Best Practice

The Fundamentals of Email Marketing

By Kath Pay,

No tool in your marketing toolbox is as valuable and necessary to you as your email marketing program:

  • Email generates a generous return on investment, higher than any other digital marketing channel, including search and social media.
  • Email extends the reach and power of every other marketing channel you use, whether it’s digital, mobile, print, broadcast or out-of-home.
  • Holistic email marketing improves the customer experience.
  • Email messages can align with all of the touchpoints on the customer journey, from browsing to buying and on to loyalty.
  • Continuous platform development makes innovations possible.

The Fundamentals of Email Marketing report will help marketers understand, implement and execute email strategies to maximize return on investment in this channel.

What the report includes

The report includes initiatives, strategies and tactics that are not part of the conventional wisdom surrounding 'best practices'.

All the initiatives, strategies and tactics recommended in this report assist both the marketer and the consumer. We’ve created this guide so you can use it to either review your existing email strategy or to help create a comprehensive email marketing strategy from scratch.

We've also included a multitude of practical tips you can apply to individual campaigns to help maximize results.

A word of advice before reading – always question a tip and test it, even the ones we advocate here. Don’t accept on faith that something is the best route to take.

However, whether you are a time-pressed newcomer to email or a grizzled veteran looking to elevate your program, this guide and its recommendations are a good place to start.

How the report is structured

We've written this as eight standalone sections covering the essential areas of email marketing:

  • Objectives and strategy
  • Growing your database
  • Using your email for targeting
  • Designing for email
  • Copywriting for email
  • Testing and optimization
  • Reporting success using metrics that matter most
  • Deliverability optimization

So you have a choice: you can sit back and read this guide from beginning to end like a book or you can jump to the section that has the most relevance to your current needs and explore it and delve into the others as and when needed.

Author and contributors

This guide has been put together by Kath Pay, who lives and breathes email marketing, with the aid of several experts who have kindly contributed their time and effort in producing this guide.

Contributors to the report include:

  • Skip Fidura, Client Services Director, dotMailer
  • Guy Hanson, Senior Director of Professional Services, Return Path
  • Steve Henderson, Compliance Officer, Communicator
  • Loren McDonald, Marketing Evangelist, IBM Marketing Cloud
  • Dela Quist, CEO, Alchemy Worx
  • Jordie van Rijn, Email Marketing Consultant, eMailMonday
  • Karen Talavera, President, Synchronicity Marketing
  • Catherine Toole, Founder and non-executive Director, Sticky Content Ltd

Download a copy of the report to learn more.

free sample is available for those who want more detail about what is in the report.

Contributing Authors


Kath Pay

Founder and CEO, Holistic Email Marketing

More reports from Kath Pay

Kath lives and breathes email marketing. She is not only a world-renowned speaker and trainer but also practises her art with her consultancy, Holistic Email Marketing, where she is Founder and CEO. Many years ago she coined the phrase Holistic Email Marketing, practising this approach within her consultancy and teaching it to her students and clients. She is one of the World’s Top 50 Email Marketing Influencers (Vocus, 2014).

Kath is well-known for her conversion-focused approach and is a huge fan of testing and optimising. She introduced the principles of consumer psychology and behavioural science into email more than seven years ago, and this, combined with conversion-centred design, is applied throughout the customer journey within Kath’s holistic approach to email marketing.

She is recognised as one of the UK’s leading email marketers and heads up training for Econsultancy in the UK on personalisation and email marketing. A renowned international speaker, she has presented at many conferences, including MarketingProfs’ Email Evolution Conference in the USA, MediaPost’s Email Insider Summit Europe & USA, DialogSummit Frankfurt, MagentoLive London, TravelZoom Slovenia, TeCOMM Romania, Easyfairs Stockholm, Mailing Conference Russia, and many others.

Table of contents

1. Email: The Backbone of Your Digital Marketing Programme

  • Email is more than the daily discount
  • But email still must overcome some major challenges
  • Email gets short-changed on budget resources

2. Introduction

3. Objectives and Strategy

4. Growing Your Database

5. Using Email for Targeting

6. Designing for Email

7. Copywriting for Email

8. Testing and Optimisation

9. Reporting Success Using Metrics that Matter Most

10. Deliverability Optimisation


  • Pdf SAMPLE: The Fundamentals of Email Marketing (673 KB PDF)
  • Pdf Disabled The Fundamentals of Email Marketing (4.78 MB PDF)

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