Email marketing is a strategy that is too important for business owners to ignore. However, fear of alienating customers causes many people to second-guess email marketing tactics. No one likes to be spammed by businesses, but focused emails that offer customers information and special deals are often welcome.

Most customers actually prefer receiving information via email than they do from more traditional channels, according to a study conducted in 2009. This knowledge should spur everyone on to create an effective email-marketing plan that gives customers what they want. If you find this intimidating, hire someone to guide you through the process.

Begin by building an email list of current and former clients. Repeat customers are the key to a company’s success. Statistically, it costs more to gain new customers than it does to retain old ones. Email marketing reminds customers of their positive interactions with your company and shares exciting deals and offers with them.

Part of successful email marketing is allowing customers the option to unsubscribe. This promotes better customer relationships and creates an efficient mailing list. There is no point in emailing people who do not want to receive your promotions. A focused mailing list will provide better results. The size of your email-marketing list will change over time. It may shrink at first. But it will grow as interest builds.

Email marketing requires continual trial and error. Everything from the messages to the design and format of the message requires testing and fine-tuning. Switch between graphics and text in the copy to see which style is the most effective. Monitor the different responses you get from each email campaign to determine which approach works best with your clients and customers. Aweber and Constant Contact are service providers that help business owner keep track of their email campaigns.

Try to connect with your customers through email. Hold contests or offer incentives and coupons. Use the emails to show your clients that you value them. Build relationships and welcome customer feedback. Like it or not, many people stay connected through email. Business owners need to take advantage of this useful tool and reach out to their customers.