Email marketing is powerful because it gives you a personal relationship with your blog readers.

If your branding is strong your email subscribers will get used to seeing emails from you in their inbox and if your content is compelling they will start looking forward to those emails too.

Email subscribers are more likely to buy your products and use your services than RSS subscribers or casual blog readers and blogging is a cost effective way to build an email list of people who are interested in your products or services.

Low cost email marketing is one huge benefit of blogging but only if you do it right. Here are four tips to get you started:

1. Pick an email management tool

Choose a reliable and easy to use email management tool like MailChimp or Aweber. I use MailChimp because right now new users can send up to 12,000 emails per month free which should be plenty for new bloggers or small business owners to begin with.

Once you’ve built up your mailing list or you go over that number there’s a monthly charge depending on how many people you have on your email list but it’s quite reasonable and simplifies managing your email lists.

2. Create an email template

Design an email template so all your emails are sent out with your branding and are consistent with your blog and other social media outposts.

Remember simple is always best so include your logo and a link to your site but avoid sending huge emails with big images that are slow to download and remember many readers may not see the images at all if they’ve got that setting turned off in their email browser.

3. Make subscribing easy

Set up your blog so people can easily subscribe and receive emails in their inbox. Make sure your subscribe box will be noticed and consider offering an incentive such as a free ebook or email series to encourage people to join.

When I first set up my blog I manually emailed everyone to thank them for subscribing which meant I had a much higher retention rate than normal.

I can’t send those personal thank you emails now, and you may not have time for that either, so consider sending an automatic email thanking people for subscribing and letting them know they can email you any time with questions or blog post ideas.

4. Pick an email schedule

Decide if you also want to email readers every time you update your blog or weekly with a newsletter summary of your latest blog posts.

You might want to offer both options to suit all your readers although there is more set up time involved in this and you’ll need to create the weekly email in addition to writing the blog posts.

Consider if you’d like an additional newsletter for  information which people can’t get on your blog and, if so, decide how often you’ll send that out and stick to your schedule.

Set up your email marketing lists will take time with MailChimp, Aweber or whatever email management tool you choose but once you get it right it’s an investment that will pay dividends in the long-term. If you want to tap into the power of blogging an email list will deliver your content straight to people’s email inbox and there’s really no form of online marketing that’s more powerful than that.

What email management tool do you use?

Need more blogging help? Check out my workbook and audio book Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps.