Email Marketing, Growth Hacking, List Growth, Marketing Automation

The Email Marketer’s Guide to Traffic & List Growth

Disclaimer:  This article is not maths intensive.

As the resident Digital Strategist here at Vision6, I love numbers so much that I eat them for breakfast. I’m not exactly popular with the creative community but I’m here to make maths cool and teach you how to achieve results using this simple equation:

AdWords + Landing Page + Email Signup = Traffic & List Growth.

When it comes to getting the most out of our digital marketing, we should always ask ourselves, ‘What is the Objective?’  We often focus on just one aspect of the above equation but when we do this, we almost never achieve our desired results.  

Key to List Growth: Understanding the Customer Journey 

So let’s begin by understanding the customer journey, providing insight into why we need to review all aspects of the equation (it’s just addition – no algebra, trigonometry, astrophysics, or rocket science).

Firstly, it is important to find the best channels to drive traffic to our site. There are several main options, but this equation is just looking at AdWords as a channel. AdWords and other similar pay-per-click channels are designed to grab the attention of potential customers who are actively searching for a service or product from a particular industry.

AdWords helps us drive relevant traffic to the website, it helps get our website found.  To achieve this, it is important to make sure we have a good grasp of how AdWords works.  There are several main components to advertising with pay-per-click channels;


Google AdWords Key Terms

        Keywords – this is what potential customers are highly likely to type into a search engine like Google. 

        Bids – pay-per-click channels use an auction based system, where we bid on each keyword to help get our ads placed in a prominent position.  However, it is important to point out here that a high bid does not necessarily guarantee the top position, other factors come into play, here are a few to look at;

        Click-Through-Rate (CTR) – The CTR is the percentage of the number of clicks on our ads to the number of times our ads have been shown.  Search engines like Google look at this to help determine the relevancy of the ad.

        Average Position (Avg Pos) – this lets us know where our ad is more likely to appear.  Position 1 will always appear at the top of the page on all devices (desktop, mobile or tablet).  Positions 2 and 3 are usually shown just below Position 1 and above the organic listings on a desktop.  However, if most of traffic is coming from mobile devices, Position 1 is the only ad usually seen.  This makes Avg Pos an important factor to consider.

        Bounce Rate – Bounce Rate is more applicable to our second part of the equation, the landing page.  If our landing page isn’t good, our bounce rate will be high.  Bounce rate is associated with people coming to our site, but not engaging with it or staying around long to check it out.

        Quality Score – This is vital to Google and other search engines, in fact Google has just updated the importance of Quality Score by adding sub-categories to it, including CTR, Relevance and Experience, including historical evidence.  The Quality Score is how our Ads and Website are ranked by search engines.  It is usually a represented as a fraction (another maths term, sorry) out of ten.  The higher the score the better our ads and landing pages are.  It is important to note that ranking influences our position and our bids.  A good big and a good Quality Score can result in paying less per bid – this will be explained in a future article.

Does AdWords Always Work?

AdWords help drive traffic to the site, but if the site is outdated, not appealing to look at, performs poorly or takes too long to load, our traffic isn’t going to hang around. Therefore Landing Pages are an important factor in the equation. When traffic arrives at our site, we need to grab their attention and engage them. Otherwise, we are just wasting money in driving traffic to the site.

For example, there was a small business that employed someone to work on their digital marketing.

The AdWords improvement was remarkable, with the CTR going from 0.82% to 16.94% in 6 months. However, the marketer kept pushing for fresh content to be added to the site and some visual changes to improve the landing pages. The business owner wasn’t keen and the bounce rate started to rise because the site was no longer appealing. It did not engage visitors and was looking outdated. In turn, bids started going up. The marketer was able to prove this with AdWords and Analytics data to the owner. They have started making improvements to the site and things are now heading in the right direction again.

Google AdWords Analytics


How Does AdWords Help With List Growth?

Finally, there is the ability to capture email addresses. Many will ask ‘Why is this important?’ Firstly, email marketing has the highest Return On Investment, so it makes sense to start building lists.  Yes, lists, plural. There will be a list for people that have visited the site but not yet purchased and a list of those that have visited and have purchased. When we email these lists, we might look at sweetening the deal for those that haven’t purchased. We may also offer a deal for those who have purchased to benefit by recommending us. Email Marketing is the best tool for nurturing leads and customers.

Online-Sign-Up-Form Google Adwords Email Capture

Outside of a deal to purchase immediately, offering an incentive for people to provide us with their email is a great Call to Action. When we deliver on that incentive, we are building positive rapport and connection with them, which increases the likelihood of them doing business with us, again and again and again.

To cut a long story short, we need to;

        Drive traffic to the website through channels like AdWords.  It helps those searching for our website to find us more quickly and easily.

        Engage and capture audience attention once they arrive at our website.  We want to ensure that our website is attractive, fast to load and easy to navigate.  We also want to ensure that our AdWords directs the target audience to the most relevant information, our landing page.

        Give a Call To Action, motivating the audience to engage with us.  We must offer something of value to our target audience so that they are willing to provide their personal information like an email address.  Remember, our objective here is to be able to connect with them regularly, both to engage and to sell to.


Remember, AdWords (traffic) + Landing Pages (engagement) + Email Signup (open lines of communication) = Growth.


The good news is that there is no exam, however, failing to properly address each of these areas will result in poor performance.


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