The entire idea behind an email list is simple. You want to sell something. Yes, you want to add value, build your brand, and increase use engagement. But you’re in business and that means you have something to sell.

Derek Halpern, from Social Triggers, says email marketing trumps social media every time. To prove this claim, Halpern sent a sales link to his Twitter followers and the click through rate was 300. Conversely, the same message was sent to his email followers and he received 4200 clicks to his website. Writer Jeff Goins says “email is still the most powerful way to communicate online.”

People check their inbox several times per day, not only on their computers at work but also on their smart phones. If email is so powerful, building a large email list seems to be the answer. Yet what happens when no one is reading your emails or clicking through to your offer?

If you want to increase your sales using the most powerful online communication tool, create a new email strategy and avoid these simple mistakes.

You forgot to ask

Getting someone to click through to your sales offer means they have to read your email. And if you’re not giving them something they want, they won’t even bother reading past the first line.

Danny Ivy, from Mirasee (formerly Firepole Marketing) says that businesses who are serious about engaging with their subscribers take the time to ask what they want to hear. They use surveys to determine what their readers want, then tailor emails to showcase their businesses value. You not only build brand value when you show you’re committed to helping them, but you increase your sales potential as well.  

Unless your subscriber signed up for a specific offer, you have to remember to build a relationship with the people on your list. It’s simply not enough to be friendly and offer them a discount to your latest offer. Remember that your list is made up of actual people, not just numbers. Ask, engage, and share what your unique list wants to hear. Take the guesswork out of the equation and give the people what they want.

You’re not using the right platform

According to a GetResponse study, 41% of all emails are read on a smartphone. And 42% of those readers delete emails that don’t display correctly on their smart phones.

Creating mobile responsive emails seems like a no-brainer. However, only 25% of marketers optimize their email for mobile devices! If you’re not writing mobile responsive emails you’re basically throwing away half of your email list.

Check with your email provider to see if every single email you write is mobile responsive. They will never click through to your offer if they can’t read your email on the device in their hands.

You’re not in the right folder

Everyone loves Gmail. In fact, there are over 900 million Gmail users in the world. With numbers like that, you can bet that many subscribers on your email list use Gmail.

Google created an email system that is supposed to be user friendly. They created primary, social, and promotions tabs and Gmail’s system sorts your email into whatever category they think is best. And you may end up in the promotions tab next to a million spammy emails that your subscriber will never read.

This Gmail system may be great for users, but it’s been called a “legitimate business nightmare” for email marketers. However, there is something you can do to ensure that your subscribers receive your emails as “primary”. Author James Altucher sends the following message to his new subscribers:

If our emails aren’t getting through to you, you will miss these important updates and you won’t receive the full benefit of being a subscriber. So please follow this quick one-step guide to make sure nothing slips through the cracks:

1) If you are a Gmail user or you use any other web-based email that filters broadcasts away from your main inbox, be sure to “drag” any emails from “James Altucher” into your Priority Inbox. (Again, you don’t want to miss something.)

That message helps highlight the Gmail situation in an easy and friendly way. And don’t send blatant sales pitches if you want your existing Gmail subscribers to see your emails.

Read. Click. Buy.

We all know the percentages. More clicks equals more sales. The key is to write exactly what your subscriber wants to hear on a device they are already reading. And they certainly won’t click on your offer if they never see your email.

If email is the communication powerhouse of the internet, you need to create a marketing strategy tailored to ensure you get the most out of every email you send. None of these tips are difficult to implement. Just remember your goal is to get your subscribers to actually read your offer. Give them what they want and watch your click through rates skyrocket.