Episode 006: Why You Should Have An Email List For Brands
How many different ways have you heard that you need an email list?
You’re favorite podcaster has told you you need one. You have Instagram ads selling you templates to create one. You’ve read all the blog posts on the value of having one.
So it’s no big secret in the power of the email list.
But here’s what you may not have heard about email lists, however, is about lists for brands.
Think about — we create email lists for consumers so that we can communicate with them off social media, build know like & trust, and ultimately (hopefully) convert them into loyal customers.
Why can’t a list do that for us… but with brands — to communicate with them, to build know like & trust with them, and to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with them.
In this episode we’re going to talk about how & why an email list can serve you as a way to foster lasting relationships with your audiences on both sides.
I remember the first email list I set up — I had no idea what I was doing with that list, so I did what most people to & I set up an RSS feed from my blog at the time, so that every week (or whenever) that list received a run down of new blog posts. And every so often in between the blog updates would be a mention of a new event or product.
I know I’m not the only person guilty of this, and I’m ashamed to say that when I did it, it was super spammy & tacky, but it was the only way I knew.
There was no conversation.
There was no finesse.
I’ve learned a lot since then, and now that email marketing has evolved to so much more than sending a discount code & the occasional updates, it really is an invaluable asset for the modern day entrepreneur.
Your email list is one of the few assets, in addition to your website, that you can have some semblance of control over — with social media you’re at the mercy of algorithms & ads, and just hoping you can’t cut through the noise & be seen/heard.
Not with your list — consider it a self-curated version of your community, because while social media is come one, come all, your list is where people volunteered to hear from you.
Pretty dope right?!
Whether it’s with a checklist, e-book, style quiz, or some other opt-in, you want potential clients to give you their email address in exchange for this thing so that you can market to them.
You can freely communicate, educate, and sell to your audience, cultivating a space of loyal supporters & clients.
The same can be said for a brand list.
What Is a Brand Email List?
While maybe not as common, this isn’t anything that’s rocket science. Essentially you want your brand email list to serve as a place where you communicate with potential brand partners — be it vendors that you want to open accounts with, collaborate on projects with, do sponsored campaigns with, or having a licensing deal with.
If you’re someone who is already nurturing relationships with brands, you’ve already started the process, but now you’re taking it a step further and being a bit more intentional.
How can you build this list?
While this may require a bit more trial & error, depending on your brand model and your current visibility, there are a few different ways that you can get brands onto a list.
On your website you can have a separate contact form for brands on your site. They’re reaching out to you for one reason or another, and by having a designated form for brands, you’ve already begun to establish that you have two different audiences. Once you’ve addressed the reason for their contact, you can simply communicate that you’d love to keep in touch (assuming you would) and go through the steps of adding them to your list in a way that’s compliant with email regulations.
If you have human contacts already in place with brands — sale reps for orders, media contacts for collaborations, etc. — express your interest in wanting to keep them updated on what you’re working on & request that they opt in to your brand list. Be clear about what they can expect (aka ensure them it’s not spam or the same type of messaging clients receive) and they will more often than not be very interested in being on that list because it’s a win win for both you & the brand.
Piggybacking on the previous suggestion, if there are brands that you follow online, you can also reach out to them — especially if you don’t necessarily have a reason to explicitly pitch them, but you want to stay on their radar. Instead of just tagging them, ask to be connected to whoever handles what you may be interested in, and from there express that you would love to stay in touch & that your brand list would be the perfect way to do that.
As I said, this may require a bit of tweak & repeat, until you find the contacts, methods, and language that is the right fit for your model — especially is talking to vendors & brands is new terrain for you.
How You Can Use A Brand List
Similar to your public list — which isn’t to be confused with your client list, which could be a separate third list altogether by the way — your brand list is where you can sell yourself & your expertise to brands.
What new projects are on the horizon?
What current projects do you have underway?
What collaborations and/or campaigns are in the pipeline?
What exciting behind the scenes insights do you have to share?
These are all things brands will most certainly want to know because these are the things they’re considering when looking for designer partners.
This is likely what you’re already sharing on social media & to get the attention of brands (intentionally or not) you’re either tagging the brand or strategically using hashtags. But again, you’re at the mercy of algorithms & ads, and hoping you can’t cut through the noise.
Imagine sharing with you brand list that you’ve just book a multi unit project. On your list you might have a company that’s looking to collaborate & showcase a new mixed-use upholstery collection, aka a perfect fit for this project.
The possibilities are limitless so long as you open yourself up to them.
I would love if you tell me about your email lists — if you have any — and how you use em. Take screenshot while you’re listening & tag @thedesigninfluence on Instagram or on our Facebook Page, so that we can keep the conversation going.
Do you have a list for clients?
Is this segregation of lists something that you could see yourself benefiting from? If so, how would you use it? If not, I’d love to know why that is?
I hope you’ll subscribe join me every week, and if you haven’t already, be sure to let me know what you think with with a rating & review, and share the show with your design bestie, so we can all hang out.