A person with Internet access but no email address is difficult to imagine. Since its inception, email has remained the primary way people connect with each other over the Web. It's seen as more professional than instant messaging and social media platforms, yet convenient and inexpensive enough to keep friends and family updated.

Email marketing is also a great way for businesses and customers to stay connected. Some people fear the early days of the Web, when such cyberspace correspondence was nothing more than spam, but marketers have evolved since then. Emails are an effective means of communicating a lot of information at once, meaning they're perfect for retailers to update their audience on sales, promotions and other events. Email marketing is far from dead, but businesses must make sure they're sending relevant messages that capture their audience's attention.

Figure out the campaign's direction
The first step is to define the purpose of your email campaign. This idea seems simple, yet many retailers reach out to their mailing lists simply because they feel they have to. These goals can be open ended – improving the customer experience or keeping shoppers updated on new promotions, for example. They can also have more quantifiable targets like raising average order values to a specific dollar amount or increasing online payments worldwide by a certain percentage. Regardless, an email campaign with no purpose has no direction to define its message.

Create compelling content
A campaign's purpose should drive what's inside each email, Practical Ecommerce said. For instance, if the goal is to increase AOVs, marketers should write messages describing several related products to tempt shoppers into adding more to their shopping carts. Likewise, emails to improve customer relations should contain requests for input and feedback. This lets shoppers know their opinion is important to a company's success. 

Build a relationship through personalization
Customers prefer businesses that have their best interests at heart. Therefore, as the Content Marketing Institute noted, it's best to earn consumer trust with transparency and personalization. Businesses should allow their shoppers to opt in when it comes to delivery preferences, permissions and privacy. Likewise, they should avoid using language that makes consumers – and spam filters – skeptical. Words like "free" and "discount" send emails straight to the Junk folder.

Instead, companies can build trust by recognizing a shopper's spending habits. Past purchases help businesses recommend other, relevant products, catching a customer's attention and creating an atmosphere of usefulness. Marketers should also look at the various demographics within their email lists, separating them into various groups and writing content accordingly. The language used in an email for children is vastly different from what's said to their parents, after all.

Write a clear subject line
An email with a vague subject is one that doesn't get opened. Remember, your email is one among a dozen others to hit a person's inbox daily. Consumers don't want to spend a lot of time reading their messages, so they skip anything that doesn't immediately sound interesting. Thus, it's best to grab their attention with a subject line that is relatable, informative or strikes a sense of urgency. It's good to note that, according to Campaign Monitor, emails with numbers in their subject lines are opened 57 percent more often than those with a similar title and no number. 

Email marketing continues to be an essential aspect of any online retailer's advertising. These messages must be written with a clear goal in mind to guide their content and subject lines.

Brought to you by PacNet Services, your one-stop global payment processing solution.