Sunday, 30 April 2017

Quality Over Quantity: Repurpose Your Best Ideas and Distribute Them Far and Wide


I hate to be the one to break this to you, but …
Your audience does not need your ideas.
Sorry to disappoint you.
It’s true though.
Your audience is exposed to plenty of ideas. Everywhere they turn online and offline, they are bombarded with ideas. Ideas, ideas, ideas. Mostly filler and fluff.
Think about yourself. Do you need any more ideas to consume and consider?
No.
What you need are someone’s best ideas. And what your audience needs — in fact, all that your audience needs — are your best ideas.
  • The ideas that cut through the crap and clutter to make a difference
  • The ideas you’ve thought through, spent time with, and sculpted
  • The ideas that are closer to finished products than initial impressions
And you should invest more time distributing these premium ideas further and wider, in different ways and in different places. You shouldn’t simply hit Publish and then run to the next idea.
This way you can meet more of your current audience members where they are and you increase the likelihood of reaching potential audience members with your best work.
Let me show you an example of how I’m doing this on one of my sites …

It all starts with a blog post


Given my responsibilities here at Rainmaker Digital, and being a new dad, I don’t have a ton of extra capacity for side projects.
So when I do have an idea worth sharing over at The Assembly Call, I want to maximize the impact and distribution of that good idea. I can’t afford to spin my wheels.
In the immortal words of Sweet Brown:
“Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
This is why I’ve shifted my strategy and begun taking one well-thought-out idea and repurposing it into several different types of content, distributed in many different places.
The idea is given birth in a blog post. Why? Because I do my best thinking when I’m writing.
Writing forces me to clarify my thoughts in a way that I’m never able to by simply ruminating, or even talking.
I need to sit down, think, write, edit, think a little more, edit a little more, and chisel the idea from rough stone into something smooth and polished.
A lot of the fluff, filler, clutter, and crap gets removed, and then I feel much more comfortable turning the idea loose in the world.
(This process also makes me more prepared to speak extemporaneously about the topic in the future — a very useful side benefit for a project that involves a podcast and radio show.)
You may be different. You may thrive working it all out in your head. You may find that you clarify your ideas best by talking them out. I urge you to learn what works best for you and follow it.
But for me, it starts with writing. Hence why I began a blogging series titled “3-Point Shot” — where, basically, I take a topic of interest to IU basketball fans and come up with three useful observations about it. Simple. Consistent. Repeatable.
Sometimes I know what the observations will be before I start writing. But usually the process of conducting basic research, and then synthesizing it into three clearly articulated ideas, reveals new insights that are useful to me and, in turn, to my audience.
I write the first draft. Sometimes I rewrite or rearrange parts. Then I edit and proofread. Soon thereafter I hit Publish. The entire process usually takes 60–75 minutes.
Now I have a blog post, usually in the 1,000–1,250 word vicinity, that I can distribute via social media, use to attract search traffic, and send to our email list.
One piece. One format. A few distribution channels.
All done? Hardly. I’m actually just getting started.
The beautiful part of this strategy is that the most difficult and time-intensive part is now done. I developed a high-quality idea — it’s not just something I slapped together in 15 minutes as a cheap traffic grab.
Next, it’s time to leverage this fully-formed idea into a blitzkrieg of distribution.

The blog post becomes a podcast episode (and video!)


Keep in mind as we go through this example that the specific steps and channels that work for me over at The Assembly Call may not necessarily be the steps that you need to take.
That site is built around a podcast, and we’re also trying to grow our YouTube audience. Therefore, getting content out to our podcast audience and publishing more content to our YouTube channel are priorities. That might not be true for you.
But the big idea that I’m describing here — combining the power of quality over quantity with repurposing and smart, widespread distribution — will work for you. Just take the basic principles and apply them to your situation.
The next basic principle for me is this: turn the blog post into a podcast episode … and there just so happens to be a way that I can do that while simultaneously creating a video version too. Score!
When time is of the essence (and when isn’t it?), you have to take any chance you can to work smarter, not harder.
So here’s what I do:
  • Double-check my microphone cables and settings, and do a test recording. (Always, always, always do a test recording!)
  • Open up my Assembly Call episode template in GarageBand, so I can record locally.
  • Create a YouTube Live Event to broadcast the recording live.
  • Open up the blog post in a web browser, so I have it ready for reference.
  • Tweet out the link to the YouTube Live Event, so anyone who is interested can watch the live recording. (For what it’s worth, I’ve never had fewer than 16 people watch live online, and occasionally that number is up in the 50s and 60s.)
  • Hit Record in GarageBand, hit Start Broadcast on the YouTube Live Event, welcome the audience, and start reading the blog post.
From time to time while reading, I’ll interject something extra — the kind of comment that might have been a footnote to the written piece. But for the most part I just read the blog post verbatim, trying to sound as casual and conversational as I can.
I was worried when I first starting doing this that our podcast and YouTube audiences wouldn’t be too enthused about this content since it’s just me (without my co-hosts) and I’m basically just reading something they could get on the blog.
My worries proved to be unfounded. The response has been unequivocally positive.
I’ve received numerous tweets and emails thanking me for finding a way to deliver this written content in the preferred consumption medium for podcast listeners, which make up the majority of our audience. These folks would never get to see or hear the content otherwise.
And it is so easy to do. The entire time investment to record and post the podcast is about 30–35 minutes:
  • 5 minutes to set up
  • 15–20 minutes to record
  • 10 minutes to publish the podcast (the YouTube Live Event is automatically archived on our YouTube channel for on-demand viewing)
Furthermore, while our blog posts only publish in one place — our blog — we are set up to distribute our podcast episodes far and wide, with only a few button clicks required.
Every episode goes to:
  • iTunes
  • Google Play
  • TuneIn Radio
  • Stitcher
  • iHeartRadio
  • Spreaker
  • SoundCloud
This doesn’t even account for the many individual podcast apps that scrape places like iTunes for podcast feeds. (For example, I use Podcast Addict on my Android device, and The Assembly Call is available there even though I never signed up or submitted it there.)
And here’s a fun, little side benefit …
One of my favorite bonuses about tweeting out links to podcast episodes over blog posts is that people can consume the content right there in their Twitter feed.
Look at this tweet. All someone has to do is hit the play button, and the episode will play right there in the Twitter feed. Less friction, less distance between my audience being intrigued and then actually consuming my content.

Turn one quality blog post into a traffic and attention engine


So if you’re scoring at home, we’ve now gone from one blog post, one distribution channel, and a few traffic sources to:
  • A blog post
  • A podcast episode
  • A video
  • At least 11 different distribution channels
  • Countless traffic sources
And here’s the crazy thing … it could be more.
I could:
  • Repurpose the blog post someplace like Medium, or as a guest post
  • Create a slide presentation for SlideShare
  • Find additional video channels besides YouTube
  • Extract clips of the audio for a service like Clammr
  • Make clips or GIFs from the video to post in visual channels like Instagram
And on and on.
The main reasons I don’t do those are a) time and b) because I’d get diminishing returns.
I’ve tried to be strategic about investing the limited time and effort resources I have for this project into the channels that will deliver the best and most immediate returns. SlideShare, for example, isn’t going to do much for a sports audience, but it may be a great option for you.
What’s been the impact of all this? It’s only been a month, but already:
  • I added 400 new email subscribers
  • We doubled our YouTube subscribers (in just a month!)
  • Traffic to our blog increased by 31.91 percent
  • Podcast downloads in just March of 2017 (the majority of which was during the off-season, when attention is usually lower) were nearly equal to the combined total of January and February


What you should do next


Ask yourself if you’re maximizing the distribution of your best ideas.
Not your best blog posts, but your best ideas.
Because if you have an idea that’s a winner, but it’s only distributed via text as a blog post, then you’re missing out on a wide range of additional attraction options.
Can you turn your blog post into an audio recording? Can you then turn that audio recording into a video — even if you just use a fixed image rather than filming yourself (like I do here)?
Or, if you have a great podcast episode, can you go the other way and turn it into a blog post? If you already create transcripts for your podcast episodes, this is incredibly simple to do.
The bottom line is that rather than focusing on the quantity of the content you publish, you should invest more time in creating fewer, higher quality pieces of content … and then find efficient, scalable ways to distribute these high-quality pieces to as many nooks and crannies of the web as you can.
You’ll reach more people with your best ideas in the way they’re most comfortable consuming content.
And there’s no better way to build an audience and authority, brick by brick, than that.

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How Strategic Content Converts to Email Subscriptions and Sales


When we talk about content marketing strategy, all the discussions of heroes, journeys, and maps can seem a bit esoteric.
What does it look like in real life? And how exactly does it relate to email marketing?
Content marketing is a broader discipline than email marketing, but your email list is the core focus. In fact, the primary purpose of content that is distributed in other ways (social, search, ads) is to begin the email relationship.
So, let me walk you through an imaginary campaign that takes you from a documented strategy to a working funnel. I’ll use my site Unemployable as the stage for this particular campaign.
Please note that the documented portions of the strategy below are much more abbreviated than you would do for yourself. It’s just an illustration that will help you better understand how a documented strategy translates into real-world digital marketing.
Let’s take a look.

Objective:

Why are we pursuing this?
The business objective is to sell StudioPress Sites to people who want to start a new website.

Who:

In the “who” phase, we identify a single persona that we’ll keep in mind as we craft content.
This particular campaign will focus on freelancers looking to slowly move away from serving clients by shifting to a product-based business model. Our persona is a freelance writer named Penny.
Penny was thrilled to break away from the corporate marcom world and start her own business. She still loves the independence and flexibility, but some days the stress of working with clients gets to her. Instead of one boss, she answers to several demanding contacts, each with different management styles and project requirements.
While she dreams of creating her first digital product, Penny dreads the thought of investing her time into something that doesn’t sell. She wants to develop a business based on her passion for cooking, not by teaching people to write. While she still wants to pursue the dream, her doubts about how to get started have kept her from taking even the first step.
Penny is a pragmatic and ethical person who is allergic to hype and incredible claims of internet riches. She is driven by a sense of fairness, and she holds disdain for those who take shortcuts at the expense of others.
Her worldview is that hard work is rewarding, and she often tells herself she should just be happy with the clients she has. Still, she’s willing to work a side hustle to pursue her dream, if only she could find the right path.

What:

In the “what” phase, we identify the sequence of information that the prospect needs to achieve her goal.
Now it’s time to identify the type of information that Penny will need to take action and the order that will guide her step by step to transformation.
And since we’re trying to convince Penny to purchase a StudioPress Site, we’ll also need to communicate why it makes sense to do business with us over someone else.
Here are some broad considerations that we will turn into specific pieces of content and copy:
  • Penny will need on-point content that addresses her desire to turn a passion into a business.
  • The credibility of the source will be key to overcoming Penny’s scepticism.
  • Given her freelance practice, Penny needs to know that she has the time to make this happen.
  • She’ll need a way to validate her ideas and gain confidence.
  • Penny wants to see specific examples of how people like her have succeeded.
  • As a non-technical creative, Penny must be assured that she won’t be overwhelmed by technology.
  • Finally, Penny must receive an offer that motivates her to take action.
Now we can take these primary information points and map them out as a sequential journey. Or you can simply create a story outline that corresponds with each piece of content in the sequence.

How:

In the “how” phase, we take what we know about our prospect in order to best present the information.
Penny is a creative business person striving to become more entrepreneurial. Her no-nonsense attitude suggests a “just the facts” approach, but her need for case studies and real-life examples opens her up to persuasive storytelling.
Given her potential for scepticism, we’ll walk the line between “yes, this takes work” with constant reassurance that it’s totally doable. Characterizing the entire process as an act of creation will appeal to Penny’s sense of pride as a professional writer.
The tone can be somewhat snarky when it comes to “get rich quick” formulas, especially at the beginning. The goal is to strongly differentiate the advice from the stuff business-opportunity people are looking for, and instead, present this as a valid way to build a business that serves others just as it also provides value to the owner.

Here’s Penny’s experience

At this point, we want to summarize how Penny experiences the journey your content is taking her on. We’ve worked to empathetically understand her, and now we want to see the path from her perspective to better refine how we guide her through it.
While taking a short break from a client project, Penny sees an article on Facebook that catches her eye. It’s called Why Now is the Wrong Time to Create a Digital Product. She sees that the post is sponsored, which means that it’s a paid distribution, but the topic is worth the click because it’s so on point to her predicament.
The article confirms her own doubts about creating an ebook or course, which means the content has entered the conversation already playing in her head. She’s nodding in agreement that starting with an idea for a product and simply creating it leads to failure more often than not.
Instead, the article argues that you need to first develop an audience around the topic you’re interested in. The piece goes on to argue that you should do market research by promoting other people’s relevant products first to discover what this particular audience wants to buy.
Penny is stoked because she feels like the author is speaking directly to her. The end of the article contains an offer for a free course called Building Your Digital Business the Smarter Way.
The landing page is beautifully designed. The copy is abundant, but not obnoxious. She recognizes the author as the founder of Copyblogger, a site she read religiously when she was starting her freelance writing business.
The course is tied to subscribing to the weekly Unemployable newsletter. She smiles at the brand, and figures at minimum she’ll get some solid tips for running and growing her main business.
Penny registers for the course, providing her email address. She’s not naive — she knows there’s something for sale at some point, but this seems like the information she’s been waiting for.
She accesses the first lesson of the course immediately, which talks about validating product ideas by selling other people’s stuff — also known as affiliate marketing. Then there’s an unexpected shift, as the focus of the lesson moves to stories of people who make tens of thousands, and even hundreds of thousands, of dollars a month through affiliate marketing alone.
Just when Penny’s BS detector is about to blare, she encounters the story of The Wirecutter, a gadget review site powered by commissions from Amazon’s Associate's program. The business was acquired by the New York Times for $30 million in 2016.
That piece of legitimacy has Penny hooked. If she can build an audience interested in cooking, there are all sorts of products that she can promote through Amazon and other affiliate programs. Maybe she doesn’t have to create a product at all.
But how to build the audience?
That comes in the next lesson, which arrives the next day by email. It talks about two vitally important channels for affiliate marketing — email and search.
The lesson advises writing one high-impact article every week, based on developing a documented content marketing strategy (this is getting meta now). But beyond that, the topic turns to content curation as a way to get people on her email list when she’s just starting out and building her authority.
This resonates with Penny. She knows there is so much good stuff out there in the world of recipes and cooking techniques. But she also knows there’s a bunch of junk and sorting through that for people has value. She can use social ads and guest posting to drive traffic to her newsletter, which now has a compelling value proposition.
The next day, her inbox reveals a tutorial on modern SEO — a topic that gives her the willies. She discovers it’s not that scary once you understand how technology can help amplify your great content, which is the most important part.
This lesson is the first time StudioPress Sites is mentioned, just briefly at the end. Penny is intrigued, but not ready to buy.
Next, comes the final lesson, which is a piece about WordPress performance and security. Penny understands that you’ve got to have confidence in your theme, plugins, and hosting in order to provide a great experience for your visitors. StudioPress Sites is mentioned again, a little more prominently since it’s the solution to all those concerns.
On the next day, it’s the time for an offer. Penny gets the opportunity to get rolling with her new cooking site without paying a dime for the first month. She jumps on the deal, knowing she can cancel before paying if it turns out that she isn’t impressed with StudioPress.

But the journey’s not over


Now, our customer onboarding at StudioPress becomes part of the journey. If Penny doesn’t set up her site within those first 30 days, there’s a chance she’ll give up and cancel.
Fortunately, Penny does get her new site rolling, using one of the included themes and obtaining a custom logo from a designer she works with. She’s assembled an RSS list on Feedly of all her favorite sources for cooking content and is working up an overall strategy for her original content.
Just then, she’s delighted to receive an invitation to a webinar that will help her document her content marketing strategy and build her email list. It’s actually the next piece of content in the sequence she opted-in to — except it’s a version for people who purchased, designed to increase retention.
An alternate webinar that contains a different offer is provided to those who haven’t yet bought. This is a very simple example of how marketing automation can empower you to personalize the experience your prospects and customers encounter.
Meanwhile, Penny enjoys the weekly Unemployable newsletter, which provides advice related to both her freelance business and the direction she’s headed. She even begins promoting StudioPress Sites as an affiliate in the “do-it-yourself” section of her writing site. And finally, Penny eventually upgrades her StudioPress Site to the Commerce Plan as she begins creating her first natural cooking course.

The adaptive experience


Now, this person and her story are a fiction, right? But the better you know your prospect, the more accurate the experience will be. Once you put the content out there, you can test, tweak, and rearrange until you’re hitting all the touchpoints just right.
Once you’ve gone through the process of identifying with Penny at a very personal, human level, technology can then do amazing things. Your basic linear sequence of what she needs to hear from you can take into account all sorts of variables.
  • What if she doesn’t do the third lesson? How do you get her back on track?
  • What if she clicks on a certain link within a lesson? How does that change how you perceive her state of mind?
  • What if she powers through every lesson, but ignores every offer? What does that tell you about her viability as a prospect?
This is the point where marketing automation becomes magical. Not before you understand how to engage with your prospect on an empathetic level, but definitely once you do. You’re not only creating better content, you’ll have a better understanding as to what behaviors have significance during the sequence.

The clarity comes from “who”


I actually know Penny pretty well, since she’s one of the handful of “characters” I think of when I curate Unemployable and choose topics and guests for the podcast. We also have several different avatars for various use cases for StudioPress Sites.
Having a concrete persona to “talk” to makes things so much clearer. Instead of some vague notion of a funnel, you can actually see yourself as the mentor, guiding your prospect along on the journey, step by step.
And when it comes to email marketing, you’re no longer just “list building” in the abstract.
They say the money is in the list, but that’s not necessarily true — it’s got to be the right list that takes the right people on the right journey.
Have you mapped out your content marketing strategy yet? Let me know about the experience in the comments.

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Saturday, 29 April 2017

A Beginner’s Guide to Lead Generation



First things first – we need to understand the difference between generating traffic and generating leads.

Let’s begin with the former. Traffic generation is all about your top of the funnel (ToFu) content marketing efforts. That is to say, it is your blog (and other content) output that has the sole purpose of simply driving visitors to your website. As well as blogs, your videos, infographics and other higher sharable content also form your ToFu traffic generation strategy.



But when it comes to lead generation, the tactic is slightly different, and it all revolves around gated content and those all-important sign-up forms.


What’s “gated content?”

Good question. In fact, it’s a very good question, because when you understand what gated content is, you pretty much understand what lead generation is.

Gated content refers to content that is only accessible in exchange for information – often the name of the person wishing to access it, along with an email address and perhaps the name of the company that the person works for. As content marketers, we capture this information by way of a form that the recipient has to fill out, before we “open the gates”, as it were, and provide them with access.


How does this fit in with lead generation?

Very simply. When someone goes to the effort of filling out a form to access a piece of content (which, in this day and age, is in fact quite a big ask of our visitors), they are indicating that they are not merely passive visitors to our website, but actively and more deeply engaged with what we have to offer.

In this sense, the person who downloads our gated content can no longer be considered a mere visitor, but a lead – and leads are potential sales contacts.

Get a healthy catalogue of gated content at the ready on your site, and you’re halfway towards a strong strategy that supports lead generation.


Digging deeper

Ok, so, those are the basics of lead generation. We attract visitors to our website through ToFu content marketing. From there, we dangle additional content in front of them, and, upon capturing their information in return, generate leads.

However, for successful lead generation, we need to understand some of the finer details of the process – so let’s dive into what those are…


Calls-to-action (CTAs)

When advertising our gated content, we must ensure that our visitors (who are not yet leads) are suitably enticed to click the button that will take them to it.

So, for instance, let’s say that we’re in the content marketing business. We’ve written a blog entitled “How to Get Started With Content Marketing.” We’ve promoted it on social, and have attracted quite a few business owners who are now reading the post.

We’re careful not to give the whole game away in this article, because we want these business owners to download our piece of gated content: a free eBook entitled “The complete guide to content marketing for SMEs”.

So, what we need to do is entice them to do so – and, in order to do that we need a strong call-to-action (CTA).

A CTA is a button, image, or sometimes a message that entices our visitors to take some form of action. In lead generation terms, this action will be to navigate to a landing page where the gated content can be accessed.

It’s important, then, that our CTAs are enticing. More than that – unmissable. Even more than that – irresistible. For the purposes of driving downloads of our eBook, perhaps the best practice would be to display a nice bright image of the eBook’s front cover that shows the title – “The complete guide to content marketing for SMEs” – and a button beneath that says something like “Free download”.

You can and should experiment with CTAs. You may find, for instance, that “Download now” produces better results than “Free download”, or that some images work better than others. The only way to find out is to experiment – so do that.

Whatever happens to work best, when visitors click on our CTAs, they are taken to a landing page – so let’s consider landing pages next.


Landing pages

Landing pages are specially designed pages that have a distinct purpose. For lead generation, this purpose will be to fill out a form in exchange for an offer – in our example, the offer being the free download of our “Complete guide to content marketing” eBook.

Importantly, whatever the content is – you may opt for a case study instead of an eBook, or a white paper, access to a webinar, a research report, a video, or what have you – it has to be of high enough value to get people to fill out that form and surrender their information.

As you can imagine, CTAs play an important role on landing pages, too – as does the whole design and layout of the page. Split and multivariate testing is important to maximise completion rates – but, once a visitor has filled out that form, received the offer and given up their personal information, a lead is generated.

And that, dear readers, is how lead generation works.


Back to you

So, in closing, let’s summarise the steps you need to take to start generating leads.

Step 1 – Create amazing content that drives traffic to your website.

Step 2 – Create a range of high-value gated content that only those serious about doing business with you will want to access.

Step 3 – Advertise this gated content on your site, and link your strong CTA to a dedicated landing page.

Step 4 – Design your landing pages with conversions in mind, provide a form that is easy to fill out, and ensure your CTAs on this page are as strong as possible.

Step 5 – Conduct split testing across steps 3 and 4 to maximise click-throughs and downloads.


Those are the basics, but what other lead generation tips could you offer our readers? Let us know in the comments below.

Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done – A Guide



We all procrastinate. There’s nothing shameful about that, it’s just human nature. And while it’s acceptable to be lazy from time to time, procrastination can become a very bad habit very quickly. Often we don’t even know we’re doing it. Especially in our age of technology and social media, it’s never been easier to “slightly postpone” your duties by checking your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, only to realize two hours later that you did nothing productive except scrolling (and judging).

Studies indicate that we lose about twenty days in a year to procrastination and activities that bring us no special benefits. Now stop and think about that for a moment. How many books could you read in twenty days? Or do anything else that is good for you, from going on a vacation to spending quality time with your friends and family? Once you put in numbers just how much of our precious time we waste, it becomes clear that we need to do something to make it right. Different people react to different methods when it comes to stopping procrastination, which is why in this article, we’ll give you a mishmash of different tips and techniques that you can try out to get your procrastinating habits under control. Like with every new habit, you need to be consistent and show perseverance in order to have permanent results.





Know thyself

This first tip sounds quite obvious, but it is extremely on point. One of the main troubles we’re facing when it comes to procrastinating is that we don’t recognize the mechanisms behind it. We’re so used to simply floating into procrastination mode that we don’t even notice.

Things and situations that make you procrastinate are usually daunting tasks, something that is excruciatingly boring or it takes up a lot of time you want to spend on something else. You probably encounter these self-imposed obstacles on your job, with your house chores or working on yourself in any form. Every time you feel the need to stop doing something to procrastinate stop for a second and try to understand what is happening in your mind. Are you trying to distract yourself? Have you convinced yourself you work best under pressure? Are you afraid that what you’re doing won’t be good enough? Are you convincing yourself that what you’re doing isn’t that important anyway and praising all the other things you’ve done right?

Chances are that your thoughts are a mix of aforementioned responses you have on doing something you don’t like, but as soon as you recognize them they will become a red flag. Every time this kind of thinking arises, notice it and understand you’re about to go into full procrastination mode. After that, all you need to do is continue working and the thoughts will disappear just as quickly as they appeared.


You don’t have to do it all at once







When we think about doing something we’ve got an aversion towards, you usually imagine hours of work at your table, with no break or rest in sight. Then, when you break this bleak picture by procrastinating, you feel satisfied, though it will only make it that much harder to get everything done.

The easiest way to prevent any job from becoming overwhelming is to separate it into smaller chunks and then work on each of those chunks one at a time. Once you start working on a small task within a bigger one, do your best to focus on what you’re doing right now, and leave all the other parts to the future. That way, not only will the feeling of being overwhelmed be gone, but you will also be more productive with what you’re currently doing.


Make a competition out of it

You can compete with either yourself or the passing of time. Either way try to make it more fun. Even if you’re not a competitive person, assigning yourself with how much time you’ll spend on something in a day will get you into competitive mood.

You know very well that if you don’t get things done in the allotted time, everything else you’re supposed to do (especially the fun stuff) gets pushed back. Why would you want to do that to yourself? If it is a big project that requires a lot of work to be done right away, then break it into thirty-minute sessions, after which you get a five to ten-minute break. Use that time wisely – open your window and let some fresh air in, play with your pet or just let go of your thoughts for a couple of minutes. Naturally, take some bigger breaks from time to time, so that you can eat in peace and for that time, do your best not to think about what else needs to be done.


Distractions – get rid of them







So much of our work is done on computer these days, and that is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. All the social media, fun websites, games, IM with friends that are procrastinating just like you are but a click away, so how can you resist them?

Thankfully, there are millions of people that are in the same predicament like you, and they’ve come up with some very useful apps to limit your procrastination to a minimum. Apps like Stay Focusd or Timeful are there to make you giving up social media as easy as possible, because they can limit your time on certain websites, after which sites will be blocked for the rest of the day. As harsh as it sounds, you’re probably aware that it’s necessary to get things done. There are some who suggest that completely disconnecting your internet connection is a good idea, but if you need the web for your work, then this isn’t really plausible. Other options are that you explore the internet in incognito tab or other security mode, so that even if you’re tempted to check your Facebook, you’ll have to login and that alone is enough to put you off of it.


Don’t wait for optimal circumstances

Here’s a procrastination tactic that provides us with an excellent excuse to fool ourselves and all around us. You make yourself believe that you simply can’t get something done unless this or that happens. While there are situations in which this is valid, most of the time waiting for optimal circumstances is nothing more than an excuse. Face the facts that things will never be perfect – all you can do is try your best and know that if you do not choose your moment, the moment will choose you.


Create to-do list of things you avoid doing







Great strategy for facing all your daunting tasks is to write them down. It’s easy to make a timetable with all different things that you have no problem doing, spend much more time doing all you like and then leave no time for what really needs to be done. When you get all you need to do, create a schedule of doing it and stick to it as much as your willpower allows you. Put the list somewhere where you can see it, either on your work desk or get one of those apps that pops up your to-do list every time you open a new tab.


Get over yourself

Yes, this seems like an advice you get from conceited people, who just happen to be time management gurus and juggle 25 hobbies with their job and volunteer work, but you do need to get over yourself.

Most of the obstacles and challenges about working on uninteresting or difficult tasks are mainly in our head. Even planning to get things done becomes a form of procrastination if you allow it, which is why you need to know when it’s time to start working. No, you shouldn’t wait for the night before deadline to do anything, because it will be sloppy and unfinished and no, you haven’t got enough time to spend an hour watching something on Netflix. Our first advice was to know yourself and our last is to overcome that lazy part of yourself that is so keen on procrastinating.

Like with most rehabs, getting rid of procrastination habits is often a slow process and you need to take it one step at a time to make it work. Don’t procrastinate to stop procrastinating (yes, it’s a paradox, and yes, it happens more often than you think) and know that all you accomplish you’re actually doing it for yourself and your improvement and if that doesn’t seem too important to you, then procrastinate away.

Writing Email Subject Lines That Get Prospects to Open, Read, and Respond



Email subject lines are important. Why? Because people do judge newsletters by their subjects. And here’s the bombshell: 30% of email recipients decide whether to open an email solely based on its subject line (Convince & Convert). And 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line (Convince & Convert). But this is not yet another post about writing email subjects. Instead, I’ll focus on compelling, hands-on tips that will help you reach the point where your subscribers can’t help but open your newsletters.

1. Keep it short.

To quote Mark Twain, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” Brevity is the key. A subject line should contain the most important information about your offer in just 25-50 words! Taking Mark Twain’s word for it, brevity in writing is a challenge. So the key here is to be descriptive but to the point.


2. Avoid slogans and don’t come on too strong.

“Sizzling summer promo” or “The ultimate bargain season starts now” are to the point and short enough. So what could possibly be wrong? They don’t have the element of surprise. So your subscriber has less incentive to open. And they are rather common, so you lose your brand’s scent. And in return — trust and recognizability of your subscribers. On the other hand, watch out for a subject like: “Hey, I’d like to sell you something” — I can guarantee it will land in the spam folder. The same will happen if you use ALL CAPS. So key takeaways are: don’t overuse words that may trigger spam, stay focused, and be original. It will not only boost your open rate but also increase deliverability.


3. Make them feel special, but be careful about emojis.

The psychology of exclusivity is a powerful thing. By offering an exclusive benefit or giveaway, people get the sense of belonging. Belonging helps build loyalty, and that helps conversion. The right phrasing can embed the sense of exclusivity and show your subscribers that they are special to you. Using a custom field can help you achieve this effect. A targeted message can achieve a 54% response rate, according to Localytics. An emoji can help you enhance this effect, but be careful – a smiley, thumbs up, or heart don’t belong in some industry branches. Besides, think about your buyer persona – what would he or she think of the emoticon you’ve got in mind?


4. Create a sense of urgency.

Subject lines that embed the sense of urgency and exclusivity can deliver an open rate 22% higher than regular notification emails. Pretty impressive. But how to apply it in casual email marketing practice? Think of using a deadline and action verbs in your subject lines. Your subject line can make a perfect call to action if you use language that inspires people to click. An action verb can help people envision themselves acting on your offer.


5. Don’t forget the preheader or help text.

This is where you get to bring out more details regarding your offer. While a preheader isn’t technically part of your subject line, it does appear next to it — and it certainly deserves your attention. It provides recipients with a peek at the content inside your email, which email clients like the iPhone Mail app, Gmail, and Outlook will display alongside the subject line. In this post, we wrote about why a preheader is usually neglected. But it is important in the inbox. Point:







A preheader is like a subtitle – it guides, explains, helps the reader understand, and encourages. When you don’t set it up yourself, the email client automatically pulls text from the body of your email. This can look messy depending on your email content, and it’s also a wasted opportunity to engage your audience. Again, keep it brief: 100-150 characters is optimum.


6. The From field is your online identification.

Yes, we can’t talk enough about the from fields. And deliverability. A from field helps you legitimize the contact with your audience. And legitimization is a real challenge, as nearly one-third of marketers reported blacklisting and spam reports as their biggest challenge. As mentioned before, 30% of recipients decide whether to open a newsletter based on the preview. And your from field is an integral part of it. So a few takeaways for the long-term perspective are: be recognizable, appear trustworthy, and use a from field. Although these may not bring immediate results, they strengthen trust and relationships over time.


7. Don’t forget A/B testing.

Although these tips are a great place to start, what works for some companies may not work as well for others. It’s all about figuring out what works best for your specific audience. That’s where A/B testing comes in. While it can be tempting to use your intuition to predict what subject line language will make people click on your emails, you should be A/B testing your subject lines constantly and tweaking wording according to your results. What works best for your audience: long or short subject lines? Including numbers or not including numbers? Questions or statements? Or is it the from field that causes low open rates? With this in mind, GetResponse allows you to conduct effective split tests, even when you’re a free trial user. Bear that in mind when making changes to your email subjects or from fields.


Wrapping up

Now you know where to start when pondering the best subject line for your upcoming newsletter. Keep in mind that 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line (Convince & Convert). I hope this post will be your guideline or best-practice checklist. While we’re at it, share your thoughts – we’d like to know what worked for you? And how did it help you engage your audience?


5 Signs Your Company Needs Marketing Automation



Marketers have a lot to juggle. Between emails, blog posts, social media, ad campaigns, and direct mail, it’s practically impossible to keep track of all your communications without some level of automation.

That’s why the use of marketing automation tools is on the rise. According to ClickZ, as much as 59% of Fortune 500 companies already use marketing automation, and for good reason. Study after study indicates that marketing automation can deliver impressive ROI.



A VentureBeat survey of 700 marketers found that 80% of marketing automation users saw their number of leads increase, and 77% saw their number of conversions increase. According to a report by B2B Marketing and Circle Research, after just one year, 32% of businesses see increased revenue. After two years, that number climbs to 40%.


When do you need marketing automation?

Too often, marketers are turned off by the term “automation,” because it sounds cold and impersonal. But done correctly, marketing automation can streamline your marketing efforts, nurture unengaged leads, and provide vital data about your sales cycle. Here are five telltale signs your company could benefit from marketing automation:


1) Your marketing efforts aren’t working as well as you’d like

Are you constantly reaching out to prospects without making any conversions? Without marketing automation, it can be difficult to get the data you need to determine exactly how well your marketing efforts are working.

Most marketing automation software programs have reporting tools that make it easy to see how successful your campaign is. An ROI report typically provides:
Leads and opportunities created regularly
Which campaigns have an impact on sales
Revenue attribution, which tells you how well lead nurturing is working

Keep in mind, this will only work if your sales team puts accurate data into your CRM, and if there’s smooth integration between your website, your CRM, and your marketing automation platform.


2) Your sales cycle is too long

For the most part, today’s sales cycle is driven by buyers who have already decided what they want to purchase and from whom. That can make your cycle long and frustrating, but you still have control over the process.

Lead scoring is an important part of shortening a long sales cycle. If you score your leads, only qualified leads who are ready to purchase get passed along to the sales team. That means your sales team can focus on closing deals with prospects who are already educated about your product or service. The result? They spend a significantly shorter amount of time coaxing leads through the sales funnel.




3) You don’t have enough data to segment your leads

It’s difficult to refine your messaging if you haven’t segmented your lists. With marketing automation software, you can divide your lists by demographic, firmographic, location, behavior, etc. You can also divide your prospects by their position in your sales funnel.

Using marketing automation and segmenting your leads can have a big impact. Companies that use automation will typically see a higher conversion rate from marketing response to qualified lead.


4) You notice a lot of leads falling through the cracks

Without automation, it’s challenging to nurture unengaged leads. If you can’t stay in front of these leads, your competitors will step in. If, on the other hand, you nurture your leads, you can increase both conversions and revenue. According to Annuitas Group, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. An older stat, but if anything, this percentage has increased as B2B companies improved their mastery of marketing automation.

With the right tools, you can deliver relevant content based on how your leads interact with your website, social media pages, or marketing emails. When leads are finally ready to buy, there’s a message waiting for them.


5) Your list is too small

Even the most skilled marketers can’t manage more than a few dozen leads without letting things slip through the cracks. And you’ll need more than a few dozen contacts to keep your business profitable and growing.

Once you set up a marketing automation system, you can capture more leads through your website, segment your list, target your messaging, and start moving more buyers through the pipeline.


Back to you

Marketing automation software represents a sizeable investment and a major strategic shift for most businesses, so don’t feel bad about being cautious. What kind of concerns or hesitations are holding you back? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Friday, 28 April 2017

17 Email Marketing Tips and Tricks for Beginners 2017


In this video I'm giving you 17 email marketing tips and tricks for beginners for 2017 and beyond...Using these tips in your email marketing will greatly increase your chances of success and will ensure that you get the results you want from your email marketing campaigns. 

Advanced Email Marketing Tips With Autoresponders 2017


Advanced Email Marketing tips for better conversion rate. Showing features and pricing on the different types of autoresponders. 
We go over which is best for beginners in email marketing. Take notes about 4 minutes in there is a special tip on how to properly use your lists.

Aweber: https://www.aweber.com/

Get Response: https://www.getresponse.com/

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The 5 Step Checklist for Great Email Branding: Part 2




In our last post, The 5 Step Checklist for Great Email Branding: Part 1, we took a look at the first 2 steps that you can take to brand up your email so that it aligns with your brand.

More specifically, we took a look at timing of your emails, as well as your subject lines.

In this post, we shall continue where we left off, and take a look at 3 more ways that you can use right now to enhance your email branding.

Let’s begin!
Step 3. Content: Visuals and Copy

What is the most important element of all email branding? The content in the email, of course!

Content in your email is the only reason why people will convert on your emails.

Concurrently, the content, and the way you write can go a huge way in terms of branding your emails, and your company in general.
Include Powerful Visuals (if you need them)

It’s true that a picture speaks a thousand words, and that goes the same for emails.

In my personal experience, you should always make it a point to include one or more impactful images in your newsletter if you are dealing with products, especially.

However, most service providers that use online marketing that I know of (including myself) tend not to use images. A good rule of thumb is to use images if you are selling products or digital downloads.

If you decide to use images, make sure that you keep it to 60 to 100 kb, so that your email loads fast on your reader’s email client.

Otherwise, keep it simple with just text.
Choose the right fonts

It’s almost so basic, that I find myself cringing when I write this, but it’s important to make your content easily readable.

Whenever you write content, be it a blog post, or email, you should always aim to make your content as easily accessible as possible.

In additional, you’d want to leave a good impression on your readers, and the first step is to make it easy to digest. That means also that your readers shouldn’t have to zoom in to view your content.

According to the best email guidelines and some of my personal experiences in content writing, these are the following font settings best for your email content:

Font type: Georgia

Georgia is not just easy on the eyes, but also effective cross browser. This means that you can rest assured that your content will appear consistent across different devices.

Header Font size – 22 to 25

To separate your email content, and make it much easier to read, you’d want to use headers, very much like a blog post.

The rules on email are simpler. Keep your header font size around 22 to 25, and it’d be more than adequate.

Body font size – 14 to 16

The body is the gist of your content.

It’s what makes up the chunk of your entire email, and thus it’s important to get it right.

In my personal experience, I always recommend my clients to go for font size 15 because it’s the most optimal size for reading, in my opinion.

Font color: Black (it depends)
Although black (#000) is the industry average in email, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t spice things up at all.

In fact, if you’re in the field of entertainment, fashion, or food, it does make a lot of sense to use font colors that fit the design of your email template.

I tend to find that for service businesses, black works just fine, but you can always consider lighter black colors like #43464b or #262626.

Choosing a lighter, black color is easier on the eyes, and helps your readers to get through your email and hear what you have to say.

For reference, you can use this color checker to find out the best tinge of black that suits your email.


Use the right words

Words are at the heart of your content, and this is where applying best copywriting practices come into play.

Any good email marketing campaign should contain the following:
Attention: How can you best attract the attention of the reader?
Interest: How can you focus on the benefits of the product or service, and align them to the self-interests of the reader?
Desire: How can you frame your offer in a way that creates demand, and make your readers need the product or service right now?
Action: What call to action can you provide the reader, that makes them want to click through on your offer, and solve that problem now?


Keep your words short, and to the point

The words that you choose should be short, succinct, and to the point.

At first glance, your readers should be able to digest the key points of the email, and make sense of your message.
Step 4. Personalisation

We are in the phase of transition right now, where marketing is slowly moving from traditional blast-to-everyone campaigns, to small, niche messages, one at a time.
Personalization is the key to success in this crowded world.
Everyone wants to feel like someone cares for them.

This is where tools like Sendlane can again come into play. Using Sendlane’s prefixes, you can easily send personalized messages to your email list.
Address your reader by first name

If you’ve obtained your readers from your website or opt in form, then you should have their first name at the very least.

Use this to your advantage, and customise the message to them.

You can do this easily by using one of Sendlane’s Personalization Tags.

Personalization tags are basically prefixes that you can use to adapt an email to the specific subscriber.

For example, you can use personalization tags to integrating your subscriber’s name in an e-mail, or by presenting various written content to different target groups or various graphics influenced by interests.

By inserting these tags into the content of your email it will customize the email experience for each recipient, and chances are, increase your conversion rates while doing it.

You might also want to considering personalizing the Subject Title of your email campaign as well, to catch the attention of the reader.

To get started in adding a first name personalization tag to your Subject Line, the first thing to do is to head over to your Campaign Setup page.



There, you’ll find an option to Personalize your email’s Subject Title.

Clilck on the Personalization button, and a popup will appear.



If you wish to personalize the first name of your email campaign, then click on the first option, and your option will be recorded.

What Sendlane basically does is to capture the First Name data from the list of subscribers that you’ve uploaded, and insert them into the Subject Title where you command it to be.



Then, click on next.

Choose the list that you would like to send your personalized emails to, then click on Next.



On the email campaign editor, you can basically draft the email that you want to send out to your list, and add the right personalization tag here.



For example, suppose you want the email to start with Hello John (assuming the person receiving the email is called John),

You can simply click on the last letter of “Hello”:



Then, on the left hand corner of the dashboard, you’ll find a section that is called Personalization tags.



Once you click on the Select button, you will see a list of options popping up.

Assuming you want to add the First Name of the reader to the email, you’ll click on the option “Subscriber first name,” and it’ll be applied accordingly.

For your reference, here are some other personalization tags that you can use in Sendlane:

VAR_SITE_NAME =Site name
VAR_SITE_URL = Site URL
VAR_MAILING_ADDRESS = User mailing address
VAR_PHONE = user phone number
VAR_SITE_UNSUBSCRIBE = unsubscribe
VAR_FIRST_NAME = subscriber first name
VAR_LAST_NAME = subscriber last name
VAR_FULL_NAME = subscriber full name
VAR_EMAIL = subscriber email
VAR_COUNTRY = subscriber country
VAR_STATE = subscriber state
VAR_CITY = subscriber city
VAR_SUBSCRIBE_DATE = subscriber opt in date
VAR_SIGNUP_IP = subscriber IP address
Give them what they signed up for

If you’ve set up your content marketing campaign well, then there’s a good chance that you know exactly who opted in for what.
Use this to your advantage, and send them offers that are relevant to them.

Remember, you can’t sell meat to vegetarians. Sending the wrong offer doesn’t just hurt your email personalisation, it affects your reputation.
Step 5. Optimization for all devices

Mobile is fast becoming more and more relevant, with all of us being so connected and intimately to our devices.

According to comScore, mobile already exceeded the number of desktops in 2014, increasing more dramatically as compared to the latter.



In addition, eMarketer also found that the amount of time that people spent in 2015 consuming media on their mobile devices was 51% of the total, with desktop at a mere 42%.



Image Source

In addition, a study conducted by IBM Marketing Cloud in 2016 found that nearly half (49%) of all emails are read and opened on mobile devices.



Image Source

In short, this means that you’d better optimise your emails to load properly on mobile devices.

In addition, BlueHornet found out that a staggering 71.2% of readers will simply delete an email if it doesn’t display correctly.


What this means for you

With the continual and proven rise of the mobile phone, it’s hard to call yourself a smart marketer if you don’t adapt to the changes.

Just as marketers and business owners must optimise their sites to make it mobile responsive, you have to make sure that your email is well optimized to handle mobile responsiveness too.

In fact, in only 52% of marketers created a mobile responsive email template in 2015, a study by eConsultancy found out in the “Email Marketing Industry Census”
How you can overcome it

In order to find the best way to make your email mobile compatible, I like to use the tool EmailonAcid, which is a great tool that allows you to analyse your email, and see how it shows up on different devices and platforms – 54 different platforms, in fact.

To get started, you can simply head to EmailonAcid, and sign up for a free account.



Synchronise EmailonAcid with your email provider, and start testing your emails on various different browsers.



Use email marketing tools like Sendlane

The good thing about email marketing tools is that all the hard work already gets done for you upfront.

This means to say that you can send every email without worrying about different browser issues, load times and what not.

Sendlane, for example, sends emails that are targeted to work across different browsers, and can shortcut a lot of the unnecessary testing times that you would have to go through otherwise.
Conclusion

While we all know that email is the most important element in marketing, sadly most of us don’t pay attention to the finer details in our emails.

I hope that this post has given you some insights and actionable steps that you can take to immediately improve your conversion rates.

Email marketing will remain as one of the most important tools for reaching out to your audience, and if you’re not taking care of the finer details, then something’s going to give.

What are some other ways that you can improve your email branding? Share your comments down below! I read every single comment.

The 5 Step Checklist for Great Email Branding: Part 1




I know what you are thinking.

Email branding? Really?

Yes, really. I’ll explain why.

Email today remains as one of the top methods of getting traffic to your site, and of course, converting that traffic into customers and subscribers.

But, conversion rates can be better.

Recently, I did a Google search for the latest Email trends happening, and this popped up from Smart Insights:



In case you are totally new to email marketing, Unique Open Rate simply means the percentage of receivers of email who are opening it for the first time. In other words, it’s the first point of contact with your email.

As you can see from the above data, the average Unique Open rate hovers around 23%, which means an average of about 1 out of 4 people will open your emails, depending on the industry that you work in.

If you’re in the Food and Beverage industry, I’m sorry to say but your open rates are the lowest out of all the industries captured.
But, not to worry. This post will help you out.

In fact, I’ve centered this post not just around email branding, but to answer a more important question:

“How can I get more emails to open?”

You can, if you follow the steps that i’ve laid out in this post.
How can branding improve my open rates?

Branding, by definition, is a collection of different features, personalities and character of a brand that makes it represent something in the eyes of its consumers.

In other words, think of your brand as a human. How would you describe your brand? Is it a he or a she? How does he/she talk? What tone of voice does he/she use? And so on. You get the point.

At the core, Email marketing is an extension of your brand communications. It is like your brand’s heart to heart session with your reader, just as you would talk to a friend.

In this article, I will outline specific steps that you can take right now to improve your email branding, and significantly improve your unique to improve your email branding, and significantly improve your Open rates.
We need to brand up our email marketing.
Why should I care?

Because when it comes down to it, email marketing consistently outperforms each of the different marketing activity out there in the market.



Source

In short, emails are the main form of communication that you should focus your efforts on, if you want to succeed online.

Let’s begin!
Step 1. Get your timing right

I’ve ever had a client that was in the consulting space send out emails specifically only during late nights. And we’re talking 10pm to 12am in the nights.

While that might have worked for some people, it didn’t for him. His open rates were horrendous (around 0.7%), and that client got flamed quite a few times by pretty angry subscribers.

When I asked why, he simply said: “Because I only have time to send them in the night.”

Lesson learnt: When it comes down to email marketing, be very sensitive about the time that you send an email.

With everyone being so stuck on their phones, it means that they no longer have the luxury of turning away from your messages, unless they’ve switched off completely. And we all know, we don’t ever turn off our phones.

In fact, this study from ADI Email Survey in 2016 pretty much shows where we consume our email:



Yes, almost everywhere. Since it’s safe to assume that everyone is on their phones for the majority of their day, you’ll want to be extra careful what time you send your messages.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are best time to send emails



According to an article by Coschedule, they found out through conducting 10 studies that the best day to send emails are between Tuesday and Thursday.

GetResponse also found that the peak inbox activity happens on Thursday.



Learning point: schedule your emails to be sent on either Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Furthermore, a study conducted by Email Monday in September 2016 found that late mornings are the peak time for using email apps on smartphones.



That means that the best time that you should schedule your emails might be around 9.30am – 11am, for maximum open rates.
Finding your audience’s preferred times.

Another trick that you might be able to use is to find out where your audience comes from, then trying different techniques and times that fit their habits.

This is where software like Sendlane can help, with a little feature called Optimized Timing that caught my attention.

Basically, this nifty feature helps you to find the best timings to send your emails, through tracking the different open patterns and habits of your each of the subscribers in your list.

What this means is this: If Subscriber A opens an email in the morning, then Sendlane will then send the email to them in the morning, and vice versa, if Subscriber B tends to open emails more often at night.



To start using Optimized Timing is simple.

Simply create an email campaign as per normal, and then, at the final page, click on the Optimized Timing feature, then click on Send to use the feature in your campaigns.

By using technology to understand the pattern of opening emails by your readers, it’s easy to increase your conversion rates with the touch of a button.
Step 2. Your subject line

The next step to take to brand your email the right way is to get your subject line right.

Why? Because the subject line is the first thing that your readers see when they receive your email. In other words, your subject line is the thing that stands between a converted reader, and the trash bin.

Showing bad subject lines are not just harmful to your conversion rates and open rates, but also bad for your brand image. Imagine if Louis Vuitton sent you an email with a subject titled: “Raise cats with rainbows and chocolate?”

Do you feel something weird happening inside your brain? That feeling of disbelief? That’s the effect that bad branding can have on your readers, if you get your subject lines wrong.

But how can we write really great subject lines?

Be relevant to your brand

Obviously, the first thing that you should always make sure your email campaigns get right is the relevancy that it has with your brand.

Remember the Louis Vuitton example that we talked about earlier?

At every step of crafting your email campaign, always make sure to ask yourself the following questions:
Is this email relevant to my brand image?
If I am receiving this email for the first thing, what’s my initial impression of the email, and the brand that wrote it?
In terms of email design, is the design too complicated, or is it just nice? Is my brand supposed to be sophisticated, or should it be plain? Does my email reflect that impression on others?
Keep your subject lines under 50 characters

What do you when you open up your email?

You scroll.

That makes reading really long subject lines hard, and the tendency for us to just chuck the email into the bin is that much higher.

Whenever possible, try to concise your message down, and condense what you are trying to say as best as possible.

Typically, from my own experience, keeping my subject lines below 50 characters work quite well for my email marketing campaigns.

Some questions that you should ask yourself when trying to condense your subject title:
Are there synonyms that can describe the same thing in a shorter way? Use Thesaurus.com to find words that fit the bill
Is there a way that I can best summarise the gist of the email, using as little words as I possibly can?
Spice up the emotion

Another great branding method that I like to use for my subject lines is to use powerful, emotive words to spice up the mood a little.

Adding powerful words not only captures the attention of the reader, but also serves to create curiosity in your email.

For example, instead of saying:

“Read This Now: 50% Red Hot Sale Happening Today Only!”

you can rewrite it into something like this:

“SIZZLING SALES!: 50% MINIMUM STARTING NOW!”

For a list of power words, you can use this list that I’ve found here.
Use a little alliteration

If you’re not a Literature student (like I am), then you probably have not heard of alliteration.

It’s a technique that copywriters use to capture the attention and engage the reader in text.

Basically, alliteration is applied when two words next to one another start with the same alphabet: “sizzling sales, red republic, snazzy snaptactix”.

Why is alteration so useful in subject line branding? Because there’s a hint of rhyme in it, and it naturally sparks the interest of the reader.

Having subject lines that apply alliteration can set your email apart from the other 100 emails in your reader’s inbox titled “Check this post out…”
Keep it relevant to your lead group

It’s simple. You can’t sell meat to a vegetarian (like myself).

If your subject line isn’t relevant to the lead group that you are targeting, then you can have the best subject line in the world, but it still won’t convert into sales for you.

To make sure that your subject line is relevant, make sure that you segregate your email list properly before sending them any emails. A marketing software like Sendlane is useful here, since it allows you to create and send to different lists as you allocate.

Before you send any email, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:
Is this subject line valuable to the person receiving it?
What would their reaction be when they see this subject line?
Even if they don’t convert, what would be the impression be that they have of my brand?
How does this subject line make me feel?
Would I want to open the email after reading the subject line?
Does the subject line promise any benefit from reading the email?
Am I curious about what’s inside the email after reading the subject line?
Don’t use clickbait

This should be a no-brainer. The last thing that you’d want your reader to think when they open your email is to see that you’ve made an empty promise.

Using subject lines like “this can change your life” is a big promise to make, and you’d want to be sure that you know what you are doing when you send bold statements like that.
Conclusion of Part 1

That does it for Part 1 of the 5 Step Checklist for Great Email Branding!
While it’s important that you setup your Email Marketing sequence, you should always bear in mind the different experiences that your customers and prospects go through in the overall content funnel.

After all, the customer experience journey is not just about a single email, but a collection of experiences that add up to the customer’s expectations and desire for your brand.
What other methods of great email branding tips did I miss out? Would you like to recommend some ways of great email branding, and how it has worked for you so far?

Leave your comments down below! I read every comment.

Next, be sure to click through and read Part 2 on Email Branding!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

10 Email Marketing Lessons Learned



Good conversations lead to great conversions
When you’re writing your messages picture yourself having a conversation while sitting at the kitchen table with a friend. Tell them a good story that engages them and demonstrates the value of your offer. This is one of your first email marketing lessons.

It’s not important what your product does. It’s important what people can do with it
Don’t tell me what your email marketing software can do – that’s easy. Show me how it is adding value to other’s lives using good (real) examples and multimedia like videos for example.

Never ask someone to marry you on the first date
Good salespeople have a sense for when to ask for the sale and make no mistake, you have to ask for it, but you have to ask when the moment is right. That’s a sense you will hone over time with experience and by learning from other experienced marketers.

The inbox is a personal space – respect the space
If you don’t think the inbox is a personal space just step behind someone while they’re reading email and see how fast they close their inbox. You have to show that you respect this personal space or you will come off like a guy selling magazine subscriptions who knocks on someone’s front door in the middle of Sunday dinner.

Market onto others as you would have them market onto you

This is my golden rule of email marketing lessons. If you treat your subscribers as you would want to be treated you can’t go far wrong. Sounds easy enough right? But it’s not intuitive for most of us. We have to ask ourselves the actual question at least as an exercise: “Would this be engaging and valuable to me?”

Don’t cook what you wouldn’t eat
I’ve had some salespeople tell me differently, but I believe it’s a truism that you can’t fake sincerity. For 90% of us this is like trying to hold our breath underwater.

Know your subscriber
Build an image of who your main target subscribers are. Just a general image with a few points such as:
– Age
– General interests
– Priorities (family, success, health, hobbies)
– What they probably like to do and when they do it (if you understand better who they are, you will have a better idea of what they are doing, when they are doing it and why)

Don’t send crap
No one likes to have their time wasted with offers which are not relevant or not presented well. This is because it is like living in an apartment building and having a kid knock on your door offering to shovel your driveway.

If you share what you love people will love what you share
Remember the old saying about doing what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life? It’s true. When you are passionate about your product and you show that passion by sharing real valuable content, it shows and it works. This may be one of the most important email marketing lessons to learn.

To know what works best you must test

The fact is that even among enterprise brands, only about 20% of them do any real testing consistently. Therefore running A/B split tests are crucial to improving your offerings and your ROI.

Source

How to Get Rich | Difference Between Rich and Poor Mind


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Top 10 Reasons why people don't succeed in any work

If you want to be a successful person on the earth, then must learn these 10 reasons about why people don't succeed in real life. You already heard about 80-20 rule of success. Why 20% of people has all things which are never achieved by that 80 %? The thing is those mistakes that 80% of people are doing.

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