GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips http://blog.getresponse.com/ Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:17:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Top 10 Books on Persuasion Every Solopreneur Should Read http://blog.getresponse.com/top-10-books-persuasion-every-solopreneur-read.html http://blog.getresponse.com/top-10-books-persuasion-every-solopreneur-read.html#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:17:38 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19085 When it comes to influencing others and making a bigger impact, most people are truly sceptical. They don’t think they have it in themselves to persuade others. They are also in awe of others who seem to be naturally persuasive. … Read more

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When it comes to influencing others and making a bigger impact, most people are truly sceptical. They don’t think they have it in themselves to persuade others. They are also in awe of others who seem to be naturally persuasive. Well, I won’t argue that some people are born persuasive, but it is also possible to learn the art and science of influence. You, too can become a master of getting people to sit up and take notice of you and your ideas. All you need is a nudge in the right direction.

And this is precisely why I have complied by list of all-time favourite books that do just that.

Let’s dive in!

 

#1 Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by by Chip and Dan Heath

If you want to (and who doesn’t, really?) get people to take a specific action, then you need to grab their attention first.

“The first problem of communication is getting people’s attention.” Heath brothers say. Not only that you must “Work to make the core message itself more interesting.”

So what how do we do that?

“To make our communications more effective, we need to shift our thinking from “What information do I need to convey?” to “What questions do I want my audience to ask?”

And sprinkle some emotion:

“People tend to overuse any idea or concept that delivers an emotional kick.”

Definitely a must-read. Get your hands on it ASAP.

 

#2 Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki

This one is another winner. The book is full of nuggets of wisdom like this:

“If you don’t toot your own horn, don’t complain that there’s no music.”

And

“While we’re living, we need to get over ourselves and accept others if we want to enchant people.”

Kawasaki gives you actionable advice:

“We were so enchanted by our own product that we could not understand why everyone else did not feel the same way. That’s when I learned that one must understand what people are thinking, feeling, and believing in order to enchant them.”

A lot of inspiration.

“Want to change the world? Upset the status quo? This takes more than run-of-the-mill relationships. You need to make people dream the same dream that you do.”

Finally a favourite quote of mine from the book goes like this:

“Knowledge is great. Competence is great. But the combination of both encourages people to trust you and increases your powers of enchantment. And in this world, the combination is a breath of fresh air.”

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#3 Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

If you want to truly understand why people behave the way they do, they can’t go past this book. In fact, this book should be made compulsory reading for anyone wanting to strike out on their own. Cialdini explains: “A well-known principle of human behaviour says that when we ask someone to do us a favour we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do.”

And

“Often we don’t realize that our attitude toward something has been influenced by the number of times we have been exposed to it in the past.”

He explains why it is important to come across like someone who is just like your customer, and have them believe in your cause.

“All things being equal, you root for your own sex, your own culture, your own locality…and what you want to prove is that you are better than the other person. Whomever you root for represents you; and when he wins, you win.”

Can’t recommend it highly enough.

persuasion

#4 Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation by Sally Hogshead

This book is extremely fascinating. And it better be because this is what it aims to teach you – how to become fascinating.  Hogshead says that people are all born fascinating “But over time, people can lose their innate ability to fascinate. They acquire layers of boring.”

And the way to do that is to stop trying to be someone everybody likes.

“When you stop trying to be all things to all people, you can stop worrying about being liked and start building relationships that allow you to be loved. If you are not creating a negative response from somebody, you’re probably not very fascinating to anybody.”

It is fine to be yourself – it is fine to be different.

“Different is better than better. Different doesn’t try to turn you into something else. Different allows you to highlight the singular traits you already have within you. You aren’t necessarily better than your competition. But you are already different.”

And

“Your personality is your natural weapon against distraction, competition, and commoditization. The more value you add, the less you have to compete on price, and the less likely you are to become a commodity.”

Don’t forget to pick this one up or you’ll regret it for sure.

 

#5 Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

Ariely is a master storyteller. And he explains why we make particular decisions.

“We usually think of ourselves as sitting the driver’s seat, with ultimate control over the decisions we made and the direction our life takes; but, alas, this perception has more to do with our desires-with how we want to view ourselves-than with reality”

He goes on to argue that we don’t always think before we arrive at a conclusion.

“Standard economics assumes that we are rational… But, as the results presented in this book (and others) show, we are far less rational in our decision making… Our irrational behaviours are neither random nor senseless- they are systematic and predictable. We all make the same types of mistakes over and over, because of the basic wiring of our brains.”

His take on immediate gratification?

“Giving up on our long-term goals for immediate gratification, my friends, is procrastination.”

And lastly he says, “There are many examples to show that people will work more for a cause than for cash.” So keep this in mind next time you are creating a promotional campaign.

Another gem of a book.

 

#6 To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

Most people have a very negative view of selling. They use words like slimy, sleazy and spammy to describe the selling process. Pink disagrees. “To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources—not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.”

“In the new world of sales, being able to ask the right questions is more valuable than producing the right answers. Unfortunately, our schools often have the opposite emphasis. They teach us how to answer, but not how to ask.” He says.

He says to always ask two questions at every opportunity to move someone. “If the person you’re selling to agrees to buy, will his or her life improve? When your interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when you began? If the answer to either of these questions is no, you’re doing something wrong.”

And those of you who are against pitching, these words are sure to calm you.

“The purpose of a pitch isn’t necessarily to move others immediately to adopt your idea. The purpose is to offer something so compelling that it begins a conversation, brings the other person in as a participant, and eventually arrives at an outcome that appeals to both of you.”

 

#7 Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

This is such a fun book that you are doing yourself a great disservice by not reading it. Sit back and enjoy the book and be prepared to make note of tons of a-ha moments. Following are few of the quotes I jotted in my diary:

“People don’t think in terms of information. They think in terms of narratives. But while people focus on the story itself, information comes along for the ride.”

“Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 percent to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions.”

“Marketing is about spreading the love.”

“Contagious content is like that—so inherently viral that it spreads regardless of who is doing the talking.”

“How does it make people look to talk about a product or idea? Most people would rather look smart than dumb, rich than poor, and cool than geeky. Just like the clothes we wear and the cars we drive, what we talk about influences how others see us. It’s social currency. Knowing about cool things—like a blender that can tear through an iPhone—makes people seem sharp and in the know. So to get people talking we need to craft messages that help them achieve these desired impressions.”

Go ahead and get yourself a copy. Thank me later.

inspiration

#8 How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

So this one is a true classic and not a quick read it all. However, the lessons you gain totally make it worth reading.

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”

“When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness.

“If you are not in the process of becoming the person you want to be, you are automatically engaged in becoming the person you don’t want to be.”

And how about attracting your ideal customer or client. What better advice than this:

“Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: “Wouldn’t you like to have that?”
Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?”

Priceless!

 

#9 The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar

A great read explaining how people make choices so you can better make better ones and also get a deeper understanding into your customer’s mind. It sheds light on what shapes your life choices and the journey you are on.

“What you see determines how you interpret the world, which in turn influences what you expect of the world and how you expect the story of your life to unfold.”

“Your choices of which clothes to wear or which soda to drink, where you live, which school to attend and what to study, and of course your profession all say something about you, and it’s your job to make sure that they are an accurate reflection of who you really are.”

It shows you why you need to offer fewer options to potential clients and customers.

“When people are given a moderate number of options (4 to 6) rather than a large number (20 to 30), they are more likely to make a choice, are more confident in their decisions, and are happier with what they choose.”

And

“Your enjoyment of the chosen options will be diminished by your regret over what you had to give up. In fact, the sum total of the regret over all the “lost” options may end up being greater than your joy over your chosen options, leaving you less satisfied than you would have been if you had had less choice to begin with.”

Don’t skip this one.

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#10 The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwatrz

The last book on this list is an oldie but a goodie. The following quotes will have you inspired and ready to jump into action now – trust me.

“Focus on what makes you happy, and do what gives meaning to your life” 

“Learning to choose is hard. Learning to choose well is harder. And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard.” 

“The alternative to maximizing is to be a satisficer. To satisfice is to settle for something that is good enough and not worry about the possibility that there might be something better.” 

And I left the best for last.

“When asked about what they regret most in the last six months, people tend to identify actions that didn’t meet expectations. But when asked about what they regret most when they look back on their lives as a whole, people tend to identify failures to act.” 

There you have it. These are my top ten favourites. What would you add to this list? Share with us in the comments below!

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New Research in the Epic Battle Between Double and Single Opt-in http://blog.getresponse.com/new-research-epic-battle-double-single-opt.html http://blog.getresponse.com/new-research-epic-battle-double-single-opt.html#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:17:05 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19070 “To confirm or not to confirm, that is the question.” from Shakespeare’s lost manuscript, The Opt-in Dilemma* Email marketers are generally agreeable people. But there is one issue that divides us: Double versus single opt-in. Some of us think double … Read more

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“To confirm or not to confirm, that is the question.” from Shakespeare’s lost manuscript, The Opt-in Dilemma*

Email marketers are generally agreeable people. But there is one issue that divides us: Double versus single opt-in. Some of us think double opt-in is unnecessary. Others think single opt-in creates a less responsive list. While I can’t resolve the dispute in one post, I do have some new information to help you make the decision for yourself.

For you newbies, the difference between double and single opt-in is about sending or not sending a confirmation email after someone signs up for your list. With single opt-in, all someone has to do is to fill out your opt-in form and click “submit”. After that, they’re subscribed.

With double opt-in, the user will fill out your opt-in form and click “submit”. Then they have to check their email, find the confirmation email you sent and click a link in that email. They are not subscribed until they have clicked the link.

 

The hazards of adding an extra step

Every time you add an extra step to any process, your conversion rate goes down. It doesn’t matter whether it’s someone opting into your list or someone placing an order. Every extra step you make them go through reduces how many people finish the process. Want to get as many people as possible through your conversion process? Then remove all the obstacles you can. Make each remaining step as simple, frictionless and fast as possible.

If you look at the double versus single opt-in question through only this perspective – that adding any extra step hurts conversions – then single opt-in wins. Double opt-in, with its extra step, will cost you new subscribers.

How many subscribers? It depends on several things, which we’ll address in a moment. But marketers generally see about 20-30% faster list growth when they use single opt-in.

20-30% is a big chunk of a list. That’s basically the average rate of list churn for a list over the course of a year. To lose 20-30% of your list growth, you’d better be seeing some upside on the back end.

 

The long-term benefits of double opt-in

Double opt-in lists have been shown to get up to double the clicks and double the opens of single opt-in lists. They also get half the hard bounces and half the unsubscribes of single opt-in. Double opt-in lists keep you from adding a spam trap to your list. They tend to reduce spam complaints, too, though they won’t eliminate them. All these reasons are why double opt-in is the default setting in your GetResponse account. It’s why GetResponse recommends double opt-in.

Basically, double opt-in creates a higher quality list long term, though it will indeed slow your list growth compared to using single opt-in. Ultimately, the whole double versus single opt-in debate comes down to quality versus quantity. Do you want a larger list, or a more responsive list?

There are other, smaller downsides to single opt-in, too. Some of the names added to your list may be fake, or may have typos. It gets complicated. So let’s give you a comparison of the pros and cons of each option. Let’s walk through how the same list might perform if it was single opt-in or double opt-in.

 

subscriber_count

 

clicks

I hope that illustrates why double opt-in is the better choice long term. But I know that some of you single opt-in proponents are not going to be sold on those calculations. That’s fine, and fair. We welcome your comments and are expecting some dispute.

 

Two marketers who support using single opt-in

Maybe I seem partial to double opt-in. To try to be fair (or fairer) to both sides of the argument, here are two perspectives from two very smart marketers who prefer single opt-in.

Robert Tyson has tested double vs. single opt-in over several months with thousands of subscribers. 23.6% of his double opt-in subscribers never confirmed. This is on target with what other marketers have reported; it’s a common drop-off. He writes,My open/clickthrough rates from single opt-in subscribers are NOT worse. In fact if anything they’re BETTER!” Unfortunately, he does not give specific figures, but it shows that while best practices are helpful, there’s nothing as good as testing for yourself.

Jeanne Jennings has her own blog and also writes for Clickz. She believes double and single opt-in both have their place, but she leans more toward single opt-in. Jennings believes double opt-in is really only necessary if

  • “You’ve experienced deliverability issues in the past
  • You are potentially a target for malicious intent
  • You don’t feel you can adequately police the single opt-in requirement internally”

 

Desperately seeking research

There are many other marketers who support single opt-in, but when they write about it, they share anecdotal evidence, or refer to their own lists. It’s surprising, but despite all the email marketing research studies we have, almost none track double opt-in versus single opt-in use. The most recent research I found was from MarketingSherpa in September 2012, showing that 39% of marketers were using double opt-in, which Sherpa referred to as an “opt-in only subscriber list”.

Because there was so little information about what real marketers were doing now with double and single opt-in, I decided to do my own research. So I put together a list of 50 well-known marketers from affiliate marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. I signed up for their email lists, taking very careful notes about their signup processes. Here’s what I found: about 2/3 of these marketers – 64% to be exact – use double opt-in.

Here’s who made my list (in alphabetical order), and which opt-in process they use:

opt-in

 

Now, is this a definitive list of the top 50 Internet marketers? Absolutely not. But it does include many of the influencers and experts in the industry. If you think I’ve left someone off, please let me know in the comments.

The real purpose of this list is not to compile a who’s who of Internet marketing. It’s to show which opt-in process some of the major marketers are using. At first I thought about asking them which opt-in process they used, but I think showing what they’re actually using may be more meaningful.

Of course, even with this survey, the dispute over double versus single opt-in is hardly over. Maybe not all of these marketers have actually tested double versus single opt-in. Either way, what you do with your list is your call. I do hope this information helps you make the right decision for your list and your business.

 

So much for statistics – why all these double and single opt-in comparisons are suspect

There’s another layer of complexity to all this. It’s in how the rest of the opt-in process is handled. For example, whether or not you send a welcome email can affect your long-term open and click-through rates. So while a double opt-in list will generally get better open and click-through rates, if the double opt-in list skips the welcome email, and a similar single opt-in list uses a strong welcome email, the net results from the two lists will be blurred.

Another factor that can skew your opt-in rates is if you add a name field or other information to your opt-in form. Many of the marketers I surveyed used opt-in forms that included a name field. Just as adding a confirmation email will reduce your opt-in rate, so will asking for more information in the opt-in form. You might be able to switch from single to double opt-in and give up, say, asking for people’s first names, and see no drop in new subscribers at all.

 

Customized opt-in processes make a difference

Up for another example of how murky these comparisons can be? Consider how the double opt-in process is handled. If someone sets up a double opt-in process and uses the default confirmation page (usually a boring, nearly blank page), they will get fewer people to complete their opt-in process than if they used a customized confirmation page. Their customized confirmation pages will work even better if they have crystal clear instructions on how to finish the opt-in process.

This is something that really popped while I was signing up for all those lists. Almost all the marketers who use double opt-in have customized the page you see after you click the “subscribe” button on the opt-in form. Most of them use screen shots of what their confirmation email will look like in the inbox. Some of them use videos.

If you’re getting terrible confirmation rates – like only half of the people who first opt into your list are confirming – consider optimizing your opt-in process. You’re probably always going to see about 20-30% of people not finish the opt-in process, but any more than that is unusual.

 

Good news: Customizing your opt-in process is easy

There are two places in a double opt-in process that you want to customize:

  1. The page people see after they’ve clicked the subscribe button on your opt-in form
  2. The page people see after they’ve clicked the link in your confirmation email

Here’s how to customize the page people see after they’ve clicked the subscribe button on your opt-in form:

  • From the Dashboard, go to the “Web Forms” tab near the top of the page.
  • In the web forms list, find the opt-in form people will be using for this opt-in process.
  • Click the “edit” link for that form, as shown here:

 

CustomizeDoubleOptin3

  • In the second tab, labeled “Settings”, change the radio button selection from “Default Thank-you page” to “Custom Thank-you page” (right below). Then paste in the URL of the custom thank you page from your site.

 

CustomizeDoubleOptin4

  • Click the grey “Save Web Form” at the bottom of the screen.

 

 

How to customize the page people see after they’ve clicked the link in your confirmation page

  • Find the “Your current campaign” pull-down menu in the upper right-hand corner of your account screen.

CustomizeDoubleOptin1-1

  • Make sure the campaign you want to set the final confirmation page for is selected.
  • Click the gear symbol just to the right of the pull-down menu. You’ll be brought to the campaign settings pages.

CustomizeDoubleOptin1

  • Click the “Permission” tab on the left side of the page.

 

CustomizeDoubleOptin2

  • Near the bottom of the page, where it says “Confirmation page”, change the radio button selection from “Hosted by GetResponse” to “Custom URL”. Then paste in the complete URL (including http://) of the page you want people to see after they’ve clicked the link in your confirmation email.
  • Extra credit: Customize your confirmation message. The settings for this are right above the “confirmation page” section. You can specify which from email address you want to use, and write your own custom subject line for the confirmation message.

 

CustomizeDoubleOptin2-2

  • Click the blue “Ok” button just to the right to save your settings.

What about you?

Which opt-in process do you use? Do you have strong feelings pro or con about single opt-in or double opt-in lists? We want to hear about it. Give us your feedback in the comments.

* No, Shakespeare did not write that.

New Research in the Epic Battle Between Double and Single Opt-in is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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20 Action Items for a Successful Email Marketing Campaign http://blog.getresponse.com/20-action-items-successful-email-marketing-campaign.html http://blog.getresponse.com/20-action-items-successful-email-marketing-campaign.html#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:17:40 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19060 Email marketing is an effective way to engage your contacts and promote your business. You can send offers to people who have subscribed to your email list in real-time. Emails involve no expensive overheads, saving both paper and postage. Better … Read more

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Email marketing is an effective way to engage your contacts and promote your business. You can send offers to people who have subscribed to your email list in real-time. Emails involve no expensive overheads, saving both paper and postage. Better yet, you can monitor whether or not the recipients of your email actually open, read, and act on it. Email continues to be an important marketing channel for many businesses.

 

Email Marketing Challenges

Over the past few years, email marketing has faced many obstacles. Most people receive hundreds of emails each day. You want yours to stand out in the crowd. The sheer volume of email makes it harder to convince people to open your emails and act on them. In addition, there are also anti-spam laws that you need to pay attention to. The popularity of social media also impacts your email strategy.

Despite these challenges, email is still the most reliable marketing channel when used correctly. Creating a successful email marketing campaign requires you to carefully manage a wide variety of elements. The following email marketing checklist can help guide you through the process.

 

Email Marketing Campaign Checklist

  1. Construct a focused message – The text should be clear and crisp. Eliminate any distracting and unnecessary text. Most people reading emails skim through the text. You want to make sure that your readers will quickly pick up on your message.
  2. Pay attention to the details of the text - It must be easy to read without a lot of technical jargon that could confuse the reader and distract from your message. All the information should be accurate and easy to understand.
  3. Be sure to proofread your email for grammar and spelling - It is just unprofessional to be sloppy in this area.
  4. The message should direct the reader to take a clear action based on the content – This is done by focusing on the benefits that acting now will bring to the reader. A powerful call-to-action will prompt your readers to take the next step. The success of your campaign is based on how many people take the next step. You have to clearly identify what this step is in order to ensure success.
  5. Create a strong landing page – If the message of the email is strong, the landing page must be even stronger. The landing pages closes the deal. There is no point in sending a strong email if it brings your readers to a wishy-washy landing page.
  6. Use an attractive design and layout for your email – Images will help, but be sure they are not necessary to understand the message because many people cannot receive emails with embedded images.
  7. Your brand should be easy to recognize – Place your logo prominently in the email. Make sure the design of the email matches the design of other marketing resources you have deployed. You want to make it clear to the reader who is sending them the message.
  8. A stunning subject line is necessary – It should scream, “Open me, Now!” You want the receiver to open and read your email. A solid subject is the way to make sure that this happens.
  9. Make sure the “from” field is clear – It should be clear that the email is from your business. People are not going to open your email if they do not know who it is from.
  10. Include multiple ways for your reader to view the email – A link to the email on your website will make sure your reader can view the email even if their email software cannot. A text only version of the email also helps in this regard.
  11. Enable social sharing for your email – If your message is powerful, then your readers may share it on their social media accounts. This expands the audience for your message to the friends of people on your list.
  12. Comply with all laws regarding bulk emails – Make sure you include your contact address and a way to unsubscribe from your list. You could face prosecution if you get this part wrong.
  13. Use your email list effectively by setting up relevant subsets of subscribers – The more you can target your email at the needs of a specific subset of your list, the more people will respond to your message.
  14. Clean up your email list before sending – Add new subscribers, and remove people who unsubscribe. You want to make sure that you send your email to the most up-to-date list that you have.
  15. Test every aspect of the email – You want to make sure it will render well in various browsers and email tools. You do not what tools people will use to receive your email. You want to make sure that your email can be read on most email tools.
  16. Make sure all the links and buttons in the email work – Check any processes for ordering or subscribing that require people to act on your offer. You want to make sure everything is fully functional before you hit Send.
  17. Optimize your email for mobile devices – Many people are getting their emails on their smartphones so be sure that your email and landing pages function well on mobile devices.
  18. Include a clear “reply to” field so that people can respond to your email – Be sure to reply to any messages you receive. You want to capitalize on any opportunity to engage your audience.
  19. Monitor and measure subscriber behavior – You will want to know how many people open your email. You also want to know how many of those click through to the landing page. Finally, you can keep track of how many take the action that you request. This information will help to know whether your campaign was a success.
  20. Make note of what works well for future email campaigns – You don’t want to start every email campaign from scratch. You want to learn and improve as you go.

email_marketing

Communicate away

Simple checklists like this can make a huge difference to the way your business communicates with its audience. So before you start working on your next campaign, make sure you prepare a master checklist incorporating the points in this article along with action items you have identified that is unique to your business. Using a professional and robust email marketing software like GetResponse will only complement all the hard work you’ve put into your project. If you haven’t signed up for an email marketing software yet, give GetResponse a risk-free try.

And before I sign off, I’d love to hear your silly first-time blunders with email marketing, share with us in the comments below! I’m sure we’ve all had our share of them. After all, it is these experiences that make us better email marketers.

 

brokeblokeAbout the author: Broke Bloke is an Entrepreneur, Digital Marketing Consultant & professional blogger. After being laid off his job of 10 years, he started Broke Bloke Blogs offering marketing advice for bloggers, marketers and small businesses.

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Customer Success Story: Mark Anastasi Hits New York Time Bestseller List http://blog.getresponse.com/case-study-mark-anastasi-hits-new-york-time-bestseller-list.html http://blog.getresponse.com/case-study-mark-anastasi-hits-new-york-time-bestseller-list.html#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:13:02 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19046 Anyone who writes a book has a dream — seeing their name on the prestigious NYT bestseller list in the coveted #1 spot. Accomplishing such a goal is the result of a lot of hard work. But is it the … Read more

Customer Success Story: Mark Anastasi Hits New York Time Bestseller List is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Anyone who writes a book has a dream — seeing their name on the prestigious NYT bestseller list in the coveted #1 spot. Accomplishing such a goal is the result of a lot of hard work. But is it the beginning of a period of new impact, influence, and business success? Let’s take a look at Mark Anastasi’s success story and find out.

In 2004, Mark started his business with a clear, inspiring mission:

“We elevate the quality of life and financial wellbeing of our clients.”

His timing was perfect. All around the world, job security was eroding. Economic shifts were leaving long-term employees without income. People in all walks of life needed solid advice on achieving prosperity and security for themselves and their families.

 

Information-based business model

Mark began writing e-books on financial subjects and selling them on Clickbank. They were well-received, and Mark began to accumulate a list of followers who loved his content and wanted more from him. As he began offering seminars, he discovered that his followers enjoyed opportunities to receive his inspiring message face to face.

“When I launched my seminar company in the U.K. in 2005, we needed a robust system for managing our email list and seminar attendees lists …” —Mark Anastasi

 

Struggling with list management

At first, it was easy enough to keep track of fans and seminar participants. He used ACT! to capture contact information and used ListMailPRO to stay in touch. It worked, and his seminar business grew steadily. But as his list grew, he discovered that these solutions were too slow and labor-intensive.

Before long, Mark’s list grew to 6,000 subscribers – not a massive number by today’s standards. But it was a high-quality list containing ideal prospects, so the list had the potential for generating huge profits. In order to do so, Mark would need tools for handling the job efficiently and professionally.

 

Analyzing resources

Mark realized he needed an email marketing system. He had heard of AWeber, and one of his mentors recommended GetResponse, so he decided to check out both. He found that GetResponse had all the features he needed and that they were easy to use. And when he needed a bit of help, GetResponse customer service was there for him.

“Over the years I’ve dealt with GetResponse’s customer support department a handful of times, and I’ve always marveled at their excellence. First class! I find that their agents try to get the best result for the customer instead of only focusing on the company’s earnings objectives (they put the customer first).” —Mark Anastasi

Mark had discovered a market that was perfect for him — those who are interested in personal development. And he had developed a great offer — a dynamic seminar that helped participants solve pressing problems. This powerful combination turned out to be a winning business model.

And in GetResponse, he found a low-cost, efficient way to manage his marketing and generate sales. In 2006, just two years after starting his business, Mark generated over $1.8 million in revenues, simply by promoting his seminars to his email marketing list.

“The power of being able to click ‘Send’ and communicate with 50,000 people at will … is truly spectacular leverage.” — Mark Anastasi

 

Transforming the business

When Mark published his book Laptop Millionaire in 2012, it landed on the New York Time Bestseller List. This increased his credibility and gave him huge exposure and publicity. GetResponse enabled him to take advantage of the increased exposure. His website was already set up to capture the influx of new subscribers. And list management tools enabled him to deliver a high-quality introduction and orientation to each new subscriber.

Mark’s company now generates over $1 million per year in sales. And yet he spends only 2% of revenues (less than $20,000 per year) on marketing — a performance record of remarkable efficiency.

Even better, his bestselling book, live seminars and email marketing spread his message to thousands worldwide, providing his fans with information and actionable financial knowledge to help them survive and thrive.

Mark Anastasi on cover of Magazine

Your business results

Do you have a great business idea? Have you identified a great market where it could take hold and spread? If so, you too can master the simple yet powerful techniques Mark put to work in his business —  list-building, consistent communication, targeted content, and automatic follow-up.

To get started, grab a GetResponse 30-Day Free Trial. It’s so easy that it makes marketing fun. And if you need a little help, we’re here always just a click away.

 

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Devising A Content Strategy For Your Blog http://blog.getresponse.com/devising-content-strategy-blog.html http://blog.getresponse.com/devising-content-strategy-blog.html#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 15:17:59 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19038 Last year 56% of marketers were embarking upon content marketing without a plan. As any blogger who has floundered down this path will tell you – this way madness lies. Creating decent content for your blog is not an easy … Read more

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Last year 56% of marketers were embarking upon content marketing without a plan. As any blogger who has floundered down this path will tell you – this way madness lies. Creating decent content for your blog is not an easy thing.

You know as well as I do that it can sometimes take up hours of your time as you carefully piece together something that you are sure is absolutely brilliant, only to find that once published it actually attracts very little engagement, shares, likes, traffic, and/or leads. This can indeed be rather discouraging, and can often make you wonder if there’s much use in what you’re trying so hard to do at all.

Blogs need to do and be a lot of things. They need to be current, they need to contain actionable information, they need to be inspiring, relevant to your industry, unique, original, fact-filled, shareable, and lots more besides. It really is quite a tough game to keep winning at – and you make the task a whole lot more difficult for yourself if you don’t dedicate a little time each week and each month exercising a little forethought and planning.

 

What Is A Content Strategy?

Good question. Importantly, a content strategy is distinct from a social media strategy, though the two of course are dependant upon one another. Your social media strategy is about the practicalities, the nuts and bolts of getting your content out there. It concerns your scheduling, your methods for increasing your following, your customer engagement, your promotions.

Your content strategy, however, is about just that and nothing else – i.e. your content.

Let’s put social media completely aside for the moment. You will of course use it in order to promote your blogs once they’re written, but for now we are just going to focus on how you come up with a content plan for the weeks that follow.

Essentially, developing an effective content strategy can be boiled down to 3 important elements, and they all require a little research:

  1. You need to know unequivocally exactly what topics your audience and customers like to talk about, and from there you need to find a way to create blogs that will further ignite those conversations and be ready to join in with them.
  2. Once you’ve got your topics, you now need to come up with a list of enticing and very clickable titles from which your blogs will be inspired, and then you will create an editorial calendar and stick to it.
  3. Finally you need to measure your results, and use these to create even more insightful content strategies going forward.

Ok, so let’s take a look at each of these 3 points in a little more detail.

content

1. Know Your Audience

‘Content is king’ is now an old adage. So too is the one that goes: ‘Create content for readers, not for search engines.’ Both of these essentially amount to the same thing – know your audience and create for them – and the best content strategists know this better than most.

These are the people who actually pay real attention to exactly who the people are that make up their audience. And perhaps that word itself – ‘audience’ – is what creates so much abstraction for a lot of marketers. Just as your brand might be a somewhat faceless entity to a marketer’s audience, so too is the audience itself to the marketer.

But the trick is to really get to know them. Study their conversations on social media, find out what other brands aside from yours they follow, make notes, and begin to create for yourself a real picture of exactly what it is that sets them off. If you’re a blogger then you’re a writer, and writers know that it’s much easier to write for a small group of real people, rather than it is for a large, disparate and abstract thing that we call an ‘audience’.

Matthew Woodward managed to create a blog that entered into the top 100 business blogs in less than a year. And he did it because to he took the time to figure out exactly what his audience wanted.

“I saw the same common problems coming up over and over. With my notes in hand I created possible tutorial titles and then bullet pointed the areas each tutorial should include. So I knew what my audience wanted and how I could help them. No PPC, no link building, no SEO, no media buys, no spending money – just good old-fashioned human interaction.”

This is truly sage advice. What Woodward essentially was able to do was create something of true value for his audience. He got to know them, found out what they were lacking, and filled that gap. As a result, his blog went viral – an excellent example of content strategy by an excellent content strategist.

 

2. Fill Your Editorial Calendar with Great Titles

Coming up with titles can actually be one of the trickiest parts of content creation. And, if you’re doing it off the cuff with no real direction or focus, then it can cause you a lot of stress indeed.

As many bloggers will tell you, once you’ve got a title, the actual writing of the blog becomes a lot easier. The title gives you focus. It presents to you a hypothesis or a question that you will then explore and answer.

So, what if you managed to create for yourself a whole series of titles that in turn lead you to answer a lot of questions in a lot of depth? Now, wouldn’t that not only be something really valuable for your readers, but also something very exciting to explore and answer yourself in the process of the creation? You now know exactly what sort of information your audience lacks, so now you must go about creating a plan for providing that information in the days, weeks and months that follow.

What’s so great about this approach is that you can start to build a real buzz around your future posts way before you even write let alone publish them. What you are doing is making promises to your audience – that you are here for them, that you are working behind the scenes and researching to provide for them the answers to the problems that they are facing on a daily basis. If you are tapping into the right things, then you will literally be able to watch the excitement grow and grow as your audience anticipates your next blog. And the next one. And the next, and the next…

online_marketing

3. Measure Your Results And Take Action Accordingly

A great content strategy can take a bit of trial and error to refine. This is ok. In fact, unless you get really lucky at the outset, it’s almost an inevitable part of the process. But, you can shorten the time it takes for you to hit onto that all-important winner by paying close attention to your analytics.

You will want to be measuring exactly which of your topics gains the most traction in terms of engagement with your following – and that includes comments, social shares and likes. It might take a few months to get a really clear picture of what works best and what doesn’t, but it will be worth the wait, for the intelligence that you will glean will be invaluable to your future content strategies.

Indeed, measuring your results is an extremely important endeavour for all effective content marketing, and so often it is mostly ignored. It’s not good enough to simply take a glance every once in a while at the graphs and give yourself a little pat on the back each time you see a spike. You need to get into the meaning of the data – what was so good about that particular blog that created so much commotion, or, perhaps even more importantly, why didn’t your other blogs garner so much attention? Figure this out, and write fewer blogs that nobody cares about, and more and more and more and more of the ones that they do.

Got any more content strategy tips that you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments below. 

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How to Make Your Internal Email Newsletter a Winner http://blog.getresponse.com/make-internal-email-newsletter-winner.html http://blog.getresponse.com/make-internal-email-newsletter-winner.html#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 15:17:42 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19029 Although they are “just” for your own employees, internal email newsletters shouldn’t be taken for granted. They serve an important role in companies or organizations so they should be thoughtfully crafted. They can be effective communication tools as such, it’s … Read more

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Although they are “just” for your own employees, internal email newsletters shouldn’t be taken for granted. They serve an important role in companies or organizations so they should be thoughtfully crafted. They can be effective communication tools as such, it’s important to learn how to best do internal email newsletters.

 

Objectives of Internal Email Newsletters

Before going into the discussion on how to come up with excellent internal email newsletters, it’s important to know what the objectives of these newsletters are and what elements define them.

Why do we want to send internal newsletters? The following are the main reasons why they are used in companies or organizations in general:

  • To inform. Email newsletters circulated within a company are used to distribute information intended for effected employees in the company. With information that is relevant and useful for targeted departments and employees – even regardless of hierarchical rankings.
  • To break down silos. Aside from distributing relevant information for everyone in a company, email newsletters can also be used as tools to encourage camaraderie among employees, who normally don’t have a strong everyday belonging feeling as they might be separated by cubicles, team designations, or departmental assignments.
  • Provide framing and an external narrative. All employees also have their own families, friends, and social circles. So explaining why companies do things and giving them an easy way to be proud and spread the word, can be a very strong catalyst for word-of-mouth.
  • To reduce email overload. Instead of sending multiple notices, announcements, or acknowledgments to various departments and employee groups, a company can make use of internal email newsletters as a more efficient distribution of information.
  • To supplement other forms of communications. Email newsletters can be used to present company information as reference for various purposes. For instance, they can be used to announce or acknowledge the achievements of a specific team or department in addition to the departmental commendation, intranet, and bulletin board posting.

 

Elements of Effective Email Newsletters

To write effective internal email newsletters, the following elements should be taken into account:

  1. Target audience.
    Internal newsletters have a fixed target audience – internal company employees. This sounds simple but it isn’t. What do they want to hear about and are interested in? If you have a big company or very diverse interests represented, think about adding segmentation for instance on departmental level. This doesn’t have to be separate.
  2. Content relevance.
    All email newsletters should be written to serve a purpose. So mix and match the content with the above mentioned objectives. From the reader’s perspective: after employees have read the email (and acted on it) they should feel that they did not waste their time or the email marketing engagement will plummet a few newsletters in.
  3. Format and presentation.
    As much as possible, a consistent format should be adopted to make newsletters familiar and easy to read / digest for everyone within the company. It’s inadvisable to keep changing the layout, style, and overall presentation of internal newsletters. Use a template, why not do some grid style planning on it. Getting it right once can save a lot of effort.
  4. Tone or style.
    The used tone and style depends you should use depends mostly on what the company or organization decides to stand for and sound like. It’s important to pick a style that suits the company, something that also will make the newsletters engaging and appealing to the target readers. A company like Toys R Us might want to pick a different tone than a Starbucks, and these would differ quite dramatically from law firm, non-profit, or governmental , for instance.It can be light-hearted or more stern and formal. We often speak about company culture, an internal newsletter is one of the tangible “representatives” of company culture.

internal_newsletter

Pointers for Writing Better Internal Email Newsletters

The objectives and elements mentioned above give an idea of how the most effective internal email newsletters are to be written. They have been taken into account and guide the writing and delivery of successful internal email newsletters.

  1. Ensure that the information presented is complete. Readers should not feel like they were only being teased. Internal newsletters are not school learning material either: try to be complete. The level of needed information however might be smaller than you might expect. Of course linking to – for instance – the intranet for further info is great. Or a reference “ask X at department Y for more information” can be a good way to encourage interdepartmental contact and dialog.
  2. Keep internal newsletters simple.There is no contest for brevity here so don’t interpret conciseness as the compulsion to have short sentences or paragraphs. Newsletters should demonstrate a sense of fluidity so reading them appears natural. The point in making things concise and simple is avoiding. People skip the info altogether. Especially think about re-writing that CEO text (they do love their intro’s!) a few times to make it better.  Bear in mind that everyone in the company (should be?) busy and will not always have the luxury of time to read wordy and long-winded newsletters.
  3. Make newsletters engaging and empowering. Readers should be reading internal newsletters because they find them interesting or engaging, not because the boss demands them to do so. Top-down demanding is just not the best way to do it and certainly not the most effective. It doesn’t feel right. There is nothing wrong in making the emails engaging enough to create a habit of reading them.

To make newsletters engaging, it is advisable to use a conversational or casual tone. Unless it’s a company policy, it’s not required to be formal in writing. They are often not  as official company or organization correspondence so you have some leeway for making them interesting and engaging.

Moreover, to make newsletters engaging, consider using creativity or humor in the presentation. When reporting about a recently held company event, for example, instead of delivering the details in straight news form, try adding in some humor-laced comments along with candid photos.

If a specific department or project team achieves a commendable feat, the newsletters can be used to acknowledge them to let other employees know of what they have accomplished and to make them serve as an inspiration.

There are some more recommended newsletter topics that are likely to engage readers at the end of this article.

  • Try to make use of visuals whenever applicable. Imagine reading something that looks like lengthy blocks of black text on white background. It will unlikely encourage you to continue reading. Compare that to reading something with photos or even stock illustrations inserted. Reading experience with imagery is 100% better. Visuals are particularly recommended when writing about boring facts and corporate updates. Depending on your tone-of-voice, your own pictures (non-stock) featuring the in-house employees always do better.
  • Observe propriety. Creativity and some humor make newsletters better but it’s important to always bear propriety in mind. Being appropriate is expected in all types of organization communication. When reporting about layoffs or poor company performance, for example, humor is certainly out of the question. It might go without saying, but it’s not right to make fun of unfortunate events and to make fun of a specific employee or department for the sake of making the newsletter engaging.
  • Keep improving. - A/B testing is a form of experiment to determine tweaks that can enhance the results of a project or campaign. There are a number of other email newsletter tests you can consider. In doing internal email newsletters, think mostly about the subject lines and the type of topics. Of course the changes or tweaks that received the most favorable KPI’s / statistics will likely be used for succeeding newsletters. But next to the numbers, quality feedback is also important, you can just walk up to your colleagues and ask or do it in form of an employee questionnaire.

 

Recommended Internal Newsletter Content

Newsletters can have both business and non-business types of content. Obviously, both types  have to be treated differently. It’s important to always keep them interesting and engaging like mentioned before, so you might want to go for a mix.

For business-related content, the following are the typical topics you could include:

  • product or service updates and developments,
  • innovations related to the business or industry the company is involved in,
  • changes in the company’s leadership and personnel,
  • updates about competitors,
  • news on initiatives being started in the company,
  • details of possible benefit plans and wellness programs within the company,
  • intra-company and industry surveys,
  • details on job vacancies or training opportunities,
  • resource updates (especially those related to IT and HR), and
  • messages from the CEO or president.

Bad news affecting the company or the employees should also be considered to be included. They may not excite readers but they are very important information everyone in the company should know.

For non-business topics inspiration for content is:

  • competitions within the company or participated by members of the company,
  • details on social or outreach events, tips and guides for employees,
  • updates on perks or promos (not necessarily offered by the company),
  • articles on company celebrations,
  • jokes and interesting stories, essays, and
  • letters to the editor or employee-contributed articles.

Viral social media posts may also be occasionally covered. Some organizations would allow light blind items or rumors to be included in the newsletters, but it’s probably better to avoid those. Generally, they tend to create tension. It takes a great deal of experience and expertise to properly balance the attributes of being interesting and offensive.

Newsletters can have recurring types of content. Many readers tend to like the sense of familiarity they have with them. However, it’s important to keep to renew your newsletter and keep it fresh. If a news section is being regularly published, don’t be afraid to use content that has also been published somewhere else. But it is even better to link the post to the company or employees and “make it your own”.

internal_email

Engaging Readers through feedback

The content is not the only way to engage newsletter readers. It is also possible to attract reader interest through other means. For instance when starting out, run a contest on naming the newsletter. Reader feedback can be collected by linking a web form or maybe just a thumbs up and thumbs down feedback (through two links at the bottom)  is good to get a general feel for how people judge your latest send.

 

Conclusion

In writing effective internal email newsletters, it is essential to have appropriate content that fits with your objectives and with a consistent format and an engaging and empowering tone. These are often different from your marketing mails and the objectives serve as guides on how their email marketing strategy should be constructed. They justify and answer the “why” you want to send those engaging newsletters.

Writing newsletters isn’t serious journalism or creative writing either, but when you are trying to engage the whole company, it’s inevitable to try doing different things every once in a while. Share with us in the comments below how you plan your internal newsletters!

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How to Use Facebook’s New Video Features http://blog.getresponse.com/use-facebooks-new-video-features.html http://blog.getresponse.com/use-facebooks-new-video-features.html#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 15:17:15 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19010 Facebook is giving YouTube a run for its money. Literally. The biggest social network has been making a lot of changes with videos in the last few months. It seems like a good time to do an update on what’s … Read more

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Facebook is giving YouTube a run for its money. Literally. The biggest social network has been making a lot of changes with videos in the last few months. It seems like a good time to do an update on what’s happened, what might happen, and how to make it all work for you.  

Four significant things have happened recently:

1) There are more videos directly uploaded to Facebook than to YouTube. This chart from Social Bakers shows the shift happening in late October of 2014:

 

charts-01-3-

2) You can upload a video straight to Facebook, skipping YouTube entirely.

3) Natively uploaded Facebook videos get more views than YouTube videos. Like 52 times more views.

4) YouTube clips are not doing nearly as well as they used to. Are you surprised?

Less importantly, but still worth noting:

  • You can add calls to action to the end of your videos
  • You can pin your videos to be first in the queue of your Facebook posts
  • You can add tags to your videos on Facebook

There’s some major stuff going on here, so let’s deal with each item one by one.

 

Facebook now gets more video uploads than YouTube

This is extraordinary. If Facebook can position itself as the primary video platform, they may start making Google sweat. Here’s why: Video is the future. Consider this chart from Statista:

chartoftheday_2349_Consumer_data_traffic_2013_to_2018_n

I’ll let Statista explain more about what you’re looking at in the chart above:

According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, consumer Internet traffic will grow by 260% until 2018 to an estimated total of 83,298 petabytes or 83 million terabytes per month. The growth in IP traffic will mainly be driven by an increase in online video consumption, which is expected to account for 76% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2018, up from 60% in 2013.

So online video is growing by leaps and bounds. It is also extremely mobile friendly. Mobile, as I’m sure you know, is the other major force shaping the Internet right now. Just last year, traffic from mobile devices actually beat out traffic from desktop devices. That’s why we urge you to make your emails mobile friendly.

What’s even more interesting is how complimentary mobile and video are. According to Adobe’s U.S. Digital Video Benchmark for Q3 2014, “Mobile has one-third share of online video— As of Q3 2014, mobile devices account for 29% of all online video starts.” YouTube itself says mobile makes up almost 40% of it’s own global watch time.

Even that is not the end of the power of video. According to Invodo, a visual content service, 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others. Video is also a conversion powerhouse. According to Marketing Profs, 70% of marketing professionals say video converts better than any other medium. You can see why Facebook is so interested in the medium. And that’s without even mentioning the lucrative opportunities for video ads.

So far, Facebook’s investment is working. Three billion videos are viewed on Facebook every day. That’s according to Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s most recent earnings call last month. Interestingly enough, the same day Facebook announced it’s three billion views per day, YouTube changed the settings on its videos to auto-play. Before the change, videos would only play automatically if they were in a playlist.

Facebook’s auto-play feature may have boosted video views (and made Facebook look good on Wall Street), but it hasn’t been everyone’s favorite feature. If you’d like to turn auto-play off, here’s how:

  • from your Facebook homepage, go to settings:

FBturnoffautoplay1

  • Click Videos in the list

FBturnoffautoplay2

  • Change auto-play to off

FBturnoffautoplay3

 

Uploading videos directly to Facebook

Let’s shift a little to the change that’s driving so much of Facebook’s video growth: the ability to upload videos directly to Facebook. These “native” videos crush video share counts from YouTube.

Here’s my first example of this. Meg Fitzpatrick (co-author of the new book with Guy Guy Kawasaki, The Art of Social Media) got the following results when she created a post from a YouTube video, and then also uploaded that exact same video directly on Facebook:

  • YouTube video got 111 views and 3 thumbs up
  • The natively uploaded Facebook video got 100 likes, 3 shares and 5,841 views — yes, the exact same video!

The Facebook video got 52 times more views than the YouTube video. That’s not a percentage – that’s 52x more views.

The benefits to uploading video directly to Facebook get bigger. Much bigger. Like SuperBowl big. Unruly, a video ad-tech company, did a Facebook vs YouTube analysis for SuperBowl ads and discovered some remarkable stuff:

YouTube videos delivered more views for SuperBowl ads than Facebook. The YouTube player generated a total of 125.65 million views, nearly twice as much as the 60.74 million from Facebook. But Facebook videos got more shares, and by a lot: 70.3 percent of all SuperBowl ads shared online were from the Facebook player.  Facebook generated twice as many shares (3,913,218) as the YouTube viewer (1,654,985). That gives Facebook SuperBowl videos an average share rate of 6.1 percent. Compared that to YouTube’s rather weak 1.3 percent.

The key takeaway here? It’s time to change. No more using YouTube videos on Facebook. Take the extra time and upload those videos directly to Facebook. This is super easy. Just create a post like you usually would, except click Photo/Video to upload:

AddVideoFacebook

This is what your video will look like after its finished uploading:

UploadVideoOnFacebook

Take a step further by uploading to the Videos “tab” or “page“ of your Facebook account. Also add a featured video, and even create a few playlists of videos if you can.

Here’s an example of a Featured Video:

FeaturedVideo

 

You can add calls to action to your videos

This is big, guys. While it is good to actually be social on social media, the real reason we’re doing all this is to build our businesses. That means conversions, sign-ups – palpable results. Facebook’s new call-to-action buttons can deliver that. There are seven different calls-to-action you can now add to videos, images, and posts:

  1. Book Now
  2. Contact Us
  3. Use App
  4. Play Game
  5. Shop Now
  6. Sign Up
  7. Watch Video

Here’s how to add a call to action to a video:

  • Go to the top of your page’s timeline, just like you were creating any new post:

CallToAction1

  •  Click on Photo/Video. You’ll see this:

CallToAction5

  •  Click on “Upload Photos/Video”.
  • You’ll be asked to find the video file you want to upload. Find that file, then click upload. You’ll see this next:

CallToAction2

  •  When you click the “Add a Call to Action” link, you’ll see something like this:

CallToAction6

In the “Call to Action” pull-down menu (it shows “Learn More” in the screenshot above), choose anything but “No Button”. After several tries of trying to get the “No Button” option to work, I wasn’t seeing any calls to action at the end of my videos. But when I switched tactics, and included one of the buttons – boom – they worked.

After adding a URL, plus a headline and a description, click the “post” button. Once your video has uploaded and been processed, you’ll see something like this at the very end of it:

 

CallToAction7

When someone clicks the “Learn More” headline or the URL below it, they’ll be brought to the URL you entered when you created the post and the call to action. And that’s it. But please keep in mind that Facebook changes rapidly. If you’re reading this in a month or two it may look and behave a bit different. This is a great new way to send traffic to your website or to a landing page of your choice. Use it.

 

Tag people in your videos

You can also tag other people in your videos. You could do this is you referenced someone’s work, or maybe even just to try to get someone’s attention (don’t abuse this, guys, or it’s spam).

Tagging could be a great way to get the attention of influencers (people with large social media audiences). If you mention their work, or talk about it extensively, tagging them in a video opens up the possibility that they’ll notice your video, then maybe share it with their audience.

You can take this a few steps further with “a roundup” video where you either ask a question or just include a short summary of different blog posts on a given topic. Then tag every person whose post you mentioned, and voila – you might just get your video exposed to a new audience. Of course, you don’t just have to reference blog posts in your roundup. You could mention ebooks, courses, videos, SlideShares, Twitter accounts or anything else.

So that’s what going on with Facebook’s videos, at least up to this little snapshot in time. It’s sure to change. If you’ve got any tips about how to use videos on Facebook, please tell us about them in the comments. 

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Top 10 Books on Success Mindset Every Solopreneur Should Read http://blog.getresponse.com/top-10-books-success-mindset-every-solopreneur-read.html http://blog.getresponse.com/top-10-books-success-mindset-every-solopreneur-read.html#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:07:47 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18998 Do you know what trips up most people when it comes to entrepreneurship? Is it their level of skill, expertise or education? Or is it their ability to network or form connections? Is it ability to work really long hours … Read more

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Do you know what trips up most people when it comes to entrepreneurship? Is it their level of skill, expertise or education? Or is it their ability to network or form connections? Is it ability to work really long hours or is to take big risks? It’s actually none of these things.

Sure, you must know what you are doing, and must be capable of functioning as a sound individual. However, there is one thing that remains the single biggest factor in determining whether or not you are going to be a success as an entrepreneur. It’s your mindset. Your inner game.

Can you go past your fear and get out of your comfort zone? Can you focus on one thing, stop chasing shiny objects and get rid of procrastination? Do you look at the opportunities and stop obsessing about your problems? Have you got a big vision? Can you get out of your own way to become successful?

The moment you master your inner game, you are well on your way to achieving all your dreams. Don’t believe me? Then listen to some of the brightest minds and see what they have to say on the subject.

 

#1 Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

This has got to be one of my all-time favourite books on the subject of motivation. Daniel Pink explains the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and shows you what makes people tick. “Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.”

On the other hand if you are choosing rewards in order to motivate yourself, then be careful because “Rewards can deliver a short-term boost—just as a jolt of caffeine can keep you cranking for a few more hours. But the effect wears off—and, worse, can reduce a person’s longer-term motivation to continue the project.”

Here’s what he has to say on the subject of setting goals. “Goals that people set for themselves and that are devoted to attaining mastery are usually healthy. But goals imposed by others–sales targets, quarterly returns, standardized test scores, and so on–can sometimes have dangerous side effects.”

This book is a must read for anyone who is unsure about what they are doing and if they questioning whether or not they are on the right path. Do check it out.

 

#2 Switch; How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The first book is about motivating yourself and this one is about changing behaviours. And as we all are too well aware, none of those is an easy task. Change is hard. Heath brothers explain so eloquently:

“The bigger the change you’re suggesting, the more it will sap people’s self-control. And when people exhaust their self-control, what they’re exhausting are the mental muscles needed to think creatively, to focus, to inhibit their impulses, and to persist in the face of frustration or failure. In other words, they’re exhausting precisely the mental muscles needed to make a big change. So when you hear people say that change is hard because people are lazy or resistant, that’s just flat wrong. In fact, the opposite is true: Change is hard because people wear themselves out. And that’s the second surprise about change: What looks like laziness is often exhaustion.”

And “What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity.” He warns against the decision paralysis, “More options, even good ones, can freeze us and make us retreat to the default plan.”

 

#3 The Power of Habit (Why We Do What We Do) by Charles Duhigg

Continuing on the theme of make changes, this one is about creating new habits. Here are some words to inspire you: “Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”

And “The Golden Rule of Habit Change: You can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it. To change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine.”

My favourite bit is when he explains the concept of limited supplies of willpower. “Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.”

This means to do the most important things early in the day when you have large reserves of willpower at your disposal rather than leaving them to the end of your day when they are running low. ‘“If you want to do something that requires willpower—like going for a run after work—you have to conserve your willpower muscle during the day.” Highly recommended.

 

#4 The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

If you could pick up just one book to master your inner game: to overcome resistance and fear, and take action steps towards your big goals, I would recommend this one.

“Are you paralysed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

And “Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.” Simply brilliant!

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” If you are not inspired enough, here is the last one to do just that. “Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”

writing_pro

#5 The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller

Now we are moving on to focus. This book is about choosing your one thing in all areas of your life (professional, personal and spiritual) and focusing on that one thing alone. “It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.”

You don’t have to a lot of busywork. You just need to do the right things. “Not everything matters equally, and success isn’t a game won by whoever does the most. Yet that is exactly how most play it on a daily basis. You need to be doing fewer things for effect instead of doing more things with side effects”

And “Extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.” A very quick and easy read with plenty of a-ha moments. You can’t go wrong with this one.

 

#6 The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

Are you someone who is a checklist addict? Well, this is most definitely your kind of book. And even if you are not, I high recommend you pick this one up and what makes the humble checklist so much more effective than most complex systems out there.

“One essential characteristic of modern life is that we all depend on systems—on assemblages of people or technologies or both—and among our most profound difficulties is making them work.”

And Gawande will convince you the usefulness of a simple checklist. “Good checklists, on the other hand are precise. They are efficient, to the point, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations. They do not try to spell out everything–a checklist cannot fly a plane. Instead, they provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps–the ones that even the highly skilled professional using them could miss. Good checklists are, above all, practical.”

He shows us why they are the perfect companion to anyone with any skill level. “Checklists seem able to defend anyone, even the experienced, against failure in many more tasks than we realized.”

 

#7 Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Have you ever wondered why some people are so extraordinarily successful? Why some people are so smart, talented and successful that they seem like freaks of nature? Well, Gladwell offers a ton of insights into this phenomenon. And explains how you can achieve similar success as well.

He begins by offering an explanation to where these people seem to spring from. “I want to convince you that these kinds of personal explanations of success don’t work. People don’t rise from nothing….It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn’t.”

He looks at the God given talent as well as the environment but says: “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” That “The people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.”

And finally “It’s not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether or not our work fulfills us.” Read this and be prepared to take tons of notes. Enjoy.

 

#8 Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin

This book is a perfectly fine read on its own but because the author explores the same theme as Gladwell does, it becomes even more enjoyable if you read it once you have read the first one.

Colvin talks about deliberate concept, a term originally coined by the renowned psychologist K. Anders Ericsson. “Deliberate practice requires that one identify certain sharply defined elements of performance that need to be improved, and then work intently on them.”

He also suggests to do whatever it takes to expand your skills and craft. “If you set a goal of becoming an expert in your business, you would immediately start doing all kinds of things you don’t do now.”

 

#9 The Dip: The Little Book that Teaches You when to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin

The first time I read this book, I was gobsmacked. It’s okay to quit? This is what I keep thinking. Quitting is not for losers? The concept blew my mind. And since then I have adopted this philosophy which has saved me time, effort and headache on numerous occasions.

You see Seth Godin explains the concept of strategic quitting. He talks about cul-de-sac and the dip, one is a dead end you need to get out of and one is where you just need to get through it. He says, “Persistent people are able to visualize the idea of light at the end of the tunnel when others can’t see it”

And “The essential thing to know about the Dip is that it’s there. Knowing that you’re facing a Dip is the first step in getting through it.” He says it is okay to quit. “Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt”

And my favourite: “Extraordinary benefits also accrue to the tiny majority with the guts to quit early and refocus their efforts on something new.”

harbor-harbour-port-3576-826x550

#10 Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Do you identify as an introvert? Do you sometimes worry if you too can become successful in spite of your introverted nature?

This book is a game changer for all introverts in the world (and I will raise my hand). And if you are still not sure whether you are one, this will make it clear for you.

“Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.” She further goes on to say:

“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.”

“…I also believe that introversion is my greatest strength. I have such a strong inner life that I’m never bored and only occasionally lonely. No matter what mayhem is happening around me, I know I can always turn inward.”

I can’t possibly list of my favourite quotes from this one – there are just too many but I’d like to end on this one. “So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi-tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way.”

 

So there you have it

This is my list of top ten books every entrepreneur – or every human being for that matter – should read. Books like these should be made compulsory reading in colleges – this is how passionate I am about teaching these concepts around mindset and behaviour early on. The lessons apply to every facet of your life and you will reap tremendous rewards when you apply them. Go on. Dive in.

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UX and Marketing — Allies or Enemies? #infographic http://blog.getresponse.com/ux-marketing-allies-enemies-infographic.html http://blog.getresponse.com/ux-marketing-allies-enemies-infographic.html#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 16:07:11 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18989 Marketing and User Experience (UX) are often at odds because of differences in goals and approaches. But they are closely linked by product release cycles and financial calendars. Can UX and Marketing work together to optimize the Customer Experience? UX … Read more

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Marketing and User Experience (UX) are often at odds because of differences in goals and approaches. But they are closely linked by product release cycles and financial calendars. Can UX and Marketing work together to optimize the Customer Experience?

UX designers think marketers are too focused on selling the product. Marketers often believe UX is a roadblock to their activities. What are the differences and similarities between them? And how can they work together to create a Customer Experience that rocks? This infographic answers these questions.

Do you have thoughts about the collaboration between UX and Marketing? Share them in the comments below!

IG_ux_marketing

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Knowing Your Analytics: Vanity Metrics Vs. Actionable Metrics http://blog.getresponse.com/knowing-analytics-vanity-metrics-vs-actionable-metrics.html http://blog.getresponse.com/knowing-analytics-vanity-metrics-vs-actionable-metrics.html#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 16:07:11 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18983 Metrics, metrics, metrics. Nearly every marketer is obsessed with the numbers: how many sales? How many hits? How many social shares? Normally, you will have software installed that keeps a close eye on all of these figures (plus a lot … Read more

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Metrics, metrics, metrics. Nearly every marketer is obsessed with the numbers: how many sales? How many hits? How many social shares? Normally, you will have software installed that keeps a close eye on all of these figures (plus a lot more besides) and turns them into a very handy visual (usually a graph) that displays all the peaks and troughs over the past few days, weeks, months and years.

Marketers are obsessed with these because, simply, the rising numbers make them feel good. And of course, if the numbers are rising then you must be doing something right. If you had 5,000 hits on your website in October, 6,000 in November and then 8,000 before Christmas, then it is very natural to get excited, give yourself a pat on the back and perhaps even buy a round of champagne for your dedicated team at the end of year office party.

But what does 8,000 hits to your website really mean? What does that equate to? Indeed, what is this metric actually telling you?

Well, not a lot, to be frank. It will most likely be extremely hard to pin down exactly what you did differently over the past couple of months that actually caused this spike to happen. The chances are that the extra traffic probably didn’t even convert into any more clients or sales – it is a vanity metric, nothing more.

 

Vanity Metrics Are What Keeps The Big Dogs Happy

There will no doubt be a powerhouse handful of stakeholders that you will be reporting your metrics to. And they will want to see progress. And you will want to impress them with all those tasty statistics that show ‘growth’. Vanity metrics are the godsend of the boardroom – when all else is failing, at least you’ve managed to accumulate an extra 10,000 followers on Twitter, which has directly resulted in 1,500 more hits on the company’s website – so you must be doing something right. Phew.

But, vanity metrics don’t tell the whole picture, and, most importantly of all, they don’t communicate any knowledge that is at all useful or even practical. Blogging on Litmus.com, Lauren Smith defines vanity metrics as “a number that indicates improvement but is disconnected from the progress of your organization’s mission.”

So, what’s your organization’s mission? Well, it’s more conversions, plain and simple. But more visitors to your site does not necessarily mean more conversions. You can spend thousands of dollars on Google AdWords and Facebook ads, Twitter promotions and all the rest, and yes, you will almost certainly find yourself inundated with extra traffic as a result – but if you’re not making the conversions, then this is simply money down the drain. It’s just junk traffic, and not really worth very much at all.

 

Actionable Metrics

What you, as a marketer, should really be paying attention to are the metrics that actually translate into something useful that will help you to make a decision about your future strategy going forward. These are what we call actionable metrics, and they normally require a little more forethought and planning to acquire.

To take your website traffic as an example again. Say if you added a new feature to it, but you did it using A/B testing, where half of your visitors saw the new feature and the other half didn’t. If, after a couple of weeks you notice that group A who saw the new feature resulted in 30% more conversions than group B who didn’t, then you have an actionable metric right there that tells you exactly what to do – i.e. roll out the new feature to 100% of your audience. From there you should then be inspired to conduct further tests of a similar nature and really see what difference you can make, and, most importantly of all, exactly what it is that is making the difference.

A/B tests – or split-tests as they are sometimes known – produce the most actionable of all metrics, and you should focus on these very closely. Put simply, they either confirm or refute an hypothesis. They should help you learn more about your business as well – if a particular test doesn’t turn out the way you expected, you need to ask yourself, what does this say about my customers and my business?

There are some good third-party tools for producing A/B tests if you don’t already have a system in-house for conducting such a thing, but I have to recommend Google Website Optimizer to get you started.

 

Other Actionable Metrics

Per-customer Metrics

Don’t just look at something like pageviews over a given week or month, but instead focus on the pageviews at a closer level. Compare pageviews between new customers and returning customers (and your analytics package should be able to break this down for you). If you’re getting a lot of engagement from new customers, you should be able to pin down why – if you’ve got a new product launch, for example, or perhaps you wrote a blog that linked to something that was trending on social or in the online press.

The point is, don’t just focus on the aggregate data, look at the particulars, and consistently ask yourself why, why, why?

Funnel Metrics

These are a particularly useful kind of per-customer metrics that should be scrutinised closely to determine your on-going decision making processes and strategies. For example, you might have a product that has some key lifecycle events. These might be: registering for the product, accessing the free trial, becoming a paying customer.

This will produce for you some very clear actionable metrics over time. You will be able to clearly see, for example, exactly what percentage of customers who registered for the product went on to sign up for the free trial, and then what percentage of those became paying customers. Within each lifecycle action you will be able to determine if the numbers are shifting up or down, at which point you will need to jump in and investigate, and from then start experimenting with some A/B testing to convert as many people from the first group to the paying customer third group as possible.

Put simply, marketers should only ever measure what matters. And that means looking at the people who are visiting your site on a micro level, conducting some split-testing to see how they can be influenced, and then implementing the changes based on the results.

And, just as a final word to reiterate – just remember that it is conversions that you want to focus your efforts on, not your traffic.

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The Email List Building Nemesis: Churn Rate http://blog.getresponse.com/email-list-building-nemesis-churn-rate.html http://blog.getresponse.com/email-list-building-nemesis-churn-rate.html#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 15:27:29 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18971 There’s a sinkhole in your list building efforts. Nobody talks about it much, but it is definitely there. It’s called “list churn”, “attrition” or “churn rate”. List churn eats up about 25-30% of the average email list every year. Your … Read more

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There’s a sinkhole in your list building efforts. Nobody talks about it much, but it is definitely there. It’s called “list churn”, “attrition” or “churn rate”. List churn eats up about 25-30% of the average email list every year. Your list growth efforts have to outpace your list’s churn rate. If they don’t, no matter how much list building you do, your email list will stay the same size. It might even get a bit smaller. 

 

What is churn rate?

Churn rate is a percentage of how many subscribers leave your list in a given period of time. There are two flavors of list churn: transparent churn and opaque churn. Just so we’re all clear (sorry), here’s how they’re different:

  • Transparent churn, sometimes called “voluntary churn”, includes unsubscribes, hard bounces and spam complaints. These are people you cannot mail to anymore, due to their action (or inaction, in the case of hard bounces).
  • Opaque churn includes the “emotionally unsubscribed” and people who just aren’t seeing your emails. Opaque churn is also sometimes called “involuntary churn”.

People can stop seeing your emails for two reasons:

  1. Your emails are going into their bulk, or spam folder
  2. Your emails are going to an email account that the subscriber doesn’t check very often, if ever.

That last point illuminates an issue that doesn’t get talked about enough in email marketing: You subscribers have more than one email address.

In fact, depending on which marketing study you cite, the average email user has between three and five different email accounts. These multiple email accounts are used somewhat like folders, in that people use them to prioritize their emails. Typically at least one account is a bulk email account that’s used for low priority emails. Then there’s also a work account and a personal account.

 

How big of a problem is list churn?

List churn eats up roughly -25%30% of your list every year. According to Loren MacDonald, writing for MediaPost last year, “While transparent churn rates can vary widely, typical annual rates are between 25% and 50%. Opaque churn rates are probably between 10% and 25% annually for most brands”.

So when you look at a chart like this, from Ascend2′s “Email List Growth Survey Summary Report”, don’t think these email marketers are getting so-so results from their list growth just because they’re lazy. They aren’t. If an email marketer is not seeing significant list growth, it’s usually because they have to add more than 25-30% of their list in new subscribers every year just to stay ahead of the effects of list churn.

Ascend2EmailListGrowth

 

 

 

How do I figure out what my list’s churn rate is?

There’s no one way to calculate list churn. And because it’s not a widely discussed topic, there’s not much information available about how to calculate list churn. But that doesn’t mean you can’t. Basically, all you have to do is to pick a time frame, tally up the people you’ve lost, and then divide by the size of your list. The formula would look like this:

Churn rate =      (unsubscribes + hard and soft bounces + spam complaints)

___________________________________________________________

List size

That’s a start. To make your calculation easier, pick an annual churn rate rather than trying to figure it out month to month. That means you’ll need to run a report for the last year’s worth of unsubscribes, hard and soft bounces and spam complaints. Then use the list size you have on the day you’re calculating your list churn rate. Don’t use the count of your list size from a year ago.

That will give you a transparent churn rate, which is all most people calculate. But it doesn’t include the opaque churn, aka “involuntary churn”. Those are the people who just aren’t responding to your emails anymore, or who may not even be seeing your emails anymore.

Calculating opaque list churn is much more of a guessing game. Just to give you a starting point to work from, though, I’m going to give you an example of how you might want to approach it. If you’ve got a better technique, please do let me know about it in the comments.

If you know your inbox placement rate (ie, what percent of your emails are actually reaching the inbox), you’ll know the first component of your opaque churn counts. In other words, you’ll know how many people on your list aren’t seeing your emails. For the rest of your list, you could see what proportion of your list has not opened or clicked on your emails in the last year. Then add up your 12-month inactives plus how many emails aren’t even getting to the inbox. That will give you a rough count of the opaque churn.

For this example I’m going to use an 83% inbox placement rate. That’s what Return Path’s 2014 Inbox Placement Review report says is average. With an 83% inbox placement rate, that means 17% of my list is not getting into people’s inboxes.

Here’s what the churn formula might look like now, with the opaque churn added in:

Churn rate =

(unsubscribes + hard and soft bounces + spam complaints)

+ (17% list size + # of subscribers who have not opened or clicked

on an email in 12 months)

____________________________________________________

List size

Want another view on how to calculate list churn? See marketing consultant Linda Schumacher’s blog post about how she calculated her email list churn for the last few years. Schumacher used a different technique for calculating her list’s churn rate, but it’s a good technique, too. It also illustrates how there’s no one agreed-upon way to calculate list churn. The table below shows the results Schumacher got after she finished her calculations.

 

Email_db_Growth_vs_loss

How do I reduce my list’s churn rate?

Now that you’ve got a rough percentage for your own list’s churn rate (or you know how to get it), what can be done to reduce it? Plenty. Here’s an actionable to do list for stomping out high list churn rates and reclaiming your email list growth:

1) Give people an option to “opt-down” rather than just unsubscribe.

You can do this in GetResponse by setting up an automation rule. There’s more information about how to create an automation rule near the end of this blog post and in this video tutorial.

To use automation rules to create an opt-down feature, let’s say you send an email newsletter out once a week. If you want to offer your subscribers a way to reduce how many emails they get from you (instead of just unsubscribing), so you create a campaign for people who only want an email, say, twice a month. Then you set up an automation rule so that when people click a link in the footer of your emails, they are automatically passed to the new campaign that only gets mailed to twice a month. The link might say something like: “Getting too many emails from us? Click here to get only two per month.”

 

2) Segment your list so you can send more relevant emails to your subscribers.

Some of your subscribers may be leaving because their interests aren’t being served. So try segmenting your list into 2-5 sub-lists according to subscribers’ major interest groups. You can also segment your list based on how subscribers behave. It would work a bit like the automation rule above.

 

3) Put more effort into creating engaging emails.

We recently published an infographic on how to make email messages more engaging. Marya Jan also wrote a great piece awhile back about how to create engaging content for your website and blog. Add some of those tips to what you’re already doing.

 

4) Test personalization.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But this post will show you how to find out if your list would benefit from personalization.

 

5) Try a few re-engagement campaigns.

Win back the emotionally unsubscribed by sending them something unbelievably good. A 30% off coupon, a free ebook that usually costs $25, or even a free 30 minute phone consultation would all work. Whatever your incentive is, make it special and use a subject line that lets people know how great it is.

For more tips on re-engagement campaigns, see Reactivating Your Subscribers: A Step-by-Step Guide by Michal Leszczynski.

 

6) Find out what content your subscribers really want by sending out a survey.

There’s a recent post about how to do that here. Don’t miss the part about the survey GetResponse has automatically been asking your subscribers when they unsubscribe. The results of that survey are already in your GetResponse account under “Statistics” > “Email Analytics” > “Newsletter”. Click the “Unsubscribed” tab on that page to see your list’s survey results.

UnsubscribeSurveyThat report might lend some clues on why people are leaving.

 

7) Consider using double opt-in, if you aren’t using it already.

Though double opt-in does require an extra step (people have to click a link in a confirmation email before they are subscribed), it’s been shown over and over again to reduce opt-outs, double engagement metrics, and generally produce more engaged email subscribers.

Have you ever calculated the churn rate for your email list? What was it? Feel free to brag about your amazingly low list churn rates in the comments.

 

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Top 10 Books On Social Media & Content Marketing Every Solopreneur Should Read http://blog.getresponse.com/top-10-books-social-media-content-marketing-every-solopreneur-read.html http://blog.getresponse.com/top-10-books-social-media-content-marketing-every-solopreneur-read.html#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 15:37:56 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18962 I am a huge fan of using the power of content creation to establish yourself as a credible expert, build authority, create rapport, and attract your ideal audience online. When you put yourself out there, you attract people who are … Read more

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I am a huge fan of using the power of content creation to establish yourself as a credible expert, build authority, create rapport, and attract your ideal audience online. When you put yourself out there, you attract people who are truly interested in what you have to say and find your message to be in true alignment with who you are. 

Through your words, you resonate with your audience, leads, prospects, and buyers. You don’t need hypey copy or sleazy persuasion tactics. You just need to publish the right words. So how do you create this content that helps you achieve every goal in your business? Read these books, of course:

 

#1 Everybody Writes: The Go-to Guide to Writing Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

Some people are quick to brush off content marketing because deep in their hearts they fear they can’t write, let alone do it well. They don’t think of themselves as writers. Ms Handley disagrees. She asserts that if you have a website, if you are on social media, this means that you are publishing – meaning you are already writing.

She believes that the level of a quality of a piece of content is determined by its usefulness, “Quality content means content that is packed with clear utility and is brimming with inspiration, and it has relentless empathy for the audience:” She is of the view that we can reach far and wide in this age of Internet using the power of words, that it would be silly not to do so. In her own words, “In an online world, our online words are our emissaries; they tell the world who we are,”

She urges people to tell stories but take them to the next level. “What matters now isn’t storytelling; what matters is telling a true story well.”

The author provides an invaluable toolbox of tips and tricks to help you develop confidence in your writing ability. Highly recommended.

 

#2 Epic content marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter and Win More Customers by Marketing Less by Joe Pulizzi

Are you struggling to define your content niche? Then look no further than this book.

Pulizzi talks about creating the right content to attract your ideal audience so that you can achieve your business goals. He teaches you strategies to create content for your blog and various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. What is content marketing exactly? Here’s how he defines it:

“Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Pulizzi says to create content in response to a need or a question. Do it in your own voice and state it like an opinion rather than a balanced report. Get rid of the sales jargon and do it consistently. He covers content marketing for all angles so this is a really comprehensive, in-depth look at the subject.

 

#3 Clout: The Art and Science of Highly Influential Web Content by Colleen Jones

This book outlines a solid overview of creating influential web content. This one is especially useful if you are a beginner and new to the world of content creation and marketing.

Colleen believes that your audience is not stupid. You need to try understand them in order to give them what they need, and not manipulate them. And she gives you the framework to do just that.

This book will deconstruct how to actually write content that persuades and makes a difference. It gives readers practical tips, guidelines and how-to to accomplish this task. This book is practice-driven and if you are familiar with the theory and are looking for some actionable advice, do check it out.

 

#4 Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, ebooks, Webinars and More that Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business by Ann Handley

This is the second book by Ann Handley that made it to my top 10 list and for good reason. Again, the aim is to teach you to create content that everybody cares about. Handley suggests how to really start harnessing the power of content marketing in your own business. She says:

“Today, I see my business as a content marketing company. In other words, my entire goal is to give more valuable, helpful, and remarkable content to consumers than anyone else in my field, which will in turn lead to more sales.”

After going through this book, you will learn how to create an authentic voice and create share-worthy content. You’ll understand that not only should you create content that people find useful and share, you do it as a part of your overall content strategy, and do it across various social media networks.

Give it a go – you won’t be disappointed.

social_content

#5 World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories by David Meerman Scott

There is a great book called “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” by the same author which I recommend highly. But I recently came across this book by him that I loved reading also.

If you want a book that takes you slightly back in time (just a few years) and makes a case for content creation and getting online, then you would really enjoy reading it. If you are a no-nonsensical, season pro, pick up the former and skip this one. Here are some of my favourite nuggets from the book.

“Nobody cares about your products (Except You)”. Who knew, right?

And this one:

“Consider your own answers to these questions. In the past two months, either privately or professionally, in order to find an answer to a problem or research (or buy) a product, have you: (1) Responded to a direct-mail advertisement? (2) Used magazines, newspapers, TV, or radio? (3) Used Google or another search engine? (4) Emailed a friend, colleague, or family member (or used instant messaging, chat rooms, or equivalent) and received as a response a URL, which you then clicked to visit the web site?

(So, how did you answer? Just curious, let me know in the comments below!)

 

#6 Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing by Lee Odden

Content creation is one thing and integrating content across various channels is another altogether.

“Content Isn’t King, It’s the Kingdom.”

This book will give you a practical approach to combine content marketing, social media marketing, and search to supercharge your overall marketing efforts. Odden teaches you how to create a plan for each of them so they work in harmony and provide the absolute best results for your business.

If you really want to take a deep dive and understand how content, social, and search are all coming together, you need to get this one.

 

#7 Steal like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About being Creative by Austin Kleon

Let’s move away from content and social media marketing for a second and step into the process of creation. Let’s talk creativity. And this is the perfect book to read if your reserves of inspiration and creativity are running low. If you are feeling a bit depressed that whatever you are doing doesn’t seem to make much of a difference on the world and wondering why even bother in the first place, here is something to cheer you up:

“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.”

Feeling the pressure but not delivering? This is sure to help. “Creative people need time to just sit around and do nothing.”

Or, how about this one? “Start copying what you love. Copy copy copy copy. At the end of the copy you will find your self.”

Makes you feel like you need to take action right now, doesn’t it? And one last one, as I possibly can’t list them all here.

“The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s to write what you like. Write the kind of story you like best—write the story you want to read. The same principle applies to your life and your career:”

When you need a pick me up, pick up this one. You won’t regret it.

 

#8 Accidental Creative How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry

Another personal favourite of mine, this book won’t simply allow you to give up on your dreams. No, that is not an option.

Henry says, “No one lies on his deathbed wishing he’d had the time to reply to one more e-mail, but a great many people express regrets about not having treated life with more purpose.”

Here’s another kick in the pants, “No matter what you say about your priorities, where you spend money and your time will prove them out.” Profound!

And another favourite of mine:

“The key to cultivating creatively stimulating relationships is threefold: you need relationships in your life in which you can be real, you need relationships in your life in which you can learn to risk, and you need relationships in your life in which you can learn to submit to the wisdom of others.”

Yes, you need family and friends, colleagues and partners and you also need coaches and mentors. How beautiful is that?

 

#9 Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky

Now, the next two books I present do not fall under the umbrella of content or social media marketing, or even creativity books but I want you to give them a chance. Some books should just be read for inspiration. How do you turn an idea into reality? This book will teach you how.

According to Belksy: “An idea can only become a reality once it is broken down into organized, actionable elements.”

And you make the process easier by rewarding yourself along the way.

”Whether it means prizing the value of lessons learned, building games into your creative process, or getting gifts upon certain milestones of achievement, self-derived rewards make a big difference…You cannot ignore or completely escape the deeply ingrained short-term reward system within you. But you can become aware of what really motivates you and then tweak your incentives to sustain your long-term pursuits.”

Looking to get the word out about you and present yourself in the best possible life? This is what Belksy has to say on this:

“We will ultimately live in a perpetual data-driven talent edition. Everything you create will be measured and tracked by others through comments, share, and likes. Your work will come up on the radar of potential employers and clients, and the data will tell them if you are worth talking to or hiring.”

Great read!

marketing_content

#10 Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, yes the Pixar, tells the story. There are plenty of a-has and actionable insights all the way so get ready for the ride. Like this one: Detach yourself from your ideas. In his own words:

“This principle eludes most people, but it is critical: You are not your idea, and if you identify too closely with your ideas, you will take offense when they are challenged.” Profound!

And, changing your mind is totally fine.

“For many people, changing course is also a sign of weakness, tantamount to admitting that you don’t know what you are doing. This strikes me as particularly bizarre—personally, I think the person who can’t change his or her mind is dangerous. Steve Jobs was known for changing his mind instantly in the light of new facts, and I don’t know anyone who thought he was weak.”

Lastly, my favourite quote when it comes to dealing with fear.

“By ignoring my fear, I learned that the fear was groundless. Over the years, I have met people who took what seemed the safer path and were the lesser for it…I had taken a risk, and that risk yielded that greatest reward…Always take a chance on better, even if it seems threatening.”

 

Your turn

As a content marketer, the dilemma you face is two-fold:

  1. On one hand you need to hone your craft and work at it on a daily basis. You need to practice so you become an expert in the real sense of the word.
  2. On the other hand, you constantly struggle with creativity and just to keep it going day you after day. You need to master your inner game and there isn’t a better book that to inspire you.

The list of books I have presented above should hopefully help you in both areas. Let us know in the comments below, which one makes the biggest impact and how.

Top 10 Books On Social Media & Content Marketing Every Solopreneur Should Read is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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A Guide To The New Tools On Tumblr http://blog.getresponse.com/guide-new-tools-tumblr.html http://blog.getresponse.com/guide-new-tools-tumblr.html#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 15:13:31 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18952 The knee-jerk reaction when presented with a new interface of something that we know and love can often be one of disappointment. Indeed, we sometimes can feel a little let down or even betrayed. Facebook is the most frequent of … Read more

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The knee-jerk reaction when presented with a new interface of something that we know and love can often be one of disappointment. Indeed, we sometimes can feel a little let down or even betrayed. Facebook is the most frequent of offenders, and of course, with over 1.25 billion users, it has the biggest clientele to offend.

However, now that we have all gotten over the fact that our profile pages are now displayed as ‘timelines’, most of us can probably hardly remember what on Earth our favourite blue-bordered social network looked like beforehand (can you believe that it’s now been 3 years since Facebook’s timeline became mandatory?!?!)

Tumblr, on the other hand, doesn’t enjoy quite as large a following. As of October last year the blog sharing network was reported to have 420 million users with 221.3 million registered blogs – numbers that marked a 40% growth over the previous 15 months These figures may actually be quite surprising. Essentially, Tumblr is a world apart from Facebook and the like in terms of user base. Everyone and their granny has a Facebook account, but Tumblr is a very particular kind of network which attracts a very specific type of user.

Put simply, Tumblr is more than just sharing pictures and status updates. It is very specifically a blogging platform, where users write mini articles and share them amongst their network (although users can of course post other forms of media, such as photographs and video).

 

Are You Using Tumblr?

If Tumblr isn’t already part of your social media strategy, then, with its freshly updated interface combined with recent surge in popularity (nearly half a billion users is nothing to be sniffed at, and blows the likes of Pinterest out of the water), perhaps now is the time to see how your business can set up a microblog on Tumblr and reach out to a completely new audience.

Your company’s website will no doubt already have a blog, and so it is quite understandable how you may perceive setting up another one on Tumblr as being superfluous. However, as more and more people turn to the site, there is a growing audience ready and waiting to be engaged – and users of Tumblr are some of the most active and engaged of all the social networks on the internet. So, jump on board now and start generating a dedicated following before your competitors do.

 

A Guide To Tumblr’s New Tools

Creating New Content – Introducing The Pencil Icon

As always, creating new content on Tumblr is still a matter of heading to your dashboard and selecting from Text, Photo, Quote, Link, Chat, Audio or Video to start creating a post.

 

Tumblr_tools

However, now you can bring up these options at any time from anywhere on the site by simply clicking on the pencil icon that is located at the top right hand corner of your screen. This makes for quicker and easier content creation. Previously, you had to scroll all the way up to the top of the screen from wherever you were to start creating some fresh content. So this new tool is handy for when you’re browsing and inspiration strikes.

 

Inserting Media – New Pop-up Tool

This is a very handy little pop-up tool that allows you to instantaneously insert new media into your text posts.

Tumblr_create

 

By clicking the camera icon you can add a picture from your library, you can paste an embed code by clicking the video camera, break you post into sections by clicking the horizontal line, or add a keep reading link by clicking on the rectangle icon with the three dots. These are all quite elementary things, but they have never been simpler or quicker to implement – and time is most certainly money in the world of digital marketing.

 

Editing Text

Plain text can be a bit boring, can’t it? Well, maybe. But, sometimes us bloggers do need to italicise our words or make them bold. Sometimes it might be best to

  • List
  • Details
  • As
  • Bullet points
  1. And
  2. Sometimes
  3. Numbers

Other times you may want to add a link or strike through some text. And now all you have to do is highlight the text that you want to play with and you will see a pop-up giving you all of these options.

 

Tumblr_content

 

Selfies

If you’ve got a webcam, then you can now take a quick selfie and add it your Tumblr. Once you select to add a photo post, all you need to do is hover your mouse over the smiley face icon, and this will then access your webcam so you can take a quick selfie. Far from being over the top narcissistic, selfies used in this manner could actually do a lot to humanize your blog and your brand. So don’t just dismiss this tool until you’ve had a think about how you might be able to use it creatively.

Tumblr_img

 

 

Tumblr really is a great tool, and something that you really should consider adding to your social marketing agenda if you’ve not done so already. And these new tools just make it even more fun and easy to use – there’s never been a better time to start Tumblring. Let us know in the comment below if you use Tumblr!

 

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Your Email Navbar the GPS to Customer’s Online Destination http://blog.getresponse.com/email-navbar-gps-customers-online-destination.html http://blog.getresponse.com/email-navbar-gps-customers-online-destination.html#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 14:47:40 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18924 Your email navbar does not have to be an exact replica of your site navbar. Think of the NAVigation as the GPS for your customers and prospects. It will guide them to their online destination. And, when carefully mapped out, … Read more

Your Email Navbar the GPS to Customer’s Online Destination is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Your email navbar does not have to be an exact replica of your site navbar. Think of the NAVigation as the GPS for your customers and prospects. It will guide them to their online destination. And, when carefully mapped out, the navbar will guide them to exactly where you want them to go. 

In my earlier articles on email navbars, I discussed how deep navbars dive into content (categories vs. products, for example). Here, we go into navbar placement within the email, mobile considerations, segmentation, and creative treatments.

 

Placement

As far as looking at placement, a scaled-down version may actually be preferable, given the limited space in an email. In the Williams-Sonoma example below, the navbar tucks neatly below the logo.

williams_2

With all the products Williams-Sonoma offers, you might be wondering why cutlery is the only category featured. Until you see the rest of the email, promoting a cutlery sale.

 

williams_

The subject line emphasizes the promotion even more: Take Your Cut – Up to 65% Off Wüsthof Gourmet Cutlery – In Stores & Online.

Apple takes the minimalist concept even further, by eliminating the navbar altogether.

 

ipad

This can be effective when you want the focus of your email to be solely on the main content. Here, the focus is on the product; there is no navbar to distract your attention.

.

Mobile navigation

Removal of the navbar can also work well for mobile. If you’re not ready to go sans navbar, you should think about using a scaled-down version. Mulberry has condensed its mobile navbar to only three links:

mulberry

 

While I find the “Explore” link rather ambiguous, it should be encouraging click-throughs or it shouldn’t be part of the navbar. Test wording of links to determine what draws your subscribers into your site. Instead of “explore” is it “browse”, or “discover”, or “favorites”, or “search”? Keep in mind though, that if you want to save space, shorter words are preferable to convey your message. Using less navigational elements can be a great shortcut to mobile savvy design as you won’t have to resort to responsive elements to make it work.

Expedia includes only four links in this mobile version of its email:

 

expedia

It is interesting that packages, not flights, is the first link on the navbar. (Flights is the first link in the search function on its site.) Perhaps Expedia was pushing its packages in this particular email. That is just one solid email testing example; change up the order of your navbar links to see what results in the best conversion for your audiences.

.

Segmentation and your navigation bar

Like Expedia, this Domino’s email also uses just four links in its navbar:

 

dominos

Notice that the last link targets Domino’s Spanish-speaking customers. Obviously Domino’s market research revealed that this segment is important enough to merit a link on the navbar. In fact, Domino’s has an entire Spanish website. We can learn from Domino’s: You can conduct market research to improve your email marketing strategy. determine your key audiences and then market to them accordingly – also via email.

Your navbar can also target specific audience segments, such as gender. The Ahnu email below, featuring a breast cancer message, is geared more toward women. The navbar appeals to women’s philanthropic nature with a “greater good” link:

 

ahnu

While we as email marketers are obsessed with ROI, remember that cause-related marketing also can be very effective in terms of brand building through email.

In this H&M email, the ladies category (the first link on the site navbar) is conspicuously missing from the navbar. That’s because the email promotes a Super Bowl-related event.

 

handm

 

Themed emails

Every aspect of this Brookstone Father’s Day email is about men, although the target audience is ultimately the women (also children) buying the gifts.

brookstone

The preheader, navbar, headline, and subheads, all the elements of the email include references to reinforce the message. The navigation includes the father’s day gifts link. Often the header and navigation is part of an email template. Planning the layout of your mails grid-wise, it feels natural. Most of your emails will have a navigation bar and often it might be the same. Standard elements, content blocks, and design in a template can speed up the creation up of your emails.

But as I mentioned before, it is good practice to look at your navigation as dynamic and possibly put your current offer in there. Taking themes, like father’s day, into account. So be sure that there is some flexibility in your template and you are able to (quickly) change the navigation elements that are in there.

Let’s take a look at several other special day and holiday themed emails to see how this is reflected in the navbar. At the other end of the gender spectrum is this Victoria’s Secret Valentine’s Day email, Shexy Email! But without a navbar – and minimal clothing for maximum impact. Although there is no navigation here, which can be a choice as per the Apple example before. I would encourage to add a navigation if you chose that way, but add it in the footer. Minimal distraction, added benefits of navigation.

valentine

 

If there are a special days, like Easter it might be good to use the space around the navigation bar to emphasize not the products, but the date and cause for celebration like 1800 flowers does in the email below. Especially when these are lesser known special days like “secretary day”.

 

flowers

In this J.Jill holiday email, a red bow adds a festive finishing touch to the header, and a red “gift shop” link leads off the navbar.

jjill

Anthropologie literally ties its nav together, with a gift icon on the left, a ribbon connecting each link, and a curlicue of ribbon at the end. This clearly are image elements, be aware though that the people who have their images turned off, will not be able to see them.

anth

Williams-Sonoma uses this email navbar to promote Black Friday. As you know these holidays are big sales events where sizable portion of the yearly revenue is made. With day being named Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now turning in to Black Week and Cyber Week and even Green Monday and Last Sleigh day making their introduction into the end of year holiday craze for retailers.

Don’t be afraid to ramp up bigger events and make a fuss out of it, before they even started.

 

williams

In a departure from typical sell-sell-sell holiday emails, Bed Bath & Beyond links to its holiday blogs from this email. It has the themed design in there as well.

 

bedbath

The end of year is the time for gift giving. The following emails, from Gumps, Saks Fifth Avenue and Waterford, all include a link to gifts highlighted in their navbars. And is that snow in Saks’ email?

 

gumps

 

gumps_

Blue Nile even includes a link with an icon to encourage click-through from their navigation bar.

 

bluenile

 

Conclusion

Have fun with your email navbar. Sure, it’s a crucial element for bringing subscribers to your site. But it can also be a visual element that can set the tone for the rest of the email. Variation is spice!

Think of the NAVbar as the GPS for your customers and prospects. It will guide them to their online destination. Just as with any email starting with the end in mind, where would they best be directed to? When carefully mapped out, the navbar will guide them to exactly where you want them to go. Is it time to revisit your own email navigation? Share with us in the comments below!

 

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Start for Free: A Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Email Marketing http://blog.getresponse.com/start-free-beginners-guide-real-estate-email-marketing-2.html http://blog.getresponse.com/start-free-beginners-guide-real-estate-email-marketing-2.html#comments Fri, 06 Feb 2015 15:37:48 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18842 Do experts keep mentioning how email is one of the more effective ways to market your real estate business? Yet you really aren’t sure how to implement it… Or do you have a complex autoresponder running that just doesn’t seem … Read more

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Do experts keep mentioning how email is one of the more effective ways to market your real estate business? Yet you really aren’t sure how to implement it… Or do you have a complex autoresponder running that just doesn’t seem to work? Maybe you haven’t tried internet marketing and still stick mainly to cold calling. Wherever you are, there is tons of value you can get from your business by adapting an email marketing campaign.  Email is the best driver of sales when marketing online. Think about it.

All of your contacts inevitably have emails. Not everyone has Facebook, or Twitter, or any other social network. Email is the best way to easily get in front of your contacts consistently. Plus, you can easily automate an email marketing system. And you can get in front of all your ‘leads’ for next to nothing. In fact, with GetResponse you can do all of this for free.

Here is one step-by-step solution for implementing an email marketing program for your real estate business:

 

Start simple. Start sending newsletters.

Automation, autoresponders, and drip sequences are great. But they are also a great way to mess up your brand. How? Well, when you are starting out emailing your leads, you don’t really know what will work. You aren’t sure what they’ll respond to.

Most real estate drip sequences that I have seen are terrible.  They don’t offer any interesting tips or advice. Rather, they end up looking slightly better than a billboard that says, “I’m the best realtor. Do business through me.”

I suggest you start out by shooting for a 4-to-1 value ratio. That means emailing your leads 4 purely educational messages before you ask for the sale. You can include a small P.S. in all your emails asking for business. But your response rate will be a lot higher if these emails are mostly about giving value. My favorite phrase when it comes to internet marketing is “Give to get.” If you give the most value to people on your list and in your community, you will sell more.

If you’re struggling for things to write about, I suggest you get ideas from topsy.com.  Topsy.com will show you the most popular articles and social shares about any topic. You can easily find the most popular real estate articles and rewrite them for your email sequence.

For example, you could write an email interviewing local people about their specific communities. Or you could partner with another local business and offer a special discount to that business. A great newsletter idea is also to make video tours of neighborhoods. You can do this easily with your iPhone and then upload it to Youtube. All you have to do then is email out the Youtube video to your list of subscribers.

In all these cases, we are providing interesting value to our list. This helps them remember you when it’s time to do business.

To do send all these emails, I suggest getting a free trial account at GetResponse and sending 10 emails to your leads before creating an autoresponder.  Here’s a short video showing you exactly how to do that:

After you’ve sent 10 emails, you will have some analytics.  You will see what messages get opened and clicked.  More importantly, you’ll see what messages cause people to contact you about buying/selling their home.

 

Turn the top performing newsletters into an autoresponder

You’ve now sent about 10 emails to your list. We’re now going to setup your very first autoresponder. The reason we’re doing this is to establish repeatable results and to automate the task of grooming our leads through email. As I said up top, most real estate autoresponders are terrible billboards. Yours won’t be. Simply take the best 3 performing newsletters you’ve sent and turn them into an autoresponder.

Here’s a video on how to do this in Getresponse:

This is a very powerful tool for your real estate business, and because now you should start seeing predictable leads come in. You know that if you get 100 emails a week, 3-5% of them will do business with you within 2 months. Your numbers will vary. But with your autoresponder you will have predictable income.

 

The final step.

Setup a newsletter to only go out to people that have completed the autoresponder. Now that we have an autoresponder setup, it’s time to keep sending out newsletters. Basically, you’re going to repeat the process of only adding successful newsletters into your autoresponder.

There is an awesome GetResponse feature that lets us only email our new newsletters to people who have finished the autoresponder.  Simply go to “Search Contacts” and create a saved search for contacts that have completed the autoresponder. Everytime you go to send a newsletter, you can select this particular saved search.

You then can continue to add newsletters onto your autoresponder sequence and slowly build up it’s length. This method will ensure only the best emails get onto your autoresponder sequence. Which is what every realtor should want!

 

Pro Tip: A great way to add a light call to action at the bottom of your email

A lot of real estate agents aren’t comfortable sending out emails without calls to action.  So, here is a simple way to unobtrusively add one to every email in your sequence. Simply add a button like this to the bottom of your email:

autoresponder

A high percentage of your subscribers scroll to the bottom of the email without reading the message. This button will be seen by a lot of people and is unobtrusive to your content.  It’s a great way to increase your response rate while not sacrificing the value you provide via your emails.

Now that you have your beginner’s guide to real estate email marketing, you can begin your journey to success! Share with us in the comments below, what you think is most important in real estate marketing.

 

About our Guest Blogger: Tyler Zey is the digital marketing director and contributing editor for the Real Estate Digital Marketing blog on easyagentpro.com.

 

Start for Free: A Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Email Marketing is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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15 Ways to Build Your Email List With Facebook  http://blog.getresponse.com/15-ways-build-email-list-facebook.html http://blog.getresponse.com/15-ways-build-email-list-facebook.html#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 15:27:12 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18896 Facebook dwarfs all other social media platforms. It’s a social sharing powerhouse. I’m tempted to say “if you can make here, you can make it anywhere.” But Facebook is so huge that if you can make it on Facebook, you … Read more

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Facebook dwarfs all other social media platforms. It’s a social sharing powerhouse. I’m tempted to say “if you can make here, you can make it anywhere.” But Facebook is so huge that if you can make it on Facebook, you won’t need to make it anywhere else. 

What if you could take this 800-pound gorilla of social media, and use it to build your email list? Well, you can. There are more than dozen different ways to do it. So without further ado, let’s start building your email list with Facebook:

 

Optimize your Facebook page

1) Add an opt-in form “tab”, or app to your Facebook page

This is easier to do than you’d think. It takes less than 20 minutes to set up. Here are the steps:

Log into both your GetResponse account and your Facebook account. Go to this URL and you will see this:

GRFacebookTab1

 

Click the blue “Add to Fan Page” button. You’ll see this:

 

GRFacebookTab2

Choose the Facebook page you want to add the opt-in form app to from the pull-down menu.

Once you’ve selected the page you want to add the tab to, click the blue “Add Page Tab” button.

GRFacebookTab3

 

After you’ve clicked the tab, it will look like nothing’s happened. You’ll just see the same gray box with “You’re almost there!” that you saw before you selected a page.

Don’t worry – the change has been made. Go to the Facebook page you added the opt-in tab to. You’ll see a link to your new opt-in form in the tabs. You may have to go to the “More” tab pull-down menu to see the “Sign up” link.

BakeryMoreTabCorrected

When you click your new tab, you’ll see this:

BakeryTabAuthorize

To get your API key, go to your GetResponse account dashboard, then into the “My account” pull down tab in the upper right hand corner of the screen. From there, click “Integrations”.

 

Integrations

Click “GetResponse API”.

 

GRIntegrationsAPI

Copy the API key (it’s that long string of numbers and letters), and paste it into the API Key field in your Facebook opt-in page. Then click the orange “Login” button.

 

APIKey

You’ll see this:

FBTabForm1

Choose the correct campaign from the pull-down menu. Then, in the “Webforms” pull down menu, choose one of the opt-in forms you’ve created before. It’s optional to add a message. If it makes sense for your page, add a message. If not, you can leave it blank.

Web form alignment refers to how your opt-in form will be positioned on the page. I like forms to be left-aligned, but you should do whatever looks best to you. You can control where the message you write will appear in the “message” position row of controls just above the green “Save” button.

After you’ve clicked “Save”, you’ll see a blue “preview” link next to the save button.

SavePreviewYou may have to log out of your Facebook account and your GetResponse account to see the new opt-in form the way your page visitors will see it. Test your form to make sure it works properly, and then you’re done.

Extra credit: You can rearrange the order of the tabs on your Facebook page by going to the “More” tab, then selecting “Manage tabs”

Rearrange the tabs to look the way you want:

 

RearrangeTabs

Now the tabs are rearranged, and everyone can see the Sign up tab easily:

 

TabsRearranged

 

2) Add a coupon or a lead magnet to sweeten the deal.

This is just like any other opt-in form or prompt to join your list. If you offer a lead magnet, a coupon, or some other kind of sign-up incentive, you’ll get more subscribers.

 

3) Add a landing page and opt-in to your site page link.

Most people use their site link to send people to their home page, and that’s fine. But if you’re really committed to getting more subscribers, make the most of that incoming traffic to your site and send people to a squeeze page (http://blog.getresponse.com/8-ux-tips-boost-landing-page-conversion-rate-infographic.html) specifically designed for Facebook traffic. You’ll get far more subscribers than just sending them to your site’s home page.

 

4) Include a call to action to join your list in your About descriptions – both the short description and in the long description.

You won’t be able to add a hyperlink, but you can still add a URL:

ShortDescription

 

5) Add an email-gated or “form-gated” resource to your Facebook page.

We can’t do like gates on Facebook anymore, but we can still gate content and require an email address. Third party Facebook apps like Wishpond, TabSite, ShortStack, and Pagemodo all offer this functionality.

Remember that you don’t have to add just one piece of email-gated content. You could add two, three or four.

 

Optimize your Facebook cover image

6) Add a link to your Facebook cover image.

And, of course, send people to a squeeze page to opt-in. Do this by editing your cover photo, then adding a description to the photo. The description should include a call to action to join your list, and a link to the squeeze page.

CoverPhotoPromoBonus: You can do this with your profile photo, too.

 

7) Add a call to action to join your list on your cover photo.

Like this:

StaciAnn

 

 

Use your Facebook updates to build your list

8) Post updates promoting your lead magnet and prompting people to sign up for your list a couple of times a month.

Don’t do this every day – that would be over-promotional. But reminding people about signing up for your email list two or three times a month wouldn’t hurt.

 

9) Announce your upcoming newsletters and include a prompt to join your list.

This is especially effective if you’re offering some content in your email newsletter that’s not available anywhere else. It’s killer-effective when the email-only content is something like survey or content results.

But no matter what’s in your email, it’s legit to let your Facebook fans know about it. Even if they don’t engage with that particular post, you may get their attention enough that the fans who are already email subscribers will get their interest piqued. Because of your pre-announcement post, they might be more likely to open and reading your email when it arrives in their inbox.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 14.55.01

10) Add a call to action button.

These are simple to set up. Most Facebook pages will show admin users a button that says “Create Call-to-Action” if this feature is available. Once you click that button, you’ll see this:

 

CallToActionButton

When you’re done with all the steps, you’ll see something like this:

CallToActionButton2 Call-to-action buttons also work on ads and on organic posts. For ads, you can also use buttons that say “Learn More”, “Download”, “Shop Now” and “Book Now” in addition to “Sign up”. This is an interesting, and somewhat neglected feature. Make the most of it.

 

Run events

11) Run a contest, giveaway or a sweepstakes.

For some marketers this is the #1 way to build an email list. It works well, but you need a great prize. The prize has to be valuable, but it also has to be something unique that only your ideal subscribers would really want. For example, if you’re a fly fishing equipment affiliate, offer a fly rod as a prize, not an iPad.

Contests, giveaways and sweepstakes tend to work best if you’re got a lot of Facebook fans. If you’ve only got a couple hundred fans, you may end up adding only a hundred or so new subscribers to your list with a contest.

If you’re still interested in doing a content, look into a third party app like Heyo, or any one of the apps I mentioned for form gates.

 

12) Create an offer that includes signing up for your email list.

Offers are created as if they were an advertisement, but they’re a bit different than a typical Facebook ads. There’s even a way to create them and not pay to use them, though Facebook will try to guide you into actually advertising your offers.

Denise Wakeman recently created a Facebook offer to promote a new ecourse she was offering. She got some pretty good results with her offer, plus a bunch of new subscribers. She outlines exactly what she did and the results she got here.

 

13) Create an action with the 3rd party app ActionSprout.

This is an interesting app that’s designed for non-profits, but could be used for all sorts of things. ActionSprout doesn’t create opt-in forms per say, but it does give you a way to prompt people to do things on Facebook, like asking them to pledge to support your cause. Some actions result in you capturing people’s email addresses. I have not actually used this app, so I’m a little cautious about it, but it looks very promising.

Here’s one ActionSprout action from UNICEF. It’s set up to automatically add people to UNICEF’s email list when they click on the “Demand” button.

unicef

Advertise

14) Use your email list to create a custom audience.

Email is a simple way to create a custom audience. Then advertise to lookalike audiences who resemble your current subscribers. Jon Loomer has an excellent tutorial on creating and using lookalike audiences here.

 

Use Facebook to retain your subscribers

15) Include a prompt for people to like your Facebook page right after they’ve just subscribed for your list.

You’re sending them a welcome email already, right? So make that welcome email just a little bit better. Use it to prompt people to follow you on Facebook. And while you’re at it… suggest they follow you on your other social platforms, too. This way, when (or if) they unsubscribe from your emails, you’ll still be able to keep in touch with them through Facebook.

Those are the ways I know of to build an email list with Facebook. I’m sure there’s more. If you know of one I’ve missed, will you share it with us? Maybe it’s an app, or a way to optimize updates, or some new Facebook advertising trick. Tell us about it in the comments.

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Top 10 Books on Entrepreneurship Every Solopreneur Should Read (In Quotes) http://blog.getresponse.com/top-10-books-entrepreneurship-every-solopreneur-read-quotes.html http://blog.getresponse.com/top-10-books-entrepreneurship-every-solopreneur-read-quotes.html#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 15:27:31 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18887 You have probably seen a number of ‘best books on entrepreneurship’ lists on the interwebs. This list is a little different. As a modern day entrepreneur or one in the making, this is a list I think your need to … Read more

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You have probably seen a number of ‘best books on entrepreneurship’ lists on the interwebs. This list is a little different. As a modern day entrepreneur or one in the making, this is a list I think your need to read. Being a solopreneur, these books are highly relevant to you. These are the books I have read over and over again. Books that I own and they sit proudly on my bookshelf for everyone to see. 

Each recommendation comes with a few handpicked quotes. I think quotes from books are like appetizers. They are delicious morsels of food that set the tone for the rest of the meal. Instead of giving you an overview of the book, I’ll let the quotes do the heavy lifting for me.

I hope you enjoy these inspirational quotes.

 

#1 Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe”

“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.

“Studies show that over 80 percent of Americans do not have their dream job. If more knew how to build organizations that inspire, we could live in a world in which that statistic was the reverse – a world in which over 80 percent of people loved their jobs. People who love going to work are more productive and more creative. They go home happier and have happier families. They treat their colleagues and clients and customers better. Inspired employees make for stronger companies and stronger economies.”

“As anyone who starts a business knows, it is a fantastic race. There is a statistic that hangs over your head – over 90 percent of all new businesses fail in the first three years. For anyone with even a bit of competitive spirit in them, especially for someone who defines himself or herself as an entrepreneur, these overwhelming odds of failure are not intimidating, they only add fuel to the fire. The foolishness of thinking that you’re a part of the small minority of those who actually will make it past three years and defy the odds is part of what makes entrepreneurs who they are, driven by passion and completely irrational.” 

 

#2 The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman

“Every successful business (1) creates or provides something of value that (2) other people want or need (3) at a price they’re willing to pay, in a way that (4) satisfies the purchaser’s needs and expectations and (5) provides the business sufficient revenue to make it worthwhile for the owners to continue operation.”

“You can’t make positive discoveries that make your life better if you never try anything new.”

“Every time your customers purchase from you, they’re deciding that they value what you have to offer more than they value anything else their money could buy at that moment.”

“A good salesman, as the old (and politically incorrect) saying goes, can sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo. It’s a cliché, but there’s some truth to it: Inuit who live above the Arctic Circle use insulated refrigerators to keep their food from freezing in subzero temperatures”

book_inspiration

#3 Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

“Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.”

“Live your passion. What does that mean, anyway? It means that when you get up for work every morning, every single morning, you are pumped because you get to talk about or work with or do the thing that interests you the most in the world. You don’t live for vacations because you don’t need a break from what you’re doing—working, playing, and relaxing are one and the same. You don’t even pay attention to how many hours you’re working because to you, it’s not really work. You’re making money, but you’d do whatever it is you’re doing for free.”

“It’s never a bad time to start a business unless you are starting a mediocre business.”

“The Internet makes it possible for anyone to be 100 percent true to themselves and make serious cash by turning what they love most into their personal brand.”

“Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill in business.”

 

#4 The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

“You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to.”

“1. “What do you really want to get out of life?”
2. “What can you offer the world that no one else can?”

“Never despise small beginnings, and don’t belittle your own accomplishments. Remember them and use them as inspiration as you go on to the next thing. When you venture outside your comfort zone, wherever the starting point may be, it’s kind of a big deal.”

“Value is created when a person makes something useful and shares it with the world.”

 

#5 The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”

“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”

“The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “What would excite me?”

“Information is useless if it is not applied to something important or if you will forget it before you have a chance to apply it.”

 

#6 Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

“Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination.”

“Write down your dream. This is the act that transforms a dream into a goal. Wonderful things happen when you commit something to writing.”

“When we are young, parents and teachers tell us we can do anything and become whatever we want. But as we grow older, these same people tell us we must be more realistic.”

“Don’t underestimate the importance of great design. When it comes to selling your product, it can make you or break you.”

“Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster”

“You will never see the full path. The important thing is to do the next right thing. What can you do today to move you toward your dream?”

 

#7 So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Carl Newport

“If you want to love what you do, abandon the passion mindset (“what can the world offer me?”) and instead adopt the craftsman mindset (“what can I offer the world?”).”

“Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before. In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.”

“Start small and start immediately.”

“This is what you should experience in your own pursuit of “good.” If you’re not uncomfortable, then you’re probably stuck at an “acceptable level.”

“The good news about deliberate practice is that it will push you past this plateau and into a realm where you have little competition.”

 

#8 Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together by Pamela Slim

“No one is looking out for your career anymore. You must find meaning, locate opportunities, sell yourself, and plan for failure, calamity, and unexpected disasters. You must develop a set of skills that makes you able to earn an income in as many ways as possible.”

“Your body of work is everything you create, contribute, affect, and impact. For individuals, it is the personal legacy you leave at the end of your life, including all the tangible and intangible things you have created. Individuals who structure their careers around autonomy, mastery, and purpose will have a powerful body of work.”

“Your thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions drive everything in your life and career.
People who operate on a high level of creativity and mastery are rigorous about mental awareness and preparation. Top athletes, fighters, artists, writers, businesspeople, and scientists use different methods to stay clear, focused, motivated, and productive.
Not only are precise and motivating thoughts critical to maintaining momentum toward big goals, but the ability to look at things from new and critical perspectives is a fundamental skill in creating a diverse, interesting, and integrated body of work.”

inspiration

#9 Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

“When [what you are deeply passionate about, what you can be best in the world at and what drives your economic engine] come together, not only does your work move toward greatness, but so does your life. For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. Perhaps, then, you might gain that rare tranquillity that comes from knowing that you’ve had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution. Indeed, you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it mattered.”

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”

“Perhaps your quest to be part of building something great will not fall in your business life. But find it somewhere. If not in corporate life, then perhaps in making your church great. If not there, then perhaps a nonprofit, or a community organization, or a class you teach. Get involved in something that you care so much about that you want to make it the greatest it can possibly be, not because of what you will get, but just because it can be done.”

 

#10 The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E Gerber

“Contrary to popular belief, my experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.”

“With no clear picture of how you wish your life to be, how on earth are you going to live it? What is your Primary Aim? Where is the script to make your dreams come true? what is the first step to take and how do you measure your progress? How far have you gone and how close are you to getting to your goals?”

“I believe great people to be those who know how they got where they are, and what they need to do to get where they’re going. Great people have a vision of their lives that they practice emulating each and every day. They go to work on their lives, not just in their lives. Their lives are spent living out the vision they have of their future, in the present. They compare what they’ve done with what they intended to do. And where there’s a disparity between the two, they don’t wait very long to make up the difference.”

So there you have it. These are my 10 all-time favourites. My list of books in quotes. How many have you read from this list? Which one will you pick up next? What would you add to this list? Leave a comment!

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Adapt Or Die: Understanding Digital Darwinism In 2015  http://blog.getresponse.com/adapt-die-understanding-digital-darwinism-2015.html http://blog.getresponse.com/adapt-die-understanding-digital-darwinism-2015.html#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 15:17:44 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18880 ‘Digital Darwinism’. It’s a term and a concept that nearly every tech writer around the globe wishes they had come up with. But only one did (perhaps he was the fittest) – Brian Solis. And in doing so he very … Read more

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‘Digital Darwinism’. It’s a term and a concept that nearly every tech writer around the globe wishes they had come up with. But only one did (perhaps he was the fittest) – Brian Solis. And in doing so he very neatly captured the changes that are occurring in the world of business as you read this.

So, what does it mean exactly? Well, put simply, digital Darwinism refers to the “phenomenon when technology and society evolve faster than an organization can adapt.” What this means is that as the rate of technological change accelerates, there are many people, businesses, and indeed entire countries that are left struggling to stay aware of the latest developments, let alone find themselves in a position where they can competitively exploit them.

The problem with big data is a case in point. At the moment, one of the top priorities for at least the next 5 or 10 years is to fully furnish ourselves with accurate and functioning extraction tools for mining business intelligence – what is known as big data analytics. The problem is that at this point in the time, there is an overwhelming global shortage of big data scientists with the skills to first extract and then interpret the vast amounts of data that is now being recognised as a primary and competitive source of business intelligence.

McKinsey & Company reports that the “United States alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with analytical expertise and 1.5 million managers and analysts with the skills to understand and make decisions based on the analysis of big data.”

.

Opportunity Knocks

With such a big challenge in mind, what’s clearly needed is to nurture new skills at university level around the world to help develop and manage emerging talent in areas of project management, technology and analytics.

 

media_darwinism

Be that as it may, although the needs are clear, what’s a little less clear are the details of how we are to attain them, nor indeed what we are going to do in the meantime.

Marketers and accountants around the globe must at the moment do their utmost to maintain awareness of the vast range of technologies and trends. We all must try and anticipate the changing needs of our business – not just for now, or next week, or the next 12 months, but for 5 years down the line when we might have started to make some sort of dent in the reams and reams of big data that will have amassed by then.

And it’s not just big data to beware in this era of digital Darwinism. Think about it. What’s coming next in terms of the cloud, mobile, social networks, cybercrime, digital service delivery, and even artificial intelligence? In 2015 and beyond, nearly every business around the world, large or small, will at some point find themselves staring in the face of the phenomenon that is digital Darwinism. The fact of the matter is that you won’t be able to escape it – the only thing you can do is be prepared and do your best to stay ahead of the game.

 

Understand your social networks

You might not think that this is anything new, but in terms of digital Darwinism, you need to be more on the ball than ever when it comes to understanding your following and how they behave on social media. As a digital marketer, you will know that your potential customers spend massive amounts of time on their smartphones and tablets. Here, they hook up to their favourite social sites and network with friends and family, as well as the businesses (like yours) that they follow and support.

What is more, when they’re out and about, they will be checking into locations to let their friends know that they’re in the area, but also to alert businesses that they’re ready to engage and interact live over the web. They will have any amount of apps already installed on their smartphones that will help them make consumer decisions based on reviews and recommendations and experiences of their peers in their social networks. And, in turn, they will then share their own experiences, which will then help to shape the experiences of others, and, of course, your reputation.

The amount of consumers who almost constantly connected in this manner is growing in size every day. Your business needs, therefore, to embrace these disruptive technologies that is making this happen. If you don’t, then you are simply inviting digital Darwinism to come crashing down your door.

 

It’s All About The Consumer

To stay ahead of digital Darwinism, you need to understand exactly which of the disruptive technologies that are already out there that your customers are using, and how these are impacting your market. What is more, you need to keep your eyes and ears peeled as to what is coming next on the horizon. Watch out for the ever-increasing use of geolocation check-in services and iBeacons, and seek now to solidify your position so that you are ready to compete in the future.

These days, you need to do more than just get to know your customer. You need to understand them and how they make decisions. You need to empathise with them and the technologies that they use, and put this all together to make sure that your business is doing all it can to combat digital Darwinism, and continue to build meaningful relationships and trust with your highly discerning following in the years to come.

Let us know in the comments below how you are adapting to these changes, and if there is anything that you would add!

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A Guide to Creating a Compelling Email Message #Infographic http://blog.getresponse.com/guide-creating-compelling-email-message-infographic.html http://blog.getresponse.com/guide-creating-compelling-email-message-infographic.html#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 15:27:11 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18869 Once in a while it’s good to take some time off and get back to basics with all the experience you’ve gathered so far. The ability to craft effective messages is a fundamental skill for every email-marketer. That is why … Read more

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Once in a while it’s good to take some time off and get back to basics with all the experience you’ve gathered so far. The ability to craft effective messages is a fundamental skill for every email-marketer. That is why this time we have prepared an infographic, which presents the 6 most important elements in an email message and provides you with a basic guide to creating a compelling email message.

I advise you to schedule some time in your busy calendar exclusively for browsing through your email messages in search for improvements. I’m absolutely sure that you will come up with new ideas that might increase KPIs in your email marketing campaigns

 

The envelope

The evelope is a phrase describing the three elements crucial to your Open Rate. It consists of the following elements:

  • The sender
  • The subject line
  • Preheader

They are visible in the email client before opening a message. Use the envelope to attract subscribers and make them want to see what’s inside your email.

 

Header

The header appears in the preview pane of an email client. Use this element to capture their interest and make them want to see the whole message.

 

Body

This is the section with a call to action – the most important element of your message. Think carefully about the purpose of your email and make sure that it is easy to understand for your subscribers.

 

Footer

You can use the footer to increase engagement and build trust. Take a look at the footer in your template, it’s a good idea to add social media buttons, an unsubscribe link, and your postal address.

 

Basic guide to creating a compelling email message

Here are a few tips worth considering, if you would like to get the best possible result of your email marketing activities:

 

1. Switch to responsive design

More and more users use mobile devices for email. According to Experian Marketing Services’ Q3 2014 Email Benchmark Report – 53% of total email opens occurred on a mobile phone or tablet.

You should no longer rely on desktop when planning your email marketing campaigns. Fortunately, if you use GetResponse email creator your messages are responsive and look great on all devices.

 

2. Personalize your messages

Your subscribers provide you with a lot of useful information – use it in order to prepare great content targeted for the right audience. Use the personalized messages to build brilliant relationships that result in high ROI.

 

3. Express your brand’s identity

Your email marketing efforts are the pillar of your brands communications. It will shape your subscriber’s perception of your brand. Make sure it communicates your brand’s personality in a way that you want to perceived.

 

4. Always test before sending

You can never put too much emphasis on testing, so let me say that again – you should always test your messages before you send them. Check the copy for typos and make sure that the template looks great in different email clients. Use multiple devices to see if your message looks great on different platforms.

Now, enjoy our infographic and let it serve as a reminder and summary of what you need to remember in your email marketing. Share with us in the comments below how you stay relevant in your email messages! 

 

A Guide to Creating a Compelling Email Message #Infographic is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Using Exit Overlays to Incentivize Email Signups http://blog.getresponse.com/using-exit-overlays-incentivize-email-signups.html http://blog.getresponse.com/using-exit-overlays-incentivize-email-signups.html#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:37:22 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18819 Are you lying about your email list-building capabilities? Have you convinced yourself those Facebook integrations and WordPress signup forms are enough to get the job done? You’re certainly not alone. Email has become so valuable that pretty much everyone is … Read more

Using Exit Overlays to Incentivize Email Signups is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Are you lying about your email list-building capabilities? Have you convinced yourself those Facebook integrations and WordPress signup forms are enough to get the job done? You’re certainly not alone. Email has become so valuable that pretty much everyone is looking for ways to capture more addresses.

Here are a few eye-popping stats to illustrate my point:

  • Over 77% of online customers prefer receiving marketing messagesvia email 
  • Email marketing produces a $44.25 return for every $1 spent
  • Online consumers spend 138% more when contacted by email 
  • 85% of prospects prefer giving their email address to paying with a tweet 

These numbers may surprise some, since email has been given the last rites multiple times. Round about 2009, the ‘email is dead’ articles started popping up everywhere. But instead, email matured into a safe haven from the storm of social media; a place where marketers can communicate with prospects with the background noise removed. Today, gaining inbox access is the ultimate sign of trust from an online customer.

But before you can enjoy the fruits of email marketing, you need a good list. And I’m not talking the dead-end ‘get one or two leads’ or ‘half the emails get returned’ kind of list. I’m talking valuable warm email leads that are familiar with your products and have recently interacted with your brand. So without further ado, here’s a tactic for getting the job done.

 

What are exit overlays, and how do they work?

Exit overlays are a marketing tool designed to convert abandoning web visitors into leads, sales & signups. They run on what’s known as “exit-intent technology.”

Exit-intent technology uses a tracking algorithm to detect mouse gestures, resting moments, and other user movements. Using this algorithm, the technology is able to predict the exact moment a user is about to exit a website.

TheChive

Exit overlay on The Chive, activated when a user begins to abandon the page

When the Rooster algorithm detects an abandoning visitor, an exit overlay is triggered to enable you one last chance to engage your visitor before they abandon your site.

Exit overlays work well for building a subscriber base because the value is big and the ask is small: just an email address. And in return, you get a valuable lead out of what was previously nothing more than an abandoning user.

 

The 3 reasons exit overlays accelerate email signups

1. Marketers can incentivize the signup

Inboxes are crowded, and that means customers need a good reason to sign up for your updates. Exit overlays are fertile ground for providing this incentive.

Busted Tees uses a discount as incentive in the example below:

BustedTees

Here’s another example from CopyHackers, which incentivizes the email signup with the promise of 4-part CRO course for marketers wishing to improve their business:

copyhackers

 

2. Exit overlays maximize visibility, without being intrusive

Exit overlays are much more visible than traditional signup widgets. When an exit overlay activates, it dims out the rest of the window to maximize contrast and visibility, as per the example from Baby Age below:

babyage

That said, an exit overlay is not intrusive in the way old school pop-ups were:

  • It doesn’t disable or inhibit the functionality of the navigation bar
  • It won’t slow or inhibit users from leaving your site
  • It’s shown only to abandoning users, they don’t interrupt active browsing sessions

Essentially, an exit overlay acts as a second page view that’s only seen by segments of abandoning users you choose to target.

 

3. Exit overlays can be targeted at specific users and pages

Abandoning users are not all the same; they leave your site for all different reasons. To accommodate different users, exit-intent technology allows marketers to target specific user groups such as first-time or repeat visitors, cart abandoners, referral traffic, and paid traffic.

Targeting rules can also be applied to pages. You can target (or exclude) any page on your site—which comes in handy for appealing to different users who are at various stages of your conversion funnel. For example, targeting first-time visitors from low-converting segments like social media traffic can be a very lucrative tactic for building email lists.

 

How Lavinia Lingerie grabbed 3,000 new email subscribers using exit overlays

Lavinia is a family-owned business that markets uniquely-styled lingerie to online customers. Lavinia gleans its design inspiration from European fashion, and promotes products under the idea that feeling and looking great not only serves a function, but is also empowering.

Lavinia homepage

Lavinia homepage

After identifying the value of emailing offers and updates to existing customers, Lavinia set out to rapidly increase their base of email subscribers. To accomplish this goal, Lavinia’s marketing team decided to try adding an exit overlay to the company homepage. The exit overlay incentivized abandoning users to sign up for email updates by offering an immediate 20% discount.

Lavinia’s exit overlay

Lavinia’s exit overlay

Given the company’s access to popular lingerie models, the imagery for the exit overlay was a no-brainer. The messaging and design were more of a challenge, however. To convey the offer clearly, the marketing team used bold, high-contrast design— with the CTA clearly delineated from other elements on the page. Copy was kept to a minimum, allowing Lavinia to convey the key message (20% off) to abandoning users in the few fleeting moments their eyes would be on the overlay.

Lavinia’s exit overlay—activated when users began to abandon the homepage without purchasing or signing up for offers.

Lavinia’s exit overlay—activated when users began to abandon the homepage without purchasing or signing up for offers.

Given the high lifetime value of a customer’s email address, the marketing team considered a one-time 20% discount to be a small sacrifice. To maximize exposure of the offer, Lavinia placed the exit overlay on the company homepage—the highest traffic page on the domain—with the hope of capturing emails from low-converting segments such as social media.

This hypothesis proved correct, as over a 6-month period, Lavinia’s exit overlay acquired 3,017 new email subscribers—more than tripling the company’s total number of subscribers:

email_marketing

The campaign produced 15 to 20 new email subscribers on a typical day

This represents an engagement rate of 2.59%. Put differently, Lavinia acquired 3 new email subscribers for every 115 users that abandoned the site.

 

Takeaways

Gaining access to a prospect’s inbox is the ultimate sign of trust, and this is why email marketing has become so valuable to ecommerce

Exit overlaysmodal lightboxes that activate before users abandon your site—are one of the most effective tactics for building subscriber lists. With exit overlays, marketers can incentivize signups, capture addresses from uncommitted prospects, and target specific users and pages. All this adds up to an impressive number of email signups in a relatively short period of time.

 

Angus_Lynch

About our Guest Author: Angus Lynch is a conversion copywriter at Crowdvert, a Vancouver-based conversion rate optimization agency, and the Director of Marketing for Crowdvert’s proprietary user engagement tool, Rooster.

Twitter: @TimeForRooster

Email: angus@getrooster.com

Using Exit Overlays to Incentivize Email Signups is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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An Internet Marketing Glossary: 116 Terms You Need to Know  http://blog.getresponse.com/internet-marketing-glossary-117-terms-need-know.html http://blog.getresponse.com/internet-marketing-glossary-117-terms-need-know.html#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:17:18 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18848 Does your brain feel like alphabet soup when you see terms like XML, PNGs and WYSIWYG? Do you wish people would just speak English? Have no fear. We have compiled this glossary of 116 of the most commonly used Internet … Read more

An Internet Marketing Glossary: 116 Terms You Need to Know  is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Does your brain feel like alphabet soup when you see terms like XML, PNGs and WYSIWYG? Do you wish people would just speak English? Have no fear. We have compiled this glossary of 116 of the most commonly used Internet marketing terms just for you. 

Your Ultimate Marketing Glossary

  1. .zip  – A file format that indicates the data has been compressed, or “zipped”.
  2. 301 redirect – An SEO term that refers to redirecting traffic from an old web page to a new web page. A 301 redirect is permanent redirect that preserves most to all of the authority from the old page.
  3. 303 redirect – Similar to a 301 redirect, but a temporary redirect as opposed to a permanent one. 303 redirects are shown as a “see other” response to the server. They should be replaced with 301 redirects where possible.
  4. 404 error – A page not found error. This is a message the server will send back if a file is requested that it cannot find. This is what you will see if you click a broken link.
  5. Abandonment rate – Typically refers to the abandonment rate of an ecommerce  checkout cart, but can refer to an opt-in process. Abandonment rate is usually expressed as a percentage. It refers to how many people drop out before they complete a pre-defined goal. An abandonment rate of 95% for a checkout cart would mean 95 out of every 100 people who begin the checkout process leave it before completing it.
  6. Algorithm – Usually refers to a “search algorithm”. The complex series of calculations that determine which pages are seen in the search results.
  7. Alt text – An HTML term that is part of the code that creates an image or video on a web page. Alt text is the tag that describes the image or video in words. If an image gets shared on social media, alt text is sometimes the default post description.
  8. Analytics – Information about how people behave on a site or within an app. Analytics is made up of two parts: The tracking required to gather the data, and then the software required to analyze it present it into reports and graphs.
  9. Anchor text – The part active part of a hyperlink; the part of a hyperlink that would be underlined. AnchorText In the paragraph above, “lead magnet” is anchor text.
  10. Archive – A place or folder where files are stored.
  11. ASCII – as in “ASCII text”. This is plain text without any formatting.
  12. Attachment – Usually refers to a file that has been attached to an email message.
  13. Autoresponder – An automated series of email messages.
  14. Avatar – The image of someone attachs to their profile, usually a social media profile. Avatars can also be icons, or whatever image someone chooses to use with their online profile. Avatar
  15. Bookmark – A saved shortcut used to find an online resource again later. Usually added through a web browser.
  16. Boolean operator – A way to refine search queries. Boolean operators include AND, OR, NOT or AND NOT.
  17. Bot – Usually refers to a “search bot”. Another term for a “search spider” – the software that combs through the Internet, cataloging information.
  18. Bounce rate – Refers to how many people come to your site and then leave before going to any other pages.
  19. Cache – Usually refers to a browser cache. Refers to saved files (like images) in your browser from sites you’ve used in the past. Different than “cookies”.
  20. CANSPAM – A US law that dictates how email marketers can treat their email subscribers.
  21. Case sensitive – Means that it matters whether or not letters are capitalized.
  22. CASL – Acronym for Canadian Anti Spam Law that went into effect last year.
  23. Churn – As in “list churn”. The term for how many subscribers an email list loses due to unsubscribes or subscribers becoming inactive. More specifically refers to how those losses eat into list growth efforts.
  24. Clickbait – A piece of content solely designed to get people to click it, even if that means using an inaccurate headline or photograph.
  25. Clickthrough rate – A percentage that shows how many users out of a hundred have clicked on a link. A clickthrough rate of 30% would mean thirty out of one hundred people who saw an ad actually clicked on the ad.
  26. Compression – As in file compression. Can refer to any document, but often refers to reducing the size of images so they will download more quickly.
  27. Content curation – The activity of gathering content about a specific subject in order to offer an audience a stream of content.
  28. Content distribution – The activity of promoting content, usually your own, across the Internet.
  29. Conversion rate – a percentage of how many people complete a goal. A conversion can be an order, a sign up or anything that can be measured. A conversion rate of 50% would mean that half of the people who could complete a given goal actually did.
  30. Cookie -  a non-harmful snippet of code placed on a user’s computer in order to give them a customized experience of a website.
  31. Cover image – The main image. Usually refers to the main, full-width image that is customized by each user for their social media account. CoverImage
  32. CSS – Cascading Style Sheets. The code or “markup language” used to define the look and functionality of web page.
  33. Domain – Also called a URL. This is the address of a website, more specifically the address of the website’s homepage.
  34. Email client – A piece of software you read, send and receive email messages in. Sometimes called an “email reader”. Examples of popular email clients include Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook.
  35. Email service provider – A service that sends your email messages out for you and manages the basic functions of your list (processing unsubscribes, for example).
  36. Embed – To add something into a page. Usually refers to adding a kind of media format (video, image, audio file) into a web page or a document.
  37. Emoji – A small image used to express an emotion. Often included in text messages, personal emails, forums or social media posts. Emoji
  38. Emoticon – A text-based representation of a person’s expression, like a smile :).
  39. Engagement – a measurement of how people responded to or interacted with a piece of content. Engagement can be clicks, likes, shares or opens. Sometimes expressed as a percentage.
  40. External link – A link that points out from the website it is on to another location on the Internet. See internal link for comparison.
  41. FAQ – Stands for “Frequently Asked Questions”. An old but still occasionally used section of a website that answers common questions.
  42. Favorites – Similar to bookmarks. A list of web pages or other online resources kept for quick reference.
  43. Filter – A way to screen out a specific parameter to see more refined search results or analytics data.
  44. Firewall – A way to protect a server from unwanted and potentially malicious traffic.
  45. Flash – A type of file that can create both animations and entire responsive interfaces. Many online games are created in Flash.
  46. Follower – Someone who chooses to see updates from you on a social media site like Twitter or Instagram.
  47. Following – Often refers to a “social following”. The group of people who has elected to get updates from you across all social media channels.
  48. Forum – An online group that meets on a website. Similar to a chat room.
  49. FTP – Stands for “File Transfer Protocol”. A way to transfer files to a server.
  50. GIF – stands for Graphics Interchange Format. A GIF is an image file format that can be either an animated or static image.
  51. Handle – Most often used for Twitter. The “@” sign before someone’s user name on Twitter is their handle. For example, GetResponse’s Twitter handle is “@GetResponse”. Hashtag
  52. Hashtag  – A pound symbol tag used on all the major social media platforms (except LinkedIn) to add a topic reference to an tweet or update. In the tweet, “#Emailmarketing rocks!”, the hashtag is “#emailmarketing”.
  53. Header image – The primary, full-width image near the top of a page, social media account or email message.
  54. Home page – Also called an index page. The base URL or domain address for a website, as in “GetResponse.com”.
  55. HTML- Hypertext Markup Language. The code that create web pages. Note that HTML is not a coding language because it does not use variables.
  56. HTTP/HTTPS – Acronym for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol”. HTTPS denotes a secure connection via Hypertext Transfer Protocol. This is the method that information is passed from server to server, and then down to an individual’s web browser across the Internet.
  57. Hyperlink – A way to link text or images so a user can move from file to file (and  website to website) across the Internet.
  58. Inbound link – A hyperlink from comes from another site and is directed to a page on your site.
  59. Index page – Also called the home page.
  60. Influencer – Someone, usually on social media or in the press, who has an unusually strong influence over other peoples’ opinions. A minor celebrity of sorts who has a large social media following.
  61. Impressions – An advertising term that means how many times an ad was seen. Advertisers can buy ads based on how many impressions they want, or, as one alternative, under a pay per click model of advertising.
  62. IP address – Stands for “Internet Protocol”. An IP address is a unique string of numbers separated by periods. It identifies where a computer is anywhere in the world.
  63. ISP – Acronym for “Internet Service Provider”. This is the company that provides Internet access from your computer to the Internet.
  64. Javascript – A scripting language widely used on the Internet. Javascript lets you add calculators and interface effects to your pages.
  65. JPEG or JPG – stands for the Joint Photographic Experts Group, which is the organization that created and distributed it. A widely-used image file format.
  66. Keyword – Any word that is used in search engine optimization. Common usage is to “optimize a page for a particular keyword”. That would mean you would adjust different parts of the page to use a particular keyword, say “racecar”, so your webpage would show up when someone searched for the word “racecar”.
  67. Lead magnet – A free report, coupon or other resource offered as a gift when someone signs up for your email list.
  68. Light box – Similar to a pop-up. An opt-in form that appears like an overlay over the webpage. Light boxes are sometimes defined a bit differently than pop-ups, in that a lightbox will have the screen behind it blurred out. With a pop-up you’ll still be able to see the webpage behind the overlay. Lightbox
  69. Like – Used mostly on Facebook, but also on other social media sites. People can like a piece of content (though they can’t dislike a piece of content). Likes are a major measure of social engagement for brands and publishers. The things you like can also shape which content you’ll see on a social media site going forward.
  70. Long-tail keyword – An SEO term that refers to any keyword or “keyphrase” that includes more than three words. Long-tail keywords have lower search volume, but often convert far better and have less competition than more general keywords.
  71. LTV – An acronym for “Lifetime Value”. This refers to how much money you can expect to make from an average customer over the term that they are your customer.
  72. Marketing Automation – A popular marketing technique of creating automated systems to move people through the buying process. Autoresponders are an ideal example of marketing automation.
  73. Meme – Typically a funny picture with an even funnier caption. Used like an image. Widely used across social media sites. Meme
  74. Mention – Usually refers to “social mentions”. These can be direct comments in a tweet, or just shares, likes, retweets and other forms of engagement.
  75. Menu – A series of links used as a navigation device to let people go to different parts of a website.
  76. Meta Description – A section of the HTML or XML of a webpage that describes what the page is about. Similar to a title tag, but the meta description displays below the title tag in search results.
  77. Navigation – The ability to move through different parts of a website or application. Navigation can also refer to the actual links and other design elements that let you move through a website for application.
  78. Newsjacking – The content marketing technique of taking a new story and spinning it so that it relates to your niche.
  79. NoFollow Link – An SEO term that refers to how a hyperlink is formatted, and how much page authority it passes to the page it is linking to. A NoFollow link sends far less page authority to the page it points to than a regular link would send. Some website publishers use Nofollow links to try to reduce how much page authority they send to other sites.
  80. Opt-in form – The form someone uses to sign up for your email list. OptinForm
  81. Opt-in rate – The percentage of people, usually website visitors, who sign up for your email list. An opt-in rate of 5% would mean that five out of every one hundred visitors to your site sign up for your email list.
  82. PDF – Portable Document Format. This is a file format that lets you save images, file and layouts in a way that both makes the file size smaller and also ensures it will appear the same on multiple devices.
  83. Permalink – The permanent address for a given file on the Internet.
  84. Plugin – A piece of software that performs a specific task and works as an added component to another piece of software. Most plugins are used for the content management system WordPress, but some browsers let you add plugins, too.
  85. PNG – Portable Network Graphics. An image file format.
  86. Pop-up – Sometimes called a “lightbox”, “Pop-over”, or “interstitial”. This is an overlay box that appears as if it was in front of the webpage. Pop-ups typically prompt people to join an email list, but they can do other things, too.
  87. PPC – Acronym for “pay per click”. The advertising model where advertises only pay when someone clicks their ad. PPC typically involves an auction-style bidding for either keywords or ad space.
  88. Referral rate – Expressed as a percentage. How many people forwarded or shared a piece of content. Referral rate almost always refers to email messages. It describes how many people used the “forward to a friend” functionality in the email message.
  89. Render – a verb, usually used as “to render on a device”. How something renders is basically how it appears. We are interested in rendering because different devices can render the same content (an email, a web page, etc) in very different ways.
  90. Response rate – The percentage of people who responded to a piece of content or marketing vehicle. A 15% response rate to an email offer would mean that 15 out of every 100 people you sent the offer to actually responded.
  91. Retargeting – The technique of advertising to people who have seen your content before. Requires tracking people across different websites and platforms.
  92. ROI – Acronym for “Return on Investment”. The calculation for ROI is (Return – Investment) / Investment = ROI.
  93. RSS – An acronym for “Real Simple Syndication”. An XML-based format used for delivering content automatically after someone is signed up to the publisher’s RSS Feed. Similar to signing up to an email list, but not as good.
  94. Screenshot – Also called a “screen capture”. An image or snapshot taken of the computer screen.
  95. SEM – Acronym for search engine marketing.
  96. SEO – Acronym for search engine optimization.
  97. SERP – Acronym for search engine results pages.
  98. Server – where the files the make up a website are stored.
  99. Signature –A few lines of default text that can be customized and added to all outgoing email messages from a personal email account. SignatureLine
  100. Sitemap – A document that shows every page on a website. There are two kinds of sitemaps: sitemaps for humans and sitemaps for search engines. An XML sitemap is a common file format for sitemaps made for search engines.
  101. SMS – Acronym for Short Message Service. Is basically a text message sent from an advertiser.
  102. SMTP – Acronym for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. This is basically the method, or protocol, used to move email messages from sender to recipient.
  103. SoLoMo – Stands for “Social, Local, Mobile”. This term embodies the three major trends of Internet marketing for brick and mortar businesses.
  104. Spam – An email message that is not wanted, or that the recipient did not sign up for. Some sources estimate that up to 70% of all emails sent are spam.
  105. Spider – A program that “crawls” or catalogs the Internet. Used by search engines to find and rank pages.
  106. Status bar – An information feedback device that shows the user how far along they are in a process.
  107. Tag – A way to label or categorize a post, file or piece of content so it can be found again later.
  108. Thread – A series of communications between one or more people. Usually refers to email, as in an “email thread”.
  109. Timestamp – A way to attach a date and time to a social media post, or to any other kind of content.
  110. Title Tag – The section of code from a webpage that specifies what text will appear at the top of the browser window for that page, and that will appear in the top line of text describing that page in the search results. TitleTag
  111. Trending – When a topic of piece of content “goes viral” and is widely shared and discussed.
  112. Unsubscribe rate – Used for email marketing. The percentage of how many subscribers choose to click the unsubscribe link and no longer receive your email announcements. Typically calculated per email campaign sent.
  113. URL – Stands for “Uniform Resource Locator”. Also called a domain name. This is the base address for a website, as in “Google.com”.
  114. User generated content – Any kind of content that is not created by the publisher or brand. Examples of user generated content would be comments on blog posts or on social media updates, or any social content a consumer or user creates about or in connection to a brand.
  115. Word cloud / tag cloud – A visual representation of different words or tags, where the most used words or tags are in large type and the least used words or tags are in tiny type. WordCloud
  116. WYSIWYG – Acronym for “What You See Is What You Get”. Usually refers to an interface where you can edit a file, whether it’s an email message or a brochure. “A WYSIWYG interface”.

Are there any marketing terms that in your opinion could be added to our ultimate list? Share with us in the comments below!

An Internet Marketing Glossary: 116 Terms You Need to Know  is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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How to Start a Business Blog in 2015 – Part III http://blog.getresponse.com/start-business-blog-2015-part-iii.html http://blog.getresponse.com/start-business-blog-2015-part-iii.html#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:37:32 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18836 This is the third and final installment of the ‘How to start a business blog in 2015’ series. If you haven’t read the first two parts, I highly recommend you do that first! As promised, in this third and final part … Read more

How to Start a Business Blog in 2015 – Part III is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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This is the third and final installment of the ‘How to start a business blog in 2015’ series. If you haven’t read the first two parts, I highly recommend you do that first! As promised, in this third and final part of the business blogging series, I am going to talk about how you would use your blog to collect email addresses and build your email list. So let’s not wait any longer.

In part one, I talked about why you should consider starting a blog before you invest time, money, and effort into launching a website. Especially when you don’t yet know what it is that you want to do. I give you a number of reasons to make the case for business blogging. I walk you through the process of setting up your blog without getting overwhelmed and bogged down by details. Lastly, I teach you how to set up goals for your first six months that you can actually achieve.

In part two, I explain the need for creating a solid content plan. Most people jump head first into the world of business blogging without giving this process much thought. They don’t get it, not truly anyway. They don’t understand what the reason for creating all that blog content is. I teach you three types of content you need to create, how to come up with more ideas you can write about, writing like a pro, and creating content that is truly worthy of people’s attention.

Now, let us jump into generating email addresses through your blog!

 

Be Clear on the Number One Goal of Your Business Blog

Let me ask you a question first: Do you know what is the number one goal of blogging? Is it to become a credible expert and start getting recognized as a thought leader in your industry? Is to gain maximum reader engagement (comments, likes, shares)? Is it to publish content in the hopes of it going viral? Is it to attract press and become an Internet celebrity? Do you write a blog in order to begin conversations with other important people and creating networking opportunities?

No, no and no.

While all of these are worthy goals to pursue, you should never forget that the number one goal of your blog, or any site for that matter, is to collect leads. The aim is to collect email addresses so you can develop a relationship with your readers over time and nurture this relationship.

ESPECIALLY when you don’t know how you are going to monetize. You have nothing to sell at the moment so you can’t make an offer to anyone who visits your blog for the first time. At this time, all you need is for them to subscribe so they don’t forget all about you.

You’d be surprised to know how many loyal readers actually visit a website. A fraction of them. People are busy. They simply don’t have time to browse the Internet at leisure. If you get their email address, every time you write a blog post, you let them know and they will come. It’s as simple as that.

So while you don’t have a business idea yet, keep your eye on the prize – your email list.

 

Make it Easy for People to Subscribe

Like I said, if there’s one action you want your first time visitors and readers to take is to subscribe to your email list. Make it really easy for them to do so.

You’d be surprised to know how many people are actually shy about asking for the email. Maybe they don’t have the confidence to do so thinking they have nothing of value to add to these people’s lives, or they think email marketing is slimy and sleazy. In any case, they hide the opt-in box or make it hard for people to see it. Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Place at least one opt-in box above the fold. What is above the fold? The part of the website or blog your visitor gets to see first, before they scroll down. Make sure you add a sign-up form here.
  2. Add a feature box. You can get someone to code the email signup into your blog header. This is a fantastic place to put it as it is sure to grab people’s attention.
  3. Put one on the sidebar. Another great place for it is your sidebar. Make sure you declutter your sidebar so the opt-in form doesn’t compete for attention. Place it right on top so people don’t have to scroll down to see it. If you do end up placing it further down, make it stand out among the rest of the elements.
  4. Add one on your about page. Your about page is one of the most frequently visited pages of your blog. People want to know who you are and they also want to connect with you. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste. Add an opt-in box.
  5. Add one after every blog post. Thinking adding one after every blog post is overkill? Well, think again. Imagine somebody following a link that was shared on Twitter, for example. They click and land on your individual blog post and start reading. They might miss other opt-in boxes but if they read your blog post to the end and like it, there is no better time to remind them.
  6. Create a squeeze page. What is a squeeze page? It is simply a page designed to do one and one thing only – capture email addresses. Normally you would start with an attention grabbling, benefit-laden headline. Then you would add bullet points explaining the best benefits and features of your offer (more about that in a minute) and finally you ask for the email. Not only this page great for getting people to take action, you can also promote this page on social media. When you do guest blogging or appear on podcasts, it is best to link to this page so people don’t get distracted by all the other goodies on your blog and take this most important action.

blog

Create a Specific, Irresistible Opt-In Offer

You not only want to build your email list, you need to build a highly responsive list. Meaning, you want people to engage with your content. You want them to open your emails and click through. You want them to respond to your calls to action. This becomes a whole lot easier when you attract the right person from day 1. Now, this can also become a bit of a problem when you don’t even know who your ideal reader is. This is why I advise clients to not worry about creating detailed ideal customer or client personas at this stage.

Instead, I want you to imagine the person who would be most interested in hearing about what you have to say. Remember the exercise we did earlier (check out part two of this series) where I suggested you come up with a list of blog posts ideas and then categorize them? Revisit that list and start thinking about the kind of person who would be most likely to benefit from reading your blog posts.

Imagine this person and start brainstorming ideas for your freebie offer. Keep it simple and keep it specific. If you try to make it all encompassing, it will serve no one.

I have seen many people do this: They offer a very generic freebie offer. For example, as a business coach, they will offer, ‘How to make sure your business works.’ This is very generic and quite a broad topic. What kind of business? What aspect of it? What do you mean by works? Will it teach people to make money or the technical side of it?

When you offer a generic opt-in incentive, you end up attracting no one. Or, you might end up attracting a lot of freebie seekers.

You want to avoid both scenarios. Your goal is to create a freebie that will appeal to your ideal reader. For example, if you are passionate about travel and you write about how to travel with children, you want to create your incentive around that. Maybe create something like, ‘Top 10 places to visit around the world when you have small children.’ You get the idea.

 

How to Build Your Subscriber Base on Your Blog

You’ve got your opt-in forms and you have your freebie offer. You also have your relevant, highly useful content on the blog. What else can you do to make sure everything works well together?

Here are my best tips:

  • Showcase your best content. People will find your site through a variety of avenues, and you want to make sure you have the best content available so that once they get a taste of what you have on offer, they will sign up for more. Consider adding ‘resource boxes’ to your sidebar where you list your best posts under a specific category.
  • Make it easy for them to discover your best content. Your blog is not static. Every time you publish new content or update it, the older content is pushed down. Some of your best content gets pushed off the main page and becomes invisible as new visitors will not dig very deep for relevant content. Add links to your sidebar and title it something like ‘Reader Favorites,’ ‘Most Popular,’ or ‘Posts I recommend.’ Your new visitors will get to sample the very best of you and spend more time on your site. It’s a win-win.
  • Engage in social media promotion. You’ve got this invaluable content – great, but it is not enough to write a blog post, polish it, and then hit publish. Push your content on social media sites to attract new readers. You don’t have to be on every single one of them, but it is generally a good idea to focus on one or two platforms at a time. You think your audience hangs out on Facebook? Great – then that’s where you should share your content. If you think they are more Twitter kind of people, or Pinterest, or Google+, reach out to them there.
  • Add social media buttons after every blog post. But don’t go crazy here! If you give people too many choices, they are more likely to do nothing. Do you know where your audience hangs out? Give them the option to share there, and maybe a few more.
  • Create special updates for social media. Not only should you give direct links to your blog posts, you should also post status updates created especially for a particular platform and make sure you respect the medium. For example, photo quotes work really well on Facebook, animated videos work superbly on Tumblr and, of course, gorgeous images belong on Pinterest. However, realize that not everybody will see your updates. Not everybody is online at that time, and even if they were, it would be virtually impossible for them to see what you, and everybody else is posting. Repeat your social media updates to give them the maximum chance for success.
  • Do guest blogging. For those of you who are new to online marketing, guest posting simply refers to the process of getting your name published on another site/blog to drive their people to your site, and have them sign up to your email list. You want to get in front of audiences that belong to someone else.
  • Make a list of sites you want to guest post on. Go to Alltop and search under relevant category. Google ’50 best …. Sites’, etc. Include the blogs you follow. Research the blog you wish to write for. If they have a submission process, follow the guidelines, if they don’t, you might want to build a relationship with the blogger first. You want them to recognize your name when you pitch your idea.
  • Nail your pitch. Look at the kinds of posts they publish – posts that do really well. Come up with an idea and make a pitch to the blogger. Address them by their name. Submit the completed post only if they ask for it. Send a personalized pitch. Getting your post idea accepted is the most crucial part.
  • Forget about webinars and Facebook ads for the time being. The reason why I don’t recommend webinars at this stage is because there is a learning curve involved. You need to understand the technical side, and that can take a lot of time. Then you have to promote the webinar itself. Facebook ads require a budget to start off with, and require some experimentation.

At this stage, I’d rather have you spend time on creating valuable content so that you can build your email list as soon as possible, and quickly figure out your first offer.

blogging

So, There You Have It

The whole process of starting a blog, creating a content plan, and using your blog as the best tool for lead generation.

Drive the right people to your blog. Dazzle them with your best content. Entice them with a killer freebie offer and ask them to subscribe. The reason why you need to know the whole story is simple: When you are clear on the process and the why behind it, you are much more likely to take action and stick to it for the long haul.

Most people are not and this is why they struggle. But you are not one of them – so go ahead and start your blog. And share with us in the comments below how your blogging adventures are going!

All the best!

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How to Grow Your Subscribers List in 2015 http://blog.getresponse.com/grow-subscribers-list-2015.html http://blog.getresponse.com/grow-subscribers-list-2015.html#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:37:07 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18810 A large, healthy email subscriber list is absolutely fundamental when it comes to running successful email marketing campaigns. However, the majority of email marketers declare that they still struggle to grow their list. This is why we have launched the … Read more

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A large, healthy email subscriber list is absolutely fundamental when it comes to running successful email marketing campaigns. However, the majority of email marketers declare that they still struggle to grow their list. This is why we have launched the GetResponse List Building Program – an action-based course to build your list with up to 10,000 subscribers. I also decided to browse our blog history and compile a few posts and infographics in order to offer you a large collection of information on list building.

 

The GetResponse List Building Program

Since most email marketers claim that building a list of engaged subscribers is the most challenging task, we’ve decided to start the new year with a different approach. This month we have launched the GetResponse List Building Program – a comprehensive, action-based course that will help you build a list of up to 10,000 subscribers in either 90 or 180 days.

The course is free for all GetResponse customers and provides exclusive and useful information on how to increase the reach of emails, boost conversions, gain engaged subscribers, and how to combine all online tools available to maximize the effectiveness of email marketing. Each session consists of a video tutorial, presentation (pdf), and article (pdf).

Every participant that completes the program receives a GetResponse University Certificate of Performance, but most importantly – his email list is substantially bigger.

 

A compendium of list building

Along the years, we have published a lot of useful information about growing and nurturing a list. I decided to browse our blog history and compile a few posts in order to offer you a valuable (and extensive) source of information on list building. Let’s have a quick look at what we have presented so far:

 

1. Something to start with

For absolute beginners I recommend the following infographics:

Here you will find out why email is still the perfect business communication channel and how to start building and cultivating a killer email list. It offers tips for those who are getting started as well as the ones who are getting bigger.

It’s a fact that an average US Internet user spends 7.8 hour per week checking email. 92% of marketers claim that their email marketing effectiveness has improved over the last 12 months. This infographic shows how marketers can harvest from the growing email trend and cultivate more profitable subscription lists.

 

2. Building your list offline

If you want your list to grow big, you should use every possible opportunity to collect valuable email addresses. In this blog post you will find five tips for building your list offline, including flyers, POS and guest register, and QR codes.

For all those who frequently participate in trade shows, conferences, and other business events we have developed the Forms on the Go app. You can easily create signup forms and ask the people you meet to subscribe to your email campaigns. It lets you collect valuable leads and helps you grow your business when you’re offline.

 

3. List building post series

In order to provide you with detailed information on different aspects of a successful list building campaign, we have published two blog post series.

How to Build an Email List Fast gives you insight valuable insight into:

We have also published a complete guide on how to Write an Ebook That Sells Itself (and Builds Your Email List). These posts will help you learn how to write an ebook that builds credibility and helps elevate your expert status. You will also learn how to publish, promote and sell your work, and build your email list at the same time. The series consists of 4 parts:

Part 1: Why write an ebook and how to bust beliefs that are holding you back

Part 2: Choosing a fail proof idea that will work every time and get your audience thinking about it

Part 3: How to write that ebook already and get it ready for the world

Part 4: How to sell that ebook and build your email list

 

4. Growing a list with social media

Every marketer knows that social media is the pillar of a successful marketing strategy. Part 2 of the How to Build an Email List Fast series was entirely on social media. Which is why we’ve also taken a closer look at Facebook Custom Audiences and Facebook Ads.

 

Other list building techniques

Videos

Right now more than a third of Internet traffic is video and 52% of marketers name video as their most effective marketing channel. In this blog post we share with you 9 Ways to Build Your Email List with Videos.

 

Webinars

Webinars can be an excellent tool for building your authority, raising your credibility, and elevating brand recognition. They can help you attract traffic to your website and generate loads of qualified leads. Read the following post in order to discover the full potential of webinars.

 

Incentives

Receiving a bonus, a freebie, or a reward is one of the most important reasons for people to sign up for a newsletter. This infographic explains how to incentivize a subscription. Just take a look and choose your desired way of rewarding customers.

 

Now, it’s time to use the resources and start building your list. Log in to your GetResponse account and join the list building program. Grow your contact base and share your progress in the comments below.

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The Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership http://blog.getresponse.com/marketers-guide-thought-leadership.html http://blog.getresponse.com/marketers-guide-thought-leadership.html#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:33:33 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18803 It can be one of the hardest elements of your marketing campaign, but positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry is essential to attracting big business and building your reputation in your field. You will no doubt already … Read more

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It can be one of the hardest elements of your marketing campaign, but positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry is essential to attracting big business and building your reputation in your field. You will no doubt already be producing lots of blogs filled with actionable tips that your readers will thank you for endlessly. And of course you will be producing a restrained amount of self-promoting blogs, as well as telling that all important ongoing story of your business, what’s coming in the future, and what your loyal followers can expect from you next. 

This is all very well and good, and indeed an essential part of any marketer’s blogging and social media efforts, but this is only half the battle when it comes to promoting your business. What you really need to be doing to bolster your online presence and give a substantial boost to your brand authority is to be producing a regular stream of thought leadership pieces that position yours as a company who is helping to shape the future of whatever industry it is that you’re in.

To become renowned and respected as a thought leader and industry authority is not going to happen overnight. You have to earn those accolades, and build up that sort of reverence over time. So, it’s essential that if you’re not already producing these kinds of articles that you start immediately. Because, all the time that slips by without you positioning yourself as such an authority, your competitors will be stamping their ground on the same patch.

Indeed, the purpose of making your stance as a thought leader is to build for yourself a more competitive reputation, and therefore improve your business profile and drive more revenue in the process.

So, to help you along the way to such presence and prowess in your marketing space, we’ve put together this quick-fire guide to thought leadership that will help you start to produce those articles that establish you as an authority in your niche, and not just another sheep that’s out there bleating and re-bleating what others have already said a hundred times before.

 

1. Understand Your Market And Your Audience

OK, so all marketers need to understand their target audience, and those of you who are at all successful no doubt will. But, when it comes to thought leadership, understanding your market goes beyond keeping your eye on what’s hot and what’s not in terms of product sales.

No, being a thought leader means that you have to start sticking your neck out and contributing some meaningful, insightful, inspiring, and perhaps even controversial opinions about what’s happening in your industry. You have to be current, fully informed, and bring the news of any innovations or surprises in your industry to your followers before your competitors even get a sniff of it. But, above all, you have to use this news and information to generate your own original ideas about the state of your industry’s ongoing evolution, and also about how you think that the industry should evolve.

It stands to reason that to be a thought leader, you should have some pretty serious ideas about what should be happening in your field, and also some predictions as to what will happen in the future as a result of what’s happening now.

audience

2. Offer Value Through Empathy And Altruism

Being a thought leader is not about trying to sound more important than all of the other voices that are out there. You have to be human and empathize with the problems that your audience will be facing, and lend your thoughts and opinions about how these might be solved.

Don’t start coming up with weird and whacky ideas just because you think that will make you stand out, because it won’t. Or rather it will for a brief period, but for all the wrong reasons, and you will soon gain a reputation for being an amateur, a scaremonger, or even just an idiot. Don’t do this, because you’re not any of the mentioned. Remember, being a thought leader is primarily about trying to genuinely help your audience, not impressing or frightening them. In actual fact, thought leadership comes with quite a considerable amount of responsibility, so tread carefully and always speak wisely.

 

3. Give It Away

If there’s one thing that being a thought leader is not about, then it’s sales. Not directly anyway. You will not create a traceable revenue stream by offering up your interesting insights about your industry. But, that’s not what you’re doing it for. You will become a thought leader for the simple purpose of adding value to your business, nothing more. True, you will hope to generate a few more leads throughout the process – otherwise, what’s the point in doing it at all? But, the main purpose should be that you are giving information away for free to those who care to find it. And they will.

Thought leaders are the ones who start to make a name for themselves, who other writers come to for interviews and opinions, and who get invited to present at conferences. This is where the value will be added to your brand – through you, and the respect that you command in your industry.

Content marketers who want to turn themselves, their brands, or their companies into thought leaders need to start paving the way for that to happen now. When it occurs, it will be like a mutation in terms of how you’re perceived. No longer will you just be another bleating sheep amongst the flock who are ultimately just trying to peddle products, but a brand that is giving something truly useful and valuable back to its customers and the world at large. With this in mind, you have to make sure that your company always practices what you preach, and you will begin to lead the way to something much better for all.

What are your thoughts on being an influencer? Share with us in the comments below how you think a marketer can establish himself as a thought leader!

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GetResponse Interview with Chris Goward http://blog.getresponse.com/getresponse-interview-chris-goward.html http://blog.getresponse.com/getresponse-interview-chris-goward.html#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 15:37:11 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=18774 Today we explore optimization in a special interview with Chris Goward. Chris founded WiderFunnel with the belief that marketing agencies should prove their value. He is the brain behind the LIFT Model™ and WiderFunnel System™, conversion optimization strategies that consistently lift results for … Read more

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Today we explore optimization in a special interview with Chris Goward. Chris founded WiderFunnel with the belief that marketing agencies should prove their value. He is the brain behind the LIFT Model™ and WiderFunnel System™, conversion optimization strategies that consistently lift results for leading companies – such as Google, Electronic Arts, ebay, Magento, DMV.org and BuildDirect.com. 

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GetResponse: In your book, You Should Test That!, you mention that there are some well-known best practices regarding testing and optimization that really aren’t “the best”. Could you give an example of one of these? 

Chris Goward: There are piles of so-called “best practices” for marketing, UX and design that are rarely best. But, even more interestingly, some that work for some situations and scenarios and don’t work for others.

The rotating offer carousel on many home pages is a good example. I’ve written before about why rotating carousels are terrible, but they continue to be used and are often untested.

However, the most dangerous “best practice” that needs to stop is the revolutionary site redesign. Companies that redesign their websites, apps and products without controlled A/B testing are asking for trouble.

The point I make in the book is that *any* practice that is not tested within your business’s context and target audience is not a proven practice. For the best results, you should change “best practices” into “tested practices.”

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GR: What is one piece of advice or tip you always give when it comes to page conversion? Our readers are specifically looking at how their landing page can prompt someone to become a subscriber. If readers remember nothing else, what is the one thing about conversion they should remember? 

CG: To make dramatic improvements in your conversion rate, you need to put yourself in your customers mindset. Gather “voice of customer” data to understand how they talk about your product, then analyze your pages using a framework like the LIFT Model. Using structured frameworks like that will help discipline your thinking and create much more powerful results than simply searching for tips and tricks.

But, if you insist, here are 31 conversion optimization tips.

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GR: How much have things changed, or stayed the same, regarding current, successful conversion tactics since your book was published (2013)?

CG: Fortunately, I didn’t write a book that depended on fads or trends. It shows principles, frameworks and practical methods that are still just as relevant to companies and will be for the foreseeable future.

The book shows how marketers who use the structured processes I describe continue to achieve massive improvements in their business results.

It’s all based on real life learning from the work we’ve been doing at WiderFunnel since 2007. And we continue to use the same principles today. All that’s changed is that we now have thousands more test results re-confirming that the strategy and methods still work.

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GR: What is usually the first thing, negative or positive, you notice when visiting a website for the first time?

CG: The first thing I notice is how long it takes to understand a company’s value proposition. It’s often surprising the effort some companies go through to hide what makes them unique. Obscure headlines, marketing-fluff copywriting, unrelated images, and overuse of distracting animation all coalesce into confusion for visitors.

Even on long copy pages, sometimes a clear description of the value proposition – and by that I mean the value in the eyes of the prospect – isn’t given until the last summary paragraph.

If you wonder whether this is a problem on your website, try a five second test with someone new to your website: show them your page for exactly 5 seconds, then cover it and ask them “what is this page about?” or “what does this company sell?” You might be surprised at the responses you receive.

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GR: The GetResponse Landing Page Creator includes the functionality for A/B testing — where users may create and publish several versions of their page for testing and optimization purposes. What areas should they particularly focus on? Placement of sign up forms, headline wording, etc.? 

CG: The fundamental elements of the value proposition are the most important things to get right. By that I mean:

  • What are the most important features of the product or service?
  • What are the proof points?
  • What is the offer?
  • What is the call to action?

Those are all important areas you can test. Apart from those fundamentals, you need to determine the best way to present those elements. The most important things to test depend on your company, customer and context. At WiderFunnel, we often test various components of landing pages to find where there’s conversion rate elasticity, or sensitivity. Once we find sensitive areas, we can drill into testing in that area more aggressively.

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GR: Your book spends some time defining and establishing how the Lift™ Model is used to develop great hypotheses — is this something you think everyone, from the newbie internet marketer to the experienced IM guru, could successfully implement and benefit from?

CG: In engineering, maths and science, an elegant solution is one in which the maximum desired effect is achieved with the simplest effort. A solution should be as simple as possible to achieve the goal, and no simpler. That’s what I was aiming for with the LIFT Model.

It is designed to be useful for any marketer, business leader, designer, or UX practitioner, from newbie to experienced. I designed it to be approachable, meaning that it’s easy to understand, but also powerful for advanced usage to categorize and organize thinking. Even our most advanced strategists at WiderFunnel still use the LIFT Model on a daily basis.

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GR: You call for a culture of continuous improvement. Do you advise any specific “time frame” that marketers should keep in mind in terms of re-testing and re-optimizing their pages? Many people are in a “set it and forget it” mindset.

CG: The moment a company stops testing and optimizing is the moment they begin to lose. The question is not when to stop testing, but where to focus testing effort. The PIE framework for prioritizing A/B tests is one of the tools I’ve described that many companies are using to help answer that question.

But, the question is also about optimizing the optimization strategy. At WiderFunnel, that’s where we focus a lot of our work; continuously improving the process of ongoing optimization so we continuously deliver the best – and ever-improving – return on effort for our clients. We’ve refined this process since 2007 and continue to optimize it, even today. This month, in fact, we’re implementing new updates to the process based on new insights from our strategy team. I’m excited to see the results get even better this year.

A big thank you to Chris Goward for sitting down with us and answering our questions! Share with us in the comments below how you tackle optimization and if you have used Chris’ great LIFT model.

Chris GowardChris is the brain behind the LIFT Model™ and WiderFunnel System™, conversion optimization strategies that consistently lift results for leading companies – such as Google, Electronic Arts, ebay, Magento, DMV.org and BuildDirect.com.

He wrote the book, “You Should Test That,” which redefined conversion optimization and shows how to create dramatic business improvements. More at http://widerfunnel.com, @chrisgoward

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