People today certainly are not suffering from a shortage of emails in their inbox. So as an email marketer, if you plan to add another email to the list of emails they already get, you'd better make sure that what you have to say is something your subscribers want to hear about!

The good news is, the folks on your list subscribed in the first place, so there must be some interest there to tap into. The bad news is, if you don't deliver valuable content that speaks to that initial interest, they can unsubscribe in a single click. With these four tips in hand, you can engage your email list subscribers in positive, useful and memorable ways that will keep them opening and reading your emails and, in time, purchasing and re-purchasing your products and services.

Tip #1: Use auto responder to welcome new subscribers

When a new subscriber signs up to receive your emails, it is easy to assume they are already quite familiar with your company, your brand and what you have to offer. Unfortunately, this assumption tends to be wrong. Actually, the opposite is more likely to be the case.

What this means is that you want to begin interacting with your subscribers right from the start. Welcome them with an autoresponder message that includes a personal contact, phone number and email address they can use to get more information. In each email newsletter, include a table of contents right at the beginning that they can scan to find the exact information they want. And keep your text short and sweet throughout.

Tip #2: Personalise your message and email design

While new research suggests it is not necessary to personalise your emails with the subscriber's first name (and in fact, many customers now report being turned off by this practice), you do want to do your best to personalise the content itself to each subscriber.

This may mean following up on recent purchases with an offer of a discount on the next purchase or a satisfaction survey. It could mean offering a poll to find out what your subscribers want more or less of in future emails. It can also mean ensuring all content you send reads like it is about your customer rather than your company (i.e. about their needs versus your desire for them to buy).

Tip #3: Keep your relationship with customers once they buy

One surefire way to lose subscribers is to forget all about them after they make a purchase. Conversely, one surefire way to keep subscribers is to follow up with them and continue to provide interesting, useful content they can learn from and share with others. So you want to strike an even balance between educating new potential customers and rewarding existing customers.

Whether you offer an incentive program based on repeat purchases, a free birthday gift (this technique is still popular after all these years!) or other desirable perks, you need to be sure each email you send has some kind of incentive or "hook" to keep your subscribers interacting with your emails.

Tip #4: Beware of the sending frequency

Another huge mistake many email marketers make is to send out emails too frequently or not frequently enough. Err on the side of the former and you will have irritated subscribers jumping off in droves. Err on the side of the latter and you will get "spam" complaints because subscribers have forgotten all about you.

What you want instead is to find the right balance for your group of subscribers. One easy way to do this is to synchronise your emails with regular events, such as end-of-month sales or mid-week discountsFor example, if your company offers a discount every Wednesday, you might want to send an email every Wednesday morning with a reminder of how to cash in on the discount prices.

Luckily, nearly all email marketing software packages have reporting and analysis tools built in, so you can analyse how many of your subscribers are opening your emails and interacting further (by clicking on hyperlinks, forwarding to friends, et al). As you study each campaign's result you can begin to tailor your list group's active days and times.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, while it is not rocket science to craft an effective email marketing campaign, it does take some careful planning and analysis to keep subscribers engaged and appreciative of the information you have to share.

Finding the right day and time, the right level of frequency, the right type of information and incentives and the right mix of text and graphics can all contribute to a happy and growing list of subscribers who interact with your content and even share it with their networks in turn.