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How to Create an E-Mail Marketing Campaign That People Will Notice Infiltrate the inbox with e-mail marketing that is actually engaging and less likely to be deleted.

By Ann Handley

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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In a world where social media gives businesses more immediate ways to connect with customers, is e-mail marketing still relevant? I think so. In fact, the volume of e-mail marketing messages remained at record-setting levels in June, according to Chad White, research director at marketing company Responsys, and retail e-mail volume will grow about 20 percent this year (vs. more than 16 percent in 2011), thanks to a shift away from old-school direct mail and print.

That makes for a more crowded party. Your e-mails are competing with (literally!) millions of others, which means you must be intentional in your efforts to create messages that truly engage your customers. Here's how.

1. Start with a robust list. This is an obvious point, but it's worth reiterating: Make sure the contacts on your e-mail list actually want your messages. You may be as witty as David Sedaris, but if your audience has already tuned you out, what's the point?