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Email marketing is the ideal way to synthesise everything you do to promote your blog. It helps you to distribute your content to your audience, keep them updated about events, promote your brand and - most importantly - help you get rewarded for your work.
This three-part guide will show you how to take advantage of the possibilities of email marketing in your blog.
In the first part you’ll see just how important email marketing is, how it can be used and how to start building your own address database. The second part is all about effectively communicating with your subscribers and maintaining and managing mailing lists to achieve higher engagement and increase traffic on your site. In the third and last installment, we will look at how to monetize your blog using email marketing and sales techniques.
So let’s get to it and look at what email marketing can do to make your blog profitable and take it to the next level.
Why you need to incorporate email marketing in your blog
If you haven’t had any experience with email marketing, you might be wondering what it’s all about and why you need it. As a blogger, you probably rely on social media and being found in search engines to reach a larger audience.
So how can email marketing build on top of this?
One way of earning through your blog is by using it to sell directly or through affiliates. If you’re thinking about this for your product, you should be interested in the fact that the return on email marketing can be up to 3800%! That is, one dollar put into email marketing can bring in thirty-eight dollars in revenue. You won’t find that kind of ROI in social media and that’s because...
Email is more personal and builds trust
Regular blogging helps you to build a larger and more engaged audience. The trust that results is what drives the growth of your subscriber list, enhances your brand image and sales. When subscribers join your newsletter, their interest in your blog grows. They can become brand ambassadors and promote you without demanding anything from your end.
Email is hard to miss
There is a 500% bigger chance that a subscriber will read an email from you than read your post on Facebook. We tend to pay more careful attention to what’s in our inboxes and that’s why email is more successful than social media posts at achieving things like sales goals.
Subscribers read more and share blog posts more often
Surveys show that readers on subscriber lists share articles three times more often than those who find a blog through, for example, a search engine. Having such a list and using email marketing means creating an engaged community without having spend anything on social media promotions.
Email marketing systems are easy to integrate with blogs
If you’re not an IT superstar, don’t worry. Starting out with email marketing is very easy and you’ll soon be making newsletters like a pro and getting your subscriber database set up and ready to go.
Your blog can benefit from everything that email marketing has to offer and you can use all of it for free. Sound good?
Now that you know why you should add email marketing to your online presence, let’s take a look at how to get it done by starting with the fundamentals. We’ll start with your subscriber list.
How bloggers should build subscriber lists
Email marketers have a saying that tells you exactly where you need pay the most attention - “The money’s in the list”. Building and maintaining a well-organised subscriber list is is the foundation for success in email marketing. Even if you don’t plan on selling anything and just want to focus on your reach, the list will still be the most important element of your email marketing efforts.
So how do you grow your list and keep it full of useful leads?
Convert visitors into subscribers
You turn over most of the work in growing your subscriber list to sign up forms you place on your blog. The best places include:
- The top of the page
- The right sidebar
- Between blog posts and the reader comments that follow
- The page footer
Since you publish regular entries on your blog, one way to encourage new subscribers to sign up is to offer to send alerts when posts go up along with news about what’s new on the blog. You can also create ebooks, podcasts of films as part of the enticement to sign up.
Use the Simple SignUp plugin or WordPress to easily make great looking newsletter signup forms.
Make your best content available after signup
Some entries on your blog are surely of higher value than others and likely to attract more attention. You can use this to your advantage by offering access to these posts in exchange for signing up to your newsletter.
You can limit access to content in two ways:
1. Put the content in something that has to be downloaded, like an E-Commerce calendar:
2. Put material on your blog that only displays for those who share an email address.
You can do this with the help of a plugin from Opt-In Panda. It also lets you block access to content without losing traffic from Google since the blocked material is still visible to the search engine.
When you’ve implemented all the right elements on your blog, it’s time to look at other promotional channels.
Use other promotional channels
Don’t limit yourself to only collecting new subscribers on your blog site. Social media is an integral part of getting your message out. After all, everyone has a profile on Facebook so why not take advantage of the chance to connect? Other platforms more focused on visual content like Instagram or Snapchat can also do a lot to increase your reach. Social media allows you to plug into a worldwide network of potential new followers so use them to get the word out about your newsletter.
Every place is a good place to look for new signups
It’s a simple idea that works but not everyone takes this advice. All you have to do is invite readers to join your newsletter. Every so often, but not too often, just put up links that will take anyone who clicks to your signup page. This is especially important on Facebook, which you can integrate with FreshMail, which lets you create posts with sign-up forms. Those forms need systems like FreshMail to capture and process email addresses.
The second important rule about collecting leads is about maintaining the exclusivity needed to motivate new subscribers.
Don’t make your newsletter available anywhere else
One of the most common mistakes when creating content is making it available in all marketing channels. This means that anyone monitoring one channel has no reason to look at others. To grow your mailing list, keep your content limited to one site so that interested readers need to sign up in order to gain access to it.
In addition to the methods mentioned above for collecting addresses, we should also mention interactive content that generates more traffic on your page and your organic reach in social media.
Use interactivity to build your lists
Blog readers, especially younger readers, like interactive content.
There are several kinds of interactive content that have proven to work well on blogs:
The possibility of winning something and competitions always get attention. You can organise it on your blog and spread the word about it on social media. The condition for taking part is signing up to your newsletter and the prizes are up to you. This is a straightforward but effective way to build your subscriber list, especially when organic growth slows down.
Everybody likes free stuff. There’s nothing new or novel about this approach but it works. Giveaways aimed at growing your subscriber list are simple. It’s enough to announce that a certain number of new subscribers in a given time period get a prize.
Quizzes have become one of the most engaging and frequently used forms of content. BuzzFeed generates millions of shares thanks to their quizzes. EyeSocialEyes uses them to get great results and reach:
Quizzes can generate lots of traffic and email addresses because results are often sent by mail. You want to know how well you did? You want to share you awesome score with your friends? Just join the newsletter and you’ll get it!
Use Online Quiz Generator to get started.
Connect all of these methods for building a subscriber list and watch the numbers take off. Remember that this is a strategy that needs to be regularly checked and evaluated to look for opportunities to optimise and adapt.
That brings us to the end of the first part of this guide. You have enough to get started on building your list and increasing the size of your audience. In the next part email marketing for bloggers we will turn to how to manage your lists, communicate with your audience and start building relationships.
If you’re interested in earning a return on your work on your blog with email marketing, stick around for part three.