Every business has to start marketing somewhere, and that often means turning to email. There are plenty of signposts to guide your organization on its email marketing journey, but there are a few standards that every organization ought to look for in particular, especially when they're just starting out.

This article will guide you through the ins and outs of what to prepare for in your email marketing campaign.

1. Figure out what you're sending

All email programs need a purpose, and not all of them are marketing-related. Transactional emails, for example, are necessary for account creation, receipts, order status, and password management.

Take the time to figure out what you're aiming to accomplish with your email program—from whom you're sending the email to, to what lists they ought to be on, to how you can manage growing lists, and more—before you send the first email.

2. Go with an ESP—or in-house

You have two options when starting an email marketing program: Go in-house or partner with an email service provider (ESP). In-house gives you more control, but ESPs offer better deliverability, outsourced infrastructure, advanced management tools, scalability, and a whole lot more you'll need in your marketing journey. If you chose the ESP route, make sure your partner provides an API you can integrate with your app or website.

3. Rev your marketing engines

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image of Scott Heimes

Scott Heimes is CMO at email-delivery service SendGrid, where he is responsible for SendGrid’s brand strategy, driving demand for its solutions, and leading global marketing operations.

LinkedIn: Scott Heimes

Twitter: @ScottHeimes