Email is easy, right? You create a cool design, write compelling copy, create the list, test, and send. Boom! Adrenaline goes up and there is no turning back. Your awesome email soon hits people’s inboxes and everyone will open, click and engage with it. (Round of applause, please!)

And then it comes to reporting time: low open rates, low click-through rates and some unsubscribes too! The excitement drops and the cold reality hits you. Your email marketing efforts didn't produce the desired results.

In this article for Square 2 Marketing, Mike Lieberman talks about reasons why your email marketing is not working. In order to avoid encountering some of these problems, here are three questions to ask before hitting the button:

1. What is the goal of your email marketing?

Is it an eBook offer? Pointing people back to your website? Whatever your goal, bear in mind that email marketing is only good at one thing at time. As Mike says, people spend on average 20 seconds skimming through an email. So, don't make them confused by offering them all the possible content you have in one email.

To grab readers’ attention, emails need to be short, including images, links, call to action buttons and bold headlines. Don't forget your subject lines - they are the most important element of your email. If you don't grab people’s attention with the subject line then they won't open the email. It’s a good idea to include action verbs like "get", "download", "read". Also, your subject lines shouldn’t be longer than 50 characters (including spaces), as they will get truncated by some of the email clients.

2. Are you planning it strategically?

Email is a core part of your inbound marketing programme. Whether you are sending a newsletter, eBook offer or blog nurturing email,  it is a constant reminder for your leads and customers.

It helps you nurture the leads and drive them further down the sales funnel by offering educational content.

3. Do you measure your marketing activity?

Keeping track of specific metrics help you measure the effectiveness of your email marketing. Beyond open and click-through rates, you also want to watch delivery rates, opt-outs, unsubscribes and forwards.

Data gives you an insight of what is working and what is not, so that you can make adjustments based on the outcomes.

Email marketing, if done properly, is an effective tool to help nurture your leads and customers.