Email Marketing was one of those things I ignored when I first started blogging.
It was much more important to write my words down, much like a dairy. It wasn’t until I was taking a 30-day blogging challenge that the term email marketing came up. Back in the day, it was called a newsletter and at first, I started using Mailchimp to send out the roundup of blog posts for the month. Sending out a newsletter was hard because I had to design the email each time, create images to go in it, and figure out how to entertain the three people on my email list.
Yes, you heard right, I had three people on my list and I was already sending out a newsletter. It’s important for people to hear from you, no matter how large or small your email list is. In fact, earlier on I wrote an article about why the size of your email list actually doesn’t matter. What’s most important is being authentic with your emails and actually nurturing your email list with your content.
In the post, EBooks are Dead – Do This Instead, I shared how to grow your email list using content updates. Once someone is on your email list, the next step is to show them you care and help them get to the next level. The how is something I struggled with for a long time, but now I’m happy to report my email list sees daily growth and very few un-subscribers.
How to get started if you’re a beginner
When I first started out, I used Mailchimp as my email provider. I wasn’t monetizing my blog and I didn’t need automated systems to help me reach my readers. Simply put, my #1 goal was to increase my blog’s readership. Here are some tips to help you if you have a similar goal.
Use Free Email Marketing Tools
The reason I recommend having an email account in the first place is so you can collect email address and message those people whenever you’d like. It could be that your blog is a starting point and may turn into a business. You could start offering services and products, which means even if you’re starting from zero, having an email list is a must have.
When you do have exciting news about your blog, the release of a new product or a special suite of services, you already have readers to tell. Since you aren’t in monetizing mode, free email marketing software is for you, especially since we want tools that will ultimately pay for themselves.
Use the RSS email campaign
Mailchimp allows you to connect your blog to your email account, and can automatically send out your new blog post to your email list. I’ve seen this done well, and it done wrong. Make sure you make the title of your new email unique, some people leave the default setting which means an email that looks like this gets sent out:
Here’s the latest from [insert name of blog]
I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly want to open that email for some news. I can just turn on the television. But if you’re telling me about the photo shoot you did at the waterfall, sharing that new pumpkin pie recipe, or even chatting about your novel and what surprised you about your fans, I’m all in.
If your #1 goal is to increase the readership of your blog, follow these tips:
- Using free email marketing software
- Create a creative subject line for each email, for example, your blog title
- Include the whole blog post in your email – this is optional but is one of the best ways to get more reads, simply because a lot of people don’t click on to read the actual blog post
- Encourage engagement by asking a question at the end and asking readers to share their opinions using your
- Include a Tweetable (click to tweet) in your email so others can share your blog post
Using Email Marketing to Level Up your Influence
There comes a time when, as a blogger, you decide to get dead serious about what you’re doing and turn it into a revenue machine. There are many ways to make money from your blog, these include:
- Services – things you offer to clients for a specific $ amount
- Products – ebooks, printables, clothing, mugs etc.
- Courses – step by step guides to creating massive success
- Affiliates – selling others’ products and services
- Influencer – promoting products and services by other people
Now when you pivot to making money from your blog, a few things change, including your #1 goal. Instead of being focused on readership, you want to turn your readers into sales by letting them get to know you and the value you provide. While it’s easy to do this face to face using video, webinars, and in-person meetings, I can also be done via email.
In order to show value via email, you need to start using automation. Automated emails are a number of emails sent automatically based on the action subscribers are taking. Once I started using automation, it’s crazy how engaged my email list become. People actually started replying to my emails, inviting me to be on their podcasts, run webinars with them, and speak at virtual summits. Here’s how it works.
Create a welcome sequence that is anywhere from 5 to 7 emails long.
The very first email should be a welcome email. You can introduce yourself, what you do, why you do it, and who you serve. You should also let your readers know what they can expect from you.
For example, are you sending out your latest blog post? Maybe you will send reminders about upcoming trainings and resources that can help them reach their goals.
The next emails should continue to provide that value and the next steps you recommend for helping them reach their goals. This is a soft sell because while you are providing value, you also want to introduce your products and services.
Now, if you start with Mailchimp, you’ll need to pay to use automation, which is why I love MailerLite. It’s free for the first 1,000 subscribers, whether or not you’re using automation. If you love high design emails and lot of reporting, MailerLite will do the trick while you focus on getting those sales so you can pay for the tools use can use to run your business.
At some point, you may want to start doing even more with your email marketing. For example, my goal is to reach authors, writers, and bloggers, however, the emails I send to each group are slightly different.
You can segment your email list by using tagging, so you know who’s interested in book launching, email marketing, or straight up blogging. This is why I personally use ConvertKit.
I can track interest based on tags automatically assigned to subscribers, based on which opt-in they subscribed to. This helps to ensure I’m sending content my readers are actually interested in. For example, I’m running the Indie Book Challenge, but if someone decides they don’t want daily marketing emails, and they purchase the full book, I don’t have to unsubscribe them from that automated email sequence. It happens automatically!
Now these things get a bit techy which is why I write out everything I ideally want to happen with my email marketing. For example, if someone enrolls in the course How to Plan a Book Launch, they are automatically unsubscribed from any sequences that sell the course. It’s simply annoying for someone to encourage you to make a purchase you’ve already made!
There you have it. Email marketing is one way you can get more subscribers and turn them into fans. You’ll get to know them, they’ll get to know you, and who knows what opportunities will open up because of it.
Need more help with email marketing? Download the checklist and let me know: What questions do you have about email marketing?