This issue is
chocolate, the heart's
Traffic Rx: Content plus email packs a powerful one-two punch
January was big for Ed Katz. He participated in President Bushs Town Hall Meeting and his web site hits surpassed 119,000.
Eds passion for teaching and problem solving is equalled only by enthusiastic promotion of his activities at www.officemoves.com. And its working with more than 4,600 visitors racking up over 119,000 hits last month.
His success is no accident. Web traffic at officemoves.com has built steadily since Ed adopted our strategy for developing content then enticing visitors with targeted emails. We like to say if we build it, they will come. And for officemoves.com in 2005, they did; more than 36,500 visitors tallied over 820,000 hits. That means they not only came but took the time to look around some while they were there.
Januarys totals indicate officemoves.com could rocket through the million hit mark this year, said Kay Borden, head of Franklin-Sarrett Publishers, which designed and maintains officemoves.com and its content-email program.
Whats the significance?
Web site statistics are a clear indicator of how well your investment is performing, how well your site is positioned for Google searches, and the preceived value visitors find in its content.
Your web site needs to be treated differently from your ad in the yellow pages or your business card.
A web site should not only pay for itself but become a profit center, said Borden. A specific goal to develop a profitable web site isnt accomplished haphazardly. Theres a specific process that works; theres value in the content to both the site owner and the visitor, and the difference between the emails we compose and unwanted spam is the difference between Hormels meat product by the same name and steak.
So, whats the process? Its an ongoing cycle of regular activities. An example of one complete cycle is a real-world happening that develops into a written story (with pictures or illustrations is better) that you introduce to your market with a timely email.
Seven Steps to Success
Here are seven steps we take to help clients generate web site traffic:
1 Focus on your ultimate business goal - what are you selling? A product or line of products? A service? Several services?
2 Start with one. Pick one product or one service.
3 What is something new about this single product or service or its most important difference in the marketplace? Focus on only one new thing or one important difference.
One service Ed Katz offers is a seminar for moving companies and furniture dealers on how to be a profitable, world-class office mover. Hes invented highly specialized processes and products to accomplish office moves efficiently and profitably. One of his best students is JK Moving & Storage in Sterling, VA, a phenomenal success story of what a 17-year-old kid with focus and a pickup truck can accomplish. Part of their success has been the tutelage of Ed Katz for the past seven years. So much so that when President Bush chose to honor their accomplishments by holding a town hall meeting at their facility, Ed received a special invitation.
4 Use a customer experience to illustrate the benefits of the single product or service you select. Real examples help prospects get an idea of what its like to be your customer.
With our help, Ed quickly turned his special invitation into a 428-word story about the presidents recognition of JKs extraordinary success, complete with photos.
5 Decide who needs the information. Most enterprises can break clients and prospects into categories. Divide their addresses accordingly into separate email lists. We develop web site content aimed at a specific category, therefore, emails target the group most likely to be interested in the information. The difference between a welcomed email and an annoying one is knowing in advance that the source will deliver on their promise. Email recipients should immediately recognize it's from you.
Ed cultivates email lists of moving companies, building owners and property managers, project management companies, construction companies, and companies that are moving. Since other movers will be interested in news about prominent players within the industry, Ed decides to email a notice of the new content on his site to his moving companies list.
6 Develop a very short, enticing email. This step requires more thought than would appear on the surface.
7 Decide when to send your email. Avoid holidays and weekends unless thats when your target market is most active. Sending in the morning during the middle of the week is better than on Mondays and Fridays in the afternoon. Timely news should be sent immediately.
From: Pick one name and stick with it.
Subject: Most vital. Must be concise and irresistible, no passive verbs, no exclamation points, no misspellings or dropped words. Our approach is to write a good one, read it a dozen times, revise it as necessary, let it rest an hour or two, then reread it a dozen times more.
Body of the Email: We make them ultra short. The subject line sets the hook so the body can pull in the reader. As with the subject, we follow the same rules when composing the body of the email, write a good one avoiding passive verbs. Remember, youre composing a promise to deliver something new and useful. Read it a dozen times, revise it, eliminate exclamation points, triple check spelling, leave it alone for a while then reread it again and again. Include the direct link where the new content can be found. A consistent track record of delivering on your promise of new and useful information means your list eventually needs no more prompting than the link to your site.
Signature: Your name, company, address, and other contacting info.
Opt-out: Include instructions at the bottom for recipients to remove their address from your email list.
This email from Ed to his list of moving companies produced 515 visits in a single day:
|Subject: President honors JK's moving success
Signature: Ed Katz, International Office Moving Institute (IOMI)
Note: This is not a spam e-mail. If you wish to unsubscribe from our list of movers, please hit "Reply" and type in your full name followed by the word "Remove" and you won't receive another newsletter from us.
Office Moving Systems, Inc.
12 Derby Way, NE
Cartersville, GA 30121
Mixing up the order of the steps or leaving some out hurts results. Other unsuccessful variations include posting news on your site without sending an email, or including your news in the body of the email. Neither of these activities will draw visitors to your web site.
Emails from misguided marketeers who entice visitors without first developing new and useful information have rightfully earned the reputation of spam. Conversely, with consistent execution, a program of developing web site content then sending out an email to the market who will benefit the most will establish credibility, separate you from the competitive pack, and transform your web site from an expense into a source of revenue.