“The money is in the list”

It nevers ceases to amaze me the amount of hearsay that is passed off as expertise on Internet marketing. My particular favourite is amount of nonsense that is spoken about search engine optimisation (SEO). Just like everybody is an expert on marketing and has lots of opinions about what they perceive to be marketing (generally an advert they have seen on TV), everybody thinks they know a lot about SEO.

I contend that you can have all the SEO you like: in my experience, the one thing that is head and shoulders ahead of SEO if you want immediate, trackable results is email marketing

Now, this may sound like I have a degree in the ‘bleedin obvious’, as Basil Fawlty used to put it, but bear with me!

Think of the trail of activities that has to happen for somebody to get your website. Firstly, they have to search for the product or service, then hopefully their keywords used will match your keywords, your content will update to date and relevant and your site will be favoured. Then, the potential customer will have to search through your site to find the right product or service, and with a bit of luck, find the correct product at the right price for them to make a purchase.

If you work as an eCommerce Manager, say, in the airline business, you will know that this particular trail is fraught with danger.

However, if you already have a decent list that you have worked on, and knows who you are, and like receiving offers, then you can get results with five minutes of sending out a relevant email. Why? Because you have shown the potential customer the offer, the timing of the offer, and given them a direct link to your website (hopefully, you will have deep-linked the offer directly!).

To me, building your opt-in list is the most important part of online marketing. You can do this and almost forget all the other stuff, and still get results that will impress the boss. So, put everything aside, and make sure that every single touchpoint of your organisation is focussed on collected names and emails address. I built a list up by 150% by some very simple activities within the organistion; within a year it was providing 10% of total revenues.

In contrast, we never could track the ROI of SEO efforts.Yet, still thats all everybody talks about. Am I missing something?


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