The Importance and Effect of Email Marketing


What is email marketing?

Email marketing is the targeting of consumers through electronic mail (email.)  Any email sent to current or potential consumers can be considered email marketing.  Nearly everyone gets some type of email marketing. So why is email marketing Important?  Email marketing is the most commonly used digital marketing channel, along with social media, used by companies.  A company can segment consumers for email marketing, tailoring the emails perfectly to the potential reader.  They segment consumers by location, purchases, and more.

What makes an email worth opening?

For me, if it’s informing me of something, such as a sale, concert or event, or a new product reveal, in the subject line of the email I’m more likely to open it.  I also asked three other people and these are their responses to what makes an email worth opening for them:

  1. If it’s college or school related or shopping related. For college if the subject line talks about what they have to offer or financial aid related.  For shopping if the subject line talks about a current sale going on, I’m more likely to open it.
  2. Other than work, school, or financial the only reason I would open an email was for the sale from a company I like.
  1. Well the only time I open marketing emails is when there is a sale with an interesting tag line in the subject line.  For example, my favorite makeup store is holding an event and this brand I like is having a sale or is introducing a new product.

Do you ever take action as a result of the emails?

For me, if there is a sale running, or a new product release I usually tend to click on the email to read more.  For concert and event promotions then I open and read the email, but I don’t usually have a reason to click through.  I asked the same three people this question as well.  Here are there answers:

  1. Yes, shopping clicks on website and buys something because it’s a good deal or sale running.
  2. If I take action from an email it is because the sale or offer is intriguing to me or is worth the offer
  3. I don’t usually take any action even if I open the emails because I’m already stocked up on all the products and clothing items I need, but I’m still interested in seeing what my options are. As well as if there is anything worth pursuing in savings.

You can see from these few responses that a lot of people focus on the subject line of an email to tell them what is going on for them to even want to open the email.  They want the email to be informing them of something.  Whether it be a sale, a new product release, or informing them on how a school may be right for them, they want to know what their being informed of right away.

What is CAN-SPAM?

CAN-SPAM is the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act that was signed into law in 2003.  What this act did was set the first national standard of sending commercial email.  This is important because it stopped a lot of spam from running or even flowing into your inbox.  If the government considers an email to be unsolicited spam, it’s considered illegal and the U.S. government will subject the sender to potential fines and penalties.

There’s a pretty simple check list for making sure that a companies emails are compliant with the law. This check list is from Comm100 and has more information listed for each step on their website.

Step 1: Be Who You Say You Are!

You can’t pretend to be another website or company just to get a user to open an email (or to avoid emails going to junk). This is a popular trick offshore spammers use to get through spam filters, but it’s illegal.

Step 2: Don’t Lie in the Subject Line

This one is easy. If your email subject line says that opening the email will give the user a daily quote of the day, then that’s what needs to be in the email.

Step 3: Tell Them That You’re an Advertisement

You can do this many ways, including small print at the bottom of the email. However, somewhere in your email, you need to make it clear that the email is an advertisement.

Step 4: You Need to Have an Actual Physical Location

This one is also simple. Somewhere in your email you must provide a physical postal address (street or postal box) where you can receive communications via mail.

Step 5: You Have to Let People Know How to Opt-Out

You cannot (and should not) send a marketing email without letting users know how to stop you from sending future emails to them.

Step 6: When People Want Off Your Email List, Take Them Off.

When somebody requests an opt-out or unsub from your email list or lists, you have up to 10 business days to remove them

Step 7: Make Sure You Know What Your Marketing Agency is Doing!

Also make sure that you know what your affiliates are doing! Make sure that you know what anybody who sends email on your behalf is doing!

Another good list to check out can be found from the Federal Trade Commission and Forbes

Final Thoughts


picture from Email Marketing Statistics

Email marketing is a huge part of marketing today.  Whenever you check your email there’s always something there to catch your eye.  It’s an effective way for marketers to also keep customers up to date on current sales, or even just keeping them in the customers mind.  It’s a powerful marketing tool that I think won’t be going away any time soon.

The Importance and Effect of Email Marketing

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