Email marketing and blogging go together like s’mores and campfires, or like Vince Vaughn and mildly underwhelming comedies. It’s undeniable that there’s a special connection.
If you’re a member of the blogosphere and don’t have an email list, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your audience and develop a deeper connection with your readers.
Why email marketing, you ask?
Well, email marketing is a great way to get your blog readers to return to your website and establish loyalty – especially in a world when so many read a single post and never return to your site again. It can also open up opportunities to easily monetize your content.
To help you establish a growing and loyal blog following with email marketing, here are five tactics to have on your radar.
1. Offer an incentive on your sign up form.
As a blogger, your biggest fans love your blog because of the content you write. So why not offer an exclusive piece of content that takes an in-depth look into a specific topic?
Sometimes, people need a little extra nudge to convince them to sign up to your email list. They might read your sign up form and wonder, Do I really want another stream of emails crowding up my inbox?
Think about your own inbox, and all of the email lists you’ve signed up for in the past. Chances are, you probably have the same thought as your own website visitors when approached with another email list to sign up for.
But I bet that when you’re presented with an opportunity to get an exclusive discount code or content, you feel a little more motivated to enter your email list, right?
The same goes for your own website visitors. Offering an incentive is like the hail-mary play for email marketers, except the odds of swaying potential email subscribers are really good. Plus, it’s an opportunity to showcase your talent and the awesome content you have to offer.
Still not a believer? Take a note from Courtney S. of the photography blog, Click It Up a Notch. After creating her email list, she added a pop up sign up form to her blog, and offered a free eBook as an incentive.
Three months later, she doubled her email list.
What you can do now: If you don’t have an eBook or long piece of content, take a minute to think about questions your readers commonly ask. Is there something new blog readers love to learn about, such as a how-to guide? You’ll want to create something that has mass appeal to your audience if you want to encourage them to sign up to your email list.
You can also do a little research to find out your top performing blog posts. If there’s a theme among them, consider combining them into an eBook or downloadable PDF guide.
2. Repurpose blog content.
Your blog is a great resource for your emails. While you can certainly share new blog posts via email to your subscribers, you can also use the content you’ve previously written and repurpose it for emails.
If you send a monthly email newsletter but are lacking on content ideas, consider looking to older popular blog posts for inspiration. Which blog posts performed exceptionally well? Your subscribers will probably enjoy additional content on the topic.
This is also a great way to engage specific segments of subscribers. If you have a photography blog and you know which subscribers are more advanced than others, you can send them exclusive content that appeals more to their experience.
Your dedicated a lot of time to working on your blog content, and if it’s valuable to your audience, then you should be able to reuse it in other channels.
What you can do now: Check your blog analytics to find your most popular content topics. Are there new angles you can take on the same topic? Add it to your blog editorial calendar and share it in your emails. Or elaborate on the topic and link back to your old blog post.
3. Leverage guest blog posts.
Posting articles on someone else’s blog is a great way to raise awareness for your own blog.
To capture new fans of your content, include a link to a web-hosted version of your sign up form at the end of your guest post. This way, people who just finished reading your content can sign up for more in your email list.
Just take a lesson from Henneke Duistermaat, the brains behind Enchanting Marketing. Before she even started offering writing advice and freelance work, she was guest blogging and growing her subscriber list.
How’d she do it? By researching blogs she thought people in her audience would like, and guest blogging for them. At the end of her guest posts, she asked readers to subscribe to her email list. But her question wasn’t without an incentive – she also offered a free email series to her new subscribers.
(Also note the “As seen on…” section for credibility).
What you can do now: Open up a new tab, and start Googling. Look for blogs your audience might be interested in. While you want to be careful that you don’t end up with a competitor, think of interests your audience might have.
Reach out to them to see there are any guest blogging opportunities. If so, start working on that post and be sure to add your sign up form!
4. Promote on social media.
There are a number of ways you can grow your email list on social media (and we’ve written about it a number of times like here and here). While it will largely depend on the social platforms you’re active on, there’s one tactic that can be used everywhere: promote a link to a web-hosted version of your sign up form.
You can add the link to your profile descriptions, and share it in a social post every now and then. Include context as to why you’re email list is awesome and how they can’t live without it, and you’re golden.
Here at AWeber, we’ve done both for our social audience, which helped drive new sign ups to our email list.
Remember, whatever you do, just always keep your subscribers in mind and send them valuable content.
What you can do now: Make sure you include a link to your sign up form on Facebook and maybe in your description section on your blog profiles. Then, consider ways you might be able to run a contest in the future using tools like Heyo to get started.
5. Curate content.
Another way to engage your audience with a variety of content is to share the latest industry news and other recent articles you think your subscribers will enjoy. Consider crafting a newsletter and offer your views and opinions on what’s happening.
Let’s say you’re a food blogger, and the FDA is releasing new regulations for certain artificial additives. To inform your subscribers, you could link to an article on the topic and break things down in layman’s terms. You know your audience better than anyone else, so consider how you can craft a message that presents the information in a way that is relevant to them.
This will help establish trust with your readers when they know you have their best interest at heart. It’ll also help build your credibility as a thought leader.
What you can do now: Start logging your favorite articles in Evernote or a Google doc (or whatever your favorite note-keeping app is). When it’s time for you to send your next email, review them to see if there were any important stories you’d like to share with your subscribers. Before the link to the curated article, include a short blurb that explains what it means for your specific subscribers.
While we’ve only grazed the surface of email marketing tactics for bloggers, they’re easy to implement if you’re a novice blogger or a vet who wants to try something new.
Do you use an email marketing tactic not mentioned in the post? Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear about it!