Email marketing – Advantages vs the disadvantages

Email marketing – Advantages vs the disadvantages

There are a lot of benefits to using email as a marketing tool. In this blog we will explore not only the best practices but also some disadvantages to be aware of when using email to market your product and /or services.

In this fast-paced world, you need to grab a reader’s attention within the first few lines of them opening your email or they might just move on to the next. How do you accomplish this? It’s true that people’s attention span has now become just like that of the goldfish – just lasting 5 seconds or less. Most people are captivated by the first 150 characters within an email.

There are a lot of benefits to using email as a marketing tool. In this blog we will explore not only the best practices but also some disadvantages to be aware of when using email to market your product and /or services.  

In this fast-paced world, you need to grab a readers attention within the first few lines of them opening your email or they might just move on to the next. How do you accomplish this? It’s true that people’s attention span has now become just like that of the goldfish – just lasting 5 seconds or less. Most people are captivated by the first 150 characters within an email. So, what are the go-to guidelines to keep them reading and ensure that they forward the content to their friends?  

How to grab and keep the readers attention.  

  1. Make sure that your email database is updated with email addresses from customers who have consented to receive your marketing material. The last thing you need is customers receiving marketing material they did not subscribe to. 
  2. Next, your title or heading of the email needs to be witty, short and to the point. By skimming the title, the reader should anticipate the type of information in the email. However, it should not be obvious and therefore deter them from reading further. A play on words can entice your readers to go on reading to understand the meaning of the article or messaging presented.  
  3. Your introduction needs to be to the point while engaging the customer to read further. How do you do this? Ask questions which would make your content relatable to them and ensure that you provide answers to those questions. Most of the time when people are reading, it’s because they are curious, want to gain more knowledge or both, therefore capitalize on this, and use it to your advantage.  
  4. Once you have grabbed their attention, you have a foot in the door. Now the key is to keep the momentum going throughout the email, so they read it from the beginning to end 
  5. Ensure that your font is not intrusive to the eye. Some fonts are not reader friendly and therefore may cause your reader to instinctively lose interest. Fonts that have been found popular by readers are Times New Roman and the ever-popular Arial. Depending on your audience, the younger generation will subconsciously gravitate towards Arial rather than the formal looking Times New Roman.  
  6. An image can say a thousand words – right, wrong! The right image needs to speak to your content whilst still captivating to your reader. Make sure that it is not offensive to your customers or too generic so that they lose interest.  
  7. So now that your reader has engaged, what do you need to do to ensure that keep them on the topic at hand? Use language that is logical, easy to understand and relatable. Keep it simple and straight forward without any ambiguity which might cause confusion. Clear and concise language will assist you to captivate your audience.  


  • Spam – how it can affect your email marketing? 


We have all heard of email spam but how can you avoid spammy emails? First it would be important to know what qualifies an email as spam. Wikipedia describes spam as junk or unsolicited email. So, it would be beneficial to make sure that you are familiar with the laws that would render an email as spam in your country. Depending on geographical location these laws may be enacted and thus render your email spam. The Internet Service Providers Association provides a guideline of laws within South Africa which may result in your emails being viewed as spam. Before sending out your email you need to make sure that it won’t end up in the spam folder and not be read at all. Misuse of proper language makes your email look unprofessional and untidy and, in most cases, also renders your email as spam. It makes your readers lose concentration on what they are reading but concentrate on the lack of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors that can be picked up in the content. Also make sure that you don’t include words that are repetitive and would then take away the impact of your email and land it in the spam folder. By making sure that your emails are unique you can successfully send the email without fear of where it might end up. 

  • The cost of marketing your business - ROI 

Rather than buying space in a magazine, renting a billboard, or even looking at broadcasting which could be costly, email marketing can be a better option for businesses that do not have the budget to invest thousands or even millions into marketing. On average a B2B will invest between 6.4% and 6.8% of their revenue in marketing annually. Different sectors end up spending significantly more on marketing as opposed to other sectors. Not only do companies spend thousands of rands each year on their marketing budget but they also diversify where their marketing strategy will get the most traction and therefore where the most funds are invested. Most companies will also outsource their advertising due to the many marketing strategies involved and the capacity required to ensure the success of these strategies. What if I told you that there is a tool that is designed to offer not only email marketing to your business but a host of other features that your business can. Chattr has remarkable communication services which your business can use to engage with your customers. These services can be of benefit to your business plus without having to spend a lot of money. The fantastic thing about Chattr is that is offers your business amazing pricing structures which can be structured to suit your budget. Hence cost no longer needs to be a reason you don’t invest in marketing your company.  

With Chattr, one of the many services is - targeted email marketing which focuses on automating your campaign and sending out bulk messages to your contacts or database. The benefit is that you are already communicating with people who are aware of your brand. The downside is that people tend to stick to what they know, and it would be more difficult to capture a new audience.  



  • How to increase your database


One way to increase your audience or database would be to use the means of referrals, which is more effective as friends, family and co-workers can forward each other’s emails based on the knowledge they have of one another other. If you have an email address of one person, you can encourage a referral mechanism which would then grant them a certain percentage discount by providing you the referring the email of 5 or more friends. There are also marketing companies which do sell contact information including emails of your targeted audience. By engaging with these companies, you can eliminate having to source new contact information which is another added time-saving benefit for you. Acquiring email data can have a downside as well. As we have discussed, most people want to know from where the emails they receive are coming from and if they have subsequently registered to receive them. It is imperative that with the method of buying contact details that you also include the unsubscribe option at the end of your email to not make a nuisance of yourself. Also, with most devices it gives the user an option to block any unsolicited emails from coming back into their inbox.  

Competitions are also a fantastic alternative to increase your database for future email marketing. By requesting an email when entering a competition, and ensuring that they tick the subscribe button, you can easily increase your database. The disadvantage of this is that people can enter the competition but then unsubscribe to receive further communication from your organizationA smart way to overcome this issue is to communicate that by entering the competition, their being eligible of claiming the prize is dependent on them still being subscribed to your services. This should deter and assist you overcome the potential quick in-out entries.  

  • Automating your email campaign 

An added benefit is that email marketing can be automated. There are many tools available which you can use to automate your email marketing and one of them is through Chattr. This product uses, amongst others, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool which can quantify sales for your organization based on email engagement. It also assists in automating reports on how your customers respond to your email campaign and provides you with invaluable information. These reports can be displayed as dashboard or graph depending on how you want to see the data.  

Apart from the other tools it has outstanding reporting feedback which includes dashboards and analytics. This will allow your company to see, using real-time, the effectiveness of the email marketing campaign used. Based on the data received back, you can then tweak your email marketing so that it gets maximum leads. Once you have reviewed the leads offered, your data conceptualizing mechanisms will be geared towards offering meaningful email marketing. Five added services of Chattr are:  

  • Template management and image library to customize your emails  
  • Subscription management for different email automation based on your client-base 
  • Database management which allows you to upload data via a spreadsheet or text file 
  • Secure and encrypted delivery 
  • And a dedicated support team boosting by a chat functionality


Email marketing can assist your company to personalize your campaign. This will enhance the reading attentiveness and build brand awareness through repetitive fundamental subliminal messaging. In email marketing subliminal messaging can assist with enhancing the focus of your reader as the content is stored as a long-term memory 


  • Email marketing to bring brand awareness.


The definition of brand awareness is a measure of how familiar and recognizable a brand or product are to its consumers. If a brand can be recognized by millions of its consumers and potential consumers, does that mean that brand in effect has become successful? We must remember that brands like Coke or Nike continue to market their brand even if everyone is aware of its products. So, in effect, brand awareness could further be characterized as not only being familiar with the brand but also being constantly reminded of your association with that brand. For a person to associate a particular brand with themselves, they would need to have been exposed to it many times. Like a broken record, that brand would be played on repeat in the person's subconscious. Having consumers become the spokesperson for your brand would mean they are aware of the benefits it presents and passionately believe that their lives are better by associating with that brand. How then, does brand awareness and email marketing align? With email marketing you are constantly exposing your consumers so much to your brand that they become, for a lack of a better word, your ambassadors. Through them being able to contextualize how your brand can make their lives simpler or better, you then have successfully marketed your brand effectively. Making sure that you achieve this would mean highlighting the benefits of your brand to your consumers and this can easily be done via email marketing. Within that campaign, of your email you would repeatedly highlight and define the benefits of your brand to your consumers and thus making them aware of its benefits.  

What could make consumers not want to be associated with your brand? These could be several things, like it has failed to live up to the expectations it has set out and therefore has disappointed its customers. In that circumstance, you can no longer regard that person as part of your database and can’t send them email marketing material. It would also mean you would then need to no longer consider that person as a potential email marketing recipient.  

Critical to any marketing strategy, but more so for email marketing is arousing awareness of your website. The benefit of email marketing campaigns to your site is that it increases your Seach Engine Optimization component (SEO). The fundamental reason to increasing the SEO to your site is for increased visibility. Increased visibility in turn makes for brand awareness and brand awareness translates to increased sales. Increased sales mean more revenue, which is the prime reason for operation for any business.  

The amazing thing about Chattr is that you can streamline your email marketing campaigns with new product offerings, competitions, or even special events. Within Chattr it has a CRM system and utilizing it for your email marketing it can store the feedback received when sending the email and thus offer your organization valuable information in the interaction you have with them. This data can be used further by the sales team when a new campaign is being strategized.  

  • Win them back or walk away.


With email marketing, you may sometimes lose some customers because they are no longer interested in what your brand says. At that stage you find that you are getting more unsubscribing to your content than new subscribers? What could be the reason for this? As we earlier discussed, people's attention span has decreased. Most of them skim through an email rather than reading it word for word. In that case you need to look at two things to not only keep your database increasing but also make sure that the current people who are on your database are engaging. One, there are tools you can use to see the success of your email. Clickthrough rate is one methodology used by marketers to track the success of their emails. Chattr can assist in providing all this data which you can use to assess how your email marketing campaign is going. It has been equipped with easy-to-read dashboards which can provide you with information on who is reading your emails, by looking at the click and response rate. This can be valuable as it can assist you in directing your attention to what your readers are most interested in. Once you have this information you can then focus it to achieve maximum returns. Two, if the data shows you that your readers are more interested in pricing, you can provide tailor-made pricing structures to attract them. You can even provide loyalty bases discounts which then would draw them to collect loyalty points to get the desired discount.  

If you find that after doing all the above-mentioned to not only keep your subscribers to increase them and the result is that they are unsubscribing none-the-less. It might also be best to include an information box where they provide your reasons as to why they no longer want to receive email material from you. This can be used by your company to overcome and redirect new readership. Unfortunately, the best time to walk away is when they no longer find your email material interesting. Rather than being a nuisance, or even worse be reported as spam, it would be best to walk away. Chances are that with a redirected email marketing campaign they just might sign up again. 


By far the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. From looking at the cost to send thousands of emails, to how many people you can reach with that single email and further how you can use the information derived from the email reports to spearhead future marketing strategies, email marketing although being the “new kid on the block” can assist your business to make more sales. A good thing to remember is that a happy customer is more likely to share their experience with friends, family and even co-workers and thus bring more potential customers your way. Therefore, be smart about how you track the effectiveness of your email campaign and utilize Chattr as your email marketing campaign tool. There will be more benefits which you can align with your company and make it, not only an email marketing tool but a communications center.  


So, when looking at where we are as an IT centric generation, the benefits of using email marketing by far outweigh the disadvantages. The only thing left is to make sure that when you use email marketing you encompass and utilize all the opportunities that come along with it to reap the most benefits.