Today I was reading a post on CopyBlogger by Dean Rieck on the importance of using email to grow a blog and it struck me how many bloggers still don’t fully understand the power of email as a way to grow their blogs.
I’m not going to rehash all of the reasons why email marketing is worth adding to your blogging or even give tips on how to build a successful email newsletter – today I just want to illustrate with a couple of charts why I believe in email marketing.
What you see above (click to enlarge) is a screen shot of the Google Analytics area of the forum area of Digital Photography School (ie it doesn’t include the blog area’s traffic).
The stats go back for 6 weeks and you’ll notice that there is a nice weekly pattern going on in terms of rises and falls in traffic.
What causes the predictable rises in traffic each Thursday? Thursday is the day I send newsletters.
Each week a newsletter goes out to readers that simply contains a summary of the latest activity on the site. Interestingly – the newsletter only contains one link to the forum area – yet that one link is enough to come close to doubling traffic to the forum for that day.
But Wait, There’s More
OK – so the ability to drive regular traffic to your blog is one great reason to start an email newsletter for your blog – but today as I analyzed my blog’s stats I realized that there’s another reason.
Take a look at this chart. It shows traffic from Digg to the blog area of DPS since mid last year (click to enlarge).
OK – it’s a little hard to see a correlation between newsletters and Digg traffic from that graph – but what I noticed today is that the majority of my ‘Digg Events’ happen on the same days of the week. Let me show you (click to enlarge):
I’ve had 19 ‘Digg Events’ in this period and 16 of them have happened on a Thursday or a Friday (two of the others hit the front page on a Saturday).
Articles hit the front page of Digg every day of the week yet on my site they almost always fall on a Thursday or a Friday.
I send newsletters out to my readers on a Thursday morning.
Now I rarely mention Digg or any form of social bookmarking in my newsletters – but it seems to me that the newsletters are having an impact upon social bookmarking to me.