Get Started With email marketing

Email marketing can be a great way to promote your freelance writing business, or any other small businesses. Yet many freelance business owners  – because that’s what you are when you run your freelance business – don’t think of using it. 

In the next few learning blocks you’ll learn how to:

  • Get set up with an email service provider
    – Get a signup form on your site (or a link in your social profile if your site isn’t live)
    – Let people know you have a list
  • Plan your strategy and email marketing calendar
    – Draft/send your first email
    – Plan future email content

Ready? Let’s get started. As always, have somewhere to take notes.

Activity 1: Learn why you need an email list

As usual, I’m going to start off by giving you some reading material.

If you’re wondering why you need an email list at all, check out the stats in this article:  Is Email Marketing Dead? Statistics Say: Not a Chance.

You’ll learn that whatever age group you’re targeting, email marketing (which is simply using email to connect with your potential customers) still rocks. It’s one of the best ways to reach your audience and build a relationship with them.

Questions for you:

  • Which of those stats really spoke to you? 
  • Did any of them surprise you?

Activity 2: Choose your email provider

If you’re wondering which email provider to use,  here’s my take.

Of all the providers I’ve tried (which is quite a few), I’ve found MailChimp easiest to use, and you can’t beat the price of free for up to 2000 subscribers. But there are a LOT of options out there. Though I’ll be using MailChimp for these activities, I’ve heard good things about ConvertKit and MooSend, both of which also have free options. 

Check out this resource from IsItWP for more thoughts on email marketing providers: 9 Best “Email Marketing” Services for Small Business (2021)

And here’s another resource from Authority Hacker Best Email Marketing Software 2021 – Real Review and Recommendation

Questions for you:

  • Which email marketing provider will you use? Why?
  • If you’re already using a provider, what feature sold that provider to you?

Activity 3: Set up your email marketing software

Well, today’s the day for getting your email marketing client set up. Don’t worry if this takes a couple of days. Before you start, make sure you have your logo and business details handy.

I’ve prepared a few videos to walk you through the MailChimp setup. They update their interface regularly, but much of this should be the same. And you’ll need to provide similar details for any other email provider you choose to go with.

Mailchimp Set Up Video 1:

Mailchimp Set Up Video 2

Mailchimp Set Up Video 3

Mailchimp Set Up Video 4

For the setup, I advise keeping it simple, and doing the minimum you need to get started. If there’s something you’re not sure about during setup, skip it if you can and check in via the drop in sessions. You can always go back and add/change details later.

And here’s another tutorial to help you MailChimp 101: How to Set Up and Use the Damn Thing?

Activity 4: Add a signup form to your site

Now you need an easy way to add people to your list. One of the best places to get email subscribers is on your own website. Remember, this is the hub for all your marketing. For that, you’ll need an email signup form. Email signup forms can be simple (with just room for an email address), a little more detailed (with a field for the person’s first name) or mega complex (like the ones big businesses make you fill out to grab a free report). My advice is to keep it simple, using a signup form with a first name and an email address. That will let you send emails that address recipients by name. 

Here’s MailChimp’s advice on customizing a signup form

MailChimp also offers a couple of options for adding a signup form to your WordPress site:

Activity 5: Create your welcome email

The other important thing to plan is how you’re going to welcome your subscribers. This is how they get to know you.It’s an important part of nurturing potential clients. 

I have a welcome email, and a welcome sequence.

I walk you through those in this video.

Use that guidance to create your own welcome email or welcome sequence.

Questions for you:

  • What would you want to tell brand new subscribers about you?
  • What’s one killer piece of content you could share to reassure them that they were right to sign up? Consider sharing one of the pieces of content you created in blogging for business tracks