By Debbie Gregory.

Have you ever put an item in an online shopping chart, then changed your mind about buying it, only to find a follow-up email in your inbox offering an incentive to complete the transaction? That is an example of great email marketing.

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly ways to reach your clients/customers. At least 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis, which can’t be said of any other communication channel.

Targeting inboxes with email automation allows your business to send personalized, timely, and engaging emails to customers. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need permission to email your prospects and customers, so make sure that you have an opt-in form in place.

The best way to grow your email list is by attracting people with a compelling offer, often called a lead magnet. This can consist of digital materials like PDFs, MP3 audio files, infographic or videos that you can create yourself at minimal or no cost. It can be absolutely anything you want, so long as it provides value to your visitors for free.

Once you have a healthy email list, using an email platform such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc. to send your emails gives you access to templates that you can customize with your company’s logo, and corporate look and feel, strengthening your brand recognition. Your email subscribers want relevant, timely information and updates about your business, since they subscribed to your mailing list; you know that you’re targeting a receptive audience. Make sure they know about up-and-coming products, timed promotions, and seasonal updates.

Email list segmentation is the process of breaking your subscribers into smaller groups based on specific criteria so that you can send them more personalized and relevant emails. This results in higher conversion rates.

Be sure to monitor the performance of your emails to identify areas that need improvement. Then A/B test some of your changes in order to make improvements.

Don’t get upset about unsubscribes, they happen. But ask yourself why people subscribed to your list in the first place, and are you delivering on that promise? Is your content of value to the segment it is being sent to? Are you sending too many sales emails with too little value?

Keeping your loyal customers is much more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. Therefore, rewarding your email subscribers with exclusive offers is a powerful tactic for increasing the chances of them sticking with your business longer than they would have otherwise done.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,