From the moment you start your business you should be collecting email addresses and KEEPING THEM ORGANIZED!  Keeping them organized is key, I think I am up to 15 different email lists.  I have lists for pet prospects, child prospects, 2011 pet clients, 2012 pet clients, 2010 family clients, etc.  You can’t go wrong in creating too many lists as you can very easily send an email to more then one list but you can’t sent an email to only a few people in a list very easily.

What if you have a special offer for past clients?  Having the past client folders is helpful for that, as well as having them broken out by genre.  I have separate branding for my pet and family divisions, but even if I didn’t I may have great pet information that I want to get to my pet clients only.  By separating them through year I can target specific years for certain promotions.  I may choose to offer digital files to those clients from three years ago before I purge my files, if I already have a list created it takes me 30 seconds.  If I need to go through my files and pick out each 2009 client it may take quite a bit of time.

Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to stay in touch with people that have already used your services or have expressed some sort of interest in your business.  This list is GOLD, treat it well.  A monthly or quarterly newsletter is a great way to keep them up to speed with the latest news and opportunities from your studio.  I highly recommend that you take the time to make the email marketing heartfelt and personal.  Let a little bit of your personality shine through as that will help potential clients connect with you on a deeper level and it will feel less sales-y.

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Successful email marketing should contain:

1.  An attention grabbing title.  Would you rather open the “spring 2013 newsletter” or “Opportunities to create custom wall art”.  You can experiment by sending the same newsletter to two different lists but simply change the title to see which has the higher open rate.

2.  Use your newsletter as a way to build your relationship with your clients, not simply focus on making a sale.

3.  Add a call to action in your email.

There are many different email marketing companies out there but I have been using Mad Mimi for over 2 years now and I couldn’t be happier with them.  The form is incredibly easy to use and allows you to make custom emails that match your branding in minutes.  The best part of Mad Mimi is that if you can send up to 12,500 emails per month for FREE!  This is incredibly helpful for those of you that are just starting in business and want to start cultivating an email list but aren’t ready to commit to the monthly expenses just yet.  Sign up now for your FREE Mad Mimi account!