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Email Marketing 101: Beginners Guide

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What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a type of digital marketing effort that involves setting up campaigns to send multiple emails mostly from a hundred to thousands in a single day. Emails campaigns are set up for different reasons. Some of those reasons are promoting a special offer, a new product release, an e-book, managing customer relationships, developing relationships with potential customers, transactional emails such as password reset and account activation.

Email marketing is a highly effective strategy if done correctly and with the proper tools. When sending emails to prospects and customers, it may quickly yield high conversions. The goal of sending out promotional emails is to get a direct response and typically most email marketing tools provide insights on the performance of email campaigns. These insights include information on the delivery rates and open rates. The best tools on the market such GetResponse will also assist you to automate your emails, staying compliant with laws and regulations. Furthermore, you can also validate your email list to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns, and build an email list quickly.

In line with one of our articles 5 Online Businesses, you can start today. You may also start an email marketing Saas business.

Email Marketing Examples

Types of Emails Businesses will Send

1. Transactional – Activation/Signup, Password reset

Coinbase Transactional Email Example

Source: Really Good Emails

Transcactional Email Example

2.Promotional Emails – Featured Product, Gift Cards

Promotional Email Example
Namecheap: Promo email

3. Follow up – Abondoned cart, Pending profile completion

Abandoned Cart Email Example

4. Engagement Emails – Newsletter, recent blog post

Email News Letter Example
Source: ReallyGood Email Newsletter Sample

Components of An Email Marketing System

An email marketing system is comprised of two parts namely the email client and the SMTP(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) server. The email client is the interface or applications such as, Gmail, GetResponse,, and Mailer Lite only to name a few applications that are used in crafting and sending emails.

The second component of an email marketing system is an SMTP server which takes on the responsibility of encoding and transmitting the emails. Examples of SMTP servers include but are G-suite, Sendinblue, Mailgun, and Amazon SES, to mention a few.

Email Marketing Tools

1. GetResponse

You might be wondering so how do I get started with email marketing and which option has less hustle. The easiest way to get started is to use prebuilt email marketing systems, and there are two tools that I would recommend for any beginner or professional. This is because of their simplicity to use and amazing track record, to add to that these tools come with incredible free tools which can help you grow your business.

This is one of the most trusted email marketing platforms on the web that boast of a rich set of tool for small business. GetResponse offers a 30-day trial and also comes with a free-forever plan that includes free-forever website builder, email marketing, landing pages, signup and contact forms and lead generating tools. With the free offer you can build a list of up 500 leads and also connect a domain to your services.


Pricing starts as littles as $12.30/mo making it one of the most affordable email marketing systems on the market. With GetRepsonse you can also build sales funnel and automate your marketing efforts.

2. Systeme
Systeme All-in-One Markteng Software

It is one of the easiest and fastest-growing most affordable platforms to use in growing online. The platform provides in-depth tutorials on how to get started and set up everything to grow. It has a free forever plan which allows you to build a list of up to 2000 contacts, 3 sales funnels with 10 steps, 1 website builder, 1 membership website, and also provide integration with Paypal and Stripe to get payments for your digital products.
Systeme Pricing

The key features of Systeme are Email marketing, Sales funnels, Online Courses, Website Builder, Affiliate Program Management, and Marketing automation. Pricing starts at $27/mo for up to 5000 contacts and you can send unlimited emails, 3 custom domains, and 5 membership sites.

Types of Email Marketers

Traditional or Legal Marketers

These are individuals or organizations that send a commercial email after getting consent from the recipients. Naturally, this group of email marketers follow rules and guidelines which protect consumers from unsolicited emails or spam. The targeted audience of their campaigns includes only people who have opted in to receive emails.


This group of people or organizations will scrap or buy an email list and send unsolicited commercial emails with links to affiliate products and services. In most cases, recipients might be deprived of the option to unsubscribe from these emails. It is advisable to avoid such practices if your organization does not want to be blacklisted or to have its image tarnished.

Cold Email Marketers

This refers to an individual or group that takes a similar approach as spammers by sending emails to people who did not have the option. The main difference is that cold email marketers engage to provide value and nurture the relationship, to turn what was or is a cold lead into a hot prospect, or make the client opt-in legally into their email list.

Advantages of Email Marketing

1. Easy to get started

Email marketing is by far the easiest of all digital marketing campaigns to get started with. With an email list you are able to start immediately to engage with your old and prospective clients.

2. Saves money vs Paid Ads

You can verify and validate emails addresses before you send which makes it an more cost-effective option as compared to paid advertising. Furthermore it is definitely cheaper, in the sense that you can set up your own custom email marketing system.

3. High return on investment

A simple google search once showed that with email marketing, for every $1 you invest you get $44. This is a far better ROI as compared to other types of digital marketing campaigns like googles ads, whereby you can get a lot of clicks and zero returns in some circumstances.

4. Low cost

The fact that you can set up your own custom email marketing system, with open source applications like Mautic and use G-suite for an SMTP server means, it is an affordable means of marketing for anyone who has an internet connection to start.

5. Targeted audience

The traditional and legal way of sending emails to only people that have opted in means that your chances of success are very high. This is simply because those people who opted-in are interested in certain topics or services that are aligned to your business hence it becomes easy to get conversions.

6. Brand Awareness

Constant engagement and interaction with your audience through newsletters, new product offers to increase brand awareness and keep them engaged.

7. Easy to share

People tend to share with each other good and valuable content and since emails can be easily forwarded to one or more people there is a greater chance that your emails may be spread to more people that are not part of your list.

8. Nurture leads

Email marketing gives you the room to nurture your leads by sending automated target emails about your services and products, this ability to continuously engage means over time you can convert some of the skeptical customer as you build trust.

9. Instant impact/speed

Email is instant. You click send and under normal circumstances, the recipient must receive your email s. This in turn may result in immediate feedback which makes room for further engagement. From the feedback, you get to assess the performance by analyzing your delivery rates, open rates, and replies.

10. Automation and custom experiences

With email marketing, you can easily schedule the number of emails that you want to send and when to send them. You can also customize each email for a specific recipient by using their first and last names. This gives you more time to work on other things, while the automation engages with your list.

11. Optin

It is very easy to build an email list by using lead magnets, which will allow you to legally collect emails. One way of doing this is to offer free digital products such as software or books. When people visit your website you can configure a pop-up that will show them the book or software and all they need to do is to enter their email address and you will give them access. Another way is just to have an option form on your website which will allow visitors to get new updates via newsletters.

12. A/B Split testing

Most email marketing systems can allow you to split test, the emails you send and compare the most effective emails from those which are not performing very well. This will help you to optimize your email campaigns.

13. It’s easy to track

In email marketing, you will have access to different dashboards that will give you statics on performance. These tiles or dashboards make it easy to measure the performance of your campaigns.

14. Strategy Integration

Email marketing can be easily integrated with other marketing strategies. A good example would be when you are using Facebook to market your business and for user engagement, you have chatbots no your pages. Due to Facebook’s 24 hour rule, you cannot engage with those customers when the 24 Hours have elapsed, this is where emails come in. You can simply send those clients a URL to re-engage them into a new flow for new services or products keeping your account from being banned.

15. Global reach

The beauty of email is that anyone from anywhere in the world can send and receive them and this makes it very easy for you to reach more customers and expand your business.

Cons of Email Marketing

1. Spam

You will find that in most circumstances even the people who opted in to be part of your list will often label your emails as spam and even unsubscribe themselves. This is not good for your overall reputation and having people unsubscribing can be discouraging.

2. Breaking the law

It is important to understand the laws which prevail in different geo’s before you can start to blast out emails. Laws such as the CAN-SPAM ACT which we will discuss in future sections set out requirements that businesses must adhere to if they are going to send commercial messages. Apart from the CAN-SPAM ACT, there is also the GDPR which email marketers must adhere to. To avoid breaking the law email marketers must understand and adhere to measure stipulated in these guidelines.

3. Unsubscribe feature

For compliance reasons this feature must always be there, but in light of the hard work, that email marketers might have put into building their email list. It is unsurprising that the unsubscribe option is not that popular. Nonetheless, if roles were reversed no one would want to stay stuck getting content they are not interested in hence the unsubscribe feature will reduce the size of your audience if emails are part of your digital marketing tool kits.

4. Design Issues

Not everyone is talented at copywriting and crafting the right email might be daunting for new beginners. More so writing emails that convert might require a bit of skill, practice, and training.

5. Technical difficulties

Even though the cost of starting email marketing is relatively low, the fact still remains that you need to understand the email marketing client that you are going to choose for your campaigns. For small businesses and beginners that will decide to go with a custom-made system, the technical requirements might be daunting for non-technical people.

Compliance and Regulations

As one of the most effective ways of reaching customers, email marketing also comes with certain laws and regulations which govern how it should be done in order to safeguard the interest of consumers.

So before you start setting up your own custom email marketing campaign or using emails as part of your digital marketing strategy, let us look at important things you must understand to stay on the side of the law.

Different countries have different marketing laws. In the US there is the CAN-SPAM Act, the CASL laws in Canada, GDPR for the EU and we have the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations of 2003 in the UK. These policies lay out the guidelines that must be followed if businesses or individuals want to avoid huge fines.

How to be complient?

The following are simple guidelines that must be followed in order to stay compliant with these laws. However it does not mean that you must not look at the different laws that exist for each location.

1. Get permission

Before you start sending out emails always make sure you have the recipient’s consent to become part of your emailing list. it is best practice to also keep your information of when a user opted in to become part of your database.

2. Don’t use deception or trickery in your headlines

The use of deception and click-bait to get users to receive your emails is not allowed. This does not mean you should not be creative, if that were the case it would make professions like copy-writing redundant.

What this means is that you must not include incorrect or misleading information in your headers. This applies also to purposefully giving false information on your offers and contact details.

3. State clearly that your email is an advertisement

3. State clearly that your email is an advertisement

It is a requirement under the CAN-SPAM regulations that you identify your email as an advertisement. Recipients must be able to clearly tell the difference between a personal email to a promotional advertisement.

This is something that email marketers must keep in mind at all times. A subject line such as “Get 15% off product X” is one way of showing your customers that this is not a personal email, but you are marketing a product or service.

4. Include your address in the email

It is a requirement in several countries that you must include a valid address of your business in your emails. Most companies include this information usually at the bottom of their emails.

5. Include a way to opt-out

This is a very important feature. Many regulations have policies which stipulate that, email marketers must include a way in which people who are no longer interested in being part of your audience be able to unsubscribe. We commonly see this in the form of an unsubscribe link at the bottom or top of most emails.

6. Honor unsubscribe request

It is not enough just to provide the unsubscribe link. When users opt-out businesses must take on the responsibility to ensure that they are not getting further promotional. Emails that are not in line with what they had initially subscribed for.


Email marketing is a renowned digital marketing strategy that is used to grow a business. Many have made substantial incomes from $0 to a six-figure income. It is cheaper to get started with, and it has a low barrier to entry unlike other avenues like paid advertising. Email marketing tools such as Systeme and GetResponse make it very easy to get started and are affordable.

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