Effective online campaigns require more than just search engine marketing through paid per click adds and Search engine optimization tweaks, they also require follow-up email marketing campaigns. Popular email marketing service providers include Constant Contact, which provides templates for adding graphics and logos to your mail. Other beneficial features in mass mail software programs include interactive features such as polls and surveys. Periodic emails maintain a bond with your customer base and keep you engaged with your target market.

The key to successful email marketing is to find the proper balance of keeping your audience informed vs. overloading them with emails.

If your mass mailing software provider or host provides statistics of “opened” mail, you can gauge the response and success of certain campaigns, and adjust your plans for future campaigns, accordingly.

Another reason to build a list for email marketing is to expand your brand awareness. For example, if one of your customers wants to share your business with a friend, co-worker or family member, they can easily forward the next email that arrives, at a time of their choosing. Without the email campaign, your customer may mention your band name to a friend, family member or co-worker, but fail to remember your website name. If they can’t recall your web address, there’s a slim chance their contact will ever discover your site. Even if they DO remember the name of your site, their contact may not remember to visit your site to see your unique products or special offers, but if you’ve emailed your contact, there’s a chance they’ll receive one of your emails in the near future, via a forward.

Regardless of what you’re selling or service you’re offering in your email, you must always attempt to interact with the reader, or they’ll just ignore your emails as the typical mass messages they receive. From your first email, prioritize interaction with your audience and invite participation and communication through interactive tools such as links to polls, surveys and forms that welcome feedback via comments on a forum.

Finally, one of the most important reasons to generate an email list is to generate leads to your target market. While this might seem like an obvious incentive, it can be overlooked. Justin Harrison, one of the most successful internet marketers in South Africa, said, “By using email marketing to promote new products or services, either by buying email addresses of potential customers or by following up on visitors to your own website, you are able to target thousands of people at once, whether they live across the street or across the world.”

Before you choose your email service provider, remember to factor in the growth potential of your contact list. If your list doubles in size within a few months, you’ll probably be required to upgrade your plan, and you might as well ensure you have enough accounted for when you initially sign up for the service. Follow these aforementioned tips, and you should enjoy the benefits and traffic boosts that come from a strong email marketing campaign.