Inbound Marketing Blog

Educational blog articles around inbound marketing.

6 Factors Why Your Emails Are Not Converting

By Jomel Alos


With the rise of inbound marketing strategies, businesses are now generating more leads than ever.

However, 50% of leads aren’t ready to make a purchase at the time of first communication, so it’s important to use your email b2b database smartly as a way of nurturing these leads.

That said, it can be challenging to get them to convert even after a significant amount of email marketing efforts.

Anyone’s inbox is flooded with tens to hundreds of emails every single day. Some emails get opened and read, while some get archived or trashed with just a single glance at the subject line.

Here are six factors that will dictate what category your marketing emails will fall under:

Your Emails aren't Getting Opened

The one major reason your emails are not getting opened is your subject line. The email subject is the first thing the reader sees, and close to 50% of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on subject line alone.

An even scarier statistic? Almost 70% of recipients report spam based on the email subject alone.

These statistics emphasize the importance of writing engaging subject lines. A few ways to do just that are by keeping it short and sweet (ideally between 30-50 characters including spaces) and including a hook to grab attention (something like "Need a Better CRM for Your Sales Team? We've Got You").

It’s also important to note that your email subject is consistent with the actual body of the email. Make the title stand out in the copy and provide the content you promised in your subject line.

This will build the reader’s trust in you, so you won’t run the risk of getting un-opens in future email communications.

You’re not Providing Value

According to ConversionXL, the potential of your conversion rate is determined by the value proposition or the primary reason a prospect should buy from you. Customers want to know what's in it for them and why they should buy from you.

Communicating your value proposition is important in your emails because this makes the reader know what sets you apart from the rest of the competition.

To effectively deliver your value proposition to customers, however, there are a few things you need to consider.

  • Be clear. Take email marketing platform MailChimp, for example, whose value proposition is simply, “Send better email.”
  • Give the benefit. Customers want to know how your product will solve their problems. Another email marketing tool, Campaign Monitor, showcases the value they can deliver by saying, “Create beautiful emails in minutes.”
  • Use email tools.There are plenty of email tools out there, but Campaign Monitor wants to set their platform apart by saying you can create beautiful emails, not in a day or a few hours, but in minutes.

You’re not Segmenting Your List

MailChimp, a popular email marketing tool, recently published global statistics on why email segmentation matters.

They reported that email opens and unique opens were 14.31% more compared to non-segmented campaigns.

Clicks from segmented campaigns were also more than 100% higher than that of non-segmented campaigns. Finally, when emails are segmented, there are 9.37% less unsubscribers.

There are numerous ways to do email segmentation, some of the most basic ones include gender, age, and industry.

For B2B organizations, an excellent way to segment your email lists is by identifying where they are in the sales funnel.

This way, you can personalize your messaging to each segment with the goal of moving them further down the funnel. Your email segments could be for either:

  • Top of the Funnel (TOFU) prospects, who have left their contact info via landing pages of TOFU content like general white papers and ebooks;
  • Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) leads, who have signed up for MOFU content like an in-depth webinar; or
  • Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) leads, who have shown strong interest in your product or service by requesting for a meeting, a Skype call, or a demo.

You Rely on One-Time Communication

Nurturing leads via email is not a one-time communication effort. Understandably, it’s inefficient to send personalized follow-up emails to every lead you have, but this is where automated email drip campaigns come in.

Email drip campaigns are emails that are set to send out at specific, automated times in a schedule. They can help you save time, send timely and relevant messages to your customers, and ultimately, increase conversion opportunities.

An example of an email drip campaign would be a series of “Welcome” emails set a few days apart (depending on whether they move further down the sales funnel) to introduce new people to your brand and why you exist, use of social proof to build trust, and say thank you with an enticing one-time offer.

Your Email Design is Cluttered

Your email design and layout could be hindering your readers from converting to customers. From too many images to multiple calls-to-action (CTA) throughout your email content, there are many design pitfalls that cause marketing emails to fail.

Here are a few important notes on email design:

  • Optimize your brand. From including your brand name in the “from” field to including a company logo on the email content itself, every part of your email should be on-brand.
  • Use a vertical layout. With majority of emails being opened on mobile, it would be a best practice to use vertical, responsive email layouts so the design looks good on any device.
  • Think about visual impact. This doesn’t mean using 20 different pictures in one email. It's about relevancy and a sparing use of graphics and imagery to define content sections clearly.

Your Email Copy isn't Compelling

You might have worked out all the above factors but your emails are still not converting readers into customers. In this case, it might be time to look at your email copy.

Here are a few tips for writing an effective lead-building email:

  • Know your audience. Send targeted emails that are relevant to your readers, maybe even describe a few compelling pain points to set the stage, then reveal how your company can address those challenges.
  • Give your email copy some personality and even humor. Write emails that you would personally want to read.
  • Use a call-to-action (CTA). Place it somewhere after the initial pitch and repeat once towards the end. Make it clear and irresistible in design.
  • Keep it simple and readable. Email copies should be no more 200-250 words and make them engaging.


Emails remain as an important part in any marketing strategy. However, it’s essential to get back to the basics of how to write great emails to meet your business needs.

From checking your subject lines to writing great email copies, check your campaigns against these six factors and start getting better conversion rates out of your email marketing efforts.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Email Marketing