I don’t normally write about workshops and webinars, but this is one no small business owner should miss out on—especially if you are venturing into the world of e-mail marketing (or have even thought about it.)

You can get some quick lessons from VerticalResponse, a self-service e-mail marketing, online survey and direct mail solutions provider for small businesses. VerticalResponse is a reputable brand—and the company is offering a free workshop during San Francisco Small Business Week May 16-21.

Dubbed "Email Marketing in the Social Age," the workshop will cover the basics of e-mail marketing best practices, an overview of social media, how to integrate e-mail marketing with social media and tips on how to get started.

"We've built our business on helping small businesses grow using incredibly simple-to-use, yet effective email marketing and social media tools," says Janine Popick, CEO of VerticalResponse. "We're excited to sponsor San Francisco Small Business Week and give back to the community that we're proud to call home."

Popick is a trustworthy source in the small business world. She won the 2010 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Person of the Year award. E-mail marketing expert Jill Bastian, VerticalResponse’s Education & Training Manager, will teach the workshop.

You can register online at http://marketingsocialage.eventbrite.com/. If you aren’t in the San Francisco area, don’t let that get you down. VerticalResponse has plenty of good articles, case studies, podcasts and videos, as well as free marketing guides, on its Web site. You can get some quick info on everything from how to write a great internal newsletter to how to grow sales by building your e-mail list.

Why am I stressing this? Because e-mail marketing is vital to many small businesses--and many small businesses still aren't using this strategic marketing tool. If you haven't considered whether e-mail marketing can help your small business grow, don't wait any longer. Check out some of the free materials on sites like Constant Contact and VerticalResponse and get educated about this low-cost marketing opportunity.