This post was first published by Blaise Lucey on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Email sign-up forms are everywhere these days. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at the website for a bookstore or a Big Data analytics company – email newsletters are still very much in fashion. Mobile devices have guaranteed that people are checking their email more than ever, too.

An email address is the cornerstone o
f a content marketing strategy. A blog post that gets traffic is great, but the odds are good that those visitors will never stop by the website again, unless another blog post catches their attention.The same goes for social media. An active Facebook Page or Twitter account doesn’t mean much if those channels aren’t sending traffic back to your website.

And if you’re selling B2B software, then there’s a pretty low chance that someone’s going to go all the way from a funny Facebook post to a sale in one round.

That’s why email is important – with the right email marketing strategy, you can stay in touch with prospects for months, providing them value as you get to know them better. Building an email list might mean getting email addresses at a conference, a networking event or through a downloadable guide or white paper.

But then what?

Don’t Hesitate.

One thing companies often do is sit on email addresses that have been collected. Forgotten business cards will wind up scattered across your desk, or maybe stacked neatly away in a drawer, where they’re easy to forget.

Don’t do that.

Prospects will only remember you for so long. Whether they’ve just downloaded a case study or given you a business card, make sure to follow up within one week. Otherwise, they might forget about the company and, when an email does come their way, it’ll just seem like spam.

Offer Objective Value.

Every time you create an email newsletter, you should have a theme in mind, something that will resonate with prospects. Maybe you found an interesting study that they would like, or have a blog post that lists a few great tips on how to better manage systems in the cloud.

Create a valuable newsletter that attracts a prospect’s attention and focus less on “selfie” content that only discusses the company, the products and corporate news.

Pay Attention.

If a prospect clicks a link or continually opens every newsletter for five months in a row, it’s critical to pay attention to what he or she is clicking. When you provide valuable content and prospects engage with it, that can tell you more about what they’re most interested in – giving you an opportunity to custom-tailor the next email newsletter to better fit their needs.

Emails with personalized content can do wonders for B2B and B2C companies – one study shows that paying attention to what prospects have purchased or clicked can lead to a 540 percent increase in revenue-per-email.

The Importance of the Reminder

Today, consumers of all kinds are inundated by digital content. Media on the Internet has practically become a utility – any website can offer infinite amounts of content, continually streaming straight to a person’s screen.

Email marketing is one of the few ways businesses can bring the message to consumers, and cut through the noise to reach them. As content continually grows, email only gets more important. So if you have a prospect’s email address, don’t hesitate – start thinking about a strategy to get noticed and stay in touch.