Miami Herald.com:

Whitney Zimet, a busy Miami mom, has figured out a way to build her small business during all hours. She mingles with other moms, hoping to cajole them into giving her their e-mail addresses. Then, she adds the coveted address to the distribution list for her e-newsletter, I am the Maven, filled with coupons from advertisers.

Even with texting and social media making headlines, e-mail marketing is emerging as a powerful factor in promoting business. Retailers are using it to draw customers to their stores and websites. Groups are using it to promote events and workshops. Charities are using it to raise funds. And, moms are using to create home businesses.

Those using it say it’s effective and efficient. New research shows it’s going to be an even bigger force going forward, particularly with more people reading e-mail on their smart phones.

Zimet started her I am the Maven business by giving out tote bags through local schools stuffed with coupons from her advertisers. Now, she has formed a relationship with 4,000 people who receive her weekly e-mail newsletters that feature her “maven-recommended” places to shop or eat. “It’s like a girlfriend telling you what’s so great about a place,” she says.

Logo from I Am The Maven