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Email marketing for creatives: How to get started & build your list

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All of us want to grow our brands and connect with our audience on a deeper level. And I’m guessing we all would love more sales, right? Well if that’s you, email marketing might be just what you need. But if you don’t do any email marketing in your business, or you’ve set up an email list but haven’t done much with it, I’m guessing you’re not super sure where to start and how to use it effectively.

In this article I'll walk you through the steps to get started with email marketing, from choosing your email service provider to creating an irresistible opt-in freebie. Whether you're brand new to email, or need a boost to get things going, this guide will help you build your email list and connect with your fans in new ways.

*This article contains affiliate links.

Creatives should be using email marketing because it’s really effective, converts massively well, and can be a super simple way to grow your audience and increase your sales.

That all sounds great, right? But where do you start?

Choose your email service provider (ESP)

First thing’s first, you need to choose an email service provider, AKA the tool you’re going to use to set up and send your emails from. There are a bunch to choose from, including:

Do some research, have a look at all of these different providers, see what features they have and choose which one is going to work for you.

Create an opt-in

Once you’ve chosen an email service provider and set up your account, you’re ready to get your audience signed up.

You want to give your audience a reason to sign up to your email list. Unless you already have a massive audience, “Subscribe to my newsletter” isn’t usually enough. Instead, you can create an opt-in to offer them in exchange for their email.

Examples of opt-ins (AKA freebies, incentives):

  • Template
  • Email course
  • Checklist
  • Swipe file
  • Printable
  • Bonus
  • First dibs

I don’t recommend offering a discount because you don’t want to discount your work! Instead offer a bonus or extra for signing up to your email list.

Think about what your audience value, what you can do super well, and get started creating your opt-in. It doesn’t have to be super complicated or thorough, just a taste of what you offer or what makes your work so amazing!

Create a form or landing page where people can sign up.

To actually make it possible for your audience to sign up to your email list and download your opt-in, you need to create a form or landing page where they can input their name and email.

You can either create a form on your own website and connect it to your ESP, or your ESP might have landing page tools built in that will automatically add people to your email list. You can start building your first landing page for free in ConvertKit here.

For an effective landing page or form, focus on these three things:

Keep it on-brand

Use your brand colours, fonts, logos, patterns, and photography to keep your landing page or form on-brand. Creating a consistent experience will make your form seem professional and ensure your audience that they’re in the right place when they land there!

Make it compelling

Just saying “download a checklist” isn’t the most exciting thing in the world. If you want to get your audience to sign up to your email list, you need to make it compelling! Tell them the transformation or value they’ll get from your freebie, show it off with some amazing graphics, and include any testimonials you get about how much other people love it.

Tell your audience what they get & what they can expect

You also need to make it super clear exactly what your subscribers will get when they sign up to your email list. Explain what’s included in the freebie, when they can expect to hear from you next, and what you’ll send them going forward.

Write a welcome email

Email marketing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to create an amazing brand experience and truly guide your audience through an incredible customer journey.

When they first subscribe to your email list, you want to give them a big warm welcome that delivers their freebie, tells them who you are, provides even more value, and showers them with love for becoming a VIP insider!

In your email service provider, set up a welcome email that a subscriber will get immediately after submitting their email. You can even expand this into a multi-email welcome sequence if you want to go the extra mile!

Pick a cadence and stick to it.

Now you’ve got everything set up and ready to go so that you can invite and welcome your audience to your email list, it’s time to focus on the emails you’ll send to them on a regular basis.

When you have a regular email routine it’s easier to plan and have a strategy for, and your audience knows when they can expect an email from you.

Choose a cadence that works for you to be able to reliably create emails. That could be daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Monthly is the minimum to keep your audience in the loop and engaged, so try to at least email once a month!

I send my newsletter, Moxie Musings, on the first Monday of every month, which makes it super easy for me to plan for and extra clear for my audience when to expect it from me!

Create your first newsletter

Now it’s finally time to send your first newsletter! Before whichever regular day you’ve chosen to email your list, sit down and outline what you want to include, and then write it!

If you’re stuck for ideas, your newsletter could include:

  • Where they can find you in person this month
  • This month’s featured product
  • UGC - feature people wearing/repping/sharing your work
  • Any features you’ve been in (podcasts, blogs etc)
  • BTS on what you’re working on
  • Updates on products/launches/kickstarters etc
  • Your faves from this month
  • What you’re listening to/watching etc
  • Your thoughts on a topic
  • Sales you’re running at the moment
  • New products you have on offer
  • Showcase recent work

Send extra emails

While you’re sending your email newsletter every week or month, you can also send extra emails in between.

This is particularly useful if you’re running a specific campaign, launching something new, or sharing a unique collaboration, for example.

Next time you’re planning a sale, launch, or anything new, make sure to factor email into your strategy!

Ready to get started with your email marketing? Start building your first landing page for free with ConvertKit.

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June 7, 2023



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The Ultimate Branding Checklist

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