Since With Grace and Gold was founded in 2014, we’ve watched as social media platforms have gained in popularity and have fallen to the wayside. At first, Facebook was the go-to place for small business owners — but it was soon replaced by Instagram. Snapchat became popular, but it was soon replaced by Instagram Stories. And over the past year, TikTok has skyrocketed!
As fellow small business owners, we value and appreciate how each social media platform has its strengths and unique purposes. Through social media marketing, you can go where your audience resides and create meaningful content and foster community.
Though social media marketing can make a major difference for small businesses, one tool we’ve really valued using in tandem with social media marketing is newsletter marketing or email marketing. The reason being: As social media marketing changes and evolves, our newsletter is something we can manage and grow — independent of the ever-evolving social media landscape.
Today, we want to share an overview of email marketing, why email marketing can make a difference for your small business — and how to go ahead and add newsletter opt-ins to your website, so your audience can receive your newsletter and journey from being a subscriber to becoming a paying customer or a paying client.
Why Email Marketing is a Necessity for Your Small Business
What is email marketing? Email marketing is sending an email newsletter to an audience of subscribers who have opted-in to receive your email newsletter. As a customer, it’s likely you’ve opted-in to receive newsletters yourself: whether you’ve opted-in to receive a coupon from a specific business, or you’ve opted-in to receive updates from a specific business. As a business owner, email marketing allows you to send email newsletters directly to your audience — audience members who have signed up to receive updates from your business. When it comes to email marketing systems, we have used MailChimp, ConvertKit, and FloDesk. Choosing a newsletter system depends upon your goals and the ways in which you plan or hope to use email marketing. We’ll share more shortly!
What is email marketing for? According to the Content Marketing Institute, nearly 9 out of every 10 marketers use email marketing to share their content and to connect with prospective customers and clients. Email marketing can help you to build credibility with your audience — and strengthen your brand recognition as you show up in your audience’s Inbox on a regular basis. Email marketing can be used to showcase your products, services, past clients’ experiences, recent blog posts, and so much more. It can lead your audience back to your website — and help your audience members journey from being subscribers to becoming paying customers or paying clients. Summed up, email marketing can be used in a variety of ways, depending upon your unique business, vision, and goals.
Now we know email marketing can make a difference for your business — helping you to more directly connect with your audience, helping you to showcase your offerings, and ultimately, helping you to boost your sales. So, how do you get started?
- Step 1: Determine your goal for email marketing. Think about your audience — your prospective customers or prospective clients. What would it mean to “show up” in your audience’s Inbox on a regular basis? What would you like to share with your audience? How could you serve your audience through an email newsletter — or guide your audience toward the resources, products, or services aligned with their needs? How often would you like to send an email newsletter? Establishing your goals and vision for your newsletter will help you to add email marketing to your marketing strategy more seamlessly and effectively.
- Step 2: Determine the newsletter system best for your business. At With Grace and Gold, we have used MailChimp, ConvertKit, and FloDesk. Currently, we use and recommend FloDesk because of its user-friendly, drag-and-drop newsletter campaign builder — as well as its beautiful newsletter opt-ins. For business owners who value beautiful newsletter design and a user-friendly experience, FloDesk can be a really great choice. In the end, we recommend exploring each newsletter platform and determining which features align with your unique goals.
- Step 3: Determine how you’ll entice your audience to sign up. In the past, when you’ve signed up to receive a newsletter, you likely signed up to receive something — like a discount, a free resource, or exclusive access. The ‘incentive’ to sign up for a newsletter is known as a Lead Magnet — something to attract and entice your website visitors to sign up to be part of your newsletter audience. A few examples of lead magnets include:
- An educational PDF download, such as a guide, a checklist, a planner, or a graphic organizer. Your PDF should help to answer a question you know your Ideal Client has, or it should be something your Ideal Client would value using.
- Access to a private community or Facebook group. Maybe your Facebook group contains education, resources, or exclusive content.
- An educational email series or a challenge. Maybe you can gather together helpful tips or helpful steps to guide, encourage, or educate your audience in some way.
In the end, because your newsletter will be written for and to your prospective customers or clients, your Lead Magnet should be something rooted in serving, educating, or helping your prospective customers or clients.
- Step 4: Create your Lead Magnet within your newsletter system. Put simply, once you’ve determined what your Lead Magnet is, you have to create it within your newsletter system. (That way, when someone signs up to receive your newsletter, they’ll receive the Lead Magnet you’ve offered.) Every newsletter system — MailChimp, ConvertKit, FloDesk, and more — offers unique ways to create Lead Magnets. Within FloDesk, you can create something called a Workflow — a series of emails you can space out over the course of days, weeks, or months. You can also create an automated Welcome Email, which can contain your PDF or a link to your offering.
- Step 5: Embed your newsletter opt-in and promote your Lead Magnet. Now, it’s time to grow your newsletter audience so you can continue to serve and help your audience through email marketing. Write a blog post about your lead magnet, and include a link or an embed code for opting in. Share about your lead magnet on social media so your social media audience can move toward becoming part of your newsletter audience. Additionally, add your newsletter opt-in to your website: whether you embed your opt-in within your website or you create a pop-up — both of which are simple and seamless using FloDesk — your website is the perfect place to house ways to sign up for your newsletter.
- Step 6: Send newsletters regularly, to continue serving your audience. Whether you send a weekly or monthly newsletter to your audience of subscribers, use your newsletter as a way to speak to and help your audience. Your newsletter can contain links to new products or services, testimonials from past customers or clients, links to recent blog posts — and more. When writing our weekly newsletter, we pretend we are writing to one person — sharing the resources we believe will be most helpful.
Today, we shared an overview of email marketing, why email marketing matters, and how to jump-start your email marketing journey. Lastly, please feel free to use the link in our Show Notes for 50% off your subscription to FloDesk, and let us know what you think!
Please Note: With Grace and Gold may receive a commission when you use our FloDesk link. We are grateful for your support as we continue to create and provide actionable education through With Grace and Gold!
August 2, 2021