Email marketing isn’t always easy and many of our clients come to us because they’re frustrated with the amount of time it takes to make a great email. We wanted to hear what the experts thought too! Below you’ll hear from 8 Mailchimp Partners and email marketers (including myself) on what frustrates us the most.
Email coding is still stuck in the 90s, and I doubt that will change. The biggest frustration is also the thing that excites me the most. I find as a creative person, when you have limited resources, the challenge to create something unique and fresh each time is what drives us to keep innovating and dreaming up new ways to work around these limitations. Obviously, Outlook is a pain, but hey.
-Doug Dennison, CEO & Co-founder, MailNinja
The lack of email standards has always been a huge barrier for email marketers and the teams that prepare the messages. The fact that your email can render differently in hundreds of different email clients means that you are never 100% sure that your email looks and works the way you want it to everywhere. And additionally, the differences in the display of fonts, backgrounds, animated GIFs, etc. means you have to prepare and test for a wide range of scenarios. This also prevents progress in our industry, as certain advancements like AMP have limited client support, so it’s less attractive for brands to pursue using it.
-Adam Holden-Bache, Dir. of Email Marketing, Enventys Partners
Email can be frustrating but the misinformation and lack of understanding of how email marketing actually works is probably our biggest pain point. We spend more time breaking down email marketing strategies, ESPs platforms, training and other general questions more than anything else.
-Sequoia Mulgrave, CEO & Founder, Daily Mode Studio
Well, Outlook of course, but there’s so much that goes into a perfect email that makes it challenging. Testing takes time – checking spelling, links, image loading speed, checking you have all alt text descriptions, testing on different devices (really formatting for mobile is one of the hardest things about email), getting into the Inbox, making sure your plain text version is set, checking recipients. So much! The most frustrating part is that there really is so much that needs to be tested before you hit that big send button.
How to solve this? Have a great process for testing your email, whether that’s a checklist or a program (like Litmus) that does the testing for you.
Emily Ryan, Co-founder & Mailchimp Strategist, Westfield Creative
As I work a lot with email automation, I’m continuously experimenting in Mailchimp with old Automated Workflows and new Customer Journeys Builder. I think I know by heart the limitations of the former, and time after time I’ve learned a lot of hacks to overcome them; as for the Customer Journey Builder, sometimes it drives me crazy because it still lacks some features, and every now and then something doesn’t work properly, which I report to the patient Customer Support folks. I’m aware that advanced features are probably used by a small fraction of users, but nonetheless, I wish to see them prioritized asap.
-Alessandra Farabegoli, Digital Strategist, Co-Founder, Digital Update
I’ve always found the tech to be the easy part of the job. It’s generally predictable and reliable. It either does or it does not (with Outlook, that’s usually a “does not”). When tech does not do what you need, you work around a solution.
The most variable factor in email is the human on either side of the communications. Clients who can’t make up or continuously change their minds, subscribers who are unpredictable, customer service management for campaign responses… those are the least controllable and predictable factors in email, and there is not a single thing I can do to control that.
-MaryAnne Pfeiffer, Digital Marketing Strategist, 108 Degrees Digital Marketing
…it would be really cool if you could reliably track opens…
…it would be good if all the email systems worked the same and you could develop better-looking emails without having to test them in 100 different systems.
…it would be great if Mailchimp could update some of the things at the more advanced end of things
…it would be good if there was a better understanding and explanation of data privacy over borders
…it would be good if Gmail would be a bit more transparent (never gonna happen!) of what’s good/bad and why emails end up in promo/spam
-Robin Adams, Founder, Chimp Answers
1000% Outlook. I don’t understand why Outlook needs to “translate” the email into a Word doc and then render the Word doc in HTML.
The second is Gmail not delivering emails to the inbox and dumping them into the archive never, neverland. So frustrating!
-Amy Hall, Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner, amyhall.biz