GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips http://blog.getresponse.com Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:53:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 How to Create a Simple Autoresponder Series to Keep Your Leads Hot http://blog.getresponse.com/create-simple-autoresponder-series-keep-leads-hot.html http://blog.getresponse.com/create-simple-autoresponder-series-keep-leads-hot.html#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:53:53 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17748 As a small business owner, you should be building your email list – you get that. You worked hard to nail your ideal customer profile and you spent hours creating that perfect opt-in offer that is working like gangbusters. Is … Read more

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s learn how to do this.

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What is an Autoresponder?

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

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

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Creating a Consistent Experience For New Subscribers

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

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

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

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

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

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

psychology

Understanding Your Subscriber Psychology

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

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

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

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

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

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Putting the Right Content in Your Autoresponder Series

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

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

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

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

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

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Different Types of Autoresponder Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

autoresponder

Writing an Autoresponder That Gets Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s the job of your autoresponder.

Are you doing it well?

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

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

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

 

A Short History of Blog Commenting

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Comment Spam

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

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

Akismet

 

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

 

What Makes A Comment Good?

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

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

 

Why Comment On Blogs?

Well, there are a few reasons why:

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

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

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

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

 

How to Write Great Blog Comments That Get Traffic and Attention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bitly-stats

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Visually excite the casual browser

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

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

VisuallyStunning

Increase social media audience

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

 

Social sharing power

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

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

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

 

Infographics stand out by being different

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

 

Inbound links

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

conversion

Keep those visitors, gain conversions

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Basic automation

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

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

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

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

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

 

On-demand content

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Emails triggered by calendar events

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

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

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

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

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

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

HolidayContent

Emails triggered by behavior

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

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

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

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

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

 

Emails triggered by changes in profile data

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

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

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

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

 

Emails triggered by events in other platforms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Analyzing the opportunities

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

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

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

 

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

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How to create the perfect opt-in incentive for lead generation http://blog.getresponse.com/create-perfect-opt-incentive-lead-generation.html http://blog.getresponse.com/create-perfect-opt-incentive-lead-generation.html#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 14:25:32 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17720 What is a perfect opt-in incentive? It is something that gets your ideal customer or client to sit up and take notice, gladly give you their email address, name or any other information you require and become your email subscriber. … Read more

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What is a perfect opt-in incentive?

It is something that gets your ideal customer or client to sit up and take notice, gladly give you their email address, name or any other information you require and become your email subscriber.

This is actually a win-win situation for both you and your subscriber. When they know exactly what they will be getting once they join your email list, they want to stay subscribed. They look forward to your content and what you have to share. There is a little chance that they will turn around and unsubscribe as soon as you send them the first email. And you get to stay in touch with your target audience.

Unless you make the biggest mistake someone makes as they create a freebie offer for their new email subscribers: You choose something that is so generic that it appeals to nobody.

This is when all your lead generation effort will go down the drain because nobody wants your freebie you spent hours creating.

In this blog post, we will rectify this issue – and more. I will take you through the process of creating an opt-in that will have people drooling after it. And I will teach you how to test it before it goes live.

Let’s get started.

 

#1 Start with your favourite person – your ideal client or customer

So the process of creating an irresistible opt-in starts with stepping into the shoes of your ideal customer. You have got to know them better than they know themselves so you need to go deeper than the superficial information such as the demographics. You want to pay attention to the psychographics.

Remember, you can create multiple profiles for your business. In fact, this is even better because you will attract people to a specific list and not have to worry about list segmentation later on.

Start with the basics. Who are they? Are they male or female? How old are they? Where do they live? What do they do? How much do they earn? Are they single, married, or married with kids?

Now start drilling down. What keeps them up at 3 am? What frustrates them the most? What have they tried in the past that didn’t work? Who is their enemy? Who do they admire? What are their values that they would never compromise on? What are they looking for? What does their dream solution look like?

Once you jot down answers to this second set of questions, you’d be surprised at what ideas spring to mind that would appeal to your perfect audience, and the ones you initially thought were great now seem so lame. Now you know what they want on a much deeper level and you can be far ahead of competition because they haven’t taken the time and effort to know their audience so well.

The truth is, the better you know your audience, the easier this whole process will become.

 

#2 Come up with the right idea

Before you dive into creating the incentive for your lead generation funnel, ask yourself this question:

“What is the ultimate goal of getting this person to sign up to your list?”

Do you want them to enquire for a specific project? Do you want to offer an introductory product to convert them into a paying customer, and get a feel of what’s it like to purchase something from you? Do you want them to book a coaching or consulting session?

What level of information does your lead currently have at this moment? Are they well aware of their problem and know what solutions exist in the market? Are they not aware of their problem and need some education to identify what they need in the first place and to position your offering as the right choice?

Answering these questions will help you create the freebie that attracts the right kind of people you want and discourage the ones that aren’t such a good fit for your list and those you won’t be able to serve properly.

Now think about what is it that they need to know to become a client or a customer. This can be foundational or basic level information only, or with some advanced level information thrown in (if you are not attracting beginners only).

You want to keep your opt-in freebie on brand. This encourages the right people to sign up and discourages freebie-seekers. If you sell design services and you create an opt-in offer around optimizing your website conversion rate, you will get all sorts of people, but if you tie it to website design and call it 7 design tweaks to optimize conversion rate, your sign-ups will be way more relevant and likely to stay subscribed.

Go ahead and create your opt-in offer around your introductory topic. The people who aren’t interested in this topic will naturally won’t feel the need to sign up, which means you will actually get high quality leads.

Next we look at how to make sure this is a good idea.

 

#3 Test your opt-in offer idea

This step won’t take too long.

One thing you can do is to just ask your audience. That’s it. Most people never think of asking because they think it is going to be a free offer, but ask anyway. Do a survey, like you would normally do when you poll your audience to see whether or not they want your next big thing.

Ask them about their biggest frustration. Ask them specifically if they’d like to see a cheat sheet on a certain topic. Not only will this give you insider knowledge of what they want but also what they haven’t managed to find so far. Then go ahead and create your freebie.

Another thing you can do is to publish some related content on the blog and watch your open rates and social engagement closely. If the post does well then it gives you an idea that you are on to something, if it tanks, you know it is time to go back to the drawing board.

 

#4 Choose the right format

There a number of ways you can potentially create your bribe. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

An ebook: You can create an ebook on an in-demand idea. Turn to your blog and your newsletter to pick the right idea. Something that has gone viral? Something that received a lot of interest from your readers. Maybe your readers have been asking you to write on something for a while now. Pick a blog post and expand on it.

An ecourse: You can teach people something through a series of lessons delivered via email. When you create an ecourse, you don’t have to worry about cover design or formatting (whereas when you write an ebook, you do). You also get to train people to open and click through your emails.

Outline your course. Create your lessons with varying level of length, detail and depth and use your autoresponders in your email service provider and you are good to go.

A webinar: A webinar (a live video conference where you share a presentation or a screencast with your audience. There is a Q/A session at the end and it is generally interactive) is a great way to collect email addresses. You can do live ones periodically or you can use pre-recorded ones. One caveat: A webinar requires a bigger commitment from the audience so keep your lead-generation webinars short, to the point and filled with high quality, no fluff information.

Video tutorial: Record yourself on video teaching people how to do something correctly.

You can also offer a free trial of your membership program, a discount, a sample or run a contest or giveaway. You can offer a bonus chapter of your book or worksheets as well.

 

#5 Make your best first impression

So you know your audience and you know what they want. Now the question becomes how should you offer it?

Firstly, I want you to create something that will play to your strengths. If you are great with words, go with an ebook. Great at teaching? Think about creating an ecourse or a video tutorial. People say you are a fantastic speaker – consider recording a webinar.

Remember, your opt-in offer gives people a taste of what it’s like to work with you or buy something from you. Your opt-in creates the first impression and you want it to be the best one.

I want you to approach this in this way: pretend you are creating something that you can actually sell. It doesn’t have to be a premium offering, or very long, but something you can actually charge money for. Then use this as a guideline to creating your freebie.

Once you think of it as something you can sell, you will create something of high quality, something so extraordinary that it will hurt a little to give it for free. That’s how good your incentive should be.

Don’t forget, your opt-in offer is not really free. You are asking people for their email address as well as their time. You have got to do the work and make it worthwhile.

 

#6 Create a squeeze page that converts

No matter how good your incentive is, a poorly constructed page will kill your conversions.

And unless you get people to opt-in, they won’t know what they are missing out on, and as a result they won’t get to know how good you are at solving their problems and giving them exactly what they need. It’s their loss and you want to minimize this as much as you can.

So, this is what you need on your opt-in page. If you already have one set up, you can use this to make sure you’ve got everything you need, if you don’t, use this as a guideline to set it up.

  • The very first thing every opt-in page needs is an attention grabbing, highly compelling headline. It needs to stand out, make a big promise and speak directly to your target audience. It needs to show them that you can help them solve a problem or fulfil a desire they have. It should actually turn folks away who are not a good fit for your products and services.

Eye-catching visual. Your squeeze page needs a compelling picture that draws people in. If you are offering a PDF (an ebook, a report, a cheat sheet, etc.), use its image. (Make sure you have an appealing cover design for what you are offering – remember, it needs to be so good that it can actually be sold.)

 

6323188862_fe087a78fa_o

 

You can also show your own image if you have a personality based brand. Just make sure that the image is of high quality and portrays you in a good light.

  • You don’t have a ton of space for long copy so use bullet points to bring out your most appealing benefits. You want to get your point across immediately. And don’t be afraid to use the word free in your copy.

Call to action. Tell people what to do next. Most of us know we are required to give up our email address and name but don’t assume everybody else does. Tell them explicitly what they need to do, for example, ‘Enter your name and email and click the button below’. And add a prominent call to action button.

Privacy policy. Reassure people that you are not to share their details with anyone else or spam them. Give them a peace of mind so that they know it is safe to proceed.

 

Remember, your opt-in bonus should be:

Attention grabbing: You want to catch the attention of potential buyers and hope for ‘I gotta have this. This is perfect for me.’ effect. It needs to satisfy a deeper emotional need and not be a surface level gift.

Highly valuable: You want to promise a real benefit and then deliver it. Whether or not it is an ebook or a cheat sheet, the person should walk away feeling like it was worth subscribing to your list.

Likely to attract prospects: Lastly, you need to attract the right people from day 1. This should exclude any freebie seekers and tire kickers. And you do this is by staying on brand and offering something that clearly ties in with what you are selling.

 

Ultimately, it is your choice which type of freebie offer to create, to attract the perfect email signups and excite them.

So how are you attracting new subscribers?

Leave a comment below and let us know.

How to create the perfect opt-in incentive for lead generation is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Google Plus for People Who Have Been Resisting It http://blog.getresponse.com/google-plus-people-resisting.html http://blog.getresponse.com/google-plus-people-resisting.html#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 18:45:03 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17705 Yesterday I read an article that said “nowadays G+ is “THE” social media platform. It is the most influential in positioning and ranking of search engines. It’s the star factor of any SEO strategy.” And finally I said “OKAY. I … Read more

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Yesterday I read an article that said “nowadays G+ is “THE” social media platform. It is the most influential in positioning and ranking of search engines. It’s the star factor of any SEO strategy.” And finally I said “OKAY. I get it. I’m fixing my Google plus page. Today.”

This is how I did it. I went from having a boring, outdated placeholder page to having a hip hub on “the” social media platform. If you, too, have been holding out on Google Plus, and hoping it would just go away, here’s how to get on board and finally have a presence on Google Plus… and maybe even finally start seeing why some people rave about it.

 

First question: Why now?

If I’ve been ignoring (or trying to ignore) Google Plus all this time, why change now? Sure, that article was kind of an impetus, but there are reasons beyond just that article. Here, for your motivation (and mine) are 5 very good reasons to get on Google Plus:

You’ll rank way better on Google, which still holds 67% of all search traffic. Here’s the hot-off-the-presses Overall Ranking Chart from the SearchMetrics 2014 SEO Ranking Factors and Rank Correlations report. Check out the second most powerful ranking factor: Google +1s.

searchmetrics-overall-540x600

 

My emails will get a boost.

My Google Plus page will show up in the upper right hand corner of the Gmail interface when someone opens an email from me. They’ll also see the first sentence or two of my most recent Google+ post, how many followers I have and if there are any comments on the post. They’ll even be able to follow me with a click of a button.

This is what it looks like:

GmailGmail shows your latest Google+ post in the upper right-hand corner of every email you send.

 

My AdWords ads will get a boost.

Google ads a follower count to any AdWords ad with a linked Google Plus page. It looks like this:

AdWordsAdThese social annotations in Google AdWords ads can increase click-through rates by 5-10%. Google calls that line in the ad about followers a “social annotation”. It says ads with social annotations get 5-10% more clicks than those without them. Pay per click is plenty competitive enough. I’ll take all the help I can get.

Here’s another AdWords benefit: Once I get 1,000 followers I’ll be able to advertise to them in Google+ with Plus Post Ads.

 

I’ll get another content promotion channel.

Google communities gives me another way to promote the content I create and to see what people are asking about and doing in my niche.

 

Google Hangouts.

Hangouts give me a new webinar platform, and way to talk with people anywhere in the world. Those are all good reasons, but really, 80% of why I’m doing this Google+ work is for the search engine rankings… and maybe 10% for the email marketing boost. Given all that, I decided to put 3 hours into improving my Google + page. Here’s what I did and how long it took.

 

I updated the photo

googlecoversizeinfograficoIf you can’t find time to do anything else, update your Google+ cover photo and the links section of your profile. I also bookmarked this for when I’m making batches of images again:

GOOGLE-PLUS-FEED

 

I updated all the links in the Links section.

Google may be hammering down on link building these days, but there is one place they encourage you to do it: In your Google+ profile. Click on the About link while you’re viewing your page “as yourself” and then scroll down to the bottom. There’s a whole section there to add whatever links you want.

My links were really outdated, so I added or updated all my social media account links, including my SlideShare account, Pinterest and YouTube. There are now six social media links.

I could have added many more links – the Google plus interface let me add 20 more empty link input boxes… just I deleted them. I wanted to see if the system would finally stop me from adding links. It didn’t.

After the social media links I added links for places I write for in the “Contributor to” section. Last but not least, there was a plain “Links” section. So I added every major page of my website. I ended up with 15 additional links here. Google would have let me add more.

 

I spent time rewriting my skills and the “Story” section of my profile.

This, too, needed a big update. Now if a prospective client sees it, I won’t be embarrassed. I also tweaked the “tagline” of my story, because that’s what will show up as the meta description of my Google+ page in the search engine results.

 

I found a couple of Google+ tools and messed about with them for about an hour.

CircleCount, SteadyDemand and Timing.minimali.se seemed to be the most useful:

  • Friendsplus.me – Lets you share your Google+ content to any other platform. Might come in handy. It’s free.
  • CircleCount.com – all kinds of interesting stats… and a new way to spy on competitors, or to find influencers. Free.
  • Circloscope.com – a way to speed up finding people to follow and add to your circles. $47 a year.
  • SteadyDemand.com – you type in your Google+ url and this tool gives you back a list of things that are good and bad, what needs fixing, and what’s good already. The basic tool is free. There’s also a personal plan for $12 a month and a business plan for $24. This tool also shows you when is the best time to post.
  • Timing.minimali.se – This is a great tool to find out when is the best time for you to post on Google+. It analyses your account and past posts to determine when you’ll get the most engagement. Just fyi: Marketing services firm Fannit says the best time to post on Google is between 9:00-11:00am. The worst time is 6:00pm-7:00am. But it’s better if you go to Timing.minimali.se and see when is best for your account and your audience.

SteadyDemand

 

SteadyDemand is one of the most helpful Google+ tools I found. It reviews your Google+ profile and gives you a free report that shows exactly what you need to improve.

 

I realized I had not posted to my profile page for nearly six months.

I’ve been frustrated with this for awhile. I can’t upload posts to my Google+ profile from Buffer, which I use to automate most of my social media updates. Buffer only posts to Google+ pages, not profiles. I do have a Google+ page, and Buffer has been posting to it daily, but my page hasn’t got any followers, whereas my profile has quite a few.

I really want to post to my profile on a daily basis. So I checked HootSuite and MeetEdgar to see if they work with Google+. Neither does. Grrrrr.

Then I found it: A Google Chrome extension to automate updates to my profile page. It’s called Do ShareSo I spent another hour queuing up about a month’s worth of posts. I borrowed Demain Farnworth’s advice and

  • kept headlines to less than 60 characters
  • wrote a strong first sentence (because it’s all people will see of the body of the post until they click through)
  • added hashtags (lightly)
  • added asterisks on either side of words I wanted to be in bold
  • added underscores on either side of words I wanted to be in italics
  • added hyphens on either side of words I wanted to be strikedout

DoShare

 

Do Share is an excellent free Chrome extension that lets you schedule your Google+ posts to a profile page.

I didn’t worry too much about post length, because Google+ generally allows slightly longer posts – but I still kept them super short… about 160 to occasionally as long as 400 characters.

  1. I already had a custom url for my Google plus page, but if you don’t you can get one here: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/2676340?hl=en
  2. I spent an hour for so following a bunch of people.
  3. I joined about 10 new communities

Communities2

Google plus offers a number of communities. They’re similar to LinkedIn’s groups.

 

I made sure the Google+ social sharing button on my website were working.

I want those 1+s… and the rankings that come with them. I’m pretty happy with my new Google+ setup. It took less than a day to do, and I can probably maintain it in 30-60 or so minutes a week. If my pages improve in the rankings enough to get even 20% more traffic to my site, then that’s an hour well spent.

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Turn Your Email Marketing Into A Solid Branding Tool http://blog.getresponse.com/turn-email-marketing-solid-branding-tool.html http://blog.getresponse.com/turn-email-marketing-solid-branding-tool.html#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 16:43:28 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17673 In email marketing we are always talking about conversion, experience, making smart use of data and testing. But have you ever thought about how your emails reflect on the image a recipient has of your company? Let’s look at the … Read more

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In email marketing we are always talking about conversion, experience, making smart use of data and testing. But have you ever thought about how your emails reflect on the image a recipient has of your company? Let’s look at the branding effects of the email channel.

All the products you use are brands. Your company is a brand and if you are customer facing, you are  be a (personal) brand too. Email marketing can be a uniquely strong branding tool, if used correctly. So what does that mean for the email marketer.

 

What is in a name?

Imagine you owned a small piece of real estate in your buyers’ brains. Which message would you like to see in there and when should it pop-up?

A brand is the way that customers recognise your business and an anchor for how they perceive you. A logo and brand name are there to be recognisable – and represent the business and intentions of an organization. You know that by being top-of-mind and a trusted brand stacks the deck in your favour. – it is that little piece of brain real estate.

A brand is carried by all their brand communication: visual, written and across all channels. That includes your website, customer service, shop, blog articles, products  and of course your email marketing.

 

More depth than just the product

A strong brand offers more depth than just a product or a service. Organisations that think: “a car is a car”, “a shop is a shop” or “”cheese is cheese” (I am a big cheese fan) won’t get past promotions that sum up product features and discounted prices. Branding is the reason why people choose Coca-Cola instead of an unknown store brand even if it is more expensive. There is so much more possible through branding and positioning.

But what does that have to do with email marketing? Compare these two lists:

EmailBranding

 

Do you see the resemblance? This is why it is easier for strong brands to grow their email lists and for companies with a great email program to improve their brand strength. And you can do both!

Branding and your email marketing program

When synchronising your brand and your email marketing program, it is critical to have a clear view of what your current brand is in essence. A well-defined brand can serve as a starting point and a your measuring stick for evaluating your email marketing strategy and individual campaigns and materials.

 

Test your email on branding value

With every email you are making a conscious contribution to how your subscribers will perceive your brand now and in the future.

  • What is your core message, slogan if you will and is this reflected in your email
  • What makes your brand unique or the better choice does it come out?
  • Is the tone of Voice and imagery consistent
  • What types of people do your products and services attract? Is it catered to them?
  • What does (and should) your target audience think about your current brand and does it match?

 

Beyond consistency

As a marketer or business owner you might have read about Branding and Consistency before. Consistency is an important part of branding. You want to be recognised and your message to stay top of mind. Repeating and amplifying a message will reinforce it. sending out two conflicting messages might be confusing to subscribers. Logo, colour usage, tone-of-voice are all contributors to your brand. Make sure they are in place, but they don’t define your whole brand.

Next time you send out an email, just consider if your message is amplifying or sabotaging the way subscribers experience your brand. And… will it stick ?

Turn Your Email Marketing Into A Solid Branding Tool is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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How to Become an Affiliate Marketing Superhero #Infographic http://blog.getresponse.com/become-affiliate-marketing-superhero-infographic.html http://blog.getresponse.com/become-affiliate-marketing-superhero-infographic.html#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 14:02:46 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17667 Affiliate marketing has become one of the top online business opportunities. It is cost effective, and the income can be mind-blowing. Forrester Research predicts that affiliate marketing spending will top $4.1 billion in 2014. But online marketers sometimes overlook this … Read more

How to Become an Affiliate Marketing Superhero #Infographic is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Affiliate marketing has become one of the top online business opportunities. It is cost effective, and the income can be mind-blowing. Forrester Research predicts that affiliate marketing spending will top $4.1 billion in 2014. But online marketers sometimes overlook this model. Why? Because it takes effort to get the gist of it, and this creates an opportunity for you. Our infographic will help you become an affiliate marketing superhero. 

What is Affiliate Marketing? Affiliate marketing is a method of promoting products or services online. A publisher receives rewards for every customer who takes a specified action. The action could be purchasing or visiting the advertiser’s website.

 

How does it work?

To become an affiliate-marketing publisher, you first choose an affiliate marketing program. You sign up and select a promotion and payment method. Then you generate a link containing your affiliate commission code. The affiliate service uses the affiliate commission link to track sales and pay commissions.

 

Brief History of Affiliate Marketing

According to popular myth, Amazon.com launched the first Internet affiliate program in 1996. But affiliate marketing goes back as far as 1989, when William J. Tobin launched his program on the Prodigy Network.

In 1998 affiliate marketing was first introduced in the email marketing industry. GetResponse was the first email service provider (ESP) to use this model — and with the biggest (30%) recurring commissions. Since then, GetResponse affiliate commissions have increased to 33%.

In 2003, Missy Ward and Shawn Collins organized the first Affiliate Summit. It took place in New York and attracted 200 attendees.  By 2011, ClickBank, an affiliate network founded in 1998, had attracted over 1,500,000 affiliate marketers. And finally, in 2013, Google Affiliate Network (formerly Doubleclick Performics) announced it would shut down.

 

The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

  1. Cost effective. The advertiser pays only if the customer takes a specific action. The action could involve click-through, revenue or marketing.
  2. Not a regular job. As an affiliate-marketing publisher, you can create a steady flow of income, even when you’re not at your computer.
  3. Low risk. As an affiliate-marketing publisher, you don’t have to invest capital to create a product to sell. And the affiliate-marketing advertiser doesn’t pay if it doesn’t work. It’s a win-win for both.
  4. Popular. 42.9% of affiliate-marketing publishers say they operate 2 to 5 websites to promote affiliate programs. The number of affiliate-marketing publishers is growing.
  5. Easy-tracking. Affiliate programs provide campaign statistics that measure their effectiveness.
  6. No need to sell anything. Just create good content and recommend products based on your experience.

But to sum up all the info and to make it appealing to the eye, check out the infographic below!

How to Become an Affiliate Marketing Superhero #Infographic is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Why you Should be Forming Strong Relationships with Bloggers http://blog.getresponse.com/forming-strong-relationships-bloggers.html http://blog.getresponse.com/forming-strong-relationships-bloggers.html#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:00:37 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17661 Online there are many writers and content developers that your business should be utilizing. There is perhaps an even larger and often untapped source of sharing and interaction and that’s in the world of blogging. Successful bloggers often have a … Read more

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Online there are many writers and content developers that your business should be utilizing. There is perhaps an even larger and often untapped source of sharing and interaction and that’s in the world of blogging.

Successful bloggers often have a very large audience and one that’s loyal and completely devised for that blogger and their content. A business should think about jumping aboard and joining in with these bloggers and actively interacting with them.

Due to the current high volume of digital content earmarked for the internet (and saturating it) many businesses have integrated blogger outreach programs into marketing and PR strategies.

 

Blogger Outreach and Your Business

Effectively blogger outreach is a practice that ticks both the marketing and the PR boxes. It can work in a simplistic manner to generate good back links but there is also the social element to consider. A business can forge meaningful relationships with bloggers through this kind of outreach.

Blogger outreach however isn’t a one-stop shop. Instead it can be used as part of a successful marketing push and it should be merged with a business’ other advertising and social sharing options.

So, for a business to integrate a blogger outreach approach well, it must already have a well-devised and considered marketing plan in place. Then the business can add a blogger outreach approach successfully with marked benefits.

 

Blogger Outreach is a multi-faceted approach

Blogger outreach has several key possible areas that could be beneficial to a business. A business can use a blogger to pitch guest articles to blogs, publications, or other media outlets. Really the intrinsic desire is to develop high quality content that is shareable and demonstrates a business, its philosophy, and its brands.

This practice can greatly increase a business’ saturation within a given marketplace and it can aid that business in ranking higher on the main search engines. An effective guest post can direct new traffic (and increase existing traffic) to a business’s website.

Blogger outreach can benefit a company and its SEO efforts and it can increase publicity and general conversation surrounding a brand and its ethos. There are other benefits however and a successful blogger outreach program can reach and forge relationships with thought leaders and influencers within a business’ niche.

This can provide a business with a great way to increase its own influence and perhaps even find contributions from leading influencers. Again, these influencers, like bloggers, have a large pre-existing audience base and one that would be of great benefit if your business could tap into it.

relationship

 

Implementing a Blogger Outreach Approach

A business must consider this practice carefully before implementing it. Guest blogging hasn’t done quite so well since Google’s latest algorithm update. That’s not to say that guest posting is a bad practice, it’s just to say that it must be done intelligently.

The first step is defining your goals and strategy. This will help ensure that your outreach program is more successful as clearly defined goals will keep everything clear. Really the blogger outreach program should be part of the rest of your marketing efforts and it should have a good sense of purpose and a well-defined strategy.

If your business has a good idea of what it aims to achieve from a blogger outreach program it can target those efforts much more effectively. A business should have clear goals ensuring that content is driven by the types of publications it’s destined for.

A business should remember to only approach and consider bloggers that have some sort of relevancy to its niche. Relevant content is something that Google desires in any back links so a business should use that as its guiding light.

 

Think to the future

When your business is looking for bloggers it should think to the future and how those bloggers will contribute to future opportunities. Consider bloggers that have written a lot and make sure that the content they post is consistently good. Remember that these bloggers will be speaking for your business so consider them carefully.

Perhaps it’s also a good idea to think of a series of blog posts that add to a subject and are well researched. Look for bloggers that craft good online copy with clickable headlines. You want to find someone that writes not only well and with clarity, but someone who is persuasive.

Remember to build good relationships with the bloggers that you work with. This will ensure that your outreach program has legs and doesn’t only last for one post. Cast the net wide too and really look at all of the options available – it’s not worth rushing this practice.

 

Blogger Outreach programs are beneficial

Use social media platforms to keep in touch and reach new potential bloggers that could champion your business, brand, and philosophy. There are plenty of possible benefits to a blogger outreach program and a business should consider them carefully.

It can build strong relationships with industry influencers and this is an area that really shouldn’t be ignored. These influencers have considerable cache so utilize them and try to interact and connect with them too.

Integrate blogger outreach programs into your overall marketing efforts and use them to reach a wider audience. It can increase your search engine ranking and better saturate you, your business and its brands online.

 

Why you Should be Forming Strong Relationships with Bloggers is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Scoring With Your New Leads in Email Marketing http://blog.getresponse.com/scoring-new-leads-email-marketing.html http://blog.getresponse.com/scoring-new-leads-email-marketing.html#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 13:43:57 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17652 Lead nurturing allows brands to drive interaction and get additional customer insight through the use of  personalized campaigns. The goal  is to build the relationship, gain trust and earn their business. All strategies that fall under lead nurturing let brand … Read more

Scoring With Your New Leads in Email Marketing is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Lead nurturing allows brands to drive interaction and get additional customer insight through the use of  personalized campaigns. The goal  is to build the relationship, gain trust and earn their business.

All strategies that fall under lead nurturing let brand marketers build relationships with future clients. You keep leads engaged with the brand until they are ready to make a purchase. And that is important, research by MarketingSherpa suggests that at the time of original lead capture, only an average of 27% of those leads will be qualified to the point where they are ready and willing to engage with Sales. The remaining 73% aren’t there yet. This explains why more companies are willing to invest in (email based) lead nurturing.

 

Lead nurturing getting is more common

In the report, “The State of B2B Lead Nurturing” 35% of B2B companies say they can’t live without lead nurturing and only 6% say it is not very important to them. Traditionally lead nurturing is much more commonplace in B2B companies that have limited sales capacity and high value products. 

But the sophistication of email marketing software is giving Lead nurturing a boost also in B2C and with lower value products. These days everybody can go and start with simple lead nurturing programs like a welcome email series even if your budget and other requirements are limited. 

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 15.45.00

Lead nurturing tip to remember: disqualify quickly

Not everybody that knocks on your door is actually an interesting prospect. In B2B lead nurturing, leads are classified using BANT attributes. A big part of lead nurturing is actually about scoring leads and (dis)qualifying them. It is an acronym for Budget, Authority (to purchase), Need, and Timeframe. 

 

Budget

Does the new lead have enough budget to buy your product or service and is this available for the purchase at this moment? Without budget, they won’t be buying soon.


Authority (to buy)

Is the prospect a (the) decision-maker, influencer or end user? What is their function title? This will influence if they have the authority to sign on the dotted line. Remember that in B2B email marketing, but also in B2C, there are often multiple people making a decision together. Think about how you plan your vacation and how carefully you undertake each point of the trip. Use that careful planning in making sure that each component (each person influencing the businesses decision) is taken into account. 

Need or product fit

Is there an actual need for your product or service? What are the problems or motivations that drive that need? In addition, it is valuable to gain insight into the type / version of your product and services people are looking for and the level of natural fit.


Timeframe (to buy)

How urgent is the need for your product or service? Is there a hard deadline? When will the prospect be ready to buy? For example the budget allocation cycle of a company can drive the necessity for a quick choice as well as need for problem recognition or internal structure can delay it.

The following table by DWS Associates shows a version of the Bant and how it is used to determine lead information. The specifics of how you frame the questions and what your follow up actions are might be different, but enough to learn from. 

Example version of the BANT process:

BANT


You can understand that offering a demo or price quote is an absolute winner in the last stages of consideration, but a big fail (low conversion rates) if it comes too soon. You can map your content to be in line with what you know of them. If a marketer is able to uncover these pieces of information, they can pinpoint the position of a lead in the buying cycle and take the right actions.

The chance of approaching that subscriber with the right tactic and winning a new customer increases dramatically. How do you approach lead nurturing? Let us know!

 

Scoring With Your New Leads in Email Marketing is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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25 Productivity Hacks for Email Marketers http://blog.getresponse.com/25-productivity-hacks-email-marketers.html http://blog.getresponse.com/25-productivity-hacks-email-marketers.html#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 15:24:41 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17638 Managing an email program is no small task, even if you’re a pro. Depending on whether you’re working for a large or small company (or yourself) you may have designers, writers, directors, customer service, and a dozen other things to … Read more

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Managing an email program is no small task, even if you’re a pro. Depending on whether you’re working for a large or small company (or yourself) you may have designers, writers, directors, customer service, and a dozen other things to manage. Or, if your shop is small, you may get to wear all those hats. 

No matter what your situation, there are a bunch of tools and tricks to help. Here’s 25 of my favorites.

 

Tame Your Inbox

Email marketers tend to like email. We tend to be signed up for a lot of newsletters. Too many newsletters. One of these tools might free up a lot of time.

 

1. Try Unroll.me

There are dozens of different apps for managing an inbox, but Unroll.me makes more people’s lists than any other app I’ve seen. This tool will wrangle all your email subscriptions (I had 718 subscriptions!) into a rollup of the emails you want to keep, and a one click subscribe for the ones you don’t.

UnrollMe

 

 

2. Test Followup.cc

Followup.cc is another email management tool that gets high marks from the likes of ForbesMashable and LifeHacker. There is a free trial, so you can take a spin at sorting and scheduling your emails. One idea for how to immediately benefit from this tool: Schedule your emails so no one sees you’re working at 2am.

 

3. Consider MailBoxApp.com

MailBoxApp.com is yet another inbox management app, but it is especially mobile-friendly, and some people prefer it to other inbox apps mentioned on this list. The paid inbox management app Sanebox is also worth a look.

 

Create Content Faster

4. Use a content calendar or an editorial calendar.

Keep calm and plan on. Having a clear schedule of when each part of every email you send is due makes life much easier. There are a number of editorial/content calendar tools.

You can go super low-tech and use an Excel sheet (or far better, a shareable Google Drive spreadsheet), or scale up a little and use the free WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin.  The free project management tool Trello can also be tweaked to serve as a content calendar. Want more features? Upgrade to paid services like Gather Content or Kapost.

GatherContent

 

If your email program has a lot of moving parts, you may want a deluxe tool like Gather Content or Kapost to keep everything on track.

 

5. Use an email template.

Templates rock. If you aren’t using them already, just adding this trick to your repertoire can cut your production time a lot.

There’s a ninja trick here, though. You can use more than one template. You probably send out more than one email (for example: the blog post format email, the sale format email, the holiday format email). That means you could be saving each kind of email you send as a template.

Templates are also a snap to create. Just click the “Save as” button in the lower right corner of your email message editor and select “Template”.

 

SaveAsTemplateADJ

 

6. Have a backup email message queued up.

Sometimes the highest levels of productivity are served by being ready when disaster strikes. Almost every major blogger has one or two posts set aside for weeks when it’s just not possible to get their blog post done.

Leverage this trick for yourself: Have one nice evergreen email message written, designed and ready to be sent out at a moment’s notice. If some part of your email production system fails, having a backup message like this can make you look awfully smart.

 

7. Learn Evernote.

Evernote pretty much wins the prize for most-recommended productivity tool. It’s great for email marketers because it lets you capture and organize information for upcoming campaigns. But that’s just first gear for Evernote.  To get started, spend a little time on Cameron Plommer’s Evernote video tutorials, try the free tutorials on Grovo.com, or the paid ones on Lynda.com.

 

8. Make images faster – and better.

Use Canva.com to make attractive images fast. Use Pinwords.com or MemeCreator.org  to make funny images or images with quotes. Want to spice up your email with an animated gif? Head over to http://gifmaker.me/ and make one in 3 minutes, max.

 

Pinwords

Caption: Emails need images. Pinwords is one of the tools available to help you make beautiful images fast.

 

Automate

9. Buffer.

Social media updates need some automation. Buffer is an easy way to do it. There’s a free plan to get you started, or a paid plan once you decide to use it all the time.

 

10. Use If This Then That.

If you thought Buffer was cool for automating social media, you’ll love If This Then That. IFTTT lets you create “recipes” which are basically if then statements applied to your online accounts. You can do things like automatically have all Gmail attachments sent to your Google Drive account, find your phone, or follow breaking Fantasy Football news via iOS Notifications.

Every one of us probably has ten or more routine tasks we could automate with IFTTT. If there’s any drawback to this tool, it’s that it might be too powerful.

 

11. Use Zapier.

Zapier is similar to IFTTT, but it lets apps and online tools talk to each other. One of the apps it can integrate is your GetResponse account. So if you want to create a form on your site with multiple choice selections, you can set Zapier up to add people to a specific campaign in your GetResponse account based on how they filled out that form.

 

12. Automate Google analytics reports.

Some bosses like to see a traffic report, or an advertising report every morning at 9am. Take an hour to automate those reports so you can do something better with your time.

 

Delegate

13. Go to Fiverr, WorkHub or FancyHands.com. Find one task to delegate.

Delegation is productivity on steroids. Whether you need to transcribe meeting notes, edit a video or gather up a list of the nicest things your customers have said about you on social media, one of these sites can help.

Workhub

 

Don’t be afraid to delegate, even if it’s a few tiny tasks a week.

 

Focus

14. Do a Pomodoro.

How much can you get done in a 25-minute work session? More than you’d think. If you tend to procrastinate, the Pomodoro technique might be your saving grace. Basically, the Pomodoro technique is a productivity and work management system where you work with 100% focus for 25 minutes, then take a short break. Then you do another 25-minute block.

TomatoTimer

 

The TomatoTimer is a super-simple, free website that lets you try out the Pomodoro technique.

 

15. Write or Die.

If you’re especially troubled with writing deadlines, check out WriteOrDie.com, which gives you a timer, a target word count and a “consequence mode”. If you miss your writing goal, the screen turns red, an alarm goes off, and scary creatures appear.

 

16. Get Selfcontrol.

Got a Facebook addiction? Or maybe it’s Twitter… or sports, or an upcoming wedding. The free SelfControl app can block any site you want for as long as you want. It will be hard at first, but there is life beyond that website.

 

Work Faster

17. Learn more Excel shortcuts.

Email marketers tend to have a lot of data to manage. Usually that means a lot of work in Excel. If you’re going to use Excel a lot, why not become a power user? An hour or so spent learning some Excel shortcuts can easily net out to nearly a day’s worth of working time saved.

 

18. Learn Photoshop shortcuts.

Yes, this is very similar to the tip above, but Photoshop has shortcuts too. Learn some.

 

19. Learn some Outlook or Gmail shortcuts.

More shortcuts means more efficiency. Plus, you’ll look really smart as you blaze through the 200+ emails you get per day.

 

20. Use Dropbox or file storage to get some files off your computer

Optimizing your computer can make a huge difference. We all get lazy about how much is on our hard drives. Dropbox, Mozy, Google Drive or any of the other large file storage and backup services will do. And talk about saving time… when was the last time you backed up your hard drive?

 

Collaborate & Plan

21. Use Trello

It’s free, easy to use and effective for organizing projects and teams. Trello makes most lists of essential productivity tools. If you’re not using it yet, it deserves a quick review.

trellohome-hero

 

22. Try to cancel one meeting this week.

Depending on which source you cite, the average worker spends 20 to 40% or more of their workweek in meetings. Is there just one meeting this week you can cancel? Is there one regular meeting you can devise a way to get out of? Could any one of the tools listed here (or elsewhere) make it so your meeting is no longer necessary?

 

23. Workflowy

This is an all-purpose productivity tool. It’s free, and you get a nice series of how to videos the moment you sign up. Many people love it. You can collaborate with other users, search your account, add links & images and do plenty of other things. If Evernote just isn’t your thing, try Workflowy.

 

24. Snag It

Sometimes words just don’t cut it. SnagIt lets you grab and manipulate images and videos quickly. It lets you create videos in a snap and collaborate with distant co-workers as if they were standing over your shoulder, watching your screen. There’s also the very similar Jing.com, if SnagIt isn’t your fancy.

 

Stay Human

25. Create a short list of simple tasks to do when you’re exhausted or burned out or can’t do anything else

No one operates at maximum performance at all times. But certain tasks require you to be at your best. So be at your best for those demanding tasks, but have a list of dumbed down work for when you’re not feeling like a rockstar.

Low energy tasks can be billing, queuing tweets, filing or watering a plant – whatever needs to be done. Being able to get something simple done when you would otherwise just drool at a harder task frees up those precious limited hours of peak performance.

I know I’ve missed a few gems. What’s your secret email productivity trick?

 

25 Productivity Hacks for Email Marketers is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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7 Simple Changes to Boost Your Landing Page Conversions http://blog.getresponse.com/7-simple-changes-boost-landing-page-conversions.html http://blog.getresponse.com/7-simple-changes-boost-landing-page-conversions.html#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 15:07:09 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=17627 Research shows that when a new visitor arrives on your landing page, they are most likely to stay on an average of 10 seconds. Really, just 10 seconds – that’s not a whole lot of time to convince people to … Read more

7 Simple Changes to Boost Your Landing Page Conversions is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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Research shows that when a new visitor arrives on your landing page, they are most likely to stay on an average of 10 seconds. Really, just 10 seconds – that’s not a whole lot of time to convince people to respond to your call to action. You must get their attention – fast – and keep it till they reach the end of the page.

They should stay on the page long enough to do what you are asking them to do. Now, as your call to action varies greatly: You may want them to opt-in to your email list or you might want them to ask for a quote or book a free consultation. If you are selling something, you want people to click the buy now button.

Not every action carries the same weight. When you offer a juicy, opt-in incentive, it takes even less than 10 seconds for people to start typing their email address. Bam, and they are done. However, if your goal involves them taking their wallets out, all of a sudden this time seem like a nano second. You start panicking – what can you do to keep these folks interested enough to read a bit of copy on your landing page?

Well .. actually, quite a lot, of course depending on how good of a landing page it is in the first place. In this blog post, I will take you through the ones that make the most impact to your bottom line.

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#1 Grab attention of the right person

The number one job of your landing page is to catch the attention of the right audience.  As soon as a potential client or customer starts reading it, they identify themselves as the person you are addressing. The copy speaks to them – the language resonates with them

Start off by identifying the person you are targeting and get super specific. You should know by now that if you set out to target everybody, you end up talking to nobody. So narrow your target market right down.

Secondly, you should survey your audience prior to creating your offer, or speak to them one-on-one. Make note of the words they use, pay attention to the nuances in their language and then use that in your copy. If you use technical language or your industry jargon, you will lose readers.

Create a big headline for your landing page which is sure to catch the attention of your target audience. Make a big promise if you can or use a sub-headline to spell out the main benefit of purchasing your product or service. The same rule applies if you are creating a squeeze page (where you want people to hand over their email in exchange for a freebie), or any other page with a call to action.

Now test your headline. Get a stranger to read your page and tell you if they understand what you are offering in 5 seconds or less. The goal here is that the headline, the sub-headline, and the introductory paragraphs should explain the purpose of your page nicely. If people are confused, go back to the drawing board, you are probably overcomplicating your offer.

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#2 Clearly show what makes your offering different

Articulate your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) really well. It should be unmistakably clear.

So what is USP? It’s something that makes you different from the rest of crowd – your competition. It’s what helps you stand out. It’s what shows the benefits they are going to get when they purchase from you and get a better solution.

Also known as Unique Value Proposition, it should quickly demonstrate the value of your offering, how it is better than your completion, describe it in the language your customer speaks and state the benefits as well as features of your offering.

In order to hone in your USP, pay attention to what your competitors are offering. Study their products and services, or opt-in offers. Make a note of what appeals to you and what doesn’t. Then list all the ways your product or service will provide a better or a different solution. Maybe you could offer a double money back guarantee, a longer trial period, or discounts for first-time customers. Maybe you could add 24 hour customer support or a totally different price point that is associated with your industry.

Make your USP prominent by wrapping your headline and sub-headline around it and capturing the whole promise. Add plenty of benefit driven bullets on the page, continue the theme on your checkout or registration page so that people are being reminded of all the benefits and know they are doing the right thing.

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#3 Let others speak for you

Instead of singing praises of your own offering, solicit others to do it for you. But beware, you have to make sure that your testimonials are legit and not made up.

Research shows that 90% of people assume that the customer feedback including reviews and testimonials are suspicious and rightly so, the online marketing world is rampant with fake and dishonest reviews. So how can you prove them otherwise? Use the power of buyer photographs to instantly add integrity to your testimonials. Use their name and also their website URL (don’t link to it, you don’t want people clicking away from your landing page) to supercharge your testimonials.

Video testimonials also work when you choose people similar to your target audience so they can identify with this person. You can also get celebrity endorsements, reviews, or quotes to add instant credibility to yourself.

Lastly pay attention to the actual words in the testimonials. Don’t choose words that put you on a pedestal. Demonstrate some initial buyer resistance and how they got the results in spite of it. If their sentences aren’t perfect or if they have any typos – leave those in. You don’t want to airbrush them. Choose precise testimonials. Have your buyers tell the real numbers (if this applies to you), rather than rounding them off.

Remember, all testimonials are not created equal. By adding photographs, getting precise numbers, and sprinkling an industry-specific celebrity endorsement or two will do wonders for your sales page.

landingpage

#4 Get rid of all objections

People have built in resistance when it comes to reading a sales letter – we all like to buy but we hate being sold to. And the most critical task of a sales page is to get rid of this resistance.

You have to articulate your core benefit so well that they feel compelled to buy your product or service. When you do this, you have overcome their objection ‘I can do this on my own’.

You must focus on the inherent value so the price becomes irrelevant. People tend to associate higher prices with advanced or complicated products, and lower priced products as something that has inferior quality. When you concentrate on getting the value across, you more than justify the price. Your product becomes a no-brainer.

You have to show that your product actually does what it claims to do. Include lots of features and benefits to address any buyer resistance. Use customer testimonials as described above so people have faith in what you have to offer and can see that it has worked for people like them. You can actually dedicate a special section addressing the skeptics and the doubters where you can use the FAQ format to answer all their questions in one place.

At the end of the day, when you can confidently answer all your prospect’s questions, satisfy them and communicate the value of your offering, your conversions go up. No gimmicks required.

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#5 Invest in professional design and copy

If you are driving traffic from an ad, make sure the headline matches the copy of the ad. When there is a disconnect between what you said in your ad and the first thing they see on the page (your headline) you will lose readers. Potential customers will simply click away because they will find it jarring.

When it comes to the words on the page, make sure the copy is fluid, meaning, your eye flows naturally from top to bottom without any elements getting in the way. Often times  people add in testimonials that are poorly placed, the visitor is reading the copy and all of a sudden they are interrupted with a testimonial that has nothing to do with what is being communicated.

Keep your copy as long as it needs to be but make it concise at the same time. Get rid of rambling sentences and long paragraphs. Generally, the dearer the product is, the longer will be the sales copy. The logic being, you need more time to answer every possible question racing inside their head, but even then your aim should be to keep it as tight as possible.

When it comes to design, make sure it is easy to read on a screen. Do not use too many colours. Don’t confuse the eye by inserting too many images. Use plenty of white space. Don’t use big chunks of text on the page.

Your goal is to keep the people on the page as long as you can. Get rid of the side bar, main navigation bar, social media profiles, or any links that will take the visitor away. The only link should be the checkout or the sign-up one. Use bold buttons while making your call to action. Make sure they stand out and catch the eye.

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#6 Stay relevant to the traffic coming to your page

Think about the people visiting your landing page.

Is this the first time they are hearing about you? How familiar are they with your brand? Where are they arriving from? From a Facebook ad, a link from a guest post or from social media promotion? How many times have they seen your landing page before? Meaning, how warm or cold are they?

If you send out an email promotion to your own list and send traffic to your landing page, the conversion rate will be much higher than when sending cold traffic to it. On the other hand if you have a rather small size list, and you don’t have any strategic partnerships in place, don’t overestimate your conversion rate. Work in the size of your email list.

Furthermore, you have to create the page accordingly. With your own people, you don’t have to work as hard to create trust so it doesn’t necessarily have to ‘sell’ people hard whereas in case of cold traffic, you do. You would pay even more attention to your copy if you are relying on driving traffic via PPC or Facebook ads.

To increase conversions, you may want to offer special incentives for first time visitors. In case of a sales page, you might offer a special first time buyer discount, or a special bonus. Your opt-in page is geared towards the first time visitors by definition so capitalize on it and don’t feel shy to sell your freebie incentive.

blogging

#7 Test at least one variation of your page

Remember, your landing page will convert the best when you clearly define your conversion goals. You will also make a big difference to your numbers if you split test the elements on your landing page.

When you are creating your page, you might make a decision to write certain words on the page or chose a particular call to action based on what you are actually thinking about and what feels good to you at the moment. A lot of personal preference is involved in your decision making so you should definitely test it out to see whether this actually works. It’s good to pay attention to your gut but don’t rely on it alone. Test it.

In the control version, set up the best landing page and in the variation version, change one thing at a time. It can be a headline, a different call to action, video vs no video. Don’t change too many things or you will skew your data and it will be hard to measure.

The more targeted and strategic an A/B test is, the more likely it’ll be to have a positive impact on conversions. You might discover that placing the form further down on an expensive product with longer copy generally converts better than placing it above the fold. You might find out that by adding a short video at the top, you significantly increase your conversions. Don’t assume what worked for others will work for you. Always test to check your assumptions. Consider hiring a conversion expert if you feel this is not your strongest area.

So there you have it. Which one of these 7 changes will make the most difference to your landing page? Tell us, and then go test it!

7 Simple Changes to Boost Your Landing Page Conversions is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

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

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

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

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

 

Growing Your Email List

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

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

 

Onto Content – Tell a Story

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

direct-customers

Balance Graphics and Text

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

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

 

Include Quotes

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Welcome to the world of Lead nurturing

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

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

Front loading contact frequency

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

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

 

(Dis)qualify quickly

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

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

nurturing

Mix it up with personal requests and actions

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

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

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Takeaways from lead nurturing you can use right now

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

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

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

 

Click-baiting

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

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

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

That’s exactly what we call click-baiting.

Upworthy

 

 

Where’s the problem?

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

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

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

 

How will it work?

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

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

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

 

Sharing links

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

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

atlantic-seafood2

culinarian-new

 

How does this affect my page?

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Determine who are your ideal clients or customers

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

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

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

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

 

Determine how your ideal clients or customers found you

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

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

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

AffiliateSlide1

 

ConsultantSlide1

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

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

 

Autoresponders are the original marketing automation tool

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

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

 

RSS to Email is AOK

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

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

 

Gettin’ fancy: Event-based Autoresponders

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Ninja lead magnet trick

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

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

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

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

 

Automation rules

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

Here’s how:

You set up an automation rule in your GetResponse account.

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

 

Automation-HowToFind2

 

How to use automation rules

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

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

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

AutomationRule2

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s jump in.

 

Mistake #1 Your purpose is not clear

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Stop immediately.

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

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

Here are three ways to pick the right blog:

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

You send a mediocre idea and it gets rejected.

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

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

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

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

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

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

writing

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

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

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

This is how I recommend you do it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

So there you have it.

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

Good luck!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

1.15 Billion Facebook Users

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

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

billions

Offer them something they can’t get elsewhere

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

 

Share your customer testimonials

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

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

 

Engage with your followers

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

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

customers

Facebook Web Custom Audiences

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

Facebook fans

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

 

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

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

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

 

Prioritize your touchpoints – adding ideas

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

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

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

Scoring touchpoints

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

Touchpoint scoring points, score them on a mix of:

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Quick wins and list growth difficulty

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

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

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 10.12.50

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

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

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

A Change of Pace and Email Cadence

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

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

 

Expect to manage expectations

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

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

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

 

1. Pick the optimal timeframe

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

 

2. Give a Reason, include a plot

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

 

IncreasingFrequency

 

3. Claim and Name your sequence

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

 

4. Do earn, but don’t burn

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

BounceRateAnalyticsADJ

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

 

Average bounce rates for different kinds of sites and devices

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

bouncerateBySiteTypeQuickSprout

 

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

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

averagebounceratebydevicetype620

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

 

1. You’ve got a single page site.

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

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

 

 

2. Google Analytics is not installed correctly.

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

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

bounceratebeforeandafter

 

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

 

3. Your site loads slowly.

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

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

website-design-features-IG_FORPOST

 

Page load time has a powerful influence over bounce rates.

 

4. Your pages’ navigation is confusing.

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

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

 

5. Your website isn’t mobile friendly.

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

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

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

mobile-bounce-rate-site-not-optimized

 

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

 

6. Your call to action isn’t clear.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Aftonbladet-website-007

 

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

 

8. There are too many ads.

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

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

 

9. Write for scanners, not readers.

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

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

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

 

10. Have the page suit the traffic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Let me ask you: why do you blog?

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

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

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

 

Mistake #2 You don’t have a strong niche

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

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

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

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

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

 

Mistake #3 You don’t understand your audience

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

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

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

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

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

audience

Mistake #4 You are not consistent

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

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

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

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

 

Mistake #5 You hide behind your blog

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

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

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

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

 

Mistake #6 You bore people to death

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

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

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

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

boredom

Mistake #7 You are overly promotional

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

You have got to push your content on social media sites to attract new readers. You don’t have to publish on every single one of them but it is generally a good idea to focus on one or two platforms at a time. You think your audience hangs out on Facebook? Great – then that’s where you should share your content. If you think they are more Twitter kind of people, or Pinterest, or Google+, reach out to them there.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you make any of the mistakes I listed above?

Leave a comment as we’d love to know.

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

#3: Time your posts carefully for optimum targeting

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

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

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

engage

#4: Follow your followers and engage with the engaged

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

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

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

 

#5: Optimize your updates for each social network

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

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

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

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

 

#6: Analytics

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

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

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

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

 

Who are your VIPs?

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

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

 

Very Important Person

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

BootBarn

 

Very Intriguing Persuasion

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

Take a look at this Red Cross email:

redcross

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

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

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

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

 

 

Very Interesting Product

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

HSInstitute

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mistake #1 Your topic is too broad

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

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

Stop.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

checking_out.

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

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

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

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

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

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Mistake #4 You didn’t survey your audience

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

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

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

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

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Mistake #5 You are not really interested in the topic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ebook.

Mistake #7 You are not working off an outline

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

You’ll be doomed if you don’t.

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

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

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

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Mistake #8 You haven’t done any beta testing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mistake #10 You don’t invest in design

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

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

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

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Mistake #11 You don’t launch it properly

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

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

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

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

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

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

An excellent book = tons of sales, right?

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

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

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

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Mistake #13 You don’t promote your ebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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