In this guide, I want to show you how to start growing your audience through email marketing.

Here at The Podcast Host our subject is… you guessed it…. Podcasting! But, we build our audience around every kind of content. Both Matthew and I are writers and video creators, as well as podcasters.

Email is one of the main tools we’ve used to grow and nurture our audience around ALL of the content we do. It works brilliantly at all levels, from first visitor to loyal fan.

How Does Email Marketing Work for Podcasters & Other Content Creators?

For example, a first time visitor to your website might sign onto your list to get a useful checklist. From there, you can tell them about the podcast – something they might never have found otherwise. Eventually, they listen to enough podcast episodes to turn into a loyal raving fan.

Or, take a casual listener who might have found you through iTunes, and has consumed just 2 or 3 episodes so far. At this point, they might drift off, distracted by another new show. But, on the show you mentioned that checklist, and so they signed up to get it. As before, you can now update them, every week, and make sure they don’t forget about you.

Email is still the most direct route to the majority of people. If you have their email address, you can reach them anytime, offer a tonne of great content, and turn them into a fan on your own terms.

So, in this guide, we’re going to figure out the tools and the tactics we need to get hold of that email address, and then to use it well.

Let’s take a look!

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How to Set up Email Optin Forms on Your Website

The first step is to set up your email capture forms, sometimes called optin forms. These forms appear on your website, and casual visitors or potential fans can enter their details to get on your email list.

What’s the Best Email Marketing Optin Form Software?

One of the best email marketing services for optins is Sumo. We use it on a lot of our podcast websites.  I’ve been follow Sumo’s work for a long time, since discovering their brilliant ‘Groupon for Marketing Geeks’ – AppSumo. They now have a suite of tools – just called Sumo – that can help us out with a whole bunch of marketing tasks on our website.

I’ve signed up to be an affiliate of theirs, since I love what they do. If you don’t mind using our link, it doesn’t cost you extra and it helps support the free content we put out here.

Sign up for Sumo Here

The tool of theirs that we’ll explore here is called List Builder, and it’s a super easy and really powerful way to include optin forms and popups on your website.

How to Sign Up With Sumo

First, let’s sign up for Sumo itself – just go to Sumo to get started, and follow the video above.

How to Link Sumo to your Website

Next, we need to complete the link with Sumo on our website. This just requires logging into your WordPress website, clicking one of the Sumo ‘connect’ buttons, and then entering your Sumo account details.

How to Create an Optin Form with Sumo List Builder

Finally, we’re ready to start creating an optin form. In this video I show you how to customise a form and why you might want to pay for the Sumo tool to get their great range of optin templates.

Using List Builder’s Display Rules

In this video, I look at List Builder’s display rules. These determine when and where particular optin forms show up for your visitors.

In a basic form, that can mean making sure they don’t pop up on particularly important pages where you don’t want people to get too many distractions. That could include the home page, your contact page, or a shop checkout, if you have one.

Less basic, the display rules can be used to show a tailored optin form for a particular section of your site. For example, we show different optin forms for each category on our site. If you’re looking at the equipment category, you’ll be offered an ‘Ultimate Podcasting Gear Guide’. Or, if you’re looking at the ‘Recording a Podcast’, you might be offered our ‘Skype Interview Checklist’.

Display rules can help you offer readers an incentive – perhaps a download or a course – that’s really relevant to the article they’re reading, right now. If you can make things relevant, then your optin percentages will be much higher.

Using List Builder’s ‘Success’ Settings

What happens once a person has signed up for your newsletter? In this video I’ll show you how to decide just that.

Sumo can easily direct  your subscribers to a Thankyou page, for example, which gives them some ‘Next Steps’ to follow. Or it could prompt them to download their PDF or Guide right away.

How to Connect Sumo’s List Builder to your Email Service

The final step is to make sure that Sumo is connected to your email service. That’s the step that takes email optins and places them on your subscription list. This video shows you how to to connect Sumo with any email provider, giving Convertkit as an example.

What’s the Best Email Marketing Service?

For me, Convertkit is one of the best email marketing services on the market, particularly for content creators. It’s the email marketing service we use, and again, we have an affiliate relationship with them because they’re so damn good!

Sign up for Convertkit Here

Convertkit is really powerful for content creators because it has the power to send really, really tailored emails, based exactly on what your subscribers have done or asked for. So, if they signed up for the ‘Skype Interview Checklist’ we can then send them a series of emails teaching them a lot more about how to record good interviews.

If, during that series, they click a different link and show an interest in equipment, for example, we can change things around and send them equipment emails instead. Convertkit lets us send our subscribers exactly what they want, when they want.

How to Use Convertkit to Turn Subscribers into Raving Fans

The next part of this guide will be all about how we use Convertkit to send tailored emails that excite our subscribers, building trust, engagement  and loyalty.

Coming soon!