12 Tips: How to Use Email to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

12 Tips: How to Use Email to Drive Traffic to Your Blog image Screen Shot 2013 11 05 at 9.13.57 AMHow to Use Email to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

You’ve written an amazing blog post. You’ve published it on your awesome blog. Why is nobody reading it?

Do you promote your articles with email?

Email marketing is still one of the most effective methods of directly communicating with your readership (and customers). Pump up your great email list with social contests, RSS feeds and opt-in pop ups. Then generate awesome emails to drive tons of traffic to your blog posts.

In this article, I give you 12 actionable tips you can start using today to drive traffic to your blog.

Tweetable takeaways

  • Win email leads from social marketing campaigns
  • Do you like ‘em or loathe ‘em? Newsletter opt-in pop-ups work
  • A/B test your email subject lines to get greater CTR
  • Personalize your emails, and write like your readers are your friends…
  • Do you schedule your blog articles to develop trust with your RSS readers?

Get an enviable email list

To drive more traffic to your blog through email, you need to get a great email list. According to emarketer, however, lead generation remains the number one challenge for marketers.

Here are 5 sure-fire tips to grow your email list, to keep in touch with customers, and keep them clicking through to your site.

1. Win email leads from social marketing campaigns

You probably already host social campaigns like contests and sweepstakes. Most socially savvy businesses do.

Social contests not only spread the reach of your brand, but they’re also a very cool way to collect emails. Host a sweepstakes on your Facebook, Twitter, or even your blog. Ask for an email as a simple way to enter.

You can even generate more motivation to spread the word about your offer by running a referral campaign - giving people deals for getting their friends to give you their emails too!

Example:

Here’s an example of what a referral campaign looks like on Facebook. You can easily use a third party app (ok, like Wishpond) to set up email-gated contests and expand your lead generations.

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Tips for email leads from social campaigns:

  • Email-gate your contest and sweepstakes on Facebook, Twitter, and even your blog
  • Use social sites to offer exclusive deals to newsletter subscribers
  • Offer deals to customers who refer friends to sign up – use a referral app, and spread the reach of your targeted email lists

2. More social email generating tips

There’s many more cool and effective ways to get emails through your social platforms, too. You can include a link to your blog in all your social media profiles. You can post email-gated content like webinars, ebooks, and coupons. You can make a Facebook tab for email signups, and incentivise it with exclusive offers.

Check out more tips to get more emails through social:

Example:

Chili’s Grill and Bar uses email gated content of their Facebook page. They make it enticing for Fans to receive regular emails by joining the club to get exclusive offers.

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Tips for email-gating on your social sites:

  • Post email gated content on your social sites like webinars and ebooks
  • Entice email signups by giving making it easy on Facebook and Twitter – and give exclusive offers in exchange
  • Include links to your blog in your about or bio sections of your social sites

3. Design RSS feeds for your blog

Make it easy to keep in touch for people who’ve visited your site, and want more from you. Design and set up a cool RSS subscription button for your blog site. (Most platforms, like WordPress, make this fairly simple to do – or get your tech people to do it for you!)

Make it with contrasting colours, and keep it highly visible near the top of your page.

Example:

Here’s our simple and clean RSS subscription at the Wishpond blog.

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Tips for RSS Feed sign ups:

  • Create an easy to see RSS feed on your blog by using contrasting colours and keep it at the top of your blog page
  • Motivate action by explaining what people are signing up for, and why they should
  • Keep the wording in your RSS signup form simple and friendly

4. Add opt-in pop-ups

Yes, newsletter pop-ups can be annoying. But they can work to increase your email subscribers. In fact they work so well, that most blog sites – from big business sites to single blogger – use them.

Implement your pop-up effectively. Give reasons for why your site visitors need your newsletters, and how your stuff will benefit their life or make their business more profitable. Use words like “free” or “exclusive content” and you’ll generate more sign up. Keep your tone friendly. It makes your invasion a welcome one.

Check out Kristi Hines and Unbounce for more views on newsletter pop-ups.

Example:

NewsCred uses pop-up email sign ups. They use a personal touch with “hi”, and explain what you’ll get by giving your email.

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Tips for email popups:

  • Email popups can be annoying, but they work – and are commonly used by both big and small business.
  • Time your popups so only people who are interested in your site for a longer time get the offer.
  • Make your popups friendly, and informative to increase your signup results.

5. Use your email to get email

You use your email to get in touch with lots of people. Use your email signature to get lots of people clicking through to your blog.

Make a friendly call to action in your email signature, inviting contacts to visit your blog. Give a brief benefit to motivate action – such as what your blog’s about. Include an easy to click link.

Example:

Here’s my email signature. I’ve included a brief description of the Wishpond blog, and a link to our blog page.

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Tips for using your email signature:

  • Include a link to your blog in your email signature, and encourage your co-workers to so too
  • Give a beneficial reason for people to click to your blog
  • Use the signature in all your emails, to generate more clicks

Give emails

Ok, now that you’ve got a robust email list – people will be clicking through to your blog in droves, right? Not quite.

Are you saturated with inbox info? So are your customers…

To get your emails opened, read and clicked through you need to stand out, connect with your readers, and beat out your content competitors.

Here’s seven tips you need to implement to get your message heard.

6. Hook ‘em with the subject line

Your subject line is the make or break for people to even read your message.

Spend time crafting your line. Keep it short, to the point, and include a quick Call to Action (CTA). Use marketing tips like asking a question, creating a sense of urgency, creating a fearful state of disbelief, or conveying a great benefit your email will provide.

A/B test your subjects, and use the one getting the most opens, reads and click-throughs with your potential readership.

For more tips, check out: Sending an Email? Here are 6 Tips for Writing Effective Subject Lines for your Email Campaigns

Example:

Here’s a great email header I got recently from Copyblogger. The subject line is “So, this is goodbye…”. Wow, when I read this I freaked, thinking that’s the end of Copyblogger! How could I not open the email to read it? (For all you Copyblogger fans, don’t panic. The email was about closing a previous list to renew their email list, and a new course they’re offering. )

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Tips for creating a great subject line:

  • Create a sense of urgency to entice readers to open your email
  • Keep it short and to the point
  • Use marketing tactics like including “…” to create intrigue and motivate further interaction

7. Get real with your body

To get a click through to your blog or blog post, make your email content real. Stock, corporate, impersonal emails do not get results these days. Remember, you’re competing with tons of other emails in that inbox.

Write emails as if you are sending your message to friends. Use the words “you” and “me” in your content. Strike a tone of dialogue that resonates with your demographics. Keep it professional, yet conversational.

Deepen your relationship with your email subscribers by being real, and invite them to join you further – on your blog.

Example:

Here’s a great email I recently got from Copyblogger. They start their email with a question, and ask for your opinion. How could you not love that? Additionally, the email is from Sonia herself at Copyblogger.

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Tips for keeping your emails friendly:

  • Think about your readers to connect when you send emails
  • Treat your customer online like you would your customer offline, by speaking to them like a friend.
  • Use the words “you” and “me” to deepen your reader relationship

8. Personalize those notes

In a similar way of keeping your emails real, keep your emails personalized. Include people’s names and other friendly personal details you know about your email subscribers. (Ok, don’t go all stalker like and include too much information. But, you know what I mean.)

If your blog article is related to their business, mention their business name, and how the post will benefit them.

Click through rates of personalized emails increase by 14%, according to the Aberdeen Group.

Example:

Here’s an example of a personalized contest email. Good contest apps can let you send out personalized emails with your own email lists, your lists on MailChimp, or your lists from previous contest entrants.

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Tips for personalizing your emails:

  • Personalized emails improve click through rates by 14%.
  • Use a CRM like MailChimp or Constant Contact to personalize emails with names (you can even do this through a simple excel spreadsheet)
  • When you’re hosting a contest on your blog, use Wishpond’s Social Marketing Suite to easily send personalized emails with a direct link (and image of your campaign)

9. Segment your emails

Segment your robust email list into targeted groups based on your business needs.

Strategically send out blog articles and newsletters to those who would most read it. You can even craft different emails and newsletters linking to the same blog article.

For example, if you’re sending emails to your business suppliers, you’ll likely want to make them different than emails you are sending to your active customers.

Example:

MailChimp enables you to segment your emails based on location, engagement and interests.

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Tips for segmenting your email:

  • Use a CRM like MailChimp or Constant Contact to segment your email lists
  • Use other tools, like Wishpond Social Contact Database to segment email lists by contest participation, Facebook likes, and geographic location
  • Send different emails targeting your different email lists

10. Create clear Call to Actions

Make it clear what your ask is in your emails. When you want people to click through to your blog article – ask them. Doing so increases your response rate results.

Make it easy to act on your ask too. Ensure your blog post link is easy to click, and easy to see. You can even make coloured CTA buttons embedded into your email. There are many newsletter formatting sites (such as Stamplia, Fusion, and MailChimp) that make CTA buttons easy to create. Use them.

Example:

Flowdock sends out monthly newsletters, with clear CTA buttons. This both drives traffic to their blog, and increases business renewals.

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Tips for clear Call to Actions:

  • Make your call to actions clear, single and prominent – this will result in a higher response rate
  • Design clickable, colour contrasting buttons with the action you want
  • Use newsletter formatting sites like Stamplia, Fusion, MailChimp, etc. to create professional looking buttons for your CTAs.

11. Schedule to build trust

Make a consistent scheduling calendar for your blog article publications. This not only makes it easier for you to keep track of when you need more content, the real benefit is for your readership.

Send regular articles to people who’ve signed up for your RSS feeds by posting regularly. This can form a habit in your readership, develop familiarity, and deepen trust with your business as people get to know when to expect your next blog articles.

Example:

Seth Godin publishes article every day, and at the same time. His short pieces of inspiration land in my email inbox daily.

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Schedule your articles in advance:

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Tips for scheduling your blog articles:

  • Write your articles when you want, but publish them at consistent times and days of the week
  • Make a calendar to keep track of when you’re publishing which article
  • Schedule your blog articles on wordpress, or your preferred blogging platform

12. Send visual newsletters… and a tease

You like visual information, right? So do your readers. Entice them to click through to your blog with image rich newsletters. Include summaries of articles, that get your main point across – but end the summary with a teaser and a clickable “read more” link or button.

Note: You don’t want to oversaturate your readers with newsletters from you. Your customers are busy too. Monitor your open and click-through rates from your emailed newsletters to determine the best frequency and times to send out your newsletters.

Examples:

NewsCred is brilliant at sending out visually appealing teasers of their blog posts. Each newspaper like section gives an enticing teaser of the article, with a simple red link to their website.

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Mari Smith’s weekly newsletter includes links directly to Mari’s blog, as well as top articles in social media from other blogs.

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Tips for sending newsletters:

  • Include visuals in your newsletter, to make it more user-friendly and appealing
  • Give summaries of your articles, with clickable “read more” buttons to drive traffic to your site
  • Schedule your newsletters weekly, monthly or quarterly to keep in touch with your customers

Conclusion

Email marketing is a very effective method in getting your blog articles seen and clicked on. Use these tips to grow your email list, and to create powerful emails that will outperform, and get you those clicks to your blog.

What do you think? Do you use email to increase blog readership? What’s worked for you? Share your tips, and results in the comments, below.

Written by Krista Bunskoek @ Wishpond

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