I’ve now had my toe in the world of email marketing for just over 6 months now, and I can honestly say that dropping into inboxes each month has been one of my favourite things to do when working “on” my own business. In this blog post, I explain what email marketing is, three personal reasons why I prefer it over social media, and some of my top tips on how to get started!
A basic definition of email marketing
Reputable digital marketing firms like WebEnertia (https://www.webenertia.com/) might suggest that email marketing is considered both a form of direct and digital marketing. It’s a way of approaching potential customers and interested parties who have opted in to hear from you, because they want to, not because they scroll past you on social media.
It’s an additional way to showcase or express your brand personality, and directly promote yourself directly into someone’s inbox. If Instagram or Facebook disappeared for a length of time that disrupted your business, have a think about how would you communicate with your customers or audience?
Here are some reasons why I love email marketing.
People have chosen to hear from you because you provide something for them
I do love social media, most of the time. However, in this GPDR world, giving anyone your email address is much more valuable, as it means that you have decided you want to hear about a certain product or service, have your problems solved, or simply because you like their style and want to keep in touch. I subscribe to various monthly and weekly emails, for all of these reasons!
I love providing answers and value to potential and current customers through email marketing
My own business is to help other businesses with their digital marketing needs, and so for me, showing off my expertise and skills is one of my business priorities. I aim to keep some of my knowledge and tutorials solely in my newsletters as a thank you for subscribing.
Email marketing suits my introvert personality
This is more of a personal reason, and it’s because I would class myself as an introvert, taking time to deliberate over issues and processes to find the best solution before moving forward. You would be very unlikely to find me in a situation like a Q&A panel where I have to provide answers off the top of my head!
I communicate much better in writing than verbally to big groups, (though writing this makes me seem like a socially awkward human – I don’t think I am!) and I think this is because I prefer a 1:1 connection and the opportunity to take time to mull over options and answers.
My top tips for getting started on your business email marketing journey
- Listen to this podcast with a pen and paper in hand – listening to Liz and Menekse discuss the benefits of email marketing had a very big influence in how I started!
- Make a list of your key messages and things your audience wants to know, as well as the things you want to communicate. Why would someone want to hear from you?
- Identify value – little extras or incentives that will entice someone to become a subscriber. Is it a sneak peek at new products, a discount code, or details of exclusive news and upcoming events?
- Add a form to your website so that anyone who visits can sign up if they want to!
- Choose a sustainable frequency for you to write and communicate that on your sign up list so that subscribers know what to expect.
- Choose a platform whether that’s Flodesk (I use Flodesk and love it!), Mailchimp or another email marketing platform – which can collate subscriber information, and set up all manner of automated processes.
- Create a two-way communication channel for paid subscribers as an additional feature. The process is called a listserv, where a group of people can email each other without going through the whole process of selecting multiple receivers. You can obtain such tools from a email hosting service provider similar to Simplelists and create a user-friendly marketing network.
- Just start writing – you can always improve words on a page, but if you don’t start, there’s nothing to improve!
- Keep talking about your emails – social media can come in very useful to share about what’s coming up. This goes some way to building your list!
- Keep a monthly list of what you communicate to avoid repetition.
- Make it easy for followers to unsubscribe – this can be managed within the email marketing platform you choose. It may seem disappointing to lose subscribers, but if you look at it from a consumer perspective, we all opt out of from things that are no longer a good fit, and it’s better to concentrate your efforts on the audience you have and want to attract.
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