They key to email marketing is to build a strong and responsive list. This can be done a number of ways and should be done at the start of your internet marketing career. The way that you need to look at it is like this: With out a list of people you have no customers and just think of how much money walmart would make if they had no customers. Not that much at all right? That's right, there are many many ways to build a email list and some of those ways would be article marketing, blogging, forum posting, using video and social networking tools.
Once you start to build your email list you need to start to build the relationship with your friends. Once they can learn to trust you they will learn to buy from you. This is just the way it is with any business. If they do not trust you how would you ever expect them to buy from you.
You have to treat email marketing as a business and be smart about what emails you are sending out. You cant just blast them with offer and offer and ask yourself why they are not buying from you. This just wont work. You have got to send them some great free quality content. Once they can learn a free things from you and pick up the basics then you can slowly offer them services or products that are going to help them out with there daily life or business.