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I’ve talked to many practitioners in different modalities over the years and I see how they struggle with the ups and downs of whether or not their appointment book will be full. Or how to keep things on track when they take time off.
It’s tricky for sure.
That’s why developing a solid email marketing strategy is so critical to long-term viability if you want a life that allows a little freedom from that appointment book.
If you want to venture into offering products, webinars, workshops, or courses both live or online, books, or developing other means of income, then this is a great tool to help you have success with those.
And even if where you are starting today with a need to fill up your schedule with clients, email marketing is going to help you do that.
Email Service Providers
To start with, you’ll need to sign up with an email service provider. This is not the same as running things out of your business email account or your Gmail account.
Please note it doesn’t have to be expensive – and can even be free to get started.
Both of these offer free options to get started. You’ll want to compare the functionality. On the homepage of each of these, you can scroll down to the footers and find comparisons of their service over other email provider services.
Other companies that come highly recommended are Convertkit (this is what I use) or Active Campaign. While they don’t have free options, they do have some pretty powerful tools. Just like with anything, each platform has some similarities and a lot of differences.
Of course, you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s hard to ask the questions if you don’t know what situations might come up as you grow your email-marketing plan.
While you can’t run an email marketing campaign effectively or securely from your personal email account, you can export your email contact list to these programs.
Once you do that, you can review the CSV export file (a spreadsheet format) and remove anyone who doesn’t belong in this list. Then you upload it to your new email service.
Most important to note is that you must have permission to add someone to your email list or you could run up against CAN-SPAM, CASL, and GDPR requirements.
You need to have some type of evidence that they asked to be on your list. This might be a document they completed when they first met with you where they provided their email address to you. If they are a client and they are in your business or personal email contact list, probably they gave permission.
Most programs give you an unsubscribe option automatically so you don’t have to remember to add it at the bottom of each email.
The nice thing about going with an email service provider is that they keep you up-to-date about regulations.
Each provider will have tutorials as well as having support teams via chat and/or email. Once you’ve done your review of the different providers, create an account. And if it all seems overwhelming, start with MailChimp.
If you are new to all of this, sign up for any training you can get. But the number one key is Keep it Simple!
With these services, you can do things like build landing pages, offer ads and coupons, etc.
There is so much functionality and you just take it one step at a time. If the only thing you use it for is to send a once, twice, four times a month email to your list, that is fine.
Consistency is key.
Now, I say this and yet I know the struggle it can be when you have so many irons in the fire and responsibilities to attend to. ’So, lay out a plan and keep it ridiculously simple to begin with.
There are always things which will apply to certain business models and not others. The best plan is the one you can stick with. If you get complicated or try to learn it all before you start, chances are you either won’t start or you won’t continue.
You don’t have to be a perfect writer.
Many people don’t get started with emails – or blogging or anything writing-related because they are afraid to show up as less than perfect.
Let me stop you right there. Authenticity is better than perfection. How are you true to yourself while doing a good, professional job? What does being a professional mean to you? How much are you navigating? How much is a façade? And what does this have to do with writing?
If you are writing a professional email to your audience, yes, they come to you for your expertise. But they also come to you because you provide a certain energy and trustworthiness.
So, think of an email or a blog post as a way to share your expertise in your own way. That’s the thing that sets you apart. Some folks will like it, some folks won’t. That’s okay.
When you start to communicate from that place of being genuine, the process is more relaxed and uplifted. It also makes it easier to find the right words – because they are your words.
As far as typos and grammar, it’s important to pay attention but don’t miss out on the benefit of email and content marketing because you’re worried about if you have the occasional typo or comma in the wrong place.
There are some great tools you can use either from inside your word processing system like Microsoft Word or Pages for Mac.
An excellent resource is an app you can put on all your devices called Grammarly (www.grammarly.com). It is a top-notch editing and proofreading tool. It will highlight all the changes it thinks are possible and give you a simple or a detailed explanation for them. You can accept or deny the changes.
How do I know if it is working?
What should you expect? It really depends on what you give. Once clients get used to seeing your emails, you’ll get a better idea of what is working and what needs improvement. You can review the analytics which tells you things like open rates, click-throughs on links inside your emails, and more.
Once you send that first round of emails to get your feet wet, you can then start taking it to the next level by split-testing or A/B testing your headlines. Your email service provider will have great tutorials on how to do this.
YouTube has fantastic informational videos available on email marketing and for each email service provider like MailChimp, MailerLite, ConvertKit, etc. Sure, it can be a rabbit hole if you aren’t careful.
That’s why I suggest starting with tutorials from your email service provider. Once you test out what they show you, you will have better, more fully-formed questions to ask which then makes YouTube a go-to resource. First, you have to know what you don’t know, right?
If you need help with creating content for your audience, we offer stock content to a limited number of companies. We also offer custom writing and content creation.
We want to see you succeed so drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what kinds of things you want to see.
Until next time,
Owner of Be Well Content and Be Well Books