Is email marketing still effective? I heard that it’s almost impossible to collect emails from customers in low tech businesses such as restaurants. Is this true?


Many people in the industry have proclaimed email marketing dead. Well, I’m going to respectfully disagree with a few of my colleagues.

At around 37:1 rate of return, Email marketing is still the most economical marketing solution and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future.

Email is the only Internet platform with 90% potential reach, meaning almost everyone who is online has an email address. Nothing else comes close. And contrary to what many want to believe, Email is the most used mobile media.

Every successful affiliate marketer or internet marketer I know always builds on their email subscription lists. These lists are part of the core for everything else they do.

I have several mailing lists for numerous purposes. One of my lists is very small (less than 100 subscribers) and is a very successful revenue generator for me with almost 40% open rate from a confirmed 97% delivery rate.

I have clients generating 20% to 30% open rates from relatively large mailing lists. It costs them less than $100/month.

I probably receive a lot more junk/spam email than most because it’s essentially a part of my job. I’m loyal to opening Harbor Freight emails because I’m addicted to discounts on tools that I will never use. However, I delete 99% of them as like everyone else. I rarely unsubscribe because I never know when I need a phone number or email or contact info from someone with specialized services.

I disagree about the difficulty for restaurants to collect email addresses. There’s many ways to collect email addresses nowadays including APIs connecting to Facebook pages and to other apps. Many more ways now than there was just a couple years ago and much easier too.

The low tech filling out service bingo cards left on tables are still among the cheapest and most practical means to collect email subscriptions from restaurant patrons.

Constant Contact has made it extremely easy to add subscribers to mailing lists.

I also provide mobile SMS marketing services (among other things) so I’m not solely supporting email marketing. Ideally, you want to use both email and SMS and more to remarket customers. Keep the following in mind:
– Unsubscribers to SMS messages is much higher than email unsubscribers.
– SMS messages are extremely limited compared to emails.
– Emails are not going to be limited by mobile service providers (Remind just discontinued services with Verizon).
SMS does have some significant advantages, such as immediacy and connections to proximity marketing services.

Daniel Harley is the owner of PrimeConcepts for Internet Solutions, providing the latest and most successful internet marketing strategies for businesses.