Email marketing isn’t flashy, shiny or even particularly new. If it were a car, it would be a 1992 Chevy pickup. Compared to the glamorous Mercedes SLS of social networking, it doesn’t stand out. In fact, when you do bother to notice it, it probably looks a bit dirty and dingy.
But now is the time to be pumping more of your budget into your email marketing efforts. Email marketing goes beyond just alerting customers to sales and distributing coupons: it can also drive traffic to your site to up your PageRank and provide solid SEO value by its very nature.
When used correctly, there’s nothing better than email marketing to up traffic to your website. There’s a pretty broad line to walk between spamming people and giving them relevant content in the SEO world. The same applies to emails.
Never send an email that’s not valuable to the reader. It may be as simple as a newsletter with great tips or as personalized as a story you know your reader would be interested in. If you’re in retail, a coupon is a failsafe to ensure that your readers are paying attention. Otherwise, a nice giveaway or a timely holiday tip will draw readers into your site.
A smooth landing
If your readers click through to your site, they should be seeing a specially designed landing page to welcome them. What your landing page will feature will depend on what was in the email. If you’re advertising a sale, consider having a page with the sale’s name in the center and photographs of the different categories surrounding it. Clicking on the photo will bring you to the category’s usual listing. Clicking on the sale’s name will bring you to a list of all items on sale.
For content-driven sites, landing pages should be either a roundup of the best articles of the week, or a single story. A text-based landing page is a great way to use some time-sensitive keywords that center on holidays and events. Design-oriented web pages should use either plain HTML or HTML 5 to get the most out of their keywords. Anything written on a Flash-based page won’t be visible, so don’t waste time packing keywords into it.
And a little SEO
Newsletters are one of the best ways to get fresh, relevant content on your site. An archive section full of articles talking about your industry is going to show both your customers and Google that you’re a leader in the field who deserves to be noticed.
Newsletters should reflect that you’re an expert in your field. You don’t need to burden subscribers with high-minded talks about schools of thought in the shoe industry between colored and uncolored soles, but you can always talk about how to take care of leather boots or cleaning tennis shoes properly.
The information should be directly relevant to your audience, whoever that may be.
Add keywords to the article in relevant places, but don’t pack it too full. If the language becomes too dense with words that don’t make sense within the text, readers are going to reach for the unsubscribe button.
Email is the workhorse of marketing tactics. It needs to be deliberate and well-executed, but it has the potential to drive passive subscribers into active consumers.