Email Marketing for Small Business: How to Use?

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  • Email marketing is a low-cost yet lucrative marketing strategy for startups and large businesses alike
  • Hubspot, Mailchimp, and Sender are among the top marketing automation platforms for small business email marketing
  • Creating a mailing list is the first step in an email marketing campaign
  • Tracking your ROI is vital for keeping track of your email marketing progress

Think promotional emails will only deter clients from your business? Think again.

According to a Gen Z US-focused study, Gen Z had a spending power of $360 billion in 2021. At the same time, a Statista customer survey shows that Gen Zers respond well to email marketing strategies, with around 57% of respondents stating promotional emails kept them closer to their favorite brands as of June 2022.

But Gen Z represents the smallest percentage – Millenials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers alike responded positively in regards to being contacted by brands via email. Think about the untapped opportunities in just this one form of marketing for your business!

Now that you’re aware of how your email marketing efforts can help you grow your small business, let’s further explore the world of email marketing – what it is and how you can implement it.

What Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is the process of promoting one’s business and products through the use of an email service provider like Yahoo or Gmail. This is usually done using an email list the company compiled by gathering email addresses from subscribers via pop-up forms or other means of advertising.

By implementing an email marketing strategy, businesses facilitate a strong bond with their customer base, informing them of any news, product releases, and discount opportunities. This, in turn, keeps customers engaged and feeling cared for, keeping them returning for more.

Email marketing is always suggested as a form of advertising for small businesses as it’s low-cost, requires few human resources, and doesn’t employ a complicated strategy. But to be done right and foster strong customer relationships, there are certain tips and tricks you should follow.

Let’s see how email marketing for small businesses can bring you a step closer to reaching your revenue goal.

How Does Email Marketing Help Businesses?

You can build a brand with digital marketing as a small business – you just have to implement the proper techniques. Let’s see how email marketing can work exceptionally well for small businesses.

The most significant way an email marketing strategy will help you is by increasing the number of website visitors. Since you can send subscribers to specific pages on your website, you’ll increase the chances of converting through those sequences of action.

Successful email marketing means your brand will be top-of-mind among your customers. You will establish trust and build a solid bridge between them and your brand by giving them regular updates regarding your products and services.

Employing various marketing channels is another smart move you can make as a small business owner. Instead of sticking to reaching out to an existing email list, consider capturing leads by offering incentives across all your social media channels. In turn, any potential customers will have to sign up with their email to receive the said incentive, earning you another mailing list subscriber.

Finally, you can boost customer retention by sending valuable content straight to your subscriber’s inbox. This can be anything from occasional blog posts or newsletters to video content. By doing so, you’ll establish yourself as an industry expert your customers can rely on.

Benefits of Email Marketing

The benefits of email marketing campaigns are numerous. Let’s explore some of them below:

Online Sales Trump In-store Shopping

According to a Statista study, retail e-commerce sales reached $5.2 trillion globally in 2021 – a figure likely to grow by 56% to $8.1 trillion by 2026. Crunch the numbers, and the evidence is clear – people would rather order their favorite book online than leave their house searching for it, unsure if they’ll find it at all. So, imagine the possibilities of boosting revenue by sending customers straight to your products through email by simply analyzing their consumer behavior.

Getting Customer Feedback

Most people who stumble upon your business website won’t give it another look unless they see some reviews or user testimonials. By garnering your customers’ opinions via sign-up forms, you’ll always be up-to-date with their praise, requests, and possible complaints.

Tailored Customer Experience

As a small business, you can use email marketing to send customized messages to particular client groups depending on the interests, demographics, and behaviors of said groups. This makes it simpler to tailor emails to customers’ unique demands and tastes.

Your Target Audience at Your Fingertips

Unlike in-person businesses that require you to sell actively to customers, email marketing takes the workload off your hands. You can reach your target customer base by sending promo emails with the touch of a button.

New Subscribers Equals Possible Conversions

Utilizing an email marketing strategy allows you to win over new customers and retain constant contact with the ones you already have. One idea is to ask people how they heard about your brand and require that they input their email address, which you can later use to send them a welcome email and possibly convert them into customers.

Transactional Emails

A transactional email shows that you know how to do business right. Businesses send transactional emails to customers that have interacted with their website or the online shop in some form (usually by making an account or purchase or resetting their password). Once the customer triggers an action, they receive a confirmation or welcome email, which makes your brand appear serious and trustworthy.


Email campaigns can be automated, allowing small firms to set them up once and let them run continuously. As a result, customers will receive regular, timely notifications, saving the business time and resources.

You can automate your emails using an email marketing business that offers such services (we’ll explore the major ones later). However, only do this once you’ve defined your automation goals, the audience you wish to target, and your expected ROI.

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Email marketing campaigns are one of the most cost-effective for small businesses since they don’t require much investment but can have high return rates. To help you get started, many marketing automation platforms offer a trial period, after which you can sometimes subscribe for as low as $10-$20.

Popular Email Marketing Tools

Like any other form of marketing, email marketing also requires some effort to monetize. You can always use marketing automation tools to craft your emails so you can focus on all other aspects of your small business.

Let’s look at some of the most popular email marketing tools:

#1 HubSpot

Writing emails isn’t just following a script and clicking ‘Send.’ A quality email carries the workload of marketers, writers, IT staff, and designers.

Thankfully, HubSpot offers a nifty solution to outsource all that workload to its email marketing tool. The best thing about HubSpot’s tool is the possibility to craft emails tailored to each recipient, which is vital for small business owners looking to retain their tight-knit client base.

Simply put, the more personalized your promotional emails are, the better.

HubSpot employs a handy drag-and-drop editor mode to create stunning emails from scratch. And besides the visuals, Hubspot’s editor will ensure each email adapts perfectly to all platforms and mobile devices.

Finally, HubSpot’s email hosting tool lets you get started for free, with additional features for subscribed users. Thanks to its CRM-powered email targeting, you’ll have all the gathered customer info database at your fingertips, according to which HubSpot will craft automated emails for you.

#2 MailChimp

MailChimp is our second email marketing software choice because it provides various features at different price rates. For just $20/month, users get their own custom-coded HTML templates, A/B testing, predictive analytics tools, 24/7 customer support, and more.

Besides helping you avoid spam, MailChimp can automate various emails targeting the right audience at the right time. And thanks to its predictive analytics tools, you’ll always be in the know about your clients’ purchasing behavior, which will further help you tailor your emails.

#3 Sender

Sender is an email marketing platform known for its stunning newsletter templates. You can either use them as they are or build on top of them using the platform’s drag-and-drop builder.

In addition, Sender crafts functional emails that work across all browsers and devices. You can automate drip campaigns, welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, happy birthday emails, and more.

Finally, Senders lets you use part of its services for free forever, including the option to send 15,000 emails/month to 2,500 subscribers, build templates, automate emails, and more. It’s the perfect free plan for businesses that are just starting out and in the process of building their email list.

#4 Drip

According to Drip, a customer-first approach is the only way to lead conversion and brand awareness. This email marketing provider “tears apart” your email list to pinpoint your most loyal customers and, by doing so, targets those who are one step away from a purchase.

In addition, Drip can craft captivating subject lines for your emails as well as offer pre-built templates you can work around by adjusting all the buttons, font, and overall style.

Pop-ups are its expertise – Drip will ensure your website pop-ups are seen by the right people at just the right time. Finally, you can utilize Drip’s dashboard to track your campaign progress and get insight into how your pop-ups and emails perform.

#5 Constant Contact

You should give Constant Contact a shot if you want to send professional, branded emails to existing customers while engaging new ones. This customer acquisition platform offers small businesses some of the best email marketing solutions, including templates for landing pages and sign-ups, engagement reporting, and cross-posting.

The above features come with the $9.99/month subscription plan, while the $45/month 0ne includes list-growth tools, content personalization, automated communications, and personalized consultation.

How to Choose Email Marketing Tools

Just because some email marketing platforms have gained the reputation of “top-tier” doesn’t mean all, or even any, would be adequate for your business needs. Here are some ways to determine whether an email marketing service would be a good fit for you:

Determine the Kind of Emails You Want to Send

There are various types of automated emails: transactional emails, drip emails, newsletters, and a combination of two or more of the mentioned. Depending on your line of business, you must determine the kind of emails you should be sending:

  • Transactional emails facilitate sales and deals
  • Drip emails are sent out at set intervals to trigger leads
  • Newsletters retain an informative style but can include a CTA (Call to Action).

If you run an online store, transactional emails are a must – even better if you use them to thank the customer for making a purchase instead of just confirming it. Drip email campaigns boost engagement and nudge users to come back for any new releases. For example, an affiliate marketing business could greatly benefit from such emails.

Using CRM software, you can further tailor your drip emails to be sent out at specific times and to a set group of people. Finally, newsletters will keep your customers in the loop at all times and foster your relationship with them.

Create a List of Features You Would Benefit From

As a small business owner, you are probably on a fixed budget, so it’s vital to plan your operating costs accordingly. And since you’ll probably have to settle for a cheaper plan with fewer features, you must narrow down the ones you’d benefit from the most.

Consider the Cost

Given that our focus is on small business email marketing, the costs that would be employed are essential. The ROI on email marketing adds up to $35.41 for every 1$ spent, making email marketing profitable and worthwhile for almost any line of business.

However, some businesses employ it more than others, such as B2C businesses. So, investing would be a great idea if you’d have to foster customer relationships while building new ones constantly.

Email Marketing Tips and Strategies

An email marketing solution can be one of the most opportunistic tools for generating leads and boosting revenue as a small business owner – if you know how to utilize it right.

Let’s look at some digital marketing tips and tricks for developing an email campaign from scratch:

#1 Create a Quality Email List

You cannot turn a profit through an email campaign without building a quality email list first. You can do this by adding a pop-up form to your homepage for a start.

And before you’re turned off by the sound of “pop-up,” let us remind you that they can be a very effective conversion tool. In fact, according to a study by Sumo, the average conversion rate is 3.09%, and the highest-performing pop-ups sometimes see a conversion rate of 50.2%.

Once you’ve got the catchy pop-up headline down, you can move on to adding a permanent email signup form on all your website pages. Remember that copy is key here – you need a strong CTA to urge users to fill out the form.

If you have business accounts across various social media channels, consider adding a CTA at the end of every piece of content you post. Even better if you immerse followers in brand-related content through visuals like TikTok or Insta reels.

Finally, you can always put out a survey at the end of which you’ll offer participants a certain discount percentage.

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#2 Craft a Catchy Subject Line for Every Email

Your subject line is the first thing a subscriber sees upon receiving your email. So, you want to put your own stamp on it and communicate the message you want to send as clearly as possible. And while you don’t want to be aggressive with your marketing efforts, including a CTA like “Invitation to…” or “Grab your…” is always of great help. It would be even better to include the subscriber’s name to personalize it more.

#3 Automate the Process

One of the major benefits of email campaigns is that they can be fully automated. By employing one of the marketing platforms above, you’ll be able to have someone else do the sending while you focus on more time-sensitive business tasks.

But before opting for a specific platform, consider your goal and the value it’ll bring your customers. You’ll also have to group your subscribers according to their buying behavior, website activity, and engagement with your brand. By doing so, you’ll be able to target the right subscribers and send them tailored automated emails that are most likely to generate ROI.

Finally, you’ll have to test your automation process once in a while to ensure it’s targeting the right audience and converting leads.

#4 Make Sure Your Message Is Clear on All Devices

According to a study from Fluent, 6 out of 10 American check their mail on the go, out of which three-quarters do it using their smartphone. Considering the survey was conducted in 2017, we can safely assume that these numbers have jumped since then.

So, if you want to spruce up your emails with visuals, make sure the said visuals will appear in order on both desktop and mobile. You can do this using a responsive email template from some of the tools we mentioned above.

#5 Don’t Appear Spammy While Remaining Consistent

Consistency doesn’t equal spamminess. The only way your emails could be flagged as ‘Spam’ is if you send them without approval, exclude an ‘Unsubscribe’ button, or use salesy and spammy language. This is a surefire way to deter potential customers from your brand and lose their business by being overbearing.

That being said, you must time your emails to be sent out to the same people at set intervals to “remind” them every once in a while to check up on your brand.

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#6 Learn How to Calculate the ROI on Your Email Campaigns

Here’s a basic formula to see how your email campaign is improving your ROI:

(Revenue – Cost) / Cost = ROI

Let’s say you’ve made $10,000 in revenue with $1,000 in expenses. Your profit would add up to $9,000, which, by dividing it by the $1,000 in costs, would add up to $, or a 900% ROI. So, for every dollar you spent on the campaign, you got $9 in revenue.

However, the equation above is very shallow and only considers the costs and revenue and nothing else. The time you invested into the campaign is also important – how worthwhile would it be in the long run?

In addition, this equation doesn’t consider the CLV (Customer Lifetime Value), which is the total amount of money a customer could spend on your services or products. It also doesn’t consider other engagement metrics like open and click-through rates.

So, while the ROI formula is a good way to gauge how your ROI improves against material costs, it doesn’t take intangibles into account.


Email marketing is a powerful tool for boosting conversion rates at the click of a button. By employing email marketing software to do the manual work for them, a small business can turn their focus on more big-picture stuff.

Besides increased ROI, this type of marketing allows for the addition of unlimited contacts and direct communication with your most loyal customers.

To carry out future campaigns successfully, consider the type of promotional email services you’ll need, the kind of emails you want to send, and how much you’re willing to invest. Finally, track your ROI after every campaign to see whether you’re doing it right.


Does email marketing help small businesses?

Plainly put, yes. While email marketing campaigns can help already-established businesses boost ROI, they aid smaller enterprises in building and retaining customer relationships.

How much do email marketing services cost?

An average cost rate for email marketing considers the type of business, the size of your customer base, the tools you need, etc. The most affordable services can cost as low as $10-$20, while the best email marketing services can go over $2,000.

Which is the best email marketing platform in 2023?

Constant Contact will suit your needs if you’re looking to trigger leads for $9.99/month. On the other hand, if you have a growing subscriber list and would prefer a free solution, consider Sender. Always choose according to your needs.

What things should you consider while choosing an email marketing tool?

Besides the cost, you should consider the scope of features, user reviews, the kind of customer experience each tool provides, and the automation capabilities.

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