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Email marketing continues to produce significantly more conversions than social media. With all the changes to the various social media algorithms and the general loss of users, there is no better time to invest in your email strategy. Email marketing has been proven to be 174% more effective than social media (source Campaign Monitor). Fortunately, you can improve your email newsletter performance without fancy plugins, subscriptions, and other tools. It all comes down to your messaging!
Offer a Relevant Opt-In
To incentivize website visitors to join your list, you need to offer them something in exchange for their email. Opt-ins can be anything, but they should only be available to subscribers. Some common opt-ins include free downloadable PDFs, email courses, videos, free courses, and other opportunities. The opt-in should be relevant to your brand. For example, Stephanie from Somewhat Simple offers readers a weekly newsletter full of tips for busy moms to save time throughout the week. This content is only relevant to subscribers, and it aligns with her ideal audience – mothers.
Craft a Thorough Welcome Email Sequence
One of the best things you can do for your brand is set up an automated welcome email sequence. Most people set up one email, then that’s it. However, as a lifestyle or food blogger, you can very easily add more emails to your sequence. Here’s a simple three-step email sequence to get you started:
- Introduction Email: Welcome readers to your list, mention different places they can find you, and preview what they can expect from your emails. Make sure to thank them for subscribing and supporting your brand.
- Website Guide Email: Most subscribers join your list after visiting your website once, maybe twice. They do not know the nuances of your website. Creating an email sequence highlighting the unique features of your website such as a recipe index, video section, and affiliate shop can help improve user experience and drive traffic back to your site. Most bloggers write these types of things like blog posts, but they work much more effectively as part of an email sequence.
- Your Story: Most of my clients are focused on writing search engine optimized blog posts. Unfortunately, due to this fact, there is very little opportunity for them to get personal with their audience. Sharing their story and their “why” creates more intimacy between your readers and you.
Ideally, you would schedule these emails to go out one a week. If your automation sequence is built out pretty significantly, then you can play around with daily or every few days.
Your email newsletter performance is only successful if you offer subscriber-only information. If the information can easily be accessible elsewhere, you are not incentivizing subscribers to read, follow, and stay subscribed. While an automated RSS campaign is a nice solution, it should not be your main newsletter strategy. Depending on your brand, you can set these newsletter strategies up as automated sequences or manual campaigns:
- An additional piece of content available only to subscribers. For example, if you have a food blog, you could offer readers an exclusive recipe each month that is only shared with your list. This strategy keeps readers subscribed because they want to get the exclusive recipe.
- Curated post content that’s seasonally relevant. For example, Becky from The Cookie Rookie offers meal plans and recipe round-ups that help readers plan meals, especially before big occasions like holidays.
- Brand-relevant content that’s not found on your website. Steph Gaudreau shares a weekly, Safer Skincare newsletter, about how women can incorporate better skincare tools and practices into their daily lives. This specific newsletter aligns with her overall message of wellness. The content she shares in the email cannot be found anywhere else on her website or social media.
Promote The Newsletter Community on Social
On top of integrating sign-up forms throughout your website, you can also promote your list on social media. You could show a behind-the-scenes of you crafting your email newsletter on Instagram stories. Or, utilize Facebook or Pinterest to drive traffic explicitly to your email sign-up page. If you don’t talk about your email newsletter, how will people subscribe or know all the cool things you are doing with it!
Find Your Ideal Day and Frequency
If you are not confident in the day and frequency you are posting, conduct strategic tests. Fortunately, all email marketing platforms offer great tools to track the effectiveness of your email newsletter. When you are testing out what day works best for you, either try A/B testing or try something for a few weeks before you switch it up. If you change from week to week, you will not have concrete data to help support your decision.
As for frequency, post as frequently as you can be consistent. If you can only do a monthly newsletter, do a monthly newsletter. If you can do bi-monthly or weekly, do what works for you. Don’t feel obligated to do something every week, especially if you are just starting. Consistency is king.
Clean Up Your List (if you want)
If your open rates are very low, it might be time to clean up your list. Cleaning up your list is a completely personal call. I did a thorough audit of my list a few years ago. My email list was costing me a ton of money per month, but I was not seeing the results. I wasn’t doing anything with my list. So I audited it down to what I felt comfortable with. Once the list was cleaned up, my open rates went up significantly. This approach might not be for everyone. Tread carefully.
Do you have any questions about improving your email newsletter performance? I’d love to hear your feedback! If you are interested in seeing what my automation sequences look like, feel free to subscribe here!