Email marketing is directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send ads, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Email marketing can be done to either sold lists or a current customer database. Broadly, the term is usually used to refer to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and adding advertisements to email messages sent by other companies to their customers.
Transactional emails are usually triggered based on a customer’s action with a company. To be qualified as transactional or relationship messages, these communications' primary purpose must be "to facilitate, complete, or confirm a commercial transaction that the recipient has previously agreed to enter into with the sender", along with a few other narrow definitions of transactional messaging. Triggered transactional messages include dropped basket messages, password reset emails, purchase or order confirmation emails, order status emails, reorder emails and email receipts.
Direct email or interruption based marketing involves sending an email solely to communicate a promotional message (for example, an announcement of a special offer or a catalog of products). Companies usually collect a list of customer or prospect email addresses to send direct promotional messages to, or they can also rent a list of email addresses from service companies, but safe mail marketing is also used.
Email marketing now develops large amounts of traffic through smartphones and tablets. Marketers are researching ways to capture the attention of users, in both span and volume. This is because the rate of delivery still relatively low due to strengthened filters and also because certain users have multiple email accounts that serve unique purposes. Because emails are generated according to the tracked behavior of consumers, it is possible to tailor promotional material to their needs and to present relevant details to potential buyers. Because of this, modern email marketing is perceived more often as a pull strategy rather than a push strategy.