A welcome back brand builder here is our marketing tip of the week.

In the last 2 or 3 years, social media has become the dominant force in many businesses’ online marketing strategies. It’s easy to overlook or forget how vital it is to continue sending out your newsletters to your email list. Although over the years email marketing has gotten a bad reputation it’s still a crucial part of your brand’s overall strategy.

Email is still sacred ground for a good majority of your clients and although their spam filters have gotten better and better at determining email blast from random companies if they have subscribed to your newsletter or given you their email by visiting your store location then you have a strong platform to continue to use. Not only can you import these lists into your social media sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr., which will help organically grow your following but you can now send out weekly bi-weekly or monthly newsletters.

How frequently you send out newsletters is entirely up to you and also depends based on your business motto. For instance, Groupon is a daily deal site so they need to blast out every day. If you’re a restaurant it may be most effective to send out a newsletter every Monday or biweekly to keep customers aware of specials, discounts, special events or just weekly updates.

I have been using email marketing for the past 10 years to create business for my clients. Over the years I’ve realized that keeping it simple works better than elaborate HTML template emails that are usually filtered by email services and/or deleted by the recipients. If you are going to stick with a HTML email keep it simple, don’t clutter it with pictures, and limit it to only a few paragraphs.

In the last few years, I have been sending out simple plain text emails with links to anything necessary. Not only does this improve our open ratio but has dramatically increased our ability to use a call to actions. Here is an example email I sent out for a Non-Profit to promote our new class schedule…

Hello (Name) here is the new (NON PROFIT NAME) schedule for spring 2012

Family to Family in Evanston, IL starting Feb. 12, 2012 at 4pm www.link.com

Basics in Mount Prospect, IL starting April 2, 2012 at 4pm www.link.com

To register call Tammy at 857-555-2485 or reply to this email.

Short and sweet right? We sent this out to over 2,000 members and had a tremendous amount of replies and feedback. People are busier than ever so keeping it short and sweet often is the best recipe. Because this email is easy to create we can send directly from our own email addresses. This looks less spammy and gives it a personal touch that emails often lack.  It lowers our cost because we no longer have to pay an email service like constant contact or Aweber. It saves us time as well because these emails are easy to put together. If your business has less than 2 or 3 thousand subscribers this is the best route to go. If your email list is above 3,000 then you will have to go through some sort of email service but you can still recreate the same plain text personalized feel that we just discussed.  The last thing you want to remember when creating these plain text emails is to have your personal signatures with links to your social media and other relevant contact material.

Your Mission: Give plain text emails a try for a few months and see if your open, click through and engagement numbers increase and then get back to us.