GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips Fri, 27 Nov 2015 14:48:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Grow Your Business with Webinar Marketing Fri, 27 Nov 2015 14:43:25 +0000 Webinars are consistently amongst top online marketing tactics. By providing valuable information to carefully targeted audience, you attract prospects and build your email list with high-quality leads. Find out why webinars are so effective, discover the elements of a webinar cycle, … Read more

The post Grow Your Business with Webinar Marketing appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Webinars are consistently amongst top online marketing tactics. By providing valuable information to carefully targeted audience, you attract prospects and build your email list with high-quality leads. Find out why webinars are so effective, discover the elements of a webinar cycle, and get a number of tried and tested tips for running a successful webinar.

Why you should incorporate webinars into your marketing strategy

The name webinar suggests it’s a web-based seminar, but actually it might be any kind of  online meeting that provides value to your customers. You can give presentations, demonstrate the features of your product, run an instructional session, or initiate a discussion on a certain topic.

Webinars are powerful marketing tools and if done well they could be a source of serious revenue for your business. With webinars you can:

  • Increase online visibility
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Become an industry authority
  • Target specified audience
  • Develop a close bond with participants.

Why webinars are so effective when it comes to generating leads

There are a lot of factors making webinars an impactful marketing tactic. Take the following three as examples:

Webinars attract carefully targeted audience

The ultimate business outcome of a successful webinar is a long list of email addresses from participants who are genuinely interested in the subject – a lot of high-quality leads. Earn their trust and they will look forward to receiving more great content from your brand.


They allow access from anywhere in the world

People all over the world can sign up to your webinar. You can tailor content to specific market segments without worrying about geographical boundaries. A properly promoted webinar might help you reach new markets and grow your business.


They are free

Let’s face it, we all love free stuff – “If it’s free, it must be good” as my colleague says. Make your webinars entertaining and informative and they will become powerful lead magnets.


You need a landing page and a proper email cycle

If you want to maximize the impact of your webinars, you’ll need to incorporate at least two more elements into your strategy:


Email and webinar are just meant to be together. People sign up for webinars using their email address and from this moment it becomes your strongest marketing asset allowing you to move subscribers down the sales funnel.

The average registrant-to-attendee conversion rate has been at 42%. Such a great result would not be possible unless you run email drip campaigns and incorporate effective social media promotion.


Img. 1 A fragment of a webinar reminder email


Landing Page

A compelling landing page is the pillar of any webinar promotion strategy. Landing pages are carefully designed to reach a single goal. In case of webinars it’s conversion – making people sign up to your event. And nothing does the job better than a clutter-free website with a bold call to action.


A complete webinar cycle

As you well know, setting up a time and date is not enough to make your webinar a success. You need to get a few things done before, during, and after the event in order to make the most of it.

Let’s take a look at the stages of a webinar cycle: Plan -> Create -> Promote -> Run -> Follow-up



Think of business objectives and the needs of your audience. You are going to invest time and resources in your webinar so you want it to serve a purpose. Decide if it’s better to organize a single event or maybe you need a series of webinars explaining particular aspects of a broader subject. Is it going to be a single presenter event, interview, or a moderated panel discussion? Choose the best format to achieve your goals.



Focus on your target audience – what do you want them to have understood? What call to action do you want them to follow? Start with designing the overall flow of your presentation. First choose the main points then slowly go to into more details. If possible, include interactive elements in your presentation. A quick question or a short survey can have a massive impact on participants’ engagement.



Create a dedicated landing page briefly describing the webinar and clearly explaining the benefits of participation. Create an automated email drip campaign starting with a nice welcome message giving some more details about the event. Include several reminder emails in the cycle in order to help the registered participants remember the big day. Create related content and make proper use of social media marketing to promote the event at least 2 weeks before.



Schedule a dry run a few days before to check if your presentation is slick. Also don’t assume that everything will go fine during the live webinar – use the checklist below to test your equipment before you start.



First of all, ask the participants to rate the webinar. This is your chance to receive honest feedback on content and performance directly from your target audience. That’s a great way to get insight into your business strategy, so think hard and come up with powerful questions that will help you serve customers better.

Give participants something special to show that you appreciate their attendance. It might be a report, an e-book or a discount code … it depends on the goal of your webinar and the target audience.


5 Tips for developing a successful webinar marketing strategy

  1. Design the webinar for the target audience. If you want to attract high-quality leads, do the research and make proper use of customer personas.
  2. Develop clear promotion strategy. Carefully choose the tactics you’re going to use to spread the word about the event. Start the promotion at least a few weeks before using multiple communication channels. Remember to send last-minute reminders for all registrants.
  3. Get the right tools. Make sure you have everything you need to offer your audience the best possible experience. Fast and stable Internet connection, professional quality microphone, and reliable webinar marketing platform – you need the right tools to succeed.
  4. Reuse the webinar content. Use it as fuel for your content marketing: write a blog post summarizing the webinar, create an infographic with key takeaways, upload the slide deck to SlideShare, add it to your email cycle, etc.
  5. Offer recording. Offer a webinar recording to all the people who sign up. This way you can reach those who could not watch it live. Delighted participants will probably want to watch it again or even share it with friends.

Have you been using webinars as part of your marketing strategy? What other tips would you offer? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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15 Ways to Get More Leads from Social Media Thu, 26 Nov 2015 14:59:48 +0000 Is social media just for raising awareness of your brand… or can you actually generate leads from it? The answer is you can definitely generate leads from social media. It can produce positive ROI. And there are a bunch of ways … Read more

The post 15 Ways to Get More Leads from Social Media appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Is social media just for raising awareness of your brand… or can you actually generate leads from it? The answer is you can definitely generate leads from social media. It can produce positive ROI. And there are a bunch of ways to get there.

But if you’re struggling with lead generation on social media, you’re not alone. Only 26% of marketers believe social media is an effective tactic for lead generation, according to Ascend2’s 2015 Lead Generation Trends Survey.

That doesn’t sound so good. But let’s dig a little deeper.

Not everybody is struggling with lead generation on social media. Social Media Examiner also did a detailed study of how marketers are using social media. One of the things they focused on was lead generation. And because of how they broke out the responses, we can see an interesting – and promising – trend. It’s also a nice kick-off of our list of lead generation tactics.


1) Give it enough time.

In the Social Media Examiner study, more than two-thirds of marketers who spent at least six hours a week doing social media marketing said they were doing well with lead generation.

So there’s your first way to get more leads from social media marketing. Social media, while free, requires time. About an hour a day. And while there are ways to save time on social media and ways to automate your social media work, ultimately it is a social medium. That means you’re going to have to be yourself and put in some time building real connections with people.

Good news is, the people who do that tend to get results.


2) Stick with it.

The next interesting tidbit from the Social Media Examiner study was how much experience helps with social media marketing. The people doing social media marketing for a year or more got substantially better results than the newbies. So if you’ve still got your social media training wheels on, stay with it. Experience brings results.




3) Be worth following on social media and apply best practices to get the most views and shares for your content.

Based on a lot of comments we’ve gotten here, and on the consensus of the smartest social media marketers, you don’t ever want to buy followers online. It just gets poor results.

That means you have to earn your followers.

First of all, be helpful. Create content that helps your audience do what they want to do. This may require you to take a step back to figure that out. So do it. If you don’t understand your audience – what they struggle with, what they care about, what they want – no amount of marketing tips and tricks can help you.

The first thing is to get your content’s content right. The next is to format it correctly. Infographics like “The optimal length for social media updates and more” can help. We’ve also published posts recently about how to get more engagement on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.



4) Offer gated content resources.

Gated content is content you can only access after you’ve taken an action the marketer requests – like filling out a form or tweeting something.

You should be sharing these types of posts. But make them only about 5% of what you share. In other words, only one out of twenty things you share should be one of those promos.

Sound like a downer? It doesn’t have to be.

Figure out which time your posts get the most engagement. Then share that gated content promotion at your highest engagement time. You’ll still hold to the 5% rule, but you’ll probably get two to three times the results.

Don’t just use this for gated content. Pick which post of the day you want the most engagement for. Then schedule it for that high-engagement sweet spot.



5) Use social media overlay tools for your curated shares.

Want to get leads from all the other posts you publish, including the ones that send people to third party websites? Then you need, or a similar tool like start A FIRE or Openr.

These social media tools add an overlay to the URL you’re sharing. So when someone clicks on the link in your social media update, they’ll see your customized  overlay on the landing page. That overlay can include almost anything you want – a call to follow you, a sign-up form, or a suggested blog post.

Here it is in action. From this Facebook post:


You’re brought to the third party website, Elite Daily, to read the article the Beardsman Oil Company has shared. But because they’ve used an overlay tool, there’s a small promo for them at the bottom of the page. If you click it, you’re brought directly to the Beardsman website.




6) Answer questions on Quora and in LinkedIn groups.

One of the best ways to attract leads is to show off how much you know about a subject. It works even better if you can answer questions from people who would benefit from using your products or services. So it’s not too surprising that many business people have taken to social media sites like LinkedIn, Quora and forums to answer questions.

Does it work? Given how many people are doing it, it’s got to be working. But I have not yet come across any research that shows what kinds of returns people are getting for this tactic. If you have, please let us know in the comments.


Bonus: Also leave comments on industry blogs. Blog commenting is another way to get your name out and demonstrate your expertise. It can also get you trickles of traffic, which could become leads.


7) Pay for leads.

You always can just advertise. Depending on the value of what you’re selling, advertising might be a good idea or a bad idea. On some platforms, social media advertising is getting expensive.

We’ve written quite a few posts about advertising on social media. Of course, if you do a lot of Facebook marketing, you’re probably already advertising… just to reach your audience.




8) Use YouTube and its annotated links to drive traffic to your website (or a specific landing page).

YouTube is social media, too! And it’s one of the biggest social media sites. Many businesses have put most of their social media resources into building their YouTube channel, and that’s not a bad idea. But don’t miss out on using YouTube to drive traffic to your site.

You get one “associated website” for your YouTube account, and you can use it to create annotations that send people back to your site. You can also add a link to your site from your YouTube channel main page, like this:



9) Run a contest.

Contests can work for both B2C and B2B companies. They’re a great way to convert part of a social media audience into email subscribers.

Contests are traditionally done on Facebook, but it’s more and more common to do them on Pinterest and Instagram, too.

Just bear this in mind: You should have a strong presence on the social media platform you run the contest on. Otherwise you may not get the results you want; contests require pre-existing audiences to work.


Photo courtesy of Social Media Examiner, from their blog post, “How to Run an Instagram Contest: Four Easy Steps”.


10) Optimize your Facebook page for serious list building.

Start with installing a custom tab. Then create a call-to-action. But that’s just the beginning. We wrote a whole post on “15 Ways to Build Your Email List With Facebook” not so long ago.



11) Use SlideShare.

SlideShare is one of the biggest opportunities for B2B content marketers. It’s an ideal platform for reformatting content (especially list posts). SlideShare is also owned by LinkedIn, so there are excellent cross-promotion opportunities.

SlideShare also has a lead generation program called LeadShare. It’s affordable, has tracking and analytics, and can be set up in just a few minutes. Here’s an example of lead generation from a SlideShare presentation:


Here’s what you’ll see after you click the “Learn More” button:



12) Set up your LinkedIn profile to be a business magnet.

LinkedIn is possibly the best social media platform of all for lead generation. So make it work for you. We wrote a post recently about how to get more business from LinkedIn.


13) Use Pinterest.

Pinterest is way more than recipes and clothes. It’s become a viable B2B lead generation platform for many smart businesses. If nothing else, it’s a great place to showcase all your blog posts. You can also use it to archive your email newsletters, or to corral all your infographics. But that’s barely scratching the surface of what Pinterest can do.

There’s one real-world example of Pinterest lead generation right below. Real estate companies have discovered that Pinterest is a gold mine.



14) Spruce up your Instagram bio.

Instagram now has more users than Twitter, which means that if your content is visual, it’s a platform you might want to be on. It can also be used for lead generation.

If your products or services are visual, post photographs of your work to get leads. But even if you’re selling your expertise, it’s still possible to generate leads. Just do something like what Sue Zimmerman has done below: Offer a freemium / lead magnet for your Instagram profile link.



15) Use landing pages.

Don’t just send people to your site’s homepage. That will get them to your site, but you’ll just be dumping them on a page that’s got way too many distractions. You’ll get more leads if you send people to a landing page that’s customized for them… perhaps a page tailored to the social media platform they came from.

If you’re really resistant to sending people to landing pages, at least send them to an appropriate section page on your site.


Back to you

Do you know of other ways to get leads from social media? Come on, show off for just once. Share your tip in the comments.

If you’ve got any other thoughts, digs or ideas about getting more leads from social media, we’d love to hear them. Who knows… maybe you’ll get a lead from leaving a comment here.

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9 Timeless Persuasion Techniques to Use in 2016 Wed, 25 Nov 2015 15:18:12 +0000 You click send on the email you spent hours writing, re-writing, and editing. You hit publish on the blog post that took you two days from start to finish. No, you don’t normally spend two days writing every single blog post … Read more

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You click send on the email you spent hours writing, re-writing, and editing. You hit publish on the blog post that took you two days from start to finish. No, you don’t normally spend two days writing every single blog post but you did on this particular one. This is the most epic post you ever have created. And this doesn’t even include the time you spent researching.

You press post on the Facebook post. It highlights a personal story and you agonized for ages whether to do it or leave it alone. Now you must sit back, patiently, and wait for the response to come in. You are hoping people will love your stuff but you are prepared for the negative feedback as well. You know you can’t please them all.

You eagerly open your email dashboard. What? Only a handful of people have opened their emails? You look deeper and see 5 click-throughs. You go over to your blog post. No comments so far. Only two Facebook likes. Finally, the Facebook post: Crickets.

Have you ever been in a position like this? You pour your heart and soul into creating a piece of content but it falls flat. You expect accolades and hate mail (rite of passage kinda thing), and you hear nothing. It’s demoralizing. It’s soul-crushing. It feels like you are the biggest loser on this planet.

Well, if it’s any consolation, you are not the only one. We have all been there. However, we learn over time. And so can you. You can learn how to use words that persuade people to open your emails, click through, consume your content AND respond to your call to action.

I’m not saying 100% of the people will do as you tell them to (I’m not a magician), but instead of 5% email open rate, you can do 10%. Instead of getting 1% click-through rate, you can double it. From 5 shares to social media, you can go to 50.

Who’s up for that? Let’s get stuck in.


#1 Use the word ‘you’

‘You’ has got to be the most powerful word in English language.

When you use it, your reader feels like you are talking ‘to’ them, and not ‘at’ them. They truly feel part of the conversation. They feel like they matter.

When you use it, you put the focus on the them. The piece becomes about them. It is more relaxed, and engaging then using ‘he’ ‘she’, ‘they’ or even the first pronoun such as ‘I’ or ‘me’.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t tell personal stories as you have to use the personal pronoun. What you should do is to quickly get to the point, and address the reader again and show exactly what your story matters to them.

Use the word ‘you’ generously when you write a blog post, social media post or a sales page. In fact, anytime you want to really connect with another human, and want to come across as a living breathing human yourself, use this word to make your writing that more persuasive.


#2 Use their name

According to GetResponse,“emails with personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened.”

We all love hearing our name. It’s music to our ears. We feel like we are being heard and taken care of. You want your readers to feel like that. Use their name when you respond to their blog comments, or on social media. People feel pampered and they remember you.

Personalize emails that are personal and contain heartfelt messages. Don’t sound like a sleazy Internet Marketer when you use this tactic. Don’t overdo it.

For this to work, ask for their first name when they fill out your subscription or opt-in form. And routinely clean your list so you are not sending emails to someone that say ‘Dear bored-so-filling-this, how are you?’


#3 Ask for what you want

You’ll never get what you want until you ask for it. We all know this and still we ignore it. Start asking and you’ll see people respond more. Where can you do this is your content? You can ask people after every blog post you write. Choose one call to action though or you will end up confusing people.

Ask them to leave a comment and pose a specific question to make it even easier. Ask them to share your post on social media but instead of giving them too many choices, give two (preferably the platforms you are active on).

Another great way to do this is to ask again after they respond. Somebody who has just joined might be open to taking you up on a low-cost offer so make one. Somebody who just sent you a long email might be interested in doing a discovery session with you, so ask.


#4 Give a reason why

If you want somebody to do something, give them a reason why they should do it.

In a famous experiment cited in Robert Cialdini’s book, a psychology student tries to skip ahead to the front of the line in front of a copier. The first time he asks if he could, he is clearly told no and has to go to the back of the line.

Next time he tries by asking, “May I please use the copy machine because I have to make a copy?” Now the reason seems obvious and nothing that would grant him the right to do so, he still gets a yes 9 out of 10 times. This is the power of ‘because’.

Moreover, people make decisions on emotions but justify them on logic.

Next time you want people to share something, say something like this, “if you found this useful, share this with one friend who will find it helpful and thank you for it.” See how well it works.

Give people a reason to do something because it gets results.


#5 Make is really easy for people

If people are not responding to your messages, can you make them simpler? If you are asking them to do a certain action, do you think you might be making it complicated?

If they are going to your sales page and yet nobody’s buying, do you think you are asking them to jump through too many hoops in order to purchase? Whatever you want to do, if you break it down and make it really easy, the likelihood of people doing exactly that goes up significantly.

If you want them to respond to a Facebook post where they have to respond with an opinion, don’t ask for something that makes them think very hard. Looking to increase sales, maybe offer free trials of your product or samples?

Remove any obstacles and confusions, and you will see people starting to respond more favorably.


#6 Follow the AIDA sequence

What is the AIDA sequence? Simply,

  • A = Attention
  • I = Interest
  • D = Desire
  • A = Action

This is a super powerful technique that you can use to make any piece of communication work ten times better. Let’s take an example of a blog post. How can you persuade people to click the link, open it, read it all the way through and share it as well? Well, using AIDA sequence, it will look something like this:

  1. Grab their attention by writing a compelling headline. You can do this by arousing their curiosity or hinting at a straight benefit.
  2. Capture their interest by creating a hook. Meaning, write an opening that continues to hold their attention. This is where most people fail.
  3. Build desire (read till the end to gain full benefit) by continuing to create a blog post that is conversational, flows well and is highly relevant to this reader.
  4. Convince them to take action by creating a strong call to action.


#7 Give your images a human touch

Many people buy for emotional reasons. If you make them feel right, they are sure to take action. So how can you use this insight within your content.

In your blog content use images that draw attention and keep people focused. Stay away from stock photos that look cheesy or artificial and will have the opposite effect. Make sure your images are relevant to your content. Brownie points if they pique curiosity and make people want to click.

This especially works for images that are directly posted to social media. For example, startling images catch people’s attention and make them stop from scrolling down their feed just long enough to read the headline or accompanying text.

If you have a strong design sense or aesthetics, use sites like Instagram or Pinterest to your advantage.

Remember, emotions are powerful and they work. A positive image will bring people to smile and a dark image might scare people away. You want to choose the right image to evoke the right emotion. Choose images wisely.


#8 Push people’s buttons (in a nice way)

The idea is to choose topics that get people talking. Mark Hughes, author of Buzz Marketing talks about these buttons as the proven topics people want to talk about.

These six buttons are: Taboo, Unusual, Outrageous, Hilarious, Remarkable and Secrets. Here’s how these content types are defined:

  • Taboo: Content around topics that labeled by a society as improper, unacceptable, prohibited, or profane. These topics make uncomfortable. Think potty humour.
  • Unusual: The topics are not common, or ordinary. Unique pieces of content that stand out from the rest.
  • Outrageous: Content that is shocking or unconventional.
  • Hilarious: Content that have people in stitches. Funny.
  • Remarkable: Extraordinary, epic, worthy of notice. Attention grabbing.
  • Secrets: Kept from general public but available to a select group of people.

Next time when you want to create a piece of content, think about how many boxes does the piece tick? Make it a habit to create content around topics that are proven to work.


#9 Make your writing hypnotic

Don’t tell your reader what you want them to hear. Tell them what they want to hear. Don’t focus so much on your product, focus on solving your reader’s problems and helping them achieve their desires.

  1. Imagine your reader asking ‘so what?’ or ‘why should I care?’ to everything you are saying to them. Then write in a way that answers this question.
  2. Meet them where they are mentally. Enter the conversation that is already happening inside their heads. Ask yourself what are their beliefs currently. Acknowledge those and then add your own insights.
  3. Use vivid language that paints a picture in their minds. Use words that let them imagine how it’s like to use your product or service. Show, don’t tell.
  4. Ask questions. Answer any objections they might have.
  5. Infuse your personality in your writing. Write like you are writing to a friend. Here’s a trick if you find it hard to make your copy conversational. Call a friend and tell them about your idea and record your conversation. Transcribe it and edit for clarity.
  6. Get excited. When you create something that moves you, it has a great chance of moving others as well.


Get Started!

So, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how much time you spend creating a blog post. It doesn’t even matter how good you think a blog post is.

What matters is if your reader thinks it’s really good. Even if they can’t define what ‘good’ actually is. Put the focus on them. Ask ‘what’s in it for them’ every chance you get. Hook them in with a strong headline, intro and ask them to do something with a strong call to action.

Make them the center of your content universe. And you’ll have them eating out of your hand. Good luck. Don’t abuse this newly acquired power.

Share in the comments below how you plan to use these new powers in 2016!

The post 9 Timeless Persuasion Techniques to Use in 2016 appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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3 Brilliant Thanksgiving Campaigns To Give Thanks For Tue, 24 Nov 2015 14:27:52 +0000 Turkey Day is just around the corner, and that means that there will soon be (in fact, there already are) lots of brands jumping on the holiday season bandwagon. If you haven’t started planning your special Thanksgiving marketing campaign yet, … Read more

The post 3 Brilliant Thanksgiving Campaigns To Give Thanks For appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Turkey Day is just around the corner, and that means that there will soon be (in fact, there already are) lots of brands jumping on the holiday season bandwagon. If you haven’t started planning your special Thanksgiving marketing campaign yet, then there’s not a moment to lose!

Thanksgiving is all about families, good times and celebration of what we are all thankful for in our lives. It’s about big feasts, generous gifts and lots and lots merriment, joy and love – it almost sounds like Christmas. And so, with all the good will and benevolence in the air, it’s important that you, as a brand, pitch your campaign just right – and that means you will have to (at least appear) be extremely generous with your Thanksgiving promotions.

Black Friday comes right after Thanksgiving Day, so people are already beginning to prepare themselves for a big spending session and are on the lookout for some engaging ideas to kick things off. Let’s none of us disappoint them.


(Image source:

Some businesses out there are practically made for the holiday season. Anything foody, boozy, crafty or decorative can very easily churn off an annual holiday recipe, cocktail or decoration to get their followers into the swing of things. And if this is you, then great!! You’ve got half a campaign already sewn up. But for the rest of us whose products or services don’t quite fit the bill so conveniently, then we’ve got to dig deep into our creative repertoires and pull something out of the bag.

Now, anyone who follows my blog on this site will know that my usual approach is to give a detailed list of tips and/or pointers as to what you can and should be doing to make your marketing efforts work triple hard. But this week I’m coming at it slightly differently. The wilier amongst you will have noticed that this is still a list post – but, instead of giving you a battle plan, I’ve rounded up some great examples of Thanksgiving campaigns, where brands are absolutely nailing the holiday promotion hands down. Sometimes it’s inspiration that we’re after, and it’s never a bad idea to pinch a few ideas off those who are doing something well. As my colleague John is fond of saying: “Good marketers copy; great marketers steal.” Let’s just remember to give thanks for it!


3 Brilliant Thanksgiving Campaigns To Give Thanks For

1. Encourage Philanthropy With A Twitter Giveaway

As I have mentioned, Thanksgiving is the time for celebrating the generous side of human nature. And so, along with exemplifying your brand’s own good will by giving away something for free, it will make your following feel really good about themselves if you can encourage them to do the same. And that’s exactly what Third Man Records are doing this year:


Here’s their Thanksgiving campaign in full detail:

“The Nashville Rescue Mission is dedicated to helping the hungry, homeless and hurting, and we are so honored to have such great neighbors. We’ve done turkey drives the past two seasons to help the Mission collect the 1,000 turkeys and foodstuffs required to throw their annual banquet, and we’d like to solidify the tradition of giving back with your help.

“Here’s the deal: Anytime in the next two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, drop off your donation (from the options below) to the Nashville Rescue Mission (You can find their donation center at 616 7th Avenue South, across the street from TMR headquarters, and entry by the American flag). They are open. Bring your donation receipt to the Third Man storefront and immediately receive 10% off your purchase PLUS be entered to win our big Thanksgiving Prize Pack.”

I think you’ll agree that this is absolutely inspiring in more ways than one.


2. Piggy Back A Turkey On Instagram

You don’t have to organise charity collections to show your generosity at Thanksgiving – sometimes a super-generous giveaway to your followers is enough. What is more, if you can work a turkey into your campaign, then so much the better – and a little humour is pretty much essential in this instance. Here’s what Stella & Dot has come up with on Instagram:


Really, this is an early Christmas campaign posing as a Thanksgiving one. The suggestion is that whilst you’ve got all your family around for Thanksgiving, why not get them to give you a Christmas wish list – and Stella & Dot will send you a special order form to do so, and you get lots of money off. This is especially good because the $500 minimum makes sure that it’s a premium order.

However, if we are to be a little bit picky here, the deal is not 100% clear with this image, which is a shame. It takes you a minute to read the copy that accompanies the image, and then work it out from there. Stella & Dot could do with sorting this out, otherwise they risk losing the interest of potential customers before they’ve even worked out what the deal is. So just be careful of this with your own Instagram campaigns.


3. Send A Thank You Card – A REAL One

Yes, why not? This is the digital age, and, as such, everyone is expecting to be bombarded with Thanksgiving online content and contests and giveaways. But, if you take a slightly different approach you could really make yourself stand out. Every year the NYC-based creative agency called Suka sends out a Thanksgiving card to their clients. has reviewed two of these cards, whose irresistible design has made waves beyond those who actually receive them.


This, to my mind at least, is extremely beautiful, and the fact that it comes in physical form is something that Suka’s clients I’m sure are extremely thankful for.

What Thanksgiving campaign ideas have you seen around that are worth stealing? Social media is full of them at this time of year, so please be generous this year and share the best ones you come across in the comments below. And thank you!!


The post 3 Brilliant Thanksgiving Campaigns To Give Thanks For appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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Looks Matter: Branding Across Social Media Mon, 23 Nov 2015 15:37:11 +0000 Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn—the list of social media platforms is a long one, and chances are, your brand is represented on more than one. Management of these accounts is key for developing an impactful brand image—to keep your brand … Read more

The post Looks Matter: Branding Across Social Media appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn—the list of social media platforms is a long one, and chances are, your brand is represented on more than one. Management of these accounts is key for developing an impactful brand image—to keep your brand looking good from every angle.

Simple, right? Not so much.

Here’s where things get tricky: while staying consistent is key, each social platform is unique and requires a different approach. An article published for Social Media Week 2015 suggests taking “the different personality types of social media users and where they play” into consideration, which will “help you make better decisions of when it might be okay to share content across channels. SMW also recommends that you “establish conversation guidelines for your community manager that will open more opportunities for real-time content on more fast-paced channels like Twitter.”

Your social media image should also be reflected in other assets. It’s just as important to align your brand image on your website and in email marketing campaigns with your brand image on social. Overall, the goal should be to represent a unified theme across all outlets.

With all these things in mind, here are a few touch points to visit when crafting your brand image as you switch between channels.


The Picture-Perfect Image

Logos, backgrounds, color schemes, graphics—all of these assets together create a strong visual impact that you can easily mirror in each account. People tend to resonate with pictures, and having consistent image identity creates a stronger memory in the mind of the consumer.


This Is the Voice

Think about how you want to sound. Are you humorous and personable or strictly business with a sarcastic edge? Are you playful or serious? How you convey your message reflects your company values and mission, as well as how you want your brand to be perceived. “Understanding your audience should also make it easier to decide what type of voice your brand should have,” suggests Duct Tape Marketing.


Promotions Across All Channels

While crafting your content for a specific campaign, make sure to keep in mind how the content will sound and look on different social channels. It’s essential that both the content and visuals convey the message to the right audience and it looks consistent across all channels. This can be done by simply having the same color scheme on design elements, using the same hashtag across all channels or even just having a consistent tagline for your brand.


Different Channels, Different Tone

Different social channels gives your brand the opportunity to talk to different audiences. Around the Insightpool office, we always say that Linkedin is your office, Facebook is your living room and Twitter is the bar. Each social channel offers a different community and this means that it’s even more important for your brand to identify who the audience is and how to speak to them. Making sure it stays on brand and consistent with the promotion strategy.


Branding Matters

The wonderful and scary at times power of social media is how quickly content, video or images can go viral. We have seen the power of this with the viral user-generated content around the ALS challenge, which increased donations by excessive amounts. To ensure that in the event that your image, video or content goes viral, making sure you have branding on the images (logo, hashtag, etc.) is very important. It’s wonderful to have influencers, brand advocates and customers share content so make sure that your brand doesn’t get forgotten in the process.



As with any strategy, the end goal should be kept in mind when crafting a message or post. Always ask yourself: what is my end goal, and how will this post help accomplish that strategy? Maybe it’s something as direct as making a sale, or maybe it’s something softer, like nurturing a relationship—regardless, the thought process should always lead to the big picture, and posts should support an overarching message.

Now that you have steps on achieving greatness on keeping branding consistent across social channels, let’s check out a few brands doing it right:


B2B: Hootsuite

Facebook: Hootsuite champions social as a great management platform but also understands the value of social in regards to branding. Hootsuite in consistent across all social channels and focuses on similar but tweaked copy but the same images.    


Twitter: Consistent with the campaign look and feel, the branding is still a key component to the overall branding. In addition, Twitter allows for the brand to engage in a 1:1 engagement conversation around the topics. Hotsuite_T

Linkedin: Still consistent with the overall branding, Hootsuite chose to follow a more corporate style which makes sense if they’re catering to their B2B audience on LinkedIn. This gives its fans an inside look into what Hootsuite’s employees see every day.



B2C: Oreo

Facebook: Fun and playful is Oreo’s goal across all channels. Their Facebook channel engages the audience with short videos, playful images and fun content. They also always have the images and videos branded with product or logos. Makes sharing easy and fun!



Twitter: Consistent in images and logo, the conversation is more engaging with other brands and customers then on Facebook. The great thing about engaging other brands similar to you is that you are getting their audience involved, opening up the conversation to a new audience.


Instagram: Visual, colorful and playful – three perfect descriptions for branding on Instagram. Many brands think they have to be on all social platforms – this is only if you can achieve greatness on all of them. It’s important to be great on the platforms that help your brand reach the right audience. Don’t waste time on a platform if you can’t put a 100% behind it.


If you are B2B or B2C brands, branding across all social platforms is incredibly important. With these examples and tactical ways to get your branding right across all channels, you are sure to increase engagement, conversations and ultimately increase ROI.

Can you think of more great branding examples? Maybe you have some experience yourself? Share in the comments below!


HillaryBAbout the author: Hillary Byers Settle is the Digital Marketing Manager at Insightpool, a social sales and marketing platform that creates real connections with real people. She is a digital marketing buff, vintage enthusiast, ultimate fashion junkie, and enjoys building new relationships on social. Follow me @hmbyers

The post Looks Matter: Branding Across Social Media appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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Most Important SEO Techniques That Still Work Fri, 20 Nov 2015 14:37:18 +0000 SEO will continue to be a valuable tool in the online marketing arsenal of every inbound marketing expert. This is because SEO’s techniques and applications evolve with the times. SEO is popularly thought of as a set of techniques that … Read more

The post Most Important SEO Techniques That Still Work appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

SEO will continue to be a valuable tool in the online marketing arsenal of every inbound marketing expert. This is because SEO’s techniques and applications evolve with the times. SEO is popularly thought of as a set of techniques that help your website be found. But what effective SEO means is enhancing the User Experience.

In this article, I will show you eight of the most important SEO techniques that are still working.


1. Optimize the Title Tag

Although it is not technically a meta tag, the Title Tag is usually associated with the Description and Keyword tags because these are found near the website’s source code.

Of the three, however, the Title Tag is considered the most important because it is the first thing a search engine will look for when a query is made. The Title Tag is also the first item that searchers will see on the page when results come out.

Thus, it is important to include a keyword in the Title Tag. Some SEO practitioners will include the name of the company alongside one or two keywords. Be mindful of your use of keywords. Search engines will penalize “keyword stuffing” or the brazen use of keywords.

Another technique you can is to use Adwords ads to your Title Tags to increase the frequency of clicks. Look at the Adwords for keywords that you use for your product. For example your keywords in the Title Tag are “charbroiled hamburgers”. Check which Adwords are complementary for your Title Tag.

If you identify these Adwords as “fresh grilled”, “made to order”, then you can rewrite your Title Tag to read “Fresh grilled, made to order charbroiled hamburgers”.


2. Optimize Meta Tags

SEO focuses on two types of Meta Tags: the Description Tag and the Keywords Tag.

The Description Tag is what Internet users read when your link comes out and could influence their decision to click or not. Similar to the Title Tag, you should also include one or two more keywords with the Description Tag.

The abusive practice of keyword stuffing has somehow placed Keyword Tags in the background although there are still benefits in including them in the source code.

A good rule of thumb is to figure out the keywords Internet searchers will use to find your products and services. And then come up with one or two variations. Going back to our previous example, instead of “charbroiled hamburgers” you could use “grilled hamburgers” or “freshly grilled hamburgers”.


3. Add Title Attributes to Links

These are the attributes that pop up whenever your mouse scrolls over a link. They are used for image links but have also been used for text links.

In order to maximize this helpful online tool, it would be best to use a more definitive description of the attribute than just the standard “click here”. Perhaps if you are in the restaurant business, you could write “View Menu”. If you are website designer, you could use “See Portfolio”.

The idea behind SEO is not just to be found but to make the visit convenient for the user so he can explore your site further.


4. Utilize Alt Attributes for Images

An Alt Attribute is a descriptive but relevant text of the images you use that is added to your source code. This makes it easier for the search engines to index your pages that have images.

Using Alt Attributes can also help visually impaired or handicapped Internet users to find your website through the use of a Screen Reader.

5. Quality content

Statistics on online behavior present a more discriminating profile on the Internet user. Take note of these following key figures:

  • 23% of Internet time is spent reading blogs
  • 77% of Internet users read blogs
  • 81% of consumers trust information shared on blogs
  • 61% have been influenced by blogs on their decision to purchase
  • 37% of online marketers consider the blog as the most important content marketing tool

Search engine giant Google has made it very clear that they will penalize websites that do not frequently present fresh, new and original content. Further, Google will penalize websites that use links not related to their business or service.

If you want to develop regular patronage on your website, you have to consistently publish quality content. Quality is defined as relevant and engaging content which your market will appreciate.

You should also include keywords in your content but again, you have to be mindful in their use. For blogs, you need to use main keywords, secondary keywords and tertiary keywords. Obviously the main keywords play the most important role. Both secondary and tertiary keywords are there to lend support.

For an 800 word article, use the main keyword no more than five times. It is important to have the main keyword in the title, within the first 100 words, twice in the body and in the concluding paragraph. The secondary and tertiary keywords should not be used more than twice in the entire article.


6. Use link building techniques judiciously

Link building is a very effective technique in developing inbound traffic. By linking with other sites, you can increase the visibility of your website and attract new markets.

Another advantage of link building is that is enhances your credibility and reputation as a resource. The more frequently people find your work at other websites, the more trust you gain from your target market.

One of the smartest and easiest ways to find new opportunities for your link building campaigns is to analyze what backlinks are working best for your competitors. If they are ranking higher than you for your main keywords, it often means that they have better and more quality backlinks. Hence why, the backlinks of your competitors are a resource you should always analyze.

An easy way to stay up to date with your competitor’s link building campaigns is to use tools like Monitor Backlinks. Once added your main competitors, you’ll get email reports, every 10 days, with the new links they have earned. Do consider that you should only try to replicate good backlinks and ignore low quality ones.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Google will penalize any website that adds links which has no relevance to its primary business. For example, if you run a fitness website and attach links from cigarette websites, you will be punished in the search rankings by the Google Penguin algorithm update.


7. Integrate social media techniques

Gone are the days that inbound marketers approached SEO and social media separately. These are techniques that require precise execution but are driven by consumer behavior.

Social media in particular has become a key online tool because of its large user base. Of the three billion people who go online every day, almost two billion are on social media and nearly one billion are on Facebook alone. The increase in popularity of smart phones is expected to drive these numbers higher because social media will become more accessible.

This is the reason why SEO practitioners are integrating their effective techniques with social media. Here are some examples:

  • Use keywords in your articles, blogs and posts.
  • Include social media share buttons in your blog page for easy sharing.
  • Create high quality content for all of your shares and posts.
  • Optimize images used for your social media posts.
  • Be mindful of the ideal length of posts and blogs.

By integrating SEO techniques with your social media strategy, you can further maximize your efforts and enhance your online presence.


8. Write mini-blogs for video posts

If you haven’t heard of YouTube then you must have been asleep for the past 10 years.

Founded in 2005, YouTube has grown into one of the most popular social media sharing sites. One billion people tune in to YouTube every day. People spend six billion hours of video on YouTube every month. 300 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube every minute.

These statistics show the power of video as a medium for marketing and promoting your products and services.

One of the most effective ways to boost the rankings of your videos is to write a “mini-blog” in its description box. Most YouTube users pay little attention to this little description box. But by using a keyword enriched description, you can significantly move your video up the search rankings.

A good strategy is to implement long tail keywords. These are more detailed and descriptive set of keywords that greatly define a search query. For example instead of using just “charbroiled hamburgers” a long-tail would appear as “made to order charbroiled hamburgers cooked fresh off the grill”.

As we head off to 2016, we should expect more changes to sweep across different markets. Consumer demand remains dynamic. In the face of the continued evolution of markets, business needs strategies that have the capacity to adapt to the changing times. For this reason, SEO will continue to remain relevant and effective in the years ahead.

What about you? What’s working best for SEO on your website? Share in the comments below!


felixAbout the author: Felix Tarcomnicu is a blogger and entrepreneur. He enjoys doing SEO and wrote the popular article about identifying and disavowing bad backlinks. You can connect with Felix on Twitter.

The post Most Important SEO Techniques That Still Work appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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How to Get Started With Email Segmentation Thu, 19 Nov 2015 16:37:47 +0000 Want better results from your email marketing? Who doesn’t? Especially now, when it’s almost time to roll out those holiday email campaigns. The pressure to get results is high.If you’re feeling the pressure, I’ve got good news. There’s every reason … Read more

The post How to Get Started With Email Segmentation appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Want better results from your email marketing? Who doesn’t? Especially now, when it’s almost time to roll out those holiday email campaigns. The pressure to get results is high.If you’re feeling the pressure, I’ve got good news. There’s every reason you can spike your email marketing results – and fast. If you’re still sending the same email to everyone on your list, now’s the perfect time to run a few quick tests, and then roll out some segmented emails to your list.

Those of you in B2B have a different opportunity. It’s the end of the year, so anyone left with 2015 budget needs to spend it now or lose it. And there’s still plenty of time to close a few sales before the year ends. Make the right case with your prospects, and your 2015 sales could still see a handsome boost.

But can segmentation really get you better results? You bet. There’s a dozen studies to cite to prove it, but here’s just one:


According to the email marketers Ascend2 surveyed for this study, segmentation comes in as the second most effective email marketing tactic. It’s right after having a strong call to action.

Trouble is, it also comes in first in terms of difficulty. That’s troubling. Segmentation doesn’t have to be as hard as it looks from this chart. You can make it crazy complicated, sure – but we’re interested in doing the simplest segmentation for the biggest results. It doesn’t have to be hard.

If you can get even one or two segmentation tests done before the year, you’ll also be laying the groundwork for your 2016 email marketing. Or maybe you’ll catch up with a 2015 resolution you haven’t made good on yet. A lot of marketers said they wanted to move forward with segmentation this year.


Before we get too deep into nuts and bolts, let’s look at the different types of segmentation, from the simplest to the most complex. That’ll give you a lot of ideas about what’s possible, and about what might be right for your list.


The five stages of list segmentation sophistication

As the graphic below shows, there’s a bunch of different levels of email list segmentation. The simplest, “batch and blast”, usually refers to no segmentation: You just send the same email to everybody. That’s what we want to move away from.


Image courtesy of The Email Experience Council.


Segmentation 1.0

At the next level of personalization, you’re using basic customer profile information. This is information people gave you when they signed up for your list. Stuff like their zip code, gender, and age.

Here’s an example of an email message that uses profile-level segmentation. This is an email I got recently from REI. I’m an REI member, and so they’ve sent me an email with two offers for REI members only.


Nothing too complex here, right? But even this basic segmentation can make a big difference – like a 20% boost in click-through rates.

How might you split up your list with the profile information you’ve got? Would it be based on gender, or some other thing you ask about on your sign-up forms?


Segmentation 2.0

The next level of persona-based segmentation is a bit more sophisticated. Simply because we’ve got a persona here, it suggests there is a content marketing strategy.

Personas, as many of you know, are basically customer types. They’re used so a marketer can identify how certain types of buyers behave. We’ve got a recent guest post about using personas in email marketing here.

Personas are a smart way to tailor the content your audience receives based on who they are and how they behave. It’s a technique that often works in tandem with marketing automation.

The online retailer Onward Reserve shared a great case study of how persona marketing worked for them.

They broke their email list out into four basic segments:

  • best customers
  • non-purchasers
  • churning customers
  • other

Everyone got basically the same email, but the messaging was a little different. Here’s the results they got:



Segmentation 3.0

The next level, behavioral segmentation, can be simple or complex. Just segmenting based on which subscribers clicked a link in an email is behavioral segmentation.

Say you sent out an email to your entire list about a new ebook you’d just written.  You could segment out the people who never clicked the download link in that email. I’ll show you how to do that in just a moment.

Behavioral segmentation can also include cart abandonment emails and webinar follow-ups. Your behavioral emails could also be “triggered” emails (there’s that marketing automation thing coming up again…). Or you could send a specific email to one group of subscribers who attended a webinar, and a different email to all your other subscribers. It can get more complex than that, but you get the gist.

The email below is follow-up from a salesperson about piece of CRM software I signed up for a trial of. This is an example of an email sent based on past behavior. They probably sent this email out to everyone who attended the webinar. Note that they obviously wouldn’t send this out to their whole list – that’s why it’s a segmented email.



Here’s an interesting twist on behavioral segmentation: segmenting subscribers out based on where they signed up. The retailer Hotel Chocolat had built up a fairly large email list, both from signups from their website and from signups in their stores. So they decided to send different emails to those two groups. The result?

  • Revenue from their emails jumped 20%
  • Overall website revenue jumped 12%
  • Average order value went up by 22%
  • Open rates, click-through rates and deliverability all improved.

If you’re signing people up from different sources (like a Facebook page) this might be a worthwhile test.


Segmentation 4.0: Predictive modeling

Predictive modeling blends persona marketing, databases, and an algorithm. It attempts to guess what subscribers want to know next. Because of this, it can be helpful for automating content through complex buyer journeys.

If you’re a small shop or don’t have a large marketing budget, predictive modeling may be outside your ken, but you should know it exists.


An example of how to segment your list in GetResponse

Remember how I mentioned that email you could send about the product launch, where people got the email, but then never clicked the link in the email? Let’s set up a segment like that.

First, go to the “Contacts > Search contacts” option in your GetResponse account. It’s in the top black row of navigation once you’ve logged into your account. Once you’ve selected “Search contacts” you’ll see a page like this:


Choose the campaign (i.e., the list) you want to pull the segment from. Then select the autoresponder or signup date parameters – but only if that makes sense for who you want to segment. You can also leave those options alone.

Next you want to choose a condition. There are a lot of options to choose from. Here’s the list:


I want everyone who didn’t click the link in the email, so I’ll choose that selection in the pull-down menu. Next, the system will ask me which kind of email I want to segment from: a Newsletter, Autoresponder or an A/B test. I want Newsletter.


Then it will ask which message. You can select “all messages and links”, but I want a link that’s in a specific email named “7/14/15 Update”.


The system will then show me all the links in that email. I’ll select the one I’m interested in.


Those are my settings. Now I click the blue “show contacts” button. It shows me everyone who got the email, but didn’t click that link.


If I check the “choose all” box near the top of the list, and then choose the Action pull-down with the selection “move to campaign” I can then move all those subscribers into a new campaign… BUT I’ll have to create the campaign before I do that. You can’t create the campaign from within that view, so you’ll need an already-created campaign.


You could also just export that segment of subscribers, and then re-upload it and mail to them. For more details on the ins and outs of segmenting and tagging your campaigns in GetResponse, see the ebook, “A Quick Guide to List Segmentation.”


Create copies of your emails to save time

Here’s one last trick to speed up your work: You don’t have to make an entirely new email for every segment you mail to. Make the email for the largest segment first, save it, and then make a copy by clicking the “Actions” button to the right of the email’s message name. Select “Re-use” from the pull-down menu. Then just rename the email to create a new version.

Alter that new copy based on what you want to say to the next segment. No need to re-invent the wheel every time!




Back to you

Are you segmenting your email messages? Do you do it for every email you send, or just for special messages? If you’d like to share any results of your segmenting work with this, we’d love to hear it. Tell us about it in the comments.


The post How to Get Started With Email Segmentation appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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Why and How to Write a Blog Post Series Wed, 18 Nov 2015 15:38:02 +0000 If you’re running a blog and want to both involve your existing readers and get new ones, a blog post series would be a very effective way to do it. There are several types of series you can consider: a … Read more

The post Why and How to Write a Blog Post Series appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

If you’re running a blog and want to both involve your existing readers and get new ones, a blog post series would be a very effective way to do it.

There are several types of series you can consider: a weekly or monthly post centered around one theme (this can be a rundown of the news in your niche, for instance, or a profile of a notable person) or it could be a limited-time series with an in-depth look at something worth giving insight into. In any case, a blog post series is guaranteed to drum up attention.

Your regular readers will check back as you publish it and new readers will likely look through at least several of the post’s series. You can also interlink the blog posts, which will give you value with search engines combing through your blog. There is also value in segmenting a topic since you can target readers better by writing niche posts, not to mention the simple reasoning that more posts will mean more clicks. But how do you create a good blog post series? What would be a success, and what would be a failure?


Choosing a Topic For a Blog Post Series

First things first: deciding what kind of topic will work for a series. The best types of serial posts are posts that give something an in-depth look, with each post dedicated to a certain aspect of a topic – like an involved how-to. You should pick a topic that’s “evergreen”. Avoid anything that will look dated within a year, since you’re going to put a lot of work into these serialized posts than the same amount of non-serialized writing.

Exhaustive blog posts with multiple thousands of words won’t get read except for by a few (experienced bloggers already know that bite-size is the best size when and how valuable segmenting is). The rule of thumb here is that, if you’re writing a post that seems too long or one that looks at an issue from all sides, thereby creating confusion, consider writing it in several parts.

In summer this year we started a blog post series dedicated to the topic of Email marketing deliverability. It can be quite hard to pass through the spam filters and standards, that’s why we decided to explore the matter of achieving the best deliverability possible.


Pitfalls of Posting a Series

Now, the pitfalls to avoid with serialized posting is that, if you post too many of them, stretching something artificially into multiple articles, your readers might see it as a click-getting gimmick and be turned off if the information is spread too thin. New readers will get lost in the sea of content and won’t be able to make heads or tails of it.


Write Down a Plan

Now that you’ve decided to create serial posts, you should make a plan for it. Decide on a schedule, and create an outline for what you want to cover in this series, dedicating each post to an aspect of a topic. If you’re creating a how-to series, you should plan for successive posts that will make sense to a reader who is

  1. Completely new to the subject, or at least to the side of the issue you’re discussing
  2. Learning about it only from reading your blog.

It’s likely that curious readers will go off searching for more information about the topic on their own once they’ve read your take on the issue, but if you’re writing a series there’s no point in not being exhaustive. This will be on your blog for as long as you’re running it and someone curious about the topic who is just discovering your posts is likely to read through everything you’ve written in the series before going to a different source for more information. It is nice to add “In case you missed…” and “Related posts” sections right below the article to put the links to previous and future posts there.


An Outline for Each Post

Once you’ve chosen your topic and made an outline for the posts you’re planning to include in your series, write separate outlines for the posts themselves, at least very general ones. You might consider yourself a prolific author who doesn’t need to outline, and that’s great for you, but being inconsistent here will be a major turnoff. Remember, you’re trying to drum up new readership, so stepping up your game won’t hurt. Plan out your posts so that each new one picks up where the previous left off.


It’s a good idea to plan for a short, two-sentence “coming up next” at the end of each post, which will pique your reader’s interest and keep them coming back for more. 



Before Posting

Before you start posting, consider this: can you keep up with the schedule you’ve set for yourself? The frequency with which you post will depend on how often you update your blog. If it’s normally three to four times a week, you’ll need to post daily. If you update your blog monthly, then you should post on a set day every week.

If you’re publishing a series, anything under one post every week won’t be any good – readers will just lose interest in your posts, it’s as simple as that. One blog post published every day is the optimal balance, since it’s not too often so that people won’t be able to keep up, and not too rare for them to forget about what you’ve talked about previously – blog series work best when they burn bright and fast. If you can’t turn out information as frequently as you’d like, pre-write some or all of the posts, and just post them at set times.


An Introduction to the Series

Now, before starting to publish the series, you should also create an introductory post that will serve as a central hub that links to all the posts once you make them (remember what we said about interlinking?). You can put this posts in the sidebar or whatever type of “best of” or “readers’ favorites” type of page you have so that new visitors to your blog can find all of this information with ease.

The introductory post should say what topic you’ll be covering, the general areas your posts will touch upon and when to come back for more. Publish it the day before you start posting the actual series for maximum impact.



As you can see, most of this advice has to do with planning ahead of time. Do the legwork, and you’re sure to get more fresh eyes on your blog, as well as engage current readership. When writing your series, remember that, ideally, all this information is supposed to be relevant a year from now, in the least.

So think of a topic and get down to writing! Share in the comments below what ideas you have for your series!


florenceAbout the Author: Florence Mendoza is a content writer and marketing manager at Buy an Essay writing company. She provides online marketing help to aspiring bloggers.



The post Why and How to Write a Blog Post Series appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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5 Ways You’re Still Not Obeying Google’s Rules Tue, 17 Nov 2015 15:27:49 +0000 Like it or not, Google has declared itself judge, jury and executioner of the internet. There are obviously some glaring political concerns about a single company holding so much power over the world wide web, but, let’s not get too … Read more

The post 5 Ways You’re Still Not Obeying Google’s Rules appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Like it or not, Google has declared itself judge, jury and executioner of the internet. There are obviously some glaring political concerns about a single company holding so much power over the world wide web, but, let’s not get too bogged down in the academia of such a debate at the moment, for the fact will still remain that the multi-coloured doodling giant will still hold sway no matter how much we rant and rave.

To be fair, though, the laws rules that Google has laid down could arguably be seen to be a good thing – well, at least that’s what Larry Page and Sergey Brin would like us all to believe anyway. But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt for the moment. Google wants users to find the sites that have paid the most for advertising are the most relevant to the search query, and have gained a decent organic rank via means of paying the piper enticing paid for organic traffic, links, etc.

In a perfect world (wide web), this sort of altruistic benevolence would be a great thing. And, since we’re giving Page and Brin the benefit of the doubt, let’s say that it is a good thing. Of course when I type in ‘running trainers’ to Google I want the results page to list me all of the best sites where I can buy some super-duper ones on the first page, and to hell with all the rest. But, the obvious problem with this is, that what Google might consider to be the best sites, I might not agree with.

At the end of the day, Google is a computer, an algorithmic processing machine, which, although very smart, will never ever have the human touch that will allow for certain nuances or other indiscretions that only a conscious being could possibly have. And this means that it operates, in a way that is at once mind-bogglingly complex and simple at the same time. That is to say that although the computer science behind the great search engine is undoubtedly brilliant – all it’s really doing is following a set of predetermined rules in order to give web pages a search ranking.

And this means that all us marketers in the SEO game have to do is make sure that we are abiding by these rules when creating content for the internet in order for Google to reward us greatly with a high SERP ranking.

So, firstly, the question has to be – what are the rules?


What Are Google’s Rules?

Well, there are lots and lots, as we all know. Too many to list exhaustively here. So, instead I want to show you the three presumably most important, since they come from Google itself.

  1. Give visitors the information they’re looking for
  2. Make sure that other sites link to yours
  3. Make your site easily accessible

Pretty simple really.

Once upon a time number 2 on that list was number 1 – and it has to be said that garnering links to your site is still very important. But, as they say, these days content is king. And it absolutely is. I’ve been saying it for years, and I believe it right to the very bottom of my shoes. Indeed, what Larry Page is trying to accomplish is becoming overruling master of the whole universe is creating the perfect search engine that gives the perfect results for each and every user.

“The ultimate search engine would basically understand everything in the world, and it would always give you the right thing. And we’re a long, long ways from that.”

Indeed we are – but, any webmaster that builds his/her site in a manner that tries to hinder this idyllic dream will be banished from this earthly online world forever, mwah-hah-hah!! hit with a Google penalty, which, in its most extreme cases, could see your site vanishing from the Google index altogether.

So, are playing by the rules, or not? Here are 5 ways that many marketers are still missing the mark when it comes to Google’s rules.


5 Ways You’re Still Not Obeying Google’s Rules

1. You’re Not Giving Your Visitors Enough Information

Content is king and Larry Page is Ruler, Emperor and Lord God Himself!. Don’t ever, ever forget this. Your website is the gateway into your business – and your business is what’s keeping the modem flashing. No matter what you’re selling – be it goods or services – you simply cannot have enough information on your site. And that means that along with product descriptions and images and details of your service, you need to be adding value to what you’re offering by giving away information for free. Yes, that means blogging ­– regularly. If you’re not blogging at least twice a week, then you’re breaking Google’s rules. Google wants to see that you’re providing the eternal user base with lots and lots of fresh information – so get blogging. Now.


2. The Information You Are Providing Isn’t Good Enough

I say once again, content is king. But not just any old princely content – kingworthy content. And that means that if you’re still playing the old keyword stuffing game then you need to fast forward about 10 years pretty sharpish, for that’s old news. Kingworthy content is the stuff that people can actually take away with them. It’s the how-to blogs, the beginner’s guides, the thought-provoking polemics, and the 5 Ways You’re Still Not Obeying Google’s Rules. Put simply, if all you’re doing is re-plugging your own goods or services with every single tweet, update and blog post, then you’re breaking Google’s rules, and you shall be punished.


3. You’re Not Gaining Enough Organic Links

Link building is, and probably always will be, one of the most crucial things that you can do for SEO. The only trouble is that it’s really hard to do well, and do legally. But the secret lies in the first two points in this list – yes, I am going to say it again. Content is king. When you’ve got great content, other sites will link to yours. When you’re conducting great research on behalf of your following, they will point their own fans in your direction to get the lowdown on the key facts and figures shaping your industry. Organic link building is really as simple and as difficult as that. You can go down the guest post route if you like, or try paying for links, or asking your friends for them – but, at the end of the day, unless you’ve got lots and lots of genuine content creators out there linking freely to your site because of all the great content that you’re providing, then once again you are breaking Google’s rules and will find it extremely difficult to crawl up the rankings.


4. You’re Not Linking To Other Great Sites

The link-building game is a two-way street. And, arguably, just as important as trying to ensure that you’re building up a healthy profile of inbound links, you need to be focussing equal attention on your outbound efforts as well. Why? Because Google likes to see that you’re directing users to as much great information as possible, regardless of whether you authored it yourself or not. And it’s important that you link to reputable sites as well. Google takes into consideration the PageRank of the page being linked to as well as your own, so, wherever you can, direct users towards the big sites, and, whatever you do, do not link to any spam pages, as you will be seriously breaking Google’s rules if you do this, even unwittingly.


5. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

Yes, this is absolutely imperative. Albeit a decidedly 2015 concern, it doesn’t take a genius to notice that much of the online world has gone mobile. Indeed, there’s a good chance that you’re even reading this on your smartphone or tablet right now. Google has taken heed of this, and, since the 21st April this year, has been penalising sites that are not mobile friendly. At the very least this means that you have to make sure that your site is responsively designed, if not completely re-configured with a mobile-first strategy in mind. Put simply, if your website isn’t easily accessible to mobile users, then you are breaking Google’s rules and will be suffering in SERPs as a result. Thankfully, Google have provided a Mobile Friendly Test page, and I encourage you to head straight over and use it immediately, and take appropriate action accordingly.

How else are marketers still breaking Google’s rules? Let us know in the comments below.


The post 5 Ways You’re Still Not Obeying Google’s Rules appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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5 Ways to Rock Your Personal Brand on Twitter Mon, 16 Nov 2015 14:13:23 +0000 In today’s very digital world, giving out your card during networking events isn’t enough. But creating a social media following is the ultimate branding tool. To get you started, I wanted to give you a starter pack to personal branding on Twitter. … Read more

The post 5 Ways to Rock Your Personal Brand on Twitter appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

In today’s very digital world, giving out your card during networking events isn’t enough. But creating a social media following is the ultimate branding tool. To get you started, I wanted to give you a starter pack to personal branding on Twitter.

So, without further ado, here are the first 5 steps to start your Twitter empire:


1. Choose your Twitter handle carefully

You may be a great chef and a fun comic book fanatic, but handles like @Cooking4Life or @GimmeComics123 won’t fly.

However, if you started a cooking blog and you want your brand to revolve around that, something like @JeffTheChef is both straightforward and memorable. It’s ok to play around with something funky, but it’s not okay to create a cryptic handle of a middle schooler.

This is a great solution for bloggers. For inspiration, here are two bloggers that took their URL and made it their handle:

twitter bio personal branding

Now, if you’re not a blogger, or an advocate for your business (or place of work) like someone like Ann Handley, you can simply use your name. It’s the easiest way for people to find and recognize you!
One last thing to remember about Twitter handles is that although you can change them as you please, it’s better not to change it up too often. Once people start to recognize your handle, it won’t be easy to let every follow know that it’s changed. A strong personal brand needs to be consistent and recognizable, and that includes your usernames.


2. Choose your brand’s imaging

Your profile is like an online business card of sorts. People need to see who you are (not what coat your cat has) and what you’re all about. Use your profile picture and header photo accordingly.
You can have a fancy business-professional picture, a simple selfie (but make it tasteful, you’re not Miley Cyrus), or a funny photoshoot-style picture (Chris Goward nailed this one.) But, as far as covers go, there are a few different approaches:


This one is for those who are more advanced in building your personal brand, since you need to have something to promote. You could also promote your blog or the company you work for.

If you have a book coming out, are speaking at an event, or have any other kind of ‘gig’ coming up, make sure that you let your followers know via your cover photo. Not everyone will see your tweet (remember that they have a very short lifespan on Twitter) but more will check your profile or hover on your handle to see your info.

Take a look at Marsha Wright’s cover photo:

twitter header personal branding

Do “your thing”

Do you have a catchphrase, a signature color (Joe Pulizzi sure does), or a specific place/event that relates to you?

If you’re just starting out, think of something that you’d like people to associate with you. Every influencer has their own “it” thing. Whatever you choose, put it to work on Twitter! One of my favorite examples is Andrew Davis and his famous “You’ve been Drewed!” phrase:

twitter personal branding


Sometimes less is more. Branding doesn’t necessarily mean promoting yourself in every aspect of the word. Whether you’re just starting out or are more established on Twitter – a simple photo will do.

The main rule for this strategy is to post something relevant, but not overly splashy. Kittens or ponies may not necessarily work, unless that’s you and your brand (Seth Godin’s Twitter profile is pretty catchy.)

All in all, give it a vibe that portrays your professional environment. Learn from Guy Kawasaki:



3. Find your brand’s voice

Don’t make a professional branding tool all about what you ate for lunch. There are a couple of questions that you need to answer before you click that tweet button:

  • Is this relevant to my followers?
  • Does this piece of content promote your values or business ideals?
  • Does this help your followers get to know you better?

It’s okay to post a panda video here and there, but keep it occasional.

For most of us, just one profile will do. However, I’ve noticed a trend of influencers with two profiles. One just to post content, and another profile that’s professional but still engages people and showcases their personality (influencers are people too!).

I’ve already mentioned Ann Handley, but take a look how she’s created two profiles:

ann handley personal branding

Her second, more personal, profile shows how great of a communicator Ann is – which brings me to my next point.


4. Start building connections and influence

The point of building a personal brand is to become someone that has the answer. You want to be the guy that marketers, social media mavens, and CEOs look to for inspiration? Then you need to roll up your sleeves and find the time to get involved.
rom observation, and personal experience, there are a couple things you can do to stay engaged:

Twitter Chats

Chats are an extraordinary way to meet new people, attract new followers, and gain more information about what’s going on your field. Most Twitter chats take place weekly on the same day, at the same time.

My personal favorite is CMI’s Twitter chat. The people I’ve tweeted with during these chats ended up being the people I got coffee with during conferences, later on leading to professional relationships and coop projects.

Respond to mentions and shares

This one seems obvious, but a lot of people forget about it. After a couple of years on Twitter, I’ve noticed that nothing strengthens professional relationships and loyalty like a little love here and there.

I could once again throw in an Ann Handley example (can you tell I’m a big fan?) but I won’t. Instead, I’ll encourage you to check out her profile and take a look at how engaged Rick Short was during CMWorld 2015:

personal branding engagement

I really liked Rick’s session, so I tweeted a quote (remembering to give credit by tagging) and I got a response from the author himself. Be like Rick – respond and converse to create loyalty.

Share, tag, talk

If the author of an article you’re sharing is on Twitter, tag them in your tweet. Ask other people what they think. Don’t be afraid to start conversations by mentioning someone. It’s good to ask and engage.


5. Become a master tweeter

Now that you know what you need to build your personal brand, it’s time to share some tools to help you tweet better.

Save time with scheduling

Yes, the tool no one wants to admit to but everyone uses. There are dozens of great scheduling tools – like Klout and Hootsuite – that will help you choose the date and time of each tweet. Although Hootsuite offers more scheduling options, Klout has better optimization tools (time zone, best time of day, etc.).

Find conversations to join

Monitor and listen to what’s happening on and around your account. Mention is an awesome tool to find conversations happening around (and about) you. You can react and reply within the app.

Hand out your handle

Having social media buttons (in this case, Twitter) in your email signature, on your business cards, and in all your bios are important. People are more likely to log on and follow you if you plant the idea in their head first.



The reality is that if you know how Twitter works, what your goals are, and who you want to reach – you’ll be able to build a brand.

Jump in the deep end and start connecting, engaging, and sharing your opinions. With some time and consistency, you’ll find what works best for your personal brand and what falls flat.

Stay true to who you are, but just like with any branding, you need to think about what your audience wants.

Once you have the hang of things, try creating a campaign around influencer outreach. Working with like-minded colleagues will help you establish your position and set a seal on your Twitter personal brand.

So, happy tweeting, and let me know in the comments how you tackle personal branding on Twitter!


This post originally appeared on Mention, and is re-published with permission.

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5 Email Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From Amy Africa [Webinar recording] Fri, 13 Nov 2015 15:17:48 +0000 Last week at GetResponse we had the pleasure of hosting a webinar with Amy Africa, an expert in web usability, e-commerce optimization and email marketing, among other things. For almost an hour she talked about the essentials of email marketing … Read more

The post 5 Email Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From Amy Africa [Webinar recording] appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Last week at GetResponse we had the pleasure of hosting a webinar with Amy Africa, an expert in web usability, e-commerce optimization and email marketing, among other things.

For almost an hour she talked about the essentials of email marketing some of which – a little surprisingly – are too often looked over. Here are some of the things she said (and the recording of the webinar)


Send more triggers than newsletters

The basic distinction Amy makes in her presentation is between thrust emails (or what we would simply call newsletters), sent based on your own marketing plan and according to your timing to a large group of people, and trigger emails (autoresponders, drip campaigns, transactional emails) that are sent in smaller batches, and based on an action a subscriber performs or a piece of information you have about them.

What Amy suggests in the webinar is that a successful email program should contain 20% newsletters and 80% trigger emails. Another thing that will decide whether you get positive results is if you’re mailing enough. By that she doesn’t mean the actual number of emails you’re sending out (and whether you’re actually mailing enough as in sending an enormous amount of emails), but the fact whether, from the user’s perspective, it’s enough to get their attention. This will vary for various businesses and various audiences.

The majority of your success comes from how much you mail and what happens outside of the envelope.

Automated emails are much more effective from a user’s perspective – because they’re based on something your subscriber did or something you know about them. There are some things that improve the response, such as personalization (but beware of overdoing on the personalization side, as this will definitely not improve your results). Watch the recording to hear about other ways.


Send emails in series

Triggers work best as a series – the biggest mistake, Amy suggests, a lot of businesses are making is “one and done”: sending just one email and then forgetting all about it. A very good idea is to set up an initial, onboarding series to introduce your brand and walk your subscribers through the benefits of whatever it is that you’re offering.

And then when that’s done, move them to roundups to continue the conversation. Until…

Right, until when? Amy suggests something that’s sometimes called “buy or die”. It involves emailing people until they take action – either buy, or unsubscribe.


Develop a sales funnel

… or what Amy calls “a ladder” (the concepts are essentially the same, although the directions are opposite). Think carefully about what messages people get from you at what step of the ladder – and whether you’re sending them what they should be actually getting. A simple example would be not to send people who already bought something from you, emails dedicated to prospects – they’ve already been there, done that.

The ladder is also a place where you should keep moving your subscribers up – from first enquires all the way up until they become multiple buyers.

If you’re looking for an example of an email marketing funnel, with examples of what communication you should have at each stage, we have one for you – you can download it here.


Reactivate your subscribers

Reactivation campaigns help you engage those customers or subscribers that haven’t performed an action for a prolonged period of time, but are still on your list. So technically, they are still somewhere in the funnel – or on the ladder. If they’re still there, chances are you’ll actually be able to engage them again, if you do it right.

And to do it right, you have to do what Amy calls finding out “where the rat is caught in the snake” – or to use less graphic terms, where they’re getting stuck in your funnel, and why.

Amy advises, yet again, using a series of reactivation emails not just a single email – to help them move forward in your cycle. If they’re stuck, you need to have an understanding of possible reasons why and then prepare emails that will actually help them take an action – preferably one you desire.

One type of reactivating your subscribers who actually are no longer your subscribers is the so called graveyard targeting. Okay, this sounds a bit grim – but it essentially boils down to retargeting people who are no longer on your list with Facebook/Google ads to get them back on your list.

According to Amy, you can get 60% of those people back – and out of those 60%, 70% will actually stay if you engage them with a dedicated, mini onboarding campaign, developed specially for them (do not send them the same emails that made them unsubscribe!). Worth trying, right?


Get your subscribers to take the right action…

This will mean a lot of things, such as sending the right content at the right stage of the funnel, using the right call to actions and minimizing distractions (do all your emails need social sharing icons?), accounting for how your subscribers are reading your emails (on mobile, by any chance?) and adjusting the design and function of the emails. The list goes on and on (again, the recording gives out much more).

… or, in other words, do what works for your subscribers – it will work for you 

When you think about it, all of the above – as well as all the other pieces of advice Amy’s giving in her presentation – are aimed at one thing: making your email programs better. Better as in more suited to your subscribers’ needs, which in the end will mean – more effective for your business.

I could probably write at least a couple of blog posts based on what Amy said (including the various tips on mobile emails) – but I guess it’s best if you just watch for yourselves (and take notes!)

Thoughts? Share them in the comments! And just for you, here’s the webinar in question!

The post 5 Email Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From Amy Africa [Webinar recording] appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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15 Ways to Get More Business From LinkedIn Thu, 12 Nov 2015 15:27:22 +0000 LinkedIn can be a major business generator, especially if you’re in B2B (business to business). You just have to know which tactics are worth your time, and which aren’t. To help you get more out of the #1 social media … Read more

The post 15 Ways to Get More Business From LinkedIn appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

LinkedIn can be a major business generator, especially if you’re in B2B (business to business). You just have to know which tactics are worth your time, and which aren’t.

To help you get more out of the #1 social media platform for B2B marketers, we’ve put together this list of tips for how to get more exposure, leads and business from LinkedIn. I hope you can pick up at least a few ideas from the items below, whether you’re a LinkedIn beginner or a seasoned pro.


1) Use a professional-quality photograph for your headshot.

This is one of the first things people see when they’re scanning profiles. So don’t use a photograph that belongs on a hobby forum. In other words:

  • Don’t use photographs of your pet for your headshot.
  • No “artsy” shadowy photographs, or photos of just part of your face.
  • No high school photographs. Your photo should have been taken within the last five years.
  • No photos that are cropped group photos. You should be the only person in the photo. There is one possible exception: if you’ve got a photo of you with Richard Branson or another globally recognized business personality.
  • No photos you wouldn’t include on your resume if you were doing an in person interview.

If you’re not sure if your current photo is good enough, consider using PhotoFeeler, a free online tool that lets other users rate your Facebook or LinkedIn profile photo based on how competent, likable and influential you appear to them.


The online tool PhotoFeeler gives you feedback about your Facebook or LinkedIn profile photo, based on what other PhotoFeeler users think of it.

Want extra credit? Split-test your headshot. Run a couple of headshots through PhotoFeeler. Use the one that gets the highest score. It just might get you more business.


2) Set up both a company and a personal LinkedIn page.

This is for those of you who own a business. You want the personal page so you can publish posts and participate in LinkedIn groups. You want the company page so you can do sponsored updates. Sponsored updates are a way to promote business-related content on LinkedIn. They’re like Twitter promoted tweets, or promoted posts on Facebook. LinkedIn expert Melonie Dodaro says she’s gotten massive exposure from her sponsored updates, even when she has just a $100 budget.


3) Start republishing your best long-form blog posts on LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform.

LinkedIn offers every user an amazing tool to show off their expertise. You don’t even have to write unique content for it. Just repost content from your blog, or (with permission) from guest posts you’ve written. You may get more exposure for the LinkedIn posts than the other publications ever got.

For exhaustive data-driven details on how to get more exposure for your LinkedIn posts, check out Paul Shapiro’s post, “We Analyzed the 3,000 Most Successful LinkedIn Publishing Posts“ published on Noah Kagan’s blog. He explains how long LinkedIn posts should be, how long their headlines should be, how many subheaders and images to use, and more.



4) Get to more than 500 connections

And don’t just accept connections from anyone. Some LinkedIn users certainly have benefitted from accepting all connection requests (also referred to as being a “LION” or participating in “LinkedIn Open Networking), but several LinkedIn experts say  it’s time to be more choosy. So only accept invites from people in your industry (at least) or people you actually know or would like to know (for business… no dating through LinkedIn profiles, please).

Here’s a secret trick to get more connections: Follow micro influencers and prospective clients on Twitter. About a week after they’ve followed you back, send them a customized LinkedIn invite. Mention you’re both following each other on Twitter, and you thought it would be nice to connect on LinkedIn, too. I’m still getting a 70%+ acceptance rate with this tactic.


5) Don’t send hollow sales pitches to your connections right off the bat.

Ever. Not even if your sales manager is hounding you.

People hate connecting with someone and then getting hit with a sales pitch. If you want to build a relationship with someone, do it in an acceptable way. Like and comment on their posts. Reshare their social media posts. Comment on their blog and their LinkedIn updates and group comments. Take at least a dozen actions like that before you send them InMail. And even then, only be helpful. Do not just bust out and ask when they can be available to schedule a demo or an assessment call.


6) Start liking and commenting on other people’s LinkedIn updates.

Think you’ve got no time for LinkedIn networking? Come on. You can’t scroll through a few updates and click “like” a couple of times? Make a habit of it – and maybe even add a comment now and again – and people will start to recognize you. As you become a known quantity to them, they’re more likely to like your content… and maybe even reply to your emails and calls.

This one post has two comments and a like. How long do you think it took to write a sentence or two, or just to click the like link?



7) Join a few LinkedIn groups – and start participating.

Set a timer for ten minutes if you’re worried this might consume your day. It doesn’t have to, and it’s one of the best ways to become better known in your industry. There are some rules of engagement in LinkedIn groups, and each group is a little different. Want a primer? Read Barry Feldman’s KissMetrics post on the subject to refine your Group interaction skills.


8) Share your content.

Share content on LinkedIn groups (only in relevant groups, and only according to the group’s rules). Share it in your feed.

But don’t share only your own content… share other people’s content, too. Otherwise you’ll be at risk of either being boring or being self-centered. Both are deadly sins on social media.


Want some tips for how to format your posts so they get more engagement? See Octopost’s infographic, “Socially Driven B2B Marketing” for more ideas. One key tip: The average length of a post that converts on LinkedIn is 248 characters.



9) Recommend people who deserve it.

Recommendations are definitely a way to build your reputation. But you’ve got to give to get. Fortunately, giving recommendations is also a great way to get people’s attention. Along the way, you’ll probably pick up a few recommendations for your work. People really appreciate getting a recommendation, especially if they didn’t have to ask for it. Often they’ll be so appreciative that they’ve write one for you, just because you wrote one for them.

Here’s the deal, though: Only recommend people who’s work you know well. Ideally, that means you’ve worked with them for at least a few months. But even a one-time freelance gig can be enough legitimate experience to recommend someone. Just stick to the facts and always be professional. And – as always – try your very, very, very best to only say positive things on social media.


Sujan Patel has 21 recommendations, but these two are featured at the top of his recommendations page. You can also see how many recommendations he’s given – it’s in the upper right hand corner of this screenshot.


10) Endorse people for skills you know they’ve got.

Endorsements are easier than recommendations. You don’t have to know someone as well to endorse them for a couple of skills. And it only takes a few clicks, versus having to write a couple of paragraphs. So endorse away. Just don’t go overboard. Endorse for only 2-3 skills at a time. And don’t endorse for skills you’re not sure of.


If you know someone’s work, it’s nice to endorse them for a few skills. I know Jordie from his blog and his posts on GetResponse, so I can definitely endorse him as being a skilled email marketer.


11) Optimize your profile for LinkedIn’s search… and other search engines.

LinkedIn has a search engine. Some people use it just for the search engine. So it’s important to sprinkle your profile with keywords, and, of course, to fill out your profile completely. See this blog post for more specifics on how to optimize your profile.


12) Use LinkedIn’s Inmails the right way.

Chris Reed wrote a whole post for us about how to do this recently. Want just one key take away from that article? Don’t use Inmail to sell; use it to build connections and get people on the phone.


13) Join as many LinkedIn groups as you can.

Why? It makes prospecting and network-building easier. If you’re a member of a Group with someone, you’ll be able to send them an invite or a message. To do this, go to the Group you’ve both a part of, then go to the Group’s member list. Find who you want to send a message to. Click the “Send message” link next to their member listing.


You can message up to 15 people every month through this loophole. And hat tip to Melonie Dodaro for this tip!


14) Leverage your SlideShare assets on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn owns SlideShare, which gives you all kinds of cool ways to weave the two platforms together. And that to the fact that SlideShare is one of the best and more underused ways to promote B2B content (still!) and there are plenty of motivations to get busy.

Want just one reason? You can embed a lead generation form in your SlideShares. You can even require people to fill it out if they want to see the SlideShare.


Robert Rose, Content Marketing Strategist, Author & Speaker for The Content Marketing Institute, has a series of SlideShares embedded into his LinkedIn profile page. This is what it looks like if you click on any of them. The integration between LinkedIn and SlideShare is becoming better and better.


15) Launch your own Group on LinkedIn.

Got even a modest audience? Getting at least a couple of comments on every blog post you publish? You may have enough of an engaged audience to pull off a LinkedIn Group.

Why start a LinkedIn Group? It positions your company as a thought leader, for starters. It also gives you a special area of LinkedIn that’s much more under your control. And it gives you another channel to promote your content, expertise and services. Oh yeah – and it’s free!

Just be careful you’ve got enough of an audience to launch. Otherwise, it can be awkward to have a Group that’s pretty much dead. Think this might be for you? Read Kapost’s blog post about how they created and manage the largest group on LinkedIn for content marketers.



B2B marketers are getting more out of LinkedIn all the time. You can too. It doesn’t have to take tons of time or money, either. Just choose a few simple tasks to do each day, and always be authentic in how you communicate with people. Even though it’s a B2B platform, you’ll actually do far better on LinkedIn if you don’t sound overly corporate or salesy.

What’s working for you on LinkedIn these days? Got any tips I didn’t mention? Share one or two with us in the comments.


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8 Tips On Writing Content That People Want to Read Right Now Wed, 11 Nov 2015 14:37:10 +0000 Once upon a time, good content was hard to come by. It was fairly easy to get eyeballs on your content just by the virtue of it being reasonably good. This is not the case anymore. If you have been around for a … Read more

The post 8 Tips On Writing Content That People Want to Read Right Now appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Once upon a time, good content was hard to come by. It was fairly easy to get eyeballs on your content just by the virtue of it being reasonably good. This is not the case anymore. If you have been around for a while, you may have noted the rise in content.

People are drowning in newsletters and emails, social media updates, and promos. This is truly the age of information overwhelm. And yet, some content still does really well. While vast majority of the content struggles to find an audience, some is thriving more than ever.

So what’s the secret? Does your content have to be exceptionally good? Yes. But don’t be scared. If your content is good, you can make it exceptionally good with a few tweaks. That’s where I come in.


#1 Make sure your idea is relevant

If you are not clear on who your ideal audience is, or if your idea is just not that interesting to the people you want to reach, it won’t take off.

Sure, there are times when a certain piece of content goes viral where nobody expected it to, or a piece you spent hours working on, tanks. However, for the most part, the most well-matched ideas work really well.

Make sure you spend time figuring out what your audience wants from you. Think about the gap in the market, what type of content is missing, and what has been overdone.

  • Help solve a problem.
  • Make them feel like they can do anything.
  • Make them laugh.

As long as the piece has value for them and it covers a specific topic, it should be well received. It doesn’t even matter if it’s educational, inspirational or entertaining. It needs to be truly helpful and that’s the first thing you need to think about.


#2 Work on your headline

When I tell people they need to work on their blog titles, the number one objection I hear is this: ‘oh these types of headlines don’t work in my industry’. I find this quite interesting. There is a certain presumption going on. People think that I am encouraging them to write headlines that are over-the-top, hypey or sleazy.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

When I tell you to make your headlines stronger, I want you to make them more specific (rather than broad and generic), spell out a benefit and/or arouse curiosity (not sensationalism). What I am really saying is that getting your headline right is critical if you want people to consume your content.

Nothing wrong with that, right?

Here are some examples of headlines that promise a straight benefit:

  • 10 business lessons I learned this year – Neil Patel
  • 5 quick things you can do to fix your marketing this week – Sonia Simone
  • Launch a self hosted WordPress blog in 20 minutes – Michael Hyatt

Here are some examples of headlines that are so irresistible (for the right audience, I may add) that people will be itching to click and read the whole article:

  • Truth Time: I Haven’t Been Fully Practicing What I Teach – Jenny Shih
  • 3 amazing things happening in my biz & life right now! – Sarah Hart

And here are two that do both.

  • 10 Mistakes I Made Publishing My eBook, and How You Can Do it Better – Carol Tice
  • Want to steal my Facebook ad strategy? –Kimra Luna

This is the power of writing a great headline.


#3 Hook them with a solid intro

There are certain pieces of content that hook you from the start. They have you at ‘hello’.

As soon as you read the first line, you can’t stop yourself from reading the next one, and the next, and so on. Pretty soon, you find yourself reaching the end of the article and you didn’t even plan on reading it at that instant.

You can have the same effect on your readers. The trick is to work on your intro.

The headline will ensure that the person at the other end clicks on your article. However, the introduction will force them to continue reading. Many blog posts fail to get traction because they lose people right at the start.

You don’t want to do that. Here are some tips for you to create an irresistible introduction:

  • Ask a question.
  • Make a bold claim.
  • Share a startling statistic.
  • Use a pattern interrupt (Grab their attention by saying something totally unexpected).
  • Start telling them a story (Make sure the first sentence is very compelling).


#4 Make it conversational

Nobody wants to read content that feels like as if a robot churned it out. And there is plenty of content like that floating on the interwebs for sure. The easiest way to let people know that this content was written by an actual, living, breathing human is to make it conversational.

Write as you speak – only better. What do I mean by that? Write your post as if you are having a chat with a dear friend, and then edit for clarity. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

  • Use short sentences.
  • Use contractions. Instead of saying ‘I am’, say ‘I’m’, or replace ‘I would’ with ‘I’d’.
  • Use exclamatory sentences like ‘Holy cow’ ‘Say what?’
  • It’s okay to use fragments within your writing.
  • It is also okay to start a sentence with a conjunction like ‘and’ or ‘but’.
  • Don’t use passive voice. Instead of saying ‘it’s been decided’, say ‘I decided that ..’, or ‘Your comment is much appreciated’, ‘I appreciate your comment’.
  • Avoid using jargon and industry-speak.
  • Avoid appearing too formal. It makes your writing boring.
  • Ask questions to make your writing feel like a dialogue instead of a monologue.
  • Inject your personality.
  • Use words that are unique to you. Use some slang but don’t go overboard.
  • Watch your tone. Do you want to sound warm and approachable or come across like a princess?


#5 Brevity is your friend

Let me ask you a question (please don’t throw something at me) – are you busy?

Exactly! I mean, in today’s information oversaturated world, who isn’t?

We are all starving for time and genuine connection. This is the perfect opportunity for you to stand out. Get to the point quickly. (And yes, I am writing this in a 2000+ blog post, the irony is not lost on me.)

So let me clarify. I’m not asking you to write 200-word blog posts, or restrict the length of all your social media updates. What I’m saying is to be concise in your writing. Conciseness means getting rid of rambling, repetition, irrelevant information, redundancy, and anything else that takes away from a pleasurable reading experience.

Here are some tips for you:

  • As a general rule, use short words, sentences and paragraphs.
  • Eliminate all run-on sentences.
  • Get rid of all unnecessary information.
  • Edit ruthlessly. Edit to make your writing even better.
  • Cut all words that don’t affect your sentence structure.
  • Shorten your stories
  • Tighten up your writing.


#6 Make your reader the focus of the content

Do you know the difference between a business blog vs a personal one? Let me tell you in case you don’t.

Your personal blog is more like an online journal. You write it for your friends, family and colleagues. You muse about matters that are interesting and important to YOU. You are content with a handful of people reading it and leaving an occasional comment. You don’t have any goals to build your list or monetize it.

Contrast that with your business blog which exists to build K-L-T (Know, like and trust) and grow your email list. It has a different purpose altogether.

So when you consider publishing anything on your blog, you have to make your readers your main focus. Think about what they want. What are they interested in reading more about? What sort of content appeals to this audience?

Make your content all about them. Here are some handy tips to do this:

  • Address your reader in the post. Pretend you are sitting across them having a friendly conversation and keep that picture in mind.
  • Use ‘you’ and ‘your’ instead of ‘me or ‘I”.
  • Mirror their responses.
  • Use the kind of language they use.
  • Build your content around questions they ask and topics they request.
  • Ask them questions.
  • Ask them for feedback.
  • Ask them for comments. Make them a part of this conversation


#7 Use proven content types

To make it really easy for yourself, see what is already working. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Go out and explore some blogs in your industry. See what is getting popular. Pay attention to the content type. Is the piece long-form or short? Is it image heavy or does it contain some form of audio?

What about the topic. Is it straight how-to content? Are they using video to do a tutorial? Are they interviewing influencers? Are they just curating what is out there already?

Here are some content ideas that are proven to work:

  • Do an epic list post.
  • Do a really short, punchy piece.
  • Do an interview post where you reach out to influencers in your industry, ask them a question or two and compile the results.
  • Write about something that is not working in your industry right now.
  • Do a video tutorial.
  • Create an infographic.
  • Create a meme around your brand.
  • Tell a story about yourself.
  • Teach your readers to do something super fast.
  • Write a post about the lessons you have learned in the past 5 or 10 years
  • Publish a rant.
  • Publish an image-heavy post.


#8 Make it look good

You have done a fantastic job nailing your headline and so you succeed in getting people to click through. You have also worked hard to create an irresistible opening that is sure to hook people and grab their attention.

However, you still find that there isn’t any evidence that your content is having impact. For example, you aren’t receiving any comments, social media shares or any feedback at all. The problem might be that nobody is actually reading the post till the end. And this isn’t because the post is not well-written and relevant, the issue could be formatting.

You have to adapt your writing for the world wide web. What works in print doesn’t necessarily works online. Here are some tips:

  • Choose a font that is easy to read.
  • Use images to entice your reader.
  • Use sub-headings to highlight the important points for those who like to scan.
  • Use bullets, numbered lists and italics to make some text stand out.
  • Break up long paragraphs into shorter ones (it is okay to use a one-sentence paragraph).
  • Use lots of white space to make it easy on the eye.
  • Make sure the text doesn’t stretch across the screen. Don’t make it too wide.
  • Optimize for mobile and make it easy to read on a tiny screen.
  • Make your links attractive and useful by hyperlinking words that explain what you are linking to.

Remember, if you focus on your reader, put out content that they find highly useful, and make it accessible (share on social media, make it easy to consume online), then there is no reason why your content won’t see any traction.

However, do keep this in mind – if you are going to play the content game, it is going to be for the long haul.

Content marketing is not a sprint, it is a marathon, so if you want a great ROI (return on investment) on your time and effort, you gotta stay consistent. Don’t give up too soon and you will see it pay off. Good luck! And share in the comments below how you tackle content marketing problems.

The post 8 Tips On Writing Content That People Want to Read Right Now appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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How To Create An Engaging Brand Narrative On Twitter Tue, 10 Nov 2015 15:37:45 +0000 Creative non-fiction is one of the most overlooked and, in my opinion, underrated narrative forms in all of literature. One of my favourite ever books is a so-called non-fiction novel by Truman Capote – In Cold Blood. I’m sure you’ve … Read more

The post How To Create An Engaging Brand Narrative On Twitter appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Creative non-fiction is one of the most overlooked and, in my opinion, underrated narrative forms in all of literature. One of my favourite ever books is a so-called non-fiction novel by Truman Capote – In Cold Blood. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, and many, no doubt, have read it also, for it is one of the finest pieces of creative journalism to have ever been peeled off the printing press.

What makes it so engaging? Well, aside from the fact that it is penned by one of the greatest English language writers the world has ever known, it’s the constant realisation, as you’re reading, that, despite how the book is written, that Capote’s narrative is 100% real, and not actually a fiction at all.

For me it has the same effect as when those all-enticing words appear on-screen before a movie commences ­– ‘Based on a true story.’ This invariably makes the audience sit up and pay even closer attention. All the drama, conflict and heartache is somehow enhanced by those five magical words. They bring about an added depth of reality to the tale that wouldn’t have been there without them. Sleepers, Schindler’s List, Into the Wild, My Left Foot, A Beautiful Mind, Catch Me If You Can, Goodfellas, Capote – all amazing major motion pictures, but would they really have enjoyed quite the same applause if they weren’t all ‘based upon true stories’?

It’s a difficult question to answer, to be fair, because these are all great movies. Some Academy Award-winning, in fact. And so there is indeed a very viable argument for the contrary – that is to say that, yes, Goodfellas, Catch Me If You Can, Sleepers – all of them – would have been just as enthralling even if the plots and the story beats had all been plucked right out of thin air. Of course they would. Of course they would. But still – there would have been something missing. Something that it’s quite hard to put your finger on, but nonetheless fundamental to the whole spirit of the creation.

No, for me, the reason why movie makers feel the need to insist that those five magic words are emblazoned for all to see at the start of the movie, is that they know as well as anyone that true stories engage. And indeed, that’s exactly why I love In Cold Blood so much.


It’s All About Veracity

Yes it is. As I’ve said, veracity is an underrated narrative form when it comes to the written word – albeit less so when it comes to the big screen. Why is this? When we read fiction – and indeed reviews and criticism of fiction – we hail the writer for how believable, how real the story is.  And yet when we are reading non-fiction – newspapers, text books, magazines, blogs – we somehow settle for just being informed, rather than entertained.

And for me this begs a rather obvious question – why shouldn’t there be a kind of reverse crossover when it comes to our non-fiction output? Rather than being ‘based on a true story’, why shouldn’t our business narratives be ‘based on the traditions of story-telling’? Indeed, I think this is exactly why true-movies and non-fiction novels work so well – they bring the best of both worlds neatly together in one artistic expression.

Veracity, by definition (unless you intend to lie to your customers, which is absolutely not a very good idea), is already very much a part of your business story – but what it might well lack is a bit of conflict, drama and suspense to keep your following hooked.


How To Create An Engaging Brand Narrative On Twitter

Twitter lends itself particularly well to creating a brand narrative. Those little 140 character posts are just short and punchy enough that you can create intrigue, suspense and sensation very simply and quickly – everything a compelling narrative needs.

But, you were probably hoping for some slightly more actionable tips than that, so here’s what I suggest.


1. Prepare In Advance

None of the great tales ever simply oozed out of the writer’s pen without any forethought whatsoever (although, to be fair, I believe Jack Kerouac’s On The Road was supposedly crafted along those lines – and some people consider that to be a ‘great tale’, so it’s conceivable that you might, too). So, don’t begin a storytelling campaign on Twitter without mapping out exactly how you conceive each ‘chapter’ to flow onto the next one. Make a draft plan, and remember some rules of storytelling that you must embed within your campaign:

  • Your story must have a beginning, a middle, and an end (There’s no point just jumping right into the middle of something without setting up the context of the forthcoming narrative. And, similarly, no matter what happens during the ‘middle’ section, you must resolve it at the end.)
  • Give your story an emotional arc (To plan for this, you need to consider how you want your following to fell at the beginning of you story, and how you want to transform this at the end.)
  • Plan your story to be engaging, shareable and interactive where possible (The whole idea of turning towards storytelling for a marketing boost is to try and reach out a little further than you normally would be able to. Not everyone may be interested in your brand, but, find a good story to tell, and plenty will be interested in your campaign. Encourage engagement and interaction – even if that just means that your following will leave comments that you reply to – and you should hopefully find your campaign gets shared far and wide for its entertainment value, with your brand name attached to it of course.)

2. Create Memorable, Lovable, Identifiable Characters

Stories are only as engaging as the characters that carry the audience along. But, my top suggestion here is to try and make your product the central character of your Twitter story. In this way you can imbue your product with whatever personality you can possibly conceive. If it’s a cleaning product, then you could turn it into some type of superhero; a superfood nutty product could be carried along quite cutely by some sort of animal like a squirrel; and even if you’re something like a digital research agency, you could most certainly liven up your image by having some sort of detective character in a trench coat and trilby fronting your Twitter campaign. And this in fact brings me on nicely to my next point.


3. Use Images To Tell Your Story

Social media has gone visual. There’s no escaping this fact. And Twitter is no exception. I know from experimentation with my own Twitter account, that tweets with pictures generally get at least twice the engagement as ones that don’t, and often three, four or five times that, to be frank.

And of course if you’re creating characters, then the best way to bring these to life on social media will be to create images of them. A picture really can say a thousand words, and your visual characters can be endearing at a glance to anyone who stumbles across them online. Indeed, there’s nothing to stop you from including comic-book style speech bubbles in your images, provided, of course, that such a thing is appropriate to your story and overall brand image/message.

How do you use storytelling to promote your brand on Twitter? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

The post How To Create An Engaging Brand Narrative On Twitter appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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Best 50 Blogging Tools for Getting into Top 2015 Blogs Mon, 09 Nov 2015 15:41:21 +0000 Running a blog is not as easy of a task as people may think. Blogging is really an art that requires the right attitude. To write a good article, you should first do some research, then put all your thoughts … Read more

The post Best 50 Blogging Tools for Getting into Top 2015 Blogs appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Running a blog is not as easy of a task as people may think. Blogging is really an art that requires the right attitude. To write a good article, you should first do some research, then put all your thoughts together, prepare images and videos. And it doesn’t end here. The most important part is bringing your content to the hands of your audience, getting people to read and share your post.

Looks quite difficult, doesn’t it? However, if you are ready to do this job and try your powers in content writing, here is the list of best blogging tools that will help you during each stage of the writing process – starting from topic choice and ending up with social media promo.

Just keep in mind one thing: tools don’t make the blogger! It’s all about your passion, creativity, and desire. Welcome to the blogging world!


Multimedia Tools


Whatever topic you write about, you might need to add a video to your post. In most cases, visual content helps readers better understand what you are talking about, then turning readers into subscribers. Freemake Video Converter lets you prepare and add videos onto your blog. Cut, rotate, join videos into one file and convert it “to HTML5”. The software will convert your video in three formats (OGG, MP4, and WebM) and provide a ready code which you can copy and paste into your blog post.



Pics are a must-have for a good blog article. However, you don’t want to spend money on images for your blog, go to PhotoPin for free images. The site provides millions of pictures for blog posts. Just choose those that suit your topic more.


Death to the Stock Photo

In case you don’t find anything to your liking on PhotoPin, here is another great source for free pictures. It’s a subscription-based site. Leave your email and get hi-res lifestyle photos every month. For those who want to get an access to all site photos, there is a Premium subscription available.



Imgflip is a free meme generator full of ready meme backgrounds. You only need to choose the one you like and type your text. If you have a fun category or fun posts in your blog, it’s be best to remember to add some meme pictures. They are extremely popular now and will attract readers, especially if you publish such a pic as a preview for your blog in social networks.



When you’re describing a software or teaching how to use a particular web service, you can’t work without screenshots to make your post more clear and professional. Awesome Screenshot is a nice tool for capturing web pages. It lets you add captions, comments, or annotations to your screenshot, blur private information, and save the result in one click. The extension can be added to Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.



Snagit is a powerful image editing tool for Windows and Mac OS users. With its help you can take beautiful screenshots for your articles. You can shoot either the entire screen or a part of it. Snagit has a great built-in photo editor which lets you make all the necessary editing. It’s a paid tool, but it’s worth paying for.



Pixlr Online Photo editor is a good alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It doesn’t require any installation, yet it has plenty of options. You can create an image from scratch or edit a previously made picture. Pixlr allows you to work with masks, layers, filters, brushes, and gradients like a fully-functional desktop software. Whenever you can’t find a good pic for your blog, use Pixlr to create one.



Make your blog more interesting and attractive by using GIF’s. They are extremely popular on Tumblr and will help you promote your blog on this platform. Use MakeaGif to easily create a simple GIF picture out of your photos. All you need to do is to add photos, arrange them in the right order, and press “Create a GIF” button.”


Vid to Gif

As it’s clear from its title, Vid to GIF lets you create GIF images from YouTube videos. What you should do is to copy and paste the YouTube video URL, point to where the start and the end of you future GIF are, and click to create it.



Camtasia is a well-known software for recording and editing screen videos. Available for Windows and Mac OS, it’ll be the perfect tool for those who observe software and need to show how a particular program works. It’s always better to show, than to explain.



Audacity is a must-have if you work with audio. It lets you record screen audio, edit audio files, add effects, and convert tracks to a number of digital formats. This tool is great for podcasters. Alternatively, you can add voice comments to your videos.


Social Sharing and Promo Tools


GetResponse is a powerful email marketing tool. It’ll provide you with a subscription form for your blog and take care about your readers’ emails. GetResponse has over 500 ready templates that you can use to send beautiful emails with new posts to your subscribers. A perfectly written email will bring people back to your blog. Read GetResponse blog for great articles about email and online marketing.



You have probably already heard about Buffer, a free service that lets you share your content via social networks. Add Twitter, Facebook, and/or G+ account and schedule your posts for publishing. If 10 posts are not enough, go for business account for $102/yr. Remember that social media are a must have promo tool!



Hootsuite is one of the best dashboard tools for managing your social account. It supports all major social platforms and allows you to post blog posts automatically, right from your RSS feed.



Tumblr is a popular microblogging platform. If you have fun content, it’ll be a perfect place to leave a preview for your article with a link and a funny pic. Just don’t forget to use hashtags to let people find your post.


IO is a free tiny blogging platform by Evernote. It’s easy to use and just like Tumblr it can serve as an additional promo source for your posts.



Digg Digg is a free plugin for WordPress that allows you to add floating social buttons to your blog. Help people share your content with friends with ease!



Da Button Factory is a nice free web service to create call-to-action buttons for your blog. Use it to increase your posts’ CTR.



Quora is one of the most popular Q&A sites where you can promote your posts. Just search for the related questions and leave a link to your article. Alternatively, you may check the most asked questions and write a blog article on the corresponding topics. Pay attention to the question title. You can get useful keywords from it.



Followerwonk can help you find Twitter influencers that can check and share your blog content with their readers. It can also help you analyze your Twitter account and get detailed info about your followers. By contacting the right people, you might get important comments from them and improve your posts.



WiseStamp is a simple web service that lets you add a beautiful signature to your email. You can use it to add your blog and social account links with buttons to every email you send to your readers. It will help you collect more followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other account and thus bring your post to more people.


Keyword Research Search Tools

Google Trends

A good article will get zero readers if it’s not presented in Google Search. To make Google find and rank your article, you should get a right set of words (called keywords) and add them to your title and page description.

Check if the keywords you are planning to use are popular ones. Google Trends will show you the volume for each keyword or phrase. Thus, you can make a decision whether your potential article is worth spending time on.


Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner will also help you check whether a keyword is highly requested and offer related keywords that can bring you a new idea. You can also enter a series of keywords and get results for each of them at the same time.



BuzzSumo lets you search for popular topics on social networks by entering a corresponding keyword. Explore what people and bloggers from your niche write about a particular topic and think how you can observe it in a better way.


Content And Optimization Tools


No doubt, you have heard about this software. Evernote is great for making notes and writing drafts. Install Evernote on all your devices and enable the sync option to have your text always on hand. Then just copy a ready text and paste it into your blog.



Google Docs is one more web service where you can write and keep your draft. It has all the main functions of Microsoft Word and lets you access you data from any place in the world.



If you are too lazy to type, use Dragon Dictation App for iPhone to simply speak your text. The app will give you a ready transcript of your voice text, that you can paste directly into your blog. In case you have a complete idea of your post in your head, Dragon Dictation will help you finish the post faster. Learn more tips for faster writing here.


Headline Analyzer

No doubt, the headline is the most important part of your post. Based on your headline, people will make a decision whether to open your article or leave it behind. Paste your title in the Headline Analyzer and get a score for it. Headline Analyzer doesn’t provide ready variants for your title, but based on the date it gives, you can easily improve your headline. If you can’t get a high score in this service, don’t be sad! Here are five tools and tips that will help you create a brilliant headline.


Proof-reading Tools


Before posting your article, copy and paste it into Hemingway App. It’s one of the greatest blogging tools ever. The free web service will check your post readability and make suggestions for improving it. It will make your article easier to understand and more comfortable to read.



Grammarly is definitely a must-use. Check your spelling, punctuation, style, and more. The site shows your mistakes for free, but to see the suggestions you need to buy one of the paid plans. However, even with the free plan you can see what to correct.


SEO and Analytics Tools


Without doubt, you must know Google Analytics. What it does is give you detailed information about your blog: number of views and visitors, bounce rate, time rate, customers’ flow, keywords, and many, many other features. If you plan to work hard on your blog, Google Analytics is the 1st thing to get.



One more great product from Google. It will help you check sites that have links to your blog, and find and delete duplicate content that you might have on your site. Google Webmaster Tools will also let you check your site ranking in Google and identify issues with your site.



Semrush is a powerful tool used to analyze you competitors and your blog performance. Paste a keyword or a URL into the search box and learn what keywords your competitors use, what place they get in Google, and other useful information. There is a free limited access that you may get once in 24 hours.



Ahrefs is another tool for keyword and competitor analysis, and to check who links your competitor’s sites in order to find new potential partners. You can also get information about your social media performance.



Serpstats like SEMrush and Ahrefs let you get information about keyword volume, find your competitors and their ranking or traffic.



ScreamingFrog lets you see a complete list of sites that posted links to your blog, it also checks what kind of links they provide. If you think there is a bad link that may negatively affect your site, use Google Webmaster Tools to get rid of it.



The Jetpack plugin provides you with traffic stats right from your WordPress dashboard.  It’s not as great as Google Analytics, but it can give you a brief summary of what’s going on in case you don’t have time for a full report.



All in One SEO Pack is one more must-have for your blog. It lets you use your own meta title and description for every post and customize post URL. Thus if you choose correct keywords and create a right title, your post has all chances to rate higher in Google. All in One SEO Pack is highly compatible with other plugins, so you can extend its functionality.


Self-Organizing Tools


Trello is a nice web service to organize your work. Create columns like “Plan”, “In Progress”, “Ready”, or any other that comes to your mind. After that add cards with your plans into the 1st column and move them from one column to another depending on the status of your work. It will let you see how much time you spent on a task, helping you to plan how you can make it faster the next time.



Make a schedule for your publications and add it to Google Calendar. Turn on notifications and sync your calendar among all your devices to not forget a single event.



Toggl is perfect for tracking time. Add your task to Toggl, press the Start/Stop button, and start working. When your task is done, get back to see full stats of how you spent your time. It’ll help you organize your day more effectively and complete more tasks.


General Tools


In case you want to monetize your blog, use Google AdSense tool to place corresponding banner ads to your blog. Google AdSense is simple to use, and you’ll always get paid on time.



ClickBank is a popular affiliate network for bloggers. It offers a great number of products, so surely you’ll find something to promote in your posts. Isn’t it great to do what you like and get paid for that?



Prepare images, photos, video, and audio materials for your new post and add it to Dropbox to access them whenever you need.



If you don’t like Dropbox for some reason, you can always use Google Drive for the same purpose. Moreover, all the documents you create with Google Docs will be automatically added to your Google Drive.



Of course you might be using it already, but WordPress should be in this list. It’s a great place to store your blog with a great number of beautiful themes and all kinds of plugins. Better choose a mobile friendly theme to let all readers feel comfortably while reading your posts.



If you want to create your own blog from the scratch and don’t want to use ready platforms like WordPress, go for Bluehost. It’ll host your blog for a reasonable price without any limits.



PollDaddy is necessary when you want to collect your readers’ opinions or feedback. The tool lets you easily create surveys and polls. PollDaddy is highly customizable and very easy to use. Ask people what they think about your articles. It might help you to get new ideas or improve your writings.



GTMetrix helps you check your site’s speed and provides useful recommendations on how to make it faster. Use it at least once per month to see if everything is ok with your blog. Otherwise you may lose potential readers if your site is too slow.



It’s not really a blogging tool, but it can be of much help. HeadSpace is a simple cute meditation tool. Whenever you are stuck writing a post or analyzing your blog, just take a 10-minute break and relax.


Hope this list will be helpful to you. However, we can always make it better. Let’s create a bigger one! Share what tools and services you use for your blogging activity in comments.

Terry SmithAuthor’s bio: Terry Smith is a freelance blogger, former teacher and web developer. He enjoys modern technology and sharing his thoughts and ideas with other people. You can follow him on Twitter.





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Understanding Content Marketing in 10 Steps #FreebieFriday Fri, 06 Nov 2015 15:27:22 +0000 If you’re just starting off your content marketing journey or you’re in need of getting back your content marketing inspiration, it’s time you brush up on the basic steps to achieving content marketing success. So what exactly is content marketing?  … Read more

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If you’re just starting off your content marketing journey or you’re in need of getting back your content marketing inspiration, it’s time you brush up on the basic steps to achieving content marketing success. So what exactly is content marketing? 

If you were to ask “what is content marketing for 500” the first answer that Google will throw at you would be an answer from wikipedia:

Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.”

However, content marketing is much more refined than just publishing stuff in order to conquer and acquire. The founding fathers (Content Marketing Institute) of the art of content explained it in greater detail:

“Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.”

So, it’s about creating guides and informational maps to educate people so much so, that they will want to know more, they will seek out your product, and they will be your loyal customers.



It’s easy to create, but it’s much easier to see that created content work if we know exactly who it is for and what it’s supposed to do. Below is an excerpt from the free guide which you will find at the end of this post:


As you can see, the road to establishing a goal for a content piece is very much based on the conversion funnel. Too many marketers write for the sake of writing, adding sales pitches within their text, hoping for more clicks and sing-ups. However, content marketing is meant to educate. When your customers, and potential customers, are educated they are more likely to use your product, share it with others, become brand advocates.

What’s more, well prepared content is a tool to be used not just by customers but by customer support as well. Mindful content is prepared to answer questions and doubts, it explains and teaches – customer support is able to first hand share that with your customers whenever they need something hands on to guide them.

Nevertheless, content is mean to get more leads. A surprising fact is that even more than lead generation, marketers are using content as a way to raise their brand awareness. A study shared by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs that 84% say brand awareness is the most important goal.


Creating and distributing

According eMarketer, 63% of decision-makers choose to share relevant content via in-person conversations:


Content is the perfect way for customer success representatives to show the way and for marketers to spread the word. What’s astounding is that blog, as a method of sharing, is towards the end of this list, showing just how important it is to:

  1. Create relevant content
  2. Post it via media that can be later on distributed (blog post)
  3. Share the blog post, text, or ebook via channels that are even more effective like email or social media.

Intertwining your marketing efforts and using differentiated channels serves as a foundation for CMI’s definition of content marketing, “regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process, not something separate.”

How do you plan out your strategies? Are you making sure that all channels of marketing are partnering up to create a campaign that distributes on all fronts?

From A to Z

Contrary to popular belief, content marketing is not just – goals, creating, distributing. Those three steps are a part of a whole process. So, what does it take to be a content marketer?

  1. You need to know your goals.
  2. You must be able to edit and write in a manner that customers will resonate with.
  3. You should be ready to research the deepest corners of the Internet.
  4. You must be familiar with SEO tactics and influencer marketing.
  5. You need to understand how social media goes hand-in-hand with your content.
  6. You should know how to make use of content tools and platforms
  7. You can create a plan for thought leadership based on the quality of your content.
  8. You know how to create engaging content through storytelling.
  9. You understand the importance of loyalty
  10. You are familiar with analytics and what you need to measure to learn from your results.

As you can see, as a content marketer you have to put on quite a few hats to be able to put all the pieces together. Each step is a result of your previous action, and that is followed another step you need to take. So why is content marketing so important, if it is so hard? Because it informs, it drives traffic to your site, it creates brand awareness, it’s easily shareable, and it brings numerous SEO benefits (if done correctly.)

Furthermore, in 2016 we will be creating even more content! Take a look at this chart:


2016 will be another victorious year for content. Which is why, if you haven’t already, you need to get on the content marketing bandwagon! Download our free ebook “10 Steps to Understanding Content Marketing” to learn more. Do you have a documented content marketing strategy? Share in the comments below how you tackle content!

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How Conversion Rate Optimization Helps Improve Sales on Shopify Thu, 05 Nov 2015 16:04:56 +0000 Many shoppers circle the sales funnel only to jump back out again. Why? Lots of reasons, actually. There are tons of things – some of them tiny, minuscule even – which could change your customer’s mind at the last moment, … Read more

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Many shoppers circle the sales funnel only to jump back out again. Why? Lots of reasons, actually. There are tons of things – some of them tiny, minuscule even – which could change your customer’s mind at the last moment, causing them to say “I’m out”.

Something as simple as an increase in font size, or a swapping a single word in a phrase could massively improve your conversion rates. And that’s why it’s important to pay attention to conversion rate optimization.

Conversion rate optimization is when you use analytics and customer/user feedback to try and improve your website’s performance (i.e turning a “maybe” into a “yes”).

Why do we want to improve conversion rates?

  • There’s always something that can be improved, something that can make the customer’s journey less painful and more streamlined.
  • PPC is getting more costly, and you can effectively spend less by making the most of the visitors who’ve clicked through to your site by optimising it for conversions.
  • The world of ecommerce is ever-expanding – more and more competition is cropping up, so you need to do everything you possibly can to convert your potential customers and reduce the risk of them looking elsewhere.
  • A business that’s always improving and updating its site looks more legitimate than a site that stagnates.
  • The effects are immediate, unlike SEO, which can take months to show results.

We’ve spoken to some experts and shopify sellers to see what they are doing to improve their conversion rates.


1. Track where people are looking, and focus on problems your product can solve

If you track where people are looking, you also know what they’re not paying attention to. Try using a tool like CrazyEgg to see where your visitors are clicking and scrolling. This can help you figure out whether users are bypassing your calls to action.

Shopify store owner, Adelaida Diaz-Roa, Ruffit Dog Carriers used this tactic, as well as others:We’ve managed to raise our conversion rate from 2.03% to 4.66% recently. Our store is (on Shopify) and while there have been many techniques we’ve used, I’d say the biggest ones are using apps like SumoMe to track where people are clicking and what they’re looking at, also setting up cart recovery emails, and putting pictures of customers on our front page as well as product reviews on the product page. Another great thing has been changing our content to focus more on showing the problems our carriers can solve and how instead than on the product itself.”


2. “Find, fix, and follow up”

Once you’ve figured out where you’ve gone wrong, you need to fix the issue, then test your new tactics, and analyse the results.

Shopify store owner Robert Eisenstein, President of, a site specializing in Baseball Cards and U.S. Coins, suggests a 3 step process for improving conversion rates:

“Basically, we went through a 3-step, process, which was Find, Fix, and Follow-up.”

“To find out how best to use our existing visitors to increase sales without paying for more traffic, we used Google Analytics to check for pages where our bounce rate was over 20%. For those pages, we ran heat-maps to track user’s eye movement on those pages, and as a fix, we first ran A/A tests and ultimately, we addressed colors and readability of the content.”

“As a follow up, we watched our bounce rates drop in Google Analytics and we learned never to become complacent or sink more funds into attracting more visitors into a poorly-converting funnel.”


3. Segmented Retargeting

Retargeting is when you try and reach those who have previously visited your website and then left for whatever reason based on their previous actions. This can be through display ads, social media, email and so on.

David Smethie, a Digital Marketing Consultant tells us: Retargeting is the best way to improve conversions without acquiring more unique visitors. With retail, the concept is pretty simple, but implementation can be time consuming depending on how many products you sell.”

This brings us back to shopping cart abandonment emails, which was mentioned earlier. Simply setting up an automated email that offers users who have filled a shopping cart then abandoned it a discount voucher could help bring back that customer who has already reached your site then left.

“The easiest win with the highest ROI is to retarget visitors who added a product or products to their shopping cart but didn’t check out for whatever reason. Then serve this segment of prospects ads that entice them to complete the transaction, by offering a discount code for example. To make sure customers that purchased a given product at full price don’t see these ads offering a discount, be sure to create a buyers retargeting list for each product and subtract that list from your shopping cart abandon list.”

This could be significantly cheaper than spending cash on a new campaign to try and bring new clicks.


4. Increase PR efforts

Shopify sellers Sanjay and Shashi Aggarwal, who own Spice Kitchen, which focusses on selling high-quality Indian spices say that the key to improving conversion rates is through upping their PR game and reaching out to journalists and bloggers who focus on their niche, as well as making their store more responsive:

“We have done a number of things to improve conversions over the last 3 years since starting. Firstly we have ensured we have a really clean design and we invested in a great Shopify theme that fit our brand. We have added regular blogs and recipes and in conjunction with being very active on Social Media we have increased traffic of people visiting our site.”

“For the past 18 months I have been actively involved with raising our profile in the UK market by connecting with food bloggers, engaging with journalists within food / small business in order to get our story out there. This has resulted in regular features in regional and national press online and in print.”

“We have also started doing more face to face events in the UK and we try to ensure that every person we engage takes a flyer or business card and therefore has the opportunity to visit our online store. This has again worked well for us.”

“We have a few good apps that we have used on Shopify. Pure Chat is an excellent tool for allowing our store visitors to talk to us. This is free for upto 30 chats per month. We use ShopPad, which converts our store to a more responsive layout when people view on mobile or ipad. We use Google Adwords to analyse where our traffic is from and this affects how we change our marketing.”

“Like making any business successful it takes commitment and relentless hard work. The PR work has been a daily search for opportunities and it has worked extremely well. This has come from 18 months of hard work, there are simply no quick wins.”

“We have also ensured fundamentally that our products are excellent and every customer has been happy with them and the service they have received. Any issues or problems are sorted immediately.”


5. Use external tools

Aaron Dicks Managing Director, a digital marketing agency suggests using external tools, particularly Visual Website Optimiser and Google analytics Experiments, as well as getting an external trust mark for your store to help your customers recognize your site’s legitimacy:

“The best way we’ve found to properly test for conversion optimisation is with an external tool. Typically, at Impression, we use Visual Website Optimiser ( due to the range of possible experiments you can run simultaneously. However, Google Analytics Experiments would be suitable for any Shopify retailer just getting started with CRO.”

“As CRO is concerned with upwards pressure on a website’s conversion rate, on ecommerce stores typically the more straightforward tests are those surrounding allowing users to easily add products to their baskets, or to check out more easily. However, CRO, when paired with an equally important school of thought called User Experience (UX) testing would lead true ecommerce digital marketing managers to rethink how their website is structured, how products are categorised and filtered, and the weight of importance of each piece of content on the product page.”

“This means that all of the following pages aspects are ‘fair game’ for CRO testing, and so long as you keep good logs of changes, many of these do not require external tools to manage:

  • Headline (landing page title or product “name”)
  • Call to action style
  • Product images (lifestyle or product shoots, for example)
  • Descriptions (long vs short)

“When using external tools like Visual Website Optimiser, you’re much more able to run multivariate tests, or segment down your A/B test audience to ensure you keep disruption to an absolute minimum for your website visitors. The reporting options you have are better also.”  

“No matter what testing you do, there are some elements to running an online store that nearly always increase conversion rates, and these are also traits of running a good sustainable business. This includes reviews and ratings, trust and authority marks such as secure checkouts, and business/online awards.”

“Google Trusted Stores is a good example of an external trust mark (including extra third party warranty), but as mentioned above, many of the traits of an established online business are required in order to even qualify (minimum order volume, good seller reviews, fair returns policy, etc).”

These are some tried and tested methods of optimising conversion rates that have worked well for sellers on Shopify. A few small tweaks really could make all the difference, so experiment, try something new, and last but not least: test, test, and test some more!




This was a guest post by Jodie Pride, content creator at Shopify inventory management software

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9 Super-Easy Ways to Personalize Your Emails Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:27:28 +0000 Personalization is one of the biggest trends of Internet marketing right now. Whether it’s personalizing websites, or social media content or emails, more and more marketers are trying their hand with this technique. But that’s not even the most interesting … Read more

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Personalization is one of the biggest trends of Internet marketing right now. Whether it’s personalizing websites, or social media content or emails, more and more marketers are trying their hand with this technique.

But that’s not even the most interesting part. The most curious thing about personalization is how more and more consumers report they want more personalized marketing messages. Some of them even expect it.


How nearly 2,000 email subscribers answered the question, “Q: In which of the following ways, if any, would you like company emails to change? Please select all that apply.” More personalization was the second-most requested change.

With personalization on the rise, with customers requesting it, and with all the reports of great results from personalization, you’d think almost every email would be using it. So why are so many of us email marketers still stuck in personalization 101. Why are we still thinking of personalization as just using someone’s first name in the subject line? We’re working with one of the most flexible, testable and customizable marketing channels on the planet.


Personalizing a subject line like this is a good start, but there’s way more you can do.

Part of the reason we’re hanging back may be because we know adding a first name to a subject line now and again is likely to lift open rates. It’s also fairly easy to add that first name. And it’s data most of us have. Why not did it?


Personalizing the subject line of your emails is really easy. It takes just a few clicks in GetResponse.

Well, because in some cases, personalizing the subject line can actually hurt results. That’s what we found when we analyzed over 53,000 unique messages sent from GetResponse accounts between September and December 2009.

Here are the details of that study:

emails with personalized subjects averaged 26% higher open rates and over 130% higher CTRs than emails without personalized subject lines. Pretty impressive at first glance!

Unfortunately, the same stats clearly show that email with personalized subject lines averaged 26% higher complaints and over 71% higher unsubscribe rates than emails without personalization. This time it doesn’t look as impressive.

So what’s a marketer to do? Not personalize at all?

No. You should definitely keep personalizing. But it’s time to try something more creative than the first name in the subject line. There are all sorts of personalization tricks you can apply to your emails. The ones I’ve picked for this blog post don’t even require any fancy information merges. You don’t need peoples’ past order histories or download records do to anything I’ll describe here.

Just by “borrowing” a few ideas from some cool emails I’ve come across, I think we can get you thinking outside the subject line. Actually, I bet you’ll be able to think of a couple more personalization tactics by the time you’ve read this post through. But these nine ideas are enough to get us started.


1) Personalize the salutation.

This is actually the #1 place I’m seeing first names used. It’s just as simple to insert a first name into the salutation as it is to insert it into the subject line.


Notice how this first name begins with a lowercase letter. You might want to clean up the data from your forms a bit and capitalize each first name before you send a mailing out.

Also note how this email doesn’t personalize the subject line, but does personalize the salutation. That was one of the recommendations from that GetResponse study I mentioned above. The testers believed that the personalized subject line raised expectations too high, then broke them when people opened the email. Only personalizing the salutation gets around that problem.


2) Personalize an image in your email.

Incorporating someone’s name into an image is a new way to grab subscribers’ attention. It works because we’re drawn to images (sorry about the pun), and so we’re more likely to see our name if it’s in an image.

This is a fairly new trick, so it may be working simply because subscribers aren’t used to it yet. Sometimes just adding something beyond the typical hum-drum email gets attention.

Here’s an example courtesy of



3) Personalize the preheader text.

Preheader text is known as “the second subject line”. So why not personalize it? Here’s another reason to personalize it: Half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. And the preheader text takes up more space than the subject line on many mobile devices.

Bonus idea: Personalize the postscript in your email. You know, the “PS:” at the close? Postscripts often get read more than body copy.


4) Personalize (or segment) according to whatever URL is in your subscribers’ email addresses.

Say you’ve got a bunch of people with email addresses that end with “”. Send an email to them that’s “just for Gmail users!”

This is even more effective if you’re in B2B and send emails to a bunch of people in a few select companies. Then you can craft a special offer or discount just for employees at those firms.


5) Add a personalized video.

Services like BombBomb and Idomoo can help you create personalized video emails like the one below.


Note that even these services don’t usually embed the video into the email message. Like most other marketers, they create an image that looks like a video for the email. When the subscriber clicks that image, they’re brought to a landing page where the video automatically plays.


6) Personalize according to how many days it’s been since someone subscribed.

I got this cute email on my second “Twitterversary”. It even had an animated gif – the candle sparkled.

Why not send your subscribers “anniversary” emails? If someone stays with you even long enough to get to a first year anniversary, that’s still pretty good. They deserve a little something.



7) Personalize by adding their Gravatar profile image to your email.

I mentioned earlier that we’re drawn to images. Well, we’re positively magnetized to our own image. Adding someone’s Gravatar photo, like Buffer did here, almost makes it look like you handcrafted the email.

There are instructions on how to embed a Gravatar image in an email here. If you don’t do code, they might be scary. But you could always hire a coder to set it up for you.



8) Use email retargeting

I said think outside the subject line, right? Well, how about thinking outside the email message and even outside the inbox. That’s what retargeting can do.

Here’s how it works:


Image courtesy of Retargeter.

Retargeting is a very popular technique right now. It may be invasive to some subscribers, but there’s no way around it: Retargeting works.


9) Send messages at just the right time for each individual subscriber with Time Travel or Perfect Timing.

This one’s only for GetResponse customers. If you want to want all your emails to arrive at a specific hour, regardless of your subscribers’ time zones, choose the “Time Travel” option when you’re setting up your next email campaign. It’s on the very last setup screen, near the bottom of the page (also shown below).


Or you can go a different route and let the GetResponse system send your emails based on when each individual subscriber tends to interact with your emails. Obviously you’ll need to have sent a couple of email campaigns to your list before this works well. But if you’ve been sending emails on a regular basis, it’s definitely worth a test.

And number 10? That’s up to you. I bet after seeing all these ways to personalize an email, you’ve got plenty of your own ideas. How about sharing one or two of them with us in the comments?


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Why Customer Testimonials Are The Ultimate Marketing Tools Tue, 03 Nov 2015 15:28:08 +0000 In a lot of ways this blog post doesn’t need to be written – everything that I’m going to point out here, you know already. You know, for instance, that when you buy a product, especially from the internet, you’re … Read more

The post Why Customer Testimonials Are The Ultimate Marketing Tools appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

In a lot of ways this blog post doesn’t need to be written – everything that I’m going to point out here, you know already. You know, for instance, that when you buy a product, especially from the internet, you’re much more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend than you are an advert commissioned by the selling company.

Indeed, you know that when you head onto Amazon or eBay, it’s the customer reviews and ratings that you’re looking at, rather than the actual product description. You want to know how trustworthy this seller is, or how good other readers found that book to be, or if there really was any trouble claiming a refund after 30 days when the service didn’t work out.

This sort of behaviour stands to reason, of course – as 21st Century human beings, we’re used to companies lying to us in order that they might convince us to buy their product. In fact, we’re not even offended any more – and perhaps are even a little bit disappointed when we find that the most expensive fair trade peanut butter on the web really is the smoothest.

For the fact is that every single jar of peanut butter on the market claims to be the smoothest yet, the crunchiest yet, or peanut-bloomin-butteriest yet. And the simple fact is that they can’t all be – it’s against the laws of physics.

And of course, as marketers ourselves, we’ve all been guilty of a little hyperbolic overselling from time to time, haven’t we? I know I have, especially in my early days. And when it comes to marketing your very own product, which you’re very much in love with – almost to the point where you might even be blinded to a few of its most glaring flaws – it’s very easy to produce content that paints said product a little, shall we say, generously.


Testimonials – Getting To The Truth Of Your Product

Officially speaking, a testimonial is a kind of formal statement, for which the author will give his/her approval for its use as part of a company’s marketing literature. Many websites have a ‘Testimonials’ section on the home page. Others have a completely separate page dedicated to testimonials. And still more like to use them a little more sparingly and just bung a few on the end of an email, blog post or what have you. And then there are even some businesses who don’t use testimonials as part of their ongoing campaigns at all!

Now, I absolutely stand by the exclamation mark at the end of the last sentence – because completely ignoring the unrivalled marketing weapon that is the customer testimonial is like going to war without any ammo (see, I told you I could be prone to the odd hyperbole from time to time).

Real people trust real people. Real people don’t trust faceless enterprises. It’s as simple as that. And so, without any customer testimonials, all your potential new customers have to go on is everything that you say about your product – and you’re not exactly going to be advertising its pitfalls, are you? No.


Why Customer Testimonials Are The Ultimate Marketing Tools

I’ve given the strict sense of testimonials above, but, to be honest, for the purposes of content marketing in 2015/2016, a great review on social media is just as good as an official testimonial. For one thing, a good review will incite more people to leave good reviews, and pretty soon you’ll have lots and lots littered all over your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all the rest. And this is known to increase conversions.

Some stats from BrightLocal Research – out of 2,104 respondents to an online survey about consumer usage and attitudes toward online testimonials and reviews:


  • 88% have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business
  • 39% read reviews on a regular basis
  • Only 12% do not read reviews



  • 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
  • 10% of consumers don’t take any notice of online reviews


  • 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Only 13% said they do not trust reviews as much as personal recommendations


Soliciting Testimonials And Reviews From Social

Ok, so I think we can all be pretty clear about the key benefits of having some great testimonials on your website, and a nice fresh stream of favourable reviews on social. But, let’s just bullet-point them here quickly so we can all be absolutely clear what we’re working towards.

Testimononials and Reviews:

  • Serve as social proof of your product
  • Build trust and credibility
  • Showcase your product in all sorts of ways (often consumers will be using your product in ways you hadn’t even thought of)
  • Allow your customers to do the hard work and sell your product for you
  • Are often candid, and un-salesy
  • Surmount skepticism

So, testimonials are great for all sorts of reasons – but how do you go about getting good ones?


Social Reviews

Social reviews, hopefully, will be generated naturally enough across your networks. And, if you get a particularly good one, you can simply drop your follower a line and ask them if you could use what they’ve said as a testimonial on your website. Often you will find that a happy customer will be more than willing to help in this way and become part of the story of your success.

But, what makes a good review? Well, I’ll tell you what makes a bad one. They go something like this:

“I love this product!! I’m so glad I bought it, and I’ll defo be buying more in the future!!”

Ok, so obviously this is positive, but it doesn’t really prove or explain anything to your visitors. It’s just vague, and even looks a bit spammy, to be honest.

Far better to have something like this:

“Wow, I used your toothpaste exactly like you told me, and I haven’t had any pain or bleeding now for 10 weeks. And the flavour of the mint is the freshest I’ve ever tasted in a paste. This stuff is literally life-changing. Recommend 100%.”

Hyperbolic statements like this are actually beneficial when it’s your real customers who are producing them. So, find these ones amongst your social reviews, and reach out to the authors.

What are your methods of soliciting customer testimonials? Do you have a questionnaire scheme, maybe? Or perhaps you approach the topic via your email list? Let us know in the comments below.

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Reactive Marketing Lookbook – #Movember Mon, 02 Nov 2015 15:44:49 +0000 It’s that time of the year again! Razors all over the world have been dropped, beard oils have been purchased, the sound of facial hair growing has begun. In other words – welcome to Movember! In case you don’t know … Read more

The post Reactive Marketing Lookbook – #Movember appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

It’s that time of the year again! Razors all over the world have been dropped, beard oils have been purchased, the sound of facial hair growing has begun. In other words – welcome to Movember!

In case you don’t know what Movember is, it’s a tradition begun by the Movember Foundation which raises awareness for men’s health. Basically – men don’t shave all of November and raise money! Last year we wrote about the essence of this month, from the rules all the way to leaderboards.

This year we want to turn your attention to the various ways that different brands, companies, and individuals engage is this campaign. Besides the fact that it’s a great cause, it generates enormous feedback and engagement from people. Moreover this year, the Movember Foundation decided to broaden their horizon by turning out attention to another big issue in men’s health – lack of movement.

Broadening the cause gives the campaign more traction. Not only are men able to grow fuzz and move, the ladies are also able to raise money by staying active. Brands are now more eager to take part and engage, making this campaign spread like fire.

Let’s take a look at some of the best examples of brands that are taking this opportunity to take part in reactive marketing with Movember.



Twitter is a platform where people share a lot about themselves, more so than on Facebook people are not afraid to talk about their every thought. Now, because Movember is a sort of narcissistic event in its right (I mean, it is about admiring your own fuzzy face caterpillar) guys are not afraid to spam up the #movember tag. Plus, we like to follow celebrities, our favorite magazines, or channels on Twitter – it’s the perfect place to see what they came up with!

Socialbakers created a handy infographic for Movember 2014 showing just how much engagement and new followers this event brings, just look at the excerpt of Twitter statistics:


Here are a few great Movember conversation starters for Twitter:

1. Star Wars UK


 2. Cleveland Cavaliers



3. Le Tour de France

4. DJ Waldow



5. Comedy Central UK




Facebook generates a lot of conversations, socialbakers gathered some astounding facts about Movember Facebook campaigns:


Some great examples of Facebok Movember undertakings:

1. Movember Foundation

The great things about the Movember Foundation is that it not only posted catchy content (hey, they even reached out to the ladies!) but that it also created lots of valuable content. Images are great for catching the eye, but they work even better when you have relevant content to go along with it. Sharing inspiring stories makes the Movember Foundation even more likable.


And something for the ladies too!



2. Speedo

Speedo not only posted pictures, but it also partnered up with MF to create a swimming app. There is also a fun video involved, check it out here. Not only does Speedo catch peoples attention and raise awareness, it also promotes an app that will get swimmers more involved with their brand.



3. Carlsberg

This is my personal favorite, not because I like beer but because of the elegant and creative campaign. Carlsberg created beauty products for beards (wait for it) with beer in them! Now, this following video appeared on their Facebook page and it collected over 600 shares as of yet!

What’s more, to keep the momentum going, Carlsberg made sure to create images that not only look appealing but speak to both the gents and the ladies, put together the images collected over 2000 likes and 200 shares. Interestingly enough, the “sistas” images had very little engagement compared to “Shave responsibly.”



Catching the wave

Collecting mustaches = Collecting engagement. It’s a simple formula that the internet seems to follow. You may not have a team of bro’s with mo’s in your office. However, you can get excited with the world by showing off pictures of other honorable ‘staches!

Get your customers talking, write a blog post about the greatest mustaches in the biz (Steve Jobs had a mustache at one point!) as a source of inspiration. EveningStandard embraced the Movember craze by compiling Great Sporting Mustaches. International Business Times made a list of 7 Rules And Guidelines To Grow A Successful Mustache.

The GetResponse bros and sistas are growing and moving too!


How are you planning on getting your Movember reactive marketing going? Share your ideas, stories, and thoughts in the comments below! And if you’re looking for other Holiday inspiration (and our fancy cutout mustache) download our free Holiday Guide!

The post Reactive Marketing Lookbook – #Movember appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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5 Reasons Why Your Goat is a Terrible Guest Writer Fri, 30 Oct 2015 15:17:31 +0000 Your goat decided to start a new adventure with writing by contributing to other blogs. What a fine and swell idea, a very popular one these days. However, it’s hard to get to the proverbial greener side. Editors get a … Read more

The post 5 Reasons Why Your Goat is a Terrible Guest Writer appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Your goat decided to start a new adventure with writing by contributing to other blogs. What a fine and swell idea, a very popular one these days. However, it’s hard to get to the proverbial greener side. Editors get a lot of guest post ideas – their inbox is an endless pit of “3 innovative, never before seen, great ideas for posts.”

But you’re better than your goat. There is much more to you, an established writer, right? Thought so. Which is why in case you’d like to help Murray, Finn, or whatever your goat’s name is – here’s how you should prepare him for the guest writing journey:


1. Who is Murray trying to reach?

The number one mistake potential guest writers make is not knowing the company they’re trying to reach. I don’t mean that you need to know the name, address, and favorite coffee order of the entire content team, but it just does not look ok if you can’t even remember how to spell the name of the blog.

GetResponse is not necessarily the hardest name to spell, but we’ve had a chuckle or two over some misspellings (or blatant changes in our name) like:

  • Get Response
  • GetReponse
  • Got Response
  • Get the Response (my personal favorite)

Although accidents happen and everyone can understand that Murray might eat one letter and write to GetReponse, he might be taken less seriously with Got Response.

7774Since it is Murray that showed interest, it would put him on top of the “awesome goats” list if he read up on the blog and/or business he’s trying to read. Furthermore – it doesn’t hurt to proofread the email! Autocorrect or caffeinated fingers tend to cook up more than a fair share of crazy words. If it makes Murray feel better – I’m one of those people who’s computer turns “Hey Chris” into “Hey Christ”, so proofreading is almost necessary.

It’s the little things that count. I guess misspelling GetResponse or writing my name wrong will make him more memorable – but is this the way to go about it? I’d say no. Charm people with your knowledge, presence, and great ideas!


2. Does Murray know the blog’s audience?

It’s one thing to let Murray eat a letter or two, but it’s another to let him email editors without knowing their brand. Don’t let the goat email, tweet at, or stalk different blogs just because they have lots of shares and readers. It’s great to be visible everyone, but it’s better to be “famous” on blogs that share your expertise.

Craft titles that won’t just fill the void. Empty topics are quickly recognized and no blog will take Murray seriously. We want to help writers share their knowledge and their insights in a field that we see them excel in!

Train Murray to be an expert in one field or industry. Help him become the voice of reason that will be able to bring in valuable information to a specific targeted group. Read a few posts, see what the tone of voice is like, make sure that your goat understands how the posts are crafted and at what audience. A social media marketer won’t be as interested in new WordPress plugins as a content marketer might be.


3. Can Murray follow guidelines?

Once you get him past the gatekeepers of the content calendar, make sure that Murray reads the guidelines. What does the editing team ask for? Are there any guideline points that are not clear? Reach out and ask for more info – editors don’t bite!

Too often, writers send back texts that have numerous mistakes that could have been spared if they just read the guidelines. Missing an Oxford comma here or there will fly, but quoting competition or adding linking to a personal website every other sentence? Not so much.

As you will see with every step in this post – get Murray to reach out to the editor! We love goats, we are more than happy to help. Keep in mind that sometimes we take a day or two to email you back, but know that your email is certainly flagged in our email accounts and we remember about you :)


4. Is Murray able to keep up with the due dates?

Hey, we’re all busy people, right? So make sure that Murray doesn’t keep the editor waiting, due dates are there for a reason. Keep tabs on the progress or dates but using tools like Trello, Wunderlist, CoSchedule, or Todoist.

And as with every post – it’s always better to let the editor know that something came up, than to leave them hanging and emailing you every hour. A simple “I had an emergency, I’m sorry I can’t make the deadline, I will be in touch when I can get a hold of my computer.  – Sent from my iPhone” will do.


5. Will Murray be part of the conversation?

Not every blog will ask of Murray to share the post via his social media, or even to take part in conversation that might arise under his text. However, that being said, it’s always nice to see Murray share his work.

What’s more, get Murray to talk! It’s always nice for the reader to see a response from the author himself. As an author he might offer more insights and quick tips than the editor ever could on his own. We love seeing people interact, even with us!


May the guidelines be with your goat

Hey, work is always easier when you have a map to follow. The geography of guest blogging is fairly simple if you have the right guide(lines). Never be afraid to ask the editor for advice. Sometimes you may not understand the rules – we get that, so we’re here to help. Better yet, you might have a very outside of the box idea about goats and blogging that might not be on the list of topics!

Editors are people with giant content hearts, funny bones, and minds that can foresee the future. We will know if your idea has potential, even if it does sound crazy. Once in a while the crazy ideas are the best ones, let us help you change the face of the Internet with them!

So, write like a human (or a goat?), for a human, and cross to the writing side of the force. You like writing? We like guest bloggers!

Seriously. We’re waiting (look below) to hear from you! Guest contributions are always welcome. We love content and we enjoy working with new guest bloggers. If you have an idea, a question, or a post that will change marketing as we know it, shoot us an email at –


The post 5 Reasons Why Your Goat is a Terrible Guest Writer appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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How to Achieve Email Marketing Excellence [Deck + Recording] Thu, 29 Oct 2015 15:53:57 +0000 Following the report, we’ve recently published in collaboration with Dr Dave Chaffey and Smart Insights, we’ve organized an online webinar to discuss the aims and outcomes of our study. For those of you who didn’t get the chance to join … Read more

The post How to Achieve Email Marketing Excellence [Deck + Recording] appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Following the report, we’ve recently published in collaboration with Dr Dave Chaffey and Smart Insights, we’ve organized an online webinar to discuss the aims and outcomes of our study.

For those of you who didn’t get the chance to join us, here’s a nice and quick recap to get you on track. In this post you’ll find both – the slide deck and a recording of the meeting – so that you too can start achieving email marketing excellence today!


Key Takeaways

Why you should optimize email campaigns

Organic, CPC (SEM), and Email continue to be the online marketing channels driving most e-commerce purchases. In fact, email itself, generates an ROI of 3800% according to DMA National Client Email Report from 2015. It’s also been rated as one of the most effective digital media channels by respondents of our study.

However, as we’ve seen in the course of this study, it’s just the average ROI we’re usually hearing about. Having put email marketing capabilities and campaign effectiveness together, we’ve found that marketers, whose email campaigns are more advanced, in general are more positive about their returns from this channel.

1. Email marketing ROI

But that’s only an opinion, while we really like numbers. So, we’ve decided to find out what’s really taking place and crunch some data. We analyzed over 130 million email messages our clients sent out. The graph below shows you the outcomes.

2. OTR and CTR by excellenceAs you can see, initially the results are as predicted – the more advanced you are, the higher the average OR and CTR of your campaigns. What’s interesting though is that the Advanced – and Expert – level marketers observed lower than the intermediate results.

Our first impression was that the most sophisticated email marketers operate in the most competitive markets, such as retail, travel, and financial services, where it is harder to get responses. In some sectors, such as retail, testing shows that, across a quarter or year, a higher send frequency produces higher revenue from the email list, but the response from individual emails may be lower.

We also asked Jordie van Rijn to explain this pattern:

“Don’t be thrown off by the dip at the higher sophistication end of the spectrum. We are comparing apples-to-oranges here. Often the advanced senders will also have a bigger (but older) databases, or are in high velocity industry like fashion or travel, sending more frequently. All of those have a profound impact on response rates, but still they get more traffic and sales because of their scale”.

In other words, it pays to optimize. Especially so in the more competitive markets, where average results may be lower than in other sectors.


The CRITICAL areas of email marketing that boost response

Email marketing campaign improvement starts with the analysis of ones’ own practices and comparing them against what competitors are doing, and how the audience reacts to said messages.

Proposed by Dr Dave Chaffey mnemonic CRITICAL is a great point of reference for the purpose of email campaign analysis. Below you’ll see all of these elements with short descriptions and questions you should be asking yourself before hitting the “send” button in your next campaign.

  • Creative – how creative is your creative?
  • Relevance – does your message carry value for each individual user?
  • Incentive – what reason to act does the user have?
  • Targeting or Timing – to whom exactly and at what time are you writing?
  • Integration through time – are you using all the email marketing options (newsletters, reactivation emails, customer survey messages or multi-step welcome series) in your strategy?
  • Conversation – are you talking at or with people? Think of social proof.
  • Attributes – what’s outside of your email and how it resonates with audience? Subject, From address?
  • List management, landing pages, deliverability – never skip these critical elements that could make or break your email campaigns. Low deliverability or bad converting website will overpower even the most creative email messages.


Proven techniques towards email marketing sophistication

After you’ve learned to analyze your email marketing campaigns, you should go one step further, and start optimizing them. Here are 5 necessary steps you should take to achieve email marketing excellence:


1. Track more

Open and Click-thru rates are great, but they won’t give you the full picture of your campaign status. Forget vanity metrics such as number of likes or page views.

If you consider also bounces, unsubscribe rates, complaint rates, ROI, CPA or Sales – you’ll know whether what you’ve been doing is delivering the right results. Can you increase the communication frequency? Are people happy with your content? Should you invest more in the promotional campaign? You’ll know the answers to these questions only if you consider the whole range of metrics.


2. Manage your lists

Growing an email list is hard enough, but it’s not the only thing you should remember about. Being proactive in building it across multiple channels and following the best practices in terms of list hygiene are also essential. Use double opt-in, manage bounces appropriately and observe how your audience reacts to each of your campaigns.

If possible, automate the onboarding process with a welcome email series. This way, even if you’re away or just finished a promotional campaign, your audience will stay in touch with your brand.


3. Target wisely

Knowing who your audience is, is the key. Being aware of what stage of lifecycle they’re on will help you target them better. Craft your emails according to the different needs and wants of your personas. Align your offer and messages with their expectations, and watch your conversions grow.


4. Manage deliverability

Deliverability is essential to achieving high returns from email marketing campaigns. If your messages don’t land in the inbox, how can they convert them and sell your product or service? That’s why you should: evaluate the frequency and format of your messages, test different versions of content, build your email list according to best practices, and talk to your ESP about ways to improve your results.


5. Optimize your messages

Be smart about your emails. Make sure that where possible, you can cross-sell, up-sell or reactivate your audience with relevant content that’s delivered at the right time. Where applicable, embrace urgency and play of the power of loss aversion – this will lift your sales up! Most importantly, exceed expectations and be creative.

Check out the slide-deck of the presentation or jump right into the webinar recording itself. If you wish to find out more about email marketing or seek advice on email marketing strategy, visit Smart Insights email marketing hub page.

The post How to Achieve Email Marketing Excellence [Deck + Recording] appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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Why Autoresponders Are Perfect for Storytelling Wed, 28 Oct 2015 15:27:30 +0000 Autoresponders are one of the oldest and most effective types of email marketing. They’ve been around since Internet marketing was born. They’ve probably sold more than a billion dollars worth of stuff. Compare that to storytelling. It may be one … Read more

The post Why Autoresponders Are Perfect for Storytelling appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Autoresponders are one of the oldest and most effective types of email marketing. They’ve been around since Internet marketing was born. They’ve probably sold more than a billion dollars worth of stuff.

Compare that to storytelling. It may be one of the newest marketing buzzwords, but it’s actually one of the oldest marketing techniques. Storytelling is so important that some experts have hailed it as the #1 more desirable skill for a marketer to have.

What if we paired these two things up? What if we used autoresponders as a container for storytelling? It would let us fuse one of the oldest and most effective digital marketing tools with one of the oldest and most effective ways to engage an audience.

Using autoresponders for storytelling might result in crazy-high sales and engagement rates – the kind of results Ben Settle-style emails get. Or you could put them in the hands of Seth Godin for a far softer sell.

Or maybe we could put it in your hands, and let you make something new.

I really don’t know what we could do. But autoresponders seem like such a perfect container for storytelling that I just had to explore them further. Here’s a few things to consider.


Autoresponders are a marketer’s best friend

Autoresponders are a lazy (or busy) marketer’s dream. They are a series of email messages that you set up ahead of time. Then you schedule them to go out every few  days. Once an autoresponder is set up, you could leave it alone indefinitely. It could run all your email marketing by itself.

That feature of autoresponders is why they are the original marketing automation. Often when we talk about marketing automation even now, we’re basically talking about autoresponders.

But thankfully, autoresponders require none of the expensive technology that so often goes with marketing automation. To create and manage an autoresponder, all you need is an account at an email service provider that lets you send unlimited autoresponder messages.

Note the “unlimited” part. Some email service providers only let you send about 30 messages for each autoresponder sequence. That’s a good start, but many autoresponders go on for longer than that.

Autoresponder masters like Perry Marshall have autoresponder sequences that go on for years. We’re talking over 300 messages in these sequences. So just 30 messages isn’t going to cut it. Fortunately, if you’re a GetResponse customer, we’ve got you covered. You can send unlimited email messages in each autoresponder sequence. We won’t hold you back.


How to plan your autoresponders

So once you’ve got the autoresponder capability, so can just start cranking out email  messages, right?

Not so fast. You could start that way, but it will make things MUCH harder for you later on. Instead, sit down and plan your autoresponder first. Consider whether you want a time-based autoresponder or an action-based autoresponder.

“What’s the difference?”

The classic autoresponder is time-based. So you’d have a series of email messages set to go out in a pre-defined order. You’d schedule them to go out every few days. That’s a time-based autoresponder.

An action-based autoresponder isn’t triggered by elapsed time. It’s triggered by different actions a subscriber takes. You define those actions, whether it’s downloading a whitepaper or clicking a specific link in an email.

If you want to send a time-based autoresponder, you can plan it out like a list. But if you want to send an action-based autoresponder, plan it out as a flow chart.


Planning action-based autoresponders

Powerpoint is good for making flowcharts. So are oversized pieces of drawing paper, whiteboards, or online flow chart tools like


The interface of, a free online tool that lets you create detailed flowcharts.

You don’t necessarily have to write a story that only has one path. You can write a “choose your own adventure” style story with an autoresponder.

Don’t know what a choose your own adventure story is? Way back in the 1980s, when people still read books, there was a type of young adult fiction called “Choose your own adventure”. At certain points in the story, you got to decide what you wanted the characters to do. So at the end of a chapter, you’d see something like this:

If you want to attack the ogres, go to page 37.

If you want to run away as fast as possible, go to page 51.

You could use this technique with your autoresponder… if you’ve got an adventure novel in you. Or you could use this “choose your own adventure” technique to let your email readers choose what they want to hear about.


Action-based autoresponders are like the old “choose your own adventure” action stories.

If you’re a GetResponse user, it gets even more interesting. You can pass a subscriber from one email campaign (ie, one email list) to another based on which links they click. So if you wanted, you could create two, three or even more different autoresponders, and then pass people back and forth among them based on how each individual user clicked.

Starting to see why we want to plan all this out first? It can be extremely powerful. But it can also become extremely complex. A few words of caution, before you start planning your action-based autoresponder:

  • Don’t make your flow chart/autoresponder too complex. Otherwise you’ll create a maze even you might get lost in.
  • Think about how you might want to change your autoresponders in the future. Build in some flexibility for changes.
  • Consider what your prospects want to know about, and what order they tend to want to know it in. The “funnel visualization” reports in your Google Analytics account might be helpful with this.


Get your autoresponders’ timing right

Let’s go back to time-based autoresponders. There are some standard best practices for how often to send autoresponders. Generally, marketers send one message a day for about the first week, then send switch to every other day or every few days. This gives your readers lots of information when interest is high and slows things down as their enthusiasm tapers.

While that timing usually works, it’s always important to test. Your list is unique. Your readers might want emails more often or less often. The only way to know is to test.


GetResponse makes it easy to manage the spacing of your time-based autoresponders. There’s also an interface similar to this for action-based autoresponders.

Here are a couple of other timing issues to consider:

  • Some marketers send autoresponders on specific days of the week. That way, if you want to send out another type of email to your list, you won’t be sending people two emails in one day.
  • If you allow people to sign up for more than one autoresponder, they might end up getting several emails in one day.
  • Some marketers get around this by sending emails from one autoresponder in the morning and sending from a different autoresponder in the evening.
  • Because of all these timing complexities, the simpler your autoresponder is, the better. Do not add any complexity unless it improves your results.


How autoresponders to build trust

Both storytelling and autoresponders are a terrific way to build trust. That’s because both of them are extremely effective at getting your audience to know you and then (hopefully) like you. Once those two things are established, it’s time to work on trust.

The autoresponder builds trust over time because it’s a slow sell.  People get to think about what you’ve said between emails. The consistency of the emails also builds trust. And it builds a habit. Every day, or every few days, your subscribers are becoming trained to look for, open and read your emails. They begin to trust you to send good information.


Adding some storytelling to your autoresponder

I really don’t have to tell you how stories work. You were hearing and telling stories even as you learned to speak. But there are some helpful things to remember about storytelling best practices. They’ll help you write better autoresponders.

  • Every story needs a main character and a problem (or a villain). The story is how the main character, or hero, overcomes the problem.
  • Your audience needs to identify with and care about the main character. Maybe that main character is you. Maybe it’s an imaginary person. Maybe it’s a historical character. Or maybe it’s one of your customers. Customer stories, also called “case studies”, are one of the most effective content formats around.
  • Your audience will identify and care about that main character if he or she is like them.


Serialized storytelling

There’s a classic storytelling format that’s tailor-made for autoresponders: the serialized story. These are basically stories that are broken up into installments. Most of Charles Dickens’ books were serialized.

The trick with serialized storytelling is to learn how to hook the reader at the end of each segment. Even if your story is broken into chapters, instead of short emails, you still need to give your reader a reason to continue on to the next chapter. You want to leave them hanging, with the tension high, so they’ll crave your next installment.

Want to see this done at a masterful level? Watch Game of Thrones. The writers for that series know how to keep us hanging not just episode to episode, but from scene to scene.



Autoresponders are a natural container for storytelling. They’re also one of the most profitable and easiest types of marketing campaigns to run. If you haven’t set up an autoresponder yet, we urge you to give it a spin.

Know anyone who tells great stories in their autoresponders? Give them a shout out in the comments.

The post Why Autoresponders Are Perfect for Storytelling appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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8 Email Subject Lines to Increase Your Open Rate Tue, 27 Oct 2015 15:23:34 +0000 Do you want to ensure that your subscribers open more of the emails you send them? Do you want to learn techniques to create subject lines with appeal? One of the biggest problems affecting those of us involved in online marketing … Read more

The post 8 Email Subject Lines to Increase Your Open Rate appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Do you want to ensure that your subscribers open more of the emails you send them? Do you want to learn techniques to create subject lines with appeal? One of the biggest problems affecting those of us involved in online marketing is the fact that our subscribers do not open all of our emails

Whilst the open rate within the sector usually falls between 20% and 25%, these remain relative figures, as the longer the list, the harder it becomes to maintain a high open rate.

Some time ago, in this blog, we published an article wherein we discussed 7 Tips to Make your Subscribers More Likely to Open Your Emails. This entailed tactics focused on “context”, that is, on everything that you should have prepared before you start sending emails: preventing servers from viewing you as spam, ensuring that your subscribers remain loyal to you over a long period and creating a newsletter that offers more content of value than the content presented in the blog

Today, I would like to take to you about email subject lines with appeal. These subjects will not only make your subscribers want to open your emails as a result of the trust they have in you, but also due to their curiosity, aroused both by the manner in which the subject line is written and the inclusion of certain elements.

Below, we provide 8 tips relating to subject lines 😉


# 1. Put the key word at the beginning of the subject line

Don’t abuse this in all of your emails, but of you want the subscriber to focus on the subject line that you are going to discuss, the keyword can represent an element that makes your email stand out from all the others received over the course of the day.

The same technique might also prove useful for posts. Indeed, at times, if the title of your post has sufficient appeal, it can be used as the email subject line.


# 2. Play with visual elements

If you want your message to stand out, employ visual elements. I am not telling you to overload the subject line with emoticons – sometimes it is useful to employ them – but rather to employ brackets, parenthesis or other elements that serve to highlight a word or key sentence that is of interest to you.

For example:

  • [Exclusive Content] Here are all your eBooks!
  • [Free Tools] Download the tools we promised you.


# 3. Use the subscriber’s name in the subject line

We normally limit this approach to those emails wherein we truly want to attract the user’s attention for a given reason: a promotion, a subscription or a campaign.

When you write a subject line of this nature, you must ensure that the sentence is fresh. You do not have to always place the name of the subscriber at the beginning: include it within the discourse.

For example:

  • David, did you know that…?
  • We have finally done it, David!


# 4. Imagine that you are writing to a friend

If you want to convey freshness, a very good technique is to imagine that the recipient is someone you know very well.

We actually think of specific friends: Jonathan, Alex, Felix… and we imagine the subject line that we would spontaneously employ if we wanted to draw their attention to a specific question.

Evidently, these friends respond to a given profile: the profile of potential clients interested in our niche and with whom we maintain fairly frequent communication. Nevertheless, I urge you to refrain from abusing subject lines with the user’s name for two reasons:

  1. A loss of effectiveness. If you always employ the subscriber’s name, this approach will prove less effective when you really want to capture their attention (for example, this may prove redundant in a general blog newsletter).
  2. The benefits of the content. It is often better to stress the benefits of the content that you are going to offer, rather than capturing the attention of the subscriber.


# 5. A good subject line, where brief, is twice as good

The use of short subject lines is always recommended. In my opinion, the reason why the following is a good maxim has a two-fold explanation:

  1. When something is good, if it is brief, it is twice as good. 😉
  2. How many characters do you think that a reader sees on his or her smartphone? When an iPhone is positioned vertically, when using Gmail, less than 40 characters can be displayed.

If you fail to make your subscriber understand why he or she must read your message within these 40 characters, you may have lost the possibility of having your email opened.


# 6. Use the “number technique”

If you know that the subject line is not going to be short, you can take advantage of this opportunity by employing the number technique: using numbers to specify the benefits of the content. For example:

SocialBro and MOZ

This technique, in a very subtle manner, enables you to link the subject line heading to 2 psychological perspectives that are of interest, from the point of view of the reader: information and depth.

  1. Big numbers. When you create content with a large amount of tools, for example, what the reader perceives is that you are going to represent a source of information that will provide a great deal to investigate and test.
  2. Small numbers. If the subject line includes small numbers, such as 2 or 3, the reader will understand that you are going to focus on a few cases relating to your sector in greater depth.

Therefore, you must employ numbers in a strategic manner:

  • To focus the reader’s attention on the subject.
  • To ensure that readers understand what they will find within your content.


# 7. ‘Re:’ for sales emails

I have to warn you that you must be very careful when employing ‘Re:’ prior to writing the subject line. This technique is increasingly widespread. We have tested it on a single occasion (during a sale) to gauge its effectiveness and we noted a 5% increase in the open rate of the emails we were sending.

HOWEVER – and the capitals are deliberate- not everyone likes emails of this nature.

Remember that what your subscriber will understand when he or she sees such a message is that you are responding to an email that he or she sent to you, whereas, in reality, this is not true. Therefore, if you want to try this technique, go ahead, but do not abuse this approach as it may prove detrimental in the end.

Indeed, we also observed that the unsubscribed rate rose… The open rate increases but you lose potential clients. Be careful.


# 8. Employ the GetResponse “Time Machine”

I have been using and recommending GetResponse as an email marketing tool for some time. This is the tool that we employ in Socialancer, and there are many reasons why I favour it over other tools. The following link will allow you to access our GetResponse Resource Centre, where you will find articles and videos (in Spanish) wherein we outline the reasons why we work with GetResponse.

In relation to open rate, GetResponse has two features that I really like:

  1. Perfect Timing. This feature allows you to send messages to each subscriber when they are most likely to open their emails. To this end, GetResponse grounds its decision on the time at which each subscriber opened previous messages. Perfect Timing
  2. Time Travel. GetResponse sends your emails at the time you determine, according to each subscriber’s time zone. If you have a clear idea of when your subscribers normally open your emails, this feature will fine tune the deliver and improve the open rate. Time Travel

As you can see, there are many ways of improving the open rate of your messages. Have you tried any of them? Which have served you best? Share in the comments below!


Foto Benet Marcos SocialancerAbout the Author: Benet M. Marcos is founder and editor of, one of the reference platforms in online marketing in the Hispanic market. You can find him on Twitter or on LinkedIn!

The post 8 Email Subject Lines to Increase Your Open Rate appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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Getting Festive On Facebook – Planning Your Christmas Campaigns Mon, 26 Oct 2015 14:17:19 +0000 Ho! Ho! Ho-oh, no! It’s not that time of year again, is it? Well, not quite – but it is already October, and that means that it won’t be long before the C-word will be spilling glitteringly from the lips … Read more

The post Getting Festive On Facebook – Planning Your Christmas Campaigns appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Ho! Ho! Ho-oh, no! It’s not that time of year again, is it? Well, not quite – but it is already October, and that means that it won’t be long before the C-word will be spilling glitteringly from the lips of every man, woman, child and marketer (for I’m not sure we qualify as being any of the above) from London to Brisbane and back again.

Yes, the holiday season is just around the corner, and that means you’re going to have to pull something a little special out of your social stockings as the Yuletide beckons, and the whole of Facebook seems to become one massive battleground-bazaar of offers, deals, adverts and tinsel.

As a consumer, you no doubt feel as tyrannised by the early annual onset of Christmas as everyone else. But, as a marketer, you are at the same time acutely aware of the need to be tyrannical and strike just as early – not least because your competitors will soon be decking the halls with seasonal sales even if you’re not.

Of course, Christmas is the biggest time of the year for retailers – both on the high street and online. And so it’s the perfect time for brands to up their social media strategies and promotional activities to get a piece of the action. Put simply, come November onwards, people are looking to spend money, and so it’s your job to give them the best reasons to do so.

And so, it is with jolly and joyful pleasure that I get the opportunity to bring to you 5 great tips for planning your Christmas campaigns on Facebook and other social media. Ho! Ho! Here we go!!


Planning Your Campaigns For Christmas

#1. Start Early NOW!

There’s not a moment to lose now as we head into November. Christmas marketers will be rearing their red-hatted heads all over social media soon enough, so make sure you’re one of the very first. Ideally, you’ll want to start launching your Christmas campaign into the wild about 6 weeks before the big day. This year, that sacred day falls on Friday the 13th of November, and so you have 2 options:

  1. Avoid this date at all costs – especially if you’re superstitious. Go for the Wednesday or Thursday instead, or, at a push, leave it until the following Monday.
  2. Embrace the date. Use this feared day as a foil to bring unrivalled cheer and happiness to your dedicated followers. Tell them not to worry, because Christmas is just round the corner, and you’ve got the perfect gifts for each member of the family.

Either way, you need to start planning your promotions and giveaways right now in time for launch.


#2. Decide On Promotional Offers

Everyone loves a Christmas special offer. Last year, Fabric posted a blog citing some interesting research, which revealed the following:


“Festive shoppers are most receptive to free shipping offers, exclusive offers for that particular social network and also loyalty points and rewards.”


#3. Create Festive Imagery For Your Posts And Website

Christmas is special, and you’re going to have to pull out all the stops. You’re going to have to talk to your design team tomorrow and get them thinking about the special snowmen, reindeer and/or St. Nick images that are going to be accompanying your product promotions.

And, when it comes to your website, it will pay dividends to pull the Christmas decorations down from the loft as well. This isn’t actually as complicated as it sounds, as there are many plugins available that you can simply install on the backend of your site that will display snowflakes falling, fairy lights, advent calendars or a Christmas countdowns. Check out ‘10+ Free WordPress Plugins To Add Christmas Cheer To Your Site’ to see what tickles your tinsel.


#4. Host A Competition

Competitions are always a great way of grabbing attention, no matter what time of year it is. But at Christmas, offering a particularly generous giveaway can be the perfect way to stand out from the crowd.

Facebook and Instagram are the perfect platforms on which to post a nice Christmassy picture, and you can ask for likes and shares for people to enter. On Twitter, you can get your followers to answer a question, and you reward the best answer with your prize. Just remember to make it Christmassy!

“If there was a 10th reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh, what would you name him? Top answer wins best prize ever!! Answer with #10reindeer.”

There you go – 136 characters and all yours if you want to use it.


#5. Analyse Results For Christmas 2016

Christmas happens every year, you know. And so, when the silly season has calmed down a little, take the time in the New Year to analyse the results of all of your special Christmas campaign efforts, so you are better equipped for next year’s festivities. Furthermore, it is likely that you will have generated some extra leads with all your extra endeavours, so January is a great time to start trying to convert these fresh little snowflakes in an effort to kick off your New Year sales.

Got any more Christmas campaign tips? Please, be generous this year, and share your secrets in the comments below.


The post Getting Festive On Facebook – Planning Your Christmas Campaigns appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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