How to Increase Web Traffic using Email Strategy

Sarah was a bit puzzled.  She has just set up a half-day workshop ina couple of months’ time.  It’s to be her chance to demonstrate nutritional principles and even a few recipes.  Her problem is how can she sell through emails?

She’s set up an Eventbrite page and could put the link in an email.  But she’s uneasy about using emails for a sale.

Email and Your Website

Let’s keep this simple for now.  There are well-established product launch systems that use sequences of emails.  These work for high-end products but are not necessary for a modestly priced workshop.

Sarah sends a weekly email to her list with tips about healthy eating.  She could send an email, just like the others, including a call to action to sign up to the workshop.

She could use the link to the Eventbrite page but it is worth considering a link to a landing page on her website.  Here there is more space to market the workshop.  She could include on the landing page a video introducing the workshop, a summary of the benefits from attending and the link to the Eventbrite page. 

The big advantage on her own site, is Sarah has more scope to design an attractive page.  This can be promoted in a variety of ways besides email, eg social media, SEO or direct methods, such as flyers. 

However, this extra step may lose some people who need to click a second time to get to the Eventbrite page and again to register. 

There’s no such problem if she links to Eventbrite from her email.  But perhaps the only way to be certain is to test whether more sign up if they go direct or via her website.  Remember too, people can forward emails to friends who may be interested in the workshop.  They may follow the link to find out more about Sarah’s business.  They might explore her site and there she can encourage them to join her list, even if they do not register for the workshop. 

Even if the landing page includes only a link to the registration page, you can arrange it so that a light box appears when they move to leave the page.  This can invite them to join your list.  With some systems this need not show if someone is already on the list.

Click Through Rates

The main barriers are likely to be in the email.  What percentage of recipients open the email and then how many follow the link, wherever it goes?  Sarah’s email service (Mailchimp, Aweber or whatever) records opening rates and click through rates (CTR). 

This way Sarah can see how many people open the email and how many follow the call to action and click on the link.  So, the first question is whether there are improvements she can make to the subject line to increase opening rates.  Then what changes can she make to the email content to increase click through rates?

Landing Pages

Generally, it is good to encourage visitors to your site because it improves the ranking of the site with Google.  But what should be on the page?

Generally, it is better to remove all links and other distractions, whilst giving the link to registration great prominence.  

You don’t need a lot.  A heading, an image or a video, a list of benefits and maybe some features, eg dates and times, should do the trick.  And don’t forget a big friendly button to press to move to the next stage.

The interaction between your email list and website is important if you plan to grow your email list.  People on your list can do much more than buy from you.

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About the Author

I've been a community development worker since the early 1980s in Tyneside, Teesside and South Yorkshire. I've also worked nationally for the Methodist Church for eight years supporting community projects through the church's grants programme. These days I am developing an online community development practice combining non-directive consultancy, strategic management, participatory methods and development work online and offline. If you're interested contact me for a free consultation.

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