Phil writes about the essentials of building a mailing list around your blog. If you have been following our content marketing discussions, you’ll know that any brand that can consistently deliver excellent content online needs to distribute it to the audience. And your most captive targets are those who subscribe by email.
During the series you will learn how to build your B2B brand using content marketing underpinned by a growing mail list of email subscribers.
Get reading – this is gold dust!
To purchase the List Building for Bloggers E-Book, Click here to visit FeedBlitz.
List Building for Bloggers
So you’ve started your blog. You’re on Facebook and perhaps even have a Twitter account. You’re rocking this whole social media thing; why on earth should you bother with email? It’s so, well, twentieth-century isn’t it? Isn’t email extinct, dead and gone?
Why bother offering email subscriptions at all?
Because you can’t afford not to.
- Email subscriptions are WAY more popular than RSS.
- Email subscribers are your biggest fans.
- Email is everywhere.
- Email is accessible.
- Email is the most effective subscription mechanism available.
- Adding email subscriptions to your blog is fast and easy.
- Managing email subscriptions won’t take up your time.
You’ll grow your readership, build your community and monetize more effectively by combining your blog with email. It’s that simple.
Email Subscriptions are Very, VERY Popular
The facts are that email works: people want it. Email subscriptions – i.e. your newsletter or mailing list – are familiar to the vast majority of people online. They’re comfortable with the concept. When FeedBlitz partnered with FeedBurner back in 2005 to deliver their email services for them, email subscriptions were the #1 requested feature.
Moreover, the evidence shows that email subscriptions are significantly more popular than their most frequently cited social media equivalent, RSS feeds. (I’ll ignore for now the fact that most bloggers’ email subscriptions are ultimately powered by RSS; it isn’t important from the email subscriber’s perspective).
Need some data?
HubSpot ran a survey in 2009 and found that email subscription rates varied by audience, but could be as much as 12 times (not 12 percent, 12 times) more popular than RSS.
Based on these data points, if you don’t offer email subscriptions you’re potentially missing three to ten times your potential subscriber base.
Your mileage will vary, but clearly the opportunities lost to connect are significant. Can you really afford not to grow your subscriber base that much with a simple step?
Put another way, if someone told you that you could boost your subscriber count four-fold or ten-fold with five minutes’ work, wouldn’t you leap at that opportunity? That’s what having email subscriptions in your blog can deliver over time.
Email Subscribers are your Biggest Fans
These days it’s work – it takes commitment – to subscribe to a properly run mailing list, what with CAPTCHAs and dual opt-in. The email subscribers on your list have made this commitment to you, and they are inviting you to barge right in and occupy their inbox (you need to do this respectfully, of course, but that’s for a later post in the List Building for Bloggers series).
Many people follow hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, Twitter accounts, and all those teeny-weeny, unbranded, untracked, undifferentiated, easy-to-miss messages fly by.
See too Jay Baer questions the current vogue of trumpeting the number of Facebook fans and compares the trend to email subscriber valuation:
“The psychology of Facebook “likers” is similar to email newsletter subscribers (I have enough kinship with this company to allow them to stay in touch with me). However, in comparison to your Facebook fans, your email subscribers usually provide far more important information to your business when they subscribe. It takes a lot more than one click to subscribe to an email list.”
Compare and contrast.
Your email to a subscriber is in their inbox, by invitation. Fully branded. Content rich. Tracked. Customized. Personalized. A Tweet? Not so much.
Your subscribers are your core audience.
They’re the foundation of your community. They advocate for you. Engage with you. Recommend and refer you. And email is the best mechanism for staying in touch – and for them to forward your messages too.
Email is Everywhere
You’re a blogger. You’re probably more tech savvy than many of your friends. Although you have already several email accounts (one from your ISP, cable or phone company, one from a free service like gmail or hotmail, one for your work, and one for your cell phone), you may prefer not to use email much of the time. That may be true of your blogging friends too as you all hang out online on Twitter.
So when you think subscribers, you may well think of RSS first. That’s fine; it’s natural to do so for you. But remember this:
You are not your audience.
Think about it. Your audience is probably less technically sophisticated than you are. They don’t know nor care what RSS is. They don’t want to download and install and learn yet another system just to get updates from your blog. And no, they don’t understand that little orange RSS icon in their browser and they don’t understand how to get to the browser’s integrated RSS reader to subscribe and track updates. It isn’t happening for them.
So, unless you are writing for a very tech savvy readership, your readers are not as likely to be comfortable with Twitter, RSS feeds or even Facebook. They don’t “get” it. That’s fine too – they’re not worse than you or me, just not as focused on new messaging technology. So stop trying to persuade them that they’re wrong (or, worse, stupid), and accommodate them.
Give them an email subscription option instead.
Email is also great because of its ubiquity. You can capture almost anyone with an email subscription form. That’s just not true for a Twitter or Facebook page. In fact, the only thing you need to join any social network is a functioning, active, email address!
Reproduced by permission, all rights reserved, read the original post here
To purchase the List Building for Bloggers E-Book, Click here to visit FeedBlitz.5 Relationship Development, 6 Creating Opportunities, Content Marketing, Database, Direct Marketing, Email.