Tag Archive | "email marketing"

AWeber Announces New Features

AWeber announced last week it’s newest of features: Segmenting with Tags and Sending Broadcast Newsletters to Tagged Segments.

In this week’s previous article, we touched on the importance of segmenting your huge list into much smaller lists so that you can be able to send more targeted emails with contextual content. According to the National Client Email Report (2015), effectively targeted emails can drive up to 77 percent of your overall email ROI.

77 percent. Wow. Think of what 77 percent could do to your bottom line.

With AWeber’s newest feature you will be able to segment and sent targeted broadcast newsletter based on tags as well.

While this might seem like a small simplistic feature on the surface, it turns out to be a mighty powerful one when you dig a little deeper. The feature will enable marketers to apply tags to subscribers based on their preferences and actions. Thus allowing marketers to build segmented audiences from those tags. And you guessed it, send more relevant, targeted emails.

Boom!

Now get too it and tell us in the comments below how it is working out for you.

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Email MarketingComments (0)

6 Ways to Effectively Segment Your Email Lists

For the majority of us the phrase “bigger is better” has been drilled into our heads like some sort of religious mantra that we must live our lives by.  I’m sure that many of us have fallen victim to this single minded way of thinking. Whether it be in regards to cars, houses, diamonds, boats, and yes those other unmentionable things too..  

A recent research study conducted by GetResponse suggests that bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to our email lists. They are in fact suggesting the exact opposite, “go small or go home.”

The email marketing automation platform analyzed nearly two billion emails sent via their very own platform over a two month period and the data is shocking. Their study suggests that users were rewarded with a higher engagement rate on segmented lists containing between 1,000 and 2,499 subscribers. While email lists with more than 1 million subscribers only generate open rates of 8.1% compared to their smaller counterparts which pulled in 31.19%.

Let us drill this down for you.

The study isn’t suggesting that you dump your thousands of subscribers that you have worked so hard to obtain, rather, you should segment that big list into smaller more personalized lists of their own. A smaller list enables you to send messages with more finite segmentation, thus creating a slurry of higher open rates.

How to segment your lists?

  1. Geography

This should seem like a no-brainer, but honestly there always seems to a handful of those that I’m coaching that simply overlook this.  You don’t want to send Canadians or other subscribers that aren’t US based marketing correspondence centered around Thanksgiving, for example. Nor would it be relevant to send a southerner an article discussing the best way to keep warm during the winter.

  1. Age

Just as you most likely speak to a millennial differently than a retiree, it’s a good idea to adjust your messaging and offers based on their age.

  1. Gender

Source: DeviantArt.net

Mars vs Venus. We might not like to admit it, but genders tend to see, feel, and purchase differently than each other. What might be highly appealing to a female, could regrettably not interest a male in the least.

  1.  Past purchases

Anytime I’m setting up a new email automation account, the very first segment that happens is a differential between buyers and non-buyers.  Again, it’s common for us already knee deep (or further) in the trenches, but noobies often overlook it.

  1. Interests

This can be accomplished in a variety of ways such as past purchases or even surveys. Go ahead, find out what your subscribers actually want, we promise it isn’t going to hurt.

  1. Stage in the Sales Cycle

After analyzing 34 online studies of ecommerce shopping cart abandonment, Bamyard Institute determined that, on average, 68% of shopping carts were abandoned prior to purchase.

There are tons of automated tools out there that will shoot a potential customer an email if they should happen to abandon their cart, or sometimes even sooner in the sales process. For instance, just this week I was checking out the new Samsung Galaxy S8 via Verizon’s website. I really was just looking to see how much I would need upfront to get into a new phone. Of course, I abandoned my cart after I found the desired information and didn’t think about it again until I received a text. 

 

With another follow up text the next day reiterating the previous message.

What about you? What other ways can you think of to segment your email lists? Or which of the above mentioned techniques are you using?  We would love to hear more from you in the comments below.

 

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Email MarketingComments (0)

10 Stupid Simple Ways To Grow Your Email Marketing List

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.  Marketing Sherpas research has shown that your email subscriber list is most likely going to degrade by about 22.5% every year.  For various reasons:

  • Subscribers’ email addresses change as they move from one company to another
  • Unqualified leads opt out of your email communications
  • People abandon their old Yahoo address they really never use except for “spam” sites
  • Your email content no longer applies to their needs/desires

Now for the good news…There are tons of easy ways to continue to grow or build your email marketing list back up.  As a marketer it is your job to infuse fresh contacts into your email campaigns that you can keep your numbers growing.  This is done with a little bit of ingenuity and time, not by purchasing or renting a list, as we discussed a few weeks back.

Below is a list of 10 ways to ramp up your email database for free:

Grow it with new content

1) Create a new lead-gen offer such as a free ebook or whitepaper which would be available for download after they provide you with their email.  This is a pretty standard lead-gen move.  Create a landing page with an opt-in form and a teaser about the free item. The page then normally leads the subscriber down an offer flow or deeper into your blog.  

2)Create a free online tool or app.  Again just like the ebook or whitepaper the visitor would supply you with their email address in order to obtain access to the download.  Make sure to make the tool and/or app worthy of their email address offering. 

Grow it with Networking, Traditional Marketing and Advertising

3)  Collect email addresses at tradeshows or other offline events.  There are a ton of industry events everywhere, of course some are much larger than other but even the smallest of crowds could help you grow your database.  Find networking events in your area on sites suchs as MeetUp.com and make sure you are armed with business cards with a link leading them to your lead-gen page.  Of course always remember to send these contacts a welcome email confirming their opt-in to your list.  

4) Host your own offline events.  Not finding any networking events in your area? Host your own using sites like MeetUp.com or other social media platforms.  Send a blast out on Twitter or create a boosted Facebook post.  

5) Host an online webinar or podcast. Collect email addresses at registration.  Remember to make the webinar or podcast valuable not a timewaster.  

6) Add a QR code to your traditional printed marketing campaigns.  People can easily scan them to opt-in to your list.  Plus they just look “new agey.”

Grow it with the help of a partner

7) Host a co-marketing campaign or offer with a partner.  Ask for the help of a partner (should be a known entity – again not a purchased or rented list) to co-promote the lead capture to both his and your own list.  After the launch the list becomes a shared resource.  

8)  Have affiliates run your offer on their website.  You will either have to reciprocate with an equal amount of traffic to your site or set up a pay per subscriber scenario.  

Grow it with Social Media

8)  Add a simple sign up page to your Facebook page.  Yeah, that sounds silly but many people simply overlook this.  There are many different app options to add and set up an email sign-up form to your Facebook page alone. Most email list servers have a custom Facebook app that syncs with your list from Facebook.

Some suggested email sign-up apps are:

9)  Preview or give teasers of premium content via your social channels.  Just as with your lead-gen page, you can give a glimpse of your free ebook or whitepaper and ask for their email information in exchange for the entire download.   Tweet, post, or share excerpts from the ebook/whitepaper to drive interest and traffic to your lead-gen page.  Make sure you include a visual component in each post.

10) Leverage your YouTube channel.  Add call to action and URLs in to all your posted videos that will encourage visitors to subscribe to your list.  

All of the above examples are ways that you can ramp up your email list today.  Many of them are not even too difficult to put into action.  The objective being to stay on top of your list building so that it never truly dies out.  Keep cycling out the dead weight (look for an upcoming article on list segregation), nurturing the veterans, while still growing the fresh subscribers.  

What other ways do you use to grow your list? We would love to hear your ideas!

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Email MarketingComments (1)

Top 3 Tactics That No Longer Work for Digital Marketers

Growing up in Florida, I can’t count the times I heard the phrase, “Just wait ten minutes and the weather will change,” which of course was true but that’s besides the point. In this case the phrase also fits very neatly into the world of digital marketing. Trends and tactics for the industry change faster than Clark Kent, making it so the only way to keep yourself in the game is to roll with the punches through innovation and information. 

Below are three of the top once “go-to sure winners” that have might have worked for digital marketers in the past, but just aren’t getting the horse to the finish line any longer.

1. Twitter

No this isn’t going to be a “Twitter is Dead” post or anything of the sort. Only simple numbers, statistics and reality here. Twitter is still a fine go-to tool for many marketers. It’s great for promoting your business and networking with (or following) other like-minded people. Let’s think about that though, what if the problem with Twitter wasn’t the platform but how digital marketers are using it? Stale tweets, low engagement with followers, and both over and under selling.

Is President Donald Trump helping or harming Twitter’s stock prices?

Just recently though, Twitter has begun to regain some of its previous momentum with the media hoop-la surrounding President Donald Trump’s Twitter communication (antics). Twitter was on a downward spiral prior to his campaign and now presidential tweets but encountered a quick spike during the campaign that they are desperately attempting to hold on to. Although, recent events are proving to make it more difficult to accomplish the task.

Reportedly, Twitter saw a sudden and massive drop in share value after some of their high profile accounts were hacked and used to post tweets in favor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodogan. Shares fell nearly 2% to $15.03 earlier this month.

2. SEO Black Hat Tricks

Black Hat Tactics could now harm you, just like the robots in HBO’s series WestWorld.

Today’s SEO efforts no longer look like yesteryears Wild West (or HBO’s Westworld) days of black hat tactics. Gone are the days when messy keyword stuffing, content packed with nonsensical links and spun content were not only passable but worked. Google’s updated Panda and now Penguin algorithms now sort out and condemn shoddy content.

If you haven’t already ceased the following tactics, now (as in immediately) would be a good time to change lanes in your SEO efforts.

  • Keyword stuffing – Keywords are still an essential part of any great piece of content, yet stuffing them willy nilly into posts is a great way to send up a red flag to search engines thus labeling your content as low quality.
  • Link schemes – Buying external links, swapping links with irrelevant audiences, or just filling your content with non-relevant links are all horrible practices that just don’t work any longer.
  • Scraping – Republishing content without permission. Say goodbye to copy & paste. Not only will you get penalized for duplicate content, you could face legal action.
  • Cloaking – If you promise a visitor something on the other end of the link and don’t deliver, then you are guilty of cloaking.
  • Automated content and / or spinning – There are tons of sites out there that will allow you to enter a batch of content that will then be “spun” into something similar. Problem is, it’s often too similar and will be picked up as duplicate content. Same goes for software that automatically produces “basic” content.
  • Invisible text and links – Search engines no longer fall for your hidden or super small text and links.

Bottom line: Do the work and put in the time to churn out proper content.

3. Batch and blast email

Long gone are the days of being able to load up an template inside your email list host platform, pound out a few hundred words or so of text, send it off to your entire list of subscribers and then sit back in your desk chair while hitting refresh to watch the dough roll in.

These days, it requires a little bit more effort to get those dollar signs flying.

While email is still very much the preferred method of communication, however according to Return Path seventy percent of spam complaints filed are from previously opt-in newsletters and offers simply no longer desired by the subscriber.

Pinterest has a leg up on one-to-one personalization.

In walks such platforms as Pinterest, who replaced the old batch and blast way of slinging mail with something that is completely tailored to the viewer. The fastest growing social “sharing” network partnered with SparkPost to ramp up their email efforts. Seth Weisfeld leads up Pinterest’s efforts around all notifications. Everything from desktop, email, push, and SMS he has his hands on.

“Email is an extension of the product. Pinterest itself is very personalized platform, so email needs to be, too.”

Westfield also has stated that the marketer’s dream of one day achieving one-to-one personalized engagement is right at the tip of being a reality.

“The vision we’ve talked about for years, a one-to-one marketing strategy that is natively multichannel, is actually achievable today. The quality of the technology to leverage big data and notifications is there.”

Bottom line.

What it all boils down to is simple. Roll with the tide of change. Don’t get caught up in your easy way of doing things just because it used to work for you. Read, research, and stay up to date on all current trends and changes in this ever changing industry.

Are your current efforts still working for you or have you switched up your game as well? We would love to hear all about it in the comments below.

 

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Content Creation, Conversion Optimization, CPA Marketing, Email Marketing, Search Engine Optimization-SEO, Social Media MarketingComments (1)

FTC Drops Hammer on SPAM Email Marketing and Unsubstantiated Weight-Loss Claims by Diet-Pill Marketer

The FTC has announced that three Florida-based affiliate marketers charged with using unlawful SPAM email, false weight-loss claims and phony celebrity endorsements to market bogus weight-loss products will pay $500,000 to settle Federal Trade Commission charges.  Terms of the settlement also prohibits the defendants from the deceptive advertising and marketing tactics alleged in the complaint.

According to the FTC’s complaint the individual and corporate defendants paid affiliate marketers to send consumers millions of illegal SPAM emails from hacked email accounts, making it appear that the messages came from the consumers’ family members, friends, or other contacts.  The email messages linked to what purported to be a “news story.”

However, the links actually led to websites that the FTC alleges deceptively promoted the defendants’ unsubstantiated weight-loss products (e.g., Original Pure Forskolin and Original White Kidney Bean).

According to the Commission the websites deceptively claimed that the defendants’ products could cause rapid weight loss.

As set forth in the complaint, the websites also falsely represented that the products had been featured or endorsed by Oprah Winfrey or the hosts of the television show “The Doctors.”  The FTC alleges that these weight-loss claims were false and unsubstantiated, and that the featured celebrities had no affiliation with the defendants’ products.

The FTC alleged that the defendants’ email practices violated both the FTC Act and the CAN-SPAM Act.

The settlement also sets forth that the defendants: must possess competent and reliable scientific evidence to back up any health of efficacy claims they make in the future; are barred from falsely representing that any health claims have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; are required to preserve all scientific evidence used to support health claims made for their products; are prohibited from misrepresenting, or helping anyone else misrepresent, that a product or program has been endorsed or approved by specific celebrities, that testimonials reflect typical consumer experience, that any website or other publication is an objective news report when it is actually an advertisements, and that independent tests demonstrate a product’s effectiveness.

The order further prohibits the defendants from making a range of misrepresentations about their products, including their total cost, as well as claims related to refunds or cancellation terms.  The order  specifies how the defendants must monitor their affiliate marketers in the future, and bars them from violating the CAN-SPAM Act in the way alleged in the complaint.

Finally, the order imposes a judgment of $1,303,822.98 against the defendants, which will be partially suspended upon payment of $500,000 to the Commission.  The full amount will become due if they are later found to have misrepresented their financial condition.

If you are the subject of an Attorney General or FTC investigation or enforcement action, contact an FTC Defense Lawyer to ensure that your matter is handled properly and proactively, from the start.

Copies of the complaint and order can be seen, here and here.

Richard B. Newman is an Internet marketing compliance and regulatory defense attorney at                 Hinch Newman LLP focusing on advertising and digital media matters. His practice includes conducting legal compliance reviews of advertising campaigns, representing clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General, commercial litigation, advising clients on promotional marketing programs, and negotiating and drafting legal agreements.

HINCH NEWMAN LLP. ADVERTISING MATERIAL. These materials are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice, nor do they create a lawyer-client relationship. No person should act or rely on any information in this article without seeking the advice of an attorney. Information on previous case results does not guarantee a similar future result.

 

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, LegalComments (0)

Content Marketing Trends to Follow in 2017

As a content marketer it is not only a good rule of thumb to keep up on current trends, but also to look forward into the future for helpful tips that could very well either make your marketing agenda or brake it.

For instance, what trends will carry over from this year to help shape your plans for 2017? What new advancements will change the way marketers operate or carry out their current plans?

While it’s true that we don’t have a crystal ball or some fancy-schmancy scientific doo-dad to tell us the future of the ever-changing world of content marketing, there are plenty of strategies gaining momentum heading into this new year.

The current research shows that content marketers are becoming more effective in their efforts, with 62 percent of B2B marketers alone feeling more confident than in previous years.  Eighty-five percent of those marketers stated they believed enhanced content to be the key to success. And changing it up was the winning formula for 72 percent of them.

So how can you, as a content marketer, get a leg up in the coming year?

Personalization

Regardless of the industry, personalization is here to stay.  In the content marketing space, this has less to do with writing the customer’s name on their product and more to do with creating content specifically tailored to the targeted audience.  Content that will not only engage them, but also speak volumes to their personal or professional life.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What do they care about?
  • What do they most desire to “fix”?

Content marketing is often about helping others ease their fears and anxieties or fixing a specific problem they are searching out the answers for.  Appealing to your target audience is a powerful way to show individuals that you understand and wish to offer a solution to their situation.

Quality

Quality content is nothing new, in fact it is something that is likely hammered into our heads the most.  Sure, you can churn out trash content all day long without any issues.  But will that actually bring in the views? Probably not.

With so many voices in the crowd, you have to try even harder to not only be heard but to be taken seriously. 2017 will be no different.  It will be equally, if not more so, important to create only high-quality content in order to get noticed.

Going Live via Streaming

2016 was the birth of Facebook live with all it’s bumps and hurdles.  For instance, getting someone to click on your content (whether live or static) is one thing, but how do you get them to stick around for more?

Data from Social Media Today showed that people spend almost triple the amount of time watching live video on Facebook than they do watching recorded content.

Let’s face it, people are spending incredible chunks of time watching live streaming via Facebook, Periscope, YouTube Live, and SnapChat.  So why not capitalize on this knowledge?

Email

I personally am so tired of hearing the phrase: “Email is dead.”  Really? Then explain the numerous studies that suggest otherwise.

According to Campaign Monitor, BuzzFeed added over 1 million new email subscribers in 2016 alone. How and Why?  The answer is simply, with social media channels moving further and further towards revenue growth, brands have very little control over communicating with their fans and followers. So what does that leave you? Email.

The Washington Post, for example, has over 75 e-newsletters, while The New York Times has 12 people dedicated solely to churning out newsletters for their subscribers. So while there will probably always be those nay-sayers squawking that email is dead, the media is telling us otherwise.

What trends do you expect to see in 2017? We would love to hear about them in the comments below. 

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Blogging, Content Creation, Email Marketing, Social Media MarketingComments (1)


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