Hello, friends! Today, I’m so excited to walk you through cheap email marketing basics for your handmade business. This topic is something that a lot of handmade business owners overlook. By implementing what you learn in this article, you’ll be giving yourself a nice leg up. These strategies are really effective in creating a genuine and good relationship with your customers, and even nurturing future customers that haven’t placed orders with you yet.
Email marketing is a great method to launch new products and have more consistent sales. It helps develop a clear line of communication between your customers so you know more of what they want and what’s actually going to sell. Having an email marketing plan is just an overall good practice to have in place, but can feel overwhelming to a lot of people.
In this article, I’m going to break it down, really easy, step-by-step for people that have no idea what email marketing is, or how to get started. That way, you have a leg up in your handmade business.
But first, we’re going to cover why it is so important. As I mentioned, cheap email marketing is great because it encourages repeat buyers with your consistent line of communication. On social media, you don’t have control over when your customers are going to be seeing your products on social media. You have to play to the algorithm. They might not show up on social media that day. There’s a lot of different factors that can go into place, whereas if you send 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. And you know exactly when all of your people are going to be receiving it.
Another thing that’s really impactful with email marketing is, you own your list. If you remember a few years ago, a lot of people built huge platforms and followings on Periscope and Myspace. As we know, those platforms are gone now. In between the algorithm and the fact that social media platforms, in general, can be trendy and might go away, and then all of your following can’t find you anymore. But your email list…. that 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, and schedule it for when you want your list to receive it. That’s pretty big. Also, 91% of people use email. That’s higher than any social media platform! Plus, it’s really affordable and very easy to measure.
Next, we are going to set up an account with ConvertKit, which is my favorite email provider. If ConvertKit doesn’t resonate with you (or if you’re already set up with somebody else) don’t panic and switch everything around. These strategies will apply to any email platform.
Next, we are going to actually grow your list. We’ll brainstorm and release an opt-in (which is also known as a lead magnet for big business people) to grow your list.
That way, you aren’t “selling” but instead sharing a new, awesome resource. After all, Isn’t easier to say, “Hey, I have this awesome free printable… or this cool checklist that’s really going to help you.” Or, “Don’t forget to snag this exclusive discount code to save some extra money!” It makes the conversation significantly more friendly when you 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.”
Top Cheap Email Marketing Questions
Now, before we go further, I think it’s fun to cover some numbers and resources because these are the hard facts that get me really excited about what I’m doing and where I’m spending my time. The following questions are ones that I get from makers about whether email marketing is really beneficial for their specific handmade business.
But will I annoy them?
The number one question that I get is, “But what if I annoy them?” I understand because we all have inboxes that can get flooded with spam. That can be frustrating and 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. This is from marketingsherpa.com.
But seriously, think about it! When it comes to Black Friday planning or a brand that you just discovered, you’re excited to get their emails because you’re excited about their products. From that angle, it’s really a disservice to not be sending your customer’s emails. What differentiates your newsletter from spam is that we are going to build an email list in a way that adds value, makes them excited, and that also increases your sales.
But I don’t want to waste my time….
The next question that I get is, “I don’t want to waste my time.” I get it because your time is valuable, and as orders start piling up, you’ll need to start prioritizing where you’re spending your energy. That way, you’re growing your handmade business and not just turning your wheels and exhausting yourself. If you exhaust yourself, you’ll get burnt out and it won’t feel fun anymore.
I’ll just spend my time on social media….
Most people don’t know that 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, just know, if we were to invest that time into your email marketing strategy, and put that time into growing an email list, it could make a big impact in your handmade business.
Does it actually increase sales?
The next question is, “Does it actually increase sales?” Cheap email marketing is more likely to drive sales than social media marketing, according to Optinmonster. On your email list, your customers feel like they’re getting to know you. They’re getting messages from you to them. And it just feels like a little bit more of a personal experience, like you’re exchanging letters, than social media, where you’re blasting information out to everybody. You can be a little bit more vulnerable and a little bit more personal with your email list because these are your real people. You can share the backstories of your products. You can ask your customers questions, ask them to reply, and really start real-time conversations. This is invaluable. And, yes… helps increase your sales.
Which Service Provider Should I Choose For Cheap Email Marketing?
Now, diving in, which email platform are we going to be using? As I mentioned, any email platform is great. If you’re already set up with Mailchimp, or somebody else, don’t freak out and throw in the basket and switch over if it’s inconvenient. I happen to really like ConvertKit. The reason is that ConvertKit can grow with you in a really seamless way. When I first started, ConvertKit only had paid accounts. Now, they have a totally free account where you can collect up to 1,000 subscribers before ever paying for their monthly service. You can even create beautiful landing pages and forms with their free membership.
Another thing I really love about ConvertKit is its deliverability rate. Basically, that means the emails you send from ConvertKit have a much higher likelihood of actually getting delivered into your customers’ inboxes, and not going to a spam or a promotions folder.
I feel like this is really impactful. After all, if you’re going to be spending the time to be writing these emails, let’s make sure the largest amount of people are actually getting it. Also, ConvertKit has the ability to segment and tag your list. Basically, it allows you to categorize the people on your list so you can send different emails to them. You can categorize/ or segment your list based on what people have purchased, how often they’ve purchased if they’ve purchased anything yet, et cetera. This can be really helpful and really handy.
As we’re creating incentives/ opt-ins/ lead magnets, 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 or a free printable, or some helpful little guide that we’ve created, maybe it’s a discount or a free small gift, maybe it’s free shipping on their first order, something that will really help to give them value in exchange for their email address.
Some ideas for us to brainstorm for incentives could be a coupon code, a percentage off, tools and worksheets, a mini-guide, or any other kind of free download. To market this new awesome offer, we are going to share it all over the place to help build your email list and get you off on the right foot.
Where to share your new email Opt-in
Now that your newsletter is set up, you can share it through social media. You can create Instagram posts and Facebook posts to promote this. You can include it in your shop announcements in the header or in the banner. You can mention it in your listing descriptions to add some more value. You can include a form on your website, add a link to your email signature, and even mention it via your Thank You note inside all of your product orders. Don’t forget to add a binder to your next craft fair when those start opening up. That way, they can receive your freebie/ free printable/ discount code by signing up for their email address.
This approach to building an email list so much more impactful, and it feels less salesy. I believe it’s best to offer an incentive/ perk for signing up for your email newsletter because it makes your communication more of a two-way street.
I hope that this article was helpful, impactful, and gave you a good jumping-off point. I hope it gave you some new ideas to grow the reach of your handmade brand!
If you are just getting started with your handmade brand or have sold less than 1,000 items, I recommend you reserve a spot in one of my upcoming free workshops!
In this totally free workshop, you’ll learn:
- The top 3 best-selling handmade items you can start making this weekend
- The formula top-selling business owners use to price their handmade creations
- How to do market research and decide if a project is worth selling
- The myths that hold most creative entrepreneurs back