Today we are covering all things email marketing, list building, opt-ins and automations.

With so many different options available to us when it comes to small business marketing, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to relationship-building and getting leads for your business.

Whenever someone asks me where they should start with their small biz marketing, more often than not, I suggest their email list.

In this episode of The What I Know About Motherhood and Business Podcast you’ll learn:

  • Why email marketing is so awesome for busy mums in their small businesses.
  • Where to start when building your email list.
  • Lead magnet ideas for your product or service based business.
  • What to include in your automated email sequences.
  • Email newsletters and how often to send them.

Why email marketing?

As I’ve mentioned before, even if you have hundreds of thousands of followers on your social media accounts, if something was to happen to those platforms, you have no way of reconnecting with those people.

There’s also this feeling of being at mercy of the dreaded algorithms.  Even if you post according to the perfect strategy, there’s no guarantee that your followers will even see your content.  You’re competing with the hundreds of thousands of other accounts they follow and the only way around this, as we know, is to PAY for ads.

When you have an email list, you have a direct line to the inboxes of your customers, organically.  Avoiding algorithm changes, paid ads or software glitches. 

You can also set up some snazzy automations for your email list – meaning that when someone signs up, they receive a series of staggered emails automatically (also known as a welcome or nurture sequence) which is totally set-and-forget.  Gotta love the automations when you’re a busy mum juggling a hundred things already.

Where to begin with email marketing.

The first question I have, to help you simplify your email marketing is:

Do you actually need email marketing right now?

Sometimes clients will tell me how they know they need to start an email list, yet they manage to see themselves constantly fully booked as a result of word-of-mouth referrals!  If you’re in the same boat, I would encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing with your WOM referrals and look at slowly building your list, or outsourcing the process, instead of stressing that you haven’t done it yesterday.

Yes, an email list is a valuable resource to have for the future, but maybe you need to focus on it just then – in the future. 

However; if you’re not finding yourself fully booked and unable to keep up – there is no time like the present to start building your subscriber base. If you’re at the very beginning of your business – start an email list. If you’re 5 years into your business journey and haven’t put time into it – start an email list. There’s no time like the present.


Best email marketing platforms

I know that if you’ve looked into starting an email list, you’re probably already feeling overwhelmed with the number of service providers out there that you can use to set up your mailing list.

Some popular email marketing providers:

MailChimp is popular with startup businesses as the free plan has all the basics you need to get started.  I personally use MailChimp because I always have and it’s a case of sticking to what I know (for now). Realistically, they all do fairly similar things and everyone has a different opinion on which they think is the best. It will depend on your budget but most hover around the same price point for similar features so don’t let making this decision hold you up from taking action – you can always change down the track.

How do I start getting subscribers?

You can always do the ol’ asking people to ‘join your mailing list’ but really, how often does that entice you to hand your email over to a business? Creating a lead magnet is a much more attractive option to getting people to sign up.

When crafting your lead magnet, you want to think about the sorts of things that attract you to hand over your email address and sign up for mailing lists.

Lead magnets can include things like:

  • Competitions
  • Discounts
  • Freebies
  • Exclusive offers or information.

With this in mind, spend a little time brainstorming some of the things you could offer your potential customers in exchange for their email address. This is known as your lead magnet or opt in.

Lead magnet ideas for product based businesses:

  • Discount codes
  • Exclusive sale access
  • Events/markets
  • Competitions and giveaways
  • Style guides
  • Be part of a community (facebook or even ‘close friends’ on instagram)

Lead magnet ideas for service based businesses

  • How-to guides
  • Video training
  • Webinar
  • Masterclasses
  • Challenge series
  • Cheat sheets
  • Discounted services
  • eBooks
  • Taste-test of your service
  • Free access to programs
  • Exclusive events 
  • Exclusive offerings
  • Community access

Don’t worry about having the perfect lead magnet.  It’s the sort of thing you can test with your customers.  Some lead magnets will work better than others and it’s all about trial and error and getting to know what your customers want!


What do I include in my email automations?

There are no rules when it comes to what you include in your email welcome sequence.

I would say aim for at least 3 emails and remember  the goal of a nurture sequence is to encourage your customers to engage with you or your brand and ultimately purchase from you in the future.


A sample email welcome sequence:

  1. Your freebie/offer/discount
  2. Follow up – resend your lead magnet to those who haven’t opened and suggest ways in which they could make the most of this free offer.
  3. About you – introduce yourself to your audience and bring them on your journey
  4. More value/tips/content and include some social proof in this email.
  5. Promo email tailored to your audience, what would they be interested in?

Email Newsletters – are they still a thing?

Yes and no.

I really believe if you’re going to send a regular newsletter, make sure it’s adding value to your audience.

I have an email series called Honesty Inbox emails. They are an unfiltered, behind-the-scenes look at my life and biz.  The format is raw, honest and the open rate is always >70% because people LOVE a gritty real life story.  And it all comes down to connection.  We don’t want to feel alone as humans, we want to feel like there’s other people walking a similar path to us.  The more experiences of others that we hear, the more validated and confident we feel in our own experiences.

Again, it’s one of those things that you can try different approaches, see what works and tweak accordingly.  Most paid email platforms allow you to split test your campaigns. This means sending two different campaigns out at the same time and see which has a better result (keeping in mind, your goal for each email may be different – i.e. clicks, conversions etc). Consumers are more ‘plugged in’ than ever before and feel like they are getting sold to at every turn thanks to the constant use of our phones,  so if you’re going to be popping into their inbox regularly, make it worthwhile!

Don’t overthink it, just start

You may know that you want to start your email list but are getting bogged down in the details of the perfect lead magnet or chopping and changing the copy for your welcome sequence.  

My tip here is: Just start.  

Put your lead magnet together and get it out there, see how it performs. You can always come back and create an automation later – it would be a shame to spend hours/days/weeks on the perfect welcome sequence only to have your lead magnet flop with zero sign ups to enjoy your hours of automation creation.

Remember, having your customers email address is something you can always use. Unlike social media, which requires you to be constantly active to stay relevant, email doesn’t have the same rules.  You could create an epic lead magnet, get 150 signups without a welcome sequence in place and that’s totally OK! Your subscribers aren’t going anywhere and you’ll still hold onto those email addresses.

Want more?

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