Growing e-mail lists, optimizing blog entries for search and click-to-call

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Growing e-mail lists, optimizing blog entries for search and more

E-MAIL
How can I grow my customer e-mail lists when my current lists are mostly postal?

“Start with a clean central data source,” answers Kevin Harlow, SVP of sales and marketing at ICS Marketing Support Services. “Then, you can grow your e-mail lists organically from your postal lists.”

He suggests developing a landing page where customers can opt in to e-mail communications and e-mail registrants can receive exclusive offers. “The right incentive is critical in motivating customers to opt into e-mail communications,” Harlow says.

He adds that you should automatically feed any e-mail bounceback records into your postal stream with a variable print message — let your customer know that you tried to e-mail unsuccessfully and motivate him or her to register a current e-mail address. For postal-based customers, he suggests using a variable print piece marked with a unique customer ID, which customers can use to opt in to online com­munications and help you track their preferences.

SEARCH
How do you revive an old blog article for SEO?

“One of the benefits of blogging is that it really helps with search engine optimization,” says Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot. “You can get traffic for different keywords related to each article.”

However, his company recently found that an old blog entry wasn't generating as much traffic because its rank dropped in Google results. “Luckily, there are a couple of tips to revive old blog articles like this one,” he says. Research the keywords that were driving traffic before, he suggests, and then tweak the page title, headings and article text to incorporate the keywords for which you had been ranking before. Halligan says that you can probably naturally include the keywords three to five times.

“Next, write a new article that links to the old article with link text including your keywords — this gives you an additional link that references the relevant keywords,” Halligan concludes.

DIGITAL
What is a click-to-call button, and how do I add one to my Web site?

“Click-to-call gets prospects off the Web and onto the phone, where a sales conversation can take place,” says Irv Shapiro, CEO of telephony application provider (TAP) Ifbyphone.

“When the prospect clicks a click-to-call button and enters his or her phone number, a TAP's platform places two phone calls — one to the site's business and the second to the prospect, connecting the two,” he explains. “Adding a click-to-call button to a site is as easy as cutting and pasting in a few lines of Javascript, supplied by the TAP.”

Shapiro continues, “Click-to-call implementations can route the company side of the call differently, depending on the time of day. The system may also try several numbers to find the person taking the call or go to voicemail.”

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