Email Marketing 101, Part 3

How to Start with Email Marketing

Honestly: Don’t over think it. Sending blog updates by email is not only great, but also very much good enough “ you’re saving your blog’s subscribers the time and effort to remember to go back to your site. Your content is already great, and now people have invited you to send it to them whenever you write. That’s what they want; so go ahead. Give it to them.

Here’s how you get started:

  1. Choose a reputable, supported email service (because nobody wants to end up being labeled spammer, right? Right). Behave well, always (ALWAYS) use dual opt-in, and respect privacy (i.e. don’t share your email subscribers with anyone else).
  2. Depending on your platform and service, add an email subscription form for your site. At FeedBlitz, we’ve found the best approach is a combination of subscription forms:
    1. Above the fold in your sidebar or masthead / top banner on all pages.
    2. Between posts and comments on post pages.
    3. Using a respectful popup once you’re sure of engagement.
  3. Create an incentive to deliver extra value to visitors. It helps convert them to subscribers.

For popups, proof of engagement (which is where it’s OK to interrupt and say “you’ve been here a while now, would you like to hear from us by mail?”) would be the second or later page view of the session, and delaying several seconds (10+) to allow the visitor to start reading the page.

The reason why forms between posts and comments work is the same thing: Engagement. If the visitor has read your post and is now at the comments, they’re clearly interested. A form there has a great chance of capturing that interest and turning the visitor into a subscriber.

Incentives need to be relevant to your target visitor. They don’t need to be a massive amount of work to create. They can be sweepstakes, or a simple 1 page checklist, or a simple guide or even an e-book.

Tomorrow, I’ll wrap-up the series with tips on consolidating your email marketing success.

[This is the third article of a short, four part series on Email Marketing 101. Click to visit part 1 – why? – and part 2 – when?]