Facebook may boast over one billion active users a month and Twitter 255 million, but in 2013 alone the total number of email accounts was 3.9 billion. This number is expected to rise to 4.9 billion by 2017. That’s three times more email accounts than Facebook and Twitter accounts combined. The point? Building an email newsletter list should be an essential part of your marketing mix.
BENEFITS OF BUILDING AN EMAIL LIST
Control; One of the main benefits of building an email list for your website is that you’ll have full control over it. Whilst Twitter or Facebook can change their privacy or user settings on their own accord, an email list is in your hands alone.
Permission-Based; Another benefit of building an email list is that you’ll have already got subscribers’ permission to send them emails. This means that they actually want you to share your content and communicate with them. This puts you in a great position!
Traffic; Sending out emails to people on your email list is likely to drive traffic to your site and build reader loyalty, keeping you in your readers minds are. The competition for visitors and readers is rapidly increasing. New visitors to your site may forget you exist after the first time they go to your site, however if you can convert them by getting them on your email list, you can send them friendly reminders in the form of a email newsletter.
EMAIL NEWSLETTER TOOLS
Email Marketing Solutions; There are several online tools and solutions available to manage your email newsletter. MailChimp and Constant Contact are two of the better known ones. I use a MailChimp email newsletter for several reasons. It still allows me to send out an RSS Feed if I choose, but it also allows me total control over the look of my newsletter. You can add your own branding and special elements to it so that it looks professional and more interesting than just a list of posts.
RSS Feed of Recent Posts; By creating an RSS feed for your content and encouraging visitors to subscribe, you allow those who stumble on your website to become regular readers who will continue to engage with your content and your brand. Syndicating an RSS feed also allows your content to be promoted on other blogs and websites and even on news outlets. There are numerous communities, social bookmarking websites and RSS directories where you can submit your RSS feed and have your new headlines sent out to a wider audience. This type of promotion can lead to an influx of new targeted visitors and also builds quality backlinks to your website, which can improve your search engine rankings.
CONVERTING VISITORS INTO EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS
Offering something special and unique in your newsletter that doesn’t appear on your website, blog or social channels is one great incentive for people to sign up for your newsletter.
Giving something away is another great way to get people to sign up. Offering an incentive, such as entry into a competition, contest, sweepstakes, or free e-book – essentially valuable, in-depth content that won’t appear anywhere else. A listing or summary of your recent posts is a great reminder for them to visit your site, but it might not be the best reason to ask your reader or visitor to sign up for your newsletter. Offering something special and unique in your newsletter that doesn’t appear on your already appear on your site is a great incentive for people to sign up for your newsletter.
Image via Ashley Ella Design