What Sending 62,619,592 Emails Taught Me About Content Marketing

email marketing

I started Quick Sprout on April 17, 2007. Since then, I’ve collected 184,291 emails – 126,443 of which are still active. Since the blog’s inception, I sent 62,619,592 emails.

It sounds like a lot of emails, but it really isn’t. Every time I write a blog post, I send out an email to my whole list. Plus, each week, everyone on my email list receives extra emails on marketing with information not published on the blog.

In essence, I use emails to help grow my content marketing efforts. Here’s what sending 62,619,592 emails taught me about content marketing:

Emails drive a lot of traffic

Can you guess how much traffic Quick Sprout received from emails in June? It amounted to 83,493 visitors, which made up 16.25% of the blog’s overall traffic. That doesn’t sound like a lot of traffic in the grand scheme of things, but it matters because of the quality of the visitors. Those visitors are much more engaged (more data on this later in this post).

What’s interesting is that June was a low-traffic month for Quick Sprout because I didn’t spend much time thinking through the titles of my blog posts. For that reason, the blog didn’t do as well as it did in previous months. In July, I’ve been spending 30 minutes thinking about each new post title, and I expect my email traffic for this month to be around 109,239 visitors.

If you want to drive consistent traffic to your blog, you need to collect emails. The most effective way to do this is through pop-ups. I know many of you hate the pop-ups – you told me as much, but they account for 81% of the emails collected through this blog.

The sidebar opt-in is the second most effective email collection area, but the pop-up beats it out by far. If you want to be less aggressive, yet still collect a lot of emails, you can use Hellobar’s free email collection bar. When I tested it, my email collection rate went up by roughly 28%.

Emails create more comments

For the month of June, the blog received 3,722 new comments. Of those 3,722 comments, 1,860 were from me, and 1,862 were from you. Out of those 1,862 comments:

  • 209 were driven by search engines
  • 406 were driven by social media sites
  • 581 were driven by direct traffic
  • 666 were driven by email traffic

Although emails made up only 16.25% of the blog’s overall traffic, they generated 35.7% of all June’s comments. It just goes to show that blog readers who subscribe are more loyal, engaged, and vocal.

If you want to grow the number of blog comments you are getting, you need to consider collecting emails. The more blog comments you generate, the more text will appear on each of your web pages, which will increase the amount of long tail traffic you get from search engines.

Emails create more social media shares         

Social media shares were a bit tricky for us to track. All we could track was the number of times you clicked on the social media sharing buttons. I know that if you click on a social media sharing button, it doesn’t mean that you are necessarily going to share the post, but it does show you have the intent to share it.

Still, the data was interesting. For the month of June, there were 6,552 clicks on the social media buttons. Here’s how many clicks each channel drove:

  • 1,445 clicks on the social media buttons were driven by search engines
  • 1,488 clicks on the social media buttons were driven by social media sites
  • 1,372 clicks on the social media buttons were driven by direct traffic
  • 2,247 clicks on the social media buttons were driven by email traffic

If you are like me, you assumed that if someone came to your blog from a social media site, he or she would be more likely to click on the social media promotion buttons.

Although absolute numbers above don’t show it, it’s actually true. When it comes to social media sharing clicks on Quick Sprout, email traffic beats out social media traffic only because the blog gets three times more traffic from emails than social media.

Percentage-wise, emails drove 34.3% of all clicks on the social media promotion buttons. This again shows that email traffic is very engaged.

Emails drive revenue

As I’ve mentioned in the past, Quick Sprout loses money. But I recovered some of my costs by selling memberships to the Quick Sprout University.

Can you guess where the majority of the sales come from? If you guessed email, you are correct.

Forty-four percent of the blog’s revenue comes from email, 35% comes from search traffic, 13% comes from direct traffic, and 8% comes from social media traffic.

And it isn’t just me. Blogs like Social Triggers and I Will Teach You to Be Rich also make the majority of their revenues from email. Why? Because email subscribers tend to be more loyal. If they took the time to give you their email addresses, and they enjoy reading your emails, they’ll probably enjoy your paid products too.

Conclusion

If you want to maximize your content marketing efforts, you need to collect emails. Not only will it help you increase your traffic, but it will also increase the number of comments you get per post and even your revenue, if you are selling products.

The best thing I did for Quick Sprout was collect emails. If you want your blog to thrive, you need to start collecting emails.

So, what you do think? Are you going to start collecting emails now?