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It is another year and in the ever-changing landscape of Internet marketing, email marketing is an old tool in some ways. In the face of the glamor and glitz of Facebook and Twitter, the idea of email for marketing seems almost quaintly old fashioned. Is email marketing passe? When there are so many unopened emails in your inbox, does it make sense to send out some more emails for marketing purposes?

I believe the answer is yes, it is still a valid and powerful component of any Internet marketing strategy. It is in some ways a simpler method but it is also a very targeted marketing tool. If you decide to promote your business as a realtor, florist or lawyer through email marketing, it is likely that you are working with a list. This list should ideally consist of people interested in what you have to say.

Let us take the case of the realtor – it is possible that the realtor got the email addresses of prospective clients when they registered at the realty office or website as they were gathering data about buying or listing a house. So, the people on the email list are already pre-disposed to find real-estate information interesting at that given point of time. Then they choose to open the email at a time that is suited to their daily routine – this can be early in the morning, at lunch time or late at night. But they are again making the choice to access the information. Anybody who has had to sell anything will appreciate that this choice is key to building a relationship with the potential customer. By sending this open and interested client weekly email newsletters or bi-monthly autoresponders on key real estate do’s and dont’s, the realtor can continue to be in their mind. A regular email marketing plan will allow the realtor to establish expert status in the customer’s mind and have the additional benefit of being top-of-mind when they decide to take action. Regular emails from the realtor will be a great way for the realtor to hover without seeming crass or pushy.

It goes without saying that this strategy will be effective only if executed with intelligence and thoughtfulness. Smarmy sales emails asking people to “Buy this!” or offering fluff as information will fail miserably in the long-run. It will be the surest way to be classified as spam. The success of an email marketing effort depends very much on the quality of information offered. Keep the sales pitch subtle and think of it as building your brand.