16 months ago I did not think I needed an email list.
I’m not trying to get famous. I’m just building a little boutique web design company. I don’t need that many clients to pay my bills.
I took many online business classes. All the experts hammered the importance of a mailing list. Since I paid good money for their advice, I followed it. Now I see they were right.
Have you heard of the “Rule of Seven?” Essentially, the idea is your clients need to come in contact with you an average of 7 times before buying or reaching out.
It’s unlikely clients will contact you after their very first visit to your website (and you shouldn’t expect them to). You need to give them a reason (and remind them) to come back. Being able to send them helpful emails is the easiest way!
Another way to think of it is people like to buy from their friends. You’re more likely to buy when you know the person or you’ve been referred by someone you trust. You need to help them get to know you first. Poppin’ in their inbox from time to time solving problems they have is a great way!
In my personal experience the rule of 7 has proved true for my business. Besides referrals, the majority of my clients have been on my list for several months before reaching out- they tell me so!
It’s important to start that relationship as quick as possible because it takes time.
After you’ve setup your email list with a mailing list management company (Like Mailchimp, Aweber and Convertkit). You’ll want to capture all that website traffic and snag your potential customers’ email address.
Here are a few tips to grow your mailing list.
1) Create a freebie to give them in exchange for their contact info. What problems do they need help solving that will help show your expertise? Help them solve that problem with a pdf, video or email series they’ll receive after they sign up.
2) Make this freebie (or opt-in) obvious in your web design. Don’t just let it blend in somewhere in your footer. Do a feature box, put it right in the header, embed between content on your about page, etc. Make it obvious, make it important. (My homepage feature box is the #1 place people sign up- it works)
3) Install the Magic Action Box plugin. WIth it you can easily add optin forms at the bottom of your blog posts to get potential clients to sign up to your mailing address. If they read all the way to the bottom of your post, they most likely enjoyed it. It’s the perfect time to give them the opportunity for more through your newsletter.
4) Create a squeeze page JUST for your freebie (no menu, header sidebar, etc). If that seems like a lot of work (if you don’t know how), you can always use the one given to you by your newsletter subscriber. This allows you to link directly to it without having to say, “sign up in the sidebar of my website” (where they will inevitably get distracted by other things to click on). Here’s what mine looks like.
5) Share your optin regularly on social media. Schedule recurring tweets and Facebook posts linking directly to your optin squeeze page.
6) Be consistent. Send emails to your list on a regular basis. This will keep you on top of their mind and start working towards those 7 touches faster. This can be hard at times. I recently have lost my regular level of consistency and notice a significant decrease in consult call bookings. But that shows me how well it works and that it needs to be a top priority.
Let me know in the comments
Do you use a mailing list in your freelance business? Has it led to more clients because of it? If you don’t, what’s holding you back?