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Email marketing is one of the most important tools for businesses in the digital age. With over 4 billion daily email users worldwide, email presents a huge opportunity to connect with customers and drive revenue. 

However, effective email marketing requires skill and knowledge to cut through the noise and deliver results. This article will explore the best ways for entrepreneurs and small business owners to get up to speed on email marketing fundamentals.

Whether you’re just getting started with email or looking to expand your skills, read on to learn how to build your email marketing knowledge base in the most efficient way possible. 

1. Self-Study Methods

Self-studying is a flexible and budget-friendly way to build your email marketing skills and knowledge. 

There are a variety of self-guided learning methods to help you quickly get up to speed.

Also, tap into free downloadable ebooks from email marketing sites like Hubspot and Mailchimp to supplement your learning.

Online courses are another excellent self-study option. The benefits include video lessons, quizzes, certifications, and hands-on projects done on a flexible schedule. 

 LinkedIn Learning offers robust courses focused on analytics, copywriting, and more. Skillshare and Udemy have comprehensive email marketing courses (both free and paid) on everything from email structure to metrics and automation tools.


Take a specialized course just on writing effective subject lines and content with a focus on copywriting skills. Online courses allow you to select the email marketing topics most relevant to your goals.

With the wealth of self-study resources from in-depth books to tailored online courses, you have plenty of options to choose from. Tap into books, ebooks, and online courses to build up your email marketing knowledge and become a pro on your own time. The investment will pay off with the skills and expertise to succeed with email in today’s business landscape.

2. Learning from Experts

Going beyond self-study, you can accelerate your email marketing learning by tapping into the knowledge of industry experts. Webinars, workshops, conferences, and events offer valuable in-person and virtual training from the pros.

For live instruction and Q&A, take advantage of webinars and workshops. Platforms like CMX offer an array of email marketing workshops – from basics to segmentation, automation, and analytics. 

Email service providers like MailChimp also host regular educational webinars to help master their tools. Attendees gain hands-on training and walk away with new tactics to test out thanks to the focused learning environment.

For intensive training, look into top conferences like Email Monks’ Email Marketing Summit, Litmus’ Email Developer Conference, and Drip’s Email Forward. 

These conferences feature case studies, seminars, keynotes, and networking with industry leaders. By attending, you gain access to proven strategies and best practices from the top thought leaders that you can apply. While email marketing conferences require an investment, they can significantly accelerate your skills.

In essence, complement your self-study by learning from webinars, workshops, conferences, and industry events. Absorb the latest email marketing knowledge and make connections with experts to fast-track your real-world skills.

3. Gaining Practical Experience

While building knowledge through books, courses, and experts is crucial, nothing beats first-hand experience when mastering email marketing.

Creating and managing campaigns yourself is truly invaluable for accelerating your skills. Sitting down to design templates, write engaging copy, send test emails, and dig into the data hands-on will develop your expertise so much faster than pure learning alone. 

Start sending out emails for your own small business to get experience. Or volunteer to help a nonprofit or community group with their email campaigns to get practice in a real-world setting. The hands-on work will quickly boost your knowledge and know-how.

Once you start sending those emails, make sure to run A/B tests – this is key. Testing different versions of important elements like subject lines, calls-to-action, and layouts will really open your eyes to what resonates most with your subscribers. 


You’ll be able to iteratively improve your emails based on real data and insights from your own tests. There is just no substitute for the hands-on learning that comes from optimizing live campaigns.

The key takeaway is that while building your knowledge is important, nothing develops real email marketing expertise like creating, sending, testing, and optimizing your own campaigns. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect when it comes to email. No amount of reading or courses can replace the value of hands-on experience.

4. Online Resources and Blogs

The internet offers abundant blogs, educational sites, forums, and communities for ongoing education. Stay plugged in to continually expand your email marketing knowledge, gain insights from peers, and keep your skills current.

Let’s look at some of the top blogs and educational sites first. 

Smart Insights, AWeber, Campaign Monitor, Emarsys, and Litmus are all excellent sources for in-depth articles, how-tos, reports, and email studies. You’ll find the latest on best practices, automation tools, design principles, copywriting, and more. 

Make reading top email marketing blogs and sites part of your regular routine to ensure you are expanding your knowledge and staying up to date.

Another great learning resource is email marketing communities and forums. Platforms like Email Geeks, GrowthHackers, and Inbox Insiders connect you with peers and professionals in the industry. 

You can read discussions, ask questions, and learn from other marketers’ experiences and insights. Contributing your own challenges and success stories also allows for mutual learning. 

The collective knowledge in these communities is immense thanks to collaborative sharing. Leverage these platforms to connect and learn as you build your skills.

5. Certification Programs

Earning an official certification can further validate and add credibility to your email marketing skills and experience.

There are a few major certification programs out there to look into. The top ones include 

  • HubSpot Email Marketing Certification
  • Mailchimp Email Marketing Certification
  • Constant Contact Email Marketing Certification

To earn certification from one of these established programs, you’ll need to pass a comprehensive exam that covers important topics like email strategy, segmentation, automation, analytics, compliance, design, and more. 

By studying and passing the exam, you’ll prove your hands-on abilities when it comes to effective email marketing.

Gaining a certification definitely offers some nice benefits for your career. You can add certifications to your resume or LinkedIn profile to showcase your expertise to employers and clients. 

The certifications also enhance your overall credibility in the field and demonstrate your commitment to continuously developing your skills. In general, many employers view official certifications as a strong indicator of someone’s true abilities.

So if you’re looking to take your email marketing career to the next level, invest some time in earning a respected certification. It can definitely give you a nice boost as you expand your skills, experience, and professional opportunities.

6. Explore Email Marketing Software

Gaining first-hand experience with leading email marketing platforms is incredibly valuable for building skills and opportunities.

Take time to actively explore and experiment with popular software like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, ConvertKit, GetResponse, and more. 

Sign up for free trials when possible to fully test tools for designing emails, automation workflows, analytics, and other key functions. Hands-on use will familiarize you with different platforms and reveal capabilities and limitations.


This hands-on work essentially trains you to become a power user. You’ll be able to knowledgeably discuss technology and make informed recommendations on choosing software based on experience. Exposure to multiple platforms also looks fantastic on your resume – companies want people familiar with major tools.

In essence, actively test-driving email software will build first-hand experience with the technology side of campaigns. Strive to become a power user of leading platforms to maximize skills and opportunities.


The optimal approach for email marketing mastery is a blended learning strategy. Build your foundational knowledge through books, online courses, and industry experts. 

Complement structured learning with practical hands-on experience like running your own campaigns, continually testing and optimizing, leveraging software tools, and participating in online communities. With dedication to continuous education and practice, success can be achieved.

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