Email Marketing



Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message via email to a group of people. It entails sending advertisements, soliciting business, or soliciting sales or donations via email.

Typically, the term refers to sending email messages with the goal of improving a merchant’s relationship with current or previous customers.

Excessive use of emails for marketing purposes such as mass mail and messages designed purely for commercial purposes without anything else are commonly referred to as “SPAM” and is not the same thing as email marketing.

In order to combat SPAM many countries and legal jurisdictions make it mandatory to provide an “opt out” link or button to recipients so they can choose if they wish to receive such content.

Some background history

Email marketing has evolved rapidly in tandem with the technological advancements of the twenty-first century. Gary Thuerk of Digital Equipment Corporation sent the first mass email to 400 potential clients in 1978 via the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET).

He claims that this resulted in $13 million in DEC product sales. Email marketing has the advantage of allowing marketers to identify ROI and measure and improve efficiency.

Types of emails and their purpose:

Depending on the objective there are different types of email content that may be sent in a marketing campaign such as the following.

E-Newsletters & Mailing Lists

Email Marketing systems are most commonly used to create newsletters for end-users to subscribe to and as a result receive content in their inbox.

These mailing lists typically contain videos, blog posts, podcasts and other informational material alongside some commercial content like webinars, events, products and digital goods like e-books and audio-books.

Mailing lists can be integrated with a variety of technologies and most commonly available with plugins/extensions for platforms like WordPress.

Email Marketing has proven to be an effective digital channel and is a great way to keep in touch with your customer base.

Here are some statistics in relation to email marketing:

The average open rate for emails sent in North America is 19.00%

Including a recipient’s name in your email subject line increases open rates by up to 18.30%

The words “free”, “help”, “percent off”, and “reminder” in a subject line have been found to negatively impact open rates

Emails with personalized subject lines get a 26% boost in open rates

Transactional Emails

Transactional emails refer to bulk automated messages that are part of a larger process such as a membership website or forum.

In this scenario emails and potentially email sequences need to be sent out to users based on different actions for example:

  • Welcome email for new user sign-up
  • Instructions after a sign-up or purchase
  • Special sale or discount
  • New event or piece of content
  • Password reset/forgot requests
  • Account verification links
  • Purchase and order confirmation emails
  • Electronic copies of receipts
  • Order status emails (e.g. item has been shipped & item has arrived)

Transactional emails can be setup in different technologies or integrated within software by a software development provider such as AGR Technology to fulfill specific requirements.

Outreach Emails

Outreach is another common use of email marketing and involves identifying a target audience interested in your product or service and then approaching them offering to help and initiate a dialogue to further connect.

Outreach can also be used to further content marketing efforts and SEO to raise attention to published content on a blog platform.


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Source(s) cited:

“Email marketing” Wikipedia, 25 Oct. 2004, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

“57 Key Email Marketing Stats For 2021” 8 June 2021, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

“Email Marketing Benchmarks (2020) by GetResponse” Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

Other related content from our glossary:

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Content Marketing

Bounce Rate

Press Release/Media Release