Beyond SPAM: How to Make Email Marketing Work for You

SPAM has a bad reputation with consumers, who think of it as the “junk mail” of the digital world. However, businesses have long made commercial emails work for them. They convince customers to subscribe, buy, or just learn more about the products or services they’re selling.

While staying within the restrictions of the CAN-SPAM Act, what can your business do to effectively reach out to new customers? With the average consumer receiving approximately 122 emails per day in 2015, it’s important to realize that many emails are never opened. Even if recipients do open your message, you risk being quickly discarded if you don’t capture their attention right away. Here are a few ways you can adjust your email marketing strategies for better results.


This type of email exists solely for the purpose of conveying information to a customer. It could be a new service announcement, lifestyle information like a recipe or helpful tips from your experts. Maybe its a newsletter that informs your customers of your business’s recent activities. Visuals are highly effective in informational emails. Not only is a picture worth 1,000 words, but a reader is also more likely to remember information if it contains visuals. The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, according to research, so if you want to make sure your message connects, images are the way to go.


Though you will share information about your offerings, most of your marketing campaigns will be promotional in nature. The emails you send letting customers know about an upcoming event, a new product or service, or an available discount are always geared toward conversions. Today’s effective promotional emails are personalized based on data about a customer’s preferences, demographics, or previous interactions with your brand. Time them in a way that makes recipients likely to open them with a subject line that grabs a reader’s attention.


Customers trigger transactional emails by some action on their part. For example, he or she signed up for a subscription or purchased a product from your website. At this point they expect a confirmation email. Despite the business-first nature of these emails, they provide an opportunity to increase business. For your purchase and shipment confirmations, you can add a coupon good for a future purchase; or an invitation to subscribe to your email list. You can also build in social sharing buttons to encourage your customers to spread the word on social media. Many customers will bypass that section of the email to focus on the information they need. Therefore it’s important to make it as eye-catching as possible while still maintaining your message’s clean, professional layout.

Email marketing and the laws that govern it will always be evolving. Technology creates new ways to connect with consumers. Data analytics and personalization make it easier to directly connect with recipients, increasing the chances that they’ll take action on the information you send.

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