What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is one of the best ways to connect with your potential customers. You’ve experienced it yourself as a client. For example, a customer shopping on their favorite ecommerce website leaves without making a purchase. Then they get an email declaring, “It’s your last chance to get this great pair of shoes in your size!” 

That’s one of the biggest benefits of email marketing: It can bring back users who were actively engaging with your website and close to making a purchase. It’s an important tool for moving leads through the sales funnel and has a high return on investment.

We’ve collected some of the most frequently asked questions related to email marketing. Whether you want to learn more about what email marketing is, or you need to know more about how it can help you grow your business, this page can help.

Let’s start from the beginning and review some basic definitions and topics.
Email marketing allows you to connect with your potential and current customers. With it, you send an email message straight to their inbox. Email marketing is one of the marketing channels with the highest ROI, especially when it comes to customer acquisition, upselling, customer retention, and customer advocacy.
Email marketing is one of the most powerful digital marketing channels. It allows you to send direct, electronic messages to people who have interacted with your brand. Because these messages land in your customers’ personal email inboxes, your message increases the probability of the recipient returning to your site and making a purchase (or converting another way).
Email marketing software is a digital tool that helps marketers manage all the processes related to sending mass emails to their subscriber list. This tool allows you to capture subscribers’ email addresses, sort them into specific email lists, and send them messages based on their history of interactions with your business. The most powerful tools connect an email address with a particular site visitor based on the history of their navigation on the site. Thanks to this data, you can send more personalized emails and set up triggers that alert your sales team to the hottest leads.
Email marketing software stores your email contacts and helps you send your messages to the right, targeted group of subscribers. For instance, email marketing tools can automatically collect the data from your CRM system and show the purchase history for a particular customer. This data lets you segment your customers more precisely and send them the right type of messages. Then, with its help, you can more easily upsell by offering a newly launched product to the users who have previously purchased similar items or services.
When done well — with tested strategies and the right tools — email marketing is an effective marketing channel for businesses of any size.

Not at all. Email marketing is an important marketing tool. Transparency Market Research estimates that the email marketing industry will be worth $22 billion by the end of 2025. According to Gartner, marketing software in the software as a service (SaaS) space will continue to grow in popularity, second only to sales software’s growth projections. Among retail and consumer goods marketers, email marketing is the second most popular marketing channel behind a brand’s website: Salesforce Research shows a 76 per cent adoption rate, with a projected growth rate of 24 per cent.

Email marketing is decidedly not dead.

Email marketing has earned its place among your most important marketing activities:

  • It’s an affordable, effective channel.
  • With the right email marketing tools, your messages can be highly personalized.
  • You can segment your subscriber email list based on specific parameters.
  • Email marketing funnels and drip campaigns warm up leads you’ve captured, engage them with your company’s marketing efforts, and make them more aware of your products or services.
  • Email marketing is measurable, providing a trove of data with each campaign, which removes most of the guesswork.
Digital marketing is constantly evolving. Experts introduce new tools and innovative approaches on a regular basis. Not all of them prove to be effective over time, but email marketing’s advantages are backed up by real success and data.
The advantages of email marketing over other channels, such as social media or traditional advertising channels, are numerous. It’s affordable for any type of business, especially when compared to television commercial costs or direct mailers, and has a more measurable reach. Email marketing also allows you to connect with an audience that is already aware of your brand and is interested in your products and services. While it shares this benefit with social media marketing, email marketing has a greater reach, can be far more personalized, and is a welcome addition to the recipient’s inbox, as compared to social media posts that are subject to the whims of the platforms' algorithms.

Email marketing benefits any business, no matter how big or small it is. With email marketing, you can:

  • Reach your ideal audience with its ideal content
  • Automate everything and become more efficient
  • Use intelligence to discover the right audience
  • Activate first-party email data across channels
  • Reach customers on any device with responsive design
  • Build your messages with customizable templates
  • Deliver dynamic messages that inspire action
  • Engage customers along their journey with great messages
  • Build 1-to-1 relationships with every customer
Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing channels. Most marketing professionals say email marketing effectiveness is improving, with 79 per cent saying its effectiveness is improving moderately or significantly.
Email marketing is a big topic, as evidenced by the amount of information on it that’s available online. However, the starting point for any company interested in email marketing is the subscriber list. This list is all the email addresses for people who have opted in to receiving email messages from your company.
A good email marketing list can’t be built overnight. What’s important to remember is that you need to include only those subscribers who are actually interested in your business. This way, you have a list full of leads and customers who will anticipate your messages. This increases the overall deliverability of your email campaigns.
Sending mass emails works — when done correctly. The more segmented your email subscriber list and the more personalized your messages, the higher the chances are that users will click your CTAs and make purchases on your site.

Depending on the countries where your subscribers are, you need to ask them for permission to send them email marketing messages. Use the information below to get started, but thoroughly research how to stay compliant in every country you send emails to.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is arguably one of the most stringent anti-spam laws that affects email marketers. Any organization that sends commercial electronic messages within, from, or to Canada must have the recipient’s consent. Other regulations exist, and your business risks a number of strict penalties if it doesn’t comply. Check out this page from Deloitte and this complete documentation from the Government of Canada for more information.

With the rise of the fight against spam that resulted in CASL, GDPR, CAN-SPAM, and CCPA, the number of ways to get free leads has decreased. Previously, it was common practice to scrape (use software to search for) any email addresses it could possibly find and add them to an email list. That’s no longer an option. Now, before you send any emails to anyone, you need their clear permission to do so. 

The safest way to capture free email addresses is by asking for them. Add subscription forms to your website, since those users are truly interested in your business. Run a contest that’s based on email addresses, create a rewards program, or invite your social media followers to join your email subscriber list. A list full of people who want to receive your email messages means higher conversion rates, more accurate metrics, and a stronger email marketing channel.

Permission-based email marketing helps fight junk email, aka spam, since it doesn’t allow companies to purchase email lists. If you want to send an email to a lead or customer, you need to first persuade this user to trust you with their email address. That’s one reason why many companies use a double-opt-in to add an email to their email subscription list. Double opt-in guarantees that the email address you’ve captured belongs to a real person, and this person is interested in subscribing to your emails.

Email marketing is effective, but only as effective as the list of email addresses you send each campaign to. Build your list responsibly and stay compliant to make your email marketing sing.


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