The internet marketing world constantly changes. What worked yesterday may not (and probably will not) work today. It was only a few short years ago that every marketing guru fawned over the amazing conversion power of targeted email marketing. These same people are using the very same techniques today only with fewer and fewer results. Why? Because – brace yourself – email marketing is dying. Slowly dying, but there’s no question it’s on its way out as the premiere means of marketing. Mobile marketing is taking its place, and it makes perfect sense.

So why do most email campaigns fail despite the relatively low cost of email?

Email campaigns are NOT low cost. Sure, the actual email itself costs pennies, but emails that convert (as in they look like they’re professionally designed and created)… are professionally designed and created! This costs money. And although your neighbor’s 12-year old kid can probably create graphics that can be used in an email campaign, most email graphics look like they were created and designed by 12 year olds. It costs money to hire marketing professionals that actually know what they’re doing. Going on the cheap produces cheap results and ends up costing companies more in the long term than had they hired a competent professional in the first place.

Similar to Paid Search results in PPC campaigns, people are starting to get de-sensitized to their inbox and are looking for more reasons NOT to open their email. Ask just about everyone you know and they’ll tell you their email folder gets filled up daily with nonsense, spam, and ridiculous offers they have no interest in, and as a result, often hit “delete all” in a rage of anger. It’s not fun anymore to check email – and even if you do have a compelling message or enticing offer, your prospect probably will not notice it in their email inbox anymore. Just like fewer and fewer paid ads get clicked on Google, where people give more authority to organically generated search results.

Because of the garbage aspect of the point above, many email programs are incorporating SPAM filters which are either deleting legitimate emails automatically or sending them to a spam folder. Even worse, this is being done on a server level as well by many internet service providers, where your message never gets to a recipient in the first place! What are the odds of someone acting on a [SPAM] tagged message, much less even opening it?

Legal emails that conform to spamming laws require that each email must contain an opt-out link. Every time someone opts out of your email campaign (and it happens a lot), you are losing all that effort and cost that you expended to get that subscriber in the first place. Unprofessionally created graphics, broken links, misspellings, and poorly formatted emails tend to drive unsubscribe rates through the roof. But more importantly, there’s almost a zero chance of a prospect taking you up on your offer. You may as well have never sent the email to begin with.

Many would-be marketers use a variety of internet marketing techniques such as Pay Per Click to drive traffic to landing pages. These pages collect email addresses and it’s from this list that marketers pitch their products and services. The problem becomes the extremely high cost of harvesting these email addresses as compared to what the marketer earns if his offer actually converts. If you’re earning $100 as a result of each of your email campaigns, but it’s costing you $200 to run them, your email marketing campaigning is failing. (That’s why these “expert” internet marketers only show you their Clickbank sales, and never mention the cost of driving those sales!)

All of which brings us to the number one reason why email marketing campaigns generally fail – People don’t want to hear from you.

They may ask for your information once, but after that, you’re considered spam. Everyone has heard of the marketing mantra that it takes 7 “touches” before a sale is made. Well, if that’s the case – and it’s generally accepted to be so – how can anyone be successful with odds like that? Email marketing proponents always compare its up to 20% open rate (on an outstanding campaign) to the traditional postcard conversion rate of 1%, but the real truth is if you’re going to spend all that time and effort into a marketing campaign with a 20% open rate (note that’s “open rate”, not “conversion rate”), is it really worth it? And the answer is no. Not when there are alternatives.
The alternative is mobile marketing, which is the ONLY form of marketing trending higher each and every day. TV, radio, internet, print, banner, and email are all trending downwards. If you need proof of this, just use yourself as an example. When was the last time you used the Yellow Pages? When was the last TV ad you didn’t fast-forward or skipped through mentally? When was the last time you called a number while driving and listening to the radio? When was the last time you actually bought something on the internet off a banner ad? – or even via a paid link on Google?