GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips http://blog.getresponse.com Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:52:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 How To Create a Convincing Email Marketing Newsletter http://blog.getresponse.com/create-convincing-email-marketing-newsletter.html http://blog.getresponse.com/create-convincing-email-marketing-newsletter.html#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 22:00:10 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17613 When it comes to email marketing, plain text emails are, if not quite a thing of the past, then certainly on a downwards spiral. The trend these days is to jazz up the email newsletter with some images, illustrations, groovy … Read more

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

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

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

 

Growing Your Email List

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

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

 

Onto Content – Tell a Story

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

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Balance Graphics and Text

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

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

 

Include Quotes

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Welcome to the world of Lead nurturing

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

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

Front loading contact frequency

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

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

 

(Dis)qualify quickly

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

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

nurturing

Mix it up with personal requests and actions

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

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

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Takeaways from lead nurturing you can use right now

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

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

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

 

Click-baiting

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

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

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

That’s exactly what we call click-baiting.

Upworthy

 

 

Where’s the problem?

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

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

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

 

How will it work?

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

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

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

 

Sharing links

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

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

atlantic-seafood2

culinarian-new

 

How does this affect my page?

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Determine who are your ideal clients or customers

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

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

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

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

 

Determine how your ideal clients or customers found you

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

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

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

AffiliateSlide1

 

ConsultantSlide1

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

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

 

Autoresponders are the original marketing automation tool

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

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

 

RSS to Email is AOK

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

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

 

Gettin’ fancy: Event-based Autoresponders

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Ninja lead magnet trick

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

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

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

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

 

Automation rules

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

Here’s how:

You set up an automation rule in your GetResponse account.

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

 

Automation-HowToFind2

 

How to use automation rules

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

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

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

AutomationRule2

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s jump in.

 

Mistake #1 Your purpose is not clear

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Stop immediately.

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

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

Here are three ways to pick the right blog:

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

You send a mediocre idea and it gets rejected.

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

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

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

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

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

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

writing

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

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

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

This is how I recommend you do it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

So there you have it.

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

Good luck!

 

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Turn Facebook Fans into Customers http://blog.getresponse.com/turn-facebook-fans-customers.html http://blog.getresponse.com/turn-facebook-fans-customers.html#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:28:35 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17567 Content can be a tricky thing to get exactly right and optimized for driving sales. You may well be convinced that you are producing brilliant, informative, and useful content regularly for your website – and according to all those Facebook … Read more

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Content can be a tricky thing to get exactly right and optimized for driving sales. You may well be convinced that you are producing brilliant, informative, and useful content regularly for your website – and according to all those Facebook followers and ‘likes’ you will probably be correct. However, for all the interest you’re managing to generate, you’re still not achieving those conversion rates, which is the whole purpose of your enterprise in the first place. Why is this?

Well, there is a way to do it, and it’s all about style and balance. Your posts need to be entertainingly useful, but that doesn’t mean that they should be out and out funny. You should be telling your fans about your products, but, that said, your posts should not all be solely about them. In short, the trick is to try and tell an on-going story, not only about you, your business and your product, but also about your industry at large. You want to be keeping at the forefront of thought in your field, and keep your fans up-to-date with breaking news about your industry.

And it will be worth it, as the stats speak for themselves. According to data collected as of January 2014 by PewResearch Internet Project, 74% of online adults use social networking sites, and out of these 71% use Facebook. Compare that to other social networking sites (note: it’s all but impossible to find accurate figures for G+, Google doesn’t seem to like disclosing them):

  • 22% use LinkedIn
  • 21% use Pinterest
  • 17% use Instagram

Put simply, the scope of Facebook is huge. It is still the undisputed giant of the social network age, and its marketing potential for you is equally enormous.

It’s true that the rate of Facebook users are falling – not to mention Twitter (see statista.com for projections) – but these are still massive sites with billions of users, and if you’re already reaching out to those users and getting your voice heard, then you’re certainly halfway there to start converting those ‘likes’ into sales.

 

1.15 Billion Facebook Users

So don’t give up just yet – you just need to change your tactics. Your fans are out there in their droves. Jeff Bullas notes that in 2014 there now over 1.15 billion Facebook users worldwide and that over 1 million web pages are accessed via ‘Login with Facebook’. Add to that that the fact that 23% of users login at least 5 times a day, and you can certainly start to see the marketing potential. And businesses are already doing it, with 70% of marketers claiming that they use Facebook to attract new customers.

So, what are their secrets? How do they achieve those all-important conversion rates?

billions

Offer them something they can’t get elsewhere

One good method is to ‘reward’ your loyal Facebook followers with a coupon or other discount offer that they can only attain through Facebook. Your content is obviously good enough to get people browsing, but they may need that extra little incentive to get them buying. Never be afraid to give a little away. And it works – a study found that 40% of users ‘like’ Facebook pages to take advantage of discounts and coupons (though be warned – they also found that 26% only ‘liked’ the company to receive the offer).

 

Share your customer testimonials

Perhaps even more important than your content is to get the word out there that other people are recommending your product. Forrester Research found last year that while only 10% of consumers trust ads on websites, 46% trust online reviews by other users (and to put this into perspective, consumers only trust their friends and family’s recommendations 70% of the time, so 46% from strangers is actually pretty good!).

No one wants to see shameless self-promotion – word of mouth is still the best means of advertisement, and Facebook the perfect platform for it. So share your reviewers’ testimonials on your FB page, and let all of your followers know that it’s not just great content that you’re producing, but a great product too.

 

Engage with your followers

One of the best things you can do is to start developing a strong relationship with your individual Facebook fans. Start thanking them for any ‘likes’ they give you, and of course never leave a comment unanswered. Don’t pitch to them, and avoid any direct ‘sales talk’ if you can, as this may well scare them away altogether. You want to show them that you’re genuinely interested in what your fans think, and if they could offer any feedback then you will take it on board.

You can of course send them a few more links to similar content on your site that you think they might like also. The trick is to always be courteous. Show your fans a good time with good interaction from you on their site, but let them make the choice to purchase or not – don’t force it.

customers

Facebook Web Custom Audiences

Facebook insights are highly useful for getting a good overview of when your fans are online and interacting with your posts. Use information from insights to further tailor your content to gain more engagement. Facebook Web Custom Audiences are a targeted way of advertising to those fans who also use your site too and can really help to boost conversions.

Facebook fans

So there are a few tips to start trying to convert those fans into customers on Facebook. The stats speak for themselves when it comes to showing that Facebook is still the social media of choice, and if you’ve got fans, then you’re doing something right in the first place – so don’t change that, whatever it is, instead, just do it more and do it better, with a heavier focus on fan/customer relations by telling them what others think, and maybe chucking in a deal for them to get them started.

 

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Email List Growth Hacking: Prioritize Your Touchpoints First http://blog.getresponse.com/email-list-growth-hacking-prioritize-touchpoints-first.html http://blog.getresponse.com/email-list-growth-hacking-prioritize-touchpoints-first.html#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:00:39 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17558 List growth is a primary email marketing goal and will have direct impact on your business results. You want to set  specific, measurable and realistic goals. Realistic means that it should be ambitious, but  attainable taking the available budget and … Read more

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List growth is a primary email marketing goal and will have direct impact on your business results. You want to set  specific, measurable and realistic goals. Realistic means that it should be ambitious, but  attainable taking the available budget and resources into consideration. 

An email marketer either has a set budget and see how far it stretches, or has a set goal and will get the budget for it. Chosen order of that route isn’t an issue. Did the chicken or the egg come first? Let’s just break some eggs and make an omelette. A smart marketer will always make a concise business case for list growth outlining the chosen tactics to focus on. And answering the question: Will this get me the most majestic email marketing ROI?

 

Prioritize your touchpoints – adding ideas

This is why we are going to prioritize the touchpoint list we brainstormed before. This is a bit tricky because touchpoints aren’t a direct translation of the final list growth ideas. For instance, the in-store cash register is definitely a great touchpoint for gathering new subscribers.

But there are several alternatives to capturing email opt-ins for a specific brand, each having a different potential and quality. Going with the instore example, you can use and combine the following.

  • The sales person can ask and type it into his system,
  • Registration cards or a sign up list,
  • Texting to sign up
  • A narrowcasting screen for extra promotion,
  • With or without offering an incentive
  • In combination with e-receipts

Scoring touchpoints

Here is a framework for scoring the touchpoint alternatives, some will be more important than others for your brand specific situation. The most attractive touchpoints will be chosen to start with and to generate a lot of ideas for going to the implementation phase.

Touchpoint scoring points, score them on a mix of:

  • Feasibility
  • Traffic / reach and possible conversion rate,
  • Opt-in data quality
  • Costs: time, effort and expense,
  • Rivalry: Missed other incomes / opportunities,
  • Ease of implementation,
  • Control and predictability,
  • Time to market / implement

 

 

Add these Scoring points to your list growth (touchpoint) template

Add these Scoring points to your email list growth (touchpoint) template. We spoke of this list before. For each scoring criteria you add an additional column. Always use numbers to represent the scoring, this allows you to sort and compare them easily.

Feasibility is an indication of the likelihood that your organization can successfully implement it. The less feasible an option is the less attractive it is.

Traffic and reach will be an indication of the possible number of opt-ins gained. The potential in term of new sign ups.

Opt-in data quality can be a 5 point scale with 1 being bad quality, not worth it at all. And  5 being the best quality one could wish for, with clean data and high conversion perspective. An example of a 5 star data quality would be when current or new customers register on your site.

Time to market / implement would be in number of working days – again to sort and compare them easily. The quicker to implement, the more attractive these options are.

Costs come in different forms. Sometimes it is purely your own time, often it is a mix of time, effort and out of pocket expenses. See what works best for you. A simple list growth option might be in (inhouse) hours only. The more elaborate projects can have a rough estimation of project costs at this point.

Rivalry: Sometimes an option represents opportunity costs. For instance, instead of asking for an opt-in we also could have asked for a sale or another piece of information. Not to be ignored if you are planning to gather opt-ins during the check out or sales process.

Ease of implementation almost speaks for itself. Will it be easy to get this done or quite hard? This is sometimes an issue of corporate culture, in getting budget or 

 

Quick wins and list growth difficulty

Usually you start out with quick wins. Quick wins often occur around touchpoints where you are already asking / registering / identifying your potential subscribers, but haven’t asked them for opt-in or email address. Adding this to your registration forms, log in environment, check out process, your email marketing loyalty program, contact forms is an “easy up” if you email newsletter software and other systems will allows for it.

Here is how marketers in general think their list growth difficulty, from the 2013 MarketingSherpa Email benchmark report. Blog registration, purchase / website registration and social media sharing are the easiest ways. Not per se the best though, that is why we rank on more than one factor of course.

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 10.12.50

As said, it is a bit tricky to score the touchpoints because there are possibly several alternative ways to get the subscribers per touchpoint. The good thing is, now that we have the list of touchpoints and made a rough scoring, we can go through these one by one and work on the alternatives / ideas in a structured manner. Next time we will go through some ideas and how to make that work!

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Increasing Frequency: How to Properly Do an Email Spree http://blog.getresponse.com/increasing-frequency-properly-email-spree.html http://blog.getresponse.com/increasing-frequency-properly-email-spree.html#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:37:00 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17551 Every marketer should figure out the ideal number of email campaigns to send. You might go for a base frequency of monthly or weekly email updates, depending on the relationship your target audience has with your brand. With the exception … Read more

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Every marketer should figure out the ideal number of email campaigns to send. You might go for a base frequency of monthly or weekly email updates, depending on the relationship your target audience has with your brand. With the exception of senders who already have very high frequency of multiple sends per week, an increase in the total number of emails per subscriber can have a direct positive effect on your bottom line results. 

A Change of Pace and Email Cadence

Note that I am talking about the total number of emails per subscriber. There are two ways of looking at this. While frequency is simply how many times emails are sent, for instance a bi-weekly newsletter. Cadence is the ‘pattern’ of a sent email – it includes the number of emails and the spacing between emails.

Changing cadence and sending emails daily, instead of bi-weekly, will let you send the amount of mails in one week that would have normally taken you 3,5 months. You can imagine that is a big bump in inbox presence and associated revenue. In email marketing clicks are not enough, you want additional email revenues. So how do you increase cadence and send that many emails in a short time? Or in other words; how to properly do an email spree?

 

Expect to manage expectations

An increase in frequency isn’t negative, it is neutral to the recipient and based on previous interactions with your brand and marketing program. If people love your emails, they want more. Everything in customer satisfaction is about the management of expectations.

  • Surprise them negatively and suffer the consequences.
  • Set the right expectations and they will tolerate any increase in frequency.
  • Exceed expectations positively and make customers happy.

So the question here is, how can we delight or – at the minimum – make it a neutral experience to increase frequency?

 

1. Pick the optimal timeframe

We all love a good deal and retailers know when their selling season is. Do I hear Black Friday, Cyber Monday? In December people spend a lot on retail and luxury products. Most industries have similar  seasonality and slower / better selling times. An email spree is not something you do every day (because that would just make you a daily sender). So pick your moments to send more, make sure it is in the period that counts.

 

2. Give a Reason, include a plot

Giving a reason for sending more can make all the difference. An advent calendar, a promotions week, back to school countdown, anniversaries. These are all understandable reasons to increase frequency and therefore should be included in your email planning. Wherever possible, try to create a story or plot. If the story is strong and interesting, the next email will be anticipated even more. By the way giving a solid reason to buy is probably always a good idea, even without increasing your email sends.

 

IncreasingFrequency

 

3. Claim and Name your sequence

KLM does a good job of Claiming and Naming their sales. Twice a year they have the World Deal Weeks offering flights with big discounts. Every month there are Five Days of Offers. (with a countdown clock in the mail). You can use this naming tactic too. By including the duration (day, week) in the name you acknowledge a reason for sending more (see point 3) and show that it is temporary.

 

4. Do earn, but don’t burn

There will always be a portion of your subscribers that will want to unsubscribe once they start receiving more email. On average the opt-out rate per email will go down during an email spree, but in total it can still be quite a number. You don’t want them to mark you as spam, so don’t make your opt-out link hard to see, that would be a bad influence on email deliverability success. The smart thing to do is to let them opt-out of the series, not of your complete email program. This can be presented on the unsubscribe or preferences page.

Touching your subscribers more often is one of the ways to easily increase your revenue and results. But that doesn’t mean it is easy to increase frequency. Earlier we talked about resending as an email frequency tactic. There many other factors that can come into play depending on your business and your audience, so consider the use of a temporarily increased email frequency wisely. Tell us how you like to increase your frequency!

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10 Ways to Reduce the Bounce Rate on Your Website http://blog.getresponse.com/10-ways-reduce-bounce-rate-website.html http://blog.getresponse.com/10-ways-reduce-bounce-rate-website.html#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:23:56 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17536 Bounce rate seems like a straightforward metric, but the moment you scratch it’s surface, things get murky.  Even the definition is murky. The Google Analytics help center defines bounce rate as “the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the … Read more

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Bounce rate seems like a straightforward metric, but the moment you scratch it’s surface, things get murky.  Even the definition is murky. The Google Analytics help center defines bounce rate as “the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).” That seems pretty straightforward, until you learn that your Google Analytics reports don’t precisely reflect that definition. Bounce rate also doesn’t track scrolling, which is one of the key ways people interact with a page. Someone could land on one of your blog posts, read it all the way through, and then click back to the search results. That visitor would be defined as a bounce.

There are other examples of how murky bounce rate can be, but I’ll spare you the SEO hairsplitting. The important thing to know, and really the only thing you need to know is that bounce rate is a relative measurement. All you need is a bounce rate lower than your competitors.

 

How to find out what you site’s bounce rate is

You can see the bounce rate for your entire site from the Dashboard view of your analytics account. Google will give you the bounce rate for each individual page pretty much anytime you see a listing of pages. You can also go to the far left navigation column, find “Behavior” > “Site Content > “All Pages” and you’ll see something like this (without the arrows, of course):

BounceRateAnalyticsADJ

Here’s how to find the bounce rate for your site’s most visited pages. The left arrow shows where to find this view in the Analytics navigation. The right arrow points out the bounce rate column in the report.

 

Average bounce rates for different kinds of sites and devices

Before you panic about what you see in your Analytics account, consider this:

bouncerateBySiteTypeQuickSprout

 

Bounce rate varies widely across different types of websites. This segment of the infographic “How to Decrease Your Bounce Rate” from QuickSprout shows bounce rates from 10% to 90% depending on the site type.

If that’s not enough to make you feel better, check out this graph of bounce rates across different device types:

averagebounceratebydevicetype620

Remember: Bounce rate is relative. All that really matters is that your site’s bounce rate is lower than your competitors’. Just to make sure it is, here are the most common causes of high bounce rates and how to fix them:

 

1. You’ve got a single page site.

This is obviously going to make people less likely to click to another page… because there is no other page. You’ll also see this cause of high bounce rates for landing pages. You can see it right above in the bounce rate averages image from QuickSprout. Landing pages have average bounce rates of 70 to 90%.

But can you still get the bounce rate down? We’ll address a lot of these fixes later in more detail, but for starters, make sure your page looks good on mobile devices, loads fast, and has a clear call to action. If you’re still seeing a bounce rate of more than 90% consider refining the flow of traffic to this page, or consider adjusting the site to better suit that stream of traffic.

 

 

2. Google Analytics is not installed correctly.

This happens more often than you’d think. If you have an extremely high (over 90%) or extremely low (less than 10%) bounce rate, make sure your Google Analytics installation hasn’t gotten messed up somehow. Look for radical drops or jumps in your bounce rate from one day to the next

Something like this is an example of a bad Analytics install:

bounceratebeforeandafter

 

A bad Google Analytics installation is one of the most common causes of a very high (90% or more) or a very low (10% or below) bounce rate.

 

3. Your site loads slowly.

Website visitors will not tolerate slow sites anymore. This is especially true of mobile visitors. Slow sites kill just about any kind of engagement, including bounce rates.

This segment of an infographic from Red Website Design illustrates it well:

website-design-features-IG_FORPOST

 

Page load time has a powerful influence over bounce rates.

 

4. Your pages’ navigation is confusing.

This is another major offender. Use common website design conventions for your site’s navigation. Creativity is great, but not when it interferes with how people expect a webpage to work. Basic examples of improving site design are to have the logo linked to your homepage and to have a site-wide footer with links that can bring people to major sections of your site.

It makes sense navigation would have such a powerful effect on bounce rate. Bounce rate measures whether people click or not. Navigation shows people where to click.

 

5. Your website isn’t mobile friendly.

As of earlier this year, half of the traffic on the Internet comes from mobile devices. If your page doesn’t look good or doesn’t work on the major mobile devices, you’ll see high bounce rates.

When SEO firms start work on a site to improve its bounce rate, one of the first things they’ll do is to update the design so it looks good on mobile devices. Usually this is referred to as making the design “responsive”, so it automatically adjusts its layout to different devices.

Even if your bounce rate is good, if your site isn’t using responsive design by now, then you need to move that up to the top of your to do list.

mobile-bounce-rate-site-not-optimized

 

Pages that aren’t mobile friendly can get very high bounce rates.

 

6. Your call to action isn’t clear.

At first blush, this would apply to only landing pages, but it actually does apply to home pages, blog posts and pretty any other page on your site. Every page needs a clear call to action, whether that’s signing up for the email list, reading a related blog post, or filling out a form on a landing page.

As much as 80% of the traffic to your website may be going directly to the interior pages, not to the home page. Home pages typically get 20 to 40% of incoming traffic. So while it’s important to make the home page of your site have a clear call to action, in a sense every page on your site is a landing page.

 

7. Your site’s pop-up is repelling visitors.

Pop-ups are great (because they get great results for list-building), but if you are troubleshooting a really bad bounce rate, try turning the pop-up off and see if bounce rate  goes down. If your bounce rate does drop after the pop-up is gone, there are two possible interpretations:

  • Whatever you’re offering in the pop-up is not interesting to your visitors
  • Your audience is particularly pop-up phobic

Even if your audience just hates pop-ups, there’s an easy solution. Don’t show the pop-up until they’ve been on your site for a bit. Showing a pop-up the moment people land on a page is not a best practice. You’ll get more opt-ins if you delay it.

Aftonbladet-website-007

 

Sites with this many ads usually have a high bounce rate.

 

8. There are too many ads.

Is more than 40% of the space on your page ads? Most visitors don’t like that. Try removing a third of the ads on the page and see if the bounce rate improves.

Cutting a third of the ads on a page doesn’t have to crush your site’s earnings. Just run an ad performance report. When you start removing ads, delete the worst performing ads first. Usually cutting your 1/3 worst performing ads will initially reduce revenue by 10-15%. Over time, you’ll actually make more money because people will stay on your site longer, and be more likely to come back.

 

9. Write for scanners, not readers.

As a writer, it pains me to tell you this, but people don’t read much online. Most of the time they’re scanning. If they come across a page with really long paragraphs, many will leave. It’s because you made the page look hard to read.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Follow these suggestions to make your writing more scannable:

  • No paragraphs longer than 5 lines
  • Aim for paragraphs of 3-5 sentences
  • Use bullets wherever possible (any time you refer to more than 2 things is an opportunity)
  • Use subheads
  • Use images
  • Don’t use a fancy word when a simple one will do
  • Break long sentences up

 

10. Have the page suit the traffic.

It’s too bad Google removed referrer keyword reports earlier this year (referrer keywords are the keywords people use to come to our sites). Now we only see the frustrating “keyword not provided” in our Analytics accounts. As of April of this year, even AdWords accounts no longer show referral keywords. But we still have the Google Webmaster Tools “Search Queries” data.

Despite the shortcomings of Google Webmaster Tools, the Search Queries report is one of the  best ways to know what people expect to find on a page. Check your Search Queries report for pages with bounce problems – there may be a gap between what people are expecting and what the page is actually about.

If you’ve optimized your pages according to all the above suggestions and you’re still seeing a bounce rate you don’t like, try to either clean up the stream of traffic to that page or adjust the page to suit the traffic. For example, if it’s AdWords traffic, add some negative keywords. If it’s Facebook traffic, make the landing page look more like Facebook.

Those ten techniques will get you a long way towards improving the bounce rate of your pages. Just remember – you don’t need a 0% bounce rate. You just need to beat the sites you’re directly competing with in the search engine results.

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Are you making these 10 silly blogging mistakes? http://blog.getresponse.com/making-10-silly-blogging-mistakes.html http://blog.getresponse.com/making-10-silly-blogging-mistakes.html#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:27:20 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17525 Think about the number of blog you read on a favourite topic of yours. Let’s say you are a fan of yoga. How many blogs can you find on this particular topic? Thousands? How many good ones can you find? … Read more

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Let me ask you: why do you blog?

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

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

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

 

Mistake #2 You don’t have a strong niche

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

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

When you pick a niche, this does a few things for you:

  • It helps attract your ideal readers.
  • It helps you stand out from the other health bloggers.
  • It helps you formulate your content strategy.
  • It even helps you rank for your keywords if you create the right content.

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

 

Mistake #3 You don’t understand your audience

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

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

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

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

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

audience

Mistake #4 You are not consistent

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

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

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

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

 

Mistake #5 You hide behind your blog

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

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

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

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

 

Mistake #6 You bore people to death

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

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

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

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

boredom

Mistake #7 You are overly promotional

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

You think it’s enough to write a blog post, polish it, and then hit publish. You think if you build the content well enough, people will come. Well, that may have been true a few years ago when blogging was so new that people would subscribe to and share any half decent content.

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

You have got to push your content on social media sites to attract new readers. You don’t have to publish 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.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you make any of the mistakes I listed above?

Leave a comment as we’d love to know.

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

#3: Time your posts carefully for optimum targeting

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

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

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

engage

#4: Follow your followers and engage with the engaged

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

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

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

 

#5: Optimize your updates for each social network

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

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

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

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

 

#6: Analytics

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

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

6 Tips On How to Improve Your Social Marketing Routine is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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

Email marketing for VIPs is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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

 

Who are your VIPs?

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

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

 

Very Important Person

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

BootBarn

 

Very Intriguing Persuasion

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

Take a look at this Red Cross email:

redcross

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

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

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

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

 

 

Very Interesting Product

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

HSInstitute

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mistake #1 Your topic is too broad

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

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

Stop.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

checking_out.

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

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

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

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

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

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Mistake #4 You didn’t survey your audience

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

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

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

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

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Mistake #5 You are not really interested in the topic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ebook.

Mistake #7 You are not working off an outline

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

You’ll be doomed if you don’t.

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

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

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

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Mistake #8 You haven’t done any beta testing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

blogging

Mistake #10 You don’t invest in design

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

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

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

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Mistake #11 You don’t launch it properly

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

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

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

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

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

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

An excellent book = tons of sales, right?

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

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

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

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Mistake #13 You don’t promote your ebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

30-100% Increase in opt-ins

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

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

 

How to create a pop-up in your GetResponse account

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

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

 

GRinterface1

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

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

 

The real reason people don’t use pop-ups

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

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

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

1. Delay the pop-up

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

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

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

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

 

GRinterface2

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

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

 

2.Don’t show the pop-up on every page

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

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

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

 

GRinterface3

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

 

3. Don’t use a pop-up at all

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

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

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

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

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

 

ScrollTriggeredBox

 

4. Don’t offer weak content

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Are you a nervous newbie?

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

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

free_spirit

Are you a creative free spirit?

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

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

 

Are you a super-brainiac?

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

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

 

Are you a sales superstar?

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

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

 

The social butterfly

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

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

social_butterfly

Are you a master networker?

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

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

 

Are you a hands-off delegator?

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

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

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

 

Go with your strengths first

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#1: Maintaining the brand’s message

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

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

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

 

#2: The rules

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

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

 

#3: How to use analytics

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

 

Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights

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

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

 

Followerwonk

Followerwonk

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

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

 

Pinterest Analytics

Pinterest Analytics

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

 

#4: How to use images

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

1. IP and domain

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

2. From field

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

3. Recipient address

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

4. Subject line

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

5. HTML

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

6. Body text

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

7. Unsubscribe

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

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

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

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

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

And you’ll be never mistaken for a duck.

gr_infographic_avoidspam

 

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

Touchpoint inventarization – The First Step to Growing Your List is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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

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

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Every contact is a chance to grow your list

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

 

Touchpoint Inventarization: make a list of all touchpoints

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

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

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

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

typing-copy

Start listing

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

To get you fired up, think of these categories:

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

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

 

Going through the customer journey

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

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

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

 

Touchpoint inventarization – The First Step to Growing Your List is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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

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

Intelligently increase email frequency: resend and remind

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

 

How many mails do they see?

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

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

 

To resend and remind more intelligently

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

 

1. Do a better exclusion

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

2. Do a subject line test with a different winner

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

Other resending subject line tactics include:

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

3. Align the content

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

4. Use a different Call to Action

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

 

5. Wait!

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

 

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

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

copy writing


Remember this

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

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

 

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

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mistakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s begin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

headine

Mistake #2 You are hiding behind words on a page

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

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

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

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

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Mistake #3 You think putting up a video is enough

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

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

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

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

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

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Mistake#4 Your writing is boring

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

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

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

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

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

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Mistake #5 You don’t tell your story

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

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

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

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

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Mistake #6 You don’t showcase your experience

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

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

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

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

AboutMe

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

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

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

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

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

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Mistake #8 There is no call to action

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

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

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

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

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

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Mistake #9 You don’t have a formal bio

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

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

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

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

Leave a comment as we’d love to know.

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

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audiences

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

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

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

 

Photos increase engagement

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

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

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

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

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

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

search tools

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

usage rights

  • Choose ‘labeled for reuse’

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

 

Have a purpose

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

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

 

Consider what others are talking about

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

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

google trends

 

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

whats hot

 

Generate unique content

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

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

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

  • Colors
  • Logos
  • Tone of voice
  • Style

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

 

Encourage sharing

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

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

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

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

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

 

1. Clear message layout

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

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

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

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

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2. Clear call to action (CTA)

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Responsive design

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

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

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

 

4. Regular testing and optimization

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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5. Segmentation and interesting content

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Native Banner Advertising

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

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

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

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Screenshot taken from an email campaign run by Contently.com

 

Leverage the Power of Established Merchants with VigLink & Affiliate Marketing

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

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

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

 

Retarget Abandoned Shopping Carts

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

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

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

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

 

Establish a Paid Subscription Model for Premium Content

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

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

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

 

Respect Your List with the Correct Approach

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. The magic email

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

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

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

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

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

sumall_data_email_campaign_bars_chart_graph

Why does this work?

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

 

2. Three magic questions

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

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

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

Notice anything?

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

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

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

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

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

 

3. Unsubscribe surveys

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

Here’s what it looks like:

 

UnsubscribeSurvey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s dive straight in.

#1 Start with your ideal customer persona

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

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

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

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#2 Address one person in your email

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

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

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

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

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#3 Stop wasting people’s time

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

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

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#4 Make sure people get a clear benefit

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

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

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

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#5 Craft compelling subject lines

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

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

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

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

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

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#6 Write engaging emails

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

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

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

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#7 Write on the same day

It helps to stay consistent.

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

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

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#8 Format your emails right

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

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

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

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#9 Use open loops in your emails.

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

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

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

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#10 Resend un-opened emails

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

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

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

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

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#11 Always be testing

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

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

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

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#12 Endeavor to know your audience even more

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

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

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#13 Refine the sign-up process

Attract the right people in the first place.

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

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

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#14 Create mobile friendly content

How does your email look on mobile devices?

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

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

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#15 Set up an autoresponder series

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

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

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

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#16 Remind people why they subscribed

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

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

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#17 Pay attention to your timing

This tactic requires some common sense and experimentation.

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

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

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#18 Avoid spam filters

This one is self-explanatory.

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

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#19 Provide a real address to respond to

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

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

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

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#20 Clean your list periodically 

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

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

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

So there you have it.

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

What would you add to list?

 

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

The post 20 Ways to Double Your Email Open Rate appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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