Email Marketing For Beginners: The Definitive Guide [2019]

You may already know that email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing channel. 

But how can you take advantage of it?

For email marketing to work you need to build a list, get your emails delivered… 

and then have your subscribers actually open your emails.

In this Email Marketing for beginners guide, I’m going to help you overcome all of these email marketing obstacles (and more).

Let’s go.

Chapter-1: Email Marketing Basics.

Chapter-2: Getting Started With Email Marketing.

Chapter-3: Creating the Right Lead Magnet.

Chapter-4: How To Build An Email Marketing List 
As Quickly As Possible.

Chapter-5: How to Choose The Right 
Email Marketing Tool.

Chapter-6: How To Increase Email Open & CTR Rates.

Chapter-7: Advanced Tips And Strategies. 

Chapter 1:
Email Marketing Basics.

In this chapter, I’ll cover the fundamentals of email marketing.

First, you’ll learn exactly what email marketing is. 

I’ll also explain why email marketing is so important for generating sales.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing can be defined in many different ways, but the best definition of what email marketing is can be found on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income:

"Email marketing is the promotion of products and services to your audience via email. Successful, long-term email marketing depends on building trust with your audience."- Pat Flynn Click To Tweet

Why is Email Marketing Important?

The fact that you are reading this guide on email marketing tells me that you already know how effective email marketing is and why its important to the success of your online business.

But let’s talk a bit more on why email marketing is important.

Email marketing has proven to be one of the most profitable marketing channels with an ROI of  $38 for every $1 spent.

With that being said : 

Email marketing has proven to be more profitable than social media.

"An email list is the only channel – if nurtured- that will allow you to directly and personally communicate with your audience on an ongoing basis.”- Robbie Richards Click To Tweet

Chapter 2:
Getting Started With Email Marketing.

Now its time to begin the journey of building a solid foundation with email marketing for your business,

Specifically, I am going to show you what you should do before you actually start collecting emails on your website.

If you skip this process the other strategies in this guide won’t be as effective as they should…

Let’s begin.

 Define Your Audience

There’s no way around it.

If you want to build a responsive and profitable email list, you will need to define the type of audience you are trying to get on your email list. 

That way you will be able to speak to your audience through email in a more personal way which in the end will increase engagement and sales. (More on that later).

The first step of your list building game plan needs to start by DEFINING WHO EXACTLY your ideal target customer is

  • What are their traits,
  • their needs,
  • their issues,
  • their pain-points,
  • their irrational fears,
  • their aspirations,
  • concerns,
  • environment,
  • Etc…

Sounds basic right? well, it is…

If you can answer these questions: congrats because you are ahead of most marketers online.

Your email marketing goals should be customer-centric because the main goal is to solve your ideal customer problems through email.

If you are having issues with finding out whats your audience biggest problem and struggles, try one of these strategies.

Customer Survey 

There’s no better way to find out what issues your customers are having than to ask them directly. 

Ideally, you want to ask your prospects at least 4 questions in the survey:

For example, The questions don’t have to be complex, you can keep it simple:

customer survey

Using Survey Monkey you can easily create a survey in minutes.

Amazon product review. 

There are a lot of positive reviews on amazon but when it comes to negative feedback, customers go all in…

This gives you a good insight into your audience problems:

Just search on amazon using a few search terms your audience might search for 

amazon search

Then select a product and sift through the reviews.

Pay attention to terms that keep appearing multiple times 

amazon reviews

By now you should have a clear idea on what issues your target audience is facing.

With that, let’s move on to chapter 3

Chapter 3:
Creating The Right Lead Magnet.

Now that you have figured out your audience #1 problem its time to create a solution for it and offer it as a lead magnet to that audience.

Unlike creating a random lead magnet and giving it away. (which may or may not work).

With this method, you are sure that your lead magnet will work.


Because it’s created around the problem-solution method.

Now, I am going to share with you a few proven lead magnet templates you can use.

#1: The eBook.

With the eBook lead magnet.

You will create an eBook with the solution to the problem you found in chapter 2.

Let’s say my audience was in the weight loss space and they are having issues losing weight despite trying multiple products.

I would create a short eBook (about 20-30 pages) on how to lose a few pounds in 30-days.

Note: Your lead magnet doesn’t have to be some “life-changing” solution. (Keep it simple)

Next, give your lead magnet a title. the title of lead magnet will determine how well it converts because its the first thing your audience will see.

Here’s a few Headline formulas you can use:

  • [Number] Proven [Actions/Ways] to [Achieve Desired Result]
  • How To [Desired Outcome] (Without [Unpleasant Action])
  • [Number or How to] Simple/Easy Ways to [Desired Outcome]
  • The Ultimate Guide to [Achieve a Desired Outcome]
“Vague headlines don’t sell. Instead,you want your headline to be insanely specific about what your product or service does”- Brian Dean Click To Tweet

Heres an example of what the eBook lead magnet looks like.

Ebook lead magnet

#2: Checklist or CheatSheet 

The checklist and cheatsheet lead magnet templates have been used a lot online. 

In my opinion, almost every website has one.

But here’s the truth:

Most website just offers a random cheatsheet that they think their audience will want.

The question is :

What’s the right way to do it?

With all the work you have done in chapter 2, you have already done half the work which makes your lead magnet bullet-proof…

First, create a checklist breaking down the solution to the problem you found into simple “bite-size” tips.

The key to this is to make the tips on your checklist “stupid simple” so that anyone can follow them.

You can ask your self these questions to get your creative ideas flowing

  1. If I were telling my 5-year-old kid how to do this, what steps would I give him?
  2. How can I make this extremely easy and foolproof to implement?

If you need a few inspirations check out a few articles on Wiki-How 

wikihow example

Finally, you will create your title. Again, your title should be compelling.

Include a few power words in your title to make it more compelling and emotional.

power words

Pro Tip: Turn your most popular blog post into a checklist.

#3: Mini Email Course

This is one of my favorite email marketing lead magnets.

unlike most other lead magnets where your subscriber might never open your email after receiving that free gift. (harsh truth)

One of the best ways to give incredible value to your readers is through an email course. 

Email courses are great because they:

  • Are email: When someone offers you a bonus PDF, or a free e-book, you know you roll your eyes when you have to enter your email address just to download it. Email courses are email, so it just feels more natural to sign up for them.

  • Are substantial: Which sounds more enticing to you: a single-page bonus PDF, or a whole email course?

  • Are ongoing: Email courses keep delivering value as time goes on, and your readers start to look forward to your emails.

  • Motivate your readers: If your readers are coming to you for help on something, they need you to motivate them to reach their goals. You could dump a 32-page ebook in their lap, or you could email them once a week with a small, manageable, challenge. The latter approach is going to get them more results.

With that, here’s the process of creating your email course lead magnet.

First, break down the solution to the problem you’re solving into steps…

What steps will someone need to take to get from point A (Problem) to point B (Solution)?


Next. Turn each step into a lesson…

So here’s what the outline of each lesson should look like:

email course outline

Finally, create a welcome email which subscriber will get once they sign up for your mini-email course.

This shouldn’t be hard: 

All you need to do is tell the subscribers what to expect and a few tips of how they should consume each lesson, that’s it.

email course Outline

Here’s an example of one of the best email course lead magnets ever!

email course

#4: Video Tutorial

This is exactly as the name states.

The key here is to create a video tutorial showing your prospects how to solve the specific problem they are struggling with. 

Your video doesn’t have to be professionally produced. 

A simple screencast video will work. Once you are delivering the solution to a problem. 

Who wouldn’t be interesting to learn how to solve their problem? 

Also, the video tutorial can be in series or you can just do it in one video. 

In my opinion, the video series works better: 

Because it gets subscribers to engage with your emails…

That way they will keep opening your future emails.

#5: List of Tools and Resources.

What if an influencer with a popular blog should offer you a list of the exact tools and resources he used to grow his blog.

I mean literally everything: 

  • Analytics Tools
  • List Building Tools.
  • Content Marketing tools
  • SEO  Tools
  • Marketing Automation tools
  • Web Hosting.

Would you be ready to give up your email to know what tools helped them with growth?

I don’t know about you, but I’m in!

That’s exactly what you will offer as your lead magnet.

This can be done in any niche. 

If you are in cooking, you can offer recipes. You get the idea.

There are many other ways you can create lead magnets but these lead magnet examples are proven to convert.

Plus they are built to solve a specific problem (chapter 2)

So there is no guessing if they work.

Now it’s time to start growing your email list.

Chapter 4:
How To Build An Email Marketing List As Quickly As Possible.

So you created your Lead magnet: 

Now what? 

In this chapter, I will show you how to position your lead magnet as something more valuable than just another free report or checklist.

Specifically, I will show you some of the most effective list building strategies. that’s working right now.

In fact, you should be able to build an email list from scratch with these techniques.

Let’s begin. 

The Upside-Down HomePage.

I’m not sure who invented this technique but I learned it from Bryan harris.

Here’s how it works:

The idea is to turn your homepage upside down.

So instead of having all the links and navigation at the top of your homepage: 

upside down homepage

You would put them at the footer of your homepage. (Or remove them completely).

So your homepage should look like this:

So as you can see there is only one action that someone can take when they land on this homepage. 

It’s actually two.

1- They can opt-in 

2- They can leave

Using a tool like LeadPages or Clickfunnel you can set up an upside-down homepage.

Content Upgrades

If you are not using the content upgrade to grow your email list: 

You need to start now.

There’s no other way to put it.

This strategy is the easiest way to turn blog readers into email subscribers.

Here’s how you execute this technique.

Login to your google analytics:

Find the page on your site that’s driving the most traffic

google analytics

Then create a bonus that will compliment that blog post.

The bonus can either be a few bonus tips, a checklist or an eBook.

Next, add the opt-in form at the end of your blog post for the bonus.

This technique is used on all articles published on Sumo blog.

content upgrade

This is proof that it works…

Pro Tip: Make the bonus easy to consume. No more than 2 pages.

Optimize “About” Page

Your website about page has more potential than you think.

Let me explain: 

If you login to your google analytics and check the most visited pages on your site.

Your “About” page is in the top 5.

You can go check… I’ll wait.


Ok, your back.

Was I right?

Now the question is:

How do you optimize your about page to grow your email list?

Here’s the process : 

First, you wanna ensure your “about me” convince visitors that they are in the right place. 

So, for example, you would have something like this:

“If you struggle to lose weight, then you’re in the right place.”

Of course, you want to have something more captivating than that, but you get the point.

For example, Derek Halpern implements this technique on his about page.

about page optin

The “Unique” Newsletter.

So you might be wondering :

What is a “Unique Newsletter”?

It’s basically offering something unique to get someone to sign up for your newsletter.

When I say unique I mean unique.

For example, check out Noah Kagan’s homepage.


As you can see Noah Kagan is not offering just another weekly newsletter. 

instead, you’re getting 85% of his hottest business hacks.

Isn’t that something Unique?

He is also using the upside-down homepage technique.

Chapter 5:
How to Choose The Right Email Marketing Tool.

Now that you are implementing my proven list building techniques.

It’s time to choose the right list building tools to increase your conversions and deliver your lead magnet.

No worries, I am going to share with you some of the best email marketing tools along with some features you can take advantage of to run your email marketing campaigns.


One of the most user-friendly autoresponders you can invest in.

At the same time, Convertkit still allows you to do most advanced stuff to build your list in a more strategic way. 

For example, you are able to :

  • Segment your list without creating multiple lists.
  • User Click-triggers.
  • Send Automated Emails base on Subscriber behavior.
  • Create a visual automation workflow.
email workflow

I have personally used ConvertKit before and one thing they really master is their software user interface. I must say no other email autoresponder offer such a Beginner-friendly UI.

Pricing:14-day free trial then $29/mo 


Aweber is perfect if you just want to perform basic actions with email marketing such as sending broadcast messages or autoresponder sequences. 

Also, you can do a few other stuff such with Aweber such as Split testing and 


My favorite feature: The drag and drop email builder which makes your emails very responsive for mobile device.

aweber Email builder

Pricing:30-day free trial then $19/mo


I ain’t gonna lie: 

Active campaign is the master at Automation.

Whatever action that you want to automate with your email marketing campaigns Active Campaign has a feature for it. Trust me.

active campaign automation

Also, you get access to CRM features which makes automation much easier.

My Favourite Feature: Automated SMS marketing.

You can add SMS messages as a step in your automation sequence… 

Pricing: 14-day Free trial then $9/mo


MailChimp still remains one of the giants of email marketing tools.

One thing that mail chimp offers which I don’t see in any other autoresponders are their free forever plan

It’s not a trail. It’s a free version which you can use as long as your email list size is under 2,000.

For persons on a budget, I would recommend using MailChimp.

Favorite feature: email templates. MailChimp has some of the best email templates that you can use.

mailchimp template

Pricing: $9.99/mo for list over 2,000

Constant Contact.

It’s another Email marketing software with a ton of pro features loaded inside.

Such as a drag and drop email editor.

Also, you can automatically resend emails to persons that didn’t open your emails.

Favorite feature: Events:

Constant Contact is quite unique in this regard, being one of the few email marketing tools that allow you to manage event invitations, registrations, and tickets.

Pricing:30-day free trial then $20/mo

Chapter 6:
How To Increase Email Open & CTR Rates. 

How to increase Email Open rates

Are you ready to Skyrocket your email open rates?  

you should be sending broadcast emails to your subscriber or automated email sequences.

But one of the issues in email marketing is that it’s hard to get persons to open your emails and click-through to purchase your products.

But I got you covered,

because in this section, I share with you World-class techniques to get prospects to open your emails and click-through and buy your products or sign up for your webinar.

How to increase your email Open Rates.

If you can’t get your emails opened by subscribers then not doing email marketing the right way.

Unfortunately, there is no specific tool that shows you exactly what to do to get your emails opened by subscribers.

Instead, you need to implement techniques in your email marketing campaigns which will get subscribers to open your emails as soon as they are delivered.

Speaking of:

Spam Filters are your Enemy.

Let’s address the elephant in the room.

You already know that if your emails aren’t being delivered the right way you won’t get anyone opening them right?

But how do you ensure that your emails get delivered to the inbox?

Avoiding Spam filters!

One of the easiest ways to do this is to avoid using spam words in your email subject line and body copy.

Here are a few spam words you should avoid

  • Don’t delete
  • Fast cash
  • Free sample
  • Giving away
  • Multi-level marketing
  • Promise
  • Satisfaction 
  • Will not believe your eyes 
  • Billion dollars 
  • No catch 
  • Winning 

Of course there are many more spam words you should avoid those are just a few to give you an idea.

List Segmentation.

Not many email marketers do this but it’s crucial if you want to get high open rates.

Heres why:

Just like everyone else, I don’t like receiving emails that I am not interested in, so I delete any emails that don’t seem relevant to me.

Now, what does this have to do with email list segmentation? 

If you don’t segment your list you will be sending subscribers irrelevant emails which will never get opened.

One of the best ways to segment your list is to tag subscribers when they sign up for your lead magnet.

So if you have an SEO blog and someone signs up for your link building lead magnet you would tag that persons as “interested in link building“.

So everyone that signs up for that link building lead magnet should only receive emails about link building.

Moving on.

The Subject Line Is Everything.

You might be wondering why the subject line is everything:

Well, here’s why? 

Just like any other piece of content online, you only get one chance to win someones attention and it’s with the subject line.

In short : 

If your subject sucks, you lose that persons attention… For good.

So that means your emails won’t get opened, even if your email body copy is the best.

The subject line is everything!

Now, how do Write subjects lines that get opened? 

A few tips to use.

  • Keep your subject lines Short and Sweet
  • Write like you are talking to one person.
  • Use numbers
  • Use questions to pique the interest
  • Create a Sense of Curiosity
  • Make Email Subject Lines Relevant and Timely.
“Great subject lines are very much like great headlines, whether that’s a headline for a webpage or print publication.”- Tim Watson Click To Tweet

Sure-Fire Ways to Increase Email Click-Through Rates.

Once you implement the email open rates strategies you should be getting more persons opening your emails. 

Now its time to get persons to click-through to purchase your products or sing up for a webinar or whatever action you want them to take.

Be Strategic With Your CTA

Your call to action determines if someone click-through to your website to perform the action you’re trying to get them to take.

So if you want to increase your clickthrough rate, you need to be strategic with your CTA.

Heres a tip: use descriptive CTA, 

email CTA

When someone sees your CTA they know why they should click-through.

“One of the most simple and powerful email marketing tactics in my mind is to only have one very clear call to action in the email itself.”-Hailley Griffis Click To Tweet

Focus On Buyer Interests

Just like segmenting your email list which gives you the ability to make every email relevant. 

Focusing on the Buyers interest is the same, its all about writing emails around something the buyer is interested in…

Also write your emails in a personal tone will help a lot.

Chapter 7:
Advanced Tips And Strategies.

Optimize your Emails for Mobile Device.

With mobile device accounting for up to 41.9% of emails opened you need to ensure your emails are optimized for a mobile device.

Here a few strategies to ensure your emails are fully optimized for mobile: 

Avoid using large images

large images

Write short paragraphs

short paragraph

Use responsive email templates.

responsive email templates

Follow those techniques and your emails will be optimized for mobile usage.

The Landing Page Formula For Conversions

If you want to ensure all your landing pages convert keep reading.

I will show you a formula that almost always works for any landing page, in any industry.

Heres the Formula. 

Large headline -> Small Sub Headline-> Picture of The Lead magnet ->Optinform

For Example, here’s what it looks like:

Use Popups where Relevant.

Not everyone likes popups.

But we all know that they work. 

But only if you use them the right way.

The question is how do you use Pop-ups the right way? 

Gald you ask. 

The first thing you want to do is ensure that the pop-up that visitors see is relevant to the page that they are viewing. 

So for example, if someone is reading a Copywriting Guide on your website. 

The pop-up should look something like this:

Email popups

If your website runs on WordPress you can use Thrive Leads to set specific popup for specific pages and blog post.

A/B Split Test All The Way.

Do you want to get more sales while increasing your email open rates? 

There is no easier way than to do an A/B Split test of your emails.

Before we dive in let me point out that not all email marketing tools give you the option to split test your emails.

The first variable you should test is your subject lines.

Email Split test

Then you can move on to testing a few other variables like your email content, images, and CTA.


Email Marketing is still one of the most profitable marketing channels and will continue to dominate marketing in the future.

If you follow the strategies and techniques in this guide you will be able to build your email list and have a profitable online business.

also if you already have an email list but struggles to profit fro ti the strategies will also help you get around that roadblock.

leave a comment and let me know whats your #1 take away from this guide.

then share this guide on your favorite social media channel.

16 thoughts on “Email Marketing For Beginners: The Definitive Guide [2019]”

  1. That was a great guide… I have been running an online business for a while now and I just decided to start capturing my customer’s emails.

    I loved your tip about sending over surveys to your subscribers in order to determine their #1 problem and then creating a freebie that solves that problem. This very ingenious and I believe highly effective. Have you used this strategy in your blog? Did you have good results?

    • I haven’t done the survey on this blog but have done it in the past on a different blog. It works but it takes a bit of upfront work.

  2. These are amazing strategies perfect for anyone just starting out email maforging. Succeeding in email marketing is no easy task and even now that I have been doing it for sometime I cannot say that I am perfect at it. I still make a lot of mistakes and I am not yet making as much as I would love to from my email list which is why this guide is really important as I can go back to the basics and find out what I am doing wrong.

  3. I’ve been in a bunch a training videos on WA and I heard the owner mention email marketing a few times but he didn’t really touch on it.  He did happen to say in passing that email marketing is probably the most effective form of advertising if I’m not mistaken.   This is the information I have been looking for.  I notice that a lot of websites have that landing page and won’t let u see that content until you provide your email.  I never realized that’s what they were doing, a brilliant strategy.  I’m currently on my iPad, but I screen shotted your page and I plan to come back to get some more info on this subject.  Thank you so much!

  4. Wow, this is such a comprehensive post on email marketing. It took a long time for me to finish but it is well structured and I really enjoyed the educative post. I just started affiliate marketing and this post has everything to help me become as successful as I can. That is totally Fabulous,I now know alot on this  topic. Which of this tools for you recommend as the best for email marketing. I’ve heard that convertkit is the best, us that your opinion too?

    • If you already understand the basics of email marketing tools like tagging and setting up forms and all that. ConvertKit would be my recommendation.. but if you are just getting started Aweber or MailChimp Will be the best choice.

  5. I have not implemented an email list into my website yet.  I do read all the information telling me how important it is, but I have been focusing my time on getting as many posts done as possible.  I know that some have said that you should start right away collecting email addresses, but how do you juggle it all?

    I am still writing lots of content, learning some things along the way, and it seems that there is a bit of a learning curve to get email setup and running.  What are your thoughts of when someone should implement email marketing?  There is only so much time in a day, and it seems that I am always already full.

    When I get to the point of adding email, I was planning on using MailChimp, mainly since I am not ready to spend extra money yet.  Do you feel MailChimp is easy to use for a beginner?

    Thanks for the information.  It helps keep it in my mind that eventually I have to get my butt going and get it set up.  Your power words are very helpful, and I am going to save the article for later use.  

    • Yes, MailChimp is the #1 recommendation for a beginner in email marketing. I definitely agree with you when you say there is only so much time in a day I ofter get overwhelmed too. 

  6. Hey Floyd,
    long, but great read! I’m really in the beginning of my website, and I will most likely come back to this blog in the near future to find tips for how to grow my email list. I really liked the upside-down-strategy, and will dive deeper into that one later.


  7. Wow, as a new person to online marketing I’ll honestly admit that this post is a lot of information to take in at once, but one that I will pin to come back to and learn from. Do you have a podcast? I feel that I could absorb more of this by listening to it. Sincerely, Kendra

  8. I love email marketing and I highly recommend that new bloggers learn and get started with it asap!

    Personally, I use MailerLite, and I find them to be competitive with other providers. The ability to split test subject lines is so helpful.

    I resisted pop-ups for a long time until I found one that only pops when a reader scrolls down 50%. I find those less invasive than the ones that pop immediately.


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