Email Marketing – Is It Still Effective?

Email marketing was one of the very first online marketing mediums utilised by businesses, in the early years of the 21st century. It worked well and because of its cost effectiveness compared to snail mail, the medium was eventually ‘hijacked’ by the offline junk mailers.

A new breed of spammers were born who were sending out tens of thousands of emails on a daily basis. Some selling legitimate wares, whilst others selling fake Viagra pills and penis enlargement potions. This led to the birth of spam filters. These filters were designed to spot if an incoming email was a junk advertisement and then to put it in a ‘junk folder.’ This process was supposed to ensure that we only received emails in our ‘inbox’ from people we knew and legitimate businesses.

Over the past decade, the spam filters have been improved and to a certain extent been made more stringent. Furthermore, the Can-Spam Act was enacted in the United States and it is now illegal to send unsolicited bulk email, if your advertisement doesn’t meet certain guidelines.

However, there are still many legitimate businesses out there that are trying to use email to prospect for business. Most are facing many hurdles to get their marketing message out to the reader.

To start with, the spam filters will often automatically reject legitimate Can-Spam Act compliant emails from business email addresses. This means that our marketing message is already filed in the ‘junk’ section without giving it a fair chance. After all, the recipient could be interested in our message.

I receive many emails on a daily basis that I am interested in, but because of my email providers super-stringent spam filter, they end up in my ‘junk folder’.

I check my ‘junk folder’ once a week and this makes me wonder how many times do other people generally check their junk folders.

Secondly, with the growth of email use, most people are overloaded with daily emails. This means that even if our email does land in their ‘inbox’, there’s a high chance that they will delete it without opening it. Recent research statistics have shown that people only open 28% of the actual emails they receive.

If people aren’t reading all of the emails that they are receiving from their friends, family and often customers; how can we expect them to read our marketing message?

There are a few steps that we can take to ensure that we get the best Return on Investment when pursuing email marketing.

So how can we make our email marketing effective?

The first thing to do, will be to have low expectations. Expect to get 5% of your emails read when targeting a cold email list. A cold email list is a list of email addresses of people who may not have heard of you.

Secondly, in the ‘subject line’ of the emails, make sure you put an enticing yet accurate description of the email. Your first job is to actually sell the prospect the idea of opening your email. Getting your prospect to open your email is actually the hardest part of email marketing!

Finally, make sure your email message is as complete as possible and ensure that it has a strong call to action at the bottom. The call to action may ask the recipient to click on a link to find out more information or to call a number for more information.

Email marketing still works, however, it isn’t as effective as it once used to be. Therefore, you need to have it as a component of your general marketing mix and not rely on it as your sole marketing medium.

Abul K. Hussain is an author, public speaker and highly sought after consultant in the field of Internet Marketing & Business Growth. He is currently Managing Partner at the UK headquartered Middle Man Marketing Group.

Having started his first business at the age of 17, Abul has learnt about the importance of marketing the hard way. Through years of trial and error, he accumulated wisdom that is now sought by many small businesses and large corporations alike.

He has helped various businesses across the world optimise their Return on Investment, by cutting out the fat from their advertising budgets and investing in targeted marketing mediums.

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