Email marketing may have had its reputation tarnished by the huge volume of spam email that has become an unwelcome part of our lives and our Inboxes, however it is still a very cost effective way to keep a close relationship with your company’s various audiences (customers, prospects, suppliers, partners, staff, investors).

This article explains why it’s important for you to keep your site up to date with all news from your company, and how easy it can be to dispatch the news items to site visitors with a single click.Keeping your website up to date with every piece of company news is vitally important, particularly for search engines. If you sell widgets and are based in London, your site should naturally appear in search results when a potential customer googles for “widgets London”. However if a potential customer is looking for a widget supplier in Glasgow, and searches for “widgets glasgow” your site may not be included in the results. If on the other hand, you had published a news item on your site announcing your recent order from Glasgow, or your attendance at an exhibition there, the search engines would include you in the results, as both terms appear on your site. So by publishing ALL but the most mundane news, you increase the likelihood that the potential customer will find you.

Sandford’s CMS allows all news items to be dispatched to subscribers with a few clicks:

With Sandford’s Content Management System (CMS), each news item can be automatically dispatched to registered site visitors, newsletter subscribers, and any ancillary contact lists you have available, at the click of a button. The dispatched news items can be tracked allowing you to build up intelligence on the success of each dispatch in terms of opened ratio, links clicked and much more, helping you to refine your news to suit the interests of your audience, and target them individually. The same mechanism can be used to run regular newsletters, send product bulletins and many other potential applications.

By segregating the news into categories, you avoid overloading or boring your visitors, and you make your site easier to navigate and manage. The categories can be thought of as “channels” which your audience can selectively tune in to. For example:

  • press releases
  • in the press
  • newsletters
  • product announcements
IE7’s new RSS button lights up when the current site has active RSS feeds:

In Sandford’s CMS, this categorisation enables you to develop a suitably different visual style for each news channel, and control which lists receive any dispatches. Also RSS news feeds can be defined for each category which is increasingly important for search engine optimization (SEO) and because the soon-to-be-released Internet Explorer 7 will have a built-in RSS newsreader. (IE’s huge market share means that in the next few months subscribing to RSS news feeds will become suddenly become a mainstream activity.) Making RSS feeds visible from your site – alerting site visitors to your news feed and allowing them to subscribe to the feed – will be essential if you want to keep up with your competitors, and show your audience that you’re catering for them.

In this way you can keep your site working for you – turning site visitors into prospects, keeping customers informed and feeling welcome, and keeping the search engines interested.