Small Business Email Marketing Marketing: The Complete Guide

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Email is a marvel of the modern world. With a few quick strokes, you can communicate with nearly 4 billion email addresses around the globe in minutes!

Small business email marketing is especially powerful as it allows growing organizations to expand their brand with minimal investment. Plus, email marketing provides small business owners with another avenue to build lasting personal relationships with their clientele!

Still, it’s one thing to know you should send an email campaign; it’s another to know how to take advantage of email marketing for small businesses.

Here’s everything you need to know to get started, from building your strategy to choosing an email marketing software!

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Why is Small Business Email Marketing Important?

Let’s be honest: your own spam folder is probably full of bad email marketing campaigns. Glitchy pop-ups, mangled subject lines, and phishing scams run rampant and give the industry a bad name.

But that just means small business owners who master email marketing have better chances of success.

When used properly, email marketing delivers one of the greatest ROIs in the business: up to $43 returned for every $1 spent.

And with 73% of consumers preferring email marketing over other avenues, it’s clearly the way to go!

Remember: successful email marketing campaigns aren’t just about blasting promotions around. They’re about nurturing relationships. Sure, you push the lead down the marketing funnel, but more than that, you can create brand loyalty for a lifetime.

A well-designed email marketing strategy constructs a two-way highway wherein the customer participates. Bare-bones newsletters and transactional emails won’t cut it; you need to spend time cultivating lifelong bonds.

Open communications with your customers. Listen. Respond to concerns. Adapt your products and service to their needs. Show the humanity behind your small business with well-written subject lines, vibrant email templates, and witty jokes.

In return, you’ll be rewarded with customer loyalty – and dollars!

The only limit is your imagination…and your willingness to invest in the next email campaign.

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How to Start Your Small Business Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing for small business doesn't have to be a mystery! Our small business email marketing guide will help you get high ROIs from email campaigns.

Email marketing for small businesses isn’t just about designing the brightest email templates or using the weirdest fonts.

A successful email marketing strategy requires planning, consideration, and the help of a great email marketing service!

Here are some things to cross off your list as you develop your strategy.  

Design Your Client Avatar

You should start first and foremost with your client avatar – that is, a caricature of your target audience. This is also called a marketing persona!

If you don’t know who you’re marketing to, you’re shooting emails in the dark and hoping they land. Designing a client avatar and reeling in the right subscribers means that every campaign has a higher chance of success.

Once you’ve met this need, you can move on to the next step in your email marketing strategy. 

Need some help? Check out our post on creating an actionable marketing persona!

Find the Right Email Marketing Service

Sure, you can write your first email campaign from your Google account. But as your business grows, you’ll find that Google lacks key features that make email campaigns pack a punch.

Spend some time researching the best email marketing services that fit your needs. (Or, read our recommendations below!) A variety of email service providers await in the wide world, offering crucial infrastructure and email marketing tools like:

  • Vibrant, prebuilt email templates
  • Drag-and-drop editor functions to design emails with ease
  • Customer retention tools like promotional and re-engagement emails
  • Sales CRM abilities
  • Unlimited contact storage and contact list segmentation

Plus, many offer a free plan to start, so you can test the tools and upgrade as you grow. 

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Decide on Your Email Campaigns

Next, you have to decide which email campaigns you need for your business. While you’ll adapt your strategy and email marketing campaigns as you go, you may want to consider starting with:

  • Welcome emails to greet new subscribers, set expectations, and show visitors around
  • Promotional emails to spread the word about great deals and discounts
  • Abandoned cart emails to remind website visitors what they’ve left behind
  • Post-purchase emails to offer purchase upsells or additional discounts
  • Transactional emails to send receipts, track orders, and confirm delivery
  • Regular newsletters to share news about your industry, company, or products

You can also send emails on other occasions, such as to mark birthdays or holidays, update customers on your brand, or simply thank customers for their loyalty. Sometimes, it’s just nice to feel appreciated.

Sign Up for Email Marketing Courses

If you’re not sure where to begin, or you’re ready to take your email marketing strategy to the next level, consider an email marketing course. Many email marketing service providers offer free or paid plans to teach you the ins and outs of the industry.

Though each course differs, they generally cover basics like designing campaigns, segmenting lists, setting up automation, and reviewing analytics. Plus, you’ll learn which tactics have been proven to work – and which will drive customers away faster than a coyote on a cattle run! 

6 Email Marketing Services for Small Businesses

The best email marketing services for your business may not be the best for another business. Small business needs and wants vary greatly by industry, location, and owner preferences.

Fortunately, there are literally dozens of email marketing tools available. We’ve plucked out six of the best.


Tailwind’s marketing automation platform was built with small businesses in mind, which gives its email marketing tool a power boost!

Not only can you import and build your contact lists, use beautiful templates with easy editing functions, and build easy automation to simplify your email campaigns, you can easily manage your social platforms and email sends from the same easy-to-use calendar!

Tailwind’s email tool features:

  • Beautiful premade templates that are a cinch to edit and personalize to your brand
  • Built-in best practices so you can send campaigns that actually reach inboxes
  • One platform to stay organized with your marketing – email, social scheduler, design, and more- all in one place.
  • Create automations and campaigns in a simple, straightforward builder that won’t leave you confused
  • Advanced segmentation for your contact lists for targeted sends to your specific demographics
  • Custom form builders to embed on your sites to capture leads and grow your email list.
  • Easy deliverability and optimized send times to make sure your emails arrive on time.

Best of all, Tailwind’s email tool is available on all subscription plans, including the forever-free plan!


AWeber is one of the most popular email marketing services for small businesses that require simplicity and power on a limited budget.

This email marketing tool works beautifully for beginners thanks to its prebuilt email templates, AI-powered design assistant, and drag-and-drop editor.

You can use AWeber’s built-in automation and campaign marketplace to simplify your email campaigns from start to finish.

Plus, with A/B testing and intuitive analytics, you can design, test, redesign, and track your performance as you grow.

And if you need them, AWeber offers integrations with apps like WordPress and more than one signup form and landing page builder.

AWeber’s free plan offers limited features for up to 500 subscribers, while the premium starts at just under $20/month. All plans come with live chat and phone support.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the best email marketing software available for small businesses, full stop.

The Constant Contact drag-and-drop editor is intuitive, while its automation is a cinch to use. With these, you can build beautiful, converting campaigns that rely on a host of other Constant Contact features like:

  • Quick and easy installation
  • Customizable email templates
  • Drip campaigns
  • Contact list segmentation
  • Advanced analytics reports

Best of all, you can sign up for a 30-day free account to test its tools before you commit. When you’re ready to upgrade to a paid plan, the premium starts at just $9.99 per month. 


ConvertKit is a great email marketing platform if you need a free plan that doesn’t skimp on features. You can start adding new subscribers with features like unlimited landing pages and a signup form embedding tool.

From there, you can harness its range of automation to design your email campaigns. A powerful drag-and-drop editor makes for functional – yet affordable – email design.

And of course, ConvertKit boasts a full range of segmentation and personalization opportunities to make reaching your target audience even easier.

ConvertKit’s free plan offers limited features for up to 300 subscribers. Premium plans start at just $9/month for more advanced features and more email sends.


Drip is a robust email marketing platform designed for eCommerce customers. This email service provider boasts several advanced email marketing tools like:

  • Smart marketing automation
  • Intelligent email segmentation
  • Social media and SMS integrations

Drip also includes basics like A/B testing, lead generation, signup forms, and premade workflows.

You can trigger Drip campaigns based on customer behaviors like first-time and returning website visitors, abandoned carts, and more.

Unlike the other email marketing platforms on our list, Drip doesn’t have a free plan.

Instead, you can sign up for a 14-day free trial, with paid plans starting at $39/month.

And with Drip, you’ll also have constant contact with customer service through live chat and a full range of online courses to learn email marketing inside-out.


Sendinblue aims to straddle the line between cost and service for users with more advanced needs. This email marketing platform boasts features like:

  • A full sales CRM
  • SMS marketing abilities
  • Marketing automation
  • Integration capabilities
  • Contact list segmentations

These come alongside a comprehensive list of basic services, such as beautiful email templates, custom workflows, and triggered autoresponders. While small businesses may enjoy its range of options, the interface itself may be more complicated for beginners.  

Sendinblue offers a free plan to send up to 300 daily emails to unlimited contacts – great for growing small businesses. As you expand, you can upgrade to paid plans, starting at $25/month for 20,000 monthly sends and unlimited contacts.

9 Tips to Pick the Best Email Marketing Service

Small business email marketing is an art form all its own.

While email marketing services for small businesses abound, you need to know how to find the best one to boost your marketing campaigns to their full potential.

As a small business owner, here’s what to look for to ensure your email marketing efforts pay off.

A Free Account or Free Email Marketing Service Trial

Not every email marketing service offers a free plan or even a free trial. But those who provide a free account alongside their paid plans often rank among the best, as you can try before you buy. They also give marketers a chance to shop different email marketing tools to determine which suits your needs – and which wants to upsell you needlessly.

And did we mention that Tailwind’s email marketing tool is available on our forever-free plan? That means $0 for access to our email tool, our brand new Copilot marketing plan tool, and our social media creation, scheduling, and publishing tools!

Unlimited Contacts

Most top email marketing services limited the number of email sends per day based on your plan. But many free and paid plans alike offer unlimited contact storage, so you can start segmenting your contact list immediately.

Plenty of Email Campaign Options

Email marketers have a broad range of email campaigns to choose from, including welcome emails, transactional emails, and promotional emails. The types of emails you need most depend on your business and industry. Still, the best email marketing service will offer plenty of choices.

Email tools like Tailwind offer a template library easily sorted by your Industry, Usage (what is the email for?), and seasonal promotions and considerations.

A Handy Email Editor

A crucial component of the email campaign creation process is actually designing your emails.

With a handy email editor by your side, you can adjust prebuilt email templates to your exact needs. (Or throw out the rulebook and design your own.)

A good email editor also makes it easy to edit your branding in-house, so your colors, fonts, and images reflect your small business.

Tailwind’s email builder features drag-and-drop editing and easy-to-use editing features for your email elements.

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Marketing Automation Features

The best email marketing services for small businesses offer a range of automation tools to simplify the designing and sending processes. With automatic workflows, segmentations, personalization options, and triggered emails, building and sending your next campaign should be easy as 1-2-3.

A/B testing

A/B testing lets you test and compare how various pieces of your email marketing strategy perform.

For instance, you may test which subject line gets the most clicks, or which CTA button converts the most sales. All top email marketing services offer A/B testing nowadays – but if yours doesn’t, you may reconsider buying.

Tailwind features prebuilt automations and the ability to build your own!

Advanced Reporting

Your email campaign isn’t over just because you’ve hit “send.” Now, you have to determine the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

That’s where advanced reporting tools come in.

The best email marketing services offer advanced analytics to scrutinize your open, bounce, and click-through rates. You’ll also need these tools to determine your customer retention success and whether it’s time to readjust your email marketing strategy.

Sign-Up Forms and Landing Pages

For your email list to grow, your small business has to recruit new subscribers. To get those, you need at least one sign-up form on your website.

And as you build your list, you’ll want some landing pages scattered about to collect subscriber information and promote special offers, free eBooks, and more.

Together, these tools prove the benefits of joining your email marketing list and provide extra incentives to click on content. The best email marketing platforms will help you design and embed both signup forms and landing pages right into your website.

Website Builder

But what if you don’t have a website?

Well, some of the most advanced email marketing software boasts this ability, too.

Often, the extent of an email service provider’s website builder is somewhat limited. Still, you can use these tools to build your brand and start curating content like web pages or even a small blog.

And of course, let’s not forget tidbits like a signup form and landing pages to grow your contact list.

Building sign-up forms and lead-gen tools is a breeze with Tailwind’s email tool!

Key Takeaways: Small Business Email Marketing

  • As a small business owner, email marketing generates a huge bang for your buck.
  • With a few well-designed email campaigns, you can reach vast audiences and help your small business retain customers.
  • Each email marketing campaign is a chance to collect crucial data about your target audience and branding efforts.
  • Ultimately, all email marketing is merely a chance to build relationships that benefit both your customers and your brand.
  • With a solid business plan and the best email marketing software at your side, it’s easier than ever for small business owners to find success.

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Email marketing for small business doesn't have to be a mystery! Our small business email marketing guide will help you get high ROIs from email campaigns.

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