For the freelance worker trying to grow a small business into something bigger, email marketing is a critical catalyst. Think marketing at the speed of click. And as with other parts of business ownership today, technology has made email marketing a breeze. Affordability and flexibility are two of the main benefits of relying on the Internet for a large chunk of your marketing efforts. If you’ve got the Internet and a message to share, you can use it to your advantage through email marketing.

Let’s walk through the perfect email marketing campaign.

What is Email Marketing?

First, let’s define what you’re trying to achieve by reaching your customers and potential customers through email. At its grassroots, email marketing is a series of strategic messages that you’ll launch to your contacts over a period of time. You’ll either deliver them news-worthy content, or ask them to take a desired action – such as sign up for something or make a purchase.

If done correctly, you can build yourself as a subject matter expert through email. That is, if you’re delivering content that anyone wants to read.

Selecting a Software

Sure you can save all of your email contacts and reach out to them individually with your message. But who has time for that? Email marketing software has streamlined the process and made it easy to send packaged, great-looking email messages to the masses.

The big 4 are AWeber, Constant Contact, I Contact, and MailChimp. Programs like StreamSend or ExpressPigeon cater to the freelancer and small business owner.

After you’ve chosen the program you want to use, it’s time to set up your campaign.

Setting Up Your Campaign

Follow the instructions doled out by your new software of choice to pick a template, audience size and other key variables.

I typically use MailChimp. It’s flexible, user friendly, and allows me to track all the metrics I need.

Here are some useful tips from my experience:

  • Personalize your email. Write as though you’re writing to a specific friend.
  • Make your subject line punchy and limit it to about 40 characters.
  • Use your name in the “from” field, not the company name. People want to read something from another person, not a corporation.
  • Provide your readers something of value before you focus on selling – and the sales will come naturally.

Keep in mind: there are two audiences you need to impress when it comes to email marketing – the humans, and the robots – also known as the spam filters. Since we’re playing by the rules, we’re not worried about legal consequences, but even when we do everything right, some spam filters still misplace our email.

When it comes to staying compliant:

  • Never, EVER send without consent.
  • Tell recipients where you’re located, and use your physical mailing address.
  • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you, and make this easy.

As with the rest of email marketing, there are a number of different opinions out there on the best ways to get ethical email through spam filters.

I hope these tips help you craft powerful messaging that resonates with your audience. In the end, remember that by following a few simple steps, you can maintain an open line of communication with your customers for years to come.

Melissa Cooper

Melissa Cooper

J. Melissa Cooper is an expert in the human resources field, with over a decade of experience and a Masters of Science in Human Resource Management from New York University, as well as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation. She started her own business as a one-woman shop in 2009. Five years later she was managing 400 freelancers.

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