A Billion Dollar Email Opportunity: Where Are All The Newspapers?
Links for 2009-02-25

How To Use Pay-Per-Click to Drive Email Signups & Create New Customers

Here’s a simple 4-step technique to grow your opt-in lists, find new customers, and make the most of your pay-per-click budget.

Pay Per Click – The Standard Technique

The most common use for pay-per-click advertising (search advertising) is direct sales. Here’s a vastly simplified picture of a standard PPC campaign:

  1. Figure out your target keywords
  2. Bid on a bunch of terms
  3. Send traffic to your site
  4. Measure the results
  5. Rinse & repeat

This works really well if you get it right, but it has a fairly large, obvious weakness: The visitors you get from pay-per-click are usually first-time site visitors & it’s much, much harder to turn a new visitor into a customer than it is to sell to someone who’s already warmed to your brand.

As an email marketer you know this. That’s a big part of your job: Get permission to talk to your prospects regularly and you have a much greater chance of turning them into customers.

How to Use Email to Improve Pay-Per-Click Results

Here’s a simple technique you can use to join up PPC & email and get great results. We’ll take a B2C example to illustrate, but this will work equally well (if not better) in most B2B scenarios.

Step 1: Target searchers early in the ‘research’ phase

To do this we’d bid on phrases like “how to buy a tv”, “tv reviews”, “best tv”, and thousands of other much less expensive variations!

Step 2: Create something to help these people with their research

We’ll put together an ebook, “Everything You Need To Know About Buying a TV in 2009”. We’ll put this in PDF format.

Step 3: Turn the visitor into a subscriber

To convert the visitor into a subscriber we'll create a 2-step landing page on our site.

Page 1 would be a short sales pitch for your free “Everything You Need To Know...” ebook. The page will also contain an opt-in form, asking for “name”, “email address” and perhaps another key bit of information: “Budget”, “Location”, “Type of TV you’re interested In” for example. All of this along with a checkbox “I am happy to receive emails from ...”. In other words, the visitor is opting in to our emails in exchange for downloading our free ebook.

Page 2 would be a ‘thank you’ page containing a link to our free PDF ebook. Maybe we’ll include a list of best selling TVs, or a call to action back to our homepage to avoid this page being a ‘dead end’, engage the visitor a little more, and perhaps pick up some sales.

Step 4: Turn the subscriber into a customer

We know our new subscriber is in the research phase for buying a TV. Ideally we can then send them an automated series of emails to grow them from an ‘early researcher’ to a ‘customer’. Alternatively, if we don’t have the tools to support that, we can simply move them onto our regular email campaigns.

Either way, the ability to speak to this prospect regularly gives us a much better chance of gaining them as a customer than we would if we just pushed them straight from a search for “TV Reviews” to a page of “Top Selling” TVs on our website.

This is a simple B2C example, but the tactic has unlimited applications and can work far better in the B2B space, using how-to guides, whitepapers and reports in exchange for permission to speak to your web visitors through email.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!
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