6 Reasons Your Email Sucks and How to Fix It

Last Updated June 13th, 2016

Email sucks. It’s all spam. No one looks at it anymore. The youngsters are all on Snapchat.

As with so many things, we often exaggerate. We declare things weak, ineffective, or dead prematurely.


Alive and well, the email marketing channel isn’t the problem. It’s how we’re using it – sometimes when we click “send,” our email sucks.

It’s hard not to suck, so we generalize. We oversimplify and overstate. We make excuses


To help: we broke down 6 specific ways email falls short and how to improve it. Enjoy this webinar recording and drop some of your favorite email tips in the comments below.

And, yes, we open by acknowledging that our email sucks sometimes, too. We all need to be better with it.


6 Reasons Your Email Sucks and How To Fix It


Watch the full webinar recording above. And walk through the outline below.

Drop in your email address toward the end of this post for all the bonus materials from 6 Reasons Your Email Sucks and How to Fix It.


Why Your Email Can’t Suck

The session opens by establishing that email remains foundational to digital communication. It remains the top digital marketing channel in terms of ROI and the top daily digital activity across generations.

We break down the difference between transactional email from your inbox and email marketing from a platform like BombBomb.


1. It’s Not Sincere

Every time you click “Send,” you’re training your recipients to open or delete your next email. If we keep doing the easiest thing – sending selfish email – we’ll burn out the people on our lists.

In the webinar, you’ll see:

  • The Empathy, Value, and Call to Action framework for more thoughtful and effective sending
  • A real example and script that adheres to the framework
  • Results of a quantitative experiment for an email that leads with empathy

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2. It’s Not Clear

In general, each email you send should be designed to produce a single result or outcome. A reply. A link click. A form fill.

This is your email’s One Thing.

From the subject line and preheader through the headline, video, and copy to the final call to action – your entire email should be aligned to produce that result.

It should be clear why each person received it, what his or her opportunity is, and how to take you up on that opportunity.

Watch the video above for more on this concept, plus:

  • Top subject line tips
  • Keywords that over and underperform in the subject line
  • Two ways to use preheader text (and what preheader text is!)


3. It’s Not Targeted

Again, every email you send trains people to open or delete your next email. When you fail to target your email sends, your email sucks.

It’s easy to get caught up in mass blasting – it’s more gratifying to send to more people than to fewer. A bigger list rather than a smaller one.

But you win through targeting and get better results when you send to fewer people.

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4. It’s Not Hygienic

This is a biggie. We should only be sending to people who CAN and WANT to receive our emails.

Our lists should be clean and current for optimal delivery and optimal success.

Watch the video above to learn:

  • The 3 key elements of a suppression list
  • How the spam folder works
  • Basics of the Gmail Promotions tab


5. It’s Not Tracked

One of the primary advantages of the email channel is that it’s completely trackable. You get insight into real interests and real behaviors of specific people in real time.

If your email sucks, stop looking for magic bullets and start looking at your tracking and analytics.

Who’s opening? Who’s clicking? What are they clicking? Who’s playing? How are my play rates trending? Know what works by … seeing what works!

Check out the webinar recording for:

  • Basic definitions of email analytics
  • How to segment based on tracking so you can follow up more effectively
  • A great follow up tip for high value conversions
  • How to track individual engagement over time

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6. It’s Not Differentiated

Your email looks just like his. And hers. And theirs.

Unless it’s highly styled and set in a custom email design, your email looks a lot like everyone else’s email.

You know what’s perfectly imperfect and completely differentiated? YOU!

You’re not one in a million. You’re one of a kind.

Our reliance on digital communication channels often leaves the messenger removed from the message. Consider simple video or produced video to humanize your emails, build connection, and improve results.


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Click here to get started. Enjoy ease of video, tracking and analytics, and much more.

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Ethan Beute | About The Author

Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, host of The Customer Experience Podcast, and Wall Street Journal bestselling co-author of Human-Centered Communication and Rehumanize Your Business, Ethan Beute collects and tells stories of clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion through simple, personal video messages. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

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