing campaign should also focus on these existing customers rather than just targeting leads. If they leave, you’ll be facing a bigger challenge of getting them back.

You can send targeted emails based on the length of time they have spent with your company, and move them through the funnel for better engagement and more sales.  

Welcome Emails

You have the option to start with a welcome series that delivers value, educates consumers about your brand’s story and its value, and captivate them. Such as this Ralph Lauren message:

Main Challenges of Email Marketing

This email message has everything that we mentioned earlier. This type of message lures customers to believe they’ll get more of such inspiring emails in the future, plus they’ll receive exciting coupons to spend right away. 

Loyalty Programs

Another important way to interact with customers is by rewarding them on something they did to show they’re loyal to your brand. Like buying often, referring people to your website, giving honest feedback for improvement, etc. 

Your emails should deliver a message that you value their loyalty and offer a small gift to continue their engagement with your brand.

EmailMonday shares some helpful tactics to boost customer loyalty through email marketing. 

  • Redemption reminders related to the coupons or vouchers you shared with them previously.
  • Early access or exclusive deals to motivate them to claim the offer.
  • Thank-you message from CEO, Marketing or Sales Manager
  • Give special status (gold, platinum or diamond) to top 5 recurring customers and offer them with perks (free shipping, extended ordering time, etc.)

Challenge #3: Increasing ROI From Email Campaign


It’s true, email campaigns render steep-high ROI. With more and more competitors in the run, the challenge becomes harder. So, instead of waiting for that moment you should focus on extracting more returns from your campaigns. Think about these simple yet vital techniques:

Email Automation

Depending upon the funnel, your automation starts from any point. For example; when a customer clicks on the website link; when he signs up for your mailing list; or when he purchases your product. These are pretty simple automation that can be done using smart tools, like Zappier

41% of digital marketers understand that automation increases ROI. There are more who believe automation brings many other benefits, yet they don’t actually do it with their campaigns.  

Automation will become more important as the competition grows. Then there will be a need to send instant messages upon the user’s particular action, to ensure he gets the message before leaving your site. 

With automation, you can 

  • Save an ample amount of time,
  • Retain existing customers,
  • Increase lead generation
  • Make your email strategy more effective.

Email Campaign Testing

It goes hand-in-hand with email automation. Testing lets you determine which emails resonate with your target prospects. You don’t have to send emails to gauge customer’s responses, so it’s quite effective you got your answer beforehand, isn’t it? 

But still, almost 50% of the marketers admit they almost never try this stuff. By testing your email campaigns, you have a fair idea of where your campaign is moving. You can always test experimental ideas, and make small changes to make your emails hyper-targeted to particular segments. 

Again, this practice saves time and money and streamlines your email campaign to get specific outcomes and get the maximum possible return. 

Finally: Stick to Basics for Email Marketing Success

Writing Email from laptop

Make the most of new trends, like Chatbots, AI, Live Video Streaming, and others for a successful email marketing strategy, but before that, make sure all basics are intact. 

Technology cannot replace the authentic connection between you and your customers. And, for an authentic connection, you need to stay on alert, making sure you’re giving them what they want and need. 

A simple thoughtful email marketing would give much better results compared to the scattered and technology-driven approach since it misses out important aspects like lead-generation and customer retention.  

No matter how technically sound your emails are, if they’re disconnected and irrelevant to the customer, they’ll be of no use. 

In short, you need to stay true to the fundamentals of email marketing to:

  • Strengthen your relationship with potential as well as existing customers, and
  • Keep your marketing strategy focused on one point.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

Chris Riviera

I've been an online entrepreneur since 2010, starting with IT freelance jobs on oDesk, then doing consulting for bigger companies and now having my own online businesses since 2014.
I've sold my first online business (in the software niche) in 2019, and now I'm working on several other projects in the digital marketing space.

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