Throughout January we will be running our 31 Day Blog Challenge: 31 days to clean up, grow and improve your blog. What better time than the start of a new year to get things sorted and ready to go for a brand new year of blogging?
We'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to get things in order and make blogging easier. This is Day 25.
How many of you have email subscribers? Probably the vast majority of you.
How often do you simply send out your latest blog post via an automated service like Feedburner or FeedBlitz without even thinking about it? Again, if you're like most of us - that's probably all you do.
Your email subscribers are likely your core group of your readers who never want to miss a post.
Have you ever considered sending them something else? We're not talking about spamming your readers. We're talking about using that email subscriber list every now and then to send out something useful that your readers might like. Maybe once a month or once every other month.
What Do You Send Subscribers?
It could be a digest newsletter pointing out some of your best posts for the last quarter with a few extra goodies. Or it could be an announcement of something you've got going on - like a cookbook or e-book, a guest post on a prominent blog, a session you're teaching, or an event you're hosting.
If you go the newsletter route, consider adding in extras they won't find on the blog - like a new recipe only available to email subscribers, some kitchen tips, nutritional advice (if you're qualified to give it), a sneak peek of a restaurant opening, or an interview with a chef. The key is to make sure it adds value to your readers.
How Often Should You Email Them?
Finding a balance of how often to send out an additional email is tricky. Everyone has a different tolerance level. For me personally, more than once a week is seriously pushing it and is likely to have me unsubscribe. But if the value and content are there and aren't just a rehash of your week, I'm likely to open and read - after all, I already like you!
You may need to experiment a bit to find a balance. If in doubt, err on the side of too few over too much. Don't spam. And respect people who ask to be removed or who unsubscribe.
How Do I Send Out An Email?
The first thing you need to do is have your list. If you use Feedburner, you can export your list of email subscribers.
You can do this by following these screenshots:
Click on the Publicize tab of your feedburner account and then select the Email Subscriptions option. In the sub menu, select Subscription Management.
This will open up a list of all your email subscribers. You'll notice you have the option to export them as a CSV file. This file can be used to upload all your subscribers to an email newsletter option like MailChimp.
If you use FeedBlitz as your feed service, you have an option within your account to email your subscribers outside of their feed subscription directly within FeedBlitz. (FeedBlitz is a paid service).
MailChimp offers up a very simple way to create beautiful HTML newsletters that are friendly to most email programs and that look good on mobile devices as well. They can manage your lists for you and you have access to stats on the performance of your newsletter (how many opens, how many unsubscribes, what links were clicked on etc)? This can help you determine if you're sending out your newsletter too frequently. And when a reader unsubscribes from your Mailchimp they're still subscribed as a FeedBurner reader. The service is free up to 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails/month.
There you go, now you have some options and some new ways to connect with your readers - and even encourage new email subscribers!
Do you email your subscribers outside of an automated service for new blog posts? What type of information do you include and how often do you email them?