A Beginner’s Guide To Email Marketing

By: Rachael Seda

Just like your social media efforts, email marketing is used to build relationships with your audience. But unlike social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, your email will reach your desired recipient every single time, unless a technical error occurs (bounces/incorrect address etc). This is why it’s important to ensure that you have a catchy subject line and valuable content within your email. Take just a second to think about how many emails you receive from brands everyday. Which ones do you open and why?

When built correctly, your email list can become a significant source of income for your business. In fact, email marketing “drives $44 for every $1 spent”, according to a study by Campaign Monitor. It also produces 174% more conversions than social media. All these numbers mean that building an email list is 100% worth our time and efforts, but if you’re a beginner or your business is brand new, how do you get started? Follow this guide and you’ll be well on your way to building a loyal audience who’s excited to buy from you every time you release a new product or service.

Step 1) Choose your email service provider.

When choosing a platform to build your list on, there are a few key items you’ll want to consider:

  • Does the platform charge a flat fee monthly, no matter how many subscribers you have or is it based on the number of subscribers?
  • What features are most important to you? Do you need split A/B testing for subject lines when you’re first drafting up an email campaign? Do you want to create your emails from templates or from scratch?
  • Does it need to integrate with an e-commerce store? How easy is it to add sign-up forms to your website? Can you create stand alone landing pages?

Our favorite provider is Flodesk. We use it for our own email marketing, and have recommended it to a number of our marketing clients. It has beautiful templates, allows you to test two different subject lines, and is overall very user-friendly. You can sign up using THIS link and get 50% OFF.

Step 2) Create your lead magnet.

No one is handing out their email for “free” these days. Remember when we asked you to think about how many emails you get in a day? Keep this in mind when you first launch your list. To get sign-ups (of people who are actually interested in what you have to offer), you’ll want to create a high value lead magnet. A downloadable, checklist, or guide that your target audience would actually pay money for. Of course, you don’t want to give ALL your secrets away in this lead magnet, but you should be sharing enough that it makes them want to click that “Sign Me Up” button.

One of our favorite tools to use for lead magnets is Canva. This is one of the easiest graphic design platforms to use (in our professional opinion), and they also offer a wide array of templates from social media posts to YouTube intros. If you’re not design-savvy, don’t worry, you can head over to Creative Market and search “freebie template” or “lead magnet”. While these aren’t free, they are well worth the investment. And the good news is that most are made in Canva, so you don’t need Adobe experience!

Once you’ve created your lead magnet, you’ll want to create two main ways for your audience to sign up–– a direct landing page that can be accessed from the link in your profile on social media and form that’s embedded on your website. Each email service provider may vary a bit on how to go about doing this, so make sure to check with your email platform if you have questions.

Step 3) Create your email strategy.

Now that you’ve created your lead magnet, it’s time to put some strategy behind it. It’s important to remember that your email marketing feeds directly into the overall marketing strategy for your business. If you plan your holistic marketing strategy quarterly, you’ll want to do the same for email. If you plan half a year at a time, your email should follow suit. Here are a few key questions you’ll want to ask yourself when planning your email marketing strategy:

  • What new product/service launches do I have coming up in the next month/quarter/year?
  • How many different segments do I need right now? (if you have different goals for your audience)
  • What type(s) of automated sequences do I need to set up? (so you can make $$$ in your sleep)

Once you’ve answered those questions, you’re ready to set up your sequence(s) in your email provider. Once again, these can vary based on provider so make sure to review the help docs if you have any questions. Psst.. Flodesk is very straightforward and we recommend this provider to everyone–– whether you’re an email marketing pro or just starting out.

Remember that your email marketing strategy should evolve as your business grows and your goals change. We recommend reviewing any welcome sequences at least every quarter, but preferably anytime an offer changes.

PS: We’ve included our Email Subject Line Cheat Sheet to help you kick things off. This Google Doc is “View Only” so you’ll want to click “File” > “Make A Copy” to save it to your computer.