Email marketing is not the exclusive territory of the electronics superstores or the vitamin purveyors, and bloggers can leverage email newsletters to build their audiences by using many of the same tactics and techniques mastered by the major retailers.
But if you’ve got a great blog and you’re at a loss on how to promote it via email marketing, you’re not alone. Here are the top 10 tips to efficiently promote your blog through the remarkable power and efficiency of email marketing.
1. Get permission — It’s not sufficient to capture email addresses here, there, and everywhere to slam onto your subscription list. You either have received formal double opt-in archived permission from your subscriber or you’re spamming. It’s that simple.
2. Set expectations — You have to be very clear as to what type of content your newsletter will contain and how often they will receive it. If they’re expecting a monthly newsletter on your pet supply blog and instead they end up getting daily emailed exhortations to buy antidepressant pharmaceuticals, you’re on the fast track to spam reports and blacklists.
3. Be consistent — Take your time to come up with a coherent identity for your email newsletters which matches your blog. It’s not enough to simply copy over the logo, but everything should be synchronous: from the color scheme of the layout to the writing style of the email copy.
4. Mobile rules — There are various hard and fast rules which must be adhered to in order to suit the growing portion of your audience which reads your emails on the proliferating plethora of mobile web-enabled devices. Do your research on how to best design emails for mobiles and apply what you learn.
5. Keep it short — You wouldn’t write a 7,200 word blog on the Disney World vacation plans of a tech CEO, so you shouldn’t bog down your email newsletters with excessive coverage of the insignificant. Keep your email copy focused and edit it all down to the shortest word count it can possibly be while still making the point.
6. Call them to action — Many bloggers engage email subscribers in a strictly informative manner without bothering to drive that precious traffic back to the blog. Link back to your blog every reasonable chance you have. After all, that’s the reason you’re doing an email marketing campaign in the first place!
7. Facilitate the unsubscribe — You’ve gone through a lot of trouble to get that subscriber, so why should you make it easy for them to leave your list? If you don’t prominently feature an unsubscribe link which is immediately honored, not only are you violating the US Federal CAN-SPAM Act, but you’re just begging your subscriber to plunk you in the junk folder or file a spam complaint.
8. Check through emulators — There are various services which allow you to see your email the way it will be viewed in a broad variety of browsers and devices. Don’t ever let your email go out until you’ve reviewed these different perspectives or you may find that all of the readers using iPhones or Firefox might be seeing your email as a post-earthquake mosaic.
9. Segment & segment some more — There is literally no limit to how far you can segment your list. You can separate subcategories by behavior, geography, demographics, or any other bit of information you can gather about your subscribers, then custom-tailor the content to fit. If you’re sending the same newsletter to your entire list you’re applying a transparently generic strategy that is essentially counter-productive.
10. Ask for feedback — Be open to both positive and negative comments as you solicit every form of feedback your subscriber base will provide. Learn from each and every comment and use the feedback to fine tune your marketing efforts.
Email marketing can be the most successful way to drive traffic to your blog and ensure that you maintain a vibrant and engaged readership. Master email marketing and watch your Technorati rating soar.