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Use Email to Amplify Content, Search & Social

  |  December 11, 2013   |  Comments

Email marketing must embody the tone and approach of a brand's larger digital communication strategy, working in unison with on-site content, SEO, off-site content, email, social media and search campaigns.

anniecondronGuest column by Annie Condron

Integrated, cross-channel, omni-channel, multi-channel or good old fashioned teamwork... no matter how you classify your marketing efforts, there's no "I" in modern digital marketing.

Email marketing, just one component, must embody the tone and approach of a brand's larger digital communication strategy, working in unison with on-site content, SEO, off-site content, email, social media and search campaigns, etc. This seems like a simple concept, but scalable integration is one of the most challenging aspects of digital marketing at the enterprise level.

The Integrated Marketing Challenge

To create an integrated strategy, marketers often need to wrangle and unite the internal digital team, agencies (SEO, social, PR, etc.), developers and executives. Everyone needs to share the same information and work toward agreed-upon business goals. While this is challenging, it is achievable and critically important.

To effectively integrate email into the mix, simply explain to all relevant parties how the brand's use of email will make them look good and help them better achieve their goals! Using email to amplify content, for example, drives traffic and increases link building potential and social signals (all great for SEO). If marketers can boost email marketing metrics in the process, all the better.

Achieve Email Marketing Goals through Integration & Content Amplification

Consider three proven integrated marketing strategies that can help achieve the following email marketing goals:

  1. Getting Subscribers
  2. Keeping Subscribers Engaged
  3. Driving ROI / Conversions

Increasing Email Marketing Subscribers

Much as marketers might dream, potential customers rarely call begging to subscribe to email campaigns, but marketers do have several captive audiences available to them through you're the brand's website, YouTube channel, Facebook page, etc. Marketers should leverage each of these to tell them why they ought to want those emails.

Consider these five simple ways to invite more customers to subscribe.

  • Include email sign-up & benefits throughout the website: offer insider deals, how-to articles, cat pictures, etc. Personalize these as much as possible to the on-page content and different campaigns. Marketers can increase long-term conversion potential for article and information content in the process.
  • Include email sign-up & benefits via social networks. Can fans subscribe without leaving Facebook? Are content entrants encouraged to opt-in to email campaigns? Marketers should share posts about great newsletter content and prompt subscription via social posts? Don't miss these opportunities!
  • Identify the different types of potential subscribers. Not all visitors to websites and social media sites have the same interests or goals. From information-seekers to likely buyers, identify and learn as much as possible about those groups. (Behavior & demographic data may already exist via analytics, see data or research like ClearTarget digital behavior analysis). 
  • Design email campaigns specific to those channels. With a better idea of what different visitor types want in hand, marketers can give it to them! 
  • Track email campaign performance based on subscription source. This data informs strategies for the next two goals.

Keeping Email Subscribers Happy, Engaged & Opted-in

Email marketing is about creating a relationship and building trust with customers. To do this, marketers need to listen, not just talk. They should...

Personalize content for each visitor:

  • Leverage and link to popular content on-site and via social media in introductory email campaigns. 
  • Already have info on the subscriber? Use the subscriber type, demographic info or self-identified interests to give email recipients what they want.

Engage in trigger campaigns that recognize action or inaction. Test nurture campaigns and follow-ups in response to email recipient behavior.

Invite them to engage in social conversations. Don't just tell email subscribers to follow a brand on Facebook. Include a popular, interactive post to get them engaged or share the latest incentivized promotions.

Use data to drive email strategies. Track open rates, click-thru rates and solicit survey responses to fine tune desired email content specific to each group/subscriber type. Share this info with content & social teams.

Using Email Marketing to Drive ROI, Conversions

With a trusting, engaged audience, marketers have earned the opportunity to sell to their subscribers, because marketers deliver what they want without asking them to work for it.

  • Connect email campaigns to a content management system. This enables marketers to tailor trigger emails with on-site behavior.
  • Engage in automated retargeting emails. These are especially effective for abandoned carts, wish lists items and similar product recommendations.
  • Solicit ratings & reviews. Not only does this get customers back on-site for additional purchase opportunities; it also increases search potential and likely conversions of future customers. Again, make it painless by providing the specific product and a short review process. 
  • Reward and recapture with incentives. This classic marketing tactic never goes out of style. People love deals and free stuff. Focus on highly engaged, low-funnel customers who need a nudge.

Just like other marketing channels in the mix, email should be integrated as part of a holistic and consistent approach, but don't overlook the many ways other channels can harness the benefits of an effective email marketing effort.

Annie Condron is Natural Search Supervisor, Content Solutions at Resolution Media

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