Email marketing has to be considered one of the greatest marketing breakthroughs of all time. The two most common uses of the web are getting/sending email and surfing the web. Your customers (potential or otherwise) are not on the web looking for you. They are on the net looking for information and to communicate by email.

The basics of marketing with email must be understood by the small business owners to even begin to appreciate the advantages of email marketing. Not only can you communicate with email, the knowing small business owner can build leads for her business, as well as attract traffic (visitors to her web site).

Email Marketing Basics

Email marketing is not about spamming (sending out large numbers of emails to unknown web surfers that did not give their permission – there currently are laws about spamming). This type of effective marketing can build up traffic when practiced correctly and consistently.

When sending emails as part of your marketing campaign, your main goal is to provide tons of valuable information and get readers excited about receiving email from your business. Don’t fall into the trap of writing emails that are little more than a pitch for your products and services!

For one thing, your readers will see right through this strategy – and they will resent you for making them open and read an email that doesn’t deliver valuable information to them. You can be sure that they will tell their friends what a disappointment your emails are…resulting in bad PR that can be really difficult for you to overcome!
Plus, even if your sales pitch is effective and does result in some sales of your product or service, your readers will be far less likely to pass it on to their friends, relatives, and associates. And they probably will stop opening emails from you.

Think about it: When you receive email, which ones do you read and pass along to friends? Probably not ones that are little more than a hyped-up sales pitch wrapped in some flimsy, so-called ‘friendly, informative’email.

If you are anything like the majority of people seeking and sharing information online, you are much more likely to pass along the following types of content:

• Up-to-the-minute news and developments, such as headlines from today’s news sites
• “Insider” information, such as a report from a recent, exclusive indus try event
• Unique and entertaining content, such as a collection of jokes
• Useful resources, such as current research from your field
• Reviews of products that you and your friends or associates plan to purchase

Of course, when you are constructing your marketing emails, you’ll need to consider exactly who you are targeting. Who are the people that you want to get talking about you, your business, and your products?

As a photographer, for example, you’ll want to be sure that your email marketing appeals to potential customers. Depending on who those potential customers are you might write about free or low-cost digital photography software resources and tips…or an email with reviews of digital cameras…or even a collection of jokes that would appeal to photography buffs.

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