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Email is Important to your blog

Email lists are a very important tool for every blogger!  With an email list, you can target those people that love your content. Through your email, you can target the audience that wants to be a part of your blogging experience. I want to be honest though, your email list is not as important as your viewers.  If you want to get sponsors or work with brands they will be more interested in how many organic views you are getting. Email lists can help you build your viewer numbers. When sending emails you need to be strategic.  You do not want to send too many emails, but you want to send enough to get attention. You need lure your subscribers to view your content, buy your products, comment and interact with you as a blogger. Let’s Start at the beginning!  

Email List

Why do I need an email list?

Whether you created a blog to write about your passions, share your ideas, or sell a product you need to have viewers.  With an email list, you can always be assured your content is out there and being viewed by people who want to read/purchase your ideas/products.  They will be consistent viewers on your blog! Think of it as building a relationship with potential clients. You want them to come to your business.  You need to be continually reminding them you exist and remind them to come and see your new content/products. Your email list will assure that you are targeting the people that want to come to your business and spend time/money on your content/products.

Email Marketing

How do I make sure I am targeting the customers that want to see my content?

You need to remember, just like on Twitter and Instagram your email lists will fluctuate.  If you create a contest to get subscribers, most will opt out after a certain amount of time (sad, but it is a fact). If you give a freebie, again, they get the freebie and opt out.  If they don’t opt out, the likelihood of them actually opening your email is almost zero. In fact, some people will have a dummy email address to give to get the freebie or enter the contest, but never actually use that email.  If you continually market your blog to other bloggers, they may come and read, comment, and possibly even subscribe if prompted to in a share in a share thread, but not on a regular basis (unless they love your content). Let’s face it as much as I love to read blogs and comment, there is only so much time in the day.  In my everyday life, I am only going to read and comment on blogs that meet my needs and are in my niche.

Who do I need to Target with my Social Media?

You need to get out there and create excellent content/products and market to those customers. I have found the best ways to drive people to my site and subscribe are to pay for ads on Facebook, for a few dollars a month I can hit about 20,000 people in a targeted area.  Out of those 20,000 people, I may get five new subscribers. However, I know that these subscribers are here because of my content, not to be nice. Twitter a lot and target non-bloggers.  I love my Twitter blogger friends and they have been amazing, but they can only do so much to help, it is really up to you to get your real audience. Pinterest is the best at driving viewers to your site. If you create awesome pins and get people to click through and they like your content, they are hooked (click here to read my post on how to create awesome pins)  Just an FYI – Your Pinterest audience may not subscribe to your email, but they will your pins and that in itself is like a whole new email list!

Email is marketing

Add an exit subscription pop-up, because a reader who likes your content/product is most likely going to signup if reminded at the end of their visit to your sight.  I know many have their popup set up for a few seconds into the session, or when they scroll…but the best placement is at the end of their session, on exit or at end of post.  

Add an optin at the end of each article.  If they liked your article they will generally opt-in to see more.  Make it a clickable link. Example: I send out a newsletter once a month with ideas on how to save money on travel and meals.  Notice the first part is a link to a subscription form!  

Create a freebie or giveaway to opt-in – If you give me your email, I will give you this free.  You can create an ebook, product, contest, etc… Anything that they may want now!

I am sure there are many, many more ways to get subscribers.

Email is marketing 2

What do I do with my email lists once I have some subscribers?

Well, if you promised something, stick to that promise and if you said you would provide money saving tips once a month, provide it once a month!  Most people do not want a flood of emails, if you become annoying, they will opt out and you just lost a subscriber.  However, the opposite is true too and if you don’t email and then after several months you send one, they may think, wow I don’t even remember subscribing and opt out.  Keep it consistent!

Make your email subject line exciting and fun!  Make sure your subject line lures them in to read the email.  Example: Hey, do you like free places to travel? Everyone loves free!  Getting them to open the email is key to getting them to your blog.

Once inside you need to make it a useful experience.  I use a newsletter format and it seems to work great. You can add links to your posts, social media, add coupons, give them a freebie for reading, the ideas are limitless.    

Comparing Email Providers

What is the difference between Constant Contact and MailChimp?

MailChimp

 

Free up to 2000 subscribers!  Not just for a period of time…up to 2000K.
No support for the free version.  Once you start paying you get support.  This could hurt if you are new and need help.
Need to upgrade to send any automated email such as a welcome email.
Free A/B Testing (sending the same email with two different subject lines to see which has a better open rate)
Hates emails that contain affiliate links – will lock your account if a blacklisted link is used.
Upgrading to a paid program is:

  • $10 for 500 to 1K
  • $15 for 1K
  • $25 for 2K
  • $50 for 5K

See site for more pricing

Other pros – Many available apps to use including the mobile app, Snap (take a picture on phone and send to subscribers), sign up forms, Editor

Constant Contact

 

Free 60 day trial period then pay.  Doesn’t matter how many subscribers you have.
24/7 support from day one.  Email, phone, or chat support.  They will even call once you start an account to see if you need help.
The welcome email included in their basic plan, but need to upgrade to a larger plan to send autoresponder emails.
A/B testing only available with their upgrade plan
Allows affiliate links as long as your sole purpose in the email is not to make money from an affiliate.  In other words, you can use affiliate links as long as they are in direct relationship to your content and not just put there to make money.  ie – If you write a column in your newsletter about a trip you took and you received great savings from Southwest Airlines and you add a link to Southwest Affiliate Program…that is okay…but just saying Hey, fly Southwest and add a link…not okay.
After the 60 days free period –

Basic                           Premium

  • $20 – 0-500                 $45
  • $45 – 501-2.5K           $70
  • $65 – 2501 – 5K          $95

See site for more pricing

Other Pros – Easy to use drag and drop templates that allow you to set up emails with your branding.

The mobile app lets your work from your phone.

 

This is not an all-inclusive list of features for MailChimp and/or Constant Contact! This is a basic review of specific features.  If you want to know more about each program, see their websites.

Sending Email Rules

What are best practices when sending out emails to subscribers?

  • Don’t send too many emails!  Once to twice a month is sufficient…anything more is considered spammy.  
  • Use the auto-response if they did not open the first email…Hey, maybe you missed the first emails!
  • Create an email that looks like the landing page of your blog.  Same header/logo, fonts, colors, etc…keep is uniform and they will feel comfortable.
  • Create a subject line that has a sense of urgency.  Fifty Characters is the max that will be seen on most computers and mobile phones.  Using an incentive is a great way to get them to open your email.
  • Keep your call to action and your main message above the fold (they shouldn’t have to scroll)
  • Don’t purchase contact lists!  Again, you want to target subscribers that want to read your content, if they want to read your content, they will most likely open your emails.
  • Clean your list often.  You don’t want to pay for subscribers that are not turning into viewers/buyers.

Email Sum it up

To sum it all up:

There is no doubt that email is an important tool to drive traffic to your site!  However, it can get expensive when you start getting many subscribers. What you really need from your subscribers is to read your content or purchase your products. Sure, it is great to have 10K subscribers, but if only 10 who actually read your content, why are you paying for the 9990K to have them on your list? Brands, sponsors, and affiliates want to see how many views your blog is getting, not how many subscribers you have.  If you work your email correctly, you should be able to drive those subscribers to action, they will read your blog and/or buy your product.

I am interested in learning more about email!

What do you use for email subscriptions?  How often do you email?  What do you email to your subscribers?

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