Why do bloggers want people to sign up on an email list?
It’s very simple why. When you have an email list, you own your audience. You can market to them over and over and most importantly, you can make a living off of that list.
What do I mean by own your audience though?
Russel Brunson said it best in his book, Expert Secrets. Essentially, if you are using forms of traffic such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, they may produce results and work well for you, but at the end of the day, you are just renting that traffic.
You have to pay to target those people.
When you build an email list and you focus on building a list of highly engaged people that care what you have to say, you can market to them over and over again, without having to pay to “rent” that audience.
Why is email marketing so useful for bloggers though?
A wise and experienced blogger uses their email list as the lifeblood of their business.
You see, once you have an engaged email list, you can start selling products, recommending businesses and doing promotions to monetize your list.
Most new bloggers try to monetize their actual website with things like AdSense or some affiliate links, which is certainly not a bad thing, but not where the income possibilities end, it’s really just the start.
So, how do you get started?
We will go over 4 main tips on how to get started with email marketing for your blog:
- Choose a service
- Create lead magnet landing pages
- Plan your email sequences
- Add your offers strategically
1. Choosing the best email marketing platform
MailChimp has long been my favorite email marketing platform, that is until recently.
MailChimp used to be completely free for your first 2,000 email subscribers, and technically it is still free for the first 2,000 subscribers except with one major caveat… they removed email automation.
When you are a blogger constantly writing content and planning out email sequences designed to sell your products and boost your website traffic, automation isn’t just nice to have, it’s absolutely crucially necessary.
What is my recommendation now?
I specifically looked for a system that was easy to create automations, didn’t get blocked by spam filters and was built for blogging and entrepreneurs. There are a few really good systems out there but the best one I found is ConvertKit.
I use ConvertKit for this blog you’re reading right now and don’t intend on switching anytime soon.
Let me lay out a few points as to why I suggest it:
1. Built-in Landing Pages
When you are just starting out, you may not have the money to use a landing page software like Unbounce or Instapage. ConvertKit has landing pages included within its platform for free. This is a huge benefit when starting out and a good way to jumpstart your lead generation.
2. Tags and Segments
Communicating with your audience is most effective when you talk to them on a more individualized style. Tags and segments let you organize your contacts by things like their activities, interests and how they initially signed up.
3. Super easy automations
You literally just start an email in a sequence then hit the “add email” button. You can connect sequences to landing pages and create easy flow charts. The easier it is, the more likely you’ll do it.
Whichever email marketing platform you decide on, make sure it includes email automations, list segmenting and customizable forms/landing pages. Those are the main tools you’ll need to succeed.
2. Create lead magnet landing pages
Email marketing requires a very crucial ingredient… contacts!
The most effective way to grow your email list and start adding contacts is by using a landing page with an effective lead magnet.
What is a lead magnet?
It’s an offer that you promote, in exchange for information. You can be infinitely creative with what kind of content you decide to giveaway, but there are a few pretty typical offerings that are proven to work:
- Excel templates
The thing with lead magnets is that they actually need to be really valuable to whoever downloads it. If you put out some boring and useless content, the person that downloads it won’t trust you or your advice.
Whatever you decide to make as your lead magnet should be so good that you feel wrong giving it away for free. That’s how you know it’s good enough.
Where do you put your lead magnet?
You can either put it directly on your website or you can use a landing page software to create a purpose-built page just for your lead magnet.
My absolute favorite landing page software is a company called Instapage. They are a little pricey, but their product is crazy robust and very simple to use. You can make a completely finished landing page in less than 15 minutes using their templates and drag-n-drop builder.
If the price tag of Instapage is a little too daunting, I recommend sticking with the landing page builder built-in to ConvertKit. It’s not as robust, but it still pretty impressive and keeps everything all in one platform.
>>> Instapage Free Trial <<< Starting at $149/month
>>> ConvertKit Free Trial <<< Starting at $29/month
3. Plan out your email sequences
It’s easy to get excited and anxious and want to jump the gun on selling as soon as you collect a new email, but that is absolutely the wrong move to make.
That new contact is a delicate relationship that you need to nurture.
Give more value!
Ok, so you just gave away something for free as you lead magnet that was so valuable that felt wrong for just giving it away. Now, it’s time to do that again.
The reason we build email lists is to not only own our audience but to build trust with our audience. They will be much more likely to buy something from you if you have proven to them that you only provide extraordinarily valuable items.
You’ll want to structure your emails something like this:
Email 1: Welcome.
Tell them who you are and what your blog/website is all about. Make sure you answer any questions you promised to them.
Email 2: Explain.
Tell them how your team works, and what they should expect from their relationship with you. Set expectations.
Email 3: Story + Value.
Deliver some kind of value to them. Whether it’s a free ebook, checklist or something else. Try to deliver it with a story and make them feel the excitement and create a lust around the value you are giving them.
Email 4: Your first pitch.
There are multiple tactics you can use at this point. You could offer one of your products for a limited time sale or you could tell another story that leads up to how your product will help them.
These are purely examples of course, but very effective if you decide to go that route. Whatever you do, I suggest not pitching to them right away. Build your relationship and build the trust through a thought out email sequence.
4. Adding your offers strategically.
You will likely have more than one product or offer to promote. You’ll want to invest some time into thinking about how your offerings work together with your emails and your lead magnets.
Everything should be as individualized as possible. For example, I’m not going to promote Shopify on this blog because it’s not the right audience to promote it too. Likewise, you won’t want to promote a product to an email list that isn’t relevant to how they signed up for your email list.
You will quickly lose their interest and their trust.
I like to grab an old fashioned pencil and paper and layout each marketing campaign. I draw out what my lead magnet is, what my email sequence looks like and at what point I think I should pitch the product.
Email marketing is an imperative tool for bloggers to not only keep their readership on the rise but to increase their revenue.
Building an email list and communicating with your audience will prove to be a vital part of your marketing strategy.
To get started in email marketing for your blog, start with these 4 tips:
- Choose an email marketing service that integrates with your website.
- Create lead magnet landing pages and capture emails.
- Plan out your email sequences and engage your subscribers.
- Add your offers strategically to provide value to your subscribers.
I hope your email marketing strategy proves to be successful. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how it’s going.
Thanks for reading,
Alex at TGM