6 Roadblocks Stopping Sales in Your Email Conversion Points

By Victoria Taylor

There comes a point when your marketing efforts with emails yield decent results, but it doesn’t last long, leaving you to wonder why. Well, this happens when you start chasing customers. And whatever you chase will keep running.

Emails must serve you as a tool that attracts potential customers. When you start putting in the work to deliver good content that serves your purpose and it’s not littered with promotional punchlines, you’ll notice customers coming.

The question is: What’s staying between you and those crazy conversion rates you’ve been craving for so long? You could call these roadblocks. Just as web design mistakes increase your bounce rates, these roadblocks shoo away your email subscribers.

Let’s analyze these roadblocks in more detail and look for some solutions you can execute immediately.

Understanding your email conversion rate

In order to boost your email marketing conversion rates, you must know to define it as a process.

What is email conversion rate?

In short, email conversion rate is the percentage of readers who open your emails and take the desired action. It’s a metric that marketers use to estimate the effectiveness of their marketing materials.

Calculating the email conversion rate. Noting down your email metrics is important to optimize your content and avoid mistakes that hurt your conversions. This simple formula helps you calculate what your conversion rate is at the moment:

Source: Instapage

Experts say that the average email conversion rate reached its best during 2018 when marketers were receiving email marketing conversion rates around 19%, which didn’t last long for years to come. There has been a decrease during 2021 in the big picture, but this has been due to the market being overcrowded with inexperienced marketers.

Email still works for those who know how to reap its power, but what steps can you take to boost those numbers up?

Improving your email conversion rate

You may want to go an extra mile with email content sometimes, but it might hurt your conversion rates, instead of increasing them. See, people love simplicity. Way too many colors and illustrations distract them, and the loading speed could be affected. A second could determine whether they’re scrolling until they reach the first CTA, or bouncing off.

This deserves an entire article in itself, but the short version is:

  • Start off with a catchy subject line that speaks to the audience you’ve carefully segmented in your lists.
  • Then, personalize your emails by using your distinctive brand voice, and simplifying your message whilst avoiding too many colors and complicated graphics in it.

Roadblocks that affect email marketing conversion rates

As promised in the beginning, here are some of the most common roadblocks that make customers’ pockets bulletproof from your offers. Follow along and try to notice what is missing from your campaigns that you could start implementing right after reading this article.

1. Lack of promotional emails

It’s true that nurturing a relationship with your audience comes first, but if you’re too shy to promote yourself, customers won’t ask. Actually, 49% of them have claimed to like receiving promotional emails on a weekly basis.


The best way to send promotional emails without being spammy:

  • Go beyond the discount. Knowing the nature of your buyers, try to touch trigger points other than just sending out an “-30 OFF!” email. Tailor your emails with local or international events, news, or the latest trends your audience is affected by.
  • Target your offers. Send offers that match your ideal customer’s avatar. Emailing a brochure about roof tiles to kitchenware sellers is not a reasonable thing to do, even though they both belong to the home improvement field.
  • Experiment with formats. Keep your visuals aligned with your brand image, but don’t hesitate to experiment with new text formats, adding GIFs, or catchy designs to your emails. Even changing the font could give you a better email conversion rate. It’s all about what attracts the audience!
  • Craft compelling subject lines. Subject lines must be inviting, captivating, personalized, and funny! That one line determines whether your email will be clicked or ignored. Readers have one fraction of a second to decide whether you’re worthy of their time.

Here’s an example of a great promotional email from MOO with the subject line: Need a new look? Just add foil.

Source: Moosend

2. Poor open rates, poor CTA’s

If your subject line was cool enough people opened your email, but what’s next? Your prospect follows the trail to the CTA, but before that let’s assume you fail on crafting these two, and your email conversion rates plummet. What would be some of the steps to enrich your poor open rates and CTA’s?

Poor open rates aren’t on you to blame every time they happen. It could be the fault of an old email list.

Your prospects could as well have created new accounts and you keep blaming your email structure or content for nothing. But when this is not the case, there are some times for better open rates and stronger CTAs that get clicked, resulting in higher email conversion rates.


  • Measuring CTA’s and open rates success. The improvement formula to increase your email conversion rates lives within your open rate and CTR statistics, nothing more. Keep track of each successful or unsuccessful email you send out. Then, use that data to determine what element of your emails was different in emails that worked? Keep using it.
  • CTA testing. If you’re not testing, money’s left quietly resting. And primarily you must focus on testing different CTA’s. Go with a small fraction of your email list before emailing your entire list. Little by little you’ll understand your audience’s behavior, and know what works and what doesn’t.
  • Subject line testing. Together with CTAs, your subject lines require testing a few times until you’ve crafted the one that skyrockets your open rates, thus increasing your average email conversion rate. Try A/B testing with several alternatives to a small fraction of your list (just as with CTAs) before emailing all your subscribers.

3. Bad mobile responsiveness lowers conversions

Data shows that unless your emails are properly optimized for mobile devices, they’ll be deleted without a second thought from 72% of people.

This hurts your email conversion rates significantly because they won’t click anywhere unless they read your emails!


  • One column Layouts. Instead of distracting your readers by forcing them to shift attention in different directions, maintain a single-column layout easily readable from both desktop and mobile devices. The content will flow smoothly, and users will have an outstanding experience so good they can’t help but click your CTAs.
  • Your CTAs must stay “above the fold.” This term coming from the journalism world means putting your CTA at an obvious section of the email. If readers need to scroll long to find your CTA, they may never click it!
  • Don’t clutter it with hyperlinks. By placing many hyperlinks in an email you’ll drive your customer out of your email without reaching the CTA. Also, hyperlinks are hard to click and easy to confuse from a mobile device. Better place buttons.

Here is an example of an email design with good and bad mobile responsiveness:

Source: Campaign Monitor

4. Segmentation and personalization not done right

We’ve all received those awkward emails written in a boring formal tone, that don’t speak to our needs. Your emails should be like that if you want higher email conversion rates. Brands who send emails without personalization, or clear segmentation of their audience based on demographics, buyer persona, occupation, or income will have lower average conversion rates.

Source: Upland Software


  • Fuel campaigns with data. Collect as much data about your targeted audience, because it helps to create options for segmentation of your email list. Make sure your signup forms aren’t boring and reap as many details about your customers as possible. Use different methods to gather data: organize contents and send coupons to winners, create surveys and quizzes.
  • Determine your segmentation criteria. With the help of data you’ve gathered, create segmented lists of your audience based on demographics, customers’ phase in buying journey, or pre. For example, Buzzfeed sends highly personalized emails to its email subscribers after they’ve read articles on a topic.
  • Don’t steer away from the customer journey. Keep the customer journey in mind for your subscribers otherwise you’ll end up promoting yourself too soon or too late. Segment your audience based on this metric, and your emails will be more effective.

Here’s an example of good personalization tips you should be implementing in your email:

Source: Zembula

5. Forgetting to clean your email list

Your email list starts losing activity by 20-30% within one year. Hence, you must be cleaning your list frequently if you want to increase the average conversion rates. Removing subscribers who add nothing to your list because they’re inactive keeps the list clean and gives you meaningful insights.


  • Send re-engagement emails. When your customers aren’t taking action through your emails, it may not be because they’re not interested in your offer, but because you’ve promoted yourself so much, you’ve become boring. This is also commonly known as a ‘Win-Back” email. You’re essentially winning back their engagement, click and sales.

Here’s an example of a win-back email from Bakerista.

Source: OptinMonster

Your list needs more engagement, and good content remains the key. Craft some luring offers, send gifts, surveys, access to exclusive content, or simply ask questions that encourage replies.

  • Facilitate unsubscribing as a process. Recently, some platforms require you to add an unsubscribe button at the end of your email. Some don’t but when you think about it, giving your subscribers the chance to unsubscribe whenever they want it’s to your benefit.

This means someone who’s annoyed by your emails and has no interest anymore, could simply jump off your list in a click, leaving space to interested subscribers.

Put your unsubscribe link at an obvious part of your emails, and don’t make the unsubscribing process confusing.

  • Use marketing automation. Having a big email list makes cleaning it difficult, therefore, using automation not only saves you time but also makes it way more precise.

Through automation, you could easily clean your list from inactive old emails, or users who bounce off immediately after the first seconds of opening your email. Set up rules that do this automatically for you.

6. Not using the right email marketing software

All we spoke about so far can get boring and overwhelming over time. Especially, when your email lists are considerably long and segmenting, personalization and automation become difficult. Is there a way to facilitate the entire process? Sure there is.

You need a system that helps to keep your inbox from getting cluttered with spam, saving you time and energy, and allows you to track emails easily, and with zero stress. This can be an email client or email marketing software.


This is when email marketing software comes to play. An email client helps you collect and segment emails into ready-made lists, and prepare them for your campaigns right after customers fill the form.

The same way designing a simple button makes a difference, how you manage your email marketing campaigns makes a difference as well. Given the chance to easily segment your audience, personalize your emails, and unify emails from different platforms into one, increasing your average email conversion rate comes naturally.

Here are a few email marketing software tools you can use, test and experiment with for your next email campaign to help with conversions: Mailshake, MailChimp, or Get Response.


Selling on the internet is always about refining your marketing, and especially email marketing skills. There is always space for improvement regardless of how far you think you’ve gone.

Emails resemble the oldie but goldie letters written to a friend. Keep the process of the same quality. Put the same effort, and you’ll nurture quality-based relationships.

Your ideal customers are waiting out there for your beautiful website to capture their attention, convince them to visit it and give you their email before leaving.

Put the above solutions in use, and skyrocket your email conversion rates.

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