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A beginner's guide to email marketing & how to get started with email marketing

There are at least 3 times more email accounts than Facebook and Twitter combined. How’s that for a reason why you should be doing some form of email marketing? What if I said you’re 6 times more likely to get a click through from email than social media? The last, and probably most important stat – email has the highest ROI when compared to paid search and social media. Obviously, you can target completely new people with paid search and social media campaigns, but email is a great way to get interested people through your conversion funnel.

email marketing for small business belfast northern ireland

So now you’re convinced it’s something you should be doing for your business, how do you get started with email marketing?

1. Build your email marketing list

This can be from current customers, prospective customers, gathering email addresses from your social media channels, adding a sign up sheet at your premises or point of sale, or a sign up prompt on your website. It’s important to get consent before you start emailing people, you can be in breach of GDPR regulations (check out the GDPR blog here) and you won’t get a good response from people who haven’t opted in to emails, believe me

2. Choose your email marketing provider

There are loads of options out there, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Active Campaign. Do a search on Google and find what will be a good fit for you, there are different costing options, template options, ease of use etc. Do your research here and make sure you’re comfortable with who you’re signing up with.

3. Add your email addresses

Add your email addresses into your account. Split your email addresses into separate lists if you can so you can send the most targeted emails e.g. you will want to split into people who haven’t purchased from you and people who have. If possible, you will also want to split up current customers also e.g. if you had a gym, you would split your member types into separate lists. This way, you could send pay as you go members information about monthly memberships, without spamming your monthly members.

4. Set up a welcome email

This is the first email your subscribers will receive, and you can expect a higher open rate on this 1. Make it welcoming, give them an overview of things they can expect to receive from you in future, and offer them something useful (e.g. content that they won’t have seen before). This makes them more likely to open future emails.

5. What’s your goal? Write emails that target goals

What are your email marketing goals? Sales, keeping people up to date, re-engagement, it doesn’t matter, but make sure any email you send out is written with the goal of that email campaign in mind. Choose a template or a design that fits with your brand and that you can use throughout all your emails – this keeps your brand constant throughout your marketing channels. Make sure your subject lines and preview texts are there and make a good impression. Practice writing persuasive emails, think of your subscriber in front of you and what you would tell them face to face.

6. Preview & test before you send!

Preview your email, make sure it works on all devices. Test your email, make sure any links you have in there are going to the right place. Send (or schedule your email to be sent!) to one of your email lists.


This is my finishing point on most blogs, but I cannot stress the importance of this for all digital marketing activities. Test the time you send your emails, if you send it in the morning, maybe you’d get a better response if you sent it in the evening? Test your subject lines – subject lines are probably the most important sentence in email marketing. What’s your open rate, what’s your click through rate, is your unsubscribe rate high? All these metrics will give you insight into improving your email marketing.

Hopefully that’s given you all an idea in how to get started, let us know if you have any queries on this 1. And, as ever if you want to get in touch about our email marketing feel free :)

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