Is Email Marketing Dead?

Is Email Marketing Dead?

Is email marketing dead? 

We hear this quite a bit. And it's understandable. People might be thinking email marketing dead, dying, or at least limping. We've got all these social media platforms, Messenger marketing, SMS, push notifications in apps all fighting for attention.

So where does email fit it? 

Well, let's find out – shall we?


(2:55) People don't open emails because most emails are shit. 
(4:26) It's not about the words you use in your emails - it's about the intention behind them.
(6:02) Why you should switch the focus of your emails. 
(11:15) Email marketing and algorithms.
(13:13) Social media cannot replace email! 
(16:53) Value-led email marketing isn't dead! 
(17:43) Email is just another content channel. 
(20:04) Nothing can replace the emotional impact and relationship building you can achieve via email. 
(21:42) The faster you can master email marketing, the faster you can supercharge your business. 
(23:10) Subject line of the week. 

The Top 10 Books To 'Power Up' Your Email Marketing

10 book recommendations that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we stumbled upon which have been game-changing for us).

People don't open emails because most emails are shit

That's right. Let's not beat around the bush. It's the truth, and you know it. Most emails are shit.

As a consumer, you may have signed up to someone's list only to receive their emails once in a while. And then when you do get them, they're all about selling you something. So there's no reason for you to actually open those emails – not if you're not interested in buying that product or service anyway. And not if you're not interested right now

And while we're on the topic, let's be clear about something. You don't have to be an amazing writer to be able to create emails that aren't shit. It's not about how your emails are written. It's about the purpose, the use, and the intent behind the emails you send. If you send an email every day that is a variation of, “Here's why you should buy this thing,” you can't expect great results. Because there's no intent behind your emails other than asking people to buy from you. 

It's not about the words – it's about the intention behind them

You see, we strongly believe that your emails should never be transactional – not even your transaction emails! But the words don't matter – it's the intention behind your emails that matters. 

Let's bring this to life with an example from a brick-and-mortar shop. You know when you walk into a shop and find yourself looking around, browsing the shelves, and someone comes up to you and asks, “Can I help you?” They're not using the actual words, but they're trying to sell you something. More often than not, you'll say, “No, thanks” just for someone else in a different part of the store to approach you again! 

Now, let's look at someone who doesn't do that. Apple. Whether you're an Apple fan or not, you can't deny that the shopping experience is different there. What Apple figured out (and that's something most brands haven't!) is that creating an enjoyable environment where customers can spend some time engaging with their gadgets without anyone bothering them makes people want to do just that – go in, check out their cool stuff, and buy it! And that happens without anyone hovering by your side asking if they can help! 

This is a great way to think about your email marketing too. People don't open your emails to read a variation of, “Hey, can I sell you something?” They open your emails to check out the cool stuff that's inside. And that's the value that's packed in your emails. If there's no value in your emails, there's no reason for your subscribers to open them! 

The old way of doing email marketing has been dead for years. But value-led email marketing is your biggest opportunity to stand out in people's inboxes. 

Switch the focus of your emails

Wait. Does this mean you can't sell stuff in your emails?

Of course not!

You can sell stuff in 100% of your emails! But that can't be the only purpose of them. There has to be an offer in there for people who want to take what you said and do something more with it. Your email has to have value.

And we're lucky that our customers and subscribers tell us this all the time! We have people who take the time out of their day to tell us how happy they are that our emails land in their (and we quote) ‘crowded inbox'!

How cool would that be for your business if you were to send out emails that your customers and subscribers want to talk about publicly? Compliment on social media?

Awesome, right? 

Well, it happens to us. And not because we're not selling in our emails. But simply because we switched the focus and the highlight of our content. 

Let's talk about email marketing and algorithms


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We all know that social media platforms use algorithms. We don't need to understand how they work, technically. But in a nutshell, all social media platforms use algorithms to decide what content and features they want to promote and prioritise. So when Facebook wanted to promote Facebook lives, we'd all get notifications as soon as someone we vaguely followed started a Facebook live. And that means that if you're not out there on social media producing the type of content their algorithms like, you're potentially not going to reach a lot of people. 

But email marketing is different. And what you really need to focus on is to make sure you have a clean list and aren't doing things that are considered spam. Sure, algorithms play a part in email marketing too, but as long as you're not doing crappy emails, then you are going to land under people's noses! 

Social media cannot replace email!

If email marketing is dead, are we all going to forget about emails and only use social media then? 

Well, hang on. 

Let's not forget that social media rely on you having an email address. Because in order for you to create an account on any social media platform, you need an email address. And that social media platform is going to use that email address to keep in touch with you and invite you to check out more of their content. Because that's exactly what happens when a friend tags you in a photo on Facebook, and you get an email to say exactly that! 

So actually, even the big players – the huge social media platforms – rely on email. And you should do the same – be everywhere you're going to be online but use every opportunity you get to grow your email list.

Do you speak on stage? Great. Invite people to join your email list.

Do you do the most awesome Facebook lives? Fantastic. Invite people to join your email list.

Do you host the best podcast show? Brilliant. Invite people to join your email list.

Take your audience – your followers, your customers, your listeners, your subscribers – and move them around your infrastructure. Move your people from social media to email and vice versa. Become 3D – surround your audience in the marketplace by being everywhere. 

Value-lead email marketing isn't dead

If you're taking one thing away from this episode let it be this – value-led email marketing isn't dead. If you do email marketing in the content-driven way we teach, you'll stand out from everyone else. So many more people are going to love your emails that you will make more sales! 

The key thing is to move away from emailing when you want to sell to emailing so that when your subscribers are ready to buy, you're right there in front of them

Email is just another content channel

We've said this before, but you've got to think about things from your customers' perspectives. Most people check their emails on their phones. The mobile usage of email is increasing, so just see this as another channel of content, snuggled in there between TikTok and Instagram. 

Think about it. If you can share some words on Facebook, why can't you share them in an email? It's just content on the internet. Whether it pops up in an email or a tweet, what's the difference? If anything, you've got so much more space and freedom to articulate your thoughts in an email because you don't have that annoying character limitation. Email isn't inherently annoying – it can be incredibly useful sometimes. So focus on making your emails good – so good that people want to get them in their inbox. 

Nothing can replace the emotional impact and relationship building you can achieve via email

You know, the truth is, there are so many other content channels you can use. Just listen to any of the marketing experts out there – they'll have a method to teach you to help you become great at Facebook lives, Facebook groups, TikTok, Pinterest – you name it! You can build your audience and your business on any of those platforms and in any of those ways.

But email is unique. There's nothing like it. Because SMS is irritating if you receive too many of them. Plus they have a character limit too, and it's not practical or easy to read and digest stuff on an SMS – you just can't build much of a relationship with an SMS. Then there's Messenger, but with people trying to spend less and less time on social media, that's also not a good place to be. 

The truth is that there's nothing that replaces the emotional impact and relationship building you can achieve by delivering content through email. If you want to make sales, it's still an essential bit for your business.

So the faster you start mastering and enjoying email marketing, the faster you're going to be able to supercharge the other elements of your business. 

Subject line of the week 

This week's subject line of the week is “Why we stopped being sexy”. First of all, it's a lie, isn't it? We were never sexy to start with! Haha. (Feel free to contradict us, here, by the way).

But it worked because it has a bit of a provocative word in it. You're not going to get anything from your bank that has the word ‘sexy' in it, are you? That gets your attention. And if you follow our work at all, you know we don't take ourselves too seriously – we like to mess about and have self-deprecating humour. 

But the interesting thing about this email is that we split tested two different email opt-ins – one was about receiving a shiny lead magnet, and the other one was about receiving our emails daily. And guess what? The one that was just about getting our emails every day got us a 59% increase in subscribers! How cool is that? If anything, that just proves (once again) that email marketing isn't dead! 

Useful Episode Resources

Related episodes

7 Ways To Give Subscriber Value In Your Marketing Emails (So People Love Receiving Them).

How To Grow Your Email List Using Facebook Pages (Without Ads) – Rachel Miller Moolah Style!

What should I talk about in my emails? Email marketing content ideas you’ll use.

FREE list of the top 10 books to improve your email marketing

If you want to write better emails, come up with better content, and move your readers to click and buy, here's how. We put together this list of our Top 10 most highly recommended books that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we happened upon, which have been game-changing for us). Grab your FREE list here

Join our FREE Facebook group

If you want to chat about how you can maximise the value of your email list and make more money from every subscriber, we can help! We know your business is different, so come and hang out in our FREE Facebook group, the Email Marketing Show Community for Course Creators and Coaches. We share a lot of training and resources, and you can talk about what you're up to.

Try ResponseSuite for $1

This week's episode is sponsored by ResponseSuite.com, the survey quiz and application form tool that we created specifically for small businesses like you to integrate with your marketing systems to segment your subscribers and make more sales. Try it out for 14 days for just $1.

Join The League Membership

Not sick of us yet? Every day we hang out in our amazing community of Email Marketing Heroes, where we get to share all of our training and campaigns and a whole bunch of other stuff. If you're looking to learn how to use psychology-driven marketing to level up your email campaigns, come and check out The League Membership. It's the number one place to hang out and grow your email marketing by applying everything we talk about in this show.

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