Last night while my mom was talking to my daughter on speaker phone I thought it would be fun to ask her how many people she thought attended a webinar I presented for Target Marketing‘s audience.

Her answer was “5”. :)

I laughed and told her to multiply that by 100.  Yup, over 500 attended out of the over 1,700 who registered.  I’m telling you this story for two important reasons:

  1. When you’re not familiar with a marketing tactic, then you can severely discount the importance of it like my mom did.  Understandably, my mom is not familiar with webinar marketing so she thought 5 attendees was about all you can expect.  She was way off.
  2. The #1 reason why Target Marketing was able to get 500+ attendees on their webinar was because of the power of email marketing. If they didn’t have an email list of businesses interested in what they offer, then my mom’s guess at the attendance would have been heck of lot closer.


Regardless of what you may have heard, email marketing still works.  In fact, I’ll go as far to say that email marketing is the single most effective digital marketing tactic available for small businesses, if done correctly and consistently.

That’s because no other tactic gives full control over the frequency of contact and the message of your marketing.  In other words, with email marketing you decide exactly when to follow up with prospects and customers and exactly what that message will include so that your business continually stays top of mind.

I said email marketing is the most effective digital marketing tactic, but I followed that statement with a big “if”.  Let’s take a closer look at what it means to do email marketing correctly by reviewing 3 best practices.

Email Marketing


1. Make More Deposits Than Withdrawals

If you want to grow your bank account, then you obviously need to make more deposits than withdrawals.  If you do the opposite, then you’ll end up with an empty bank account.

This same simple concept can be applied to email marketing.  In this case, a deposit is when you provide something of value to your email subscribers.  For example, when you send helpful information or wish your customer a happy birthday, then you’re making a deposit.

In contrast, a withdrawal is when you ask for a sale.  For example, you may email your list to tell them you’re now offering a special promotion on one of your products or services.  That’s a withdrawal because you’re asking your subscribers for money.

Again, what happens when you make too many email withdrawals without enough deposits?  That’s right, you’ll end up with an empty email list because everyone will eventually unsubscribe.  The only way to keep the attention of your prospects and customers is by emailing more deposits than withdrawals.


2. Always Be Capturing

Several years ago I helped a chiropractor generate $1,000 in new patients via email marketing to a list of 50 prospects.   Those 50 prospects had previously visited his website and completed a contact form, but didn’t convert to patients right away.  We sent a series of emails that promoted the chiropractor’s services and prompted the prospects to take action.

That’s pretty impressive for such a small list and my goal is that this example gives you hope if you’re just getting started with email marketing.  Plus I want to illustrate the importance of continually building up your database of emails.  If this chiropractor had 10x as many prospects (500), then it’s likely that he would have generated 10x in revenue ($10,000) from that promotion.  Same amount of effort, but 10x the sales.

That’s why it’s so important to always be capturing email addresses!

If you’re not already, then I recommend you set up the following on your website:

  1. Contact form – This is the most basic tool for collecting contact information to build up your prospect email list.
  2. Live chat – For many businesses, this is a great sales tool that can double as a tactic to build up your email database.
  3. Lightbox popups – These are very effective tools because it’s impossible to miss the webform when it’s front and center on the website.
  4. Lead magnet – This is a free report, coupon or tool that you can offer visitors for free in exchange for their email address.  Go to our homepage to see an example: The Internet Marketing Survival Guide.


3. Get Personal

Finally, to be successful you need to get personal with your email marketing.

We’ve all heard it before but it bears repeating that people do business with people, not businesses.  People also read emails from people, not businesses.  When was the last time you looked forward to a stodgy, boilerplate company email?  The answer is never.

If you subscribe to Main Street Marketing Tips, then you know that I include a personal note in every single email newsletter.  That’s not because I’m so narcissistic that I can’t send an email without mentioning myself… It’s because a lot of people open our emails for the sole purpose of checking in with me on a personal level.  That might sound crazy, but trust me, I’ve been told by many subscribers that this is true and I’ve found myself doing the same thing on other newsletters I read.

So don’t be afraid to open up and get a little personal in your business newsletter.


Need More Help With Email Marketing?

On Thursday, March 12 at 12 – 1:30 pm Eastern time, I’m presenting a LIVE training called:

“How to Boost Your Sales with Email Promotions!”

Click here to learn more and register