Whether you’ve been building your business for years or are just starting, email marketing can feel, well, daunting.
Everyone has an opinion about building a list, and it can make even the most determined business owner say, “I’ll get to it later.”
But nurturing and growing an email list is one of the smartest things a business can do. When someone raises their virtual hand and gives you their email in exchange for your lead magnet, they’re one step closer to potentially working with or buying from you. If social media shuts down or changes significantly–– you still have a way to communicate with your people, and that, my friends, is a big deal.
Email marketing is a great way to build relationships with your potential customers. As a copywriter and brand strategist, I help my clients plan out their email strategies and craft their content. After working with hundreds of businesses and creatives, there are three big problems most of them struggle with and it’s costing them serious $$$$ (let’s prevent that for you!)
Mistake 1: They don’t actually start an email list.
If you aren’t quite sure what you are selling or your service model is set up to serve clients 1:1, it’s easy to put “email list building” at the bottom of your priority list. And it’s even easier to keep yourself from starting when all the advice out there feels overwhelming…
Use this software! This software is better! Use images! Don’t use images! Send an email a day! Don’t try to sell anything until your 49th email! Be funny! Be serious! Think about personality types when you write! Hire a copywriter! But tell YOUR story!
Don’t make it hard. Choose a platform that fits your budget and get started. In an uncertain world, the stronger your email list, the easier it will be to pivot or ramp up your sales quickly.
Mistake 2: They quit before a sale.
Most people aren’t ready to buy right away, which is why nurture emails help move your relationship along at a steady pace.
Repeat after me: nurture emails are part of the long game.
Sending nurture emails means you are committed to building a relationship with your audience. Sometimes a sale happens right away, and sometimes it takes two years of weekly emails before someone decides to purchase.
Stuck on what to write? Repurpose content from a blog, podcast, or social media. Send surveys, weekly insights, or show social proof by highlighting your client success stories in a way that also serves your email audience. Aim to provide value, position yourself as the guide, and don’t forget to have fun.
If sending a weekly email feels overwhelming, start slow but don’t quit.
Mistake 3: They’re scared to sell.
Cringe a little just reading that? If so, you’re not alone. The majority of my clients are terrified to sound salesy in their copy. Nurture sequences aren’t meant to be sales emails but don’t forget to mention your product or service. We never want to strong-arm your audience into buying from you, but we do want their brains to associate your business as a solution to the problem you solve for them.
If you truly want to be seen as an expert in your industry, be empathetic to your reader’s problems (I’ve been there! It IS hard!) and also let them know how you can help by showing your competency and authority. When the time is right to purchase or work with you, you’ll be top of mind.
Feel free to tell stories and make your emails fun (especially if you are a personal brand), but don’t forget to provide a sales edge. Emails without it feel shallow and often leave readers wondering if they missed the point. The goal of a nurture sequence is to help your audience understand that you are the mentor they’ve been looking for, and you’re ready to help them as soon as they are in the right place.
Keep in mind that nurture emails should do three main things: provide value, position your company as the solution, and build a relationship.
Keep it fresh, keep it fun, and don’t be scared to experiment. If someone has allowed you into their inbox, you owe it to them to show up and offer guidance and value. And as much as I LOVE automation, surprising someone on your list with a personalized email thanking them for grabbing your lead generator or asking them what their biggest challenge is regarding your product or service can go a long way toward fast-tracking your relationship.