What Is Email Marketing? Beginner's Guide, Definition & Strategies

1 Mar 2024

Here because you just Googled 'what is email marketing'? 🔎 ✉️

Listen. It’s easy to assume that just because email marketing has existed for some time now, that everyone knows what it is. Or that they know how to do email marketing well with the latest strategies and techniques in mind. 

But what if you’ve only just started your company? Or, haven’t reached your marketing goals up to now, and want to learn more about how email works so that you can fine-tune your campaigns?

As makers of EcoSend we want to help every business succeed at email marketing.

In today’s post, we’re going to cover the basics of email marketing aimed at beginners.

📝 Alternatively, want us to send you our most advanced email marketing techniques? Sign up for the EcoSend Weekly and we'll deliver them to your inbox for free. 

Who this guide is for:

  • Email marketing newbies.

  • Company founders wanting to learn how email works/ if email is worth the investment.

  • Anyone wanting to learn about email marketing directly from an email marketing platform.

  • Those who have started a new side hustle and want to use email marketing to grow their results. 

  • You reading this right now for any other reason (we appreciate you being here!) 👋

What Is Email Marketing And How Does It Work? 

In a nutshell, email marketing is when companies send their marketing campaigns to a list of subscribers via email. 

The purpose of email marketing is to generate leads and ultimately sales for businesses. Email can achieve this through building relationships with subscribers, alerting them of new promotions, gathering feedback about a service and much more. 

Email campaigns are created in a way that engages and entices an audience, depending on the purpose of the campaign. Campaigns can include plain text, images, video and much more as part of a branded email template design.

Never made an email template before? Get started with our free HTML Email Template Builder

Success of email campaigns can be measured through monitoring open rates, click-through rates (CTR), and sales generated.

Up the ante on this swot sesh 💡🤓: The EcoSend Digital Marketing Glossary

Why Email Marketing?

It’s a simple fact that email is a powerful marketing tool that has and will always continue to work. 

With the average person checking their emails 15 times a day (Forbes), and emails being sent directly to computers, tablets and phones - getting in the inbox of your customers is pure common sense.

Let’s talk numbers to put email in perspective. 

Email offers a typical ROI of $36 for every $1 spent, though our research has found the ROI can be as high as $45 for every $1 spent. 

If email generating $8.5bn every year wasn’t enough to tempt you to start marketing via email, Statista predicts this figure will jump to $17.9bn by 2027. 

In short, any business not doing email marketing (or not as well as they should be) right now is missing out on some serious revenue. 

How To Do Email Marketing

Realised that the above statement applies to you?

Don’t panic, as getting started with email marketing couldn’t be easier. While there’s a lot of advanced techniques to learn down the track, just remember that all of these are designed to earn your business more money.

But before we get to that, let’s slow down and take a look at what you need for email marketing: 

An email marketing platform - In line with GDPR/functionality requirements, you need a secure, professional way of holding customer data and being able to create and send email campaigns. Email marketing platforms include the likes of EcoSend, Hubspot and Mailchimp. 

Subscribers - Businesses should make every effort to get more email subscribers. These are users which have agreed to sign up on your mailing list. At the very least, have an email form in the footer of your website to get sign-ups. Similar to social media followers, the more subscribers a list has, the more valuable it becomes. 

Campaign strategy - Every email you send should have a clear purpose in terms of messaging and overall strategy. Sending the right message to the right person at the right time (segmentation) offers up the best recipe for success. 

How To Earn Money From Email Marketing

  • Build a list

  • Segment your list

  • Create valuable content

  • Use compelling subject lines

  • Include CTAs

  • Test your emails

  • Monetise (affiliates, product sales etc)

  • Re-engage customers at risk of churn

  • Highlight product value to encourage loyalty

  • Competitions, discounts & incentives 

Read more: 9 Ways Make Money With Email Marketing In 2024

Different Types Of Emails 

email marketing ai

As a business you can have so much fun with email, because there’s just so much you can do with it

Use email to directly talk to your customers about what matters, along with showing them you have to offer as a business. 

Welcome Emails

When someone has just signed up for your newsletter or purchased with you for the first time -  you have their full attention

Use this to your advantage by sending that user a welcome email. 

Welcome emails have a typical open rate of 91%. Acting as the digital form of a hello, welcome emails couldn’t be a better way to introduce your brand, products and services. 


Ever heard the story of how Alex Lieberman started the Morning Brew email newsletter in his college dorm and eventually sold it for $70 million?

We explain the value of having an email newsletter (plus more about the above story), in the aptly named post Why Everyone Should Start An Email Newsletter.

If you just can’t wait, know that a newsletter is a method of keeping in regular contact with your subscribers. 

Acting as a digest, newsletters can provide incredible insight and value into your business. All of which promotes customer loyalty and engagement.

Lead Nurturing Emails

That customer is so close to buying. But they aren’t quite over the line yet. 

Don't just hope for the best. Send them a lead nurturing campaign to their email inbox! 

Lead nurturing emails are both highly personalised and targeted. 

Your email marketing platform (i.e. EcoSend) can provide tailored information on what your users are most interested in. Use this data to understand their hesitations to get that sale with your lead nurturing campaigns.

Re-Engagement Emails

When a customer stops buying from you, never visits your website and leaves your emails unopened - this suggests they are a churn risk for your business.

A re-engagement email is designed to give that user a prod, so to speak. 

Compared with not trying at all, an re-engagement email at least makes an effort to keep a paying customer.

Also known as a ‘win back campaigns’, re-engagement emails have a success rate of up to 29%.

Imagine a potential 29% boost in sales just for sending your customers a single re-engagement email? 

Survey Emails

Losing customers and don't know why? Want to offer a better service than your competitors, so that your customers will never head elsewhere?

Survey emails are yet another way to make money from email marketing. That’s because they can give you invaluable information direct from your customers, about everything they like and dislike about your business. 

Use what they tell you to make more informed business and marketing decisions that generate better results. 

Read more: What Are The Different Types Of Emails?

How Much Does Email Marketing Cost?

The cost of email marketing depends on the platform you choose, the number of subscribers you have, along with the types of features you need. 

Many platforms including EcoSend have a free plan available. So for email marketing newbies or side hustlers as we mentioned above, these may meet your needs.

Start for free with EcoSend ➡️ EcoSend free trial 

For businesses, we’d advise the average cost of an email marketing platform is around $100-$500 per month. 

The other costs include the cost of email template designs, email copy, email strategy and having someone monitor the success of your campaigns. The total cost will depend on whether your emails are created in-house, or if you hire an external marketing agency.

The good news is that the cost of email marketing is very flexible. So, you can invest as little or as much as you need depending on your specific requirements as a business.

Email Marketing FAQs

Have some questions about email marketing?

We’ve answered some of the most common queries below. But for anything else, we offer plenty of free resources. You can also reach us any time by dropping us a message. 

How To Choose An Email Marketing Platform?

All email marketing platforms vary drastically in terms of features, capabilities, reliability and price.

Think carefully about the amount of subscribers you have, along with the features you actually need. If in doubt, check out our guide on how to choose an email marketing platform. 

What Is One Of The Benefits Of Using Templates For Your Email Marketing Campaigns?

Email templates act as mini landing pages but in email form! The right template can seriously help to sell your products, services or overall message in a way that plain text can’t always achieve. Beautifully designed email templates help represent your brand and can look far more professional. 

Why Is Email Marketing Important?

Email marketing is important because when done well, it offers a fantastic return on investment. Unlike other forms of marketing, email takes your campaigns straight into the inbox of your subscribers, making them difficult to miss. Email can be used for so many purposes, all of which are designed to make your company more profitable. 

How To Write A Marketing Email

Always write any marketing email with your customer in mind. Namely, their wants and needs along with the fact they are humans (seen as we are living in an AI-centric world these days).

Also consider the purpose of the email to nail the tone. Keep your text short, snappy and to the point to value your subscriber’s time. 

When Is The Best Time To Send A Marketing Email? 

Every business is going to have a unique optimum send time. We recommend carefully checking your email marketing platform to help you work out the day and time of day that works best for your campaigns.

Also look out for general trends and patterns (i.e. in terms of open rates), as some send times are going to work better than others. 

How To Improve Email Marketing Metrics 

Improving your email marketing performance can be complicated to solve in one sentence, as it depends what the issue is for your campaigns. That said, it’s clear you need to switch things up because your current strategy isn’t working. Here are 7 email marketing trends to give you some ideas on where to improve. 

EcoSend - The Eco-Friendly Way To Do Email Marketing

Did you know that all of our digital activities including email marketing have a carbon footprint?

EcoSend is the world's first climate-conscious email marketing platform. ✉️ 💚

With EcoSend, you get everything you need to do email marketing well, but at a reduced cost to the planet. That's because our systems run on renewable energy sources, plus we'll plant trees on your behalf just for using us.

Keen to learn more? Drop us a message or schedule a demo of EcoSend for a free walkthrough of our email platform.

About the author

Rachael O'Flaherty

Content Writer

About the author

Rachael O'Flaherty

Content Writer

Grow your business sustainably

Get the EcoSend Weekly newsletter — inspiration, helpful tips, and a good giggle, every Friday.

Grow your business sustainably

Get the EcoSend Weekly newsletter — inspiration, helpful tips, and a good giggle, every Friday.

Grow your business sustainably

Get the EcoSend Weekly newsletter — inspiration, helpful tips, and a good giggle, every Friday.

The email marketing platform for better business

Win new customers, send better email, and make the planet better with every campaign.

  • Free Email Templates

  • Smart Segmentation

  • Lead Forms

  • Automated Campaigns

  • Automatic Offsetting

  • Team Sharing

  • HTML Email Editor

  • Multi-channel Campaigns

  • Drip Campaigns

  • MailChimp Import

  • Zapier Integration

  • Powerful API

The email marketing platform for better business

Win new customers, send better email, and make the planet better with every campaign.

  • Free Email Templates

  • Smart Segmentation

  • Lead Forms

  • Automated Campaigns

  • Automatic Offsetting

  • Team Sharing

  • HTML Email Editor

  • Multi-channel Campaigns

  • Drip Campaigns

  • MailChimp Import

  • Zapier Integration

  • Powerful API