Email Marketing for Bloggers & Small Businesses: 8 Tips to Get You Started

Email marketing for bloggers & small businesses still has incredible ROI. Once someone has signed up for your email list, you’re halfway there; they’re already interested in what you’re selling or talking about, and the likelihood of a conversion — a sale, a read, a share — is much higher than if they’re seeing you or what you’ve got for the first time on social media.

Email Marketing for Bloggers & Small Businesses: 8 Tips to Get You Started

I was compelled to write his for two reasons. The first is that a few days ago, I was invited to a blogger party at a local store by some blogger friends of mine. A few days after RSVPing, I received a promotional email from that business that had nothing to do with the party, I had been added to their general email list. More on that later, but not only is it annoying, it’s actually illegal.

And secondly, it seems like every day, Instagram has an algorithm change. If IG is anything like Facebook, then reach is going to continue to get harder and harder to achieve. One thing you can always count on, one thing that you own that no one else does, is your email list. That’s why brands still make email such a priority, and why they’re constantly working on capturing your email address… They know how valuable it is.

So here are 8 tips to get you started, if you’re trying to tackle the world of email marketing for bloggers & small business:

1. Do not add people to your list without permission. Someone giving their email to enter a contest, or for a party invitation (as was the case of the business mentioned above) does not give you the right to email them marketing materials. I made the mistake of forgetting to let people know at Mamas + Makers this year that by entering the raffle, they would be added to the cuteheads email list. And because I forgot to mention it, I couldn’t add them. It was one minor mistake in an overall-successful event, but I’ll remember for next time to be totally transparent about that.

2. Do not buy lists. You might as well be throwing money down the toilet. It’s tempting, but don’t do it.

3. Understand the funnel. One of the most important things you need to figure out about your customers and readers to grow your email list is how to get them point a to point b. In other words, how do you get someone who knows nothing about you to go from clicking on your Instagram photo to being an email subscriber, bought into what you’re all about? One of the things I do is, instead of making the link in my Instagram profile a link to my site or blog, I link directly to my email sign up page. From there, they learn that if they sign up, they get 10% off their first purchase. Just this small change, has had a dramatic effect on the number of subscribers I have and the speed my list is growing.

4. Get familiar with CAN-SPAM. CAN-SPAM is a set of laws that created the first national standards and rules or sending commercial emails. These laws range include: adding an unsubscribe to all emails, adding a commercial address to the bottom of all emails, emails must have relevant subject lines. If your blog or business is making money, you are a business and you must comply with these laws.

5. Make your emails worth their while. Your emails should be filled with relevant content, freebies, printables, behind-the-scenes, and anything else that is special for your email subscribers. I send a lot of email-only coupons to entice people to subscribe, and my emails always include both information about cuteheads and new and relevant blog posts. I make them short, sweet, and to the point, but I always try to think about what’s in it for the subscriber.

6. Be consistent. It’s important to send emails regularly (but not too regularly!). Once a week or once every two weeks is generally considered the standard. This was you stay top of mine without being annoying.

7. Get creative. Reach out to other small brands or bloggers with similar audiences and cross-promote. Have them mention you in their emails and vice versa. Reach out to bloggers with big email lists and talk to them about providing a coupon code just for their readers for your product.

8. Just start! You might think it’s too hard, that you’ll never build your list, but it starts with just that one subscriber. And as you figure out what your subscribers want in their emails, you can fine tune your offerings and make your copy, your headlines, and your content more openable and clickable.

Have you been focusing on email lately?

24 thoughts on “Email Marketing for Bloggers & Small Businesses: 8 Tips to Get You Started

  1. Awesome awesome tips! Now what I need to figure out is the best way to send emails – I want an email to auto send to my subscribers when a new blog is posted, but I haven’t figured out how to do that.

  2. Consistency with my email list is definitely my downfall. I’m totally on top of my content (on the blog and social channels) and getting that out in a timely matter and then convince myself my email list just isn’t as important and throw it to the side until there is time…I’m working to fix that…

  3. I just use my blog’s RSS feed, but this weekend I went through and updated the design and widgets inside of the email to hopefully make it more relevant and appealing. Thanks for these tips!

  4. Thank you so much for writing this post- much appreciated.

    I just finalised my newsletter and start sending it out next week (eep!)
    It took me way way too long, and I don’t know why I didn’t create a newsletter right from the get-go!

    Never really thought about collabing with a similar blogger to mention me in their newsletter- great tip!

    xx, Jamie

  5. I’ve played around with my email list for over a year and I’m still not sure what to do with it now that I’ve got some people signing up. Thanks for giving me some actionable advice! :)

  6. I have just started growing my email list and wasn’t sure what else I could do and what to include in my emails. I think with this I can get a good start. Thanks!

  7. Thanks for the tips! I’ve been working on everything else with my blog, but my email subscription has been lacking. I really need to get on that! Thanks for sharing :)

  8. I love the just start. Because it can be intimidating. For me I want to put something awesome out there and not just link to my blog posts. I am working hard to come up with one valuable email twice a month. Thanks for sharing.

    1. For me, I try to keep all the important stuff, the stuff I REALLY want them to know, above the fold (or what they can see before they scroll). Then below that, I put a few more things, like links to blog posts or behind the scenes info. But stick to one important thing you want them to know, and then toss in a few more nice to have’s.

  9. Wow, this is valuable list I couldn’t have come across at a more perfect time! Pinning and sharing across my networks.

  10. As someone who works in digital marketing, I’m often advising clients on how to start with building their email lists. It’s amazing how many people think it’s still okay to email folks without first gaining permission or buying a list. Yikes!

  11. These are all great tips! I HATE it when I get put on a random email list because a company just took my email from my blog or Instagram. SO dumb. I’ve been building an email list for a while, but haven’t emailed anyone in quite some time because I’m trying to figure out what I want to send and how to make it valuable! Thanks for all the great points; I’m feeling inspired!

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About Esther

The Cuteness: sharing daily inspiration, kids fashion, work/life balance + small business how to's from mom & business owner Esther Freedman