Will Blog Marketing Replace Email Marketing?

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I’m in a unique position compared to most Internet marketers who have recently completed product launches. I was possibly one of the first to do a “Product Launch Formula” style launch with the advantage of an established blog, with an RSS readership as large as my email list. Most well known Internet Marketers have blogs, but they are not in the same position as Entrepreneurs-Journey – usually their email list is their main marketing tool. My blog is almost a business in itself, while for other marketers their blog is just another marketing tool, and one they don’t devote much time too (although that’s changing, John Reese is blogging frequently lately, as just one example).

Most “traditional” Internet marketing product launches use a blog, but they are usually created just for the launch process and serve as a proofing tool, focusing on the power of user comments to demonstrate social proof. Once the launch is complete the blog is often abandoned, or at least never becomes a force in the blogosphere. There may still be readers, but the blog is far from a destination point online.

My blog has been around for two and half years. I used it as a social proofing tool and as “proof of concept” for the launch of Blog Mastermind. You can’t exactly expect people to sign up to a mentoring program unless you have actually done what you are teaching people how to do, so I had to have a blog that makes good money in order to be a credible professional blogging trainer. There’s a good point for all would-be coaches and mentors out there – it helps if you have done what you are planning on helping people to do.

What was unique about my recent experience launching Blog Mastermind is that my RSS readership was as large as my email list. I had roughly 4,000 RSS readers when I entered pre-launch mode about two months ago, and my email list at the time was just over 4,000 as well. After releasing the Blog Profits Blueprint I have closer to 8,000 readers on my email list now, so it did surpass my RSS readership, but still makes for an interesting observation to compare the differences between marketing through a blog (primarily RSS since most of my audience access is through RSS) and through an email list, the tried and tested communication tool for marketing online.

Powerful List Building

One the most exceptional observations I made while launching Blog Mastermind is how much more effective using a launch process, with joint venture partners, is for email list building. It took me over a year to build my blog traffic tips email list to 4,000 subscribers, pretty much just using this blog and a small AdWords campaign to market it. The email newsletter has about 5-20 new sign-ups per day, which I think is not too bad and I know there is some solid word of mouth happening because the newsletter has great tips, so people pass it on.

The “launch” of Blog Mastermind, which essentially was made up of building buzz first for the Blog Profits Blueprint, and then for the release of the mentoring program, took about two months in total. As I type this, the launch process has brought in about 4,000 new email subscribers. It took two months using a launch process to build a list that matches the size of the list that took about 1.5 years to build using my blog.

What’s really impressive is that my list Blog Profits Blueprint “launch list” is still growing at a rate of about 100 new subscribers per day, at least five times the growth rate of my traffic tips email list. This is testament to the power of Mike Filsaime’s Butterfly Marketing concept, which is the system I’m using to distribute the Blog Profits Blueprint, combined with the Jeff Walker Product Launch Formula process, and of course the quality of the Blog Profits Blueprint helps too.

Conducting a launch process, especially when it leverages a great free resource like the Blog Profits Blueprint, or say the videos for the Stompernet launch or the Internet Business Manifesto for the Strategic Profits (Rich Schefren) launch, combined with the right joint venture partners is a MUCH more powerful way to build an email list and spread your reach far and wide.

While I’m sure my own existing traffic to my blog, my RSS readership and my email list would have made a significant contribution to the success of Blog Mastermind, if it wasn’t for the help and credibility enhancing recommendation of both Brian Clark and Darren Rowse, and the army of over 200 affiliates helping out too, there’s no way things would have gone as well as they did.

The point here is that if you are in a hurry, making a big splash with a powerful free resource and the right partners is a much quicker way to build a business online. It’s by no means easy and it only worked for me because of the two years prior I had spent building my credibility, improving my blogging skills and fostering relationships with other bloggers, so perhaps if you look at the bigger picture it’s not really quick at all, but the point is still worth making.

So Will Blog/RSS Replace Email Marketing?

I think the answer to this question is a resounding NO. RSS is a fantastic compliment to email marketing, and as I have talked about before, combining a popular blog (and an RSS readership) with email list building and marketing, is almost all you need to have success online.

A blog is a powerful relationship builder and is fantastic for your credibility, which is something a lot of people who market online have trouble establishing. This in turn makes it difficult to convince people to trust you and thus buy from you. In today’s email saturated world, a good blog can be the difference between a sale and a person walking away, branding you as yet another marketer pushing sales pitch after sales pitch.

Yes you can build relationships with just email, but a blog AND email is a powerful one-two punch, with all the right marketing concepts – social proof, credibility, reciprocity, incentive, proof of concept, etc. Best of all, a blog helps you make friends and friends can become evangelists for what you do, and as many of the most popular bloggers know well, once you have evangelists, you don’t really need to do marketing, just let your readers spread the word for you.

Key Differences Between RSS and Email

I’d never actually tried to sell my own product either on my blog or through email marketing, so when it came time to finally open the doors on Blog Mastermind I was looking forward to the experience, if a bit nervous about whether there were actually people who would want to join my program.

I know many Internet marketers have talked about the experience of going through a product launch. I listened to a lot of them tell their stories through Jeff’s Product Launch Formula home study course, which includes plenty of audio interviews with people who have launched a product online. When they talk about that moment when they click “send” to notify their email list about the release of their product, and the subsequent “rush” of sales coming through, I could only imagine how amazing it must be.

In my case I released Blog Mastermind two hours later than expected and it was almost midnight by the time I had done everything so I collapsed in exhaustion after sending that email out, staying awake just for the first 20 people signing up. Not exactly a rush!

I did however wake up the next day to see many more sign-ups and of course as I talked about previously, during the first 24 hours there were exactly 100 students who had joined. At the end of the launch week we had just hit the 300th member, which was way beyond my expectations for the first week – I thought 250 would be a good goal to aim for by the end of 2007 (I’ve since changed my goals :-) ).

What was clear during this whole process was that email response is a lot more immediate than blogs/RSS response. People read email differently to the way they read blogs. Blogs are often read during leisure time and pro-actively, not reactively – people choose to go read their RSS feeds or visit a blog when they want to. Email on the other hand is “always on”, which means that after you send an email a good chunk of people will see it and respond within half an hour of sending because they are “forced” to read it since it pops up in their face.

While a post on say Problogger.net might bring in more people than an email overall, people respond to a blog post much slower than an email and read blogs differently. When I broadcast to my email list I noticed an immediate response, while there wasn’t an immediate rush of people after Darren blogged about Blog Mastermind opening. Although Darren’s ongoing contribution was and will continue to be critical (thanks again Darren!), it’s not the same as if Darren had an email list of 25,000 people that he sent an email to, instead of an RSS readership of that amount.

Blogs are too different from email to make a fair comparison. The way people read email is different, what people expect from a blog is different and
how people respond to marketing messages distributed through these two mediums, is different as well. The question of one method replacing another really doesn’t apply, since they compliment each other rather than compete (it’s like asking if airplane travel would replace train transportation – one certainly had an effect on the other, but the outcome is change, not replacement).

As long as we continue to consume email the way we currently do – like addicts constantly clicking the “send and receive” button for our next fix, email will remain the primary tool to reach people when marketing online. Blogs and RSS are a much different style of communication and a slower tool, but as I said earlier, are exceptionally effective at relationship building and I expect will become increasingly important as more and more people become jaded to any sales message sent through email. Successful marketers must learn how to leverage both tools concurrently, one will not replace the other.

Yaro Starak
Email and Blog Marketer

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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20 Comments

  • Finally the first person to comment. You make some great points here. I was reading John Reese’s blog yesterday about building friendships and I see that you make a point in this post about building friendships and relationships. They are definitely important. Keep the good stuff coming Yaro!

  • Great post Yaro. Glad I was pointed in your direction. I’ll have to check back with you as this seems to be a wealth of great information.

    365 Days… One Dream… Can I Do It?
    http://onemansgoal.blogspot.com

  • [...] Starak has posted a great article this morning asking (and answering) the question Will Blog Marketing Replace Email Marketing? Yaro is a highly accomplished internet marketer and his answer to the question is very thought [...]

  • Someday i will be where you are today Dhane !
    On yaro’s blog you gotta be lucky to be the first one to comment.

    As usual yaro great points.

  • Email is active – it comes to your readers and “demands” them to open it. Blogs are passive, meaning that readers must make an effort to come to you even if they do get your RSS feed in a reader.

    So until we get people addicted to blogs as much as email, blogs will always be the “backup” or second phase of any email marketing campaign.

  • Hello Yaro! I agree…this is a great focal point and as you’ve cultivated it for so long it is the place to be where the customer/viewer is getting so much for free…equals: Trust hopefully equaling: Purchase something. Mail shots have always had a slight “untrustworthy” stigma attached to them, but this is only a personal opinion.

    Yaro…you site looks great! I havn’t forgotten abotu you and your assistance a while back. Since then I have wrote a book on the Philosophy of physical expression…it’s called “Dance like the stars” and it is already in the biggest stores here! Of course i thanked you in it as well! It’s all on http://www.anthonykingbook.com with the reviews and stuff…and of course I would love to send you a copy for free!

    Speak soon Sir!

    Anthony

  • I am surprised by the fairly low number of daily signups you had early on in contrast with the explosive speed of your product launch.

    For comparison, in a new blog I began recently on the topic of homeopathy, a system of alternative medicine, I have managed to bring in an average of nearly 10 e-mail subscribers per day through very low-volume Google ads advertising specifically newsletter signup, achieving over 30% conversion rate (which to me seems very good) mostly through this landing page. So I have a good sense of how to bring in e-mail subscribers at a reasonable cost.

    But how do I come up with my version of the Blog Matermind concept, when all I have to “sell” is my professional services, and even that only tangentially (following Brian Clark’s principle that one shouldn’t use one’s blog to sell but only to provide information)? When the benefits of a service are not immediate and concrete, the whole notion of viral advertising fails to take flight.

    I’d therefore be interested in hearing about marketing principles that work well for blogs or products on topics other than making money or personal development. Specifically, how do I make people talk among themselves about a fairly obscure subject such as homeopathy when they still haven’t experienced it themselves but only read about it?

  • Hi Yaro,

    I think that Blog, RSS and E-mail marketing are just different channels to reach the potential customer.

    I believe that:

    1) Blog is for Credibility.
    2) RSS is for Fresh Updates.
    3) E-mail marketing is for Direct Sales.

    They are hard to compare but easy to use together!

    Regards,
    William

    PS: Thank you for BlogMastermind! I am one of your students and I think that your mentoring program is a great thing! :)

  • I kind of already knew that relationships are one of the main keys to any success, both online and offline. My experiences as a consumer thought me that. :)

  • David – When it comes to selling anything online you need to think of what problem you are solving for people and then base your offer around that problem.

    So your mentoring program isn’t about homeopathy. It could be about become a homeopathy teacher in order to make a living, or about curing a specific problem, homeopathy is just the tool and concept you teach, the problem and offer is what you must think about in terms of finding a business model.

  • Hi Anthony, good to hear from you and I’m glad you and Nick got a site going.

    I’d love a copy of your book – please lodge a ticket at my helpdesk and I’ll give you mailing address.

    http://ReplytoYaro.com/helpdesk

  • Hi Yaro!

    This is the one post I, and other mentees, have been waiting for–and, as expected, delivered exactly what needed to be shared here in the blogosphere!

    Your examples, samples and personal experiences draws a better picture for those not interested in capturing email addresses beyond RSS email subscribers.

    Ditto to William Profet’s quick summary; but a critical success factor for YOUR email list and blog is this:

    Yaro gives unique articles, tips and information on his email list from his blog!

    Other internet marketers try to integrate the 2 by simply re-purposing the information found already on their blogs, or vice versa; hence, they have *not* been successful in building RSS subscribers OR ezine subscribers.

    One major aspect, also reaffirmed by my following Yaro’s online business tactics, is that I provide my monthly email subscribers something special and unique and I treat them extremely special–as they are. I feel its an honor that they chose to continue a dialogue with me, by opting into my ezine list.

    People have yet to invest this much time, attention, and personal/professional care in “relationship” building via the different medium of:
    ezines vs. RSS feeds.

    Yaro you’ve mastered both!

    Peace,
    Yaro’
    s #1 Fan

  • Yaro,
    Of course you’re right — I often miss posts on even favorite blogs like this one when I’m super busy, but I at least read every single email headline (even in my junk mail box)– usually pretty quickly

  • A great update, Yaro. I was actually hoping the results would be different. I avoid a lot of the well known marketers simply because of the massive quantities of email that one “squeeze page” sign-up will net me … I have to say that your mentor/friend Rich is one of the “flooders”, interesting that his latest offering is baout “information overlaod” when he’s a prominent contributor to the problem. I like rading his books but they unleash a flood, so I’ll be passing on his latest offering. He’s far from the worst, though, one individual who actually argued with me when I asked to be un-subscribed sent over 220 emails last month alone … they are all in my “Spam Catcher” folder waiting for the end of month housecleaning. I’m pretty sour on the email marketing concept personally and can not bring myself to conceive of any plan that involves me using an auto responder.

    Yet, I’m happy to hear of your success, I wish you further success, and one can’t argue with the success you have had so far. Repetitive email sales letters obviously do work and show no signs of dying out. Thanks again for sharing.

  • I first read the opening paragraphs of your post thinking that you were going to say that blogs were going to replace email marketing. I was thinking to myself, he’s got to be kidding. But then I read the rest of the post and was glad to see that you do in fact still believe email marketing is the way to go. I guess you are in a unique position to be even bringing this topic up though, as your opt-in list numbers are impressive.

  • [...] Yaro has his opinion. What’s yours?  [...]

  • [...] question was prompted by a blog post by Dawud Miracle which poses the same question. And Yaro Starak believes he has the answer: [...]

  • [...] a targeted email list of nearly 12,000 bloggers who I emailed about BlogRush. As I wrote about in – Will Blog Marketing Replace Email Marketing? – being able to send an email is still more effective at eliciting a response than RSS is because [...]

  • [...] Will Blog Marketing Replace Email Marketing? The answer is of course no. Great article by Yaro Starak who talks about the momentum he is building using email marketing. A good read on how email can truly compliment RSS, and online marketing as a whole. (tags: blogging emailmarketing email marketing rsstoemail rss) [...]

  • Hello there,

    As i read into your success story i am really overwhelmed but still the answer is no, no one can replace email marketing but it is great if we both apply the blogging and emailing strategy. Thats only my openion. What do you think?

    Revero
    Make Money With Blogs

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