It has been said that if you are not marketing your business via the Internet, you are not competitive in the 21st Century. The days of mailing glossy marketing materials are being replaced by email blasts, websites, Constant Contact-like email marketing sites, html pages, etc. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your email marketing program:1. K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, SugarYou have heard this one before – maybe with a different twist at the end. Anyway you slice it, it is important to pay attention. You don’t have to tell everything about your company in one email or one html page. Give a benefit of what you offer and send them to another location with the details.2. Make it easy to shareI recently received an email document intended to influence me, but the document was protected so I could not access it without a password! Not only did it keep me from viewing it, it also kept me from passing it on to others. If you want your materials to be read and, hopefully, passed on to others who might benefit, make sure you have created it in a manner that is easy for the reader to access and share.

3. Let is scream your brandIs you brand clearly visible? Is your contact information easy to find? Your readers will not want to hunt around your site or email to figure out how to take the next step or contact you. Make sure you color scheme, graphics, font, etc. are consistent on all of your materials so your brand is easily recognized. You will want people to distinguish your company as soon as they see your brand. Therefore, it is important that you establish a consistent message and look.4. Offer a delicious click-throughYour goal should be to get the reader to look for more information about your offer and company. To get them to take the next step, make sure they are intrigued by an interesting offer. Without one, they will have no incentive to “click through” to your next html page or to see what you are offering.5. Give it wings – make it viralYour goal should be to have your marketing materials continually forwarded so it travels to all of those contacts you have through Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, etc. Encourage them to send it on to their contacts. Make sure the appearance, the information and the ease of sharing captivates the attention of your readers so they will send it on to others on their lists. Of course, you can add audio and video to help increase the interest – especially if you put it up on YouTube.

Use these five tips to review your existing email marketing materials. Test each piece against the five pointers. If they do not measure up, tweak the marketing materials to create more energy with them. Ask others for their reaction to the materials to get valuable feedback. Instead of defending your reasons for writing them the way you did, listen and try to modify by adding the input you have received from others. Many times you think you know what others want, but will discover what you value is not the same as what your potential customers value.

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