You’ve probably seen a million people say you NEED an email list. And you’re probably like “yea yea, I’ll get to it eventually, it’s not a top priority/I’m way too busy/I have no idea where to even start”.
Let me just say if you’re going to jump into email marketing, get ready to COMMIT! This means you need to be sending emails AT LEAST once per week. If you only plan on sending monthly emails, you’re not nurturing your list and it’s going to have VERY little impact that you may as well not even send an email.
Firstly, you own your email list. Social media, your website is just rented space. If it went away tomorrow how on earth would you reach your customers and community? Just let that sink in. (Not that social media is going away any time soon) but you get my drift.
In this blog post, I’m going to be breaking down HOW to get started, how to structure a welcome sequence, how often to post, WHAT to post and how to plan out your email marketing each month. It’s jam packed full of value so get ready to take notes!
Where Do I Start With Email Marketing?
#1) Design a freebie that provides VALUE and something people NEED
Regardless if you’re product or service based you want to have a freebie…period. Otherwise, how else are you meant to entice people onto your list? For example, my freebie is a 16 page ebook on how to build a genuine community on Instagram. It’s packed with loads of value and it’s been an incredible opening offer to get people onto my list. If you want to get your hands on that by the way you can grab it here.
Create a freebie that helps solve someone’s problem or makes their life easier.
#2) Design a welcome sequence
Your welcome sequence is your NURTURE sequence. This is where you’re going to build that KNOW, LIKE, & TRUST factor with your audience. At the end of your nurture sequence, you want to SELL something. Your sequence should have an end goal in mind along with it being focused on a particular topic. For service based businesses your welcome sequence might go like this:
#1 Freebie and what to expect: In this email you don’t want to be introducing yourself. Nope. You want to give them the freebie and tell them what they can EXPECT from you moving forward and how often you’re going to pop into their inboxes.
#2 Introduce yourself: THIS is where you’ll touch on a CONNECTION POINT. Something about you that you’ve gone through either personally or in business. For example, my introductory email is about my redundancy. Turns out A LOT of people get made redundant and I say how it was the catalyst for me starting my business.
#3 Hit them with another value point: Enough about you. It’s time to let your subscriber know they’re going to get a sh*t tonne of value from you by being on your list. It’s kind of like setting them up for what’s the come. For example, I give out a free client profile questionnaire and explain why they need it.
Now, your 4th email can be the sell but I’d actually be more inclined to go with one more value based email about the topic you’re trying to sell on. Your mission is to build your authority in the area they want to know more about, all while building a deeper connection.
In your last email GIVE THEM THE SELL. Whether it’s a digital product or service you’re trying to push.
From here, promote the hell out of your freebie on your socials and please make it EASY for people to find your email list on your website.
**If you’re a product based business, hang tight. I’ll be releasing a new blog post soon as to how to create your own welcome sequence as this needs to be dealt with differently!
How Often Should I Email?
At LEAST once a week! If not more! If you’re short on time, I’m going to show you how you can stay on TOP of your email marketing in a bit. But the thing is, if you don’t make it a priority, it just won’t happen. So if that’s your mindset, it’s time to change it!
I email 3 times per week. And I can tell you, since ramping it up to 3 times a week as opposed to monthly, I’ve had SO many more people reply to my emails and actually engage with me. I now have an engaged email list.
You’re probably thinking the following things:
I don’t have enough content to share to do it that often
Won’t I annoy people?!
I don’t have time
Chill, I’m about to go through ALL those pain points.
How I Plan My Email Marketing
I schedule in about 30 min with myself at the beginning of each month to map out my topics. I literally open a google doc and write down the days and dates I’m going to be sending out my emails. I then make a list of a few things I want to focus on PROMOTING that month. Because that’s going to dictate what I talk about in my emails.
Here’s my opinion: I’m known for my photography and Instagram tips. And majority of the people who are on my list are business owners. Which means, I often talk outside those topics of IG and photography and talk about the business journey in general. Because so many people on my list can relate. I touch on different connection points and I aim to build deeper relationships with them.
This is how I would map it out:
How to Book Clients Using Instagram eBook
Blog post on email marketing
SUN 31st: Coffee talk: inspiration email ready for the week
TUE 2nd: Videography stats
THU 4th: Email marketing blog post”
And then so on and so forth for the rest of the month.
Won’t I Annoy People By Emailing Them That Often?
If your emails aren’t valuable, then yeah you ARE going to annoy them. But the thing is, when you’re sharing valuable information in each email, you’re training your list to EXPECTa certain standard of quality, and they’re more likely to open them. People will start looking out for your email and get into a HABIT of opening them because they KNOW you always provide something of value.
How Do I Come Up With That Much Content To Share?
You’d be surprised at how many pieces of content you can come up with if you actually think about it. Here are my top tips for coming up with content:
Share something that happened to you that week
Go through your older Instagram captions and recycle them into an email
Share something you read, or heard on a podcast. Or a quote
Share something you’re loving
Focus on a connection point – e.g. health, anxiety, travel
Share little golden tips from a blog post you wrote
Share someone else’s account or blog that inspires you
Remember, aim to INSPIRE, EDUCATE, AND ENTERTAIN!
How long should my emails be?
Definitely not TOO long! But not too short. Your number one goal is to provide VALUE. So perhaps if you’re writing an email that’s getting a little bit on the long side, it might be time to turn that into a blog post.
Designing the email
MAKE IT EASY TO READ! Readability is everything. It’s like writing your Instagram captions. If you’re writing long paragraphs without a line break, people won’t read it not matter how valuable it is. Same goes for email marketing. We need to design ENGAGING emails.
Below is a screenshot of an email I’ve sent out to my list.
Tip #1: I will ALWAYS start with changing up my picture at the top and providing a brief caption. I usually like the picture to be of me so people get to know my face. Highly recommend you have a template in Canva ready to go so you can quickly change out the photo and text.
Tip #2: I usually like to break up the start and middle of my email with a GIF or a meme. Everyone loves a GIF. They’re funny, and they’re a great way for you to inject some personality into your email. Not to mention breaking up some text.
Tip #3: Use bold text and a larger font to highlight important parts of your email. Again, this helps with readability. People are more instantly attracted to bolder and bigger text and this can be a great way to keep your reader engaged by bolding certain parts of your email, even towards the end.
Let’s just flip this around for a second. What are YOU more likely to read? An email of JUST text? Or an email with some pictures, GIFs and bold text?…I’m definitely the latter. I receive emails from people that are JUST text and while they may be on a topic that is super valuable, I can’t be bothered reading it because it’s harder to read. For this we need to go back to our basics we learned in English class in high school.
Tip #4: Always give a call to action! Encourage people to REPLY to your email! A lot of people won’t as they think you probably wont’ reply. But invite them in with EVERY single email and you’ll be surprised at how many people do actually respond. This is also a great way to get to know your audience more so YOU can continue to provide the goods.
Which Email Marketing Platform Do I Use?
I’ve been using Mailchimp since I started in the online world and it’s been amazing. While I’d love to upgrade to Convert Kit eventually, Mailchimp does an amazing job.
How Can I Sell My Services Through Email Marketing?
Please DON’T sell in every single email. Build trust, nurture your audience, let them know YOU are an authority figure in your field.
When I launched my Instagram Management Services last year (which I no longer offer), I KNEW I had to position myself as a go-to person in the field BEFORE launching. So I started talking about it on social media and giving tips a couple of months before actually launching my services.
Now, I’m not saying you have to wait months before you sell on your email list. Please don’t wait that long. I’d be selling on your email list a couple of times a month. Some sells might be very subtle, others might be one whole email dedicated to the sell.
Just make sure you’re selling something at the end of your welcome sequence, whether that’s a digital product or a service. Your welcome sequence needs to have some strategy behind it and a theme. Set people up for the sell.
Email marketing is a MUST for your business. You NEED to put your attention onto it. It takes time to nurture and build a list. So if you haven’t started or you’re not focusing on it, allow this huge blog post to be that push and reminder you need to kick things into gear.
For those who are product based and reading this, stay tuned for another blog post that is tailored more towards YOU! Majority of the principles apply as per the above, but there will be some differences.