Win a ticket to MarketingSherpa’s Email Summit 2012 in Las Vegas

The MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2012 – the world’s largest vendor-agnostic email marketing event – is coming to Las Vegas on February 7-10, 2012, and you have a chance to win a free ticket. When you leave a comment telling us your biggest challenge in email marketing, you are automatically entered into a random drawing for a free ticket.

We will randomly draw the winning ticket and notify the winner by email on Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

With a full slate of sessions packed with valuable training and research, the 2012 summit will be held at the spectacular Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino. Take advantage of this special ticket giveaway from The eMail Guide.

What is your biggest email marketing challenge? Leave a comment now for your chance to win!

MarketingSherpa Winner

Meet the author:

Jeff Ginsberg

Jeff Ginsberg

20+ year email marketing veteran who wants to help NewBees BEEcome eMail Marketing Ninjas. Want to contribute to our blog? We are always looking for eMail Marketing Ninjas to come share their knowledge and help NewBees create and send better eMail messages.

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  • Andy Shore
    October 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    My biggest challenge to email marketing is not having a ticket to the MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2011 in Las Vegas…

    Really, I think the biggest challenge is noise, ie figuring out what I’m doing to stand out in a crowded inbox. My favorite solution to this is coming up with goofy email campaigns based on obscure holidays.

  • Melissa Barnes
    October 5, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Declining open rates are my biggest challenge! Pick me I really want to go to MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2011

    • Chief eMail Officer
      October 6, 2011 at 11:22 am

      Declining open rates can be cured with testing.

      Test your subject lines, test your send times.

      Asking your subscribers what they want will help to. Deliver the content they desire will surely boost your open rates.

  • Sharon Mostyn
    October 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    My biggest email marketing challenge is time! Finding time to develop content that is timely and relevant and then sending it so that the timing is right and the appropriate message gets to the right person at the just the moment they’re looking for my products and services.

    • Chief eMail Officer
      October 6, 2011 at 11:18 am

      Time is a huge constraint. We struggle with that all the time. (did I just say that) Sometimes it’s even hard picking the priorities.

  • Katie
    October 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Managing traffic so that our audience doesn’t get overloaded with communications is my biggest challenge. I’m always working to remind my colleagues that just because a particular area of an organization didn’t email someone that day doesn’t mean that the audience member didn’t receive something from another area of our organization–and the recipient sees it all as from the one big organization, no matter which office/area originates the communication.

    • Chief eMail Officer
      October 6, 2011 at 11:20 am

      Have you considered a preference centre with frequency controls?

  • P.H. Benjamin Lohnes
    October 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    My biggest email marketing challenge is that we want to move into more segmented, targeted, dynamic email marketing. Scaling this without having to hire a legion of QA, Copy, and Design resources is a major challenge. My company sells cruise product for almost 40 different brands and each one has to be unique.

    • Chief eMail Officer
      October 7, 2011 at 11:16 am

      Is it possible to start out small with one or two segments and move on from their? Also there might be similar segments that can be duplicated to other database without additional resources. Happy to have a closer look if you would like some help.

  • Tim Roman
    October 7, 2011 at 11:46 am

    My biggest challenge is acquiring new subscribers. You can never have enough of them!

    • Chief eMail Officer
      October 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      With the price of Google Adwords being out the roof you should advertise in The eMail Guide. We will send you lots of new customers 🙂

  • Anna K Amendolare
    October 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Cutting through the clutter! Creating timely, relevant awe-inspiring emails that get opened!

    • Chief eMail Officer
      October 15, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Anna…

      You have 3 big challenges on your hands.

      I think if you start at awe-inspiring then the other two items (opens and relevant) will start to fall into place.

  • Jeff Miller
    October 13, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Our biggest challenge is trying to sell the client and our internal market team on the value of email. It is constantly an afterthought and heavily underutilized. We have to fight for concise CTA’s and social integration. I would love to take more advantage of the platform rather than repurpose existing marketing material for email. We’ve had some recent success and believe the tide is turning.

  • Erika Roe
    October 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I think my biggest challenge right now is explaining to colleges, and newbies to email, that you can’t just re-gurgitate (sp?) what you did in the direct mail piece and that email isn’t free or advertising. It’s turning into my pet peeve. Not everyone reads all their email I’m sure.
    But as a university, I think we do a pretty good job of keeping everyone’s information up to date including their email address for the most part, because people seem to change their email a lot. We have a pretty high deliverability rating as a result.
    My wish is that we could implement a permission-based email marketing system where the alums could let us know what kind of email they’d like to receive, when they give us their email address, or update it in our online alumni directory. But this would require me to jump through almost a dozen (or more, between our 15 colleges and foundations) hoops.

    • Chief eMail Officer
      October 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      Hey Erica thanks for the insight.

      You need to find the HIPPO (highest paid persons opinion) and sell them on what you want to do. Inevitably if they buy in they will make your dreams their mandate thus pushing what you want from the top down.

      Never easy but very rewarding.

  • Lisa Cannon
    October 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    My biggest email marketing challenge is demonstrating the ROI of email campaigns that don’t actually sell anything. Our e-newsletter is intended to keep members engaged and to drive traffic to our site. But we don’t put a dollar amount on the number of articles read, videos watched, or features used. I think if I could demonstrate the value of this traffic in terms of cold, hard cash, I would be able to get the resources I need to do things like using dynamic content to target recipients based on their content preferences. Getting the budget for tools and resources is a struggle.

    • Chief eMail Officer
      November 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      This can be a big challenge. Are you tracking inbound traffic via Google Analytics or some other web tracking software?

      I would also think Open to Click ratios would be a great benchmark.

      Let me know.

  • Kenneth
    October 28, 2011 at 12:42 am

    The biggest email marketing challenge for me is being consistent with my response. I avoid using automated responses since it discouraged a lot of prospects. I hope I win. There is still so much to learn about email marketing.

    • Chief eMail Officer
      November 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      Hey Kenneth…

      Not really sure what you mean when you say “consistent with my response or automated responses” .

      Happy to discuss in detail whenever you like.

  • Anna K Amendolare
    November 7, 2011 at 11:11 am

    My biggest challenge is email deliverability.

    • Chief eMail Officer
      November 10, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      This should be the least of any email marketers challenge. What software do you use to send your messages with and have you had a 3rd party deliverable audit?

  • Matt Rude
    November 10, 2011 at 10:00 am

    My biggest challenge is balance. How to you manager relevancy, engagement, ISP reputation while still striving for brand awareness and large scale subscriber contact.

    • Chief eMail Officer
      November 10, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      Hey Matt…

      Not even sure where to start with this.

      Happy to have a virtual coffee to discuss :o)

  • Bram Van Daele
    November 10, 2011 at 11:11 am

    My single biggest challenge in email marketing i staying 1 step in front of Email Marketing Evolution !

    • Chief eMail Officer
      November 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      Bram I think this is one of the biggest challenges we all face. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ben Speelman
    November 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    The largest challenge I face is managing increasingly numerous segments. The program I manage is geared at musicians, but as each segment of musicians grows, I find I am having to expand the segmentation even further.

    • Chief eMail Officer
      November 17, 2011 at 6:45 am

      Do you have a good technology solution in place to manage these or do you build your segments outside of your email delivery tool?

  • Tara Rotenberry
    November 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I am in the auto industry and as a whole, it is pretty much stuck. Our internal customers don’t really know how to use email. They use it more as a tool for a last minute thing to bring in some revenue instead of an actual program to retain customers and create loyalty. Trying to create something that is not cheesy, but engaging and compliant with all of the manufactuer requirements is also a major challenge. I’m am the lone email marketing in the company so I sometimes feel like I will never be heard…lol.

    • Chief eMail Officer
      November 17, 2011 at 6:43 am

      The auto industry is very antiquated in their email marketing skills. I don’t think your problem is unique.

      What you need to consider is how to get buy-in from the HIPPO (highest paid persons opinion). Using some industry research to prove your point along with baby step campaigns would be a good start.

      BTW…I think one of the biggest wins for anyone int the auto industry is to use email for service reminders and lease renewal notices. (that’s a no brainer)

  • Rasmus
    November 21, 2011 at 4:32 am


    My challenges are multifaceted;

    1. Email distribution within the organization is not coherent, i.e. different departments all distribute emails to customers, leads and accounts from different service providers and it’s friction involved in figuring out who actually received what.

    2. I believe that frequency should be adaptive, i.e. depend on either user preference or user behavior, I have yet to implement logic for this (I use mailchimp) but really look forward to learning more about best practices.

    3. List building (this is and will always remain the main impediment to growth! 🙂

    • Chief eMail Officer
      December 24, 2011 at 8:38 am

      Wow…issue number 1 using different service providers is a big issue that needs to be resolved ASAP.

      Having more than one solution in the organization leads to huge problems with whitelisting and potentially delivery.

      As for building in frequency preference logic, not really sure that’s going to be solved with your current ESP.

      #3 we all struggle with list growth. It’s all part of the game.

  • Jun
    November 23, 2011 at 9:14 am

    My biggest challenge to email marketing is having to start one. This also applies for most of the things I do. But once, I get past that part it all becomes an adventure as the ideas just keep pouring in.

  • Sam Gaddis
    November 25, 2011 at 12:24 am

    The biggest challenge we face is proper segmentation across consistent dimensions. For instance, getting everyone (including the sales team) to think along the same lines about what constitutes a sales-ready versus a nurturing lead is a huge barrier to our ability to adopt a sophisticated email methodology.

    • Chief eMail Officer
      December 24, 2011 at 8:31 am

      Why doesn’t everyone agree to what sales ready is versus a lead that needs to be nurtured?

  • Tabitha Shafer
    December 1, 2011 at 11:10 am

    My biggest challenge is list growth and maintaining a consistent open rate. I know testing is the best route for open rate, but sometimes I just don’t have enough time or frequency.

    • Chief eMail Officer
      December 24, 2011 at 8:29 am

      Sounds like the challenge is time and frequency. Without these two elements most email programs will suffer.

  • Olga
    December 7, 2011 at 5:05 am

    I believe the biggest challenge is to find the biggest challenge. Really.
    Open rates? Important!
    CTR? Very important!
    Being there for your customers with the right e-mail at the right time – extremely important!
    The biggest challenge is to combine all that in right proportions)

    • Chief eMail Officer
      December 24, 2011 at 8:27 am

      Very true…

      You mention opens rate and click through rate….what about conversion rate?

      I also liked that you mentioned “Being there for your customers with the right e-mail at the right time”

  • Nick
    December 14, 2011 at 11:14 am

    My biggest challenges seem to go back to segmentation. There is so much customer data out there, finding the best way to leverage CRM systems and really find the sticking points for our brand messaging and product offering with consumers.

    • Chief eMail Officer
      December 24, 2011 at 8:24 am

      Rather than guessing what your customer wants out of your newsletter program, have you asked them what they want?

      Knowing what’s important to them will go a long way when marrying up your CRM data.

  • CynthiaB
    December 14, 2011 at 11:45 am

    My biggest challenge is to take a company that was stuck in the 20th century into the 21th century marketing-wise!

  • Vindegarde
    December 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    My biggest challenge is inbox deliverability. We use one of the biggest and best ESP companies to deploy our clients’ email and Return Path to monitor inbox delivery. We often have very limited control of our client’s email creative. What’s consistent is that poor subject lines, creative, coding and content undermine consumer engagement and therefore performance. We have seen too many of our clients and their creative agencies show a lack of email expertise, even after all these years!

    Once Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo deems your IP as a sender of low engagement emails, it’s a long haul to improve otherwise. This means you have to be ruthless in culling inactive emails and telling your clients that the email they want to send will not meet expectations.

  • Matt B.
    December 19, 2011 at 9:34 am

    My company’s biggest email marketing challenge is increasing user engagement with our emails. We are a large company with a fairly specific audience, but we find it difficult to reach them all on a personal level. Much of this is a manpower issue. We don’t have enough people to generate the content and designs necessary for intensely segmented emails, as well as enough time/manpower to create and test a variety of different content/layout/segmentation options. We have grown really quickly in terms of our audience reach, but we are still a very small team.

    On the other hand, I will also say that maybe our biggest challenge is not having the resources for me to attend this event without winning a free ticket. 🙂 Non-attendance at the Email Summit is a pretty big challenge!

    • Chief eMail Officer
      December 24, 2011 at 8:21 am

      LOL…non attending is a big challenge. Even if you don’t win, buy a ticket and head to Vegas.

      As for your first challenge, have you thought about breaking your message down into smaller content pieces. Rather than sending everyone several articles or bits of information, try sending each one less, with a more personalized message.

  • Ksenia
    December 20, 2011 at 4:19 am

    My biggest challenge in email marketing is the never-ending research of what works best and why.

    This ‘trial-and-error science’ is so dynamic that past statistics is no more enough to make smart decisions. You have to challenge your gut feelings for ‘what is right’ at this very moment, go for changes and never stop testing!

    • Chief eMail Officer
      December 24, 2011 at 8:16 am

      Great point….sometimes it’s good to build out a testing calendar. Kind of like an editorial calendar it will help you keep your test organized and on track.

      I also like look my reports by testing segment. It give a great visual reference as to your peaks and valleys.

  • Red Hunt
    December 22, 2011 at 5:00 am

    The biggest challenge I’ve had the past couple of years of making email marketing an integrated part of overall digital messaging and web content. I’m talking about having instant gratification links within the messages for sharing on social media or allowing others to add part of an email message to their blog.

    Beyond the simple ‘like’ of an email newsletter or ‘tweet’ to a link of an email in it’s entirety. If you like story B in my email, I want you to be able to tweet that story, in itself, to your followers. The ability to slice and dice parts of an email from your inbox to other web locations is what I want.

  • John Kavaliauskas
    January 2, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Relevancy and deliverability are our top two.

  • Dave Hendricks
    January 2, 2012 at 10:26 am

    My biggest challenge is getting publishers to learn how they can make money – just like retailers – by sending email. Publishers and ESPs have been out of Alignment and our challenge is now to bring them together to work as a team to provide great content to readers while still making money. People open publisher email to get news, just like they read magazines and newspapers, but the difference is that publishers make money on their print products. Our challenge is teaching them how to make money in this medium. We know how to do it, we just need them to let us show them how.

  • Tony Scott
    January 10, 2012 at 4:01 am

    I have a problem with my subscribers. It seems that I have a hard time to get them to sign up with me. What do you think is the best solution?

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