Email Marketing has been a cornerstone practice for both marketers and bloggers for almost two decades. The simplest reason for its prevalence is its fantastic return on investment and ability to garner and nurture an audience.
Although it is a well-established practice, it can still be challenging to use this tool to market your blog effectively if you don’t know where to start. The key is always to focus on the fundamentals first. Once you have those mastered, then you can tweak around with your tactics and see what works specifically in your case.
In this post, we’ll showcase evergreen fundamental email marketing tips that are sure to get you more traffic and quality leads.
Understanding Basic Email Components
When it comes to email marketing, it helps to break down your message into its three core sections. For any effective email, the subject line, the body and the CTA are the three integral parts that any marketer needs to get right. You do that, and it’s going to be a win!
As a blogger, if you can pay attention to these 3 aspects of emailing, you can be sure to see your traffic numbers steadily grow. Let’s look at these 3 aspects in a little more detail:
1. Subject Line
The subject line is the very first impression of your email when it lands in a recipient’s inbox. A catchy and enticing subject line will urge your subscribers to open the email. You won’t be surprised to learn that 35% of emails are opened, based solely on the email subject line.
When you are fighting for space in a recipient’s inbox, subject line happens to be the only thing that can help you stand out from the clutter. Therefore learning to craft eye-catching subject lines can really improve your open rates.
A few things you can do to improve your subject lines are:
-Keep them short, sweet and to the point
-Use the recipients’ name if you have this information available
-Optimum length for subject lines is 65 characters
-Use catchy headlines but keep them specific to the content of your email
CTAs or Call-to-Action buttons are usually designed as little boxes that direct people to your website.
They offer a distinct next step that an email recipient can take in regards to your email. To improve click-through rates (people who visit your blog through emails), use a compelling call to action that offers a real benefit to your readers.
Think of CTAs as the gateway between a recipient’s inbox and your blog. Given that a major purpose for email marketing is to increase blog traffic, your whole email eventually boils down to the magic CTA button, and whether or not the reader is going to click it or not. Some steps you can take to improve your CTAs are:
-Make your CTA stand out against the email body
-Make sure the reader understands the CTA is clickable by making it a button and using simple verb-based copy
-Place it next to elements that support the CTA rather than take attention away from it
-Use short and compelling text for the button
-Leave white space around CTA to make it pop
Now that we’ve gone over best practices for designing CTAs and subject lines, let us look at the most important aspect of the email, the actual body itself.
3. Email Content:
Subject lines and CTAs will only pay off if the actual content of your emails is compelling and relevant to your subscribers. Even then, good content can be overlooked if it isn’t presented well.
You should ensure certain steps that can really make your content pop, and make it easy for the reader to navigate your email. Some actionable tips are:
-Keep your message concise, to a point where it can not be simplified any further
-Create a hierarchy of information, adding the most important information first (remember you are competing for a recipient’s limited attention)
-If you have a lot to say, break up your content under sections and headlines
Organize your email for quick reading so people can get to your point as quickly as possible
So what do these tips mean for you as a blogger?
As bloggers, people naturally focus more on updating and maintaining their actual blog and instead view marketing as a supplementary activity. Or they lack the knowledge to implement effective marketing.
These tips give you the advantage of not having to research and experiment with email tactics to come up with a winning solution. Consider these tips as best practices, and use them while still maintaining a primary focus for your blog.
Working on Your Email Timing
Your blogging efforts only pay off if there is an audience to engage with your blog. An appropriately timed email is a great way to increase the chances of people opening your emails.
CoSchedule aggregated results from 14 email timing studies and here are their most important findings:
-The best day to send an email is Tuesday.
-If you send two emails a week to your recipients, choose Thursday as the day for your second email.
-The best time to send emails is 10 a.m (when people have settled into their office space) or 8 p.m (likely the lasts time people check emails before going to bed).
Do play around and experiment with timings to see which time works best for you. Although these tips represent averages and in most cases, they do deliver the best open rates, the case may be different for your specific blog according to your unique audience. And that brings us to our next point.
Knowing your Target Audience
Understanding whom you are blogging for and what sort of people you will be sending emails to is a crucial part of your marketing strategy. When you know who you blog for, it is easier to create marketing campaigns and easier to create compelling content.
When you know your email subscribers, it will also be easier to create segmented lists, figure out what sort of emails they respond to and what times of the day are most suitable for sending emails, according to their behaviors.
So how does one get to know their target audience?
Start with secondary research. Look for blogs similar to yours and see what kind of people they are writing for. Look at market studies to learn about online behavior and how people in your niche generally behave.
Then make your research a little more personal. Start reaching out to your current subscriber base. Reach out to them, talk to them. Learn what kind of jobs they work, what variety of activities they involve themselves in, learn about their lifestyles and behaviors. You can even be direct and ask them why specifically they visit your blog.
As a blogger, you also have the advantage of direct interaction with your readers. Check your comments section, start conversations with them and see what you can learn through what they write.
An easier method is to create opt-in forms on your blog. Use lead magnets (e-books, offers, guides) to get valuable information from your visitors — information such as job, interests and obviously email addresses.
Look at this example for inc.com, a company operating in the finance sphere. They offer to help you out with common money problems, and in exchange, they learn what sort of financial issues you commonly face. Using this information they can create segments for different types of people that visit their blog and send them targeted personalized emails.
Finally, the key to your blog’s long-term success lies in repeat visitors, who are comparable to loyal customers. If you get to understand your audience’s needs and likes, you have a better chance to get them to subscribe to your content so that they keep coming back.
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is the practice of experimenting with variants of an email to see which performs best. The way to judge performance is to set a metric and measure whether variant A or B performed best against the metric.
In case of a blogger wanting to check which subject line works best for them, he would see which of his two variants had a higher open-rate.
If they want to check which copy for a Call-to-Action button performs better, they will review the click-through rates for both variants. With A/B testing you can measure performance for:
You can play around with many aspects of your email to learn what your audience responds best to and thereby improve your marketing efforts.
In closing, it is worth reminding that while all these tips serve as excellent tools to boost your blog, the real growth comes from producing and maintaining quality content on your blog. If you’re blogging with a purpose, sooner or later, you will start to see your visitor traffic grow and you will earn great opportunities for monetization.
Rukham Khan is a writer for MailMunch, an app focused on growing emails lists and helping users with all things email marketing.
Original post: Evergreen Email Marketing Tips for Bloggers