Throughout your time as a freelancer, you’ve probably seen bits and pieces on the Internet about the importance of establishing an email list. The rumors are true. Creating a successful email list can significantly increase your sales.
As a freelancer, your skills may not be within the email marketing niche. However, that doesn’t make it any less important to market your services.
According to Optin Monster, “58% of users check their email before they check out social media or the news” and “99% of email users check their email every day, some as much as 20 times a day!”
With so many people checking their emails every day and so many times each day, there is no doubt that a successful email list is a must-have for freelancers.
Email lists can help you maintain and build rapport with new customers while encouraging repeat business from clients you have established a relationship with.
In addition, when paired with a routine newsletter, email lists can help you establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Think about it. If you regularly appear in someone’s inbox advertising your services and offering advice, they will begin to view you as the go-to in that niche.
While it’s easy to see how an email list could help you further build your freelance brand and business, the steps to achieve a successful email list aren’t always clear.
While the field of email marketing has gained a reputation for being a confusing and involved process, we do not believe it is as complicated as you may think.
There’s a lot to do, so let’s get started! Check out our simple steps for starting an email list for freelance workers:
Setting Up Your Email List
Setting up an email list includes a bit of forethought before you set up a landing page and begin asking people to sign up. There are a few steps you should take to make the process run smoother and to ensure a successful outcome.
Research Your Target Audience
One of the biggest mistakes freelancers make when setting up their email list is failing to get to know their target audience.
Understanding who you are marketing to is crucial to creating content they will want to see and even seek out. To get started, ask yourself these essential questions:
- Who is your ideal customer or subscriber?
- What does your target audience do for a living?
- How can your target audience benefit from your services or product?
- What can you provide as a perk to entice your target audience to sign up for your mailing list?
Once you have answers to the questions above, you can use that knowledge and apply it to your approach in creating email marketing content.
Avoid the common email marketing mistakes freelancers make by reviewing our list of Email Marketing Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Campaigns!
Create a Compelling Landing Page
Think of your landing page as the location where your target audience will go to subscribe to your email list. As such, your landing page should be visually pleasing and uncluttered with a clear call to action.
You can create a simple website with just a landing page, or you can make a full-blown website that includes your landing page, services page, contact page, and even a blog. Whatever route you decide to take, there are some must-haves when it comes to successful landing pages.
- Use catchy headlines, incorporate your logo, and provide a quick description of who you are and your services. If you have room, you can even throw in a few testimonials!
Free Landing Page Builders
- Wix: Known for its selection of attractive templates, Wix is a favorite amongst many!
- Jimdo: This platform is known for its easy processes in building simple landing pages.
- ConvertKit: ConvertKit is a comprehensive marketing platform and a fan favorite amongst freelancers needing to create landing pages.
- Site123: Site123 offers straightforward and uncomplicated steps to setting up a landing page.
Choose Your Marketing Platforms and Autoresponders
This is where some become overwhelmed when it comes to email marketing and creating an email list. Marketing platforms and autoresponders are important to your email marketing efforts, but they don’t have to be intimidating!
In fact, most of the top ones are very user-friendly. Marketing platforms assist in managing email lists, communicating with the audience, and they also provide tools to help you analyze your marketing efforts.
Along those lines, marketing platforms often offer autoresponder services to help freelancers save time and remain consistent.
Examples of automated emails would be welcoming messages, reminders of blog posts, etc. Along those same lines, marketing platforms can help you create automated email sequences.
Automated email sequences describe the messages people receive as a response to an action on your site or their current stage in the process of making a purchase.
For instance, a customer may receive an email reminding them that they have items in their cart. After making a purchase, someone may get an automated email after they make a purchase providing them with a discount for their next visit.
You will find that many marketing platforms also offer options to help you build landing pages. As such, it may be more convenient for you to use the same platform for your landing page as well as for your marketing and autoresponder needs.
Top Easy-to-Use Marketing Platforms:
- Mailchimp is one of the most popular marketing platforms out there and has a free option for up to 2,000 subscribers. After that, the platform has affordable plans starting with its Essential Plan at $9.99 a month.
- SendinBlue also offers a free version of their services with up to 300 emails a day. However, if those wanting to get serious about starting a successful email list may want to consider signing up for their $25/month Lite plan or even their $65/month Premium plan.
- HubSpot starts at $45/month and comes with many amenities, including email marketing, landing pages, and more!
- ConvertKit is listed above for its free landing page options. In addition to landing pages, ConvertKit offers digital marketing services starting at $9/month.
Build Your Email List
Now that you have your landing page prepared and you are ready to go with a marketing platform, it’s time for you to consider how you are going to build your email list.
That is, how will you encourage people to subscribe to your newsletters and content by entering their email addresses on your landing page?
While there are hundreds of ways to collect email addresses, there are a few surefire strategies to gather quality emails from individuals that fit the description of your target audience.
After all, the purpose of building your email list is to reach a wider audience of those who may potentially purchase your services or products.
Gathering emails at random is not as effective as reaching those who may actually be interested in the services, products, and knowledge you have to offer.
Offer an Enticing Incentive
Reflect back on those questions you asked yourself in the beginning about your target audience. Put yourself in their shoes, and think about what you can offer to further benefit your potential customers.
What can you do to entice your target audience to sign up for your mail list? To take it a step further, what can you provide that will keep them coming back for more?
There are a variety of incentives you can offer your audience to persuade them to sign up for your mail list. Here are a few common strategies freelancers use:
- Percentage Off: Who doesn’t love a good deal? If it makes sense for you monetarily, offer your customers a percentage off of their next service or product for signing up for your mail list. This is a proven strategy that works for freelancers willing to give up that 10-15%.
- Enter a Drawing: We’ve all seen the landing page messages that say something like, “Subscribe now for a chance to win___!” While this may not be the most exciting incentive, there are many out there who are willing to sign up for an email list just for the chance to win something.
- Free Signup Gift: This one has high success rates when it comes to enticing individuals to sign up for an email list. Make sure you are willing and able to supply the promised prize no matter how many people choose to subscribe, though!
- Public Shoutout: The power of promising someone a public shoutout will depend upon your potential customers and your social media presence. If you have a large social media following, it could be a great incentive to give shoutouts to those who “join” or “subscribe” to your email list. On the flip side, it may be a lackluster incentive if you don’t have much of a social following.
- Free Knowledge: Offering your target audience free knowledge in the form of eBooks, video tutorials, and other modes of insider info is a great incentive! Of course, it’ll take time for you to create those materials; however, it won’t cost you additional money.
Send Consistent Newsletters
Have you ever heard the saying, “consistency is key”? Once you begin the process of having people subscribe to your email list, it is important to supply them with consistent content.
Your newsletters should offer bits of knowledge about your niche that will benefit your audience, who should be potential customers. In addition, your newsletters should promote your services and highlight the services or products you offer to make their lives easier.
You can even offer those who are signed up to receive your newsletter additional discounts as an additional push and incentive to purchase your services.
Sending routine newsletters is an effective way to keep your target audience’s attention, encourage more sales, and maintain your brand relationship with repeat buyers.
Are you worried that you may not have enough time or the expertise to write a fresh newsletter each week? If so, you may want to consider hiring another freelancer to help you out!
To get started in hiring the right freelancer for the job, consider our article about Copywriting Vs. Content Writing and how to choose the right professional for your needs.
Advertise on Social Media
Even if you have just your friends and family following you, it is important for you to start advertising your website and services on social media. Routinely posting content on your social media will help you build a following and ultimately attract more customers.
Furthermore, your friends and family may know someone who is in need of the services you offer. Some of the highest paying customers come from word-of-mouth marketing!
Not all social media platforms are equal when it comes to marketing potential for freelancers. We’ve compiled a list of the Best Social Media Sites for Freelancers.
Analyze Your Results
Successful email marketing and building your email list include paying attention to what works for your brand and what doesn’t. In the beginning, testing the waters to determine what strategies are best for you is important.
Did more people subscribe when you offered a free signup gift than the time you offered a social media public shoutout? That should be a clear clue about what works to get people to sign up and what doesn’t.
Do you receive more service sales when you include an informative video in your newsletter? Don’t stop now! Continue to offer routine informative videos to continue to build your email list and credibility.
Combine Your Digital Marketing Efforts
Succeeding online as a freelancer includes a variety of combined digital marketing efforts. Email marketing and creating a successful email list is just one piece of the puzzle.
Although there is quite a bit to learn about the world of digital marketing, it is important to remember that it isn’t a race. There’s no shame in learning as you go as long as you always put your best foot forward!
We’re here to support you through the process of building your freelance business. Learn more about how to Scale Your Freelance Business and even how to use your brand to create multiple streams of income.