It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
I think we’ve all heard this saying before at least once in our lives. And the truth is when it comes to business, both are equally important.
As a consultant, you already know that how well you communicate with your existing and potential clients could make or break your business. Communication is one of the foundational elements in building relationships. If you aren’t connecting with people one-to-one, you aren’t going to gain their trust or earn their business.
Remember, people do business with people. That’s especially true for a consulting firm. Clients want to know who you are, what you stand for, and that they can trust you to meet their needs.
My husband’s startup needed a marketing consultant to help them craft their positioning and brand. There was no shortage of marketing consultants chomping at the bit for their business. So, what was it that helped them choose the right consultant? The short answer, they picked the consultant that was able to meet the needs of their business and help them accomplish their goals.
I know it’s a “well, duh” type of answer, but the real question is, what did that consultant do to effectively communicate their expertise and ultimately get my husband’s company to sign with them?
That’s what we’re going to uncover in this article. I’ll tell you:
- Why email marketing is vital for a consultant
- What email campaigns are a must-send
- How to take your email marketing to the next level
One-to-one vs. one-to-many
People want VIP treatment. And honestly, every client and potential client is very important for your business. So the time and effort you put into getting and keeping your clients is worth it.
Get new clients and repeat business with all the tools and marketing advice you need, all in one place.
Now the good news is that it doesn’t take a massive amount of time or effort to give your clients the care and attention they want and need. Using email marketing allows you to have those one-to-one conversations that turn a cold lead into a loyal client.
How you communicate in your emails should be based on who you are talking to and what phase they’re in when it comes to building your business relationship. Whether they’re just finding out about your business, ready to close with you, or generating new referrals for your business, you have to think about what and how you say what you’re going to say.
My husband wasn’t looking for a full marketing plan with PR, content, and the works. They needed something that suited where they were at as a business. And they needed to know that they were choosing the consultant that was able to understand their problem and meet their specific needs, not the sales pitch of the week.
So be human, show your personality, and make sure you not only understand who your potential client is, but how to speak to them, especially in your emails.
Here are a few must-send email campaigns every consultant should have in their arsenal.
Every consultant should set up an email welcome series. This two-part email series is automatically sent when a new contact is added to your list. This is a time when your contacts are most engaged with your business. They expect to get an email from you, so be sure to send this immediately after joining your list.
Tip: If you offer your clients different services, you may consider segmenting your audience and setting up a different welcome series for each to tailor your message for those specific client needs.
Welcome email #1
When you ask people to sign up for your email list, we recommend using a lead magnet to entice them. This could be a free guide or a 10-minute complimentary consultation that they get in exchange for their email address. The first email should deliver the lead magnet. We like to call this first email the welcome/delivery email.
And yes, be sure to actually welcome them in this first email. Anything you would normally do in person, you need to do online as well. Thank them for joining your email list and let them know what they can expect going forward.
Welcome email #2
The second email should be focused on connecting with your audience. And equally important, how can they connect with you. They’ve already expressed interest in you by signing up for your email list. Encourage them to follow you on your social channels, make sure they have your contact information, and include any hours of operation.
Make it easy for them to reach you when and how they choose.
A potential client that gives you their email address is telling you, “Yes, communicate with me, I want to hear what you have to say.” After sending them your welcome series, you need to continue to nurture that lead.
The first and most important thing you need to do in a nurturing email is to identify the problem they’re facing. Most people know they have a problem, but don’t understand what that problem actually is. That’s where your firm comes in.
When you can identify the problem, it shows that potential client that you understand what they’re going through.
Second, offer a solution. This is a great opportunity to use click segmentation and automation together. Simply set up an automated series of emails based on how someone interacts with your email content, such as clicking on a link. Sending potential clients targeted emails based on what their needs are will earn you their trust and ultimately their business too.
Keep the conversation going
No matter where your contacts are in their journey, you need to continue to build that relationship by staying consistent with your communication.
At the very least, you should be sending one email per month. These emails should showcase your expertise and keep your clients and potential clients engaged with your business.
Here are a few ideas for things you can share in your consulting firm’s nurturing emails:
- Share the content you already have. Do you have blog content? Use that in your emails and take the opportunity to drive people back to your website for more.
- Tell subscribers what’s happening with the industry. As a consultant, you want your clients to know you are staying current and keeping up with the industry.
- Demonstrate thought leadership. Provide your readers with valuable, accurate information that’s actionable for their business. What is your opinion on topics pertaining to your field of expertise?
- Send occasional promotional emails. It’s important for potential clients and existing customers to know what you have to offer. How can you solve their problem? Be sure to follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of your email content should be helpful, useful information, and 20% should be focused on selling the services and products you offer.
From here, you can brainstorm other ideas for your email content. Be creative, show personality, and most importantly, make sure it is relevant for your audience.
Real-word email marketing tips for consultants
Let’s get practical. Below, we’ve collected top email marketing tips from real consultants.
“When sending out emails, make sure you have a strong subject line that you can grab attention with. We tend to forget the subject line and add it as an afterthought. Use it to really grab your reader’s attention.”
-Bonnie Hill, Think Big Marketing LLC
“Add personality to your emails. People want to know the person behind the brand. It makes you human, likeable, and trustworthy.”
-Minal Patel, Marketing by Minal
“Don’t look at email as just one standalone product, it’s a piece of a bigger pie and should complement your other digital marketing strategies. Use the “Read More” action block to drive traffic to a blog post on your website and always include social icons at the bottom and even link to them in body text.”
-Cindy L Clearwater, Cindy Leigh Media
“When someone asks what you do, answer with information to inspire further questions: For example, you could say, “I help people get a return on their marketing efforts.” Likewise, ask new potential clients questions: “How can I help you build your business?”
-Stephanie West, Go West Design
“Be resource-forward. Because businesses are inundated with pitches, the best way to differentiate yourself is to be consistently of value, instead of telling them why or how you’re of value.”
-Tracy Jensen, Frizz Marketing
“Use an integration tool like Setmore and link it to your email signature and campaigns to drive more appointments.”
-Lanelle Henderson, Oh Nellie Promos
“The email with the best open and click rates I ever sent was a simple “Thank You” to my Clients: “It may not be Thanksgiving yet, but I do take pride in all of my clients and wanted to take a moment to thank them for their business.“
-Nancy Suchoff, Snap Creative Group
“You are not a commodity! Don’t look for quick sales, but build engagement and list size with regular, valuable content. Don’t be afraid of giving away too much. Short, anecdote-driven content works best. Include links to how-to videos and Zoom webinar invites to generate leads, referrals and show-off speaking skills.”
-Michael Loschke, ARISTA Advisors
“Every couple of months, download your entire list. Make sure that all first names are capitalized and that there is a first name for each address. This will improve your personalization and probably lead to a higher open rate for your newsletters for years to come.”
-Albert Kaufman, Albertideation
“Email Marketing should be an integral part of your website blogging strategy. The Read More block is such a fantastic way to quickly and easily share your blog posts, provide value to your list, and drive traffic to your website. Don’t blog without it!”
-Paula Sageser, PCS Creative Services
“Make sure you aren’t selling in every email you send but do add a call to action. Go by the 80/20 rule. Create 80% educational, informational or entertaining campaigns and 20% promotional.”
-Sue Glenn, Diverse Marketing & Web Design
Taking your email marketing to the next level
Email marketing works, but in order for it to work for your consulting firm, remember to keep these things in mind.
- Earn the trust of your potential clients by providing solutions to the problems they’re facing.
- Use segmentation and automation tools to help you send timely and relevant emails.
- Follow the 80/20 rule to avoid sounding like the salesman of the month.
- Send on a consistent basis to continue to build a relationship with your clients and stay top of mind.
With these tips, your consulting firm will be building new relationships and generating new clients for your business in no time.