3 ways to use email and search together to reach your customers
You should know this from your own Web usage, but a study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project says that the most popular Web activity for Americans is email, followed closely by searching. The two lessons you should take from these findings are:
1. It makes sense to do email marketing, and
2. It makes sense to do search marketing.
After all, both online channels are perfect ways to meet customers in their natural online habitats.
But there’s a way to make your search and your email work even better. How? Use them together. Here are three suggestions as to how to do it.
1. Use Search to Make Your Email Smarter
To get a strong response to your email blasts, you need to use just the right words and just the right message. This will make your customers want to read your email and respond to it. A good place to start looking for the right kind of language is in your Sponsored Search campaigns:
• Use your best-performing search keywords within your email subject line and body copy.
• Use your best-performing search creatives as the core of your email subject lines.
• Use your best-converting search landing pages as the model for your email body and your email landing pages.
Think about it: If certain words, messages and concepts drive searchers to convert via search, then those same words, messages and concepts should resonate with similarly minded shoppers within email. So it follows that if you want to learn how to sell to your email customers, you should ask your search customers.
2. Use Email to Make Your Search Work Better
People who have signed up to your email lists are, without a doubt, great examples of who your target customers are. After all, they’ve explicitly asked you to keep in touch with them. So if you understand your email subscribers’ online behaviors, you can read the mind of your target market.
Think about the types of wording, messages, email body and landing pages those target customers respond to best, and you can get clues as to what types of keywords, ad copy and landing pages will best capture the attention (and conversions) of people like them as they use search.
And, of course, look at the keywords, ad copy and landing pages that drove those email sign-ups to begin with: They’ve clearly worked!
3. Bringing it Together
For this last point, allow me to provide a simple example:
Consider a shopper who’s bought a specific brand of pants (let’s say, Acme Pants). She’s very happy with that brand, and the next time she wants to buy a new pair of pants, she searches for “Acme Pants,” clicks on a Sponsored Search ad, and buys the item.
That’s a Sponsored Search click that’s led to a sale—and so, arguably, that’s search spend well spent.
But here’s an even better scenario: The same shopper signs up to an Acme Pants email list. The next time she needs a pair of pants, she doesn’t search at all—and so she doesn’t create any search click costs for Acme. Instead, she arrives at the Acme Pants site via the Acme email, and buys a new pair of pants directly from the manufacturer.
The moral of this tale? Use Sponsored Search to acquire new customers. Then once you have those customers in your database, help them bypass the search engines by putting them on your email lists. Offer a clear “email signup” link throughout your site, and suggest that shoppers sign up to your email list as part of the checkout process.
You can invest the money you’ll save into getting even more customers via Sponsored Search.
Looking for more ideas on combining email with search? I’d suggest searching for them—and then emailing a friend about what you find.
— Abe Mezrich, Communications Manager, Didit