Top 9 Email Marketing Books For Beginners And Advanced Readers

Top 9 Email Marketing Books For Beginners And Advanced Readers
16 March, 2022 • ... • 1014 views
Eugene Vasilev
by Eugene Vasilev

Although email marketing is a digital thing, not all the information about it is stored on the web. Plenty of authors like to share their knowledge on paper. Why wouldn’t they? Books as a concept aren’t dead in 2022.

Let us folks at Selzy be Captains Obvious and say we believe that books are a source of vast knowledge. That’s why this article, written in the digital space, tells you about real books, more specifically the best email marketing books.

Here you’ll also find useful links to other resources beyond books where you can deepen your email marketing knowledge. And as a mini gift, we’ve made a visual guide to help you pick the best book for you.

Why read email marketing books

Indeed, why read email marketing books when there’s so much information available online? And yet, books are still being written.

If we can only name one big reason why read email marketing books it’s that experts write them, the actual practitioners of this craft. All the authors on the list below are distinguished specialists in email marketing.

Yes, books become outdated as new ideas come in. But this only enables new ideas and new experts. And unlike blogs or podcasts, books are more orderly, meaning they usually stick to one big topic.

And I want to give you one more reason to read books on email marketing, a personal one. See, we’re used to reading about digital marketing from blogs, guides, ebooks. Can you imagine how cool it must feel to recline in a chair with a cup of hot tea and leaf through a really good book on email marketing? Well, let me help you with this photo of mine literally doing it the old school way!


Best email marketing books to read in 2022

We’ve selected nine books worth your attention. They’re sorted by accessibility and depth: from the easiest to read to the most advanced.

If you’re only beginning your email marketing journey and need a quick introduction, consider the first few books on the list as your primary picks. If you’ve worked in email marketing for some time and are now willing to enhance your knowledge, scroll further.

⏩If you want to skip the introduction for each book, go right to the infographic — it will help you choose the most suitable book.

Then we’ve also compiled other ways to become more skillful in email marketing. There you’ll find links to useful resources with content we can recommend.

Let’s start the count.


E-Mail Marketing For Dummies by John Arnold

Who will enjoy it the most: complete beginners  Pages: 384  Amazon rating: 4/5⭐

Email marketing for dummies book

Wikipedia describes the “For Dummies” books as “intended to present non-intimidating guides for readers new to the various topics covered”. And indeed, it covers a great deal across almost 400 pages but does so in the simplest way. This book is a 101 class for people who’ve never done email marketing before.

The explanations in the book are mostly basic. A lot of maths, graphs, tables are simplified for the sake of driving a point home. But despite obvious simplicity, it’s not deprived of solid advice.

Split into six large parts, the book dabbles in key things about email marketing:

  • benefits and limitations of emails as a tool,
  • ways to obtain a quality contact list,
  • writing an email,
  • personalization,
  • crucial metrics to follow to assess a campaign success.

Towards the end, the book gives a list of ten email marketing practices to avoid (boring subject lines, distracting imagery, etc.). The good thing is it doesn’t just say ‘it’s bad’ but explains why and tells ways to make it better.

One issue with the book is that it’s quite outdated. It hasn’t been updated since 2011, so many email examples inside are a decade old (people in their early 20s may be shocked by how rough the web looked back then!). That said, the core principles of email marketing remain unchanged which makes this book a good introductory lesson.


Email Marketing Mastery by Tom Corson-Knowles

Who will enjoy it the most: beginners who aren’t yet ready for the technical side of emails  Pages: 90  Amazon rating: 4/5⭐

Top 9 Email Marketing Books For Beginners And Advanced Readers 3

The author Tom Corson-Knowles considers emails the biggest modern-day marketing bonanza which, although often available at less than $100, is vastly overlooked. He believes that all it takes to start making millions is an email list full of happy customers who want to buy more from you. That’s why he wrote a book about building a strong contact list.

Email Marketing Mastery is broken down into nine short chapters. It starts with the list building basics and ends with ways to send emails to a list of contacts. It doesn’t go hard on technical details of list building which is a plus for those who have little to no experience in this field. So, basically, the book presents a fast way to start making money with emails by guiding the reader through all the steps.

The book also tells readers a bit about the mindset of an email subscriber and warns against tactics that make emails end up in the spam folder.


Magnetic Words: The #1 Email Marketing System To Build Lists From Scratch & Craft Irresistible Copywriting by Alina Swanson

Who will enjoy it the most: email marketers seeking to improve their copywriting  Pages: 220  Amazon rating: 4.2/5⭐


This book is an oddity on this list. While it does say a few words on building an email list, it ultimately focuses on crafting an ideal email.

The content follows a logical top-down path from an email perspective: it starts with how to write a clickable subject line and ends with how to write an irresistible call to action.

The author Alina Swanson does a good job of explaining a general concept first and then putting it to practical use. For example, she explains the power of writing subject lines and then gives good examples and counterexamples.

This is a great read if you as a marketer participate in crafting emails or craft them by yourself. It’s 220 pages long but the text is easy-to-read and example-based so it won’t take a long time to read.


The Email Lifeline By Anik Singal

Who will enjoy it the most:  beginners who want to use email marketing in ecommerce  Pages: 196  Amazon rating: 4.4/5⭐

The email lifeline book

How to go from losing 95% of your audience to capturing 70% of them? That’s the question Anik Signal tries to answer in his book.

It’s a pretty quick and easy read. Split into four parts, it focuses on the most essential components of email marketing: building a contact list and choosing the right product to promote.

Some reviewers on Amazon are quick to point out that the methods Signal communicates only apply to ecommerce and not the physical world. Well enough.

Overall, it’s a pretty simple read for those who want to start an email marketing campaign quickly. No secret lingo, no advanced methods of analysis. This makes this book suitable even for beginners.


Email Marketing Rules: Checklists, Frameworks and 150 Best Practices for Business Success by Chad S. White

Who will enjoy it the most:  both newbies and experts  Pages: 488 Amazon rating: 4.8/5⭐

Email marketing rules book

The book is prefaced by the author Chad White wondering what the word ‘best’ should mean in the title of his book. While he agrees that ‘best practices’ is synonymous with ‘conventional wisdoms’, he’s quick to remind his readers that the best practices vary from person to person. In other words, he lists all the proven strategies and encourages his reader to find what works best for them.

This book is a huge guideline that presents proven practices of list building, designing, copywriting, targeting. It also has chapters on the unsubscribe process, apology emails, landing pages, welcome emails, deliverability — and the list is still incomplete.

It’s a behemoth of a book because it’s so thorough, almost 500 pages long. But that’s probably as comprehensive as a book about email marketing can be. It should be suitable for all levels of preparation. Newbies will find it a good platform to start working in the industry while more experienced marketers will have their experience turn into expertise.

Because of its depth, a lot of gray areas are covered making it a solid book of reference.


Master The Essentials Of Email Marketing Analytics by Himanshu Sharma

Who will enjoy it the most: email marketers who want to start understanding metrics better  Pages: 184  Amazon rating: 4/5⭐

Master the essentials of email marketing analytics

The majority of books on email marketing focus on growing a contact list or crafting a perfect email. This book is not about that. Instead, it focuses on email marketing metrics. However, this doesn’t make it too advanced.

It’s split into many short chapters, too small to heavily focus on every metric. But this makes it a good read for marketers who only want to get into analytics, and start to understand what every term means. The book is written in a simple language which makes understanding faster.

The author Himanshu Sharma knows his stuff. He’s worked with data for over 10 years, ran one of the world’s most popular blogs on Google Analytics and has published half a dozen other books.

His readers will learn about various KPIs and metrics to measure email deliverability, engagement, and conversion; also techniques to avoid spam filters; finally, ways to improve deliverability.


The SaaS Email Marketing Playbook: Convert Leads, Increase Customer Retention and Close More Recurring Revenue With Email by Étienne Garbugli

Who will enjoy it the most:  mid-level marketers ready for technical stuff  Pages: 250  Amazon rating: 4.6/5⭐


First thing first, SaaS is not a fancy IT term for something super complicated. SaaS is an acronym for software as a service. It means that instead of buying software you pay to use it on your computer.

A simple analogy: if you rent a flat, you basically do SaaS. You pay the rent to use an apartment but it’s the host who provides the comfort.

SaaS is not a new model in the digital world. Popular services like Google Docs, YouTube, Figma are just some examples of SaaS platforms. Copywriters work in a Google doc online without having to download any software — that’s SaaS. Selzy is also a SaaS service.

So, back to the book. The author Etienne Garbugli has founded three startups and has vast experience in customer research. He claims that it’s possible to quadruple the performance of every single email if one can digest and embrace his methods of SaaS email marketing.

To achieve high results, he relies on mapping out a customer journey, creating email sequences, automation, segmentation, data implementation, testing. These are the main topics of the book.

The SaaS component of it all is merely a background tissue upon which email marketing is painted in all its colors. What he writes about automation, for example, applies to ways to arrange it online with the help of ESPs.

The book takes a complex look at email marketing and its strategies and may be a struggle to beginners but it’s a must-read for anyone who’s worked in the field for a while.


Holistic Email Marketing: A Practical Philosophy to Revolutionise Your Business and Delight Your Customers by Kath Pay

Who will enjoy it the most:  mid-level marketers looking for fresh ideas  Pages: 294  Amazon rating: 4.6/5⭐


To begin with this book, one has to understand what ‘holistic’ means. It’s almost become a buzzword in recent years and yet, simply put, it means ‘comprehensive’ or ‘taken as a whole’. The term comes from medicine: holistic medicine treats a person as a whole rather than just symptoms of a disease.

The author Kath Pay takes a holistic approach to email marketing: treat it as a whole to succeed rather than try to fix issues as they pop up. In the words of one reviewer on Amazon, “most email marketing books dabble in strategy, but mostly talk about tactics… This book covers it all.”

Pay puts a customer at the heart of all email marketing strategies. She claims that innovations alone aren’t enough. If they were, we could invent some super-power technology to solve all email marketing problems for good but this just doesn’t happen.

What she aims to innovate though is how email marketers look at their craft: do they focus on their brands or customers? Do they read the metrics correctly? Do they personalize right? All this put together, the book largely focuses on big planning, persuasion psychology, understanding metrics, growing a list, and personalizing a message.

The book is quite meaty, it’s one of the thickest on the list in terms of pages and topics covered. It may be a challenge to beginners but if you have some experience, this book is a great source to review your knowledge about email marketing as a discipline and get fresh ideas.


Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Business by Susan Gunelius

Who will enjoy it the most: business owners who want to expand through email marketing  Pages: 230  Amazon rating: 4.1/5⭐

Email marketing for business

The book focuses greatly on email marketing funnels that lead to conversions. The author Susan Gunelius walks her readers through all the steps of the funnel. Doing so, she puts a lot of emphasis on list building, lead magnets, segmentation, automation, and KPIs. These tools are crucial to building and maintaining a strong funnel to turn subscribers into vocal brand advocates.

There are also chapters dedicated to copywriting tips, personalization, and the use of dynamic content.

The book is mostly written for businesses that want their customers to go all the way from brand awareness to loyalty to the company. But while it’s useful to any type of business, it aims to help small businesses, in particular.

Gunelies believes that email marketing doesn’t have to be expensive to be efficient; in fact, often it doesn’t have to cost anything at all. That’s why she provides a list of free and affordable tools and strategies to develop an email marketing plan and build your first email marketing funnel.

Other ways to deepen your knowledge

Books are great but aren’t the only source. Like we stated above, one issue with books is that they become dated. To stay up-to-date, turn to online resources — there are plenty of options.

Here’s our list of ways to deepen your knowledge that perfectly complements reading books.

👩‍💻 Read email marketing blogs

There are lots of blogs on the internet about email marketing and its subdivisions. Blog writers usually can’t contend with book authors in terms of experience and expertise but well-researched blogs are still worth your attention.

We’ve compiled a list of 12 informative, well-researched and example-based blogs for both beginners and advanced marketers.

🎧 Listen to podcasts

Podcasts are all the rage. In case you even need numbers to prove this point, here they are: 57% of Americans in 2021 have listened to a podcast in the past and 37% of Americans as of 2020 listened to podcasts monthly. The content consumption is huge with podcasts.

Out of the multitude of podcasts, we’ve selected a list of the nine best email marketing podcasts about email marketing for you to listen to.

🗣️ Talk to people in communities

There are a lot of email marketing enthusiasts and experts ready to share their knowledge. The beauty of it all is you don’t need to attend special events to meet them — many are just a few clicks away.

We’ve listed four email marketing communities for you to join where you can get expert advice, find a job, advertise a job opportunity and simply have a good time in the company of fellow marketers.

🔎 Study real campaigns

Nothing is more real than an actual campaign in email marketing. We can only encourage you to see what others do. Study your competitors — there’s no shame in following or even copying them. Feel no shame if it seems they do something better than you do. Instead, analyze the reasons for it and seek to do it better in your job.

Check also our list of top email marketing campaigns to learn from. For what it’s worth, email marketing doesn’t have to be about the business side of it. Nowadays, even your favorite musicians do email marketing so why not turn to them for solid advice?


Here’s our visual guide to the email marketing books we recommend. Save it on your computer or bookmark this article if you plan to read more than one book from the list.

16 March, 2022
Article by
Eugene Vasilev
Content writer on all things email marketing at Selzy. Writing, editing and illustrating over the last 5 or so years. I create simple texts with examples to inform or entertain readers. In love with the semicolon. Boring language merchant. Egg came first. My favorite bands will never come to my city. Let's play beach volleyball.
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