Adopting an strategy is a sound idea if you intend to grow an email list to market to. There are several strategies that have become a kind of email marketing best practice that is observed by most online marketers. This has mainly come about through a kind of trial and error over the years, arriving at a point that works well for most people.

Email marketers need to capture an email address from as many of their online customers or visitors as possible. When a visitor can be persuaded to subscribe to your website, or to your newsletter, he or she is in effect saying that it’s OK for you to send the occasional email to them. And if you occasionally recommend an ebook or a piece of software, that’s OK too. Once you have built a relationship with your subscribers they will trust you and accept the occasional gentle sales pitch.

Spam is not an acceptable email marketing strategy. This is the opposite of permission marketing and actually an illegal practice. Spam involves sending lots of emails – millions in some cases – to people who have not agreed to accept them. The messages are unsolicited and unwelcome. Most of us, if we have been online for any length of time, had experienced spam. It’s hard to get rid of and it tends to get worse too over time.

A successful email marketing strategy respects everyone’s privacy. It allows people to optin to a list of their own free will. Admittedly they may be given an incentive to part with their email address, but they are not forced to. And even more important, they can opt out or unsubscribe from receiving messages at any time they choose. It has now become a best practice in any good email marketing strategy to ask subscribers to double optin.

The double optin helps to protect email marketers from accusations of spamming. It works by persuading the visitor to optin, or subscribe, to your list, and then they are immediately sent an email that requires them to click a link to confirm that they actually do want to receive whatever they have been promised. That is double optin.

A successful email marketing strategy is one where conversion and customer retention is tweaked to a maximum. It becomes a well oiled machine that functions with or without the operator, thanks to a clever piece of software called an autoresponder. This is a robotic device that sends out email messages at preset intervals, or when triggered by a specific response. It is invaluable to every email markets engaged in online marketing.