As marketing moves into more and more personalization, email marketing has taken on renewed importance. Its potential for personalized messaging is high, as brands can segment email lists and send targeted content to prospective and existing customers based on who they are and where they are in the sales funnel. Personalized emails can foster transaction rates that are 6 times higher than non-personalized alternatives.
Email lists work best when used in conjunction with other types of marketing to foster growth throughout the sales funnel. As brands develop their marketing strategies for the sales funnel, they can use their analysis of where customers are and the types of content they want to see to develop highly personalized strategies. These plans keep prospects moving through the funnel towards conversion.
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To maximize this potential, however, brands should understand how email and SEO can work together, and how they can be used to power the customer sales funnel and boost conversions.
How SEO helps inform email marketing
When creating an effective email marketing strategy, don’t neglect the value of SEO. It can be tempting to view them as two channels with no intersections, but if you want to take your marketing efforts to the next you need to understand the importance of integrating them.
SEO can help you uncover popular topics to include in your email strategy. Keyword research makes it easy to see what target audiences search for, and thus the topics they likely want to read about.
You can also look at the traffic rates on your site to determine the most popular pieces for each stage of the sales funnel. This can provide valuable insight into the topics that people on your email list will likely want to read. Use these ideas to both generate content for your email lists and to determine how to construct the segmented email plan.
The targeted keywords and topics that you gather based on SEO rates can also help you construct titles and entice people to open your emails. When someone sees your email in their inbox, they can generally see the title and the first line of the email. Use these spaces to include keywords and terms that you know will attract the attention of your target audience.
How email marketing helps SEO
While your SEO research strengthens your email program, you can also use your email strategy to improve the rankings of individual pages within your domain as well as your site as a whole. By boosting engagement, click through rates, and interest in your emails, you will naturally drive more people to your site to visit these high-value pages and they might like the content enough to link to it from their site or blog.
Even more importantly, the people who click through to the site will likely consist of interested prospective customers: an engaged audience. This means that the traffic on your site will also consist of people who will have low bounce rates and good engagement metrics. These factors will all boost the rankings for the page, and help the domain as a whole.
As brands develop content for the entire customer funnel, they find that top-of-the-funnel pieces receive the most search traffic as they tend to focus around the broadest, education-centered topics. Mid-funnel content, on the other hand, while playing a critical role in nurturing customers, tends to not see as much less search volume.
Email can help ensure that this content gets attention from the people it benefits, boosts engagement with the page, and helps brands better see how their mid-funnel strategy performs. Content targeted towards this segment that does not engage people from properly segmented email lists might need to be adjusted.
Quality email can also help brands with reputation management. Customers register for your email list because of their interest in receiving relevant email. By fulfilling this expectation, you will build the reputation of your brand in their minds. You will help prospective customers see you as a trusted authority.
Similarly, you will boost brand awareness and familiarity. As customers regularly open your emails, encounter your branding, and read your material, your business becomes one they recognize when exposed to your content and advertising elsewhere on the web. This coaxes them through the funnel and keeps them engaged with your messaging.
Combining email marketing and SEO to drive your customer funnel
As you build your email strategy and use it with SEO to drive your brand’s success, it will tie closely to your customer funnel. As your email strategy gets implemented, watch your open rates to see how well your different segments respond to content at each stage of the funnel. The more data you can collect, the easier it becomes to make data-driven decisions that power growth and development.
Use your email strategy to draw people through the funnel. The content they engage with, information you can research, and information they offer about themselves will all help you classify each prospect into a potential buyer persona category and your estimate of where they fall on the buyer’s journey. This insight will then help you to target them with content specifically developed for this persona at this stage of the journey. This email content, along with conversations with sales representatives, will play a large role in nurturing these prospective customers into and through the middle stage of the sales funnel.
As customers transition to the middle of the sales funnel, they shift from educating themselves about all their options and begin instead to evaluate the options they see in front of them. Keeping the prospect engaged with your organization through a quality, data-driven email content will keep your brand on their short list and keep them moving towards conversion.
Learn more about content mapping with the free BrightEdge content funnel mapping checklist.
Monitor every stage of your email segmentation to better understand what customers look at. Know the content that interests them and what receives low engagement metrics. Put your research on keywords and terms to work to ensure that the content you build will engage the interested parties and monitor how well the email lists then perform.
Email marketing and SEO can work well together, powerfully driving customers, particularly through the middle of the sales funnel. Understanding how to get these two sectors to work together and power growth will help brands enhance the power of the sales funnel.