In the second of my series, looking at how to get more people viewing your website content, I’m going to cover email marketing as a source of traffic.
Email marketing is one of the old trusted online marketing techniques, it’s proven, measurable and if used properly can generate both traffic to your website and a way to get you website content out there.
The first thing you need to know about email marketing is a spray and pray technique just won’t work. You may get a bit of traffic coming to your site but most likely there’ll be more people marking you as a spammer and that makes it harder for your emails to hit the inbox.
Growing an email list is important, there are two ways you can do this, buying data or building one gradually. Although buying data is tempting as a quick win you will find that they are less engaged with your campaigns because they didn’t ask to be emailed (we call it opting in). If you must pursue this route then make sure whoever provides the list has proof that they’re opted in to receive third party emails or again it’s a quick trip to the spam button. If you want to naturally grow your list then put a sign up form on your homepage and blog – tell people the benefits of signing up (incentives help), make it an easy process and then use your social media accounts to promote it aswell.
Once you have a list then you need content – use what you already have on your website. The most popular email campaigns to start with are promotional or newsletters (educational). If it’s a promotion then don’t send them too frequently, make them relevant to the person and keep it concise – think postcard not brochure.
If you’re doing a newsletter then start off simple with 4/5 pieces of content, use just a couple of sentences to encourage click through to the main content on your website and use thumbnail icons or images to represent the content. Make the call to actions engaging, remember you’re trying to drive traffic to your website and make each title and thumbnail a link through to the content aswell.
More advice and finding a provider
There’s loads of useful advice on email marketing provider websites, you can soon read up on what works and doesn’t. If you have the budget then go for a provider who gives free support and advice because you’re likely to need it to get the best from your campaigns.
Costs go from free to £1k per month but you do get what you pay for, beware of hidden costs and ‘from’ pricing. You should be paying a monthly fee and then buy your email credits in bulk, training should be included, also technical support. Some people charge a set up cost, some tie you in to long contracts but shouldn’t need to go for these. If they don’t tie you into a long contract then they need to work harder to keep your business!
One thing you will get from email marketing is easily trackable ROI, use the reporting, don’t tie into a contract and your risk should be low as you get started. Good luck!