email marketing best practices

Email Marketing Best Practices: Make Email More Expensive??

This is a blog topic that might raise your eyebrows but it raises a great point!

Mike May argues, in his post titled “To Improve Email’s Effectiveness, Lower Its ROI,” that making email more effective means making it more expensive.

You’re probably thinking, “What?!”

But he makes a great point. Email is relatively inexpensive, which is one reason why it has the highest ROI of any other marketing channel. However, that combination of low barrier to entry and low cost to send means inboxes are all the more flooded with competing messages.

The very thing that makes email attractive from an ROI standpoint is the same thing that makes email marketing ROI so hard to achieve.

By making it more expensive to send emails, May argues, you decrease the number of emails sent…thereby increasing the likelihood that those emails that do make it to the inbox will get noticed.

Now as an email deliverability consultant and email marketing vendor, the last thing I want to do is go to my clients and tell them their email marketing budget is going to have to grow. But as May says, that might not even be the case. If you have to pay more to send, you’ll stop sending to bad email addresses right away, decreasing your list size and saving you money, not costing you money.

Plus all our email marketing best practices, all our testing and re-testing, all our educating and keeping up with industry changes and ISP demands…would we have to try so hard at all this if we didn’t have so darn much competition in the inbox? Would we actually reduce our costs if we didn’t have to work so hard at the email marketing best practices?

His own writing is clear and his argument well-presented, so I won’t spend any more time trying to summarize it. Read it here, and if you don’t agree, I’ll be surprised!

Published On: September 28th, 2010Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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