You’ve been dreaming of this day for as long as you can remember. The day you finally get to indulge your passion for cooking by taking a few hours out of your day to bake a loaf of bread or whip up some lasagna. Well, that day has finally come! You can now put all those hours of practice into action and prove to the world that you are indeed a great cook!
What will your masterpiece be? Maybe a rustic Italian cottage loaf studded with herbs and garlic or a delicate French tarte tatin? No matter what it is, the world is going to be watching (and judging, of course).
You may be wondering, how can I take my cooking skills and turn them into a money-making business? This is where email marketing comes in!
What is email marketing?
Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes for a second. Imagine that you’re reading a news article about food trucks, and in the corner of the screen is a bright little popup with a video of a chef putting food into their mouth. Just a little bit beyond that is an email sign-up form inviting you to learn more about getting started as a food truck entrepreneur.
That is, in a nutshell, email marketing. You are trying to drive website traffic to a specific landing page or funnel. From there, you can convert them into paying customers.
What is a food truck?
A food truck is a mobile restaurant that comes to your neighborhood to feed the masses. Sometimes they come in really big groups, blocking off a whole city street. Other times, you’ll see a lone truck cruising the neighborhood selling cupcakes and other finger food to passersby.
You may be asking yourself, how does this relate to my business? Well, the sky is the limit!
With a food truck, you don’t have to worry about finding a roof over your head or paying for parking. All you need is a love for food and a desire to make money off your gastronomical delights!
Why should I try email marketing?
Let’s be honest, you’ve been using social media to promote your business for years. You may have even considered SEO a bit too much of a hassle to be worth it. Well, you’ve been wrong!
It’s true that Google is getting smarter and smarter about discerning the real intent of your website content. So if you want to rank highly in organic search results, you’re going to need to do more than just post regularly on social media.
But SEO isn’t the only game in town. With a little bit of effort and a whole lot of creativity, you can harness the power of email to grow your business.
Why should you try email marketing?
Let’s dive into that question a bit more deeply. First, understand that everyone on the planet has an email address. Second, know that when someone clicks on a link in your email, they are taken to a new location (generally a website). This could mean thousands of people have access to your website content simply by entering their email address on a given day.
Now, knowing this, it’s time to stop thinking about SEO and start thinking about email marketing!
Where do I start?
Like any marketing channel, you’re going to need to choose your platform. There are a number of tools that can make the process of establishing an email marketing campaign a bit easier. But first, you should assess your needs and try to keep things simple.
Do you already have a website? If yes, you can use that as your starting point. For the best user experience, move away from relying on third-party mail-service providers and establish a self-hosted email marketing program using a robust platform like MailChimp or Campaigner.
If you don’t have a website yet, fear not! There are other, simpler ways to get started. For instance, you can use a tool like GetResponse to get an email address from your new Google account. With their free version, you can start building out your email list with up to 500 subscribers. Once you have a good number of subscribers, you can move to a paid plan or continue to grow your list with a tool like ConvertKit.
Setting Up A Mailing List
Once you have an email address, the next step is to establish a mailing list. A mailing list is like having a large audience of potential consumers who have opted-in to receive information about your business. When you mail a promotional email, you are essentially sending the email to everyone on your list. So, if you’ve been waiting for that elusive paid gig as a freelance writer, here’s your chance!
If you use MailChimp, you can create a simple list sign-up form with the service’s built-in templates. Alternatively, you can use a tool like AWeber to create a landing page that serves as your email opt-in form.
Plan Your Approach
Having a clear plan is essential when doing anything, let alone marketing via email. Before you send that promotional email, you need to have a clear idea of what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. So, take some time to brainstorm ideas and get those creative juices flowing!
You also need to consider what platform you will use to communicate. Bear in mind that you’re not just limited to email. You can use Instagram stories or Facebook posts to drive traffic to your website or landing page.
Choose A Theme
After you’ve got an idea of what you’re going to say in that email blast, it’s time to pick a theme. You have a couple of options here. You can either choose a formal or an informal topic, which has the potential to guide your email content.
If you’re starting from scratch, it’s best to choose an informal discussion as the theme for your initial email marketing campaign. This can be a fun and relaxed way to get your feet wet with email marketing, and after all, isn’t that why you got into this business in the first place?
If you already have a blog or a website, you can choose a more formal topic for your email marketing. For instance, if you’re discussing food trucks, you can use the theme “how to establish a food truck business.” Remember, no matter what the theme, your goal is to attract, engage, and convert website visitors into paying customers.
Once you’ve chosen a theme for your email blast, it’s time to move on to the next step: writing the email copy. Like any other form of copywriting, you’re going to need to choose your words carefully and hit the nail on the head with your writing. To get the best results from your email marketing efforts, you need to ensure that your email copy is both compelling and succinct.
When you first sit down to write your email copy, be honest with yourself. Can you sum up your argument in a brief and compelling email pitch? If so, then you’re ready to move on to the next step. If not, then it may be a good idea to hire a freelance copywriter to polish your writing for you.
Create A Compelling Call To Action
While it’s good practice to include a call to action in every business email, those looking to grow their email list will appreciate additional calls to action in their inboxes. A call to action is a hint as to what action you want the reader to take. In the world of email marketing, those actions can be pretty much anything. Typically, you’ll want the reader to click a link, make a purchase, or take the next step in the buyer’s journey.
Choose An Email Marketing Service Provider
Now that you’re equipped with a bit of an idea of what you’re doing and have a general idea of what you’ll be pitching, it’s time to choose an email marketing service provider. You have a couple of options here. You can either choose a free plan or paid plan.
If you go with the paid option, make sure you’re aware of any deadlines or limitations. Some companies only provide a certain amount of email marketing credits per day. So, if you run out of credits early in the day, you’re out of luck. Paid plans also usually charge more money than free plans, so consider the price vs. value analysis before making a purchase.