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Maximizing Your Blog Sidebar to Build Your Email List

by Karen Talavera

11 15, 2010 | Posted in Blog Marketing, Email Lists, Lead Generation | 0 comments

GreenDaily features Fierce Hugs!

photo credit: fiercehugs

If you’re not using your blog sidebar to request email addresses and other communication touch points from your readers you’re missing out on one of the best and most trustworthy avenues for building your list – essential to increasing engagement, loyalty and sales. Here are the three top blog sidebar elements every marketer using email should never be without:

Get New Blog Posts by Email

Assuming you have interesting – if not remarkable! – content on your blog, your readers will be interested in coming back to read more so make it easy for them. A common method that alerts subscribers when you have new posts is RSS (it stands for Really Simple Syndication). Readers can subscribe to your RSS feed and see in their RSS reader when you have a new post. However, many people still don’t use RSS, so give your readers an option to receive new blog posts via email.

Several email marketing systems like MailChimp have a “blog to email” function that lets readers subscribe to email updates of your blog. These systems then scan your blog for new posts at the interval you designate (daily, weekly or otherwise) and automatically generate an email message that links subscribers to your newest post(s) since the last campaign was sent.  Voila! what could be better thanan ongoing triggered-email campaign you don’t have to manually create each time you want it sent?

Email Newsletter Invite

Chances are, though, that you have more to send by email than just new blog posts. If you have additional valuable content to promote such as your e-newsletter, information-products, webinars/teleseminars or live events make sure to include a graphic feature or widget that invites blog visitors to subscribe to join your master email or e-newsletter list. This is precisely one of the reasons that blogs are such a great addition to your marketing mix – they give you a place to showcase your valuable content and as a result, grow your list.

Free Content or Lead Magnet Access

Do you have a freebie you use as a primary lead generator? Maybe this is your “keystone content” that you want every blog/site visitor to consume and which you’d like to go viral. Or, it could be your tried and true lead magnet to attract new clients, packaged as a special report, guide, workbook, video or audio. It’s likely at the top of your sales funnel, building credibility and kicking-off new prospect relationships. Often called a “pink spoon” (think Baskin Robbins’ free ice cream tastes) this is content you want people to try for free, so give them a clear call to action and short description with an opt-in to get it.  Then, add them to your email list or the relevant segment of it.

Remember: The Gold Is In Your List

These three blog side-bar widgets are absolute must-haves for business owners dedicated to email marketing, yet they’re just a few of the powerful sidebar elements you should include on your blog (I’ll discuss more in a future post).  Your email marketing software program (like iContact, MailChimp, or Subscribermail) will actually provide sign-up form code for you that imports the subscriber data you collect via these widgets right into your list.  You’ll want to give high-value sidebar elements, like your lead magnet, more attention with custom graphic design and development, including congruent download and thank-you pages.

The point is this: in email marketing the gold is in your list.  Maximize the list-building real-estate in your blog sidebar and leave no opportunity to build that list untapped.

Need an email or blog review? Get it with coaching from Karen. For more information on hourly or monthly coaching programs contact me for a free 30-minute consult.

Creative Commons License photo credit: fiercehugs

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