How-To Guide

Understanding the benefits of email marketing: A guide for online creators

Email marketing is the best way for creators to build relationships with their audience. Find out how to use email to engage with your following.

    Part 1
    The benefits of email marketing for creators
    11 min read
    In this Article

    When a subscriber opens an email in their inbox, it leads to more sales than any other marketing tactic.

    Not even social media, organic SEO, paid advertising, or affiliate marketing is proven to have the benefits of email marketing.

    But what is email marketing?

    At its most basic level, email marketing happens when a business owner uses email to send you information about their products and services, but a truer definition goes beyond that.

    Email marketing is the best way for business owners to build relationships with their audience. Like I mentioned above, email marketing is a more powerful form of communication than social media or even paid advertising.

    It’s a direct line of contact between a business owner (you) and an email subscriber (your audience/customers). Nothing stands between the two of you, making it a very effective way to build your business and increase your conversions.

    Own the relationship with your audience

    ConvertKit helps you build a relationship with your followers and own that connection you make with them through your email list.

    Start a free 14-day ConvertKit trial

    And it’s an effective tool for increasing conversions in every niche.

    You might be a recent college graduate who is looking to become a full-time freelancer while building a powerful personal brand that will grow with your career.

    Maybe you’re a full-time parent who is building a side hustle that gives you the time and space to stay present for your kids in their youth.

    Or you might be a passionate content creator who is interested in building a location-independent business that gives you the freedom and flexibility to create projects you’re proud of on your own schedule.

    No matter what stage of your business or career you are in, email marketing can help you make a living online.

    Understanding the importance of email marketing

    The importance of email marketing

    Email marketing is a crucial part of your overall marketing and sales strategy. It allows you to turn website visitors and social media followers into loyal email subscribers so you can stay in touch with them long term.

    Through email marketing, you can send educational and promotional emails directly to your subscribers without having to worry about social media algorithm changes or noisy advertisements distracting from your email content.

    Since your email list is one of the few marketing channels you own—meaning you have full control over how often you communicate with your subscribers—you are able to cultivate an audience of people who are excited to hear from you.

    Bloggers, video content creators, podcasters, freelancers, ecommerce shop owners, and digital product creators alike can all experience the benefits of email marketing from growing their own email list. There are a few additional reasons why you may want to start building an email list.

    Building trust with valuable educational content

    People only buy products and services from people they can trust, but before you can build trust, you need to provide real value to your subscribers.

    One of the best ways to do this is by sending several educational emails and a welcome email sequence before you introduce a product you’re selling. It will show your audience that you care more about nurturing your relationship and establishing a good rapport with them than just sales alone.

    Additionally, your educational content will solidify your expertise and credibility any time you share a behind-the-scenes look of your creative process and teach your subscribers everything you know.

    You can also give your audience upfront value by offering lead magnets and content upgrades, which allow your readers to gain free and exclusive access to some of your best educational resources. It’s smart to use these as a way to educate on niche topics that relate to your offerings.

    Thoughtfully promoting your products and services

    Once you’ve been providing relevant, valuable content to your audience and educating them on topics that relate to your niche, your audience will be primed the next time you decide to launch a new product or service.

    If you only send promotional emails, you may turn off your subscribers since you haven’t taken the time to nurture the relationship. Instead, you’ll want to lead with your actionable educational content.

    By creating educational emails, you can show how much you know about each topic and begin to understand the needs and desires of your audience based on how well they are engaging with your emails.

    Email marketing is especially valuable when you are launching a new product or service. Sometimes launch announcements can get lost in your follower’s social media feed. It’s much better to send a launch-based email that will be sent directly to your subscriber’s inbox so they won’t miss it.

    If you have products and services that have already been created or that you’re currently selling, you may want to think about creating an automated email sequence that helps you market them in a personalized, engaging way.

    Nurturing relationships through your ongoing email marketing

    While turning email subscribers into buyers or clients is one of the main goals of email marketing, it’s hard to accomplish this without building and nurturing relationships with your subscribers first.

    People don’t want to feel like numbers or dollar signs. They may contribute to your sales goals, but they want to feel respected, heard, and understood in the process. One of the best ways to build relationships with your subscribers is to lead with value.

    We’ve already mentioned the importance of sharing educational content, but there are other ways you can provide value. You can share personal stories of how you overcame an obstacle or learned a new skill to build a stronger connection with your readers.

    Along with telling stories from your own experience, you may want to peel back the curtain by crafting client case studies that introduce your ideal clients to people who are just like them. This will help your audience feel like you understand them and can provide solutions to similar problems they have.

    Lastly, nurturing relationships through your email marketing means prioritizing dialogue. Conversations are what connect us to one another on a deeper level. These conversations could start by you sending a survey or offering to reply back to some of your subscribers’ emails. Get creative!How does email marketing work

    How does email marketing work?

    With an understanding of what email marketing is, you may be wondering how it works. If this is your first time building an email list around a brand, how do you know where to get started?

    The easiest way to get started is by following our simple three-step process.

    Step 1: Increase traffic to your website, blog, and social media platforms

    One of the first steps to growing your email list is to focus on increasing your website and blog traffic by targeting a niche audience. If you don’t have the right eyeballs on your website or blog, it will be more difficult to build your email list.

    To improve your traffic, you could:

    • Use SEO best practices when you create content (with Google and Pinterest in mind)
    • Partner with influencers or like-minded people in your field
    • Start guest blogging on other people’s websites
    • Regularly post your content to social media
    • You don’t need to have a specific number of website visitors, blog readers, or social media followers to getting started with email marketing. We recommend investing in building an email list as soon as you can in order to build an engaged audience on a platform you’ll always own.

      Step 2: Entice visitors and followers to sign up for your email list

      As you build your online following, you’ll want to incentivize readers to join your email list. Some great ways to do this include creating an email opt-in form or a dedicated landing page that lead to a free downloadable lead magnet.

      When you craft blog, video, or audio content, you’ll want to create it to strategically go hand-in-hand with your desired lead magnet. This is why it’s beneficial to find your niche early on in the brand-building process.

      Once you become known for something within your niche, you can build an engaged email audience by leading with upfront value. If you are struggling to come up with ideas for lead magnets, ask your audience! They’ll be excited to be involved in the ideation process and, hopefully, inspire you to create a resource with them in mind.

      Step 3: Send an automated email sequence to your new subscribers

      When your audience member becomes an email subscriber, they’ll be added to your email list after they click the double opt-in confirmation. Once they confirm their email address, they’ll receive your lead magnet as they are enrolled in your automated email sequence.

      In your automated email sequence, you’ll want to send educational emails with the primary goal of providing value to your audience. While you teach your audience about a niche topic, you can also share personal stories, client testimonials, and relevant insights.

      You may also want your subscribers to self-select what content they are most interested in receiving as part of your email segmentation strategy. That way, you are only sending the most relevant content to your subscribers.

      After your reader works their way through the end of your automated email sequence, you can transition them into another email sequence or send single email broadcasts to nurture your subscribers.

      What are the benefits of email marketing for content creators?

      If you still need to be persuaded that email marketing could be a game changer for your business, we have a few additional benefits to share, backed by statistics we think you’ll appreciate.

      Email marketing is more valuable than growing your social media following

      Growing your social media follower count doesn’t mean you are growing your sales. When your focus is solely on growing your follower base, you’ll distract yourself from the true goal: increasing your profits.

      As social media gets noisier, email marketing provides a nice break from mindless scrolling. With each new social media algorithm change, it becomes harder for your content to organically reach your followers without heavily investing in paid advertising.

      Why bother with the frustrating social media changes when you could focus on growing your email list? It doesn’t hurt that email subscribers can be worth 15 times as much as social media followers (or more) when we consider overall conversion rates.

      Email marketing is a cost-effective way to build your audience

      When you have fewer expenses, it means more profit for your business! Having an email list is a cost-effective way to automate parts of your onboarding process and sell your products on autopilot. Think about the tasks on your list that you tend to repeat over and over, and consider how you could automate them through your email marketing strategy.The benefits of email marketing

      You can measure your email list growth and performance

      If you were asked where your last few product sales have come from, would you be able to determine what each person’s customer journey looked like? Without this valuable information, you won’t be able to further optimize your marketing funnels.

      Email marketing, however, gives you the tools to measure your email list growth and performance over time. By calculating your open rates, click rates, and conversion rates, you can track how well your emails are driving sales and increasing audience engagement.

      You can utilize automation while remaining personable

      Automation can be powerful when it is used strategically. By automating your email sequences and sales funnels, you can spend more time interacting with your audience and creating valuable content that they’ll love. Simply set up your email sequences and funnels one time and then you’re done!

      There’s a higher return on investment (ROI) for email marketing

      As a content creator, you wear a lot of hats. It can seem like everything on your to-do list should get first priority, but only the things that are bringing you more sales deserve to be at the top of your list.

      Email marketing is one of the best ways to increase your ROI and reach your sales goals. For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average ROI is $38. Who wouldn’t be excited about that kind of return?

      Find out the benefits of email marketing for yourself

      Above all, it’s easy to get started! You don’t need to put your entire schedule on hold to get the hang of email marketing. Instead, you can start where you are now and learn the basics with our easy-to-follow guide to email marketing.

      And if you’re ready to experience the benefits of email marketing in your own business, you can sign up for a FREE trial of Convertkit today!

    Own the relationship with your audience

    ConvertKit helps you build a relationship with your followers and own that connection you make with them through your email list.

    Kayla Hollatz

    Kayla Hollatz is a copywriter and content creator for creative entrepreneurs who want their words to connect and convert. Few things make her happier than ghostwriting for clients in her studio, aka her four-season porch with a lake view. She can frequently be found fighting Minnesota winters with a mug of hot chocolate in hand.