Email marketing isn’t dead. In fact, it’s growing, and why wouldn’t it. According to research conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, its return on investment is astounding. They found that for every $1 spent on email marketing, the return, on average, is $32. Spend a buck, get 32 back. Not bad.

Let’s face it, email marketing gets a bad rap. Many companies shy away from it for two reasons:

  1. It’s not new, inventive, cutting-edge or exciting. Sure, but who cares if it works? Go back and read the first paragraph—the return is $32 for every $1 spent.
  2. It’s often―and most times unfairly―associated with spam. According to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, you’re not in violation if you’re not selling anything, you include your address and phone number, and you offer an easy opt-out (unsubscribe) link.

If you’re either thinking about utilizing email marketing—or do and would like to enhance its value–he following tips will give you points to consider what delivers one of the highest ROIs in digital marketing.

Build your list, don’t purchase it

The success of your email campaign will only be as effective as the list you’re using. If you have a great email list of prospects that fit your ideal client’s criteria (e.g. age, occupation, income, education levels, zip codes), or have a source that will provide a list like this, then you’re set. If you’re going to manage it, the ability to segment your list will be important if you’ll have different messages for various types of prospects.

Purchasing lists is a minefield. One wrong step, and you could quickly lose the ability to use one of the many ESPs (Email Service Providers) or ISPs (Internet Service Providers) available to your organization. If an email recipient reports your communication as spam, your ESP may shut you down quick, and for good. Any ESP worth their weight will specify that you can’t use purchased lists.

Also, purchased lists can steer you directly into a SPAM trap. If a list provider has hundreds of thousands—or more—email addresses they sell, there’s a very good chance they won’t know if their database contains SPAM traps. Or, they may know it, but not care. They want you to purchase the list; they already have their money.

SPAM traps are addresses that have never been used or contain some type of unique identifier. For instance, an email could contain @gnail instead of @gmail. However, once an email is sent to one of these addresses, it tips off the ISP operating the trap that they’ve processed that phony email. They will probably blacklist your domain—not good. It’s possible to get unblacklisted, but doing so isn’t a walk in the park. It involves a pretty extensive justification and verification process, all stuff you won’t have time for.

Day and Time

It’s been proven time and again that the best day to send out emails is Tuesday. Wednesdays and Thursdays are OK, but steer clear of Mondays and Fridays. Studies have shown that just before lunch is the best time of the day to send out emails. The next best time is between 8 pm and midnight. People like to check their inbox prior to turning in for the night.

Mobile Optimized

Well over 50% of people read emails on mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets. So, if your email campaign isn’t mobile optimized, a large chunk of your audience may scroll right past your message.

Don’t Sell, Nurture

Email campaigns are for lead nurturing, and the best way to accomplish this is by educating readers on a topic they can use, either now or down the road. If you have a newsletter or blog, an email campaign promoting them is one of the best ways to nurture the relationship. Just ensure that the sign-up form is simple, short and intuitive. If they have to work or think too much, you’ll lose them.

If readers sense that they’re being sold to, you can forget about nurturing the relationship. If you’re worried people will consider your email marketing campaign as nothing more than spam, don’t sell─ever!

Always offer a simple opt-out

As mentioned earlier, failing to offer an “unsubscribe” feature is against the law. But don’t bury the opt-out feature in 2-point type in some hard-to-find nook or cranny of the email. You wouldn’t like this, and the recipients of your emails won’t either.

Questions about email campaigns or other elements of a digital marketing strategy?

The fact that email marketing is alive and well, and profitable, isn’t news to d2. The campaigns we create and deploy for our clients get open and click-through rates that consistently exceed industry metrics.

Talk to the tenured, highly experienced professionals at d2 Designs. d2 is the most innovative digital marketing agency, creates, executes and manages multi-marketing solutions for customers with a focus on brand engagement that optimizes the digital experience through traditional media, social media, lead gen and key analytics, e-commerce and experiential events. Check us out at d2.designs, or email us at And please follow us via social media for more great, informative digital marketing tips and suggestions.