Email Marketing: A case study review of Targetjobs email marketing strategy including successes and critiques.

email-marketing-concept-illustration-feature_1290x688_klIn recent years, market research has shown that email marketing is still a more trusted medium for marketers than traditional digital marketing (Bawm & Nath, 2014). Email marketing involves both advertising and promotional marketing efforts via e-mail messages to current and prospective customers (Mohammadi et al, 2013).

Email marketing has been growing at the annual rate of 10%; 70% of all retailers now employ email marketing. Email marketing also provides twice the return on investment relative to other forms of online marketing: $57.25 for each dollar spent versus $22.52 (Pavlov et al, 2008).

Email marketing is still regarded as an extremely important marketing technique because of the these four major advantages (Bawm & Nath, 2014):

  1. Lower costs than other types of marketing.
  2. Email takes less time to create and send therefore marketers can communicate with subscribers more frequently.
  3. Marketers can test their email marketing campaign to know what graphics, headlines, offers and even colours provide the best results.
  4. Forwarding an email with an enticing or useful offer only takes seconds and many users will do. That means marketing effort has not only a wider reach but also the consumers who forward the email become brand advocates.

The case study reviewed is an example of a permission-based email. This is defined as the recipients “opting in” by providing explicit consent to receive direct emails (Chadwick-Ellis & Doherty, 2012). Permission-based email marketing is now a EU legal requirement (Worthy, 2002) under the EU Opt-In Directive (2002).

The Directive can be found here:

Targetjobs was selected to review as I have recently “opted in” to receive their graduate scheme promotional emails, which suggests they are following legal requirements.

Further SUCCESSES of Targetjobs email marketing strategy includes:



The email subject line is personalised to the recipient. Mohammadi et al (2013) states a personalised email relates the contents of your email-marketing message. The subject line is the first point of contact and acts as a trigger to encourage the message recipient to open the e-mail (Chadwick-Ellis & Doherty, 2012). Targetjobs successfully personalises the subject line while also offering a relevant soft sale statement such as “start your career with RBS”. This is extremely enticing and relevant for consumers who “opted in” to receive information on graduate jobs and therefore I believe this example would achieve a high open rate.

Message content aligned to subject line

The body copy of the e-mail should be aligned with its subject and headline (Chadwick-Ellis & Doherty, 2012). The example email’s message content flows from the subject line to the message as it contains information regarding a career with RBS. Therefore, the consumer has been given the correct information in which they were motivated to open the email.

The landing page


In email marketing the call-to-action can hyperlink your statement to a landing page on your website (Mohammadi et al, 2013). In this example, the call-to-action directs us to a landing page consisting of all the opportunities at RBS. This is a consistent flow from subject line through to landing page and is an extremely effective and frictionless consumer journey.

However, there are also some CRITIQUES of Targetjobs email marketing strategy, which include:

Use of illustrations and content

Despite the message being aligned to the subject line there are questions over the choice of the header image, as this doesn’t relate to either the subject line or message. Also, targetjobs have only opted for one image whereas 57% of the emails reviewed in Chadwick-Ellis & Doherty’s (2012) study showed multiple illustrations of varying sizes. In my opinion the content doesn’t motivate the consumer to trigger the call-to-action and therefore less consumers will click through to their impressive and relevant landing page.

Frequency and Timing


Targetjobs frequently deliver emails as often as 4-8 emails per day with the times they are sent just as sporadic. Chadwick-Ellis & Doherty (2012) state the frequency of sending e-mails is an important part of building customer relationships: too many might irritate and too few could lose the recipients interest. It is safe to say that Targetjobs frequency and timing strategy is extremely irritating and reduces the successfulness of the open rate. This can be brand damaging as I am irritated whenever I receive an email from this company despite the email having some extremely successful elements.


  • Extremely important to be law abiding while also avoiding spam filters. This guide includes ways of avoiding spam filters:
  • Personalisation and relevancy is critical in the subject line to increase open rate.
  • The consumer journey from subject line to landing page/purchase must be frictionless and prevent distraction.
  • Frequency and timing is extremely important and data should be analysed to find optimal timings. Targetjobs should condense there frequent emails in to one daily email which includes various different graduate schemes and different CTA’s which link to the relevant landing page.


Bawm, Z. & Nath, R. (2014). ‘A Conceptual Model for Effective Email Marketing’. 17th International Conference on Computer and Information Technology. [Online] page 250-256<> [Accessed 2 November 2016]

Chadwick-Ellis, F. & Doherty, N. (2012). ‘Web advertising: The role of e-mail marketing’. Journal of business research, [Online] Volume 65 (Issue 6), page 843 <> [Accessed 1 November 2016]

Mohammadi, M., Malekin, K., Nosrati, M. & Karimi, R. (2013). ‘ Email Marketing as a Popular Type of Small Business Advertisement: A Short Review’. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, [Online] Volume 7 (Issue 4), page 786-790 <> [Accessed 1 November 2016]

Pavlov, O., Melville, N. & Plice, R. (2008). ‘Toward a sustainable email marketing infrastructure’. Journal of Business Research, [Online] Volume 61, page 1191-1199 <> [Accessed 2 November 2016]

Worthy, J. (2002) ‘ Electronic Marketing: new rules for electronic marketing- an obstacle to m-commerce?’. The computer law and security report, [Online] Volume 18 (Issue 2), page 106 <> [Accessed 1 November 2016]