Email Marketing

Email Marketing Can Be Very Effective for Business

Man with newspaper using laptop in kitchen
Email marketing reaching its target.. Astronaut Images / Getty Images


Basically email marketing is the use of email to promote products and/or services. But a better definition of email marketing definition is the use of email to develop relationships with potential customers and/or clients. Email marketing is one segment of internet marketing, which encompasses online marketing via websites, social media, blogs, etc.

Much of the spam email we all get proclaiming 'deals' on this and that is a good example of email marketing at its worst; the mindless email barrage.

Someone somewhere buys an email list (or several!) and sends an email along the lines of “Get ___________ (the product name) for only $_____! (the amount) to everyone on the list – sometimes repeatedly. All this does is annoy everyone and give email marketing a bad name.

At its best, email marketing allows businesses to keep their customers informed and tailor their marketing messages to their customers.

Email Marketing Can Be Personalized

Particular groups of customers can be targeted or even individuals. Offering individual customers special deals on merchandise and/or services on the customer's birthday, for instance, is one example of email marketing personalization (a restaurant in my town sends an email to customers on their birthday, offering 50% off an entree). Email marketing helps a business develop and maintain a relationship with a customer over time that hopefully results in increased sales and increased customer loyalty.


Email marketing best practices include developing one's own email list rather than buying an email list(s), and making participation in your email list opt-in rather than opt-out (using permission-based email marketing). Email should also be optimized for mobile usage, as according to statistics over half of emails are opened on mobile devices.

The Advantages of Email Marketing

The two big advantages of email marketing are price and ease. Emailing is an inexpensive way to advertise your company and its products and/or services compared to many other types of marketing. It's also extremely easy to set up and track an email marketing campaign, making it a very accessible type of marketing for small businesses.

Newsletters can be sent to the email list you've built from the people who provided the necessary information on your website, for instance, providing these potential customers with news updates about your company, upcoming events and/or special offers – and, of course, reminding them that your business exists and that maybe it's time for another visit.

Email Marketing Is Still Relevant

In an age of increasing usage of Social Media for advertising, email marketing still rules the roost, according to a study conducted by HostPapa:

  • 94% of Internet users use email, while only 61% use social media
  • 75% of adult online users say that email marketing is their preferred marketing method
  • the "opt-in" feature of email allows marketing by consent
  • email marketing allows targeting by demographics (age, income, etc.)
  • email messages have a much wider range of formatting possibilities than social media messages
  • email offers more reporting and analytics capability, such as click-through rates, open rates, bounce rates, and conversions

Ideally, email marketing should go hand-in-hand with social media. Adding social media "Like" or "Share" buttons to your marketing emails gives an additional way for customers to connect with your brand. Snippets of positive reviews from social media fans can be included in emails, and conversely social media postings can be used to encourage fans to subscribe to your email newsletters.

For more on email marketing and other online marketing strategies, see:

Online Marketing: Basic Strategies Any Business Can Use

How to Create a Social Media Plan

Marketing Online: Basic Strategies Any Business Can Use

17 Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses

The 5 Best Ways You Can Leverage LinkedIn to Increase Your Business

7 Tips on How Best to Use Pinterest for Your Business

A Guide to Using Facebook for Business

How to Create a Business Page on Facebook

How to Promote Your Business on Twitter

Also Known As: E-mail marketing, direct email marketing.

Examples: Philippe and Andre were able to increase their retail store's sales by 11 percent by using email marketing.

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