If you've been reading these blogs for a while, you know that there's several reasons we love including business blogs in your marketing:
But that, ladies and gentlemen, isn't all that blogs can do. Just as you can use blogs to get your social media marketing going, you can also use them to jumpstart your email marketing.
As the marketing tactic with the highest ROI of any other marketing tactic (more than $40 for every $1 spent!), email marketing is a critical tool in any business's box. Yet, because it does require a good bit of time and effort to reach such a level of success, many businesses end up skipping email marketing or letting it flounder.
It makes some sense: if you've only got so much time on your hands, email marketing is a huge investment. However, if you're already doing blogs, you can start doing email marketing now, and build a foundation upon which you can grow your efforts.
Not sure what kind of emails to send in your email marketing? You can always set up an email that will regularly go out to subscribers with your latest post(s). You can even do digests with different frequencies - send out once a week, collecting that week's posts, or send out daily, as soon as you update with a new blog post.
Besides creating an ongoing email campaign that you can just set up and then forget about, this is a great way to grow your blog readership. Not all of your customers are going to be familiar with RSS feeds or follow you on social media in order to get the latest blog updates, because both of those require more time and effort on their part. By offering blog updates via email, you make it much easier for them to consume your content.
The first step is great if you already have a strong mailing list of potential customers - but what if you're starting your email marketing from scratch? Don't buy an email list; put a simple subscription form on your blog pages and tell them they can receive your blog digest emails if they sign up.
Now, what we mean by "simple subscription form" is this: name, email address. You may want to split "name" into "first name" and "last name", depending on how you store this information, but that's the extent of the contact information that you'll need for these emails.
"But why stop there?" you ask. "This is my chance to start marketing to them - why would I only get the barest information from them?"
We'll tell you a little thing about marketing: What you ask from potential customers must be equal or less than what you are offering them. In other words, people are aware of how valuable their contact information is to you. They're not going to give up all their info just for a few blog posts from you. They know that is committing, in a way, to being heavily marketed to, and they may not be ready for that yet. Maybe they just want to get your blog updates for now.
Just a name and an email address, though? That's not asking a lot from them. That's just enough to send them a personalized email.
Besides, you’re forgetting what makes these email addresses so valuable: these are people who are raising their hand and telling you that they're interested in what you have to offer. And the thing is, once you have an email from these blog readers, you can grow that into further opportunities to get more information from them.
Do you have an ebook that visitors can download? Do you host webinars? Are you going to be at an event or trade show?
These are all opportunities to ask for more information from your blog readers. Because this information is more valuable than a short blog post, you can ask for more information from the potential customer, such as their phone number, address, or business. Just put your download or registration behind a form, and people who are truly interested will give you the information you seek.
But don't just rely on social media posts or emails to tell people about these opportunities - include on your blog posts a written or visual call-to-action announcing the opportunity and encouraging them to sign up for it. There are several options for how to do this: a pop-up lightbox that appears shortly after someone visits a blog post, an ad-like call-to-action at the top or sidebar of the page, or a button at the bottom of the post.
You can also discuss the opportunities in the blog posts themselves: including an excerpt from an ebook in a post, video clips or the presentation slides from a webinar, or discussing what you'll be doing at the event or trade show, for example. Make sure to include the link to the opportunity throughout the blog post, so that people can go straight to the form if they want to.
However you do it, sharing these opportunities on your blog posts just makes sense. People who are reading these posts are already interested in the information you have to offer - why not see if they're interested in learning more? If they are, that tells you something about whether or not they'll be a strong potential customer. And if they are, you now have more contact information on them, so you can start marketing more toward them.
You can create separate email campaigns for the contacts collected via this method, nurturing these leads with more information or special offers meant to convert them into becoming your customers.
Again, all of this just from your blogs.
By starting with a regular business blog, you can create your first, straightforward email campaign; start building an email list of interested potential customers; and promote other, more in-depth email collection (and therefore marketing) chances.
Do you see why we’re so thrilled about business blogging?