So, you know you need to be building and serving an email list, but you want to make sure you’re doing it the best way possible. And you’re smart for thinking that way. Not all email list building strategies are the same!
But before you spend another day, week, or month avoiding the task of sorting through all the how-to’s out there and making a plan for yourself, I’ve created a super straightforward roadmap for you to follow based on your business type! Without getting too lost in the weeds, you’ll be able to find the best strategy for you and walk away with a plan.
No more terror when it comes to thinking about opening up that email template and staring at the blank cursor wondering what to say — or why you should say it in the first place! You just need a few strategic email types to get you going, and from there you can tweak over time to make it fit you. But first, you gotta send those emails. Don’t overthink the trying-it-out phase!
No matter what type of business you have, start here with your email list.
Let’s go over some foundational email list building rules that apply to everyone!
01) It’s important to strike a balance between hitting your audience with your offers (both old and new) and some non-sales goodness. You never want to over or undersell, but when in doubt, lean away from overwhelming them with emails that focus on selling.
02) Remember to let your personality come through. Speak to your target audience like no one knows them better than you! No one, and I mean no one, wants to open or read a boring email. Give them a reason to be excited to click on yours in the sea of their inbox. And down the road, learn from your customer behavior and segment your list to create even more incentive for them to open, read, and respond to any call to action you’ve dropped in there.
03) Maintain consistency. You don’t have to blast out an email every day or even every week! Do what makes sense for your business, but be consistent with it. Your audience will start to learn that you are the showing-up kind and expect to see you in their inbox!
Now let’s dive into your specific, strategic plan based on your business type!
Email ideas for your product-based business:
01) Product Updates: Notify subscribers about new product releases, enhancements, or improvements. Share the features and benefits of the products, along with any special offers or discounts on them!
02) Promotional Emails: Send emails that highlight special promos, sales, or limited-time offers. Provide exclusive discounts or coupon codes to encourage purchases and give a sense of urgency to purchase.
03) Seasonal or Holiday Emails: You don’t have to just think of the big holidays! You can have fun with the lesser known holidays, even those silly ones! (Did you know there’s an International Lay On the Couch Day?!) Create themed product bundles, gift guides, or limited-edition items. Consider running holiday-themed promotions and discounts, too!
04) Customer Testimonials or Success Stories: Share stories or testimonials from satisfied customers who have used your products. These emails help build trust, credibility, and social proof!
05) Educational Content: Provide useful and educational content related to your products or industry, like how-to guides, tips and tricks, DIY projects, or informative articles that demonstrate the value and versatility of your products.
06) Exclusive Previews or Sneak Peeks: We love exclusive content! Give your email subscribers early access or exclusive previews of upcoming products, collections, or features. This makes them feel valued and creates anticipation around your brand.
Email ideas for your digital-based business:
01) Welcome Email: Don’t forget the power of a first impression! Send a warm welcome message to new subscribers, thanking them for joining your email list. Intro your brand, provide an overview of your products or services, and set expectations for what they can expect from your emails (i.e. timing, content, etc.)
02) Educational Content: Share valuable and educational content related to your industry or niche, like tutorials, how-to guides, tips and tricks, industry insights, or informative articles. Establish yourself as an expert and you’ll begin to build a deeper trust with your audience!
03) Product Demos or Free Trials: “First month FREE!” = on the list of Things Humans Love! Offer free demos or trials of your digital products or services. Showcase those features, benefits, and value that sets you apart.
04) Case Studies or Success Stories: Give your subscribers some undeniable proof… social proof! Share success stories or case studies of clients or customers who have achieved positive results through your digital products or services. Highlight the challenges they faced, the solutions you provided, and the outcomes they achieved.
05) Webinar or Event Invitations: If you sell digitally, you gotta lead digitally. Host webinars, workshops, or virtual events related to your industry or expertise! Send email invitations to your subscribers, providing details about the event and, most importantly, the benefits of attending. Don’t forget to follow up with reminder emails, too!
06) Tips and Best Practices: Give your readers an edge! Send out your best tips or strategies related to your digital products or services. Help them optimize their usage, achieve better results, or overcome common challenges. This is a double-whammy: It creates interest in your products for people who haven’t used them yet, AND it reminds and reinvigorates interest with people who have!
Email ideas for your service-based business:
01) Welcome Email: This is that first handshake, so make it a good one. Send a personalized welcome message to new subscribers, thanking them for joining your email list. Introduce your business, highlight your expertise, and provide an overview of the services you offer.
02) Service Packages or Offerings: Ever seen a beautiful menu at a restaurant? Use emails like this to remind them that you’ve got some delicious options for them! Showcase your various service packages, options, or offerings. Provide detailed descriptions of each service, the benefits they provide, and any special features or discounts.
03) Testimonials or Reviews: When it’s hard to ‘show’ a service you offer, lean on social proof! Share testimonials or reviews from satisfied clients who have experienced positive results from your services. Testimonials add credibility and trust, making your potential clients more likely to choose your services.
04) Consultation or Discovery Call Invitations: Want to create opportunities for people to dive in deeper? Offer free consultations or discovery calls to potential clients! Invite your subscribers to schedule a call to discuss their needs, provide personalized recommendations, and explore how your services can benefit them.
05) Client Appreciation or Milestone Emails: Get a little personal! Show appreciation to your existing clients by sending emails on special occasions or milestones. This can include celebrating anniversaries of working together, recognizing achievements, or thanking them for their continued support.
06) Upcoming Event or Workshop Invitations: Don’t leave your online audience out of your IRL opportunities! If you’re hosting events, workshops, or webinars related to your services, invite your subscribers! Provide event details, benefits of attending, and registration information. Don’t forget reminder emails, too!
07) Referral Program or Rewards: Give your biggest supporters a chance for a little kickback. Encourage your existing clients to refer your services to others by implementing a referral program. Outline the program, explain the benefits, and provide instructions on how to participate.
08) Industry Updates or Newsletters: Don’t hold back with your expert-level knowledge! Send regular newsletters or emails to keep your audience informed about industry trends, news, or relevant updates. Whip up some valuable insights, market updates, or tips that can help them stay informed and make better decisions!
Email ideas if you’re a content creator:
01) Newsletter: This is their consistent peek into your life! Send regular newsletters to your subscribers, featuring your latest content, such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, or articles. Provide a brief summary and links to each piece of content, enticing your audience to click through and engage with your work.
02) Content Updates: Don’t expect the notifications on other apps to do all the leg work for you! Notify your audience when you publish new content or release a new episode. Send emails that introduce your latest creation, provide a summary or teaser, and encourage your subscribers to check it out!
03) Content Collections or Roundups: Assume people miss things, so here’s your chance to catch them up to speed! Curate and share collections of your best content around a specific theme or topic. Create roundups of your most popular articles, videos, or podcasts from a certain period. This also helps new people explore more of what you create in places they might not have discovered you!
04) Personal Updates or Stories: Connect with your audience on a personal level by sharing updates about your creative journey, experiences, or insights. Tell stories that resonate with your audience and help them understand you as a human behind the content. This could even be screenshots of things they might have missed on your socials, or a round-up of the best things you ate last week!
05) Collaborations or Guest Appearances: Inform your email subscribers about collaborations, guest appearances, or interviews you have participated in. This is your chance to dive even deeper into why you connected with this guest or what makes them worth listening to/watching!
Customize your email strategy as you go.
Like I said at the start, not all email list building strategies are the same — and that’s because YOU and your business will never neatly fit into a box. And that’s why I love serving an email list! You have every opportunity to create something uniquely magical in the inbox as you circumnavigate that pesky algorithm. This is your chance to reach a larger percentage of your audience and go deeper with them. That’s an opportunity social media just can’t give you!
As you create your email list-building plan, you’re going to shift and pivot when you learn what your audience loves. But before you start looking down the like and wondering what you’re going to write on email #200 and what’s going to happen if you run out of things to say — do this one step first: send email #1.