Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Email marketing is one of the most important channels for digital marketers.
In the last 2 years, with the arrival of the pandemic, it has become an even more decisive tool.

This is because email has replaced face-to-face interactions with customers.
Since the arrival of Covid-19 they have been the main channel for generating engagement with their public, especially in some sectors.

6 different sectors, 6 different strategic approaches

When it comes to email marketing, many brands focus on quantity over quality in defining their strategy.

However, it can be useful for brands to broaden their horizons and also look at the strategies of other brands, whether they are competitors or companies from other sectors and markets.

Gartner , in a recent survey, showed how 6 different industries have adapted to the new context through 6 different approaches to email marketing.

The industries examined are:

  • Retail
  • Financial services
  • Hospitality
  • B2B manufacturing
  • Consumer goods
  • Health

Looking at 6 different strategic approaches, we came to several conclusions:

  • Email marketing is not a declining channel. Indeed, quite the opposite.
  • Knowing your audience remains the priority for successful campaigns.
  • Campaign automation is a necessary ingredient for optimal performance.


Retail is the best performing sector in email marketing.

Resellers can in fact take advantage of the large amount of data in their possession to send super specific email communications to super-targeted audiences .

An example? Nike or other clothing retailers, who update their users on new products and promotions , conveying different content based on the tastes and preferences of individual users.

Also, anyone is more inclined to open emails promoting discounts and promotions. Especially if products that you saw online the previous week are pushed, as opposed to random products.

The retail sector is the one that generates the most traffic to the site from email marketing. In this industry, traffic and conversions from this channel grow every year.

Financial services

The financial services industry in email marketing is almost as strong as retail.

This industry boasts the highest email open rate of all, as well as the bestincrease in traffic from this channel.

Also in this sector, as in retail, marketers can take advantage of the flood of data available on users to deliver communications built ad hoc on specific targets . And this is a major advantage.

A successful example in this area is the Bank of America . The US national bank collects information from questionnaires on its official app and uses the feedback to create targeted communications and offer specific services via email. For example, a millennial who fills out a questionnaire on their savings habits and needs may receive communications indicating specific mortgages or savings plans.


Hospitality is one of the sectors that has suffered the most in the last 2 years.

But perhaps not everyone knows that this same sector is one of those that has best adapted to the new context, focusing on email marketing and obtaining satisfactory results.

This industry boasts the second place in the open rate ranking of email marketing campaigns. Traffic to the site from this channel is also at a good level.

In detail, the email marketing campaigns for the protagonists of hospitality have brought important results in post-quarantine reopening . Once people started commuting and dining out again, many businesses rewarded customers after each visit by sending follow-up emails with promotions and offers for future visits. All this to get customers back as soon as possible and build loyalty.

B2B manufacturing

The manufacturing sector for B2B often has the problem of not being able to collect interesting data on its customers and prospects. This is clearly an obstacle towards the creation of targeted communications towards profiled targets.

Many brands in this industry, such as Milwaukee Tools , have begun to collect more specific information from their forms on the site, such as the sector of origin of the prospects. The aim is to profile the database from the beginning, laying the foundations for creating personalized email marketing campaigns based on different users.

This solution may seem trivial and obvious, but it is not. The simple knowledge of the sector of origin of the database contacts has allowed to significantly optimize performance.

The results? A higher email opening rate andmore visits to the site (directed to pages or content in line with the sector of individual users).

Consumer goods

Even in the field of consumer goods, the main problem for brands in the sector lies in the fact that they do not have specific data and information on their customers.

In this industry, email open rates are thelowest ever, and have also been on the decline in recent years.

Many brands in the industry have started to incentivize customers to create personal accounts on websites or apps, offering discounts, promotions or the ability to accumulate points for each purchase in exchange, and then spend them on rewards or vouchers.

The advantage for brands? Collect customer data and create a history of their purchases. All this translates into an in-depth knowledge of consumers, database profiling, sending personalized emails and finally improving performance.


In the healthcare sector, not all brands have been able to obtain interesting results from email marketing.

The numbers relating to the performance of this channel are not always reassuring in this sector. Many companies struggle to generate good site traffic from emails, especially the smaller ones.

The largest brands have instead managed to create effective email marketing strategies, delivering educational and informative content, in line with the interests of individual users.

In this sector, the problem of the poor performance of this channel mainly concerns the smaller players, whose difficulties are linked to the fact that they do not have well-defined marketing strategies and automation processes.

What we have learned

Email marketing is not a declining channel

Email marketing is not in crisis. Indeed, if well exploited it can bring great satisfaction.

Clearly, content made in other formats can certainly be more engaging and attractive, there is no doubt. For example, a video on social media will in most cases be more intriguing than a written email.

But let’s not forget that emails also have their positive sides , which can be decisive. Email marketing can in fact:

  • Be a great lead nurturing tool
  • Communicate with content targeted to individual users
  • Capturing greater interest in other content when users are particularly interested and involved by the brand in question, or when the content of the emails itself lends itself to the format in question
  • Drive site traffic and conversions

Knowing your audience remains the priority to communicate effectively

To create a successful communication it is essential to know who we are talking to.

If I know my audience I can create emails with targeted content , which will get better performance.

It is necessary to ask:

  • Who is my interlocutor?
  • What are its goals?
  • What are your fears?
  • What solutions are you looking for?
  • How do you try to meet your needs?
  • What state of the buyer journey are you in?
  • How can I help him in this phase of the buyer journey?
  • … (any other useful question based on the context) …

Automation is essential

Knowing your audience is crucial but it is not enough.

It is necessary to create a profiled database and set up email marketing campaigns aimed at specific audiences.

All this is achieved by relying on a marketing automation software , such as Hubspot .


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