What is an email marketing tool?

A hand typing on a laptop with email illustrations covering the keyboard
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An email marketing tool is software used to design, schedule, and automate marketing via email. Email marketing services such as Omnisend can be used to drive sales through email newsletters, abandoned cart recovery, and automatic emails triggered by customer behavior.

In this guide, we’ll answer the top questions about email marketing services to help you decide the best email marketing software for your needs.


Omnisend's email marketing automation suite includes SMS, segmentation, automated emails and more to improve engagement and sales. Visit Omnisend.com for a free trial. 

What do email marketing tools do?

Email marketing tools are used to design, perfect, and deliver effective marketing emails that drive sales.

A typical email marketing tool will have a drag-and-drop builder for creating professional, impressive emails that jump off the screen, and you can build brand recognition by creating emails that match marketing elsewhere across your business.

Another key feature of email marketing tools is automation. By creating a workflow, you can automate the sending of emails based on customer behavior. For example, if a customer places an item into their shopping basket on your ecommerce website but they don’t go through with the purchase, you can send an automated email 20-30 minutes later offering free delivery or otherwise enticing the customer to go further.

What kind of emails can I send?

Promotional emails are used to sell products and services directly to customers. You can automate emails to raise awareness of seasonal sales, offer personalized discounts to loyal customers, or send out coupons when a customer hasn’t engaged with your brand for a set amount of time. 

Promotional emails always have a clear call to action, and email marketing tools are great for designing eye-catching emails that entice the reader to take the next step.

Informative emails are another type of email you can still consider part of email marketing. By offering valuable insights, insider knowledge, and industry expertise, you show customers that your brand is an authority in the niche. It also means that when you do send a promotional email, customers will be more receptive to the offer because you’ve built up trust.

Informative automated emails can be used to offer customers guidance on how to use your products and services. This type of proactive support is great for enabling customer success, ensuring customers get the most out of your products while reducing the number of support request calls you receive.

Re-engagement emails are some of the most powerful types of marketing emails. You can automatically send emails to customers who have expressed some level of interest in your products in the past but haven’t engaged with your company for some time. 

Often, just the reminder that your solutions exist is enough to drive new engagement, but you can also offer more aggressive enticement, such as discounts.

Does email marketing work?

Email marketing is one of the oldest digital marketing campaign types used in online business, and it remains highly effective. Findings suggest that every $1 spent on email marketing can return $30-$40.

Almost everyone has an email address, and you can use email marketing to send personalized, targeted, and customized messages to each of your customers and prospective customers. 

Email marketing is inexpensive, and you can contact customers at any time of the day. People pay a lot of attention to their email inboxes, so your messaging is often more likely to get through to the customer than social media marketing, for instance.

How do I choose an email marketing tool?

An email marketing service hosting a library of templates and easy email customization to fit your branding is important for speeding up the email creation process. 

Choose an email marketing tool with versatile automation that can work in line with your website and other marketing efforts. As your business grows, expect to create more advanced automated workflows that help to keep your brand in customers’ minds while improving the customer journey.

Personalization is crucial in effective email marketing, so use an email marketing tool that leverages your customer data. You can create personalized messages and send schedules based on customer lifecycle stages, on-site behavior, previous engagement, and more. 

Select a tool that conforms with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM), and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) laws relevant to your business.

Omnichannel marketing

Omnichannel marketing is the seamless integration of all your customer touchpoints to create a unified customer experience across all contact channels. 73% of customers use multiple channels during their customer journey, so your email marketing must be able to work well with other channels to offer a seamless experience.

Email marketing should not be separate from other marketing channels. The best email marketing tools offer integrations for your website in addition to other tools. With these, you can create popups, landing pages, and teasers on your site and ways to sign up for your email marketing on third-party sites.  

Good email marketing tools offer excellent metrics on how each of your marketing campaigns is performing. Advanced reporting will show you key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion rate, revenue per message, and total orders per campaign. With omnichannel reports, you can see which of your marketing channels perform best.


Email remains a highly effective channel for marketing. You can use email marketing tools to create professional, high-quality emails that drive customer engagement. The best email marketing tools offer omnichannel marketing functionality, so you can use them to deliver a consistent brand message across all your marketing channels.

To get started with email marketing, read our guide on how to design a newsletter. For more information on how to develop a marketing strategy, check out our beginner’s guide to marketing. If you need an email provider, we’ve listed our favorite secure email providers available now.

Richard Sutherland

Richard brings over 20 years of website development, SEO, and marketing to the table. A graduate in Computer Science, Richard has lectured in Java programming and has built software for companies including Samsung and ASDA. Now, he writes for TechRadar, Tom's Guide, PC Gamer, and Creative Bloq.