Social media is quickly becoming the new darling of bloggers. It’s understandable. It’s easy to get seduced by social media shares and increased visibility for a blog. Increased visibility means increased readership and that’s what we’re all after. But there’s a danger in betting everything on social media. It may be the cool new kid on the block, but email marketing can still function as an extremely effective way to keep readers engaged with your blog. Email messaging is a great way to keep your readers informed but you have to be tactful with how you go about it.
What Constitutes Tact?
When someone who reads your blog signs up for email from you, that represents a good-faith gesture that you need to respect. Like any social contract, this is an unspoken agreement with a level of trust and expectation built into it. There’s no quicker way to violate that trust than to bombard them with emails that offer them no value. There’s nothing in it for you, either. If blog readers receive these kinds of emails, they’re likely to unsubscribe from your email list and in turn, disengage with your blog. Part of being tactful is offering your readers value.
Less Is More
A lot of retailers really understand this. I sign up for emails from several retail stores and it’s been mutually advantageous. They don’t bombard me with emails, so when I get one, I take the time to check it out. These emails tend to offer me a lot of value. They always contain significant discounts and sales promotions. I don’t always make a purchase because of an email, but I buy a lot of things I’m interested in when a get a timely email. When winter is approaching and Gap sends me an email featuring 30% off sweater sales, I’m probably going to make a purchase—in some cases, a significant dollar amount. Timely emails are mutually beneficial.
Why Timeliness Matters
Capitalizing on timeliness is important when you’re blogging. Well-written and engaging analysis of current events and pop culture milestones ensures high readership and creates buzz that can push your blog in rankings. Making timeliness part of your email marketing strategy is an intuitive and easy way to let readers know what’s going on with your blog as well. This requires some flexibility but can pay off in a big way. If something earth-shattering happens in the news during a weekend, seize the moment and take advantage of it. Begin writing a blog series over the weekend and then send your subscribers an email that lets them know they can expect to see a series throughout the week about whatever significant event just occurred.
Maximizing Reader Engagement
This does two important things with one email. It limits the quantity of emails they receive from you while seriously boosting the value of the email with the prospect of a week’s worth of interesting and engaging reading for them. Everybody wins—your reader engagement increases and readers get great material. This kind of strategy brings you to a perfect opportunity to start using your email marketing to leverage social media interaction. When you have this kind of timely material to offer you can begin to encourage email subscriber to subscribe to your Twitter feed and Facebook updates. Twitter followers will retweet timely blog posts and your Facebook page will start getting comments and reader interaction; this can all combine to create cascading buzz and social media shares. But remember, effective email marketing is the backbone underneath all the social media buzz.