Many "in-house" marketing teams -- and a surprising number of marketing firms -- fall into the trap of working in "silos.” On one end of the office someone is working on pay-per-click advertising (PPC), at the other end someone else is managing email marketing campaigns, and somewhere in between is the employee tasked with search engine optimization (SEO). As with any aspect of running a business, when one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing -- money is being lost somewhere.
In worst case scenarios, each of these three employees may have little to no experience in the other two fields. It’s not always their fault; just keeping up with industry updates, best practices and everything else that goes into PPC marketing is a full-time job. Add in two other marketing channels and you’re asking one person to do the job of at least three marketers.
A cross-functional team is a group of people with different functional expertise working toward a common goal, and the sooner you can implement that vision for your team, the better your marketing campaigns will perform. Email and PPC are complementary but disparate marketing channels that take tremendous work to integrate. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Grow your email list with PPC
One of the biggest challenges in email marketing is maintaining a list of interested recipients. Purchasing a list of email leads is always an option, but these lists are especially costly when considering the quality of addresses that come with them. Instead, the best option is to include signup forms on your website. Sometimes that means requiring an email address for users who want access to free eBooks, whitepapers, coupons, etc.; and sometimes that means including a newsletter signup in your site’s footer. Whatever you choose, there’s one type of page on your site that always needs a signup form...
PPC campaigns primarily attract clicks from searchers who are actively looking for products or services you offer. Consequently, the page that searchers land on after clicking a PPC ad must include a way for you to stay in contact with these prospects, even if they don’t make a purchase straight away. And if someone who clicks on one of these ads does make a purchase, never forget to capture their email address during the purchasing process.
Test your newsletter’s calls to action with PPC
Years of marketing research tell us that the more compelling your subject line is, the higher the number of recipients who actually read your email. And the higher your open rate is, the more people who click on your offers actually buy something. Whatever you’re selling through your email newsletter campaign, it all starts with with your first call to action (CTA) -- the subject line.
We’ve discussed how to run A/B tests for your CTA before, but a quicker, cheaper way to achieve the same results is to use the same CTA in your PPC advertisements. Whether it’s through Google AdWords or one of its many competitors, data collection and analysis is the foundation of any PPC platform. Instead of testing copywriting on users who have the option to click Unsubscribe, create two PPC ad campaigns with your email content and see which gets more clicks.
For example, imagine you have two great ideas for an email CTA or subject line. Instead of creating an email campaign A/B test, why not create two different PPC ads using the copywriting you want to test? Use one idea in each PPC ad’s headline, body text, or landing pages, and let those campaigns run for a minimum of a couple days but no longer than a week. Does your CTA or subject line copy help one ad perform significantly better than the other? Is one ad generating fewer clicks but more sign-ups? It’s an easy test with visible results that don’t sacrifice a single one of your email subscribers.
By reviewing the search query data that AdWords provides, you can also see exactly what searchers were looking for when they clicked on one ad or the other, which helps you further refine your copywriting. In a very short period of time you’ll have far more data to sift through than if you were running an A/B newsletter test.
Use your email list to target PPC customers
In the same way you use PPC campaigns to refine your newsletter content, you can also use your email lists to improve the effectiveness of your PPC targeting. In AdWords, this feature is called Customer Match, and it lets you provide a list of emails to Google for PPC ad targeting. Depending on where you’ve sourced the addresses you provide AdWords with, your ads will be displayed to searchers who have never been to your website and haven’t even searched your target keywords.
Customer Match is especially fruitful if you have a email list segmented into specific groups based on interests or performance. For example, if you have a list of email addresses associated with a webinar you hosted, you can display PPC ads alongside YouTube videos and searches. It’s one of the best possible ways to create targeted ad campaigns that align with the goals of your email newsletters.
Decrease your unsubscribers with remarketing strategies
Few things are as hated as email spam. Sure, site visitors signed up for your newsletter at some point, but it doesn’t take long for their reasoning to fade from memory. Be careful about how often you send emails to your list, because more frequently than once a week is sure to do more harm than good. Additionally, spend time giving every email a clear and concise purpose. Something like a great offer, a product announcement or a special service. Another option is to relax your email campaigns and let a remarketing campaign shoulder some of the burden.
Remarketing campaigns allow you to purchase digital ad space on Google's Display Network for anyone who has visited your site (not just PPC traffic). So rather than spamming your customers with emails, task your remarketing ads with gently reminding prospects that your site has what they need.
PPC advertising and email campaigns are both extremely nuanced marketing channels. There’s so much to work with that it’s no wonder silos are so common in these fields. At Pronto, at least one person from every department has daily meetings with other teams to share ideas and prevent the development of silos. If your digital marketing team needs some help, or you don’t have one at all, give Pronto a call today.