Why email marketing?

As social media has evolved and become a significant marketing spend, some have come to see email as antiquated and old fashioned.  The fact is email has evolved as well and remains one of the most effective digital marketing channels for many reasons.  Let’s take a look at email’s strengths and reasons why email should be a priority in your marketing mix.

Email is popular

Worldwide email use in 2015 is estimated at 2.6 billion and is projected to grow to over 2.9 billion by 2019. – The Radicati Group (2015)

Most effective digital tactic

  • “Of the various digital marketing tactics available, US digital marketers deem email the most effective for awareness, acquisition, conversion and customer retention.” – Gigaom
  • A global survey concluded that email was rated the “top channel by ROI“, above SEO and content marketing. – Marketingcharts.com via Econsultancy


A huge strength and advantage of email is the ability to personalize your messaging based on what you know about your customer.  The opportunity is a one on one relationship with your customers; something that you cannot achieve via the generic posts and updates via social marketing.

  • Personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates, but 70% of brands fail to use them. – Marketing Land
  • Personalized emails improve clickthrough rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%. – Aberdeen

Customer acquisition

  • “Email is almost 40x better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter.” – McKinsey & Company (2014)
  • 42% of b2b marketers cite “email as one of their most effective lead generation channels when targeting new customers.” – Circle Research

Great way to reach mobile customers

  • Email is the number one most popular activity on a smartphone.- emailmonday
  • 53% of emails are opened on mobile and this trend will only continue. – litmus
  • “On average, 42% of retailers’ email opens now happen on smartphones.” – Forrester
Justuno Widget

What do I need to get started?

Now that you’ve decided to welcome email marketing into your life, here are some basic things you’ll need in order to get started:

Mailing list

You need a list of customers to email.  You will want to review the rules which govern the messaging you send.  The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 establishes standards and rules for the sending of commercial email and defines penalties for violating these rules.

ESP – Email Service Provider

An ESP is what you’ll use to manage your customer list and send your email.  This will be your MailChimp, Constant Contact, Get Response, etc.

EPSs can be self serve or agency style, with a wide gamut of offerings and service levels. There are literally over 300+ ESPS available for you to choose from.

Smaller to medium sized businesses will be looking at something like a MailChimp or Constant Contact, while larger companies might use something like the Salesforce Marketing Cloud or Oracle Marketing Cloud.

Campaign Strategy

Once you’re setup to send emails, you’ll need a plan.  This includes defining your goals and implementing execution.  What do you want to achieve, and how will you do it.

Do you need to increase sales, get more data on your customers, or perhaps you want to increase attendance at company events.  Your goals could be any number of things.

Your goals will dictate your execution.  This includes the type of messaging you send, how you segment your audience, how often you send messages, and when you send.

Check out Marketo’s 10 Tips for Successful Email Marketing Campaigns and Vero’s Your First Email Campaign Strategy

KPIs and Analytics

Once you define your campaign strategy, you’ll need to know if it’s working and what effect it’s having.  This is when Key Performance Indicators and Analytics will provide you with valuable insight.

Various ESPs will have this baked into their platform or they will allow integration with third party tools.  Defining your KPIs and being able to measure them is critical in order to optimize your campaign execution.

Check out 7 Crucial KPIs for Email Marketing  – Practical Ecommerce

What do I send?

So you’re all set up to send email.  Now what?  Depending on your company goals and the nature of your product, service or industry, this will vary.  However, there are some basic types of emails you should be familiar with. Here is a short list:

Welcome email

Just like the beginning of any relationship, you want to get acquainted with your subscriber and set the tone for future communication.  This is where you set expectations and indicate that you will be attentive and responsive.  Your subscriber is welcoming you into their inbox and you must show your respect and appreciation.


This will be one of the most popular forms of email you will send as a marketer.  In essence a promotional email is meant to communicate a message about the good or service your company is promoting.  This can include new products, sales, special offers, etc.  These should be short and sweet.


A newsletter’s purpose is to inform customers of any company news, keep your brand top of mind and build a relationship with your customers. Sent monthly, bi-monthly or annually newsletters build loyalty and engagement.

Triggered Emails

Triggered emails can encompass different types of emails including promotional, transactional, activation, cart-abandonment, etc.  These are emails that are sent when triggered by user actions. Some examples below:

  • welcome
  • thank you
  • transactional: receipt, order confirmation
  • activation
  • post purchase: survey, product review
  • up sell/cross-promotional, product recommendation
  • data triggered: re-order, birthday email
  • shopping cart abandonment

These are just a few emails you might want to include in your marketing strategy. Check out the following articles for additional ideas: The 9 Emails Your Business Should Be Sending – Vertical Response and How Mature Is Your Email-Marketing Program? 14 Types of Emails to Help Boost ROI – Fulcrum Tech.

“…in order to take advantage of the continued expansion of email and mobile usage around the world, it’s time to make absolutely sure that your email communications are personal, relevant, and highly targeted.” – Business to Community

Email Resources and Guidance

Looking for more information? There are tons of great resources available.  Here are just a few blogs to get you started: