E-mail marketing

The first email was sent more than 50 years ago, and the first commercial bulk email dates back to 1978.

It is therefore challenging to attach the label ‘new’ or ‘the future of technology’ to the term ‘Email Marketing. Other technologies and channels are more ‘trending’ these days.

What is the adoption of Email Marketing today? How does the effectiveness and value of this channel compare to other marketing channels?


In 3-4 minutes of reading time, the content below provides insight and answers to these questions. Linking to the many source citations will naturally increase your time commitment. Your knowledge will grow with you by the minute!

Email Marketing: Stats, stats, stats! 

For every $1 you spend, email delivers a return of $42. It may be an old medium, but it certainly is effective! Marketers indicate that the effectiveness of the channel is increasing, making it even more relevant to adopt.

Others have already listed the measurable results of Email Marketing. Impressive numbers that don’t lie!

E-mail Marketing: mission-critical 

In 2019, a third (32%) of marketing professionals worldwide viewed email marketing as critical to the success of their business.
That percentage rose to 40% during the pandemic and now stands at 42%.

Recent research now shows that Email Marketing is the most effective marketing channel. More effective than ‘Paid Search’, ‘Organic Search’ and ‘Social Media.’

To generate a revenue pipeline for sales, Email Marketing is the most robust channel (73% conversion) compared to ‘Social Advertising’ (an average of 25%). The total spent on Social Advertising compared to Email Marketing is much higher, from which you could conclude that Email Marketing delivers the highest return.

E-mail Marketing: Goals 

There is an increase in E-mail Marketing to realize customer acquisition and brand awareness within the business market. This tactic involves approaching both customers and prospects.

It’s essential to actively approach both target groups and adapt your content to the type of target group and characteristics.

Research shows the differences in objectives and focuses per market segment.

E-mail Marketing: Challenges 

A proven channel. High adoption, thus potentially high accessibility. High and measurable conversions. Long-term costs, so a relatively high return. Everything seems to be easy peasy!

Yes, but only if you have the fundamentals around Email Marketing in order. There is a lot of work that goes into this.

Not only is it essential to set up a campaign properly, but the input and output of a campaign weigh just as heavily. There are plenty of tips to get started with setting this up.

The most mentioned challenges:

  • CRM data is not up to date
  • CRM data is not enriched enough to segment target groups
  • Lack of data integration across multiple customer engagement platforms
  • Insufficient reporting to have results measurable and comparable
  • Too little data and coverage to approach prospects effectively

Your Email Marketing Chain is only as strong as its weakest link. First, check whether your foundation is in order before committing to an objective such as customer acquisition.

Email Marketing: Best practices

To get the fundamentals right, in any case, follow these guidelines:

  • Develop a strategy first before focusing on the tactics.
    You set up a campaign based on your (Go to Market) strategy, not the other way around. Prioritise strategy over the campaign. Customers and prospects value and trust your different touchpoints more once they recognise and relate to your campaigns. They will understand you better, increasing conversion and brand awareness.
  • Focus on benefits over (product) features.
    Recipients always wonder, “What’s in it for me?” Whether subscribing to an email newsletter or their decision by clicking on an offer. Content that appeals to value for the recipient instead of ‘let’s talk about me’ converts better.
  • Use customer/prospect (data) attributes to drive meaningful personalisation.
    Once the receiver feels – yes, feels – that the sender has relevant information about the receiver and the content is tailored, the conversion will improve as the content is more relevant to the receiver.
  • Generate central insight and test.
    As soon as the results of your campaigns are centrally and interactively available, you can implement A/B tests effectively, for example.
    You also optimise future campaigns by gaining insight into historical data: which type of respondents converted better within which market segment, customer type and based on what kind of content? Using this central insight, you avoid wasting valuable time and money on strategies or tactics that don’t work.
  • Keep learning.
    The saying: ‘change is the only constant’ always applies, which includes the theme: of updated legislation, changing customer expectations, new (marketing) technology and trends. Read trade publications, join industry associations, hang out in email communities, and read blogs 😉.
  • Ask for help and responsibility from your suppliers.
    Together we know more. Do not hesitate to pick up the net from your suppliers and use their expertise. Your suppliers will benefit more from customers who get high returns from using their technology and platforms. If they can’t or won’t help, it may be time to find another supplier. You can also expect your suppliers to deliver measurable results.

Written by Sander de Bont