Your Newsletter Mailouts Gathering Dust? A Tip to Manage an Email List

Email Subscriber List

If you are struggling to find time to blog, then there is no doubt that you are probably struggling to keep up with communicating with your email list.

Finding the best way to manage an email list can be tricky.

There’s simply not enough time to do it all!

You have just written and published a post and are super keen to get to your next article.

BUT, there are so many tasks that should be done first, to simply get the word out about the post you have just published.

And one of these tasks is definitely contacting your email list to let them know that you have something new and fresh on your blog. This task is also essential to keep your email audience engaged.

But if this is a task that you have allowed to slip, then you are not alone. I am more guilty than the next when it comes to maintaining a consistent communication with my blog audience.In fact, I have a little affiliate site that keeps chugging along nicely. And the email list is growing. You can imagine my horror when I logged in this morning to discover that it has been 8 months since I last sent out a broadcast.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there are many unsubscribes when I send out my next email. They will have forgotten who I am and why they signed up in the first place!! 

But I have decided to do something about it.

Email Marketing Rules: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Best Practices that Power Email Marketing Success

How to Stay on Track Communicating with Your Email List

I was first motivated to do so after reading a very helpful post by Lisa Irby. Lisa’s post has a very catchy title & gives some excellent stats on the results that followed: Psst. Is Your Email Strategy Missing? Unsure of What to Send? You will see what I mean, and gather lots of ideas, when you check out this post.

Types of Email Messages

The email service that I use is Aweber, a company that offers the 1st month for $1.

If you haven’t yet tried Aweber, you can “go for a free test drive” which allows you to “see inside” the service. Simply fill out the form to test the system free of charge:

Powered by AWeber

Aweber offers 3 different types of messages that can be sent out to your email list:

  • Follow Up series
    • A series of emails that are sent out to new subscribers over a designated period of time.
  • Broadcast Emails
    • Emails that are sent out, on a one-off basis, when you want to contact your list about something new such as a newly published blog post or a new product that you have created.
  • Blog Broadcasts
    • With this option, your latest blog posts can be automatically sent out to your list.

The first type (follow up series) is a given. If you have a list, then you have probably already created a series of anywhere from 8 to 20+ emails to be sent out to your new subscriber every 3 or 4 days or at varying times that you have decided on.

The second type (broadcast email) is great for keeping the dialogue going but is, for many of us, the task that is difficult to keep up with or to fit into a busy schedule.

The third type (blog broadcast) is the focus of this post and might just prove to be your salvation for keeping in touch with your list. Read on to see why I now use blog broadcasts.

Why Blog Broadcasts?

As mentioned above, the idea of blog broadcasts, as distinct from regular broadcasts, appeals to me because it is a way to make sure that I stay in touch with my email list, with my blog audience. In particular, I like the fact that:

  • Once you have completed the initial set up, most of the work has been done. It is largely automated from then on.  This is like a set and forget system.
  • You can decide how often and when your blog posts should be sent out to your list.
  • You can opt to check the created broadcast before it is sent out. That is, you can manually approve it before transmission.

How to Set Up Your Blog Broadcasts

  1.  Login to Aweber.
  2. Make sure the correct email list is selected from the drop down choices.

    Automatically send out blog posts to email listClick on Messages and then Blog Broadcasts.

  3. Then click Create a Blog Broadcast.
    You will be prompted to enter relevant information such as your RSS feed.


  4. Choose a template for your blog broadcast from the list provided to the right. You can preview each style before clicking Load Template.

    Note: You do have the option of choosing a basic plain template (right at the top of the list) and this allows you to customise it as you prefer. That is the template that I prefer because I like to modify it to suit my niche or blog.

    Content will be “pulled” from your feed and then formatted for display according to the template you have chosen.

  5. Modify Your Template
    Once you load your selected template, by clicking the Load Template button, you will see a number of RSS entries in curly brackets:
    { ….} or shortcodes.

    This determines what is pulled from your RSS feed.

    Once you work out what these shortcodes are displaying (via the Preview button), you can delete any that you don’t want. For example, I don’t want my RSS  title to be the first entry in the body of the email so I have deleted these 2 lines:


    You’ll also see these curly bracket placeholders in the Subject Line. These will pull the blog post title from your feed.

  6. Add Personalisation

    You can click at the beginning of the message template and enter your brief  ‘hello’ message and personalise it with the subscriber’s name. 

    You can also insert your blog banner here as well if you like.

    I like to include a brief message at the end as well, just before the contact address.

  7. Decide on Scheduling
    You can choose how often broadcasts should be sent out and at what time of day. You also have the option of sending them out automatically.

    I decided that I wanted to preview them first, so I un-checked the automatic option.  I recommend that you do the same at least until you can see what is being sent out.  Once you are happy with how your emailed broadcasts are looking, then you can always restore the automatic option if you prefer. Or, depending on the type of blog you have, you might decide that you prefer to continue checking each broadcast manually before it is sent out to your list.

    If you decide on the latter, you still benefit from the automation of Blog Broadcasts because as soon as you have published a new post, you will see that the post summary has already been created and sits waiting in your Aweber account, ready for you to double-check it before clicking Submit.

    You can always send a test broadcast to yourself before sending it to your list.

    If on the other hand you do click Automatic then you don’t have to give it a second thought. The moment you have written and published your blog post, your broadcast is sent out to your list, according to the scheduling that you opted for.

    There is also an option to send the blog broadcast to your social media channels at the same time.

  8. Click Save a Broadcast.
  9. Test your blog broadcast.
    From the next screen you can see the option to send out a test email to your own address. This is great, because until you physically see how it looks, you won’t know if you have designed it appropriately.
  10. If you have not opted for the automatic transmission, you can see a list of emails ready to send out on the Broadcasts page. When you save your blog broadcast for the first time, you will see that several post summaries have been pulled from your feed into your template. This is another good reason for turning off the automatic sending at first so that your list is not bombarded by several emails  at a time, some of which they have possibly already received via a regular email broadcast that you might have scheduled previously.

How to Edit Your Blog Broadcast Template in the Future

Believe it or not, or should I write “I’m ashamed to say”, it took me a long time to “discover” where I could go back to my blog broadcast template and make modifications.

And of course, it is really simple:

  • Click on Messages
  • Click on Blog Broadcasts
  • Under Blog Title, you will see a hyperlink to your template.
    Click on this, make your changes and click save.

Now Your Email List will Never Again Gather Dust

I hope these ideas help you to stay in touch with your email list and to keep up with blog notifications.  I know it has been a huge help to me.

I love the fact that as soon as I hit publish,  an email will already have been composed ready to be sent out to my list.

I welcome any automation that saves me time.  Have you tried it?

What are your thoughts on the blog broadcasts’ feature of Aweber?

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Thumbnail Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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