Email Marketing

How to Grow Your Podcast Audience with Email Marketing

7 minutes

How to Grow Your Podcast Audience with Email Marketing

After hours of slaving away on your podcast, you’ve finally started promoting it on your social media channels. It came out great. The intonation was on-point, you asked the right questions, and even the edits were flawless. But despite this, the number of listeners has been dismally low.

With over 2 million active podcasts on the internet, you’ve got a lot of competition to deal with. No matter how great your content is, you need to market your podcast for real traction. And email marketing is the perfect place to start.

Not only does it help you build relationships with your audience, but it increases listenership as well. In this post, we’ll show you how to grow your podcast with email marketing and get the audience you deserve. Let’s get started.

Key benefits of email marketing for podcasts

When you’re hosting a podcast, you get the opportunity to talk to your listeners directly. But do you engage them once they tune out of your episodes? Email marketing is the answer. Here’s how email marketing can help build listenership for your podcast.

Want to promote your podcast?

With SendPulse, you can reach your target audience by sending various types of messages through a communication channel they prefer — email campaigns, web push notifications, SMS, and chatbots for WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, or Telegram.

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Personalizes your communication

Creating a personalized experience for your listeners will have a long-standing impact on retention and engagement for your podcast. With email marketing, you can tailor your communication to your listeners by addressing them by their first name.

Another tip for personalizing communication is to send welcome emails to new subscribers or even birthday wishes. This helps build a rapport with them, increasing your chances of gaining more visibility for your podcast.

Provides listener feedback

Email marketing allows you to ask for suggestions, constructive criticism, and the desires of each listener. Send surveys across and provide incentives for answering them. Use their input to make improvements in your podcast email marketing strategy.

Lets you own your followers

With social media, you don’t really own any of your followers. All their data and information is in the hands of a third party i.e. social media platforms. By pursuing email marketing to promote your podcast, you’ll always have access to your mailing list’s contact details.

4 steps to promote your podcast with emails

Email marketing allows you to send messages directly to your subscriber’s inbox. You can also decide when and how often you want to communicate. Social media doesn’t let you do any of this. In fact, 4 out of 5 marketers said they’d rather give up social media than email marketing.

Here are four steps you should follow if you’re looking to dip your toe into podcast email marketing.

Create a comprehensive mailing list

If you’ve got any useful resources lying around, you can use them as “lead magnets.’’ Say you’re hosting a marketing podcast. You can collate all the marketing strategies you’ve learned into an eBook. Then, host it on your website.

Add a CTA urging visitors to provide their email address to access your free resources. You’ve got the makings of a targeted mailing list. Before you jump in and go live with the resource, test it out on a small group of people who fall into your target audience. If they don’t like it, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board.

Apart from eBooks, there are a host of other resources you can use. HubSpot’s primary lead magnets are templates and generators. They offer to create blog ideas and marketing plans for website visitors. Most of these lead magnets start with a series of questions to engage the website visitor.

And once they’ve reached the last question, HubSpot will ask for their email id. This is a great way to get readers invested in your offering before going in for the kill.

lead magnet
An example of the HubSpot’s lead magnet

While hosting your website, we strongly suggest you create a dedicated landing page for it. Use a page builder like SendPulse, Elementor, or Beaver Builder. Once the landing page is up and running, you can start driving traffic to it. Social media helps here.

Promote your lead magnet across all your social platforms to direct your potential email subscribers to the landing page. Remember to batch create your content to ensure consistency. Use tools like Hootsuite to schedule multiple posts at a time.

If you aren’t leveraging your podcast descriptions to build a mailing list, you’re leaving money on the table. So, don’t forget to add a CTA and link to your newsletter sign-up page. If someone likes your content, they’ll know exactly how to find more of it.

Choose an email marketing service

Streamline your email marketing initiatives with the right service. This will help you create custom workflows, access in-depth analytics, and nurture your campaigns.

Not every email marketing service will be a good fit for you. So, choose wisely. Ask yourself these questions before paying for a subscription:

  • Will the editor allow you to design newsletters however you want, with little technical expertise?
  • Does it have features that promote engagement, like surveys and polls?
  • Can you automatically notify subscribers when you release an episode?
  • Are the analytics detailed enough?
  • What sort of integrations does it support?
  • Can you sell lead magnets or subscriptions through landing pages?

Use the above pointers to narrow your list of email marketing services and then compare prices. Go for the one that provides the best value for money.

Engage your subscribers with quality content

Before you start engaging your subscribers, you need to define who they are. Don’t assume you already know them. Conduct in-depth research to understand their intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, interests, and consumption habits.

Request existing listeners to fill out a survey. Understand what value they get from your podcast, and why they’re tuning in time after time. Get honest feedback on your content. This will help you identify gaps and improve upon them.

podcast listener survey
A podcast listener survey; source: JotForm

While penning your newsletter, always write for intent. The survey feedback you received previously will tell you exactly what listeners want from your podcast. Clearly communicate this value proposition at the beginning of every newsletter you send.

Make sure your content is engaging, and you’ll be speaking to the masses in no time. Follow these six tips to whip up a newsletter everyone wants to read:

  • Find your brand voice. If your audience mainly consists of CXOs, marketers, and key stakeholders, hold off on the emojis and memes. The tone of voice you use should resonate with your audience. Write like how they speak.
  • A/B test your subject lines. Divide your audience into two groups. Send each one a different version of your subject line and identify which performs better. This is called A/B or split testing, and considerably improves click-through rates.
  • Use emotions. You need to tap into your audience’s emotions if you want them to remember you. Stick to positive emotions, instead of going for fear appeal.
  • Personalize your emails. If you want to make your newsletter stand out, you need to personalize your communication. Divide your email list into different groups based on their location, age, stage in the listener journey, and income level. Craft an email personalized to each segment. This will help you provide relevant content to all your listeners.
  • Automate welcome emails. By sending a welcome email, your average click-through rate will increase 3x compared to a regular newsletter. This email is where you thank the new subscriber for joining your mailing list and confirming their subscription. A welcome email increases the number of touchpoints you have with your listeners and shows appreciation for their time.
  • Use post scripts. Most users just scan through your content instead of reading it word-by-word. And let’s be real — most of us eventually scroll to the bottom, thinking that’s where all the important information is. By adding a P.S., you have the perfect opportunity to create a sense of urgency and persuade users into taking action. It’s also a great way to integrate a CTA into your newsletter.

Here’s an example of an email that uses post scripts effectively.

email with a postscript
An email with a postscript; source: Omnisend

Track your progress

The first step toward tracking your progress is by defining goals. They need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Begin brainstorming by thinking of specific outcomes and defining your measure of success. Add a deadline to this, and gauge whether it’s attainable. If yes, pen it down. These are your goals for the newsletter.

After this, create a tracking schedule. This will allow you to regularly analyze and improve your newsletter’s performance. Decide on how frequently you want to track the KPIs — weekly, biweekly, or monthly.

Here are a few metrics you should consider while measuring your performance:

  • Bounce rate. Measures how many emails get delivered to your recipients. There are two types of bounces — hard and soft ones. Hard bounces mean that your email can’t be delivered because of an invalid address. Soft bounces happen when the delivery is due to server issues or full inboxes.
  • Spam complaint rate. Measures how many of your emails are being marked as spam by recipients.
  • List growth rate. The rate of new subscribers who sign up for your email list.
  • Open rate. Percentage of recipients who open your email instead of deleting it.
  • Click-through rate. Measures how many people engage with your content and click through to your website.
  • Conversion rate. Percentage of recipients who convert into leads through your newsletter content.

Conclusion

If you want to improve the listenership of your podcast, then start with email marketing. There are several tools you can use to automate various tasks and promote content with ease. Leverage them.

You can also repurpose content from your podcast and turn it into a lead magnet. The pointers discussed in this post aren’t the end-all-be-all of email marketing for podcasts, but they’re a great guide when you’re just starting out.

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