This guest post is by Alana Bender.
Bloggers could probably stand to learn a few marketing tips from email marketers.
For years, email marketers have used all kinds of demographic email lists to build up customer bases. They’ve created lists aimed at women aged 40-plus, with kids, driving a family car, and working part-time from home. And there’s a list targeted to reaching those professionals who work in a particular field of industry or service. Another list for guys in their 20’s who are single and spend $500 a year on electronic devices.
Acquiring or developing these lists is the first step for a good email marketer. But it takes a bit more than that. Email marketers (or in-house writers) must be skilled in the practice of writing great subject lines (sound familiar?), catchy copy (know what I mean?), and an offer to buy (comments, please?).
Then they have to wrap their message into a great email marketing design, one emphasizing Buy now buttons and with a mobile-optimized view that’s readable on both Android and iPhone. Without a compelling visual to back up the content on offer, a particular marketing promotion might fall flat.
As it stands, email marketing isn’t fading away as a marketing tool. In fact, it’s likely growing in usage. Internet research firm eMarketer points out that email volume and revenue increased over the previous year. And customer retention and acquisition are leading priorities for marketers.
What does all this have to do with blogging, you might ask? Well, the same touch points that make customers respond to emails are the same touch points provoking your readers to comment on a post and/or email.
Simply put, customers reply to emails because they’re interesting and relevant to the customer. If a customer regularly purchases school supplies from a local small business site, the likelihood is that this person will be open to new, interesting emails about new school-focused items.
The same goes for blogging. If you write regularly about a topic that amasses a large amount of comments, why not return to that topic (if possible) on a monthly basis? You have proven the relevance (check) and interest to your readers (check) of that particular topic. Come back to it.
As a pro blogger, ask yourself these questions:
- How do I reach my customers (readers)?
- Where do I look for new customers (readers)?
- What tools do I use to retain these current readers, and what tools do I use to find new readers?
- What can I learn from pros in the email marketing business?
If you’re unsure of how you’re building your base of readers, or you’re just blogging away happily without an idea of how to gain new readers, then maybe the lessons of email marketers will apply. That’s what we want to focus on in this piece.
There are email marketing tips that easily transfer over to your blogging strategies, to help build readers, find sponsors, and grow advertising. And, with the ease of email marketing software programs, you can learn how to create a great-looking email to help find new potential readers, and use repeated emails to turn an interested reader into a daily subscriber.
Let’s look first at creating a smart email marketing list for small business or blog sites. How can you get your site out to interested readers or customers using good email marketing practices in the most effective way possible?
In the presentation mentioned above, eMarketer suggested several key ways that email marketers can increase their success with finding new customers and retaining existing customers.
Customize email content
Personalization helps build relationships. We all want emails to be personalized to some extent. Sure, it doesn’t always mean, the Dear (Your name here) email will be fantastic every time, but it beats a completely anonymous email send.
You can do the same thing with blog posts. Address a topic you absolutely know is near and dear to your readers’ personal interests, or be open and transparent on your own blog about a personal issue that you feel might be applicable to others.
You’ll see that getting to the core of an issue at a blog can be a boon for social media pass-alongs and comments at your site.
Use email marketing software
Good email marketing software can help develop a professional and effective marketing campaign, to help you win over new readers for your blog. Most email software packages feature options to allow you to design and create an attractive email. You can fully import already-developed landing pages from your site right into the email template or use one of the email templates to create a new design.
Draw in new blog readers with pictures, video clips, background images and audio clips in your emails.
Customize landing pages
Can you customize landing pages at your blog? Sure you can. Offer a special deal or discount to existing readers (or use new subscribers) on a personalized landing page the reader can go from a link in the email directly to a page for the discount. One-on-one communications rule here.
Leverage customer data
Have you ever found who reads your blog, and more importantly, why they read your blog? Take a chance to survey readers once or twice a year to get to know some general knowledge about who they are, what work they do, and why they read your blog.
Learning why a large portion of readership cares about what you do can inspire you to blog more frequently about issues that matter most to readers.
Be personal (and personable!)
Let your blogging tone of voice be unique (all your own) and uniform (consistency is key). When readers see that your blog has a good release consistency, that it’s well-written, and more prepared than not, they’ll respond to your blog’s direct emails for special offers and joy.
Building a consistent readership, consistently
As bloggers, we all know the value of a consistent readership. Our readers not only keep us on our editorial toes, but help to serve our content with tips, ideas, and suggestions throughout the year. So it makes sense that we should continue to look for ways to keep existing readers on board, while using techniques from email marketing pros to acquire new readers.
How is your blog working to acquire new readers? Are you using customizing your email content? Are you developing special landing pages for new and existing readers for discounts on reports and case studies? Can you use your reader data to bolster your editorial efforts? Let us know in the comments!
After getting my Computer Science degree in NorCal, my interest in writing about technology took over and I started freelancing for various blogs and publications. I love the beach and Apple products!