Advantages and Disadvantages of email marketing

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a form of direct marketing where a business or marketer uses email to promote products, services, offers or shares material meant to grow brand awareness. Email marketing is among one of the easiest forms of online marketing techniques and is frequently used alongside other online marketing channels like social media and paid advertising. The use of email marketing has grown due to its effectiveness, low costs, and flexibility. There are several types of marketing emails that businesses and marketers use including but not limited to welcome emails. seasonal promotions, newsletters, new product launches, event invitations, automated emails (shopping cart) to and other types of emails meant to inform, engage or re-engage the customer.

Email marketing can be highly effective in creating brand awareness or gaining customer feedback. Apart from that, it has been found to be effective in terms of customer engagement. However, email marketing is still not a sure shot way to success and like other marketing channels and tools, email marketing also has its shortcomings. It may be difficult to ensure that you get noticed and your targeted readers pay attention to your email. A large number of companies including Amazon and other e-commerce brands still use email marketing campaigns to grow their customer base and to attract sales as well as for customer feedback. It is because email marketing is cost-effective and scalable. There are more advantages to email marketing given it is done the right way. If done properly, email marketing can help you generate leads as well as retain and engage existing customers. 

Here, we have listed some of the leading advantages and disadvantages of email marketing:

Advantages of Email Marketing:


Email marketing is among the most cost-effective channels of marketing like social media. You do not have to pay big fees that you generally incur when advertising online. Moreover, you can send the same promotional email to a thousand clients with a little bit of personalization and without having to spend a fortune. All you need is an email account or a software to do it for you and some basic design skills to design the perfect email. Most companies are able to do it all by themselves. Other companies that have small and highly targeted audiences make use of email marketing agencies. Several businesses have automated email set up and most commonly e-commerce businesses use automated email to reengage the customers that have abandoned their shopping carts. In most cases, it costs nearly nothing except for companies using it on a very large scale have to invest in email-automation software.

Flexibility : 

Apart from cost-effectiveness, one major advantage of email marketing is the flexibility it offers. Even if it may not look as flexible, email marketing offers a lot of flexibility in terms of message and content type. It can be as good as a social media post and you can attach PNG files, plain text, link to videos, infographics or even a feedback form. Most email accounts come with several features that are particularly suitable for branding. You can include your logo and social media links at the bottom of every message to help your clients know you better.


Email marketing also offers a high degree of scalability. For example, you can use email marketing to reach a short audience made up of a few hundred people or to reach thousands of your followers who have opted for your email newsletter. Your audience can be a small group of students and professors or thousands of people living in a metropolitan city. So, in terms of scalability, email marketing can be one of the most suitable options for promoting your product and brand before both small and large audiences. 

Personalized messaging: 

Email marketing can also be used to send your customers and followers personalized messages. Personalization has now become important for success in marketing and gaining the best returns on your marketing efforts. The best thing about email marketing is that it offers a nice degree of personalization and you can send personalized emails to people regarding things or topics they are really interested in. You can segment your customer base into smaller segments and run weekly or monthly campaigns. Segmenting your users based upon their choices or previous shopping patterns helps you gain better returns from your email marketing campaign.

Higher conversion and sales: 

If done the right way, email marketing can lead to higher conversion and sales. E-commerce brands frequently use email marketing to promote seasonal offers and discounts before their existing customers. You can grow your conversion and sales by sending more targeted messages to prospective customers. Such promotional emails include a call to action button which the readers can use to go to the desired landing page. If you are running a seasonal campaign or want to promote a discount offer on specific items, you can include a call to action button which directly takes visitors to the product page where they can avail of this offer.

Quickly grow your brand awareness: 

Email marketing can be quite helpful if you want to grow your brand awareness faster. You can use an attractively designed email including your logo, business slogan and important links to grow brand recognition faster. The more attractive your email is, the higher are the chances of your brand recognition faster. For brands with an existing customer base, growing the recognition of new products can be easier with email marketing. They can use it to market and promote the new product before their existing customer base. This can also help drive conversion and higher sales. 

Saves time: 

Email marketing is not just a cost-effective and flexible channel of marketing but it also saves you a lot of time and the results can be visible quickly. It does not take a lot of time to compose and send emails and you can send it to many clients at one go. If you are already skilled and experienced and have email templates ready, there is not much to do on your part except compose the main message. After that, just hit send. Even if you hire someone else to do it for your company, the process is not as much time-consuming or labor-intensive. You can use the time you saved and devote it to other business processes.

Effective Real-time marketing channel:

Email marketing is also an effective marketing channel for real-time marketing to prospective clients. You can link email services to specific activities like shop-cart abandonment, website activity or product browsing to reach the right customers with the right offer in real-time. In this way, apart from marketing to the right clients in real-time, you can drive conversion rates higher and turning lost sales into opportunities. If your sales are dropping, you can create offers and drive sales in real-time.

Not as intrusive:

When compared with other marketing techniques like telephone marketing, email marketing is comparatively a lot less intrusive. You are not disturbing your client at a time when he is busy with other stuff. Moreover, customers have the option to change their preferences regarding the mails they receive from your company or even unsubscribe if they like.

Use it to establish credibility and build trust:

Email marketing can also be used to establish credibility and build trust. You can share useful information like whitepapers with your clients and prospective customers. Apart from that, if you provide services, you can showcase your expertise through email marketing. This will help you establish yourself and your business as an expert in the area. By proving your expertise, you will be able to establish yourself faster as a trustworthy brand.

Disadvantages of email marketing:

While there are several advantages of email marketing, like the other marketing channels, it has its own shortcomings as well. There are several challenges related to email marketing and businesses need to do email marketing carefully in order to achieve the desired results. Since it does not need a major investment to run an email marketing campaign, it does not mean that you should run it any time and without proper focus. 

Difficult to gain attention:

Email marketing has become a common and also one of the most abused techniques of online marketing. A large number of marketers and businesses are using this method to reach new customers. Many of these are untargeted messages where email marketers obtain a marketing list from unreliable sources and email the same message to everyone without knowing the preference of individual users. Such messages are most often marked by readers as spam. In such a situation where there is very little chance that a user will even notice your email, gaining attention is the most difficult task before the email marketers who might be genuinely interested in marketing a useful product/service or brand. Several times small businesses seek help from marketing agencies that lack the necessary targeting and marketing skills. They use cheap methods of targeting and acquire email lists from poor sources which might, in the end, damage the reputation of the business trying to promote its products. Making your email stand out requires effort and time as well as design skills to appear genuine. Otherwise, any user will mark it as spam without reading it.

Can Cause frustration:

What many email marketing agencies do is to send too many emails to their clients. They do not provide necessary links for the users either so they can unsubscribe from email lists. Moreover, once these marketers have obtained an email list, they use it to send messages too often for every product or service which can cause frustration and make readers lose interest. Email marketing should not be used to invade the privacy of individual users. It is not just illegal but also highly frustrating for the readers who might have trusted you with their personal information like email and phone number.

Running an effective email campaign can be challenging:

While anyone can run an email campaign, it is generally difficult to ensure its success and effectiveness. There are several problems related to running an effective email campaign and most often it is because of poor targeting that these campaigns are unsuccessful. Unless you are sending the right emails to the right people, such mails would fail at generating leads or whatever ends you wish to achieve through your email marketing campaigns. Targeting the right audience and selecting the right messages that will interest them is an important step but can be highly challenging. 

Size and design-related issues:

There are several important considerations related to making your email marketing campaigns successful. You have to consider the design of your email as well as its size, content and other aspects to make it attractive, interesting and engaging. Apart from content type and design as well as color selection, there are other factors too which have to be considered to make a campaign successful.

One last Word about email marketing

So, however simple email marketing may appear, it is an art in itself and requires design skills and suitable targeting methods in order to be successful. Not all email marketing campaigns are successful. Mostly they fail because of poor design and content or due to wrong targeting. Marketers trying to run email campaigns must select their audience carefully and only target the right people. Today, there are a large number of email marketing tools in the market to help you effectively target your audience and design personalized emails. However, to achieve the desired RoI on your email marketing campaign, you should consider all aspects of email marketing to make it failsafe.

APAPratap, A. (2020, February 28). Advantages and Disadvantages of email marketing. Retrieved from
MLAPratap, Abhijeet. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Email Marketing.” Cheshnotes, 28 Feb. 2020,