When I first started my business back in 2012, I knew I needed an email list. I knew the benefits for marketing and building relationships with your customers or clients. I even knew how to set one up and add the sign up box to my website. But I didn't really know what to do with it. I wasn't sure what to send. I wasn't sure how to write and what to say in it.
I didn't want to come off too pushy and salesy (is that even a word?). I didn't want to send a bunch of ads to people and make them immediately unsubscribe. I wasn't sure exactly how to handle it, so I didn't. I left it there and used it occasionally, but I wasn't tapping in to its full potential for my business and brand.
Over the years I have learned so much about email marketing and how to utilize it for my business. I can actually say now that my list continues to grow daily and I am able to truly connect with my audience through emails. I want to share my learning experience with you and let you in on all the secrets. Over the next few weeks I will be posting a mini series all about email marketing.
To start it off, I wanted to share 3 reasons why you need an email list for your business and how to tailor it to your brand.
1. Builds An Audience
How will you ever sell the amazing things you have to offer without having people to sell them to? There are many ways to build an audience for you business including your blog, social media, and community connections. But one way that is often forgotten is through your email list. By growing your email list, you grow your audience. Often times you will have people on your email list that don't follow you on your social media or blog, so this is your only way to reach them. It is a great way to share your content, products, and services in a new way and reach a new audience while still connecting with those loyal followers. One of the most important things in business is to build an audience.
2. Gets You In Their Inbox
Our inboxes are a sacred place. We are all so inundated with emails daily that we know we don't need to add another one. So if someone takes the initiative to actually sign up for your email list, they are telling you they want to get to know you and hear more of what you have to offer. Therefore, it is a great way to connect with them directly. Use your emails as a way to talk to them and tell them your story, but get to know them too. You can collect valuable information this way by simply asking them questions.
3. Creates a Personal Relationship
An email is the best way to personally reach out to a person and speak to them directly. If they are reading an email from you, you have the chance to address them by name and have a conversation with them. I look at all my emails this way, even if I am sending them to my entire email list. One thing I have learned is that people want to see the real person behind the business. Yes, there is a place for those sales emails that push new products or services, but if you write your emails like you are simply talking to a friend, you will have a much better chance of creating a relationship. That personal relationship has been key for my business lately. I am connecting with more people and gaining more loyal followers by taking this approach to my email list.
How To Tailor It For Your Business
An email list can be different for every business. Depending on what your business is and how you want to connect with your audience, you will probably have a specific way to use your email list. The most common uses for an email list are to promote new products and services, announce sales, send newsletters, and collect information (think surveys). I have also seen a lot of people use email lists to send out email courses, collect registrations for events, webinars, and classes, and group together clients or customers for a specific market. There are a variety of possibilities when sending emails to your list, and it is important to find the right use for your business.
I use my email list in two ways. The main email list is to send out shop updates, new arrivals, sales, and a monthly newsletter to my general audience. These emails are not always as personal and often include more of an advertising angle. I still want to connect with these people on a personal level, so when I send out the monthly newsletter, I use a more conversational tone and tell them more about me. I also use my email list to connect directly with other creative business owners to share my journey of brand building. Since this is such a specific niche and I realize that not everyone from my main list would want to receive these emails, I have a separate list for this. These emails are always more personal, and a way for me to talk with other business owners about building their brands and share my stories and experiences from building my own and working with others on designing strong and authentic brands.
Tailoring your email list for your business can take a little time and trial and error. You have to learn what you subscribers want from you and what works for your brand. If you are a product based business that has an online shop, you may share more about your shop items, specials or sales, or even use it as a way to share recent blog posts. If you are a service based business, you may need it more to connect with your clients and keep them up to date on your offerings. These are just some examples of what you can do to maximize the benefits of your email list, but there will be more on this coming soon.