by Melody Johnson
You’ve heard enough about email marketing to know that it’s important, but between your podcast editing schedule, interviewing guests, and scheduling social media posts, your relationship with email lists is a little complicated, to say the least. Whether you’re just starting to build an email list to sell digital products or services or trying to re-engage with your audience after a long pause, email marketing is far from dead and an important aspect of your digital marketing strategy.
My name is Melody, I’m a freelance course consultant and podcast host. I help digital entrepreneurs gain clarity and develop their next course. In this article, I’ll share with you why building an email list is still important. I’ll also share simple strategies to grow your email list and how to build engagement with your podcast listeners through email marketing.
Why Email Marketing
The history of email marketing has long regarded email communication as a powerful tool to drive revenue and sales. According to Forbes, the year 1978 marked one of the first mass email marketing campaigns which resulted in over $13 million in revenue. With the number of email users expecting to rise to over 4.4 billion users by 2023, according to Statista, it’s no wonder that millions of Digital Marketing Strategists are flocking to send out sales emails to reach paying customers. Advocates of email marketing point to benefits such as higher engagement with audiences as opposed to the challenges of constantly evolving social media algorithms such as those of Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. So if email marketing is still important, how do podcasters grow a thriving email list?
1 – Increase Sales Conversions
Email marketing beats social media when it comes to sales conversions. While social media marketing is an important aspect of building the “like, know, and trust” factor with your audience, there are some shocking statistics of how little content your audience actually sees when it comes to your social platform. With Instagram rolling out the removal of likes in some regions and only 10% of Facebook followers seeing your posts, it’s no surprise that email marketing is coming back to small business owners’ top of mind. According to OptinMonster, a lead generation tool for marketers, email conversions are roughly 5% more effective than social media sales posts.
Having a strong social media presence is important, so don’t ditch social media entirely. Instead, consider using other platforms like Pinterest which “drives more than 10X more traffic than Instagram or Facebook.” In other words, use email marketing as part of a larger social media marketing plan.
2 – Build Engaged Listeners With Facebook Groups
One of the easiest ways to build an engaged online community while also building your email list is to require interested listeners to submit their email address by providing a free incentive such as an eBook (learn how to make money with eBooks here), free email course, or digital download. You can create this requirement on Facebook by editing your moderation questions. Make sure that you emphasize that by providing an email address, group members are agreeing to receive email marketing content including emails such as sales discounts. One major challenge for using this method is keeping up with the group approvals which can either be manually approved and added to an email marketing software or you can use a premium service such as Groups Ninja.
3 – Meet Your Audience Where They’re At
“Do you really even know me?” That’s probably one of the first questions you might wonder when opening up your email inbox. Or at least that’s what I think. Email marketing, when done correctly, can help to nurture your audience at any point in their journey. A couple of easy-to-use methods to understand your audience’s needs are sending a survey via email or creating an email opt-in based on common struggles your audience has at different points in their journey. A more complex email strategy is to utilize a process called “segmenting” or “tagging.” A service such as ConvertKit can help you identify the key interests of your potential customer or client and send targeted email messages based on those interests.
4 – Create Personalized Connections
A lack of personalization is one of the major issues I see when I open emails that don’t include my name and have nothing of value to provide to me. One major advantage of email marketing is that you can create personalized greetings and content based on the information the email user-provided once they signed up. Using Convertkit allows you to create customized greetings to email subscribers by selecting the “Personalize” option when setting up my email marketing campaign. This helps to not only build trust and loyalty with your audience but also add a personal touch to your messages. Overall, personalization can have a positive impact on podcast downloads, social media engagement, and of course, result in more potential sales!
5 – Plan Out Content More Effectively
Email marketing is just another way to see which pieces of content result in higher engagement. One great Convertkit feature is that you can see which pieces of content received higher click-through rates. For example, you might share three podcast episodes, one about Motherhood, another about Diversity, and a third episode about Relationships. Similar to social media analytics, in your email marketing software, you can review which links received the highest click-through percentages and use this information to analyze if there is a growing trend in popularity with these podcast topics and plan out related content for the future.
6 – Create Urgency In Promotions
Urgency is a big factor in converting podcast listeners into customers. Email marketing provides a way to remind your audience of any upcoming sales, discounts, or new offers for your business. One common strategy to build urgency in your email marketing sequence is to provide a limited time offer that incorporates a series of emails that will drive people to a landing page where you can share additional information about your service or product. It’s often the last day before a deadline expires that the highest number of enrollments or purchases occur. You can integrate a software like MotionMail, which embeds a countdown timer in your emails.
7 – Streamline Your Sales Process
If you decide to run a Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest ad, one major benefit of email marketing is that you can automate your sales process by creating a series of emails that lead to a limited time discount offer on a sales page. This is often referred to as an automated email series or drip sequence. Another popular method that digital marketers use to collect email addresses is sign-ups for a webinar. After the webinar, an email series will share testimonials, success stories, and a webinar replay with a limited-time special bonus offering. While this definitely can work for some content creators, it’s pivotal that you map out and test out the content you would include in any email marketing sequence to avoid any broken links or grammatical errors.
8 – Share Valuable Resources
Free digital resources are an easy way to gain email subscribers. Email marketing allows you to share downloadable content without worrying about subscribers having compatible software. One of the simplest ways to build your email list is to create a pop-up form on your website that leads people to sign-up for a freebie.
My virtual desktop is littered with checklists and blueprints from other podcast hosts and content creators. I like using ConvertKit for my landing pages due to the advanced customization options. Convertkit makes it simple to integrate forms onto my website through pop-ups and landing pages. One great tool I love to use is Interact, which is a viral quiz software that shares personality results with my email subscribers as well as provides invaluable free and paid resources to my audience. Another way to share resources is to create a direct link in your podcast show notes area for a landing page opt-in.
Overall, email marketing for podcasters is invaluable, especially when it comes to sales and revenue. Whether you’re a full-time podcaster or a growing entrepreneur, email marketing campaigns are highly effective for creating meaningful content and establishing new sales offers or discounts. You can learn more about building your email list with my free 3 Day List Building Quiz Challenge Course.