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  • Writer's pictureDigital Marketing Hub

What is Email Marketing

Updated: Aug 24, 2018

In this article I would like to tell you what email marketing is and what you can do with it. I also tell you about the advantages and reasons for starting e-mail marketing today.

many people associate email marketing with the sending of unwanted advertising messages, also known as spam. Yet there is a huge difference between spam and e-mail marketing and I want to talk about it in this article.

What is e-mail marketing?

According to Wikipedia , e-mail marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses e-mail to send commercial or fundraising messages to a target group.

To make it easier, this is the definition that is popularly used:

E-mail marketing is e-mail that is sent from a company or organization to interested parties or customers. The e-mail may contain news, offers, service notifications or a customer satisfaction survey or a combination of these.

Why do you have to do e-mail marketing?

Of course it is not self-evident that you have to do e-mail marketing. That depends on several factors. But in most cases, this marketing channel fits perfectly within the marketing mix.

These are the six main reasons for adding email marketing to the marketing mix:

1. It is cost efficient. A lot cheaper than direct mail, telemarketing or flyer distribution.

2. E-mail marketing is easily measurable. You have direct insight into the effectiveness.

3. You can plan your campaigns well with e-mail marketing. This way you can determine exactly when the target group receives your mailing.

4. You can easily personalize e-mails. And I do not mean just using first name and last name. You can also personalize the content of the email based on what you already know about the recipient.

5. It is a channel with which you can switch quickly. Within an hour you can inform all your customers of the latest news or respond to current affairs.

6. 92% of marketers say that e-mail marketing provides a positive ROI .

E-mail marketing is one of the most widely used online marketing tools and is used as part of direct marketing especially for dialogue with customers.

More than 70 percent of retail companies are using e-mail marketing as part of their online marketing strategy. If the email marketer has a double opt-in, he has a clear permission to contact the recipient.

In addition, by using the collected customer data, he can deepen the communication with the customer and personalize it. The electronic message is one of the so-called push channels. For example, online stores do not have to wait for consumers to remember their offer. You can target potential customers.

Email marketing can be planned according to different triggers and with various topics and offers, so that the individual user can be addressed at exactly the right time with a

personalized message.

Email marketing is suited to highly targeted content thanks to the existing targeting options. If the prerequisite depth of data exists in the company, matching content to individual mail recipients and the potential for personalizing the email marketing campaign is difficult to surpass.

Although classic e-mail marketing is no longer new, it is by no means outdated. Customers today want to enter into dialogue with companies and receive individually tailored information. They expect communication to be personalized and consistent across all touchpoints.

Therefore, it is necessary for companies to connect the communication channels to the customers and to provide for an exchange of information. Only in this way can real one-to-one multichannel communication take place. This includes a personal e-mail communication.

For individual e-mail communication, information about the recipients must be sensibly requested and linked to a customer relationship management system (CRM) and other data


It is also important to develop a content strategy along the entire customer lifecycle in the business relationship between the consumer and the company. The basis for communication is the interplay of control and content data. Only then can a company send the right message to the right recipient at the right time.

Control data is personal - such as e-mail address, age, gender, order history and browsing behaviour or interests. Typically, such data is in different systems, such as in CRM or e-mail delivery systems. For one-to-one communication, this data must first be consolidated. Only then can an individual and personalized approach take place.

On the other hand, content data is needed to show the right content to the customer. These include, for example, product descriptions and availability, prices and images.

This data is independent of marketing campaigns, such as in product databases and recommendation engines. Again, the consolidation of the data is important. Once content and control data have been brought together in a well-prepared manner, they jointly determine the content and sending time of a personalized mailing.

Email marketing can be used in several ways:

  • Getting better brand and customer loyalty

  • Acquiring new customers

  • Approaching existing customers to make a new purchase

  • Communicating promotional offers

Advantages of email marketing:

  1. It is relatively cheap

  2. Your message arrives immediately

  3. The message is clearly visible to the recipient

  4. It is immediately possible for recipients to take action which makes the message more effective.

  5. You can send specific e-mails to the recipient, so that the information is relevant to him

  6. The ability to gather the actual base of your audience.

  7. Creating communication between the brand and the consumer.

  8. Effective involvement in the implementation of the necessary interactions (sharing information, viewing recommendations, buying, etc.).

  9. The ability to fully automate the process on the basis of information about the segments of the subscription base.

  10. Increased efficiency through personalization based on customer information.

Types of messages

Welcome Email

An welcome email is an email which the recipient receives after confirming the subscription. This is a guarantee of the effectiveness of electronic mailing, the correctness of which depends on the interest of the recipients in further communication and the overall impression of the business.

Do not underestimate the importance of welcome emails - they are opened up to 4 times more often, and targeted actions are performed 5 times more often.

Informational Email

One of the most common electronic message formats. Can strengthen customer loyalty through quality content. Distribute worthwhile and relevant materials to reach out to the customer.


It may seem like information emails, but it has a slightly different format - it is a brief overview of the new information (for example, email with the list of the most popular products for the week).

Commercial Email

As a rule, it is intended for direct sales. The content of this may be a proposal of a certain offer and its description, recommendations of goods based on preferences / previous purchases of the user, or information about promotions.

The marketer here should be as cautious as possible because an overly aggressive strategy can cause discontent in the recipients and backfire, as a result of which emails will be more often marked as spam. Consequently, this will not only reduce the effectiveness of the campaign, but also reduce the rate of delivered emails.


A series of letters that gradually increase the interest of the recipient in the brand, specific product or the company itself, thereby increasing the willingness to deal. According to statistics, serial email campaigns have a click-through rate 2-3 times higher than standard commercial messages.

It should be noted that serial mailing should be based on a carefully and correctly drawn up email marketing strategy - this is the only condition in which an email campaign can bring a positive result.

The bottom line is to create an engaging chain of emails, each of which will be useful, interesting, and generate interest in the next message, while at the same time increasing the attractiveness of the offer.


Emails sent under certain conditions or when the recipient has performed a certain action. for example, if the user of the SaaS-solution for finance management first generates a monthly budget report, he will be sent a mini-guide with recommendations for correct analysis and tips for saving money.

As mentioned above, sending trigger messages or event-driven emails can also be configured for certain conditions: for example, sending emails to a segment of users who did not visit the resource for a week, or to those who abandoned the shopping cart unpaid for 3 days.

Trigger mailing requires understanding the behaviour of the target audience, constant testing and optimization based on the results.


Emails sent when a user performs a specific transaction.

Direct Communication

In this case, a representative of the company sends a personal message to the user. Email is personalized, its content is written in a manner of simple communication. Such emails can be about assistance that can be offered, gratitude for loyalty, recommendations, etc. Such interactive campaigns are effective for increasing the loyalty of users.

The effective application of email marketing does require attention. When the amount of newsletters or emails sent is excessive or no longer perceived as informative by recipients, email marketing can easily be seen as junk email ( spam ).

It is therefore very important to respect the legislation on sending email, the most prominent of which is the European GDPR. In many countries, explicit permission must be obtained from the recipient for sending (commercial) emails.

For existing customers this permission is not required under certain conditions.

There should always be a possibility to unsubscribe from email newsletters.

Post Marketing: Measuring Effectiveness

1. The number of subscriptions. The size of the subscriber base - the larger the target subscriber base, the more profit an email brings. To collect the subscriber base, a lot of strategy is used, the most famous of which is the obtaining of the recipient's email address in exchange for a valuable offer: for example, free useful content, a coupon, a place on the webinar, etc.

2. Open Rate. The main methods of increasing this metric are constant testing and optimization of the subject line and the preheader and the sender's name (or company name, department name, etc).

It is important to note that the interesting and attractive delivery of email is of interest to recipients and contributes to discovery, but the display of the value of content is the key to the effectiveness of the message in terms of sales / performance of targeted actions.

3. Click Through Rate (CTR). This metric displays how many of the recipients who have opened the message have performed the targeted action. The main factors that affect this indicator are design and content - it's about content, writing, colouring, and so on.

4. Recipient Conversion Rate. Conversion occurs when someone performs a valuable action. This action depends on the marketing goal. When a company tries, for example, to build a mailing list, they could provide a whitepaper after customer subscribes to a newsletter. You can optimize newsletter signups by following these tips.

A successful signup is counted as a conversion. When developing a marketing campaign, it is important to work with a clear call-to-action, so that you attract an interested party through the funnel and ensure conversion.

Each mailing brings with it a series of actions that therecipients should go through:

1. First, as many e-mails as possible should be delivered (= a low bounce rate ).

2. As many e-mails as possible should be opened (= a high open rate ).

3. Of these, as many recipients as possible should click on the links(s) in the e-mail (= a high click-through rate ).

4. Finally, as many conversions as possible should be made on the landing page (= a high conversion rate ).

From what ratio is the conversion rate calculated? To which of the above metrics is it related? The fact is, there is no standard here. Conversion rate can be calculated in any of the following ways:

• Conversion-to-click rate (also known as conversion rate ): Conversions relative to clicks in the email

• Conversion to Open Rate : conversions relative to opened emails

• Conversion to Delivered Rate : conversions relative to delivered emails

• Conversion to send rate (also called the response rate ): Conversions relative to sent emails

In e-mail marketing, the recipient usually encounters two media: the email itself and the landing page, which he navigates to after clicking on the integrated link in the email.

Both are important to the success of an email marketing campaign. If you calculate the conversion rate, for example, as "Bookings x 100 / Number of clicks", you can then judge how much the landing page contributed to the success.

How successful the email has been, you do not know. If you calculate the conversion rate with the formula "Booking * 100 / Number of Emails Sent", you will receive a measure of success for the entire mail action.

Let's assume that 50 email recipients have booked a trip with 5,000 sent mails, then the

conversion rate calculated with the formula "bookings * 100 / number of mails sent" is one percent. That certainly can be increased.

The Analysis of a Failure

For root cause research, all previously mentioned parameters such as open rate, click-through rate and conversion rate (number of travel bookings x 100 / number of clicks

on the link) are now important.

A few scenarios:

Low deliverability: Many sent mails have not reached the addressees. Then the marketer should urgently purge and replenish his addressee database.

Low open rate (defined here as: opened emails * 100 / delivered emails): Before recipients open an e-mail, they usually see only the subject line and possibly the first sentences of the e-mail text, and the sender's name or email address. At low open rates, the error could therefore be in this range and confined to these three factors. On the other hand, the marketer should also question whether he has really addressed the right target group. Improve your open rate with these tips.

Low click-through rate (defined here as: clicks on the link in the email x 100 / number of open emails): Once the email has been opened, a major factor for clicks on links is the email content and design. If the click through rate is low, this content in our example may have been too little to book the trip. Again, however, it may be that the wrong target

group was the cause of low values. To learn how improve your email click through rate read these tips.

Low conversion rate (defined here as: Number of travel bookings x 100 / Number of clicks on the link in the email): This value measures the impact of the landing page on the success of the campaign. If this rate is low, something must have happened there that prevented the prospect from making a booking.

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