The concept of native advertising has become increasingly hot recently. If you’re not familiar with the term “native advertising” it means content that is put in with the regular “stream” of organic content on social networks (or other non-digital mediums) and labeled as “sponsored.” For example, here’s a native ad from my newsfeed on Facebook. We’ve all seen ads like this by now. But one smart way to drive more clicks and build your email list is to send the traffic from ads like this to specific content posts on your website that have already been identified as “high performers” in terms of visitor to email conversions, social shares, and/or commenting. In addition, Twitter recently came out with its “Lead Generation cards” feature (which is free). It allows you to easily collect email optins by offering some sort of content incentive. Here’s one I found from Ryan Deiss, co-founder of DigitalMarketer.com. Note: If you want to find out more about how to use Twitter lead generation cards, I cover it (along with how to steal your competitors followers) in this free video here. As it turns out, I found Ryan’s ad before he was using Twitter lead gen. cards. I actually converted to an email list subscriber simply as a result of reading an insightful article post on his blog. Ironically, the article I was reading was all about how he and his business had achieved 259% ROI with native ads and non-squeeze page content (blog posts). I get the sense that in order to convert with paid traffic being sent to blog post content, you really have to figure out what’s most likely to convert in advance and make sure those pages are optimized for capturing email optins. Otherwise you’ll be going through a process of trial and error which will require more investment to get right. And if if you want a good laugh, check out “Last Week Tonight’s” bit with John Oliver on certain controversial forms of native ads (NSFW), see below.
It’s important to note how a number of growing trends revolve around content of value – not promotional content. Things like personalization and subscriber lifetime value, bite-sized content that’s easy to digest, stronger narratives and storytelling, richer experiences… that’s all key to crafting highly engaging emails that will grow your open and engagement rates.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before many many times but it’s true. If you have something to sell your list will bring you more income than any other single method. Not only is your list the most important asset you have but it can come with you. What I mean by that is if you have a website on your chosen topic that dies for whatever reason your list will be unaffected by it. You can simply start a new site and move all your peeps over to the new site with one email notification. It sure beats starting all over again.
In this context, I guess each post can’t be thought of in isolation, but in terms of a mini content ecosystem that comprises of a great blog post optimised for on-page SEO, an upgrade to that post tailored for that specific content, various on-page email conversion points including an exit pop-up or similar -and then you combine all this with your off page link building and outreach efforts. That could be over 5,000 words of content all in just that one package.
I so often forget that people can sign up to an email list in places other than an email capture form on my site. Depending on your email software, there is likely a landing page devoted to acquiring email signups. You can get the link and share it in a huge number of different places like email signatures, social media messages, and guest blog bios.
Did you ever even think of cold calling as a way to grow your email list? I bet you didn’t. By as Trent Dyrsmid revealed to Andrew during his Mixergy interview, offering a free report over the phone instead of just on a webpage is extremely effective. In fact, he built his business on it. Here’s an excerpt of the transcript, read it from start to finish to get the full benefit:
2) Foo Bar. Like a great, much cheaper version of the Hello Bar, it allows you to have a sticky promotional message bar at the top of your site as visitors scroll. Great for promoting your email list opt-in! Works well in tandem with a pop-up tool. It certainly gets plenty of clicks on my site – more than promo ads in the side bar! http://codecanyon.net/item/foobar-wordpress-notification-bars/411466
There are many great options available, but some key considerations to help businesses make the right choice are budget, ease of CMS integration and available resources to manage the platform, as the more complex platforms require a dedicated internal or agency resource in order to get the most value. If you’re interested, check out this post on choosing the right marketing automation solution.
This is a more advanced tactic for those of you using video to market your business. According to JLBmedia, 78% of internet users watch video once per week and 55% watch it at least once per day. Since video is so widely consumed, it makes sense that if you’re going to include it as part of your website’s sales funnel or on a blog post it you should get position it to generate more email subscribers for you. Here’s how it works:
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In addition to satisfying legal requirements, email service providers (ESPs) began to help customers establish and manage their own email marketing campaigns. The service providers supply email templates and general best practices, as well as methods for handling subscriptions and cancellations automatically. Some ESPs will provide insight and assistance with deliverability issues for major email providers. They also provide statistics pertaining to the number of messages received and opened, and whether the recipients clicked on any links within the messages.
Bluecore – Bluecore is a triggered email marketing service for e-commerce businesses. The system automatically tracks each customer's interactions with e-commerce sites. Each time they browse a product category, search for a specific keyword or check out a sale item, the software knows and then automatically builds and sends them the best email to earn the sale. Popular customer triggers include search abandonment, window shopping, wish list creation, cart abandonment and purchase completion. The service also automatically tracks every single product and its price, so businesses can build dynamic trigger programs without ever uploading or integrating product data. bluecore.com
To do this, you need to have a web analytics tool (like Google Analytics) installed on your site. If you do, and you’ve enabled our Google Analytics integration, then you’ll be able to see details of any visits to your website from your email campaigns, including how long they spent on your site, what pages they visited, what campaigns they’re coming from and more.
Ideally, email marketing should go hand-in-hand with social media. Adding social media "Like" or "Share" buttons to your marketing emails gives an additional way for customers to connect with your brand. Snippets of positive reviews from social media fans can be included in emails, and conversely, social media postings can be used to encourage fans to subscribe to your email newsletters.
With the exception of their email templates (which aren’t the most inspiring), everything about Constant Contact is generally quite good. Unlike other email marketing tools, there are no bells or whistles with Constant Contact. You’re probably not going to be blown away by any of their features, but equally, there’s nothing too underwhelming either.
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In Mistake #4 above, I referenced the importance of using this information to identifying your top performing message topics, but there are plenty of other things you can do with this information. For example, you can use your open rate data to identify readers who have opened all your messages, but failed to make a purchase with your business. Using the tools provided by your email marketing program, you could then group these readers into a sub-segment of your list in order to send them targeted promotions based on their past interaction history.
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