Master Email Marketing on Ghost: 7 Max Engagement Strategies

David Utke •  Updated: November 23, 2023 •  Email

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll unveil seven proven strategies tailored to Ghost.org to help you elevate your email marketing game with Ghost.org and develop deeper connections with your audience and make more money.

Ghost is part blogging platform and part email newsletter service with the ability to offer paid subscriptions. With Ghost, you can create a blog and/or an email newsletter website. The email features of Ghost I find are quite underrated so I’m going to share my strategies for email marketing on Ghost.

From crafting compelling newsletters by leveraging Ghost’s unique features to properly marketing your products and services to making sure your emails land in your subscribers inbox, I got you covered.

Ghost

Ghost is a blogging platform with a strong focus on paid subscriptions, blogging and email marketing.

I use them for my travel/expat blog that has a private, paying subscribers only newsletter.

ghost cms orb

Email marketing on Ghost

Ghost is a blogging and newsletter platform. You create content and can then email that content out to your audience for free, or email only your paid subscribers, publish that content as a blog post or publish as a blog post and email your audience.

To maximize your email marketing efforts, here are some essentials you should follow

Be clear and specific about the benefits of subscribing.

Yes, I’m aware that this is basic but I do need to emphasis this starting off. After reviewing thousands of websites, this is still a mistake I see all the time. Having an email list but then not being clear and specific about the benefits of subscribing.

“Subscribe for updates” or some variation of that is not going to cut it. No one wants your updates, no one wants more email. People are selfish (what’s in it for me) and people want value.

With email marketing, you really have two options:

A branded email newsletter means that the actual newsletter is the value proposition. Justin Welsh is a good example of this with his “Saturday Solopreneur” newsletter:

With copy like “join 185K other readers” he helps establish social proof and also gives clear and specific reasons why you would want to subscribe. Like learning how to grow and monetize a one person internet business. In short, the email list is the actual offer.

Providing a lead magnet by contrast is useful as a way to get people on your email list, once on your email list you can then setup a complicated but effective sales funnel to help your audience through providing helpful content and resources while also promoting your own products.

Here is a good example from Miles Beckler:

You’re basically signing up to his email list to get the free thing, then he wows you through providing helpful content over a long period of time and finally makes money through sending out relevant, related offers.

The clear and specific benefit of joining is the get the free thing upfront that is being offered, not simply “updates” or “coupon codes” or some other generic statement that beginners use.

How to do this with Ghost

Within your Ghost.org website, you can add specific benefits to the subscription portal. What works well is that I have a private blog post that is only available if you become a subscriber. You can set blog posts as public or private and only available to specific tiers.

Those tiers can include people who subscribe to your free tier, so it’s an excellent way to provide a lead magnet to entice people to sign up.

Create a “thank you” page within Ghost

With Ghost, you can (and should) set up a thank you page or welcome page, as it is called in Ghost.

To do so, navigate to “tiers” under “membership: in your account settings, and you’ll be able to set a welcome page to which people will be directed after they subscribe.

Setting up a proper “thank you” page is non-negotiable for email marketing. This page serves not only as a confirmation that your subscriber successfully subscribed but also provides an opportunity to set the context and expectations for what happens next and a great spot to give a one-time offer.

Creating a well-designed and thoughtful “thank you” page will help improve your email marketing effectiveness.

Welcome video

One powerful element to consider adding to your thank you page is a welcome video where you thank the person for subscribing and then set the expectations about what happens next. In particular, you should tell your subscriber that their first email is already waiting for them in their inbox.

One person who did this effectively was Alex Becker back in his Source Wave SEO days. His goal with the welcome video was to get you checking your email as he set up a well-designed funnel, and if you did not open the emails in order, you could not be sold effectively on his products and services.

For Ghost, since it’s an email newsletter platform, it is best to set the context and expectations of your subscribers receiving your email.

Subscription Confirmation

This is probably obvious, but your “Thank You” page should confirm that your subscriber has subscribed to your email list. Use “you’re in” or “thank you for joining.”

This confirmation message should be clear and easy to understand, and it should include any essential details that your subscriber needs to know, such as how often they can expect to receive emails from you and to check their spam folder, as well as how to unsubscribe.

Call to Action

At a minimum, have a call to action for your subscribers to do something specific; it does not need to be to buy something. Whatever your call to action is, make sure it is clear, concise, and relevant to your website.

It could be to follow you on social media, join a Discord, or share your content with someone else. You have your audience’s full attention on this page, so direct that attention.

One-time offer page

Finally, you can set a one-time offer page (OTO for short) as a “thank you” page. The goal of the OTO page is to confirm your visitor’s subscription but then to make a clear and specific offer to purchase a product, ideally one that is only available for a limited time.

You can leverage scarcity and make this a one-time offer by using a tool like deadline funnel that blocks an IP address from revisiting a page later if they don’t take the offer within a specific time frame.

Finally, with your OTO page, consider adding a bump offer to increase the overall shopping cart value. A bump offer is a related product or service that visitors can easily add to their purchase if they decide to take you up on their offer.

With Ghost, you can easily embed a product hosted somewhere. Like an ebook on Gumroad as an example, and then block future access after a specific period by using deadline funnel.

Use the email content block

One of the most useful and interesting features of Ghost.org is the ability to use the “email content” block to hide content that will only be visible when delivered by email. Any content you put in this block will not be published on your site.

That means you can provide another compelling reason for people to subscribe to your website because they can get access to exclusive content that is not available anywhere else, even if you publish a blog post that is available to the public.

Use the email call to action block to drive sales

Want to do affiliate marketing with your Ghost.org website? The “email call to action” block is perfect for this as you can add in a beautifully designed block to your emails to provide a specific offer to your audience.

Within Ghost, when writing a piece of content, use the “email call to action” block, where you can add a button and text to drive traffic to a specific offer. This is a high-converting box because it is stylized and comes with a button.

It works best when you’re talking about a specific topic with a clear offer, like a “how-to” blog post and email where you show your audience how to do something with a particular tool and then link to it with this call to action box.

Turn your emails into “members only” pieces of content.

With Ghost, when you write a blog post, you can send that piece of content out to your email list, only your paid subscribers, or only have it be published on your website:

One way to get more subscribers for your email marketing efforts is to publish and email your list, but then make those emails “member only” access.

Under “post access” in your Ghost blog post dashboard you can make content private for paying subscribers only, for your email list subscribers or have it be publicly available.

I tend to keep any content that is keyword focused around a topic people are searching for to be public as it will attract organic search traffic and the rest of the time, whenever I write an email about a specific topic that’s not keyword focused and is best as an email, I’ll make that a “members only” post.

The advantage of doing this is that people who visit your website can see a bunch of “members only” content, which helps convert people into email subscribers because it’s a small barrier to entry. All they have to do is subscribe, and they get access.

You can also use the “free preview box,” which will make all the content above the free preview box available to the public, and everything below it will have a box that states, “this post is for subscribers only.

The result is that you can have multiple members-only blog posts on your site that can intrigue a visitor to sign up so they can access this members-only content.

Use the signup block at the bottom of your blog posts

The last useful block that Ghost provides to help drive more email subscribers is the “signup” block. You can customize the layout of this block, text alignment, button text and the colors.

You can place this block anywhere you want within a blog post but I’ve found it to work best when placed at the very bottom of a blog post. It’s beautifully designed and works great at doing exactly what it is intended to do, drive organic traffic to become email subscribers.

Keep tabs on your analytics

Finally, Ghost provides helpful analytics on a post by post basis:

You can keep track of your open rate and what links in those emails were clicked on. This data is helpful because you can make adjustments as needed and find out what your audience responds best.

By knowing what emails people open and what links in those emails people click on, you can customize your content based on what your audience is responding to. This data is also helpful if you offer paid sponsorships in your emails, as you can inform companies on specific dates regarding your email list.

Potential sponsors want to know how many possible views their ad will get, as well as the average amount of clicks they can deliver.

Email marketing on Ghost – Conclusion

Overall, I love Ghost as a blogging and newsletter platform. It’s feature-rich and provides an outstanding user experience for both publisher and subscriber. From being able to publish blog posts that rank organically to having private members-only content, you have a lot of powerful options for email marketing with a Ghost website.

Ghost

Ghost is a blogging platform with a strong focus on paid subscriptions, blogging and email marketing.

I use them for my travel/expat blog that has a private, paying subscribers only newsletter.

ghost cms orb

David Utke

David Utke is a professional blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated user experience consultant. He and his team create helpful tutorials, software reviews, videos and more based on real-world experience. Join over 30,000 monthly readers and 27k+ YouTube subscribers!