While TikTok and Clubhouse are the shiny new objects that get all of the attention, this pandemic has proved that email marketing — as unsexy as it is — is still a tried and true channel for reaching listeners. Unfortunately, many radio stations simply shove all of their content into one generic weekly email newsletter. These email campaigns weren't particularly compelling back when there were a lot of concerts and contests to include. They're definitely not now.
Different listeners tune into your radio station for different reasons. Some are hardcore fans of the morning show, while others listen because they like the style of music that your station plays. Some people tune in to hear certain specialty shows, while others come to win prizes. Don't send all of these listeners the same email. Instead, tailor emails to their interests.
Of course, this is a time-consuming task if your radio station writes every email by hand. But if you automate your email campaigns using an RSS-to-email feature, and set up a different campaign for different WordPress categories, it can be quite simple. Here's a tutorial that will show you how to set these automatic campaigns up.
Start out by setting one campaign up and getting a feel for how it works. Once you get the hang of it, if your website is built in WordPress, you can set up different campaigns for different types of content.
Here are some email campaigns that every radio station should have set up:
1. Morning Show Recaps
Use email to engage with fans that may have missed this morning's show, or may not be in a position to hear the entire show every day. Radio stations can steal a technique used by podcasters and create a “shownotes” webpage for every day's show. This webpage can feature highlights from that day's show as well as links to the things discussed on the show. It's also a great place to embed videos that are referenced during the show. Here's are more details on how to create shownotes pages.
Once the morning show is regularly publishing shownotes pages, set up an RSS-to-email campaign for them. Ta-da! Daily engagement!
Some people love radio station contests and some people can't be bothered to enter. The former should regularly receive emails about your station's contests, while the latter will view these emails as spam. When people register for your email database, ask them if they would like to receive emails about station contests. If they say yes, include them in an RSS-to-email campaign for contests.
3. Specialty Show Playlists
Whether you're airing a local music show, a Saturday night dance party, or a Sunday community affairs program, use email to engage with the dedicated fans of these shows. If you already post weekly playlists or summaries for these shows online, setting up an RSS-to-email campaigns to send that content out is easy. And if your show features original content, such as interviews, email can help you get more mileage out of that content.
4. Benchmark Features
If you've got benchmark features that you repurpose as a podcast, set up an automated email campaign to send it out to fans. You can also create blogposts around these features to be used in email campaigns. For example, if your station airs a “This Day in History” segment in which the DJ highlights significant musical milestones, turn it into short blogpost and email it out each day. Your email will, of course, encourage people to tune in for that segment.
5. Podcast Episodes
If your radio station produces podcasts — whether they're original or repurposed radio content — set up an automated email campaign to let listeners know when a new episode is published.
When life returns to normal and bands start touring again, set up an automated email campaign to let your listeners who are fans of live music know about upcoming shows.
One final note about these email campaigns: It's important to give your listeners the opportunity to select which ones they want to receive. Not everybody should be getting every email. The goal is to tailor the email campaigns to provide people only with the content that is most relevant to them. Do this, and email marketing will become an even more powerful tool for your radio station.
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