The Secrets to Successfully Using Emails to Promote Your Small or Midsized Business

Email marketing campaigns are the most effective and approachable ways to promote a small or medium business. This article discusses the main mistakes that must be avoided and some best practices that can be implemented by small- to medium-sized business owners to effectively promote their products and services via email.

Is email an effective way to promote a small or midsized business? Negative words like “junk” or “spam” immediately come to mind. Nobody feels positive about the growing volume of spam! And who has time for emails today anyway? Why would anyone pay attention to promotional messages when they can’t even stay on top of emails at work?



According to HubSpot’s statistics, more than 50% of people read most of the emails they receive. What’s more, research by digital marketing advisors Convince & Convert shows that 44% of recipients of promotional emails made at least one purchase. We are talking about purchases made exclusively on the basis of promotional emails received from the trader. Further studies have shown that promotion via email is more efficient than promotion via social networking sites. Email marketing is also 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter together in terms of numbers of qualified sales.

Contrary to what you might believe, email has the greatest success of all online promotion strategies – when it is done properly and as part of a cohesive system of digital marketing. A major advantage of this tactic for your small business is the fact that email marketing is the cheapest way to promote your goods or services!

If you have a business, whether you’re a freelance creative, an entrepreneur with a small team or a professional consultant, marketing campaigns via email will help you:

  1. Generate qualified new leads without wasting time and human resources on traditional sales activities (like cold calling)
  2. Stay close to your customers without needing the kinds of advertising budgets assigned by big companies
  3. Integrate all your other advertisingandcommunicationactivities
  4. Increase the number of sales to existing customers
  5. Convert prospects into paying customers

Your database of customers and prospects is one of your business’s most important assets!



What better way to learn than from the mistakes of others? Like most entrepreneurs, I started off my first email campaigns making the usual mistakes…

Using MailChimp and following the approach recommended by our marketing consultant, we sent out two newsletters a month, each containing a how-to article for our potential customers, followed by an offer.

The results were far below our expectations: open rates of 5%, very few clicks, zero sales. The most unpleasant aspect was seeing people unsubscribe from our list.


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After numerous discussions with entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley I understood where I was going wrong:

  • Mistake #1: I imported my personal contacts into the distribution list of MailChimp, generating a mixed list that included many people who were uninterested in our services.
  • Mistake #2: I didn’t sufficiently develop my relationship with potential customers, thereby annoying them with purely commercial information.
  • Mistake #3: I didn’t have an organic method of increasing my contact list.
  • Mistake #4: I was sending the same messages to everyone, irritating certain categories of subscribers with irrelevant messages.
  • Mistake #5: Many emails simply weren’t being delivered – and we hadn’t picked this up!



After further discussions, conferences and webinars as well as tests conducted by my team, I took the following actions:

  1. I cleaned up my distribution list and started to organize sublists using labels (tags) for different interests.
  2. I established the golden rule that every commercial email will be sweetened with four educational messages that are informative and valuable to
  3. We revamped our blog articles to be genuinely interesting for the reader.
  4. We started using mail delivery software InfusionSoft to label each contact and to avoid “wearying” recipients with messages irrelevant to their needs.
  5. We significantly improved our email open rates by using great designs and intriguing email subject lines.