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For companies trying to promote themselves in social media and search engines, email marketing is often an afterthought. But for those who take the time to grow their subscriber list and deliver useful content to their readers, email campaigns can be a steady source of website visits and a great way to build relationships with customers.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you develop your email marketing strategy:

There is no shortage of email marketing tools: MailChimp and Constant Contact are among the most popular and easiest to use. Use these tools to segment your audience and send content specifically for them. Also, you can help automate your email marketing process with autoresponders.

Where you choose to place your email opt-in box on your website is essential. Simply placing one on the bottom of your pages isn’t enough. Place an opt-in box after the first or second paragraph of your blog, and elaborate on the benefits of subscribing. Consider using a pop-up window or scroll box to call users’ attention to your email campaign.

You need to offer relevant, valuable content tailored specifically to your target audience. This value could be free webinars, free downloads, contests, or giveaways. Potential customers will appreciate the value delivered by your content. This will build the credibility, trust, and authority of your organization.

Take the time to edit your email campaigns for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Test the look of your emails across multiple browsers and devices, and check for bad links. And make your emails easy to read, using short sentences and bullet points when possible.

Make your emails easily readable and usable so that prospects are encouraged to stay on your list. Conduct testing to determine the best days and times to send your emails. And be sure to avoid giving your subscribers email fatigue: if you only have enough quality content for one good email per month, don’t force any more than that on your readers, or they will simply unsubscribe.

Having a robust email subscriber list is like having a built-in audience for your marketing content. And these users are more likely to be engaged with your company than those who happen to find your website in search engine results. The time you spend building your list will ultimately pay dividends for your growing business.