What is email marketing and why does it matter to your business?

A person on a laptop sending emails.
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Email marketing is one of the most commonly used - and oldest - digital marketing campaign types used by businesses. It consists of sending emails to a list of subscribers who have expressed an interest in your business’s products or services.

While the concept is tried and tested, its execution has been adapted more recently to provide subscribers with a more personalized experience.

Various studies have been carried out to investigate whether email marketing remains as useful as it once was, with findings suggesting around $30 to $40 return on investment for each $1 spent on email marketing.

Below are the three key types of email marketing:

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It’s not uncommon for an individual’s inbox to be filled with emails offering discounts and coupons to save them money. These are what’s known as promotional emails, which aim to raise awareness of a company’s products or services and further incentivize buyers financially. Expect the intensity of your promotional email marketing to grow around busy shopping periods like Christmas.

One of the fundamental aspects to include in a promotional email is a call to action, which provides a clear and direct route to what you are promoting. More about that in our guide on how to design a newsletter template.


Our beginner’s guide to marketing covers some example topics that could help your business appeal to customers, including offering valuable information that would otherwise be unavailable. Consider sharing things like insider knowledge, tips, and tricks.

These news-type articles are best sent with frequency, though less often than promotional content. Consider intervals like weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. 

Informative marketing is also a great way to keep customers up-to-date with any company announcements, such as changes to your services, the introduction of new products and shipping delays.


Re-engagement emails can be a combination of promotional and informative content, however these have a more specific audience of people who have previously expressed an interest in your company but no longer actively interact.

This could include people who haven’t bought from you in a while, or people who have left something in their online basket without completing the purchase. It’s a great opportunity to send out attractive discounts to those who need them, without running a company-wide promotion.

Why you need an email marketing campaign in your business 

1. Conversion to sales 

Promotional and re-engagement emails are a great way to offer reductions in prices for your products or services, enticing people to spend more with your company. Ultimately, this leads to conversions thanks to calls to action throughout your email.

Make it personal by offering unique birthday discounts for every individual subscriber.

2. Brand awareness

Email marketing is easily scalable, which means you can send to a large number of recipients without needing to invest huge sums of money. Unlike other platforms - for example social media - it’s easy to collect email addresses from a whole range of entries, from mailing list signup boxes to e-commerce shopping baskets and third parties.

Furthermore, email inboxes are carefully curated spaces filled with content from only the companies that people are interested in. Continuing to provide valuable information will help your brand to stay current in subscribers’ minds.

Varying your emails will help you to retain customers, from generating leads and conversions to keeping them coming back.

3. Accessibility

It’s easy to turn to social media when designing a marketing campaign, after all, that’s where the action is. However, it doesn’t provide the most accessible route to customers, with many people too young or too weary to have an account. Virtually anybody with a digital device will have had to set up an email address in order to use their device.

Emails, while not perfect, are a more universal approach that helps to cut down on the waste that would be generated by conventional paper-based mail. 

4. Affordability

It can be hard to pick the right marketing service, which is why we produced a guide on the top seven must-have features. That said, many providers offer multiple tiers of membership, often starting with a basic, free plan. 

Marketing service providers recognize the importance of offering services that grow with your business’s needs, which helps to make email marketing a scalable option with results based on the effort you put in.

6. Stay in touch 

Unlike social media, where it’s easy for algorithms to alter the type of content that consumers see without any notice, emails are a surefire way to reach an audience. Readers can choose when to interact with emails, that then go on to be stored chronologically in their inbox.

5. Real-time communication

Emails were once the reserve of high-end computers, but now many of us turn to our smartphones on the go to check incoming email, along with tablets and even smartwatches. This makes it easier for businesses to target consumers in real-time with live information. Imagine a sports team wins a match; this is a perfect opportunity to run a sale on items related to that team, for example. 

Prominent calls to action will give consumers a direction, whether that’s a link to a product, your website, or a reviews page. After all, there’s no time like now.

7. Easy targeted messaging 

An email service provider will be your first step in sending promotional emails and other marketing content, but this can be time-consuming and complex. Investing in a more advanced email marketing service opens the door to plenty of new opportunities, like automation.

With every buyer in a different stage - browsing, buying, aftercare, just to name a few - you can generate content that is automatically sent out to match the individual’s needs.

7. Easy to obtain analytics

Remember your purpose when creating email marketing content, and take the time to set up analytics when designing your template whether that’s through a specially designed email service provider or an API that connects to other parts of your business like your website. 

Understanding how you get your leads, click-through rates and an array of other data can help you to formulate better plans of attack in the future.

TechRadar created this content as part of a paid partnership with Constant Contact. The contents of this article are entirely independent and solely reflect the editorial opinion of TechRadar.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!