Daniel Burstein

Email Marketing: Maybe it really is an inbound tactic…

I’m a huge skeptic by nature. Moon landing? Pshh. More like a studio production in Houston. But, Karen Rubin really won me over with this talk at the MarketingSherpa Email Summit…

Our own Adam T. Sutton recently wrote about this topic on the MarketingSherpa blog – Email Marketing: An inbound tactic?

Skeptic that I am, I had Adam thoroughly tone down that post. I did not buy into email marketing as an inbound tactic.

“Bah, all vendors just try to show how everything they could possibly make money from fits into their branded word of the day. Now get me photos of that Spiderman!” I said in my best grumpy editor voice.

But, when Karen Rubin, Product Owner, HubSpot, spoke at Email Summit 2011, she said something that really made my ears perk up (about seven minutes into the above video)…

“Those house email lists, that’s really inbound marketing. When you think about it, those are people asking to hear from you. They want to get more information. So, you’re not interrupting them when you go in their inboxes.”

Inbound & Down

So, basically there are two opposing schools of thought circling around the Interwebs right now:

  • “Email is dying” and on its way down
  • Email marketing, at least when done right, is really inbound marketing – a hot and growing marketing tactic

Or perhaps both are true? List buying is dying, while house lists continue to be effective?

In your experience as a professional marketer, which statement do you think is the most true:

  • Email is going the way of bell bottoms and Hammer pants
  • Email marketing is a form of inbound marketing – hot, profitable, muy caliente
  • Email marketing isn’t one thing – list buying is dying, but house lists are as profitable as ever (Kaching!)

(We welcome you to use the comments section and tell us which of the three statements you think is the most accurate and why)

Related resources

Optimization Summit 2011 – June 1 -3

Free MarketingSherpa Inbound Marketing Newsletter

Real-time Marketing: Crowdsourced video of keynote from MarketingSherpa Email Summit

MarketingSherpa’s 3rd Annual German Email Marketing Summit – March 21-22, 2011

Growing Email Lists with Social Media

The Role of Email Marketing in an Inbound Marketing World – Karen Rubin

Share and Enjoy:
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

Email Marketing, Inbound Marketing



  1. March 3rd, 2011 at 14:47 | #1

    Email marketing isn’t going anywhere as long as the content is relevant to the subscriber. It’s absolutely essential to any effective business plan.

  2. March 5th, 2011 at 04:17 | #2

    Email marketing is the most cost effective method for communicating with a list of subscribers. Unfortunately like any other form of marketing it is often poorly perceived by recipients. This is because many emails are nothing more than just advertising without any added value in the form of relevant content.

  3. March 8th, 2011 at 14:26 | #3

    I keep coming across this with clients – convincing them that people on THEIR list said, “Please keep talking to me!” It’s why I advise every client to create an opportunity to build this list with good solid content (like a nice report) and then keep it coming into people’s inboxes – frequently!

  4. June 9th, 2011 at 07:33 | #4

    An amazing article. It’s nice to read a quality blog post. I think you made some good points in this post.

  1. No trackbacks yet.