Anybody who’s been around me lately knows how passionate I’ve become about the critical importance of an email component to the success of every aspect of their online marketing strategy.

That’s right. Every aspect of their online marketing strategy. That means your Facebook and Twitter strategies too.

You can have the most engaged, vibrant, happening Facebook and Twitter communities in your neighborhood or market space, but to get the most benefit from the community you’ve built, you need to be gathering email addresses so your business can provide valuable information and exclusive deals to the community via regular email communication — the #1 way content is shared.

Where do people share.But, I can hear everybody now saying how sick to death they are getting emailed and spammed until their inbox is overflowing. I feel ya, and agree 100%, but remember, if your email list is built on a solid, opt-in philosophy, the people receiving your email are choosing to do so. At least until you bore them, annoy them, or become irrelevant in the context of their needs. Take another peek at the data in the graphic above. The data don’t lie, no matter how you personally feel about getting emails.

So assume for a minute that I’m right, and you agree that it’s time to integrate an email communication component to your online marketing strategy. Where do you start?

1. Start by implementing internal processes to capture email addresses from your current customers. This is called “building your [email] list”, and should become part of the DNA of all your customer-facing and market-facing activities.

Getting customer emails should be as simple as asking them for it. Come up with a script and train your staff how to ask customers for their email addresses without being pushy or intrusive. Be sure to tell customers that you’re planning to email them valuable information, updates, and exclusive opportunities to save money.

AWeber, Constant Contact, MailChimp

2. Sign up for an email marketing service like, Constant Contact, AWeber or MailChimp. These tools are tremendously easy to use and infinitely more cost effective than mailing printed marketing materials through the US Postal Service. We’re a Constant Contact Solutions Provider, so you can click here to sign up for a 60 day free trial.

Once you compile your initial email list and upload it into an email marketing tool, you’re ready to launch your first campaign, which I’ll talk about in my next blog post.

But a word of caution before I sign off.

It’s against the law to email someone without their explicit permission, or, lacking an existing business relationship. Emailing someone without their permission is the very definition of Spam, and will get your account shut down by every third party email marketing service.

This means you cannot purchase an email list just to jump start the process. It’s illegal, unethical, and just plain bad business.

So, start gathering your customers email addresses, sign up for a third party email marketing service, and stay tuned for the next step in creating your email marketing strategy, and growing your business like never before.

Constant Contact Solutions Provider