Why Designers Should Create an Email List + How to Do it
As a designer you need to develop and utilize each opportunity to market yourself and acquire new business. Email marketing is a great way to present your work in front of a number of potential new clients and show them all of your creative possibilities.
In this article we are revealing why you should start building an email list TODAY, and the most effective ways to do it.
10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD START BUILDING AN EMAIL LIST
1. EMAIL REACHES YOUR CUSTOMERS MORE EFFECTIVELY, COMPARED TO FACEBOOK OR TWITTER
2. ACCORDING TO VENTUREBEAT, EMAIL IS THE CHANNEL GENERATING THE HIGHEST ROI
3. EMAILS HELP YOU DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS AND BUILD TRUST
4. MARKETERS GENERATED 174% MORE CONVERSIONS WITH EMAIL THAN SOCIAL MEDIA
5. EMAILS HAVE AN AVERAGE CLICK-THROUGH RATE OF 3.57%, COMPARED TO 0.07% FOR FACEBOOK AND 0.03% FOR TWITTER
6. WITH EMAIL LISTS YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT POTENTIAL CLIENTS FORGETTING WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU DO
7. EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS ARE FAR MORE LIKELY TO BECOME YOUR CLIENTS
8. AN EMAIL LIST IS THE ANSWER TO HAVING YOUR WORK SEEN AND YOUR SERVICES PURCHASED
9. USE EMAILS TO OPEN A DIALOGUE AND LEARN ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMERS AND THEIR NEEDS
10. BUILDING AN EMAIL LIST IS EASIER (AND CHEAPER) THAN BUILDING A SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWING
Email lists could literally be a game-changer for your business. One of the benefits of email marketing is its adaptability. You can easily tailor emails based on the needs and behaviours of your target group, and group emails by segments such as:
- Subscribers’ job function
- Subscribers who have made a purchase in the past
- Subscribers who responded to the last email
- Subscribers that have opt in on a certain page of your website etc.
- Subscribers which are fellow designers whom you offer courses or coaching
For example if you are a graphic designer, you can send emails presenting your work which is of interest to your potential clients working in a startup environment. The email may contain latest trends in the design of branding materials as well as sample work that shows your unique skills in the design of logos, business cards, memos, brochures, or anything else from the branding kit. You can also create an email that targets social media marketers by sharing your work THEY would like to see, like design of social media images, article images, infographics etc. You can also sell your own digital or physical products!
You can use your email list in a number of ways to deepen your level of engagement with your audience of prospective clients.
Email is a more effective and inexpensive way to reach your audience. People don’t want to share their email with everyone so if someone has agreed to share his/her email with you than he/she is really interested in what you have to offer. It is a sign of trust. In order to reach a good number of people on Facebook or on other social media platform you have to spend a lot of money. The number of people you will reach for free on the social media platforms versus the number of people that will open you email is much, much lower.
With so many businesses promoting their products or services online it is very hard to build trust and quality relationships with potential clients. Create smart and effective email sequences that will show you are a trustworthy, reliable, and professional designer, and make your subscribers eager to receive your next email.
Taking the time to create an email newsletter will strengthen your personal brand and get potential and existing clients to know, like and trust you. Keep demonstrating your expertise and share relevant content that will position you as a professional in the specific field of work.
With email marketing you could increase the visits to your website, blog or online portfolio. Keep your subscribers engaged, ask them to share with you topics that they would like to see in the next newsletter and even ask for feedback on your design work.
“…[the newsletter] is a reminder to your client base that you are there and ready to work. And if it hits their email at the right time, you’re in!”
Kellie Frisell, freelance graphic designer
HOW TO START BUILDING AN EMAIL LIST THAT CONVERTS, IF YOU’RE A GRAPHIC DESIGNER, WEB DESIGNER OR OTHER CREATIVE PROFESSIONAL?
There are many various ways to build your email list: through your projects, through interesting content, personal networking, through social media, on your site, community platforms and other sites.
1. Add opt in forms to the right places on your website, blog or online portfolio. Place a sign up option on the top of your home page which sits at the top of a browser no matter where you scroll. Entice your website visitors to sign up by providing a certain value in exchange of their email.
“Get 10% off everything FOREVER by subscribing to our list”
Under each article on your blog is also a great place to set up a sign up form. Invite the readers to sign up in order to receive more information on the topic of interest.
2. Create a landing page by coding it yourself or use one of the many tools that let you set up a landing page within few minutes.
3. Create a popup to grab users' attention. There are many different options to set up pop ups on your website or blog. You can create a popup that appears at a certain section of your page, after a certain amount of time, and even use an exit intent popup which appears when someone tries to leave your page.
4. Set up your call to action button on your Facebook page. Choose between the options of “Sign up” or “Send email” to bring more subscribers to your email list.
5. Post a link in your skype status to a landing page with a call-to-action to a valuable offer.
6. Use LinkedIn. Encourage people to sign up by placing a link to your landing page on your LinkedIn profile overview or experience section. Export your LinkedIn contacts and send them a targeted email with incentive, asking them if they would like to join your email list.
7. Send an email to clients after the successful completion of a project.
8. Ask for referrals from past clients. Ask them to share your link to your opt-in offer or newsletter with acquaintances that are part of your target audience. For every referral that becomes your client you can offer a $100 discount on the next service.
9. Provide incentive based on your target needs. Carefully think about the incentive you will use to get people sign up. You could offer free fonts, a help guide, 10-minute evaluation of prospective client’s website, or maybe a limited time promotion.
10. Be as personable as possible. The easiest way to craft an email is to send people content that you would like to receive.
WHICH EMAIL SERVICE SHOULD YOU USE?
Their FREE plan allows for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. There are many options that let you customize your sign up forms which can be easily embedded to any page of your website, and integrated with Facebook as well. You could run A/B testing campaigns, choose from a number of beautiful templates or code your own. Use MailChimp to send out newsletters, build landing pages and easily create sign forms on your website, blog or online portfolio.
AWeber pricing options range from $19/month for up to 500 subscribers and unlimited emails to $149/month for 10,001–25,000 subscribers and unlimited emails. The available features include segmenting, analytics, sign up forms, library of 6.000+ stock photos and 700+ templates.
This is another paid email marketing tool. Their pricing option range from $29/month for up to 1,000 subscribers and unlimited email to $79/month for up to 5,000 subscribers. One option that really sets apart this tool from MailChimp and AWeber is the integration feature that allows for a seamless transition from MailChimp, Infusionsoft, AWeber and others.
There are many email marketing tools available out there. However in our opinion MailChimp is the one you should go with because of their easy to use interface and the free plan which provides numerous options not found in the lowest price plans of the paid for providers.
If you are looking to promote and sell your design services, an email list is your most important client building tool.