If your ad agency has or is considering writing a blog, deciding how to spread the word to acquire readers is important: If relevant corporate marketers aren’t reading it, the time you invest in writing may be in vain.
Common ways to promote your blog include:
- Email marketing
- Links from your website
This post is a guide to using email as a blog promotional tool.
Your most important decision is choosing between using an internal email list or purchasing a list. There are pros and cons of each:
Your list – pros
- You own it.
- It’s free.
- It has your clients and some prospects on it.
Your list – cons
- It may be out of date.
- It may not include all the prospects you should be pursing.
- It may be too small (you need at least 1500 good names to kick-start your blog, and more will get you there faster.
External list – pros
- It’s the most effective way to increase the size of your list.
- The right list will allow you to reach the corporate marketers that exactly fit your prospect profile: by the geography, industries, titles, company size(s), and media spend that are appropriate for your agency.
- The right list will be high-quality (i.e. clean), with a low (5%) bounce rate.
- Certain list companies will completely update their email list multiple times per year, and/or will offer to correct or replace emails that bounce.
External list – cons
- There are few, if any, opt-in lists for corporate marketers.
- You’ll get what you pay for: low price usually equates to not being able to effectively target as described above, or you’ll experience a high bounce rate.
The opt-in question is tricky: to my knowledge, highly targeted, opt-in lists of relevant corporate marketers just aren’t available. Our clients tell us they’ve purchased opt-in lists from many different list companies – and they’re universally terrible. We’ve tried them internally and experienced the same result. I think the reason is fairly simple: the corporate marketers you want to reach just don’t opt-in very often. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in relevant content.
Your next decision is to choose an email provider. I recommend you look for one with as many of the following features as you can get:
- Overall ease to use.
- Easily manages opt-out requests and out-of office replies.
- Tracks soft and hard bounces, and opens.
- Creates browser-friendly, text-friendly, and HTML-friendly formats.
- Allows you to test different subject lines to see which ones work the best, with follow-up emails going to non-opens of the first message.
- Allows you to easily manage scheduling: days, times, time zones for each send.
- Easy, one-click analytics / reports so you can effectively measure your performance over time.
- List management features like merge, purge, drip marketing, etc.
- CAN-SPAM compliant.
- Telephone support – if you need it.
- Integration with your CRM system.
Promoting your blog well makes the effort it takes to write all the more worthwhile, and email is a great way to do so.
Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions.