There is only one thing for sure about emails: more and more people can't live without them. For commercial or personal needs, email is the most relaxed, easy and cheap standard way of communication.
On the other hand, marketing is strongly about making your message heard by your potential clients. As a result, email marketing became one of the most popular marketing channels. But marketing is also about business image. It is not enough to communicate your message, you should couple it with a clear, trustful image. Something to make you buy what it sells.
Hmm, but how many email marketing messages have you received from Mercedes? You might think they don't need marketing, but then why do they market their image by other channels, like TV? Maybe email marketing can't offer a healthy business image? Let's see...
Email Marketing Facts
According to Gartner, email campaigns cost an average of $5 - $7 per thousand compared to $500 - $700 to reach the same number of people through traditional mail, while a Forrester Research survey showed that 46% of recipients read email advertising.
From the consumer point of view, three factors induce them to respond to an email offer: knowledge and trust, relevancy, and good prices. Incorporate these components in your email campaign and you can increase your success rate (IMT Strategies).
The Internet communities and users are more and more enraged against spamming. When you receive tons of unsolicited emails every day, you can't be pleased about it, no matter the content of those email messages. According to SpamCop Statistics, about 20 spam messages are reported to be sent by spammers each second. And this is only based on the reported spam, so the real numbers should be significantly higher. A Jupiter Research study says by 2007 the average e-mail consumer will be exposed to more than 3,900 'spam' messages annually. So, consider yourself very lucky if you will only receive a few spamming messages every day.
Due to the nature of emails and due to the huge amount of commercial emails, it's almost impossible to transmit an email message in a way that it will instantly attract reader's attention. Even assuming your email will not end-up in the net of an email anti-spam filter, if the reader doesn't recognize your business from the email header, your message will get instantly erased. So you will only have two good alternatives:
keep sending more and more emails to as many people as possible, hoping that sooner or later the reader will respond to your message;
filter the destination email accounts so you will only send emails to people who already know you or who subscribed to receive your email messages.
Well... when choosing between these two options, you will be choosing exactly between email spamming and email marketing. You make your choice.
Email Marketing Summary