6 Truths and 5 Myths: Email Marketing Edition

By Sergio Aicardi on September 4, 2015

email-marketing2-bottleIt can be difficult to sort out the facts when it comes to email marketing. As email users ourselves, we recognize that some emails capture our attention, while others are just asking for an unsubscribe click or are immediately deleted. So how exactly do you become a successful email marketer? First and foremost, you need to think about emails that you liked as a mere consumer as well as those you didn’t bother to entertain. Half the battle is realizing that your clients and returning customers have the same view of email marketing as you do.

With this mentality and all of the advice out there about email marketing, your next step is going to have to be to sort out all of the myths vs. truths. There are a lot of them, so the sooner you can start to get all of your “facts” straight the sooner you can get started putting yourself in the shoes of a consumer and creating a great campaign for your business. As an email marketing company based in Miami, we’ve had our fair share of experiences running email marketing campaigns, we hope you enjoy this blog post!

6 Email Marketing Truths

Below will put to rest some things that you have heard that are true and supported by strong statistics and market research:

  1. The subject line is the most important aspect of an email.

One thing that you may have heard is the importance of the email subject line (aka, it’s important). After all, it is the first thing that people see in their inbox. If you have been wondering whether or not this is as important as people claim, consider the following:

35% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone. (com)
64% of people claim that they open an email (or conversely, will delete immediately) because of the subject line. (Salesforce)

You always want to make sure that yours is clear, to the point, and is an attention grabber. You want people to give your email the time of day, and for many this will be the only way to get those emails opened. You may have wished this one was a myth, but sadly it’s very true, so spend some time on this small detail.

  1. One recipient. No exceptions.

Research has shown that people respond well to being the only recipient of an email. If they are along side multiple names, they feel like the email is less personal, even if the email is obviously going out to more that one person. Additionally, this may come back to being an indicator of security—people like maintaining their privacy. Ultimately people are far less likely to unsubscribe or view your emails as spam if they are the sole recipients. If anyone will be CC’d on the email (such as a company contact), it is best to limit the number of contacts CC’d as well.

  1. Email marketing (truly) works.

Check out this infographic about email marketing as of 2014. As you can see, at the time this infographic was researched there were over 3.2 billion email subscribers. Considering that 91% of subscribers check out their email at least once a day, and that it is estimated that for every $1 spent on email marketing $44.25 is the average return, email marketing is certainly worth your time. Additionally, according to research by the same Convince and Convert research mentioned above 44% of email recipients made a minimum of one purchase last year based on a promotional email that they received.

Moral of the story: Put your worries about the time and effort to rest and realize that email marketing is truthfully worth your time. I recommend clicking here to read more about making the most out of your email marketing strategy.

  1. Good content OVER just about everything else.

A truth that is sometimes underestimated is the value of email content over just about everything else (such as design or aesthetic detail). You of course want a clean and appealing looking email, but if the content is not worth looking at then you have already lost your audience. Before you start focusing on design elements you need to remember that content and design go hand-in-hand. Without content that readers are going to be interested in, design is a waste of time. Content should not only be considered most important, but it’s a good first step when creating a campaign.

  1. People do want to hear from your business.

When customers enjoy the service or products of a company, they want to return and have another great experience. Sometimes, people just enjoy hearing any updates associated with your brand because they like shopping with your company. If you are doing everything else right, such as content and overall email features—your emails will be welcomed. Far too many small businesses take the default assumption that no one wants to read email-marketing emails, and that just isn’t true.

Bonus truth: People will like receiving your emails more if they are not overwhelmed. Try to limit your correspondence to once or twice a month for optimum results and make sure that you are making your emails as clean, detailed, and direct as possible.

5 Email Marketing Myths

Now for the myths. There are a lot of rumors out there about email marketing and some of them really need to be debunked. Now that you have a better understanding of some of the truths about email marketing, it is time to get some of the myths straight once and for all.

  1. Consumers already get too many emails.

This goes right along with the last “truth” mentioned above. Some people stop putting effort into email marketing because they think people are already getting too many emails and they don’t have a chance in competing with that. Plain and simple, this just isn’t the case. To think that because people subscribe to other business emails you don’t stand a chance is probably the most common myth. So long as your emails are quality and you are really putting in an effort to reach out to your audience, you have just as likely of a chance being successful as anyone else.

  1. There are best days and times to send emails.

Only send an email at 3:00 pm, while standing on your head, and dancing a waltz to Jimmy Hendrix. Only send an email at 6:00am, but only if it’s daylight savings time and the majority of people are likely to have had coffee.

There are so many arbitrary rules about when the best days and times are to send emails. The fact is, consumers know companies are buying into this because they will go days without getting any business emails, but then all of a sudden Monday morning their email box is full. While some research points to there being some benefit to certain windows of time, other research has shown just the opposite. If you are a company that chooses to send an email on a Wednesday lunch hour, you may have better luck reaching people since you will be the only brand email in anyone’s inbox.

So, while there is some research to support the “best” times to send an email, overall it is a myth. You can be just as successful at other times and days when compared to these “optimum” windows, for reasons that may not be as obvious. It all depends on your company and will take you some time and effort to get into a rhythm that works for you.

  1. Email is a dying marketing strategy.

Some sources claim that email is a dying marketing strategy and no longer worth your company’s effort. Going back to the truths section of this article, remember that recent research as of last year has found email marketing to be just as successful (if not more so), when compared to when it first became a strategy. Do not let this myth keep you from investing time and effort—it is absolutely worth it to have a fantastic email marketing strategy.

  1. Personalizing email isn’t worth the extra effort.

Another myth that seems to be all-too present is that personalizing email is just not worth the effort. This is a bold-faced myth. Research has shown that newsletters without any form of segmentation or personalization get viewed only 26 percent of the time, while transactional or personalized messages are opened by 70 percent of recipients. What this ultimately means is the more that you personalize and segment, the better chance someone will open up your email! This is well worth the extra effort.

  1. The weekend is a terrible time to send email.

I want to make this time and day thing very clear, which is why the weekend get’s its own myth. The final myth on our list is that the weekend is a terrible time to send business emails. This is completely false.

Think about how many times you have been home on the weekend, playing catch-up from the workweek or getting ahead. The 9-5 Monday-Friday or week is becoming less and less relevant to the time and days that people view emails. Plus, if people are free over the weekend they may be even more likely to look into promotions or information you are offering. What is even better is that with email services, you don’t even need to be working on the weekend to set these up. Have them automatically ready to send on a Saturday morning.

If this proves to be a successful strategy, we would love to hear about it! There are many businesses that have found success with weekend-emails to reach clients, which is why this is the 5th and final myth on our list.

Do you have any more truths or myths to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re looking to get an overview of how email marketing works, visit our email marketing 101 blog post to learn everything you can and more about email marketing.


About The Author

Sergio Aicardi
Sergio Aicardi /

Search engine marketing is what I am passionate about and enjoy doing. I feed off of the knowledge and the fact that SEO is always and will always be changing. Remember, when it comes to SEO, always think like a search engine and you will succeed.