By now, most online businesses are employing some form of email marketing in their overall marketing efforts to brand and promote their business to new and existing customers.

However, businesses are still struggling and failing to unleash the full potential and intrinsic value of an effective email marketing program.

When it comes to email, there are 4 basic areas to focus on that will help you avoid the classic email marketing pitfalls of the “many”.

The following 4 points aim to shed light on how to better use the email channel to grow your business, build relationships with your subscribers and increase conversions.

The tactics below describe the arenas in which email marketers must carefully apply their efforts to determine which forms of communication best serve to connect with the intended target audience (at precisely the right moments in time).

1. Misalignment With a Customer’s Life Cycle

Email marketers must be mindful of the notion of a target audience’s “Life Cycle” (or Customer Journey).

What does this mean? An audience’s life cycle is the precise stage that a current (or potential customer) is or may be at any given instance in their interaction with your business and brand.

For potential customers, this life cycle is undoubtedly different than it is for your existing/repeat customers, as they may still be in the preliminary stages evaluating your company or product among other competitors in the field.

Unlike potential customers, your current customers or purchasers may be awaiting a new offering, an improvement update or even a specific time sensitive offer for repeat a order.

As you can see (with this very simple example), your customers can and will be in different stages and touch points within their individual journey.

The example above also sheds light on the importance of knowing what specific stage that your particular target audience falls into, because this will help avoid the pitfalls of a “one-size-fits-all” approach that is less effective when it comes to email marketing.

Misalignment with your target audience’s life cycle and customer journey forges missed opportunities to connect with your target audience in a meaningful way to institute brand loyalty and trust.

By contrast, when your email campaigns are designed with your customer’s journey in mind, it makes for strong relevant dialogue and conversations that your customers will grow to recognize and trust.

2. Monocular Emails Solely to Promote

Historically, traditional email marketing has consisted of promotion-centric campaigns that aim to only “sell, sell, sell”.

Email is strictly used as a “promotional tool” and not as a medium to building “relationships” with customers.

Typically, marketing emails are generalized modes of communication based on a company’s promotion schedule to push sales for a product/service, without any true consideration to the particular interest of the customer or what stage in the journey they’re in, and thus, emails fail to align.

This type of monocular approach to email promotion makes for a somewhat generic inconsequential experience with your intended target audience, because it falls short of building a true relationship based on mutual consideration of the parties involved.

Email marketers must be mindful of the customer life cycle in order to be able to devise email campaigns that target audiences relate to in a meaningful way, offering valuable content and communication that relates contextually with your company and brand identity.

Being able to effectively discern what type of content your client is seeking at the very stage in their interaction with your company may make all the difference among a sea of inbox messages that aim to convert.

Each email you send should be a strategical touch point within the overall customer journey life cycle in order to build brand recognition and trust with your subscribers.

3. Misemployed Data

Misdirected data information (and a lack of understanding of the individual customer journey) is one of the most critical lost opportunities in email marketing to convert a potential target audience member into a long-term customer.

This is because of the challenges that still exist with data integration (and the extrapolation of the applicable data and statistics).

In order to know what to do (and how to access the right data) to create personalized customer experiences is often a continuing pain-point for email marketers.

While email technology as a whole has undoubtedly progressed, online marketers still struggle to properly (and most efficiently) access and use the available data to send personalized contextual emails to the right person at the right time.

Specifically, a true understanding of customer life cycles, as well as a deep understanding of what your target audience wishes to hear from you about, is crucial when it comes to engagement tactics to improve your email communications.

This misemployed data, in conjunction with the often misalignment of customer life cycles and journeys, perpetuates the lack of effective targeted emails that fail to connect with your subscribers at a deeper more meaningful level.

4. Meagerness (Lack of Quantity or Quality) in Personalized Climate

As an extension of misdirected data, continued meagerness in content specific emails to an intended target audience is also at the crux of failed email marketing attempts to merely drive sales.

When email marketers meet with their teams to devise their marketing and promotion schemas, it is imperative that they think one step further to try to make real deep-seated connections with their intended customers, in order to create content that resonates and makes a meaningful connection (at the right touch point within the overall journey).

This means that the campaign content must include a specific message that is personalized for a specific group of intended audiences, so that it is highly personalized to promote trust in your company and eventually a level of engagement to grow your business.

Let me further simplify this post by stating, ‘Strive to send emails made for humans and not machines.’