How to Build an Email Marketing
Now that you’ve picked your favorite email marketing tool, let’s start with the basics.
Building a blogger email list takes some time, but the reward is that once people signed up for your list, they’re there to stay (if you keep delivering great content, of course).
To start building and growing your blog email list, you need to create awareness and motivate blog readers to subscribe.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a direct marketing channel that lets businesses share new products, sales, and updates with customers on their contact lists. Its high return on investment (ROI) makes it crucial to most businesses’ overall inbound strategy.
Modern email marketing has moved away from one-size-fits-all mass mailings and instead focuses on consent, segmentation, and personalization. This may sound time-consuming, but marketing automation handles most of the heavy lifting for you. In the long run, a well-designed email marketing strategy not only drives sales but helps build a community around your brand.
Advantages of email marketing
An email has become such a popular marketing tool for businesses partly because it forces the user to take some kind of action; an email will sit in the inbox until it’s read, deleted, or archived.
Email marketing can help you build a relationship with your audience while also driving traffic to your blog, social media, or anywhere else you’d like folks to visit. You can even segment your emails and target users by demographic so you’re only sending people the messages they want to see most.
Email marketing also allows you to run A/B tests of a subject line or call to action to identify the best-performing message by using email marketing software that can also be configured to easily send out emails. Check out Mailchimp’s email templates to see more of what you can do with email marketing.
Disadvantages of email marketing
While email marketing seems like the perfect way to reach out to customers, create new prospects, and grow important business relationships, there are some drawbacks. In fact, many businesses are opting to use EZ Texting as another form of communication.
Here are some of the significant downsides to email marketing campaigns.
How to Build an Email Marketing
In order to be successful with your blog email marketing (in terms of driving traffic and monetizing your content), you’ll need a clear strategy. Here’s mine.
1. Identify your email marketing goals
Top performers in any field, from sports to business, set goals for themselves to focus their performance and prioritize their time and resources.
Succeeding in email marketing isn’t any different.
Here are a few goals you may want to consider for your own email marketing efforts:
Get more subscribers: The money is on the list. A healthy, growing list of subscribers is what will enable you to accomplish all of the wonderful things I’ve mentioned in this article. But it’s important to realize that lists decay by about 22% every year as people change email addresses, unsubscribe, and even just lose interest. You need to constantly work at growing your list if you want to take advantage of the power of email marketing.
Increase engagement: Maybe you’ve already started collecting email addresses and sending newsletters. Now you need to focus your efforts on increasing engagement. After all, having a massive list is worthless if your audience is not taking action. Engagement could come in the form of opens, click through, social shares, or even email responses.
2. Optimize your blog to get more email subscribers
ESPs typically provide an HTML/CSS code snippet you can copy and paste into the code of your website or template — and ConvertKit integrates directly with all of the top WordPress themes and WordPress plugins.
Where you place your email capture form and what information you collect can have a big impact on how quickly you grow your email list. Additionally, you may choose to use a combination of locations for optimal effect.
Optimizing Your Newsletter Signup Process
Creating a popup is an easy task, but making it convert will require a bit of tweaking on your part. As you saw, you can create a very simple form as Cookie + Kate did.
Nevertheless, to boost your newsletter signup rate, you need to make popups that offer value. The best way to do it is to leverage the power of reciprocity, i.e., giving your subscriber something useful in exchange for their email address.
Where to Find More Subscribers
At the beginning of the section, we mentioned that the easiest way to start building your email list is to add a sign-up form to your blog. Apart from that, you can also start tapping into other channels to power up your list-building efforts even more!
For example, you can collect email addresses from podcasts, webinars, YouTube videos, or social media. If you decide to use the first three channels, make sure to craft a dedicated landing page to convert your viewers/listeners to subscribers of your blog.
If you don’t know which tool to use, you can also check our insider’s guide to landing page builders and then make your choice! Now let’s see what you can do after you build your email list!
3. Free Email Marketing Tools and Resources
All these tools and resources are free and can help you with your email marketing campaigns.
- TestSubject: The three factors that influence email open rates the most are the sender name, subject line, and pre-header text (the little preview of an email’s content displayed in some email clients). Smart marketers optimize these three factors to give their email a better shot at earning an open. TestSubject is a free tool that allows you to preview what your sender name, subject line, and pre-header text look like on a variety of popular mobile devices. It also helps you avoid the potentially cringe-worthy effects of truncation that can happen to some unfortunately worded subject lines (see below).
- ISnotSPAM: The vast majority of email accounts use sophisticated spam filters to prevent illegitimate or nefarious emails from making it into the inbox. The problem is, many of these spam filters could mistakenly flag your message as spam if it has certain characteristics. When your email lands in the spam bin, your message is not reaching its intended audience, and your time and effort are wasted — this is a definite blogging mistake to avoid. Additionally, your ESP could be flagged which could put your account at risk. ISnotSPAM is a free service that will analyze your email for any spammy characteristics and highlight any changes you should make. Simply send your email to the address on their site and view your report.
4. Increase your email open rates
three factors that influence your email open rate are your subject line, sender name/email, and pre-header text.
Here are a few best practices and suggestions for improving the effectiveness of each:
- Keep it short and sweet
- Don’t use spammy words like free, limited time, special offer, etc.
- Include personalization
- Use emojis
- Be descriptive yet appeal to curiosity
- Use numbers
- Avoid all caps
- Use a familiar name your audience will recognize
- Avoid a ‘no-reply’ email address
- Ensure your email address matches your URL
- Write a subject line that conveys an exciting message
- Include a call to action
- You typically have around 100 characters to work with, use all of it
- Keep it concise
- Use emojis
My guide on how to write a headline for your blog posts (to truly capture the attention of your readers) can help you create great subject line text, as well. And be sure to check out my free blog headline generator tool to get some more headline inspiration.
5. Segmenting Your Audience
Segmentation is an advanced feature that many eCommerce marketers use to deliver more targeted content to their email subscribers.
As a blogger, you can also leverage its power to engage your audience better and keep your email lists clean. To get started with this key activity, you first need to define the groups you want to create.
For instance, if your main blogging topic is marketing and you have subcategories like social media marketing, affiliate marketing, and eCommerce marketing, you can let your audience select the category they are interested in.
This way, you will group them according to their individual interests and deliver the right type of content. What’s more, segmentation can also be performed based on various other criteria such as demographics, psychographics, profession, or location. So using it is an important asset to improve your readers’ experience and boost engagement long term.
6. Boost your email clickthrough rates
People are opening your emails … but you’re not seeing click-throughs. This could signal problems with your email design, content, or the CTA you’re using.
Here are some tried-and-true email marketing tips to drive higher clickthrough rates in your email marketing campaigns:
When it comes to email, whether in the context of messaging your email list or in doing smart blogger outreach, brevity is usually the name of the game.
Nobody wants to read an overly long email, so keep your thoughts concise and organize your thoughts into scannable chunks.
Pay attention to your analytics to ensure your content is resonating with your readers. Ask for feedback from readers and apply their suggestions to write more compelling content.
A text-heavy, long, or visually unappealing email will keep people from clicking.
Focus on making your emails scannable. Use eye-catching images to make your emails interesting to look at.
Use responsive email templates (like those included in ConvertKit) to ensure your emails look great on all kinds of devices.