Email Marketing: Outdated or Underappreciated?

Can I get an Email?


“Can I get an email?” This seems to be the dreaded question that every retailer asks at the check-out counter. Out of pressure, I used to just hand it over. That ended when my phone crashed because I had around 10,000 emails overflowing my inbox. I’m now a bit more selective, and only use that email address for my “marketing” mail. However, now that it’s separated from my school and work emails, I no longer find it a nuisance to scroll through my messages of deals and savings. I mean come on, who doesn’t want to save a buck?

So yes, it might be a hassle to scroll through message after message to weed out the good from the bad, but according to Callie Hinman, author at Kuno Creative, email marketing is still a successful tool, and there are some pretty great perks that you might be missing. In the article 6 Reasons Why Effective Email Marketing is Still a Useful Tool, Hinman explains why email marketing is beneficial. But do consumers share the same view?

Here are what three email users had to say:

 What makes emails interesting and worth your time to open and read?

Jessica: Substantial discounts on products I’m already in the market for. I also hate emojis in email headings.

Karen: Having a key word that catches my eye or involves something I am interested in.

Jenna: Sales and discounts at stores I shop at, especially for online shopping. A code is so easy to copy and paste, so after recieving a coupon code for a certain store, I’ll scroll through their website to see if I like anything. It makes it a lot more likely for me to go through with a purchase.

Do you ever take any action as a result of the emails? Why or why not?

Jessica: If they are relevant to what I’m in the market for and they are a good deal. I un-subscribe to companies who send email offers daily, as well as those I know only use it for advertising purposes.

Karen: Yes, if it’s something that I need or am genuinely interested in.

Jenna: If it’s a good deal and I like a product they offer.


It’s clear there are mixed feelings about email marketing, and while there are a lot of perks, what if you want to opt out? That’s where CAN-SPAM comes into play.


CAN-SPAM? What’s that?

Many people don’t know what CAN-SPAM is, let alone why it’s important. The CAN-SPAM act stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003. Essentially, it is a law that sets the rules that cannot be broken, and the requirements that need to be met regarding commercial email and messages. It also gives recipients the right to have companies stop emailing them.

So, if you ever want a company to stop sending you emails, it is required by law that there must be a clear explanation on how to opt out, and if not, there is a penalty of up to $41,484.

So future marketers, heads up! Obey the following and you should be in the clear:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
  3. Identify the message as an ad
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf

The details on those guidelines can be found here.


If you are interested in learning more about email marketing, here is an informational video.



Email Marketing: Outdated or Underappreciated?

You Might Be In a Secret Relationship With Your Dealer.

When I say dealer, I mean businesses that send you emails daily. You probably read them, you may get inspired by some and could potentially look forward to the next one. Coupons. Amazing, aren’t they? Unless, you talk to my fiancé, he may say something along the lines of me being a shopaholic but I consider it being smart and saving money.

This is where businesses strive. This is called Email Marketing. Email marketing is when a business promotes products and/or services. It helps develops relationships with it’s consumers and potential consumers. Think about it this way, remember when you got a coupon and an advertisement from your favorite store promoting a sale? Well instead of doing that through a stamp, they do it through a computer.

To see how well email marketing is, I asked three friends two questions.

Q. What makes emails interesting and worth your time to open and read? Do you ever take any action as a result of the emails?

A. Anne: I look forward to my Kohl’s rewards that come every month. And the savings I get when I watch for special sales on stuff. Sometimes I will get coupons from Pick n’ Save that give me a deal on my favorite yogurt. Kinda scary but kinda awesome. I definitely take my time going through emails and even categorize them.

Jesse: I think they are a waste of time and just delete them.

LZ: I don’t really open my emails. I have over 2,000 in my inbox. When I go shopping, I will search for coupons in my inbox but other that that, I don’t pay attention to them.

Email Marketing is Relevant

And probably will be for a while. It may even be more prominent then social media. While social media is great, email marketing is more direct while a post on social media could be missed by some. According to Hostpapa, 94% of Internet users use email, while only 61% use social media. That is a huge difference.

CAN-SPAM And No It’s Not That Meat In A Can

Basically, it is a law where businesses have to figure out if their email that they are sending is considered a legal communication or an illegal piece of unsolicited spam. If businesses are like, eh, YOLO, and send unsolicited spam and get caught, they have to pay some hefty fines and get penalized. Obviously, we can all think of emails that we feel are unsolicited.

Businesses have to make sure that they really are who they are saying they are. They can’t lie in the subject line, they have to inform you that it is an advertisement, you have to let people unsubscribe from the emails and make sure to take them off when they want off. There is a lot of rules but it’s honestly a good thing because who knows how many actual unsolicited emails we would get. For more information, visit the FTC.

You Might Be In a Secret Relationship With Your Dealer.

Email Marketing—Spam Practice or Essential Marketing Tool?


Nearly everyone gets some kind of email marketing, whether they remember signing up for it or not is another question. Often times the first thing that comes to peoples minds when they hear the phrase “email marketing” is spam and shadiness. However, according to research done by Smart Insights and GetResponse, email marketing is still rated as one of the most effective digital marketing channels right alongside social media marketing.


So why is email marketing still rated so successful today? Well it’s largely thanks to the powerful features offered by email automation software from companies like MailChimp and Constant Contact. With many companies utilizing these rather affordable tools for their email marketing, it allows them to intelligently personalize email, segment effectively, and optimize emails for maximum engagement and conversion. This all contributes to a generally successful ROI when it comes to email marketing.

But how about me? How do I interact with email marketing? Well I find that I will only stick to receiving marketing emails from my favorite companies and brands, ones I trust. Their emails also will need to have a compelling subject, usually promising something of value to me, like a coupon or significant savings on a product I’m interested in. Only if the offer is compelling will I open the email and take action. Many times I have found that if the company says the included offer is an “email exclusive” or is available early for me, it will cause me to take action and convert. However, everyone treats email differently and this is just my experience. What about others?

I asked three friends of mine what makes emails compelling to them. Here’s what they had to say:

What makes emails interesting and worth your time to open and read?

A: They usually need to be about sales or new things that I care personally about, like concerts in the area or a good sale on one of my favorite brands.

B: The subject of the email usually has to reveal some type of new information or discount for me to be interested. Otherwise, general emails that don’t offer me a discount often don’t get opened.

C: If I see a good discount in the subject it usually will make me look, especially when the product is something I use or want. Or if the subject line states some kind of factoid on a subject that interests me.

Do you ever take any action as a result of the emails? Why or why not?

A: The only time I’ll take action will be if it’s a good sale or a great band I’ve been wanting to see. If I know there’s a better offer coming soon, I’ll usually wait for that.

B: Yeah, I will take action when I see a discount is offered and I want to see how good it is or how much money I would be saving. Or if the subject matter is really interesting to me and there is additional information on a website or blog, I’ll usually click to read more.

C: Yes, I have taken action on emails, usually only if I feel strongly about the cause or if the good discount is being offered on something I need.

What about the CAN-SPAM act? What is it and how does it affect me?

CAN-SPAM stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing. It was an act passed in 2003 in order to establish rules for commercial email and messages, forcing businesses to give users the right to stop receiving emails should they desire and outlining the penalties that can be incurred should businesses violate these regulations.

This act effectively prevented email users from being spammed with unwanted emails. It also enacted several common practices for sent emails, like including a way for users to easily unsubscribe from unwanted content.

In the end, due to the level of customization and targeting offered with email marketing today, it still remains a valuable tool for marketers to use up to this day. Email marketing can provide businesses with valuable leads, help drive conversions, and increase revenues, even during this age of social media focused marketing.

Email Marketing—Spam Practice or Essential Marketing Tool?