It’s all about the details when using email as a marketing tool for an organization. There is a fine line between informing and annoying customers.

The Social Media Bible says that email, when used correctly, exceeds the results generated by conventional direct mail and is more cost effective than broadcast advertisements. According to the Silicon Valley Insider, print revenue will decline by $32 billion dollars by 2017. This claim surprised me; I rarely open advertisements in my email inbox even from a trusted business.

To start us off on the topic of email, check out an interesting infographic depicting its history,

An organization’s primary focus for email marketing is building relationships with existing customers. Subsequent goals for email marketing are acquiring news customers, sell products and service and provide information.

It is essential that companies pay close attention to the details when email marketing. The first thing an email recipient looks at is who sent the email. The next thing the consumer looks at is the subject line of the email and the preview pane. Companies must convince the recipient to open the email within these first three lines or their message will become junk mail.

The Social Media Bible discusses spam, unsolicited commercial email, and the nation CAN-SPAM Act with was enacted in 2004. The act prevent companies from being dishonest in marketing emails and orders that each message must provide a link for uninterested recipients to unsubscribe from future emails.

The most important rule of marketing is spelling out “What’s In It for Me?” for the recipient of all marketing messages.  Companies must convey what’s in it for the recipient if they open the email.

A study has shown that an average person will only invest 1.54 seconds of time to determine if they will continue reading the marketing email message. The subject line must convince the recipient is less than two seconds that your message is worth their time reading. The study also predicts that consumers will only spend five seconds looking at an ad before deciding to continue reading or turn the page.

Once you’ve convinced the consumer to read your message you must convince them to follow a call to action, whether it is visiting your website or signing-up for something.

A useful email marketing strategy is called segmenting. Segmenting is designed to test the effectiveness of the subject line of an email marketing message. This is done by dividing your contact list into different segments and emailing a different subject line to each group to discover what is the most affective subject line.

It is important to monitor the results of the company’s marketing message to determine the most effective strategy.