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  • Writer's pictureEmily Bingham

The Complete Guide To Effective Email Marketing For Small Businesses

Updated: May 21, 2023

email marketing

Are you looking to grow your small business? Do you want to start making real money from your website? You need to be getting into email marketing.

Email marketing is a marketing tool that allows you to stay in touch with your customers and promote your business. Particularly the surprisingly big population that’s not on social media. If you’re not using it, your small business is seriously missing out on a huge amount of conversions.

If you’re new to email marketing for small businesses, don’t worry. I’m going to guide you through my complete guide to effective email marketing for small businesses. Let’s get into it.

What Is Email Marketing?

To many millennials and Gen Z’ers, emails are merely an archaic form of instant messaging. But, for small businesses, emails are a means of direct communication with your customers.

Email marketing is how businesses send a message to get customers or leads to take action. This can be anything from a newsletter to a product update with a purchase link. You can even promote your blog posts with email marketing.

Email marketing allows you to stay on your customers’ minds by showing up in their inboxes. And it’s a great way to learn more about your customers. Through segmentation and metrics, you can learn exactly what works and what doesn’t for your customers.

Benefits of Using Email Marketing For Small Businesses

Email marketing is the most powerful marketing tool your small business can have in its marketing toolkit. Even more effective than social media.

Why? Because, unlike social media, email is not subject to any algorithms.

Plus, email marketing also allows you to target the percentage of people who aren’t on social media. I mean, EVERYONE has an email address. It’s almost as important as a SIN number these days.

Here are some other benefits of using email marketing for your small business.

Staying On Your Customers’ Minds

Through regular emails, your business can stay top of mind for your customers. Emails also keep the lines of communication open with your subscribers.

You can update your customers on new products. Or, you can create a newsletter wrapping up this month’s blog posts. It's by far one of the best ways to market your business without ads.

High ROI

ROI stands for Return on Investment, which is what you make from what you spend. Email marketing has the highest ROI of all marketing tactics. That’s what makes email marketing for small businesses so effective.

According to this email marketing report, the ROI on 4400%. So, for every dollar you spend, you make $44. That’s a lot of bang for your buck if you ask me.

Better Customer Relations

As I said before, email is a direct line of communication between you and your customers. It allows you to develop a better relationship with them by learning. And, customers love when they get personalized service.

Email marketing is also a great way to learn more about your customers. You can send out surveys or ask for feedback to learn more about what to do in future campaigns.

More Sales

Shoppers that receive email offers are 138% more likely to spend than with regular ads. Even if they deliver the same thing.

Ads aren’t personalized and exclusive, like email offers. Customers want to feel special. When they do, they will choose you over your competitors every time.

How To Start An Effective Email Marketing Campaign

For success at email marketing for small businesses, you’ll need to learn your customer’s needs and meet them. But before that, you have to plan for your campaign, starting with your goals.

Plan Your Email Marketing Goals

Set goals for your email marketing campaigns. Remember to align these goals with your overall business goals.

What do you want to accomplish with email marketing?

  • Do you want to raise brand awareness or create customer loyalty?

  • Do you want to showcase a new product or service?

  • Do you want to drive more sales?

Build An Email List

You can’t send emails to your customers or blog readers without their permission. You need to start building an email list.

You can ask for emails from your customers. Or you can use something a little more tactful like a lead magnet.

According to OptinMonster, 5 things make up a good lead magnet:

  1. It’s available NOW.

  2. It solves a problem.

  3. It has noticeable results.

  4. It’s easy to read.

  5. It’s full of valuable information.

Here is a list of some really good lead magnets you can use to bring in some email subscribers.

  • A free printable or download.

To advertise your lead magnet, put a banner, sidebar, or pop-up on your website. You can even put it in the CTA of your blog posts.

Get An Email Marketing Platform

There are a lot of email marketing platforms out there, each with unique features. Here are a few of the best.

  • MailChimp: An all-in-one with multiple features and great metric reports.

  • Mailer Lite: An inexpensive alternative to Mailchimp that’s easy to use and gives you all your needed metrics.

  • Ascend By Wix: An email marketing plugin that is included when you purchase a Wix website and domain.

  • Squarespace: An email marketing plugin that can be installed on your Squarespace website.

Different Types of Emails To Use In Your Campaign

Your email campaign should play out like a journey, where the destination is conversion. Start with an intro sequence. The first email should thank the subscriber for joining your email list. Plus, it should give them what was promised in the lead magnet.

The next email should tell them about your business and what you offer. Then, you can get into different types of emails that meet your audience’s needs.

Here are the different types of marketing emails that you can use.

Acquisition Emails:

Acquisition emails are creative offers that lead further toward conversion. These are for people who have joined your email list but haven’t become customers yet. These customers are also known as leads.

Here’s an example. When someone signs up for your boutique’s newsletter, lead them toward a purchase with a discount code.

Promotional Emails

Promotional emails reward your email subscribers and customers with specialized offers. You can send updates or promote new products. If you own a service-based business, you can keep clients updated with new services.

Here’s an example of a promotional email. Sending customers info about new products coming to your craft store.

Retention Emails

Retention emails are for past customers that haven’t interacted with your business lately or subscribers that haven’t been opening your emails. They help you lure customers back before they slip through your hands.

For example, if a subscriber hasn’t been opening your emails, sending a retention email with a subscriber-exclusive reward will help them to come back.


Newsletters provide your customers and subscribers with valuable knowledge and updates. They really help you stay relevant. You can use exclusive tidbits or write roundups for your monthly blog posts.

For example, if you have a consulting business, you can put exclusive tidbits of advice in your emails that you can’t find anywhere else, like on your podcast or blog.

Structuring A Successful Marketing Email

Email copywriting is a lot like social media copywriting. It has to be short and sweet. But most of all, it needs to be punchy. It has to grab attention right from the get-go. Otherwise, it’s going to end up getting deleted.

Here are some tips on how to structure a successful marketing email that won’t end up in the trash bin.

  • In the “From” field, you should have your name and business email. For example, “Emily,” Both the name and business email are clearly descriptive of my business.

  • Next, is the “Subject” line. The subject line is the most important part of the whole email. This is what needs to be attention-grabbing.

  • The body text is the meat and potatoes of your marketing email. This is where all your promotional content or otherwise will be placed. Make sure that you’re copywriting is as engaging as possible. Include links to relevant articles and products.

Don’t forget that all of your emails should have an option for your readers to unsubscribe. It’s not polite, it’s policy.

Managing An Effective Email Marketing Campaign

As time goes by, you’ll learn what your customers like and dislike. You can learn from metrics like open rates, un-subscriptions, and bounce rates.

A/B Testing

A great way to learn more about your audience is to group them, also called segmenting. It’s a good idea to do this when you’re first starting your email marketing campaign.

Segment your audience into 2-3 groups. Create a completely different email with the same offer for each group to see what works for your email campaign.

Surveys and Feedback

Send out a survey to narrow down and segment your audience further by interest. This also helps you to customize email campaigns and show your customers more targeted offers.

Here’s an example. Ask your customers for feedback like how frequently they would like to receive emails. Or, ask your subscriber leads if they’d like to receive updates about your business.

Do You Need Help Creating Irresistible Emails? Let’s Talk!

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to creating effective emails for your campaign, it’s okay. You can delegate it to someone who CAN!

When you hire a copywriter like me, the time and stress of good copywriting are out of your hands, and into the hands of a pro. And it’s there that you can trust the success of your email campaign.

If you need an effective copywriter to help you create newsletters or other marketing emails, contact me! Let’s have a chat about how my copywriting skills can help your email campaign succeed.

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