Email Marketing: Spam or Not?

What is Email Marketing?

Have you ever opened up your email and found it flooded with emails from businesses? Some of them you may have signed up for, and others you may have never even heard of. So what is the point of these emails? Well, according to experienced business writer and business owner, Susan Ward, email marketing is the act of using emails to reach potential or current customers. These emails usually consist of the business’ on-going deals and sometimes even a coupon code along with it. But despite the emails having great information on what the hottest deals are, do people ever really read them? Or do these emails go straight to their junk box? I’ve interviewed three people and asked them what their thoughts are on email marketing. Their answers are provided below.

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What Makes Marketing Emails Worth Reading?

Jae, age 22: Well, I usually don’t open up emails if it’s from a business or company. Most of the time, I open up these emails only to go to the bottom of the page to find the unsubscribe button so I never get their emails ever again… but I guess some people would like these emails to check out what’s new or what’s on sale? Not sure, really.

Malinda, age 38: I sign up for a lot of emails from businesses, especially if the business sells something that I am interested in. I have kids, ages 3 and 11, so I really like to keep up with what gadgets and toys are trending so I know what to get my kids for their birthday or for Christmas. I open up these emails often and they’re worth reading as long as it’s in regards to something I find helpful or interesting to my lifestyle. I mean, some places email me their newsletters and want to update me on their sales, but I’m like, “How did you even get my email?” because I’ve never even heard of them.

Wendy, age 18: I don’t personally get many emails from companies, but I do work at a place that requires me to ask every customer for their email in order to move forward in the transaction. This sometimes frustrates them because they know it’s just “spam” that is going to be sent. Most of the time, they say “no thanks” to putting in their email. I think some people do like these emails though because sometimes the emails offer discount codes.

Do You Ever Take Any Action?

Jae: I mean… sometimes. If I don’t immediately scroll down to unsubscribe then it has to really be something cool for me to stop and read it. Like if they’re offering a 40% discount code on online purchases, then yeah I’ll take action and use that code to get 40%. Who wouldn’t?

Malinda: I do if it’s a good deal and they send me a coupon for being a loyal customer or something. Usually, it’s only a 5-10% online code that I get from places, so I usually pass on those. If they send me something real nice though, like a coupon for a free item with any purchase in store or online, then I am right on that! I love free stuff and it makes me want to go back to that business to see their future promotions.

Wendy: I can’t really say I do because I don’t get those emails often, but where I work, people sometimes come in with coupons on their phones from emails, so I imagine not everyone puts these emails in their junk/trash folders.

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What is CAN-SPAM?

If you’ve wondered if businesses have to follow a guideline when sending these marketing emails, here’s your answer. Yes.

In 2003, an act was passed called CAN-SPAM. This is basically an outline of what companies should and should not include in their marketing emails. A few of these guidelines include:

  • Giving a the consumer an option to opt out
  • Giving the consumer the physical company address
  • Giving truthful headers/subjects

More on these guidelines can be found here.

Because of the CAN-SPAM act, companies and businesses are required to follow the set of laws in order to run marketing emails.

Email Marketing: Spam or Not?

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