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What Is Email Marketing

Marketing your products or services by email can be a fast, flexible and cost-effective way of reaching new customers and retaining existing customers by encouraging repeat website visits. Email marketing can allow you to create targeted and personalised messages. This can help you to build meaningful relationships with your customers. It can also improve response rates to your direct marketing campaigns. However, it is important not to overuse email marketing. Receiving marketing emails can irritate people if it is irrelevant, too frequent or unwanted.

The benefits of email marketing include:

  • Cost-effective - the costs of email marketing can be much lower than many other forms of marketing. There are no advertising fees, printing or media space costs.

  • Permission-based - your 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 - email marketing can be used to reach large audiences or smaller targeted lists.

  • Personalisation and segmentation - with email marketing you can personalise messages. You can also 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’s 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. For example, you can influence someone to choose your product, nurture the customer relationship post-transaction and also encourage future purchases.

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

  • Benchmark - you can compare your results against others in your industry. There are many free email marketing benchmarking reports available - you will find these by searching online. Benchmarking data can help you to evaluate and prioritise improvement opportunities.

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

  • Less intrusive - unlike telephone marketing, recipients can read your message at a time that suits them. Customers can also 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 - eg. send a welcome email when a user signs up to your website, or issue an email offering a discount incentive if the user abandons an online shopping cart. Once you have developed a template you can reuse for numerous 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.

While email marketing is clearly an excellent marketing tool, it can actually improve your sales as well. In fact, 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI and marketers who used segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue. Email marketing campaigns can feature products or services, encourage customers to purchase after abandoning their cart or deliver special offers to your customers.


Furthermore, 59% of respondents in this survey say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions. Your email marketing campaigns can easily incorporate messages to encourage a purchase to an audience that's more likely to buy from you because they've opted-in to your messages and updates. Additionally, you can use email marketing to automate part of your sales process, which can help increase sales as well.


For instance, with HubSpot's free email marketing tool, you can automate sales drip campaigns and send automated messages to prospects your salespeople want to follow up with.

Generating traffic to your site by Email Marketing: When you produce great content, how do you disseminate it to your audience? Most likely, you send them an email. With email marketing campaigns, you'll send traffic to your site and improve your SEO. Plus, you'll keep your audience engaged with your brand and your site.

For example, many of you might have reached this page from a marketing email from HubSpot. That's because email is a great way to provide value to our audience, and we do that by sending our content in our emails and generating traffic. When you're creating an email that links to your content, keep in mind that each email should contain a call to action (CTA) so readers can click through to your site.


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