Are You Using Email to Communicate Effectively With Your Blog or Website Audience?

With ever increasing numbers of influential bloggers and online writers focusing their attention on using email as a way to communicate with their readers, it's safe to say you should be doing the same.

Over the last few years many bloggers had moved away from email in favour of other more automated content delivery mediums, such as RSS.

While RSS has certainly proved highly useful in terms of making your content accessible (and you should certainly keep using it), it has not been the email killer that many had prophicized.

Here are the top reasons why email should be considered a major part of your blogging strategy . . .

1. You Can Drive Quality Traffic to Your Site Through Email

People who subscribe to your newsletter can generally be considered to be of higher quality than your regular website visitors, especially if they have had to respond to a follow-up 'opt-in' request. They have clearly thought about whether they should subscribe and have not just signed up as a throwaway action.

Most bloggers find that the days on which they send out newsletters are the biggest hitting days for traffic to their website.

While many RSS feed readers can tend to show all of the content of a post within the reader itself, email newsletters usually show just an outline of each article, channelling quality visitors back to the website to read the post in its entirety and hopefully respond to your other actionable offerings.

2. Email is a Great Way to Monetize Your Content

The top bloggers have found that their revenue-generating activities have benefited greatly from including email in their marketing mix:

AdSense - website ad click-through rates have been proved to increase on newsletter days.

Affiliate Promotions - affiliate promotions in newsletters has been shown to constantly outperform promotion in blog posts. In fact, the best performing affiliate promotions actually work best when you write a blog post AND use email promotion.

Product Launches - if you have your own product to launch, email again works very well. This is because you generally have more of a relationship with your regular subscribers than with those that only occasionally visit your site. Again, if you also post your product launch on your blog in addition to via email (and the likes of Twitter and Facebook), you can help increase sales further.
Newsletter Ads – Tightly targeted newsletter ads can work very well, especially if you only run one ad per sendout. Your audience can prove to be less 'ad blind' than with other mediums, especially if you're canny in how you display your ads.

3. Email is More Personal and Helps Builds a Sense of Community

A well written email newsletter can help you form more of a connection with your readers than through the likes of RSS or your regular blog posts. It feels like you are being communicated with directly by the writer and the content is not part of a giant inpersonal 'bucket', aggregated from various sources.

Ask yourself, when was the last time someone got in touch to say thanks for a post read in their RSS reader? Not often I bet, unlike the responses that an email can generate. Email newsletters make readers feel like they 'belong'.

4. Everyone Understands Email

If you only offer RSS as a way to access your site’s information you’re excluding a lot of people who are not that technically minded.

By all means make your content accessible - Bookmarking buttons, Twitter etc - but by using email you're making sure to target the widest spread of your audience as possible.