It’s not as tricky as it seems.
Consider the spider web.
It’s quite beautiful when finished but it takes time to get to that point. Not only that but the spider doesn’t necessarily spin a thread of silk to make the web. It could be just that they needed an easier way to get from point A to point B. Or maybe they start one halfway in the corner and then move on to another, bigger, better location for their full masterpiece. That corner web isn’t any less beautiful or effective for the spider - it serves its purpose.
The same can be said about your email marketing strategy.
You don’t need to have the full web of marketing brilliance to have your email campaign make a difference and have an impact on your audience. Don’t be intimidated by the elaborate strategies proposed by “gurus” and pushy marketing agents. Start where you are and do what works for you now. Letting those complicated matrixes scare you out of email marketing altogether serves no one.
It’s not as tricky as it seems.
Grow that list!
This is a non-negotiable for email marketing. Without a list - an audience - there is no email marketing. So, how are you going to grow your list?
Ask - If you let your potential audience know all of the value lead information that they will get from being a part of your list, they may just sign up of their own accord.
Give - Make a freebie in exchange for their email address to be added to your high-quality email list. A freebie could be a checklist, ebook, challenge, mini-course, etc.
Prompt - When potential clients, referral partners, collaborators, etc. reach out to you, have a “stay connected” prompt so they know that they will stay in the loop through your email list.
It doesn’t have to be difficult but you do need permission and there’s always the option to unsubscribe if they feel it isn’t serving their needs any longer.
Nurture versus Sales
Once you have a list, it’s time to reach out to them. How frequently depends on your capacity and the type of audience you’re connecting with but it needs to be consistent. You will be reaching out to your audience, first and foremost, to nurture them. They’ve already agreed to be a part of your world so give them a reason to stay - provide value, connect, and serve. The more often a person sees your face, your name, etc. the more likely they will engage with you and invest in what you have to offer.
Selling in your emails is okay - in fact, it is encouraged - but heed this warning:
If you put selling first, they will leave as well they should.
The people on your list have chosen to be there with the knowledge that you run a business and will have services to offer - that is okay! However, you need to earn the right to sell to your email audience by providing the value that comes with effective nurturing. Also, it helps to be tactful and to know the real needs and best ways to communicate with your audience. Combining a nurturing and sales mindset will lead to email marketing gold.
What a cool thing these sequences are - so versatile, informative, and impactful! An email sequence is a series of emails that are sent to an audience based on predetermined factors (like signing up for a freebie or being tagged in a subgroup of your list). They run a predetermined course and are often a means toward an end - but to what end, you might ask.
Welcome - As soon as they have opted in to one of your offers (paid or otherwise), invite them further into your world with a strategically informative email sequence that has a soft CTA (call to action) at the end.
Market research - Find out what your audience is interested in and group them into categories for a more effective sales strategy. This type of sequence can turn into quite the web (where one sequence is strategically linked to another) so be prepared if and when you tread this path.
Sales - When you’re launching a program or promoting a special offer and you need to keep your audience (past, current, and prospective clients) engaged and motivated to take action. Providing the next steps and additional opportunities for success is key.
There are many ways to use email marketing to elevate your business and this is just the tip of the ice burg. Keep best practices in mind by starting small and taking on only the scope that you are able to consistently maintain. Consistency is what sells, not gusto. In all that you choose to do, provide value, be authentic, and come from a place of service.
If getting your emails to convert is a challenge, then you might want to reflect on the basics of copywriting and how you are (or are not) implementing them in all that you put out into the world.