Bloggers are always looking for tools that will help them produce better results. One tool you may not have in your arsenal, but should is email. That’s right. Despite the rise of social media and all the advancements the web has seen, email continues to be one of the most effective marketing tools on the planet.
Telling Email Marketing Stats
– Data compiled by digital marketing agency Monetate showed that 4.24% of people sent to a website from an email campaign buy something. This number may seem insignificant, but it is huge in comparison to the 2.49% and .59% logged by search and social media respectively.
– A survey conducted by email marketing firm ExactTarget found that even in the social era, email is the number one method of sharing content with friends and family.
– According to Epsilon, roughly 50% of a mailing list will have active members. That means half of your subscribers are either opening a message or clicking the links it contains.
Email marketing is thriving and the business community is all over it. Experts have projected that organizations will invest $2.5 billion in the method by 2016. The numbers are impressive but enough with the statistics. Let’s take a look at how you can use this powerful tool to improve your blogging efforts.
1. Optimize Your Sign-up Process
An optimal sign-up process is critical to growing your list. Many bloggers use free gifts and incentives to coax their readers to join. This is fine as long as whatever you’re offering has some value to it, and the process itself is as easy to complete as possible. If people have to give up too much information or have a difficult time to getting to your sign-up form, they’re likely to bail altogether.
2. Follow Up Promptly
If your proposition is attractive, adding new members to your list will be something you do on a regular basis. However, there is plenty to do from here, and it starts with conducting a proper follow-up. Whenever you get a new subscriber, welcome them with a message that reminds them why they’re hearing from you, and reiterates the benefits of being on your list. I also recommend getting the subscriber to complete the double opt-in process by having them reconfirm their interest. This way, you make sure they are truly ready to connect via email.
3. Target the Right Readers
Email marketing is far more effective when using segmentation to target different groups within your list. For instance, a blogger might want to have a group for loyal readers, one for newbies, another one customers … you get the idea. Through segmentation, you can target the people on your list with content that best suits them personally, and up your chances of getting a good response.
4. Think About Your Mobile Audience
These days it is common for people to read blog posts from their favorite mobile device. Reading email via a mobile device may be even more common. Forester Research predicts that by 2017, 78% of email will be opened on a mobile device. Right now that percentage is around 38%, which is higher than the percentage for desktop (33%) and webmail platforms (29%), according to data from Litmus. Needless to say, if you’re going to use email, make sure your messages are optimized for your mobile readers.
5. Incorporate Social Media
There is nothing stating that you can’t use blogging, email, and social media all one glorious package. Email marketing companies are making this easier than ever by providing tools that help integrate your strategy. For instance, there are sharing buttons that enable readers to contribute to a viral impact from the inbox as well as reporting tools that allow you to measure the influence of your campaigns across the social web. The exposure this combination creates could work wonders for your blog.
6. Make It Worthwhile
What’s the point in dealing with your emails when they can get the same information from your blog posts? This is what many of your readers will have on their minds, so you need to make the email experience a unique one with exclusive benefits. Perhaps you treat them to special offers normally reserved for customers in your rewards program. Maybe it’s a free weekly report non-subscribers don’t have access to. Whatever it is, it must be something that clearly distinguishes being a subscriber from being a regular reader.
Are you using email marketing to power your blogging strategy? If not, then what are you waiting for? You have very little to lose, yet so much to gain if you follow in the steps of superstar bloggers already making it work.