If you are reading this post right now, you must have been listening to a podcast earlier. Or you will just after. Because that’s how popular podcasts are. In fact:
- As of 2022, 62% of Americans will have tuned in to podcasts.
- Globally, there are 424 million podcast listeners. The United States alone has 177 million listeners.
- On average, Americans listen to eight podcasts per week. 22% of fans listen to around 22 hours of podcasts every week.
- 35% of podcast listeners tune in to more than 10 different shows each month.
You get the picture. The podcast owns the zeitgeist. And did you know that some of the most celebrated podcasters rely on podcast email marketing to stay connected with their audience?
“Email is the only way to get a direct connection to your listeners, which should be your potential customers. Without knowing who is listening, you’re relying on algorithms that are completely out of your control,” says Jarie Bolander, host of the Entrepreneur Ethos podcast.
Well, if they need it, you need podcast emails too. But let’s look at it in some detail.
Why Email Marketing for Podcasts? Appreciating The Benefits
You might think podcasts and email are like chalk and cheese. Unthink it. Because email works. 60% of consumers want to hear from their brands over email.
Podcast email marketing can be valuable for several reasons. Here are a few of them to begin with.
- Email allows you to engage directly and personally with your audience. Bear in mind that podcast listeners are typically loyal. 88% of podcast fans listen to all the episodes of a podcast.
- You can use email to promote fresh episodes by teasing juicy snippets, share behind-the-scenes highlights and extended interviews, conduct polls from time to time, etc.
- You can grow your subscriber base by encouraging your current subscribers to share your emails with their family and friends.
- If you intend to monetize your podcast via affiliate marketing, sponsorships, or merchandising, email is the perfect channel for promoting these revenue sources.
- Through email, you can build a tight-knit community of your podcast listeners. You can share listener stories (user-generated content), ask periodically for feedback, etc.
- Personalization is the mitzvah of email marketing. As far as podcasts are concerned, interacting with an already loyal audience on their terms is enviable.
- Email enables you to engage consistently with your listeners. This means that you can set up a routine with your audience. They learn to expect the right thing at the right time.
- You have full ownership of your message. Unlike social media, email is not vulnerable to sudden algorithmic fluctuations.
- Podcast newsletters can be a helpful way to highlight your best or relevant past episodes for new subscribers over time.
How to Build a Podcast Email Marketing Strategy? Strategy And Tips
Now that you are convinced, let’s strategize. We will first look at the four main pillars of a robust podcast marketing strategy, following which we will share with you some additional tips to nail it.
1. Audience Segmentation and Personalization
Once you have identified your niche, you try and identify your audience’s unique preferences, needs, interests, and problems. You need to figure out what your audience is looking for in your podcast.
A good email marketing platform will help you segment your podcast email list into categories based on listening habits, geographic location, engagement level, podcast category, episode type, listening frequency, device type, binge listeners, premium content subscribers, etc. Personalization will enable you to deliver highly targeted content, leading to increased engagement and retention.
2. Exclusive Content Access
Offering exclusive access to certain podcast episodes is a proven way to make your subscribers stay engaged and interact with your podcast.
Exclusive content may include sharing behind-the-scenes shorts, offering early access to much-anticipated episodes, special subscriber-only discounts on certain podcast merchandise, and so on.
As part of your podcast marketing strategy, consider promoting access to exclusive content on social media with a view to encourage more sign-ups.
3. Community Engagement
We have already touched on the role of community building when it comes to podcasts. This is fundamentally a user-centric approach to marketing whereby you foster two-way communication via regular podcast newsletters, Q&A sessions, listener spotlights, etc.
“I wanted listeners to know, I was a human no different than any other and always happy to take calls, set up meetings, answer questions, or bring up topics. This helped me build loyalty and organic growth,” says James Azar, host of CISO Talk and the brain behind The CyberHub Podcast. He has captured the essence of community engagement.
Likewise, you need to engage with your listeners by responding to their emails and comments. Maintain regular engagement by implementing email automation.
4. Analytics and Trackings Setup
How do you know whether your campaigns are working? By setting up tracking and analytics in your email marketing platform.
This is the most important pillar. By regularly reviewing the analytics data, you will be able to identify trends and make decisions accordingly. Collect feedback through listener surveys, social media as well as direct email inquiries to tap into the likes and dislikes of your listeners.
Now, as promised, here are some actionable tips on how to use podcast emails for maximum results.
- Send teaser emails with short audio clips to build anticipation and encourage subscribers to tune in when the full episode is released.
- Offer detailed episode transcripts for the benefit of those who prefer reading over listening.
- Include the most significant timestamps from your episodes in your email. This is to make visceral the value of your content.
- Feature guest spotlights in your emails. Let your subscribers know who the guest is, their background and expertise, and how often they have been featured on your podcast.
- Invite your subscribers to live events, Q&A sessions, and webinars. Make it an exclusive invitation (subscribers only) and then promote it on social media to tease new leads.
- If possible, customize your campaigns according to your subscribers’ locations. Highlight episodes and events relevant to their geographical areas.
- Embed exciting audiograms in your emails to grab subscribers’ attention and encourage continued listening.
- Collaborate with niche podcast communities and share their episodes and events in your emails. Because your podcast is being shared in the same manner, you can potentially garner new subscribers from others’ podcast newsletters.
- Release podcast-related merchandise exclusively through email. And then as usual, promote it on social media to encourage new sign-ups.
Podcast Newsletter Examples
Now that you have an idea of what podcast email marketing should look like, here are some examples to illustrate what it does look like.
Now there are many reasons why these podcast email templates work. We already know that emails must have a CTA, social media handles, gripping subject lines, and so on. But what’s unique to a podcast email?
The defining feature of the above podcast newsletter examples is their use of high-quality visuals. This is because:
- Visual branding (inclusion of podcast artwork and episode-specific visuals) is immediately engaging and memorable. Plus, including quality images builds credibility, particularly when you are dealing with important issues.
- Guest recognition helps subscribers to connect with your featured guests more readily, especially if they are celebrated in your niche. Indeed, in most of our examples the guest’s face predominantly occupies a major portion of the template.
- Podcasts are personality-driven. A blog post can be useful as long as it is accurate and informative. Who wrote it need not always be a relevant question to ask. Not so with podcasts. Hence the need for including pixel-perfect mugshots.
- Unlike textual content, podcasts are dependent on branding. You must include the podcast cover in your email. As a result, a podcast newsletter is going to be pictorial.
We have not only shown the relationship between podcasts and email, but their impact when combined. Far from being like chalk and cheese, email and podcasts complement each other, if only because of their shared characteristic of facilitating personal, one-to-one interactions.
But so much for symmetry. The key takeaway is that an email-inclusive podcast marketing strategy can widen your subscriber base and may, ultimately, establish your presence in the pod-sphere.