Using emails to draw sales is not a new idea. You'd realize that if you've ever looked at the items in your email server's "spam" filter. From the start, however, many people have realized the sales potential of email marketing online. There are many different ways you can get the attention of potential buyers, and it may be difficult for you to get email messages around spam and bulk folders, to people's inboxes.
Your first goal is to entice someone to open your email. This has to happen before your emails can ever lead to sales. Most people are very wary, with rightful cause, of things they receive via email. They may often be annoyed by unsolicited offers, whether it happens in the form of email, letter mail or telemarketers. If you want to become more than a message in a spam folder, you had better use email marketing wisely.
The key to getting through to people is to utilize this suspicion on their part to gain their attention. Some people will never open a sales email. But in order to reach those that will open them, you will also be sending emails to a lot of people overall. Your best bet is to attempt to avoid sending emails to the recipients who will just flag them as spam.
If you are a member of eBay or Amazon.com, you probably are aware that members there are given an option to receive offers in emails. Generally, this means that they are receptive to online sales, and would be willing to purchase a product or service that interests them, online. If you advertise your company through, say, Amazon.com, this may well get through to people who would otherwise target your email as spam. They will not likely "spam" kill an email from Amazon, since they probably deal with them.
There is the pesky issue of having a big company like Amazon do your email advertising for you. This is where it takes a little more ingenuity on your part. Subscribe to Amazon's newsletters, or those of other companies who are recognizable, and who send offers to interested parties via email. Look over the subject matter of those publications, including any keywords that you notice are being used regularly.
Even if your service or product is not related to most of the publications' information you read, you can build a website that contains the keywords, with links to your real site. In doing this, you are taking advantage of the ads that servers like Google have within their email servers. Your website could be featured along with the text of what might be considered "legitimate" ads, those being the ones that Google is paid to run.
You do not even have to take the time to wait for the emails to be sent by these companies to use this idea. Send your emails not as a sales ad, but as an article that might be of interest to the recipient. This may cause your website to pop up in the ad sidebar. There is much potential for email marketing, and that is just one way by which you can benefit.