Alright Creative Business Owners…this post is for you! (and there’s an awesome (time-sensitive) offer at the end of this post so hang tight!)
Ever heard that phrase “building your list” ? It’s a concept that I wish I came to understand the value of so much sooner than I did. I understood building your followers and your likes. Getting friends and family and clients to all “like” my Facebook Page, and even “follow” my Instagram.
But as you have probably heard a thousand times now, I am here to remind you again, that you are not in control of those platforms. Which means that as valuable as they are to help market your business to the world, they have the power to switch things up whenever they want. Change the algorithms. Lessen your reach. Shadow ban your hashtags. Even delete your account. (not likely, but I’ve heard AWFUL stories!)
Last year I made a huge commitment in my business to start taking email marketing more seriously. To actually develop a strategy, and to no longer let that free Mailchimp account I created forever ago- that was sitting there with barely 100 subscribers that I never emailed- be the definition of how I used email to grow my business.
Now, I think that it’s important to be collecting emails and building your list, even before you have an exact plan for how to use it. Not having a sign up for emails much earlier in my business is one of my biggest regrets! So even if you landed on this blog post with no concrete ideas beyond reading these words, know that it’s incredibly beneficial to be collecting those emails so that WHEN you have that big idea, WHEN you know you will be traveling to that city, WHEN you create that awesome sale or promotion, or WHEN you have that big plan in place, you already have the right people to send it to.
To have a sign up form, or what we call “opt-ins”, you first have to decide what email marketing platform you want to use!
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing systems, and is what I chose to use in the very beginning. Mailchimp is a great place to start because they offer a FREE plan for accounts with less than 2000 subscribers. Many creatives love Mailchimp because of their easy to use drag and drop designer, providing you the opportunity to create pretty, branded emails.
But when I got more serious about email marketing, I moved over to Convertkit.
I found that it wasn’t easy to send targeted emails to different audiences through Mailchimp. What I mean by that, is I have some emails that I want to send out to only other photographers about business and branding, and other emails that I only wanted to send out to potential clients about booking my services. With Mailchimp, I was basically stuck with sending the same emails to everyone- no matter what their interests or needs were- because categorizing your subscribers based on those different things was really difficult for a non-tech savvy gal like myself.
What I love about Convertkit is that you have one main subscriber list, but you can create tags and segments really easily, and even automate how that happens, so you don’t have to think about it- and you can be very, very specific! This essentially allows me to have a very organized and detailed subscriber list so that I only send people emails that are most interesting & relevant to them. This is hands down one of the best features of Convertkit in my opinion!
When I first looked at Convertkit, I had some hesitations.
1. It didn’t have a free plan. Their lowest plan is for accounts under 1000 subscribers, which is currently $29 per month. When you reach over 1000 subscribers, the monthly rate jumps to $49 a month. BUT my sales & bookings increased immediately because of the intention I could now use with targeted emails & sequences, so it already paid for itself.
2. It didn’t offer those pretty, branded emails I was used to in Mailchimp. BUT my emails also now land in primary inboxes much more often, rather than always being buried in promotional folders or spam because they don’t LOOK like such a “salesy” email anymore.
3. I was worried that switching from Mailchimp to Convertkit would be super techy and confusing. BUT it wasn’t. It was actually much easier than I anticipated.
When making my decision I also looked into other platforms such as Infusionsoft and Aweber, but Convertkit ended up being the very best fit and what I needed my email marketing to do for me, as well as my budget. I appreciated that I could start at a reasonable monthly payment, and only pay more as my list grew- knowing that a bigger list, meant bigger profits for my business.
Now it’s your turn. What do you REALLY need your email marketing to do for you, and what platform best fits those needs? Here are some of the questions I myself considered when deciding between Mailchimp and Convertkit:
1. Is it more important for you to have a free account as you get started, or is it more important for you to send targeted, specific emails? (Mailchimp is free, Convertkit provides more targeted sending options.)
2. Do you prefer pretty, branded emails with a lot of graphics and images even though your emails most likely will end up in your subscriber’s promotional email folders, or are you willing to sacrifice “the look” and have better open rates? (Mailchimp can be more visually appealing and image oriented, but Convertkit emails land in main inboxes more often in my own experience.)
3. Do you feel more comfortable just collecting emails for now, avoiding any additional monthly expenses until you have a solid plan for how to increase your profits using email? (Mailchimp has a free plan, Convertkit currently starts at $29 a month.)
Obviously there are other platforms to consider as well. Whatever you decide, this is your very first step towards using email marketing to grow your business this year! Repeat after me, it is NOT TOO LATE to see significant growth in my business for 2017!
But here’s something super exciting and the reason I decided to share this on the blog with you today: Convertkit is giving me a special link that gives you a FREE 30 DAY TRIAL!!!! They have never given this to me to share before, so make sure you take advantage! This is an awesome opportunity to jump in and explore the platform (and if you’re anything like me, become completely excited about how it’s going to help grow your business)
CLICK HERE TO GET 30 DAYS OF CONVERTKIT FOR FREE!
Important** This Free 30 Day Trial Link expires Monday, July 31st at 11:59pm CST.
*this post contains affiliate links.