I’m real excited about email marketing right now because for the first time, I feel like I’ve finally taken full advantage of it.
I haven’t been the best with my email list, but I finally took a jump, created a quick 5 day mini course and sent it out to my list to promote a bundle I had contributed to. I also included a free resource with
Between the bundle, a one time offer to bundle purchasers, and affiliate purchases from the free resource and email course I put together, I was able to bring in over $300 in just a week. Yay!
Of course it went straight to bills but isn’t being an adult all about being so glad you can finally pay that bill? 😂
I’m laughing but I’m also crying inside.
ANYWAY. I’ve been making money online forever, but this was the first time I did an email based launch and earned from my efforts.
That might not be much for some of you, but as someone who has been terrified of the idea of selling to my list, it’s a big deal. And also big motivation to keep up with my email marketing.
None of this would have been possible without some combination of the tools I’ve mentioned below. I use all these tools for that mailing lists I have for different websites
Best email marketing tools for bloggers and other content creators
Originally, I was going to throw this in with an email I’m working on, but then I started writing and realized it’s a whole other email. So instead of hog up that email, I created a new one and continued writing away.
Then I checked the word count and saw “1,301” and I knew this had now just become a full blown blog post (the finished post is almost double that now, if you’re curious).
So, here we go!
I actually use several email services for my different websites and businesses. Some work better for certain things than others, which I’ll explain with each service I talk about.
Having this as a blog post also works even better than my original email idea because now I can share some other tools that I use that can help you grow your list, too! Yay!
Okay, enough of my rambling, let’s get on to these tools to help you create and manage your own email list as a blogger or other content creator.
Physical mailing address
First, let’s start off with the very first thing you need to have to use any email service: a physical mailing address.
Because of CAN-SPAM laws, you need a physical mailing address listed at the bottom of any email you send from a mass emailer. Pretty much all services won’t let you send out emails if you don’t have an address.
Of course, you don’t want to use your real home address for this. Instead, you can use a P.O. box, and you can get one locally from your post office or set up a remote one for free with viabox.com.
Email marketing services for small business
Now I’m going to go over the different email marketing software I use in my businesses and my impressions of who they work well for.
Different tools serve different needs, so if you’re looking for one to start with or something new to try, you can probably find a good match here based on what you need.
All of these services make it easy for you to create and send out automated email sequences.
Using an automated sequence, you can create a multi-day email course to provide value to your subscribers. Or you an send a welcome sequence to help people learn more about your brand and what to expect from your list.
The email you’re receiving right now is through Drip. I love the high-end features and modern interface but it is a bit pricey at $49 per month with its lowest plan.
I’m still diving into the whole Drip experience, but so far it has all the extra bells and whistles I want so I figured I’d try it out.
Drip does many of the same things ActiveCampaign does (which you’ll see below), but with a cleaner interface. There’s also not as much manual set up as ActiveCampaign either.
Drip is free for your first 100 subscribers, so you can try it out here.
I use ActiveCampaign for on of my other websites, Blog + Create. I love it because like Drip, it has a lot of nice features, but it’s also way cheaper, with its lowest plan at $9 (though I think recently they went up to $17).
ActiveCampaign is kind of a mess to fully set up though. You have to program double opt-in confirmations yourself if you use anything other than an ActiveCampaign form to add subscribers (which you’ll do a lot if you like pretty forms).
So awhile I love it, I don’t really recommend it for beginners. If I hadn’t known how certain things would normally be set up with other email providers, I’d have messed up my list in the beginning.
If you’d like to give ActiveCampaign a try for free over 30 days, you can do so here.
The best bet for beginners, though?
It has all the modern features you need to run an email list without any huge hassles. If you want something that just works straight out of the box, go with ConvertKit.
ConvertKit was my first email marketing platform and helped me learn how they should work. You can easily create forms and landing pages and send out downloads to your subscribers.
ConvertKit was built with bloggers in mind, specifically bloggers who wanted to be able to easily send out email sequences to the right subscribers with subscriber tagging.
I’m only no longer using this myself because I switched to ActiveCampaign for some real nerdy website tracking stuff, but I did use it for awhile with my very first blog and it was super easy to understand. I’m probably don’t to try it out again for a new project I’m thinking about, too.
Finally, there’s MailerLite.
MailerLite is free for your first 1,000 subscribers and works well for what it costs (which is nothing) which makes it pretty good for beginners who aren’t sure if they’ll stick with their blog or don’t plan to ever monetize.
It doesn’t have tagging like most modern email services, so you have to organize all your subscribers in lists. Because of this, I don’t really use it much for email lists that I want to do more than just email people with.
Other than that, you’re still able to create automated email sequences and MailerLite has hands down the best form and landing page builders of any email marketing service.
Sign up for MailerLite for free here and get $20 towards a paid plan if you ever need it.
Low-effort tools to grow your email list
Once you have an email list, you need some way to get people to subscribe to it. Just saying “hey subscribe to me” isn’t always enough to actually make people hand over their email address.
Though if you’re not saying that somewhere, you should start. Just become like a YouTuber with their “Yo, don’t forget to smash that like button and hit subscribe!”
Okay maybe not EXACTLY that buuuuuuuut… anyway!
Here are some of my favorite tools that I personally use on my sites to create subscription forms, create ebooks and lists that people can download after subscribing, and to run contests to get people to refer my brand to their friends.
All of the tools mentioned below make it easy to promote your email list without adding a lot of extra tasks to your current work load.
Create the right download or offer, and it will say “slam that subscribe button” for you.
This is the customization plugin to have if you’re a WordPress user. The free version of Elementor is great but the Pro version is amazing because it has so many features that you’d otherwise have to purchase a monthly subscription to use.
One of these features is the popup builder. With Elementor Pro, you can add pop up forms or bars to your site to entice people to sign up for your email list.
Elementor also makes it easy to create box templates that you can use anywhere on your site. I use these boxes for the table of contents, click-to-Tweet boxes, and social share call to action boxes that you see on every one of my posts.
Here’s an example of one for subscribing to my email list (free feel to try it out, it really works!):
Grab your free copy of Elementor from your WordPress dashboard or purchase Elementor Pro here.
Beacon helps you create PDF ebooks from scratch or from your blog posts.
They have lots of nice templates available, so it will only take you a few minutes to add in a post, edit it a bit to fit the template, and then grab the link to send it off to your subscribers.
You can even create a call to action box to add to your posts so people can subscribe and download them.
Offering a PDF download is a great way to offer value in exchange for a person’s email address withoutu having to do much extra work. It works even better if you write a lot of long form content, because people download it to read later when they have more time.
Get started with the free version of Beacon here.
Next we have Post Gopher, which kind of does the same thing Beacon does, but automatically and one every or any blog post you want.
This plugin for WordPress adds a button to your blog post where people can download an automatically generated copy of your blog post after they subscribe. It works with all the email services I mentioned above, plus some others.
It actually works REALLY well for building a highly targeted subscriber base due to the fact that the subscribers you get from Post Gopher liked your blog post enough to download it to read later. You can separate them into interest lists based on the post they downloaded so you can send them additional information related to the topic of that post.
I grew the email list for Blog + Create using ONLY this plugin and MiloTree (mentioned below), no other downloads or opt-in forms. This was mostly because I never really got around to adding other subscription options before I had to take about a year off from blogging. But in that time off, my list still grew because of Post Gopher.
In case you’re wondering, my list for Blog + Create is the list that helped me earn that $300 I mentioned earlier, so Post Gopher was an ESSENTIAL part of that success.
I wouldn’t use Post Gopher on posts with Amazon affiliate links, because Amazon doesn’t want you to use their links in downloadable PDFs.
With the Post Gopher expansion upgrade, you can choose where you want Post Gopher buttons to appear, so you can simply omit them from posts with Amazon links and use it for all your other posts.
Purchase Post Gopher and get the Blogger Success Pack free here.
MiloTree is an awesome tool for growing your email list AND your social media followers. It creates a pop ups asking people to subscribe or follow your accounts, which you can set to do for only one account or randomly show any of your accounts.
I usually suggest MiloTree for growing your Pinterest followers, but it also connects to Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Shopify, Etsy, and of course several email services, including all of the ones I mentioned above.
MiloTree can be customized to fit the look and feel of your website. It’s also mobile friendly and GDPR compliant.
My most popular email subscription incentive has been two free courses I created on the Teachable platform.
The best part?
I created these courses from blog posts I’d already written before. I just copied and pasted them into Teachable and broke them down into bite-sized lessons.
I did this with two free courses and that has brought in over 1,200 subscribers. I actually still have the courses available so they still bring in a few subs every month.
Unfortunately, I no longer really use that blog so I also ditched the subscriber list (probably a big mistake on my part). A few of them followed me over to Blog + Create but not many.
You can use Teachable this way for free, it won’t cost you anything to run a free course on the Free plan, though you’ll probably want to upgrade if you decide to create a paid course later.
You’ll need Zapier to send your students names and email addresses over to your email service automatically, which you can set up for free as well.
You can also do this with another tool, MemberVault, which is what I’m going to be trying with Modern Biz Magic. MemberVault’s free plan is only good for up to 50 members though, so make sure you have a plan in place to monetize your content, either directly from subscribers to your MemberVault or by using affiliate links inside your free content.
Try Teachable out for free now and sign up for their free Quick Start webinar to learn how to create your first course with Teachable.
Viral Loops is a good tool to use for giveaways and referral programs.
This works best if you already have some traffic coming into your site, but can definitely help you build even more traffic from people your current traffic invite through the referral contest.
I’ve used Viral Loops to manage a contest I ran for my SecondLife store. For this contest, I used the raffle style contest where people got more entries into the contest for inviting people.
The more people they invited, the more “tickets” they got for the raffle.
Another thing you can do with this tool is offer a free download once someone refers a certain number of people to your site.
There are also a lot of other options for viral referral contests you can use that include a pre-launch waitlist giveaway, a leaderboard climbing contest, and referrals to your online shop.
I want to try this out with my blog businesses sometime as well.
You can try Viral Loops out free for 14 days here. That’s plenty of time to run a contest, but make sure you have some traffic first to get the most out of your 14 days.
What are your favorites?
Have you tried any of these tools before?
Do you have a favorite that’s not listed in this post?
Tell us about it in the comments!