Email Marketing Pros and Cons

Posted on January 28, 2019

Email marketing is one of the most important processes you can implement when starting a business. Email is a free and intimate contact point that puts your messages directly into the hands of your customers without there being a middleman.

As with most elements of business, there are certainly pros and cons with email marketing. The reality is if you’re doing things the right way, you’ll be hitting all the pros and avoiding those cons. It’s important to understand some of the specific differences, though, so let’s get into that now.

Email Marketing Pros

1. An Activated Audience

If you’re using email marketing, that means that people have willfully signed up to be a subscriber to your list. These consumers are genuinely interested in the content you’re offering, and your engagement rate will almost certainly be higher than if you were randomly acquiring emails. If you curate your content correctly to these interested customers, they’ll eat up what you have to offer.

2. Measurable Data

Any email platform that’s worth your time provides real-time analytics that can help you find pain points in your process. This allows you to A/B test, which can effectively help you narrow down what resonates with your customers, helping you avoid wasting time on what doesn’t work and staying focused on what does.

3. Up-Selling and Cross-Selling

By capturing email, and effectively using it, you can point your customers in the right direction before they even think about repeating a purchase. An email platform that allows you to create flows that recommend similar products to your customers may present them with an opportunity to purchase an item they may not otherwise have considered. Likewise, you can encourage gift-giving and bulk purchases with email exclusive coupons for loyal customers.

Email Marketing Cons

1. Spamming

Maybe your customers don’t realize this, but you should: It’s a privilege to have access to an intimate space like email. You cannot abuse that privilege. This means that you need to avoid spam like the plague and respect customer privacy. It will not do you any good to batch and blast dozens of emails to every subscriber. To avoid this pitfall, you should make sure every email is both curated and necessary. 

2. Not Optimizing

One major mistake you can make is not optimizing your emails for each browser. If customers are using a mobile browser at first, but switch to a desktop browser, the cart contents you linked to in your abandoned cart emails may change. Remember, the point is to create an easy experience for customers. Having to navigate through everything just because they switched browsers is not easy for customers — it’s annoying.

3. Abusing Privacy

Something to consider going forward is the increased focus on transparency where data collection is concerned. The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, recently passed in Europe. Similar legislation is likely on its way in the United States. You need to make sure that customers opt into your email services and are aware of what that means. You’ll also need to build separate lists for different places depending on the laws of the land in which you’re selling.


Email marketing is an incredibly useful tool that can be incredibly lucrative. If you avoid the cons and start hitting on the pros, you’ll be providing a meaningful and fulfilling experience for your customers.