feature image: email marketing tips for a small business

10 Fail-Proof Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

We love email marketing, that’s why we keep track of what makes the best emails. You can use email marketing software to stay connected with leads and nurture them, build customer trust, and ensure that they come back to you for more. 

In this article, we’ll share 10 easy-to-implement email marketing tips for small businesses. Let’s get started! 

1. Keep a consistent sending schedule

Did you notice that some companies only appear in your inbox during the holiday season? Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Black Friday. We’re sure you have. Don’t be like those brands. 

As a small business, your subscribers will ignore your emails if you don’t send them on a consistent schedule. Don’t be the fly-by-night, fickle friend. 

Establish a regular emailing schedule. It’s also crucial to understand when to call it a day. Filtering out subscribers who have never opened your email is effective to avoid burning your list out.

Show up on a regular schedule and make sure you don’t email too frequently either.

2. Send valuable content and make your emails unique  

An effective small business email marketing strategy includes newsletters and nurturing emails. When designing these emails it’s best to think about the value. What value will this email bring to the prospect?

Make a statement and offer something unique that they won’t find anywhere else. Sending unique and engaging content on a regular basis is one of the best marketing tactics. Don’t just send content about your offers and promotions. Send your own statistics, articles, guides, and the most recent news.  

Don’t just link content in your emails. Instead, provide context, express your perspective, and describe what you find intriguing about it. 

We’re huge fans of animated GIFs. They’re easy to consume and they capture your audience’s attention. 

Like this entertaining GIF in a Postmates email. It’s not only entertaining to watch but also tends to make you yearn for some tasty Chipotle. Use colorful GIFs in your campaign to present a humorous header, bring attention to a specific portion of the email, or demonstrate how your product works. 

entertaining gif email by chipotle
chiptole email body

3. Make sure all subscribers can read your emails

The content you send has to be accessible to visually impaired subscribers using screen readers and voice commands. Here are a few things to make sure that your emails are readable and accessible:  

  • Make your contact easy to read and understand. Avoid industry buzzwords and use brief phrases.
  • Use headers so that screen readers interpret your content in the correct order
  • Include a description in the ALT tag of your images. Screen readers will read this text for people who can’t see the images.
  • Break your email down into sections and use email safe fonts.
  • Make sure your links have informative anchor texts. A link titled ‘Click here’ doesn’t offer enough information about the landing page. 

4. Reduce friction with embedded forms 

Using an embedded form rather than linking to a separate landing page is usually better for conversions. It’s easier for your visitors because they don’t have to leave the page. And because it’s easier for the visitors you’ll get more signups.

Popups are another great way to get signups without redirecting visitors. When using popups, always mind the user experience. The visitor came to the page for the content. Make sure your popup doesn’t get in the way.

Tommy Hilfiger’s popup is a great example. Inviting people to “join the club” is a great move. You’re not just giving out your email address, you’re also joining a secret group and gaining access to special privileges. It makes the subscriber feel like a VIP.

Tommy Hilfiger popup form

5. Experiment with Different Subject Lines 

The subject line is a crucial part of any email marketing campaign. People decide to open your email or delete it based on the subject line. If you want your subscribers to open your emails, experiment with your subject line to see what makes them open. 

You can try out different subject lines by posing questions or invoking curiosity. AB testing is the best way to see what works and what doesn’t.

6. Don’t Overlook the Visuals 

Long past the days when emails were just a sea of text. Today email marketers can include graphics, photos, and videos! That’s what your viewers would like to see.

Small business owners must create an email that speaks to their target audience. And in the world of AI and virtual reality text alone just don’t cut it.

Most subscribers skim through your content. Use graphics and images to highlight the key parts of your email and make your message stand out. You can even include a process flow diagram to visually illustrate the steps involved in a certain complex operation/workflow and enable email recipients to grasp the sequence of actions or stages more easily, enhancing their understanding and engagement. Composing an email is an art form, so devote some time to creating the perfect template with the right layout, images, and content. 

Tory Burch private sale vip email example gif

This Tory Burch email gives new meaning to what it feels like to open an email. The animation is subtle. It’s not pulsing and flashing. It just sets the tone for the reader and makes the offer feel even more exclusive. They double down on exclusivity by using “private” in the copy.

7. Measure and Test Your Email Campaigns

Insanity, according to Einstein, is described as “doing the very same thing again and again and anticipating a different outcome.” If an email marketing campaign doesn’t perform, would you continue sending it and expecting better results? Most likely not.  

A/B testing can help you figure out what your customers want. With AB testing, you can make variations of your campaign, send them out to a set of subscribers and compare results.

The best way to make successful email marketing campaigns is to analyze your data and make improvements.

8. Make Sure Your Emails are Responsive

Nearly half of all Americans read their emails on their phones. So all emails you send must be mobile responsive.

There’s no getting past it in 2024. Your email layout must adapt to the size of the user’s screen, whether it’s a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. The good news is that today you can use a drag-and-drop email builder that has responsive emails by default. Consider this when you’re choosing email templates

Twinnings responsive email example

Take a glance at this Twinings email. Notice how much information is there and still the email doesn’t feel cramped. All of the essential elements stand out well on mobile. The font sizes on the mobile versions are considerably larger, making the email easy to read, even on a small screen.

9. Create automated email workflows

iContact visual email automation builder workflow

As a small business, setting up automated email workflows will save you time. And it will provide a better experience for your subscribers. 

You can trigger these email automations when a subscriber signs up for your newsletter or product, visits a page on your site, opened a previous email campaign, and a lot more. After the trigger, you can add emails, delays, conditions, and actions like tagging or updating a contact field. Imagine how much time you can save with email automation. There’s a simple welcome email automation in the screenshot created in iContact. With a glance, you can already see how the timing and conditions are set up. For more info about automation, check out this full iContact review.

Most email marketing software will give you metrics about the performance of your automated email campaigns. Monitoring these statistics will give you ideas on where you can improve. Not talking about the occasional cold email campaigns some brands use for lead generation here, those typically aren’t excepted by email marketing software.

10. Clean Your Email List

One of the most crucial practices in email marketing is cleaning your email list. All your email marketing efforts are wasted if you will have email deliverability problems. The last thing you want is for emails to bounce or end up in the spam folder.

Still, marketers often neglect it. It’s not sexy and often people think the bigger the better. That’s not really true for email lists. Quality has to go hand in hand with quantity.

Keeping your email list clean helps you:

  1. Reduce spam complaints
  2. Remove risky emails
  3. Eliminate hard bounces
  4. Avoid blacklist

You can use email list validation software to clean your email list. Some email marketing tools have built-in tools that will help you to keep your list clean.

Part of keeping your email list clean is to let your subscribers unsubscribe easily. Don’t hide your unsubscribe link, it won’t help anyone. It will make your subscribers feel frustrated. If they can’t find the unsubscribe link in your email, they will definitely find the mark as spam in their email client. Spam complaints are bad for your sender reputation while an unsubscribe isn’t. And why would you want people on your list who aren’t interested in your content?

Wrapping Up  

Email marketing is one of the most profitable marketing channels out there. As a small company, you can’t avoid it. These email marketing tips for small business is a great starting point. Dive a bit deeper into the topic, develop a strategy, select an email marketing service and you’re on your way.


Here’s a list of some email marketing strategies for small businesses;

  • Concentrate on list quality rather than quantity.
  • Make your emails mobile responsive.
  • Segment your VIP customers.
  • Create automated email workflows.
  • Instead of redirecting visitors to a landing page, embed forms and add popups to your pages.

Yes, email marketing has one of the highest returns on investment among marketing channels. For a small business, that means email marketing isn’t something they can avoid.

Here are some email marketing tips and tricks. AB test your subject lines, automate recurring emails, personalize your campaigns, and clean your email list. 

Monitor the statistics of your email marketing campaigns to see where you can make improvements.

Email newsletters, acquisition emails, retention emails, and promotional emails are the 4 types of email marketing.  

  • Email newsletters are among the most popular and widely known email types. In this type of email, you send helpful news, articles, and guides to your subscribers.
  • Acquisition emails help your business convert subscribers on your email list to customers. This type of email is more sales-focused.
  • Retention emails are to keep your hard-won customers with you for longer.
  • Finally, promotional emails are to increase sales and subscriptions to a certain product. This type of email often includes special offers and coupon codes.

Robert Jordan

Robert Jordan is a seasoned marketing professional with over 12 years of experience. He's currently working as Media Relations Manager at InfoClutch, which offers technology databases. He has expertise in setting up the lead flow for budding startups. And a deep interest in marketing, b2b, and technology-related discussions.