Using Email to Increase Website Traffic
Email marketing is a powerful way to acquire customers. When it is done properly, it creates an effective way to attract visitors to your website.
Initially you will need to take time to target your audience. Unsolicited emails, known as spam, are not appreciated by most people. The best solution is to either gather email addresses from your website or to purchase “opt-in” mailing lists. Opt-in lists (known as permission marketing) are addresses of people who have given their permission to receive emails on topics they are interested in. Postmaster Direct (www.postmasterdirect.com) has more than 3,000 targeted email lists with over 30 million email addresses. Their lists cost from $100 to $350 CPM (cost per thousand). Because email addresses change frequently, most lists that you purchase will have a 5% failure rate.
You can also collect your own email list through personal contacts, having visitors to your website fill out a contact form; and through using visitor tracking software.
If you have a contact form or guestbook on your website, try to offer an incentive. Free maps, newsletters, other types of giveaways, will increase the percentage of people filling out your form. Posting a privacy statement will also help visitors to feel comfortable. These statements assure them that you won’t sell their email address to a third party.
Your website can be set up with software that automatically sends an email to anyone that fills out your contact form, or sends an email through your website. Ask your webmaster to set up an autoresponder. This will guarantee that all emails are responded to immediately.
Once you have acquired your bulk email list you can craft an email message or send a newsletter. If you send an email, it must build trust, describe benefits and close with a sense of urgency. If you have a toll free number, remember to include it.
Although a newsletter has a low out-of-pocket cost, it is a time intensive project. Your newsletter can include “how to” articles, major industry trends and the latest news. Keep your newsletter chatty and informal while you tell your subscribers about your products and services. Including a special sale or promotion will help motivate your customers to visit your website. Placing a copy of the newsletter on your website will help keep your site fresh. Wild Wings Unlimited (www.wild-wings.com) publishes a quarterly newsletter that lets customers know what products are on sale, gives wildlife information and lists their schedule of free nature walks.
Emails and newsletters allow you to establish ties with customers and build trust. It can be effective way to convert visitors to buyers.