If you are a small agency or a freelancer, you know what a daunting task it is to acquire customers. To sell what you are good at, you need to market yourself well. But then you also have a budget constraint! Here’s one of the most effective yet pocket-friendly solutions for small agencies and freelancers- Email Marketing.
But, Why Email Marketing?
According to Radicati’s 2016 Email Statistics report, email will be used by 3 billion people by 2020. Email marketing is a great way to nurture the leads who are visiting your website but are not yet ready to do business with you. All your website needs to do is capture the interest of visitors and encourage them to sign up for your emails. Emails can take it forward from this point and eventually turn the visitors into customers.
Let’s take a look at how freelancers and small agencies can attract their target audience through email marketing:
1. Defining Target Audience
Defining your target audience is the most important step before you send out emails. You need a list of subscribers- people who have chosen to hear from you and not just some random people; this is a key aspect of every successful business. For this, you need to build a list organically- through online and offline methods. Placing a sign-up form on your website or blog or getting people to sign up for your emails during a conference or event helps you get email addresses of people who are actually interested in your services. Click-through rates are 100.95% higher in segmented email campaigns than non-segmented campaigns.
Takeaway: Do not buy an email list; build one through organic ways.
2. Kicking off with Welcome Emails
On average, 320% more revenue is attributed to them on a per email basis than other promotional emails. The email basically welcomes subscribers, confirming their onboarding. A warm welcome or ‘Thank you for joining’ note can go a long way. This email can also brief them about the services you as a freelancer or small agency provide and what exactly they can expect in future emails. Collecting all this information will help you segment your list and send targeted, relevant and timely emails.
Takeaway: You can send a welcome email series starting with a welcome note and information about services you provide, followed by links to your social pages, and third about setting preferences.
3. Offering Incentives
You are all geared up to begin your email campaign which only defines that you mean business. But here’s the thing – people will NOT come to your site if you don’t have anything special to offer. This is the simple rule of marketing. Since you are a small agency and not so popular yet, offer subscribers a freebie, a bait – so that they are tempted to try your services. Think about that incentive that YOU can offer and create it. EBooks encourage plenty of opt-ins in the mailing lists – though, they would be read by competitors too. That is a risk worth taking if you will be getting potential customers.
Takeaway: Offer incentives but do not go overboard.
4. Creating Landing Pages
Landing pages play a vital role in email marketing. You need a landing page for directing subscribers towards your services or the incentives you are offering- a page where they can take the action you desire them to take. Using videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%.Create landing pages for all your services; these pages will provide all the details about the service or offer that people would want to know. These pages keep them interested and also increase the chances of conversion.
Takeaway: Optimise landing pages for best results.
5. Planning and Scheduling Emails
When you have built a strong subscriber list – losing their interest would be the last thing you would ever want. If they don’t see anything from your side for a long time, or see a truckload of emails – either ways, it’s not a good thing to do. To avoid this, an email content calendar for planning and scheduling your emails is important in order to keep up with the frequency of your mailing list communications. Open rate is highest when companies send two emails per month.
Takeaway: Aim to email at least once every month. If you have great content and frequent updates to share, you can always experiment with different frequencies to see what interests the subscribers most.
6. Analyzing and Re-engaging
14 % of subscribers who received win-back emails read them – these numbers increased to 45 percent for subsequent messages too. Analyzing the results of email campaigns will always keep you ahead with all the information about each email sent, opened, clicked, bounced, spammed, and unsubscribed- and that is important for you as a freelancer, isn’t it? On the other hand, don’t be disheartened by unsubscribes. Look into the problems – what gives higher engagement and what doesn’t, and work accordingly.
Takeaway: Review your email analytics after each email campaign. If you find inactive subscribers on your list, send them re-engagement emails, and if they still don’t respond you can take them off your list.
Email marketing can help budding agencies and freelancers get that kick-start they need because emails are more personalised, keeps the human touch intact, and have a wider outreach than other marketing channels.