This is a contributed post by Meredith Eisenberg, an ActiveCampaign Certified Consultant.
What does email have to do with website traffic?
They seem like two separate parts of the funnel. You blog on your website to get people to your email list. From there, you use email to get them back to your site to push the buy button on your sales page. Once you have people on the list, they don’t need to go back to your blog… or do they?
Yes, they do. Driving your subscribers back to your site has two major advantages for you:
- Email can significantly boost your website’s overall ranking
- Using ActiveCampaign, you can use your subscriber’s content choices to segment them into automations. This lets you deliver the exact information they are interested in learning.
Email is a powerful driver of web traffic
Email can be a powerful driver of traffic to your website, second only to organic search. According to this research, 51% of people discover new websites through email marketing.
Beyond helping your community discover new resources, there are some definite advantages to having your community visit your website regularly.
Adding value and building trust
A typical sales funnel starts with content and ends with a sale.
A good funnel is not that linear — customers move back and forth between your offers and content.
Customers buy from people they know, like, and trust. Providing consistent value to your community through your blog is an excellent way to build that trust. You can also use your content to help segment your audience. Finally, sending your audience to content is training them to click your links and take action (even if that action is not always buying something new from you).
Crowdsource your SEO
In addition to sending traffic to your site, encouraging your list to visit your content helps your SEO in two important ways:
- Social sharing
- Reduce your bounce rate
There is a strong link between social media shares and Google rankings. The more a page or post is shared, the more traffic the page will get, and the more often (and higher) the page will appear in search results.
The people who are most likely to share your posts? Your loyal subscribers. Be sure to let your list know when you’ve published something new — and ask them to like and share.
Reduce your bounce rate
One of the criteria the Google algorithm uses to rank your site is its bounce rate (how long do people stay on the page). Sending your loyal subscribers to read a long blog post (vs. sending them to a quick decision lead page) will help increase the amount of time people spend on your site and decrease your bounce rate.
Now that you know why email is important, it is time to dig into the sequences you can use to send to prospects back to your site.
Three types of sequences to send traffic back to your website
It’s a marketing best practice to have a call-to-action in most of your emails. Not only does this make it easier to gauge the effectiveness of your emails (by tracking how many clicks each link gets), it also sends traffic back to your site. Adding links to content allows you to ask for a click and add value without always asking for a sale.
1. Free content
Do you let your subscribers know when you’ve posted something new? Use a simple two-email sequence to use to send traffic to your most important new blog posts and other content. The first email lets people know that you posted something new. The second email is sent to people who didn’t open the first email.
An easy way to get traffic to a website is to offer a free download for your current subscribers. You can do that as part of a blog post – or also just by using an existing opt-in and giving the download page link in the email (your people don’t need to resubscribe – they are already on your list). If you use ActiveCampaign, you can add a tag when your subscriber clicks on the download link to help further segment them.
This is how you can add triggers in ActiveCampaign based on clicks.
3. Use your content to survey and segment
Using emails with links to posts or resources about different topics is a great way to:
- Get a feel for what your list is interested in
- Segment your list so that you can send your subscribers offers that are targeted straight to them
Each of these links has an action attached — based on clicks, contacts are assigned a tag or added to an automation.
Segmenting your contacts with content in ActiveCampaign
Here are three times to use these sequences to send content:
One of the first messages my new list members receive is a simple message offering articles and resources on different topics. I use ActiveCampaign to segment the contacts into groups based on what they clicked on.
Every six months or so, I delete inactive subscribers from my main list. Before I do that, I send a few emails with content links to see if I can re-engage them. I can then segment them into a new interest group based on which content they engage with.
Adding value all the time
You should always be adding value and helping subscribers. Regularly sending them to information (as opposed to just offers) helps you to do that.
How to set up your content segments in ActiveCampaign
In ActiveCampaign, you can add actions to links within emails that trigger a separate action. To do this just click on the link icon in the email editor. This opens up a box where you can select the action you wish the click to trigger (see screenshot above).
For example, you can:
- Add a tag so you can see who is interested in a particular subject matter
- Trigger an automation that sends a series of emails about that particular subject matter (which is what we chose for the email above — see top red arrow)
- Add people who click the link to a list or segment for later use
You can also have the link remove people from tags, automations, or lists. This is a very powerful tool for segmenting your list and honing in on what your email subscribers are interested in, which, of course, is key to getting them to take action.
Using the data to add even more value
Now that you are segmenting your content by using tags to send people to automations that deliver content, you can use the data from the automation report to see which pieces of content your prospects request most often. You can access this data in ActiveCampaign by going to the Reports tab and choosing Automation Reports.
Looking at data for different campaigns.
I hope this article has inspired you to start adding links to your website in your emails. Not only will you drive more traffic to your website, improve your SEO, and decrease your bounce rate, but you’ll also get some really great data on what your clients are looking for and how you can provide more value — automatically!
Meredith Eisenberg is a co-founder of solobizhacker.com and is an ActiveCampaign Certified Consultant. She helps coaches and other solopreneurs use email automation to create thriving online businesses. You can learn more — and download a set of email templates for using content to segment your prospects — here.