How Your Email List Can Get You Clients (Coaches and Wellness Professionals)

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24 min read

How you can use email strategically to get more clients: A brief tour and 10 reasons why email STILL works better than social media when it comes to building trust, selling your offers, and saving time.

Note: This blog is written for beginners who may be confused by the entire strategic process, and don’t yet need and in-depth tutorial, but a little guidance, a tour, and some encouragement.

Email marketing is like planting a garden. Tending to it can yield great results. But it’s hard to see just HOW all of it really works when all we hear about is the latest hack, tip, or technique.

In order to get a better feel for how email marketing actually works rather than just read more statistics about how cool it is (and still feel lost enough to put it at the bottom of your priority list) I’m going to take you on quick tour.

In this blog, I’m going to go into more detail about the overall CONTEXT of email marketing and how some of the pieces fit together.

This is intended to be an overview, not a step-by-step how to from start to finish or a “tech” tutorial. You don’t need to spend a ton of money to make this happen, and everything is SO much easier than it was 10 years ago.

In other words, its do-able. For even more detail, see the big black box below about more resources that will help you take the next logical step.

Let’s start exploring and getting the “lay of the land” with email marketing, starting with the first reason why email is so underrated:  

1. Lead generation

This is exactly what it sounds like: a way to generate leads, or prospective paying clients, patients, customers, or guests.

It’s another way to say “growing your email list.”

By leads in this context I mean people who voluntarily subscribed to your newsletter, “inner circle,” or whatever you want to call it. How does this happen?

The Opt In Form

Via something called an “opt-in form.”  You may have seen these before. In order to receive a free gift, you provide an email address.

You don’t need to know how to code to create one. In DIVI (a WordPress theme and builder) you simply start with the opt in module, customize it, and connect it to your email marketing service (Such as ConvertKit, Mailerlite, or Active Campaign) with just one copy and paste and a few clicks.

Again, this isn’t a tutorial so I’m not going to demonstrate, but it’s not difficult. I can also make opt in forms look MUCH better in DIVI than the templates that come with most email marketing services, but you do have lots of choices out there.

Note: This is a screenshot of one of my lead magnets. For the real functioning form, click here.

Quizzes

Quizzes are my favorite way to generate leads. This quiz (below) was built intuitively with Thrive Quiz Builder.

After the quiz is complete, they can see their results (instant gratification) but I also like to go a little deeper (a LOT) and for this someone would need to subscribe to my list.

You can set it up  so that the complete results are the freebie or lead magnet someone would receive for subscribing, along with a series of welcome emails. ( aka: an automation, sequence, or workflow)

Depending on the result, a tag is automatically generated so I can sort the archetypes and send them relevant emails.

You can take this quiz and see YOUR result.. and get a feel for how the whole process works on the front end!

2. Your list is an ASSET that you OWN

But what is it, exactly?

When someone subscribes via any of your opt-ins or quizzes, your email service takes it from there, automatically. Your email service, (I recommend MailerLite or ActiveCampaign) assigns them to something called a LIST.

This is something you control and manage in your dashboard. You can have one list, or several, or actually as many as you want. (I’ll explain more in a moment)

When you hear about email marketing, generally we refer to “all the lists” as our “list.”

Lists are not what they used to be.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, lists were a commodity that was bought and sold so that corporations could inundate you with emails you didn’t want or ask for. The targeting for these types of lists tends to be terrible, which makes the experience even MORE irritating for the recipient.

Today, things are different.

Email lists are carefully created, attended to, and pruned, by we, the entrenpreneurs.

It’s more of a human, organic process than it used to be back in the days when people bought and sold lists like candy. It’s done respectfully by any smart business owner.

Legal Considerations

But just in case, there are data privacy laws in the EU and in CA that make SURE that this is what is happening, and that leads are treated with respect, like real human beings, not just as “data” or “revenue sources.”

First, I think that many are still unaware that opting OUT is an option, via UN subscribing. This is something that is a “built in” feature with every email marketing service I can think of.

Every email sent will have an “unsubscribe” option that is easy to access.

Second, there is more transparency now than ever when it comes to “opting in.”

Let’s see what that looks like. 

Back in 2018, everyone was freaking out about GDPR and privacy laws.

So checkboxes became all the rage.

example of email opt in form

This opt-in form has a checkbox indicating, basically.. that “hey it’s cool.. I enjoy your stuff so go ahead and send me your best. I’m in.. lets have fun with it! Many email services provide an easy way to add these checkboxes for easy GDPR compliance.

Update: Upon further research, I discovered that checkboxes are not mandatory. In fact, overdoing it can create a less-than-ideal user experience. Who wants to have to make all those decisions and check all those boxes? 

Not me!

As long as you explain CLEARLY what people are opting in for, you may not even need a checkbox. Click here to see how I worded one of my opt-ins, what a lead magnet might look like, and to see how the whole process works on the front end.

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer nor do I claim to be, so if you are unsure of the law in your area, please consult a lawyer who specializes in data privacy. 

Lists vs. Tags

You can also manage and sort your contacts at this level by assigning them to a specific list or assigned TAGS.

Lists are like the “buckets” you can put subscribers into. For example: Sports medicine patients, Hormone balancing patients, Course enrollees, etc.

Tags, on the other hand, are like “sticky notes” you can attach to a lead. These tags can trigger an automated email. For example: Lead takes quiz and gets result: Explorer Brand Archetype. They are assigned a tag “Explorer” and if you want, you can set up an automation that is  triggered by this tag, so that your Explorers get their very own series of emails.

They can be easily removed. However, you still want to keep your system streamlined or you can end up with a LOT of tags, which can get overwhelming and confusing.

Especially when you have 12 freaking archetypes/results/tags. Yikes. It was a beast, but it’s one of my best lead-generators. I also get a lot of insight simply by knowing what brand archetype a particular lead happens to arrive at.

How you organize your lists and tags is entirely up to you. This is managed in your dashboard. I DO recommend using a good naming convention to avoid confusion down the road as you may add more lists and tags.

3. Set and Forget Marketing: The Welcome sequence or automation

Keep in mind that automations, sequences, and workflows are all different words, used by different platforms, to describe the same thing, which can be confusing, so I’ll clear that up now.

Back to the quiz example:

Each archetype receives a series of 7 emails. They are based on the same template, but each one gets their own branding guides and some more goodies unique to their archetype.

Here’s the thing: All paths lead to the final email, which shows the next steps they can take to really dial in their brand with my Future Proof Your Business Academy.

Some will buy from me, others will not, and that’s ok.. because all the work was already done on the front end.

All the automations are “set and forget.” I’m all about keeping our ecosystems simple, and for me that means this is my main or maybe even ONLY, lead generator.  (I talk more about this a lot, but not in this blog)

It’s kind of like writing a book and leveraging it. Think of it as an asset  that keeps working for you.

Sure beats the hell out of having to “dance for my supper” on Tik Tok every day!

4. Earn trust and raise your vibe with consistent newsletters

You have your “set and forget” emails, but you still want to keep in touch with your audience on a regular basis, say once a week.

Sharing your “Free stuff”  (content) is a great way to build trust and rapport with your new leads.

Anyone with a service based business.. which is about being an expert in your specific niche.. will probably be happy to share with the world the important and transformational work they do.

If you love your work, it should be easy to come up with things to talk about in your emails. In some ways, I think email is one of the easier channels of communication because:

• They  don’t need to be long.

You don’t have to worry about optimizing anything for SEO: word count, keywords, etc. Just write from the heart.

However, you DO want to take the time to write a good subject line. I love this tool, which makes it easier to come up with a subject line that will get opened.

• You can make your message short and sweet, and let your other content do the work for you. Include links to your blog, video replays, latest podcast.. whatever reinforces your message. It’s about sharing.

• You can re-cycle your content! This is NOT cheating. I keep a spreadsheet of all the content I can share. (I’ve got 100s!) which means that I can cycle through monthly themes. I do update, (my industry is constantly changing) but I never had to start from scratch.

Your audience will appreciate this.. it’s too easy to miss something these days. “Have you ever thought:  Oh, damn, that sounds perfect, but I can’t right now! Will it be offered again, ever?”

Having a great offer or challenge that will come around next year seems to be the “sweet spot” of creating a sense of “urgency” so that people don’t put off taking action indefinitely AND knowing that the offering will be available again next year.

• You can leverage AI tools

With some prompting skills, you can also recruit ChatGPT to do a LOT of the work for you. I wouldn’t worry about the email sounding impersonal, because you’ll be editing it.

The main issue I think most of us have (yes, me too) is coming up with ideas and subject lines, and staring at that blank screen. For me, having a “content bucket” where I can dump new ideas and having AI tools to help me get started has saved me a TON of time.

• You can batch and schedule emails far in advance. It’s cool to send “in the moment” messages to your people, but at the same time, you might be starting to see how it might make more sense to do this kind of work in one sitting for an entire month or two or even three. This gives you some insurance during those times when you aren’t going to be inspired.

Make it easy on yourself!

• Did I mention that unlike with social media.. you OWN and have control over your list? Ah.. I did! 

Your emails are not  just a weekly “love letter” to send to your inner circle.

They are also a fantastic way to share all that great content you’ve worked so hard on. Don’t let them just collect dust on your hard drive or cloud storage.. include a link to your latest blog or video.

Keep updating and sharing your content. BONUS: You’ll help your SEO and give traffic to your website a boost!

Sharing and giving like this raises the vibe for the  entire transaction process.. if and when it gets to that stage. It’s really just all about relationship marketing.

email marketing for holistic healers is about giving

5. Show leads the next logical steps for THEM, by meeting them where they are at. (Nurture)

I like this word.. for some, it feels more natural than the phrase “leading someone through a sales funnel.”

I call it “Being Santa Claus” or at least a generous elf depositing goodies on a regular basis. It’s through this that people can decide for themselves whether your products or services are good match for them or not.

When your unique offerings are a good  match for your ideal patient or client, and you provide exactly what people are looking for.. of course they will want to read what you have.!

You are treating your audience like real people, not just as “your list” when you look at it this way.

Think about some of your favorite online experts.. and how they make it fun and interesting. I enjoy hearing from Michelle Knight of Brandmerry and Tad Hargrave of Marketing for Hippies, for example. Even when life gets chaotic and I don’t have time to keep up, at least I know that I can count on a new email or video or podcast, like clockwork every Thursday and Tuesday. And sometimes I’ll even “binge” on their new podcast or video.

But what if it’s NOT a good match?

Although the goal is to prevent this by really nailing your niche, it’s normal to have subscribers come and go who either are not a good match, or are just “freebie seekers.” Let them go. With no hard feelings. (It’s not personal)

Unsubscribes will happen. Keep in mind that this is completely different from reporting spam, which is a bad thing. Unsubscribes are actually a good thing if it means that those who are not a good fit, or those who just want the freebie, self-select out.

Subscribers who are just taking up space and aren’t engaged can cost you.. both in deliverability and monthly fees, as pricing structures are usually based on the number of subscribers you have.

6. Do less “selling” with funnels that deliver real value

Many people associate funnels with email, and for good reason: This is where most of the action takes place, and where most people will end up buying from you, especially if your business (like mine) is primarily online.

I touched on this in the last blog, but I want to really drive home that email isn’t just about putting a “50% discount on gift certificates for Mother’s Day” sort of thing, when you “get around to it” tactic.

It’s a strategy.

THE SALES FUNNEL ..and where email fits in

funnel for wellness professionals

A funnel has a wide top an a narrow bottom, which is why it makes a great model for creating a time an location independent business. 

I wrote a whole blog about marketing funnels. 

Before anyone can opt in to your email list, they first have to know you even EXIST.

Ways you can be found:

• Someone Googles a question and they end up on your blog

• You regularly post on social media AND know how to leverage it

• You have a published book

• You have appeared on a podcast or TV show

• You gave a talk about acupuncture at your local health food store

• You are establishing connections with other experts and leveraging their networks

These are activities that are at the TOP of your funnel. You are casting a wide net at this point, and offering free information to help people and raise awareness about what you do.. and so that the right people know that you exist.

You can do this online or offline.

The problem is.. Do you have way of keeping in touch with those who discover you, or do any kind of online follow up? 

A way that doesn’t require you to spend a ton of time on social media and be subject to its whims and rules? 

Attracting subscribers to your list generally is  in the middle part of the funnel. You can think of it as the online equivalent of “following up..”  NOT by “bothering” anyone, but giving something of value on a consistent basis. (a subscription)

7. Follow up: Taking care of your current clients and customers (active and inactive)

The top of the funnel is the WIDE part, for a reason: More people ENTER at the top, but at the bottom, you have a smaller number of leads that actually make a purchase.

In marketing speak, this is called a “conversion” because the lead  “converts” from a lead into a customer or client.

Having an email marketing system in place is also essential for taking care of those VIP’s at the bottom of the funnel.

8. Email is about intentional and strategic planning

Unlike throwing out random social media posts HOPING that the right people see them and actually engage, email marketing is a lot more strategic and effective.

After an initial welcome email, the next step is to lead them through this process, which is pretty much everything I have been talking about up to this point, but now you are making strategic and well-timed offers that happen automatically in the whole email marketing process.

And this is never, ever, “slimy,” because subscribers always have a choice.

Some will keep reading your emails but never buy.
Some will never open your emails.
Some will unsubscribe.

And some will buy from you.

This is ALL normal. The only thing you don’t really want are either TOO many unsubscribes, or inactive subscribers, so culling the list regularly is a good idea.

Using my example of my own Brand Archetype quiz, the emails that are sent to new subscribers are very strategic:

First, they get a brand starter kit.
Then they get a visual communication guide.
Then a blog about branding, and how aesthetics are only the tip of the iceberg.
I tell them the story of my brand, and how it might be relevant to the journey they are going through.
There’s a few more resources..
And then, at the end, I introduce them to something relevant to the quiz.. either a signature course that covers branding in depth, or working with me on a 1:1 basis on their brand.

Of course, I only had to create all of this ONCE, and then it’s done.

Funnels are more of a conceptual tool, but they don’t always reflect all the EXACT processes that are going on.

Funnels as Flowcharts

It’s easier to visualize a flow chart when it comes to the actual pieces and processes, like that opt-in form you saw above, thank you pages, automatic emails, and more.  Flow charts are a great way to conceptualize all the pieces and “moving parts.”

Here’s an example of a quiz funnel. Depending on their result, they might go to either the pink, green, or purple sequence/automation/workflow. This example also includes what is known as an “upsell” or “Would you like fries with that?” These work, but you don’t have to include one.

sales funnel for email marketing

When you set up something like this, it makes the process of selling your awesome products and services online much more natural and easy. It takes the burden off having to “hustle” for every. single. new. client. Plus, we get the ones that are a PERFECT FIT for our business.

This is the OPPOSITE of making awkward pitches that feel “slimy and icky.” It doesn’t mean that you never, ever have to know anything about sales or discovery calls, but it does mean that you don’t need to do the equivalent of asking someone on your first date together to marry you.

I think that many service-based entrepreneurs are still stuck on the notion that “pitching” a product we are selling is slimy. On one hand, I get it. That’s why I’m a fan of marketing that feels good. This is the goal, and there are many ways to do this without fighting against ourselves.

On the other hand..

We need to get over it.  We are in business for a reason, and I think that most people understand this. I expect to see offers from the people I follow. Something feels weird if I don’t see them!  (I have been “guilty” of not making offers for LONG periods of time)

Think about someone you might enjoy hearing from, say a favorite author. Is it considered “icky” to hear about their latest book?

Probably not, because you’ve already been introduced to the author via a funnel of some sort.

9. Make your offer without “selling” and let your leads go from there: Promotions, Events, and Re-activation campaigns

Obviously, you can (and should) be leveraging email to promote your offerings. Like I mentioned above, it would be kind of weird NOT to. It’s generally expected, and seems “off” to get emails that never lead to what very well could be a next logical step. It’s normal to give an opportunity to make a “yes or no” decision on a regular basis. (You’ll find your sweet spot with this)

I already talked about how I lead up to a promotion with my welcome sequence. But there are SO many other ways you can leverage email as well.

If you have a local, brick-and-mortar business, you may be asking yourself: “I get lots of new people coming through the door, but I want them to stick around longer: How can I get inactive patients to return?”

Although considered separately from a classic sales funnel, you can still send a different kind of email for those who have already bought from you.

These are generally those “one off” emails you send to your list with time-sensitive info or incentives to get inactive patients or previous clients to come back.  Tell them how much you miss them!

These also should feel as if you are giving. It’s not “slimy” to encourage people to come back to see you. You may simply have slipped off their radar, and may very much WANT to hear from you again!

Are you slow in January? Do you offer a detox or hormone balancing program? Put that in your next email broadcast.

If you sell any kind of products or services online, you can offer special promotions. (i.e. the ever-popular Black Friday deals)

People actually  WANT to buy things and experiences or have a problem solved. Make it easy for them!

Building Trust Over Time

I covered this extensively in the first blog in this series. In a nutshell: Email is the perfect way to strategically build/earn trust over time. It’s also not manipulative.. because regardless of whether or not someone buys, they can still get a pretty good idea of what you do and what you are about.

STILL NOT CONVINCED THAT EMAIL MARKETING IS EFFECTIVE?

Remember, your odds of getting paid clients from leads (conversions) are much better via email, and if you don’t let your tribe know you are offering something cool.. you are cheating them out of the choice they could make for themselves.

10. You no longer need to be a slave to TIME: Time and Location Independence and Creative Packaging

What if you want to stop “trading time for dollars” and open up to the possibility of offering products or services globally, or offer a digital course or group coaching as part of a “bundled” program in addition to the wonderful  work  you already do?

You can’t deliver your product via your personal email, so having an email marketing account (such as MailerLite or ActiveCampaign) is no longer optional, but a requirement, so that you can deliver your products and services immediately when someone orders them.

These are called transactional emails. You don’t want to fulfill orders or begin the onboarding process manually.. it’s messy, and a poor experience for clients and customers.

One more thing.. Email is the perfect way to let your loyal clients, patients, and customers know that you love them, by giving an occasional gift. (I prefer the kind that don’t involve more of my TIME) You can also use it to encourage them to leave reviews, create surveys, or even schedule a “Starbucks” meeting so that you can do your own market research over coffee with some of your ideal patients or clients.

As you can see, email is a great way to guide someone on the journey.. from the first moment of being exposed to what you have to offer,  to buying something from you, if they choose. Email is pivotal point in their journey. 

 

Need help with your lead generation and email marketing?

Whether you are a newbie, DIYer, or even seasoned marketer.. sometimes we all need a little help so that we can focus on what really matters and get the results we want.

There are 2 ways I can help:

1. Enroll in the Future Proof Your Practice Toolkit.  This course will take you from start to finish, from mindset to “tech” setup, so that you can get your first online offering out to the world QUICKLY, even if you are starting from scratch.

I’ve devoted several lessons to email.

2. I offer “done for you” solutions so that you can spend more time doing what you love, and less time setting up the “moving parts” of your email system. I can also advise which systems might work best for you, your time, your budget, your goals, and your preferences. (Generally WordPress or Kartra)

 

Hi! I’m Julie. 

I’m a self-described nerd when it comes to branding, marketing, and websites. I’m an INTJ/P who loves working with “thinking” introvert entrepreneurs who are also passionate about their ideas and serious about their business.  Feel free to explore a topic or search for something specific. 

Brand archetype quiz

Take the Brand Archetype Quiz!

A fun quiz that will help you define and refine your brand. You will get more than just a result.. I’ve got all kinds of goodies ready for you and your specific brand type.