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Advantages and Disadvantages of Email Marketing - Insights
Email marketing

Advantages and Disadvantages of Email Marketing

With over 3.9 billion active email users worldwide and 99% of users checking their emails every day, it won’t come as a shock as to why companies are using email marketing as part of their marketing strategy. From small start-up businesses to large multinational corporations, email marketing is being utilised continuously. As with anything, there are pros and cons and we’ve taken a closer look into these. 


With email marketing, you are reaching out to people who have actually specified that they want to hear from you through ticking the ‘opt-in’ box. Therefore you know that when sending the email, the user won’t roll their eyes at it. What’s more, with email marketing you can personalise the email to the customer. Personalisation is great because it makes the consumer feel that the brand they love, loves them. This is what the inbound methodology is all about; turning leads into customers, and customers into promoters of your brand. Through personalisation, you can achieve just that. Along with this, it is important that you ensure that your emails are GDPR compliant.


Email marketing is cost-effective as you can avoid costs like paying for advertising space, paying for printing and so on. According to HubSpot, in 2019, email marketing generated $38 for every $1 spent, which is an ROI of 3800%! With email, you can reach as large of an audience as you like, or as small as you want. However, you do require a certain skill set for this form of marketing, therefore you need to either have someone in-house to perform the job or you need to employ an external agency. Once everyone knows what they are doing, the rewards are high!

Avoid spam

Unlike other forms of marketing, with email, readers can forward these on to their family, friends and colleagues. By doing this, they are essentially becoming advocates of your brand which can help attract more potential customers. Of course, as with anything, you have to be careful sometimes because emails can end up being seen as ‘spam’ by email providers, and this is what you want to avoid! In order to avoid these situations, you must ensure that the people that you are sending emails to actually want to hear from you in the first place. Avoid using symbols like ‘£$%’ as well as words like ‘FREE’ or ‘Apply Now’. Using these types of symbols or phrases will actually send your email straight to spam.

Targeted experience

Being able to schedule times for emails to go out, you can reach people in real-time. For example, if someone has just recently purchased a product, you can send follow up emails to them. If someone has added things to their basket but hasn’t yet purchased the products or services, you can send a personalised email to get them to perform the action you want. This ties in to the inbound methodology again because you can attract, engage and delight your customers through effective email marketing. You can reach the right audience, at the right time, in the right place and with the right offer. You can target your emails to different people depending on which stage of the ‘buyer’s journey’ they are at, this could be the awareness stage, consideration or decision stage, and you can do this through creating different contact lists. 

Consider accessibility

Another issue to consider with email marketing is the design and functionality of the email. We live in a time where there are so many different ways for people to access their email, whether it be through their phone, desktop or even tv. Therefore, it is important to take this into consideration. According to HubSpot, email opens on mobile devices accounted for 46% of all email opens in 2019. Thus, it is important to know that what works well on mobile may not work on a desktop, and what works well on google mail may not work with other email providers. 

Each business is a different size, has a different goal, is either established or is starting out. However, putting all of these things aside, email marketing is a tool that can help to reach out to potential customers, encourage repeat business and make users aware of what’s going on. With over 59% of marketers saying that email marketing is their biggest source of ROI, it is no surprise that email marketing is being widely used. 

Written by: Thomas Coughlan
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