Want to make sure your engaged audience listens in to your podcast? Not everyone is as connected to their go-to podcast app as you are and they might need a little nudge. Or a reminder.
The trick? Email them! Send a nurturing email to your audience every time a podcast episode goes live (or every time you publish a blog post or YouTube video, if one of those is your pillar platform of choice).
A nurturing email is the best tool to connect with your audience right where they are, in their inbox. But figuring out what to say and how to fit in another piece of content to your already packed schedule might feel challenging for you.
That’s what this episode is all about. It’s episode four of the Minimum Viable Content Marketing series. Tune in now and I’ll share the when, what, and how of creating nurturing emails for your subscribers!
Mentioned In This Episode
- Ask Your Audience Challenge
- Episode 158: Case Studies: Tying Pillar Content to Other Content
- Episode 165: What to do Before You Work on Your Content
- Episode 167: Two Tips for Podcasters to Grow Their Email List
- Episode 169: Engaging New Subscribers With Your Welcome Sequence
Welcome to episode 171 of The Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast for podcasters that supports the idea that content and marketing are ever-moving targets and it’s okay if you don’t feel like you’re doing it ALL right, ALL of the time. You have permission to experiment with little tweaks and changes in your content to find what works for you, what increases value for your audience and what grows your business. And most importantly, what feels good for you.
I’m Abby Herman, content strategist and consultant for podcasting business owners who want to make their podcast, their primary content marketing tool, feel easier and more streamlined so they can get back to serving their clients and making those sales. Because your podcast is your primary marketing tool and you want to leverage it to grow your audience, authority, and business. I’ll show you how, while you do business in a way that works for you–I can help by supporting you through building a content and marketing strategy, taking care of the podcast management for you, or giving you the tools and resources to take this on yourself.
Today’s episode is fourth in our series on minimum viable content marketing.
In the first episode of the series, episode 165, I shared about some of the pre-work that you can do to help you develop your content strategy for your podcast. On episode 167, I talked about growing your list and your listenership. On episode 169, I talked about how to create a welcome sequence for your audience. I’ll include links to both episodes in the show notes.
Today, we’re talking all about what happens after you’ve welcomed your audience to your email list. (Notice I didn’t say email newsletter. I really hate the word newsletter. It gives me flashbacks of meaningless handouts with goofy cartoons and gossip. I’m not sure why; it just feels icky to me. Now with LinkedIn’s newsletter feature, I may change my tune. But the emails you’re sending out to subscribers from your email list are not newsletters.)
Okay, off my soapbox.
In episode 169, you learned how to really engage with your audience early on as they’re getting to know you. And once they’re done going through your welcome sequence, let’s not ignore them. They’re hooked; you’re going to want to nurture them so they stick around, keep opening your emails and maybe, hopefully, eventually buy from you–sooner rather than later!
So many podcasters and business owners see writing a regular (I prefer weekly) email as a chore. And many don’t send one.
Are you part of that group?
Then you realize you’ve neglected your list for months…but you have something that you want to sell…so you start emailing again. (Slimy! Why would people buy from you or even continue following you if you’re only there for the sales?)
I’m surprised at the number of times I’ve been the recipient of an email that says, “I’m sorry I’ve been so absent in your inbox.” Or, worse, received an email from someone whose list I don’t remember subscribing to…and they’ve changed their business name or their branding and then just decided to start emailing again. And I have NO IDEA who they are or how they got in my inbox.
First, if you’re coming back to emailing after a hiatus, no one noticed you were gone. And second, if you’ve been gone for a loooong time, and changed your look or what you do…do your subscribers a favor and let them know and make it really easy for them to unsubscribe.
But if you’re in the camp of knowing that nurturing your list is important and wanting to stay in front of your subscribers on a regular basis, let’s talk the how, when, and what of it.
Let’s start with the when.
WHEN are you emailing your list?
Well, if you’re a podcaster, hopefully you’re emailing them every time you release a new podcast episode. Most podcasters release episodes every week. Some every other week. I would say that every other week is the minimum you should be emailing your subscribers.
If your podcast is more irregular, like you’re publishing sporadically or you have seasons and take time off between seasons, I’d encourage you to establish a regular email schedule and stick to it. Even if you’re not publishing pillar content–your podcast–every time you email your audience, that’s okay. Stay in front of your audience!
Next, let’s talk about the WHAT. What should you be sending to your audience?
This is the big question and where people tend to sit in front of their computer, staring at a blank screen. If you listened to episode 158, which I’ll link to in the show notes, I walk through two case studies and how we do this for clients.
But I’ll share with you here too, using this episode as an example.
The episode you’re listening to right now is all about nurturing emails. So when I send MY nurturing email to subscribers about it, I’ll likely tell a story about why I created a podcast episode about the topic. It will probably be around getting an email from someone whose list I don’t remember signing up for. Or maybe it will be about an email I wrote for a client. I’m not sure yet…I usually see where the podcast episode goes before I start writing the email.
But the nurturing email needs to tie to the podcast episode (or blog post, if you’re creating a blog) in some way. It needs to intrigue subscribers, to encourage them to go listen to the podcast or read the blog post.
(Not even sure what to include in your pillar content? What you should be creating content about? That’s what an audience survey is for. You can learn how to create an effective audience survey with my free Ask Your Audience Challenge at thecontentexperiment.com/ask.)
Okay, so you’re sharing your most recent podcast episode with listeners. You’re telling a story about where the episode topic came from or something else that relates to the episode so you can link to it. Then what?
What else should you include in your emails?
Here’s where most business owners struggle because they want to include everything and the kitchen sink in the email.
Please, please resist the urge to include information about your group programs AND your new book AND your last three favorite podcasts you’ve listened to AND a few blog posts you wrote recently AND AND AND. It’s too much.
I’m totally on board with repurposing your content and sending subscribers back to old content on a regular basis. On this episode alone, I’ve mentioned and linked to multiple other episodes. And on my nurturing email template, I include links to social media, my website, and the podcast in the footer.
But in the body of your nurturing emails, you want to minimize the number of links you include. And minimize the graphics too! Why’s that? Too many links and too many places for the eye to go and your readers will have decision fatigue. There are too many possible places to click, and so subscribers tend to click nothing.
They’re not sure what to do so they don’t do anything.
When you’re sending a nurturing email, ask yourself this question: What is the outcome I want from this email? What do I want recipients to do after reading this email?
If it’s a nurturing email, chances are you want them to go to your podcast episode or blog. Because the purpose of that nurturing email is to educate and inform your audience. And yes, entertain a bit to encourage them over to the pillar content. But really, you want their eyes and ears on your pillar content.
That is where your email content needs to be focused.
And yes, if you’re on my email list, you know that I often invite you to book a quick chat with me or to connect with me in a coffee chat. I also include links to any summits or programs I’m supporting at the moment. But these are all at the end of the email. They’re more afterthoughts than anything else. And there aren’t any graphics included with them to pull the reader’s eye away from the main goal of the email, which is to drive traffic to the pillar content. Your podcast.
So I realize I’ve contradicted myself here. Don’t include too many links…but I include multiple other links.
I’d use this as a loose rule: Know the end goal of your nurturing email, to send people to your pillar content. Tell a story about that piece of content, and link to it several times in the body of the email. At the end of your email, encourage readers to reach out to you and potentially book a call or sign up for a related summit or event. But these links should not be in the body of your email, they should be an afterthought. And in the footer? Include links to your social media, website, and podcast.
And finally, let’s talk about the HOW. How should you be emailing your subscribers?
Well, to have an email list you need an email service. I prefer ActiveCampaign because it’s very visual and I find it easy to use–once you get past the learning curve. ActiveCampaign is just my preference, and I’ve included a link to it in the show notes. But I’ve also worked with ConvertKit and MailerLite and like them as well.
But you probably already knew that you needed an email service. Maybe your question around HOW is how to find the time for it. Or how to fit creating a nurturing email into your already packed content process.
Here’s my big how: Stop waiting until the night before to write your email. Write your emails (and your show notes and your social media posts) right after recording your podcast episode. Wehen you do this, your episode is top of mind and really fresh. It’s easy (or at least easier) to write your email and the other content associated with your episode. And if you need to add something to your email later? No problem! Everything else is done.
I have to say that I don’t always follow my own lead. I don’t always write my show notes and emails after recording. Sometimes I work really far ahead on my recordings, and it’s a really nice surprise, or gift to my future self, when I do!
I’d like to know:
Are you emailing your audience regularly? Consistently? What’s your biggest struggle with emailing your audience?
I would love it if you’d let me know. Take a screenshot of of this episode and share it on Instagram and let me know your biggest takeaways. Be sure to tag me at thecontent experiment so I can give you a shoutout.
And if you’ve been finding value in these episodes, be sure to give the podcast a rating and review. The more you share, the more we can get the podcast into the hands of more business owners, just like you, who need to hear the message that they are not alone.