What is email marketing?

Ray Tomlinson’s first email, sent in 1971 or 1978, depending on your source, signaled the start of the contemporary communication age. The message itself was unremarkable, consisting of a string of numbers and letters that appeared more like a password than a message, but its importance was enormous.
The email was sent from one computer to another, across a network of devices similar to what we now know as the internet. Tomlinson was also the first person to use the “@” sign in email addresses.
Years later, Gary Thuerk, a Marketing Manager at Digital Equipment Corp, sent the first commercial email to a list of email addresses. Email marketing was developed as a result. There were only a few of them.

Today, we’re swamped with email marketing campaigns, and although some of it still seems spammy, there’s no doubting the power of a well-crafted message—not to mention CRM and lead nurturing.
Email marketing allows you to engage with your audience in order to advertise your business and boost sales. You may use emails to promote items, convey news, reduce cart abandonment, or tell a story, among other things.

Is email marketing effective?

When it comes to communicating about your brand or selling your products, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective methods.

In fact, according to a DMA research from 2015, email generates a $38 return on investment for every $1 invested (ROI). When customers are ready to make a purchase, they frequently check their inboxes for emails from their favorite retailers.

Nonetheless, consumers get an increasing amount of email, making it difficult to stand out in overflowing inboxes. That’s why Mailchimp equips you with the tools you need to stand out (plus, we’ve got plenty of tried-and-true email-sending advice) and create successful email marketing campaigns. For additional information on why email marketing works, see our email marketing statistics by industry.

Best ways to build an email list from scratch

While full email lists cannot be built overnight, there are other, equally quick and effective techniques to build email lists that are not limited to typical email signup forms. Among the most widely used techniques are:

  • Enticing content upgrades
  • Exit intent pop-ups
  • Fully or partially gated content
  • Squeeze pages
  • Loyalty and referral programs
  • Discounts and deals
  • Exclusive notifications
  • Social media

The bulk of firms start establishing their email lists on their websites: From static embedded opt-in forms to dynamic pop-ups and overlays, as well as customized lead capture sites, there’s something for everyone.

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