As a content creator on YouTube, one of your primary aims will be to grow your subscriber base by building a community and maximising your reach.
Some beneficial side effects of growing a subscriber base, other than boosting your revenue potential and reputation, are acquiring loyal fans and developing awareness of your brand. You can increase your subscribers’ level of engagement with your content by encouraging them to follow you on social media or sign up to your email list, so they can always stay in the know about your news and your YouTube uploads.
Email works as a remarketing tool to get viewers to re-engage with your content. It is a direct reminder, sent straight to their inbox, so you don’t have to rely on them remembering to come back to your channel of their own accord, or take a chance that they will see your social media posts or YouTube's subscriber updates.
Choose an email marketing service
Mailchimp is the best known email marketing solution, and one of the most intuitive and feature-rich options. Benefits of using Mailchimp for a YouTuber include its deep social media integration, meaning readers can share your newsletter with their Twitter followers with one click, as well as keeping your emails out of the spam box by making it easy for readers to unsubscribe.
Alternatives to Mailchimp which also offer free plans are Mad Mimi, FreshMail, Campayn and MailerLite. It’s worth doing some research to see which email marketing service provider suits your needs the best. Since Mailchimp is the most widely used, this blog post will focus on Mailchimp specifically.
Set up your email list
Creating a subscriber list in Mailchimp is simple. Using the Mailchimp interface, either import a list or manually enter new contacts. You can create as many lists as you like, but it’s probably a good idea to manage one list, and then segment it if you need to.
Mailchimp also allows you to build a sign-up form to embed on your blog or website, if you have one, so that when people enter their email addresses, they are automatically added to your list. There are a tonne of ways you can add people to your email list, experiment with video annotations and links in video descriptions.
Select your pricing plan
Mailchimp’s Free Plan allows you to send 12,000 emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers. For most content creators, this will more than suffice. Mailchimp provides free sign-up forms, email templates, performance reports and data insights.
When you go beyond this subscriber base, want to send unlimited emails or want to unlock features like marketing automation, segmentation and A/B testing, you can move to their Growing Business price plan. Prices start at just $10 per month and increase the more email subscribers you have.
Design great-looking emails
Email marketing success relies a great real on presentation. After the subject line does its job of persuading people to open your email, it’s the job of your design and content to make them want to click through to your YouTube channel.
Choose a uniform style and look for your emails. Using a pre-designed template or one of your own creations, you can easily edit elements of your email such as images, headings and copy. Mailchimp integrates really well with YouTube, so you can even embed your videos within the email.
Encourage viewers to sign up
Once you’ve set up your account with Mailchimp or your preferred email marketing service provider, it’s time to build your email list. The aforementioned sign-up form, placed on your website, is one way to do this.
Another way is to promote your email list to your viewers and subscribers by mentioning it in your videos, including the information in your video description/annotations, or by publicising it via your social media channels. Above all, it’s your YouTube channel content that will grow your email list; your videos need to be entertaining, valuable and likeable for people to want to sign up to receive updates from you.
Ensure that you provide a great incentive for people to sign-up to your mailing list. Will they receive an email with a link to an unlisted video 24 hours before anyone else? Are they entered into a competition? Access to exclusive live-streams? Make it explicitly clear what they are signing up for and what the benefits are.
Plan regular sendouts
You’ve got your list, now what to send them? You’ll probably want to promote every new video, as well as notifying them of competitions you’re running, events you’re attending or any other important news. Figure out a content plan and a send frequency that makes sense for you and your channel.
There’s also your replies to consider. You can opt to be notified about any replies and to have these sent to your inbox. Many YouTubers enjoy interacting with their subscribers, and it will improve brand loyalty if you chat to them and show you appreciate them reaching out to you. Using Mailchimp’s Conversations feature (available on paid accounts), you can track your one-to-one interaction with your email subscribers.
Monitor and optimise your performance
The final step is tracking and improving your email marketing efforts over time. Mailchimp makes this a breeze with its free reports, which you can use compare your open rates and clickthrough rates from email to email.
Once you collect several data points, you can start analysing the kinds of subject lines and content that prove most popular, and replicate these best practices in your future emails to increase engagement levels. Your email marketing performance, like the comments on your YouTube channel, is a great indicator of what is resonating with your fans.
Are you building an email list?
Have you used email to engage with your viewers before?
Let us know about your experience in the comments