Should you ever bring up the topic of email marketing, you will certainly hear people complain about the hundreds of emails they receive on a daily basis. They will tell you stories about the endless “junk” they receive and how they try to opt-out from all that spam to no avail. They might even give you a strange look and wonder you if you are one of “those people” who sends out huge volumes of email.

The worst part about spam email may be that your own marketing message gets lost in the heap. With so many businesses sending multiple messages, how can you stand out from the crowd and ensure that your message actually gets noticed? To cut through the spam filters and be sure that your message is one that someone truly wants to read, consider the following:

3. Not just any email will do; each “touch” must add value. While the goal of email is certainly to bring more customers to your firm, encourage more prospects to call for assistance and push potential customers to purchase more of your products, that can’t be what your emails are all about. Sending emails that are only about sales, new products or services is a surefire way to ensure that your messages are quickly deleted. Look at the content of your emails and ask yourself a very simple question: If I were opening this email, would I think it had added value to my day?

For most emails received, the answer is that the message adds no value at all. It’s merely an advertisement delivered digitally. Regardless of your industry, it is crucial to create emails that add real value. Don’t try to disguise sales letters as helpful tips; add real value and your emails will be eagerly anticipated by your prospects. And that’s a win for everybody.

4. How many emails are you sending? Even with a database that has a few million records, sending a big “blast” email is not likely to help you achieve your goals. Instead of periodically blasting your database of prospects with offers, consider developing an email follow-up sequence that will keep prospects engaged until the moment they are ready to take action.

A good email follow-up sequence will appear personal, add value and allow you to stay in touch with a prospect for a number of years. In the best case scenario, you will have a different email follow-up sequence for those who have purchased a product or service versus the ones that have not yet purchased anything. The more time you invest in your email marketing—from crafting subject lines to offering quality content—the more success you will enjoy.

Now more than ever it is essential to have an edge in email marketing when reaching out to new prospects for your business.

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Todd Bates is a leading business consultant, speaker, author and president of Todd Bates Systems. Over the past 20 years, he has shared his proven techniques with more than 25,000 individual business owners. Learn more at toddbatessystems.com.