For better or for worse – but mostly for better – the Internet has changed the way people do business. Gone are the days of truckside ads and flier campaigns. To the relief of trees all over the world, the battle for customer attention is now waged over pixel instead of paper.

But however glitzy this new world might be, the fact remains that the Internet’s most effective marketing method is really an update of the traditional mail campaign: email marketing. With all the focus on social media and SEO, it’s easy to disregard email campaigns as a relic of the early days of the Web.

But this idea is completely baseless. Research has shown that email marketing attracts new customers much better than social media – as much as 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined. While the popularity of social networks is notoriously erratic, emails are clearly here to stay.

If you want your email marketing campaign to be effective, it’s important to not become one of those constant spammers that give the business such a bad name. Here are five ways to avoid the usual pitfalls and make your customers love you with your emails.

1. Know who you’re talking to

The main strength of email marketing is that it’s personal and intimate. Except, of course, when it isn’t. Spammy emails are known for their scattershot approach – they don’t care who you are, and are always more focused on the product they’re trying to sell than you.

To avoid this, you must personalize your emails. You might think this is impossible if you have a huge email list. Think again. The key is automated personal messages.

Automated personal messages are based on segmenting your email subscribers – by gender, location, engagement level, purchase history,and more. Create different groups with personalized messages for these groups to make your customers feel like you care for them. Online tools such as MailJet facilitate segmentation and personalized messages.

Sometimes it’s as easy as sending a customer an email for her birthday to guarantee her loyalty.

2. Research and optimize

You must research your customer base to create an effective campaign. But it doesn’t end there. You must gauge the effectiveness of your campaign constantly, improving it as you go along.

Luckily, the digital nature of email campaigns makes it easy to analyze results.

Tools like ReachMail will create detailed reports about your campaign which you can use to improve on it. Constant Contact lets you track your results in real time.

Find out your mistakes and learn from them.

3. Don’t be boring

In today’s Internet age, content is king. If the message of your emails puts you to sleep, you’re doing something very wrong.

Of course, not everyone is a good writer. If you don’t have a writing team, it’s very easy to get great content on a case-by-case basis from an online content-writing service. Australian Help is a writing service offering content on any topic, and Academized has a specialized team of copywriters.

However, if you don’t want to spend money on third parties and are determined to write your own content, make sure you know what you’re doing. Learning the trade of writing, from grammar to the principles of storytelling, is easy with the Internet’s help. Sites like State of Writing or Academadvisor are devoted to make your life easier as a budding writer. Take their advice into account before sitting in front of a keyboard.

4. Be mobile-friendly.

This one is easy. Almost everyone today prefers to use their phones over their computers, and still a lot of marketers forget to optimize their content for mobile devices.

Fortunately, this is really easy to do with the help of certain online services, such as Mad Mimi, which creates visually-snappy, mobile friendly content.

Also, if writing for phone readers, make sure that your content is not overly long with tools like Easy Word Count.

5. Turn your customers into warriors for your cause

Making your customers work for you sounds like a terrible idea – unless, of course, they’re dying to do it. Incentivize referrals to make your customers attract new customers. You can give them unique offers and discounts, or make them part of exclusive raffles.

Remember that, if you want to recruit your own customers, it’s essential that your writing is pitch-perfect. Use some editing online tool like Paper Fellows or Bigassignments to make sure your emails are up to standard.

Build customer loyalty with a little smart communication

These are just five ways you can improve your email campaigns. Of course, in the end, thinking outside the box will give you an edge over the competition. There are many counter-intuitive strategies that have worked for some. But these strategies are time-tested, and can hardly fail.

Especially now that everyone’s attention is turned towards social media marketing, it’s essential not to forget emails. Design a marketing campaign based on these five principles and you’ll stand out from the competition.

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Gloria Kopp is a brand manager and marketing consultant at Resumention. She's also a contributing author for HuffingtonPost, Template Monster, Oxessays, and more. On top of this, Gloria writes Studydemic blog where she shares her experience with students and educators.

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