It is important to nurture a direct relationship with your clients. Always.
Most people are increasingly over-relying on social media for their communication with audience and clients. Please bear in mind that the social media companies own the platform and simply allow you to host relationships there, however, you are always at the mercy of what they do. Social media platforms come and go, if they were to block your account, you would potentially lose all your connection with your audience. It is a very risky way to manage relationships. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use social media, it is indeed a powerful loudspeaker. But make sure you nurture your client relationships and database.
More and more people are increasingly stepping back from social media, a result of information overwhelm and mental health concerns.
Newsletters have long been an effective way to communicate with your audience. The beauty is that they give the reader – your audience – direct control of what they choose to receive and is therefore very valuable to both you and your clients.
1. Sign up to an email marketing or mailing list platform.
There are many available, many of which require a paid subscription but some also offer a free tier. Using one of these services is incredibly valuable as they will ensure you follow all rules regarding GDPR and email marketing, and it is the easiest way to manage the email list, allowing readers to unsubscribe if they wish.
Mailerlite – I use Mailerlite and love how easy they are to use. Mailerlite offers a free tier until you get a very big mailing list (over 1000 subscribers) and then you can upgrade. You can also do some basic email automations.
Active Campaign – this is a very sophisticated email marketing platform and best suited to those who want to really make use of automated emails and sales funnels. It’s a bit difficult to get used to at first, I’m still learning myself!
2. Embed the Newsletter sign up form on your website
This works a bit differently for every website platform, on WordPress it is very easy to simply add the embed code to your page, you can also link directly to your mailing list provider with the right plugin. Look up the support pages for your website platform for instructions on how to embed yours.
3. Send out a newsletter whenever you have new products & services
Always refer people back to your website where they can learn more, or purchase them.
4. Try sending a newsletter with regular consistency eg. Monthly
Even if you don’t necessarily have new products and services that frequently, it’s nice to touch base with your audience, to nurture your connection. Just like you would do with friends. Refer them back to your website, this is where it’s useful if you have written some blog posts which they can read if interested.
5. Learn about email automations and sales funnels if relevant to you
This depends on your approach to marketing. Email automations are a useful way to streamline your admin. It means you can send specific emails that are triggered by certain events and actions. For example, if you would like to send a friendly welcoming email to anyone who signs up to your mailing list, you simply create a template and set it up so you don’t have to do it manually every time. If there are any emails or admin tasks that could be taken off your plate and taken care of with email automation, then I really recommend doing so. It’s also a more efficient and pleasant experience for a client. You can still personalise them with photos, videos or lovely messages.
Sales funnels are for those who are very active in promoting their products and services. You may be familiar with it yourself already. You will usually receive a sequence of automated emails over a specific time period, often starting with a simple hello and at the end of the sequence you are “funnelled” into purchasing something.
I’ll be honest, sales funnels are not for me, but that’s not to say they are not effective for others. I know a lot of people who have great success with sales funnels, it’s simply not my style and I usually unsubscribe from anyone who tries to do it to me. But you need to do what is good for you. I think there are those who are really good at creating nice sales funnels and some who are pushy with it and it’s the same in the real world with sales people. Your approach will reflect your own personality.
6. Create a Lead Magnet to encourage people to sign up to your newsletter
A lead magnet is basically something you can offer your readers for free, such a free mini e-Book, gift voucher, free download of something, in exchange for signing up to your newsletter. You may notice people doing this a lot in your Facebook ads. Anything that says “sign up to receive our free xxx “ is a lead magnet. You do need to make sure it is something genuinely of value to your readers and relevant to your business and what you do, although it should be relatively easy for you to create or share. For example, I created a free website handbook for people on this website, you can see the landing page. This used to drive traffic from my social media pages to my website. This is a great way to grow your audience if you do it well, and if the people you attract are the right audience for you.