What is email marketing?

Are you looking for ways to engage with your current and potential customers? 

You should probably consider email marketing for your business.

Email marketing involves sending relevant and engaging information to prospective and existing clients. This platform is essentially used to communicate with customers, sell their products, and stay in touch.

This marketing method was well received because the recipients expressed considerable interest. 

email marketing gif

But does an email strategy only involve sending advertisements or soliciting customers? No. 

This form of business communication focuses on increasing brand trust. You will have a peek at how your client wants to choose the best product or service which you should consider. 

Before we move on, let’s dial back the time to understand the history of email and the role it plays on marketing.

History of Email Marketing

1965 - Precursor to the “Email”

1965 Email

Do you have any guesses as to how email looked in 1965?

Early Email is one step forward towards what is now known today as an archive

The first recorded example of an email dated can be found on computers at the Boston Institute of Technology in a program called "MAILBOX" in 1965. Send Messages (SNDMSG) uses similar software to run the files.

The user could write messages to another user by sending files in the file directory. Simple things are just like leaving your notes in the office. 

1969 - The ARPANET

Does the name ring a bell? 

The US Government of Defense established ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), a platform that linked multiple computers around the department for internal communication.

On October 29, 1969, ARPANET sent the first computer-to-computer email.

This is what it looked like:


1972 – The First Email Management System is Developed

I’m sure you’re curious about the iconic “@” symbol. Let’s see how it emerged. 

Ray Tomlinson

Ray Tomlinson was the creator of the first computer-generated system using a symbol for sending and receiving data. 

It was possible because his system used a "@" symbol to distinguish Internet sites. 

Apparently, Tomlinson wrote his first Email in 1971. Ray said he doesn't remember what he wrote, but many say it reads like “ QWERTY ip.” 

1972 – The first email management system is developed

This year, Larry Roberts began creating the email management platform.

Larry Roberts

This is a massive breakthrough as users could finally also do the following:

  • list the messages
  • choose the recipient
  • send a reply
  • send another email

1976-The Queen's First Email 

Elizabeth II was the only monarch in England to use email. She testified using the ARPANET email system when she visited Royal Signals and Radar Establishments in Malvern, England.

1977 - The Very First Newsletter Was Sent

While email marketing may seem a newer concept, the first newsletter was sent via Arpanet on December 22, 1977

This newsletter was named EMMS, aka Electronic Mail and Message Systems, and believe it or not; it ran until 2001.

1978 – The First Email Marketing Started

You may be aware that email blast is common. This has shaped the entire evolution of email marketing in the past. 

This is an invaluable strategy for promoting and marketing a product/service. Email marketing is one effective means of reaching large audiences. If done correctly, it may persuade the consumer to acquire the goods. 

The origins of email and ad messages have become helpful to every email user, your digital marketing team, and your clients.

How is it still relevant today?

Email Marketing continues to evolve with the technological advances of the 21st century. Until then, email had never really become a novelty to many consumers, but they were still ineffective.

Gary Thuerk 

Gary Thuerk of The Electronics Industry Research Institute (ERA) sent the first email to approximately 450 potential clients on the Internet. It also boosted the potential marketing of DEC products with mass mail campaigns. 

As email marketing became more popular as a means of communication, users began to call it spam. (You’ll learn more about this later)

The Other Inventor's EMAIL Program

It is still debated whether to use email or emailing.

Shiva Ayyadurai

Shiva Ayyadurai said it was his first email program as a teenager. Ayyadurai has designed software to run a new interoffice program which he called EMAILING. 

Ayyadurai subsequently earned a bachelor's from MIT, established technology firms, and began politics in his career. 

1982 - The Term “Electronic Mail Message” Was Shortened to “Email”

In the past, the use of the digital postage term for electronic messages was not really pronounced on tongues. 

The user was able to make life more convenient with the addition of words like “email.” 

1982 - Making Email Easier

We’re getting closer to the familiar face of email that we know today!

SMTP is an electronic mail transfer protocol that is standardized to provide standard messaging.

SMTP Protocol

The Tomlinson-designed SNDMSG system partly inspired the software. SMTP is the protocol used by email client systems when sending incoming emails from a server to the receiver. 

Another protocol is IMAP, or the Post Office Protocol (POP), emerged in the late twenties.

1988 – Spam Begins Its Reign

Is it possible to talk about email marketing without talking about spam? 

Many thought spam referred to spice ham, but the name actually came straight out of Monty Python's sketch. In 1988, the word spam was added to Oxford's Dictionary. 

The project was inspired by emails sent from a customer whose email was deemed irrelevant or barely drew attention. Using spam in the digital market has become an increasingly important issue. 

What is the easiest way to avoid email campaigns that cause feelings of spam and unattentiveness? 

As spam became prevalent in the email industry, it was clear that the industry could do something like this.

Spam Email

The First Spam Email

Eventually, someone discovered that email could be used to make money. 

Gary Thurek earned the title of “father of spam” for his unintentional email campaign. His campaign promoted an innovative digital electronics product, Digital Equipment Company. 

Gary Thurek spam email

Thureks claims that email generated $13 million in revenue. Obviously, it would be difficult to say whether this was spam or clever marketing. 

You could have a similar question regarding an ironic email campaign.

1988 - Outlook's Ancestor

Outlook’s ancestor 

In the early 1990s, Microsoft launched the first Microsoft-owned email software. 

The software is compatible with Windows and Macs. It was thought of as a successor to Exchange or Outlook products. 

Microsoft has been solving problems in email development ever since. Trouble creating emails from Outlook was an important feature in Email on Acid.

1989 – AOL Recorded the Iconic “You've Got Mail!” Track

When I think back on my first email, I remember three words: “Your email is here!”. It's easy to imagine AOL spent months creating an amazing audio, but that's nothing to do about that. 

Elwood Edwins' voice probably encouraged everyone who was interested in reading and using emails. His name was on the AOL email announcing that you had your email. 

AOL’s you’ve got mail 

It's perhaps the easiest way to get dopamine from a smartphone via the Internet. 

Edwards had worked on broadcast at a time when AOL employed him. He asked her to record the lines for himself on the cassette tapes he had on the couch. 

While his income did not increase with the album, his music still gets attention from the public. In 2015, Edwards drove an Uber. Often, we still hear this voice.

1989 - Lotus Notes Launched

Lotus Notes 1.1 was developed by Ray Ozzie / Mitch Kapor as a popular email client and software.

Late 1990s - Introduced Us to HTML Emails Taking Over Plain Text Emails

Can you still remember your email messages? 

How many were simple, typewritten, and visually appealing compared to others?

It wasn't possible before HTML emails were invented in the mid-1990s. Personalized fonts and color palettes have changed message perceptions in different ways and changed message format. 

HTML emails

Before the announcement, everyone had an idea of what the messages would reveal. HTML was also surprising. HTML has improved brand recognition and marketing for a business by helping it increase calls for action.

1991 - The Birth of The Internet

Imagine how we would live if there were no internet. 

The birth of the internet

The internet opened a massive door to daily life. The project has exploded possibilities in many industries connecting everyone globally. 

In the early Internet years, discussion forums were its primary use. USENET is an email support group based in India. 

The Web also provides everyday users with the ability to send an email. Internet users are provided with easy-to-use web browsers — usually free.

Email in Space

Emails have become more galactic since the late 1990s. At the same time, the Atlantist crew had to send the first emails to the spacecraft. 

“I'm gonna go on a mission to a remote planet to help us. Greetings from our crew.”

This was our first AppleLink in space. 

Happy to have you here. Send cryo & RSC. This crew was mainly interested in Apple products. The astronauts were also fitted with a WristMac, the predecessor of today's Apple Watch.

1992 - Making Email More Than Text

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension makes email easier and supports more characters than ASCII. This allows a variety of attachment types, including images, sound, and videos.

1992 - What You See Is What You Get


CompuServe has helped us convert emails without knowing the code. 

Early Internet Service Provider introduced an HTML editor for email and internet chat rooms, allowing different font sizes, shades, and emoticons.

1993 - The Birth of Webmail

Emails move quickly so quickly that one may forget how long it took to send and retrieve emails from an individual software program. 

Phillip Hallam-Baker

Phillip Hallam-Baker, the CERN security consultant, created the first webmail. He only tested it out and was never released.

1996 - Popular Email Services Begin to Launch

Following success with Lotus Notes, firms became aware of its popularity and decided to expand and start creating an electronic mail database. 

Microsoft launched the email service Internetmail in 1998, which went on to become Outlook. 

In the same year, Hotmail began launching free emails to all users. Until then, private email was the only electronic communication. 

Any person with an Internet connection can set their personal email addresses.

The Rise of Webmail Clients

It could be easily accessed using a computer that has an Internet connection. Web Mail became integrated into many Internet service providers during the early 1990s.

Hotmail & RocketMail were the first online freemails to be created, and later Yahoo!

1998 - Dictionary Gets Spam

The unfortunate fact is that emails can be cheap to communicate with.

Unwanted messages, which were often delivered by unsavory operations, quickly became an issue and are likely the gloomiest scar in email history. 

Here are the present statistics for spam as of 2022:

Spam statistics

In 1998, the word spam was introduced in the New Oxford Dictionary, and several internet terms in the dictionary. 

Those that have called spam emails can trace their origins from a Monty Python sketch. In the sketch, customers in an eatery receive annoying chants of spam that are hardly desired by them.

2002 - Email Goes Wireless

Early consumers liked the BlackBerry. 

The smartphones gained popularity partly because BlackBerry focuses on mobile email. Its release in 2002 was the first smartphone designed to offer email and not pager features.

2003 - The CAN-SPAM Act

A law in Washington governing unauthorized access to a private email account is known in part as the CAN-SPAM Act

In 2003 the Bush government passed this law a decade after the creation of electronic mail. Some critics believe that this is a mistake. 

The new law encourages people to opt-out of the form by spoofing the field. Since the law did not prohibit sending unsolicited emails, several people call this a “You-Can-Spam act.”

2003 – The CAN-SPAM Act Was Introduced in The US

Can-spam act

Do not think it's serious as it encourages spamming. 

It is actually quite different. The CAN-SPAM legislation of 2003 was passed in 2003 by the United States Congress and was designed to reduce unsolicited emails. 

Autopilot said the system also requires that every email to the sender contain a link to remove the email a reader may not receive.

2004 - Gmail Changes the Game

Gmail 2004

In 2004 Gmail set a benchmark for email service providers. 

In the beginning, Gmail offered one-gigabyte storage. It's nothing like this today. But that was more than usual. Gmail added better browsing capabilities and a threadless conversation feature for commercial email.

The company launched tab-based mails in 2013, bringing new challenges to email delivery. 

2009 - Responsive Emails Were Introduced

How did mobiles affect the way email readers read email? 

Responsive emails

Webmail opened 38%, while desktops accounted for 18%, says Litmus. It is impossible without responsive email in 2009 that marketers could optimize their messages for every customer, regardless of their device, when checking the inbox. 

Send Pulse says that email responsiveness can increase email conversion rates by 70% compared to traditional emails.

2014 - Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

CASL was established in 2014 to advocate for best practices in email marketing campaigns and to combat spam and other related issues.

Identity theft, phishing, and the propagation of dangerous software such as viruses, worms, and trojans are among these challenges (malware). The legislation has had a good impact.

When CASL went into force in 2014, Canada was home to seven of the top 100 spamming companies in the world. There were only two by 2017.

2018 - General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU legal regulation on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area.

The GDPR is an essential component of EU privacy legislation and human rights law, particularly Article 8 of the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights.

2020 - The Global Email Marketing Market Continues to Rise

The global email marketing market was valued at $7.5 billion and is STILL projected to increase to $17.9 billion by 2027. (Statista, 2021) 

email marketing value

Let’s Look at The Numbers

Now that you know the History of Email, let’s dig deeper. 

A successful Email Marketing campaign relies on your strategy. 

  • Is it well thought out? 
  • Did you design it carefully? 

These influence how well your email campaign will do in terms of increasing revenue. 

Below you will find the most important email statistics for creating better email campaigns for your customers.

Email campaign statistics

Numbers don’t lie.

The patronage that email campaigning receives can tell you how effective it is and how it has proven its relevance in today’s market.

Let’s get more specific. 

Below, you can see figures for B2B Email Marketing:

B2B email marketing stats

For something that’s been around for a while, email marketing still proves effective. Not only for promotion but also as a tool for lead generation. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Email Marketing

You must be wondering, as everything good has its disadvantages. Email marketing is no exception so you’ll learn about the pros and cons of email marketing.

Interested to know why we could say so? Keep reading. 

Advantages of Email Marketing

1. It is Economical‍

According to the newest data from Litmus, email marketing has a 3600 percent return on investment (ROI).

Email marketing ROI

If you're not sure if it's a good indicator, it simply means that having a quality email marketing campaign can rank up to $40 - $42 ROI for every $1 invested.

How does email marketing do it?

Email marketing can help businesses acquire customers quickly by providing high conversion rates and high profits. This is why it’s popular for its ROI and saving businesses from further expense.

Speaking of Cost-effectiveness

Cost effective email marketing

Unlike traditional advertising methods such as PPC or paid ads, email advertising can offer low-cost ways of reaching new and existing customers. This allows for efficient campaigns in less expensive ways. 

Remember that these expense estimates apply only to initiatives already in operation; you may not get similar results if you are just getting started. However, it is very dependent on the quality of your segmentation and approach (more on this point a bit later in this article).

2. It's Simple to Create, Launch, and Test

Simplicity of email marketing

Email marketing is a relatively inexpensive and quick process, and it may be a lifesaver for small businesses. With internet connection available to the majority, this method is accessible for anyone with no special skills required. 

Every central email marketing platform offers a library of free templates. Using templates, you can build a stunning responsive newsletter in minutes. 

Email templates

With a few modifications in the drag-and-drop block editor, you'll have a ready-to-use HTML template that you can use or further personalize (we’ll talk more about this later on) if you want to take it to the next level.

Unlike SEO, where you must wait months for results, you may see the initial results of your campaign in the following day's report with email marketing. It's also simple to A/B test your campaign to find which version works best for you.

A Big Plus in Email Marketing Is Its Automation Capabilities

Other marketing strategies can take up a lot of time and staffing compared to email, which is an easy and efficient marketing strategy that businesses can use. 

A vast pool of free email marketing automation software allows business automation in all phases of email marketing, from email greetings to pitching products. If these don’t work for you, outsourcing is always an option.

Automation = Time Saving

As an additional benefit to having full control of your campaign, automated emails allow you to get more leads quickly and effectively. 

Marketing automation

For example, you can automate email messages sent to the customers after they take a particular action. You can also download templates to save more work time. (there are more examples about this in item 4)

3. Open for Personalization

According to one study, personalization increases email open and click-through rates by up to 26% in most circumstances.

Email personalization

But it's not just about getting the names right. The more important information your message delivers to a specific person, the less likely they will become frustrated by reading yet another notification.

You can personalize your emails by:

  • Complementing
  • Working with the geolocation of recipients
  • Considering their electronic devices and other technical aspects
  • Taking action based on previous product and service purchases and interactions

You do it by:

  • segmentation
  • splitting your clients into subgroups (segments) based on shared features.
  • create customized messages
  • enhance the message's impact by studying them and knowing their joys and frustrations

According to studies, segmentation can boost email income by up to 760 percent.

This Level of Attention Is Key to Build Relationships and Trust

Your client is probably too overwhelmed to receive messages on top of those piled up in their inbox.

Build relationship and trust

You can give them a break by sending emails with the perfect combination of personalized messages and relevant information directly into their email account. 

When your customers begin feeling like they are having a face-to-face conversation with you, you have established meaningful relationships with them. 

This will reward you with loyalty.

4. It Streamlines the Sales Process and Improves Customer Service

Email marketing offers more opportunities for lead nurturing automation than any other digital medium. It is a highly effective sales strategy. With the help of triggered emails, you can build up and schedule email campaigns and automate the sales funnel by leading a person through the purchase stages. 

According to one recent study, the click-through rate of triggered emails is four times higher than that of newsletters.

Open rate of emails

What's the best part about an email marketing sales cycle? 

You may turn your followers into new customers without actively participating in the process! 

You can kill multiple birds with one stone by pre-planning a series of automated follow-up emails:

  • Reduce or eliminate the necessity for more advertising. 
  • Save a lot of time by eliminating the need for an entire staff of experts.
  • Better customer service is required. A series of triggered emails about the condition of an ordered item can do wonders for a company's client confidence.

Emails Have the Ability to Measure KPIs And Metrics

Measure KPI and metrics

A key component of digital marketing for businesses are KPIs and metrics. Email allows companies to track all measurables necessary to convert emails into paying customers. 

Increase the number of customers who stay with you. Set up a series of post-purchase reminders or send out a welcome email series. It's simple to follow. It's all about numbers and strategy in marketing. Plus, it's pretty easy to see if what you're doing is mainly correct or if you've taken a wrong turn at some point.

You can commonly measure the following fundamental KPIs:

  • Rate of delivery.
  • Rates are open.
  • Rate of click-through.
  • Rate of unsubscribes.

There are advanced features like data on subscribers' devices, location, and opens and clicks. You can use it with Google Analytics to gain even more valuable data.

5. It Raises Brand Awareness: Complete Control Over Campaigns and Enhanced Visibility

Following branding requirements can slow down the email creation process, but it will pay off long term.

According to a study, presenting a brand consistently improves income by 33%.

Imporance of brand consistency

Another significant benefit is that you have complete control over how your brand is presented.

You are at the mercy of third parties on Facebook and Twitter. You may design your emails down to the tiniest detail to complement your positioning and visual identity with emails.

People are so accustomed to seeing emails daily that they don't even realize how they communicate with this or that company. You establish impressions in people's thoughts by exposing them to frequent "flashes" of your business. 

Aim for Brand Recognition.

You want your customer to recognize your brand from the pool of emails in their inbox. Companies do this by designing emails (or modifying templates) that use their brand colors, typefaces, logos, and tone of voice. What were the outcomes? 

6. Free Tool for Lead Generation

Lead generation

You can generate new leads through email marketing by communicating with your email list.

If you’re struggling with lead generation, AI-powered platforms can help create automated campaigns based on market research and behavior. 

To send automatic emails, we use the order history, user interest, and browsing patterns collected when predetermined trigger events occur, such as a user joining your newsletter, abandoning his cart, and unsubscribing.

Due to optimized subject lines, content, and specific emailing times when leads are more likely to check their mail.

better business communication

This Leads to Better Business Communication

Emails can improve business communication and provide easy contact with customers quickly. All information is instantly accessible to your clients by giving them contact to your customer support team via email. So it is highly efficient, especially in time-sensitive communications.

7. Environmentally Friendly

Email communication is a sustainable and effective marketing strategy for communicating with potential customers. It also costs way less than traditional printed ads. 

Carbon footprint of email

While there’s still room for improvement in the efforts to be environmentally conscious while making sure your business is on track, switching to emails is a good start.

8. Customer-Centric Marketing

Are you aiming for personal and customer-focused promotions?

Mail advertising offers that, and in addition, your clients will gain contact permission to email, which helps people feel better and in control. An email has a lower intrusive impact and gives users control over their email content.

Customer-centric marketing

In Relation, Email Also Provides More Targeted Marketing

Email offers you a chance to craft a better experience for your clients by adding your personal touch.

It helps strengthen relationships and boosts the bottom line making email marketing suitable for more individualized marketing lists or email marketing for e-commerce.

Disadvantages of Email Marketing

1. Risk of Spamming

Risk of spamming

One of the email providers, Gmail, offers an excellent service with rigorous and practical regulations for its clients. Even if they have previously permitted you to send them emails, people have differing views on what constitutes spam.

Are you worried about your email marketing efforts being flagged as spam?

Any commercial email is regarded as spam by some. Some people do it if they believe you're sending them too many emails.

Others do not bother to unsubscribe "properly" by clicking the unsubscribe button. As a result, even if your campaign is legitimate, you may have difficulty reaching your clients and partners.

Unsubscribe to email

In addition, depending on where your recipients live, you must follow privacy and data protection laws such as the General Data Protection Regulations and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Violations incur substantial fines, with even less severe penalties ranging from thousands to millions.

The solution: Use best practices and optimize the content of your emails to reduce the likelihood of them being sent to the "wrong" Gmail folder:

  • Clean up your listings regularly.
  • Make the option to "unsubscribe" prominently displayed.
  • Use email marketing platforms with anti-spam rules and tools to tell you what to do in your campaign to avoid even the most sensitive filters.

2. The Importance of Having a Good Mailing List‍

Unlike with social media ads, you can't immediately start your campaign from the beginning. With email marketing, you must first build an official customer list. Gone are the days when buying a list was acceptable.

What email lists affect

These are all risks and probabilities that should be considered when you evaluate the quality of your mailing list.

It isn't easy to see a strong conversion rate when you send to people who don't want to hear from you. The average conversion rate for "respectable" emails is 15%; spam conversion rates will be significantly lower.

Average email conversion rates 2016-2021

The solution: Create a list of customers interested in and inclined to engage with your offerings. You can expand your mailing list in several ways:

  • You should have the following signup forms on your website: Whether pop-ups or embedded documents, they're both effective. These are found in sidebars, footers, and blog pages.
  • Use of social media: Facebook registration forms, giveaways, YouTube cards, Facebook Lead Ads, and a slew of other options are available.
  • Offering something beneficial: lead magnets, discounts, loyalty programs, and access to helpful material are all examples of excellent offers.
  • Challenges, quizzes, surveys, and many other options are available.

3. Having a Hard Time Getting People's Attention‍

Attention is hard to get

The second most common digital marketing channel is email. 

With all its advantages, you'll need to be ready to compete with other players for a piece of your customers' attention. 

You have to keep these in mind:

  • E-mail is Commonplace.

The widespread use of e-mail may cause people some burden, and they may question its usefulness.

  • Email is Often Too Accessible. 

Because emails can be checked 24/7 on both computer and mobile devices, it can sometimes seem like something you need or affect your work-life balance.

  • You Have Fierce Competition.

It has become highly competitive due to a massive amount of email advertising campaigns competing to gain its customers' attention.

Email is a common marketing channel

To get the most out of your subscribers, create a strategy that describes how your important messages should appear and feel.

The solution: Make your emails readable. Accuracy, Brevity, and Clarity. These are the ABCs of email readability.

ABCs of readability

It's never been more critical to send high-quality emails and content. Inboxes are jam-packed, and the number of competing emails is staggering. 

How will you ensure that your content gets read and achieves your objectives?

Information overload is a pitfall I've tripped into in the past. I was so concerned with getting my message across that I over-communicated. It overloaded my customers with data.

Not ideal when there's already a lot of competition.

Why email marketing

Customers get 21 promotional emails each week on average. If your mailbox is anything like mine, that amount might feel like a daily total. As my marketing confidence developed, I minimized the noise I was making. I started using simple language and creating easy-to-read content. 

Final Note

Email marketing has many advantages associated with it. When used wisely, it can leverage sales, generate new customers, and help their retention. 

Great email marketing ultimately boils down to giving your audience something that resonates with them and keeps your business on their mind. 

Be it educational material about your industry, operational information about your service, or marketing messages about the products and services you offer. Otherwise, that email might just end up deleted or in the trash.

Are you ready to implement email marketing in your business? Book with us, and we’ll give you results.


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