Email Marketing 101 with Grace: Sales vs. Marketing Emails

Written by: Grace Andrake

I hear all the time that email is “dead” and how “no one checks their email anymore,” etc. etc. etc. But whether we want it or not, email hasn’t gone anywhere and won’t be going anywhere for a long time. 

Email marketing is one of the most effective strategies a business can leverage to improve sales and enhance brand awareness. To have the most successful strategy for your business, it’s essential to understand the difference between sales and marketing emails, and how they can help meet your goals.

Sales vs. Marketing Emails

When developing your business strategy and deciding what to invest your time and money in, it’s important to understand the difference between a sales email and a marketing email and what they can do for your business. 

Email Marketing Compliance

When sending a marketing email, the most important and key difference is sending an email to a subscriber who has opted-in to your marketing list. If you were not given permission then you cannot send a marketing email.

Here in the United States, marketing emails must be compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. If your emails and email strategy do not follow these guidelines, it will negatively impact your deliverability and reputation with email service providers. If you are sending emails to audiences outside of the United States, be sure to follow all rules and regulations for those countries.


  • Follow all CAN-SPAM act rules and regulations
  • Only send marketing emails to those who sign up (opt-in) for emails 
  • Make it clear it is a marketing email
  • Include your location
  • Include an opt-out (unsubscribe) option on all email marketing communications


  • Buy lists from a third party to use for email marketing 
  • Send marketing emails to addresses you find through research 
  • Send marketing emails to  role-based info@___ emails
  • Send “cold call” emails through an email marketing platform

Different Goals for Different Emails

Following the do’s and dont’s above, if you’re thinking of emailing a new prospect you found on your own, but they are not subscribed to your email marketing list, that is cold-emailing and is a sales/business development function

Cold-emails and all sales emails are sent from sales or business representatives usually in plain-text format with the hope of starting a conversation that will lead to a sale. 

Sales emails can help lead potential customers to opt-in and receive your marketing emails in order to learn more about your business and stay up-to-date until they are ready to convert.

As sales emails can help grow your email marketing list, marketing emails can also help sales. 

Marketing emails are not meant to be salesy, but to provide helpful information about your products or services to help prospects get closer to converting with you. Marketing emails include more images, designs, and call to actions to learn more and drive traffic to your website.

Marketing emails can also provide helpful insights to sales teams like who is interested in what service or product or if a subscriber has been engaging with recent emails and now might be a good time to reach out. 
Understanding the difference between these two different email functions will help you know where to start when creating the most effective sales and marketing strategies for your business.

Interested in learning more about email marketing?

Check out our blogs Simplifying Email Marketing and How to Create an Email List for Your Business. At Slice, our email marketing experts will help you evaluate your business goals and create strategies to help reach your goals. Contact us today to get started!

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