How do you go about finding new clients?

By heading out to your local business networking event? Jumping on social media? Reconnecting with business contacts? Scouring job sites?

Nothing wrong with any of those, except that it requires quite a bit of effort on your part.

And there is another way.

Have potential clients come to you.

Whether you want to increase your client base or strengthen business relationships, email marketing is proven to be one of the most effective forms of communication.

  • 73% of B2B marketers say email marketing is essential to growing their business – Salesforce Survey
  • 59% of B2B marketers cite email as the most effective channel for generating revenue – Hubspot
  • 69% of millennial B2B buyers prefer to communicate via email

So, if you want to take the stress and worry out of finding new clients, and have them queuing to work with you, here’s what you need to do to set up your very own email marketing list …

Step 1: Decide on your preferred email marketing software

There are a ton of solutions available, some free, some paid-for. Simply Google “email marketing software”, read up and decide on which one will suit your needs best.

My advice though – especially when starting out – is to use a free service.

You can always move to another provider once your list has grown, your emails have evolved and you know how to effectively use it.

You’re bound to have heard of one of the most well-known free providers – Mailchimp. Forever free for lists under 2,000 subscribers when sending fewer than 12,000 emails per month in total. And you may even end up sticking with them. Why not? It does the job. They’ve loads of template choices and is relatively straight-forward to use.

Of course there are others, including:

RedCappi – free for up to 100 subscribers and unlimited email allowance

Zoho Campaigns – free for up to 2,000 subscribers with a maximum of 12,000 emails per month

SendinBlue – free to an unlimited number of contacts sending up to a maximum of 9,000 emails per month

And loads of paid-for choices, which I’ll leave to you to research since it will very much depend on the additional features you feel you need.

Step 2: Decide on your lead magnet

A lead magnet is essentially your ‘bribe’ to get people to hand over their email address.

But remember, it’s getting harder and harder for people to part with their email, so make sure whatever you’re offering them is a high value item.

To decide on your lead magnet, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What does your target market need to know more about?
  2. What topic are you an expert in and could you easily create a lead magnet on?
  3. What format should you deliver that information in?

Key attributes of a good lead magnet are:

  • Solves a real problem
  • Promises one key actionable take-out
  • Specific
  • Quick and easy to grasp
  • Is immediately accessed

Here’s a few ideas on the type of lead magnets that work:

  1. Free guide to a specific task or topic
  2. Checklist
  3. Cheat sheets
  4. Scripts
  5. Toolkits
  6. List of resources

Thinking of your target market – whether they be task-specific or industry-specific – select what you think would give them the most value in the format easiest for them to digest.

And create it.

Step 3: Integrate email software to your website

You’ve decided on your preferred software solution and prepared your lead magnet, so now it’s time to integrate opt-in buttons to your website.

And whilst that’s relatively straight-forward, do think about where people land on your website so you’ve covered all angles.

This is where it may be a good idea to check your website analytics.

If most people are visiting your website via your About page, make sure there’s a clear opt-in button on that page – as well as your homepage, blog and anywhere else you’re directing traffic.

Don’t forget to consider opt-in popups.

Love them or hate them, pop-up email subscription buttons do seem to get results. In some cases, ten times as many opt-ins as without, when analysed – Neil Patel is a big advocate of opt-in popups after testing them extensively on his own sites.

Step 4: Create a series of emails

And finally, it’s time to create your email series, aka auto-responders.

The first one is of course the welcome email. This will be triggered as soon as someone subscribes to your list.

It should contain:

  • A friendly welcome
  • Your lead magnet
  • Set expectations on your email content

But this is where many VA’s stop.

One email and then nothing.

And in doing so, they’re missing a huge opportunity.

Creating a succession of follow-up emails, will keep you forefront of mind. So, when they eventually search for additional support, they’ll remember you.

The easiest way to come up with your series, is to think of your target market’s one biggest pain-point, and solve it.

Drip-feed this information to them in around three to five emails over a set period of time.

Then finish the series with one final call-to-action email.

This could be in the form of an offer to your services, or it could be asking them what other problem they need solving. The beauty in the latter, is it will give you more material when creating your next auto-responder series, and it shows you genuinely want to help them rather than it being solely a tout for new business.

Creating and growing your own email list means you no longer have to rely on social media, networking or job boards to find your next client.

They come to you.

So what are you waiting for;

  1. Choose your software
  2. Create your lead magnet
  3. Integrate your opt-in
  4. Set up your email series

Then monitor, evolve – even experiment – and sit back to enjoy the benefits it will bring.