How do I start online email marketing?

Ask a question about small business. We'll answer by email & post our answers here to help others.

I want to know how to start doing online email marketing for my small business using an online service - rather than having to do everything manually.

I think my CMS website has some email related tools that I can use, but I've heard that it can be difficult to get emails to customers from your own website.

I also don't have much technical experience, so I want to use the easiest solution available.

What is the best email system to use for a small business beginner like me to get started quickly and easily?

Use a leading online service

As mentioned in the article entitled Introduction to email marketing, setting up a campaign can be very difficult without the use of a good service.

Advantages

For one thing, sending out hundreds or thousands of emails from a normal web server is liable to end up in tears because you'll probably be blacklisted on various anti-spam lists - preventing your content from being delivered.

That's not to say it doesn't happen using a specialized service, but generally they ensure that mail flows freely and attend to any problems if, as and when they arrive - so it's not your responsibility to go speak to spam list moderators.

Currently, in my opinion, the best option available on the market is GetResponse.

I strongly recommend you read Comparing GetResponse vs. Constant Contact before deciding which one to try out.

It's easy to confirm that with a Google Trends graph that compares the brand popularity in Google search for all of the leading solutions:

Aside from that, one of the main advantages of using a service is that it is very easy to integrate into any existing website.

Embedding a list sign up form is a case of cutting and pasting a snippet of code - far easier than installing and configuring third part modules.

Of course, there are also list management tools and analytics data provided to make the job of understanding and managing a mailing list a lot faster and easier.

Finally, there's all sorts of cool integrations that are possible - like using QR codes or social media to sign people up, and grow your list.

Speaking of which, assuming you are starting a campaign, you'll probably want to check out these 3 strategies to grow your mailing list.