How To Nurture Your Email List

So nowadays people want a little more than that. They're not really interested in the newsletters. They want something that's going to be of value to them. Once you've heard me say a lot on this show is provide value and we always want to be giving something of value. So the same goes for your emails. You want to make sure that you are not just selling to them every time you send an e-mail, because that's a really easy way to lose trust from your audience.

 

Hey, friends. Welcome to the Girl Means Business podcast. I'm your host, Kendra Swalls, photographer and educator on a mission to help you find your passion, your power, and your purpose through entrepreneurship. So let's jump into today's episode because this girl means business. Hey there, guys. Welcome back. The Girl Means Business podcast. You may have noticed a little different intro there. I am changing things up a little bit over here, shaking it up. So I want to start off this episode with just a couple little housekeeping things.

 

One of them being the new intro. So I last month kind of played around the last few episodes with starting the episodes off a little teaser. I think some people got a little confused. I had a couple messages saying the episode started in the middle of the show. It's not working, right? No, that was just me kind of playing around with some new ideas that I have some new intros. So this week, I think I've finally figured out kind of the sweet spot with the new introduction and some new music, some upbeat little tunes there and just kind of shaking things up a little bit.

 

Sort of the same thing I tell people with business all the time. Your business is going to change. It's going to evolve. It's going to grow. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. And that's what I'm doing here at the Gropings Business podcast. Things are starting to kind of grow. I'm getting into a little bit of a groove, figuring out the style and the format that I want this podcast to have.

 

And so just shaking things up a little bit, let me know what you think. I'd love your feedback. I love hearing, which I think so. Feel free to pop over into my Instagram and let me know what your thoughts are on the new intro because I want to make sure it's something you like. All right. Number two on my list of housekeeping topics is something really exciting.

 

I have just launched a new e-book that is now available to all of you listening. It's called Building Your Brand. So last week here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I hosted an in-person workshop for a small group of ladies. And the title of the workshop was Building Your Brand. And it was centered around a lot of the same things I talked about in episode 35 of this podcast. So if you want to go back and take a listen to that, you can.

 

So what I created to go with this workshop is a 46 page work book, and that's essentially what the e-book is. It's a principal p_d_f_, a workbook that you can work your way through building your brand. So it's not just a typical e-book where you're reading through it and getting information. There are places within the workbook for you to actually work through the different activities. I walk you through places for you to fill out information specific to your business and your brand.

 

There's places to take notes and jot down thoughts and ideas. It's a very hands on interactive guide. And for my girl means business. This listener's the Cassella awesome and the best you get it for half off. So head to the link in the show. Notes for the building, your brand of workbook use code VIP at checkout and you get half off of that e-book. So go download it. Print it out. Start working on building your brand so that you have a very clear vision for what you want your business to look like and how you want your business to be represented on social media, on your Web site and everywhere else that your business is being displayed.

 

All right. Last and final thing for a housekeeping before a jump in today's episode is this month's topic.

 

So that one of the things I mentioned I'm doing for 2020 is I want to have more series type groups of episodes. Does it mean that every single episode is going to fall into a series? In fact, coming up after the series will have a couple sort of bonus episodes, we dive into the next series. But for the month of March, we are doing marketing madness. So a little play on some March Madness there for you basketball fans. And we're going to be talking all about the different marketing techniques that you can implement into your business.

 

Now, one of the things I want to make sure we're always doing here on the show is we're sharing things with you that are a little bit outside the box, that are creative and different, a little bit unique. Besides those foundational pieces in those marketing and business tools that every business owner needs, there's also room for some creativity and some things that you may not always think about. And so this month, they're going to dive into some of those.

 

And I've got some really exciting guests coming up.

 

So I can't wait for you to see who they are and hear all of the amazing tips and advice they have for you. So today we're going to be talking about email marketing. But if you go back and you listen to Episode 19, you'll know that I already told you sort of the basics of email marketing, email marketing one a one where I walk you through exactly how to begin an email marketing plan for your business.

 

So today I try to take it to the next level. I'm going to go to step B, which is now that you have an email marketing set up, you have a system in place, what do you do? How do you get clients onto your email list and what do you do? Once they're there, so we're going to really look at sort of the nitty gritty of what should you be sending out to your email list? What should you be saying and how often and how do you make them feel welcome welcomes.

 

They want to stay on that list. So I think it's really, really exciting. And, you know, it takes a notice. Just a hint there. All right, guys, let's go ahead and dive in. All right. So email marketing. Like I mentioned a few minutes ago. You can always go back to Episode 19 and listen to my email marketing 1 0 1 episode if you need the basics for how to begin an email marketing program.

 

That episode walks you through step by step from the very beginning of what platform do you need? How does it work and how do you get people onto your list? So today we're gonna go a little bit deeper and we're going to talk about what to do once those people are already on your list.

 

When I prepare for these episodes, a lot of times what I do is I sort of create an outline of the things I want to talk about and the talking points I want to make sure that I hit. And those are always numbered lists. So I know a lot of you have probably heard on episodes here. I always like to say, well, these are the five things or the three things or the seven things. It's just because my brain works and list and in that format.

 

So today, if I was going to add a number to our list, we're going to talk about five different ways to nurture your email list. Number one is to have a really great welcome sequence and place. So when someone joins your email list through Elite Magnet or a pop up on your Web site, you want to make sure that they are greeted in a way that makes them feel like they are welcomed to your list. That doesn't mean you want to bombard them with emails.

 

Five in one day. But it's a really good idea to have a sequence in place, an automated sequence that's going to help them to feel like that. You are personally welcoming them, welcoming them into this secret club or this private group that they're now a part of. So I have just switched my email marketing program to a program called Flow Desk. And if you haven't tried Flow Desk, if you're looking for an email marketing platform.

 

Guys, this one's amazing because first of all, it's a beautiful like the email templates are gorgeous and they are all ready and done for you. Just gotta pick the one you like and you drop in your information and then it makes people want to open them because they're so stinkin pretty. It's so affordable. You know, I was paying around $80 a month with convert kit, and that's because every time with convert kit that I would add more follow or more names to my list.

 

The more people you have on your list, the more money you pay. And with flow desk, they have a one set price. And so for 38 dollars a month, you get unlimited people on your list, which is great, because that means that you can grow your list without fear of having to pay more every single month. And then they also allow you to create automations, which is my favorite part. And their automation system is super easy.

 

It's very visual, which I like. I like to kind of see the flow that my followers and my email people are going to go through in the process.

 

So if you're looking for a new or a marketing email marketing platform, I highly recommend that you check out Flow Desk and I'm going to share a link in the show notes because if you use the link in the show notes, you get half off your membership for life. And I see that when we're time for the people that weren't really listening this time, you get half off for life.

 

That means that you're only paying $19 a month for life.

 

Guys, that is such a steal because again, I was paying $80 a month, a convert kit. And the other things that convert kit probably does that float us can't or doesn't yet because they're still new. But I don't need all the other stuff. I just need to be able to have all of my people in place. I can segment them into different groups if I need to. I can tag them with different things. I can automate things and I can create beautiful emails.

 

So what more could you ask for? So if you are still looking for or you're looking for a new platform, check out the link in the show notes and get your half off for life with Flow Desk. OK. And now that I was that my little spiel about that. OK. So welcome sequence. Think of it like you meet a new friend at a party and you decide to go have coffee together. So that coffee date is your welcome sequence.

 

It's when you get a chance to really kind of share your story, get to know each other. Guys, the whole purpose behind that email marketing is to build a two way conversation. You want people to feel like that not only are they getting emails from you, but that they can always email you back as well. You want to open up that line of communication and this welcome sequence will do that. So with your welcome sequence, what I typically do is I have an email that as soon as somebody joins my list, they receive a welcome email from me that is personalized with their name, which Flocka Flow Desk allows you to do.

 

And then it goes into a little bit of like who I am and what I can do to help them. It's very short. It's very sweet. It's not super lengthy. It's just a quick like. Hey, welcome, new friend. I'm so glad you're here. Here's who I am and what I can do for you. Then I have four additional emails that I follow up with over the next two weeks or so and they are just helpful information, emails.

 

So, for example, if someone comes into my email list from a wedding leave capture, then I have them put into the wedding welcome sequence specifically for brides or potential brides. And so my welcome email just says, Hi, I'm Kendra. I'm your wedding. I'm a wedding photographer. It's so great that you're here. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Then I go into the second email, which comes after a couple of days. I don't want to bombard them.

 

I don't want to overwhelm them with a ton of information right away. So I'm not going to go boom, boom, boom in five days with five emails. I like to space it out and that just lets them know I'm not going to be with those people that's in your inbox every single day. I'm only gonna be here when I have something of value to offer you or something to say. And so you're setting up the expectations with them right away.

 

And so in that second email, I'm going to have a. Here are five of my top blog posts to help you plan your wedding day. And I'm gonna have five blog posts with a little description or each one and they can click on and go to get Tegan's to my Web site where they'll see the content and hopefully see what I can offer for them as far as photography services. And then it goes on from there. So I create five emails with the final email basically saying, here's what you can expect from me moving forward.

 

I'm not going to be in your inbox every single day. You will hear from me every week with tips and advice and helpful information. And then occasionally, if I am running a special or a promotion, I will let you know about it. If you ever have something you need, please feel free to always hit reply and let me know what it is that you need. This is not a one way conversation. I want it to be a two way relationship.

 

And so in every email I'm trying to get them to do something to come back and say something to me. And a lot of times they do. They will hit reply. They will say, hey, thanks so much. I received this email. You know, I appreciate all the help or whatever they say, even if it's just a quick like, hey, thanks, I got your email. So you're welcome. Sequence is like an extended first date with the people who are coming into your email list because you want to make sure that you wine and dine them a little bit and let them know like, hey, you want to be here, you want to read these emails, make sure that you are paying attention when you see my name in your inbox.

 

So I have an extra little bonus for all to help you build out your welcome sequence. I've created a template for you, so it's a five email template, welcome sequence that will give you a jumping off point, a starting point to build your welcome sequence for your audience. Obviously I can't write it specific to every genre out there, so it's a very generic, so you'll have to kind of add in your own personal touches, but I've given you space to do that in the templates.

 

So if you head down to the show notes, you can grab your free welcome sequence template guide and start building out your first welcome sequence. Because I know a lot of times that that's the overarching part is just the starting. What do you say? Where do you go? So I wanted to take that stress away and give you the words to say right away. So that's not something that is stopping you from creating this great line of connection with your audience.

 

Okay. So number two, once you have a welcome sequence, you want to establish a consistency with how often you are connecting with your audience.

 

Are you going to be sending out monthly emails, weekly emails, quarterly emails? You need to have some kind of idea for how often you want your emails to go out.

 

It's similar to creating content and blog posts for your Web site. How often do you want to be adding that content and it can all tie in together? So I like to keep looking at the calendar and think, okay, what can I do? That's not going to feel overwhelming, but that is still going to keep me relevant and consistent in their inbox. So is that every two weeks? Is it every month? Is it every other month? You know, you have to figure out what works for you so that you can create consistency without creating overwhelm for yourself.

 

So I would suggest if it were me personally aiming for once a month or once every two weeks, I think that's a really good starting point for making sure that you are staying within their relevancy in their email box. They don't forget about you, but it's also to the point where that's an easy to manage amount of content you're having to create. So that brings me to number three, which is what do you say? You know, it used to be that people would send out newsletters.

 

You know, you would say, sign up for my newsletter and every month you would get. This newsletter email where the what have I been up to lately in it? You're a photographer. It might be. You know, here are the sessions I've done recently, or if you're a realtor, it might have been like, here's the houses that I've sold or here's what I have available and add it up. So nowadays people want a little more than that.

 

They're not really interested in the newsletters. They want something that's going to be of value to them, which you've heard me say a lot on this show is provide value and we always want to be giving something of value.

 

So the same goes for your emails. You want to make sure that you are not just selling to them every time you send an email, because that's a really easy way to lose trust from your audience if every email they're receiving from you is buy this or order this or pre-purchase this or hey, I'm having a sale on this, then they're going to stop opening your emails because they know they're being sold to every time. But if they receive emails that on a monthly basis say, hey, here's this great tip I found on how to seasonally decorate your home without having a ton of stuff in storage all the time.

 

Or hey, here's a really great tip on how to get your family excited about their fall family portraits, whatever your topics are, if it's blog post that you've written, share those add like a little teaser snippet into your email and then have a button that says click here to read the full count, the full post and it takes them back to your Web site.

 

Anything you can do, even if it's repurposing content. The same thing as with social media guys. People forget, you know, there's so much information that we're taking in on a daily basis that if six months ago you sent out an email about a blog post you created and you're coming up on time, folk have got to sign another email out to my list. What am I not talk about? Recycle that old content because likely they forgot about it.

 

Or maybe they didn't even open the door because that was during the busiest time of their season or they were sick at the time and didn't check their email for a few days. They just cleaned out their em up in their inbox. You never know. And so don't be afraid to repurpose some of your content. But again, you want to be sharing consistent content that has value. So whether that's blog post tips, advice. You know, if you have a fashion boutique, then you could talk about like, hey, here's some of the latest ways to style this really cool jacket that we just got in.

 

Or hey, if we're going into spring. Let's look at some ways that you can transition your winter clothes into your spring wardrobe. Those are the kinds of things people are going to be interested and reading about. So one thing you can do to help you with your content is that you're not having to sit down the night before and go, oh, crap, I have to sit an email tomorrow. What am I going to say is create a content schedule, is sit down at one point and say, okay, if I'm going to send out one email a month, that means I need 12 emails for the year.

 

So let's look at the first quarter, the first three months of the year. What can I send out in the first three months was January. I can talk about New Year's resolutions and new healthy habits. In February, I can maybe have some kind of Valentine's Day theme in March. I can talk about spring break or getting ready for the spring season. April can be Easter themed. You know, whatever it is that ties in with your business, that's going to offer them something of value.

 

So having that mapped out can really help go into a program like a sonna or Trello and create a board so that each column is the content you want to send out. If it's monthly or every other week or however you have it set up. And then as you think of things, you know, a lot of times I get ideas when I'm driving around or when I'm in the shower or when I'm out working in the yard and I can't just pop onto my laptop and write an email.

 

But if I can pull up my phone and do a voice recording or go into a sauna on my phone and type in on to my email marketing ideas board and say, OK, I have this idea for this email for 4th of July, I want to talk about, you know, safety around kids and fireworks or I want to talk about, you know, family traditions or whatever it might be, whatever the idea was, I'm going to put it down, because then when it comes time for me to create that content, I already have the idea.

 

I just have to put it into a really well-worded email. Also, keep in mind, guys, your emails don't have to be super long. People don't typically read emails that are written like a book. I can tell you from experience when I go into my email account, if I open an email and it's three or four paragraphs long, I'm good. But if I open an email and it is I have to scroll two or three times to get to the bottom of the email, I lose interest and I click out.

 

So don't think that you have to write an entire essay every time you send an email. It can be short. It can be sweet and it can redirect them back to something on your Web site if you want to do that. All right. That brings. Number four, which is called action. You've heard me say this earlier about having like a little thing at the bottom says hit reply and let me know what you think. Or a button that says that sends them to the full blog post on your Web site.

 

Those are calls to action. That's what you want to have, just like with your social media post. You want your emails to have a call to action of some kind. It might be something as simple as, hey, click this link to read the entire blog post or to get your free download or to hear more about the episode of this podcast or whatever it might be. You could also say hit reply if I don't have some place to redirect people to my email.

 

Then I'll just say if you have a question or you have something you want me to help you with. Hit reply. I read every email. I will respond. Whatever is going to make them feel like they're not just being talked to, that you're having a conversation with them and you'd be surprised at how many people are just waiting for you to open the invitation for them to actually reply to you. Think about the emails you get in your inbox.

 

How many of them do you feel like are talking at you and you don't always feel like you have this two way conversation? But then sometimes you receive an email and the bottom it'll say like, Hey, I'd love to know your thoughts on this. Let me know hit reply and let me know what you think. Or Hey, if you have questions, I'm more than happy to answer them. Hit reply and let's have a conversation that opens the door to let them know.

 

Oh, she actually wants to talk to me. She wants to hear from me. And it's amazing how many people will hit reply and say, oh, my gosh, I needed to hear this today. Thank you so much. This was a great tip or this was a great piece of advice or. Oh, I loved this blog post. I'm going to pass it on to so-and-so. They're not even really asking me for anything. They're just saying something in reply.

 

And those are the emails I love because those are the ones that let me know that they are engaged and they feel like they can have a communication with me both ways. So you want to make sure you include a call to action in all of your emails. The same way that you would do with your social media post. All right. And the number five, last but not least, how to sell in your emails, because obviously you are marketing this as email marketing.

 

So while 70 to 80 percent of it is going to be sharing tips and advice is an invaluable content. You also are going to have to sell to them at some point. So when you get ready to create a sales email, meitiv first of all is to not just have one sales email. I hear this law time with other photographers and business owners. They'll say, well, I don't love email marketing because I sent an email about my spring Easter many sessions and nobody booked.

 

And my follow up question is, well, how many e-mails did you send? We'll just the one. Okay, Will. It's the same thing with social media guys. People don't always read their emails or they might and they get busy, life gets in the way and they forget and they don't think to go back and dig through their emails or it accidentally got deleted or whatever it might be. Don't be afraid to have a sales sequence the same way you have a welcome sequence.

 

It can be three to four to five emails. And in that sales sequence you're going to start off with letting them know, hey, something really exciting is coming. I can't tell you what it is yet. It's really exciting, though. Just know to keep an eye on your inbox the next couple of days because I'll be announcing it on Thursday of next week or whatever if you want to give them a specific date. One of the fun things about the flow desk email templates is there's one that has like a countdown timer on it.

 

So when you get ready to do like a really cool sales thing, you can be like, hey, I've got a really exciting announcement coming up in four days. Make sure that you check your inbox in four days and you can add in like a little countdown that lets them see a live countdown of when that is happening. And so giving them something to get excited about is a great way to kind of lead into your sales sequence. And then once you have like the excitement built and you can even have two emails that are kind of building excitement.

 

So you could say a week before say, hey, I've got this really exciting thing coming, I can't wait for you to hear about it. Make sure you keep an eye on your inbox and then maybe two days out, you say, oh, my gosh, guys, I'm super excited. In two days, I'm announcing this really exciting thing in your in your email. It's exclusive to my email list.

 

So make sure you check your email on Tuesday or Friday or whatever day that's going to be. And then you have your sales emails. So obviously the first one is going to be the big announcement. It's it's the biggest sale of the year. I'm doing many sessions. We're offering the special event. I've got this new product I'm launching. Whatever your big sale is, you're going to make it like it's this huge celebration. And then you want to make sure obviously you have a call to action.

 

You have all the hype. So you've got the two emails leading up. You have the sales email that's super exciting and colorful and pretty and gets people excited and makes them want to click the buy now button. And then you're gonna have wanted to follow up emails where you say things like, hey, did you see my announcement last week? We've got this really exciting thing going on. Make sure you check it out. And then the follow up is going to be, hey, guys, just one job and remind you in case life got in the way, I know things get crazy and busy.

 

We've got this really exciting thing coming up. It ends on this date. And again, you can add an a timer because people need to see it. They need to know that they are on a time limit. So if you're announcing that you have a sale going on in your business, but it's only a sale that lasts for two days or a week, you want to make sure they know that if you're doing sign ups for a mini session and you have to have it signed up by a certain date in order to get the mini session price, let them know that.

 

So now in this sale sequence, you've had one or two emails where you build excitement and get them excited and interested. You have your big announcement sales email and then you have one day, two or three follow ups if your event or your sale has like a specific end date. Then you want to make sure towards that end date you're really saying like, okay, this is your last chance. You want to sign up, you want to get the special, you want to shop now because again, guys, life gets in the way.

 

People check their email first thing in the morning. Okay, I'm going to come back to that. And then within an hour or two, they have moved on to something completely different. So don't be afraid to follow up. So that sale sequence, again, that doesn't need to happen all the time. But if you're gonna have two or three big events in your year, big marketing things, then you want to make sure those are a entire sequence and not just a one random email that goes out that says, hey, I've got this really great thing coming up.

 

You build excitement, share your big news and then follow up and make sure you remind them that it's happening. And again, like I just said, there's more to go. But I want to make sure I reiterate this, guys. This is not something you're going to do every single month. This is something you're going to do. Maybe once a quarter. But probably more like two or three times a year. This is your like big sales push.

 

Obviously, you can come in at different times if you have like a little thing here and there that you want to promote. You can add those into your regular emails, the bottom. Be like, hey, P.S., by the way, don't forget, you know, I have senior sessions are now booking up or hey, we're getting our new spring line coming in a couple of weeks. Make sure you come check it out. Those are little things you can slip into those sort of regular emails that you're sending out on a consistent basis.

 

These sales sequences are for these big pushes that you want to make sure you drive a lot of people, too. All right, guys, so. That is a little bit of a deep dive into how to use email marketing and your business email marketing, I think is something that not enough people are using in their business right now and it really is huge. I think that, you know, with social media being so much noise and it's such a battle to fight for the algorithm and getting seen and noticed, email marketing puts you directly in people's inboxes.

 

It gives you a direct line to your ideal clients, you are literally going to be in their email box, you're gonna be on their phone, on their computer. And yeah, they can delete it. They can move and they can ignore it, whatever. But at least they're seeing it. Whereas with social media, you don't always know that they're seeing it. So if you're not utilizing email marketing, I'm going to challenge you that in the next couple of weeks.

 

I want you to give it a try. I want you to go download that welcome sequence template that I have for you in the show notes. I want you to use that welcome sequence to create something for your new members on your on your email list and start seeing if that opens up a line of communication. I want you to start seeing if that doesn't get people more engaged in your emails and then continue it on from there. Create a content calendar, start setting out monthly emails or weekly emails or how often you want to do it, but just build it up.

 

It's like the analogy I give a lot which is going to the gym if you just do it one time. You're not going to see results.

 

So my challenge to you is to give it a chance, give it a couple of months pre schedule your emails and you can have the automated welcome sequence automatically goes that without you having to lift a finger, but then go ahead and schedule out four months worth of emails and see how what it does for your business. You can take one day and sit down and schedule out those four months or three months or however long you want to give it and you can create the emails.

 

You can schedule them to go out on a certain date and then you'd want to think about it. But I think that you're going to notice it has an impact on your business. I think you're going to notice if you're asking people to reply to these emails, you're going to start getting emails back and you're going to start realizing that you have people who are enjoying the content you're sending out and they want to connect with you. That's the great thing about email marketing, is that that connection feels so much stronger than a comment on a Facebook post or a like on Instagram.

 

It has so much more power and it goes both ways. All right, guys, thank you so much for tuning in this week. I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did, please go. Leave me a review. Let me know what you thought. Let me know what other topics you want to hear about coming up in future episodes. Those reviews mean a lot. So I really appreciate you taking a time to go. Leave me a quick review.

 

All right, guys, have a wonderful week. I will see you back here next week. Same time, same place.

 

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