GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips http://blog.getresponse.com Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:03:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Klout Me In: Why You Need to Know Your Score http://blog.getresponse.com/klout-need-know-score.html http://blog.getresponse.com/klout-need-know-score.html#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:03:10 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17823 As influencers, online marketers, and people who count all the engagement that comes in – we need to remember that we also need to know where we as people (or a business) stand. Most marketers and businesses focus on analytics, … Read more

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As influencers, online marketers, and people who count all the engagement that comes in – we need to remember that we also need to know where we as people (or a business) stand. Most marketers and businesses focus on analytics, not really looking at what could jumpstart their campaigns, what content is worthy of re-sharing (and remember, recycling is good!), and which people are worthy a follow. So, where does one start? Klout.

When Klout came roaring 5-6 years ago, people were raging. The 1-100 scale of awesomeness was a ladder that everyone was eagerly climbing as hard as possible. However, for the first years the algorithm wan’t impressive enough, most influencers were not convinced of the Klout way. But fear not, Klout has made the best of the last years and has grown with knowledge every marketing professional should take advantage of.

 

How does Klout….Klout?

The algorithm takes in the most popular social media websites that you are a part of:

  1. Twitter: The more retweets and mentions you receive, the better for your score. However, you also get points for being placed on lists. It is also better to have 100 people retweet 3 tweets, than one person retweet 97 of your tweets. It is not about one singular person, but also more so about the reach and engagement on a greater scale. The number of followers is does not directly impact your score, but having a large amount of followers with real accounts is a bonus.
  2. Facebook: Not much different than Twitter. The amount of likes, shares, and comments on content that you have created is very important. But it does not stop there, each mention or tag you receive is just as important – this proves that you are being talked about. Once again, the number of friends or subscribers plays no significant role.
  3. Google+: This social media site has one little bump, the only +1’s that are counted are the ones you get on your public posts. Unfortunately, Klout does not measure posts that were made to individual circles. This also goes for mentions, comments, and shares.
  4. LinkedIn: Interestingly enough this social media site works differently for each individual. Why? Because the higher your title and level, the greater the impact on your Klout Score. Another important factor is that although the number of connections, likes, shares, and comments are important, what gives your score the most impact is the amount of recommendations you have received.
  5. Instagram: Likes, comments, mentions, and tags are counted.

Klout also counts an actual Klout account in itself (yes, you can +K people!). What’s more, you can also link Wikipedia, YouTube, Flickr, Blogger, Tumblr, Last.fm, WordPress, and Bing. However those do not go into your actual Klout score.

 

Why influence matters and how to increase it

The website itself states that: The Klout Score isn’t the average of your influence across all your networks, it’s the accumulation. This is precisely why it is worth your time to be available on more social networks, this way you don’t just increase your score, you also become an expert and a skilled marketer in your area, making you more reliable and sought after.

And why does this accumulative influence matter? Because more and more often we find ourselves looking at brands being represented by marketers, or marketers speaking for themselves, business engaging with their customers, and most importantly – those seeking more are looking for ways to impact large groups. It is pivotal for you as a marketer to have great engagement, and Klout is a great way to keep track of what is happening with your content.

Klout gives you, as a growing influencer, the ability to keep track of the content that you put out there. You can see exactly what content is doing best, what your recent activity looks like, what is the overall network contribution to your score, and most of all Klout gives your suggestions based on your interests.

As an example, I have taken my Content Marketing filter and got a Daily Suggestion of important people in Content Marketing that I should follow, but also three suggestions of pieces of content that are worth sharing:

Share_Content

Klout goes a little further and even allows you to schedule posts. Now, isn’t that great? It is, because you are able to geolocate! Based on your location and timezone, Klout calculates the best time to share any content that you are scheduling:

Scheduling

What’s more, you can preview your content, shorten links, and most importantly – check out what people would benefit from being mentioned. This way you not only share great content but you make sure that it reaches the right people.

 

The ABC’s

Gina Carr wrote a great book about why Klout matters and in an interview with Mashable she mentioned an important factor to using Klout, the ABC’s:

  • (A)lways be engaging: this goes especially for businesses who have their own brand social media. People nowadays are looking for real human interaction, make sure that you use your growing influence and that you reply, like, comment, favorite, or simply thank a customer for their engagement.
  • (B)e consistent: A pretty self-explanatory point. If you post content once a month, never promote it, never remind people of it, and most importantly – of you.. well, you will get lost in an ocean of social media content. Post content frequently and consistently, create a community that will be waiting for what you have to say next!
  • (C)onnect: This point is especially important and is the next step to our (A). Take the time to create relationships with people who relate to you. The other side of the coin is connecting all your social media accounts to Klout, why? Because this way you will be able to see just how much you and your business are connecting to people.

 

The perk of being someone

Klout rewards those who work on their brand. It might seem a little highschoolish, but let’s be honest, everyone likes receiving achievement awards! The better you handle your score, and the more you work on engaging and pushing out content that matters to people, the more likely you are to climb the ladder. And Klout recognizes your hard work! Perks can go from a free coffee voucher, to sitting in the business lounge of your favorite airline on your next trip! The higher your Klout Score, the better the perks.

Now, it does not stop there! If you have a successful brand and would like to give perks to those that worked and have created a name for themselves, you can! Klout has now created a business section to their platform. You are able to create campaigns, watch their success, reach influencers with your content, target in order to get site referrals from Klout influencers, and of course you can yourself give perks from your brand.

Now, you may not reach Barack Obamas’ 99 Klout Score, but you can reach higher peaks and become a great marketing influencer that will not only be recognized through perks, but also by recommendations, site referrals, and engagement that will allow you and your business to impact people more than ever before.

Are you using Klout? Share with us in the comments what are your thoughts and how you have seen Klout help you reach people with the right content.

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Pinterest Passes Twitter in Popularity http://blog.getresponse.com/pinterest-passes-twitter-popularity.html http://blog.getresponse.com/pinterest-passes-twitter-popularity.html#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:07:44 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17818 Twitter, first launched in March 2006, may have a good four years on Pinterest (launched in March 2010), but the visual discovery tool has finally leapfrogged its older brother in popularity by 3%, bringing the total percentage of online adults … Read more

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Twitter, first launched in March 2006, may have a good four years on Pinterest (launched in March 2010), but the visual discovery tool has finally leapfrogged its older brother in popularity by 3%, bringing the total percentage of online adults who use Pinterest up to 21% (PewResearch).

Facebook, of course, remains the unrivaled giant of the social media world, with a total of 1.19 billion users worldwide, which equates to a whopping 71% of online adults using the site.

LinkedIn just about claims the number 2 spot, attracting 22% of internet users, and Instagram comes in at 5th with 17%. (Pew Research, it should be noted, do not include Google+ in their study.)

 

Engagement

However, when you scrutinise the level of engagement amongst users with their preferred social network sites, the numbers become a little skewed, and indeed Twitter surpasses Pinterest in terms of frequency of use.

Facebook, as you might expect, remains number 1 in the daily usage rankings, with 63% of users logging in to the site on a daily basis. Interestingly, Instagram, which came out 5th in the top 5, is in second place, recording a 57% daily usage.

Twitter may overall have fewer people signed up, but those who do use it are more engaged with the platform. 46% of tweeters are active on the site every day, compared to only 23% of the Pinterest folk.

LinkedIn when it comes to usage lags way far behind at the back of the pack. Only 13% of its users visit the site daily – though this may of course be due to the very nature of the network. It is after all a social network for professionals, and based upon job advertising and recruitment. So, perhaps its users are largely now too professionally occupied to be wasting their time on social media every day.

 

Demographics

So who’s using these sites? Facebook, again, continues to triumph being consistently popular across several demographic groups. The other 4, however, seem to attract more specific user groups.

  • Women are still more likely to use Pinterest than men
  • Twitter is slightly more popular amongst males (15% against 22%)
  • 74% of women use social media, whilst just 62% of men do

 

Outbound Conversions

But what does the e-tail world make of social network? Well, quite a lot, as you probably won’t be surprised. But what may be a revelation to you is that Pinterest has now managed to overtake Facebook in UK referral revenue.

Indeed, in the last quarter of 2013, Pinterest achieved a whopping quarter-over-quarter increase in revenue per visit (RPV) of 50%. Facebook still managed to break its year-over-year records, according to Econsultancy, in all areas, with Facebook ad click volume up 125%, and Facebook ad impressions volume up 10%.

Facebook also fared well when looking at the brand engagement numbers:

  • Social engagement with brand posts up 180%
  • Shares and comments up 40%
  • Brand post impressions up 150% 

The figure that is interesting to note, however, and the one that goes a long way into understanding how Pinterest’s RPV has improved so dramatically; on Facebook, posts with images produce a 650% higher engagement rate than regular text posts.

Pinterest is all about the pictures on the boards. Indeed, the newsfeed is nothing but images directing the user to clickable links, and users, it seems, like these a lot lot more.

 

So what are the RPV figures?

Finally being fought off the top spot, Facebook comes in third for revenue per visit generated. Although an increase, it is only up 72% year-on-year, compared to Twitter’s increase of 131%, and Pinterest’s 244%.

Yet again, Pinterest trumps Twitter, this time significantly.

 

Referral Traffic

Facebook for the moment still refers the most traffic to retail sites, though this is creeping down year-on-year. But if we’re talking percentages then this time it’s Twitter that comes out on top.

Twitter referrals are up 125% year-on-year, surpassing Pinterest which is up 89%. Facebook, however, despite making the highest number of referrals, is actually down 15% year-on-year.

Both Twitter and Pinterest are making great headway in referring traffic to retail sites. And indeed, anyone who is still on the fence about including Pinterest in their social marketing strategy should climb down immediately, for Pinterest surpasses both Facebook and Twitter in terms of the average revenue generated by a referral – Facebook and Twitter shoppers spend an average of $60-$80 (£36-£48) per order, whereas Pinterest shoppers spend a lot more – between $140 and $180 (£84-£109).

For those of you that look regularly at analytics, the news is probably not that surprising. I’ve always found Twitter to be the best traffic driver overall but that’s more likely to be down to sheer volume of followers. I’ve noted that recently, G+ seems to be catching up and Pinterest has always been an excellent driver even when it’s not being used as often as the other social sites.

What does this mean for your marketing strategy? Some quick tips:

  • You don’t have to be a retailer to use Pinterest, you can post images that are attached to your blog posts in order to drive traffic.
  • Infographics are an excellent way of gaining repins on Pinterest and are highly popular – you can also post on your site with an embed code to attract backlinks – make your own easily with resources such as infogr.am.
  • Pinterest now has its own more in-depth analytics (business accounts only) which can help you to really hone in on your target demographic.

Pinterest overtakes Twitter in popularity, and indeed even overtakes Facebook for RPV. It seems that all the social media sites are on the increase except, that is, for Facebook, whose popularity is slowly but surely on the decline. However, it is still so far ahead as to remain the unrivalled leader of the pack, but over time one of these networks may eventually surpass it, and, for now at least, Pinterest, though still a way off is nonetheless the closer of the two in doing so.

Do you find Pinterest to be a useful part of your social campaign or do you find other sites more successful? Let us know in the comments below and look out for my article on Pinterest Analytics next week.

Pinterest Passes Twitter in Popularity is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Facebook Targeting for Beginners: Radius-Based Ads http://blog.getresponse.com/facebook-targeting-beginners-radius-based-ads.html http://blog.getresponse.com/facebook-targeting-beginners-radius-based-ads.html#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 14:28:16 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17804 Facebook recently launched radius-based advertising. Now you can design campaigns that target users within a particular radius surrounding your geographic location. So far, this form of advertising is available only in the USA. But because of its potential, it may … Read more

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Facebook recently launched radius-based advertising. Now you can design campaigns that target users within a particular radius surrounding your geographic location. So far, this form of advertising is available only in the USA. But because of its potential, it may soon be widely available.

Targeted Advertising on Facebook

There are many ways to promote your business effectively via social media (check out our previous blog posts: 5 Ways to Promote Your Business on LinkedInGetting Started With Instagram). Unfortunately, there’s no universal recipe for creating a perfect ad campaign that brings fantastic results every single time. Different types of business activities require different advertising strategies.

One of the key factors of successful advertising is targeting. Is your ad targeted to the proper audience? And is the message conveyed in a comprehensive way? Even a huge budget will not generate satisfactory results if the recipients are not interested in the product or offer.

According to their official data, Facebook has 1.32 billion monthly active users as of June 30, 2014. The social networking website has collected a lot of information about the users. This data makes Facebook one of the most efficient tools for targeted advertising.

Targeting may sound complicated. But in fact it’s not. Facebook offers many parameters, allowing users to target their ads precisely to the perfect audience in no time.

getresponse_blog_fb_targetting

Defining Your Target Audience

Facebook enables you to define the target group for each advertising activity. You can choose location, demographics (e.g. sex, age, date of birth), interests, place of work, education, language or connections (e.g. email marketing fans). In fact, you can use all the information provided by users at sign up.

With geographical parameters, you can target your ads to people who live in a particular country, state, city or ZIP code. Just choose a city and define a radius surrounding it; your ad will be delivered to the target city and nearby cities within range of the defined radius.

However, this solution is not for everybody. The vast majority of campaigns prepared this way are less effective for small businesses that sell their products or offer services mainly to the local community.

Radius-Based Ads

If you are not interested in a campaign covering the entire city, and you only want to target people close to your premises – this is the option for you.

Radius-based ads reduce your campaign budget by allowing you to create ads that target users in close proximity.

Who can use this functionality?

Radius-based ads might be particularly useful for business directing offers to local communities. Here are a few examples of businesses that might benefit from this form of advertising:

Radius-Based Ads

1. Bakery

For example, let’s look at an organic bakery that uses only the highest quality all-natural ingredients. The owner knows his customers very well (mostly people from the neighborhood). He likes to chat with them, collect their opinions, and adjust his offer to their preferences.

The bakery offers different products depending on the day and time. The owner changes his offer regularly, to match the preferences of different customers.

An ad campaign targeted to people living nearby might be more effective and less expensive than a campaign covering the entire city.

With a radius-based ad, the bakery owner might:

  • Inform his customers about special offers: sweet and salty pastries baked with seasonal ingredients, holiday specials (Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, Easter bread), gluten-free pastry, or any other promotional campaign
  • Announce that a particular holiday is coming and invite customers to place orders before the rush starts (to increase sales).

2. Food truck

All vendors on wheels have two common features: they constantly change their location and they promote on Facebook. Each day, they serve customers in a different location, and you never know when they will be around.

A food truck owner might prepare a morning campaign to promote the daily deal among the people nearby. It would help some people make a decision about their lunch destination.

Depending on the location, an ad campaign targeted to the audience within a one-mile radius might prove extremely efficient and generate high return on investment.

3. Flower Shop

Any day in the life of a local community might be an excellent occasion to give someone a bouquet of flowers. Birthday, anniversary and Mother’s Day are just a few occasions to use radius-based ads.

The flower shop owner will have a lot of opportunities to advertise his business and present his exceptional offer to people in the neighborhood.

To increase campaign effectiveness, he could also specify demographic parameters and, depending on the occasion, target ads to men or women.

A lot of marketers can’t wait to implement radius-based ads in their marketing strategy. How are you going to use the new feature to promote your business? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Facebook Targeting for Beginners: Radius-Based Ads is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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9 Blog Design Tweaks That Will Increase Your Email Signups http://blog.getresponse.com/9-blog-design-tweaks-will-increase-email-signups.html http://blog.getresponse.com/9-blog-design-tweaks-will-increase-email-signups.html#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:07:48 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17796 You blog for business – I get it. You spend hours creating high-quality content on your blog because you want to stand out from the crowd and catch the attention of your ideal reader. You understand people hardly buy information … Read more

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You blog for business – I get it. You spend hours creating high-quality content on your blog because you want to stand out from the crowd and catch the attention of your ideal reader. You understand people hardly buy information products or coaching on the first encounter and that you need to slowly make this newly acquired audience like and trust you. Your main focus is on content marketing, and for that you need them to hand over their contact details – their email address.

And so if you want them to opt in, you want to make sure that you deliver a killer first impression on your blog visitors. Why? It’s pretty simple: First impression matters.

We all judge a book by its cover, a restaurant by the number of people sitting inside and a movie by the queue forming outside it. And the same thing happens to your potential readers when they go shopping in the world of blogs.

Their time is precious so while they look at many, they can’t read through them all. What makes them stop in their blogathon is when a blog looks so enticing on its first look, i just grabs their attention and refuses to let go. They just have to find out who the blogger is and what are they writing about. They decide to stay longer.

All this takes a few seconds, first few seconds for any blogger to create a really good first impression on potential readers. You can either wow someone by creating a good first impression or you risk losing them – fast.

The easiest way to make a great first impression is through design. And in this blog post I am going to give you 9 tweaks you can use to elevate your first impression.

 

#1 Pick the right theme

When somebody finds a blog, what’s the first thing they notice? The design.

Is it professional or amateurish? Are the images of high quality or are they images taken from the web? Do you have bright flashing ads or sliding galleries? Is everything pink and mauve or maroon and black?

People have their own reasons for admiring a blog design; it’s a matter of personal taste really but you need to make sure that you are sending the right message. Does it look fun or serious or quirky or something else? Is the focus of the blog on the content or on selling some product or service? Is it a how-to blog? Is it a photo blog?

Think carefully about these before choosing a theme and designing the look of your blog.

You don’t have to hire a designer to make it look good if you don’t have the budget. You can easily buy a custom theme and make it look professional instantly. There are many places to buy these themes from such as Studiopress, Woo, Elegant and if you want to customize yourself then look into options such as Headway Themes (drag and drop).

A blog looks professional when there is consistency across all elements. Nothing looks out of place and there are no glaring errors to spot. And when you look professional, you create confidence and trust in your brand. People start to develop a soft corner for you. They are already on your side.

 

#2 Highlight the most important info

When somebody visits a blog for the first time, they have a few questions on their mind they need answered ASAP.

  • Who is the blogger?
  • What is this blog about?
  • How does it help me?
  • Where are some of your most popular posts?
  • Where can I subscribe?

Your job is to answer as many of these questions within a few seconds. And the easiest way to do this is to simplify your navigation.

Use your blog title to answer why this blog is relevant to them. Always go for a clear title rather than a clever one. If you happen to have something that is more creative, don’t fret. Pair it with a tag line that explains things a bit more clearly. Add a mini author bio on the top of your sidebar and introduce yourself.

Add links to your most popular blog posts on the sidebar and title it as ‘reader favourites’, ‘most popular’ or ‘top posts this month’. Go back to your blog and see if you can locate all of this information quickly and easily. These should be visible on the first look.

 

#3 Design for humans

Know the difference between good design and a bad one. You don’t just want a pretty website, you want a design that converts. A good design is not what looks good only, but what works. It’s not about form only. It’s about paying attention to form and function, both.

Anything that is clickable should look different. If it is a button, a banner or a link, people should be able to see that they can click on it. There should be a clear element of contrast and anything with a call to action must stand out on the page.

People should be able to use your blog with ease. At any time, people should know where they are, and how to navigate to your home page or any other page. Make sure your navigation is consistent.

Make your blog screen friendly. Fonts should be easy to read. They shouldn’t be too small. Don’t use big blocks of text, break into smaller chunks. Use headlines, sub-headings, bulleted lists and bold to highlight important elements.

 

#4 Have lots of white space

Is your blog clean or cluttered?

If there is too much information, it might overwhelm people even before they have actually started reading something. Too many visual design elements confuse people; they don’t know where to begin. Their eye won’t know where to settle and can’t focus on the important stuff – your posts. Get rid of the clutter. It makes the experience very unpleasant to start off with.

The number one culprit is your sidebar. Most people keep adding stuff to their sidebar thinking it makes them look legit. Unfortunately, it just overwhelms people with too much information.

Every sidebar needs a few things:

  • An opt-in box
  • A mini author bio
  • Link to your best blog posts
  • Link to your resources

Everything else is a distraction. Especially a search box, archives section, list of categories, tag clouds, other blogs you follow, your latest tweets, ads that don’t bring in significant money … you get the idea.

Some conversion experts will tell you not to include your social media profiles links on the sidebar as your aim should be to keep the visitors on your blog for as long as possible. However, I’ll leave this one up to you. Exercise you judgement when it comes to adding external links to your sidebar.

 

#5 Limit Your Copy

When you go to a blog, do you read every single word, or every paragraph on each page? No. Neither does your ideal reader.

Gone are the days of the websites that were filled with tons of words. We live in a world where we are being constantly bombarded from messages from every direction. Nobody has free till to kill. Nobody wants to read huge blocks on text on their screen, unless it is a book or magazine they just paid for.

Now is the time to choose. Get to the heart of the matter. What do you want to say? Say it quickly. Be concise – be succinct. Don’t use huge paragraphs of information and copy on your website/blog. It is just a big waste of real estate.

Less is more and when you reduce the amount of required reading on your website, you will see an increase in people signing up to your list. Try it.

 

#6 Place your opt-in forms in strategic places

On a blog, the most important call to action is to join the list. Create an irresistible freebie offer for your opt-in and then bring attention to it. You want to place your opt-in form in a couple of places.

Above the fold: Above the fold means the part of your website people see first, without having to scroll down. The aim is to grab their attention immediately.

Some excellent ways to do this are:

  1. Place a feature box just under your header. You will have to ask somebody to do this for you as it is quite technical, unless you are a tech expert yourself.
  2. Place a sign up form on top of your sidebar.
  3. Install a hello bar, which displays a thin horizontal bar across the top of your website. Just Google it, and you’ll find the information to do this.
  4. After each blog post: You can use a plug-in to do this such as Magic Action Box, which has a free version. Or, you can manually add a link to your squeeze page but it is a tedious process.

On your about page: Your “about page” is one the most frequently visited pages of your website. New visitors want to know about you. If they are truly interested in you and your message, they are bound to read your about me. Take this opportunity and ask them to sign up. Place an opt-in form there.

 

#7 Make your content look good

Content should be organized intuitively. Anticipate your reader needs. When they come to your blog for the first time, what would they be looking for?

Create a separate tab on your navigation and title it ‘New here? Start here’ or something like that. Guide your visitors on how they can explore your content. When you help them discover your content, they want to sign up because they don’t want to miss a single update.

Don’t use cheesy stock images on your blog. Look for sites that provides real life photography, however, put some effort into it and source images that haven’t been used to death already. Use infographics and other visuals. Use headings and sub-headings to make it easy to read.

Link to evergreen content. Some people will find your blog through search by discovering great evergreen content that is still useful. Create resources tab on your sidebar so people can find more related content easily.

 

# 8 Pay attention to your branding and colours

Make sure your design connects with emotions.

Think about it for a second. When you visit a fitness website, you feel a bit differently as to when you visit a website that sells life insurance. How about clicking to a blog that talks about spirituality and another one that talks about perfume? All of these websites aim to arouse a specific emotion in you.

When people visit your website, how to you want them to feel? Do you want them to feel excited like they can do anything or whimsical? Do you want them to have profound insights or feel as if they need to do something to feel safe and secure?

Learn more about colour psychology. Using pink will convey a different message, mood and user experience than orange, green, blue or black. If you are ultimately selling golf training, does it make sense to use pink? On the other hand, if you are writing about self-improvement, which colour would appeal to your target audience?

Consider your logo, and choose your brand colours and typography accordingly.

 

#9 Optimise For Mobile

The increasing popularity of mobile devices means that your blog needs to have a design that is mobile responsive. It needs to conform to the tiny screen sizes your idea reader is using to access the interwebs. If you don’t pay attention to the fact that more and more people are using their smart phones to access internet, you are shooting yourself in the foot.

When you optimise for mobile, you provide a consistent experience for every visitor no matter which device they are on – be it a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop. Otherwise you make visiting your site a frustrating and cumbersome experience.

Think about it, who wants to visit a site on their phone and zoom in and scroll all the time. It is very hard to navigate through websites or blogs that aren’t mobile friendly. Surely, there are better things to do?

Lastly, remember this: Design is a subjective thing. Your aesthetics or layout preferences alone won’t make or break your blog. However, keeping in mind the dos and don’ts of design that converts will go a long way in increasing your opt-in conversions.

Which of the above blog design tweaks will you implement today?

9 Blog Design Tweaks That Will Increase Your Email Signups is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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6 Easy Ways to Get Great Testimonials http://blog.getresponse.com/6-easy-ways-get-great-testimonials.html http://blog.getresponse.com/6-easy-ways-get-great-testimonials.html#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:13:55 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17783 Ever seen a sales page for a major Internet Marketing training course? Did you notice the dozens of testimonials? There’s a reason the guru used up all that valuable space on their sales page: Testimonials are a marketer’s secret weapon. … Read more

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Ever seen a sales page for a major Internet Marketing training course? Did you notice the dozens of testimonials? There’s a reason the guru used up all that valuable space on their sales page: Testimonials are a marketer’s secret weapon.  There’s a mountain of marketing studies to back this up, but I’ll stick to just three of the choicest examples. 

 

Example #1 from the B2B market

The B2B Content Marketing Report’s 2013 Survey, found customer testimonials to have the highest effectiveness of ANY other content marketing tactic. And that’s not according to just a few members – 89% of those polled said testimonials were effective. Even podcasts, considered to be THE sleeper content marketing tactic, got a mere 23% of marketers saying they were effective.

 

Example #2 from the B2C market

Nielsen’s Global AdView Pulse report found the rate of trust among consumers also puts testimonials at the top of trusted information, second only to “Recommendations from people I know”.

trust-in-advertising

Example #3 Testimonials are a very close second to a personal recommendation

Search Engine Land found 72% of the consumers they surveyed said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 52% said positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.

With stats like that, I know you’re eager to find out how to get some testimonials for yourself. But before we delve into how to get testimonials, here are few tips for what separates great testimonials from so-so ones.

 

10 essential elements of a great testimonial

  1. It’s from a real person. 99.9% of you don’t need to be told this, but just in case one of you was tempted to write a fake testimonial, (because you heard on some forum it was okay), let me remind you: It’s not okay. It would be a terrible waste of your time to have to deal with a Federal Trade Commission inquiry. You need that time to create something worthy of real testimonials.  Also note that per the new FTC guidelines, your testimonials have to give people an accurate “general impression” of what to expect. That doesn’t mean your Internet Marketing course can’t have 20 testimonials from people saying they made a million dollars, but it does mean you’ll have to “clearly and conspicuously” include a statement about what people can actually expect to earn.
  2. It’s not perfect. The person giving the testimonial doesn’t have to sound like an advertisement or look like a model. They don’t have to say things that perfectly align with your marketing strategy. Your production values don’t have to be Hollywood material. Keep it real to keep it believable.
  3. It’s specific. A 200% improvement sounds like it could be marketing hype. A 187% improvement has clearly been measured.
  4. It’s authentic. Don’t force people to give testimonials. Don’t make them read a script, or do anything they wouldn’t naturally do.
  5. It’s comparative. While you shouldn’t force people to say things, you can give them some helpful guidelines. Asking them to describe what their experience of something was like before and after using your product is a good way to frame a testimonial. For example, “Before I used Sparkle Car Wash, I had to wash my car once a week during bug season. Now, I only have to wash my car about every six weeks.”
  6. It hasn’t been edited. This leans on the point about not sounding like an advertisement, and not forcing people to say things they wouldn’t naturally say.
  7. It’s been given with permission. What’s the single best way to take a customer who used to love your brand and turn them into someone who will never trust it again? It would be to use their words without their permission.
  8. It describes benefits, not features. It’s nice for someone to say “I loved the 500 horsepower engine.” It’s better when they say, “Now I can pass whomever I want on big hills.” To honor the rule of not putting words in people’s mouths, you might have to give them another “framing question” for their testimonial, like “what’s your favorite thing about the Mustang GT Fastback?”
  9. Get video testimonials when you can. MarketingExperiments.com did a terrific study of how to use testimonials to boost conversion rates. What’s most interesting about this study is they had four segments – page A with no testimonials, page B with a text (written) testimonial, then page C with no testimonial and page D with a video testimonial. Adding a testimonial lifted response in both cases, but the videos blew the text away… by nearly ten-fold.Here’s the first page, with and without a text testimonial: testimonial1Here’s the second page, with and without a video testimonial: videotestimonyHere are the results:VideoVsTextTestimonials
  10. Place the testimonial near a part of the checkout process where people tend to bail.

Even the best testimonials won’t help you much if they’re hidden away for no one to see. So don’t do that – put your testimonials out on all the places where people need them most. For ecommerce sites, this is the order form, or possibly the product pages. For B2B sites, it might be on the contact page or on a form for a project brief. For both types of companies, it couldn’t hurt to sprinkle a few testimonials on your home page, or in the navigation column of your blog.

 

How to get great testimonials

Now that you know what you’re aiming for, here’s how to get it:

 

1. Get the timing right

This applies to any testimonial, but with video testimonials, when you ask is especially important.

I saw one marketing expert get video testimonials from people immediately after they had seen a presentation by her. Many of the people coming out of the talk were energized, excited and just basically blow away by what they had learned. More than half the people that were asked to give a testimonial did. They just stepped away from the flood of traffic, got under a decent light and a stable background, and were recorded for 5-20 seconds while they described their impression of the marketer.

The timing was key – the marketer would not have gotten anywhere near the enthusiasm or willingness to give those testimonials if she had asked the next day, or even a few hours later.

Key takeaway: When asking for video testimonials, ask at the right moment. If you can get the moment right, less-than-perfect production value won’t matter.

 

 

2. Use the Reviews tab in Facebook

You’ll need a Facebook page set up as a local business to apply this tip, but if you are set up that way, this a great way to add a reviews feature to your Facebook presence in a snap. Facebook’s instructions for how to do this are easy to follow.

Facebookreviewsexample

 

3. Have a plan in place for when you get the glowing email from a client or customer

Just as the best time to ask for a video testimonial is when your client or customer is thrilled, the best time to ask permission to use someone’s words is when they’ve just sent them. The next time you get a glowing email from someone, have a reply ready that asks if you can use their words on your website (or elsewhere).

Something like this might work:

“Claire,

Thanks so much for those kind words! Would you be open to letting us quote you on our website? I could identify you as the AOK Marketing Manager, or just identify you as Claire S. from Somerset New Jersey.”

Giving people a choice in how they are identified often makes them more likely to say yes. If they seem even a little uncomfortable, and they have a website, offer to link to their website. Often the incentive of a link is enough “pay” to get people on board.

If that first script doesn’t work, try this: “I would really like to share your success with my other clients. Would that be okay?”

 

 

4. Make the most of LinkedIn

LinkedIn offers an endorsements feature for people you’re connected to. If you’ve gotten any endorsements on your profile or your company page, you could potentially use those endorsements on your website or other materials. Again, it’s always nice to ask permission first, so get an email out to people who’ve endorsed you… before they see themselves quoted on your business card.

 

5. Make it easy

Contact forms are ready-made tools to collect testimonials with. You can add a separate page for people to submit testimonials to, of course, but so long as your contact form has a field that’s long enough for 3-4 sentences of type, it can serve double duty. Perhaps a call to action added to your navigation column might increase testimonials, too. It never hurts to ask.

 

6. Hold a Facebook contest

These can be for video testimonials, essays, or just quotes. The benefits of contests are that you can easily frame how you want your testimonials to be delivered.

The drawback is that you are, in a sense, paying people to leave a testimonial. There is a little bit of inauthenticity to contest testimonials. However, I’m including the technique here because it is widely used for getting testimonials, and it certainly does work.

What do you think? Is holding a contest a bad way to get testimonials? Are there other way to get testimonials that I missed? Let us know in the comments.

 

6 Easy Ways to Get Great Testimonials is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Strategies That Increase Customer Loyalty #infographic http://blog.getresponse.com/strategies-increase-customer-loyalty-infographic.html http://blog.getresponse.com/strategies-increase-customer-loyalty-infographic.html#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:17:45 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17775 Customer loyalty is an emotional bond with your brand. You can foster loyalty by building long-term relationships based on consistent, positive brand experiences. It’s less expensive to retain customers than to acquire new ones. So the smart move is to … Read more

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Customer loyalty is an emotional bond with your brand. You can foster loyalty by building long-term relationships based on consistent, positive brand experiences. It’s less expensive to retain customers than to acquire new ones. So the smart move is to invest in loyalty programs and relationship marketing.

Loyal customers respond

Statistics indicate that, compared to non-members, members of loyalty programs who respond to email had:

  • 40% higher open rates
  • 22% higher click rates
  • 29% higher transaction rates
  • 11% more revenue generated per email

 

Calculate customer lifetime value (CLV)

How much is a customer worth over a period of time? This figure lets you determine how much you can spend to acquire and retain a customer and remain profitable. Loyal customers spend more money and return more often, so it’s worth investing in building the relationship.

(average value of sale) X (number of repeat transaction) X (average retention time in months or years for typical customer)

 

Create a good first impression

It’s essential to deliver a positive brand image from the start, when customer attention is highest. 74% of consumers expect to receive a welcome email when they sign up, and 53% of marketers agree welcome messages help achieve business goals, but only 39% of brands send one.

If wasted, this potential can never be recovered.

 

Be responsive

Anticipate audience expectations by tracking their online behavior and responding immediately and accurately. You can also invite them to engage in dialogue. More than 64% of U.S. and U.K. Internet users want marketers to demonstrate knowledge of the types of products, services and offers they like.

 

Listen when customers tell you what they want

Segmented email campaigns produce 30% more opens and 50% more clicks than undifferentiated messages. So the effort is worthwhile.

 

Let customers get to know you

Use various communication channels to present different aspects of your brand and offer. 59% of respondents are more likely to trust brands that integrate social media. (Mass Relevance: The Social Hunger: Why Your Audience Feasts on Social Integration. 2012)

 

Reward your customers

A sense of exclusivity is one of the major motivators to stick with a brand. 7 in 10 people say they have used a coupon or discount from a marketing email. (Blue Kangaroo Study, 2012) Your customers need to feel that, the longer they stay, the more they can benefit.

 

Bring excitement and delight

Your brand reputation depends on the emotion it inspires. 63% of consumers agree that social experiences make them more interested in a brand’s product. (Mass Relevance The Social Hunger: Why Your Audience Feasts on Social Integration, 2012)

Involve your customers in interesting events to help create a genuine bond with your brand.

 

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The 3 Most Effective Emails Most Marketers Aren’t Sending http://blog.getresponse.com/3-effective-emails-marketers-arent-sending.html http://blog.getresponse.com/3-effective-emails-marketers-arent-sending.html#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 14:37:10 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17767 At AppSumo we’ve sent more than 100,000,000 emails in the past 4 years—generating over 8 figures in total revenue. In those four years, we’ve found specific emails that make our business more profitable and our customers happier. Today I will show … Read more

The 3 Most Effective Emails Most Marketers Aren’t Sending is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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At AppSumo we’ve sent more than 100,000,000 emails in the past 4 years—generating over 8 figures in total revenue. In those four years, we’ve found specific emails that make our business more profitable and our customers happier. Today I will show you three specific emails you can add to your existing campaigns (along with the exact text) so you can use them for yourself. 

 

Email #1: “The Last Day Deal” email

At AppSumo.com our promotions generally last 3 days. Like everyone else, we always notify our customers that the promotion is beginning: “Hey, go buy this deal for Piktochart”.

I used to think that the first email was the most important. Instead, through testing, we have found that the most important and critical time to email your customers is when a promotion or a trial period is ending. That’s why, apart from the first promo email we pay special attention to the reminder email – around 24 hours before your promotion or trial ends.

When we began testing it, I didn’t think this would work since people would be annoyed and the majority that wanted to buy would have already bought.

Our test showed something completely different…more than 60% of our revenue for a promotion came solely from “The Last Day Deal” email. If you use this strategy, keep in mind to send the email only to people who opened the original email. This makes the email more effective and protects the rest of your email list from burnout.

AppSumo

Email #2: “Why didn’t you buy?” email

When you are rejected, it’s your greatest chance to learn why your customer is NOT buying so that you can find out why/what they will buy.

Last year we launched a course called Monthly1k.com that helps people validate their business idea and turn it into a $1,000 a month business. At launch, we were convinced that the first email (sent to our 750k email list) would instantly sell over a million dollars worth of product.

What happened? We only sold ~$9,000 which literally put us in danger of going out of business within a few months.

Instead of giving up, we tried to understand why customers weren’t buying from us. We emailed a short survey asking 3 simple questions to everyone who OPENED the email and CLICKED a link.

Here’s the email I sent:

AppSumo2

The survey asked:

  1. Were you at least interested in buying: Yes or No
  2. What would have made the purchase a no brainer?
  3. What’s your email so we can follow up with you?

The survey results led us to do some hugely actionable things:

a) Add copy about who SHOULDN’T buy to the page

b) Re-sorted the copy on our landing page to address the top questions on why people didn’t buy

c) Update your product based on the most commonly cited reasons that people aren’t buying

d) Update the copy on your landing page using the language your customers asked their questions in.

e) Re-sell to customers who were interested but haven’t bought yet.

You can read the full marketing story of how sending this email helped Monthly1k.

The “Why didn’t you buy?” email helped us make Monthly1K into a 7 figure product.

Email #3: “The Pre-Sale” email

Do you know anyone that starts a business thinking it’s going to fail? Not once. We naturally assume everything will work out.

Instead of hoping things will work out, validate by sending a pre-sale email. You will be able to see if people will at least buy what you are planning on selling them. For the course I mentioned above, we sold $1,000 of the product before we ever touched one line of code.

We sent an email that described exactly what someone could expect from the course.

In a pre-sale email it is important to highlight two key things:

  1. Clarify the value by telling them what they will get for their money.
  2. Set a date of when they should expect to what you are promising.
  3. Ultimately, get them to buy and validate the product (or not).

Already, I know you’re asking, “But Noah? I can’t get peoples money if I don’t have the x,y,z product that I’m promising.”

You don’t realize that you are buying things daily in just the same way. How do you know when you buy a ticket for a concert or event that it won’t get cancelled? You don’t. Pre-sales happen almost daily without you realizing it. Concerts, hotels, parties, etc…

Although it may seem backwards, one of the best things that can happen is if NO ONE buys.

Why?

  • You didn’t waste your time and money building something no one wanted.
  • You can learn what people ACTUALLY want. Money is a truth serum! And you can use the above “why didn’t you buy” email to learn if no one buys.

These three emails will help you increase profits, make your copy more effective, and guarantee success before you put time and money into a new product.

Now that you have the 3 emails, go set them up today!

 

Written by Noah Kagan, Chief Email Sumo at SumoMe.com, free tools to grow your email list.

 

The 3 Most Effective Emails Most Marketers Aren’t Sending is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Break up your list growth into bitesized pieces http://blog.getresponse.com/break-list-growth-bitesized-pieces.html http://blog.getresponse.com/break-list-growth-bitesized-pieces.html#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:57:19 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17758 List growth is a primary email marketing goal, it always has a direct impact on your business results. You want to set realistic goals that you can measure, that means that it should be in reach and attainable, seeing the … Read more

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List growth is a primary email marketing goal, it always has a direct impact on your business results. You want to set realistic goals that you can measure, that means that it should be in reach and attainable, seeing the budget and resources available for email marketing.That overall goal needs to be there, to keep the overview. Instead of having on big number as a growth goal and just thinking up a bunch of tactics, the next step will be to break up that big number into smaller, more manageable pieces. Monitoring, improving and adjusting for changes requires more granular approach.

 

Growth through acquisition and attrition

You can grow your list through Acquisition of new opt-ins, but at the same time expect around one third of your list to become inactive each year. Although cousins, acquisition of new subscribers is a very different animal than reducing unsubscribes or keeping current email list subscribers engaged. These should each have their own targets.

List size = Current List + (cross opt-in + organic growth + active growth) – (Unsubscribes & Inactives)

 

1. Cross opt-in

If you have several brands, lists or sub-lists, you can cross promote and get someone to opt-in for more than one list. These are different than completely new subscribers though. Which would you rather have: 1 person on 3 lists or 3 people on 1 list? (the answer might be different depending on your brand and lists). Best to put these in their own category.

 

2. Organic growth

Growing your list via your own channels is a great way to get started and quickly gather more subscribers. People that show up at your doorstep (website, store) are on average more inclined to be engaged already. Maybe you have already several sign up options on your site and includes sign ups with each campaign you are doing, but still need to optimize them.

3. Active growth: Step outside your normal reach and get ‘m

This category is actually quite big. Actively promoting new sign ups through external action. There are companies that can help you in running (email) lead capture campaigns. Literally you are paying to get those new subscribers. So there is budget involved, per campaign or per newly registered opt-in. You could also set up your own Inbound marketing funnels of course, point is these promotions are often outside your normal reach. The first step in these is to map your email list growth touch points.

When a company invests in growing their lists with help of external companies, they often look at the cost per new subscriber, cost per acquisition (subscribers turning into customers) or payback period; the time it takes to earn back the investment.

 

4. Preventing unsubscribes

You probably have seen some nice unsubscribe prevention tactics and examples before. Chances are that preventing unsubscribes isn’t the number one most interesting tactic to start with. If you for instance start sending more emails, your number of unsubscribes will increase, but is that a big problem?

Often people that are no longer interested in your product and offering will leave your list, that is actually no problem it is a self-cleaning effect and keeps your email list healthy. If you have a target for preventing unsubscribes, these shouldn’t be your concern. So ask their unsubscribe reason and if they would still be interested in the product. You might find that unsubscribes are even a smaller issue than you had expected.

listgrowth

Conclusion

A stronger, active and quality list is the heart of your email program. It makes sense to put a strong focus on growing your email list. But don’t fall into the trap to treat all growth activities equal. Split them into smaller goals and work on each separately – giving priority to the activities that give the best dividends.

 

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How to Create a Simple Autoresponder Series to Keep Your Leads Hot http://blog.getresponse.com/create-simple-autoresponder-series-keep-leads-hot.html http://blog.getresponse.com/create-simple-autoresponder-series-keep-leads-hot.html#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:53:53 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17748 As a small business owner, you should be building your email list – you get that. You worked hard to nail your ideal customer profile and you spent hours creating that perfect opt-in offer that is working like gangbusters. Is … Read more

How to Create a Simple Autoresponder Series to Keep Your Leads Hot is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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As a small business owner, you should be building your email list – you get that. You worked hard to nail your ideal customer profile and you spent hours creating that perfect opt-in offer that is working like gangbusters. Is your work done? Not by a long shot. You still need to make sure that the people who just signed up to your email list are indeed the right fit for your business (and not freebie seekers) and that they stay subscribed long enough to make a purchase.

You know the likelihood of someone getting on your list and buying something straightaway is small, unless they make a low dollar, impulse purchase. It’s like asking someone for their hand in marriage on the first date. You have to woo them first. Send them a few gifts and show them what a great catch you truly are.

You need to nurture your leads so they stay connected, build their confidence and increase trust. You need to have a sequence in place which does all those things.

If you wait till the next time you update your blog post or send out a promotion, your subscriber would most likely have forgotten all about you. What you need is a strategic, pre-planned sequence of emails to keep your new leads warm and happily waiting to consume more.

Let’s learn how to do this.

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What is an Autoresponder?

Autoresponder is a series of email content that gets delivered every time someone subscribes to your email list. It goes out in a certain sequence, on certain pre-determined dates. This sequence is delivered over time with the goal to develop a deeper relationship with your new audience.

An autoresponder tends to be purely content based or mostly content with low key offers for service based online professionals but it can be straight up warm up and promotional content for companies selling software or physical products..

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Creating a Consistent Experience For New Subscribers

Think about your core message for a second, and think about the various ways you are pushing it out. You have your home page, your about page and services page. You publish relevant content on your blog and you also push content on various social media platforms.

Now think about somebody who discovers you for the first time. What is the best way to let them know everything you do in your business, what you stand for, and what your core message is? Is it your newsletter, is it your website?

If you look at your newsletter, it takes a while for someone to truly get what you are all about because your next five mailings might not contain a sales message. If it’s your website, people won’t sit down and open each and every page systemically. They neither have the time, nor the inclination to do that.

The most efficient and cost effective way to educate your new subscribers is to take them through a series of especially designed emails that take them from point A to point B in a sequential order. By taking them through this series, you want them to get to know what you have to offer, how you can help them and what makes you different from your competitors.

By putting the right autoresponder series together, you are making sure that your 105th subscriber will get the same experience your first one did, if that’s what you want.

Every time you create an autoresponder series, it should take a subscriber on a journey. It should take them from being a lead to a prospect to a customer.

psychology

Understanding Your Subscriber Psychology

Think about the newsletters or lists you are subscribed to. Then think about how many do you open? I am guessing you are a busy person like everybody else. And you only open emails for two reasons:

  1. You recognize the name of the sender, or the subject line catches your eye.
  2. It offers some value or arouses your curiosity.

And that’s what you need to do to get new subscribers to open your emails. Except, they don’t know you very well. Unless you are a big brand, they don’t even remember who you are if they signed up last week and you sent them a link to your latest blog post after a week.

Research shows it takes 7 to 10 communication encounters before somebody starts to get notice you. And every time you send them an email, they click it open and they start to develop a habit of doing so. 

Habits are formed when you repeat three steps over and over again. There is a trigger (they see the subject line), then there is the behaviour itself (they click open) and they get rewarded for taking action (the benefit gained as a result of your behaviour). Autoresponders are great for getting your subscribers in the habit of opening your emails and clicking through. The important bit is to send the right content.

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Putting the Right Content in Your Autoresponder Series

So what kind of content should you choose for your autoresponder series?

Any content that is concise, useful and rewards the reader for taking action. But you also want to make sure that you cover all the foundational content that you want reader to know. Think about it in this way. Ultimately, what are the things somebody must know in order to do business with you?

You can educate your subscriber on the underlying cause of their problem. You can make them aware of the possible solutions. You can let know about the pitfalls and what will happen if they choose not to solve this and you will of course position your product or service as the right solution for their particular need.

What you are doing is you are further qualifying a lead. You are taking someone who signed up to receive free content from you because they want to solve a certain problem or at least move towards finding a solution, to someone who is actively looking for a solution to someone who makes a decision that they want to buy from you.

  • Generally, you can do a series of tips such as ‘7 ways to solve —————- problem’ etc. Numbered lists work great because they create anticipation and your readers look forward to them.
  • You can send them an ecourse with a new lesson every day. Each lesson builds on the last one and keeps people in the habit of opening your emails. This works great as an advertised opt-in also. You can send them how-to guides or video tutorials.
  • You can do a mix of content and promotional emails which is what most businesses do. You can only do a series of promotional emails if that’s what you promised (more about that in a minute).
  • You can also send more messages in the beginning when they are most engaged and decrease frequency as you go or you can drip your content, one tip per week.

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Different Types of Autoresponder Series

How you want to create your autoresponder series depends upon your goal. What is it that you want to accomplish with your series? Do you want to sell a product? Do you want to develop a relationship with your subscribers and move them further into your sales funnel? Do you want to launch a new service?

Your goal will determine the content of your autoresponder. It also depends on what kind of business you are.

For example, for someone operating a software business, their autoresponder email sequence might look like this:

  • Email 1: Introduce yourself and say thanks for subscribing
  • Email 2: Give them a big benefit of subscribing
  • Email 3: Share with them a customer success story
  • Email 4: Give them informational content related to your product
  • Email 5: Give them another benefit of using your product
  • Email 6: Make an offer
  • Email 7: Make the same offer in a different way

If you are selling an information product, your strategy is going to be different from someone selling kids birthday party invitations and supplies. If you are B2B, your tone will be different. Your sequence can be anything you want it to be. Normally, they look like this:

Welcome message -> Content -> Content -> Content -> Promotion -> Content -> Content -> Content -> Promotion

Or, you can be a bit more aggressive. This one will work if you set the right expectations up front, you are a purely ecommerce website or if you are launching the sequence to existing customers.

Welcome message -> Content -> Promotion -> Promotion -> Promotion

Lastly, you can deploy this sequence if you are a blogger and primarily use content marketing to promote your services.

Welcome message -> Content -> Content -> Content -> Content -> Content -> Content -> Promotion

You might ask what a good number for an autoresponder is. The answer is, it will depend on your industry, your business and generally your audience. For some people it may be 7 emails (which is a good number), 10 or even more. Some businesses have autoresponders in place that go on for 6 months and over.

If you have more than one type of customer, segment your list and put them on a different autoresponder sequence.

autoresponder

Writing an Autoresponder That Gets Results

Focus on the reader. What does your subscriber need? What are their main problems that you can help solve? Approach it from their point of view with a purpose to be of service.

Consider the ‘from’ line. Use a genuine email address people can reply back to. People pay attention to where the email is coming from so stay consistent. You can use the company’s name or your personal name with the business email – both are fine.

Make it personal. Don’t think of a subscriber as a number, you are talking to real, live humans here. Talk to them as if you would talk to a friend. Personalize your emails and include a salutation. Write informally, use contractions. Ditch the corporate lingo or industry buzz words and don’t sound like a spammer. You want to sound like you are writing an email and not a press release.

Highlight the benefits. Don’t talk about how great your products or services are, show it. What do they get after using your thing: more time, more money, less overwhelm or stress, better life or health? Tell them that.

Craft an attention-grabbing subject line. State a benefit or make them curious.

Proofread your emails. Keep your email short and use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. The quality of your marketing materials makes a statement about you being a true professional. Get help if you want.

Make your emails easy to read. Always preview or test your emails to make sure everything looks right. The images should be appealing, the links should be working and paragraphs should be short and to the point. Use bulleted lists and lots of while space.

Call to action. Always add a call to action. What do you want them to do? Do you want them to click on a link, share a piece of content, or buy something? Say it and say it clearly.

Don’t spam. Don’t ever send email if the person has not given you permission to do so and never share their information with anyone else. Don’t go crazy with affiliate offers or promotions, either.

Acknowledge responses. Lastly, the whole purpose of writing an autoresponder is to keep people engaged so when they respond to an email, always respond back promptly.

The aim of an effective autoresponder is to create trust in your business. Start with the autoresponder framework first. Think about your offers and then use your autoresponder as a way to create a story. Help your subscribers understand their problem by telling them you discovered the solution, talking about the failures you faced on the way and how you are qualified to help.

That’s the job of your autoresponder.

Are you doing it well?

How to Create a Simple Autoresponder Series to Keep Your Leads Hot is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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The Definitive Guide to Blog Commenting http://blog.getresponse.com/definitive-guide-blog-commenting.html http://blog.getresponse.com/definitive-guide-blog-commenting.html#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:03:13 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17742 When was the last time you commented on a blog post? Yesterday…a week ago? A month ago? Despite all you have to do, you might want to squeeze in even 20 minutes a week to write a few good blog … Read more

The Definitive Guide to Blog Commenting is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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When was the last time you commented on a blog post? Yesterday…a week ago? A month ago? Despite all you have to do, you might want to squeeze in even 20 minutes a week to write a few good blog comments. Done right, they can get you more results than just adding a few more tweets to your Twitter feed. 

 

A Short History of Blog Commenting

Commenting on blogs has been used to generate traffic and links for a long time, but it’s not talked about quite as much as other similar traffic-building tactics, like guest blog posting or commenting on forums. Just a few years ago, blog commenting was one of the #1 ways to build links. Some people used it as their primary link building strategy, almost to the exclusion of any other kind of link building. Don’t do that.

Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google has specifically said having a disproportionate number of guest blog post comments as links could hurt you. Cutts went further and said that if a site’s links where severely weighed in blog comments, it could even result in a manual penalty. It’s difficult to give an exact figure, but as a guess I’d say no more than 25% of your total links should be from blog comments.

As scary as manual penalties sound, please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater – don’t think of blog commenting as a tactic that’s going to get you in trouble.

Actually, many of the warnings about blog commenting sound eerily similar to the warnings Cutts made about guest blog posts as a link building strategy earlier this year. The “Don’ts” list for both guest blog posting and blog commenting are almost identical.

  • Don’t do either just to build links.
  • Stay relevant. Don’t publish guest posts on blogs that aren’t related to yours. This applies to comments in a limited way. It doesn’t mean you can’t ever comment on a post that’s not related to your site, but do play it safe. Three or four unrelated comments a month won’t hurt you, but 20 comments a week, from blogs that have nothing to do with your site (and that may be in questionable standing with Google)… that could hurt you.
  • Don’t publish bad content, whether it’s a generic comment or a watery post. The days of spun articles are long gone. So are the days of spun comments.
  • Don’t have too many of your inbound links be guest blog post links, and don’t have too many of your inbound links be blog comment links, either.

 

About Comment Spam

Before we shift into the how and why of blog commenting, let’s sort something out: generic spammy, automated blog comments are just what they sound like: They’re spam. They deserve to be treated as harshly as email spam, unsolicited phone calls and all the rest of their ilk.

If your blog is buried under comments like that, check out the plugin Akismet. It’s free, easy to set up and will save you several hours a month as it automatically identifies and deletes all the spam blog comments.

Akismet

 

The free WordPress plugin Akismet is one of the oldest and best ways to control blog comment spam.

 

What Makes A Comment Good?

But enough about the bad comments. Let’s focus on good blog comments – intelligent comments that contribute to the topic or discussion of the post. These good comments are on pages related to the topic of your own website (you will be linking to your website in your comment, right?), and the site you are leaving your link on is in good standing with Google.

Those are the good comments, and the only ones that help.

 

Why Comment On Blogs?

Well, there are a few reasons why:

  1. You get an inbound link. Every time you leave a comment on a blog post, you’re also adding a link to your site.
  2. You get traffic. Don’t expect a flood of it, but it’s likely to be very high quality traffic.
  3. You get recognition. Every time you comment on a post, you’re getting your name out in front of a very targeted audience. Blog commenting is one of the best ways to get noticed.
  4. You may get invited to guest post. If your comments are good, eventually you will get invited to guest post. You can also easily shift from being a commenter to being a guest blogger. Here’s how: If the blogger responds to your comment and says anything like “that’s an interesting idea”, offer to swing that into a guest post. They just might say yes.

What kind of results can you get from blog commenting? Well, David Arnoux and his team at Twoodo, an online collaboration tool, took a swing at blog commenting. Here’s what they got out of it:

  • “6.5 hours of commenting got us 452 new visitors and 72 new sign-ups
  • For every work-hour spent, we acquired 11 new users
  • We acquired 72 percent of these visitors from the top three articles we commented on”

Those are pretty good results, especially if you look at the top three comments they made.

 

How to Write Great Blog Comments That Get Traffic and Attention

So that’s the why of blog commenting. Here’s the how:

1. Read the blog post through. Carefully. Consider reading it twice. You’ll reduce your odds of saying something dumb by about 90% if you just carefully read the post. This sounds obvious, but many commenters only skim the posts they’re commenting on. Some of them don’t even skim… they just scroll to the bottom. This is a bad habit that could lead to embarrassment and to annoying the blogger.
2. Say something more thoughtful than “Great post.” You can certainly open with that, but immediately lead into your personal experience with the topic, or at least your personal take on the topic. Sharing a personal experience on the topic almost always gets the blogger to respond, and it shows you’re practicing the tools of the trade yourself.

For example, “Great post. We’ve used this lead gen tactic ourselves, and it did well, but we got almost all our results from LinkedIn. Next time, we’ll skip all the other platforms and just do LinkedIn.” That both supports (agrees with) what the blogger has written, and adds a nice “one man’s opinion” kind of take to the discussion. It’s a comment that contributes.

3. Be positive (it’s the golden rule of social media). Support what the blogger has said in your comment.

If you do disagree, do it very, very carefully. And don’t be surprised if your comment is deleted. There are entire books written about how to disagree gracefully. I’ve never left a comment that even slightly disagreed with the blogger that didn’t end up either deleted or ignored, but maybe you’ll have better luck.

4. Comment early. You’ll get more traffic and a higher chance of the blogger seeing your comment if it is listed at the top of the comments. To get to the top of the comments, you have to be one of the first to comment. Use the app Feedly to keep tabs on when new posts are published, or just sign up for the blog’s email list – many smaller blogs automatically send RSS email updates the instant they publish.

5. Minimize self-promotion. Blog commenting is about contributing to the discussion. Really. Shameless self-promotion usually fails.

6. Track what works. Remember how David Arnoux’s team got 72% of their visitors from just 3 comments? That’s not uncommon. It’s a good idea to track how many clicks you’re getting from each comment. You can do this with Google Analytics, but if Analytics scares you, you can also do it with Bit.ly.

Bit.ly lets you create shortened versions of links and it lets you track who’s clicked those links. You can also group your links into Bundles, so you can see how one entire group of links performed over time. For the best results, you might want to create a Bit.ly account just for your blog comment links, because it will give you a graph like this:

bitly-stats

 

These are some of the results from David Arnoux’s blog commenting experiment.

7. Use your name… your real name. It’s borderline spammy to use keywords where your name should be. Matt Cutts discourages it, and pretty much every blog owner everywhere discourages it. This tip bleeds into tip #5 (minimize self-promotion), but it’s one of the most common offenses of blog commenting. Fortunately, it’s extremely easy to fix.

8. Comment on blogs that get read. Is this obvious? Maybe. But I want you to get results from your blog commenting. It might be a little bit scarier to comment on big name sites, but you’ll get much better results.

So there you have it, the ultimate guide to making sure that you make the best of commenting. What approach do you use in your comments?

The Definitive Guide to Blog Commenting is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Why Your Brand Needs Infographics  http://blog.getresponse.com/brand-needs-infographics.html http://blog.getresponse.com/brand-needs-infographics.html#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:07:34 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17735 Your content marketing strategy may well be already in full swing: you’re producing regular, informative blog posts and sharing them throughout your social networks; your email list has been growing gradually and your monthly newsletter is being generally well distributed … Read more

Why Your Brand Needs Infographics  is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Your content marketing strategy may well be already in full swing: you’re producing regular, informative blog posts and sharing them throughout your social networks; your email list has been growing gradually and your monthly newsletter is being generally well distributed and talked about. But is there still something missing?

You may be finding that you’re not producing as many leads as you would like. For some reason, there seems to be a general reluctance from your Twitter followers and Facebook fans to share all the wonderful statistics and information that you have painstakingly taken the time to collate for them.

If this is ringing at all true – and even if it’s not, you may still be surprised at the increase in social shares that you can generate – so perhaps you should consider a change in tactic as to how you put that information out there.

 

Visually excite the casual browser

The problem may be that your blog posts simply aren’t immediately exciting enough for the casual browser. That’s to say that they aren’t interest-arousing visual experiences that both entertain as well as inform. Visual marketing outperforms every other type of content marketing by a significant margin.

The reason for this is that when a visitor arrives at your page, you have only 5 seconds to grab their attention, or else they will simply click away. And let’s face it, a blog post –no matter how well it’s written or how vitally informative it is – that is entirely filled with nothing but plain text will not do anything in the way of piquing the interest of the average user at a glance. But this is exactly what you have to do in order to attain those leads and shares that will see the word of your business spread to the farthest corners of the web.

VisuallyStunning

Increase social media audience

Infographics are a great way in which companies are putting their information out there. They usually have a slightly fun or informal appearance, even though the information contained within them can be anything but. People engage with visual content much more easily – indeed, people absorb visual information as much as 60,000 times faster than written content – so no matter what the information is, the sheer sharing power of an infographic is something that can’t be denied, and if your company isn’t producing them, then now’s the time to start.

 

Social sharing power

Visual content dominates communication. In fact, over 90% of all the information that our brains process every day is non-verbal, with 70% of our sensory receptors being found in our eyes. Our brains are designed to process visual information, and the infographic is designed to produce it.

One of the great beauties of the infographic is that the data given is displayed in a non-fussy, visually appealing and easily-navigable way that’s simple to understand. There is no padding out with long-winded introductions like there is in your typical blog post (see above), instead, the bare facts are displayed in a manner that gets straight to the point.

People can take a quick glance at the infographic, almost immediately conceive what it’s all about, and then proceed to engage with the statistics without having to wade through the writer’s flamboyant, self-indulgent penmanship (see what I mean?).

 

Infographics stand out by being different

There are literally millions of new web pages that go live every single day. There are in excess of 2 million video uploads every day, 58 million Tweets a day, and on Facebook there are 70 billion pieces of content shared every month. Infographics are a great way to cut through all the digital noise that’s being created and make the information about your field of business heard above it all.

 

Inbound links

If you create a truly outstanding infographic then you have every chance of it going viral. You must therefore ensure that your infographic is clearly branded with your company logo and information, and that it’s linked directly back to your site. Anyone who wants to know more about you can simply click and be transported to your home or landing page.

conversion

Keep those visitors, gain conversions

Infographics, when produced well with genuinely useful, accurate and well-presented information, almost invariably maintain visitors’ attentions far beyond those first 5 seconds.

When interacting with visual content, they will spend longer soaking it all in, enjoying the information that is being imparted. And it’s a truth of the net that the longer a user stays on a site, the more likely it is that they will engage in the action which you ultimately want them to – i.e. fill out the form, subscribe to your newsletter, make a sales enquiry, make a purchase.

Infographic marketing has proven itself to be one of the most effective methods of all content marketing, it increases social media shares and ultimately garners for you a larger, more targeted and engaged audience. Of course, as infographics are so desirable, they’re also highly sharable, so it’s important that you also create embed codes in order to for others to do so quickly and easily. This can also gain you valuable backlinks to your site.

There are plenty of embed code generators to be found online and even some infographic generators (although personally I would recommend using a professional), so what are you waiting for? Gain better engagement by boosting your content with interesting visuals.

 

Why Your Brand Needs Infographics  is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Triggered Emails: Do You Know These 21 Profitable Techniques? http://blog.getresponse.com/triggered-emails-know-21-profitable-techniques.html http://blog.getresponse.com/triggered-emails-know-21-profitable-techniques.html#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 15:07:32 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17726 It hurts to lose a sale. Sometimes it’s not even your fault, just bad luck. But what about sales you lose because you never made an offer? Ouch, that’s different — there’s no one to blame but the person in … Read more

Triggered Emails: Do You Know These 21 Profitable Techniques? is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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It hurts to lose a sale. Sometimes it’s not even your fault, just bad luck. But what about sales you lose because you never made an offer? Ouch, that’s different — there’s no one to blame but the person in the mirror. Here are the most popular ways to use triggered emails to grab extra sales. Some techniques are quick and easy. Some take a little time and effort. Is it worth it? Here are the numbers.

Recent research by Epsilon reveals that open rates for triggered emails are 58.5% higher than business-as-usual emails. The same report indicates that click-through rates for triggered emails are 127.7% higher than business-as-usual emails.

Why? Triggered emails feel like one-on-one communication. They let subscribers know you took the time to think about their needs. That their needs are important to you. That you care enough to follow up.

Here are 21 types of triggered emails that subscribers love to respond to:

 

Basic automation

Email marketing service providers often include a no-frills version of the basics. Add your personal touches, to give new subscribers a memorable first impression.

1. Confirmation Permission marketing has become mainstream, and new subscribers expect a confirmation email. Customize your confirmation to reinforce that you only send emails to people who want to receive them, and that they can unsubscribe anytime.

2. Thank you This email lets subscribers know what to expect. Will they receive newsletters once a month, once a week, or once a day? Will emails include timely information? Industry news? Exciting special offers? If you provide clear expectations, subscribers are less likely to unsubscribe.

3. Welcome This email can be much more than an online welcome mat. Record a friendly video introducing yourself as a real person behind your brand. Direct them to valuable resources on your website. Point them to blog articles they should read first. Or give them an unbeatable special offer.

Tip: Your new subscribers have taken a big step by joining your list and may be motivated to brag about you. So include social media icons on these basic-automation pages and encourage subscribers to share your message with friends, fans, and followers.

 

On-demand content

Some subscribers may be happy with just the basics. Others want all the great content you can deliver. So construct as many autoresponder sequences as you wish. You can add existing subscribers to any campaign, offer them a sign-up form, or add a trigger rule that adds subscribers under certain conditions.

4. Orientation series – If you could invite every new subscriber to your office, you’d show them around and explain how your products and services work. Over time, your orientation autoresponder series delivers the same great introductory experience for everyone,

5. Product launch – Use email to build anticipation for your new product. During pre-launch, invite people to sign up to receive value-added content. During the launch, use your autoresponder to deliver reminders and additional content. Use countdown emails to create a buying flurry at the end of your launch.

6. Subscribe to an email course – A course can be a promotional freebie or an in-depth paid product. For either, your email autoresponder is a great way to deliver timed content according to a schedule.

7. RSS-to-Email – Don’t rely on your readers to remember to check your blog. Instead deliver new content automatically, including a link to read your new posts on the blog.

Tip: If your content is evergreen, you can create a long-term series to keep subscribers engaged. Some autoresponder sequences are built to last for years.

 

Emails triggered by calendar events

You don’t need to remember when to send your next email. And you don’t have to chain yourself to a complex editorial calendar. Just choose a delivery date and time triggered by the calendar or by the number of days lapsed.

8. Birthday – Retailers can build loyalty and generate in-store traffic by sending birthday best wishes and an email offer just for them. Not sure of their birth date? Check their social media profiles, or just ask them.

9. Anniversary – Any date can be used to trigger an annual email. Celebrate the anniversary of the date they became your customer. Or the date they became a parent or grandparent. Or any date that’s important to them.

10. Reminders – If you sell tickets to an event, use reminders to build excitement and make sure they attend. If your customers consume what they purchased they are more likely to become repeat buyers and refer you to friends.

11. Follow-up appointments – Dentists can automate reminder notices to go out at intervals. This helps you keep your practice booked with repeat business. Your customers will appreciate your diligent attention to their ongoing needs.

Tip: Even if you’re not a dentist, you may profit from quarterly or annual appointments. A financial planner could automate his request to schedule a quarterly review. An accountant could send reminders for payroll tax filings and tax deadlines.

HolidayContent

Emails triggered by behavior

Performance statistics don’t do much for your business unless you use them to refine your approach. Certain key indicators can be used to trigger follow-up emails.

12. No open – Most people open new emails within a short time — or not at all. Maybe your subject line didn’t appeal to some subscribers. Or maybe the timing was wrong. You can re-send the same email with a slightly different subject line, and subscribers will see it as a brand-new communication. Some will open it.

13. No click – Some subscribers may open your email but not click the link inside. Maybe they intended to but procrastinated. Try changing the “Buy Now” button, headline, or CTA then send again. More clicks may mean more sales.

14. No upgrade – Does your business model include the sale of upgrades or renewals? Customers may procrastinate. So create a series of reminders that keeps running until they take action.

Tip: These techniques involve setting up autoresponders based on queries. Sounds complicated, right? Our quick guide to Autoresponders 2.0 explains it step by step. Click here to download  free guide.

 

Emails triggered by changes in profile data

If you collect subscriber data, be alert to changes. Any change may signal  an opportunity to provide service and make sales. Analyze how certain changes in profile data can be used to trigger automatic email offers.

15. Change of address – A new business address could mean your client is growing fast. A consumer with a new home address might need certain products and services. Use automatic emails to congratulate them and serve their needs.

16. Change of location – A move to a new city means your subscriber may need local consumer resources. Business clients might want to network with local contacts. If you can help, you can use it to build your relationship.

Tip: Use surveys to capture new and corrected information. Everyone won’t respond, but those who do may be your best prospects.

 

Emails triggered by events in other platforms

Use API integrations to add the power of email marketing to other software you already use.

17. Cart abandonment – Sometimes the customer has changed her mind. Or she may have been interrupted. The smart move is to try for the sale again. Customers will appreciate your follow-up.

18. New order – The buyer might need information about how to use their new product. For a service, you could send information about what to expect. Use these types of follow-ups to reduce returns and cancellations.

19. Cancellation – Maybe the customer cancelled because of a minor problem you could fix. Or maybe a different level of service could save them money. Or they might need a more comprehensive service. A customer who cancels needs to understand the options.

20. Up-sell – Is it time to suggest an upgrade to a more comprehensive services? Figure out what indicators point to a need and set up a triggered email to respond to that need. Repeat at appropriate intervals.

21. Cross-sell — A customer who buys a handbag may need shoes too. A business that buys carpet cleaning services may need housekeeping services too. If you sell more than one item, your  best prospect is an existing customer.

Tip: Check the GetResponse App Center for dozens of free integrations with e-commerce platforms, customer relationship management (CRM), content management systems (CMS), social media, and others.

 

Analyzing the opportunities

Triggered emails have the look and feel of one-on-one communication. Designed thoughtfully, they can add a new layer of service, improve relationships, and generate new sales.

Some of these techniques work especially well for e-commerce. Others help B2B companies cultivate relationships. You may have to experiment to find out what works best for you.

Use this post as a self-audit to find profit opportunities. Every triggered email you send has the potential to add sales and profits — automatically. And if you need help, the GetResponse Customer Success Department is at your service.

 

Triggered Emails: Do You Know These 21 Profitable Techniques? is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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How to create the perfect opt-in incentive for lead generation http://blog.getresponse.com/create-perfect-opt-incentive-lead-generation.html http://blog.getresponse.com/create-perfect-opt-incentive-lead-generation.html#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 14:25:32 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17720 What is a perfect opt-in incentive? It is something that gets your ideal customer or client to sit up and take notice, gladly give you their email address, name or any other information you require and become your email subscriber. … Read more

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What is a perfect opt-in incentive?

It is something that gets your ideal customer or client to sit up and take notice, gladly give you their email address, name or any other information you require and become your email subscriber.

This is actually a win-win situation for both you and your subscriber. When they know exactly what they will be getting once they join your email list, they want to stay subscribed. They look forward to your content and what you have to share. There is a little chance that they will turn around and unsubscribe as soon as you send them the first email. And you get to stay in touch with your target audience.

Unless you make the biggest mistake someone makes as they create a freebie offer for their new email subscribers: You choose something that is so generic that it appeals to nobody.

This is when all your lead generation effort will go down the drain because nobody wants your freebie you spent hours creating.

In this blog post, we will rectify this issue – and more. I will take you through the process of creating an opt-in that will have people drooling after it. And I will teach you how to test it before it goes live.

Let’s get started.

 

#1 Start with your favourite person – your ideal client or customer

So the process of creating an irresistible opt-in starts with stepping into the shoes of your ideal customer. You have got to know them better than they know themselves so you need to go deeper than the superficial information such as the demographics. You want to pay attention to the psychographics.

Remember, you can create multiple profiles for your business. In fact, this is even better because you will attract people to a specific list and not have to worry about list segmentation later on.

Start with the basics. Who are they? Are they male or female? How old are they? Where do they live? What do they do? How much do they earn? Are they single, married, or married with kids?

Now start drilling down. What keeps them up at 3 am? What frustrates them the most? What have they tried in the past that didn’t work? Who is their enemy? Who do they admire? What are their values that they would never compromise on? What are they looking for? What does their dream solution look like?

Once you jot down answers to this second set of questions, you’d be surprised at what ideas spring to mind that would appeal to your perfect audience, and the ones you initially thought were great now seem so lame. Now you know what they want on a much deeper level and you can be far ahead of competition because they haven’t taken the time and effort to know their audience so well.

The truth is, the better you know your audience, the easier this whole process will become.

 

#2 Come up with the right idea

Before you dive into creating the incentive for your lead generation funnel, ask yourself this question:

“What is the ultimate goal of getting this person to sign up to your list?”

Do you want them to enquire for a specific project? Do you want to offer an introductory product to convert them into a paying customer, and get a feel of what’s it like to purchase something from you? Do you want them to book a coaching or consulting session?

What level of information does your lead currently have at this moment? Are they well aware of their problem and know what solutions exist in the market? Are they not aware of their problem and need some education to identify what they need in the first place and to position your offering as the right choice?

Answering these questions will help you create the freebie that attracts the right kind of people you want and discourage the ones that aren’t such a good fit for your list and those you won’t be able to serve properly.

Now think about what is it that they need to know to become a client or a customer. This can be foundational or basic level information only, or with some advanced level information thrown in (if you are not attracting beginners only).

You want to keep your opt-in freebie on brand. This encourages the right people to sign up and discourages freebie-seekers. If you sell design services and you create an opt-in offer around optimizing your website conversion rate, you will get all sorts of people, but if you tie it to website design and call it 7 design tweaks to optimize conversion rate, your sign-ups will be way more relevant and likely to stay subscribed.

Go ahead and create your opt-in offer around your introductory topic. The people who aren’t interested in this topic will naturally won’t feel the need to sign up, which means you will actually get high quality leads.

Next we look at how to make sure this is a good idea.

 

#3 Test your opt-in offer idea

This step won’t take too long.

One thing you can do is to just ask your audience. That’s it. Most people never think of asking because they think it is going to be a free offer, but ask anyway. Do a survey, like you would normally do when you poll your audience to see whether or not they want your next big thing.

Ask them about their biggest frustration. Ask them specifically if they’d like to see a cheat sheet on a certain topic. Not only will this give you insider knowledge of what they want but also what they haven’t managed to find so far. Then go ahead and create your freebie.

Another thing you can do is to publish some related content on the blog and watch your open rates and social engagement closely. If the post does well then it gives you an idea that you are on to something, if it tanks, you know it is time to go back to the drawing board.

 

#4 Choose the right format

There a number of ways you can potentially create your bribe. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

An ebook: You can create an ebook on an in-demand idea. Turn to your blog and your newsletter to pick the right idea. Something that has gone viral? Something that received a lot of interest from your readers. Maybe your readers have been asking you to write on something for a while now. Pick a blog post and expand on it.

An ecourse: You can teach people something through a series of lessons delivered via email. When you create an ecourse, you don’t have to worry about cover design or formatting (whereas when you write an ebook, you do). You also get to train people to open and click through your emails.

Outline your course. Create your lessons with varying level of length, detail and depth and use your autoresponders in your email service provider and you are good to go.

A webinar: A webinar (a live video conference where you share a presentation or a screencast with your audience. There is a Q/A session at the end and it is generally interactive) is a great way to collect email addresses. You can do live ones periodically or you can use pre-recorded ones. One caveat: A webinar requires a bigger commitment from the audience so keep your lead-generation webinars short, to the point and filled with high quality, no fluff information.

Video tutorial: Record yourself on video teaching people how to do something correctly.

You can also offer a free trial of your membership program, a discount, a sample or run a contest or giveaway. You can offer a bonus chapter of your book or worksheets as well.

 

#5 Make your best first impression

So you know your audience and you know what they want. Now the question becomes how should you offer it?

Firstly, I want you to create something that will play to your strengths. If you are great with words, go with an ebook. Great at teaching? Think about creating an ecourse or a video tutorial. People say you are a fantastic speaker – consider recording a webinar.

Remember, your opt-in offer gives people a taste of what it’s like to work with you or buy something from you. Your opt-in creates the first impression and you want it to be the best one.

I want you to approach this in this way: pretend you are creating something that you can actually sell. It doesn’t have to be a premium offering, or very long, but something you can actually charge money for. Then use this as a guideline to creating your freebie.

Once you think of it as something you can sell, you will create something of high quality, something so extraordinary that it will hurt a little to give it for free. That’s how good your incentive should be.

Don’t forget, your opt-in offer is not really free. You are asking people for their email address as well as their time. You have got to do the work and make it worthwhile.

 

#6 Create a squeeze page that converts

No matter how good your incentive is, a poorly constructed page will kill your conversions.

And unless you get people to opt-in, they won’t know what they are missing out on, and as a result they won’t get to know how good you are at solving their problems and giving them exactly what they need. It’s their loss and you want to minimize this as much as you can.

So, this is what you need on your opt-in page. If you already have one set up, you can use this to make sure you’ve got everything you need, if you don’t, use this as a guideline to set it up.

  • The very first thing every opt-in page needs is an attention grabbing, highly compelling headline. It needs to stand out, make a big promise and speak directly to your target audience. It needs to show them that you can help them solve a problem or fulfil a desire they have. It should actually turn folks away who are not a good fit for your products and services.

Eye-catching visual. Your squeeze page needs a compelling picture that draws people in. If you are offering a PDF (an ebook, a report, a cheat sheet, etc.), use its image. (Make sure you have an appealing cover design for what you are offering – remember, it needs to be so good that it can actually be sold.)

 

6323188862_fe087a78fa_o

 

You can also show your own image if you have a personality based brand. Just make sure that the image is of high quality and portrays you in a good light.

  • You don’t have a ton of space for long copy so use bullet points to bring out your most appealing benefits. You want to get your point across immediately. And don’t be afraid to use the word free in your copy.

Call to action. Tell people what to do next. Most of us know we are required to give up our email address and name but don’t assume everybody else does. Tell them explicitly what they need to do, for example, ‘Enter your name and email and click the button below’. And add a prominent call to action button.

Privacy policy. Reassure people that you are not to share their details with anyone else or spam them. Give them a peace of mind so that they know it is safe to proceed.

 

Remember, your opt-in bonus should be:

Attention grabbing: You want to catch the attention of potential buyers and hope for ‘I gotta have this. This is perfect for me.’ effect. It needs to satisfy a deeper emotional need and not be a surface level gift.

Highly valuable: You want to promise a real benefit and then deliver it. Whether or not it is an ebook or a cheat sheet, the person should walk away feeling like it was worth subscribing to your list.

Likely to attract prospects: Lastly, you need to attract the right people from day 1. This should exclude any freebie seekers and tire kickers. And you do this is by staying on brand and offering something that clearly ties in with what you are selling.

 

Ultimately, it is your choice which type of freebie offer to create, to attract the perfect email signups and excite them.

So how are you attracting new subscribers?

Leave a comment below and let us know.

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Google Plus for People Who Have Been Resisting It http://blog.getresponse.com/google-plus-people-resisting.html http://blog.getresponse.com/google-plus-people-resisting.html#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 18:45:03 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17705 Yesterday I read an article that said “nowadays G+ is “THE” social media platform. It is the most influential in positioning and ranking of search engines. It’s the star factor of any SEO strategy.” And finally I said “OKAY. I … Read more

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Yesterday I read an article that said “nowadays G+ is “THE” social media platform. It is the most influential in positioning and ranking of search engines. It’s the star factor of any SEO strategy.” And finally I said “OKAY. I get it. I’m fixing my Google plus page. Today.”

This is how I did it. I went from having a boring, outdated placeholder page to having a hip hub on “the” social media platform. If you, too, have been holding out on Google Plus, and hoping it would just go away, here’s how to get on board and finally have a presence on Google Plus… and maybe even finally start seeing why some people rave about it.

 

First question: Why now?

If I’ve been ignoring (or trying to ignore) Google Plus all this time, why change now? Sure, that article was kind of an impetus, but there are reasons beyond just that article. Here, for your motivation (and mine) are 5 very good reasons to get on Google Plus:

You’ll rank way better on Google, which still holds 67% of all search traffic. Here’s the hot-off-the-presses Overall Ranking Chart from the SearchMetrics 2014 SEO Ranking Factors and Rank Correlations report. Check out the second most powerful ranking factor: Google +1s.

searchmetrics-overall-540x600

 

My emails will get a boost.

My Google Plus page will show up in the upper right hand corner of the Gmail interface when someone opens an email from me. They’ll also see the first sentence or two of my most recent Google+ post, how many followers I have and if there are any comments on the post. They’ll even be able to follow me with a click of a button.

This is what it looks like:

GmailGmail shows your latest Google+ post in the upper right-hand corner of every email you send.

 

My AdWords ads will get a boost.

Google ads a follower count to any AdWords ad with a linked Google Plus page. It looks like this:

AdWordsAdThese social annotations in Google AdWords ads can increase click-through rates by 5-10%. Google calls that line in the ad about followers a “social annotation”. It says ads with social annotations get 5-10% more clicks than those without them. Pay per click is plenty competitive enough. I’ll take all the help I can get.

Here’s another AdWords benefit: Once I get 1,000 followers I’ll be able to advertise to them in Google+ with Plus Post Ads.

 

I’ll get another content promotion channel.

Google communities gives me another way to promote the content I create and to see what people are asking about and doing in my niche.

 

Google Hangouts.

Hangouts give me a new webinar platform, and way to talk with people anywhere in the world. Those are all good reasons, but really, 80% of why I’m doing this Google+ work is for the search engine rankings… and maybe 10% for the email marketing boost. Given all that, I decided to put 3 hours into improving my Google + page. Here’s what I did and how long it took.

 

I updated the photo

googlecoversizeinfograficoIf you can’t find time to do anything else, update your Google+ cover photo and the links section of your profile. I also bookmarked this for when I’m making batches of images again:

GOOGLE-PLUS-FEED

 

I updated all the links in the Links section.

Google may be hammering down on link building these days, but there is one place they encourage you to do it: In your Google+ profile. Click on the About link while you’re viewing your page “as yourself” and then scroll down to the bottom. There’s a whole section there to add whatever links you want.

My links were really outdated, so I added or updated all my social media account links, including my SlideShare account, Pinterest and YouTube. There are now six social media links.

I could have added many more links – the Google plus interface let me add 20 more empty link input boxes… just I deleted them. I wanted to see if the system would finally stop me from adding links. It didn’t.

After the social media links I added links for places I write for in the “Contributor to” section. Last but not least, there was a plain “Links” section. So I added every major page of my website. I ended up with 15 additional links here. Google would have let me add more.

 

I spent time rewriting my skills and the “Story” section of my profile.

This, too, needed a big update. Now if a prospective client sees it, I won’t be embarrassed. I also tweaked the “tagline” of my story, because that’s what will show up as the meta description of my Google+ page in the search engine results.

 

I found a couple of Google+ tools and messed about with them for about an hour.

CircleCount, SteadyDemand and Timing.minimali.se seemed to be the most useful:

  • Friendsplus.me – Lets you share your Google+ content to any other platform. Might come in handy. It’s free.
  • CircleCount.com – all kinds of interesting stats… and a new way to spy on competitors, or to find influencers. Free.
  • Circloscope.com – a way to speed up finding people to follow and add to your circles. $47 a year.
  • SteadyDemand.com – you type in your Google+ url and this tool gives you back a list of things that are good and bad, what needs fixing, and what’s good already. The basic tool is free. There’s also a personal plan for $12 a month and a business plan for $24. This tool also shows you when is the best time to post.
  • Timing.minimali.se – This is a great tool to find out when is the best time for you to post on Google+. It analyses your account and past posts to determine when you’ll get the most engagement. Just fyi: Marketing services firm Fannit says the best time to post on Google is between 9:00-11:00am. The worst time is 6:00pm-7:00am. But it’s better if you go to Timing.minimali.se and see when is best for your account and your audience.

SteadyDemand

 

SteadyDemand is one of the most helpful Google+ tools I found. It reviews your Google+ profile and gives you a free report that shows exactly what you need to improve.

 

I realized I had not posted to my profile page for nearly six months.

I’ve been frustrated with this for awhile. I can’t upload posts to my Google+ profile from Buffer, which I use to automate most of my social media updates. Buffer only posts to Google+ pages, not profiles. I do have a Google+ page, and Buffer has been posting to it daily, but my page hasn’t got any followers, whereas my profile has quite a few.

I really want to post to my profile on a daily basis. So I checked HootSuite and MeetEdgar to see if they work with Google+. Neither does. Grrrrr.

Then I found it: A Google Chrome extension to automate updates to my profile page. It’s called Do ShareSo I spent another hour queuing up about a month’s worth of posts. I borrowed Demain Farnworth’s advice and

  • kept headlines to less than 60 characters
  • wrote a strong first sentence (because it’s all people will see of the body of the post until they click through)
  • added hashtags (lightly)
  • added asterisks on either side of words I wanted to be in bold
  • added underscores on either side of words I wanted to be in italics
  • added hyphens on either side of words I wanted to be strikedout

DoShare

 

Do Share is an excellent free Chrome extension that lets you schedule your Google+ posts to a profile page.

I didn’t worry too much about post length, because Google+ generally allows slightly longer posts – but I still kept them super short… about 160 to occasionally as long as 400 characters.

  1. I already had a custom url for my Google plus page, but if you don’t you can get one here: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/2676340?hl=en
  2. I spent an hour for so following a bunch of people.
  3. I joined about 10 new communities

Communities2

Google plus offers a number of communities. They’re similar to LinkedIn’s groups.

 

I made sure the Google+ social sharing button on my website were working.

I want those 1+s… and the rankings that come with them. I’m pretty happy with my new Google+ setup. It took less than a day to do, and I can probably maintain it in 30-60 or so minutes a week. If my pages improve in the rankings enough to get even 20% more traffic to my site, then that’s an hour well spent.

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Turn Your Email Marketing Into A Solid Branding Tool http://blog.getresponse.com/turn-email-marketing-solid-branding-tool.html http://blog.getresponse.com/turn-email-marketing-solid-branding-tool.html#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 16:43:28 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17673 In email marketing we are always talking about conversion, experience, making smart use of data and testing. But have you ever thought about how your emails reflect on the image a recipient has of your company? Let’s look at the … Read more

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In email marketing we are always talking about conversion, experience, making smart use of data and testing. But have you ever thought about how your emails reflect on the image a recipient has of your company? Let’s look at the branding effects of the email channel.

All the products you use are brands. Your company is a brand and if you are customer facing, you are  be a (personal) brand too. Email marketing can be a uniquely strong branding tool, if used correctly. So what does that mean for the email marketer.

 

What is in a name?

Imagine you owned a small piece of real estate in your buyers’ brains. Which message would you like to see in there and when should it pop-up?

A brand is the way that customers recognise your business and an anchor for how they perceive you. A logo and brand name are there to be recognisable – and represent the business and intentions of an organization. You know that by being top-of-mind and a trusted brand stacks the deck in your favour. – it is that little piece of brain real estate.

A brand is carried by all their brand communication: visual, written and across all channels. That includes your website, customer service, shop, blog articles, products  and of course your email marketing.

 

More depth than just the product

A strong brand offers more depth than just a product or a service. Organisations that think: “a car is a car”, “a shop is a shop” or “”cheese is cheese” (I am a big cheese fan) won’t get past promotions that sum up product features and discounted prices. Branding is the reason why people choose Coca-Cola instead of an unknown store brand even if it is more expensive. There is so much more possible through branding and positioning.

But what does that have to do with email marketing? Compare these two lists:

EmailBranding

 

Do you see the resemblance? This is why it is easier for strong brands to grow their email lists and for companies with a great email program to improve their brand strength. And you can do both!

Branding and your email marketing program

When synchronising your brand and your email marketing program, it is critical to have a clear view of what your current brand is in essence. A well-defined brand can serve as a starting point and a your measuring stick for evaluating your email marketing strategy and individual campaigns and materials.

 

Test your email on branding value

With every email you are making a conscious contribution to how your subscribers will perceive your brand now and in the future.

  • What is your core message, slogan if you will and is this reflected in your email
  • What makes your brand unique or the better choice does it come out?
  • Is the tone of Voice and imagery consistent
  • What types of people do your products and services attract? Is it catered to them?
  • What does (and should) your target audience think about your current brand and does it match?

 

Beyond consistency

As a marketer or business owner you might have read about Branding and Consistency before. Consistency is an important part of branding. You want to be recognised and your message to stay top of mind. Repeating and amplifying a message will reinforce it. sending out two conflicting messages might be confusing to subscribers. Logo, colour usage, tone-of-voice are all contributors to your brand. Make sure they are in place, but they don’t define your whole brand.

Next time you send out an email, just consider if your message is amplifying or sabotaging the way subscribers experience your brand. And… will it stick ?

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How to Become an Affiliate Marketing Superhero #Infographic http://blog.getresponse.com/become-affiliate-marketing-superhero-infographic.html http://blog.getresponse.com/become-affiliate-marketing-superhero-infographic.html#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 14:02:46 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17667 Affiliate marketing has become one of the top online business opportunities. It is cost effective, and the income can be mind-blowing. Forrester Research predicts that affiliate marketing spending will top $4.1 billion in 2014. But online marketers sometimes overlook this … Read more

How to Become an Affiliate Marketing Superhero #Infographic is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Affiliate marketing has become one of the top online business opportunities. It is cost effective, and the income can be mind-blowing. Forrester Research predicts that affiliate marketing spending will top $4.1 billion in 2014. But online marketers sometimes overlook this model. Why? Because it takes effort to get the gist of it, and this creates an opportunity for you. Our infographic will help you become an affiliate marketing superhero. 

What is Affiliate Marketing? Affiliate marketing is a method of promoting products or services online. A publisher receives rewards for every customer who takes a specified action. The action could be purchasing or visiting the advertiser’s website.

 

How does it work?

To become an affiliate-marketing publisher, you first choose an affiliate marketing program. You sign up and select a promotion and payment method. Then you generate a link containing your affiliate commission code. The affiliate service uses the affiliate commission link to track sales and pay commissions.

 

Brief History of Affiliate Marketing

According to popular myth, Amazon.com launched the first Internet affiliate program in 1996. But affiliate marketing goes back as far as 1989, when William J. Tobin launched his program on the Prodigy Network.

In 1998 affiliate marketing was first introduced in the email marketing industry. GetResponse was the first email service provider (ESP) to use this model — and with the biggest (30%) recurring commissions. Since then, GetResponse affiliate commissions have increased to 33%.

In 2003, Missy Ward and Shawn Collins organized the first Affiliate Summit. It took place in New York and attracted 200 attendees.  By 2011, ClickBank, an affiliate network founded in 1998, had attracted over 1,500,000 affiliate marketers. And finally, in 2013, Google Affiliate Network (formerly Doubleclick Performics) announced it would shut down.

 

The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

  1. Cost effective. The advertiser pays only if the customer takes a specific action. The action could involve click-through, revenue or marketing.
  2. Not a regular job. As an affiliate-marketing publisher, you can create a steady flow of income, even when you’re not at your computer.
  3. Low risk. As an affiliate-marketing publisher, you don’t have to invest capital to create a product to sell. And the affiliate-marketing advertiser doesn’t pay if it doesn’t work. It’s a win-win for both.
  4. Popular. 42.9% of affiliate-marketing publishers say they operate 2 to 5 websites to promote affiliate programs. The number of affiliate-marketing publishers is growing.
  5. Easy-tracking. Affiliate programs provide campaign statistics that measure their effectiveness.
  6. No need to sell anything. Just create good content and recommend products based on your experience.

But to sum up all the info and to make it appealing to the eye, check out the infographic below!

How to Become an Affiliate Marketing Superhero #Infographic is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Why you Should be Forming Strong Relationships with Bloggers http://blog.getresponse.com/forming-strong-relationships-bloggers.html http://blog.getresponse.com/forming-strong-relationships-bloggers.html#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:00:37 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17661 Online there are many writers and content developers that your business should be utilizing. There is perhaps an even larger and often untapped source of sharing and interaction and that’s in the world of blogging. Successful bloggers often have a … Read more

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Online there are many writers and content developers that your business should be utilizing. There is perhaps an even larger and often untapped source of sharing and interaction and that’s in the world of blogging.

Successful bloggers often have a very large audience and one that’s loyal and completely devised for that blogger and their content. A business should think about jumping aboard and joining in with these bloggers and actively interacting with them.

Due to the current high volume of digital content earmarked for the internet (and saturating it) many businesses have integrated blogger outreach programs into marketing and PR strategies.

 

Blogger Outreach and Your Business

Effectively blogger outreach is a practice that ticks both the marketing and the PR boxes. It can work in a simplistic manner to generate good back links but there is also the social element to consider. A business can forge meaningful relationships with bloggers through this kind of outreach.

Blogger outreach however isn’t a one-stop shop. Instead it can be used as part of a successful marketing push and it should be merged with a business’ other advertising and social sharing options.

So, for a business to integrate a blogger outreach approach well, it must already have a well-devised and considered marketing plan in place. Then the business can add a blogger outreach approach successfully with marked benefits.

 

Blogger Outreach is a multi-faceted approach

Blogger outreach has several key possible areas that could be beneficial to a business. A business can use a blogger to pitch guest articles to blogs, publications, or other media outlets. Really the intrinsic desire is to develop high quality content that is shareable and demonstrates a business, its philosophy, and its brands.

This practice can greatly increase a business’ saturation within a given marketplace and it can aid that business in ranking higher on the main search engines. An effective guest post can direct new traffic (and increase existing traffic) to a business’s website.

Blogger outreach can benefit a company and its SEO efforts and it can increase publicity and general conversation surrounding a brand and its ethos. There are other benefits however and a successful blogger outreach program can reach and forge relationships with thought leaders and influencers within a business’ niche.

This can provide a business with a great way to increase its own influence and perhaps even find contributions from leading influencers. Again, these influencers, like bloggers, have a large pre-existing audience base and one that would be of great benefit if your business could tap into it.

relationship

 

Implementing a Blogger Outreach Approach

A business must consider this practice carefully before implementing it. Guest blogging hasn’t done quite so well since Google’s latest algorithm update. That’s not to say that guest posting is a bad practice, it’s just to say that it must be done intelligently.

The first step is defining your goals and strategy. This will help ensure that your outreach program is more successful as clearly defined goals will keep everything clear. Really the blogger outreach program should be part of the rest of your marketing efforts and it should have a good sense of purpose and a well-defined strategy.

If your business has a good idea of what it aims to achieve from a blogger outreach program it can target those efforts much more effectively. A business should have clear goals ensuring that content is driven by the types of publications it’s destined for.

A business should remember to only approach and consider bloggers that have some sort of relevancy to its niche. Relevant content is something that Google desires in any back links so a business should use that as its guiding light.

 

Think to the future

When your business is looking for bloggers it should think to the future and how those bloggers will contribute to future opportunities. Consider bloggers that have written a lot and make sure that the content they post is consistently good. Remember that these bloggers will be speaking for your business so consider them carefully.

Perhaps it’s also a good idea to think of a series of blog posts that add to a subject and are well researched. Look for bloggers that craft good online copy with clickable headlines. You want to find someone that writes not only well and with clarity, but someone who is persuasive.

Remember to build good relationships with the bloggers that you work with. This will ensure that your outreach program has legs and doesn’t only last for one post. Cast the net wide too and really look at all of the options available – it’s not worth rushing this practice.

 

Blogger Outreach programs are beneficial

Use social media platforms to keep in touch and reach new potential bloggers that could champion your business, brand, and philosophy. There are plenty of possible benefits to a blogger outreach program and a business should consider them carefully.

It can build strong relationships with industry influencers and this is an area that really shouldn’t be ignored. These influencers have considerable cache so utilize them and try to interact and connect with them too.

Integrate blogger outreach programs into your overall marketing efforts and use them to reach a wider audience. It can increase your search engine ranking and better saturate you, your business and its brands online.

 

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Scoring With Your New Leads in Email Marketing http://blog.getresponse.com/scoring-new-leads-email-marketing.html http://blog.getresponse.com/scoring-new-leads-email-marketing.html#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 13:43:57 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17652 Lead nurturing allows brands to drive interaction and get additional customer insight through the use of  personalized campaigns. The goal  is to build the relationship, gain trust and earn their business. All strategies that fall under lead nurturing let brand … Read more

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Lead nurturing allows brands to drive interaction and get additional customer insight through the use of  personalized campaigns. The goal  is to build the relationship, gain trust and earn their business.

All strategies that fall under lead nurturing let brand marketers build relationships with future clients. You keep leads engaged with the brand until they are ready to make a purchase. And that is important, research by MarketingSherpa suggests that at the time of original lead capture, only an average of 27% of those leads will be qualified to the point where they are ready and willing to engage with Sales. The remaining 73% aren’t there yet. This explains why more companies are willing to invest in (email based) lead nurturing.

 

Lead nurturing getting is more common

In the report, “The State of B2B Lead Nurturing” 35% of B2B companies say they can’t live without lead nurturing and only 6% say it is not very important to them. Traditionally lead nurturing is much more commonplace in B2B companies that have limited sales capacity and high value products. 

But the sophistication of email marketing software is giving Lead nurturing a boost also in B2C and with lower value products. These days everybody can go and start with simple lead nurturing programs like a welcome email series even if your budget and other requirements are limited. 

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 15.45.00

Lead nurturing tip to remember: disqualify quickly

Not everybody that knocks on your door is actually an interesting prospect. In B2B lead nurturing, leads are classified using BANT attributes. A big part of lead nurturing is actually about scoring leads and (dis)qualifying them. It is an acronym for Budget, Authority (to purchase), Need, and Timeframe. 

 

Budget

Does the new lead have enough budget to buy your product or service and is this available for the purchase at this moment? Without budget, they won’t be buying soon.


Authority (to buy)

Is the prospect a (the) decision-maker, influencer or end user? What is their function title? This will influence if they have the authority to sign on the dotted line. Remember that in B2B email marketing, but also in B2C, there are often multiple people making a decision together. Think about how you plan your vacation and how carefully you undertake each point of the trip. Use that careful planning in making sure that each component (each person influencing the businesses decision) is taken into account. 

Need or product fit

Is there an actual need for your product or service? What are the problems or motivations that drive that need? In addition, it is valuable to gain insight into the type / version of your product and services people are looking for and the level of natural fit.


Timeframe (to buy)

How urgent is the need for your product or service? Is there a hard deadline? When will the prospect be ready to buy? For example the budget allocation cycle of a company can drive the necessity for a quick choice as well as need for problem recognition or internal structure can delay it.

The following table by DWS Associates shows a version of the Bant and how it is used to determine lead information. The specifics of how you frame the questions and what your follow up actions are might be different, but enough to learn from. 

Example version of the BANT process:

BANT


You can understand that offering a demo or price quote is an absolute winner in the last stages of consideration, but a big fail (low conversion rates) if it comes too soon. You can map your content to be in line with what you know of them. If a marketer is able to uncover these pieces of information, they can pinpoint the position of a lead in the buying cycle and take the right actions.

The chance of approaching that subscriber with the right tactic and winning a new customer increases dramatically. How do you approach lead nurturing? Let us know!

 

Scoring With Your New Leads in Email Marketing is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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25 Productivity Hacks for Email Marketers http://blog.getresponse.com/25-productivity-hacks-email-marketers.html http://blog.getresponse.com/25-productivity-hacks-email-marketers.html#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 15:24:41 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17638 Managing an email program is no small task, even if you’re a pro. Depending on whether you’re working for a large or small company (or yourself) you may have designers, writers, directors, customer service, and a dozen other things to … Read more

25 Productivity Hacks for Email Marketers is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Managing an email program is no small task, even if you’re a pro. Depending on whether you’re working for a large or small company (or yourself) you may have designers, writers, directors, customer service, and a dozen other things to manage. Or, if your shop is small, you may get to wear all those hats. 

No matter what your situation, there are a bunch of tools and tricks to help. Here’s 25 of my favorites.

 

Tame Your Inbox

Email marketers tend to like email. We tend to be signed up for a lot of newsletters. Too many newsletters. One of these tools might free up a lot of time.

 

1. Try Unroll.me

There are dozens of different apps for managing an inbox, but Unroll.me makes more people’s lists than any other app I’ve seen. This tool will wrangle all your email subscriptions (I had 718 subscriptions!) into a rollup of the emails you want to keep, and a one click subscribe for the ones you don’t.

UnrollMe

 

 

2. Test Followup.cc

Followup.cc is another email management tool that gets high marks from the likes of ForbesMashable and LifeHacker. There is a free trial, so you can take a spin at sorting and scheduling your emails. One idea for how to immediately benefit from this tool: Schedule your emails so no one sees you’re working at 2am.

 

3. Consider MailBoxApp.com

MailBoxApp.com is yet another inbox management app, but it is especially mobile-friendly, and some people prefer it to other inbox apps mentioned on this list. The paid inbox management app Sanebox is also worth a look.

 

Create Content Faster

4. Use a content calendar or an editorial calendar.

Keep calm and plan on. Having a clear schedule of when each part of every email you send is due makes life much easier. There are a number of editorial/content calendar tools.

You can go super low-tech and use an Excel sheet (or far better, a shareable Google Drive spreadsheet), or scale up a little and use the free WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin.  The free project management tool Trello can also be tweaked to serve as a content calendar. Want more features? Upgrade to paid services like Gather Content or Kapost.

GatherContent

 

If your email program has a lot of moving parts, you may want a deluxe tool like Gather Content or Kapost to keep everything on track.

 

5. Use an email template.

Templates rock. If you aren’t using them already, just adding this trick to your repertoire can cut your production time a lot.

There’s a ninja trick here, though. You can use more than one template. You probably send out more than one email (for example: the blog post format email, the sale format email, the holiday format email). That means you could be saving each kind of email you send as a template.

Templates are also a snap to create. Just click the “Save as” button in the lower right corner of your email message editor and select “Template”.

 

SaveAsTemplateADJ

 

6. Have a backup email message queued up.

Sometimes the highest levels of productivity are served by being ready when disaster strikes. Almost every major blogger has one or two posts set aside for weeks when it’s just not possible to get their blog post done.

Leverage this trick for yourself: Have one nice evergreen email message written, designed and ready to be sent out at a moment’s notice. If some part of your email production system fails, having a backup message like this can make you look awfully smart.

 

7. Learn Evernote.

Evernote pretty much wins the prize for most-recommended productivity tool. It’s great for email marketers because it lets you capture and organize information for upcoming campaigns. But that’s just first gear for Evernote.  To get started, spend a little time on Cameron Plommer’s Evernote video tutorials, try the free tutorials on Grovo.com, or the paid ones on Lynda.com.

 

8. Make images faster – and better.

Use Canva.com to make attractive images fast. Use Pinwords.com or MemeCreator.org  to make funny images or images with quotes. Want to spice up your email with an animated gif? Head over to http://gifmaker.me/ and make one in 3 minutes, max.

 

Pinwords

Caption: Emails need images. Pinwords is one of the tools available to help you make beautiful images fast.

 

Automate

9. Buffer.

Social media updates need some automation. Buffer is an easy way to do it. There’s a free plan to get you started, or a paid plan once you decide to use it all the time.

 

10. Use If This Then That.

If you thought Buffer was cool for automating social media, you’ll love If This Then That. IFTTT lets you create “recipes” which are basically if then statements applied to your online accounts. You can do things like automatically have all Gmail attachments sent to your Google Drive account, find your phone, or follow breaking Fantasy Football news via iOS Notifications.

Every one of us probably has ten or more routine tasks we could automate with IFTTT. If there’s any drawback to this tool, it’s that it might be too powerful.

 

11. Use Zapier.

Zapier is similar to IFTTT, but it lets apps and online tools talk to each other. One of the apps it can integrate is your GetResponse account. So if you want to create a form on your site with multiple choice selections, you can set Zapier up to add people to a specific campaign in your GetResponse account based on how they filled out that form.

 

12. Automate Google analytics reports.

Some bosses like to see a traffic report, or an advertising report every morning at 9am. Take an hour to automate those reports so you can do something better with your time.

 

Delegate

13. Go to Fiverr, WorkHub or FancyHands.com. Find one task to delegate.

Delegation is productivity on steroids. Whether you need to transcribe meeting notes, edit a video or gather up a list of the nicest things your customers have said about you on social media, one of these sites can help.

Workhub

 

Don’t be afraid to delegate, even if it’s a few tiny tasks a week.

 

Focus

14. Do a Pomodoro.

How much can you get done in a 25-minute work session? More than you’d think. If you tend to procrastinate, the Pomodoro technique might be your saving grace. Basically, the Pomodoro technique is a productivity and work management system where you work with 100% focus for 25 minutes, then take a short break. Then you do another 25-minute block.

TomatoTimer

 

The TomatoTimer is a super-simple, free website that lets you try out the Pomodoro technique.

 

15. Write or Die.

If you’re especially troubled with writing deadlines, check out WriteOrDie.com, which gives you a timer, a target word count and a “consequence mode”. If you miss your writing goal, the screen turns red, an alarm goes off, and scary creatures appear.

 

16. Get Selfcontrol.

Got a Facebook addiction? Or maybe it’s Twitter… or sports, or an upcoming wedding. The free SelfControl app can block any site you want for as long as you want. It will be hard at first, but there is life beyond that website.

 

Work Faster

17. Learn more Excel shortcuts.

Email marketers tend to have a lot of data to manage. Usually that means a lot of work in Excel. If you’re going to use Excel a lot, why not become a power user? An hour or so spent learning some Excel shortcuts can easily net out to nearly a day’s worth of working time saved.

 

18. Learn Photoshop shortcuts.

Yes, this is very similar to the tip above, but Photoshop has shortcuts too. Learn some.

 

19. Learn some Outlook or Gmail shortcuts.

More shortcuts means more efficiency. Plus, you’ll look really smart as you blaze through the 200+ emails you get per day.

 

20. Use Dropbox or file storage to get some files off your computer

Optimizing your computer can make a huge difference. We all get lazy about how much is on our hard drives. Dropbox, Mozy, Google Drive or any of the other large file storage and backup services will do. And talk about saving time… when was the last time you backed up your hard drive?

 

Collaborate & Plan

21. Use Trello

It’s free, easy to use and effective for organizing projects and teams. Trello makes most lists of essential productivity tools. If you’re not using it yet, it deserves a quick review.

trellohome-hero

 

22. Try to cancel one meeting this week.

Depending on which source you cite, the average worker spends 20 to 40% or more of their workweek in meetings. Is there just one meeting this week you can cancel? Is there one regular meeting you can devise a way to get out of? Could any one of the tools listed here (or elsewhere) make it so your meeting is no longer necessary?

 

23. Workflowy

This is an all-purpose productivity tool. It’s free, and you get a nice series of how to videos the moment you sign up. Many people love it. You can collaborate with other users, search your account, add links & images and do plenty of other things. If Evernote just isn’t your thing, try Workflowy.

 

24. Snag It

Sometimes words just don’t cut it. SnagIt lets you grab and manipulate images and videos quickly. It lets you create videos in a snap and collaborate with distant co-workers as if they were standing over your shoulder, watching your screen. There’s also the very similar Jing.com, if SnagIt isn’t your fancy.

 

Stay Human

25. Create a short list of simple tasks to do when you’re exhausted or burned out or can’t do anything else

No one operates at maximum performance at all times. But certain tasks require you to be at your best. So be at your best for those demanding tasks, but have a list of dumbed down work for when you’re not feeling like a rockstar.

Low energy tasks can be billing, queuing tweets, filing or watering a plant – whatever needs to be done. Being able to get something simple done when you would otherwise just drool at a harder task frees up those precious limited hours of peak performance.

I know I’ve missed a few gems. What’s your secret email productivity trick?

 

25 Productivity Hacks for Email Marketers is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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7 Simple Changes to Boost Your Landing Page Conversions http://blog.getresponse.com/7-simple-changes-boost-landing-page-conversions.html http://blog.getresponse.com/7-simple-changes-boost-landing-page-conversions.html#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 15:07:09 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17627 Research shows that when a new visitor arrives on your landing page, they are most likely to stay on an average of 10 seconds. Really, just 10 seconds – that’s not a whole lot of time to convince people to … Read more

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Research shows that when a new visitor arrives on your landing page, they are most likely to stay on an average of 10 seconds. Really, just 10 seconds – that’s not a whole lot of time to convince people to respond to your call to action. You must get their attention – fast – and keep it till they reach the end of the page.

They should stay on the page long enough to do what you are asking them to do. Now, as your call to action varies greatly: You may want them to opt-in to your email list or you might want them to ask for a quote or book a free consultation. If you are selling something, you want people to click the buy now button.

Not every action carries the same weight. When you offer a juicy, opt-in incentive, it takes even less than 10 seconds for people to start typing their email address. Bam, and they are done. However, if your goal involves them taking their wallets out, all of a sudden this time seem like a nano second. You start panicking – what can you do to keep these folks interested enough to read a bit of copy on your landing page?

Well .. actually, quite a lot, of course depending on how good of a landing page it is in the first place. In this blog post, I will take you through the ones that make the most impact to your bottom line.

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#1 Grab attention of the right person

The number one job of your landing page is to catch the attention of the right audience.  As soon as a potential client or customer starts reading it, they identify themselves as the person you are addressing. The copy speaks to them – the language resonates with them

Start off by identifying the person you are targeting and get super specific. You should know by now that if you set out to target everybody, you end up talking to nobody. So narrow your target market right down.

Secondly, you should survey your audience prior to creating your offer, or speak to them one-on-one. Make note of the words they use, pay attention to the nuances in their language and then use that in your copy. If you use technical language or your industry jargon, you will lose readers.

Create a big headline for your landing page which is sure to catch the attention of your target audience. Make a big promise if you can or use a sub-headline to spell out the main benefit of purchasing your product or service. The same rule applies if you are creating a squeeze page (where you want people to hand over their email in exchange for a freebie), or any other page with a call to action.

Now test your headline. Get a stranger to read your page and tell you if they understand what you are offering in 5 seconds or less. The goal here is that the headline, the sub-headline, and the introductory paragraphs should explain the purpose of your page nicely. If people are confused, go back to the drawing board, you are probably overcomplicating your offer.

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#2 Clearly show what makes your offering different

Articulate your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) really well. It should be unmistakably clear.

So what is USP? It’s something that makes you different from the rest of crowd – your competition. It’s what helps you stand out. It’s what shows the benefits they are going to get when they purchase from you and get a better solution.

Also known as Unique Value Proposition, it should quickly demonstrate the value of your offering, how it is better than your completion, describe it in the language your customer speaks and state the benefits as well as features of your offering.

In order to hone in your USP, pay attention to what your competitors are offering. Study their products and services, or opt-in offers. Make a note of what appeals to you and what doesn’t. Then list all the ways your product or service will provide a better or a different solution. Maybe you could offer a double money back guarantee, a longer trial period, or discounts for first-time customers. Maybe you could add 24 hour customer support or a totally different price point that is associated with your industry.

Make your USP prominent by wrapping your headline and sub-headline around it and capturing the whole promise. Add plenty of benefit driven bullets on the page, continue the theme on your checkout or registration page so that people are being reminded of all the benefits and know they are doing the right thing.

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#3 Let others speak for you

Instead of singing praises of your own offering, solicit others to do it for you. But beware, you have to make sure that your testimonials are legit and not made up.

Research shows that 90% of people assume that the customer feedback including reviews and testimonials are suspicious and rightly so, the online marketing world is rampant with fake and dishonest reviews. So how can you prove them otherwise? Use the power of buyer photographs to instantly add integrity to your testimonials. Use their name and also their website URL (don’t link to it, you don’t want people clicking away from your landing page) to supercharge your testimonials.

Video testimonials also work when you choose people similar to your target audience so they can identify with this person. You can also get celebrity endorsements, reviews, or quotes to add instant credibility to yourself.

Lastly pay attention to the actual words in the testimonials. Don’t choose words that put you on a pedestal. Demonstrate some initial buyer resistance and how they got the results in spite of it. If their sentences aren’t perfect or if they have any typos – leave those in. You don’t want to airbrush them. Choose precise testimonials. Have your buyers tell the real numbers (if this applies to you), rather than rounding them off.

Remember, all testimonials are not created equal. By adding photographs, getting precise numbers, and sprinkling an industry-specific celebrity endorsement or two will do wonders for your sales page.

landingpage

#4 Get rid of all objections

People have built in resistance when it comes to reading a sales letter – we all like to buy but we hate being sold to. And the most critical task of a sales page is to get rid of this resistance.

You have to articulate your core benefit so well that they feel compelled to buy your product or service. When you do this, you have overcome their objection ‘I can do this on my own’.

You must focus on the inherent value so the price becomes irrelevant. People tend to associate higher prices with advanced or complicated products, and lower priced products as something that has inferior quality. When you concentrate on getting the value across, you more than justify the price. Your product becomes a no-brainer.

You have to show that your product actually does what it claims to do. Include lots of features and benefits to address any buyer resistance. Use customer testimonials as described above so people have faith in what you have to offer and can see that it has worked for people like them. You can actually dedicate a special section addressing the skeptics and the doubters where you can use the FAQ format to answer all their questions in one place.

At the end of the day, when you can confidently answer all your prospect’s questions, satisfy them and communicate the value of your offering, your conversions go up. No gimmicks required.

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#5 Invest in professional design and copy

If you are driving traffic from an ad, make sure the headline matches the copy of the ad. When there is a disconnect between what you said in your ad and the first thing they see on the page (your headline) you will lose readers. Potential customers will simply click away because they will find it jarring.

When it comes to the words on the page, make sure the copy is fluid, meaning, your eye flows naturally from top to bottom without any elements getting in the way. Often times  people add in testimonials that are poorly placed, the visitor is reading the copy and all of a sudden they are interrupted with a testimonial that has nothing to do with what is being communicated.

Keep your copy as long as it needs to be but make it concise at the same time. Get rid of rambling sentences and long paragraphs. Generally, the dearer the product is, the longer will be the sales copy. The logic being, you need more time to answer every possible question racing inside their head, but even then your aim should be to keep it as tight as possible.

When it comes to design, make sure it is easy to read on a screen. Do not use too many colours. Don’t confuse the eye by inserting too many images. Use plenty of white space. Don’t use big chunks of text on the page.

Your goal is to keep the people on the page as long as you can. Get rid of the side bar, main navigation bar, social media profiles, or any links that will take the visitor away. The only link should be the checkout or the sign-up one. Use bold buttons while making your call to action. Make sure they stand out and catch the eye.

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#6 Stay relevant to the traffic coming to your page

Think about the people visiting your landing page.

Is this the first time they are hearing about you? How familiar are they with your brand? Where are they arriving from? From a Facebook ad, a link from a guest post or from social media promotion? How many times have they seen your landing page before? Meaning, how warm or cold are they?

If you send out an email promotion to your own list and send traffic to your landing page, the conversion rate will be much higher than when sending cold traffic to it. On the other hand if you have a rather small size list, and you don’t have any strategic partnerships in place, don’t overestimate your conversion rate. Work in the size of your email list.

Furthermore, you have to create the page accordingly. With your own people, you don’t have to work as hard to create trust so it doesn’t necessarily have to ‘sell’ people hard whereas in case of cold traffic, you do. You would pay even more attention to your copy if you are relying on driving traffic via PPC or Facebook ads.

To increase conversions, you may want to offer special incentives for first time visitors. In case of a sales page, you might offer a special first time buyer discount, or a special bonus. Your opt-in page is geared towards the first time visitors by definition so capitalize on it and don’t feel shy to sell your freebie incentive.

blogging

#7 Test at least one variation of your page

Remember, your landing page will convert the best when you clearly define your conversion goals. You will also make a big difference to your numbers if you split test the elements on your landing page.

When you are creating your page, you might make a decision to write certain words on the page or chose a particular call to action based on what you are actually thinking about and what feels good to you at the moment. A lot of personal preference is involved in your decision making so you should definitely test it out to see whether this actually works. It’s good to pay attention to your gut but don’t rely on it alone. Test it.

In the control version, set up the best landing page and in the variation version, change one thing at a time. It can be a headline, a different call to action, video vs no video. Don’t change too many things or you will skew your data and it will be hard to measure.

The more targeted and strategic an A/B test is, the more likely it’ll be to have a positive impact on conversions. You might discover that placing the form further down on an expensive product with longer copy generally converts better than placing it above the fold. You might find out that by adding a short video at the top, you significantly increase your conversions. Don’t assume what worked for others will work for you. Always test to check your assumptions. Consider hiring a conversion expert if you feel this is not your strongest area.

So there you have it. Which one of these 7 changes will make the most difference to your landing page? Tell us, and then go test it!

7 Simple Changes to Boost Your Landing Page Conversions is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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How To Create a Convincing Email Marketing Newsletter http://blog.getresponse.com/create-convincing-email-marketing-newsletter.html http://blog.getresponse.com/create-convincing-email-marketing-newsletter.html#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 22:00:10 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17613 When it comes to email marketing, plain text emails are, if not quite a thing of the past, then certainly on a downwards spiral. The trend these days is to jazz up the email newsletter with some images, illustrations, groovy … Read more

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When it comes to email marketing, plain text emails are, if not quite a thing of the past, then certainly on a downwards spiral. The trend these days is to jazz up the email newsletter with some images, illustrations, groovy fonts, and funky layouts. The idea is simple – with so many emails coming through as just words on a screen, yours simply need to be lively so that they jump out at your potential clients, grabbing their attention amidst the endless black and white chatter. 

However, it is important in the first instance that your content is written as clearly and concisely as any other copy that you embark upon – no amount of bells and whistles will drown out the unforgivable (negative) noise made by a poorly constructed, badly written campaign. And indeed, no matter how many pictures, illustrations, or other visual elements   you might incorporate to grab a reader’s attention, it will still be on your written content that you will achieve the lasting interest and conversions that you covet.

So, before moving onto the more colorful and glamorous aspects of email marketing, let’s get the basics right first.

 

Growing Your Email List

This is all about the landing page on your website. Your landing page is where you will place that all important email subscription form. A lot of websites these days have preferred to opt for the social media icons, rather than the more traditional call to action to sign up to the newsletter, but, to be honest, there is nothing more valuable to online marketing than an email list.

Your messages are so easily lost in the endless stream of the Twitter news feed. While Facebook has control over which of your fans are even directed towards your content in the first place. But, with your own email list, you have all the control to send the information that you want your fans to have, precisely when you want them to have it. Therefore your landing page must be absolutely optimized to convert, and you may even consider using popups on your site, so that even the most casual visitor will not overlook the availability of a form to fill in.

 

Onto Content – Tell a Story

Whether you are going to opt for the inclusion of a nice, colorful, image-filled email newsletter, or simply go for the more traditional text-based approach, one of the most important things that you can do is to try and tell a story about your product, service or business. It can be instantly off-putting if all your email seems to be doing is acting as an unsolicited platform for shameless self-promotion. Instead, you need to try and tell a story with the text – that is to say that you want to try and create something that not only puts your product in context, but that is also entertaining.

direct-customers

Balance Graphics and Text

The more eye-catching your newsletter’s graphics, the more likely it is that the text will get read. If you create something that is immediately interesting on the eye, then the less chance there is of the recipient immediately hitting the delete button. You’ll want to start with the banner heading. Make it bright and engaging, with either your logo or the headline of the newsletter etched across it. Then, as is the basis of all good design, incorporate that banner’s color elsewhere in the newsletter, so that the reader’s eye is drawn to all the different sub-headlines and sections.

But, importantly, make sure you get the balance right. If you need to include a lot of text, then don’t dedicate too much space to images so that your email is either off-puttingly long or that the text is unreadably small to accommodate.

 

Include Quotes

Quotes from satisfied clients or industry authorities are definitely a good idea. Nothing is more convincing to a potential customer than a recommendation from a satisfied one. So, if you’ve got some testimonials, then include them. In addition, if you can manage to get a few words out of a disinterested third party industry professional about some area of your field that you feel would interest your readers, then get those quotes in too – they will instantly increase your credibility.

Offset your quotes from your main body text as well, preferably using a slightly larger, possibly italicised font, so that they can be located at first glance by a reader. The whole point of including them is to add extra layers of interest and engagement into your newsletter, so don’t bury them amidst the columns.

Creating a convincing email marketing newsletter is becoming more and more like a fine art, but, even if your company doesn’t have the design resources to give them the feel of a magazine spread, it is still worth taking the time to give them some colour, a few images, and a layout that is designed to engage and visually entertain the reader, rather just sending out another ream of copy for them to glance over and then ultimately delete.

Once you’ve established a decent email list, make sure that all your newsletters are conceived with the engagement of the end-user in mind. Only that way will you stand any chance of making those all-important conversions, without which there would be no point to your campaign in the first place.

 

How To Create a Convincing Email Marketing Newsletter is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Expert Lead Nurturing Tactics That Will Work For You Too http://blog.getresponse.com/expert-lead-nurturing-tactics-will-work.html http://blog.getresponse.com/expert-lead-nurturing-tactics-will-work.html#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:03:46 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17607 A company can´t force someone to buy, but at the same time they can´t afford to lose the future opportunity. More than 50% isn’t ready to buy at the time of capturing/subscribing, so it’s important to resourcefully guide them towards … Read more

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A company can´t force someone to buy, but at the same time they can´t afford to lose the future opportunity. More than 50% isn’t ready to buy at the time of capturing/subscribing, so it’s important to resourcefully guide them towards the ‘ready to buy’ phase. This is what we call lead nurturing and what can span the whole path from first contact to first revenue.

You understand that lead nurturing is different in many ways than just sending out a newsletter. But even if a marketer isn’t yet actively sending lead nurturing campaigns or doing full-fledged event driven email marketing, they can still mine some golden nuggets of lead nurturing knowledge. So what can we learn from lead nurturing to integrate in our email newsletters?

 

Welcome to the world of Lead nurturing

Congratulations! A website visitor just signed up for your email program. Many brand marketers have a very large portion of their email marketing targeted devoted to a newsletter or a newsletter that is segmented based on user preferences and interests. After the signup it is time for the next step.

Like Alan O’Rourke says in his book 30 days to sell: “You have 30 days to activate a user to a paying customer. The clock is ticking. What will you do?”

Front loading contact frequency

The email frequency, the number of emails and timing of those emails you send in the first period will really depend on your business and the behaviour you expect from your subscribers. Lead nurturing campaigns in general are front loaded. More emails are sent during the first week or two after the capture / subscription. The fresh subscribers still have your product and service top of mind and are generally more interested in learning more at the start of the relationship.

Lead nurturing Takeaway 1: Get in touch with them right away and start off with a higher email frequency.

 

(Dis)qualify quickly

Not everybody that knocks on your door is actually an interesting prospect. They might be outside your service area, a competitor, not able to buy based on their budget, or already a current customer. Actually, a big part of lead nurturing is about scoring leads and (dis)qualifying them. The reason is simple, know how to treat them, who to give more attention to whom not to pay attention to (yet). It is best to find out quickly, at the moment of sign up.

Lead nurturing Takeaway 2: Ask the right qualification questions at sign up. Good questions can be “Are you a current customer” and “I am considering this product within X period”. This is still something that is often overlooked, with the consequence that everybody is treated the same, and for instance current customers getting offers for product the already have. This also is input for an amazing welcome email program.

nurturing

Mix it up with personal requests and actions

What you do see in lead nurturing is that often a mail is sent in the name of a account manager or service representative. More often than not, these are also automated emails, just like any other in the sequence. Surveys, polls, or other service requests can do very well next to the run of the mill newsletter and especially if they are formatted in a different way, looking less like a marketing message. So why not add one or two of those into your regular email program? It mixes things up and that keeps your email marketing fresh, plus you can add a personal reminder and create a short sequence.

Lead nurturing Takeaway 3: Look outside your regular email types and see if you can engage through personal type emails.

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Takeaways from lead nurturing you can use right now

As you can see, there is a lot to learn from other types of email programs, even if they are not directly the tactics you were planning to work on. Look at some examples for inspiration, take them in and use what you can.

Expert Lead Nurturing Tactics That Will Work For You Too is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Facebook News Feed changes – So long Click-baiting? http://blog.getresponse.com/facebook-news-feed-changes-long-click-baiting.html http://blog.getresponse.com/facebook-news-feed-changes-long-click-baiting.html#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 14:46:14 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17597 The Facebook team has just announced an important change to their News Feed algorithm that aims to help people find posts and links that are actually interesting and relevant. Say goodbye to click-baiting from spammy websites and check out this … Read more

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The Facebook team has just announced an important change to their News Feed algorithm that aims to help people find posts and links that are actually interesting and relevant. Say goodbye to click-baiting from spammy websites and check out this new solution. If you’re a marketer, you might want to know this.

 

Click-baiting

The Facebook Newsfeed algorithm isn’t ideal and we may often wonder why a certain story didn’t reach the right audience whilst another one performed much better. You’ve made sure to select the right target audience, used proper key words, prepared a great cop, and images, yet still it didn’t receive enough reach.

Some businesses are far better than others at luring their audiences to click on their headline and visit the website. A great example of such company is Upworthy. I’m sure that you’ve clicked on at least one headline of theirs over the past few months.

Upworthy shares trending topics, often discussing quite sensitive and emotional stories such on diversity, parenting, LGBTQQ, etc. Most of their posts on Facebook are intriguing, leaving a bit of doubt as to what’s going to be presented after the user clicks. That’s the beauty of it. It’s usually interesting and surprising content and the opening copy just makes you want to open it.

That’s exactly what we call click-baiting.

Upworthy

 

 

Where’s the problem?

As great as it is, click-baiting isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes users are presented with a good opening copy that starts off like the trailer of a good movie, only to be disappointed as to what’s on the other side. Sometimes (and to be honest, quite frequently), we’re tricked into clicking links that hold no value whatsoever and have nothing to do with what has been promised in the headline.

Since posts that receive many clicks are usually shown to more people on News Feed this turns into quite a big problem. That’s because Facebook doesn’t want people to leave their website for no reason and because stories with „click-bait” headlines can drown out content that people really care about.

On top of that, Facebook’s Team asked their users what type of content they’d prefer to see in their News Feed. As it turns out, 80% of the time, people preferred headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article before they had to click through.

 

How will it work?

As Khalid El-Arini, Product Specialist at Facebook says in their blog post, they’ll be looking at how long people spend reading an article away from Facebook.

„If people click on an article and spend time reading it, it suggests they clicked through to something valuable. If they click through to a link and then come straight back to Facebook, it suggests that they didn’t find something that they wanted.”

Second factor that will be taken into account is the number of clicks compared to likes and shares a particular piece of content receives. If users click on a headline, read the article and find it valuable the odds are they’ll share it with their friends or hit like to show their appreciation – at least that’s what Facebook developers believe.

 

Sharing links

Along with the click-baiting update, Facebook’s team wants to adjust how people share links with their friends and followers. From what they’ve found, people tend to prefer to click on links that are displayed in the link format (which appears when you paste a link while drafting a post), rather than links that are buried in photo captions.

The link format show some additional information associated with the link, such as the intro of the article, which makes it easier for someone to decide if they want to click through. This format is also more optimized for mobile devices, where it’s slightly more difficult to click through on buried links.

atlantic-seafood2

culinarian-new

 

How does this affect my page?

From what is known, this change won’t be introduced just overnight. Having said this, the good news is you’ll have time to analyze your results and adjust them to avoid the drop in reach and fan engagement.

However, it appears that publishers who tend to post non-engaging stories using click-baiting may see distribution decrease in the next few months. This being said, to stay safe you should definitely diversify your posts and not rely only on technique as updates like these may affect your performance.

The question that is bugging us right now is – how will the link sharing update affect click-through rate?

What are your thoughts on click-baiting? Are you ready for this update?

 

 

 

 

Facebook News Feed changes – So long Click-baiting? is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Simple Marketing Automation for Solopreneurs  http://blog.getresponse.com/simple-marketing-automation-solopreneurs.html http://blog.getresponse.com/simple-marketing-automation-solopreneurs.html#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:07:06 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17578 Solopreneurs have an overwhelming amount of work to do. Between maintaining their sites, networking, social media, taxes and – oh yes- the work they actually get paid for, it’s almost too much. For some, it’s definitely too much – it’s … Read more

Simple Marketing Automation for Solopreneurs  is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Solopreneurs have an overwhelming amount of work to do. Between maintaining their sites, networking, social media, taxes and – oh yes- the work they actually get paid for, it’s almost too much. For some, it’s definitely too much – it’s not uncommon for solopreneurs to work 60, 80, occasionally even 100 hours a week. 

That’s no fun, and the lack of fun isn’t even the worst part. It’s a great way to go out of business. You can’t keep that pace up forever. Fortunately, there are ways to pare down your to do list. Marketing automation is one of the best places to start.

Let’s pause here and define marketing automation. I am not talking about complex, expensive software systems that require hours of training to use and end up needing hours a week to maintain.

What I am talking about is a tool you’ve already got – your GetResponse account. There are some clever features in your account that can help you attract clients and customers, and bring them through the buying cycle in a customized way that pretty much runs on autopilot.

Ready to go? Here’s the speed course in GetResponse marketing automation for solopreneurs.

 

Determine who are your ideal clients or customers

We are going to talk about cool features and automation triggers, but that’s not actually what delivers the magic here. The magic is in the strategy, and the strategy starts with the end in mind.

So think back over the last year or so. Who were your very best clients or customers? Try to define them. In marketing terms, this is called a profile. There’s no need to get fancy with your profiles – 10 page documents aren’t required. But a half page description is a good idea.

Ask yourself: Does your ideal client/customer have a title? Do they read certain websites? Do they have specific needs and concerns? Do they tend to like social media, videos, search engines, or webinars?

Try to define your ideal clients or customers into 2-5 different profiles. Keep in mind that more is not better here: Keep your profiles list as short as possible.

 

Determine how your ideal clients or customers found you

How do you build relationships with your best clients/customers? If that sounds a little too touchy-feely, use the marketing term and ask yourself “What’s their sales funnel?” Sales funnels are the paths people take to find you, trust you and then buy from you.

Typically, it takes about 10 different interactions with a company before a customer is ready to buy. Those ten “touches” will be different for every company and every buyer. Sometimes the buying cycle is super-short, like 5 minutes. Other times it takes two years.

To illustrate what two buying processes or sales funnels might look like, here are the sales funnels for an affiliate and a consultant:

AffiliateSlide1

 

ConsultantSlide1

Think about the buying process (or sales funnel) your top 20% of clients or customers when through. Write out a few of the paths they took to become your customers or clients in a flow chart like the ones above.

Now that you know whom you’re going after and how to go after them – now we add the automation. Enter one of the best marketing automation tools you could ask for: your GetResponse account.

 

Autoresponders are the original marketing automation tool

The first and most obvious way you can automate your emails is to use autoresponders. Those are email messages that are queued up and sent at intervals you define, with messages you can write months or even years in advance.

Autoresponders are often used for ecourses. The site owner writes a series of emails (say 20 different email messages for the entire course), then sets the autoresponder to send each new subscribe a new lesson every, say, 3 days. It could be every 5 days, or every week. Set it to whatever you want. You could actually use an autoresponder to even fake a weekly newsletter, but there’s an easy alternative that can deliver more timely content.

 

RSS to Email is AOK

While you could fake a weekly email as an autoresponder, it’s better to set up RSS to email in your GetResponse account. Once RSS to email is working, every time you write a blog post your subscribers will get an email. This can save you hours (even days) of work over the course of a year.

There’s a nice video tutorial on how to set up RSS to email here:

 

Gettin’ fancy: Event-based Autoresponders

Autoresponders and RSS to email are just the start of what’s possible. Did you know you can send people an autoresponder based on which link they click in an email? You can. It’s in your account under Messages > Create Autoresponder.

Adding event-triggered autoresponders to your marketing can automate a lot of work.

Adding event-triggered autoresponders to your marketing can automate a lot of work.

 

You could use this feature to offer an ecourse on a specific topic. Say you’re an affiliate for home theatre systems. You’ve reviewed your top affiliate links and discovered people tend to come to them through your home theatre  setup videos.

You could offer the first video in the series as a link in your weekly email. Then, the people who are interested in those setup videos could get that video series. You’ll have identified who is likely to be a high-value prospect and you’ll be giving them content tailored exactly to their interests.

For another example, say you’re a social media consultant. You’ve built a Facebook presence for several clients now, and it tends to be work that’s easy for you, that you get paid really well to do, and that your clients love. So what if you created an ecourse of how to build a Facebook presence, with a little link at the bottom of each ecourse email offering “done for you” services?

Only some of your email subscribers will click through on this link, but for the ones that do, you’ll have segmented out the potential high value clients, and be delivering them content that’s 100% on target for them. Sweet.

 

Ninja lead magnet trick

If you’ve been following along with the GetResponse blog, you know how big we are on creating lead magnets for your email opt-ins.  Ok – maybe you call lead magnets “freebies”, “free reports” signup incentives, even “ethical bribes” – but whatever you call them, they’re the extra-valueable pieces of content you offer website visitors in exchange for their emails.

Well, there’s a ninja technique to lead magnets. You can offer more than one.

If you’ve got two, three, or four different high-quality pieces of content that are worth trading for an email address, you can create different opt-in forms for each lead magnet. Then you can place those special opt-in offers near content that’s related to the opt-in. For example – you put the SEO lead magnet offer at the bottom of any post you write about SEO. You put the Facebook opt-in offer at the bottom of any post you write about Facebook.

Those are just examples. Depending on your marketing funnel, you could offer lead magnets specifically designed to attract the interest of website visitors at different phases of the buying cycle.

 

Automation rules

Here’s where it gets funky: And you can automatically move people from one campaign to another as they move through the buying cycle.

Here’s how:

You set up an automation rule in your GetResponse account.

To find this feature, go to the Dashboard and select the campaign pull-down menu in the upper right hand corner. Click “Automation” below the list of your campaigns.

 

Automation-HowToFind2

 

How to use automation rules

As an example, let’s assume you’ve got a fairly simple buying cycle. First, people get your “The Beginner’s Guide to SEO”, then they get “The Intermediate Guide to SEO”, finally, they get “The Advanced Guide to SEO”. Each report has it’s own opt-in form, and it’s own campaign within your GetResponse account.

To move people through the buying cycle, you create a rule that whenever someone signs up for “The Intermediate Guide to SEO”, GetResponse takes them off the campaign for “The Beginner’s Guide”.

In the next step through the buying cycle, when they request “The Advanced Guide to SEO”, you can set up another rule to remove them from The Intermediate Guide list once they’re confirmed for The Advanced list.

AutomationRule2

There are dozens of way to use these automation techniques in your business. Carefully applied, they can take most of the heavy lifting for client or customer education off your to do list.

Are you using any of these automation tricks in your email marketing? Are you using anything I didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.

Simple Marketing Automation for Solopreneurs  is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Are You Making These 7 Rookie Mistakes in Your Guest Posting? http://blog.getresponse.com/making-7-rookie-mistakes-guest-posting.html http://blog.getresponse.com/making-7-rookie-mistakes-guest-posting.html#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:21:06 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17573 Sometimes there are various thoughts that go through our head when we think of guest blogging, like: “Guest blogging doesn’t work anymore,” “Guest blogging is a huge waste of time,” “I tried publishing on other blogs before but I never … Read more

Are You Making These 7 Rookie Mistakes in Your Guest Posting? is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Sometimes there are various thoughts that go through our head when we think of guest blogging, like: “Guest blogging doesn’t work anymore,” “Guest blogging is a huge waste of time,” “I tried publishing on other blogs before but I never got a response,” “I guest posted on a leading blog but it resulted in only a handful of subscribers,” “Guest posting? I don’t even know where to publish or even get started. It all seems so complicated.” Do any of these statements resonate with you?

Do you feel like you could have said at least one of these things? If so, you are not alone. Many bloggers – new and old alike – struggle with guest blogging. Either, they give it a half-hearted attempt or made a ton of rookie mistakes. These are the mistakes I’ll help you identify – and rectify – today in this blog post.

Let’s jump in.

 

Mistake #1 Your purpose is not clear

It always surprises people when I tell them to get clear on their guest blogging goals.

“What do you mean, get clear on the goals?” They always ask me with much surprise. They believe that you only guest blog to drive traffic to your own site and build your email list. Not true.

There are actually three main reasons why you guest blog. For credibility, for connections, and for lead generation. Most people only do it for the last one. When you get clear on what you want to achieve from your guest blogging efforts, you can decide whether it has been successful or not.

For example, some magazine style blogs like Forbes or Entrepreneur are huge for credibility building. If you get published on these sites, people will pay attention. However, you might not get a ton of subscribers straightway after getting published on such sites. But if you think about raising your profile, the ability to say ‘As seen on Forbes’ on your website, that is a fantastic return on investment.

Similarly, bloggers with huge following. You may or may not get a massive ROI in terms of leads but if you leverage these connections, they will pay off in the future.

  • Your mistake: Not knowing why you are guest blogging in the first place.
  • The cure: Carefully select blogs to guest post on and define your goal accordingly.

 

Mistake #2 You don’t write for the right blog

Are you posting on a blog that has a readership of few hundred people? Are you posting on your best friend or a colleague’s blog?

Stop immediately.

You have got to be strategic with your guest posting. If you guest post on a blog with the purpose of increasing your subscriber base and they have a very small audience, you will only get a few subscribers. If you do it on a blog with a seemingly huge audience but very little reader engagement, you will face the same result.

Here’s how you can increase your chances of building your email list with guest blogging. Be very picky with the blogs you choose for this goal.

Here are three ways to pick the right blog:

  1. You can go to Alltop.com and search for blogs by category. Start at the top because that’s where you will find the popular blogs and start making your list. Not every blog will be suitable for your purpose. Not all of them will accept guest posts so make as big list as you can.
  2. You can do Google searches for phrases like ‘Top 50 ……. Blogs’, or Best …… blogs’ (Insert your industry name in the blank) and you are good to go.
  3. Don’t forget your RSS reader. You should already be familiar with a number of blogs in your industry that may or may not turn up in the two lists above. Make a third list for that.

This is just the preliminary homework every aspiring guest blogger should do. If not, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot even before you get started.

 

Mistake #3 You don’t take the time to research the blog

You send out fully completed quest posts or pitches without doing any homework. Now it’s time to get serious. Start going through those lists and click on each blog’s URL, one by one.

This step may seem tedious and time consuming, but if you do this right, there is no way you can mess your guest blogging strategy so stick with it.

Firstly, you want to establish the size of the audience a blog has. They may tell you that on the blog so take a look around. If they don’t, look at their social shares and the number of comments people leave on their content. This should give you a rough idea.

You want to pick blogs with at least a few thousand readers. This is especially useful if you are new to this process. As you gain experience and proficiency, you can pitch to really popular blogs.

Secondly, you want to look at their guest blogging guidelines. You want to make sure they accept guest posts in the first place. Sometimes it is fairly obvious when you see guest posts published on the home page.

And lastly, you want to check if they accept completed blog posts or ideas. Now these are fairly basic research points, but you need to go even deeper.

You need to find out the blogger or editor’s name. And you need to start developing a relationship with the blogger in question. You don’t have to become best buddies but the goal is when you write your pitch, you aren’t writing as a stranger. Bloggers read all the comments they get (even if they don’t reply to them all), so there is a good chance they will recognize your name as a reader who leaves thoughtful comments and this will earn you some serious brownie points.

 

Mistake #4 You don’t come up with the right idea

You send a mediocre idea and it gets rejected.

What do I mean by a mediocre idea? A mediocre idea is something that doesn’t catch the attention of the blogger. It doesn’t stand out or, if it gets accepted and published, it doesn’t bring you any closer to your goals of adding more people to your list.

This happens when you don’t spend going through blog’s content before you make your idea pitch (or the completed post for that matter).

You need to actually read at least 3-4 recent blog posts to get an idea of the blogger’s style, the kind of topics they like to cover and also the comments they respond to. You also need to figure out the most popular content on that site. Often times, you will find this information listed on the sidebar. Look for Popular Posts, Reader Favourites or similar category of links.

Now utilize this information when you pitch an idea. You can pitch something if this particular topic hasn’t been covered in a long time. You can pitch an idea if the topic was something that was requested by a reader in the comments section, or you can propose to write on a topic that would add to a post written by the blogger recently.

Always pitch something that will add value to this blog’s community. Keep their audience in mind while coming up with your ideas. But, don’t forget the end result you want to achieve. You want this blog’s readers to come and check out your stuff, too. And if you choose something that is highly valuable to this audience but has no relevance to your own blog topic, nobody will subscribe.

A winning idea combines the topic of the blog you are aiming to write for with the topic of your own blog. This way, when their audience comes over, they will also be interested in what you have to say on your own site.

writing

Mistake #5 You don’t pitch in the right manner

You send out a generic pitch and it gets rejected. There is an art to pitching an idea that results in a ‘yes’ from the publisher. It’s not rocket science.

Firstly, when you take the time to develop a relationship with the publisher in question, you start off on the right foot. Secondly, when you do your homework thoroughly, research the blog and take your time coming up with great ideas, your success is pretty much guaranteed, provided you don’t mess up the pitching process.

This is how I recommend you do it.

First of all, generic, mass emails will not do. You have got to take the time to personalise your pitch. You have to start off by addressing them (this is why you find out their name first). No generic salutations such as ‘dear sir or madam, dear webmaster’, etc.

Secondly, I want you to let the blogger know that you are pitching a guest post idea. In the subject line, say something like ‘Guest post submission: The idea’. If you are writing to a popular blogger, they might receive hundreds of pitches but not everyone will highlight it using the subject line. Even when they do, they have not put in effort to develop a relationship so you will be better off than most bloggers pitching.

Start your email by introducing yourself briefly and say something nice about the blog. Tell them whether you are a long time follower or a recent one but loving it. Tell them a post you recently enjoyed reading.

Tell them you have an idea that will really help their audience and briefly describe it. You can send in a finished post if that’s what they said so in the guest post guidelines.

Tell them about the work you published recently and link to some of your best work so they can check it out. It’s better to link to posts published on someone else’s blog, if you can, rather than on your own.

Lastly ask them whether they’d be interested so that you can send them the finished post. You can also refer to it as a draft. Tell them, you’ll follow up in about a week’s time if they don’t get around to seeing it.

End on a positive note. Don’t gush, treat them as a peer rather than putting them on a pedestal. And follow up if you don’t hear from them. Don’t be a flake.

 

Mistake #6 You don’t deliver in terms of content quality

You submit a post that you spend 30 minutes working on – and it shows.

Once you get the green light from the blogger, you can go ahead and write that post. Remember to make it your best one.

Make sure you tick all the boxes when it comes to screen friendliness. Add sub-headings, bulleted lists, images, quotes, and images. It’s great to send them the post already formatted in html as well as in a word document. You want to make it as easy as you can for them so they look forward to working with you again.

Spend some time mastering the headline but let them know you’re open to them changing it. Open your post with a bang. Make a statement, ask a question, share a startling statistic or tell a story. Cover the post from a new angle. Write it in a fresh manner.

Pay attention to the sentence structure. Use small sentences and paragraphs. Get rid of all the unnecessary information. Get to the point quickly. Make sure your post flows.  Edit and proofread your post. Ask someone else to do it if it’s not your strong point.

 

Mistake #7 You don’t make use of your byline

You put so much work into your guest posting strategy but you don’t optimize your byline or author bio. This is what I mean: Most bloggers when they write for another site, link to their homepage in their byline. This is a big mistake.

A link to your homepage is a generic link. It doesn’t really entice the reader into clicking it. You want to take this opportunity and say something that will arouse their curiosity and make them want to check out what is it that you do and head over to your website.

If you picked the right idea, the person reading your post should also have some interest in what you talk about over at your blog. You need to give them some incentive to follow you there. The easiest way to do this is to link to your squeeze page.

A squeeze page is just a page with your opt-in box and some details about your freebie incentive. It usually has a headline, a few bullet points and then the sign-up box. If you link to your squeeze page, you maximize conversions.

Your homepage is not the best place to lead a visitor to. If it is a store front, they might not be in a buying mood. If it’s a blog style page, the stuff at the top might not be the best one, or, relevant to this new visitor. The squeeze page is.

 

So there you have it.

If your guest posting efforts are not paying off, I bet that you are making at least a few of these mistakes. Which ones are they? Fix them and you will see a real return on investment for your guest blogging strategy.

Good luck!

 

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