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SEO and Email Marketing

by Slingshot Bloggers

As an online marketing professional, I am often asked about how email marketing and SEO are related. It’s simple really. It’s all about acquisition.  SEO is a tool that can be used to attract the right audience to you at the right time.

According to ExactTarget’s 2009 Email List Growth Study report, site registration, incented and non-incented, rank at the top for marketers’ list growth tactics. And what drives traffic to your site better than organic search?

Globally, there are 100 billion searches being done a month. A large percentage of these searches are for informational or research purposes.  These people are researching for more information about a product or service, making this is a crucial time for you to catch the attention of these people – to educate and inform them about your product and/or services. This is an audience that is much more likely to subscribe to an email program IF they believe it will serve their research and data gathering purposes.

How does SEO work?

Use SEO to go after keywords used by people while they are researching your product category or service. (Any good SEO company will help you do this analysis to determine which keywords your audience is searching on the most). Once you get on the first page (and top position for those keywords), you WILL get the traffic to your site. After that, I recommend pointing people to sites (that are optimized on-page, of course) where they will learn more about your company, products, and services. These should include any blogs, articles, and other information pages where the audience has access to information that showcases you as the expert in your area.

Once you’ve got them on your site or landing page, you can ask them to sign up for your email program. This can be done by using a pop-up as they are browsing certain pages, when someone leaves a comment, or as an option to participate in the community. It’s important to communicate that you need their email to guide them in their research process. The list growth tactics that perform the best are those that compel subscribers to register because of the value of the communication itself.

So you have their email address. Now what?

DON’T start by sending them commercial messages right away. Instead, you use the first 3-4 emails to send them more information about your product or service. Build on the content that got them there in the first place. Your purpose is to use email to build trust with this audience. Once you build trust, you get a purchase – and more importantly, a loyal customer.

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