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Why you should enable email subscriptions to your blog — and how to do it

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It’s well known among marketing professionals that blogging is a fantastic promotional tool for your business. But how can you ensure that the work you pour your soul into reaches the greatest possible audience?

Here’s one proven & simple method: send them an email each time you publish a new post.

Email marketing is important for the same reason blogging is — building relationships. Keeping in touch with past clients and forging paths to new ones is critical if you’re to build a successful photography business.

In this post we’ll explain why you should offer email subscriptions to your blog, and how to set it up!

Action Oriented Email

A popular misconception about this kind of email is that it’s a one way conversation. Not so. Emails can be used to spur the recipient to take some kind of action. For example, you might like to finish your email off with:

If you liked this then maybe you’d like to hire me! Or even if you don’t, just reply to this email and say “Hi”!

What’s happened there is you’ve made your communication actionable. There’s a clearly defined action that your readers can take – you’ve invited them to talk to you. Even if they’re not looking for a photographer today, any casual conversation can become a lead for your business.

Minimal Effort for the Recipient

If you want somebody to do something, would you wait around and hope that they do it off their own back, or would you ask them?

You’d ask them, right?

So instead of expecting someone to remember to visit your blog, you’re effectively ‘touching base’ and gently reminding them that if they need a photographer you’re ready with your finger on the shutter button. Email subscriptions let your audience stay in the loop with almost no effort on their part, meaning they’re more likely to do it.

Email vs Facebook vs Twitter vs …

Social media marketing is important, sure, but don’t underestimate the power of email. Neither of my parents are on Twitter or Facebook, but they both use email! If they’re sent an email, I know it will read it.

People don’t forget to check their email.

With email you’re effectively inserting yourself into someone’s busy schedule so they can’t forget about you. Tweets and Facebook posts are easily missed in the noise. An email is different. It’s right there and cannot be ignored. As long as you say something worth reading, it’ll get read. People sometimes forget to check to their social networks, but nobody forgets to check their email.

How to set up email subscriptions

So now you’re convinced that publishing your posts by email is awesome — and you’re horrified that you haven’t been doing it. Well, let’s fix that right away!

MailChimp is an awesome email marketing service, and it’s totally free for small lists. We use it here at FotoJournal and love it. MailChimp can automatically email your new blog posts to subscribers using your blog’s RSS feed.

To do this follow these three easy steps:

  1. Signup for an account at Mailchimp.
  2. Add a new mailing list and add the email addresses of your clients.
  3. Create an RSS-to-email campaign using your blog’s RSS feed URL. (e.g. http://your-blog.myfotojournal.com/feeds/blog/)

Adding readers to your list

Now that you have a list to send your new posts to, you’ll want to start building your readership. MailChimp provides embeddable forms that you can use to quickly and easily subscribe new readers. You could insert a form at the end of each of your posts, in a sticky post that appears at the top of your post listing or on a contact form on a separate page. Or you could even add a link to your subscription form in your main navigation. There are a number of ways to set this up, so do whatever works best for you!

In conclusion

Email subscriptions are the perfect way to proactively keep your audience up-to-date with your photographic adventures. If you’re regularly publishing interesting, relevant, and creative work you’ll discover that your email subscribers turn into your biggest fans and best clients!

Need help setting up email subscriptions with FotoJournal? Drop us a line at hello@myfotojournal.com — we’re happy to help!

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