Sure, spam volume is higher than ever. Open rates are lower. But email is still a highly effective way of reaching customers and prospects when you use it correctly. That means using only permission marketing techniques and providing highly relevant content.

To close out Shameless Promotion Month, here's a round-up of articles I recently wrote for Staples and Lionbrdige about how to use email marketing to promote your business.

For Staples, I interviewed email experts from Emma and a few marketing pros to get their insights and actionable tips for making email marketing more effective.

Email Is Still Relevant! Are You Getting the Most from Your Email Marketing? In an era of mobile this and social media that, it’s easy to think that email — the original online marketing channel — is becoming ineffective. But giving the inbox short shrift is short sighted. After all, approximately 182 billion emails are sent every day, according to The Radicati Group. Clearly, your customers spend tons of time reading their email, so it only makes sense to put your message where their eyes already are. That’s why, in a June 2014 poll by Internet Retailer, almost 40 percent of respondents said email marketing was their most important investment. Even more compelling: 90 percent indicated that email produces “a positive return” on investment. Learn the key considerations for getting the most from small business email marketing.

Beyond Promotions: 7 Email Marketing Tips & Techniques That Build Business. Email is a reliable marketing channel, but your communications can get stale very quickly if you’re only sending the same kinds of promotional messages over and over. Customers will become trained to overlook your emails if they know they’re just going to contain another 20 percent off or buy-one-get-one-free offer, and not much else. On the other hand, if you send an email newsletter that includes engaging content, your customers will be more likely to open and click — and buy. And the good news is that creating a unique email marketing message doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. Here are seven ideas for different types of email marketing techniques.

The Lionbridge content is for marketing pros with international responsibility and does a deep dive into centralizing global email marketing operations. I talked with Jordie van Rijn of Email Monday and Amit Awasthi, Lionbridge’s vice president and global head of marketing technology:

It's Time to Centralize Global Email Marketing Operations. The pace of business is only getting faster. And the need for results is only getting bigger. How can you respond to market and business demands with effective global email marketing initiatives? Most CMOs are moving toward centralized operations. According to the 2014 Lionbridge Global Email Survey, 64 percent of global marketing operations are based at corporate headquarters.

Use these articles to improve your email marketing performance.