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How to Start Email Marketing: A complete Guide

Start email marketing

Email marketing has been a critical component of digital marketing for over three decades. With the increasing number of people who use email, it has become an essential tool for businesses of all sizes and industries. This comprehensive guide will help you learn how to start email marketing and show you how to use it to drive results for your business.

Why should you do email marketing?

Email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing channel. Based on a report from Litmus you get a return of $36 on every $1 spent.

This is laregly because email marketing platforms are relatively cheap. Many of them also offer free tiers.

You pay a fixed monthly cost for email marketing platforms and you don’t need large budgets.

You don’t need to be an expert in email marketing or a seasoned developer to get started. Email marketing platforms are easy to use and most of them offer support.

If you can automate your email sends you can make money with very little input.

Email marketing allows you to get the most out of the exist traffic on your website. Getting traffic can be costly, email marketing helps you retain potential customers and maximise your ROI from other paid marketing channels.

You can build brand loyalty through email marketing. Sending your subscribers valuable content will keep them coming back to your website.

I could go on but I think I had most of you at a $36 return on every dollar spent! So lets dive into how you can start email marketing for your business.

Define your objectives for email marketing

You don’t need to start drawing out complex data flow diagrams but before you go any further create a list of objectives for your email marketing. This will prepare you for the next steps.

What do you want to achieve with email marketing?

Before you start email marketing define your most important goal. If you run an online store the goal might simply be to get more sales.

If you sell services to other businesses your goal might be lead nurturing. That is the process of acquiring contact details of a potential customer and sending a series of emails to educate them about your services.

You might simply want to drive traffic to your website. For this a weekly newsletter might be sufficient.

Having a clear goal will help you pick the right platform to use which will drive your cost for email marketing.

When defining your goal remember to not only think about the benefits to your business but your customers. Why would they open your emails, what’s in it for them?

Building an Email List

The next step is to build an email list of subscribers. There are several ways of doing this, some of which include:

Social Media – If you are promoting your content or products on social media you link off to landing pages and forms where subscribers can sign up for future updates or newsletters.

Blogging platforms – If you write content, publish it across different blogging platforms like Medium and Substack. Substack actually has built in newsletter functionality. We will discuss it a bit more in a bit more detail later.

On your website – Offer your subscribers a reason to sign up, it could be a free e-book or a discount on your products. Test different sign up options including a popup. If you don’t know how to write the code for a form and then integrate it with an email marketing platform, you need not worry. Most email marketing platforms have a subscriber form feature and they are pretty easy to setup.

Learn how to build an engaged email list.

Choosing an Email Marketing Service

Once you have a list of subscribers, you will need an email marketing service to manage and send your emails. There are many options to choose from, each with its own features and pricing. Some popular email marketing services include Mailchimp, Sendinblue, and Klavyio. When choosing an email marketing service, consider the features you need, the size of your email list, and your budget.

This is where your objectives come into play. If you run an online store you want to create a series of cart abandonment emails. In order to do that you need a tool that will integrate with your e-commerce platform. Klaviyo might be the right choice for you.

If you want something that is cost-effective and offers features like subscriber forms and automation on their free tier, Sendinblue is a good choice. Especially if you want to do a mix of marketing and transactional emails.

Read our article about some of the top email marketing platforms.

Pick a domain for your from address

When you send emails they are sent from a pre-defined domain. You need to be the owner of this domain so it can be verified. It will form the part of your sending email address after the @ symbol.

It is tempting to use your website’s domain but that can be risky. If your email sends get you blacklisted it can damage your website.

The domain you pick should be associated with your brand. For example, if you website is you could use as your email sending domain.

Whichever domain you pick, it must be registered for more than 90 days. This is to do with domain reputation and trust.

If you don’t have a spare domain then you can create a sub domain, for example ‘’.

Create a welcome series

A welcome email series is a sequence of automated emails that are sent to new subscribers when they join your email list. The goal of a welcome email series is to build a relationship with your subscribers, provide value, and encourage them to take action. Your welcome email series should include a welcome message, an introduction to your business, and a call-to-action to your best content or offers.

Try to spread your welcome emails out for a few days or even weeks and send at least three.

Design your emails

Now that you have everything up and running you can start designing your emails. Your emails should be visually appealing, easy to read, and aligned with your brand. Make sure to include a clear call-to-action in each email and use engaging images and graphics.

Stay on brand – Replicate the style of your website. Use the same brand colours and tone in your copy.

Stay on message – Don’t overwhelm your subscribers with content heavy emails. Pick a topic for your email and stick to it. For example, if your email is about promoting a product then don’t go off on a tangent and start including links to blog articles.

Write engaging content – Your content should be relevant, valuable, and interesting to your subscribers. It should also include a clear call-to-action that encourages subscribers to take action. Use storytelling, personalization, and humor to create a connection with your subscribers and keep them engaged.

Measure your results

Finally, it’s important to measure and improve your results. Your email marketing service should provide detailed analytics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Use this data to make informed decisions about your email marketing strategy and improve your results over time.

So there you have it, starting email marketing for business is not difficult or expensive. The results will grow your business and I have never really come across a business with a negative ROI from email marketing.

If you need help getting started get in touch for a free consultation.