In my last 5 years of blogging, I’ve been all over the place with my topics and marketing strategies but one thing has remained the same.
I’ve always used and gotten consistent results with email marketing.
Aside from email still being the most used communication medium, (even social media sites use email) it’s by far the best way to keep people coming back to your blog time and time again.
The problem is that it can be tricky to set up properly without some help, so today I am going to share with you the tools, strategies, and types of emails I use to get results.
Top Email Marketing Tools For Bloggers
One of the coolest parts about modern blogging is the fact that so many people spend all day coding scripts, plugins, and software to make our lives easier.
I have 3 main tools I use to build my email list and the great part is that they’re all free to set up and use.
MailChimp Email Marketing
The first thing you need to do is get yourself an email marketing service provider, and I highly recommend MailChimp.
This service will allow you to build up a permission-based email database and send emails to some or all of your subscribers at once.
I don’t know about you, but I share some of my posts via email with friends and after a handful it gets repetitive.
This service will allow you to be much more efficient, especially when you collect 50, 100, or even 1,000 or more email subscribers.
MailChimp isn’t the only service either: Aweber (used here on A Blog On Blogging) or GetResponse are also great choices.
SumoMe Tool Suite Plugin
SumoMe is a free suite of tools to grow your website traffic, created by Noah Kagan and the AppSumo team.
They have image sharing tools, content analytics, contact forms, and for the purpose of today, email capture forms that integrate perfectly with MailChimp, Aweber, GetResponse, and more.
They do offer plenty of paid upgrade options, but to be honest they aren’t needed when getting started with email marketing for your blog.
The important tools to install right away are Share (if you don’t have a share bar), ListBuilder, and Scrollbox and you can mess around with the other apps at a later date.
I’d highly recommend customizing the forms to your own site, as you can change the text, fonts, colors, and everything else to match your own style.
Optin Cat Plugin
This is the tool I use to place forms in my blog sidebar, below my blog posts, and on my newsletter page.
It’s neat because you can create a form and use the shortcode they give you to place a form anywhere, even in the middle of a longer post.
This one isn’t necessary, but it can add to your email marketing results over time for sure.
How To Get People To Subscribe
If you’re out there promoting your blog posts each day (which you should be), then simply adding these forms anywhere will have you going in the right direction.
We don’t just want any results though, we want great results.
There are some things that you can do to get great results from the start, without taking much work either.
Ethically Bribe Your Visitors To Subscribe
The best thing you can do is offer more value to your blog visitors to entice them to subscribe to your email list.
This could be a short report, a checklist, a special video, a resource guide, an email series, an Affiliate Marketing guide or anything else you can think of to add more value to your reader’s lives.
Once you create this product, simply promote it via the SumoMe or Optin Cat plugins, like the epic Affiliate Marketing guide here on this blog, and deliver via email.
Where To Ask People To Subscribe
There are several places I recommend asking for the subscription, and while you don’t have to use all of them, I recommend at least 2 or 3.
Newsletter Page – Creating your own dedicated page promoting your giveaway and asking people to subscribe is one of the most effective things you can do.
Blog Sidebar – While this one isn’t the most effective anymore, it’s still good to have an easily accessible form near the top of the page.
Below Your Posts – Both Scrollbox and Optin Cat allow you to create forms that show at or near the end of your posts, which usually attracts people who read and like your content.
Pop Up Form – Fewer people are annoyed by pop up forms than you might think, and this has been my number 2 sign up source next to my newsletter page.
Links Inside Posts – I highly recommend linking to your newsletter page in appropriate parts of at least some of your blog posts, which will result in a good conversion rate.
Once you have your forms set up, it’s time to move on to the email part of email marketing.
The 4 Types Of Emails You Can Send
This is the fun part, at least in my opinion.
There are many paths you can choose, from manual emails to 100% automated to a healthy mix of both, which I will share with you right now.
If you ask me, the first email is mandatory and the rest are up to you how you use.
The Welcome Email
This is where you thank people for subscribing to your email list and provide the ethical bribe we were talking about above.
It doesn’t have to be super long, but it should cover a few things.
You could tell them how often to expect emails from you, the type of content to expect, and when the next email is coming.
I even tell my subscribers that they can unsubscribe at any time, which may sound weird but I like to let people know they aren’t obliged.
This may be their first impression of you through email, so be helpful, entertaining, or both. 🙂
Follow Up Emails
These are some of the most powerful emails you can send once you set them up, which sadly aren’t an option in the free version of MailChimp.
You can set up an email to go out automatically to every new subscriber that joins your list at a specified interval.
Let’s say you have an epic blog post with high quality information that you believe everyone should see.
Add it into your email follow ups (aka autoresponder) and you’re good to go.
These are one time emails that you can send to some or all of your subscribers, and is my personal favorite type of email to send.
These are great for sharing updates or more time sensitive information.
I use broadcast emails to manually share each and every blog post that I write, but this may not be the best option if you’re just getting started with email marketing.
This is an epic function of MailChimp, Aweber, and GetResponse that allows you to take your blog feed and automatically send out new blog posts.
You can even specify which times and days of the week you want these emails sent out.
This is great if you want the benefits of an email list without the added work of creating manual emails.
It may sound lazy to some, but you’re still providing value to your readers and when combined with the welcome email (which you can tell them they’ll just receive blog updates), you’ll have a great email marketing system in place.
Ready To Get Email Marketing Going On Your Blog?
Once you get everything set up, email marketing becomes easy and just an effective extension of your blog marketing plan.
Just to recap, make sure you follow these steps.
- Get the best tools
- Ask people to subscribe
- Send your emails
Hopefully this can help you get your email marketing going for your blog so you can reach the next level and beyond.
I’d be glad to help you with any questions you may have, so please post them in the comments below.
For more tips like this, go ahead and join my email list for daily blogging tips to help you increase your traffic, subscribers, and engagement.