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Every business knows that email marketing is a crucial key part of any online marketing toolkit.

In this guide, Email Marketing 101, we show how email can have a huge effect on your marketing by building an audience, cultivating relationships, and creating a ready-made market of people interested in what you do and what you have to offer.

We will show you how to make email marketing work well for your business with some key takeaways to help you make the most of your emails.

Email Marketing 101: Everything You Need to Know for Increased Signups, Traffic, and Conversions

1. How Email Marketing Fits Into Your Promotion Strategy

2. How to Give Your Audience a Reason to Sign Up

3. Make Signing Up Easy

4. How to Segment Your Subscribers for Higher Conversions

5. Automate Your Email Marketing

6. Drive Traffic to Your Lead Magnet

7. How to Craft Effective Emails

Pinterest image for article Email Marketing 101 from Selz the ecommerce platform to grow and scale your business

1. How Email Marketing Fits into Your Promotion Strategy

While building a social following has huge capital for your online empire, being able to contact your audience via email means you aren’t reliant entirely on social media platforms or your website to contact your audience and customers. 

A strong email marketing strategy allows you to send valuable information and offers directly to your customer base, and to track how the emails are received, clicked and opened. 

With the right techniques to add value and build lasting relationships, your list can make a big difference in your bottom line.

A woman ties together brown letters, representing how much care you should take with your email marketing strategy. Selz makes selling simple and powerful.

2. How to Give Your Audience a Reason to Sign Up

We live in an online world that is getting increasingly saturated with information everywhere we turn. From our messenger apps to social media and our inboxes, businesses and marketers are fighting for our attention. 

By applying some key insights to optimizing your email marketing strategy, you can make sure your emails are actually read, enjoyed, and acted upon by your audience.

Build Your Email Marketing List with Lead Magnets

Remember that the email addresses on your list belong to real people. When people give you access to their inboxes, they are inviting you to add value to their lives in the way they live and work. 

We live in an online world that is getting increasingly saturated with information everywhere we turn. From our messenger apps to social media and our inboxes, businesses and marketers are fighting for our attention.

Because we already have so many emails coming to us on a daily basis, we’re not likely to hand out our email to each and every website that asks for it. This is where the idea of a lead magnet comes into play.

Examples of lead magnets include:

  • An ebook or a few free chapters of your book
  • A challenge or training series
  • A webinar or video training
  • Worksheets
  • Special offer discount code or voucher

Essentially, whilst the content on your website is of value to your audience (or at least, it should be!), an opt-in trigger goes beyond that.

Use your opt-in trigger to offer your audience something special. It could be a guide showing them how to save money, learn something new, or reach their goals.

However, you’re not really giving this away for free. Far from it. Opt-ins are a great way to offer an insight to who you are and how you work and to showcase your work and value to your customers in exchange for an email address.

Whatever your lead magnet is, it should be just special enough to make your audience enter their contact information to get their hands on this digital goodie.

By incentivizing your audience a valuable resource like this, they will more readily become subscribers, and also, start to form a positive relationship with your brand!

You’ve set the stage for future transactions by giving them a glimpse of the high quality and effort behind all your products.

A row of colorfully painted mailboxes representing reaching a variety of people with email marketing. Selz is the ecommerce platform to grow and scale your business.

3. Make Signing Up Easy

This may sound obvious, but it’s a really important element in ensuring the success of your email marketing lists.

Make sure your future customers can easily sign up to your list by making the opt-in offer easy to see and take action on. After all, a hidden sign-up button buried somewhere on your site is not going to yield the results you might hope for in your email marketing.

Make sure the option to subscribe is visible in obvious places such as:

  • Your homepage on your website (above the “fold” if you can)
  • Social media platforms and profiles
  • Your email signature
  • A pop-up
  • Offline marketing materials such as fliers, business cards, and posters if relevant.
A lightbulb in sand can be hard to spot, but your opt-in for email marketing should be in plain sight.

4. How to Segment Your Subscribers for Higher Conversions

Even if you’re only doing it for the select few minutes you craft your email, it’s important to wear the hat of a professional writer.

One thing that all writers know is that who your audience is, defines what and how you write. By segmenting your subscribers, you can create better emails tailored to your audience.

Many email marketing apps such as ConvertKit, Active Campaign, Aweber and MailChimp allow you to tag, segment and label contacts on your list depending on a range of actions and events.

For example, you might have a variety of opt-ins you obtained from a meal planning ebook.

By creating a segment specifically for this opt-in list, you will be able to target this audience specifically for more relevant meal planning, clean eating, food budgeting, and just about all content related to the opt-in trigger.

This enables you to create a stronger, more relevant connection with your audience.

Pencils and thread are organized in containers, the same way you should organize and segment lists for email marketing.

5. Automate Your Email Marketing

Email marketing allows you to be super smart with your online efforts by setting up some automations and sequences. For example, a short email challenge can be created once, then set to evergreen for a set and forget automation that works for you 24/7.

You can also create a sequence of emails. For example, after an opt-in trigger is fulfilled, you can send the recipient a welcome sequence of emails, telling them more about the business, holiday events and sales, and even giving products away.

Read: 5 Emails You Should Send Today

Neon bulbs with illuminated numbers represent set automations, which make email marketing more simple. Selz makes selling online simple and powerful.

6. Drive Traffic to Your Lead Magnets

So, we know that email marketing is effective and useful, but getting people to see that lead magnet is crucial if they’re even going to engage with it.

Your website and social media content are key parts of your organic traffic approach. Showcase your opt-in offer or subscription link beneath each blog post and on your social media profiles and posts. Make a point to create highly useful, quality content, to drive traffic to your site.

You don’t have to do it all alone! Consider collaborating with other entrepreneurs in your industry or niche who have audience profiles similar to your own. Cross promotions like this are a great way to build your list organically.

Utilize an email marketing system like MailChimp, which has great integration with Selz, to create a pop-up on your site. You could also implement a paid traffic approach using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Google ads.

A mailbox in a remote location shows the importance of traffic being driven to your opt-in, to build your email marketing list. Selz is the ecommerce platform for growing businesses.

7. How to Craft Effective Emails

For your emails to be opened, and clicked through, you need to make sure you have consistently valuable content, and a great headline to encourage the essential click-to-open action.

Headlines should be engaging and grab the reader’s attention. Many email marketing providers also offer the opportunity to split test headlines.

This allows the most opened -and most effective- version to be sent to the bulk of your audience. If you’re really in a pinch for writing headline copy, check out CoSchedule. They offer an excellent free headline analysis tool for creating compelling headlines.

As for the body of the email, it’s important to write concisely, with a clear, singular call to action. Whether you’re inviting readers to check out a blog post or head back to an abandoned cart, give them just enough information to pique their curiosity, and encourage them to click through to your site.

Email design makes a powerful difference, so be sure to include some relevant imagery in your emails. This can be a snapshot of yourself hard at work, the subject of your latest blog, or a beautiful graphic of some of the products you are linking to.

A man working on a typewriter representing creating content for email marketing. Selz makes selling online simple and powerful.

There’s a reason that so much emphasis is put on email marketing.

Whether you’re connecting with new customers, or sending abandoned cart messages to nail a sale, email can be an incredibly powerful and effective part of your business.  

As you develop your campaigns, keep an eye on analytics – your open, click, and unsubscribe rates.

Treat all data as invaluable feedback that enables you to continually improve your opt-in tactics and email strategy.

As you deliver an increasingly effective, engaging experience, your audience will respond by converting into valued customers.

About the author

Jo Gifford

A widely read contributor to Huffington Post, Selz, Regus, Prowess, YFS Magazine and many more interwebz rabbit holes, Jo is a respected UK voice on life as a pocket-sized enterprise owner.

Jo’s background – a seasoned blogger, copywriter, podcaster, and graphic designer with an MA and research interest in creative thinking for small business – makes for an eclectic and colourful killer content approach.


  1. Tara Storozynsky

    Hi Pauliina, great question! While I think the order that these steps are listed in is helpful to the process, you mayb find that you are doing all of these at once, as a big part of your business. Feel free to move stuff around, too, and see what works for you. Thanks for reading FounderU and commenting!

  2. Pauliina

    Do I have to do it in this order do you think?

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