Email marketing is dead. At least, that’s what some people might want you to believe. But in reality, is email marketing dead?

Short answer: no.

Email marketing is alive and well. In fact, the return on investment (ROI) of email marketing is $38 for every $1 spent. This ROI is 3800%, which is much better than other forms of marketing like online advertising and social media.

But to get this insane ROI, you need to know how email marketing can work. Below, you’ll find out why people think email marketing is a good idea.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is when you use email to promote your products, services, or brand. You can use these emails to share new products, promote discounts or sales, and provide product updates.

Email marketing, sometimes called email advertising, is specific to marketing your products and services. This means informational emails and newsletters can be an aspect of your email marketing campaign.

Email continues to be a beloved channel because of how personal it feels. Many of your email followers need to opt-in, meaning they choose to follow you. This gives you a better personal connection, something not achieved through other platforms.

Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.

David Newman, business consultant

What are the benefits of email marketing?

There are reasons for and against email marketing. Below, you’ll find a list of email marketing benefits you should keep in mind.

  • Prospective customers choose to follow you. The best email marketing campaigns include an opt-in form on a landing page. Customers must actively decide that what you offer is worth their time, meaning you are more likely to get results from your campaigns.
  • You own your contact lists. You don’t have as much control when you pay for online advertising or have a social media presence. Meanwhile, email lists are entirely under your control, meaning you don’t have to share space with your competitors.
  • You can create automated systems. Marketing automation lets you create a series of emails to bring them through your marketing funnel. Tools like Sendinblue offer powerful automation features that can handle your sales or promotion process for you.
  • It is incredibly cost-effective. Email marketing starts from free to less than $100 per month. The cost varies depending on the number of leads on your contact list. This means you can pay pennies for each lead. Tools like ConstantContact come with a free trial.
  • You can time when to send your campaigns. The best time to send marketing emails is from 9 AM to 12 PM or from 12 PM to 3 PM. Most email systems let you control when people see your email. You can increase your engagement rate by keeping this in mind.
  • It’s a great way to make personalized content. Companies that excel at personalization make 40% more revenue. Email makes it easy to create customized content, starting with including a customer’s first name in the subject line.

Email is an impressive and personal way to connect with your customer. To find out email marketing strategies for better customer connections, check out our article on creating an effective email marketing strategy.

What are the weaknesses of email marketing?

Despite what you’ve read so far, email marketing can’t replace all types of advertising. In understanding the weaknesses of email advertising, you’ll be able to take steps to overcome them.

  • You can lose your customers by being labeled as spam. Spam emails flood our folders daily, and we are all likely to ignore them. When people mark your emails as spam enough, your emails will skip their inbox and land in the spam folder. To avoid this, focus on providing engaging subject lines and value-driven content.
  • There is a lot of competition from other emails. As of 2025, it’s estimated that nearly 380 emails will be sent per day. It’s easy to get lost in your customers’ inboxes. Creating engaging and personalized subject lines makes you stand out compared to other emails.
  • Finding the right email length can be tricky. Some customers might not like to read one thousand words from your email. The right size can be the difference between getting the desired results and the results you don’t. When writing emails, review your content for fluff and redundancy.
  • Your design options are somewhat limited. While emails have grown in their design options, fewer options are available compared to your website. Using marketing platforms like HubSpot can help overcome this to make your email more visually attractive.
  • It’s harder to reach out to more people. Email marketing is entirely comprised of people willing to be on your list. Knowing this, new prospective customers who aren’t on your list are lost when you only use this form of advertising. Supplementing your marketing efforts with online advertising campaigns can also help.

Many of the common pitfalls of email marketing come from getting lost in the shuffle. David Ogilvy, one of the most well-known advertisers, gives us excellent advice we can apply to our headline:

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

– David Ogilvy, Legendary Copywriter 

For more information on how to avoid these common pitfalls, check out our article on email marketing mistakes to avoid. One way to know you are implementing the right techniques for effective email advertising is through measurement.

How can the effectiveness of email advertising campaigns be measured directly?

To understand if your email marketing efforts are truly effective, you must understand how to measure them. Below are some common measurements you need to track to prove effective email campaigns.

  • Open rates will tell you about the effectiveness of your subject lines. If your target audience likes your headline, they will click it. A good open rate that works for most industries is about 20%.
  • Click-through rates (CTR) tell you about the effectiveness of your body copy. Your CTR increases when more customers click the links inside of your email. To improve your CTR, look at the appearance of your email, how your buttons work, and how compelling your requests are.
  • Conversion rates refer to the number of desired actions your customer takes with your email. If your goal is to make more sales, you get a higher conversion rate when people make those purchases. Other conversions include increased email subscribers, webinar sign-ups, video views, and clicks.
  • Bounce rates refer to the number of audience members who do not go through with action on your email. Another form of bouncing is someone who visits one page on your website and doesn’t move to the other page. Again, this can be related to various body-based weaknesses of your email.
  • Unsubscription rates refer to the number of people who unsubscribe from your email list. This comes when you don’t meet the needs of your target audience. Creating more value-driven content will reduce your subscription rate. You also might not have found the right audience of people.

 Without tracking metrics, you won’t know how well your email advertising campaign is working. To find out how to build more effective emails, read our article on how to build an email marketing strategy.

Different types of emails you need to build an email marketing strategy

 To keep things simple, it’s good to have a list of different types of emails. Below, you’ll find out the different types of emails you need to consider for building an effective strategy:

  • Welcome emails thank the newcomer for joining your email list. These are great tools for making people feel welcome when joining your list, typically keeping them around.
  • Email blasts send a single email to your entire email list. “Blasts” aren’t usually strategic and are outside of marketing automation. These are good if you need to announce or update your users on current events or issues.
  • Survey emails want to get feedback from your customers. The feedback can be related to products or suggestions to improve your list. Survey data can be great information if you want to get some direction on what your audience is looking for.
  • Nurturing emails are specific to encouraging a lead to make a purchase. These are most useful with email segmentation, where you split your email list based on their use of your products or services. These are specific to people who have already expressed interest in your product.
  • Newsletters are the bulk of what many email marketers send out. These contain value-driven information that is helpful to the user related to your industry. Consider them similar to a blog post, only directly through email channels.
  • Promotional emails specifically make customers aware of current promotions. Seasonal promotions related to holidays or sales events are common here. Promotional content can also help drive awareness of new products or services.

Likely, you’ll want to include all types of emails to create a complete marketing strategy. At the very least, keeping them in mind will give you a few options to pick from.

Keeping the different types of emails in mind lets you categorize them. When creating a comprehensive strategy, filling out these email categories can help you make emails with different goals.

For example, a newsletter email is ideal for retaining subscribers and establishing you as a trusted source, while a promotional email boosts conversion rates. Setting different goals for different categories helps you understand where you can improve.

Tips for creating the most effective email marketing campaigns

Now that you know how to track effective emails, the different types of emails, and their advantages and disadvantages, you can find some tips for effective campaigns below.

Segment your email lists

Email segmentation is dividing your email lists based on various factors. For example, you wouldn’t advertise the same way to new customers as a customer who has already purchased.

Segmentation lets you create more personalized experiences applicable to the subscriber’s situation. You can move customers to different parts of the email segment as they take further action. This boosts your conversion rate and saves time when personally handling these communications.

Avoid buying email addresses

You can purchase email lists online that might fit your ideal customer. However, the most effective email campaigns are opt-in, meaning that the customer chooses to subscribe to you.

When you buy emails, the recipients do not decide to receive communications from you. This means your emails will more likely end up in the spam folder.

Even worse, your emails might violate various laws regarding email spam. For example, the United States has a CAN-SPAM Act that reduces the amount of unwanted commercial communication via text messages and emails.

Instead of buying emails, use our next set of tips.

Boost your email list with lead magnets

Lead magnets are a free product or service you give in exchange for information, often an email. For example, you can provide a free eBook in exchange. With this data, you can eventually lead them to purchase your product.

Lead magnets provide a free tool for your customers that helps them out with a problem your service is trying to solve. By providing this, you establish yourself as someone who helps a customer (over someone who creates email lists for sales).

When providing free products, be sure that they are beneficial. You don’t want to provide something worthless, which will cause users to turn around and unsubscribe from what you send.

Don’t send too many emails

We get a lot of inbox clutter on a day-to-day basis. So, to avoid becoming part of that clutter, limit how often you send emails to your subscribers.

You’ll want to base the emails’ frequency on their interest level. For example, if they are actively using a free trial of your software, it makes sense to send daily emails on how to use the product.

However, if the lead hasn’t expressed interest, reducing those emails by once a week or a month would be more appropriate. It would be best if you also focused on more value-driven content (not sales-driven content).

However, you can still remind them of promotions. The cost of your product can be a deciding factor of why they go from lead to customer. So, when you tell your customers of the reduced price (like a Black Friday deal), it can be excellent timing to give your subscriber a reason to buy.

Conclusion

As a reminder, email marketing campaigns exist to advertise a service or product. However, not all emails should be promotional. You should also know that there are some pros and cons to using email for advertising.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a thoughtful email marketing strategy. You can also check out some of our featured email marketing tools to make it easier to automate your business, generate email segments, and create more engaging emails.