Media attention, search engine rankings, improved brand awareness, and sales… these are some of the benefits of online press release distribution. By publishing news announcements about your company and products, you receive continuous exposure to your target audience. Moreover, because your PRs include links to your website, your site will rank higher in the search engines for your most important keywords. But there is a way to extract even more value from your press releases: use them to build your email list.
Email marketing has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in sales for businesses of all sizes. It will continue to be a powerful tool for the foreseeable future. Below, we'll explain the reasons you need to build an email list, and offer several ideas for using your press releases as the main vehicle for doing so.
4 Reasons To Use PRs To Build A Targeted Email List
Numerous surveys conducted by the DMA, Pitney Bowes, eCircle, Forresters's, and others have highlighted the intent of business owners to maintain, or increase, their use of email marketing. Their reasons for doing so vary, but we'll present the four most salient points:
- You control your email list. When you distribute a press release, you have little control over where it is published, and how it will rank in Google and the other search engines. There's a lot you can do to influence both factors, but your control over them will still be limited. By contrast, you control your email list. If Google and Facebook were to disappear tomorrow, you would still be able to communicate with your subscribers.
2. You can email promotions. Press releases are designed to deliver news about your company and products. They are unsuitable for heavy-handed promotion. On the other hand, you can directly market your products and services to your email subscribers.
3. Email is timely. If you need to reach your audience with time-sensitive information, online press releases are not a surefire solution. After you publish your PRs, they need to rise in the search engines before your customers and prospects can find them. With email, you can reach your audience within minutes.
4. You can strengthen your relationship with your customers. Press releases are an ideal tool for distributing company-related information, improving your site's search ranking authority, and keeping your name in front of your audience. But they lack the personal finesse of email. Sending a personalized email to your subscribers has a different effect than publishing a business-focused PR. Both are valuable, but serve different purposes.
Using Press Releases To Drive Traffic To Opt-In Pages
Consider how you currently leverage online press releases. You're likely publishing them with two or three links pointing to specific pages on your website. These pages may be dedicated to particular products, special events, or programs sponsored by your company (e.g. a scholarship for students). Use at least one of these links to send people to a special page on your site where they can subscribe to your email list.
For example, suppose you are distributing a news announcement about a holiday sale your company is organizing. Depending on your PR distribution service, you should be able to add up to three links. Point the first link to your site's home page (using your primary keyword as the anchor text) to improve its ranking in Google. Use the second link to send people to a page devoted to the holiday sale. Point the third link to an opt-in page where people can subscribe to receive news about upcoming sales.
Notice what this accomplishes. Your press release, through syndication on hundreds of websites, is still providing your company with search engine exposure. It's also improving your site's ranking authority. At the same time, you're able to subtly promote your holiday sale while building an email list you can tap into again and again down the road. This is a good strategy for pulling as much value as possible from each press release you publish.
How To Encourage Your PR Readers To Subscribe
Merely sending people to an opt-in page is rarely enough to persuade them to subscribe to your email list. You need to offer them something they consider valuable. There are countless ways to do this, depending on your niche and relationship with your market.
For example, you can offer to share survey results, subscriber-only coupons, and tutorials that show your audience how to do something. You can also deliver white papers and research that are unavailable to your site's visitors. This strategy is applicable to nearly any niche.
Press release distribution delivers several advantages that are difficult to duplicate with other marketing tools. That said, you can squeeze even more value from your news announcements by using them to build a targeted, responsive email list.
Hi Kim, I think that building a relationship with your customers is something that many people overlook, and I like how you told us to do that because I think that customers don’t want to look at as just customers, but also as people and a friend of the company. Thanks for your ideas.
I agree with you, Jason.
Very interesting article, thank you. To anyone interested in PRs distribution feel free to contact me, I can provide you with lists or networks for your distributions, thanks!