4 Ways to Grow Your Interior Design or Staging Mailing List
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The Kate Show | Episode 75
As an interior designer, home stager, or workroom owner, do you have a mailing list? I ask this question of my new clients often. ...And I'm often met with raised brows, followed by questions such as:
"Why do I need a mailing list? I have social media followers."
"What if my contacts don't want to hear from me?"
"Isn't email marketing outdated?
These are valid questions, and ones that need answering before we can delve into exactly how to grow your mailing list. If you're ready to discover how many more projects you could be getting each month just by using and growing your mailing list, you'll get so much value from this episode of The Kate Show. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes or Google Play.
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Busting Myths about Email Marketing
Email marketing, including newsletters, is the last step in any sales funnel, regardless of your business type or industry. On the other hand, social media is the beginning of any sales funnel and is certainly not a substitute for email.
When my team and I start working with clients on their email marketing, we have them put all their leads and clients into a spreadsheet. Realistically, all we need are their email addresses - but it's also nice to have their names. We assure clients of the same thing I'm about to tell you: You have a right to email these people. If they don't want to hear from you any more, they can easily unsubscribe with one click.
As for the myth about email marketing being dead or outdated, it's actually the opposite. My clients have landed thousands of dollars in projects directly from sending an email newsletter, projects they never would have gotten otherwise. Email marketing is effective whether you have 30 contacts or 300, and it works best when done consistently.
Mailing List Growth Tactics to Avoid
It might be tempting to export your Gmail or Outlook contacts into a spreadsheet and start emailing them. It might sound like a good idea to collect business cards at events and enter them into your database later. Marketing gurus might even tell you that it's okay to buy mailing lists.
However, the answer to each of these ideas is a firm, "NO." To keep your business activities legal, you need to make sure you are only putting people on your mailing list who actually know you, would potentially hire you, and have agreed to receive emails from you. This is why your past clients and leads are a good fit but random people who give you their business cards at events, your general email contacts, and purchased lists are not.
Grow Your Mailing List with Contacts You Already Have
The easiest way to grow your mailing list is to make a habit of adding new lead and client contact info to your list on a monthly basis. So many businesses forget to do this, resulting in missed opportunities for referrals, new clients, and repeat business.
If you ran your business during the decades before email was popular, don't sweat it. You could reach out to those clients and ask for their email address, or you could carry on with the contacts you do have. Don't spend hours digging through old client files. If you can scrape together at least 30 contacts with email addresses, you're ready to start email marketing.
Grow Your Mailing List with an Online Quiz
Online quizzes, such as, "Find your design style" or "what window treatment suits your space," or "how soon should you list your home with an agent" are excellent ways to attract people into your mailing list. In short, everyone who takes the quiz must enter their name and email before getting their results. This is fun for them and a sneaky but legitimate way to grow your mailing list.
I recommend using an online tool called TryInteract.com for this. I interviewed the founder of this company in one of my first episodes. They make online quiz creation simple and quick.
Grow Your Mailing List with a Lead Magnet
You've heard me talk about lead magnets before. They are also referred to as branded magazines, freebies, or ebooks, and they focus on a subject matter that your ideal client would find helpful, such as, "How to Prepare for a Remodel," or, "Home Staging 101 for Realtors."
Lead magnets also give the reader a behind-the-scenes look at your design or staging process, your team, and your credentials. Additionally, they provide a beautiful way to show case a few of your favorite project photos. (If you don't have professional project photos, you can use stock photos that are representative of the work you do.)
A few lead magnet ideas I NEVER advise using include the following:
Offering a discount (it proclaims that you're cheap)
Offering a free consult (it says that your time isn't valuable)
Offering a buy-one-get-one deal (I see workrooms doing this a lot, and it hurts their perceived value)
Your lead magnet needs to meet the following criteria in order to successfully have a reader turn into a client:
The subject must be relevant and helpful to your ideal client
The subject must be simple and straightforward, something easy to understand or implement
The colors and fonts must match your brand
The design and layout of each page should mimic a magazine
The last page should include your contact information in case they want to print it for reference
If you are ready to get more clients, repeat projects, and referrals, let my team and I help with your email marketing. We include a lead magnet for every client and hundreds of social media posts you can use at will, ensuring you have a complete sales funnel that works even when you aren't.