If you are looking for the ultimate beginner’s guide for email marketing, you have arrived at the right place.
Email marketing is lucrative – if and when done right, and more importantly, consistently.
Copywriting, software, automation, tips, hacks, training, and more – we will cover it all in this blog.
Email marketing is one of the most important skills you will need to master in having an online business. They say “The money is in the list”, “the money is in the follow-up”, and other such catchphrases.
Email Marketing is first and foremost about nurturing and building relationships. Providing value, building trust, and also selling. And continuing to do that over and over.
Hopefully, this blog will help you with that.
Who is this blog for?
This blog is to help solopreneurs, freelance businesses, internet marketers, affiliate marketers, aspiring entrepreneurs, or people who are “side hustling”.
This blog is not intended for big companies with sales teams or physical product eCommerce businesses – although I believe even they will find tremendous value from some of the content of this blog.
What this blog will cover?
- Email marketing terminology
- Email marketing 101
- Email Marketing Automation Software options and comparisons
- Resources to learn copywriting
- Tips to help your copywriting
We all start at zero:
How I got started with email marketing? Just like everyone, I started at zero.
I was at the coaching for a company and doing my own social media marketing through content creation on my social media (YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook).
I got a bit of exposure through other people’s email lists and webinars and was exposed to 1000s of people through sharing content about how I use social media to attract clients and make money through affiliate marketing.
At the time I had no email list whatsoever. I did not have an autoresponder even. The concept of an email list was still foreign to me, although I understood this is something “I probably should have”.
One day, I get an email from someone as follows:
Truth is, at the time I did not have an email list!
So I had a small back and forth and I confessed to this person that I don’t have an email list but now that she asked to be added, I have to start one and so she’s officially my first subscriber.
So I was basically forced to get started. It’s funny while writing this blog, I didn’t remember the person’s name so had to dig through my old emails and that’s how I got the screenshot. I checked, and to this day this person is still on my email list!
Why start an email list?
No matter what business you are in, whether you are selling physical products, digital products, services, affiliate, online or offline – there is one thing for certain:
YOU ARE IN THE PEOPLE BUSINESS!
To succeed in business you need to have people to sell to.
People don’t just buy the first time they see something. They need to see it again and again, and have follow-up being done.
And people buy from people they know, like and trust.
You need people to know you, and continue to know you, and know you better, and like you, and like you more, and trust you, and trust you more, and so on.
The best way to do it is to build a relationship with them.
Email marketing is one of the most automated ways to do it.
You can also build an audience on social media. Instagram followers, YouTube subscribers, Facebook group.
But an email list is something that you OWN.
The other methods with social media, you are at the risk of that platform suspending your account and you can lose it all. While I doubt Instagram, Facebook or YouTube will disappear anytime soon and be replaced by another app, it is not unreasonable to assume that there is a chance you’ll be locked out of your account for some reason. It can happen.
This is why building an email list is so important. That email list is yours and no one can take it away from you.
Even if you build a following on social media, you should do your best to get them to exchange their email address with you as well.
Three Types of Traffic:
(a) Traffic that you can control
(b) Traffic that you can’t control
(c) Traffic that you own
Traffic that you can control is paid advertising.
Traffic that you can’t control is social media advertising (organic growth, non-paid).
Traffic that you OWN is – you guessed it – your email list!
Whether you are doing (a) or (b) or both, you need to convert that traffic into traffic that you own. That is the goal.
Learn more about that in the book Dot Com Secrets.
Value vs selling?
One of the biggest questions and confusion people have is how much value do I give?
Do I give away all my best content?
How much selling is acceptable?
What is the ratio between providing value and selling?
I’ll tell you my answer to that.
I have absolutely NO shame to sell to my email list. I’ll email them to buy something on a regular basis.
And you shouldn’t either.
This is explained in a brutal fashion by Grant Cardone in this video.
“My office tells me, ‘We hit the list too much’. I’m like, ‘what’s the list for?’ Hit the list!”Grant Cardone
However, it is not correct to just sell. You definitely need to provide value.
My preferred method is to provide value and sell. But at the beginning, when you don’t know what you’re doing, and you’re still finding your voice, still figuring it out, you are safer just providing value.
I remember pumping out blog after blog, honestly in hindsight they were dumb blogs, but that doesn’t matter. It gave me a taste of what to communicate, how to communicate, and so on. Same with Vlogs (Video Blogs), I did the same thing with Instagram. I just thought of a topic while walking down the street, pulled out my phone, recorded myself talking for 1 minute, and posted it up. No editing no nothing. Raw, unprofessional, and sometimes a bit stupid. But it allowed me to find my voice.
I think that is your number one priority when you are starting out.
It is also a great way to build your relationship with your list because that’s 100% authentic.
While I do not have a huge list, I have an engaged list. And list whom I personally corresponded with on email and on the phone even.
If I was to come up with a ratio, I would say 2 value emails, and 1 sales email would be the rough numbers of my method and style. Sometimes I would go harder on the sales emails, but I’ll try to tie it in with some value as part of it.
Building a list is a long-term game:
What inspired me to write this blog is that this past week I made over $1000 from my email list. My email list is just over 600 names and emails. And I would say a maximum of 200 are truly engaged. So that’s not a very big list!
But as I said, my relationship with my list is quite strong.
In the middle of 2018 when I started a 9 to 5 job, I would stay up till 1-3am sometimes writing an email to my list or creating some piece of content to email to my list to “build a relationship”.
I truly would be up sometimes and as I am typing I’m thinking in my head “what is the point?”
I really doubted myself a few times along the way.
But when you have a bang of $1000+ in a week or so, that’s when you realize get confident about the importance of having this skill and the importance of building the list.
Additionally, I invested in building my email list and I can tell you I started seeing some results on after 30 emails (daily) to that list. And I returned my money from investing in traffic when it reached 70+ daily emails.
So it is definitely not a short term play.
The key thing is to understand that when you acquire an email, your job is to build that relationship and over time the lifetime value of that customer will increase if you do your job properly as an email marketer.
Email Marketing terminology:
Let’s cover some basic terminology and acronyms:
CTA = A call to action (CTA) is a marketing term that refers to the next step a marketer wants its audience or reader to take. The CTA can have a direct link to sales.
Autoresponder = An autoresponder is a service that allows you to automatically send out emails to a group, or to several different groups, of people. Once the emails are written, the sending process is automatic. An Autoresponder is referred to both the software itself, and also the actual email series that is created.
Newsletter = An email that is written and sent to the list on a day to day basis, not something automated that is pre-written.
Email Deliverability = The ability of an email to land in the inbox of the recipient (versus landing in their spam, trash or promotions folder) is called Email Deliverability.
Opt-out = this is just another word for someone unsubscribing from your list.
Open Rate = What percent of people from your list opened your email. Say you have 1000 subscribers, and 200 people opened, that’s a 20% open rate.
CTR = Click Through Rate, is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement. It is commonly used to measure the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of email campaigns. Say you have 1000 subscribers, 200 open the email, and 100 click the link in the email, that’s a 10% CTR.
CRM = Customer Relationship Management. is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.
There are lots more terms but this blog is intended for beginners and I’d rather keep it simple.
Email Marketing 101 and random practical hacks:
Okay, let’s cover some practical tips and terminology.
Subject line tips:
The purpose of an email subject line is to get the email opened! That’s it. That’s the purpose.
Personalization works great (when you have their personal name in the subject line).
Add an emoji or emojis to grab attention and make it stand out from other email subject lines.
Make the title mysterious. People hate mystery. They want to know more.
An email subject line “hey” periodically works wonders in increasing open rates.
Long or short emails?
An email being long or short is not as important, so long as it is interesting. Think about the blog you’re reading now. It’s bloody long. But you’re still reading. Right?
When you write a sentence (or paragraph), think about it like this: The purpose of each sentence (or paragraph) in the email is to make the person want to read the next sentence!
Templates vs plan emails
Fancy email templates and colors are more distracting. Plain emails are far more engaging and have better deliverability.
Email deliverability hacks and engagement:
As early as possible in the email sequence, you want to give people a really easy reason to REPLY.
Having someone reply to your email will give Gmail the impression that your subscriber wants to receive your email, and so it will deliver it to the inbox, not the promotions folder.
For example, sign off your first email with a call to action: “Please reply to let me know you got this email, and I’ll be sure to respond with a free gift valued at $100!”
Another small hack, send an email with a subject line “Sorry Did you see this?”
And the email is just one line, “Sorry to bother you , I just had a concern that my last email wasn’t received. Can you reply to let me know you got this? I really appreciate it!“
Always have a call to action. The call to action can be “click the link” or “reply to this email” or “share this email”. But give some sort of action to be taken, no matter how small.
The whole point is to get engagement.
Monetizing your email list:
I monetized my list by selling the following:
- Affiliate Marketing offers, such as Dot Com Secrets, Expert Secrets, Copywriting Secrets, and other software tools.
- My own info products and courses such as the $1 a day coaching course.
- Asking for referrals for my coaching business or digital marketing services such as my web design.
This email made me over 1K in net profit:
Wondering what the actual email looks like? Here is a copy and paste of it.
Part of creating and building my online business I had to figure out high ticket offer, high income skills, and expanding my value ladder.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you really should get my $1/day coaching course. You need it!!!
But that’s not the point of this email.
One of the high ticket offers and high income skills I figured out is building websites.
I sell a website for a minimum of $1000 for each deal.
If you can look around your phone book, your Facebook connections, and give me a referral for a business that needs a website from scratch or an upgrade of an existing website I will give you a commission.
$1500 is a decent price for a website. I want to make $1K for the deal. So I’ll give you $500 commission if you give me just one referral.
You don’t even need to close the deal.
Make an introduction between us on Facebook or email and I’ll work to close the deal.
When I’m paid and website job is complete I’ll transfer you $500 USD by PayPal.
If the deal happens to close for $1000 only, I’ll still give you $150 USD. But let’s aim for a deal that closes $1500 USD so you can pocket a third of it.
This is just a little test I’m doing – thought I’ll just ask for a straight referral and let’s see if we can do business together.
If you want to know what types of websites it can be any WordPress, Shopify, or a funnel with ClickFunnels or other software.
Let me know if you have any referrals, okay?
PS – My $1/day coaching course is still available and I’m still giving away the Affiliate Marketing Course for free for the next few people. Reply if you’re keen.
Someone on my list read it and replied saying they have a referral.
They sent me and the referral another email to introduce us. I scheduled a call with the referral, closed the deal, delivered the website and sent my subscriber $500 commission through PayPal. And I made my profit and got another wonderful client to work with.
If you think that you can’t offer the same service because you are not trained to build websites, think again. Try it yourself, email your list, give me the referral, I’ll close the deal and you’ll make your cut from the sale too. Easiest $500 you will ever make.
If you want to learn website design on WordPress you can get access to Elegant Themes and get premium themes and training for life. A bit of practice and you would have acquired a high-income skill that allows you to charge $500-5,000 per client for a website.
Or if you are not confident in learning WordPress, there are alternatives such as Duda which is so unbelievably easy to use – anyone can do use it to create stunning websites literally within a weekend.
Copywriting Training Resources:
My #1 go-to resource for any education is always BOOKS. They are the most under-rated, under-estimated, under-appreciated, and under-utilized education tools in my opinion.
If you’re gonna be an entrepreneur, you should be subscribed to a service like Audible or Kindle and listen to or read at least 1 book a month.
In terms of a book, I recommend Copywriting Secrets by Jim Edwards.
Every “________ Secrets” books I have bought have been top-notch in value and practical tools for my business. The book is free – only pay for shipping.
Once you ordered it from my link, let me know and I will send you a free gift to go along with it.
There are, of course, paid courses online to learn copywriting professionally. I found the free resources in copyhackers.com to be so comprehensive, a paid course seem like a luxury. Although I’m sure some would offer tremendous value.
Starting a Copywriting Business:
I also wrote a short but powerful and over-simplified eBook on starting a copywriting freelance business.
If this is something you might be interested in, I have 2 resources for you.
(a) Freelancer Secrets Webinar. In there, the presenter reveals snippets the most powerful customer acquisition strategy I have used to get clients for free.
(b) My eBook, Simple Guide to a Copywriting Business.
This guide was written in an eBook format to give an entrepreneur all the tools and resources to start a successful copywriting business. The forward for the eBook was written by one of my successful coaching clients, a copywriter, and this is what she had to say:
Lost searching for answers within a Facebook group, trying to start my own copywriting business, I met Eran. He took the skills I already had and turned them into a copywriting business. Within TWO days of implementing Eran’s game plan, I had TWO paying clients. I was blown away and since then my business has continued to flourish.
In Eran’s book, “Simple Guide for a Copywriting Business” he shares the same simple steps he shared with me to get my business booming. Whether you are wanting to start your own copywriting business, stuck wanting to grow your existing business or just wanting to expand your knowledge of copywriting, this is a must-read.
Eran lays out everything you need to be successful. From creating the perfect work environment to the best software. He even gives you some of the best FREE resources to use. Since I have personally worked with Eran, I know his main goal is to see you succeed in your business. If you follow this simple guide, you will do just that.
The Mom Of Marketing
Newton, WI, USA
This eBook is $97 USD. If you want it for free, read on to the end of this blog. There’s only a tiny catch.
Email Service Providers – software options:
There are dozens of email service providers out there. I do not recommend going with a service that is not established and known. The reason is not that a startup can’t spring up in the email marketing industry and take over, but because the more well-known email service providers integrate with many other platforms much more conveniently.
Any others, would special integration with Zapier which adds to your costs and complicates your funnel. (Zapier is a company that specializes in integrating software, it is like the central connecting system of 1000s of apps online). Zapier is great, but honestly, when you’re getting started, it’s just too much to get into. It’s a complication you simply don’t need in your startup life!
Keep things simple and go with the well-known providers, which I will outline herein.
GetResponse is my preferred email service provider and the one I am currently using.
The reason I recommend this to newbies is the fact that they have a 24/7 support team that helps you with any questions and walks you through any technical issues or challenges.
The email deliverability is good.
The system is relatively easy to use.
The pricing is competitive and affordable.
They offer 30-days free trial.
They offer 90-days email marketing training for free (once you sign up).
I do not like their landing pages, their webinar features, and their sales funnel features. I do not use these myself.
Their basic plan is excellent and worth the investment if you’re just getting started.
Once you sign up, let me know, I have video tutorials and on-boarding videos to help you get started right away.
This is one of my premium recommendations for an Email Autoresponder service if you are getting started, have a bit more of a budget, and are a bit more serious long term to build a sustainable online business.
Truth be told, if I was starting over, Active Campaign may have been my preferred choice over GetResponse.
Active Campaign is more expensive but has a more user-friendly and intuitive platform and robust CRM capabilities that make the software more aligned with running a business.
At the time when I signed up with GetResponse, I rushed into it, I simply needed a solution at the time, and just ran with it.
Since I’ve been using GetResponse for a while, I have a lot of existing integrations with it, over 100 emails written for sequences that automate my sales funnel, and so on. The switch to Active Campaign is simply too much work at this point and is not justified. The value a change will bring versus the time it will take is not equal.
However, if you’re getting started and you’re dead serious about building a business – go with Active Campaign. When you sign up for a free trial, let me know and I will set you up with an onboarding call to help you get started with one of their representatives.
AWeber was my first email service provider. It was great until it was not great. It is easy to use. Email deliverability is good. User-friendly and intuitive. It works.
Their pricing is reasonable within industry standards.
But, I had a bad experience where I was running traffic to my landing page and had a spike in subscribers and unbeknownst to me, AWeber suspended my account.
2-3 days later, I found out my emails weren’t going out and my money was being wasted because I’m driving traffic and there is no email follow up!
I quickly did damage control and emailed my list directly from my Gmail, which is highly unprofessional, but better than nothing, and quite time-consuming.
I wrote to AWeber support.
After 8 days of back and forth, my account was restored. I was told to refrain from sending affiliate links (or at least reduce it).
In the meantime, I opened a GetResponse account and re-created my email follow up sequence.
Note: There are top affiliate marketers who will disagree with me and they use AWeber for affiliate marketing. However, I can only go based on my own experience and warn you against it.
Once my AWeber account was restored, I exported my email list and moved it to GetResponse. I shut down my account with AWeber.
If you’re looking to do Affiliate Marketing, don’t go with AWeber. But you aren’t, AWeber is a good choice. Affordable, easy to use, newbie-friendly.
I never signed up for MailChimp on a paid plan simply because they ban affiliate marketing.
Same with AWeber, if you’re looking to do any Affiliate Marketing, MailChimp is not for you.
The biggest value with MailChimp is it really integrates with many other platforms out there which is really handy.
I helped a client migrate from MailChimp to GetResponse, and it wasn’t hard to use, but I’m not a fan.
ConvertKit would be my second premium recommendation.
It allows for much more elegant landing pages. This software is very much aligned with creators.
It is extremely user-friendly, probably the easiest to use out of all the options.
It is a bit more pricey.
But if you’re looking for stunning landing pages, super intuitive and newbie-friendly email marketing software, this is the one to go for.
For anyone who follows my content, you know I am a huge fan of Podia in terms of course hosting, and how simple it is to use.
ConvertKit is an equal match in simplicity and elegance.
This is the cheapest option. It does not as many integrations. This is the one to choose from if you’re really broke.
You can have the first 1000 subscribers free of charge, and you can send 12,000 emails a month, i.e. if you have 1000 subscribers you’ll be able to email them 12 emails per month.
It is simple enough to use, and I use it on the free plan for some of my funnels (because it’s free and works with my builder EranFunnels.com).
But if you’re truly broke, can’t even afford $15/month, this is your solution. It works.
Doing a price comparison between all the options is not easy. Some of them make their pricing a bit complicated. I included screenshots where I could and it made sense in the context of the blog.
I made a simple grid showing the prices for up to 2500 subscribers, paid on a monthly basis, whether they are affiliate marketing-friendly, and my recommendation ranking.
If you choose any of these, I would appreciate you using my links on this blog. They are affiliate links, and I will get a commission for you signing up.
To incentivize you to use my links, once you sign up, I will give you 2 free gifts:
(a) Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Copywriting Business (sold for $17 USD, I’ll give you a coupon to get it free).
(b) Onboarding phone call with me to help you get started and any tutorials I created about email marketing.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog!
Please comment below and share with anyone you think might benefit from this.