A beginner’s guide to email marketing for bloggers

blog post a beginner's guide to email marketing for bloggers the greatest digital creatives

This post may include affiliate links. Please read the disclaimer for more info.

Is email marketing dead?

In a recent study, the Philippines takes the top spot as the heaviest internet users worldwide.

On average, we are spending over 10 hours a day online

However, the study only mentioned Philippine’s online behavior on social media, with Facebook as the platform Filipinos tend to use most. 

Nothing is said about emails. In fact, some even believe that Filipinos don’t read emails. They just use it to log in to social media platforms. 

Therefore, what does the study say about the future of email marketing for bloggers? Are emails still going to help grow a blog in 2020?

Email marketing for new bloggers The Greatest Digital Creatives

What is email marketing?

There is no formula for perfect emails – Authentic and honest messaging works

Email is a means or system for transmitting messages electronically (as between computers on a network)

Therefore, email marketing is the use of emails to promote products and/or services. It is also used to develop relationships with potential clients and customers. 

Email marketing can be personalized. It is more targeted and can lead to sales and brand loyalty

the-greatest-digital-creatives-email-lead-magnet

How to get started with email marketing for bloggers

1. Your WHY?

In a previous blog post, we talked about how to create a blog plan for 2020. One of the things I mentioned to get started is to know your WHY? 

You can apply the same idea in sending emails to your subscribers. 

  • Why send an email?
  • Why send emails ____ times per month?
  • Why will your subscribers read your email?
  • What will they and you get in return?

For my websites, my WHY’s are: 

  • To generate website traffic
  • Branding
  • To sell products/services
  • Audience loyalty

2. Create a lead magnet

If you will look at my sidebar, and scroll down, you will find an image about a FREE Monthly Blog Plan I’m giving away. 

That is my lead magnet. A lead magnet is basically a form of a giveaway in exchange for contact details (emails, phone numbers. etc.). It is a means to generate sales leads.

Other forms of lead magnets are: 

  • Checklist
  • Ebooks
  • Calendar
  • VIP memberships
  • Webinars

Lead magnets can be digital and physical products. But the concept isn’t just about giving away anything that comes into mind. Remember, part of growing an email list is to establish loyalty to your subscribers. Therefore, they will remain loyal to you if you are giving away resources that would benefit them. 

For example, if you are a food blogger, you can create a free ebook about recipes you love. 

If you’re a travel blogger, you can create a pdf checklist of your travel essentials. Something your audience can print and serve as a guide while packing. 

For self-care bloggers, discount coupons for a spa day or mani-pedi will do. 

3. Email marketing platform

For The Greatest, I’m using the free version of Mailchimp.

For the free version, you can have up to 2,000 email addresses, and send 12,000 messages per month. 

At present, I have 724 emails, excluding the ones who registered from our recent webinar, and those inside our Facebook group

As soon as I reach 2000 subs, I’d surely upgrade or switch to another platform in case I find one better.

But so far, I am liking Mailchimp. The free version has limited features, but I’ll get by for now.  

4. Scheduling emails

I haven’t sent any emails last month. This is on my to-do list this February. 

Scheduling emails is like scheduling social media posts. If there are tasks that you can do in bulk, the better. This allows you to save time and prioritize tasks that are far more important.

5. Measure results

That which is measured improves.

Karl Pearson

I mentioned in my blog post about content marketing that everything that we do for our online business must be measured. 

When you create email campaigns using Mailchimp, you will identify how your emails performed based on their: 

  1. Click rate (a.k.a click-through rate (CTR) – the percentage of people who took action from the email you sent. It can be clicks from an external link, image, or reply)  
  2. Open rate – the percentage of people who opened the email you sent 

The success or lack thereof of your email campaign can be due to:

  • Poor subject title
  • No relevance 
  • Spammy
  • Frequency
  • No respect for the inbox 

Treat your subject line like the movie trailer – give a preview so they know what to expect.

Struggles of email marketing for bloggers

1. You need to use an email marketing platform (and they’re not cheap)

Mailchimp isn’t cheap. 

When you go to their website and check the pricing plans, Mailchimp recommends the standard plan at $14/month.

But, when I log in to my account, the standard plan is no longer $14. Instead, it’s $50 per month.

I’m assuming the first price is for new customers, upon renewal, it will roll to its original price which is $50. 

That’s about Php 2,500 per month.

So if you don’t have thousands of emails to begin with or no email marketing strategies yet, it’s best you stick with the free plan first.

2. Manage responses

Was there a time when you replied to emails, only to realize that you’ve been doing it all day?

Your relationship with your audience doesn’t end after you hit send/publish.

You’re just getting started. 

Just like commenting or liking on Facebook and Instagram, you have to do the same thing with emails. 

Expect people to take action. They can ask about your products, give feedback, or say thank you. 

Don’t leave them hangin’.

3. Writing emails is taking forever

Since my personal goal is to write blog posts not less than 1000 words, it’s taking me at least 4 hours to write (excluding proofreading, editing, and making the images).

Writing emails can be as tedious as writing blog posts, too.

Sometimes, it’s taking me up to 2 hours just to write an email with about 200 words.

4. Creating an email marketing strategy is time-consuming, too

I have collected hundreds of emails last year. And yet, I’m unable to establish and maintain a connection.

I think, I only said hi, once. 

Last year I didn’t have an email strategy. That is going to change this year.

5. Not all emails go to your inbox

If you’re using Gmail, emails are divided into 3 groups

  • Primary
  • Social
  • Promotions

When you send emails in bulk, chances are Google would think it’s promotional. Therefore, it goes straight to Promotions.

Or worse, your email is labeled as spam. 

We can’t do anything about it. It has something to do with how Google handles its algorithm for emails.

If you’re using an email provider, like Mailchimp, you can follow the best practices recommended by Google 

There would still be glitches, but the most effective way to make sure you’re audience reaches your message is to ask them to add your email address to their Gmail contacts list.

My email marketing plan

I get email subscribers from my Facebook group and free webinars.

I will continue doing these practices in 2020.

Unfortunately, these strategies are not effective on my self-care blog.

For Self-love After Ruins, I will create more lead magnet and focus on Pinterest for now. 

fb and ig posts sample growth model for a blog The Greatest Digital Creatives

Conclusion

Quality over quantity – Emails may be cost-efficient but it’s no excuse to not produce quality content to give to a targeted audience.

Benjamin Murray

As a newbie blogger, you need all the help you can get. One email marketing strategy is not a one-size-fits-all either. 

Like Woody Allen said in his movie, Whatever Works. 

the-greatest-digital-creatives-facebook-group-1

But email marketing is absolutely here to stay. Besides, how would you know if it’s not going to work in your niche if you don’t try?

What do you think? Were you able to grow your email list? What’s your email strategy this 2020?

You may also like

4 Comments

  1. I just started blogging and I had 0 idea on email marketing until this post. Thank you so much for the easy-to-follow steps! It also helped that you were drawing from your own experiences before and what did and didn’t work.

  2. I’m just starting out in my email marketing journey and found this post very helpful. I especially learned from the tips on strategy and how Google treats email. I hadn’t considered that before! And you are so right about the time commitment for writing good email copy. Good post!

  3. You have provided some great tips! I can really relate to your issues and needs for strategy! 2020 is the year we get it together!!! You go girl!!!