Podcasting and Email Marketing: A Tale of Two Mediums
By Tom Tate July 22, 2016
Check out our Podcast Movement 2016 recap and recent revelation that podcasting is actually a lot like email marketing.
The movement is REAL.
On July 6th, we set up shop at Podcast Movement in Chicago. At AWeber, we’re total fans of the medium; we recently started our own show, and we know that many of our customers are successful or emerging podcasters. We’re also confident that all podcasters could benefit from email marketing, so we proudly sponsored and attended the event for our second year.
I was tasked with writing a recap for our awesome blog readers, and when I sat down to pen (err… type) a draft, I couldn’t articulate the experience in words, other than, “The movement is REAL.”
The passion, creativity and drive from the 1,500+ podcasters who attended was overwhelming. If you have the desire to grow your reach and express your voice, today is the day to start podcasting. Not to mention, the community is incredibly supportive.
How podcasting is similar to email marketing
It wasn’t until I had a mini-revelation this month that this article began to take shape. Podcasting and email marketing are a bit like kindred spirits.
When successful, and executed with the right intent, both podcasting and email marketing can be a vehicle for you, your brand and your business to create lasting relationships that will help you grow. These mediums give you a direct channel to serve an audience. These mediums are an opportunity to express your true voice.
Then I talked expert email marketer Ben Settle for our latest podcast episode. He mentioned that great emails are a lot like radio segments: You talk about something that’s relevant, then you ask your audience to buy something. I’ve never thought of email this way, but it’s actually quite true. This parallel between the two also got me thinking about the ways in which podcasting is also similar to email.
Check out what I learned at the event, and let me know in the comments if you see the same correlations.
Key takeaways from Podcast Movement
— Jeff Long (@Jeff_Long) July 8, 2016
At the core of it, people are choosing to engage with your podcast. And you have opportunities to engage your audience.
As a result, your podcast becomes so much more than just your show. Your audience can quickly scale into a full-blown community, ready and willing to form a relationship with you as the host. If you don’t deliver what they’re looking for, they can choose to simply not listen.
Email marketing is no different. Your subscribers are opting-in to your email list. They want to hear from you. They are choosing to open your messages, and like podcasting, they can choose to unsubscribe. Here lies a valuable opportunity to seize! Take advantage of this attention and build the real relationships that will push you and your audience further.
Okay, so how do you do that?
— Dave Stachowiak (@DaveStachowiak) July 8, 2016
Podcasting and email marketing are also similar in that they appear to be one-way channels. You create a message (with audio or type,) and send it out with the click of a button. But these channels can be built to enable conversation. It’s the nature of your content, the level of engagement you provide, and the invitation to reply that defines whether your content will be a one-way push, or a two-way discussion.
One of the greatest offenders of this is a “email@example.com” email address, or a podcast that doesn’t offer any additional ways to connect, like mentioning their Twitter handle, website, or email list.
And then what do you do?
— eleanor kagan (@eleanorkagan) July 8, 2016
After we put out the call to engage (both as podcasters and email marketers), it’s important to listen. If we want to build real relationships, we need to get to know the people on the other end.
And once we get to know our audience, we can just BLAST audio and emails to them, right?
Well, not quite.
— Fred Dews (@publichistory) July 8, 2016
We believe that when you try to speak to everyone, you run the risk of speaking to no one. To truly create compelling content, you need to focus on addressing the individual.
Podcasting and email marketing are incredibly similar in this regard. Daniel J. Lewis’ recommendation to speak to one person instead of a thousand echoes a tactic that our CEO Tom Kulzer wrote about in this article. Using an email service provider like AWeber, you can even personalize your emails using data (like a subscriber’s first name) to make an email really feel like it was written just for them.
The other thing about email and podcasting is that you can do it. In fact, the barriers to entry have really broken down for both mediums over the past few years. You don’t need expensive gear or even more expensive software to record and publish a podcast. The same goes for attracting email subscribers and sending emails – anyone can do it.
— Cody Gough (@ProducerCody) July 8, 2016
You also don’t need an established brand, business or product. Nor are you required to have an existing audience. You can literally start from scratch as an indie podcaster or email marketer and grow without limits.
As you expand your audience, you might even find that many exciting opportunities will present themselves.
Yes, and there are some podcasters out there whose stories serve as inspiration to others. In fact, our CMO Erik Harbison led a panel with our friends Tim Paige, Mark Asquith, Carrie Olsen and David Raphael on the topic of scaling your podcast into a business.
— AWeber (@AWeber) July 8, 2016
The experts on the panels shared their experiences to show that it can be done. You can make a living serving people with engaging content, valuable products and a strong brand.
Meeting awesome customers
One of my favorite aspects at Podcast Movement was meeting a ton of AWeber customers. I had the chance to talk about email marketing, podcasting, email automation, list-building tactics and more with unique individuals who were excited to share their shows. I left with a list of two dozen new podcasts to check out.
As the host of our podcast, I was eager to record some audio with attendees. I had an incredible experience meeting and interviewing customers, like Natalie Eckdahl (pictured below) from bizchix.com.
Entrepreneurs like Natalie drive us at AWeber to continue to innovate our product and serve our audience as best as we can. Hearing about Natalie’s mission, and how she uses podcasting and email together to deliver value to her community was deeply inspiring. (We’ll be releasing those audio interviews over the next few weeks on our podcast feed. Subscribe now on iTunes!)
— BizChix.com (@bizchixpodcast) July 7, 2016
Get started now
During a recent podcasting webinar (literally just finished listening to it!) with John Lee Dumas and Mark Asquith of Podcast Websites, John just described the current state of podcasting as “the golden age.” I couldn’t agree more.
If you’re an email marketer with something to say, and looking to expand your reach, today is your day to reach further.
When you master these two mediums, it’ll help you take yourself, your business and your tribe to the next level.
Get started today
We’ve put together a great course for podcasters to learn everything they need to know about email marketing to get moving. Check out our Email Marketing for Podcasters guide and course now. And it’s totally free.
For established email marketers looking to start your podcast, we’re launching an exciting new campaign in the coming weeks to help you get started. Be sure to check back soon for more information!