Email marketing is one of the most important things you can implement to help grow your podcast. It is also an excellent way to keep your current audience engaged and consistently coming back.
Email has the highest ROI of any marketing channel in 2020, is cost-effective, and is an asset that you own. It’s not susceptible to changes in algorithms like your audience on Facebook or Instagram.
Good email marketing services make it easy to engage with your subscribers, group and segment different subsets of your audience, and most importantly, make sure your emails are delivered to the inbox (not the spam folder).
I’ve tried a bunch (too many probably) of different email service providers, but they’re not all a great fit.
I’m just going to recommend the best email marketing companies for podcasters and bloggers of all sizes…
Best Email Service Providers
I’ve personally met the founder of ConvertKit when he was in town a year or two ago and they have grown a ton and released some really cool new features since then:
Instead of needing to write an email every time you want to send one out, you can create a series or sequence of emails that go out on a predetermined schedule.
One example that would work well for podcasters is a “welcome email series” that would be delivered once a week for a month or so…
You could highlight your best episodes or most famous guests with a link to the show page so people can listen right away.
You can create purchase “thank you” sequences, educational sequences, podcast topic sequences, or anything else that fits your niche and your audience.
Then you can make those sequences a piece of your Automations…
Automations allow you to basically do anything you can think up:
Want to pause your welcome series, pitch a membership, thank buyers, then return them to your welcome series? No problem – and easy to do.
Want to deliver different content based on what your email subscribers click on? Just a few clicks.
I recommend heading over to the ConvertKit site and clicking Automations in the header to take a closer look at some of the possibilities.
The ability to easily create, or duplicate existing forms is a feature I definitely take advantage of:
This allows you to easily see which forms people are using, and which ones might be wasting space on your website.
ConvertKit gives you the ability to do some basic customization with their built-in forms – along with the ability to have them show up in different ways:
Did you know that email marketing has one of the highest returns on investment of any marketing channel? By far.
I say that just to let you know that some of these useful features aren’t free.
ConvertKit’s pricing starts at $29/month and goes up depending on the size of your email list:
You can switch to annual billing to get 2 months free as well.
If you ever need help, their support is knowledgeable and super quick.
Did I mention you can try it out for 14 days to see if it works for you? Try it out here.
ActiveCampaign is a hybrid email automation platform and CRM (customer relationship management) platform.
On the Lite plan you still get the email automation features without the CRM at a lower cost.
They have all the features you’d expect including triggered emails, email autoresponders, broadcast emails, scheduled emails, and more.
There are lots of segmenting options that integrate with your website so you can send emails:
- based on the pages they visited
- where they came from
- the type of device a visitor is on
- and lots more!
ActiveCampaign includes several types of opt-in forms that can be customized and placed as needed:
Another neat feature is dynamic content.
In one email you can show different content (text, images, etc.) based on how that person is tagged from previous activity.
There are multiple ways to configure this depending on your needs and creativity. They give two examples that make it easy to understand:
Or you can show different Calls to Action (CTAs) depending on how familiar they are with you:
There are a lot of other useful features like split testing, automation maps, event tracking, and more that you’re just going to have to explore!
Pricing starts at $17/month for the Lite plan (no CRM) and $49/month for the Plus plan (with CRM & Sales Automation) when you pay annually.
Drip is a powerful email service provider. They focus on e-commerce but work well with many types of online businesses.
They have tons of integrations including Shopify, WooCommerce, Drift, Facebook Ads, and tons more.
Their visual automation workflows make it easy to get started and customize who gets what email, and when.
They have a bunch of templates to make it easy to get started as well:
You can expand beyond email marketing with automated Facebook Ads, text messages, and even postcards.
Pricing starts at $49/month for up to 2,500 contacts. You can try it out for 14 days at no cost.
AWeber has really stepped up their game lately and has a ton of useful features.
They also have excellent guides and courses to help you get started with email marketing like this one:
They also have a great page specifically for podcasters you should check out if you’re not ready to start the course above.
You’ll find a free guide to email marketing for podcasters when you visit this page. Enjoy!
If you’re ready to give AWeber a try, you’ll get a 30-day free trial, then pricing starts at $19/month for up to 500 subscribers.
Want to listen while browsing the site? Subscribe on Apple or Google Podcasts.
More Email Providers
MailChimp is probably one of the most well-known email marketing providers.
They have an excellent free plan that is great for people just starting out, but once you get over a certain size it can get costly. They also don’t have easy ways to segment your list or customize sequences of emails to the same level of detail as ConvertKit or other providers.
ConvertKit actually created a post on reasons not to switch from MailChimp – might be helpful.
Where MailChimp really shines is with e-commerce stores. You can tell that is a large part of their focus by how many automated sequences they have specifically related to online shopping.
Even More ESPs
As I mentioned up top, there are a ton of different email marketing services. Here are some of the other popular options:
- Campaign Monitor
- Constant Contact
I’m curious, what emails service do you use? What features do you like about it? Let me know in the comments!