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Viral email marketing what works?

Stop with the enforced e-mail forwards already! Trying to force or bribe people to forward your info to a friends or family in order to be rewarded or win looks skanky in today’s ultra-permission-based world. Especially when you tell visitors nothing about their friend’s or family’s privacy in the space directly next to the e-mail form.

A true viral campaign gets forwarded because consumers are compelled to do so by the content not because you bribed them with points or something else.

What absolutely will not work:

Suggesting that e-mail recipients forward your message to their friends and family will not work and adding a line at the bottom of your e-mail that reads “Please feel free to forward this message to a friend” will mean your email is more likely to get it deleted than forwarded.

What absolutely will work:

  • Offering something worthy of sharing like a valuable discount, vital information or offering an incentive for sharing like additional entries into a sweepstakes or an added discount or premium service will work.
  • Relevant or timely information, research, or studies that are included in your e-mail might encourage the recipients to share with their family and friends.
  • Interactive content like a quiz or test, especially if it’s fun, will always inspire forwarding.
  • Jokes and cartoons are almost always forwarded to everybody the recipient knows.  Why?  Because they are entertaining and entertainment is meant to be shared.
  • A really cool multimedia experience is always going to achieve a lot of pass-along. Rich media is new and the novelty and tech factors alone are often enough to make the e-mail recipient eager to share it.

Oops!  Almost forgot one really important thing…You can craft a brilliant e-mail following all the rules, but if a consumer visits your site and has an experience less that what was promised, you are going to achieve viral marketing, alright…the bad kind.

So be certain that your product or service is ready and is as advertised!

Cheers

Roy

6 Ways to Start with Facebook Marketing

When it comes to social networking Facebook is the largest of the social networks online – with more than 500 million registered users and the average user connected to 80 community pages, groups or events. For businesses this means that a Facebook page or other piece of Facebook real estate can be a serious way to generate social and viral traffic. There are 900 million objects that people could interact with which means in marketing terms if you want to get noticed you need to stand out. So you need to provide something that others don’t (unlikely) or what you do must be better than the competition.

First of all a caveat: One of the most common mistakes made by small businesses is believing that Facebook traffic is a quick fix; it can take months to build up a decent sized list of fans that read your content so be patient and work at it consistently.

There are some simple steps you can take to help attract greater numbers of fans.

  1. Be Unique – Ensure your Facebook page really stands out by creating a unique design. You don’t have to have the standard Facebook page design and you can implement all sorts of features that help your visitors recognise you. You can also serve different landing pages to different visitors. For example, fans and first time visitors to your page do not need to see the same thing – Show a page that encourages non-followers to fan your page, and show the main content to those that have already done so.
  2. Use Giveaways – Giveaways have long been and continue to be one of the most effective branding and promotional techniques there are. EBooks, gift items, and coupons are just some of the Facebook-specific items you can offer to those that are willing to sign up for your Facebook fan page. You can offer regular giveaways to members to ensure that people follow you over time and as an extra incentive for becoming what is essentially a subscribed member of your fan page.
  3. Use Competitions – Competitions can generate even more buzz than a giveaway. If you place a financial value on each of your fans then you can calculate a decent prize to give away. Make sure any prize or promotion is related to the content you offer as well as the products or services that you promote. Competitions can go viral too, so encourage your readers to spread the word with their friends – you can even build this in to the competition by offering extra prize draw entries for each friend referred to your page.
  4. Be Personal – Facebook is first and foremost a social network therefore users are predominantly on Facebook because it allows them to connect with others and hunt down content that they are interested in. It is, therefore, a personal experience and your readers will for the most part want to believe that they are dealing with real people. Therefore add a large photo to your Facebook page. If you organize events or can take photos of your visitors some other way then do so, and tag the people in those photos.
  5. Say Thanks – As soon as somebody becomes a fan send them an unobtrusive message thanking them for becoming a fan and welcoming them to the fold. The message doesn’t need to be long and it can be automated, but remember, people buy people, so a little personal touch will go a long way!
  6. Never Give Up Never Surrender – Don’t be surprised if your Mom and your partner are your only fans after a few days of adding content and personalizing your page. It does take effort to develop a high quality Facebook fan page. Keep posting, keep updating, keep testing, keep evolving, and keep trying – don’t’ give up!

Facebook Marketing Facebook is the largest social network online having surpassed half a billion users. While competition is fierce, if you can master the art of creating a popular and beneficial Facebook page then you can also master the art of generating social traffic and your marketing message can go viral producing massive returns in the long run.

Always Use Double Opt-In for your Email Newsletters

Avoid being seen as a spammer use opt in

Today’s Internet marketing is plagued with email spam as spammers keep hammering our email inboxes with multiple offers for prescription drugs, get rich schemes and other more intimate products. To avoid being labelled as a spammer (and keep your marketing reputation intact) you need quality email content sent only to subscribers and only after receiving a double opt-in consent to do so. Your focus is to build a loyal responsive list of subscribers willing to receive your emails. And the safest way to build that list is with the double opt-in process.

In a rush to get your Internet marketing business going you might try some shortcuts that will get you branded as a spammer. Buying a list, gathering email addresses from community forums or social networking sites are mistakes. Even when those email addresses are public knowledge you do not have permission to use their email address. Building your list without being branded a spammer requires some specific processes that start with the double opt-in on your website or blog.

When you offer your visitors something of value to them, like a short report with information or step-by-step instructions they need, they will give you their email address and name in order to download it – which builds your list. If you’ve correctly set up your site the email sign-up will automatically go to your autoresponder and initiate a sequence of emails that require a click on a link to verify both the email address and the permission to market to them. When that happens your new subscriber is added to the database on the autoresponder and a link to download the product is sent to your new member along with a welcome email.

The double opt-in gets you permission to send marketing emails, but it will not keep your subscribers happy if you treat them as strangers. An unsubscribe click is all it takes to lose them forever. To keep your subscribers happy why not use the holidays and send out an email with offers of a special free gift and it’s download link. No hoops to jump through – just a gift from you to them. Make sure it is valuable to both them and to your marketing campaign.

Email campaigns where permission is first sought are very successful, and most successful Internet marketers have built lucrative businesses with it. Your best asset when you are building your list is patience. It takes time to build a responsive list and shortcuts will not benefit you. Never send unsolicited emails, instead use the double opt-in process and you will be more successful.

Create an Email Bulletin that works!

Create an email bulletin that works.

I am looking to put together an email bulletin for a membership group I am a member of and found this article that helped me with the design – I hope you find it useful.

Like all forms of marketing, an email marketing campaign usually has a single end goal: the conversion of non-buyers into buyers or in our case to get people to join up. Decisions tend not to be made all at once, but rather in a series of small steps toward a commitment. For an email marketer, the first step toward conversion is signing up for your mailing list – after that it’s the click-through. Each time a subscriber takes an action a small behavioral commitment is made to the idea that you are promoting.

Here are some ideas how to increase your sucess with email bulletins:

1. Segment your lists for maximum relevance
People just don’t have time for mailings that aren’t relevant to them. If you send them messages that they can’t use, they get impatient and either unsubscribe or click the spam button. If only part of your message is relevant, they’ll be less likely to find it if they have to wade through parts that they have no use for.

2. Use a simple template
Yes, your messages should be attractive, but they should also be clean and simple. Use a layout that lets the reader easily find what they’re looking for without the distraction of navigation links, fancy pictures and multiple panels.

3. Tantalize your readers with article previews
If your newsletter includes informative articles move those articles onto your main web site and include a teaser in the body of your message. This not only wins you the emotional benefit of the clickthrough it also makes your email easier to scan so that readers can focus on the content that matters.

4. Put your main call to action above the fold
If you’re sending a message that has a main purpose (joining up say) make sure that purpose is the most prominent thing in it – at least half of your readers will only ever look at your message in their preview pane.

5. Make the benefits of clicking obvious
If you don’t describe what the reader has to gain by clicking on your link they’re less likely to click on it – this is just plain common sense. Yet too often you’ll see email newsletters that offer up links without any clear description of what the reader has to gain by clicking them.

6. Consistently deliver on what you say
An effective email campaign builds up a relationship with the subscriber. Over time your readers should come to see you as trustworthy and someone they could do business with.

7. Set limitations to spur action
People respond to scarcity and competition so try limiting the offers you make to your subscribers. For example, you might make a special offer that is only valid for a day or two after your message goes out.

8. Add a link in a P.S.
If someone makes it all the way through your message they’re probably very interested in your work! But they may also have forgotten about an important call to action that occurred earlier in your message so repeat the call to action at the bottom along with the link.

9. Split test!
Some tactics will work better than others depending on your industry and target demographics. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a mind-reader simply write up a few different versions of your message and take a different approach to inducing action in each version and see what works best.

Roy

ActiveCampaign makes Email Marketing software package which allows you to test test multiple versions of your mailings based on the actions you want readers to take. Once it has determined which version of your message is the most effective, the software will automatically send that version to the rest of your list.

I have the link here: Active Campaign Email Marketing the cost comes in at about $20 per month for around 500 subscribers which is not outrageous for this type of thing I am no affiliate of them so check them out for yourself.

Here’s one for the UK:  http://www.dotmailer.co.uk/

If you have any other ideas put them here as a comment to the post (no affiliate links please)