How bloggers can embrace email marketing

How bloggers can embrace email marketing

As the popularity of blogs continues to grow and readers rely on highly regarded Web writers for cutting-edge industry news and insights, bloggers may be looking to expand their customer bases so that they can more effectively monetize their sites. An email marketing list can be an excellent tool for online writers who want to take a multi-platform approach to getting exposure for their content.

Involve readers
Turning your blog's reader base into a set of email contacts can be very effective. Visitors already trust the blogs they frequent for high-quality content, so it should be comparatively easy to encourage them to subscribe to your email campaigns or newsletters.

In a post for Social Barrel, social media and mobile technology writer Francis Ray Balolong suggested that bloggers take advantage of user-generated content in their efforts to gain email subscribers. Writers who curate a company blog, in particular, can promote contests and promotions through their Web pages as a way of getting readers to provide their email addresses.

Stay consistent
Veteran bloggers are already well acquainted with the necessity of updating their sites with a steady stream of content, so that readers view their blogs as a consistent, reliable source of information and a center of energy and excitement they can take part in.

"Offering engaging, informative news and interaction enables you to stay relevant and top of mind," Vin Turk, senior vice president for audience development at Madison Logic, wrote in a column for Marketing Profs.

As such, bloggers venturing into the world of email campaigns should take care to create a schedule of email sends that they can keep to consistently.

Think creatively
Since writers' bread-and-butter is the creative framing of their material, adapting that skill to crafting effective, engaging marketing emails should prove a very manageable feat. Bloggers who want to grow and engage a readership and customer base through email campaigns should be sure to apply the same care and thoughtfulness to their promotional messages and newsletters as they do to their blog content.

However, it's important to keep email copy clear and concise. While readers come to your blog of their own volition, their inboxes are inundated with promotional messages, and as such, attention spans for email content can be shorter. In a post for Practical ECommerce, USAData Email Marketing Manager Carolyn Nye pointed out that only 20 percent of revenue from marketing emails comes from their creative components.

Avoid clutter
Keeping that principle in mind, it's important that your email layouts stay clean and easy to read. Balolong warned against overuse of images in email templates, pointing out that visuals have to be effectively placed in order to get readers to click through or convert.

Furthermore, Nye pointed out that taking too much time to design a complex layout can damage the cost-effectiveness of email marketing.

"I've seen marketing departments agonize over images or debate the perfect font color. I've seen them drag out the process so long that the offer actually lost revenue because it wasn't deployed on time. Make sure your creative is effective," she wrote.

Consider optimal frequency
Finding the perfect number of emails to send per week is key for all marketers, and it can be especially important for bloggers, because their sites also serve as a source of content. Too-frequent email sends can result in readers feeling overwhelmed by a particular blog or company.

"Increasing frequency just to capture additional sales can … be detrimental if you sacrifice your customers' expectations and tolerance levels," Nye pointed out.

Consider coordinating the your email sends and blog posts together. For example, if you publish to your blog on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, you might send emails on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That way, followers will be reading and expecting your different content platforms on different days.

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