As a food blogger, you know that email marketing is an important way to keep in touch with your readers. But what do your readers want from you? This post will show you some tips for finding out what your audience wants and how to use that information to create successful email campaigns. So dig into those subscriber lists and see what you can learn! Your readers will thank you for it.
Email marketing can seem overwhelming and if you are not seeing results, it is easy to drift away from it. I get it, trust me! You know the saying – been there, done that? Yeah I do too all too well.
I have a hard time keeping motivated when things just don’t seem to be working. This can be good but also bad. Good because it creates change (usually) but bad because sometimes I just put it on the back burner and forget about it.
Email marketing was one of those things for me. I wasn’t seeing growth and I completely stopped for a while. Yeah I know, insert the mind blowing emoji here!
But it doesn’t have to be this way. When you get to know your audience, great things happen. You can do this, I am cheering you on my friends.
This is a 5 part blog post series. In case you missed the others:
- 5 tips for crafting compelling email subject lines
- Are your emails going to the spam folder?
- What you need to know about email frequency
- Email marketing – foreshadowing creates anticipation
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Why You Need to Find Your Audience
Effective marketing boils down to this: Find an audience, figure out what they need or want and then deliver it. Email is one of the best mediums to help you do just that. And it isn’t always about selling them on a product. In fact, that isn’t at all where you want to start.
First you want to build a relationship with your readers. You want them to get to know you. You want to help them out so they start to like you and trust you. Once they start to know you and your blog, you will be their go to for recipes! And if you decide to sell something (maybe a cookbook) you will be able to make an offer and have them pull out their wallet and buy it.
Finding your audience is incredibly important to your email marketing campaign but also to your blogging! Sure Google brings me traffic, but my email peeps and social media followers are the ones that love going to my new recipes when I share them. Why? Because they got to know a bit about me and trust that my recipes will work for them! Basically, I found my audience.
How to Find Your Audience
I know you are thinking “oh this sounds great but how the heck do I do it?” It takes some time and it honestly may take some tears. It’s hard to swallow the idea of unsubscribes in beginning. But unsubscribes are ok! They are not your people. Let’s dive in here.
Pay attention to your website stats, but don’t go into 100 times a day (yes I used to be crazy with it.) Programs like Google Analytics can give you a lot of information of where you’re readers came from, what page they landed on and where they were on your site when they joined your list. That data along with demographical information will tell you a lot about your audience.
As you start to email your readers, they will reply and get back in touch with you. Pay attention to what they’re saying. And don’t forget to read between the lines. Let’s say you’re in the baking niche and you noticed that some of your readers are asking for suggestions on why their cakes collapse.
They may complain about it being sunken in the middle or it rose and then collapsed. Maybe they had an issue where their cake turns out dry. Maybe you can set up an email marketing campaign and blogging series around baking fails. There are many things people can struggle with when it comes to cooking, this is just an off the top of my head example.
I also like to reach out by email when somebody leaves a bad review. They quite often appreciate you personally reaching out to offer personal advice!
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Dig deep and see what you can learn about your niche and your readers. Sometimes what they tell you they want isn’t the real issue. On the flip side, it can be helpful to ask them for suggestions. Keep the questions open ended if you want a lot to work with.
I sometimes use Facebook to ask my readers things like “what is the toughest part about cooking for you?” You can get a lot of great answers from people when you ask them questions like this. It shows them that you care about what your readers need and want when it comes to cooking.
Or consider having your readers fill out a simple little survey. It’s quick and easy to do with Google forms. You get some good data and you get your readers to interact. Having them contribute builds a sense of community even via email. They feel like they are part of something and they love it!
Go Through Email Stats
If you already have an email marketing campaign, go back and look at the past emails you’ve sent. Pay attention to open rates, click through rates and unsubscribes. If a large percentage of readers opened the email, that’s a good indication they were interested in the topic.
If on the other hand you got a lot of unsubscribes, that might be an indication that either the topic was wrong or your language and overall message didn’t click with your audience. Don’t sweat some unsubscribes, but if you get a lot on certain emails you certainly want to take note of it. It will be a subject you likely won’t want to cover again or you will want to change how you cover it. Sometimes it’s just the tone of the message that sat wrong.
Use all the data and information you get back to learn more about your target audience and connect with them on a deeper level. The more you know about your subscribers, the more effective your email marketing will be.
Knowing you audience is very important even if you are not using email marketing at the moment. You will know what your readers want to learn more about and what they hope you will help them with.
Email marketing is a great tool to help you learn your audience and build that community of loyal readers. They like you and your blog, they value what you have to say and more importantly, you help them!
Do you have any more great tips for finding your audience as a food blogger? If so let us know in the comments below!
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