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10 Email Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners

by Kara Trivunovic, Andrew Osterday  |  
February 24, 2009

Small-business owners are busy folks, especially in the current economy. They wear many hats, including that of marketer.

Email is a medium for economically and effectively marketing your small business. But most everything out there that provides guidelines, best-practices, and advice on the application of the channel to your marketing efforts are largely geared toward bigger businesses.

And it can be difficult for those who plan and build email marketing plans and strategies for bigger organizations to step back and reflect on the days when office politics didn't exist and they had to do it all yourself...

Until now, that is, because here are 10 tips you can leverage and implement easily and quickly—while still having a positive influence on your bottom line—without having to worry yourself with multivariate testing, dynamic content development, and data integration.

Tip 1. Be yourself

You've been able to achieve your accomplishments to date by being yourself; that doesn't change in email. People frequent your establishment because they enjoy the environment, the way they are treated, the quality of your product... Your recipients need to feel the same emotion when they open your email messages.

You can achieve that result through the look or tone of your message. Don't change your writing or speaking style just because you are writing in email. Writing for email can be much less "professional," lending itself more toward relationship building—and that does not come with servings of "Sir" and "Ma'am."

Tip 2. Start small

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Kara Trivunovic is founder and principal of The Email Advisor ( She is also senior director of strategic services at StrongMail Systems ( Reach her via is solutions director, emarketing, at Premiere Global Services (

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  • by Mindy Dolan | TailoredMail Fri Feb 27, 2009 via web

    I think small businesses can be overwhelmed with the idea of email marketing, but you did a great job in this article of breaking down that wall. It's important that even the small companies find some sort of way to communicate through email, but they must make sure to send relevant information or they'll immediately lose that subscriber. Many email service providers offer low-cost solutions for small businesses. And, some (like TailoredMail) even offer a service for those not-so-comfortable with logging into a system and creating an html campaign. They just submit the content and the subscribers and the email service provider makes it look good. To all small businesses: your customers will be impressed by your level of sophistication if you send out an email campaign (just make sure it doesn't look like a randsom note!). They'll be happy you took the time to recognize them!

  • by Benjamin Sat Feb 28, 2009 via web

    I agree, email marketing seemed overwhelming to me at first. I would start and then give up. One company that helped me with email marketing is Thanks for the tips, they are really helpful.

  • by Tessa Mon Mar 2, 2009 via web

    I use Blue Orchid Marketing software to handle my email marketing as well as hard copy mailings to those contacts who have not provided an email address. Works great.

  • by Diane Mon Mar 9, 2009 via web

    We are considering Knowledge Marketing to be our ESP. Does anyone have any reviews, comments or first-hand experience with this company?

  • by Neil Anuskiewicz Thu Mar 12, 2009 via web

    Excellent article. I think all small businesses should at least consider adding permission-based email marketing as part of their marketing mix.

    If done well, email marketing has been shown to have a high ROI and many businesses find that it is their primary source of repeat business.

  • by Maleah Thu Apr 23, 2009 via web

    Relying today on your work salary is not enough. Most people are looking for things that could help them earn extra money. If you're looking to start a business, you could start a music publishing business. New artists need contacts with a music publishing business if they want to go anywhere. It isn't as simple as just getting a cash advance, put a website on Internet and you're in music business, however. There are a lot of things you'll need to talk about with an attorney who has a practice specializing in music contracts and also songwriter's guilds, and music publishers associations. However, if you can find a good niche, starting a music publishing business could keep you out of needing installment loans for quite some time. Read more:

  • by Ashish Bagadia Fri Jun 5, 2009 via web

    I use for all my email marketing needs. It is the most easy and powerful web-application for any small business.

  • by David Tue Dec 1, 2009 via web

    You call these tips? Tricks? Excellent article??? Who reads this??? 9th graders? Comon, where is the beef????

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