Email marketing sometimes gets a bad rap. But it's a tool, just like any other. So it can be applied well, or poorly. Done properly email marketing can be personal, targeted, useful, and effective.
Here are three simple potholes to avoid if you want to improve your chance of success.
Yes, you really need an Email Service Provider to effectively send emails to your leads. ESPs make sure that your emails are CAN-SPAM compliant, clean, and sendable. It doesn't even really matter how many emails you're sending per batch anymore -- there are so many ways and reasons for your email to get marked as spam, you really need to use an Email Service Provider so that you can have the highest possible level of assurance that your email will reach your intended destination.
Mind the time
Your contact's time, that is, not your time. There's a good time to send emails, and a bad time. Actually, there are a lot more bad times than there are good times to send email marketing messages. Get to understand the science of timing for your email sends. It matters when a message shows up in a lead's email inbox, and often will make the difference between an Open and a Delete.
Avoid image overload
Most email providers have images turned off by default. If your email isn't compelling without the use of images, chances are very good that it's going to get deleted before your lead has a chance to see what the content of your email actually is. Make sure that your email grabs the attention of a reader, whether they can see your snappy images or not. Don't bury the message of your email in images that nobody will ever see.