With the amount of junk email we all sift through every day, it can be hard to imagine email marketing still being effective.

Yet somehow email marketing remains one of the greatest ways to reach your customers for a lot of reasons. Here are five of the best:

1. It’s Your List

Social media is awesome but your followers aren’t really yours, they belong to the media outlet.

With email, you have complete control of your list (assuming your subscribers have been added in a valid way). That’s not the case with social media.

Facebook has proven this statement on more than one occasion. Remember when your Facebook posts used to get seen by everybody for free?

That’s not the case anymore because Facebook decided they wanted to start charging brands to reach their own followers.

They’re able to do that because it’s their platform and they can do what they want.

Email is your platform where you can do what you want and nobody can take that away from you, use that to your advantage and focus on building your email list.

2. It’s Cheap

For small lists, email marketing can be free, for larger lists, there’s not really any other way you can reach 10,000 people as often as you want for $75 / month.

‘Nuff said.

3. It’s Fast

Need to get something out last minute? You can build and send a high quality, mobile-friendly email these days in about 30 minutes to an hour.

I’m not recommending that’s the way you use email all the time, but when you need speed, there’s nothing else that can match the speed with which you can deliver an email to your entire list.

4. It’s Trackable

I tell all of my clients, if you’re not tracking your results, you might as well just be throwing darts at a wall.

While all marketing is trackable to some extend, email is one of the best, and hopefully getting better (Gmail's automatic image download has helped a lot).

Just remember, your open rates are always higher than what’s being reported to you. Tracking email reads/opens is still an inexact science.

Email open rates are based on the users that download the images contained in your email and a lot of users will read the text of your email without downloading the images.

That doesn’t mean they didn’t open and read everything you sent.

5. It’s Effective

Email marketing might not get the same results it did back in the late ‘90s but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work anymore.

In fact, email marketing's ROI is higher than just about anything else you can put your money into.

Open rates for email marketing still average about 20% - 30% across industries and click through rates range from about 2% - 4%.

Combine that with the other advantages listed above and it’s not a bad way to get the word out.

If you're just getting started with email marketing and are looking for a good tool to use, check out this comparison between Mailchimp and Constant Contact, two of the leading providers of email marketing for small businesses.

Chris Searles is President of Searles Media and specializes in helping small businesses maximize their available resources to market themselves effectively using a wide variety of media. Visit Website

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