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As bloggers we all know how important it is to create an online presence, especially if one of the goals is to make money. To do that, we have to use different marketing methods such as social media marketing to connect with our visitors and turn them into customers.
There also is another aspect of marketing many new and not-so-new bloggers haven’t bought into yet, and that’s email marketing.
Last month I shared reasons why new bloggers should build an email list.
You might think this is an old school approach but it happens to be one of the most effective ways to give your blog some exposure, make a connection with your visitors and even generate revenue.
Why Email Marketing?
You may have asked yourself why email marketing. I know I explained this in the other post but let me sum it up for you here.
For starters it reminds visitors/subscribers of who you are and builds your brand’s awareness. It also increases lead generation and sales…and who wouldn’t want that, right?
And you’re building a loyal community of people who are interested in you, what you have to say and if it’s part of your blogging plan, your own product or service.
If you’re ready to create your email list the follow information is going to help you set up your email campaign and give you pointers to help you grow your mailing list.
Start By Choosing an Email Marketing Platform
Start by choosing an email marketing platform. You will have your pick of email marketing platforms to fit any budget and some even offer a free trial.
The most popular ones are:
When choosing an email marketing platform, make sure to look under their configurations tab to see if there are plugins available. For example, the plugin Mailmunch will configure with Mailchimp so any new subscribers will automatically be added to the campaign.
And before you sign up to an email marketing platform, make sure you read what features they offer to make sure that platform fits your needs.
Set Up Your Email Marketing Campaign
Once you’ve decided on which platform you’re going to use, it’s time to set up your email marketing campaign.
The first thing I recommend you do is plan your campaign and put it on paper. Decide what kind of content and other material you want to share with your subscribers.
If you’re giving away a free gift – which is highly recommended, decide what that will be. Depending on your niche it can be something like a checklist, an eBook, free consultation, or how-to guide.
Finally, decide how often you want to deliver your newsletter and stick to it.
Now here’s the fun part, creating your campaign.
Select a template from your email marketing platform’s options and format your newsletter. Have fun with the settings and use their customization features to use the same colors you use for your blog to start marking your brand. Make sure to include social media share and follow buttons.
Create an opt-in form to place around your blog and in blog posts to encourage visitors to sign up to your newsletter.
Create an autoresponder to automatically send a welcome email to anyone who subscribes to your newsletter. This is the first step to building a trusting relationship with your subscribers.
The welcome email is your chance to tell subscribers a little about yourself, what they can expect from your emails and how often they’ll get it.
You also want to encourage them to share what it is they want to learn from you.
Be sure to include your free gift and do a test run to make sure your campaign is set up properly.
Extra Tip: When writing content for the autoresponder, make sure there’s a friendly tone and write as if you’re talking one on one with your subscriber.The right email vendor can make the difference between success and frustration. Jordie van Rijn #quoteClick To Tweet
How To Build Your Email List
Now that your email marketing campaign is ready to go, it’s time to start building your email list. Here are some things you can do to help grow your list.
In addition to having a subscription form on your blog, add a sign-up form on your Facebook page and share your newsletter on social media at least once a month to give readers a peek and to encourage new sign-ups.
Include call to action (CTA) statement at the end of a blog post and a subscription box so visitors can easily subscribe.
Make it easy for visitors to find your subscription box by adding widget on your blog’s sidebar or footer.
Create a pop-up subscription box to encourage new subscribers but avoid continuous pop-ups – that could drive a visitor away.
Since some folks check email on their smartphones, make sure your newsletter is mobile responsive.
Install plugins such as the Hello Bar to attract new sign-ups.
A/B Split Testing
When you launch an email campaign, it’s important to check your stats for open rate and click rate. And if you’re not getting the stats you desire, a/b testing will help you determine if making small tweaks to things like the subject line or what time of the day your email is sent will have a better impact on your click/open rate.
Email Marketing No-No’s
There are also some email marketing no-no’s you should be aware of:
The biggest no-no is, do not spam. Always make sure you have your subscriber’s permission to email them.
Do not purchase email lists. It’s highly unlikely they aren’t legitimate opt-ins.
Avoid too many sales pitches. Make sure you’re providing helpful tools and resources to your subscribers.
Do not use a “no reply” email address. You want subscribers to engage with you.
Don’t overdo your email with banner ads. Just like your blog, if you have too many ads splashed around, you risk losing subscribers.
Over to You
I hope this post gave you some helpful tips to start building your list.
Let’s get the conversation going. If you’ve had a mailing list for a while now, what are some of the challenges you faced and what has worked for you? Which email marketing platform are you using?
And if you haven’t started your email list, what is holding you back from getting it going? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.
If you need help setting up your mailing list, I’d be happy to assist. Contact me so we can schedule a time to chat.
Please share this post with anyone you know who could use these email marketing tips.