Email Marketing for Content Creators: Building an Audience with Email

For content creators, email marketing will never go out of style. 

Whether you create video content, write your own newsletter, run a small e-commerce business, conduct thought-provoking data studies, or write long-form blog content, email will only continue to be a major accelerator for your growth. 

As a content creator, you have the opportunity to create email content that drives meaningful traffic to your site, boosts audience engagement, and fields real customer feedback, all while building an audience that cares about your brand. 

There are many benefits that come along with standing up an email marketing strategy. In this article, we’ll touch on those plus email marketing best practices and explore how you as a creator can craft email campaigns that will convert.

The power of email marketing for content creators

Even though social media marketing has boomed over the last ten years, email has stood its ground and remains one of the best mediums to reach and interact with an audience.

Studies show that 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach their customers. And diving deeper, 81% of B2B marketers say their most used form of content marketing is email newsletters.

This bodes well for content creators. Using email in your marketing strategy gives you a direct line of communication with your audience of listeners, subscribers, and followers. It gives you the chance to send updates, understand what content resonates, and promote your content, no matter what that may be.

Heads up: This post is part of our Content Creator series that delves into essential strategies that empower content creators – from those working independently to those creating content for large organizations and everyone in between. Discover all of the resources below.

Your subscribers are familiar with you

Here’s the good news. The people who’ve signed up for your email list already know who you are and are opting in to receive content from you. They are familiar with you as a content creator, the way you brand yourself, and the services or products you may sell. 

They haven’t just recently found you and only interacted with some of your content. They saw something that resonated with them so much that they sought a way to keep up with you. The challenge now is to find the best way to create more content (whether that be videos, blog posts, a weekly newsletter, or products in your online store) that continues to engage them.

They’ve given you their email address, a precious thing when you consider that 361.6B emails are sent per day. Don’t make them regret it. Unengaging content is a one-way ticket to boost your unsubscribe rate.

How content creators can benefit from email marketing

Using email marketing to promote your content will help you consistently interact with your audience, understand what they’d like to see from you, and create even better content in the future. It’s an immensely powerful tool for any content creator looking to grow their audience or small business.

There are many ways creators can benefit from using email marketing. Let’s take a look at some of the top reasons why email is an invaluable channel. 

Communicate directly with your audience

Email marketing provides a direct line of communication between businesses and their audience, enabling personalized and targeted messaging. Companies can reach out to their subscribers through carefully crafted email campaigns with relevant content, promotions, updates, and information. This direct connection fosters engagement and builds relationships with customers, allowing businesses to deliver tailored messages that resonate with individual preferences and interests.

By segmenting email lists and analyzing data, marketers can further refine their communication strategies, ensuring that messages are delivered to the right audience at the right time. Plus, email marketing allows for interactive communication, inviting recipients to take action through links, buttons, and calls to action embedded within emails, thus driving traffic, conversions, and ultimately, business growth.

Drive more traffic to your blog, YouTube channel, or website

Email marketing is a great way to drive traffic to specific pages you want your audience to interact with. By writing compelling subject lines, including content previews, and sending the right messaging, you’ll see a rise in engagement and effectively get them to click on a strategically placed call to action and direct them to your desired destination.

This can be a blog post, your YouTube channel, or a landing page on your website. Plus, by segmenting email lists based on interests and preferences, you can deliver content that resonates with specific subsets of their audience, maximizing the likelihood of click-throughs and conversions.

Tip: In addition to driving traffic on your own, you can partner with other creators or influencers to expand your reach to new customers. Experiment with giveaways, content swaps, and email cross-promotions for additional traffic potential.

Email is a completely owned channel

With email, you have total control and ownership, unlike social channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube.

There are times when a site will go down or change its algorithm completely. A site like Twitter going down for a few hours won’t affect too much of your regular posting cadence, but when major changes happen (like an algorithm shift or a policy change), it can be hard to tweak your strategy and continue to see the same level of audience engagement as before. 

Your email list is your own. No matter what platforms you use, you can always use email however you want and send out your campaigns, newsletters, videos, updates, or general information at your own speed. 

segmentation lists in activecampaign

In ActiveCampaign, you can create different lists to categorize your contacts, giving you much more flexibility when segmenting and targeting specific groups.

It would be remiss if we didn’t mention the power of modern email marketing software and how choosing the right tool can significantly uplevel your content promotion. If you’re serious about growing and nurturing your audience using automated emails, it may be a good idea to research which tools are in your budget and offer the functionality you need.

Boost your audience engagement

This is an obvious one. Email is a channel that gives you the power to grow your audience if you put the time and effort into it. You can personalize each message and tailor your content based on customer behaviors, interests, or their most recent interactions with you. This information is typically stored in a CRM platform, which many email marketing tools offer in tandem. Plus, you can A/B test subject lines and pieces of content to determine what types of content return the best engagement and click-through rate.

a/b testing in activecampaign

ActiveCampaign allows you to easily divide your email list into two segments and A/B test with ease.

Note: Some email marketing platforms have a subpar deliverability rate, which leaves you guessing if your content was delivered in the first place. ActiveCampaign is #1 in email deliverability among competitors in Emailtooltester’s 2024 deliverability test, with an average deliverability rate of 89.6%.

activecampaign deliverability rate

If your emails aren’t landing in inboxes, your email marketing efforts will be wasted. Choose a platform with solid deliverability so you can maintain steady audience engagement over time.

Nurture your leads over time

Email can be a platform for revenue generation.

As you build trust with warm leads who are new to your brand, you can show them how your content, course, or product will solve a pain point they have. This promotion is one way to monetize your email strategy but there’s also a long game to be played too.

Consistently communicate with your email contacts and offer valuable content they may not have known they were looking for. Doing so nurtures them over a period of time and (if they like your content) converts them into customers.

Have a deeper understanding of your audience

When you have a growing contact list, sending an email is a uniquely personal experience.

The people who sign up for your newsletter or email list are interested in you as a creator or in the content that you make. Because you can email them, you can start and carry out a conversation for a much longer duration than you would be able to on other channels like social media. 

When conceptualizing your email campaigns, consider creating a drip campaign where you both send content and ask for feedback on specific content or products you offer. This will help you understand your audience and the content you should prioritize for increased engagement and sales.

Email marketing best practices for growing your audience

Maintaining and continuously growing your email list is crucial for the longevity of your brand’s success. There are a few best practices that you should keep in mind as you begin to nurture your customer base. 

Maintain good email hygiene

Building your email list is the first step in growing an audience, but you also need to prioritize cleaning it regularly. Even if you have thousands of subscribers and send emails to every contact on your list, if your open rate is low, you’re doing yourself a disservice and cannot know which contacts are really there for your brand. 

Your focus should be building an engaged list, testing different content to see what resonates, and cleaning out subscribers who don’t interact with your emails.

A hygiene check can look like a few things:

  • Every few months, send a re-engagement email to the subscribers on your list who haven’t opened anything in ~90 days. If they continue to ignore your emails, it may be time to remove them from your list. 
  • Remove the email addresses that return a hard bounce. This can result from the email not delivering to the right address or from the recipient marking your email as spam. 
  • Send a win-back email campaign to unengaged subscribers before you take them off your list.

Deliver relevant content by segmenting your list

On top of cleaning your email list, it’s important to segment it as it grows.

Your audience includes different types of customers, some with specific interests, some ready to buy, and some who need a bit more nurturing before they pull the trigger. Instead of sending the same email to all of them, segmenting them into specific lists will allow you to deliver relevant messaging and improve their customer experience

activecampaign creating segments

In ActiveCampaign, you can organize your contacts into segments based on specific preferences or any actions they’ve taken. (Above: This group has attended a webinar and are in an existing email list called Networking Events).

Segmenting your audience like this will also allow you to personalize every email that goes out, ensuring your subscribers feel closer to your brand.

Track email campaign performance

It’s no secret that tracking the performance of your email campaigns is an essential part of improving your overall strategy. There are a few metrics you should be tracking to identify trends and continue to iterate on your email messaging:

How content creators can leverage email automation

Did you know that 87% of B2C marketers leverage automation as part of their email marketing strategy? Marketing automation tools can totally change the game for your email strategy, saving you time and resources as you create more content and scale your business.

One of the biggest advantages of using automation is bringing customers or subscribers into specific drip campaigns when they interact with a trigger (Ex: form, CTA, link). Automating your email campaigns allows you to send messaging at optimal times and have a running track record of every interaction a subscriber has with your content.

Other benefits of using automation in your email strategy include:

  • Having access to beautiful, pre-built email templates
  • Integrating your email tool with other channels for a streamlined workflow
  • Connecting your email automation software to other tech in your software stack so all your customer information is connected and talking to each other
  • Automatically segmenting contacts based on their actions, interests, and engagement level

Creating email marketing content that will convert

The key to building a good email strategy in the first place is creating content that has the best chance of converting casual subscribers to customers. Let’s look at a few ways you can attract customers and keep them coming back to your content.

Optimize email subject lines

If your email subject line can’t draw people in, the contents of your email don’t matter.

Your subject line is the first thing your recipients see when your email lands in their inbox. It’s also arguably the hardest part to write. How do you create a sense of urgency so they’ll be inclined to open your email and read it?

Here are a few tips for writing great subject lines:

  • Ask a question:  Asking a question rather than writing a statement is automatically a more engaging experience. Open up the dialogue with your audience and leave room for them to wonder what they’ll see when they open your email.
  • Write like a human being: People like to be treated like humans and want to connect with humans. Use a conversational tone to come off as friendly and write your emails as you would to a close colleague.
  • Try using emojis: Research shows emails with emojis in the email subject line have a 56% higher open rate than emails with text-based subject lines. Try some out (in moderation and staying on brand, of course).
personalization tag in email subject line

In ActiveCampaign, you can easily personalize your subject lines by adding personalization tags (pictured in the drop-down menu). There are many ways you can write an email that’ll grab your subscribers’ attention. Click here for all our best tips on how to write an email.

Explain how you can solve hard problems

Your subscribers didn’t sign up to be sent email after email where you talk about how great your content or product is without talking about how it can solve a problem they may have. Instead of always talking about your brand, find ways to organically market yourself as a solution.

Value-first email marketing allows you to:

  • Sell your content or products by speaking to the value the recipient will receive when buying something from you
  • Genuinely connect on what you can give them instead of treating your subscribers like a dollar sign
  • Give context around how your content is different and how it can benefit the recipient

Your email list is made up of humans, so treat them as such. Making small adjustments to messaging before you send an email can make a world of difference and help you increase conversions.

Include social proof 

Social proof is incredibly important when showcasing and selling your content. It builds trust by giving your audience a look at the customers and businesses you’ve already positively impacted. People do their research.

In fact, 87% of buying decisions begin with research conducted online before the purchase is made.

Bring that research to their door by including things like written and video testimonials, case studies, awards, and third-party reviews in your emails. People everywhere still rely on word-of-mouth marketing or recommendations from friends before they are convinced to buy. Including social proof is a great way to show your email list what they can achieve when they do business with you.

Email marketing is a springboard for growth

Email marketing is a powerful medium for content creators to talk to their audience, understand their preferences, and build a sizeable customer base. As you scale your content and grow your audience, enlisting the help of an email marketing tool is the best way to strengthen your relationship with them by segmenting your list, crafting personalized content, and sending emails that are relevant to each recipient.

ActiveCampaign allows you to keep track of all your contacts in one place, build automations for audiences at different buying stages, and use behavioral data to create content that truly speaks to them. Combined, this is a game changer for any content creator looking to build their audience.

If you’d like to give us a try, sign up for a free trial today.

Next read: Content Creator Newsletter: How to Write an Engaging Newsletter in 4 Steps