Welcome to Edgar Learn, where we share the strategies that helped us find success! This is Part Two of our series on Email Marketing, where we’ll talk about how to promote a blog or website using your email list. To read Part One, click here!
We’re big believers in the power of a good email list here at MeetEdgar.
A lot of our love for email comes from an underlying philosophy that your audience is paying less attention than you think it is. It’s one of the reasons we preach repeating content on social media, and it’s why we think you should email your fans to let them know when you post something new on your blog.
You shouldn’t count on your audience to always come looking for your newest content. After all, they have a literally infinite number of other websites they can go to for content. Why should they come to yours?
Emailing your list whenever there’s something new on your site means you’re actively putting your content in front of your audience. You’re bringing it to them, reducing the amount of work they have to do t reach your content.
And that’s what effective email promotion is all about – offering your audience the easiest possible way to keep up with your content!
We’re going to look at the three steps of effectively promoting your blog through email. They are building your email list, managing an email schedule, and optimizing your email content.
An effective email strategy is nothing without a healthy list of recipients! A valid email address is a valuable commodity in the world of online marketing, so you should be ready to put in some work when it comes to building your list. It’s well worth it.
Take a look at your site and count the number of opportunities someone has to enter their email address. If there isn’t at least one, you’re in trouble! Our homepage has five email capture fields, plus there’s a popup on our blog (you may have seen it) that asks for readers to enter their email as well. While this might be overkill for your own site, let it at least serve as an example that it’s okay to ask for email addresses. A lot.
Go ahead and poke around some of your other favorite sites as well, and you’ll see that they too probably have ample opportunities for capturing your email. All of this should point to the value of email addresses and a strong mailing list.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect everyone to just hand over their email for free! That’s why we love premium content. This is the good stuff that you don’t just give away – you only offer it in exchange for an email address.
What sort of premium content could you put on your site? If you run a blog, think about collecting some of your best expertise into an ebook, then offering that up in exchange for an email address. Manage an e-commerce site? Offer exclusive discounts to members of your mailing list. Whatever your particular site, come up with a way to incentivize visitors into giving you their email addresses. It’s well worth it in the long run!
Getting people to give you their email addresses is a big part of the equation, but it doesn’t do anything if you don’t find a good schedule for reaching that audience. Email them too frequently, and you’ll lose subscribers or simply be ignored. But if you don’t email enough, you’re just wasting all of those valuable email addresses.
Over here at Team Edgar, we send out a weekly email newsletter (which is seriously awesome and packed with information), plus the occasional promotional email. But in general, it’s very rare that we’ll contact our email list more than once a week. And that works for us!
But other sites might find their audiences prefer an email whenever there’s new content to be seen, even if that email comes daily. And still other sites – particularly e-commerce sites – might be better off reaching out only once or twice a month, if that.
The only way to find the right schedule for contacting your audience is to experiment. Start with once a week (assuming you have new content at least that often) and establish a baseline for your numbers, paying particular attention to the Open Rate and Click Rate of your emails (more on those in a second). Try increasing or reducing the frequency of emails and see what happens to your email stats and web traffic when you do.
It’s a little trial and error, and you will feel a bit like Goldilocks as you search for a schedule that is juusssst right for promoting your site.
The experimentation doesn’t end with your schedule. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that we are big believers in testing and refining. With email, we look at Open Rate (how many people open the email) and Click Rate (how many people click the link in the email) as the numbers that tell us the most about how an email is performing.
While there are a million ways you can test email content, we like to think of it in three main sections: subject line, content, and CTA (call to action). Each test should only change one piece of the email. So if you’re testing subject lines, for example, that should be the only difference between your testing variations. Change one thing and one thing only, and see how it affects your Open Rate and Click Rate.
Subject lines may seem like a minor thing, but they can have a tremendous impact on your email performance. After all, a subject line is the only thing a recipient will see without opening the email, and if they never open the email they’ll never click your link! Subject lines should be clear and concise, letting the reader know why they should take the time to read the rest of the email.
The email content is the body copy of the email, what you say between the subject line and the CTA. Its job is to explain your message, and to help convince the reader to click the CTA. It should generally be benefit-driven, meaning it tells the reader all the wonderful things they’ll get in life from clicking that CTA.
And speaking of the CTA – it should let the reader know exactly what will happen when they click it! There’s no room for ambiguity here! A person will only click a CTA when they know what to expect from it, so be sure to be as clear as possible when writing yours!
Promoting a blog through email is hard work. It requires building an email list, figuring out a good schedule, and constantly working to optimize your emails. But the payoff is well worth it – our weekly newsletter drives about a third of our blog traffic here at MeetEdgar, which is a huge portion! And your newsletter can do the same for you.