Are your e-mail marketing efforts yielding your business the results it needs? Do you know how to convert your e-mails to customer leads and ultimately more profit? While e-mail can be the ideal marketing tool for any business, combining the twin allure of both low-to-no cost and deep market penetration, it can also fail if handled incorrectly.

Your customers - and potential customers - need a reason to read your e-mails. Unread e-mails are wasted e-mails, and wasted e-mails are missed opportunities.

Here are a few quick tips to make sure your e-mails are read, and that they generate the customer leads you need for your business to succeed:

1. E-mail with a purpose 

If you have nothing to say, don't say it. Never send an e-mail to your customers unless you have a clear reason to send it. Your customer e-mails must serve a purpose, whether it is to inform, entertain, or just update your customer on your business. Customers have limited time, and equally limited patience for e-mails which waste their time. Sending needless, low-content, low-interest e-mails is a guaranteed one-way ticket to your customer's spam list.

2. Use subject lines with impact

Your subject line should be short, to the point, yet engaging. Your subject line is your first and only chance to grab your customer's attention - if it fails to grab them, they will just delete your message unread. Entice your customers with a subject line that has value for them or that will appeal to their interests. Also, be wary of over-promising in your subject line by using a subject line that promises more than the message delivers, or by using a subject line that is likely to trigger the recipient's spam filter.

3. Keep it short and to the point

Your customers have limited time and limited patience for marketing e-mails. Write your e-mail in such a way that your customer can get the gist of the message in five seconds or less. If you can't skim through the message and get the basic idea in five seconds or less, you need to re-write it until you can.

4. Personalize your message 

Make your customer feel special by referencing them directly in the message. For instance, including the customer's first name in the message, or referencing something unique to them such as a recent title chance or promotion, sends the message that they are special to your business. This can go a long way towards building customer goodwill and increasing sales to those customers.

5. End with a question

Promote a dialog with your customers, not a monolog. What this means is that rather than just sending e-mails to customers for them to passively read, encourage them to e-mail you back by ending your e-mails with a question that invites their feedback. Doing this encourages customers to build a dialog with your company. This builds relationships, and relationships build customer confidence, and sales.

6. Use plain language

No one likes 'corporate speak'. Use friendly, conversational language, instead of stilted corporate language, when communicating with your clients by e-mail. Your clients need to feel comfortable, and you can accomplish this by using the same language in your e-mails that you would use with your customers when talking to them in person.

7. Include a call to action

 The most effective e-mails are ones with include a clear call to action (CTA). Use short, strong action verbs that encourage the reader to do something. Verbs such as 'buy', 'order', 'call', or 'sign up' will encourage your clients to act on your e-mail.

Follow these tips to better conversion and more sales.