The Exhaustive Email Marketing Beginners’ Guide

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The Exhaustive Email Marketing Beginners' Guide

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You heard about email marketing, but you are a bit confused about it.

You are wondering if you need email marketing.

You are wondering if it will give you some results.

You don’t know how to make it.
You wanted to give it a try, but it’s pretty discouraging: you don’t know where to start.

To complicate the already tangled picture, you heard someone saying that email marketing is dead.

The final nail in the coffin is that email softwares are not so cheap…

All of us were in that situation, so let’s clarify this topic.

(If you already know what is email marketing and why it is essential, just skip the next two paragraphs and jump on the next ones)

What is Email Marketing

The formal definition is “a marketing technique that uses emails”, but I guess this doesn’t clarify your ideas :)

Let’s give a more dept look.

You collect emails through optin boxes on your blog.

You need to collect emails in a legit way or you’ll have problems with the law, so don’t buy email lists!
When you use the services of trusted companies (like AWeber, MailChimp, GetResponse and so on…) you don’t have to worry about that because they’ll care about all the legal stuff.

In fact, they use a double confirmation structure: after people subscribe to your email list, they need to confirm that they want to receive your emails.
In this way you are sure that you have your subscribers’ consent, and you can sleep safely.

All the emails that you collect goes in an email database that is called list.

You send emails to your list.

It’s quite simple.

Obviously you can’t always send sales emails to you list or they’ll run away from it.

Why Email Marketing is Essential in Internet Marketing

Have you ever heard the way of saying “Money is in the list”?
Well, it’s true.

DMA puts email marketing’s ROI for 2011 at $40.56 for every $1 invested.
Not bad :)

Email marketing is one of the most profitable ways to run your business.

The are many reasons for this:

  • You have a direct line to communicate with your audience
  • People that subscribe to your email are engaged by you
  • You build relationships with people in your email list

All this stuff will give you a huge help when you sell something.
Of course, to get those benefits you have to run email marketing in the proper way.

To give you a sense of the real power of email marketing you can give a look at the results I got from one email in just one day.

Email Marketing Earning in  1 Day

The money I made with one email in one day.


How to Get Started in Email Marketing

Now let’s talk about some practical stuff.

The first thing that you have to do is to choose what email service is the best fit for you.
Here you can see a list of the best email services:

  • AWeber
  • MailChimp
  • GetResponse
  • Constant Contact
  • InfusionSoft

In my opinion AWeber is the best one.
Once I used MailChimp that I loved because it was quite simple to use, but then some problems occurred with it and I decided to shift to AWeber.

AWeber is simple too, but it’s also much more powerful than MailChimp.
One of the things that I love the most about AWeber is that he releases an immense quantity of information about email marketing.

Give a look at this tutorial to see how you can get started with AWeber.

Once you choose your email service provider you can start email marketing.

How to Start Getting Email Subscribers

To make people subscribe into your list, you have to insert optin forms on your blog.
To get more email subscribers you have to place optin forms in a smart way.

Grow Your List with Hybrid Connect

Visitors should be able to subscribe easily in every page on your blog.
Usually, this is accomplished with an optin box in the sidebar (your sidebar is on each page of your blog).

Sidebar optin form

You can see the optin form on my sidebar.

It’s a brilliant idea to have a page which has the only purpose to get email subscribers.
This page is called landing page (check Increase Your Conversions to make better landing pages).
To make your landing page more efficient, you should remove both the sidebar and the menu from that page (the sidebar and the menu distract people from subscribing).

Landing Page

As you see, the landing page doesn’t have neither the sidebar nor the menu.

You can place an optin form at the end of each post.
In this way people who read your posts and are interested in your stuff can subscribe.

End post optin form

This is the optin form I have at the end of my posts.

You can even insert optin forms on your “About” page.

A great way to gain email subscribers is by pop-ups.
Let’s talk frankly: pop-ups are annoying, but they convert a lot.
With one pop-up you’ll increase your email subscribers MUCH faster.

Luckily, nowadays, you can find some not invasive pop-ups.
I use Pippity that allows you to choose the time that your pop-up won’t show if a person close it.
For example, if you set that time at 30 days, each person will see that pop-op only once in 30 days.

Not invasive pop-up

These are some of the settings of Pippity. You can choose for how long your visitors won’t see your pop-up again.

To get more email subscribers you need also to have beautiful optin forms.
Ugly optin forms look unprofessional so people won’t subscribe.

Ugly optin form

Would you insert your email on this ugly form?

If you know HTML and CSS you can design your own optin forms and make them astonishing.
You can hire a designer to do that for you, but this will be expensive.

If you use AWeber as email service, you can design your own beautiful optin forms pretty easily.
Unluckily it doesn’t allow you to fully customize your optin forms, but you can do quite good.

AWeber optin form designer

This is the AWeber’s optin form designer. It’s pretty simple to use, and the result is quite good.

Another alternative is to use Optin Skin Hybrid Connect (more powerful and cheaper than Optin Skin).
It’s a premium plugin for WordPress that allows you to insert beautiful optin forms on your blog.

You can completely customize the design of your optin forms and you can even run split tests to optimize your conversion rates, with the result of getting more email subscribers.
The optin forms that you see here on Blog Growth are made using Hybrid Connect.

With Hybrid Connect you can add optin forms everywhere in your blog (sidebar, homepage, inside posts, end of posts, custom locations) and you can even place pop-ups or slide-in optin forms.

What Emails You Can Send: Broadcasts and Follow-Ups

Broadcast emails are emails that you send one time.
You can choose to send them right after you completed them or to schedule them for a certain data.
Anyway, once they are sent, their mission is accomplished.

On the contrary, follow-ups (or autoresponders) are emails that you write one time, but your email service keep sending them to new subscribers.
For example you can establish that your follow-up number 1 will be sent to your subscribers 3 days after their subscription. Each new subscriber will receive that email after 3 days from his subscription.

Broadcast emails are great to notify your audience about a great post that you just published or to send them an offer about one of your products.
You can send them when you want to sell something.

Follow-up messages are awesome to give exclusive content to your subscribers and to build relationships with them.
You can also use them to automate your sales.

How to Use Email Marketing to Gain Customers

As I said before you can’t always sell to your email subscribers or they’ll unsubscribe soon.

What you want to do is to give them a reason to stay in your email list.
This means that you need to give them interesting content.

Email marketing work at its best together with content marketing.
Use breathtaking content in your email marketing strategy and you’ll gain loyal subscribers (and many customers too).

There are 2 ways to do this while doing great at email marketing:

1) Newsletter

A newsletter is a way to update people about your new posts.
Every time you publish a post on your blog, your email service sends an email to your subscribers to notify them about the post.

It’s a fantastic way to bring traffic to your new posts.
Even if they are already your readers, chances are that without the newsletter many of them wouldn’t read your posts.

Those people will also share your stuff more easily than new visitors.
This will make your posts have a bigger reach and more social shares.

Newsletter is made by broadcast emails: you send them only when there is a new post.

2) Autoresponder Series

An autoresponder series (or follow-up series) is a series of emails that you send to your subscribers on a regular basis.
You choose the time between each email and the next one.
You choose what you want to insert in the emails.

The benefits of the autoresponder series is that you can send exclusive content and offers to your subscribers.

Autoresponder series are made by follow-up emails: each subscriber will receive the same email sequence.

Newsletter vs Autoresponder series

Should you have a newsletter or an autoresponder series?
It depends.

If you publish many posts, a newsletter is an excellent way to keep your readers updated.
If you want to provide exclusive content to your subscribers, the autoresponder series is the best choice.
Anyway, you can use both of them letting people choose what they want.

How to Increase Your Subscribers with a Lead Magnet

Increase Subscribers with PippityIf you are wondering “Why should people subscribe to my list?” you are making a pretty good consideration.
Unless you are Jon Morrow, people won’t subscribe to your list without a good reason.

We have to insert that reason.
It’s called lead magnet and it’s an incentive for subscriptions.

Bloggers give away ebooks and courses to people who subscribe to their list because they want incentive people to do that.
You give something for free because it will make you gain email subscribers.

Don’t think that you can give away some crappy information.
Your lead magnet has to be high quality.
You should give something valuable that you could sell.

You have to do that because it will engage people.
If you give to people something valuable, they’ll keep listening to you because they know that you can give them something else valuable.
This will make you have more openings from your emails.

Notice that with a low quality lead magnet, not only people won’t open your emails, but they’ll also unsubscribe from your list. Many other people won’t subscribe to your list at all.

Final Words

These are just the basis of email marketing.
It’s an enormous and complex world, but it’s totally worth to learn it.

To bring your email marketing knowledge to the next level check regularly the Email Marketing section in which I insert every new post about email marketing.
I’ll provide you fabulous information.

Your Time

Are you using email marketing to grow your business?
If you are not doing it, what is holding you?
If you are doing it, what do you think you can do better?
Let me hear your opinion ;)

Mauro D’Andrea

Name: Email:


  1. Mauro – Nice overview on e-mail marketing, particularly the discussion of newsletter versus auto responder. Email is definitely is the most undervalued marketing arrow in my quiver.

    • Mauro D'Andrea says:

      Hi Randy, I’m glad you liked it.

      Very few people treat that topic…I think’ll go deeper in it with a future post.
      No, problem: email marketing is one of my points of strenght, I’ll speak about it a lot.

      If you have questions about email marketing, just tell me and I’ll write a post to answer ;)

  2. E-mail marketing is a great strategy to promote a great content or product to its readership. Thanks for sharing, Mauro!

    • Mauro D'Andrea says:

      I’m glad you liked it. And yes, email marketing is a must for every online business.

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    Thank you for a consistent article. To my mind is really a good opportunity for the young and promising starts up to enter the business world if they lack funding themselves

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