When you’re asking for your customer’s attention, you have to do it in the right way. That goes with any kind of solicitation and it is particularly true with marketing email.

Email can get a bad rap because there’s a tendency to overuse it, but it’s still one of the best ways to get your message directly in front of the people you want to send it to. Done properly, it can be very effective.

Here are a few marketing email etiquette rules to brush up on:

Use a professional friendly subject line. This is more than just a personalized ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello.’ Time is important, and you want to make sure your customers know exactly why they’re reading something. Make sure your marketing email has a brief, catchy introduction that lets your customers know exactly what to expect.

Don’t spam it up. The more marketing emails you send, the less likely they’ll be read. Keep it down to one or two per month, and make sure you send them out on a regular schedule. If they’re late or sporadic, you’ll look unprofessional.

Keep it brief and simple. You know you’re smart; so do your customers. There’s no reason to overly complicate a marketing email in which you’re just describing your monthly specials or any news about your business.

No flags. Really. Have you ever paid more attention to an email just because it was flagged? Didn’t think so.

Double check it. Read through it again, after you’re sure you’ve caught every typo or misused word. And then, read it again. Nothing says unprofessional like grammar mistakes, misspellings or words that make it through a spell checker, but are still wrong. No what eye mean?

Sign it! Use your own name when you sign the end of your marketing email. “See you soon, Bob’s Auto Shop” just doesn’t have the same weight as “See you soon, Bob.” By sending a customer a marketing email, you are essentially invading their space. You’d better be friendly about it.

Respond right away. If you’re fortunate enough to get a response to your email, make sure you answer it right away—even if you don’t have an answer. Letting your customers know you’re paying attention and will get them the information they want is invaluable. It makes them feel important and it lets them know you’re on the ball.

Those are a few of our basic rules. What are yours? Let us know in the comments!