Email marketing is alive and well, despite the new influx of messaging apps and startups. Even our parents are using it. Sorry for not telling you sooner. There are many places online to learn about email marketing (including this one), but those resources often feel overwhelming or try to sell you a product. In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about email marketing in 10 minutes or less.
Email marketing is a relatively new kind of marketing that allows you to connect with your customers or clients in direct contact. This can be by email, text message, video, or anywhere else you may decide to send content.
Email marketing isn't just for vendors (the "sales" side) of the business—it's for all those who want to engage their audiences and keep them up-to-date on new products and services. Email marketing gives customers an easy way to sign up for your newsletter, product updates, special offers or discounts, or anything else that will keep them in touch with you when they need it most.
Email marketing is not a new concept. A brief history of email shares that Ray Tomlinson sent the first email in 1971, and since then, email has become one of the most popular modes of communication and marketing. Although it has been around for more than 40 years, it wasn't until 1995 that marketers started noticing its potential as a cost-effective means to reach consumers. In fact, for the first time, more people preferred emails over direct posts in 2012.
The first documented instance of someone attempting to send a targeted commercial message via email occurred in 1978. Gary Thuerk, a Digital Equipment Corporation marketer, sent out what's considered the first spam email—an announcement for the company's newest DEC-20 computer system. This wasn't exactly what we think of email marketing today, but it laid the foundation for what would eventually become an incredibly effective tool for businesses.
With email marketing becoming increasingly important to business, it makes sense to dive in headfirst and learn as much as you can about how it works and why it matters so much. And don't be afraid of the scary-sounding terminology—you can learn it if that fancy title is attached to something you need to do. And once you internalize simple terms like "list," "email blast," or "clickthrough," the more you read, the more you'll understand.