4 minute read.

Old school internet marketing 1.0

Paul Anthony / September 10, 2009

Posted in: Archive

With the rise and rise in social media, its often easy to overlook the slightly old – school marketing methods to help your site grow. Not every site vertical fits perfectly into with the demographic of users within digital marketing channels such as Twitter or Facebook, and depending on the audience sometimes its back to basics when you are promoting a site, and growing traffic and audience. So what other things can you do?


Is still the way forward. Whether it involves distributing it to third parties for anchor text purposes, utilising it to build links, or just targetting long tail keywords, content is what makes the web go round. How you distribute it, and what (and how) information is contained therein, is what makes all the difference.

Viral Email

There is an unseen network on the web that can drive traffic. Email. Instead of launching content on the web, and hoping for incoming links or the content being shared between people — sometimes taking that content and making it easily to email is a win.

It’s a double pronged strategy that maximises your efforts – launch the content on the web, and then set it off on its merry way to your email list. Two traffic hits for one effort. You also have the benefit of not being exposed to duplicate content issues as email is outside of the grasp of Google.  At least until they get Google Wave out into the wild.

Remember as well as the social media crowd that exist online, (the Twitterer’s / Facebookers / Digg Users et al) – there’s also the less technically savvy office worker, who enjoys something to read that isn’t mundane paperwork. You should be targetting that guy too.

Show me the  office jester who enjoys making people laugh- and I’ll show you the person most likely to forward a viral email.

Newsletter Emails

Newsletter subscriptions can still work wonders for site traffic. This isn’t the same as offering blog subscription via email. In addition to this – actually running an old school newsletter with unique content to that contained on your site, adds and extra dimension to your marketing.  It takes patience and dedication to build a following, and attract new subscribers to it, but can drive bucketloads of traffic – not to mention qualified leads that are much more likely to convert than blog subscribers.

If you are running any kind of business online that needs traffic to survive, start collecting opt-in email addresses now at every available opportunity. Confused what program to use to actually send the newsletter? I’ve done my homework on that one, so you don’t have to.

What works?

Generally any email FW FW FW’d that I’ve seen working for people in the past has consisted of different types of link hooks.  In the original post that coined the term linkbait, Nick over on StuntDubl mentions 5 of these link hooks.

  • News hook
  • Contrary Hook
  • Attack Hook
  • Resource Hook
  • Humour Hook

As the web becomes more and more visceral, and people spend less time consuming content, I’ve noticed a couple of other hooks that can add value to your viral campaigns – particularly in relation to email marketing.

  • Eye-pop hook

Really hot photography. HD if possible collected from Flickr or indeed from a photographer’s own portfolio can really add impact to a piece if it focuses on a particular subject area. Adding your link to the bottom of emails like this, is a sure fire way to generate additional traffic.

  • The self-reinforcing hook

Like it or not, people enjoy putting themselves in a box. Take a look at the last Cosmo quiz your girlfriend did. She loves the fact that she’s “strong yet sensitive.” – People enjoy hearing that they fit somewhere. I’ve already spoken of the importance of psychology in understanding why people link. Tapping into that thinking during your creative process can reap rewards.

  • The unique hook

Read it before somewhere? Reguritating old material? Go the extra mile and dig out something new. Really great content needs to be researched, and yes sometimes that means trawling local libraries and offline material to bring something fresh to the web.


Email is still a valid and often overlooked way to bring additional visitors to your site, without little to no outlay on your part. Coupled with a decent content strategy and bulk email software, embracing it can help to bring additional traffic, and indeed quality to your site.

  • content
  • email
  • email marketing
  • viral
  • viral content