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Email Is Still Your Customers' Preferred Communication Tool. Here's How to Make Sure Your Email Mark

Gary Thuerk, often hailed as the "Father of Spam," sent the first email blast in 1978. Four decades later, despite billions of people using several social media platforms, email still holds the same power.

Forty years ago, Thuerk understood that leveraging email was a pathway to generating sales. In his case, it led to producing more than $14 million for the company he was working for. Today, that potential is even greater, with more than half of the world's population having at least one email address. In fact, according to a study conducted by Radicati Group, by the end of this year, over 3.8 billion people will use email to communicate.

In marketing, email outperforms any other channel, with a reported $44 return on investment for every $1 spent. While it seems that tweet traffic and social media traction leave little room for other methods of communication, email is still the best and oftentimes preferred way for businesses to communicate. It allows the recipient to read messages at their leisure and respond at their convenience. It keeps better record of conversations. It is free and international in scope, can be easily forwarded and can be used to communicate with masses of people simultaneously.

Since email marketing has seen such a boom in the last several years, email deliverability is on every marketer's lips. There are several strategies that can help make sure an email message travels safely and lands in the inbox.

Don't buy an email list.

Purchasing a bulk email list significantly increases the probability of listing on many blacklists or building a reputation as a spammer. Most companies work hard to build a brand presence, including a web domain, and one poor quality list can destroy the reputation of the .com or internet domain address associated with the business. It is very tempting to get 50,000 subscribers overnight, but making the effort to grow an honestly and ethically sourced list of customers is going to pay off in the long run.

Use the double opt-in method.

Double opt-in is one of the best mechanisms available within email marketing to keep invalid email addresses from signing up for a newsletter and double opt-in is also proven to boost open rates. Countries where the double opt-in method is most common -- the Netherlands, Germany and France -- have the highest open rates. It makes sense: When someone goes through the process of confirming their agreement to subscribe to an email, it signifies a legitimate interest in the content or product and subsequent opens and clicks.

Be consistent.

Whether email is a new channel of distribution or a marketing staple, consistency is key. Email marketing involves discipline and consistency. Sending campaigns predictably, often utilizing the same day of the week, whether weekly, biweekly or monthly, leads to the establishment of a positive digital relationship with clients. This will ensure maximum IP utilization and will prevent subscribers from forgetting that they subscribed and clicking the "spam" button.

Keep client email lists in top shape.

There is no efficient email marketing without data quality. The customer and subscriber email list is a tremendous resource, and optimizing and maintaining the list is a surefire mechanism to maximize revenue. The most important question about list quality is how to keep the hygiene maintained while using the appropriate mechanism to keep the email list in top shape. First, use real-time email validation through a secure API. Once installed on the email distribution platform, this piece of software will prevent fake and invalid email addresses from signing up to the database. Next, run the list through an email verification system once a month. The bounce rate will decrease, sender reputation will improve and overall email performance will skyrocket.

Email remains the most valuable tool for businesses of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. By taking a few simple steps, audience reach can be guaranteed and stabilized, thereby improving return on marketing dollars spent.

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