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  • Writer's pictureSBDC @ JCC

The ABCs of Email Marketing

Think email marketing is dead? Think again!

Email marketing still yields the highest return-on-investment of any digital marketing tool. In fact, the Direct Marketing Association reports that email yields an astounding 4300% ROI! Add the fact that it is eco-friendly, can be automated and personalized, and can be revised mid-campaign (just try that with a direct mailing or billboard!), and you have the makings for an invaluable marketing tool.

So how can you, as a small business owner, create great email campaigns that stand out in your customer’s inbox? Here are some tips to get you started:

The ABCs of Email Marketing

A – Audience

Know your audience and only send them valuable, relevant information. Use a free online tool like to create a “buyer persona” and then visualize that persona each time you write an email. Will that persona find your topic informative? Entertaining? Inspiring? Relevant? (By the way – use that same persona when composing your social media posts. More on that topic in another blog article coming up. Stay tuned!)

Use an email service provider like MailChimp, Constant Contact, SendGrid or Aweber to easily create professional-looking personalized emails using templates that will appeal to your audience – no coding skills needed. Remember, your customers and prospects are bombarded with dozens, maybe even hundreds of marketing emails every day. If your emails are not valuable or relevant to them personally, they will unsubscribe. Or worse, they’ll click the SPAM button. So, it’s important to understand your audience and use the subject line to let them know you’re sending them something they’ll find valuable.

B – Build your list

Build your email lists by inviting customers to sign up for coupons or special perks. Using an email service provider lets you quickly and easily add a subscribe button to your website pages and social media profiles. You can add a subscribe button to your email signature – like mine, below.

Give customers and prospects as many opportunities as possible to opt in to your email lists. Constant Contact, SendInBlue and MailChimp have great blogs with lots of valuable tips for growing your email subscriber list.

C – Call to Action

Let your readers know what to do next with a call to action, or a CTA. The CTA tells your reader how to learn more, print your recipe, get the special discount, sign up for your awesome newsletter, attend your event, etc. Make it easy for your reader to take the action that will move them down your sales funnel.

A good CTA is usually in a button that stands out from the text clearly. It can be hyperlinked to a sales page or an opt in form or a printable coupon – whatever you are hoping your reader will do next. But it can also be quite simple like, “Call Today” followed by your phone number. Every email you send should have a call-to-action inviting the reader to engage with your company in some way, furthering their relationship with you, your product or your sales reps.

I’ve got one last letter for you – D is for Design

Keep the look of your emails consistent with your brand. Be sure that your logo is front and center, and that the colors and images you use are the same as your website, ads, social media pages, business cards, etc. Use templates provided by your email service provider to design emails that capture attention and invite further action. All of the email service providers listed above have blogs and tutorials where you can learn more about designing effective emails.

These are some basics to growing an effective email marketing strategy. Need a little guidance getting started or improving your email strategy? We can help! Reach out to the Small Business Development Center at 716-338-1024 to schedule a free, confidential appointment for personal assistance with your marketing plan.

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