What is Email Marketing?

The evolution of the internet and email have changed the entire communication ecosystem.

Email is one of the oldest and most commonly used methods of communication over the internet, with 94% of the total internet users having an email account.

Around 90 trillion emails were sent out worldwide in 2010, which translates to 2.8 million emails having been sent every second.

These numbers have been increasing day by day. As per Statista, the number of global email users is expected to grow from 3.7 billion in 2017 to 4.4 billion in 2022, which is half of the world’s population!

Marketers and advertisers, too, have shifted their efforts online with email emerging as one of the fastest, cheapest and easiest ways for them to connect with customers.

Marketing through emails allows one to reach a vast number of internet users, even if they are not active on social media.

In 1978, the first mass email was sent by Gary Thuerk of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) to approximately 400 clients, which resulted in the sale of products worth $13 million.

This brought to light, for the first time, the immense potential of ‘email marketing’ for promoting businesses.

Over the last 42 years, marketing through mass emails has evolved as one of the most cost-effective ways of direct marketing.

The return on investment (ROI) is massive in comparison to other marketing techniques. You can expect $32 back, on an average, for every $1 you spend on email marketing!

But before we talk more about the benefits of email marketing and other essential details, let’s first understand what exactly Email Marketing is?

email infographic | netilly blog

What is Email Marketing?

Email Marketing is a kind of internet marketing where a commercial message is sent to a group of people over email. At its most basic level, the purpose is to promote a business.

Sending emails to existing customers and prospects has become an integral part of the digital marketing strategy of most businesses today.

Effective marketing emails can turn one-time buyers into loyal customers. It can also convert prospects into customers.

85% of U.S. retailers consider email marketing as one of the most preferred marketing tactics!

Email can accommodate a variety of messages and is a highly flexible tool.

Marketers can send targeted messages, which is one of the most significant advantages of email marketing.

However, there are other reasons as well which make ‘email marketing’ relevant for marketers today who are required to do more with less.

Why is email marketing relevant for your business?

  • Broader reach – Looking at current social media footprint (Facebook and Twitter have over 1 billion and 255 million users respectively) one would tend to believe that social media is the most effective way to reach the masses.

The total number of email users worldwide (almost half of the world population) is too humongous and hard to ignore.

So, when it comes to connecting with your customers or prospects, email is undoubtedly the best medium with a broader reach as everyone online has an active email address.

  • Preferred Communication Channel – Social networks such as Facebook or Instagram are used by many people as personal channels to keep up to date with family and friends.

Whereas, email is a much more professional medium for communication.

72% of people prefer to receive promotional messages through email compared to 17% on social media as per a study by Marketing Sherpa.

A bar chart image showing the finding from a survey done on email marketing

  • Drives Conversion – The goal of marketers is to turn potential customers into real buyers. There can’t be a more powerful tool than email when it comes to conversions.

 The average click-through rate (CTR) from a tweet is around 0.5%, whereas the average CTR of an email campaign is about 3%.

This means someone reading your mail is six times more likely to click through to your website compared to looking at a post on Twitter.

As compared to 0.59% visitors from social media and 2.49% of visitors from search engines, around 4.24% of visitors from email marketing make a purchase, according to a survey by Monetate. 

  • Higher ROI – Email allows marketers to be highly targeted by delivering personalized and relevant messages.

Email marketing yields a higher ROI ($38 return on an average spend of $1) in comparison to social networks where you send status updates to every follower regardless of their demographics such as interest or location.

  • Delivers your message – On Facebook if you post an update to 5,000 followers, only about 100 of them will have a chance of seeing it in their newsfeed.

This is because Facebook, to drive brands toward their paid ad campaign option, limits the number of times your posts appear in the newsfeed.

So, a marketer always chooses to add a new subscriber to his/her email list over a new Facebook follower.

90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipients in comparison to 2% of Facebook followers viewing posts in the newsfeed for the reason mentioned above.

  • Vast majority seek promotional emails– If anyone provides you with their email address, it is because they want to listen more from you on your brand.

This is different from those who tend to ignore your message if they come across your ad while watching the morning news on TV or on social media and search engines because they did not solicit the information.

38% of consumers would like emails to come more frequently, while 61% enjoy receiving weekly promotional emails.

This aspect of email marketing makes it immensely relevant and successful marketing technique.

Steps and best practices for an Email Marketing Campaign

To set up a successful email campaign, one need to follow simple steps and best practices as mentioned below:

Step#1 Build a solid email list

The first step in starting an email marketing campaign is to gather a comprehensive list of email addresses. 

Email lists can be built in innumerable ways. An excellent way to start is to include an email registration form within your website.

However, before anyone provides their email address, they will consider few things such as will you spam them, will you send some discount vouchers, or will you sell their email address or make it public?

It is essential that you make it clear in some way to your potential subscribers that you will not spam them and instead they will benefit from subscribing to your email list.

You can also gather email addresses on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Best Practice#1: Do not spam

Many countries have strict laws, including CAM-SPAM Act, against sending spam emails. Anyone sending unsolicited emails can face significant fines.

Hence, it is crucial to send emails to only those who are willing to receive them.

Make your subscription process attractive by offering incentives like one-time coupons for customers signing up for email updates. This may enhance your subscription rates.

 Step#2 Plan your email marketing content

After building a solid email list, the next step is planning your email content.

A great way is to analyze the emails of competing businesses.

With endless options to customize and format your email, you can include a vast range of quality content in your emails.

You can send an email with information about your sales or promotions, loyalty rewards, newsletters, links to new articles on your website, announcements about new product or service, and customer testimonials.

The list is not restricted to what is mentioned above.

A study indicates that an email campaign which includes video content results in a rise of 40% in revenues.

However, be cautious about the email size while including infographics and video content in your email campaign.

Best Practice#2: Do not make all your emails about selling products

Ensure your emails should include relevant and valuable information such as FAQs and surveys which your subscriber may be interested in reading.

Step#3 Create a mobile-friendly layout

Crafting your emails to be attractive with a catchy subject line is very important for any email campaign.

The content, including the images, should consider the demographic that is being targeted.

If the email is boring or irrelevant, readers are likely to delete it before reading it too far.

With a deep penetration of smartphones, half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. So making your emails mobile-friendly is very important.

Best Practice#3: Your emails should match your brand

Make sure all your emails should match the style of your overall brand, including your website, social media accounts, and ads.

Step#4 Track & evaluate the campaign

It is essential to track the success of your email campaign.

There are various matrices in place to determine how well your campaign is doing.

Marketers can make changes, if required, in the ad design, the deals being offered, and the products or services being included in the campaign.

 Email is a highly flexible tool that allows making changes easily and quickly.

Best Practice#4: Send out emails at the optimal time

Subscribers are most likely to open their emails at a free time, so it’s better to send out emails at the optimal time.

Most email marketing tools will help you figure out the ideal time to send out emails.

What is a lead magnet?

Have you seen websites offering you free e-books or guides or any other thing of value by asking your information in return like email or phone number, etc.?

This is what you call a lead magnet.

A lead magnet is anything that you provide to your customers or potential customers and ask for their information such as email or name, phone number, etc.

The purpose of a lead magnet is to get email ids (or any other information) to make your email list.

When you have a good number of people in your email list, only then you can do email marketing and reach the customer directly.

While building a lead magnet, keep these things in mind:

  1. The thing which you are offering must be something of value to the user. The user will only be attracted if you provide something that is not commonly available elsewhere.
  2. It should serve as solutions for some problems of your user or teach them something very useful. If the audience gets to know solutions to their problems, it will help you build trust among them.
  3. While offering, be relevant to your domain and don’t offer anything which does not relate to your niche.


Some examples of a lead magnet are:


Quizzes are a fun way to work as a lead magnet. You can take a short quiz with your audience and ask for their subscription or email id for the results.It has good engagement and works as a good lead magnet.


Videos can also work as a lead magnet. You can put some useful videos on your website and give access to watch it only after submitting the email.

3.E-books or guides

E-books and guides are the most used techniques to gather emails. You can offer useful e-books and long guides to people in exchange for their emails to download.


Templates are an easy way to enter data in the desired format. While it is not always easy to find free templates.

Templates can also be used to work as a lead magnet.

For example, Templates like resume template, marketing proposal, website, etc.


Webinars are gaining good attention from people as they are knowledgeable and easily accessible. However, it is essential to market your webinar to gain good results and for a successful lead magnet.

lead magnet | netilly blog

What are the tools for Email Marketing?

Below are some of the top email marketing tools that offer a range of features to engage prospects and increase sales.

  • Mail Chimp
  • Litmus
  • Reach Mail
  • Target Hero
  • Mad Mimi
  • Active Campaign
  • SendinBlue
  • Hubspot
  • GetResponse
  • Mail Jet


As most marketers focus on nurturing leads and driving conversions, email marketing has become one of the preferred digital marketing techniques for them to leverage.

Email Marketing has changed the way businesses reach out to potential customers.

The only potential drawback with Email Marketing is that it can be time-consuming.

Hence, one might want to consider hiring a professional digital marketing company like Netilly to take care of all email marketing needs!

If you’d like to discuss how Email Marketing can help your business or brand, please drop us an email or leave your contact details and we will be happy to schedule a free consultation with one of our Email Marketing Specialists.

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