GetResponse Blog – Email Marketing Tips Fri, 12 Feb 2016 14:17:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What is Content Curation and Why Do You Need It? Fri, 12 Feb 2016 14:17:27 +0000 Curating content for blogs, websites, social media accounts, and newsletters can add value to your sites and your marketing efforts, and functions in a variety of ways. In addition to adding to your existing unique media, curated content allows you to demonstrate more versatility, an ability to work with others, and industry awareness that simply […]

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Curating content for blogs, websites, social media accounts, and newsletters can add value to your sites and your marketing efforts, and functions in a variety of ways. In addition to adding to your existing unique media, curated content allows you to demonstrate more versatility, an ability to work with others, and industry awareness that simply creating unique information does not. Getting started with curation can be intimidating, but once you get started, it can benefit nearly any platform.

Content curation is the process of gathering, creating, and compiling information on a specific subject and presenting it to readers. In fact, content curation is found almost everywhere on the Internet, on social media pages, RSS feeds, and even social bookmarking sites like Digg. It’s also an extremely useful tool for marketers, who can use curated content to increase the value whether for B2C or B2B marketing.

Importantly, content curation isn’t just about using other people’s content, as curation is often used to source topics, industry news, and ideas for creating unique content. Content curation applies to many parts of the Internet including social media platforms like Twitter, blogs, company websites, newsletters, and even picture sharing sites like Instagram.


The Process

Content curation is a relatively simple process once you figure it out, but it can be complicated and even intimidating when you first get started. There is a lot of information on the web, in fact, WordPress statistics show that WordPress blogs alone get some 52.8 million new posts every month. That’s a lot to sort through. You’ll need a strategy, some sort of selection criteria, and you will have to keep testing your content to tweak it in order to adjust to the best content for your readers.

Creating a Theme – A theme is usually the easiest part of content curation. You decide what you want your content to be about, and you narrow your options down based on that. But, you can narrow it down further. If you have a specific niche, and you’re providing marketing for window washing companies, then you can narrow your topic down to content surrounding window washing. This is a significantly smaller niche, so you’ll have less content, and less to sort through. Your theme is important because it has to appeal to your clients rather than to you. It’s also important because it has to be extremely relevant to them and to you.

Choosing Selection Criteria – Your selection criteria is important for quality control. If you’re sharing or linking to other people’s content, it’s important that you read every post to ensure that it holds up to the standards you want to offer to your readers. Some other points should apply whether you’re writing your own content or not.

  • Value – Each piece has to offer value in exchange for the time spent reading it
  • Relevance – Will your readers benefit from this topic?
  • Interest – Is it exciting? Clickable? Interesting to read?
  • Quality – You don’t want click bait titles, poor writing quality, or something that everyone and their figurative mother will be sharing.

These points are especially important on Twitter, where data shows that many people will Retweet a link without reading it first. Content aggregation, especially automated programs that share content based on hashtags can be dangerous, because the content you’re sharing might be very bad. Taking the time to read through everything you share or post is important for quality assurance.

Research – Part of content curation is research, which includes researching your own topics, keywords, search terms, where to find quality content, and what your readers want to see. Ideas include keywords on your website, common industry questions, industry news, tips, how-to’s, and so on in your niche. If you’re curating content to create unique content, then you should definitely consider researching your own unique angles and approaches to other topics so that your ideas are unique.

You also have to integrate ongoing research for market testing. No marketing campaign, including content, is valuable without analytics, A/B testing to improve, and tracking the value you get from your time spent on it. If you’re spending four hours a week creating a high quality curated newsletter and you’re only getting 50 clicks from it, you’re obviously doing something wrong. Integrating analytics into your content curation allows you to test headlines, text content topics, and different types of organization and attribution.

Presenting Curated Content – Presentation is key to any curated content. Not only do you have to properly attribute and reference any material you share or quote, you have to present your material in an order and style that is not only useful to readers, but interesting as well. It’s not enough to simply share content based on what’s popular, as this won’t get you anywhere. Howard Rheingold suggests that fine tuning your topic and creating a niche based on what people want to see is a valuable service, because the Internet alone does not do that. If you sift through content and present information in a specific way, you are offering value.

  • Plan your content. Planned content allows users to make informed decisions on when to come back. For example, knowing that you share an industry article on Monday’s, followed by a how-to on the topic on Tuesdays, and an expert interview on Wednesday will keep many people coming back for more.
  • Decide which types of posts to put up, and when
  • Integrate different types of media, but don’t feel the need to balance them evenly.


Tools for Content Curation

There are hundreds of tools you can use for content curation, and some of them are more helpful than others. Some are also free, while others cost a great deal.

  • Google Alerts – One of the most powerful free tools available, Google Alerts will send you emails based on specific keywords and topics. You can also follow companies, Google Plus pages, and YouTube accounts in your Alerts.
  • Google News Feeds – You can sign up for Google Feeds for email updates on specific topics. Just click the RSS button on the bottom of any topic page and sign up.
  • RSS – Most blogs offer some form of RSS, and signing up is easy. But, you still need an RSS reader. Options like Feedly, Digg Reader, Fever (not free, but shows ‘hot’ or popular content), and Feedbin all offer varying features, apps, and value.
  • Lists – Facebook and Twitter have options to create and use lists of people to follow their content. You can also add page and companies. This allows you to follow industry experts, other curators, and influencers to see what’s happening on social in your niche.
  • It – Content curation, sharing, and publishing in one app. Options range from free to Enterprise. The tool is extremely sophisticated and offers RSS, social media integration, news, and much more.
  • Storify by LiveFyre – Free to enterprise content curation and sharing, including blogs and social media, with sophisticated search and tools.
  • HooteSuite – HooteSuite is a valuable sharing and scheduling tool, but you can also use it to view and curate keywords and content from around the web, and then share it immediately with your followers in app.
  • FlipBoard – Flipboard is an app that curates content for you on your phone based on topics you pick. It also offers previews, so you can decide if you want to share it without dedicated a great deal of time.
  • Microsoft Sway – Microsoft Sway is free to users and allows you to create pages and presentation like web based content using a mix of self created and curated content. It also integrates directly with web media, so you can add in snippets and full articles from around the web, playable videos and podcasts, and much more. It’s not widely adopted yet, but it offers a more interactive version of a newsletter, that doesn’t have to be hosted on your own website.

Content curation is valuable tool for marketers of any kind because you can use it to add value to your social media, newsletter, blog, or any other shared content. Because experts like Kristina Cisnero of HootSuite and Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia (in his book Jab Jab Jab Right Hook) suggest that about one third of your content should be interacting with your niche, your readers, and your influencers, it can also boost your social media marketing efforts.

Sharing content shows your readers, other industry experts, and potential clients that you’re familiar with your industry, interested in it, and are willing to work with others. Over time, adding content into your social media, blog, and newsletter will also draw the people who want to read that content. If you’ve chosen your niche and topics correctly, those readers will be your client demographic.

Do you utilize content curation for your social media, blog, or newsletter? Which tools or methods are most valuable to you?


mike hanskiAbout the author: Mike Hanski writes for and spends his working hours creating, curating and promoting content for various online businesses. Feel free to contact him out on G+.


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How Stress Affects Our Job: 6 Steps To A Healthy Work Day Thu, 11 Feb 2016 15:17:05 +0000 We live in frantic times. We must meet deadlines, reconcile working and family life, and always be one step ahead of every project we undertake. It’s not only demanding, but also tiresome. Living under pressure became synonymous to living under constant influence of stress. Yet, is stress really such a vicious thing? And if, how […]

The post How Stress Affects Our Job: 6 Steps To A Healthy Work Day appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

We live in frantic times. We must meet deadlines, reconcile working and family life, and always be one step ahead of every project we undertake. It’s not only demanding, but also tiresome. Living under pressure became synonymous to living under constant influence of stress. Yet, is stress really such a vicious thing? And if, how can we cope when it seems to be so inevitable?


Good guy stress

Stress is nothing else as the body’s reaction to a difficult situation. We recognize that something may cause harm and so a whole chain of physiological processes is triggered to shape us up and get us ready to cope, whether it is fighting the problem or simply running away. So what does this really happen? An alarmed brain sends signals to our body and activates the sympathetic system – a system responsible for switching us on if there’s a need for a quick reaction. Adrenal glands start rushing adrenaline into to the blood stream, our heart beats faster pushing blood into muscles, heart rate and pulse rise, senses get sharper, and we are ready to go.


(Image Source: ReactionGifs)

Imagine a hypothetical situation. You get a call from your boss that a very important meeting with some very important people will take place sooner than you expected (or you just messed up your agenda). You are in shambles, but at the back in your head you know you can manage. And then is when good guy stress (or eustress) kicks in:

  • your attention span gets narrowed so you focus on a particular task
  • your energy level gets a boost
  • you feel excited and motivated to cope with the challenge
  • your performance improves

All in all, it turns out that the stress reaction is adaptive. However, you have to keep in mind that the parts of your brain that are in control of the processes depicted above are pretty old and not really aware of the fact that we are no longer fighting for survival hunting wild animals. Our body simply had no chance to catch up with the cultural and technological evolution. This means that a stress reaction can do a good job when the threat is an ad hoc situation, but was not designed to deal with long-term challenges. To put it in a job context – we are pretty well equipped to deal with a single stressful task, not an entire project.


Mean stress

The bad news is that that the positive effects of stress will last for approximately 30 minutes. After that time, it starts to wreak our internal organs, immune and nervous systems. The reason behind this is obvious – keeping us alert requires a lot of energy, so our body cannot take care of itself like it would in a normal situation. The processes responsible for building up our organism shut down, digestive organs slow down, immune system stops fighting down viruses, bacteria, or other intruders. And if stress is prolonged, we head straight for exhaustion. There’s no time for regeneration, when you are on a survival mode.

What can bad stress (distress) do to your body:

  • muscle tension
  • insomnia
  • digestive problems
  • loss of appetite
  • susceptibility to infections
  • hypertension
  • strokes
  • heart attacks
  • cancer


Our primitive brain acting out

Stress takes a toil on our cognitive system as well. While at work we cannot do without our brain cells. So you may find it pretty disturbing that stress can actually lead to the shrinkage of gray matter. Most prone to damage is our prefrontal cortex – the part that takes over higher brain functions, such as reasoning, decision making, planning, and problem solving. That needs some time to happen of course.

Mind that, however, when under stress, your prefrontal lobes will not be able to do its job properly. The more primitive, yet quicker, brain parts will be in charge. In consequence, available coping strategies may become limited to basic and not always adaptive routines. You may be more prompt to throw tantrums, get aggressive, uncooperative, or withdrawn. Moreover, stress lowers serotonin levesl that can lead to depression and obsessive compulsive behavior.

Stress can heavily affect your emotions and reasoning in various ways. You may expect:

  • attention shifting and inability to focus
  • intrusive thoughts
  • worse understating of your (and others) emotional state
  • sense of losing control
  • blank mind

What is even more important, long-term stress can become a problem itself. You focus more on the very fact that you are stressed out than on your job responsibilities. Tasks keep pilling up and the vicious circle gets tighter. Worst of all, your survival brain will look for shortcuts to deal with the problem – chocolate bar instead of a nourishing meal to restore energy level, alcohol or other substances to calm you down, or other destructive behaviors just to let the steam off.


(Image Source: Buzzfeed)

This is all a little gloomy isn’t it? So what can we do? We’ve got a few things to help you change your stressful ways!


Work stress busters

Let’s be honest – even the best work environment imagined cannot shelter you from being stressed. As I have mentioned previously, stress is a natural (or even neutral) reaction. All you can do is to learn how to cope with the mechanism before it turns against your mind and body.


1. Learn to detect stress symptoms

The sooner you spot that stress starts to affect your general well-being, the better. You have to observe your body reactions and learn when you turn from enthusiastic into frantic. Try to detect when and why an adrenaline rush brings confusion that disorganizes your work. It may happen that stressful situations are linked with each other. Only when you understand the whole mechanism, will you be able to launch your personal stress prevention program.


2. Work out the stress pattern

Breaking your daily work routine into smaller chunks may help you to get a better view of what actually happens when stress kicks in. Analyze step by step your behavior, circumstances, and people involved. The key here is to find out at which point you are more prone to suffer from stress and when you can relax and let the steam off. Then have a closer look at your coping strategies. Do you have any? Are they actually helpful? What are their costs? Can you change your behavior to become more efficient? Are you actually in force to improve your situation? Where can you seek support?


3.  Get support

Talk with your supervisor about the difficulties you have to tackle. Discuss together your workload and whether your tasks are in the scope of your capabilities. Don’t be afraid to be honest about your feelings and doubts.


(Image Source: brostrick)

However, stay as constructive as possible. Complaining won’t help at all. This also applies to your fellow workers. Don’t brood on how hard you’ve got it, but ask for specific advice. And at all times avoid taking out your anger on others. You will quickly realize that what goes around comes around.


4. Ease up on perfectionism

Excessive perfectionism is an easy way to exhaustion. Rethink the quality of your job and stay with the good enough level. Taking the extra mile each time you have a project to deliver is simply impossible. Setting unrealistic goals will not only bring your nerves to the edge, but will also result in losing sense of control and lowering your self-esteem.


5. Balance your work and private life

Don’t make yourself be available 24 hours a day – you need some work-free space to get your mind and body balanced. And I am not talking about over-hours you do in the evenings to catch up with your work. That is something that comes down to the point I have discussed above. To clean your mind, you will have to shelter yourself from all the factors that remind you of work.

Stay away from your work by not checking your mobile all the time. Its very presence may keep your sympathetic system going on, so you will not be able to relax. Moreover, it may be pretty difficult to resist the temptation to browse your mailbox, when the phone lies on your dinner table. Get yourself busy with other activities instead. Find some time for your social life, get involved in an interesting hobby, do anything you like that can effectively draw your attention from your work life.


6. Look after your body

A hungry man is an angry man, and a hungry body is a stressed body! Do not feed your stress by skipping meals or gorging on whatever comes to your hand. Plan your meals ahead. Have a nourishing breakfast, find time for lunch (preferably not in front of the computer screen) and keep healthy snacks nearby.


(Image Source: Photobucket)

Stress likes a sedentary lifestyle as well, so try doing sports. A dash of endorphins after a mild workout will keep your body and mind less vulnerable. However, if you need an instant relief after a hard workday – work out till you drop. When you are a bundle of nerves, a moderate activity will only higher your heart rate and your body will keep you on your fight or flight mode.


To sum it up

Stress is in the eye of the beholder – while putting in carbs will do no or little harm. The general recipe is quite simple: listen to your body, understand its reaction, and make more conscious decisions while coping with difficult time. Be your best and happiest self at home AND work! What are your strategies when stress kicks in? Share in the comments below!

The post How Stress Affects Our Job: 6 Steps To A Healthy Work Day appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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New Best Practices For How To Get More Twitter Followers Thu, 11 Feb 2016 15:13:55 +0000 Do you have follower envy? Is it affecting your business, or just your pride? Either way, you’re in the right place. I’ve got some cures for your pain. But first, some perspective: Having a small Twitter following does not mean you don’t matter. Or that you’re a bad marketer. Or that you can’t get any value […]

The post New Best Practices For How To Get More Twitter Followers appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Do you have follower envy? Is it affecting your business, or just your pride? Either way, you’re in the right place. I’ve got some cures for your pain. But first, some perspective: Having a small Twitter following does not mean you don’t matter. Or that you’re a bad marketer. Or that you can’t get any value from the platform.

In defense of small

Many micro-influencers in small niches have only a couple hundred Twitter followers. They are reasonably active on the platform, but they tend to follow or be followed by people they actually know or work with. Hidden in those “small” groups of their followers you can find CEOs, Marketing Directors, and other heavyweights.

Those heavyweights are the type of people who make million dollar decisions. They tend to be more focused on managing and growing their businesses than on expanding their Twitter following. Never write someone off just because you see a small following.

Larry Alton

Larry Alton’s Twitter bio comes across as pretty humble. Don’t be fooled: He’s a columnist for Entrepreneur, Inc, HuffPost, TechCrunch and Search Engine Journal.

This “hidden influencer” phenomenon is why you have to be careful when you cull who you follow on Twitter. Most of the tools that calculate how influential people are only go by behavior on Twitter. That’s not the full scope of someone’s actual influence.

A small Twitter follower count can also hide engagement. I came across an influencer marketing company recently that defines an influencer based on how many engagement signals someone gets from each tweet. They didn’t even mention follower count. They don’t care. But if you get more than five retweets, likes or replies for every tweet you post, according to them, you’re an influencer.

You’ve probably heard this tune in email marketing. “You can still make money with a small, targeted list.” It’s true. But I think there’s another argument that’s better at proving why engagement is what really matters. It’s in the math.

Twitter followers Tweets Average Engagement Rate Number of Engagements
1,000 130 .24 31,200
3,000 130 .07 27,300

So before you go all out to grow a big Twitter following, ask yourself: Do I really want a big Twitter following… simply to have a big Twitter following? Or do I actually want to get some business out of this, even if it’s just some exposure via engagement?

If you want more engagement, it’s the people with 500 followers or less who are most likely to give it to you. That’s what Mention reports in their ebook, “The When Where Who and How of Communicating Online to Get More Mentions.”


Engagement matters. It’s the metric most of us measure the success or failure of our content by. Especially when it comes to blog posts.


One of BrightLocal’s recent polls shows how social shares are the most common measurement of whether a blog post is successful or not.

Now, should we all be that focused on getting lots of shares? Probably not. I’d prefer it if more of us focused on actual results: Conversions, leads, etc. The kind of stuff that makes a direct business impact. But the power of social proof is real. You could make the argument that the number of social shares gives credibility to a piece of content. (At least before Twitter took away our share counts. Grrr.)

It’s the social proof factor that’s why so many people crave a larger following on Twitter. We humans tend to believe that if lots of other humans like something, then it must be good. That if something is being clamored for and talked about, it must be important.

Twitter is a great tool for clamoring. And liking things. And finding out what other people like. And while engagement is where the ROI is, let’s face it: Size matters. Who doesn’t want more Twitter followers?

So enough about making do with a small following. If you want to grow your Twitter followers, there are four strategies:

  1. Attract them. Either by being well-known or by tweeting out really good stuff, formatted for maximum shares.
  2. Ask for them. Add prompts to follow you wherever possible.
  3. Network for them. Follow people so they’ll follow you back.
  4. Pay for them. Advertise for them or buy them outright. Just kidding. You should never buy followers outright.

Let’s break these out.


Attract them

Want to be followed? Then be worth following. Here’s the to-do list:

  • Lose the egg. Put up a professional quality headshot.
  • Use an attractive, high-resolution background image. It’s nice if it’s not screamingly promotional.
  • Use a Twitter handle that’s memorable and fits your business or niche. The closer you can get it to your name or business name, the better. @DrewDavies is ideal. @DrewTheAnimal is only appropriate for wrestlers. @Drew09334 looks like a spam account.
  • Write a Twitter bio that’s sprinkled with carefully chosen hashtags and keywords.
  • Follow other people in your niche.
  • Retweet other people’s content.
  • If someone tweets about you, thank them.
  • Use images in your tweets. They get 18% more engagement.
  • Be an informer, not a meformer. Don’t make it all about you.
  • Don’t “burst” your tweets or retweets. Ie, don’t tweet several times in the same minute.
  • Don’t send automated Direct Messages to new followers. It weirds us out.
  • Tweet things that would be useful to your ideal audience.
  • Find out when the best time for you to tweet is.
  • Pin a tweet that gets lots of engagement to the top of your feed.
  • Use hashtags in your tweets. But only one or two.
  • Mix up the content formats in your tweets. A little bit links, a little bit images, a little bit videos…
  • Participate in Twitter chats, like the one AtomicReach hosts every week.
  • Tweet regularly. There’s a correlation between followers and how often someone tweets:


Ask for them

  • Add your Twitter handle and a call to action to follow you to the signature of your emails.
  • Embed “Tweet this” links in your blog posts.
  • When you guest post, include your Twitter handle in your biography.
  • When someone has just signed up for your email list – on the final confirmation page – ask them to follow you on Twitter.
  • Add a prompt to follow you to the footer of your website.
  • Add a prompt to follow you to your business card, and all other printed materials (even invoices).
  • Use an overlay tool like It lets you add an overlay to every link you share. You can use that overlay space to ask someone to follow you or to subscribe to your email list.
  • Get on It’s a directory of Twitter users that helps people grow their following.


Network for them

  • Start following people you know, especially people you know from other social platforms. Most of them will follow you back.
  • Use any of the Twitter tools (like Followerwonk) that let you find people based on their interests, bio or connections.
  • If you don’t want to pay for a service to find you good followers, go to the follower lists of people you admire in your niche. Follow whomever they’re following (so long as it makes sense). Many of them will follow you back. This is still my preferred way to find great followers.
  • Use a paid tool like ( or SocialQuant ( to automate the “find and follow people who are likely to follow you” process. I’ve tried both of these tools and got decent results. SocialQuant got me significantly more followers than, but I like the controls that gives. With SocialQuant you basically just hand the reins over to them and they grow your account for you.


Pay for them

As social media comes of age, I think we’re all going to get more and more used to paying for access. Same goes for Twitter followers.

I was highly resistant to the idea of advertising for followers, but I finally broke down and tried it. And got Twitter followers for 22 cents each. If I had switched off showing ads to users in a couple of low-performing countries, I could have gotten it down to 18 cents. And that was with just the first two ads I tried – with split-testing I could definitely get it down further. Larry Kim got his cost per new follower down to 13 cents.

What worked? Well, I targeted my audience to followers of people and businesses that my tweets might resonate with (places like Marketing Profs and The Content Marketing Institute). Then I tried different ad formats: a Promoted Tweet and a straight up Follower Campaign. The Promoted Tweet got more followers, but at pretty much the same cost as the Follower Campaign.

Trouble was, the number of new followers was just a trickle. I had been naturally getting about 40-50 new followers a week with no advertising or other tactics, so seeing only about 15 new followers per day wasn’t that big a lift. I could probably have improved that count by split-testing the ads so they converted better, and then upped my minimum bids a bit so Twitter would give the ads more impressions.

Dollar for dollar, I’d probably skip advertising. SocialQuant or would get more followers for the money.

Bonus: Another way to “pay” for Twitter followers is to offer a discount to new followers. And it works. Discounts are the #1 reason people follow brands.



You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to growing your Twitter account. And while there are tools that can speed up the process, it’s better to not try to hit 10,000 followers in your first month.

Go for quality, and get your Twitter skills sharp first. Then, if you want to try out advertising or some of the paid growth tools, have at it. They do actually work. I checked my Twitter account for fake followers after doing all this advertising and still got a squeaky-clean report.

What do you think?

What’s your preferred way to get more followers on Twitter? Know of any must-use tools I missed? Give us your two cents in the comments.

The post New Best Practices For How To Get More Twitter Followers appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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My Business Card Says “Hydra Keeper” Thu, 11 Feb 2016 15:03:10 +0000 Yes, it is pretty cool to have a job title like this on your business card, but most of the time it also requires a lot of explaining. If you want to know how we raised a pretty, little thing called Hydra, which strolls casually through our databases and servers, please keep reading. What is […]

The post My Business Card Says “Hydra Keeper” appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Yes, it is pretty cool to have a job title like this on your business card, but most of the time it also requires a lot of explaining. If you want to know how we raised a pretty, little thing called Hydra, which strolls casually through our databases and servers, please keep reading.

What is this Hydra thing?

Depending on if you are a Marvel comic book fan or a Joseph Campbell type of writer, you may think that Hydra is either a secret evil organization that hungers world domination or a mythical creature with an equally exhaustive hunger of a slightly different nature. At GetResponse we thought the latter and instead of killing it, as some Greek guy did long time ago, we decided to tame Hydra, and make it work for a better tomorrow 😉

So… what hides under this ‘cute’ nickname is our in-house anti-abuse system we, as GetRespose, have been developing for quite some time.


Cool, dude, cool, but what for?!

As with many other ESPs, GetResponse is exploited by spammers and a variety of bad actors in order to send spam. During the summer of 2014 spam threats were flooding our Compliance Team and left very little place for what we think should be main role of the Compliance Dept. – helping our customers to stay in compliance with email industry standards as well as our own policies.

We were fighting waves of bad guys with baseball bats. And so, we needed something more, something that could do the heavy lifting for us, do all the leg work so that people with expert knowledge will not spend their energy on tasks that should be automated.

The Idea was simple – automate as much as you can with as small room for error as is possible. To do so we really needed our very own Hydra – in case you bypass one of the heads, another still keeps an eye out for you. Over the course of 18 months we were able to create a system that helps us assess risk related to GetResponse accounts, then launching automated operations accordingly.


First bricks, first success.

Every project needs to start somewhere, so a desire to get to the low hanging fruits drove us to conclude that we should start by mimicking processes we did by hand. At first we translated into a bunch of simple rules, what we usually did manually, to fish out malicious, free accounts that flooded us at that time.

Although we tried a few approaches finally we saw that certain IP spaces or mailbox providers can be linked to bad actors with almost a 100% certainty. That part was pretty easy, now we had a net full of accounts and we had to do something with it. What should we do to minimize false positive rates so as to not make legitimate customers life difficult, while making sure that those we need to repel do not slip away?

Here enters the spam mitigation philosophy. Big words, I know 😉 For us it translated into a simple, well known idea – increase the cost of operations for bad guys. So we did, in August 2014 we first introduced text verification for those accounts that Hydra sniffed, gazed at, and finally put label the “high risk” on. It was a huge break for our Compliance Team, over the course of a few months we were able to lower the number of abusive free accounts we had to take care of by over 4 times.


We were just getting started.

Those of you who have anything to do with security know it is a constant arms race. One side comes up with an idea how to patch a hole in the wall, then someone else finds a new one a few meters further. It is a drag. So it’s good to have something that will adjust to changing circumstances, right? Right.


(Image source: Giphy)

After the first success we developed Hydra further. With the help of our bio-engineering team we mutated Hydra’s DNA so our little pet could grow new heads and expand its brain size… OK, just kidding, we simply wrote hundreds of lines of code. From a bunch of simple rules, we evolved it into a creation that can learn from what it finds.


(Image source: Giphy)

If you ever imported subscribers into a GetResponse account, your list went through a verification process. At first it was done totally by hand, based on expert knowledge from our anti-abuse specialists. You can imagine that such a process took hours, required a lot of manpower, all of that so we could ensure the highest deliverability possible throughout the entire GetResponse platform.

A huge step forward was made by making Hydra do the heavy lifting for us, even more, we altered the whole process to make it more thorough, as time required to review a list was no longer a factor we had to consider – Hydra devours even the biggest of lists within seconds.

At this point Hydra was no longer an internal anti-abuse system, it brought real value to our customers, lowering list import time from hours to minutes. Moreover, the whole infrastructure we created for the sole purpose of list reviewing was used to pave ground for a feature that helps marketers get higher open and click rates of their mailings – Perfect Timing. Again – the more lists Hydra goes through, the better it can score and review future lists.


How about some more mutagens?

That was what we thought – let’s go further, what else Hydra can help us with? A few months after the success of the new, automated list review process we decided that we are ready to implement the same rules for real time subscriptions. That was a bit of a challenge, though. See, when a list is uploaded for import we can look at it as one entity. It is pretty easy to find correlations with other lists, score all the email addresses, and decide whether or not hygiene of the list is good enough to be approved, when you have everything in front of you.

With a constant stream of subscriptions, they need to be considered somewhat differently. First of all, scores for a list that was sent to in the past will be different than for new subscribers that just placed their email address in the webform or closed a shopping cart (i.e. with all the syntax errors). The idea behind unleashing Hydra on the live feed was that it can help our customers who became victims of malicious scripts, bots, or any other kind of address injection. With that in place we were also able to remove the required double opt-in subscription for API and put in place a process granting single opt-in for API scripts far behind us – another win for all of our customers!


TL;DR? Ok, here is the conclusion.

Hydra’s automation helped us save thousand and thousands of work hours both for us and our customers, and it made the Compliance Team available when it is really needed – helping customers with expert knowledge. It also drastically improved experience connected to compliance and security processes that are required from whitehat ESP’s for our customers.

Hydra’s decision array is made out of hundreds of single tests, all those “heads” are on the lookout for different patterns and factors. We constantly develop our little pet so it can do more tricks and adapt to new threats we come across every day. #keepcalmandhailhydra 😉

The post My Business Card Says “Hydra Keeper” appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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The Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Webinar That Sells Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:03:08 +0000 Are of thinking of using webinars to sell more of your products, programs or packages Congratulations! You are on the right path. I am a big fan of hosting webinars to build your email list as well as increasing profits. I truly believe they are an excellent way to grow your business quickly.  If you are […]

The post The Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Webinar That Sells appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Are of thinking of using webinars to sell more of your products, programs or packages Congratulations! You are on the right path. I am a big fan of hosting webinars to build your email list as well as increasing profits. I truly believe they are an excellent way to grow your business quickly. 

If you are new to webinars, and not sure how you can use them to build credibility and add new subscribers to your list, read this post that I wrote earlier. It’s called ‘How to create your first webinar’. Definitely check it out because it will surely answer all your starter questions.

If you have presented on a few webinars, and you feel confident that you are ready to learn how to convert live attendees into buyers, this post is a must read for you.

Let’s dive straight in.


Step 1: Be crystal clear on your goal

Before you start planning your webinar, consider these questions:

What are you going to sell?

You can sell almost anything on a webinar. It can be a product, an online course, a coaching package, a done-for-you service or a live workshop. If you have more than one to offer, pick one.

If you don’t have anything to sell at the moment (you might be a newly certified coach, a blogger wanting to monetize their blog or somebody interested in monetizing a passion project or a hobby), consider offering a live workshop that can be taught in the form of a paid webinar using the same tools, or coaching sessions.


Is your product evergreen or do you have a cart closing?

Assuming you are new to selling on webinars, I highly recommend that you pick a evergreen product, meaning, don’t complicate the whole thing by picking something that requires closing cart on a certain day.

If you choose a product or service for which there is a deadline, this will put you under a lot of pressure. You’ll feel desperate to fill the spots because registration closes on a certain date. You’ll worry about what if you don’t get enough enrolments or buyers.

Just make things easy for yourself and do a promo for something that doesn’t begin or end on a certain date. I’ll tell you how you can add urgency or create scarcity and still sell even though the offer is still available in a minute.


How many buyers do you want?

Based on your price point, work out how many clients or customers you’ll need to hit your income goal.

Let’s say you are selling a $500 coaching package. You want to make five thousand dollars on the webinar. You would need 10 people to buy from you.

Now, I want you to come up with your numbers carefully here because it will set the tone for all the subsequent decisions you make. So if you are new, don’t aim for a six-figure webinar. Come up with something that makes you feel excited and not feel so stressed that you actually have a panic attack on the day (guilty!).


Step 2: Choose the right topic for your webinar

You may think that choosing a topic for your webinar is super hard. In reality, it can be very simple once you know how to do it right.


Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Look at the blog posts that go viral. Look at the webinars that attract thousands of attendees. What do they have in common? Their topic is super specific, they often arouse curiosity and they also promise a big benefit. Do the same.


Solve a single problem.

Firstly, your webinar needs to be super helpful above anything else. It doesn’t require slick slides, you don’t have to be the world’s greatest speaker, and you might face an occasional tech glitch and still have a successful webinar because the content was so valuable.

The easiest way to give value is to solve a problem your audience has. Now here’s where most people go wrong. They give away so much that they end up overwhelming their audience. They make their audience feel it’s too much work to get what they want and so they don’t buy.

The trick is to pick one challenge your audience faces and help them solve it. Then give some of your best stuff away so even if your audience doesn’t buy anything from you, they feel like it was the best use of their time and end up becoming a loyal advocate. They might also buy the next time or tell their friends about you so consider that a win.


The logical next step is your product.

You will educate people about why they are struggling. So you talk about the ‘why’. You also tell them what needs to happen to solve their problem and show them the ‘how’.

On the webinar, you will pick one specific area and teach them something. This is the ‘what’. However, you will offer your product or service as the complete solution. This is critical. Your topic needs to come off of your offer. Your offer dictates the topic of your webinar. If you choose a topic that has nothing to do with that you are selling, you will find it very hard to transition into a pitch.


Step 3: Get people to sign up for your webinar

Now its time to promote your webinar. Here are the most effective ways to do it.

  • Before you promote your webinar on which you intend to sell, do a series of list building webinars. Go check out this post again to know how to do this exactly.
  • Join Facebook groups where your ideal audience hangs out and promote if they allow it.
  • Promote the sign up link on various social media platforms.
  • Reach out to other businesses and bloggers whose audiences you can help and ask them to promote.
  • Run Facebook ads to fill up the seats.


How many registrants do you need?

Even before you start promoting your webinar, you need to know how many registrants do you need. Going back to that number of buyers you figured out above, you now need to work out how many people you need to register for your webinar to meet your money goal.

Usually, the number of people converting on a webinar can be around 3-5% on average. So assuming everything goes to plan, aim to get 300-400 registrants to secure your 10 clients.


Create a killer registration page

Sending traffic to your registration page is great but now you need them to sign up. For this, you need to make sure your page is high converting.

Again, since you have come up with a killer topic for your webinar, your job ahead has already become so much easier. Trust me when I say this, nailing your topic is the harder part, the rest is just the matter of making sure people understand your free offer.

  • Start with the headline of your page. Usually, it is the topic of your webinar and highlights the benefits. It needs to be specific and make a big promise.
  • Make sure you tell people somewhere that it is a free, live, training webinar. If people are not used to words like webinar in your industry, you can call it a live training workshop or class, that is fine.
  • Under the webinar title, you will give the bullets further explaining what they will get out of the webinar. Try to invoke people’s curiosity while detailing the benefit. Entice them with their copy so they feel like they must sign up.
  • Ask for their name and email address, and perhaps their phone number if your service allows you to send text reminders.
  • Add some credibility building elements if you can. Add a testimonial or praise from an influencer. Add ‘as-seen-on’ logos. Don’t forget to include your smiling photo so people can connect with you.

Start promoting your webinar before a week. 5-7 days is ideal and don’t go more than 10 days because people will forget what they signed up for.


Step 4: Get people to attend live

So this the story so far: You choose your product, then come up with the perfect idea for the webinar. You create a killer registration page and send targeted traffic to it so people can sign up.

What’s the next step?

To get people to turn up live. Because the majority of your sales will happen with people who are live on the webinar.

Once somebody signs up, you will begin the onboarding or indoctrination sequence. This sequence is simply a series of emails that will be sent out to everyone who registers.

Depending on the email service you use, you can use the autoresponder to set this up. Let’s say you start promoting on day 7 (counting down to the webinar). Somebody who signs up on this day will receive a thank you email there and then, then one email on day 5, then one on day 2 and finally on day 1. So they are receiving 4 emails altogether. On the other hand, somebody who joins on day 2 (again, counting down) will only receive the thank you email and those emails that are scheduled on day 2 and 1.

Remember, these emails are different to the standard webinar reminder emails that your webinar service (GetResponse Webinars, for example) will send out automatically. You are using onboarding emails to create anticipation and excitement for your webinar. You are giving them extra information. You are building a story that leads them into your webinar. You can even offer a freebie download.

To further entice people, offer a workbook people can use to follow along while you teach or a webinar-only bonus for people who attend live. Again, your webinar success depends on how many actually show up so do the work. It will be worth it.


Step 5: Sell confidently and follow up

So this is the part that scares most people. How to make a pitch and not throw up while you are doing it?

In order to make a flawless pitch, you have to feel like you have earned the right of doing so. This is a simple mindset shift but it gives you tons of confidence. So how do you do it?

It’s simple. Give a stellar presentation first. Make it totally worthwhile for them and give them highly valuable information that they can put into action today. Your content should be sooo could that you have no issues whatsoever transitioning into your pitch.

Again, go check out this post where I gave you lots of tips in how to create a stellar presentation and deal with technology so everything goes smoothly.

If the topic lends itself to your pitch naturally, the transition will be seamless. You can say something like, ‘Here’s what you need to do next if you want to go deeper with me, or learn from me, or work with me so you can achieve this result faster and with more confidence’. Play with the language. Speak from the heart. If your offer is good, and your desire to help is sincere, people can see that. And that’s a good thing.

Explain your offer clearly and confidently and give people the link to purchase. Give them extra incentive to buy on the webinar so if you are selling a pre-recorded program, throw in a 30-min coaching session with you (you might add this personal time and give it to first 5 people who buy). If it’s a coaching package, add a done-for-you service or critique. Give them a special discount that will expire in 24 hours.

This is also how you would add urgency to your ever green offers. To add scarcity, you can restrict the number of seats you sell but know that this is what you really want to do and don’t create false scarcity. So this may be where you are only taking 5 one-on-one clients, for example.

If you don’t get many sales, don’t be discouraged, you may still get a few during the post-webinar follow-up phase or when you tweak things and make your webinar even better the next time.

Don’t forget you still have these people on your list. And remember, you can do this as many times as you want.

Finally, don’t ignore the follow up process. Just like you created a series of 3-5 onboarding emails to get people to show up live, now you would create another 3-5 emails to get people to watch the replay and purchase your offer.

You will get some people who are in a tricky time zone and although truly interested, couldn’t make it live (happens to me all the time) but also those who were initially on the fence. You might even catch those who just signed up for the free info but blown away by your free content. So, put some effort into it. Good luck.

Phew! Selling on a webinar seems like a LOT of work, doesn’t it?

Of course, it is. Anything worth doing, is.

But remember, when you perfect your webinar presentation, pitch and follow-up, you can look forward to having a multiple 5-figure days. 30K in a day? Not too shabby, right? So work toward it. It will get easier. You can do this! Share your experiences in the comments below, we’d love to know how you’re succeeding.

The post The Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Webinar That Sells appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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3 Cool Ways To Use Snapchat For Business Tue, 09 Feb 2016 14:17:10 +0000 Snapchat? Isn’t that the network that teenagers use to send each pictures of their bits? Well, apparently it is – plus for a whole host of not-quite-so-lewd reasons I’m sure. But, it is most definitely true that Snapchat is the network for the younger generation. Let’s turn to good old for some numbers: Distribution of […]

The post 3 Cool Ways To Use Snapchat For Business appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Snapchat? Isn’t that the network that teenagers use to send each pictures of their bits? Well, apparently it is – plus for a whole host of not-quite-so-lewd reasons I’m sure. But, it is most definitely true that Snapchat is the network for the younger generation.

Let’s turn to good old for some numbers:

Distribution of Snapchat users worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2015, by age


“This statistic provides information on the distribution of Snapchat users worldwide as of the second quarter of 2015, sorted by age group. During the survey period it was found that 52 percent of global Snapchat users were aged between 16 and 24 years.” (Source:

Ok, so it’s pretty clear that Snapchat finds its target audience amongst millennials. But let’s narrow that down even further.


Who’s Using Snapchat?

Well, last year, gathered up some of the most relevant and accurate information from around the web that answers this very question – here’re some key takeaways:

  • Snapchat has 100m active users with 400m snaps sent every day (Source: Mashable)
  • 70% of its users are female, versus 30% male (Source: Wall Street Journal)
  • 77% of college students use the app (Source: Mashable)
  • 50% of college students use the app as a means of communication (Source: Mashable)
  • It ranks fourth among the top social media sharing site (Source: BusinessInsider)
  • Only 1% of advertisers are currently using Snapchat (Source: Mashable)


Only 1% OF Advertisers? Really?


Yes, I want to highlight this point. For it does seem bizarre. Snapchat is huge. It might not be huge amongst ‘adults’, if you like, but it’s nonetheless massive. Indeed, according to an International Business Times Report, Snapchat gets 4 billion views every single day. Which, as it happens, is exactly the same amount as Facebook.

That’s right – the same amount of daily views as Facebook.

So why are only 1% of marketers making use of the platform for their advertising purposes?


An Exclusive Club For Youngsters Only

I suspect that the reason behind the slow marketing uptake for Snapchat marketing is because marketers tend to be boring old grown-ups who, despite priding themselves to be ‘with it’ when it comes to things like Facebook and (yawn) LinkedIn – they wouldn’t have Scooby what to do with Snapchat.

Indeed – and let’s face facts here – Facebook, with its 1.59 billion users, is now not only crawling with parents, but even grandparents to boot. Hardly the place where a young person would want to be spilling the real beans on what they’re actually up to after hours on a Friday and Saturday night.

And the figures speak for themselves on this front. Interestingly, according to a study carried out by Sumpto, 77% of college students post on Snapchat at least once a day. This number drops dramatically to just 11% when quizzed about Facebook.

So the question really has to be – if you’ve got a service or a product that appeals to the younger demographics, then why on Earth aren’t you tapping into this massively fecund database of eager young Snapchat users who are paying more attention here than they are on Facebook?

Here’s an infographic from Sumpto, published in Business Insider, that shows just how college students are using Snapchat.


3 Cool Ways To Use Snapchat For Business

So, like the parent that I am, I’ve chosen the title for this blog post with particular focus on the adjective – 3 COOL Ways To Use Snapchat For Business.

Now, being cool is important. It was important when I was a teenager, and it’s still important to teenagers today. The meaning hasn’t changed, although I have no doubt that the criteria and qualifications have. And so, I don’t mind admitting that the five “cool” suggestions that I make below might not be “cool” enough to actually engage your particular audience. And I want you to bear that in mind when you read through them. For, although these suggestions are sound, you may well need to use a bit of your own innovation to tweak them as you deem appropriate to fit in with whatever’s currently “cool” in your network.

Are you ready, daddio? Cool beans. Let’s rock it!

1. Limited Edition/Offer Countdowns

The disappearing nature of content on Snapchat lends itself brilliantly to limited editions or offers of products that you may have to advertise.

In case you are unfamiliar with the lifetime of ‘snaps’ on Snapchat, here’s how they work…

The ‘snaps’ that you send to your followers can only be viewed for 10 seconds by users – whether they’re videos or static images. After this time has elapsed, the content ‘self-destructs’.

Alternatively, you can add a ‘snap’ to your ‘story’, which is a collection of your content that dates back a whole 24 hours, after which time it all disappears into the internet ether never to be seen again.

So, with this in mind, you can actually use Snapchat’s very USB to illustrate that if users don’t take immediate action to buy up a limited line or offer that you have for sale, then it will quickly disappear for real.

I personally think that’s pretty cool.


2. Reactive/Hashtag Marketing To Raise Brand Awareness

Did you read my posts here about hashtag marketing and reactive marketing? Well, I’d encourage you to do so, because you can actually use Snapchat to nail both of these marketing methods.

And this indeed is something that Audi did during Super Bowl 2014, after partnering up with The Onion its marketing team Huge.

“The idea for the Snapchat activation was simple: authentically connect and entertain the Millennial demographic through platform-relevant content to drive online buzz. Our mission was to generate public online conversation through raw, privately-distributed, humorous content to stay above the fray of overly-produced marketing messages flooding users’ Twitter feeds.” (

They achieved this by creating humorous photos and captions that mimicked people’s typical behaviour – or their pet’s – when watching the Super Bowl. This was a massive success, growing Audi’s Snapchat following by more than 5,500 followers during the game alone, and indeed landing some great exposure on Twitter to boot.






3. Talk The Language

One of the most successful brands on Snapchat is of course Taco Bell. According to

“Taco Bell’s Nicholas Tran said Snapchat followers are ‘crazy engaged.’ When the brand sends a Snap, 90 percent of friends who open a message view it in its entirety, and these can be five-minute-long digital photo-video collages, he added.”

This is an engagement rate that’s pretty much unrivalled, it has to be said, in any other marketing method, be it Twitter or email. Why is the brand so successful? Well, it’s because it gets Snapchat and uses the language of its followers (it’s “cool”, in other words).



In the example that AdWeek uses, you can see how it’s not just plain photographs, but the team makes use of the available typography and the ability to doodle and add emoji that really livens up the whole snap. It’s fun, it’s cute, it’s entertaining, it’s cool – but perhaps most of all, it’s simple. And perhaps when all’s said in done, the simplicity and brevity of Snapchat itself is what most likely attracts the youngsters – and maybe it’s this that accumulates to being cool in 2016.

Have you got what it takes to hang with the cool kids on Snapchat? Let us know how you go about approaching the platform in the comments below.

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They Laughed When I Used This Subject Line Tactic, But Then I Sent The Email… Mon, 08 Feb 2016 16:17:57 +0000 We would all like an intriguing way to get your email converting again – and again – and again. The easiest, hardest best way to go around this? It is not what you might think. It is not producing what the recipient wants, it is not being relevant. That is only a part of the […]

The post They Laughed When I Used This Subject Line Tactic, But Then I Sent The Email… appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

We would all like an intriguing way to get your email converting again – and again – and again. The easiest, hardest best way to go around this? It is not what you might think. It is not producing what the recipient wants, it is not being relevant. That is only a part of the equation. It is presenting it in the way that makes them want to want it. We are emailing a brain and perception is a big part of the message.

How to create an itch and scratch it at the same time? A proven tactic in your emails and subject lines is to appeal to the curiosity of your readers. It seems hard, but luckily, man is curious by nature. We want to discover. Find something new and improved. We want to know about things that seem interesting.

To increase open rates and conversion rates, we need to write compelling subject lines that will have your recipient wanting to open. So one of the email subject line weapons of choice is Curiosity.


Curiosity based subject lines look like….

On the topic of curiosity, I used to think along the lines of “I’ll know it when I see it.” But that doesn’t work if you are writing subject lines and want to add a dash of curiosity power!

If you look for the definition of curiosity you will end up with something along the lines of “the eager pursuit and recognition of new information and experiences”. Most people think about curiosity when something strange, fascinating, bizarre, unexpected, or challenging is presented ­- then they’ll be intrigued. Curiosity tickles.

Intrigue the reader first, then take that primary interest all the way down the road. Provide the means for the audience to satisfy their curiosity…  and turn it into a conversion.

So let’s look at a curiosity pattern: the Question


Curiosity pattern one: the Question

Asking questions is a very compelling way to stimulate Curiosity and elicit an action. From childhood we are trained to answer questions. Your mother might have hit you over the head and say: “Pay attention, I asked you a question!” A good question is a strong path to attention. This is even more true when writing subject lines.


What are some of the mind-blowing facts people don’t know about Curiosity?

The king of subject line questions is Quora. If you don’t know what it is, Quora is a platform that allows people to ask questions on all types of topics and for them to be answered by a crowd. Below is an overview of mails they sent me. It is amazing that I’d like to know the answers to ALL of these questions.


It’s very subjective, I know, but aren’t you eager to hear why people don’t like Nickelback? That question alone sounds like entertainment value in and of itself.  Or, how to psychologically destroy enemies? Good things to know while building an Evil empire.

Maybe they do target their emails very well and above list is a reflection of my personality….. I do hope so, it is a pretty fun list.  :)

Questions like the ones above signal in the topic. They let you have a taste of the answer that will be given. You don’t know the answer yet, but at least you have an expectation of what is coming. This is what is known as a knowledge gap, more about that later.

When to use curiosity? There are special occasions when using Curiosity is especially fitting:

  • Inform subscribers of interesting info that they otherwise would not have looked at.
  • When they have been inactive and the trick is to re-engage / activate them.
  • When you are introducing something new
  • When it really is a secret / exclusive (for instance information that you would need to log in for)
  • When people will receive a surprise or gift later on.
  • When people are benefit driven and would like to know how to get that benefit. For example: “How we reached X, without doing Y”

Questions are the Swiss army knife of a valueble discovery. Use them to find value and curiosity that you can than turn into different subject lines. For instance with the next tactic….


Remove a key element from your subject line

The trick to writing a subject line that sparks Curiosity is to not tell the whole story. If everything is spelled out  from the start, there is nothing left to be uncertain or curious about. Nothing left to mystery.

Compare these two subject lines:
1. Get 10% off of all products
2. Get 10% off of something

The first subject line “All products” has more value from a calculative and clarity point of view. Discount on all products is more than discount on something, right?

But…. in subject line 2 “something” suggests an unveiling of sorts. It has the implication of a Call-to-Action. Notice the subtle linguistic mechanisms there. I purposely replaced all products with something, not some products.


They laughed when I used this subject line tactic, but when I sent the email…


John Caples, the famous copywriter and advertising pioneer, wrote this classic ad above. It would still work today and is considered one of the very best Ads of its time (1926 mind you!). John has some additional wisdom to add about using Curiosity:

“Avoid headlines that merely provoke curiosity. Curiosity combined with news or self-interest is an excellent aid to the pulling power of your headline, but curiosity by itself is seldom enough.

This fundamental rule is violated more often than any other. Every issue of every magazine and newspaper contains advertising headlines that attempt to sell the reader through curiosity alone.”


Tips and a precaution

Like John Caples said, curiosity by itself is seldom enough. In modern days we might call that “clickbait”. People don’t like to feel betrayed or tricked, which is why every sender should watch out not to abuse Curiosity.

Personally I was pretty disappointed by an email subject line: “[product feature] and why Scrooge McDuck doesn’t wear pants.” The email didn’t really go into the rationale behind Scrooge not wearing pants (but he does wear a full body swimming suit – so i am still wondering why). It leaves you hanging.

It is OK to keep your subject line more mysterious, if you know your audience starts off super interested (fans), context makes up for lack of information (because they know your brand well).

Only make bold statements or use curiosity if you can deliver. This is why a subject line like: “These are simply the best!” can be such a let-down.


Anticipate how your readers will fill in the blanks

A final word, if you want your readers to truly be curios, you need to make sure that they don’t think they know the answer to your brain-teaser. This is why overused formats or questions they can answer by themselves aren’t effective. They need to have that discomforting notion of ambiguity and uncertainty for just short period for in to muster real impact.

Curious for more examples of curiosity infused subject lines? I have summed up the most interesting ones in my email subject line pattern archive. They have imaginative names like the Dotted cliff-hanger, Knowledge gap signal and Mystery gift. Can you think of any more interesting headlines? Share in the comments beloW

The post They Laughed When I Used This Subject Line Tactic, But Then I Sent The Email… appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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10 Conversion Killers and How to Fight Them [Webinar Recording] Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:07:48 +0000 Emails and landing pages make up a team to help you reach your goal. Whatever that goal is – a download, sign-up, or purchase – there are some rules you should follow to get people to perform the desired action, first in the email and then on your landing page. Here are a few of […]

The post 10 Conversion Killers and How to Fight Them [Webinar Recording] appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Emails and landing pages make up a team to help you reach your goal. Whatever that goal is – a download, sign-up, or purchase – there are some rules you should follow to get people to perform the desired action, first in the email and then on your landing page. Here are a few of them.

Before I go on with the 10 things that can kill conversion on your landing page, there’s one thing I’d like to point out.

You’re not making the sale in the email.

The sale (or any other conversion) takes place on the landing page. The email is just a springboard that lands your subscribers on the landing page. So there’s no point in trying to recreate your landing page within an email, which some marketers tend to do.

The goal of the email is to convince the reader to click through to the landing page, and to do that, it should be as simple as possible and concentrated around a single, compelling call to action.

And there are a few things that can make that task a bit more difficult:


1. You’re not mobile

A lot has been said about that over the past couple of years, but still a lot of marketers fail to acknowledge the importance of mobile-friendly email design. Even though right now more emails are read on a mobile device than on a desktop computer (!).

The answer to that one is simple: responsive design. Your emails should work on all major devices your readers might use, even if they switch from one to another. You should make sure your email looks great at full resolution and at half size and be smart about what goes inside your email, what is highlighted, making sure that functions are easy to access.

  • Make it easy to click. Don’t expect readers to pinch or resize the screen to access your content. Clickable areas should be approximately 44 x 44 px to allow for easy navigation. Don’t forget to add 10-20 px of extra space around clickable areas to keep from frustrating mobile subscribers. I guess one of the most convincing examples would be when someone accidentally clicks Unsubscribe instead of a “Buy now” button, simply because they’re too close to each other.
  • Make it easy to read. Wording should be concise and powerful, for the short focus of mobile readers. Use larger fonts than usual, so subscribers don’t need to pinch to read; try 14 px for regular text and 22 px for headlines.
  • Always test your emails on various devices to see how they display and if anything should be corrected or changed.


2. You’re boring your subscribers

Making your emails uninteresting, using boring copy like the good old “Buy Now” button, may not be enough to convince your subscribers to take an action.

So whenever you’re writing copy for your emails, think whether there’s a more exciting, compelling way of putting what you want to say in writing. There are tons of ways of saying “Buy Now” in a different way to get your readers’ attention and make them want to click to see what’s beyond the CTA button. (Watch the recording below for some real-life examples, and make sure you read this ebook!).

One other thing regarding copy is also wasting your preheader text with the usual “View online” text. The preheader is one of the most underrated elements of an email. And this is a bit unfortunate as it can reinforce your subject line a lot and give much more specific, interesting information to your readers that will make them want to open the email.

Also, as I said at the very beginning, copying content from your landing page in your email is not the best way to go, as it makes the landing page simply a repetition. Remember, email is just a springboard. Include enough information to get your readers hooked – and then take them to the landing page where you lay out all the details (instead of boring them with the same content).


3. You’re confusing your subscribers

Always make the purpose of your email clear. Focus on one CTA and make sure it’s clear what you want your reader to do. If you need to include more CTAs because for example your promoting various products in your email, make sure each is very specific and doesn’t leave any doubt as to what will happen when the subscriber clicks the button.


4. You’re sending everyone the same content.

Meaning: you don’t segment your audience. If you’re guilty of that one, you’re actually among 42% of marketers who don’t use segmentation to diversify their offerings and tailor them to individual needs.

But if you’re targeting your PPC ads or Facebook posts, why wouldn’t you want to do the same for your emails?

There are a lot of possibilities: from simple segmentation such as based on location, gender or interest, to more complicated automated emails such as based on their activity, what they bought, how much they spent in your online store, when was the last time they opened an email from you, or clicked through to your site.

Collect as much data as you can from your subscribers and you’ll be able to send them content that’s more personalized and tailored to their needs and interests. Hence, content that’s more likely to convert.

5. You’re not sending enough

Don’t get me wrong I don’t mean sending tons and tons of emails to your readers. What I do mean is creating a consistent plan and using your email marketing to build a meaningful relationship with your subscribers.

You’re not doing that when you’re sending them just unrelated promotional newsletters every now and again, that when you look at them from a more general perspective, don’t don’t create a coherent story for your brand.

Email marketing gives you a unique chance to build that relationship. So:

  • Send welcome emails (targeted, if possible).
  • Then follow up with a series that introduces your brand, your product or your company and make these email regular, so your subscribers know when to expect them and start looking forward to them.
  • Send emails based on what your subscribers do, so they make much more sense to them.
  • And, as always, test, check your stats, see what works for your subscribers and adjust your strategy.


Watch the video for more

These are the five points I’ve chosen as far as email conversions go (although I could add at least a few more, but let’s maybe save this for another post). For more details and examples of each (and there are a few interesting ones!), as well as for the 5 remaining points related to landing pages presented by Siddharth Deswal fro Visual Website Optimizer, watch the webinar recording below:


The post 10 Conversion Killers and How to Fight Them [Webinar Recording] appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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A Marketer’s Guide On What NOT To Automate Thu, 04 Feb 2016 16:47:38 +0000 Automation is a big win for businesses. We can all think of several things we’d rather do than labouring over repetitive tasks a computer could complete. Coffee breaks, beach runs, learning opportunities, whatever’s your cup of tea! Automation means your business can continue to nurture and convert visitors to leads to opportunities, no matter what […]

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Automation is a big win for businesses. We can all think of several things we’d rather do than labouring over repetitive tasks a computer could complete. Coffee breaks, beach runs, learning opportunities, whatever’s your cup of tea! Automation means your business can continue to nurture and convert visitors to leads to opportunities, no matter what time of day.

The problem, however, with getting your buddy The Internet to do something is that sometimes things go wrong. Very, very wrong. When you’re weighing up whether automation is the answer, think twice in these situations. You could be saving yourself time and money in the short term, but hurting your business in the long term…


Automation May Not Be The Answer When You Haven’t Considered Your Buyer Personas

The most obvious reason for the what or the why to automate depends on who your ideal customers are. Who are they? Where do they spend their time? How do they engage with technology? What are their motives? The success of your marketing efforts hinges on the clarity and truthfulness of your buyer personas.

Perhaps your target market are retirees, the kind who’ve just discovered Skype so that they can call their grandkids. There’s little point automating identical posts across several social platforms, when the likelihood is they’re on Facebook alone or predominantly emailers.

Automation technology is awesome, however it’s potential for time wasting is no less than any other platform. When the efforts are misplaced, you’re missing out on opportunity and losing money.

If you haven’t refreshed and reevaluated your buyer personas in 6 + months, then hold your horses! Invest time and people power into fully outlining your ideal customers, before you even approach another computer. No new automated email workflows, no scheduled social messages, nothing. Just good old fashioned, Sherlock Holmes-ian investigations underway.

The takeaway: Say yes to automation that helps your buyer persona backed marketing campaigns. Say no to automation for ‘the sake of it.’


When Automated, Canned Responses Show People You Don’t Care

People like to feel special – that’s a fact. Unfortunately, canned responses can often run the risk of providing the opposite impression. Instead of “You’re special”, you could be saying “we couldn’t be bothered sending you a unique message or reply”. Whether it be responding to positive feedback online to placating an angry customer, avoid automated responses altogether.

Twitter is one of the biggest disaster zones when it comes to automation blunders. If you’ve spent any amount of time on Twitter, you’ve probably received a little something like this in your DM inbox:

Thanks for following! You can also follow us on Facebook (URL), Instagram (URL) and Youtube (URL).

Even when you claim not to use automation, if it looks spammy people will get annoyed. These kinds of messages prove problematic for several reasons:

  • They go heavy on the sales pitch before establishing any connection
  • Without any prior meaningful connection, these messages ooze fake sincerity, and no one likes a faker
  • The aim is clearly self promotion, rather than meaningful engagement and opening doors to collaboration

Of course these messages are just as bad as any customer service that replies to every complaint with:

We’re sorry to hear you’re experiencing issues. Please pass on your details, so a customer service representative can help you further.

The takeaway: Say no to automated responses, pretty much of any kind. This is especially important for customer service online.


When You’re Talking Blanket Approach

Automation – it makes so many things easy peasy. Instead of emailing just one person with a perfectly tailored message, you can email a list of over 2000 people. Instead of just posting a social message to one platform at a time, you can cross promote within seconds. At this point, every marketer in the room is probably sighing with relief. It’s time to forget doing the same thing over and over again! Automation is a life saver!

The only problem with this idyllic scene? Too often the blanket approach is to go to.

These days, personalisation is key for a successful marketing approach. Instead of sending the same email to all 2000 email subscribers, segment your audience and send them tailored versions of the same email.

In particular, different social platforms have different etiquette on everything from hashtagging to image dimensions. While it’s okay to put a paragraph of hashtags on instagram, people will get grumpy about this on Twitter. While it’s acceptable for you to post brekkie snaps on Instagram, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone else doing that on Linkedin.

The takeaway: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Say yes to automation that caters for different personas, platforms and purposes.


When It’s Opening The Door To A Whole Lot Of Awkward

In the case of poor customer service, caused by spammy automated messages, businesses may heavily damage their reputations. However, automation often just causes awkward situations.

For example, Hootsuite Blog Specialist Evan LePage tested out automated comments on Instagram. While on one hand, the experiment was able to quickly increase his audience, it also opened the door to a whole lot of awkward. The algorithm did not differentiate between commenting “cute” on images of little kids or posting “Damn!” on a teen’s selfie.

In another incident, OREO automated retweets of posts that contained a specific hashtag  as part of a large campaign. However, problems occurred when OREO retweeted accounts with explicit handles. Whoops.

The takeaway: Say no to automation for the sake it. Sometimes investing more time will save you the damage control later.


When Converting Opportunities To Customers

As much as marketers are able to group potential customers into personas, there’s only so much generalisation we can make. When it comes to the final, decision-making stages, everyone comes to the table with different needs, concerns and doubts.

An automated series of emails or messages in those crucial final stages run the risk of putting people off. They’ll wonder why you’re sending them helpful content about CONCERN A, when they’re really concerned about CONCERNS B and C.

The takeaway: Say no to automation in the final stages of the buyer process. Say yes to automation post purchase to delight new customers.


Over to you

What are your experiences of automation wins and disasters? Realistically, automation is only a tool and doesn’t guarantee any degree of success. If the process is already broken, if efforts are misaligned with business goals and buyer personas, if automation is setup without a clear purpose, then something needs to change. The time savers may actually turn out to be time wasters, because, at the end of the day, only humans can be humans.


BernaDec15About the author: Bernadette is a Community Manager at fast-growing digital marketing agency You & Co. She loves all things writing, social media and inbound marketing. You’ll probably find her tweeting puns about tea and coffee, while drinking a cup of Earl Grey. Find Bernadette on Twitter!

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How to Hack Progressive Profiling With GetResponse Wed, 03 Feb 2016 16:03:43 +0000 How many fields does your email sign-up form have? One? Two? Twelve? We all want to know as much as possible about our subscribers. That makes it tempting to ask for a slew of information up front. Unfortunately, the more fields you add to a sign-up form, the fewer opt-ins you’ll get.There’s a bunch of case studies […]

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How many fields does your email sign-up form have? One? Two? Twelve? We all want to know as much as possible about our subscribers. That makes it tempting to ask for a slew of information up front. Unfortunately, the more fields you add to a sign-up form, the fewer opt-ins you’ll get.There’s a bunch of case studies documenting this. Neil Patel removed just one field from one of his opt-in forms and saw the conversion rate jump 26%.

With a change like that, it definitely seems like it’s a good idea to limit the number of fields on your opt-in form. You might even want to include just one field – the email address. Some marketers recommend leaving the name field off.

But you don’t have to give up on that extra information forever. You can get most of the information from those fields that you just removed – but later on, after your subscriber knows you better.

This technique of asking for information later on is called “progressive profiling”. It lets you have your slim little opt-in forms, and still get all the information you want. Problem is, progressive profiling usually requires a developer help you set it up. It’s the sort of fancy feature reserved for marketers with big budgets.

But not always. And not if you’re using GetResponse. With a little ingenuity, you can do progressive profiling with a standard GetResponse account. I’m here to show you how.

Let’s assume you’ve got an opt-in form that looks like this:


Nothing fancy here. It’s basically the default opt-in form from a GetResponse account, pasted into a WordPress page. All I’m asking for is the visitor’s name and email address.

This opt-in form is attached to a campaign I’ve created in my GetResponse account. The campaign’s name is “intro_list”. I’ve got eight “people” (actually fake people with email accounts I’ve created and control) signed up for this list. Here’s what I know about each of them:

Name Email

Here’s how those same subscribers look in my GetResponse account:


Here’s the information I’d like to get from them:

  • Type of business
    • Location-based (but with an active online marketing program)
    • Location independent
  • Technical ability with online marketing
    • Complete newbie
    • Basic (I can set up a simple WordPress site and manage my GetResponse account)
    • Advanced (I can install and configure fairly complex WordPress plugins and can do advanced stuff – like hacking progressive profiling – in my GetResponse account)

Notice how short the list of information I want is. This isn’t fifteen fields’ worth of questions. It’s two questions. If I ask too much I’ll end up with an unmanageable amount of information.

Also notice the type of questions I’ve asked. This is information that is core to my business and my marketing strategy. I will use this information to inform every piece of content I create.

I could have just asked for peoples’ gender. That’s a common bit of information to collect. But I’m not an online retailer selling clothing, so gender doesn’t really mean that much to my business.

Choosing the right information to collect is really important. It’s also a spot where a lot of marketers muck things up. So be careful. If you could only ask 2-3 questions of your audience, what would those questions be?

Now that I’m 100% confident I’m asking for the right information, here’s a map of how that information breaks out:


Now we can start to build this out.


How to automate progressive profiling with goals and/or segmentation

There are actually two ways to set up simple progressive profiling in GetResponse:

1) Create goals.

This is the harder way. You’ll need to follow the instructions for creating a goal. Check out our ebook on how to do that.

Setting up goals involves adding tracking code to your site, which might be difficult if you’re not used to working with code. Goals also have a few other settings and requirements that might be considered advanced or technical. If you’re good with code, check out that ebook. If you’re not, have no fear.


2) Create segments.

This is the easier way to do progressive profiling in GetResponse. To do it, you’ll have to

  • Create and send an email
  • Create a segment based on who clicks specific links in that email
  • Choose that segment when you want to send an email tailored to that audience

What I like most about this method is it doesn’t require you to create a bunch of new campaigns. You can do all your information gathering, sorting and sending inside one main campaign. This makes creating and sending email updates easier. You can also edit segments after creating them, which makes them much more flexible than creating separate campaigns.

Because of all that, I’m going to use the segmenting approach to show you how to do some simple progressive profiling. Here goes:

1) Create an email message that has a bunch of links in it. My “subscribers” (again fake people who I’m pretending to be) can pick which segment they’ll end up in based on which links they click.

I’ve got two options for how I present these links.

A) I could send one email message dedicated to letting people tell me more about them. The welcome email would be a great choice. As you know, welcome emails get unusually high click-through rates. And asking people what they want to know in the welcome email is a nice way to show them (not just tell them) that I want to give them the best experience possible. Here’s what that welcome email might look like:

WelcomeEmailFULLB) I could also include those links in the footer area of my email messages.

FooterExSMALLThe image on the right is an example of how that might look. Basically, I’d just be embedding a really dumbed-down survey in the footer area.

Either way works, but with the footer example, you’ll be showing these options to people more often. That might result in more answers.

Segments are also cool because you can select multiple emails to add to the segment. So if I wanted to track clicks to these links from three different email messages, I could. More on that in just a moment.

Note that the landing pages for these links don’t affect whether or not our segmenting and progressive profiling works. However, it would definitely be nice for your users if you created custom landing pages for each of those choices.



2) Once those emails are created, I’d send them out to my list. For the example of the links in the footer, I’d be sending several emails out over the course of a week or more.

3) Once my subscribers have had a chance to click on the links, the fun really starts. I’ll head over to the Contacts > Search Contacts section of my account:


4) I’ll choose “Advanced Search”.


5) GetResponse will show the three additional fields you see below. The only one I’ll change is the campaign. I’ve set that so the system will choose only people in my new “intro_list” campaign. Here are how the settings look so far:


6) I’ll also click the blue link that says “Add condition” in the lower left corner. Once I do that, I’ll see another set of options:


7) I’ll choose “link clicked” from the pull-down menu:


And then “Newsletter” from the second pull-down menu. That’s the type of message I sent.


Next I’ll pick the specific email message I want to count the clicks from:


Then I’ll choose the specific link I want to create a segment for. Let’s start with “location based”.


There are four people are in that group (again, these are fake subscribers… it’s really just me clicking links to show you how this works).

I’ll click the blue “show contacts” button…

And see this:


I’ll choose “Save Search”

Give it a name I’ll remember:


And basically, I’m done.

I won’t get to see the magic until I go to create my next email message, and then choose who I want to send it to. Then, I’ll be able to see my new segment, and send an email specifically targeted to people who are location based.

It will look like this:


Notice how the campaign “intro_list” is not selected. If I had selected that, I’d be sending this special message to everyone in the campaign. Instead, I’m only mailing to the subscribers in the “Location Based” segment – a total of four subscribers right now.

If I wanted to send mail to all of the different preference choices I outlined before (location based, location independent, and the three different technical ability levels), I’d have to go back and repeat this process for each choice.

It is a bit of work, but after it’s done, I’ll be able to send highly customized emails to those subscribers. That means more relevant information for them, and higher engagement rates for me. Higher revenue, too.


More examples of how to segment your lists based on behavior or on people’s preferences

I’ve got to give a major hat tip to Deagan Smith for his great videos on segmenting email lists. The videos he made are about 2 years old now, and the GetResponse interface has changed a bit, but if you’re murky on segments and want a visual guide to using them, check them out. They’re professional, no-hype and include real-world tasks.

He’s got three videos about segmenting, and one about how to use goals:



Don’t make the opt-in box the only place where you collect information about your subscribers. It should be only the first step – almost like an introduction.

Through careful use of segmenting or goals, you can continue to learn more and more about your subscribers, thereby doing the progressive profiling that usually only the most advanced marketers can do.

Just be careful what information you ask for. These systems are only helpful if they’re at least somewhat easy to use and understand. If you ask too much, you’ll have so much data that it will become unwieldy.

With careful, strategy-based questions, you can tailor your emails to your subscribers needs and desires. That has all kinds of great results, from earning more money to knowing that you’re among the very best email marketers – the kind of person delivering emails people actually want to get.

What do you think?

Would you ever set up something like this for your subscribers? If you would, which questions might you ask?


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Facts vs. Opinions: A Guide For Content Marketers Tue, 02 Feb 2016 14:33:47 +0000 When it comes to writing blogs, there is an eternal battle between presenting information as fact and information as opinion. Whilst each have their merits, it is important to understand the differences between the two in order to present a balanced viewpoint for your readers. Some pieces of writing that you do will be a […]

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When it comes to writing blogs, there is an eternal battle between presenting information as fact and information as opinion. Whilst each have their merits, it is important to understand the differences between the two in order to present a balanced viewpoint for your readers.

Some pieces of writing that you do will be a straight presentation of facts. These will be your infographics, tables, graphs, case studies, and other objective data. However, on the other side of the table, opinion pieces give you an opportunity to present your own subjective viewpoint on a particular topic or issue.

One is not necessarily better than the other, but striking the right balance between the two can be important. You can, if you wish, market yourself as a pure opinion or factual blogger, but most people try to find a middle ground between the two.

I want to consider the factual blog and opinion blog one at a time. As I say, they are both important for the content marketer, and I think it’s sensible that bloggers get to grips with each one separately, just so we know what we’re writing.

However, where I think the real power lies is in those blog posts that skilfully combine the two disciplines – from these collisions, true thought leadership can be engendered, and ultimately, that is what I’d like to encourage all my fellow marketers to concentrate on in 2016.


Understanding Opinion Pieces

When writing an opinion piece, you are taking a side on a particular issue and trying to communicate to your audience why you believe your chosen side to be the correct one.

These kinds of blogs are great for promoting discussion on a topic and encouraging people to comment, like and share your work. If people feel strongly about a subject then they are often very quick and willing to let you know – especially if they disagree with it.

The benefits to you can work in a couple of different ways. Either a conversation will take off in your comments section, which is great for when Google is deciding how important your site is in terms of search engine rankings. On the other hand, people may write their own blogs offering a different perspective on what you have written, and may link to your article as a reference, which is again good for when you are trying to butter up Google.

When constructing an opinion piece, it is best to present your viewpoint in a polite, professional and non-confrontational way. The last thing you want is to gain a reputation for being a troll, however intellectual you may consider yourself to be.


Factual Blogs

Factual blogs seek to promote online activity in a different way to opinion blogs. Whereas opinion pieces seek to spark off discussion by taking a stance on a subject and seeing if people agree or disagree with you, factual blogs are different.

Factual blogs will usually present fact-based information as it is. They will involve graphs, tables, bullet points and infographics, and the text of the article will do little more than annotate the presented data. They are usually simple statements of what is happening in the numbers, and the author will usually refrain from offering any of their own insight or opinion on the matter.

The idea is that the presented data sparks discussion as the audience picks through it, and then offer their opinions on the topic. This way, factual piece writers can often promote discussion without having to worry about causing offence or alienating anybody. People are usually happy to give their opinion on some revealing facts if you ask for it (or even if you don’t), and this can be a great and low-stress way of fostering discussion.


Striking The Balance In Your Content Strategy

Opinion pieces can be inflammatory, and thus have an easier time prompting discussion. However, it’s not necessarily wise to play the precarious game of getting famous on the internet for all the wrong reasons. And by this I mean, having an opinion is fine, but being deliberately controversial is not if you want to seriously contend for more business. Whilst some people seem to be able to make a living out of being obnoxious on the web, most of us are trying to market our wares sensibly, and being inflammatory is rarely the way to go about this.

Factual blogs on the other hand may take a bit more work to gain traction, but you are less likely to attract aggressive comments (at least ones that are aimed at you, that is) and generally have a more relaxing time of it – which is why sticking only to the facts can be a rather laborious and drawn-out strategy for the content marketer.


Thought Leadership

Even so, most bloggers on the internet tend to take more of a neutral stance and concentrate on discussion pieces – but opinion bloggers, it has to be said, are usually the celebrities of the blogging world. Indeed, thought leaders are invariably opinion bloggers – just like the 3 giants in the tech space: Jeff Bullas, Guy Kawasaki and Mari Smith.

In fact, what these 3 pros get absolutely bang on is the way that they blend facts and opinions within their blogs. Indeed, none of these three ever make what you might consider to be outlandish claims, even in their most heated of opinion pieces. Rather, they look at the research, chew over the facts, and offer intelligent opinions based on the findings. It is in this regard that they have become thought leaders – and content marketers will do well to take heed of this technique.

Indeed, you’ll never be a thought leader if you don’t know the facts – and you’ll never form any proper opinions, either. No matter how charismatic and convincing you can write a piece of prose – a good blogger (and a good writer, for that matter) is a good researcher. So, do your homework, think about how what you have learned will impact your industry, and then present your opinions based on the facts.

This, in my opinion, is how you will win an engaged, loyal, trusted and large following.

Do you rely on opinions or facts when writing your blogs? Which works best for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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2 New Social Networks To Consider For 2016 Mon, 01 Feb 2016 14:43:47 +0000 If there was ever a time to start branching out your social media marketing efforts, then surely it has to be at the start of a New Year. And since this will be my last post for January, this really is the last opportunity I have to bang the New Year blogging drum (I call […]

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If there was ever a time to start branching out your social media marketing efforts, then surely it has to be at the start of a New Year. And since this will be my last post for January, this really is the last opportunity I have to bang the New Year blogging drum (I call it the ‘blongo’), and so why not mark the occasion by welcoming a couple of the brand new players onto the social scene?

Of course, new social networks pop up all the time. For instance, it wasn’t so long ago that I was writing a post for this very blog about some newbies on the market – see ‘Getting Paid For Your Posts: 3 Social Networks That Reward Content With Cash’. However, not very many of them actually break through to become embedded within the social media marketer’s daily schedule as a matter of course.

In fact, most of them do not. I think it’s fair to say that nearly all of us will use Facebook and Twitter to market our brands. Most of us will also be on board with LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Slightly fewer will be meddling with the likes of YouTube, Instagram, Vine and Tumblr. And fewer still will have taken up the hottest of the new kids on the block, Periscope.

Beyond those first and faithful ten, any other social networks that fall into a brand’s repertoire will largely be on an ad hoc basis. That is to say that if, for instance, your brand is using Meerkat and it’s working for you, that’s great! But, it’ll be an uphill struggle to convince the rest of us – not least because the user base simply isn’t there.

Indeed – and I will happily eat my words on this front should I turn out to be wrong – but I personally don’t really see another social network emerging that will meaningfully enter social media marketers’ repertories on a mass scale in 2016. The fact is, we’ve kind of got everything that we need.

In Facebook, we’ve got the reach and the numbers (up to 1.55 billion active monthly users at Statista’s last count). In Twitter we’ve got the brevity. In LinkedIn we’ve got the professionalism. Pinterest, the cataloguing of goods. YouTube, Vine and Periscope, the videos. In Instagram we’ve got the imagery (and more videos, too, of course). Then we’ve got our own blogs for written content – plus Tumblr if we fancy doing a bit more. We’ve also got Google+ for…. SEO, I suppose.

Personally, I think that covers pretty much everything (apart from sound or audio, actually – will 2016 produce a SoundCloud with great enough penetration for the marketer?). But, that’s not to say that your individual business won’t make some great use out of some of the more obscure offerings that are out there. Indeed, particularly if there is a local concentration of dedicated users, you may very well catch on to a trick that most of your competitors will be missing – so long as you’re willing to give something new a try. So, with this in mind, let’s take a look at what’s on the horizon for 2016.


2 New Social Networks To Consider For 2016

1. Peach

Described by some as a cross between Twitter and Slack, Peach has enjoyed a lot of hype since it came out at the start of the month. Practically every media outlet has covered the release – from The Guardian to Wired to Mashable to the BBC. So, will it really be the next big contender on the social scene?

Well, personally, I don’t think it will, despite the initial hype. For my money, Peach isn’t a cross between Twitter and Slack at all – rather it’s just like Twitter, but not as good.

That being said, it does have some potential for the marketer. Not least in its ‘Magic Words’ function.

When typing up an update, you can activate special types of posts by writing the magic or trigger words. The trigger words currently supported I list for you below, courtesy of the Peach support page. As you will infer, the magic words let you add GIFs, your location, the current weather condition, battery charge on your smartphone, and even create your own doodles, as well as other functions besides.

  • gif – Search for a GIF
  • here – Add current location
  • shout – Say something with big words
  • draw – Draw something
  • goodmorning – Say good morning
  • goodnight – Say good night
  • song – Identify a song w/ your phone’s microphone
  • rate – Rate something 1-5 stars
  • battery – Current charge %
  • weather – Add current weather
  • move – Add movement today (steps, miles, etc.)
  • events – # of events today
  • safari – Open browser to search for link
  • dice – Roll the dice
  • time – Add current time
  • date – Add current date
  • movie – Add movie
  • tv – Add TV show
  • game – Add video game
  • book – Add book

So, you can see how it might be a bit of fun from a user’s perspective, which may indeed mean that this thing takes off. And, if it does, then there will undoubtedly be a slew of brands jumping aboard the platform – presumably saying things IN BIG WORDS, drawing pictures and rolling dice. But, you never know, this just might be the thing that defines your business in 2016.


2. Blab

Now Blab, currently in beta, is more likely to appeal to marketers. The concept is simple. Using webcams, 2-4 people lead a topic-driven conversation, and, concurrently, a sideline chat bar runs alongside, allowing for audience participation. The live aspect certainly owes a debt to Periscope, and forms the perfect platform for many marketing ‘discussions’ to take place.

Indeed, webinars could essentially be broadcast via the platform, interviews, how-tos, workshops, anything. In fact, the network is already quite large, and there are many brands and marketers already using the site to exactly this effect.

Personally, I’m a fan, as I am of Periscope – and I think the two combined (not to mention Facebook Mentions) do really show that the future of video on the web is all about live connections and interactions. If blogging is all about adding value to your brand by giving away free information, then Blab adds oodles of this value as an audience can ask live questions to get the precise information that they want, rather than us authors just giving you the information that we think you need.

What other new social networks have popped up recently? We’d love to hear your views on them, especially concerning their potential for marketers. Please share your thoughts below.

The post 2 New Social Networks To Consider For 2016 appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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Are You Sending Out These Powerhouse Performer Emails Yet? Fri, 29 Jan 2016 15:17:26 +0000 The one marketing tool that has stood the test of time in the fickle digital world is email marketing. Since the time we got our first Hotmail email addresses, businesses recognized the potential that this extremely personal marketing platform held in store for them and have been trying to make the most of it ever […]

The post Are You Sending Out These Powerhouse Performer Emails Yet? appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

The one marketing tool that has stood the test of time in the fickle digital world is email marketing. Since the time we got our first Hotmail email addresses, businesses recognized the potential that this extremely personal marketing platform held in store for them and have been trying to make the most of it ever since.

Trouble is, the barrier to entry for sending out an email campaign is so low, that literally anyone can send one out. This means that every inbox on the planet is slowly choking under the glut of voluntarily solicited and unsolicited emails from everyone who has a stick of gum to sell.

The only way you can truly stand out from the deluge is by creating emails that are genuinely exceptional in the value they bring to the user. May I suggest a starting line, right here?


The Opt-In Email

Most companies assume that when a customer signs up a lead form or gives out here email address to you for some reason, she becomes fair game for being bombarded with promotional material anytime of the night or day. Trouble is, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 disagrees.

Marketing emails must be sent to a user with their consent only. Bombarding users with unsolicited emails can get your domain name blacklisted by email service providers like Gmail and Yahoo, making the deliverability of even important emails impossible. Online travel site Cleartrip uses a light touch with their opt-in emails:


By giving users a peek at what opting in to Cleartrip’s newsletters can get them, they subtly incentivize the process of sign ups.


The Referral Invitation Email

Customer referrals are a cheap and easy source of new leads for your business. By incentivizing existing users to bring in new ones, you expand your sales team manifold at costs that are a fraction of what it would have otherwise cost you to win new customers.

Jason Basinoff of AirBnB describes how the company turned around its nearly dead referral program into a roaring success – bookings grew 300% per day! Their email below makes the entire referral process a very personal one:


By using a picture of the friend who referred this user to AirBnB, the company establishes immediate credibility. They then sweeten the pot further with a discount thrown in to make sure the user is even more likely to convert.


The “No Hard-Sell” Email

The holiday season is a time when every retailer and brand is screaming at the top of their lungs to buy, buy, buy. The red, white and green splashed across every holiday email makes each one nearly indistinguishable from the rest. Not very smart now, you’d think.

That’s where it helps to set your brand apart from the herd. Instead of pushing discounts and last minute sales, Kate Spade takes the smart way out of designing an email that is so distinctly different in color, message and tone that it’s difficult to miss:

kate spade

There’s one brand that can teach others a thing or two in how to keep it classy, without missing out on the substance.


The “Cause That Matters” Email

Not all customers are turned on by that big flashy sale sign hanging in your window. There’s a sizeable and growing chunk of consumers that will readily whip out those greenbacks to buy products that share similar values as them. Email campaigns are perfect to communicate information about worthy causes to your subscribers and help them get involved in undertakings that are larger than themselves.

children's place

The email above from children’s clothing retailer Children’s Place is an interesting example of picking a cause that is close to the hearts of millions of parents. Autism affects 1 in 68 children born in the United States, making it a leading disease that new parents are on the watch for in their kids. By asking users to sign up to Children’s Place in order to donate, the brand successfully achieves two goals with one tool – getting new leads for itself and raising funds for a cause that resonates with their target audience.


The Teaser Email

Before I tell you about the many benefits of teasers, let us understand some differences between teaser email campaigns and standalone teaser emails.

A typical teaser campaign consists of four kinds of emails, the tease, the intro, the buildup, and the conclusion. Most companies use teaser campaign when introducing a new product, service or website. It is definitely hard work to create an email teaser campaign but you also have greater scope for creativity. You can easily build a story and bring it to a justifiable, pleasant end within the space of three or four emails.

However, when you have to create single email teaser, the difficulty increases manifold. It becomes difficult to catch your readers’ attention with just a snazzy headline and body copy and then lure them to click on the “Read More” or “Buy” button! What’s more, you also stand risk of coming across as snobby, abstract or lazy.

These are a few terrific teaser emails I have in my inbox right now:

  • 78% of employees aren’t satisfied with their compensation plan! – Adecco Staffing
  • Why is now the right time to let go? – Techtarget
  • Why That Giveaway Is A Terrible Marketing Idea – The Daily Egg

But the vast majority of the remaining emails are missed golden opportunities for creating great teaser campaigns. Get this. In the following email, start with their regular “Editor’s Picks” even though their upcoming webinar event should have taken precedence:


What’s more, I never received the “big news” that they wrote about in the email!

There are so many opportunities to that could turn into full-fledged teaser email campaigns, which you could use to build momentum for an event or create a stir about a new product feature amongst your readers.

Let’s say you are hosting or sponsoring a big conference. To ensure you get maximum participation, create many short clips featuring past events, the place where the event is taking place, or even some prodding from the speakers.

Alternatively, you can send out invites to people and encourage them to ask the single-most frustrating question they have about a particular topic. Throw in some kind of a deal as an incentive to answer. Invite them to have a brief one-to-one with the speaker who will answer their “one” question.

To milk the opportunity for maximum content promotion, use high level tools to carry out the videoconference or meeting. For instance, ClickMeeting allows you to rebrand your meeting room with your brand colors and logo. This reinforces your brand’s impact. Record these short interviews and send them out to everyone in your email database. You can even upload these videos on social media channels like Vimeo and Metacafe for cross-platform promotion.

I can already see your subject line – 2-min Video: Jane Doe asks a burning question to Di Lemme.

ask that burning question

The Abandoned Cart Recovery Email

I hear you groan. You already know about this one. But do you do it? How well do you do it? Setting up a full-functional, robust ecommerce site is the easy part.

What’s tough is making users stick around long enough to add items to their carts and complete their checkout process. Unfortunately, the fleeting attention span that our generation is cursed with means that nearly 70% of all shopping carts on ecommerce sites are abandoned.

However, a cart that is left unbought is not the end of the world. A persistent ecommerce business would reach out to users who’ve left their purchases incomplete and prod them into completing the purchase. As it turns out, email is the cheapest, easiest and most effective means of bringing about this transformation. While email marketing for ecommerce is no mean task, Nordstrom is a retailer that continues to redefine it:


Invitations to revisit abandoned carts are a type of triggered emails. A fixed period after someone ditches a cart, you can send her an email with a customized message depending on her previous purchases and preferences.

Research from Epsilon found that open rates for triggered messages are 61% higher and click-through rates are 117% higher when compared to regular emails. Talk about “powerhouse” performance!


The Product Review Email

Product reviews are a leading source of information that online shoppers use to make their final decision about most purchases. Product as well as company reviews also help in improving search rankings for businesses by offering search engines proof that the business offers products and services that are valued by their users. It therefore makes sense for companies to reach out to their customers to get product/business reviews from them.

In the email below, Marks & Spencer requests a review for a recent purchase by reminding the user of the exact item purchased and offering a helpful link that takes them straight to the reviews section on the website, thus making the entire process frictionless for the user.


The Reminder Email

We have all heard the numbers over and over again. It is easier to get an existing buyer to buy from you than acquire a completely new customer. Repeat buyers are more profitable in the short run and ensure that your marketing expenses are kept at a minimum in the long run. So why do so many businesses hesitate to bring back those repeat buyers?

Language learning app Duolingo cannot be blamed for ignoring their repeat users. They send out simple, yet friendly reminder emails to users who have missed one of their daily/weekly language sessions:


With a simple scale that shows how close they are to their target, Duolingo motivates users to get moving on their goals.


Wrapping Up

Email marketing has the power to build and sustain a solid pipeline of customers past, present and future for your business on a consistent basis. All it takes is some serious thought put into the various ways you can take advantage of this simple but extremely effective tool, and you’re all set for a promising business journey!

What kind of powerhouse emails are working for you at the moment? Can you use the emails we discussed here for your business? Do you tweak them for the holiday season or other peak times? Please let share in the comments!


About the Author: Rohan Ayyar is a creative content strategist, digital analyst, and CRO specialist at E2M, digital marketing firm par excellence. He doubles up as the resident UX authority at Moveo Apps, a premium app dev agency. Rohan is also an avid writer, with articles featured on The Next Web, Fast Company, and Adweek. Find Rohan on Twitter @searchrook

The post Are You Sending Out These Powerhouse Performer Emails Yet? appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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7 Most Common Landing Page Mistakes – And How to Fix Them Thu, 28 Jan 2016 14:37:58 +0000 Want to know one of the fastest ways to boost results? It’s not getting a big budget increase. Or landing a partnership with an influencer. It’s improving your landing pages. The right landing page can spike results fast. Some landing page updates have resulted in a million dollars of extra sales. That’s right – $1 million […]

The post 7 Most Common Landing Page Mistakes – And How to Fix Them appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Want to know one of the fastest ways to boost results? It’s not getting a big budget increase. Or landing a partnership with an influencer. It’s improving your landing pages. The right landing page can spike results fast. Some landing page updates have resulted in a million dollars of extra sales. That’s right – $1 million dollars, all due to one simple landing page.

I even did this myself I few years ago, for a company getting most of its traffic from pay per click. They were spending $12,000 a day on clicks. One change to the copy of the call to action button doubled the conversion rate. There’s another story of the guys at Conversion Rate Experts making $1 million for Moz just by re-doing one landing page.

Obviously, nobody can promise you’ll net a million dollars by reworking a landing page. But it happens. And you can definitely improve your results.

But there’s a dark side to landing pages, too. When they’re bad… they really hurt your business. To help you avoid the dark side, we wanted to give you a checklist of the major sins of landing pages. Avoid these and you’ll be on your way to the million dollar club.


1) You aren’t using landing pages.

Are you one of those people who sets up a marketing campaign… and sends the people who respond to that campaign to your home page?

Come on. I won’t tell. But you need to change. Because if you would just put up even a decent landing page dedicated to that campaign, you’d probably increase your results by about 30-40%. That’s the kind of lift most of the A/B split-tests that compare landing pages to home pages get.

Why does this work? It’s because of something called attention ratio. It refers to how many things a user can do on a page. If a user could do, day, 15 different things, the attention ration is 15:1. If a user could do only one thing on the page, the attention ratio would be 1:1. Landing pages work best when the ratio is 1:1.

Here’s a page with a 1:1 attention ratio:


There are two links on this page (they’re both in orange) but they prompt you to do the same thing.

Compare that page to this one, which has an attention ratio of 15:1. There’s too much on this page to distract the user from doing the one thing the company wants them to do: Sign up for a free trial.


2) You aren’t testing your landing pages.

When you’re committed to testing, a beautiful thing happens: Every time you publish a new landing page, you can know it will only get better.

Why? Because through patient, statistically valid testing, your landing pages can only get better and better and better. That means your results can only get better and better and better. And that means your business can only get better and better. Like the pattern there?

This isn’t just my opinion. Split-testing landing pages was rated the most effective way to increase conversions for landing pages by the marketers surveyed for Ascend2 and WiderFunnels’ 2015 Landing Page Optimization Research Report.


3) You’re testing your landing pages the wrong way.

Lots of marketers make this mistake. It’s so easy to see one version of a test do crazy-great for the first few days of a test. It looks like such a sure thing. And then you’ve got a client (or a partner) egging you on with “Geez – stop being so freaked out about this. Version B is obviously crushing Version A! End the test already! Stop being such a dork!”

It’s hard when you’re under pressure, but please don’t give in. Stick to the math. And the math says you gotta run that test long enough to have statistically valid results. I have seen over a dozen tests that looked like one version was an obvious winner at the beginning… and then, day by day, the winner’s lead slowly eroded. At the end, we had a tie. It’s a boring result, but would you rather be boring or base your business on a faulty test?

So please, let your tests run out their full course. That usually means at least one full week. For a more specific estimate, check a tool like Optimizely’s A/B Test Sample Size Calculator.

You can also A/B test landing pages in your GetResponse account if you’ve opted for the paid landing pages add-on. All GetResponse users have access to the basic landing page features for one landing page for up to 1,000 visitors per month.

Want to know more about creating and split-testing landing pages in your GetResponse account? The video below will show you just about everything you need to know, including how to set up your first test.


4) You aren’t building your landing pages for mobile devices.

You’ve heard how there’s more traffic on mobile devices than on desktops, right? So don’t build your landing pages for desktops only.


Kerry Butters wrote a whole post on how to design a landing page for mobile devices. Key takeaways from that post include:

  • Keep headlines to 5 words or less
  • Don’t forget to include your company logo
  • Use simplicity and whitespace in your design
  • Keep the form simple and the call to action button prominent

There’s even more information in the GetResponse Responsive Landing Page Guide.


5) People don’t understand what your page offers or what they’re supposed to do.

Quick: If you put your landing page in front of someone who wasn’t familiar with it, would they be able to look at it for five seconds and then tell you:

  • What’s the purpose of this landing page?
  • What is it offering?
  • What action does it want people to take?
  • How do they take that action?

lpc_guideTry this test on a couple of different people. It’s even better if they’re in your target audience.

If your test subjects have trouble answering those basic questions after looking at your landing page for a few seconds, you’ve got a problem: The message of your landing page is not clear enough

This is fairly easy to fix. You’ve just got to rework the copy. Look for:

  • The simplest, most powerful way to hook your visitors’ attention.
  • Places you could use bullet points instead of paragraphs.
  • Any paragraph that’s more than four lines.
  • Any sentences you could simplify.
  • Any words or phrases you could use that your audience will respond to.
  • Anything you can cut.

Want to know more about how to write for landing pages? Check out the landing page ebook Peep Laja wrote for GetResponse – it’s got specifics on how to grab peoples’ attention and get them to act.


6) Your landing page loads too slowly.

Pages that are slow to load crush conversion rates. So what’s slow to load? Anything over 2 seconds. Excerpt of the infographic “How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line” by KissMetrics:


Not sure how quickly your landing pages load? Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to find out – and to get instructions on how to fix any problems.

Also consider using the new Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) markup to build your landing pages. It’s basically a simplified version of HTML. Google appears to be behind the new markup, and while it might not get you results within the next month, it’s something we all should know about. Consider adopting it sooner rather than later.


7) There is no image of your product on the landing page.

You’re not off the hook if you’re a service business or a SAAS company either. For services – show your service being rendered. For SAAS companies – show a chart of results. And please, avoid stock photos if at all possible. They’ll hurt your credibility.

If you’re offering an ebook – show a 3D image of the ebook. There are a couple of good Fiverr gigs that can make a nice 3D cover of an ebook for you. Or use BoxShot. It’s a free online tool that will give you a decent 3D image of your ebook or report.

Want to know more? Watch Peep Laja explain how to pick the right image for your landing page in this video:

Bonus: Keep your messaging consistent between the first step in your marketing campaign and your landing page.

Don’t show people an ad that says “Start Your Business This Weekend” and then bring them to a landing page about a conference for small business owners. The messages are inconsistent. It’s especially important that the headline of your landing page matches the copy of whatever piece of marketing the user just saw.

Some conversion experts call this “keeping the scent”. Peep talks about how to keep the scent in point #5 of his GetResponse webinar, “Top 20 Landing Page Mistakes – And How to Avoid Them”.


That’s definitely not every mistake you could make on a landing page, but it covers the biggest problems and the most likely missteps.

Just to review:

  • Don’t send people to your company homepage. Use landing pages.
  • Set up an ongoing testing program.
  • Let your tests run for as long as they need to get statistically valid results – at least one week or more.
  • Your landing pages must be mobile friendly.
  • The copy on your landing pages must be crystal clear.
  • Your pages need to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • Include an image of your product or service. Preferably a photo of a real person or product from your company, not a stock photo.

What’s your experience with landing pages? Have you had any huge wins? Share your thoughts in the comments.


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How Social Media Can Destroy Your Image Wed, 27 Jan 2016 15:17:50 +0000 Have you heard about the six degrees of separation theory by Frigyes Karinthy? It assumes that everyone in the world is connected to everyone else in the world by a chain of no more than six acquaintances. It’s been supported with many experiments, researches, and analyses. However, lots of things have changed since the early […]

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Have you heard about the six degrees of separation theory by Frigyes Karinthy? It assumes that everyone in the world is connected to everyone else in the world by a chain of no more than six acquaintances. It’s been supported with many experiments, researches, and analyses. However, lots of things have changed since the early conceptions.Nowadays, I assume, that distance has shrunk. Out of the 7.3-billion world population 44% have Internet access. Everyone, except for some remote islands or areas in the middle of nowhere, is connected to the web. Thus, if you want to reach out to a famous celebrity it will be much easier and probably involve less people than the carefully calculated six.


Dark Side Of Social Media

I know that connecting with your favorite idol directly sounds tantalizing, but there is also an opposite side of the coin. The Internet cut distances between people from different nations, backgrounds, of distinct social status, and distinct level of popularity. It’s easier for brands to generate leads, reach out to customers and other companies. However, the Internet might be also a source of big trouble.

I will not expand upon the subject of online security that is put into danger every time we share information on the Internet. I want to talk about threats that concern intangible brand assets like reputation which can be ruined on social media within seconds.


Negative World We Live In

Negative information spreads much faster than positive. If you need a proof just watch the news and calculate the good-to-bad-information ratio. Chances are most pieces of news concern wars, socioeconomic problems, or natural disasters, It’s the same with social media!

What’s more, people feel a social responsibility to warn other users about company  wrongdoings and so they share such information across the Internet. Therefore, negative opinions and complaints from unsatisfied clients have a higher tendency to spread virally. One small, seemingly harmless comment can escalate into a huge brand reputation crisis.

Nestlé, and more precisely baby food produced by this brand, struggled with a serious problem a few years ago that came out of a rumor that was posted on Facebook by a Polish citizen living in the UK, saying that their products may contain pieces of glass. Four days later, another Polish user, this time in Norway, shared this post. Two and a half weeks later information moved to Poland as well, causing a serious reputation crisis for the brand.

Within a few days, social media users posted more than 22 thousand comments about this, reaching approximately 3.5 million users. Maybe if Nestlé had discovered the very first mention with their baby food, they might have nipped the problem in the bud, preventing a crisis escalation.

Number of mentions about Nestlé baby food on the Internet

Brand As Hijacking Victim

Have your ever thought that someone can steal your brand’s identity online? And I am not saying about hacking your social media account, even though that may also happen. However, you should be aware that anyone can pose as a customer service rep in your company.

Brandjacking is an activity whereby someone acquires the online identity of another entity. Users sometimes do that just for fun, in order to purposely harm brand reputation, or to acquire that brand’s equity. If you detect such a profile soon enough, you can easily report it and explain to your audience you have nothing to do with that fake account. If not, your clients and prospects may form a bad opinion about your brand and it can be difficult to refute it.

What’s more, brands are not the only “thing” that can be hijacked. Certain campaigns or hashtags can be highjacked as well. NYPD learned that the hard way. The police department wanted to highlight their relationship with the public, so they ran a Twitter campaign encouraging users to share their photos with #myNYPD hashtag.

Great idea to improve image on social media, isn’t it? Not so much. They did not foresee that people would be more willing to share their negative experiences with police officers rather than pleasant moments. The hashtag was hijacked and shared in tweets that painted NYPD in a bad light. It definitely did not warm up relations with social media users.

Handling A Crisis

You’d probably prefer to be clear of of any crisis situations, but unfortunately they may hit every brand. Even if you have a professional online reputation management system that monitors threats and potential sources of problems, you can always experience negative social outrage against your company. Therefore, you should also be prepared to handle a crisis that has already started.

Firstly, don’t panic when there is a problem on the horizon. Stay calm and develop a strategy that will help you get out of it. Every crisis has its origin and you should start there. If it came out of negative opinion from an unsatisfied client, apologize and offer some kind of compensation. Naturally, bigger issues than one complaining customer might appear. However, the scheme stays always the same. You should find the origin, first. Then fix it in the source. If it is needed you should also give an official statement explaining what and why happened and how you are going to fix it.

Then, it is time you came up with solution to rebuild your reputation, if it was given a bad name. Remember that you should always stay consistent with values your brand has to offer. Don’t make snap decisions, because that may affect the outcome. Think twice before you take a step!


Turn A Crisis Into A Social Media Win

Not so long ago Target fell victim to brandjacking. After a wave of nasty comments about the company’s move toward gender-neutral labeling of children’s products in its stores a Facebook user wanted to prank the brand. He set up a fake Fanpage “Ask ForHelp”, posing as a customer service rep and replied to all these comments in a very unpleasant or even offensive manner.

Target 1

Target did not notice the problem straightaway, so the prickly Facebook troll continued writing snarky comments for a few hours. After a while the company reported it, the account was taken down and they issued an official statement on social media. However, what they did later let them win their audience back and gain a bunch of new followers.

Target posted a photo of retro troll dolls to its Facebook page together with a comment:

 The brand managed to flip the brandjacking crisis and the tiny troll photo was shared over 18,000 times, liked by over 55,000, and commented by over 5 thousand Facebook users.


Prevention Is Better Than A Cure

You need to know how to fight a crisis that has already developed. However, prevention is always better than a cure. Therefore, your company should prepare an online reputation management system. Depending on the industry and your brand character, it might differ. There are a few core rules, though, that you should follow to avoid crisis situations on the Internet:

  1. Track social media mentions about your brand. Stay up-to-date with what’s being said about your brand. Social media became a channel for making complaints about bad customer service and you cannot ignore such comments. Use social listening tools to collect opinions, both negative and positive ones, and reply to them as soon as you discover them.
  2. Always be consistent on social media. Many crisis situations result from companies’ incoherent online image. When a brand says one thing and behaves in a different way, it will definitely be perceived badly. Set a good example to your community and other brands, and people will stay loyal to you.
  3. Engage your audience on the emotional level. It is no longer easy to keep your clients loyal. They switch between brands because they are not relevant to them. In fact, most consumers wouldn’t care if 73% of brands disappeared for good. They would just simply turn to a different brand. If you don’t want to end up in the 73-percent group, offer real value to your customers. They need to feel emotional attachment to stay loyal. When you create such a bond with your audience, they will trust you and support you in case of any crisis.
  4. Cooperate with influencers. There is no better way to convince people a product or brand value than recommendation from a trusted person. Nowadays, consumers put more trust in bloggers, vloggers, and other opinion leaders. If you win influencers’ hearts, you’ll get the key to wider audience.

The social media landscape is constantly evolving. Consumers of today are significantly different than those from the 80s, 90s, or 00s. Digital technology shortens distances between customers and brands. Leverage this trend and don’t let any crisis situation to destroy your brand reputation. Because once it’s harmed, it comes difficult and costly to rebuild it.

How do you manage social media crises? Write in comment the comments below!



About the Author: Natalia Chrzanowska is a Content Manager at Brand24 and an author in their corporate blog. She’s passionate about social media and digital marketing. She loves turning brand’s activity into stories. Personally she’s a budding traveler and amateur photographer. Tweet her at @ishoottheworld.


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Premium Marketing Toolkit to Help You Achieve Your Business Goals Tue, 26 Jan 2016 14:33:19 +0000 Marketing trends change at the speed of light. Lead acquisition, increasing conversions, engaging your audience, research, and optimization… How to be effective in all these activities without hiring an army of specialists? Choose the right tools that will improve your marketing performance! GetResponse partnered up with great companies, offering complementary services, and created a Marketing […]

The post Premium Marketing Toolkit to Help You Achieve Your Business Goals appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Marketing trends change at the speed of light. Lead acquisition, increasing conversions, engaging your audience, research, and optimization… How to be effective in all these activities without hiring an army of specialists? Choose the right tools that will improve your marketing performance!

GetResponse partnered up with great companies, offering complementary services, and created a Marketing Toolkit with exclusive discounts up to 50%! This unique set of tools aims at helping marketers achieve their goals and facilitate their work. From video marketing, webinars, email verification, live chat, quizzes, email templates, and A/B tests, to research and optimization – you will find it all in the Premium Marketing Toolkit.



ClickMeeting is a browser-based platform for online meetings and webinars including real-time video and audio for the look and feel of in-person meetings.

The platform comes with a wide array of interactive features e.g. presentation tool for slideshows; uploader for images, videos, and documents; whiteboard; real-time screen sharing and remote desktop for online demos; online polling, testing, and moderated chat for instant feedback.

ClickMeeting allows you to fully customize online meeting or webinar experiences, so meeting room, agenda, invitations, registration, or thank-you pages, match customer corporate branding. Users can also gain access to advanced API to connect their in-house application, CRM, or CMS with ClickMeeting and manage meetings without leaving their system.

Who’s it for?

ClickMeeting is great for industries such as education and e-learning, healthcare and pharmacy, HR and recruiting, sales and marketing, IT, real estate, financial services, or nonprofits. Companies can use webinars to educate customers, generate leads, attract new contacts, sell products and services, train employees, and confer with their team. ClickMeeting has more than 12,000 satisfied customers in 190 countries including: Apple, Sony, Siemens, Uber, Harvard Business Review, National Geographic.

Why will you love it?

The platform has everything users need for online interaction and collaboration, with features designed to help fully engage with partners, prospects, and customers. The interface is intuitive and easy to use, enabling people to schedule and run events in a few quick steps.


Customer Service

LiveHelpNow is a customer service software suite with a multiple help-desk features including: Live Chat, Email/Ticket Management, a Knowledge Base, and Call Management. LiveHelpNow allows you to engage with the visitors on your site, just as you would in a physical store, increasing sales, and offering superior support.

Who’s it for?

LiveHelpNow is a cloud platform designed to scale to any size business, from startups to enterprises.

Why will you love it?

It is the most customizable chat platform on the market. The operator panel collects valuable data about each or your website visitors and allows you to design your own custom use cases for the data. Offer sales incentives, target repeat visitors, or create specific automated processes that are customized to your business needs.

LiveHelpNow’s has over 2,500 features, including: real time visitor monitoring, mobile for iPhone and Android, landline texting, performance metrics, customizable surveys, customer sentiment analysis, instant language translation, Twitter integration, countless third party integrations, and a free 30 day trial.


Research & Optimization

VWO is a powerful, connected conversion optimization platform that simplifies research-focused optimization for more wins. With capabilities like heatmaps, visitor recordings, surveys, form analytics, and so on, VWO encapsulates the elements of A/B testing and research tools in one platform, to let users drive an intelligent and repeatable optimization process. 

Who’s it for?

VWO is ideal for fast growing online businesses who want to continuously improve conversions from their website.

Why will you love it?

VWO’s connected environment, its data-driven approach and the ability to produce intelligent results is what you’ll truly fall in love with. With VWO, you can easily track and analyze visitor behaviour across your website, plan your tests, and run targeted campaigns to improve conversions.


iSpionage is a competitive intelligence tool for search marketing campaigns that makes it easy to download your competitors’ top PPC keywords, SEO terms, ads, and landing pages. iSpionage’s database includes 92,000,000+ keywords, 108,000,000+ ad copy variations, 45,000,000+ domains, giving advertisers access to a wealth of competitive intelligence data to help them make smarter strategic decisions.

Who’s it for?

iSpionage is perfect for any PPC campaign—from small to medium sized businesses looking to learn from larger advertisers to enterprise companies who need a competitive advantage for their PPC marketing campaigns. By nature, PPC campaigns are highly competitive, which is why businesses need iSpionage in their corner so they can make more money with AdWords.

Why will you love it?

It provides access to a nearly unlimited amount of competitive intelligence data that will help you to find profitable keywords faster, write ad copy that stands out and gets clicked, and boost conversions by optimizing your landing pages. From keywords to ad copy to landing pages, nobody offers better competitive intelligence data than iSpionage.


Brand 24 offers a beautifully designed and easy to use social CRM and social monitoring application, which empowers brands to get real-time customer insights and actionable intelligence relevant to their products, brands, competitors, and topics of interest. It tracks all public online mentions across multiple social media platforms including: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, forums, and news sites.

Brand24 helps businesses to protect their image and prevent potential crises, offers an opportunity to reach brand ambassadors or prospect customers while identifying sales leads, improves social customer service, helps in targeting partners and sponsors, as well as media and influencers for PR purposes. The dashboard provides access to unique social analytics, such as: influencer analysis, sentiment analysis, customized PDF reports, and infographics, online as well as via instant email or mobile app alerts.

Who’s it for?

Thousands of brands of all sizes across all industries use Brand24 in their everyday operations – from large enterprises like H&M, Uber, IKEA, Vichy, and Samsung, through all types of agencies, including PR, social media, marketing, and interactive agencies, to small and medium business owners: startups, doctors, shop and restaurant owners, eBay sellers, etc. Brand24 caters to all of them.

Why will you love it?

It provides reliable, fast, and cost-effective results. Nowadays 80% of consumers do online research before making a buying decision. Brand24 provides listening tool to find these leads, identify where to promote products, and find customers before they find you!

Small and medium business owners can leverage social listening to generate a value just as easy. Business owners all over the world are in need of learning what people say about their products and services online.




Interact is a platform for creating quizzes to generate leads. The platform integrates with GetResponse so you can follow up with your leads in a personalized way based on their actual personalities. In a practical sense what that means is that you can use quizzes to engage your audience on social media, generate leads, and then those leads will be handled by GetResponse, which you already know how to do. Interact quizzes feed the top of your marketing funnel.

Who’s it for?

Businesses Selling Digital Products, Ecommerce, Non-Profits, and SAAS Companies, but can be adapted to most B2C applications. There are really two types of quizzes that work well:

  1. The personality quiz, which is some variation of “Which (blank) are you?” so for example, “What Kind of Marketer Are You?”
  2. An assessment, so for example, “How Much Do You Really Know About Marketing?”

If you can adapt to one of those two types of quizzes then Interact can work for you.

Why will you love it?

It’s like connecting a Buzzfeed quiz with an opt-in form! This is amazing because quizzes have the ability to generate leads from the social web, a space that’s historically been a tough nut to crack. By combining the share-ability of quizzes with the practical value of capturing leads, you can design an experience that is beneficial to both you as the company and to the quiz taker as well.



Wistia is a video hosting company for businesses. With detailed analytics, including engagement graphs and individual viewer heatmaps, the Wistia application can help you measure and improve your video efforts. Wistia also allows you to fully customize your video player, so that you can control how it looks, feels, and functions on your website. Lastly, Wistia provides you with post and pre-roll calls to action, video SEO tools, closed captioning, social sharing options, and other features that will drive traffic to your business’s website.

Who’s it for?

Wistia is for marketers who want to leverage video to sell more or make a personal connection with customers and audience members. It serves both B2B and B2C companies of all sizes. We have big customers like Tiffany & Co and small customers like B&Bs or solopreneurs launching a product.

Why will you love it?

It lets you put video on your website in a more attractive way than a basic YouTube embed. Plus, you can see analytics about who’s watching and what they rewatch or skip. You can also collect leads from within the video itself and pipe these leads into Marketo and most other major email service providers.


Email Templates 

Email Monks is a specialized award-winning email design and coding company, delivering over 2500 custom email templates to 3000+ customers globally. Monks are proud of delivering flawless HTML emails that successfully render across all major email clients. They use a mix of manual and automated testing through Litmus / Email On Acid to provide your subscribers a unified experience.

Who’s it for?

Monks support a number of GetResponse customers in designing & coding custom emails, newsletters, and landing page templates for their campaigns. Monks’ clients include brans like Disney, National Geography, Oracle. Monks also offer white labeled services to agencies, working as their preferred behind the scene partner.

Why will you love it?

The 24/7 customer support makes it easy to get help when you really need it. They provide interactive email coding including Menus, Sliders, Accordions and they’re great for Retina, GIF, and video emails. Other great features include: 40+ email client compatibility, 8 hours quickest TAT, Litmus tested code, and white labelled opportunities.


Email Verification

Email verification from BriteVerify is the solution to old, stale email lists. BriteVerify’s self-service verification tools will help you identify which emails to include in your next campaign to deliver the most effective results possible.

Who’s it for?

BriteVerify is great for anyone suffering from deliverability issues, low IP/Sender score, or who has a high number of stale or fraudulent email addresses within their capture points or CRM.

Why will you love it?

The process is simple, just create a BriteVerify account, import your email list, and we’ll guide you through the verification process.  In minutes, you’ll be ready to export your valid emails and send your next campaign. And with no contracts, minimum charges, or setup fees, you’ll only pay for what you need and nothing more. 


What do you think?

Phew! That’s quite a lot of choices and tools to pick from. Think of the tools you could benefit from most and start achieving your marketing goals for 2016 with discounts exclusive for GetResponse fans.

Can you recommend any online tools that we could add to the Marketing Toolkit? Please share them in the comments below!

The post Premium Marketing Toolkit to Help You Achieve Your Business Goals appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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6 Tips to Make Customer Service Managers Lives’ a Breeze Mon, 25 Jan 2016 14:43:05 +0000 Being a Customer Service Manager is challenging to say the least. You experience the full force of rage when your company fails to meet customer expectations, whether it’s your fault or not. At the same time, your boss expects you to keep smiling and project a friendly and helpful persona in order to put the […]

The post 6 Tips to Make Customer Service Managers Lives’ a Breeze appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Being a Customer Service Manager is challenging to say the least. You experience the full force of rage when your company fails to meet customer expectations, whether it’s your fault or not. At the same time, your boss expects you to keep smiling and project a friendly and helpful persona in order to put the best face forward for their brand.

As if that wasn’t enough, you are also managing your employees’ needs, efficiency and work habits. Needless to say this is difficult to do, especially under the pressure that many such managers receive from above.

Despite these and many other challenges, it is possible to gain fulfillment from this career path, made all the better when you work for a company that cares about making your job easier and more worthwhile. Here’s some ways to make it happen:


1. Take advantage of self-service tools

As a Customer Service Manager, a lot of responsibility is on your shoulders. Yet, many of the interactions between customers and customer service representatives are unnecessary as they take time away from more urgent matters. There are many common issues that customers face. Since these problems are so prominent, it is likely that the customer him or herself can solve them on their own without the need for human intervention.

That’s where self-service tools come in. It used to be that FAQ sections were considered self-service tools, yet these sections are limited and are too generalized to offer individual support. Self-service portals allow customers to instantly find answers to many of their most pressing and common issues. In many such solutions, they simply type a question and answers will appear. This way, they do not have to take time out of their day to call, stay on hold, and come to the customer service representatives already agitated. At the same time, customer service professionals receive less calls and less aggravated interactions.


2. Be clear about scheduling

Your site should be a clear resource about a number of things. This of course includes scheduling. If your customers know ahead of time when they can and cannot contact you, they will have the ability to make more of an effort to get in touch with your team at convenient times. Being able to reach you will decrease much of their frustration, meaning they will take less out on your representatives.

Depending on your company’s resources, you should look into offering a 24 hour support option for your customers. Customers come from near and far, which means that your working hours do not necessarily overlap with those of the people trying to reach you. Providing round-the-clock support, whether it be by phone or via email, will allow all of your customers to feel valued.


3. Be encouraging, positive and understanding

They say the customer is always right – and while this is true, you should always be open to hearing the other side of the story. Some customers will never be happy, and that’s not necessarily the fault of the employee. Remember, the last thing your customer service manager needs to hear is yelling from both their customer and their boss, so keep your interactions positive and helpful.

Employ constructive criticism to help your employees better manage complex situations and have training programs so they can learn about your company’s customer service strategies. Reward them for good behavior and always point out positive interactions as it will encourage them to strive for the best despite negative encounters.


4. Use social media

Social media is fun and effective. At the same time, it can serve as a bit of a buffer. Customers appreciate social customer service since it’s convenient for them and doesn’t waste their time. Best of all, since they are already using social media, it’s not much of a stretch for them to jump on Facebook or Twitter for customer service interactions.

Likewise for your Customer Service Managers. Generally speaking, they are already on social media as well. So if they can reduce frustrating phone interactions through going social, it can make their jobs much easier and more enjoyable. Furthermore, since social media interactions are slightly less personal, it is easier to handle customers through this method than over the phone.


5. Use Customer Effort Score

Needless to say, if your customers can easily get ahold of you, they will be much less frustrated once they reach someone on the other end. That’s why it’s worthwhile for your company to make it as simple as possible to achieve customer support. While this may be the ideal for every brand, ensuring this actually happens is no easy feat.

That’s why there’s a Customer Effort Score or CES. A CES helps your team assess the amount of effort your customers need to put forth in order to get service. Obviously, if they are required to put in too much effort, they will be more frustrated than if they were able to instantly reach a customer service representative. Therefore, measuring this could give you insights about how to move forward in your customer service tactics, preventing the customer from feeling upset in the first place.


6. Employ a Customer Service Strategy

A customer service manager is only as good as the strategies that he employs. That is to say, a clearly defined and well-organized set of procedures will not only streamline the customer experience, it will also be a better use of the employee’s time. A strong strategy means that the employees will be able to maximize their efforts and thus help more customers throughout the day.

Tools such as and Zendesk help with this strategy, as they offer an interface that maximizes the efficiency and ease of communication between the user and the customer service manager. This tool allows the customer service manager to record the interactions with the user, and also for you to get analytics on the frequency of each question/issue.

Customer service is one of the most essential departments for all businesses. That’s why it’s critical for companies to ensure that those putting forth the hard work are receiving the help they need in order to thrive. Afterall, in many cases, positive customer service employees equals positive interactions with customers and in the end, all leads to happy, loyal customers for years to come. But don’t take our word for it; give these tips a try yourself!


YifatHeadshotAbout the author: Yifat is the Marketing VP at nanorep with over 15 years’ experience marketing SaaS and on-premise solutions for start-ups, and global enterprises. As Marketing VP, she is responsible for bringing nanorep’s Digital Experience Guidance (DEG) to the forefront when considering a customer experience solution.

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Read This Video… A Look Into YouTube Captions Fri, 22 Jan 2016 15:30:56 +0000 Captions (also called „subtitles”) are a great element of every video marketing strategy, but also one that is often treated as a fifth wheel. But you know what? That’s as true as saying that YouTube is only for cats and pranks. Captions are basically a textual representation of audio that was used in your video […]

The post Read This Video… A Look Into YouTube Captions appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Captions (also called „subtitles”) are a great element of every video marketing strategy, but also one that is often treated as a fifth wheel. But you know what? That’s as true as saying that YouTube is only for cats and pranks.

Captions are basically a textual representation of audio that was used in your video production.

But wait a minute, you have a great voice over, smooth music, and the final effect is just „wow” so why bother? Take a look at if from a different perspective, cover your ears and imagine that you are having trouble hearing…or put yourself in these situations:

  • At a library
  • In a bus
  • The airport
  • With broken sound in your notebook
  • At night with half asleep toddler

…there you are sitting and you don’t have your headphones with you. Wouldn’t it be awesome to watch the video and read what it is said? Mobile is now your go-to screen and there are more and more situations when you simply can’t hear as good as you want, well, because it’s mobile.

What’s more, that’s not the only thing people forget as far as captions go. Repeat after me: S E O… Yes, captions affect SEO, which leads to increased views, better search traffic, greater user engagement, awesomer search rank, and so on. This notion was tested and proven by a video SEO study on Discovery Digital Network’s YouTube channel.

Another important thing to remember is something called hardcoded subtitles. It requires more work than just simply uploading transcripts to YouTube, but on the other hand there is a perfect explanation as to why we should use them…and it’s called autoplay.

Yes, autoplay simply throws a video in front of your eyes – with no sound, so the only way to get the most of it is by:

  1. Enabling sound
  2. reading captions

And yes, many, many people are too lazy (or the simply don’t want to listen) to click the „enable sound” button while they scroll through Facebook so we need to make way for our content to be delivered fully!

The perfect way is to provide some eye-catching subtitles. If we do it right in the video, there is no need to add extra voiceover to it. Take a look at the following examples:


YouTube Caption Examples


How to start? 

Ok, now we know that we should use subtitles. But to be honest – making a captions file AFTER you publish a video is like peeling potatoes after they’ve been cooked. It’s possible, but it’s not efficient.

Nevertheless, ave no fear, there is still hope! I recommend that you check out Upwork ( where you will find tons of professional transcribers that do this for a living. They have right tools, experience, and not to be captain obvious (again) – it’s their job to transcribe!



Once you have a transcript, you can create a caption file and upload it to your video. You don’t have to worry in which second a sentence should start – YouTube automatically time-syncs the text to match the captions ideally.

To do this simply follow these steps:

  • Go to your Video Manager by clicking your account avatar in the top right > Creator Studio > Video Manager > Videos.
  • Choose the video you want to add captions to, use the dropdown, then select Subtitles and CC.
  • Click the “Add new subtitles” or “CC” button.
  • Choose how you want to add or edit subtitles to your video.


And now it is time for some YouTube magic.

Shia Magic


Upload a .txt file and YouTube will use its speech recognition software to synchronize every sentence to its audio equivalent. So, basically you don’t have to worry about anything, the guys at Google are on your side! :)

However, if you’re the kind of person who loves doing everything from a to z alone, you can take advantage of tools provided by YouTube. Just select “Create new subtitles” or “CC” and type as you watch the video. The beauty of this method is that the video automatically stops as you write so it is a lot easier than just using a YouTube player and a text document to get this done.


But are those the only options that we have?

If you don’t want to make any transcriptions by yourself without having to pay anyone to get this done for you – you have a third option. Use the so-called Automatic captions. YouTube can generate captions for you using its speech recognition software. But you should be extreme cautious with them. In most cases the speech recognition works fine but still it can make some major mistakes, so it’s highly recommended that you go through the script as you watch the video and just correct anything that need some tweaks.

Automatic captions are available in English, Dutch, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.


How does GetResponse deal with captions?

At GetResponse we’ve tried basically every method and throughout the years we’ve managed to find, what we deem to be, the best way to tackle captions:

  • Find the perfect transcriber (upwork!)
  • Send URL to a video,
  • Receive a text file with transcription
  • Upload it to YouTube
  • Download your captions with timestamps
  • Send those time-stamped captions to your translation team
  • Once again, upload many languages to your video.

It is a very important and time saving habit to send a file that is equipped with timestamps for translation. Once you get them back you will just need to upload everything again and your work is over. You will then see something like this:




This is the most efficient way to get your video translated into many languages.

Ok so now we know that is should be done but it is often hard to decide on which video we should put more attention and which can wait.

You should definitely put subtitles (in Multiple Languages) in videos that you wish to put higher in search results. And what is more important – you should focus your attention on those that are being watched worldwide (yes, YouTube can show you this). This lets non-English speakers enjoy your video.


How To Force Subtitles to be shown?

If you want to force your captions to be shown (so people don’t have to manually click the captions button to enable them) you can use this simple trick.

Adding a tag: yt:cc=on to your video will lead to displaying captions by default.

So if people from around the globe visit your content – they will see the right translation in an instant (if there is one uploaded). This is handy especially when you have your video transcripts translated into other languages.


Subtitles YouTube


So, if you have some free time or resources – it is highly recommended to bring this feature into play. It will not only get your videos higher in google rankings but also in peoples hearts.

Just imagine the smile on someone’s face, who assumed that they won’t watch the video, and then bang! There are captions made especially for him! Its like a Christmas present…but times 1000!

Do you use captions in your videos? What’s your favorite implementation method? Share in the comments below!

The post Read This Video… A Look Into YouTube Captions appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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10 Questions Every Email Marketer Should Ask Themselves Thu, 21 Jan 2016 14:57:54 +0000 Marketing never stays in place. It’s not “set it and forget it”. Even if you have a beautiful marketing automation campaign set up, you still need to check in on it from time to time. It needs to be questioned, tested and improved. Some parts may even need to be retired. To help you assess […]

The post 10 Questions Every Email Marketer Should Ask Themselves appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Marketing never stays in place. It’s not “set it and forget it”. Even if you have a beautiful marketing automation campaign set up, you still need to check in on it from time to time. It needs to be questioned, tested and improved. Some parts may even need to be retired.

To help you assess where your email marketing is and where it needs to go, here are ten simple questions to ask yourself. Pull out this list about once a quarter – the answers you get will show you the best way to focus your energy and time.


1. How much is email marketing contributing to my overall business?

Let’s start with a broad view question first. As much as we love email, we don’t believe it should be the only marketing tactic you use. There’s also social, SEO, advertising, direct mail, outdoor and more.

What’s more, marketing is only one slice of a larger pie when you think about the totality of your business. All those other areas – accounting, legal, customer service, inventory – need time, focus, and money. And they all compete with each other for those limited resources.

To make smart decisions about what’s best for your business, you need to know how much of your overall revenue comes from email marketing. The answer you get will inform how you invest in other marketing tactics.

Who knows, maybe email shouldn’t be your priority right now. Maybe this is the year to go really big into video. Or podcasting. You won’t know until you can answer this question.

Want some context? Here’s how important email is to other marketers.


Caption: Graph is from the SalesForce/Marketing Cloud 2015 State of Marketing.


2. Is my email marketing profitable?

Once you know how email fits into the larger view of your business, the next question to ask is if your email marketing is profitable or not.

We wrote a bit about this in an earlier post, but basically, your email marketing is profitable if you can subtract your expenses from your revenue and end up with a positive number.

Now, is that an overly simplified way to calculate profitability? It sure is.

If you want to go further – and to even figure out what the return on investment for your email marketing is, try this calculator.


3. How could I serve my subscribers better?

One of the reasons email marketing is so valuable is that it’s an owned asset. You own your email list. You control what you do with it. Compare that to social media, where you are almost totally under the control of whichever social media platform you’re using. Consider how Facebook has decimated organic reach. Email marketers don’t have to worry about stuff like that.

…So long as they treat their subscribers well. Because while email is an owned asset, there is one thing you don’t own: The permission of your subscribers. They can opt out anytime. If you start overmailing them, or sending them irrelevant information, they can dump you.

So ask yourself: how you can serve your subscribers better?

Maybe it’s to:

  • Segment your list, so you can send more relevant information
  • Create better, more useful content
  • Send emails more often
  • Send emails less often
  • Make unsubscribing easier
  • Show more content from subscribers (photo shares, FAQ, or blog comments)

Want some data-based ideas for how to please your subscribers? Here’s how 1,748 American adults answered the survey question, “In which of the following ways, if any, would you like company emails to change? Please select all that apply.”


Still not sure what your subscribers really want? Maybe you should just ask them.


4. How can I use my email marketing to get more mileage out of my other marketing efforts (and vice versa)?

Email can tie several marketing initiatives together. For instance:

  • Are you including blog posts in your email updates?
  • Are you including new videos in your email updates?
  • Are you including content from your social media accounts?
  • Are you including user generated content (photo shares, comments) from your social media accounts? (After you’ve asked permission, of course)
  • Are you using your email analytics reports to gauge sentiment about different business objectives?

Social media is the big opportunity here. That’s interesting, because few years ago there was a lot of talk about how social media had killed email marketing. Ends up, social didn’t kill email at all. And the two channels can be highly complimentary.


5. How well do my mobile users interact with my email messages?

As I’m sure you know, more emails are opened on mobile devices than on desktops. That’s been true for a while.

But did you know twice as many emails are opened on mobile devices than on desktops? That’s what Moveable Ink’s Q3 2015 US Device Report says. Just one-third of emails – 33.31% to be exact – are opened on desktops according to that report.


Unfortunately, we’re still seeing quite a few emails that don’t render well on mobile devices. If you’re a GetResponse user, breathe easy – all our email templates are mobile-friendly. But if you’re not a GetResponse user, and you haven’t checked how your emails look on a mobile device… may I suggest you go do that now?


6. Should I purge inactives from my list?

When was the last time you cleaned up your list? If it’s within the last six months, you’re good.

If it’s been within the last year, you might be fine, too. Many email marketers, most notably Dela Quist from Alchemy Worx, assert that there’s no need to constantly scrub an email list. They say that even if a subscriber hasn’t opened an email from you in over a year, that subscriber can still represent a revenue opportunity.

However, if it’s been more than a year and a half since you cleaned up your list, you’re probably due. By “cleaning up your list”, I mean purging the email subscribers who have not opened one of your messages in the last 18 months.

Whatever time frame you pick is up to you, of course. I wouldn’t recommend dumping subscribers after only six months of inactivity. But if you haven’t gotten a sign of life from them in over a year, it might be time to let them go.

If you’re hesitant about purging those email addresses, you can always send a re-engagement email. You might save a few of them. Just don’t expect to get back much more than 5% of them. And be sure to offer them a tempting gift – and mention it in the subject line.

Here’s an example of a re-engagement email from an ecommerce site:


Bonus tip: Consider reaching out to inactive subscribers long before the six-month or one-year mark. You’re more likely to get them back if you send a re-engagement email after 2-3 months of inactivity.


7. Is my opt-in form as effective as it could be – both for getting more subscribers and for getting quality subscribers.

Opt-in forms are one of the most critical conversion points of an email marketing program. You already know a good opt-in form determines how many email subscribers you get. But opt-in forms also determine

  • the quality of your email subscribers
  • what those subscribers expect from you
  • what those subscribers are interested in

This is particularly true when it comes to your lead magnet. If you’re offering a lead magnet that appeals to, say, the “get rich quick” crowd, you may be getting lots of opt-ins. But what if your best customers are actually the sort of people who are focused on long-term results? Then that lead magnet may not be getting you the right sort of email subscribers.

I was surprised when I read Ascend2’s latest study about email list strategy. It showed that email marketers’ #1 priority is list quality – not just getting more subscribers. 70% of the marketers surveyed said list quality matters most to them. Only 38% said their first priority was to increase list size.

This is a pretty big change, but it’s a great sign. Quality has always trumped quantity when it comes to email subscribers.


8. What are my competitors doing with their email marketing?

Competitive research can be surprisingly helpful. I’m not suggesting you do exactly what your competitors are doing. But it’s a good idea to know what they’re up to.

So sign up on the email lists of five to seven of your closest competitors. Create a folder in your email client for each one of them. Save their emails to those folders, or create a rule so their emails automatically go to those folders.

When you’ve got time, check through their emails. You might get some great ideas. Or – just maybe – you might get some confidence by seeing how much better your emails are than theirs.


9. Does my email newsletter (or email message template) need a redesign?

This one is similar to the email list hygiene question: Have you redesigned your list template in the last six months? If the answer is yes, then you’re probably good. If you redesigned within the last year, you’re probably still good, too.

But if it’s been more than a year and a half since your email newsletters got a design update, then it’s time. Either hire a designer or catch up on recent email design trends and be your own designer.

Or, even better: Sign up for as many of the best email newsletters as you can. Then borrow whatever design elements you like from them.


Caption: Do your emails need a style update? Image from the Canva blog.


10. Am I using landing pages for my email messages? Am I using them often enough?

Want more results from your email messages? Then use landing pages. Why? ‘Cause they work. They work really, really well.

Landing pages were the most effective email marketing tactic in Ascend2’s latest study. Not only that, but they got great marks for being easy to implement.

Hmm… really effective. Really easy to implement. What’s not to like?



Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective marketing tactics around. Want proof? Last year The Relevancy Group reported that email drives the same amount of revenue as social media, website and display ads combined.

So actually, if you aren’t getting good results from your email marketing, maybe you should ask yourself this question: “What am I doing wrong?”

The ten questions above can help you answer that puzzle, too.


Back to you

What questions do you ask yourself about your email marketing program? How do you decide which tactics deserve your time and attention? Share your experience in the comments.

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66% Of Emails Are Opened On Mobile – Here’s How To Go Mobile-First Wed, 20 Jan 2016 15:00:11 +0000 Two-thirds of Internet users open emails on a smartphone or tablet. Are you still optimizing your emails for desktop users? You shouldn’t be; instead, use these tips to go mobile-first. In 2014, 66 percent of emails were opened on smartphones or tablets, with smartphones being the most popular device for email reading. You can’t ignore […]

The post 66% Of Emails Are Opened On Mobile – Here’s How To Go Mobile-First appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Two-thirds of Internet users open emails on a smartphone or tablet. Are you still optimizing your emails for desktop users? You shouldn’t be; instead, use these tips to go mobile-first.

In 2014, 66 percent of emails were opened on smartphones or tablets, with smartphones being the most popular device for email reading.

You can’t ignore this trend. Instead of designing your campaigns primarily for desktop, it’s time to accommodate mobile users. For email campaigns that are user-friendly and drive action across all devices, you must move from a “mobile friendly” ideology to “mobile first.”

Here’s how to make your emails optimized for your mobile subscribers.


Keep Your Subject Lines Short

David Daniels, founder and CEO of The Relevancy Group LLC, has talked about the concept of “inbox triage” for years already. In a survey conducted by his company of over 1,000 U.S. consumers, The Relevancy Group found that 42 percent of respondents used mobile devices to triage their email inboxes.

Essentially, this is the process of weeding through what is important and unimportant. That means people delete unimportant or irrelevant emails from their inboxes while on their mobile devices, leaving the ones that make the cut for when they get back to their desktop computer.

That’s why it’s important for your emails to make a good first impression. If you don’t make the first cut on mobile, your emails are unlikely to be read at all.

The trick is keeping your subject lines short with the most important info up front. Since mobile screens are small, it’s common for subject lines to be cut off. At times, users may only see 30 or so characters in a subject line.

That said, if your subject line needs to be longer—those with six to 10 words tend to perform best overall—you’ll want to put the most important information toward the beginning to catch your subscribers’ eyes. Let’s take an example. When read in its entirety, this makes a decent headline:

Shop Custom Christmas Cards Today for an Extra 50% Off

Unfortunately, the thing that’s going to really capture your readers’ attention—50 percent off—will be hidden on most mobile screens. Instead, a better headline for mobile may be:

Last Day: 50% off Christmas Cards + Free Shipping

With this alternative headline, readers get a sense of the urgency and the deal in the first few words, so you may just make the cut on mobile.




Be Brief But Bold

While 42 percent of consumers are using mobile to weed through their inboxes, another third primarily use their mobile device when accessing email. For those who open emails on mobile, you must accommodate their needs.

Seventy-five percent of smartphone users delete emails they can’t read on mobile, so even if you pass the first test with your headline, you’ll have to pass the second with readability.

In The Relevancy Group study mentioned above, 32 percent of users agreed that messages on mobile are too small to interact with.

That said, it’s important that your emails stray from this “too small” trend. Start by keeping your emails short. That way, readers don’t have to endlessly scroll, and you’ll have more room to increase your font size to make your message easier to read. reports that shorter emails with fewer graphics receive up to a 146 percent increase in conversions.

You also want the most important messages to be bold and easy to pick out. A clear call-to-action button, for example, is easier to spot and click on while on a mobile device than an in-text link is.




Be Smart About Formatting

Most users—no matter the device they’re on—don’t typically read content word-for-word. Instead, they’ll start by scanning your email to see if it’s something they want to continue reading. That’s where smart formatting comes into play. You’ve already gotten them to open your email; now get them to read with easy-to-digest content. Consider these tips:

  • Make the content scannable: When readers are doing a once-over of your email, they’re looking to pick up on the most important information. You can highlight this with images using text overlay, subheadings, bolded text, and colored call-to-action buttons.
  • Keep your emails in one column: Two-column emails are common, where one column is for primary information and calls-to-action while the second is for secondary information. However, mobile requires more of a top-down approach, so you’ll want to keep everything in one column.
  • Pay attention to email width: A width between 600 and 650 pixels is appropriate for virtually all email clients.
  • Avoid navigation bars: Remember that your email isn’t a landing page, and navigation bars only create more clutter.
  • Create prominent calls-to-action: Using a finger as a mouse can sometimes produce inaccuracies, especially when links are close together. To make it easier on the mobile user, make calls-to-action large, and be sure you’re using a button that renders even when other images don’t.
  • Design for the tap: The “finger tap” is becoming more common opposed to the click, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Start with larger font and call-to-action buttons, but also remember that lists of links can be tough to use on mobile, so you’ll want to avoid them or increase your line spacing.


Think Beyond The Tap

The email experience shouldn’t be just about the email itself. Your email campaigns are designed to drive action. However, the page you send your subscribers to is just as important to driving action as your initial email is.

This is where you need to think beyond the click or tap.

A mobile user who finds your email optimized for their needs and decides to “Buy Now” or “Claim Your Discount” is looking for the same experience on the next page. If that’s not what they find, it’s likely that they’ll abandon your offer before they fully follow through on it.

In addition to that, you must keep your pages fast and optimized (mobile speeds can be slow at times). I suggest you to find a host that is fast and with minimal downtime.

That said, it’s as important to link to mobile-friendly pages as it is to design a mobile-friendly email campaign.

Not all email users are the same, so you may have to experiment with how your own subscribers interact with your emails. Understanding your audience and the purpose of your email first will help guide you in the right direction with your email design. If you find that your subscribers prefer mobile-optimized emails, start with the abovementioned tips to deliver the user-friendly experience they’re looking for. How will you tweak your emails based on this information?

Mike WallagherAbout the author: Mike Wallagher is the author of the website, which serves to help anybody who wants to learn more about blogs and blogging. Mike began blogging in 2009, and since then has managed over 20 blogs some with well over 500,000 monthly visitors.

Besides blogging, he also provides consulting for small businesses and startups looking to accelerate their growth.


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Understanding Direct Answers And Voice Search Optimisation For 2016 Tue, 19 Jan 2016 15:22:44 +0000 SEO. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy – but perhaps when we entered this game we never fully appreciated how it would evolve to become so hard. Over the years, search engine optimisation has transformed from a rather menial task of keyword stuffing, into a finely-tuned art. With each new algorithm update to […]

The post Understanding Direct Answers And Voice Search Optimisation For 2016 appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

SEO. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy – but perhaps when we entered this game we never fully appreciated how it would evolve to become so hard. Over the years, search engine optimisation has transformed from a rather menial task of keyword stuffing, into a finely-tuned art. With each new algorithm update to Google’s search that gets released, another short-cut is closed off for the content marketer. Indeed – content in 2016 is more kingly now than it has ever been.

Google’s emphasis always has been – and probably always will be – on good content. In fact, when you look around the web, it’s almost as if “SEO” and “content marketing” have become synonymous with one another. Google wants high quality content to appear in its SERPs – that’s the parameter that every single algorithm update strives to refine.

There have been hundreds if not thousands of updates since when the first was ever documented way back in September of 2002 – and you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be thousands upon thousands more to come. No – no longer can the digital marketer rely on the old keyword-stuffing and link-building black hat hacks of yesteryear. Today, the SEO game is thorough, complex, and increasingly nuanced – especially in the era of the smartphone and, increasingly, voice search.


Voice Search In 2016

As you will be aware, voice search is now available on Apple Siri, Google Now and Windows Cortana phones. And, when you think about it, this is delivering a subtle yet significant difference in the way that search engines perform – and the difference lies in the manner in which we enter the search query.

When we’re on Google, we type in something like “email marketing”, and trust that the SEO algorithms will deliver a list of the best email marketing providers in the SERP – or at least some blog posts that categorise the best email marketing tools and services.

But, when we use voice search, we literally ask the search engine a question – “Who’s the best email marketing provider?” – and the SERPs display what we hope contain the answer to this question.

What this means is that there is an increase in question keywords – i.e. “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “why” and “how” – that are being used to find content on the web. Indeed, Search Engine Watch recently conducted a study which found that these words grew in use by a whopping 61% year-over-year, with the biggest increase being “Who” phrases (134%) and “How” phrases (81%).


(Image Source: Search Engine Watch)


Direct Answers To Direct Questions

Let’s put this another way. The rise of voice search means that there is a rise in direct questions as search queries. As Google is constantly striving to deliver exactly what the user wants, then it’s no surprise that we are slowly seeing a change in what Google is returning in response to direct questions – not links, but direct answers.

And this indeed might spell trouble for marketers. With direct answers, Google’s goal is to provide the best possible user experience by answering questions in searches as quickly as possible. Google stressed the value of direct answers way back in 2014 in an annual report it filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:

“We used to show just ten blue links in our (search) results. You had to click through to different websites to get your answers, which took time. Now we are increasingly able to provide direct answers — even if you’re speaking your question using Voice Search — which makes it quicker, easier and more natural to find what you’re looking for.”


What This Means For Marketers

In a recent evaluation of more than 850,000 search queries, Google served up some form of direct answer 19.5% of the time, according to Eric Enge, CEO of Stone Temple Consulting, the company that conducted this test.

Commenting on this study, the CIO blog makes the following observation:

“If you’re hoping to draw traffic based on information that’s within the public domain, you’d better have alternative plans, according to Enge. Of the 850,000 search queries Stone Temple Consulting evaluated, Google supplied direct answers to 42,160 of them using ‘public domain information,’ or basic facts, such as the capital of the state of California.

“If you publish song lyrics on your site, you’ll soon be singing the blues, because Google increasingly responds to song lyric queries with direct answers.”

Yes, direct answers – not links to your website which might contain the answers.

However, Google will still use the information it finds on your website to supply the direct answer – and this is where you can start playing the optimization game once more.

To explain, I want to refer once again to the CIO blog:

“Websites with content chosen by Google to supply direct answers can benefit from increased exposure, according to Slawski [i.e. Bill Slawski, director of search marketing, Go Fish Digital]. Such sites can be seen as authoritative sources on the topics in question. Content chosen to supply direct answers is also formatted differently from other search results, and that could help content get noticed. It could also draw more traffic to a site, especially if Google’s direct answers don’t satisfactorily address users’ questions.”


Featuring In Direct Answers

Although it might seem like it’s still early days to be worried too much about featuring direct answers, it’s not.

As the Stone Temple Consulting test revealed, direct answers are being served up by Google nearly 20% of the time. That’s 1 in every 5 searches, and marketer worth his/her salt would want a piece of that action – especially since it’s only set to increase as time goes on. This means that the time is now to start mastering at least the basic techniques of creating content that will appear in direct answers, and thusly increasing your exposure and SEO.

So, what are they?

Well, in the end, this type of optimization will all come down to the way you format the written content on your site. The Google search bots will have to be able to “read” your content easily, and so that means that you will have to structure it a way that makes this possible – and to do this you will need to think in terms of structured data. One strategy for thriving in the voice search era is to find out what questions your target audience is asking and create content that answers them. Consider adding a Q&A service to your site that allows users to ask questions to which you later post answers.

It will also pay to think about the user experience of your specific brand. How does it tie into the questions that you predict users will be asking? If consumers are seeking the location of your store, then you need to optimise your content accordingly. If you are selling a particularly complicated service or product, which consumers want to better understand how to use, then are you producing content that directly answers the direct question “How do I use [name of product/service]?”

Of course, as ever you will need to perform split tests with your direct answer content to ensure that it reliably turns up in search results – and that indeed will be part of your ongoing SEO work for 2016. Enjoy!

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How To Use Instagram To Promote Your Business Mon, 18 Jan 2016 18:01:05 +0000 Instagram is scaling back its fantastic reach and engagement and introducing an algorithm. However, this doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on the wealth of opportunities offered by the social media site. The changes also bring benefits for promoting your business on the platform. With 300 million monthly active users, Instagram is one of the top […]

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Instagram is scaling back its fantastic reach and engagement and introducing an algorithm. However, this doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on the wealth of opportunities offered by the social media site. The changes also bring benefits for promoting your business on the platform.

With 300 million monthly active users, Instagram is one of the top social media channels at present. Unlike Twitter, which seems to be in decline, user numbers are growing. There tends to be good engagement with posts on the platform: 2.5 billion photos are liked each day. According to Forrester research from the end of 2014, more than 4% of followers interacted with a brand’s posts on Instagram – that’s compared to less than 0.1% on Facebook. It is thought that engagement at present is up to 10 times higher on Instagram than it is on Facebook and 84 times higher than it is on Twitter.

Why is engagement so much higher in this channel? Perhaps it’s because Instagram offers far less clutter than other social media platforms. There’s a lot less content on Instagram, and much less in your eye line, compared to the noise of Twitter or Facebook. There’s also a younger audience base, and this demographic tends to engage well with social media.

Many of Instagram’s biggest fans and most active users are refugees from Facebook, where they’ve got tired of the onslaught of nonsense in their feed and bored of their space being abused by unwelcome updates. What Instagram offers is something of a haven from that. Everything tends to look good on Instagram, so it’s a more enjoyable experience and one which demands less of its users. Many celebrities are using it to create a sense of real intimacy with their fans.

Brands such as the National Basketball Association (NBA) have used it to communicate with loyal fans, offering them insights such as locker room snaps and other behind-the-scenes action:


The platform obviously works particularly well with brands that lend themselves to visual content, such as fashion, lifestyle and food. If you operate in this type of industry, good for you. If you aren’t, you’ll need to find some creative ways to produce good visual content for this particular channel.


Top Tools

Instagram is well known for offering in-built filters and tools to improve the appearance of your photos. These are all great, so make use of them, but don’t be afraid to bring in other tools as well. Photoshop is really the king of image editing software, but it’s a pricey package.

You can get good results with free software such as Pixlr and Gimp. These let you crop images and edit them by applying filters and masks. If your talents don’t lie in image editing, you can use services such as Fiverr and to find someone who’ll do basic photo editing for you.

Another top tip is to use Canva is a nifty online tool that provides social media templates so you can post images to your feed that are cropped to the optimum dimensions for platforms such as Instagram. Here you’ll also find tools that let you add text to images – these kinds of posts are often popular on Instagram, so have a play around and see what works for your brand.

It may sound really obvious but do remember things need to look really good on Instagram – your posts will appear alongside top quality images and they’ll stand out particularly badly if they aren’t done well. Instagram makes it very easy to compare your brand’s visual identity against other brands, including your competitors, so it can be damaging if you get the visuals wrong.


No More Free Rides

Instagram sadly doesn’t offer the same free ride it has done up to now. Having previously been the best channel for free organic reach and engagement, it’s likely that organic reach is now being throttled. Engagement has declined since Forrester measured it at the end of 2014 – it’s now closer to 2% than 4%. Since Facebook invested in the business, the threat of an algorithm is looming and you will no longer be able to assume that all your followers are reached by all your posts. Like Facebook we confidently predict Instagram will soon be a pay-to-play platform. But don’t despair! Instagram still offers terrific opportunities for your business.


Getting Links

One of the biggest frustrations with Instagram has historically been that it hasn’t been possible to put a link into a post. Instead, brands have found work around where they direct their followers to the main link in their profile bio. While users have got accustomed to this, the advent of Instagram advertising will help overcome this frustration by enabling the channel to direct traffic to your site.


Advertising On Instagram

If you’re currently advertising on Facebook then it’s good news for you – Instagram uses the same ad tools, so you won’t have a new system to learn. In fact, you can even advertise on Instagram if you don’t have a profile in that channel, via the Facebook ad platform.

Since September, it’s been possible to advertise on Instagram, and you’ve probably already seen ads creeping into your stream. Incidentally – if you aren’t currently using Instagram yourself, then you need to spend some time using the platform from an end user’s perspective, before you start to use it for promoting your business. Although you do need to pay for it, you can now include a link in your Instagram posts, meaning this channel can be used to direct traffic to your site.

The ads include a call to action button such as ‘shop now’ or ‘sign up’. The ad options also allow you to encourage users to install your app or play your video. Remember to add UTM tracking so you can assess the performance of your campaign using Google Analytics, and see how Instagram traffic behaves on your site.



Because of the limitations of the platform, Instagram has historically been seen as a way to build your brand rather than as a direct sales channel or traffic driving tool, but that’s changing now. It’s well worth keeping an eye on Instagram to see what new features the platform adds in the near future. Remember engagement is still strong for this channel, so now’s the time to hop on Instagram and see what you can achieve using ads on the platform.

Have you been using Instagram to promote your business? How will the changes affect you and what advice would you offer to businesses new to the platform? Share your advice in the comment section below.


Martin_bioheadshotAbout the Author: Martin Harrison is the co-founder of website content writing service Copify. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

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3 Important Reasons to Spy on Your AdWords Competitors Fri, 15 Jan 2016 14:27:59 +0000 Sometimes companies are hesitant to pay too much attention to their competitors. They say they’d rather focus on making their business better instead of wasting time monitoring and reacting to their competition. There’s definitely some validity to this approach because you can pay too close of attention to your competition and fall into the trap of […]

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Sometimes companies are hesitant to pay too much attention to their competitors. They say they’d rather focus on making their business better instead of wasting time monitoring and reacting to their competition.

There’s definitely some validity to this approach because you can pay too close of attention to your competition and fall into the trap of copying them instead of coming up with new, innovative solutions on your own.

But there’s also a weakness with this type of philosophy because there’s always something you can learn from your competition that will help your business.

This is especially true for AdWords campaigns, which is why I’m going to explain three important reasons why you should be spying on your AdWords competitors. You shouldn’t just study them and copy everything they do, but you definitely should follow these tips to learn from your competition so you can improve your campaigns and make more money with AdWords.


Reason #1: To find new, profitable keywords

The first reason to study your competitors’ campaigns is to find new, profitable keywords.

Here’s the deal: whether you’re starting a campaign from scratch or building out an existing one, there’s only so many keywords you can get from the Google Keyword Planner. At some point, you’re going to run out of ideas, and when you do, you need to take a look at the terms your competitors, especially bigger advertisers are bidding on.

The good news is that competitive keyword research tools like iSpionage make this really easy to do (disclaimer: I work at iSpionage which is why all my examples will be based around our tool).

To download your competitors’ keywords, simply do a search in iSpionage (something you can do for free from the homepage). Once you’ve done a search, you’ll see a list of your competitors’ keywords like the 59,620 GoDaddy keywords listed below:


Pretty awesome, right?

The good news is that there’s a sorting tool you can use to whittle the keyword list down even further. It lets you use information like cost per click (CPC), search volume, average position, days seen, date first seen, and date last seen to narrow the list from 59,620 to a more manageable list. You can also use iSpionage’s proprietary Keyword Effectivness Index (KEI) to sort the list even further.

For example, I used a KEI score of 80 or above, search volume greater than 100, and average position 5 or above to sort this list from 59,620 keywords to 306 of GoDaddy’s most profitable and highest search volume terms.

Here’s what the sorting feature looks like:


And here’s what the resulting keyword list looks like:


This, my friends, is really, really powerful when it comes to finding new, profitable keywords for PPC campaigns.


Reason #2: To write ad copy that stands out and gets clicked

The next reason why you should be spying on competitors’ ad campaigns is to write ad copy that stands out and gets clicked. This is really important because your ad copy has a big impact on campaign results. The better your ad copy performs, the better your campaign will perform.

Here’s why: if your ad click through rate (CTR) goes up, then your Quality Score goes up, and if you’re Quality Score goes up, then your cost per click (CPC) goes down which means your campaign ROI will go up since you’re paying less per click for the same results.

So your click through rate is really important, and one way to improve it is to study your competitors’ ad copy so you can write copy that stands out and gets clicked.

The first way to do this is simply to conduct a search with one of your top terms in Google. You could search for something like “web hosting” if you happen to be in the hosting space, as seen in the example below:


At this point, you’re looking for things that stand out like “Top 10” Best Web Hosting, “$0.99 Web Hosting,” and “GoDaddy $1 Web Hosting.”

These ads use numbers, symbols, and special offers to get people to click through, which means in order to write an ad that stands out, you’ll need to find a way to use numbers, symbols, and special offers in a way that stands out and steals clicks from these ads. You might even want to try something like “1 Month Free Web Hosting” or “50% Off First Year of Hosting.” But no matter what you do, you definitely need to write something that stands out and is more enticing than the ad copy your competitors are using.

Another way you can do this is by entering a keyword into a tool like iSpionage to study the top ad copy variations being used. I’ve entered “web hosting” in this example to come up with the following results:


All of these ads are sorted by an Ad Effectiveness Index (AEI) that ranks the ads based on how long they’ve been seen, when they were last seen, and the average position for the ad with the underlying theory being the longer an ad has been used, the fact that it’s still being used, and the average position for the ad are all indicators of how effective that particular ad is.

So whether you decide to use a tool like iSpionage that shortcuts your research process or to manually search through AdWords results to study the ad copy variations that show up, you definitely need to be spying on your competitors’ ad copy so you can ensure you write copy that stands out, gets clicked, and improves your overall campaign results.


Reason #3: To uncover your competitors’ conversion strategy

The next reason to spy on your AdWords competitors is to find out how they’re converting their traffic. Many people simply drop traffic on their homepage, but smart advertisers have a savvy landing page strategy which improves their odds of converting their traffic.

In the example below, Geico directs their AdWords traffic onto a super simple landing page that focuses all of the attention on getting a quote. They also break up their form into a multi-step process so they don’t have a super long form that intimidates visitors and causes them to not fill it out. They also focus their headline on saving money which is Geico’s leading value proposition:


In this next example, Wordstream drops their AdWords traffic onto an AdWords performance grader to generate more leads. This ends up being a creative way to generate leads without just saying something like “Sign up for a free quote.” Instead, they offer something of value in return for the visitors’ email address, which is valuable to Wordstream.


To conduct this kind of research, you can either do Google searches and then click on the ads you see, which is slightly unethical since your competitors have to pay for those clicks, or you can use iSpionage to view your competitors’ top landing pages. To do so, simply type in the URL of one of your competitors’, and we’ll show you screenshots of their top landing pages like you see below. This ends up being a great way to shortcut the process of studying your competitors’ landing pages to get insights for your own campaign.


What did you learn?

Did you learn anything new from this blog post, and are you ready to improve AdWords performance by spying on your top competitors? If so, leave a comment to let us know what you learned, or ask a question to get any lingering questions answered.

Good luck!


JoePutnamAbout the Author: Joe Putnam (@josephputnam) is the Director of Marketing at iSpionage, a competitive intelligence tool that makes it easy for PPC advertisers to find new profitable PPC and SEO terms and to uncover valuable insights from competitor campaigns. iSpionage is currently offering a 15% discount to GetResponse customers and blog readers, which you can take advantage of here.


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7 Ways to Be Extra Good to Your Subscribers Thu, 14 Jan 2016 14:37:57 +0000 Your email subscribers are one of the most valuable assets your business has. It pays to be good to them. We say that a lot, but what are some concrete ways to reward your subscribers for their time and attention? Here are a few ideas on how to do exactly that. 1) Add content to your […]

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Your email subscribers are one of the most valuable assets your business has. It pays to be good to them. We say that a lot, but what are some concrete ways to reward your subscribers for their time and attention? Here are a few ideas on how to do exactly that.

1) Add content to your email updates that’s not available anywhere else.

This is one of the best ways to encourage people to sign up for your email newsletter. World-class marketers like Chris Brogan and Marie Forleo use it on their websites and everywhere else in their marketing.

Chris refers to the exclusive content in his emails as his “best work”.


Marie closes her videos by saying “if you want even more great resources to create a business and life that you love, plus some personal insights from me that I only share in email, come on over to and sign up for email updates.”


One of my favorite examples of this tactic is from The Content Marketing Institute. Most of the email updates they send have an exclusive short post from either Joe Pulizzi or Robert Rose. It’s just a bit of content, but it’s always worth reading. It’s often even worth saving.

Here’s what one of those email-only short essays looks like:


2) Offer exclusive discounts to email subscribers.

One of the biggest reasons people subscribe to email lists is to get discounts and special offers. So give them want they want. Even if you’re doing information marketing or running your own blog, you can do this.

Here’s one example of a discount for an online training program:


Here’s another discount only for subscribers. This one’s from a retailer:


3) Give them new content before anyone else.

This is a twist on the previous tip. It works if you’re completely maxed out in terms of content creation, and you just can’t manage to create anything extra for your email subscribers. In that case, give them the advantage of time. Send them new content before anyone else gets it.

This works best with eBooks, whitepapers, and other research-based content. It’s also great for announcing new products. It’s not quite as good for blog posts unless you’ve got a website sophisticated enough to register users and to know when they’re logged in.

Here’s how BuzzSumo rewarded their email subscribers. It gave them early access to a new Chrome extension:


There’s another great twist on this for membership sites. It’s a way to offer new content on your site while still rewarding your paid subscribers.

What do you do? Just publish everything for free, in public, for one week. After that first week, move the content to the paid part of your membership site. This lets you create great content to entice website visitors and email subscribers. It also rewards your paid subscribers with unlimited access. Win-win-win!

For a live example of this in action, see WhichTestWon – and their weekly A/B split-test results. They send out weekly emails with their latest A/B split-test. Subscribers – and any website visitor – can see the test and its results for a week. Then it gets moved to the paid section of the site.


4) Let subscribers control how often they hear from you.

Know the #1 reason why people unsubscribe? It’s because they get too many emails. So work around that problem. Let them control how often they hear from you.

The most common way to let subscribers do this is through a preferences page. Another way to do it is to add a field to your opt-in form that lets people choose how often they hear from you.

But there’s one more way to let subscribers change how often they get emails from you. You can also do it in GetResponse through careful use of campaign automation. To make it work, you’d have to create a “remove-on-subscribe” rule that is set to remove people from a weekly emails campaign when they request to be added to a monthly emails campaign. Here’s the GetResponse settings page for a rule like that:


To trigger the rule, you’d have to create a link that sends weekly subscribers to a page where they can opt into the monthly campaign. Then add the link to that monthly campaign opt-in page into the footer of your email messages.

This is not a beginner tactic, but it does let you offer your subscribers more control over how often they hear from you.


5) Offer segmentation so subscribers can control what content topics they get from you.

This is a spin on the tip above: Let subscribers control how often they hear from you and which types of content they get from you. In other words: Segment your list by content interest.

I don’t recommend getting too carried away with this: Don’t create any more than five segments, max. Even two or three segments can make for more work, though the results are worth the extra effort.

Here are a few types companies and websites that could benefit from simple segmentation:

  • Real estate brokers: Segment 1: Buyer. Segment 2: Sellers.
  • Employment agencies: Segment 1: Employers. Segment 2: Employees.
  • A healthy recipe site: Segment 1: Vegan. Segment 2: Vegetarian. Segment 3: Everyone else.
  • A surfing site: Segment 1: Beginner Tips. Segment 2: Intermediate Tips. Segment 3: Advanced Tips.

To learn more about how to segment your subscribers, see our ebook on list segmentation.


6) Give them a bonus sign-up gift.

You know what a lead magnet is, right? It’s a gift – a piece of content, free access, or a discount that companies offer website visitors. The free gift is an incentive for the website visitors to sign up for your email lists. Lead magnets can significantly increase opt-in rates. Especially when you’ve got a lead magnet that resonates with your audience.

A good lead magnet is a great start. But some companies take it even further. They give new subscribers more than what the sign-up box promised.

Sometimes the bonus is a free surprise discount. Sometimes it’s access to a free video series. Sometimes it’s a smokin’ discount to a paid program. Whatever it is, surprising your new subscribers with more than they expected is a great way to build trust. It also keeps them guessing what you’ll do for them next.

Here’s this tactic in action. LiveIntent doesn’t promise anything but “all the latest people-based news, tips and tech” in its opt-in box:


But at the close of their welcome email, they give you a free copy of some juicy research:


7) Send a welcome email with a “quick start” guide to your content.

Welcome emails get more engagement than any other emails. It makes sense – people just subscribed to your list. They’re into you. They want your content. So give it to them, and give it to them in a way that’s a seamless experience from signing up.

There are a bunch of ways to welcome new subscribers:

  • The minimalist version: Just say thank you for signing up and point them to your most popular blog posts.
  • For SAAS companies: Include an animated gif and a link to a tutorial on how to use your product.
  • For retailers: Include a welcome message, a discount for their first order, and a list of your best-selling products.
  • For other companies: Explain what you do, tell them what to expect in the future from your emails. Bonus: Suggest they follow you on social media and point them to a couple of resources created for new users/clients/customers.

Here’s a nice example of a welcome email. It covers most of the basics: There’s a few lines of “thanks for signing up”, then the “what to expect” statement. Then there’s a video introducing us to this consultant’s work:



What do you think?

Did I forget any ways email marketers can be good to their subscribers? Share your ideas in the comments!


The post 7 Ways to Be Extra Good to Your Subscribers appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

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How To Create Your First Webinar Wed, 13 Jan 2016 14:47:04 +0000 Have you attended any webinars lately? If so, how was the overall experience? Did you like attending a live presentation? How many people were on live? Was it any good or did you feel like it was a complete waste of your time?How did you come to know about the webinar in the first place? Was the […]

The post How To Create Your First Webinar appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

Have you attended any webinars lately? If so, how was the overall experience? Did you like attending a live presentation? How many people were on live? Was it any good or did you feel like it was a complete waste of your time?How did you come to know about the webinar in the first place? Was the host new to you or have you been following them for a while? Did you sign up from a Facebook ad or were you invited to this webinar because you are on their mailing list? Finally, did you buy something during the webinar, or straight after? Was the webinar pure content or mostly pitch? Would you attend another webinar soon?

That’s a lot of questions isn’t it? If you are someone who is thinking of creating your first webinar, you likely fall into any of these groups:

  1. You have attended live webinars and mostly, you have been blown away by the experience. You love the excitement of being around like-minded people learning from an expert who delivers great value. You come to know, like, and trust the host 10 times better. You want to create a similar experience for your audience and have your online credibility go through the roof.
  2. You have attended webinars and observed first hand how people sell and generate five figures after a few hours. Or, you have heard webinars are great way to fill your programs or coaching packages and you can’t wait to give it a try.
  3. You just want to use webinars to attract more people and build your email list. You want to use a live webinar as an opt-in offer and get in front of new audiences.

And these happen to be the three biggest reasons for why you should give webinars a try.

One, they are great for building your list with ideal audience. Secondly, they can be used to create and deepen your relationship with your new or existing audience. Finally, they are a great way to promote and sell your offerings.

So let’s go ahead and learn how to create your first webinar.


#1 Know your purpose

So before you begin creating your first webinar, be absolutely clear on what is it that you are trying to achieve. What is your end goal?

Do you want to use a webinar as a lead-generation tool and build your email list? Do you want to do it for purely educational purposes to ‘warm up’ your audience, or do you want to sell something on the webinar?

For your first webinar, I recommend that you focus on creating and delivering a high quality webinar. Work on attracting people and delivering a stellar presentation. Once you have hosted a few live webinars, and you know how the process works, you are ready to sell. And I will write an in-depth post about how to create a webinar that sells so stay tuned for that.

For now, let’s assume that you want to do a ‘practise’ webinar where the goal is to learn to present an excellent webinar and nothing more.


#2 Decide your topic

Choosing the right topic can make or break your webinar before you even show up. Allow me to explain:

For a webinar to be successful, it is important that you get people to register for the webinar, and then have them show up live (after all, it’s no fun speaking to an empty room).

And it will be very hard to get people to register if your topic isn’t compelling enough. So how can you make it super interesting for people? Approach it in the same way as if you were creating a new opt-in offer or a lead magnet.

The first step is to make sure that you know your ideal audience. Who are you wanting to attract? The deeper you go here, the higher the likelihood of them signing up. I always tell my clients to come up with enough detail that they can imagine one person clearly as their ideal audience.

Once you understand your audience really well, you know what their biggest challenge is that you can help solve. Then choose a specific topic that will help them solve a problem today.

So let me make it clear, move away from big picture topics and strategies. Drill down to come up with specific problems that you can help them with. For example, if you are a designer, you can help them use Canva to create professional-looking documents for their business. If you are a nutrition coach, maybe you can help them with a 3-day detox? For a dating coach working with men, they might help them gain confidence instantly in five steps.

Do you see what I mean? The topics are so specific and actionable that your ideal audience can’t help but sign up for the webinar. That’s a great start to any webinar.


#3 Create a high-converting registration page

Okay, so how do you get people to actually see the registration page so they can sign up There are two ways to do this. You can do this for free or use paid traffic.

Firstly, you can invite your existing audience. Meaning, you can send an email to your list and give them the details.

Now, you may not have a decent sized list. In fact, you are hosting this webinar to build one. In that case, you can post the link to your registration page on the various social media platforms. If you are active on Facebook, post it on your business page. If you hang out on twitter, schedule multiple tweets to get people on board. Consider promoting in Facebook groups that allow it.

Sometimes, this may be enough. If you get around 40-50 people to register your webinar, you might be happy with the outcome considering this is your first webinar.

The second method involves investing in ads, and specifically Facebook ads. Now, this method will not suit everyone. Not all people are ready to allocate a chunk of money for advertising. And, if you haven’t run any ads before, you may end up losing all your money.

You don’t want to add the stress to learning to do Facebook ads while trying to learn how to present your first webinar also. However, if you can hire it out, or if you have some experience of running ads already, then this is a great way to build your list quickly while generating sign-ups for your webinar.

Alright, now you know how to send traffic to your registration page. Let’s now take a look at what you can do to create a killer page:

  • You need a webinar title that speaks to your ideal audience. This needs to offer a big benefit so people want to attend your event.
  • Add some teaser bullets (drill down on the exact benefits in a way that piques their curiosity) so people want to attend.
  • Say who you are (the host) and what makes you qualified to teach on this webinar. Add a smiling photo of yourself.
  • Add some social proof. Add ‘as-seen-in’ logos and perhaps a testimonial or praise by an influencer.
  • Give them the date and time. Let them know if you would be sending out a replay. Give them a clear call to action – register now!


#4 Master the tools

I know technology is a big reason that holds people back from presenting their first webinar. This was true for me, so let me break it down for you. This is how the whole process works:

You need a service that will allow people to sign for a webinar, receive webinar notifications so they know when the webinar is live and what link to click and a tool to access the presentation and possibly participate in a chat with other attendees.

For your first webinar, I don’t want you to invest in any expensive webinar software. I know people who have done close to 100 webinars and still use inexpensive options. You can use Google Hangouts to deliver your webinar for free. However, this option requires that you have some tech experience. You will need to embed the hangout on your website, and link it to a service to collect emails.

While there are many options on the market, I recommend that you check out GetResponse Webinars.

You can easily set up your webinar in a few minutes, create a registration page and share it on social media. As part of GetResponse email service, the new leads are seamlessly added to your list and you can then use autoresponders to warm up those people, send reminders and get them to actually attend your webinar.

As a presenter, you have access to a dashboard where you can manage your actual presentation delivery and share your screen. You can also chat with your participants or poll them, and once your webinar is over, you can look at the analytics to see how it all went down.

They offer a no-risk, 30-day free trial so be sure to try it out for yourself.


#5 Deliver a stellar presentation 

I said this before and I am going to say it again: For your first webinar, don’t worry about getting hundreds of people registered for your webinar. Don’t even blink an eye if you get five people live on the webinar. Don’t sell anything or worry about making it profitable just yet.

The only thing at this stage you need to focus on is to go through the webinar without any major technical hiccups and delivering a valuable presentation. Now, I’m not saying, you have to blow people’s minds off right off the gate but make sure you deliver something that is worth their time.

Here are couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Plan your webinar in advance and create your slide deck based on what you will be teaching.
  • Don’t fill up your slides with too many words. Aim to spend no more than 30 second to 1 minute on each slide. Do include images or visuals when appropriate.
  • Don’t give people too much information or you will overwhelm them.
  • Give them what you promised on the registration page. Don’t do a bait and switch.
  • Start by introducing the topic and welcoming people to your webinar. Interact with them throughout the presentation. Make sure they can see your slides and hear you.
  • Introduce yourself even if you think your attendees know you. Tell them a brief story of who you are, why you are doing this and make it relevant to your audience.
  • Tell them the agenda of this meeting. What will you be covering?
  • Let them know you will be answering questions in the end but people can type it in as soon as they have one. You can then answer it there and then or wait till the end. The only way to know what works for you is to try it out.
  • Deliver the best content you can. Include lots of examples and make it really actionable content.
  • Thank people for their time and for showing up live.
  • It’s okay to be a little bit nervous. It’s also okay to tell people this is your first live webinar. People will be forgiving once you are upfront with them.
  • Rehearse your presentation in advance. This will make a big difference to your live delivery.
  • Do a test run to make sure you understand the technical side of things. If you can, ask somebody to sit on the webinar in case things go wrong. Be prepared.


So there you have it.

A bird-eye’s view to planning and creating your first webinar. I think by reading the content above, you will now have a clear idea of what you need to do to present your first live webinar confidently.

Don’t do what most people do. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself and decide that you must get hundreds of people registered for it. You don’t also need to sell either.

That ‘sales’ webinar is a different animal altogether and before you make a pitch, do a few webinars so you are totally confident in your ability to deliver a high-value, hitch-free, webinar. Then plan a webinar where you intend to sell something. I will cover this information in an upcoming blog post so keep an eye out for that.

Good luck on your first webinar and share your experiences in the comments below!

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