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Email and PR – Better Together

This is a guest post by John Hayes, the UK Marketing Director at iContact.

You might be surprised to hear me say, particularly when you know that I work for an email marketing company, that email as a marketing tool has limitations.

Yes, email marketing remains the most cost-effective marketing method (both online and off) for engaging your subscribers and customers and has the potential to deliver the highest ROI of any marketing medium. Email, as a successful retention marketing tool, is still pretty darn hot.

But here’s the problem. Email’s success is based on the permission your subscriber or customer has given to contact them. Without permission, email marketing is essentially spam (and at iContact, we hate spam). This means that email cannot be effectively used to target people you don’t have a relationship with*. Email marketing as an acquisition channel can be highly ineffective, or as us Brits say a damp squib.

*We know lots of people try, but ultimately they fail – trust us on that one.

Damp Squib - PR and Email Marketing

Acquisition marketing (which includes paid search, traditional print and broadcast advertising and events marketing) is nearly always expensive. This is why top marketers combine successful retention marketing strategies (email marketing) with proven acquisition marketing strategies.

While most acquisition marketing strategies have a short shelf-life, I believe in one technique that keeps on giving, and that is content marketing.

When you publish a piece of content to the Web, it has the potential to be discovered and acted on, many days, weeks, months or even years into the future. Compare this to the speed at which communicators burn through paid search budgets or pay outs on print advertising.

One efficient method of distributing content is via an online press release. As well as helping you position great content across the major search engines, social networks, blogs and other online media, an online press release has the potential to be picked up by the mainstream press and catapult your visibility to great heights.

3 Ways to Drive Email Marketing Subscription via Online Press Releases

3 Email and PR

  1. Write Timely, Engaging and Relevant Content: Who said online press releases had to be boring? Give your audience something they want to read. If you are unsure of what to share, ask a trusted client. Remember, the best content solves problems for your readership – so always be useful.
  2. Be Human: Show a little humanity in your content. People buy from people they like and trust, so always include an image of someone from your organization who they can connect with.
  3. Include a Compelling Call-to-Action: This should link to a landing page, which encourages your press release readers to share their contact details. The promise of great content or a special promotion should ensure a good conversion rate from readers to subscribers. Focus on benefits, and remember the offer of a monthly newsletter is not a benefit.

When you combine the power of email marketing and online press releases, you will have covered both acquisition and retention marketing strategies, while keeping a check on budget and ensuring a healthy future for your organization.

Want to see how integrating email can help your PR strategy? Get a $25 credit for signing up for iContact now!

Image: spablab (Creative Commons)

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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