You’ve been told over and over to start gathering email addresses as soon as you start your blog. But what have you done with them?
Do you let WordPress send your readers an email with your newest blog post? Or do you actually DO something with your email list, like send special content?
I hope you send special content or at least want to.
There are a number of ways to handle email newsletters:
- Send a listing of new blog posts from that week.
- Update readers every time there is a new blog post.
- Send a summary of new blog posts, maybe a few old with a sprinkle of social media too.
- Sending only promotional information to readers (a new e-book, etc).
- Other – but you get the idea that email newsletters are not one-size-fits-all
My favorite is #3 – I get a refresher on past blog posts, maybe a reminder to check out an old one and a peek into social media from that week.
Over the past few weeks I’ve subscribed to a number of blogger’s email newsletters (instead of just reading their posts on Feedly) and I’ve found many use it once in a while for promotional purposes, some send a list of new posts from that week (sometimes with or without a special intro message) and only a small handful actually send a new piece of content (with links to posts from that week too of course).
I can’t tell you how many times I have entered my email address on a blogger’s site only to get NOTHING. They add more content on their site but I only find it on their site. Why should bloggers have an email newsletter?
1. Keeps your readers engaged.
Your readers may intentionally check your blog every day for a new post. Or perhaps they follow in Feedly or some other blog reader. If you update your site 3 times per week, you have 3 chances to make sure your readers come back. An email newsletter adds one more point of contact per week.
Or how many times have you read an article and got interrupted? Only to not be able to find it once again? An email newsletter is a gentle reminder for your readers of your past articles.
2. Social channels and blogs may be blocked on company computers.
When I was working a traditional job, our company decided to block certain social media sites to improve productivity (didn’t work, but they tried it anyway). If your readers aren’t able to see your site when they’re at work (and yes, we’ll pretend they are only checking your blog during their lunch hour), when are they checking your blog?
Take away social channels and your actual blog. How can you communicate with your readers (your customers!)?
3. Readers want to hear from you!
This may be too obvious…but if readers are filling out their email address in “never miss a post” you need to make sure they don’t miss a post! They want to hear from you, so email them!
4. Re-purpose old blog content / Give content a second chance
You may have YEARS worth of content on your blog. Are you getting many pageviews on those older posts? If you feel they are still relevant, incorporate them into your email newsletters. Maybe you pick a random old post but maybe you get more intentional about it: share a Halloween post closer to Halloween (everyone likes costume ideas), share an Easter recipe close to the holiday, share your XYZ product review post when that product is on sale, etc.
You can also give your newer content a second chance. Maybe your post from Monday didn’t get many comments or clicks – try a new title or add an attention-grabbing introduction in your email newsletter and see if engagement changes.
5. Gives you another avenue to generate income
And the main reason to do just about anything with your business: it gives you another chance to make money. Email newsletters don’t have annoying ads (I understand you have to make money, but let’s face it, ads can be very annoying) which allows readers to focus on the content. Include the number of email subscribers when working with potential sponsors – these numbers matter! You aren’t reaching 100% of your followers on social channels but you have a good chance of reaching email subscribers, even if they just see your name and never open the email.
6. Your email list is YOURS
Social media followers are important, no doubt, but what happens when they change algorithms? Or decide that you need to pay money to show content to your followers? Your email list if YOURS and nothing can change that. An email newsletter program (like ConvertKit or MailChimp) has a cost, but it is minimal when you realize those emails are actually going into inboxes rather than being shown on social media and maybe being noticed by your readers.
If you aren’t using your email subscriber list, you are missing out. This is another way of keeping your readers engaged and we all know engagement = pageviews = $$$. A virtual assistant can easily help you with creating a compelling email newsletter using your program of choice. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to reach your readers, they want to hear from you!