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Is Email Marketing Dead?

Web Bureau

24 July 2023 by Web Bureau

A debate is raging in digital marketing circles, with many asking, “Is email marketing dead?”
Today’s blog will explore the different opinions on email marketing and its evolution over time and decide whether its demise is greatly exaggerated or a worrying development.

Why is there a debate about email marketing? The Impact of Social Media and AI.

Unsurprisingly, email marketing is a hot topic of debate, especially given the number of tools and platforms available in 2023 for marketers.

Trusty stalwarts like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are joined by relative newbies TikTok, Snapchat and Meta’s Threads as attractive marketing options.

Video marketing, content marketing, PPC ads and a wide range of tools are also now available to help companies target customers.

And dare we say it, AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard are also starting to make their mark.

What are critics of email marketing saying? Why is email marketing on its last legs?

Critics of email marketing have raised several concerns.

Some common criticisms include spam filters that cause many emails to not get into the target’s inbox or end up in their ‘Promotions’ tab.

Others argue that modern email users are overwhelmed with emails and, therefore, less likely to open them.

Critics also point to a decrease in open rates as a sign that email marketing is becoming less effective.

Other issues critics point to include rising costs associated with building and maintaining your email list, a shift to social media, privacy concerns and a lack of personalisation options.

The Journey of Email Marketing: From past to present.

Email marketing has evolved, adapting to changing consumer behaviours and technological advancements.

Email marketing emerged as a one-to-one communication tool in the 1970s and 1980s.

Globally, businesses soon recognised its potential, and the 1990s witnessed the commercialisation of email marketing, with companies sending mass promotional emails.

However, this led to spam issues and the introduction of anti-spam regulations.

Regulations such as The Data Protection Act helped provide some rules to email marketing.

In the 2000s, email marketing shifted towards personalisation and segmentation, leveraging data analytics to tailor content to individual subscribers.

With the rise of mobile devices in the 2010s, optimising email campaigns for mobile became crucial.

Automation and triggered emails also gained prominence, enabling marketers to send timely and relevant messages based on user behaviour.

Interactive content and AI integration followed in the 2020s, enhancing engagement and personalisation.

In the last decade, email marketing has become more privacy-focused due to stringent data protection regulations like GDPR.

Today, email marketing is a sophisticated and integrated approach, working with other marketing channels to deliver targeted and impactful campaigns.

Is email marketing’s decline accurate or based on outdated assumptions?

While critics have raised some valid concerns and criticisms of email marketing, they don’t appear to bear out in reality.

According to HubSpot, 77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months.

Rising Above Challenges: Email Marketing's Resilience

Email marketing has proved to be remarkably resilient.

According to SaleCycle, “50% of people buy from marketing emails at least once per month.”

In addition, the global value of email marketing is expected to increase to $17 billion by 2027.

Evolving Strategies: Best Practices for Successful Email Marketing

Despite some concerns about email marketing, it is very much alive and continues to provide companies with an impressive return on investment.

However, to give your company the best chance of success, ensuring your email marketing is firing on all cylinders is a good idea.

Here are seven email marketing strategies that still work in 2023 and are critical to your success.

  1. Send out email marketing campaigns on Fridays.

According to HubSpot, Fridays are the best day to send emails, with a 19% open rate.

  1. Segmenting your email list is a great idea.

Simply segmenting your email list, you could enjoy a massive 760% increase in revenue.

  1. Make it easy for people to unsubscribe.

Two hundred engaged subscribers are much more profitable than 20,000 disengaged subscribers. Make it easy for those who aren’t interested to unsubscribe to keep your list fresh.

  1. Be consistent with your email marketing.

If you’ve got a weekly/fortnightly, or monthly newsletter, people will expect to receive it consistently, so don’t let them down.

  1. Write engaging, clickable email subject lines.

Like newspaper headlines, the best ones encourage the reader to read more. Spend some time testing your subject lines and hone in on what works.

  1. Write high-quality content.

 An email marketing campaign is only as good as the quality of information inside it. If it’s engaging and high-quality, people will return for more; if not, they’ll likely unsubscribe.

  1. Make use of automation.

Automating your emails means you spend less time engaging with customers and allows you to engage warm leads at a low cost quickly.


Despite some fair criticisms of email marketing, statistics show it’s still very much alive and producing excellent, consistent results.

Yes, some other marketing methods undoubtedly produce excellent results, for example, PPC adverts, but the caveat is that you’ll pay handsomely for those results.

Over the last two decades, email marketing has proven to be a low-cost, high-return way to reach customers, get them to engage with your company, and, ultimately, convert those people into sales.

And with email marketing automation tools to help, you’ll be able to engage with customers without spending much more time.

So, we’ll revisit the question: Is email marketing dead?

Email marketing is not dead; it will continue to be an essential marketing tool in 2023.

Need help refining and running effective email marketing campaigns?

Get in touch with our email marketing experts today.



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