Email Marketing for Small Businesses

11 Feb. 21

Email marketing is a cost-effective way to interact directly with customers to achieve marketing goals.

You can target your customer’s specific interests, wants, and needs directly through their inbox. This is a more personal way of communicating with your customers compared to other channels of digital marketing.

While different digital marketing methods like SEO and social media are becoming more popular, email marketing should not be forgotten. If anything, the more saturated other digital marketing channels become, email marketing becomes more valuable. Most people who use the internet have an email account. Therefore, you will be able to reach people who are inaccessible through your other marketing channels (i.e. people who don’t have social media).

Email marketing can be especially beneficial for small businesses. Consumers often feel a more profound connection to small businesses than larger competitors; therefore, recipients are likely to be more responsive to your email content.

So, what is email marketing? And how can you use email marketing for your small business?

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is exactly what it sounds like; sending a message to a particular audience through email. However, there are various ways to use email marketing, and how you do so will depend on your larger goals. For example, you can:

  • Promote products and services
  • Offer sales
  • Reveal new features
  • Explain business changes
  • Share exciting news
  • Conduct surveys/research
  • Raise brand awareness
  • Get client feedback
  • Grow your clientele

Your objective for your emails will help determine an effective email marketing strategy. Your purpose may stay consistent or vary from week to week, depending on what you want to achieve.

Developing an Email Marketing Strategy

Email List

Once you have established a purpose for email marketing, you can generate an effective strategy around your goals. You should build an email list composed of your target customers and provide an easy way for others to sign up for your emails (on your website, link on social media, sign up sheet at your brick and mortar location, etc.). You can even further segment your list into more specific demographics and send emails according to your sub-groups’ particular interests.

Email Schedule

It will be essential to create an effective schedule for sharing your emails. Maybe you have the resources and content available to send an email daily, or perhaps only once a week. You want to find a balance where you are connecting with your customers often enough to encourage engagement but not overwhelming their inboxes to where they want to unsubscribe.

Email Format

You will also need to consider your emails’ format and how they will be received on mobile. According to HubSpot, 46% of emails are opened on a mobile device, so sending mobile user-friendly emails is crucial for delivering quality.


You may want to include graphics, images, and videos to make your emails more visually appealing. If the emails you are sending are just words on a white backdrop, people will be less likely to read them. While it is important to include different visuals to keep your content refreshing, you should keep your graphics and colour schemes consistent with your brand.

Subject Lines

Write engaging subject lines. The subject line is the first thing people read and is a big determiner of recipients opening or ignoring the email. Your subject line should both provide excitement and give insight on what to expect in the email. You can even personalize your subject line by including recipiants’ names to increase your open rate. Your subject lines should be as short as possible to accommodate for less space on mobile devices.


You should monitor your open and click rates to gauge your strategy’s effectiveness and uncover where adjustments are needed. This will also show you which recipients are inactive on their email to devise a better way of connecting with your customers. Suppose recipients are consistently not opening your emails. In that case, you may have the wrong email address, your emails could be redirected to their junk folder, or maybe they just don’t use their email, and you would be better off connecting with them another way. Open rates will also help uncover the type of content that performs well among your viewers and provide direction for future content creation.


Most importantly, you want to provide value to your recipients. It won’t matter how awesome the rest of your strategy is if your email format and content is of poor quality. Think, what do your customers want to get from your emails. The more people enjoy your emails, the more positively it will reflect on your brand and your relationship with your customers. This will increase open rates, generate more responses, and overall help you achieve your goals.


If your questioning if your small business should invest in an email marketing strategy, the answer is yes. Developing and executing an effective digital marketing strategy will help your business generate leads and build a stronger relationship with your customers. It is a worthwhile marketing strategy that can be highly valuable for small businesses.

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