Finding email’s place in a crowded creator economy

Email Marketing The Future Belongs to Creators

Email gets a bad rep these days.

It’s considered too spammy, invasive, and impersonal by many, and some think it’s on its way out. But is it really such a tech dinosaur?

We don’t think so.

Email stands alone in a few key categories you may have never considered. We don’t think email will ever die—and it’s a powerful tool to wield as a creator if you do it the right way.

“Email is starting to come back into favor because there are some things that email, flat out, does better.” – Miguel Pou

We got together as a group to get a little self-referential and talk about email for creators, the relationship between email and social media, and the best ways to gain maximum benefit from email.

What is email’s place in the creator economy amongst other channels?

Short answer: Email literally cannot die and it can be incredibly valuable to all creators.

Long answer: There’s nothing new about email. It’s been around as long as the internet has, and it’s functionally remained the same. But there’s a reason it’s still thriving, and that’s because email is inherently embedded in the way working professionals live their daily lives.

Can you think of someone who doesn’t check their emails in the morning? If you’re a working professional with a computer job, you’re checking your email. You’re organizing your life through flights, hotel bookings, and more. It all happens in your email. That’s why it’s a valuable space for creators to reach an audience in.

With email, you’re able to own your relationship with your audience. They’ve signed up to hear from you, and if they’re engaging with your email, odds are they love your stuff and want to purchase from you. The same is not necessarily true in other channels like social media.

Does email compete with social media when it comes to creator success?

A lot of people seem to prefer social media because of it’s holding onto the perception of being the new, shiny tool. Plenty of people have success in social media, yes—but especially for a creator who needs to meticulously plan where their marketing time and spend is going, you might not get the returns you need on social media.

Tools like Instagram and Twitter are where many follow creators and other people casually, something to see and like when scrolling through their feeds. Due to changing algorithms, it’s possible they might not even see your content at all, even if they follow you.

Email can’t go viral like social media can, but you can get more personal in email than you ever could with social media. Email allows you to segment your audience based on their interests or desired cadence. That’s not possible with social media. There’s no “send me fewer or more” post option, just follow or unfollow. You can get to know your audience better and send them content that truly resonates. Your email followers will typically be your biggest, most dedicated fans.

“What email does differently is it helps build a deeper and better connection than social media. Email is the place where your truest fans go.” – Haley Janicek

Our advice? Use email and social media together. Consider running social media campaigns to grow your email list, and then use those engaged subscribers to sell your newest product or service. That way, you’re not putting all of your eggs in one basket and you don’t need to rely on the moving target that is a changing social algorithm to bring in revenue.

Top tips for email marketing success as a creator

The sky’s truly the limit for using email marketing as a creator. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of email:

  1. With email, the conversation is between the sender and the recipient. With social media, it’s more like a town hall meeting and you may have less control over the message you’re sending as a result. Create your marketing strategy with those kinds of conversations in mind.
  2. Make it easy for people to unsubscribe and leave your email list. It might hurt at first to realize someone doesn’t want to hear from you anymore, but you just might not have been right for them. You’ll keep the people who really want to hear from you.
  3. Segmentation is exclusive to email, so take advantage of this and create meaningful relationships with your subscribers. Learn what your audience wants to hear about and send them content relevant to that interest. The more they feel like your content is personalized for them, the more they’ll trust you and genuinely enjoy what you have to offer.
  4. Use a tool like ConvertKit to simplify the entire process for you and put more time back in your day to create. It’ll be easier than ever to create and edit your emails, and you can set some up to automatically send out when someone subscribes to your newsletter or takes a certain action on your website.

“My favorite email lists are the ones that feel personal. Even if someone is just using a designed template, they type like they’re talking to me. A great way to grow is to use email as a space to be more open and genuine. It might not be a hack to grow your subscribers, but it’s a way to get them to stay, and for longer.” – Charli Prangley

You’ll have a dedicated fan base before you know it.

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