In this post: Are your blog's newsletters going unopened? Are you paying for subscribers you aren't connecting with? In today's post, we are talking about some quick ways to increase email open rates and get more engagement from your regular communication.
Many bloggers will tell you up to 80% of their blogging revenue comes from their email list. Why so much? Because these bloggers' newsletters are truly valuable. They use the direct means of communication to give their subscribers a little more than they would receive just following his RSS feed or social media platforms. Because of that, these email subscribers feel they know the bloggers they follow. They trust their opinions when it comes time to make a purchase.
Because of that trust, these bloggers know when they send an email their followers will take action. That may be visiting their blog for the latest blog post. It may be purchasing their latest recommendation. It may be providing much needed feedback on their latest project. That's a good feeling.
If that’s not enough, another great reason to build a strong email list is you don’t have to worry so much about the latest search engine and social media algorithms. They still stink when they happen, but you know you haven’t lost any of your most devoted fans. They will still see every update.
If you're looking to boost your blogging business with email marketing, you might be feeling overwhelmed. You may feel you are falling short because people just aren't opening your emails like they should. Maybe they are opening but they aren't taking action. There are so many aspects that you need to know and put into play before you see success. Without the right tools and tricks, you could miss out on the best opportunities to convert customers in your market.
Here are a few powerful tips to build a list full of loyal followers and ensure your bottom line goes up every time you send an email:
Note: If you don’t yet have an email list, check out Crystal Paine’s Email List Setup 101.
1) Welcome Email That Makes Them Feel Special
When you walk into a restaurant, how do you feel if they don't even greet you? Do you feel ignored? Do you feel that perhaps this isn't the restaurant you want to eat at after all? Many customers do.
If you can relate to this, then you can understand why a welcome email is such a key aspect to establishing rapport with new subscribers that leads to converting more sales in your marketing. When you welcome someone correctly, you can make them feel special by complimenting them on their decision. People need psychological reinforcement that they made a good decision. Luckily, you can offer that for them, resulting in a win-win scenario.
- Send your welcome email the same day they subscriber
- Welcome them. If you asked for their first name on your opt-in form, use it.
- Provide some direction. Point them to some of your best posts.
- Give them a free gift. If you promised something specific for becoming a subscriber, include it in this email. If you didn’t, they will love you even more if you include an unexpected gift. That could be a little printable, worksheet or exclusive information.
- Ask them a question. In many of my welcome emails, I ask new subscribers to respond with their current struggles. This is a great step towards building trust.
2) Nurture System
There's a saying in email marketing that the “money is in the list.” That means that the asset you are creating with your email marketing is a list of customers that you can sell to again and again. Without repeat business, it's not a list but merely a collection of names you might talk to once.
To keep your list from becoming stagnant (resulting in fewer subscribers, and thus less revenue), you need to nurture it. Send regular emails offering a lot of value to your customers. Not only does it keep them engaged so that you're top of mind in the category of business you compete it, but it also lets them feel more connected to you, so they trust your messages.
But how? I’m already so busy.
Let’s say you are writing five blog posts per week right now. Rather than writing five posts to publish on your site, publish four and send one to your email list. If you are publishing around five times per month, publish four and send one to your list instead.
If it makes you feel less stressed, those newsletters don’t need to be as lengthy or in-depth as your blog posts anyway. Share a few quick tips or resources. Save those newsletters. Expand on them later for future blog posts.
Your newsletters can also be a lot more personal than a blog post. Share a story your subscribers will relate to. Jot down a few quick tips to help them get through next week. These are things that are not going to take much time but are going to make a huge impact with these people that have trusted you with a direct line of communication. They want to know it’s worth subscribing as opposed to following you on social media or getting your RSS feed. They want and deserve more!
3) Attention-Getting Subject Line That Stops Them In Their Tracks
Your subject line is the first impression. It is also the only chance you have to grab the attention of your prospects right away. In today's busy digital world, there are so many distractions. From social media to other apps, to real-life demands, life moves faster. To compete with the noise, you need something that cuts through it.
How do you know if you are succeeding with your subject line? A certain percentage of emails will never be opened, after all. No matter how hard you try.
According to GetResponse, email newsletters average an open rate of around 22.83%. That’s a good number to start with when comparing the numbers you are seeing now with what you can expect on average compared to everyone else in the world regardless of industry or location.
No matter how good your number now, you probably want better. Don’t we all? There are a handful of proven ways to create an email subject line that catches the maximum amount of attention.
- Include subscriber’s name in the subject line or in the first sentence
- Take a few tips from Mailchimp and Optinmonster
- Make your sender name recognizable. This is something we plug in when we set up our newsletter service, but rarely think about again. Check yours to see what that “From:” name is when sending your newsletter. Make sure it's recognizable.
4) Encourage Engagement
If you have nurtured your list correctly, they should be opening their emails more often. You will have trained them to associate receiving emails from you to getting great rewards: information, savings, and solutions to their problems.
Now, the time comes to take things a step further.
Engagement can come in many forms from asking your subscriber to make a purchase to sharing something with a friend to asking for feedback and suggestions. You won’t always get the response you are seeking, and you probably won’t get it from every subscriber every time, but it will help set the stage that this is a two-way street. And asking for feedback or suggestions is a great way to further build rapport and trust.
If you are worried about receiving too many emails, I recommend setting up an inbox filter. If you use Gmail or Google Apps for Work, this is super simple. Have these emails skip the inbox and be put into a special folder. Once per week or so, sit down and read through them.
Anticipation and excitement are great ways to increase your open rates. If you are working on a project or a new email series, or you know an awesome sale is coming up, you can share this news in advance with your subscribers. Let them know what’s coming. Get them excited and looking forward to your emails.
When it comes to email marketing, you don't need to panic if you don't know every trick in the book. However, without using the proven techniques and methods above, you'll leave a lot on the table. Focus on great headlines, welcome messages, nurturing your leads, getting them to take action, and anticipating your next email. That way you'll experience a greater community and greater conversions in your business now and in the future.
The biggest thing you need to take from this post is that it isn’t solely the size of your list that counts. It’s the quality. If you have 30,000 subscribers that never open your emails or take action, that’s money and time wasted on your part. Give a little to get a lot.
Need a few more pointers for building an engaging list? Check out Crystal Paine’s new Build Your List 101.