It’s no secret that having an email list is important; we’ve discussed it here on the blog a few times. Having the email addresses of your customers, clients, or readers saved in an organized list will allow you to more easily keep in touch with them. However, there is another benefit to having an email list. Sending regular emails drives your customers, clients, or readers back to your website on a regular basis. And that, in turn, can help your website’s search engine ranking.
Make Sure You Have a Quality Email List
The first thing you need is a quality email list. You might be tempted to buy a list of email addresses for people who might be interested in your product or service based on demographics. However, we would strongly advise against doing that because your messages would very likely be sent to spam folders, and future messages to the list might get blocked as a result. It is much better to allow your subscriber list to grow organically and include people who are genuinely interested in your product or service.
Another thing you can do to ensure that your subscribers are actually interested in (and will receive!) your messages is to enable double opt-in. This additional step involves sending the subscriber an email confirmation, which they need to acknowledge by clicking a link to actually be added to the list. This process will give you additional assurance that the subscriber did in fact want to subscribe to your list.
You should also monitor your list over time and remove subscribers who have not opened your messages in quite some time. You can send them a message to let them know that you have noticed they no longer seem interested in your products/services and give them the opportunity to remain on the list if you’d like. But at some point, you should definitely remove email addresses from your list for subscribers who are obviously not opening your messages.
Segment Your Email List
To make your messages more targeted and therefore increase the chance of engagement, you should segment your email list into separate sublists. Perhaps you have different products or services, or perhaps you have multiple store/office locations. If you divide your list into groups based on location or products/services then you can tailor your messages to better reach the intended group.
You can also segment your list based on the types of messages that you send out. Perhaps some subscribers only want to know about changes in your store hours. Or maybe others only want to be alerted to special promotions. You can capture this type of information with your initial sign-up form or you can include links near the unsubscribe button at the end of your messages to allow your subscribers to downgrade the scope of messages they receive from you.
Send Each Email Campaign to a Landing Page
To make your email messages more effective and get a search engine boost as a bonus, keep the content brief and include links (or buttons) for the reader to learn more. Keeping the content for each section brief will encourage your subscribers to read more of the entire email message. Like it or not, we have become accustomed to short snippets of information thrown at us frequently throughout the day, and our attention spans have gotten much shorter.
Your email messages should serve to grab the reader’s attention and give them a way to read more about the subject on your website. Make sure you create new landing pages for information that is not ordinarily found on your website — a special promotion, for example. Include buttons or links in the email that take the reader directly to that page. Don’t send them to the front page of your website and leave them to find the information they were interested in. Most people just won’t make the effort.
Check Your Metrics
As with anything you do for your business, review the effectiveness of your email campaigns. What percentage of your messages were actually opened? How many readers clicked through to your website? How long did they stay on your website once they got there? And what pages did they visit after they took a look at the landing page you sent them to? All of these questions can be answered by looking at the metrics in your email marketing application and your website analytics.
You can then use this information to refine your messages, change the frequency of the delivery, or perhaps create new messages that take subscribers to different pages of your website that may not be getting much attention. You can also set up A/B testing. This is where you send one version of your message to one half of your list and another version to the other half, or send the same message to each half at different times, to find out what is more effective.
Include Social Media
And do not rely solely on targeted email messages to communicate with your customers or clients. Just about everyone these days interacts in some way with the various social media platforms. Make sure you are posting announcements and information about your business on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or other platforms that are appropriate to your business.
Link those posts back to your website just like you do the email messages, and track the metrics to determine the effectiveness of your posts. Make sure you include social media icons on your website and email messages that link to your social media pages. And you can also include social sharing buttons on your landing pages to encourage your readers to share your content with their social media networks.
By developing a great set of targeted email lists, sending out concise and engaging messages, providing a way to direct readers to your website to learn more, including social media in your content delivery, and reviewing your progress to refine your lists and messages, you are likely to see a marked improvement in your website’s search engine ranking and your business in general.