How to Get Started with Email Marketing
Are you dragging your heels when it comes to email marketing? Maybe you've gone down a rabbit hole researching platforms? Or are you stuck trying to figure out what to write and how often to send emails?
If you answered yes, you are going to love this week's podcast. I've got a 30 minute crash course in email marketing for you. Tune in to the podcast or if you prefer reading, scroll on for a summary of the episode.
1. Why you need an email list
Here’s a few reasons …
Email list subscribers are more engaged than social medial followers.
Your email list is separate to your social media following and provides protection for your business i.e. if Facebook or Instagram were to close down, you would still have a way of reaching your audience.
It’s affordable. With an email marketing provider like MailChimp you can use their free plan until you reach 2000 subscribers. After that, it goes up, but it’s still very reasonable.
Email is not dead! In fact, with the capacity to read emails on smart phones, people are reading more emails on a daily basis than they ever have.
You can target your marketing. For example, you can segment your list by location, interest or buying activity and make sure that only relevant emails are sent.
2. How to get started
To get started you will need an email marketing provider. Popular platforms include MailChimp, ConvertKit MailerLite and AWeber. I use MailChimp and have found their drag-and-drop templates very easy to use.
Once you have chosen your provider, it’s time to start collecting email addresses. Having multiple sign-up options on your website will help with this. A few places you might want to put sign up forms are - your Announcement Bar, in your Home page header and footer and on your About page.
You can build your sign-up forms using your email marketing provider or you can do what I do and build them within your website platform. Most platforms such as Squarespace integrate with email marketing providers to make the process seamless and easy.
3. The power of pop-ups
I resisted pop-ups for a long time but when I started experimenting with them, it soon became obvious that they work! A pop-up is an advertisement that pops up in a window as someone is navigating your website. You can get quite clever with the style and timing of your pop-ups and there are services such as Opt-in-Monster or Sumo that are fantastic for this.
4. Strategies for keeping it simple
When you are starting out, it pays to keep it simple. Here are a few strategies:
Set a realistic schedule and stick with it. Once a week is good but if that is too much, try once a fortnight or even once a month. The most important thing is to stay consistent with it.
Have 1 or 2 quality lead magnets. A lead magnet is a resource that you offer to people in exchange for their email address. Examples includes free workbooks, guides and discount coupons.
Decide on the format and style of your email marketing. Making a few decisions from the outset will save you time in the long run, e.g.
Will you send single purpose emails or do you prefer a newsletter/magazine style?
What will the tone of your newsletter be? Fun, conversational, informative, casual?
Will you use plain text or add images and graphics to your emails?
Make it easy. Your emails don’t need to be long and you don’t always need to be selling something! In fact, its much better to mix it up and include other types of posts in-between your promotional posts. And don’t forget, you don’t always have to come up with new content, an Instagram post or old blog post is perfect content for an email.
5. Four types of emails to send to your list
Writing a good subject title is an art in itself. Here are four approaches to try out:
Keep It Simple - Spell out exactly what is in your email. Be specific e.g. New Online Class - Early Bird Running Now!
Make it Urgent - Emphasize the time sensitivity of your email e.g. Only Two Paintings Left, Grab Them While You Can!
Spark Curiosity - Use a title that evokes emotion and makes people want to find out more e.g. The Hardest Day I Have Ever Had in my Art Career.
Provide Value - Make it clear that your email contains useful information that your reader can absorb and apply e.g. 10 Tips to Improve Your Acrylic Painting.
You can test out the effectiveness of your headlines using a feature called A/B Testing. With an A/B campaign, you can split your audience into two groups and send out the same email with a different headline to each group. This will help you learn what kind of headlines get the most engagement.
One last email that you might want to write is a welcome email. You can write a specific email or even a sequence of emails that are automatically sent out whenever someone signs up to your list.
Well that’s it for this week. I hope you found the tips helpful and encouraging! Remember, it doesn't matter if you have a teeny list or maybe you haven't got one at all. It's not too late to get started!
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