SEO is not as simple as it used to be and as focus is shifting onto other methods of marketing which includes social media and stuff like that then the very old ways of marketing does come in handy.
Yes the email marketing is still a very useful way to bring in visitors and that also loyal visitors. If you have a good subscribers list then there is not that much to worry about other factors of marketing. If you can convince your readers/subscribers that your website is good and your content is good then they will themself suggest it to the others. I myself love it when I do get some timely emails from the websites that I follow.
The simplest one that I started with was just to get my feedburner subscribers coming in. Whenever I do a blog post it automatically sends out emails to my feed subscribers and most of my readers do come on my site to read that newly posted article.
For other websites where I also want to send out custom messages and newsletters I use email marketing by iContact I started with a free account over there to just study how the stuff works. I upgraded to paid one later on and now I am having 1100+ subscribers over there for email marketing with iContact. Yes it does give more flexibility to control your newsletters which a normal RSS subscription email won’t be able to offer. It depends on what kind of needs you have. If you want to try that out you can go to iContact and check it out.
I normally get some emails from the places I am subscribed to and most of the time I do click the links and go to the website to read further. Same would be the case with other visitors too and that is really a good way to bring in returning traffic to the site.
If you are yourself subscribed to my newsletter and have landed on this blog post via the subscription then you know what I am referring to.
A good email list always helps in hard times. You are not dependant on policy changes implemented by the websites that you depend on to get your traffic from.
And guess what. Almost everyone has an email account.