Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, a chill in the weather, carols sung and yule logs stand ready. Imagine it’s Christmas time. The snow is gathering on the sill just outside the window or you stare out at a summer sky (depending entirely on your global location). You have put together a Christmas letter that informs readers about what has happened in your life and family and the many things you are grateful for when you look back over the past year.

The truth is, you are proud of your letter because you have taken time to thoughtfully review important events in your life and you have checked it several times for mistakes. You sigh contentedly as you look at the stack of beautiful letters you are ready to send. Two large boxes set just inside your front door with a few thousand copies the printer brought to your home. You realize it’s a big task, but you begin to address the envelopes one at a time. You don’t want to leave anyone out so you open the phone book to the letter “a” and begin.

What kind of response is this individual likely to receive when everyone in town gets a Christmas letter from the same person? Well, there’s probably going to be a significant scratching of heads, and a lot of round file storage.

While it is not likely there are going to be too many people that send a Christmas letter to everyone in town, somehow this idea seems to make sense to business owners who want to send email marketing to anyone with an email address – and they don’t just wait until Christmas to send their email marketing campaign either. Often these businesses will buy or rent a list and send email marketing in a cold call fashion to individuals who have never heard of the business.

Let’s go back to our Christmas letter writer. In the real world they will likely review their list of family, friends and acquaintances. This list will include those most interested in knowing about the family and events of the ending year. This list will likely include friends that they haven’t seen in a long time, but they would still like to connect with them. The letter writer wants to send as many letters as are needed, but will cut the list down whenever needed.

This is the best picture of sound email marketing and traffic building strategies. You want to send email marketing to individuals that already have an interest in the products or services you provide. You will get the best response from people who already have an interest. Sure the list will be smaller, but the recipients will be more motivated simply because they are already familiar with you, your product and your business integrity.

It’s OK to start small in email marketing. Like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies you start where you are and watch the results grow over time. This approach leaves fewer people scratching their heads and more people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.

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