Disadvantages of Email Marketing

Jun 20, 2022

Email marketing has been a staple for marketers for years, but it’s lost its effectiveness. Today, people are lost in a never-ending battle against email overload and spam. There are more than 333 billion emails sent and received every day. The average person gets more than 100 daily.

Is it any wonder that most of the marketing emails go unseen or are sent to spam quickly?

Disadvantages of Email Marketing
While email may still have a place in your marketing strategy, you should be aware of the disadvantages of email marketing in 2022.

Undelivered Email
People use alternate email addresses or fake addresses to avoid getting marketing messages from companies. This can lead to undelivered email or email that never gets seen. The average bounce rate — email that never reaches the intended recipient — is nearly 10%.

You also may not be able to trust the email deliverability rate that an email platform shows you. For example, you may see a report that says you got a 98% email delivery rate. That sounds pretty good until you dig deeper into the numbers and find out that 10% of those emails went to spam. They’ll show as delivered, but there are two problems:

If they are in the spam filter, they might never get seen.
If they do get seen, it can hurt your company’s reputation.

Marked as Spam
Spam filters today are very aggressive in marking email as spam and never getting to your customers. In fact, an email goes through several layers of filtering from internet service providers (ISPs) to email software to individual settings. If people have blocked similar offers in the past, they may never see yours, even if it’s not spam.

If too many emails get marked as spam, it can hurt your future deliverability as well. ISPs see this as a warning sign and may block your emails from getting through. And, if you inadvertently violate the CAN-SPAM Act guidelines, you can face substantial fines.

Low Open Rates & Low Clickthrough Rates
Even if your email does make it through to someone’s inbox, it doesn’t mean it gets read. The average email open rate across all industries is less than a third. If someone does take the time to open your email and look at it, it also doesn’t mean they’ll take action. The average clickthrough rate for email is 1.27%.

It can be a lot of work for little activity.

Design and Appearance
Email that looks great on your end doesn’t always look that way on the recipient’s computer or device. There are more than 24,000 different Android devices on the market from 1,300 brands — and that’s just one type of device. It doesn’t include desktop computers, iPhones, tablets, and other ways people look at email.

Plus, people have different settings. Some may restrict HTML coding on email. Others may block images. Depending on the screen size, it may display differently for different recipients.

Limited Attention
When you’re sending emails, you’re competing for attention with all sorts of brands, not just your competitors. You’re vying for consumer attention against large, well-known brands like Amazon, Starbucks, Apple, and others. If you’re making offers, they have to be significant to get people even to take a look.

Ease of Unsubscribing
In most countries, you’re required to have an easy and visible way for email recipients to unsubscribe from mailing lists. This means every time you send an email, you risk people dropping off your authorized mailing list. You need to provide constant value and relevance to avoid this fate.

By the way, Gmail is the world’s largest email software and it provides a one-click button for users to unsubscribe to your email.

Alternatives to Email Marketing
Text Message Marketing / SMS marketing is a strong alternative to using email. Just look at these stats compared to email:

The average open rate for text message marketing is 98%
95% of texts are generally read within three minutes of delivery.
Clickthrough rates run as high as 36%
In general, consumers say they prefer text marketing to email by a margin of 2-to-1.

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