I have to admit that I am very late to this party. In fact, I am only in the process right now of setting up an email service and configuring my first newsletter.
There is huge emphasis in the blogging community on gaining email subscribers and how important it is to do so. Honestly I get it if you sell a product or a service.
Understandably, you want to have a ready-made audience to pitch your product to upon release. Not only do you already have a targeted market to sell to but you also have a built-in cheerleading section that can spread the word for you.
But here’s the thing; what if you don’t sell anything and do not ever have any intentions on starting. Not any time soon anyway. How do you get people to subscribe?
First, you must understand this. People in general, hate emails. They hate their in-boxes being filled up with ‘junk’ mail that they have to sort through to find the relevant stuff. Nothing is more annoying than missing a really important email because it is in the middle of a whole bunch of spam. I imagine that a lot of people don’t even look at their emails anymore unless someone specifically says to them “I’m sending you an email.”
Bloggers are sometimes really out to lunch when it comes to that fact. Yes, we live in a completely different world than non-bloggers and while you may enjoy seeing posts in your inbox, most of the rest of the world does not. Trust me on this.
Before I get into the meat of it, let’s discuss a few don’ts.
- If you send out an RSS email for every post, don’t bother. There are so many different avenues that people can connect with you and receive your new post notices. I can follow you on bloglovin’ or any of your social media accounts to get your updates. Why would I subscribe? You will not gain subscribers with this type of email and I dare say, you will lose a few.
- If you post more than once a week and use the method I described in #1, stop now. Again, you will put yourself on the radar as a spammer and your emails will go straight to the trash.
How To Get (And Keep) Email Subscribers
What can you do?
- Your emails will be better received and opened if you do a newsletter summary of your weeks activities. Especially if you post more than once a week.
- This is the most important one: You must give subscribers something in your newsletters that they can not get anywhere else. You have to create value in your newsletter. There must be some information in it that they will not see you post on ANY of your social media platforms or on your blog.
How do you do that?
Good question. Especially since we are talking about content bloggers only here. You have to think outside the box. You don’t have anything to sell or give away so what can you give as value? Information! That’s what!
It doesn’t have to be long, involved or detailed. It could be one sentence. It could just be about something funny that happened to you. Give your email subscribers part of you that nobody else gets. Give them exclusivity!
This is your prime opportunity to share little bits of information that you have that could not be made into a full blog post.
- Share writing tips.
- Give writing prompts, ask for submissions via email and use them in future newsletters.
- Share writing contest information.
- Share fitness/fashion/parenting/baking/dating tips. Choose a tip that is niche specific.
- Have a fitness challenge. Promote winners in future newsletters.
- Share a special code for discounts on affiliate links.
- Share a recipe not on your blog or share a submission.
- Share positive quotes, cute memes, motivational prompts.
- Make it printable.
- Share something new you learnt this week.
- Share the great deal you received.
Hopefully I have sparked a few good ideas in your head but now how do we convert that to subscribers? Easy, let people know! On the bottom of posts, in your side bar, on social media.
Let me go through a few examples here:
Hey! Sign up for my weekly newsletter for new posts and weekly tips to keep you motivated and positive!
Want to join me on my 10 day cleanse challenge? Subscribe now and you may be featured in a future newsletter!
I mixed and matched these outfits for a completely different look. I share 2 of my best tips for blending colours and fabrics in my newsletter. Subscribe now to see!
I have some great secret tips to double this recipe and make clean-up faster and easier. Subscribe to my newsletter for more information.
Having trouble putting words to paper? I share my best writing prompts for writer’s block in my newsletter every week! Subscribe now!
Get it? Got it! Good!
- create value in your newsletter
- promote the value
Haven’t found a good email provider yet? I use ConvertKit and I love them!
You must put as much work into your newsletter as your posts. Yeah, you heard that right. That’s the main reason “create email newsletters” has been sitting on my to do list for awhile. If you have to, write one less post a week and put that extra energy in building an awesome newsletter.
One more thing before I get back to my tasks at hand, if you are losing subscribers, evaluate the value you are giving them in your newsletters. Can you pump it up?
Subscribers will come and go, that is the nature of the beast but if you are giving value in your emails then it is not you, it’s them. If they are not interested in your content, there is no value in you keeping them as a subscriber.
Remember that as a content blogger, you may not have a product or service to sell right now but grow your email list and if you ever decide to launch something, you will have an engaged, targeted market waiting.
If you would like to follow me on my newsletter journey, I’m sure there will be mistakes made, please subscribe below. I will be sharing weekly Pinterest and blogging tips not found on my blog.
Good luck and please share your ideas for newsletters or successes you have had with my suggestions in the comments.
I was reading another post of yours and then found myself here. Hi. I’d been putting off starting a newsletter, because I didn’t have anything in particular to sell. I launched a newsletter yesterday, still don’t want to sell anything, but wanted to connect more with my readers. Going to do a digest, some give-aways, and share links I think people might like All in a letter/post that doesn’t appear on the blog. And only once a week.
Have you started your newsletter yet? I realise this post is from 2 years ago, but I can’t find it, and I would so subscribe!
Omg it didn’t pop up to subscribe? Let me comment with the link when I get home.
Cool beans. I only see the pinterest e-course link. Same thing? I’ve had a BUNCH of coffee today so, could be missing something obvious.
If you look in my sidebar, you can sign up for free blog printables. If you sign up there as opposed to just a newsletter, you will get an automated sequence of newsletters. You may want to see that.
I’ve got to look into this, although I think I’m intimidated by the notion. One more thing to write! But as you said, if that’s what gets people to sign up, its worth it. Thanks.
It is all a process. The blog should come first and then when you feel comfortable, switch from a RSS feed email to a newsletter.
This is exactly what I needed to read today, thank you! Following you on B’
It does all come down to giving value. Thanks for your suggestions here.
This is something I certainly need to work on, Elena. I have been sending RSS updates and since I blog more than 3 times a week, I’m sure my emails go into the trash. I tried a newsletter for a short while, but I admit I didn’t stick with it. Back to the drawing board for me now. Thanks for the nudge!
They have some really nice templates Corinne. I would give it another try.
Great post – I definitely need as much help I can get with growing a subscriber following. I’m signed up and look forward to checking out all of your posts! 😀
I am not a big fan of e-mail newsletters either. When I check my e-mail I skip them, because I don’t have time to read them. Usually I forget to get back to them. I found out that facebook news feed works better (at least for me). Especially that most of them have nice pictures, which draw others attention. On top of that you can always go back to blog’s facebook page and scroll their all to look for interesting articles.
Have a nice day!
Love your stuff, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing your newsletter whenever it’s ready. ~Paula 🙂 #BlogShareLearn
Elena, thank you, this is really interesting and I hadn’t really thought of email subscribers like this. 🙂
Just popped over from your lovely linky party #BlogShareLearn after visiting a bunch of the other amazing bloggers and sharing. 🙂
Hope this weekend treats you kindly. Big hugs. 🙂
Thanks for more great tips. I look forward to seeing the newsletter.
I’m one of those people that hates having my email clogged up with stuff – I am OCD when it comes to my inbox. I don’t email or do newsletters because then I don’t feel like I have to reciprocate (yes I know that’s awful) I just bookmark blogs I like and check them regularly. Good on you for leaping into the fray (and for telling regular posters not to send regular email updates!)
Some great, practical advice–as always. There’s so effing much to learn about this blogging thing! Thank heaven you’re there, Elena!
Morning sweet one… I’ve read this (and all of your info/tutorial posts), some numerous times now…but have been lacking in my comments of late (you know why 🙂 ) – I have been singing your praises via email/PM/DM to others who might benefit from knowing The-Queen-Of-The-How-To’s though…so haven’t fallen to far down on the good list 😉
#BlogShareLearn…A perfect kick-up-the-bum… there will be more discombobulated-Kimmie-comments over the Weekend… but first, BED *Yawns* 🙂
Thanks for hosting…and for all the things you do for your bloggy friends… It’s much appreciated…I should tell you that more often xxxx
I send out an email notifying subscribers that a new post has been published – as I post once a week it is not excessive. I don’t do a newsletter – any extra bits I put on my Facebook page. For me, I do look at my emails & do subscribe to those blogs I like reading – I also read blogs via wordpress, occasionally Bloglovin, emails or via social media links – whichever I happen to come across first! I’m not a newsletter fan or freebie fan ….sorry! ?
Great tips as always, Elena. I am doing much better with my newsletters now. You have inspired me to take it up yet another notch.
I get your posts in my email, Elena, and this one I’ve saved in my bookmarks, to refer to when needed! I think it all depends on taste. Some emails I look forward to getting, others I’ve blocked…
I have an RSS feed, send a weekly Newsletter and offer several incentives on my site. I put a lot of effort into make all of them useful, interesting and worthy of my readers time. I value what I offer and always need to feel very comfortable that what I’m putting out there is quality information, tools and other useful material. It’s important to me to do some good in the world.
Hi Elena. I think it depends on why we sign up and what we hope to get. I usually avoid blogs that “try” to get me to sign up by offering me a come-on or incentive. I sign up for blogs that I either enjoy reading or because I want to stay in touch with the person writing the blog. If they insist on sending me a free “something” I usually don’t even open the email. As for my blog, I post once a week and send out an email RSS to everyone on my email list. That way if they haven’t seen it otherwise, it is just a gentle reminder. I agree that if the author posts more than once a week I usually end up unsubscribing because of too much email. Like I said, why we sign up is very individual. I don’t mind newsletter recaps (and prefer it to tons of post emails) but giving me something free never makes a difference. Just my two cents. ~Kathy
I have heard that people unsubscribe after getting their freebie. I’ve got my first email ready to send overnight. My freebie is Pinterest tips not found on my blog!
All in perfect time, I’ve been researching this myself 🙂
Let me know how you get on!
There’s a lot to think about here. I do delete newsletters most of the time without reading. But if I follow a blog, I like to get an email notice. But I’m probably an anomaly.
I like to follow by bloglovin. It is great to sit down at the end of the day and have them all in one place. Some people do write amazing newsletters and I do enjoy getting those.
This is great stuff, Elena. For the people who blog on wordpress dot com, we cannot get email addresses from WP. But we can control the frequency of emails that come to our reader in wordpress. WP auto sends emails to any subscriber which can be adjusted. I get a lot of wordpress readers who must subscribe to my email and read it the next day, as evidenced by my stats. I am also one of those readers who relies on emails to read them the next day. I can’t keep up with the WP reader, and I subscribe to a lot of blogs that send me emails. And, incidentally, I saw this post due to Twitter. There are quite a few for which I have turned off the WP email feature. I think it is really a preference. If I was blogging on WP dot org, I would use mail chimp to send emails. I respect the bloggers that use this technique. For now I am fine with what I have.
It is a really great platform for free. I do like the reader but I should eliminate some so I can see the ones that are really important to me.
Great tips Elena. I’m late to the game here too.
We are at the back of the line! lol
I have to disagree about the RSS feed. There are a lot of people not on social media who want to keep up with what you’re writing. I get several reply emails every time a new post goes out to my subscribers. It might have something to do with my topics, not everyone wants to comment publicly about taboo subjects.
My other tip would be to offer an incentive – a free report or mini course to entice people to part with their email address.
Make sure you keep an eye on your open rate if you are investing a lot of time in a newsletter. If it isn’t getting decent interaction I would suggest your efforts might be better spent elsewhere.
I agree that you do have topic and subject matter that people would prefer to communicate privately. Great observation.
You have a knack for making minutia interesting.
“Remember that as a content blogger, you may not have a product or service to sell right now but grow your email list and if you ever decide to launch something, you will have an engaged, targeted market waiting.”
I agree with this. If I were a relatively new blogger I would be so psyched and do it. But I ruined my eyes blogging 12 or more hours a day—and if I had the will I would continue to.
All I care about are my books—the ones blogging then facebook and blogging got in the way of
So I’m going to focus on one thing and one thing only. because I really would like to have a book published before dementia or old age finds me!
It is always good to focus on one thing. I wish you the best of luck in your quest!
Was it something I said today that sparked this post? Am I one of those out to lunch? Hmm..
It has actually been spinning in my head for awhile. I get asked that question a lot. No, you aren’t out to lunch but I accept if you are offering. I’m an easy date. You have so much to offer Cathy! People need to know that and follow you in hordes!
Your post worked – I’m signed up and looking forward to the first newsletter!
It’s coming soon!