You may wonder why a SEO-focused digital marketing agency is writing about local email marketing. SEO is not just about getting a higher rank in Google. It’s about driving more clients to your business.
All the attention in the world doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have a system in place to properly utilize that attention.
Of the many websites I see of business owners, few are taking proactive steps to collect customer emails.
With attention spans so decreased these days, and a countless barrage of pings and updates all vying for attention, it’s easy for potential clients and customers to forget about your business or get sidetracked, which creates lots of waste with your local SEO efforts and greatly reduces the returns.
How Email Marketing is like Training a Dog
Whether you’ve tried to train a dog, a child, or even a colleague, I hope you’ll find this analogy helpful in understanding why email marketing is so important.
Say you try to teach a dog how to sit.
He might be a bright dog, and catch on right away. However, he might struggle when you try to teach him how to roll over. He might need guidance, and more constant attention.
I have a mini dachshund, and he took to playing fetch with a ball immediately. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s his life passion. I never once had to teach him what to do, I just threw the ball and he knew to return it immediately.
I remember my neighbor lamenting that she could never get her dog to fetch. Yet I also remember my neighbor never needing to reprimand or command her small dog from not barking, she just wasn’t a barker. It seems no matter what I try I can’t get my dog to stop barking.
You might find this kind of thing to happen with your clients as well. You might find clients who immediately see value in one of your product offerings, while seeing a similar product offering as a waste of time. While a completely different customer might find treasure in the same product another customer balked at.
Just as you can’t treat every dog the same, you can’t treat every potential client the same.
If a potential client happened to land on your website and, with a scan saw a product you offer but didn’t see the value right away– they might leave and never come back without even knowing there were other product options for them.
Say you did present all of your products on your website where a customer can thoroughly read about each offering. Now you have your products competing against each other, and you have to hope that the right product offering grabs your prospect’s attention, otherwise they might not respond.
Tip: Grab the Customer’s Attention Over Time Instead of Once
This is where email marketing comes in. There’s a good chance that all of the benefits that your product or service has to offer can’t be fully disclosed or appreciated in a single webpage.
With email marketing, you can tailor your messages to prospects to try and hit the product or benefit that most appeals to the person. Sometimes you just won’t know until you try them all.
Instead of trying to force a sale or appointment at the onset, a business owner (especially in the b2c space), should focus on collecting a customer’s email address so that they can cast the widest net and increase the different types of clients they can attract.
You may find some customers respond better to emotional (right brained) marketing, and some customers respond better to logical (left brained) marketing.
There’s just so many types of customers, just like there’s so many types of dogs, pets, and even people… There are customers:
- That will buy for convenience with the #1 Google spot
- Who will compare many services and pick one on price
- Who will pick the business that uses the right language
- Who pick the business with the best visuals
- Who will buy from the company with the most reviews
- Who will research for weeks before making a decision
By using the right email marketing system to contact your website visitors, you can send emails that will attract all types of buyers no matter where they fall on the above list.
By having an email marketing system in place, you can instantly give yourself an advantage.
Big Business Email Marketing
Some of the biggest names in business using email marketing, and in a way where it’s not in-your-face. These are emails that are helpful, and customers love to receive and open.
Take Facebook, for example.
Facebook will email you if a friend reaches out to you in a personal message. LinkedIn does the same thing.
These companies are trying to draw you back to their platform so that they can make money, and so they’ve devised creative ways to do it without being intrusive.
Even offline brands and companies utilize email brilliantly as well.
Big box retailers aren’t shy about signing up customers into a rewards program in exchange for an email address, so that the retailers can reach out at a time when the customer is most likely to buy—usually during a sale when the customer can get the best discount.
A customer might ignore the emails from a retailer for weeks, but when they have that need for that particular store, there’s many who will stay on the look-out for that coupon code or sale announcement in an email from that retailer.
Think about how many prospects could be in a similar stage when discovering your business.
They might be interested, but then life could get in the way. Unless you’ve absolutely captivated them with your website, the chances aren’t that great that your business will be top of mind when that need arises again—unless you have an email marketing system keeping you top of mind for you.
Email Marketing Fear #1- “It Can Be Bad for Business”
Of course a common fear with using email marketing is in the assumed riskiness surrounding it—the potential legal issues and not wanting to make your business appear “spammy”.
There are laws around email marketing—in particular the privacy laws enforced by HIIPA and the FTC.
Of course, there’s always the risks of hackers stealing the email addresses of your prospects, which is why I said you cover almost all of the risk. But that’s a risk for all business owners with a website in general, and you should talk to an IT or security professional if that’s a concern for you.
Email Marketing Fear #2 – “It Doesn’t Work Anymore”
There’s stats out there that describe how the average person gets over 100 emails to their inbox per day. But the fact of the matter is, email DOES still work.
I’ll give you an example in my own information products business.
The way my information products business works is that I use SEO to attract website visitors to my blog. From there, I have an email marketing strategy in place—one that grabs the attention of the reader, offers to give them something of value for free, and collects their email address in exchange.
Remember, this is the exact business model that Facebook, LinkedIn, and retailers use to attract customers to their platforms or stores.
Provide free customer value in exchange for an email address.
Once on my list, prospects receive emails from me providing tips, more value, and information about my products and services. There’s always a CTA (call to action) in the bottom of my emails, giving the prospect the an opportunity to buy in case something I say that day catches their attention and convinces them to purchase.
This worked fairly well, until I changed strategies with something I call the “helpful neighbor email marketing strategy”.
As you can see from the picture, my revenues tripled almost overnight simply by focusing on:
- Being overly generous with value
- Staying top of mind consistently rather than sporadically
- Understanding that less is more
And maybe #3 is the most important part of that whole sequence.
A huge problem with email is that everyone is so busy these days, and nobody really has time to open every email they see. That’s why “less is more” and you have to be the helpful neighbor rather than the salesman.
When I started using this mentality, the difference was shocking.
In an industry where the average open rate for an email is around 20%, I consistently achieve 30-40% in the weeks directly after a prospect subscribes to my email list.
Depending on your industry, the manner in which you email your prospects may be vastly different than mine (and we’d have to test that together to find what works), but the principles of the helpful neighbor strategy remain the same.
By putting a system like this in place, you establish an efficient method of converting that great new SEO Google traffic into real revenue, sales, and clients.
Because SEO and even local SEO is such a long term game (it can often take 6-18 months or longer to start seeing ranking changes in Google), combining email marketing with your SEO efforts will give you those instant results your business craves while also establishing the long term success that a good SEO strategy will bring you.
An Overview of How to Set-up Email Campaigns
If I’ve thoroughly convinced you that you want an SEO strategy that includes email marketing, local or otherwise, then I want to tell you what to expect when hiring for such a task.
The big thing you’ll need to do is have the following two things set-up:
- A landing page
- A “lead magnet”
First let’s cover what a lead magnet is. A lead magnet is that free value that you’re going to provide for your prospects in exchange for their email address. It needs to be strong, powerful, and an obvious decision.
For my information products business it was a free eBook, but the lead magnet itself will vary depending on the industry.
Depending on which product or service your business offers, you might find sales and discounts to work, you might find special information like tips or quick solutions to work, or you might find tickets for a special event to work. It could be a myriad of things, and this is something that can be tested too.
But again, it really needs to knock the prospect off their socks with overwhelming value.
The next thing is the landing page.
A credible SEO company should have no problem setting this up for you. What you’ll need with a landing page is short and sweet copy that is influential.
Tip: The Landing Page Needs to Be Persuasive and Drive Leads
Just like the lead magnet needs to punch the prospect in the face with how obviously valuable it is, the landing page needs to present the information about the lead magnet quickly and effectively. A website visitor should be able to glance at the landing page and know exactly what they’ll get from the lead magnet, and feel instantly compelled to give their email for it.
You’ll never get a landing page or lead magnet that’s absolutely perfect at converting visitors into email leads, but it should convert enough to drastically improve the tangible results from your website almost immediately.
I really hope you see how valuable local email marketing can be for anyone needing SEO.
The reason I push for local email marketing with my SEO clients is because I don’t believe in doing work that doesn’t bring in tangible business results.
Website traffic is nice, but if it doesn’t convert efficiently than it’s a huge missed opportunity. And if it doesn’t convert at all then it’s a waste.
What can make it difficult is that there’s a bit of set-up involved, and it can be overwhelming enough for the business owner who’s maybe never tested different email marketing messages like this.
That’s where Camphora Company comes in and takes care of it for you.
Of course, I’m local to the Triangle area in North Carolina and provide that personal interaction where we can actively brainstorm the best email messages to convert leads into appointments and sales, but I also take a lot of that work off of your shoulders in the set-up and execution of the email marketing system.
As that gets honed, and the most effective marketing messages get discovered, I can then use those findings to build an automated system to set-up up appointments and sales in the background for the rest of the life of your business.
I want to see you succeed, and so I’m going to equip you with everything I’ve got, so that we can build an evergreen source of leads, appointments, and sales from the search-driven digital world.