Statistics from various sources indicate there’re between 600 million and 800 million blogs operating on the Internet. The U.S. alone is home to about 31 million bloggers. Understandably, not all blogs and bloggers are active. Yet these numbers prove the sheer task that lies at hand for every blogger to increase engagement and acquire highest possible number of followers online. At the same time, there are countless ways to attract followers to your blog.
With some efforts and right tactics, this can be done without spending much money. And one superb way is by leveraging these tips focused on email marketing for bloggers.
Importance of Email Marketing for Bloggers in 2021
Actually, email marketing assumed a lot of significance in 2020. There main reason was the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that’s caused millions of people around the world to stay at home. As a result, people spent more time on the Internet. Though the time spent on Internet doesn’t necessarily imply they read emails, it does mean people are looking for something engaging and interesting that takes their mind off from mundane news and day-to-day worries.
So how does one get people to read your emails? These are some of the questions we’ll be discussing in this bloggers guide to email marketing in 2021.
Bloggers Guide to Email Marketing
Maybe you already know that anything between 300 million to 450 million emails are sent during any 24-hour span. While the lower figure indicates the number of emails sent on a normal day, the number rises by as much as 50 percent or sometimes more during holiday seasons and events, among other times of the year.
This simply translates into opportunities for bloggers to promote their blogs and content through email marketing. Understandably, it’s not as easy as you might imagine. That’s because there are a lot of factors that would decide the success, or, for that matter, failure of your email marketing drives. Here is what you need to keep in mind.
Remember: Content Is King
There’s a common adage that rules blogging. And that’s content is king. The same rule holds true for blog readers and followers. Unless your content is interesting, engaging and, above all, relevant to the reader, they’ll never visit your blog. Therefore, the first thing to do is post superior quality content on your blog that attracts people to read.
Once you have content that’s meaningful and helps people gain better knowledge about something, they’ll definitely want to follow your blog. That’s where the ‘subscribe’ link on your blog comes into play in a major way.
If your content holds something for readers, they’ll definitely want to give you their email address and subscribe to your updates. Therefore, the first thing to remember if you want to build an email list is to post very interesting, timely, engaging and relevant content that would engage the highest number of readers.
You can configure an email client to bulk mail updates of your latest content. At the same time it’s worth remembering that you shouldn’t use the email list for sending unwarranted emails. This could cause readers to mark your email as spam and defeat the purpose of email marketing.
Use Email to Promote Affiliate Marketing
The majority of bloggers use affiliate marketing as their main source of income. Rightly so. You can imagine the importance of affiliate marketing from the very fact that even large online stores such as Amazon offer an affiliate program. Online paid survey companies, banks, credit card issuers, almost everyone nowadays has an affiliate program because of one main reason. Affiliate marketing opens several more sales channels free of costs and the organization pays commissions only on confirmed sales.
While Google AdSense has been the mainstay of bloggers for several years, affiliate marketing now counts as one of their topmost sources of income. Whenever you’re launching a new product through your blog as an affiliate, it’s very important to let people know. Generally, affiliate marketers write superb, honest and compelling reviews about products that help people make a decision on whether to buy something.
Every time you write a review about some new product and offer an affiliate link, it’s best to send an email to your subscribers. This increases your chances of converting subscribers to customers of products and companies for whom you’re doing affiliate marketing. And this translates directly as higher commissions and income.
The reason is simple. Online retailers and other companies cannot send emails to countless people around the world or even within the country. Therefore, affiliate marketers help overcome this handicap. A blogger who’s also doing affiliate marketing has a ready email list that would more or less cater to the type of clients the organization is looking for.
Furthermore, marketing emails from companies can appear like spam and often ends up in the Spam mailbox. In stark contrast, email from bloggers doesn’t land in the spam. Because it doesn’t sound or read like a promotion and nor is it directly promoting anything. The only thing a blogger promotes through their email list subscribers are content and the affiliate links embedded within.
Leverage Email Marketing to Generate Loyalty
This might come as a surprise to some, but email marketing for bloggers does generate loyalty among followers and subscribers. This is because followers that have given you their email address want to stay in touch and receive any updates about your content. And they can respond to your emails to express opinions or comment on the content.
If you handle incoming emails properly, you’ll be generating a lot of loyalty because followers feel connected with the blogger. This personal connection is very important.
If your content is superb or contains affiliate links that are relevant, there’s a good chance that your followers will forward your emails to their friends and relatives. This can directly increase your follower base and attract more buyers through your affiliate links.
Loyalty is something that every blogger desires. Because it helps retain the existing number of followers and can bring in newer ones, too.
Select the Best Email Service Provider
Now coming down to something technical. The first thing that you need to do is find the best email marketing platform. There are several who offer various packages at different rates. As a blogger, your requirements would be much different than that of a business or financial institution. Also, you might need features that support your affiliate marketing business, if you’re into it. In the past, I’ve experimented with a few and found that some were absolute washouts. Even the test email messages I would send would land in the Spam folder of the receiver.
You can select the one that meets your requirements by reading some excellent reviews. Also consider the price because good email service providers charge a good fee. And you’ll have to continue subscribing to avail their services.
Plan Your Email Marketing Strategy
This is one more technical yet very important element of email marketing for bloggers. Generally, every blogger will send bulk email to all subscribers. Instead, create a strategy that focuses more on targeting individual needs rather than the entire and broader spectrum of followers.
You can do so by asking subscribers to select the areas or type of content they would like to receive from you. This is a strategy that a lot of larger websites follow and are successful. It helps in several ways. Firstly, your emails to a subscriber will be selective and only about what they want to know. Hence, there’s a high chance that they’ll read it and act upon it, if it’s compelling enough.
Secondly, selective targeting helps avoid spamming. By this I mean that while you might not be sending spam email, frequent ones can bore a follower who might get tempted to unsubscribe from your mailing list. Or worse, mark your emails as Spam and shut your communications off in many ways.
If you’re into affiliate marketing as a blogger, try making introductory offers to new subscribers as a welcome gift. This could be a small discount on the stuff they’ll buy. However, these discounts can be given only in cases where the online seller agrees to slice off a few dollars off for a small number of buyers from your affiliate links. Negotiating this can prove difficult if we’re talking about larger companies. But it can be done nonetheless.
Get Attractive Email Templates
Banks and financial institutions have the best email templates, in my humble opinion. Understandably, they’re multi-billion dollar organizations and have enough money to spend on digital marketing campaigns such as email marketing. They can afford to get specialized, customized templates made to order for every email.
However, as blogger and affiliate marketer, you can use free templates or those available for a small charge. The reason I suggest using templates? They enhance the appearance of your email with pictures or graphics and tempt the receiver to click and access content on your blog.
Now it’s worth remembering that your content should meet the expectations of subscribers on your email list. Because such a strategy can backfire ,too. A poorly written or irrelevant content increases bounce rates from your blog. Over a period of time, this can lead to a sharp drop in your Google rankings and Domain Authority of the website.
Personalize Your Emails
In olden days, the common practice was to address the email broadly to some Madam or Sir. Nowadays, that’s not the practice. If you wish to have a successful email marketing for business strategy, it’s best to personalize the email and address the receiver by their first or last name. Email software makes this possible.
This brings us again to the above point of developing loyalty. When you address a person by their name using the correct format and etiquette, the subscriber is more inclined to be loyal. This might not be immediately possible for bloggers on shoestring budget and beginners. But you can also get software that sends birthday and anniversary greetings, if your contact form is configured to capture these details.
And talking about greetings, I personally believe that every blogger should invest in sending out seasonal greeting emails to their subscribers. It does take some time, effort and resources. Yet, birthday, anniversary and seasonal greetings have a magical effect on followers of your blog.
You can further customize these greeting messages by offering a special discount on something you’re selling through your blog as affiliate marketer. Regardless whether the email subscriber buys or not, the very fact that you’ve offered a gift for that special occasion speaks well about your professionalism.
Always Include an Unsubscribe Option