digital marketing

A Beginner’s Guide to Starting and Monetizing a Blog

Blogging has emerged as one of the most dynamic and profitable online ventures in the digital era. Unlike traditional media, blogging offers individuals a platform to share their insights, expertise, and stories with a global audience.

Whether it’s through niche content aimed at specific audiences or broader topics designed to appeal to general readers, the potential to turn a blog into a source of income has never been more accessible.

However, the path to becoming a successful blogger is not just about writing and posting content. It involves understanding the foundational elements of the digital landscape, including technical setup, content strategy, and monetization techniques.

Beginners often overlook these essentials, which are crucial for turning a casual blogging hobby into a sustainable revenue-generating business.

In this guide, we will walk you through the critical steps to not only start a blog but also to monetize it effectively. From selecting the right domain name and hosting service to crafting engaging content and implementing various income streams, understanding these basics will provide you with the tools you need to launch and grow a profitable blog.

Understanding What a Blog Is

Definition of a Blog: A blog is a type of website where content is presented in a conversational style and is regularly updated. Originating as personal online diaries, blogs have evolved into platforms that can include personal, professional, and even corporate insights.

Typically, each post is displayed in reverse chronological order, ensuring the freshest content greets the visitor first. Blogs can be about any subject and can include text, images, videos, and links to other blogs and web pages.

Different Types of Blogs: Niche vs. General Blogs: Blogs can broadly be categorized into two types: niche blogs and general blogs. Each type serves a different purpose and attracts different audiences.

  • Niche Blogs: Niche blogs focus on specific topics, offering detailed insights and expertise in a particular area. Examples include blogs dedicated to personal finance, vegan cooking, digital marketing, or even more narrow focuses such as drone racing technology or Scandinavian interior design. The key advantage of a niche blog is the ability to attract a highly targeted audience who are deeply interested in the subject matter. This can lead to higher engagement rates, more consistent traffic, and better monetization opportunities through tailored affiliate programs and advertisements.
  • General Blogs: General blogs cover a broad range of topics and do not restrict themselves to a single niche. They might feature categories like technology, lifestyle, health, and entertainment all under one roof. The diversity of content can attract a wider audience but may face challenges in establishing a loyal readership due to the lack of focus. Monetizing a general blog can be more complex, as advertisers may be hesitant to invest without a clear, targeted audience. However, they offer flexibility and the potential to pivot between topics based on trends and personal interests.

Deciding between a niche and a general blog largely depends on your personal interests, expertise, and the audience you aim to attract. If you are passionate about a specific subject and enjoy deep dives into topics, a niche blog might be right for you. On the other hand, if you have a wide range of interests and prefer writing about various topics, a general blog could offer the creative freedom you desire.

Choosing the Right Domain Name

Importance of a Domain Name in Branding: A domain name is crucial in establishing the identity of your blog. It acts as the digital address that visitors use to find your content and plays a significant role in shaping first impressions. A well-chosen domain name not only reinforces your brand’s message but also enhances its memorability and credibility. In the digital marketplace, where competition for attention is fierce, having a domain name that reflects the essence of your brand can make a significant difference in attracting and retaining readers.

Comparison of Faceless Blogs vs. Personal Brand Blogs:

  • Faceless Blogs: Faceless blogs use a generic or brand-centric domain that doesn’t identify the blog owner personally. These are typically focused on a particular subject matter or industry rather than an individual’s personality.
    • Pros:
      • Flexibility in ownership, making it easier to sell the blog in the future.
      • Allows for broader content coverage without being tied to a personal brand.
      • Offers privacy and separation between the blog owner’s personal and professional life.
    • Cons:
      • May struggle to create a strong personal connection with the audience.
      • Requires more effort to build brand loyalty and recognition without a personal story.
  • Personal Brand Blogs: These blogs incorporate the owner’s name within the domain and are closely linked to the individual’s identity, showcasing personal insights, expertise, and experiences.
    • Pros:
      • Facilitates a strong personal connection and loyalty with the audience.
      • Ideal for professionals looking to establish themselves as thought leaders in their niche.
      • Enhances the authenticity and uniqueness of the blog’s content.
    • Cons:
      • Difficult to separate or sell the blog as it is closely tied to the individual’s identity.
      • Less flexibility in changing content focus or blog direction without impacting brand perception.

Examples to Illustrate the Impact of Each Type on Branding:

  1. Faceless Blog Example: Imagine a blog with the domain “” This name suggests a focus on current technology trends and news, appealing to tech enthusiasts without revealing any personal information about the blogger.

    This approach allows multiple contributors and flexibility in content management and ownership.
  2. Personal Brand Blog Example: Consider “” This domain clearly indicates that Alicia is sharing her personal culinary experiences and recipes. The domain helps build a personal connection with her audience, who may be drawn to her unique cooking style and personality.

    This type of blog is particularly effective for building a personal brand and connecting with followers on a more personal level.

When choosing a domain name, consider visiting a domain registration site like GoDaddy to explore available options that align with your blog’s vision and branding strategy. GoDaddy provides a wide range of domain names that can cater to both faceless and personal brand blogs, offering tools and services to help you secure the perfect domain name for your blogging journey.

Choosing the right domain name is a foundational step in your blogging career. Whether you opt for a faceless brand that allows for broad content creation and privacy, or a personal brand that fosters deep connections with your audience, the key is to select a name that resonates with your content, aligns with your branding strategy, and appeals to your target audience.

I use HostGator for my hosting and love it, there are lots of hosting services out there, and I will give 2 examples.

Selecting a Hosting Service

Importance of Choosing a Reliable Hosting Service: Choosing a reliable hosting service is crucial for the stability and performance of your blog. A good hosting provider ensures that your blog remains accessible to your audience around the clock, maintains fast load times, and can handle sudden spikes in traffic without any disruptions. 

The right host can also offer essential support and robust security features that protect your site from online threats. The quality of your hosting service significantly impacts your blog’s search engine optimization (SEO); search engines favor websites that load quickly and are secure, which can enhance your blog’s visibility and ranking.

Detailed Introduction to HostGator: HostGator is a well-regarded web hosting provider known for its dependable service, scalability, and excellent customer support. Since its establishment in 2002, HostGator has become a go-to host for both novice bloggers and experienced website owners. 

They offer a range of hosting solutions, including shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, and managed WordPress hosting plans, making it a versatile option suitable for blogs of all sizes and scopes.

Benefits of Choosing HostGator for WordPress Hosting:

  • Simplicity and Accessibility: HostGator offers an intuitive control panel that facilitates easy installation of WordPress, allowing bloggers to get their site operational in just a few clicks.
  • Reliability and Uptime: HostGator promises a 99.9% uptime guarantee, ensuring your blog is reliably online and available to visitors.
  • Scalability: With HostGator, you can start with a basic plan and upgrade to more robust hosting options as your blog grows, without experiencing downtime or other technical issues.
  • Advanced Security: HostGator provides automatic malware removal, and their custom firewall rules help safeguard your blog from potential security threats.
  • Comprehensive Customer Support: They offer 24/7 support through multiple channels, including phone, live chat, and email, backed by a wealth of online resources for troubleshooting and learning.

Promotional Offers are Typically Available: These offers often include discounts such as a reduced rate for the first year of hosting, complimentary domain registration, or free SSL certificates, which are vital for securing your site. 

For those who might consider alternative options, Bluehost is another excellent hosting provider that offers specialized WordPress hosting services. Similar to HostGator, Bluehost provides a user-friendly experience, robust security measures, and excellent customer support, making it another top choice for bloggers looking to start on a strong foundation.

In selecting a hosting service like HostGator or Bluehost, you are laying down a solid foundation for your blog’s success. These services not only ensure your blog operates efficiently and securely but also support its growth trajectory through scalable solutions and ongoing technical support. 

Setting Up Your Blog with HostGator

Starting a blog can seem daunting, but with a hosting service like HostGator, the process is simplified. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you sign up with HostGator, install WordPress, and choose the perfect theme for your blog.

Step-by-Step Guide on Signing Up with HostGator:

  1. Choose Your Hosting Plan: HostGator offers various hosting plans including shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting. For most new bloggers, a shared hosting plan is adequate and cost-effective. Visit the HostGator website and select the plan that best fits your needs.
  2. Register a Domain Name: If you haven’t already registered a domain name, you can do so directly through HostGator during the sign-up process. Alternatively, if you already own a domain name, you can transfer it to HostGator or simply update your domain’s DNS settings to point to your new HostGator hosting account.
  3. Complete Your Order: Fill out the registration form with your personal and billing information. HostGator often offers promotional codes for new customers, so make sure to apply any relevant discounts during checkout.
  4. Set Up Your Hosting Account: Once your purchase is complete, HostGator will send you an email with your control panel (cPanel) login information. This is where you manage your hosting account and install WordPress.

How to Install WordPress on HostGator:

  1. Access Your cPanel: Log into your HostGator cPanel using the credentials provided. The cPanel is a web-based hosting control panel that provides tools to manage your hosting account.
  2. Install WordPress: Navigate to the “Software” section in your cPanel and click on ‘QuickInstall’ or ‘Softaculous Apps Installer’—HostGator’s one-click installation services. Select WordPress from the list of applications.

    Choose the domain where you want to install WordPress, fill in the necessary fields such as site name, admin username, and password, and then click on the ‘Install’ button.
  3. Wait for Installation to Complete: The installation process may take a few minutes. Once it’s complete, you will receive a confirmation with your WordPress admin panel URL (typically, username, and password.

Selecting a WordPress Theme and Customizing Your Blog:

  1. Access Your WordPress Dashboard: Navigate to your WordPress admin panel by entering the URL provided after installation. Log in using the credentials you set up during the WordPress installation.
  2. Choose a Theme: Click on ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Themes’ in your WordPress dashboard. You can choose from thousands of free and premium themes available. Browse through the themes, preview them, and install the one that best suits the style and functionality you desire for your blog.
  3. Customize Your Theme: After installing your chosen theme, click on ‘Customize’ under the ‘Appearance’ menu to start tailoring your theme to your preferences. Here, you can modify various aspects such as the color scheme, font styles, header layout, and more. You can also set up widgets, menus, and even add custom CSS to enhance your blog’s design.
  4. Create Essential Pages and Write Your First Post: Don’t forget to create essential pages such as ‘About,’ ‘Contact,’ and ‘Privacy Policy.’ Once those are set, you’re ready to start blogging! Create your first post by navigating to ‘Posts’ > ‘Add New’ in your WordPress dashboard, and begin sharing your thoughts, insights, or stories.

Setting up your blog with HostGator and WordPress is straightforward, and you don’t need any technical expertise to get started. With a user-friendly interface and powerful customization options, you’ll be able to focus on creating content and growing your blog.

Content Creation for Your Blog

Creating content for your blog involves more than just writing about topics you’re passionate about. Strategic content creation can boost engagement, improve SEO, and keep your audience coming back for more. 

Here’s how to develop content that resonates with your audience and maintains consistency in quality and frequency.

Strategies for Consistent and Engaging Content Creation:

  1. Plan Your Content: Start by creating a content calendar. This can be a simple spreadsheet or a detailed plan using tools like Trello or Asana. Outline topics, key dates, and publication deadlines. Planning ahead helps in maintaining a steady flow of content and prevents last-minute scrambles for ideas.
  2. Understand Your Audience: Knowing who you are writing for is crucial. Use tools like Google Analytics to gain insights into your audience’s demographics and preferences. This information can guide the type of content you produce, ensuring it appeals to the interests, needs, and challenges of your readers.
  3. Incorporate a Variety of Content Types: While blog posts are essential, diversifying your content can engage different parts of your audience. Include videos, podcasts, infographics, and interviews. This variety can refresh your blog and attract more visitors.
  4. Leverage AI Tools like ChatGPT: Utilize advanced AI tools such as ChatGPT to assist with generating ideas, creating draft outlines, or even writing initial content drafts. ChatGPT can help overcome writer’s block and provide a fresh perspective on topics, making your content creation process more efficient and diverse.
  5. Use SEO Best Practices: Optimize your content for search engines. Research and integrate relevant keywords, use meta tags effectively, and ensure your website has a responsive design. SEO-friendly content will help increase your blog’s visibility and organic traffic.

Importance of Content Quality and Quantity:

  1. Quality Over Quantity: While it’s important to keep your blog updated regularly, quality should never be sacrificed for the sake of quantity. High-quality content is engaging, well-researched, and provides value, which increases the likelihood of shares and return visits.
  2. Maintain a High Standard: Ensure that all content is well-written, thoroughly edited, and fact-checked. Poor grammar or inaccurate information can damage your blog’s credibility.

How Often to Post New Content to Stay Relevant:

  1. Find Your Ideal Frequency: The frequency of posts will depend on your niche, audience, and personal capacity. Some successful blogs post daily, while others post once a week and still maintain a strong following. Analyze your audience’s engagement and experiment to find what works best for you.
  2. Consistency is Key: More important than frequency is consistency. If your readers expect a new post every Tuesday, make sure you deliver. This regularity helps build a loyal audience and can boost your SEO performance.
  3. Schedule and Automate: Use tools like WordPress’s scheduling feature to automate the posting process. This can help in maintaining consistency, especially during busy periods or when you are unable to post manually.

Content creation is not just about filling your blog with articles; it’s about crafting valuable experiences that resonate with your audience. By focusing on quality, engaging diverse content types, and maintaining a consistent posting schedule, you can enhance your blog’s impact and reach. Remember, the most successful bloggers can connect with their readers through compelling content, consistently delivered.

Monetization Strategies

Turning your blog into a revenue-generating platform is an exciting step. There are multiple ways to monetize a blog effectively, from advertising to selling products and affiliate marketing. Here’s a comprehensive overview of these strategies and tips on implementing them successfully.

Overview of Different Ways to Make Money from a Blog:

  1. Advertising: Advertising is one of the most common ways to earn revenue from a blog. Platforms like Google AdSense allow you to display ads on your blog and earn money either through clicks (CPC) or impressions (CPM). Setting up AdSense is straightforward, and it can start generating income as soon as your blog begins to receive traffic.
  2. Selling Products: Many bloggers turn to selling products as a direct way to monetize their audience. These can be:
    • Physical products: Anything from branded merchandise to books and handcrafted goods. If your blog has a dedicated following, selling branded items can be a lucrative option.
    • Digital products: E-books, courses, printables, or software. Digital products have high margins and can be sold worldwide with minimal overhead costs.
  3. Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing involves promoting other people’s products and earning a commission for each sale made through your unique affiliate link. It’s a powerful way to generate income if you can align the products you promote with the interests of your audience.
    • Starting with Affiliate Marketing: Choose affiliate programs that match your niche. For instance, if your blog is about technology, you might want to join affiliate programs for tech gadgets or software. If you previously promoted Hostinger, consider switching to HostGator for web hosting recommendations. HostGator often offers attractive commission structures and is well-regarded in the hosting industry.
    • Benefits of Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is appealing because it doesn’t require you to create your own products. It can be less risky and offers the potential for significant income, especially if you have a large or very engaged audience. Additionally, it’s scalable; more traffic and better conversions directly increase your earnings.
    • Integrating Affiliate Links Naturally into Content: Always aim to include affiliate links organically within your content. For example, if you are writing a tutorial on starting a blog, you can link to HostGator’s hosting services where relevant. Ensure that your content provides value first; the affiliate links should enhance the information you are providing rather than detract from it.

Tips for Successful Blog Monetization:

  1. Transparency with Your Audience: Always disclose your use of affiliate links to maintain transparency with your readers. This builds trust and complies with advertising standards.
  2. Quality Over Quantity: When it comes to affiliate marketing and ads, less can be more. Too many ads or affiliate links can be off-putting and may degrade the quality of the user experience on your blog.
  3. Monitor and Optimize: Use analytics to track which monetization strategies work best for your blog. Experiment with different types of ads, affiliate products, or e-commerce strategies to find what yields the best results.

By employing a mix of these monetization strategies, you can maximize the revenue potential of your blog. Whether it’s through ads, selling products, or affiliate marketing, each method has unique benefits and can be tailored to suit the needs of your blog and your audience.

Increasing Blog Traffic

Growing your blog’s audience is essential for increasing its impact and monetization potential. Here are key strategies to help you boost traffic effectively:

Importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in Writing and Structuring Posts:

  1. Keyword Optimization: Identify and target specific keywords that your audience is searching for. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find relevant keywords. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your titles, headers, and body text to improve your posts’ visibility in search results.
  2. On-Page Optimization: Ensure that each post is optimized for SEO best practices. This includes using meta descriptions, alt tags for images, and proper URL structures. Also, make sure your blog is mobile-friendly, as this significantly affects search rankings.
  3. Content Quality: Search engines favor content that is not only keyword-rich but also valuable and engaging for readers. High-quality, comprehensive content tends to rank higher and attract more organic traffic.

Using Social Media to Enhance Blog Visibility and Drive Traffic:

  1. Active Engagement: Utilize platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to share your content and engage with your audience. Tailor your posts to fit the unique style of each platform and use relevant hashtags to increase your reach.
  2. Consistent Posting: Maintain a regular posting schedule to keep your audience engaged. Tools like Buffer or Hootsuite can help schedule posts across multiple platforms simultaneously.
  3. Community Interaction: Participate in online communities related to your blog’s niche. Answer questions, provide value, and share relevant content to drive interested users back to your blog.

Importance of High-Quality Backlinks and Networking with Other Bloggers:

  1. Guest Posting: Contribute guest posts to other reputable blogs in your niche. This not only provides high-quality backlinks but also exposes your blog to a broader audience.
  2. Collaborations: Collaborate with other bloggers or influencers to co-create content. This mutual promotion benefits all parties involved and can significantly boost traffic.

Using Analytics to Track and Improve:

  1. Google Analytics: Set up Google Analytics to monitor your blog’s traffic, user behavior, and engagement metrics. This tool provides insights into which content performs best and where your traffic is coming from.
  2. Adjusting Strategies Based on Analytics Data: Regularly review your analytics to understand what is working and what isn’t. Use this data to refine your content strategy, improve SEO tactics, and optimize your social media outreach for better performance.


Recapping the essential steps to starting and monetizing a blog includes understanding the basics of blogging, selecting a reliable hosting service like HostGator, engaging in effective content creation, and implementing diverse monetization strategies. Continuous learning and adapting to new trends and analytics insights are crucial for long-term success.

Call to Action

Now is the perfect time to embark on your blogging journey. Equip yourself with the recommended tools and strategies discussed, and leverage platforms like HostGator for hosting solutions. Explore further resources and detailed guides available through affiliate links provided here, and take the first step towards building a successful blog. Your dedication and persistence will be key to your growth and success in the blogging world.

Ready to start your blog? Check out HostGator for reliable hosting options and Google Analytics to track your blog’s performance as you grow.

Mastering Email Marketing Strategies

Mastering Email Marketing Strategies

There are three times as many email accounts as there are Facebook and Twitter accounts combined. What about the fact that email click-throughs are 6x higher than Twitter click-throughs?

According to research, email has one of the highest ROIs of any marketing channel. Email is a powerful tool for driving sales and revenue for your business, and I’m sure you’re eager to start using it today. People often ask the following questions:

  • How exactly do I get started?
  • What are the steps I need to take?
  • How do I build a list?
  • How do I measure success?

My goal with this report is to help you start and grow your email marketing business.

The first step in email marketing is to establish your goals

You may be tempted to sign up for an email marketing program like


Take a minute to think about your goals and what you wish to achieve with email before jumping in head first, as those goals will determine what type of campaigns and programs you send, who you target, what content you include, and how you measure success. Make sure you do your research to find out which program is right for you. Sending emails can get very expensive.

The programs listed above can be used to send emails directly to your list or to send bulk emails to cold markets. Both can make you a lot of money if used correctly.

 Due to its effectiveness in driving conversions and building brand loyalty, email marketing should be part of every digital marketing strategy.

It’s important to think carefully before getting started with email marketing since it can be used to achieve a variety of objectives.

Programs help you build campaigns tailored to every subscriber, from personalized subject lines to dynamic content.

In order to establish the best goals for your email marketing campaign, you must align them with the wider marketing goals and KPIs of your company. Are you trying to drive more sales or leads from your website?

 The Best Way to Build Your Email Marketing List

After you’ve determined what you want to achieve with email marketing, it’s time to build your mailing list.

Your email list can be built in a variety of ways, but the right method for each campaign will depend on its goals.

A list of known contacts can be imported

A lot of your email list can be built by importing your existing customers’ details into your selected email marketing tool if you intend to keep in touch with existing customers through email. You can also purchase a list, in any size and niche. Do a search for (email list for marketing) and you’ll find many sellers. For example,

Create an entirely new list

You’ll have to start capturing email addresses and build your list from scratch if you want to communicate via email with an audience whose email addresses you don’t already have.

Building an email list organically can be accomplished in a variety of ways:

  • Use Forms. …
  • Use Lead Generation Offers. …
  • Simply Ask People For Their Email Address.
  • Offer Freebies. …
  • Use Social Media. …
  • Create Free Bonus Content That Is Worth Paying For. …
  • Add A Signup Button To Your Facebook Business Page. …
  • Create A Blog & Offer A Subscription.

 “A valuable incentive + simple subscribe opportunities = large email list”

How do you make subscribing to your list super easy and simple? What makes for an amazing incentive?

If you have good content, upgrade offers, or give something free, you’ll definitely see an improvement in conversions.

 It is easy to build a new audience for your email marketing campaigns by following the email list building formula mentioned above and pairing a valuable incentive with prominent subscription options.


Despite being viewed by some as intrusive and annoying, countless studies and tests have shown pop-ups can be effective. Here are a few things you need to do to create an effective pop-up opt-in that doesn’t turn off your audience:

  • The right value offer
  • A strong call to action
  • Timing

It is essential to pay attention to timing. A pop-up opt-in that appears after a visitor has finished reading an article or has scrolled 3/4 of the way down is much more likely to convert than one that appears on every page of the site.

There are some sites that only show lightbox opt-ins when the user shows exit intent (moves the mouse cursor outside the browser domain). Neil Patel, a New York Times bestselling author, tested opt-ins with exit intent and saw a 46% increase in conversions.

Test different lightbox opt-in messages and timings to see what brings the highest conversions.

Choose the type of email campaign you’d like to send

Depending on the goals you set at the beginning, marketers like you can choose from a variety of email campaigns to send to subscribers.

Here’s a look at how different types of campaigns can help you with email marketing.


An email newsletter is a regularly distributed email campaign that is generally about one main topic of interest.

Newsletter campaigns are the most effective way to keep in touch with people you already know (existing customers). Your business and products will remain top-of-mind, which will encourage more visitors to your site.

Marketing Offer

A marketing offer email is essentially any campaign you send with the goal of driving a direct response.

When it comes to driving sales directly through email, marketing offer emails are effective. You present a discount or product offer and include a direct call to action for people to make a purchase.


A campaign announcement is an email to keep an engaged audience (i.e. existing customers) informed about your new products or features with an announcement email. The primary purpose of the email is to share information, but the email may also drive people back to your store or website.

Event Invitation

An event invitation email is a campaign designed to increase awareness of your event and encourage people to attend.

You should send specific types of email campaigns based on your goals with email. In order to drive direct sales, you should send marketing offers and announcements, but if you want to keep current customers informed of your latest projects, products, or company developments, you should send a regular newsletter.

How to create your first email marketing campaign

Now that you’ve decided on your goals, built a bit of an audience, and selected the type of campaign you’re going to send, it’s time to start building your email.

Structure your campaign for easy reading

Research shows that an adult’s attention span is, on average, eight seconds. With such a short attention span, you can assume people aren’t closely reading your campaigns word for word and are instead scanning through them looking for something of interest.

Email campaigns that are long and text-heavy aren’t ideal. Your message should guide readers towards your call to action while capturing their attention.

Engage your audience with images and visuals

Video and images are more eye-catching than words, plus they help your content stand out and are easier to remember.

In fact, studies have shown that people can recall as much as 65% of visual content up to three days later compared to just 10% of text-based content.

People also follow visual instructions 32% better than written instructions, so it’s a good idea to use visuals when directing your readers to take the desired action.

Make Your Email Campaigns More Personal

When surveying marketers, It was found that improving email personalization was the number one goal for 38% of marketers and was also the number one challenge for 36% of marketers. Email marketing automation, segmenting your lists, and using third-party integrations make email personalization easier and more effective.

You’ll get the best response from your readers when you create content tailored to their interests. Start by putting their name in your subject line, then segment your list to maximize engagement (more on that below).

Make sure each subscriber’s campaign is relevant

You should categorize your subscribers into different list segments even in the early stages of growing your email list. In order to maximize response rates, you need to be able to customize content so that it is more relevant to certain groups. By using list segments, you are able to choose what type of content to send to which subscribers.

This kind of targeted optimization is much better than sending blanket emails to everyone.

Why does email list segmentation matter? 

We know that beyond relevancy, list segmentation is important from a revenue perspective. Data from the DMA indicates that segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all email revenue. On top of this, our research found that marketers who used segmented campaigns noted as much as a 76% increase in revenue–and more than 76% of marketers say basic segmentation is part of their email marketing strategy.

To increase click-throughs in your campaigns and plan more targeted content based on those segments, you can create the following segments:

  • Geographic location – useful for promoting store-specific information and targeting specific markets while ignoring out-of-location subscribers where the message wouldn’t be relevant.
  • Demographics – useful for customizing campaign messaging to any combination of age and gender ranges.
  • Market – useful for segmenting users based on the market/industry interest to avoid sending the same email to everyone. Instead, tailor the message to industry/product/market-specific content.
  • Past activity – useful for segmenting subscribers by past open and click-through behavior. Study behavior to determine what type of content works best for specific segments to customize future campaigns.
  • Workflow activity – useful for creating campaigns specific to subscribers who fall within certain stages of your funnel, like sending a campaign only to those subscribers who are more than 50% through an auto-responder series.
  • Customer data – useful for eCommerce brands who want to send targeted campaigns to VIP customers as well campaigns solely targeting customers in danger of being lost who haven’t made a purchase within a specific time period.

There are two main ways to approach segmentation:

  1. Sort existing subscribers on the back-end using the subscriber data they provided when they signed up
  2. Allow subscribers to self-segment by using separate sign-up lists.

Your audience sees the same opt-ins on your site, but the list they’re added to changes based on the content they’re engaging with. For example, if a user subscribes to a segmented list for a free report on a free training site, they will receive it.

Using features of your chosen program tool, such as Segments and Dynamic Content, you can ensure that your emails are relevant to every subscriber, increasing the likelihood they’ll click through and convert.

Maintain brand consistency and build trust with your campaigns

You can bet that your email campaigns aren’t the only interaction your subscribers have with your business. Many subscribers will sign up for your emails on your website or social media pages.

To give your customers a consistent experience with your brand, make sure your email campaigns match the colors, fonts, and branding you use across all your customer touchpoints.

By ensuring your campaigns are the same as the branding your subscribers see elsewhere, you build trust that the email is legitimate and increase the chance they’ll click through.

Streamline the conversion process

Make it as easy as possible for your subscribers to click through your email campaigns. According to research, 41% of email opens are happening on mobile devices, so if your campaigns aren’t optimized across all devices, then there’s a good chance you’re making it difficult for your subscribers to convert.

Take a Strategic Approach to Timing Your Campaigns

I recommend using a promotional or editorial calendar when creating campaigns. By planning your campaigns, you can avoid sending too much content or waiting too long between messages.

Email frequency can have a significant impact on revenue and engagement (and unsubscribe) rates. Subscribers who receive too many emails may become disengaged and unsubscribe. If you send too few emails, your audience will lose attention. Even if they forget why they joined, they may unsubscribe.

So, how often should you send emails?

Fortunately, there are some data on how often people like to get emails. The chart below from MarketingSherpa gives you an idea of optimal send frequency:

The data was compiled from a survey of 2,057 adults who answered the question, “How often, if ever, would you like to receive promotional emails (e.g., coupons, sales notifications) from companies that you do business with?”

Although there is a trend toward higher-frequency email campaigns, keep in mind that these aren’t your subscribers.

Ask your subscribers how often they would like to hear from you. You can allow them to select frequency settings or poll them to find out how often they would like to hear from you.

Don’t just send promotional content

In 2015, MarketingSherpa ran a study asking consumers “in which of the following ways, if any, would you prefer companies to communicate with you?”

More than 70% of respondents chose email, dominating a list of other choices including SMS, social media, direct mail, and online/print ads. Not much has changed since then and consumers still prefer email.

But just because they want it doesn’t mean they want every email to be a blatant promotion.

That’s a surefire way to get your list to hate your guts.

Plan your email campaigns based on an 80/20 mix of content using the Pareto Principle. You should devote 80% of your content to valuable and useful information, and 20% to promotions and sales.

Take a look at these predictions and trends shared by Convince and Convert, compiled from Litmus.

Providing value to customers instead of promoting products is one of the many growing trends. By personalizing content and maximizing subscriber lifetime value, creating bite-sized content that’s easy to digest, and creating strong narratives and storytelling, you can create highly engaging emails that will increase your open and engagement rates.

Find Inspiration for Sending More Valuable Email Campaigns

Do not be afraid to explore topics and ideas beyond general promotions in your email. The world is full of information, and every business, in every industry, has something to share. If that information is relevant or interesting to your subscribers, it is up to you to decide.

Fortunately, we’ve already done the legwork for you, so here are a few email marketing ideas from our complete guide featuring 50 content ideas:

  • Company information like career opportunities, press featuring your company, and behind-the-scenes content
  • Product updates and information like how-to content, product videos, upcoming releases, and discounts
  • Value-driven content like infographics, industry studies, survey results, and recent blogs
  • People-focused content to humanize your brand like new hire bios, executive interviews, customer feedback and testimonials, and team-member blogs
  • Support information like FAQ updates, case studies, success stories, and free resources
  • Event information for the community and corporate events, webinars, and trade shows

To keep interest and engagement high, share valuable content over promotional content whenever possible.

These fundamentals will enable you to create an email campaign that will capture subscribers’ attention, provide relevant information, and facilitate conversion.

 Your campaign results should always be measured

As soon as your first email is out the door and your subscribers begin opening and clicking on it, you’ll be able to start tracking its success.

Using Google Analytics and your email marketing tool, you can track the success of your email marketing campaign.

Check out the reports section of your email marketing tool to learn how people interacted with your email campaigns.

The report presents to you the key metrics of your email marketing campaign, including:

  • Unique opens – The number of unique subscribers who opened your campaign.
  • Bounces – The number of email addresses to which your campaign could not be delivered.
  • Emails not opened – The number of unique subscribers who did not open your campaign.
  • Open rate – The percentage of all subscribers who opened your campaign.
  • Click-Through Rate – The percentage of people who opened your campaign and then clicked on a link.
  • Unsubscribe rate – The percentage of people who unsubscribed from your email list through this campaign.
  • Spam complaints – The number (and percentage) of people who marked your campaign as Spam by clicking the ‘Mark as Spam’ buttons in their chosen email client (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, etc.).
  • Shares – The number of people who forwarded your campaign to a friend (using the forward icon in your email template) or shared it via social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

By using these metrics to understand how your subscribers interact with your campaigns, you can compare the success of one campaign to another. Select some of the other reports from the right-hand menu to view more detailed information about who opened and clicked your campaign, what links they clicked, etc.

After people click through to your website from your email campaign, you can analyze their behavior.

To do this, you need to have a web analytics tool (like Google Analytics) installed on your site. 

With our Google Analytics integration in place, you can see how many visitors your site gets, what pages they visit, and what campaigns they come from.

You can even download our Google Analytics dashboard which will show you some key statistics about your email visitors in one handy location.

Using the data collected, you can make and test changes to your email campaigns to increase open and click-through rates.

Subject line split testing to increase open rates

You can determine what works and what doesn’t work in capturing the attention and clicking of different email segments if you monitor your open rates.

Split testing your subject lines is the only way to systematically improve your open rates.

A/B testing (split testing) of subject lines is used by email marketers to increase open rates. In order to accomplish this, make sure everything in the email is the same, except for the subject line. The length of the subject line, power words in the subject line, and generic vs. specific subject lines can all be tested.

For example, you can test how your segments respond to personalization by testing an identical subject line that includes the subscriber’s first name against one that doesn’t include their name. Campaign Monitor performed this test and found that personalized subject lines experienced a 26% increase in open rates.

You can improve open rates by using tried-and-true subject line templates such as these:

  1. Stop {Undesirable Emotion} Now
  2. {Desirable Outcome} (Your First 3 Steps)
  3. New {Thing}: What It Means For {Audience’s Role}
  4. What {Credible Influencers} Are Saying About {Topic}
  5. {Someone Audience Looks Up To} Can Afford Any {Product}, She Uses…
  6. Best {Emoji} + {Emoji} + {Emoji} = {Emoji}
  7. {Topic}, {Topic}, and {Seemingly Unrelated Topic}?
  8. {Personalized Company Name} + 497% More {Need} = {Emoji}
  9. {Emoji} Your {Emoji} With…
  10. {Personalized Name}, Earn {Something Desirable} Today Only
  11. You’re Missing Out On {Something Desirable}
  12. Tonight Only: A {Audience’s Role}’s Dream
  13. Want 587% More {Something Desirable}? {Emoji}
  14. This Is A Sales Email {Emoji}
  15. Don’t Forget! {Event} Today {Emoji}
  16. …When You’re Sick And Tired Of {Something Undesirable} {Emoji}
  17. “{Quote}”
  18. A {Topic} Process To Reduce 30-50% Workload {Emoji}
  19. {Topic} + {Topic} + {Topic}
  20. “I Love {Something Undesirable}!” (said no one ever)

You can use power words like the following from CoSchedule to capture attention when split testing and optimizing your subject lines:

Additionally, you should remove and avoid words that trigger spam filters and lower open rates significantly while testing.

There is evidence that including numbers in the subject line can lead to higher open and response rates in 115 million emails analyzed by YesWare.

While testing subject lines, try testing subject lines of varying lengths. Since more than 50% of all emails are opened on mobile, it helps to create shorter subject lines that don’t trail off the edge of smaller screens. Mobile email marketing best practices suggest subject lines around 17-24 characters long or 3 to 5 words.

Increasing the click-through rate of email marketing campaigns

Keeping tabs on your campaign metrics and continuously tweaking your emails will help you increase click-through rates. The email should lead subscribers to a landing page, product purchase, etc. In other words, they should click something in the email to proceed.

It is not only a strong call to action that will increase your conversion rates. There are other tips you can follow as well.

  • Improving the layout – adjust your template to make content more readable so it flows naturally toward a call to action. I see a 127% increase in click-throughs.
  • Try new images – remember what we said about visual content? Campaigns with more engaging images had a 42% higher click through rate than those without.
  • Visual CTAs – People are hard-wired to click buttons. It’s a concept called ‘affordance’ or a possible action between an object and an individual, so test different visual CTAs and button styles to boost conversions and click through rates.
  • Test CTA placement – Where you put your call to action matters, so split test campaigns with your CTA in different locations.
  • Segment your emails – If you’re not seeing the conversions you expected then check your email list for opportunities to further segment and improve who you’re targeting. Don’t be afraid to delete subscribers that are not active.
  • Test timing – When emails are sent is as important as how often they’re sent. According to our recent email benchmarks and statistics, I found subscriber open rates had changed. So be sure to test when you send emails and watch the campaign reports for ideal send times.

The power of email marketing in engagement

 In addition to having two times the ROI of any other digital channel, your customers spend the majority of their time online checking their email. Email marketing is well worth your time and your money.

Email marketing drives more conversions than any other channel and the ROI from email is more than three times (3x) higher than social.

Objection: “I get hundreds of emails every day that I don’t care about. Why should I invest in it?”

In order to do email marketing right, you need to personalize your messages. When you personalize your messages, they will open. When they click.

Your Post-Campaign Tasks

Regardless of how your email campaigns performed, there are three things you should always do after every campaign.

  1. Resend the Campaign

You’ll always have subscribers who opt not to open your email, no matter how effective your subject line is. Try sending the email again to a segment of those who didn’t open your first email.

Additionally, this provides another opportunity to split test subject lines and send times in case they missed the first email.

  1. Clean your List

If you encounter low engagement scores after split testing, segmenting, and resending, don’t be afraid to try other tactics. Make sure your list is clean. You should monitor subscriber activity and engagement levels on a regular basis. Those who do not engage should be removed or segmented if you want to improve your overall open rates.

  1. Build awareness for your brand

Your brand should be spread across all marketing channels after the campaign has been completed and the final steps have been taken. For increasing brand awareness, there are a variety of common methods (such as social media marketing and events) as well as more unusual ones (such as giveaways and contests).

By building brand awareness, you can gain more followers and subscribers. You will be able to reach a larger, more engaged audience with this, which will benefit your upcoming campaigns.

It is more likely that you will gain more conversions and attract more leads if you have a broader and more diverse group of subscribers. Ultimately, this means more interest and revenue for your business.

Email marketing wrap up

There is no doubt that email marketing is a powerful driver of sales and revenue for your business, and that it has a greater reach and return on investment than any other marketing channel available.

Follow the steps outlined in this guide for a quick start to email marketing and campaign success.

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