You may have heard that email marketing is dead.
The internet is interspersed with messages about people getting more and more tired and annoyed with marketing emails, and email marketing practices being generally obsolete.
In reality, however, email marketing is far from dead, and it is still among the top marketing strategies to grow your audience.
According to Backlinko, from the entire email marketing traffic, 4.24% will make a purchase, compared to 2.49% from the search engine traffic and only 0.59% from social media traffic. But these numbers are mostly related to businesses.
What about publishers?
Is email marketing effective to help publishers grow their audience?
Yes, because people generally prefer to receive subscription notifications through email. According to Campaign Monitor, 92% of adults on the internet use email every day, and out of that number, 72% prefer to receive subscription notifications and promotional content through email.
So, if your goal as a publisher is to grow your audience, there are certain effective email marketing strategies that can help you achieve that.
Let’s take a look.
1. Give Multiple Newsletter Options
As a publisher, you know that a newsletter is the foundation of your email marketing campaign. However, newsletters don’t always work best to grow a publisher’s audience. In fact, newsletters have lower interaction and CTR than, for instance, transactional emails.
But what should you do if you cannot exclude newsletters from your email marketing campaign?
Here’s what The Huffington Post did to fix this.
To get more people to subscribe to their newsletters, they broke them down into categories – HuffPost Insider, The Morning Email, Entertainment, etc.
People are more interested in getting the newsletters that are tailored specifically to their needs. “Such newsletters can help publishers find a new approach to the interests of the subscribers,” says Grace Kenny, a marketing strategist at PickWriters.
So, for instance, if a subscriber opts for a morning newsletter from The Huffington Post, they will receive the roundup of the most relevant news:
Diversifying your newsletter options can help make your target audience more interested in subscribing to you as a publisher, as they will receive the content they are genuinely interested in, instead of getting newsletters that clog their inbox.
2. Grow Your Audience with Even More Personalization
Regarding personalization, you can either break your newsletter into several different types, but you can also go further and target a particular topic.
The Washington Post gives their potential subscribers a possibility to follow a particular topic, on which the publisher sends news coverage every day:
How does such ‘extreme personalization’ benefit the publishers?
Such emails have great potential to help you grow your audience as a publisher. When the message of an email is personalized, the average open rate is 18.8%, compared to only 7.4% with personalized emails subject lines.
In case of personalized email messages, you pass on the reins to your target audience and let them choose, which particular topic to follow, and which messages to receive.
3. Send Your Subscribers a Friend Request
Let’s take a break from newsletters and talk about other email marketing strategies to grow your audience.
One such strategy is to encourage your existing subscribers to invite their friends to subscribe to you. This the strategy that The Skimm uses to grow its audience:
This is a so-called friend referral marketing strategy and works well to help publishers grow their audience. “Our friend referral email marketing strategy helped us grow our conversion rates by 5 times,” says Martin Harrison, a product strategist at BestWritersOnline.
Using this method is more effective in terms of attracting new subscribers than personalized newsletters. With such friend referral emails, you get high-quality leads, meaning that you’ll have more subscribers stick with you and remain active.
Here’s the proof: friend referral emails bring on average 20,000 new email addresses than any other email marketing strategy, and the lifetime value of these new subscribers is 16% higher than the subscribers you’ve got from other email marketing strategies.
What Else Can Publishers Do to Grow Their Audience?
Apart from friend referral emails, publishers also use one-time offers as their email marketing strategy. This is what The Washington Post does to attract new subscribers:
With this email, they give their subscribers a one-time offer to save over 70% off their subscriptions. There are also other similar options publishers can employ in their email marketing campaign:
- free subscription trials
- subscription giveaways
- recurring subscription discounts (e.g., seasonal)
Such offers, together with friend referral emails, can help publishers not only improve customer retention but to acquire new subscribers who stay with them for longer.
Can You Combine Email Marketing and Push Notifications?
These two strategies are often perceived as very different from each other. The key differences between email marketing and push notifications include the following:
- Difference in length. Push notifications are generally a lot shorter than marketing emails, with only 50 characters long.
- Difference in personalization levels. Push notifications are generally more personalized than marketing emails. This is a different kind of personalization, which is more intimate.
- Difference in content. Marketing emails usually include content that is more complete. Both marketing emails and push notifications serve to alert the subscribers. However, due to their nature, marketing emails can do it in a well-rounded and completed form. Push notifications are very short, so the message that they deliver is very compact.
As you can see, email marketing and push notifications are as different as night and day. However, publishers can still get both strategies involved to grow their audiences.
Here’s how publishers can pair push notifications and email marketing:
- Making your emails more time-sensitive. It may take your subscribers a while to read your email. However, if you pair your email marketing campaign with push notifications, which will get sent to your subscriber’s desktop, this will urge them to check out your message sooner.
- Making emails more engaging. Pairing push notifications with marketing emails allows you to employ a wider variety of strategies. For instance, you can use more personalized messages with names of your subscribers and emoji in your push notifications, while keeping your emails more neutral.
- Making your click-through rates more consistent. Push notifications paired together with email marketing can help increase your click-through rate, as push notifications serve as reminders to your subscribers to go and check their inbox.
Beware: using push notifications for every email that you send to your subscribers may result in lower tolerance towards you as a publisher and may force people to unsubscribe from your emails.
The best way is to use push notifications when the time and the message require sending an alert. This may be an offer limited in time or similar emails that need the attention of your subscribers right away. But don’t overuse push notifications just to get more attention.
Email marketing definitely isn’t dead. You just need to make it work for you.
As a publisher, you, too, can get many benefits from email marketing, from diversifying and personalizing your newsletters to engaging new subscribers with friend referral emails and one-time offers.
You can also pair your email marketing efforts with push notifications to get more attention to your messages and increase subscriber engagement. It is important, however, not to overuse push notifications for your emails, keeping in mind that they should be timely and appropriate at a certain moment.