Category: Email Marketing

Jul 26 2008

Creating Relevant Marketing Messages 13

Remember, a visit isn’t necessarily triggered by receiving an email — subscribers can go to your website and purchase a product at any time. You marketing messages and calls to action should be site-wide and pervasive.

While it is true that every page of your site has the potential to be a home page, thanks to email marketing, you can guide the sales process much more commandingly through emails with well-crafted subject lines, a sales message, and a link that takes them to a well-designed special landing page complete with sales letter, than you can by allowing people to simple wander around your site clicking on whatever strikes their fancy.

If you have Crazy Egg in place, chances are you can follow their actions on the page, or across a number of pages in your sales process or funnel. Set up a landing page dedicated to each of your mailings and watch what they do.  Improve each landing page as needed in light of your observations.

Even though the questions you are asking and answers you are gathering might not be traditional “email metrics,” we still need to look at these events, because they can still give us insight into our subscribers’ needs, wants and interests — and we can use that information to create more relevant email campaigns.

Once you start looking at email beyond the immediate results you get (opens and clicks), you can really start to figure out what your subscribers are doing with your emails, and what motivates them to do business with you compared with any other site.

Then you can hone your offers to improve your conversion rates, which means a larger return on investment and a more plump bottom line.

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Jul 25 2008

Creating Relevant Marketing Messages 12

Your analysis of your email campaign should yield big dividends if you moderate your marketing message in light of what you have learned.

You might also want to think about what other subscriber actions, if any, might you include in your analysis.

For example, who is contacting customer service, and what are the kinds of questions or comments they are communicating? Are they having trouble completing their registration. Are there technical issues with your unsub feature?

Note that some of these actions (purchases, visiting your website) take place on your website, rather than directly in the email, but the email is the triggering event.

We have been sending out marketing emails every day for the past two years, selling health information, and not a single email has failed to generate revenue. It may be the difference between 1 order and 150, but at least there are sales, and we have learned from every mailing.

Split testing, giving different offers to the ones who buy versus the ones who don’t, making great offers to your Hotlines (your newest registrants, when they are most keen and excited about your site) to get them right into your sales cycle, these are the kinds of strategies that can help make your email marketing a success.

Jul 23 2008

Creating Relevant Marketing Messages 11

Once you have started your email campaign, track their actions.

Ask the question:

* What are my subscribers doing?
* What so those actions mean?

We can look at several actions when deciding what a subscriber is doing:

? Do they open emails? (Which subject lines worked best?)

? Do they click links? (Which calls to action worked best?)

? Do they purchase from the landing page you are sending them to? (You can use Crazy Egg to track this page. Watch what they do on the page, and adjust your message or layout accordingly. What is your conversion rate from click to purchase)

? Do they visit other pages of your website (Which pages, and what are they doing on them?) (We recommend with your landing page that you have a ‘closed loop’—don’t overwhelm them with too many choices or they will end up doing none of the actions you hope for. Narrow your sales funnel, and they will be much less likely to escape from it)

? Do they purchase products at the site? (Which ones, and how much do they spend?)

? Do they unsubscribe? (When?)

? Do they contact customer service? What about?

Jul 22 2008

Creating Relevant Marketing Messages 10

Getting started with Aweber

If you are starting a mailing program, you will need to create and then input some basic data about the new list into the interface. Then you will need to design your email address capture forms. This is a simple enough process; the hard part is getting people to sign up. But here are some handy hints to consider.

First of all, you need to be clear about what they are signing up for. A Newsletter, sure, but what about discounts, special offers and so on. Are you giving a free PDF as an instant download? If you do this, make sure that the download is only given once they have confirmed.

Second, your order coupon-is your order mechanism working well? Is it sufficiently persuasive in getting them to part with their personal data?

How much personal data are you asking for? Why not just start out with first name and email address?  Be clear about what you are asking for too-you can populate the fields with an example.

Third, you can guage how successful your sign up message is and how keen they are to get your material if they confirming. We won’t go into all the reasons why you should make sure your list is double opt-in. Take our word for it, in the long term you will be glad you are Can-Spam Compliant

The main thing is, are your instructions clear to get them to confirm? If you offer a free PDF download, make sure it is the incentive for them to click through to complete the process. It should be on the last page, not in the email itself.

Jul 21 2008

Creating Relevant Marketing Messages 9

Email Marketing 102 continued

your email marketing message is only as good as your open rates: that is, how many people actually ever get to read it. You need to look at your subject line, and track your opens and click throughs.

Your email also has to be deliverable. Many marketing messages end up in the spam or bulk mail folder due to lack of thought, or ignorance of the latest rules on spam.

The good news is that Spam Assassin is built into the Aweber email interface that we recommend, to make sure your emails are not unacceptable for any number of reasons. The reasons are listed in the interface as well whenever you click on your email spam score.

It is also color coded for ease of use, in the same way as a traffic light, green for go, yellow for caution, red, stop and think about what it is telling you to look at.

The Spam Assassin scores are not always perfect, but you can usually get good feedback and it can often spot HTML errors that you might not have detected yourself.

You will get the best results if you customize each step in the process, and best of all, the service has excellent tracking of email open rates and click through rates.

There is also a split testing tool that will help you hone your sales messages to make sure you are getting the best conversions possible.

Jul 20 2008

Creating Relevant Marketing Messages 8

Email Marketing 102

If you own a company, or are working for a company in which the goal of the website is lead generation or actual sales, an  in-house list is an invaluable tool which can help you achieve both goals.

Your lead generation is the chance to educate them about your company and its products.

Your sales process is just that, making sure you produce relevant marketing messages which will encourage them to open their wallets and part with their hard-earned cash, even in this tough economy.

So, if you haven’t already, what do you need to get started?

A robust service like Aweber is great value at only $19.95 per month, and you can have virtually unlimited campaigns and lists within your account.

You can use it straight out of the box, so to speak (it is actually al internet based, so once you register, you can pretty much get started right away.

They offer you a set of pro forma tools for the double opt-in process, which you should use for your own protection, to make sure than you are CAN-SPAM compliant.

Jul 19 2008

Creating Relevant Marketing Messages 7

If you decide to become an affiliate marketer, you will definitely be successful if you work with the company closely, in terms of looking at all their guidelines, hints and tips. In many cases they are giving you advice on how to promote their most successful products, what keywords to use, professionally presented ad copy, and more.

You might even go so far as to write review of the products, your personal experiences, and more. (Handy hint here—NEVER try to sell products you or your friends and family would not be interested in ever using yourselves. And also, just think of the discounts you can get if you buy through your own site! It is a super way of making the most of your budget at Christmas!)

Gear whatever marketing message you are being give by the affiliate manager  to the visitors at your site.

Other affiliate opportunties on the internet.

One of the biggest opportunities on the internet is to sell information products as instant PDF digital downloads.

It is fast, easy, and provides instant gratification. It is great at monetizing the impulse buy, and non-fiction in particular sells well, and can sell a fair bit if it is a hot topic everyone it interested in.

While everyone will tell you that you can make the most money with your own product, it takes time and energy.   So why not promote products already for sale?

You can get started selling other people’s ebooks on topics related to your site at Clickbank or at Paydotcom.  PDC is relatively new, but is trying to give affiliates a better deal.

Once you become a member of either of these sites, you can see all of the products available on topics related to your site, and get a special code with an in-built link. Every time a sale occurs at that site, you get credit for it. The Clickbank checks come every two weeks like clockwork, and you can also buy the books yourself and get a commission.

So again, while it is easy to just rely on the sales message given to you, you should study your product in order to be able to market it effectively.

Jul 18 2008

Creating Relevant Marketing Messages 6

Email Marketing 101

Email Marketing is a great tool, but the money is NOT in the list, it is in people’s wallets, and will stay there unless you can persuade them to buy.

So let’s start with the basics, so you can check to see if you are converting visitors into ‘customers’, or if there is some tension or friction in the ‘sales process’.

Am I a marketer?

First of all, you need to be clear about the goals of your site. Is it to persuade, inform, entertain?

The reason I ask is, let’s face it, there is a certain amount of work involved all the time, and cost too, in doing a website, even if it is just something you have put up for family and friends.

You may love to blog, but unless you are being hosted at a free site, there is cost involved. So why not turn your hobby site into a money-maker?

You may not get a huge flood of cash pouring in, but if it is enough to cover the cost of domain registration and hosting every year, great.

You can monetize your blog or site it very easily by putting ads on your site, by becoming an affiliate with a company like Commission Junction, and then putting up the banners and special offers. Money will come to you every single time you make a sale.

Some pay on the basis of commission, that is, you get a percentage of whatever the customer spends, thanks to links which track the sales back to you.

Others pay on the basis of lead generation. That is, they sign up for something, like a free newsletter, and you get paid.

So, if you have an email list you have permission to contact on a regular basis, you can send them news and regular updates about your site, and also provide links to the special offers from the companies you are working for as an affiliate.

In which case, yes, you ARE a marketer.

Commission Junction is one of the best known affiliate services, with a wide variety of companies to work with. Once you sign up with them for your site or sites, you will get a code and then you can begin to search all of the offers. You will be able to get links with your code embedded, so that you will be given credit for any sales  which take place at your site.

Start small, with relevant ads related to your site’s topic/s, and watch the money come in (we will be talking about how to do this in a new series of articles soon).

Another group is called Performics. They were working with Yahoo Search Marketing and were recently bought by Google, so they are also worth keeping an eye on.