Email Marketing: Dead or Alive?

Many people say email marketing is dead. It's easy to agree with this idea.

Spam and the spam filters it has given rise to make it harder than ever to get your email delivered.

It's even hard to receive email we want. How many times have you been frustrated because a friend, co-worker, or relative was supposed to send you an email that never arrived… only to discover that email in your “junk mail” or “spam” folder?

Here’s the good news: the death of email marketing has been greatly exaggerated.

Even though deliverability rates are lower than ever, email marketing still works, and is still responsible for many millions of dollars worth of sales. It can work for you as well.

3 Keys to Successful Email Marketing

First of all, keep a clean double opt-in email list. What this means: if someone signs up to receive email from you, you need to get them to confirm that they actually want to receive the email.  Most email marketing providers, (like aweber and 1ShoppingCart) automatically require people to double opt-in to any email list. In some cases the “double opt-in” feature is optional… but I think it's the best way to manage your email list. Single opt-in (no confirmation required) may yield bigger subscriber numbers (it does), but that list will be less responsive to your offers.

Secondly, educate your customers on how to white-list or authorize your emails to get through to their inbox.  Usually this is just a case of having them put your email address into their address book; if they use a service like Spam Arrest they'll have to go to the actual website and authorize your email address. Teach them how to do that, either using text and illustrations or with screen capture video.

The third key to successful email marketing is about boosting response rates to your messages. How do you do this? Make sure you send relevant and expected content to your list.  Emailing your list frequently will get your emails through more readily and get you a lot fewer spam complaints. Why?  Because if you send frequently people are going to do one of two things: they’re either going to read your email or unsubscribe. If you email them less frequently, you run the risk that they will forget who you are or even forget that they subscribed to your list… and that will generate spam complaints.

Use these keys to successful email marketing and watch your list numbers and response rates grow. Long live email marketing!

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at