Email marketing consistently delivers the highest ROI of any other marketing you can do for your freelance business.
One thing that I wish I had known when I first started my freelance business was to start growing our email newsletter list from day one.
When I started working hard on growing my freelance business, I put a lot of my focus into Facebook and Instagram, which worked great at first.
I was seeing amazing traffic and the work I put in to growing those social media channels was starting to pay off.
And then suddenly, Facebook changed their algorithm and my website traffic crashed.
And shortly after, Instagram changed what my followers saw their feed and once again, the website traffic for my freelance website took a big dive.
I quickly learned that the only thing I have complete ownership and control over is my email newsletter list.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest. They are all owned by someone else and could be taken away from us at any moment.
But once you have someone’s email address, it’s yours forever. No one can take that away from you.
- 91% of people check their email every day.
- You get their undivided attention when they open and read your email – no tweets or flashy instagram posts to distract them.
- When implemented properly, just a single, well-executed email marketing campaign can bring in a ton of revenue.
- One recent study found that 53% of marketers believe email marketing delivers an “excellent” or “good” return on investment.
Below is my guide to how to start an email newsletter list for your business.
Ready to skip ahead and get your email newsletter list started with our recommended provider? CLICK HERE.
In this article:
Why should you start an email newsletter?
Whether you have been running a freelance business for years or just starting out, your email list is going to become the most vital part of your freelancing success and here are 5 reasons why:
Email will get you in front of your clients regularly
Chances are your reader found you on Facebook or while they were googling something.
They have probably never heard of you before and the odds are not very high that they will remember you or come back to visit your freelance website or portfolio on a regular basis.
Unless you can capture their email address.
By sending out an email regularly and reminding clients or potential customers of your freelance website and the good content that you have over there, you will have a customer for life.
You cannot get in front of someone on any other social media platform as easily as you can with an email list
Email will help to grow your freelance website traffic
We know of freelancers who will send out an email every time there is a new post on their freelance website because it’s a great way to get the traffic started.
You know the saying “If you build it, they will come”?
Well, it doesn’t apply to your freelance website.
You could write the most amazing articles and have zero page views.
You can push your content on social media, but only 5-10% of your followers on Facebook will see it, Pinterest takes a few days to really start to see any type of return and it’s really just a gamble with how much traffic you will see with that work.
However, if you send out an email to your email list (even if you are just starting out and only have 5 people on that list), you are going to be in every single person’s inbox and have a much higher chance of them clicking over to your freelance website.
As your list continues to grow, it can become a powerful tool to help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
Let’s say you have a list of 10,000 email addresses.
If you have a 20% open rate (meaning that 20% of your list opens up the emails that you send), suddenly you have 2,000 people who open that email and see you have a new post.
If even 10% of those people click through to see that post on your website, that’s 200 people who are looking at your one post in a short amount of time.
That is amazingly powerful.
I know that many people have ranked on the first page of Google searches from using their email to get traffic.
Don’t feel overwhelmed or discouraged that you don’t have 50,000 email subscribers.
I know people with email lists of less than 1,000 who are having fantastic amounts of success.
You have to start somewhere.
Email adds a personal touch that helps you to build relationships
People will sign up for your email list because they obviously like the things you share and want more.
In their eyes, you are an expert in your freelance sector.
When you send them emails, they are going to be excited to see you land in their inbox.
They like you and trust you enough that they want to keep seeing more of what you have to offer.
I love using my email list to ask our clients questions or for their input or sharing little personal pieces of my freelance work.
Readers love feeling that their opinion matters to you.
By sharing those personal stories, people can make a connection with you, which makes them like you even more.
Building up the trust and connection with your email list is key.
Email is the best way to sell your freelance services
Even if you don’t have a freelance service to sell right now, you just might down the road.
Selling your freelance services is your main source of income and you may never see success without an email list.
If you spend a long time building up trust and sharing things with your clients each week, so when you sell them your first freelance service, clients are ready to buy.
The money is in the email list.
Email is a great way to help grow your social media channels
The more you can get in front of someone, the more likely they are to click through to your website.
Chances are that your reader is not following you on all your social media accounts and email is a great way to remind them all the places you share your content.
You can run giveaways or contests on those various channels to help them grow even faster and use your email list to promote that giveaway.
Even though I talked about how you don’t own those social media channels, they can still be used for good in so many ways, so I recommend growing those social media channels at the same time you are growing your email list.
Make sure that you invite your followers on social media to also join your email list.
How do you start an email newsletter list?
Whether you are just starting out or have been freelancing for a long time, you need to start building an email list.
It should be one of your top priorities as a freelancer.
So, how do you start an email list? Here’s what we recommend:
Sign up with an email service provider.
You do not want to run your email list through a private Gmail account or another free personal email service.
It would be too difficult to manage a large email list and they actually put a cap on how many emails you can send out.
The great thing about email service providers is that they will help you capture new email subscribers, help you write and create emails and newsletters, organize your subscribers and help you segment them, which is powerful if you ever want to sell a product or service.
They also help organize all the info that you need once you send an email (how many people received it, how many people opened it, and how many people clicked through with the links you provided).
The email provider that we recommend, especially for those just starting out, is Constant Contact.
Here are a few reasons why:
They offer a free 60 day trial
When they say free, they mean it.
You don’t have to enter a credit card number to get started.
It gives you a two month head start on growing that email newsletter list and testing out all the features to make sure you love it.
When the free trial is over, their prices are comparable to what other email service providers cost.
Hopefully by that time, you will have already started building an email list and can make enough money to cover the cost.
It’s easy to use
After years of running an email newsletter for FreeTrain, we have tried a handful of email providers.
Some of them were so complicated that we had to hire a professional just to teach us how to use our own email service.
You definitely don’t want that.
Constant Contact keep it simple with many drag-and-drop templates that look professional and will stand out from other emails your readers receive.
Drop in your logo, a picture and link and your email is done.
And it looks good too.
Advanced Tracking and Features
Even though Constant Contact is great for beginners, it also offers a lot of features and tracking tools that you will want as you advance in the freelancing world.
What’s great is that these features are available from day one, even with the free 60 Day Trial.
You can track your open rate, best time of day to send email, mobile vs. desktop, bounce rate, links that are clicked, etc.
You can even send out a few versions of the same email to compare which one gets more opens and more clicks.
So, when it comes to getting started with email, I recommend Constant Contact.
Click here to sign up now.