E-mail marketing has come a long way. But it still carries the baggage of the early years.

E-mail marketing has it's origins in SPAM - unsolicited e-mails selling things we aren't at all interested in. We all still have filters to remove such messages every day, even though they are technically illegal.

When you ask a crowd of people what they think of when they think of e-mail marketing, they will sometimes say things like "annoying, intrusive, pestering." These negative reactions are rooted in years of prior experience with disrespectful e-mails. So, some businesses have a difficult time with the notion of sending e-mails to a list of people that might just get deleted or be percieved in this way.

Even I struggle to use the term "e-mail marketing" because of the connotations it carries. I prefer to say "digital communications campaigns," which prevents those issues from coming up. (Although it's a little jargon-y, which is another issue altogether!)

However, e-mail marketing has evolved into the best tool for connecting to your target audience. The rules for allowing people to opt-in and unsubscribe puts the power in the hands of the recipient. When asked specifically about these types of e-mails, people have a completely different reaction. They expect to receive them since they signed up for it. They know the person or business it is coming from. They have control over whether or not to continue receiving it.

In fact, customers say that e-mail is the preferred way to receive information about products or services from trusted sources.

So it is time to get over your hang-ups with e-mail marketing and begin using this effective tool. Just be sure to do the following three things to make sure your recipients will be happy to hear from you.

#1 Honor the rules
These should be obvious. Be sure to allow people to opt-in to your list. Never add people without their permission. And always have a clear option to unsubscribe. For starters, breaking these rules is illegal.

But it is also important that your list feels that they are in control. Remember, the primary value of the people on your list is that they are choosing to be on it. So, they have to be able to make that choice. Don't sweat the unsubscribes. Focus on the ones who are choosing to stay.

#2 Provide value
Creating valuable content takes effort, but sending e-mails without value to the recipient is a recipe for a shrinking list. It's like a version of that saying my mom used to use: "If you don't have anything to say, then don't send anything at all." Of course, not sending anything isn't going to do much for you. 

You provide value to your clients through the work that you do in your business. It should be possible to share little pieces of that value in your communications. It gives them something worthwhile and helps to build a connection with them so they will want to continue hearing from you.

#3 Respect your list
The people on your list signed up for something they are interested in, and that is what you should give them. Don't send too many things from other businesses (cross sales) and certainly don't share your list.

It's also important to respect their time. Don't send too often and don't send repetitive messages.

If you follow these simple, common-sense rules for authentic e-mail marketing, you will be able to gain the trust and loyalty of those on your list, and eliminate any hang-ups about e-mail marketing.



10/03/2013 12:09am

Thanks for sharing the information. That’s a awesome article you posted. I found the post very useful as well as interesting. I will come back to read some more.

07/17/2017 8:58am

There are so many ways on how we can promote our business online. Some would create an account on different social media websites, while some prefer the what we so called Email Marketing. It's becoming a trend nowadays since it was proven to be more effective. Personally, I receive paid advertisement through my email. Though some are a bit annoying, I admit that some are effective!

05/19/2016 11:12pm

Has E-mail marketing it's origins in SPAM?

06/11/2016 5:26am

I dont think email marketing has it's original revenue but still works.


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