I keep hearing the same lines from creative business owners in my marketing consulting work. "Why do I need an email list?" "Isn't that for bigger businesses?" "No one wants to read my emails. I don't even know what to write." "I can barely keep up with Instagram marketing, I don't need another thing on my to-do list." "Everyone HATES getting emails, so people are just gonna delete whatever I send."
Friends, we need to talk about email marketing.
We're all in the same boat when it comes to getting too many emails - I buy one thing at Anthropologie and am deluged with emails every single day, until I angrily hit "unsubscribe." This email avalanche is NOT what I'm talking about when I tell you that your creative business needs email marketing.
I'm also not talking about "Sale-Mails" - those annoying emails we get pushing products or services, with desperate-seeming headlines and copy. It's like having a used car salesman scream in your face as you're trying to scroll through your emails on your phone.
What AM I talking about? WHY do you need to add another thing to your marketing to-do list?
Because email marketing, when used effectively, can be an absolutely essential part of your marketing plan. Here's why:
- It's another way to keep in touch with your past customers. These are HOT LEADS! They've purchased from you in the past. If you've already provided great customer service and a great product, these customers have a positive viewpoint of your business, and sending them great emails is a perfect way to "touch" them. (In sales lingo, a "touch" is just a way to say you've contacted your customer in a small way, like an email or an Instagram comment).
- It's another way to keep in touch with potential customers - business contacts, people who you've quoted before but haven't purchased yet, friends who love your product. These people kinda know what you do, but with a great email every few weeks you'll remind them. And if they're looking for what you sell, or read your email and LOVE what you've sent them, you can turn them from potential customers into ACTUAL customers.
- Not everyone follows you on social media - but even if they do, they don't see what you're posting. With Instagram and Facebook's algorithm changes, even people who LOVE your feed aren't seeing everything you post - and your message is getting lost. An email is a direct way to get in touch with them and let them know what's new and exciting about your business.
- Email marketing is a great way to do a roundup of all your latest launches and products. Let's say you're a product person with a new collection launching. If you really want to launch it with a bang, an email is a great megaphone to let your whole email list know at once, helping boost sales right away.
- Email marketing keeps people in touch with your business so that they don't forget about you. A bride who bought her wedding invitations from you a year ago probably has a bunch of bridal shower invites she needs for weddings she's now a bridesmaid in, or might be having a baby soon and need baby shower invitations. Someone who bought your beautiful handmade product as a Christmas gift for someone last year might need to buy a wedding gift this year. Email marketing is a way to supplement your fabulous products and customer service. Customers remember you and keep coming back.
- It drives traffic to your website. If you structure your email properly, it'll drive traffic to your site, increasing views and hopefully, sales.
So now that you know WHY you need email marketing, how do you make your emails worthy of opening? Here are my quick and dirty tips: (to get these tips as a free printable, click here!)
- use Mailchimp. Why? Cleaner, prettier emails; easier to use; better reporting.
- Segment your list into groups - past customers, business contacts, etc.
- Make sure all your links work before you send it out to all your readers - send yourself a "Test" email to proofread and check all links before sending it out for real.
- Make sure to include your social media links.
- Have something to say. A new product launch, a roundup of that month's blog posts, your biz has been featured in a magazine - give your readers something new and exciting.
- Don't make it too wordy - no one wants to read a novel. Give a little blurb with an eye-catching call-to-action where readers can click for more info (thus, driving traffic to your website, blog, or shop).
- Use the free CoSchedule Headline Analyzer tool to create a must-open subject line.
MAKE IT PRETTY:
- Use emojis in your subject line, especially if your target customers are millennials. .
- Use Canva or Illustrator to create eye-catching images with blog post titles or calls-to-action. Use the Image Group block in Mailchimp to group these together - it's pretty eye-candy that'll make readers want to click.
- Make a template in Mailchimp and make sure you use all your brand fonts, colors, and aesthetic pieces. Your e-blasts should be in line with the rest of your brand identity.
THOU SHALL NOT ANNOY: Send your emails biweekly or once a month. It's better to have one good monthly roundup than a dribble of not-great emails that'll have your annoyed readers unsubscribing.
EXAMPLES: Here are some examples of my FAVE emails that I've sent recently.