In 2020, when 99% of the world was falling apart, I started an email newsletter. I didn’t know anyone who had one, except a few online entrepreneurs I followed. So why did I do it?
According to a Statistica study on email marketing, there are 4 billion daily email users. This number is expected to climb to 4.6 billion by 2025.
You are probably one of them, aren’t you?
Here’s another crazy fact: 99% of email users check their inbox every day. Of those, 58% check their email first thing in the morning!
But for me, this wasn’t all fun and games. All these entrepreneurs kept saying one thing:
Email marketing is one of the best investments for your small business.
Well that was strange… No one around me was talking about it. All I could see was social media this, social media that. And that’s a whole beast of its own that we’re yet to tame, with all its changing algorithms and constant updates.
How could I jump onto this new ship when I hadn’t even captained the other one?
But then again, I had nothing to lose.
2 loooong years later, I have finally realized the benefits of email marketing. They are not as concrete as amount of sales or dollars earned. It’s an intrinsic value that cannot be put to numbers.
If you’ve ever wanted to build a strong community of customers who’ll become your biggest fans, you’re in the right place. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a musician, a writer or a fashion designer. Grab a drink and let’s talk about 5 advantages of email marketing for your creative small business.
1. Nurture relationships
Get this: 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach their customers. That’s according to Campaign Monitor. That could be you too.
Email is not just for our parents’ and grandparents’ generation. According to Procurious, 73% of millennials (that’s us!) mention email as their preferred means of business communication.
As a creative entrepreneur, email marketing has allowed me to connect one on one with my audience, consistently. By showing up in their inbox once a week, I get to share value – be it life lessons, entertaining content, or funny stories. And the more value you provide to your audience, the more they’ll look forward to hearing from you.
It’s not just a one way street. You can also send customer feedback surveys to know more about your audience, which I have done multiple times. Other times they reply to my emails and we share enriching conversations.
And that’s how you build relationships with your community.
2. Increase sales
Did you know email marketing has the highest ROI (return on investment) of all forms of marketing? According to Constant Contact, it’s about 1:36 ($36 in return for every $1 spent). Furthermore, 60% of consumers say they’ve made a purchase as the result of a marketing email they received.
The reason for this high conversion rate? You are targeting people who are already interested in your brand. And through email automations, you can encourage customers to buy after abandoning their cart, deliver special offers, and prompt future sales.
And if you don’t have your own product, worry not. Email is also a great way to promote affiliate products by other businesses and earn consistent commission. That’s one way I earn money as a Kenyan creative entrepreneur – by promoting my favourite events and lifestyle products via email.
How do you build trust with your audience so that they want to buy from you? Personalization.
The magic of email marketing is you can personalize your messages by simply using a contact’s name. You’ve probably read an email where the sender mentioned your name and made you feel special, right? Well according to Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines get a 26% increase in open rates.
Email marketing also gives you the freedom to A/B test different subject lines, include many calls to action, and play around with GIFs (my favourite!).
Another cool trick: you can also segment your customers based on their preferences in order to send personalized content. For example, I’ve segmented my email list into email marketers and music lovers. The more you personalize your emails and segment your audience, the more engagement you’ll get.
4. Drive Traffic
Do you have a blog, vlog, or podcast? Email marketing is a great way to drive traffic to your website for free.
For example, whenever I publish a new article or podcast episode, my email subscribers are the first to know. And I can track how many checked it out through the click through rate.
I’m not alone. According to Content Marketing, 87% of marketers use email marketing to share their content. This makes email the second most popular content distribution channel, after social media at 89%.
You can send your fans wherever you want, whether it’s to your ecommerce store, a fundraising campaign, or social media page. And always add value even when customers aren’t making a purchase. So that when you’re ready to sell, they’ll be ready to buy.
5. Own your contacts
One of the biggest advantages of email marketing? You own your contacts.
Because here’s the cold truth…
With social media, you don’t own your contact list or even the information you post. If Instagram or Twitter shut down today, they would go away with all your content and followers. Would that be the end of your business?
That’s why building an email list is super important for creatives and small business owners. Once you capture your audience’s names and email addresses, they are yours for life. That is unless they unsubscribe.
This means you can communicate with your community and keep in touch anytime. Even when you switch your email provider.
And what an investment that is on your small business.
Before you dive in, you should know this: email marketing is a long game. You might not convert customers in the first week or month or even year. But by showing up and giving them value consistently, you will nurture an audience that loves what you do. And is willing to buy from you for years to come.
Your 1000 true fans.
And isn’t that what every creative entrepreneur wants?
I’m so glad I took the advice of those online entrepreneurs two years ago. With my small but growing email list of 100 people, I feel more secure than with my 1000+ social media following. That’s because they’re committed to being in my community. They interact with my content and send me feedback. And what a privilege that is.
Would you like to start email marketing for your creative small business? Well, you’re in luck. On 14th September 2022, I’m teaching an online masterclass on how to write an engaging email newsletter that your audience will absolutely love. And it’s absolutely FREE.
SIGN UP HERE
Images courtesy of Jopwell