With all the emphasis on social media in the past few years, you may not have thought much about email marketing recently. Email is still a very powerful tool for your creative business, and here are just a few reasons why its still one of the best types of marketing:
- Email is more intimate than social media. You can reach an individual customer (or potential customer) at their convenience, right in their inbox rather than getting lost in a stream.
- Email is easier to save and organize. A customer can save your email to read later, easily search for it in their inbox, and forward it along to friends.
- Email allows you to share content differently. You can use email to deliver a course to your customers, send pre-scheduled content to everyone that signs up on your list, and more.
- Email can be segmented. You can set up multiple email lists and only send the relevant information to each subgroup, allowing you to better target your information for maximum impact.
In addition, many small businesses report an increase in sales in the hours and days after they send out emails to their lists!
It’s never too early in the evolution of your creative business to start an email list. Listed below are 5 tips for getting started.
What is email marketing? 5 Tips for Getting Started
Try Before You Buy
There are many different email marketing services out there, but most of them provide similar features and price points. Finding an interface that you feel confident using may be the difference between having an email list that thrives and one that you avoid using.
Both Mad Mimi and MailChimp offer free options for businesses who are just starting a mailing list. Robly offers a 14 day free trial, AWeber offers a 30 day free trial, and Constant Contact offers a 60 day free trial.
You may want to start with a free option and then upgrade as your list grows larger. If you already have a mailing list, then look for the best combination of features and pricing to meet your business’s needs.
Schedule Several Emails
It can be difficult to get started with an email list, so start by scheduling several emails to help you get a feel for it. (This is especially important if you are using a free trial and need to maximize your preview of a service.)
There are many different approaches you can take for your email list. Here are just a few to consider.
- A weekly or monthly newsletter.
- Announcements about new products and events.
- Special gifts for subscribers including discounts and coupon codes, or free products like printables or ebooks.
- Repurposing previously existing content, such as blog posts, into informative emails.
- Answering frequently asked questions, providing a tour of your studio space, or sharing background about your business.
- Customer features, including pictures of your products from existing customers or sharing feedback you receive.
Find your voice
After sending out some sample emails — find your voice! You may discover that a certain schedule or particular writing style comes naturally to you. Or, use trial and error (combined with a look at your email service’s metrics and your own sales and traffic) to decide what approach is best for your email marketing.
Share a Survey
After your list grows, send out a survey asking for feedback. You can find out what your customers (or potential customers) are most interested in. You’ll also gain insight from the questions they have about your products and services.
Evolve and grow
Use your survey results and your metrics to help you make changes to your email list so you can continue to grow and develop it.
Some creative businesses find that they need to have an incentive, such as an ebook or coupon, to attract email sign ups, while others find that they can encourage organic growth. Experiment to see what works best for you.
Once you have a better understanding of what your emails will be about, including the frequency of posting, be sure to update your description so new signups will know what to expect.
Do you use email marketing? What tips can you share?
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