Why you need an Email List in 2020

how to build an email list

Most UK food bloggers have multiple social media channels, a website and perhaps a YouTube channel. But a surprising number do not have an email list.

The truth is that an email list is a fantastic way to build traffic (and earnings) when done well. So don’t focus on social media growth and neglect your email subscribers. Here’s why: 

Firstly, it’s never smart to put all your audience eggs into one basket.

As some bloggers have found to their cost, Instagram accounts can get hacked or shut down. Algorithms can change. Facebook can throttle the reach of content if creators don’t pay for that reach.  And social media platforms occasionally disappear altogether (remember Google+?)

Second, an email subscriber list is a great list of potential customers. So if you decide to start offering paid cookery workshops, downloadable recipe booklets or other services, you have a list of potential buyers at your fingertips. 

Most importantly, an email list is a great way to keep in touch with your audience, and keep them coming back to your content. For many bloggers, it’s the best way to extend the reach of sponsored content. 

The good news is that building an email list isn’t necessarily complicated or hugely time-consuming. 

A weekly or monthly email newsletter is a great way to share announcements and seasonal content with your most loyal readers. While relatively few followers will see every Instagram update, they will likely look at most of their emails each day. 

There are numerous platforms available to help build your newsletter mailing list. Popular options include ConvertKit, Mailchimp and Constant Contact.

Depending on your site design, you can add a sign-up box to your blog home-page. Most platforms will let you customise the sign-up box, so it matches your brand, and tone. 

The best way to grow your email list is to give readers a really good incentive to sign-up. 

Many bloggers offer a free e-book or tutorial in exchange for newsletter sign-ups. This needs to be something tailored to YOUR audience.  So take some time to dive into your analytics. What keywords do your readers search for? What pages are most popular? What does this tell you about the type of content they will rush to download?

Try to come up with something that isn’t freely available elsewhere, AND which you can produce (or buy) without too much cost or effort.

We know of one thrifty food blogger who paid a developer to create a programme that lets users design custom kitchen wall decor. That small investment reaped big rewards as readers were more than happy to sign-up to get access to this tool. Perhaps you have the expertise to create a niche shopping guide or a printable with easy-to-view information? 

Competitions can also be an opportunity to recruit new email subscribers – but it’s essential to offer them value quickly, or these users will likely unsubscribe very soon after the competition closes. 

Ultimately, an email list may be the only promotional channel that you truly own and control as a food blogger. And as such, it really has to be worth a little of your time. Do you have an email list? How have you managed to make it grow? 



Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

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So You Know...

As you've likely heard and seen, there's an increasing focus on the authenticity of follower growth and engagement on social platforms across the Influencer Marketing community. The platforms themselves have taken measures to deter inauthentic activity and brands now more closely scrutinise the audiences of the influencers with whom they are partnering.

The Flea Network has implemented a system that will detect abnormal spikes in following and engagement, and flag these properties. Of course, such spikes can often be attributed to viral posts or high-profile brands that bring greater exposure to some content.

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