Why You Need an Email List for Your Creative Business {and how to start one!}

Hello again, my lovely friend! It’s an unseasonably warm day here in Pennsylvania and I’m excited to actually be sitting and writing about something that I’ve been talking about for, oh I don’t know… forever? Can I say that? Today we’re diving into a topic that is often looked at with either anxiety or love. Yep. We’re talking about email marketing.

If you've yet to dive into email marketing, now is the time. Not only is it more effective than social media, it's a fun way to connect with your people.
If you've yet to dive into email marketing, now is the time. Not only is it more effective than social media, it's a fun way to connect with your people.

Before we jump into the how, let’s talk about the why. Like, why do people love email marketing so much?

Email marketing allows you to connect with your readers in a much more personalized way.

Whether you’re a service based business, a handmade business or a blogger, this connection builds trust. See, every time you send an email, you’re allowing a person to get to know you more and more. You’re showing them your dedication to your business and to helping them with whatever it is that you can help with.

It shows that you are committed to providing value. And again, that builds trust (as long as you’re using email marketing in a non icky way! We’ll talk about that later.) and that trust leads to what? More conversion! Whether that conversion is more booked calls or blog viewers or sales, email makes it happen.

Now I could stop there, but why? Why stop? Let’s keep going!

Email Marketing Increases Your Reach.

Okay, you know this is a big deal. When you get on Facebook or Instagram, you are probably frustrated by your reach. The algorithm makes it impossible to be seen sometimes. I mean, think about it. You craft this perfect post and add the perfect image for what? 6% of your followers to see it?

Yeah. That is so frustrating.

Email marketing doesn’t work that way! When you send a newsletter out, it is going to make it to the inboxes that are signed up. There’s no question of that. There’s no algorithm that is going to deem it no important enough to share or too promotional. Simple as that.

So let’s break this down even further. You may have 2000 fans on Facebook and 2000 email subscribers. If you post something on Facebook, only 100ish people will actually see your post. At most. I’m being generous with that number and if you’ve been on Facebook any length of time than you already know that.

[bctt tweet="Social media is good. But email marketing is even better at converting!" username="erinshebish"]

However, if you send an email to your 2000 subscribers, over 400 of them will open it and read it.

That’s kind of a big difference.

So how did I come to those numbers? Facebook’s algorithm allows up to 6% organic reach. And that is always going down, it seems! However, industry standard open rate for emails is roughly 24%. Of course there is some flex for those open rates but we can talk about taking that percentage higher another time.

It leads to higher traffic.

So not only does your email list mean that you’re going to get a higher reach but you’re going to get more traffic in general.

When you’re sending emails, you’ll most likely include the same links that you would share via social media. Only when it’s in an email, it’s going to pay off in a bigger way. If you have someone subscribed to your email list and opening your emails, you already have established a connection and a level of interest within that person.

What does that mean? It means they’re going to be further motivated to click those links.

So, ahem. More traffic.

And that’s a good thing.

Okay, okay. So now you know the why. Let’s talk about the how.

If you've yet to dive into email marketing, now is the time. Not only is it more effective than social media, it's a fun way to connect with your people.
If you've yet to dive into email marketing, now is the time. Not only is it more effective than social media, it's a fun way to connect with your people.

Starting an email newsletter is as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Step One - Pick an email service provider.

This, my friend, is going to vary based on your needs. And there are a million under the sun to choose from. So what’s important when making the decision?

  • Price. If it’s going to cost you a bajillion dollars when you’re just starting up, it’s not the best idea.
  • Features. This includes things like easy to customize templates, segmenting, scheduled newsletters and mobile friendliness.
  • Delivery. Here’s the thing. There are services that promise a high delivery rate but don’t actually do that due to issues on their end. Make sure the email service provider you choose is reputable and not “spam” ridden.
  • Support. Because you want to know if there’s an issue with your account that you can reach someone.

In the past 6ish years, I’ve used two services and these are the two I recommend. Mailchimp is great for beginners and is free up to 2000 subscribers. This can be a great way to really grow your business when you’re starting out. The only caveat to this is that MailChimp does have limited features. Most people will eventually “grow out” of the service. And that’s okay!

My absolute favorite service is ConvertKit. (This is my affiliate link but I don’t recommend products or programs that I don’t 100% back!) While this program isn’t free, it is worth every single penny. The features included are astounding. If you’re a blogger or a service based business owner, I’ll tell you this simple truth. I wish I had just started with ConvertKit. The simplicity of it and the power behind it is incredible.

Also, automation. Automation makes everything better, amiright?

Step Two - Create Opt In Forms.

So you’ve signed up for a provider. Now it’s time to get people on that list. This is when you create opt in forms. Now you’ve seen these for sure. If you’re on my email list, you’ve seen mine. And there are several all over my page. Here’s the thing. You want to do that.

Create those sign up forms, or opt in forms, and share those bad boys everywhere. On your website, on your social media, in your email signature. Anywhere you can get away with it.

Now unfortunately, most people won’t just sign up for a newsletter without some form of incentive. So when you create your opt in, start thinking about what you can offer in return for an email address. For an example, if you sign up for my email list, you’re going to get the Lady Boss Business Planning Workbook. This is a 12 page planner that I could charge for. But instead of charging money, I’m simply asking for an email address so I can email you amazing love and information.

Your opt in incentive can be anything from a printable to an email course to upgraded info that isn’t offered elsewhere.

[bctt tweet="Offer value when promoting your email list. This step goes a long way!" username="erinshebish"]

Step Three - Send a Newsletter.

Yay! This is the fun part. Send out an email. I always recommend going into this with a plan. Sit down and figure out when you’ll email your tribe. Will it be once a week? Twice a month?  Once you know that, you can determine what you want to email about.

If you’re stuck here, think back to emails that have captured your attention. You can email a thank you. Talk about an epic fail. Share some behind the scenes info and sneak peeks. There’s really no right or wrong here. Except for one thing. You absolutely want to make sure the whole email isn’t just promotion, promotion, promotion.

The last thing you want is for your subscribers to feel like walking dollar signs to you.

So be personable. Provide value and schedule out that newsletter!

See! Easy peasy!

So tell me, are you taking advantage of email marketing? Why or why not?

Until next time, have a beautiful day!

If you've yet to dive into email marketing, now is the time. Not only is it more effective than social media, it's a fun way to connect with your people.
If you've yet to dive into email marketing, now is the time. Not only is it more effective than social media, it's a fun way to connect with your people.