What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is the key to your clients hearts and wallets. Sounds pretty grandiose but it’s true.

How true? According to the Direct Marketing Association, email market has a return on investment (ROI) of 4,300% on average. Or, to put it in more tangible terms, that would be $43 of turnover for ever dollar spent. Not a shabby investment at all!

And the best part? It requires no trickery, manipulation, or highly technical software to achieve results. With a few good thoughts to share and some basic online tools, you can start using email marketing today to create a strong relationship with your ideal audience and grow your business with happy customers.

Email Marketing Definition

To get more technical with our definition, email marketing is a form of direct marketing. This means that the business owner doesn’t use a third-party platform to reach potential customers (such as TV, radio, or social media channels), but rather contacts them directly.

A word of caution, however: don’t let the term “direct” fool you. “Direct marketing” doesn’t mean that every email you send to potential clients will try to sell them something “directly” (or aggressively). It rather means that the tool of contact (which in this case is email) reaches each potential client directly (in this case by arriving in their personal inbox) to deliver its message. And there are two main types of messages you should send to your list via email:

1. Emails that enhance the relationship with your current and previous customers and encourage repeat business. These emails should add value to the customer without asking them for anything in return. (For a more in-depth explanation of this idea see the know-like-trust section below)

2. Emails that ask for a purchase from new or previous customers for a new product or offer at the moment you present it to them.

Both of these types of emails, however, rest on the same underlying principle: Trust. The reason email marketing is so popular, effective, and crucial for your business is because it helps build trust with your audience thus increasing sales through customer loyalty.

How Trust Building Works

Let’s take the following scenario as a potential real-world equivalent of how email marketing and the trust factor work.

Scenario 1 — The Friend

One day a fashion-designer friend of yours brings up a sensitive topic: the way you dress is doing nothing for you. In fact, it’s worse than nothing. The way you dress has a negative impact on your life.

You know this first hand because you just lost a contract with a new client after the first in-person meeting. Even though everything seemed to go great via email, the once-over the client gave you when you walked through the door made your heart sink… Ugh! They already don’t like me…

Your friend says:

I know you’ve got your individual style, and I appreciated how unaffected you are by fashion. But to be honest, I think the way you dress plays a big role in your missed opportunities.

You just don’t inspire confidence as a professional when you walk through the door. I’m not saying you need to change your style. But I’d love it if you let me show you how you can dress up your style to make those killer first impressions that will get you the work you really deserve and are capable of.

Wouldn’t you agree to at least let your friend show you how you can improve your professional appearance while still being yourself? I know I would!

Scenario 2 — The Stranger

Now imagine a similar scenario with a slight twist. After a failed first meeting with a new client, you walk down the street feeling dejected. Frustrated at how often this happens, you say out loud to yourself:

I can’t believe I missed another deal!

A total stranger stops you in your tracks:

Well, no wonder you missed the deal!” he says. “I’m sorry, but you simply don’t look professional. I know what I’m talking about; I’m a fashion designer. Let me show you how to create a better style. Oh, and by the way, I have a 20% discount on my whole collection today. It must be your lucky day! Here, buy.

Would you accept? Um, no. I wouldn’t.

Said stranger, in fact, would be lucky not to get punched in the mouth.

The difference: the relationship and degree of trust you have with each of the two example fashion designers from our story. And that difference, in the world of online business is made through email marketing.

Why You Need Email Marketing

Done right, email marketing allows you to become the friend and trusted advisor of your clients, as in the first scenario above. On the contrary, when used simply to blast out offers and reach random strangers (who may or may not be interested in what you’re selling), it can inadvertently turn you into the irritating and obnoxious stranger of scenario number two.

The Know-Like-Trust Factor

In the world of marketing, the process of building a strong relationship with your clients and earning their trust is called the “know, like, trust” factor.


For people to buy anything from you — be it products or services — they first have to know you. And by knowing I don’t just mean know that you exist (though that’s certainly useful) but really know you on a deeper level. They must know what you do, why you do it, and how you do it (and why that’s different from how everyone else does it).


But knowing is just the first step. For strangers to become clients they must also like you. And let’s be honest here: not everyone is going to like you — and that’s okay. (And you shouldn’t try to please everyone). Your ideal audience, however, the people you’d love to work with, must like you to buy from you. And to like you, they must see and experience more of you and your company than your offers and deals.


A person who likes you is much more likely to buy from you than a person who simply knows you. But a person who trusts you? Now, that’s a customer! And a returning customer at that.

Think about a professional you trust with a service or product, whether it’s your car mechanic, your hairdresser, your computer person, or your favorite barista at the little coffee shop around the corner from your office. Would you ever choose to acquire these services from someone else just because the other person happened to walk up to you offering a discount?

No way! Because when it comes down to it, you don’t really want to risk a burnt latté in the morning when you know that the perfect cup of coffee awaits just a few feet away.

For more information on the importance of email and what it can do for your business check out our website redtrucklabs.com