Email marketing for creative business is one of the most effective ways to stay in contact with your biggest fans and grow your brand.
Many entrepreneurs feel intimidated by marketing. But marketing doesn’t have to be sleazy or complicated. It just has to be a conversation.
Email marketing is the secret sauce for growing your business. Artists, authors and other creative entrepreneurs notice a boost in sales and customer satisfaction when they take the time to prioritize their email lists.
Here are a few of the best tools to make email marketing for creative business simple and effective.
Email Marketing For Creative Business
Email marketing is a practice that businesses use to speak directly to their audience and build relationships with them.
Despite many people’s concerns, email is not dead, but is actually a powerful business tool because you control your email list. Unlike with social media, you can choose to address to your audience as often as you wish.
If you want to know more about why email marketing is such a big deal for creative entrepreneurs, check out my post “What’s The Big Deal About Email Lists?”
Email marketing gives you the opportunity to control your communication with customers and fans, and offer them more value than you otherwise could. Growing an active email list is essential for any creative business in today’s world.
If you haven’t started your email list yet, I recommend you begin immediately. Your list may take time to grow, and you don’t want to be left behind. The following email marketing tools will help you get started.
Best Email Marketing Tools
Getting started on email marketing for your creative business can feel daunting. There is so much to consider when building your email list, including the laws and regulations involved.
However, there are plenty of tools out there that can help you and make the process more intuitive. I want to touch on three types of tools: email platforms, lead page builders, and lead magnet creation tools.
Start with your email marketing platform.
DO NOT build your email list using Gmail or another free, personal email service. This is illegal in many places and will cost you in the long run.
Instead, choose an email marketing software that is already set up to abide by international laws so you don’t have to jump through hoops to get your emails through.
Here are a few of the most popular email marketing platforms:
Mailchimp is the most popular email platform. This doesn’t mean that they are the best, but they have a few great features.
First, Mailchimp has a free version for up to 2000 contacts. This version includes free opt-in forms and a few landing page templates. However, once your list grows, you will have to upgrade to the paid version.
The free version does not offer email automations, which is essential if you are trying to grow your list. Mailchimp also does not allow affiliate marketing.
MailerLite has been gaining popularity in recent years for good reason.
Their free version supports up to 1000 subscribers, and includes all the basics you need to get started, including email automations, landing pages and sign-up forms.
Once you pass their free subscriber limit, the service starts at an affordable monthly rate that allows you to grow your list slowly.
MailerLite does not allow exclusive affiliate marketing, but will allow affiliate links in your emails if you follow their guidelines.
If you are just getting started with setting up email marketing for your creative business, MailerLite offers great value for beginners.
ConvertKit also offers a free version, however, the subscriber limit is only 300, and they do not offer automations in this version, but ConvertKit stands out in other areas.
Their paid service does offer email automations, and a visual automation builder that makes it easy to focus on your customer journey and maximize the value you bring to your subscribers.
This platform also offers intuitive reporting of your email stats and has recently added direct product sales to their available features, so subscribers do not have to leave the page to buy from you.
ConvertKit is my preferred platform because they made it specifically to support creative entrepreneurs such as artists, authors, and bloggers.
Send In Blue differs from the other email marketing platforms on this list because they charge based on emails sent per day, rather than the number of subscribers you have.
The free version offers email automations for up to 2000 contacts and an integrated CRM to track customer interactions. However, they do not offer customizable landing pages for this version.
One of the biggest things that Send In Blue has over the other platforms, though, is integrated SMS marketing. This means you can send text messages to subscriber’s phones and even take sales through mobile.
Active Campaign is the most expensive email software on this list, but many consider it the gold standard in terms of email automation and reporting.
Active Campaign does not offer a free version, and may be overkill to someone just getting started. However, they offer a significant number of automations and features for marketing success.
Anyone who plans to bring in most of their income through email marketing efforts should definitely check out this platform and all it has to offer.
Landing Page Builders
Most email marketing software comes with its own landing page builder. However, if yours does not, or if you just want more options for building great landing pages, external landing page builders are an option.
An attractive and easy-to-understand landing page is essential when email marketing for your creative business. Here are a few builders that can help you grow your email list:
Unbounce is a popular landing page builder because of its easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, A/B testing, and tons of offered integrations. They also use AI technology to help users improve conversion rates.
However, this service is not cheap. Plans start at $90 a month as of this writing, and go up from there depending on the number of page visitors and conversions you have.
Still, Unbounce is at the top of the list because many digital entrepreneurs swear by it.
Leadpages is another great option for landing page design. It is more affordable than Unbounce and doesn’t go up in price based on traffic or conversions.
This email marketing tool also offers A/B split testing and includes plenty of design templates to get you started.
Leadpages design elements are not quite as intuitive as Unbounce. But they make up for this with price, features, and integrations.
Swipe Pages is a great option for mobile-focused landing pages.
They offer affordable plans and basic integrations with popular software. They also offer analytics and conversion tracking, as well as A/B testing in their higher plans.
Swipe Pages is a relatively affordable option for all of its features, and is a good place to start if you get most of your traffic through mobile devices.
Lead Magnet Creation
A Lead Magnet is a free item, usually an informational gift or offer, that you give to potential customers for permission to add them to your email list.
Visually appealing lead magnets are a must for building your email list and offering great value to your audience. Here are a few email marketing tools to help you create beautiful and functional lead magnets that will attract potential customers to your brand.
Canva is one of the most popular graphic design options available because it’s so versatile and easy to use. They have a free version and pro version with tons of templates and design elements available.
You can create beautiful instructional graphics, PDF documents, ebooks, whiteboards and more using this software. Many amateur graphic designers prefer Canva to programs like Photoshop because of its intuitive interface.
Canva makes it easy to design attractive, functional lead magnets that can to download and send to your subscribers.
Beacon is a design software built exclusively for creating lead magnets. You can easily design interactive PDF documents, checklists, workbooks and more.
Their paid plans also offer unlimited lead capture, and they are the only program I’ve seen that also has a resource library builder available.
Beacon offers a wealth of lead magnet options for every level of your email marketing journey and is a great option if you want lead magnets your subscribers can fill out and use digitally.
Interact is a lead magnet software that allows you to build customized quizzes for your audience. This is a great option for digital course creators to build awareness around the programs they offer.
Interact has a free trial, as well as several integrations with the top email marketing platforms.
The software even has templates available based on the type of business you run, so you can build the perfect lead-generating quiz for your market.
Outgrow is an interactive content builder that specializes in customizable calculators, such as those used by fitness sites and mortgage lenders. They have an easy-to-use builder and various formula options so you can make the perfect calculator for your fans.
The program is also easy to utilize. You can embed the outgrow calculator on any webpage or supportive landing page, and it integrates with over 1000 other tools.
Outgrow even includes social share buttons so your audience can share your calculator with their friends.
Email marketing for your creative business is one of the most important ways you can connect with your audience and potential customers. Communicating regularly with your email list builds trust and support for your brand and can significantly grow your income.
There are many email marketing tools available to help you maximize the impact of your efforts and help you grow your list, including email platforms, lead page builders, and lead magnet creation tools.
I hope these tools help you grow your creative business into the business of your dreams!