Email Marketing: digital spam or building your brand?



The truth is, email marketing can be both spam and conducive to a valuable connection, and the line between spam and value is sometimes thin. Providing people with value and striking up a genuine relationship depends on more than good content; it begins with the strategy. 

Why do you want to reach people? What are you going to say? Is there a way you can demonstrate value to people simultaneously as you promote your brand, products, or services? 

We receive hundreds of marketing emails. Some we open, some we don’t. For example, we don’t open certain emails because they fail to demonstrate value, either in their subject line, which is too self-interested and sales-focussed, or because we previously opened an email from that company and we were left unimpressed. 

Every tool that we can use, as marketers, to build a brand and a connection between a company and its audience can also work detrimentally. Trust can be lost, and audiences are more intelligent than ever. People will ignore content if a company isn’t demonstrating value in every interaction, especially early exchanges. 

Does email marketing still work?


Email marketing is still a powerful method to grow a business. It delivers the highest ROI of all marketing channels, returning $42 for every dollar a company spends. In addition, 79% of business owners acknowledge email marketing as “important” or “very important,” according to a Forbes survey. 

The most successful email marketing campaigns pivot on strategies that adapt as they go along, making a solid connection with customers and growing all the time through every interaction. A business or marketing agency needs to remember that, even if the bulk email is heading to thousands of inboxes, there’s a person behind each one, and every interaction must be personal. Therefore, create campaigns with the customer’s taste in mind. 

An example from our experience:

  • Newsletter campaign in the fiber optic industry 

We are in the process of a successful email marketing campaign with our client, NBG. We say that we’re ‘in the process’ because an email marketing campaign is always a dynamic and ongoing task. We are constantly growing and changing to build on the results of the campaign. 

For example, our design has changed a great deal from the beginning, after adapting to what types of links – hyperlinks, written links, buttons – to which the recipients responded. Also, our delivery and content are constantly changing. We always address each recipient as though we were sending the email to them and them only. 

  • Build an email list and understand the audience 

We grew our client’s email list through a signup form on the website, various signup forms at industry events in which people would agree to sign up to enter for a chance to win a prize, and on our client’s social media channels. Furthermore, we discovered that another portion of the audience emerged from individuals and groups sharing our content, which underlines the importance and benefit of creating sharable emails. 

We then segmented the audience based on interest to send out targeted email campaigns with the best chance of engaging recipients. Segmenting to target is one of the many ways we demonstrate value and address each recipient as personally as possible. 

  • Increase the chance of success with analytics 

Improving a newsletter’s performance isn’t about sending more newsletters but about refining the process through deep analytics. Ramit Sethi, author of ‘I Will Teach You to Be Rich,’ believes that the nature of your content is much more important than its frequency. He says, “Writing amazing emails that provide value is [what’s important]. If your emails are incredibly entertaining, informative, and engaging, you can send as many as you want.” 

To measure the quality of our content, we reviewed the open rates, click map, and how users were interacting with the media within the newsletter (images, links, and videos). In addition, we compared various newsletters with previous ones, attentive to how the customers responded to our small changes. 

Make email marketing work for you.

  • Strategy 

Crucially, every email marketing campaign should begin with a solid strategy that prioritizes the recipients’ needs. Define your audience into relevant segments and spend time thinking about what they want. 

  • Content 

The content should address what they want, but it also needs to convert—concentrate on sending emails with actionable content that has a purpose. Speak to your subscribers with urgency and personality. Respect that they have invited you to write to them and don’t waste their time. 

  • Design 

Design your emails with a clear hierarchy in place. Provide readers the vital information first to give them the best chance of finding it even if they’re only skimming the newsletter. It’s important to note that if your content starts strong and continues to be informative and entertaining, even readers who are more prone to skim-reading will read every word. 

  • CRM 

When you have a design that is proven to work, create a template and import it to your CRM. Also, remember that you must continue to analyse each email’s performance and that your design is never final. You have to keep altering the behaviour of your audience. And keep testing. Innovation is one of the most powerful shortcuts to success. 

  • Automation 

Look into the potential of marketing automation. For example, you can set up an automated welcome email to new contacts, establish a series of emails where actions from the recipient (or a predetermined period) trigger the following email. Marketing automation is a valuable tool that saves time and helps nurture leads. 


The customer experience should feel as authentic as possible. Make every email in your marketing campaigns feel as natural as a conversation between two people. If you can provide value and speak personally to your recipients while you offer your products or services, your campaigns will have a much greater chance of conversions. Furthermore, your brand image will grow, benefitting your business in several immeasurable ways, in addition to the tangible benefits of employing an effective email marketing campaign. 

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