Email Marketing For Beginners
Email marketing is not buying lists of email addresses and then spamming those inboxes with desperate pleas to buy your stuff.
Email marketing for small business can be a simple, casual and friendly affair. Gently offer the opportunity for your website visitor to leave their email address with you. Then follow-up with those people by offering your services, sending occasional updates about your business, and providing valuable information or resources.
Why Small Businesses Need Email Marketing
Your content marketing strategy will help you create a steady flow of clients, so you can spend less time marketing your business and more time doing the work you love.
There's plenty you can do to generate awareness of your brand: blogging, guest blogs, Facebook advertising, being visible and helpful in relevant Facebook Groups. All these activities can attract the attention of potential clients, and gently encourage them to check out your website.
Most of the people who land on your site aren’t ready to buy yet. Maybe they’ve seen a Facebook ad, or bumped into you in an online group, read a guest post. However they found a link to your site, they’re here, checking you out, deciding if you’re their kind of person.
An email opt-in form gives them the opportunity to say ‘hey, I like you, let’s keep in touch’.
A Little History Lesson
In the early days of the Internet, when websites were accessed via a buzzing, squealing dial-up connection, email marketing involved plonking a subscription form on a website and then repeatedly spamming the email addresses on your list until the reader either bought something or unsubscribed (which in those days was difficult).
Now (unsurprisingly) people are a little more cautious when giving out their email address.
More Than A Bribe
A lead magnet is a juicy free chunk of goodness (like the List Booster workbook you can find in the Vault) that you give your reader in exchange for their email address.
Initially, this acts as a bribe - give me your email address and I'll give you this lovely shiny thing in return.
But (and this is the superly duperly important bit that gets missed) if the lead magnet is a well executed, helpful, valuable resource it builds your likeability and credibility, and improves the likelihood that your subscriber will open your future emails and/or consider working with you.
Following Up On Your First Date
Your lead magnet is like your first date. Sure you both had a great time, but unless you take the initiative, reach out and make contact, your relationship's going to fizzle out quicker than a damp sparkler.
This is where your email nurture sequence comes in.
A nurture sequence is a short series of emails (3 or 5) delivered over a week or two, that introduces you to the subscriber, builds your likeability and credibility and gently warms them up to the idea of buying from you.
Once a new subscriber has passed through your initial email sequence you can use your regular email marketing strategy for them. This can be weekly, monthly or ad hoc emails - whatever works for you, your business and your audience. Ideally, you'd have a plan for your email content, but don't let that hold you back from starting to build your email list. The sooner you start, the quicker you can begin gathering momentum.
A Tiny Bit Of Tech
To manage this process you will need to use an email marketing software, such as Mailchimp, Aweber or Infusionsoft. I use Converkit. If you're interested in signing up with them (cheaper than the big boys, more functionality than Mailchimp), here is my Convertkit affiliate link - you won't get charged a penny extra, and I will get a monthly thank you bonus.
Find Out More
The Vault Of Worditude Goodness is so packed with helpful FREE resources I can't (be bothered to) list them all here. Go see them for yourself. And in a weird marketing experiment, I'm not even asking for your email address in exchange for access. There's an email sign-up box there in case you want to be notified of new blog posts, workbooks or resources, but entering your details is optional.
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