Email is not just a means of communication. In 2021, it is one of the top methods to sell to your customers online.

When I left my job in my twenties to help launch our first family business, email was a means to ask questions and have questions answered. Fast forward a decade and now email marketing is revolutionizing the way businesses sell online. According to the Data and Marketing Association, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42. I’ve watched my business reach the coveted “money while you sleep” status in the peak of the pandemic as a direct result of an email marketing strategy. So if you’re burnt out posting on social media and you’d like to implement a virtual approach to generate leads in 2021, here’s a quick checklist to get you started along with four ways to use email marketing to grow your business.


• A professional email address attached to your domain
• A subscription to email marketing software
• An automated email sequence (3-5 emails) to follow up with leads after the email is captured through your website or form
• Something of value to give to the lead in exchange for their contact information

Asking someone to sign up for your newsletter is not an email marketing strategy. If you’re looking to generate leads that convert into sales, you’ve got to qualify your leads by giving away free content in exchange for their contact information.


If you’re trying to sell homes, you could create a PDF guide called “15-Minute Hacks to Prep Your House to Sell in 30 Days or Less.” The person who signs up for this targeted content is telling me: they are busy and ready to sell their house quickly simply by requesting the guide. In a series of automated emails I could follow up with them with more valuable information to show my expertise. When that person is ready to put their house on the market, they are more likely to consider me to assist them because we’ve built a rapport through educational content. Best part? They pursued me so the likelihood of them becoming a client increases dramatically.


You can integrate quiz software with your email marketing software to capture leads through quizzes. Simple 5-10 question quizzes to help your potential customer gain clarity or solve a problem is a great way to capture leads. Through software like Interact, you can require them to enter their email addresses to receive their quiz results and use this fun approach to add them to your funnel.


Webinars are a great fit for service-based businesses. If you’re a CPA you could do a webinar called “10 Things You Need to Know BEFORE You File Your 2020 Corporate Return.” People who sign up for this information session are clearly people with businesses who are concerned about updates to the tax law. You could scoop up new clients simply by educating them in a quick 30-45 minute webinar. So many people have become accustomed to using video conferencing software. Upgrade your account with Zoom to host webinars to simplify registration.


If you’re running a retail business, consider offering digital coupons via email marketing. Folks who are signing up to receive a code for free shipping or 10% off are very likely to shop online to take advantage of the cost savings. Market an offer they can’t refuse above your email capture form and wait for the leads to roll in.
Ultimately, email marketing is about expressing to your potential customers that you understand their needs and have the capacity to help them. Once the email addresses are captured, be sure to follow up with your email list manually or leverage automation. Whether it’s selling a house, filing their taxes or shopping for new clothes, email marketing is a great way to cultivate a relationship with your client base online.

LaShonda Brown Delivuk is a Top Level Squarespace Designer & Educator who helps busy entrepreneurs leverage websites and automation to grow sales and reclaim time. Find her on YouTube at Bootstrap Biz Advice for marketing tutorials.