Too many flashy, upstart brands are relying on social media efforts to thrive. They think that pouring all of their efforts into the newest platforms will get them the biggest returns. The cold truth is that your audience probably won’t even see your Facebook page unless they interact with it enough. Even with Facebook’s new system of showing almost everything that happens, the information from business pages still gets restricted and buried under status updates from friends and family.

Twitter is slightly more effective, since it shows shorter messages from more people, but you still don’t have the full, undivided attention of your audience. In fact, the only way you can really get it is in person or through email.

Email marketing is effective because it forces users to take an action. Yes, that action might be to skim the title and trash it, but chances are good they’ll at least open the email since they took the time to sign up for it.

Reward your readers

Think of your subscribers as a faithful segment of the population. They want to know what your brand is up to, and they’re genuinely interested in promotions. They’ll also turn on you in a second and mark you as spam, but not if you treat them right.

Never send any sort of communication without a purpose and a reward of some sort. It’s nice if your mega-company switched CEOs, but your customers aren’t a business journal. They don’t care, unless you’re celebrating with a 15 percent off sale.

A birthday e-card may seem like a nice gesture, but your average customer doesn’t care about your auto-generated congratulations, unless you’re giving them a discount or a free product. They’re even likely to mark you as spam.

Up your SEO

Email marketing has numerous benefits. One of them is to increase your SEO value by sending out newsletters. It may sound like a stretch, but bear with me. First of all—focus on what your readers want to see out of it. If your company designs logos, send out a newsletter talking about using a brand across the office or how to make the most of your business cards. Because you’re an expert in the field, your readers want to hear your perspective on it. Your information should be relevant to your audience, brief, and incredibly useful. Remember to make everything have value to your reader, including the articles for the newsletter.

As a secondary goal, feel free to sprinkle SEO keywords throughout the newsletter. Don’t overwhelm the page, but feel free to talk about what you do (branding, logos, and corporate design, for example) throughout the article. To get the most value out of your endeavors, load your text file newsletters onto your site under a blog or an archives section.

Once you get email marketing on the right track, it’s time to combine it with your social tools. Send out an email alert to your subscribers about a contest you’re having on Facebook, or tweet about a perk only email subscribers get. Combine all of your tools to create the best brand image you can.