4 Reasons to Set Up an E-mail List
Even your regular readers will forget to check your blog sometimes – I’m guilty of it myself. I love reading blogs like Marianne’s Design Your Own (lovely) Blog and blogging and marketing strategy tips from Meera Kothand, but I forget if I don’t happen to spot their latest on their Twitter feeds, or catch them on Pinterest.
Luckily, they’ve both enticed me in various ways to sign up to their e-mail lists.
Why set up an e-mail list?
Read on for some great reasons why your blog needs an e-mail list:
1. New content
An e-mail list is a great way to nudge your existing readers when you post new content. Yes, you’ll be sharing links to your new posts on social media – but social media is so fast paced, it’s difficult to be sure anyone is actually seeing your posts.
With an e-mail list, your message goes straight into your readers’ inboxes, without the distraction and noise. Make sure you use good an e-mail marketing program (see below!) to see who opens, who clicks and which posts are attracting views.
This will also help you tailor your content to what your readers find useful and interesting.
As well as nudging your readers towards your new posts, a newsletter is a great way to:
- Let your readers know about new projects and products
- Showcase your work
- Update them on your progress
- Send them feedback soundbites from your existing or previous clients
3. Useful content
E-mail is also nifty way to share other useful content with your readers. You can send them exclusive freebies and content like worksheets, guides, how-tos etc… that are not available to non-subscribers.
Add value to your readers by sharing not just your own content, but resource lists, posts from other blogs, tools, tips and anything else that your readers may find useful.
4. Attract New readers
An e-mail list gives new readers and people coming across your blog a way to sign up to receive your updates. They may not have time to connect with you on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest – if they use those networks at all.
If you make your e-mail list visible and easy to sign up to, they may just sign up!
From your own marketing perspective – it’s always better to have people on your mailing list who actually want to receive your content, whatever your aim, but especially if you’re trying to grow a business.
If your e-mails are unsolicited,
- They may be marked as spam (not great for your marketing cred or your domain authority).
- They may be considered spam by your e-mail provider, which could mean your account is revoked – all that hard work down the drain!
- You could be in breach of marketing rules and regulations – and could face a heft fine if the recipient complains or reports you.
The bottom line? Always get an opt-in.
Which e-mail marketing tool?
I’ve tried a couple over the last few years – Mailchimp, Active Campaign, Campaign Monitor, but I’d recommend Mailchimp for bloggers just starting out with an e-mail list. Why?
- It’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers.
- It features drag & drop templates which are easy to duplicate and update for new campaigns after you’ve done the initial setup.
- There are customisable and embeddable signup forms, thank you pages and confirmation pages, and you can re-direct signups to URLs on your own website.
- It includes really useful and easy-to-understand analytics you can use to help improve open and click-through rates, as well as see which content is doing well.
Any other E-mail Tips?
I’ve set up Mailchimp templates both for myself and my clients and I’ve found the simple, straightforward format works best for me:
- A great subject line – I’ll be sharing an e-mail marketing resource list in a later article, but in the meantime, check out this post from SumoMe for some e-mail subject line inspiration and tips: The BEST e-mail subject lines: 62 formulas to get your e-mails read.
- Consistent branding – Colours and fonts that match the branding of your website so recipients know exactly who it’s from before they start reading.
- An eye-catching header image – An image from your website, or something that reflects the topic of the current mailout.
- Attractive images and relevant captions – Relating to the news, products, resources or projects featured in the e-mail, or something else entirely!
- CTA button – At least one call-to-action button to make it easy to click through to your website – “Learn Now”, “Contact Us”, “Click Here” or again, something relevant to your e-mail content.
- Mobile and web compatible – As more and more people check their e-mails on mobile devices before desktop computers, this is key!
If you don’t want your readers to miss your posts, or you’re looking to share news of your work, products, or even if you just want to share useful content with your readers, an e-mail list is a great way to reach people without relying on social media.