A Seriously Simple Guide to Email Marketing

Guide to Email Marketing

So you keep hearing them say “the money is in the list” and you’re all… “umm what list?”.

Sound about right?

Well, I’m here to tell you that the money is in the email list that you are about to start building once you’re finished reading this blog post.

Presumptuous? Maybe. But I’m pretty sure once you’re done reading this blog post you are going to be more than ready and confident to step up your email marketing game.

But first. Why?

Why even step up your email marketing game?

There’s Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook, oh my! So many channels to focus on. And not to mention your blog and SEO and traffic building strategies. You’re freaking busy! Why even bother with an email list anyways?

Well if a $44 return for every dollar spent isn’t enough to get you excited about email marketing… and if the fact that each subscriber on your list equals about $1 per month…  go ahead and check out these 37 email marketing stats your business needs to know.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, let me remind you this. You rent your social media following. Your Instagram followers aren’t really your followers. They belong to Instagram. And your Facebook fans aren’t really your Facebook fans. They belong to Facebook.

Ummm… what?

What I’m basically trying to say is… if your sole income is from Instagram and your account got hacked tomorrow, how would you make your next dollar?

You need a marketing strategy that you own. And that strategy is email marketing.

A Seriously Simple Guide to Email Marketing

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guide to email marketing

Email marketing is the act of sending relationship building emails to a group of potential customers or clients. Yes, relationship building.

The biggest concern I hear when it comes to email marketing is that the sender doesn’t want to sound spammy when selling their services or products. Fair concern, but the key to not sounding spammy is to serve, not sell.

Serve, not sell.

You do this by building relationships.

If you provide your subscribers with nothing but value packed content and relatable stories, they are going to be more than stoked when you slide into their inbox to sell them something.

Have you ever walked past a Cinnabon in a mall? They are usually handing out free samples, right? You take one, and it’s not enough. You get your butt in line and BUY a whole Cinnabon.

Same with emailing. You give them value packed free samples and then they are going to want more. That’s when you go to sell.

Make sense? K, cool.

Getting Started With Email Marketing

Ready to get started with email marketing? What about building that list? Most importantly, are you ready to start making that money? Let’s do this!

I’m going to make this really easy. We’re going to break this down into 3 sections and at the end of this blog post, go ahead and download my list building workbook to help you put everything into action. Or ya know… just grab it now!

Okay, here we go.

Select Your Tools

As with most instances in life, you should choose your tools wisely. Not all Email Service Providers (ESPs) are created equal. Here are a few things to think about when choosing your ESP:


Templates are going to make your email look fancy schmancy beautiful. Not all ESPs offer templates and some offer better designs than others. Most ecommerce businesses use templates for their emails but if you are a service provider you may opt for something a little more basic such as no template at all.


Most ESPs should provide you at the very least with opens, clicks, bounces, unsubscribes, and spam complaints (and if not you should probably start looking for a new provider #justsaying). Some will provide more information than that though. They can tell you things like location, device, browser, and more! Deciding how important detailed reporting is to your business can for sure help you narrow down an ESP. 


Timing is everything with email marketing which is why automation is something to be considered when choosing an ESP. Automation is proven to generate higher open, click-through, and conversion rates for your email-marketing efforts. When choosing an ESP, you might want to first consider if automation will be part of your strategy. If so, you’ll want to choose an ESP that has both simple and complex nurturing programs, such as welcome email and shopping-cart–abandonment programs as well as the capability to personalize messages. 


About 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices and mobile users are known to check their emails more than non mobile users. Think about it… I dunno about you but when I open up my phone to check through my favorite apps (aka Instagram, Pinterest, and Co-Star… I always check my email before putting my phone away. Do you?) You’ll want to make sure you are choosing an ESP that sends mobile optimized emails.

Grow Your List

Now that you have a way to send your emails, you’ll want to start gathering email addresses to send to – of course on a permission basis! That’s where building your list comes into play. There are quit a few ways to build your list but a couple of my favorites are content upgrades and lead magnets. Content upgrades and lead magnets are basically valuable free products that you exchange for someone’s email address. Successful content upgrades and lead magnets usually solve a problem or address a pain point.

Build Intimate Relationships

Once you choose an ESP and start gathering email addresses, you are going to want to start building relationships. We are emailing to build know/like/trust which in turn creates paying customers. The goal of emailing should be to serve, not to sell. Selling is just the icing on a delicious service based cake.

There are a couple of good ways to build relationships… the most common being through newsletters and automations. Let’s start with automations because that’s really where the money is.


Automations are a series of emails that get sent out automatically in a predetermined timely manner. The most common automation is a welcome series but you can also send out a sales series, which is commonly sent out after your welcome series – especially if you use the end of your welcome series to segment your list.


Newsletters are emails sent out in real time which is awesome because you can update your subscribers on your latest posts, happenings, and findings in your industry. The only downside to newsletters is if you send it out at 6pm and someone subscribes at 6:05pm, they are going to miss out on that content.

So what do you think? Are you ready to get to it?

Download my List Building Workbook to help guide you through the process.