One of the biggest issues email marketers have is making the email subscriber feel connected. So I will show how six little things could eventually hurt the efforts of everyone with an email list.
Writing from an email reader’s view, you are sure to get a laugh from this article.
If you’re looking to destroy your email list within 30 days, then this article is just for you. If you want to prevent that from happening, then this article is for you too!
So let’s learn the 6 Ways To Destroy Your Email List, written from an email subscribers point of view.
1. You’re emailing me at night
Your email just went out and 10,000 people got your email and it’s 11.00 pm at night. You’re thinking “Success!”, but they’re thinking “How Rude”. If you want people to click the UNSUBSCRIBE button like it’s Family Feud then do this often.
You’ve got to understand, scheduled posts and auto responders don’t exist in the subscribers mind. They want something live straight from you and we all know that you didn’t just finish writing that email at 11.00 pm at night on a Saturday. You may not see it, but potential customers are going bye-bye because you woke them up late at night with an email titled “20 Reasons Why You Need More Sleep”. Not good. This breaks the feeling that you care.
So please, email during the daylight. Your list will be happier.
2. You’re more generic than Walmart
Walmart is great when you need something because they have a touch of everything. They’re known for being generic, it’s why it’s so huge. But if I need a specific smartphone, I’m not going to Walmart. Instead I go to a store that specializes in that field. It’s human instinct. I don’t care how big Walmart gets, I’m not calling them to service my house for pest control, or to deliver my baby. I’m going to people who specialize in that field.
I know Mashable is known for writing about a lot of things, but even they specialize in the technology field. You must have a target, and you must know your audience. When you shoot your emails out, you should hit the bullseye every time. This means you’re helping that reader somehow every time you send them an email. So the generic emails like: “I have the purpose to life blah blah blah” or “ “How to achieve anything you want in life” isn’t going to be opened as much. It’s okay to be inspirational, but being generic makes the reader feel disconnected.
Always stick to the topic.
3. You email just to email
People say that you must email your subscribers every week no matter what. It doesn’t matter that you have nothing of value to give them or you have nothing to excite them with and you have no solution to their problem.
If you have nothing to give, don’t email. I’d rather skip a week instead of looking stupid every week.
You want that feeling of excitement to bubble when they see your email. I receive emails like that and it’s amazing to think you can have that kind of effect on people.
So make the email count every time.
4. You write like I’m the size of a barn
If you’re saying stuff like, “Hope ya’ll are doing good” or “You guys! Guess what??” You’re basically making that person feel so unconnected. Possibly even like their fat.
What if a guy walked up to you and said, “Hey Guys!” You’d look behind you to see who he was talking to. You’re thinking he’s either crazy or high. Then you realize he’s talking to you. People won’t see you as crazy when you email like this, but they won’t connect with you as much either. You must treat your email writing like you’re writing to an individual.
You want that person to have a personal connection with you. They want to feel close and to be able to share their problems. So when you’re emailing solutions to their problems and talking about things you have in common, you’re establishing a relationship, they will feel like a close friend. Which is what you want. You want to keep everything natural.
I don’t know why this is so hard for some, but it is.
5. It’s just another RSS feed
RSS feeds are great and some like to get it in their email. But the email open rates are very low with RSS emails. After a while people drift off to find something else to read. People won’t stay committed to an RSS feed like they will with a real person. Making that email format more like a conversation instead of a blog post will increase your open rates tremendously. Understand to that GMAIL is now sending all RSS feeds to promotional tabs. Which means you may receive them for a while but soon they will disappear in the promotional tab.
If that reader even smells that you’re only about padding your wallet, you can say adios to that reader. Your email strategy shouldn’t include punching them 3 times with a pitch about your eBook. It should be about delivering value that melts their problems like butter.
Once they realize you have the power to do that they will be emailing you for a job, contract, or even a book deal. If you had 100,000 people who knew that you had the answer to their problem within one eBook, money would never be an issue. Do you know why spammers slap people with their products all the time? They’re not making money. All it takes is one good launch to get the ball rolling. Selling isn’t hard, it’s simply showing people that you have the answers. Once they realize this Paypal will be your best friend.
So there ya go! 6 ways to destroy your email list. I hope this made your day and possibly made you laugh. More emails like this are sent more than not, but that’s hope for you. Why?
You will stand out brighter and you’ll be seen as the authority in your niche. So use these tips to take you to the next level.
Guest Author: Luke Guy blogs at Lukeguy.com. He researches email marketing and how to grow businesses doing it. He loves finding new ways to grow your list and making it fun at the same time. He talks about other things but usually it involves emailing.
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The media world is witnessing the changing of the guard. The new brash upstarts have embraced, integrated and are applying the technology of the social web.
Buzzfeed, Upworthy and the humble blogs of this world are the new content kings. Many blogs have more readers and eyeball traffic than traditional and national magazines. Newspapers like the New York Times, The Guardian and even the super blogs such as the Huffington Post and Mashable are under upstart threat.
The latest stats are revealing.
Buzzfeed received 154 million unique visitors globally and 100.9 million in the US in the last month. (August 24, 2014 to September 24,2014) according to the Quantcast figures.
Upworthy which only started in March 2012, is a fast starter and has been described by Fast Company as the fastest growing media company in history with 28.4 million unique visitors in the last month in the US and 43 million globally.
That has been achieved in just over 2 years!
Everyone is now a publisher
We are all publishers. And we want to make a dent in the universe but we don’t want to admit it for fear of standing out. Everyone wants to be epic and awesome but it’s never said but mumbled under our breath. Often it’s a silent thought.
No one says “I want to be average”
People publish on Facebook and get excited when it gets 100 likes. Teenagers can be overheard saying “that photo isn’t worth sharing because no one will comment or share“. Bloggers are always looking for that post to go viral but just won’t admit it.
So if you want to take the art of blogging and content marketing seriously you will need to think like a publisher not an like an amatuer or hobbyist.
The 10 content marketing lessons
Here are some insights and lessons on what makes Buzzfeed and Upworthy the fastest growing websites on the planet and what you can learn and apply from their tactics to your content, blog and website.
1. Don’t expect home runs every time
We want all our content to succeed every time. But that doesn’t happen and it isn’t realistic. UpWorthy have published a Slideshare presentation that reveals that 56% of their posts don’t break 10,000 views and also reveal that only 0.3% of their articles reach the top level. Over 1,000,000 views!
The reality is that you will only have some of your content go viral or hit a home run. So you will need to persist.
2. Write multiple headlines for each article
David Ogilvy was famous for having written over 100 headlines for one advertisement. Upworthy have taken this practice and woven it into their editorial process. Their first step and instruction to all their content creators.
“You HAVE to crap out 25 headlines for every piece of content”
If you are serious about content marketing this is one of the “biggies”. Learn and keep learning to write the best headlines you can.
3. Large listicle headlines work
Buzzfeed has perfected the art and science of large list headlines, often called “Listicles”. Here is an example. It is something that I noticed in the early days of my blog and it led to blog posts such as “105 Tips to Make Your Blog Rock”
4. Test the best ones
When you have written multiple headlines then you need to test them. Upworthy tested two headlines for one article and the difference between them is not just a few clicks but 36 times more views!
The two headlines were:
“A Public Service Announcement on Behalf of All White Dudes” vs “Put Yourself in a White Guy’s Shoes. Comfy, Right?”
Below is the one that won the popularity contest.
Tools like Buffer and it’s analytics can help you with that testing. Check out their article on how they do that.
5. Stack images in content
Buzzfeed has perfected the art of stacking images in articles. Here is one of their most popular articles of all time with over 15 million views. This tactic is very effective because you are giving your article the best chance to resonate with your audience so it “has” to be shared. If it was just one or two images it would not have received that level of viral traffic.
6. Make it easy for readers to share
If you check out both Buzzfeed and Upworthy, they have a very clever technical tactic that makes it easy to share different parts of the article.
They include hovering share buttons that pop up as the user scrolls down the article. The result according to Upworthy’s research is a 398% increase in traffic!
7. Curate the best content
Upworthy doesn’t try and break the news but is on the constant lookout for what works and then curates it. They then improve the framing on their site so that more people see it.
Curation is often underrated and should be an important part of your content marketing.
Buzzfeed does the same.
They see what is pumping and then add their own spin to it.
8. Make it easy for people to like your Facebook page
You have to love the relentless pursuit of squeezing every piece of viral sharing capability out of readers.
Upworthy have two ways they do that.
They add a popup that appears after you have finished watching a video that politely inquires whether you want hang out with them on Facebook. This produced 419% more likes.
Not content with that they also added a hover banner that asks you to “like” the Upworthy Facebook page. This added an increase in likes of 620%
9. Target a niche, cause or issue
As content marketers we are often trying to reach a broad audience to get that mass appeal. What is interesting to see is that Buzzfeed is tapping into niches and causes because they are often much more passionate about their group.
Here is an example of how Buzzfeed approaches this tactic.
10. Keep looking for “Epic” content
Trying to be unique all the time will make your brain fry and often means you are reinventing the wheel and you don’t have to. Keep reading and hunting and see what sort of content works well on the web and your competitors sites.
Upworthy sum it up with some tips on what they are looking for.
You already know that blogging is a key component of content marketing that just cannot be ignored by businesses anymore. Any company website without a blog is clearly missing out on a lot of traffic and potential sales leads.
But do you know what’s worse than not having a blog? A dead blog!
If the last, and only, post on your blog was 8 months ago, then you’re the perfect example of a dead blog. It gives away so many wrong signals about your company that it’s hard to imagine something more damaging and credibility shattering – especially for an online business.
Based on my years of blogging and content consultancy experience, here’s what most prospective customer would think about your company when they come across your dead forgotten blog.
1. You don’t know enough about your industry
There’s no shortage of competition in any industry these days. It’s hard for customers to choose the right company for their needs and blogs play a major role in triggering customer purchase decisions. Any intelligent and knowledgeable company would take note of this fact and try to build a knowledge based blog for their customers. The more industry knowledge you share through your blog content, the more credible you become in the eyes of your potential customers.
By abandoning your blog, you’re giving all the wrong signals. You’re effectively telling your website visitors that you don’t have enough knowledge and expertise in your industry. You don’t know how to address the burning issues of the industry. You have no idea how to resolve customer issues.
With such credibility damaging signals coming from your blog, it’s hard to generate any sales from it.
2. You’re not a professional company
The internet has made it much easier for individuals to start their own companies. That’s obviously great for the economy. But it has also made it difficult for the customers to differentiate between professional corporate set ups and one man companies running from somebody’s bedroom. An abandoned blog puts you firmly in the latter group.
Giant corporations and industry leaders are increasingly investing money in building up their professional content teams with experienced bloggers and thought leaders. This gives them a clear edge over the one-man outsourced companies that have grown like mushrooms all over the internet.
3. You don’t care about your customers
Blogs, along with social networking websites, have effectively become the most engaging and timely customer service platforms. Companies encourage their blog readers to comment on their posts, share their feedback, discuss new product ideas and register complaints.
You on the other hand, have a dead blog. Which means customer satisfaction is the last thing on your mind – at least this is what I’d think if I was your customer. Your blog has a few old and isolated posts with a handful of (unanswered) comments, and you’ve never thought about building an email list, because that requires blogging as well. In short, there’s no connection between you and your customers.
4. You have no success stories to share
Companies use their blogs to build their credibility by sharing client testimonials and success stories with their readers. They create case studies on how they managed to win back hopelessly frustrated and irate clients and turned them into loyal customers. They show their prospective clients how keenly they look after their customers and make every effort to resolve their problems.
But with a dead blog, you’re doing none of that. You give out the impression of a company that has nothing special to show for its services. A company that has never gone the extra mile to help its customers.
As a prospective customer, looking to choose the most credible service for my needs, I would always prefer a company that shares success stories and testimonials. It would give me the extra sense of comfort, that I won’t be let down or left alone when I need help.
5. You’re going out of business
This is perhaps the most glaring impression that a dead blog would give away about your company. And this is why having a dead blog is worse than having no blog at all.
When a client explores your blog and sees the last post, dated 6 months back, he immediately looks for other sources to check if you’re even operating anymore. He loses confidence in your services and becomes suspicious of your commitment to your customers.
How would you feel if you see an SEO agency or a digital marketing company with a blog last updated 9 months ago?
A digital marketing agency is supposed to get you traffic and help you with content marketing (which obviously involves blogging as well). How credible would they be with their own blog dead and completely ignored?
I don’t know about you, but I would immediately consider them out of business and no more operational.
6. You’re out of touch with the current trends
You know that content marketing is critical for driving high value traffic that converts much more frequently. You also know that the leading companies in every industry invest a lot of money into their blogging and content marketing resources.
But if YOU know it, why isn’t, a supposedly, professional company aware of such a simple fact. They must obviously be out of touch with the current industry trends. If all of their competitors are blogging, why are they ignoring it?
7. You have an ignorant marketing team
When I see a company investing heavily in SEO, SEM and other paid advertisement campaigns, but completely ignoring blogging, I know they have a bad marketing team.
Because they’re investing money into something that is much more short term and has a lower conversion rate than inbound marketing and blogging. Leads generated through paid advertisements can never be as mature and convertible as those acquired through regular blogging campaigns.
You might initially save a few hundred or thousand dollars by preferring paid advertisements over content marketing, but over a longer period of time these leads would cost you much more since most of them would not give you repeat business or referral sales. PPC is an investment that goes away with the user’s click.
Blogging, on the other hand, is your brand’s permanent asset and would continue to bring you leads even months and years after publishing it.
But your smart marketing team won’t tell you that.
Wrapping it up
Blogging is an essential online branding and marketing platform. By taking it lightly and not investing in it seriously, you’re not only wasting a golden opportunity to acquire long term clients but also sending damaging signals to your prospective customers about your brand. So purely from a business point of view, it would be wise to either develop a comprehensive in-house blogging strategy or engage professional freelance bloggers to help you with regular content generation. The opportunity cost is just too much for you to bear.
Author Bio: ”Jawad Khan is a Content Marketing Specialist at Quality Trade, a leading B2B marketing and trading portal for verified and highly credible businesses. Follow Jawad on Google+ and Twitter.”
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Do you wonder why you don’t have engaged readers on your blog? Do people come and then leave your website, without letting you know if they would return?
If your web analytics software is showing that you’re attracting more new visitors than returning ones, you might recognize that you have to work harder on engaging with your audience, rather than trying to get more traffic.
Let’s take a look at those two types of visitors. You attract new visitors to your website by using social media tactics and guest posting. “Word of Mouth” is certainly the best traffic generation source that you could desire.
On the other hand, returning visitors usually need a strong reason to come to your website again. Either your blog has already become popular or you have invested efforts into creating a community, the problem of engaging visitors has been solved, and all you have to do now is to continue the good work. In the other case, if you’re struggling with making people returning to your website, you should consider starting to build a healthy list of subscribers.
In a previous article, I have mentioned the importance of email marketing. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the industry’s stats, but there are almost two times as many active email accounts in the world as Facebook and Twitter combined.
According to the Radicati Group There were 3.6 billion email accounts in 2013. By 2016, the number will reach 4.3 billion.
2 tips for capturing email addresses
There are two ways to convince people to leave their email address to receive updates from your blog.
1. Subscribing box at the end of each post
The subscribing box is an “organic” method to collect email addresses. People who are digging what they have just read will naturally enter their email address. Usually, this happens when the content they have consumed offers solutions to one of their struggles.
Let people know that they can receive similar content in their inbox by using the box at the end of each post. Although it is considered a best practice, the subscribing box will only help you to collect email addresses from people who have already been convinced by your previous efforts to subscribe. If you want to differentiate from the other bloggers that write for the same audience as you do, you might consider the second alternative to collect email addresses.
2. Exit opt-in pop ups
Unlike the subscribing box, the exit opt-in pop up allows you to become persuasive. Here are the major benefits of using pop ups to encourage people to subscribe.
The surprise effect: people don’t expect to receive anything when they are about to leave
You can use incentives to encourage people to subscribe: free ebooks, guides or checklists
You become a provider of valuable information for your blog’s readers
You’re more likely to get email addresses if you tell people what to do by using smart copywriting in strategic moments
The great thing about pop ups is that you can test different versions.
The first version, let’s call it A, doesn’t offer anything to subscribers, but it emphasizes on the benefits of subscribing and it includes a “Call To Action”.
The second version, B, will include the incentive – a free ebook, checklist, case study, event invitation. Besides the elements of version A, pop ups that include an incentive are more likely to increase the number of subscribers as long as the experiment is running on your website.
Though, you should know that once you have started such an attempt, you must continue delivering relevant content to subscribers according to what they have downloaded. Targeting and email marketing plays a vital role in building a healthy list.
Making people return and engage with your website’s content and offers involve using pop ups the smart way.
I’m going to give a few examples of exit plugins and tools that can help you with capturing email addresses. Though, you should know that it’s not about the tool, but about your goals and how are you going to achieve them. Before jumping in any action of building your list, take time to create a strategy and then stick to it.
Tools to grow your email list
Here are a range of tools to grow your email list including paid and free. Some have a lot of features and flexibility others just do a few things. Let’s check them out.
Marketizator is a more comprehensive tool that allows you to do the following features and much more.
Trigger pop ups at exit, on scroll or on load
You can test different versions of pop ups with A/B testing
It also provides with stats, reporting and statistical significance recommendation for the A/B test.
The basic licence retails at $19 per month and it includes having unlimited A/B tests either on the site’s content or pop ups, a number of surveys (with ready to use templates) to analyze the website’s audience, advanced segmentation and targeting rules and scheduling options.
It’s a newsletter solution that allows you to use multiple layouts and color schemes. It also includes targeting rules and the option to A/B test your pop ups. It comes with statistics and reports. The basic licence retails at $47 per year, and it allows you to use on one site only.
It allows you to prompt pop up on certain events such as percentage scroll, reaching the end of the post or the end of the comments. You have the option to use “Call to Action” buttons and emphasize on the benefits of subscribing. As you see, this plugin doesn’t use as a trigger the exit intent and it isn’t so useful if you have a freebie to offer.
It’s more versatile and it allows you to use targeting rules and to customize the pop up’s design. You can use Icegram if you want to give people access to one of your ebooks and to grab their email address. Be warned though: you have to build a landing page to capture the email addresses.
Regardless what tool you choose to capture the visitor’s attention, always make sure that you monitor your results. Also, remember that it’s not about the content you write, but how you market it to people.
Author: Elena Dobre is learning about digital marketing, business and life at Marketizator.com, the complete conversion rate optimization tool. She plays the role of the content strategist, but she’s also experiencing with CRO and lead generation. She enjoys discovering new online tools, hacks, brilliant minds and beautiful souls. Follow her on Twitter @HDobre.
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Let’s face it. Social media marketing is hard work. Sometimes you feel like a one legged man in a kickboxing competition.
Over the last few years it has become an integral part of your business and marketing.
You use social media to source leads, keep in touch with your old clients and even serve your current customers.
The only problem?
The Internet never sleeps.
But you can’t be online 24/7.
On top of it, there are multiple social media platforms fighting for your attention at any give time. (I can think of at least ten from the top off my head!)
If you’re a blogger or a small business, you cannot imagine hiring dedicated staff for social media management. Even if you can afford it, you may still not want to.
Where 40% of small business owners are most likely to outsource TV/radio ads and 35% are likely to do the same with SEO only a measly 5% want to outsource social media marketing and email newsletters.
So how on earth are you supposed to manage staying on top of things; interact and engage with your followers while scheduling all those posts on each of these accounts?
Before you decide to go on a digital sabbatical, here’s some good news.
Enter social media dashboards.
If you’re an avid social media marketer, you’ve probably heard of a social media dashboard before. These online tools help you combat the time-sucking vortex that social media can sometimes be.
What is a social media dashboard?
Simply put, a social media dashboard makes social media management super-easy. It syncs all your social media accounts in one convenient place.
In its truest sense, a dashboard also allows you to see all your social media analytics at one place, thus eliminating the need to manually go into each account and check what happened in the past week.
A robust dashboard will let you connect with all major social media platforms out there. At the bareminimum, most good tools will sync Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn.
5 benefits of using a social media dashboard
Let’s be honest. How many times have you logged in on Facebook to schedule posts on your business page only to find yourself lost in the sea of posts after 30 minutes? And suddenly, you realise you haven’t retweeted something you were meaning to. You rush to Twitter and the same story repeats. A dashboard will save you ton of time. Because on its own, each social media platform can be a time-suck. With a dashboard, you are keeping things in perspective.
You want to keep a tab on what your competitors are upto. Who’s talking about them? Who’s following them? How’s their engagement? All tracking-related questions that you can answer with simple search inside the tool.
Only a few social networks allow you to schedule your content. It’s a headache to go inside each account and schedule every post manually. Granted, networks like Twitter operate in “real-time” but you can’t be online all day long. Plus, no one likes being bombarded with string of posts within a given span of time, so scheduling is a smarter way to be present without really being there. A dashboard comes to rescue!
You’ve probably wondered: What type of posts are a “hit” with my audience? Which ones get the most shares and engagement? How do I get more leads through social channels? Thankfully, with a dashboard, you can stop the guesswork. By seeing what your audience clicked on, you can fine-tune into what your followers enjoy. Dashboards make it easy to analyze everything at once.
Most dashboard tools will allow you and your team members to collaborate. You can also divide roles and duties and allocate social media tasks to each member so you know who’s accountable. Works like a charm especially when you’re remotely-based.
With that, let’s look at the pros and cons of five popular social media dashboard tools.
5 social media dashboard tools
Here are 5 top dashboard tools that can help you manage your social media marketing.
Cyfe is a full-blown business analytics tool that connects all your online activities, not just social media.
Signing up with their Forever Free plan is easy. Just enter your name, email and password and you’re all set.
The tool has a myriad of widgets for different purposes, such as:
Sales and Finance
Each widget supports many different services that you can sync. For example, the Sales and Finance widget lets you add Freshbooks, Paypal, Xero, Salesforce etc.
The SocialMedia widget allows you to add different profiles as shown below:
You can also add a Competitor Dashboard in Cyfe where you can monitor their SEO and social media growth using widgets.
Cyfe is not just limited to social media – think of it as an integrated dashboard.
For example, if you use multiple Gmail inboxes – one for personal emails, another for client work and still another for guest blogging – keeping a tab on each one could be a pain. In Cyfe, you can easily create a Gmail dashboard for ease of management and boost your productivity.
Of course, not everyone needs all these features, so you can only use what applies to you. When compared to other tools out there, you’ll notice Cyfe comes in free and premium plans that aren’t all that expensive.
Pricing: Forever free plan.
$19/mo for unlimited everything (includes unlimited team members, dashboards and widgets) or $14/mo if paid annually.
Sendible can schedule future social network posts and bring all your social media interaction under one roof along with emails and SMS marketing integration (CRM).
They also include brand monitoring for Yelp which could be useful for local businesses.
Inside though, it looks more like using an email client than a dashboard.
You can compose and publish blog posts to WordPress, Tumblr and Blogspot also.
You can do a 30-day free trial because Sendible doesn’t provide you with any free accounts after the period lapses. So you have to provide your credit card details although you can cancel, upgrade or downgrade anytime.
Pricing: $39.99/mo for their Start up plan that includes up to 40 services, two team members and two branded reports. Larger plans also available.
I’ve never used Social Sprout before, but I’ve been hearing about it recently. So I decided to give it a try.
Signing up with Social Sprout is a breeze. And they don’t ask you for any credit card details either. On the flip side, the free trial is limited to 30 days.
Personally I don’t like the fact that once you sign up, you’re asked to attach with your Twitter account. Without authorizing, you can’t proceed.
Social Sprout asks for my business name and timezone upfront. Timezones can be tricky especially when dealing with social media, so I like how it is taken care of in the beginning.
Then, I am asked to do one of three things: Add social profiles, invite my team or jump into my inbox.
Sprout Social allows you to sync your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Feedly accounts.
Unlike Hootsuite, Sprout Social doesn’t use columns.
Another neat feature is easy setup for brand keywords (for social media monitoring). When you set up these keywords for your brand name, you’ll receive inbox messages from Twitter and Facebook even when someone mentions you without the @ tag.
Once you link your Twitter, you can search for people who follow you but you’re not following them under their Discover tab or “Cleanup” any silent, irregular or “do not follow back” accounts. Cool!
The down side is it’s on the expensive end and allows for limited number of profiles that you can connect even with a paid plan.
Pricing: Starts at$59/mo for an individual plan for up to 10 profiles. Larger plans also available.