In 2017 I vowed to start an email subscription account. In 2018 I quietly achieved it, I write ‘achieved’ like I am proud of it because I am. It took hard work and more than a little brain power for this non techy blogger. So today in 2019, I feel confident to share with you what I have learnt so far, about setting up an email newsletter subscription account. Hopefully you may find it useful one day?
Email Newsletter vs. Rss
Let me make a distinction right here, I am not talking about the Rss feed-burner sign up form, that automatically sends out a very basic ping notification when you press publish. Nope, today I am discussing setting up an ‘Email Subscription account’ and collecting emails via a form on your blog. You can then either choose to send automated emails to your subscribers when you post (similar to feed-burner) or send a weekly or monthly email newsletter as I now do.
Let me make a distinction right here, I am not talking about the Rss feed-burner sign up form, that automatically sends out a ping when you press post.
My learning curve is ongoing, I do not profess to be an expert. Every newsletter I send out into the world inspires me with new possibilities and future ideas. In the last 6 months since I have been sending out the latest version of my newsletter, I have noticed a surge of page views on the day the Newsletter goes out.
So Where to Begin?
Choose your email marketing provider, most people go with Mail Chimp, I started with them but now prefer Benchmark, for reasons I will go into later. Do your own research, there are lots of comparison sites to help with this I simply googled free email marketing comparison sites!
Most Free until you exceed your limits:
Most are free until you exceed a limit, for instance Mailchimp’s free plan allows you to have up to 2,000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 emails per month. Once you’ve exceeded these numbers you could upgrade to the Grow or Pro plan. So it will depend on the size of your blog readership and how many emails you want to send per month.
Benchmark the one I use is free up to 2,000 subscribers and allows you to send up to 14,000 emails per month. However lets face it I will never send that many per month, EVER!
I prefer not to send an automated email everytime I post as people tend to get fed up with receiving too many emails.
Next create your account and start designing your emails.
This bit sounds easy right? Let me tell you, for a non tech girl, it is simple but will take a few hours to get the hang of it. Email templates are provided, or you can customise them to make them fit with your brand or blog styling. What do you mean your blog doesn’t have a brand? You may want to read this!
Automated or not?
When choosing your templates the first thing you will need to decide is do you want to send automated emails or news emails. For example when you publish a new post do you want to notify people with an automated email? If you already have an RSS feed-burner subscription set up, then you dont need two! Perhaps you may want to send an email at a time chosen by you with ‘extras’ perhaps once a week or a monthly letter? The template you choose needs to reflect your choice.
I prefer not to send an automated email everytime I post as people tend to get fed up with receiving too many emails. This will of course, depend on how many times you post per week.
…your users are all over the place on different platforms. But studies show that at least 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis.
What to write?
Anything and everything! This is a personal chat between your yourself and your readers. It is one on one and it doesn’t get more personal than that, be real, be you and have fun!
I share what I am reading and watching and a few of my other favourite things, none of which can be found else where …
Set up a sign up form
Setting up a sign up form to grow your list is the most important thing to do. You email marketing provider will help you with this. Put a form up (or a link to it) where ever you have a social presence.
Keep it legal! Make sure you follow all the data guidelines. I suggest you tick the box for an opt in confirmation email too. ALWAYS, always have an easy unsubscribe link, that is easy to find and use.
Why I Prefer Benchmark:
- Personal service and a fast response to any questions I have.
- I love the templates and they are so easy to use!
- Overall far easier to use, than Mailchimp (but that could just be me?)
- The ability to ‘clean lists’ ie. remove people who constantly don’t open your emails, but have signed up. (Remember these people are still using up your free sends)
- Affiliate marketing, support.
- I love its ‘health reputation info’ suggesting what you can do to make sure your emails are not going to ‘junk’
- Benchmark give you an ‘activity report’ on your email, showing where the most links were clicked, so next time you can focus on those areas.
You do not own your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Google data. Your social media campaigns and SEO efforts can all go to waste when these platforms change their policies. However, you do own your email list, and it is not influenced by the decisions of other businesses.
MY BIGGEST TOP TIP:
Make sure your email is mobile friendly and looks good on your phone so send one to yourself. 90% of my readers use their phone or Ipads to read my emails.
Sign up to mine!
So having said all that would you like to sign up to my mini-newsletter? I send it once a week (I’m trying to stick to a Wednesday) You will be update on my 2 latest blog posts and a few other fun things that are not on the blog or my social media.
If you are interested then please do sign up, plus it may also give you some inspiration!
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Linking up with Catherine today!