How to Get Started with Email Marketing

How to Get Started with Email Marketing from the Society for Creative Founders

Email Marketing.  The very words sometimes make people sweat, but I want to tell you to step away from anything fear related with it, and think about all of the ways it can benefit your business. We are hoping this post will help with getting you started.

These days, we have content available to the people who want to learn about our businesses in a lot of places ... whether you're writing blog posts or sharing on Instagram, posting to Facebook or pinning your content on Pinterest, there are a lot of places for people who are interested in your business to find your content.  But that's exactly the thing.  They need to go to any of those places to find you or find the content you're putting out there, and then they have to return to find it again. 

And these days, with the ever-changing algorithms on social media platforms, the chances that someone will see all of the content that you are working so hard to create, the blog post that you wrote that could help them with exactly what it is they need, or even share a fun story for them to get to know you more is not going to happen.  However, this all can be done in one place ... their inbox.

When it comes to Email Marketing, a lot of people that I chat with want to do it for their business, but they simply don't know where to start.  Or, they're not sure what to say, what to write, what to include, or how often to write.  So today, we're going to start with the basics ... ideas that you can think about to implement into your business to begin email marketing.

The first thing people usually say is "I simply don't know what to write about".  or, "I don't want to be just another email in their inbox".  

Here's the thing.  When someone subscribes to your list, they want to hear from you.  We have got to get over the fear of showing up in people's inboxes to share the content with them that we are putting out into the world.  If they literally asked you to email them by signing up to hear from you, you want to have them to hear from you! :) So, today, let's get you started with a few ideas that you can use in your email marketing.

How to Start Email Marketing for a Creative Business from the Society for Creative Founders

Give your emails a purpose. 

What is the foundation of your email going to be? People are giving you their email address and inviting you in to their inbox.  They're showing you that they're interested by signing up to receive your emails, so how are you going to share your content in a way that they'll not only want to be opening your emails, but clicking on through to the links you provide as well?

Will it be informative or helpful?

Will it include tips and ideas that you include in other places?

Will you create bonus content specifically for those on your list, that you don't share anywhere else?

Will it be a monthly newsletter that shares with them what content you are sharing, to help them with different areas they may need?

Whatever it may be, you want to first determine what kind of an email you want to send.  Is it simply to entertain and have them get to know you more, or is it to be helpful?

When thinking about what you want your emails to include, answer these questions:

By writing this email, how will it benefit them? 

What needs do they have that I can help with?

How will this email nurture the relationship I am growing with them?

Is this email more about them and does it serve them well? Or is it too focused on me?

And, if I was to receive this email, would the subject line make me want to open it?

Once you have your foundation of your email determined, then you can build it up from there. Here are a few suggestions on different emails to send to your list:

Think about your email marketing from a personal level and the time you have to commit to it.  Don't commit to a weekly newsletter if it's more than you can handle. You always want to be ahead of your own content and have it planned out prior to sending an email telling people what's coming up next, because if you say that you're going to write about something and then you don't, you'll leave them disappointed.  And that is certainly not what you want to do.

You could begin by sending a welcome email thanking them for signing up for your list, and sharing with them what they can expect in the emails that follow.

A newsletter shares what's new, announcements and happenings both from the previous month and what's ahead, helping them to stay informed and keep up with the going ons of your business. This helps your subscriber to see what took place in the previous month, in addition to what they have to look forward to next.

If you write a blog post and want to continue the conversation in their inbox, perhaps you include a free download to accompany a blog post, and then give them an option to opt-in to an email series to walk them through something specific so that they can learn something new, which all started with searching for and specifically finding it in your blog post.

A product highlight series is a way where you share the behind the scenes into the making of the products you sell, highlighting different ones.  This will not only show people your products, they'll learn the why behind them, and get to know you more as a business owner.

Even emailing a survey to the people on your list and asking them what they want to hear from you can be incredibly beneficial.  People love to offer up their opinions, and by you asking for theirs, they will be given the opportunity to share with you what their needs are or what they're specifically looking for so that you can even create content from what they specifically share with you.

You can also choose to send monthly freebies to the people who are on your list, or share that you are teaming up with another business for a giveaway and share a link directly to it.  People love to receive things for free!  However, with this, I do want to add one thing - if you are giving away free things in an email, make sure that your purpose of giving them a free item ties back in to what you are offering as a paid product, so that they can see the value in what you're offering as a product or a service.  When they are ready to purchase from you, they already feel comfortable with what it is you have to offer because they've received free items from you previously and know how valuable they are.

These are just a few ideas to help to get you started ... and I hope it helps!

In all of this, make sure you can be consistent.

We've all received those emails from a list we signed up for, and then months go by without hearing from them.  Then, one day they pop in to our inboxes and sometimes say (literally) "hey! I haven't emailed you for the last six months, but here is what is new that we think you'll love." and then a few months later, sporadically, again.  It leaves you wondering, "who is this and what did I sign up for this list for?"  or on the flipside, we have the people who email us multiple times per week with different things ... sometimes 3-5 times with different things in a day.  You always want to think about the user experience with your emails, and be consistent.

If you're bombarding them and continually selling, that will quickly lead to unsubscribes, simply because you're cluttering up their inbox and thus requiring more work to keep it manageable. You have an invitation to their inbox, but when you show up, don't give yourself the title of the attention-hungry party crasher. ;) Make sure that your content is valuable, is worthwhile to them, and is always created with them in mind.

Think about a schedule that works for you - perhaps it's monthly, or even once a week.  In all of it, think about what works well for you so that you aren't rushing to put content together. I would suggest to start slowly and get into a routine, building, adding, and adjusting as you see what content people tend to enjoy the most as you go along.

When it comes to your content to include, it doesn't necessarily have to be something new every time, either. If you are writing blog posts or posting content on different social media avenues, that's a great place to start!

Lift sentences from your captions you wrote for an Instagram post or a blog post and add it directly into your email.  Remember, just because you're putting your content out there, doesn't mean that everyone will see every piece of it. Choose to email your subscribers as a way to show people what you want them to see, including the content you're already putting out there that you know will be beneficial for them.

Your purpose with your emails that you are writing directly to the people who want to hear from you are designed to nurture your relationship with them and share with them things about you and your business, but more than that, you want to keep the focus on them.  How will your email benefit them, and why should they want to continue to stay on your list?

Think about all of these things when it comes to marketing via email to the people who want to hear from you. Start slow, think about what works for you and how you can serve your audience, and build your list from there. 


We hope this post helped you and gave you a few ideas to get started with email marketing! 
If you have additional questions or thoughts, please share them in the comments below!

And of course, we had to close out this post with an option for you to subscribe to our own email list, specific to what you'd like to receive from us. We would love to email you directly, if you'd like to hear from us, too! ;)


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