DW Tips

Search Engine Optimisation vs Email Marketing

May 26, 2015 by nayana

Online Marketing.jpgThere are a myriad of different ideas about how to market your company online, but Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and email marketing are two of the most common 'free' strategies (free meaning it's not paid advertising).

So which is the most effective, SEO or email marketing?

To use a metaphor, SEO is the tortoise, and email marketing is the hare. In other words, it takes a while to see results when using SEO, but those results are generally long-lasting. On the other hand, sending out mass emails to your database can be done immediately, but if done incorrectly the results can be patchy and short lived.  According to Mailchimp, the average open rate of an email campaign is about 20% and the average click rate is about 3%.

As a matter of fact, the book Social Media Marketing Tips notes that:

'However, there are two problems with email marketing, or spamming as it is commonly called. First, you anger some clients, some of which may be interested in your product. Second, much of your email is caught by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who will not appreciate receiving spam and withhold your emails from the intended target. In addition, many consider it unethical, as it burdens users, ISPs, and the online community as they have to pour through hundreds of unwanted messages per week'

Our opinion is that both options have their place, the trick is knowing how and when to utilise them.  SEO at its very basic concept is about optimising particular keywords which people are using in search engines to find your products and services.  The process is slow (three months or more for a new keyword) but once you're at the top you'll get the lion's share of the traffic.  According to Search Watch:

'...the top listing in Google's organic search results receives 33 percent of the traffic, compared to 18 percent for the second position...'

However, with those timelines you'd never use SEO tactics to announce a new product, service, event or a deadline.  That's when email marketing comes into it's own. Mailchimp offer great advice for improving your open rates and click through rates: 

  1. Write boring subject lines (yes, really)
  2. Avoid using spammy keywords and phrases, and avoid using ALL CAPS or too many exclamation points!!!
  3. Keep in touch with your subscribers regularly (at least once a quarter), so they can stay on your list.
  4. Check your hard and soft bounces.
  5. Include your your company name in your “From” and “Subject” lines so your subscribers will instantly recognize you.

We'd add a final recommendation to their list of tips, which is to get permission before adding a person to your database.  We do that by asking 'Would you like to receive our newsletter' to our contact form. It's simple, but effective.  Sending spam is illegal in New Zealand anyway, but if you ask for consent then you also know that the people on your database want to hear from you.  Your database should be about quality, not quantity!

We use both techniques in our own business and we'd be happy to discuss our seo services and give you advice on the best approach for your online marketing strategy.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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