Quick Start Guide To Email Marketing

What is email marketing and how is it different from simply using Gmail or Yahoo?

That’s actually quite a big question so I’ll try and keep it brief. The easy part, both Gmail and yahoo are email clients designed for personal and business use only. Generally sending within your own personal or business network and reaching out to individual people for many different reasons. We all get that part.

You may not know that you can actually send the same message to up to 500 people using Gmail’s web interface. Today however, they are free alternatives up to a point designed for marketing so there’s no reason why you would use Gmail at all.

The whole email marketing industry is centered around permission-based marketing because throughout the world most places have tough regulations via anti-spam laws. And even if they were no regulations permission based marketing would still be the better and more effective way of gaining and retaining happy customers.

To read more about anti-spam laws you can check out a consumer fact sheet from Australia. They do vary from country to country but not by much.

If you get permission and the consumer is aware they are giving you permission with a message explaining you will be sending marketing information you generally don’t need to worry about it.

Things have changed in Canada and are very strict now so look up CASL – Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation. Canada, where lead gen dies. I can’t imagine having to put up with that—they’ve gone way too far in my humble opinion.

In fear of becoming political this is only harming small business, solo marketers and newbies. This is because marketing costs are already going up and this will only serve to push up the cost of marketing further by increasing the cost per lead. Small businesses can’t afford that.

And take note: nothing I’m saying is legal advice I’m simply trying to point you in the right direction with some information. You need to do your own research and follow the laws where you live. I’m only mentioning this topic because anti-spam laws massively affect how we conduct email marketing.

The key difference between personal emailing and email marketing is sending information to people who have given you permission so you can potentially do business together at some point in the future.

So rather than be in somebody’s personal contact list like in Gmail or Outlook you’re on a business list, typically with an email marketing delivery client, I go into that further down.

If you market to people who haven’t given you permission, maybe from a list you find online or something, that’s called spamming and you can get in a lot of trouble for doing this. I wouldn’t recommend it at all under any circumstances.

How Do You Get Permission?

So you have to do the hard work and get permission.

The classic example is the “Sign Up For My Newsletter” approach, although these days you need to go a little bit further than that to really be effective.

You need a good lead magnet including things like free guides and ebooks, but first you need to supply your email address. To find out more about lead magnet I’ve written some good articles about how to build a lead magnet and an article packed with some good lead magnet example

Plan Your Email Marketing

This is a very important step for any marketing campaigns that you’re conducting and email marketing is no different. This is really important for tracking and measure your results so you can make improvements going forwards.

Simply going through the process will get your creative juices flowing and with a little research you should come up with some fantastic ideas for what you can do and what campaigns to run and when. An important aspect of this your schedule.

I break all of this down for you in detail so you can create your own email marketing plan with ease.

Delivering Your Emails On Mass

Today there are heaps of options for you to consider. Forget Gmail and Outlook. Don’t even bother trying to work out hacks. If it’s “free” you’re after a lot of email marketing delivery clients have free options up to a point. And let’s be honest if you have a huge list you can afford to spend the peanuts it costs to upgrade to paid plans.

So here’s a good list to get you started. I’ve compared these and more with a comprehensive comparison and conclusion including all of the most important features to give you a good idea of which one you would like to choose.

Active Campaign

Get Response

Constant Contact



Campaign Monitor




Personally, I use Infusionsoft and Active Campaign or Infusionsoft. I have used MailChimp and Aweber as well but I just stick with what I consider to be the best and most robust.

There’s a couple of key differences that can make life really hard. I’m not sure what it’s like now because I haven’t used it for many years but I remember Aweber wouldn’t allow you to add people to other lists without them first opting in again. This is huge because I had separate lists for the same business.

So technically I already had permission legally to email between lists. But the software I using wouldn’t allow it.

I’ve been with Infusionsoft since near the start. And that works in a much better way in my opinion. You essentially have one big list and segment using a tagging system. Active Campaign is like a hybrid and is actually a little bit more powerful for segmentation than Infusionsoft and importantly much cheaper to get started.

MailChimp is a popular one for a lot of people because it’s free to get started but it doesn’t offer much in the way segmentation and targeting. Your campaigns are very limited. However, if this is your first time email marketing this is a good place to start.

Removing Emails From Your List

It’s important to maintain a healthy list with good engagement because over time you get natural attrition of your list as some people lose interest or their email address becomes invalid or unused.

People who opt out will be marked as an opt-out by default so emails won’t go to those people but you need to remove other manually. Hard bounces are an obvious one. These are emails have become invalid and will never be delivered and should removed straight away.

But it’s also good to keep an eye on your engagement and remove people who aren’t engaged at all for an extended period.

This all depends. Personally I like to remove people after three months of non-engagement if I’ve been emailing regularly. If you haven’t been emailing regularly this will extend out. A regular email is at least once a week. Engagement can simply be opening your email.

If you don’t want to delete the people you remove manually through lack of engagement you can stick them on another list using a different company to keep them completely separate and mail to them when you have special offers.

We do this because if you have a high bounce rate or low consistent open rate this can be a sign of spam and you might find your emails going directly to people’s junk or spam folders which will harm all your conversion rates.


Before hitting that send button you want to make sure everything is working perfectly.

Make sure you have a good spam score before sending. Some services like Infusionsoft have this built in so after you’ve written your message you can see your Spamassassin score. If not go to this website https://www.mail-tester.com and forward your email to the address they give you. This is a great little free service and it works great.
Test your links. With most email marketing delivery clients you have an option to send a test to yourself first. So do that and when you receive it in your inbox click every link in the email to make sure they are working, including image links.


But first I’ve included a very important resource to help you with your tracking. You can use this for all your marketing efforts including email. You just need to input a few key metrics in the spreadsheet and the rest is worked out automatically for you. I use something similar on a daily basis for my own tracking.

Open Rate

This is the rate at which people open your emails.

How to calculate it:

(emails opened ÷ emails sent) x 100 = Open Rate %


(100 emails opened ÷ 1000 emails sent) x 100 = 10% Open Rate

As unreliable as the true open rate might be it’s really the only option we have when testing subject lines. Generally you’re testing to the same audience using the same software so any difference positive or negative can inform you which subject lines are working.

This does depend on the content. Whether it’s top of funnel content or middle/bottom of funnel content. Are you sharing articles or selling? If you’re sharing articles you can’t be constantly trying to out do the last email because some topics are more popular than others naturally.

However, if you’re selling that’s another story and this is a good metric to track.

Overall it’s good to keep an eye out because if your open rate starts to drop over time you need to develop some campaigns to breath extra life back into your efforts. Like a big sweepstakes campaign for example.

Click Through Rate

This is the rate at which people click through to your landing page. Typically from an ad or an email. Google defines it as “the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown.” So if 10 people see your ad or open your email that’s 10 impressions.

How to calculate it:

(clicks ÷ impressions) x 100 = CTR %


(100 clicks ÷ 1000 impressions) x 100 = 10% CTR

Lead Conversion Rate

This is the rate at which your clicks are converting into leads. A click becomes a lead when the prospect joins your list and signing up with their email address.

How to calculate it:

(leads ÷ clicks) x 100 = LCR %


(105 leads ÷ 897 clicks) = 11.71% LCR

Sale Conversion Rate

This is the rate at which leads convert into a sale.

How to calculate it:

(sales ÷ leads) x 100 = SCR %


(50 sales ÷ 2486 leads) x 100 = 2.01% SCR

Bounce Rate

The rate at which your emails aren’t successfully delivered. Every time you send emails a certain percentage will bounce for various reasons including email addresses no longer being in use.

How to calculate it:

(bounced emails ÷ sent emails) x 100 = BR %


(652 bounced emails ÷ 50 215 sent emails) x 100 = 1.3% BR

Cost Per Lead

This is the cost you pay for a lead. This is relevant when you’re building your list. When you mail your own internal list there is no cost per lead because your email list are your leads. You can pay companies a CPL outright but often with digital advertising you pay a cost per click and so you need to work out the cost per lead yourself.

How to calculate it:

total spend ÷ leads = CPL


$320 total spend ÷ 50 leads = $6.40 CPL

Cost Per Sale

This is the cost you pay per sale and one of the most important KPI’s when working out how to optimise your campaign for further improvements.

How to calculate it:

Total spend ÷ sales = CPS


$320 total spend ÷ 5 sales = $64 CPS

List Growth Rate

This is the rate at which your email list is growing day by day. This is a really figure to measure because to grow your list this needs to be positive.

You get natural attrition from opt-outs and you should be removing hard bounces manually

Return On Investment

Your return on investment in this context is measuring the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign so the simple way is normally the best way without taking overheads and cost of goods into account.

How to calculate it:

(return ÷ investment) x 100 = ROI %


($2500 return ÷ $540 investment) x 100 = 462.96% ROI
Email Campaigns and Follow Up Sequences

This is the meat of it and I’ll gloss over it here because I’ll write some in-depth articles about each of these very soon.

An email campaign is a campaign you design, maybe an offer, and you send that out to your email list. For example a Christmas special. This can be a campaign you design just for your subscribers or it can be part of a wider campaign.

A follow up sequence is a sequence of emails you send after somebody has joined your list to introduce them to your brand and engage them further to eventually acquire a sale.

Follow up sequences are a continuous campaign that is ongoing and fully automated. These should be designed as evergreen so it doesn’t matter when people sign up, the content is relevant and engaging. For example a welcome series introducing new subscribers to your brand.

Another popular follow-up sequence you should implement is a funnel sequence designed to engage your list with the goal at the end of introducing them to your core offer.

I have the perfect welcome follow up sequence you can use that is expertly written and tested for its effectiveness. It’s a three part series and I use variations of it myself. I highly recommend you download it and take a look.

Now you should have an enough information to get started. If you need any help please don’t hesitate to contact me [email protected] or you can use the details on the contact page.

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