GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips http://blog.getresponse.com Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:07:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Optimizing Your Content for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter http://blog.getresponse.com/optimizing-content-facebook-linkedin-twitter.html http://blog.getresponse.com/optimizing-content-facebook-linkedin-twitter.html#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:07:17 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17976 When it comes to social media marketing, there’s a lot of balls that you have to keep juggling to keep all of your followers engaged across all of your different platforms. Indeed, this is very much because the users of … Read more

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When it comes to social media marketing, there’s a lot of balls that you have to keep juggling to keep all of your followers engaged across all of your different platforms. Indeed, this is very much because the users of each generally expect very different things from their different social networks, and understanding what’s appropriate for one and not for another is key to continuing to reach as many of them as possible.

Social media marketing is essential these days, not just an option. But all of your platforms work in very different ways, and attract very different types of audiences all with very various expectations. So let’s take a look 3 of the top social networks, and start to consider what works best for each.

We’ll begin with the biggest – Facebook.

 

Facebook

Facebook is the biggest social network going with well over a billion users now worldwide. In fact, it’s pretty much safe to assume that no matter what other social networks your fans have found you on, they’ll almost certainly be watching you on Facebook as well.

One of the beauties of Facebook is that it offers a variety of ways to share content with your followers, and indeed, utilizing all of these different methods is key to keeping your Facebook followers interested. Facebook users don’t want to see the same posts over and over and over again, they want variety – visuals, videos, links, articles, graphs and infographics. On Facebook you must be posting all of these things and more.

One of the main reasons for this, in fact, is that Facebook has recently made some changes that affect which of your fans will see which specific content you post. According to Facebook Marketing Expert Mari Smith, “The way Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm works is that each piece of content – whether posted via a personal profile or fan page – passes through a three-part filter and has a different score for each user or fan. In other words, we all see content from fan pages differently.”

This means that, according to how your fans behave generally on Facebook, i.e. what sort of content they most usually ‘like’ or click on, those fans will be more likely to be presented with those specific types of posts in their news feeds. If they like watching videos, then Facebook will give them yours to watch, and if they don’t like infographics then, no matter how many you produce and post on the network, the likelihood is that they won’t appear in those particular fans’ feeds. So, for Facebook, it’s certainly variety that holds the key if you want to reach and appeal to as many of your fans as possible.

Quick tips for Facebook:

  • Mix it up as much as possible, use plenty of images and don’t be afraid to use your sense of humour. Facebook users enjoy sharing ‘funny’ memes so give them what they want.
  • Make use of Facebook Insights to see what your audience is engaging with the most.
  • Ask questions to prompt engagement.
  • Run competitions and special offers and ensure that they’re just for that audience.
  • Use Web Custom Audiences to target certain users with special offers.

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn promotes itself as a professional social network, and that’s exactly what it is. This means you must consider your tone carefully when posting content on the site – it’s inhabited by professionals, and so an expert, authoritative and informative tone is always in order.

LinkedIn is the place to try and attract the interests of key influencers in your industry. Indeed, this can in fact be one of the main benefits of the site – rather than targeting your own fans and followers, LinkedIn can often be the gateway to alert key authority figures in your field to your work, who will then pass on what you’re doing to their own dedicated following.

As such, generally speaking, it is more towards the written word that LinkedIn posts should lean. Video advertisements and ‘cool’ company snaps aren’t really what is appreciated by the users of the site. Rather, links to informative blog posts and articles that can be discussed by users in a professional manner is what is most likely to work best for your business here. LinkedIn is the perfect place in fact to promote yourself as a thought leader and authority in your field, so always ensure that you engage with any discussions over your content enthusiastically and intelligently whenever you can.

Quick tips for LinkedIn:

  • On your LinkedIn profile use a good head and shoulders shot, no photos of your wedding or kids, keep it strictly professional.
  • Get involved with discussion groups on the site for your industry to get your name out there.
  • Use your logo and company colours to construct the company page and ensure that all employees use it and discussion groups to further raise the company profile.
  • Use LinkedIn to publish your thoughts on current happenings in the industry to encourage discussion.

optimization

Twitter

Twitter is the fast-action social network where you will want to be posting perhaps as many as 10 or even 20 original tweets a day. A lot of companies use the platform as a place to post links to their other content around the web – blog posts, for example, or product pages being one of the most usual.

However, though you must certainly use Twitter to these ends, you should nonetheless not shy away from composing original tweets that in essence will become the running commentary and ‘voice’ of your company on the platform. The beauty of a tweet is in its brevity – but that can also make it quite a challenge to hit the right note every time you post something. You’ll want to use Twitter, and particularly hashtags, to post your comments and opinions on current industry events that relate to your business.

Indeed, it’s even a good idea to try and be one of the first that brings any breaking industry news to your followers, even if it is just a link and you’re not providing the content yourself. This puts you in position as an industry authority, as a company who’s interested in what is happening elsewhere in your field, and not solely interested in your own ends. Tweeters like this. They want to be able to engage with you and your tweets, so make sure that you are using the platform in a way that enables this and stirs discussion.

Quick tips for Twitter:

  • Engage with your audience personally. Whilst you can use scheduling software to put out your tweets at certain times, there’s no substitution for a personal thank you when your followers retweet you.
  • Use a URL shortener to give you more room when it comes to the character count.
  • Use images that give context to your tweet when sharing blog posts and articles.
  • Get a great header made up with your company logo and details on.

No matter which social media you’re most active on, it’s always important that you tailor your content posts to each, and consider carefully your audience in all areas. Facebook allows for a certain amount of informality, though you must be prolific in the types of content that you post in order to reach as many different types of user as possible.

LinkedIn is the serious professional of the bunch, and Twitter the witty one with the provocative one-liners. They each have their specific uses and all must be utilised, however, to ensure that you are engaging as widely and as thoroughly as you can.

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How to Promote a New Product Using Email Marketing http://blog.getresponse.com/promote-new-product-using-email-marketing.html http://blog.getresponse.com/promote-new-product-using-email-marketing.html#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:07:48 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17968 You’re excited about your new product or service. But a question creeps into the back of your mind. Will it sell? If it does, you’re a genius. If not, well… Fortunately, you’ve embraced email — the most profitable form of … Read more

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You’re excited about your new product or service. But a question creeps into the back of your mind. Will it sell? If it does, you’re a genius. If not, well… Fortunately, you’ve embraced email — the most profitable form of marketing — and that gives you a head start. Today’s post covers all the basics you need to get your product launch off to a great start.

It’s exciting to introduce a new product. Some companies (e.g. Apple) provoke tremendous interest with every bit of information about upcoming products, not only among loyal customers but everyone who is familiar with the brand.

Email marketing enables you to build an efficient campaign to inform your market and promote your product. With good planning and execution, you can target your campaign to the right subscribers and deliver your messages at the right time.

 

1. Include time for preparation

For an efficient email marketing campaign, start planning well before the official launch.

Start with email marketing activities designed to familiarize your subscribers with your upcoming product or service. Explain in detail who your offer is for, present the specific problems it solves, and show all the benefits for the user.

A well-planned campaign should:

  • Gradually disclose information about key features
  • Arouse interest among prospects
  • Build anticipation for the launch
  • Motivate subscribers to want to buy your product

 

2. Design your message exclusively for the new product

Set a precise goal before you start writing copy and designing a template. Ask yourself: what is the purpose of the message? The goal should always be linked directly to the new product or a service.

Decide whether the message should:

  • Inform subscribers about the benefits of using your product
  • Show its functionalities
  • Explain how your product or service solves a problem
  • Increase sales with a promotional offer
  • Build brand awareness and strengthen image

As you prepare an informative message, you can refer to industry news and current trends that are relevant to your product. Include appropriate fragments of articles and links to useful external sources. Educate your subscribers about how your product solves a common problem.

Remember that the product is a novelty, so make it the focus of your message. Don’t include information about older products or solutions that your subscribers are already familiar with. Message impact will increase dramatically if it focuses on a single issue and contains a single call to action.

For example, if the subject line is “Explore the surprising features of the WYZ camera”, make sure your message is dedicated to features that might be considered surprising.

 

3. Present the new product or service from every angle

Are you introducing a product that’s versatile enough for many different uses? Don’t worry — you can create an email series, with each message explaining a different use.

For presenting features and benefits, the message should be short and simple. More people will read your message, and it will be more comprehensible and memorable. Direct each message to a particular group of recipients. Present features, advantages and benefits that match their specific needs and expectations. List segmentation can help you use email marketing to the fullest. For greatest efficiency, send a dedicated message to each subscriber group.

To learn more, read the following article about proper list segmentation.

product_launch

4. Solicit external reviews

External reviews and opinions have a huge impact on marketing message credibility. Consider sending a demo version of your product or service to influencers in your industry. Ask them to test and review your product. Opinions of satisfied customers may help other subscribers make up their mind about your solution.

Contact with bloggers might be helpful. If you’re wondering how to incorporate bloggers into your marketing strategy, read the following blog post about forming relationships with bloggers.

5. Prepare a special offer for subscribers only

Email marketing is an exceptional way to stay in touch with your customers. With properly executed  email marketing activities, it’s possible to create long-lasting subscriber relationships built on trust. Double opt-in subscription ensures that only people who are truly interested in receiving your messages subscribe to your newsletter. Your email list becomes an elite club.

Show subscribers you care by sending a unique offer they can’t find anywhere else. For example, you could offer a freebie to all subscribers who buy the product via a link in your message. Or send them a unique promotional code they can use when they purchase.

To reduce the range of your promotional offer, use subscriber information to isolate a particular segment for special appreciation, such as the first ten subscribers or the five people with the highest click-through rate (people who clicked the links in your message most frequently).

 

6. Diversify your marketing

If you distribute information consistently on several platforms, you’ll generate more buzz and increase brand awareness. So remember to use several channels to promote your content. This will increase the range and overall efficiency of any campaign.

Each channel is different and has a distinctive user group. Depending on the nature of your business and the product or service you’re promoting, you can use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest.

To learn more about promoting on social media, check out these posts. You’ll learn how to use Facebook ads to grow your mailing list, how to promote your business on LinkedIn and  how to get started with Instagram.

Do you have experience promoting a new product or service with email marketing? Please share your story in the comment section below.

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#HashtagMarketing: How to Use the Hashtag to Expand Your Reach http://blog.getresponse.com/hashtagmarketing-use-hashtag-expand-reach.html http://blog.getresponse.com/hashtagmarketing-use-hashtag-expand-reach.html#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:14:06 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17960 As a marketer, one of the most effective things that you can do online is to utilize the hashtag to expand your market reach. A strategic use of hashtags can vastly improve your SEO, your discoverability, amplify your brand and … Read more

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As a marketer, one of the most effective things that you can do online is to utilize the hashtag to expand your market reach. A strategic use of hashtags can vastly improve your SEO, your discoverability, amplify your brand and target your specific audience across all of your social media channels. 

Having first come into use on Internet Relay chats (IRCs), hashtags gained their popularity on Twitter in ‘tweet-chats’. These were basically discussion forums open to anybody on the social network, the topics of which being defined by the hashtag (#TheQueensSpeech, for example). Anybody using that hashtag could join the discussion, and the hashtag also acts as an alert to other users that those particular tweets are focusing on that particular subject. In essence, that is how marketers are still using the hashtag today, albeit across all social media, not just Twitter.

The technical term for the hashtag is actually ‘metadata tag’, and they usually consist of the actual symbol ­– # – followed immediately by a word or phrase (#HashtagMarketing, #GetResponse for example). Used efficiently, hashtags are a great way of engaging a very targeted audience with your brand.

 

Types of Hashtags

There are several different types of hashtag, all used for different reasons and to alert different types of user to your online presence. Let’s take a look at them individually.

 

The Brand Hashtag

The brand hashtag works in essence as your company’s signature on social media. You’ll want to use your company’s name if you can, or at least your company’s tagline. KitKat, for instance, use #HaveABreak, as well as #KitKat. These both work for them because they are both neat, short, unique and memorable. However, if your company’s name or tagline is rather long, you may need to think of something else.

Whatever you use for your brand hashtag, you must always check first that it’s not already a commonly used hashtag, as people will not be able to find you when using it to search for your brand. You must run your searches across all of your social networks – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ – and choose one that’s not common on any of these sites. This is because you absolutely must have only one brand hashtag across all of your social networks. It’s no good users having to use a different one for each because they simply won’t bother.

If you find that indeed your brand name’s hashtag is already in quite common usage, then unfortunately you will have no option but to come up with an alternative. This may actually be quite tricky, because you’ll not only want your brand hashtag to be instantly recognisable as being associated with your company, but it must also be memorable and easy to spell.

You want your followers to be able to recall your hashtag with ease every time they want to search for you on social media, or indeed post something about you or your products. So, if you find yourself in the position where you can’t use your own name as your brand hashtag, then above all else, what you come up with must be memorable, obviously associated with your brand and of course, easy to spell.

 

Campaign Hashtags

Your campaign hashtags will be the ones you use in direct association with the particular campaign that you are running at the time. If you are having a sale on wireless keyboards, for instance, then your campaign hashtag will simply be #WirelessKeyboards, which you will also follow with your brand hashtag #BrandHashtag.

However, again, you will need to do an extensive search to make sure that your campaign hashtag isn’t already in common usage, otherwise again it will be lost in search results. You might need to get creative again, so take the time to consider your options before settling on one.

You must use your campaign hashtag every time you reference your campaign on your social media posts, and what is more you should encourage your followers to do the same. This way, anytime anybody searches for your campaign on social media, they will not only be presented with what your own updates, but also with all the other good things that your loyal followers are having to say about it as well.

Always respond to users who are using your campaign hashtag. Indeed, campaign hashtags are a great way to enable an on-going engagement between you and your followers.

 

Trending Hashtags

A trending hashtag is simply a hashtag that has, for whatever reason, suddenly become extremely popular online. On Twitter and Google+ you are provided with a list of trending hashtags each time you log on. Trends can last anything between a couple of minutes and a few days, and your job will be to try and promote yourself on the back of a hot one.

 

Twitter trends

 

Keep your eye out for trends that are in any way related to your business, and use that hashtag at the end of your tweets and posts. This will give you immediate exposure to the thousands of other users who are keeping this trend going.

It’s important, however, not to abuse this system. If you’re selling used cars, then don’t start using the #CheeseSongs hashtag just because it’s popular. This is recognised by Twitter as a spam technique and can see your account suspended or even deleted, and users don’t appreciate being mugged off like this anyway. Whatever hashtag you use, it must always be directly relevant to the content of your post.

 

Content and Product Hashtags

There are also content hashtags, which relate to the specific content of your posts and tweets, and product hashtags, which you use in association with your specific products. These are both very simple to use, and simply help users who are browsing for general topics and products to find you and your services.

Indeed, just because these are at the bottom of the list it doesn’t mean that they are of any less importance. You’ll want to be using content and product hashtags as religiously as you do any of the others, as these are the ones that are most likely to attract new customers who’ve been lucky enough to stumble upon you, rather than having actively searched you out.

 

Hashtag marketing done well can be extremely valuable to you and your brand when trying to expand your reach on social media. The key things to remember is that your brand and campaign hashtags must be as unique, memorable and as directly related to your brand or product as possible, and that if you are trying to hop on the back of a trending hashtag, then you must always make your content relevant to the trend. #PieceOfCake.

#HashtagMarketing: How to Use the Hashtag to Expand Your Reach is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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19 Ideas for Killer Lead Magnets http://blog.getresponse.com/19-ideas-killer-lead-magnets.html http://blog.getresponse.com/19-ideas-killer-lead-magnets.html#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:01:47 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17930 Want more email subscribers – and more leads? The single best way to get them is to offer a lead magnet – a free incentive for joining your email list. Lead magnets are also called “sign up incentives”, “sign up … Read more

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Want more email subscribers – and more leads? The single best way to get them is to offer a lead magnet – a free incentive for joining your email list. Lead magnets are also called “sign up incentives”, “sign up offers”, “ethical bribes”, “freemiums”, “content upgrades”, and many other terms. They can be a report in PDF format, a series of emails (aka an autoresponder), a coupon, or even a free half hour of consulting – though we’ll get into all that in more detail later. For now, just know

 

  • Lead magnets can come in many forms and formats
  • Adding a lead magnet can double your opt-in rate
  • Lead magnets don’t have to take a month to create

 

The more, the merrier

Already got a lead magnet? Don’t stop reading! For those of you who already have a lead magnet on your site, the next best way to grow your email list is to add a second lead magnet. You can use the second lead magnet to test against your current lead magnet, or use your second lead magnet near related content. For example, say you have a lead magnet about the best tools to use near a blog post about tools, and you have a lead magnet about strategies near a post about strategies. Relevancy is everything in marketing, especially online marketing, so adding these related lead magnets can significantly increase your opt-in if you do them right.

 

How to choose the topic for your lead magnet

The first thing to do is to choose the right topic for your lead magnet. Get that right, and half the battle is won. There are three essential questions you have to answer to choose a topic for your lead magnet.

 

  • What topics do your ideal customers or clients want to know about?
  • What topics would be easiest for you to create a lead magnet about?
  • What content format would be the best way to deliver that information?

 

Figuring out what your customers really want to know about is a big topic, but don’t let that scare you. It’s actually pretty easy. You can find out what your ideal audience wants to know by asking them with surveys (http://blog.getresponse.com/questions-ask-unlock-subscribers-hearts.html#disqus_thread). Or you can see how they behave on social media (what they like and don’t like) with tools like BuzzSumo. Or you can visit forums and LinkedIn groups and other places online where your audience gathers. Even one or two hours spent listening in on what your ideal audience is saying about your niche will give you plenty of ideas for great lead magnet topics. Look for problems they’re really struggling with, common questions, new areas of interest, or topics that are controversial.

 

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo will show you which pieces of content have been post popular, either via a keyword search or for a website.

 

The next step is to take that list of potential topics, and choose just one that you can easily make into a lead magnet. Many of you will immediately think of writing this lead magnet, but if you’re not so big on writing, I’ve got really good news: Lead magnets don’t have to be written. They also don’t have to be long.

 

Longer is not better

Some of us have made the mistake of thinking that hundred-page ebooks or detailed, lengthy online courses would work best as a lead magnet. Often, they don’t. I once spent nearly six months working on a detailed, highly valuable research project that I later used as a lead magnet. It did not do any better than a different lead magnet I wrote in two days. Ugh. Spend no more than a week creating your lead magnet. Don’t get sucked into making it into a massive, month-long project. Give yourself at most a week, and just knock out that lead magnet in a week (or better, in 2-3 days). It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to get done. This also definitely applies to those of you who have a lead magnet, but aren’t getting the conversions you want. If your opt-in rate for your site is less than 5% (and you’re using a pop-up, aka a “lightbox”), then it’s time to test a different lead magnet, or to try adding one or two content related lead magnets, as mentioned above. Anything less than a 5% opt-in rate on your site means you either need a better lead magnet, or you haven’t added opt-in boxes in the right places.

 

The best lead magnets deliver value

Follow the value. That’s often what makes for a high-converting lead magnet. What can you show, teach or give to your potential subscribers that will give them unbelievable value – an piece of information or something else so good they will rush to finish typing in their email address? That’s a winning lead magnet.

 

Be specific

Don’t promise something general like “How to Make More Money”. That’s not specific enough to make someone’s heart skip a beat. But “5 Ways to Make $500 This Weekend With No Upfront Costs”? That’s specific enough to stop people in their tracks. The #1 place to be specific is in the headline of your lead magnet. Don’t buzz by this: Spend at least 15 or 20 minutes writing several different headlines. Then go with the one that is the most specific and the most emotionally compelling. To get a score on how emotionally compelling your title is, try the Emotional Marketing Headline Analyzer.

 

HeadlineAnalyzer

The title or headline for your lead magnet is really important. Use a tool like the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer to see if you’ve got a title that will get people’s attention.

 

Optimize your opt-in button copy

You want something better than just “Subscribe” on your button. The copy on the button is called a “call to action”, and it’s super important. Get the button copy right, and you could see twice as many subscribers than if you just use “Subscribe”. Ideally, you would test the button copy, but if you’ve got less than 2,000 unique visitors to your site a month, you may not have enough traffic to test. The next best thing is to just give the button copy your very best shot. You can try the classic copywriting trick of repeating the headline copy on the button; this can work very well. Or you can shorten it a bit and have the button say something like “Download the report” or “View the video” or “Get tickets”. Basically, the construction here is verb (“view”, “download”, “get”, etc) plus the short name for your lead magnet (your “report”, your “video”, your “course”, etc). That’s a great start until you can get enough traffic to run an A/B test.

 

Which format will they love?

Now that you know enough to be dangerous, here are 19 different lead magnet formats. You don’t have to pick just one (because it’s good to have more than one lead magnet, remember?), but do pick the format you think your ideal audience will like best. Some audiences are words, some like videos. Others tend to want to printable cheat sheets and checklists. Hopefully, your research has given you some clues about what formats your audience will respond to.

 

19 different kinds of lead magnets

1) A video course that can be accessed all at once.

 

2) A video course delivered via autoresponder, say for 10 days.

 

WistiaTurnstileExample

 

3) An infographic so useful they’ll want to tape it to their refrigerator or their office wall.

 

4) A calendar (like a gardening to do list calendar).

 

5) A gear list.

This one is great for affiliates. If your niche is almost entirely online (like SEO services, for example), your lead magnet “gear list” could be an “essential tools” list that includes plugins and other online tools. Resource lists are similar to this, but work better in some niches. For example, a resource list of your favorite freelancers or Fiverr gigs. Buyer’s guides are another twist on this type of lead magnet.

 

6) A checklist for how to do something that needs to be done more than once, or that seems complicated. Cheat sheets are also very popular, as are flow charts or process charts.

 

7) A how-to ebook in PDF format (this is the classic lead magnet. I’m sure you’ve seen them online). If you offer something like this, make it more valueable than a blog post, even a really, really great blog post. Offer something just barely good enough to believe, like how to do something everyone in your niche wants to do, but how to do it for less than half as much money as they think it will cost, or how to do it in less than half as much time.

 

JeffBullasEbook

 

8) A half hour consultation with you. This one is excellent for coaches.

 

9) A coupon (if you’re a retailer or a local business, this is for you). Coupons can be for 10% off, for free shipping, for a free cup of coffee… you get the idea.

 

LuckyBrand

How Lucky Brand promotes it’s email list. Though, if you’ve read other posts of ours, you know they’re probably asking for too much information in this opt-in form.

 

10) Free tickets to a special event (best for local businesses).

 

11) Free samples. This isn’t for everyone, but if you can affordably ship a small sample to people, (like a guest soap bar, or a packet of seeds, or golf ball tees), this can be a great way to get people’s email address AND their mailing address.

 

PillsburyMember

 

12) Give access to a free membership site, or to a private Facebook group.

 

13) Have a quiz or poll on your site. Only give people access to the answers or the results if they give you their email address.

 

Quiz

 

14) Offer a free trial. This one’s for all you software as a service folks.

 

15) Offer a giveaway or let people enter a contest or sweepstakes.

 

SweepstakesExample

 

16) Offer access to a webinar, or a recorded webinar or workshop (or any other audio file).

 

17) Create an online tool, and require email registration to use it. Online assessments can also qualify as free tools.

 

MajesticSEO

The very popular online keyword research tool MajesticSEO requires registration (ie, an email address) to use it.

 

18) Create a plugin and require an email to download or install it.

 

19) Offer a “swipe file” – a collection of templates that people can tailor to their own use. For example, an email marketing swipe file, a query letter swipe file, or an affiliate’s advertising swipe file. Swipe files were traditionally kept by copywriters, so they could keep track of what competitors were doing, and save samples of great ideas to reuse later.

 

Extra credit

This isn’t for everyone, but some marketers have found an elegant way to use their lead magnets as part of their sales funnel. They offer a high value lead magnet that builds a lot of trust in the person who downloads it. Then, after they’ve impressed their prospect with how much they can help them, they offer a low priced product (say, $7) that solves one major problem the lead magnet didn’t address. The promotion for that $7 is embedded at the end of the lead magnet. Then that $7 product leads into a higher priced product, and the prospect continues through the sales funnel, learning and upgrading as they go. Some people also use those $7 products as a way to segment their list. You could, too.

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6 Easy Steps to Create a Business Blogging Action Plan http://blog.getresponse.com/6-easy-steps-create-business-blogging-action-plan.html http://blog.getresponse.com/6-easy-steps-create-business-blogging-action-plan.html#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:51:51 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17918 As a small business owner, you are always striving to increase your online visibility. You want to get in front of as many people as you can and continue to do that. There are many different ways of doing that … Read more

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As a small business owner, you are always striving to increase your online visibility. You want to get in front of as many people as you can and continue to do that. There are many different ways of doing that and in this post we are going to have a look at how blogging can help you.

But first let me make something clear. New business owners tend to get confused when I suggest they use blogging to increase their reach and the number of leads coming into their business. They don’t understand how blogging can help them achieve their business goals.

This is probably because they confuse business blogging with personal blogging or even blogging where the blogger reaches a celebrity status with a huge following. This is simply not true.

Business blogging is completely different to a personal blog where the blogger makes entries that are similar to the ones that go inside an online journal. They write about any topic that is dear to their heart or vent over issues they feel strongly about. Their goal is simply to share their thoughts, views and opinions with like-minded people who are mostly friends and family. If their blog happens to take off, they might attain fame and loads of followers. They get tons of social media attention and may later monetize their blog.

However, as a small business owner, your only goal is to publish a blog (content) that brings in leads. You want to attract the right audience so you can slowly take them through your content and increase their K-L-T (Know, like and trust).

You are not looking to get famous but to increase your email list size. This is why it is called business blogging. So let’s take a look at how you can create a plan for your business blog in 6 easy steps.

 

#1 Declare your blog goals and purpose

Identify your blog goals: What do you want to achieve with your blog?

Do you want to create credibility? Build trust? Start building your online reputation? Grow your email list? Build an online community? Launch a service based off on your audience’s needs such as a podcast or webinar?

Next think about your blog purpose. Who is your target audience and what will it do for them? Why should they read your blog as opposed to someone else’s? What is in it for them? How can you help them achieve a specific result?

The earlier you define your blog goal and purpose, the better ROI you are going to get on your blogging efforts. Start by answering these questions:

 

  • Who is your target audience for your blog?
  • What will you create for your audience to educate, inspire or empower them?
  • How will this help your audience achieve the outcome they want while serving your business goals?

 

Your blog is a vehicle to generate leads for your business but the first and foremost purpose of your blog should be to help your target audience and not sell directly.

People hardly read let alone subscribe to blogs that are pitch-heavy or exist solely for the purpose of selling. Rather than talking about your products or services, add so much value to your readers that they feel compelled to check out what you have on offer.

 

#2 Decide on a theme

What do you want your blog to look like? What should go on a sidebar? On your main navigation bar? What should the design communicate?

If you are new to blogging and aren’t really sure how you want to present things, I highly recommend turning to other blogs for inspiration.

Do this for both blogs inside and outside your industry. Set some time aside for this activity. Preferably a few hours.

Sit down and start looking at the blogs in your industry. You may already be familiar with popular blogs so start with those. Often you will find these blogs linking to blogs of equal calibre or other reputable blogs within their content so start clicking those.

Check out alltop.com and discover new blogs there. The really great thing about Alltop is that they have categorized their blogs by topics and the best blogs are listed right at the top. This will give you enough choices to keep you busy for days. If you belong to a highly niche market, do Google searches for blogs on your topic.

Now start making a list of what you like and not like about each blog. Make a note of what you could do better, of things that fall outside of your expertise or available resources and what you don’t want to do at all. In short you are taking notes to guide you on how you create your blog. For instance, you might gather notes on header styles, you might pay attention to formats whether the blog has one sidebar or two. You might look at whether they have comments on or disabled and you will also look at the design elements.

Include elements to build your brand and position yourself. This means making use of colours, fonts and images. This also means creating a specific, benefit-laden tagline for your blog to help hone in your point of differentiation.

 

#3 Create the right content

So this is the step where most bloggers go wrong.

They create a bunch of content on their topic and hope it will work. And by ‘work’ I mean, convert. They want their readers to consume their content, share it on social media so that more people will be attracted to the website and also hopefully buy something from their store or catalogue.

But in order for your content to accomplish all that, you must create the right type of content. And if you do this step wrong then you pretty much negate what else you have built up so far.

For example, as a freelance copywriter, you want to attract small business owners to your website. You want to give them tips on how they can improve their own copy and get better at writing copy that converts. You know that people will still come to you for help or hire you no matter how much value you give them. This content attracts the right people – future clients.

If on the other hand, you write about how to create a successful copywriting business, you tell them stories on how you find copywriting clients or you tell them how to network for business, you are not helping them move up in your sales funnel, are you? In fact, this type of content won’t even appeal to your target clients – small business owners, because they are not freelance copywriters and nor do they want to become one. (If your target market is new copywriters then this would be awesome content to create.)

The job of your content is to pre-sell your products and services, it is to position the purchase. When you publish content that educates your audience about their need and position your offerings as the right choice (in an ethical manner, of course), you are golden.

Your blog content should match your marketing goals. It should educate and qualify the prospect at all times.

 

#4 Create an editorial calendar

“What should I blog about?” is the most commonly asked question by new business bloggers. But if you pay some attention to this part, you’ll never ask this question again: Your editorial calendar.

Before you jump into creating one, make a list of the type of content you want to create and the exact goal each piece has.

Generally, your content will have following business goals:

 

  • Educate, inspire or empower your audience
  • Demonstrate your expertise in your industry
  • Build trust and relationships with your audience
  • Gain wider exposure and attract links
  • Take people through your sales funnel

 

You want to create content that delivers these results. For example, a how-to post will educate your audience, demonstrate your expertise and has potential to gain more exposure. A big list post is perfect for getting you attention as it is more likely to be shared. A personal story will resonate with your audience, create trust and deepen relationship. A specific sequence of content published prior to your launch will work wonders to warm up your audience and lead to a spike in sales.

Within your editorial calendar, you want to mark months where you want to publish more of a launch content. For the remaining months, you want to publish the first four goal-focused content.

 

Editorial calendar

 

You want to create a publishing schedule and even pencil in the individual post categories for each week. I highly recommend publishing once a week. Any lower and you risk being forgotten and any higher, you face burnout. Once a week is a solid number to aim for and something most people can stick with long term (and blogging is a long-term strategy and consistency is key).

If you are a sole proprietor, you have to do the writing yourself. If you are a small business with a handful of employees, you might want to assign blogging topics to your team members.

You should also decide the format of content you would like to publish. Written, audio or video. Consider your strengths and resources and also make a strategic decision to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

 

#5 Develop an irresistible sign-up incentive

Creating highly useful content is awesome but not sufficient.

You have to make sure people discover your content (see next point) but also sign up to receive email updates. You can’t rely on their memory to remember you and your content and check back regularly. People have well-meaning intentions but they are busy and they forget.

Ask them to subscribe to your blog via email and display this opt-in in a prominent position. This way you can let them know when a new blog post is up and send them the link via email.

You also get to send them other stuff and promotional emails. I highly recommend setting up an autoresponder that takes them through the foundational stuff and orients them to you and your business.

But all of this can only be accomplished if you get them to hand over their contact emails. Signing up to receive newsletter or updates is not enough anymore. You need to entice them with an irresistible opt-in offer or giveaway.

Add value with your high quality freebie offer which will set expectations for your future content. People will form an impression of you based on what you provide as the opt-in gift. Whether you create a report, a mini ebook, a video tutorial, email course or a webinar, make sure it is some of your best work.

This post here details the whole process of creating an irresistible freebie to get the right people to opt-in to your list.

 

#6 Promote your blog

Lastly, it goes without saying but you have to promote your blog whether it is a personal or a business one.

Just like any form of content you create, you need to put it out there and also ask your readers to do the same.

Add social media sharing buttons before or after every post you publish and give your readers a clear call to action of sharing your content with others.

Here are two tips you will find very useful: Don’t overwhelm your readers with too many social media sharing options. Think about the platform you are most active on, is it Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Also keep in mind where you can reach your ideal audience – where do they hang out? Then ask them to share on these networks.

Secondly, research has shown that when you give a reason while making a request, people are more likely to take action. ‘Because’ is a very powerful word and if you give your audience some kind of reason as to why they should share this content, they will listen. Reasons such as ‘please share if you know your friends will find this useful’ work just fine.

 

So there you have it.

Start with the goal and the purpose of your business blog. Think about your audience and keep them in mind while you plan your content but don’t forget your business goals. Always create and promote content strategically.

This way you optimize your blog and turn it into a great marketing tool for your business.

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Understanding Mobile Email Statistics and Benchmarks http://blog.getresponse.com/understanding-mobile-email-statistics-benchmarks.html http://blog.getresponse.com/understanding-mobile-email-statistics-benchmarks.html#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 13:33:34 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17906 Have your ever looked at your mobile email marketing statistics? Email marketing these days is in large part mobile marketing, people open and read their emails on their smartphones and tablets while watching TV, on the road, on vacation or … Read more

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Have your ever looked at your mobile email marketing statistics? Email marketing these days is in large part mobile marketing, people open and read their emails on their smartphones and tablets while watching TV, on the road, on vacation or even during business meetings. And this goes for both personal and commercial emails.

Expect 15 to 70% of email opens to come from a mobile device, the exact number for a brand depends on your target audience, products and email type. Your ESP gives some great insights into your mobile email stats. Some say they might turn into fully mobile Email Service Providers.

But how to benchmark your mobile email statistics and look at them? Before you can do that, we must know a bit more about the how and what. Statistics might not be that clear if you look or compare them for the first time.

If you are looking at mobile email statistics in your own campaigns, consider the following:

 

Mobile devices aren’t one thing

Smartphones and tablets are often grouped together under the term mobile devices, but the user experience and conversion rates are very different. Split them for additional insight into your subscriber base.

 

Define who a mobile email user is

SandShoes

When do we call a subscriber a mobile email user? Some of your recipients have opened an email on a mobile device for a particular brand in a particular period (like a month or half a year). Some only open on mobile, while others open on one device first and then switch platforms.

 

Open rates are skewed, and so might be your profits

Open rates are based on users that have loaded their images, there is a little tracking pixel inside your email so that it can be measured. But if someone clicked on an email, this is also an open even if they didn’t load the images. (there is no way they can click without opening)

Click-through rates on mobile devices are different and open rates can be skewed because images aren’t loaded per default. So don’t make the mistake of looking at the current behaviour of your email newsletter subscribers only. It might be the case that your email isn’t easily viewed on a smartphone with images off, this is something you should check right away!

 

Testing and send time optimization

The day and time that emails are sent also influences the mobile open and click-through rates. Maybe you want to optimize this as well so that people open your emails on their desktop computers, because they might convert easier on desktop for your brand. A particular brand’s send time can influence the opens. It is always best to pick the right KPIs for your testing and look at the ROI generated from your emails.

 

Benchmarks and reports on mobile email

And what about benchmarks and reports? Consider this when looking at those reports:

  • The figures in benchmark reports on mobile email often don’t show monthly differences, a half year’s growth can be influenced heavily by “mobile friendly” periods like holidays.
  • In benchmarks, some publishers use the total mobile open rates per campaign, while other speak of unique open rates. The total will include people that open an email more than once, so that is a very different number.
  • Email service providers who often are the publishers of these reports use the data of their own customers. The outcome is influenced by the types of customers they have and the countries these customers are in. So the stats between different reports are bound to be different too!

 

Conclusion

People are viewing their emails on mobile and that is a fact. For an individual marketer that means that they have to optimize their emails for the mobile experience. There is more to these stats that meets the eye (or iPad). So have a good look and maybe later try and do some cool stuff that involves a samurai.

Understanding Mobile Email Statistics and Benchmarks is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Why Long Tail Keywords Are SEO Gold http://blog.getresponse.com/long-tail-keywords-seo-gold.html http://blog.getresponse.com/long-tail-keywords-seo-gold.html#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 10:49:48 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17884 Search engine traffic is more of a winner-take-all endeavor than most of us realize. Just look at clickthrough rates for search engine results: The page that sits in the first position for a search query gets 32.5% of all the … Read more

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Search engine traffic is more of a winner-take-all endeavor than most of us realize. Just look at clickthrough rates for search engine results: The page that sits in the first position for a search query gets 32.5% of all the clicks for that search. The site just behind it – in the very respectable second position in the results – gets about half that much traffic, with just 17.6% of clicks. By third position, you’re down to 11.4%. Anything below 4th position and you’re below 10%. Ouch.

percentage-of-traffic-by-google-results-position-chitika

Caption: Chitika did a study of which search engine result positions got the most clicks. This is what they found. http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2276184/No.-1-Position-in-Google-Gets-33-of-Search-Traffic-Study

While that’s an interesting statistic, what does it really mean for your site? Well, here’s part of what it means: If the keyword you want to rank for gets 1,000 searches a month, here’s how many clicks you’ll get from that keyword depending on where your page shows up in the rankings.

  Clicks
1st position 325
2nd position 176
3rd position 114
4th position 81
5th position 61

The page in first position will get five times as many clicks as the one in 5th position. That means going after keywords with less competition can make up for a keyword having less overall search queries. That’s because you’re more likely to get more clicks from less competitive terms.

Let me show you an example:

Let’s say keyword 1 gets 5,000 searches per month. It’s quite competitive, but you can still rank in position 5 for it. Keyword 2, a similar keyword, gets only 3,000 searches per month. But it’s less competitive, so you can rank in 1st position for it.

Keyword 1 with lots of competition % of Traffic Clicks from 5,000 searches Keyword 2 with much less competition % of Traffic Clicks from 3,000 searches
1st position 32.5% 1625 1st position 32.5% 975
2nd position 17.6% 880 2nd position 17.6% 528
3rd position 11.4% 570 3rd position 11.4% 342
4th position 8.1% 405 4th position 8.1% 243
5th position 6.1% 305 5th position 6.1% 183

Despite going after the keyword with less overall searches, you’d actually end up getting more than THREE TIMES the clicks because you went after the keyword with less competition.

I definitely don’t have to tell you what it means to get three times as many clicks to your website. J

“Head keywords” versus “Long Tail Keywords”

Head keywords are keywords or keyword phrases that are fairly short, like one or two words. They’re also fairly competitive. Some examples of head keywords would include:

Car insurance

Business loans

Weight loss

Long tail keywords are at least 3-4 words long (or longer… sometimes much longer) and are less competitive. Examples of long tail keywords would be

Car insurance for bad drivers

Seattle Washington business loans

Weight loss tips for men 50 years plus

In the table above where I showed you how to get three times as many clicks by going after a less competitive keyword, the competitive keyword with 5,000 searches per month would be a “head keyword”. The less competitive keyword would be the “long tail keyword”. Long tail keywords are also sometimes called “long tail terms”.

 As you can see from that table, long tail keywords are almost as good as gold.

“Are there that many long tail keywords? Enough to make it worth looking for them?”

You bet. Long tail keywords actually make up 70% of all searches. Here is a mind-bending factoid to expand on this: “Every single day, 15% of the questions people ask of Google are questions we’ve never seen before. Every single day – for the entire existence of Google – roughly 15%. So every day, people in the world are asking questions that have never been asked before”. That’s according to Jon Wiley (http://www.bloomberg.com/video/behind-google-s-obsession-with-perfecting-search-c6KcoGikT0m2KFqHuzYGoA.html), the Lead Designer of Google Search – certainly a guy who should know.

1

Caption: This segment of an infographic from Hittail shows that 70% of all searches are for long tail keywords. http://www.sitestrategics.com/infographic-the-value-of-long-tail-keywords/

Not only are there a lot of long tail keywords, but they also tend to convert 2.5 times better than head keywords. And they’re drastically less competitive than head keywords.

Finding Long Tail Keywords

Now that you know how valuable long tail keywords can be, how can you find them?

Here are six ways to find long-tail keywords:

  • HitTail (https://www.hittail.com/)

HitTail is a paid service that recommends long tail keywords for you based on your existing search traffic. It has gotten some impressive results for a quite few sites, but you’ll need at least 1,500 unique visitors per month for it to work properly. If you have that much traffic, it’s at least worth a try. If you don’t have 1,500 uniques per month yet, keep working this long tail keyword angle and you will soon.

HitTail

Caption: Hittail is a popular tool for finding long tail keywords tailor-made for your site.

  • Google Suggest

Also known as the Google search box. This is almost too obvious, but Google gives you long tail keyword suggestions every time you type something into the search query box.

businessloansgoogle

You can also see long tail keyword suggestions at the bottom of any Google search results page. It looks like this:

Relatedsearches

  • Google Webmaster Tools

If you don’t have your Google Webmaster Tools account set up yet, it’s way past time to get that done. If you do have your Webmaster account set up, you’ve already got some nice long tail keyword recommendations.

Just go to Search Traffic > Search Queries and you’ll see which keyword searches are driving the most traffic for your site. You’ll even see what the average position in the SERPS is for your pages, and what your click-through rate is.

Webmaster

  • Google Analytics

While most of the keywords in your Google Analytics account will show up with the dreaded “keyword not provided”, you will still see some long tail keyword information. Just go to Acquisition > Keywords > Organic in your Google Analytics account. You may get some ideas, but not that too many. My Analytics account showed “keyword not provided” for 97% of the searches my site gets, but at least I got a few ideas for long tail keywords.

  • Google Keyword Tool (and other keyword tools)

You can, of course, use the Google keyword planner (aka the Google keyword tool) or any other keyword tool you like to find long tail keywords. My favorite tool for long tail keyword research is Moz Pro, because it includes a super-handy keyword competitiveness metric right next to searches per month. The only drawback? Moz Pro is $99 a month, though there is a 30-day free trial.

  • Check Your Competition with the Google Keyword Tool

This is a variation on using the Google Keyword Planner, but there’s a nice feature in the planner that can help you spy on the keywords of your competitors. Instead of putting a keyword into the planner, paste in the url of a page you want to see some long tail keywords for.

keywordplanner1

Google will then show you up to 1000 related keywords for that page. You can even see estimated search traffic by month, and you can break down searches by device or location.

keywordplanner2

  • Long Tail Pro

This is another paid service, but it does have a 10-day free trial. I have more experience with HitTail than Long Tail Pro, but it’s a tool many people recommend. I get it a test drive a few years ago and found it helpful.

How to use the long-tail keywords you find

So now you know how valuable long tail keywords are, and you’ve probably found a few of them that directly apply to your business. Now what do you do with them?

The first thing you can do is to think of a blog post you could write around each of the long tail keywords you have. Then you could use the free WordPress plugin, WordPress SEO by Yoast to optimize your post for that keyword. While you’re at it, use that plugin to optimize all your pages.

WordPressSEObyYoast

Caption: WordPress SEO by Yoast is a great tool to use to optimize your posts and pages for specific keywords. https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/

Just remember that the age of keyword stuffing, keyword density and writing for search engines is over – really over. So don’t overuse your keyword, and make a habit of including lots of variations on that keyword. In other words, write like you would write for people. Don’t use the same word over and over again – vary it, or your writing will sound stilted. Varying keywords and not over-optimizing your pages makes them more pleasing to read for human visitors. It also gives sophisticated search engines important cues that you’re not trying to game the system.

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7 Irresistible Content Topics Your Audience Will Love http://blog.getresponse.com/7-irresistible-content-topics-audience-will-love.html http://blog.getresponse.com/7-irresistible-content-topics-audience-will-love.html#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:08:21 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17879 Is your audience in love with your content? Or do they read it only when there’s nothing more pressing to do. If your readers aren’t hooked on your content, you may be setting the bar too low. On today’s content-saturated … Read more

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Is your audience in love with your content? Or do they read it only when there’s nothing more pressing to do. If your readers aren’t hooked on your content, you may be setting the bar too low. On today’s content-saturated Web, people ignore average content. They need more from you. They need your best. They need content that grabs them by the throat.

Your audience probably doesn’t need more raw information from you. The sheer quantity of data already on the Web is inconceivable. And search engines are getting better and better at indexing it.

Nor do they need you to entertain them. C’mon, you’re competing with awkward wedding photos, adorable pet tricks, and Gangnam Style.

Here’s your only hope:

Write something that could change their lives.

Not completely. Maybe not even in big ways. But change something inside them.

How? Well, it’s different for everybody and for every industry. This list will show you where to start your search. Along the way, I’ll provide examples from the world’s favorite hi-tech company. No, not Apple — GetResponse.

 

1. Appeal to immediate gratification.

One definition of content marketing is: “advertising that’s too good to throw away.” By that standard, offers are content too. At GetResponse, we think carefully about the needs of our market. Then we create a solution, package it in an irresistible offer, and craft a call the action. We think it’s the right thing to do for our company and for our customers.

People come to you, not because you’re so wonderful, but because they yearn for something. Maybe it’s to satisfy their appetite for food, to increase their knowledge, or to learn how to make more money. So make them an offer that satisfies an immediate, pressing need.

 

2. Help them feel secure.

You don’t have to sell burglar alarms to provide security. GetResponse uses this idea in several ways. We make sure your email gets delivered at least 99.5 percent of the time. We improve your company’s future by helping increase your profitability. And we take the hassle of software maintenance off your shoulders. For business people, that’s true security — and it’s worth writing about.

People feel more secure when they take care of their health, make their business stronger, help their kids. How could you position your product or service in a way that promotes feelings of security.

 

3. Create a sense of community.

What kinds of people are in the GetResponse community? We attract entrepreneurial types (like you) whether they work as sole proprietors, heads of marketing departments, or in large companies. The love to stay in touch with their audience using content that is personal, creative, and automated. We keep tabs on what our community likes and provide content that appeals to them.

It’s not easy to build a community. But companies that pull it off generate customer loyalty, repeat business, and word-of-mouth advertising. So think deeply about your best customers. Then produce content to appeal just to them. You’ll soon be a rallying point for your special kind of people.

 

4. Make them feel better about themselves.

Many businesses struggle with missed opportunities. Our business model involves creating tools and content that help you seize those opportunities. When our customers launch a successful campaign, they send testimonials to express their pride, new-found confidence, and sense of accomplishment. We love it.

Your audience members are wrestling with problems within your area of expertise. They need to know you’re working hard for them. That you understand what they’re going through. That you believe in them. So let ‘em know.

 

5. Give them a sense of  mastery.

Our loyal readers are devoted to mastering the art and science of marketing. So we publish great ideas for mastering your online communication skills, marketing chops, and money-making skills.

You probably take your knowledge for granted. That’s because you’ve mastered it. Your audience lacks that same sense of mastery. They may never reach your level, but your content can increase their understanding, help them develop skills, and provide valuable insights.

 

6. Provide a beautiful environment.

GetResponse doesn’t redecorate homes or sell artwork. But we do provide professional email design tools as part of our email marketing platform. And we provide content that shows our customers how to use them to create their own beautiful online environment.

Certain businesses can shine in this area: home improvement contractors, landscapers, interior decorators, artists. Other types of businesses may need to use their creativity. But imagine how you could stand out with this one.

 

7. Encourage them to play a bigger game.

Since the beginning, GetResponse has focused on a mission: providing cutting-edge technologies that enable companies of any size to compete with even the largest players in their industry.

Your audience may be trying to cope — and that’s great. But you may be able to take them beyond coping to a new way of life, one where they play their biggest game. What a great thing that would be.

 

Hierarchy of needs

Where did these 7 topics come from? I’d love to take credit. But I admit I adapted them from one of the pioneers of psychology — Abraham Maslow. They are based on Maslow’s pyramid of needs.

His list included only five, but other writers have used his thought process to add useful steps. The hierarchy is adaptable for all kinds of industries and audiences.

 

How the hierarchy work

Items that are low on the list are basic: things needed in order to stay alive and be secure. Those higher on the list are about self-actualization: living a beautiful life and being all you can be. Those in the middle are… well, in the middle.

A person struggling with the basic necessities may not be open to messages about self-actualization. Conversely, those with self-mastery and a nice environment may not be enticed by immediate gratification or security.

 

Broadening your appeal.

But that’s the beauty of content marketing: you don’t have to tell your entire story at once. You can focus on each item in turn — nuggets of hierarchical content, each designed to appeal to a narrow slice of your audience.

This keeps you focused on your niche and makes your overall message attractive to a wider cross-section of people.

 

Where’re your audience?

Are some of your readers struggling to keep their business alive? Seeking security?

Do they need closer relationships? Want to feel better about the future?

Do they want to master a skill? Live a beautiful life? Or play a bigger game?

And as a member of the GetResponse community, where are you on this hierarchy?

No matter where you are, we’re with you. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to changes your life — maybe a little, maybe a lot, always for the better.

7 Irresistible Content Topics Your Audience Will Love is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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How To Use The New Pinterest Analytics Tool For Business http://blog.getresponse.com/use-new-pinterest-analytics-tool-business.html http://blog.getresponse.com/use-new-pinterest-analytics-tool-business.html#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 22:16:36 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17864 Pinterest marketing is a fairly new concept even by social media standards. Pinterest’s growing popularity as a major social network, however, means that this pin board sharing social simply cannot be ignored as a powerful marketing avenue. Indeed, the very … Read more

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Pinterest marketing is a fairly new concept even by social media standards. Pinterest’s growing popularity as a major social network, however, means that this pin board sharing social simply cannot be ignored as a powerful marketing avenue. Indeed, the very introduction of this new Analytics tool goes to show just how much marketers are using the site, and user demand is dictating a more thorough overview of how potential customers are interacting with your pins.

The original Analytics tool provided by Pinterest was quite limited in the data it generated. The information centred only around how users were interacting with the Pin It button on your website – Pins and Repins from your website, visitors to your website via Pinterest, most Repinned content and most clicked content. This provided some useful insights, but not nearly enough from which to form meaningful predictions and strategies.   The new Analytics feature does still give you all of this information, plus a lot more besides – including how users engage with your content beyond the Pin It button. Indeed, you can now find out what happens after users click away from your Pinterest profile, provided that all actions do indeed originate there. Pinterest users spend a lot of time curating content for their boards that do not necessarily originate from their own website, and the new Analytics tool gives you the complete low down on exactly what they’re up to, and how you can optimise and maximise your presence on Pinterest.

The New Pinterest Analytics

1

To access and make use of the new Pinterest Analytics tool, you must first have a Pinterest business account. One of the complaints of the old variant was that the information generated just simply wasn’t very easy to scrutinise – the data was somewhat confusingly presented, and was just generally quite difficult to use. That has all changed now and the new Pinterest Analytics dashboard makes understanding how fans are interacting with your content achievable at a glance.

The graphs and charts you’re presented with upon opening your dashboard are clear, concise, useful and very in depth. You can see very clearly exactly what your 50 most-clicked and 50 most Repinned Pins are, as well as your top 50 Pin impressions and your top 20 Pin Boards with top Pin impressions. You can also clearly view your top 20 boards with the most clicked and Repinned Pins.

2

There is also an All-Time section which is particularly useful for determining your power Pins (Pins which perform well across clicks, Repins and more). This data is excellent in determining which topics people are searching for – you need to be producing more of this type of content.

Your Followers

It’s not just a visual makeover that your dashboard has been given; you can now gain access to information on exactly what your fans are up to elsewhere on Pinterest. You can determine what other Pins your followers are interested in, what country they come from, what language they speak and their gender, and discover the most popular topics of Pins amongst their following.

3

On your dashboard, you have the option of filtering the data you’re presented with by either All Audiences or Your Followers. You are able to view and compare the sets of information quite readily – All Audiences highlights the entire Pinterest audience, whilst Your Followers focuses on your own followers only.

Both of these filters can be used in conjunction with the Demographics and Interests tabs. The Demographics tab shows you data concerning the audience’s location, gender and language. The Interests tab shows you exactly what people are looking for and talking about. By using the two filters, you can not only see how your content is overlapping (or not) with current trends in interests, but also exactly what your followers’ interests are, and so you can set about creating more content to match.

4

As any marketer will agree, having access to more data on who is choosing to follow you can only be a good thing. Not only does it mean that you can market your wares much more effectively on the site, but also focus on the specific products that are selling, and which you might want to reconsider before ordering another shipment.

The great thing is that any business registered on Pinterest can use the new tools for free. It’s an invaluable tool for businesses that are marketing on the platform, for it enables marketers to shape their businesses as determined by those who matter the most – followers, fans and customers. The improved layout and much better presentation of the data means that businesses are now much more equipped to justify the time they spend on the site, which is essentially what Pinterest wants.

An effective platform means satisfied users, and of course Pinterest wants as many of those as possible. So, get into your Pinterest data now and start planning your Pins for the future.

How To Use The New Pinterest Analytics Tool For Business is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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A Checklist for Avoiding Mistakes in Email Marketing http://blog.getresponse.com/checklist-avoiding-mistakes-email-marketing.html http://blog.getresponse.com/checklist-avoiding-mistakes-email-marketing.html#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 16:06:59 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17854 For a brand whose marketing messages can get in front of thousands of people, the impact of a “small” mistake can be enormous. Think about it, not only is there a chance of making a bad impression (or a real … Read more

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For a brand whose marketing messages can get in front of thousands of people, the impact of a “small” mistake can be enormous. Think about it, not only is there a chance of making a bad impression (or a real brand damage), but mistakes can also have a direct influence on conversions. So as a marketer you want to reduce the number of possible (high impact) mistakes.

I have been involved in creating hundreds of email marketing campaigns and possibly reviewing even more in my consulting and training courses over the course of 10 plus years in email marketing. Yes every marketer makes mistakes and it is easy to overlook one just before pressing the send button but a lot of these are unnecessary. So here are some points of Quality Assurance to go over before pressing send.

Check your list and selections

Are the right people about to be emailed? Always do a head count. Make sure the right list is selected and updated for the send. The size of the selected list should be equal to the number you expected it to be – if you have an agency doing the sends for you: Include that number in the briefing. Check!

Beware of technical problems and incorrect links

Check the technical part of your campaign. Make sure that your email displays well in all email clients like gmail, outlook as well as in mobile email clients. Also check if there are no problems with the HTML code and make sure the proper landing pages are in place, properly linked from your email. And very important, the full order process is up and running.

You can imagine that an email that has faulty links or products that aren’t live yet can seriously hurt your emails bottom-line result.

Watch your instruments

All tracking of clicks and opens should be enabled. And do you also have tracking set up for measurement beyond the click? We want to report on the right KPIs. Without the data, managing your email campaign is like flying in the dark. Make sure all the measurement and tracking is in place and you planned some time to review your email marketing statistics after sending. Check!

All elements are there

All the necessary elements are present in your email. A clear unsubscribe link and a link that allows people to update their preferences and email address. They should be able to look at the email with an online version.

But most important, explain people how they can contact you, if they have questions, a complaint or want to buy something! It is best to offer links, but the reply address should also be monitored for people trying to contact you. Make sure other “standard” applicable elements, like social sharing are included and working.

Dynamic content

To make emails more attractive and relevant to individual subscribers, often dynamic content is inserted in the email. Make sure all fields are properly filled and formatted and that all the dynamic content works well. If you don’t know anything about the items segmented or personalized (e.g. Is the right account manager inserted? Is the right product image shown?), make sure you have someone at hand that does have that knowledge to look it over.

Fields used for email personalization, like when you insert company name or first name always need a fall back (e.g. Dear client,) for the instance that these fields are missing or left blank.

Sleep well and enjoy your email marketing activities

There are quite some things to check before your email campaign is fully fault free. A checklist can help to guide you each time you launch an email campaign. I made an example email marketing things-to-check checklist that you can download, but do add your own items!

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7 Tips for BOOOsting Your Halloween Email Marketing Campaign #Infographic http://blog.getresponse.com/7-tips-booosting-halloween-email-marketing-campaign-infographic.html http://blog.getresponse.com/7-tips-booosting-halloween-email-marketing-campaign-infographic.html#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 15:07:11 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17845 With 68.5 % of consumers planning to celebrate Halloween, it is another great occasion to plan and run a successful email marketing campaign. We offer 7 tips on how to make the most of your email marketing efforts in October … Read more

7 Tips for BOOOsting Your Halloween Email Marketing Campaign #Infographic is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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With 68.5 % of consumers planning to celebrate Halloween, it is another great occasion to plan and run a successful email marketing campaign. We offer 7 tips on how to make the most of your email marketing efforts in October and generate high ROI.

Halloween by the numbers

According to the research made by the National Retail Federation (on July 13th, 2014):

  • 68.5 % of consumers plan to celebrate Halloween
  • $7 billion – annual Halloween consumer spending
  • $72 – average amount spent on Halloween

Email has an ROI of around 2850%, according to the Direct Marketing Association. Email marketing and organic search are the most frequent sources of e-commerce traffic.

 

7 tips for a great Halloween email marketing campaign

1. Make email marketing part of the big picture.

Don’t plan a campaign for Halloween week only. Develop a month-long marketing plan that mixes different types of promotions using all your channels. Email is most effective when combined with other marketing activities. Email + social media = greater impact

2. Customize your email template.

Get inspired by the season. Carve your company logo in a pumpkin or dress up your brand mascot as a vampire. Use characteristic themes and color combinations to get into a Halloween mood .

3. Segment your email list.

Create targeted campaigns and timed email promotions for each segment. Surveys show that parents with children under 18 will spend $54 on candy and decorations while those without children under 18 will spend $32. Since they have completely different buying habits, you might want to tweak your offer.

4. Offer Halloween-appropriate freebies.

Think of ways to incentivize your customers. Offer something extra with a purchase during Halloween season. Sometimes adding a free pumpkin sticker is enough to put a smile on customer’s face.

5. Use the Halloween theme to promote your products.

Think of scary subject lines and come up with copy to give your products that Halloween touch. For example, you could make up a story describing horrible things that might happen to people who don’t use your product.

6. Mix promotional and educational content.

Halloween is a fantastic opportunity to create and share interesting content. Don’t try to make a sale every time you send a newsletter. Instead share something truly interesting about the holiday and strengthen relationships with your audience.

7. Suggest an alternative.

Stand out from the crowd by offering a different perspective on Halloween. Emphasize quality time with family and focus on the beauty of the autumn season.

And to put it all together, check out the stats in a great infographic! Make sure to share this infographic, as Halloween is just around the corner and every marketer should be prepared.

 

 

7 Tips for BOOOsting Your Halloween Email Marketing Campaign #Infographic is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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The Pros and Cons of Including a Name Field in Your Opt-in Forms http://blog.getresponse.com/pros-cons-including-name-field-opt-forms.html http://blog.getresponse.com/pros-cons-including-name-field-opt-forms.html#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 15:07:07 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17839 Ever wondered if you should include a first name field in your opt-in forms or not? Some marketers use it, and some don’t, but there’s actually considerable dispute about whether the name field helps or hinders long-term list profitability.  While … Read more

The Pros and Cons of Including a Name Field in Your Opt-in Forms is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Ever wondered if you should include a first name field in your opt-in forms or not? Some marketers use it, and some don’t, but there’s actually considerable dispute about whether the name field helps or hinders long-term list profitability. 

While there are no definitive answers either way, the decision whether or not to include a first name field is definitely worth some thought. The opt-in form is the very first step of a new subscriber’s journey with you. Even a 10% change up or down in opt-in rates can mean a significant difference in profits later on.

EmailOptinWithoutNameMany popular sites on the web don’t ask for first names in their email opt-in forms.

 

The case for leaving the name field out

You’ve probably heard that adding fields to opt-in forms reduces opt-ins. Generally, it’s true. The principle behind too many opt-in forms is called “friction” by website conversion gurus. You don’t want any extra friction in your forms, so by that logic, you’d leave the name field out.

Another reason to leave the name field out is that some people won’t put their name in, even if you require it. They’ll put some filler text in, like “I don’t want to give my name” or “nobody knows”. This is not so good for you, because it means every time you send what you hoped would be a personalized email, you’ll instead be sending an email to “Nobody Knows” or “I Don’t Want To Give My Name”.

An email with the subject line of “Nobody Knows, Special Deals for You” probably won’t incite your subscriber to click. It will also remind them that you are, in a sense, faking a close relationship with them, when all you’re really doing is inserting a database field.

If you have been collecting first names, but aren’t sure you want to continue doing it, this issue with fake names is actually an opportunity. Go check the list of people who have signed up for your list. If you see a lot of names that are clearly fake, it might be a tip that the name field may not be delivering as much as you’d hoped.

Another strike against using the name field is that personalization can increase spam complaints and unsubscribes. GetResponse did a study on this a few years ago, tallying up the results from 53,000 emails. They found that emails with personalized subject lines got 26% higher open rates and over 130% higher CTRs than emails without personalized subject lines, which is great. Unfortunately, they also discovered the spam complaints and unsubscribes from the personalized emails pretty much wiped out all those front-end gains. The emails with personalized subject lines got 26% more complaints and 71% higher unsubscribe rates than emails with no personalization. Rats.

There is another, slightly less pressing reason to leave the name field off: To simply grow your list as fast as possible. For some marketers, building a big list fast is priority #1, and so if list size is all you care about, then leaving the name field out is a reasonable choice.

There is one final reason to leave the name field out: Because you can ask for it later. There is a fancy marketing term for this process of slowing acquiring more information about your subscribers – it’s called “progressive profiling”. It takes a little technical know how to make it work, but you can do it with a GetResponse account, provided you can get your subscribers motivated enough to fill out another form.

Progressive profiling is probably not something everyone will want to do, but it is another reason to leave name field out. You can always get more information from your subscribers later on. All you really need to continue the conversation is their email address.

 

The case for including the name field

We’ve got a pretty long list of reasons to skip the name field, but don’t be too hasty about leaving it out yet. Personalization does generally improve results. Not in every study, as we saw with the GetResponse emails, but generally, yes, personalization does lift response. The most quoted example of this is the 2013 Experian Email Marketing Study, which showed personalized emails generate 6 times higher transaction rates. With a lift like that, who cares if you get 10% fewer opt-ins?

There is one more thing to keep in mind when you hear “personalized emails”. The personalization may be something beyond peoples’ first names. Personalization can include modifying emails so subscribers see products from categories they’ve bought from before, or email content tailored to their zip code, or other data pulled from their browsing history. In other words, there’s much more than just a name to personalization.

That said, there’s still plenty of research that shows even using first names in the subject line or the greeting of an email can lift response.

personalization-retentionscience-030914

 

Most ecommerce sites use some kind of personalization. 60% use customer names. Graph from Retention Science.

 

The real question behind including the name field versus leaving it out

What we really want to know is do the benefits of using a name for personalization outweigh the drawbacks of adding a little more friction to the opt-in form? Let’s try to break this question down so we can more easily answer it.

 

Does adding the name field really reduce opt-ins?

Most sources say that adding the name field to an opt-in form suppresses the opt-in rate. How much does it suppress the opt-in rate? It depends who you ask.  Unfortunately the figures shift so much from source to source that there is no one statistic I can give you that you can take and apply to your business.

The only real way to know is to test. I know that’s not what most of us want to hear, but it’s the only responsible answer. Some marketers see no reductions in opt-in rates with the name field included. Others see 10% drops, and here and there people report significant drops in opt-in rate with the name form included, like 20% or more. It all depends on your business.

 

How much of a lift can personalization really deliver?

We’ve reviewed the GetResponse study earlier, which saw a 26% lift in opens. That’s fairly consistent with other findings, like a report from Adestra that saw a 22% lift in opens when names were added to subject lines. MarketingSherpa also did a series of email tests with and without personalization in the subject lines, and saw a 17.63% lift.

Of course, your list is going to be a bit different, but at least a 10% lift from personalized subject lines is a reasonable expectation.

Now, the next question is: Will you see the spam complaints and unsubscribes that showed up in the GetResponse report? You might. But consider that there was some good news for personalization in the GetResponse study. If marketers used people’s names only after a few email warm ups had been sent out, they got fewer unsubscribes. Apparently, many of the unsubscribes were coming from the first 1-2  emails people got after signing up. Perhaps it was too early in the marketer/subscriber relationship for first names, or people didn’t recognize the sender very well, and thus felt being on a first name basis was a little false.

This brings up one last complexity of using personalization: It’s a best practice to not use it for every email. That’s going to make it even harder to tell if collecting first names is worthwhile, because you can’t attribute a 20% lift from personalization for every email you’ll send. Realistically, you may only want to use personalization for every other email, or every third email. So once again, the benefits of collecting names seem to take a hit.

Unfortunately, this is one instance where you’re going to have to test for yourself. There isn’t enough data either way to prove that collecting names in email opt-in forms is a best practice, though it does seem that there are more cons than pros for adding the name field. Still, for some businesses, adding the name field works great. For others, it may end up being a wash, or it could end up even hurting results.

What’s your experience with including the name field in your opt-in forms? Do you have any test results that show it’s worthwhile? Let us know in the comments.

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The Handy Guide to Attracting First 1000 Blog Subscribers http://blog.getresponse.com/handy-guide-attracting-first-1000-blog-subscribers.html http://blog.getresponse.com/handy-guide-attracting-first-1000-blog-subscribers.html#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:07:34 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17831 Know what’s usually the first goal of a new blogger? Getting 1,000 blog subscribers. It might be your goal, too. And it’s a good one. But do you know why? (Other than staying motivated?) Why 1,000? Is it because it’s … Read more

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Know what’s usually the first goal of a new blogger? Getting 1,000 blog subscribers. It might be your goal, too. And it’s a good one. But do you know why? (Other than staying motivated?) Why 1,000? Is it because it’s a nice, well-rounded easy to remember number?

Not exactly.

1000 is the indication of this highly reassuring fact: You are doing it right. It clues you to know that it won’t be long before you ‘make it’ (whatever that means for you). This is usually the time when your blog reaches escape velocity. The tipping point starts to happen, momentum starts kicking in and all of a sudden, the whole process gets easier.

 

1000 subscribers – it’s the magic number

That’s where the fans start doing some heavier lifting and your reputation starts to build. You reach a critical mass and your work starts to get noticed without your having to work nearly as hard as when you start out.

It takes some time to build an audience, and momentum is your friend. Most bloggers don’t take off like rockets. You build slowly at first, and then the snowball effect comes into play leading to quick growth. So the question becomes how do you attract your first 1,000 subscribers? Don’t fret. If you’re not finding the audience you want yet, I am going to tell how you can.

 

Start with your audience

You cannot attract 1000 subscribers if you don’t know who you want to attract in the first place. So spend some time pondering this question.

Who is your ideal audience? Are they male or female? How old are they? Do they have children? Where do they live? How much money do they make?

Done? Good. This gives you some idea of who your primary audience is, but you need to dig deeper.

Start looking at the places your ideal audience is currently hanging out. Start with a list of 5-7 blogs they might be reading (this will also come in handy when you start promoting your blog). Go over there and look for their comments. What are they saying? What are they asking? What are the recurring thoughts and questions that come up? What can you help with?

You want to make sure you know what keeps your audience up at night. What are their biggest frustrations and even a common enemy? If they haven’t managed to solve their problem yet, what is keeping them from doing so? When it comes to your specific topic, you want to know them better than they know themselves.

Trust me when I say this, spending time in this section will pay big dividends later on. The number one reason why a blog fails to take off is because it is not clear who the blog is for. Here you determine exactly that and in the next section, you spend time on your design so you communicate that without a shadow of doubt.

 

Pay attention to your design

When somebody visits your blog for the very first time, what do they see first? Your design and it sets expectations for your content, for your personality, your professionalism and your offerings. It speaks volumes about you.

Be sure to leave a killer first impression. Start things on the right foot.

The first thing that needs to done without any compromise is to install a professional theme. You can get a free theme or purchase a premium one.

Your theme should reflect your brand identity. Are you playful or serious? Are you spiritual, snarky or do you have a potty mouth? What are your brand colours? Choose a theme that is a match for your content and personality. Make sure your header looks professional and inviting.

The second thing is you want to pay attention to your blog title. Is it clear or clever? Does it instantly communicate what your blog is about and who is it for? If not, consider adding a descriptive tagline to help you do that. The tagline should promise a benefit to subscribing to your blog. What would the reader gain by subscribing? Tell them that.

You want to keep your design clean. As a blogger, your emphasis should remain on your content and you don’t want anything to interfere with that. Go with a single side bar design as that’s what most people are used to and equate with a high-quality, professional blog worth reading.

Do not clutter your sidebar with tons of widgets or links. Keep it simple. Add a mini author bio at the top and an opt-in box. Add links to your best content and limit those that lead people away from your blog. Only ad advertisements if they are worth doing so. Remember, your goal is to collect email addresses.

 

Build your credibility and social proof

For a brand new visitor who hasn’t heard of you before, your first job is to convince your blog is worth reading.

You pave your way with design but they want to know a little bit about you before they decide to sign up. They want to see if you sound credible and are a good fit for them. That’s where your about page comes in. Introduce yourself. Tell them what you do to help your readers. Tell them what makes you qualified and tell them why you do it (your story).

Once they feel a bit reassured that you are a real life human and not a spammer who is out to get them, they want to see if others feel the same way. This is why you want to display as much social proof as you can.

When you go to a blog for the first time, and it’s hopping with activity. You think, wow, it seems like a good place to explore. You see people tweeting, sharing, commenting and you nearly assume that the content is really good without reading a single word.

On the other hand, when the blog looks like a ghost town, you decide that the place must not be worth checking out. That’s the reality, however unfortunate it might be. That’s why it is so important to get some social proof (and eliminate the negative).

Been featured on a blog? Quoted in an article? Interviewed on a podcast or guest posted on a blog? Share all press and ‘as seen on’ logos on your blog to give yourself instant credibility.

Share your client/customer testimonials. List what nice things people are saying about you. Show off your clients List. People don’t want to be the only ones signing up to your list or buying from you. Show off your list of clients.

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Create an irresistible opt-in incentive

Once you have identified your ideal audience, you are now in a position to create two things to attract them. The perfect giveaway or your opt-in offer and content that will appeal to this targeted audience. In this section, we are going to take a closer look at creating your perfect freebie.

Go specific. Most people make the mistake of writing or creating something on a broad topic, hoping to attract to a wide variety of people. The more specific you are in creating your freebie, the better your chances of getting the right person on your list.

If you are a life coach specializing in relationships, look at your idea reader. Who are they? How old? Are they male or female? And then think about creating something that would appeal to them specifically.

Yes, you won’t attract a lot of people but that’s actually a really good thing. As soon as you start selling, most of them will unsubscribe so why not minimize that from day one? You actually won’t even get to that stage, they will start unsubscribing because your content will not appeal to them. Because they are not your right audience.

Remember, you want to build your email list with high quality people who will turn into prospects the more they get to know you and your business.

Solve a problem. You don’t have to spend hours creating that offer, whatever it may be (downloadable ebook, video tutorial/how to, printable checklist or worksheet, report or a case study, or an ecourse).

As long as you choose a problem people are interested in solving, you are good to go.

Create a special page. Also consider creating a squeeze page to give more details about your opt-in offer and entice people to sign up.

You need and headline that catches their attention, list benefits in the form of bullet points, a call to action and the opt-in box where they enter their name and email details.

 

Publish the right content

Create strategic, purpose driven content. Only publish content that is top notch. Make it scannable, screen friendly and concisely written. Craft headlines that entice your readers to click and open your posts; your intros draw them in. Your calls to action should be strong. (If not, no worries, keep working and you’ll get there in no time.)

Pick the right frequency. Write less, promote more. Once a week works for most bloggers so don’t bother posting every day.

Spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% promoting it. Especially in the beginning when your blog is new and you don’t have many readers.This is total waste of your effort and content. Why would you want to write when you don’t have sufficient amount of people reading it?

Also, by writing less frequently, you are able to devote more time to the quality of your posts. You are able to do more research, link to quality sources and then have time to promote it.

Don’t go too long without posting though, or your readers might forget you. Try writing epic posts, every once in a while. The longer posts are perceived to be more valuable than shorter ones. Hence they are the ideal link bait.

Create content that builds authority and converts more traffic. By posting fresh, engaging content, all you are doing is creating brand awareness and positioning yourself as an expert. You are also differentiating your blog from your competitors at the same time.

Remember, the more authority you have, less traffic you require to gain your 1000 subscribers.

 

Promote your content

First of all, let me make this thing clear. Never pin your hopes of attracting your first thousand subscribers on your posts going viral.

Sure, we all have fantasized about this at one point or the other. We have imagined our stuff getting tweeted hundreds or thousands of times, being liked and shared on Facebook in bucket loads and bringing us an avalanche of traffic.

It can very well happen, but the thing is you can’t orchestrate it. You don’t have a say in what goes viral, you can’t decide if it’s going to be something you have written. You have to rely on other methods such as guest blogging, social media promotion and perhaps some advertising.

Build relationships with the influencers in your niche. Leave comments on their blogs. Interview them. Get support from the ones who have already made it. Over time, you can count on them to help you get more shares and traffic. If they tweet out your post, share it on your Facebook or Google+ page, it can almost guarantee a lot of attention coming your way.

You are creating content anyway, right? Why not go where everybody is? Give Guest Posting a Go. Make a list of blogs you want to publish on and create a strategy for yourself so you follow through. Guest blogging brings you highly targeted traffic, which is much more likely to stay or subscribe than a random or paid one. Plus, it doesn’t cost any money.

 

Embrace social media – one platform at a time

If the thought of social media fills you with dread or if you feel like you are forever chained to your social networking sites – all day long, you are not alone. The choices are endless; Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and what not. Where do you go? It can be a case of total overwhelm.

The point is to do one, and do it well. Spend your time mastering one platform and building a presence there before you move to the next.

That’s it. That’s the blueprint you need.

  1. Identify the people you want to attract. Get your blog ready to receive traffic.
  2. Create top notch content and promote your content. Rinse and repeat.

This is how you attract first thousand blog subscribers and then some. That it all. Now go make it happen.

 

The Handy Guide to Attracting First 1000 Blog Subscribers is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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

Klout Me In: Why You Need to Know Your Score is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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

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

 

How does Klout….Klout?

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

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

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

 

Why influence matters and how to increase it

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

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

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

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

Share_Content

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

Scheduling

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

 

The ABC’s

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

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

 

The perk of being someone

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

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

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

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

Klout Me In: Why You Need to Know Your Score is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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

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

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

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

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

 

Engagement

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

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

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

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

 

Demographics

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

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

 

Outbound Conversions

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

So what are the RPV figures?

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

Yet again, Pinterest trumps Twitter, this time significantly.

 

Referral Traffic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Targeted Advertising on Facebook

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

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

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

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

getresponse_blog_fb_targetting

Defining Your Target Audience

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

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

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

Radius-Based Ads

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

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

Who can use this functionality?

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

Radius-Based Ads

1. Bakery

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

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

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

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

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

2. Food truck

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

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

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

3. Flower Shop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

#1 Pick the right theme

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

#2 Highlight the most important info

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

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

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

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

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

 

#3 Design for humans

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

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

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

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

 

#4 Have lots of white space

Is your blog clean or cluttered?

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

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

Every sidebar needs a few things:

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

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

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

 

#5 Limit Your Copy

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

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

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

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

 

#6 Place your opt-in forms in strategic places

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

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

Some excellent ways to do this are:

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

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

 

#7 Make your content look good

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

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

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

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

 

# 8 Pay attention to your branding and colours

Make sure your design connects with emotions.

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

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

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

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

 

#9 Optimise For Mobile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Example #1 from the B2B market

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

 

Example #2 from the B2C market

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

trust-in-advertising

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

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

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

 

10 essential elements of a great testimonial

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

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

 

How to get great testimonials

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

 

1. Get the timing right

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

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

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

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

 

 

2. Use the Reviews tab in Facebook

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

Facebookreviewsexample

 

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

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

Something like this might work:

“Claire,

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

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

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

 

 

4. Make the most of LinkedIn

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

 

5. Make it easy

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

 

6. Hold a Facebook contest

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

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

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

 

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

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

Loyal customers respond

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

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

 

Calculate customer lifetime value (CLV)

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

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

 

Create a good first impression

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

If wasted, this potential can never be recovered.

 

Be responsive

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

 

Listen when customers tell you what they want

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

 

Let customers get to know you

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

 

Reward your customers

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

 

Bring excitement and delight

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

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

 

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

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

 

Email #1: “The Last Day Deal” email

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

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

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

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

AppSumo

Email #2: “Why didn’t you buy?” email

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

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

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

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

Here’s the email I sent:

AppSumo2

The survey asked:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Email #3: “The Pre-Sale” email

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Growth through acquisition and attrition

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

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

 

1. Cross opt-in

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

 

2. Organic growth

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

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

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

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

 

4. Preventing unsubscribes

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

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

listgrowth

Conclusion

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s learn how to do this.

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What is an Autoresponder?

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

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

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Creating a Consistent Experience For New Subscribers

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

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

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

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

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

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

psychology

Understanding Your Subscriber Psychology

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

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

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

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

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

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Putting the Right Content in Your Autoresponder Series

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

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

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

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

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

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Different Types of Autoresponder Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

autoresponder

Writing an Autoresponder That Gets Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s the job of your autoresponder.

Are you doing it well?

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

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

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

 

A Short History of Blog Commenting

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Comment Spam

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

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

Akismet

 

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

 

What Makes A Comment Good?

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

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

 

Why Comment On Blogs?

Well, there are a few reasons why:

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

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

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

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

 

How to Write Great Blog Comments That Get Traffic and Attention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bitly-stats

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Visually excite the casual browser

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

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

VisuallyStunning

Increase social media audience

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

 

Social sharing power

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

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

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

 

Infographics stand out by being different

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

 

Inbound links

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

conversion

Keep those visitors, gain conversions

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Basic automation

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

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

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

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

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

 

On-demand content

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Emails triggered by calendar events

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

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

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

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

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

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

HolidayContent

Emails triggered by behavior

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

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

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

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

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

 

Emails triggered by changes in profile data

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

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

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

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

 

Emails triggered by events in other platforms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Analyzing the opportunities

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

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

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

 

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

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