Email marketing has become a scourge. Somehow, at some time, maybe you joined a list on purpose. Maybe you agreed to receive an email from an organization but you failed to read the fine print which gave permission to put you on lists of affiliate companies and now you are deluged with email you don't want. Internet services are making it easier to mark unwanted messaging as spam or unsubscribing in a click or two, but the whole system has really run amuck.
I've managed email programs of all types. The methods that are most worthwhile discriminate carefully so as to reach audiences that want to hear what you have to say. Open Rates skyrocket when email reaches people with a predisposition to your offering. Segmenting markets carefully prevents you from being among the hated spammers, plus it helps you stay off of blacklists.
Constructing effective email messages means A/B testing subject lines; knowing what not to say in a subject line which might throw your message into recipients' junk mail; optimizing images and having a good balance of text and imagery. But what's most important is reaching a welcome audience.
Perhaps no ad medium is as challenging today than email marketing. It's hard to get someone's attention as they sift through a plethora of messages in the inbox. All the clever subject lines have been exhausted and readers are no longer taking the bait from cliches like "We're sorry we missed you." Only meaningful, substantive information, sent from brands readers recognize, get anywhere these days.