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Social media is rapidly overtaking traditional methods of marketing, serving as an all-in-one vessel to advertise to, and communicate directly with, new and existing consumers in the same breath. However, with 4.3 billion e-mail accounts worldwide, building an e-mail campaign is a smart and relatively uncomplicated way to keep customers in the loop. Before launching your first e-mail campaign, take some steps to secure a measure of success.

Launching your first e-mail campaign doesn't have to be complicated; knowing what you want to accomplish by sending these e-mails will immediately simplify the process. Pinpoint what you want your customers to know; for example, a bar hosting live music could send out a list of the nightly lineup, as well as a link to drink and meal specials on each given night, which is posted on their website. Ultimately, your goal should be to get your subscribers to look forward to opening that e-mail and clicking through to your content.

Using your existing contacts list can give your campaign a leg-up, but an address book full of clients is unnecessary. Collecting e-mails seems daunting, however, especially if your current list is nonexistent. Begin collecting e-mails by allowing your customers to submit them to you through easily visible portals, such as a header on the top of your website. Offer a bonus for signing up, like free shipping or discounts at the checkout, and make the subscription worth their time, enticing them to not only subscribe to future notifications, but to give them a reason to purchase something in the first place.

Finally, taking a simple approach to the style and presentation of this message can make or break the end result. An over-complicated and cluttered template makes deciphering the message difficult for some smartphone users, as well as presenting the risk of formatting errors. Though a flashy and vibrant layout might seem eye-catching and helpful, the message and links to your content are the true focus. A simple, effective, and versatile message style can mean the difference between getting automatically filed under "junk mail" and maintaining long-term subscriptions. 

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