The importance of email marketing
Remember when I ended up in Facebook jail? It really showed me how reliant I’d become on social media to communicate with my clients. I swore that I’d get better at my email marketing, but, I hate to say it, my emails to my mailing lists have been few and far between since then.
And yet email marketing is the most powerful tool in your marketing toolbox because it gets your message right there into your potential client’s inbox. There is no relying on the Facebook algorithm, or hoping your SEO strategies are working, you are right there, in like the proverbial Flynn. You just need to get those emails written.
So, what is it about email marketing that makes it seem like such a hard task to master and how can we all get better at it?
Let’s look at what might be stopping us and identify some possible breakthroughs.
Yes, we’re all afraid. I know I am. It’s plain, simple fear that is stopping me from sending those emails. Here are some of the reason’s I’m afraid:
“What if nobody reads it?”
Come on, somebody will read it and even if they don’t, they will at least scan it or look at the subject line. If you use your analytics properly you will get a sense for open rates and can test different subject lines to see which ones lead to more emails being opened and read than others. You might not get it right the first time, but who does? We all learn by trial and error. Here is an article which talks about the best email subject lines to use to get your emails opened.
“What if they think I’m boring?”
Are you writing the way you speak? Are you as animated in your emails as you when talking to your clients face to face, or do you put on your “business” voice? Finding your real writing voice can be tricky, especially if you’re used to business or technical writing. Allowing your true self to come out when you’re emailing your clients might require some tricks like recording your message on your phone first and then typing it out. Also, have a think about how you want to sound. What’s the feel you want to get across to your readers? How do you want them to perceive you and your business? This will affect the tone of your emails. Will they be casual and fun, or will they be professional and to the point? There is no right way, there is only your way. So go on, figure out what your way is and get writing!
“What if they unsubscribe?”
Excellent! The more people who unsubscribe, the more valuable your email list becomes because you eventually end up with only those people who truly, rooly, want to hear from you. Those are the people who are the most likely to buy from you after you’ve gained their trust. Yes, it makes my heart sink a little every time someone unsubscribes from my list, but then I also celebrate, because I know that all those who are left are MY people.
“I don’t have time to write emails!”
We’ve all said this. There is always something more important to do than to write that email. We get so caught up in the doing of our business that we forget to keep in touch with our most important asset – our email list, which often includes our past clients. We already know that it’s easier and cheaper to keep an existing client than to convert a new one, so let’s find the time to write to them. We need to keep reminding them how awesome we are and telling them about the cool new stuff we have to offer them.
But if time is really a huge issue for you, then consider outsourcing your email marketing. A good copywriter will be able to write with your voice, will get to know your business and your clients and will make you feel at ease that you’ve trusted them with your subscribers. They will also know all the tricks of the trade for increasing that know, like and trust factor that will eventually turn your subscribers into clients.
“What will I write about?”
Does that sound familiar? My biggest breakthrough came when I stopped thinking of the communications with my subscribers as NEWSLETTERS. The word had such huge connotations for me. I imagined huge missives with multiple articles and images and lots and lots of content. And if that’s what floats your boat, then go for it, but for me, what really helped was to think of these communications as simply “emails”. I started writing short and sweet emails updating my subscribers on what I’ve been up to, what was new in my business and any special offers I had going.
My design is simple. Logo on top. Single column, one hero image and then some text with links. I might include a button to my booking calendar or to an event I’m hosting, but I keep it really simple.
Sometimes I like to think of my emails as mini-blog posts. Find a topic that’s been on my mind, or that’s come up in a client conversation and address it in an email. Or, in fact, take a blog post I’ve written and extract its key points to include in the email, as well as a link to the full post. Other times, my whole email will be just about a special offer I’ve just released. Or a new service.
The key for me, and maybe for you, too, is to keep it as simple as possible.
“Can I really automate my email marketing?”
Well, sort of. This won’t replace targeted emails that have a single topic and a clear call to action, but you can set up an RSS feed campaign that goes out to your subscribers regularly. This will send out the excerpts and links to the blog posts that you’ve published in the given period.
I’ve recently discovered that not all blog posts have to be huge missives delivering incredible “value” to the reader. After all, value is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes your message may be short and sweet, such as an event announcement, an invitation to take up an offer, or simply a few photos of your latest products. Blogging does not have to be a mammoth task and the content can be repurposed as emails.
So there are my tips for falling a little bit more in love with your neglected email marketing. Make it as easy on yourself as possible, automate and/or outsource.
If you’d like to talk to me about writing your emails send me a message using the contact form below.