Email Marketing Basics for Small Business

Updated on May 21, 2020
Marcie Wolf profile image

Marcie Wolf has more than 20 years of experience in web design, website development, and social media management

Email marketing is to this day the most effective marketing channel you have for attracting, engaging, and connecting with your target audience.

Email marketing continues to perform well year after year, and provides the best return on your investment.

Unfortunately, due to the popularity of social media, email marketing has taken a backseat for most businesses.

Keep in mind:

  • Social networks like Facebook and Instagram are rented space.
  • Social networks also decide who gets to sees your page posts, if at all.
  • Facebook Business Page posts are getting less visibility in your fan’s news feeds.

Why Email Marketing?

While social media may seem more exciting and enticing, email remains the most powerful channel available to your business.

  • Everyone has an email account.
  • 58% of adults check their email at the beginning of the day.
  • On average, people check their inbox 100 times a day!
  • Email conversion rates are 45 times more than Facebook orTwitter.

Email Delivers

Your email is 45 times more likely to be seen than a Facebook post.

Facebook Business Posts

  • Only 2% of fans see your posts in their news feed.
  • If you have 1,000 fans, that means about 20 people see your posts.

Email Marketing

  • 90% of your email is delivered to your recipients.
  • If you have 1,000 subscribers, 900 people will receive your message.

If you rely on Facebook, you are at their mercy as to which of your customers they “let” you talk to. When you email your subscribers, your message gets delivered right to their inbox.

Why Use an Email Service?

Can’t you just send an email message to hundreds of contacts? Not a good idea!

If you open Outlook, add multiple recipients in the “To” line and send one email to all, your message can quickly get flagged as spam. Worst case? Your email is not getting delivered at all.

Email marketing services like MailChimp have agreements with Internet Service Providers to allow authorized multiple emails to go through without being flagged as spam. Each message goes out separately. You can add a name field to your message so it’s more personal.

  • Engaged Audience: You have people who signed up for your news who are ready to hear from you!
  • Easy to Get Started: MailChimp does not require technical know-how. It’s easy to create great looking email!
  • Easy to Measure: You can see results of Open and Click-Through rates in minutes of sending a message!
  • Easy to Share: It’s easy for subscribers to forward your message to friends, and that could bring new subscribers!
  • You’re in Control: Choose when—and how often—you plan to email subscribers. You can even schedule email!

Mobile. Make it Responsive.

50% of email is opened on mobile so your email needs to adapt to people’s devices. Fortunately, most MailChimp templates are responsive so they’ve made it easy for you to send mobile friendly newsletters.

When you’re linking to pages and email, make button links instead of text links. Buttons are easier to click on from mobile devices. Links in text are hard to choose from a small phone.


If your goal is to just stay in touch with your current customers and clients, you can import your list of contacts into MailChimp from a .csv file.

If you need to build a new list from scratch, you can capture new email addresses with an opt-in form on your website. MailChimp forms are easy to add to your website and contacts are automatically added to your list on MailChimp.

You can then use social media to invite people to subscribe to your mailing list. (You may want to entice them with an offer for signing up.)

Measure Results of Email

The best thing about using MailChimp is that you get real-time stats at a glance, as soon as you send your email! You can quickly identify what’s working or where there’s room for improvement.

Things to Measure:

  • MailChimp Open Rate: Shows % of subscribers who opened your campaign.
  • MailChimp Click-Through Rate: Shows % of people who opened then clicked on a link.
  • Google Analytics: View how many people visited your website from your email campaigns.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


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