24 Pros and Cons of Email Marketing | Complete Guide

Aqsa Mughees
Aqsa Mughees

Last updated on

February 8, 2023

One of the most effective marketing channels, even beating social media is email marketing. Have you wondered why? It’s because you are directly communicating with your customers and do not have any algorithms to worry about. However, there are various cons to email marketing as well. Let’s explore both sides to email marketing for a better understanding and execution of our digital marketing plans. 

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Some of the common benefits of using email marketing include:

1. High ROI: $42 ROI for every $1 invested

Email marketing is very popular for the ROI and cost-effectiveness it brings to almost all marketing teams. Email marketing is one of the highest ROI channels for all businesses. This is because email marketing is an effective way to acquire new customers for businesses. Businesses can get a maximum ROI from their email lists by continually testing and seeing what their audience responds well to. This testing enables businesses to use best practices and maximize their ROI on email marketing spend. 

2. Low cost: send mass emails at low rates

In contrast to marketing methods like PPC and paid ads, email marketing is a very low-cost way to reach customers. This makes it very easy to produce cost-effective campaigns. Businesses can use an email blast to send bulk emails at an extremely low rate. This helps maximize the number of recipients reached while keeping the total spend of email marketing down. 

3. Getting customer feedback

Email marketing enables you to get feedback from customers when they engage with your campaigns. Companies can use tools like surveys to solicit feedback on their products and enhance the quality of user experience. The feedback that customers provide can be used to create better campaigns in the future with higher ROIs. 

4. Additional sales channel

Email marketing is known to be a proven and profitable sales channel for businesses. Small business use email marketing to inform their purchase decisions and companies can use that to generate additional sales for their business. Since the email list is owned by a company, the cost of advertising on emails is very low and it can add significant revenue to the bottom line.

5. Automation capabilities

Email marketing is one of the most automation-friendly marketing opportunities for businesses. There are tons of free and paid tools you can use to automate the entire email marketing cycle. This allows businesses to automate any part of email marketing from sending the welcome email to pitching the product. 

6. Personalization

Personalization is the backbone of email marketing. If you look at email marketing vs traditional mail, you’ll see the main selling point of email marketing is the ability to personalize marketing at scale. This allows businesses to talk with customers on a first-name basis while automatically sending emails at scale. This personalization helps significantly with open rates and conversions. 

7. Increase web traffic

Email marketing can increase the web traffic of your business significantly. When you have a large enough audience, you can start linking any content like blogs directly in your emails. This will result in your email subscribers clicking the links and reading your content, increasing your web traffic. 

8. Lead generation

With email marketing, you can boost your lead generation efforts dramatically. When you build your email list, you’ll have thousands of email subscribers that can be your potential customers. Using strategies like placing CTAs in your emails can help you generate more leads from your existing email subscriber base. 

9. Capture visitors to your site

Email marketing also enables you to capture visitors to your site. You can use opt-in plugins and forms across your website to capture the visitors that come to your website. These leads can be turned into email subscribers and eventually into paying customers for your business. 

10. Build relationships and trust

Email subscribers are the customers that your business communicates with the most. Over the lifetime of one email subscriber, they can receive tens if not hundreds of emails from your company. This helps establish trust and relationships and that customer is far more likely to become a paying customer of your business. 

11. Ability to measure KPIs and metrics

One of the best ways a small business can benefit from digital marketing is the ability to measure KPIs and metrics for their business. Email gives businesses the ability to track each metric needed to turn an email recipient into a paying customer. With the use of email, you can track bounce rate, open rate, conversion rate, unsubscribe rate, etc. This helps tailor your email campaigns to get the best results.

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12. Owned media channel

Email is one of the few marketing avenues where a company utilizes its owned media. Since you capture your email list from your website, it’s a form of owned media. This means that you don’t have to pay to advertise to customers on your email list. This can help improve your ROI while enabling you to generate easy and profitable sales for any offerings your business has. 

13. Promote products and services

If you run any type of online business, you need to be able to promote your products and services at a cost-effective rate. Email is one of the best mediums to do that because you own your email list. This allows you to continuously promote your products and services to your email list. This can help increase conversions while growing your email list to capture more clients in the future. 

14. Easy to share

Email is one of the most sharable platforms for businesses. Companies can use a variety of tools to improve the sharing ability of their customers enabling them to expand their reach without spending a dollar on advertising. Sharing is the online equivalent of word of mouth and with email, you can exploit that to get free impressions and conversions on your campaign. 

15. Large audience 

An email has one of the largest marketing audiences in the world. More than 3 out of 4 people in the U.S. use and check their email daily. Crafting effective email campaigns is a great strategy to stay top of mind whenever your subscribers open their inboxes. With email being used daily, there are much higher open rates and conversion rates in comparison to other marketing strategies. 


Although the benefits of email marketing for small businesses are great, there are some drawbacks you need to be aware of. Some of the most commons cons of email marketing include:

1. Spam issues

With email marketing, you have the potential to be marked as spam and not seen by your email list. Many users today use spam filters and similar tools to avoid getting any email marketing. It’s important to ensure that your email list has opted in to prevent your domain from being marked as spam by email providers. 

2. Undelivered emails

Your email marketing may also be susceptible to undelivered emails. If you get a faulty email list, you increase your chances of having undelivered emails and this can cost you. This can also reduce your ROI because your customers won’t be getting your emails and they won’t see the time and money you’ve invested into your email campaigns.

3. Unopened emails

Email marketing also can result in many unopened emails; this is another way that your ROI can be reduced for your business. The average open rate across all industries is close to 20%. If you have a better and more effective marketing strategy, this can be a downgrade. 

4. Fierce competition

Email marketing is extremely competitive because many companies are vying for the attention of one customer. In addition to competing with your competitors, you’re also competing with large brands like Apple, Amazon, and Starbucks to get the attention of your customer. 

5. Ease of unsubscription

Many countries require businesses to have an easy and visible unsubscription button for their email list. If your email marketing is poor, this can result in losing email subscribers quickly and this undermines all the hard work you put into email marketing. You need to provide enough value that your email subscribers continue to stay on your list. 

6. Need large audience to convert significant sales

Email marketing is a number’s game. With an industry average open rate of 20% and conversion close to 1-2%, you need a large audience to make any meaningful money with email marketing. Many businesses are unaware of just how big email lists have to be before you start getting any meaningful sales and conversions. 

7. Different email regulations for international customers

If your email list reaches a meaningful size, you probably will have many international customers. This will require you to abide by international data laws like GDPR if you sell to customers in a certain location. You need to be aware of these laws to avoid getting fined or banned in a specific country for your email marketing. 

8. Design issues on different devices

Your email list will have many different devices like iPhones, Androids, etc. If you made an email campaign with a certain design, it may appear differently to different users on various devices. This can impact open rates, conversion rates, and several other factors related to email marketing. 

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9. Requires some copywriting skills

To truly succeed at email marketing, you’ll need some type of copywriting skill or you will need to hire a copywriter. Copywriting is essential to email marketing because it helps convert more customers to your business. Unless you have a copywriting background, your team will need to hire a competent copywriter to increase conversions.

So, now that you’ve got a fair idea of the pros and cons of email marketing, you can plan your email marketing strategy in a much better way. 

Mailmunch’s comprehensive email marketing suite enables you to plan, create, execute and track your emails, all under one umbrella with zero technical knowledge required. So, here’s a chance for you to cut your costs of resources and do everything with just a few clicks!

Author Bio

Aqsa Mughees

Aqsa Mughees works as a Content Lead at Mailmunch with 5+ years of experience in creative content strategy. With a grip in digital content creation for the tech industry and an undying love for writing, she is crazy about helping businesses grow through content marketing.

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