Why you should be building an e-mail list.

why you should build an e-mail list

I read a lot of blogs about blogging. Most of these are marketing blogs that are focused around creating a product or offering a service, then selling it online with the use of blogs. They always swear by building an e-mail list and sending out newsletters. For years, I ignored that advice thinking it wasn’t really relevant to blogs like mine. Blogs that weren’t trying to sell things and act as a business.

After all, there are loads of ways for people to keep up with my blog. Bloglovin’, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, right?

why you should build an e-mail list

Wait, what?

Most people know that Bloglovin’ is a pile of wank. My click through rate from Bloglovin is around 40 views a day from almost 3000 followers. Facebook’s algorithm is rubbish for getting your posts seen by people who like your page, unless you pay. And after the #RIPTwitter meltdown on Twitter a few weeks ago, it’s being suggested that Twitter will be following suit. Meaning rather than your time line displaying Tweets in chronological order, it will pick what to show you based on what it thinks you want to see.

The point is, while you’re busy building your followers and audience across social media and other platforms, you never know when these networks might change their algorithm or even disappear all together. What if another social media takes us by storm and you’re left to build your following from scratch. If this now dead platform is the main platform you use to promote your blog posts (like Twitter is mine) and get traffic, you’re basically doooooooomed.

But your email list is different, because once you have someone on your list, then you can send them e-mails and newsletters as you wish. There’s no risk of it disappearing one day. The worst thing that can happen is someone unsubscribes as they no longer want to get newsletters from you.

I’ve slowly started to realise this, and while I’ve had the option for people to sign up to my list for a year or so now, I’ve never really promoted it or sent out newsletters until the last few weeks and I’ve seen a massive growth in my list since I’ve been promoting it a bit more.

People who are on your e-mail list are probably your most important readers. For them to commit to giving you their e-mail list generally means they want to read more of your blog posts. You’ll probably find it harder to grow your e-mail list than, say, grow a Twitter following, but the people on your e-mail list are more likely to come back and will be more loyal to you.

But there are a few things you can do to build your e-mail list faster:

  • Call to action. At the end of each post, simply ask people to sign up to your news letter.
  • Content upgrade. At the end of a post, offer to send more information around the same topic, or a worksheet or PDF/eBook of the post in exchange for signing up to your news letter.
  • Offer a product. Offer to send out something to them in exchange for their e-mail address, like a short ebook.
  • Create a lead page. This is a stand alone page that you can direct your readers to which tells them why they should sign up to your newsletter.

You could always just put the link in your side bar, but that alone is probably going to get over looked (a mistake I made for a long time). Or you could add a popup to your site, but I know for many this is a massive turn off and popups are usually the number one reason I leave a blog. That, and music or video that autoplays!

I’ve only really started seeing an increase in subscribers when I started putting the call to action at the bottom of my blog post and at the top of the Improve Your Blog series.

When the series ends, I may have to rethink my plan as I think most of my subscribers come from that!

How often should you send out a news letter?

I currently send out 1 news letter a week when my #ImproveYourBlog course is out. As that finishes soon, I’ll be sending out one news letter a month for now just to highlight the posts I like the most for the past 4 weeks.

How often you send out news letters is up to you, weekly seems to be a popular choice. I personally think that daily is too much.

What should you include?

One mistake you don’t want to make though, is just sending your full blog post. You almost want your e-mail list to feel a bit exclusive, maybe sharing a few bits about your life, or tips/hacks that people within your niche will be interested in as an added extra. I’m bad at doing that though, but I plan on doing this after the #ImproveYourBlog series is over and I go to monthly news letters.

why you should build an e-mail list

My current news letters update people on the latest edition of #ImproveYourBlog and also link to 3 of my favourite posts over the past week.

I’m still deciding what I’ll do next, I guess you’ll have to subscribe to find out 😉

How do you feel about newsletters? Do you send them out or read any?

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16 Comments

  1. February 20, 2016 / 7:25 am

    I never really considered a news letter to be important but everything you say and the reasons why makes perfect sense. Maybe time to reconsider lucy x
    Lucy recently posted…My Little Box January and FebruaryMy Profile

  2. February 20, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    I added it to my blog awhile ago but I never really paid attention to it. You made a good point about the social media, what if something goes wrong… Something that I should consider focusing on! x
    Ela recently posted…The Body Shop Moringa Body Butter – Dry Skin HeroMy Profile

  3. February 20, 2016 / 5:27 pm

    I didn’t realize that they might be changing the Twitter algorithm, but I agree that we can’t rely just on one network to bring traffic. I am hopeful that one day there will be a great new social network that acts like a content aggregator, listing a few lines of our post and bringing in lots of readers – you never know!

  4. February 20, 2016 / 7:36 pm

    I only very recently started up a newsletter for my blog. So recent, in fact, that the first newsletter will go out at the start of March! But I’d never thought of putting a call to action at the bottom of blog posts, I’ll definitely give that a go. Thank you! 🙂 xo
    Aimee recently posted…An interview with…Bronagh!My Profile

  5. February 20, 2016 / 10:34 pm

    Like you, I’ve sort of ignored this. I follow alot of blogging tips blogs, as well as alot of newsletters that always mention how important it is to create an e-mail list, but then I always end up thinking: What do I have to offer that others haven’t already? Which again, is why I overlooked this step. But I see why you think this is important, and it’s helping me realize that myself.

    It’s a bit scary to think your source of viewership (is this a word?) is coming from a platform that might not longer help you promote these types of things.

    Gah! Thank you so much love.

    Ella x
    Ella Pinto recently posted…Kiko Cosmetics // Crystal Sheer and Luscious Cream Lipsticks ReviewMy Profile

  6. February 22, 2016 / 12:25 am

    I see your point. I thought they were a bit poncy but what you said makes complete sense!x
    Kezzie recently posted…5 brooches and friends #20My Profile

  7. February 22, 2016 / 6:01 pm

    I never thought of this, what happens with twitter and facebook and bloglovin. I should make an email list, but it’s another thing to add to my already very busy schedule. I will have to think about it.
    Anca recently posted…Homemade popcornMy Profile

  8. February 23, 2016 / 9:32 am

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Dunno how to get started though! It seems like a daunting task but you seem to be putting across a positive message so I may have to start leaning towards it more. Do you have any other posts about starting a newsletter, how to run one etc? Would be interest!

    Rai | utterardour.blogspot.com

  9. February 23, 2016 / 12:48 pm

    I read all those content marketing advice sites too but like you, I’ve always dismissed the ‘build an e-mail list’ as not relevant for me because I’m not selling a product and also because it’s not the way I would prefer to keep up with someone’s blog. But you make a good point that’s made me reconsider my position a bit. I’m just starting out, so it would make more sense to start building it now rather than decide to do it further down the line.
    Katy recently posted…Butterflies in the Glasshouse at RHS WisleyMy Profile

  10. February 25, 2016 / 4:47 pm

    I’ve never really thought about creating a newsletter, but it may be something I look into soon! I like the idea of doing a monthly round-up.
    Katie recently posted…28 Thoughts Whilst Trail RunningMy Profile

  11. March 25, 2016 / 12:22 am

    I’ve recently decided to start an email list, but am struggling with promoting it. I don’t seem to have/be able to find a link to sign up that I can use on my Twitter or Facebook page. If I continue to struggle with finding this I think I’ll create a page or post explaining what people can expect from my newsletter & then promote the link to that. At the moment I’m thinking of doing weekly newsletters, though my life is quite boring & I want to include interesting extras, so I might make the newsletter once a month to start with & then increase the frequency over time. Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

  12. April 28, 2016 / 10:04 am

    I know what you mean, every marketing blog is trumpeting the “build your list!” stuff! I’ve had one on my fiction blog for a couple of years now, but I never really thought about doing one for my make up blog…I guess I wonder who’d be interested! But I’ll definitely consider it 🙂

  13. April 29, 2016 / 12:59 am

    I’m not organised enough for a proper newsletter! Does anyone still use RSS? That and Atom used to be the big things that we would be promoting, back in the day (I feel old). It used to be the main way I kept up with other blogs. Now I’m kind of spoilt for choice :-/

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