What is email marketing, and where did it begin?
The first email, sent by Ray Tomlinson in 1971 or 1978 depending on your source, marked the beginning of the modern communication era. The message was nothing special, a series of numbers and letters that looked more like a password than a message, but its significance was profound.
The email was sent from one computer to another, traveling through a network of machines not unlike the internet we know today. Tomlinson also introduced the “@” symbol in email addresses to the world.
Gary Thuerk, a Marketing Manager at Digital Equipment Corp, sent the first commercial email years later, where the message reached a list of email addresses. And voila, email marketing was born. There were only a few hundred people on the list, but that was enough for Thuerk to claim the mantle, “Father of Spam.”
Today, we’re inundated with email marketing, and yes, some of it still feels spammy, but there’s no denying the impact a well-crafted message can have on your customers—not to mention CRM and lead nurturing.
Does email marketing work?
When you want to communicate something about your brand or sell your stuff, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to do so.
In fact, a 2015 study by the DMA found that for every $1 spent, email has an average $38 return on investment (ROI). When shoppers are ready to buy something, they often look for emails from their favorite stores.
Still, people receive more and more email all the time, and it can be challenging to stand out in full inboxes. That’s why Mailchimp gives you the tools you need to shine (plus, we’ve got a lot of tried and true tips on sending outstanding emails).