Email Marketing - Does It Work In Malaysia

Email Marketing - Does It Work In Malaysia
Marketing Oct 06, 2023

Email marketing has been around since the 1970s, when Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager, sent the first email blast to an advertising machine. And it’s very much alive today.

Even with the rise in popularity of newer forms of marketing such as social media and SEO, it’s still one of the best strategies that Malaysian brands can use to reach their audience.

As a matter of fact, a 2018 report by GetResponse revealed Malaysia has an email open rate of 23.28%. It’s significantly higher than the 16.52% email open rate in 2017. These are good numbers because the ideal open rate should fall between 20-30%.

What is an open rate? It refers to the number of subscribers who open your emails out of the total number of your email subscribers.

For Malaysian businesses, this is a sign to continue using email marketing to their advantage. Other than the increased email open rate in the country, below are the reasons why email marketing is beneficial for Malaysian businesses.


Builds Strong Customer Relationship

Email marketing for businesses in Malaysia seems like an old-school and less effective form of marketing. But when done correctly, it can be as effective as social media marketing in building rapport with customers.

Establishing relationships with customers through email involves many different strategies. But one tactic that will surely work for any business is personalization.

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What is a personalized email? It’s an email you send to your customers based on the personal information your company has collected.

But why personalize your content? Because it promises better engagement, and it can even increase the open rate.

A good example of a personalized email campaign is Nike’s newsletter for Father’s Day. Instead of simply greeting their customers, Nike suggested some of the best gifts for dads in time for the occasion. You can use this strategy too, especially when you know exactly what your audience wants.

As you can see, personalization goes beyond greeting customers by their first names. Since Nike already mastered their personalization strategy, it’s no wonder why they have one of the best email marketing campaigns in town.


Generates More Leads

Email marketing can be a great tactic to generate better leads for businesses in Malaysia. The big question is, how will you make sure your email campaigns reach the right people?

SEGMENT. This process involves dividing your subscribers into smaller segments based on set criteria. Let’s say you want to make location-specific content. You can focus on geographic data when organizing your existing list.

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RunKeper, a fitness-tracking app, used segmentation to reach the most active users of their app. They already have the data, but they needed the help of a new email service provider to know who’s really opening their emails based on user behavior.

In a case study published by Marketing Sherpa, RunKeeper’s Director of Marketing Erin Glabets shared how segmentation doubled their open rate. She said only sending their email to the active users gave them a hundred percent increase in open rate and even cut their cost in half.

This shows that partnering up with the right digital marketing agency can produce better insight and more effective strategies. The marketing team should work hand in hand with the data team when discussing the goals of a campaign.

Look for agencies that offer email segmentation services because not all digital marketing agencies in Malaysia provide this kind of service.


Cost-Effective Marketing Strategy

As far as affordability is concerned, email marketing is by far the cheaper option compared to paid SEO or social media marketing.

The price of email marketing services that agencies offer can vary depending on what kind of package you wish to avail of. You can choose to pay per campaign or by the number of emails you want to send.

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Just to give you an idea, one company offers $100 for a fully-managed email marketing campaign. It consists of a minimum of six campaigns, a designed newsletter template, server and software setup, as well as conversion tracking.

Then there’s one email marketing company that lets you send as many as 40,000 emails for around $80 per month. This amount already covers advanced tracking and local support.

With social media marketing, you need to fork out an average of $1,000 per month for a well-managed page. Some companies even charge twice or three times more, depending on what’s included in the package.

SEO marketing, on the other hand, can be more expensive than social media marketing since it takes more time to work on and it’s more complex.

Naven Pillai, a digital marketing consultant in Malaysia, said the pricing for a professional SEO plan costs $5,000 per month. This covers technical SEO analysis, on-page optimization, and Google Analytics setup, among others.


Easy to Measure

Measuring your email campaigns is not as complicated as measuring your social media or SEO campaigns. It’s simpler because you don’t need to keep track of a lot of benchmarks.

Besides the open rate that we’ve already mentioned earlier, here are just a few more metrics to check with your campaigns:

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1. Click-through rate

This refers to the number of subscribers who clicked on the link of your campaign. It’s calculated by dividing the clicks by the total number of emails sent.

The higher the clickthrough, the better. It means your email campaign is effective because your subscribers are taking action.

2. Unsubscribe rate

This is the number of users who opted-out from your list. To get your percentage, simply divide the number of subscribers by the total number of emails sent. Then multiply it to 100. Your rate should not be higher than 0.2%.

One of the things you can do to lower your unsubscribe rate is to provide fun and exclusive content to your readers.

3. Deliverability

This is also called the acceptance rate, which pertains to the number of emails actually delivered to the recipient’s inbox. The formula is the same as the unsubscribe rate. Divide your delivered emails by the total sent, then multiply to 100.

4. Bounce rate

These are the amount of “return to sender” messages or emails that didn’t reach a certain email address. There are many possible reasons why it happens, but the main reason is that the email is invalid. You may need to verify your existing list or make use of email verification tools.

Otherwise, make sure the bounce rate did not come from your side in the first place. Check if the message isn’t too large or if it contains any words that might sound spammy.

5. Conversion

It’s the most important of all because it determines how many subscribers completed an action after reading your mail. A study by Remarkety found that out of 100 newsletters sent, only one reader is turned into a buyer.

To get your percentage, divide the conversion rate by the total sent, then multiply to 100.



Is email marketing still beneficial for Malaysian businesses? Yes. It’s cost-effective, it can generate leads, and it’s easy to measure.

But as with any marketing technique, sending emails should be done with the latest technology advancements like email automation apps to make the process easier.

If you want to step up your email marketing game, you can consider getting help from a trustworthy digital marketing agency in Malaysia, like HotCopy, to help you create engaging email newsletters for your business.

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