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A nice and simple CTA to encourage promotion; surprisingly crisp for the amount of use it gets. In fact, it’s one of the most common ways to end a post on the internet. That’s exactly the reason why it only felt right to include it as the opening line for an article about blog promotion.
In one of our recent blog posts, we explained why you need to create a blog ASAP. However, the blog only comes in handy if you manage to grow it successfully. Which, to be entirely honest with you, isn’t a course for the faint-hearted. Blog promotion is quite a laborious process that requires a lot of effort, time, attention and resources (the main ones being dedication and creativity).
All this tough work pays off well, though. On top of driving traffic to your website, promoting your blog can bring you the following benefits:
- It helps to establish your business as an industry leader.
- It helps to convert visitors into leads.
- It helps you build a stronger relationship with your target audience.
The absolute best thing about blog promotion is that if you manage to promote your blog successfully and let it grow, the blog will continue paying back even once you’re done with active promotion. All you need to do is start the process.
The more unique and unconventional a blog promotion strategy is, the higher the odds of it wowing your target audience. So, don’t be shy, go nuts with your marketing solutions. As long as it resonates, it’s worth a shot.
“There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
— Phineas T. Barnum
However, if you need a couple of ideas to set you off, you can start by giving a try to one of the most popular blog promotion strategies: email marketing, social media marketing, relationship marketing, content leveraging and paid marketing. All of these aren’t mutually exclusive and work fine in combination, but we recommend you take it easy at first and try to master each of them separately before you can start mixing and matching different methods and techniques.
In a series of articles, we’re going to cover all the key blog promotion strategies and how to make them more effective with the use of technology, NetHunt CRM in particular.
The first on the menu is...
Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that involves communicating with the target audience through the use of email: you craft a message you want to spread and send it off to a pre-set list of recipients. In the context of blog promotion, the centre of your email marketing campaign should, undeniably, become your blog and the entirety of various articles posted on it.
Blogging and email marketing go together like peanut butter and jam; besties of the marketing world. The reason for their endearing connection is simple, there is a strong correlation between the success of both.
A well-developed email marketing campaign can boost traffic to your blog, while the blog itself can become an invaluable source of content for the aforementioned campaigns.
It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement; it’s in your best interest to leverage it.
The trick is to learn how to do it effectively. With that, we got you covered! Here’s a step-by-step guide to promoting your blog by the means of email marketing.
🔥 NetHunt Pro Tip: No matter what strategy you end up using to promote your blog, you need to identify a set of goals you want to achieve with that before you start any other preparations. SMART goals will help you to structure your blog promotion efforts and give you a better sense of direction.
Step 1: Build a Mailing List
No matter how much effort you put into making your blog promotion emails truly breathtaking, it’s not going to make any difference if you don’t have anyone to send them to.
Therefore, the first and foremost step of using email marketing to promote your blog is to find the people whom you’d be sending your email campaigns to. Before you can move any further, you need to develop a robust mailing list of subscribers who’d be interested in hearing about your blog’s updates.
There are different ways in which you can obtain a mailing list. In theory, you can either buy one, rent it, or build one yourself. In reality, however, I’d only recommend settling down on growing a mailing list of your own. While the other two options do sound extremely tempting (which one of us doesn’t like cutting corners here and there), they usually end up being significantly less effective than the other one.
Whenever you buy a list or rent it, you play the game of Russian Roulette. You can never be sure how the contacts on the list were collected, whether the list is GDPR-compliant and if the subscribers would even be interested in your particular blog at all.
It’s much better to take the matter in your own hands and build a mailing list from scratch. Without a doubt, this will take more time and effort than simply purchasing one off of the internet would. But at least that way you can be sure that you
- didn’t break the law;
- acquired subscribers that will actually want to open your emails.
A win-win situation!
Besides, we’ve written a whole guide on how to build your mailing list from scratch using web forms and other digital elements! You can check it out here to get some of the best mail list building ideas!
Step 2: Segment Your Blog Readers
We’ve already covered the peculiarities of audience segmentation in one of our posts, but since it’s such an important concept, it’s difficult to overestimate its role in the success of a promotional email marketing campaign. Here’s why contact segmentation is crucial for efficient blog promotion:
- Segmented campaigns result in 23% higher open rates, with 49% higher CTR. [Mailchimp] When each opened email counts, you want to ensure that your blog promotion is seen by as many people as possible.
- It allows you to tailor your messages for the best chance of engagement, conversion, and a stronger audience-brand relationship being formed. You want to accurately identify the preferences of your mailing list subscribers so that you could send them exactly the blog content they want to see. Subsequently, the chances of them checking the blog to see if there’s more of the content that interests them multiply.
- It creates a sense of familiarity for subscribers. If they believe that you know who they are and you care enough to tailor the content you send to them, they’ll be more likely to return the favour and help you with promoting your blog by sharing your emails further and spreading awareness.
There are several characteristics by which you can segment your email subscribers:
- By demographics
- By engagement
- By psychographics
- Or by the combination of several factors
The more complex your mailing list subscriber segmentation is, the more accurate your email campaigns will be. As a result, the more relevant your blog will be in the eyes of the subscribers you target.
Of course, you can segment the list manually, but in the day of technology, it’s really a Sisyphean task. You can streamline the process by using the dedicated features in your favourite CRM system, NetHunt:
- To only target a specific group of people, you want to create a CRM system view that would comprise all of them. To do that, you should go to the Contacts tab and create a new View. You then click the Filter button and choose all the parameters that define your segment. One of the best features of NetHunt is that it doesn’t limit you to a set range of labels you can create for your contacts, which means you can segment them by any criteria imaginable.
- You can rely on the system to do the job for you (NetHunt automatically updates the View when new contacts enter the system), or you can add and remove people from the view manually. Once you’re happy with the segmented list you have, you can Name the new View and save it.
- As soon as you have a segment saved, you can start targeting them with personalised bulk emails.
Step 3: Design a Powerful Email
You have your segments ready and know exactly what they want… Now what?!
It’s time to match their needs and your offers in one nice piece of digital content. The process of email creation can be broken down into several steps:
- Choose the appropriate tools to build your email template. You need to make sure that your emails are visually appealing, interesting and engaging. Unfortunately, the built-in email editors most email services provide can no longer help you create a competitive email copy. To maintain your cutting edge positions, you need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry. It’s possible to achieve if you have a reliable piece of technology to have your back. We’ve shared a list of the best HTML email template builders in 2021 so make sure to check those out!
- Build the email template! It’s one of the most subjective parts of blog promotion through email marketing as every marketer tailors the final template to their own preferences. Nonetheless, there are some universally accepted rules of what makes a good email marketing template. Check them out here!
- Make sure it’s optimised for different devices.
- Spice your blog promotional email with a dash of the latest email marketing trends. For example, indulge in email marketing gamification!
- Personalise your email. Don’t let all that list segmentation go to waste. On top of targeting the right group with the right content, you can also add some other personalisation details such as call the recipient by their name or include a personalised message.
- Write an appealing text to promote your blog and the posts within it!
Some people say it’s all about the visuals. We do agree that colours are an important part of email marketing, but at the same time, it’s always the text that sells. Especially if the product you’re trying to sell is a blog!
Here are some tips for writing a successful blog promotional email copy.
People love the thrill of an unsolved mystery, so offer them one in your blog promo emails. Try to paraphrase the titles of your blog posts to make them sound more suspenseful, unusual and overall sexy.
Example. You’re a successful blogger who used email marketing to promote your blog instead of opting for other, more expensive strategies. You want to share an article about your journey and attract even more readers to your blog. Now, there are two ways in which you can do that: one of them is rational (boring) and the other one is creative and slightly crazy.
‘How Not Spending $12k Dollars On Blog Promotion Helped Me Grow My Blog’
‘Email Marketing for Blog Promotion’
Both are relevant to the topic. However, the first one makes you slightly sceptical about the possibility of the title being true, so you are encouraged to read the article and see for yourself. The second one, on the other hand, despite being accurate and straight to the point, will most likely leave people indifferent.
If there’s one thing that stimulates people to follow the instructions more than their own curiosity, it’s the sense of urgency. Therefore, if you want to get your email recipients to go to your blog page and read the article you’re promoting, make sure you urge them to do that. It’s now or never!
Example. Yet again, you have two options, both of which are relevant to the topic.
‘The Blog Promotion Tricks Your Competitors Are Already Using’
‘Email Marketing for Blog Promotion’
The latter one is merely descriptive and quite non-actionable, while the former urges you to drop everything you’re doing and follow the link to the blog to see how you can stop your competitors from winning.
Selection of options.
Sometimes, you want to showcase your blog in all its glory. To do that, you should include several blog posts at once, either in the form of a cohesive story highlighted from different perspectives or as a roundup of your best blog content.
A great example of how it can be done is the weekly newsletter by InVision. Not only do they send out a digest of the coolest blog posts of the week, but they also ensure the digest includes a variety of blog posts on different topics so that everyone could find something for themselves.
InVision's newsletter is, without a doubt, a great mix of content, but it also has a nice balance between images and text, making it really easy to read and mobile-friendly. On top of that, InVision also successfully gamifies their blog promotion emails with surveys and questionnaires.
Step 4: Send Off the Campaign
Once you’re done crafting your email, have previewed it and made sure it looks exactly the way you want it to look, and are ready to move onto the next step, it’s time to send off the campaign.
Now, there are several ways in which you can do that. As an email marketer, you can decide to either promote your blog with separate mass email marketing campaigns or introduce your mailing list subscribers to email marketing automation aka drip campaigns. While both concepts share the same ultimate goal - to popularise your articles among the readers and grow your blog, the approach they take differs.
Separate mass campaigns are controlled entirely by you. They don’t correlate with the blog visitors’ actions in any way, and depend entirely on your emailing schedule. Some of the most popular approaches include:
- After each new blog is published – not recommended if you post more than a couple of times a week, in order to avoid email overload.
- Weekly – for example, every Wednesday at 10 am EST. This option is great if you publish more than once a week.
- Monthly/bi-monthly – this would be a good option for content programs that publish one or fewer blogs each week.
Another type of email marketing is drip campaigns sent automatically and triggered by your contact's activity or inactivity. Some of the triggers for your blog promotion drips campaigns can include:
- A reader joining your mailing list - sending out a welcoming email with your best blog posts
- A reader hasn’t opened your emails in over a month - a monthly newsletter with the best blog content
- For reader re-engagement - an email with exclusive add-on blog materials.
Step 5: Analyse the Results and Adjust for the Best Results
Your blog promotion journey doesn’t end with clicking the ‘Send’ button. Once your campaign is out, you need to continuously monitor its performance and adjust it for the best results.
Some of the metrics to look out for are:
- Open Rate - the indicator of how many of your emails get opened by their recipients. Depending on the industry, average email open rates vary from 15.22% to 28.46%.
- Click Rate - the percentage of subscribers that clicked on the link in the body of the email. A healthy click rate is above 15%.
- Response Rate - the indicator of how actionable your Call-To-Action (CTA) really is, and whether your emails succeed at prodding your leads towards the next step of the drip sequence.
- Bounce Rate - the percentage of the emails that don’t reach its recipients. Needs to be as low as possible, ideally closer to 0%, but realistically no more than 5%.
- Unsubscribe Rate - the percentage of people who opted out from your mailing list after receiving the email campaign.
There are a lot of metrics to analyse. That’s why you need to automate the process to ensure speed and accuracy of the analytics. Fortunately, NetHunt has an email tracking feature that allows you to access data about your email campaign’s performance.
We played a trump card covering email marketing first in the blog promotion series. It’s, indeed, a tough act to follow. However, believe it or not, there are strategies even hotter waiting ahead.
Tune in to learn more about blog promotion. With all due respect, Like, Comment, Share and Subscribe.