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Why Aren’t Email Lists Extinct in the Age of Social Media?

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Session Title: List Building for Bloggers
Speakers: Phil Hollows
Date: Wednesday, May 25
Time: 3:45PM
Location: Jacob Javits Center 1A07

So you’ve started your blog. You’re on Facebook and perhaps even have a Twitter account. You’re rocking this whole social media thing; why on earth should you bother with email? It’s so, well, twentieth-century isn’t it? Isn’t email extinct, dead and gone??? Why bother offering email subscriptions at all? ??Because you can’t afford not to. ??Here’s why:

•    Email subscriptions are WAY more popular than RSS.
•    Email subscribers are your biggest fans.
•    Email is everywhere.
•    Email is accessible.
•    Email is the most effective subscription mechanism available.
•    Adding email subscriptions to your blog is fast and easy.
•    Managing email subscriptions won’t take up your time.

You’ll grow your readership, build your community and monetize more effectively by combining your blog with email. It’s that simple.

Email Subscriptions are Very, VERY Popular
The facts are that email works: people want it. Email subscriptions – i.e. your newsletter or mailing list – are familiar to the vast majority of people online. They’re comfortable with the concept. When FeedBlitz partnered with FeedBurner back in 2005 to deliver their email services for them, email subscriptions were FeedBurner’s most requested feature.

Moreover, the evidence shows that email subscriptions are significantly more popular than their most frequently cited social media equivalent, RSS feeds.

Need some data? HubSpot ran a survey in 2009 and found that email subscription rates varied by audience, but could be as much as 12 times (not 12 percent, 12 times) more popular than RSS. See the article here.

??Darren Rowse, (@ProBlogger), revealed at a session Blog World 2010 that ~75% of his subscribers were email-based; that’s three times the number of ordinary RSS subscribers.??Based on these data points, if you don’t offer email subscriptions you’re potentially missing three to ten times your potential subscriber base. ??Your mileage will vary, but clearly the opportunities lost to connect are significant. Can you really afford not to grow your subscriber base that much with a simple step? ??Put another way, if someone told you that you could boost your subscriber count four-fold or ten-fold with five minutes’ work, wouldn’t you leap at that opportunity? That’s what having email subscriptions on your blog can deliver over time.

Email is ten times more impactful and responsive than just about any form of media ever developed.
~ Seth Godin

Why is that?

These days it’s work – it takes commitment – to subscribe to a properly run mailing list, what with CAPTCHAs and dual opt-in. The email subscribers on your list have made this commitment to you, and they are inviting you to barge right in and occupy their inbox (you need to do this respectfully, of course, but that’s for a later chapter).

Many people follow hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, Twitter accounts; all those teeny-weeny, unbranded, untracked, undifferentiated, easy to miss messages simply fly by. Listen to how Jay Baer (@JayBaer) questions the current vogue of trumpeting the number of Facebook fans and compares the trend to email subscriber valuation:

“The psychology of Facebook “likers” is similar to email newsletter subscribers … However, in comparison to your Facebook fans, your email subscribers usually provide far more important information to your business when they subscribe. It takes a lot more than one click to subscribe to an email list.”
~ Jay Baer

Compare and contrast. Your email to a subscriber is in their inbox, by invitation. Fully branded. Content rich. Tracked. Customized. Personalized.

A Tweet? A Like? Not so much.

Adding Email Subscriptions to your Blog is Fast, Easy and Won’t Add to your Workload

Here’s the really good news. Setting up email subscriptions for your blog won’t take very long and, if done right, won’t need much work from you once you’re up and running. In fact, if you’re spending more than five minutes a day on your email list once you have it going successfully, I’d say that something is very wrong. There are several options you can choose from, such as using capabilities that might come with your blogging service, using your own email systems, all the way through to external service providers, like FeedBlitz, who can manage this for you. Some are free, some premium, and all have different features, pricing approaches and so forth. The key is to make a start. You can always export email subscribers for transfer later on if you want to switch vendors. But start.

You can’t afford not to.

Check out the “List Building for Bloggers” session at BlogWorld NY on May 25th!

Phil Hollows, is the Founder and CEO of FeedBlitz, the premium FeedBurner alternative, and author of the book List Building for Bloggers.

Phil will be giving the session at BlogWorld NYC on “List Building for Bloggers” on how to start, grow and make the most of your blog’s email marketing list. If you’re concerned that you’re not making the most of your blog’s most precious resource – your email subscribers – attend the session to learn proven email strategies that build your audience, increase engagement and grow your income.

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