Email Marketing

A beginner’s guide to email marketing.

This blog is aimed at helping all types of small businesses.

I’ve included my top tips from my own experience of working on many successful email campaigns to promote B2B events and publications.

1. Choose your email platform.

I use MailChimp. It’s one of the best and most loved.

It’s free for a basic package and easy to use. They have many useful features. For example they have tools and a blog to help you comply with the GDPR.

2. Build your subscriber list.

Clean, up-to-date and relevant email addresses are essential. These are your customers.

Prompt your sign-up forms when a customer orders, on social media, your website, email signature or wherever you can. Use incentives such as competitions and exclusive offers.

Remember to comply with GDPR. Use a double opt-in form to ensure subscribers have given you permission to contact them.

3. Email design.

An attractive email design that compliments your brand will be your base.

Your email platform will have lots of good design features. If you can afford it, a graphic designer can add some subtle touches and create a unique look.

Most people read emails on their phone. Always test to see how it looks.

Add natural links on keywords and break up long paragraphs with spaces and sub-headings.

4. Create separate email lists.

A big advantage of email, is that you can tailor and personalise emails to different groups of people.

You do this by creating separate email lists. Your email provider will have the tools to help you with this.

For example, if you have an online shop, you can send personalised emails relating to what your customers have ordered in the past.

Or, if you provide a service or run an event, you can email past customers with an early-bird offer or discount for their next purchase.

Attracting past customers has high potential. It’s much easier than finding new ones.

5. A clear purpose in mind.

What do you want the customer to do as a result of reading your email?

Buy something, visit your website for more information?

Or are you focusing on building a rapport and brand-building?

Keep your style consistent. Don’t cram in too much information.

6. Content.

Start with an enticing subject line.

Be creative and daring, it’s competitive out there!

Emojis in subject lines are a popular and fun way of conveying a friendly vibe. But this will depend on your target audience.

Take advantage of the preview text (the first few words from your email that can be viewed before you open it).

Sign-up to lots of newsletters to see what others are doing.

Use media, GIFs, video, or photos to make an impact. Pixabay and Upsplash are good for high quality free images.

Keeping your message simple and sweet can be effective.

Try a short, plain text email with 2-3 compelling sentences and one link to your website.

A plain text email is more likely to get through spam filters.

For all other email campaigns, add a call to action button.

They really do encourage people to click and visit your website.

7. Types of email campaigns.

Find your voice, and create some effective emails.

It would take a whole other blog to talk about campaigns and ways to tackle email marketing.

Here’s a few pointers and campaign types to get you started.

Campaign types.

  • Thank-you and welcome
  • Monthly newsletter
  • Competitions and discounts
  • Image-led product promotions
  • Video promotions
  • New product launch
  • Employee profiles or meet the team
  • Reviews and testimonials
  • Events – lots of build-up emails

Campaign ideas.

Ask your customers or trusted colleagues why people go to you.

Use the reasons as a basis for a campaign.

Plan ahead.

What’s coming up in your business?

Is there a prominent time of year for you?

Write your promotions in advance.

For an event or promotion start with ‘A date for your diary’ email, way in advance of the event. Then build up to it.

  • What’s it about?
  • What will be there?
  • Who will be there?
  • How can the reader benefit?

People like to plan in advance, so put your business out there.

Remind people what you do and how it will benefit them.

Don’t forget the basics, people need to know what you do.

Testimonials and reviews (especially by well known, respected people) and photos of happy customers help build trust.

Set up templates.

If you’re short on time, set up templates.

Take the time initially to come up with a few ideas on what you’re going to write. General news, product info, help and tips etc.

And then just amend the copy and images for each email.

From experience, a short and sweet email with one link (and maybe one image) can be very effective. It may be all you need to convince your reader to take action.

8. Number of email hits and events.

A build-up campaign works well with email.

Events especially, or leading up to a promotion. You can really build up the momentum. Increase your emails towards the finale of an event.

For newsletters or general promos, keep it light. Once-twice a month is my limit for newsletters.

I hope you enjoyed my blog.

If you would like me to plan and write your emails or newsletters, please do get in touch.

Good luck with your campaigns.


Useful email marketing blogs.

4 Predictions for email marketing in 2020. The UK Domain

Learn the basics of creating email campaigns Mailchimp

6 Local proven email marketing ideas for small businesses Vertical Response

6 Effective ways to use video in email marketing Hubspot – good for B2B but all can benefit.

How to find your target audience and create content they care about 123 Reg blog