AKA Is Email Marketing Still a Thing?

You could be forgiven for thinking that email marketing, the original and seemingly simplest of digital marketing tactics, has been outmoded by it’s flashier, more social rivals.

You’d be wrong. Last night, some of the team from Digital Narrative attended a Masterclass on email marketing, and any thoughts along these lines were gently, but firmly shut down.

Email marketing is definitely the granddaddy of digital communications. Way before Facebook was even a glimmer in Mark Zuckerburg’s eye, smart marketers knew that sending a direct, timely and often incentivizing message straight to their customer’s inboxes would frequently elicit a desired response. What we learned last night is that the 2019 version of email marketing, however, is so much more sophisticated, with so much more capacity for customisation and data-driven targeting than almost any other channel available.

The key outtake from the first excellent presentation (which was reinforced by subsequent speakers) was that there are three components to any good marketing email. You need to consider all three and ensure each is as well-honed and attuned to your audience as possible to have the best chance that people will open and read your emails which, after all, is why you’re sending them!


  1. Relevant Content. As with almost all marketing, ever, the key is to go back to what your audience wants. In this case, what content is relevant to them? What can’t they get elsewhere? What have they shown that they love in the past, that you can give them more of?
  2. Personalisation. Break your audience down. Don’t blanket email. If you use a service like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor, segmentation options are built in, but even if you’re handling your email communications simply through your Outlook Mail Merge, you may have data that can help. Even dividing along gender (if you’re a fashion retailer for e.g.) or city (if you sell online) to allow you to personalise your message will help. This gives you the chance to craft a message which is just right for each group – it may not be 1-to-1 communication, but 1-to-Few, which will have a much higher success rate.
  3. Automation. Automated emails – such as an initial Welcome message when subscribers sign up, or an automatic ‘We Missed You’ email when they haven’t visited your site for months – have a success rate which far outstrips standard emails. Setting these up are one of the key email marketing tips for busy business owners for this reason! In fact, 75% of revenue from email marketing comes from these triggered emails! Automating emails to send allows you to put the hard yards in at the start, then relax knowing timely messages which are relevant to where your recipient is at on their customer journey are being delivered daily.

PS – Explore this topic in more depth with this excellent article from Ignite Visibility!

PPS – For more on how to write well to encourage readers to engage (and other business owners to share!) read our blog here.

email marketing tips