Email marketing is extremely cost effective and one of the most powerful marketing tools available to small businesses. This is because it provides predictable results and costs little or nothing to use.

Business owners who spent time and money building their Facebook Page discovered in 2013, that Facebook is showing their posts to just a tiny fraction of their fans. If they want all their Facebook fans to see their posts, they now need to pay Facebook. Facebook owns their network! This change of the rules is a perfect example of why you need to avoid outsourcing your network, to a social network. Email marketing puts you in control and allows you to build an increasingly valuable asset.

Here are just a few things for you to consider, before you start using email marketing

We strongly recommend that you build your own email database.

The best way to start building your subscriber list, is to ask all your existing clients and contacts if you can have their email address. Never just add people to your email list. Get their permission, otherwise they will regard your emails as spam.

Then, ask if you can contact them from time to time via email with a newsletter or special offers or announcements. This will get you your initial list and give you something to get started with. So long as you ONLY contact these people with useful information, and make it easy for them to share your newsletter, your list will grow… in size and value.

You also need to have an email sign-up box on your website or blog. This needs to be easy to read and positioned in an uncluttered area of your site, which everyone will see.

Be extremely cautious of any marketing expert, who says you need to use annoying pop-up boxes in order to get their reader’s attention. NO YOU DO NOT. It simply shows they have no idea how to optimize their website.

Pop-up boxes are also extremely annoying and tend to generate low quality subscribers. We find that people who happily click on pop-up boxes, tend to click on LOTS of pop-up boxes. As a result, they get hundreds of newsletters sent to them and are unlikely to notice yours.

If you are asking people to subscribe to your newsletter, I also suggest you offer them something of genuine value, in return for joining your subscriber list. For example, when we write our newsletters, we used to offer a free ebook. We also advise that you only ask for people to give you their name and email address… not their whole life story.

Note: Every additional piece of information you ask for, will reduce your sign-up numbers.

It’s also really important to let people know you will never, ever pass on their email details to anyone.

W also recommend you only send one email message every 7 to 14 days , because people hate being inundated with information, even if it’s great information! As a direct result of not bombarding people with emails, people looked forward to receiving them and very few people asked to be removed from my subscriber list.

Finally, (and this is very important) you must ask your readers to forward your emails on to their contacts. If the content is good enough, they will – but never assume anything, always ask them. Include a message at the end of every newsletter, which says something like this: