My fellow marketers and those whom aspire to be; If you have not already encountered a situation in your professional career where you’ve been asked to drive more traffic to a website instantaneously, than you’re lucky, but be prepared as it may happen.
I was recently asked by a friend how to do just that for her business; drive more visits through the email program and this was my response…
How to get more website visits ASAP, via the email program?
As I’m sure you are already aware, there are no magic buttons to increase website traffic through email (or any marketing channel for that matter) outside of spending and sending more or offering something that is not true (like “free money”). For email specifically, the program goal is to always drive as much quality traffic as possible, without jeopardizing the health of the program. Incremental program improvements should always be top of mind and are achieved over time by aligning content offering with the needs and desires of your subscribers and by growing the active subscriber base. No sustainable tricks or tactics should be left in your back pocket for a rainy day. Why you ask? Because if it’s something that you know your customer wants or should have, you should give it to them.
The risks of sending more emails:
- Sustained increases in send volume typically lead to poor inbox deliverability- At the end of every day whether your business sends a subscriber one email 10, the content offering is likely still the same. Your subscribers can only digest so much of the same content at a time and as I’m sure you’ve guessed, they are less likely to open all 10 emails than just the one. As a result, engagement with your email program will decline and the Email Service Providers (ESPs) will take note of this engagement decline and if they see fit, they will decide to place more of your businesses emails in recipients’ SPAM folder versus inbox and yet another engagement hit will be had.
- Poor inbox deliverability as a result of low quality excess sends may impact other areas of your business- In addition to driving traffic to your website, what else does you email program support? Sales revenue or some other conversion or maybe sponsorships within the email. If email does support other areas of your business, think about the impact if emails are no longer able to reach their intended recipients or if engagement takes a nose dive. What else might your business lose in addition to website traffic?
What you MUST monitor if you choose to increase sends:
- Traditional email success metrics- open rate, click-through rate and click-to-open rate.
- Email visit rate [successful sends / visits to website from email]- As send volume increases, do visits to the site decline or stay flat? If yes, then this is an indicator that increased sends are not working and are in fact hurting your program.
- Email conversion rate [successful sends / website conversions]- If more sends only translate into more visits, then the quality of those sends is poor, assuming conversions are important to your business.
- User experience- Like I mentioned above, why send a person 5-10 emails in one day if you can communicate the same message in only one email?
Other important things you should explore
While fire drills are certainly exhausting, times like these within your business also serve as a reminder to do a ‘program health check.’ By this I mean checking to make sure everything is working as it should. A great starting place is to experience your website as if you were a customer. Complete all possible sign-up/subscription forms and ensure the end result is achieved. Depending on how your email platform is integrated with your website, it may take a day to confirm things, but it’s well worth the wait.