Email Marketing: Beginners Guide

email marketing



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George Panayides

Digital Marketing Specialist

Email Marketing: What is it and how can you use it?

Whether you’re a startup or long term freelancer, we can all agree how important email marketing is when it comes to growth, sales and easy return on investment. 

Now, I know it’s easy to think about… But when it comes down to getting started it can be quite overwhelming. Not to mention that if you do email marketing wrong it could be seen as quite spammy and unsuccessful

With that in mind it’s important to ensure you are maximising your email marketing using the correct tools, methods and strategies tailored around your audience and services. This way you’re going to get the most success with your email marketing campaigns

Fortunately enough I’m going to be spilling all of the techniques and information I’ve picked up from my years doing email marketing for myself and other clients. Combined with other marketing channels like SEO, you can see why email marketing is so effective. 

Don’t stress! I’m going to show you the most common email marketing strategies and even the tools to go with them. Not to mention I’ll run you through the pros and cons so you can try and avoid some areas if they won’t work in your favour. 

Ok, let’s jump straight into this abundance of information. Here’s everything you need to know about email marketing, from start to end.

What Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is the combination of using different types of emails to convert your list into paying customers. This could be through upselling, promotional offers, introductory freebies and many other sales and marketing techniques. 

Now, that sounds kinda confusing so I’ve tried to explain it a little more simply to you here; email marketing is where you will send a potential customer a personalised email with the goal of turning them into a paying customer. 

There are so many different types of email campaigns you can use from monthly newsletters, video campaigns and even sending an automated direct message with an offer. We will take a look at all of the different types shortly. 

Email marketing is still the most successful marketing channel

Funnily enough, email marketing is still one of the most successful marketing channels even in 2022 according to Hubspot’s State of Marketing Trends report. Now, for me I believe email marketing is so successful because it’s extremely accurate. 

You’re unlikely to be emailing anyone who doesn’t have an interest in your service, meaning the emails you send are going to have an impact on your customer and likely persuade them to buy. 

Again, if you think about our state of mind when we are reading emails it seems like we are in a concentrated state open to learning something new or focused on what emails are saying. 

For me, this is possibly the best time you can ever capture someone because it means your offer or promotion is going to have the most impact. Think about the state of mind when someone is ‘mindlessly scrolling’ on Facebook. They’re barely concentrating. 

This means it’s that much harder to get your offer or point across compared to emails. This makes email marketing one of the most successful channels to use in 2022.  

It’s also shown that more and more people are becoming active on emails, so there is a growing marketing for this type of strategy.

Why Should You Consider Email Marketing?

Well, it’s a good question. To give you the honest answer, email marketing is extremely versatile. This is probably why we all love it so much, because it gives you so many options to work with. 

Essentially, there is a campaign for everyone. Be it that you want to increase the number of sales each month with some promotional offers and direct marketing, or whether you’re looking to make people aware of a new product or service that is going to be available soon. 

Everything about email marketing gives you so much freedom to create campaigns tailored around your business and the goals you want to achieve. Needless to say that email marketing is actually free to do as well. 

As mentioned above, email marketing really captures your audience during a state which could lead to a high conversion rate. You will really be maximising on the audience you own and converting them into paying customers. 

Don’t forget either, collecting a potential customer’s email has become extremely straightforward these days by generating free valuable content in exchange for their information. 

With this benefit, it makes email marketing a deadly combination of growing your business without spending a barrow full of money

So to be straight, email marketing is easy to get started and can result in some amazing performance, so why would anyone not consider it?

How can I increase the open rate for my emails?

Hover over me to find out!
Subject lines. They're everyones best friends. So, by optimising on your subject lines you're going to see the fastest and quickest overnight success. Be curious, create urgency, make it personal, use emotion, keep it short and sweet.

How can I build out my email list?

Hover over me to find out!
Building an email list is easy and exciting! To start, create valuable content that people will love and offer something special. Place sign-up forms on your website or blog, and don't forget to promote your newsletter on social media and other platforms. Make sure you are providing value, or offering something different to others.

How Does Email Marketing Work?

Like I mentioned before, email marketing is actually SO easy to get started with. You’re going to need a few things (and this is based on beginners) and most of these are simple to get set up.

1. Email address that has low spam score

It’s important to get yourself an email address that has a low spam score. Most emails that are with g-suite or start with your name and end with your business name (e.g. george@emailmarketing) will have the most success. 

Usually these are less spammy than emails being sent from mail accounts such as [email protected]. It’s important to consider your spam score when doing email marketing as it will be a factor of success. 

The best email hosts we’ve found are:
Google Workspace (Formerly G-Suite)
Microsoft 365
Zoho Mail

2. You will need an Email Service Provider

An email service provider is a platform or tool you can use to create, send and review reports on your email campaigns. Most importantly they are there for creating the email content you are looking to send. 

Secondly, they can allow you to actually send these emails through their email host platform. This will require some backend DNS setting updates which should be fairly straight forward. 

Lastly, and one of the most important areas for me is the reporting. You will be able to see the data from the performance of your email campaigns. This will allow you to understand what is working best with your audience and what is not. 

Here’s my favourite email service providers over the years:
Active Campaign
Mail Chimp 

3. Email list (Bigger the better)

Next up you’re going to need an email list of contacts you can begin to market too. Please do not consider buying a list of contacts as this will most likely have very poor results. It may also cause your account to receive a high number of spam emails and result in much lower performance. 

The best way to build your list as a brand new company would be to leverage the reach you can get from social media. Most commonly today, marketers will create a free lead magnet which focuses on the solution to a big pain point in your industry in return for an email address. 

For example, if I’m a dog trainer I must tell you the 6 things you must never do when training your dog. You can get access to this in return for your email address. 

Pretty quickly, you should be able to build out your list. Of course please note this will cost money on social advertising.

4. Cleaning tool for fake or dud emails

One last thing to maximise the performance of your email marketing campaigns is to run your list through a cleaning tool every 4 months. The less bounces you have, the better sign it is on your emailing account that you are not spam. 

This will later result in a higher chance your emails reach customers inboxes and not the spam box or promotion tabs which is extremely important for better reach and success of the campaigns.

The best tool that I’ve found to use is called Never bounce.

Different Types Of Email Marketing

To be honest this is one of the reasons why I love email marketing so much. It’s so versatile and can really be tailored toward the goals you want to achieve.

Not only this, but you can actually work around what content your audience wants to see as well. If you find that your audience really likes newsletters and you get a lot of unsubscribes from your direct marketing, it shows you don’t want to be sales focused with this audience because maybe they’re not ready yet.

There are so many different types of email marketing strategies and campaigns you can take but below I’m going through the most common ones, and what I believe are most important for gaining success.

Direct sales email marketing

Direct sales marketing works by sending an email directly to a list of customers with an offer or promotion. Usually it’s in the format of a normal email and doesn’t have much text. You will want to avoid images or videos for this type of email and keep your sales copy short and conversational

Direct email marketing is one of my favourites and I’ve seen some amazing success with this in the past. To nail this strategy you really need to personalise your emails so the user feels like it’s coming from you and you’re giving them an amazing offer. 

Usually direct marketing has a really good land rate because it skips through some spam filters if you exclude videos and images. It’s like a trojan horse, no one quite realises it’s a bulk email until it’s too late 😆.

All in all, this is a must try technique for all businesses and really works well if you are focusing on just 1 outcome e.g. Book a call or meeting, video a link or landing page etc or reply to an email.

Newsletter email marketing

Newsletter email marketing is where you create a monthly newsletter template aligned with your company branding and fill this with sections regarding the most popular and interesting topics in your industry. 

This is another amazing technique and really focuses on a comprehensive email marketing campaign. From my experience, the most successful newsletter contains sections such as monthly FAQ’s, breaking news or hot topics, monthly promotion etc. 

Newsletter emails work really well with audiences who don’t want to feel like they’re being sold too. It’s a much nicer way of nudging your customers and reminding them you’re here and giving them some free value to help build a long term relationship. 

I strongly recommend businesses to adopt some kind of email newsletter as it can lead to some awesome long term results. The only downside is that it doesn’t focus on one CTA, instead it could have multiple or even none meaning it can confuse customers. 

Your design of your newsletter also counts a lot here. Fresh, clean and clear designs will get the best results that convey a message quickly without losing the user engagement.

Welcome email marketing

I really love this side of marketing. Welcome emails and thank you emails are an amazing touch to build a quick relationship with a potential customer or new customer. 

This is where a new customer may have requested more information or even purchased something from you. They will then receive a thank you or a welcome email explaining a little more about the next steps. 

Welcome emails and thank you emails are also a massive opportunity for you to upsell. You can use this moment to funnel your customer to the next stage of their buying journey

For those who are looking for more info, this is a perfect stage to qualify your lead more and determine how interested they are. 

With these types of emails I’ve seen the most success by making them look as if they’ve actually been sent by one of our staff members. This means adding a signature at the bottom, keeping the tone conversational and friendly and of course giving them any value that is needed.

Automated email marketing

Automated email marketing is where you can set up a sequence of pre-designed emails to get triggered and sent out when a customer takes a specific action or reaches a certain place in their customer journey. 

This has become one of the most popular techniques as of the past 5 years. Simply because it’s so easy to scale and saves so much time. Automated emails are excellent at keeping your audience list warm, whilst hitting them with some ultra targeted content. 

Now the success of this really depends on your CRM or email service provider. You will need to make your customer actions very specific to ensure that the emails they receive are on topic and going to provide value. 

The freedom for automated email marketing is massive, you can have follow up emails, review based emails, 6 month emails, promotional emails etc. There is an endless option. 

However, the downside is that automated emails cost a lot more to set up. Although it saves a lot of time that does come with an extra cost. On the other hand, it’s like a machine where you can place your customer into triggers that result in emails over time. 

This will lead to more sales and you don’t have to work too hard. Over a while your ROI will get massive and of course the more customers in your triggers / automation the better results you will get.

Be Conversational And Personal In Your Email Marketing Text And Copy

I really think this is becoming more and more important, especially with the popularity of automated emails. We as human beings don’t like to feel like we’re unimportant and getting a bulk email.

The more personalised you can make your emails to your customer, the better the results. End of.

Keep your emails like you’re talking to your friend. Keep to short sentences so it’s easy to read and makes a strong impact.

Not only that, but the more you talk to your customers by asking questions or even making jokes it will have a much higher impact on the customer and make them take in what you are saying.

Unless you are a massive, massive corporate global company I feel like it’s extremely important to still have that personalised touch with your customers and clients which gives them peace of mind for using or buying from you.

As we move forward into the future of email marketing I believe it will become a bigger factor.

Keep your tone conversational and ensure your emails are personalised using tokens of names, or other custom tokens you’ve created.

Once your SEO strategy is in place it will take a lot of hard work. However, it will provide the longer and highest return on investment.

Email Marketing Can Be Scaled Very Quickly

Yep, this is why we all love email marketing right? It can be scaled so quickly, and it doesn’t take any extra time.

Essentially, as your list grows so will your email marketing. Once you have found what works for you and your audience then your list will grow automatically and so will your email marketing.

This means you will be scaling quickly and getting a lot of sales or leads coming back from your email campaigns. Not to mention this type of growth usually comes naturally so has very little cost.

You can get different types of campaigns set up so that you are really working your list to maximise the results. This can help you scale your email marketing further.

Here’s an example of what email marketing can do for a company. Let’s say you are running an email campaign that has a 1% monthly conversion rate of your end goal of a sale.

List size:
100 customers @ 1% conversion p/m = 1 sale
500 customers @ 1% conversion p/m = 5 sales
1000 customers @ 1% conversion p/m = 10 sales
10,000 customers @ 1% conversion p/m = 100 sales
100,000 customers @ 1% conversion p/m = 1000 sales

How Long Does It Take To Get Results With Email Marketing?

Actually email marketing can get some very quick results. 

I suppose it really depends on which email strategy you choose. For direct email marketing you can see results within the first 10 minutes of sending your email. 

With newsletter marketing, this might take a little longer, but overall, you will still see pretty quick results shortly after you’ve sent your newsletter. 

Again, I think results really depend on the size of your list and it may take a while to grow if you are not feeding money into it. Overall I’d say around 6-8 months is sufficient time to grow your list over 100+ subscribers. 

From this point on, you can really scale your system and maximise your marketing for results. Based on this study, email conversion rates are sitting at around 15%

Like anything, email marketing takes time to get a lot of results but when it comes together boy do you reap the rewards. 

Most Importantly, Email Marketing Doesn’t Cost Much At All…

One of the best things about email marketing is that it’s so affordable to get set up. This is a huge plus for businesses who aren’t looking to splash out budget on marketing campaigns but work to grow them naturally.

I think that’s another massive plus side to email marketing. It can be grown naturally and organically. Although it might take longer, you can make a huge return on investment and gain a significant reward for doing this.

However, to run the most efficient campaigns in email marketing there are of course areas you will need to invest in. Remember though, this is an investment that will pay itself off.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the biggest costs:
CRM platform
Email service provider
Cleaning tool
Graphic design

Email Marketing Has Become Extremely Popular For Remarketing And Follow Ups

One trend we saw over the past few years is using email marketing as a form of following your customers up. Not only this, but remarketing to your customers with amazing offers or discounts. 

The beauty of this means that you can have a fairly cold list to market too. In terms of how the strategy works you will begin to follow up with your customer using value based (I call them heaters, because you’re warming the list up) emails. 

With engaged contacts you know these are the ones considering your service or product the most so after 8 or so emails you can hit them with an irresistible offer. 

The same applies to customers who may have been interested but never converted. It’s best to place these into a remarketing campaign and maintain their interest and consideration by giving them offers, discounts or value based ‘heaters’. 

To be fair, this is an extremely powerful technique. It’s free to email these customers and of course has a fairly high conversion rate because we know they’ve already considered your product or service. 

Combine this with automation and you’ve really got a money making system that requires little to no maintenance once fully optimised.

Pro’s And Con’s Of Email Marketing

As with anything, there are some obvious pros to email marketing, and some obvious cons as well. Below, I’m running through the ones that you should probably consider as they will be most important.

Benefits Of Email Marketing

Can grow it organically
Relatively low cost with high return on investment
Maximising an audience you already own
Easy to get started with
Creates a personalised experience
Can be scaled

Cons Of Email Marketing

Success relies on your list strength
Can be seen as spam if done wrong
Important to consider graphic design or sales copy

Arguably, Email Marketing Is Still One Of The Most Powerful Tools

Well, I’m sure after reading all of this you can agree with me right? Email marketing is easily, I mean easily still one of the most powerful tools you can use in digital marketing right now. 

For anyone who is still yet to set up some email marketing I would strongly advise to get this moving. Simply because of the different options you can maximise your business with, and the low cost that email marketing comes with. 

If you compare email marketing to social media or other platforms you will find it costs a lot less to reach your own audience (who has already shown an interest in your services) compared to other platforms like Facebook or Google. 

One thing to consider though, your email marketing will only be as strong as the quality of your list. Ensure your list is clean, big and engaged for the maximum results from email marketing. 


So, that was a fair whack of information regarding email marketing. I really hope that now you understand the strategies behind what makes up email marketing.

Just for a quick recap, email marketing is where you reach out to your customers via email to offer a product, service or just engage them in friendly value based conversation to help to move down a funnel towards your end goal.

It’s pretty straightforward and I strongly suggest getting started with some automated emails or some monthly newsletters if you’re not doing so already.

If your competitors are doing this, it’s giving them an edge over your business by keeping their customers engaged. The same applies if they are not doing it, you’re getting the edge over your customers by giving them an extra personalised touch with email marketing.

We always go for a business that provides us with a feeling that they actually care for us as the buyer. Email marketing is an excellent way to convey this feeling.

Please don’t be shy! Comment your thoughts below and share your experiences, strategies or techniques with everyone else.


About The Author

George Panayides is a digital marketing specialist, focusing on SEO, Google ads, Social media marketing, website development and link building. He’s looking to help other freelancers or business owners become a master in their industry and move towards a better, more successful future.

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Hey, it's George. I'm giving away my marketing secrets (because apparently, I'm just that nice 🙄). You can thank me by linking to my content ha ha.

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