What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that consists of sending a message to a group of people through email. Every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. Marketing emails generally contain advertisements of products or services, business requests, social activities, newsletters, etc. Email marketing strategies commonly seek to achieve one or more of three primary objectives; to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. An additional purpose for sending email messages, is for enhancing relationships with existing and former customers, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers, or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately with lucrative offers.

Types of Email Marketing

1. Email Newsletters

The email newsletter is a one-off communication that can be used to send promotional messages, important account information, product updates, and more. Done well, an email newsletter will help build brand recognition and awareness.

In creating an email newsletter, it’s important to consider a variety of factors, including:

  • Content length
  • Type of information
  • Placement of images and text
  • Design
  • Call to Action

Every audience is unique, so it is important to experiment with different formats.

2. Transactional Emails
Emailed receipts, invoices, billing statements, or order confirmations are examples of transactional emails. They are triggered by user behavior.

Transactional emails present a fantastic opportunity to turn a routine email into a path back to your website. Email receipts, for example, generate high open and click rates.

Transactional emails are messages that businesses need to send in order to facilitate a transaction or provide a product or service, as requested by the customer. For this reason, companies do not need to obtain consent from the customer to send transactional emails.

Businesses use transactional emails to communicate important information to customers at critical moments in the customer journey.

Transactional emails are usually triggered by a prospect or customer interaction with a website or an app. For example, password resets delivery information and receipts.

Types of Transactional Emails

  • Order confirmation emails
    • These email confirmations inform customers about the details of the transaction, product, and its shipment
  • Shipping notification emails
    • Shipping notification emails let customers know when their purchase has been dispatched, with providing tracking information.
  • Delivery confirmation emails
    • Like shipping confirmation emails, delivery emails are an excellent opportunity to build up momentum by increasing excitement and satisfaction for the recent purchase.
  • Double opt-in emails
    • Double opt-in emails ask new subscribers to confirm that they want to receive your emails (or other messages). Sending a double opt-in email verifies that the email address belongs to the subscriber, which can help to prevent spam and improve email deliverability.
  • Password reset emails
    • Password reset emails are essential to ensure customers always have access to your product. Although the password reset message is very functional, it doesn’t mean the email needs to be dull.
  • Legal update email
    • Transactional emails can be used to inform customers about significant changes to legal documents and policies an update to a company’s Terms of Service, for example.
  • Invoice emails
    • An invoice email is a transactional message that informs customers of a payment that is due.

3. Behavioral Emails

Behavioral emails are targeted messages based on a user’s behavior. Simply put, what a behavioral email boils down to is personalization. By getting to know your customers and creating buyer characters, you can tailor your emails to be relevant to where customers are in the buying cycle.

There are several types of behavioral emails which can be automated:

  1. Welcome/Onboarding
  2. Recommendations
  3. Product review requests
  4. Renewal/re-orders
  5. Password reset/reminders
  6. Free trial expirations
  7. Cross-selling
  8. Purchase subscription renewals
  9. Re-engagement

Effectiveness of Email Marketing

Email marketing is up to 40 times more effective than social media, according to a study done by McKinsey & Company. The same study also shows that the buying process happens 3 times faster than in social media.

Statistically, there are indicators that show the growing potential of email marketing. Based on surveys conducted by the Channel Preferences Survey, these indicate that 91% of people access their email at least once a day. Moreover, it is also said that they prefer to receive business information via email.

According to the Fourth Source website, 92% of internet users have at least one email account. That is, practically everyone has email, unlike what happens with social media, not everyone has an account, which can minimize the reach and coverage of the desired segment.

Why email marketing?

  • It has larger reach with customer in real time.
  • It delivers messages instantly.
  • Email is a low-cost form of direct marketing.
  • Email marketing has higher ROI.
  • Email marketing increases brand awareness.
  • Email is perfect for personalized, targeted messaging
  • Email is measurable and trackable

Advantages and Disadvantages of Email Marketing


Cost Effective – The costs of email marketing can be much lower than many other forms of marketing, as there are no advertising fees, printing, or media space costs.

Permission-Based – The marketing list will be made up of people who have actively chosen to receive email communications from you. Customers who are genuinely interested in your products and/or services are more likely to engage with your business.

Flexible Design – You can send plain text, graphics or attach files – whichever suits your message best. A choice of design options gives you scope to convey your business branding.

Scalable – It can be used to reach large audiences or smaller targeted lists.

Personalization and Segmentation – You can personalize messages and / or segment your marketing list, so that your customers receive messages from you that they are interested in – this will help boost their engagement with you.

Shareable – It is easy for people to forward and share your email content, building your reputation by word-of-mouth or viral marketing. This may help influence new customers to become followers of your brand.

Conversions and Increased Sales – If you have a new promotion people can click on links and follow your call-to-action immediately. Email marketing is also effective at every stage of the buying process.

Measurable – You can evaluate the success of a campaign by using web analytics software. You can easily assess different copy, subject lines, and designs to see which is most effective. This allows you to optimize future campaigns.

A/B Testing – A/B testing of subject lines, calls-to-action, personalization, email copy, images or messages ensure your email content is as effective as it can be before you send it.

Less Intrusive – Customers can update their preferences if they would like to receive different messages from you or unsubscribe if they feel they no longer want to receive your email communications.

Environmentally Friendly – Email marketing is better for the environment than direct marketing by postal mail because nothing is printed.

Time Saving – Through automation you can trigger emails to be sent to customers based on an action they have performed on your website – i.e., send a welcome email when a user signs up to your website or issue an email offering a discount incentive if user abandons an online shopping cart. Once you have developed a template you can reuse it for future email campaigns.

Real-time Marketing – Through email marketing you can connect with customers in real-time. Using automated triggers, such as website activity, recent purchase or shopping cart abandonment, you can reach the right audience, at the right time, in the right place and with the right offer.


Spam – Commercial email or ‘spam’ irritates consumers. If your messages are not targeted to the right people, the recipient may delete your email or unsubscribe. You need to make sure that your email marketing complies with privacy and data protection rules, and that it is properly targeted to people who want to receive it. The ‘click through rate’ for untargeted emails is likely to be very low

Undelivered Emails – Poorly designed emails may not get delivered. Emails that use certain spam keywords or characters in the subject heading or content of the email, i.e., £££s, FREE, and click here are likely to be filtered out by email software and internet service providers. If you do not keep your marketing lists up to date, you will find incorrect email addresses and your messages will not reach the right person.

Design Problems – An email must be designed so that it is legible / easily viewed across multiple devices and email providers. You may encounter a trade-off between design and functionality. Some people opt to receive text-only emails, consider how your message will look if this is the case.

Size Issues – Files need to be small enough to download quickly. Emails containing multiple images may take too long to load, thus frustrating your audience and losing their interest.

Resources and Skills – For a successful email campaign you must ensure that you have the right copy, design, and marketing list. If you do not have the time or skills in-house, consider outsourcing some of these elements.

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