“There are as many ways to connect to customers these days as there are customers, including email. Make sure that your email marketing strategies are getting you the results you want and need.” Heidi Richards Mooney

Internet marketing is much more than having a GREAT Web site. It’s connecting with the right customers through social media, participating in forums (highly targeted forums to tap into your own expertise and that of other participants), hosting online seminars (webinars) conferences (online and offline), blogging, writing articles and doing your homework. It also means “tapping into the power of e-mail” to effectively market your Web site.

Here are thirteen strategies to market online:

1. Write your e-mail offline. When you write your message online, you may have a tendency to send it before it has been fully edited for spelling, syntax and format.

2. Have a clear message that portrays you in a professional manner. You want to be remembered for your professionalism, not for the haphazard way some folks write messages.

3. Provide information people want and need to know. Cut the hype and promotion. Keep the promotion to a minimum and people are more likely to want to use buy your products and use your services.

4. Your signature line is your business card online. Use it effectively. Tell the reader enough to whet their appetite, but don’t make it a biography of your life.

5. Choose a memorable screen name, user name or URL (domain name) that promotes your business. This is an opportunity not only to communicate your message, it is also an opportunity to get people to go to your website.

6. Use the KISS principle (keep it short and simple) with your email communication. People appreciate it when you respect their time. Get to the point. If they want more information, they will ask you for it.

7. Don’t say anything online you wouldn’t want printed on the cover of your local newspaper. Try your message out on a group of people you can rely on to offer you honest, constructive feedback.

8. Contribute to online discussions (social media groups, pages and forums) only when you have something to contribute. It is not the place to blatantly self-promote. Soft-sells (like the signature line) work best. Otherwise people will avoid you or worse, ban you from future discussions.

9. Build your e-mail list. Use online classified ads, newsletters and e-zines to help you with this endeavor. Offer something for FREE to encourage people to want to get information from you, as I have with these e-mail tips. Continue to offer valuable information and your list will continue to GROW.

10. Check emails frequently! Customers expect an immediate response. When they don’t get it, they go elsewhere. If you take more than 24 hours to answer a message, you have probably already lost their trust, something you may never regain. At the very least have an auto-respond system that lets them know their message has reached your inbox and a time you are likely to reply.

11. Ask customers how they found your website. This is the most effective way to know what works and what doesn’t, in terms of marketing efforts and money spent.

12. Have a new product? Make a change to your site recently? Have a special sale? Let your customers and prospects know with a targeted email. Direct traffic to your site with a short description of what you want them to see.

13. Trade links with sites that your target market is likely to visit. This will increase your exposure and may help with search engine placement.

BONUS: Use email to submit your website for review by magazines, newsletters and website awards programs (such as the Women in Ecommerce Sites of the Month). Choose them carefully, a favorable review will add to your exposure and credibility.

There are as many ways to connect to customers these days as there are customers, including email. Make sure that your email marketing programs are getting you the results you desire.