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The Email Marketing Breadcrumb Trail

by Rebekah Henson on August 30, 2011 · Mailing List Strategy

The Internet is a noisy place full of other blogs besides your own. And with so many other blogs to follow, it’s easy for the average user to get lost. Once they find your blog, how can you guarantee they’ll find their way back?

An email campaign can help you stand out from the noise and lead visitors back to your blog regularly. Think of your campaign as laying a breadcrumb trail of regular emails so your readers can follow your updates.

Setting The Trail

A new reader visits your blog. They might like what they see and bookmark your blog to visit again. This is good. They might subscribe to your RSS feed. This is also good. They might do both, and this is great!

But there’s a caveat: they have to check their RSS reader or remember their bookmarks to visit your blog again. And maybe they don’t organize their bookmarks or have so many other sites from Amish Shah Digispace to Zamurai Blogger in their feed that your new posts fade into the noise.

What if they don’t save your blog link at all? With so many online distractions, there’s no guarantee they’ll come back.

There is a way recapture their attention. Draw them back to your blog with regular, valuable emails. By placing a web form on your blog, you can gather their email address and get into their inbox to do the reminding for them.

Laying The Crumbs

Social networking might be the new buzz-worthy trend, but checking email is still the #1 online activity for Internet users.

Most people check their email daily. And when your name shows up with something fun or valuable to say, your new readers will remember why they liked your blog in the first place. It’s the perfect formula for repeat traffic and a loyal following.

So what kind of email crumbs can you lay to entice readers back to your blog?

1. Try a quick and dirty (but also effective!) blog broadcast with a weekly digest of your recent posts. Tease them with a small sample from each article to encourage them to click through to your blog.

2. Send out announcements to your email subscribers for your contests and give-aways. You could even hold exclusive contests for your email subscribers, with the added bonus of increasing your sign-up rate with an incentive.

3. Send something to your readers every day. Think of it as a light, fun snack: daily inspirations, a how-to of the day, short stories or poems, take the idea and run with it. When you send your subscribers something fun and valuable, they’ll be more inclined to check back in with your blog to see what else you have to say.

Leading Them Home

Your email appetizers will lead the path back to your blog, which means repeat traffic for your site. And keep in mind that your email bites are shareable. If your subscribers find your daily inspirations or weekly updates valuable, they can forward to their friends or post it on their social networks.

Encourage your readers to spread the love. Put forwarding instructions in your emails and embed some sharing links for Facebook and Twitter. As your subscribers share your emails with their friends, you can scatter more trails for new blog readers.

Marketing your blog with an email campaign takes more than just advertising content to bring your readers back. What makes your blog special? Which posts generate the most responses? Use these topics as inspiration for your email messages and keep your subscribers hungry for more.

Have you seen better traffic from your own email marketing? What kinds of messages to you send to your readers regularly? Share what’s working best for you!

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