10 Email Marketing Disadvantages (And How to Solve Them!)

Email Marketing Disadvantages Cover
Ravi Davda Rockstar Marketing CEO

Written by Steve

Aug 31, 2021

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Marketing your services and products through email can be a fast, efficient, and cost-effective way of attracting new customers as well as retaining existing ones. After all, over 4.14 billion people use email in 2021 (according to Statista), and that’s no small number. However, email marketing disadvantages are many, and we’ll cover them in this article.

Keep reading!

Disadvantages of Email Marketing

#1 – Inconsistencies in Formatting

The first and perhaps most common email marketing disadvantage is formatting. An email can be read on a thousand different devices, from computers to tablets to phones and more. As a result, your campaign emails can be susceptible to issues related to size and design. In other words, the template that you perhaps came up with on your PC doesn’t always appear the way you think it will on other devices.

The main issue here is obviously mobile devices.

As the Co-Founder and Marketing Director of Cocodoc, Alina Clark, notes, “most people neglect to optimise the images and infographics in their emails for mobile view.” This is never a good thing since a third of emails on average are opened on mobile devices.

How to Solve It

You should obviously test your emails on a mobile device before you start your campaign. Additionally, avoid copying text from Microsoft Word to an email. Emails rely on HTML, which is drastically different from Microsoft Word.

#2 – It’s Costly

This is the deal-breaker in the list of many email marketing disadvantages for numerous businesses out there. Email marketing can be expensive, especially if you don’t currently have an email list. It costs to both build it and maintain it. The more efficient the campaign is, the more it will cost you. Certain email marketing campaigns cost upwards of a couple of thousand pounds.

Before starting a campaign, you first need to figure out the return on investment (ROI) to see if it’s worth going for or not. However, even having a positive ROI doesn’t mean that you should just start pouring money into the campaign. You also need to closely analyse the campaign’s performance.

How to Solve It

Grow your contact list by collecting email addresses, social media accounts, phone numbers, etc.

#3 – Email Marketing Disadvantages – Issues of Security and Privacy

In the eyes of many consumers, this is perhaps the most important email marketing disadvantage that a business should deal with before sending them anything. The privacy and data security of online customers are major issues nowadays. This is why many of them will be hesitant to join any new email list.

The widespread “scam” emails don’t help either. As a result, many businesses struggle to attract new customers to their platforms through email campaigns.

In order to come off as fully legitimate, you need to comply with various data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulations (GDRP) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). Action can be taken against any business that does not comply with these regulations.

How to Solve It

Here is how you can avoid finding yourself liable to data privacy laws:

  1. Properly collect user contact information.
  2. Only collect what you need.
  3. Be transparent about your data collection activities.
  4. Do not share or sell that data to anyone.
  5. Avoid third-party service providers.

#4 – Standing Out is Hard

Standing Out is Hard in email marketing

Another email marketing disadvantage is the fact that, unlike some other marketing pathways, It is quite hard to stand out amongst the competition when it comes to email marketing. It should come as no surprise that those potential customers of yours are receiving hundreds of emails on a daily basis. As a result, they would disregard most of those emails as spam and junk.

So, unfortunately, it’s possible that your marketing email will never be touched by people.

How to Solve It

You need to make sure that you are creating quality content. Always. Your emails should contain simple, digestible content, written in interesting but also straight-to-the-point language. You should also focus on the aesthetic/design of things, as it can be the difference between a read and full-on neglect once your email is opened by a consumer.

Try to grasp what the competition is doing right and mimic them while also adding a unique touch of yours.

#5 – It Can Be Frustrating

We’re sure you’re aware that people’s inboxes are often filled with waves upon waves of spam emails, and this has unfortunately led to giving email marketing a bad reputation.

People tend to complain about receiving emails that they didn’t sign up for in the first place or getting too many of the same email.

Unsolicited, random emails can lead a potential or existing consumer to consider your company less reputable than it actually is. If they wish to unsubscribe, grant them that immediately without hesitation.

How to Solve It

Make sure to not spam your subscriber lists with emails. Additionally, don’t make it difficult for them to unsubscribe from your content if it comes down to that.

They will appreciate you offering them updates about your business(es) in a non-intrusive way.

#6 – It Takes Time, Effort, and Practice

Email Marketing Takes Time, Effort, and Practice

Sadly, the reality of the situation is that email marketing takes time to work. Just because you have sent an email to a couple of thousand people, doesn’t necessarily mean that they will bother reading it or that it will bring traffic and sales to your business.

You need patience when incorporating email marketing into your strategy, and keep in mind that it’s a learning process. Don’t expect it to work from the first attempt.

How to Solve It

It’s simple, really. Practice is key. Practice, then practice, then more practice until you get it to work.

#7 – Email Marketing Disadvantages – Sensitive Spam Filters

Every time you send out those emails, you run the risk of them being flagged as “spam” by your email service provider or your consumers.

Combine this with uninteresting emails, and you’ve got yourself a big problem.

Additionally, repeatedly sending out emails will increase the chances of them being marked as “Spam.” Email service providers can go as far as suspending your email if they consider you to be a source of “spam” emails.

Out of the ten email marketing disadvantages that we’re dealing with today, this one is perhaps the most annoying in the eyes of marketers since it can be very tricky not to fall victim to these filters.

How to Solve It

There are tools out there that can help you determine your “spam score.” You also need to carefully edit your email content to maximise the deliverability.

Additionally, you need to test your contact lists thoroughly and clean them up frequently in order to ensure that you’re time and hard work don’t go to waste, i.e., dead emails. This will help decrease the rate at which your emails bounce back and improve your reputation in the eyes of email service providers.

#8 – It Needs to Be Error-free

Mediums such as blogging that have one centralised resource allow you to update whatever you publish at any time. Emails, however, cannot be edited once they’re sent out.

On this topic, Vlad Rascanu of Build Media Group says, “with email, the toothpaste is out of the tube the moment you hit send.” In other words, any error or cause for miscommunication cannot be cleaned up easily.

How to Solve It

Email marketing needs to be taken seriously. You can’t just slap together an email in 15 minutes and send it out to hundreds or thousands of people.

Invest in services such as Grammarly, which can help you to properly proofread your emails before you send them out. And, of course, make sure to test the template on mobile devices before hitting the big red button.

#9 – Little to No Personalisation

Regardless of how selective you are with your audience, you’ll always end up providing them with some information that doesn’t interest them at all.

Writing each and every one of them a personalised, individual email is obviously impossible, especially since you have a business to run, after all.

How to Solve It

Follow up your email campaigns with personalised messages via text marketing to high-value potential or existing customers.

#10 – Email Marketing Disadvantages – Not Dark Mode-Friendly

The latest trend is dark mode. It makes everything look sleeker, uses less battery, and reduces strain on your eyes.

Unfortunately, most email templates aren’t made for dark mode, and as a result, the content of your emails won’t appear as it is intended to on mobile devices with dark mode on.

How to Solve It

Have your tech team add “@media (prefers-colour-scheme: dark) “ into the template. This will force browsers to use their own dark mode version and is the key to dealing with the 10th and last email marketing disadvantage.

Let Us Help

Yes, email marketing does have several disadvantages, but it doesn’t mean that you should give up on them. If you tried the solutions we mentioned above, and you’re still not getting results, get in touch with us, and we’ll help you take your business to the next level through our email marketing services!


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