Is Email Marketing Dead?

avatar Meghan Reitz | Digital Marketing Coordinator

With the rise and fall of new social and marketing platforms, it is easy to move from one platform to the next. Most people see email marketing as a thing of the past which has left businesses with an important question: is email marketing dead? The short answer is not at all, we think it is alive and well! In fact, with all the changes to marketing attribution tactics across sales channels, gathering first-person data from users is going to be more important than ever to implement for businesses.

Because although there are many new flashy methods of reaching your target audiences, sometimes it can be just as impactful to stick to the basics. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. As a full-service marketing agency, we have been asked many times, is email marketing dead? And our answer is the same, email marketing is not dead, and if you follow our tips and tactics you’ll not only be able to gain the attention of your target audience—you’ll be able to convert them and master email marketing! 

Make a Plan

All good marketing strategies need a strong base to work off of. Start your marketing plan by taking into account what has worked for you in the past. If you’ve found that the content you’ve created has generated a lot of engagement or received a lot of impressions—whether that be online or on social platforms—it’s likely that an email marketing campaign would be a good addition to your strategy. It tells us that so long as you’re willing to commit to delivering solid content and need-to-know information, your audience will be willing to receive it

Content is Key

You should consider what type of content would best appeal to your customers and how often they would want to hear from your company. Take time to build up a plan-of-action and schedule for how you want to use email marketing to reach your audience. It is important to also keep in mind that building a base for your email marketing and learning how to properly target your audience takes time. Don’t be frustrated if you aren’t seeing immediate results. Most digital marketing campaigns can take between six and twelve months to start seeing ROI. So keep trying!

Build your Audience

Email marketing drives the best results when you’re speaking to the right audience. When you are building your email lists, think about the types of people that you want to be receiving this email. What content do they want? Where do they go to find it? 

Wherever it is, that’s what you need to deliver and where you need to be. Because building the right audience starts with engaging like-minded audiences and offering information that pertains to them. When attracting email subscribers, think about where your consumers interact with your business. Should you include a link on your website? Should you offer a discount upon signing up? Are you hosting an event or attending a conference? Where in the program can you add a quick sign-up link for your email list?  Should you include it on your social channels with an enticing offer for people to try out your newsletter? The best (and frankly easiest) way to build the right audience is to engage with the people in front of you—whether that be in person, or online. 

Segment Your Email List

Not everyone who has an interest in your business has the same interests in your business. Make sure that whichever email service you’re using is well organized on the backend so that you can quickly reach the audience you’re trying to target. The longer your list is, the more important it will be to divide the list into specific categories so that you’re delivering content to the right audience. 

For example, if you offer a tiered membership system, you will want to segment your lists to appeal to each level and speak to the relevant updates for each membership tier. Similarly, you can break your list into different tiers of engagement or interest. The lower tier would be people who are interested but not heavily involved. You want to create a sense of FOMO with this group and show them what they are missing out on by not being more involved with your company. The next tier would target people who are more involved, showing them potential opportunities for them to engage in. From there, you can continue to segment your audience until you have either covered all your membership levels or have compiled a list that satisfies all content you want to distribute to your audience. 

Keep in mind, each segment you make has to fit into a newsletter you are going to write. If you make your segments too niche you will be making highly specific emails, and lots of them. As good as it is to segment your audience, do not over segment more than you can handle and do not make your segments so niche that you can’t find people to fill your list. Start out larger and if you find you want to target a specific audience more, you can continue to segment and experiment with your lists as they grow.

If you don’t have a membership system or can’t figure out the best way to segment your audience, you can create email lists based on how often your consumers will want to hear from you. Some companies segment these lists in their checkout process. They offer multiple boxes for the consumer to check depending on how often they want to hear from you, rather than you playing a guessing game. Some people will want to hear from you once a week, while others will only want monthly updates on what is new. This gives people the choice on when they want to hear from you which will lower your unsubscribe rate since they were given a choice rather than blindly opting into an email list.

Keep it Consistent

The most important factor to consider when beginning email marketing is staying consistent. Lots of clients want to start a weekly email newsletter, but few realize the amount of time and effort it takes to produce it. And you’re not going to see results if your weekly email is going out every other month. Allow your audience time to get used to hearing from you. 

Think of email marketing as a key element to building a trusting relationship. The more quality content you deliver to your audience on a regular basis, the more content they will trust—and expect. Court them effectively and eventually, they will be looking for your email every week if they are used to seeing it at that time. So figure out what type of email schedule works best for you, and stick to it. Consistency is key.

Make it Pretty

No one is going to sit and read an email that has no stylistic aspect to it. There are many programs that have been released that will make your content look clean, professional and on brand. Some of our favorites that we use with our own clients are Mailchimp and Constant Contact

When designing, use this opportunity as a chance to further your brand image. Include your logos, colors, and fonts to keep your message consistent across all platforms. Keeping with your brand image will build loyalty and make you more recognizable to your audience. Most importantly, have fun! Designing content is half the fun of marketing. If you can’t stand by the materials you are producing, you’re doing it wrong. 

Subject Lines Matter

Email marketing can be the most cost effective way to reach a large group of people who are actively interested in your content. Almost everyone has been conditioned to check their email multiple times a day so odds are, they are going to see your email. 

But will they click on it? 

That’s where the importance of writing a good, catchy subject line cannot be understated. You can write the best article in the world but if your subject line is “My Weekly Newsletter”, people are probably not going to click on it—at least not right away. But a subject line like “The Best Article You Will Ever Read”—while extremely pompous—is also much more fun and engaging. 

Some email marketing platforms also allow you the option to personalize your subject line. You can address people directly by their first name in the subject line which can catch their attention as they scroll through all the mundane, boring subject lines that have already filled their email. Most people scroll through their email and look for the lines that stick out to them to click on, make sure yours makes enough impact to cause people to stop on it. 

Typically our rule of thumb with email subject lines is to tease the best, most exciting part of your newsletter so that when recipients receive it they will not only click on it, they will read it!  

The Cost of Doing Business

The return on investment (ROI) of email marketing has the most impactful results compared to almost all other forms of marketing. According to Constant Contact, email marketing on average has an ROI of $36 for every $1 spent. It has the highest return on investment than any other form of marketing. They even found that 60% of customers made a purchase from an email marketing campaign. In conclusion, if you are thinking that email marketing may work for you, it is cost effective to at least give it a shot for a little while. Try it out and see how your audience interacts with it. 


Now that you have read our email marketing teams tips, you can become the master email marketer you have always wanted to be. As you start to send out your emails, remember the key to marketing is adapting. If your first email doesn’t do well try again – segment different people, write different content, try out a catchy subject line or refine your marketing strategy. With every email you send you will slowly start to refine your marketing skills and build your audience until you are able to see success and master email marketing. 

And to answer the big question, is email marketing dead? Industry research, (as well as our own experience) has shown that it is very much alive and well.

Looking for an email marketing team to handle your email marketing needs? Let us help you out, fill out a request form and we can take it off your hands! We look forward to working with you.