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How Your Feedback Shapes the Future of AWeber

At AWeber, we’re committed to providing you with remarkable experiences all day, every day. You can contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? at our Pennsylvania headquarters. Our email experts are always ready to offer you technical advice (like how to use features inside your account) and strategical advice (like how to launch a successful automated email campaign). It’s because of this commitment to creating remarkable customer experiences that, for the fourth straight year, AWeber has been recognized for exceptional customer service by both the annual Stevie Awards and National Customer Service Association. No other email service provider can say that! “I am super proud of our amazing team,” said Chris Henrich, director of Customer Solutions at AWeber. “These awards serve as well-deserved recognition of our entire AWeber team’s continued focus on both refining and enhancing an already exceptional customer experience.”

We took home two Stevie? Awards for Customer Service

The Stevie Awards are like the Oscars of the customer service industry. They recognize the best of the best in customer service across a variety of industries and company sizes. This year, our Customer Solutions team received not one, but two awards at the 2019 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. AWeber received a Silver Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year, as well as a Bronze Stevie Award for Contact Center of the Year. On top of that, AWeber was named runner-up in People’s Choice Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year. (If you voted for us, high five ? and thank you!)

We were runner up for NCSA All-Stars Award

The All-Stars Award recognizes the top customer service individuals, teams, and organizations across the United States. Nominees had to meet strict criteria, including delivering consistent excellent service, going above and beyond normal job duties, and adhering daily to their organization’s mission and values. AWeber was named runner-up for the National Customer Service Association’s 2019 All-Stars Award.

How we’re creating even more remarkable experiences using feedback from our customers

Each year, AWeber strives to make an even bigger impact with our customers, and 2018 was no different. We pushed ourselves to innovate the way we serve our customers in a variety of ways. We’ve always used customer feedback to help shape our product and service. However, last year, we made some changes to how we collect, analyze, and communicate feedback across our teams.

  1. First, our Customer Solutions team actively monitors the results of our quarterly customer surveys, allowing them to quickly follow up with customers who love our platform, have questions, or need additional support. Because of this, our customers know that we are committed to providing them with the tools they need to be successful.
  2. Second, we launched a new “feature request” process that enables our Customer Solutions team to easily collect feedback from our customers about new tools they want to see inside our product. This feedback? influences new product releases.
  3. Third, our Customer Solutions team has a hand in developing AWeber. Last year, members of our Customer Solutions team began working more closely with our product team. They began attending product meetings regularly, taking customers’ feedback straight to the people building and refining our product offering. By doing this, communication around product development and customer sentiment has never been more efficient or effective.?Every product update and new feature is thoroughly tested by the Customer Solutions team before we send it to our customers.

These changes had a meaningful impact on several releases last year:

We made a bunch of improvements to Campaigns

On top of the huge addition of click automations to Campaigns, we made many meaningful improvements to the Campaigns to improve our customers’ experience building automated emails. And the Customer Solutions team was a big part of these improvements, bringing greater awareness of the needs of our customers to the entire AWeber team. For example, customers wanted to see what Campaigns would get triggered when a tag was applied using a click automation. Our Customer Solutions team was key in identifying that need and helping us prioritize that.

We made massive improvements to our Drag and Drop Email Builder

We asked our customers what they needed from our email builder, and we released several awesome updates, including the ability to easily customize preheader text, a new row element to quickly group and move content around in the editor, and new email layout templates. Customers saw huge benefits in the new Drag and Drop Email Builder improvements:

“I like [the new editor]! ?? Pretty smooth graphically, and the preheader is the MONEY Bonus! Nicely done ya’ll! This is great, solid improvement.” – AWeber customer for 2 years

Read more about the Drag and Drop Editor improvements

We launched new and improved split testing functionality

We rebuilt our split testing tool to help you send high-performing, effective emails. And our customers are thrilled with the new split testing functionality:

“[Split testing] exceeds my expectation. I was expecting A/B testing, but to have the ability to do A/B/C [testing]; just to have that extra variable, it makes a big difference.” – AWeber customer for 12 years

Read more about our split testing improvements

We introduced 24/7 customer support

Based primarily on customer feedback (and because we have customers in 196 countries around the world!), we introduced 24/7 customer support. We did this without outsourcing or establishing a satellite office. This allowed us to preserve our award-winning culture and customer support. Going 24/7 enables our customers to get as close to real-time solutions as possible. These additional support hours allow us to foster better relationships with our customers. Read more about our new 24/7 customer support

Looking ahead

We took a fresh, innovative approach last year to the way in which we support our customers. And we’ve got some great things planned in 2019 to continue that positive momentum. Creating remarkable experiences is at the core of what we do at AWeber. For us, it’s not just another quote to put on a wall. It’s our way of life. Each customer interaction is an opportunity for a unique experience and we make sure each is personable, positive, and memorable. See what makes our Customer Solutions team so special. Start your 30-day free trial of AWeber or contact our Customer Solutions team today!

The post How Your Feedback Shapes the Future of AWeber appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

What Is Email Whitelisting and Why Is It So Important?

Email Whitelisting

What if your emails never hit your subscribers’ inboxes? What if your messages always end up in their spam folders or promotions tabs instead? It happens more than you might think. Luckily, there’s a super simple solution: email whitelisting.

What is an email whitelist?

Email whitelisting is when a subscriber adds your email address to their contacts list within their ISP, like Gmail or Yahoo!. Think of your inbox like a door with two locks on it: a deadbolt and a doorknob. If one of them is locked, a message can’t get in. AWeber works with the ISP to get all of our customers’ messages into the inbox. We essentially “unlock” the deadbolt for your messages. However, we have no control over what happens on the individual level. Anyone that has an email account can set up their own filters, which locks the doorknob. Even though the deadbolt is open, your messages still can’t get in. Your emails may be sent straight to their spam folder or promotions tab. That’s why whitelisting is so important. When your subscriber whitelists your email address, he or she unlatches the second lock for you, regardless of what filters they have activated. The door is open for your messages. “When your customers whitelist your email address, it provides feedback to their provider that your mail is wanted,” said AWeber’s Director of Deliverability Karen Balle, who gives multi-million dollar companies advice on how to reach the inbox. Getting subscribers to whitelist you can also increase your overall reputation with an ISP, according to Balle. “Since your message is delivered into your customer’s inbox, it helps increase reputation by increasing your read, open, and click rates as customers are more easily able to find and interact with your message,” she explained. And the higher your engagement rates, the better your deliverability to all your subscribers (whether they whitelisted you or not!). Related:?4 Things That Hurt Your Email Deliverability (and How to Fix Them!)

Whitelisting doesn’t mean you can spam your subscribers . . .

Being whitelisted isn’t a free pass, though. You can’t send your subscriber whatever you want, whenever you want. Once your whitelisted, the ISP will keep a close eye on your messaging behavior to make sure you practice responsible email marketing, and that you’re not violating the CAN-SPAM Act. If you take advantage of your whitelist status by spamming your subscribers, your deliverability reputation with that ISP will suffer and hurt your results over the long haul.

How do you get subscribers to whitelist you?

Ask them. It’s that simple! Here’s a quick example of what you can write. (Feel free to tweak it to match your brand’s voice and tone.) Take this important step! To make sure you receive emails from me, add my email [enter your email address here] to your contacts list. By adding me, you ensure my messages, special offers, and invites make it into your primary inbox. Below are some more examples of how to incorporate whitelisting instructions into your content.

In your Welcome email

What to Write is one of AWeber’s most popular free email marketing courses. It teaches you how to effectively write an automated email series — and also includes 45+ downloadable fill-in-the-blank templates. The very first email is a Welcome email that includes short whitelist instructions. email whitelisting instructions Ann Handley is a bestselling author and the chief content officer at Marketing Profs. Through AWeber, Handley sends out a long-form newsletter called TotalAnnarchy. Here’s the automated welcome email she sends when you subscribe. It can save her newsletter from hitting your Promotions tab. Related:?How to Write the Perfect Welcome Email in Under 1 Minute email white listing instructions When you subscribe to Scott’s Cheap Flights, you get email alerts for discounted international flights?departing from? airports near you. The very first email you’ll receive has easy-to-follow whitelisting instructions. Email Whitelisting Instructions

On your Thank You page

Another key location for your email whitelisting instructions is a Thank You page. If someone signs up for your emails or a course, you can offer up whitelisting instructions then. So we not only asked people to whitelist AWeber in our What to Write Welcome email, but we also did it on the Thank You page. email whitelisting instructions SEO mastermind and Backlinko founder Brian Dean also includes whitelisting instructions on his Thank You page. You can see them in the P.S. section below the screenshot of his AWeber confirmation email. Related:?Writing Confirmation and Welcome Emails People Love [Backlinko] Stage One Startup reminds subscribers that their confirmation email may have landed in the promotions tab. They encourage you to drag it over to the primary tab to whitelist their email address. Email Whitelisting Instructions

How does a subscriber whitelist your email address?

It can vary depending on the ISP.?Here are examples of some of the more popular clients that your subscribers might be using to receive emails. Under each section are steps on how to whitelist a sender’s email address inside that client. Feel free to direct them to that article for the specifics on how they could process this in their own email client, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel!

Whitelisting is only part of the equation

Keep in mind, while whitelisting can help you reach the inbox, you won’t stay there long if subscribers don’t like what they get from you. So keep striving for the most relevant, useful content possible! AWeber provides you with the best-in-class educational content to help you succeed. Our team of email experts constantly creates new courses, guides, podcasts, and articles (like this one!), and hosts live webinars and coaching sessions to help you crush your business goals with email marketing. Begin your free, 30-day trial with us today! This article was updated on March 19, 2019. Additional reporting by Amanda Gagnon.

The post What Is Email Whitelisting and Why Is It So Important? appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

21 Creative Email Ideas for People Who Don’t Like to Write

You don’t need to write a 1,000-word blog post to have content for your next email newsletter or automated email series. In fact, you don’t need to write anything at all. You can forget about writer’s block and try one of these 21 creative ideas instead. They’re simple, easy, and proven to work — the pros use them all the time!

1. Videos

Adding video to your emails can increase click rates by 300%, according to one study from MarTech Advisor. To put that in perspective, if you average 1,000 clicks each email, adding a video would increase that to 4,000. If you create videos regularly, promote them in your emails. Fitness Expert Betty Rocker shares her new and popular workout videos with email marketing. Related: Your Guide to Brainstorming Creative Video Ideas

2. Podcast episodes

Have a podcast? Add it to your next email newsletter to increase downloads. Notice how Productivity Expert Michael Hyatt uses a captivating story to introduce his latest podcast episode in the email below. Did you know that subscribers can actually play and listen to your podcast episode directly from an email? With AWeber’s Curate app, you can simply add your new episode to a newsletter, and the app will automatically generate the code for you. You can see this feature in action below with the Would You Rather Newsletter, a weekly message that presents “Would you rather… ?” scenarios. Related: 4 Easy Ways Podcasters Can Use Email to Grow Their Audiences

3. Quotes

People love inspiring or motivating quotes. We know, because we include a quote in many of our FWD: Thinking newsletters, and our readers love it. And many of the most successful newsletters mix quotes into their content as well, like financial newsletter Finimize with this quote from Pearl S. Buck.

Need quote inspiration? Check out BrainyQuote. It’s like an encyclopedia of quotes.

4. Webinars, tutorials, and workshops

What’s the #1 way to get people to register for your webinars? For us, it’s email. A single email can contribute hundreds, even thousands, of registrants. Email is what other experts rely on too. Below, Joanna Wiebe, Founder of Copy Hackers, promotes her workshop with an email that explains the key takeaways subscribers will get.

Related: The Not-So-Secret Tactic to Growing Your Email Audience Really Quickly

5. Industry news or updates

You’re an expert in your industry, whether that’s fitness, writing, nutrition, travel, or business. Subscribers join your list to learn important information about your industry, like the latest news and updates. For example, if you’re a fitness expert, this might be a brand-new meta-analysis or research study that further proves the science behind high intensity interval training. Morning Brew, a newsletter that relays the latest news from Wall St. to Silicon Valley, adds stock market updates to the top of their emails to keep subscribers up-to-date on the market.

6. Instagram posts

Your Instagram posts don’t need to stay on Instagram. Repurpose them in your next email newsletter. Your post will get more exposure, and you won’t need to hope and pray that Instagram’s algorithm will display it in your followers’ feeds. Take a look at how Marketing Expert Gary Vaynerchuk links off to one of his popular Instagram posts in the email below.

Pro tip: You can use AWeber’s Curate app to drag Instagram posts (or any content!) into your next newsletter in seconds.

7. Facebook live videos

If you create Facebook live videos, promote them in your email newsletters. More people will watch the video. (Facebook loves that.) And you can save time by reusing your social content for your email newsletter. (You love that.) Fitness and productivity expert Chalene Johnson gets thousands of people to watch her Facebook live videos. Her secret? She promotes her videos on social and in her email newsletters.

8. Tweets

The lifespan of a Tweet is 18 minutes. Which means your carefully-crafted Tweets gather cobwebs after only 18 short minutes. What are the chances your followers will actually be on Twitter during that brief period? I wouldn’t bet your business on it. Increase the lifespan of your great Twitter content by talking about it in your next email newsletter. You can even include Tweets from other successful companies, like Brass Ring Daily — a newsletter for career, productivity, and writing advice — does below.

Related: 9 Ways to Grow Your Email List with Twitter

9. Social campaigns

Sharing social content isn’t the only way to use email to get more social engagement. You can also encourage your subscribers to post about your brand on social. Ask them to share a testimonial on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Or, get them to post with a hashtag on a social platform, like travel company Topdeck does in this email.

10. Subscriber information

People love to see their name in lights. Mention subscribers in your newsletter if it’s their birthday or when they take a certain action. The daily newsletter theSkimm has millions of subscribers. Yet, in every newsletter, they still call out their subscribers’ birthdays and highlight people who are doing great things.

11. Pictures

Have beautiful or funny photos and an audience who would love to see them? Put them in your next newsletter. Buzzfeed has a weekly newsletter about cats (Sorry, dog people. There’s not a dog newsletter . . . yet.). Readers send Buzzfeed pictures of their cats, and Buzzfeed adds them to the newsletter with a brief description.

Related: How to Create Amazing Photos for Your Emails on Zero Budget

12.? Book recommendations

If you like to read, this tip is for you! Recommend the good books you’re reading to your subscribers. If the books are relevant to them, they’ll appreciate it. Plus, it’s an easy newsletter content idea for you. The Brain Food Weekly Digest is a newsletter dedicated to helping you become a better version of yourself by sharing educational content. Shane Parrish, the creator of the newsletter, often shares what he’s currently reading.

13. Questions and answers

Do your subscribers ask you certain questions again and again? Answer one of those common questions in your next newsletter. This will increase engagement by making your newsletter interactive. See how financial newsletter Finimize adds a question and answer to their email below.

14. Special offers or deals

If you have a limited-time or can’t-miss deal, add it your newsletter so subscribers don’t miss out. Liberty Travel always includes vacation deals in their popular email newsletter.

15. Events

Events, whether they’re virtual or at a physical location, take a lot of preparation and effort. Make the most of all that work and fill more seats by promoting your next event in an email newsletter. Nomadic Matt, a successful travel blogger, promotes all of his Travel Meet-ups with email.

16. Stories

Calling all authors! This idea is for you. Your subscribers love to read. Share short stories, poems, or chapters from your book in your email newsletter. It’s the perfect content for your bookworm audience, and can help increase your book sales or downloads. Publisher Penguin Random House sends a newsletter with one section from a short story inside. You have to read the next email to continue the story, which keeps subscribers coming back for more.

17. Tools

Great newsletters solve their audience’s problems and answer their questions. That’s why subscribers continue to open and read them. While educational content is an excellent way to teach your audience, it doesn’t help them actually do the work to resolve their problems. Tools, on the other hand, make it easier for them to accomplish tasks. For example, we created a tool called Email Libs to help our audience write their email content in a few minutes. They just answer a few simple questions about their business, and the tool generates email content. If you know of a tool that could save your subscribers’ time, whether you created it or someone else did, link off to it in your newsletter. In a recent TotalAnnarchy newsletter, MarketingProf’s Chief Content Officer Ann Handley dedicates an entire section to useful tools she used that week.

  Related: 12 Free Tools to Create Jaw-Dropping Email Images

18. Plans or steps

If your subscribers would like to accomplish something and they’re not sure how to do it, add a plan or detailed steps to your newsletter to show them how. Every week, Food blogger and founder of Skinnytaste Gina Homolka sends her subscribers a meal plan filled with healthy recipes. It makes her subscribers’ lives easier. Instead of spending hours planning their weekly meals, they can use Gina’s simple plan.

19. Trivia questions or riddles

Asking questions in your newsletter is a great way to increase engagement. Instead of simply reading your newsletter, your subscribers will interact with it. Morning Brew often includes a trivia question in their newsletters. They give the answer at the bottom of the email so subscribers have to keep reading to see it.

20. Courses

The global market for online education reached $255 billion in 2017, and it’s not slowing down (according to World Economic Forum). Millions of people buy online courses in order to upgrade their knowledge and skills. Dreaming of creating your own free course for email subscribers? You don’t need a course platform to do it. Just use email. Build an automated email series with 1 or 2 days between emails. Then, each email in your series can be 1 lesson of your course. The entire lesson could be within the email or you could link off to a video or landing page that hosts the lesson. Talia Wolf, conversion expert and Founder of GetUplift, promotes her email course as a lead magnet (a.k.a freebie) on her email sign up form. Once people sign up, she delivers the course lessons through a daily message. Related: How to Create Your First Email Course or Email Challenge

21. Blog posts or articles

“Wait a minute … At the beginning, you said I didn’t need to write a blog post!” You don’t. Include great blog posts and articles created by other companies in your next newsletter. This is called curation, and it saves people time because they don’t need to search the internet to find the content. It’s delivered right to their inbox. Dave Pell writes NextDraft, a successful newsletter with thousands of subscribers. He fills each email with educational blog posts and articles. The surprising part? The majority of the articles aren’t written by Pell. They’re written by other people. But they’re still valuable to his subscribers, which is why they keep reading.

Related: 4 Email Newsletter Ideas for Bloggers

Put these ideas to the test.

These 21 ideas prove that you can add any kind of content to your next newsletter, as long as it’s valuable to your subscribers. Now that your creative juices are flowing, it’s time to try these ideas out! Create a free AWeber account today and get started.

The post 21 Creative Email Ideas for People Who Don’t Like to Write appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Now in AWeber! Curate Updates, Campaign Copying, and More

What's new in AWeber?

Check out this quick video update and discover the latest features in your AWeber account:

What’s new:

Get started today

Log in to your account to try out these new features, and let us know what you think in the comments! Not using AWeber? Get started, free for 30 days. Our email experts are available 24/7 to help you get going.

The post Now in AWeber! Curate Updates, Campaign Copying, and More appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

The 3 Best Copywriting Formulas for Email Marketing

copywriting formulas

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a recipe to follow when it came to writing your emails? A recipe that not only sparks interest among your subscribers, but also encourages them to complete a call-to-action? You can! Many marketers use copywriting formulas, which are proven structures to help you write more effective copy faster. Copywriting formulas provide a starting point to help you organize your message for the most persuasive impact. It’s how you turn so-so copy into killer copy, and convert subscribers into buyers. Take a look at three tried-and-true copywriting formulas that are perfect for email marketing, below. You can also use them on your social media feeds or in blog headlines, too! That way, you reach your audience no matter where they are.

Copywriting Formulas for Email Marketing

Formula 1: F-A-B

You understand your product or service from the inside out, but it can be tough to communicate all the important details about it in an email or two. Plus, you run the risk of losing your reader’s interest if you drone on too long about your product features. Yes, it’s important to explain the features of your product — but where the magic happens is when you connect those features with the advantages and benefits they bring to your customers. With the F-A-B formula (which stands for Features, Advantages, Benefits), you can touch on your product’s bells and whistles, but you focus on why a person would find your product beneficial. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Feature: Briefly explain the elements of your product. Keep it short and sweet.
  • Advantages: Highlight why these features are unique and how they can make a difference in your customer’s business, life, etc.
  • Benefits: Showcase the value of your product and how it can solve your customer’s problems.

The emphasis is on why your product’s features are great and how they can help your customers rather than dissecting each feature ad naseaum. So, how can you implement this formula? It might look something like this:

{Insert feature} will help you {insert advantage} so you can {insert benefit}

Example of F-A-B in a Tweet: Our wireless Smart Robot Vacuum will clean your pet’s hair off floors and carpets, so you don’t have to spend time chasing down hairballs.

These same principles can be used in subject lines or stretched out to serve as body copy. For the latter, you may expand on the advantage and benefits in multiple paragraphs to really drive the value home.

Formula 2: P-A-S

It may not come as a surprise that P-A-S made our list, but it’s a tried-and-true copywriting formula that works for just about every scenario. In fact, marketing legend Dan Kennedy calls it the most reliable sales formula ever invented. Let’s take a look at how it works:

  • Problem: State your audience’s issue.
  • Agitator: Agitate the problem by talking about why it’s a problem in the first place.
  • Solution: Solve your audience’s issue by presenting your product or service as the solution.

This copywriting formula works best if you focus on the “A” aspect. To “agitate,” you need to stir up all the negative emotions attached to their problem. Make the reader squirm in their seat. Get inside their head. And just before they’re ready to scream “Enough!”, present them with a solution (your product or service!). (Not sure what your audience’s “P” — a.k.a. their biggest problem — is? Here’s a great guide to finding your subscribers’ biggest pain point.) Here’s how you could use it: State a problem: Got pet hair all over your carpet or floor? Agitate the problem: More pet hair means more time sweeping your floors. You’re already busy enough. Do you really want to spend all this extra time cleaning when you could be doing other things? (Like napping or reading or watching Netflix.) Present the solution: Or you could control your pet hair problem with our new Smart Robot Vacuum. Just charge it, turn it on, and get back to your day. Like the F-A-B formula, the P-A-S formula translates well on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or in headlines because of its directness. Using this same example, you could send a Tweet that says:

Pet hair everywhere? Spending more time cleaning up pet hair means less time for the things you want to do — like napping or watching Netflix. You could spend time sweeping every day, or you could let our Smart Robot Vacuum clean it up FOR you.

The P-A-S formula is excellent for subject lines, but it’s also a fast and easy way to explain your value proposition in a quick way. Many email marketing geniuses use this formula in their own emails. Here’s an example from Paula Rizzo, an AWeber user and a TV producer who has an entire side business called The List Producer. Through this business, she helps customers stay organized with various checklists and courses. Subscribers who sign up for Rizzo’s email below have stated they’re feeling a lack of control in their digital world. Their inbox is overflowing and they can’t keep up! In her first email, Rizzo welcomes her new subscriber, tells them a little bit about her business, and then launches into agitating their problem. The agitation section is shown below: PAS copywriting formula Then, Rizzo hits the reader with a solution: a paid course “Take Back Your Inbox: Stop Drowning in Unread Messages, Respond Quicker and Finally Achieve Inbox Zero.” (Check out all that’s included in her $47 course.)   PAS copywriting formula

Formula 3: A-I-D-A

A-I-D-A is arguably one of the most-used copywriting tactics of all. First, here’s what it stands for:

  • Attention: Catch the reader’s eye.
  • Interest: Pique their interest with a compelling setup.
  • Desire: Make them crave the thing you’re offering.
  • Action: Tell them how to get the thing.

This is a classic formula for selling, so it makes sense to deploy it in an email environment where you want readers to take action and move from their inboxes to the next stepping stone in the conversion path. Here’s how you could use it: Attention: No matter how much you love your pet, there’s probably one thing that drives you nuts. Interest: Pet hair is a never-ending battle (and it’s one you’re always losing). Right? Desire: Smart pet owners know it doesn’t have to be that way. The Smart Robot Vacuum is always on top of hairballs (so you don’t have to be). Action: Click here to get 20% off your purchase today only! With a simple, actionable setup that solves problem and reduces a customer’s pain points, this formula is a sales-driving machine not only in emails, but also on landing pages and in video scripts.

Stretch it out!

You can use these copywriting formulas in one email — or you can expand it over a series of automated emails. For instance, with P-A-S, you could use it over the following 5-email series: Email 1: Introduce the reader’s biggest pain point Email 2: Agitate the problem Email 3: Really get in there! Agitate the problem some more. Start to hint that there may be a solution for their issue… Email 4: Offer the solution — your product or service! Email 5: If the reader doesn’t convert, you can offer a coupon or special incentive to buy. Digital marketer gurus like Amy Porterfield, Henneke Duistermaat, and Jeff Walker have used similar email series when they launch a new online course or product.

Additional copywriting tips

Once you find a copywriting formula that works best for you, keep these tips in mind as you begin writing. Avoid jargon Using words that your customer may not understand is a quick way to lose their interest. Make sure they understand your message and what value you can provide them. Nail the subject line It’s been said a million times, but it rings true. Having a solid subject line that piques the interest of your subscribers will ensure the email content you worked so hard to create has a chance to be seen. Be sure to deploy A/B testing to find your strongest option. Related: 6 Email Split Tests You Can Set Up in 1 Minute Be conversational Being personable with your copy is a great way to engage with your customers and show them that there are real humans behind your brand. Conversational tones not only make your brand sound more relatable, but it’ll ensure your customers understand what you’re saying, too. For more email copywriting advice, check out our full list of copywriting tips.

Formulas save time and maximize ROI

Copywriting formulas are an excellent way to make sure you communicate your message clearly and present it in a way that will be most receptive to your audience. Different formulas work for various products and messages, so keep testing and tracking what you learn from each formula use. Ready to see a greater ROI on your email marketing? Sign up for AWeber today or contact a Customer Solutions member. (Our team is available 24/7 at our Pennsylvania headquarters!)

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10 Steps to Creating a Landing Page That Converts

10 steps to creating a landing page that converts

You’ve got the product or service. And you know it adds value to your target audience. All of the marketing research and testing has told you that. Now all you need to do is convince people to choose it. How do you do that? With an effective landing page. It’s a place where you can send visitors via emails or via your social feeds to tell them about the value of your offer, and have them convert there and then. There is no one-size-fits-all template for high-converting landing pages — there are too many different offers and niches in the world for that to be the case. But there are certain steps you can take for a landing page to be successful regardless of what you’re selling. We’re going to cover all 10 of them.

Step 1: Establish Your USP

Your USP (Unique Selling Point) is the thing that sets you apart from the competition and the reason why people will choose you over everyone else. Studies show that you have less than 15 seconds to capture someone’s attention when they land on your website. That’s how long they’ll stick around before deciding whether what you’re offering is right for them. So you need to impress them, quick. Define a strong, value-driven USP and build your landing page around it. You can do this with headlines and images (we’ll talk more about those soon), or by including a value proposition in your landing page copy. A value proposition is a key component of your small business marketing strategy, and shows the user what they’ll gain when they take action, whether that be filling out a form or making a purchase. Value propositions include:

  • Showing how your product or service compares against a well-known competitor
  • The ROI that can be achieved
  • The monetary value of the product and the saving that can be made by signing up now
  • The success that can be achieved
  • Making it clear that your offer is free
  • A guarantee

Airbnb does this brilliantly. Take a look at how it pairs its USP (earning money by renting a room in your home) with a value proposition (how much you could earn by becoming a host). landing page example

Step 2: Keep the Design Clean and Simple

Everything about your landing page should be geared towards getting the user to complete the transaction. This means removing anything that might draw their attention away from your offer. Make your landing page full width and height, and remove navigation features. This isn’t to say you should scrap scrolling completely, but you should take away any visible arrows or buttons that encourage it. Make the most of white space too. Sometimes, what you leave off the page is as powerful as what you include. White space removes congestion and gives the brain space to think. It also forces the eyes to focus on your offer. Take a look at how the AWeber homepage keeps things simple and clean: landing page example

Step 3: Create Headlines That Hit Home

A landing page will live or die on the strength of its headline. This what grabs a visitor’s attention and compels them to find out more about your offer. Studies show that as many as 80% of people will read the average headline, but only 20% will read the rest of the copy, so it’s important that you nail this part of your page. A good headline should:

  • Immediately grab the attention of your visitors
  • Tell the visitor what your offer is about
  • Be short and sweet

Once the headline has the user invested, you can reinforce your message with a powerful subheadline that persuades them to stay. Your subheadline can go into more detail than the main headline, but you should limit it to no more than a few lines of persuasive copy. Slack does this well on its landing page. landing page example

As does Robinhood.

landing page example

Step 5: Grab Attention With Images

Images are a huge part of landing pages that convert. They’re the first thing that catches the visitor’s eye before they read the headline.

Images are processed 60,000 times faster than text by the brain, so what the visitor sees will influence their immediate opinions about your brand and offer.

Like headlines, use imagery to grab attention. Make them relevant to your product or service.

  • If you’re offering a product, your imagery should be of the product
  • If you’re offering a service, your imagery should relate to what the service is in a way that paints a positive picture in the mind of the user

Remember that you don’t have long to make a good first impression. Make sure images are large and high-quality. Try to stay clear of stock imagery — you don’t want to show visitors something they may have already seen.

Teambit, an employee engagement and performance management platform, is a great example of imagery done well — original illustrations used to capture attention and promote its service:

landing page example

Step 6: Talk Up The Benefits (But Not Too Much)

Including benefits on your page is a way to reassure and persuade visitors that are on the fence. They back up your USP and headlines, and provide users with more information about what you offer.

When it comes to writing out the benefits of your offer, focus on clarity. Clearly explain how what you’re offering can solve the user’s problem. But do it in as few words as possible.

According to MarketingProfs, landing pages with more than 800 words have a 33% lower conversion rate than pages with less than 200 words. Bullet points are a great way to keep things concise and make benefits easily digestible for the user.

Of course, not everything has to be written. Video is a powerful persuasion tool. Research by Eye View Digital shows that using videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%.?

Codecademy uses both video and copy for its benefits, dedicating a full section of its landing page to the former:

landing page example

Step 7: Add Social Proof

88% of consumers trust online recommendations as much as personal ones. If you’ve got people that have used your product or service and are happy with it, use their feedback to your advantage.

Including social proof is one more way to convince visitors that your offer is as good as you say it is. It can be added to your landing page in a number of different ways.

  • Customer case studies or testimonials
  • Recommendations from influencers or industry experts
  • Number of users
  • Certifications from trustworthy industry bodies
  • Showing how many of the user’s friends use your service

By the time users get to the social proof section of your landing page, you’ve already captured their attention and interest. What they’re looking for now is confirmation bias — a reason to back up what they’re already feeling.

Basecamp does this well by combining number of users and testimonials for some strong social proof that supports the strength of its offer:

landing page example

Step 8: Include Contact Information

Contact information tells the visitor that you’re a real company. It lets them know that there’s someone behind the landing page, which increases trust.

Including a physical address and contact phone number is the most basic way of adding legitimacy. What those things don’t do, though, is encourage contact. If you want to be helpful to visitors, give them a way to get in touch online. There are three ways you can do this.

  • Include a chat pop-up that follows the visitor down the page, making you available to answer any questions
  • Include a contact form on the page
  • Include a contact call-to-action that clicks through to a dedicated contact page

Related: 9 Inspiring Sign Up Form Ideas to Grow Your Email List

Step 9: Make Calls-to-Action Strong and Clear

Every element of your landing page is designed to get visitors to notice and click on the call-to-action.

Include calls-to-action throughout your landing page, placing them above the fold, at the bottom of the page and two or three times in between. In terms of how it should look, there are some standard rules to follow:

  • Make it big enough not to be missed
  • Always use a button. People are conditioned to expect a button, don’t throw a curveball at them
  • Use a contrasting color that attracts the eye
  • Use words that are valuable and actionable (e.g. “Get your Free Trial,” “Buy Now,” “Download Now,” etc.)

Unbounce places their call-to-action front and center where it’s impossible to miss:

landing page example

Step 10: Test, Test, Test

Landing pages are trial and error. Once you’ve created a page you’re happy with, don’t put it live and just leave it. Always monitor performance and iterate. Look at your analytics weekly and look at performance over time. Use heatmaps and scrollmaps to see how people are interacting with the page and use the information to improve.

If your page isn’t bringing in the number of leads or conversions you expected, tweak elements of the design or copy, or tinker around with the color and positioning of buttons.

Then, run A/B tests to see how the different pages perform against one another. From there, you’ll be able to take the best elements of both to produce a page that gives you bang for your buck.

Related:?6 Email Split Tests You Can Set Up in 1 Minute

Conversions Are Only the First Step

Your landing page converting is a sign that a) it’s working, and b) people are putting their trust in you to deliver on what you say. Repay trust and reward loyalty by emailing customers with content that adds value, personalized offers, and freebies, or letting them know when they left items in their cart. Every dollar spent on email marketing has an ROI of $44. Once a person has opted-in to your email list, use it to your advantage.

Related:?How to Get Your First 50 Email Subscribers in 30 Days

Not sure what to include in your emails? Download 45+ free writing templates to learn how to craft emails like a pro.?

  About the author: With nearly a decade of digital marketing experience, Chandal has created content strategies for both the biggest and sometimes the most unexpected markets, while developing strategic relationships with editors and publishers. Chandal contributes to some of the highest authority industry publications, has been featured in industry events and is thrilled to be Acquisio’s Content Director.

The post 10 Steps to Creating a Landing Page That Converts appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

How To Create Your First Email Course or Email Challenge

How to start your first email course

Has your email list stopped growing? Can’t figure out what’s going on? It’s called the subscriber growth plateau and it happens to the best of us. Simply saying, “sign up for my email newsletter” isn’t going to do the trick in 2019. In this guide, you’ll learn how email courses and challenges can kickstart your list growth and convert new subscribers to paying customers with simple, automated emails.

The Solution

Developing a compelling email course or challenge can revitalize your digital marketing, boost your subscriber growth, and generate a ton of sales for your business. Email courses and challenges uniquely attract a relevant and eager audience by tapping into human psychology. Courses and challenges draw on our desire to learn, achieve goals, feel accomplished, and connect with a purpose. Not only is this strategy effective at growing your email list, it’s also a logical pre-purchase step for your prospective customers. People that engage with your course or challenge are primed to become perfect buyers for your paid products or services. The best part: As email automation tools like AWeber?become more powerful, accessible, and easy-to-use, building a simple course or challenge is a breeze. In the following sections, you’ll learn:

Don’t have a product to sell yet? Read on and learn how to develop a product, service, or revenue stream to serve your new subscribers.

What is an email course?

An email course is a simple series of automated emails that deliver educational or instructional content. (See our newest course, Everyday Email. You get 30 tips in 30 days sent to your inbox. It’s the MOST FUN way to learn email marketing. Ever.) We’re in the age of online courses, where successful entrepreneurs are making a living using robust, affordable, and accessible course platforms like Thinkific and Teachable. These platforms help you build, deliver, and sell text, audio, or video-based courses to your audience. Online educational courses are effective because they deliver valuable instructional content that people need to learn and grow. With an email course, you don’t need to pay for extra software or find a new service to learn. You’ll simply deliver your lessons by email.??? For example, you might offer a 1-week email course to your website visitors. When someone signs up, AWeber?will automatically deliver a sequence of emails at a frequency of your choosing. This could be one email per day, or one every other day. It all depends on your course content. Here’s a quick view of how a daily course might look for someone selling a guitar lesson bootcamp: An example of an AWeber campaign If your email course is free, you can use it as a lead magnet a.k.a. an?incentive to invite lots of people to join your email newsletter list. Just let them know that by signing up for the course, they’re granting you permission to send them newsletters later. This is a great way to skyrocket your list growth. You could also put it behind a paywall. Charging for an email course using PayPal or another payment processor is a great way to monetize your email marketing efforts. If your subscribers start telling you they loved your course so much they’d pay for it, you might want to consider charging for that content. Keep that in mind as you’re developing your course.

What is an email challenge?

An email challenge is similar to a course in that you’ll still deliver an automated sequence of emails. Instead of teaching your subscribers a skill or craft, however, the purpose of these emails will be to challenge your subscribers to accomplish goals and take certain actions. Your tips, tactics, and guidance throughout the challenge will help them set and crush their goals. You’ll also be building up your position as a mentor or coach for your subscribers. Here are a few examples:

  • Simple Green Smoothies offers a free “7-day Green Smoothie Challenge,” which offers daily emailed recipes and shopping lists to help you introduce greens into your diet.
  • David Siteman Garland’s “Outline Your Darn Course” Challenge, which offers daily emailed tasks to help future online course creators map out their content.

Challenges appeal to our human desire to improve ourselves. A good challenge encourages participation by playing up the benefits your subscriber will reap if they follow through. Let’s say you’re running a 30-day clean eating challenge. You should promote the positive health and energy changes your subscribers are likely to experience from shifting their diet on your webform or landing page. If your challenge is to help subscribers land their first freelancing gig, paint the picture of what financial freedom looks like after they’ve built their own business. Email challenges can be sent at a schedule of your choosing — just let your subscribers know what to expect. If your 30-day challenge is one email a day for 30 days, let them know when they’re signing up and in your welcome email. But if it’s easier on you and your subscribers, your 30-day challenge could simply consist of one weekly email (so 4 emails total over the course of a month). Not sure where to start? Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal subscriber, and ask how they’d best like to receive these emails, or find a current subscriber and ask them personally! (We asked our subscribers how often they wanted to receive our email course, What to Write — which led to a 150% increase in engagement! See how we did it here.)

Should you start with an email course or a challenge?

It depends on a few key factors.

What will resonate most with your audience?

Think about your audience and the typical content you deliver. Is it already educational? Have you poured hours into building a blog or creating content that teaches your tribe how to be better at something? If yes, an email course might be a great place to start. You already have the content, you might just need to repurpose it and package it into a course. If your brand objective is to be an authority in a specific area, delivering a course can help you achieve your goal. Maybe your content appeals to people’s aspirations. Do audiences flock to your content because it’s inspirational, or motivational? Then an email challenge might be just what they need. Capitalize on your motivational tone and push your audience to accept a challenge and meet a specific goal.

What will be easier for you to create?

As an entrepreneur or business owner, you have plenty to do. Buckling down to create an email course or challenge from scratch may not be on the top of the list. Using content you already have might deliver the most impact for your effort. If you are a content creator, or you have a content team, your course or challenge may already be out there. You simply have to repurpose your content to fit the format. Do a quick content audit to see what exists, what is still relevant, and what is most popular with your audience. These bits of info can help you figure out how much you can pull into your course without reinventing the wheel.

What will help you sell the most stuff?

Courses and challenges are wildly effective at growing and engaging your email list, but what about revenue? How can a free course or challenge make your business more money? How you make money might determine whether you build a course before a challenge, or vice versa. For example, if your current source of online income is educational products, like a paid course, eBook, or physical book, you can use a free email mini-course to introduce your audience to a preview of the paid product. Give your audience a taste of the value your premium products will provide and they’ll be more likely to buy. If your current source of income is selling physical products or one-on-one service, or promoting products/services as an affiliate, you might benefit from an email challenge. An email challenge can uniquely position your products and services as the keys to successfully completing it. At the end of the challenge, whether your subscriber succeeded or not, you can pitch products or services as an aid to try again, or keep on going. There’s no rule that says you can’t do both! Maybe start with an email course to build up your audience and later in the year, re-engage the same group with a challenge. What’s important is that you get started.

Step One: Crafting your content

Use the tactics below to make this part of the process as painless as possible, especially if you don’t fancy yourself a writer.

Creating an awesome email course

Email courses help you and?your subscribers grow!?Teaching a new subscriber what you know is a great way to kick off a long and profitable relationship. But what should you write? And how do you get started? First, create your pitch… Determine what it is you’ll be teaching your subscribers. Condense this down to a simple value-packed statement. This statement will be helpful when you are writing content for your landing page or web form. A great email course can:

  • teach a subscriber how to do a certain task.
  • demystify a confusing topic.
  • introduce your audience to an exciting new topic.
  • help subscribers make more money, save time, or solve problems by enhancing their existing skills or knowledge.

The perfect pitch for your course should include what you’ll be teaching, how that can impact your subscriber’s life, and how long it’ll take. Here are a few examples:

  • Enroll in our “7-day Email Copywriting Course” and never worry about what to write in your emails again.
  • Kick-start your side hustle with our “14-day Find Your First Client Course.”
  • Plan your Disney vacation like a pro with our 7-day guide.

Once you’ve nailed your pitch, you’ll have a sense of what the content should be. Next, write your emails… We’ve studied a ton of email courses to learn how they craft their content. Here are a few different styles you might consider emulating. The Traditional Course A traditional email course consists of long-form emails that have both a full, in-depth lesson and a homework assignment in each email sent. These courses are great when diving into a complex topic. Use images and diagrams as needed, and be sure to write in a style that is familiar to your audience. Even if you’re covering a technical topic, you risk losing your audience’s attention if you assume they understand technical jargon and terminology. When structuring your course, you can also list them out as lessons in your subject lines and content (lesson 1, lesson 2, lesson 3, etc.). This will help give subscribers a reference point for where they’re at, and where they’re going. The Snackable Mini-Course A snackable course offers bite-sized bits of information delivered over time. These can be simple tips, 5-minute lessons, quick exercises, or links to short resources or tools. Here is a great example of a snackable course email from Henneke Duistermaat. Each day you receive a short tip about copywriting. Snackable email example. The Multimedia Course Perhaps you have educational content in different formats, like video, audio, or long-form blog articles. If you plan to deliver your course content using different mediums, simply use email to direct the user to a video, audio, or article on your website, or another service (like YouTube.) Here’s an example from Donald Miller of how an email might look using this style: Video email example. Drive your subscribers to take action No matter what format or tone your course takes, it should definitely be actionable. Be sure that your audience has a clear call-to-action to apply what they’re learning, interact with you or a larger group, and stay engaged throughout the course.

Creating an awesome email challenge

Crafting an email challenge can be a bit easier than a course. It requires less educational content. But you still need a pitch… Challenges are all about transformation.?At the end of a challenge, your subscribers should be in an improved state. Your challenge transports them from A to B — from unhealthy to fit, from novice to pro, from start-up to profitable. To successfully attract email subscribers to accept your challenge, you need to pitch that transformation. Craft a short statement that explains the beginning and end state your subscribers will move from if they take you up on your challenge. Here are a few examples:

  • Launch your own successful food blog in just 7 days!
  • 10x your email list with this 30-day challenge!
  • Drop 2 sizes in 60 days!

Your pitch will become the compass for your challenge emails. Now about those emails… Yes, you still have to write them. Fortunately, writing challenge emails is a breeze. Focus on one action per email. Give your subscribers enough details to know what they’re expected to do, and why they’re expected to do it. For example, on Day 3 of David Siteman Garland’s “Outline Your Darn Course” challenge, he explains how to draft your course’s “modules.” A quick video explains what a module is, why it’s important, and how to do the task at hand. Sell them on the value of completing the task. Give them insight into how this single feat plays into the big picture and helps them achieve their larger goals. Example: David Siteman Garland shares that once your course is outlined, you’ll build significant momentum to help you get a real course completed and ready for sale. Here are some tips to make your challenge emails shine:

  • Include numbers in your subject line to let your audience know where they are in the overall challenge (i.e. Day 1, Challenge 1, Task 1)
  • Offer a teaser of how much effort each challenge might require to encourage subscribers to carve out time to complete (i.e. 20 minutes to complete.)
  • Don’t let your tribe feel lost. Link to other resources, an online community, or your contact info to encourage them to keep moving forward.

Remember to play the role of the coach. Be equal parts demanding and inspirational. Push your subscribers to do their best, and keep them focused on the benefits of your program.

Step Two: Building your automated campaign

Delivering your automated course or challenge emails with AWeber is as easy as it gets. There are just a few steps to upload your draft emails from Google Docs or Microsoft Word (or pen and paper, if that’s how you roll) to an automated sequence — or campaign — inside AWeber. (Haven’t tried AWeber yet? Use this link and try AWeber for 30 days.)

Designing your emails

Don’t let designing your emails slow you down! There are hundreds of template designs to choose from, so how do you know which one is right for your course or challenge? all that choice might have you questioning which one is right for you. Pro tip: the best design for courses and challenges are as little design as possible. You want your automated emails to feel personal, like a direct message someone might send from Gmail. There are a few stationary style templates in AWeber that will help you send simple personal emails. These will enable you to focus on your message and on building a strong relationship with your subscribers, rather than get distracted with images and formatting options. Here’s an example: Email draft example. When you simplify your email design, you can build your drafts in minutes rather than hours. Simply transfer your email content into your new template using AWeber’s Drag and Drop Email Builder. Add any logos, images, video thumbnails, or links, and you’re set to begin building your automated campaign.

Creating your automated campaign

Head on over to Campaigns in AWeber. Just click the Campaigns link in the Messages dropdown. Create a new campaign and choose “On Subscribe” as the trigger, this will deliver your automated emails to all new subscribers. Now, just drag and drop your messages and wait times (the time in between each message.) If you want to send a 30-day challenge with one email being sent each week for 4 weeks, simply drag in four messages with a one-week wait time in between. If you want to send a 7-day email course, drag in seven messages with a one-day wait time in between. Here’s an example: AWeber Campaign Builder When you’re ready, save and activate your campaign. That’s it! Any new subscribers to this email list will immediately be enrolled into your automated email course or challenge.

Step Three: Attracting Subscribers

Once your course or challenge is live, it’s time to attract the right subscribers to join. Focus on these four elements to build a high-converting incentive: signup form, traffic, visibility, and value. Let’s dive into each element!

Create your signup form

Your signup form is the entry-point to your course or challenge. This is the form that people will fill out to sign up! To encourage sign ups, you want to make sure your form copy (the actual words describing your course/challenge) is clear and compelling. Be sure the design fits your brand, and it’s easy for anyone to fill it out and submit. Related post:?How to Create Amazing Photos for Your Emails on Zero Budget This means you should limit your form to just a few fields, like name and email. Asking for too many details up front might decrease the number of people that actually fill it out. When crafting your form, focus on the pitch you drafted earlier. What’s the value that your course provides, or the transformation that your challenge promises. Here’s a few great examples (from Henneke and Pete from?Do You Even Blog): Sign up form example. Sign up form example. There are many best practices to pull from these. Some use color to highlight key words and value propositions. Others use images to showcase yourself as the instructor, or a happy student with a positive end result. As your list grows, use social proof to show new visitors that others have found success after opting-in. Social proof is evidence from a real user that your course or challenge worked. This could be a statement like: “Join the 4,000 subscribers that [did the thing your course or challenge promises.]” This could also include course reviews, quotes, or photos from your fans. Another important element of your form is the call-to-action, or CTA. Related post: 8 Ways to Improve Your Call-to-Action Copy to Get More Subscribers Many forms simply state “subscribe” or “sign-up,” which is a bit dull. If you want your future subscribers to be as excited about your course or challenge as you are, dial up the tone of your call-to-action! Here’s a good example from Simple Green Smoothies: Green Smoothies form. You can easily create a form in AWeber, or use a third-party form tool, like OptinMonster, or a form WordPress plugin. Don’t have a website? You can also host a signup form with AWeber and we’ll give you a link to share.

Drive traffic to your form

The best form in the world won’t generate sign ups if no one sees it! Getting people to see your course or challenge requires traffic. You can think of web traffic as you would real traffic. There are a lot of vehicles potentially driving to your website or sign up form. They can arrive at that destination through a variety of “on-ramps.” These “on-ramps” are typically referred to as channels. These could be Google searches, paid ads, social posts, blog articles, YouTube videos, or even a billboard or radio ad. There are a variety of ways to tell people who you are, what you do, why you do it, and where to go to learn more (your website or signup form). Many marketing channels are free (like posting on Pinterest, or optimizing your content for Google,) just some time and effort, while others might require a small budget, like running a paid Facebook ad campaign. One of the best ways to drive paid or organic traffic to your form or website is to publish relevant content. This can be written, audio, or video content. You can start a blog, podcast, or YouTube series, which might require a lot of effort if you don’t have one of those things already. An alternative to this is guest posting on other people’s blogs or appearing on other people’s podcasts. You can also publish content on public networks like Medium.com. We published a great article sharing 6 ways to get more website traffic that’s super helpful.

Increase your form’s visibility

Here’s the reality: Your sign up form won’t do much good at the very bottom of your website. Position your sign up form where people are most likely to see it. This could be in the middle of a popular blog article, or at the top of your site. You might also experiment with pop-up or slide-in forms that appear after your visitors are on your site for a few seconds. AWeber slide-in form. Your form should be working for you, not against you. Here are more examples of forms to provide some inspiration.

Promote the value

Your subscribers are going to ask, “What’s in it for me?” WIIFM! Be sure your incentive clearly answers this questions. If you have a challenge, appeal to their desire to improve themselves. If you have a course, stress the value of gaining advanced knowledge or a new skill. Not everyone is willing to share their email address if the value they’ll receive isn’t clear. Make sure your visitors are left thinking, “How could I not sign up!?” Remember, attracting users to your course or challenge takes time. Focus on your form, traffic, visibility, and value and you’ll give your content the best chance to be seen!

Step Four: Converting participants to paying customers

Alright, the course or challenge is built, form is functional, people are joining, lives are changing… what’s next? In this final step, we’ll take a look at how to convert your new subscribers into paying customers. Before you can make a sale, you must have something to sell. Related: The Beginner’s Guide to Making Money with Email Marketing Here are two quick options to put you on the path to profitability.

Option 1: Develop a paid solution to a relevant problem

If you are already an established business, you likely offer a product or service. This product or service should ideally solve a problem that is relevant to the problem your course or challenge addresses. For example, if you produce fitness content or run a fitness challenge, you may sell paid fitness videos or home gym equipment. Maybe you have customized workout plans that can be sold digitally, or you have a gym or training service that caters to local customers. Or if you produce a mini-email course on a specific topic, you might have a more robust paid course offering, a book, or one-on-one consultation sessions that you can sell. Here are a few common products you might consider developing:

  • A premium email course, delivered by AWeber
  • A digital course, hosted on Thinkific or Teachable
  • A physical book, sold in stores or on Amazon.com
  • Digital products (like a PDF or eBook)
  • A physical product, sold through an eCommerce store
  • Consultation services via Skype or in-person

Pros:

  • Because you developed your own paid product or service, you retain the revenue!
  • Your happy email subscribers are now more invested in you and your brand after purchasing one of your products or services.
  • Expanding your product and service line offers future opportunities to make more revenue.

Cons:

  • If you don’t already have a product or service, you’ll have to develop one, which can require time, money, and resources.
  • If you sell physical goods, you’ll have to handle production, fulfilment and delivery, customer service, and returns. If you sell a physical service, be prepared to invest your time and manage administrative tasks and customer service.
  • If you sell a single one-time purchase product or service, you’ll always need to find and convert new customers, since your existing customers don’t have a reason to be repeat buyers.

Option 2: Sell someone else’s products or services

Okay, so maybe you don’t have an established business, service, or product. You might not have the time and energy to invest in starting from scratch. Here’s the solution: You can promote someone else’s products or services to your new audience and earn money for any sales you might refer. This is typically called an affiliate, partner, or referral program. Not all products or services will offer one, and you’ll have to sign up and agree to the terms of the provider if you want to pursue this route. The key to successfully earning revenue as an affiliate or partner is to make sure that the products and services you promote are super relevant. What you promote should speak to the same pain points and needs that your course or challenge addresses. For example, if you are doing a 30-day fitness challenge, you may consider promoting health food or nutritional supplements. Perhaps your favorite paid workout programs have a referral program — a perfect “next step” to promote to anyone that reaches the end of your challenge. You may have a mini-course on learning a new computer skill, like digital photography or video editing. Promoting the physical products you’d recommend using — like a camera, tripod, light kit, or software, can also be very relevant and rewarding, as you gain the trust of your new subscribers. Pros:

  • You don’t have to develop any products or services. You can spend more time building your audience and less time building a new business.
  • You don’t have to worry about product or service fulfilment, or customer support. You still need to stand behind the products you promote, so make sure the brands you partner with treat your subscribers’ with exceptional care.
  • Your income is mostly passive! If you build a successful magnetic course or challenge that promotes someone else’s products or services, your revenue generated is mostly passive, meaning you’ll do the upfront work of setting things up, and email automation will keep things running.

Cons:

  • As an affiliate or partner, you only take home a slice of the total sale, as the majority will go to the seller.
  • You don’t have a lot of control over your revenue stream. You’re subject to the terms of the partner, who can adjust their payout percentage and frequency, or even cancel their program altogether.
  • You’re sharing your audience with another brand. By promoting someone else, you’re missing an opportunity to serve your core audience in a meaningful way and continue to deliver value to your subscribers.

How to convert your subscribers into paying customers!

Regardless of which option you choose to monetize your efforts, you’ll have to successfully lead your subscribers to a point of sale. Here are two tips to help you sell more through your course or challenge. Conversion tip #1: Tease the problem. A strong conversion strategy is to always tease the problem, or shine a light on what your audience might be struggling with, even as your course or challenge moves them towards the solution. Related:?How to Find Your Customers’ Pain Points Your content should provide real value, solve real problems, and transform customers into a better version of themselves, but the result should never be the final destination. Even after a 30-day fitness challenge, or a mini-course to learn a skill, your subscriber will still need to maintain their health, or practice their skill. Or, maybe take the leap and seek out the next level of their development. Paid content, products, or services can help your subscribers continue to move forward. By teasing the problem, your paid solution is always the logical next step. Conversion tip #2: Show, don’t tell. It’s easy to tell your subscribers that a product or service could solve their problems or change their world. But keep in mind that your subscribers are likely asking themselves these questions:

  • “How much does it cost? Is it worth the money?”
  • “How complicated is it? Can I do it?”
  • “Do I need it? Can I be successful without it?”
  • “What are other people saying?”

Instead of answering these questions directly or with a Frequently Asked Questions website or email, consider creative ways to show your subscribers the answers. Here are two assets to leverage: Demo videos Your subscriber needs to understand what they’d be purchasing. They need to feel confident that they have the time, ability, and confidence to do their part. For example, if you’re pitching a software product, they need to feel savvy enough to use it, or that they can set things up in the limited time they have. One of the best ways to help subscribers overcome any doubt is to present a demo video. In your demo video, showcase the product or service, highlight the value to the subscriber, and mostly focus on how easy it is to get started. Here’s an example of a great demo video for a software product, Asana. Social proof Another valuable tool when promoting a sale is social proof, or the use of customer testimonials, stories, quotes, or social media posts to promote the value and credibility of your products. It’s more assuring for your future customers to hear about successes from actual people like them. When pitching your product, use this content to reduce doubts that your subscribers might have, or answer specific questions. Having stories delivered by your happiest customers, rather than you, can help the sales process feel more natural and less salesy. Note: Be sure to ask your customers if you can use their testimonial content to promote your products. You may want to get written permission before doing so.

Never stop learning.

Go forth and build your online course or challenge, but be sure to keep on learning what’s working as marketing continues to evolve. Want to continue growing as an email marketer? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter FWD: Thinking to get the latest and greatest content in your inbox. From attracting new subscribers to sending emails that just work, we’ll help you crush your business and marketing goals.

Get started with AWeber

AWeber is the perfect platform to deliver your online course or challenge. Easily match your brand with one of our customizable email templates, and build your automated campaigns with easy using our drag-and-drop Campaign editor. Need a hand? Our email experts are ready to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get started with AWeber today, free for 30 days!?

The post How To Create Your First Email Course or Email Challenge appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

The 6-Step Plan to Escape the Spam Folder

You’re not a spammer — but your emails can still land in the spam folder. And once they’re stuck there, it’s difficult to reach the inbox again. That’s why we asked AWeber’s Director of Deliverability Karen Balle to explain how you can escape the spam folder. Multi-million dollar companies seek Balle’s advice on reaching the inbox. This is the same 6-step plan she lays out for them. And now, you can use it too.

Step 1: Make sure you have permission.

It’s illegal to send emails to people who haven’t subscribed to your list. It’s also a great way to go to the spam folder. So, if your emails are going to spam, review your email lists to make sure all of your subscribers opted in to receive content from you. If you purchased one of your lists or all of your lists, delete those subscribers from your email marketing platform. They’re just hurting you. Plus, they didn’t give you permission to send them emails anyway, so they are much more likely to mark your emails as spam or not open them at all. If you’re not sure whether your lists are purchased, review subscribers to see how they joined. (You can see these details under Subscriber Management in AWeber.) Look for large lists of imported subscribers. Make sure you have a record of how you acquired these subscribers. Related: The Ugly Truth about Buying Email Lists Balle also recommends using confirmed opt-in (COI) emails for every new subscriber. A confirmed opt-in email is a message that’s automatically sent to people who fill out your sign up form. It asks them to confirm they want to join your list by clicking a link or button in the message. Internet service providers, like Gmail and Yahoo!, are more likely to deliver your emails to the inbox when you use COI emails. And on top of that, COI messages keep spam robots off your email list. Spam robots are automated computer programs designed to find sign up form code on your website and submit fake information to join your list. ?(Nobody wants a robot on their list. It’s difficult to tell them apart from real subscribers. And they decrease your open and click-through rates.) Related: Writing Confirmation and Welcome Emails People Love

Step 2: Find the type of content your audience loves.

Often, your email reputation is damaged because your subscribers aren’t engaging with your emails. If your open rates are below 15% and your click-through rates are below 5%, you’re in the danger zone, says Balle. To rebuild your email reputation, you need to boost your open and click-through rates. There’s a simple way to accomplish this: Send content your audience can’t wait to open and read. Take a look at the emails you’ve sent in the past, says Balle. Are there certain messages that earned more opens and clicks? If so, you should send more content like this! Jot down a list of related (but new) content ideas for future emails. Related: 8 Top Brainstorming Techniques to Help You Write Killer Emails You can also ask your subscribers what kind of content they’d like to get from you. Simply send them a brief email asking what questions they have. Once you know what kind of content interests your audience, draft a few emails around those topics. We’ll use these messages in step 4! Related: 18 Tried-And-True Ways to Improve Your Email Content

Step 3: Build a segment of your most-engaged subscribers.

Using your email marketing platform, build a segment of subscribers who have clicked a link in one of your emails in the last 3 months. This is your most engaged group of subscribers. They are more likely to open and click future emails. You’ll use this segment of people to begin rebuilding your email reputation with internet service providers. With a good email reputation, more of your emails will reach the inbox! Related: How to Create a Segment in AWeber

Step 4: Send value-packed emails to your segmented audience.

For the next 2 weeks, focus on sending high-value emails to the audience you identified in step 3. Aim to send 1 to 2 emails each week. Use the messages you drafted in step 2! Make sure that your audience likes the content you’re ?sending. High open and click-through rates and low spam complaints are a good indicator that they do. But fair warning: You won’t see high rates right away. When recovering from spam folder placement, your open and click-through rates will start low, according to Balle. “You want to make sure that those metrics are increasing. Many companies give up too early during this step. It will be around two weeks when you really start to see a difference,” she says. Once your open rates are above 15% and your click-through rates are above 5% with your engaged segment, start gradually increasing your segment size. Add people to your segment who clicked an email in the last 4 months. As you send emails to this larger segment, watch your open rates and your click-through rates for about a week. If they hold steady, then add people who clicked an email in the last 5 months. Watch your open rates and click-through rates again. Keep going until you’re sending to people who clicked your emails in the last 12 months. One of the biggest mistakes Balle sees is adding people to your segment too quickly. Each time you add more people to your segment, make sure you don’t increase your segment by more than 50%. For example, let’s say you have a list of 10,000 engaged subscribers. When you increase your segment size, add 5,000 subscribers or less. Send for about a week. Then, add the next segment. And if you add a new segment and you can’t increase your open and click-through rates, stop adding new segments. Move on to step 5. Related: The 7 Questions Everyone Has about Email List Segmentation

Step 5: Create a re-engagement campaign for unengaged subscribers.

Now, it’s time to try to re-engage subscribers who aren’t opening and clicking your emails with a re-engagement campaign. A re-engagement campaign is a group of emails that asks people to confirm they actually want to be on your email list. For your re-engagement campaign, build a segment of people who haven’t clicked on a link in your email for the last 12 months or at the point where you could no longer increase your opens and clicks. The segment size for this re-engagement campaign should be no more than 10% the size of your newly engaged list. If it’s larger, it could sabotage the work you’ve done so far with your engaged segment. So if you have a list of 10,000 subscribers who have recently clicked a link in one of your emails, your engagement campaign should only include 1,000 people. ?You may need to send multiple engagement campaigns to cover all of your less-engaged customers. Once you build your segment, send a re-engagement campaign to them. Send one email. Wait 7 days. Then, send one more. Don’t send a third. According to Balle, a third re-engagement email often ends up in the spam folder. Related: How to Win Back Subscribers with a Re-Engagement Campaign If you have subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked an email in more than a year, you might want to consider excluding them from your re-engagement campaign. They are less likely to re-engage, and they may sabotage your re-engagement campaign by decreasing subscriber engagement.

Step 6: Delete subscribers who don’t re-engage.

If a subscriber doesn’t re-engage or hasn’t opened an email in years, it’s time to delete them. They’re just hurting your email deliverability and your bottom line. Related: How to Delete Unengaged Subscribers

Stick to the plan. Reach the inbox.

Improving your email reputation takes time and patience. But by following this plan, you can increase your chances of reaching the inbox and build a healthy email list of people who want your emails! Want to use an email marketing platform that helps more people reach the inbox? Create a free account with AWeber.

The post The 6-Step Plan to Escape the Spam Folder appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

2019 Valentine’s Day GIF Guide: 9 FREE GIFs Your Subscribers Will Love

Valentine's Day Sale

Time to get all mushy: Our readers and subscribers are the absolute best. To show our appreciation, AWeber’s amazing Brand Designer created some brand-new, free Valentine’s Day GIFs for you. (We also included our most-downloaded GIFs from years past, too.) Go ahead and pass on the love to your own audience. Put these Happy Valentine’s Day GIFS in your emails, on your website, or in your social feeds! Not an AWeber customer yet??Create your FREE account right now, and see how easy it is to use one of these GIFs in our Drag-and-Drop message editor.

Download Your Valentine’s Day GIFs

Step 1: Find the animated Valentine’s Day GIF below that you want to use in your email. Step 2: Save it to your computer by either right clicking the GIF and selecting “Save Image,” or by dragging the GIF to your desktop. Step 3: Upload the GIF into your email template. Related: Everything You Need to Know about Using GIFs in Email

2019 Valentine’s Day GIFs

Popping Balloons GIF

Want to make your emails “pop”? Use this fun balloon GIF.

Popping Balloons Valentines Day GIF Valentine’s Day Sale GIF

Glow bright in the inbox with this neon sale sign. Valentines Day Sale GIF

Happy Valentine’s Day GIF

Make your subscribers’ hearts burst with this GIF.

Happy Valentines Day GIF

Best Valentine’s Day GIFs

Here are some of our readers’ all-time favorite images from past V-Days.

Candy Hearts GIF

What’s almost as good as candy falling right into your mouth? This GIF. Candy Hearts Valentines Day GIF

Love You GIF

Knock Knock. Who’s there? Olive. Olive who? Olive you.? Tell your subscribers how much you love them with this GIF. Love Ya Valetines Day GIF

Heart GIF?

What do you call a very small Valentine? A Valen-tiny.?Just like this small heart GIF! Heart Valentines Day GIF

Happy Valentine’s Day GIFs

“You must be a keyboard, because you’re just my type.” No cheesy pick up lines required. Get the message across with these two GIFs. Happy Valentine's Day   Happy Valentines Day GIF

5. Candy Heart “Hugs” GIF

Give your subscribers a hearty hug this V-Day.  

Show your appreciation year round

Want to show your love for your customers the other 364 days of the year? Here are some clever ways to deliver awesome experiences.

1. Send personalized notes.

Have you ever received a tweet from your favorite company? Or a lightning-fast response from tech support when you’re having an issue? It feels good to be acknowledged, doesn’t it?

Do the same for your customers and send a bunch of individualized emails. You can say “thank you for your business” to a new or interesting customer. You can send a quick note of thanks to your subscribers who gave your product, service, or program great reviews. Or maybe you can send followup emails to the ones who didn’t gave you good reviews —?and ask what you can do better.

Include your contact info and tell them to get in touch with you if they ever have any questions.

2. Deliver seasonal content.

Get creative and think outside the traditional holiday seasons. For example, if you’re a coffee shop owner, you could send your subscribers a special coupon that they can use for a pick-me-up during tax season.

3. Reward your customers.

First-time customers could use a push to buy again and return customers deserve to be recognized. Give them a little something —?like free shipping on their next order, a free consultation, or a downloadable resource that can help them make a buying decision.

4. Turn your 404 page into an opportunity.

A 404 doesn’t have to be a dead end. Instead,? use it as a chance to delight.

One quick example: If you stumble upon a 404 page on the site Flooring Supplies — the UK’s largest online flooring company — it says “Floor…Oh … Floor!” Here are some more awesome 404 ideas.

5. Respond to questions and comments.

Join in on your customers’ conversation. Forums, Twitter chats, and your own social profiles are great places to start. When someone gives you a digital shoutout, respond! It’s a fantastic way to retain customers and maintain stellar customer service.

If a customer has an issue, give them your undivided attention. By simply listening and working with them to solve it, you can turn a negative situation into a position one. Check out these ideas for turning customers into raving fans.

Have more ideas for delighting your customers? Tell us in the comments! Additional reporting by Kristen Dunleavy.?

The post 2019 Valentine’s Day GIF Guide: 9 FREE GIFs Your Subscribers Will Love appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

4 Easy Ways Podcasters Can Use Email to Grow Their Audiences

As technology continues to improve, it’s never been easier to start a podcast.? But it’s also never been harder to build an audience. Bringing in new listeners is no longer just about producing remarkable audio content. We have to find new ways to reach and engage listeners in an increasingly saturated industry.? That’s why?Hack the Entrepreneur?has put a consistent emphasis on?using email as an audience-building tool for the past four years.?We use email automation to promote our new episodes, and we use our weekly newsletter to provide additional value to our listeners. Email has helped us garner 5,000,000+ podcast episode downloads, grow our listener base, build deeper connections with our audience, and get closer to our goal of helping 10,000 people start side hustles and live a lifestyle of their own design. But we’re just one podcast in one market. Let’s take a look into how other podcasters are using email to grow their audiences. Related:?The 30 Tips You Need to Know to Succeed with Email

Create conversations

Alistair Clay, of Famous Business, has a great technique that you can implement immediately: Replace your stagnant? stagnant “subscribe to my show on Apple Podcasts” call-to-action with a supercharged CTA that triggers action. Here’s exactly how Clay does it: “My audience is made up of small business owners looking to get media attention. This is an urgent problem that they need solved fast. To help them, I offer to answer their burning questions immediately,” explains Clay. “The only catch is they need to sign up to my email list and then hit reply! I call this a win/win/win situation. It gets them an answer fast, gets me a subscriber, and it also gives us a chance to make a deeper connection.” Through email, Clay is offering quick, personalized advice — something that most other podcasters do not offer. His listeners get individual attention, which automatically inspires loyalty. They’ll keep coming back to Clay, again and again. Then, Clay can continue to communicate with his listeners through email. Their interactions don’t just end with a podcast episode. Related:?How to Get Your First 50 Email Subscribers in 30 Days Clay also gains important insight from these Q&As. Their questions may help him come up with his next podcast episode or next product idea. “This one technique has been an essential element to the growth of my podcast,”?Clay says.

Do the extra legwork

In order to grow your audience from scratch, you need to put in the extra legwork in the beginning, according to?Jane Ellen, of Glistening Particles.?That’s why Ellen solicits feedback via email as much as possible. “I’m Googling the heck out of the topic of each episode and sending direct emails to people who might be interested in the episode,” explains Ellen. “My goal is to send 50 per episode. I have had people reply back – even one to be a guest!” It’s not a long-term, scalable solution, but it’s crucial to the initial growth of your audience, explains Ellen. That’s because feedback is fuel.?“I’m of the belief right now that ANY engagement is good. I’m even open to hear my show stinks or my interview style is annoying or whatever — it means someone’s listening.” Using this intel, Ellen can react and iterate, too. As she implements positive changes to her show based on this feedback, she’ll be able to bring in more listeners and more guests down the road.

Follow up with past guests

One of the unspoken powers of hosting an interview podcast is the potential connections you can make with your guests, and, by extension, their audience. By staying in touch with past guests, you stay top of mind and increase the chance of introductions to their network, who may also be great guests for your show. Unfortunately, many podcasters fail to follow up and stay in touch with their guests to nourish and grow these relationships. ? Related:?How Do I Avoid the Spam Filter? Andy Wang, of Inspired Money, builds an email list of past guests he’s had on the show and keeps in touch with these guests. “I periodically send an email to past guests letting them know what’s new with my podcast and highlighting recent higher-profile guests,” says Wang. “A little PR never hurts, especially to past guests who are the real stars of my show. This is a way to express gratitude and keep my show in their minds. This can also lead to an introduction to another guest.” ?

Syndicate your podcast

When you format your podcasts for radio, you can unleash the powers of syndication for yourself. Jerod Morris and the team at The Assembly Call?have managed to not only syndicate their podcast on local radio, but also leveraged it to significantly to build their email list. Radio syndication is not feasible for all podcasts, but if your show is focused on a specific niche (like a sports team), location (a city or neighborhood within a city), or demographic, then this is a possibility. To get started, you can reach out directly to your local talk radio or sports stations and ask them about syndication. “On The Assembly Call, we have mostly used our podcast to grow our email list, but that changed last year,” explains Morris. “We started syndicating our weekly news roundup on one of the biggest Indiana University sites. In exchange for the ability to post our content on their site, the site owner included an email form for visitors and readers to sign up for our email list so they could get the roundup via email. We’ve gotten 1,000+ subscribers since this began.” Related:?Your Start-to-Finish Plan to Get 1,000 Email Subscribers

Use email to turn listeners into fans

As an on-demand medium, podcasts have the potential to connect with new people when and where they want. But connecting with them via email is how you deepen the relationship from a passive listener to a loyal fan.? Want to get started building your podcast audience via email today? Create a free account with AWeber. You can try the award-winning email marketing platform for free for 30 days.

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