May 6, 2020

Email Marketing for Bloggers: A Quickstart Guide

Reading time about 10 min

Ask profitable bloggers what they would do if they were starting over, and they’ll tell you, “start building my list sooner.” 

The reason well-known bloggers say this is they’ve learned that an email list is a crucial business element of your blog. 

As you know, social media changes algorithms often, which keeps bloggers guessing. Yet, email is stable.

With email marketing for bloggers, you’re in control. You own your list, you send out emails when you want, and you can design a strategy that supports your business. 

Plus, email marketing has a great ROI:

  • For every $1 you spend on email marketing, the average return is $44 (Source, DMA
  • It’s reliable. Email is like the Little Black Dress of marketing. It goes anywhere and never goes out of fashion. According to Statista, 2019 email users were at 3.9 billion and they’re expected to grow to 4.48 billion by 2024. 
  • “91% of shoppers want to hear from companies they do business with via email. (Sleeknote, 2019) (Source: Hubspot)

With returns like that, why wouldn’t you want to use email marketing as part of your blog?  

In this article we’ll explore: 

  • How  email marketing can grow your blog 
  • What to consider before choosing an email service 
  • How to create a simple email marketing strategy for your blog. One that brings you leads.

Let’s dive in: 

Why Bloggers Use Email Marketing 

If you’re like a lot of bloggers, you’ve probably signed up for a few email lists. Maybe one of your favorite bloggers offered a checklist or ran a challenge, so you signed up, and now you’re on their list. 

Maybe they send emails to let you know when a new blog post is published. Or, they might send you emails to sell products/services.

But one thing is certain, the most successful bloggers have a strategy behind their email marketing, and they use email marketing software like Sendinblue.

The psychological power of email marketing

We’ll share a simple strategy below in a few minutes. But first, let’s consider the psychological power of email marketing. 

With email marketing, you can send a message to thousands of people who’ve asked to hear from you. And because they’ve asked to hear from you, they’re more likely to trust you. Since they trust you, they’re more likely to buy from you. 

It’s the like, know, trust factor at play. 

You already know the inbox is personal. You don’t give your email address to just anyone. 

It’s the same with your reader. When they sign up to hear from you, they want to receive interesting and relevant messages from you. Done right, this can be a powerful part of your business and grow both your readership and your bank account. 

And since you own your list (unlike social media), it’s considered a business asset, much like your content is an asset. 

Now that you have a bit more insight into why bloggers use email marketing, you might wonder how it can grow your blog. 

How Email Marketing Can Grow Your Blog Readership

Have you ever spent hours on a post? You draft it, edit it, polish it, and finally hit “publish” only to get little response? 

Every blogger’s been there, and it’s no fun. 

However, when you have a growing email list, it’s less likely to happen. That’s because you can send out an email to your list with a link to your latest blog post. 

And, because they’re excited to hear from you, they’ll be likely to click the link and read the post.

Sounds simple? It is. It’s also a great way to bring people back to your blog and deepen your relationship with your readers. Plus, there’s another benefit to sending out an email with your latest posts too. That’s because you can ask your fans (subscribers) to share on social media. 

You give them the link you want them to have and ask them to share. They share with their networks, their friends subscribe, and so on. It’s the snowball effect. 

Even if you don’t have anything to sell yet, it’s still worth starting your email list because you’re developing your relationship with your readers. As you build your community, your readers will ask you questions which give you more ideas for juicy topics they want to hear about. 

Give them a ton of value upfront, and when you’re ready with something to sell, you’ll have a ready community of buyers. 

Here’s a blog newsletter example from The Girlfriend showing how you can use email marketing to promote your posts.

By now, you’re probably wondering how to build an email list for your blog. That way, you’ll have it in place to help you grow your subscriber base. Fortunately, it’s not that complicated.

How to Build a Simple Email List Strategy for Your Blog 

Successful blogs have a strategy for attracting readers and turning them into customers. The email list is a major component. 

The beginner email list framework looks like this. 

  • Reason to sign up (your incentive)
  • Way to sign up (form) 
  • Delivery of incentive
  • New subscriber is added to your email list
  • Send regular emails that fit within your email strategy 

Your email marketing software includes the signup form and way to deliver the emails, among other things. We’ll cover how to choose an email service software to your blog in a moment, but first, here’s why you want an incentive. 

Create a sign up incentive

Think of the things you’ve signed up for in the past. Checklists, cheat sheets, swipe files, and challenges are just a few things you can create that will inspire your audience to sign up. 

Here’s an example of an opt-in freebie from Just Creative.

If you’re not sure what type of incentive to create, keep it simple and related to the thing you sell.

If you’re a realtor who sells starter homes, for instance, then you might share a checklist of questions first-time home buyers don’t ask but should. 

This does two things: 

a) Provides useful information to your readers

b) Positions you as an expert. Who do you think your readers will think of when they’re in need of a realtor? 

That’s an example of keeping it simple, yet related to your service. 

Once you create your incentive, then you need a way to get it to people who want it. That’s called an “opt-in” form. That form is built into your email marketing software (like SendinBlue) to make sure everything works together. 

Make your signup form pretty and add your brand colors so it looks like it goes with your blog. Sendinblue’s Drag & Drop signup form builder makes it easy to create custom signup forms for your blog.

Then, you can put your opt-in form on your blog sidebar, at the top of your blog, and/or in calls-to-action (CTA’s) in your posts. Something like, “want to get a simple checklist of questions first-time home buyers need to ask? Sign up here.” 

You can experiment with the text and design to find what brings you the most subscribers. When you have it set up, then you can promote your incentive via social media, podcasts, blog posts, and other channels. 

For example, if you write a blog post and reference the checklist, you can invite people to sign up. Make the form easy to see and obvious what to do.

You can also add a link to the form in your social media bios and add a signup tab to your Facebook business profile. To learn how to do that, check out this tutorial.

That’s the basic email list building strategy that works in any industry. 

By now, you might wonder which is the best email service for bloggers and how to choose one. 

So let’s take a look. 

How to Choose an Email Service for Your Blog 

Like most business decisions, choosing an email service or newsletter software depends on several factors unique to your business. 

For example, do you already have a fledgling list or are you starting from scratch? 

  • If you already have an email list, how big is it? (Sendinblue lets you store unlimited contacts at no extra cost but most other email provider fees are based on the number of contacts.) 
  • How often do you plan to send email? 
  • What types of emails do you want to send? (e.g. engagement emails, promotional campaigns, weekly blog newsletters, etc.)
  • Do you want to send an automated welcome series when people sign up? (Autoresponders
  • Do you want to use customizable email templates? Or do you want to be able to code your emails from scratch using an HTML editor?
  • How much list segmentation do you want to do? (useful if you’re audience falls into different categories, this way you can send more targeted messages)
  • What kind of analytics do you expect? (open rate, click through, conversion rate and new subscribers are typical)
  • Do you want to be able to compose emails via your smartphone? 

When you think through the ways you think you’ll use your email marketing software, choose something that can grow with you. You don’t want it to be too basic nor too robust with a lot of bells and whistles you won’t use. 

It’s ok if you don’t have the answers to all of these questions. Inform your decision by reading up on email software comparisons.

And of course, take the the opportunity to test-drive different solutions.

Take advantage of free plans & trials

Some email providers are free to start off but with limited capabilities. Others have more robust options and even offer unlimited free plans. 

Sendinblue falls into the latter category. Our free plan gives access to all our core email marketing features including our template gallery, Drag & Drop email editor, and email signup forms.

What’s more, our free plan lets you send up to 300 emails per day which is great for any blogger just starting out on their email marketing journey.

So are you ready to send your first blog newsletter?

Jumpstart your blog email strategy with Sendinblue

Free plan includes access to all core email features, 300 emails/day, 70+ email templates, and customizable signup forms to grow your blog email list.

Open my free Sendinblue account now >>

Email marketing can truly do wonders for your blog. Don’t miss out on a growth opportunity that’s so easily accessible.

For more marketing tips, sign up to our monthly newsletter and follow us on Twitter.

Ready to find your marketing zen?

Take the stress out of your work day with a solution that’s built for you!

Get started free