The case for email marketing


Regular email marketing goes hand in hand with successful online shopping. Email promotions and offers generate immediate action: sales, downloads, inquiries, registrations, etc. Informative email newsletters and other emails send people to offline stores and events, prepare the way for catalogs, build awareness, contribute to branding, strengthen relationships, encourage trust and cement loyalty. Every successful online retailer uses this technique to entice shoppers to their site with:

  • Special offers for a limited time – e.g. Rohan just sent out ‘20% off all shirts for next 48 hours only’
  • Announcements of new products available – e.g. ‘new season stock now in’
  • Advance sale notification – many sites offer their regular customers code that allows them to have first pick of sale items before the general masses
  • End of line bargains
  • Reminders – e.g. ‘don’t forget to buy sunscreen for the upcoming hot weather’

Why it works 

  • It allows targeting
  • It's data driven
  • It drives direct sales
  • It builds relationships, loyalty and trust
  • It supports sales through other channels

Modern email marketing services and solutions support database integration, segmentation and various other tricks and techniques for improving the targeting of outgoing messages. Advanced methods generate on-the-fly emails customized down to an individual recipient basis. And every email campaign you send out generates actionable data you can use to refine your approach and messages.

Here’s some evidence to support this:

  1. The DMA puts email marketing's ROI for 2011 at $40.56 for every $1 invested. The figure for 2012 is predicted to "fall" to $39.40, when email will account for $67.8 billion in sales (source:DMA 2011)
  2. 72% of respondents to an Econsultancy survey in early 2011 described email's ROI as excellent or good. Only organic SEO scored better (Econsultancy 2011).
  3. A 2011 MerchantCircle survey of over 8,000 local business owners in the US found email marketing cited by 35.8% as a Top 3 most effective marketing or advertising method. Only social network profiles and search engine marketing scored higher (source:MerchantCircle 2011).
  4. A 2011 business survey by Ireland's Marketing Institute saw 84% claiming email marketing was important or very important to their marketing strategy (source: IMI 2011).
  5. The ForeSee Results 2010 report on the effectiveness of social media found that promotional emails were the second biggest influence on retail website visits. The biggest influence was familiarity with the brand (source: ForeSee 2010).