Is Email Marketing Dead?

No — not if you’re doing it right

Rahul Sharma
3 min readSep 24, 2021

There’s a pretty good chance that your inbox gets filled up with promotional emails on the regular. And, for the most part, those emails are deleted daily (except for the psychos that just leave them there to accumulate into perpetuity — you know who you are).

In fact, promotional email has become so tiresome that Google opted their users into a tab system to keep the email you want to receive separated from the nuisance offers and other noise you don’t.

It’s an annoyance. And, yes, we’re aware of the irony of saying that in what could be defined as a promotional email.

So it begs the question: Are we so fed up with email marketing that we’re willing to call it dead in the water?

The average consumer may proclaim that they hate promotional email and that it just doesn’t work on them. And for the most part, they’re right — it doesn’t work.

Until it does.

Like, when they’ve been contemplating buying a product or service and suddenly, a company is offering them a discount on it.

Or when, at the point in their journey they’re ready to make a purchase decision, and a particular company/brand comes to mind.

Or when a deal is too good to pass up — even if they weren’t necessarily in the market for it in the first place.

Despite all the offers, all the newsletters, all the promotional noise that finds its way to your already-cluttered inbox, email marketing still works — and quite well.

According to a study done by Litmus, email marketing yields $36 in revenue for every $1 spent. That’s a lottery-winning level of ROI right there.

But don’t let that number fool you — it’s not enough to simply “do email marketing”. You have to do it well.

The internet is rife with content on email best practices, how to segment lists, and write “killer” subject lines. But none of that matters if you’re not following these four tenets:

Put in what you hope to get out

The amount of success you experience will be directly proportional to the amount of effort you put into your email marketing. Spend time here. That means giving a good amount of thought to the type of content you should send. It means writing emails that your audience genuinely looks forward to reading. And it means spending the time designing it to look great and be easy to consume.

Respect your audience

Everyone likes the occasional sale or discount. But every week? Probably not. The same goes for things like product or company updates — by all means, announce the big important ones but don’t waste a good relationship by emailing leads and customers every time you make a small change to your business. You’ll dilute the quality of your engagement which can have a permanent negative impact on your business.

Know what the data tells you — and what it doesn’t

Consider this scenario: Jen has a promotion and sends out a five-email campaign over six days in order to reach her sales goal. Are congratulations in order? After all, on paper, she nailed it.

But have you wondered how many potential customers she’s annoyed out of a future sale by sending that many emails?

Engagement and sales rates can help inform your email strategy in big ways. But they won’t tell you everything — and that can be just as important.

Be patient

Like virtually everything in business, there’s no such thing as overnight success. Building an effective email program takes time. First, you have to build your list with qualified leads, segment those leads, plan the content they should receive, and measure success. There’s a whole lot of trial and error involved within that, too. So, be patient. Give success the time it needs to catch up to your efforts. With persistence, it’ll get there.

The effectiveness of email marketing isn’t exactly a secret. But if a quick glance at the promotions tab in your inbox is any indication, how to do it well is. Remember, your email list is one of the few channels you truly own — treat it well and watch those sales and engagement rates soar.



Rahul Sharma

Technical Writer ☝️| Design Engineer💻 | Solutions Architect 🏗️ | Visit at