Email Marketing for Food Bloggers doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing. I’m sharing all my tips for email marketing for beginners and more!
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You’ve heard it in every facebook group, podcast, and course.. EMAIL IS IMPORTANT. But… it’s also overwhelming.. right?
Where do you even start? What do you even say? Why would people want to hear from you?
There’s a million excuses you probably have… but I’m here to tell you: GET OVER those excuses and just do it!
I don’t have many regrets in my blogging journey.. but not starting an email list sooner definitely is a huge regret of mine.
Imagine this: tomorrow Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest just shut down. They’re gone, and all of your followers are gone with them.
How the heck are you going to tell them about your content? You have NO way to contact them! That is just one reason why email marketing is so important.
By now you’re probably thinking ‘Ok.. this is convincing.. but where do I start?’ I’ve got you covered!
How to get started with Email Marketing:
1) Sign up for an email list provider. My favorite email provider is ConvertKit. It’s free up to 100 subscribers. MailChimp is also a great option, and their services are free up to 2,000 people. I personally think ConvertKit is a better product. It’s easier to use and allows you to do more, but if you’re just getting started MailChimp is fine. I stayed with MailChimp until I had 5,000 subscribers and then I made the next jump. MailerLite and FloDesk are also popular options but I haven’t used either.
2) Spend 10 minutes a day in your new email service provider. Both of the providers I recommended above have tons of tutorials, guides and FREE content. Spend a few minutes a day each one and get familiar with it. Learn: how do you add a subscriber, how do you write a new email, can you create a sign up form on your website, etc. Take a few minutes each day to learn.
3) Send an email or put a call out to join your list! Post on your social media channels asking if people want to join. If you don’t have a freebie that they’ll get when they sign up, here’s what you can say: “I’m sending out 5 of my xyz posts to my email list on Friday. Type your email below to join!” You can also use the poll feature on Instagram and say something like “Vote Below and I’ll add you” and make the options in the poll for people to vote 🙂
How to create an email freebie:
An freebie or ‘opt in’ is a must for email marketing. People hold on to their emails SUPER tightly, so you need to really entice them to offer up that email.
My favorite part about creating a freebie is that it should only take you 1 hour, and you’re not going to need to create anything ‘new’.. we’re just going to repurpose whatever is on your site.
If you already have an opt in/freebie and would like me to look at it email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m doing a free audit on opt in forms/freebies!
Here’s my fool proof method for creating an email freebie.
1) Look at google analytics. In the left column click Behavior>Site Content> All Pages. These are your most popular posts. Adjust the date range for a few months (3 should be good!) and in the bottom right click the drop down to change from 10-25. These are your most popular posts for the past 3 months. (Here’s a quick video explaining how to do this!)
2) Look for common themes in your popular posts. Are most of your popular posts healthy dinner recipes? Organizing tips? Cleaning tricks? DIY or crafts? See what stands out as a common thread among your most popular posts.
3) Create a free ebook or download using Canva around those posts. Canva has tons of free templates for literally EVERYTHING! You can design a beautiful freebie in there with minimal effort. Look around, pick out something that looks appealing to you, and get to work! If you’re a food blogger – I recommend searching ‘cookbook’ for templates. Otherwise ‘ebook’ will give you lots of great templates too!
4) Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect – None of my freebies are omg-ahhh-mazing when you look at them. They’re pretty basic and straight forward… but people love them. They like that they can print them out, or use the shopping list when they go to the store. As content creators we can get SO caught up in our heads about making sure something is absolutely A+ perfect… but that is just going to hold you back.
We have 10 freebies at this point, but my first one was a paleo crockpot ebook. It was my 7 page PDF with my 5 most popular crockpot recipes + a shopping list. All of the recipes are already on my site and the ebook itself is pretty basic…No one has ever noticed or complained. It continues to bring in hundreds of subscribers every month!
5) Promote, promote, promote!! You can’t talk about your freebie once and expect everyone to want it. You have to promote it EVERYWHERE. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, on your site, etc.. ALL the places. We include our freebies in line with our content (you can see an example here for that crockpot ebook underneath the video and at the bottom of the post), on our side bar, and as a pop up. I know pop ups are annoying – but I think email list subscribers are incredibly valuable – so I have one.
If you only do one thing with your email marketing – I would urge you to create a freebie. If you have a generic ‘enter your email to never miss a recipe’ form on your site… people are not going to convert. An email is highly personal, and if someone is going to share it – they want to get something great from it!
Ok.. so you have your email set up, a freebie running… now what do you say?
What should you write in your emails?
Have you ever opened up your laptop to write an email only to think… what the heck do I say to my list? I’ve been there before. I’m here to tell you today that it doesn’t have to be hard.
I email my list 3-4 times a week, and every time I email it’s usually one of the 5 different ideas I’m going to share with you below. If you’re feeling stuck here’s what you can send today!
1) New Recipe/Post/Product – You should be emailing your list every time you have a new post. They signed up because they wanted to hear from you.. now is the time to tell them what’s happening. I strongly encourage you not to use the RSS function, and rather send out a custom email. Include a few sentences, an image, and a link to click over to the content – it doesn’t have to be long at all!
2) 5 Best XYZ (List) – No new content? No worries. Chances are you already have a bunch of content on your site. Find a common theme and send out an email with 4-5 links. Maybe it’s 4 Healthy Chicken Recipes, or 5 Easter Crafts you can do. People love lists!
3) Follow me on social – Most people probably signed up for your email list via your website.. they may not follow you on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Pick one social platform and explain why they should follow you there. Maybe you’re doing an IG live, or giving away something on Facebook. Give them an incentive for wanting to follow you on another platform.
4) Your most popular posts. If you haven’t created content in a while, send out your most popular posts. No one is going to know they’re old… and even if they do, they’ll probably be happy for the reminder! When I don’t feel inspired or haven’t created new content, I promote my most popular posts! Don’t make the title of the email ‘5 most popular posts’ or ‘my most popular posts’ (people will not be incentivize to click on that) Instead try ‘Over 500 5 Star reviews on this chicken recipe’ or ‘the most popular DIY project for April’.
5) Deal/Affiliate Promotion – In my opinion, I think you should only be sending out deals/affiliate promotions if you have been regularly emailing your list. If you haven’t talked to your list in months – don’t go for this option. What could be helpful to your email list right now? Even if you don’t make a profit off of it, try to just be helpful and share recommendations. We have more info on affiliate marketing here.
If you still are feeling overwhelmed – I wrote templates for all of the above emails. You can just copy/paste your info in to them and hit send. Your audience will love them 🙂 Click here to check out the templates.
This is just scratching the surface of email marketing for food bloggers – our Start & Grow Your Email List Challenge was specifically designed to help get people up, running and bringing in traffic from email with minimal time and energy. The challenge is currently open for enrollment. Click here to check it out!