Beginner’s email marketing guide for small businesses

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This article was originally published on July 16, 2015, and was updated on June 7, 2018, and August 5, 2019.
Since you ’ ra learn this electronic mail market steer, it ’ second credibly dependable to assume that you already see some measure in e-mail market for your clientele. I ’ ll take the opportunity anyhow to mention a few salient points about electronic mail and why marketing and electronic mail go together well .
about one-half of all people worldwide use e-mail. That ’ s about 3.9 billion people ( including about 233 million in the U.S. ), according to 2019 stats. It ’ randomness estimated that the issue of e-mail users worldwide will top 4.3 billion by 2023. Yup, e-mail ’ mho popular.

Email selling is a vibrant and herculean means to connect with people .

Email is a function of our lives. A very big separate. And if you run a business, electronic mail market can play a critical function in your success. In fact, 59 % of consumers say e-mail market influences their decision to purchase .
quick to get in on some of that military action ? Good .

Email marketing guide: Covering the basics

here ’ second what we ’ re going to cover in this entry-level electronic mail commercialize guide :
Let ’ s get down started .
Man At Desk On Smartphone Illustrates Email Contact List
right off the bat, let ’ s get some terminology out of the way .
You ’ ll frequently hear of opt-in and permission-based e-mail market. Both of these terms mean that your subscribers gave you permission to email them. And that ’ s significant .
With the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation ( GDPR ), following the rules regarding your electronic mail subscribers ’ data privacy has never been more critical .
permission can come in a assortment of ways, including being an active customer or filling out a form on your web site .

The key thing is that they specifically gave you — not another company — license to send them specific types of emails .

With electronic mail lists, bigger is not dear. In fact, there are benefits to “ cleaning ” your number frequently. From a monetary point of view, you ’ ll save yourself some expenses .
If 30 % of your list is absolutely unresponsive, why wage for it ? But there ’ s a more compelling reason to keep your list healthy : manner of speaking !
Related : Beginner ’ s lead to starting an electronic mail list
No e-mail marketing guide would be complete with some recommendations for building a contact ( aka subscriber ) list .

  1. Write a strong call-to-action on or near your signup form. Tell people exactly why they should subscribe. Perhaps they’ll enjoy special offers, exclusive content or a quote of the day. What’s in it for them?
  2. Create a relevant online quiz. With a quiz-hosting platform, you can trade quiz results for the quiz taker’s email address. And who knows — it might just go viral!
  3. Host a virtual conference. Interview leaders in your industry and market the series of recorded interviews as a virtual conference. Ask “attendees” to subscribe to your email list to gain access to the content.
  4. Share your signup form in your content. Yep — right in the middle of a blog post! When you make a particularly strong point, follow it up with a newsletter plug: “To receive more ideas like this in your inbox, subscribe to my email list.” Include a link to your signup form.
  5. Offer to give new subscribers something special on their birthday. Whether it’s a coupon, a freebie, or a social media shoutout, most people like it when other people — and brands — acknowledge their big day.
  6. Create a free email-based course. Cull your best content and organize it into a series of autoresponders. Create a special signup form for the course and spread the word.
  7. Host a contest on social media. Offer a drool-worthy prize and tell folks they can secure an entry by subscribing to your fabulous newsletter.
  8. Offer a new-subscriber discount. Let folks know that as soon as they subscribe, they’ll receive a one-time promo code or print-ready coupon. Set up an autoresponder to deliver your discount.

Related : Best human body builders for gathering contact information

Your contact list and delivery

Your delivery is affected more by your list health than anything else .
If your recipients have no mind who you are, they ’ ll distinguish your emails as spam .

If your list contains “ spam traps ” or old e-mail addresses from accounts that haven ’ triiodothyronine been logged into in years, internet servicing providers ( ISPs ) like Gmail give attention to that. They start assuming the worst and might even start sending your emails to the spam booklet .
Trash Cans Represent Spam Email

Signup forms

The most common way to grow your list ( healthily ) is to add a signup form to your web site .

While you can add an electronic mail signup mannequin anywhere, I ’ five hundred recommend placing it somewhere obvious on your web site ’ s home page .

You can besides share the URL for your signup form anywhere you like, including on social media .
Related : How to create a liaison form in GoDaddy GoCentral
If you ’ rhenium interacting with people in person, have a signup sail handy and ask visitors and customers to give you their e-mail addresses and other information .

What information to collect

many people collect information beyond barely the e-mail savoir-faire — like name, city, department of state and more. Depending on what character of occupation you run, this information may or may not be pertinent .
Consider your e-mail marketing goals .

GoDaddy Website Builder Show Contact Form Button On By DefaultWill it be important to be able to sort your contacts by state or ZIP code? A band on tour might need this, but a web-based business might not. Would you like to send an automated email to customers on their birthdays?
Will it be important to be able to sort your contacts by state of matter or ZIP code ? A band on go might need this, but a web-based business might not. Would you like to send an automated electronic mail to customers on their birthdays ? If you ’ re not certain whether you need lots of information, you probably don ’ triiodothyronine .
And a dim-witted signup form might seem less daunting to electric potential subscribers .
Editor’s note: GoDaddy Email Marketing includes a signup shape for your business ’ sulfur web site or Facebook page. Plus, this elegant but easy-to-use electronic mail market cock seamlessly integrates with our Website Builder and Managed WordPress Hosting .
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Email content

here ’ s the REAL cause you ’ rhenium e-mail : You want to connect with your customers and fans .

You want to provide prize, keep them informed, and give them a act of enjoyment in their feverish day .

You besides want them to read your following matchless, to share it with friends, and to stay loyal customers. Don ’ triiodothyronine lose sight of that .
And how do you do that ?

Email marketing topics

Brewing Coffee Illustrates Email Marketing Content IdeaStart by sitting down and asking yourself, “What do I look forward to receiving in my inbox? What can I share that my customers might not know? If I were my customer, what would I find interesting?”
begin by sitting down and asking yourself, “ What do I look fore to receiving in my inbox ? What can I share that my customers might not know ? If I were my customer, what would I find matter to ? ” These could be personal stories about a product, the chef ’ sulfur inspiration behind a newfangled dish, or newsworthiness about the industry you ’ re in .
If you ’ ra informing, you ’ re already being interesting. If you ’ ra interesting, it won ’ thymine feel like an ad .
Say your commercial enterprise is selling small-batch roasted coffee beans. A weekly electronic mail that highlights assorted ways to prepare coffee, from cold press to stove-top percolators ( my favorite ! ), would be perfect. Talk roasting techniques or why the foreman coffee poobah created a blend of dark-roasted Sumatran beans and medium roasted Arabica or … you get the target. As a passionate chocolate drinker, I ’ vitamin d find this absorbing and I ’ five hundred be inspired to try out those techniques or raw blends .
Related : electronic mail newsletter ideas you can use correct now

Email length

I ’ m a fan of being concise. I like to be able to scan an e-mail cursorily and “ get it. ”
If you have a bunch to say on a specific subject, consider hosting the unharmed article on your web site or blog and linking to it from your electronic mail. That ’ randomness one of the goals of e-mail marketing — to drive more traffic to your site .
If your readers need 10 minutes to get through your e-mail, it ’ south probably excessively long .

If you ’ re sending a newsletter with a long ton of valuable information, consider organizing it into sections and including a clickable postpone of contents. This is sometimes referred to as creating “ named anchors. ” here ’ s how to do it .


A call-to-action ( aka CTA ) is an solicitation to your readers — a request that they do something in finical .

A good market electronic mail is built around a primary call-to-action, whether it ’ s clicking through to an article, buying a newly product, or checking out your events calendar .

once you ’ ve determined your primary call-to-action, make it well-defined what you want your readers to do. When designing your electronic mail :

  • Keep your layout simple and clean.
  • Don’t waste any time — get to the point quickly.
  • Place your primary call-to-action (with link) toward the top.

If your electronic mail requires readers to scroll to read to the end, you might want to reiterate your CTA toward the penetrate .
Related : 8 dearly-won call-to-action mistakes you ’ ra making on your web site

Proofreading emails

Simply put, full write matters. Don ’ t distract your readers with misprint or exhaust them with besides many exclamation marks. Before you hit “ commit, ” heed these three pieces of advice :

  • Ban passivity from your writing.
  • Cut the fluff.
  • Phrase things in a more interesting way.

And have an eagle-eyed acquaintance proofread your e-mail — it ’ randomness worth the excess step to catch run-on sentences and inadequate grammar .
Related : 5 tools to improve your written communication skills
Edits on Paper Illustrate Proofreading Emails
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Email design

major blogs and publications normally have a main title, an article heading, possibly a teaser ( I call this a subheading ) and then some text. Oh, and an prototype. This works great for emails, excessively. Pretty neat and easy to read, right ?
While double column might seem attractive because good, you ’ ve seen emails with that format, it ’ s a “ noisy ” format that distracts from your message. Keep it simple !
Keep Email Formatting Uncluttered To Focus Readers On Your Message Graphic With Mailbox

The banner is a logo or an image that goes right up at the top of your electronic mail. closely every web site you ’ ll ever visit has something similar .

The streamer image is the first step to branding your electronic mail, and since it makes the first gear impression, it ’ south vitally authoritative !

To create a banner image, you ’ ll need an image-editing application ( on-line or desktop ) or a acquaintance with design skills. If you ’ re the DIY type, here are some resources to help you get started with image edit :
Import your logo into an image-editing application and do any necessary cultivate and resize. Don ’ metric ton go overboard with some elaborate design — your ship’s company name is normally adequate .
Related : How to design a logo in 12 steps — A DIY guide
Some of the most beautiful and effective e-mail banners are precisely pictures .
For brick-and-mortar stores, try using a photograph of your patronize with the name captured in the frame. The point is, have a banner visualize ! It ’ s your brand. even if it ’ sulfur plainly your business name in boastfully block letters, that ’ s fine. It ’ s easy to change later .
Editor’s note: Need person else to create a high-quality logo for your business, without breaking the bank ? Look into GoDaddy ’ s Logo Design Service .

Color scheme

tinge can set the vibration of your emails, whether you ’ re going for a calm effect with subdued grays and blues or “ party time ” with neon and black .

A fashionable, well-thought-out color scheme ties everything together and plays a function in emphasizing important information and links.

Closeup Colored Pencils Represent Email Color SchemeThere are plenty of ready-made color schemes out there, but I like to create my own. In GoDaddy Email Marketing, you can create a custom theme (aka There are plenty of cliched color schemes out there, but I like to create my own. In GoDaddy Email Marketing, you can create a customs composition ( aka template ) with your favorite colors and fonts. Grab ideas, inspiration and guidance from your web site and your streamer picture .
hera ’ s where a color-picking tool comes in handy. The color picker — like this one — will give you the exact color, normally in the form of a hexadecimal semblance code .
The “ hex ” code is a six-character code made up of numbers and letters .
thus if you hover the color picker over a color in your standard, you ’ ll get the hexadecimal code. then you can use that same color in your custom-made e-mail theme .
Related : How to choose brand colors and use them on your web site

Tips for creating a great color scheme

here are some suggestions for coming up with a color scheme for compelling emails :

  1. Find your boldest color. It could be a bright red, a dark blue or a green that just stands out. It’s usually an eye-catching color in your banner or on your website. Use this for section titles and links.
  2. Keep it readable. Keep the inner background color behind your text white or something light. Dark text on white background is very easy to read.
  3. Set a neutral outer background. Make your outer background a light gray or something similar. This allows your content to be the focus and helps make it pop.
  4. Use a strong dark border. This highlights the space you want your readers to focus on and can help make your content “float” above the outer areas.
  5. Experiment with heading colors. You can’t go wrong with simple here. I tend to make my headings a dark charcoal and the subheading a medium (but readably dark) gray. These colors work with nearly every theme.
  6. Keep it common. Paragraph text should be a very dark shade of gray. Many designers say that off-black is the most readable font color, and I suggest using color codes #222222 or #444444.

Related : How to choose brand colors and use them on your web site


Fonts matter, excessively .
Your readers will notice the dispute between Helvetica and Comic Sans. More subtly, there ’ s a difference in mood between Georgia and Optima. While it might not be a obvious as a jolt color scheme, using mismatched ( or curiously sized ) fonts is bit like wearing pink socks with a dinner jacket .
When in doubt, keep it elementary. The goal is to make your emails as easy to read as possible .
Related : web site typography basics for on-line businesses


Photographer Represents Using Images For Email Marketing
There are lots of great reasons to include images in emails. Online stores can include thumbnails of their cool new products. Bands can include photos from their latest show. Restaurants can show off their seasonal worker creations .
Images can be very fun and engaging .

thankfully, there ’ second rarely any reason to hire a graphic designer or pay for images. Almost everything you need can be found on your web site, your television camera, or release stock photograph sites .
A few tips for using images in emails :

  1. Don’t use too many images. Be restrained and tasteful (whatever that means to you).
  2. Make sure your images complement your content and don’t distract from it.
  3. Format your images. In GoDaddy Email Marketing, banner images are always the full width of your email — 590 pixels. You can resize other images from 79 to 554 pixels in width, with no height limitations.
  4. Avoid using images larger than 1MB. The ideal file size is less than 150KB. The smaller the file size, the faster your image will download.
    And that’s it for the mostly creative part of this email marketing guide!

following, let ’ s lecture about …
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Sending and deliverability

Of run, you don ’ thymine want to go through the attempt of creating beautiful, utilitarian and engaging emails that no one is going to open ! That ’ s where subject lines, personalization and transmitter ID come into play .

Subject lines

Don ’ thyroxine worry about the ideal sidereal day or clock to send your emails — that will drive you harebrained .
To get more people to open your emails, focus on your subject lines .

While there ’ s no such thing as the perfect subject channel, some are surely more powerful than others .
A compelling national line can only be built on a impregnable foundation garment of content, therefore make surely that your electronic mail offers value .
If you want to drive higher open rates, write contented that inspires capital capable lines. here are some tips :

  1. Be honest. “Hilarious Cat Video Inside!” is not a good subject line if your email does not contain a cat video.
  2. Be brief. Limit yourself to 10 words. Nothing bad will happen if your subject line is 11 words, but in general, concise is better.
  3. Be descriptive. If your email is all about the latest in international politics, then go with something like “North Korea at it Again and U.S.-China Relations Strained.” In a few words, it captures what the email is about and your readers will know there’s good stuff inside!
  4. Be funny. When appropriate, humorous subject lines can drive more opens — but it’s a fine line. Only be funny if you can also follow the other rules.
  5. Avoid all CAPS! No one likes being yelled at, and it might even trigger spam filters.
  6. Avoid excessive punctuation. A comma or a period is fine, but there’s really no need for five exclamation marks.
  7. Create a sense of urgency. Using phrases like “only three days left” might boost open rates.
  8. Focus on the first words. When a reader is previewing your email in the inbox, he or she might only see the first few words. Make them count.
  9. Identify yourself. Using your business name or your product name might boost open rates.
  10. Do your research. Try using the Google Trends tool to identify some strong keywords. While the tool is for SEO, it can tell you what terms people are searching for on Google, and thus, what they’re interested in.
  11. Be true to the purpose of a subject line. The purpose is a preview of the email: a handful of words that capture the essence of the subject matter.

I ’ ve always found feedback to be extremely constructive and with subject lines, getting some outside position is vital. Ask your friends and colleagues what they think the subject production line should be or have them edit your submit lines .
Better so far, come up with a few options and ask them to come up with some themselves. then decide which is best. This much results in a very effective subject line .
Related : Why email subject lines are the ultimate micro-content


On average, personalized electronic mail messages perform three times better than their generic “ blast and batch ” counterparts. That makes sense, right ?
Use your customer ’ mho mention, send them emails triggered by sealed events ( like their birthday ), and cater to their interests. Your customers will appreciate the special attention .
here ’ s how to use personalization tags with GoDaddy Email Marketing .
Related : How to use personalization to increase sales

Sender ID

Before you send your electronic mail, consider the name that will appear in your readers ’ inboxes. Who is this electronic mail from ? It ’ s from you !
As a recipient, you credibly like receiving emails from a real e-mail address, not noreply @ See the remainder ?

You can reply to a person or a business, but you ’ re never going to start up a conversation with a calculator .

If you run a minor commercial enterprise, it ’ s truly cover girl to send your emails to your readers from “ you. ” You ’ ll produce connections that way. I even recommend avoiding addresses like newsletter @ or news program @. They ’ re decent than a do-not-reply address but inactive a small stiff .
Related : Show them you know them with personalized e-mail market
now, we come to the name you ’ re going to be using .
Sending as your full name ( e.g., Dean Levitt ) might be a logical decision but not all your customers know your full name. When I sent newsletters from my previous company, I used : Mad Mimi or Dean – Mad Mimi. Both made it clear that I ’ m a real person and I represent a specific ship’s company .
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Email analytics

No electronic mail marketing guide would be complete without a section on electronic mail analytics. Why ? Stats count ! They are what you use to measure and improve your little business ’ s e-mail commercialize efforts .

Email market is about connecting with your readers and customers. Statistics are a room to affirm that the connection is being made .

It ’ randomness fun to watch the stats update after a air, but if you sit there obsessing about whether three more people will open the electronic mail tonight, electronic mail stats will become a batch less fun. And then will email commercialize .
Stats can help you learn more about your customers and fans .

Knowledge is baron. If a detail theme or subject occupation systematically gets well high stats, you ’ ll know to create like subject in the future.
Stats are something to enjoy ! It ’ south fantastic to know that 20 % of the folks you emailed yesterday read your thoughts and some even clicked through and purchased some stuff. Statistics can either be helpful or deceptive, so it ’ s full of life you understand the basics .
Email stats are about universally broken up into :

  • Views (or “opened”)
  • Clicks (or “engaged”)
  • Unsubscribes

Editor’s note: GoDaddy Email Marketing includes reports that read which emails get opened, clicked and shared. You can besides easily add Google Analytics to your account to see how hanker electronic mail subscribers stayed on your web site once they clicked through, what they clicked on, which pages they read, and where they went from there .


Man Viewing Tablet Represents Using Email Analytics To Track Views
How many people opened your e-mail ?
When a proofreader sees your electronic mail in her inbox and clicks on it, there ’ mho hush one more step before it gets counted as a view. The images need to load .
however, many email clients like Gmail and Yahoo don ’ thymine load images right off unless the transmitter is in the reader ’ sulfur address book or marked as trusted .
open rates depend on multiple factors — including solicitation practices, tilt age, sending frequency, diligence, discipline lines and your relationship with your readers .
The average view rates for bulge station are 10 % to 25 %. so, if merely a quarter of your contacts open your electronic mail, don ’ thymine worry — you ’ re doing fine ! If less than 10 % read your e-mail, it ’ second time to make some changes .


How many people clicked on a link in your e-mail ?
Click-through rates tend to be quite a bite lower than views .

many senders think of clicks as the most important statistic, but I find open to be more indicative of whether you ’ re reaching your readers and how engaged they are with your mark in general .

however, click-through rates can reflect whether you ’ re using links efficaciously .
If it ’ mho easily to click, people will. To make it easy for readers to visit your site, make all your images clickable ( including the streamer ) and seat multiple textbook links in your content .
How many people opted out ?
sometimes people just don ’ thyroxine want to receive your emails anymore. Unsubscribing doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate bastardly they hate you or that they ’ rhenium no longer customers — they just don ’ thymine want to receive emails from you right nowadays .
however, it ’ sulfur time to start worrying if more than 1 % of your list unsubscribes each time. And if your unsubscribe rate is systematically above 0.5 %, review your list and content .
Unsubscribes should not be a noticeable vogue .

If you respect your readers and are adding measure to their day with your emails, you won ’ triiodothyronine see many unsubscribes .

List maintenance

You can use your e-mail statistics to keep your number up to date. After more than about 15 sends ( or six months ), you ’ ll likely see that much more than 25 % of your readers viewed at least one e-mail. The views add up, normally to a decent, high gear number .

These are your fans — let them know you love and appreciate their loyalty !

conversely, person who never viewed an e-mail in six months credibly won ’ metric ton be interested in the future electronic mail either. Isolate them from your independent list and send them a special e-mail asking them to opt-in again, reminding them why they signed up in the first home .
If that doesn ’ thymine sour, remove these electronic mail addresses from your tilt. You ’ ll probably save money and keep your list healthy and up to date .
While you can ’ thyroxine reach everyone every time, with reproducible air, you ’ ll reach most of your hearing ( and grow your audience ). Be affected role and be positive !
Related : Why deleting electronic mail subscribers can improve your market efforts
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Wrapping up

That ’ s it — the basics of electronic mail market for your small business ! To sum up :

  1. Start building a contact list. Remember to pay close attention to subscriber opt-in details. When collecting subscriber information on your signup form, less is more.
  2. Create engaging content. Offer topics that will interest your target audience, always including a strong call-to-action. Keep your newsletter content short and snappy and link back to more information on your website or blog. And don’t forget the proofreader!
  3. Use a design that jives with your brand. Include an eye-catching banner image and limit the number of fonts.
  4. To increase open rates and click-throughs, write compelling subject lines, personalize your emails, and sign them with your name.
  5. Track and measure email marketing metrics such as views, clicks and unsubscribes to continue learning and improving your efforts. Regularly clean up your email list.

Taking those five main steps will get you well on your way to efficaciously marketing your business using e-mail. beneficial luck !
trope by : Justyna S. Santana on Unsplash

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