Mailing List Tips To Help You Grow Your Small Business

Mailing list tips to help you grow your small business with image to the side of hand on keyboard and neon pink letter outline


One of the key strategies I always encourage my target audience (female small business owners), to have in place is a mailing list strategy.

Whilst we see continuous changes to social media platforms, social accounts that are blocked without notice, and marketplace stores like Etsy that are shut down – decimating the small businesses this happens to, one constant that has remained the same and stable throughout the years of the internet is the mailing list, and email marketing.

Think of your mailing list as the stable part of your business.

Your mailing list is a place you can capture new subscribers, retain their contact information, and remain in touch with them over the course of time, to help build a deeper relationship with them.

Email marketing is alive and well.

Time and again research shows that having a mailing list with good email marketing strategy, is a great way to take potential customers, and turn them into paying ones.

No matter how many social media accounts you have, or what website visitors you have, email list building – when done right – is a hugely powerful tool to outperform any of the sales you make in other spaces.

Your list of email subscribers can be a significant way to sell many more of your products and services over and over again.

With all that said, having an engaged subscriber list requires good email marketing strategy, including prioritising the promotion of lead magnets to continually capture new subscribers.

In this blog post I’ll share some best practices to help you grow your small business through your mailing list.

mailing list tips to help you grow your small business


  1. Your mailing list is a safe place to capture the details of your target audience. It’s an asset you own. Unlike social accounts and marketplace platforms, you don’t bear the risk of your list being shut down or taken away from you.
  2. As your list grows, and you work hard to build relationships with your list, it can become the main place you sell your products and services. Period.

Let’s dive into some best ways to work with your mailing list to help you turn it into a money making part of your small business.

1. Opt-In Form

You’ll need some sort of lead magnet with an opt-in form.

This is used to encourage people to join your list.

Generally this is done by offering something of value for free that you’re willing to give to people in return for them hopping on your list.

You can’t offer any old freebie.

What you offer has to be some sort of valuable content your target audience will get great benefit from, so that they’re first of all willing to take the first step and sign up to your list.

They can then get hold of that valuable content from you, and already feel you’re someone they want to see more of, because the initial content you gave to them for free had so much value.

When you figure out what your lead magnet is going to be, it’s important not to let it sit and gather dust.

You should show up everywhere to promote it.

This includes on your social media platforms, podcasts, blogs, in youtube videos, on your website, through the links in your social bios etc.,

Promote your lead magnet often in those places to encourage people to join your list. 

You should make promoting your lead magnet a priority.

It should not be something you do when you remember.

Your goal is to get people to fill out your email signup form, and to join your list to get that first piece of free valuable content from you.

Build strategy into your weekly schedule to keep showing up and promoting the lead magnet(s) you have.

Remember, you have to offer some sort of valuable information to your audience in your free lead magnet.

It needs to be enough to entice them to join your list.

Lots of businesses offer discount codes, others offer a free ebook, or a mini training video, a free webinar or piece of evergreen content.

There are many different lead magnets you can create, and you can have more than one.

Just make sure that whatever freebie you do offer to entice people to join your list, is relevant and useful to your target audience.

Mailing list tips to help you grow your small business with orange glowing images of letters behind.

2. Engaging With Your List

When you have even just one subscriber on your list, your goal is to start to send regular email campaigns out.

Your campaigns should start with an automated welcome email you send to any new subscriber.

That welcome email can be followed by other automated emails to start to build know, like and trust with each new person who joins your list.

There are many email marketing tools you can use to set up automated email campaigns. Mailerlite, Mailchimp and Klaviyo are three that I have used personally. 

The results, sales and engagement you get from people on your list will be a reflection of the user experience people have from the emails you send.

Whilst you should be selling through your list, you should also make sure that you’re providing subcribers with exclusive content in your emails, that makes them feel they are valued subscribers on your list.

Your priority is to try and retain the people on your list.

You also need to make them feel that by unsubscribing from your list, they would be missing out.

Be sure to treat them as VIPs.

Make them special offers against your products and services that they can’t get anywhere else, let them have access to new products, services, information and valuable content first, so that they have FOMO if they leave your list.

3. How Many Emails To Send

There’s no limit!

I’m subscribed to many lists where the business owner sends multiple emails each day.

I have many conversations with female small business owners who fear sending too many emails in case it annoys subscribers.

My answer is always the same.

If you’re sharing enough valuable content to the right subscribers through your email marketing, subscribers will stay.  

If people unsubscribe from your list, they were never a good fit for your small business in the first place.

Most small businesses have a regular email newsletter they send out on top of other email marketing campaigns.

I’ve seen other businesses send their email newsletter out anywhere from monthly to daily.

Bare minimum I encourage you to send one email newsletter a week to your subscribers, over and above any other email marketing campaigns and email automations you have in place.

It’s a good idea to send your email Newsletter at the same time(s) on the same day(s) each week, so that your mailing list subscribers get used to seeing your newsletter land in their inbox at a regular time. 

Remember the peak time most people open their emails is before 10am.

Something to consider to achieve best results with open rates, when deciding the time you’ll send your email newsletter out.

mailing list tips to help you grow your small business with image of woman and blue envelopes on pink background.

4. Consistency

Many small business owners have zero strategy when it comes to sending newsletters to their list.

They send them out here and there, often with large time gaps between each one sent.  

Those large gaps do not help to build a solid relationship with your subscribers.

Sometimes the reason business owners don’t have a regular newsletter routine is that they find it hard to write newsletters.

They struggle figuring out what to write about, how to make newsletters more engaging, how to not make them all salesy.

It’s also much easier to focus on social and post content whilst ignoring your list.  I share tips about what to write about in 5. below.

It is essential that you develop consistency sending emails to your list. You do not want your subscribers to forget about you.

You will also find that the more you push yourself to write emails, the better and easier that process will become.

When you have just one person on your list, you need to start sending a regular email out.

Bare minimum should be one Newsletter a week.

I encourage you to send that email on the same day at the same time each week, so that people get used to this.

5. What To Write About In Emails

If you struggle to know what to write about in your emails, here are some tips.

AI tools like ChatGPT can be lifesaving when it comes to finding inspiration for emails you can send to your list. I often use the platform as a starting point for emails I want to send.

For example, I might say to ChatGPT “I want to send a 5 email sequence to female small business owners working from home, each about the importance of planning and organisation in their business from a home environment. Can you give me five ideas for emails.”

I can then take the inspo from ChatGPT and start to create emails from the suggestions given.

Another tip to help you get regular emails out is to go and look at all the content you’ve put on your social feeds.

Take some of that content – especially the content that has had great interaction – and turn it into a longer piece of content you can send to your list.

For example. If I put a piece of content out on Instagram that’s a short video showing people how to use QR Codes inside Canva, and that piece of content has better interaction than any other content I put out the same week.

I can take that piece of content and turn it into a longer form newsletter to send to my list. 

I can talk about why QR codes can be so useful, where to use them in your business, how to set them up in Canva for free, and I then have a useful, informative Newsletter I can send to my list.

There’s so much content you’ll have dropped on your social platforms that you can turn into newsletters.

All you have to do is take some of that content, and expand further on what it was you said on social so you’re giving MORE to your list to build better relationships with them.

People are nosey.

They want to know about you and your journey.

They want behind the scenes, you talking about the challenges you’ve faced, why you started your biz, your plans for the future.

They’ll be interested to hear how building your business helped you overcome anxiety, financial worries, or living the hated 9-5.

There’s nothing you can’t share in your emails, because your goal is to allow your list subscribers to get to know, like and trust you more. 

The top books you’re reading right now, something funny that happened, your views about life and business.

If all you’re doing in your emails is promoting yet another product, your subscribers may quickly become bored, stop opening your emails, or unsubscribe.

If you’re writing about something unexpected in each of your newsletters:

  • A giveaway
  • A poll
  • A story about something that changed your life
  • How someone hated on you in social and what you did
  • How your supplier went bust and how you overcame that
  • When you helped a client and the result they got
  • Somewhere unusual your product was displayed
  • How you got featured in………

Your email subscribers are more likely to open your email just to have a nosey at what you’re talking about today.

6. Design Of Your Emails

Here are some tips in a listicle that indicate all the key components that make up a good email

  • great subject line
  • preview text
  • write like you speak
  • short sentences, short paragraphs, white space
  • tell stories
  • give value
  • use bullet points and lists
  • always have a cta (call to action)
  • visuals can work well
  • make emails easy to read/scan
  • don’t make emails too long

The subject lines you use for your emails are super important.  They need to stand out.

So instead of:

‘Latest product in stock”.

I’d have:

“This nearly crushed me”.

And here’s what I’d cover in the body of the email

“I’ve launched a new product, but omg, the journey to that launch was tough because of all these challenges along the way that nearly stopped me in my tracks.

However I got my head down and powered on through, and felt elated when I overcame all the barriers and put this latest product out in to the world.

Tell me – what do you think?  

What colours should these come in?  

Should I sell them as single units or more – hit reply to this email and give me your thoughts.”

Can you see how I used a great subject line, morphed it into a story and journey I went on, and then, instead of trying to sell the product, I’ve asked my list to tell me what they think of the product.  

Doing this means I’m involving them in the process, my subscribers feel they are part of something bigger than just someone trying to sell.

That can be really powerful in tempting them to buy…

Subject lines MATTER.  You need to get creative.

There are a few takeaways here.

  • Take great content from your social platforms and make it into longer form content you can send to your list. Expand on that content. Give more. 
  • Your subscribers need to be treated better than the people on social.
  • Create great subject lines that stand out that really encourage your subscribers to open and read your emails.
  • Engage your subscribers inside your emails so that they feel a deeper part of your community, rather than just trying to sell them on another product or service.
mailing list tips to help you grow your small business

7. Planning Your Email Marketing Strategy

Plan your emails in advance, rather than trying to create and send them in a hurry on the day they should go.

Planning in advance gives you time to think about great ideas for your newsletters.

You can then get them written in draft form, and have them scheduled ready to be sent out on specific days over the course of the coming days/weeks/months.

Pre-planning newsletters means they go out on time, regularly, with great subject lines and interesting and varied content in them.

If you leave your Newsletter writing until the last minute, you’re going to find it harder to come up with great ideas for them.

Your newsletters are like any other content you post.

They need to drop in people’s mailboxes regularly to keep YOU in their minds.

Have a spreadsheet or a planner where you can keep a note of all the ideas you come up with for emails you can send to your list.

Use that spreadsheet or planner to map out when you will send each email, what the subject line and content of the email will be, what call to action you will have inside each email.

Prep your emails in advance, schedule them to go out, make a note on your spreadsheet or planner when the email is due to be sent.

Staying organised and ahead of the game with your email marketing strategy will help you enormously. It will stop email marketing feeling like a burden.


When you engage regularly with the people on your list.

When you send great emails your subscribers want to open and read. Your subscribers will stick around.

They’ll also be much more likely to buy from you not just once, but time and time again.

Get your mailing list set up.

Drive traffic to that list.

And when you have ANYONE on your list, start sending regular newsletters out to those subscribers, to turn them in to your long term, loyal tribe.

When you do this.

Your list will become the most valuable asset you own in your business.

More Mailing List Tips

I have a number of blogs available that offer more tips around great mailing list strategy. You can read those blogs here:




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