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5 Things to Email Your Subscribers About Today

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.
  • 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:

    • 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.

    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.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Keiko says:

    Darren, thanks for this really helpful article. I’ve just begun an eNewsletter for my new site, http://theinfertilityvoice.com, and have decided to commit to weekly emails… without a strategy yet in place :) This has given me a lot of great tips to think about and try – I’ve got my next 5 weeks lined up for me now with ideas.

    So far, in preparation for my launch, I touted my eList as a way for people to get the inside scoop on site development. I shared with them my logo before anywhere else. I also did 3 updates: the first announcing the launch date, the second with the logo reveal, and the third a sneak peak at the 5 days of giveaways i did for my first week of launch this week. In each email, I gave a unique giveaway code that only newsletter subscribers would be able to enter for each giveaway, giving them 3 extra entries in each giveaway.

    Now, as I’m working on my draft for next week’s email, I thinking about the next unique thing I can offer them. Lots of great ideas in your post to get me started!

  2. Hi Darren,

    I mailed out my latest newsletter a few hours ago and hit on a few of these pointers.

    Add value, and be quick to ask questions. I forgot to ask questions for a bit, and noted fewer conversions. A few weeks ago I started asking questions again, noticed instant engagement and conversions increased. Important to remember it is a 2 way street. We provide value, but we need to listen too.

    Giveaways are always an awesome idea, as well as strong calls to action. If you are providing something of value it’s OK to ask your subscribers if they want to purchase something; if you have their trust, you will likely have their financial support as well.

    Thanks for sharing Darren!

    Ryan

  3. Janmejaya says:

    Thanks Darren for posting nice topic, i will applying this method in my blog.

  4. I have just started my list. Already getting subscribers, but need to increase the number of emails I have going out. I have been having trouble with coming up with things to email, this list just laid it out for me!

    I have been thinking for a long time of inviting my subscribers to a “blog scavenger hunt” on my blog. Have them go to different pages looking for pictures, lines of text, etc. Offer a prize for who gets the answers in the quickest! would be a great way to get my subscribers to see other areas of my blog that they have not seen yet!

    Chris

  5. Brilliant advice Darren. I am slowly building my email list and am constantly looking for ways and means to keep them interested rather than just trying to let them know about my latest blog post.

    At the moment I’m trying to brainstorm things to offer them I can’t offer them on my website. I’m trying to develop an ebook to pull more subscribers in and I suppose I could offer this to my current subscribers too, it’s finding the time to divert to the ebook from my regular content!

    The struggle continues!

  6. These are great ideas Darren and I plan to implement them particularly on one particular list I have which has not been very responsive for some time. I hope this makes a difference.

    I recently launched an e-course on internet marketing and I invited my list. Though I’m charging a token for it, the response really surprised me. Truly, no blogger should be without a list.

  7. Darren,
    As always, your suggestions are right on the money…I agree with all 5 of your suggestions. As a Community Manager of a site which has 5,000+ member profiles, if I were to replace any of the above with anything, I’d add this: “Introduce Them To Someone (Other Community Members)” (Here’s an example: http://brandergy.com/forum/topics/brandergy-member-introduction-ellen-singer )

  8. Sarah Kolb says:

    I think I’m getting the picture — including a call to action seems to be the way to go! Thanks for the great breakdown.

  9. Kalen Smith says:

    Thanks for the tips Darren. I have just begun building my list myself and can definitely use these tips. I am putting together a variety of free packages for opt-ins, but of course most visitors only opt-in once. I figure I might want to share all of my other freebies on my site.

    I think following news on Google Alerts or RSS feeds is a great way to find things to share with your readers. They want to be made aware of the newest and biggest things going on in your niche. That saves you the time of having to come up with some really good information for them from scratch.

  10. Joanne says:

    Thanks for the post! I’m just starting out in building my subscriber base, and I’m definitely starring this one to come back and think on it so more.

  11. kelli cooper says:

    Hi Darren
    Excellent post. I really like your blog overall. I have been blogging for about 6 months and recently I have been getting more serious about it, trying to make it into something, what that something is, I am not sure yet! The latest thing I was thinking about was setting up some sort of email list but I was kind of stuck on what type of stuff to put out there. This post came at a perfect time and it really gives some good ideas. I will definitely be referring to this as I move onto this next stage.

  12. Daniel says:

    Some useful ideas, Darren.

    I do see people really making the most of their Email subscriptions(using similar ideas to the above). A few sites I am subscribed to have a very broad range of ideas that they implement very well. Others simply give you the usual, “We have a post update” style affair. Maybe this is due to the limitations placed on the Email(Auto responder) service they are hooked up with, and the grade(level) of the service.

    I noticed the more costly options offer greater flexibility. One particularly popular service is said to not allow Affiliate style marketing through their Email(Auto responder) System(Maybe it’s in the fine print of their TOS).

    I am currently using feed burner. Though the price is great(Well, it is free) it has certain limitations.

    Due to these sometimes annoying limitations with feed burner, I will be needing to go shop around for a more practical system.

  13. Taline says:

    I have yet to do this and it is a great reminder of how important it is to do so in order to expand on my list of subscribers. Thanks for the tips! :)

  14. Thanks for the ideas. I’d like to try a few. I’m wondering though, since I just use Feedburner – how I can get all their email addys together in order to do this???

    Thanks

  15. Do you think this would apply to my blogs as well?

  16. Ben Norman says:

    All good advice, however unfortunately my current email subscriber list consists of solely me, myself and I, something to save for the future then in my case.

    Having said that… it seems like the perfect time for a fantastic give away to all my loyal subscribers, I’ve been lusting after a laptop for a while!

  17. I could call this post “Rules of Engagement in Newsletters”! Thanks Darren. I liked your post! I introduce some useful content outside my site and link to them at my newsletter so that it could help my readers.

    Rahman Mehraby
    Travel News Distribution

  18. charul shuklA says:

    good points you mentioned, will like to implement most of them

  19. Morgan says:

    I LOVE these ideas. I dislike signing up to a newsletter that ONLY sends me their latest blog posts or ONLY sends me sales-y messages.

    I now only stay subscribed to newsletters that treat me like a real human being, like someone who could be their friend. My favorites are ones that invite my to something or tell me a story. I like short newsletters, too.

    I am just now starting my newsletter so I’ll be keeping these points in mind.

    Thanks!

  20. Bob Angus says:

    You always have to reward your subscribers and make them feel special. I like the idea of continuing the giving trend after initial signup. Too many times an email list becomes a place to incessantly push affiliate offer, no matter how enticing the offer is.

    My favorites: subscriber contests (check legal rules though), subscriber-only premium content, and valuable sneak peaks. I use these at work all the time… now just need to do them for my blog.

  21. Irfan says:

    The best part is giveaway. Readers just love it. They socialize your blog anonymously just to get the prize in their hand. Apart from socialization one will also get lot other thing – good point to be noted.

  22. WOMU says:

    Very important points you have mentioned in the article. These will be so helpful if we always follow with our subscribers.

  23. seo positive says:

    helpful post actually, im always looking for things to send out to my subscribers by email, but find it hard to think of things all the time that is relevant and worth sending to keep my subscribers interested.

  24. Surminga says:

    Nice points, keeping your subscribers interested and involved is extremely important to growing the list

  25. Logoswish says:

    Thank you for your tips. I love this website. Your articles are always useful and works.

  26. I currently have two regular email lists going out; this is a new process and I’ve been using pop up domination to gather subscribers.

    I have been sending emails out weekly; I give new subscribers my very own blogging P&L statement to help people track their revenue and costs for the year if they’re monetizing their blog. I’m working on a 2nd give away.

    Kimberly

  27. Rebecca says:

    Darren, this article has given me a creative push to provide some interesting concepts to engage readers. Just starting out with my brand spanking new blog, I definitely need to step it up a bit with promoting and engagement. My website is not only a blog, but also a online retail boutique that is coming out with a new line this spring. This week I plan to invite all subscribers to an exclusive viewing of the line and accessories before they are available to non-subscribers while also offering them a percentage discount to join. In fact, I have an action plan for each of the 5 things you discussed to email/offer subscribers for us to roll out these next few weeks. We typically send weekly emails to all subscribers and don’t feel the need to increase the newsletter frequency at this time. However, we plan to increase the number of polls and ask for their feedback on certain products we could offer.

    This article is a huge help for me and I actually printed it, decorated it in chicken scratch with my ideas, and hung it on my office wall!

    Cheers,
    Rebecca

  28. Jack Martin says:

    Some nice tips. If you take some time and think about it, any business can come up with a few things an email subscriber might need from you that they don’t even know about yet. Help them out!

  29. Mary Hallman says:

    What a nice article it is! Thanks a lot Darren Rowse!!Hope to do this types of great work in future also.”5. Invite them to something” is really awesome.I want to know more in future.Great job indeed. :)

  30. Brad Dalton says:

    I’ve completed a survey which gives me plenty of ideas on what my readers really want and need
    I just wrote about a great tip on how to increase subscribers 10-30% today which i know you also use
    I told them about the 7 most common ways hackers get into WordPress sites and ways to stop them
    I’ve built a special landing page giving new subscribers 6 reasons to subscribe which worked well
    I’ve also written a very popular post about All In One Security Plugin for WordPress
    I’ve alerted my readers to the fact i share external tips i find myself to my social media connections