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Have you heard about email marketing? Did you know how cheap email marketing can be for your handmade business? This week I wanted to do something a little bit different. I’m going to give you a sneak peek! Let’s pull back the curtain about some of the things we’re talking about inside my monthly membership, Creative Entrepreneur 101. In this article, you’ll see the first lesson of a 3-part series to get started in email marketing as a handmade business. 

In this first lesson, there was just so much value and so many take-aways that I wanted to share it with you. If you’d like to access the entire workshop, I invite you to join us inside the community. Each month, we cover new topics and new workshops are released. Plus, you’ll have instant access to all of our past workshops and bonus’s. To learn more, just click here.

Email marketing is a really great method to launch new products, and have more consistent sales. These strategies that we’re going to go over are really effective in creating a genuine relationship, and a clear linne of communication with your customers. It makes it so you know more of what they want, and what’s actually going to sell for them. It’s just an overall, really good practice for you to have in place. Email marketing can feel overwhelming to a lot of people, but I’m going to break it down. Here’s a really easy, step-by-step for entrepreneurs that have no idea what email marketing is, or how to get started. Take my advice, it gives an immediate leg up in your handmade business.

email marketing

#1. Why Is Email Marketing Important?

First, we’re going to talk about why you need it. Firstly, you create more return buyers. Secondly, you create a more consistent line of communication that’s a lot more personal. Most people will follow a large amount of people on social media, but you don’t have control over when your customers see and when.

On social media these days you can’t control when your followers are going to be seeing your products.  You have to play to the algorithm. They might not even show up on social media that same day!

There are a lot of different factors that can go into place. With sending an email, you can schedule it for Friday at noon, knowing that you have a new product that you’re going to be releasing Thursday night, or even Friday at 10:00 pm. You’ll know exactly when all of your people are going to be receiving it, and you know that they’re going to get it. Plus it doesn’t cost too much! It’s a huge way that email marketing is different than social media. 

email marketing

#2 You Own Your Own Information

Another thing that’s really impactful with email marketing is, you own your email list. Now, a lot of people had built these huge platforms, and had these huge followings on the beginning social media sites, like Myspace. As we know, those platforms are gone now. Between the algorithms and the fact that social media platforms in general can be trendy and might go away, it can be problematic. All of your following, everybody that you made contact with on that platform can’t find you anymore. But your email list, you have forever.

No matter what happens with any algorithm, no matter what you have time for, you can sit down and write an email when it’s convenient for you. You can schedule it, and know that your list is going to receive it. That’s pretty big! Also, 91% of people use email. That’s higher than any social media platform. All people use email, and it’s really affordable and very easy to measure. You can really use this to see how your time is affecting your bottom line, and your business.

We now will learn the benefits of email marketing and why it’s impactful for your handmade business. You can follow along, and we are going to set up an account with ConvertKit, which is my favorite email provider. I’ll go into why it’s my favorite, but really, pick what feels good for you. If ConvertKit doesn’t resonate with you, or if you’re already set up with somebody else, don’t panic! Don’t make things difficult and switch everything around! I’m going to show you exactly what I do on my platform of choice, and it will apply to any email platform.

We are going to grow your email database marketing list. We’ll brainstorm and release an opt-in, which is also known as a lead magnet. That way, you have something that you’re saying, “Hey, I have this awesome free printable, or this cool checklist that’s really going to help your customers.” Another good example is, “Oh, you get this exclusive discount code,” or another cool perk that will incentivize people to sign up for your list. That way, you’re not just saying, “Hey, sign up for your email list and I’ll send you stuff sometimes.” It makes it a lot more genuine and easier to share because you’re adding value.

#3 Valid Questions To Ask

Now, before we go further, I think it’s fun to cover some numbers and resources, because these are the hard facts that get you excited about what you are doing. There are a lot of questions that entrepreneurs have about whether email marketing is really beneficial for their specific business.

The number one question that I get is, “But what if I annoy them?”

I get it, because we all have an inbox that can potentially be filled with spam, and that can be frustrating. We don’t want to be one of them, but 91% of US adults like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with. (Data from marketingsherpa.com)

I mean, think about it. When it comes to sales like Black Friday, or a brand that you just discovered, you’re excited to get their emails. You’re excited about their products. From that angle, it’s really a disservice to not be sending your customers emails. If you do it right, it adds value, that makes customers more likely to get excited. It becomes an easy way to increase your sales.

The next question that I get is, “I don’t want to waste my time.” I get it. Your time is valuable, and as orders start piling up, you really need to start prioritizing where you’re spending your energy. You want to grow your handmade business, and not just turn your wheels and exhaust yourself. When you do that, you’ll just get burnt out, and it’s not fun anymore.

Here is a statistic that is impactful. Email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined at helping your business acquire new customers. Now, that is huge. If you’re somebody that ever finds yourself scrolling on either Facebook or Twitter, you can understand this better immediately. If entrepreneurs were to invest that time into their email marketing strategy, what would happen? That time goes into growing a cheap email marketing database list, and it’s really going to make a big impact in your handmade business.

The next question is, “Does it actually increase sales?” Now, email marketing is more likely to drive sales than social media marketing. (Data from Optinmonster) There are several reasons for this. Number one, on your email list, your customers feel like they’re really getting to know you. They’re getting messages directly from you to them. It’s a little bit more of a personal experience. It feels more like you’re exchanging letters. On social media, where you’re blasting things out to everybody, it doesnt feel the same way.

You can be a little bit more vulnerable, and a little bit more personal in your email list. It gives a direct way to share backstories of your products. You can ask your customers questions, and ask them to reply. it can really start real-time conversations with your customers. That is invaluable and helps you increase your sales.

Now, diving in, which email  marketing database platform are we going to be using today? As I mentioned before, any email platform is great. If you’re already set up with Mailchimp, or somebody else, don’t freak out and switch over. I really like ConvertKit, and the reason being is that ConvertKit can grow with you in a really seamless way. When I first started, ConvertKit only had paid accounts. They now have a totally free account where you can collect up to 1,000 subscribers for free. They have beautiful landing pages and forms. Another thing that I really love about ConvertKit is its deliverability rate. What is deliverability rate? It’s the rate of likelihood that that emails actually are getting delivered into your customers’ inboxes, and not going to a spam or a promotions folder. ConvertKit has a high rate!

This is important, because if you’ll be spending time writing these emails, you want to know people are actually getting them  into their regular inbox. ConvertKit also has the ability to segment and tag your list. We’ll go into that more later, but basically, it allows you to categorize the people on your list so that you can send different emails. You can base it on what people have purchased, and how often they’ve purchased. If they’ve purchased anything yet that can be really helpful and handy.

It can be very helpful to set up systems. Every aspect of your business, if you can batch your time and automate as much as you can, can be like machinery. If you have better systems, then it’s less overwhelming and you’re able to grow without it being stressful. It creates time to make incentives to get your customers excited to subscribe to your list.

email incentives

#4 Create Real Incentives

It also makes it a lot more organic and authentic for you to invite people onto your email list when you’re creating something of value and giving them something really cool in return, so that then it doesn’t feel as much like a, “Hey, do me this favor and sign up for…” situation. It makes it just a lot more of a fun-adding value to your customers and your future customers.

As we’re creating incentives, (or opt-ins, or ‘lead magnets)  It gives us a strong basis to start a relationship with new customers. We’re not going to just be telling people, “Hey, I really want you to sign up for my email list.” because that can feel a little bit pushy. Instead, we’re going to get customers excited to subscribe by offering them something for free! Whether it’s a checklist, a free printable, or some helpful little guide that we’ve created, it gives value. Some other ideas are  coupon code, a percentage off for signing up for classes, or tools and worksheets. Maybe it’s a discount or a free small gift, or maybe it’s free shipping on their first order. The point is that something like that makes a better incentive in exchange for their email address.

To market this new, free, awesome offer or great discount, we are going to share it all over the place! This will  help build your email marketing database list and get you off on the right foot. Now, we can share your new opt-in through social media. You can create Instagram posts and Facebook posts and share this. It can be included in your shop announcements in the header or in the banner. You can even mention it in your listing descriptions to add some more value. Another great idea is a form on your website, easily add a link to your email signature, and even mention it via your Thank You note inside all of your product orders.

email marketing

I’ve also seen people add a little binder or a clipboard if you’re at a physical location. That way, they can receive your freebie, or your free printable, or your discount code by signing up for your email address there. It’s important and so much more impactful, and it feels less salesy to have there be an incentive or that perk to signing up for your email newsletter, because it makes it more of a two-way street.

email marketing

 I hope you found a lot of useful information here that you can use to level up your handmade business. Ready for even more support and resources? Check out Creative Fashion Blog for more articles  to help handmade business and fun craft projects! Access exclusive workshops, masterclasses, and courses, create a personalized growth strategy, and take advantage of new workshops every single month covering the latest techniques and strategies to grow a profitable handmade business inside my private community, Creative Entrepreneur 101Happy Creating! 

Lisa Mecham