GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips http://blog.getresponse.com Thu, 21 Aug 2014 08:39:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Are you making these 10 silly blogging mistakes? http://blog.getresponse.com/making-10-silly-blogging-mistakes.html http://blog.getresponse.com/making-10-silly-blogging-mistakes.html#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:27:20 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17525 Think about the number of blog you read on a favourite topic of yours. Let’s say you are a fan of yoga. How many blogs can you find on this particular topic? Thousands? How many good ones can you find? … Read more

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Think about the number of blog you read on a favourite topic of yours. Let’s say you are a fan of yoga. How many blogs can you find on this particular topic? Thousands? How many good ones can you find? Hundred? How many do you read?

I am guessing, a few. Perhaps, you are subscribed to a few but I am sure you don’t get to read them all. Even though you are subscribed, you read stuff that catches your eye, seems interesting on that particular day, or is something you need to know more about.

If you have a bit more time than usual, or you can afford to slack off, you scroll through your feed and read a few more, but there is definitely so much you can digest. Now flip the scenario on its head and look at this from another person’s point of view.

This person is also a blog reader. They have subscribed to many, many blogs – more than they should. And they may or may not be lookout for any new ones. Is your blog the one they should be reading regularly? Is your blog they should subscribe to, next?

Of course, they should. But only if you stop making these mistakes.

 

Mistake #1 You don’t have a clear purpose for your blog

We have millions and millions of blogs occupying bandwidth on the web and it is amazing to see the vast majority of these bloggers still have no idea why they are blogging in the first place.

Let me ask you: why do you blog?

Are you a hobby blogger? Do you blog because you want to voice your thoughts on various topics that interest you? You write about your favourite books, the movie you took your kids to, or your commentary on the latest political crisis? You don’t care if you get more than 50 people reading your blog and most of those people are your friends, colleagues, relatives and so on… (In this case, you can probably skip this post because if your blog is your online diary, this won’t apply to you.)

Are you a blogger who wants to grow a huge audience, become an Internet celebrity, secure a book deal and become a lifestyle blogger? Or, are you a small business owner looking to use your blog as a marketing tool?

Getting clear is the first step to achieve success for your blog. Because success looks different to a hobby blogger, it means something else to a blogger wanting to become popular and shows up differently for someone blogging for business.

 

Mistake #2 You don’t have a strong niche

Once you decide the purpose of your blog, (and for this blog post, we are going to assume that it is to use your blog as a marketing tool and build your email list) you need to figure out your niche.

Let’s say you are a health coach. Well, health and fitness is a huge topic. It is way too broad if you decide to tackle this in its entirety. You need to narrow it down and pick a topic that will help you attract potential clients and customers. So if you are a raw food expert, then pick this as your niche. If you are a holistic health coach, maybe you want to choose holistic health and nutrition as a focus for your blog.

When you pick a niche, this does a few things for you: It helps attract your ideal readers. It helps you stand out from the other health bloggers. It helps you formulate your content strategy. It even helps you rank for your keywords if you create the right content.

Go narrow first and broaden your scope later as you grow and build your audience. Get known for something first and then expand.

 

Mistake #3 You don’t understand your audience

You may know who your target audience is but you fail to connect with them.

Sure, you understand your topic and your niche, but you are not creating the right content. You are writing on issues that you want to write about, and not necessarily what your audience wants to hear from you.

This happens when a blogger fails to really listen to what their audience is saying – or not saying (lack of engagement says something). If you are not sure, ask your audience. Survey them. Ask them what their biggest problem or frustration is, which needs of theirs aren’t been met. Ask them about the topics they want you to write about. Ask them what sort of content they want to see.

Don’t assume – ask them. And remember, if you are new or don’t have a huge audience, you don’t need hundreds of responses. A handful will tell you all you need to know for now.

You can also spy on your competitors. They have audiences very similar to those you want, so go there and read their comments. Look at the types of posts that go viral and the ones that don’t too well. But don’t copy, just get some ideas to see what is working.

audience

Mistake #4 You are not consistent

For any blogger to be successful, they must stay consistent over time. Blogging is a long term thing and often times, you will see the ROI (return on investment) after months of hard work. You’ve got to commit to the process. You may be shooting yourself in the foot by being inconsistent. Inconsistency can be of quality and of quantity.

If you publish mediocre stuff, if you put out content that takes five minutes to write, people will notice. You can’t publish random, filler stuff. Now I am not saying that every piece you publish has to be worthy of picked up by Lifehacker but meet the expectations you set up for your audience. Publish high quality posts.

Secondly, you also have to become consistent in your publishing schedule. I am not saying to publish 4-5 times a day, especially when you are not aiming for popularity. Your goal is to stay top of mind. You have to create a relationship with your prospects and readers so you need to touch base on a regular people. For most people, once a week works out very well. Publish one post every week, preferably on the same day so you train your readers into expecting content from you on a regular basis, just like they expect to see a favourite show every week.

Create high quality work. Be consistent with your publishing schedule and never compromise quality for quality.

 

Mistake #5 You hide behind your blog

Do you know the biggest pet peeve of mine? Clicking on a link to check out and blog and finding out that the blogger has chosen to stay anonymous! I mean, what could be more irritating than that? Think I am alone? The vast majority of blog readers feel the same way.

You’ve got to understand that people don’t read blogs purely for information. They are looking for a person to follow and seek inspiration from. They look for a community of like-minded people and most importantly, they want to be just like you.

When you don’t tell people your name, don’t put up a smiling photo, what you are saying is that you are not interested in creating a true and meaningful connection with them. That you are not willing to put yourself out there.

This is even more essential if you are a small business owner. When you talk about yourself, reveal personal information and give people a peek into your life, you create a deeper, richer connection and most importantly, you build trust in yourself and your brand. Tell them who you are, what you stand for and tell them your story – give them a reason to believe in your dream and you will have raving fans of your work.

 

Mistake #6 You bore people to death

Are you writing in a style that is interesting, engaging and worth a read? Many business bloggers are guilty of writing stuff that nobody understands or cares about. They use corporate language. They use jargon and gobbledygook. Are you guilty of it?

Or maybe you write like you are writing a college essay. Your writing mimics academic style writing that nobody wants to read. Do you go on and on about your topic? Is your post filled with repetition and unnecessary information? Do you have a tendency to ramble?

People want to content that is inspiring, entertaining, or both. They don’t want to think too hard to understand your point. They also don’t have lot of free time to read posts that feel like book chapters.

Write in plain English. Make your blog posts as easy to read as possible. You are not writing for people reading Harvard Business Review, write in a manner that your average reader can easily comprehend what you are trying to say.

boredom

Mistake #7 You are overly promotional

Your blog post is not a vehicle to sell your wares. Your blog is not your store front or your catalogue. This is not the place to talk about your products and services all the time.

You have to understand what sort of content to publish on the blog. And to do that you have to step into the shoes of your blog readers: current customers, prospects and people looking for information on that topic, people who haven’t thought about buying from you yet.

What sort of content can you create that will appeal to these groups of people? You might cover ‘behind the scenes’ type content. Give people a sneak peek into your production process. Talk to them about how you come up with product ideas and what goes into creating something.

You might put a spotlight on your existing customers. Interview them. Show off testimonials and what people are saying about your company.

You can write inspirational posts where you paint images of what it would be like to achieve your dreams. You can write pure how-to information where you generously share your expertise. You can write a post where you link to other experts in your industry.

There is so much you can do – and occasionally, it is fine to sell, but don’t make a habit of it.

 

Mistake #8 You don’t pay any attention to formatting

Your blog is extremely hard to read and while this seems like a very frivolous reason, people don’t read it because it’s just not any fun.

What makes a blog hard to read? Firstly, it is the overall look and feel of your blog. The theme you have chosen, the typography and colours. If you use very small fonts, or flashing ads or big neon headlines, people are not going to take you as someone who is legit. So make it look professional.

Make your blog posts scannable by using headlines, sub-headings, bullet points, bold and lots of white space. Don’t forget to use captivating images (not cheesy stock photos) to attract attention.

Lastly, spend some time editing and proofreading your blog posts. Review your post for flow, remove anything that doesn’t add anything to it. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. You don’t want to spoil the experience of a well written post by leaving typos in.

Your aim should be to make it an enjoyable experience for the reader so they are bound to return and share your content.

 

Mistake #9 You don’t promote your blog posts on social media

You think it’s enough to write a blog post, polish it and then hit publish. You think if you build it, they will come.

Well, that may have been true a few years ago when blogging was so new that people would subscribe to and share any half decent content.

Not anymore. With the proliferation of blogs, there is no shortage of good content. So much so that your good content will go unnoticed unless you do everything in your power to make sure it won’t.

You have got to push your content on social media sites to attract new readers. You don’t have to be every single one of them but it is generally a good idea to focus on one or two platforms at a time. You think your audience hangs out on Facebook? Great – then there’s where you should share your content. If you think they are more Twitter kind of people, or Pinterest, or Google+, reach out to them there.

Not only give direct links to your blog posts, post status updates especially created for a particular platform and make sure you respect the medium. For example, photo quotes work really well on Facebook, animated videos work superbly on Tumblr and of course, gorgeous images belong on Pinterest.

Secondly, realize that not everybody will see your updates. Not everybody is online at that time, and even if they were, it would be virtually impossible for them to see what you, and everybody else is posting. Repeat your social media updates to give them a maximum chance of success.

 

Mistake #10 You don’t build your authority and credibility

  • You are trying to do it alone.
  • You don’t join any groups, online forums or collaborate with other bloggers.
  • You don’t guest post on other blogs, you don’t give interviews and you don’t syndicate your content.

Meaning, you don’t work to build your authority. You don’t care about raising your credibility and this is affecting how you are being perceived.

Even when you share and promote your blog content, you will find it difficult to attract new eyeballs because people don’t know how awesome you are. And how can they? You must show them.

When somebody stumbles on a new blog, they are looking for social proof. They are looking for credibility building indicators – like media mentions, praise, customer testimonials, as-seen-as logos and endorsements from other bloggers. This is all part of the plan. This is how the game is played. Show your expertise and people will take notice.

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How long have you been blogging for? What is the biggest challenge when it comes to blogging?

Do you make any of the mistakes I listed above?

Leave a comment as we’d love to know.

 

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6 Tips On How to Improve Your Social Marketing Routine http://blog.getresponse.com/6-tips-improve-social-marketing-routine.html http://blog.getresponse.com/6-tips-improve-social-marketing-routine.html#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:47:00 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17517 These days, social media is an unrivalled platform on which to direct internet users to your website and your business. The more followers you have across the major social sites  – Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Pinterest – the more traffic … Read more

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These days, social media is an unrivalled platform on which to direct internet users to your website and your business. The more followers you have across the major social sites  – Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Pinterest – the more traffic you will generate towards your website (provided you are creating regular updates and blogs to keep the content fresh and interesting for your potential customers). You need to be doing this daily. It is, of course, essentially free advertising – the only cost incurred is on your time, and if you follow the 6 tips below, it won’t take you very long at all.

 

#1: Build your company’s credibility by sharing breaking news within your niche

You should already be making sure that you are creating and publishing fresh content via your blog on your website, and sharing this across your social media platforms. But, on top of this, you should be keeping up with important trends in your industry and sharing all the breaking news. You want to try and be the first to tell your social media audiences what is happening in your industry, thus building your business’s credibility and positioning you as a credible authority on all things within your niche.

 

#2: Don’t miss a trick with Google Alerts

To ensure, in the first instance, that you don’t miss what’s going on, set yourself up with Google Alerts. Google Alerts are created to basically constantly search whatever queries you type in, and to alert you with an email every time it finds something new. This will, of course, save you the time spent on performing these searches yourself.

You may find that you need to tailor or refine your search query so that you’re only being alerted on the specific kind of information you want, but once you’ve got it nailed and honed in to the key influencers in your industry, you can start sharing links to the breaking news events almost as they happen across your social media platforms.

 

#3: Time your posts carefully for optimum targeting

Like you, your potential clients and customers will probably be working a similarly scheduled day. Lunch time will likely be somewhere between 12 and 1pm, and any meetings will probably be scheduled on the hour. In order for your Tweets and posts not to be missed by your targeted clients in ever-more cluttered and updated news feeds, then you want to try and catch them when they are more likely to be checking their smartphones and social media.

Somewhere within that lunch hour is the most obvious time to start sending out your fresh content and, with any luck, you should find more referrals being generated by your posts during this time.

Another trick is to try and send out a few Tweets either just before or just after the hour. You probably check Twitter yourself when on route to a meeting, so presume that other people are doing the same. At about 5 to the hour is the optimum time for trying to catch users with an idle couple of minutes before the scheduled conference, and at about 5 past when they’re on their way back to their desks. Every hour is often a little milestone in a working day for a lot of office staff, a time that heralds a little break for a coffee and a quick glance at Facebook – give them something to look at and think about.

engage

#4: Follow your followers and engage with the engaged

A great tip to keep growing your audience is to keep a close eye on your followers who are most actively engaging with your content and posts. If anyone leaves a comment on G+, Facebook, or LinkedIn, be sure to reply to it, so as to encourage this engagement and prompt more dialogue and shares in the future.

Anyone who is re-tweeting your tweets deserves the favour returned, provided it’s appropriate and germane to your company’s focus. And the same goes for the your other platforms. Share other users’ posts on your own pages and, if they return the favour your way, you will inevitable gain more followers, which will lead to more clicks on your website, which is the ultimate goal of social marketing.

While it’s true that many social media management companies use scheduling and CRM software, there’s no substitution for personal replies, so make the time to carry these out at least once a day. Remember, the key word to think about with social media is of course social, remember to be it.

 

#5: Optimize your updates for each social network

So long as you’re sharing your posts and updates regularly across all of your social platforms, you will find traffic flow to your site increasing. But, to really boost the numbers, then you need to start thinking about using the various tools that each social media site offers to optimize the visuals of what you want people to see.

Catching people’s eyes as they scan their news feeds is the ultimate point of success when it comes to social marketing – for one, good use of imagery makes it more likely for other users to share what they find.

Start using Twitter Cards in your tweets, which allow you to attach images and video that link to your website. These cards are given a lot more space on the news feed than regular tweets, so are immediately more eye-catching. Facebook provides even more space for images, so choose the right one (and make sure it’s good quality and that you have the right to share under Creative Commons).

LinkedIn is the space where you should be primarily focussing on your own company’s updates, rather than other gossip in your industry. And in G+ you can market directly to specific and smaller targeted audiences via your G+ Circles. In all cases you should be making the best use of imagery to grab your readers’ attentions.

 

#6: Analytics

The final tip is to make time every day to scrutinise your analytics. This way you can simply find out which posts got shared the most on which platforms, which tweets got re-tweeted, how much traffic you generated today and where it came from. This will keep you better informed as to where you need to focus your efforts going forward, what’s popular and what’s not, in order to continue to improve your social marketing routine and keep your number of followers growing.

Let us know how you like to work on improving your social marketing routine!

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Email marketing for VIPs http://blog.getresponse.com/email-marketing-vips.html http://blog.getresponse.com/email-marketing-vips.html#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:07:51 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17505 Email marketing is designed to develop a relationship, sell a product or service, and encourage the recipient to take action. There are different ways you can accomplish these goals. So let’s see which elements make up the Email VIP experience … Read more

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Email marketing is designed to develop a relationship, sell a product or service, and encourage the recipient to take action. There are different ways you can accomplish these goals. So let’s see which elements make up the Email VIP experience and not just in the traditional sense. 

 

Who are your VIPs?

Your email campaigns should treat all your subscribers like VIPs in the traditional sense, depending on who actually is a Very Important Person in your database. This could be high spenders, influencers, or lifelong customers, but don’t forget the new high potential clients coming in. So lay out the red carpet and get them hooked directly with an amazing welcome program. But what other lessons can we learn from those three letters (VIP that is)?

The really important people in your database might not be the ones you expected though. Through scoring and segmenting your email newsletter, you might find out that big spenders are also the ones that return a lot of goods or only buy on sale when margins are low. Slice and dice your data and find out if you are actually focusing your effort towards DIP: Deemed Important People.

 

Very Important Person

People who subscribe to your emails expect you to roll out the red carpet, and this email from Boot Barn does just that. The subject line says it all: VIP exclusive – just for you. Does it make you feel special already? I don’t think so, the joke and skunk is countering the exclusive / VIP message. A bad example. I remember a tagline of a Brooks Brothers email  “Carefully curated and personally selected just for you” now that is a VIP statement. A bit of Exclusivity goes a long way.

BootBarn

 

Very Intriguing Persuasion

Yes, although your VIPs might be loyal customers already, they like to be courted and pleased. Persuasion is a topic that should be endlessly interesting to a marketer. It might be the most important part of his job. Connecting with the recipients and presenting the most compelling messages and dialogue you can.

Take a look at this Red Cross email:

redcross

It isn’t perfect, but the brand already makes up for a lot of that.  So in keeping with its logo, I give this Red Cross email an A+. Some brands are already trusted and have a very engaged email base, so that is great place to start.

It does show persuasion through emotion.  The email is in a letter format, “signed” by the Red Cross president/CEO (although that would have been much stronger with personalized salutation instead of “Dear Friend”). It is often better not to have your emails look too much like marketing emails.

A photo (although it’s a dreaded “grip ’n’ grin pose) humanizes the email and, along with the copy, appeals to those who want to help those who serve. The copy also makes a reference to children and uses emotionally charged words such as “inspires,” “comfort,” and “compassion.”, which can be very effective especially in this this type of “Buy because you care” email.

Persuasion doesn’t always have to be for a cause; it can be words and imagery that make you feel you’ve got to have that product or service.

 

 

Very Interesting Product

OK, so it helps to have really cool products like those sold by Hammacher Schlemmer. But Hammacher Schlemmer doesn’t rely on the coolness factor alone. It gives consumers reasons why this is “The Best Portable Solar Charger.” (Yes, that’s actually the product name.) Many Hammacher Schlemmer products are pricey, so it helps to have content that justifies the expenditure.

HSInstitute

This charger, however, sells for an affordable $149.95. Even if you’re trying to sell the most boring product/service around, you’ve got to make it become more interesting. Bring sexy back, but keep in mind your recipients might know you better than you know yourself. Do it poorly and you aren’t going to be convincing. If you can’t pull it off creatively, go with boring but trusted. And you’ve got to show its features/benefits to convert browsers into buyers.

FYI, if you follow these basic guidelines to CYA, your email campaigns will have better CTR and ROI. I suggest implementing them ASAP.

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Are You Making These 13 Mistakes in Your Ebook Project? http://blog.getresponse.com/making-15-mistakes-ebook-project.html http://blog.getresponse.com/making-15-mistakes-ebook-project.html#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 15:17:02 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17494 Are you working on an ebook right now? I mean, you are not one of those people who have been itching to write an ebook for ages – you are actually doing it. You have an ebook inside you and … Read more

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Are you working on an ebook right now? I mean, you are not one of those people who have been itching to write an ebook for ages – you are actually doing it. You have an ebook inside you and you want to bring it out so people can benefit. And so you are knee deep into the process.

You’ve got your notes everywhere. You are on a set schedule. You have told everybody you know that your ebook will be releasing soon.

But you are also feeling overwhelmed, tired and kinda scared at the same time. Let’s face it, you are putting everything into this project, everything you have got. You have spent every single free moment into this and more. And still there are no guarantees that your ebook will do well, that you will make some profit, or people will even buy it.

What would you say if I told you otherwise? How would you behave if I told you that you can control the success of your ebook provided you do everything right and stop making mistakes that prevent you from doing so.

Writing an ebook is not rocket science, but it shouldn’t involve guesswork, either. There is a method to this madness and in today’s post, I am going to show you how you can learn from other people’s mistakes and create something to be proud of.

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Mistake #1 Your topic is too broad

So, tell me about this ebook you are writing. What is it about?

You say it is about writing? Or self-improvement? Yoga? Or perhaps online success?

Stop.

Your topic is way too board. You will trouble attracting readers because it is so generic. You have to make it as specific as you can. Solve a specific problem or fulfill a particular desire.

What aspect of writing do you want to write on? Technical writing, fiction, memoir, business or blog writing? What about self-improvement? It is a huge topic – do you want to write about finding fulfilment in your career, increasing your self-esteem, or polishing public speaking skills?

Focus on one highly specific topic with this all-encompassing category and you will make the whole process much easier for yourself.

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Mistake #2 You have no idea if there is a demand for it

You are writing this ebook because you are in love with this topic. You are extremely passionate about it and feel like everyone should share your enthusiasm.

This is the problem though, not everybody does. Not everybody will be interested in what you have to say, but that’s okay. You need to find out if at least some people are. You can still write and sell a profitable ebook, you don’t need billions of people on this planet to be interested, but you do need more than 5.

So how do you find out? The easiest way to do this is to run some Google searches. If you are writing an ebook on resume writing, for example, you can search for resume writing ebooks. You can even search for related products such as courses, coaching packages and workshops. Depending on the number of products and services you discover, this is a good indication of market demand even if it’s not in the exact same format.

You can also use a keyword tool and find out how many people are searching for terms and phrases related to your topic and gauge the level of interest.

checking_out.

Mistake #3 You haven’t checked what’s available

You know there is demand and you are pumped. You are all set to write your ebook. Right? Wrong.

Once you have figured out that there is demand for your topic, you have to dig even deeper and find out what products or services similar to yours already exist in the market.

Go to Amazon and search for your topic and see what comes up. Search for ebooks, courses and other products being sold by independent publishers and small business owners. Assuming you are writing an ebook on a topic chosen from your own industry, you may already be very well aware of what’s out there.

Make a list of relevant products. This is your starting point. Look at their formats, their length and price points. You want your ebook to stand out amongst all the others.

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Mistake #4 You didn’t survey your audience

While it’s all well and good to do the research and find out if there is a demand for your topic and what already exists in the market, you can’t simply go ahead and start creating that ebook – no, not just yet.

You need to ask your own audience first. You need to find out what they want you to create and what are they interested in learning from you.

This is the thing: all the prospective customers don’t mean a thing to your bottom line unless you have a way to reach them. And unless you have money to burn, you can’t reach them through advertising. What you can hope for is to reach your own audience and start there.

So. Create something that your audience wants so you can sell some copies to your own list and get some traction. Do surveys, ask people on your list to tell you their biggest frustrations and problems and find out what is the reason they haven’t been able to solve them by now. Ask them their dream solution. Figure out what is it that they will pay you for and create that.

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Mistake #5 You are not really interested in the topic

You are working on this ebook because somebody has told you to, or because you think there is money to be made from this project. That’s fine as long as you really care about your chosen topic.

If you just do it for money, you are going to fizzle out. Ebooks take a long time to finish. From ideation to research, to writing the first draft, to editing, proofreading and design and finally the promotion stage – it requires a ton of work. You have a much better chance of finishing this project if you feel excited by it.

Creating an ebook can be a laborious job, especially when you are tackling a subject that bores you to death. This is the number one reason why there are so many unfinished books on people’s hard drives. Don’t do it, you will never be able to follow through.

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Mistake #6 You don’t create a hook for your ebook

So the sweet spot between passion and demand will give you the most profits. However, there is one more thing you can do to increase your chance of success many times over.

You can create a solid point of differentiation for your ebook which will make it stand out from the crowd. And you do this by creating a hook for your ebook.

There are a number of ways to create a hook. Here are some suggestions:

Choose a new angle, say some controversial or present something in a totally different style. You can choose a stunning cover that stands out. You can include worksheets, checklists and templates if that’s not usually done in your industry.

Ask yourself this question: why would someone buy this ebook instead of the others? Figure out this and then create your ebook around that.

ebook.

Mistake #7 You are not working off an outline

Once you have narrowed down your topic and know for sure that there is a healthy demand for what you are offering, and after creating a solid point of differentiation for your ebook, you need to develop an outline for your ebook.

You’ll be doomed if you don’t.

You will spend way more time working on a chapter, go off on a tangent and spend valuable time creating material that will not even make it. It is best to save yourself heartache before you waste any time by simply sticking to your outline and plan your scope well in advance.

There are two ways you can create an outline for your ebook, linear method or brainstorming, you can use whichever suits you. In linear method, you jot down the information in the same manner as it will take your reader from point A to point B. This works really well when you are solving a specific problem and needs to take people through a series of steps.

In brainstorming, you dump all your ideas in one place and then organize them under various chapters. You can use mind mapping tools or just plain old paper to do this.

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Mistake #8 You haven’t done any beta testing

You launch your book without testing it with real, live human beings. This could mean all the difference between a book that is a raging success and one that is a complete disaster.

This is what I mean: Even if you have done all the preliminary research, it is an extremely good idea to beta test your ebook to make sure people are buying your ebook at the price you are selling. How would you feel if later you found out had you lowered your price by $10, you would have doubled your sales? Not very good, I assume.

Another fantastic reason to beta test your ebook is to remove any kinks. Especially if this is your first ever ebook. You don’t have a ton of experience writing a book, so you really can’t say how well it will perform, unless you test it out first.

You don’t have to do this with everybody on your list. Test it out with a group of people and see what they have to say. What do they think of the information? Is it presented well? Are there any portions that are unclear or too complicated? Do they want more examples? Ask them for their honest feedback and then incorporate that in your ebook.

Now, you don’t have to do exactly as they say. You are the expert and if they tell you something you don’t approve of, you certainly don’t have to do as they say.

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Mistake #9 You don’t hire a professional copy editor

The first ebook I wrote was totally rubbish. Thank God, it was an opt-in offer or I would have been inundated with refund requests.

Why? Because I did not hire a professional copy editor to look it over. Yes, no matter how good a writer you are, you need one. All the professional writers have one so you have no excuse. You also need somebody to proofread your ebook. It could be that your copy editor offers both options, or you could hire another one. Get somebody to proofread not only your ebook, but also your sales page as this will make a huge difference to your bottom line.

If you rather not spend money in this, which I don’t recommend, get at least 3-4 people to read it thoroughly and point out any mistakes.

blogging

Mistake #10 You don’t invest in design

Hmm, are you thinking of designing a cover page for your ebook yourself? You think you are pretty good at it as you did very well in art in your school days and have certificates to prove it?

I don’t think this is a particularly good idea. Firstly, design and art are two different things. Secondly, you want to make a killer first impression and a cover designed by yourself screams DIY job. People will not take you seriously, trust me. Unless you are really good, in that case go ahead and do it. You have my blessing.

Your design gives you the opportunity to be perceived like a true professional that you are, to be taken seriously and stand apart from the rest who are also skimping on design. Do yourself a favour, hire somebody to do a first class job.

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Mistake #11 You don’t launch it properly

Writing an awesome ebook is one thing and selling it is a different altogether.

You can’t just write an ebook, list on your website and hope that people will buy it. You’ve got to make people excited, anticipate its release and make a big fuss.

It’s a great idea to include the people on your list from day 1. From the moment you start working on your ebook, let them know about your exciting new project. Keep them in the loop. Make them a part of this process.

You would want to create some pre-launch content. Don’t worry, since you are not launching a $2000 online program, you don’t need flashy videos or a 3 week long launch. You just need to prime your audience so that they are not taken by surprise. 2-3 pieces of relevant content will go a long way in getting people in the buying mood.

After the pre-launch, when you open the cart, be prepared to send more emails than you normally would. Remember, not everybody will see every email of yours so tell them again in case they missed it. People also forget and generally leave things to the last minute so remind them. Sure, you will get a few unsubscribes but don’t worry. What’s the point of keeping these people when they are clearly not interested in buying from you? This process should not be ego driven.

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Mistake #12 You don’t get help for your sales page

An excellent book = tons of sales, right?

Not exactly. It doesn’t matter how good your book is, you still need to convince people to buy it. Although, the better your ebook, the more demand there is for it, the easier it becomes.

If you are not well versed with copywriting, it is advisable to get help. Hire a copywriter to do the job for you, or if you can’t afford to hire one at this stage, at least get them to critique or tweak your already written sales page.

A well-crafted sales page will result in bucket loads of sales of your ebook. Do not under estimate its importance.

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Mistake #13 You don’t promote your ebook

Lastly, you think as soon you write, design and launch your ebook, your job is done.

Not quite, my friend. You still need to promote the heck out of it.

Guest blog on other sites. Arrange to be interviewed. Appear on podcasts. Ask friends and colleagues to support your ebook. Run Facebook ads. Get the word out about your ebook any way you can.

Be proud. Stand behind it 100%. And scream from the rooftops.

This is how you write and sell your ebook. Which of these mistakes are you making in your ebook project?

Are You Making These 13 Mistakes in Your Ebook Project? is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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4 Ways to Make Pop-ups Less Annoying And More Effective http://blog.getresponse.com/4-ways-make-pop-ups-less-annoying-effective.html http://blog.getresponse.com/4-ways-make-pop-ups-less-annoying-effective.html#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:17:55 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17485 Poor pop-ups. Everybody calls them annoying, bad and spammy. But they don’t have to be. Pop-ups don’t have to be bad. They are actually a list-builder’s secret weapon. But when they’re used the wrong way, pop-ups can get pretty annoying. … Read more

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Poor pop-ups. Everybody calls them annoying, bad and spammy. But they don’t have to be. Pop-ups don’t have to be bad. They are actually a list-builder’s secret weapon. But when they’re used the wrong way, pop-ups can get pretty annoying. Yours don’t have to be. 

Pop-ups (also called “pop-overs” or “interstitials”) work so well that even if you tone them down a bit, they work better than almost any other list-building tactic.

 

30-100% Increase in opt-ins

You can realistically expect that adding a pop-up will increase your opt-in rate by 30-100%. That not hype: That’s normal. There are reports of pop-ups increasing opt-in rates by 1000% or more, but those are unusually good results. Let’s stick with what you can realistically expect.

You, right now – today – can get 30-100% more email subscribers if you add a pop-up to your site. This is especially easy for you to do, because GetResponse gives you a way to shift any opt-in box into a pop-up (or lightbox) with just a few clicks. You don’t need to install any plugins or to spend any money. You’ve already got everything you need.

 

How to create a pop-up in your GetResponse account

To do this, log into your account, and go to “Web Forms” in the top navigation bar. Find the web form you want to convert into a pop-up and click “Edit”.

Once you’re in the editing view, make sure “Form type” is selected in the left pull-down menu, then click on the “type” pull-down menu to choose whether you want a pop-over or a lightbox.

 

GRinterface1

Pop-overs and lightboxes are basically the same thing – they’ll both make an opt-in box come up in front of the rest of your website. The only difference is the background behind pop-ups is clear, so you can see the rest of your website as usual. With a lightbox, the rest of your website – the rest of what you can see in the browser – is darkened.

Personally, I like lightboxes better than pop-ups because they make a visitor focus more on the opt-in form, but you should test which one works best for you.

 

The real reason people don’t use pop-ups

So now you know how easy it is to create a pop-up in your GetResponse account.

Know what, though? I bet a lot of you already knew that. And I bet you already knew pop-ups work. I bet a bunch of you don’t care.

You don’t care because you already know pop-ups work, but you think your visitors will hate you if you use them. You’re just not willing to sell out like that – you’re not going to have your site be one of those spammy, pushy sites everybody hates. Fair enough. I have good news for you. Pop-ups don’t have to be annoying. You can have a pop-up, and still keep your website visitors happy. Here’s how:

1. Delay the pop-up

Let’s start with the most annoying aspect of pop-ups first: They come up right as you land on the page, clamoring for you to enter your email address to get some report that’s way too much like every other free report you’ve seen.

You don’t want this report. You just landed on this site, and you don’t even know if you like this place yet. You definitely aren’t ready to just hand over your email address… because if they’re this pushy now, what will they be like in your inbox?

Solution: Delay the pop-up so it doesn’t show when people first land on the page.

This is really easy in your GetResponse account. There’s a setting to do it right next to where you selected either a pop-over or a lightbox.

 

GRinterface2

I recommend you set this to the maximum, so it shows 20 seconds after people have been on your site.  With that one setting, you’ve swept away much of the annoyance factor with your pop-up. Pretty simple, eh?

If that’s still too invasive for you, I’ve got another trick for you.

 

2.Don’t show the pop-up on every page

Don’t you hate it when every single page you go to on a site results in a pop-up? You’re not alone. Showing pop-ups more than once per visit is probably the second best way to annoy your visitors, right after showing the pop-up immediately.

And again, there is a solution. If you’re still in your GetResponse account, looking at the web form editor, you’ve probably noticed the “After every X days” setting just to the right of the seconds delay setting. That’s where you can control how many days pass between when your subscribers see your pop-up.

Changing this to 3, 7, 14 or even 30, 60 or 90 days will show your pop-up only that often. So changing this setting to 7 means your visitors will see this pop-up once every 7 days.

 

GRinterface3

I don’t know about you, but when something happens every minute or so, it’s FAR more annoying than when it happens only once a week. Setting your pop-ups to show every few days means you’ve once again made them far less annoying than those other bad, pushy pop-ups no one likes.

 

3. Don’t use a pop-up at all

If you still can’t abide by pop-ups, even if they only show only once a week, there is another alternative: A scroll triggered box.

Usually, people scroll down a page as they read, so to have an opt-in box appear after someone has scrolled down 60, 70 or 80% of a page usually means it will show after someone has had a chance to read, watch or see some of the content on the page. That usually means they’re interested in the content. And if they’re interested in the content, they might be interested in signing up for your list.

My favorite scroll triggered box plugin at the moment is Dreamgrow’s Scroll Triggered Box. It’s a free plugin you can download from the WordPress.org site. It integrates with GetResponse.

This plugin shows the opt-in box in the bottom right hand corner of pages, which is much less invasive than showing it in the middle of the screen. I’ve had excellent results using this plugin on websites where the client just could not accept a pop-up, but realized they needed something more active than the standard static opt-in box.

You could actually use the scroll box to promote anything –you could add a Facebook like box, a video… whatever you want. You can also control where the slider shows – say, when people are 60% down the page, or 80% down the page.

 

ScrollTriggeredBox

 

4. Don’t offer weak content

The last big reason pop-ups are annoying is that they’re usually not worth the interruption they cause. They’re “just ads”. You want your pop-ups to offer something that’s perceived as far more valuable than that. Offer content that’s worth the interruption.

A pop-up that offers the same boring generic diet report that’s on a thousand other sites is always somewhat annoying, even if it is shown at a delay and only once per visit. But (for example) a week’s shopping list for a diet targeted perfectly for your ideal audience, that only costs $15 per day – that might be interesting enough to be worth the interruption. And that’s what would make it less annoying.

 

4 Ways to Make Pop-ups Less Annoying And More Effective is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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52 Ways to Increase ROI Using Email Marketing http://blog.getresponse.com/52-ways-increase-roi-using-email-marketing.html http://blog.getresponse.com/52-ways-increase-roi-using-email-marketing.html#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 15:03:05 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17475 Do you have the right personality for email marketing? Maybe you feel you need to be more creative. Or more analytical. Or need better people skills. Stop worrying! You don’t need a new personality. You can develop an email marketing … Read more

52 Ways to Increase ROI Using Email Marketing is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Do you have the right personality for email marketing? Maybe you feel you need to be more creative. Or more analytical. Or need better people skills. Stop worrying! You don’t need a new personality. You can develop an email marketing style that fits your real personality, shows off your strengths, and puts money in your pocket. Here’s how.

The problem with email marketing is not that the software is hard to use. It’s quite user-friendly. The problem is that there’s an incredible number things you can do with email marketing.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed. So it’s time to get focused. Here’s how the features break down by personality type.

 

Are you a nervous newbie?

If you’re new to email marketing, start by going for easy wins. Use techniques that need little time and effort. User-friendly software guides you through all the basics.

  1. Get permission – You can get into a world of trouble spamming people who’ve never heard of you.  Reputable email service providers (ESP) handle the confirmation chore by default.
  2. Grab a template – If you have an important job interview, you dress your best, right?  Email works the same way. Templates make it easier than ever to look the part of an Internet-marketing pro.
  3. Provide an online view – Some subscribers may be using out-of-date email programs. So provide a link to view your email online in a browser. You’ll find that some readers prefer browser viewing.
  4. Offer plain text – Some subscribers configure their email program for text only. So a plain-text version enables more people to read your emails. More read-throughs mean more chances for conversion and ROI.
  5. Time your delivery – Your best shot is to get subscribers to open, read and act now. Deliver your email on the day and local time they’re most likely to open it.
  6. Encourage social sharing – For real networking power, social media sites are hard to beat. Social media buttons make social sharing easy and automatic.  And every click means a wider reach for your offers.
  7. Seek support – If you get stuck, help is just a phone call or a click away. So take advantage of free resources. They save you time and increase your chances of email marketing success.

free_spirit

Are you a creative free spirit?

If you’ve got the soul of an artist and an eye for design, you’ll be right at home in email marketing. Use your strong visual sense to wow readers and convert them into customers.

  1. Get visual – The right image grabs reader attention and provokes curiosity. Make sure each photo includes a license for business use. This reduces the risk of a copyright-infringement lawsuit.
  2. Customize your look – You’ll enjoy customizing colors, importing visual assets, and creating a special look. Readers will look forward to each newsletter. They’ll enjoy seeing what you come up with next.
  3. Start from scratch – Got HTML chops? You may not need them. Start with a blank canvas then use drag-and-drop to add design elements. Develop a memorable design to match your unique flair.
  4. Check the view – Your gorgeous newsletter has to look great when it reaches subscriber inboxes. So check your design in different combinations of email programs and browsers.
  5. Showcase your talent – Use the archive to create an online catalog of your best work. Or organize a set of emails that are examples of what you do well.

 

Are you a super-brainiac?

Analytical types make exceptional email marketers. There are dozens of ways to test and make small improvements. Over time, you’ll optimize your messages and achieve big gains in ROI.

  1. Perform A/B testing – Smart marketers are willing to admit they can’t outguess the market. So they test language, calls to action, subject lines… you name it. Then they go with the winners.
  2. Analyze results – Your goal is to analyze patterns of performance. If “email opens” decrease, write more compelling subject lines. If “click-through” ratios lag, maybe your offer needs tweaking.
  3. Segment your list – Identify subscribers who open and click an email. Send them similar content and offers. Then target those who ignored your email, giving them a special offer that’s too good to pass up.
  4. Snoop on subscribers – Over a period of time you’ll develop a scientist’s understanding of your subscribers. You’ll know what they love and what leaves them cold. Knowledge is power… and profit.
  5. Find profitable niches – Some subscribers will prefer one aspect of your business. Email lets you cater to their special interests. These super-fans may become your most profitable customers.
  6. Track website conversions – Integrate your website analytics with email analytics. When you’ve got the whole picture, you know which actions bring in the most sales.
  7. Tweak autoresponder cycles – Analyze message cycles too. You may need to spice up certain automatic emails. But when you get them right, they can yield profits forever.
  8. Customize your timing – When subscribers show interest, what do they need next? Your responses turn into automated marketing. Your customers will thing you designed your business just for them.

 

Are you a sales superstar?

Your sales skills have helped you excel in face-to-face selling. Now imagine what you could do in unlimited markets. Here’s how to take your skills online and generate even more sales.

  1. Automate your pipeline – Sales pros have a process. They craft the right approach for each step. Email marketing gives you the tools to automate those steps to generate profits even while you sleep.
  2. Take prospects off-road – In person, you’d invite a hot prospects to a private meeting. Use email to invite prospects to a dedicated landing page. That gives you enough room for your complete sales message.
  3. Be ready for quick decisions – Hot buyers may not need the landing page. So give them an opportunity to buy inside your email. And those who need more info can click to your landing page to learn about the offer.
  4. Make a deal – People love insider deals not available to the public. Email marketing lets you protect your pricing structure while giving targeted readers a memorable deal.
  5. Sell ‘em more stuff – Your most loyal customers look to you for ideas about improving their life or their business. An attractive add-on offered as a follow-up may be your easiest sale.
  6. Upsell to better value – Do you offer a no-frills version of your product or service? Your best prospects want more… and they’re willing to pay a premium. It never hurts to suggest a more expensive product or service.
  7. Inspire loyalty – Reward your best customers with special values you create just for them. People love having a friend in the business. If you position yourself as an insider, you’ve got a customer for life.
  8. Conquer new networks – A great salesperson doesn’t stop until she gets a handful of referrals. Your online customers can recommend you too. And it’s easy, thanks to email and social media.

 

The social butterfly

The intimacy of email makes it perfect for turning acquaintances into friends, prospects into clients, and customers in raving fans. Put your natural social skills to work using email marketing.

  1. Grab new subscribers – Place sign-up forms on your websites. Choose seasonal themes to reflect the mood of your audience. Test which industry themes resonate best with those you want to attract.
  2. Seek social sign-ups – Facebook fans can develop a special feeling of community. So use a Facebook app to display any of your sign-up forms inside a tab on your Facebook page.
  3. Get to know them – Your subscribers know a lot about you. So they’ll love sharing themselves with you. Use the online survey tool to gather facts, opinions, and preferences.
  4. Look for “birds of a feather” – As you accumulate subscriber data, you’ll be able to identify subgroups with special interests. Figure out how to serve each group, and you’ll create profitable niche markets.
  5. Enjoy the seasons – As your online community grows, you become part of their lives. Use seasonal newsletter templates to help them enjoy cultural holidays and changing seasons.
  6. Get personal – People like to do business with friends. You wouldn’t start a personal email with Dear occupant, would you? For better response, personalize your newsletters to establish a friendlier atmosphere.
  7. Encourage feedback – Remind subscribers that your email newsletter is a real email. Invite them to click the reply button and share reactions with you. If possible, respond to every email with a personal note.
  8. Celebrate anniversaries – Any special date is an opportunity for a special message. Send a birthday greeting automatically. Celebrate their anniversary as a customer with a special offer or discount.
  9. Put your face in the placeVideos are ideal inside email newsletters. Make them brief and put your special personality into them. Your customers will feel they know you as friend.
  10. Repurpose your content – Your email marketing account includes a multi-media studio where you can store images and videos. If you make a short video for one customer, all your subscribers might enjoy it too.
  11. Follow the social trail – Encourage subscribers to share your emails. This lets you identify social sites where your message is welcome. Then you can introduce yourself. Make friends. And turn them into fans.

social_butterfly

Are you a master networker?

For you, it’s all about making connections. Your strengths lie in meeting new people and forging business relationships. Email marketing puts helpful tools at your fingertips. Use them to build your network and create a lasting business.

  1. Share your expertise – Your blog may be filled with thought-leadership gems. But don’t rely on your readers to return to it on schedule. Instead distribute new content using RSS-to-email.
  2. Market on the go – Mobile apps enable you to review message drafts on your smartphone or tablet then click to send. Real-time stats feed to your mobile devices, so you can check subscriber activity and responses.
  3. Respond on the go – Use your mobile device to compose a plain-text email and broadcast it to a segment or your entire list. And if a subscriber replies with a comment or question, you can reply on the spot.
  4. Snag new subscribers – At trade shows and networking events, there’s no need to collect business cards. Instead, capture contact information on your tablet and continue the marketing conversation by email.
  5. Surveys your readers – The initial connection is just the first step. Send surveys and polls to gather opinions and market data. Share results with readers to help them stay current with the market.
  6. Take in-person contacts online – Don’t worry, in-person contacts won’t get lost in your subscriber list. Create a subgroup of your closest relationships. Then distribute messages geared exclusively for them.
  7. Consolidate your contacts – You gather contacts from multiple sources: LinkedIn, Facebook, Gmail, Google Docs, Salesforce, and more. Consolidate them onto your email marketing list to keep in touch.

 

Are you a hands-off delegator?

If you try to do everything yourself, you risk running out of time, energy and resources. So your strategy is to leverage the expertise of others. These techniques are nearly impossible without email marketing software.

  1. Integrate your systems – Give power to your people. Set up API integrations with programs your team already uses for CRM, CMS, social, e-commerce, and more.
  2. Acquire technology – Email service providers (ESP) turn to specialists such as Return Path, Litmus, Port 25, SpamHaus and SpamAssassin. Their technology solves the thorniest email problems.
  3. Get friendly with key players – Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL and Thunderbird work to protect their users from spam. Email marketing services stay on top of their requirements and get your emails delivered.
  4. Dodge the blockers – Spam blockers have grown in sophistication. Now their complex algorithms may block your legitimate emails. Rely on your email marketing service to steer you clear of spam problems.
  5. Stay up-to-date – Choose an ESP that supports email industry organizations, such as MAAWG, EEC, OTA, ESPC and SuretyMail. These organizations promote industry standards and best practices.
  6. Keep your list clean – This is the most important item on the list. A clean email list is the core of Internet-marketing. Your email service provider can help safeguard your reputation with subscribers.

Hey wait a minute… I came up with 52 tips, and there are 52 weeks in a year. Careful planning or dumb luck? I’ll let you wonder ;)

 

Go with your strengths first

There’s no need to feel overwhelmed with all the features. Start simple. Get good at techniques that complement your personality. Then explore areas outside your comfort zone. Try just one new idea each week.

Soon your email marketing campaigns will become richer and more powerful. You’ll generate more subscriber engagement, more profits, and better ROI.

In just 52 weeks (or a lot less) you’ll be an email marketing pro. And you can take that to the bank.

52 Ways to Increase ROI Using Email Marketing is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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4 Social Media Facts that Marketers Should Know http://blog.getresponse.com/4-social-media-facts-marketers-know.html http://blog.getresponse.com/4-social-media-facts-marketers-know.html#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 14:36:16 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17466 There’s no denying the power of social media when it comes to getting a brand’s message out there and most digital marketers these days make some use of it. But are you using social to its full potential? It’s never … Read more

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There’s no denying the power of social media when it comes to getting a brand’s message out there and most digital marketers these days make some use of it. But are you using social to its full potential? It’s never worth ignoring social, as it does offer a decent ROI, sometimes up to three times the amount spent, if the marketer is savvy.

So what are the essentials when it comes to social media marketing?

#1: Maintaining the brand’s message

Due to the sheer volume of competition online, it can be very difficult to stand out, so it’s important to keep branding consistent across all platforms. This means taking color, used in logos and other branding messages, language, and the way that the brand is presented and making it the consistent, no matter what the platform.

Colors are relatively simple to keep the same, but what about language? How can you maintain your brand’s tone if you have different staff members working on social?

  • Produce a tone of voice (TOV) document that sets out clear guidelines on how copy should be written with examples provided for illustration.
  • Hold a training day to cement the TOV and create brand personas so that staff know ‘who’ they are addressing.
  • Keep the number of staff working on social accounts to a minimum.
  • Appoint a social media manager – this doesn’t have to be a new role, it can be an existing member of staff who takes on extra responsibilities and is in charge of all social activity.
  • Make sure that the staff know how to behave on social: how to deal with complaints and how to deal with trolls.

 

#2: The rules

Social media sites all have rules which differ between platforms. You can easily find yourself being penalized for aggressively following and unfollowing, for example. Make sure that you read up on the rules before starting a campaign to ensure that you don’t find yourself locked out of an account, or worse, banned completely.

Make sure too that you print these off so that staff are also aware of what can and can’t be done.

 

#3: How to use analytics

Most of the larger social media sites now have their own analytics of one form or another. Facebook Insights is now a powerful analytics platform that can really help you to hone your message and ensure that you’re reaching your audience at the right times.

 

Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights

As you can see from the image, Facebook Insights allows you to see what times your fans are most active. This means that you can then adjust your post times so that your reach will be extended. This is far from its only feature, it has plenty to play around with … but that’s another post.

Twitter has analytics that can be accessed if you’re an advertiser or you can use the more powerful Followerwonk, which is an app by Moz. It’s a pretty powerful platform too, but you do have to subscribe to get any real benefit from it.

 

Followerwonk

Followerwonk

Pinterest’s analytics are about to get an upgrade, which is good because thus far the analytics have been somewhat basic. You have to have a business account to use the insights feature, so if you haven’t upgraded from a personal account, now’s the time to do so.

Many marketers discount Pinterest if they are not dealing with retail, but this is limiting your audience and I find it to be a decent traffic driver despite not having an ecommerce site.

 

Pinterest Analytics

Pinterest Analytics

No matter which social networks you use, an essential part of your toolkit is always going to be Google Analytics. Social has now been added to this free, powerful platform so ensure that you use it to track where your traffic is coming from as well as drill down the most popular content so you can further tailor content to suit the audience.

 

#4: How to use images

In the past year, images have become more and more useful on social media, with Facebook allowing larger images and Twitter allowing feed images. It’s essential that you mix up your posts to include a good selection of imagery, with text and links to your content.

Engagement wise, images always do well, so consider too getting some infographics done just for social media. I find that infographics get around 10X more engagement than other posts, especially on G+ (which you should absolutely be on, it’s a Google product so gets better listings in search).

Funny images also do well of course and you can make your own memes to tailor to your industry. Try to find images that suit your niche first though and do make sure that you have the right to use them. You can search for images under the Creative Commons license using Google Images and then choosing ‘search tools’ and then ‘marked for reuse’. Or you can find CC images on sites such as Compfight. Remember when you’re searching to ensure that you’ve ticked any relevant boxes which say that the image can be used commercially.

There is of course much more to social media and this is by no means a comprehensive guide (it would make for a very long article). However, hopefully it serves to give you an idea of the activity that you should be prioritising on social.

Feel free to add further suggestions and tips in the comments section below!

 

4 Social Media Facts that Marketers Should Know is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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How to Avoid Email Spam Folders #infographic http://blog.getresponse.com/avoid-email-spam-folders-infographic.html http://blog.getresponse.com/avoid-email-spam-folders-infographic.html#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 15:27:58 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17456 If it looks like a duck, quacks likes a duck, and swims like a duck — it’s probably a duck. And that’s how spam filters analyze incoming emails.  So to avoid spam folders, the solution is clear: don’t let your … Read more

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If it looks like a duck, quacks likes a duck, and swims like a duck — it’s probably a duck. And that’s how spam filters analyze incoming emails.  So to avoid spam folders, the solution is clear: don’t let your emails look or sound like spam. Our infographic is a quick checklist of email elements that need special attention.

Here’s the key aspect that helps email spam filters give your emails positive verification. Your subscribers must recognize and expect your emails. So pay attention to list hygiene and quality, and avoid buying lists.

Your emails have other important elements. If you handle them the wrong way, your bounce and complaint rates can soar. Use our infographic to identify problem elements.

1. IP and domain

Choose a reputable email service provider (ESP). And send your messages from a domain name that sounds real and is white-list certified. This ensures that the IP addresses you use don’t damage your deliverability.

2. From field

Be consistent. Always use the same From field for communicating with your subscribers. Make it clear who you are and what your brand is. Make sure the From name’s online reputation has not been affected by spam complaints from subscribers.

3. Recipient address

For bulk deliveries, always use an email marketing service. Why? It looks suspicious if you send an email to a large number of recipients from a standard email program. Check whether your list is clear of faulty or blacklisted email addresses.

4. Subject line

Avoid spammy phrases, all caps, and exclamation marks. Be persuasive, but avoid manipulative. The subject should match the email content; this will increase engagement and relevance.

5. HTML

Poor code, corrupted or exported from MS Word, can increase your spam rate. The same goes for poor text-to-image ratio. Always include a plain-text version of your email.

6. Body text

Don’t format the text too much. Avoid too many colors and excessive bolding, underlining, and punctuation. Don’t use spam and phishing phrases.

7. Unsubscribe

Don’t keep emailing people who don’t want to receive your emails. Always… always include an unsubscribe link. Make it prominent and easy to use.

As you know, email strategies need constant monitoring and tweaking. The same applies to avoiding spam folders. Before you hit “send” always check your email.

  1. Use spam checkers and inbox previews to check your email before sending. Make sure designs are not corrupted.
  2. Send your message to test addresses on popular free email services such as Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail. This helps you identify services that may classify it as spam.

Remember: subscriber trust is what keeps you out of the spam folder. 

So play it safe. Don’t send unsolicited emails. Don’t buy lists. Replace sales talk with interesting content. Your subscribers will look forward to your emails, recognize your brand, and engage with it.

And you’ll be never mistaken for a duck.

gr_infographic_avoidspam

 

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Touchpoint inventarization – The First Step to Growing Your List http://blog.getresponse.com/touchpoint-inventarization-first-step-growing-list.html http://blog.getresponse.com/touchpoint-inventarization-first-step-growing-list.html#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 13:49:40 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17448 Having a deep understanding of your brand’s touchpoints will bring exceptional long-term benefits. It is the way to build a strong, powerful brand at every turn and stay present in the minds of customers. Touchpoint’s are were revenue is generated, … Read more

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Having a deep understanding of your brand’s touchpoints will bring exceptional long-term benefits. It is the way to build a strong, powerful brand at every turn and stay present in the minds of customers. Touchpoint’s are were revenue is generated, loyalty is stimulated, and customer data is collected. Still few brands use the full potential of their touchpoints to gather opt-ins and some of the touchpoint are even totally untapped.

Email marketing is very much alive and can deliver a very impressive ROI when compared to all other direct marketing channels. That is, with the right list size. Through capturing quality opt-in subscribers you can turn occasional visitors into multi-connected marketing contacts. An email address is a first step into a customer journey supported and developed through email (and that awesome ROI).

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Every contact is a chance to grow your list

To boost your subscriber list, a brand needs to draw attention to email program via all viable channels. A marketer can see every customer or prospect interaction as an opportunity. These ‘touches’ are gathered around touchpoints; the places that customer interaction takes place. Knowing your touchpoints is key in gathering more subscribers. Fresh permission-based subscribers will let you maintain (or even improve) your delivery reputation and convert contacts into revenue. About one third of your list will become inactive each year. So you better start to actively promote opt-ins!

 

Touchpoint Inventarization: make a list of all touchpoints

Start by compiling a list of all your brand’s touchpoints. If you are a larger customer facing organisation the number of touchpoints can quickly accumulate. I would advise you to create that list in a spreadsheet, this will allow you to keep an overview and will be very helpful later when we want to sort them, start with prioritizing and assessing potential. Once the number of touchpoints go up, it is good to have a sortable list!

The basic spreadsheet would need to contain at least the identifier per touchpoint. The identifier is built up from the following fields:

  • Name: A short name for the touchpoint.
  • Description: A longer description if the short name isn’t self-exploratory.
  • Reference: An link to the touchpoint (external reference), this can be a URL, Image, document or folder (if several documents).
  • Reference number: Number the touchpoints, for easy lookup, sharing and if mentioned somewhere else.

The identifier keeps your list clear, makes it easy to share with colleagues and agency and avoids double work. I will come back to additional fields in a later post. I made an email marketing list growth template in excel that you can download.

typing-copy

Start listing

The easiest way to start is doing a mind dump: Write down all the touchpoints you can think of in one go. First list all the Names, write the references and descriptions later. It doesn’t matter if you think they are viable for gathering permission opt-ins, don’t dismiss, just write them down.

To get you fired up, think of these categories:

  • Current campaigns
  • Your owned, earned and paid media
  • All channels
  • All brand(s) and target groups

Once you have run out of inspiration (and breath): Stop, save the document and go do something else. You will see that your unconscious mind keeps going. Every time you think of another touchpoint, remember the spreadsheet and add the Name to the list.

 

Going through the customer journey

Each customer or potential customer goes through a journey with your brand. They say it takes at least 5 -7 touches before a first purchase is made. Customers come into contact and have several touches with your brand(s). Pick an imaginary customer or persona and take a walk in their shoes. They want to purchase, call customer service, see your marketing and sales etc.

Going through these will help to uncover some of the touchpoints otherwise left behind.

You can see where this is headed: inventarization is the first step into getting the most out of all your current touchpoints. In the next article we will go into the touchpoint categories and why it is important to know these by heart.

 

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Rethink your Resends and Increase Email Frequency http://blog.getresponse.com/rethink-resends-increase-email-frequency.html http://blog.getresponse.com/rethink-resends-increase-email-frequency.html#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 15:17:20 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17442 Every digital marketer has to determine their ideal email frequency in order to maximize profit and response to their email marketing program. The purpose of this post isn’t to give you a magic number of emails to send, but rather … Read more

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Every digital marketer has to determine their ideal email frequency in order to maximize profit and response to their email marketing program. The purpose of this post isn’t to give you a magic number of emails to send, but rather to show you how to intelligently increase your email frequency (and revenues). Starting with the tactic of resend and remind. 

Intelligently increase email frequency: resend and remind

Resending your email is the practice of sending the exact same email  to the non-openers of the original email, preferably with a different subject line. That is a quick win: minimum effort, extra results. Some companies have made an art of this practice and do it with a big percentage of their emails, you can expect an average lift of 15-20% in response rate for the 2 emails combined. The results can be even higher; a case study of the non-profit Avera McKennan Foundation boosted their donations by 55%.

 

How many mails do they see?

You might feel the question arising: “If I resend my emails, would my subscribers appreciate it?” Not every email is seen by every recipient every time. How many emails does your audience see? Marketers can quickly get confused about the number of emails that are actually seen by their subscribers.

Say you send monthly and have a 25% open rate on average, 70% of your list has shown some activity in the last year. That means that in the most optimistic case, it would take at least three months for your active subscribers to open even one of your emails. That doesn’t seem that often at all. Combined with the increased results I mentioned before, resending becomes an interesting approach for most marketers.

 

To resend and remind more intelligently

I thought I’d share some tactics of how to resend more intelligently and improve on your email strategy.

 

1. Do a better exclusion

Send your re-mail to the non-openers only, but also… exclude the people that have already bought or converted on the offer. There are plenty of customers that don’t click through on the email, but still go to your website after seeing it (spontaneously, or stimulated through other channels). No need to send them the same email again, this requires some integration of your mail marketing software with your website and order / ecommerce systems though.

2. Do a subject line test with a different winner

Do a subject line test with the first email. See which subject lines gather the best response overall (use that for the first mail) and which gets the biggest portion of people that don’t open the email very frequently, to open the email (use that for the second email – to the people that don’t open often). This is a way to spot the thing that didn’t work towards your goals in the first place (more active subscribers). And improve on that: Stop “staring at the bullet holes”.

Other resending subject line tactics include:

  • Adding personalization if it wasn’t used the first time,
  • Highlighting a different benefit from the first subject line,
  • Adding a deadline or last chance
  • Acknowledging it as a resend for instance by adding “Reminder” or “In case you missed”

3. Align the content

Change the headline and subheaders in the second mail. This will make the email look “fresh” to the group that did see your email the first time and just scanned it (even if they had images off). The important thing is to keep a logical connection between the subject line and the headline to get the optimal flow in your email.

4. Use a different Call to Action

Preferably use a lower commitment Call to Action. For instance “view offer” or “more info” instead of “register” or “buy now”. This can lower the barrier to interaction for the remaining group.

 

5. Wait!

Yes, don’t mail the resend right away. The biggest number of opens will occur in the first hour after sending. But especially if your frequency is weekly or less, wait and give the long tail a chance to open the first mail.

 

6. Send it at a different day and time of day.

Some of us are morning openers, some of us are opening email all day long. If your email list is built up like most brands, you can have a combination of business and personal email addresses. Not all checked at the same time. Personal send time optimization can further improve the results if your email tool supports it.

copy writing


Remember this

Resending is a  tactic that can be a big conversion and email marketing ROI booster. So consider using it wisely and for instance only to your best offers. 

Do you resend your mails, or plan to? Share your experience below.

 

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Are You Making These 9 Unforgivable Mistakes On Your About Page? http://blog.getresponse.com/making-9-unforgivable-mistakes-page.html http://blog.getresponse.com/making-9-unforgivable-mistakes-page.html#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 14:37:24 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17429 Ask any website owner to pinpoint one webpage that is hardest to write and you will hear the same answer, over and over again. The about page. There is something about writing an about page that makes most people break … Read more

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mistakes

Ask any website owner to pinpoint one webpage that is hardest to write and you will hear the same answer, over and over again. The about page. There is something about writing an about page that makes most people break out in hives. We find this as challenging as writing a personal ad and we all know what can joy that can be.

What is it that makes writing an effective about page such a challenge?

One reason could be that we find it harder to sing our own praises, and about pages require us to sing our own praises – big time. Remember the saying; if we don’t think we are any good, why would anyone else? Your about page is essentially putting yourself in limelight. And how could it be an easy job?

Secondly, of all the pages on your website, this one probably has the longest shelf life. Think about it, your content keeps moving down and getting replaced by fresh content. Your sales page change. Your store front changes as you bring out new products and so on…

As far as you are concerned, putting anything down on an about page equals setting something in stone. Not to mention that this is the usually the second most frequently visited page on your website (second only to your homepage). Talk about putting yourself under pressure.

But as far as I see, most people like to overcomplicate things. And this is no different. There is no reason why writing your about page needs to be a hard process. You can make it as simple and painless as it can be, provided you know how to craft one. So in this blog post, I am going to give you peace of mind, once and for all.

I will call out all the mistakes business owners, and probably you, are making on their about pages. And, I will give you tips to counter in.

Let’s begin.

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Mistake #1 You think the about page is all about you

Let me guess, you think your about page is about shining the light on yourself, right? It’s all about your products, your services, and your company.  Well, guess again. Your about page is actually about your readers, clients, and customers. The people you are in the business of serving.

When somebody comes to your about page, they want to know how you can help them. Yes, they want to know about you but only in relation to how you can help them.

These people are busy (aren’t we all?) and they are taking a small risk spending time on your website. They want to be sure that their time, energy and effort will not be wasted. They want to know that they are in good hands. And they want to know what’s in it for them.

If you, on the other hand, go on and on about yourself, you are going to lose people. People do want to know about you, but as long as you stay relevant to them. First, they want to know why they should care.

When somebody lands on a website for the first time, they have no idea what you can do to help them. It is your job to introduce yourself properly and spell out the benefits. Once you have their attention, then you can start creating a connection with them and spill your story.

headine

Mistake #2 You are hiding behind words on a page

You know what my biggest pet peeve is? Discovering a website that looks interesting, clicking on their about page, and then finding – nothing.

The person behind the website/blog has chosen to stay anonymous for some reason. They don’t even list their name. How can I possibly feel like there is a real person behind this blog? How can I link to them, or mention them in my tweet? Tell your readers your name, there is absolutely no reason not to.

There is no photo and it is very hard me to form a connection with someone without having an idea of what they look like, and I am not the only one. Put a smiling picture of yourself and of others in your team. Your potential customers and clients want to know you and by putting a face to your name, you are only increasing trust.

Secondly, you don’t list any contact details. You want people to get in touch with you right? You want them to contact you for a quote, make an enquiry or simply feel assurance that yes, you are a genuine business, then list your physical address and phone number. While the web forms can be great way to receive email, they are not 100% reliable. List your email address. If you make it hard for people to contact you, they won’t.

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Mistake #3 You think putting up a video is enough

Some people like to slap a video on their about page and think that’s enough. It’s not, it’s lazy and disrespectful of your audience’s time.

When somebody wants to check you out, you want to make it as easy as it can be. You don’t want to ask for too much of their time. While a video is great, not everybody is interested in watching video. It requires a bigger commitment then reading words off of a page.

Keep in mind video doesn’t make sense in all environments as well. Lots of people check out websites on the bus, train, or at night. Sometimes they also do this at lunch breaks at work and it is not ideal to watch a video in those circumstances. They might not even have 7 minutes to listen to you.

Video can be great for creating instant rapport, but they are not a substitute for copy. If you want to upload an introductory video, keep it short so people can consume it quickly.

Wanna know something that is far more interesting? Pictures. Include some pictures on your about page. Don’t make it all text, break it up and give your readers something interesting.

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Mistake#4 Your writing is boring

This one is big so let’s break it down.

It is too long. Your about page is not a place to write your complete life story. This is not a full length memoir and should not contain pages and pages of in-depth information. If you take too long to get to the point, people will lose interest.

You have to prune your writing and edit any unnecessary information. When in doubt, ask yourself this question, ‘Is this relevant to my client’s needs?”. Include it if it makes sense to do so. Still unsure, ask a trusted colleague or reader for feedback.

It is written in third person. The best practice is to write your about page using the first person’s voice, unless you are a company with multiple partners. Especially if you are writing it yourself. When you write in third person, you seem out of touch and your speech sounds stilted. Your readers don’t expect people to talk about themselves in third person, so why should your about page be any different?

You don’t use your voice. You either write in a dry, dull corporate tone or you become too cute or clever (which is fine if that’s who you are). If not, think about who you are a person and how you communicate with your friends, and then do the same. You don’t want someone to pick up the phone, talk to you and get a big shock because you don’t sound anything like how you appear on your about page. There shouldn’t be any disconnect.

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Mistake #5 You don’t tell your story

Stories are awesome. They pull us right in and make us root for anyone who stands for a bigger vision and has jumped through hoops to get where they are now. What made you start this website? Why are you in business? What do you stand for? Tell us your story, we want to know, we want to believe in you. Get personal, don’t hold back. Craft a compelling marketing story for your business.

But don’t take things to the extreme. If you are going to share personal titbits, make sure they are on brand. Any struggle you had to go through, make sure it leads to a lesson or something that your audience can identify with. Don’t turn this page into a confessional. Don’t talk about the mischief you got up to when you were a teenager if it doesn’t send the right message.

Don’t make it too long either. Long stories are boring, especially when they are told by amateur writers. Even if you are a fabulous writer, this is not a novel. Nobody wants to read a 2000 word story starting from your birth – trust me.

And if you are that rare person who has an epic story to tell, write it as a blog post and link to it. Don’t turn your about page into a scroller with never ending paragraphs.

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Mistake #6 You don’t showcase your experience

People want to know whether or not you are qualified to do what you claim to. List your credentials and experience. Mention the results you have gotten for your clients. Tell us about your media or speaking experience.

You don’t necessarily need to save your media or speaking experience for your press page. You can and should mention on your about page and link to the press page. When you include this info, this signals to customers and media that you have authority and not just making it all up.

Avoid superlative claims, it makes you look pompous and insincere. Back up your claims by proof.

A potential customer wants to know why they should hire you over your competitor. This is what you need to get across on your about page. Don’t leave people wondering what makes you are the dream solution to their problem.

AboutMe

Mistake #7 You don’t include any credibility building elements

When people are checking your about page, they are essentially looking for reasons to start trusting you. And you have to use this opportunity and give them as many reasons as you can.

Build your credibility. Do you have an impressive clients list? (Don’t lie. Don’t list Nike as your client if you have never worked with them. Don’t create hype). Do you have case studies you can link to, testimonials you can sprinkle on your page?  Use them.

List the places you have been featured in, interviewed on or been published in as a guest writer. Proudly showcase your ‘as seen as logos’. Again, don’t be deceitful. People will Google you to see your work and they can figure out pretty quickly if you are lying.

Lastly, don’t forget social proof. Social proof is a super powerful motivator. You can feature comments from your readers to show that many people are reading your awesome content. You can quote your buyers saying what a helpful person you are. Got thousands of people reading your newsletter? Well go ahead and say that.

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Mistake #8 There is no call to action

When people reach the end of the about page, what do you expect them to do next? Close it and move on? Turn to your navigation bar to try and find something interesting?

Your about page should result in leading your reader to a different page on your website. It should result in their taking an action of some kind.

Think about what you want them to do next: Sign up to your newsletter? Buy an entry level product? Ask for a quote? Dive into content? Follow you on social media?

You can ask people to do all those things. When you talk about your life story, link to that post. When you mention the fact that thousands of people already receive fresh content from you every week, ask them to get on your list. You say you love Facebook? Ask your people to like your business page and connect over there.

When you don’t ask people to dive into your site and add no links, that’s what they are going to do. Invite them to explore your site. Don’t just tell them who you are, what you do to help them and leave it at that. Tell them what to do next and be explicit.

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Mistake #9 You don’t have a formal bio

You do need a formal bio if you want to get noticed by media/influencers. If you are product based company, if you rely on other bloggers to talk about you or press mentions are a big deal for you, you need a formal bio ready to go. 

Your bio should be no longer than a few paragraphs and highlight who you are, what you do and why you are qualified to do it. Then add it to the bottom of your about page so it can be easily accessed by media/influencers and anyone else who is interested in quoting you or linking to you.

So, those are my top 9 mistakes you are making on your about page and what to do instead.

Did you find it useful? What would you change on your about page?

Leave a comment as we’d love to know.

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How to Create Shareable Content for Social Media Audiences http://blog.getresponse.com/create-shareable-content-social-media-audiences.html http://blog.getresponse.com/create-shareable-content-social-media-audiences.html#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 13:47:21 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17418 Businesses and consumers alike spend a lot of time (and money, in some cases) on a variety of social media sites. This does, however, mean that large amounts of content is generated and shared each day. For a business to … Read more

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audiences

Businesses and consumers alike spend a lot of time (and money, in some cases) on a variety of social media sites. This does, however, mean that large amounts of content is generated and shared each day. For a business to maximize its social media ROI it needs to consider and implement ways to make its content more shareable than others.

Perhaps the key benefit to a successful social media marketing push is an increase in user engagement. The business that posts the best content will get the best-engaged audience to some extent. This is a good target to have, as an engaged audience is one that will share your content. If all goes to plan this should manifest as new fans and ideally, an increase in sales for your business.

Let’s consider some ways that you can take advantage of the vast audience on social media sites.

 

Photos increase engagement

Photos do very well on Facebook especially and as a form they are very easily shareable and immediately readable. On Facebook a photo can receive nearly 4x the amount of engagement than a plain text post.

It can also achieve 4x the amount of shares, so really this data serves to prove a simple point – photos do very well on social sites. The intention is to increase your brand’s saturation and the best way to do that is to post content that reflects and supports your ethos and philosophy.

Using photos is a good marketing tactic but consider the implementation carefully. Ensure that they’re relevant and above all that they look good. The better looking the image the more professional the content appears. It’s not recommended that you just slap any old photo next to your content but instead, that you find images that tell a story just as much as your writing does.

Often a business that posts online likes to add text to the images that it posts. This includes things like memes but it’s also worth remembering that any text must be well crafted. The text needs to reflect and add to your brand philosophy – don’t detract from it with poorly written content.

It’s also worth mentioning that a brand should be careful about the rights surrounding images. It’s not good enough to simply upload an image you’ve found online, you should check the rights. You can post images that have been marked as being commercially available under the Creative Commons license. To find these, there are lots of resources, but a quick tip is to follow these steps.

  • Type a search term into Google and then hit images when the results load
  • To the top of the page, there’s the option ‘search tools’ – choose this:

search tools

  • This brings up a further menu which includes ‘usage rights’

usage rights

  • Choose ‘labeled for reuse’

This will bring back results for images which are licensed to be reused commercially. Take care to check where the image originates from and then credit the image’s creator in your post, providing a link to the page where the image was originally posted.

 

Have a purpose

Before you go posting on social media networks you’ll need a considered and well-planned marketing strategy. This should include posting curated content (found content) that’s relevant and topical. However the key thing to aim for is sharing.

Your content can be posted like clockwork and you could have the right audience but still not be getting the desired results. That’s something that many businesses find but really by taking a few small steps those businesses can optimise content better for the social site they’re using.

 

Consider what others are talking about

When you begin looking for avenues to write and share content within it’s a good idea to consider your niche; this will provide you with several key competitors. It’s worthwhile at this point to do your research and determine the conversation topics that are relevant to your industry sub section.

Have a look at the types of articles that your competitors are posting. Also look at the images that are doing well and consider if your business could do it better. With good planning and unique content creation you should notice a marked increase in user engagement. You can of course use tools to help you with this and you should research keywords to see what’s trending. Google Trends now has a visual ‘what’s trending’ page which shows terms as in the image below. You can choose which country you would like to see the trending topics in using this:

google trends

 

You can also use the ‘what’s hot’ menu in G+

whats hot

 

Generate unique content

Creating unique content is as simple as it sounds. You just need to get on with it and by understanding your niche you should have a good idea of where to begin. Don’t just parrot others’ opinions though (if you spot a good, relevant article – share it) and really think about what you want to be saying and how you want to come across.

Whatever content you generate needs to be on subjects that you want to promote. A business needs to devise copy that’s unique and stand outs in some way. It’s all about the context and what it says, not only about your business, but also what it could say about audience members that repost your work.

The content needs to be informed, highly useful to your audience and reflective of your business’ tone of voice and ethos. Consider the entire post from packaging to the social media network it’s intended for. Ensure too that you maintain your branding throughout, keeping the following consistent:

  • Colors
  • Logos
  • Tone of voice
  • Style

This will really help to strengthen your brand and make it more recognisable to your audience. This will help engagement too, especially if you take the time to really interact with those that do engage. People do appreciate it and will go the extra mile in sharing your content if you make an effort to thank them and return the favour where applicable.

 

Encourage sharing

Encourage sharing through clickable headlines and well-devised advertising targeting options. Each social media site is slightly different, but a good rule of thumb is to keep your content consistent and relevant to your business, its philosophy, and its niche.

Your audience members are savvy and they see reams of content daily. They don’t click on it all though so you need to devise copy that stands out from the crowd. Use high quality images and a high standard of writing, but focus on keeping it all relevant. That’s the watchword and one to keep firmly in mind – if it’s not relevant, don’t waste your time.

Know your audience, understand what they want and give it to them. Social media networks provide unprecedented access to a large audience and one that actively engages and interacts with content online. Make sure that the content being shared and discussed relates in some way to your business and you’ll find a substantial ROI.

How to Create Shareable Content for Social Media Audiences is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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5 ways to Increase Your Email Click-Through Rate http://blog.getresponse.com/5-ways-increase-email-click-rate.html http://blog.getresponse.com/5-ways-increase-email-click-rate.html#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 13:18:40 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17407 Do you know how many subscribers actually read the content and click on the links in your messages? Constant CTR analysis will help you optimize your email marketing efforts and generate higher profit. Check out these 5 rules for engaging … Read more

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Do you know how many subscribers actually read the content and click on the links in your messages? Constant CTR analysis will help you optimize your email marketing efforts and generate higher profit. Check out these 5 rules for engaging your subscribers and increasing the efficiency of your campaigns.

 

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR is one of the basic indicators of the efficiency of email marketing activities.

Basically, in email marketing you calculate CTR by dividing the number of unique recipients who clicked a link and landed on desired destination (e.g., a website, blog, online store) by the number of delivered messages. For example, if you deliver 50 messages and 5 people will click the link inside, the click-through-rate is 0,1 (5:50), which amounts to 10%.

With CTR you know exactly how many percent of your subscribers are actually engaged in the communication process and click on the links in your messages.

Below you will find 5 factors which have the biggest influence on the CTR and overall efficiency of your email marketing campaigns.

 

1. Clear message layout

Your subscribers don’t necessary have the time to read the whole message thoroughly. That’s why you need to prepare it in such a way that the recipient immediately knows what it is about.

The most important information should be highlighted and easy to understand. This way you reduce the time necessary to analyze the content and help the reader make a decision to open the message.

Make sure that the layout is intuitive and makes it easy for the recipient to perform the action (I assume that you always create your messages with a particular action of the recipient in mind).

Place the most important element of your offer at the top of the message. It will become instantly visible to the recipient and it will facilitate the communication process. Such layout gets readers to perform a task (e.g., visiting online shop, clicking on a link) without the need to scroll the message down – which is particularly important for the users of mobile devices.

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2. Clear call to action (CTA)

Before you start creating a message, you need to answer a few basic questions:

  • What is the goal of this message?
  • Who is the recipient?
  • What should the recipient do after reading the message?

Call to action is the most important part of your email. It describes the particular action which recipient should perform e.g.,

  • Buy now
  • Download the whitepaper
  • Sign up for the newsletter

You need to know your call to action precisely in the initial stage of email creation. The structure of your emails should always highlight CTA. The three rules below will help you to prepare a proper call to action in your message:

  1. Place CTA in a visible place. The need to scroll down may discourage many of your subscribers.
  2. Use contrast colors that will distinguish CTA from the rest of the message – let your recipients immediately know what to do.
  3. Use clear statements – the message must be crystal clear.

3. Responsive design

The latest research shows that more than half of all emails are viewed on a mobile device. In this situation you need to avoid any possible problems with adjusting the message layout to different screen sizes.

Make sure that your email looks great on all types of screens; desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

You can find more information on responsive email design in the following article.

 

4. Regular testing and optimization

There are many factors which influence CTR and the overall efficiency of email marketing activities. Unfortunately, there is no single strategy that guarantees success of all email marketing campaigns.

All the elements of a message (e.g., layout, content, graphics) might hugely differ depending on the industry, target audience or the specifics of communication between your company and subscribers.

Testing of particular elements will help you optimize the communication process and to fit the messages to your subscriber’s needs better.

Regularly test your emails; change content, improve layout, substitute graphics and call to action buttons. Choose the most successful elements, which generate higher CTRs.

HTML or text – have you ever tested the message format?

HTML messages offer various possibilities and are visually appealing, but sometimes a simple plain text message may receive higher CTR.

Pseudo text format uses HTML, but looks like it’s a plain text message. It looks like our everyday email correspondence, but it enables the emailing platform to measure statistics.

Some subscribers prefer simple messages that might seem more personal over carefully designed “corporate” newsletters.

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5. Segmentation and interesting content

The basic reason why subscribers open emails is the information within. It was the promise of interesting content that made them subscribe to your newsletter in the first place.

The expectations regarding the content may differ depending on the customer. If you want to improve quality of communication and increase CTR, start segmenting your email list and send out personalized messages.

Segmentation is about isolating certain features, which may be crucial when preparing an email campaign e.g.,

  • gender,
  • age,
  • products that customer has bought before
  • previous purchase price
  • etc.

and dividing the email list accordingly. This way you can target your audience more precisely and deliver relevant messages.

Do you feel like you need more inspiration? Take a look at the following example of email segmentation.

I’m sure that applying the 5 factors mentioned above will help you optimize your email marketing campaigns. Remember that each target audience is different and that you are the person who knows your customers best. Find out what works well and send out messages that resonate.

Is there any other factor that has increased the conversion rate of your emails? Please share it in the comment section below.

5 ways to Increase Your Email Click-Through Rate is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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4 Effective Ways to Monetize Your Email List & Achieve Profitability http://blog.getresponse.com/4-effective-ways-monetize-email-list-achieve-profitability.html http://blog.getresponse.com/4-effective-ways-monetize-email-list-achieve-profitability.html#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 13:03:13 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17400 Email is still one of the most effective methods of reaching a targeted audience, whether you’re trying to sell products and services, build relationships, deliver info products, and more. Regardless of the direction that online media takes us and with … Read more

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Email is still one of the most effective methods of reaching a targeted audience, whether you’re trying to sell products and services, build relationships, deliver info products, and more. Regardless of the direction that online media takes us and with the birth of a new, younger generation, email is always relevant and we will always need it for the near future. Our relationship with email is quite peculiar, in that it’s a possession that is guarded as private and personal space. There’s a lot of trust placed on messages we permit there. Through navigating this circle of trust, consumers are driven to spend billions yearly on businesses that offer value.email_list

 

It is estimated that at the end of 2016, there will be 4.3 Billion email accounts in existence (Source – Radicati) and for marketers effectively using the medium; they experience an average of 4,300% return on investment (Source – Experian). There are not many investments providing such healthy yields. Mastering email monetization and building a highly targeted list can be the boost you need to grow your business, providing a stable and predictable income base; whether you’re running a large corporation or small marketing firm.

Let’s discuss and simplify a few methods for generating income from your growing list.

 

Native Banner Advertising

Think of your email marketing campaign as being delivered in a similar manner to selling and using prime real estate space. Investors are willing to spend big bucks on locations that offer great ROI value through the perfect proximity and value to business. So it is also with your email list of thousands of targeted subscribers.

Your email subscribers, if acquired ethically, is an appealing audience to advertisers searching for specific groups to market to. Banners ads can be placed strategically within emails sent in your campaigns that appeal to your list and in return marketers pay a fee. CEO of NetHosting – Lane Livingston, indicates that in addition to sending messages native to subscribers, an important thing to remember when sending email campaigns is to have fresh and clean IP’s.  If your IP isn’t clean or is blacklisted, none of your emails will reach the subscriber’s inbox.  If no emails get into your customers’ inbox, you won’t convert anything.

A vital technique to take note of here is to ensure ad content is as native to your email audiences’ needs and desires as possible. Instead of using a plain and obvious advertisement, collaborate with your ad client to coin entertaining and useful content tailored for your audience. This will ensure a higher click-through rate and value to both your advertisers and subscribers. Ad content should not be random but as personalized as possible.

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Screenshot taken from an email campaign run by Contently.com

 

Leverage the Power of Established Merchants with VigLink & Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a very profitable way to earn without actually having a product of your own to sell. There are many companies willing to pay you a commission on sales generated from links you promote via your website or email list.

The most appealing affiliate opportunity provider right now is VigLink. VigLink is a platform for content-driven commerce that helps content creators monetize their work while driving sales and reach through a strong online network for advertisers. The VigLink Anywhere service allows you to earn revenue on affiliate links placed within your email copy, social media content and basically wherever your links end up. Get paid when clicks turn into purchases. It doesn’t get easier than that.

With the affiliate marketing industry set to reach a market cap of $4.5 Billion by 2016, partnering with a company like VigLink makes sense.

 

Retarget Abandoned Shopping Carts

If you’re running any type of online commerce site, you’ll at some point experience shopping cart abandonment by your site’s users. Potential customers miss checking out for a multitude of reasons and oftentimes all they need is a friendly reminder to complete the transaction. With the right email retargeting campaign strategy, shopping cart abandonment can become a part of the purchase funnel, instead of a lost opportunity.

Essentially, through retargeting, users are emailed options for making their purchase experience simpler whether by offering additional discounts and perks, customer care assistance or the simple reminder. All geared towards making the final sale.

Retargeting is a valid strategy that actually performs well. According to SaleCycle, the average shopping cart, basket and booking abandonment rate reached 73.6% in Q1 2013. Looking at basket abandonment emails, 48.1% of basket abandonment emails were opened (up from 45.9% in Q4) and 33.3% of these clickers went on to purchase a product (up from 30.1% in Q4). That’s 33% of sales that would’ve been otherwise lost without retargeting.

If you’re running a large e-commerce site, you’ll definitely want to check out ReTargeter.

 

Establish a Paid Subscription Model for Premium Content

Are you an established authority and expert in your field? Do you have a vast and unique library or knowledgebase to share with the world? It’s quite likely that people will pay you a fee for that content.

Create an email series geared towards delivering tutorials, guides and even classes via a paid subscription program. Charging users a monthly, yearly or one-time fee to access content and expertise they cannot find anywhere else on the web.

You’d be surprised how a small $9 access fee can accumulate to hundreds of thousands of dollars as your premium content changes lives and goes viral.

 

Respect Your List with the Correct Approach

It’s important to not get over-zealous as your creative juices begin flowing with ideas to monetize. While your list’s earning potential is valid you should try to not be in ‘selling mode’ continuously. Instead of, “sell, sell, sell, sell,” try “give, give, give and then sell.” Meaning that every email sent to your audience should not be a sales pitch. It’s a surefire way to be ignored, unsubscribed or marked as spam. Spend time getting to know what your audience want and need and provide tailored value.

This not only builds trust, but also makes selling via email easier and more successful. Customers spend and take action on content and service providers they trust.

4 Effective Ways to Monetize Your Email List & Achieve Profitability is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Surveys Are the Way to Unlock Your Subscribers’ Hearts http://blog.getresponse.com/questions-ask-unlock-subscribers-hearts.html http://blog.getresponse.com/questions-ask-unlock-subscribers-hearts.html#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:57:32 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17389 Remember the last time you had a blockbuster post? A video that got more views that all your others… combined? What if you could do that more often? That’s what you can do when you know how to ask your … Read more

Surveys Are the Way to Unlock Your Subscribers’ Hearts is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Remember the last time you had a blockbuster post? A video that got more views that all your others… combined? What if you could do that more often? That’s what you can do when you know how to ask your subscribers what they want. That’s the power of surveys. Here are three different ways to use surveys – even single question “surveys” to do that.

1. The magic email

This is simplest, and the quickest to set up of the three techniques. All you have to do is to ask your subscribers a question in the welcome email you send them.  I’ve been trying this technique myself recently. To date, I’ve gotten 15% of my new subscribers to reply back to my welcome email and tell me what they most want to know.

Here’s how it works: After a subscriber has clicked the link in the confirmation email, they will

    1. See the final confirmation page on my site, where I give them access to download the free report I promised them and
    2. Get an email asking: “Thank you for subscribing to my free weekly email updates. Could you do me a favor? Could you reply to this email and let me know what’s your biggest question about [insert niche topic]? I’ll use your response to create more materials for the site. You’d be helping me, yourself, and everyone else who wants to [insert niche aspiration]. So give it a shot – just reply and let me know what you want to know. Thanks,”

The content ideas I’ve gotten from these replies have helped me create content that gets dramatically better results than my usual posts and updates.

I’ve finally found a way to get people to tell me what they really want to know – and it doesn’t cost me a dime.

sumall_data_email_campaign_bars_chart_graph

Why does this work?

  1. Timing. I’ve asked them at a moment when they’re very engaged – they’ve just signed up for my email list, and so they’re hungry for information from me. Their hopes are high.
  2. Welcome emails get opened. Welcome emails get higher response rates than pretty much any other kinds of emails (except maybe transactional emails). That’s why welcome emails are so valuable. Unfortunately, many online businesses never bother to set them up. Only about half of the ecommerce email lists I sign up for send a welcome email. If you haven’t set up welcome emails for your lists, I urge you to do it – TODAY. Just use that template and start getting killer ideas on what your prospects want to know… right down to which words to use to describe it back to them.
  3. I got humble. I asked them for help. This technique does very well on social media. People like to help. If your audience has positive feelings toward you, they want to help even more. When they get to be helpful AND give their opinion about something… BOOM – it’s a win.
  4. I got somebody else involved. Sure, they’re helping me, and hopefully they’re helping themselves (because I genuinely do want to create exactly the content they want), but they’re also helping the wider community. By answering my email, they’re helping “everyone else” who wants to succeed. Helping other people, especially people like ourselves, wins big points for feel good motivation. My new subscribers are responding to that.

 

2. Three magic questions

This next technique builds on the first. Remember the wording of my welcome email, where it says “what’s your biggest question”? Well, there’s a fellow named Glenn Livingston who’s found a way to never mess up a product launch by asking people that and two other questions. He’s even figured out a way to quantify it, so you can score responses.

This is the jist of those three questions. If you want the exact version, you should seek out Dr. Livingston:

  1. What’s your most pressing question about X? (Text box for answer)
  2. How hard has it been to find information about that? Score 1-5 , 1 is easiest, 5 hardest
  3. What prompted you to sit down and begin your search today? (Text box for answer)

Notice anything?

Well, to start you might notice this survey format was designed for squeeze pages (“what prompted you to begin your search?”). But these questions work for email messages and display ads, too. Try switching the wording to “What prompted your interest in X?”

While this survey looks pretty simple, there are a number of powerful things about it. First, it’s only three questions. The fewer questions you ask in a survey, the better. There’s often a lot of push and pull about which questions to ask, and many surveys end up around 5-7 questions. This is a very short survey, and as a result it gets a lot of responses.

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You’ve already seen why honing in on the biggest question is so effective – it focused the responses. But that second question is nearly as important. That’s because you want to know not only what is people’s most important question, but also if they would pay to have it answered.

If the information your audience wants to know is available everywhere for free, they aren’t going to pay for it. Mr. Livingston needed to know what information people a) really wanted to know and b) that was hard to find. This question showed him how to differentiate himself in the market – and how to do it in a way that resulted in sales.

The third question looks kind of odd at first, until you’ve actually run one of these surveys. This is the question that gauges how truly desperate (or motivated) someone is to find the information. It is amazing how much detail some people will go into for this question. You actually measure the word count of the answers to quantify and score the responses.

 

3. Unsubscribe surveys

This survey has been running for you all along. It’s a feature in every GetResponse account. It asks people why they’ve unsubscribed from a list.

Here’s what it looks like:

 

UnsubscribeSurvey

You can see the results of your unsubscribe survey in your account under  “Statistics” >> “Email Analytics” >> “Subscriptions”. Pick the “Unsubscribed” tab at the top of the page.

Have you taken a look at why some of your subscribers have left recently? Knowing why subscribers are leaving might help you decide which content to create… almost as well as what your new subscribers tell you.

Surveys Are the Way to Unlock Your Subscribers’ Hearts is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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20 Ways to Double Your Email Open Rate http://blog.getresponse.com/20-ways-double-email-open-rate.html http://blog.getresponse.com/20-ways-double-email-open-rate.html#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:57:28 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17379 Everybody knows the importance of building an email list. Without an email list, you don’t have a business. If you build your audience on any social media platform, you are at their mercy. They can change the rules any time, … Read more

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Everybody knows the importance of building an email list. Without an email list, you don’t have a business.

If you build your audience on any social media platform, you are at their mercy. They can change the rules any time, put new restrictions in place, or even ban you from accessing your own data. With email though, you are in control. You get to contact your people any time you want, as many times as you want. You own your list. Nobody can make you do anything you don’t want or take it away from you.

However, by itself, the list has no value. If it did, anybody could go out, buy a list of a few thousand people and become a millionaire.

The money is not in the list. The money is in the responsiveness of your list. Meaning, when you email your list, are people actually opening it? Are they engaging and responding to your calls to action? Are they clicking on your links? What’s your relationship like? Do your email subscribers trust you? Do they look forward to hear from you? Do they respond when you ask them something?

You can’t know any of these things unless you can get your people to actually open your emails. This is why in this blog post, we are looking at ways to dramatically increase your email open rate.

Let’s dive straight in.

#1 Start with your ideal customer persona

Every time you sit down to write an email, picture your ideal customer/client in your head. If your business has more than one profile, think carefully about who you want to target. While many people think each email could potentially appeal to every type of customer, this is not the case. You can greatly increase your open rates just by catering to a specific group.

Now, get out of your own head and slip into their shoes.

When you look at every piece of communication from their point of view, it will be that much more relevant. When you think about your content through their eyes, it will have more impact and resonate more with people fitting your ideal customer profile.

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#2 Address one person in your email

You may be writing to a group of people, and your subscribers know that, but write in such a manner that they feel like as if you are only talking to them. Make every piece of content sound like it’s custom made.

Stop saying things like, ‘all of you …’, or ‘most of you …’.

Just imagine for a second that you are writing to one person only – your ideal customer customer – and when you write to one person, you won’t write as if you are addressing a crowd, would you? Your email would be more personal, more intimate. After all, there is a relationship between you and them. You don’t write emails to strangers, don’t you?

Also, use your actual name in the ‘from’ field. Your readers will know that there is real person writing these emails rather than business entity that they can’t connect with.

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#3 Stop wasting people’s time

Only email when you have something useful to say. Now, this is not an excuse to email sporadically. What it actually means is that you have to become proactive and be on the lookout for anything that might be beneficial to your reader.

It’s fine to send people sales messages, but be upfront about it. Establish a context of commerce from the get go. Let people know that in a relationship with you, not only will you be sending pure information but they should expect to receive promotional emails. When you are more upfront from the very beginning, you attract will the right kind of people and you gain natural interest in your emails. This means that when you launch something or start promoting a product, people still find value in your emails.

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#4 Make sure people get a clear benefit

Think of at least one thing people will walk away with after reading your emails.

It can be a practical, actionable tip they can implement straightaway, or it can be a complete guide – an in-depth resource – they can bookmark and access whenever they need it. It can be a message that deeply resonates. Something that makes them feel heard and they can truly feel like you get them and care.

If you get in the habit of rewarding your people, with every email they come to trust you. They know that it is in their benefit to read your emails. They won’t feel like you only email for your own selfish reasons (to make a sale) and it keeps them at the front and centre while creating content.

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#5 Craft compelling subject lines

People’s inboxes are very crowded spaces and it is becoming harder to get their attention by the minute. By following the tips above, you lay the right foundation to build your email marketing upon, but this tip is purely tactical and the results are also very immediate.

Think about all the emails you see in your own inbox. Which ones make you click? Which ones are so boring or spammy sounding that you hit delete without bothering to open? Take notes.

Write emails that spell a clear benefit or arouse your readers’ curiosity.

Use power words that capture people’s emotions. Use numbers. Point out mistakes because we all want to know where we are going wrong.

Learn from the experts in your field but also don’t be afraid to do your own thing. You don’t have to follow the formula if it doesn’t make sense for your industry or if everybody is doing it. Be different.

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#6 Write engaging emails

Write in your own voice. Show some personality. Ask yourself if what you say in your emails, really does sound like you. Would you say the same thing to a friend?

Ask questions because that’s what happens when you write to a friend. You aim to have a conversation with them and you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. You don’t want to lecture them or talk at them. You want to involve your readers and make them feel part of the conversation.

You don’t want to send overly promotional sales either. Don’t sound hypey in your emails as that never sounds good. Don’t say anything you can’t say to a person’s face.

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#7 Write on the same day

It helps to stay consistent.

Think about your favourite show for a second. Part of what makes it unmissable is that it comes on the exact same day at the exact same time. You get so used to seeing them that your mind expects to see the cast turn up again and again, on the same day, at the same time.

Being consistent will help you keep top of mind and go that extra mile in creating that trust. Your audience expects to hear from you. They are willing and waiting. They anticipate hearing from you and that really helps in reaching more of your audience.

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#8 Format your emails right

How do you want your emails to look? This is a conscious choice you need to make.

You can send more corporate style newsletters if that’s what you prefer. You can send plain text only, if that’s more your style. You can insert images and links, or you can keep it very simple.

Depending on what your audience wants, and by experimenting, you’ll discover what format works best for you. Use that. Don’t use something because everybody else in your industry is doing it or it will become same ol’ same ol’ and this doesn’t serve you very well.

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#9 Use open loops in your emails.

According to Wikipedia, an open loop is a rhetorical device to instill curiosity by creating anticipation for what will come next. This device is sometimes also called a tension loop for the tension and anticipation it creates.

These are like cliff hangers in the movies, the scene just before the break that has you sitting on the edge of your seat. Or the dramatic shots in a movie trailer which have you salivating for the movie.

In your emails, you can create open loops by referring to something you will talk about in the next email. You mention something and promise to talk more about it in another email. However, make sure to always deliver on your promise or this tactic will just come across as a gimmick.

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#10 Resend un-opened emails

This is a very simple tactic but not many people do it.

When you send out an email, keep in mind that not everybody will see it or read it because people are busy. Sometimes the timing is just not appropriate.

The very simple fix to this solution is to resend emails that have not been opened. You can also create a weekly digest and send links to your best content to encourage people to click open.

Especially resend your emails linking to your blog updates. You spend so much time creating that content that it’s a shame if people don’t get to see it just because the timing is not right.

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#11 Always be testing

If you have a decent sized audience, it pays to do a split test.

Send half of your emails with one subject line and the remaining with a different one. People report that sometimes one subject line vastly outperforms the other one – more than double the first time. Meaning, one subject line gets a 20% open rate for example, while the other get over 40%. This is huge and definitely worth testing to see what works better.

Don’t worry if your list size is small. Instead, spend your time creating a relationship with your list.

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#12 Endeavor to know your audience even more

Every time someone subscribes to your list, they are doing so because they feel you can alleviate their fears or help them fulfil their desires. The way to do that is to keep working on understanding your audience at a much deeper level – even more than they know themselves.

Spend time on online forums, create surveys, read book reviews on Amazon, and read industry trade magazines. Don’t forget to have real conversations with your readers and customers. Just ask them and you’ll know what they want from you.

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#13 Refine the sign-up process

Attract the right people in the first place.

Offer an opt-in incentive that attracts your ideal audience. If you attract people who don’t fit your ideal reader and then try to email them on a topic they don’t really find interesting, no matter how much effort you put into your process, it won’t work. The more refined your audience is, the higher your open rates will be.

Save yourself headache and tears. Create the right sign-up freebie and install a double opt-in to make sure people don’t subscribe others without their permission and you get high quality subscribers from the get go.

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#14 Create mobile friendly content

How does your email look on mobile devices?

Do people have to pinch it to read it? Do they have to scroll all the way to the right to finish the sentences? Do the pictures take up most of the screen? Can they read in both plain text and html?

Research shows that a huge number of your audience is checking their email on their smart phones. These people are high maintenance, even more unforgiving then the people who are opening them on desktop. Make sure you optimize your messages for mobile and tiny devices.

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#15 Set up an autoresponder series

When somebody signs up to your email list, they are super interested in hearing from you.

If you don’t contact them immediately with a thank you email, or don’t email again for a while, they will simply lose this enthusiasm. They might forget you altogether.

Set up a series of autoresponder emails that start sending messages when someone signs up. This will ensure that people remember you and get used to receiving and opening emails from you. By getting them to click and open your emails, you are creating a habit. If you continue to email regularly, there is a big chance that they will stick with their habit of opening your messages.

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#16 Remind people why they subscribed

Some people subscribe to too many email lists and if you don’t email them often, they will forget who you are and how you got their address in the first place. It is a good idea to remind people how you know each other. You can insert a block of text which tells people which company this email is coming from and when they subscribed.

Just by re-establishing this relationship, you will be able to prevent deletions and unsubscribes.

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#17 Pay attention to your timing

This tactic requires some common sense and experimentation.

Pay attention to your reader behaviour. If you send too early in the morning, it might get lost amongst a sea of emails coming in. If you send to people in the early evening, and they are working professionals, this might be something that only gets in their way of getting home.

If everybody in your industry sends on the same day, try sending on a different one. Try sending your emails at different times and see what works. Test and you may find a time that has greater success.

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#18 Avoid spam filters

This one is self-explanatory.

Stop using words that trigger spam filters. Avoid using all caps, sloppy html, and too many exclamation points.

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#19 Provide a real address to respond to

Let people know that you genuinely want to hear from them and that their input matters.

Give them a proper address to respond to and not a rubbish looking thing that bounces off every message they try to get back to you. This damages the trust you have been working so hard to create.

If your recipients are not feeling valued, they won’t be inclined to open your emails. Don’t insult them.

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#20 Clean your list periodically 

The easiest way to improve your email open rates? Get rid of the dead weight. Routinely clean your email list.

Target people who haven’t opened your emails in the last 18 months separately. Try to engage them and find out if they are still interested in hearing from you. Segmenting them and targeting them separately will improve your overall open rates.

If you can’t re-engage them, then think about if you really need these people to stay subscribed.

So there you have it.

These are my top twenty tips to double your email open rates. Some of them are tactics which will give you instant results while others work towards building a solid foundation and will give you results over time. Do both.

What would you add to list?

 

20 Ways to Double Your Email Open Rate is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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How to Carry Out an A/B Test http://blog.getresponse.com/carry-ab-test.html http://blog.getresponse.com/carry-ab-test.html#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:57:29 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17368 A/B testing is a simple enough concept but one that doesn’t quite get the traction that it deserves. Knowledgeable marketers and designers will utilize this practice as it provides valuable insights into visitor behavior and it can lead to an … Read more

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A/B testing is a simple enough concept but one that doesn’t quite get the traction that it deserves. Knowledgeable marketers and designers will utilize this practice as it provides valuable insights into visitor behavior and it can lead to an increase in conversion rates.

However, even with the marked benefits that this approach has, many businesses avoid (or don’t understand) how to conduct A/B testing successfully. People aren’t properly aware of the process and more importantly they simply don’t know how to use it to their advantage.

In an effort to help you all and to galvanise your marketing efforts, here’s a quick guide and overview to A/B testing.

 

A/B testing is…

Let’s begin with a definition so that we’re all on the same page. Effectively you take two versions of an action with some sort of metric to monitor success. Then you simply determine which version is better.

To gain results you rigorously experiment with both versions at the same time. Using your metric you then judge which one functioned better and then apply that version in the real world.

Online A/B testing isn’t that dissimilar to experiments that you most likely conducted in science class as a kid. You’re attempting to determine the voracity of a specific approach and you’re judging it in relation to another and its success (or lack of).

Effectively the A could be read as the control sample and B is a variant. You then determine a way of measuring both approaches and defining which one works best. You will need a fairly large ‘sample’ size in order to carry out a test effectively and you will need to leave it running for at least a month.

a:b_testing

What to test

An effective A/B test works best if you test one small variable at a time. This can be a variety of things on your home page, landing page or any other page you want to test.

Such as:

  • Color – test one color off against another to see which encourages action. This may sound like it won’t be effective, but it’s surprising how color affects consumer decisions, so don’t dismiss it.
  • Buttons – the color, shape, or placement of an action button can be tested
  • Navigation elements
  • Forms
  • Images
  • Headlines and content
  • Layouts

These days, there’s no real need to get into the maths of it all. You can find software to help you carry out split testing (you can also try GetResponse A/B testing), which makes life much easier than it used to be for this sort of thing.

If you’re testing something based on an action – such as signups – then the amount of signups in this example can be your metric for success. So depending on which sample group signs up the most you’ll then find the more successful variant of your new website and have an informed reason for choosing it.

This is of course a relatively simplistic example but it shows just how easy A/B testing can be. The outcome is a better website and better audience engagement and retainment rates and it’s not really a costly undertaking in terms of time or finances. Effectively it works like a test audience for a movie. You can learn what works and what doesn’t from the people that’ll be using your product or service before that product or service goes live.

 

The testing process

Now that you understand the basic principles of A/B testing it’s time to determine what part of your business you’d like to test. This is perhaps a harder task than it seems as not every business will have new approaches that it wants to put under the microscope.

However, now is as good a time as any to consider your business and challenge any areas that may have become stagnant. Whatever you decide to test though, is contingent on your business and its goals.

An A/B test has a very specific procedure and a clear outcome. Whatever the business process that you need to test an A/B test functions as an advanced version of writing out a list of pros and cons. But it is based on the information and the context that you provide for the test. So be as clear as possible and define exactly what it is that you want to test if you want the process to be successful.

 

An example

Recently, a partner of mine carried out an A/B test on their site navigation. This was done with the thought in mind that often, when given too many choices, people don’t choose at all and simply leave. This was proven in the ‘jam test’, which if you’re not familiar with, you can check it out here.

When it comes to navigation, even the smallest of tweaks can and will have far reaching results. The menu is generally the first place that we look when we arrive on a site as we’re looking to get where we want to go immediately.

This is something that’s discussed widely in UX (user experience) design. Not only should navigation signals be positioned in the area that the user expects, but it should also make use of color and text in order to ensure that it gives the best experience. Something as small as changing the button text to something ‘friendlier’ can have an effect, as found by this test in which an alteration garnered a 47.7% rise in clicks – certainly not to be sniffed at.

In Power Admin’s case, the existing navigation included a whole lot of textual links, as you can see from the image below.

 

PA1

In this design, there’s a lot of text, which could prove too much choice for site visitors, consequently prompting them to leave. With this in mind, the guys decided to change the menu and carry out A/B testing to see if it made any difference to conversions.

 

PA2

So the new menu looks much cleaner and of course, there is a lot less in the way of choice. OK, there are still drop down menus, but this is something that can be addressed if the test proved successful if necessary, or of course a further split test can be carried out.

 

The Results

After test running for a month and a half, it was found that out of more than 10,000 visits, the site gained 12.3% more conversions from those who were presented with the single line menu. This is despite the fact that the new page actually received fewer visits than the old page.

This translates into around 70-80 more conversions each month – also not a number to be sniffed at. Let’s face it, most of us would be happy enough with improving our conversion rate by that much in each month.

 

control-vs-new-menu-conversion-rates-newchart

These results are encouraging and demonstrate very well how one element on a page can make all of the difference to your site and more importantly, your business. Whilst many people are quite daunted by running a split test, this illustrates how even the simplest thing can be altered and measured in order to deliver actionable results.

Further to that, it’s also an excellent example of keeping it simple, which is one of the most important aspects of testing. Too many people think that since they’re going to the trouble of setting up a test, they may as well test everything in sight – don’t do it folks.

 

Next steps – Your A/B test

Hopefully now you’ve realised that A/B testing isn’t quite the chore that it may have seemed to be. In fact it’s a very useful process and one that can pay big dividends. Knowing your audience, its behaviors, and the way that it relates to your business is incredibly important.

Make sure that you’re testing the control at every point and that you know exactly what your metric for success is before beginning. If you get lost or stuck there’s a very detailed, long, and considered article from Paras Chopra of Smashing Magazine. It’s worth a read and should answer any burning questions you have and perhaps even ones you’ve yet to ask. GetResponse has also prepared a great guide to A/B testing.

A/B testing can have marked benefits for a business and its infrastructures. Determine what you want to test then give it a go. Your audience knows what it wants so give them a choice and remember to listen and act on their opinions.

 

How to Carry Out an A/B Test is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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4 Answers to Moving From Ad-Hoc Email to a Solid Email Calendar http://blog.getresponse.com/4-answers-moving-ad-hoc-email-solid-email-calendar.html http://blog.getresponse.com/4-answers-moving-ad-hoc-email-solid-email-calendar.html#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:57:05 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17358 Want to develop an email strategy, but don’t know how to break free from purely Ad-Hoc email blasts? Planning your emails is a great first step in bringing more structure (and a bit of breathing room) to your email marketing. … Read more

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Want to develop an email strategy, but don’t know how to break free from purely Ad-Hoc email blasts? Planning your emails is a great first step in bringing more structure (and a bit of breathing room) to your email marketing. Last time I wrote about the email marketing calendar, I got  some questions. 

Q1: How far ahead should I plan?

Depending on your industry, you should plan anywhere from six months to a year in advance. Planning for less than six months is too short of a term; you need to establish long-range goals for your email marketing. However, planning for more than a year in advance is probably a waste of time, as your email marketing strategy will likely evolve as it unfolds.

If you have a high send frequency (get your mind blown with numbers on frequency here), don’t be alarmed. The full details of your mails don’t have to be done that far ahead. A rolling 2 or 3 months ahead is perfect (remember that this number depends on the amount  of mails you send out).

calendar_planning

Q2: How do I make my email calendar real-time?

You may wonder how you’ll be able to schedule that far ahead, especially with all that talk about real-time marketing nowadays. It’s not rocket science. Savvy email marketers develop the creative for seasonal campaigns ahead of time, then adjust the specifics / details before deploying. For instance, this email from Nicole Miller addresses the captive audience during a snowstorm. The subject line reads: “Snowed in? Shop our semi-annual sale.”

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Keep in mind that your email calendar is not set in stone. If possible, capitalize all current events. Vermont Teddy Bear sent this email just after the birth of the royal baby, with this subject line: The Royal Baby Has Arrived!

calendar

A great tip is to do the same and have a generic apology template ready for the occasion when you make a mistake.

 

Q3: What about the budget, do I need to schedule that too?

Planning ahead for six months to a full year allows you to take the seasons, vacations, and special events into account. It will also help you estimate costs and distribute your budget over time. Your dollars (and your time), are the lifeline of your calendar, especially if you are setting Email Return on Investment (ROI) goals.

Many companies try to make up revenue shortfalls at the end of each month with email campaigns designed to drive traffic and sales. You may want to pencil in offers such as free shipping or other discounts the last week of each month (you can always omit them if you’re meeting or exceeding your email marketing goals).

You can also adjust specific email campaigns to meet revenue goals. For instance, if you run a free shipping promotion for a week, check the results after a day or two. If you want to boost your ROI, send out a reminder email mid-week, then a “last chance” or “final hours” reminder on the last day of the promotion.

Keep in mind that the bulk of retail revenues are seen during the fourth quarter. During the holiday season, the email campaign pace is fast and furious. You’ll need to reserve a budget — and resources — for this busy time. This brings me to the next question….

planner

Q4: How to beat the ups and downs of buying cycles planning

Some industries — such as travel, garden, skiing, sunglasses — have clear and consistent buying cycles. Other industries, however, have distinctive high and low sales periods. Whereas B2B email marketing cycles might be looooong. Mark your sales cycles on your email calendar. Whatever the cycle for your industry, you need to have touch points at all stages of the buying process: orientation, research, and decision making.

It’s important to grow your list and consider altering the frequency before and during those periods. Of course, you’ll need to change up your messaging according to the buying cycle. During orientation, you’ll want to send more brand-building messages. During research, your emails should be informational/educational. And during decision making, use strong calls to action to close the sale.

Your own email calendar

Developing an email calendar will help you put your target audience right in the crosshairs of your email campaigns. Because there’s no surefire strategy for all email marketing, you must develop a strategy that’s right for your business. Once you do, you’ll see all your email campaigns fall into place.

 

4 Answers to Moving From Ad-Hoc Email to a Solid Email Calendar is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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There’s a Reason They’re Called Email DEADlines… Don’t Let ‘Em Beat You! http://blog.getresponse.com/theres-reason-theyre-called-email-deadlines-dont-let-em-kill.html http://blog.getresponse.com/theres-reason-theyre-called-email-deadlines-dont-let-em-kill.html#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:37:22 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17349 The advantage of email marketing is that it’s fast. Very fast. You can quickly deploy thousands or millions of emails with the touch of a button. Voilà! They’re in the inbox of your subscriber (provided you have good email deliverability).  … Read more

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The advantage of email marketing is that it’s fast. Very fast. You can quickly deploy thousands or millions of emails with the touch of a button. Voilà! They’re in the inbox of your subscriber (provided you have good email deliverability).  There’s no printing, no media to be bought and no long production lines.  

The drawback to email marketing is that we’re expected to deliver and produce campaigns at a fast-and-furious pace. However, email marketing done right also takes time. How can you balance the need for speed with the need for accuracy and awesomeness? Let’s walk through some steps on how to tame the deadline beast.

 

Is It Really an Emergency?

If there’s no true emergency, don’t treat it like one. Think of it this way: If you get a paper cut, would you run to the emergency room? I think not.

Some situations are emergencies, such as an email sent with an error, incorrect pricing/offer, or website glitches. In those cases, you should have “canned” emails ready to go; you can tweak the specifics as needed. Like I wrote about in the article about crafting your email calendar. Skis.com injects a little humor in this apology email. The subject line reads: OOPS – we didn’t mean to send that last email

 

deadline

The fact that a colleague is hovering over your desk or a client is on the phone is not a true emergency. If the content is delivered after the deadline has passed, it will not be put in the email newsletter. A day late with the input or final approval? Send the email a day later. It’s not the end of the world.

This may seem impossible in your organization, but most often it is entirely possible. This tactic will redirect the problems to where they belong. By sticking to it, you’ll see you don’t have to insist on deadlines as much if contributors know there are consequences.

That’s why it’s so important to have email production policies in place. For example:

  • A standard email broadcast requires X number of days for production.
  • A dynamic email broadcast requires X number of days for production.
  • One round of changes per campaign. Extra rounds of changes are $X each. (This is particularly helpful for use with external clients.)
  • A rush job (anything outside the above parameters) will cost an additional $x, and resources must be available to accommodate the request.
  • Final approval is required X hours prior to deployment. For next-day campaigns, approval required by X p.m. the previous business day.

 

Pad the Production Timeline

Try to set a wider deadline. Even if you don’t need all that time, the day will come when everything goes wrong. Coding and rendering issues, deliverability problems, key personnel getting sick and, on top of everything else, your email tool crashes.

You want to meet your deadlines, especially when you insist that others meet theirs to keep emails on schedule. So make sure you have enough time from the get-go and calculate your timeline, taking into consideration that you’ll need some leeway to troubleshoot issues every now and then.

 

There’s Always a Plan B (Isn’t There?)

Having a back-up plan in place is also a lifesaver. Start by documenting all the steps in your publishing process, who is involved and what they do (you should do that anyway to streamline your process). Next, think of ways to “work around” them if certain steps are unavailable. Have two or three people in place who could perform certain tasks (cross-training for tasks is crucial); develop some evergreen content or offers ready that you can easily publish as a replacement email, etc.

Newsletter

This Just In…

It’s a bit more urgent if your email is waiting for last-minute content like statistics, figures, offers, (business) news or similar types of data. Your best shot is to create another version of the email, not dependent on that information, to publish in case of lagging input. This allows you to test and approve the email in advance. The last-minute content can reside on your website. One step further in the email process, perhaps on a dedicated landing page instead of in the actual email. Remember, web pages can be modified later, even after the email deploys.

 

Defeat the Deadline

If you face crazy email deadlines on a regular basis, make it your priority to get these tactics in place. It will make your life as an email marketer much easier, allow you to perform your job better, and reduce stress. Show those deadlines who’s boss. You need to be in control of the email, not the other way around. That way, the next time you hear the word “deadline,” you won’t think of it as “dreadline.”

 

There’s a Reason They’re Called Email DEADlines… Don’t Let ‘Em Beat You! is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Writing the Perfect Customer Service Email #INFOGRAPHIC http://blog.getresponse.com/writing-perfect-customer-service-email-infographic.html http://blog.getresponse.com/writing-perfect-customer-service-email-infographic.html#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:57:00 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17344 A single mishap can destroy a business relationship. Maybe you’ve used many marketing channels to establish, maintain, and nurture long-term relationships with customers and leads – almost on a one-to-one basis. But that single miscommunication can completely destroy your marketing … Read more

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A single mishap can destroy a business relationship. Maybe you’ve used many marketing channels to establish, maintain, and nurture long-term relationships with customers and leads – almost on a one-to-one basis. But that single miscommunication can completely destroy your marketing efforts. How? It often happens when customer service emails are mishandled. Our latest infographic provides best practices for building your company’s reputation and demonstrating reliability even in crisis situations.

The rules for customer support communications are simple and self-evident: to retain customers and safeguard your organization’s reputation, make sure your customer service emails are professional, helpful and emphatic.

But when a complaint requires an immediate response, the rules often escape us. So here’s a helpful refresher.

  1. Respond quickly: For standard inquiries the response time should be within one business day. For urgent matters – respond immediately.
  2. Use plain, polite language: Avoid complicated language and elegant style. Be simple, polite, and genuinely interested in solving the problem.
  3. Use an informative subject line: Include any reference number connected to the inquiry, and mention the subject of the case.
  4. Start with a personal greeting: Show customers you care. Be attentive. Never address your customer as “Valued Customer”, “User” or “Friend”.
  5. Thank the customer for their message: It’s just a standard phrase, but it lets them know you’re glad they got in touch, even for negative feedback.
  6. Restate the problem: Make sure you understand exactly what the complaint is about.
  7. Empathize with the customer: This helps you connect with the customer individually and improves your brand image.
  8. Take responsibility: This builds brand credibility and a reputation for reliability. Never point out that the customer is to blame, even if it’s obvious.
  9. Give concise instructions: Explain exactly how they can help resolve the problem and close the case quickly and successfully.
  10. Set realistic expectations: Never estimate deadlines you won’t be able to meet.
  11. Consider appropriate compensation: Be fair and generous. It works like magic for your brand image.
  12. Provide contact information: In case they need more help, always include direct contact details and times you’re available.
  13. Close with a thank you: This simple practice works wonders, no matter what the problem is.
  14. Provide contact name: Always sign your personal name (not your team) and include your job title.
  15. Check spelling and grammar: Any small error can cost your company a customer — and cost you a career.

In addition to these tips, the infographic provides examples of the right way to handle customer responses.

It takes a little time to incorporate these guidelines in your customer support daily routines. And it takes a pinch of goodwill. But the investment is bound to pay back in countless ways.

What are your ideas and best practices for handling customer inquiries and complaints? Let us know in the comments below.

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20 Ways to Increase Your Sales Page Conversion http://blog.getresponse.com/20-ways-increase-sales-page-conversion.html http://blog.getresponse.com/20-ways-increase-sales-page-conversion.html#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 14:47:12 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17336 Nobody likes to write sales pages. Well, except copywriters, of course! They spend hours and hours writing something that can make or break a product. They are damn good at it, and they charge accordingly. But you are not a … Read more

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Nobody likes to write sales pages. Well, except copywriters, of course! They spend hours and hours writing something that can make or break a product. They are damn good at it, and they charge accordingly.

But you are not a copywriter, because you don’t like writing sales pages. They are no fun for the most part. All the headline madness, the psychological triggers and storylines, who wants to do that?

But sales pages become pretty interesting as soon as they start working. Meaning, you start see cash coming your way, it becomes a whole lot of fun. Now, it’s a different story altogether.

So if you have about to make an offer to your list or if you are launching a product soon, you must realize the importance of a well written, elegantly crafted sales page. If you are just not very good at writing them, and you certainly can’t afford a copywriter at this stage. What a small business owner to do?

Well, you can learn how to spruce up your sales page, get your basics right – that’s what you can do.

And I am here to help.

 

#1 Start with a clear, benefit laden headline

Most copywriters will tell you that they spend a serious amount of time perfecting their headline. They spend hours on it – that’s how important it is.

Your headline should be clear, that’s the most important aspect of it. It needs to spell the benefit and it needs to appeal to your potential buyer. If it fails to get their attention or clearly show that it is for people exactly like them, you will lose people.

If you aren’t sure if your headline is working, ask someone for help.

 

#2 Make a big promise

Don’t be afraid to show your product off. Tell them what it can do for the customer and be bold.

Most small business owners are afraid that they might come across as salesy, slimy, sleazy, or pushy, while the reality is they need to be a bit more assertive.

Don’t sell yourself short. It is not about exaggerating what your product can do, it is about getting your prospect excited. If you are not excited, why would they be?

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#3 Open with a bang

Your opening needs to capture the attention of your prospect immediately.

Keep it short. Ask a question, make a startling statement, or hit an emotional button. You want to involve the reader instantly. As soon as they read the first sentence, the second and so on… they are hooked. They want to know what’s in it for them and they are prepared to spend time to find out.

Empathize with your potential customers. Say you understand what it’s like to be them and spell out their problem clearly. Connect with them emotionally. You can also start off by asking them what they want. For example, ‘Do you want more time, energy or money?’

 

#4 Describe their problem in detail

You might have heard this before, ‘agitate their problem’.

Now this doesn’t mean that you twist the knife in. We don’t want you to become the bad guy who would put salt in people’s wounds to make a quick buck. This is not the point here. The point is to let them know you get them. If they see that you understand their situation (their problem), they will be much more open to listening (or reading) what you have to say.

People want to see if they will benefit from what you are offering. They want to know if your solution is applicable to their situation. The more detail you go into describing the problem, the clearer it becomes for the prospect.

 

#5 Paint a picture of what is possible

Not only do you show them that they have a problem, you have to remind them that they have to fix it now.

Show them what their world would be like when they use your product. How it will get easier, simpler, and richer. If it helps save them time, talk about what they can do with this 5 extra hours in a week. Would they finally take the vacation they have been waiting for? Would they spend more time with their kids? Would they volunteer in the community? Would they take up a hobby?

When your prospect sees themselves using your product in their head, they have already bought this in their mind.

 

#6 Show what makes you different

Lots of people are after your exact target audience. They are offering similar products. There is a ton of competition in the market. Why would the prospect buy from you?

Don’t forget to weave your USP (unique selling proposition) throughout the sales page. Let them know what makes you different. What makes you more qualified to help them and why you are the right choice. Tell your story. Tell them why you do it.

 

#7 Is your offer crystal clear?

The biggest mistake new business owners make, is that they kill their products with their offers which are very unclear. Nobody is going to buy from you if they are confused.

What is it exactly that your buyer gets when he buys from you?

‘Ebook that helps you get unstuck’. ‘A 6 month diet plan’. ‘3 hours of consulting’.

What do all of those things actually mean? Tell them the details of the offer, what and how (the delivery)? Tell them the benefits they will get as a result of using your product.

 

#8 List all the benefits and features of your product

“Sell the sizzle … not the steak.” Elmer Wheeler, Master Salesman.

This is the ultra-popular saying that suggests that you sell the benefits and not the features. So what is the difference between benefits and features?  Features describe your product while benefits are the results of using your product. For example, a one hour coaching on Skype with recording and transcript provided after. These detail the features of this service.

The benefits would be that your client gets clarity on what is stopping them from achieving their ideal weight. They get to discover the reasons that are sabotaging their success and get two action steps that they can start implementing from the next day.

 

#9 Answer all the objections 

You get the sale when you remove every bit of fear in your prospect’s mind.

Every time, a potential buyer is reading your sales page, there are tons of questions racing through his mind. For example:

  • “Will this product work for me?”
  • “Will it be too hard to use?
  • “Will it take too much of my time?”
  • “Will it do what it’s promising?”
  • “It seems quite pricey. Wonder if I can find something cheaper?”
  • “What happens if I don’t like it?”

Make a list of all the reservations a prospect might have and address them all in your sales copy. Make them very really confident about the choice they are making.

getting_leads

#10 Make a clear call to action

Congratulations. You have kept the prospect engaged all this time and now they are at the end of the page and ready to buy. Tell them what to do next.

Use appropriate language. Do you want them to click on the button and buy something? Do you want them to enrol in your program? Do you want them to sign up for a live class?

Repeat the most important information (the terms of your offer) and lead them to close the sale. Make this step as simple and easy as can be. You want to minimize the number abandon carts as much as possible.

 

#11 Remove the risk

What is your guarantee?

When you offer a rock solid guarantee, what you are essentially saying is that you stand behind your product 100%.

Sometimes that is all what it takes for people to say yes. They like you, they like your offer, but they aren’t 100% convinced for whatever reason. When you say they can ask for a full refund within 30 days, no questions asked, you remove all risk associated with this purchase decision.

You help their make up their mind and hit the Buy Now button.

 

#12 Pay attention to its length

How long does your sales page need to be?

It depends on the kind of traffic you are hoping to attract. If you are writing a sales page for your own audience, it doesn’t need to be super long. These people know, like, and trust you and you don’t have to spend lot of time convincing them to pay attention to or purchase from you.

If on the other hand, you are writing for cold traffic (people who don’t know you), you may have to go longer. Depending on how much authority you have, your social proof and rave reviews, you will make your final decision.

In any case, never skimp over any important information, but at the same time never let your sales letter drag on. It only has to be as long as it needs to be. Be concise while giving complete information. Edit ruthlessly.

Remember, your will price affect the length of your copy as well, generally the more expensive a product is, the longer is the sales page.

 

#13 Make sure it sounds like you

Another way you can create trust and help  differentiate yourself from others is by using your personality on your sales page. Don’t use any language that you wouldn’t use your in real life. Don’t write anything that you can’t say to a friend.

Most people copy what others have done and what seems to be working for their competitors. But it doesn’t work for them and they never see the same results for themselves because everybody is doing it. Instead, be yourself and give people a chance to get to know the real you.

This is why it works so much better when you write the sales page yourself and get it tweaked by a professional. If you want to hire someone, make sure they can capture your style and your essence of who you are.

 

#14 Pay attention to its formatting

Effective formatting is critical for the success of your sales page. You don’t want people to get distracted at any point. Remove anything that will be a turn off and will make people close it.

Remove all links from the sales page. You don’t want people clicking away. Keep it simple and elegant. Get rid of the red headline and yellow highlighted text. You also don’t need any fancy graphics or other images that will divert your prospect’s attention.

Pay attention to the width of the page. The wider it is, the harder it becomes to read on the screen. Your eyes get tired from moving from end to the other.

Choose fonts that are easy to read on the screen, like sans serif (Arial or Helvetica). Don’t choose light coloured font on a dark background (like white on black).

 

#15 Hire a professional proof reader

This one is pretty straightforward. You can get away with a typo or two in your blog posts, or even in your emails, but make sure your sales page looks totally professional. Hire a proof reader to catch all the grammatical errors, typos, and awkward phrasing.

If you can’t be trusted to put out an error-free sales page, how good will your product be? People will judge you. Be careful.

headine

#16 Add an element of scarcity or sense of urgency

Unless you are offering an evergreen product, your sales page will benefit from adding elements of scarcity or urgency.

  1. Scarcity comes in when only so many people can enroll into a live class, or the product is limited edition, or a program is so exclusive that you have to apply to get in.
  2. Urgency is when the product is not released for another six months, the price goes up in a few days, or there early bird bonuses for people who take action early.

Both are very potent mental triggers so don’t be afraid to use them in your copy.

 

#17 Stack value and bonuses

Add even more value. Add highly relevant bonuses.

You want to make your offer so irresistible that it becomes impossible to refuse. Over deliver on every count and you will have raving fans and customers for life.

 

#18 Justify the price

When you stack the value and add bonuses, you make your price irrelevant. The price becomes the most reasonable thing in the world.

In addition to that, you can also frame your price. Compare it to high ticket items to show how much value they are getting and how much they save by snapping it up now. Show them what a great deal it is. Make it a no-brainer.

 

#19 Sprinkle testimonials throughout your copy

Social proof is a pretty powerful thing.

I remember a speaker starting their talk and nobody’s really paying attention, until they reached their ‘Who am I’ section and started showing pictures of them with influential people and celebrities like Oprah, Richard Branson, Bill Clinton, and Deepak Chopra. All of a sudden the whole energy in the room shifted. Immediately, the attendees starting to take this person seriously – very, very seriously.

Your customer testimonials and peer reviews do the same thing within your sales copy. Prospects see these words from real people, like themselves, and all of a sudden the trust in you and your product goes to whole new level.

Use strategically placed testimonials that don’t work against the flow of your sales copy.

sale_page

#20 Tell people who this is for and who this isn’t for

Lastly, don’t hesitate to let people know who are not a right fit for your offering. And make it legitimate.

Don’t say it is not for people who are looking for shortcuts, who are not willing to work hard, who are sleazy marketers. No. Nobody is going to think to themselves and say, ‘hmm, I am so lazy. I want to steal money from others, this is not for me.’

Who this is not for, really? People over a certain age? People with certain health issues? People who aren’t self-employed? People in a certain location? People who can’t commit to working 10 hours per week? When you do this, you are actually giving even more confidence to the people who fit your ideal customer profile and this a great thing.

Your sales page is almost never complete. Keep testing and tweaking it. Even when it has been published, pay attention to people’s behaviour. Is there anything confusing them? Ask for feedback from actual users.

And nail your sales letter – every single time.

 

20 Ways to Increase Your Sales Page Conversion is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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How to Use Google Analytics Effectively http://blog.getresponse.com/use-google-analytics-effectively.html http://blog.getresponse.com/use-google-analytics-effectively.html#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:03:35 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17323 For any business with a web presence understanding how traffic works and where it comes from is incredibly important. Google Analytics is a free (and powerful) solution that provides a wealth of information about how well a website is functioning. … Read more

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For any business with a web presence understanding how traffic works and where it comes from is incredibly important. Google Analytics is a free (and powerful) solution that provides a wealth of information about how well a website is functioning.

A business can use Google Analytics to determine how much traffic is coming to its website, where that traffic comes from, and what visitors are doing once they are on the site. Google’s tool works pretty simply by tracking “tags” – a small piece of JavaScript code that needs to be installed on every page of a business’ website.

The tag effectively pulls data and collates it within a reports page in the Google Analytics admin interface. Here, a business can set up multiple reports for multiple websites within a given account.

Let’s consider Google Analytics in some more depth and how it could benefit your business and its understanding of traffic sources to its website.

 

Time Metrics

 

Time metrics

This is a way for a business to monitor how long visitors are staying for, where Google calculates an average length of time for those visitors. Businesses can use this data to understand what keeps a visitor on its site, but also what makes visitors leave – this is perhaps the most important area for a business to consider.

You want visitors to stay and click around on your website – the longer that those visitors stay on your site, the better the chance that they will become purchasers of your products and services.

 

Traffic Sources/Acquisitions

 

Acquisitions

This information is incredibly important to a business and its marketing efforts. Knowing where your visitors come from ensures that you can better target those locations and provide better links and more streamlined traffic options to your website.

It’s worth exploring traffic sources in much more detail and your marketing department would do well to define the different kinds of traffic arriving at your website. Your business would do well to understand what constitutes quality traffic, how to identify revenue and conversion drivers, what kinds of information to look for in keyword reports, and how campaign attribution functions within Google Analytics.

 

Google Analytics – a great free tool

 

Audience

There are plenty of things to champion when it comes to Google Analytics. The program will track geographical data, gender, age, IP addresses and much more. This is ideal for discovering if you are actually hitting your target audience. You can then more accurately create content targeting the customers that you want. From the screenshot above, you can see that there are many more male visitors, which is about right for this particular business.

 

Content Drill down

 

content_breakdown

The majority of businesses now use content to help market their company and drive traffic to the site. This can be distributed in a variety of ways including through email newsletters and social media. Knowing which pages are receiving the most attention can really help you to hone your message and further target customers in your ideal demographic.

 

Using keywords

Keywords and phrases is the most important consideration a business can make when it determines that it wants to achieve better web rankings and increase traffic to its website. A business should conduct keyword research and determine words that it wants to be ranked by. The keywords should relate to your niche and be ones that your ideal customers are likely to search Google for.

You can measure both paid and organic keywords in Analytics and whilst the ‘not provided’ issue is an irritating one with regard to organic keywords, if you use AdWords then it can help you to discover which are performing well and which aren’t.

 

Bounce Rate

The other important consideration relates to the time that visitors spend on your site and how quickly that they leave – this is known as the bounce rate. If you notice a lot of visitors arriving and then leaving your site very quickly you have a problem that needs addressing. The higher your bounce rate, the quicker people are leaving; however, it’s worth pointing out that if your blog gets a lot of attention, this can give a high bounce rate that’s not necessarily accurate.

Bounce rate

 

The bounce rate shouldn’t be confused with the exit rate though, the latter of which is the percentage of visitors that left the site from a specific page. The bounce rate is the percentage of single page visitors that your site receives.

If you have a high bounce rate, then you can reduce it using a variety of tactics. Before you do this though, let’s have a look at the benchmark averages for bounce rates, according to Google itself.

  • Content sites: 40-60%
  • Lead generation: 30-50%
  • Blogs: 70-98%
  • Retail sites: 20-40%
  • Service sites: 10-30%
  • Landing pages: 70-90%

As you can see, even Google acknowledges that the bounce rate is high for blogs. The reason for this is that Analytics doesn’t measure the actual time that’s spent on each blog post, but rather that the visitor has only visited one page. There is a way of addressing this by tweaking the tracking code and creating an event when a visitor spends more than a set amount of time on a page.

The modified code looks something like this in Google Analytics (note: this is not the correct code for Universal Analytics).

<script type=”text/javascript”>

var _gaq = _gaq || [];

_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-XXXXXXX-1']);

_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);

 setTimeout(“_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', '15_seconds', 'read'])”,15000);

(function() {

var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true;

ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;

var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);

})();

</script>

I’ve highlighted the necessary line in red and this is where you can specify how much time the visitor needs to stay on the site for until they are not counted as a bounce.

In Universal Analytics, you will have to take the following steps to implement this:

  1. Create a new custom tag in UA and set it as Custom HTML tag (call it whatever you like)
  2. Add the below code into the HTML field

<script>

setTimeout(“dataLayer.push({ ‘event’: ‘GAEvent’, ‘eventCategory’: ‘NoBounce’, ‘eventAction’: ‘Over 30 seconds’ })”, 30000);

</script>

  1. Add {{event}} equals gtm.dom as the ‘firing rule’
  2. Save tag and container and publish.

An article by Justin Cutroni sets out in detail how to create events that more accurately track how your users engage with your content which is well worth checking out.

You will need to set up and configure Custom Dimensions and Metrics before you can implement the code if you want to use it though. For full instructions on how to do this, take a look at the article, which contains full instructions.

The technique and code that the author has created uses events to track when a pages loads and the user has scrolled more than 150 pixels down the page. It also tracks when the user gets to the bottom of the content and page.

Event tracking

 

The script allows you to see the difference between a scanner and a reader, based on how long it takes them to get to the bottom of the page.

So if you have a high bounce rate and it’s not the blog’s fault, what can you do to reduce it? Firstly, try to understand what it is that’s making visitors leave. There are plenty of reasons that they might, which include:

  • Poor navigation
  • Lack of search facility
  • Low quality content such as poorly spelled written content or glitchy video
  • Pop-up windows
  • Site speed
  • Site not mobile friendly
  • Poor design
  • Over-abundance of or poorly placed advertisements

All of these can be discussed with your design and are essentially user experience (UX) issues. Modern web users are pretty demanding and if they land on a site that is slow to load, or if they can’t immediately find what they’re looking for, they will leave.

 

Powerful Business Intelligence

Use Google Analytics to check the voracity of your site and to ensure that your content is ranking you highly in Google’s search results. Make sure that you target relevant keywords that reflect your business, its brand, and its niche. Consider what’s working on your site and what isn’t, then adjust your marketing targets and budget accordingly.

Google Analytics is both a powerful and important program for a business to use to monitor its website and its success. The data provided by Google Analytics cannot be underestimated and as it’s a free program there’s really no reason why your business shouldn’t utilise the service. This article doesn’t even really scratch the surface of what it can do but serves as a good introduction to finding your way around the software.

 

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Grid Planning your Email Newsletter Layout http://blog.getresponse.com/grid-planning-email-newsletter-layout.html http://blog.getresponse.com/grid-planning-email-newsletter-layout.html#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:03:27 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17306 Designing your email newsletter has always been an art. Well maybe we also need to add a bit of science and a lot of common sense. But it is still an art; there are so many choices you can make … Read more

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Designing your email newsletter has always been an art. Well maybe we also need to add a bit of science and a lot of common sense. But it is still an art; there are so many choices you can make in content, timing, personalization. Also the way the final email will look can have many variations. We all know the presentation of your mail can have big impact on your results and conversions, but the effectiveness of your email newsletter begins one step before that: by planning your email layout.

.

The link between strategy and newsletter design briefing

For a company it is essential to have the email representing your strategy. Normally you would go and talk about your ideas with a designer, agency, freelancer. But not having your ideas visualized yet, makes it hard to get the concept across and even harder when you need to discuss it internally with colleagues who are “email marketing challenged”.

If you are a do-it-yourself type of person, you could for instance directly start with a premade template. And sure be inspired be some great examples of email newsletters. But I would argue there is merit in thinking it through first, and not copying too  much of someone else’s email newsletter design. Avoid the danger of going into the details too quickly. It can’t hurt to think first, and maybe afterwards you can find that template that perfectly matches your wishes.

grid_planning

Grid Planning

So how to strike the balance between ideas and layout? In this post I would introduce the idea of Grid Planning as one of the ways to start designing your emails. Not to be confused with the Gmail Grid view. Grid Planning is a great way to brief a designer or an agency. With a rough Grid Plan you allow some design inspiration / freedom, but at the same time you will also get all the elements you want.

.
How does Grid Planning your email work?

First off, it isn’t rocket science but that is also the beauty of it. It can be done by anyone, even if you have no ecstatic or design bone in your body.

1. Define what the main goal and desired actions / outcomes of your mail are. The outcomes should be monitored as Key Performance indicators (KPIs for short)

2. Now you determine the different elements your would like to see in the email. An effective email has an anatomy:  the header, navigation bar, articles, paragraphs, images and footer. Oh, and don’t forget a strong Call to Action. These would be blocks inside your final layout. Write down what elements and items you want, in text and add why (as much as possible).

So far so good. Now that we know what our elements will be; here comes the Grid.

3. Think of a grid as squared paper.  On this Grid you can a plan the layout of your emails with all the elements you defined in the previous steps to be in there.  This allows you easily plan a visual hierarchy in your layout, without being ‘distracted’ by assumptions or details in design.

  • Which elements go on top, middle, bottom?
  • How big are the elements in relation to each other?
  • Will you be using a one column or two column design?
  • Are there differences between content and action blocks?
  • Which elements could be stripped / removed?

The most important elements should be emphasised and placed on the most eye-catching positions, maybe you could already see the outlines (get it?) of a stairway of mirco-yesses. Making your newsletter clear and persuasive from the start.

grids

Mobile Grid

A big chunk (up to 75%) of your emails are read on mobile these days, so keeping mobile in mind during design is a must. Just being aware of the possibilities of mobile email can help you get it right. Mobile asks for a second grid layout (for the same email template), but the beauty of Grid Planning is that the original is easily translated to mobile.

Plan for blocks and images to move, be  replaced or resized if needed – especially for the smartphone. Some people choose responsive email design and maybe remove link items from the navigation bar or show a two columns design as one column on smartphones.  Thank god we already prioritized the most important elements of our email!

Planning on a Grid has similarities to what in web and email design is called Wireframing. In wireframes though, you would add more details, while Grid Design could be seen as one step before.
Grid planning can easily be done on paper or a digital equivalent of that. I have seen people mis-use excel or even tables in word documents, ah what the heck as long as it works. ☺

In short, Planning your email in a Grid:

  1. Focusses on the discussion: Which elements are important, how many do we have and where are they placed.
  2. Is perfect for design briefings and very easy to do
  3. leaves designers (or yourself) enough freedom further down the line.

 

Grid Planning your Email Newsletter Layout is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Keeping Your Subscribers Longer Than a Day http://blog.getresponse.com/keeping-subscribers-longer-day.html http://blog.getresponse.com/keeping-subscribers-longer-day.html#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:07:02 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17298 ‘Til Unsub Do We Part. The relationship between email marketers and their subscribers is a lot like marriage. You go through a courting phase (signup)… a honeymoon phase (welcome program)… a rut phase (when interest is lost)… but hopefully not … Read more

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‘Til Unsub Do We Part. The relationship between email marketers and their subscribers is a lot like marriage. You go through a courting phase (signup)… a honeymoon phase (welcome program)… a rut phase (when interest is lost)… but hopefully not a divorce (unsubscribe) phase.

KISS: Keep It a Simple Signup

A healthy relationship requires clear communication. That’s why your email signup form must be crystal clear. This is especially important if the signup is attached to another action. You’ve probably seen checkboxes for newsletter signups on (customer) registration forms when downloading a white paper, customer support contact forms or with co-registration (when someone signs up to your newsletter via another website).

You can simply insert a checkbox that allows users to choose if they want to receive your newsletter. Or include a generic statement such as the one below:

“By checking this box you give us permission to contact you concerning information on our products/services.”

What are you really signing up for? Will a sales rep call you on your phone? Even if a phone call is your goal, you should state it outright or give the user the option to be contacted. It will save the sales team a lot of unnecessary and unpleasant calls.

Other, more ambiguous versions include:

  • Check this box if you don’t want to receive our newsletter.
  • Uncheck this box if you don’t want to receive our newsletter.

These two are simply confusing. An uncertain subscription can lead to an immediate unsubscribe, which defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

subscribership

Is s/he really into you?

Your email list is like a dating pool. You’ve got a lot of prospects to flirt with via email. But do all those new signups have the quality you seek in a subscriber? Do the new subscribers really want to receive your emails? That is interesting to find out. Learning more about their wants and needs on the second and third date will allow you to be more specific in your messaging and have them be totally in love.

 

Make good on your vows

Managing expectations is the most important thing you can do in the email marketer/subscriber relationship. As with any relationship, honesty is the best policy. This includes stating how often you’ll be emailing them and what your content will be. Draft a (bulleted) list with the primary benefits of subscribing to your newsletter. This both “sells the subscription” and sets the expectations. An example for a fashion retailer might be:

  • Get the scoop on the latest fashion and style tips
  • See — and purchase — new styles before everyone else
  • Be on the A-List for invitations to members-only shopping nights
  • Receive email-exclusive discounts & deals

You must uphold the promises you make, and quickly, as you don’t have much time to prove your worth. It’s a good idea to include one of your benefits (a tip, invitation, discount, etc.) in your automated welcome email, sent immediately after subscription. Or cut to the chase and include it on the “thank you” landing page once the signup form is submitted.

This welcome email from Caribou Coffee does it all – sets expectations and immediately delivers on its promises. As a bonus, it asks the subscriber to set preferences:

 

caribou

The honeymoon phase

So now you’re both basking in the glow of this new email relationship. You’re excited about the potential for a long-term commitment. They’re excited about the prospect of new offers and more. Right now, everything is new to them and life is good. If, however, you fail to deliver rich, relevant content, the honeymoon will be over sooner than later.

 

The 7-month itch?

Just because subscribers remain on your list, that doesn’t mean they’ll remain faithful. They are “cheating” on you by receiving email promotions from other companies, even your competitors.

Depending on the frequency of your emails, your subscribers could be disengaging at the 1-month mark (daily emails), 7-month mark (weekly emails), or at some other interval. To avoid being jilted, you can keep them from straying by sending emails with value, emails that are useful to recipients, that are correctly timed and that recipients enjoy receiving. It is interesting to look at your file and see at what point your subscribers start to tune out (and if there are certain groups that tune out faster than others).

locking-in-customers

Emotional Detachment

Inactive subscribers may have emotionally unsubscribed from your list. How do you detect the telltale signs of emotional detachment? It starts with non-opens and the accompanying lack of activity (i.e., click-throughs). Your email will end up in a mail folder seldom checked or the worst-case scenario, being flagged by the user with the spam button. Unengagement can lead to deliverability issues.

 

Build a lasting relationship

Remember, your relationship begins with that first impression, so make it a good one. Like marriage, the email marketer/subscriber relationship takes work. Don’t take your new subscribers for granted. Show them how much you appreciate them, make them feel special. A little subscriber love can go a long way when it comes to building your relationship… and your list.

 

Keeping Your Subscribers Longer Than a Day is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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How to Use Open Graph Tags for More Traffic http://blog.getresponse.com/use-open-graph-tags-traffic.html http://blog.getresponse.com/use-open-graph-tags-traffic.html#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 14:07:50 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17288 Given how drastically Facebook reach has declined in the last year, who doesn’t want to regain some of their Facebook investment? Open Graph tags make it easy. You can even get 50-250% more traffic from Facebook! But before we dive into … Read more

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Given how drastically Facebook reach has declined in the last year, who doesn’t want to regain some of their Facebook investment? Open Graph tags make it easy. You can even get 50-250% more traffic from Facebook!

But before we dive into exactly how to implement open graph tags, take a look at what they’ve done for some businesses:

  • Tumblr increased its traffic from Facebook 250% after it implemented open graph tags
  • Neil Patel increased his Facebook traffic by 174%
  • ebook service Kobo got a 50% increase

 

What are open graph tags?

Basically, open graph tags are like meta tags for social media. Facebook created them back in 2010. They are part of the data markup structure you can see in Facebook graph search, but you can use them far beyond the basic graph search function.

There is one significant difference between open graph tags and traditional meta tags: Keywords. Open graph tags are for people, not bots, so you don’t have to spend as much time squeezing keywords in as you would for search engine meta tags.

While you don’t need to optimize your open graph tags for keywords, consider this: Social media content is getting picked up by the search engines more and more, so it pays to optimize even your social media posts for search. Just do it lightly… very lightly.

technology

What do Open Graph tags do?

They let you control how your posts appear on Facebook and other social media platforms. You can control how images or videos appear, create custom post titles and descriptions, specify a location or a language, and even link to Facebook apps like comments. And that’s only a short list.

Generally, those double and triple improvements in Facebook traffic come from getting images right – getting the correct image to show, and getting it to show at a size that makes a difference. One recent success story from Marmara, a travel company, came about by defining the feature “image” of a post to be a video instead of an image.

But open graph offers enough refinements that images aren’t the only part of the story.

Here’s a post about an event before it had open graph tags:

mitx-share-fb

 

Here’s that same post after open graph tags:

mitx-event

The code that makes it happen

Let’s take a look at just a bit of what the open graph code looks like. If code makes you panic, don’t worry – I’ve got a short list of plugins later on to ensure you only have to look at this code once.

Here are the basic open graph tags, and their formatting for a movie:

<meta property=”og:title” content=”The Matrix” />

<meta property=”og:type” content=”video.movie” />

<meta property=”og:image” content=”http://content6.flixster.com/movie/11/16/80/11168096_800.jpg” />

<meta property=”og:image:width” content=”800″ />

<meta property=”og:image:height” content=”1200″ />

<meta property=”og:url” content=”http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/matrix/” />

<meta property=”og:description” content=”Critics Consensus: An ingenious combination of Hong Kong action, ground-breaking Hollywood FX, and an imaginative vision.” />

 

Here are some more advanced tags:

<meta property=”video:release_date” content=”1999-03-31″ />

<meta property=”video:duration” content=”136″ />

<meta property=”video:director” content=”http://www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/andy_wachowski/” />

<meta property=”video:actor” content=”http://www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/keanu_reeves/” />

 

If you want to see everything you can do with open graph tags, visit the Open Graph Protocol website, or check out Facebook’s open graph tags documentation.

 

5 free open graph plugins

If your site is on WordPress, you can skip all the coding and use one of these five  free plugins:

1) WordPress SEO by Yoast 

This do-it-all SEO plugin has a lot going for it far beyond just open graph tags, but it’s also great for adding the open graph tags needed to make your social media posts pop. See a discussion of how to optimize open graph tags in WordPress SEO here.

2) WP Facebook Open Graph protocol.

This widely used open graph plugin got Neil Patel’s blessing as the go-to choice for an open graph plugin. It works with Facebook, Google Plus, and Linkedin.

3) webZunder Open Graph Plugin. This new plugin might be worth a try – it focuses more on Google+ than any other open graph tool, but there’s a big drawback – they recommend disabling any other plugin that uses Google Authorship, Twitter cards or Open Graph tags.

4) WP Open Graph.

This plugin hasn’t been updated in a year, so proceed with caution, but several people have gotten this to work when no other plugin would. It’s a bit simpler than some of the other plugins here, which can be very helpful if other open graph plugins have been creating conflicts with your other pre-existing plugins.

5) Open Graph Metabox 

Need an even more stripped-down open graph plugin? This is about as simple as they come. It gives you an interface to type in your open graph content, and then just formats that content into open graph tags in your pages.

Once you’ve defined your tags, use the Facebook debugger to make sure everything looks good.

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Not just for Facebook

As you have probably guessed from the plugin descriptions, Open Graph tags aren’t just for Facebook anymore. Most of the major social media platforms have adopted them, or will use open graph tags as a fallback if the social platform can’t find the preferred tag format.

Open Graph tags for Twitter cards

Twitter cards do require some tweaks to use existing open graph tags, but you’ll save time if you’ve already got open graph tags set up. Also, if Twitter can’t find the tags it prefers, it will use Open Graph tags, so you might be able to skip a full Twitter card implementation if your open graph tags are set just right.

Twitter’s documentation for open graph tags is here: https://dev.twitter.com/docs/cards/getting-started#open-graph 

The Twitter card validation tool is here: https://dev.twitter.com/docs/cards/validation/validator

Open Graph tags for Pinterest

If you’re using Pinterest’s rich pins, you’re also at an advantage. You can easily adjust Open Graph tags or Schema.org markup to match the oEmbed endpoints that are Pinterest’s preferred format.

Get all the details about exactly how to integrate open graph tags into your rich pins. Scroll about 40% down the page to see the open graph instructions and code examples.

Test your pages in the Rich Pins validator here:

http://developers.pinterest.com/rich_pins/validator/

Open Graph tags for Google+

Google prefers Schema.org microdata markup, but it does support the open graph title, image, and description tags. See this Google developer page for guidance on how to format open graph tags for Google+. Then use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure everything looks right.

So that’s the basics on how to get started with open graph tags. Have you used them yet? Did you see anything like a 50-250% increase in Facebook traffic to your site?

How to Use Open Graph Tags for More Traffic is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post How to Use Open Graph Tags for More Traffic appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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