It’s cost-efficient—its ROI (return on investment) is one of the highest out there—and it’s easy to use. It’s also a great branding tool and a trusted way to get your name in front of your customers.

As with most technologies, email marketing can be a double-edged sword. As a communication channel, it is easily abused by ill-willed spammers, giving it a dirty name. To avoid being painted with the same brush as the bad guys, there are a few pitfalls to avoid when it comes to maintaining your most precious treasure, your list of opted-in addresses.

The signs of a successful and long-lived relationship with your email readers are high open rates, clickthroughs that convert into actions, low unsubscribe and complaint rates, and active feedback from your readers. Just like maintaining your car’s engine keeps it running nicely, a little TLC for your email list means you’re less likely to find yourself broken down by the roadside.

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