Do You Need an Email Newsletter?
Thinking of starting an email newsletter? Wondering if it’s really necessary? Have one and don’t know if it’s worth the time? The answer to the email question is…it depends.
If you find yourself checking your personal email on your phone multiple times a day and your work email even more often, you already know how important email is in our lives. But as a sex blogger or an adult brand, do you need to start an email list or send out newsletters?
I recently shut down one email newsletter while keeping two more alive and well, so I’m well aware of how complicated it can be.
What is an Email Newsletter
From a blogging or brand perspective, an email newsletter is a mix of links, announcements, and “check this out” moments that you send to a list of people who sign-up to receive emails from you. The majority of the links will be for posts or products on your own website, but not always. You send it out on a regular basis — weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. In a perfect world, the majority of the people who’ve subscribed to get your newsletter will open it, read it, and click on your links.
In my experience, this can happen, but not always. Very few people open the emails they receive (assuming they see it, thanks, spam filters). Of those people, very few click the links.
This isn’t a knock on newsletters or email lists. I have two that I can’t imagine giving up, but that doesn’t mean you always get the results you want.
How Email Newsletters Help
I have fully drunk the Kool-Aid on the idea that email lists are extremely important for bloggers and businesses. Your list helps you speak directly to your audience. They’ve invited you in to their inbox and want to hear from you. (As long as you’re honest about how you got their email address, of course.)
Plus, some newsletters are genuinely useful . It’s much easier to send Smutlancer subscribers a weekly email with all the blog posts and podcasts than it is to expect them to catch a tweet or stalk the site. It’s convenient for them, and lets me see how many people are interested in my content.
Email newsletters are also a great way to promote affiliate offers, products for sale, surveys, and everything else you really want your audience to know about. These are your loyal followers — they’re more likely to click a link or buy a thing because you’re asking them to do it.
Email Newsletters Require Time and (Some) Resources
If you’re a business brand — ecommerce, service, or in some way trying to create repeat business for yourself — I highly recommend an email list. It’s a long-term method to build brand loyalty — as long as your newsletter or other emails offer something of value.
For sex bloggers? That’s up to you. It can be a good thing, a way to talk to your audience, but it can also be a drain on your resources, including your energy.
- You’ll need to make time to create your newsletter. I recommend creating a template and then repeating the format each week to keep it easier.
- You have to find a provider. Some aren’t friendly to sex bloggers or adult brands. Mail Chimp banned me a few years ago, even though I know other people use them with no problems.
- Some newsletter providers only offer the service for free up to a certain amount of emails or subscribers. Eventually, you’ll probably have to pay.
None of this is meant to discourage you, only to make sure you’re realistic about what you’re getting into.
Always Read the TOS
The email providers I’ve found that didn’t care what kind of content you emailed or linked to tended to charge the highest prices. I was using Feedblitz for the newsletter for KaylaLords.com (until recently). For 1000 subscribers, it cost $29 per month. But they didn’t care that I linked back to a site that publishes nude photos.
MailerLite, the system I use for this site’s newsletter and Loving BDSM told me (because I asked) they didn’t mind my sites using their service as long as there was no nudity on the site. So guess who’s made sure there’s no nudity on the site? It’s free up to 1000 unique subscribers, so I’m good for right now and don’t have to pay anything. At 1001 subscribers, it’s only $10 per month.
Mad Mimi, Mail Chimp, and a few others will let you slip through as long as you don’t draw attention to yourselves. But no matter what, read the Terms of Service so you know what you’re getting into. And constantly back-up your list in case they shut you down or ban you with no warning.
Blog Subscriptions as an Alternative
What can you do if you don’t want to create an email newsletter? The easiest way I know is to make it easy for readers to subscribe to your blog. There are plenty of plugins that let people subscribe. I currently use Email Subscribers, but there are others.
Install the plugin, configure it, and add a subscription widget to your sidebar or to another visible spot on your website. Whenever you publish a new blog post, they receive a notification.
WordPress lets subscribers format how often they receive blog post notifications, but not everyone knows how to use that. If you blog a lot, some (but not all) readers might get annoyed. But I’ve found that the majority of my sex blog audience wants to read what I write so they don’t mind.
Should you start an email newsletter?
It all depends on what you’re trying to do? Do you want to send your audience special notices about coupons, sales, and other content you create that isn’t on your sex blog? Are you a brand trying to sell products or services? Then yes, an email newsletter may be a great idea.
If you’re a sex blogger who has blog subscription system, it’s up to you. If it feels important to you, do your research and try it out. But don’t feel like you absolutely have to do it, either.
Do you have an email newsletter that you send out? Have you tried it and decided it wasn’t for you? Are you considering starting one? Let me know in the comments below or talk to me on Twitter!
And if you’d like to subscribe to the Smutlancer newsletter and keep up with blog posts, podcast episodes, and yes, special offers, sign up below! (Note: it’s a double opt-in system so once you subscribe, check your spam folder. Click the link in the email you receive from me/MailerLite to complete your subscription.)