Email marketing for beginners

Updated: Jun 15

Quick question: what channel of marketing do you think has the highest return on investment? Social media? Nope? Paid ads? Think again. It's Email marketing!


Did you know that Email marketing’s average return on investment (ROI) is 122%?


We've all gotten those promotional emails from brands or companies we follow, "50% OFF CLEARANCE- TODAY ONLY'. Something like that, right? Sometimes it feels like we're being bombarded with these messages constantly.


*This is your reminder to unsubscribe to that sender*


Email marketing is a tool that business owners can use to reach out to their customers or subscribers. This underrated form of marketing lets you reach a large audience at once. And, when done correctly, can lead to increased sales and business growth.

laptop displaying gmail, the Email platform for Google

What exactly can I send to people?

As a business owner, it's important to understand how to create an email marketing campaign that will engage your subscribers and encourage them to take action. First, you need to know the different types of emails you can compose and send.


For starters, every new subscriber should receive a welcome email from you entailing what your messages will be about and a quick introduction to yourself and your company... maybe even a special discount!


Now, you could send a number of different types such as promotional, newsletters, sales & promotions, and updates. It depends on what industry you're in or whether you're providing a product or service because you'll find yourself using some more than others. For example, as a restaurant owner, you'd likely want to focus on promotional content such as new items, specials, happy hours, etc.


On one side, you have promotional emails which highlight what products or services they offer - not too far off is event sale-email reminders; these give customers a sense of urgency as this awesome deal will expire soon.


It's newsletters that keep your subscribers engaged with valuable content related to your (or their) industry. That might be the only thing keeping them subscribing! Company updates can be included in newsletters, but if you want to stretch out your content, by all means, send a quick update to your fans!


A whopping 333 billion emails are sent every day in 2022- earthweb

Building your list

There are many different ways you can build your email list. One way to do so, (and the one every business should have), is to include a banner on your website's homepage to sign up for emails. And if you don't have a website, well, head here. On top of that, driving targeted website traffic from social media is another great strategy, as these visitors will be more likely to sign up after seeing the banner you've prominently displayed on your homepage.


Additionally, asking for contact information when customers place online orders can be a great way to capture leads, since these customers have already shown an interest in your business by making a purchase. Ultimately, it takes some creativity and persistence to build a strong email list, you could come up with your own ways if you really wanted to.



Segmentation goes a long way

Now that you have a list to send to, it's time to segment your list. What does this mean? In simple terms, break up your email list (if you can) into subgroups to differentiate your client base. This can help you create more personalized emails for each subgroup instead of blasting out a mass email that maybe wouldn't apply to certain people. Hubspot is a great in-depth resource to learn how to do this properly!



"Why the heck am I sending this?"

Before you even think about creating the campaign, think to yourself, "Why the heck am I sending this?" It's crucial to have a clear and concise goal when creating a new email campaign. Why are you sending it? Who are you sending it to? What value will it provide to the recipient? If you can't answer all these questions, go back to the drawing board. If you don't know why you're sending an email, then chances are everyone you're sending to won't know either.

GIF of the action of filling out the subject line of an Email

Subject lines- simplicity is elegance

Having a good subject line will go a long way for your open rates. Come up with something that will grab people's attention and make them want to open your message. This is arguably the most important aspect of your email because people can't look at your message if they don't open it in the first place. In addition, subject lines with fewer words have been shown to produce better open rates.


Spice things up. Don't be a robot promoting your product with all these cliche headlines. Email marketing can feel cold and impersonal most of the time because your goal is to ultimately convert readers into customers. In order to really connect with your reader on a personal level, try using email marketing to tell stories. Share stories about your company, your products, your customers, or anything else that will help your readers to understand who you are and what you're all about. By sharing stories, you'll add a human touch that will keep readers engaged and lead them further down into the meat of your message.


Design your email

Now it's time to build out your email. Make sure that your email is well-designed before anything else (create an email in a way that guides the reader). Photos, videos, and even gifs are a great way to fill space in your email while adding engaging content at the same time.


Tap into your inner architect and build out the bones of your email. Figure out how you want it to look and what you want people to read first, and so on. In fact, stop reading for a second and sketch out a quick email design. What does it look like? Where are your headlines, photos, text, etc?


Bonus tip: as a general rule of thumb, your text-to-image ratio should be around 60:40.


Cellphone displaying an Email from Shopify


What do I say?

Well, you could get straight to the point and tell people why you're emailing them but do you really want to come off as desperate? Introduce yourself. Let your subscribers know that there's a person behind this email, and make the introduction about THEM, not YOU. Ask how they've been, or if they've visited your store lately. Again, depends on your audience. Below I provided a template that I personally find useful from backlinko.com. The full version goes more in-depth, check it out here.



Add a personal touch

Spice things up. Don't be a robot promoting your product with all these cliche headlines. Email marketing can feel cold and impersonal most of the time because your goal is to ultimately convert readers into customers. In order to really connect with your reader on a personal level, try using email marketing to tell stories. Share stories (as I mentioned above) about your company, your products, your customers, or anything else that will help your readers to understand who you are and what you're all about. By sharing stories, you'll add a human touch that will keep readers engaged and lead them further down into the meat of your message.



Easily track metrics

Much like everything else in digital marketing, it's easy to track metrics like the number of email opens and clicks through email marketing software. This will tell you how many people are opening and taking action through your campaigns, such as clicking through your links. By tracking these metrics, you can get a better sense of whether your email marketing campaigns are effective. I must reiterate, how can you go wrong with digital marketing?!



So there you have it - a basic guide to email marketing for small businesses. It will take some time and experimentation to figure out what works best for your unique business, so don’t be afraid to start! The potential ROI is great, and as long as you keep refining and testing your campaigns, you should see positive results in due time. Now get to designing your first Emails if you haven't already! Need help getting set up? Get in touch with us. We would love to help you get started with the right strategy.


P.S. If you want to join our weekly newsletter, click here!


Thanks for reading!

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All