All companies go through marketing challenges. Knowing how to address those obstacles is crucial to overcoming them. When you’re in the thick of difficult times, it’s not always easy to decide what to do. Here are five common struggles and — more importantly — how to tackle them: 

1. Low Email Open Rates

Email marketing is a frequently utilized method of reaching out to customers. However, it falls short if those recipients don’t open the messages. The average open rates vary by industry. Luckily, there are several things you can do to increase the chances of people reading the material instead of ignoring it. 

Research indicated that 58% of people open messages with deals or discounts in the subject lines. Moreover, the majority (53%) said they always or usually open emails containing product information. 

What you send after people purchase things also matters. The study’s results showed that more than 63% of people appreciate getting messages containing perks they could apply to future orders. 

Keep these things in mind when choosing purposeful tactics to boost open rates. Explore how your emails can offer the information that most people genuinely want to read. Write catchy, appealing subject lines that speak to often-expressed needs and desires. 

Take care not to send messages too often. The goal is to engage with people frequently enough to cause brand recall but not overwhelm or annoy them. 

2. Trouble Attracting Customers

Data from Statista shows that attracting customers was the top challenge faced by small and medium United States enterprises in 2019. More than 40% of respondents ranked it as their number-one problem. If you’re facing that obstacle too, there’s help available.

Start by ensuring all your customer-facing employees understand the business and the questions people will likely ask about it. If potential customers feel that the employees they interacted with seemed ill-informed or lacked confidence, they may lose interest. 

Partnering with a complementing business can also be a smart way to expand your customer base, provided the pairing makes sense. Take the time to ponder which other companies best align with yours, and don’t be afraid to think creatively. 

Perhaps your company specializes in gourmet heat-and-eat meals. You typically sell to people who buy them for gifts or to help older family members who dislike cooking or can’t do it safely. In that situation, consider teaming up with a company that offers upscale chocolates or fresh flowers. Those extras could accompany the food while promoting that business and making your offering more appealing. 

Offering a free trial is another effective way to entice potential customers. Many don’t want to buy or sign up for something without knowing what to expect. Letting them evaluate your product or service before making a longer commitment reduces the risk of trying something new. 

3. Insufficient Relevance

When polled by analysts at Gartner, marketing leaders cited keeping the brand relevant as their second-hardest marketing challenge. Staying aware of your competition is an excellent way to increase relevance. What do other companies in your space do to ensure they remain as top-of-mind options among the target audience?

If you have a brick-and-mortar or in-person-sales business, create a competitor map to give yourself a visual reference. Identify the location-based elements that could make people more likely to choose other places over your company. Importing internal customer data during your map-building process could highlight valuable clues. 

Perhaps it’s easier for customers to reach or get service from salespersons by doing business with competing companies. If so, they may conclude it makes more sense to choose those enterprises. Figure out what you can control to appeal to that customer segment. 

Moving to another location is probably not a feasible, immediate solution. However, you could go above and beyond with service to show that you want people’s business or adjust your pricing and cater to cost-conscious individuals or companies.

The lack of relevance could also extend to customers’ perceptions. If they think your product is not for “people like them” or that it will not meet their needs, they probably won’t give your company a chance. Adjust your messaging so it speaks confidently to the segments you want to serve and highlights how what you offer stands out from other solutions. 

4. Customer Retention Difficulties

Although some customer loyalty aspects lie outside of your control, there are others your company can influence. Measuring customer satisfaction lets you know if current methods work or if there is substantial room for improvement. 

One tried-and-true method is to create polls that ask your customers what they liked and disliked about their experiences with your company. When customers leave your company — or threaten to do business elsewhere — get to the heart of their dissatisfaction. Ask where you went wrong and if there’s anything that could make it right. 

A 2019 survey found that product quality and value for money were the top two factors that keep customers loyal most often — cited by 74% and 66% of people, respectively. Those aspects are excellent starting points, and you can make progress with them even before asking people what they think. Start by investigating whether you could do anything to enhance product quality, value or both.

If you’re already performing highly in both of them, reassess your marketing materials to determine how to draw more attention to those aspects and remind people of your selling points. 

Do you offer a money-back guarantee or a five-year warranty on your product? Those things show that you stand behind it as a high-quality item. Concerning the value for money, focus on things like versatility, longevity or your competitive prices to encourage people to stick around. 

5. Disappointing Ad Click-Through Rates

The click-through rate (CTR) measures the ratio of users who click on ads or other content after seeing them. If your company has a low CTR, that means a sizeable percentage of people who see your advertisements don’t view them as interesting enough to investigate further. 

Low CTRs for ads are a frequent issue for marketers. Research suggests personalization could be a crucial ingredient for overcoming it. 

A July 2020 survey from Innovid revealed that 41% of people would click on ads for events that interest them. Moreover, 38% would do so if the ads showed offers for products that previously caught their attention.

As you look over your ad budget and plans for the next few months, consider doing some in-depth audience research first. Creating more generic ads may make sense at first because it seems like you’re casting a wider net. However, as the above statistics show, the likelihood of people clicking on ads rises when the content relates to them or their interests.

Act Purposefully to Get Results

Marketing difficulties are frustrating, but they aren’t insurmountable. You’re probably dealing with at least one of these issues right now. If not, you can realistically expect to at some point. 

It’s understandable to feel upset, but always remember that your actions can steer what happens to your business next. Apply these strategies to get back on track and put your business in a position for sustained success.

About the Author: Lexie Lu is a freelance designer and writer. She enjoys researching the latest design trends and always has a cup of coffee nearby. She manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.