By Amy Hall
What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when it comes to communicating with customers? You probably think about email marketing, right? This year, email marketing is retaking the forefront as an effective communication tool for personal and company use. Email’s role in marketing is to build connections, encourage interactions, and increase conversion rates.
The challenge with email marketing is that many people find it difficult. They don’t know how to start a newsletter or send an email blast. Some people find it challenging in a creative way where others feel it’s too technical or time-consuming. Five years ago this may have been the case, but with technology and digital trends evolving at the speed of light, creating an email newsletter is so easy even a non-techy can do it!
Here’s my ultimate guide to starting an email newsletter with step by step instructions. My goal is to walk you through the process to set up your email newsletter the RIGHT way.
As the digital economy is booming, it’s hard to imagine any business or company without an email marketing strategy. It might seem like a small detail in the broad picture of digital marketing, but it’s the details that can produce significant benefits and success.
So, What Is An Email Newsletter (Email Blast) Exactly?
Email newsletters are a form of online communication that allows any business or anyone, to send news, tips, and updates about their product, business, or industry. Who do you send your emails to? Users only receive a Newsletter once they join your email list by providing their email address through a subscription form. They are your subscribers, leads, or contacts.
Why It’s Essential To Integrate A Specific Email Subscription Form On Your Website
Just a little fun fact, did you know that more than 75% of people visiting your website today will never find it again? How crazy is that! You’re probably a little shocked, but it is not your fault. It’s just that the internet is so vast, and there’s a lot of content out there. Google changes its algorithm like I change my socks… Daily. That’s why it is so essential to create an email subscription form on your website that allows you to convert website visitors into subscribers. Once they join your email newsletter, you’ll be able to stay in touch and bring them back to your website. The chances are, you probably will be losing potential customers every day without a subscription form. Your email newsletter should provide a channel for you to share what you want to say with people who actually want to hear from you. It’s an invaluable resource in building a long term audience and monetizing it responsibly. An email newsletter fits right into permission marketing, and the top websites and bloggers around the world have found massive success with an email newsletter. A newsletter can inform or educate about products or industry or your specific business or services.
The Basic Steps Of Integrating An Email Signup Form Onto Your Website
Email Newsletters for business, as mentioned above, is a must for any business wanting to succeed in this digital world we live in. You are probably thinking that we are making this process sound so easy. Hey, guess what! It doesn’t have to be difficult; this is a rather easy process.
Sign Up For An Email Marketing Service
I get asked all the time “What is the best email service provider?” I always answer, “the one you will use consistently.” Find a platform that doesn’t make your brain crazy. I use Mailchimp. I love Mailchimp’s user interface, the way the newsletters look, and all the bells and whistles that Mailchimp has. But that may be because I have a “chimp” brain. Most email providers do basically the same things, but they may have different ways to do those things. Finding an email service provider that doesn’t make your brain hurt or stress you when you use it is vital. When you’re not stressed thinking about email, you’ll email more often.
Create A List
Once you have an account, it’s time to create a list (audience in Mailchimp) or email database. The sign up/subscribe form on your website will be integrated or link to the provider and your list. I like to use a subscription form plugin instead of the ESP’s (email service provider) form. I have a lot more control over the look and feel of my subscription form that way.
Collect Email Addresses
Collecting email addresses doesn’t have to be challenging. Offer a free digital product, a short course delivered via email, or give users actionable and useful information to get them to part with their email address. Remember, you need to gain these potential clients’ trust.
Set Up A Professional Opt-In/Subscription Form
You have an email newsletter account on your preferred platform. You’ve created your list, and now it’s time to choose how your readers/customers will sign up for your list. There are different types of opt-in/subscription forms you can use in different places on your website. These include:
- Pop-ups – Website pop-ups are a very popular way of collecting email subscriptions. Yes, they are annoying, but they are highly effective.
- Embedded below content or in the middle of your page or blog post – The best time to ask for a subscription is when people are reading (engaged) with your content, and they can see the value you bring to the table.
- Sidebar – Many websites/blogs include a subscription form on their sidebar. This is where most readers look for it naturally.
- WordPress has tons of form-making plugins that integrate with most email platforms. So adding subscription/ opt-in forms may sound challenging, but it can be a very quick and easy process. These plugins will allow you to customize your forms to your branding without coding.
- 3rd party subscription form makers will integrate with Mailchimp and most ESPs via API. It’s as easy as copying and pasting a string of numbers into your website’s form maker settings. Once it’s set, you’ll never have to do it again.
Send Emails To Your Subscribers
Once you’ve added a subscription form to your website, you’ll gradually start getting subscribers. After getting your initial welcome email, these new subscribers want to see what you send them next. Now you’re ready to start sending newsletters and eBlasts!
Not Enough Subscribers?
You’ve taken all the necessary steps to create a subscription form, but now the problem is, you aren’t getting any subscribers! Don’t worry, here are 3 tips to get more email subscribers.
Use Multiple Signup Forms
Just adding a single newsletter signup form to your website doesn’t cut it. Add many ways for people to subscribe to your newsletter using several different placement areas. I like to have a footer form, a blog sidebar form, a form embedded in my blog post, or below my blog post and a pop-up. The more changes I give someone to opt-in, the more times I’ll be successful in getting a new subscriber.
Offer Free Content
Offer free content for users that they can’t do without. This can be a checklist, an eBook PDF download, a research report/case study, or something similar which users can download after subscribing for your newsletter. A short course or video/audio sent via email is also a compelling reason to let go of an email address.
Use Social Media To Grow Your Email List
Your website is not the only place to promote your newsletter and find new subscribers. Social media platforms can be another place to convert followers into email subscribers. Tweet out the link to your subscription landing page frequently. Link your Facebook cover image to the subscription form on your website. Post a link to your subscription form on LinkedIn a couple of times a month. Facebook ads are a great way to get your target subscribers at a low price point.
Your newsletter subscription form has been added to your website and social media, and it’s fully operational. Everyone who visits your website will see it and subscribe! That’s it; we’ve integrated email marketing into your website.
[Amy is an email marketing strategist who provides creative consulting, strategic planning, and meticulous implementation services for growing businesses that want more leads, and more sales with less work. As a certified Mailchimp Partner & Expert, she’s created hundreds of newsletter templates, and thousands of emails for businesses all over the world.]