There are many ways to market your podcast, but the most important strategy is to promote your podcast to your email list.
Your email subscribers aren’t casual listeners who wander across your episodes on iTunes. They’re devoted followers who specifically want to hear from you.
Email marketing is powerful because it’s a deeply personal connection with your followers. Plus it’s one of the few channels you own. No one can take your email list away from you, unlike your Facebook page or online community.
Most importantly, email marketing provides the best ROI of any digital marketing channel: A whopping 4400%!
In order to maximize the traffic you get from your audience, you need to know how to promote your podcast to your email list. Sadly, a lot of podcasters get this part wrong. They craft low-value emails or fail to notify their followers entirely.
Here we’ll explain how to promote your podcast to your email list.
7 Steps to Promote Your Podcast to Your Email List
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume you already know how to build your email list. If you need some help, check out this guide.
Let’s dive in!
Step 1: Tease Upcoming Content
Before you send an announcement email that notifies your subscribers of new content, you’ll find it useful to send a teaser email that lets them know something interesting will be available soon.
Teasers are valuable because they get your audience thinking about you long before you publishing. By the time you announce a new podcast episode, your subscribers will be anxious to listen to it.
Teaser emails also leverage the mere exposure effect. This effect is a psychological phenomenon where exposure to a something makes us grow familiar to it, even if we don’t know anything about it. For instance, passing the same stranger on the street every day will slowly make you start to trust them, even if you never speak with them.
By mentioning your upcoming podcast episodes before you publish, you can make your subscribers comfortable. When you announce the new episode in a later email, your subscribers will remember it fondly, rather than learn about it for the first time.
You probably already post teaser content on Facebook and other social media platforms. Simply repurpose that content into an email.
Step 2: Announce New Content
Naturally, you will want to send emails that announce your recently published podcast episodes. This is a key step to promote your podcast to your email list.
Your email subscribers should be the first people you tell about your new episodes. These people are usually your biggest fans and the ones most likely to listen to your content. They deserve to be notified first.
Your goal with an announcement email is simple: Get your subscribers to click to wherever you want them to listen to your episode. That’s it. Everything else is distracting.
Forgo clever marketing tricks in favor of smart, compelling copy and a clear call to action. You don’t have to get fancy here. Remember: These people already like you. They want your content. That’s why they’re on your list.
Announcement emails can take many forms. You could send a simple, personal message with a link like Managing Editor. Notice how they ask questions in the body of the email that their subscribers might ask themselves.
Or you could send something longer, like this email from UI Breakfast. This email appears highly polished even though it’s quite simple. It includes multiple calls to action to the episode.
Jason Resnick folds his new podcast content into his general newsletter. This is great if your brand is bigger than a single podcast. However, the volume of links may dilute the click-through rate to his episodes because there’s so much to click in this email.
Step 3: Focus on Value
Whenever you promote your podcast to your email list, it’s important to ask yourself this question:
“How does this email provide value to my subscribers?”
Your subscribers don’t usually listen to your episodes because they want to support you. Some will listen just because they like you, but most listen because you add some kind of value to their life – either education or entertainment.
So whenever you prompt them to listen to a new episode, make sure you mention the value they’ll get out listening to that episode.
The HireRight Transportation Podcast does this well. Their email clearly outlines the value of the episode by giving a quick overview and a short bullet-point list of the topics covered. They also add a lot of value by dropping the name of their guest, an expert on the topic.
Keep in mind that you don’t need a highly polished HTML email to promote your podcast to your email list. A basic text email is sufficient as long as you convey the value of your episode.
Step 4: Resend Unopened Emails
If you want your subscribers to listen to your latest episode, you need to click a link in your email. In order to get them to click, you need them to actually open the email.
But what should you do if they don’t open your email? Send them another.
There are plenty of reasons your subscribers may not open your emails that have nothing to do with you. They may have been busy when your email arrived and forgot to come back to it. Or maybe they didn’t find your subject line compelling.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to listen to your episode.
Sending a second email to someone who didn’t open the first create another opportunity to convert your subscribers into listeners. In one study, resending to subscribers who didn’t open the first email increased the open rate by nearly 50%.
Most email marketing tools give you a one-click option to resend your email to subscribers who didn’t open the first time. Make sure to change the subject line and the delivery time because the last ones didn’t work.
Step 5: Send Regularly and Often
Novice email marketers often worry about sending too many emails or sending to often. While it’s true that “too many emails” is a common reason to unsubscribe from an email list, you have to send a lot of emails to someone to get them to unsubscribe, especially if they care about your brand and your content.
A 2015 study from MarketingSherpa found that most people want to receive emails monthly or weekly from brands they follow.
This means you can email your subscribers weekly without bothering them. In fact, we recommend sending an email at least once each week even if you don’t publish a new podcast episode every week. If you don’t have a new episode, send them an additional piece of content to keep them engaged (see step eight below for more on this).
Step 6: Measure Your Performance
Like any marketing effort, it’s important to track your results. If you don’t measure the performance of your email marketing campaigns, you won’t be able to improve them over time.
Fortunately, email marketing is fairly straightforward to measure. There are two critical metrics you should worry about to promote your podcast to your email list.
1. Open rate: The percentage of people who open a particular email.
Your subscribers only have two pieces of information to evaluate whether they will open an email: Your “from” name and your subject line.
It’s best to use the same “from” name for every email so your subscribers become familiar with it. If you change your “from” name, your subscribers may distrust email and delete without clicking inside.
Your subject line, however, where you can optimize this metric. Your goal is to be descriptive without giving everything away, and to be compelling without overselling the email.
Experiment with different kinds subject line until you find patterns among your subscribers. Your subscribers may like to click on provocative subject lines. They might like subject lines with data or subject lines with questions. Some audiences like clever or witty subjects, while others like straightforward and descriptive lines.
Writing high-converting subject lines is a bit of a science and a bit of an art. Analyze yours carefully to see what works.
2. Click-through rate: The percentage of people who click a link in a particular email.
You will also want to measure the number of people who click links in your emails to listen to your podcast episodes. Ideally, you want everyone who opens an email to click a link.
Optimize your click-through rate by experimenting with the copy, images, and calls to action you place in the body of the email. Analyze emails that get a lot of clicks. Ask yourself what about the email throw your subscribers to click.
Step 7: Deliver Extra Content
When you promote your podcast to your email list, it’s worth exploring “soft promotional” content. This is the kind of content that adds value to your subscribers’ lives without directly promoting your podcast episodes.
For instance, you might send emails that…
- Releases behind the scenes footage or audio.
- Shares supporting content, like worksheets or templates you discussed in an episode.
- Share quote or snippets from episodes with your commentary.
- Share your guests’ content.
- Asks for feedback or testimonials.
- Answer your listeners’ questions.
- Gets personal about your life, career, and hobbies.
- Launch additional products (free or paid).
- Promote affiliates or joint ventures.
- Highlight one of your sponsors.
This email, for example, is a simple way to solicit feedback from subscribers. It captures useful information and makes your subscribers feel valued.
These kinds of emails don’t directly translate to podcast download, but they will engage your audience, foster long-term loyalty, and establish you as an authority and influential figure. To promote your podcast to your email list, you’ll want to mix in some of these emails as well.
Respect Your Subscribers
Your subscribers are a dependable source of low cost traffic, so it’s imperative that you respect them at all costs.
If you want to keep their attention, promote your podcast to your email list by delivering constant value making sure they’re notified first about new content, products, news, and giveaways. If you treat them well, they’ll stick with you forever.
Start that podcast you’ve been dreaming ofLaunch In A Week is a completely FREE 7-part email course that takes you step-by-step all the way from just an idea to having your podcast live and sharing your voice with the world.