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I am often surprised to see how many people count growing their social media footprint, rather than their email numbers as growing their list.

I really wish it were that easy, but the truth is that e-mail lists and e-mail marketing are still important.  Building your entire community on Facebook is foolish.  At any moment, Facebook can pull the rug out from under you.  I know this from personal experience.  An e-mail list is yours.  If you change providers, the people on the list come with you.

In fact, you should be using all the tools available today, from social media, to paid, to blogging to get more people to sign up for your email marketing campaigns. Email marketing, when done well is still the most effective form of marketing there is.

Email marketing, done poorly, can kill your business.   Here are 10 ways that your email marketing can actually be harming your business.

Adding anyone and everyone to your list ––  You want your list members to eagerly await your emails, not think they are “just sales promotions” and unsubscribe. Research your target audience so that you can build a list full of people who are truly interested in what you want to talk about. You don't just want anyone on your list, you want people who are right for your products and services.

Lying to Your List  Tell new readers exactly what you will deliver to them, how often, and about what topics, and then do what you say you will. Don't waver in how often you said you'd send them information, if you go a long time without sending information they'll forget about you and think you're spam without ever reading what you have to say.  Plus, doing what you say you'll do is a great way to build trust with your audience.

Not Paying Attention to Your Subject Lines– The subject lines of your emails are very important because without learning how to write effective subject lines even those who signed up for your list will not open your emails. This is not the place to be tricky or use puns. Be personal, and be direct.

Getting the Tone Wrong — The email itself should be written with authority and knowledge that you have a lot to offer your readers. They signed up for this and asked you to send them regular emails, don't apologize. But, use a casual tone as if you're talking to a trusted friend.

Writing to EVERYONE — Sending generic emails without personalization is not a good way to get people to want to read what you have to say. Use their name (the software helps!) and make them feel like you are speaking directly to them.

Recommending Things You Haven't Tried  — If everything you recommend turns out to be top-notch, and everything you write is well researched and true, your audience will learn to trust you so much that they will become your biggest fans.

Not Telling a Compelling Story-– If you can get to your audience's emotions you'll be able to achieve overwhelming and unstoppable results. One way to do that is to share your own story and /or those of other people with whom they can relate.

Sending Out UnTargeted Junk Mail— Send the right emails to the right people by segmenting your audience using the email marketing software. You want each piece of content to speak directly to the reader.

Not Paying Attention to Timing— Each niche has a specific time of the day they're more likely to open emails. Try a few tests sending out emails with the same subject line to find out what time of day and what day an email is most likely to be opened.

Not Telling Your Readers What To Do Next — Whether it's asking your readers to share, vote, like, join, buy, or what-have-you it's important to always include a compelling call to action that they can't miss. By including a call to action in every email, you'll get more results.

If every email talks to your ideal client, gets to the point, tells a relatable story and includes a call to action you can't lose. You may need to test various subject lines, and edit until your email is clear, but if you do these things it will be effective and your email will achieve maximum results.