Mailing lists have first been scholarly mailing lists. The genealogy of mailing lists as a communication tool between scientists can be traced back to the times of the fledgling Arpanet. The aim of the computer scientists involved in this project was to develop protocols for the communication between computers. In so doing, they have also built the first tools of human computer-mediated communication. Broadly speaking, the scholarly mailing lists can even be seen as the modern version of the salons of the Enlightenment ages, designed by scholars for scholars.
From a business perspective, emails are widely used as a cost-effective as well as efficient way of acquiring new customers, boosting sales, building up your brand awareness and fostering a sense of trust among your customers. Email marketing has also shown a better ROI compared to other marketing channels. According to a survey conducted by Direct Marketing Association and Demand Metric, email had an ROI of nearly 122%, whereas other channels such as social media had just 28%.
When people talk about email marketing, lots of them forget to mention transactional emails. These are the automated emails you get in your inbox after taking a certain action on a website. This could be anything from filling out a form, to purchasing a product, to updating you on the progress of your order. Often, these are plain text emails that marketers set and forget.
"Simpler email design is about easy to consume, scannable content that can be digested fast. A single focus message combining copy, layout and colour that is skimmable and enables the reader to act easily. This kind of design enables organisations to deliver timely, fresh and punchy content on a frequent basis. Think lots of white space, simpler images (better for small screens) and blocks of colour to draw the eye.”
Social media may be the young whippersnapper nipping at email’s heels, but the content king of the inbox still holds sway in social influence, according to a study by SocialTwist. Over an 18-month period, SocialTwist monitored 119 referral campaigns from leading brands and companies. The results showed a significant advantage to email’s ability to convert new customers compared to Facebook and Twitter.