They are silent, not very obvious. And not seen by the untrained eye. Your gut says everything is all right and you get results and sales from your emails. Your design even looks great!

But it takes more than a fantastic starting point to reach the finish line of conversion. Here are some of those “silent conversion killers” you wouldn’t spot at first glance.

Presenting false choice

Want people to make a choice? Yes? Are you sure? Really? I can’t change your mind?

Offering too many choices can be confusing for your client. You want your email newsletter to be focused. Limit offering choices if possible. And, if you must, keep them simple. Choice might sound great, but the old paradigm “Don’t make me think” is still true for many forms of online marketing.

Often choices presented in an email are false anyway.

Different versions of a product are presented, a low, middle and high-end option, each with its own call to action. You click and end up on the same landing page for all three options. Why not simplify it and present one very strong call to action?

An online bookstore found that category links and offers (thriller, romance, science fiction) worked better in most cases. It might just be that presenting extra (false) choices as equal lost email conversions and sales. Is this your silent conversion killer?

Losing the crowd in favor of engagement

The biggest and very silent conversion killer might just be something quite different than you would expect. If you have been emailing for a while, you will see that email engagement will go down over time. I bet many companies don’t realize that much of the decrease in email marketing engagement is due to a misinterpretation of the subscriber base and its needs.

You are trying to get more opens, so you think up a more popular email. That works well for a part of the email database, but for another it totally doesn’t. Looking at the average email statistics you are doing well, but you are choosing engagement of the most engaged in favor of the less engaged every time. In which of those two lies the biggest potential for growth?

Skipping a step

Imagine this: An email comes into your inbox, you see a great offer for a vacation or a seminar or a product. Whatever. Are you going to click “Buy Now” and directly buy it? Although some products are bought on impulse, often the reader isn’t ready to buy directly from the email just yet. You are skipping a step on your email conversion staircase. So be smart and put a smaller “or get more info” link next to a big “Buy Now” button or replace the call to action altogether.

Selling too soon can be one of those silent conversion killers. I do believe in fixing by testing, so run a test with different CTAs. Although the loudest conversion killer is, of course, not selling at all.

Well prepared, but not bringing in the gold

Good preparation is key to crafting a killer email. This is why professional email marketers (should) use an email marketing checklist every time they send a newsletter or promotional email. Every message has to be checked for mistakes, of course. But even more important to check: Is it doing what it should be doing? Both in terms of direct sales AND in the bigger picture of your marketing strategy.

The initial reason why a company started to do email can be gradually replaced by the hunt for opens and clicks. The email seems fine on the outside but, if it doesn’t deliver, you may need to go back one step and rethink your email tactics.

Spotting your conversion bottleneck

It seems easy to change, say, an unattractive button or the way products are displayed. But it is hard to spot the silent conversion killers with just a superficial look at your emails. Where is your conversion bottleneck? Is it in the end game, on your landing page, in the email itself? Maybe it is even in the proposition. It takes a thorough analysis.

So don’t fall for the last and very silent conversion killer: a failure to review your email program periodically.

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