For years I didn’t think I needed an email newsletter. I was blogging and building a social media following. Wasn’t that enough?
Yet, I kept encountering articles about marketing insisting that email was a must. Finally, I decided to give it a try, albeit begrudgingly.
At first, I really didn’t know what my newsletter was for.
All those articles stressing the importance of email failed to mention what the emails should include! I spent the first six months experimenting with all aspects of my newsletter until finally I arrived at an email strategy that I loved and could stick with.
And it worked! My email newsletter is the #1 driver of sales to my online shop. It increases my blog traffic exponentially and it helps me develop a closer relationship with my biggest fans.
An email newsletter is effective (and essential) for many different types of businesses, not just a craft product-related business. Allie Olson, owner of Indiesew, a curated online marketplace of women’s garment patterns and fabrics, raves about her email newsletter as well. “As far as he efficacy of our newsletter,” she says, “I can tell you it’s our single most effective marketing tool at driving traffic and sales.”
As the holidays approach, now is the time to build a mailing list and start sending emails that your subscribers look forward to receiving.
Here are five things you can do right now, and continue to build upon in the coming weeks, to grow your list so that it will be as large and as healthy as possible when the holiday shopping season begins:
1. Energize old blog posts. If you’ve been blogging for a while you’ve probably got some evergreen posts that seem to be perpetually popular. Make those posts email list building workhorses! First, edit them to add an email sign up button at the bottom. The button could read, “Like this post? Sign up for my newsletter and get more just like it!”
And second, add content upgrades. These are worksheets, checklists, or other digital printables that enhance the post’s content. How can readers get the extra freebie? By signing up for your list.
2. Use strong, affirmative, and specific language in your opt-in. Everyone’s primary question when deciding whether to share their email address is, “What’s in it for me?” So tell them, and be confident and proud when you do. Allie’s says, “Receive the latest posts, tutorials, news, updates, deals and announcements right to your inbox! Emails are sent about once per week, unsubscribe anytime.”
Notice the affirmative and specific language she’s using. It’s very convincing!
3. Put a not too intrusive, polite pop up on your site. Pop ups have a bad reputation; they cover up the page, they’re hard to close, and they’re just overly pushy. And yet they persist. Why? Because pop ups work. Do a little experiment. Note your average number of newsletter sign ups per day. Then try a small, slide-in-from-the-side pop up on your site for a few weeks and note the change in number of sign ups. I’m willing to bet it doubles.
Allie has a really effective pop up on the Indiesew site. “We have a newsletter signup form that pops up in the lower right-hand corner of each blog post after a person has scrolled down a bit. That has been really effective at getting subscribers,” she says. Try it!
4. Convert your Instagram followers into newsletter subscribers. When it comes to online marketing for crafts Instagram can’t be beat. Get those Instagram followers on your mailing list and they’ll go from passive admirers of your work, to active customers. Every few months post a picture and caption on Instagram with the specific intent of converting your followers into subscribers.
Don’t forget to change your profile link to your opt-in link to make signing up quick and easy!
5. Write a remarkably good newsletter. And finally, create a newsletter worth sharing. If the content of your email is valuable to your readership, people will rave about it and share it organically with their networks. Word of mouth recommendations are the strongest possible form of marketing and those come naturally when your email newsletter is remarkably good.
Want more tips like these, plus lots of creative ideas about what to put in an email newsletter so that your subscribers enjoy reading it? Watch my class, Email Marketing for Crafters, on CreativeLive. We’ll look at case studies including Indiesew and more, and help you formulate your own solid email marketing plan.
Follow along live for free on Tuesday, August 18. See you there!
Are you ready to start selling your handmade craft projects?
Download our free PDF: Etsy 101: A Guide to Getting Started! This comprehensive collection of notes, worksheets, and slides from Marlo Miyashiro’s class, Etsy 101: Launch Your Handmade Shop gives you the tips and insights you need to launch a successful Etsy shop!