by | May 14, 2024 | Copywriting | 0 comments

Grow your list and connect with your customers on your terms

When it’s so easy to connect with potential customers social media platforms, you might think you don’t need to worry about email marketing.

But it can also be a trap.

You might have thousands of engaged followers, but on social media, don’t belong to you. Not only are you competing with lots of other noise. Relying on social media to build your business is like building your house on someone else’s land.

One wrong move, a simple mistake or a glitch in the platform and you could lose your account and your followers overnight.

I often describe social media as the door, and your website as your house. And email marketing? Well, it’s like a regular invitation for your followers to come and check out what’s new at your house.

In this blog, I’m going to explain the 7 simple steps for successful email marketing.

  • Defining goals
  • Choosing your platform
  • Building your list
  • Creating engaging welcome emails
  • Writing outstanding content
  • Measuring and analysing
  • Nurturing and segmenting your list

If you’re ready to kick start your email marketing journey, read on.

Why is email marketing so important?

As I mentioned above, having your followers on your email list means they are yours. You can decide when and how to contact them.

But it’s more than that.

Email marketing can:

  • Provide increased opportunities to build your brand
  • Foster higher customer retention and loyalty
  • Create better customer relationships
  • Deliver personalised, targeted messaging and valuable customer insights

With the right set-up, your email marketing not only works for 24/7 but scale as your business grows.

1. Define your email marketing goals


Why do you want to communicate with your customers?

Do you want to:

  • Increase sales
  • Boost website traffic
  • Improve customer retention
  • Launch a membership or new offering

What your goals are will influence your email marketing strategy.

For me, email marketing is about improving customer retention and driving traffic to my website. And it’s about building a community. That’s why I send a monthly newsletter. I probably only send a ‘salesy’ email a couple of times a year.

In contrast, if you’re an ecommerce business, you’re probably emailing customers on a much more regular basis. This might be to let them know about sales or new products.

2. Choose your email marketing platform

There are loads of different platforms to suit different budgets and businesses. I started on Mailchimp, which was free for up to 500 subscribers. The free platform didn’t allow me to create automations. But I could create tags (thanks to some help from a Mailchimp expert) so I could send my 5-email welcome sequence.

While my list is still under 500, I moved to Active Campaign at the end of last year. I wanted the flexibility of segmenting emails and sending different sequences. Right now, I send a 5 email sequence when someone signs up for my list.

I’m hoping to run some in-person and online training this year. So I wanted to email that group before and after the training before adding them to my list.

Key features to consider when choosing a platform:

  • Automation
  • Templates
  • Analytics
  • Cost
  • Size of your current list (and how big you want it to grow)

The best platform will depend on your budget, your goals and how tech savvy you are.

Here are a couple of articles about the different platforms:

3. Build your list

I won’t lie. This part can be slow. And it takes work.

I wish I’d started collecting emails when I first started my business, even if I wasn’t ready to send a newsletter.

Depending on where you are, there are different rules about collecting email addresses. Fortunately, most platforms have this built in.

Before you think about how to collect emails, think about what you can offer.

For ecommerce, offering a discount or free shipping on the first order is pretty standard, and easy to set up.

But for a service business, we need to do a bit more work. This often involves creating a lead magnet, like a checklist, template, or free webinar.

What you offer will depend on what you do.

But focus on providing something free that offers value to the people you want on your list.

Here are some suggestions for (legally) collecting emails:

  • Have a sign-up form on every page of your website (see below for a note on pop-ups)
  • Include a call to action to join your list on every email you send and on social media
  • Make collecting emails part of your onboarding process for new customers
  • Share your sign-up link on presentations and flyers (QR codes are handy)

4. Create a welcome sequence

Once you’ve gone to all that trouble to create a lead magnet and get someone to sign up to your list, you don’t want to leave it there.

By creating a welcome sequence of 5-7 emails, you can engage your new subscribers and deliver value. If your focus is on signing people up to a list for a launch, you might send your emails over a shorter timeframe. But if you’re going for a softer approach (say a regular newsletter), you can leave a few days between each email.

An email sequence starts by delivering your lead magnet and you want to create a positive impression. Asking a question (in all your emails is a great way to improve engagement).

The next few emails are an opportunity to show how you can help them. Show you understand their pain points, provide a case study or social proof and offer to help. Your last email (especially if you’re planning to launch a product or service) will be the call to action. You might choose to finish your sequence there, or get in touch to re-engage (especially if the offer you’re sharing has an end date).

Something worth noting is the format of your email sequence. Keep it plain. That means no images, fancy graphics or banners. You’ll have a much better chance of the emails being delivered.

5. Write awesome content

What you include in your emails and how often you send them is up to you.

I send a monthly newsletter, and I try to stick to a similar format every month. It makes it so much easier to come up with content. My newsletter is a mix of fun, behind-the-scenes content and some tips (often as a blog post). I also use my newsletter to share content from my clients and business buddies.

  Include your newsletter in your content calendar, and keep a list of ideas to topics to include. Something that has always been popular are links to guest content.

Unlike the welcome sequence, which should be plain text, I include images and graphics. This breaks up the content in my newsletter and makes it more appealing. Most platforms have templates you can use, but I usually duplicate my previous newsletter and use that as my template.

I always ask a question, and I love getting replies. It’s a nice way to add some extra personalisation.

6. Measure and analyse

These analytics can also help you see when you should send your email. I try to send my newsletter on the second Tuesday or Wednesday of the month. But someone I follow sends their weekly email on a Saturday morning. I rarely work on a weekend, but I still check emails and because it stands out, I usually read it.

Most email platforms have good analytics that will show you how your email performed. Look at how many people opened it, and which links they clicked.

7. Review list and segment

As you build your list, segment it so you can connect with different groups of people. Segments might include previous customers, people who have attended training. You might want to segment people based on their location. How you segment them will depend a bit on how much information you ask for.

When people sign up, I only ask for their name and email. But I could segment them based on engagement with my emails, or whether they are someone I know or have worked with before.

Some final thoughts

So, what do you think? Are you ready to start building your email list and sharing awesome content?

And if you need help to write your emails or lead magnet, check out my new email marketing packages.

I’d love to hear from you.

Hi, I’m Angela Pickett, an approachable copywriter with stellar communication and organisational skills. 

I’ll help you transform your ideas into logical arguments and engaging copy, creating straight-talking sales pages and winning websites.

I acknowledge the Ngadjuri, Peramangk and Kaurna people as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which I live and work. I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. I pay my respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

I work with people from all backgrounds, beliefs and experiences. I believe everyone should have the freedom to be themselves and be valued for their differences. It’s what makes our world go around.