GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips http://blog.getresponse.com Mon, 20 Apr 2015 15:24:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 How To Personalize Your Emails with Dynamic Content #FreebieMonday http://blog.getresponse.com/how-to-personalize-your-emails-with-dynamic-content-freebiemonday.html http://blog.getresponse.com/how-to-personalize-your-emails-with-dynamic-content-freebiemonday.html#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 14:49:13 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19460 All email marketers eventually face the same problem – low subscriber engagement. It’s natural that your readers will lose interest in your messages, especially if you’re sending them the same content regardless of who they are or what they are … Read more

How To Personalize Your Emails with Dynamic Content #FreebieMonday is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post How To Personalize Your Emails with Dynamic Content #FreebieMonday appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
All email marketers eventually face the same problem – low subscriber engagement. It’s natural that your readers will lose interest in your messages, especially if you’re sending them the same content regardless of who they are or what they are interested in. If this sounds familiar to you and you’re dealing with decreasing open rates and a shrinking email list, you’ll find your solution in Dynamic Content. If you want to personalize your campaigns and send relevant, unique emails, that’s the answer you’ve been looking for. 

.

Why should you use Dynamic Content?

Spray-and-pray approach isn’t going to cut it any longer. Of course, for some promotional campaigns if you haven’t got time or enough data to personalize your messages you may send them to all of your subscribers without using segmentation. This approach is probably going to generate OK results, but that’s about it.

If what you’re looking for is GREAT results and meaningful relationships then you’ll want to personalize your emails. After all, your subscribers are all unique. They have different needs, wants, and of course react differently to various factors – and that includes your offer. What if I told you that personalizing your campaigns could generate as much as 73% unique open rates? Doesn’t that sound worthy of your time?

There’s only one but. By personalizing your emails I don’t just mean addressing your subscribers by their name or naming the specific product they have purchased in the past. To achieve awesome results, you have to go beyond that, and that’s where dynamic content comes in handy.

In his recent article, Lee Frederiksen explained that there are two basic types of dynamic content – variable substitution and content insertion. The first type, allows you to show different versions of the same variable (e.g. a word). You would use it to address your subscriber by name or mention the product they have purchased.

The second one – content insertion – is far more interesting. And it can be the real game changer for your campaigns. As Lee describes it, content insertion enables you to insert entire sections of content – phrases, paragraphs, even images – in response to the data you have collected for your audience.

To put it into an example, imagine you have an online store selling products for hair and skin care. You know your subscribers have different types of hair based on previous purchases or a customer survey. Instead of providing the same subject line, offer, and images, you’ll adjust them accordingly to client’s profile. Depending on whether they have straight or curly hair, they will receive completely different versions of your email. Even though it’s the very same email after all.

 

How does Dynamic Content work?

Using dynamic content in your message is straight forward. We have already written a whole section on how you can implement it into your own campaigns, so check it out here. To explain it briefly, what you can do is to import your email list with additional information about your subscribers e.g. their interests, previously purchased products, characteristics, etc.

Then you need to figure what different versions of content do your want to show to your audience. Will these be different products? Or perhaps you’ll want to show an entirely different offer based on their location?

Once you’ve figured these out, you’ll need to write a short piece of code that will specify what content will be shown to subscribers containing particular custom fields. At the same time, you’ll want to state what will be presented to those that do not have said custom field or have it, but with a different value.

An example of a relatively advanced dynamic code script would look like the one below:

language-script

 

Where do I start?

We get asked that question quite a lot. Do I have to personalize all of my emails? The answer is – of course no. If you have a small business or limited email marketing team it might cost you too much time to create highly targeted campaigns every single time. But you can definitely start somewhere.

Start with something simple e.g. your welcome emails. Show different versions of content based on what your subscribers told you in the sign up form. Or send out a general welcome message but based on what elements they have clicked in this message send them another email with more tailored content. It’s that simple!

Once you’ve done that, move up to other messages. Promotional newsletters, autoresponders or RSS-to-email messages. You’ll soon see that relevancy isn’t just the key to survival but to building real relationships and of course, selling more!

 

What’s next?

Looking for some more inspiration? Check out our Guide to Dynamic Content and see for yourself how you can turn your good ol’ campaigns into unique and relevant communication that leads to engagement and brand loyalty.

Have you used personalization in your campaigns already? What results did it generate for you? Be sure to let us know in the comments and share your thoughts if other readers.

 

How To Personalize Your Emails with Dynamic Content #FreebieMonday is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post How To Personalize Your Emails with Dynamic Content #FreebieMonday appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/how-to-personalize-your-emails-with-dynamic-content-freebiemonday.html/feed 0
9 Excuses Keeping You From Creating An Information Product http://blog.getresponse.com/9-excuses-keeping-you-from-creating-an-information-product.html http://blog.getresponse.com/9-excuses-keeping-you-from-creating-an-information-product.html#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:07:57 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19447 You must have heard this advice: stop trading hours for dollars, and you might be wondering what it really means. Well, basically you are being advised to package your expertise and skills in such a way that you remove the … Read more

9 Excuses Keeping You From Creating An Information Product is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 9 Excuses Keeping You From Creating An Information Product appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
You must have heard this advice: stop trading hours for dollars, and you might be wondering what it really means. Well, basically you are being advised to package your expertise and skills in such a way that you remove the limit on the number of people you can actually serve, without getting burned out in the process. You still do what you love, and you also help a maximum number of people by creating streams of passive income. So this applies to you if you are a coach, consultant, therapist, service professional, or somebody who works one on one with people. No matter how much you love your job and you helping people, you only have a set number of hours in a day.

You can only book so many clients and have to put others on a wait-list or turn them away. Product creation is the answer for you (and just to clarify, I am talking about information products such as ebooks, e-courses, workshops, membership sites, etc). This also applies to you if you want to monetize your passion but are not selling anything yet.

Maybe you are stuck in a job you don’t even like, maybe you are a mum returning to work or maybe you just need more freedom and flexibility in your life. But if this product creation is the answer to your dreams, why aren’t you doing it? The reason is simple: You are scared. And you come up will all sorts of excuses to justify it.

.

#1 Product creation takes a long time

This has got to be the number one excuse people come up with. They think that creating an information product is too hard, that it is going to take too much of their time. When I ask someone if they have thought about creating one they immediately say how busy they are and simply have no time to do so.

Well, creating a product, just like everything else in life, does take time. However, this time doesn’t have to be about struggle, overwhelm or frustration. And the fact of the matter is, your first product doesn’t have to be really big. It doesn’t have to be this all-encompassing online program that takes you months and months to create and deliver.

Have you heard the term ‘minimum viable product – MVP?’ Basically you only take as much time as you need to make a product that does what it’s supposed to do. You focus on making version 1.1. You don’t care about the bells and the whistles. You don’t care about how it is packaged (for now).

Just by giving yourself permission that the first version can be a beta version takes the pressure off. Not only you get psychological relief but it is actually very good idea to test things to make sure you don’t end up spending hours and creating a product nobody wants.

.

#2 What if it doesn’t sell?

It will sell if you go through this process I am about to teach you. First things first, never create a product you are not sure people want to buy. Do your research. If you have a list of people, survey them. Ask in the Facebook groups and forums. Pay attention to the kind of questions your readers and clients tend to ask you.

Go to Amazon and search for books on your topic. Look at the ones that are popular and read their reviews. What do people love about them? Don’t forget to pay attention to 1 and 2-star reviews as these will tell you things people are unhappy with. Conduct interviews with your target audience and listen to what they are telling you. Also pay attention to things they aren’t saying.

Become a detective and all this work will pay off. Remember this if you create something nobody wants, it won’t sell no matter how good the product actually is. information_product

.

#3 The product I want to make already exists

Next, you want to look at what is available in the market. So this step trips up most people. As soon as they start researching, they begin finding products that are very similar to what they have in mind or teach the same thing. This is actually a good thing. Competition means there is a demand for your kind of product. It means people want to buy it.

A client of mine came to me heartbroken that what she wants to create has already been created by someone else. She is convinced that this is the exact thing she wanted to create and wonders if there is a point in going ahead with her plan now. Firstly, I have some good news. Since we are talking about information products, there is something you need to understand first. People don’t buy courses, ebooks, and workshops just for information. They buy it because they have an affinity with the person delivering the information. They prefer their teaching style. They like their perspective and personality. Again, this is fantastic news.

This means you practically eliminate competition by being yourself and teaching in a manner that is closest to your heart. Secondly, people use more than one product in a niche. They buy CDs of many artists even if they all sing jazz. They go to many Chinese restaurants. They also learn from multiple teachers. They might buy something just for information and buy another for the community aspect of it.

.

#4 I don’t know how to create one

Come on. Is that your excuse now? Seriously? What do you say to someone when they want to do something and they don’t know how to do it? You say, we all start out not knowing. You say, take the first step and start looking up some information. Follow your own advice.

Google is your best friend. Look for ‘how to create my first information product’ and see what comes up. You will even find products about creating products and if you want to invest in some training or coaching, that is totally fine, too. For now, all you need to know is this. You need to create something very specific, your product needs to solve a specific problem. People often make the mistake of going broad, so if you can avoid this you are at a great place to start.

Secondly, you need an outline. You need a process of some sorts, a system that helps people. People want structure. After that it is a matter of sitting down and creating your materials. It is up to you to decide which format to choose, whether video, written, presentation with voice over or a mix. You can include Q/A calls, email support or a private Facebook group for customers.

Lastly, you need to hire someone for design and the technical aspects or you can DIY depending upon how much you are willing to learn. You can also outsource video and copy editing.

.

#5 I don’t have the money to create it

This one just stems from lack of understanding of the product creation process. When we are talking information products, the costs are minimal to begin with. Nobody is expecting you to invest thousands of dollars. Especially when it is your first product, keep in mind what I said earlier about creating a minimum viable product first.This means keeping your costs low. No expenses on hiring an expensive designer or a brand strategist. Follow the lean start-up model and you can keep your costs in the hundreds range.

.

#6 I am not a great teacher

For some people the biggest block that rejects this idea is not so obvious. When I suggest this to my clients they seem to think this over for a second but then they shake their heads and say no. They think it’s not such a good idea. After some probing and deep digging, I get the real answer. This is because they believe they don’t have what it takes to do a good job.

Most of these people have never taught before and they are not sure how to even begin the process. This is what I say: Most service providers are teachers are heart although they don’t recognize it. I say if they help a client go from point A to point B, can they document this process of them getting the desired results? Can they systemize it and make it easy to understand? Can they add examples and explain concepts so anyone can understand? And of course, the answer is always yes.

The same logic applies to you. And again, if you struggle with any aspect of product creation, you know help is available. You can always hire an instructional designer or a course creation expert or ask for advice. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

.

#7 I don’t have a big audience

Some people don’t want to get into product creation because they don’t have a large audience. It’s a valid concern. If you don’t have a substantial number of people on your email list, you feel like you won’t be able to sell much. The way to counteract this scenario is to start building your email list just when you start researching your idea. For example, you might think of one product idea and write a few guest posts on it. This way not only do you get to see if your idea has any merit but you drive super warm traffic back to your website.

All these people who subscribe to your email list as a result are much more likely to be interested in what you have to offer. You could also splinter topics from your main idea and create freebies around it. You might develop mini ebooks, checklists and cheat sheets, 7 part email course, tutorials or webinars and promote those using Facebook ideas getting likely buyers to opt-in. You can work with other people to promote your product to their own lists (affiliates).

And lastly don’t forget when you actually do a launch for your product and release a series of pre-launch content, be it a video series or written content, you will still be adding people to the list. Don’t forget though, if your email list is super targeted your list and you have a great relationship with the people on your list, your conversions will be higher than normal. You don’t necessarily need a big list to sell. You can start off with few hundred people and still do well.

.

#8 I don’t know what to price it

You might think this one is a silly excuse. Would people not create something because they don’t know how much to charge for it? Then you’d definitely be surprised to know that people don’t begin creating just because they get stuck on what to actually name the product. While excuses like these may seem trivial to many of you, for some, they are something that keep people blocked. It’s a big deal to them.

People think if they charge a low price then they need hundreds and thousands of buyers to make a profit. They think they’ll create an ebook for $19.99 so they need a two hundred people just to make roughly 4,000 dollars. This is not a lot of money. On the other hand, if they charge a higher price, say $999 for an ecourse, they feel their audience won’t buy. Let me tell you something. Pricing is just a marketing tool.

Just like you have to make decisions like how big your product is going to be, what goes into it, what modality to use, what would packaging look like – you should approach pricing exactly like that. The problem begins when people begin to associate their prices with their worth. They have been told by other gurus that ‘charge what you are worth’. Err … your pricing has nothing to do with your worth and everything to do with the value you offer and the experience your customer gets when they make a purchase.

As far as naming goes, choose a name that spells the main outcome of the program. Be clear, rather than clever. Too be really honest, it doesn’t even matter that much.

.

#9 I don’t know how to market it

So this is a big one. And this is why I left it for last. By now you should have gotten a new perspective on what to create your product on, what to call it, and what to charge for it. You would have tested the product idea so you feel confident and excited (as opposed to scared and apprehensive) and you have been slowly growing your list. Good for you.

The last piece of the puzzle is how to actually market and sell it. I have some good ideas for you. If you have been keeping your audience involved in your product creation from day 1, if you have been keeping them in the loop on your blog and over at your Facebook page giving them a sneak peek now and then, you are naturally and slowly building buzz.

To successfully launch your product, you could also learn how to do it yourself or outsource it. The most important thing is if you have a great offer (fantastic product at the right price), people will buy. You don’t need to become a master of persuasion or copywriting expert. Your sales page doesn’t even have to be perfect and it will still do the job for you. All because you took the time to perfect the process.

There you have it. My down and dirty guide to create your first information product really. I have only one question for you: When are you going to start? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

9 Excuses Keeping You From Creating An Information Product is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 9 Excuses Keeping You From Creating An Information Product appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/9-excuses-keeping-you-from-creating-an-information-product.html/feed 0
9 Social Media Rules You Should Break http://blog.getresponse.com/9-social-media-rules-you-should-break.html http://blog.getresponse.com/9-social-media-rules-you-should-break.html#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:03:43 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19430 You’ve heard the metaphor about how social media is like being at a party, right? It’s a good framework to understand a medium that’s both new and completely tied up with human foibles, judgments, and egos. Many social media etiquette … Read more

9 Social Media Rules You Should Break is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 9 Social Media Rules You Should Break appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
You’ve heard the metaphor about how social media is like being at a party, right? It’s a good framework to understand a medium that’s both new and completely tied up with human foibles, judgments, and egos. Many social media etiquette rules immediately make more sense when you use the party metaphor, like:

  • Don’t talk only about yourself.
  • Don’t take over conversations.
  • Say something nice or don’t say anything at all.
  • Ask the people you know to introduce you to people you don’t know.

That last one is a nice segway into what we’ll cover in this post. As you know, sometimes there’s someone you want to meet, but you have no mutual friends. You either have to break a rule or you’ll never meet that person. So you probably decide to break (bend?) the friends-introduce-friends rule, and you devise a non-creepy way to introduce yourself and get to know that interesting person.

Sometimes you have to bend certain social rules. Sometimes you have to actually break them. And sometimes you have to break a lot of them. This is especially true in the murky world of human engagement. And that’s exactly what social media is – human engagement. So, just to give you some confidence and to hopefully expand your social influence, here are a few social media rules you just might want to break.

 

1) Don’t repost old posts.

At least some of you have heard this one already, either that it’s a rule not to be broken, or that it is a rule that is actually okay to break. If you were concerned that you shouldn’t re-use posts, I’m here to tell you to change your ways: It’s okay to repost things.

It’s okay because your followers are not seeing everything you post. Even beyond Facebook, your social reach for the posts you publish is probably in the single digits. So go ahead and repost things every so often.

You could probably re-post up to 10% of your content before you started seeing any bad results. Just make sure your re-posts are evergreen content. Make sure they’re great content, too. And don’t reshare anything to exhaustion (like more than 30 times). Reshare it about 5-7 times, then let it rest a bit.

Buffer actually has a feature where you can see your most popular posts. With the click of a button, you can “rebuffer” those posts. I’ve been cheating (?) and reposting this way for awhile on Twitter. It has actually increased my engagement rates, because I only reshare the tweets my followers liked the most.

 

2) Don’t be negative on social media.

I don’t recommend you take this too far, but a sprinkling of negativity here and there has actually been known to work. It’s especially good if you add a hearty dose of humor to it. Like “10 Things I Hate About Dating”, or “10 Reasons Why the Zombie Apocalypse Will Be a Relief”.

Don’t publish more than one negative update a week, but you don’t have to always be Sally Sunshine. Sometimes a little venom has its place. Just be really, really careful and make sure your negativity won’t be caught out of context. If you’re a complete newbie to social media, consider skipping this advice altogether. The successful use of negativity on social media requires a skilled hand.

But it’s still a worthy play. Mocked venom can be particularly effective, as ninja social media accounts like Old Spice and Taco Bell have proven in the exchange below:

OldSpiceVsTacoBell

 

3) You have to be on Facebook.

If there was ever any doubt about “having” to be on the biggest social network, Copyblogger laid it to rest last year when they killed their Facebook page. Sure, there was a lot of blowback and even some condemnations, but Copyblogger continues. It thrives. They probably have a lot more free time, too.

The moral of the story there is you don’t have to be anywhere on social media that isn’t working for you. If there’s no ROI, and you’ve been following best practices, and you’ve given it your very best shot, it’s okay to move on.

Do what works. Skip the rest.

 

4) Automation is bad.

Here’s a graph showing why people unfollow other people on Twitter:

why-twitter-users-unfollow-800x520

Now, “automated content” is on that chart, but it’s tied for the fifth most common reason people unfollow other people. “Bursts”, by the way, are when you tweet in a burst – like every 30 seconds. Definitely don’t burst your tweets – space social updates out at least 30 minutes apart, and hopefully 1-3 hours apart, if not more. But use automation without fear.

Just don’t automate your posts in a sloppy way. Having 30-40% of your posts be automated is not going to annoy your followers. It means you’ll have more time to find and create better content. Just balance the automation by dipping into your accounts from time to time, engaging as much as you can, and then letting the automation fill in the rest. It’s almost impossible to publish regularly on social media without automation, especially if you’re not a full-time manager.

 

5) A bigger audience is a better audience.

There are more and more voices dissing the practice of chasing after Facebook likes. The same could be said of Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, or people in your Google+ circles.

Of course, you would never buy followers or likes or anything like that. But even if you avoided that faux pas and just tried to get as many followers as possible – with no regard to who they were – you could still end up feeling lonely, despite being amongst a crowd of “friends”.

 

6) You have to be on every social network.

This is a recipe for poor ROI, and for misery. And almost every social media expert will tell you it’s bunk. Pick a small handful of social media networks and actually work those. Pick them strategically, based on where your audience is.

If there’s only one person doing your social media, and doing it part-time, you probably won’t be able to be active on more than three social media platforms. Got someone working full-time on social media? They could have a toe-hold in up to seven networks, but they may only be able to really be active on 3-5.

Be strategic with your social media work. To use our old party metaphor, think of your social media time like you’re at the party, but you’ve got a cab waiting for you. Its meter is running while you schmooze.

 

7) Respond to all comments.

Not if you’re dealing with trolls or crazy people. Responding to them is exactly what they want. Don’t give it to them. Let it go.

In fact, go find something nice to do for somebody, just so you have something else to focus on. The sooner you can stop thinking about what that nasty person said, the better. Go endorse a bunch of people on LinkedIn who deserve it. Go tell a blogger or two you loved their post and why. Heck, go call your mother. Just don’t reply to those comments.

Actually, this brings up a great social media practice. Every day, do something nice for someone. Want extra credit? Go do something nice for someone and don’t expect or even hope for them to do something nice back. Like the bumper sticker says, practice random acts of kindness.

socialmedia

 

8) Share 20% your stuff and 80% other people’s stuff.

It is definitely important to share other people’s content more than your own, but that 80/20 split is flexible. It’s a rule you can bend. Some very successful people on social media share about half their own stuff and half others. The trick to this is, of course, that their “stuff” is great content and a lot of it, like 7 blog posts, 2 webinars, 5 videos, and 3 ebooks. They’re not just promoting the same blog post over and over and over again.

 

9) Include personal shares for a business account.

This is suggested as a way to “humanize a brand” or make yourself more approachable. Handled correctly, it can be a good idea, but it can also backfire badly. This is another good example of a tactic that’s social media 501, not 101. If you’re in doubt about whether or not it’s a good idea to share a picture of your night out or to tweet about how funny your boss is when she’s angry, skip it.

There’s a similar situation for leaving comments on blogs, even blogs that aren’t work related. Because of Disqus and other comment apps, every comment you leave anywhere is just a click away from peering eyes. It’s disappointing to lose this much privacy, but that’s the reality of social media. Our lives online are completely transparent and are often impossible to erase. Think very carefully about what you post, whether it’s for business or personal use.

What do you think about these rules and my thoughts on breaking (or bending) them? Which social media rules have you broken? Did your decision end up being a good idea or a bad idea? Tell us about it in the comments!

9 Social Media Rules You Should Break is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 9 Social Media Rules You Should Break appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/9-social-media-rules-you-should-break.html/feed 1
Email Re-Activation Strategies That Will Save You Money http://blog.getresponse.com/email-re-activation-strategies-that-will-save-you-money.html http://blog.getresponse.com/email-re-activation-strategies-that-will-save-you-money.html#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:07:13 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19419 Re-activating customers who are no longer engaging with your emails should be part of your regular email marketing strategy and factored into your customer lifecycle. It is a fact of life that people will lose interest over time. Although you … Read more

Email Re-Activation Strategies That Will Save You Money is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Email Re-Activation Strategies That Will Save You Money appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
Re-activating customers who are no longer engaging with your emails should be part of your regular email marketing strategy and factored into your customer lifecycle. It is a fact of life that people will lose interest over time. Although you can reduce that disinterest by working harder to keep people engaged (more on that later), it will happen that people will stop opening your emails. Be ready to re-activate when that happens.

 

Realize You’re Leaving Money on the Table

At some point, that consumer wanted to hear from you. And at some point, they handed over their email address and said “yes” to your emails. They opted-in ,they were interested. However, they haven’t been curious lately, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be again!

In fact, there may be a lot of value left in the inactive portion of your list. Of course you need to put time and money into wooing new subscribers onto your email list. But don’t forget about re-engaging people and possibly clients who wanted to hear from you but got lost along the way. The latter already knows you and your brand, therefore there’s already  a basis for a relationship. You simply need to get them interested in your messages again. So don’t look at them as dead weight to be ignored. Until they actually unsubscribe from your list, they have potential value.

Your re-activation campaign doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time either. It can be set up as an event-driven campaign, which are becoming more popular and several types of autoresponders can increase engagement, that’s automatically triggered by set lapse in time or after a certain number of emails go unopened.

Fellow email enthusiast Scott Hardigree of Email Industries talks a lot about autoresponders. According to him, a reactivation series doesn’t mean that you need to throw subscribers in the bin if they don’t become active instantly. Take a look at his equally quick read, he insists you would be able to set up an automated reengagement campaign in under an hour.

However, to help you get the creative part of the strategy set up, below you’ll find creative ways to think about re-engaging the inactive part of your audience.

.

Ideas to Jumpstart Your Creative

If all you need is an idea to wrap this reactivation strategy around, we have plenty of of ideas for you here! When Ryan Phelan solicited ideas for a reactivation campaign on Facebook, he got dozens of replies some of which we share here. Take a look at these titles:

  • Where are you?
  • You unfriended us
  • Please don’t go!
  • Lost your way?
  • Still friends?
  • Say it isn’t so!
  • Playing hard to get?
  • It feels like something is missing…
  • The silent treatment is so last year…
  • I like you. Do you like me?
  • Should you stay or should you go?
  • Let’s start over
  • Can we talk?
  • Have a minute?
  • Where are you?
  • We Miss You! Don’t let your points expire.
  • “Hi [name],” said the ski slope. “Wish you were here…”
  • Look what you could have earned…since you’ve been gone!
  • Where you at, yo?
  • We need to talk
  • Don’t let another great offer go unopened!
  • Yay! You’re back!
  • Hello again!
  • Is it me?
  • “Come baaaaaaack!”
  • Miss U Come Back
  • Like a warm blanket
  • We’re listening.
  • Gimme a chance!
  • Or…depending on audience – “We know we fucked up…”
  • Better together
  • Wait, don’t go!
  • Rediscover XXXXX (might not work depending on name)…
  • Let’s reconnect
  • Don’t leave!
  • “Well, hi there!….. “
  • You always used to say that
  • Hello, stranger!
  • Check THIS out!…
  • Wait! Don’t Go!
  • Here’s what you missed.
  • In the doghouse?
  • We need to talk.
  • Checking in
  • <x brand> will miss you.
  • If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put you and I together…

 

Unusual Approaches to Re-Engaging

Creativity is the one thing that seems to be missing in many re-activation emails. Quite often they are simply straightforward, with “we miss you” as a headline and a boring plea to come back—sometimes accompanied by a coupon or other incentive, while other times not even that. And let’s be honest, as far as attention-getting and action-prompting, they are blah and easy to overlook.

Now boring CAN and often does work, but only a slight change to your normal emails might be enough to get someone interested again. For example, try a different offer than what you’ve been sending. Try a completely different subject line, a different sender name, etc. For example, if your offers have typically been for free shipping for selected products, try a 20% off coupon instead. Or if you’ve been promoting the 10% off, try a dollar amount, a free givaway, a discount, or a time sensitive offer to get that sense of urgency instead.

 

Give Them Multiple Options in One Email

You can also reactivate by doing something very different from what you normally do: Giving them choices. For example, this ProFlowers re-activation email offers three different incentives to choose from: $10 off, 20% off or $5 off plus free chocolates. And I know we all love free chocolate!

ProFlowers

 

Combining Multiple Options and Re-Activation Concepts

Consider combining options and multiple ideas into one email. This email from NotontheHighStreet, has a subject line reads “This is getting awkward… is there something we should know?” (hint to the preferences) and “Hello Stranger”, “It has been a while” and “Time for a refresh” in the copy.

NotOnTheHighStreet

So you CAN pick and mix from the awesome ideas above. This email also offers multiple re-engagement mechanisms:

  1. An incentive to stimulate re-engagement (and direct sales, of course)
  2. link to the preference center to update their preferences. This can be a smart tactic addressing a underlying problem that’s causing the disconnect being Irrelevant emails because of outdated preferences and the inability to segment your emails as a result of it.
  3. If the inactive subscriber simply isn’t interested any longer, there is also a prominent unsubscribe link.

 

Need Some More Visual Re-Engagement Inspiration?

Still not inspired and need some inspiration for your reactivation? Several Pinterest boards are dedicated to re-engagement emails. Try the great Pinterest boards of Andrew King and Nick Letham for starters. You’ll find dozens of creative ideas you can be inspired by or borrow from.

Remember your other kind of “reactivation.” This is not something you use exclusively for subscribers or customers who have lost interest. Also remember to have a plan for re-engaging those who sign up for a free trial offer and don’t commit when the free trial ends. They were interested enough to opt in for the free trial. Give them reasons to stick with you and become a paying customer!

 

Bonus Tip: Avoid the Need for Reactivation in the First Place

In addition to your reactivation strategy, put some effort into avoiding that kind of disinterest in the first place. Putting time and effort into engagement might be the one best list growth tactic. Here are three steps:

  1. Go beyond a single welcome email and have a welcome series to “ramp up” new subscribers right away. You need to deepen that relationship with them while they are the most interested in you, at the very beginning.
  2. Offer content of value—always. People lose interest in part because you stop being interesting. If you’re always sending the same kinds of offers and content, stop. Work to be engaging instead.
  3. Pay close attention to your analytics and watch for up- or downward trends in spam complaints or unsubscribes so you can take action and prevent small issues from becoming big ones.

Creating a reactivation strategy isn’t rocket science. It requires only a bird’s eye view in regards to your strategy, some inspiration to help you come up with your approach, and implementation. There are a lot of different ways to reactivate your sleepers, but the best way is to keep them engaged before they become inactive.

Now your turn! If you have an additional idea or “pick up lines” to get people active again, do post them in the comments below.

Email Re-Activation Strategies That Will Save You Money is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Email Re-Activation Strategies That Will Save You Money appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/email-re-activation-strategies-that-will-save-you-money.html/feed 0
5 Must Have Tools For Creating A Great Webinar http://blog.getresponse.com/5-must-have-tools-for-creating-a-great-webinar.html http://blog.getresponse.com/5-must-have-tools-for-creating-a-great-webinar.html#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:17:42 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19411 Webinars are a great but for some reason under-used tool for the purposes of content marketing. If you think about the best ever blog post that you’ve written, something that was at once deeply informative, entertaining, paved the way for … Read more

5 Must Have Tools For Creating A Great Webinar is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 5 Must Have Tools For Creating A Great Webinar appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
Webinars are a great but for some reason under-used tool for the purposes of content marketing. If you think about the best ever blog post that you’ve written, something that was at once deeply informative, entertaining, paved the way for some new thinking within your industry, drove an unprecedented amount of traffic to your website, and was most likely directly responsible for a few conversions to boot…

… Well, then just think about the sort of response you could get if you delivered the same quality of content live across the web to an attentive audience which had the ability to give, receive and discuss all of the information that you covered in real time.

Now that would be something really special, wouldn’t it?

Well, on paper, the answer is of course yes. Webinars present marketers with the opportunity to really engage with their audience as you chew over some really great content together – and, as we all know, great content and engagement are two of the most important elements of any successful campaign. It seems a shame, then, that a lot of companies simply just choose to ignore the medium.

If you’ve never even thought about adding a regular webinar to your ongoing content outreach plans, let alone produced one, then you really are missing out on a great opportunity to add an extra layer of higher level value to your business.

 

Adding Value

When it comes down to it, content marketing is all about adding value to what you’re producing and selling to your customers. Blog posts are a great point in reference. Streams and streams of regular industry-relevant information delivered for free across the web – it’s no wonder that they draw in so much traffic to a site.

Video marketing is the same. Even tweets are giving away something for nothing. But the long form of the webinar adds more value than blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and videos put together.

This is because so much more information can be shared and discussed in a webinar. And, what’s more, the subject that you choose to cover can be delved into with a lot more depth than a simple blog post, and your attendees will even have the opportunity to ask you questions about it in real time – in essence increasing the personal value of your content to each of them individually.

 

The Tools Of The Trade

If you’ve never thought about webinars before, then you may be wondering where on Earth you start. Well, just as with every discipline, there are some absolute must have tools that you will need to get going, and so we’ve put together a list detailing 5 of them that will equip you with everything you require to start organizing your first webinar right away.
webinar_start

5 Must Have Tools For Creating A Great Webinar:

 

1. A Webinar Platform

This, of course, stands to reason, but without a webinar platform then you will have no way of sending your content out there in the first place. Your webinar platform will allow your attendees to view your slides and hear what you have to say, and will also provide the gateway through which you can take questions.

As you might expect, there are many webinar platforms available online, and you should take the time to test each one before rolling out your webinars on a large scale. This is because that the technology involved in synching video and audio is complex, which means that with certain systems there can often be glitches. So, experiment with a few before taking the decision on one over the others.

We recommend the following platforms:

 

2. A Registration/Sign Up Page

Now that you’ve got your platform, you will need a dedicated place where your social media and blog followers can sign up and register to attend your webinar. The ideal page will have a short and enticing description detailing exactly what people will get from taking part (when writing this, always try and focus on the value that you will be adding for your customers).

You can either have a dedicated page where people can sign up, or incorporate a side bar onto your website that will be viewable from all of your posts and pages (though if you go for this option then you might be limited on space for delivering your enticing description of your webinar).

You could even create a completely new website for the purpose. If you do this then the site can be wholly dedicated to your webinar and be free of any other distractions that you will have on your actual website.

 

3. A Field For Capturing Emails

Within your sign up page, you will need to present your users with a field where they can enter their email addresses. This in fact is one of the great benefits of the webinar – the ability to grow your email list. Indeed, increasing email lists is one of the hardest things to do as a digital marketer – but, the huge value added by a webinar will make people more willing to give up this information, and you will then be able to make them recipients of your newsletters going forward.

Once people have given up their emails, you will then have a direct communication pathway to them so that you can send reminders, give them further details about the webinar, and of course invite them to any future webinars that you set up.

 

4. A Presentation Tool

The word “webinar” is a contraction of the two words “web” and “seminar”. And these days all good seminars need to be backed up with a great presentation. Without this, you will have nothing to show but your grinning face at the event, and, let’s be honest, the more distractions there are from that thing the better.

So, put together some visualizations of your content – graphs, charts, text, images, etc. – and then make use of presentation tools such as PowerPoint, Google Docs, or Keynote to put it all together.

 

5. A Sales Page

You may opt to deliver a free webinar to your dedicated following, or you might want to charge a fee. Either way, you will most definitely be wanting to try and further monetize your efforts by trying to sell one of your products or services.

To do this, you can either set up a new page on your website that you will provide a link to on the pages where your webinar is being viewed, or otherwise set up a special sales page using something like Optimize Press.

Remember, though – it will be the power and added value of your free content that will ultimately persuade your attendees that your services or products are worth paying for, and, as such, you should never use your webinars as a direct sales pitch, as this is missing the point entirely.

Does your company use webinars as part of their content strategy? What have you found effective, and what should newbies to the game seek to avoid? Let us know in the comments below. 

5 Must Have Tools For Creating A Great Webinar is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 5 Must Have Tools For Creating A Great Webinar appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/5-must-have-tools-for-creating-a-great-webinar.html/feed 2
5 Great Ways To Stand Out on Pinterest http://blog.getresponse.com/5-great-ways-to-stand-out-on-pinterest.html http://blog.getresponse.com/5-great-ways-to-stand-out-on-pinterest.html#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 15:07:32 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19405 I’m a big fan of Pinterest. Not only as a social media marketer, but as a general user, too. It’s the site that I turn to for inspiration when I’m in the (possibly low) mood for a bit of retail … Read more

5 Great Ways To Stand Out on Pinterest is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 5 Great Ways To Stand Out on Pinterest appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
I’m a big fan of Pinterest. Not only as a social media marketer, but as a general user, too. It’s the site that I turn to for inspiration when I’m in the (possibly low) mood for a bit of retail therapy. As a social network, there is one thing that Pinterest absolutely nails – appearance.

Even if I’m not feeling particularly flush with cash at that precise moment, doing a bit of window-shopping on Pinterest and adding to my “Wish Pins” board is still a past time that will always lift my spirits.

And of course I’m not alone.

As well as being known as one of the most visually appealing social networks on the web, Pinterest has also gained itself a reputation for having the greatest marketing potential as well – and of course these two things go hand in hand.

 

Marketing Potential

If you’re a social media marketer, then you need to be appealing to people like me on Pinterest who are spending an awful lot of time on the site, browsing around all the wonderful pictures looking for things that we would like to buy.

And, as I say, there are quite a lot of us.

Pinterest has about 80 million users, and, according to a very informative infographic from Wishpond, about 70% of them use the site in order to gain inspiration on what they may like to buy.

If we compare that figure to Facebook, which only manages to enthuse 17% of its users to do the same, then you might start to wonder why you’re putting so much marketing effort into our favourite blue-bordered network rather than our favourite red-bordered one.

Well, of course, Facebook has been around for a lot longer, and enjoys many, many, many, many more users (1.39 billion the last time I counted), so, your Facebook marketing strategy will undoubtedly be in full swing, you will be experienced in the site, both as a market and as a user, and, as for brand awareness, then arguably Facebook still reigns supreme.

Pinterest, by comparison, even though it’s been around for nearly 5 years now, still somehow feels a bit like the new kid on the block, and, as such, a lot of marketers are still finding their feet as to what is the best way to exploit the site to its full marketing potential.

But it’s important – a study by RichRelevance found that Pinterest shoppers spend an average of $169, compared to those on Facebook who spend just $95, with Twitter even lower at $70. This makes it arguably the most important social network platform on which you should be marketing your products.

So, in order to help you along your way and start to tap into all the bursting wallets of all those happy pinners like me out there, I’ve put together 5 great tips to help you stand out on Pinterest.

 

1. Make Your Pinterest Account Visible To Search Engines

This is an extremely important point. I put it first not because it will make your pins stand out more than all the rest on a user’s feed – it won’t – but because if you don’t perform this very simple but significant function, then you will be hiding your pin boards will only be visible from Pinterest itself, and in fact hidden from the rest of the web.

There is a switch that you need to flick on your account settings to make sure that your boards can be found by search engines like Google, and not just by Pinterest’s own search engine.

So, before you put into action any of the further tips on this list, you first need to login to your Pinterest, head to your account settings and look for a field entitled “Search Privacy”. Make sure that the adjacent switch is set to “NO”. Now your pinboards are discoverable to search engines across the web. Phew.

 

2. Start Making Use Of Image Tools And Turn Your Pics Pro

Pinterest is a visual platform. If you take nothing else from this post, then please let it be that. And so, in order to stand out on Pinterest, then it is to the quality of your images that you must focus your attention.

As might be suspected, a number of tools have been spawned to help businesses turn their pins into dazzling visual spectacles, and you should really start playing around with these if you want your pins and produce to get noticed first amongst all the rest.

The first is PicMonkey, which is a great tool which allows you to brush up, crop and add filters to your photos, but also includes some rather nifty features such as the ability to allow you to create image quotes (say, from any positive PR or customer testimonials that you might have amalgamated), resize your images, and overlay photographs with text.

Image quotes are very popular on Pinterest. Indeed they attract a lot of clicks, and if you can display some impressive statistics using a colourful image quote then you’ve got a great pin ready to shared far and wide. As such, I recommend ShareAsImage to help you do this – and the real cool part is that it allows to share the image that you create directly onto Pinterest (and all of your other social media outlets as well).

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

3. Infographics

Infographics are still very much in, and they have pretty much found their perfect home on Pinterest. Typically tall and slender, they slot into Pinterest’s news feed as if they were born for the job.

Infographics are great because they very neatly combine information, entertainment and aesthetics in a bite-sized grab-and-go way. If you haven’t yet started utilizing infographics as part of your social marketing repertoire, then you really need to do so right away, and your Pinterest board will start attracting a lot more attention.

 

4. Keep Your Most Popular Pinboards Above The Fold

Designing above and below the fold is something that is usually the reserve of specialised web designers. But, you must treat your Pinterest page as if it were another website.

So, when organising your pinboards, make sure that you put your most popular ones on the top. They will be popular for a reason, and so trust your existing users on this, and make sure that these boards are exposed first to the rest of Pinterest as well.

 

5. Keywords are… KEY!!

As covered in the first point, you want your Pinterest boards, pages and pins to be discoverable. And so, now that you have altered your privacy settings to make your site returnable to search engines, you now want to make sure that you are paying attention to some SEO tips and tricks.

And of course, whenever we talk about SEO, then sooner or later we have to get into keywords.

A strategic use of keywords on Pinterest works in much the same way as keywords on any other site. The trick comes in trying to predict what your potential customers will be typing into the search field when trying to find a product or service like yours. Naturally, you will find that you come up against a lot of competition if you use very common keywords, so try and think out of the box a little bit as well, as this will help your chances of successful SEO even further.

What tricks do you use to stand out on Pinterest? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

5 Great Ways To Stand Out on Pinterest is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 5 Great Ways To Stand Out on Pinterest appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/5-great-ways-to-stand-out-on-pinterest.html/feed 0
How to Fix a Leaky Sales Funnel http://blog.getresponse.com/how-to-fix-a-leaky-sales-funnel.html http://blog.getresponse.com/how-to-fix-a-leaky-sales-funnel.html#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 15:07:19 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19391 Sometimes a sales funnel can seem like a maze. It’s complex, takes a lot of work to build, and can be easy to get lost in. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s the marketer that feels lost in the sales funnel. And that’s … Read more

How to Fix a Leaky Sales Funnel is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post How to Fix a Leaky Sales Funnel appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
Sometimes a sales funnel can seem like a maze. It’s complex, takes a lot of work to build, and can be easy to get lost in. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s the marketer that feels lost in the sales funnel. And that’s even if they built it.

It’s especially easy to lose your sense of direction when something goes wrong in the sales process – when the sales funnel stops working. It can be hard to figure out where the problem is when you’re managing a lot of complexity.

While this complexity is a challenge, it’s also an opportunity. It’s the complexity of sales funnels that makes them so effective. They’re great at moving a prospect along step by step through the sales process, often without human assistance. They can be customized, automated, and tested. There’s no shortage of stories about how effective a killer sales funnel can be.

If you’re marketing to multiple personas or customer types, you may have several sales funnels. They may overlap or intersect, much like the paths through a maze. This is all great, until it stops working. Then you’ve got a ton of moving parts and no idea which piece (or pieces) is the culprit.

This is why leaky sales funnels are so common. Actually, I have yet to meet any marketer who wouldn’t love to improve their sales funnel, even if it is mostly leak-free.

Fortunately, there’s an effective way to troubleshoot under-performing sales funnels. It’s really simple. You just take your leaky sales funnel and break it down into parts. Then you get each part to work.

But before that’s possible, there are a few things you need to have in place. The most important one is tracking.

 

You’ve got to have tracking you trust

The first step to fixing anything is to know what the problem is. Exactly what the problem is. This can be harder than it sounds – often we chase after devilishly complex problems without ever doing any real analysis. We just hope the usual solutions will work.

In some ways, the secret to fixing a leaky funnel is just doing the work to identify the real problem. If you try to skip this, even if you’re “successful”, you’ll still have the original problem. You’ll just have covered it up. It’s not uncommon to actually create new problems when this happens. But accurate tracking can show you exactly what the problem is. Without tracking, you’re really just working blind.

The trouble is getting accurate tracking. It can be a bit of a headache. You also want tracking that’s easy to monitor and easy to make decisions from. With too little tracking information, you won’t be able to see where the problems are. With too much, you won’t be able to “see the forest for the trees,” as the saying goes.

Too much information can make it difficult to prioritize things, too. It’s not terribly helpful to finish your assessment of a sales funnel and say, “We have to fix everything”. That’s a recipe for paralysis.

At least for the email side of things, your GetResponse account has detailed tracking. You can know pretty much everything about your opt-ins and every email communication you send to clients, customers or prospects. It will give you stats even down to the behavior of one person if you want. GetResponse also hooks up to Google analytics, so you can take the email steps in your funnel and link those up to everything else.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of getting the tracking right if you want to fix a funnel that’s converting poorly. Just getting the tracking right often resolves much of the complexity of a funnel problem, and shows you exactly which element is failing.

So before you get too far along with designing new landing pages or talking to salespeople, make sure your tracking works. Do you have any steps of your funnel that are black holes? Is there even one element of the whole series of steps that you’re just not clear on? Troubleshoot that. The clearer you are about what’s actually happening in the sales funnel, the better a position you’ll be in to fix it.

audience

Before you start split-testing everything…

After the tracking issues are resolved, usually the next thing people want to do is to start testing. And this is great. You absolutely should test. But there are two major and all-too-common mistakes people make with testing funnels:

1) They optimize an individual element in the sale funnel without measuring how it affects the final, last conversion’s outcome.

For example, it’s great to optimize a landing page until it gets a 40% conversion rate. The old page only got a 10% conversion rate. That new pages crushes the old version, right?

Not necessarily.

The old landing page had been converting at 10%, and each lead was worth $100. Your new landing page converts four times better at 40%. But those leads end up being worth only $10 each.

Not so good. Here’s how the math on that would net out:

Landing pages Traffic to the page Conversion Rate  Value per Conversion  Gross income
Old landing page  1,000 uniques  10% 100 conversions $100  $10,000
New landing page  1,000 uniques  40% 400 conversions  $10 $4,000

Most real-world examples aren’t going to be this stark, but the principle still applies. Make sure you’re optimizing for the right thing: the final conversion at the end of the funnel.

There are too many marketers who found this out the hard way, after they’d retooled their entire funnel around a new element that looked like it converted better. Unfortunately, instead of improving the situation, the new element just ended up fizzling out before the end. It only got “lookie-loos”, but no buyers.

Pay per click ads in particular can cause this mistake. It’s so tempting to run with an ad that gets double the click-through rate, but sometimes those extra clicks don’t result in extra sales.

2) Only test one thing at a time.

This can be downright frustrating. You want results fast, after all. Testing one thing at a time means fixing this funnel is going to take FOREVER. Unfortunately, that’s not a good enough reason to skip this advice. While it might sound more efficient, testing more than one thing at a time will just muddy the results for all your tests.

So which thing do you test first? The easiest thing to improve.

Twitter

Fix the easiest thing first

I know you want results sooner rather than later, especially now that you can only test one thing at a time. So where do you start?

Start with the step in your funnel you think you can improve the most.

Why? Because of how multiplication works. If all the elements in your funnel were equally easy to fix, it actually wouldn’t matter which element you improved first. But they’re not equally easy to improve.

Don’t believe me? Here’s an example. This is a very simple funnel. It’s for a SaaS company, but whether you’re a creative agency or selling automotive parts, you’ll probably see some similarities to your business in this funnel:

 

Funnel element Conversion rate Conversions
PPC ad 10% 10,000
Landing page 15% 1,500
Click on email 20% 300
Download whitepaper 60% 180
Fill out follow up form 20% 36
Schedule demo 30% 10.8
Complete demo 60% 6.5
Purchase 20% 1.3

Here’s how this funnel looks if you increase the conversion rate for the worst performing element in the funnel, the PPC ad, by 50%:

Funnel element Conversion rate Conversions
PPC ad 15%  15,000
Landing page 15%  2,250
Click on email 20%  450
Download whitepaper 60%  270
Fill out follow up form 20%  54
Schedule demo 30%  16.2
Complete demo 60%  9.7
Purchase 20%  1.9

Here’s how it looks if you increase the conversion rate of the highest performing element in the funnel, the whitepaper download, by 50%:

 

Funnel element Conversion rate Conversions
PPC ad 10% 10,000
Landing page 15% 1,500
Click on email 20% 300
Download whitepaper 90% 270
Fill out follow up form 20% 54
Schedule demo 30% 16.2
Complete demo 60% 9.7
Purchase 20% 1.9

It’s the same result. Because of this, we go after the link in the chain that’s easiest to increase, rather than the one that’s performing worst.

 

See the big picture

Because funnels are so complex, it often helps just to have a diagram of them. Think of it like a map. You know need to see what happening – that’s why tracking was so important. A diagram can help you see what’s happening.

While not everyone is a visual thinker, many people are, and it helps a lot if everyone is working from the same map. As the saying goes, that way you’re all “on the same page.”

Even if your team doesn’t have many visual thinkers, just having a large, detailed (but not too detailed) flow chart of how your funnel works can be a fantastic discussion aid. It’s something you’ll all refer to constantly. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to put up a large flow chart of your company’s marketing funnel on the wall of your meeting room.

PowerPoint is great for making flow charts (IdeaPaint is awesome too), but anything will do. Just give yourself plenty of room. If the design of your flow chart allows, add an area for comments on each step of the funnel in the chart. Try to include snapshot statistics for each step of the funnel – again, if the design allows.

Do note that there are people who don’t care much for this approach. They may look at your lovely flowchart and see it as an exercise in drawing a pretty but meaningless picture. That’s fine. If it doesn’t help you or your team, skip this.

But… I have been at several companies where just the exercise of creating a flow chart like this made a couple of things dramatically clear that no one had ever really seen before. It’s not uncommon for senior staff to realize fundamental things about a funnel that they never knew before they saw a diagram like this. They are often not aware of these basic elements because they aren’t involved in the day-to-day, in-the-trenches work on bringing new customers or clients on.

To help you visualize your own funnel diagram, here’s an example of what a very simple flow chart or funnel diagram (whatever you want to call it) might look like. This uses the same simplified SaaS funnel we saw before:

grafa

Your company’s sales funnel is probably far more complex than this. Funnels often branch, creating multiple paths. There may be some long arrows in your diagram. That’s all fine. Just get it down on paper.

 

Plug the holes

With the tracking working well, and a clear map of what’s happening, you may have already discovered what’s clogging up the funnel. But you’re not done yet.

Up until now we’ve been focused on how people get through the funnel – how they move step by step through your sales process. But what about the people who don’t move along to the next step? Are you just going to leave them there, stranded?

Not all buyers or clients move at the same pace, so it’s critical to try to continue to engage with these people until they’re ready to move into the next step of your sales process.

Take a look at your funnel map and consider where people fall out. What content can you send them when they don’t move into the next phase of your funnel? Should they still get a general email newsletter, or would you rather segment this group out? Do you have white papers, recorded webinars, or sales people who might help them resolve any concerns, or just give them enough confidence to move forward?

marketing_content

Make sure you’re talking to the right people the right way

Here’s one last tip that can resolve otherwise impossible funnel problems: Have you really defined your customer or client personas correctly? You might have world-class marketing materials for solo professionals, for example. But if you’re sending those same marketing materials to nonprofits, your funnel is going to perform poorly no matter how many split-tests you run.

 

Conclusion

Those are some common but well-tested ways to troubleshoot a leaky funnel. Even if the funnel you’re using for your business isn’t “leaky”, we could all use some fine-tuning in our marketing funnels. After all, who doesn’t want more sales?

How do you fix problems in your sales funnels? Is there any strategy that seems to work best for your business? Tell us about it in the comments.

How to Fix a Leaky Sales Funnel is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post How to Fix a Leaky Sales Funnel appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/how-to-fix-a-leaky-sales-funnel.html/feed 0
9 Excuses That Keep You From Investing in a Website http://blog.getresponse.com/9-excuses-that-keep-you-from-investing-in-a-website.html http://blog.getresponse.com/9-excuses-that-keep-you-from-investing-in-a-website.html#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 15:40:57 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19372 I wrote this post for those of you who don’t have a website yet, but also for those who are afraid of investing in it. You might be thinking your Facebook page is as good as your website (psst – … Read more

9 Excuses That Keep You From Investing in a Website is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 9 Excuses That Keep You From Investing in a Website appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
I wrote this post for those of you who don’t have a website yet, but also for those who are afraid of investing in it. You might be thinking your Facebook page is as good as your website (psst – it isn’t). Or, you might have a website but it kinda sucks. You still have the red headline at the top and the design looks like it belongs to 1999. You have the flashing graphics and hard to read fonts. If you identify with any of these people, you will benefit from reading this post.

Believe me when I say I know exactly what’s going through your mind. There are many, many things going on in your head that are preventing you from sorting your website. And all you need is a little education and some myth busting to inspire you to take action.

 

#1 Do I really need a website?

If you already have a website, you might think this one is a bit odd. Just bear with me. This applies to anyone who doesn’t have one yet.

I see lot of people who start building their presence online via social media. Somebody I know has recently started her YouTube channel. One person has hundreds of people added as friends on Facecbook and only just started her business page. Some people might start on Instagram or Pinterest if they are more visual and want to attract their ideal audiences that way.

All of this is good but you have to remember that you do not have control over your content and audiences on these platforms. Not real control anyway. Firstly, what happens if these sites suddenly decide to change the rules (Facebook, for example) and your reach is heavily affected? What if they decided you did something wrong and banned your account?

Most importantly, you have no way of getting in touch with your audience (the audience you spent so much time and effort building) when you please. You are at the mercy of these platforms. You don’t have these people’s email addresses.

This is precisely why you need your own website. You need a way to capture these people’s addresses and you also need to be in full control of your platform.

And then there are other reasons. You build your brand, establish credibility and trust, showcase your testimonials and press, and sell your products and services.

 

#2 I am scared of technology

“I am not a tech person” has got to be one the biggest excuses I hear from people who don’t have a website up yet. They may or may not already be using social media, and their smart phones and their tablets, but when it comes to getting a website, all they can think about html and code.

For once and for all, you do not need to learn html or coding to get yourself a basic website. Actually, there are only two ways to deal with your technophobia. You can either learn to do it by yourself, or you can outsource this.

If you want to learn it, start with Google. There are tons of tutorials there. You can also turn to Lynda.com or enrol in some basic courses. Try Udemy or ask people for help.

But you don’t need to learn to do this all by yourself. Your second option is to hire somebody to get you started. Yes, you do have to spend some cash, but it is not as much as you think. You need a domain, and you need hosting. Then you need a platform to ‘build’ your website. If you decide to have your website on worpress, a wordpress expert can easily register your domain, buy you hosting, install WordPress and a high quality theme which may be free or premium, and the plugins you need. This only takes a couple of hours of their time.

I highly recommend asking your tech expert to take you through the process and show you how they do this. Record this session for reference. You don’t need to become a programmer but as a business owner, it is worth having some idea of how your website is set up and how it runs.

 

#3 I am confused with all the platforms

To make matters worse, there are many platforms out there for you to choose from: WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, Weebly, Wix and many more.

And last and not the least, people have been given the advice of starting a blog first as it can be cheaper (or free) if they feel overwhelmed by the thought of getting a full-fledged website. In that case, add blogging platforms like wordpress.com, blogger, tumblr, etc.

Let me set this straight. When people are saying start with a blog, what they really mean is have your own blog on wordpress.org and not on wordpress.com. Although you can start a free wordpress.com blog which you can transfer over to your own site later but I don’t recommend it. This is an unnecessary step that may frustrate people. If you need to move it to wordpress.org later, why not start there in the first place?

So you buy your domain (yoursite.com) and some hosting (Bluehost, Dreamhost, etc). Then you install WordPress. This is what people mean by starting a WordPress blog. This is an easy option because you install a blog style theme and you are up and running. This is definitely an easier option than building your website on WordPress from scratch.

I recommend WordPress because it is an open source software and you don’t rely on a single company for maintaining your website. You are not limited by design choices or tied to specific email providers. You can’t go wrong if you go with WordPress.

That being said, I understand your choice will depend on your budget, skill level and business model. So do take some time to research these platforms.

internal_email

#4 I don’t have thousands of dollars of spare cash

So I have actually answered this question above. You don’t need a premium website with all the bells and whistles to do everything a website is supposed to do, which is attract your ideal audience, get them to hand over their email address, look through your offerings and begin their journey as a reader to lead to prospect to customer.

I have outlined the minimum expenses for you. You need to buy a domain, hosting, WordPress install (which is free if you can it yourself), plugins and a theme that forms a container to hold everything together. Most of the plugins you need are free and you can find a professional looking theme for free as well. If you are happy to spend around $100, you can get yourself a premium, customizable theme from Studiopress themes, Elegant themes, Headway, Theme Forest and so many more. But remember a website is so much more about pretty graphics. It needs to do everything to achieve business goals.

You can use Paypal to accept payments. You can use plugins to create courses. You can use email providers like GetResponse. In short, getting a functional website that does its job doesn’t have to break the bank. You can always upgrade as you afford to invest.

 

#5 My brand is still evolving

You are not the only one. Take a look around and you will see that almost every single brand goes through iterations on a regular basis. Be it big, household brands or your favourite celebrity blogger. Their logo refreshes. Their website gets an upgrade. They even change their branding to reflect the new direction.

Don’t let this stop you from getting a website. You can always tweak things to reflect the newer you and maybe uplevel your brand by hiring a designer.

 

#6 I don’t know what I want

You might be ready to start but you simply don’t know what you want. I sympathize. For the longest time I wanted to hire an interior decorator to do my living space but what was keeping me from moving forward was the fact that I had no idea what I liked.

The solution? I started paying attention to what I did like. I started making note of colours, palettes, textures, styles and themes. If I saw something I liked in a magazine, I pulled it out or took a picture. I started looking at home decoration websites to help me decide what I liked.

The same process applies to you. But it is way easier. Start bookmarking sites you really like. Bookmark sites for headers. Bookmark sites for fonts, colours and visual presentation. Bookmark sites that invoke similar feelings you want to invoke. Don’t forget sites which are easy to navigate and where you find things very easily.

This will also come in handy when you want to communicate to your designer what you want. When you say you want a font that is hip and cool and modern, they don’t know what you are talking about – what your version of hip, cool or modern is. Show them examples and they are good to go.

 

#7 Should I hire a designer?

If you hire designer, it can cost you a few thousand dollars to have a custom website. But you don’t have to go down that route. If having a unique brand is super important to you, the ideal solution might be to hire a designer/developer to tweak a premium theme.

For example, pick a theme seller and check out their website. Often they list their top and recommended designers who are expert at tweaking their themes. Look at their work to get a sense of their style and aesthetics.

You can go further and look through their showcase of websites and click on what you like and then trace back to its designer. I have found this to be the ideal solution for those who want stunning websites but still want to stay under budget.

It might be that you have your heart set on working with a designer. You have the money but you are scared to take the first step and this is keeping you stuck. If this is the case, worry not, I’ll tell how you to get over your fear and hire someone in the shortest possible time.

 

#8 How do I choose the right designer/developer?

The first step is to getting very clear on what you want. Do you need a brand new design or perhaps you only like some graphics, buttons and a header. Do you need someone to code a horizontal opt-in box under your header or do you need to change the layout of your website?

Make a list of everything you need. If you don’t know what you need, you could trust someone and ask them, or just stick with a readymade theme for now.

Now ask your shortlisted designer if they can do all of this for you. Remember that not all website designers are developers (people who write code) so you might need to hire one separately. If they don’t, ask to be referred to someone who can.

I am assuming you have checked their work before you got in touch with them. Try and arrange a time to talk to them to get a feel for what it would be like working with them. Ask them about their availability. Ask them how many revisions they provide. Double check they hand over all the original files and graphics. Ask for their price. Don’t forget to shop around to find someone you can afford.

Discuss what you have in mind for your website. Really listen to what they have to say in order to see if they are the right fit. Get in touch with people they have worked for and ask what it was like working with them. Once you are happy with everything sign a contract. Give them plenty of examples and visuals of what you like to make sure both of you are on the same page at all times.

content

#9 What if I don’t like the end result?

People say to me they have been burned before or they have heard so many horror stories that they are too scared to invest.

They wonder what happens if something goes wrong. What happens if the designer goes MIA (missing in action), delays the project, add more cost to the initial quote, do something completely different, or worse give them something they hate.

I don’t blame you. However, if you take the right steps, you can essentially reduce the probability of this happening to zero.

Firstly make sure you ask what happens if you aren’t entirely satisfied. Put clear deadlines in place and know what’s going to happen if these deadlines are not met. How many revisions are included? What happens if any of you want to end the project half way through?

Most importantly, get them to show you the work along the way. This way you don’t get a big shock when you see the finished product.

 

There you have it. These are the top excuses I get from people who want to start a business, or they consider a social media platform to be their website, or they are paralysed with fear of spending money on it – even a little bit.

I hope you don’t feel the same way anymore.

You have choices and the answer is to take on little step towards achieving your goal whether it be securing a domain name, doing research on various platforms or shortlisting designers you’d like to work with. You know what to do. Now go do it.

9 Excuses That Keep You From Investing in a Website is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 9 Excuses That Keep You From Investing in a Website appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/9-excuses-that-keep-you-from-investing-in-a-website.html/feed 1
Stop Wasting Your Resources And Start Delivering Valuable Content + [Free Ebook] http://blog.getresponse.com/stop-wasting-your-resources-and-start-leveraging-your-employees-to-deliver-valuable-content.html http://blog.getresponse.com/stop-wasting-your-resources-and-start-leveraging-your-employees-to-deliver-valuable-content.html#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 12:23:31 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19355 Content Marketing Institute found that up to 55% of B2B companies plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2015. Despite growing popularity and general understanding of this concept, the biggest challenges faced by marketers are still related to consistent … Read more

Stop Wasting Your Resources And Start Delivering Valuable Content + [Free Ebook] is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Stop Wasting Your Resources And Start Delivering Valuable Content + [Free Ebook] appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
Content Marketing Institute found that up to 55% of B2B companies plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2015. Despite growing popularity and general understanding of this concept, the biggest challenges faced by marketers are still related to consistent production of engaging content. Shockingly, the biggest source of knowledge, valuable content, and understanding of clients’ needs – the Internal Resources – remains unnoticed.

 

Content Marketing Strategy

CMI stated that only about 35% of B2B companies have a documented content marketing strategy, but up to 83% have some sort of form of strategy in place. That is good news as marketers begin to understand that running effective campaigns requires structure when it comes to producing, delivering, and managing of content.

Without knowing your objectives and best tactics you may not even see that you’re being inefficient. The content you’re producing might not be as engaging and compelling, therefore your campaigns may not be as effective as your competitors’. In other words, you might be throwing your resources down the drain.

 

Key challenges

Consistent producing of engaging content is by far the biggest challenge content marketers have been facing for the last few years. But it’s not the only one. Others include securing the budget, tracking its ROI, producing variety of content, or finding trained content marketing professionals. contento Img 1. Challenges that B2B Marketers Face – CMI 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America

If you take a look at your own company, I’m sure you’ll find these problems true, we’re all dealing with them. And it’s even more unfortunate as most of us want to increase the amount of content that we will produce in the upcoming year.

There is yet one thing that could help in this process but it often remains unnoticed. You have your internal resources that are already in place. Your employees who know pretty much everything about what you and what your clients are dealing with. And I don’t mean just the Marketing Department. It’s the Sales, Accounting, Customer Service, or even the IT Department.

They may not be the best writers yet, but they definitely know the stories behind your company and would love to share them. And if you have your own content marketing team on board, it shouldn’t be much of a problem to get them to interview the other employees or edit their articles.

You might even be surprised as some of your non-marketing colleagues probably have their own blogs or just find pleasure in writing, but never got the chance or time to express themselves to the world.

If you’re looking for more ways on how to encourage co-operation between different departments definitely check out these two articles by Marketing Sherpa and Business 2 Community.

 

Why use internal resources to delivering engaging content?

There are many reasons why you should leverage your internal resources to produce valuable content. As you’ll see from the list below, many of them are not related to your own perspective i.e. these are what your employees gain in exchange. So let’s go through this list – the sooner you do it, the sooner you can get back to your office and start a revolution!

1. Your employees are experts when it comes to your product

Who else knows the product better than yourself or your employees? The answer is – no one! They have to deal with it every day, know exactly how it works, how one can use it, or what are the workarounds if something is not working 100% as it should.

2. They know, first-hand, the clients and their needs

Dealing with clients every day provides you with great insights into how the end user makes use of the product and what are the difficulties they encounter. This is obvious for your Customer Service Department, but it’s not only these employees that are regularly in contact with your clients.

Look at other departments such as the Accounting, Sales, Legal, Compliance, or HR. They all are in touch with your clients and answer their questions and concerns. Taking our own Email Service Provider example – the employees know what kind of regulations need to be met to use the service, how one can register and protect the database, or what are the questions that come to the user’s mind when first approaching the platform.

3. Happy employees will be your best brand ambassadors

This is probably the most important reason of all. Asking your employees to write an article, give a presentation, go to a conference, or take part in a webinar isn’t only about you. Of course, you’ll get great insights and more content to publish, but most importantly, you’ll give them a chance to express themselves.

One of the important things in using your internal resources to produce new and engaging content, is about changing your employee’s everyday routine, and giving them a chance to speak up. Everyone likes a little change every now and then, writing an article or presenting at a job fair does just that.

Your employees will be happy that you value their word. By turning them into authors or speakers, you will also give them a chance to build authority in the industry. It may even make their regular job easier as they will get the chance to show their side of the story (e.g. explaining what clients should include in their brief, prior sending it to the designer).

Moreover, your team will be happy to share the content they have produced with their social networks, thus increasing your reach and brand awareness. If they are proud of what you’re publishing they will become true advocates that not only get you recognition amongst marketers but also new potential employees and customers.

Last but not least, such projects will narrow the gap between your internal departments, who often have different goals and interests. They will get a better understanding of what others are doing and how they can streamline future processes to make their cooperation more efficient.

 

What you have to do

Promoting the production of content internally has several amazing benefits you should keep in mind when you come back to your office:

  1. Producing more engaging content – your employees have the expertise and know your clients’ needs
  2. Increasing web traffic – authors will happily share and spread the word about their work and build their own authority (even by as much 380% according to Marketing Sherpa)
  3. True brand ambassadors – employees will be happy that they are being recognized as valuable and that they can share their story with the world
  4. Understanding the common goal – different departments will get the chance to learn that everyone has, after all, the same business objectives

Keep these points in mind and once you return to your office figure out a way to encourage the creation of new content pieces amongst new groups and departments. Offer them additional incentives for joining the project, and set aside time during their normal working hours for writing so that their precious time with their family and friends is work-free.

Content Marketing Essentials for 2015If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out this free Content Marketing Essentials for 2015 Guide that we’ve prepared for you! There’s plenty of valuable information and examples waiting for you, so get your coffee and a note-pad ready. You’ll definitely want to write this down and present to your team when you’re back in the office.


Stop Wasting Your Resources And Start Delivering Valuable Content + [Free Ebook] is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Stop Wasting Your Resources And Start Delivering Valuable Content + [Free Ebook] appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/stop-wasting-your-resources-and-start-leveraging-your-employees-to-deliver-valuable-content.html/feed 1
Is Your Site Mobile Friendly? It Better Be By April 21st http://blog.getresponse.com/is-your-site-mobile-friendly-it-better-be-by-april-21st.html http://blog.getresponse.com/is-your-site-mobile-friendly-it-better-be-by-april-21st.html#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 14:17:53 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19339 You know how all us marketing people keep harping on mobile? How we all keep saying “you gotta make your site mobile friendly! Blah blah blah…”  Well, that was all crying wolf. It’s always been a good idea to make … Read more

Is Your Site Mobile Friendly? It Better Be By April 21st is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Is Your Site Mobile Friendly? It Better Be By April 21st appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
You know how all us marketing people keep harping on mobile? How we all keep saying “you gotta make your site mobile friendly! Blah blah blah…”  Well, that was all crying wolf. It’s always been a good idea to make your site mobile friendly. But compared to what’s happening on April 21st, everything before this was just “shoulds”. Before now you just really should have made your site mobile friendly. 

Now you have to make your site mobile friendly. If you want any mobile traffic, that is. Being that about half of all traffic is mobile, I’m guessing you do. Why the change? Because Google is changing its algorithm. As of April 21st , sites that are not mobile friendly will be penalized in the search results.

Before you panic, let’s break this down. There are three big issues here:

  • What does Google define as mobile friendly?
  • How much of a penalty are we talking about?
  • What can you realistically do between now and April 21st?

 

First issue: What does Google define as mobile friendly? 

There’s good news on this one. Google has given us a ton of information about what they consider a mobile friendly site to be. They even have this nifty tool where you can just paste in your website’s URL. You’ll get a mobile-friendly score and a list of suggested things to fix, and details on how to fix them. It’s cool.

Here’s the tool. Here’s what the tool looks like:

GoogleMobileFriendlyTool1

 

Here’s what the results looked like when I put in the URL of one of my sites:

GoogleMobileFriendlyTool2

 

So far so good. Google thinks this site is mobile friendly. But I can take this a step further and use Google Webmaster Tools to see what percentage of the pages on this site are mobile friendly.

GoogleWebmaster2

 

Phew again. Webmaster tools also gives this site the all clear for mobile users.

But what if this hadn’t passed? Then I would have gotten back a list of suggested things to fix, and links to pages that would explain more about how to fix them. If you want resources on mobile-friendliness, you’re actually spoiled for choice. There’s an entire library at Google’s Mobile Friendly Guide.

There is one other way to tell if your pages are mobile friendly. Just do a search for your site from a mobile device. You’ll see gray text that says “mobile friendly” right in front of the listings meta description. If you don’t see that gray text (especially if you can find other listings that do show the gray text), then you’ve got trouble.

 

Second issue: How much of a penalty are we talking about?

There is bad news on this. Well, actually it could be good if your site is mobile friendly. But if it’s not mobile friendly, this update could be really bad news. Zineb Ait Bahajji, from Google’s Webmaster Trends team, reportedly said this mobile update will have a larger effect on search results than either Panda or Penguin.

If you’ve been around the Internet awhile, you’ll have watched one of those algorithm updates roll out. You’ll probably remember how much wailing and gnashing of teeth there was over those updates.  Want one final testament to how big this update is? Its nickname is “mobilegeddon”.

Now, while that does sound dire, keep in mind that Google has also officially said that the mobile-friendly algorithm will only affect mobile search results. In other words, you won’t see any difference in traffic from desktops. Where you’ll see the carnage (or the improvements!) is when you look at how much mobile device based traffic you’re getting.

Just in case you were wondering, Google estimates about half of all searches are done online. comScore estimates it to be 60%. Another factor that could have this update either help you or hurt you more is what kind of business you’re in. If you’re a local business, mobile searches are probably more important to you than if you were, say, a niche Internet retailer.

That’s not to say any class of business doesn’t stand to lose some traffic from this update, but local businesses have been shown to be particularly dependent on mobile searches. Just to give you one factoid linking mobile users to local businesses, Google’s “Our Mobile Planet” minisite reports that “83% of US smartphone owners use their smartphones in-store”.

 

Third issue: What can you realistically do between now and April 21st?

Unfortunately, time is mighty short to get ready for this update. As Neil Patel points out in his recent post about the mobile update, you don’t just have to get your site ready by April 21st. You have to get your site ready AND indexed by April 21st. That means it actually needs to be mobile friendly by, say, a week prior or even more.

Seven days before April 21st is April 14th. Today is April 2nd. That gives you twelve days before April 14th.

Plus or minus a few days. That’s because Search Engine Land recently reported the algorithm will update roll out over the course of the week following April 21st. Now, hopefully all you have to do to get ready is to finish reading this article, then head over to the mobile friendly tool. You’ll put in your website URL. You’ll be told all is well. Phew!

However, you also need to know this mobile update (and it’s penalties, or it’s blessings) are calculated on a page by page basis, not at the site level. This is similar to how page rank was calculated, though we don’t use page rank much anymore.

Even with that caveat, you’ve already got the tools you need to get ready. Use the mobile friendly tool and your Webmaster account. Follow their instructions. Do the best you can in the time you’re got. You can also borrow some tips for mobile landing pages that Kerry Butters wrote up recently.

 

This mobile update is a yes or no judgment

You also need to be aware that this particular update has no shades of gray. Your site either is or is not mobile friendly. This means if the mobile friendly tool is happy with your site and your webmaster mobile usability scores are good, you’re pretty much in the clear… at least for that week. But if your site falls short, you’ll have to make fixes quickly. If Google thinks your site is even 10% short of a “yes”, you’ll get a “no” rating.

 

What about separate mobile sites?

Many small businesses and small operations have separate mobile sites. This is not what Google recommends, or what some SEO experts recommend, but other experts say these kind of sites are acceptable. And there are indeed some benefits to separate mobile sites. Here’s a pros and cons list to having a separate mobile site, or just converting your main site to a responsive design.

 

benefits

 

Fast sites are essential for mobile success

Site speed can have a massive impact on all sorts of things – conversion rates and search engine traffic among them. You’ll get more visitors with a faster site because Google knows how much visitors like fast sites, and so Google favors them, too. And the importance of site speed gets even more pronounced when it comes to mobile sites.

Fortunately, if you want to speed up your site, Google has a tool for that too. It’s in your Webmaster account, or you can access it from here. This tool performs very much like the mobile friendly tool does. You just enter a URL, and then you’ll get a score and fairly detailed instructions on how to make it faster. There’s even a Chrome browser plugin, if you’d like to check site and page speed all the time.

PageSpeed1

 

As you can see below, while my test site did fine with the mobile friendly tool, it clearly needs work on speed. Also note that Google has split the report you get. There’s a mobile version and a desktop version.

PageSpeed2

 

If you’re still anxious about this update, consider watching the video below. It’s a full hour-long Q&A session with two of the team members heading up mobilegeddon. They start with a simple explanation of what the update is and how it will affect rankings. Then they answer the most common questions. After that, they take questions from the audience on the hangout with them. By the time you’re done watching this, you’ll be an expert about this mobile update.

If you like that video, check Google’s YouTube channel. That team recorded hours of Q&A sessions. Unlike other algorithm updates, at least this time we’ve got a ton of information on how it works and how to prepare for it. Some of you should expect very good things from this update.

 Share with us in the comments below if your website is ready! Maybe you have some thoughts or questions? Let us know.

Is Your Site Mobile Friendly? It Better Be By April 21st is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Is Your Site Mobile Friendly? It Better Be By April 21st appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/is-your-site-mobile-friendly-it-better-be-by-april-21st.html/feed 3
9 Excuses That Keep You From Starting a Business Blog http://blog.getresponse.com/9-excuses-that-keep-you-from-starting-a-business-blog.html http://blog.getresponse.com/9-excuses-that-keep-you-from-starting-a-business-blog.html#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 13:57:41 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19329 I tell all my clients and readers to start a blog if they haven’t already. The reason is simple: blogs are great. They do so much for your business. They help you build authority and credibility. They help you call … Read more

9 Excuses That Keep You From Starting a Business Blog is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 9 Excuses That Keep You From Starting a Business Blog appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
I tell all my clients and readers to start a blog if they haven’t already. The reason is simple: blogs are great. They do so much for your business. They help you build authority and credibility. They help you call out your ideal audience and speak to them in a way that truly resonates with them. They allow you to get in touch with them.

They help you differentiate yourself from the competition. They even help you rank on search engines. But I don’t always get an enthusiastic response from them. In fact, most of the time I am met with dubious silence.

Upon further prodding, they reluctantly open up and start citing all these reasons why they can’t do this. By now I have the pleasure of knowing every single excuse they come up with.

So I thought it would be handy to compile them into a list. In case you have been toying with the idea of starting a blog but haven’t been able to take action on it, you can read through and see what you identify with. And then bust that belief.

Let’s get started!

 

#1 I don’t know if I even need a blog

This is the first excuse people come up with. Maybe I don’t really need a blog. This excuse stems from the fact that people are not clear on what blogging actually does. They don’t know its benefits and hence they are not motivated to do it. If that is the case then let me tell you why.

When you write a blog you are actually using content marketing. But this statement alone isn’t very helpful, is it? So let’s dig a little deeper. People usually don’t buy something the first time they see it or the brand who sells it. They need to have multiple exposures to it. People also are busy creatures. They see things and they forget. They see a website, see something they like and they think to themselves they’ll come back. Good intentions aside, they don’t, because that’s how it is.

  • You need to capture their attention and their email address. And the best way to capture their email address is to offer a freebie on your blog and a promise of helpful content in the future.
  • You then publish content regularly and keep these people on your list ‘warm’, meaning keeping yourself ‘top of mind’. You email them regularly letting them know that new content is up and send them a link.
  • Your readers get used to hearing from you, clicking your links, increase their trust in you and also help spread the word about you by sharing your content on social media platforms.
  • You thus attract new people using your existing content, hence the term ‘content marketing’.

 

#2 I am not a good writer

This has to be one of the biggest reasons that hold people back. I am not a great writer. Thinking of blogging brings up memories of their high school English class where their essays usually came back covered in red ink. They might even been gently told that they don’t have the talent to become a writer.

But this is the thing. You don’t need to be an excellent writer necessarily to run a successful business blog. You don’t need skills to write the next best-selling novel or win a Pulitzer Prize.

What you do need to master is clear communication skills? You do need to be able to express your ideas in a way that your target audience understands you, your passion and your intention. Your blog is the best free marketing tool you have. If you can talk to somebody and help them with their problem. If you can make them feel better, inspire them to take action and take them through the process, you can write a blog.

Blogs are conversational. They are not literary pieces. They do have a structure and ideal practices that you can easily grasp. Believe me, the actual writing part is not that hard.

timing

 

#3 I don’t have the time

You are a busy, busy small business owner and people are telling you to blog? I get it.

You simply don’t have the time to write a blog post every day. It is simply too time consuming. As it is you are struggling to check off items on your to-do list, how could you possibly add one more thing? But what if you don’t need to spend hours creating content? What if I told you, you don’t need to write every single day, would it make a difference?

You might be confusing your business blog with sites like Huffington Post, Mashable or Forbes. These are essentially news sites and while they publish multiple pieces of content on any given day, these so-called blogs are run by a team of people. Their business model is also different (they raise most of their revenue through advertising display).

You are different. You don’t have a team of people creating content for you. You are selling products or services. Blog content serves a different purpose for you. It pre-sells your offerings and keeps your list warm. And this is why you don’t need to publish every day or even multiple times per week. I highly recommend once a week but if you are really hard-pressed, start with twice a month.

 

#4 I have nothing to say

You might be thinking why start a blog when you have nothing to say, right?

I’d like to challenge you on your thinking. What makes you think you have nothing to say? Is it because you don’t talk much in real life? Is it because you don’t journal? Is it because you have never written a letter to the editor of a newspaper?

Believe me, coming up with blogging ideas is quite different to say – coming up with topics for a magazine. Your business blog is here to attract your ideal audience. To establish you as an authority and trust worthy person. To create a personal connection and to take your people up on the ‘awareness ladder’.

Once you truly understand the goals, and begin to write with the end in mind, you eliminate this problem. You get the different types of content you need for your blog.

You need foundational content where you need to educate people. You need content to build your credibility and rapport. Lastly, you need content which introduces the need for your offerings. When you understand the types of content you need, you never complain about lack of ideas.

You also need a system for generating and capturing ideas. I suggest you start bookmarking blog posts you love to Evernote. Read any posts that make you furious? Read any that make you feel you can do a much better job at? Add those in a separate folder.

Brainstorm your own list of ideas – you’ll be surprised what you come up with.

 

#5 I am not a technical person

This problem seems to affect more of the wanna-be entrepreneurs – people who want to monetize their passions. These people are scared to take up blogging because they are forever stuck on the first step.Getting a domain and hosting, installing wordpress, theme and plugin (Or squarespace or any other platform).

I am not a techy person and trust me when I say this. This is the least of your problems. This is a once-off job you can outsource easily. Hire someone to do this for you or walk you through it. Build a relationship with someone who you can trust because you might need ongoing help for updating plugins and generating backups.

 

#6 I don’t have the money

People think that they need a lot of money to run a successful blog. They feel they need to spend thousands of dollars on design. They suspect they need money to buy expensive software and plugins. They think they need money to purchase high quality photos for their blog posts.

I’ll be honest. You can certainly do all these things. You can hire an expensive designer, buy all the software you need and purchase premium photos. But you don’t have to.

If you already have a website, all you do is to install a blog (you can easily ask your developer to do this). There are some very affordable email building service providers and you don’t need any expensive software. There are plenty of sites that offer great photos for free. Just do a Google search and you will find tons.

If you don’t have a website, you need a domain name, hosting and wordpress and a professional looking theme. You don’t need a lot. In fact not having large sums of money to invest in ads is the number one reason why you should blog. Instead of spending money, you should be spending time building your email list.

You publish highly valuable content that is brings people to your products and services. You engage in content marketing.

content

#7 I don’t have what it takes to become famous

This one frustrates me to no end. When people say they don’t want to become popular. Well, nobody is asking you to. (Psst .. all the celebrity bloggers didn’t start out by wishing to become famous. It happened along the way, and if it happens for you then good on you but no, this is not a requirement for blogging for your business.)

Don’t confuse blogging with blogging for business. In the former case, you start your blog with a goal of building a large size audience and you monetize the blog by publishing sponsored content, displaying advertising or running joint promotions.

When you blog for business, your sole focus is on building your email list. As a life coach, career coach, jewellery maker, astrologer, kinesiologist or a website designer – no, you don’t have to become popular.

 

#8 It won’t work in my industry

Okay, so this one might be true. Not every business’s target audience hangs online. Not every prospect is reading blogs, although some people read an article without even realizing it’s a blog post.

But the only way to be sure is to test it. You don’t even have to call it a blog. Call it editor’s notes, articles or resources. Publish content and see whether people are clicking and/or sharing. You never know, you might become a pioneer in your industry.

 

#9 Why would anyone read my blog?

This one is a biggie. This has more to do with your mindset than anything else.

You might be wondering there are already thousands of blogs on your topic. Why should you start one? Why would anyone read yours? Well, think about this in this way. What would happen if the next Kate Perry said to herself, ‘there are so many pop princesses already, I’d better not record my album’. Or the person to open an Italian restaurant says why bother.

This is the thing. People don’t read and follow one single, most popular blog on a topic. They follow many. Each blogger has a different style, personality and perspective. They don’t necessarily want information, they follow a blogger because they like them, and want to be just like them.

You don’t listen to only one singer – you listen to many. Even within the same genre, you love somebody while you can’t stand somebody else.

Speaking of Italian restaurants, I don’t know about you but I am forever looking for new places to discover. No matter how much I love one place, let’s face it, who wants to eat at the same place all the time?

blog

So there you have it.

These are the biggest excuses that keep small business owners from starting a blog. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t offer one (or more) of those excuses when I suggest they start a blog. They think it’s too much effort for nothing. They feel the ROI is not enough to justify spending all this time, effort and sweat into it. But now you know better.

If you haven’t started one, ask yourself why and bust these myths one by one. I know you can do this, and share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

 

9 Excuses That Keep You From Starting a Business Blog is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 9 Excuses That Keep You From Starting a Business Blog appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/9-excuses-that-keep-you-from-starting-a-business-blog.html/feed 1
Email Success Profile: Kenneth Hart, The Thirsty Swagman http://blog.getresponse.com/email-success-profile-kenneth-hart-the-thirsty-swagman.html http://blog.getresponse.com/email-success-profile-kenneth-hart-the-thirsty-swagman.html#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:57:53 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19323 “Do what you love.” Have you ever received that career advice? But what if you love to PARTY! You can’t very well turn that into a business. Or can you? You’re about to meet an entrepreneur who started his business … Read more

Email Success Profile: Kenneth Hart, The Thirsty Swagman is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Email Success Profile: Kenneth Hart, The Thirsty Swagman appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
“Do what you love.” Have you ever received that career advice? But what if you love to PARTY! You can’t very well turn that into a business. Or can you? You’re about to meet an entrepreneur who started his business based on two passions: “travel and a good cold beer.” The result? The Thirsty Swagman. Let’s see what we can learn from Founder and Chief Swagman, Kenneth Hart.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of higher education? Pub crawls, of course. (Ah, the college years — how we miss them.) But Kenneth Hart wasn’t content to remember pub crawls nostalgically. He wanted to make them part of his life and reinvent the way people enjoy a drink with friends.

 

Party all over the planet

So he decided to tackle a daunting problem that vacation travellers face: finding the best pubs. And he solved it, mate! The Thirsty Swagman has got you covered with pub tours throughout Australia, Europe and Asia, plus their signature thirsty adventure — the round-the-world pub crawl.

That’s right. This year, you’ll be able to party on four continents and see the all the sights they have to offer — from inside a pub. Did I say “A” pub? I meant 80 pubs, from Sydney to Honolulu, Las Vegas to Reykjavik, Düsseldorf to Phuket (that’s in Thailand, weary traveller.) And sometime in 2016, you’ll be able to quaff a frosty brew in space during their first-ever Beer in Space tour — 300,000 feet above the earth in zero gravity. Hmm…  beer plus motion sickness. I don’t know if that’s for me, but then again it might be?

 

It’s not all parties

The hectic pace of the business leaves little time for administrative chores, so efficiency was critical when they chose GetResponse as their email provider. And ease of implementation was a must, including five-star support.

“I tried [customer service] multiple times, and it’s absolutely fantastic. The online chat help is brilliant, I’d say almost every time my questions were answered immediately.” —Kenneth Hart 

After switching to GetResponse, Kenneth noticed a huge reduction in time spent creating newsletters. The overall open rate is between 15 and 20% (more than double the average for the travel industry) and the click-through rate has improved by about 50%.

 

Know your customer

The Thirsty Swagman is a complex business involving travel, hotel reservations, itineraries, and, of course, keeping track of all those parties. In addition, the company serves a customers base scattered around the globe.

When Kenneth tried GetResponse, he immediately grasped the possibility of combining Geolocation with Advanced Segmentation to design custom autoresponder campaigns to serve his worldwide customer base.

“The ability to segment our list into campaigns so easily and automate much of the marketing was the decision maker.” —Kenneth Hart

As you might expect, Kenneth and his people travel a lot. And his customers — they’re big travellers too. So it’s no surprise that cell phone communication is the norm.

Before moving to GetResponse, Kenneth found that his customers couldn’t read his email newsletters on mobile phones, so his messages weren’t getting through. GetResponse’s Responsive Design changed all that. Now each email senses the size of the screen being used to view the email and automatically formats it to fit perfectly. As a result, about half of his emails are opened and clicked on mobile devices.

“Mobile opening rate previously was near zero, now it accounts for about half of all opens.” —Kenneth Hart

summer

What is a “swagman” anyway?

That question always comes up sooner or later. “Swagman” in an Australian word used to describe an itinerant worker who travels from farm to farm by foot, carrying all his belongings inside his bedroll, also known as a swag. The swagman has come to symbolize the Australian lifestyle — an honorable vagabond with a sense of adventure, an easygoing temperament, and a natural tendency to enjoy a good laugh.

And that description fits our friend Kenneth Hart perfectly. He’s found his calling in life — to help people enjoy good times, good friends, and a good brew. So if you’re a thirsty traveller with a sense of adventure, the Thirsty Swagman will be there with you — ready to party.

 

How about you?

Do you have a fascinating success story about your experiences as a GetResponse customer? Just send your write-up in an email to testimonials@getresponse.com. Who knows? We may decide to share your story with the world!

Email Success Profile: Kenneth Hart, The Thirsty Swagman is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Email Success Profile: Kenneth Hart, The Thirsty Swagman appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/email-success-profile-kenneth-hart-the-thirsty-swagman.html/feed 0
Applying The Metrics: Turning Your Analytics Into Actionable Strategies http://blog.getresponse.com/applying-the-metrics-turning-your-analytics-into-actionable-strategies.html http://blog.getresponse.com/applying-the-metrics-turning-your-analytics-into-actionable-strategies.html#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:27:56 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19315 Metrics matter. That’s a fact. And thank goodness – with the billions that have been spent already on big data, not to mention the trillions and trillions that will follow, they had better matter. Otherwise, what’s it all for? There … Read more

Applying The Metrics: Turning Your Analytics Into Actionable Strategies is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Applying The Metrics: Turning Your Analytics Into Actionable Strategies appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
Metrics matter. That’s a fact. And thank goodness – with the billions that have been spent already on big data, not to mention the trillions and trillions that will follow, they had better matter. Otherwise, what’s it all for?

There are some marketers out there who still remain a little skeptical about the impact that can be made by spending time on measuring the metrics – what’s that old saying of Benjamin Disraeli…? “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Well, while it’s certainly true that certain statistics can obscure the facts of reality or mislead people (for instance, did you know that statistically teetotalers die younger than drinkers? It’s true – but what that statistic doesn’t tell you is that most teetotalers are ex-alcoholics), when it comes to online marketing, if paying attention to the right statistics, then you can most certainly make a difference.

 

Which Ones To Watch

You may have caught my post last month ‘Knowing Your Analytics: Vanity Metrics Vs. Actionable Metrics’. There are essentially 2 types of metrics – vanity and actionable. Your vanity metrics are things like your Twitter following and website hits. Although these are of course important to the digital marketer – otherwise we’d all be out of a job, right? – they are nonetheless meaningless unless they start turning into actual conversions.

Actionable metrics, on the other hand, are things like the data you extract following a round of A/B testing after you have added a new feature to your website, or are testing out a couple of options on your email campaign. These will give you clear insights into your campaigns, which will help you no end in devising an ongoing strategy from there.

 

Are Vanity Metrics Really Worthless?

Well, that’s the big question really, and what I want to try and focus on in more detail here in this blog post.

Vanity metrics make up a lot of big data. Analysis from McKinsey reveals that corporations that use their big data analytics effectively show a 5-6% higher profitability rate than those that don’t, and their marketing ROI is improved by 15-20%.

While it’s certainly true that the sorts of companies that the analysis from McKinsey is reporting on are likely big, multi-billion dollar corporations, that isn’t to say that slightly smaller enterprises and SMEs alike cannot make some headway into their marketing strategies by analysing a larger set of metrics – that is big data.

analytics

Big Data For The Small Business

You will no doubt already be gathering data using a number of online tools. Twitter, for example, has now rolled out its analytics platform to be accessible to all users for free. Your content management system (CMS) should also be telling you how many hits you’re getting to your website, where you visitors are coming from, how long they stay, and how many pages they visit.

Your email, too, should be informing you of just how many people are opening up your newsletters, how many people are clicking through to your website, and how many conversions your campaign is creating. All of this is the vanity stuff – but, if you use it wisely, then there’s no reason that you cannot start turning it into actionable strategies.

What you need is the right tools for the job. So below are 2 of the very best that are out there for you to start using right now, so you can begin to make some meaningful strategies from all the data that you are continuously collecting.

 

Canopy Labs

Canopy Labs is a very smart tool that can help you do exactly what you’re trying to by collecting all of this data – predict the future.

Canopy labs will analyse customer behaviour patterns along with sales trends over time, which it then uses to generate predictive behavioural models that can be used to take action on your marketing campaigns going forward. For companies with up to 5,000 customers, then it’s completely free to use, otherwise it’s $250 a month.

A great feature of the product is the 360-degree Customer View, which is designed to provide you with some very comprehensive and useful data about each and every one of your individual customers. Providing vital information about their lifetime value (such as their loyalty, purchase histories, engagement levels etc.), you are provided with analytics that will tell you exactly how valuable each of your customers are to you. You can then also use this data to make personalized offers, hone your marketing campaigns etc. Priceless.

 

Tranzlogic

Tranzlogic is the second tool that we would highly recommend. This is something that will provide you with decisively actionable metrics, rather than vanity metrics of any sort. What it does is provide SMEs with customer credit card data – something that has traditionally been the reserved information of large corporations.

If you want to know more about the spending habits of your customers, then signing up with Tranzlogic is imperative. By linking payment service providers (PSPs) with merchants, proprietary data is turned into relevant, actionable data that can be used to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.

The information garnered can be used to accurately measure sales performances for comparison, improve business models and loyalty programmes, and evaluate the value of individual customers, as well as demographic segments.

This is true, actionable data, and you can start using it right now to help you make your best business decisions to date.

How have you managed to turn your analytics into actionable strategies? Are there any further tools that you would recommend? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Applying The Metrics: Turning Your Analytics Into Actionable Strategies is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Applying The Metrics: Turning Your Analytics Into Actionable Strategies appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/applying-the-metrics-turning-your-analytics-into-actionable-strategies.html/feed 0
Henry Diaz Case Study: Artist and Freedom-preneur http://blog.getresponse.com/henry-diaz-case-study-artist-and-freedom-preneur.html http://blog.getresponse.com/henry-diaz-case-study-artist-and-freedom-preneur.html#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:17:23 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19311 For centuries, artists have depended upon gallery owners to sell their artwork.  But today’s Internet has changed the business model, allowing them to go straight to the public. As artists embraced this model, some discovered a hidden talent for marketing … Read more

Henry Diaz Case Study: Artist and Freedom-preneur is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Henry Diaz Case Study: Artist and Freedom-preneur appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
For centuries, artists have depended upon gallery owners to sell their artwork.  But today’s Internet has changed the business model, allowing them to go straight to the public. As artists embraced this model, some discovered a hidden talent for marketing and devised new ways to bring added value to a worldwide audience. In today’s case study, we profile one such artist and provide a fascinating glimpse into his newly discovered business model: freedom-preneur.

Historically, those who sought a career in the arts faced tremendous difficulties. Economically, there were two stereotypes: superstar and starving artist — an impoverished person laboring to produce art that, in all likelihood, might not sell. But Henry Diaz and other talented young artists around the globe are shattering those stereotypes, using modern marketing methods to forge careers in the arts.

Early in his career, Henry realized he had to learn to organize his workflow, stay motivated and manage his time effectively. So he got to work and mastered the fundamentals of online marketing:

  • Building an email marketing list
  • Engaging them with great content
  • Making offers via email

His challenge was to find an easy way to stay in touch with his audience. At first, he tried using manual systems and a standard email program. It worked, but he found he couldn’t maintain the workflow using such a labor-intensive process.

 

Choosing the right tools

Henry tried several email marketing programs but couldn’t find one that included all the features he was looking for. When he discovered GetResponse, he was delighted to find that it gave him all the capabilities he needed and came with an interface that made marketing easy.

  • Email Creator for designing professional-quality emails from template or from scratch with just a few clicks
  • Landing Page Creator for email campaigns integrated with web pages for publishing in-depth content, attracting sign-ups, and driving sales
  • Autoresponders for delivering the same great email experience to an entire database or to targeted segments
  • A/B Testing for using small-sample mailings to evaluate campaign effectiveness prior to full-list distribution

“Because my business is all about managing time effectively – the first thing I noticed when using GetResponse was how much time I saved while completing the tasks for my email marketing campaigns. This and their low-cost strategy got me hooked.” —Henry Diaz

 

Expanding the opportunities

As he achieved success, Henry found that others in the arts community were a lot like him. They had that the passion to succeed but not the skills. They needed to learn to be self-sufficient in promoting and selling their art. So he launched an online coaching service called Stepping Into Freedom to help talented people reach their dreams.

Today, he shares his knowledge freely, to expand his audience and keep them engaged. And he introduces them to what he has been able to accomplish with GetResponse.

“My mission is to share the knowledge I’ve gained with others who aren’t yet living their dream, to help make it a reality for them.”  —Henry Diaz

 

Results matter

Henry noticed an immediate improvement after switching to GetResponse.

  • His subscribers opened his emails four times more often — an increase of 400%.
  • His click-through ratio improved 46%.
  • Best of all, his automated client-engagement program left him free to focus on building his career as a Freedom-preneur.

“Choosing GetResponse is the best decision I could have made for my business. In the past I was working with two other autoresponder services, and the experience commonly left me frustrated and feeling as though my time was being wasted. I also faced problems in the analytics and tracking they were able to provide. This all changed when I gave GetResponse a shot. .” —Henry Diaz

 

How about you?

If you’re ready to kick your business into high gear, we’re here to help. The GetResponse team is constantly developing new ways for marketers to enhance their business. But we keep it simple, to enable entrepreneurs like Henry Diaz — and you — to implement profitable campaigns fast. And when you need a little help, our Customer Success Team is available 24/7.

 “Speed of response is the name of the support game for me, and GetResponse support is really fast. On top of that, they are kind and knowledgeable, which makes it a pleasant experience, even if I am reaching out about an issue I’m having.” —Henry Diaz

 

Henry Diaz Case Study: Artist and Freedom-preneur is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Henry Diaz Case Study: Artist and Freedom-preneur appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/henry-diaz-case-study-artist-and-freedom-preneur.html/feed 0
Everything You Need to Know to Spy on Your Competition http://blog.getresponse.com/everything-you-need-to-know-to-spy-on-your-competition.html http://blog.getresponse.com/everything-you-need-to-know-to-spy-on-your-competition.html#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:03:30 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19288 Nobody has to tell you how competitive online marketing is. I’m sure you already know. You need every edge you can get. And while I definitely do not endorse evil tactics (negative SEO, stealing content, and all the other unbelievably … Read more

Everything You Need to Know to Spy on Your Competition is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Everything You Need to Know to Spy on Your Competition appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
Nobody has to tell you how competitive online marketing is. I’m sure you already know. You need every edge you can get. And while I definitely do not endorse evil tactics (negative SEO, stealing content, and all the other unbelievably nefarious stuff that goes on), I don’t recommend you ignore your competitors, either. 

You need to do at least some competitive analysis. It’s critical to know what your competitors are doing, if only to use the information as another way to gauge what your audience likes or dislikes.  To help you assess your competitors (but not get buried in the analysis), we’ve rounded up a list of tools to help you see your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. All of these tools are either free or have free trials.

To take things a step further than just the usual list of competitive tools, I’ve also included some ideas on what you want to know about your competitors, why you want that information, and how to use it. Tools are awesome, but if just knowing all the tools was enough, you’d already be rich.

 

The SWOT Analysis

“Swot’s that?” You ask. SWOT stands for strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. If you had gone to school to get an expensive marketing degree, this is one of the things they would have drilled into your head.

Here’s what a SWOT table looks like:

SWOT

You can use a SWOT analysis on your own website, or on competitors’ sites. To run a SWOT, just list 2-5 items in each category. Here’s an example of a SWOT done on an imaginary competitor for a dog-training site:

SWOT2

As you can see, you don’t have to write a whole page for each area. SWOTs can be done on the back of a napkin. The trick to them is to put yourself in your competitor’s perspective while you do the SWOT – look at their business like it was your business.

You don’t need to do a SWOT for the top 20 sites in your niche. Just do a quick, simple SWOT for your top 1-5 competitors. This alone will give you a snapshot of where you stand against them, and how you might leverage your existing business to gain an edge on them.

That’s the only pen and paper “tool” I’ll give you. All the rest are online.

 

A high-level view of sizing up your competitors

The first thing to do when you size up a competitor is to look at their website. You want to know what content they have, how it’s performing, and how they are monetizing that content. Start with the content on their site, then see where they might also have more content, like social media accounts, guest blog posts, Amazon Kindle books, Udemy courses and the like.

Next you’ll want to see how much exposure that content is getting, both through search engines and through inbound links, advertising, partnerships and social media.

It helps if you take notes while you’re doing your research. It helps even more if you make a spreadsheet to log all the data in one view. Think of the spreadsheet a bit like a map to your niche. Having a resource like this also means you can easily track how your competitors shift tactics over time. That alone can be worth doing the  research.

Here’s what a simple spreadsheet might look like:

table

Clearly that’s a really simple spreadsheet. Here are a few more items I might track if I was doing a competitive analysis:

SITE & GENERAL

  1. Competitor name

URL

  1. Owner/email
  2. Testimonials? How many?
  3. Product? Subject/ Title? Product Price? How good is the product?
  4. Email list? What’s their opt-in? More than one opt-in?
  5. Blog? How often updated? How long are posts? How good are posts?
  6. Which posts shared the most?
  7. Which posts commented the most?
  8. Ebook? Kindle, or site download?
  9. Videos on site?

SOCIAL MEDIA

  1. Facebook likes / engagement rate / how often they post
  2. Twitter followers / how often they post / engagement
  3. LinkedIn / YouTube / Pinterest / Instagram / Tumblr / SlideShare
  4. Google Alerts?
  5. Who follows them on social? Who shares their content?
  6. Podcast?

SEO

  1. Site age
  2. Site speed (per Google PageSpeed Insights)
  3. Mobile friendly (per Google Mobile-Friendly tool)
  4. How many pages?
  5. Top 10-20 inbound links
  6. Guest posts?
  7. Time on site?

ADVERTISING

  1. Facebook / AdWords / Elsewhere (solo ads?)
  2. Keywords they’re bidding on
  3. How much they spend on advertising
  4. Ads they run on their site (Paid? AdSense?)
  5. Affiliate products they promote
  6. Partnerships with other sites?

You may not want to go into this much detail, but consider this: How much time are you going to put into building a business in this niche? 10 hours? 100 hours? 1,000 hours? How much time could you save and how much more results could you get if you knew the business and your competition before you went in?

 

How to find this information

At last, you’ll finally get the list of tools. Here’s how to find out every piece of information mentioned above: If you could only do one thing… Sign up for their email list & follow them on social media

This is so simple it doesn’t even count as a tool, but signing up for someone’s email list and following them on social media are the single best way to keep track of what they’re up to.

 

To track activity and mentions across the web

 Google Alerts and Social Mention. These won’t catch 100% of what’s on the web, but they will catch most of it. Set up your competitors’ business names and the owners’ names to see what people are up to.

 

To see how their content is performing

BuzzSumo - This will show you which content on a site has gotten the most shares. It will also show you who’s been sharing the content. You can sort by time frame (last month, last six months) and by the type of content. It’s an ideal way to find out what your competitor’s greatest hits have been. SharedCount is a similar tool, but with fewer features.

BuzzSumo

Kapost’s Content Auditor - This was not built as a competitive analysis tool, but it works very well as one. The Content Auditor basically gives you an automatic content audit of any site. So if you want to see what content assets your competitors have, and how they’re performing, this will show it to you.

KapostContentAuditor

If you want even more detail, you can also use the free version of the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool.

 

To compare website performance

WooRank – WooRank is mostly an SEO tool that scores a site and gives recommendations on how to improve its SEO. If you run a competitor’s site through the tool, you’ll get detailed information on all their SEO sins.

woorank

Quick SproutThis free tool lets you compare up to four different sites at once. Like WooRank, it’s designed as an SEO tool, but is also designed as an SEO tool for competitive analysis. 

QuickSprout

To see site speed

Use Google’s PageSpeed InsightsPage speed has a huge effect on user experience, conversion rates and SEO rankings. Use Google’s official tool to see if your competitors are fast enough.

PageSpeedInsights

To see how mobile friendly their site is

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test - Google is going to update its algorithm on April 21st to favor mobile-friendly sites and punish those that aren’t. If a few of your competitors have negative mobile-friendly scores, you might be in for a pleasant surprise in late April. That’s assuming, of course, your site is mobile-friendly. It is, right?

Mobile-Friendly

.

To see backlinks

There are so many tools that help you find (or “poach”) your competitor’s backlinks. Start with Majestic SEO because it’s free, trusted and will get you 98% of the information you need.

After you’ve got your Majestic SEO data, do all your searches again with the Moz Open Site Explorer. This is a good reality check, just in case Majestic, or any of the other tools you might use, give you wonky information.

That’s a critical thing to remember with online tools: Don’t take what they tell you as gospel. Sometimes their data can be off. If you want a truckload of data, sign up for Moz’s free trial. Just don’t blame me if you get addicted to their paid tools.

Moz

Other tools to see backlinks and more are Ahrefs, Link Prospector and Monitor Backlinks. There are more – that’s just the short list.

 

To see which keywords they rank for (paid and organic)

SEMRush - This is an extremely powerful paid tool. Fortunately, it also has a powerful free version. The screenshot below is from the free version. SEMRush will show you what keyword your competitors rank for in both organic and search. It will also show you what their traffic is worth, give you an analysis of their backlinks, and much more.

SEMRush

 

To monitor their ads 

Spyfu - SpyFu is like SEMRush and Moz in that it does dozens of things, all of them suited to peering into your competitors’ businesses. Fortunately, it does have a free version, and while that won’t go into too much detail, it will give you good information you’ll be glad to have. SpyFu is also great at breaking down a competitor’s pay per click accounts. If you’re in the ppc game fighting against other bidders, a few hours spent with this tool could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. 

SpyFu

What Runs Where - I’m kind of cheating with this one. There isn’t a free trial – there’s a $1 trial. And you’ll want to make sure you cancel it before the three days are up, or you’ll get charged $299. But if you spend money on advertising, and your competitors do too, get a quick peek at what they’re doing by testing this tool.

 

To see social activity

There may now be thousands of tools to monitor social activity, both your own and your competitors. These are just a few of my favorites, designed to give you the basic data you need, and no more.

Fanpage Karma - So maybe your competitors do have more followers than you… but are those followers engaging with them? Fanpage Karma will tell you for free.

FanpageKarma

Topsy and FollowerWonk - Want to see how your competitors are doing on Twitter, and which tweets get the most engagement? Topsy and FollowerWonk are two of the best free tools for this. 

Follwerwonk

Simply Measured - This is an enterprise level tool that will give you lots of analytics data for your own company and other companies. It works across all the major social networks and most of the minor social networks, too. I’m including it here because of the free trial. 

 

To see how much traffic they get, and how their visitors behave

Compete - Most of Compete’s features are paid, but they have a free tool. It will give you a count of unique visitors for the month prior. Use that data as a reality check for other tools. 

Alexa - People have been using Alexa for over a decade to pick up information on other sites. There’s no reason for it to stop now, even though there are plenty of other tools that do what Alexa does. 

SimilarWeb - This is the only tool I’ve found that gives competitive information for apps. Mobile developers and marketers, celebrate! SimilarWeb will give you much more information for free, but my favorite feature is the handy little snapshot of where their traffic is coming from. SimilarWeb also gives you estimated time on site for each site, and their bounce rate. It lets you compare multiple sites, too. It’s tailor-made for competitive research.

SimilarWeb

I’m sure I missed at least a few good competitive analysis tools. Do you have a favorite that’s not listed here? Tell us about it in the comments!

Everything You Need to Know to Spy on Your Competition is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Everything You Need to Know to Spy on Your Competition appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/everything-you-need-to-know-to-spy-on-your-competition.html/feed 4
A 20-Point Checklist to Making Guest Blogging a Big Success http://blog.getresponse.com/a-20-point-checklist-to-making-guest-blogging-a-big-success.html http://blog.getresponse.com/a-20-point-checklist-to-making-guest-blogging-a-big-success.html#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:17:36 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19279 The thought of guest blogging brings up two distinct sets of emotions in people. One, it sounds super exciting. Seriously, what could be more motivating than seeing your name on the leading blogs in your industry? You get inspired by … Read more

A 20-Point Checklist to Making Guest Blogging a Big Success is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post A 20-Point Checklist to Making Guest Blogging a Big Success appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
The thought of guest blogging brings up two distinct sets of emotions in people. One, it sounds super exciting. Seriously, what could be more motivating than seeing your name on the leading blogs in your industry? You get inspired by it. You know you’ll be putting your names in front of hundreds and thousands of people and make a far bigger impact than you can on your own. When can you get started?

On the other hand, the thought of guest blogging might stress you out. Firstly, you don’t have the time to take one more thing on board. Especially when it is this time consuming. Secondly you don’t even think you are a good writer to begin with. Why even bother reaching out to someone when you know you are most probably going to be rejected.

If you fall in the first camp then yay! Continue reading and I’ll tell you my process of making this thing easy peasy. If you fall in the second category then know this thing: There is no such thing as free traffic. You either pay for it with money or time.

So, if you have more money then go with ads. You’ll see results faster. Guest posting can still work but might have to hire someone to do most of the work for you. You just write the first draft of the post yourself. But what if you are building your business and are short of cash at the same time? Well, that’s just what the first category looks like, and honestly, you just have to make time.

So let’s look how you can make this process as painless as possible:

 

#1 Know your purpose

You can guest blog for a whole bunch of reasons. You can do it to build credibility so you can show off ‘as seen on’ logos on your website. You can do it to bring traffic to your website or you can do it to form strategic partnerships with the influencers in your industry. Or, it can be a mix of all three.

I recommend that you approach each guest blogging task individually. When you choose a blog to approach, think about what goal is most important. For example, you might want to get published on Forbes for building credibility but on a smaller, industry-specific blog for traffic and list building.

 

#2 Make a list of the blogs

When you are a beginner it is fine to write for a friend’s blog. But consider this as a practise run. As you gain confidence you need to set high targets. You may already have a list of blogs that you follow yourself and this is a great place to start.

Other places to look for are sites like Alltop.com where you can search for a particular category and come up with new options. You can even Google top blogs in a particular niche.

 

#3 Read the guidelines

As you begin identifying blogs to write for, start doing a very basic search to see if these blogs qualify. Not all blogs accept guest posts so that’s the first thing you need to find out. Don’t write to a blogger asking if they accept guest posts. It just makes you look lazy and incompetent.

At this stage your goal is just to remove the blogs from your list that don’t accept guest post submissions.

 

#4 Shortlist

This step is crucial. Many people get it wrong and then when they don’t see any results, they get discouraged and blame guest blogging as a strategy.

From the big list that you have now, I want you to list blogs in order of priority. I also want you to be realistic. If you are pitching to Entrepreneur magazine and unless you offer a stellar track record, they are not going to take you seriously.

Choose blogs that are a great fit for topics you talk about on your own blog. Or, think about blogs whose blog posts have topics in common with your topics. Start there.

 

#5 Research the blogger

The next step is to read about the blogger.

Read their about page. Read their story. What made them start this blog? Even if you are familiar with them, do it anyway as they might have updated the information or added something that they weren’t comfortable sharing before.

You want to pay attention to things they care deeply about and also the things they annoy them to no end. If they wrote a book, it is good idea to get familiar with the topic and the premise (ideally read the book).

copywriting

#6 Begin connection phase

This is the pre-phase of guest blogging. Your work starts here. These popular bloggers receive hundreds of pitches and unsolicited submissions every day. Your job is to do the opposite.

Firstly, I want you to make sure there is a point of reference for your email. You could leave a thoughtful comment or two and hope for a response. You could email them about something they said having a great impact on your life. If they have a book, you might want to tell them how much you loved it and what change you intend to make.

The goal is to not come across as stranger when you pitch.

 

#7 Follow them on social media

Follow them on social media and pay attention. Retweet their updates. Connect on Facebook. Like their Instagram feed. Ideally you want them to remember who you are when you pitch. Even if your name seems familiar, this outcome is far better than not knowing who you are.

 

#8 Choose the topic

After you create some sort of rapport with the blogger, your next job is to pitch an idea they can’t say no to. Check their guidelines first to make sure they need an idea first. Some sites ask for the completed blog post and some don’t, so check those out first.

Now choose a topic that helps their audience but is related to what you talk about. If you choose something that is irrelevant to their audience, there is no hope of getting your idea accepted. But if you choose something that is not related to your business, what’s the point? The audience that will be coming over won’t find your website useful for their needs.

 

#9 Look at their most popular posts

Once you have narrowed down your topics, come up with a killer idea. Look to their popular posts for inspiration. This gives you clues about what their audience finds compelling and what resonates with their readers.

You can also read some of their latest blog posts to see if you can write a post to fill any gaps. Maybe they wrote a post and you can offer a great follow up. Maybe they wrote a post and mentioned something you can elaborate on.

 

#10 Craft your pitch

Address the blogger their name. Don’t start with Dear Sir or Madam or worse – webmaster. Keeping in mind that these people are generally busy, you want to get their attention from the get go. Craft a subject line that shows you are pitching a guest post idea and a snippet of the idea itself.

Something like ‘Guest post idea: Snippet’ works really well.

blogging

#11 Show what’s in it for them

First and foremost, the blogger wants to know why they should care. So tell them. Tell them (briefly) why you chose this idea and how it’s going to help their audience.

Give the headline and then give them 3-4 bullet points of how you will elaborate and what’s going to be covered so they can understand. Sell them on your idea, if you don’t they might misinterpret or not truly get it.

 

#12 Build credibility

Many people write and ask to be published. Even if they have no prior experience of covering that topic or having expertise in that area. Your job is to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

Briefly build your credibility by stating what is it that you do, your experience and credentials and leave a link to a few posts you published that showcase your best work.

 

#13 Show you are open to changes

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you state clearly that you are open to any changes they make. Refer to your blog post as a draft.

Most bloggers like to edit the post, the headline or even write a new one. Don’t take it personally. If they like a particular style of writing headlines, try to match it, if they change it, be okay with it. It is not worth hassling over.

 

#14 Make it easy for them

Make it really easy for them to say yes. Offer to send the post both as a word document and in an html format. Source images they might find useful.

Link to articles from their website (written by them and not by another guest blogger). Show that you are truly interested in making this a fun experience for everyone involved.

Tell them this is an original piece you have written for their audience and hasn’t been published before.

 

#15 Follow up

Remember to do a follow-up after your email if you hear crickets. When you send your pitch, let them know you will follow up in 15 days then do that if you haven’t heard from them. Commiserate the fact that you know how busy they are and how much it takes to run a popular blog then ask if they had a chance to look at your pitch yet. If you don’t hear back then let it go – for now. Come back to it with a fresh idea later.

 

#16 Do the best job you can

Got the green signal? Yay! Congratulations. You certainly deserve it. Now write the best post you can, seriously I mean it. I would go as far as to say that you should get your best ideas published on a guest blog. Why? So you give your masterpiece the best chance of going viral.

Even if it doesn’t go viral, it will do really well in front of big and new audiences. So take as much time as you can. Get somebody like a copyeditor proof reader to look it over so you can blow their socks off.

Reporter of the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation Esko Tommola interviews Armi Hilario (former Armi Kuusela) and her husband Gil Hilario in a radio studio.

#17 Make the best use of your byline

The best part about guest blogging is the chance to show off in your author bio. Most blogs won’t allow guest authors to link to their own stuff in the body of post itself so don’t do that. The place for linking to website and/or social media profiles is on your byline.

I strongly suggest you link to your opt-in offer instead of your home page. This is one the biggest mistakes people make while guest blogging and then they act all surprised when they don’t see any new subscribers.

This will get the biggest bang for your buck.

 

#18 Create a squeeze page

If you are debuting on a blog that is a big deal – a really big deal – I would recommend creating a new lead capture page for this blog audience. If you are expecting a big spike in traffic, go ahead and create a new freebie for this crowd. There is no harm in pulling out the big guns.

 

#19 Promote the post on social media

When the post is published, give yourself a big pat on the back. Then send a thank-you email and say you look forward to it doing well. Then promote the post everywhere. On every social media platform, to your email list and among your networks.

If the post has done remarkably well, you won’t even have to pitch another idea again. They will approach you.

 

#20 Continue the relationship

Wait about a week or two and touch base with the blogger again. Let them know that you really enjoyed writing for them and ask if you can write for them again. If you have done everything right and checked off every task on this then the answer would be a big yes.

Follow through the same process.

 

Final thoughts

In my opinion, the traffic you get from your guest blogging efforts can be far superior to the traffic that comes from clicking your ads or from social media.

These people are coming to you because they have read your content and they love it. They want to know more about you and learn from you. They are coming to check you out, to see what else you have on offer. This is the warmest traffic you can get so be sure you do the work and are ready to receive this traffic (I wrote a blog post about that here.)

Go on try it if you haven’t already. And if you have tried it before but didn’t see the results you were hoping for, now you know how to fix that. Share your experiences in the comments below!

Good luck!

A 20-Point Checklist to Making Guest Blogging a Big Success is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post A 20-Point Checklist to Making Guest Blogging a Big Success appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/a-20-point-checklist-to-making-guest-blogging-a-big-success.html/feed 1
Staying Ahead: The Future Of Link Building http://blog.getresponse.com/staying-ahead-the-future-of-link-building.html http://blog.getresponse.com/staying-ahead-the-future-of-link-building.html#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 15:07:37 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19269 SEO is a hard game that’s getting harder all the time? Do you remember the good old days when you’d just cram as many keywords into your blog posts and be done with it? Well, I’m sure you do remember … Read more

Staying Ahead: The Future Of Link Building is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Staying Ahead: The Future Of Link Building appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
SEO is a hard game that’s getting harder all the time? Do you remember the good old days when you’d just cram as many keywords into your blog posts and be done with it? Well, I’m sure you do remember those days, though I hope you weren’t actually one of those very naughty individuals who partook in such questionable practices. 

Those days have long gone now anyway (though you still find the odd cowboy trying it on, but no matter – you won’t ever find those posts anyway). No, SEO is about all manner of things. Keywords, of course, still play a role – albeit a slightly different one – site architecture, image quality, security, the age of your site, its speed.

And of course links.

 

Links Are Still The Most Important SEO Ranking Factor

According to Jon Ball of Search Engine Watch, links still remain as the strongest signal to Google that the content on a particular site is important. And that of course makes sense – the more links there are pointing towards a particular site or page, the more people that are out there who must think that it’s worth pointing to.

Ball’s claim is backed up by coppyblogger, who states (and provides this handy pie chart) that domain trust/authority makes up 23.87% of Google’s ranking algorithm.

link_building

The 3 Types Of Links

Ok, so we’re all agreed that links are still just as important as ever. That being said, the emphasis has most definitely changed. I mentioned above that the more links there are from other pages to your site the better. While this is true up to a point, the fact of the matter is that Google is getting smarter all the time, and it’s not so much a matter of quantity anymore as it is of quality.

Links now have different values in the eyes of Google. Put simply, the higher the quality and the higher the relevance of the linking site to yours, the more valuable the link is to you. So let’s take a look at the 3 types of links that there are and consider just how important each one of them is.

 

1. Organic Links

We should all know what these are by now. In essence they are spontaneous links that other web users – such as bloggers and journalists – put in their posts that link to your site. They have acquired the rather green sounding name of ‘organic’ because they have always been considered to be valuable, because the linkers have no vested interest in linking to your site, and therefore they are a sign of the usefulness and relevance of your site’s content.

Building organic links is perhaps one of the main aims of the content marketer. The way you go about getting these types of links is to continuously produce lots of high quality, sharable, informative, entertaining and useful content. This is the sort of stuff that web users love, and, if you’re doing your content correctly, then you should find that the number of organic links to your site gradually increases over a long period of time.

 

2. Acquired Links

Acquired links are less valuable, though no digital marketer should be without them. By signing up to various profiles (including social), directories and other lists, you can upload your blogs and other articles in order to try and gain more exposure.

Try out www.ezinearticles.com for example, or user rating review sites like www.rateitall.com/. If you sign up to enough of these and submit your articles regularly, then you should end acquiring a few more backlinks to your site.

 

3. Self-made Links

Sometimes when you’re online you will no doubt be contributing to discussion forums and leaving comments on various social media. When you do so, it will of course make sense to include the odd link back to your website.

Do not, whatever you do, overexploit this tactic. It can begin to look very spammy, and may well end up getting considered as such, and you will be penalised for your efforts.

 

What To Do About Link Building In 2015

It’s becoming an age old adage already, but, more and more it is proving to be true again and again – content is king.

The most valuable links are the organic ones, and the best way to build those is to continue to create the very best content that you can, and get it shared far and wide across social and in your email campaigns.

There are a few trends that are continuing to emerge that you should be aware of for 2015 however. So let’s take a look at them:

 

1. Make Your Blog Posts More Detailed Than Ever

Let’s face it, nearly everyone has a blog these days, and nearly every website does as well. No matter what industry you’re in, you will find that you will be facing an increasing amount of competition for discoverability on the web. So, stop re-writing and re-purposing the same old material that’s been floating around the internet already for the past decade or more, and start saying something new and interesting.

Wishy-washy blog posts that offer no actionable tips for the reader, or are just revisiting the same old stuff just won’t cut it any more. We’ve already read those things a hundred times before – what we want is something new.

Indeed, this might actually mean that you will need to invest some extra time and possibly money into conducting some valuable research. But if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes. And go into some real detail in your posts. Don’t skirt around the edges, delve right in to one or two very important details and explore them properly. Great content is about quality not quantity.

 

2. Infographics Are Still Gaining Popularity

Beautifully visualized, easy to absorb information is still on trend in 2015, and infographics are the digital manifestations. If you’ve got a graphic designer that can create these for you in-house, then brilliant. If you haven’t, then consider hiring one.

Infographics are brilliant because of their shareability. The information is presented colourfully and neatly, and are often designed to inspire awe through some jaw-dropping statistics, whilst also raising a little smile with some quirky and witty illustrations. They’re great – and they will link back to your site, so start making them.

 

3. Produce More Video

Video is becoming more and more important for your social media strategy as time ticks by. Users love it, and, although it might be more time-consuming and costly to produce, it will nonetheless be one of the most valuable assets in your link-building arsenal.

From creating your own viral videos to producing your very own animations, the power of video is a strong one, and lends an air of success and professionalism (provided it’s done well) to your website, and will continue to be an increasingly important method of building those all important organic backlinks.

What’s your link building strategy for 2015? Let us know in the comments below. 

Staying Ahead: The Future Of Link Building is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Staying Ahead: The Future Of Link Building appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/staying-ahead-the-future-of-link-building.html/feed 6
Exclusive Interview With Joanna Wiebe From Copy Hackers http://blog.getresponse.com/exclusive-interview-with-joanna-wiebe-from-copyhackers.html http://blog.getresponse.com/exclusive-interview-with-joanna-wiebe-from-copyhackers.html#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:07:41 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19217 Today we sit down with Joanna Wiebe, an expert copywriter and co-founder of CopyHackers.com to talk about how copy can make or break your email marketing campaigns. We also pick Joanna’s brain and learn what you as a marketer or … Read more

Exclusive Interview With Joanna Wiebe From Copy Hackers is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Exclusive Interview With Joanna Wiebe From Copy Hackers appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
Today we sit down with Joanna Wiebe, an expert copywriter and co-founder of CopyHackers.com to talk about how copy can make or break your email marketing campaigns. We also pick Joanna’s brain and learn what you as a marketer or copywriter can do to turn your everyday work into an even greater success for your business

.

GetResponse: In your recent ebook with GetResponse, you wrote that “40% of B2B content marketers believe newsletters are less effective content marketing tactics than social media and other tactics. (2014)“, do you agree with these marketers?

Joanna Wiebe: I definitely do not agree that newsletters offer less effective content marketing than social media. I think the problem with this idea is twofold. The first part of the problem: well-intentioned marketers misread “newsletters” as “boring collections of stuff you spam your subscribers with” instead of developing a strong value prop for their newsletters, thus giving them a raison d’etre that every marketing tactic needs. The second part: failure to measure beyond opens and clicks. If you don’t know why your newsletter exists, then you won’t know how to measure whether it’s doing its job, so you won’t know if it’s helping your business or not.

 

GR: You also wrote that a newsletter needs a reason for existing. In your opinion what are some reasons for a business to have a newsletter? Is there just one overall copy, or are there business-specific approaches?

JB: An inspired content strategist can come up with a dozen or more reasons to create and send a [great] newsletter: to build warmer relationships with people; to increase brand awareness; to demonstrate thought leadership by curating and sharing the best content for X topic or industry; to offer value so that, when the time comes to sell by email, your From name is welcome in their inbox.

Newsletters should be considered, created, and sent using the same business rigor we use for other marketing tactics. You wouldn’t run retargeting ads without a reason and without a way to measure their success. If you don’t have a reason to send a newsletter or a clue about how you’ll know if it was a success or not, don’t send one. Step back. Figure out your newsletter’s value prop and how that connects to 1) your subscribers and 2) your business – and then start the job of planning, writing, sending, and optimizing your newsletters for your business.

 

GR: What do you think is the most frequent email copy mistake that marketers make? Our readers are always looking for specific patterns that marketers think are right, but might not necessarily be as good as they thought. 

JB: The biggest problem may be trying to make a newsletter look, somehow, like a website. They’ll use a two-column layout with images squished into one side and tiny text squished into the other side; they’ll put a big banner at the top and find a way to stack three more banners at the bottom.

Shorter, more personal newsletters that are single column and that use a stripped-down design allow the content of the newsletter to be the focal point. They let the reader look at one thing at a time. And that’s powerful. That controlled reading experience is what makes long-form sales pages so powerful, and it can be just as powerful in email (which lends itself well to a top-down narrative form rather than to scanning).

Beyond that, I always encourage people to split-test newsletters that contain links to multiple landing pages against newsletters that have just one goal. If your newsletter’s value prop is along the lines of being the single resource for curated content on X topic, then perhaps multiple CTAs make sense; however, if that is not your express value prop, then why break the rules of email?–why distract users by adding more than 1 goal?–why risk getting fractions of the traffic to each landing page?

 

GR: Marketers often find themselves looking into quick-fix solutions, forgetting about A/B testing. Call to action buttons are in that group as well. Is there a formula for the perfect call to action?

JB: There’s no formula, of course, but there are a few tricks. Here you go:

  • Don’t think of a CTA as a call to action. Think of it as a call to value. An action may be “Read the blog post about button formulas” but the value would be “Convert better with these 3 button formulas.” Test the two against each other. I’d put my money on the call to value.
  • Write button / CTA copy that completes this phrase: I want to ________________. The underlined part becomes the button copy.
  • Never introduce work in your CTA copy. So if you’re writing a newsletter that leads to a landing page where the user will have to sign in to watch a video, don’t write a CTA in the newsletter that goes, “Sign in to watch the video.” That’s introducing work. It doesn’t matter that, in fact, they will have to sign in to watch the video; all that matters is what the end user wants. What do they want? To watch the video. So test CTA copy that reads something like “Watch the video” (and then add a few words about the value of doing so).

 

GR: That being said, when you look at platforms like GetResponse, what are the first tools, as a copywriter, that you find most important in creating the perfect newsletter? 

JB: Segmentation! Whom you’re writing for is everything when it comes to writing well – and by “well” I mean in a way that connects, resonates and ultimately converts. Blast emails are tragic. They’ve generally got awful open rates for lists over 25,000. But if you can segment the folks on your list and invest in writing tailored content – which is easier to write than generalized content – you can stand to get more folks to engage and fewer folks to call you spam or unsubscribe due to lack of perceived relevance.

After segmentation comes automation. What triggers can we set to generate the right message at the exactly right moment for our subscribers. If I write a newsletter linking to a post about social media marketing tips and I just so happen to be an affiliate for a social media marketing course, then I’d likely want to trigger a drip campaign promoting that course to the people who showed interest by clicking in the first place.

 

GR: As an expert in your field, is there any advice that you could give copywriters as to what they should pay attention to when they create newsletter copy?

JB: Write for one human. That human is a real human, with a personality and with a busy life. That human has a hundred other emails in their inbox. That human may be reading on a mobile device, which comes with a new set of distractions and limitations. That human is looking at their inbox right now potentially ‘cos they’re bored; maybe they’re at work or waiting somewhere, and they want to be engaged. Engage them. Connect with that one human using your words. Find a way to be so real and authentic with them that they don’t consider you a nuisance even though they’re extremely busy and distracted. Start there. And if anyone reviewing your copy tells you otherwise, tell them to come talk to me. ;)

 

GR: For those following in your footsteps, what books, blogs, or tools would you recommend they read to inspire them?

JB: Today, I’d say to read all about mobile content design and UX. Add to that a healthy dose of good ol’ Caples and Schwartz – classic long-form copywriters who could destroy email if they’d been alive to see this form of direct response marketing explode. From there, sign up for every email you come across and file them all away in swipe files in your email solution (e.g., in Gmail, in Outlook); I have 100+ swipe files for everything from welcome emails to receipts to newsletters to sales emails, and I refer to them almost every single time I have an email to write.

 

A big thank you to Joanna Wiebe for sitting down with us and answering our questions! Share with us in the comments below what you think are the golden rules of copywriting and how you manage your copy! Also, get your very own copy of our new ebook with Joanna “How to Write Newsletters That Get Opened, Read, and Clicked.”

Joanna Wiebe - Copy Hackers for CopybloggerAbout the author: Joanna Wiebe runs a conversion copywriting consultancy in Victoria, BC and is the co-creator of both Copyhackers.com and Disco Surveys, the incentivized pop-up survey for marketers.

Exclusive Interview With Joanna Wiebe From Copy Hackers is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Exclusive Interview With Joanna Wiebe From Copy Hackers appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/exclusive-interview-with-joanna-wiebe-from-copyhackers.html/feed 0
7 Fresh Ways to Welcome Spring with Email Marketing [Infographic] http://blog.getresponse.com/7-fresh-ways-to-welcome-spring-with-email-marketing-infographic.html http://blog.getresponse.com/7-fresh-ways-to-welcome-spring-with-email-marketing-infographic.html#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 15:07:12 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19253 Spring is about celebrating new beginnings. That’s why we’ve prepared 7 tips that will help you start fresh and grow your business with effective email marketing campaigns. The overall idea is to reinvigorate your strategy after the long winter months … Read more

7 Fresh Ways to Welcome Spring with Email Marketing [Infographic] is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 7 Fresh Ways to Welcome Spring with Email Marketing [Infographic] appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>

Spring is about celebrating new beginnings. That’s why we’ve prepared 7 tips that will help you start fresh and grow your business with effective email marketing campaigns. The overall idea is to reinvigorate your strategy after the long winter months and set new goals with positive attitude.

  1. Start with spring cleaning by segmenting your list and sending reactivation campaigns.
  2. Plan a garage sale that will make room for new arrivals.
  3. Choose some nice spring colors for your email template.
  4. Incorporate exciting visual elements.
  5. Plan an engaging drip campaign.
  6. Reward your subscribers’ loyalty
  7. Spread joy – remember that March 20 is the annual International Day of Happiness.

7 Fresh Ways to Welcome Spring with Email Marketing [Infographic] is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 7 Fresh Ways to Welcome Spring with Email Marketing [Infographic] appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/7-fresh-ways-to-welcome-spring-with-email-marketing-infographic.html/feed 0
Could a Podcast Grow Your Business? http://blog.getresponse.com/could-a-podcast-grow-your-business.html http://blog.getresponse.com/could-a-podcast-grow-your-business.html#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 15:17:32 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19245 Has all the talk about podcasts ever piqued your interest… even once? I’m sure you’ve heard about how popular podcasts are becoming. And you’ve probably seen at least one training course that promises to make you a podcasting star.  But … Read more

Could a Podcast Grow Your Business? is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Could a Podcast Grow Your Business? appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
Has all the talk about podcasts ever piqued your interest… even once? I’m sure you’ve heard about how popular podcasts are becoming. And you’ve probably seen at least one training course that promises to make you a podcasting star. 

But would a podcast actually help your business? Is it worth the time and effort? What kind of results can you expect? There are a lot of pros and cons to podcasts. They can be the ideal platform for some people, but they can also end up as a dead end for others.

To help you decide if a podcast is right for you, I’ve assembled this list of pros and cons for launching a podcast. Hopefully it will be enough to help you decide if podcasting is a path you want to explore further.

7 reasons to launch a podcast

 1) You hate writing, and you hate being on camera.

Some people would rather do just about anything than write. A podcast is definitely a way to get around writing, or at least a way to write less. Or maybe you’re terrified of making videos. That’s another reason to try some podcasting.

 

2) Once you’re set up, podcasting is nearly free.

In terms of the gear needed to get started, podcasting is a lot like creating videos. It can be a bit overwhelming and it all sounds really expensive, but it actually doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

You will need a microphone. Nicer microphones run about $100-150. Sometimes you can get good used microphones on eBay or other second-hand sources. There are dozens of great microphones available, but a few good ones include

You may also want a pop filter to reduce breathing sounds or spikes in volume. Even a really nice pop filter like the CAD Audio EPF-15A Pop Filter only costs $11.

Next you’ll need a stand. Decide whether you want to sit or stand while you record. I have a Samson SP01 Spider Shockmount stand on my desk. I got it on Amazon for $30. It’s always worked very well.

Next you’ll need some sound editing software. Audacity is free and is widely used. It’s available for Mac, PC and even Linux. Other people like Adobe Audition, Logic Pro X, Sony Movie Studio Platinum, or GarageBand.

That’s all the gear you’ll need. There may be some more gear you’ll want, but that’s up to you.

 

3) Podcasting can help you build a large audience and position yourself as an expert.

Having a podcast does expose you to a vast potential audience. If you are seriously building a platform as an expert, having a podcast makes you look the part.

 

4) Podcasting is especially well suited to training or online education.

If you want to teach people how to do something, a podcast might be a great format. Podcast teaching is especially effective if your topic takes time to master and has a lot of nuances.

 

5) Podcasting gives you a great way to vary the content formats on your site.

As the web develops and people get more and more resistant to reading, it makes sense to start creating content in other formats. Adding an audio file at the end of a blog post works for many major sites, like Jeff Bullas’s blog and Copyblogger.

Copyblogger has made a big push recently to promote its podcast at the end of blog posts. Many posts on the site are now specifically written to complement podcast episodes.

Copyblogger has made a big push recently to promote its podcast at the end of blog posts. Many posts on the site are now specifically written to complement podcast episodes.

 

6) Podcasting often leads to speaking engagements.

Speaking is one of the highest paying gigs around. If you’re not terrified of talking in front of people, you might be able to work your way up to thousand-dollar speaking gigs.

Even if you don’t hit the big leagues with speaking, it can be a phenomenal way to build your reputation as an expert. And if you’re an author, public speaking is one of the most tried and true ways to sell books.

 

7) Podcasting is a great way to build relationships with the smartest people in your industry or niche.

Subject experts and other rising stars are usually happy to accept interview invites. You can find them by looking at guest posts on major blogs in your niche or by asking people whose work you know and love. You can also find potential guests by looking through Amazon or other online bookseller sites. Authors almost always want more interviews.

Bonus tip: Ask your guest a couple of questions that you can use for other pieces of content, like blog post roundups.

 

7 reasons to not launch a podcast

1) You need money fast.

A podcast is not a good way to earn money fast. For some, it may not be a way to earn money at all. Be leery of anyone who says you can start making $10K a month just from podcasting.

It’s best to lay off the sales pitches, especially within the first six months of when you launch. For awhile just focus on building your audience. Then build their trust. Then think about selling to them.

Still hope to one day make money from your podcasting? You can sell advertising or sponsorships, but you’ll need a fairly large following for that. See any of Jay Baer’s podcasts for an example of a sponsored podcast. If you must earn directly from your podcast, get a good business model and backend revenue generation system set up. Membership sites, ebooks or other products can help.

Want some real examples of podcasters who make money like it was growing on trees? Check out Pat Flynn’s podcast or John Dumas‘ podcast. Cliff Ravenscraft, “The Podcast Answer Man” writes extensively about how to monetize podcasts.

 

2) If you want to exclusively promote affiliate offers.

It’s harder to get credit for affiliate sales from a podcast. There are no trackable links in audio files. Of course, you can still send people to landing pages. You’ll do even better if you offer an extra, complementary product when people buy through your link.

This is why sponsors and advertising are so attractive to podcasters. There’s quite a lot of evidence that these revenue methods do well, too. John Dumas wrote a detailed post about how he’s done with sponsorships and exactly how they work.

 

3) If you’re not good at consistently doing things.

A podcast is guaranteed to fail if you only do 2-3 episodes. You need to be in it for the long haul. You may have to do several months worth of podcasts before you really start to build the kind of audience size that can deliver results. Do you have enough resources (both time and money) to put a hundred hours of work into your podcast before you ever see a dime?

 

4) If there isn’t a large enough audience for your topic.

There are a lot of podcasts (more than 250,000) on a stunning array of topics. That doesn’t mean they’re all successful. And just because there are no podcasts in a particular niche doesn’t mean you’ve found an opportunity. There may be a good reason why there are no podcasts for that niche.

Picking the right niche and topic to start a podcast on can be difficult. You want it focused enough to define your audience, but not so focused that you could run out of things to talk about.

 

5) You’re not good at reaching out to potential guests.

As with pretty much any activity online, it helps to already have a following. If you’ve only got 23 Twitter followers and a single digit Klout score, it’s harder to get people to accept your interview invites. This is especially a problem in the beginning.

That said, this is a challenge, not a deal-killer. Even if you’re “nobody”, that’s exactly where everybody else started, too. There is no shortage of information about how to build a following online. And nobody said you had to go out and land Seth Godin for your first interview, either. Start small, create the best podcasts you can, and just keep reaching higher.

 

6) Your interviewing skills are terrible.

This is a fairly minor reason to skip podcasting, though it is a disadvantage. Even if your interviewing skills are awful, they can always be improved. Just watching the late-night talk show interviews can show you some good tips.

 

7) You’re terrified of the sound of your own voice.

Do you have the podcaster’s version of stage fright – “microphone fright”? It’s a drag, but there’s good news: It will probably go away after your first few episodes.

If it makes you feel any better, there are world-class celebrities who go through intense, almost crippling anxiety nearly every time they perform. It never goes away for them, even after decades of performances. They just learn to deal with it. They summon the courage to step out on stage anyway.

Don’t let the fear stop you. But if you just are not meant to be the guy or gal with the microphone, that’s okay too. There are plenty of other ways to get your message heard.

Do you have a podcast? How is it working for you? Let us know in the comments. 

 

Could a Podcast Grow Your Business? is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post Could a Podcast Grow Your Business? appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/could-a-podcast-grow-your-business.html/feed 5
A 20-Point Checklist to Declutter Your Website This Spring http://blog.getresponse.com/a-20-point-checklist-to-declutter-your-website-this-spring.html http://blog.getresponse.com/a-20-point-checklist-to-declutter-your-website-this-spring.html#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 15:07:45 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19235 Spring is just around the corner (unless you are in Australia like me, of course). And it is the perfect time to declutter your website and get it ready to receive visitors. Why declutter, you ask? Well, allow me to … Read more

A 20-Point Checklist to Declutter Your Website This Spring is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post A 20-Point Checklist to Declutter Your Website This Spring appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
Spring is just around the corner (unless you are in Australia like me, of course). And it is the perfect time to declutter your website and get it ready to receive visitors. Why declutter, you ask? Well, allow me to explain.

Talk to any small business owner or a service professional and they will complain about how hard it is to build their email list. On further prodding, they might reveal that although they are spending time in Facebook groups, promoting their content on social media in the hopes of driving traffic to their website and spending money on ads – the traffic they are getting is not sticking.

Meaning, their conversions are low. And their bounce rates are high. Now, there could be number of reasons for this scenario. It might be that their content is not top-notch or their numbers are low in the first place. Maybe they are not calling out their audience, maybe they are being ranked on Google for something that has nothing to do with what they have to sell.

But for a second, let’s assume that their traffic is targeted. Then why is that their website is not converting these people into subscribers? Because their website is not ready to receive visitors, let alone convert them.

Think about it for a second, you will not throw a party without cleaning your house, ordering or preparing food and making sure there is enough space for people to be, right It’s entirely possible that your house is not visitor-ready, yet. In other words, you get ready to throw a party.

Same is the case with your website.

But here’s the difference between your house and your website. Your house doesn’t exist to entertain. While you have people over sometimes, the primary function of it is to make a home for yourself and your family. On the other hand, your website exists to receive visitors and the number one goal of a website is to convert visitors into subscribers.

So your website should be ready at all times. But you are human – I get it. It’s possible that you are new at business, or that you are evolving. In any case, your website isn’t a true reflection of you anymore. Solution? Give your website a makeover.

Look at from fresh eyes. Declutter everything. Hire a conversion expert if you have to. Can’t do that? No worries, I am going to walk you through the process in this blog post.

Let’s begin!

 

#1 Look professional

First things first, get yourself a premium theme if you can’t afford to hire a website designer.

Secondly, pay attention to your header to instantly connect with your audience. If you are a service professional and the face of your brand, you should get some professional headshots for your header.

Get rid of any music that plays instantly, flashing ads or annoying pop-ups.

 

#2 Pass the 3-question test

This might be hard for you to do by yourself but if you haven’t really looked at your website in a while, it may still work. Ideally, get enlist someone else to do this test.

Imagine landing on your website for the first time (and this is why it makes it hard). Can you answer these three questions within 3-5 seconds, preferably without having to scroll down?

  1. What is this site about?
  2. How does it help me (visitor) exactly? And
  3. What makes it different to the hundred other sites just like it?

 

#3 Get your tagline right

You can’t change the name of your business but there are ways to make it clearer what is it that you offer. Consider adding or tweaking a tagline or slogan. Coupled with the title of your website, the goal is to answer the three questions your first time visitor is asking. So make sure you make it really clear. While clever is nice, it can potentially confuse people and you don’t want that.

Your job is to make it uber clear how you help your readers.

declutter

#4 Say what makes you different

It’s not enough to say how you help people, you have to have some hook on your website that grabs their attention. This could be a compelling story, a unique angle on the topic or just some aspect of your personality.

This could also be design aspect of your website or something else that makes you stand apart from your competition. Spend some time honing your USP (Unique selling proposition).

 

#5 Add a feature box

You probably don’t have a feature box on your website (the box that sits just under your header and asks people for their email address).

While you do need someone to code it for you, it is totally worth it. This way there is no way people can complain you didn’t remind them to subscribe. And they don’t even have to scroll down for it.

 

#6 Don’t hide

Tell me something, when somebody visits your website can they tell who the owner of the business is?

Some people will not even put up a picture of themselves. If you are that person, kindly fix it. People want to know who you are, they want to connect with you and you are getting in the way by choosing not to display a smiling picture.

 

#7 Spend time on your about page

This is another area to which most people don’t pay enough attention to. There is something about writing about yourself in a glowing manner – it’s not easy, but you have to do it. I am not saying become a narcissist, but do tell people who story and what makes you qualified to help them. And don’t forget to add an opt-in box on this page.

 

#8 Pay attention to design

Are you still stuck in 2009? Well, in case you haven’t noticed we are in 2015. Look at the design trends. Which colours are in? How about exploring a flat, parallax style look?

Make sure your website design is mobile responsive so people checking you out on your smart phones and tablets can have a great experience. Pay attention to user experience design which just means being mindful of as ease of use, utility, pleasure and emotional experience.

 

#9 Choose between homepage or blog

Some people are forever toying with the idea of switching to a home page with the service options if they have a blog, or vice versa.

This is what I recommend – If you are a content-focused business, meaning you primarily rely on content marketing to build your list, consider displaying your blog as the homepage. If not, go the home page route. The choice is entirely up to you.

 

#10 Simplify your navigation options

While I am all for infusing your personality on your website, your navigation bar is not the place to do it.

What may look cute or interesting or out of the box to you might totally confuse people. For example what does ‘pearls of wisdom’ or ‘borrow my brain’ mean? Call it resources or services. Think about whether you really need dropdowns. Usually they are fiddly and most people don’t like them. Clean up your meta data and links for SEO benefits.

spring_cleaning

#11 Clean up the sidebar

I bet your sidebar could use some decluttering.

First of all, I highly recommend adding an author bio on your sidebar. You can use a WordPress plugin to do this easily. Great for humanizing your website instantly.

Secondly, there is no need for you to add stuff just for the heck of it. You can easily take off your archives, search box, tag cloud, link to the categories, and your latest tweets. These just make it hard to know where to look.

 

#12 Get rids of all links competing for attention

When somebody comes to your site for the first time, you don’t want them to click on any link that would take them away from it.

The goal is to keep them there, long enough for them to browse your content and get on your list. Think very long and hard about adding social media profile links above the fold. Don’t display ads for other people’s products or services they make you serious cash.

 

#13 Add a sign-box box at the top

Even if you have a feature box somewhere around your header area, adding an opt-in box on top of your sidebar is super important. This converts very well. People are used to seeing them there and by doing this you are putting your prime real estate to the best possible use.

 

#14 Test your freebie

I am assuming you already have a free opt-in offer in place. If not, consider it your next job to create it. If you have one, how is it performing? Did you know that you could offer more than one freebie? Did you know you can test your new freebie by writing a blog post or running an ad to see if there is any interest?

 

#15 Create a squeeze page

Create a squeeze or a lead capture page if you don’t already have one. The beauty of this page is that you can promote it on its own and when you do guest posting, you get far better results if you link to this page instead of the homepage.

Already have one? Maybe you can improve it? Create a better headline? Improve the benefits and call to action? Every single tweak counts.

 

#16 Showcase your best content

When was the last time you updated your blog? Better yet, go have a look at your latest blog post. Is it your best one? I suggest curating your best content on your blog for easy access. This way every time new peeps come over, they can get a taste of what you have to offer.

You can create a ‘start here’ page or resource boxes and strut your stuff easily.

 

#17 Add a sign-up box after every blog post

Most people don’t add a sign-up box after every blog post but it is a really good idea. This means the people who sign up through these boxes are the ones who actually read your content. These are the ‘warmest’ leads you can find, the most interested subscribers.

Sometimes people find a blog post through social media and get sucked into it without giving attention to anything else. These people are more likely to subscribe via these forms.

spring_website

#18 Sprinkle social proof

When I visit a website or a blog for the first time and if I see evidence of lots of other people liking it, I form a positive impression without even realizing it. This is the power of social proof.

Show off your social media counts and comments. This gives people confidence that they are in a safe place where others hang out as well.

 

#19 Add credibility building elements

Don’t forget to add or edit credibility building elements.

If you have been recently featured on different websites, appeared on podcasts, published on leading blogs and received raves and testimonials, put them in strategic places so new visitors can spot them easily. All of these elements go a long way in building credibility and trust so don’t skip it.

 

#20 Consider adding a pop-up

I know, you probably hate pop-ups, don’t you? I certainly do. At least the ones that spring up as soon as I hit a website. However, you can’t deny that they do work so it is entirely up to you if you want to install one. If you do, make it look nice and inviting and use a time delay feature so you don’t end up annoying most people.

 

That’s it.

This is the checklist I use after every six months to revamp my own website. If I see my weekly subscriber numbers drop, I look at my analytics to see if I can get an idea of what’s causing that.

And I also teach my clients to follow this checklist from day 1. Especially in the beginning when you don’t have enough data to draw conclusions from, you should do everything right from your perspective.

When you are done checking items of this, do a test.  Ask a few people to visit your website and see if it is crystal clear what you do, who you help and how you do it. Ask them if it is easy to find all the information they are looking for and if they would subscribe – and if not, ask them why. (Choose people from your ideal target audience so you are not getting rejected for the wrong reason.)

All the best and share with us in the comments below how you are “spring cleaning” your website!

A 20-Point Checklist to Declutter Your Website This Spring is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post A 20-Point Checklist to Declutter Your Website This Spring appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/a-20-point-checklist-to-declutter-your-website-this-spring.html/feed 0
St. Patrick’s Day: How to Create a Worldwide Phenomenon http://blog.getresponse.com/st-patricks-day-how-to-create-a-worldwide-phenomenon.html http://blog.getresponse.com/st-patricks-day-how-to-create-a-worldwide-phenomenon.html#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 15:17:36 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19198 Want to throw a St. Patrick’s Day party? As you know, it’s pretty easy — just start inviting friends. Want a parade? That takes a little more organization, but it can be done. Somehow the name St. Patrick has become … Read more

St. Patrick’s Day: How to Create a Worldwide Phenomenon is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post St. Patrick’s Day: How to Create a Worldwide Phenomenon appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
Want to throw a St. Patrick’s Day party? As you know, it’s pretty easy — just start inviting friends. Want a parade? That takes a little more organization, but it can be done. Somehow the name St. Patrick has become associated with all kinds of celebrations throughout the world. How did St. Patrick start this worldwide phenomenon? The answer may surprise you.

We don’t like to brag, but in recent years, GetResponse has expanded into many cultures throughout the world in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America. So we’ve become something of a worldwide phenomenon too.

OK, I guess we like to brag a little bit, after all ;) But stick with me for a minute. I promise to make a point worth remembering.

When St. Patrick’s Day popped up on our editorial calendar, we wondered how widespread its popularity was in our markets. So we did a little investigating.

 

1. Exciting places

Naturally we found lots of celebrations in Ireland, where St. Patrick did his work. Walk into any town on March 17, and you’ll have to join a parade to get to the other end of town. Walk into any pub along the way, and you’re in for an evening of Guinness stout, Irish whiskey, and choruses of “Danny Boy.”

New York City, which includes a large Irish population, is much the same. It’s hard to shut down Fifth Avenue for a parade, but St. Patrick does it every year. And on March 17, everyone has a touch of Irish blood running through his veins. In towns all over the U.S. — Pittsburgh, Savannah, Seattle, Boston, pick a town — you’ll find people marching in parades, dining on corned beef and cabbage, and drinking that weird green beer.

 

2. Fun places

There are GetResponse customers in Australia and New Zealand, so we went in search of celebrations. Yup, we found them in Sidney, Perth, Aukland and other cities.

But how many Irish people could there be in the Land Down Under? According to the 2011 Australia census, over 2 million residents claim some Irish ancestry — a higher percentage of the population than in the U.S. So let the festivities begin. Is the celebrating due to ancestral pride or the love of a good party. Don’t worry, Aussies, we’ll never tell.

 

3. Surprising places

Still with me? OK, we opened an office in Russia to support a rapidly growing interest in marketing. No St. Paddy’s Day celebrations there, right?

Wrong! In Moscow, thousands line Novy Arbat for a St. Patrick’s Day parade featuring Russian marching bands, Cossack horsemen, and floats. And all over the city, Muscovites visit bars to drink green vodka. OK, I made up the part about the green vodka, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

 

4. Exotic places

We have customers in Japan. And yes, there has been an annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Omote Sando in Tokyo since 1992. Japanese citizens and tourists from all over the world gather to “wear the green.”  You’ll find shamrocks and Asian men in leprechaun hats on every street corner.

The event organizers want everyone to have fun, within limits. According to the parade’s website, they don’t allow smoking, drinking or wearing high heel shoes. You must admit, that would be a dangerous combination ;)

 

5. Random places

To learn more, we consulted our favorite party expert — GetResponse customer the Thirsty Swagman. They’ve made a business out of knowing where all the best parties are. And if they can’t find one, they’ll start one.

Their website lists St. Patrick’s Day festivals in London, Brisbane, Montreal, and (no kidding) Finnegan’s Irish Pub in Florence, Italy, right there among the Michelangelos. Stay tuned to this blog for a feature story about the Thirsty Swagman — coming soon.

 

The truth about St. Patrick’s Day 

St. Patrick had very little to do with creating this worldwide phenomenon. Oh sure, he was a colorful and popular cleric who used the three-leaf shamrock to teach religion. And the shamrock became a great symbol the Irish could rally around. But as far as we know, he never organized a parade.

It was his loyal followers who caught his spirit and started a movement — one that has lasted for 17 centuries and is stronger than ever.

 

What a community can do

Want to start your own worldwide phenomenon? Then start a community. Rally around a business, a movement or a new idea. Give your community stories and symbols to share. Communicate with them often — by email, of course ;)

That’s how GetResponse became a worldwide phenomenon. We did our part. But it was our community of loyal users who supported us, shared our story, and helped spread GetResponse to every corner of the world.

On this St. Patrick’s Day, we’d like to take a moment to thank you for sharing our journey. It has meant the world to us. And as you spread your marketing story throughout the world (or just your corner of it) we’re here to help.

Wishing you miles and miles of Irish smiles!

happy_stpatricks

St. Patrick’s Day: How to Create a Worldwide Phenomenon is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post St. Patrick’s Day: How to Create a Worldwide Phenomenon appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/st-patricks-day-how-to-create-a-worldwide-phenomenon.html/feed 0
#StPatricksDay – Extending Your Reach with Trending Hashtags http://blog.getresponse.com/stpatricksday-extending-your-reach-with-trending-hashtags.html http://blog.getresponse.com/stpatricksday-extending-your-reach-with-trending-hashtags.html#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 15:17:22 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19202 Social networks can be rather fickle. What’s trending now will probably not be trending in another day or even hour’s time. It’s a phenomenon of the modern internet that is, for a social media marketer at least, both a bane … Read more

#StPatricksDay – Extending Your Reach with Trending Hashtags is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post #StPatricksDay – Extending Your Reach with Trending Hashtags appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
Social networks can be rather fickle. What’s trending now will probably not be trending in another day or even hour’s time. It’s a phenomenon of the modern internet that is, for a social media marketer at least, both a bane and a boon.

On one level, you know that when a topic is trending – let’s say Wayne Rooney, for instance – all you need to do is stick the hashtag #waynerooney on the end of your tweet (or what have you), and you will be exposing your Twitter account to a very large audience. On the other hand, you know that the hashtag #waynerooney will more than likely fall off trend quicker than you can come up with a suitably witty quip that is both relevant to the hashtag and your business in 140 characters or less.

You will be right, also, to be wary of trying to jump on the back of anything and everything that happens to be trending at any given time. If you’re in the business of selling fruit and veg, say, then you’ll find it hard to justify a tweet or a Facebook post where you hashtag #waynerooney when you’re trying to promote the fresh batch of plums that have just arrived (or at least I hope so).

In fact, it’s highly advisable not to do this. Not only is this sort of hashtag piggy-backing very transparent, it is annoying for social network users, is considered a spam technique, and, if you get reported, you may find in time that you have your account suspended for frequent offences of this nature.

 

What’s Trendy Right Now?

Hashtags are very handy tools for marketers. With a strategic use of trending hashtags, you can improve your SEO, broaden your market reach, amplify your brand, enhance your discoverability, target your specific audience, and much more besides.

Hashtags have actually been around for quite a while now, having first come into use on Internet Relay Chats (IRCs), however it was on Twitter that they found their true calling. Back in the day, what we now tend to define as ‘trending discussions’ were known as ‘tweet chats’. These were basically open discussion forums on Twitter that surrounded a particular topic – and the topic was defined by the hashtag. To join the tweet chat, you simply used the particular hashtag in question somewhere in the tweet that you posted.

In essence, the tweet chat is still alive and kicking today, and it’s essentially how social media marketers use the hashtag for their ongoing social media campaigns. Hashtags are now in broad use across all social media – Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, you name it. When a particular hashtag starts becoming extremely popular it becomes known as a ‘trending hashtag’.

Twitter and Google+ very handily provide you with a list of currently trending topics every time you log on to the homepage of the respective sites. As a general rule of thumb, what’s trending on Twitter will usually transfer to what’s trending on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest (though not always – but it’s a good place to start). Google+ trends are found in the ‘What’s Hot’ section of the homepage, and they do tend to be a little more niche oriented and often different to what’s trending elsewhere on social media.

trending

Predicting Trends

Some trends will literally come and go in a matter of minutes, never to return. Sometimes, though, they will last for several days or even weeks, depending on the topic. Think along the lines of #christmasshopping, for instance. Or, to keep things nice and current – what about #stpatricksday?

You can absolutely guarantee that on and around the 17th of March every year, St. Patrick’s Day and all things green and Irish will be trending somewhere online. Since you know that St. Paddy’s Day is going to happen well in advance, you can plan to take advantage of it, and join the trending hashtag #stpaddysday discussion right across all of your social media channels.

The benefit of knowing in advance what will be trending is that you can plan your posts so that they are not at all spammy, and related directly to both the hashtag and your business. So, I’m expecting all those wily fruit and veg shop owners out there to this week be tweeting something along the lines of:

Happy St P’s day everyone!! Get 2kilos for 1 on potatoes in store now! #stpatricksday

That would be a smart tweet because it uses the trending hashtag in a relevant and meaningful way to promote the owner’s business.

 

It’s All About Reach

Just think how many people are going to see that tweet! As a marketer, you can really jump on the back of trending hashtags and exploit them for all they’re worth. Potentially you can get your message seen by a very large audience. All sorts of users – not just your fans or followers – who are searching for current trends will be exposed to any of your posts that contain the relevant hashtag. And that’s invaluable when it comes to raising brand awareness online and increasing your following online.

 

 

Start Planning Now!!

So, make a list of any upcoming dates throughout the year that you can create relevant content for. Easter’s coming up soon, so what about #easter, #eastereggs, #goodfriday, or the #easterbunny? What sort of tweets can you come up with? Can you write a Tumblr or a blog for your website? What about a photo for Instagram, or special offer for Pinterest? Share with us in the comments below!

Start making a content calendar now so you’re ready for those trending hashtags when they appear.

 

#StPatricksDay – Extending Your Reach with Trending Hashtags is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post #StPatricksDay – Extending Your Reach with Trending Hashtags appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/stpatricksday-extending-your-reach-with-trending-hashtags.html/feed 0
12 Mistakes That Scare Customers Away (And How to Undo Them) http://blog.getresponse.com/12-mistakes-scare-customers-away-undo.html http://blog.getresponse.com/12-mistakes-scare-customers-away-undo.html#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 15:17:48 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19152 Even the greatest of corporations have sunk in a pool of red numbers every now and then. Companies that were the stars of the industry for decades have turned to dust within months. How come? They simply became too comfortable … Read more

12 Mistakes That Scare Customers Away (And How to Undo Them) is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 12 Mistakes That Scare Customers Away (And How to Undo Them) appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>

Even the greatest of corporations have sunk in a pool of red numbers every now and then. Companies that were the stars of the industry for decades have turned to dust within months. How come? They simply became too comfortable with their daily work ethics or did not know how to treat their customers.

If you work on the way you treat your customers, you can keep them interested for much longer. Read about 12 really bad habits that should be avoided at all costs:

 

1. Bad First Impression

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. An example of a bad first impression could be a slow or not working website, a cancelled webinar, or a problem with an online payment process.

When visitors open your website, make them feel welcome with clean design, organized content, and user friendly navigation. All features must be available and efficient. Offer a bit of extra knowledge, make decision making easier, and you turn a visitor into a customer.

 

2. Your Staff Isn’t Actually Interested in Helping Customers

Your staff should know that they are paid to deliver value to customers, not fake smiles. Explain to your staff why the way they treat customers is vital to customer experience so that they will be motivated to perform well. A good product is simply not enough.

Employees feel motivated when they are considered valuable and important. Those who excel, should be rewarded according to their set of responsibilities. Always keep that in mind – they need to know they are doing a good job.

 

3. You Don’t Thank Your Customers

It’s one of the oldest techniques, yet still an effective one. Let’s say a customer places an order, ff it’s done online – make sure you redirect them to a ‘thank you for your order’ page once they are done. Similarly, if a customer makes a purchase in the shop, your staff should always thank them.

Being polite and courteous is vital if you want loyal customers. Make them feel valued.

 

4. Know Less Than the Customer

If your staff isn’t more informed than the customer, you might as well kiss that customer goodbye. Customers expect the staff to know (a lot) more than them. THEY should be the experts in the industry. Choose your staff wisely and make sure they know the product well. Give them access to all available knowledge bases, and educate them about the product.

loyal_customers

5. Wasting Your Customer’s Time

Nobody likes waiting or having their time wasted. Make sure you don’t give your customer unnecessary reasons for waiting such as ‘the network is down’ or the ‘computer is too slow’. Your competitors are just around the corner. If consumers get frustrated because they have to wait for too long, they’ll most probably choose the other option next time.

Page loading time is one of the most important aspects of online customer experience. Nobody cares about fancy features, if the only thing they see is a rolling circle in the web browser tab. After a few seconds, you lose them. Even Google rewards quick loading times with higher ranks.

 

6. Break Your Promises

You advertised a discount or a sale. But in fact you’ve hidden some extra charge so customers ended up paying more than expected. You may have made a profit in this one purchase, but in the long run you’ve lost the customers’ trust. And long-term profit is what you really need.

If you promise something to your customer, make sure you deliver it!

 

7. You Take And Post Feedback Only From Satisfied Customers

Some shoppers are actually seeking out negative reviews. Shocked? Why should you admit show off a review where someone was not satisfied?

Allowing negative reviews add authenticity to your brand and builds trust in your company. Customers often look for balanced feedback on products and services, they know everything can’t be totally ideal.

Negative reviews also provide valuable feedback about your products or services. Use them to make some improvements. You did well by making an angry customer happy again, but you will do even better when you find out the reason why he was angry in the first place to prevent future problems.

 

8. Delight Your Customer Instead of Delivering Value

According to this study about customer service and loyalty, excellent customer service can actually do little to increase loyalty. But a bad one can destroy it. To a customer, what is more important than a representatives smile, a quick refund, or gift-giving? Meeting their needs and delivering what was promised – quickly. Reducing their effort to get their problem solved.

Customers hate contacting the company repeatedly because their issue has not been resolved. Or talking to five agents and repeating over and over what was wrong. Reduce the number of occurring problems and improve your product or service instead of gift- wrapping.

 

9. Valuing One Customer More Than the Other

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to value one customer over the other. This is a big no-no. The minute one customer senses that they are seen as less important, it is very likely you’ll lose them. Leaving one customer to wait in line, while making another (that arrived later) a priority with two sales reps helping him will cause frustration.

You need every customer. They buy your product, but they also talk to their friends, so in order to get recommended, you need to value each and every consumer.

 

10. Be Hard to Track Down When There is a Problem

The importance of support after a sale cannot be ignored. If your business representatives are hard to track down in case of a problem, you are not going to keep your customer’s loyalty for long.

  • Provide as much contact information on your website as possible
  • Information must be easy to navigate and to comprehend
  • Make it as personal as possible. Nobody likes to talk to an autoresponder or to write a message to an unknown receiver.
customers

11. Berating Your Customer

Even in the worst of kind of situations, never berate your customer. Make sure that you always treat your customer in a respectable manner. Berating your customer will not only leave a bad impression, but all those who are within hearing distance will probably feel offended.

To avoid situations like these you can:

  • Create a customer service manual and set penalties for serious violations
  • Train role-playing scenarios portraying various types of customers
  • Regularly review performance of customer support employees
  • Gather feedback from customer support staff frequently to address situations notmentioned in your manual

.

12. Trying to Prove You’re Right All the Time

The customer isn’t always right. But that doesn’t mean that you have a right to rub their error in their face. There is no point in making your customer admit his/her fault to win them (and their money) back. They buy your product to solve a problem or fulfill a need or desire. If the problem remains and the desire is not fulfilled, your job is to fix it. No matter where the pain point is. Some tips how to be better at dealing with such sticky situations:

  • Listen carefully and identify whether it is really your customer’s fault
  • Politely propose a solution and make sure everything you said is understandable
  • If the issue is more complicated, promise a prompt action
  • Make sure your customer knows what is going to happen after each step of the problemsolving process
  • After solving a problem ask if further assistance is required
  • Let your customer end the conversation. It’s the common courtesy

If you keep your eyes closed to the 12 mistakes mentioned above, your customers will not come back. It’s not always possible to identify problems right away or to prevent them from happening at all. However it takes skill with prompt and proactive approach from you and your staff to minimize the damage. Most customers will appreciate this.

Share with us in the comments below if you have ever made any mistakes and how you overcame them. Maybe you know of some other mistakes that marketers should watch out for?

 

michal_kourilMichal Kouril is the head of customer success at Liveagent live chat software & helpdesk. He takes care of the customer onboarding process.

12 Mistakes That Scare Customers Away (And How to Undo Them) is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 12 Mistakes That Scare Customers Away (And How to Undo Them) appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/12-mistakes-scare-customers-away-undo.html/feed 0
21 Awesome Free Plugins for Your WordPress Blog http://blog.getresponse.com/21-awesome-free-plugins-wordpress-blog.html http://blog.getresponse.com/21-awesome-free-plugins-wordpress-blog.html#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:07:17 +0000 http://blog.getresponse.com/?p=19168 WordPress is one of the best content creation tools ever created. It’s free, easy to learn, easy to use, and endlessly flexible. That’s why so many affiliate marketers, solo professionals, bloggers, activists, dreamers and doers have adopted it. If you’ve … Read more

21 Awesome Free Plugins for Your WordPress Blog is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 21 Awesome Free Plugins for Your WordPress Blog appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
WordPress is one of the best content creation tools ever created. It’s free, easy to learn, easy to use, and endlessly flexible. That’s why so many affiliate marketers, solo professionals, bloggers, activists, dreamers and doers have adopted it.

If you’ve got a WordPress blog, the odds are good you’ve installed quite a few plugins already. But you may be missing out on some better ones. This assembly of free plugins was chosen according to what you need to do on your site, how well the plugins are rated and how recently they have been updated. I think you’ll find at least one gem in here, even if you’re a WordPress pro.

.

SEO

1) WordPress SEO by Yoast

WordPressSEOYoast

Search engine optimization can seem hard to understand and difficult to keep up with. It’s intimidating, and there’s a serious risk you can hurt your business instead of help it if you do SEO wrong. Until you try using this plugin on your posts.

To use WordPress SEO, you literally click a button, and it will analyze your page and give you a basic rating for how well your post is optimized for the keyword you’ve chosen. You’ll see a green button if you’ve got a well-optimized page, or a yellow button if your page is “OK”. Red means a poorly optimized post. But don’t worry if you see yellow or red. The plugin will give you a specific list of things you need to do, ranked by their importance.

 

2) Google XML Sitemaps

GoogleXMLSitemaps

We all want our pages to get found and indexed. So use this simple, free sitemap plugin to help make that happen.

 

Comment Management

3) Disqus Comment System

Disqus

Want to see Disqus in action? Scroll down to the bottom of this post. Disqus is used by the GetResponse blog, and thousands of other sites. If someone has commented on another blog that uses Disqus, they’ll already have a login to use on your site if they want to comment. Disqus also weeds out comment spam, which is essential if you’ve got a site with even a minimal presence online.

Just in case you don’t want to install Disqus, but you’re getting bombarded by comment spam, try Akismet. It’s also free, widely used, and really good at getting rid of thousands of spam comments, while preserving comments from actual people.

 

Backups

4) UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration

UpdraftPlusBackupAndRestoration

Most good backup options are paid, but UpdraftPlus is good enough to be a worthy competitor, even if it is free. UpdraftPlus can also migrate sites, which is a common task related to backups. If you don’t like UpdraftPlus, BackUpWordPress is a very close runner-up in terms of features, compatibility, ratings, how recently it’s been updated and how often they resolve support threads.

 

Security

5) iThemes Security

iThemesSecurity

There are a number of good free WordPress security plugins. This appears to be the best, but several good WordPress sites have also said nice things about All in One Security & Firewall and WordFence. WordFence has 700,000 active installs; iThemes Security has 600,000. All in One Security & Firewall has only 100,000.

While iThemes has a lot of voices supporting it, WordFence has one really attractive feature: It also speeds up your site. A lot. Up to 50 times faster.

So how should you pick which plugin is best for you? See which one conflicts with your existing plugins. Both iThemes and WordFence are compatible with most of the major plugins, but you may be using something that still creates a snag. Security plugins are especially prone to these kinds of problems. For that reason, definitely do a backup before you install any plugin, but especially a security plugin.

 

Speed

6) W3 Total Cache

W3TotalCache

This is take care of all the technical nuts and bolts of site speed optimization for you. 900,000 active installs can’t be wrong.

 

7) WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize

This plugin optimizes your site’s databases. Sound boring? Maybe… at least until you start seeing your site load faster.

 

8) Imsanity

ImsanityImageOptimizer

Most sites are being badly slowed down by oversized images. Imsanity nips that problem in the bud: It automatically resizes and optimizes new images upon upload. Got a ton of old, oversized images? No problem: Imsanity can bulk-resize them.

Runner up for a free WordPress image resizer: EWWW Image Optimizer.

 

List Building

9) Plugmatter

Plugmatter

This lets you add a feature box to either your home page, or to any other page on your site. It’s a snap to install, easily customizable and works with GetResponse.

 

10) Scroll Triggered Boxes

ScrollTriggeredBoxes

This is the best alternative for those of you who hate pop-ups. A scrolling opt-in box is nearly as effective as a pop-up, and less annoying.

 

Contact Forms

11) Contact Form 7

ContactForm7

Every site needs a contact form. This is the best free option. Features include CAPTCHAs, spam filtering with Akismet, and the ability to save submitted messages within your WordPress install.

 

Social Media

12) Twitter

Twitter

As you know, Twitter and blogging are peas in a pod. That’s why Twitter is called “micro-blogging”. Keep these two in sync with this plugin, which includes the ability to set up Twitter cards.

.

13) Simple Share Buttons Adder

SimpleShareButtonsAdder

There are dozens of plugins and tools to add social sharing buttons to your site. So why did I pick this one? It’s notoriously easy to use, light on load, and supports over a dozen different social platforms.

.

14) Click to Tweet

ClickToTweet

Want more social shares? Make it brain-dead easy to share your content. This plugin makes it that easy. Despite relatively few downloads, I’ve seen this plugin used on some of the smartest marketers’ blogs. It’s giving them an edge, but you can get it too.

 

15) Floating Social Bar

FloatingSocialBar

In addition to the static sharing buttons, it’s a good idea to have a scrolling social share bar. I like this one because it’s minimalistic, won’t slow your site and is super easy to use.

 

Sell ebooks or manage downloads

16) Easy Digital Downloads

EasyDigitalDownloads

If you want to make a profit off your blog, the single best way is to start creating products. Sure, AdSense and affiliate programs are good, too, but products are better. This plugin makes selling products really easy.

If Easy Digital Downloads doesn’t work for you, try Download Manager.

 

To manage advertising

17) Simple Ads Manager

SimpleAdsManager

Whether you’re advertising your own products and services, or someone else’s, it’s good to have a way to manage what you’re promoting. This is not as highly rated as I would like, but it appears to be best of class for free ad manager plugins.

.

Content Management

18) WordPress Popular Posts

WordPressPopularPosts

I saw this plugin again and again while I was checking some top Internet marketing gurus’ sites for a recent article. With so many smart marketers using this, plus 200,000 other active installs, it seems like it’s worth a look.

Having a popular posts list is an excellent way to help lure new visitors into reading more of your posts.

 

19) Editorial Calendar

EditorialCalendarWant to know the hardest thing about blogging? It’s maintaining a consistent publishing schedule. Editorial calendars make that much easier.

This is not the only editorial calendar plugin. But it is free, widely used, recently updated, highly rated, and very easy to use. There’s another free editorial calendar plugin called EditFlow. Some people have sung it’s praises within the last six months, but I’m a little leery of it because it hasn’t been updated in over a year.

 

20) Yop Poll

YopPolls

I’ve used this plugin to get very interesting feedback from visitors. You can also see where they’re at in their understanding about a given topic. It’s easy to set up, has few to no conflicts, great ratings and is customizable. Using polls also makes visitors more likely to stay on your site.

 

21) Your favorite free WordPress plugin.

Tell us what it is in the comments.

 

21 Awesome Free Plugins for Your WordPress Blog is a post from: GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips

The post 21 Awesome Free Plugins for Your WordPress Blog appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Email Marketing Tips.

]]>
http://blog.getresponse.com/21-awesome-free-plugins-wordpress-blog.html/feed 4