Are you curious about email marketing for your business? In this post, we walk you through two approaches to email marketing, ongoing emails and nurture sequences. We also explain how to build an email list with a freebie your dream clients will love. 

Two Approaches to Email Marketing 

When most entrepreneurs hear “email marketing,” they assume that they need to send a weekly or monthly newsletter. This overwhelms some people to the point that they abandon email marketing before they figure out how to build an email list. In fact, many entrepreneurs we’ve talked to cite this as the main reason they don’t use email marketing in their business. 

Fortunately, there are more approaches to email marketing than weekly or monthly newsletters. The route you should take depends on your marketing goals. Do you want recurring clients or offer services that could be relevant to your list year-round? Then weekly or monthly emails could be a good way to maintain a connection with your client base. This approach works well for VAs, copywriters, coaches, and other service providers.

If you’re trying to book one-time clients, though, a nurture sequence would be a better strategy for you. A nurture sequence is an automated series of emails that introduces people to your brand, generates interest, and encourages them to make a purchase or book a discovery call. Nurture sequences are great for wedding photographers and people selling products for passive income. A nurture sequence has the advantage of attracting highly qualified leads without the added stress of producing new content all the time.

How to Build an Email List 

How to build an email list is essentially the same whether you choose to send weekly emails or use a nurture sequence. When you solicit people for their email addresses, there are two things to remember. First, you are legally required to tell people that they’re being added to an email list. Second, email addresses are very personal. If you want people to hand them over, you have to give them a compelling reason. Make it clear what’s in it for them.

You can collect email addresses in a number of ways. Put an opt-in form on your website footer. 

  • Link an opt-in to your social media. If you have an engaged social media audience, your plan for how to build an email list can include links in your Instagram stories and profile. 
  • Create blog CTAs with links to opt-in forms. SEO blogging is one of our favorite forms of content marketing. Not every CTA needs to drive inquiries. Suggest that people join your mailing list in some of your posts.
  • Add an optional opt-in in your onboarding workflow. Small businesses who maintain an on-going email can include an option to join the email list during on-boarding for new clients.  

All of these options are great, but if you ask us how to build an email list, we’ll always recommend one thing: a great freebie. Robust, helpful content is way more likely to entice people to join an email list than any pop-up window or website footer ever can. Think about the last time a window popped up while you were scanning a website for information. Did you even read it before you closed out? If you’re like us, you closed the window without looking at it.

What Makes a Good Freebie 

Are you thinking about how to build an email list with a freebie? A good freebie can come in many forms, including:

  • Journal prompts
  • Webinars
  • Checklists 
  • Ebooks 
  • Mini trainings

Regardless of what form your freebie comes in, it should do a few things for your potential clients. It should support people in the process that brings them to you. For example, a wedding photographer could create a guide to their city’s wedding venues using their photos. They establish themselves as a helpful part of the wedding planning process. (You can check out more ideas in 30 Freebies for Photographers, a collection of guides, checklists, inspiration, and scripts that wedding photographers can use to build their lists.)

Ideally, your freebie also is something that people would pay for that you’re providing for free. Let’s take a look at the wedding photographer example again. Some people pay wedding planners to collate lists of possible wedding venues. If a photographer can offer a free list of dreamy wedding venues, people are going to be excited enough to opt into their nurture sequence.

Are you a wedding photographer who wants to implement passive email marketing? Nurture sequences are powerful tools for automating passive marketing so you can get back to the things you love about your business. The qualified leads from dreamy clients are great too. We created The Nurture Sequence Template for Wedding Photographers for you! This customizable, plug-and-play template connects you to your dream clients with a high-touch, low-maintenance experience. Get your copy today!

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