The Importance of Email Marketing
Bloggers make money from selling tons of products like ebooks and courses. Social media is clearly the best way to get the word out about your latest product, right?
Well, yes, it is true that some bloggers are able to get some reach with social media to sell their products.
However, every single social media platform goes through algorithm changes which means your posts reach fewer and fewer of your followers.
I have personally seen my reach drop more and more with each algorithm update.
I've heard the rumors: social media hates bloggers!
It's not really because social media necessarily hates bloggers. Rather, it's because social media is trying to create the best experience for its users.
And the other piece to that is that social media like Facebook and Twitter are all about connecting users to users instead of connecting users to products or even to content.
The sad reality is that your followers on any of the social media platforms aren't yours. The social media platform (whether it's Facebook, Twitter, etc) owns those followers and changes how they allow your posts to reach them.
The good news is that there is a way for you to own and have complete control over what your followers see from you.
Here's the secret – your secret to success is in your email list.
If you’re a blogger, your most essential resource is your email list! Waaaay more important than your Facebook followers or your Twitter followers.
I know what you’re probably thinking:
- Having an email list is too expensive
- I don't know what to email to a list of people
- I'm just a small blogger who isn't making any money.
I know you are thinking those things because I thought those things too!
If you are a blogger who wants to make money from their blog (um, why wouldn't you?), you need an email list. Here’s why:
Email Lets You Know Your Audience On a Deeper Level
As bloggers, our goal is to help others. To teach them something. Maybe help make their lives better.
We create amazing content and put time into creating gorgeous Pins with the hope that someone will read what we wrote, maybe comment on it, and come back for more another day.
Further, as bloggers, it's great to work from home, but ultimately, we crave that connection with our readers.
Think about how excited you get when someone leaves a comment or shares your content. I don't know about you, but I get darn right giddy!
Well, an email list is so much more than those single components. It’s a personal connection you have directly with loyal followers.
And, oh my, it's meaningful!
When someone gives you his or her email address in exchange for a freebie, it’s a whole new level of trust!
It means that they want to learn more about you. They are the ones that will tell their friends about you and connect with you.
They are the lifeblood of your business, and they are invested in you.
Growing your social media followers is great – and it does have a place in helping you grow your brand and reach. However, that personal connection isn't there, and (at best) you can only hope they will see your next update or post.
That's the pure magic of email because your message is delivered directly to your follower: in their inbox. This is truly a sacred place. And it's not to be taken lightly. More on that another day.
Email Converts Better
Are you interested in making some money on your blog? With all the time (and sweat and tears) you put into it, why wouldn't you want to make money from it?
Maybe you choose to make money from affiliate marketing, or maybe you want to write an eBook or a different product.
No matter what you are trying to promote or sell, stats have proven time and again that email yields higher conversion rates than social media and other mediums.
It goes back to that idea that email allows you to know your audience on a deeper level. By the same token, they get to know you on a more personal level.
When you are transparent, authentic and personal with your subscribers, they will stay with you and buy from you again and again. Because they trust you.
I Started with MailChimp…and Quickly Grew Out of MailChimp
Many new bloggers use MailChimp as their email marketing service when they are just starting. I think the biggest reason for this is because MailChimp is free up to 2,000 subscribers.
And new bloggers usually aren't making money…am I right?
I also used MailChimp for a while myself.
MailChimp quickly started holding me back from what I wanted to do…
…plus they charged for duplicate subscribers…and my email delivery rate was in the toilet.
Just to be clear, I am not badmouthing MailChimp here! Honestly, I still use Mailchimp when I run giveaways because it integrates with Rafflecopter.
And MailChimp was perfect for me at first!
However, once I took the plunge and switched to ConvertKit , my email list took off! And by using their terrific features, it continues to grow and improve.
If you’re wondering about how to import your list from MailChimp, you can check out their tutorial here.
Some Background Info About Convertkit
Just in case you haven't heard of Convertkit before, here's a little info about the email service provider (ESP).
Convertkit is a well-planned email platform! Plus, the Convertkit team is continuously updating the platform and adding more features as they receive feedback.
The result is a super intuitive application that allows me to understand my audience so I can provide what they want (which means I make more money).
The Convertkit dashboard has a simple, clean design that allows you to focus on the data.
It may not be a super gorgeous site, but that's because the focus is on what's most important: managing your emails and using the data your readers provide.
The platform is easy for new bloggers to figure out and use while also being powerful enough to help advanced and experienced bloggers.
The most important feature of ConvertKit is that it's subscriber-based rather than list-based. This means that when readers subscribe to multiple lists, their subscriber profile will be updated with the new form(s) they signed up to.
When I used MailChimp, my experience was very different because MailChimp is list-based. The problem with this setup is that subscribers who signed up for multiple freebies:
- were counted as multiple subscribers (1 for each list they joined), meaning I had to pay for 1 subscriber multiple times
- received the same broadcast from me multiple times (I don't know about you, but I hate receiving the exact same email more than once)
The Cost of Email Marketing
Honestly, coming from MailChimp, the price for Convertkit made my eyes bug out of my head.
In fact, I even tried Aweber after doing some price comparison. But I ran into some similar challenges with Aweber.
Within a couple of months of transferring everything to Aweber, I was again searching for a better email marketing platform to fit my needs.
Convertkit was the solution for me, and I have never looked back! To give you an idea about the pricing structure, this graphic shows you.
The great news is that you can get a no commitment, free trial to test it out for yourself and see if Convertkit is a good fit for you.
If I could turn back time, I would start with ConvertKit from the beginning.
7 Reasons Why I Invested In Convertkit Before My Blog Was Making Money
Investing in your blog is scary in the beginning, especially when you haven’t made a single cent from it!
I remember that super tight, knotted feeling I had in my stomach when I first started investing in my blog. I wasn't making any money yet and felt like I was taking a huge risk.
But I learned from successful bloggers before me that, like any business, you have to invest money in order to make it.
So here's the big question…should you invest in email marketing even if you aren't making any money yet?
Remember how I said that the secret to your success is in your email list?
Because your email list affords you that more personal relationship with your readers, you develop trust with them.
Then that trust results in readers buying products and services that you recommend. Those purchases mean income for you!
So…the success (and money) IS in your list.
But even after reading my experience, you may still be wondering if it's worth investing in Convertkit. I'm going to show you 7 concrete reasons why investing in Convertkit will be helpful for your business.
1. No Tech Involved to Make Your Forms and Landing Pages
In Convertkit, subscribers join your list through forms. It could be an opt-in form at the end of your blog post or a landing page form. Each opt-in form can be linked to an incentive (your free download, or pdf).
While I'm not completely incompetent with the techy stuff, I'm definitely not a whiz. And I don't have time to spend hours working to figure out something that should be quick or simple.
I tried other ways to make my opt-in forms and found the process to be super time-consuming.
Plus, figuring out how to integrate a separate opt-in form with my email service provider was confusing and stressful.
Now I have a separate opt-in for each freebie I offer. Convertkit provides the means for me to make great opt-in forms and landing pages directly through the application.
And Convertkit also provides great stats which help me figure out which freebies are popular and which aren't.
No more wasted time here!
ConvertKit calls email newsletters that you send your subscribers broadcasts.
It’s completely up to you on how often to send broadcasts to your list. I send out an email once a week.
One super awesome feature of ConvertKit broadcasts is that you can quickly and easily re-send your broadcast to anyone who didn't open it. This “double-dipping” allows you to increase your open rate.
Increase email open rates with resends to unopened emails
You can resend emails to people who did not open your email or missed out on it by tweaking your email subject headline or copy.
I also love that you can duplicate your previous broadcasts to create a new broadcast.
I use this feature to keep my formatting in place and any special graphics (like my logo) in the email. Then I just write the new email.
That saves me so much time!
3. Creating a Sequence
A sequence is a series of emails that are automated.
With sequences, you simply create a series of emails to send out ahead of time.
This means you don’t have to send out an email each and every time a new subscriber joins your list or for every email in a series. Such a time saver!
I use ConvertKit’s sequences as a welcome series for new subscribers to my list. I even have different series for different opt-ins. It’s a great way to introduce yourself and your blog to new people on your list.
You can also set up sequences for a free email course or your sales funnel.
A sequence in a series of drip emails that go out to your subscribers. You can choose the interval and the frequency. Several forms can be linked up to a single sequence.
I love how ConvertKit makes it easy it is to set up a sequence. That was one thing I had a hard time doing with other ESPs.
Bonus: ConvertKit even gives you prompts (when setting up your sequence) for each day to help with your marketing.
4. Tagging & Segmenting
Tagging is one of my favorite features (I know, I really have so many favorites) because it helps me categorize my subscribers to provide them with only the material they want.
I can tag based on which freebie they signed up to, which landing page they used or any other criteria that can help me better serve them.
I can add a tag labeling my subscribers as ‘people interested in Healthier in 30 Days ebook’ or ‘completed free 5-day course' (or whatever is appropriate).
That way, in the future, it is easy to add filters by tags so that I only target the subscribers that I want for my emails.
I love the automation system. It allows me to do so much with so little time, and it's included with Convertkit!
Tagging helps you keep your list clean and nurtured – something that I LOVE about ConvertKit!
With tags, you can have 1 subscriber on several forms and courses and the system auto-de-duplicates. This way, no subscriber will get your email twice, even if they are on several forms.
Convertkit makes segmenting easy.
You can send newsletters to only a portion of your list just by using tags. For example, I don’t send my weekly newsletters to my subscribers that are in my welcome series.
If you have several opt-in forms, it can be pretty time consuming to manage the subscribers for those opt-ins. However, Convertkit makes it simple by allowing you to put each form into a segment.
This segment will house all the forms related to that topic. Use an automation rule to accomplish this task passively. This makes it easier to send out relevant emails to interested subscribers.
5. Visual Automations
Automation allows you to set up things such as my 5-day email course that go out automatically. It keeps me from needing to manually write and send out each email each day.
I love being able to go into Convertkit and set up automations that send out my sequence (or multiple sequences) while I'm sleeping.
My new subscribers get welcomed and all my sequence emails on a set schedule without my needing to keep tabs on it.
HUGE stress relief and time saver!
With automations, I can send subscribers from one sequence to another and add tagging so that I can prevent readers from getting emails about things they have no interest in.
The goal, after all, is to keep happy readers, and Convertkit makes it easy!
ConvertKit has visual automations to make it even easier to set up funnel systems for when a person signs up to your freebie.
6. Link Triggers
You can also include link triggers in emails. This means, if you put a link in an email, this link can trigger one of many things using automation.
You may want to add someone who clicks on a link to a particular segment or adds a tag stating that this customer is interested in something specific.
I use this feature extensively and love it!
7. Amazing Customer Service
You can find detailed explanations for how to import your email subscribers from another ESP or integrate services like Sendowl with Convertkit.
However, if you need specific, individual help, their service is outstanding.
While I haven't needed to contact customer service often (which speaks volumes to how easy Convertkit is to use), every time I do reach out, they get back to me very quickly!
Are You Ready to Rock Your Email List?
ConvertKit can get you well on your way with email marketing!
Their platform is totally easy to use and fast to set up. It's even super simple to transfer your current email subscribers from a different email service to Convertkit.
Convertkit gives even new bloggers access to a robust email marketing platform that’s easy to use.
I love how it helps me automate my business growth because I have precious little time. And, you can get a free trial to try ConvertKit out! Yippee!
The incredible features that you get when you sign up to ConvertKit are all-inclusive.
Everything is included in one simple price: the ability to create landing pages and pop-up boxes, manage my lead magnets, and offer email courses on top of collecting leads. Wow!
If you have any questions on Convertkit, drop me an email. I’ll be happy to answer them and help you get the information you need to make the best decision for you and your business.
I know firsthand what a tough decision this can be.