Why Your Website Needs Email Marketing

Jon-Mikel Bailey HeadshotThe following is a guest post from Jon-Mikel Bailey. Jon is President and CMO for Wood Street, Inc., a web and mobile design, development and SEO firm in Maryland. Jon blogs regularly on the Wood Street blog and speaks at area chambers and organizations on SEO, design, web content and Social Media.

 

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So you’ve designed a beautiful website. You have a great blog. You post examples of your work, have case studies, and maybe you even have some wonderful testimonials. Now what?

Email!

When you’ve decided that you have a great website that contains great content, how do you build awareness? Yes, you guessed it, email. This can take many forms, but I want to talk about 3 specific types of content that need email for promotion:

  1. Blogs
  2. Whitepapers (Case Studies, eBooks, etc.)
  3. Company News and Events

1. Blogs

I recently wrote a post on business blogging. If you are an expert (which is highly likely, trust me), then your clients could really use your advice. One of the best places to put this advice on your website is in a blog.

Of course, a blog is interactive and needs readers to give it life and help it grow. Email can help bring those readers. Blogging and email are like peas and carrots. They were made for each other.

In the olden days, if you were an important scholar writing an important paper, you would present that paper at a conference to an audience of people interested in what that paper contains. Well, remove the smoke, mahogany, and guys smoking pipes and we are talking about the same basic thing.

You have published some useful information about a specific topic on your blog. Your email marketing acts as the “conference presentation”. This is a chance to let a group of interested people know that you have just published this useful information and they should read it.

The two are also mutually beneficial. A blog begets email content and email content begs for blog content. So, the two are symbiotic and keep your marketing machine going.

2. Whitepapers (Case Studies, eBooks, etc)

Whitepapers are content that is beyond what you would post on your blog. These usually take the form of a case study or eBook. They can be HTML pages or PDFs. These are the pieces of content generally reserved for the über-interested.

That said, these are still great ways to load your site with keyword-rich content and can be very useful to your target audience. So, if you are going to write these heavy-duty docs, you should also promote them.

Enter email. These are your special occasion email pieces. You might have an email campaign that focuses mainly on your blog content. Every once in a while you could throw in one of your whitepapers as a bonus.

Think of it as the extra special treat for your subscribers and promote it as such. Something like this… “as a loyal subscriber, we have put together this eBook for you about XYZ, please click here to download”.

Whitepapers should be more robust and of more value than the standard blog post. You want your subscriber to see this as something they would download and save for future reference. It’s a nice way to keep your emails fresh and to show additional value to subscribers.

3. Company News and Events

If you are one of those companies or organizations that presents at conferences, has booths at multiple trade shows, gets awards, speaks at seminars, hosts webinars, hires and promotes, then email marketing is for you!

Seriously, if you have any type of news or events that would be useful for clients and prospects to know about, then you should be including this in your email marketing.

All of this is information you will be promoting on your website. And thus it should be promoted in your email newsletter as well. Of course, you need to make sure you are promoting this correctly.

Just because it is news to some does not make it news to all. It is important that you are sending the right information in your emails to the right audience. Doing some A|B Split testing and list segmentation will be crucial if you plan to promote a lot of different types of news and events.

For example, a Chamber of Commerce might promote networking events, legislative updates, and business news. But would their entire membership want to receive all of that information via email? Probably not. Some may only be interested in the networking while others are really only worried about public policy. Segmentation here is important.

You can handle this many ways – test through your signup form or get help from your email service provider. Remember, you are trying to promote, not annoy. So, you want to push your message to an audience that would like to receive it.

What other content could benefit from email marketing? Let us know in the comments below.

Jon-Mikel Bailey
President, CMO, Wood Street, Inc.

Flickr Photo Credit: VirtualErn

Want more email marketing best practices and strategy? Download The Ultimate Guide to Email. With tips for beginners all the way to email marketing ninjas, it includes something for everyone! Become a better email marketer today.

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 8th, 2011 at 10:57 am and is filed under email marketing, Website. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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