Owning and operating a business is hard work. If you’re a small business owner, you’re likely the CEO, recruiter, sales and operations manager, accountant, marketer, and who knows what else. That’s a lot of hats to wear.

Not that we don’t like hats, but with your marketing duties alone, you have:

  • Content marketing
  • SEO
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine marketing
  • Creative design
  • And the list goes on and on…

It’s a lot to do, yet, someone’s got to do it.

Since email boasts the highest ROI of all marketing channels (with an average of $42 for every dollar invested), we decided to focus on improving your email marketing program (plus, email is kinda our thing).

We want to help you get the biggest bang for your buck. To help streamline your small business’s email marketing, we’ve compiled 6 quick-and-easy tips. Use these tips, and you’ll minimize your time on email marketing while maximizing your ROI. Win-win.

1. Find the Right Email Marketing Service

Finding an email marketing service for your needs is easy. Choosing from the wide variety of solutions isn’t.

At the heart of it, most email marketing software solutions perform the same function—sending emails to your recipients. But there’s more you need to consider: deliverability, reliability, scalability, pricing, analytics, integrations, list management, ease-of-use, automation, segmentation, A/B testing, etc.

Some of these factors (like deliverability, reliability, and usability) are non-negotiables, but you’ll have to decide for yourself what other features are need-to-haves and nice-to-haves.

The best email marketing tools provide free plans or trials, so experiment with the different platforms. Some email marketing platforms require basic coding, and others use drag-and-drop editors—at Twilio SendGrid, we empower you to use both.

If you need help navigating the crazy email service provider (ESP) landscape, take a look at 250ok’s Email Service Provider Buyer’s Journey.

2. Get Started With Email Automation

Building relationships with your email recipients is essential, but it’s tedious work. Email marketing automation empowers you to drive conversions at scale without consuming too much of your time.

With email automation, you can set up workflows that automatically send emails to your recipients based on their behavior. For example, when a new user purchases your product, you can send an automated series of emails over the next few weeks or months to onboard or upsell them.

Take a look at these examples of email automation in action to get an idea of how automation can up-level your program.

Automation can also help you unlock greater ROI in two ways:

  1. Less time spent on email increases your capacity to get more done (invaluable benefit for busy small business owners).
  2. Creating more compelling experiences for your contacts results in better hitting your goals (customers become fans who become advocates).

Sure, setting up your automations can take a bit of time, but once they’re up and rolling, you’ll reap the rewards for months and years to come.

To learn more about email automation and how to get started, check out our webinar: Email Marketing Automation — It’s Easier Than You Think.

3. Employ Free Email Templates

Don’t waste your valuable time building templates from scratch—we have a full gallery of free email templates right here for you.

Whether you need a template for your welcome series or a template for your Halloween newsletter, our gallery has it all.

Once you’ve found the right template, it’s time to design it to make it your own. These free tools are a must-have for busy small business owners:

We’re all about speed and efficiency, so we compiled our favorite easy-to-use free design tools here. Use these tools to quickly create the visual content you need to build fantastic email campaigns.

4. Make Deliverability a Priority from Day 1

Start clean, stay clean. Black hat email tactics may “work” in the short-term, but they’ll end up causing you a mountain of headaches and hours of cleaning up down the road.

Globally, 15% of emails never make it to the inbox. No matter how much time you spend designing high-quality email campaigns and automations, if your deliverability rates plummet, nobody will see those emails.

Right from the get-go, make deliverability a priority. That means growing your own email list (never buying), consistently sending engaging content, avoiding getting flagged as spam, and more.

It’s like cleaning your house. It may only take a few minutes a day, but if you neglect it, it’ll take hours later…and might still smell a little bit.

To ensure you’re up-to-date on all the best practices, take a peek at our 2019 Email Deliverability Guide. It’s chock full of sending advice, reputation management tips, and pitfalls to avoid.

5. Track Your Progress

When performance is measured, performance improves. Boost your email campaigns by gauging engagement with a few regular measurements. You’ll be surprised how focusing on the right metrics can magically up-level your email list’s health.

You don’t need to become an analytics wizard or data scientist—just take time at the end of the month to review your past campaigns. What went well? What didn’t?

If you had low open rates, maybe you need to focus on writing stronger subject lines. And if you’re getting opens but low click-through-rates, then perhaps you need to fine-tune your calls to action (CTAs).

Make sure to analyze what went well, too. Maybe an email you sent on a Thursday morning had super-high open rates—try sending an email at the same time again to find a trend.

You can only make progress by reviewing the past. Carve out a regular time to review your email stats, and then target areas for improvement.

If you need help measuring your campaign’s performance, check out our post: Your Complete Measurement Training Program for Strengthening Your Email Engagement.

6. Consider Hiring Help

Sometimes, you just can’t do it all by yourself. It can be intimidating to delegate, but it can be incredibly empowering.

First, think about how much your time is worth. If it takes you 20 hours to do what a professional could do (probably better) in 10 hours, why not hire the help so you can spend your time elsewhere?

As a small business owner, you’re focused on the big picture of owning and growing your business—use employees or freelancers for executing some of the minutiae.

You can find top-notch email designers and marketers on freelance sites like Upwork. You can also enlist the help of professional services to up-level your email program. At Twilio SendGrid, we have a team of email experts ready to take your email marketing to new heights. Whether you need help with email best practices or improving your program’s results, there are Expert Services available.

Simplify Your Small Business Email Marketing

It’s as simple as that. With just a few tools and tips, you can dramatically decrease the time you spend on email marketing campaigns while magnifying your results.

Don’t make being a small business owner more challenging (as if it wasn’t hard enough already). Give these tips a try and see how much time and money you save.

If you’re struggling to get started, check out our Beginner’s Guide For Email Marketing in 2019. It’ll take you from sending zero to sending hero in no time!



Jesse Sumrak
Jesse Sumrak is a Content Marketing Associate at Twilio SendGrid focused on writing killer content and producing captivating webinars. A writing zealot by day and an ultramarathon runner by night (and early-early morning), you can usually find Jesse preparing for the apocalypse on a precipitous peak somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.