This week we spoke to Lisa May, founder of The Mentor Society and In The Retail, creating guidance, information and training for small business owners. Nicki had an IG Live chat on Instagram with Lisa May, discussing all things email marketing. Here’s what you need to know…
Why start an email list?
Lisa calls email marketing ‘the silent seller’. Unlike social media, you’re not a victim of algorithms – your emails will get sent to whoever you send them to. They have a 100% hit rate!
You can contact your email subscribers whenever you like – you own it! Emails also let you tell a truly engaging story, by talking about multiple topics, offering lots of lovely images of your products and showing off your branding.
You can also give multiple, direct links to ANYWHERE on your website, social media or selling platforms that you like – you’re not tied into a LinkTree or Instagram link, or one link on a Facebook post – you can give as many as you like, and send people where you want them to go.
What should the content be?
Lisa suggests using the Serve / Serve / Serve / Sell method – give your audience something three times, then on the fourth time you can sell to them. Use this pattern everywhere – from your social media content to your email content planning.
You can use this Serve / Serve / Serve / Sell method in your email content as follows:
Section 1: SERVE – In the first section of your email, begin with asking your reader how they are then update them on what you’ve been up to with your business – perhaps you’ve been doing up your office, running a collaboration, sourcing new suppliers and so on. A little behind the scenes info feels personal and is great for making a connection with your audience.
Section 2: SERVE – Show some customer love. Share recent testimonials or pictures that people have shared on social media of your products, to show how your customers interact with your brand and thank your current customers for their feedback.
Section 3: SERVE – Begin this section with a ‘Did you know’ or ‘Have you seen’. Share VALUE with your audience by directing them to a freebie or some useful information, such as a great podcast they can listen to, an interesting fact about your industry or the materials you use, or even a popular book you’ve just read and would recommend.
Section 4: SELL – Show your audience what’s new and where they can buy from you, with clickable links to buy your products. Make it as easy as possible for them to buy from you!
How do we capture email addresses?
Give people a reason to sign up to your mailing list. You don’t need a website, you can create a form for people to complete (such as a Google form), and connect that to your email platform.
- The best way is to offer a discount code. This doesn’t have to be a sale – it could be free delivery, but this is the number 1 way you’ll get people to sign up. BE STRATEGIC – add a limited time frame for the code, to drive urgency and get people to buy in.
2. Offer a free download. Look at ‘how to’ guides, in lockdown there was lots of free downloadable colouring activies offered, and so on.
3. A competition or giveaway. For example, say there’s a link in your Insta bio to sign up to your mailing list, and then they’ll be entered in a prize drawer to win.
What email platform do you recommend?
MailerLite is free up until a high number of subscribers, so it’s a great one. It’s easy to use (a drag and drop system), you can schedule emails and once you’ve sent an email you can set templates so it’s easier to compose an email next time.
MailChimp is also easy to use but you can only have up to 2000 subscribers for free, and we at Pedddle use Flodesk which is a good one (but you have to pay for it).
To comply with GDPR, you must ensure people sign up and OPT IN. They must also have the option to unsubscribe any time.
Data storage is also a key – you must be securely storing data. Platforms such as MailChimp and MailerLite keep the addresses for you, so you don’t need to have them on your laptop in an Excel spreadsheet – which could be unsafe.
Outline how you use the data – confirm it won’t be sold to third parties, that you’ll simply use your emails as a newsletter to highlight your work, website and blogs etc.
You can find out more about the GDPR regulations here.
More about The Mentor Society
From now until Monday 5th October, you can sign up to Lisa’s The Mentor Society – a set of modules where you can learn more about topics like email marketing, sales funnels, gaining exposure via Pinterest and so much more. Click here to find out more.