It’s guest expert time! And today I have someone who is an absolute guru on all things email marketing, one of my favourite topics, Aleya Harris of Flourish Marketing. She’s going to share 6 top tips on how to use Email Marketing to Drive Sales. So I hope you’re ready.
An effective sales strategy is all about building relationships rooted in trust. When people know who you are and what your brand represents, they’ll be more likely to buy your products or book your services.
However, developing connections with your ideal clients can be challenging in an increasingly digital world — particularly one facing the repercussions of a global pandemic.
Engaging your audience online involves a multi-directional strategy, using channels like your website, social media profiles, and third-party publications. While these are vital elements of a cohesive marketing approach, email marketing is where the money lies.
When you build an email list of interested prospects, you have a captive audience that wants to learn more about what you and your business can do for them.
Each email serves as a stage for you to present your brand propositions and unique selling points in the hopes of converting leads into paying clients. You get the opportunity to give them a taste of your brand experience, so they can get an idea of how wonderful it will be to work with you.
Yet, email marketing isn’t a matter of throwing a sales pitch into your subscribers’ inboxes every week. Instead, you need to establish trust and position yourself as an expert through nurture campaigns before you can cut to the chase and push for the sale.
Follow these six steps to begin building your email list and create compelling content that inspires your prospective clients to take action.
Identify your Ideal Client Avatar (ICA)
When you try to sell to everyone, you end up selling to no one. Honing into your ideal client allows you to craft targeted messaging that addresses their specific pain points and provides custom solutions.
Consider the type of client you love working with most and develop a fictional profile of your “perfect” client. Map out their demographic and psychographic traits to understand their key influencers when making a purchase, and figure out where they tend to hang out — not just in person, but online.
Develop a compelling lead magnet
People are understandably hesitant to hand over their email addresses for nothing, so you need to offer them a free-but-valuable piece of content that makes the transaction worthwhile.
There are many types of lead magnets you can test with your audience, but the most common ones are PDF guides, quizzes, checklists, video series, or infographics that help to address their biggest problem.
You don’t want to give away the secret recipe, but you should provide enough meaningful information that your subscribers begin to see you as an expert source.
A few examples a wedding pro might consider could be a week-of-the-wedding checklist for couples or a guide to choosing one’s wedding party members.
Choose an Email Service Provider (ESP)
Using your general email account for email marketing is an unnecessary burden when there are so many platforms that streamline the process to save you time and energy.
ESPs can be linked to your downloadable to capture, tag, and segment email addresses as they come in, taking the legwork out of list-building. A few of the top choices on the market are ConvertKit and Flodesk, which tend to have higher deliverability rates than their competitors.
Design a landing page for your lead magnet
You’ve got your downloadable and you’ve set up your ESP — now you need to start attracting people to your site. Rather than direct them to your home page, a landing page serves as a customized page specific to your lead magnet offer.
It’s as simple as building a brief form to collect first names and email addresses. Asking for too much information upfront can discourage people from completing the form.
Don’t worry; you can always gather more info later in the sales funnel. For now, you just want to add them to your email list.
Craft your first nurture drip campaign
Remember: Email marketing is about relationships. Just like you wouldn’t propose marriage on a first date, you shouldn’t kick off a new email relationship with a sales pitch.
That’s an easy way to earn a quick unsubscribe! Instead, write a sequence of three to five emails that positions your clients as the center of the story.
Speak to their pain points, empathize with their objections, and provide steps to solving their problem. While these emails should always include a strong call-to-action at the end, the focus should ultimately be on the reader. In the final email of your sequence, you can lay it on heavier and directly ask for the sale.
Your email sequence can then be added into your ESP and set to automatically begin once a new subscriber is added to your list. I recommend spacing out the emails so they get a new one weekly.
Promote your lead magnet with ads
With your email marketing funnel in place, it’s time to start directing people towards your landing page so you can begin capturing email addresses. Experiment with social media ads to see where your ideal client spends the most time.
Facebook is always a solid first choice, as its ad platform is comprehensive and allows you to directly target your audience.
Building awareness of your brand offerings is at the top of your funnel, at which point your email marketing sequence will guide interested leads through the bottom stages of your funnel—interest, desire, and action.
Email marketing is the key to building real, personal relationships with prospective clients, as it gives you access to one of their most valued spaces: their inbox.
When you show up regularly with content that piques their interest and solves their problems, you are demonstrating your expertise and reminding them why you are the best one to address their needs.
To support your journey, I created a free Email List Building Roadmap Implementation Guide by Flourish Marketing, which will walk you through the list-building process and the tools you need for a successful email marketing strategy.
Aleya Harris, CPCE is an award-winning marketer and former chef and catering company owner. She is the owner of Flourish Marketing, an agency that provides marketing education, strategy, and tools to help wedding and creative professionals get and keep a consistent stream of clients. Aleya is a StoryBrand Certified Guide. She uses that narrative-based framework to develop clear, engaging, and highly converting marketing assets, like email sales funnels and social media solutions. Aleya is the current Marketing Committee Chair and Black Caucus Chair for NACE and a top speaker at conferences like Catersource and The Special Event.