Post about "Engineering Industry"

Search Engine Optimization Through E-Newsletters

I got my first real break in Search Engine Optimization training when the county I live in hired me to review seven major web development firm’s technical proposals for a county tourism web site. For over a year and a half I participated in county meetings where I answered their questions and clarified terms and concepts present in the proposals. Of the hundreds of things I learned, I learned two key things of very real value involving e-newsletters.The first thing that I learned is that it is of major importance to gather email addresses from your site made up of people who want to sign up for an e-newsletter. This is important from a direct marketing perspective because in direct marketing the list is of key importance. The list is key because it contains information about good prospective clients who have expressed a real interest in your products or services because they have gone through the trouble of signing up.The second thing I learned is how to engineer the e-newsletters by creating landing pages on the site. A landing page is a specially prepared page on your site that need not be linked to from the rest of the site itself. The landing page may or may not have site menu links – or a clickable link – to some page or pages on your site, however the landing page is meant to be a destination in and of itself to serve the special purpose of tracking your e-newsletter’s effectiveness. In the case of an e-newsletter that page serves three purposes. The three purposes of a landing page involve tracking, testing, and, of course, making sales.The copywriting (which is the sales pitch with benefits and offers) in your e-newsletters can be pure and unencumbered by concerns about the Search Engines or Search Engine Optimization because the people to whom you’re sending your e-newsletters are receiving them directly from you. People who search on the web for your services and products won’t enter your marketing sales language into the search engines, and the search engines won’t rank you for your products and services if there’s very little service and product keyword optimization. There is a way to solve that problem using Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and I’ll describe that a little further on in this article. The immediate problem of a lack of Search Engine Marketing on your site is solved by using e-newsletters, and here’s how:The steps in writing an effective e-newsletter are important and should be carried out faithfully in order to achieve the highest return for your efforts.The first step involves the writing and testing of the e-newsletter itself. Each month your client (the owner of the website) produces an upbeat e-newsletter of value to the reader with interesting and valuable information. It can be a story featuring a client, a link or two to other sites with more valuable information, and the introduction of an existing or new product or service that will be of benefit of the customer. One possible article idea could cover regulations involving your industry – so you might include information about one of these new rules as it pertains to the customer. You may want to give information on how to do something better using one of your products – perhaps a new way to use or apply it that one of your customers told you about. The article can focus on how a client had a problem and how your product solved it, or how your client found an added benefit that nobody else has thought of and how it made his or her situation better. A case study can be included as a story, or a press release will also do – particularly if it relates to a charity event.Once you have collected several dozen sign-ups for e-newsletters and your client sends you her completed e-newsletter you create an email with a short message about the e-newsletter’s contents (or part of the newsletter itself) and provide a link to the actual e-newsletter itself on her website. The reason you place the e-newsletter on the site is so you can track it to analyze the effectiveness of the copywriting.For maximum effectiveness three critically important steps must be taken when you create your e-newsletter. The first step involves a) the subject line you type into your email, and what they’ll see first when they receive their e-newsletter before opening it, and b) the body of the e-newsletter itself. You must carefully word your subject line in the email. Don’t use anything like “buy it now” “on sale” or anything else commonly used and seen in spam or it will be deleted (and possibly reported as spam). Make sure you send it from a company email address if you can. Trisha3333(at) may work – but it looks best if it’s professional from one of her website email addresses instead. The subject line can look like any of these:”Has the economy affected (your product/services) prices? What (needed products/services) are still in demand? | YourCompany Survey” or “(your industry here): What’s hot, what’s not; (some portion of your industry here) expands (product or service here); Economic crisis fuels (industry related problem here) concern” etc.Millions of potential subjects exist and your first job is to find two or three ways of wording them so your prospective customers will open the email. When you have a small email list, start off with two separate emails, each with a different subject line. Each set of emails will have a different landing page so you can track which email subject line was actually opened. You’ll want to send these emails to at least 30 people for each version of the subject line – but hold off on sending the e-newsletter to everyone on your list.The copywriting in the body of the e-newsletter will undoubtedly sooner or later contain information about your client’s offer – each feature of what is being offered needs to be described as a benefit, and an attractive offer must be made such as “Buy this and get that free” or “Buy that and get this at half price” or “Free shipping if you order now” or any other such special deal of value to the customer in exchange for the customer’s valuable cash.The second step is to take the most effective subject line, e-mail, and landing page and combine them, and then send that final version to the rest of the mailing list.As your list grows, you’ll be able to create three (or more) test versions of your subject line – each using a minimum of 30 people to make the results statistically meaningful. When your list grows to around 1,000 people you can then do another double blind test where you take the results from the 30 emails you send out to two or three groups and send them to two versions of landing pages with different benefits and different offers for your products after your client has gone through explaining them. Now you take the best subject line response and send it out to two more groups of 30 or more, and see which landing page produces the highest number of sales!So you’ve sent out four sets of 30 emails all together to 120 people and found out which subject line got read and clicked on most – and which landing page offer got the highest response – and you combine them into a final e-newsletter and send it to the rest of your list using the best subject line and the best e-newsletter version landing page.So how do e-newsletters improve your SEO? In the short run – they don’t, but if sent and tested regularly what they can do is improve the effectiveness of your current level of Search Engine Optimization by turning mere visitors into real customers – and when you find a few winning formulas for success in your e-newsletter copywriting, you can take those offers and optimize them using SEM, which as I mentioned earlier is Search Engine Optimization of market copy writing – also known as Search Engine Marketing and place that SEM copy on the regular pages of your web site to gain the best of both worlds.Yes, its work – but it’s also something extremely valuable for you as a learning tool. What if you found that one of your e-newsletters was so interesting that it got a higher response and sales rate than anything else so far? You can immediately turn it into a clickable link featured right from your home page – subject line included as the link – and pick up clients right away from the web, or you can Search Engine Marketing optimize it and use it that way!E-newsletters really work. I’ve tried them on clients’ web sites and personally know others who use them regularly, and people who sign up really do make purchases.