If you’re a freelancer and not using email marketing to drive sales, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.

It’s like running a marathon wearing just one shoe – you might get there eventually, but way more slowly and painfully than is necessary!

In this article, I’m going to share 10 reasons why you need to embrace the most lucrative and cost-effective digital marketing channel available to you.

#1: You can have a one-to-one relationship with your subscribers

When broadcasting through social channels, websites, or publishing platforms, you’re talking on a one-to-many basis, and as such, you need to be generic with your messaging.

Let’s face facts, unless you contact someone via the DM channel, you need to target an ‘avatar’ more than an actual person.

Whereas, with email marketing, you can speak to each individual subscriber on a more personal level, whilst still communicating in bulk.

Establish and nurture one-to-one relationships with your subscribers.

#2: You can personalise your messaging

With email marketing, you can address your subscribers to make your messaging land in a more personal way. The most obvious start is by collecting and then reusing subscribers’ first names, but there are many more ways to make this more powerful.

Post-subscription surveys: it’s good practice to collect a few preferences that help you to better curate what your subscribers are served. Examples of data could include;

  • Topics of interest (e.g. ‘Email Marketing’, ‘Content Marketing’)
  • Stage of business (e.g. ‘Starting’, ‘Growing’, ‘Scaling’)
  • Email platform of choice (e.g. ‘Convertkit’, ‘Mailchimp’, ‘Mailerlite’)
  • Preferred content medium (e.g. ‘Written’, ‘Video’, Audio’)

You get the gist; by collecting zero-party data, you can tailor the content your subscribers receive from you, making it more likely that they’ll stick around longer and engage with you.

Always be collecting relevant info about your subscribers – it’s how you personalise their experience of interacting with you.

#3: There is a low-cost to entry

Most email marketing platforms, including Convertkit (the platform I use and recommend to other freelancers), operate what’s called a ‘freemium’ model.

This is where there is a free plan that you can begin your email marketing with, and then move up to a premium plan once you know which features you need/want in your system.

So, getting started can cost as little as zero, with just your time required to do the actual setup and running of your system.

Start with a free plan on ConvertKit and take advantage of their 14-free trial of their premium features.

#4: You can plan for future revenue with “What’s next?”

As email marketers, the most important question we must continually ask ourselves is; “What’s next for my subscriber?”

When someone joins our email list, it’s normally because they identified us as having a solution to one of their problems or challenges. If we do a good job for our subscribers, they’ll stick with us and we need to figure out what they’ll need to overcome their next challenge.

Let’s look at a simple example, one that’s in my business;

When someone joins my email list because they want to undertake my free email course “Getting started with ConvertKit“, I know they want to learn the basics of how to design and build their email marketing system.

I take pride in knowing that I put everything into that course, which means anyone who goes through it will have enough information to start collecting leads that they can nurture and sell to.

But once they’ve completed it, I ask myself “What’s next?” and in most cases, it’s a more in-depth understanding of the individual components within their system (e.g. domain authentication, automations, sequences, list growth etc.) so I then send content that helps them (the logic of what to send is derived from subscriber behaviour, i.e what they click on, which pages they visit etc.).

If we’re not constantly figuring out what’s next, then we can’t possibly know what to have lined up, just as they need it.

With every logical decision you have to make about your subscribers’ journeys, ask “What’s next?‘.

#5: You stay top-of-mind with prospects and clients

If I ask you to think of someone or a business (brand) who you consider to be an authority when it comes to the following roles, who do you think of;

  • LinkedIn trainer
  • Copywriter
  • Email marketer
  • Web designer
  • SEO specialist
  • Google Ads expert

Do you have a name for each one?

I bet you do.

Now, whomever you have for each role, chances are they’re probably not necessarily the best in the world at what they do (they might be, but statistically, probably not) – but what they are, is top-of-mind for you. They’ve managed to secure that slot in your brain, somehow.

And that’s another great way in which email marketing works; the continual and consistent content feed into our subscribers’ inboxes does that very job for us – we are who they think of when it comes to what we do. Proximity can often trump ability.

Stay top-of-mind with your subscribers.

#6: You operate in a space that you ‘own’

We are all too familiar with the constraints placed upon us by social platforms. Play by their rules, reach the people they allow you to reach, avoid conversations that they don’t allow, and audience details remain under their custody (that’s not a complaint, btw, I believe they deserve to be in control – it’s their platform, after all).

Contrast that with how things work with email marketing and there’s a marked advantage.

As email marketers, we get to decide who gets our content. We decide on what we share and how frequently (without being punished), and we own the contact details of our subscribers.

If we grow our email subscriber list to, let’s say 1,000 subscribers, then we become the custodian of that data, even though each subscriber remains the controller of their data.

The email list that we grow and nurture can be hosted on any email marketing platform of our choosing, and if we decide to move from one provider to another, we can do that without anyone’s permission.

To paraphrase a frequently referenced quote; with social platforms, our audience exists on ‘rented ground’ – whereas with email, we own it!

#7: You can take advantage of automation

Email marketing platforms are fantastic at what they do, and with so much competition, all players are continually upping their game when it comes to what they provide for us – which is great for us! (and our subscribers).

With ConvertKit, the following is possible to build into your system, most of which can be configured to run automatically;

  • Onboard subscribers automatically
  • Drip-feed emails as a result of an event being triggered
  • Send subscribers digital assets on request
  • Integrate systems to complement email marketing (e.g. calendars, Zoom etc.)
  • Automatically create website blog posts from emails
  • Create member-only content using subscriber credentials
  • Display variable website content for subscribers
  • Automatically create a digest of articles and send to subscribers (i.e. RSS)
  • …+ much more.

It’s not exaggerating to claim that a well designed and configured email marketing system can feel like an extra employee who works in your business 24/7/365.

Automation not only provides a never-off system for us, it also eliminates many opportunities for human errors and oversights.

#8: You can expect an ROI of more than 30 to 1

It’s widely acknowledged that email marketing, as a digital marketing channel, is the most lucrative and cost-effective one we have access to with more than £30 being returned for every £1 spent (this is ratified by many, including Statista, the large data analytics company based in Germany.)

The financial return I get via email marketing well exceeds that of the average, but let’s stick with the average for now, and agree it’s still a phenomenal return on investment.

To take Statista’s quoted ROI of 38.33 (see above) and add some real figures to give context, if you spend £300 on email marketing (ConvertKit’s premium ‘Creator’ annual plan for 1,000 subscribers = £300) next year, you could expect to make about £11.5k in return (i.e. £300 x 38.33 = £11.5k).

How many channels do you know that you can spend £300 and get back £11k? Not many, I bet… no wonder it’s my favourite marketing channel! 😊

#9: The interactivity between content marketing and email marketing

Email marketing cannot work in isolation, it needs a co-worker to succeed. That co-worker is ‘social media’. Social media brings us subscribers and email marketing (when done properly) brings us sales.

Social platforms are the best way in which we can garner attention for our businesses. It’s incredibly difficult to make consistent sales simply by posting on social platforms. most people won’t buy from someone (or a business) that they haven’t yet come to trust (either directly or vicariously).

The two marketing channels dovetail to form an end-to-end system that allows subscribers to get help in areas of their interest, and allows us, as freelancers, to provide subscribers with the right product or service, at the right time.

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into this dynamic, check out this article I created for you;

#10: You’re handing the controls over to your subscribers

When you publish content on your social channels, intending to reach your target audience, you’re at the mercy of the algorithms when it comes to who gets to see it in their feed and who doesn’t.

Most social platforms do offer some element of feed filtering, like ‘don’t show me content from him/her’ and ‘show me fewer posts like this one’, but truth be told, it’s a fairly blunt tool when it comes to effectiveness.

With email marketing, you hand the controls to your subscribers. They get to choose the frequency of emails, the content topics they want to receive from you, and most importantly, when to stop receiving content completely (i.e. ‘unsubscribing’ from your email list).

So, there you have it – 10 reasons why you need to embrace email marketing in your business.

Let me know if you use it currently, or plan to in future; I’m always interested to hear the thoughts of my fellow freelancers.

John Bellingham
Email marketing strategist for aspirational freelancers.

If we haven’t already done so, let’s connect on LinkedIn.

The Thursday Email Club is a free group where freelancers level up their email marketing game with weekly ‘live’ webinars, workshops, and Q&As.




Want articles like this one dropped directly into your inbox?

Let me know where you’d like your weekly tips sent to and leave the rest to me!