Win the Inbox: The Quickest Way to Start Email Marketing


Email marketing sure sounds daunting. You know you should be doing it, but it can seem like a whole lot of extra work.

I get it. I was at a conference recently, and the “Getting Started with email marketing” session began with “lead magnets” and just got worse from there. Something so important, so effective, and so easy to start, was made to sound crazy complicated.

And that’s the topic of this episode of Win the Inbox – the quickest and easiest way to get started with email marketing without freaking yourself out.

Hi, I’m your host, Phil Hollows, CEO of email service provider, and “Win the Inbox” is where I answer one email marketing question in three minutes or less, to help you meet your personal and professional goals.

So: what is email marketing?

You send an email to a list. That’s as basic as it gets.

You need people to join your list. For that, you need a subscription form, and you get that from your email service provider, or ESP. The company I started, FeedBlitz, is an ESP.

Then you send your email from the ESP.

All you need is a form and an ESP. That’s it.

Wait, wait, I hear you say, I need an ESP?

Yes, you need an ESP, because while sending a single personal email is easy, sending bulk email is surprisingly hard to do well. Three reasons:

1) Spam, blacklists and reputation
2) Subscriber management
3) Compliance and the law

Of course you’re not a spammer. If you’re just starting out your web site’s probably on a shared server, which is fine. But then you’re sharing an unmanaged email server, which is not fine for bulk email. In email marketing, you are the company you keep, and your web site neighbor may have just got you blacklisted; you don’t know what they’re up to after all. Plus: Many web hosts limit how much email you can send, because they don’t want to be blacklisted either.

An ESP’s job is to get your emails into the recipient’s inbox, so we manage our reputations obsessively to give you the best possible deliverability and avoid blacklists. With an ESP your web site neighbors can’t hurt you, and you can (largely) email as much as you like, whenever you like.

Then there’s subscriber management. Opt-ins, confirmations, unsubscribes, complaints, feedback loops, bounces, the list goes on. You want to do that? Of course not. But it’s part of what we ESPs do for a living, so you don’t have to.

Finally, compliance. There’s CAN-SPAM and CASL in the US and Canada; GDPR and CCPA in Europe and California. Email marketing opens you up to obligations that go well beyond changing your privacy policy. ESPs handle that for you, too.

So, again, here’s what you need to start email marketing quickly and easily:

1) An ESP
2) A subscription form from your ESP
3) That’s it.

More of your emails reach the inbox, and you outsource the hassle to the ESP.

Do it now. Don’t wait to be perfect. All you have to do is write your next newsletter. You can do that, right? Right.

If you liked this, please like, share and subscribe! There’s more at, where you can also ask me a question you’d like addressed in a future episode.

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