The simple fact of the matter is this... email marketing/spam whatever you want to call it does work, I know I did it for years.
That doesn't mean it is without risk or expense.
The more targeted your list, the better you will be. When I did it full time, it was pure spam, we had no idea whether the person had the slightest interest in what we were sending and we didn't care, to us (at that time) it was purely a numbers game.
That said, however you do your mailing, a bullet proof hosting is a REAL good idea.