Marketers have a tough enough time getting into the inbox of the right customers at the right time. The last they need is to make it tough for customers who receive those emails to take action. But this is too often the case. More than one in 10 emails from major brands and marketers contain at least one faulty feature, according to a new study by Innovyx Inc. Additionally, 9% of emails read on mobile phones and tablets contain one or more broken links, and more than 5% of emails contain a broken image.
The email and digital messaging agency analyzed more than 5,000 marketing emails and found that more than 11% of all marketing emails had one or more broken links. Innovyx primarily reviewed emails that were sent as part of a loyalty program or customer lifecycle series during May and June 2013.
“We received an email from a major brand the other day with a welcome message with one key graphic [that read]—‘Everything is Guaranteed, Period’—but the link didn’t work,” says Derek Harding, CEO of Innovyx. “What does that say about their guarantee? What does this say about that brand? Clearly, the impact [for marketers] is if you send out a marketing campaign and a link doesn’t work, you’re not going to get a response.”
Harding and Dominic Symes, chief external officer of Innovyx, both say that marketers must have such items as a rigorous quality control process and email monitoring tools to make sure their campaigns are fault-free. Marketers who don’t take measures to ensure message quality could see the consequences as a drop in marketing performance or sales results.
“More and more people are using and clearing emails on their mobile devices, but they may go back to their laptop or desktop afterwards,” Symes says. “If they see usability problems—something along the lines of a website not optimized for mobile—that’s the brands image in the recipient’s mind. [That leads to] association and maybe after the third time it happens it’s going to turn off the customer for a long period of time.”
Harding says that typically, agencies spend too much time on development and not enough time on the front end of deployment and execution of email campaigns.
“Time and time again [marketers and their agency partners] spend too much time on upend stuff,” Harding says. ”If you’re calling on people to look at your products, and they cannot, your sales are going to go down. If your email doesn’t work, looks poorly, and is unreadable, then [customers are] going to unsubscribe.”