How To Start With Strategic Email Marketing – For Coaches And Consultants

Your coaching or consulting business relies on quality lead generation, because for coaches and consultants, effective marketing is less about quickly amassing followers on social media and more about slowly turning qualified leads into long-term clients. So, building relationships with your audience over time is essential for you. And this is exactly what you can achieve with strategic email marketing. Here is how to get started with email marketing as a coach or consultant.

While a website that shows your expertise is the crucial first big step, automated email marketing is an equally important follow-up-tool that you should be building on. Clients rarely hire a coach or consultant immediately, so a strategic email marketing will give you the opportunity to nurture your website leads and build trust long-term. Keeping top-of-mind with people when they are eventually ready to invest time and money in coaching or consulting is what makes email marketing strategies so valuable for coaches and consultants who want to continuously sell their services online.

Furthermore, you can use email marketing im many ways to facilitate your business. Send an autoresponder after sign-ups on your website or deliver a lead magnet during a social media campaign. And, of course, never forget your existing clients who should be kept well-informed about your new coaching offers, exclusive expert content or upcoming discounts. Working on a new coaching program or course? Send an email and start a waitlist straightaway! Writing great blog posts? Send emails out that link to your most recent work.

Your email marketing should also lead traffic back to your website. By doing so, potential clients can learn more details about what coaching or consulting you offer, explore your client process, and schedule a discovery call if they’re interested. They might have missed that at their first website visit, so your email marketing gets them back to your website to take a deep dive. To increase your website traffic through your email marketing, never forget to include a link to a services page, your booking schedule or any other relevant pages.

Choose The Right Tool For Your Strategic Email Marketing

Coaches and consultants looking to start with strategic email marketing have a lot of specialist email marketing tools available. Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign are some of the most well-known providers. But there are also newer email marketing services available which are more budget friendly and GDPR compliant, e.g. MailerLite or Sendinblue. It can be difficult to make an informed decision amid all that noise. Make a list of the features you want to have now and in the future. Then, you can compare and find your best fit.

Here are 7 core features I think you should look for when choosing the right email marketing solution for your coaching or consulting business. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it gives you a good starting point:

Email Marketing Feature 1: Editor and Templates

To avoid having to code, you need an email marketing solution with a drag-and-drop editor. If you find it difficult to imagine how your marketing emails should look like in the end, then search for an email marketing provider with a large template library. Choose a template that roughly suits your content, and you don’t have to start from a blank slate.

But do pay attention to the details. Your emails need to look good, and I mean really good! How many times have you received an email and immediately deleted it or clicked the “unsubscribe” link? Right, because if your emails don’t look appealing in the first few seconds after opening, they won’t be able to do their job. So, what you are aiming for is to create emails that are pleasantly surprising when being opened. Nothing less will work! Don’t just use any template, but the best one. And make sure you tweak the design and add your brand features, so it stands out from the crowd.

By the way, also make sure that your native language is supported. Otherwise, you will need to manually change every line of prewritten text in your template which can be a lot of unnecessary extra work. I am thinking of email subject lines or footers that include standard email marketing information, e.g., the “unsubscribe here” link or the preformulated double-opt in confirmation and thank you email sequence.

Email Marketing Feature 2: GDPR compliance

Your email marketing software provider should make it easy for you to stay GDPR compliant. There should be double opt-in features that you just need to toggle on, which require subscribers to verify their email addresses before they are added to a contact list. This also helps ensure that all email addresses you are collecting are valid and that their owners actually want to receive your marketing emails.

Each email you are sending out should have an unsubscribe link in the footer, making it easy for subscribers to opt out of your marketing emails. There are sandwich pages that can be implemented to make a last pitch before people unsubscribe. If you are interested in that, check out what options email marketing software providers offer.

Email Marketing Feature 3: Automation

To be effective, email marketing software must have easy to use automation features. This is what makes it possible to set up email sequences that go out on autopilot based on triggers or actions taken by your website visitors, subscribers, or clients.

Automation is also what you want to rely on when working with lead magnets or any other form of lead generation. Basically, automation is what runs in the background to build your list of future clients while you are enjoying spending time with your current clients!

Email Marketing Feature 4: Integration

Your email marketing software should be easily integrated with your other tech tools, e.g. your website platform. With the correct integration, your email marketing software smoothly shares data, e.g when a website visitor signs up for your newsletter on your website.

Email Marketing Feature 5: Segmentation

The segmentation of an email marketing campaign is another crucial component. By using the right email marketing software, you can easily segment your subscribers based on their data, actions, or interests.

How did your subscribers opt in? Did they sign up for your newsletter, a webinar or from a freebie on your website? Segment them and send content based on when and how they joined your list.

A more advanced way of segmentation is how your they are interacting with your content. Are they inactive long-term clients or hugely keen on your newest coaching approach? Add subscribers who don’t interact with your content to a reengagement segment or your highly engaged subscribers to a rewards segment with new exclusive content.

Personalise your audience’s experience by segmenting them and sending them what they like (and never anything they won’t like).

Make sure that your email marketing software offers an easy way to create lists or groups of contacts and segmentation options within the content area when setting up email marketing campaigns.

Email Marketing Feature 6: Verification

Email verification and authentication help ensure the proper deliverability of your email marketing campaigns. Aligning your authenticated domain will even boost your deliverability. So, if your email marketing provider allows you to verify, authenticate and basically align your website domain (or custom domain) when sending email campaigns, this will increase your chances that your emails don’t end up in people’s spam folders.

Email Marketing Feature 7: Pricing

Finally, the pricing. When you are starting with strategic email marketing, you probably want to go for a free plan first. Usually, there is a maximum number of contacts that you can manage before having to update to a paid plan. There can also be a limit on email campaigns per month.

Note that many email marketing software providers are targeting ecommerce businesses. As a coach or consultant you will most probably send out a low number of campaigns per months and your client base is also growing slower than an online store’s customer base. Keep that in mind when comparing the starter packages of different providers.

email marketing dos and donts

For Strategic Email Marketing You Need To Write Great

No matter what email marketing software you choose, your emails’ content quality will determine your marketing success.

So before sending out any email, ask yourself a few test questions:

  • Is my content exciting, inspiring, educational or at least full of useful information? If not, rewrite!
  • Is there value in every email I am sending? Don’t send anything unnecessary!
  • Am I focusing on the benefits of my coaching or consulting? Write about them and not so much about you!
  • Am I nurturing a relationship or just trying to sell something? The first one is what you want to do first. Don’t send sales pitch after sales pitch. Send valuable content tailored to your audience’s needs.
  • Are there clear calls to action in my emails? Tell subscribers what you want them to do next – of course in a nice, friendly way! But don’t assume everyone knows. So “click here to…” needs to be verbalised.
  • Do I have a well-balanced amount of text? Use images to break up large blocks of text. Short paragraphs and bullet points are your best friends when trying to keep people’s attention. Never write more than people are willing to read. Only link to full-length articles (send people from the email to your website), don’t put it all into your email or chop it up to make a series. of shorter blog posts.

Clean Your List

Last but not least a topic that is easily forgotten: Clean your growing email marketing list regularly. Remove subscribers who don’t interact with your content or open your emails. Why? The value comes from having subscribers who open your emails and are excited by your offerings. Not from people who immediately delete your emails or click on “junk”.

These key indicators can be detected by the large email programmes as well, and they might influence if your future emails are being sent to spam folders. But if you follow some of the tips I have been sharing with you today, then this shouldn’t be a worry anyway!

Katrin Prakoonwit Web Design for Coaches and Consultants

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