What is Email Marketing and why does it work?

Email marketing is important for customer relationship management (CRM) and allows the sender to deliver personal, targeted messages directly to their list of contacts.

These messages, or emails, can be highly personalized based on the end receiver. This is one of the main reasons why email marketing can be so effective.

The three main reason why email marketing works so well are:

  • Email personalization
  • Low acquisition cost per contact
  • Data measurement

Personalization: Email marketing can be incredibly targeted. Not only can you create different email campaigns for different target markets, but you can also create different emails for customers at different points in your sales funnel. 

Low cost: Cost per contact acquisition is relatively low compared to other forms of marketing, which makes it more cost effective than putting money towards creating ads on social media.

Data measurement: Emails sent out can also be measured, allowing senders to analyze data such as open-rate, number of people who unsubscribed, links clicked, etc. This makes it easy to A/B test and helps streamline future email copy and campaigns.

This email marketing guide will walk you through the basics of email marketing and what it is, how to build up your list of contacts, and some helpful tips to help you create effective emails for your campaigns.

How is email used for marketing?

In order to create an email marketing strategy, you’ll first need to define your marketing goals. How will email help you achieve theses goals?

How will your email campaign lead customers down your funnel?

Think of it this way: Not everyone in your contact list is there for the same reason.

Some of your contacts may be due to online purchases they made through your e-commerce site. Others may have signed up exclusively to receive monthly newsletters and industry information from your team. And of course there’s the group of people who, upon trying to leave your site, were tempted by your sweet 15% off their first order and signed up to your mailing list thanks to your exit-intent pop-up.

Your contact list is varied. A single email will not satisfy everyone’s needs, nor will get them to perform a desired action. You need to personalize your outreach to your different audience segments within your contact list. 

Growing your contact list

Simply having an email subscription form on your site isn’t going to cut it when it comes to growing your list of contacts.

What you need is to provide something of value, something that your target audience would like to have that is worth them sharing their email with you.

Some value items to consider are:

  • Ebooks
  • Free video content
  • PDFs and infographics
  • Exclusive deals and coupons
  • White papers and case studies
  • Study material
  • Free consultations

Take your time researching your target audience in order to build an effective lead magnet.

Do you sell products online? You’ll probably gain new contacts if you offer a discount for signing up.

Do you publish specialized content daily or are you an industry leader in your field? Create PDFs/ebooks that help you share your industry knowledge to your target audience and build yourself up as an expert.

You should also consider having an email opt-in pop up on your site to get customers to sign up for your newsletter.

Consider creating an exit-intent pop-up to capture customers and potential leads on their way out of your site.

Collecting customer information for email marketing

Now that you have a lead magnet worthy of collecting email addresses, you’ll need to consider what additional information you would like to get from your customers.

Getting their email address was the main goal, of course, but any additional information you can get from them will help you create more personalized messages down the line.

There’s a fine balance between asking for too much customer information and not getting enough. If a customer needs to fill out multiple fields of personal information just to sign up to your weekly newsletter, it may scare them off.

It’s pretty safe to ask for information such as their email, a phone number, and a name. Additional fields like job title, where they work, date of birth, and gender are great to know for marketing purposes, but may keep them from signing up to your newsletter.

For additional information, you’ll want to be transparent with your customers and let them know exactly why you want it. Want to send them a special birthday coupon for a free meal at your restaurant? Let them know that! The more transparent you can be about the information you’re requesting from your customers, the more likely they’ll be willing to share it with you.

And if you’re worried that asking for too much information early on will muddy your relationship with the customer, don’t worry! You can always ask for additional information down the line through exclusive email offers, online sales, competitions, and surveys. You can create special landing pages with additional fields to be filled out in order to participate.

Focus on the basics when you first begin building your database and build up from it based on your success and shortcomings.

Email rules and regulations

Laws have become more strict in recent years in regards to spam and unsolicited emails. Regulations now exist in order to protect personal information and how businesses use the data they collect from customers.


To protect users from email spam, the CAN-SPAM Act was introduced to increase transparency between the sender and receiver. The sender must not falsify their contact information or use deceptive subject lines, they must make it easy for recipients to be able to unsubscribe at any time, and they must include a valid physical postal address.

You can read more about the CAN-SPAM Act here.


The General Data Protection Regulation is a European Union (EU) law enacted back in 2018 that affects businesses worldwide.

It monitors and regulates how businesses use data they collect from their customers and requires the business receive consent from their EU customers when processing their data.

Unless you exclusively work with US companies, and you somehow have a way of restricting users from other parts of the world from signing up to your newsletter, the safest option is to add GDPR checkbox that allows for consent from the receiver.

You can read more about GDPR here.

On purchasing email lists

Purchasing email lists is almost never a good idea. The most effective campaigns are the ones targeting prospects who have already agreed to receive emails from you. Sending emails to people who don’t know you is spam and can harm your reputation and increase your unsubscribe rate.

Some CRM platforms like Mail Chimp and ConstantContact, will not allow you to use emails purchased from a mailing list. It’ll take longer for you to build your own list, but it will ensure you don’t violate any laws if you do it correctly.

Email Best Practices 

Here are some valuable tips you should consider when creating your email

  • Add alt text to the images you include in your emails
  • Include an online version of your email in case the email fails to load properly on a device
  • Space out any links and make sure your buttons are large enough for people using mobile devices (about 44px)/ This will make it easy for mobile users to click on the right buttons
  • Make sure your email is branded throughout. That includes using your brand colors, fonts and typefaces, and included your logo where appropriate
  • Test your emails! Open your email on different devices and email accounts to get a general idea of how some of your viewers will see your content. Pay close attention to the way the email is formatted, how much of your subject line is shown, if there are any issues with the links you provided, make sure the elements you included are rendering properly, and that key information and CTA buttons are clear and easy to follow.  
  • Always measure data you collect from the emails you send out. Look at your open rates, how many people unsubscribed, what links people are clicking on, click through rates, and much more. Use data you collect to formulate new strategies and guide the changes you make to future emails. 


Email marketing may be the tool your business needs to help bring in more customers. You can create different emails for different customers in your sales funnel, which helps to increase conversion rate by giving leads exactly what they want. Look forward to our future guide on creating a marketing campaign and coming up with a proper marketing strategy! 

Interested in our email marketing services? Want to expand your contact list and get valuable customers who love what you do? Schedule a free consultation with us or give us a call at 760-385-3117 and see how we can help your business grow.

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