Our Suggestions For Blog Email
Keeping your fans notified of your new content is important. Most people are not stalking your site, they want notifications when you release your great new content. Why else would they subscribe but stay abreast of your great creations. So how should this be done and what are some simple rules to protect your good name.
Most of these rules are pretty common knowledge, you should do unto others as you would want to be done unto you. We have probably all subscribed to a site that has flooded our email inbox. Most will quickly unsubscribe or mark as spam, doesn’t matter how great the content is. Below are some things we do, if you have other ideas, constructive feedback, or just like to write, comment below.
All references in this post will be based on products we are currently using at the time of creation. Like everyone, our knowledge of this is constantly evolving and subject to change in the future.
Products we use:
- Email Subscriber & Newsletter by IceGram
- Email Subscribers | Group Selector by IceGram
- WP Mail SMTP by WordPress
- Email Service by BlueHost
Don’t Saturate Your Subscribers
Quality over quantity is always best, or your blog emails just become annoying. You want your audience to be informed of new content, not irritated by everything that happens in your blog life. If your blog produces a lot of content you may want to give options to your subscribers for other categories of content you produce when they signup. We will have more on this below.
Don’t know how many times a subscription we signed up too quickly filled our email inbox. It does not matter how great the content is, the annoyance was more than we could bare. We would quickly unsubscribe or if it was not easy to do so report the domain as spam. See more on unsubscribing below.
Avoid False Flag
You want your emails to look safe in a subscriber’s inbox. Your subscriber’s email provider will flag emails that the domain, doesn’t match the domain of origin. This is a quick red flag to consumers of your content and may get you to the blacklist out of fear. Being blacklisted is bad and you really want to try to avoid this. If you send emails from your blog, make sure that you are routing traffic through your SMTP. We use WordPress for our blog and the plugin we have Email Subscriber allows us to send mail directly from our domain using Bluehost.
We send emails from our SMTP and use WP Email SMTP to configure our outbound emails. After everything was set up, we sent test emails from Email Subscriber to a Google Email to make sure everything was okay. There are other ways to do this, but it worked for us to get content out.
If you use a third party to send emails, we are sure they will help to make your email look safe. After you have the email service set up, trust but verify everything is working okay. Send some test emails, we like to use google to test cause they are quick to flag emails with issues.
On The Naughty List
Getting blacklist can be easy to do and something you really want to avoid. You can have services on the web to check if you are blacklisted like MX ToolBox. We manually go out and check our domain to ensure we are playing nice with others.
If you are in a blacklist you want to make sure your email is set up correctly. Once you are sure that your mail server is playing nice with others a few blacklists will let you, through self-service, remove your domain. Don’t want to bother with the self-service for backlist, time heals all wounds. Most email blacklists have a reset function, if you are not a continual offender, your domain will drop off.
Rich Content Looks Bad
We all want our content to be picture-perfect, a wow factor that really makes it stand out. Rich content with flash, downloads, and other complex content may look great to some, but most subscribers see a jumbled mess. When creating your notification emails follow the principles of KISS, simple may be the best.
Emails to subscribers are to notify your fans of new content, so simply have your link to the new content as high in the email as possible, yet still make sense. Of course, you still want your branding to separate you from the rest.
Make it easy for a subscriber to leave, people don’t want you to hostage their email. There is also a law in the USA “CAN-SPAM Act” that really frowns on this, you may also have penalties of up to $41,484. Ouch…
Don’t worry if you lose subscribers, you don’t want to send emails out to those who don’t want it. They also may come back, maybe they just need a break. If you are seeing a lot of subscribers leave, look inward to see what the issue is. If you did re-branding, or you have a new direction with your blog, it may cause issues with your fanbase.
Buying an email list is not the way to build a fanbase and could be more trouble than it is worth. Not only are you sending people your content that may be hostile toward it, but there is also a probability that there could be a large number of bad emails. These could not only tarnish your good name, but it may also lead to being flagged as a spammer.
You may have fans on another platform, friends emails, or a list of work buds, don’t add their email. You can, of course, tell them about your great new blog, if they want to sign-up, they will. This goes back to Unwilling Participant, you don’t want to cause issues with friends and fans of other content.
Half Baked Emails
This goes without saying, you don’t want to send crap just to show activity. We have all been told to think before we speak, well this also applies to blogs as well. Once the email is out there it can’t be taken back, and your subscribers define your character from the content you release. You want to do your best, release content you are proud of.
Was It Real
A double opt-in subscribe protects people’s emails from maliciously subscribing to you. There are bad people that will subscribe others to an email list just to be mean, creating spam in their inbox. You don’t want to take part in their vicious game as an unwilling participant, if you set-up a double opt-in, you won’t have to. The person whose email was maliciously entered will only get one email to confirm, not surprised by your blog updates.
Blog Of Many Colors
If you have a blog of many flavors, topics night and day of one another, give options. We have a recipe, travel, DIY, and review blogs, that all may not appeal to everyone’s taste. A recipe subscriber may not want to read about how to install a tankless water heater. Give your subscribers options if there are many flavors in your blog.
For our blog, we use Email Subscriber Group to allow people to choose what they want to see. There may be better products out there but we use this because it has a free version that will work for our needs. You may have seen this when you opened the page, if you are blocking ads, you saw another popup. Support your Bloggers, Turn off ad Blockers.
It is always a great idea to keep your email list free of bad emails. If you have a double opt-in this will help, but subscribers do close email accounts. Remove bounce back emails from your subscriber list to help prevent problems in the future like being labeled a spammer.
If you are just starting an email list this may not be very important, but as your subscribers grow so do the email blast. We combat large amounts of email on our Linux server with cron jobs. We use cron with email subscriber to limit our emails to only 50 every 30 minutes. This will not only lessen the load on the server but also help you from being marked as a spammer by your email service.
We hope this article helped you with your blogging adventure with emails. Our ideals in this blog come from lots of reading, and tons of trail with a lot of goofs. If you have ideas or see an error, please leave a comment below.