There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours creating an awesome piece of content for your website only to have it seen by your Mom, and her quilting group…and no one else.  We’ve all had the experience of getting no return on investment for the time we’ve spent developing content.  It’s enough to make you want to just give up and take up something less stressful; like air traffic control.

Today we’re going to try to give you a hand to maximize your impact while minimizing your time.  Basically, we’re going to stop creating content for multiple channels when we can use one channel to feed another.

Email Platforms and blogs are two very popular marketing channels for small businesses.  When I say popular, I mean that many small businesses have them; but many don’t actually use them.  The problem that many small business owners face is that they really just don’t have the time to focus on these channels.  One solution to this issue it to make the two of them work together, thereby reducing the amount of work needed to use them, but also using each platform’s strengths to maximize their effectiveness.

Email Marketing

Many companies have an email list that they have been compiling for years.  Mailchimp is a hugely popular provider for such email marketing accounts because they have a free version which is actually useful for small businesses.

Strengths

The strength of any email marketing platform is that email goes to the customer.  It doesn’t require them to go to your site to see your content.  It also takes advantage of that mailing list which you may have been building for years.

Weaknesses

How many emails do you get per day?  It’s probably a lot.  One more marketing email can just sort of fade into the background.  Long emails are even more likely to get junked as most of us aren’t willing to commit the time to even look at it, knowing that we just don’t have the time.  As a result, a decent open rate on such emails is around 13%, and a click-through rate of between 1% and 2% is pretty much par for the course.

Although email marketing platforms allow you to send HTML email, the version of HTML that is supported by email clients is very dated (circa 1998) and limits what you can do.  It can be hard to make those emails look exactly as you want them to.

Blog

WordPress is a hugely popular web publishing platform, currently powering more than 25% of all sites on the world wide web. WordPress was originally created as a blogging tool, so it comes with that functionality built right in.  Many businesses have a blog built into their site; whether or not they use it, or update it regularly is another matter. A regularly updated blog provides dynamic content for your website, letting your visitors know that you are doing things, and paying attention.  It may not seem like much, but if you visit a website, and then again a year later, and it’s not changed at all, you start to wonder if the business is still even running.

Strengths

Your Blog can take advantage of all of the strengths of your website.  You have the ability to be as creating as you want, not being limited to antiquated HTML standards.

Your blog is part of your site, which means that anyone reading your posts may end up navigating to other pages on your site, giving you the opportunity to convert.

If your content is really good, you create the possibility of your visitors sharing it via social media, driving up your traffic, and giving you even more sales opportunity.

Weaknesses 

It’s always a challenge to come up with ideas to write about.  People love the idea of doing a blog, but they are far less enthusiastic about the content creating process.  Blogging can be difficult and time-consuming, and there is always the possibility that no one sees your post, which can be endlessly frustrating.

Better Together

One way to leverage the advances of both your blog and your email marketing list is to send a blog teaser.  If you think about the emails you receive from companies, you likely see this all the time.  The email will have a photo, and it will have a couple of paragraphs of text with a Read More button.

The key to a good blog teaser is finding an image that will catch the reader’s attention and a good lead off. You don’t need to write much, but it has to grab your reader’s attention.  Be funny, be obnoxious, be angry, just don’t be boring.  You want to peak the reader’s interest and get them to click on your Read More button.

The Read more button will open to your blog, which you will post the entire article.  It’s much simpler to make your blog post pretty than it is to make your email pretty.  Taking your readers to your blog has the added benefit of driving traffic to your site, which in turns creates an opportunity for them to engage further.  Your blog may have links to related posts, or other recent posts, which can draw your reader in further, and increase your conversion rate.

Wrapping Up

It’s not complicated to use your email to draw traffic to your blog, but it is a technique that is underutilized.  Experiment a little with this, and hopefully you will see some positive results!