We talk a lot about SEO over here at Local Creative, but email marketing is an important part of your overall SEO Strategy. Click here to skip down to our review of Flodesk.
You are constantly trying to send more people to your website, but if you’re attracting people who aren’t ready to work with you right now, you want to save those leads for later.
Capturing their email address and sending them regular newsletter content is the perfect way to stay in touch with these potential clients so when they are ready to buy, you are the first business they think of!
Why email marketing is important for creatives
As a creative entrepreneur, you rely on new clients finding you and booking your services. It’s easy to forget how important it is to maintain relationships with past clients so they keep coming back again and again.
In a way, existing clients are the easiest to close. They require the least amount of “selling” They already know, like, and trust you. They know your work is good and you are a reliable business person.
BUT, it’s so easy to let those relationships slide and lose contact. No matter how great of an experience your past client had working with you, life gets in the way, things get busy, and people move on.
This is where email marketing comes in! You don’t need to be sending emails constantly to stay top of mind, but sending out a monthly newsletter will remind your fans that you are working hard, honing your craft, and most importantly, that you’re available for future work.
Your email list is also something you “own” whereas your social following is on borrowed land.
If Instagram shutdown tomorrow, you would lose all your followers. If you have a list of email addresses, you always have a way to get in touch with people.
What you need to know before you start email marketing…
Sending email newsletters isn’t as easy as adding all your past clients to the BCC line of a Gmail email.
You need to get consent from your past clients and permission to use their email address.
You need to send emails from a reputable email marketing app that is designed for bulk mailing and stores data reliably while offering your email subscribers a way to unsubscribe.
There are specific laws that apply to email marketing inside the CAN-SPAM act.
Most of the rules are common sense and using a professional email marketing solution will make it easy to comply.
How to send an email newsletter
The first step is to find an email marketing platform that fits your needs and is easy to use (my favorite is Flodesk and I’ll talk about this in more detail below).
Once you’ve chosen a platform. You’ll want to reach out and personally email past clients and ask if they would like to join your email list. Going forward you can include opt-in messaging on your contact form or in your client contract or questionnaire.
The important thing is to “ask” people if they want to join your email list and not just assume.
You can also include an opt-in form directly on your website or blog to capture potential clients who are browsing your site and aren’t ready to reach out yet. This is a great way for you to stay top of mind so when they are ready to hire someone, they think of you!
Once you have a list of emails ready to go, import the subscribers using an excel file or csv into your chosen email provider.
You can categorize your subscribers using segments. For example, past clients can go into one segment called “Clients” and potential clients who haven’t worked with you yet can go into another segment called “Leads.”
Now it’s time to send your first email!
Email marketing newsletter ideas for creatives
You’ve set everything up and now it’s time to figure out what to send your new email list.
This is the part of the puzzle that trips people up.
Here is a short list of topics you can include in your email marketing newsletters:
Recent projects you are proud of that show off your best work
Seasonal promotions or mini sessions
Discounts offered to repeat clients
Family/business updates. What’s new (example: new studio space, family member, team member, website re-design) etc.
Recent blog posts or a list of your top performing blog posts since your last newsletter update
Stories that help you subscribers get to know your brand
The right email platform is going to help you create content easily that matches your brand and connects with your ideal clients.
The best email marketing platform for creative entrepreneurs
There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to email marketing and her name is Flodesk. This is my affiliate link which means I get a small kickback if you join via my link AND you get 50% off every month FOR LIFE! Yep, that’s a pretty magic link.
Obviously, I’m a bit biased, but Flodesk is the best email marketing platform out there for creatives.
Here are a few reasons why…
Flodesk was designed with creatives in mind.
Flodesk is designed for creatives who know the value of good branding. Flodesk was built with design at the forefront. Their out of the box templates are beautiful and extremely customizable. They allow you to upload your logo, add your brand colors, and drag and drop your images into tons of unique templates. New templates are added all the time.
Flodesk is perfect for people new to email marketing (and pros alike).
You can send a single email (a newsletter) or a series of emails in a scheduled sequence that’s triggered when someone signs up.
This is great if you want to create a nurture sequence or something that introduces new subscribers to your brand and your work.
For example, someone signs up after reading a blog post on your website. Now you can send them an email immediately that thanks them for subscribing and tells them a bit about your business with information about your pricing and packages.
On day 2, you can email them a link to your most popular blog post that tells them about what they can expect when working with you.
On day 5, you can send them another email with some of the most frequently asked questions you get from potential clients and a link to your contact form.
Now this person either decides to reach out and work with you OR if now isn’t the right time, they stay on your email list and receive your monthly newsletter. When they’re ready to hire someone, they know where to find you.
This series of emails is short, but it helps to warm up cold leads who find you online and keeps them in the loop about any changes to your business.
Creating opt-in forms is a piece of cake
Flodesk helps you create beautiful email opt-in forms that you can add to your website with a few lines of copy and paste code.
If you’re using Squarespace you can add a bit of code to your header and use a code block to place the form on your page.
You can also add a pop up form that only shows up after someone has spent more than a certain amount of time on your website (so you don’t bombard them).
Automate with Flodesk workflows
Flodesk works with Zapier now so you can connect Flodesk to any other apps you use. For example, you can automatically add new email subscribers to your CRM (like Dubsado or Honeybook) and vice versa.
This is a bran new feature and it makes automating your business beyond easy. I’ll make a Flodesk x Zapier video tutorial soon.
Fourth, the awesome community! Flodesk has a Facebook group called Flodesk Insiders full of thousands of users that are willing to help you learn how to use Flodesk and communicate about the platform. The founders are in there too and that is the best place to learn about new features.
It’s easy on your wallet
Flodesk is super affordable compared to other email platforms out there. Although they don’t have a free plan like Mailchimp, Flodesk has simple pricing that doesn’t increase when you add more subscribers or send more emails like Mailchimp. EVERYTHING is included for one low monthly price.
You can get 50% off Flodesk by using the coupon code GALENM or clicking this link (I do receive a small compensation if you use my code. I only promote Flodesk here because it’s the email platform I personally use and one that I believe in).
The downside to Flodesk.
The only downside to Flodesk is that it’s a new platform. Technically it’s still in beta which means there are still some kinks to work out. They occasionally have some growing pains, but their team has amazing support and they are always willing to answer questions.
The team stands behind their product 100% and the Facebook community is full of diehard fans (which is pretty amazing for a relatively new brand). It’s also why the discount is so amazing right now, so if you’re interested in joining, sign up now before the 50% coupon (GALENM) is gone for good. Even at full price it’s still a good deal for what you get (unlimited emails and subscribers).
What are you waiting for?
Attracting new clients is always important but don’t take for granted the clients you already have. There are always new opportunities to work together and email marketing can make that happen.
Even if you don’t know what to write in your emails just yet, start collecting email addresses (with consent) from past, present, and future clients so you are able to stay connected.