Don’t let anyone tell you that email is dead. In fact, email marketing remains one of the most powerful tools in a blogger’s or author’s toolbox. Today, Beth Bauer (@JourneyofBethB), freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur, offers foundational lessons in how to use email effectively and appropriately to build your platform and readership.
Email marketing has existed for almost as long as the Internet. However, it’s still a relevant and powerful tool for growing and promoting your blog. As a blogger and author, you need an email list, and you need to focus on increasing the size of your list. If you don’t do both, you miss an opportunity to reach readers, increase your book sales, and earn an income as a blogger.
According to 2015 research by DBS Data, 205 billion emails are sent every day, and the number is expected to reach 246 billion by the end of 2019. Email marketing spending in the United States is projected to grow to over $3.07 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2019. Research shows that for every $1 spent on email marketing, there is a return on investment (ROI) of $48.77. If you want to grow your blogging and publishing business but are not seeing those kinds of returns, maybe it’s time to revamp your email marketing strategy.
Don’t Send Unsolicited Emails
Email marketers adhere to one important rule: Only send solicited emails. In fact, in the U.S., it’s illegal to send promotional emails to anyone who has not explicitly given you permission to do so.
Nobody likes to have their inbox cluttered with spam. If you’re not careful and send emails to people who have not requested them from you, you can quickly get a reputation for being a spammer.
Before you begin sending newsletters or other marketing emails to your blog readers, always request permission first. It’s only through permission-based email marketing that you will engage your subscribers and proficiently promote your blog.
That’s why you want to create a lead magnet, or free gift, that requires someone “opt-in” to your mailing list by providing their email address.
Know Your Audience
If you want to create engaging newsletters or emails, gather as much information as you can about your audience. Try to use their first names in your email or subject line, and send only information that they will find helpful.
Also, avoid overselling. Your email content shouldn’t always sound like an advertisement, or your subscribers by clicking on “unsubscribe” faster than you can say adios amigos.
Yes, you can promote your books, products, and services. But do so after providing valuable content consistently.
Your Style and Branding Should Match Your Blog
From the color and font of the layout to the writing style and tone of your email message, you should always create email copy that is similar to your blog’s theme. For example, if your blog is casual, your email campaign shouldn’t feel formal. If the colors of your logo are primarily green, utilize similar colors in your email marketing.
Build a Relationship with Your Subscribers
Sales 101 teaches you to build a relationship, and respect is an essential ingredient for strengthening any relationship, whether that be business or personal. If you want to build up a loyal subscriber base, always send only those pieces of content you promised at the time they signed up. Also, make subscribers to your email list feel special like they are part of an elite group. Try to connect with them on a personal level.
Keep Your Content Short and Concise
Like it or not, attention spans keep shortening. At the same time, there seems to be a disturbing trend toward longer-form emails.
Do you want to spend half an hour reading an email, or do you typically skim through looking for the crucial aspects? Be respectful of your subscriber’s time and get to the point. Sure, some engaging words are necessary, but avoid repeating yourself, being overly wordy, or being vague about your message.
Drive Traffic to Your Blog
The primary purpose of your email marketing campaign is blog promotion, so don’t miss any opportunity to drive traffic to your blog. Providing your blog subscribers with value-added content is vital. Make sure you include lots of internal links that lead them back to additional posts.
Secondary to blog promotion, of course, is selling books, services, and other products. You’ll have more financial success, though, if you focus on being of service and providing value first.
Use Subscriber Segments or Labels
Segmented subscription lists are an essential key to achieving long term success with your email campaigns. Your blog subscribers probably fall into different categories, based on their demographics (geographical location, behavior, interests, etc.).
By using segments or labels, you can send targeted email messages to each of the different subscriber groups, which fosters a personal connection with subscribers. For example, you don’t want to send a welcome message to a long-time subscriber or keep promoting your book to someone that’s already purchased it.
Don’t Hide the Unsubscribe Link
It’s against best practices and guidelines of email marketing to omit an unsubscribe button or the “I don’t want to receive any more emails” link in your email message. Also, you should always comply with the CAN-SPAM Act, which requires the inclusion of an unsubscribe link in every email or newsletter you send to your blog subscribers.
Use an Email Marketing Service
This is easily done when you are using email marketing service, like Aweber, Active Campaign, or MailChimp. You can’t do a professional or effective job of email marketing if you are not using an email marketing service. And other types of email programs, like Gmail, are not set up for email marketing.
Email marketing is cost-effective and relatively simple. If you follow these tips and guidelines for how to grow your blog using email, you should see results fairly quickly.
Are you using email marketing to promote your blog, books, or other products and services? What tips do you have? Tell me in a comment below. And share this post with a friend!
About the Author
Beth Bauer is a freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur currently working on her third novel. She has traveled to over 20 countries in just the last two years and enjoys life as a digital nomad. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., and when she’s home lives on the Long Beach Peninsula with her dog, Ozzie.