Did you ever notice that on every blog and website these days there is a pop-up or a little box in the sidebar that will ask you to insert your name and email address? That is because bloggers are aware of the need to build an email list and recognize its importance.

Dani, the amazing writer behind Flourishing Freelancer wrote this guest post to underline why exactly bloggers need an email list in the first place, how they can make the best use of it, and what do they stand to lose if they don’t. Enjoy!






Email lists seem to be all the rage at the moment. Everywhere we look, we’re being told that growing your email list is important and that email marketing is not dead. Not even a little bit!

Whilst email lists are popular, it’s not clear why bloggers need to start an email list. This is especially true of bloggers who don’t sell products or services. If you’re feeling confused about why you need an email list for your blog, we’re here to help.

Before I get into it, in the name of full transparency, please note that this post contains affiliate links and any purchase made through such links will result in a small commission for myself (although enough to get another puppy). If you choose to purchase anything through my links, thank you for supporting me and my blog. You are awesome! You can learn more about affiliate links here.

 

What are the Main Advantages of an Email List?

Are you a blogger looking to bring in more traffic, make an income online with your blog and create a connection with your readers? An email list is the answer. Find out why every blogger needs an email list, how to start one and other email marketing tips for bloggers.

 

💎  YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER YOUR EMAILS

Your emails are the only thing you have total control over outside of your actual blog. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are all owned by other people, they change their settings and algorithms which can affect how wide your reach is. An algorithm might be changed so that only two or three people see your updates.

Like every craze, social media platforms come and go. Us bloggers spend hours and hours each day building a following on our social media accounts but there’s no guarantee that they might not just disappear. Poof. Gone! And so is your following.

You don’t have these problems with your emails. You can create and grow your list and send exactly what you want to all of your readers who are signed up. Your email list isn’t going to just go away either. It’s yours and it’s here to stay!

💎 YOUR READERS HAVE CHOSE TO OPT-IN

To get your emails, your reader will have had to sign up to your email list. They are inviting you into their inbox because they have made that decision themselves and have chosen to receive your emails because they’re interested in what you have to say. So they are much more likely to click, read, buy and share your blog/product/services with others because they want to see the information you’re sending through and they enjoy it. Think about it. You’re much more likely to want to share something useful and something that you enjoyed than any old, irrelevant blog post.

If your readers have an interest in a particular topic, chances are, they’ll be over the moon to receive more information. If you’re letting them know that you have more posts on a certain topic, they’ll be back on your site before you know it reading more and more.

The point is, those readers have chosen to hear from you, they want to see you in their inbox!

💎  EMAILS ARE PERSONAL AND TARGETED

First off, I’ll say that the level of personalisation will depend on your email list provider and whether you upgrade your account etc. But the point is, the option to make your emails really personal is out there. Your email is directed at your reader and lands in their inbox with their name on it. They can read it in their own time and they can reply if they want to without it being out in public on a wall or timeline.

Emails are personal on two levels – you are able to build a closer relationship with your readers because they will see so much more of you than simply what you share on your blog (that is, if you choose to share more within your email). It also allows your readers to share stuff with you too. They can reply to you and interact with you on a much more personal level than anywhere else. Through this, you’re much more likely to build deeper relationships and gain more loyal readers as a result. People stick by the people they know.

Depending on how you set up your email list(s), they’re likely to be targeted too. So if people want to hear more blogging tips from you, they can sign up to that email list and won’t be distracted by your posts about what you did on the weekend. Again, this means that they’re more likely to stick around and loyalty is what every blogger wants from their readers.

  💎 EMAIL LIST VS. SOCIAL MEDIA

A lot of people feel that Social Media is the best way to reach their readers but that’s not strictly true. I’m not taking away from the importance of Social Media because it’s super important – it’s a great way to interact with your audience. But email lists have the potential to reach more people. Everyone has an email address. Most people are signed into their email account 24/7 on their phones and, if they’re not, they’ll check their inbox several times a day. Email is also a personal, direct and reliable way to communicate with your readers.

We have become numb to Facebook and Twitter marketing. We scroll past updates and, with the huge numbers of people on Twitter, updates often get lost. Your readers are much more likely to see your email in their inbox than they are to see your Tweet. They’re also more like to click through and read your email update than something they consider to be “generic marketing” on social media.

Email is definitely the easiest way to keep in touch and share with your readers in an intimate way.

💎 THEY ARE A GREAT SALES TOOL AS WELL

If, as part of your blogging biz, you are selling products or services. An email list is a great way to build hype before the launch of your new eBook, course or product launch. Telling your number one fans about your next project is one of the best ways to get the word out there!

Even if you have nothing that you’re actually selling, bloggers should be providing useful content and finding new and engaging ways to communicate that with their audience. An email list is the perfect way to share exclusive content and give your readers the first chance to see what’s new in your blogging world!

Have I convinced you that you need to get started on your email list yet? I hope so! Now all you need to do is get going – good luck!


Dani is the blogger behind Flourishing Freelancer , a platform where freelance writers and bloggers can come together, get inspired and informed.

With a super encouraging attitude and a plethora of good tips to share, Dani writes for the everyday blogger that wants to make money on the side doing what they love. Be sure to check her out!


If you are new to the email list community and you are not sure what email service provider to choose, I came up with a short list of the most popular and most capable ones, so you can find one that suits your needs the best.

UPDATE: Since writing this post I found an email provider that blew my mind and I recently switched from Mailchimp to Mailerlite. Here is why!

 


MailChimp


mailchimp-review-email-list-provider-blogger

Personally, I use MailChimp and so far I am loving it! I didn’t know anything about lists, sign-up forms or campaigns but after browsing their website and watching a few tutorials online, I consider myself a wannabe pro.

PROS

  • It’s completely free until you reach 2,000 subscribers.
  • You can send up to 12,000 emails per month without any cost.
  • Beautiful interface. Easy to use.
  • You can customize pretty much anything!
  • Email templates are so easy to create.
  • You can create beautiful sign-up forms.
  • You can set up an RSS feed to create a newsletter.

CONS

  • Limited features.
  • The MailChimp logo will be placed at the end of your emails.
  • Automation (sending emails in a sequence to new subscribers) is a premium feature.
  • Once you get a certain amount of subscribers, you actually pay more than you would with other email providers.
  • Strict rules. They can ban you if you send emails on certain topics they disapprove of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Mailchimp is great for small bloggers and websites, especially when starting out and you are not ready in invest in an email list that might not be profitable for a few months, there are better alternatives out there that will offer you a wider range of possibilities and freedom. These come at a cost, but keep reading to find out why they are worth it.

 


AWeber


aweber-review-mailing-list-bloggers-grow-audience

I use AWeber for the company that I freelance for and it turned out to be a great marketing tool. You can create great landing pages, customize all your emails and more and it only costs $19 per month. Here are some more pros, and some cons that I have encountered in my experience with them:

PROS

  • 30 days free trial. Try it out before you buy it!
  • Amazing custom templates. Provides more options than any other email provider.
  • Autoresponders available.
  • No strict restrictions for the content of your emails.
  • Great segmentation options.
  • Easy to create a newsletter.

 

CONS

  • You pay more once you reach 500 subscribers.
  • Takes a bit to learn how to customize your templates and browse the website.
  • Does not integrate with Google Analytics. (Mailchimp does)
  • There are cheaper options out there.
  • You cannot integrate video in the email. (You can only link to them)

AWeber is a very professional platform that, if used wisely, can return on investment big time. If you already have a following, you should consider moving your list here as it offers more freedom (you can send emails about affiliate marketing or making money online, topics forbidden by Mailchimp) and flexibility.


ConvertKit


convertkit-review-blogger-gain-subscribers

ConvertKit is another great email service provider that is highly recommended in the blogging industry. And it is easy to see why. A super easy to use interface that allows you multiple choices to treat your subscribers, all for $29 per month.

 

PROS

  • Unlimited everything.
  • Allows you to create mini e-courses delivered automatically to new subscribers.
  • Amazing templates and squeeze pages.
  • 30 day refund policy if you are not happy (you will be).
  • More control of your lists due to segments and tags.
  • Easy to import contacts

CONS

  • More expensive than AWeber. (Price is the same once you get over 500 subscribers)
  • Can’t remove inactive subscribers easily.
  • Is not as advanced as AWeber is some respects. (Safeguarding against spam for example)
  • You cannot test the email courses.

Although not as mature as AWeber, ConverKit is an amazing alternative for an email provider that is fast growing and can make a real difference to your subscribers.


Hopefully, by now you understand not only why you need an email list following as a blogger or online business owner, but you already have a few options in mind.

What email provider do you use and what is your favorite and least favorite thing about them? Leave your comment below!

 

💎  RELATED POSTS:

Why I switched from Mailchimp To Mailerlite

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  • What an absolutely brilliant post! I’m going to make sure I share this with my followers.

    Sadly MailChimp rejected my blog due to the content I write about (earning money from home) However I’ve been using SendInBlue for the last year or so and can’t fault the system or price at all so it’s worth checking out…

    • Thank you so much!

      I have never heard of that provider, but I’ll look into it!

      I am a bit fearful that Mailchimp will do the same if I start blogging about how to earn some extra cash as a student. Any idea if they allow you to migrate your subscribers to another platform before they ban you?

      Thanks for stopping by lovely!

  • Clairejustineo

    Sounds like a great idea 🙂 I need to get more organised with my blog..

    • Same. Your blog should still be the focus, but this is a great way to advertise all the great things you do with your blog to people who actually care.

      Thanks for stopping by. x

  • Laura Dove

    I am just in the process of getting an email list, I have no clue what I’m doing so this is a fab post and will help me massively. Thank you!

    • Hi Laura,

      I am so glad this helped. If you have any more questions about these services, do let me know and I will be happy to answer them, or if I don’t know the answer I will be sure to look into it.

      Kisses

  • Little Steps

    I do have an email list (I think. Hahaha). Never really though much of it, but now that you’ve mentioned it … I’m off to check 😉

    • I used to have one that was set up automatically by wordress (that was before I had a self hosted blog) but it was useless. The templates were cringe worthy and sending mails out for every post just drove people away.

      I really recommend signing up for a real email provider. It can do wonders for the relationship you have with your readers.

      Thanks a lot for taking the time to comment.

  • Really interesting. I signed up for a Mailchimp account but then didn’t do anything more with it… I really need to start working on building an email list!

    • Hi Jessica,
      I’ve been there. The great thing about Mailchimp is that you can afford to do that because you are not actually losing any money, so (for me at least) the motivation is not always there.
      But if you chose one of the other services, you quickly become accountable and actually start working on it.
      But trust me, you will gain so much more from it than you lose.

      Thanks for stopping by! x

  • Danielle Fairhurst

    Thank you so much Ana for inviting me to guest post on here, and thanks guys for the lovely comments 🙂

    Dani

    • It was my absolute pleasure! To be fair, I learned a few things about the importance of email lists myself.

      Thanks for all the effort you put into this x

  • Fab post. I found it so informative. An email list is very handy. I hate pop ups though. Once is good but more than once is annoying.

    • Hi Stella,

      I agree, but they seem to work the best. I like the ones that only pop up when you are about to leave the website.

      Thanks for your lovely comment!

  • Jayne

    Fab tips! A very useful resource to get started with an email list, I use mailchimp 🙂

  • Beautyqueenuk

    This is such a great post, I do have an email list but perhaps I need to utilise it better x

    • Hi!
      I’m still learning the ropes of that myself. Do share any tips if you come across strategies that work.

      Best wishes

  • I so need an e-mail list. I’m just so scared no one will sign up for it haha. That’s my biggest worry. I love the pros and cons list, you’ve given me the nudge I need to start building one. x

    • I’m so glad to hear that!
      And that’s the fear with everything isn’t it? But if people are already reading your blog, chances are they are interested in what you have to say and you get a chance to connect with them on a personal level as well.

      Let me know if you need any help x

  • I do have Mailchimp but I don’t think anybody has signed up since I had it. Also I feel like I don’t want to Spam people with content. I have signed up to so many blogger lists and never open them. Maybe that is just me but I don’t want to annoy people 🙁

    • I absolutely know what you mean!
      Having a little incentive (like an email course on something you know a lot about, a small ebook with tips or anything like that) can really attract people into signing up.
      Designing your sign up forms makes them look more attractive as well. (Click on subscribe at the end of this post to see how mine looks)

      And as long as you don’t email people for every single blog post, you can’t be an annoyance since they literally signed up to hear more from you.
      (You have the option to set an RSS feed and send an email once a week or a month)

      I follow lots of blogs, but don’t have the time to check them or simply forget about them. But I usually do when I receive an email from them and it just makes me feel like I have some sort of personal connexion with that blog.

      Maybe it’s just me.

      Let me know if you have any other questions! x

  • Kara

    I haven’t set up an email list……now wondering if I should

    • Hi Kara,
      What are your reservations?
      I would recommend starting with Mailchimp since is free until you get the hang of it.
      But it can be of great help to build a community around your blog or website.

  • Ayesha Farhad

    What a handy post!! Great tips!

  • Wow, this post is great – I don’t have very many email subscribers at all and definitely don’t utilise my email list at all. This has made me rethink it all and will definitely be checking back to put the tips into action.

    • I’m glad this was of any help!
      Having some extra content just for your subscribers is going to get you far because they are already interested in what you do and what you have to say!

      Lots of love

  • I’ve been trying to build an email list for the past month but I am finding it difficult. This has been really helpful for me – I am using mail chimp 🙂

    • Hi Laura,
      I’m not an expert on how to actually grow your email list (will make sure to do a post about that after I learn a few tricks) but it’s super important to draw attention to your subscription box. Having it at the end of every blog post is a great idea!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Jenni Grainger

    This is a great post. I have a subscribe button on my blog but I’m not actually sure if it works as I can’t remember setting it up so best check that x

    • Hi Jenni,
      Usually you have to make an account with an email provider.
      If you’re using WordPress they offer this for free but the emails they send out look so cringey.
      Let me know if I can help with anything. x

  • Melanie Edjourian

    Great post, it’s very informative and clear. I know it’s important to build up an email list but I am sure that many will agree that it drives me nuts and I will leave a blog when the pop up keep appearing asking me to subscribe.

    • Hi Melanie,

      I agree. Sometimes it doesn’t bother me if I have the time to check out the blog and decide if I like it, but most of the time it just jumps at you before you have the chance to read the title.

      You can still grow an email list by simply adding the form at the end of your posts or on your sidebar. This way, by now, people have a pretty good chance to know if they like what your write about or not.

      Thanks for stopping by x

  • This is something great you have posted here. You have shared not a post but a helping hand for every blogger.

  • That’s a great post. Building an email list is definitely an important part of blogging. Email lists are an excellent source of real readers.

  • Thanks so much for sharing! Very informative!

  • This is a great approach Dani. And thank you for sharing this Ana.

    To me, building an email list is mostly because I want to build relationships with my readers and that way build their trust in me.

    To be honest, I get tired of people saying you have to build the biggest list, because it’s not about the number of subscribers. But it’s more about the connection between you as a blogger and your reader. That’s what makes them open up your emails in the first place.

  • Thanks for sharing! I still didn’t think email lists are that important even after reading so much about it! This is an entirely different perspective & I think I am better informed now!!