Email Marketing

The article by Sharon Hurley is titled “Is Email Marketing Dead? Here’s what the statistics show”. It raises an important question about email marketing: is it dead? It quickly clarifies that email marketing is far from dead and that it is, in fact, one of the most important tools for a marketer. Some of the statistics explained by the article are key to understanding the significance of email marketing. People exchange 281 billion emails per day, more than 85% of adults send or read email and 78% of teenagers use email and consider it a fact of everyday life (Hurley, 2018). The article quotes “key takeaway is that no matter what age group you are targeting or where they are located, email remains a great way to reach your audience” (Hurley, 2018, para. 9). Our book also points out a very important aspect of emails: “the majority of leads are not passed onto the sales team but rather kept within the marketing team to be nurtured via regular emails from the company” (Larson & Draper, 2018). This clearly explains the importance of the “nurturing emails”.

Email marketing is also believed to be more effective than social media for customer acquisition. Although social media is very important, when it comes to converting people into members, email marketing is the best route to take (Inbound Rocket, 2018). Besides this, email marketing is very economic and cost effective, personal and customizable, action oriented, measurable and constantly checked, especially through mobile (Inbound Rocket, 2018).

It is clear that email marketing is greatly important for any kind of business. There are many different incentives through which marketers get individuals to sign up for their email lists. These include: free e-book or whitepaper, online webinar, online contest or giveaway, collect email addresses at trade shows or other events or including social sharing buttons and “email to a friend” button on emails (Larson & Draper, 2018). It is also recommended to give the customer the option to sign up for the email list, instead of secretly tricking customers into doing it. This is because once they find out that they are getting emails from a company they don’t recall signing up for, they will be most likely to unsubscribe and get annoyed of the company.

References

Hurley, S. (2018, August 31). Is Email Marketing Dead? Here’s What the Statistics Show [Updated 2018]. Retrieved December 3, 2018, from https://optinmonster.com/is-email-marketing-dead-heres-what-the-statistics-show/

Larson, J., & Draper, S. (2018). Digital Marketing Essentials. Idaho Falls, ID: Edify.

6 Reasons Why Email Marketing Is Important For Your Internet Marketing by Inbound Rocket. (2018, September 10). Retrieved December 3, 2018, from https://inboundrocket.co/blog/6-reasons-why-email-marketing-is-important-for-internet-marketing/

 

Voice Search SEO

The article selected is called “Voice Search SEO: How to Optimize Your Website (Step-by-Step Guide) by Aljaz Fajmut and it dates November 12, 2018. This article deals with voice search SEO and explains the different techniques that should be implemented in a website in order to capture the voice searches. The suggested actions include: adding conversational text, targeting question phrases, aiming for featured snippets, working on titles and descriptions and focusing on local SEO.

All this information was very useful. The most interesting part, however, was to learn about how prominent voice searches will be in the near future. According to a different article by Sherry Bonelli (2018), there are bold statistics about voice search:

40% of adults now use voice search once per day (Source: comScore)

Cortana now has 133 million monthly users (Source: Microsoft/TechRadar)

25% of 16-24’s use voice search on mobile (Source: Gloval Web Index)

25% of searches on Windows 10 taskbar are voice. On desktop (Source: Purna Virji)

There’s nothing that’s going to disrupt marketing to the level that voice will since social media came in 2009 (Source: Gary Vaynerchuk, Crushing it)

The different ways through which consumers can do voice searches are growing. For example, Alexa, Google Voice Assistant or Siri are slowly taking over our everyday lives (Bonelli). Because of this, SEO should also focus on voice searches and make sure it is an included aspect in websites.

Going back to the original article that talks about ways to optimize the website so that is voice search friendly, he includes very valid points that should be taken into account when it comes to SEO. One of the most interesting ones has to do with the way people phrase their searches. For example, someone using google on a computer to do a search about coffee shops might type: coffee shops. Someone that does a voice search will most likely say something along the lines: what are the best coffee shops in the area? This is also why optimizing local SEO will have a positive impact on voice search results (Fajmut). Just like regular SEO, choosing the right phrases will have a positive (or negative) impact on the traffic to the website.

SEO for newbies

For this expert session analysis I decided to choose the video titled “Introduction to SEO with Benjamin Beck”. His presentation starts out by explaining the difference between PPC (pay per click) and SEO (search engine optimization). The first one is a paid method that companies use in order to be at the top of the search engine searches. SEO, on the other hand, is the organic method through which a website ranks in the top search engine searches by using different strategies. Beck’s main focus in the presentation is SEO. He divides it in three major topics: getting organic traffic through choosing the right words, onsite optimization and offsite “link-building”.

He starts out the conversation by saying that it is very hard to pinpoint a specific strategy to get to the top of Google’s (or any other search engine) search results. The main reason for this is the dynamic changes that are constantly happening in Google’s algorithm. There are, however, ways to funnel down more traffic to the site, which are linked to the  main three topics exposed in his presentation.

The first part is getting organic traffic. For this, Beck suggests that we analyze the process a consumer goes through in order to finally purchase a product or service. The order is as follows:

  1. Discover
  2. Research
  3. Compare
  4. Purchase
  5. Post purchase

In order to illustrate, we will hypothetically assume that our company sells very good quality pregnancy shirts for women. In the “discover” phase, the customer might just type “shirts” in the search engine. After this, they might narrow it down to “pregnancy shirts”. If they continue to be interested and decide to compare, another set of words they might type could be “good quality pregnancy shirts”. This group of words belongs to the “compare” stage, which is very close to the purchase. Beck highly encourages the website developer to include these sets of words that are between the comparing and purchasing stages. This will result into a more likely purchase than just a broad like “shirts”. Women that type “good quality pregnancy shirts” are more likely to end up being a customer than those who only type “shirts”.

The second aspect he talks about is onsite optimization. For this, he explains the importance of helping Google understand what the site is about. This can be done by being clear, focusing on 1 to 3 words per a page, using these keywords throughout the page and using variations of those keywords.

Lastly, for offsite link building he suggests creating good quality content, in his words “something that is link worthy”; next, share it with influencers and hope that they will share your link with the world wide web.