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What Is Email Marketing And How Can It Benefit You?

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By Deanna Mascle

Permission-based email marketing is a tremendously successful marketing tool. How can it not be when you are sending your carefully crafted messages to an audience already interested in your topic?

Email marketing is just what it sounds like -- marketing messages you send through email. It is important to be clear up front that this is not spam email messages sent to a huge list you bought, borrowed, or begged from another source.

Effective, targeted email marketing messages are sent to a carefully controlled list that you gathered. Permission-based email marketing means that the people on your list requested that you send them information. If you are smart you will even ask them to confirm before adding them to the list.

I am sure you can see the tremendous benefits to having such a list. Rather than waiting for potential customers to come to you or notice your new product then you can contact them directly.

However there are some hurdles you must cross before you can begin your email marketing campaign.

First you will need a system to manage your email marketing subscribers and mailings. You are essentially looking for an autoresponder or bulk email management program. You can find free tools, cheap tools, and expensive tools. You can buy a system and run it yourself or you can pay someone else to run it for you. I opted for a monthly service after running my own software for a while. I run a lot of lists and it is well worth it to me to pay someone else to handle maintenance.

Second you will need to start gathering names. As I mentioned before, the only way to run an effective email marketing campaign is to be permission-based. So how do you get people to ask you to send them sales messages? Well, usually you don't put it that way of course. Instead concentrate on giving something of value in return for their contact information. What can you give them?

~ Newsletter ~ Tutorial ~ Special report ~ Free tool ~ Discount ~ Contest prize

Third, you will need to create your messages. This can simply be an initial message that delivers as promised with a few follow-ups and/or sporadic updates or you can follow up with regular messages. If you intend to regularly mail your audience then you need to carefully balance length, content and timing. If you abuse your list by sending sales messages every day people will soon unsubscribe however if you continue to offer something of value in addition to those sales messages then you will likely retain a substantial number.

Email marketing offers many benefits. First, it is low-cost. It can be free but often that will cost you in time and effectiveness, however even paid services will cost you much less than most paid advertising efforts. Second, it is a soft vs. hard sell. Third, you are prequalifying your audience for your message so they should be much more receptive to your sales pitch. Finally, it can be as easy as you want it to be. You can set up a special report from information you already have and plug in some sales pitch follow up messages then sit back and watch your sales grow.

Email marketing can give you a great return for a small investment of time and money.

About The Author: Experienced webmaster Deanna Mascle is glad to offer answers about answersaboutinternetmarketing.com and answersaboutinternetpromotion.com