A lot of new bloggers often underestimate the value of an email list, however it is the most powerful marketing and revenue generating tool at your disposal.
The primary concern for new bloggers often is to drive traffic and that is where they focus all their energy, but what happens when you get the traffic? If you are unable to capture the reader in an email list you have wasted your efforts. Depending on constant new traffic to generate an income from your blog is a flawed strategy. If your goal is to established a successful online venture, an email list is a must.
You have probably heard of the saying “The money is in the list” I know bloggers who earn a lot more from their newsletter than they do from the ads on the blog.
When Should I Start My Newsletter?
Unfortunately most bloggers wait till their blog is “successful” before starting an email list, however by then you will have lost a few THOUSAND potential subscribers! Implementing an email list should be one of your top priority when starting a blog. One of my biggest mistakes was not starting an email list when I started blogging in 2009, don’t make the same mistake.
Why Start a Newsletter?
A newsletter is in addition to your regular blog posts, not a replacement. A newsletters gives you the opportunity to provide your subscribers with exclusive content, offers and products that is not available on your site. A newsletter is a more intimate way to build a relationship with your readers. I get almost 3 times as many emails from my newsletter subscribers than I do with from my readers and the emails are always longer and more in-depth. More engagement usually translates into more trust which in turn increases your chances of making sales (we all like sales!)
A newsletter is an excellent way to promote your own products or your affiliate products. Since the subscribers already have a “relationship” with you they are more likely to purchase something you recommend. About 60% of my affiliate sales come from my newsletters, but what’s more interesting is that the conversation rate of the newsletter is four times that of my site!
Although setting up a newsletter maybe a little time consuming the long term benefits far outweigh the investment and the earlier you start the better your ROI.
How Do I Start a Newsletter?
I’ll discuss this in more detail, but here are a few quick tips.
1. Make it easy. No point in going through all the trouble of setting up a newsletter when nobody can find it. Bring the readers attention to your newsletter and make sure it’s easy to sign up. For example on this site you see a box on the right sidebar as well as at the end of the article.
2. Entice them to register. It’s always a good idea to offer something in exchange for the reader signing up. This can be a simple ebook, a mini course in your niche, a discount on a product etc. You don’t need to go crazy with it, just something to encourage people.
3. Value. If your newsletter doesn’t provide any value, people will stop opening your email and eventually unsubscribe. Make sure you provide valuable content.
4. Don’t Spam. Don’t send an email everyday. I usually recommend 2-4 times a month, depending on your niche.
Use a Reliable Software
There are many email list management softwares available, however make sure you use a reliable one. The two most common ones are Aweber and MailChimp, I used MailChimp for a short period and didn’t like it for several reasons. First of all, it had deliverability issues and people wouldn’t always get the emails and more importantly MailChimp does NOT allow affiliate marketing! Given that affiliate marketing is a big part of a newsletter it renders MailChimp useless. I switched to Aweber about a year ago and it has been great. I haven’t had any issues and it’s easy to use. You can test drive it for $1 for the first month and see how you like it.
If you signing for Aweber using the affiliate link, I’d be happy to help you set things up!
What Others Say About Aweber:
I use it as an added benefit to subscribers. they get exclusive content, deals and promotions Robb - Boomer & Echo
I switched to Aweber from Mailchimp because it offered much better email tracking features. I also prefer the way Aweber handles autoresponder sequences because you know exactly who has received what email. Most importantly, the delivery rate improved as well once I made the switch. – Steve - BumblebeeLinens.com
I’ve found Aweber to be a great service. First I moved all my email subscriptions from Feedburner over to Aweber. This allowed for much nicer looking emails, more options to monetize, and send out subscriber only emails as well. - Tom Drake - Online Money