The transmission of computer-based messages over telecommunication technology.
In the world of marketing, email can be a high-risk, high-reward medium. Response rates often run much higher than comparable Web advertisements, but there is also the risk of tarnishing a company’s brand, or even landing on an email blacklist. Marketers are advised to obtain permission from recipients, and make an extra effort to understand email issues from the recipient’s point of view.
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As with many “e” words, there is a lingering debate on whether the spelling should be email or e-mail. While it is argued that the spelling “e-mail” represents the proper handling of “electronic mail”, it is also argued that English is a living language, especially Web English, and words change over time to reflect usage. Everyday usage seems to greatly favor the simpler version by almost a 10:1 ratio, at least according to a comparative search on Google.
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Wired News (October 24, 2000)