How to Create SEO-Friendly Email Campaigns

I was speaking at this year’s SES Hong Kong about the importance of connecting all the digital touch points with the customer, so that customers will have consistent digital experience with brands. The key is moving away from digital islands into a digital ecosystem, where all channels are connected into a single database.

This is a topic in itself, hence in this column, I’d like to provide some tips on how to link two of the digital channels: Email and SEO (search engine optimization).

Our story starts in the early morning – we rush to work, grab our coffee on the way (hopefully a good strong one!), and then making sense of the campaign we want to send. We’re selecting segments, receiving content from different stakeholders, loving our creative and finally pressing the launch button.

Typically, we’d be looking into conversions, sales records, etc. Okay, yep. These are all legit KPIs (key performance indicators) of measuring success of a campaign. But we can get more than just these KPIs. We can improve the ranking of our pages by building links and driving traffic to designated pages and in this way, improve our SEO efforts. Driving traffic to your pages will also assist in the variety of IP’s directing traffic to your email, something the search engine just loves.

Here are some practical tips for the travel industry, for instance. You can apply these rules to other industries, just stick to the rationale:


  • It all starts with building SEO friendly pages: all your metadata and titles should be clear with the associated descriptions you’re showing in the search engines.
  • Every page you target should have a different/unique < H1> (header).
  • Build the links you would like to promote in the bottom of each campaign. For example, your title could be “Hotels in Japan”, then 4-5 links with specific hotels you would be promoting. All naturally linking to the category pages you want to promote.
  • All pages should have static URL addresses.
  • The URL you’re creating should have a clear category hierarchy like this:
  • Have a “more…” button that provides more information on the category. In this case, the button will be sending traffic to the Japan hotels page.
  • Automate the creation of these links and ensure they don’t only serve your SEO objectives but also relevant to your recipients.
  • Links can be generated automatically by API calls, or RSS feeds and should be linked to previous user click behavior, previous purchases, or user preferences (typically coming from a preference center where the user can choose different options of communication and content).
  • Enhance your exposure and traffic by buying the same keywords and promoting them in social (Facebook ads, and search engines’ PPC (pay-per-click)).
  • Like “all things Google”, share your page in Google Plus this should help as well.

dealwatcher(Source: An example from Zuji Hong Kong email sent on October 23, titled: “Japan hotel specials. Up to 50% off”)

In this example, you can see that there are links promotions at the bottom of the email. Clicking on Shanghai under Latest Flight Deals will bring you to a page that promotes flights to Shanghai. The same goes for the hotels category.

Once again, the rationale applies to fashion, cosmetics, electronics, books, or any other products and services you’re looking to promote.

P.S: Don’t forget the social share buttons on different content blocks.

The sales peak season is nearly here. Hope you’re ready with your digital weapons to target and convert recipients into buying customers.

Happy Hunting.

Till next time, stay tuned.

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