Is Email Marketing Push Or Pull?

You can classify most types of marketing as either push (outbound) marketing or pull (inbound) marketing, but email marketing seems to exist in a gray area between the two.

It can be difficult to determine which category email belongs in, but it ultimately depends on your approach to email marketing in the first place. You can utilize it as either push or pull marketing, and today, it’s up to the individual marketer to determine which approach to take.

In this article, we’ll take a look at push vs pull marketing, and see how email marketing could be classified as both. To learn more, keep reading, and give us a call at 888-256-9448 to learn how you can create custom email campaigns for your business.

Push vs. pull marketing

Generally speaking, most forms of traditional marketing (commercials, radio ads, telemarketing) are known as “push” marketing. On the other hand, many forms of digital marketing are known as “pull” marketing.

Push marketing

With push marketing, marketers push products or services on consumers regardless of consumers’ wants or needs.

You can think of it like this: Did you ask to watch the last TV commercial you saw? No, it was “pushed” on you by a marketing department somewhere, and it may or may not have elicited the desired response from you.

The problem with push marketing is that people don’t want to be bothered anymore. With the advent of the Internet, everyone is perfectly capable of fulfilling their wants and needs on their own time. Excessive push marketing campaigns aren’t nearly as effective or useful as they’ve been in the past.

Push marketing campaigns also fail because it’s usually impossible (or very difficult at best) to track effectiveness, ROI, and reach. For something like a TV commercial, it’s impossible to “target” your ideal audience more so than selecting what channel and time slot you want to host your commercial.

Pull marketing

With pull marketing, marketers position helpful content that’s available when someone is actively looking for it.

Pull marketing uses things like blog posts, infographics, white papers, and more to assist potential customers. The theory behind this type of marketing is that providing free value is more likely to result in a new lead or sale.

Email marketing

Given those definitions, it’s hard to completely classify email marketing as either push or pull marketing.

Email as push marketing

On one side of the spectrum, aggressive, spammy email tactics are most definitely in the push marketing camp.

Everyone gets those unsolicited junk emails, and they’re exactly the same as seeing an annoying TV commercial or getting a telemarketing call while you’re trying to eat dinner.

It’s unneeded, unwanted marketing material that just happened to get past your spam filter and into your inbox.

For legitimate businesses, using email as push marketing is very bad practice and won’t benefit you much, if at all.

Our digital marketing campaigns impact the metrics that improve your bottom line.

See More Results

WebFX has driven the following results for clients:

$3 billion

In client revenue

7.8 million

Leads for our clients

5.2 million

Client phone calls

You might even be breaking the law if you send particularly aggressive or misleading push marketing emails.

Email as pull marketing

On the other hand, you can also utilize email as highly effective pull marketing.

The main form of this is voluntary, opt-in newsletters, which are usually supplementary to other forms of free, high quality content published on your website.

If you provide users with great, free info, like limited-time promotions, they’ll be much more likely to sign up for a newsletter promising to deliver more of the same. This way, you’ll end up with a highly targeted, pre-qualified email list of potential customers that have given you the go ahead to “market” to them.

That being said, you’ll need to include an easy-to-access “unsubscribe” option in each newsletter you send. This way, anyone who decides they no longer want to see your content can voluntarily opt out of your emails.

Curated email newsletters are also fantastic because they’re fairly easy to track and analyze. There are plenty of tools that provide you with open rates, unsubscribe/subscribe rates, and other interaction stats.

Which is right for you?

There are plenty of businesses out there that use push marketing strategies to great effect – even in 2016.

However, using email as push marketing often comes across as spammy and low quality.

If you’re interested in establishing yourself as a legitimate, long-term company, it’s almost always better to utilize email as a pull channel via a newsletter, blog updates, and other useful content.

Potential customers will always respond better to marketing they want to receive rather than t an obtrusive ad that they didn’t want to see in the first place.

Ramp up your email marketing today

The line between push and pull marketing can be a fine one, and it can be difficult to determine the best strategy for your business when it comes to email.

If you’re looking for professional guidance when it comes to email marketing, we’d love to help!

At WebFX, our expert team of Internet marketers has run thousands of highly successful email marketing campaigns for businesses across the country and in numerous industries. We can show you just how great pull marketing via email can be!

Contact us today for more information or a free quote.