Christoper S. Penn on Why Email Marketing Is Here to Stay

Among all the talk of new marketing techniques, big data, social media, and more, email marketing remains a steady and incredibly important contributor to the overall marketing mix. That's the message echoed by Christopher S. Penn, author of Marketing White Belt and Vice President of Marketing Technology at SHIFT Communications.

I recently spoke with Penn about the current and future lanscape of email marketing. Below is the first part of our discussion; stay tuned to the Marketing Cloud blog for the rest of the interview.

Why is email marketing still important?

  • The only marketing channel that allows us to actively go out and tap a consumer on the shoulder is email marketing. 
  • No other marketing channel functions like email; just because you publish something on your Facebook Page does not mean that everyone is going to see it.
  • Other push notification methods, such as text messaging, cost money and don't scale very well.


What should brands consider when sending emails?


  • Apply the "3L" test: if it doesn't make you laugh, or you didn't learn something when you were putting it together, or you don't absolutely love it, you have a bad email. Do not hit the send button.
  • If you do email poorly, consumers will be very resentful of it. People get annoyed when you send them bad email.
  • Look at your email as if you were on the receiving end of it; is it something that you would actually enjoy reading if you didn't work for that company?
  • Costco is an example of a company that sends out an enormous amount of emails every day, but they enjoy what they're doing, enjoy sending out the emails, and enjoy seeing the results that it generates.

Stay tuned for the remaining parts of our interview with Christopher S. Penn.
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