GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips http://blog.getresponse.com/ Fri, 19 Dec 2014 16:07:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Email Success Profile: Ram Shengale of Gyantastic http://blog.getresponse.com/email-success-profile-ram-shengale-gyantastic.html http://blog.getresponse.com/email-success-profile-ram-shengale-gyantastic.html#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 16:07:23 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18479 Still learning your craft? Maybe you’re a bit nervous about representing yourself as an experienced pro. After all, you’re still spending every spare moment trying to stay up to speed. Well, here’s a little secret: we’re all trying to keep … Read more

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Still learning your craft? Maybe you’re a bit nervous about representing yourself as an experienced pro. After all, you’re still spending every spare moment trying to stay up to speed. Well, here’s a little secret: we’re all trying to keep up. Why? Because the online world changes so rapidly. So focus on what you do know and be open about the things you’re still learning. Entrepreneur Ram Shengale (a GetResponse customer) is gaining success with this strategy. Let’s check out his business model.

Ram Shengale acquired his knowledge the hard way. He figured out what he needed to know in order to start and operate his business. Then he leaped into complex subjects like hosting, WordPress, blogging, SEO, and marketing. He soaked up the concepts, mastered the skills, and applied them in his business.

Along the way, he found that others came to him with questions about operating their business. Often they asked for advice on technology and software.

Ram discovered that he loved helping others as much as he loved working with technology. So he added consulting services to his business model. You can learn important lessons from his experience:

Don’t take your knowledge for granted.

Once you learn a step, it’s easy. You forget how intimidating it seemed before you learned and developed skill. As you expand your skills, you find that every step is easy — but there are zillions of steps.

So give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve assembled an enviable arsenal of knowledge and skills. You’re on top of your game.

Recognize the hidden value in your knowledge.

The knowledge you’ve acquired is valuable because of how you apply it in your business. That means others may find it useful and valuable too.

And there is value in the fact that you’ve vetted the knowledge, discarded the irrelevant, and absorbed what’s relevant. That can save others time and effort and lower their frustration.

Help others play the game.

If you wish, you can share your expertise. In fact, people like Ram turn sharing knowledge into a principal business activity as coaches and consultants.

Sharing online can increase your credibility as an expert in your field, making you a more valuable person to hire. And it can make the hiring decision easier and faster.

Eliminate your competition.

Ram uses a strategy that is growing in popularity: sharing knowledge to attract an audience. As your audience grows, you’ll discover that it includes prospective customers, potential alliances, and industry influencers. A network of valuable contacts can help you make a name for yourself.

So instead of being concerned about competition, you position yourself as a leader in your industry. Competitors turn into valued partners, each bringing their expertise to the table.

img

 

Establish two-sided access.

Communication is one of the keys to influencing others. Social media channels make it easy to communicate with a wide network of people across the globe.

And as you communicate with everyone from newbies to established experts, your followers can watch and learn. This “over the shoulder” effect enhances your reputation for being helpful.

Select the right tools.

Ram Shengale chose to make email marketing an important part of his marketing approach. It enables him to email his entire list at once, isolate segments of the list to receive special communications, and even respond to emails from individual subscribers.

After investigating other email service providers, he chose GetResponse because it included everything he was looking for: sign-up forms, autoresponders, landing pages, and social media integration.

Gyantastic’s results are in.

In a short time, Ram’s open rate improved 26-fold, meaning a 2600% gain in this critical engagement metric. And his click-thru ratio improved 8-fold, or 800%, which translates to eight times more subscribers clicking to get in-depth information.

Ram likes the fact that the statistics panel gives him insights about how his messages are shared in social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. By following his subscribers, he gains immediate access to new pockets of opportunity.

Building expertise.

Ram’s GetResponse experience transformed his marketing. And it became a new way he can help his clients. So if you’re looking for advice on complex platforms like WordPress, Ram’s Gyantastic website is a great place to start. He provides tons of great information on search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, affiliate marketing, and outsourcing.

We congratulate Ram on his success and wish him all the best in the future — a future we’ll be proud to be a part of.

How about you?

Do you have a fascinating success story about your experiences as a GetResponse customer? Just send your write-up in an email to testimonials@getresponse.com. Who knows? We may decide to share your story with the world!

Email Success Profile: Ram Shengale of Gyantastic is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Should You Still Send Plain-Text Versions of Your Emails? http://blog.getresponse.com/still-send-plain-text-versions-emails.html http://blog.getresponse.com/still-send-plain-text-versions-emails.html#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:07:54 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18454 Email formatting might not sound like a fascinating topic at first, but it can make a huge difference in your results. Unfortunately, whether you should use plain text or HTML is not a straightforward yes or no answer. It has … Read more

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Email formatting might not sound like a fascinating topic at first, but it can make a huge difference in your results. Unfortunately, whether you should use plain text or HTML is not a straightforward yes or no answer. It has to be decided on a case by case basis. Both formats have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s when you know how to leverage their strengths that you’ll start to see results.

If you’ve been sending emails without much thought about whether a plain text or HTML email is right for each message, this post will show you when and how to use each format. Don’t tune this out as a boring topic – making the right decision between plain text and HTML can result in 300% more sales. Email formatting might be a bit dry, but 300% more sales is riveting.

 

The difference between plain text and HTML emails

Before we go a step further, let’s bring everyone up to speed. This is a plain text email:

plaintextemail

 

This is an HTML email:

htmlemail

The most noticeable difference is the HTML email has images. It also has text formatting and the ability to show information in columns. The text email is just text. It has no HTML code.

 

“Do I still have to send text emails?”

You don’t absolutely have to send both a text and an HTML version of your emails. That was a common practice up to even five years ago, but now almost every email client can read HTML emails. However, while the majority of email clients can read HTML emails, there are still some holdouts. So while you don’t have to send a text email, we do recommend it.

If you’re only sending text emails because you’re concerned people can’t read HTML emails, there’s a more elegant solution available.  It’s possible to embed a text version of your email into the HTML version. These are called “multi-part emails” or a “multi-part MIME”. They basically have a simple text email bundled up inside of an HTML email. If the HTML can’t be read, the text is shown instead.

Your GetResponse account has this feature. It’s a snap to set up. The next time you’re creating an email, just click the “Plain Text” link in the bottom right corner of the email editor, as shown here:

GRplain

Clicking that link will make this pop-up window appear:

Grplain1

Next, click the “HTML to Plain” link in that pop-up.

GRplain2

All the text from your email will appear in the window, nicely formatted as a text email, like this:

GRplain3

Click the “Wrap long lines” link if you want the lines in your email to be shorter.

GRplain4

You can even insert personalization into your text email. Click save when you’re done. Now you’ve got a text email embedded in your HTML email.

 

“Do HTML emails affect deliverability?”

Not if they’re correctly formatted. But many marketers and bloggers have heard plain text emails beat html emails simply because of deliverability. The idea is that all that fancy code in HTML emails makes ISP filters suspicious, and so they are more likely to block emails with HTML. But actually, that’s only true if there’s something wrong with the HTML code in the email.

So as long as you use accepted HTML code and everything else about your email is correct deliverability-wise, there’s no need to worry about HTML emails suppressing your deliverability rates. If you’re a GetResponse customer, worry even less. Our drag and drop email creator creates correct HTML every time. Your emails are responsive, too, which means they’ll be just as attractive on a mobile phone as on a desktop.

 

Conversion rates for plain text versus HTML

There’s no conclusive evidence that HTML or plain text emails convert better. In one recent marketing survey customers said they prefer HTML emails, but that doesn’t mean they are more likely to buy from a text email versus an HTML email. A different survey, run during the same year, came to the opposite conclusion. That survey showed people preferred text emails, or at least emails with a minimalistic design.

Whether text or HTML emails convert better almost entirely depends on what you’re selling or promoting. For example, if you’re an online retailer, you want to use HTML emails in order to show photographs of what you’re selling. But if you’re an affiliate marketer offering a product that shows people how to write better emails, a text-based message might do just fine. In that case, you may not want images distracting from your copy.

There is one dramatic example of a plain text email crushing an HTML email. The test is from WhichTestWon (http://whichtestwon.com/). The two emails below were sent out for the test. The only difference between them is their format. Otherwise their subject lines, landing pages and copy are identical.

ABtest

The text email on the right “increased revenue by 303.8% and visits to the website by 194.51%.” Wow.

 

Tracking and analytics

HTML emails do have an advantage over text emails when it comes to analytics. Text emails can’t track open rates. Why? Because open rates are almost always tracked by embedding a single pixel image in the email, called a tracking pixel. An email open is counted only when that tracking pixel gets downloaded. Text emails don’t have that pixel, or any other images, so there’s nothing to download, and thus no way to track the open.

 

A dash of plain text

Some email marketers send mostly HTML emails, but every once in a while they will send a simple text email for a special message. These kinds of emails are almost always written like personal notes, and that’s what they’re supposed to remind you of. If the person sending those emails actually wrote you a personal note, they wouldn’t send it in an HTML template. They’d write you a text email just like all the rest of us do in our daily communications.

Try using this technique in your marketing. Is there any point in your marketing where a personal note could work? Perhaps one of your welcome emails should be a plain text note from you.

 

Many emails that look like text are actually HTML

This approach maximizes the strengths of both formats. You get the clean design and easy readability of a text email, but the controlled formatting of an HTML email. Here’s a nice example of an HTML email that looks like a text email. See the lines in bold? That’s the giveaway that this is actually an HTML email. True plain text emails can’t have bold or italics.

htmlplain

This type of hybrid text/HTML email is more common than you’d think. Now that you know how to identify them, you’ll start seeing them every day.

 

Transactional emails are almost always plain text

This may be because of the old rumor that plain text emails are more likely to get delivered. Or it may be that many order confirmation emails are generated on the fly by an order-processing program. Whatever the reason, most of the confirmation emails you’ll get are text-based. Not all, though. Some companies, especially online retailers, make their order confirmations emails quite lovely.

Tips for plain text formatting

If you are going to send a text email, use some best practices for formatting it.

  • Use all caps for headlines
  • Keep the email as short as possible
  • Use bullet points wherever possible
  • Use dashes to separate sections of the email
  • Use a link shortener, like Bit.ly

 

Text emails are faster to create

If you’re super-short on time, a text email, or a minimalist HTML email is the way to go. So if you’re struggling to get an email out every week, maybe simplifying your email down to the basics would work.

Here’s a plain text email from Neil Patel announcing one of his blog posts:

plainexample

 

Here’s a streamlined HTML email from Unbounce. All this email adds is a header, social media sharing icons, some text formatting and a pale blue background. Note how short the copy is. This email probably took about half an hour to create.

htmlexample

 

How to create a text-only email in your GetResponse account

1) In the “Messages” link in the upper navigation bar, click “Create Newsletter”.

GR

2) Choose the New Email Creator.

GR1

3) Give your message a name and subject.

GR2

4) Choose “Plain Text” from the Templates.

GR3

5) Create your text email.

GR4

6) Click save when you’re done, then choose which list you want to mail to and schedule your email as usual.

If you want to learn more about how to use plain text emails in your account, see our video, “Creating a message in dual format (HTML + plaintext)

 

Test for yourself

Now you know the basics of how to use plain text and HTML emails. It’s up to you to find out what works best for your business. That means doing some testing, and you may have to test more than once. I recommend you test at least three different emails to see whether your list prefers plain text or HTML. Who knows – maybe you’ll see a 300% increase in results too.

 

Should You Still Send Plain-Text Versions of Your Emails? is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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30 Things You Must Do on Pinterest to Beautify Your Business in 2015 http://blog.getresponse.com/30-things-must-pinterest-beautify-business-2015.html http://blog.getresponse.com/30-things-must-pinterest-beautify-business-2015.html#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:07:26 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18440 Pinterest might bore you. You might even snub your nose at it. With social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, who has time for Pinterest? Isn’t it just another visual platform where idle housewives go to kill some time looking … Read more

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Pinterest might bore you. You might even snub your nose at it. With social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, who has time for Pinterest? Isn’t it just another visual platform where idle housewives go to kill some time looking at ideas for their latest home renovation, newest food trend and a perfect dress for an upcoming party? Isn’t it a site that is full of beautiful pictures that are perfect fodder for inspiration but doesn’t lead to any business results? Yes – and no.

Did you know that Pinterest is reported to drive more referral traffic than Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn put together? That means not only people are on Pinterest, they are actually following the links to the websites that host these beautiful pictures. Not only are they looking for inspiration, they are discovering useful content and products through it.

If your brand is visual, you are leaving some serious dough on the table by not leveraging the power of this social media platform. If your brand is somewhat visual at best and boring at worst, you can still benefit by exploring it and giving it a fair go before you discard it for good.

You might be late to the party but it is certainly not too late, read this post to get an understanding of how Pinterest can work for your business. If you are already using it, congratulations, your job is to find areas of optimization so you can make your Pinterest strategy 10 times better. Let’s begin.

 

Start off on the right foot

#1 Feature your business name

When you create a Pinterest account, use your business name as your username. If you already have an account, it is worth changing to your business name even if your profile has been created. Don’t worry this can be done easily.

#2 Link to your website.

Add some information about your business as this will appear right under your photo and don’t forget to add your website link. This way new followers can find out more about you easily by simply following the link to your website.

#3 Be professional.

Needless to say but upload an engaging and professional photo just like you would on any other social media platform. Considering the visual nature of Pinterest, this becomes even more important. If you have a personal page, consider turning into a business page.

#4 Verify your profile.

When you verify your profile, you instill trust in your audience. They know that it is really you and not someone else impersonating you. When you verify your profile people will see a check mark next to your URL in your Pinterest profile which can also be seen in searches and is visible on mobile. This is a very small action to start building credibility and make an appearance as a professional so don’t skip it.

Another advantage of verifying your account is that by doing so you will gain access to your Pinterest account analytics dashboard where you can keep an eye on how your pins are doing.

#5 Know your Pinterest audience.

Do some research and find out what sort of pins your ideal audience wants to see and what are their tastes like. Be crystal clear on what they want to see and your Pinterest strategy will work seamlessly. You will create content that appeals to your target market, stays on brand, and works to differentiate you from your competitors.

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Master the basics of getting more followers

By optimizing your Pinterest profile and images, you take the first step in getting more followers. Here are some additional ways to start building your numbers.

#6 Choose interesting names for your boards.

When people share your pins, others see your board names as well so choose them wisely. Try to make them intriguing or benefit laden but keep them short. There isn’t much space so you cannot create long, descriptive titles.

#7 Tag other users.

Use @username to tag other people. This is a great feature to network with other pinners.

#8 Engage with other pinners.

Repin interesting stuff shared by others. Every time you repin something, the original pinner also gets credit and exposure to your followers. You help others by increasing their following, they do the same for you. You both win. Comment on other people’s pins to engage with other pinners. Be thoughtful and kind and follow rules of online etiquette for best results. Don’t forget to like pins to show your appreciation and acknowledge other person’s effort.

#9 Pin from different sources.

Keep things interesting by sharing content from a variety of sources. Keep people guessing what you are going to share next and they will be glued to your updates.

#10 Add a description to each pin.

Add a description to every pin you create but be strategic about it as this gets shared alongside the pin. Add a link to relevant page on your website along with your business name.

#11 Optimize your website content for Pinterest sharing.

Use interesting images on your website and within your blog content that evoke strong emotions and are highly appealing. Pinterest is a visual platform and people won’t share something if it’s really boring or downright ugly no matter how useful it might be.

Consider adding text or your business name to the image itself but don’t let it interfere with the quality of the image. Better yet, hire a designer and incorporate your logo and business information in a classy manner.

#12 Share your blog posts.

It is fine to share your own blog content. Put some effort into choosing interesting images for your blog in the first place. This will naturally interest pinners into sharing it further.

#13 Add a Follow me on Pinterest button on your website.

Be proud of the fact that you are a pinner and let people know by putting a big ‘follow me button on Pinterest’ button a prominent position for people to spot easily. Add Pin it buttons after every post to remind and encourage people to share your pretty visuals. Crosslink to other social media profiles to help get traffic from other sources.

#14 Pin consistently.

The easiest and most effective way to attract more followers is to pin content on a regular basis. I know this is not an answer most people find particularly sexy but it totally works. Instead of pinning a lot of stuff when inspiration strikes, try to do it consistently. This will help to space out pins and give more people a chance to see them.

#15 Follow other people.

Remember, it takes two to tango. Just like you, others are also looking to increase their followers so don’t be shy about following people back. Moreover, when you follow new people, they are most likely to follow you back.

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Get your pins noticed on Pinterest

Now that you know all the fundamentals of getting a decent sized following, it is time to take things up a notch. Here are some ways to create a masterpiece and make your pins a work of art.

#16 Be useful

Think of your Pinterest account as a cross between a scrapbooking and bookmarking site. Yes, it’s all about the images but it is also about being useful. People dream about going to fancy vacations and owning beautiful homes but they also want to learn. You can definitely share useful information here. You can collect useful information and curate it by pinning it to your own boards. Yes pretty images work, but they are not the only kind of pins that people will read and repin. You can pin breathtaking landscapes but also infographics, quotes and custom images.

#17 Think outside the box.

If your brand is not particularly visual or you are looking to stand out on Pinterest, do something different. Create text only quotes in high catching and bold graphics, pin short 10 second videos or do something you haven’t seen anyone else do. Don’t conform to everybody else’s formula – bring your unique brand values and be a trailblazer.

#18 Explore rich pins.

Add more information to your pins. There are five types of rich pins on Pinterest: article pins (headline, author name, description and link), product pins (pricing, availability and where to buy), recipe pins (cooking times, ingredients and serving info), movie pins (ratings, cast members and reviews) and place pins (address, phone number and map). Use this to your advantage.

#19 Use Pinterest as an online portal.

Use it to share links or pin infographics, white papers, presentations, videos, audio, webinars and downloadable materials. For example, a slide share presentation with strong visuals and a great call to action works very well even on Pinterest. Pin it so people can view it without having to leave Pinterest. Remember to replace the pin URL which will take people to Slideshare to a URL to your own website.

#20 Talk about what you do in a Pinterest friendly manner.

It’s okay to showcase your products or services on Pinterest but respect it’s culture. A hard sell is unnecessary when you can use the power of an appealing image to convey your message across more effectively. Work your expertise into the popular topics like food, home décor, fashion, and travel.

#21 Create a Pinterest strategy.

Optimize your name and pins for Pinterest search. Add a descriptive keyword to your name to increases the likelihood of being found on Pinterest. Put keywords in your board titles and in the description of your pins.

Aim to pin at least 5-10 times a day and it will help raise your visibility. Use data to find out when pinning works best for you and pin at those optimal times. Don’t forget to repin your old pins as not everyone will see them.

Discover who is pinning your content and find out what pins and images are resonating with your followers. Shape your strategy accordingly. Create a board and watch seasonal trends and world events and add especially created pins to this one. Add prices to your pins and create a Pinterest store. Lastly participate in group boards to give each pin more exposure.

Use Pinterest to supercharge your marketing

#22 Optimize your website.

Pinterest is an excellent source for website traffic. As I mentioned in the beginning, it can drive more traffic to your website than Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube combined. Do the math.
The best way to do this is to make your website compelling and pinnable. Publish images that attract Pinterest audience and make it easy for people to pin which will drive new traffic to your website.

#23 Create a special badge for your blog content.

Create a specific blog post for your Pinterest audience in mind and then create a custom image (or badge) for this post. This could be a plain image with the headline of the post. Make sure you include your domain name at the bottom. You can use Pic Monkey or Canva to create this image easily and for free. Embed this image on the top of your blog post so it is unmissable and people can see it easily. Add a pin it button and ask people to pin it.

Now add it to your own Pinterest boards and promote the heck out of this post on Pinterest. Pull something interesting from the blog post and add it to the description as well as the URL to the post itself. Because you are actively redirecting people to your website (the image itself doesn’t provide complete information), this will become a great source of referral traffic to your website. Don’t shy away from repinning this repeatedly and at peak times (check to see when your audience is online and when it gets maximum exposure). As it gains traction and gets repined, it will continue to bring traffic over time. You can repeat this for other blog posts but it especially works well for how-to posts and tutorials.

#24 Use Pinterest tools to measure your success.

Even if you don’t have a big budget you can use tools like Tailwind and PinAlerts to monitor your analytics and competitors.

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#25 Market to women.

The vast majority of Pinterest users happen to be women and this is great news for your business. Even if you don’t market to them directly know that women make or influence 85% of the purchase decisions and as much as 50% of traditionally male interest items such as cars and home improvement tools. Women often complain that advertisers don’t understand them. Why not go there and learn about their interests? Why not reach them directly?

#26 Pin the lifestyle and not the products.

Even if you sell products or services that don’t seem like a natural fit for Pinterest’s visual nature, you can adopt a different strategy. Pin your products in different contexts and in other people’s houses. Share pins created by customers and users.

#27 Curate content by category.

Pinterest can be used as a fantastic content curation tool and to establish oneself as an expert. Use this platform to curate the best images, resources and ideas and pin them to the appropriate boards by category. No other social media platform offers such unique features of this kind.

#28 Partner with strong pinners.

Let others create great word of mouth for you through their community boards. Invite others to contribute pins to your group boards. Imagine the potential of attracting new followers when you work with influential guest pinners.

#29 Showcase your company culture.

Pin company events and employee photographs. You can talk about your business story, take people behind the scenes and give them a sneak peek into how you run your business. Use your mascot and branding colours in your boards and pins.

#30 Put the spot light on your customers.

Instead of putting up sleek marketing pictures, humanize your brand. Share human interest stories and customer wins. Give customer shout outs. Make the buyer the hero of your brand.

 

Final thoughts

Visual storytelling is the perfect way of creating brand awareness and reaching new people and there is no powerful place to do this than Pinterest. The potential of this site to make a bigger impact using images is staggering. Even if you are not a visual brand, you can showcase your own unique personality on Pinterest provided this is the place where your ideal customer hangs out. You can share and curate other people’s pins and forge strategic partnerships.

Give it a go – maybe this is where all of your social media dreams come true.
Good luck!

30 Things You Must Do on Pinterest to Beautify Your Business in 2015 is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Facebook’s New Organic Post Targeting and Other New Tools http://blog.getresponse.com/facebooks-new-organic-post-targeting-new-tools.html http://blog.getresponse.com/facebooks-new-organic-post-targeting-new-tools.html#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:07:25 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18422 Last week, Facebook announced a new set of tools and improvements to help publishers better connect with their audience on the social network. The tools have been designed to produce a clearer set of insights and analytics for Page owners … Read more

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Last week, Facebook announced a new set of tools and improvements to help publishers better connect with their audience on the social network. The tools have been designed to produce a clearer set of insights and analytics for Page owners and media publishers. Improvements have also been made to Insights, and more communication channels and resources have been made available all round.

So, before we start to chew over the implications of the new resources, let’s first take a closer look at exactly what they are, what they do, and how you can use them.

 

Interest Targeting

Targeting posts to very specific sub-sections of your Page’s followers has now become even more refined and even easier to use. To try and ensure that your posts reach exactly the right people, you can now, for example, post a story about a rock concert that will only be shown to your followers who are interested in that particular genre of music. As you will recognise, this is something that is very similar to targeted ads, but with this ability now being extended to organic posts your social media marketing campaign can now become even more targeted.

 

Post End Date

Post End Date

The relevancy of some Facebook posts has always had a tendency to expire long before they stop appearing in news feeds. But now you can set a date and a time for your posts to stop being displayed in your fans’ feeds, though they will of course still be visible from your timeline. The beauty of this feature is that it means that you can stop the circulation of outdated material that is annoying both to you and your followers.

For example, if you had a one-day sale on Thursday, then it’s no good to your fans who view the post on Friday, over the weekend and beyond. So, you set an end date and time at midnight on Thursday, and the post from then on is hidden from news feeds.

Both Interest Targeting and the Post End Date features are only available on desktop at the moment, and you will need to enable the Targeting and Privacy settings on the backend of your account to access them.

 

Smart Publishing

If you keep a regularly updated website, then you will most likely be sharing a lot of your new content on Facebook as and when you write it. But, deciding on which of your posts would be most suitable to your Facebook fans can sometimes be a little tricky.

But, by opting into Smart Publishing, Facebook will automatically display the most shared content from your website with your Facebook audience. The Smart Publishing tool is designed to identify and publish stories that are popular with people on Facebook.

At the moment, Facebook have only made Smart Publishing available to a limited number of media organisations, but they indicate that they hope to release the feature more broadly in coming future.

 

Improved Insights

Facebook have improved their Domain Insights to show how social plugins and Pages are driving traffic to websites. Insights are of course of critical importance to marketers who want to understand more about why certain posts suddenly explode in popularity and others fall completely flat.

The new and improved Insights on Facebook gives you much more detailed analytics so you can start to track exactly why some posts fare better than others.

For example, one of your posts that enjoyed a massive spike or surge in interest might have been because it was shared by a popular brand or influencer on their Facebook Page, and now you can see exactly how this happened.

Other features to the new and improved insights and analytics include a Top URLs section, which provides information on URL-level reporting (for example which brand or influencer shared your post, when they did it, and how many clicks it generated as a direct result).

Improved Insights

The interface has also been made easier to use and more intuitive, and now allows you to section off data into hourly, daily, weekly or monthly segments.

 

Bug Fixes

Facebook also announced that they fixed a bug that was causing third-party analytics tools to misrepresent the percentage of organic traffic that came from Facebook. The issue has so far been resolved for iOS, with a promise that a fix for Android will not be far behind.

 

So – Are They Any Good?

If there’s one currency that all Facebook publishers understand then it has to be traffic – and, essentially, that’s exactly what each one of these new tools (and the bug fixes) have been designed to drive. People-based marketing has been being pushed for a while now, and with each new update the focus is getting sharper.

The Target Interest tool will come as a great innovation to a lot of marketers. It’s ability to really hone in on fans with very precise interests make it one of the most powerful posting tools of any social media. However, although this sort of thing is undeniably useful in the way that it ensures that information reaches the people whom you know will be interested in it – using the tool doesn’t actually leave a lot of wriggle room to get new users on board with what you’re sharing. If you’re only targeting people who have announced their particular interests on Facebook, then you’re missing the opportunity to reach those who haven’t – but that’s not say that they won’t have at least a passing interest in the post, or even an off-the-cuff curiosity.

The point is, although marketers can now ensure their content is not being missed by those who have declared an interest, the posts will be forever concealed from those who have not. If the aim of the game is conversions, then one supposes that we all must consider that you can only convert a user once. But perhaps I quibble.

The Post End Date Feature is something that of course will come of great relief to regular users of Facebook who are sick of yesterday’s weather reports and sports results from last weekend’s games. This is a nice tool that refines the experience for everyone.

As for Smart Publishing, well, again, although it’s an excellent way to promote posts that are already proving popular, it does of course neglect those that are struggling – and perhaps it’s these that need an extra little push. Having said that, it does make life a lot easier when it comes to picking through your news and choosing what to share. But, we’ll have to see what it’s like when Facebook finally rolls it out further before we can make a proper assessment.

All in all, despite my (admittedly) somewhat cynical reservations, the new Facebook tools are certainly a step in the right direction. Up until now, these sorts of things have been the sole reserve of those who pay for advertising, and so it’s great to see that those of us who rely on organic posting for our campaign efforts have not been left out for a change.

But, what do you think of Facebook’s new updates? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Facebook’s New Organic Post Targeting and Other New Tools is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Content Marketing Monday: Using CM for B2B and B2C http://blog.getresponse.com/content-marketing-monday-using-cm-b2b-b2c.html http://blog.getresponse.com/content-marketing-monday-using-cm-b2b-b2c.html#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 16:04:24 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18412 Last week, you learned about Moments of Inspiration (MOI) and how these — with a bit of *magic* — can easily lead to a great return on investment (ROI). I’m sure you can’t wait to apply this knowledge to your … Read more

Content Marketing Monday: Using CM for B2B and B2C is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Last week, you learned about Moments of Inspiration (MOI) and how these — with a bit of *magic* — can easily lead to a great return on investment (ROI). I’m sure you can’t wait to apply this knowledge to your marketing campaigns in upcoming 2015. So why don’t we continue where we’ve left off and take a look at another aspect of Content Marketing: how to use it effectively for B2B and B2C. Feeling excited already? Then let’s go!

Content Marketing: the story

At some point, we came to understand that the traditional approach to marketing no longer works. With ever-growing and fiercer competition, promotional campaigns based on discounts began to lose their shine and effectiveness.

Marketers began to think: There has to be some other way to differentiate us from our competitors. Something that will persuade them to choose us instead of other, seemingly similar solutions or providers. How can we help them arrive at that conclusion, other than simply telling them we’re better or cheaper? How can we sell without selling?

The answer was pretty simple. You have to educate, entertain and inspire your audience in order to affect their behavior. Provide valuable, useful content then leave the decision to them. If you earn their trust, they’ll choose you. That’s what content marketing is about.

When did it begin? Some say John Deere was the original content marketer. In 1895, the company started publishing a magazine for farmers called The Furrow – a resource to educate their customers on how to be more effective in their business. The logic was simple: if customer businesses thrived, they would buy more equipment. Of course, if it were all thanks to John Deere, they’d look no further.

This approach hasn’t changed much. Content marketers provide great resources, tools, advice, and knowledge, to be the preferred provider when the buyer makes the decision to purchase.

1. JD_the_furrow_replica_toys

1. John Deere replica toys photo from the Furrow Magazine December 2014

 

Content marketing in action

So how can you use content marketing in your company? It depends on your business and industry. In some, the content marketing approach may appear obvious and natural. In others, it requires more effort and brainstorming prior to launch.

Be aware of your target audience’s questions, doubts, and concerns. You probably know from experience. If not, conduct research by asking directly, surfing the web, or in discussion forums.

Once you discover what they want to know, create useful resources, such as:

  • Whitepapers
  • Industry reports
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Excel spreadsheets
  • Templates
  • Answers to common questions

Of course, creating content is one thing, but distributing it is another. Often, this may be the most difficult task. Find out what channels your audience uses (social media, discussion forums, YouTube, search engines, etc.) and provide answers through the most popular ones.

Still wondering how to use this concept for your benefit? Let’s look at two examples from B2B and B2C to see how two different businesses could do it. You’ll see how it could for you!

Business to Consumer (B2C)

IKEA is a perfect example of a multinational B2C company that knows how to use content marketing. They serve millions around the world, selling convenient, easy-to-assemble furniture in many designs. But that’s not all they do. Let’s take a look at their program.

1. The IKEA catalog

If you’ve ever been to IKEA or planned to shop there, you must have seen their catalog. IKEA packs it with hundreds of pictures of their products, arranged in rooms carefully designed to be appealing. Each product has it own place and looks great. If you don’t know what would look good in your room and need inspiration — IKEA’s catalog is an answer.

And IKEA knows how popular their catalog is. In some countries, the new 2015 catalog promotion included clients who entered photo booths to have their photo on the cover. Imagine the lines waiting for photos.

2. IKEA animated catalog cover photo

2. IKEA 2015 animated catalog cover photo

2. Augmented reality app

OK, seeing a product in the catalog is great. But having it in your home is a different story. Will it fit? Will it look good next to the TV? You no longer have to wonder how it would look; just use the IKEA augmented reality app that goes with the 2015 catalog. It will place your favorite piece of furniture in your room, saving you the time and expense of visiting their store.

Perhaps if you visited their store, you’d have purchased more products. But IKEA seems to prefer providing better service and avoiding returns and refunds for the products that don’t fit your home.

Happy clients tend to return to the store more often, so it all just adds up.

3. IKEA home tour

In the “IKEA Home Tour” a team of IKEA employees travels throughout America helping consumers furnish and design their homes to fit all their needs, wants and hobbies in sometimes-limited room space.

You can watch the videos on their YouTube channel and follow the journey to see how they plan and execute these projects. You’ll also see how happy each customer is when they return home and see a complete makeover they thought was impossible.

4. Many, many more

IKEA does so much that it’s difficult to list everything. You may have heard about their easy-to-follow assembly instruction manuals, how-to-build videos, IKEA share space, First :59 website and Pinterest board. Although the printed catalog eats up most of their yearly marketing budget, they cover other communication channels to meet customer needs and preferences.

Business to Business (B2B)

Perhaps less flashy — or less frequently mentioned on the news — great examples of content marketing come from B2B companies also. John Deere example aside, let’s take a look at a few modern examples on the Web.

The Small Business Guide to Google+

Google+ is the second-largest social network on the Web. If you’re running a business, you can’t ignore its power and reach. Due to its link with Google, Google Maps, and YouTube, Google+ is a great place to connect with your target audience and make your business more visible.

Google gathers tutorials from across the Web in this link: The Small Business Guide to Google+. It covers frequently asked questions and topics, presenting them in an easy, comprehensive way.

And not just for Google+. They provide resources for YouTube, Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools and Google AdSense. These thorough resources are helpful for getting started with their products and promoting your business on the Internet. If you have a small business or do all of your marketing in-house, this is a great place to start.

3. The Small Business Guide to YouTube

3. The Small Business Guide to YouTube from Google

 

Of course, Google isn’t the only B2B company offering great content to customers. Moz offers a very interesting series of videos called Whiteboard Friday. In it, they answer frequently asked questions and teach about various topics, such as “Getting Branded Searches Right” and “How Can Mobile SEO Help My Non-Mobile or Local Business”. Currently, there are over 150 videos on their YouTube channel, and as it seems from comments on their recent post, their audience wants more of their content. Great job!

If you research your industry, you’ll find more examples of approaches to content marketing. If you discover knowledge gaps, and your audience has unanswered questions, it’s time to act.

You know the story behind content marketing and the reasons behind it. And now you’ve seen how others have done it. So get inspired and launch your content marketing campaign today.

Content Marketing Monday: Using CM for B2B and B2C is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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The 6 Most Important Things in Email Marketing for 2015 http://blog.getresponse.com/6-important-things-email-marketing-2015.html http://blog.getresponse.com/6-important-things-email-marketing-2015.html#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 16:07:03 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18392 As the new year approaches, we are starting to make plans. Next to stargazing and broad predictions about the future of email marketing. It is interesting to see what marketers find are focus points for their email program for next … Read more

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As the new year approaches, we are starting to make plans. Next to stargazing and broad predictions about the future of email marketing. It is interesting to see what marketers find are focus points for their email program for next year. 

What will email marketers focus on next year?

We can’t do everything and especially not everything at the same time. So one of the major questions is: what will we be focusing our email marketing efforts on? Econsultancy ask just this question in their yearly email marketing census study (which, by the way, reports that email is still one of the most effective marketing channels). Which three areas do we think are the most important for the coming year? Below are the answers marketers gave.

 

marketing

Looking at the top 6, here are a few tips for the coming year:

 

1. Strategy and campaign planning

Starting off with the big one. Strategy (or a lack thereof) has always been a top priority on the road to effective email marketing. Write it down. Write all the ideas down, create a strategy document, but before putting it into action imagine the next scenario where you are presenting the outcomes of your email strategy.

A normal marketing plan will not just say: let’s keep doing exactly what we were doing and try to get the results we got the year before. Unless the market is really down, we want to elevate the results and possibly improve email marketing ROI. Some plans however look more like an endless wish list where you will find everything that you might want to do possibly, maybe, someday. That is not really a plan. We have to make some choices because you can’t do everything at the same time. If it is not now, move it to your email marketing bucket list.

What will make your management and CEO dance on the table at the end of the year? In your email marketing strategy describe that outcome very specific and the way to achieve that. The magic is in catching your outcome and translating it into the right email marketing KPIs. It also is a good litmus test to see if you are chasing ghosts. Is someone really going to be doing the jive in the boardroom because of X% more opens alone? (Hint: I hope not)

 

2. Automated campaigns and marketing automation

Yes, let’s focus on automated campaigns. They are hot, the adoption of Marketing automation is up and for good reason, if you automate the right type of campaigns they can garner quite the results even with lower volumes. In fact, a study by The Lenskold Group reported that 78% of successful marketers say marketing automation is responsible for improving revenue contribution. Wow!

Picking the right campaigns to work on is maybe the most important step. You’re looking for high impact, lower time investment and an increase in activity of your subscribers, plus enough volume in terms of recipients.

There are many types of automated or drip campaigns with their own do’s and don’ts. Thought a birthday campaign was out of fashion or corny? Not as long as it works! It adds a timely contact to all the subscribers in your list, that is good reach for a triggered campaign. And to come up with an original / inspiring message, creativity is the only challenge. Want to get more out of them? Those triggered messages often work better as a series.

 

3. Segmentation

By splitting up your database into groups with similar characteristics, you can send more targeted messages. If at all possible, a nice combo with automation can be made by for instance loading in the articles from your site per interest / preference group.

My tip: It is a good idea to stop treating your subscribers as a homogenous lump, but also keep the added value of the email newsletter segmentation up. Segmentation isn’t something you do because you can, or because it is the right thing to do. We all say we want more relevant messages, but when it comes to execution, segmentation isn’t always the answer. Does something like a different intro text per segment going to make a message that much more relevant?

If there isn’t any added value to that specific segmentation, don’t segment. It might seem like you are breaking the rules, but a segmented message isn’t better per definition. Value comes first. An alternative might be to not go so specific inside the email, but instead write a message that is appealing to multiple groups.

A good tip is to segment your results. Send out the same email, but look at which groups respond best and to which themes and parts of your messaging. You can break free from the tyranny of email marketing averages and learn what enthuses each segment.

The Econsultancy email census reported that respectively 24%, 22% and 20% of marketers say they put the following in their top 3 focus points for the year as well:

  • Measurement and analytics,
  • List / data quality
  • and delivering relevant communications.

Think of these as the lifeline of your email program: they are needed to succeed.

 

4. Insights from measurement and analytics

24% say you can’t analyze or improve on what you don’t measure. Analytics goes beyond the click in the email of course. Inside your email marketing software there is a lot of statistics at your fingertips and as soon as the emails are out the door, real-time stats start updating, telling you how many and which people opened, clicked, bounced and so on.

My tip is to not only start monitoring the statistics but start reporting regularly. Make a report each time you send an email, or at a regular time interval if you send very often. Yes, go beyond that dashboard and with each email you send, write down:

  1. what worked,
  2. what didn’t work or could be changed,
  3. what questions remain unanswered.

I used to work at an agency before becoming a consultant and we used to do this all the time. With each email there would be a short report. So even if you have one of the best email agencies working for you (yes there are specialized email marketing agencies), be sure to let them add value there. There is a danger to this reporting though: Soon you will be wanting to answer those questions and actually start paying attention to the metrics that matter!

What else it does is set inherent reminders of things that need to be fixed. Because those issues will come back again and again and again in the reporting. Added extra is that it is definitely inspiring to find A/B email split testing ideas and will allow you to share your results with interpretation.

 

5. List / Data Quality

22% say growing your email list into a bigger, more active audience is a sound tactic to improve your email marketing outcomes. It is almost the same effort to use professional email I wrote about picking the right touchpoints for email list growth before and there is even a template for that. The source is a big predictor for the quality of the list.

Will list growth be recognized as a win? Not if your goals are only set in percentages. Open, click and conversion percentages are great to compare individual emails and look at activity trends. But at the end of the year, we want to see the results in absolutes. You see, a 15% growth of your file at the same quality will boost your results by 15%! Data quality is sometimes an issue though, are the people on your list really still interested in the preferences they gave 2 years back? At least add an easy win in the footer of your emails, asking them to update their profile.

 

6. Delivering relevant communication

Delivering relevant messages seems like the holy grail of email marketing. In my personal opinion relevance has been watered down a bit too much as an email marketing term. It has lost much of its meaning because people without experience in the field tend to overuse the term. The truth is, it is impossible to be relevant all the time to everybody. So here is a thought: how do we change that broad term into something more manageable? Try and make emails have value to a part of the recipients by knowing their needs and build it up from there. Either building the value to be greater or addressing more parts of your list. That will end up pushing their content buttons.

We all go into the next year looking to be more and more focused on getting real business value through all of our marketing channels. But as you have seen, it isn’t more than Strategy, Automation and Segmentation that will determine success. Which of these items is on your radar for the next year? Share with us in the comments below!

The 6 Most Important Things in Email Marketing for 2015 is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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An Email Marketer’s Secret Weapon: Digital Coupons http://blog.getresponse.com/email-marketers-secret-weapon-digital-coupons.html http://blog.getresponse.com/email-marketers-secret-weapon-digital-coupons.html#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:07:43 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18370 When you think of trend-setting technology, you probably don’t think of coupons. Most of us associate coupons with newspaper circulars and scissors. Coupons are old school. They’re about as high-tech as a soup can. But there’s another side to coupons, … Read more

An Email Marketer’s Secret Weapon: Digital Coupons is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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When you think of trend-setting technology, you probably don’t think of coupons. Most of us associate coupons with newspaper circulars and scissors. Coupons are old school. They’re about as high-tech as a soup can. But there’s another side to coupons, and it’s way more interesting than you’d think.

Humble little coupons have sold billions of dollars of stuff over the last few years. And while we might not think of coupons often, everybody uses them. 96% of shoppers used a coupon at least once in 2013, according to Inmar Marketing’s 2014 Coupon Trends Report.

There are two basic kinds of coupons – the printed coupons we all know so well, and digital coupons. Most of the coupons issued are still the traditional printed type, but digital coupon use is rising.

Digital coupons break into two categories: Print at home and digital paperless coupons. Digital coupons are sometimes also called mobile coupons or ecoupons. According to Inmar, Americans printed out 1.27 billion print at home coupons in 2013. They redeemed 145 million of those printed coupons. For paperless coupons – mobile coupons, also called “ecoupons” – retailers offered more than 1 billion of those, and American consumers redeemed about 66 million.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Digital coupon use is skyrocketing. This graph from Statista shows how many digital coupons users there were recently and how many there are expected to be soon.

DigitalCouponUsersUSStatista

That graph shows some fast growth, but consumers actually wish it was faster.
42% of consumers wish all coupons were digital, again according to the Inmar report. eMarketer reports a similar trend in how many people are using digital coupons, but eMarketer goes a step further. They tie digital coupon use to mobile devices, as shown in the graph below:

Mobile-Coupons-eMarketer

According to eMarketer, most Internet users will redeem a digital coupon this year. You remember what other classic retail technology gets a ton of play on mobile devices, right? It’s email. Half of emails are read on mobile devices as of earlier this year, according to the email agency Litmus. This new data from digital coupons shows getting coupons on a mobile device is almost as popular as checking email.

Digital coupons and email marketing have another thing in common: They’re both unusually effective. Mobile coupons spur both in-store and online sales, which makes them attractive for multi-channel retailers. But here’s the real jaw-dropper: Consumers are 10 times more likely to redeem mobile coupons than printed coupons. That’s according to Borrell Associates’ 2013 Local Promotions Forecast report.

Don’t dismiss coupons as something just for grocery stores, either. About half of coupons are used for food and beverages. But online retailers who sell apparel, health and beauty supplies and electronics could do well with coupons, too, as shown in this segment from the “Consumer Preferences and Behavior” infographic from ScanLife. ScanLife also found that coupons are a great way to get people to try new products.

ScanLife_Consumer_Behavior_and_Preferences_Infographic.

Digital coupons and email

Here’s where coupons get really interesting for email marketers. These new digital coupons aren’t coming through newspaper circulars. Most of them are coming through email. That’s fine with consumers – it ends up most people want their coupons sent by email (this chart is from the Inmar 2014 Coupon Report):

Inmar2014ShopperAttitudesCoupons

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Digital coupons and QR codes

So how can use start using mobile coupons? It’s easy. All you need is a QR code. Mobile coupons can be delivered through QR codes. In fact, most coupons delivered through emails are QR codes, instead of the more traditional UPC barcodes. QR codes can even be set to expire on a given date, just like traditional coupons. No scissors required.

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How to create a QR code in your GetResponse account

Your GetResponse account has a QR code generator that you can use for free. Here’s how to use it:

1) Go to the Dashboard of your GetResponse account. Click on “My account” in the upper right hand corner.

GRCode1

 

2) Choose “Integrations” from the pull-down menu.

QRCode2

 

3) Select “Multimedia Studio” from the left column on the next screen.

QRCode3
4) You’ll see the page below after you click. Click on the far right tab that says “QRCode”.

QRCode4

 

5) You’ll see this page. Click on the blue “Add QR Code” button.

GRCode5

 

6) Choose the URL where you want to send people. Then choose the size of your QR code. In the last field on this page, specify a name your QR code.

QRCode7
When you’re done, click the blue “Save code” link.
7) You’ll see a confirmation pop-up letting you know your new QR code was saved.

QRCode8
8) You new QR code will appear on the left on your QR code dashboard. Use your new code in your emails, just like any other image.

QRCode9

So now that you’ve got your QR code, what do you do with it?

 

6 Ways To Use QR Codes As Digital Coupons In Your Email Marketing

1) Offer a coupon as a lead magnet.

This is as simple as it gets, but there’s no need to overcomplicate things. All you brick and mortar retailers and service businesses can skip a free report, or written lead magnet. Just offer a coupon.

2) Offer a coupon in a shipping confirmation email.

What better way to entice a customer to place another order with you than to offer them a discount on their next order? The placement and timing of this shipping confirmation offer is especially smart. Transactional emails get opened up to three times as often as promotional emails.

3) Offer a coupon in a review request email.

That’s the followup email you send after the customer has received their order and has had a few days to try it out. Testimonials are worth their weight in gold. Whether you want a review for a product, or a testimonial for your services, you can offer a coupon in exchange for some feedback.

Service businesses take note: It may be better to ask for “feedback” than a testimonial if you’re offering a coupon. The coupon can be interpreted as a bribe. While it is a bribe to get people to tell you what they think, it shouldn’t be a bribe to get false testimonials.

4) Offer a coupon the customer can give to others.

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forces in marketing. Give it a nudge by offering a coupon people can give to their family and friends.

5) Offer a coupon people can print.

This is the low-tech solution. Just send people an email with a coupon. They can redeem it either by printing it, or by showing it on their phone. Like this:

348ca3a2ba2c76d2acaf0cce2e14ed9e

6) Use coupons in your email remarketing.

Email retargeting agency Remarkety tried using coupons in their email remarketing. The graph below shows their results. Coupons created a nice lift in open rates, click-through rates and conversions.

 

Those are just some starter ideas. I’m sure you can think of more. Could you share even one idea with us in the comments? We’d love to know what you find works best for your business!

 

An Email Marketer’s Secret Weapon: Digital Coupons is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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30 Things You Must Do On Twitter For Outrageous Success In 2015  http://blog.getresponse.com/30-things-must-twitter-outrageous-success-2015.html http://blog.getresponse.com/30-things-must-twitter-outrageous-success-2015.html#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 16:07:53 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18359 Do you use Twitter for business? Or, do you feel totally intimidated by it? For some people discovering Twitter is like finding a new candy store. There is an endless supply of people to follow, to read their updates and discover what … Read more

30 Things You Must Do On Twitter For Outrageous Success In 2015  is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Do you use Twitter for business? Or, do you feel totally intimidated by it? For some people discovering Twitter is like finding a new candy store. There is an endless supply of people to follow, to read their updates and discover what is happening in their lives. To make a connection and remain in touch – it’s all very exciting and frankly you don’t understand why people make such a big deal out of it. I will help you take the mystery and the overwhelm out of Twitter so that you can have an effective, highly profitable Twitter strategy in 2015. And you don’t have to spend big bucks to outsource this.

But remember, for others Twitter is like a noisy party where people are constantly talking at each other and not necessarily connecting on a deeper level. You just jump in a conversation when you can, then move on and find someone else to talk to. It all seems very chaotic and haphazard. You tried it but it isn’t your cup of tea. So which camp do you belong to?

If you haven’t yet given Twitter a fair go because it all seems too daunting. If you wonder how to find people to connect with, how to keep up with the endless updates and most importantly how do you use it as a legitimate marketing channel for your business without having to stay chained to your virtual desk, I have the answer for you.

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Begin with these three questions

If you are still confused about what you need to be doing on Twitter, I recommend you start off by answering these three questions:

#1 Is my ideal client or customer on Twitter?

Are you questioning should you be on Twitter in the first place? Then first find out where your target audience hangs out and decide accordingly.

You can do some research to find the answer for this one. Not everyone is on Twitter, people aged 65 and over for example, and if you are selling insurance you might be better off spending your time somewhere else. If your brand is more of visual nature, it might be worth your while to spend time on Facebook or Pinterest instead.

#2 Do I have time for Twitter?

You cannot get on Twitter and then go away, Twitter demands constant attention but it doesn’t have to be for very long stretches of time. You can start with as little as 5 minutes per day but you must make time to do it consistently.

#3 Do I have any goals for Twitter?

Before you use Twitter for a week and then throw in the towel, set some realistic goals. In the beginning your goals might look like getting 50 new subscribers every week or getting 5 new email subscribers from Twitter. You can also have goals like interacting with customers and influencers for 5 minutes every day.

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Make a killer first impression

#4 Create a strong bio.

Remember, you only have 140 characters to create a great first impression on a potential customer, use it well. This is the first thing people see even if they don’t follow you yet. Describe what you do clearly and using fewest possible words. This is not the place to ramble on. Get to the point as quickly as you can.

#5 Link to your website.

You can add a link to your website and possibly to your opt-in offer if you are smart about your word count.

#6 Have an engaging cover photo and a professional Twitter photo.

Do not upload a cropped photo of you standing next to a friend of your spouse. Invest in professional photos.

#7 Know who you want to attract.

Be crystal clear on who you want to follow and attract on Twitter. This will include your customers, prospects, peers, and influencers. By doing this, you will create a bio that stays on brand, is targeted and strengthens your unique positioning.

chatting

Learn how to find people to follow

The number one thing that confuses people on Twitter is how to find new people to follow and more importantly how to keep track of everyone they are following and manage their news stream.

#8 Create Twitter lists.

You can use Twitter lists to find new people and organize your current followers. A Twitter list is simply a curated list of people. It can be public or private. When it is public, everyone can see the members and subscribe to them. You can create your own Twitter lists or subscribe to lists maintained by others.

#9 Organize your followers well.

Your list can be based on different attributes:

  • Influencers in your niche: A list for must-follow people in your industry.
  • Real life: People you meet in conferences, networking events and in your geographical location.
  • Clients and customers: Past and present.
  • Favorite bloggers.
  • Favorite readers and followers: A list for your most loyal peeps. Your biggest fans.

 

#10 Use Twitter search to find people to follow.

You can use the advanced search function to find people to follow. You can also use it to find Twitter lists and find people to follow from there as well. Definitely follow people in your industry and people you are interested in interacting with.

#11 Use hashtags to find people.

Hashtags are a short hand for capturing and tagging conversations on a specific topic. You can do a search for commonly used hashtags in your industry and compile a list. Once you have done that, click on any of these hashtags and you will see the people talking about that topic and so it is a great way to find new people to connect with.

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Actively build your Twitter audience

Getting followers on Twitter is an ongoing task. You must be working to increase your readership all the time and if you stop in the early stages, so will your numbers.

#12 Engage with others.

Twitter is like a party and nobody wants to be around someone who is too quiet, boring or weird. In order to attract people, you need to step up and engage with them. Start conversations, respond and retweet and people will follow you.

#13 Be interesting.

Nobody wants to follow anyone who has nothing interesting to say. Be human and engage in dialogue. Limit your pre-scheduled updates that don’t drive any engagement.

#14 Be of value.

When you share highly valuable content, people will follow you. The more you tweet, the more followers you get.

#15 Participate in Twitter chats.

A tweetchat happens when people agree to show up at the same time to talk about a specific topic, categorized by a hashtag. You can find pre-scheduled tweetchats on almost any topic, from gardening to parenting to writing a book. Tweetchats are a great way to grow your number of followers.

#16 Learn to write great headlines.

You can test this one out. Every time you write a great headline, you have higher number of retweets and you will get new followers as a result. Put some effort into creating headlines that promise a big benefit or make people curious. You will get more clicks and followers.

#17 Follow people.

When you follow other people, they are most likely to follow you back. About 50% will unless they are big celebrities or bots. Remember to routinely clean your list to get rid of spam bots and inactive followers to improve reach and interaction with people who are genuinely interested in hearing from you.

Lastly, don’t forget to ask. Ask people you mention in your tweets to share your content with their followers and you are bound to get new followers.

audience

Create a Twitter strategy

Just like any other social media platform, you need a strategy to be successful on Twitter. Incorporate this into your overall editorial calendar.

#18 Plan out different types of content you will be sharing.

This can include pre-planned updates, live everyday interaction with your followers and special event- specific updates. I have listed different types of content that drive engagement in the next section.

#19 Schedule your content in advance.

You can use software like Hootsuite or Buffer to do this. Tweet out at the peak times, meaning when most of your followers are known to be online.

#20 Repeat your tweets.

A tweet has a very short life span – about twenty minutes. When you tweet out, it will not be seen by all your followers as most of them won’t be online at that time. Those who are will have tweets filling up their newsfeed every few seconds so they are most likely not see every single update you make or click on them. For this reason it is safe to repeat your content, just make sure you tweak your updates a little bit by adding an image and changing the intro or call to action. You can even add a special comment or highlight a specific point to entice readers into clicking.

#21 Use click to tweet.

Make sure you have the tweet button displayed after every blog post on your website and also ask people to tweet out sound bites using the ‘clicktotweet’ button. This button allows you to pre-populate the tweets with your chosen content and make it super easy for people to share.

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Make your updates more creative

Now that you are all set to engage in Twitter marketing the question becomes how to come up with content ideas that lead to reader engagement. Here are some ways to get creative and spark conversations.

#22 Ask a fairly straightforward question.

Alternatively, give people two options to choose from.

#23 Use images with a human face in it.

Research has shown that showing a person’s face in an image significantly increases clicks and conversions.

#24 Post pictures of your products in interesting contexts.

This can include customers actually using your product or retweeting a photo shared by them. By the same token, you can share photo testimonials provided by your customers as well as written reviews.

#25 Take people behind the scenes.

Give your followers a sneak peek into your production or thought process. People love to get inside stories.

#26 Share a slide deck presentation.

Do this if you want to share more in-depth content. The beauty of this method is your readers don’t have to leave Twitter to view the deck.

#27 Retweet other people’s content.

Sharing other people’s content is an excellent way to not only share content but forge deeper relationships with your followers, peers and industry leaders.

#28 Share newsworthy stories.

People are always interested in hearing what’s new around the world. Be the first one to share breaking news. You can do live tweeting when appropriate.

#29 Be personal.

Don’t be afraid to show a personal glimpse of your life. Talk about your favourite hobby, sporting club or restaurant. Talk about your family – it humanizes you.

Don’t forget the usual: video, quotes, and tips. They always work well.

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Use Twitter to supercharge your marketing

#30 Use Twitter to boost your sales:

  • Use twitter to sell products and services. Try a Twitter coupon.
  • Use Twitter ads to reach more people locally as well as globally.
  • Just like Facebook or Google, remarket to people using Twitter ads.
  • Create instant online surveys.
  • Use in-built analytics to measure the results of your Twitter marketing efforts.
  • Block spammers.

Twitter

Final thoughts

Just like everything else in life, in order to be successful on Twitter you need to take consistent action and do it on an ongoing basis. Set aside a time to check in every day. You don’t have to spend hours, start by allocating 5-10 minutes of your time for Twitter.

If your tweets are sporadic at best, you don’t make a genuine effort to connect with your followers and influencers, you don’t show you appreciate your customers, you will not see any return on investment. Your Twitter strategy (or lack of it) will backfire.

Take smart action consistently and you are all set. Make it your year on Twitter and let us know in the comments below which tips you found as most helpful!

30 Things You Must Do On Twitter For Outrageous Success In 2015  is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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How To Use Email Analytics To Increase Conversions http://blog.getresponse.com/use-email-analytics-increase-conversions.html http://blog.getresponse.com/use-email-analytics-increase-conversions.html#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 16:07:38 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18349 Your email campaign is one of the most important elements in your online marketing efforts. The newsletters that you send out to your subscribers allow you to create an on-going narrative displaying your continued success, as well as thanking your … Read more

How To Use Email Analytics To Increase Conversions is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Your email campaign is one of the most important elements in your online marketing efforts. The newsletters that you send out to your subscribers allow you to create an on-going narrative displaying your continued success, as well as thanking your followers for their continued support.

On top of this, you will of course be trying to build a persuasive argument for those same followers to continue to purchase your goods or services, download further material, or subscribe to more information. But, how can you be sure that your emails are even being opened and not just simply destined for trash bins as soon as you hit send? And, even if you had this information, what can you do with it to create the necessary change?

Email Analytics

By implementing an email analytics software into your system you’re able to find out exactly what happens to your emails when they reach your users’ inboxes. This includes if they’re opened or not, what time of day each user is more likely to take action on them, and what day of the week is the best time to gain the most click through rates. This information can be invaluable to your email campaign, as you can start to tailor your sending schedules to maximise your ROI and take your business to the next level.

So let’s take a look at what the benefits of email analytics are in a little more detail.

 

Tracking Metrics Over Time

By downloading email intelligence software, you’ll have the ability to track all manner of metrics of your email campaign. You will likely have subscribers all over the world, but without some form of email analytics tool at your disposal, it can be difficult and time-consuming to find out exactly where they all are. This matters, particularly when considering the different time zones that your subscribers inhabit.

Without people opening your emails in the first place, your campaign can have no effect whatsoever on your conversion rates. The time you spend on crafting the perfect newsletter (or indeed the money you invest in paying someone else to do it), complete with brilliantly composed product promotions and intuitive design that directs readers towards your CTAs, will in effect be wasted if you don’t use the tools at your disposal to increase every likelihood and eventuality that result in your emails being opened, read and acted upon.

People tend to check their emails at certain times of the day. In today’s fast paced business world, there can be an awful lot of junk mail ending up in people’s inboxes, and it could be the case that your emails are being grouped in with these and are ultimately ending up in the trash bin. You don’t want this.

By using email analytics you can track exactly when particular users are accessing your emails, what time of day they are most likely to open them, and even what day of the week they are more likely to take action on them. With this information presented to you in an easy to read graph, you can then begin to take action yourself on scheduling email groups based on time-of-day/day-of-week preference and begin sending out your emails at what you can see is the most responsive time for those specific groups. Indeed, the proper use of email analytics is all about creating a strategy that ensures that your emails are opened, which in turn heightens the probability of conversions, thus improving you ROI.

segmentation

Segmentation

Your analytics will also tell you when your emails haven’t been opened. There could be any number of reasons for this, and one of them might be that your subject line simply wasn’t enticing enough. By being presented with clear information as to who didn’t open your email, you can segment these recipients into groups, again based on their most responsive times, tweak the title of your email and send it again at a later date to hopefully generate a few more opens, and, in turn, more conversions.

Of course, if you’re finding that hardly any of your emails are being opened, then this may indicate a problem that is rooted a little deeper than just the subject line. You absolutely must take heed of this if you’re finding that this is the general trend. Your analytics can give you the details and figures of how many people are interacting with the content of your emails, but what they cannot do is improve that content, and indeed low open rates are a very good indicator that your actual content may need tweaking.

You have to give your recipients a reason to engage with your emails, and this of course starts with providing them with some exclusive, interesting and valuable information – be it a product promotion, a giveaway, or some breaking industry or business news that your analytics have informed you that your users will be interested in.

Which brings me onto my next point.

 

Comparison

Finding out which content is generating the most opens and conversions is of course the most valuable metric that you can have at your disposal, and email analytics can provide you with just that. Indeed, you will most likely find that a certain type of content generates conversions from one group of users, and a different type generates conversions from another.

This is the perfect information to be armed with, because now you have the knowledge that you will need to tailor separate campaigns to target specific user groups, and you can again use the segmentation tool to group these different users. It will mean that sometimes you will have to create more than one email, but it’s all about those conversions and achieving the greatest value and ROI, and tailored and targeted marketing enables this.

Similarly, the installation of an analytics tool also allows you to create two separate subject titles for the same email. Then, by sending each out to a separate half of your email list, you will be able to see which one generates the most favourable response. Your analytics will present you with this information clearly for comparison, so you may try and alter your future titles accordingly. Again, something as simple as getting the title right can make all the difference when it comes to opens and ultimately conversions.

 

Social Media Statistics

Email analytics also allow you to track exactly how the content from your email messages are being shared across social media. Your users will be tweeting about you, and their followers will hopefully in turn be retweeting, liking, commenting on and sharing your content. This is great information to have, not least because it will allow you an insight into which of your social networks are truly the most valuable to you as well as what types of content perform the best.

ROI

ROI

The most valuable information about your email campaign comes from being able to tell exactly how many conversions, click-throughs and sign-ups are achieved on your website from users that arrive there via a link provided in your emails. Email analytics give you this information, and with it, you can start to really determine which of your emails are working the hardest for you, and which are falling short, and adjust your future messages accordingly.

Indeed, the figures provided by email analytics act like feedback from your recipient list. The in-depth analysis of your campaigns that the numbers give you allow you to unquestionably determine exactly which of your emails generate the most meaningful ROI – be that in terms of conversions, sales, sign-ups or click-throughs.

The ability to identify very specifically not only which emails work the best, but which ones work the best for particular groups of recipients, ultimately gives you the power to tailor all of your future campaigns and optimise your emails to target very particular users who you have determined will be most likely to take action. A significant increase in conversions is only achieved with this type of enhanced intelligence, and email analytics hands it to you for the taking, and your ROI for your email campaigns will be vastly improved.

Optimising your email campaign simply isn’t possible without email analytics, and the Intuitive Email Intelligence that GetResponse provides is indeed one of the very best solutions at your disposal. Email analytics solutions are being increasingly used by companies all around the world to gain a competitive edge in their campaigns – without the knowledge you simply cannot adjust, so the time is now to start utilising the tools available to you and get those email lists as lively and as active as possible, and those emails generating the conversions that they are designed for.

How do you use email analytics? Share with us in the comments below what you use in your daily email marketing strategies.

How To Use Email Analytics To Increase Conversions is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Content Marketing Monday: MOI to ROI and Reinventing the Funnel http://blog.getresponse.com/content-marketing-monday-moi-roi-content-marketing-funnel.html http://blog.getresponse.com/content-marketing-monday-moi-roi-content-marketing-funnel.html#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 16:07:39 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18337 With the year coming to an end, we are starting to think of resolutions that could make our new year a raging success. That is why December is the perfect month for a special Content Marketing Monday series where you … Read more

Content Marketing Monday: MOI to ROI and Reinventing the Funnel is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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With the year coming to an end, we are starting to think of resolutions that could make our new year a raging success. That is why December is the perfect month for a special Content Marketing Monday series where you will be able to learn what content marketing has in store for 2015! Let us start with the foundation of content – the moment of inspiration.

This September I had the pleasure of attending Content Marketing World 2014. If you are a content marketer, you know that CMWorld is where you can get not only information but a ton of inspiration from the best of the best like Joe Pulizzi, Ann Handley, or Andrew Davis. That last one is especially important in today’s blog post, why? Because Andrew Davis had a great opening keynote that every content marketer can benefit from.

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MOI to ROI

Davis spoke about the “Moment of Inspiration” where your customer is not just given a product or asked to sign up for your newsletter, he is given an initiative or a cause that will inspire them to become your loyal customer.

What is a moment of inspiration? It can be a whole plethora of things, but all in all it is a hidden message within a context. You can be inspired by an image of a great meal, maybe by a video of a young boy who built his own gaming arcade from boxes – all examples that Andrew Davis used in his keynote. However, if you were not able to be there, no worries! This blog posts is for you.

During the keynote Andrew Davis spoke about the four secrets of MOI:

  1. Build suspense in your story
  2. Foster inspiration
  3. Drive empathy
  4. Harness emotion

Would you take the initiative to research how to make the perfect Christmas cookies if you went on a website and just saw raw cookie dough in the header? Some might say yes, but most of us would just ignore the signs and keep on searching elsewhere. However, if you saw  a picture of freshly baked cookies on a beautiful festive plate – you would start to think that you need those cookies and you need that festive plate. Inspiration.

You can find numerous cookie recipes all over the internet, you find the perfect one at last, but where can you get that festive plate? Of course! You go back to the very website you saw it on, you realize that this is an online shop, there is a holiday sale – THAT very plate CAN be yours! So what do you do? You buy it.

Your search is now complete, at least that is what most people think. However, the journey has just begun because now you can get back to square one, “but is there anything else that I need?” and so you begin searching that website once again for things that might be of use to you. Not only did you get inspired and buy a product, but you began looking for more, in fact you went further into the sales funnel by maybe even signing up for a newsletter to keep up with the sales and bonuses? All because a picture inspired you.

cookie_inspiration

Funneling in on inspiration

The above four triggers are great ways to get consent, email leads, and create a loyalty loop. All in all you have to think like a Hollywood director who wants to create a great movie, you can’t give everything all at once, but you have to lay down the crumbs (poster, teasers, trailers, specials) which will lead to the big picture (film). Are you creating content that could lead people to your product?

This of a simple campaign that could drive leads: a tweet talking about a new blog post you have prepared, this blog post could lead to an authority article or figure, in fact you have a whitepaper written by that person and with an email sign up you will send that whitepaper to the prospect, after signing up for the whitepaper your sales page pops up OR you send out a follow up email to offer more content or products. Remember that social media is also content marketing (which we will also talk about in our Content Marketing Monday series) and you need to include it in your strategy.

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How do I work the content funnel?

Technically, most of us think of the funnel as a sales funnel that you hear of at conventions. However, you as a content marketer should get inspired by the funnel and learn what works and what doesn’t at different stages of capturing a potential customer. Remember, you begin the journey by inspiring a prospective customer.

  1. INSPIRATION: At this stage (the top of the funnel) a person becomes aware of your brand. They stumble upon you on Google, Yelp, maybe even Pinterest. As a person looks through your website, what do they see? Do they see content that educates them, motivates them, maybe forces products on them? At this stage of the journey you need to make sure that you build trust, focus on clear and short messages, testimonials, motivate with clean cut content (don’t show raw cookie dough, give them the final product baked on a beautiful platter!). This is the place for humor, character, and simple content like resource pages, FAQ’s, infographics, or social media posts.
  2. COMPARISON: Going further into the funnel, a customer has to evaluate their options and choose where they are going to get the product they need. Here is your opportunity to educate prospects, offer them a whitepaper, links to your blog where you talk about why your product answers their needs, invite them to a webinar, show a case study, or link up to a product/price comparison sheet. Make sure that you give a clear view of the pros and cons, you will gain trust, give answers to their potential questions, and finally give a reason to stick around.
  3. DECISION: The bottom of the funnel is where your prospect becomes your customer. If they have been inspired and educated, they have a reason to purchase your product! Now that someone has become aware that your product fulfills their needs, they want to know even more, which is why you need to prepare advanced content that will give an in-depth information to reinforce their choice. At this stage you can collect their email by offering an advanced whitepaper if they fill out their info. Use this to follow up with coupons, offers, webinar invitations, and other bonuses for customers who have signed up to your list (this is where content marketing meets email marketing). 

inspiration

Get inspired to do more

Making great content comes with great responsibility. As a content marketer you need to make sure that you focus on the whole and not just the articles, whitepapers, and tweets you create. You are selling the entire product and brand, which means you have to think of the entire shopping process from the top of the funnel to the very bottom.

With inspirational stories and suspense you can capture more leads, start thinking like a Hollywood director and create content at every stage of the funnel to make sure that your strategy gives even more at every part of the journey! And as we begin this new Monday December series, we invite you to let us know your thoughts on content marketing, share with us in the comments below what inspires your content.

Content Marketing Monday: MOI to ROI and Reinventing the Funnel is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Email Success Profile: Wilson Lau’s Success Manifesto http://blog.getresponse.com/email-success-profile-wilson-laus-success-manifesto.html http://blog.getresponse.com/email-success-profile-wilson-laus-success-manifesto.html#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 16:07:05 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18329 Are you living a life that’s filled with possibilities? It’s a question Wilson Lau takes seriously. In fact, he founded his business, Success Manifesto, to address it. And although he’s based in Singapore, Wilson has attracted a worldwide audience and … Read more

Email Success Profile: Wilson Lau’s Success Manifesto is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Are you living a life that’s filled with possibilities? It’s a question Wilson Lau takes seriously. In fact, he founded his business, Success Manifesto, to address it. And although he’s based in Singapore, Wilson has attracted a worldwide audience and developed a profitable business with a diverse customer base. How did he do it? Let’s take a closer look at his business model.

The digital age has opened doors for people around the world. No longer is knowledge the exclusive property of universities. The Internet has put information and resources within reach of everyone. And mobile technology has brought together people from remote parts of the world.

But now that the doors are open …

How to enter? Wilson Lau looked for answers in a variety of sources, including the best of the personal development literature. He absorbed information about what makes people successful, concluding that success is an inner game. Successful people think different. So he built a business model based on training people to change how they use their mind, perceive the opportunities of life, and take action to reach goals.

1. Dealing with competition

This field has a great many competitors: authors, consultants, coaches and trainers. But rather that being daunted, Wilson embraced competitors, learning from them and seeking ways to profit by helping them spread their teachings.

He supplemented his private coaching practice with affiliate marketing. This model involves building an audience around a topic and curating products to offer them while sharing the profits with the product owners.

 

2. Developing new skills

Success in this business model requires new marketing skills. This is where young entrepreneurs have an advantage over seasoned pros: They’ve grown up during the digital age, with social media, mobile access, and an online world without borders. So online relationships are second-nature to them.

In organizing his business, Wilson made a couple of smart moves. He made email the hub of his marketing. And he chose GetResponse.

 

3. Communicating regularly

As a one-man operation, Wilson has little time for designing marketing materials. With GetResponse Email Creator he puts together email campaigns quickly. With a few clicks he can create a professional-looking design with images, formatting, buy buttons, and social sharing icons — all optimized for conversion.

Autoresponder 2.0 enables him to use each email again and again as new subscribers join. This gives each new contact the same introduction, along with opportunities to purchase products.

Best of all, the designs are mobile responsive. His target market is like him — youthful and busy but always with a smartphone handy. Responsive design means more subscribers read his emails when they arrive, translating to more clicks and more sales.

organizing

Organizing the email marketing list

Wilson uses Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to attract and interact with new contacts. And he captures email addresses on every sale. He chose GetResponse because it gave him an easy way to consolidate all of these contacts.

And with GetResponse geographical location tracking, he knows the country and time zone of each contact. So the Time Travel feature can deliver his messages at the optimum time for each time zone. This small touch goes a long way toward giving worldwide campaigns a local feel.

 

Building the business

As part of his business model, Wilson publishes a blog to let visitors explore ideas and learn about the business. And as articles are shared on social media, more readers can discover Wilson’s website.

Each article includes a sign-up form, so new visitors can receive updates as they happen. Wilson likes the fact that it’s easy to place GetResponse sign-up forms anywhere on his site. And each form is assigned to the campaign of his choice, so new subscribers receive the information they need at the right time.

Modular building blocks

The beauty of this business model is that it can be automated. This means that once the sales funnel is in place, it becomes a revenue-generating asset that can run for as long as it continues to produce.

This gives Wilson time to explore other opportunities and develop more streams of income. As each one comes online, it can produce income that adds to the bottom line.

The information business

Why is this model successful? Well, the Internet contains an overwhelming amount of information. Most people lack the time and initiative to sort through it and find what’s relevant for them.

This creates endless pockets of opportunity for an entrepreneur like Wilson Lau. By focusing on his specialty, he is able to bring the best content to his audience— and profit from his efforts.

GetResponse fan

This business model is a lot of work to set up. Wilson found that GetResponse enabled him to get the most out of his efforts. He has developed over 100 emails for his audience, and his click-through ratios increased 230% in just 14 months.

With number like those, Wilson is on the way to building a lasting business. We plan to keep an eye on him. There’s no telling how far he may go!

CTR

 

How about you?

Do you have a fascinating success story about your experiences as a GetResponse customer? Just send your write-up in an email to testimonials@getresponse.com. Who knows? We may decide to share your story with the world!

 

Email Success Profile: Wilson Lau’s Success Manifesto is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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11 Killer Email Marketing Tips for Affiliates http://blog.getresponse.com/11-killer-email-marketing-tips-affiliates.html http://blog.getresponse.com/11-killer-email-marketing-tips-affiliates.html#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:07:48 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18312 This post continues our series of email marketing tips for specific kinds of businesses. In the last installment I wrote about email marketing tips for coaches. In the next post I’ll write about email tips for small businesses. This post … Read more

11 Killer Email Marketing Tips for Affiliates is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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This post continues our series of email marketing tips for specific kinds of businesses. In the last installment I wrote about email marketing tips for coaches. In the next post I’ll write about email tips for small businesses. This post is all about affiliates, let’s jump in!

Of all marketers, affiliate marketers have some of the best reasons to do email marketing. Affiliates are most likely to get penalized by Google. They’re also the ones who don’t have buyer information, and so they often don’t end up building a list or database of buyers.

Email can help with all of that. If you’re an affiliate, now is the time to start building your business in a way that lasts. To help you do this, we’ve compiled this list of 11 best email marketing tips for affiliates:

 

1) Don’t oversell your subscribers.

This is the #1 mistake affiliates make with email marketing. While it’s great to have a list to sell to, you don’t want to be selling all the time. Break up the stream of email sales offers with some content. Aim for about an 80/20 split. That would be four straight emails that give great content to your reader and then one email of take, which is the selling part.

This pattern of give, give, give, give, take does many good things. First, it shows your subscribers you aren’t going to spam them. It shows them you aren’t going to do nothing but sell to them. It trains them to open your emails. It also builds trust, which is the secret sauce of selling anything.

Sending all those “give” emails also keeps email engagement rates high. That means more of your emails will get delivered to peoples’ inboxes instead of being sent to their spam folders. Long-term, that means way more earnings for you.

If you ever want to sell space in your email messages or offer solo emails, all that trust and engagement will mean even more. You’ll be able to offer great results to advertisers. That means you can charge more. Because you were so good to your list, peoples’ advertisements will do well in your emails. As a result, more people will want to buy space in your emails. Thanks to all that demand you’ll be able to charge even more. It’s a sweet little feedback loop.

 

2) Segment.

Want way more sales, higher click-through rates, and fewer unsubscribes? Who doesn’t? Then it’s time to segment your list.

Segmenting refers to splitting up your list based on your subscriber’s preferences or behavior. You’ve seen segmenting preferences all over the web. Any opt-in form that asks people whether they prefer html or text emails is segmenting. Any form that asks people to check boxes indicating their interests is segmenting, too.

Segmenting according to sign up preferences is good. Segmenting according to behavior is better. GetResponse makes this easy. You can send people a specific, custom email if they click a particular link in your emails. For example, if this was the email you sent:

SampleEmail

you could automatically send anyone who clicked on those links an email message designed just for them. Here’s how:

1) From the dashboard of your GetResponse account, go to Messages > Create Autoresponder

 

CampaignAutomation1

2) On the next page, choose “Clicked” from the types of autoresponders.

CampaignAutomation2

3) Choose the rules of your autoresponder. Select which campaign has the email message you want to trigger the autoresponder. For example, if you’re mailing to your house email list and that campaign is named “House Email List” you’d choose “if subscriber in House Email List clicks”. That’s where the left arrow points below.

 

CampaignAutomation3

4) Finally, choose which email message triggers the special message people get when they click. For example, if you were sending an email named “Affiliate Promotion Email” to subscribers in the campaign “House Email List”, you’d choose the message “Affiliate Promotion Email”. That’s where the right arrow above is pointing.

In the bottom section of this page, you’d specify when the triggered email will be sent, and which email message to send.

Let’s say your follow up message (the email that will be automatically sent after someone clicks the first email) is called “Follow up email”. You want to send it immediately after people click a link in the trigger email called “Affiliate Promotion Email”.

In the screenshot below you’d leave the default timing settings alone. Then you’d select your pre-made “Follow up email” next to the big grey “then” by clicking the “Choose message” link the right arrow points to.

CampaignAutomation4

To finish up, just name the autoresponder. Then click “Save and publish”. “Link Promotion follow up 12/4” would be a good name for this autoresponder. That way you’ll know what the autoresponder does and when you sent it up.

You can use the create autoresponder page to automate your email messages in all sorts of sophisticated ways. Just remember to label everything carefully, or things can get confusing.

 

3) Offer a lead magnet.

There’s no better way to build your list fast than to create a lead magnet (also called a “free report” or “ethical bribe”). You offer the lead magnet as a free gift to give people when they sign up for your email list. See our post about lead magnet ideas to learn more.

A nice example of a lead magnet from LinkedIn expert Melonie Dodaro’s site. 

A nice example of a lead magnet from LinkedIn expert Melonie Dodaro’s site.

4) Offer more than one lead magnet

Even if you’re in a super-tight niche, you probably write blog posts about more than one subtopic in your niche. For example, maybe some of your posts are about deep sea fishing in the Pacific and some are about deep sea fishing in the Atlantic. Or maybe some posts are about knitting with wool and some are about knitting with acrylics. No matter what the topics are, you can offer one lead magnet for each of them. Some marketers have doubled their opt-in rate with this technique.

 

5) Use a pop-up

As an affiliate, you are drawing people in to your site, then redirecting them off your site in order to make a sale. In the short time they are on your site, you need to capture their email address or you may never see or hear from them again. A pop-up is the best way to do this.  GetResponse lets you create pop-ups and lightboxes from within your account. See our post about pop-ups to learn how to make them in your GetResponse account.

As an affiliate you may want to be a little pushier with your pop-up than other sites would be. It may be good for you to show a pop-up right when people land on your pages. If you show the pop-up only after someone’s been on your site for 5 minutes, most visitors will have left before the pop-up is supposed to show.

Creating a pop-up in your GetResponse account is super-simple. It’s just like creating a regular opt-in form, with just one change made to the settings. 

Creating a pop-up in your GetResponse account is super-simple. It’s just like creating a regular opt-in form, with just one change made to the settings.

6) Test the pop-up

Want to be able to leave your day job? Then start testing. Even simple A/B split tests can make a huge difference over time. You can use online tools like Visual Website Optimizer or Optimizely to set your tests up.

If you’ve got more than 2,000 unique visitors a month, you’ve got enough traffic to test. For those of you who have less traffic than that, apply best practices where you can and focus on building up your website traffic.

 

7) Add an opt-in form to the footer of your site

Don’t just put an opt-in form at the top of your navigation column and it call done. Add one to the footer. You’ll get about 20% more signups with this trick.

 

8) Add an opt-in form to the About us page of your site.

About us pages usually have the highest email opt-in rates of any page on a website. If you don’t have an opt-in form between the paragraphs near the top of your About us page, you’re missing out.

This email opt-in form appears on the About Us page of an affiliate site called NicheHacks. The opt-in form is placed between the second and third sections of the About Us page. 

This email opt-in form appears on the About Us page of an affiliate site called NicheHacks. The opt-in form is placed between the second and third sections of the About Us page.

 

9) Test your emails.

GetResponse lets you test your emails for free. You can test headlines, layout, timing – anything you want. We have a recorded webinar on how to test your emails. There’s also a PDF user manual for how to set up tests.

 

10) Add a feature box to the home page of your site.

This is basically a full-width opt-in form that sits above the fold on your home page. Once it’s set up, you’ll get about half your opt-ins from it. Feature boxes are so important that we published an entire blog post about them recently.

An example of a feature box on a popular affiliate site. 

An example of a feature box on a popular affiliate site.

 

11) Save time with an autoresponder that looks like an email newsletter.

This tip is especially helpful if you’ve got more than one affiliate site. We talked about setting up a click-triggered autoresponder above, but there are other uses for autoresponders. The one the best tricks is to fake an email newsletter with an autoresponder.

Creating a newsletter every week is somewhat time consuming. Even if you’ve got a template and your email content all ready, just laying it out and testing it and sending it takes at least an hour.

What if you used an autoresponder instead? That way you could create two, three, even ten email messages all at once. One blog post per email works well. Then schedule each message in the autoresponder to go out every seven days. Viola. You now have what looks like a weekly newsletter, but is actually an autoresponder. And you now have a lot more free time.

Are you an affiliate marketer? Maybe you’re an online marketer? Let us know in the comments below what tips you found particularly helpful! What are your thoughts?

11 Killer Email Marketing Tips for Affiliates is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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30 Things To Do On Facebook To Skyrocket Your Business In The New Year http://blog.getresponse.com/30-things-facebook-skyrocket-business-new-year.html http://blog.getresponse.com/30-things-facebook-skyrocket-business-new-year.html#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 16:07:25 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18298 Did you use Facebook for business this year? Are you planning to start this new year? Perhaps you have a business page but it hasn’t gotten any traction so far. Maybe you are scared by how things change constantly and you … Read more

30 Things To Do On Facebook To Skyrocket Your Business In The New Year is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Did you use Facebook for business this year? Are you planning to start this new year? Perhaps you have a business page but it hasn’t gotten any traction so far. Maybe you are scared by how things change constantly and you are not sure if you are able to keep up with all the changes. Today is your lucky day, I will walk you through what you need to do in order to have a successful Facebook business page in 2015.

You don’t have to hire anyone or remained changed to your virtual desk, either. All you have to do is to make sure that you know what you need to know about Facebook and without having to know every single thing about Facebook. This is the difference between total overwhelm leading to analysis paralysis and taking small, consistent actions that will move you closer to your business goals.

Let’s get started!

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Make a killer first impression

#1 Get yourself a great looking cover photo.

When you set up your Facebook page make sure to get yourself a decent cover photo, and by decent I mean professional looking. Imagine someone clicking through to find your Facebook page for the first time. What do you want them to know? If you are a solopreneur, what is your title? Give the most relevant information right there.

#2 Complete your about section.

Just under your cover photo, you will see links to your about page. When people click on this they see all sorts of information about your business – so, fill it out. You can leave a link to your opt-in offer next to it.

Notice the about section just under your profile photo on the left? Your visitors can see this info instantly without having to click anything. People often forget to take advantage of this. Make sure you do too and add a link to your website with an additional link to your opt-in offer. There is no harm offering your opt-in in many different places.

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Create a killer content strategy

#3 Create posts that educate, entertain or empower.

People are spending time on Facebook socializing, catching up on news, finding opportunities to entertain themselves, and also looking for ways to solve their problems. When you cater to their needs you prove yourself to be of high value, and in the long run  people welcome you in their newsfeeds.

#4 Learn to write effective headlines.

People are busy and your updates must cut through the noise and clutter to get people’s attention. Spend some time honing your headline writing skills and it will reward you with a big ROI. Write headlines that promise a big benefit or arouse curiosity. Mediocre headlines will move into oblivion faster than you can say Facebook.

#5 Publish posts for maximum engagement.

Think about the kind of posts you find interesting. Now switch gears and think about your ideal audience. What will get their thumbs up? Generally images do really well because they stand out in the news feed, and so does video. Combine these two formats to give a lift to your text-only updates.

Ask your audience questions but don’t make them think too hard. Questions that require a one word or a one sentence answer tends to elicit lots of reader engagement. Share quotes, humorous updates, and tips and tricks. Link to your blog posts with a teaser so people are more likely to click.

Don’t forget to hold contests and publish purely promotional updates but keep these updates to a minimum.

#6 Aim to maximize reach.

Post updates when most of your audience is online. Schedule your posts in advance and repeat your posts as not all of your audience is online at the time you post. Facebook posts have a fairly short life (75% of Facebook engagement occurs within 5 hours of posting) so you have got to post regularly.

Images_Facebook

Use high quality images

Anyone who is using Facebook for business and is not using the power of images in their social media strategy is leaving money on the table. The reason is simple: we humans are highly visual creatures and are wired to pay attention when an image pops up at us in a sea of text updates. We cannot ignore an image, it is right in front of us but we only consciously pay attention or take action when it is done well.

#7 Tell your business story.

You can use photographs to tell your marketing story. You can either use a photo with a single focus or a series of photographs to tell a compelling story. Make sure your images elicit an emotional response.

#8 Inspire via images.

Ask fans to share their favourite moments. Use user generated images on your page.

#9 Teach people.

Show people how to do something. Take images to solve a problem.

#10 Don’t just use images.

Use images in conjunction with quotes, humorous sayings and tips. This will make a bigger impact.

#11 Keep it simple.

Don’t add too much text or elements competing for attention. If the image is too busy, people will move on.

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Learn to run Facebook ads

#12 Master targeting.

You might be tempted to hit the promote button and boost a Facebook status update. Don’t. The best thing about running Facebook ads is that it allows for laser tight targeting resulting in a great cost per click but when you boost a post, the targeting options are limited.

You can start with your competitor’s pages (use the graph search feature to find these pages) and target them. These should be enough to keep you busy for a while. If you have a decent sized email list you can upload it to Facebook and create lookalike audiences. Finally, you can create custom audiences based on the criteria you specify.

#13 Work up to power editor.

I highly recommend hiring a Facebook ads expert for an hour or two to help you understand Facebook ads, how to run a page post ad from your regular dashboard for starters and then start using power editor, the chrome plugin for making your ads even more deadly. It’s not that hard and you definitely shouldn’t spend hundreds of dollars on courses that teach Facebook ads. Get one-on-one help, especially when you are short on time so you don’t make any costly mistakes, and perfect your fundamentals.

#14 Split test your ads.

Once you start running ads, start split testing them. Stop any ads that are not performing well and let only those ones run that are getting you a great cost per click. A really easy way to do this is to let the ad run until you get 50 website clicks and then look at what it is costing you to run it.

#15 Use remarketing.

You can use Facebook ads to target those people who visited your website without signing up or making any purchase. These people have shown their interest in what you have to offer and once you are feeling confident with advertising, you can create custom ads to target these people.

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Create Facebook groups

Facebook groups are great for creating strong relationships with your readers, prospects and past customers.

#16 Create a private Facebook group for paid members only.

Offer this exclusive access to you as part of a program, course or product upgrade. People must buy and request to join. People will purchase or pay a higher price for a chance to work more closely with you and also connect with other like-minded people in the similar position. This is a small group of people with an intimate feel to it.

#17 Create a public Facebook group for subscribers.

People need to sign up to your email list or newsletter to get access to this Facebook group. You want to promote this group as much as possible as it is great for attracting new people. You engage with the members and remain active but not to the level of your paid Facebook group. People in this group will see your work first hand and are considered higher quality leads than those who are just on your email list.

#18 Join other groups for networking.

You can also join groups for connecting with peers, potential partners and clients/customers.

Startup Stock Photo

Stand out on Facebook

People spend a lot of time on Facebook but don’t overlook the fact that they are spending most of this time interacting with their friends and family and not necessarily with brands or businesses. That being said there are steps you can take to make sure your updates don’t get drowned in the clutter.

#19 Be a real person.

Interact like a human and have conversations with people. Pay attention to what they are saying, taking account of their feedback and acknowledging praise as well as criticism. Don’t be a faceless corporate entity. People relate with other people, not with brands.

#20 Show off your personality.

Make your posts interesting. Show what you are interested in yourself. Share personal tidbits.

#21 Use great imagery.

As I said before, photographs and images stand out in the newsfeed but take this even further. Only use high class imagery and differentiate from your competitors by portraying yourself in an ultra professional manner. Give shout outs to others. Make your readers, commenters, clients, and customers the star of your show.

#22 Be civil.

Unless your brand allows it, be polite. Never say anything you won’t say to someone’s face.

#23 Be consistent.

The easiest way to make an everlasting impression on your followers? Do what you say you will. Keep doing it consistently and pretty soon you will start seeing results.

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Keep an eye on the competition

Facebook has some great features to know what is working for your competitors.

#24 Use Facebook pages to watch feature.

You can watch your competition and keep an eye on which of their posts are getting really good engagement. You can add up to 100 pages at one time.

You can find answers to questions like how many posts they are publishing and at what time. Which types of posts are getting more engagement, is it images, quotes, or questions? You can also see the type of content that doesn’t resonate with you.

#25 Keep your competition on an interest list.

Facebook has a great feature where you can add pages to your interest list. For this you have to like their page and then you add them to your interest list. It can also be done if you want to spy on them without letting them know. In that case you don’t like the page but locate their page on the Interests Lists area.

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Look at the insights

People feel overwhelmed by Facebook insights because they don’t know which metrics are the ones they need to be paying attention to. They feel like they are drowning in data because they are looking at too many numbers.

#26 Look at the right metrics.

Don’t get frustrated on Facebook when you think you are not getting enough reach.  In reality there are more important metrics you should be tracking. For starters, instead of looking at the reach, look at the engagement rate and the number of people who are taking action.

#27 Download the data and look at the big picture.

You can sort the data and look at which of your posts are doing really well. Instead of agonizing over every single detail, try to spot trends by exporting longer period data for a particular quarter.

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Use Facebook to build your email list

This might seem counter intuitive but the success of a Facebook business page is not necessarily determined by the number of likes it has. Sure page likes (your fan base) and engagement (post likes, shares, and comments) are important as they are great for social proof and organic growth, but don’t lose sight of your main goal: generating leads from Facebook.

#28 Create the right freebie offer.

Create a very specific opt-in offer to generate leads. Something that can be consumed in 5 minutes or less works really well. Link to this offer on your about page so it remains visible at all times.

#29 Run ads for list building purposes.

You can promote important updates and posts but you will get the most bang for your buck when you drive people to a landing page with the sole purpose of capturing their email address (squeeze page). You can create a page on your website or use a standalone page for this purpose.

#30 Follow up with an autoresponder series.

Don’t forget to warm up your newly acquired leads and make an initial offer using your email service provider’s automation service. Use this pre-created series of emails to build rapport and trust, tell your marketing story, build credibility and pitch an introductory level product or service in the end.

followup

Go get them!

In a nutshell, if you want 2015 to be the year you master Facebook for business, you need to learn how it really works, go deeper than just using it on a superficial level, and make the most of the essential features. With this post, you get a big picture overview of what you need to be paying attention to and also the things you can safely ignore.

Now go and take action. Make it your year and be a Facebook rock star and let us know in the comments below which tips you found as most helpful!

 

30 Things To Do On Facebook To Skyrocket Your Business In The New Year is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Pinterest Power Tips to Turn Your Content Pro http://blog.getresponse.com/pinterest-power-tips-turn-content-pro.html http://blog.getresponse.com/pinterest-power-tips-turn-content-pro.html#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 16:07:19 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18290 It’s only taken 4 years, but Pinterest now tops 70 million users, knocking Twitter off the top spot to become the fastest growing social network on the web. The gloriously aesthetic site design certainly drives sales – a study by … Read more

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It’s only taken 4 years, but Pinterest now tops 70 million users, knocking Twitter off the top spot to become the fastest growing social network on the web. The gloriously aesthetic site design certainly drives sales – a study by RichRelevance found that Pinterest shoppers spend an average of $169, compared to Facebook at $95 and Twitter $70 – making it arguably the most important social network platform on which you should be marketing your products.  

As might be expected due to its rise in popularity, there has been spawned a number of tools, services, and third-party apps that help brands capitalize on the effectiveness of the visual social media platform. And that’s the keyword when it comes to Pinterest – visual. Primarily, Pinterest relies on visuals to attract users to click on certain pins and boards. And so, when creating great content for the site, you need to think in these terms, so below is an essential list of power tools and tips to help you do this.

 

Pinterest Image Tools

1. PicMonkey

PicMonkey is a fantastic tool for turning your content into something visual for your pins. Since images are everything on Pinterest, it’s important that you use them to the best of your ability to maximize your product or service’s impact on the social network by turning them into a memorable, jump-off-the-pinboard, visual format.

With PicMonkey, you really can get creative with your images. You want to be thinking beyond simple shots of your products, and instead explore some ideas of how you can turn your reviews, customer testimonials, positive PR, and product or service descriptions into a visual.

One of the great things about PicMonkey is that it is easy to use, feature-rich, and of course free (though you can upgrade to Premium for $4.99 a month, unlocking more features), meaning that you don’t have to spend lots of money either hiring out a photographer and designer, or investing in a product like Photoshop, and then spend weeks and months familiarising yourself with how to use it. PicMonkey allows you to create image quotes, resize images, touch up your photos and overlay pictures with text. Creating great images for your pins really couldn’t be simpler, and to do so is imperative for giving your pins the extra boost they need.

 

2. ShareAsImage

ShareAsImage is the perfect tool that allows you to turn text into an image instantaneously. You can use text from any site you choose, including your own, making those statistics that you’re trying to communicate really stand out in a memorable and clickable way on Pinterest.

You’ll no doubt have noticed how extremely popular image quotes are on Pinterest and social media in general, and indeed these are the sorts of images that are most likely to go viral, so it’s imperative that you start building them into your content strategy from here on in.

There’s a free version of the tool, although it’s pretty basic feature-wise, but at $8.00 a month it’s worth the investment if you’re thinking about using it extensively. You can share any images you create directly from the site to all of your social media, including Pinterest, or otherwise save the images to your computer for posting later.

Pinterest_visual

Power Tips

Now that you’re creating great pins, you want to be focusing on a sharing strategy that maximizes their reach across the social platform. So, we now move onto to some power tips to turn your account (and you!) pro.

 

Scheduling 

You want to be trying to create an everlasting presence on Pinterest, and this means that you’ll need to be scheduling posts around the clock in order to target all of your followers who most likely will be scattered all across the globe. Of course, some of your Pinterest users will mainly be using the site at weekends too, so, even if your office is closed on a Saturday and Sunday, you’ll still need to be sharing your pins and getting that great visual content that you’ve created seen by as many people as possible.

You can of course hire a social media specialist to do this for you, but it’s not a necessity, for there is an automated scheduling tool that you can use to post your pins without even needing to be logged on.

ViralTag is one such tool that helps you to organize and schedule publishing for your visual content. With over 40,000 users, it’s a trusted service, and even has its own image editing features to boot.

 

Include Price Tags on Your Products

As noted above, Pinterest users are ready to buy your product. You must make sure, therefore, to include a price tag in the pins that you create. This indeed is a pro tip for pro content, and the statistics speak for themselves in this case – pins that include price tags get 36% more likes than those without, so make sure you include them.

Pinterest is becoming an increasingly valuable platform for e-commerce, and more and more organizations are jumping on board. As such, you need to make yourself stand out on the platform, and using the image creators above are a relatively cheap yet effective way of doing so.

Scheduling is of great importance for publishing on Pinterest, so make sure that you make a solid plan for staggering your posts so that you reach as many of your followers as possible. Remember to include a price tag on all of your products, as this is convenient information for potential customers who will be more likely to click through to your site from your pin if they know how much they are likely to be spending.

Share with us in the comments below what your experience with Pinterest has been like! 

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How to Engage Your Email Subscribers http://blog.getresponse.com/content-marketing-monday-moi-roi-content-funnel.html http://blog.getresponse.com/content-marketing-monday-moi-roi-content-funnel.html#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 16:07:13 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18283 Do you know why the best academic students take notes during lectures? Research indicates that with more intensive and varied interaction our brain works better. When writing alongside listening and looking at the lecture, it is picked up and remembered more … Read more

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Do you know why the best academic students take notes during lectures? Research indicates that with more intensive and varied interaction our brain works better. When writing alongside listening and looking at the lecture, it is picked up and remembered more so than when just listening. Now that is interesting. How can a brand apply this principle of intense interaction to their email marketing and increase customer engagement?

 

Engagement matters

Not only do converting subscribers spend more time with your messaging, but they are paying more attention. Marketers agree that higher levels of engagement are important. In the 2014 State of Marketing report 65% of marketers said that increasing subscriber email marketing engagement combined with revenue was a top lifecycle marketing challenge. Engagement can partially predict the likeliness of conversion and next to that, the branding value of your email is impacted by engagement and interaction.

 

Not every open is engaging

It is easy to mistake activity for engagement. A subscriber that opens an email is interacting, but is he truly, intensely engaging with your message? If he takes the second step on the email marketing stairway and makes a conscious decision to read/scan the content and click through; that is a much stronger form of engagement. True conversions are an even higher tier of engagement, like browsing the website, reading an article, a resource download, or buying a product.

 

Looking beyond optimizing email campaign engagement

We know the ways to increase interaction and engagement – per campaign. With A/B split testing, improved copy, stronger CTAs, triggered messaging, and making it mobile optimized a lot can be achieved. A customer engages across all campaigns though. Those extra click throughs can have a long term effect the minute someone converts and becomes a loyal repeat customer or fan. Here are two types of emails for increasing engagement on the customer level you can easily deploy next to your regular email program:

 

1. Survey interests

Especially the relationship focused reader will appreciate an honest survey, when done right it will appeal on the appreciation factor. The reader can be treated as an email marketing VIP if there is a bit of exclusivity, which would read something like this:

“Especially for you as a (frequent, highly valued, yearlong) customer, we would like to ask you as a part of our small group of X customers to express your opinion.”

Surveys are great and can definitely solidify your relationship with your customer.

 

2. Add a surprise personal email

Just ask for interaction to increase the engagement. If you are sending a frequent newsletter or action mails, adding a “surprise” personal email can greatly boost engagement. Customer.io did a very simple personal email which had 17% reply rate. 17% of the people mailed, sent an actual reply.

Of course this tactic isn’t scalable if you need to write them one by one, but it is a good way to start. This will allow you to sharpen the email text and content, because you are spending “quality time” with the concept of the email. While a first version might not be totally right, after sending about 20 / 30 of these personally, you will see that the text gets improved, improved, and improved even more based on feedback.

Finding the right angle or even subject line in these cases, is crucial. Think about the function of the person that email should originate from, should it be sales, account manager, the CEO, an intern, the service department, or even someone with the modern function title of “customer success manager” (yes they exist).

But as mentioned, send each of them one by one is not scalable at all, so you will be using canned (mostly pre-written) emails. As your subscriber base grows, you find that automation through autoresponders or other forms of  marketing automation is the low maintenance, high impact way to go. Modern ESPs will have a triggered email function in place to facilitate this.

 

Action = reaction

Every solid email program should offer enough opportunities to easily engage, of course not every campaign is going to be 100% on the mark for each subscriber. But we are looking for engagement on the customer – not campaign – level. Go through your email program and see if there are any gaps in appealing message types for each customer segment. And if engagement is seriously lagging, think about producing additional campaigns like the ones we discussed to stimulate that engagement.

Let us know in the comments below what you think and what you have found works best for your business!

How to Engage Your Email Subscribers is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Is Your Landing Page Ready For The Holidays? http://blog.getresponse.com/landing-page-ready-holidays.html http://blog.getresponse.com/landing-page-ready-holidays.html#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:07:29 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18242 With over 3.5 billion email accounts in the world and the holidays literally around the corner, the possibilities of email marketing are endless. This is precisely why we have made sure that your landing pages, newsletters, heck, even webforms get … Read more

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With over 3.5 billion email accounts in the world and the holidays literally around the corner, the possibilities of email marketing are endless. This is precisely why we have made sure that your landing pages, newsletters, heck, even webforms get a new look! Join us in the holiday spirit by making sure that your email marketing is on point!

To start you off, there are at least three facts that you need to know:

  1. During the holiday season about 48% of all email opens were made on mobile devices.
  2. Personalized offers work wonders! There are 2.5 higher transaction rates for emails or landing pages that offer coupons or discounts.
  3. E-commerce sales are more and more influenced by emails.

Just looking at those three facts you can clearly see why it pays off to make sure that you look at various opportunities that landing pages and personalized emails can yield!

 

Sign me up!

Whether you are into traditional graphics or modern pictures, the holidays are all about inviting people in. Make sure that you identify what you want to communicate, which dates are key in your marketing campaign, and begin searching for the right content!

If you need any help in identifying key dates or important objectives in a successful Holiday Email Marketing Campaign, make sure that you check out our Holiday Guide, which has all the tips and tricks you will need to begin!

We have recently added special webforms that can easily be integrated into your list building campaign:

webform

 

Invite me in!

Landing pages are an excellent way to collect leads and to share your offers. This year we have created new and beautiful landing page templates to help your business succeed. Make sure that you personalize and offer your customers great deals, you are more likely to get more attention if you offer a bonus!

landing_pages

What’s more, there are various other new templates to choose from AND in order to celebrate the holidays we have a special Landing Page Creator Contest! Enter for a chance to win amazing prizes!

 

Tell me more!

Wrap up your newsletters in a festive new look and send out your most important information in the most beautiful way

newsletters

And while you’re checking out all our seasonal tabs make sure that you also look into our multimedia panel. There over 50 new seasonal pictures to choose from!

Let this season be jolly and as we come to the end of November, we want to make sure that you are more than prepared for December. Share with us in the comments below what you have planned for your holiday campaign! 

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9 Ways to Build Your Email List with Videos http://blog.getresponse.com/9-ways-build-email-list-videos.html http://blog.getresponse.com/9-ways-build-email-list-videos.html#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 16:07:22 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18245 It’s hard to overstate the influence of online video. More than a third of Internet traffic is video right now. By 2018, it will be 69%. That’s just scratching the surface. The statistics on video use, growth and effectiveness are … Read more

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It’s hard to overstate the influence of online video. More than a third of Internet traffic is video right now. By 2018, it will be 69%. That’s just scratching the surface. The statistics on video use, growth and effectiveness are amazing. 52% of marketers name video as their most effective marketing channel. YouTube is the second biggest search engine. What’s even more amazing is most of us are still largely ignoring video.

Consider this search terms comparison from Google Trends. It compares search volume for the keywords “email marketing”, “video marketing” and “social media marketing” over the last few years.

EmailVsVideoGoogleTrends

Searches for “video marketing” just quietly tick along, though actual video use is growing by leaps and bounds. Even the forecast estimates don’t show searches for “video marketing” going up much through 2016.

So what does this mean to you? It means opportunity. Big opportunity.

Just to give you a way to start thinking about how to use video, consider harnessing it to build your list. There are more ways to do this than you’d think. They don’t take the skillset of a Hollywood producer, or the looks of an Oscar winner. Even if you’re doing a simple screencast, you can reach a far larger audience and attract them more effectively with video.

Here’s how:

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1) Add annotations to YouTube videos

You can add links, called “annotations” to your YouTube videos. Most annotations go to other YouTube videos or to a YouTube channel, but if you set things up right, you can send people to an external website. Annotations that point to sites beyond YouTube are called “Associated Website Annotations”. Instructions for how to set them up are here.

You only one link to use for your website annotations, so make it count. Also expect to have to tinker a bit with the setup. I have successfully added website annotations to my YouTube videos, but the instructions YouTube gave me were not perfect – it took a little creativity to get them to work. Most of the problem was I had to wait about 20 minutes for my YouTube account to update and then recognize certain changes I made. But with about 90 minutes work, now all my YouTube videos can point to my website. That’s a fantastic stream of traffic to get more signups from.

WebsiteAnnotationInActionCROPPED

Sends you to this page, that’s why it’s useful to use these types of buttons.

 

2) Include a pitch to join your list at the end of every video.

It’s nice to have a link to your website (or to a list-building squeeze page) in every YouTube video. But you can do better. If you add a 3-7 second pitch to join your list at the end of all your videos, you’ll see your signups spike. So make yourself a very short “join my list commercial”.  Add it to all your new videos.

You can even go a step further. I’d love for you to be able to test which of your email list commercials does best, but that would be complicated. Instead, try creating a customized list building commercial for each type of video you create.

Here’s what that might look like: Say you make 2-5 different types of videos. For example, screencasts of marketing tools, videos of you talking strategy, and maybe videos of you interviewing someone. Make an email list “commercial” customized for each kind of video. So for your screencasts, make a email list commercial about how viewers can get more screencasts if they join your email list. Interview watchers would see a list “commercial” offering them more interviews.

This is basically the same principle of creating multiple lead magnets to match different kinds of content you make. On websites, that technique can double or triple opt-ins. I bet the principle would work with videos, too.

 

3) Add links to YouTube video descriptions

Every video you publish on YouTube should have a call to action to join your list in the video’s description. These outside links are allowed, and don’t require any fancy html skills.

Want to make them extra-effective: Put your email sign up pitch copy above the fold of the YouTube description. You’ll almost double your sign up rate versus having it below the fold. When it’ below the fold, people have to click on the “read more” link to be able to see it. That extra step just crushes your conversion rate.

Ninja trick for even more advanced users: Spend a little money on Facebook, Google AdWords, or Bing. Test which call to action gets you the most subscribers. Use that tested copy in your YouTube videos… and everywhere else.

YouTubeDescriptionLink

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4) Use Wistia Turnstile

Wistia lets you embed opt-in forms into your videos. It won’t work if your video is on YouTube, but so long as the video is on your website, or on other websites, the opt-in form will work just fine. Wistia calls this opt-in form feature “Turnstile”. It’s included in their Small Business plan, which costs $25 a month.

Turnstile lets you choose where in the video you want the opt-in form to appear, like 15 seconds into play or in the first frame. You can also choose whether or not you’ll let people continue to watch the video if they don’t complete the opt-in form.

Wistia is compatible with GetResponse (of course!), so hooking your opt-in forms in your videos up to your GetResponse campaigns is quite simple. There’s a video on how to integrate Wistia with GetResponse here.

Wistia has gotten opt-in rates as high as 11% with their Turnstile opt-in forms. They have a nice post about how they optimized one of their Turnstile videos.

WistiaTurnstile

Wistia is not the only game in town for adding opt-in forms to your videos. Also check out Viewbix, OptinPlayer, and HeroCaster. Viewbix is extra interesting because it’s been updated recently to work seamlessly on Facebook and Twitter. If you want to try getting more subscribers with social media videos, Viewbix may be the ticket, but it’s a super-expensive ticket: $299 per month.

 

5) On landing pages / squeeze pages

These are so widely-used there’s a name for them: Video landing pages. When they first came out, around maybe 2010ish, they crushed it. Now, video landing pages still work, but not as well. But if you’ve got a landing page that you’ve never tested with video, now’s a good time to change that.

Video_optinLite1

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6) In your feature box

Adding a video to a feature box can work extremely well. It doesn’t always beat a static page, but it’s definitely worth a try.

Be careful with the settings for videos in feature boxes, especially whether or not the video will automatically play. There are few things more effective at getting people to frantically leave a site than to have a video suddenly start up in the middle of a quiet office. Because of that, I recommend having the video not automatically play.

Instead, use a cover image or first frame that represents the video and it’s core message well. You win either way with this setup: If your visitor doesn’t click the video, they still see an image that supports your opt-in call to action. If they do click to play the video, then you’ve got the chance to make an extended pitch.

PlugmatterVideoOptin

 

7) Use video for the format of your lead magnet.

There are several questions to ask if your lead magnet is not performing well:

  • Is the topic irresistible?
  • Is the cover image weak?
  • Is the copy lame?
  • Is the format you’re delivering the magnet in turning people off?

Here’s the painful truth: People don’t want to read. Reading seems hard, at least to our reptilian brains as they zoom through the information tsunami that is the Internet. Videos seem to make things easier. That’s why explainer videos can be so stunningly effective: They take all the hard thinking out. So if your lead magnet is still in text form (about 95% of them are), consider making it into a video, or a series of videos.

VideoLeadMagnet

 

8) Use video in your social media updates.

If you use Facebook for marketing, you’ll want to include videos in your updates. Don’t forget you can embed videos in tweets, too. And even in SlideShares, and on LinkedIn. No matter which social media platform you’re using, put up a few videos and include your email list “commercial”. You might find a fresh stream of subscribers.

GRTwitterVideo

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9) In your emails.

Emails still get shared a lot, especially when they have something extra cool in them. A good video qualifies as extra cool. So try using more videos in your emails. Just follow a few best practices to get the best results.

  1.  Include a call to action like “Know someone who would benefit from this video? Send it to them”. If you’re in a B2C business, consider changing that language from “benefit from this video” to “get a kick out of this video”. “Benefit from” is more suited to business.
  2. Right below where your email urges subscribers to share the email, add a big call to action to join your list. That’s so people who got a forwarded email can join your list easily.

These two extra steps will get you significantly more shares, and significantly more signups. But they’re not the only way to use video for your emails.

Check out these Sear’s videos

SearsVideos

They’re only shown on the page subscribers see when they’re about to unsubscribe. This is one of the best subscriber retention efforts ever, and it relies entirely on video.

We did an infographic earlier this year, How to Use Video in Email, that showed the potential gains for marketers who use video in their emails. Here’s just a section of it:

GRInfographicVideoEffectiveness

See more of what we found here.

So those are nine ways to grow your email list with videos. Are you using videos to grow your list in any way I didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.

 

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14 Actionable Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses http://blog.getresponse.com/14-actionable-content-marketing-tips-small-businesses.html http://blog.getresponse.com/14-actionable-content-marketing-tips-small-businesses.html#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:07:12 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18240 I am sure you are already using some form of content marketing in your business. Whether it is the updates you make on your Facebook page, articles you write for a leading publication in your industry, or writing blog posts … Read more

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I am sure you are already using some form of content marketing in your business. Whether it is the updates you make on your Facebook page, articles you write for a leading publication in your industry, or writing blog posts for your business blog. You can call it what you want but when you are pushing out content to meet your business goals, you are engaging in content marketing. So it pays to learn to do it right.

What do I mean by right? I don’t mean strive for perfection but make your content marketing decisions knowing fully well why you make them in the first place. Truly understand the impact of every piece of content you publish and then take further action to optimize your content marketing goals.

Sounds like a bunch of gibberish? It’s not and to prove this I am going to share highly practical and actionable content marketing tips that you can start implementing today.

Let’s begin!

 

#1 Identify your target reader with laser focus

All of your content marketing strategy and implementation will not save you if you don’t get this right. Who are you targeting? Who is your ideal reader? Who are the people you want to attract to your business hoping to convert them into paying clients and customers down the road?

Create one ideal customer avatar for these people, or many. Picture them in such detail that you feel like you are actually addressing a real person when you are writing. Choose a label for these people that they identify with.

Be as specific as you can. You want to call out to your reader and purposefully exclude people who you are not for. This will ensure your content doesn’t come across as generic and trying to please everyone.

 

#2 Get clear on your content marketing goals

As a business, your outmost goal is to bring in new leads into your business and generate profit. How does content fit into this picture?

Well, content exists because it accomplishes a number of things for you. It creates credibility and builds authority. It differentiates you from your competition. It creates rapport and trust in the eyes of your audience. What’s more it pre-sells, bringing people closer to making a buying decision.

Think about your big picture content strategy but also individual goals for each piece of content you publish. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want social shares? Comments? Do you want to generate business enquires? Do you want to attract some press? Assign a single call to action to every piece of content you put out into the world.

 

#3 Create editorial calendar for every platform

Creating a very simple editorial calendar for each social media platform will bring your content strategy into action. Think about all the social media sites you are active on. Think about the various channels you are using to promote your content and then create a basic calendar on an individual basis.

Create one for your own blog. It should include the kind of content you will publish, the date you will publish it, and a working headline. Create another for your Facebook business page, and another one for your guest posting strategy.

I find it easier to set aside a few hours for each platform and then sit down and map out the content ideas in advance rather than saying ‘a blog post on this topic’. You are already listing your main categories so go ahead and take some time to dig through your bookmarks and Evernote links and actually do few weeks of content for each site. I would advise against planning for months ahead because of the rapidly changing nature of things on the web.

 

#4 Follow 80-20 rule of content publishing

The 80-20 principle states that 80% of your results with come from 20% of your efforts. Apply this principle to your own content marketing strategy.

Firstly, you need to evaluate your current state of things, what’s working, what’s not. If you have a dozen social media accounts but you see that most of your traffic is coming from two or three places, maybe it’s time to concentrate on those and let go of others.

Secondly, apply this principle to your own blog. Spend 20% of your time creating content and the rest promoting it. Especially in the beginning when you don’t have too much traffic coming in or a decent sized audience. For every post you write on your own blog, aim to publish 3-4 on other sites. Apply the same rule to the nature of the content itself – 20% promotional and 80% educational.

Lastly, always remember that quality trumps quantity. You don’t have to create more content. Unlike the early days when there wasn’t millions of sites fighting for eyeballs on the web, now we are at a point where we are facing content fatigue. More is not always better.

Startup Stock Photo

#5 Develop a variety of content types

You don’t have to stick to one form of content, feel free to switch it around. You might create blog posts (written) or do a podcast (audio). You might create video tutorials (video) or infographics (visual).

Play up to your strengths but don’t hesitate to outsource different formats. If you have a team of people, you can assign different content creation tasks to members of your team that they are naturally good at and also enjoy doing.

Additionally, think about the kind of content you can create. You can publish how-to content, which is purely educational, or you can create content to entertain or inspire people. You can tell personal stories, you can cover latest trends and new topics, you can even give shout outs to your clients and customers.

 

#6 Learn to write killer headlines

Know the one sure fire way to sabotage your content marketing tactics? Write rubbish headlines. This alone will be enough to kill everything you have been working towards.

As I said, identifying your perfect audience is crucial and crafting an effective content plan is a must, but this is the last piece of the trifecta. People will forgive you for formatting mistakes or even stuffy prose, they will shake their heads at the choice of images you use and even share your content even though you didn’t ask (you forgot the call to action) but boring and irrelevant headlines? They will get ignored faster than you can say content marketing.

Hone your headlines, it is a skill and it takes time to develop. If you are really clueless or suck at it, hire someone to do it for you! Most people can do a decent enough job on their own – it is not rocket science. Make your headline benefit laden and/or invoking curiosity and you are done.

 

#7 Be interesting

Publish content people actually want to read. This can be educational, inspirational or entertaining, but as long as you are providing people with some value, they will find it interesting.

Remember you are writing for the web where the rules of writing are a little bit different than the rules for writing for print or even corporate writing. Pay attention to your voice and tone. Infuse your writing with your personality and aim to genuinely connect with your readers on a deeper level.

Write with a conversational tone of voice, as if you are talking to a friend. Write like you speak but edit it for clarity. Use short sentences and contractions.

Get to the point quickly and format it right. Use lots of white space and break up your chunky paragraphs into readable length. Use images, bullets, numbered lists, italics and sub-headings to guide your reader. If they find it useful and easy to read, they are that much more likely to share it and pay attention to what you say.

 

#8 Write for both humans and search engines

Old school content marketing looked very much like a link-building practice but it is not the same thing. In fact, if you carry your content marketing activities to build links only, Google will not look kindly on you.

You must create content using the exact language your ideal market speaks. Use those phrases people use to search online to get to what they need. This way not only you make sense to the people who haven’t found you yet but also to the search engines.

Don’t create content just to get traffic and links, it reeks of spam and readers are too smart for that. Create content that adds value, content that people love and genuinely want to share, which in turn will bring even more traffic. Attract traffic the right way. If you attract links organically, great, but do not make it the sole focus of your content strategy.

 

#9 Add a relevant call to action

Always add a call to action as without adding one to your content marketing, there is no way to elicit any action and your efforts will surely fail.

Make sure it is relevant and contextual. It can be to download an ebook, sign up to a list, make a sales enquiry, or make a purchase. Don’t add CTAs asking for purchase after every piece of content as you don’t want it to turn into a sales pitch. Do it only when it makes sense to do so and it is considered perfectly appropriate by your audience. On the other hand, don’t avoid mentioning your product or service at all otherwise you will dramatically reduce the overall ROI. Remember, context is key.

 

#10 Never run out of ideas again

Content marketing is an ongoing activity, you have to engage in it day after day, week after week and there will genuinely come a time where you start feeling a bit blocked.

The cure is to maintain your idea swipe file and keep adding to it. Set up Google alerts. Subscribe to the leading blogs and magazines in your industry. Pay attention to what people are saying in online groups, forums, communities, and on social media. Make a list of all the questions your own readers ask you on a regular basis whether via email or in your blog comments section.

Turn to this material for inspiration and ideas when you sit down to draft your content plan. Dip into the material you have saved to your hard drive and draw inspiration but never copy. Content that has been rehashed and put together hastily is easily spotted.

Startup Stock Photos

#11 Enlist help of others

Don’t spend all of your content marketing effort on creating brand awareness. You can actually get other people to help you out.

Connect with the key influencers and power users with big SEO influence. You want to strike genuine relationships with them and add value before you ever ask for anything in return. When it’s the right time, you can ask them to share a piece of content with their tribe (which usually comprises of hundreds of thousands of followers, if not millions). Apart from direct sharing, an endorsement from a big shot is like icing on the cake.

Instead of creating brand new content every time, you can ask your readers thought provoking or fun questions and invite their opinions. This makes for great user generated content.

Ultimately, the purpose behind content marketing is to turn your users into brand advocates so they can also spread the work for you and become cheerleaders for your brand. When they sing your praises, it leads to a far bigger impact than it would when you do it. Your customers making the case for you makes is 100 times more credible.

 

#12 Optimize your content landing pages

A content landing page is created with an intention for the reader to take a certain action, usually consume a piece of content. Examples of landing pages include a squeeze page where the goal is to simply collect email addresses, home page, about page, or any other content page like a blog post, a page hosting a video tutorial or a presentation.

In order for your content marketing to work to its fullest potential, you need to take care that all of your landing pages have been optimized, meaning, you have made it really easy for your reader to find the most important information and they don’t have to dig to find what they are looking for. There is a strong headline and one clear call to action and you have also made it easy for them to take the action you want them to take.

All of your landing pages should add to your credibility, build trust and highlight your point of differentiation.

 

#13 Create irresistible freebie offers

If you think that you must blog in order to have a successful content marketing plan, you are mistaken. You actually don’t need a blog, although a blog has big advantages for your business. Content marketing just refers to creating and distributing content with a business purpose in mind.

Outside of your regular blog posts, it can also take the form of ebooks, email courses, webinars, live hangouts, interviews, podcasts, white papers, infographics, video tutorials, and presentations.

Most of these, if not all, should be created with the purpose of getting people to sign up for your email list so they essentially behave as your lead generation offers. Most importantly, you don’t have to have one! You can have multiple offers designed for different channels.

 

#14 Stop looking for instant gratification

This goes without saying but content marketing is a long term strategy. Sometimes it can be hard to see results instantly and feel like it is not working. Don’t. Be consistent. Schedule updates and monitor regularly. Use analytics and make future decisions based on stats If you keep going and keep doing things right, you will start seeing results, this is guaranteed.

 

Ready to begin?

At the end of the day, content marketing is a strategic process where you create and distribute useful, relevant, and highly valuable content to attract your target audience. In order for it to work, you have to do it consistently and with a clear, pre-defined intention.

Which of the above actions will you take today? Share with us in the comments below!

14 Actionable Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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How To Craft Excellent Content In Three Steps http://blog.getresponse.com/craft-excellent-content.html http://blog.getresponse.com/craft-excellent-content.html#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:07:40 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18231 Content is king. It’s the king of SEO, and it’s the king of every great website, blog, infographic, Twitter account, and Facebook page out there. Excellent content drives traffic to your site. It’s as simple as that. No image, blog … Read more

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Content is king. It’s the king of SEO, and it’s the king of every great website, blog, infographic, Twitter account, and Facebook page out there. Excellent content drives traffic to your site. It’s as simple as that. No image, blog post, video, or anything else that has ever gone viral has contained content that is anything less than excellent – be it excellently funny, excellently informative, excellently shocking, excellently entertaining, or excellently silly, they have all had one thing in common: excellence.

So, what makes excellent content? Well, it depends on the medium, but in this post I am going to be focussing on written content and blog posts in particular. I’m a blogger. I blog every day, and so I like to think that I know a thing or two about how to craft together some excellent content for my worldwide audience. I didn’t learn the best practices of the craft overnight, but through years and years of hard work and writing literally hundreds and hundreds of blogs on all manner of subjects.

And so now I’m allowing you to take advantage of my infinite generosity as I detail for you some of the very best tips for crafting excellent content that I have picked up along the way, which will hopefully help to make your journey towards excellence a lot shorter than mine was – if only someone had been so kind when I started out. But, never mind that, this post is for you… here we go!

 

1. Make It Positive

Positive content is infinitely more shareable than negative content. This may actually seem counter-intuitive – if you read the news, then you may think that negativity was a necessity. But blogs don’t work like that. People like to read and to share positive posts from businesses’ websites. Indeed, finding the perfect tone for your blog is essential for it to be enjoyed by your following, and for them to feel that other people in their networks might enjoy it too.

So, what is the right tone for your blog? Well, it’s all about finding the right balance between formality and informality. You of course want your content to be useful and informative for your readers, but ideally it should also be entertaining to a certain degree as well. In a sense, the perfect tone for your blog will probably reflect the tone and the style of your favourite teachers at school. Do you remember them? They somehow made what might otherwise have been some very dry information come alive, didn’t they. You may well even remember some of the things that they taught you even now. They did this by inserting a sense of fun and enjoyment into their content, and that’s exactly what you should be doing, too, no matter how serious or informative your post may be. Which brings me onto my next point.

 

2. Make It Practical

Aside from being positive, excellent content is almost invariably practical for the user to some degree. This of course makes sense when you think about it, and perhaps goes some way to distinguishing why the news we read seem to make its success out of being negative, whilst blogging is all about positivity. The news are simply there to spread the word of current events and affairs, whereas a blog post should have real, useable value for the reader.

Quite often you will find that blog posts will take the form of this one, where some practical and actionable tips are being offered for those that discover them. Indeed, this clean and clear simple style can be a great place for you to start out when getting to grips with crafting some excellent content for your blog. Think about your audience in relation to your product or service – what sort of thing do you think that they all have in common? Can you come up with a list of some great tips that might be useful to them all?

What’s so great about this is that your readers will have something of genuine worth that they can take away with them after they’ve finished reading your post. They can apply it in their work or in their home lives, will see some great results in return, and will remember you and your blog for it.

 

3. Evoke Emotions

If you can hit on an emotion in the reader then you’re onto a serious winner, and the chances of your content going viral significantly increase. High arousal emotions are the best ones to target, and in fact sometimes the odd negative emotion can actually be of benefit here if used well. So, what are the high arousal emotions and how do you tailor your content to target them?

  • Awe: If you can inspire awe in your readership, then they won’t be able to resist hitting that share button or leaving a comment or reply. Awe can be inspired by of a story, a real event, or even from an impressive list of tips or links.
  • Surprise/Shock: Try and find something to write about that goes against people’s expectations in a manner that surprises or even shocks them, and they’ll just have to read on. Find new ways of doing things, new ways of thinking about things, challenge assumptions in your writing and prove those notions wrong – indeed this last point leads me onto to a negative emotion that inspires engagement…
  • Anger: If you manage to mount a serious challenge against some common assumptions, then you’re almost certain to tick a few people off, and what you’ll find is that they’ll start tweeting about you, sharing your post on Facebook, leaving lots of comments and perhaps even a few blog posts will be written in reply. This of course is great for generating traffic to your website, but you must of course be careful with it. Don’t just be contrary for the sake of it. Remember, you must still be writing positively even if you are inspiring a negative emotion, and you of course must still be practical. So, inspiring anger works, and there’s nothing wrong with igniting a healthy debate about something, but don’t make yourself unpopular, and always check your facts before challenging established conventions.

crafting_content

Some Final Thoughts and Tips

Creating excellent content is a matter of practice and experience, but hopefully the tips I have provided for you above should save you some time when trying to find the right path that will work for you. Experiment a little, find what sort of posts arouse the most engagement from your following, take note, and recreate those sorts of posts again.

When it comes to formatting your blogs, it also pays to follow a few conventions of style. Firstly, give your post a very ‘clickable’ title, something short that shows the reader instantly that what you’ve written has value for them. And then, once you’ve done that, do the same with your subheadings. You want to format your posts so that the content is easily scanable for readers, so lots of subheadings, lots of paragraph breaks, and a few bullet points are always good as well.

Finally, when you sign off on your post, make sure that the last thing that you do is ask for your readers to take some sort of action.

So, what do you think? What puts the excellence in excellent content in your opinion? Let me know in the comments below, and of course, don’t forget to share!!

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10 iPhone Hacks That Rock the Web http://blog.getresponse.com/10-iphone-hacks-rock-web.html http://blog.getresponse.com/10-iphone-hacks-rock-web.html#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:07:12 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18220 It’s hard to remember what our life was like before cell phones. We use them for just about everything: navigating our way around town, communicating with others, working on the go, setting our alarms, and more. Many of us eat, … Read more

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It’s hard to remember what our life was like before cell phones. We use them for just about everything: navigating our way around town, communicating with others, working on the go, setting our alarms, and more. Many of us eat, sleep and even shower with our phones. We’re spending more and more time with these devices that are practically glued to our hands and eyeballs, so we might as well learn to make the most of them.  As marketers, we too rely on smart phones to convert customers and drive sales. But how do we make the most of these devices as users and marketers?

Here are 10 mobile life hacks and tricks that can help you make your iPhone iOS8 work harder for you (and perhaps impress your friends too). No apps (or experience) required!

  1. Need a quick boost? While traveling, check the back of the TV or the alarm clock for an extra USB port to plug in your phone or tablet. Then turn your phone into Airplane mode to charge your phone twice as quickly. Need a boost in your subscriber boost? With a click of a button, import contacts into your GetResponse email campaigns in just a few seconds.Iphone_hacks
  2. Get Responsive…and resourceful. Amplify the sound on the go sans speaker or auxiliary cord using a cup, bowl or the cup holder in your car to make a mini boom box. Or, light up an entire room by placing a clear plastic bottle full of water on top of your phone’s screen and the water will illuminate a large area.
  3. Oh snap! In photo mode, tap on the primary location you wish to focus on to sharpen and improve lighting. You can also adjust the brightness by holding your finger on the tapped area and sliding it up and down (see right). And when you’re ready, use the volume control button on your Apple earbuds or the volume button on the side of the phone to take the photo – selfies has never looked so good!
  4. What was that you say? Have Siri read your texts while driving or long emails while doing laundry. Turn on the “Speak Selection” feature in Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech,then select the text you want her to read or highlight the chat window and select “Speak”(see right). Or turn on “Speak Screen” allows you to swipe two fingers down and have it read whatever is on the screen.planes-overhead
  5. Smart Phone, Smart Email Too! Just like the name GetResponse implies, you can make your email campaigns responsive to look great on iPhones too. Their email templates and designs automatically convert the layout to be optimized for all devices, regardless of email platform. No extra coding or effort required! And using their “Inbox Preview” feature you can instantly see how your email will render on all browsers and email service providers.
  6. It’s a bird, it’s a plane! Find out what flights are above you at any given moment byasking Siri “flights overhead?”She’ll spit back a list of airlines along with flight numbers, altitude and what angle they’re at. (see right). Speaking of flying, GetResponse has mobile-friendly landing pages that adjust to your phone so when a user clicks through to a page, it will be easy to read and take action on the go.inbox-preview
  7. Music to your ears. Wondering what the name of that song is while out and about? Ask Siri “What song is this?” and she’ll use Shazam to share and with one click you can buy in the iTunes store. And your email campaign open rates will be music to your ears utilizing GetResponse’s A/B testing and Email Intelligence to maximize the efficiency of your marketing efforts.
  8. Lock it up! Make your passwords extra secure by adding an accent to them. Hold down certain letters (like the “a”) for a few seconds to pull up special symbols. And use the Do Not Disturb settings to silence unwanted calls at certain times of day or from repeat callers.
  9. Oops, I typo’ed again. Undo that unwanted autocorrect by shaking your iPhone while typing (see right). Need it back? Shake it again to redo. Haters might hate your bad typing skills, but as Taylor Swift says, Shake it Off. undo-typing
  10. I Screen, You Screen, We All Scream for Screenshots. Last but not least, you can take a screenshot of whatever is on your screen to show visuals (as done in this article) by holding down the home screen button and the power button on top at the same time!

 

What hacks or tricks do you use on your iPhone? Comment below to share which features you can’t live without!

 

Our author is Sadie, the Director of Marketing for Cover Story Media, Inc. and WeRockYourWeb.com where GetResponse is the #1 rated Email Marketing Service (Read review here). She has acted as the email marketing coordinator and web designer for one of the world’s largest travel companies and managed social media for dozens of major brands. She has a breadth and depth of web and marketing knowledge that reaches far and wide. She loves all things Mac and keeping up with the latest web trends.

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Email Success Profile: The Residual Entrepreneur http://blog.getresponse.com/email-success-profile-residual-entrepreneur.html http://blog.getresponse.com/email-success-profile-residual-entrepreneur.html#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:07:43 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18213 OK, maybe you’re not in show business, and Hollywood may seem a million miles away. But a fascinating trend has emerged in the arts, one that might give you a new slant on your business. Put aside notions of actors … Read more

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OK, maybe you’re not in show business, and Hollywood may seem a million miles away. But a fascinating trend has emerged in the arts, one that might give you a new slant on your business. Put aside notions of actors surviving as waiters so they can show up for auditions. You’re about to meet Michael Simpson Jr., a new breed in the entertainment business. Let’s see what we can learn from his business model.

The odds are against anyone who enters the film business. There’s not much of a middle class among actors. As you know, only a few make it big. The rest struggle for a while then move on to other pursuits.

 

Meet Michael Simpson Jr.

Like thousands of others, Michael struggled when he first arrived in Los Angeles, learning the ropes, building his resume and getting to know the right people. He wanted to find a way to prosper as he developed his show business career.

He didn’t settle for low-paying menial jobs. Instead he leveraged his skills and resources. For example, he discovered that he was a good networker, a skill he needed in order to find acting work. So he joined a sales organization and started building his own sales team, creating the largest sales force in the company.

Thanks to talent, strong desire, and survival instincts, Michael began to get more and more acting work. He wanted to help others succeed, so he started a coaching service to give actors insider knowledge of the film business. And he taught the principles of online business — principles that can help promote an acting career or any business. 

 

Getting serious about marketing

Professional skills are just the beginning. Yes, you must be able to deliver on your promises, whether that means fitting smoothly into an ensemble of actors or closing a sale. Equally important is the art of marketing  — the skill of telling a story that resonates with your audience and spreads.

The good news is that you no longer have to rely on newspapers, trade magazines, and other major media outlets to tell your story. Web technology gives anyone a place to explain their skills and experience. For Michael, this means he can showcase all of his businesses in one place.  And for a do-it-yourselfer who is willing to learn, the costs can be reasonable.

 

1. Socializing your business

MJS

Not so long ago, networking was a long and arduous process. Today, social media puts the world at your fingertips. Michael uses these tools to reach out to those who are traveling the same path and help build a community. As in all things, success builds on success. As you develop a reputation for helping others, more and more people reach out to you for help. Your network and your opportunities grow along with your reputation.

 

2. Making email the hub

When Michael was looking for an email marketing service, he took time to survey his choices. GetResponse emerged as the clear winner because it gave him everything he needed: tools for creating great-looking emails fast and an accurate autoresponder for delivering on schedule.

In only 60 days, Michael boosted his open rates by 300%. Now he has put his marketing on autopilot, knowing that every new subscriber will get the same great introduction to his business. And when he has questions, he knows he can rely on GetResponse customer service for fast, accurate answers.

 

3. Showcasing YOU

Michael is not only a fine actor, he’s also a musician, and rapper … oh, and an exceptional basketball player too. You never know what might catch the eye of an influential person, so Michael puts everything out there. On his website, you can watch a video of him in a live performance at a music club. Or see him on the court, slam dunking a basketball and hitting three-point jump shots. (The basketball video earned him a spot in a Nike commercial.) And he is open about the fact that he supplements his acting income with his sales skills. It’s all about being everything you can be.

 

Doing the work

When Michael first made his move into show business, he knew it would be a difficult journey. But he was determined not only to build a career but to find an enjoyable way of life. This meant using skills he already possessed and learning new ones too. Sure, it was a lot of work, but work he believed in. So he committed himself wholeheartedly — and encourages other ambitious people to do the same. There just aren’t any shortcuts to success.

 

Embracing a media model

What’s the takeaway for your business? In the eyes of the world, your online profile is the best and quickest way to get to know you. Smart entrepreneurs (and big businesses too) have become publishers. They tell their story using blogs, emails, video, images, and social media. The tools are easy to use and more affordable than ever. We’ll be watching Michael’s profile to see what happens next. We can’t wait to see how far he’ll go.

 

How about you?

Do you have a fascinating success story about your experiences as a GetResponse customer? Just send your write-up in an email to testimonials@getresponse.com. Who knows? We may decide to share your story with the world!

 

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21 Email Marketing Tips For Coaches http://blog.getresponse.com/21-email-marketing-tips-coaches.html http://blog.getresponse.com/21-email-marketing-tips-coaches.html#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:07:24 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18205 Every online marketer has a different approach, that is why we have decided to start a series for individual types of email marketers. Today, we start with coaches! There are a lot of coaches around. If you’re a coach, you … Read more

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Every online marketer has a different approach, that is why we have decided to start a series for individual types of email marketers. Today, we start with coaches! There are a lot of coaches around. If you’re a coach, you know this all too well. And while it might sound like I’m about to say “coaches are a dime a dozen”, I’m not. There’s a reason why there are so many coaches around. It’s because there’s a need for them!

Want to know what best business advice Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, ever got?: “Get a coach.” If someone of that caliber names having a coach as the secret of their success, maybe the rest of us should think twice before we say we don’t need a coach.

Executives need coaches, business owners need coaches… just about everybody needs or can benefit from having a coach. But despite the pressing need for them, coaches often have an especially hard time finding clients. That’s why we wanted to do this post on how email marketing can help you, coaches around the world.

Before we get into the email marketing best practices for coaches, let’s cover why coaches should be doing email marketing in the first place. It just so happens that email is almost perfectly suited to solve three of the most common challenges coaches face.

 

Coaches sell their expertise, their experience, and their perspective. That’s their “product”

It can be hard to quantify your expertise, and it is even harder to justify charging for it. This means coaching has a fairly long sales cycle: Someone has to not just find you, but like you and trust you before they even consider paying you for your services. You’re not going to sell an hour of your coaching services through a pay per click ad, and you certainly can’t successfully auction off an hour of your time on eBay. You have to build trust, and a lot of trust, to get paying clients.

Email is especially well suited to trust-building, because while you can’t sell an hour of your time via a pay per click ad, you can certainly “sell” a free ebook about how to overcome a specific problem that you specialize in helping people solve. Then you can send a series of follow up emails – an autoresponder – to build your relationship with this client.

What makes this a game-changer is that it can all be done on autopilot. You can be building relationships with an almost unlimited number of people all at the same time, all while you are doing other things, like working with actual paying clients. If you tried to do this long-term relationship building with each prospect individually, you’d end up earning about five cents per hour.

EM_Coaches

Your ideal coaching clients have to like your personal approach, your personal world view. They have to like you.

Have you heard of the book, “People Buy You” by Jeb Blount? It was originally written for sales people, but the title couldn’t be more relevant for coaches. Your ideal coaching clients are almost literally buying your personality and your worldview. But because of that, there are a lot of people who aren’t going to want to buy you.

You can’t be all things to all people, and your effectiveness as a coach comes directly from how well your hold your integrity. Because of that, the best coaches are the ultimate niche marketers. They are not just selling their services as a marketing coach, or a life coach, or a fitness coach. They’re selling their services as, for example, a female life coach with an edgy sense of humor and a background in finance who helps very small business owners in the service industry overcome their struggles with cash flow.

Now that’s a niche audience.

Maybe that is not a description of your coaching business, but if you are a coach, you’ve probably – hopefully – got a description of your services that’s just as specific. You know exactly what kind of clients will stay with you long-term and truly benefit from your help. Those are the kind of clients you started coaching for in the first place.

Here’s the good news: Email is one of the best tools going to both for attracting your ideal clients, and for screening out all those other people who may need coaching services, but need someone else’s coaching services. The people who do not resonate with your message will eventually unsubscribe. The people on the fence, who are not really ready to change or to commit to working with you, will just silently read your emails, but they’ll never contact you. And that’s a good thing.

Bad clients, clients that don’t fit or who can’t really afford you, or who won’t pay you – those clients are not good to have. Anyone who’s done coaching or consulting for a while can attest to how much damage a bad client can do. The smartest coaches are very, very picky about who they work with, because they know exactly how bad a bad client is.

Email is a fantastic way to screen out all the bad clients. The people who do reach out to you through your email list will know you, and know you well. They will have signed up for your brand of coaching. Literally.

 

Having an active email newsletter means you’re forced to publish

Whether you send out an email once a week or once a month, you’re required to sit down and write something.

Being forced to sit down and address your ideal audience does several good things. First, it makes you consider what your ideal clients really need to know. It lets you go past all the little day-to-day complaints and symptoms people struggle with, and focus on the underlying problems. In other words, it gives you a deeper perspective, and then forces you to articulate what you’ve learned.

This helps you, and it helps your clients. The work you put into publishing your emails helps you give your clients better answers. It helps you form your philosophy, which is a fancy word for your perspective. And that, as you may remember, is part of what people are paying you for.

Those are the three biggest “why”s behind email marketing for coaches. Here are some of the specifics of how. Many of these tips can be found on any email marketing best practices list, but this particular list is specifically selected and slanted to what coaches need to accomplish.

online_marketing

1) Offer a lead magnet or free report that solves a common problem.

Offer your site visitors an ebook or a checklist that would be irresistible to your ideal clients, and immediately start seeing your list become a source for business. You can think of this as a way to build your list, but you can also think of it as a screening mechanism: You know the people who sign up for your list are at least motivated to take this step. If your existing lead magnet is not doing well (for example, it’s getting less than a 2% opt-in rate), it may be because you aren’t offering a solution that people are motivated enough to solve.

 

2) Set up an autoresponder to continue the conversation.

As mentioned above, coaching services have a long sales cycle. You can certainly nurture leads through a weekly email newsletter, but it might work better to walk people through a series of emails specifically designed to take them from point A to point B in your “buying cycle”.

If you have trouble getting a weekly newsletter out, and autoresponder can be even more valuable. If you schedule your autoresponders to go out once a week, your readers might not even realize they’re on an autoresponder.  That makes for one less weekly marketing task for you.

 

3) Send a welcome email to new subscribers and ask them what they’re struggling with, or what their most pressing question is.

Include a short introduction to your work in this email, even if it’s just a list of your most popular articles or blog posts. Remember: They may never be as interested in you or your work as they are when they first sign up for your list. Capitalize on this by offering them your best content.

 

4) Try webinars or public speaking to build your email list.

Many marketing pros name webinars as the most effective list-building tactic they have. Whether you want to build your list or to show off your expertise, webinars are a great way to get in front of your audience and deliver value. And because coaching is so often a two-way conversation, hosting a webinar is a terrific way for you to experience first-hand what your audience responds to or not. The only better tactic might be public speaking.

 

5) Partner with other coaches by guest posting, doing webinars.

This is a spin off of the tactic above. If your list is small or you have trouble assembling a big enough audience to make a webinar worthwhile, partner with one of two other coaches or consultants. You’ll pool your marketing resources, your expertise and your audience. It’s a win for everyone.

 

6) Create more than one lead magnet/free report. Offer it near relevant content on your site.

You probably already know a lead magnet is a must-have list-building tool. But did you know it’s okay to have more than one? Your site visitors have more than one problem, as you know. How about offering more than one lead magnet?

 

7) Solicit feedback and stories from your subscribers as often as possible.

Coaching is give and take, so bring that into your emails. Whether you’re sending autoresponders or a weekly email message, actively seek feedback from your readers. A twist on this is to include testimonials from clients, or even just comments on your blog posts.

 

8) Consider adding a name field to your opt-in forms, and go the extra step to use personalization in your emails.

Personalization can be wildly effective. While other businesses might not want to get too personal, as a coach it’s your job to get personal.

 

9) Make it easy to unsubscribe – use a one-click unsubscribe, and make it effective immediately (if you’re using GetResponse, they’ve got this taken care of already).

This is just basic trust-building. Don’t hide your unsubscribe link, and don’t make people go through hoops to unsubscribe. Remember: As a coach, you really don’t want people on your list if they’re disengaged.

 

10) Send more than just text.

Videos and images will be important for you to connect with your audience. Always be professional, but it’s essential for you to show your personality. People want to get to know you.

 

11) Don’t use stifled language.

Write like you are talking to people. See our recent webinar with DJ Waldow about how to write more engaging email newsletters.

 

12) Use double opt-in, and customize the sign up process so that people are introduced to you in a positive way.

If you customize your double opt-in process, you’ll end up with a larger, and more engaged list. You’ll get fewer unsubscribes, and your subscribers will be more likely to open and click your messages.

 

13) Include a link in all your emails for people to ask questions, or to make requests for topics you should write about.

Your best ideas for content will come from the questions your readers ask. This feedback is so valuable that you might even consider offering a prize once a month for the best question.

 

14) Announce your upcoming newsletters in your Twitter feed, on LinkedIn and in your Facebook and Google Plus posts.

As you build and screen your audience, be sure to do it on all possible platforms. Have your Twitter followers read your emails, and your email readers follow you on Twitter.

 

15) Write about personal experiences where you can. This is exactly the kind of information about you that coaching clients want to know.

Stuck for ideas about what to include in your next email? It’s time to tell a personal story. Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to convey a message, and because you’re a coach, people will be even more receptive to your stories.

 

16) Don’t think you’re bothering your subscribers with your emails.

Coaches are particularly susceptible to this belief. But remember: These people signed up for your list. They raised their hand to hear from you. If you don’t send email updates, you’re actually disappointing them.

 

17) Don’t be afraid to share your sources of inspiration, whether that’s other coaches, books, organizations, or anything else.

You won’t “lose” subscribers to these sources if you mention them, or if you link to them. You’ll be building your value with your subscribers by introducing them to new things. That’s exactly what they signed up for.

 

18) Try offering checklists or pdf guides at the end of every blog post you publish. Ask for an email address in exchange for the guide.

Think of these as mini-lead magnets. They work just as well.

 

19) Consider segmenting your list.

You can do this by segmenting out people who you’ve actually worked with versus people you haven’t, or by people who are local versus people who aren’t. If you offer slightly different solutions for your clients it might be helpful to offer them different email messages, too.

 

20) Every so often, give your subscribers exclusive content in your emails – content that is not available on your site or anywhere else.

This encourages them to pay attention to your emails, and to stay subscribed. You could even try offering a short-term discount on your coaching, with a coupon only for email subscribers.

 

21) Use GetResponse’s automation tools to create customized emails and paths through your content.

Did you know GetResponse can give you a list of people who clicked on a specific link in your email? And that you can then send a customized message just to those “clickers”? As a coach, this gives you the capability to create “choose your own adventure” type paths through your content. That means a more customized experience for your readers, and a way for you to leverage all the content you’ve created over the years.

 

Get ready for more

If you’re a coach, I hope this was helpful, let us know in the comments below which points you found particularly interesting. If you’re not, stay tuned for these upcoming posts: “Email Marketing Tips for Affiliates” and “Email Marketing Tips for Local Businesses”.

 

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How to Launch Your First Ecourse and Make It Sell Out http://blog.getresponse.com/launch-first-ecourse-make-sell.html http://blog.getresponse.com/launch-first-ecourse-make-sell.html#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:07:38 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18197 You spent months creating this fantastic online program. You invested countless hours creating the content, shooting the videos and getting them transcribed, and creating worksheets and handouts. Tell me if this sounds familiar. You know that said offer is of really … Read more

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You spent months creating this fantastic online program. You invested countless hours creating the content, shooting the videos and getting them transcribed, and creating worksheets and handouts. Tell me if this sounds familiar.

You know that said offer is of really high quality, it’s something that there is a demand for in the market, and have made sure that there is nothing quite like it. Sure there are competitive products but yours is much more practical, easy to implement, and takes the learning curve out of the whole process.

You think people will be signing up in droves. You think there is going to be stampede in a rush to purchase this ecourse. Sadly, none of this happens. You create your course and you put it up for sale and the results are far from what you were hoping for. They are heart breaking. They are soul crushing.

Maybe this situation has happened to you, or maybe you have heard a similar story from a number of new entrepreneurs and frankly it scares you. Sure you want to create your course, or update it, but you don’t want to take a chance unless there is some guarantee that this will work. Fear not, in today’s post, I’ll be teaching you how to launch your ecourse so it sells out. Let’s begin!

 

Phase 1: Research

If this is your first online program ever, you want to make sure you will be investing time and effort in creating something people actually want to buy.

This is actually the number one mistake people make that leads to their ecourse being a total flop. I would go as far as to say that even if you master all the remaining steps and execute them to a T, if you created something that there is no demand for, it will not sell well. No ifs and buts about it.

So, the first step is to research. This also holds true if you want to relaunch a course that didn’t do that well the first time around. You want to go back to the drawing board to make sure you didn’t imagine the demand in your excitement. That there is a real gap your course can fill.

Start by asking your own audience first. These are some of your most loyal fans so they are going to tell you the truth. Ask them what their biggest frustration is when it comes to your topic and what is one thing that would pay to get fixed.

Don’t stop there. Ask them what they have tried in the past to fix this problem and why it hasn’t worked. Tell them what frustrates them when it comes to all the existing solutions in the market right now.

You can ask all these questions in the form of a survey or by talking people one-on-one. If your audience is pretty small, there are other ways to discover market gap. You can join online communities and Facebook groups and start paying attention to what your ideal audience is talking about. You can also read comments by people on the leading blogs in your industry. You can also ask your friends who serve the same audience but in a different capacity if they would mind helping you out by running a survey or just allowing you to speak with a few people.

This step is crucial and if you nail this step, it is pretty much guaranteed that your launch is going to be successful. Congratulations on figuring this out.

Now on to the second phase …

 

Phase 2: Course creation and beta testing

At this stage you need to start putting the content together for your ecourse. If your ecourse or online program is badly executed, you will have trouble getting advance praise, reviews and testimonials from your beta testers. But when you nail this step, this will super charge your launch and sales process.

Start with your strengths and actual experience. Most coaches, consultants, and healers aren’t course creators. While they have experience working one-on-one, in groups or running workshops, they don’t necessarily have the experience of putting a training program together. If you have prior experience in this area, this is great. If not, I recommend working with a course design or instructional design expert.

They will help you create the outline, organize your material, choose the right information and structure your course. You will also gain insights into how adults learn and learn about the different types of learners such as visual, audio or kinaesthetic. A well-developed course will make you stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Now you want to test whether your course delivers what you promise or not. You need to hear from real humans who consume your content and see how they like it. Find out if they find anything confusing, if anything is hard to understand or implement and if there are any gaps in the process (remember, you are operating from the place of being an expert and are bound to miss some spots that newbies or beginners find it hard to execute).

You can recruit a group of beta testers for free or you can charge a low fee to do so, it just depends on the nature of your course and the relationship you have with your list. Sometimes in order for people to actually consume the content and take it seriously, you need to charge, otherwise they will not pay it the attention it deserves.

Got your beta testers? Great. Start dripping content to them and pay close attention to their feedback. They can also help you tweak the format. For example, they might tell you they prefer the content in written form or maybe they’ll encourage you to add some additional support like a private Facebook group.

The beauty of this round is that you can actually create the content as you go, based on the feedback you receive. And once the course is finished, ask your participants to document their thoughts. Ask them if you can use some portions as testimonials and once you put together a testimonial, ask for permission to use it in your marketing materials.

Once your ecourse is complete, you can get in touch with other people (movers and shakers in your industry) and ask them whether they’d be able to write a review for your ecourse. Mention the praise you have already received. Be proud – you have earned it.

audience

Phase 3: Pre-launch content

Once you are happy with how your course is coming along, you can start planning your pre-launch content.

This is another reason for your launch not getting you the results you hoped for – the fact that you did not warm up your email list enough to become receptive to what is coming up. Secondly, your pre-launch content will also help add more people to your email list so while you are releasing content for your launch, you are building your list at the same time.

The way you go about your launch content is that you plan a series of content (it can be a video series but it can just be a series of blog posts) to get your audience excited about your ecourse. You send than more content that you normally would, so if you email once a week, now you are switching to once every third day.

Most people get scared that once they start sending out more content, lot of people will be offended. Actually, only the people who are not a right fit for you and your business will get offended. They and the freebie seekers, these people are the ones who will unsubscribe at the hint of a product launch. And why does it matter anyway? Why should you care if all these people leave who were never going to buy from you? Your email list numbers should never be a vanity metric. By weeding out people who will never purchase, you are actually doing yourself a favour so you don’t expect unrealistic results.

If your business caters to different types of clients and customers, it makes sense to create a separate list for your launch. You can splinter some information from the actual course and create a highly specific, relevant freebie that people can get their hands on once they join this new list. Some people object to asking people to opt-in again when they are already on your list but think of it in this way, you are just asking them to reaffirm their relationship. You are just asking them to confirm that they are still interested in what you have to do. These are consistency and commitment principles of influence at play here.

Work off a pre-made launch plan. Think about how many pieces of content you will send. Think about the topics you will cover and how they will lend to the topic in the next post in the series. This ensures that if somebody discovers a piece of content somewhere along the middle, they will be interested in checking out the previous pieces as well. Play up to your strengths, if you are really good on video then go with talking head videos. If you are great at speaking, think about talking over slides. Master of word? Maybe the written format is the best option for you.

Lastly, give people sufficient time to absorb your content but not so long that they lose interest. You can’t go wrong with 7 days of pre-launch content.

 

Phase 4: Open cart (with a deadline)

As people follow the natural progression of your pre-launch content, you can lead them to your offer. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your offer should be crystal clear. Tell people exactly what they are getting and at what price. Give them the benefits but also present a summary of what exactly are they getting. This might include your course material, video transcripts, worksheets, templates, checklists, handouts, personalized access, group coaching calls or private Facebook access. Just spell it out so they are 100% clear. Remember, confused minds don’t buy.
  • Give people a deadline to buy. Human beings are master procrastinators and you want them to take action now rather than later. You can employ persuasion principles of urgency and scarcity.
  • You can do an internal launch first where you open doors to the people on your list and give them early access at a special, subscriber only, discounted price. Tell them that the price goes up for public to create urgency and encourage people to enrol. If your course includes working one-on-one then that means you can only enrol so many people. There is natural scarcity here and not a manufactured one.

Once you have an open cart, you have two main things to do. First, you have to persuade as many people from the launch list to enrol and you do this by sending them enough reminders. Depending upon how long your cart stays open, you might be emailing every second day, and sending two emails on the last day. You will find that a large number of people will put off their decision at the last minute and will only jump in the last few hours. So send one email in the morning and one again, just a few hours before the enrolment closes.

Secondly, you have to keep working to attract new people to make your launch a success. So let’s look at the final piece of this launch puzzle.

SocialMedia

Phase 5: Social Media Promotion

You must be promoting your pre-launch and launch content at all times. It is vital that you attract new people to give your launch every chance of success.

Let’s have a quick look at the numbers. On average, 1-5% of the people on your launch list will register for your course. Now do the Math. If you want to enrol 60 people into your $500 online course, (assuming a conversion rate of 3%), you would need about 2000 people on your list have a 30K launch.

Keeping the numbers in mind also allows to shoot for realistic goals. So if you have 500 people on your list and you are expecting a 50K launch but you end up doing 10K, don’t think your launch failed. Your launch actually did pretty good. The problem is that you were expecting too much. If you want to achieve that kind of goals then you need to build that kind of list so building your email list should be a priority from day1. Actually to get that kind of numbers for your launch, start building your email list when your course is just in the conceptualization stage.

Start by being active on your Facebook page and all the social media platforms you are currently on. Hire someone to manage your social media presence if you can afford it. Plan a number of guest posts on the relevant blogs in your industry. Start connecting with influencers early on and try to get the posts scheduled round about the time of your launch for maximum impact.

Schedule webinars if that’s your thing. Run Facebook ads leading up to the landing page so people can sign up to your launch list, or promote your webinars through Facebook ads. You can even promote your pre-launch content via Facebook. Form strategic alliances with people who serve the same audiences but in a complimentary manner to you and who are not direct competitors.

 

Let the ecourse begin!

Remember, when you create a well-executed course there is a real demand for, warm up your list nicely and then make a compelling offer, your launch will give you the numbers you plan for. There is not rocket science but simple Math.

Unless you do something to sabotage your launch yourself like ask for an exorbitant price, or email poorly crafted launch content (which will be a reflection of your course) or create something nobody wants, you will have a success launch. So do the former and you’ll do just fine. Share with us in the comments below if you’ve ever created an ecourse. Or maybe you have some questions? Let us know!

How to Launch Your First Ecourse and Make It Sell Out is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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2 Startups from Web Summit 2014 http://blog.getresponse.com/2-startups-web-summit-2014.html http://blog.getresponse.com/2-startups-web-summit-2014.html#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 16:07:47 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18189 This year’s Web Summit was held once again in Dublin and I was lucky enough to be invited along. The event is the second biggest tech summit in the world and is now in its fourth year. The Summit saw … Read more

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This year’s Web Summit was held once again in Dublin and I was lucky enough to be invited along. The event is the second biggest tech summit in the world and is now in its fourth year. The Summit saw 22,000 attendees each day from 109 countries, had 2,160 exciting startups exhibiting for 700 investors and enjoyed talks by 614 of the world’s leading technology company representatives. Alongside the tech talks were entrepreneurs and public figures such as Bono discussing a wide range of technology and business related subjects.

For businesses interested in the latest that technology can offer when it comes to marketing, Big Data, the cloud, web design and apps (and more), it’s an event that’s definitely worth a visit. The sheer size of it was amazing and it had numerous speaker stages and areas in which startups could demonstrate their innovations. As well as the centre stage where most of the high profile speakers held discussions in front of 1000s of people, there were specialist areas for marketing, enterprise, building (development and coding), hardware and more.

 

Food & Night Summits

Additionally, the ‘Food Summit’ courtesy of Good Food Ireland provided complimentary food to all attendees and it was excellent to boot, not to mention carried out with extreme efficiency. At night, attendees were also treated to special events in and around the bars in the city for further networking opportunities.

So if you didn’t attend this year, think about going to the next one which will be held in Dublin in November 2015. If you sign up now, you can get tickets at the promotional 2 for 1 offer that’s currently being run.

I met and spoke to a lot of the exhibitors and there was a huge amount of great talent with some awesome products – let’s have a look at a few of them:

 

#1: Webydo

Webydo like the majority of the other exhibitors (aside from the big guys such as Google, Amazon, etc.) had a small space in which to showcase their wares but they did it well. I spoke to VP Creative Shelly Grizim who told me all about what they do. Webydo is a community led platform which allows businesses to create beautiful, responsive websites without the need for coding skills.

However, it’s not just for businesses but is aimed at graphics designers allowing them to build advanced sites with just a few clicks of a button on a WYSIWYG interface. You can sign up for a free site with 3GB storage, one site and hosting or prices start from $9 per month. According to the Webydo site, the idea is to take the process of converting graphical designs into code out of the equation so that designers can work faster without the hassle of coding.

You can design from a layout template, a design template or a blank page and once you’ve chosen which, you then just use the online editor to create the site before hitting publish – all sites come complete with an in-built CMS too.

 

Webydo’s WYSIWYG online editor

Webydo’s WYSIWYG online editor

The editor is simple to use and it’s ideal for small business owners with design experience as well as web designers that want to offer powerful sites to their clients without having to code the backend.

I was impressed with the whole thing. Now I’m back from the Summit and having a look around the site and a play with the editor, I remain impressed and would say that Webydo is one to watch in coming years.

 

#2: Stir Kinetics

I saw a demo of the Stir Kinetics desk whilst at the Summit on day 3. Firstly, it’s worth noting that there are now quite a lot of standing desks on the market now but none like this. It’s been proven that leading a sedentary lifestyle (sitting in an office chair all day, every day) is not good for your health. However, neither is standing all day so the key is movement; some time spent sitting, some standing and adopting different positions is the best approach.

 

Stir learns your habits and adjusts accordingly

Stir learns your habits and adjusts accordingly

Stir uses software that learns your habits and reminds you when it’s time to change position from sitting to standing and vice versa. The desk is aesthetically pleasing (Apple fans will adore it) too and has a touchscreen pad that allows you to access the software. It learns your patterns and optimizes movement for fitness and productivity. And if you’re not moving enough it lets you know with a soft up-down movement. The desk also has tidy little slots at the back where you can plug in your computer etc. so you only need have one wire to go to the mains to power all of your devices.

Having just written an article on standing desks and the surrounding subject, I found the concept very interesting. While research shows that sitting all day can shave a substantial slice off your life expectancy, it’s important that office workers realize that standing all day is no better for you. Stir is the first to come to market with a desk that allows you to do both and provides software to help you. The manufacturer has recently received $1.5m in seed funding to further fuel its adaptive workspace innovation and is currently taking orders on new desks for shipment in spring 2015 – the desk retails at $3,890, which is in line with other standing desks on the market.

 

PITCH Competition Winners

 

AI was represented heavily at the Summit but didn’t win the prizes

AI was represented heavily at the Summit but didn’t win the prizes

There were plenty more startups that I could write about that attended, such as the PITCH competition winners. This year the coveted BETA award went to Portuguese company Codacy, a code review automation app designed to make software development more efficient. The ALPHA award was won by UK company BaseStone, which makes software for the construction industry designed for better collaboration and simpler document control.

Well done to Paddy Cosgrove, the event organiser and host and to the excellent venue that is the Royal Dublin Society. Not to mention Good Food Ireland for serving great food exceptionally quickly to so many hungry people!

If you’d like me to cover more of the Web Summit in coming weeks then please do leave a comment in the field below – just let me know if you’d like to hear about some of the talks or the startups and I’ll be happy to fill you in!

2 Startups from Web Summit 2014 is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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6 Email Insights From Usability Research: All You Need To Know http://blog.getresponse.com/6-email-insights-usability-research-need-know.html http://blog.getresponse.com/6-email-insights-usability-research-need-know.html#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 16:07:19 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18180 There are several ways to learn and improve your newsletter. I am a big fan of A/B testing, because it can give you real, usable results based on data. Usability research is a completely different game (and more expensive). Usability … Read more

6 Email Insights From Usability Research: All You Need To Know is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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There are several ways to learn and improve your newsletter. I am a big fan of A/B testing, because it can give you real, usable results based on data. Usability research is a completely different game (and more expensive). Usability research can give a brand insight into the expectations and opinions that users have. In case of email marketing, a marketer would be looking at their own subscribers. What can we learn from usability research in email marketing?

The Dutch Direct Marketing Association recently published a usability research they did amongst 14 brands, supported by some data from eye tracking with the same group. Here are key six learnings they uncovered. I added my own conclusions because the ones in the research were a bit on the “not as informative” side. Let us begin!

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1. Indexes are valued, not always helpful

An index is often used in larger newsletters that include a lot of items. By having an index the subscribers can scan and quickly go through the content of your email. The participants in the research said they valued an index, but it should directly link to the landing page. Some newsletters use anchor text that would normally let you scroll to the article inside the newsletter. That is not what they expect to happen. If your newsletter is already at the height of that item, it seems like nothing is happening.

Insight: Users say they like indexes because it lets them easily scan the content. But does that mean you should add one it might as well decrease your particular conversions! If you do add one, make sure it is linked directly to the landing page

 

2. Subject lines and the natural order of things

The users in the research were pretty clear about this one, they expected the subject line to reflect what they would find in the first article at the top of the email,. In one of the newsletters it wasn’t, this is perceived as confusing. The users wanted to read about the topic mentioned in the subject line, but had to look for it.

The explanation of the brand was viable enough; the first topic (launch of their mobile app) was important to highlight, but didn’t have the highest news-value and they used a different subject line,  because it might appeal more and persuade people to open.

Insight: The top of your newsletter will always get the most attention. Users go through the hierarchy of your email. Subject line and content are heavily connected, this is why a winning subject line in opens, isn’t guaranteed to give you the most clicks (or conversions). Experiment with the order of your content, subject lines and see what it does to your CTO (click to open rate).

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3. An introduction to Intro text

Have you ever seen these newsletters that have a big introduction text? Or one that starts off like “In this newsletter we have gathered interesting….. blablabla”. Users that participated in the this usability research mentioned that they did sometimes read the intro, but didn’t always see the (added) value of it.

Insight: think about the function of your intro text. A summary of items in the newsletter won’t cut it in my opinion, see the first point on indexes. But framing might do. Most of the time these intros should be cut, especially if there isn’t any value in them. If there is, see if you can dramatically decrease the size of your intro.

Startup Stock Photos

4. Body needs back

Users said that they would like to see the content “framed” with a border or by using a background colour so they would (instantly) know where the email stopped, adding to structure and a better overview. The brand gave an explanation, un-bordered was is part of their brand guidelines.

Insight: Focus your readers attention. Although i wouldn’t put this on my top-things-to-test-and-change list, it might help your users to drive attention towards the content. “It is in our Brand guidelines”  is not a convincing argument for not testing your email, although I understand this is a daily reality for some marketers.

 

5. Sender name needs to connect

In one case in this usability study, the sender and the subject line didn’t match. It was from ‘HB Care Hairstyle’, while the subject line mentioned skin products too. The users found this to be confusing and unappealing, saying they would open it faster if these were aligned. The brand immediately took that as a quick win and changed their sender name to ‘HB Care’ for future mailings.

Insight: Never underestimate the power of the Sender name and form address. this is the first thing that users see in their inbox, even before subject line and pre-header or snippet. You are free to change this to better reflect the content of your ongoing email campaigns, or even change it to fit with individual email campaigns. For instance think about the difference between transactional mails, marketing automation and event driven mails or series of emails.

 

6. Link to Landing pages

The importance of linking to the landing page from your index page is undisputed. Now the users also said that with some emails, they couldn’t easily find what they were looking for on the landing page while it was there.

Insight: Make sure your landing page is what is expected and directly offers the assurance that the subscriber is in the right place. Sometimes though there are multiple items on one page, Adding an anchor in the link to your lengthy landing page can direct them and scroll the page so that the topic is presented front and center.

Adding an anchor text is quite simple: First you add a small piece of code on the page itself. Say your page has multiple items on email marketing ;) And you wanted to get right to the part where you give tips on Sender name. You can add a little link inside the page looking like this:

<a name=”sendername”></a>

now you can link to that part directly by adding a hashtag and the name of your anchor at the end of your link. Try clicking on the link and you will see it works.

 

Use of usability research in email

Usability research just like other types of research needs to be used with care and seen in context. It is not an alternative to a professional email marketing audit or A/B testing. Remember your subscribers are not experts, that makes it both valuable and is a great tool for uncovering “hidden” insights. At the same time they are not experts, so what do they know beyond their own wants needs and experience? Simply taking what people (users) suggest and taking it as absolute truths, is not the way to go.

It is important to remember though that the research was a qualitative research; people were asked for their opinions and had more time to look at the emails inbox and landing pages. ). That is not the same situation as it is in real life of course. The outcomes for your own newsletter might be different, but very useful in adding new test and optimization ideas. In the comments below, share with us your insights and results!

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