Email marketing done right has no “perfect formula”. However… there are certain ideas, tips and tricks that seem to bring in positive feedback no matter what the niche or audience is.
I’m a big fan of email marketing and I use it everyday to grow my readership on the blog and also convert customers that bring in the $ that allows me to make a sizeable income per month blogging.
Email marketing is king when it comes to successfully building a blog. It is possible to build a successful business without an email marketing campaign but if you do email marketing right, it will be so much better / quicker.
I have been doing email marketing for about 2 years now and along with being a subscriber on many newsletters, watching what I receive and which ones I keep reading, over time I’ve developed a pretty solid strategy to making email marketing one of my biggest sources of traffic and income.
I have to add that the following tips are what have worked for me but I do use these strategies on 2 very different blogs and I get just about the same results on both sides, so I something must be working right?
How To Blow Up Your List
Your First Email Must Be Perfect
Your emails have to be engaging enough for the subscriber to keep opening them each time they receive one of your emails. Having a subscriber only opening up the first email and then nothing after that is not the best way to do email marketing..
In my own experience I have found that the first email you ever send will be the one most opened (still not 100% though) and that is why you need to make sure your very first email is on point!
Here is my method to creating an awesome first email:
Introduction of myself and why they should take my advice: This is where I show a new subscriber why and how I can help them with what they are trying to do. I talk about my success and failures and make sure I connect with them on a “personal level”.
A link to the promised product / ebook: You (always) need something to entice a reader to subscribe to your list. Some offer a free consultation, free service. free product or even a free ebook. I chose the classic “eBook way” and yes.. it does still work. I make sure to include two links to the product so they can clearly see that I deliver what I promise.
Contact information: When a new member signs up, they will also get access to my private email, Facebook, Skype, Twitter and everything in between. I want them to know that I’m always there whenever they need a some quick advice. This is very powerful and it builds trust!
An idea of what I’ll be sending next and how often: It’s always best to let a new subscriber know what they can expect from you if they stick around. To close off the email I tell them what type of content I will be sending them and how often they can expect to get it.
And that’s about it for the first email.
Simple yet very powerful as you touch on 3 very important things. Trust, value and transparency. When you can offer these 3 things to a new reader, the chances of them sticking around is very probable.
Creating A Follow Up Sequence
With email marketing, you can create a follow up series that will send out messages on schedule to every new subscriber you get.
This is the power of the internet, blogging and email marketing; you could be sleeping or on vacation and your business still runs perfectly.
Before you even start email marketing, I suggest you plan out a “follow up sequence”. This means you have to create a minimum of 15 emails that will go out on schedule.
These emails can be anything really. You can just; check in to see their progress, ask a question, promote new or older blog posts, announce an offer, share something you’ve just learned….. just anything.
When I say “anything”, I don’t mean just any crap. Make sure every email you send out brings some sort of value. That “unsubscribe” button is not too hard to find and click.
My 5:1 Ratio For Monetisation
When creating your follow up sequence, keep in mind that you can’t just promote an offer with every email you send out. This is just spammy and a big turn off.
As soon I see that a newsletter I subscribed to only sends me offers and “special deals” I stop taking them seriously, stop opening their emails and eventually… unsubscribe.
Now if you want to get your numbers up on your list, you don’t want people unsubscribing from your list right?
I have found the “perfect ratio” for monetising your list and that ratio is 5:1.
For every 5 emails I send, I send one 1 email with a direct offer. This is what I have found works best for me on my lists.
In the 5 email I may or may not direct a reader to a blog post where an offer can be found but I never mention anything specific.
The 6th one is usually the offer and surprisingly where most “sales” happen. It’s also ideal if you can mention that the next email (the 1) will include an offer or a “special offer/announcement”.
Again this is what works for me, if you do it otherwise and works for you please share in the comment section below.
I like Aweber’s feature of scheduling a set of follow up emails, this relieves me of constantly scratching my head about “what to send next”.
But… there is another way you can send an email and that is a broadcast. This just sends an email once to all of your subscribers (or part of it if you have it segmented).
This is very useful for sending time sensitive material.
I tend to use this feature when I need to make a HUGE announcement like when “Black Friday” comes along and the products I promote will be having insane discounts.
Alas, you can send a broadcast whenever you publish a new post (some do this very well and achieve great results).
You can also forget all about creating a follow up series and just send “broadcasts”. I don’t this method simply because I can not plan the 5:1 properly, but if you think you’re much more comfortable just sending broadcasts, then go right ahead.
So more email marketing tips:
Don’t write long emails: An email is not a blog post. Make sure you do not exceed the 400 word limit when sending out an email. Personally I find that the emails I keep opening are the emails I know are short… very short.
Look at the stats and feedback: Aweber is great for digging very deep into the data of your users and how are they behaving with your emails. Make sure you see what is working and what is not, ideally by split testing.
Do split testing: This is where you can try out different sign up forms, titles, fonts, colors, whatever. With this feature in Aweber you can split test anything then see what is working and what’s not. Always keep testing.
Ask for reviews: One thing I don’t see a lot of marketers doing is asking for reviews. I tend to do this around my 20th email and I just ask them for a review of the newsletter or the product they purchased. I direct them to this page and they can leave their opinions in the comment section.
Nothing is permanent: Don’t worry if it’s not right, nothing is permanent. You can always edit, re-edit, delete, add or even start over if it’s necessary. Don’t stress yourself out trying to be 100% perfect.
That’s about it folks. These were my tops tips on successfully starting and maintaining a great email marketing effort.
Just to recap, check out the 5 step action plan for doing email marketing properly.
The “Email Marketing Done Right” Action Plan:
STEP 1: Come up with something that will entice a blog reader to become a subscriber.
STEP 2: Craft your first email the best way possible using my tips above.
STEP 3: Keep the 5:1 ratio in mind when trying to monetise your list.
STEP 4: Use “Broadcast” to deliver time sensitive announcements instantly.
STEP 5: Analyze the data and feedback you’re getting and adjust accordingly.
Thanks for reading and thanks for making it this far.
If you’re struggling right now to make email marketing a part of your blogging strategy, just drop me a comment below and I’ll try to help you the best way I can.
I wish you success with your blogging and I hope you are one of the 4% that actually make money at this. I’m here to help if you want to make blogging your full time job.
For more on email marketing, check out what Gabe Johansson (guest contributor here) has to say from his own email experiences: The Number 1 Way To Keep People Coming Back To Your Blog.