During the 12 New Media Days of Christmas, we’re counting down the days until Santa comes by featuring some of the best blog posts of 2011 from awesome writers within the BlogWorld community! Skip to the end to read more posts in this holiday series and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’ve written a post about today’s topic!
You won’t get far in this industry without hear the phrase “the money’s in the list.” What that means is that you need to build an email list to make the most of the relationship you’re building with your readers. You can use your list for affiliate marketing, selling your own products, or even just driving traffic back to your site. So, today, I have a great group of posts from 2011 that talk about building and using an email list. Enjoy!
Post too long? Head to the Quick Links section for just a list of the links included in this post without all the analysis and quotes!
1. Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing for Bloggers by Paul Cunningham at Blogging Teacher
If you’re new to email marking and only have time to read one post, this is the link for you. In this post, Paul writes about the nuts and bolts to using email to connect with your readers. He goes over everything from how to avoid being called a spammer to what kind of content you should consider sending to your list. From the post:
Your mailing list is like a cup of coffee. Too hot and your subscribers can’t handle it. Too cold and it loses its appeal. But when you get the temperature just right they will enjoy what you serve up to them…
Getting that temperature just right means understanding your audience, and delivering them the right types of content at the right times.
After checking out Paul’s post, you can follow him on Twitter @paulcunningham.
2. 5 Most Powerful Ways To Build an Email List Online by Michael Dunlop at Income Diary
I like this post because it’s a list of tools that you can (and should) consider using to build your own email list. It’s important to remember that not every technique is going to work for every person. In fact, you might not like any of the list-building techniques in Michael’s post. But I think it is important to be aware of your options! Writes Michael,
Sending an email to your list about a product takes literally minutes. The reward is always thousands of dollars for me. If I did it 4 times in a month which isn’t much at all, that’s likely to be at least an additional $10,000 in revenue that month! Hopefully by now your excited about the idea of building a list.
Get out there and build that list, friends! After checking out Michael’s post at Income Diary, You can also find more from him at Retireat21, Fiked, Popup Domination, Site Profit Domination, Expert Photography, and Awesomeweb. You can also find him on Twitter @michaeldunlop.
3. Why the Money Really is in the Email List by Natalie Sisson at The Suitcase Entrepreneur
We keep saying that the money is in the list, but why is that? This post is part of Natalie’s Build Your Online Business (BYOB) series, and it’s a fantastic post to check out if you’re new to list-building and want to do a good job connecting with readers. As Natalie puts it, your list is your tribe, and being about to build that relationship with them is important! Building a list doesn’t have to be spammy. It can be about making real connections. Writes Natalie,
When I think about how many visitors I lost in the early days because I had nothing to offer and no way of being able to contact them again, it makes me kick myself. I also had this strange perception in my head that `list’ and ‘building’ were two dirty words. In fact they are two of the smartest words ever.
Natalie is on Twitter @womanzworld and you can also add her to your circles on Google+. Her Build Your Own Business Guide is available as an audio book, ebook, or complete package with coaching video.
4. Aweber vs. Mailchimp: Which is the Best Email Newsletter Service? by Tom Ewer at WPMU.org
Aweber and Mailchimp aren’t you’re only two choices if you’re interested in starting a new mailing list, but they are two of the biggest brands in the industry. I personally grappled with the choice, and ultimately went with Aweber, but I don’t know that I’ll stay with that decision forever, since Mailchimp is a fantastic services as well. In this post, Tom talks about about the differences between these two services and ultimately gives you his preference. Writes Tom,
Both services are popular with good reason. MailChimp’s no-cost entry level service is a huge attraction to many. But the general consensus leans in favor of AWeber when it comes to the most important aspects of list management, such as tracking and spam management.
You can find Tom on Twitter @tomewer and like his Facebook page. He also blogs at Leaving Work Behind, where you can sign up for his mailing list to download his free guide on keyword research and competition analysis.
5. The #1 Trick for Increasing Email Open Rates by Steve Scott at SteveScottSite.com
Your list doesn’t matter one iota if nobody opens the emails you send. In this post, Steve shares his best top for increasing your open rates – and I have to say, I 100% agree with him! I also love how he uses an analogy to describe what he means, and I think anyone who’s read or watched Game of Thrones will totally understand this post! Writes Steve,
In April, the TV show “Game of Thrones” premiered on HBO. Like many shows on this network, each episode is part of a large story. So you have to watch each to understand what’s going on. In a way, it’s similar to the popular shows like The Sopranos, Lost or 24.
What draws people to shows like these is how they’re set up. An important part of the plot is to create tension. The writers introduce a number of storylines that are not resolved for many years. People watch them because they feel compelled to get answers.
You can also check out Steve’s 45 Ways to Take Your Email Marketing to the Next Level or download his free online income guide. He’s on Twitter @stevescott1, and you can also like his blog on Facebook and add him to your circles on Google+.
6. Are You in the Three Danger Zones of Spamminess? by Phil Hollows at Feedblitz
This list is actually part of entire awesome blog post series about list building for bloggers by Phil, but I wanted to take a moment to highlight this one because I think a lot of list-builders are definitely in the danger zone. Your subscribers signed up for your mailing list. They want to hear from you. Don’t be too afraid to email them! But if you aren’t careful, email programs could accidentally label you as spam, and this means your message will be less likely to reach your readers. Writes Phil,
The thing is, of course, is that most bloggers are untrained as marketers. Specifically, we’re largely not trained as email marketers. We put up our subscription forms and hope for the best. Usually, that’s fine.
But sometimes that lack of expertise can hurt, because it can lead us to create content that ends up setting off content filters. It’s actually all too easy to do, in fact, because in social media we can easily add widgets and plugins that are designed for the web, but which can completely foul up your feed and eviscerate your mailings.
In addition to checking out this post and others in the list building for bloggers series, you can also buy Phil’s List Building for Bloggers ebook. He’s on Twitter @phollows and you can check out the Feedblitz Facebook Ap here.
7. Sephora’s Beauty Roulette: A Creative Email List Builing Tactic by DJ Waldow at Waldow Social
In this post, DJ offers a screencast mini case study on one company’s interesting way to get people to sign up on their email list. He talks about what Sephora (a makeup company) does write, along with what he believes they could be doing better. Hopefully, this will inspire you to think of some of your own creative ways to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list. From DJ’s post:
You can have the most compelling email creative and copy, the best subject line, the highest inbox deliverability; however, if you don’t have an email list to send to … well … you have nothing….
My friend and Social Fresh president, Jason Keath, shared this super-creative email list building technique from Sephora with me last week. The landing page has some dynamic aspects to it, so I figured it would be best to show you via a screencast (thanks, Screenr!).
8. How to Get a Clean Email List – 3 Mailing List Maintenance Tips You Should Do by Paul Ventura at Converting Copy
This post was definitely a kick in the pants for me, because I’ve been neglecting my email list maintenance. Depending on the email management company you use, some of Paul’s tips might even help you save money! At the very list, his recommendations can help you understand your audience better and connect with them in a more relevant way. Writes Paul,
Just like anything else in your life, your website or business’ mailing list can become cluttered and require upkeep from time to time to continue working in your best interest. Here are a few mailing list maintenance tips you can use to get a clean email list.
9. The Most Important, Can’t-Ignore Law of Email Marketing by Lisa Barone at Outspoken Media
The “law” Lisa shares in this post may at first seem like common sense, but it is a law that is broken so often that I think it is super important to include on this list. Before you ever send a single message to your email list, make sure you understand Lisa’s post and make sure you don’t make the mistake made by so many so-called “experts” out there. Lisa writes,
Hey you! Yes…you, the one sending out all those email newsletters. We need to talk.
I mean, sure, we’ve already talked to some degree. We’ve talked about best practices for email marketing, how email is NOT dead and why it’s actually the Batman to social media’s Robin, but NONE of that matters if you ignore the most important email marketing law of them all. Get this wrong and the rest of it simply doesn’t matter.
10. Call It What You Want, It’s the Future of Email Marketing by Garry Lee at RedEye (Guest Post for Unbounce)
Grab a cup of coffee and sink your teeth into this post. It’s super smart and full of tips about what Garry calls “behavioural emails.” Yes, you can just mass email your list once or twice a week, but how effective are you really being? More importantly, how effective could you be if you did a little research? From Garry’s post:
In the past few years behavioural email has become one of the most effective forms of email marketing. Resulting in ROI figures as high as 750% and open rates of 70% it is certainly a strategy that online marketers are realising is essential to their online marketing (not just email) strategies.
11. Episode 19 of The Daily Interaction: Savvy Email Etiquette by Farnoosh Brock at Prolific Living
This last link I wanted to share about email is actually a podcast from Farnoosh about a topic that is very important no matter what kinds of emails you’re sending: etiquette. This post is not about list-building or even about email marketing, but I think this is one of the most important topic matters you can ever understand if you use email, whether you’re emailing your list or just emailing with your friends. From Farnoosh’s show notes:
What is the most sensible, smart, savvy and professional way to use email in today’s world? I give you tips around things that have worked very well for me as well as things that have made me, well, you know, take a second look at my own approach, to say the least.
After listening to the podcast, you can check out more episode of The Daily Interaction here. Farnoosh is also the author of the Fear-Crushing Travel Guide, Motivation: From Goals to Greatness, and The 10 Minute Daily Invigorator, as well as the Comprehensive Guide to Green Juicing. She’s on Twitter @prolificliving.
For those of you short on time, here’s a list of the links covered in this post:
- Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing for Bloggers by Paul Cunningham (@paulcunningham)
- 5 Most Powerful Ways To Build an Email List Online by Michael Dunlop (@michaeldunlop)
- Why the Money Really is in the Email List by Natalie Sisson (@womanzworld)
- Aweber vs. Mailchimp: Which is the Best Email Newsletter Service? by Tom Ewer (@tomewer)
- The #1 Trick for Increasing Email Open Rates by Steve Scott (@stevescott1)
- Are You in the Three Danger Zones of Spamminess? by Phil Hollows (@phollows)
- Sephora’s Beauty Roulette: A Creative Email List Builing Tactic by DJ Waldow (@djwaldow)
- How to Get a Clean Email List – 3 Mailing List Maintenance Tips You Should Do by Paul Ventura (@convertcopy)
- The Most Important, Can’t-Ignore Law of Email Marketing by Lisa Barone (@lisabarone)
- Call It What You Want, It’s the Future of Email Marketing by Garry Lee (@garrylee316)
- Episode 19 of The Daily Interaction: Savvy Email Etiquette by Farnoosh Brock (@prolificliving)
Other posts in the 12 New Media Days of Christmas series will be linked here as they go live:
12 Bloggers Monetizing
11 Emailers List-Building (this post)
10 Google+ Users a-Sharing
9 Vloggers Recording
8 Links a-Baiting
7 Community Managers a-Managing
6 Publishers a-Publishing
5 Traffic Tips
4 New Media Case Studies
3 Must-Read New Media Interviews
2 Top New Media News Stories of 2011
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree
You can also check out the all the posts from 2010 and 2011 here, and don’t forget: If you wrote a post in 2011 about today’s topic (email marking and list building), PLEASE leave the link in a comment below to share with the community!