I’m a big advocate for building a list around your blog, then making the most of it. A current list of email subscribers is an advantage to any blogger who wants to build their presence, whether you’re monetizing your blog or not.
Often, new bloggers tell me they want to find readers, and more experienced bloggers are always wanting to continue growing their blogs, rather than see readership plateau over time. Your email list can help you meet both these challenges.
Today I wanted to share some ideas for five different one-off emails you can send to the email list that you’ve established around your blog. No matter what stage of the blogging lifecycle you’re at, or how many subscribers you have, or how long it may have been since you emailed them last, hopefully these ideas will give you some food for thought—and maybe some action items for your To Do list.
1. Give them something
Rewarding your subscribers with a free giveaway is a good thing to do, no matter how long they’ve been subscribed. While many bloggers may give away a whitepaper or special download to encourage visitors to join the list in the first place, that’s no reason not to offer periodic giveaways to your subscribed members, too.
Beginning bloggers could create a special piece of content to give away—perhaps it’s a free PDF guide to some detailed aspect of your topic, or a link to a video in which you share some special secret that you think readers will want to know.
More experienced bloggers can give away samples of products—anything from a free chapter from your upcoming ebook, to a complimentary fifteen-minute personal consultation with your business.
Tip: Be generous with your giveaway, and be sure to point out that it’s a subscriber exclusive, so that your subscribers feel that you value them particularly.
2. Ask them something
When was the last time you surveyed your readers? When we think of surveys, most of us imagine questionnaires, but a “survey” doesn’t have to comprise multiple-choice questions—or even multiple questions.
For instance, you could send a more personal email to your subscriber list to get their feedback on a change you’ve made, or you’re thinking of making, to your bog:
- a design change or update
- a new product or service idea
- a post that was particularly well-received, that you’re thinking of building into something bigger.
Don’t overlook other questions, though: you could ask for recommendations for service providers, for example, if you’re not sure who can help with some aspect of your blog or business.
Asking your subscribers for their opinions and assistance is a very powerful way to gain engagement. It can help you to deepen the bonds your subscribers feel with you, as it shows you respect their opinions, and need their support. It also shows that your email list isn’t just a marketing exercise.
3. Tell them something
This idea can easily be tied in with some of the others we’ve already looked at. Using your list to tell subscribers something important is an excellent way to underline the benefit to them not just of being on the list, but of actually taking the time to open and read your emails, too.
What can you tell them?
- your plans for the blog, your offering, or a conference or event related to your niche
- your thoughts or advice on a development within your niche (which you may also have addressed in a less-detailed blog post)
- extra tips or information relating to a post that was particularly popular on your site, or about which readers had many questions.
- comment on a post that’s been something of an experiment or a break from the routine for you
- get in touch with you via email or social media (especially handy if you have a particular question you’re asking, or you’ve just launched a presence on a new social media network)
- take up places in a new service program you’re beta testing
- take up a special offer that you’re making available only to them.
You can probably come up with plenty of ideas for your own blog, depending on your niche.
4. Alert them to something
If there’s been news in your niche—a product launch, perhaps, or an announcement of some sort—why not email your subscribers with some kind of inside scoop you’ve put together especially for them? Alternatively, you could share with them a special insight that you’ve gained through your everyday research for your blog.
Again, the information you send could be summarized in a blog post on your site, but make sure your subscribers get the full-length, in-depth version, or a special offer or different perspective. Be sure to make the value of being a subscriber clear through the quality of the information your send.
Tip: Take care if you’re announcing a special offer or the launch of a product for which you’re an affiliate. If your subscribers weren’t expecting to receive sales material as part of their subscription to your site, they could well be taken aback. Treading softly as you start out is probably the best way to go. Over time, though, you’ll get an idea of what interests your readers, which will make it easier for you to target offers to them.
5. Invite them to something
A direct invitation is a great thing to extend to your subscribers. I’ve found that a personal invitation to my subscribers can do a lot to boost engagement and build rapport. It’s also a very clear way to provide value to your tribe.
You could invite your subscribers to:
Make sure your invitation is sincere and the event or offer that you’re inviting subscribers to be part of is something you, personally, stand behind. These people are the most loyal of your readers, and the goal here is to reinforce and deepen that loyalty, not undermine it.
What about your subscribers?
These ideas should help to get your creative juices flowing. I’m interested to hear how established your blog is, and what you’re doing to engage with your email list subscribers. Let me know in the comments.