Just a few years ago, running your own blog was just seen as an interesting hobby or a way to keep an online diary. Now, blogging is a group activity like any other. Almost anyone can do it and some can make decent money from it and even become famous. As a blogger yourself, you might be wondering if your blog can benefit from email marketing. I have no doubt about it and I’ve put together 5 reasons to show you why.
Reason #1 - Newsletters help you get more readers
Every blog wants more readers. When you start out, nobody knows you or has heard of your blog and you are way down at the bottom of google search results. Competition for the attention of readers makes it tough to stand out and start to build a following so using any tools you can get your hands on to keep contact with your readers is a good idea.
When a new reader visits your blog for the first time, he pays attention to these elements:
- the graphic design,
- the length and structure of the text,
- the title and intro of the first post.
The bad news that you have to accept is that if visitors to your blog don’t like the first bit that they read, there’s a big chance that they will very soon be gone. However, if they’re interested in something, there’s a chance they will come back - if they remember you. That’s where newsletters come in.
If you are a fan of social media and you have decided, for example, to set up a fanpage for your blog you will be upset to learn that the organic reach of social media is falling. This means that in order to really draw in new traffic, you will have to spend more to get it. You also can’t be sure how many of your fans or followers actually got the message about your latest post. To save time and money spent on advertising it’s worth trying to “hook” readers on your blog by asking if they would like to stay in touch with you.
How to attract new readers?
- Place a highly visible newsletter sign-up form on your blog. Inform readers what they can expect in your mails - no spam! - and how often they will get them.
- Create a pop-up. Thanks to the official FreshMail plugin for WordPress, you can easily create a pop-up on your blog with an invitation to sign-up so readers won’t have to search for it. Setting a limited number of displays for the pop-up window means you won’t irritate anyone.
- Use Twitter Cards. If you don’t want to completely give up on social media promotion, you can place a newsletter sign-up form on one of your blog tweets and tap into the synergy of email marketing and social media. This increases your chances of getting new subscribers in addition to retweets.
Why it’s worth it?
- Personalized messages in reader inboxes with information about new posts on your blog have a greater chances of being noticed than a post that is immediately pushed down by other posts on social media.
- Writing in the internet means constantly competing for the attention of readers with almost limitless other sources and social media, often of questionable quality. Out of this information overload, the quality of your newsletter can be your business card, a reminder not to miss new content. These are the kinds of small details that help your site to become more widely read.
Reason #2 - Your recipients will help you gain more readers
Nothing influences our opinion on a given subject or our attitude about trying a new product like the recommendation of someone we know. Using the genuine opinions of real people often gets better results than a meticulously planned marketing campaign. We often become friends with people who have similar interests to ours. It’s enough, then, to gain the trust of one returning recipient in order to attract many of the people he is connected to. People who visit your website obviously do so because they like your content so it’s only natural to think that they might be willing tell their friends about it if you make it easy for them.
How do you use a newsletter to get help in gaining new readers?
- Make a list of people who been signed up to your newsletter for a long time and have been regular visitors. This will be easier with campaign reports from FreshMail. Create a special message for this list, asking if they would like to join the effort to help expand the reach of your blog by, for example, sharing a friend’s email address or forwarding the message from you. When you ask for something from your subscribers, always be clear about the details of the request and what’s is involved.
- Take advantage of the chance to share content from your blog to social media. Place buttons on your blog that make it easy to share posts on social media with one click.
Why it’s worth it?
- An email inbox is a more personal channel than a wall on social media. Your request for help will take on a more direct character and get better results.
- An email message, as long as it doesn’t get deleted, stays in the inbox of your subscriber and can be opened and reopened at any time.
Reason #3 - You create more interesting content
Creating a sign-up form on your blog is obviously another channel of communication that helps you to build contact with your readers. You get the chance to share with them even more content addressed to their needs and interests. But that’s not all. Thanks to regular mail campaigns you will get to know more about the people that read your blog. It’s easy to see how many clicks different elements in your newsletter received. This is how, with the help of Google Analytics, you get a complete picture of traffic on your blog.
How to use newsletters to learn more about the interests of readers?
- By using Google Analytics an analysis of the campaign results will show you a full click path for a given reader and you can see which post were opened in which order. The most clicked posts give you an idea about what to expand or repeat.
- Newsletters are also an effective way to directly collect the opinions of readers. Let them know that their opinion matters to you and put a survey together for your newsletter. The results will show you what they would like to more of and perhaps give you clues about something you haven’t thought of yet.
Why it’s worth it?
- You expand the list of topics to cover on your blog at a small cost. And you gain not only free time but also certainty that the new topics will be received by your readers since they made the suggestions.
- You increase the engagement of your subscribers and create the feeling of being involved in the content that appears on the blog.
Reason #4 - You build social engagement
It can be sometimes difficult to measure how much your readers are engaged based on how many comments they leave on your blog or data from Google Analytics. By placing a newsletter sign-up form on your blog, you immediately gain the ability to divide all new subscribers into defined segments according to their activity on your page or by the number of messages they have opened. Analyzing stats like your Open Rate and Click-through rate, you will identify those who are willing to deepen their engagement with you.
How to build engagement with the help of newsletters?
- Offer free material available exclusively to those who sign-up for the newsletter. Make sure that it’s quality content that justifies its exclusivity. The chance to get special extras in exchange for membership in a group always has positive effect on its operation.
- Prepare a dedicated email marketing campaign in which you emphasize that a certain group of additional materials like articles that complete posts on the blog will only be available to subscribers of the newsletter.
Why it’s worth it?
- Social engagement not only helps you improve the text that you publish but turns readers into evangelists for your blog. It allows you to increase your reach as more readers recognize the value of what you post.
- It helps you to create an image as a specialist in a particular industry and readers that develop trust in you can over time become your loyal customers if you decide to monetize the blog some day.
Reason #5 - Your old posts get a second life… and earn more for you
Some bloggers use their sites not only to enhance their reputation as specialists in a certain field but also to more effectively sell their services. Obviously, none of the followers of the blog wants their inbox to be instantly flooded with emails offering this or that. A well-planned email marketing campaign helps you to build a trust with readers that can turn into frequent purchases or a chance to further educate them about what you have to offer. It’s enough to use posts that have already appeared on your blog to get started.
How to use old posts in your newsletter and earn from them?
- Use click autoresponders - messages sent automatically after someone clicks on a certain element in a newsletter. This is how you ensure that only people who are interested in an offer get more information about it. A click autoresponder with, for example, a special discount gives you another chance at converting an unconvinced potential customer.
- Place your old posts on a cyclical campaign and create a list of automatically sent messages that will help to convey information about your product and turn into a sales lead.
Why it’s worth it?
- By setting up automatic messages to send old posts from your blog, you buy yourself time to create great new content without having to worry if you are compromising the engagement of your subscribers. While you are working on what’s next, your old posts send themselves.
- You optimize the buying process if you want to earn from your blog. At the same time, you don’t risk driving your subscribers to resign from your mailing list because of an aggressive sales push.
If you plan to sell through your blog, build your image as an expert in the field or simply write for pleasure, email marketing can accomplish a lot for you. The 5 reasons I’ve given here just scratch the surface of everything it can do. Does it look tempting? Then it’s time to look into it even more and completely free. Good luck!