Mark Twain famously said in May 1897 that reports of his death were an exaggeration. So, too, it seems are the reports of the death of email as a marketing tool, which we can remember hearing about 5 years ago. As of early 2012, it is estimated that there are about 247 billion emails sent – EVERY DAY! Long live email!
The question is how to make email an effective marketing tool for small to medium sized businesses. This is a subject we will be discussing at great length, but the first thing to do is to build a list of people who actually want to hear about a particular subject.
There are a lot of ways to build a list, including exchanging something of value on your website in return for an email address, or writing articles or press releases that attract people to your website where they can sign up for your list. It’s important to make it really easy for people to sign up to be on your list, and that you host your list with a very experienced, well-known email list management service. Then, when people are on your list, send them useful content on a reasonable schedule. Depending on your market, that could be anywhere from once a day to once a month. And be sure to provide useful, valuable content, and not make your communications one sales pitch after another. Many internet marketing experts suggest that there should be about 3-4 pieces of free content for every “sales offer.”