The term “newsletter” can feel a little outdated. In the social media age, it might seem redundant to send out emails with your latest content and photos, but email marketing is as effective (and important) as ever.
If you have an active social media presence and a functional website, then it’s easy enough for potential clients to find you. They can seek you out at their convenience and contact you if they want. What these channels are usually lacking is a way for you to reach your followers directly. Even with the prevalence of sponsored posts, you’re only reaching people who may or may not be interested in your services. Email marketing gives you a line of communication with people who have literally signed up for it. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to a captive audience and pool of sales leads.
Email marketing gives you the rare opportunity to increase brand awareness and establish industry expertise in a measurable way. You can safely assume that if someone signs up to receive your newsletter that they’re interested in working with you, or, at the very least, interested in seeing your work on a regular basis. A newsletter gives you the space and time to share things that don’t fit into the small squares and character limits of social media posts. It’s a compliment to your other marketing efforts and can easily drive traffic to your site and blog.
Design: Emily Henderson
With newsletters, the key is quality. What separates a spam email from one that you open time and time again is one simple thing: value. We are all bombarded with emails every single day, most of which are asking us to do something, buy something. In a service-driven industry like interior design, that is not the foot you want to start on. Your subscribers should feel like they’re getting something for free—a small piece of your expertise, a “mini” consultation, or at least some nugget of inspiration. With that in mind, here are the things we recommend including in your brand’s newsletter:
The simplest and most obvious way to provide value to your newsletter subscribers is with information. DIY design is a phenomenon, and it doesn’t have to be the enemy of your business. Use it to reach more followers and boost brand awareness. Even if you don’t get a client, you might get an avid follower and community member that will share your business with more promising prospects.
Don’t be worried that giving away your secrets will put you out of business. You don’t have to divulge everything, and there will always be a market for those who can’t or don’t want to do it themselves. And when they’re ready to hire, you will be top-of-mind.
I love a good series. Nothing creates a dedicated readership like roping them into an ongoing discussion. You could focus on a specific trend or style for a time or on a specific project, sharing exclusive behind-the-scenes shots. Followers love the opportunity to see how you work and get a personal glimpse into your daily life.
Transformation photos can carry such a profound impact, but you may not want less-than-aesthetically-pleasing photos taking up real estate on your actual website. A newsletter is a great place to share them, along with your blog. Even using “befores” to tease a reveal is a great use of your email list.
Another resource you can offer subscribers is your own sources and research. Roundups of products, inspiration, sales, etc., give time-saving value to design enthusiasts. These lists are the perfect spot for you to utilize affiliate links and drive traffic to your Pinterest boards. More on using affiliate links here.
The content you post to your blog takes time, energy, and money if you have employees. Get the most of that investment by condensing + revamping old posts to use as email content. This is the perfect solution when you’re having a busy week and have no time to write from scratch.
Hosting a giveaway? Running a sale? Offering a new service? This is the place to share it first. Reward your subscribers by giving them exclusive information and first access. This builds trust and gives them a reason to stick around.
Create opportunities for your email readers to communicate with you. Interaction creates community! Let them ask questions, answer poll questions, and communicate with each other by setting up a custom hashtag.
One of the biggest questions we get is what software works best for newsletters. The two we recommend are Mailchimp and Flodesk. While Mailchimp is a little more widely known, we have been using Flodesk for all IDCO Studio and The Weekly Edit newsletters and LOVE it. Not only is it extremely user-friendly but the built-in designs are amazing. If you are wanting to test out Flodesk, click here for 50% off!
Friends, don’t sleep on email marketing. I know we talk a lot about Instagram and Pinterest over here, but newsletters give you the ability to speak directly to followers that are already acquainted with your brand and work. We hope these tips help you create content that drives engagement, site traffic, and ultimately, sales! And, don’t forget to put your newsletter sign-up in a conspicuous spot on your website and promote it regularly on social media.
For more information on creative business strategy, check out these posts:
IDCO Studio is a full-service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Our recently launched limited-release website templates are the perfect way for interior designers to get a luxury website on a budget. These templates allow designers to maintain control of their content. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.
Subscribe to stay inspired. We'll keep you up to date on what's trending in your industry + share our best business tips along the way.