Friday, February 22, 2019

9:01 AM

How To Create A Good Mobile Email Marketing Strategy

Changing Your Business to Fit the Ever-Changing Market of Mobile Email Marketing

When you're preparing your email marketing, mobile optimization should be an essential component. If you haven't factored mobile users into your overall marketing strategy, it's about time to make some changes. Don't worry – you're not going to have to axe your current marketing techniques. Your mobile marketing strategy won't replace any aspect of your current marketing plan, it will just add on a few elements and enhance your effectiveness and reach.
To start, we're going to explain why you really need to optimize your email marketing strategy for mobile users

The Stats Are Staring You In The Face: Mobile Email is Gaining Prominence

In 1964, the great Bob Dylan said, “The times, they are a-changin'.” Fifty years later, these famous words still hold true for email marketers. Until a few years ago, the standard has been to generate an email campaign that will capture the attention of prospective customers…prospective customers who opened emails on a desktop.

Mobile Opens Are On The Rise

There’s no denying it! Litmus generated a study on mobile technology and found that in the last year alone, mobile email opens have increased from 41% to 51%1  – that’s 10% in just 1 year!
That same study broke this information down by platform and reported that 47% of Outlook users open their email on a mobile device.
Now check this out…Yesmail did a study that analyzed five billion marketing emails and uncovered an interesting fact. More than twice the number of clicks within an email occur on a desktop (22.56%) compared to a mobile device (11.07%). 2
You have to wonder…is this simply because email marketers are not changin’ with the times?

Get Your Email Opened (and read) On a Mobile Device

Let’s be honest – creating an email campaign that has a 100 percent guarantee to covert customers into leads is a bit unrealistic, yet you can increase the chances of conversion by following these three simple tips.
  1. Optimize Your Subject Line
    Most mobile platforms will only display about 30-50 characters of the subject line depending on the size and orientation of the screen. Ensure the sender can quickly identify both your company and your reason for emailing them.
  2. Put your Call-To Action (or something pretty DARN compelling) Into The Opening Copy
    Many mobile apps for popular email clients will show a brief preview of the email below the subject line, giving your email about an additional 75 – 100 viewable characters. Make the most of the limited character availability with a strong, eye-catching headline. People who browse their email on their mobile device may be in a hurry, so only the best headlines will stand out to them.
  3. Integrity First
    Ensure your subject line and your introduction text hold the integrity of your company, avoiding the reader to classify it as spam alongside the Viagra email they could have sworn they never subscribed to. Consider opening the message with the name of a reputable person in your workforce, such as the lead salesperson, content marketer, or even your CEO.

The Next Step (with some great tips)

Hopefully your email now has been delivered and opened. The next task is avoiding a click on the unsubscribe button. After analyzing thousands of emails sent from Pinpointe customers, we’ve put together a list of tips that will dramatically increase the odds of capturing your recipients’ attention and urge them to take further action.
  • Include text and photos as opposed to photos only. This way, mobile users who have not enabled images for your email will still get the bulk of the message.
  • Avoid large images. If your email takes too long to load, a customer may delete it and move on. Photos should be bold and simple to take advantage of the limited viewing space available on the mobile device.
  • Use a clear call to action. Some mobile apps for popular email clients will cut off an email at a certain point. If your call to action is past this point, it could be missed altogether. Also consider making your call to action clickable, highlighting the importance of it and increasing your click though rate.
  • Optimize your clickable links. With all links, ensure that they are large enough to accurately click on with your finger. Apple suggests that you make your clickable text at least 44px.
  • Keep your email short and to the point. Mobile users want to take away as much as possible in as little amount of time. Even desktop users would prefer for you to get to your point, rather than have to read a novel.
  • Have a font size large enough to be read on mobile. People do not want to zoom in and scroll around attempting to read your email.
  • Configure your information for mobile viewing. Make sure the reader can skim through it on a mobile device. Even if your email is lengthy, ensure you are using short sentences, clear headings, and identifiable bullet points.
  • Make your customer feel special and unique. Segment your email to allow for personalization , highlighting sales funnels, demographics, and the source of your receivers’ email. This should be a consideration for both mobile and desktop users because everyone wants to feel special. 
  • Target specific customers in various geographic regions. Personalize your email for various areas and ensure that the times you send your emails are geographically unique.
  • Use an email design that is mobile friendly. There are different ways to do this. First, you have responsive designs – these are email templates that adjust their sizing to fit the screen the user is viewing it upon. Then you have mobile templates that are specifically sized for mobile devices. You can see examples of mobile-friendly email template designs in Pinpointe’s Mobile Email Template Gallery. Using either of these two mobile design options will save your reader from having to pinch and zoom to read your emails.
  • Think about using a single column layout. This is easiest to read and navigate from a mobile device. Additionally, many responsive templates will display in this layout.
  • Use Mobile-Friendly Links. If you link to a page on your website from your email, whether it is a landing page, product page, or piece of content, make sure that page is mobile friendly. The last thing you want to do is create a mobile-friendly email that directs mobile users to a non-mobile-friendly web page, which can actually reduce your click-through conversions.
  • Do not include embedded videos in your email. They highly increase load time, simultaneously increasing the likelihood that the user will leave your email before it loads.
  • Remember, humans are reading your email, and most humans navigate their smartphone with their thumbs. Place your clickable elements, particularly your call to action, in places that are ergonomic for your user, specifically avoiding the lower right corner of the screen.
  • Always preview your email before sending. This way, you can see what it will look like to both desktop and mobile users. Pinpointe offers an inbox preview tool that allows you test your email with images either enabled or disabled across multiple devices before sending. Every Pinpointe user can easily preview their email campaign in 16+ email clients, including the top mobile email clients, with 100% accuracy in less than a minute.

Do You Have a Mobile-Friendly Website

Once a customer has read through your mobile-friendly email, they will hopefully feel compelled to click through to your website. Ensuring that your website is also mobile friendly will increase the likelihood that they act on your Call-To-Action on their mobile device.
8:50 AM

7 Email Marketing List Mistakes You Might Be Making

7 Email Marketing List Mistakes You Might Be Making

With so many digital communication points now in existence and pressure to be present on a new social media platform every week, it’s easy to set creativity to the side when it comes to email marketing. Best practices are often the first casualty when your to-do list takes on a life of its own and communication channels multiply overnight. The things that you’d like to do are put off and the quickest way to do things becomes king. Mistakes creep in as time runs out. 
If you recognize this scenario, help is at hand. We’ve outlined the seven key mistakes many email marketers make with their email lists and have set out how to turn things around to maximize audience engagement.

#1 Weak Opt-In Incentive

There’s no getting away from the fact that email lists have a high rate of attrition. This isn’t necessarily due to something you’re doing wrong. From time to time we all change our email addresses, rendering previous sign-ups obsolete. For those who have oversubscribed and drown in Monday morning email blasts, a total clear out is often the only way to go. This means that continually building your email marketing database is key, for both growth and simple replenishment purposes.
This is where mistake number one creep in when you're talking about email marketing list mistakes. As you surf the web, you’ll see email subscriber opt-ins become as basic as a “Sign Up” button. With the infinite call to actions and sign up requests your audience will encounter in every web journey, you need to remember to create a genuine reason for users to opt-in to your email list. 
Depending on your industry and the purpose of maintaining email contact with your audience, the incentive will differ greatly and range from offers such as access to exclusive subscriber only content to retail freebies and discount codes, etc. The list of possibilities is endless. You need to offer something with valuable for your intended audience if you expect them to complete the action and hand over their email address.

#2 Fear Of Mailing Your List Regularly

The negative stigmas attached to email marketing, such as the threat of being seen to send junk mail or spam, often lead to marketers fearing their own email efforts. There is a nagging doubt that sending too many emails will cause users to unsubscribe because you have added to their pile of junk messages. This is where mistake two rears its ugly head – the fear of contacting your email list regularly.
There is, of course, a risk of ending up on the wrong side of the spam filter with each message you send, but you can lessen this doubt by considering two major variables. 
First, have you pushed too hard when building your email list and, therefore, ended up with a high percentage of subscribers on your list who do not have a genuine interest in your brand/product/service/content? If you are guilty of this then yes, regular emails will likely be off-putting but for the simple reason that these subscribers just aren’t interested enough in your content in the first place. Ask yourself, if they were to unsubscribe, have you truly lost out? 
The other variable is the quality of your email content. If you don’t want to add to your subscriber's junk piles, don’t send them junk. Stay true to the reasons you’ve acquired these users in the first place and have a good handle on the truth about deliverability. Emailing a minimum of tonce per week is recommended if you are able to provide worthwhile content that is not a waste of your audience’s time. If you have a genuine subscriber list, and your email content is consistently true to its purpose, then you need not fear ramping up your email regularity.

#3 You’re Not Personalizing Your ‘Welcome’ Email List Process

Another frightfully common mistake. Mistake number three is commonly made by a new businesses or upcoming bloggers and content publishers who have made their way into email list ownership. The issue here is that you haven’t created a custom welcome email or email confirmation process which is synonymous with the rest of your content. You’ve likely just not customized beyond the default message offered by your email service provider. 
The welcome process is as important as the content you intend to follow with. This is part of the user’s experience. You have successfully convinced them to opt into your mailing list, don’t make a bad first impression. The users opt-in to your mail list isn’t complete until they confirm their address. Make sure the welcome and confirmation emails you send are on brand and immediately recognizable. If you're looking for some good examples, see our blog post 12 Best Practices for B2B Welcome Emails.
Don’t forget, with the sheer volume of emails received on a daily basis, you can’t afford to look generic or ambiguous. 

#4 Forgetting to Actively Promote Your List

So, you have an established email database, and you’ve been emailing your list for some time. You’re a pro; you have a schedule and a template. It’s all under control. That’s great but think back to when your email list first launched. Most marketers typically put a significant amount of effort into the promotion of their email list when it first goes live. Perhaps you talked about it in your web content and blog posts and promoted it via social media. The issue is that most don’t keep up the effort. That’s mistake number four. 
If your email list is a healthy size and performs ok, you’ve likely fallen into thinking that it can take care of itself. If you were to look closer, what you would actually see is that the growth of the list has slowed significantly since you stopped actively promoting it. The acceleration of growth you enjoyed early on has faded, but this isn’t as most would convince themselves, simply down to scale. It’s because the effort you put into the list’s promotion is now a fraction of what was put in previously. 
Industry averages would suggest 20% or more of your email list will drop off annually, meaning you want to know the best practices for email list hygiene. You must be consistent and proactive in your promotional activity if you want to see a more consistent level of growth. Put simply, upir list is not going to sell itself. 

#5 Assuming Your List Remembers You

Another very common mistake made by big brands and individual content producers alike is assuming your list remembers you and remembers how they came to receive emails from you direct to their sacred inbox. Online users are far more likely to consider unsubscribing or even reporting you as junk/spam if they can’t match up what they receive in their inbox to an action they’ve completed or remember how they came to receive your emails. 
Fortunately, this is an easy mistake to rectify and takes nothing more than a few very simple actions. Keep your email marketing identical in aesthetics and tone so they match your website and brand as a whole. Your emails may not be created by those also responsible for your website design. The same goes for your content. If your web content and email content are created by different people within your organization or even different agencies in some cases, make sure tthe branding is consistent. Keeping everything tight ensures your list can easily recognize you. The consistency of branding and message means subscibers receive content that looks as if it has come directly from the site they opted in to. It is then far less likely to be badly received and reinforces your identity – making the prospect of being forgotten a distant one.
You can also spell out why the user is receiving the email from you with a short and simple header or footer note. “You are receiving this email from us because you signed up to our newsletter via our website.” It may sound simple, but it relieves any potential ambiguity on the part of the user wondering if their email was acquired in a way they consider fair and under their own terms.

#6 Your Emails Are Too Complex or Too Wordy

Mistake number six is directly related to the points made above regarding the importance of consistent branding. Some marketers take this too far and produce what is essentially a duplicate of the website structure within their email template. This makes the email message too complex, too wordy, and also very difficult to navigate.
Limit yourself to a minimal number of sections with clear headings or use a single concise message to form the bulk of your email content. Keep the message and content along with the aesthetics in line with your website’s theme and tone but without the complexity your main site may have. For example, you may be tempted to replicate your website navigation structure in your email to drive traffic back to the site. This is counterintuitive with too many links distracting from the message of the email. This complex architecture also looks far too much like generic site promotion and less like you’re bringing the user something worthwhile to their inbox. 
The same goes for email content length. By all means create long-form content on your site and promote this via your email communications, but don’t fall into the trap of trying to include too much of this in the email communication itself. The size of the email will dictate whether the message is opened and read or deleted. Not every piece of content will be appropriate for everyone on your list. Show a strong snippet and trust that those with a genuine interest will click though to the long form piece.
Remember that good content made impossible to digest is as bad as producing irrelevant content. If your audience doesn't feel like they are getting anything worthwhile from your email communications, then why would they continue to subscribe with you? Keep things simple to maintain a productive relationship.

#7 in Email Marketing List Mistakes: Treating Multiple Lists as One Generic Database

For those brands and businesses with multiple opt-in points, user lists may be built from a number of sources including various web properties, different parts of the organization and via different promotions, channels or resources. It’s all too easy to lump all of these lists together and treat them as one sales and marketing resource. Bad idea!
The acquisition point of a new contact will likely tell you something about the contact and what it is about your organization that resonates with them. Use this information to your advantage and try to personalize communications to segments of contacts closely linked or similar in nature to get the best possible rate of engagement. 
Taking this one step further, those organizations with a CRM system set up against their email databases likely have a wealth of demographic data on their contacts which can easily be applied to break the greater list into demographic segments or perhaps even geographical segments, or of course, both! Using this data puts you in the advantageous position of being able to produce content that is highly relevant to those receiving it with a greater degree of accuracy. Personalization is always better than sending a blanket or generic message to thousands. 
Keeping in mind email marketing best practices and being conscious of these basic mistakes will help to keep your list growing. Trying some of our quick fixes will also mean you are using your subscriber data effectively and generating the best results for your business. Re-visit your email marketing list with these tips in mind to bring this channel back to the standard it deserves.
8:47 AM

Solving the Mystery Behind Email Marketing Subscriptions

As an email marketer, research is important to you, or at least it should be. There are too many variables when it comes to email marketing and for that reason, testing, tracking, and research are critical to successful campaigns. Only then, can you get closer to offering content that results in a pleasing number of subscriptions, high open rates, and even higher click-through rates.
GetData is an independent research program that's a part of GetApp, the marketplace for business cloud applications. They have shared a ton of valuable research on email marketing techniques throughout the years. More recently, they've conducted extensive research to better understand how users react to different email marketing techniques and answer a question that keeps many hard core email marketers up at nightWhy do readers subscribe and/or unsubscribe from your email marketing subscriptions?
As you may have guessed, the research isn’t cut and dry. There are different segments of readers and some of the mystery still lingers, but the below findings can help you get a better idea of why readers subscribe as well as why they hit that unsubscribe button as say goodbye to your communications efforts. Below, we have summed up what GetData found about email marketing subscriptions.

Reasons to Subscribe

How to entice readers to make that first step in engaging with you is as powerful a question as "Why the sky is blue?" Powerful and mysterious at the same time. Check out the chart below with GetData's findings.
The results help us pinpoint a few key factors, but also makes you ponder the question, "Why did your subscribers begin to take notice and why do they continue to engage with you?"
If you can be proactive with your own research and polling, you will be able to get personal and provide the best value to your subscribers for the long-haul.
As for the results, men and women varied greatly in this area with men claiming to be added accidentally the most at 26.8% while 26.9% of women signed up for deals and special offers as the primary reason. There may be something said to the fact that women are savvy shoppers. Deals and special offers were number four on the men’s list after news updates and interesting articles or content. Those two areas were highly favored by women as well. Out of both men and women, only 7.5% sign up for emails based on receiving access to restricted or exclusive content.
Bulleted key findings from the research were:
  • Nearly a quarter of mailing list subscriptions are accidental where readers claimed they did not choose to subscribe.
  • Women are more likely than men to subscribe to get deals and special offers.
  • Getting access to restricted content is the least likely motivator for mailing list subscriptions.
Read through complete data from this research study, but make sure to review the reasons for unsubscribing first!

Reasons to Unsubscribe

So you jumped the hurdle of getting readers subscribed (or accidentally) subscribed, but how do you keep them engaged with your efforts? In addition to reviewing the studies in this blog, get to know your readers a little better through your own due diligence of LinkedIn profile research or creating tagged lists within your email marketing database of where and how you received the leads to help you create a relationship that can be nurtured down the line. You can also view our recent blog article 'Why People Unsubscribe from Emails And How To Persuade Them To Stay.'
The GetData study asked over 500 US-based respondents from a panel of Internet users, between the ages of 25 and 44 with an average inferred annual income of between $25k-$100k why they unsubscribe from email newsletters. The results were not segmented by gender, as findings were similar across the board. Receiving too many emails was the number one reason readers unsubscribed (nearly three times higher than any other cause) at 46.4%, creating a huge gap for second place of spammy-looking emails coming in at 17.2%. Irrelevant content came in third at 15.8% while too much or too little content was last at just 4.3%. Finally, 9% didn’t realize they were subscribing and was the main reason they hit that button.
Bulleted key findings from the research were:
  • Receiving too many emails is the #1 reason people choose to unsubscribe, and it makes sense in our world of email marketing clutter!
  • Subscribers are unlikely to give ‘spammy’ emails a chance, so make sure to pay close attention to design and those mobile details.
  • Quantity of content is not an issue, as long as it’s relevant. 
Read through complete data from this research study and make sure your content meets the demands of your readers by maintaining email marketing management best practices, such as targeted lists, mobile-friendly and well-designed emails, as well as continuing your own research, testing, and tracking methodologies relevant to your business. After all, this data is just data until you allow it to teach you the keys to improving your own business.
6:44 AM

13 Things to Start, Stop & Keep Doing With Your Email Marketing in 2019

If you’re reading this blog post, there’s a good chance you arrived here by clicking on a link in an email we sent to you.
Email marketing is a powerful tool to encourage your audience to engage with content and to nurture leads in your database along the buyer’s journey.
And despite what you may think, email marketing is still growing: Gmail alone has 1 billion users worldwide, and The Radicati Group predicts that there will be 3 billion email users worldwide by 2020 (that’s almost half of the world’s population).

Certainly, email is not dead, but it is getting harder to do well. To that end, HubSpot Postmaster and Email Engineering Director Tom Monaghan hasdistilled his wisdom into a set of guidelines for email marketing for sustainable growth. Read on to learn what strategies you should start implementing, absolutely avoid, and keep up in 2018 and in years ahead.

How to Improve Your Email Marketing in 2018

1) Send emails to lists that want to hear from you.

If you have email lists with low rates of engagement activity, stop sending to them. Every time you send to a list with low open and engagement rates, it hurts your domain reputation and your chances of connecting with other potential customers.
Monaghan said it best in his talk: “You are what you eat, and so is your marketing.” When you receive tons of emails from brands you don’t engage with, constantly deleting them or marking them as “read” is most likely tiresome. Empathize with your subscribers and treat their inbox the way you would want your inbox treated.

2) Have a goal for each email before you press “send.”

If you don’t have a goal in mind for the emails you’re sending, the recipients won’t know what the goal is, either. Once you define a goal for your email sends, you can define success and build a list to make that happen.
Goals for your emails could include a contact filling out a longer form for a gated content offer to provide your team with more information about their organization, or redeeming a promo code for a purchase on your website.
Give recipients options in your messages, such as calls-to-action and links in-text, so they have multiple avenues to achieve your goal. Everyone’s behavior is different, so make your emails flexible.

3) Personalize and test your emails.

Email personalization really works. For example, back in 2014, we found that emails with the recipients’ first names in the subject lines had higherclickthrough rates than emails that didn’t.
When it comes to personalizing your emails, stick with the basics. Personalize according to recipient names and company names, but to avoid being creepy, leave it at that, urges Monaghan.
Nothing is less personal than receiving a “Dear Customer” or “Dear First Name” email, so test every email to make sure you’re sending to recipient names.

4) Send emails from a personalized account.

Don’t send emails from a “noreply” email account. Personalization works on your end, too. Boost your engagement by personalizing the “from” email address to drive replies from subscribers to a real person instead of “”

5) Experiment with sending emails on different days of the week.

Stop sending emails on Tuesdays. Seriously, stop.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are the most popular days to send email, but they’re oversaturated with messages that might be overwhelming your subscribers. If you want your emails to be opened, try sending them on Mondays and Fridays. Emails with calls-to-action perform well on Saturdays, so don’t be afraid to send emails on the weekend, either.
In any case, try experimenting with your approach to lessen your subscribers’ email load Tuesday through Thursday, when most business emails are sent.

6) Engage with contacts who've submitted forms, not contacts whose information you’ve imported.

When someone fills out a form and provides his or her email address, that person's engagement rate is typically higher than cold contacts you’ve imported from a list. That’s because these recipients want to hear from you and chose to engage with your content -- they’ve told you this by filling out a form. This is evidence that the inbound marketing methodology is working for email marketers.
And by the way, don’t buy email lists -- you’re only hurting your credibility and annoying people who haven’t asked to hear from you.

7) Suppress your unengaged subscribers to avoid sending graymail.

You may be sending spam without knowing it, and that’s because the definition of spam has changed. Graymail refers to bulk email messages that aren’t technically spam because the recipients gave you their information, but the fact of the matter is, they get your emails and don’t touch them. Engagement rates plummet if recipients don’t open your first email, so if they continue ignoring you, the probability of them ever opening your messages is going way, way down.
Stop sending graymail, and listen to what people are telling you by notopening your emails. Start suppressing your unengaged subscribers. That way, your open rates will increase, and inbox providers will see that you’re responding to subscriber behavior.

8) If people are unsubscribing, don’t worry too much (yet).

You can’t please everyone, and unsubscribes will happen. Luckily, your subscribers didn’t mark you as spam -- they simply told you, in the nicest way possible, that they’re not interested in hearing from you anymore.
Don’t be too worried yet, but if more people keep unsubscribing, try to identify the potential cause. Consider suppressing or sending fewer emails to subscribers who aren’t engaging as much.

9) If people stop opening your emails, figure out what’s going wrong fast.

If your email open rate is falling, it means you’re missing the expectations of your recipients and that you should prepare for worse outcomes. It’s a leading indicator that spam complaints and unsubscribes are coming, and you should immediately suppress your unengaged subscribers to show email providers that you’re responding to feedback. Test different emails to see if you can improve your open rates.

10) If people mark you as spam, immediately stop sending email and identify the source of the complaints.

If you’re being marked as spam, your domain reputation is at risk, and you could become blacklisted by email providers. Whether the spam complaints are caused by a new source, bad forms, or you missing expectations of your list, slow or completely stop sending emails until you figure it out.
If you aren’t getting unsubscribe or spam complaints, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear -- the messages could be going straight to recipients’ junk folders.

11) If you want to learn more about email marketing, take the free email marketing certification course.

Learn more about email marketing with Monaghan right now by taking HubSpot Academy’s Email Marketing Certification course. In only 3.5 hours, you'll learn about lifecycle marketing, email list segmentation, design, deliverability, and more skills to help you cultivate a strong strategy for 2018 and beyond.

12) Be thoughtful about your subject line.

Don’t write clickbait email subject lines. When people click on your email and then immediately bounce away when they realize your subject line wasn’t genuine, your clickthrough rates will suffer.
For best results, customize and personalize email subject lines and experiment with emojis. Pro tip: Read subject lines out loud before sending. Would you open that email if you received it?

13) Remember: Email is getting harder, but it’s still working.

Every year, engagement rates start to slip, and it gets harder to reach people’s inboxes. This doesn’t mean that email marketing is losing its efficacy, it’s just getting more competitive. The divide is growing between email marketers who know what they’re doing and those who don’t, so make sure to put in the effort to test different strategies and keep your subscribers engaged.
The theme of all of these email marketing guidelines? Testing. Every audience and contacts database is different, so make sure you’re testing the implementation of new strategies and tailoring them according to how your subscribers engage. (And when you’re ready to hit “send,” here are some lead nurturing email examples to inspire your creativity.)
6:41 AM

8 Smart Ways of Email Marketing

Your blogging and email marketing efforts are like chocolate and peanut butter.
The nutty crunch of peanut butter and the sweet bliss of chocolate are each great solo. But when combined, you get Reese’s Peanut Butter cups — the #1 selling candy in the United States.
You can get that same kind of best-selling synergy with a content marketing strategy that smartly combines blogging and email marketing.
Because while your blog is the best avenue for getting attention online, establishing your authority, and getting found in the search engines … email communication helps you connect on a more intimate level, build trust with your audience, and gives you a tool for making relevant offers to your audience.
And together, their power is multiplied.

But wait … do you really need both?

In a word, yes.
But don’t just take my word for it.
When asked about whether content marketers should still be using email newsletters in conjunction with their blogs, Sonia Simone (the Content Marketing Know-It-All) said:
Email marketing and a blog serve different purposes, and a smart content marketing program will usually include both.
If you have a blog (and by this point, we certainly hope you do), you need to make sure your blog is working together with your email marketing efforts to serve your audience and get you closer to your content marketing goals.
You can use your blog to promote your email list, and vice versa, but only if you have a symbiotic relationship between the two.
Of course, your blog posts and email updates should always be relevant and useful for your audience. And you must make sure your blog posts and your emails are readable on all devices, including cell phones and tablets.
Once these givens are in place, you can make your business unstoppable by using blogging and email marketing cooperatively in the following eight ways:

1. Make blog posts your cookies

Your job is to train people to open (and regularly read) your emails. Combining your blog content with your email campaigns is a great way to do that.
Remember Sonia’s now-classic advice that you should treat your customers like dogs and give them regular cookies?
Here’s the secret: great blog posts make the world’s best cookies. So when you’ve put up a new post, send it out to your list.
Consider these options for sharing your blog content with your email list:
  • Use your email marketing tool to push your new blog posts out to your list automatically. Feedblitz, AWeber, and MailChimp all offer RSS campaign functionality that lets you handle this process. Just set it and forget it, then publish blog posts to your heart’s content.
  • When you publish a new post, manually send an email broadcast to your list that includes a teaser sentence or two about your post. Always include a link back to the blog post on your site.
  • Share the whole blog post via an individual email to your list, and link back to the post at the end. If you want to encourage conversation, ask people to comment by saying “Join the conversation on the blog” or something similar.
  • Send out a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly newsletter that includes links to your best blog posts.

2. Create FAQ autoresponders

Create a collection of insanely useful lessons or answers to frequently asked questions, and then put them into an email autoresponder series.
In your autoresponders, include lots of links back to your foundation blog content.
And if you want to get really fancy, you can even create content categories that correspond with you autoresponders and link to those categories.

3. Don’t forget your footer!

In the footer of your blog posts, add an opt-in offer of some sort.
Prompt your readers to sign up to get free updates from your blog, receive a free piece of premium content, or get your content-rich monthly newsletter.

4. Schedule for content synergy

Create editorial calendars for your blog and your email marketing campaigns that share common themes and work together.
If you write a cooking blog, and your July theme (according to your editorial calendar) is kitchen gear and gadgets, then make sure your July blog posts and monthly newsletter both talk about gadgets.
Your goal is to publish a clear, coherent message for your audience, and that includes all the tools in your content marketing toolbox.

5. Feature your guest blog posts.

During the month of my book launch in 2012, I published a whole slew of guest posts. In that month’s newsletter for my list, I published a big collection of links to those guest posts.
Doing this gave me a chance to feature my writing on other sites, and it introduced new websites to my audience members who were looking for new and useful blogs to read.

6. Allow yourself to reintroduce … yourself

Right before you launch a new product, you can reinvigorate your list by sending a couple of pieces of smart, well-positioned content that is related to the topic of your product.
This is an especially good move if you haven’t been communicating with your list on a regular basis.

7. Offer free updates conspicuously

Create a “Free Updates” page for your website that allows people to easily sign up for your list and get a free ebook, video, or other piece of premium content.
Then link to that page in the navigation bar of your site and make it visible on every page of your site — you never know what page or post of your site a reader might discover first.

8. Take full advantage of social media

Use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to further your content marketing goals, not just as fun distractions that make you feel like you’re being productive.
Make sure you’re driving traffic from social networking platforms back to your content and onto your email list. Social networking can be a huge asset for your business, but only if you stay focused on your goal.

Quick case study: how to execute smart pre-launch coordination of emails and blog posts

Naomi Dunford and Dave Navarro of used a smart technique soon before opening registration for their latest program, “Big Launch.”
Just before opening their shopping cart, they warmed their list by sending out a series of emails answering commonly asked questions about launching.
The emails (which took content directly from blog posts of the same name) proved their authority on the topic and alerted their subscribers that something big was about to happen.
As a subscriber on IttyBiz’s list, I can report that I paid attention.
I hadn’t heard from IttyBiz for a while, so when they sent me a whole bunch of incredibly useful, substantial emails four days in a row, I made sure to read them.
It didn’t even cross my mind to unsubscribe from their list when there was a temporary uptick in the amount of email they were sending out. I was just happy to get my questions answered.
I’m also delighted that every part of the launch Q&A series is also on the IttyBiz blog, so I can bookmark it, pin it, share it on Facebook, and refer back to it whenever I want to without having to dig back through my email folders.
And their product, Big Launch? You can bet I bought it. I know and trust the folks at IttyBiz, and I was completely wowed by their pre-launch content. It was a no-brainer.
Score one for the combination of email marketing and blog content!

Quick case study: how to create insanely useful autoresponders

The folks behind Once a Month Meals know that it’s tough to consistently create healthy, inexpensive meals for your family. Their solution is to spend one marathon day every month doing all the cooking you need for 30 days’ worth of meals.
Once a Month Meals has now turned their advice into a smart business model, too. For a small monthly fee, they send you customizable recipes, grocery lists, and directions for your big cooking day.
But here’s the really smart part:
When you sign up for their service, you get a series of emails called the “Once a Month Meals Secret Handbook.” This series of daily emails is a step-by-step guide to achieving a successful cooking day. The emails are chock full of useful information about when to grocery shop, how to prep, and how to get big grocery savings.
The best part? Every email includes tons of links back to the Once a Month Meals blog for more information.
They have created a brilliant way to feature their cornerstone content and provide valuable, relevant information exactly when their customers need it most.
Once a Month Meals is creating loyal customers — who will keep re-upping their subscriptions — with every email they send out.

Now … go take on the world with your own killer combination

Combining email marketing and blogging doesn’t have to be complicated.
Take a good look at your current content output, examine your content marketing goals, and consider your subscribers’ needs. Then come up with a coherent strategy for using your blog in conjunction with your blog posts.
In 2014, your job is to make it rain.
So use the start of this new year — the time of resolutions and building new habits — to revisit all your basic content marketing building blocks and make sure they’re all acting as powerful workhorses for you.
Make sure you’re not missing a single opportunity to provide valuable, relevant, ridiculously useful content to your audience in convenient ways that work for them.
In other words, take peanut butter and chocolate and turn them into something extraordinary that sells.
Then take your fabulous concoction and use it to create some good in the world. We’ll be here cheering for you.