There’s a lot of great advice on email marketing on the web, but it can be challenging and time-consuming to sift through all that information. This is particularly the case for novice marketing or entrepreneurs who are faced with either very little support or working knowledge of how to move forward. This is for you: a custom curated roadmap on what you need to know to get your email marketing off the ground.

Send a welcome email.

It’s always smart to remind people why they’re on your list and reassure them that good things are in store. You might even send new subscribers a special offer or exclusive content, as your way of thanking them for their loyalty. [Forbes]

Know your spam rules.

A lot of innocent people send spam because they didn’t know any better. Read up on the CAN-SPAM act to avoid any trouble. Put simply, you’re allowed to send bulk email only to people who specifically asked to be on your mailing list. If you collected email addresses for a lunch giveaway or an event invitation, then you don’t have permission to send marketing emails unless you made that clear at signup. Include an obvious unsubscribe link in every email, and don’t forget to remind subscribers how they got on your list in the first place. [Forbes]

Make it Scannable.

Your subscribers are busy people who get a lot of email, so it’s safe to assume you don’t have their undivided attention. Instead of one long block, break up your content into short paragraphs. Include subheadings and images to guide readers through your email and make it easier to scan, and add a teaser to the top of your newsletter to tell subscribers what’s in store. If you’re sending a long article, consider inserting a “read more” link so people can get to the rest when it’s convenient for them. Your subject line should be to-the-point and easy to digest, too. You might even want to a/b test subject lines to see which ones perform best. [Forbes]

Become a Brand, Not Just a Business.

You’ve built a strong following, an engaged audience, and possibly even demand and requests for more. Your email strategies and tactics have gotten you this far. Now’s the time to strengthen all these components to help you evolve into a brand, not just a business. Make sure there is maximum consistency for your users to experience. In addition to using the same logo and color scheme, how about your tone, font and writing style? Becoming a brand means you’re providing consistent solutions and experiences based on your customers’ wants and needs, regardless of platform. This also may mean that you’ve evolved beyond your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Not every brand needs seven social networks, but they do need relevant interactions where their customers are. Let’s say your images are yielding a stronger click-through rate in emails. Consider creating an infographic for your Pinterest account. Or, if customers don’t have a regular consumption pattern for your content and engage with your YouTube videos, think about launching a Periscope Q&A session (promoting it via email, of course) around a new product launch or simply to provide three tips that came to you that day. [HuffPo]

Other tips include making it easy to people to subscribe at letting them know what they can expect at the time of subscription. You should also think about mobile: is it easy for mobile users to sign up for your email campaigns and access your campaigns as they’re published. And last but certainly not least, is messaging: does each campaign harness the opportunity for messaging?