Email marketing biggest failure

Posted on by Paulo Caetano

3 minutes read

Every single day, huge sums of money are invested on email marketing campaigns. And that is great… if your customers read your message! Otherwise is useless. Who wants to send big bucks straight into SPAM? It happens quite often, and sometimes people don’t know the real reason behind it.

Email marketing might be a very good deal for any given company, but only if well implemented, which often fails. Within the vast universe of internet marketing channels, email still positions (in 2020) among the most effective, with the highest return-on-investment (ROI).

Investing in email marketing campaigns can bring great results, but first and foremost it is critical to define an effective email marketing strategy and adopt tactics to maximize the likelihood of inbox delivery, which most often does not happen. And when that is the case, most of the money goes to waste.

Where are the flaws?

How useful is a newsletter that goes to the SPAM folder? Zero! An email going to SPAM is of no use. The probability of being opened is extremely low. And even if a given email falls into a folder other than the inbox, the opening ratios remain fairly low. In practical and optimistic terms, we can consider the following opening rates:

To make matters worse, most of email clients (such as Outlook) or webmail services (such as Gmail, Hotmail, etc …) do not open images or links on messages in the SPAM folder. There goes that amazing attention-grabbing GIF file. The link to your landing page, where you would better promote your product or service and grab some leads? Forget it, won’t happen!

Sometimes, marketers ignore the ability to deliver the emails they send. They tend to invest their efforts and budgets on the production of good-looking content-rich newsletters, which is fantastic and essential. However, all this investment tends to prove fruitless anytime there are flaws in email deliverability.

The email message being fully loaded with engaging content, the newsletter very well crafted, excellent and well qualified recipients databases, among many other factors, all those combined might not mean much of a deal. Very often, the root of the problem is non-related to the production of the content itself or even the quality of emailing lists and databases.

The fundamental problem usually sits on poor deliverability.


And what the heck is the deliverability of an email? What factors lay behind the good delivery of an email?

Deliverability defines the ability of a particular email to be delivered to the recipient’s inbox. Period. Simple as that. It works as a ranking that follows each message all the way to its final destination. Depending on that ranking, a given email message may be delivered to the inbox, go to another folder (in the case of Gmail, for example, there are the pre-defined Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums folders), or go to the SPAM folder .

The key factors are, in essence, mostly technical and are due to the settings of the mail server used for sending. Some questions one shall ask are:

This article’s only intention is to alert you to the fact that your business might be wasting money on email marketing or even mistakenly concluding that this channel is not effective.

If you want to analyze your current situation, regarding the deliverability and technicalities of your email server (or service), we suggest two great resources:

1. MX Toolbox, has several tests to check the technical details of your domains and servers, such as your DNS records, domain health and blacklists, among others;

2. Mail Tester, excellent for analyzing the combined ranking of the sending server and the content of the email messages you want to send.


What matters for a given email marketing campaign is the fact that any email message to be sent, only has any potential marketing value when it is delivered to the inbox. Otherwise, the opening probability drastically reduces to near zero. The recipient of the email will not read it and consequently that fantastic product or service your company has to offer remains unknown. And the investment your company put on email marketing results being ineffective spending, which you certainly want to avoid.

If your company is planning or running email marketing campaigns and you feel some assistance would be valuable, feel free to contact us. We are here to help you.

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