How to use email marketing as a freelancer

Love to better use email to find and nurture new freelance clients? Here’s how to use email marketing as a freelancer.

The marketing landscape is continuously changing, and new strategies come into play. Most marketers do their best to keep up to date with day to day changes and leverage marketing tactics to get ahead of the competition.

Email marketing is one of these impactful, yet cost-effective marketing channels out there that can significantly impact your revenue as a brand. 

But, is email marketing an option for freelancers? 

The answer is YES. To find out how freelancers can leverage email marketing to acquire new clients, and create a solid customer base, keep reading.  

What is email marketing?

Email is all about sending messages that promote a product or service. It could take various forms such as newsletters, invitations, transactional emails, announcements, etc.

As a freelancer, you can take advantage of email to reach out to potential clients or build a stronger relationship with existing ones. Keep in mind that email can be an excellent way to engage with your audience, keep them updated, showcase your services, close deals and overall increase your brand awareness.

The benefits of email marketing for freelancers

Now that we covered email marketing basics, the next question is why freelancers should leverage email marketing. We have a list of this strategy’s benefits to understand the significance of direct mail services better.

So, email marketing can help freelancers:

  • Generate leads and get in front of potential customers.
  • Email lets you fully customize different elements like the subject line, the copy, the call to action, and the design. 
  • Stay in touch with existing and potential clients with email newsletters.
  • Send helpful resources to add value to your audience.
  • Highlight your expertise with testimonials and client stories.
  • Inform your email list about special offers and discounts.
  • Have a higher return on investment compared to other marketing strategies out there.

But, how can you achieve all these with a message that arrives at an inbox, you may ask? To finish strong, we have a small guide on starting with email marketing as a freelancer.

Getting started with email marketing as a freelancer

Email marketing is not a strategy that you, as a freelancer, can implement overnight. It requires some preparation, which we will analyze in the following steps to ensure that you are on the right track to achieve great results.

 Let’s explore them in detail.

Step 1: Set clear objectives

Every marketing strategy needs to be built on solid foundations with clear goals that align with the brand’s vision. As a freelancer, you have to create these goals with email marketing too. 

A goal needs to be precise and clear to make tracking an easy task. Here are some of the different approaches you can use in email marketing:

  • Content distribution
  • Stay in touch with existing clients.
  • Showcase your best work
  • Promote your product or service
  • Understand pain points with quizzes and questionnaires
  • Ask for testimonials
  • Pitch potential clients

Knowing your target audience will create a solid plan on what objectives you should choose. 

For example, if you have new subscribers, you need to show them value and understand what they want. On the other hand, if your list consists of existing clients, you could ask for feedback or promote some products or services.

Step 2: Build your email list

An email list is a collection of names and email addresses of people who have explicitly shown an interest in what you do. 

The problem is how do you get them to be part of your list in the first place. There are many ways to do that. In this step, we will find out how you can leverage landing pages and opt-in forms.

Both these elements are a way to collect information from people interested in what you offer. By signing up, they are allowing you to contact them via email.

Many email marketing services can help you create landing pages and opt-in forms without being a designer. By leveraging these online form builders, you can have a well-crafted design and convey your message most efficiently.

Having someone to sign up for your list is not an easy task. You need to offer an incentive to encourage them to share their personal information with you. 

As a freelancer, you have to explore what you can offer for free in exchange for this valuable information. An incentive could be a coaching session, templates, step-by-step tutorials on how to solve a problem, or even a consultation call.

These are called lead magnets and are extremely crucial for building a successful email list.

Pro-tips for building a great form or landing page:

  • Offer an incentive that solves a problem.
  • Have a strong visual that captures their attention
  • Use copy that tells them what to do next
  • Limit the steps a new subscriber needs to take to have access to the incentive 
  • Have a strong CTA with action verbs and a time frame. For example, “Book a call with Bob, TODAY.”
  • Tell them why they should subscribe to receive your newsletters.
  • Include social proof and testimonials.
  • Add a progress bar if you have multiple steps involved.
  • Use personalization based on the visitor’s referral source, geographic location, etc.

Now that you have a list in place, you can start sending unlimited emails every day, right? 

No, of course!

You need to ensure that each email corresponds to each recipient, so here comes the next step, list segmentation.

Step 3: Segment your email list and personalize your message

Having a list doesn’t mean that every single user wants to receive the same email. To avoid that, you need to segment your list into custom segments based on different characteristics.

Here are some ways to create these custom segment for your email list:

  • demographics
  • interests
  • engagement level
  • preferences on email frequency
  • past buying behavior

Create a different segment based on these factors above. The purpose of email segmentation is to ensure greater relevancy. 

Use segmentation along with personalization to achieve the optimal outcome for your campaigns. There are many email providers online that offer different email templates with custom fields to incorporate personalization elements. 

Having a strong message that applies to small segments of your list that solves their problem is what will make the difference and create a strong and loyal customer base in the long run.

Step 4: Test and optimize

After you hit send, and your campaign arrives at different inboxes, you have to track what works to ensure that you have the optimal result.

Like every other marketing strategy, you have to proactively test and pivot towards your campaigns’ most efficient elements. You can do that by creating split test email campaigns.

A split test is a way to compare different parameters and see what brings the best results. By adjusting some of the elements, you can end up with a solid and successful campaign after several tests.

Before you do that, you need to understand the metrics that matter when it comes to email marketing. Every email service provider has an analytics tool to help you track these numbers. 

The most important ones are:

  • Spam score
  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Unsubscribe rate

How can you improve your next freelance email campaign?

To ensure that you improve your campaign every time, try to change each of the following elements to find what works best for your kind of audience:

  • Timing: Find out when your audience is more likely to be online and send your campaigns at that time.
  • Subject lines: Craft an intriguing subject line that surprises the recipient and creates emotion.
  • Preview text: Take advantage of this small piece of text to add information that complements the subject line.
  • Email signatures: Add your social media handles to cross-promote yourself on other channels and practice whether a logo or a profile photo works best for your subscribers.
  • Length of the email: Find out what the ideal length of your emails is? You can do that with quizzes or just asking for your subscribers’ opinion.
  • CTA: Experiment with the copy of your CTA, the color, and the button’s size.
  • Layout: Find the design that fits your brand’s style. Email marketing providers offer a variety of templates to choose what suits you the most.
  • Images: Limit the number of visuals and try to experiment with different ones. It can be a photo, an infographic, or a video, for example. Pro tip: Always remember to add an alt text.

Never stop adding value with your email campaigns

Email allows a lot of customization, which may become overwhelming. There are many elements to keep in mind to create a successful campaign and many metrics to track when it comes to optimization

But I can tell you for sure that this is the wrong way to approach it.

Focus on absorbing all the information in this article and take your time to develop a long-term plan for email marketing. Work on preparing your forms and landing pages, crafting your incentive, and creating a sequence of emails that focus on providing as much value as possible. 

A successful email marketing campaign can’t be achieved overnight. Stay organized, be helpful, be patient, and never stop adding value.

Alex is a content writer at Moosend. Coming from an architecture background, he took the leap of faith in the digital marketing world and never looked back. In his free time, you will find him taking photos in places around the world. Find out more on LinkedIn.

Photo by Olga Serjantu