Feature, Operations, Sales & Marketing, V6I2

Guide to Using Email to Grow Your Business

(Photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

Do you have a list of email contacts sitting idle somewhere? You are not alone. Many businesses collect emails, but then fail to follow up. Perhaps you’re collecting email addresses on your website, through your 3D building software, or when a customer places an order. 

But what can you do with this email list? 

Consider incorporating your email list into your broader digital marketing efforts. Email marketing is a great way to engage with potential customers, gain valuable insights from past customers, and improve brand awareness and local reputation. 

Here are a few ways you can use email marketing to grow your business. 


While social media, video, and 3D builders have become the focal point of many online marketing efforts, the simplicity and affordability of email marketing make it a powerful tool in your marketing plan. 

Email is easy to set up and deploy, and many email providers provide beautiful templates that are easy to edit. Nearly everyone has access to emails; even many Plain and conservative communities have an email connected to their fax machine. 

Email remains one of the most affordable digital marketing channels, only costing your time and maybe a few dollars for a basic subscription to an email platform (e.g., Mailchimp, Constant Contact).


Don’t Spam People. No one likes to receive unwanted email, and neither do email providers. You both have brand reputations to uphold, and spamming is the easiest way to lose it. If you are emailing people who did not voluntarily give you their email address, then you are spamming them. 

Email providers carefully monitor their channels for spam and will shut you down quickly. Spamming can also lead to your domain getting blacklisted, which means your emails won’t be delivered anymore. 

To be safe, always ask for permission when collecting email addresses. And always include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email you send. 

Keep Email List Organized. A key to email marketing is to send the right message to the right person at the right time. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. To make this happen, you need to find ways to learn more about who’s on your list. 

You can do this by creating tags or segments to assign to your contacts (e.g., current customers vs. leads, homeowners vs. commercial buyers, or local vs. out-of-state). Once you know more about who you’re emailing, only then can you provide hyper-specific messaging that will resonate. 

Use an Email Platform. Never send bulk emails from your Outlook or Gmail account. For mass emails, it’s best to use an email platform. We recommend Mailchimp (mailchimp.com) because it is easy to use and has plenty of features. Plus, it is free if you have fewer than 2,000 contacts. 


Here are some of the ways outdoor living dealers and manufacturers are using their email list to improve brand awareness, close more sales, and support their marketing and customer service efforts. 

Create a Newsletter

A newsletter is an easy and affordable way to engage with your email list. 

Depending on your list and your business goals, an email newsletter can be used to stay top of mind with people who have not purchased yet, support others who have already purchased from you, and establish yourself as your audience’s go-to expert for all things outdoor living. 

We recommend developing a schedule for sending emails—once a quarter is a good rhythm to start. And make sure that you are providing helpful advice, such as how to maintain your structure, organization tips, or photos of recent projects. 

Pro Tip: An advanced email newsletter strategy is to have personalized messaging based on the audience. For example, include a discount email that only goes to people who have not purchased from you yet, and an email on leaving a review for people who have purchased from you. 

Announce Events

If you hold an open house or customer appreciation day, be sure to announce this to your email list. Create an email that lists the event details and any giveaways or discounts. 

Pro Tip: Ask people to register for the event or a giveaway with their email address. After the event, upload this list to your email provider. When the time comes to market for next year’s event, send a reminder email to this list. 

Nurture Leads

If you have a catalog download or 3D shed builder online, you may be collecting emails from people who are not yet customers. 

You can create a drip email campaign that sends them a series of emails on a timed schedule that introduces them to your company, highlights your products, and gently nudges them to make a purchase. 

Pro Tip: Don’t overwhelm people with emails in a drip campaign. A good place to start is one email per week for three weeks. 

Ask for Feedback

Are you in the habit of asking for feedback after a structure is delivered? You can create an automated email to be sent a few weeks after a project is completed. In this email, you can ask for feedback or a rating on their experience. This feedback is invaluable in evaluating your customer service. 

Pro Tip: If someone responds with favorable feedback, ask them to leave a review online. Depending on your goals, this review can be on Google, Facebook, another platform, or on your internal review system. 

Show Digital Ads

Many digital ad platforms allow you to upload an email list to create a specific audience. 

You can show follow-up ads to this audience, exclude them from other ad campaigns, and create advanced ad campaigns with this list. 

Pro Tip: You can upload a list of past customers to Facebook and then create a Lookalike Audience, a new group of people that are similar in profile and preferences as your existing audience. Your ads to this lookalike audience should see better results. 

Communicate to Your Dealer Network

If you are a manufacturer that sells through local dealers, it is wise to create an email list for these dealers. 

In these emails, you can provide product updates, highlight sales goals, and answer questions they have. Ultimately, your goal is to create a community within your dealer network and give them the support they need to sell more of your products. 

Pro Tip: Interview some of your top dealers for this newsletter. This will not only build up the reputation of this dealer within your network, but it can also set an example for the rest of the dealers to follow.


If you are looking to expand your digital marketing efforts, consider email marketing. 

Look at how you might incorporate your email list into getting in front of potential customers, gain insights from existing customers, and enhance your online advertising campaigns. 


Planning Your 2020 Marketing Budget?, March 11, 2020

Mastering Modern Marketing, June 9, 2018

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Current Issue

June/July 2024