Email Marketing: Why to do it? How to do it?

Spam spam spam.

That is what people think when they think of email marketing, every day I get emails from companies trying to sell me something I have no interest in. I am just another box on their mail list, there’s no personalisation, and no reason why they are emailing me about this fantastic offer that is only around for another 48 hours. So why is email marketing so successful? And why does virtually every company continue to do it?

The trick is to become a master of email marketing, to know what metrics are vital for a successful campaign and the importance of taking a little more time to get to know the customer.

Email marketing is the best marketing tactic that will get the highest return on investment (ROI). Its ROI index is 70% higher than any other direct-response marketing vehicle (Schneck, 2008).  It’s fast, inexpensive and allows you to reach the mass market from a very accessible distribution channel. Whilst social media gets a lot of the limelight, 95% of online consumers use regularly email (Lacy, 2013) whereas 74% of online consumers regularly use Facebook (Pewinternet, 2014), it doesn’t have the same adoption rate as email hence why email marketing is such a crucial tool for many marketers.

One of the most vital things to remember when conducting email marketing is that it is PERSONAL! The email is going to one person, even if your mail list is in the thousands the person receiving doesn’t care about the rest. It will make them feel like a link in a chain and not valued as a consumer. Create a template and software that can automatically pull through data this simple but effect method will create a personal touch and make the reader want to read on.

This is an email I received from go groopie, as you can see there is no personalisation and the offerings have no relevance to my previous purchases. An instant delete.

go groopie email

Whereas here is one from gala bingo, it is personal and bears relevance to my previous purchases, an email like this makes me want to open it and have a look at what the marketing ad might be.

Gala bingo email

Warby Parker are masters of email marketing and here is an example of what one of their emails looks like.

warby parker email

As you can see the subject line is specific to the consumer, as it reminds them when their prescription will expire and that they need a new one. There are links to the website immediately available so to entice the consumer to click through to the website. The email is very simple but does what it is set out to do.

So what are these metrics and why are they so important for a successful email marketing campaign?

  1. Bounce rate – the number of emails that fail to be delivered or ‘bounce’ from the recipient’s mailbox.
  2. Delivery rate – the number of emails that actually reached the recipient’s mailbox.
  3. Click rate – this is the amount of people who click on a link or image from your email.
  4. Conversation rate – this is the amount of people who completed a certain action you wanted them too.

These 4 metrics are critical for evaluating email marketing success (Rospigliosi, 2014).

There are two types of bounce rate, a ’soft bounce’ and a ‘hard bounce’. A soft bounce is where the recipient’s inbox is full or unavailable whereas a hard bounce is where their email address is incorrect. Soft bounces should be left in your mailing list as eventually the problem will resolve itself and the email will send. However hard bounces need to be removed from your mailing list because a high bounce rate can lead to your internet provider being blacklisted meaning you will no longer be able to send emails (Vajda, 2013).

The delivery rate goes hand in hand with the bounce rate. The main reason for this to fail is that you aren’t getting through the spam filter. Here is a good link on how to get past the spam filter  Improving both delivery and bounce rate can increase your online credibility.

The click rate provides you with vital information about the consumer and allows you to target them with specific products. If a consumer consistently clicked on weight loss products than you are more likely to send them an ad about a fitness pass rather than theatre tickets. It’s all about getting to know the consumer and giving it a personal touch.

The conversion rate is the ultimate metric that evaluates a successful email marketing campaign. If your conversion rate is lacking, perhaps your landing page needs a face lift but with these 4 metrics combined together you can fully optimise your emails that can lead to a very successful marketing campaign.


Lacy, K. (2013) 50 Email Marketing Tips and Stats for 2014, Exact Target. 14 August 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 13 April 2015]

Pewinternet (2014) Social Networking Factsheet [Online] <> [Accessed 13 April 2015]

Rospigliosi, A. (2014) Email Marketing [Online Lecture Notes] delivered for IT382, Brighton University Business School, <> [Accessed 13 April 2015]

Schneck, P. (2008) E-mail marketing tops for ROI, Home Accents Today. Vol. 10, Issue 11, pp14

Vajda, J. (2013) Why Stats Matter When Sending Marketing Email, Send Grid. 11 November 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 13 April 2015]

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