Unless something changes fundamentally about the way the web operates, Google is likely to remain the most important traffic provider for most websites for the foreseeable future. Search engine traffic is highly likely to bring buyers to your site, so if you have good organic rankings for a wide variety of search terms, you’re likely to earn plenty of money. What happens, though, when a change in Google’s ranking algorithm results in a sudden loss of traffic? A loss of search traffic means a loss of revenue, of course – and when the decrease in search rankings is algorithmic in nature, there isn’t much that you can do except to keep plugging away and doing your best to outrank your competitors.
Or is there?
Why Building a Mailing List Is a Powerful Traffic Generation Strategy
This article will unlock the missing link in your traffic generation strategy by exploring mailing lists. Big e-commerce sites like E-Cigarette Empire have gotten to where they are because they know that they only way to weather Google’s algorithm updates is by having another traffic source that you can control to a certain extent. Yes; paid placements on Facebook, Google AdWords and other advertising platforms can also bring people to your website – but with the most popular advertising platforms, you’ll find that the cost of acquiring a new customer will consume most or all of the revenue that customer provides in their first purchase.
Part of what makes Google’s organic search such an important source of traffic is the fact that the traffic doesn’t cost anything. If you need to replace some of that traffic, the ideal traffic source is one that’s as close to free as possible.
A mailing list is the ideal alternate traffic source for several reasons.
- The cost of using an email marketing platform is very low, and many platforms don’t charge anything until your mailing list is large enough that it’s highly likely to be a significant source of profit.
- A mailing list is a traffic source that an algorithm can’t take away. Subscribers can choose to cancel their subscriptions, but otherwise, it’s a traffic source that you control.
- As you utilize your mailing list for email marketing, you’ll gather data about the performance of your campaigns. You’ll find that the results of a campaign are usually fairly predictable. When you send a newsletter, a certain percentage of readers will click through to your website. Of those, a certain percentage will buy products. Those percentages will remain relatively consistent. Over time, the revenue generated by your mailing list will increase proportionately to the number of subscribers you have. The predictability will help to ease the stress caused by Google’s algorithm changes.
How to Start a Mailing List
To start a mailing list, you need just two things. First, you need an email marketing provider. MailChimp, Constant Contact and AWeber are three popular options. Compare their prices and features before choosing one. An email marketing provider manages your subscriber database and provides an interface that allows you to create and send attractive newsletters. The marketing provider may also collect statistics that help you understand how effective your campaigns are.
Once you’ve signed up with an email marketing provider, you’ll need to add a subscription form to your website. In most cases, the marketing provider can also help with this by generating a block of code that you can simply copy and paste into your website’s pages. Popular content management systems like WordPress also have plugins that allow for easy integration with email marketing providers. A plugin can help you create a signup form that fits nicely with your website’s existing design. Once you have the form in place, you can begin collecting subscribers.
How to Get People to Subscribe to Your Mailing List
Everything has sounded a little too easy up to this point, right? After all, you know from your own experience that people won’t subscribe to your mailing list just because you’ve added a signup form to your site. How often do you consent to receiving emails that you know will be advertisements?
If you want to get people to subscribe to your mailing list, you’ve got to offer them a worthwhile reward for doing so. The most common reward is a single-use coupon code. You’ve probably seen offers like that quite often when shopping online. “Subscribe now for a 15 percent discount on your first order!”
Offering a coupon code as a new subscriber reward will help you get subscriptions, but it also has a downside in that you can expect to lose a portion of your revenue from virtually all first-time buyers. As an alternative that may cost significantly less, consider holding a monthly random giveaway instead. Make the prize something good enough that people will want to try to win it. When it’s time to hold the giveaway, use a random number generator to choose a winner from your subscriber list. Tell your subscribers that they’ll be eligible to win all giveaways as long as their subscriptions are active.
How to Get Traffic and Sales From Your Mailing List
Once you have some subscribers, it’s time to start earning money from your mailing list. Keep in mind that you may need a few thousand subscribers before the mailing list begins to generate revenue. Until your subscriber list is sufficiently large, focus on building the list and save your best marketing efforts for later.
Successful email marketing is a matter of figuring out what appeals to your customer base. Sale events can work well, but you need to be careful with that strategy. If you hold sale events on a predictable schedule, people will stop buying products unless there’s a sale. Likewise, you must avoid sending newsletters so often that people begin to ignore them. Try to make each newsletter something that people really want to read. Strive to entertain or inform your customers, so they’ll look forward to receiving your newsletters instead of simply deleting them.