Over the years email marketing and organic search have always been amongst the most popular channels used by marketers to build their business online. In the latest Email Marketing Census from Econsultancy, they have also been named as the highest ROI generating solutions. While mentioned together, SEO and email have typically been compared against each other, but hardly ever analyzed in combination. What you’ll find in this post are all the reasons why email and SEO should always go hand in hand. On top of that, we’ve added a free whitepaper on Email List Building Through SEO.
Online marketing budget
The allocation of online marketing budget can be a tough process to handle. If you don’t know your industry or competitors yet, marketing reports can be a great place to start your research.
If what you’re looking after is new visitors and potential leads then organic search, email marketing, ppc and social media are the channels you’ll want to take a closer look at. As presented in the below infographic put together by a company named Conductor, Email and Organic Search are the two activities that will get you the highest number of new website visitors.
Email and organic search as the best channels for getting most visitors – fragment of an infographic by Conductor
When it comes to email, this belief goes in line with the latest findings from the National Client Email Report 2015 by DMA. Based on their study, the average ROI generated by email has jumped from $24.93 (reported in 2013) to $38 for every $1 dollar spent. What’s also important is that over a half of the respondents of this poll believe that their email marketing budget will increase in 2015.
Why SEO and email marketing should go hand in hand?
Just like SEO, email marketing is constantly evolving. Despite being the oldest online marketing channel, it’s swiftly moving into new areas and adapting to the ever-changing environment such as the growth of mobile usage, which amongst many things affects how users read and click through emails or even shop online.
Although very different, these two channels have a lot in common. And more importantly, they can reinforce each other to improve your online marketing efforts. Let’s see what lessons we can take from these two channels working together.
Subject line and preheader
Just like your website’s title and META description tags, your subject line and preheader are meant to create a great impression (often first) on your audience. These elements should explain briefly what is that you’re offering and how it’s the right answer to your subscribers’ needs.
They have to catch attention and spark interest in the minds of those that may or may not become your loyal readers or clients. If you don’t manage to convince them in the first few seconds, it’s more than likely that they won’t lend you their time in the future. And all that they’ll ever see regarding your offer is the subject line, preheader and from name.
Searchable content, images and alt-text
Unlike what some may think, your emails don’t have to end their lives the moment your subscriber moves on to another message. Just like individual websites or landing pages, users should be able to find your newsletters using search engines. They can do so, if you make sure that your messages go to an online email archive.
That’s not enough though. When designing your email campaigns make sure that you remember about the rules that matter for the SEO. That includes e.g. putting keywords inside of the email body, depending on textual content rather than only images, and providing them with ALT text so that users (and robots) can see what’s in your message without downloading the graphics.
Also! Don’t forget about the importance of hyperlinks inside of your emails. Choose carefully what websites you’re linking to and what call to actions you’re using. The wording and reputation of said sites can affect the likelihood of your emails (or websites) coming up in the search engine results for new audiences to discover your brand.
Attracting new leads
Typically, marketers think of SEO as the lead generation channel, whilst email marketing is more concerned about converting them from visitors into buyers. That may – but not necessarily – be true. Because, who else, other than your email subscribers and clients, knows your target audience and like-minded people better? Who else has the access to them and could influence their choice? Do you get what I am aiming at?
Adding social media icons and promoting social sharing can mean a great deal to building your brand online and attracting new audiences. By providing your existing subscribers with the right reasons to spread the word about your offer you can reach your target audience in an effective and very efficient way.
Thanks to social sharing icons, users that share similar traits and interests like your clients will get the chance to read your emails on Facebook, Twitter or any other place they see the link. If they fall in love with what they see, they’ll be able to easily join your list by filling out the form that’s placed next to the online version of your message. It’s that simple.
That’s just the beginning
So you might be wondering what you should do now, after having read this article. I’ve just shown you that email marketing and SEO although very different are also much alike. And most importantly, one can reinforce the other, making your online marketing more effective.
If you’d like to find out more about how organic search and email marketing go hand in hand don’t hesitate and download this free whitepaper named – Crash Course to Building Your Email List Through SEO.
What you’ll find there is plenty of tips and tricks on how your SEO activities affect your list building efforts. We’ll cover things like optimizing your website for the crawling robots, aligning content with your audiences’ intent or effective targeting of behavior to increase email list size and conversions.