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by Anna Wybieralska Feb 4, 2020

Since your blogging journey is unique, one idea might give you results faster than the other. Which one seems to stand out for you? Pick it, implement it, then measure and improve upon the results you get.

I get it. You're already doing the work. You learned how to start a blog and began publishing content every week, promoting it, and building relationships with other bloggers to get more traffic and links to your posts. But how do you use email marketing to earn the occasional blog reader's loyalty so that they read and share everything you write? Better still, convince them to buy your products and services when they're ready?

Well, the answer could be in your approach to email marketing. Let me explain.

Email marketing remains the best way to generate leads and sales with a 4.3% ROI.

With such a figure, it's easy to rely on email marketing only when you have something to sell. And that's where most businesses lose it. To get such an ROI, you need to earn your readers' loyalty and trust, first. Read on to find out different ways to grow your blog audience through email marketing.

1. Offer irresistible lead magnets

Every search your reader does on Google has an intent behind it. It could be learning something, comparing different competitors, or paying for a product or service. And if you show up at the top of the search results, you're never sure if they will come back to your website after their first visit. That means you have to give them a compelling reason to come back by letting them know whenever you publish new content.

For instance, someone interested in making capsules might search for "capsule fillers." Here are the top three results:

LFA machines show up at position two and they know that first-time visitors aren't ready to buy anything they sell. Here's what they have at the bottom of their homepage:

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Once someone signs up for this lead magnet, they will continue receiving more content related to making capsules, meaning that they will visit the website again. As you think of the lead magnets you're going to offer to your website visitors, think about what will drive your visitors to a certain page on your site. Create a specific lead magnet that helps your reader overcome a problem they have or answer a specific question that drove them to your website in the first place.

For example, if they were searching for a generic query like “dynamic QR Code generator”, don’t offer a lead magnet with content that goes way over the readers’ heads. Meet them where they’re at. Secondly, present it in a manner that is easy to consume. Here's a question to help you decide what to present -- "Which is the easiest way to implement the information contained in my lead magnet?"

In our example above, an ebook fits best because a guide should provide all the information one needs to make capsules. If your readers are struggling with a specific task due to the amount of work involved, give them a checklist to help do it faster by focusing on what matters. Take a look:

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Taking it a step further, you can go all out on your lead magnets to significantly improve your chances of growing a larger blog audience. What do I mean?

Well, take a look at my favorite example of a lead magnet from Reply.io. Their lead magnet is a full-scale outbound sales playbook that is more than just one ebook, in fact, it’s a collection of multiple ebooks on various keyword topics:

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Want to capture more blog traffic and grow your audience via email? Create lead magnets like these examples above that are (1) keyword specific (2) intent matched, and (3) worth downloading. 

2. Make your emails engaging

In 2018 alone, 281.1 billion emails were sent and received, and by 2021, this will increase to 332.2 billion emails.

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These numbers paint a grim picture on the state of our inboxes. At some point, you've probably experienced a mental shut down every time you have to sort through your emails. And, as you rush towards achieving inbox zero, there are a couple of emails you can't just let go of. You'd even feel offended if the sender removed you from their list.

To stand out, that's the level of engagement your emails need to have. Your email subscribers are also overwhelmed by the messages they receive, and if you're boring, nothing will stop them from unsubscribing from your emails. Once they sign up for a lead magnet, make a remarkable first impression starting with your welcome emails. Here's what I mean:

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These emails help you build trust, make you memorable, and help you set the right expectations, such as how often you will be sending them an email. They also present an opportunity to ask them to whitelist your email address and ensure email deliverability. Your emails show up in their primary inbox instead of getting lost under promotions and updates tabs.

Maintain this momentum by consistently sending them content that speaks directly to readers' pain points in your weekly newsletters. For instance, let’s say your audience consists of CxOs of various retail brands that focus heavily on customer service… Think of a common pain point they might have.

GetVoIP does this well in their post about growing emotional intelligence to improve customer relations:

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Can you imagine how beneficial this would be to that audience? This post goes into detail on how to train staff in emotional intelligence, all in attempts to improve customer relations and experience. This is exactly the type of pain-point-addressing content you need to be sending out in your emails to win their trust. In another instance, Woven shows how to supercharge your Google Calendar in their ultimate guide, something their customers will directly need.

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A newsletter with links to such a blog post is hard to ignore, and their subscribers will keep looking out for their next newsletters with such content. Since you're supposed to be conscious of the length of your emails, the best way to tell a story is through using captivating visuals. Create content with custom graphics just like Eachnight does, allowing you to send quick emails with just images and or an infographic.

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For more on this, check out my guide on the best graphic design software to create your own custom graphics. Edit your images with a photo editing app before using them on email to ensure good quality and consistency with brand colors. Since not all email service providers open images in emails, include alt text that tells the recipient what your image is about. In Eachnight's example, an alt tag would be; "best mattresses for back pain" instead of "image of best mattresses."

Not everyone on your list consumes content in the same medium or even prefers reading the content you write. This is where I highly recommend leveraging an omnichannel approach to your marketing. Keep them engaged through sharing your weekly podcast shows and your guest appearances on other shows via email. They'll stick around because you're responsive to their preferred method of consuming content.

For more tips and resources on starting a podcast, check out my in-depth guide on podcast hosting on AdamEnfroy.com.

3. Ask for help

As an entrepreneur, it's easy to overestimate your abilities and think that you can do it all on your own. But we both know that's a myth, right? No matter how much time and resources you have at your disposal, you're going to need some help. One, you don't have a blog audience that other entrepreneurs, who you admire, have grown. Two, it will take time to build the credibility you need, to earn someone's trust and loyalty. So, here are two groups of people you should reach out to when building your blog audience:

Your email subscribers: If you've been blogging for a while, you should have an audience, no matter how small. Choose one of the different emails you send to them e.g., your newsletter, and ask them to forward the emails you send to them with a friend or coworker.

Studies reveal that people spend more than 2.5 hours every day checking their emails, meaning that someone who's not yet part of your audience will read yours. The result? Recipients of your forwarded emails will visit your blog, and sign up for your them because they don't want to miss your future messages.

Influencers: They have huge audiences and an endorsement from them means that their viewers will trust you and want to be part of your growing blogs’ community. To get this right, start by providing value to them and their audiences before you ask for help.

If they have a blog, approach them with at least 3-5 ideas that would add value to their viewers, and request to write for them. High-quality content on their site helps them get more traffic and better rankings on Google, meaning that their readers are getting value from your work.

If you do this consistently, they will be open to promoting your work to their audience, and according to Hailey Lucas, you might even land a new client from this approach. Talk about a win-win!

4. Make it easy to sign up

Think of the last time you were signing up for a lead magnet then left the page even before you were through. You were either hesitant to provide all the information required, or you got distracted and left the page. You might be doing everything else correctly, but if you make it hard for your blog visitors to sign up for your emails, you won't grow a blog audience through email marketing.

Ask for relevant information first, then find alternative ways to gather more information about them. For instance, you might decide to ask for their first name and email address. Here’s a great example of this from Lyfe Accounting on their small business tax preparation services landing page:

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What I like about this example is that this is actually an exit intent pop-up that appears when someone moves their cursor towards the top portion of the page as if they were about to leave. That way, if you didn’t already capture their contact details on the landing page itself, this is your last chance before they leave for good. Be sure to take advantage of this!

Don’t be afraid to segment your offers if you need to. You can set up separate landing pages for different offers and see which one sticks with your audience. As a bonus tip, I always recommend featuring some type of social proof on your landing page like Monday.com does below for their work plan creation software:

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Believe me when I say this will go a long way in getting others to trust you, once they see the names of some other credible brands behind you. Once you’ve got the gold (aka their email address), it’s time to work on your email campaign or newsletter. In your welcome email series, ask them to tell you about themselves and their biggest challenges, and this way, you'll be getting the information you need without losing them.

Take this a step further and offer more personalized points of contact to explain your most detailed services. For example, take a look at how Loganix does this on their white labeling PPC service pages by including a direct number to call or text!

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Now agencies are looking to get instant info rather than be placed into a long, slow funnel and simply conduct outreach on their own time. This is a genius approach, giving both ease of access and information without tedious extra steps. A blog visitor who shows up on this site will be open to signing up for their emails because there's always someone who will answer any questions they have.

Conclusion

When you think of people who have huge blog audiences, it's easy to feel intimidated by the sheer amount of work and effort it took them to get there. However, I want you to remember that they started somewhere and grew their blog audiences over time. The gap between you and a sizable blog audience might seem huge, and that's fine. The ideas we have discussed above will move you closer to your objective-only if you take action.

Since your blogging journey is unique, one idea might give you results faster than the other. Which one seems to stand out for you? Pick it, implement it, then measure and improve upon the results you get.

Anna Wybieralska

Anna is working as a Content Manager in Elastic Email. An email marketing enthusiast with a millennial approach. She's either writing, buying plants or avoiding social interactions.

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