Email subscribers can be pure gold to your blog but too many bloggers fail to connect with their email list. Use this process to get more from your email list marketing.
One of a blogger’s best resources is their email list. People are extremely guarded about handing over their email so anyone that is willing to sign up to your subscriber list is already telling you they want to hear what you have to say…and buy what you have to offer.
So a customizable email subscription box is a critical step to the success of your blog but too many bloggers stop there and wonder why they are never able to convert their email list to readers and buyers.
The table below shows average email open rates and click-through rates for email list marketing by different business types. Bloggers excited about sending their first email campaigns are often hugely disappointed when they see that just 20% of their email list opens the message and less than 8% of their email list even clicks through to their website.
Simply adding people to your email list for a weekly newsletter doesn’t work. Your email will get buried in a faceless pile of spam emails because you haven’t built a real connection with your readers. While someone may sign up for your email list, you need to take it one step further to build a lasting relationship with your email subscribers.
Before adding a new email subscriber to your regular email marketing campaigns, you need to create a deeper connection through a three-email process including a welcome email, a personal story and a call-to-action. I’ve seen blogs stretch this out to a longer process but three steps seem to work best.
The Welcome Letter
Your “welcome” email is the first any new email subscriber receives and is vital to getting the blog’s message across. It’s here that you are going to talk about why you started the blog and how it can change your reader’s life.
Sound unrealistic? How many websites do you visit each week and how many do you make a point of visiting regularly? Presenting the reasons your blog is exceptional is the only way to make sure people come back every week…or every day! Your welcome message needs to tell people exactly what they are going to find on the blog and why they need to come back regularly so they don’t miss anything.
Pro Tip: Try linking through to some of your best posts in your welcome letter. These should really impress readers and reinforce the idea that your blog is one to remember.
The Personal Story
The second email your new subscriber receives should be your own personal story. Even with the revolution in “social” media, the internet can still be a very cold and impersonal place. You need to become a living, breathing person for your readers. If your email list subscribers see you as a trusted friend, with a story similar to their own, they are going to continuously return to your site and share the content with their own network.
Talk about the events that led you to creating your blog and how it has changed your life. Make sure you use first-person language like “I” and “me.” Your story does not have to be tragic but it should be personal. Spend some time thinking through the most significant events in your life and pick a story that is,
- Impressive – how you overcame a huge obstacle
- Emotional – something that changed you forever
- Funny – humorous but also with a lesson you learned
Pro Tip: Test a few different stories and a few revisions on some friends before sending it out as your personal email message. You want to refine this and really make an impact.
After your first two emails, the third and final email in the process is meant to confirm your relationship with your new email list subscriber. Research shows that doing a favor for someone brings us closer to that person and increases the odds that we’ll do another favor for them in the future. Use this to your advantage by asking for a small favor, something so easy that your email list subscriber won’t even think twice about it.
- Share a memorable quote or an article on social media
- “Like” a post by clicking through a link
- Click through to a post and comment
Pro Tip: Use action verbs in your call-to-action and tell people what they need to do. Use words and phrases like buy, click here, download now, start your free trial and get it now.
After the process of onboarding your email list, you should see stronger open and click-through rates as people identify more with your blog and your message. That in itself won’t turn your email list campaigns into gold mines though. Make sure you hit on critical elements in every email list marketing campaign.
- Write an irresistible subject line – Your subject line has to spark interest without looking like spam. Brainstorm at least three to five subject lines for your email before you pick the best one. Alternate with different ideas like: surprise, limited time, funny and questions
- Try segmenting your email list – Even if you speak to a very targeted audience, it’s likely that you will have groups within your email list. Try segmenting your email list further into a few groups so you can really send targeted emails that speak directly to a focused group.
- Time your email marketing – Avoid sending emails on the weekend or holidays. You want your audience to be in front of the computer before your email gets buried under a mountain of spam. I have found that Monday through Thursday between 10am and 1pm works best for my own email marketing.
- Stay relevant – Survey your email list occasionally to find out what is most important to readers. Send at least two emails a month with once a week being a good minimum. This helps people in your email list recognize your name when it appears in their inbox.
Your email list can be pure gold and provide your blog with a constant stream of traffic and willing buyers. These visitors have already told you they enjoy your blog and want to see more. Do not pass up the opportunity to bring them in as part of a community by a simple email process.