Do you mostly use social media to promote your creative business? Do you realise that email marketing is about 10x more effective to reach the right clients and to get sales?

Do you know why? Here are 8 reasons why email marketing is effective for your creative business:

1. everybody in the world has an email address 

Almost every human being in the world has an email address. That’s a fact.

In 2020, the number of global e-mail users amounted to 4 billion, and is set to grow to 4.6 billion users in 2025.

You might think that ‘everybody’ is on social media … but do you realise that there are 3x more email accounts in the world than Facebook and Twitter combined?*

2. Your email contacts want to hear from you!

You might not like the ‘new’ GDPR rules but email works … exactly BECAUSE it’s permission-based.

ONLY include people on your email list who have given you permission to get in touch via email.

In fact this is a huge advantage of email marketing: People have deliberately given you their email address details. That means that they are interested in what you do, and want to hear about your news, events and product updates.

They might have bought from you in the past or they have met you at an exhibition or trade show. Your regular, creative and useful emails reminds them of you and your work, helps generate brand awareness, and builds your relationship with your past and future clients.

Did you know that the average email has an opening rate of around 20% while the chance your Facebook followers see your post is less than 6%?*

Your social media posts are fighting often with 100’s of other social media posts. The chances that they’ll see your Instagram or Facebook page is to be honest fairly slim. But the chances that you reach their inbox are pretty good!

Start to think of your email list subscribers as the VIP’s they actually are! They want to hear from you, that’s why they signed up to your list in the first place.

But don’t just send a bunch of emails in December when you want to invite them to your shows or sell them wonderful Christmas gifts. Stay in touch throughout the year, respect your potential and existing clients and keep building that relationship. Want to get some ideas what to write about in your next email? We have 24 ideas for you here. 

3. Email marketing becomes quickly profitable

Marketing costs on social media such as Facebook and Instagram can surprisingly add up. It might not look like much to boost your post for a fiver here or there, but do you actually get any results? Do you really know what you are doing? Google Ads and similar services have huge potential to drive the right traffic to your site, but they can cost an awful lot too if you don’t have your targeting right. But to achieve that you probably need to hire a social media expert or do some learning yourself!

Email marketing is much easier to understand and track, and can be part of any marketing plan. Many Email Service Providers (ESPs) such as MailChimp, HubSpot and sendinblue are free to use for smaller subscriber lists, so ideal for small businesses.

Even if you only get one sale from an email that’s a great result as you won’t have spend a penny to achieve that. Yes, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach new customers and maintain relationships with current consumers.

4. You are only one click away from that online sale

Email marketing is just perfect if you want to sell online! Because it’s literally one step away from getting visitors to your online shop or website.

If you email your clients at the right time of the year wonderful pictures of your creative products then they are much more likely to visit your online shop. They don’t have to move (which would be the case if they are reading a magazine article with your products) or do anything special. In just one click they are on your site and can purchase. So so easy!

Keep your emails simple, short and visual.

One beautiful image of one of your creative products. Add 50 words of text. Add one simple link directly to the right page.

That will get you more online sales than long rambling emails about your life as a creative.

Do you remember to include just one or two simple links in your emails to drive more traffic to specific product pages on your website?

5. Email marketing success is easy to measure 

As Henry Ford famously said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is waste, the problem is I do not know which half.”

With some forms of marketing you can never be certain if it has been effective. But with email marketing, you can easily see how effective your communications have been:

  • You can measure how many people opened your email and clicked through to your website.
  • You can see when people opened your email, or how often.
  • How many people unsubscribed from your list. (If you send irregular emails you will have more unsubscribes than when you are regularly in touch!)
  • Where your clients are located.
  • With more sophisticated email software (such as ConvertKit or Drip) you can connect directly to your ecommerce site and see how much your contact has spend with you so far, and on which product categories. They can even give you suggestions of the best time to send your future emails based on previous performance, or give you recommendations on better subject lines to increase your opening rates.

This kind of real-life data can really help you to make your email marketing even more effective because you can get detailed information on how your email campaigns are performing, learn from your mistakes and make adjustments.  Check out your email metrics to see how effective your marketing is.

6. Aim your emails at exactly the right people

One of the most common email marketing mistakes is to send the same email to everybody on your list. 

No! Instead make sure that you either allocate manually new and existing email contacts to specific lists (e.g. create lists for: existing clients, for Etsy clients, retailers or press, or who visited you at a specific event) or when they sign up for your email list so they can allocate themselves to specific lists (Do they want to get more details about your upcoming events and new product launches, or do they want to get special offers or hear more about your commissioning process or your upcoming craft workshops? Create different sign up options on your registration form.)

Segmenting your email list will help your potential clients to receive the exact info they requested.

And for you it’s really useful to know what they are interested in and what info they want to get from you via your emails. (And no, it’s not just about getting discounts!)

Using lists and segmenting your contacts into different groups will allow you to make your emails much more personalised and targeted. And therefore your opening rate, click rates and actual sales and orders will be much higher. A great result again!

7. Email marketing will get you clients … not just ‘likes’

Social media is of course a very important part of any small creative business’ marketing actions. Each different social media tool can be used to interact with your audience, raise your profile and strengthening your relationships. And because of that, social media is an important step in getting sales.

But when it comes to converting people into customers or supporters, email marketing is a far more effective medium.  According to McKinsey, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. The Direct Marketing Association found that email marketing has a Return Of Investment of 4300%*

You probably already noticed this yourself … you get lots of interest on your Instagram. But do any of your followers actually buy from you?

8. Use automation in a personal way

One of the best ways to make your email marketing more effective is by using automation. This might sound boring and robot-like, but actually this can really help you build your relationship over time (!) with your ideal clients for relatively little time input. 

We at The Design Trust use automation in our email marketing especially when people sign up to get more details about our online workshops or newsletter. We have created a so-called auto-responder which get triggered when somebody registered for one of our email lists. When we set the email or workshop registration forms up we create a sequence of emails that we will send to our new contact over a period of a few days or weeks.

We try to be really helpful in all our email marketing so they might be additional resources around the topic they are interested in, or a series of popular blog posts that we recommend. We often ask questions too in these emails so we get a two-way-correspondence going rather than just us talking at them. We encourage the new contacts to get in touch with us if they have any questions. That way we get to know them better and provide some good old-fashioned customer care!

Over a few days or weeks we will give additional useful info in bite-size chunks, and by the end of the sequence the chances that this new contact has visited our website, understands what we really do and how we do it, or remembers us next time they want to improve their creative business skills is much higher.

And these small actions together are all crucial to get ultimately more sales and bookings!

We write these autoresponder emails once and update them regularly, but they get send out automatically, and therefore are a very effective way to stay in touch and get known for what we do, and to educate our potential and existing clients.

Why not check out if your email provider allows you to create auto-responder? And spend some time to create a simple sequence of emails for when people sign up to your email list. It’s a very good use of your time!

*The stats in this blog post come from the Campaign Monitor Report 2019. 

We hope that these 8 reasons why email marketing is so effective to get sales will inspire you to take action. Come on, dust off that list of people who want to hear from you, use an ESP service that works for you, write a nifty email message that is friendly and helpful, and hit send!

If you’d like some extra email marketing inspiration then take a look at our favourite creative email newsletters. These are the ones we look forward to getting into our inbox!

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