This is a guest post from Aeolidia.com
If you do any kind of business online, it’s crazy not to have an email mailing list. We’ve talked about this on the Aeolidia blog before, and here is the quick rundown of why:
- No algorithm is going to filter your email away from your reader (unless it’s super spammy!)
- People check their email every day, often many times.
- People are likely paying more attention to their email than to social media streams.
- If people don’t act on your email right away, it will still be in their inbox to look at later.
- It’s easier to provide a personal experience through email.
So yes, you need a mailing list – but ugh! Coming up with fresh content can be hard. What about your new subscribers? You want them to see your absolute best stuff, not whatever quick email message you jotted off this week. Maybe you wrote something just brilliant last week that the new folks will never see.
Well, good news! There’s a way you can sit down and do some preparation now to create “evergreen” content for your mailing list. New people will get to know you in the way you want them to, and they will get your best information while they’re still interested.
Setting up an email autoresponder series
Most mailing list providers will allow you to set up automated emails (also called automation, autoresponders or email drips). I prefer MailChimp, and they have great tools for automation. You can decide when to send an email based on when someone subscribes. For instance, by sending an email the day they sign up, one next Tuesday, and one three weeks from when they joined.
There are a lot of things you can use automated emails for:
- Sending a coupon code
New subscribers could be send a “thank you” discount code. You could even offer a special deal or offer on a schedule.
- Introducing yourself and/or your business in detail
What’s special about your business that would hook someone new? A favorite story that charms and delights? Something to make you seem relatable.
- Sharing favorite past newsletters or blog posts
If you spent the time to write something that people loved, don’t let it disappear! Show it to your new subscribers as they sign up, either as a standalone email, or a list of favorites they shouldn’t miss.
- Showing off your best products
Prepare an email with more information and detail about your showstopper product(s). This could be a series of emails.
- Sharing customer testimonials or reviews
Do you get great feedback from customers? You can add these to your automated emails to increase interest.
- Explaining more about your process or products
Is there something unique about how you make your products, where they’re made, or who they support? Let your customer in on the backstory so they can feel like a part of your world.
- Providing tools or information
Is there helpful content you could send out that relates to your business? This can be valuable, and part of the draw to sign up for your list, if you advertise what you offer. For example, a jeweler could send a printable ring sizer, a stationer could offer a free printable card, or a yarn dyer could send instructions for knitting.
- Email automation saves time and sells your work
It’s great to know that even when you’re busy working away on some other part of your business that your automated email series is off doing its job, making sure everyone gets the right info, and taking the pressure off of you. Now that your regular email updates don’t need to be perfect for new subscribers, you can keep them short and sweet and perhaps send them more often.
Particularly if you run your business on your own, any smart way to free up time while continuing to market your work is a gem!
If you’d like, you can sign up for the Aeolidia email newsletter below to see how I have set up my autoresponder. It’s full of great information for product-based businesses, and I’d love to talk to you about your email list.
What about you? Do you have a newsletter? What questions do you have about email marketing?
This is a guest post from Arianne at Aeolidia. Arianne runs Aeolidia, a web and graphic design studio that has been working with creative handmakers and designers since 2004, helping them put their best foot forward online. Arianne’s creative business newsletter is timely, helpful, and includes information you may not have thought of. Her tips on making improvements yourself are simple to take action on, and can improve sales and create interest in your business. Subscribe to get free help from an industry expert »