On the Web, keywords are vital. They ensure that sites are listed by search engines, delivering the right kind of free traffic, and they help Web pages make money by serving relevant ads. For newsletters, keywords are no less important, but they’re vital in a different way: while site-based keywords are read by computers which focus on the terms not the context and deliver a measurable result based on an algorithm, newsletter-based keywords are read by humans and the effect is simpler than any math-based code can deliver. Either the keyword evokes interest in a subscriber and prompts him or her to read, or it doesn’t.
That human reaction makes newsletter keywords much easier to both choose and use. Creating a list of keywords that should prompt a response from subscribers is relatively simple. Your site statistics will tell you which terms were used by visitors who reached your newsletter sign-up page from a search engine. Include the most popular of those terms in your newsletters and readers who see them will feel that they’re getting a message that’s important to them.
If they were interested enough to search actively for information about a keyword in Google, they’ll be interested enough to look at an email about that keyword when it lands in their inbox.
It’s the difference between the reaction to a subject line that says “Proven strategies for winning more customers” and one that says “Newsletter content that wins you customers.” To someone who searched for “newsletter content” on Google, that second subject line will ring a bell. It’s a topic they’re know they’re interested in so they’ll be too curious to ignore the message. The keyword phrase alone will have helped the message sender over the first newsletter marketing hurdle: it will have won a view.
The Right Keywords in the Right Places
The subject line though is only one place newsletter marketers should be putting their keywords. They should also include them in the headlines, which can be even more prominent in the preview pane of email clients and will be the first thing the reader sees when he or she starts reading. That headline will reinforce the feeling that this is a newsletter that contains information that they want to know.
But the newsletter writer won’t have to put the keywords in the body of the release in the way that they need to when creating Web pages. They won’t have to create the kind of unreadable keyword-heavy SEO copy that search engines demand of Web marketers. The subject line and the headline will have been sufficient to bring a subscriber into the content.
That’s a big advantage for newsletter marketers. While Web copy has to be produced with one eye on the reaction of search engines and another eye on the reaction of leads, marketing emails can be written with both eyes firmly on the response of the reader.
Unless, of course, the marketer also plans to put their newsletter on their website for both further reading and extra traffic. But that just makes the keywords even more important.