A quote from one of my favorite childhood movies went, “Heroes get remembered, legends never die.” In the world of digital marketing, we have a legend in email marketing. It’s one of the oldest marketing tactics, with the first mass email being sent out in 1978 to 400 people, and one of the most profitable, with the average return on investment being 3,800 percent for every dollar spent.

What Is Email Marketing?

In its simplest sense, email marketing is when a business owner or representative of an organization sends out an email campaign to constituents, clients, prospects, or supporters. Really what they’re doing is sending out information and a message that’s trying to drive a physical and measurable response. Now one big thing to note: there’s a huge difference between sending out an email through Outlook, Gmail, or Comcast and sending out an email through email service provider services such as Constant Contact.

Related: Email Marketing 101: How to Get Started

What Is Effective Email Marketing?

In the grand scheme of things, most people in most small businesses and organizations send out from Outlook or Gmail and maybe you CC or BCC a bunch of people. Well, that’s really not effective. What you want to be doing is working with an email marketing service provider, like Constant Contact.

By building an email on Constant Contact, you can add font colors, change the font size, add images, and embed videos. You can even add animations in your email. Best of all, you get to see who opened, who clicked, when they opened, when they clicked, and the number of times. So you’re actually getting insights into what people are doing with your email.

Why Should You Use Email Marketing?

Well, the proof is in the pudding. According to several different research reports, your average return on investment can range anywhere from 3,800 percent to 4,400 percent. That’s better returns than the stock market, my friend. Really, what we want to do is send out an email not only to connect with our customers, prospects, supporters, and constituents, but also to drive action from them.

Related: Your Customers Are Leaving: How to Make Your Website Convert Using CTAs

At the end of the day, we need a physical, measurable response. That can be a sale, a donation, a call, a visit to the store, scheduling an appointment, the list goes on. Ultimately, through email marketing, we’re able to drive all of those actions and convert them into revenue.