Editor’s note: Karen was our guest on eMail Radio today! Listen to the show here!
Sometimes we get so caught up just keeping our email programs running that we get tunnel vision. We forget that email is an essential tool in the marketing toolbox, an ingredient in the marketing mix, and not a channel to be kept unto itself.
There’s been plenty written about integrating email and social media (I know, I wrote some of it!) but what about an even more obvious connection you can make integrating email with your blog? Here are three easy ways to do so:
Promote email subscriptions and content offers on blog pages
A well-written, frequently updated blog can drive significant amounts of traffic to your website (or, it may BE your website). With the impact of search indexing and social sharing, it’s likely that many potential readers are first landing on your blog pages – not your home page or product pages.
Make sure you have a way to capture email addresses from blog visitors who might not take time to explore other parts of your site. How to do so?
Make your e-newsletter or promotional opt-in offer visible on every page of your blog. That way, visitors who land on a specific blog post – and like what they read – will easily see other ways to receive content and information from you. When you build this into the standard frame or design template of your blog, it’s easy to do.
Offer an email subscription to your blog posts
Although it’s standard practice to use RSS syndication to provide automatic updates of blog content, RSS readers remain a niche technology (various studies have placed RSS adoption between 10%-20% of web users). But many feed management systems, such as Feedblitz and Google’s Feedburner, allow subscribers to receive updates by email. I myself subscribe to many blogs this way, as I prefer to have as much content as possible pushed to my inbox where I use tools to sort and prioritize it from there.
Promoting an email update service can help you attract a lot more subscribers for your blog content. You’ll also capture a vital piece of information that you don’t get from RSS subscribers – an email address. And this as we know is CRITICAL to including blog subscribers in your marketing and promotional communications funnel.
Also consider taking a cue from listserv mailing lists and create a blog “digest” newsletter. This could be a weekly, biweekly or monthly publication that consolidates blog headlines from that time period for easy scanning and skimming. The option may appeal to visitors who want to follow your blog but don’t want a lot of new messages in their inbox. You also can use space within that email to promote relevant offers to subscribers.
Re-purpose blog posts and other articles for your email newsletters
Get the most from the content you work so hard to create by re-purposing and re-using blog posts within your email newsletters. A favorite tactic of mine (which you can see in my e-newsletter, InSight) is to write a blog post, then use the first half of it as an email newsletter article with a link to continue reading the full article on your blog.
This drives email subscribers who HAVEN’T yet sampled your blog to the blog on a regular basis. Also, since you have more latitude and control over what happens on your blog/site and more ability to drive conversion or sales from there than the inbox, getting readers in front of your content in your preferred context should always be the goal.
You can also consider dedicating a specific section of your newsletter as a “blog corner” – highlighting your most popular posts, a featured guest post, or a post by an industry luminary.
Finally, look for ways your blog content offers variety or a departure from typical newsletter articles. If your blog tends to be more informal or entertaining than your newsletter articles, that content may be a welcome addition. For example, Jim Palmer (the Newsletter Guru) routinely includes a video in his email newsletter which plays on his blog.
Takeaway: Remember, your blog and your email can work beautifully in tandem to both distribute content and invite readers to interact with you in other ways . . . ways that produce deeper engagement, greater loyalty, and more revenue. Plant the seeds to forging stronger ties between your blog and email marketing and watch your opportunities flourish!
How do you make your blog and email marketing work together? Leave a comment!