The Ultimate List of Email Marketing Resources for 2018

While it’s tempting to shell out money for ads designed to put your content in front of potential new customers, there’s one money-maker you already have at your disposal: your email list. If done right, you can inform, delight, and drive your customers right to that “buy” button – and they’ll never once accuse you of cluttering up their inbox. Even more important for your business? Enticing brand-new audience members – and potential customers – to join your email list, so your online empire keeps growing.

With a little bit of know-how, you can learn how to make your list even more effective for driving sales and identifying leads. Consider the following data points from HubSpot’s Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics:

  • 58% of all revenue is driven by segmented lists and targeted email campaigns.
  • 86% of consumers actually want to receive monthly promotional emails from companies they like.
  • Personalized messages generate 6% more engagement than non-personalized messages.
  • 75% of companies think email generates “excellent” ROI.

Even if you’re already convinced that email marketing will drive business to your door, what can you do to set up a successful campaign from the get-go? And how do you use your content to reach new customers and keep growing your list? That’s why you need a solid email marketing strategy under your feet. You need to plan, test, and automate your marketing campaigns. That way you have all the time you need to process new orders, serve your customers, and analyze data to make your next campaign even better.

What does a killer email marketing plan look like? This list of email marketing resources will give you all the know-how to lay a good foundation for your strategy, pick the right tools, and segment your way to sales.

Chapter 1 – Building Your Email Marketing Infrastructure

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What steps should I take before launching an email marketing campaign?

  • Getting Started with Email Marketing, Campaign Monitor – Although this guide goes beyond the steps you’ll want to take before launching your new campaign, pay particular attention to its first section on setting goals. Drawing on the examples of BuzzFeed, UNICEF and SXSW, Campaign Monitor’s guide will help start your campaign off on the right foot.
  • 5 Questions to Ask Before Launching an Email Marketing Campaign, Thunder Tech – Think you’re ready to kick off your first campaign? Don’t hit the “schedule” button on your first message before walking through the important questions posed in this article.
  • Marketing Campaigns 101: 7 Steps to Launching Your First Email Marketing Campaign, Yola – Like Campaign Monitor’s guide, Yola’s article on the subject of getting started covers more ground than your first steps alone. Spend more time on the article’s first few steps, but review later recommendations for a glimpse into the activities you’ll be tasked with in the future.
  • Email Marketing Pre-Launch Checklist [DOWNLOAD], Email Monday – You’ll have to opt-in to receive this downloadable checklist. Look at it as an example of email marketing in action, and you’ll benefit from the ability to check your future campaigns against embarrassing mistakes.

How should I choose an email marketing platform?

  • 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Email Marketing Service, Entrepreneur – Believe it or not, you’ll have to do some soul searching before you purchase an asset like your email marketing platform. Pay particular attention to your needs around marketing goals, budget, design, and customer service.
  • Choose the Right Email Marketing Tool for Your Agency, Campaign Monitor – Here are the major concerns you need to have ironed out before committing to a platform, from required features to ease of onboarding clients. This is an especially helpful guide if your business manages content for multiple clients.
  • How to Choose the Right Email Marketing Platform for Your Business, Digital Marketing Institute – Need a quick overview of the most robust email marketing platforms out there? Use this handy how-to guide to comparison shop between MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and more.
  • Best Email Marketing Software: Which One Is Right for Your Business?, FitSmallBusiness – Nothing helps us make decisions like a handy comparison chart. Find out which marketing platform takes the cake for small businesses and which is robust enough to handle all your marketing needs.
  • The 11 Best Free Email Marketing Tools, SproutSocial – Still growing your list? One of the best things about email marketing platforms is they’re often free – until your subscriber list hits a certain number. Find out which tools you can use when you’re starting out small.
  • Best Email Marketing Services, WebsiteSetup – For those looking for something a bit more robust for your small business, Websitesetup has you covered with this pro/con list of affordable and easy to use email marketing solutions.

Chapter 2 – Growing Your List with New Subscribers

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How do I get people to join my list?

  • 25 Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List, HubSpot – If you need an idea bank from some of the top marketers on the planet, look no further. Here are 25 solutions that range from totally free to totally worth it.
  • Build Your Email List, Shopify – A great overview from Shopify about list-building basics, covering everything from sign-up incentives to landing pages. Plus, this handy resource is part of a larger guide to online sales.
  • 8 Effective Email Marketing Strategies, Backed by Research, Buffer – This short-but-sweet article from Buffer will transform your copy – and your approach to email marketing. Learn the basics of integrating your email marketing strategy with social media, writing killer subject lines, and more.
  • 7 Clever Ways You Can Increase Your Email Opt-Ins and Get More Subscribers, Unbounce – From pop-ups to overlays, Unbounce lays out what you need to do to convince more people to click “Subscribe.” This article also puts an emphasis on A/B testing, which is one of the best ways you can figure out whether a strategy works for you.

What is a lead magnet (and how do I create one)?

How can I make my opt-in forms more effective?

Chapter 3 – Creating an Email Marketing Funnel

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What kinds of emails do I need?

How should I format my emails?

How do I tag and segment subscribers in order to deliver targeted messages?

Chapter 4 – Using Email to Drive Conversions

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How can I use email marketing to get people to take action?

How will split testing help me improve my email marketing results?

  • A Beginner’s Guide to A/B Testing: Email Campaigns That Convert, Kissmetrics – Taking the time to test your email marketing strategy is one of the single best things you can do to improve your open and clickthrough rates – not to mention your sales. Kissmetrics takes you through the basics with an entire series devoted to the power of the A/B test.
  • A/B Test Your Email Campaigns, Campaign Monitor – With real-world examples from BuzzFeed and Chuck Taylor, Campaign Monitor walks you through which elements of your email content benefit from testing.
  • 50 Split Testing Ideas (You Can Run Today!), Neil Patel – While this comprehensive list of tests goes beyond email marketing, it touches on many other components of a successful email marketing campaign. Landing pages, copy, social media – they all impact who winds up in your funnel.

How can I use email marketing to support my product launch?

  • 18 Tips for Planning a Flawless New Product Launch, HubSpot – This article does a nice job of explaining how much detail – and collaboration – goes into a successful product launch. It covers more than your email strategy, but the first few steps will help you develop the content you need to be successful.
  • How to Promote a New Product Using Email Marketing, GetResponse – When it comes to planning a launch, everything from your timeline to your campaign design matters. GetResponse offers a great checklist for getting things done.
  • The 20 Best Product Launch Emails That Reengage Users, Appcues – Learn from the greats with Appcues’ helpful descriptions of the email marketing strategies behind Evernote, LinkedIn, and Dropbox.
  • Steal My Email Launch Sequence, The Rule Breaker’s Club – Courtney Johnston knows a thing or two about sales copy. Find out the email launch sequence she uses over and over again to launch new products and services.

Chapter 5 – Improving Your Email Marketing Results

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Why aren’t people reading my email messages?

What metrics should I be tracking with my email marketing campaigns?

How can I fix my high opt-out rates?

Chapter 6 – Looking Forward

Email marketing AI in 2020


What are the email marketing best practices coming into 2018?

What can we expect in the next year of email marketing?

  • 4 ways AI can improve email marketing, VentureBeat – Artificial intelligence fills in the missing gap between traditional shopping and online shopping with 1:1 personalization; VentureBeat lists four of the ways AI is changing email marketing for the future.

  • 2018 Email Marketing Forecast: Data, Micro-Moments, and Intelligence, Business2Community – According to B2C, we’re in store for more data-driven email marketing that will increasingly hone in on micro-moments. Here’s a deeper dive into those predictions.
  • Email marketing trends 2018, Smart Insights – Six emerging email and marketing automation trends to help inform your 2018 email marketing communications strategy.

Have you mastered the art of the email marketing campaign? What’s the secret to your list-building success? Give other marketing leaders a leg up in the comments below.