Email marketing

A beginner’s guide to email marketing

This blog is for small businesses or anyone who needs some tips on email marketing. 

I’ve worked on many successful email campaigns. If you would like some help with your emails or newsletters get in touch.

Email marketing. Vanessa Williams Copywriter.

1. Choose your email platform

I use MailChimp. It’s one of the best and most loved.

It’s free for a basic package and easy to use. They have many useful features. For example they have tools and a blog to help you comply with the GDPR – the EU’s new data privacy law.

2. Build your subscriber list

Clean, up-to-date and relevant email addresses are essential. These are your customers. 

Prompt your sign-up forms on social media, through your website, your email signature or wherever you can. Use incentives such as competitions and exclusive offers. You can also buy email addresses from data or publishing companies.

3. Your audience and what to say

Reward subscribers with insight and help, news and friendly chat, exclusive offers, or use striking images to entice. 

Remind your audience what you do, and how it will benefit them. If you have enough subscribers and details of them (you need to ask more when you sign people up), you can send tailored emails to different groups of people.

4.  Style

An attractive email design that compliments your brand will be your base.

Your email platform will have lots of good design features. If you can afford it, a graphic designer can add some subtle touches and create a unique look.

5. A clear purpose in mind 

Do you want website hits, sales, event attendees, or are you generally promoting yourself and building up a rapport? 

Find your voice and keep your style consistent. Don’t cram in too much information.

6. Content and layout

Start with an enticing subject line. Be creative and daring, it’s competitive out there! Sign up to lots of newsletters to see what others are doing. It will give you ideas.

Compose a well crafted email with nice images.

Use media, GIFs or photos to make an impact. Pixabay and Gratisography are good for high quality free images.

Most people read emails on their phone. So send a test to yourself to see how it looks.

Add natural links on keywords and break up long paragraphs with a space or sub-heading.

For a strong impact try a short, plain text email with 2-3 compelling sentences and one link to your website.

A plain text email is more likely to get through spam filters.

Add a call to action button. They really do encourage people to click and visit your website.

7. Types of email campaigns

So now all you need to do is find your voice and create some effective emails.

It would take a whole other blog to talk about campaigns and ways to tackle email marketing. Here’s a few pointers and campaign types to get you started.

Campaign types

  • Monthly newsletter
  • Help and advice – showcase your knowledge
  • Image led product promotions
  • Events – lots of build up emails
  • Competitions and promotions
  • New product or service info
  • Employee profiles or meet the team – helps build trust
  • Thank you and welcome emails

Campaign ideas

Ask your customers or trusted colleagues why people go to you. Use the reasons as a basis for a campaign.

Plan ahead.

What’s coming up in your business?

Is there a prominent time of year for you?

Write your promotions in advance.

For an event or promotion start with ‘A date for your diary’ email, way in advance of the event. Then build up to it. What’s it about, what will be there, who will be there, how can the reader benefit?

People like to plan in advance, so put your business out there.

Remind people what you do and how it will benefit them.

Don’t forget the basics, people need to know what you do.

Testimonials and recommendations (especially by well known, respected people) or images of happy customers help build trust.

Set up templates

If you’re short on time, set up templates. Take the time initially to come up with a few ideas on what you’re going to write. General news, product info, help and tips etc. And then just amend the copy and images for each email.

From experience, a short and sweet email with one link (and maybe one image) can be very effective. It may be all you need to convince your reader to take action.

8. Number of email hits and events

A build-up campaign works well with email. Events especially, or leading up to a promotion. You can really build up the momentum. Increase your emails towards the finale of an event.

For newsletters or general promos, keep it light. Once-twice a month is my limit for newsletters.

I hope this blog has helped you get started with email marketing. 

Good luck with your marketing campaigns.


Useful email marketing blogs

Learn the basics of creating email campaigns in Mailchimp by Mailchimp

Email marketing tips and tricks for a successful campaign by a blogger for Brighton University (includes a useful link to a GDPR data protection checklist)

23 simple email marketing tips to improve your open and clickthrough rates by Hubspot

29 simple ways to grow your email list by Hubspot

9 different types of of email your business should be sending by Vertical Response

How to create an effective email marketing campaign by Vertical Response

How I can help

Hello, I am a Pembrokeshire based freelance copywriter. I work with a range of small businesses in Pembrokeshire and Wales.

I can write your emails or newsletters for you. 

My background is publishing, event and B2B email marketing. I’ve worked on many successful email campaigns (through Emailvision). From planning and writing the promotion plan, sourcing and preparing the data, creating the emails, and monitoring the success.

I’ll work with you to find the best approach for your business. 

Example email package 

  • A visit to your business or phone consultation.
  • Brand overview. I’ll find your voice, your unique offering to help you compete.
  • A block of newsletters or emails ready to go.
  • Some template newsletters or emails for future use.

Get in touch for an chat and quote. 


About me.

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