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Growing Your Podcast Audience Through Email Marketing

Here’s a fun fact for you! Did you know that email marketing has the highest return on investment when compared to all the available marketing channels? Yip, you read that right! The good ol’ email comes out on top, even beating out the super popular social media platforms of Instagram and Twitter!  And this is true for a number of reasons. First up, emails are still the most direct route we have available when it comes to reaching people. But emails also outperform social media channels as emails allow you to deliver more value-rich, personalized content to your readers.

But I know you don’t just want to take my word for it! So if you’re staring at your screen shouting, “Show me the facts and figures!” (If you didn’t read that like Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character from Jerry Maguire, then you read it wrong!) hold your horses, and let’s take a look at the data. According to this article from Medium, email marketing is at least four times more effective in reaching your target audience than Facebook. And if you consider this in light of the fact that there are nearly four billion email users in the world, that’s pretty impressive in my book! 

The data shows that email marketing statistically works. But email marketing is way more than the cold, hard figures. Email marketing is such a vital part of a successful marketing strategy because emails are a really effective way to build and strengthen your relationships with your readers. And for podcasters, an effective email marketing strategy is another great way for you to connect with your loyal listeners, strengthen your podcast community, and, of course, grow your podcast audience.

If that’s got your attention, then let’s check out our 6 top reasons why you should definitely consider email marketing as an effective method to grow your podcast audience. 

1. Expand Your Reach

Plain and simple, using email marketing and sending out email newsletters will help you expand your podcast’s reach. You may have many users on your database who signed up to your newsletter via your blog or website. And many may have no idea you also have an incredible podcast offering all sorts of valuable content. By sharing news about your podcast via your email newsletter, you have the opportunity to reach all those on your mailing list and convert them into loyal podcast listeners. Your email newsletters are also a great way to create interest in your show by sharing just enough podcast detail to pique the curiosity and amp up the intrigue of your readers, and have them making a beeline to your podcast.

Bonus Tip: Whenever you share anything about your podcast via your email newsletter, be sure to add your podcast link! This will make it easier for your readers to become podcast subscribers right there and then! 

2. Strengthen the Relationship Between You and your Listeners

One of the reasons why podcasts are so great, and a large contributing factor to the overall success of the industry, is that there is a unique bond that forms between the host of a beloved podcast and their audience. This is often chalked down to the intimate nature of podcasts as it feels like the host is speaking “directly” to you alone, allowing all listeners to feel connected to the hosts of their favorite shows. But however intimate it may feel, a podcast is really a one-way conversation. But through email newsletter, you can create a space for a two-way conversation to take place. Use your emails to ask questions, gain insight, or as a way for your listeners to give you input. All of these can help create dialogue between you and your listeners, strengthen your relationships, and build your podcast community.

Related read: How To Build a Strong Podcast Community

3. Connect More Regularly with Your Listeners

Reason Number 3 for utilizing email marketing to help grow your podcast audience is the freedom emails give you to connect with your audience on a more regular basis. While your podcast episodes will likely (and in all honesty, should!) have a set publishing schedule, of perhaps once a week or even once a month, access to a mailing list will allow you to connect with your audience anytime the need arises, but specifically in those times between the publishing of our new podcast episodes. This allows you to continually strengthen your relationship with your audience, as you are connecting with them outside of your podcast, as well as in a different format. 

For instance, if your show publishes new content every Thursday, part of your email marketing strategy may include sending out a quick, “Good Vibes Only” type of email every Monday morning to help put your followers in a good mood for the coming week. Of course, you can include promos or sneak peeks of your upcoming podcast episode, but by sending out other content, you integrate yourself into another aspect of your listener’s life and so that special relationship is fostered and strengthened. And as this type of content is not specifically podcast related, you can use it to reach those not yet connected to your show, and so your audience has another opportunity to grow.

4. Convert Subscribers to Listeners

As a podcast host, as well as an avid podcast listener, you are most likely very aware of the power of a well-placed and well-executed Call To Action in a podcast episode. But another way to help grow your podcast audience through email marketing is to include a Call To Action in your newsletters. First and foremost, this should be something that provides motivation for your readers to subscribe to your podcast, but you could also consider changing up your Call To Action by asking those on your mailing list, particularly those who love your show, to leave reviews or ratings for your podcast on the different platforms that make this feature available, such as Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, or Podchaser

Podcast reviews serve two main functions. First up, these reviews indirectly help you grow your podcast audience by letting others know just what they are missing out on by not listening to your podcast. Secondly, while there is no solid data showing a direct link between positive podcast reviews and podcast rankings on podcast directories, particularly Apple Podcasts, more positive reviews and ratings for your podcast can only help grow your podcast audience and so strengthen the community around your show.

Related read: How to Rack Up Podcast Reviews

5. Share Additional Content with Your Subscribers

Another reason why we think email newsletters are a great channel for podcasters is because they provide an outlet for all of your ideas. Sometimes, you’ll come up with a truly amazing idea…but it just doesn’t work on the podcast. Perhaps there is not enough content to flesh out the idea into a fully-fledged episode, the idea just doesn’t translate well via an audio medium, or perhaps, while it is a fantastic idea on it’s own, there is no way to align it to your podcast’s niche. Rather than discarding the brainwave, it might just be something that will make for a totally awesome email! This could also be a great way to get people signing up to your mailing list as they will be getting content from you that isn’t available on the podcast or even on your blog. 

Bonus Tip: Remember, all your emails do not necessarily have to be solely focused on the podcast. While your overall goal is to use email newsletters to grow your podcast audience, if your emails are full of valuable content, podcast-related or not, you’ll still be serving your community, which then indirectly serves to grow your podcast audience as your subscribers begin to trust your voice and as they start seeing you as an expert in your niche.

6. Gain Sponsorship Opportunities

Our last reason for using email marketing to grow your podcast audience is because this can help create opportunities for podcast sponsorship. The more content you share via your email newsletters, and as this increases your reach and grows your audience, so your credibility will be cemented and your authority in your niche strengthened. When this happens, you will then be able to attract and land sponsors for the show. And while we will be the first to advise that you shouldn’t get into podcasting if your sole aim is to make it rich, there is a lot of potential when it comes to gaining sponsorship opportunities for your show. If this article is anything to go by, the estimated ad spend on programmatic podcast ads alone could reach $106.5 million by 2022! And if you’re able to position yourself as an expert in your niche, through putting out great email newsletters as well as your amazing podcast episodes, you create two platforms which you can leverage for sponsor opportunities. And these opportunities will then allow you to keep growing your audience as you’re able to put more money into your show, collaborate on bigger projects, or venture into new podcasting frontiers. All of which then works together to grow your podcast audience and greatly expand your reach. 

Related read: Host-Read Ads And Affiliate Marketing: Strategies To Monetize Your Podcast

In Conclusion

Your current mailing list may currently be comprised of your loyal podcast listeners, but it may also contain those casual listeners of your show, as well as those who found simply signed up when they stumbled upon your blog or website. But now that you have them signed up to your mailing list, you have the opportunity to grow your podcast audience by turning them into loyal listeners of your show through the use of an email marketing strategy. Email marketing is a powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal, not only because the statistics show that it yields such a high return, but, perhaps most importantly from the view of a podcast host, because email newsletters create yet another space to cultivate a deeply personal connection with your listeners. And while your podcast episodes certainly lay the foundation for this relationship, regularly sending out your emails allows you to continue to foster this relationship even when the mic is turned off. This makes email marketing a really effective way to keep your podcast front and center in the minds of those on your database as well as your listeners, and keep them engaged with your content in between episodes. By sending out email newsletters, you are able to continually drive your email subscribers to your show, and convert them to loyal listeners of your podcast, making email marketing a great channel to help you grow your podcast audience.

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