What is email marketing?
Most interior designers keep their portfolio on their website. There may be a little information about their services, but mainly interior design websites are put up to display designer's work and contact information. Some interior designers even have a blog. Although, I'd suspect that if those designers are reading this article, their blog probably hasn't been updated in awhile.
While interior design websites have a way for clients to contact the designer, they usually haven't created a way for the interior designer to contact clients. This is where an email list is useful to your business. Despite the spread of social media, email is still one of the best ways to be in contact with your potential clients and past clients - the ones that you don't talk to regularly.
Email is a way to stay connected with the people who want to be on your list. It also creates a distilled environment of people who want to hear from you. In advertising and marketing, being in the forefront of someone's mind is what you want. Regular email allows you to do that. Even if you don't have a regular blog that you want people to read, there are still reasons to send out regular emails.
Who are you targeting?
Figuring out why you are sending emails and who you want to get on your email list is an important step in helping you create content for your emails. Whatever you decide, you want to provide value and be authentic. Your goal in collecting emails could be to start the onboarding process with clients, it could be to educate potential customers, it could be to show the value of an interior designer, you could want single dads to be the bulk of your list, or to attract families that just moved into town. Can you see how this would alter the content of your emails?
What you don't want to do is just push out information about your company without thought to what your list will actually want to read. This is why it is important to know who you are targeting and who your ideal clients are. You could want to send emails to single dads so that they ultimately hire you to decorate their kid's room. You could create a lead magnet (the thing that you trade for their email address) that is titled, "Transitioning from 1 Home to 2: A Guide for Single Dads." It could include a list of items needed to furnish the kid's rooms and pictures of your past projects. It would also include your contact information and services. Emails that you would send to them would be geared toward single dads too. You could include fun crafts, recipes, or information on creating kid-friendly spaces.
How to collect emails
If you are just starting an email list, I recommend Mailchimp or ConvertKit. Put an opt-in box in several places on your website, you want it to be there when someone is ready to give you their email, not have to go looking for it. People are more protective over their email so the old "sign up for my newsletter" isn't as effective as it once was. You want to offer them something in exchange for their email address - the lead magnet. This could be a guide, an e-book, worksheets, videos, email course, templates, resources, discount, free phone consultation - really there are so many options.
Once you have people's email, treasure it. Don't abuse them, but don't ignore them either. You want to be consistently sending emails, I recommend weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Send a welcome email telling them a little about yourself and what you do for your clients. Give them reasons to keep reading every email you send by making each one valuable to the reader.
Ideas for Content
- Helpful how-to guides (How to properly make a bed, how to change decor for seasons, how to vacuum lines into your carpet)
- Latest purchases - show readers the beautiful furniture you are purchasing and tell a little about it and why it is special/unique.
- Innovative solutions - How you solved the latest onsite project problem.
- Link round-up of informative articles - All the best articles on the web.
- Motivation to do something in their home - for example, you could share a study about how a clean house makes you happier
- Holiday reminders
- Birthday cards
- Anniversary cards
- Special offers such as holiday decorating or spring refreshes (don't discount your services)
- Success stories of past clients
- Frequently asked questions
- Survey (design style, sofa preference, what color should you paint your walls)
- Seasonal tips or advice
- City Guides - Where to find the best taco, the best candle, the best Mother's Day gift in your city
- Instruction manuals (how to polish wood, caring for your crystal chandelier, proper cleaning of marble tile, how to remove scratches from wood)
- Before and afters
Put it into Practice:
Sign up for an email marketing service. Create something great to give in exchange for email addresses. Put opt-ins on your website. Start sending valuable and authentic regular emails.
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