The last thing you want to do is spend the time and energy developing an email marketing plan and discover that you have done it effectively. It may seem easy to send out an email and gain exposure from it, but the truth is that you want it to translate into increased business. In order for this to happen, you need to be aware of certain strategies that enable you to use email marketing in productive ways. Read on for some proven tips that will maximize your potential for success.

Emails are a very different way of communicating with your clients or potential customers. It is generally considered a more informal conversation that targets an individual, rather than a mass audience. Rather than just blast out some specials or incentives, tell a story in your email. Opening an email is similar to reading a letter from someone who is wanting to communicate with you on a personal level. You need to make it an enjoyable read, and something that your clients look forward to reading. Picture them sitting down with a cup of coffee and settling in for a good read, one that stands out amongst all the other emails that they just deleted. Make yours stick by telling a story that is related to your products.

Though you do not want to overdo it with excessive graphics or photos within the body of the email, design is still important. Pay attention to the demographics of your intended audience and customize the design to fit your readers. If they are generally in a younger age bracket, you may want to make the design elements more contemporary. Add Facebook links and encourage them to visit your social media pages.

Work on building a solid reputation so that readers will anticipate your emails and look forward to them. Establish yourself as an expert in your field and make sure they know about your accomplishments. Consider writing articles or blogs for industry publications, then send a link to these articles within your emails.

Make sure that your emails offer something new and exciting, preferably things that cannot be gained outside of the email offers. Try sponsoring a competition, such as a photo contest. Make the prize something related to your products, and something they will be proud to share with their friends and families. Give the award a title, so the winner can include it in his own accomplishments. Make it a requirement that they “like” the contest on their Facebook page, thereby gaining even more exposure for your company. Consider having a “reader’s choice” award for the most “likes” on Facebook.

Test your email campaign on a small number of recipients first, then add more email contacts after gauging the response of the initial few. Ask for input and be open to changes and improvements.

These simple techniques can go a long way in establishing a solid email marketing plan that gets results. Try them out now, then build upon your success with future campaigns that are effective and dynamic.