5 Simple Ways to Make Your Email Marketing Profitable

You probably have heard all kinds of desperate predictions about the demise of email marketing, but what the evidence shows is that it’s still an integral component of your online marketing mix, both now and down the road. As reported by Sign-Up.to’s 2013 UK Email Marketing Benchmark Report, there has been a strong increase in average email open rates, rising from 18.35 percent to 21.47 percent within the past 12 months. Also, (and even more exciting) the average return on your email marketing investment is a mind-numbing $44.25 for each dollar spent. (iContact)


EmailMarketing

So how do you to take advantage of this?

Here are 5 easy ways to get your email marketing efforts heading in the right direction!

  1. Create great subject lines – Headlines matter, as your open rates will tank if you overlook this aspect. Take the time to craft a subject line that makes people want to open your email. This could be a combination of curiosity, excitement, urgency, beneficial and spam compliant.
  2. Write engaging content – Make certain your emails are not only written to engage, but are also providing great content unique to your brand. Over-deliver when it comes to handing out pearls of wisdom, as that is presumably why they’re subscribed to and following you in the first place, correct?
  3. Incorporate social media – This is a easy way to spread your emails around, especially those with terrific content. Implement social sharing buttons in your emails, and encourage your users to use them. This can result in easy new opt-ins.
  4. Send mobile-friendly emails – Given that 64 percent of decision makers read their email on their mobile device,(TopRankBlog) and also the average person checks their smartphone some 34 times a day, do you need any more convincing to make your emails mobile friendly?
  5. Send email more often – This is one we frequently hesitate at. Nobody wants to keep pissing off people who don’t want to read your messages. Sure, if you’re selling some shiny new object every email. Rather, make sure to keep sending fantastic content that people simply can’t wait to read. Copyblogger reports that very often your unsubscribes actually decrease if you mail more frequently.

Convince Your Readers with Persuasive Copy

There may very well be no more fundamental task for a content provider than to be persuasive with your copy. Sounds simple, right? Just up until you’ve tried it, perhaps. You will discover a reason top copywriters get paid the big bucks. Never fear however. You needn’t break the budget to hire your local Shakespeare just yet. There are some basic components of copy-writing with persuasion which will make a major difference, and best of all, they can be learned!

Convince Your Readers with Persuasive Copy

4 Essential steps to persuasive copy

  1. Be sure it’s scannable – We hear constantly how nobody reads on the web anymore – they scan. It is sadly true, since these are the cards we’ve been dealt, here are some ways to make sure that your copy is read by the scanning surfer intent on leaving your page. Use plenty of white space, bullet points, sub-headlines, bolding and color, and compelling images to reel them in and keep their interest.
  2. Write conversationally – Write like you’re talking with a friend. Nobody wants a lecture. So no matter what the subject, and how technical it can appear, be sure you write as you talk. It truly helps with building the trust you are hoping to build with your reader, particularly if you are hoping to induce them to buy anything eventually.
  3. Structure for your outcome – We all love to be told stories, and you can use this in your favor just about every time. We process information most efficiently when the content is provided in a narrative stream, so don’t be shy about telling your story! Use a beginning, middle and end, lead inexorably to a climax, which would be to get the reader to take whatever action you’re asking.
  4. Ask for what you want! – It’s hard to think that we actually have to say this, but so often copy is lean on the asking side. It’s as though they don’t want to come off as too pushy in actually asking for the sale. The truth is that if you don’t sell the ask with enthusiasm, you’re actually disappointing and possibly confusing the reader. It’s expected, so ask. Never write anything without a strong call to action!

Free Webinars and YouTube Videos Using Google Hangouts!

Google is famous for developing new programs and then getting rid of them when they don’t work out. Anyone recall Google Wave, Google Buzz and now Google Reader? While many have predicted a very similar fate for Google , an addition to this might just save the day. Google Hangouts is Google’s latest addition, and one that truly has lots of usefulness. (Particularly for marketers!)

Free Webinars and YouTube Videos Using Google Hangouts!

Google Hangouts – So what is it exactly?

A super easy tool for teleconferencing that can replace or augment your current webinar or online seminar solutions. Linked to your Google account, a hangout is a breeze to launch, and has a number of attractive features for marketers. You and up to ten other participants, together with any number of other viewers can see your hangout live. It can be broadcast from your Google page, YouTube channel, or a page on your site. Google records the Hangout, and then a few minutes after you’re done, sends a YouTube URL to you, which you could then use in many ways.

Marketing with Google Hangouts

Here are 10 good ways to use Google Hangouts in your marketing.

  • Webinars – Tired of expensive GoToWebinar fees? Now you have a no cost alternative!
  • Conferences – Simple to setup teleconferencing makes a Hangout a no-brainer for sharing a conference experience.
  • Meetings – Hold meetings for clients, customer, prospect or affiliates on an informal, yet immediate platform.
  • Product Launches – A creative way to create positive buzz on launch day. (Or before!)
  • Interviews – Capture interviews with others on the fly with Google Hangouts!
  • Product Demos – Show people what you’ve got, live and in person!
  • Virtual Press Conference – Share newsworthy items via Hangouts.
  • Live Streaming Events – Many marketers now use Google Hangouts as their own live TV station, broadcasting weekly shows.
  • Q & A with Customers – Learn what your customers want and need easily. Great trust builder!
  • Podcast from your Hangout – Making a Podcast to share through iTunes is incredibly easy to accomplish.

Google Hangouts is a fantastic new tool to include in your marketing mix. Don’t miss your opportunity to connect with your customers in a meaningful way.

Move to “Flat Design” Underscores the Significance of Mobile

There a brand new trend that’s sweeping the web design industry called flat design. You may not have heard about this yet, but you’ve surely seen it. The thing is, it’s not really all that “new”, as Microsoft pretty much introduced it in 2006 with its now-discontinued Zune site design.

So exactly what is it that makes a “flat” web design?

Flat design is seen as simple, bright solid colors, plenty of white space, plus the lack of drop shadows, gradients, and textures that were a major element of a web designer’s arsenal for quite a while now. Often typography plays a prominent role in flat web design. Flat web design is a “smooth” solution whose aim is to eliminate as many decorative elements of a “3D” type look as is feasible.

Move to Flat Design Underscores the Significance of Mobile

So why the change from 3D to flat design?

There are several reasons why this is taking place, but possibly the most persuasive reason is that it’s an invention born out of necessity. The 2D environment that designers often have to work in, in this ever-more mobile world, necessitates economy of scale.
It’s become more and more difficult to cram all you may want onto a 4-inch screen, making a 3D simulation somewhat disadvantageous and incompatible with a terrific user experience. With a flat design pages load faster, are less bulky and are more responsive. In a competitive world where you have a few short seconds to win over and hook your visitors, every second counts.

Is this a fad or is flat design here to stay?

The jury remains out on that, but suffice it to say if it is a trend, elements of it may be tough to dismiss quickly. Apple is rumored to be considering a flat design for the next operating system, the iOS7. If it does turn out to be a fad, the simplicity and user-friendly functionality of flat web design may give it a lengthier shelf life than you may think!

What is SoLoMo and Why Do I Need It?

Do you SoLoMo? Yes, I know that sounds like the latest offering from the Starbucks menu, but the acronym actually stands for social, local, mobile. What you need to do however, is get your head around why SoLoMo is a very important concept and marketing tool for your small business to employ.

So what is SoLoMo and why do you want it?

The melding of these three distinct technologies was bound to happen. As mobile devices become more and more sophisticated, permitting geo-location services to track every move, it was just a small step into enabling businesses to send notifications to nearby customers. Research conducted recently by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that around 74 percent of smartphone users use them to get information, and approximately 18 percent are using them to check in on local businesses with services like Foursquare. This has led to both an opportunity and a challenge. More and more mobile users are searching for local products and services, and if your company is not using its social media to connect and draw these individuals who are out there roaming the streets seeking something to do, eat or buy. It’s your job to make sure they find you before they find someone else!

What is SoLoMo and Why Do I Need It

3 Ways to your business can employ SoLoMo

  • Use social media – By utilising social media such as Facebook, Twitter and others to engage and inform your customers and prospects, you’ve found a most effective and low-cost solution to build relationship and energise your brand simultaneously.
  • Optimise your local presence – Make sure your small business is optimised in local search directories that are appropriate, and you are actively catering to local business with your marketing.
  • Spend some on mobile marketing – Mobile ads are returning excellent ROIs, as most users who are searching local are out there looking for it in the field. Also, some local advertising solutions are cheap or free, such as check in deal on Facebook or FourSquare.

A great example of SoLoMo in action is exemplified by Walgreens. Checking in with Foursquare gives their customers coupons and a great deal more! SoLoMo isn’t going to do anything but expand dramatically, so take the time to make sure your small business is all set for it!

What are #Hashtags and How to Use Them

Know exactly what a #Hashtag is? If you’re not a social media maven, and particularly Twitter, you may not have a clue what a #hashtag is. No need for that being the situation any longer. A hashtag is a # followed by a word or phrase to perform a number of functions. Twitter users add hashtags to tweets as search conventions, a method of categorizing, and marketing tactics. #Hashtags may also be used in other social media platforms.

Some #Hashtags basic guidelines

Make sure the keyword you use is not in use elsewhere, or you may be in for a large surprise. This requires doing a little research (a search on Search.Twitter.com) to find out whether or not that keyword will be a wise decision. Also, don’t use misleading #hashtags, even with seriously trending keywords. This will definitely NOT work in your favor. And above all, proofread prior to deciding to create that #hashtag, lest you become a victim of your own hashtag.

using-hashtag

4 Ways to market with #hashtags

  1. Make your #hashtags short and direct – Making it brief and direct is the best way to win with #hashtags. If you want to combine more than one, fine, but don’t string together a small army of them, as that will annoy your readers and label you an amateur.
  2. Make them memorable – An unforgettable #hashtag is one that will be shared widely. Give some thought and you just could possibly have it go viral.
  3. Use them on your other social channels – A #hashtag wants desperately to be shared, and you can nowadays do so across numerous social media channels including Facebook, Google , LinkedIn and Pinterest. This will really help to sear the #hashtag into the brains of your readers.
  4. Use keywords – If you can. It’s not necessarily possible, but try and work in your brand or primary keywords.

Creating and using memorable #hashtags can keep your brand and conversation before your social media audience, and help perpetuate your campaigns. Give it a go today!