Need help before then? Email us for our recommended writers list!

Currently accepting inquiries for projects starting MAY 2024 →

Get Over an Email Marketing Slump With These 6 Tips


Content Marketing

Your open rates are low. Click-through rates are trending down. People aren’t replying to your emails anymore. Um, what the hell gives? Are you in an email marketing slump?

If so, try these six tips for polishing your email list, getting your rates back up, and making your email newsletters great again.

Check that DMARC, DKIM, and SPF are set up

I swear we are not making up phony acronyms here. But before you play around with email frequency or content, check these first so you don’t waste time.

DMARC, DKIM, and SPF are three email authentication methods every biz should use. In short, they make you look legit. If you don’t have these three set up correctly, or not at all, your emails are probably getting marked as spam.

Our client Christa Gurka noticed that she hadn’t finished the process to confirm her DMARC status in ConvertKit. As soon as she fixed it, you know what happened? Her open rates shot up from 20% to 48% (her usual average)!

Scrub your email list

When’s the last time you scrubbed your email list? A list scrub is when you delete email subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked an email in a specific period of time. 

Here’s how a list scrub works (don’t fret, it’s super simple):

  1. Send your first email and ask your email subscribers if they want to remain on your list. Clicking “yes” will keep them on the list, and “no” will direct them to unsubscribe. Short and sweet.
  2. About 5-7 days later, send the same email with a new subject line to anyone who didn’t open the first email.
  3. About 3 days later, send a final email that says something like, “hey friend, just letting you know we’re gonna unsubscribe you!” to anyone who didn’t open or click your previous emails.
  4. From there, remove anyone from your list who didn’t engage.

Boom, you’re done. Aim to scrub your list periodically. We aim for scrubbing every six months, but if you really wanna deep clean your list, try it every three months. It’s up to you!

Use segments and specific sequences

If you’ve followed the steps above your emails are now landing in inboxes, and your email list is so fresh and so clean, clean. Next up, check over what types of emails you’re sending. Do you have email sequences set up for certain offers?

Set up your email list so that subscribers are added to specific segments based on their behaviors and purchases. Utilizing segments allows you to send specific email sequences designed to get subscribers to take the next desired action. If someone opts into your list to download your free email marketing checklist, the email sequence they receive should get them to purchase your 1:1 marketing service, a related course, or an upgraded paid version.

Here’s an example from our client, Tracy Lynn Coaching. She offers two courses for photographers called Fully Booked Out and Boudoir Studio Accelerator. Tracy had an evergreen funnel set up for people interested in free webinars, but she needed specific emails that did two things:

  1. Nurture webinar attendees into purchasing one of her courses, and
  2. Let Tracy know whether an attendee was interested in a course for future sales

We designed a six-email series that introduced webinar attendees who were new subscribers to the appropriate course. Even if they didn’t buy her offer right away, they received flash sale emails that encouraged some subscribers to buy later.

By segmenting her list, we helped Tracy drive almost $12k in Black Friday sales. Plus, we got a conversion rate in her evergreen funnels to 6% (when the average rate is 1% to 5%!)

Send more emails…

Yes, there is such a thing as sending too few emails. Sending an email less than once a month increases your odds of getting an unsubscribe. Your messages might be getting buried in your subscribers’ inboxes.

If you’re only sending one email a month, try upping your cadence slowly. Bimonthly, weekly, daily — experiment with what works for you AND based on what your audience wants.

One of our newer clients, Coaching With Brit, was sending emails out when she could. (Every biz owner has been there) Sometimes it was weekly, other times more than a month went by. The longer she went between sending emails, the more unsubscribes and unopens she’d see.

So, we helped Brit select newsletter topics for biweekly emails. We also helped with topic ideation and writing the emails so that she’d always have something to send (rather than write them on the fly). Brit was able to take mat leave and have biweekly emails go out while she was gone. Big relief, right?

…or send fewer emails

Then there’s the other side of the coin where you might be sending too many emails. We’ve seen this happen with clients who are finishing up a launch. Their unsubscribe rates are unexpectedly high, which makes them worry that their new offer wasn’t right for their audience.

We’re not naming names here because this has happened to a lot of our clients! If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. And here’s the thing: your offer likely isn’t the issue. It actually might be the volume OR style of your emails. 

Think about how many you sent for your last launch to build hype or drive people to buy. Daily emails, maybe even multiple emails per day, for at least a week. That’s a lot! 

Instead, space out your emails more. Think about email content that offers value first and then increases in frequency before your launch. Play around with the days and times you send emails too. Mondays generally aren’t great days for sending emails; people are coming back from the weekend with a full inbox. Look at your data to see when emails are opened most.

Stylewise, are your emails too long? If you’re trying to encourage your subscribers to take action, keep them shorter. Place CTAs higher up and add more links. We like a longer, compelling story once in a while (if it makes sense for the brand and biz) but every email shouldn’t be a novel.

Breathe new life into your email newsletters 

Last but not least…how do your email newsletters feel? Stale? Boring? Meh? If you aren’t excited to write them or even reread what you wrote, how do you expect your subscribers to receive them? It might be time to breathe new life into your newsletters.

Try out the tips we mentioned above (and definitely do the first two tips, which will help a lot). Use email segments to tailor unique content to your subscribers. Play around with the frequency and timing of your emails. Write longer or shorter emails.

And have fun with it! Include images or GIFs. Embed videos. Test different email formats. Ask your audience what they want to read. You might be surprised at what they tell you. 

Above all, provide value to your subscribers. Entertain with behind-the-scenes content that builds trust. Share sales and deals that get people excited about your offers. Educate with tutorials, link roundups, video walkthroughs, and other resources. Be worthy of their inbox!

And if you’re ready to hand your email marketing over to a team of experts — we’ll take it! We offer our retainer clients email marketing strategy, email content brainstorming, and email copywriting for regular newsletters AND launches. Book a call with us today to see what we can do for your email marketing! 

join the Uncanny Content newsletter.