Let me preface this by saying, email still rules the roost as the top performing marketing channel, according to research from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

However, so much attention has been paid to the sexy Social Media world that this old workhorse seems to be put out to pasture.

I think, though, that email marketing not done properly is a poorly performing channel indeed.  To me that means that many companies are not getting the full return they could.

Here’s a simple case study.

We recently started working with a very successful online business that wanted to explore how email marketing could support their very simple and very clear goals–generate more leads, convert more leads to customers and make more sales to existing customers.

Made perfect sense to us…

…it’s what we do all day long for our customers.

So here’s what we did (and what an email marketing consultant could do for you.)

We reviewed their current marketing and sales methods.

All good email strategy starts here.  If you work with an email marketing consultant, it’s important they understand your business and how you do things now so that their recommendations fit your plans.

Based on our assessment and review…

We submitted an email marketing plan.

This plan was based on their goals of more leads, more conversions, and more sales to existing customers.  And the plan fit into their business and provided leverage, not gut-wrenching change.

We think it’s important for your email marketing consutant to be sensitive that although email is a powerful channel, it isn’t the most important thing you do to run a successful business. (Unless you’re Groupon.com of course.  Email is at the core of their business.)

Outsource the setup to your email consultant.

Often we get asked to get a company started on the right path to email success.  That means recommending the best email marketing software for their needs and then setting the software up for their use.

The quicker you get up and running, the quicker you can start to realize the benefits of email campaigns.  The less likely you’ll experience false starts and time or money-wasting practices.

Outsource the ongoing email operations.

Whether you are sending a simple newsletter to keep in touch or you’re buidling a full-on new marketing channel, you’ll find it can go much smoother by having an email agency help out.

You can set clear goals and expectations and monitor progress.  Most importantly, you won’t discover that 2 months has passed since your last email campaign or that you missed an important seasonal event because you were focused on other things.

Think about how you’re using email now and consider getting someone to lend a hand.  You’ll find the returns are worth it.