If you want to reach potential customers or build business relationships with important people, one option is to use email marketing. However unless this is done in an ethical and targeted manner, the results may be completely ineffectual.

In Sri Lanka sending out unsolicited emails in bulk has traditionally been a common marketing method. The marketer would gather a list of addresses, or worse purchase a whole database, and then blast out poorly worded proposals and offers.

While this method is still used today, there are a number of reasons why it’s inefficient and smart businesses have moved on to other strategies.

It Can be a Scam

You should never blindly trust somebody claiming to have a database of email addresses, including company CEOs and interested customers. These lists are often outdated and the recipients have moved on or even closed their email accounts. In some cases the list may be totally made up, or the addresses just gathered at random. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Do not waste your marketing budget on lists of thousands of email addresses you’ve never checked yourself.


Unless you build your own list of email addresses, how do you know any of the recipients are remotely interested in your services or products? The fact that these are sold to many different people, over and over again, suggests they are completely random and not based on any specific demographics. One of the key principals of marketing is targeting your audience, why send something to somebody who is unlikely to respond?

Little Interest

In recent years various tests have been done on these kinds of email lists and it’s been proven that they simply don’t work. Tracking the incoming hits reveals that a blast of hundreds of thousands of these email addresses, results in less than 0.01% responses. We’re talking only a few dozen hits! It’s simply not worth it.

It’s Spam

Part of the lack of interest will be down to the poor quality of the lists, but there’s also the fact that email providers are now smart enough to recognize spam and will send your message straight to the spam folder. The recipient may therefore never even know you sent them an email in the first place. Even if it does get through they may simply send it to the spam folder themselves. Ask yourself, how many unsolicited emails do you actually respond to? If the answer is “not many” or “none,” why would this method work for you? If anything it will give your brand a negative image.

How to Do Proper Email Marketing in Sri Lanka

If you want to forge relationships with other business owners in Sri Lanka, you have to do it in a professional manner. Seek out the person directly and send one single email, or send them a regular letter, or give them a phone call.

If you want to market your products or services to potential customers, email marketing needs to be targeted and “opt in.” This would involve using your website or social media presence to prompt people to sign up to your “newsletter” or something similar. This means they are genuinely interested in what you have to offer, and because they opted in, your emails will generally not go to their spam folder.

A professional internet marketing company will be able to implement effective email marketing as part of their wider strategy, which may also include social media management, search engine optimization, and advertising campaigns. They will have the expertise and required tools to bring real results!