What is Email Marketing? 6 Tips To Help Your Business Get Started

Charlotte Evans

By Charlotte

What is Email Marketing

Did you know that email marketing could be the key ingredient to growing your business? In today's highly competitive market, it's important to stay connected with your customers and prospects in order to grow and maintain relationships with your audience, and drive sales.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of “what is email marketing”, its benefits, types of email marketing campaigns, and best practices to help you create a winning email marketing strategy for your business.

Article Summary

  • Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to reach customers, create brand awareness and drive sales.
  • Key components of email marketing include subscribers, opt-in/out forms, segmentation & more.
  • Leverage automation & best practices like double opt-in to optimize the success of campaigns.

Understanding Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful communication tool for businesses. It helps them to stay in touch with their customers and convert leads into paying customers. When done right, email marketing is an effective way to reach your target audience and achieve your email marketing goals.

The foundation of a successful email marketing campaign focuses on three key objectives:

  • driving sales
  • creating brand recognition
  • driving website traffic

Email marketing allows you to achieve these by sending your audience helpful content and promotional offers, which in turn helps to nurture and convert leads.

However, it's crucial to understand that email marketing is not just about sending out unsolicited emails to a list of people. Instead, it's a targeted, data-driven, and permission-based approach to reach your customers and prospects. This ensures that your marketing emails are relevant, engaging, and effective in achieving your marketing goals.

In addition to being a highly effective marketing channel, email marketing is also a cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes. With the right email service provider and strategy in place, you can scale your email marketing efforts to reach thousands of subscribers without breaking the bank.

The Value of Email Marketing

As a scalable marketing tool, email marketing enables businesses to reach a large number of people without incurring significant costs. An email list is one of the most valuable resources a business can have, as it can pay for itself many times over.

Another key advantage of email marketing is its effectiveness in comparison to other marketing channels. Studies have shown that email marketing delivers a higher return on investment (ROI) than social media or other digital marketing channels. It's also the most commonly used workplace communication tool, making it a great channel for B2B marketers.

For example, it's estimated that email generates $36 for every $1 spent—an astounding 3600% ROI, compared to social media which generates an estimated return of $2.80 for every $1 spent.

In fact, 89% of marketers use email as the primary channel for generating leads. But the benefits of email marketing go beyond making sales; it's also about connecting with customers and keeping your brand fresh in the minds of your subscribers.

Moreover, email marketing allows businesses to establish and maintain customer relationships by providing valuable content, promotional offers, and personalized communication. This direct marketing approach fosters customer loyalty and drives repeat business.

In summary, the value of email marketing lies in its ability to reach and engage a large audience, create brand awareness, drive sales, and nurture customer relationships. By leveraging the power of email marketing, businesses can achieve their marketing goals and foster long-term success.

Key Components of Email Marketing

To create a successful email marketing campaign, you'll need the following key components as a starting point:


A subscriber is anyone who has opted in to receive emails from you. Opt-in refers to the signup form where visitors can choose to join your email list, while opt-out is when a subscriber decides to unsubscribe from your list. It's essential to practice permission-based marketing to ensure compliance with data protection laws and maintain your brand reputation.

Email segmentation

Email segmentation is crucial in improving open rates, boosting click-throughs, and reducing unsubscribes. By dividing your subscribers into smaller groups based on specific criteria, you can send more targeted and personalized emails. Identifying customer segments is the first step in crafting tailored email campaigns.

Opt-in forms

Opt-in forms (such as newsletter subscription and signup forms) are essential for capturing leads and growing your email list. These allow visitors to join your list and receive your marketing emails. To attract more subscribers, consider offering lead magnets such as ebooks, checklists, templates, or other valuable resources.

Email service provider

An email service provider (ESP) is a software solution that helps you manage your email list and create automated email campaigns. Utilizing an ESP can streamline your email marketing process, allowing you to focus on creating engaging content and growing your subscriber base.

Now, let’s explore the steps you need to take to lock down each of these key components, and give your email marketing campaigns the best chance of success.

email marketing free ebook

6 Tips For a Successful Email Marketing Strategy

1. Choose the Right Types of Email Marketing Campaigns to Use

There are a variety of email marketing campaigns that can effectively serve different stages of the customer journey, targeting various touchpoints along the way. These campaigns can be categorized as promotional, informational, or purpose-driven.

Promotional emails are designed to spread the word about special offers, new product releases, gated content like ebooks and webinars, and your brand in general. These emails typically include a clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages the reader to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or signing up for an event.

Omnisend promotional email example

Omnisend promotional email example

Informational emails such as newsletters provide news and updates about your business, such as new product launches, service changes, or milestones. These emails not only keep your subscribers informed, but also offer valuable content like case studies, tips, and industry insights.

Seasonal marketing campaigns capitalize on specific times of the year, like holidays or seasonal changes, to promote relevant products or services.

Cart abandonment emails, on the other hand, target shoppers who have added items to their cart but haven't completed their purchase. These emails serve as gentle reminders and can generate significant revenue for your business.

Re-engagement emails are a way of reaching out to those customers or subscribers who haven't been active recently. Their aim is to make that connection stronger again. These campaigns can include special offers, personalized content, or simply a friendly message to reignite their interest in your brand.

Not all of these will be relevant to you, and it’s unlikely that you’ll have the time to launch all the campaigns you want straight away. So, prioritize the ones that will make the most immediate impact on your business, and use the learnings from each campaign to optimize subsequent campaigns.

2. Create High-Converting Opt-in Forms

newsletter sign up example - young and co

An effective newsletter opt-in form from branding agency Young & Co

Creating high-converting opt-in forms is crucial for growing your email list and driving engagement. To craft an effective opt-in form, you should focus on the following elements:

  • Your headline should immediately grab the attention of your website visitors and convey the value of subscribing to your email list. Add a description to provide additional information and emphasize the benefits of joining your list, such as exclusive content, discounts, or expert advice.
  • Visual elements, such as images or graphics, can enhance the appeal of your opt-in form and make it more appealing for potential subscribers. Ensure that your form is simple and easy to complete, asking only for the necessary information to minimize friction and encourage sign-ups.
  • A compelling subscribe button is key for driving conversions. Make sure your button is prominent, features contrasting colors, and includes clear, action-oriented text that encourages visitors to click and subscribe.
  • Lastly, consider using an exit-intent popup to capture leads as they are about to leave your website. This unobtrusive approach ensures that your opt-in form does not interrupt the user experience while still providing an opportunity to grow your email list.

While you can feature opt-in forms on your homepage and other web pages, it’s also a good idea to create standalone landing pages for capturing opt-ins and registrations. By driving your email campaigns to these dedicated landing pages (rather than a webpage where there might multiple distractions), you’ll have a better chance of getting them to take the desired action.

Make sure to choose an email marketing service that offers landing pages (such as Active Campaign or MailChimp), or one that integrates with your chosen landing page builder.

3. Personalize Your Emails for Better Engagement

Personalize Emails Better Engagement example aweber

An example of how Aweber uses personalization in its emails

Personalizing your emails is crucial for better engagement and higher conversion rates. By tailoring your emails to each recipient based on their preferences and interests, you can foster stronger connections and improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Start by using personal language when addressing your subscribers. Including their name in the subject line or email body can make your message feel more personal and relevant, increasing the likelihood that they will open and engage with your email.

Understanding your buyer personas is essential for crafting personalized content. By segmenting your subscribers based on their interests, demographics, or behaviors, you can deliver targeted messages that resonate with each group and drive better results.

Writing like a friend is another effective technique for personalizing your emails. By adopting a conversational tone and sharing relatable stories or experiences, you can make your emails feel more genuine and engaging.

Finally, don't forget to ask for feedback from your subscribers. Conducting surveys or simply asking for their opinion in an email can provide valuable insights into their needs and preferences, allowing you to further tailor your email marketing strategy for optimal engagement.

4. Focus on Boosting Open Rates and Click-Through Rates

Improving open rates and click-through rates is essential for maximizing the ROI of your email marketing campaigns. After all, if your email isn’t being opened by your users, then it’s likely that your email marketing efforts are actually costing you money rather than bringing you revenue.

Here are some easy-to-implement strategies to help you achieve higher open and click-through rates:

  • Avoid spam filters: Ensure that your emails comply with the CAN-SPAM Act and GDPR regulations, use a reputable email service provider, and avoid using spammy language or deceptive subject lines.
  • Remove inactive subscribers: Regularly clean your email list by removing subscribers who haven't opened your emails in a while. This will improve your overall engagement rates and ensure that you're only sending emails to interested recipients.
  • Perfect your timing: Experiment with different days and times to send your emails, and track your results to identify the optimal schedule for your audience.
  • Make your subject lines stand out: Use compelling, personalized subject lines that grab the attention of your subscribers and entice them to open your email. Ensure that your emails are mobile-friendly, as more people are reading emails on their mobile devices than ever before (tip: you can preview how they'll look using our subject line tester).
  • Inject humor: Adding a touch of humor to your emails can make them more engaging and enjoyable to read, increasing the likelihood of your subscribers clicking through to your content.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively boost your open rates and click-through rates, driving better results for your email marketing campaigns.

5. Leverage Automation and Autoresponders

To make the most of your email marketing efforts, it's essential to leverage automation and autoresponders. Using these tools as part of a marketing automation strategy can help you nurture leads, turn them into paying customers, and save time and resources in the process.

First, choose a goal for your automated email campaign, such as nurturing leads, promoting a product, or educating your subscribers.

Next, map out the email sequence, determining the number of emails, their content, and the timing of each message.

Once you have your email sequence planned, write an engaging series of emails (such as a drip campaign or email funnel) that guides your subscribers through the customer journey and achieves your campaign goal. Make sure your emails are well-written, relevant, and provide value to your subscribers.

Monitor your automated campaigns, tracking key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. Use this data to adjust your email sequence as needed, refining your content and strategy for optimal results.

By leveraging automation and autoresponders, you can create personalized, targeted email campaigns that deliver better engagement, conversion rates, and ROI for your business.

6. Measure Email Marketing Success

Measuring the success of your email marketing campaigns is crucial for optimizing your future efforts and maximizing your ROI.

Unique opens, bounces, open rates, unopened emails, unsubscribe rates, click-through rates, shares, and spam complaints are some of the essential metrics to monitor in gauging the success of your email marketing campaigns. By keeping a close eye on these metrics, you can identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategy accordingly.

In addition to these metrics, it's important to comply with local rules and regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act and GDPR, to maintain the reputation and legality of your email marketing efforts.

Regularly cleaning your email list can also contribute to the success of your campaigns, ensuring optimal email deliverability and higher engagement rates. Remove inactive or invalid email addresses from your list to maintain a healthy subscriber base and improve the overall performance of your email marketing efforts.

By monitoring your email marketing success and making data-driven decisions, you can continuously refine your strategy and achieve better results from your campaigns.

Best Practices for a Successful Email Marketing Strategy

To create and implement a successful email marketing strategy, keep the following best practices in mind:

  1. Never buy email lists: Purchasing email lists can harm your sender's reputation, result in low engagement rates, and waste your resources. Instead, focus on building your email list organically through opt-in forms, lead magnets, and engaging content.
  2. Use double opt-in: Double opt-in (that is, asking subscribers to confirm their subscription with an extra click) ensures that your subscribers genuinely want to receive your emails and helps you comply with data protection regulations.
  3. Segment your mailing list: Divide your subscribers into smaller groups based on demographics, interests, or purchase history to send targeted and relevant emails.
  4. Personalize your emails: Tailor your emails to each recipient based on their preferences and interests to foster stronger connections and improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.
  5. A/B test your content: Experiment with different subject lines, images, and calls-to-action to identify the most effective elements for your audience.
  6. Scale with autoresponders and email automation: Utilize automated emails to send personalized messages to large groups of people and save time and resources.

By following these best practices, you can create a successful email marketing strategy that drives results for your business and fosters long-term success.

Top Email Marketing Tools and Platforms

To streamline your email marketing efforts and achieve better results, consider using one of the top email marketing tools and platforms available in the market.

Of course, the best email marketing service for you will depend entirely on your needs. To help you pick the right one, we've put together the following round-ups:

By choosing the right email marketing tool or platform for your needs, you can streamline your email marketing process, create engaging content, and grow your subscriber base.


In conclusion, a successful email marketing strategy is essential for growing your business and achieving your marketing goals. By understanding the key components of email marketing, implementing best practices, leveraging automation and autoresponders, and using the top email marketing tools and platforms, you can create engaging campaigns that drive results and foster long-term success.

So why wait? Start growing your business with email marketing today!

> Get your first campaign off the ground with our 7-step guide on how to start email marketing

> Read more about how to create an email newsletter


Email marketing is a form of digital marketing where companies use emails to promote their products and services to customers and prospects. It is an effective way to reach out to customers as it requires minimal resources and has a high ROI.
Email marketing is key to growing any business and reaching its goals.

Email marketing may seem intimidating, but once you understand the basics, it’s actually quite simple. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to build an email list, craft interesting messages, and use an ESP to send your emails, then learning email marketing is within reach.

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Charlotte Evans

Content Manager

Hey, I'm Charlotte! I've always been enthusiastic about helping others. After working for various tech startups and eCommerce businesses, I developed a strong passion for email marketing. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm putting this knowledge to good use by recommending the very best digital tools for your business.

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This article has been written and researched following our EmailTooltester methodology.

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