Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Email Marketers Can Have a Vacation too!

Are you a business owner actively utilizing emails in the marketing strategy? I am pretty sure you dread the thought of your email marketer or campaign manager going on a vacation. On the other side, if you are an email marketer, you are scared to approach your boss even for a single leave.

Even on your planned leave, you might have to be available (from the beach!) for the last-minute concerns arising from your team.

So, what can you do to enjoy a vacation without worrying about the dependencies? The best way to make sure that your absence does not hamper any of the email marketing endeavors is to GET ORGANIZED.

facing resource crunch?

Get in touch with EmailMonks to overcome the resource crunch.

Let’s learn how to make your processes for email marketing more efficient and time saving.

1.Be proactive

Study your email metrics thoroughly and plan your strategy well in advance so that you can rise above mediocrity and create better converting email campaigns. Have an email marketing calendar handy so that you know the activities that need to be taken care of, before deployment. BTW, have you got your holiday email calendar ready for this year?

are you ready?

2.Stay prepared for retail holidays and seasonality of your products

This is a valuable tip especially for ecommerce stores and retail business owners. More often than not, email marketers tend to draft the Christmas email right before they are supposed to close the blinds, pull down the shutter, and leave for the winter holidays. Taking into account the enormous potential for conversions in these occasions, it is imperative that you have enough time to get creative and plan something out of the box.

holiday sales

3.Adopt an omnichannel approach

Social advertising, content marketing, and emails should be incorporated together in your marketing efforts. Once you have an email marketing calendar in place, plan the related content resources and social ads.

According to a study, a leading retailer in the United States targeted 925000 subscribers with their emails and Facebook ads. It was found that email subscribers who received both were 22% more likely to complete the purchase rather than the ones who received just the emails.

email openers who saw ads

Create an entire strategy that revolves around this idea and see how your email conversions skyrocket.

4.ALWAYS – Have an error management plan

To err is human!

blooper

You never know when you face a personalization blunder or some other human error. Therefore, it is important to have an email template in place that helps you to make up for the blooper.

Look at the example below to get some inspiration.

Rather than apologizing, you can even give a funny twist (with a cute hero image) to the entire episode if it matches your brand personality. See the email below.

5.Streamline your approval process

Most of the time, the approval process for email campaigns gets in the way of timely deployment of the email campaigns. If you want to enjoy a vacation without the baggage of work responsibilities, streamline the entire process starting from strategizing the emails to approval.

seal-of-approval

Pro-tip: Don’t procrastinate – That’s the key to effective and timely email campaign management.

don't procrastinate

These tips are definitely going to help you in getting positive results from your email campaigns.

However, there are instances wherein despite giving your best, you might not be able to build email campaigns that PERFORM.

In such a scenario, it is best to outsource your email marketing and avail campaign management services from an experienced agency.

Let’s understand the reasons that warrant you to take the outsourcing approach for your email marketing.

i.Frustration at the peak

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just don’t get any ‘good’ results. Eventually, you get exhausted, run out of patience and get frustrated. With outsourcing, you can get a professional email expert who can share expert suggestions to enhance your email campaigns. You can get your entire email marketing audited for loopholes and make the necessary amendments accordingly. Ultimately, email marketing is all about fine details that are best determined by an email agency.

frustration

ii. Consistently underperforming email campaigns

If your email campaigns are not performing well for your email subscribers, your efforts and money – everything is just going down the drain. Consistently underperforming email campaigns call for a helping hand from a campaign management agency. It will bring your email marketing on track and get you unmatched results in accordance with the efforts.

iii. Limited resources

Many small and medium businesses always face the challenge of resource crunch and limited budget that hinders a process-oriented perspective. Sometimes, when they have enough resources, the expertise may be limited. In all such cases, outsourcing is the answer to all your troubles. Rather than micromanaging, it allows you to consider the BIGGER picture.

iv. Difficult to explore new tactics

Email marketing has come a long way which means that if you are not savvy enough to keep up with the trends, you will not the desired results from your email strategy. Whether it is putting into practice email marketing best practices like segmentation, personalization, A/B testing, or automation, or newest design trends like rich media and gamification in emails, you can reinvent the opportunities with the help of an email marketing agency.

Wrapping Up

Thinking of outsourcing but not sure if it will help you get a positive ROI?

Get in touch with EmailMonks for answers to all such questions concerning you.resource crunch

The Secret Behind My 1,866,913 Monthly Search Visitors (It’s Not What You Think)

secret

How many visitors do you think NeilPatel.com generates each month?

Maybe a million… maybe 2 million?

I bet you’re going to guess 1,866,913.

If that’s what you guessed, you are wrong. This blog actually generated 2,530,346 visitors. 1,866,913 is the number that came from search engines.

google graph

So, what’s the secret to my ever-growing Google traffic?

Sure, I have optimized my on-page SEO, I’ve built links, written tons of blog post… I’ve done all of the stuff that most of my competition has done. But doing the same stuff as your competition isn’t enough.

My secret sauce is that I optimize for user signals.

Last week, I broke down some of the user signals Google looks at, as well as providing benchmarks to aim for if you don’t want to be penalized by Google.

If you aren’t familiar with user signals, check the article I linked to above.

So, how do you optimize for user signals?

Well, I know everyone has different types of websites, so I thought I would share the process I use to optimize NeilPatel.com.

Are you showing people what they want?

Google Analytics is an amazing tool. I’m so addicted to it that I log in at least 3 or 4 times a day. Heck, I even log in on weekends.

But here’s the thing, it only tells you half the story. It gives you numbers, but it doesn’t help you visualize what people are doing and what they aren’t.

For example, here is what my main blog page looked like according to Crazy Egg:

blog heatmap

What’s wrong with the image?

Everyone is going to the blog to learn more about marketing. Above the fold, I have a box that showcases an SEO Analyzer. But there is one big issue: it’s barely clicked compared to the drop-down that lets you filter the blog content.

The SEO Analyzer had 128 clicks versus 359 clicks to the content filtering option.

Because you didn’t care for it as much, I removed it from the main blog page. And now when you head to the blog page you can see the filtering options above the fold.

new blog

I am looking to see what you click on and what you don’t. Simple as that.

If I keep showing you something you aren’t clicking on, I am wasting the opportunity to present you with something you do want to see. Which means I either need to adjust it or delete it.

Now, let me show you my current homepage:

homepage

What’s wrong?

Go ahead, take a guess…

Well, looking at the image you’ll notice there are tons of hot spots in the footer. That’s where the navigation is. With there being all of the clicks on the navigation, I should consider adding a navigation menu bar in the header.

Are you getting the hang of how to make your website more user-friendly? Well, let’s try another one.

Here’s an element in the sidebar of my blog posts:

blog sidebar

That element only has 1 click. That’s terrible considering that the blog post generated 10,016 visits. And to top it off, that click came from a repeat visitor.

My goal is to convert more first-time visitors into leads, which makes up the majority of my visitors, but they are the lowest percentage of my leads.

new visitors

So, what did I do? I deleted that element and you no longer see it in my sidebar.

Are you optimizing for mobile?

Let’s face it, more people are visiting your site using mobile devices than laptops or traditional computers.

If that’s not the case, it is just a matter of time.

So, have you optimized your site for mobile? And no, I’m not just talking about having a responsive design because everyone is doing that these days.

mobile homepage

If you look at the image above, you’ll notice that I removed the image of myself and a few other elements. This helps make the loading experience faster and it helps focus people’s attention on the most important elements.

Similar to the desktop version, my mobile homepage has a 24% conversion rate. When my mobile version included a picture of me above the fold, my conversion rate dropped to 17%… hence there is no picture of me. 😉

Now, I want you to look at the mobile version of my main blog page and compare it to my homepage.

mobile blog page
Do you see an issue? The blog page generates a lot of clicks on the 3 bars at the top… that’s my navigation menu. My developer accidentally removed that from the mobile homepage, hence the contact button in the footer of the homepage gets too many clicks.

Hopefully, that gets fixed in the next day or two as that could be negatively impacting my mobile rankings.

On top of optimizing the mobile experience, you need to ensure your website loads fast. It doesn’t matter if people are using LTE or 4G, sometimes people have terrible reception. And when they do, your website will load slow.

By optimizing it for speed, you’ll reduce the number of people who just bounce away from your site.

If you want a faster load time, follow this.

And don’t just optimize your site for speed once and forget about it. As you make changes to your site, your pagespeed score will drop, which means you’ll have to continually do it.

For example, you’ll notice I have been making a lot of change to NeilPatel.com (at least that is what the heatmaps above show). As I am making those changes, sometimes it affects my pagespeed score negatively. That means I have to go back and optimize my load time again.

A second in load time delay on average will cost you 6.8% of your revenue.

Are you focusing on helping all of your users?

Not every person who visits your website is the same.

For example, a small percentage of the people who visit NeilPatel.com work at large corporations that are publicly traded and are worth billions of dollars.

And a much larger percentage of my visitors own small and medium-sized businesses. These people are trying to figure out how to grow their traffic and revenue without spending an arm and a leg.

And the largest percentage of my visitors don’t have a website and they are trying to figure out how to get started for free.

In a nutshell, I have three groups of people who visit my website. The first group tends to turn into consulting leads for my agency, but they make up the smallest portion of my traffic.

One could say that I should only focus on helping them and ignore everyone else. But I can’t do that for a few reasons…

  1. I started off with having practically no money and people helped me out when I couldn’t afford to pay them. I love paying it forward and helping people who can’t afford my services because I have been there, and I know what it’s like.
  2. If I only focused on the large companies, who would link to my website and promote my content? You can bet that Microsoft isn’t going to link to me on a regular basis. If you want to generate social shares and backlinks you have to focus on the masses.
  3. Little is the new big… if you can please the masses, they will make noise and the big players will eventually hear about you. So, don’t just treat people with deep pockets kindly, treat everyone the same and truly care about your visitors.

Once you figure out the types of people coming to your website (and if you are unsure just survey them), go above and beyond to help them out. Create different experiences for each group.

On NeilPatel.com, I’ve learned that people who work at large corporations are busy and they want to listen to marketing advice on the run. For that reason, I have the Marketing School podcast.

And a lot of beginners wanted me to break down my steps over video, so they can more easily replicate my tactics. For that reason, I create new videos 3 times per week giving marketing and business advice.

Many of you want to attend the conferences that I speak at, but can’t afford to buy a ticket. For those people, I create weekly webinars that are similar to the speeches I give at conferences.

And best of all, I know the majority of you find it hard to follow along with all of these tips as it can be overwhelming. So, I created Ubersuggest to help you out.

ubersuggest

In other words, I try to go above and beyond for all of my visitors.

Yes, it is a lot of work, but if you want to dominate an industry it won’t happen overnight. Expect to put in a lot of time and energy.

Are you taking feedback from people?

You are going to get feedback. Whether it is in the form of email or comments, people will give you feedback.

It’s up to you if you want to listen… but if a lot of people are telling you the same thing you should consider it.

For example, I get a ton of comments on YouTube from people asking me to create videos in Hindi.

hindi

And…

hindi

Now, I am not only working on adding Hindi subtitles to my videos, but I am also working on translating my blog content to Hindi.

hindi content

I’m not doing these to make more money… I’m not doing this to become popular… I’m just trying to do this to help out more people.

It’s the same reason why I have Spanish, Portuguese, and German versions of this website. I had enough requests where I pulled the trigger even though I am not focusing on generating income in those areas.

But here is the thing that most people don’t tell you about business. If you just focus on helping people and solving their problems, you’ll notice that your income will go up over time.

Businesses make money not because their goal is to make money… they make money because they are solving a problem and helping people out.

Another piece of feedback I have been getting recently is that my blog is too hard to read on mobile devices.

hard to read

For that reason, I’ve assigned a task to one of my developers to fix this.

trello

Conclusion

Traffic generation is a business. It’s not a hobby. It’s competitive, and it’s difficult to see short-term gains.

If you want to rank at the top of Google, you can’t treat your website as a hobby. You have to treat it like a business.

And similar to any business, you won’t succeed unless you pay attention to the needs of your customers. That means you have to listen to them. Figure out what they want and provide it.

That’s what Google is trying to do. They are trying to rank sites that people love at the top of their search engine. If you want to be one of those sites, then start paying attention to your visitors.

Show them what they want and go above and beyond so that they will fall in love with your website instead of your competition.

If you aren’t sure if you are making the right changes, monitor your brand queries. The more people that are searching for your brand terms on Google is a big leading indicator that people are happy with your website.

Just look at NeilPatel.com, I get over 40,000 visitors a month from people Googling variations of my name:

search console brand queries

And I generate over 70,000 visits a month just from people searching for my free tool, Ubersuggest.

ubersuggest

That’s how I’m continually able to make my traffic grow. Yes, I do pay attention to what Google loves, but more importantly, I pay attention to your needs and wants.

Are you going to start optimizing your website for user signals?

Monday, September 17, 2018

Why is LinkedIn Important For Young Professionals

Why is LinkedIn Important For Young Professionals?

Linkedin offers many benefits as a social media platform. You can get inspired, gather knowledge, make meaningful relationships, and even market yourself. No matter what you do, there is a way Linkedin can help you along your career! Here are four of the reasons why LinkedIn is important for young professionals – and why I personally love LinkedIn.

Network with people in all fields

Networking with others helps you establish long-term connections with people. LinkedIn is a great platform for networking. You can connect with others in your field for joint collaborations to solve big issues and think of new solutions. You may connect with other industry leaders for new opportunities to learn and grow through interesting conversation or even working on a new project.

Let’s say you are interested in a specific role. You can find and reach out to someone that currently has the position and ask any questions you have. People love sharing their experiences and you may make a meaningful relationship with them. Offer to buy them coffee or even lunch! I know first hand someone that secured an internship by reaching to the CEO. It doesn’t hurt to try and you could even create new opportunities for yourself.

Find a mentor

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” — Oprah Winfrey.

There is real power in getting a mentor. Mentors have the potential to completely change your perspective on issues and struggles you may be having. Having someone offer you guidance through the calms and storms of your career could make the difference between being fulfilled in a career you love and being stuck somewhere along the way. 

This is why LinkedIn is important for young professionals. You can connect with individuals in your city that you would one day want to be like. Having a direct line to communicate with someone is a value that only new technology can grant.

Connect with Job Recruiters

Many staffing agencies use LinkedIn to find qualified candidates. Staffing agencies will look for specific candidates with job experiences and skills by your LinkedIn account. Having your job experience, skills, and education on LinkedIn will help you land a job. You will have people reaching out with job opportunities. This service is free to you and a recruiter will even work with you to improve your resume. If you are seeking work as many fresh graduates are, be sure to keep an updated account.

Industry Knowledge

Staying on top of industry news and trends is easy through LinkedIn. You can follow boards and people that post about the industry. This helps you stay up to date with headlines in the field. You can also use this information hub as a way to learn about other industries and diversify your knowledge. I often find really interesting articles that make me think about something I never would have considered previously.

Social media platforms have surpassed from being used to make friends to connecting people around the world for personal and professional growth. As a young professional it is very beneficial to upkeep with LinkedIn. You don’t need to use it everyday but upkeeping it can reap many rewards.

Related Articles:

Design effective emails from head(er) to foot(er)

What to know about email header and footer design

Email marketing is a great way to communicate with your subscribers, engage readers and improve conversion rates. Often, the first thing that comes to mind is the bulk of the email (the body), but there are other crucial parts to a successful email. Let’s dive in, head first.

Starting off strong

What is an email header?

It’s the first thing people see when they open up your email. And, as with a date or a job interview, your header hopefully makes a good first impression. Good or bad, a header sets the tone for the rest of your email’s communication with your customers. 

Things a good email header does: 

  • Identifies your brand: Recipients have a clear idea who sent the email, and the header matches the “from” field in the email
  • Simplifies information: A header is short and sweet for easy scanning and to get maximum attention
  • Applies across campaigns: It works with many email campaigns and can be used across them for consistency

Email header design elements to include:

  • Logo/business name: Besides reinforcing who the email is from, it improves brand retention; the more places your logo appears, the better. 
  • “View in browser”: This is a link that allows people to see your email if it’s not showing up correctly in the application. 
  • Navigation: While up to your discretion, navigation can help if you’re an e-commerce site and want people to explore promotions.
  • Images: Eye-catching images at the top can grab a reader’s attention; Keep in mind that if you want to have a versatile header, you’ll have to be careful that the image is one that can be used across email campaigns.
  • Preview: A preview line — like a second chance at the subject line — helps set expectations.
  • Links: Anything that can help users reach relevant pages or promotions easily.

Design tips: 

  • Make the header short: It shouldn’t take up the whole screen because you want readers to be able to see some of the body of the email as well.
  • Keep it simple: It should be easy for readers to focus on the intended message of the email.
  • Mix and match: Feel free to try different designs, but once you find one you like, remember that consistency is a good thing. Let your brand form an image for readers so they know what to expect from your emails.
  • Don’t forget your newsletter: These tips can be applied to a newsletter header as well.

Email header example:

email header design example wayfair

Ending with impact

What is an email footer? 

It’s the last thing people see on your email, so essentially it’s your the last chance to provide value to your readers. Like the walk home on a date or the open questions at the end of the interview, you want to have something thoughtful to say to keep readers interested in learning more when the email is reaching the end. 

Things a good footer provides: 

  • Clarity: It’s easy to read, not full of unrelated information or complicated words.
  • Transparency: Readers understand what they’re being shown and why (think terms and conditions when they engage with a promotion).
  • Assurance: Puts people at ease because they have next steps and resources to go on their way.

Email footer design elements:

  • Contact info: Make it easy for people to find your website and physical address, and how to email or call should they require further information or help. 
  • Additional resources: Links to social media, articles or products that pair well with your email subject. 
  • Fine print: Put things like promotion details, copyright and links to your privacy policy. 
  • Unsubscribe button: This should always be visible and in accordance with CAN-SPAM and GDPR legislation.
  • Links: Consider providing links to user profiles, a way for readers to sign up and an option to view the email in a browser

Design tips:

  • Minimalism: What makes the most sense to give readers at this point? If you’re telling them about an in-store event, maybe you don’t need to include articles or detailed terms and conditions.
  • Chronology: Put the information in order based on what’s the most important to your email and what you want recipients to see or take action on.
  • Color: Use a background color or padding for the footer so that it’s easy to tell that it’s separate from the body content.
  • Light text: They’ve already read your email and may need just a bit more to take action, so don’t surprise them with text-heavy paragraphs. Instead, take a look at what information you need to include and whether any additional links or copy would be useful.

Email footer example:

email footer design example rover

When you’re building your next email campaign and trying to get the design just right, go beyond the body copy and take note of what’s happening above and below. Start and stop your emails simply, leaving your customers feeling informed, satisfied and, most of all, interested. 

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© 2018, Lindsey Bakken. All rights reserved.

How MyGreenFills Slices Down the Cost of Getting Customers

How My Green Fills uses ActiveCampaign

As MyGreenFills points out on their website, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Ruth Smith, the founder of MyGreenFills, proved that old adage true when developing her signature non-toxic laundry products as a solution to her children’s severe skin allergies.

Over the course of the last 36 years, those home solutions have become MyGreenFills—the revolutionary laundry products company that has created an affordable model to provide customers with clean, sustainable, and non-toxic laundry solutions.

The challenge: Reduce acquisition cost

Before getting started with ActiveCampaign, MyGreenFills CEO Stephen Ezell and team weren’t overly familiar with email automations. They weren’t having trouble getting sign ups for their email list, but they did need to find ways to get people to stick around.

A lot of people dropped off their email lists before making a purchase. An automation strategy might be able to keep leads engaged enough to turn into customers.

MyGreenFills needed a strategy to maximize their leads. They needed a way to nurture new leads—and eventually get them to convert into customers.

The answer: ActiveCampaign

Ezell was seeking 1-on-1 personalized care, so he opted to sign up for an enterprise account with ActiveCampaign. The support team was able to step in right away and help them get up and running.

Kelly, MyGreenFill’s account rep, was able to do everything from help them set up simple email triggers to develop their strategy behind personalized email content.

“Kelly’s been an absolute amazing partner for us. I feel like Kelly is part of my team. She’s walked through with us step by step and help us build our initial automations.” – Stephen Ezell, CEO

The results: Maximize leads—minimize acquisition cost

Using their new automations, MyGreenFills was able to give their contacts content that was highly relevant and super targeted.

As a result, their email list was stickier, their leads more valuable, and their cost per acquisition sunk.

Now that they’re able to send personalized content using automations, the team has time to focus on other campaigns. Most recently, they launched an initiative to make their laundry jugs out of reclaimed ocean waste.

Given the interests of many of their customers, MyGreenFills is able to use ActiveCampaign to distribute content about this new initiative to customers who might be interested.

In other words, they’ve developed a cycle that lets them create high-value, personalized marketing content about the company—without having to spend countless hours producing it.

“If anybody sells something online, whether you’re in the info space or the physical goods space, like we are, or even further than that, if you have a brick-and-mortar business in a local town, and you want to create content and a relationship with people in your community, ActiveCampaign is a very robust platform to do so. – Stephen Ezell, CEO”

Use an Automation to See When an Email was Last Opened

Want to know when a contact last opened a campaign, automation email, or one-to-one email? Use a simple automation!

You can create an automation using the Reads an email and Reads any personal email start triggers, and a custom date-based field, to learn when any contact last opened any email you previously sent them.

Read our Help article to learn more, and get the share link to import this automation to your account.

How to Know If You Are Ready to Create An Online Course

Have you been thinking of starting an online course? Why wouldn’t you?! Who wouldn’t want to create something ONCE that they can sell again and again? BUT, before you get too excited and jump right into creating your course, there are some things you need to know. While almost anyone can create an online course,