Part 14 of the Flip The Squid Experiment
Bought to you by the overly ambitious Pete Downs 2011
21 Email Marketing Tips
[Roadblock 4: Conversion]
It's a great pleasure to have our first 'guest' episode with the majority of this content being written by Marc Eglon from Ireland. Marc is the creator of Rockstar Listbuilding and Editor at Silicon Shovel. When he’s not building websites or mountain biking in the woods, you can find him on twitter.
And when I was writing this episode I found that Marc had already written something similar and, to be honest, I don't reckon I can do a better job than he has done here.
He'd written this as a guest post on Justin Brooke's excellent blog SITEfling.com - which I also recommend you check out. Excellent way to generate visitors to your site too - guest blogging - but we'll leave that for another day!
So I contacted Marc and he gave me permission to reproduce much of his content for this episode. Thanks Marc, I owe you a pint of Guinness!
I have adapted and added pieces here and there - just to make it even more useful for you. And added some funny naked white guys for dramatic effect!
You'll recall that in Part 9 about Conversion we looked at ways of deriving long term income by gaining subscribers from your blog.
Now, what are you going to do with your subscribers once you have them? Marc talks about some great techniques of email marketing here and new ways to increase conversions. So it all ties in nicely.
21 Ways To Make Your Email Marketing More Effective
You can't just use it as your personal sales notification system!
You need to think precision.
Like a fine swiss watch.
Here are 21 ways to to make your email marketing more effective
Manifest More Mojo
MOJO is the social glue that binds us together. It encompasses all that nice fluffy stuff that you can't touch. Like trust. Or the feeling of truly knowing and understanding somebody. Make MOJO in your business and you'll truly crush it. It's your social currency.
Anyway, enough of the social media juju. Time for action:
1. Being a Human Being
And what do you mean by traffic? It doesn't exist. Just real people visiting your site looking for solutions to their problems.
It's matter of semantics but changing your language allows you to truly form the real human connections at the core of your business.
And don't be afraid to show your failings and challenges - we all have them you know! The more 'human' you are the better.
2. Be There
But all they talk about is their latest deals. Thing is, I don't want a new fancy printer scanner thingy. I'm not in buying mode right now. But I wouldn't mind some advice on stuff like backup software or maybe a 20% off voucher that I can spend when I am ready to buy.
Point is, their job is to be there and remind me of that occasionally. I'll buy when I'm ready to buy from them. Just don't push it.
I recommend you take the same approach.
3. Just Ask
Then give it to them. Simple as that. If you're smart, you can even create premium content for a price and start your own product empire.
Be very specific with your questions and you'll be able to use your responses to make major decisions on pricing, content delivery and membership models. Involving your fans in your creative decisions is what separates a tribe from a bunch of subscribers.
Bring More People To The Party.
If you're starting from scratch, your 'offer' is all you have. And maybe a few seconds to convince your visitor that they're in the right place. In that time, you gotta create enough friction to get your visitors to stick around and subscribe to your emails.
Here are some tactical tweaks to increase your optin rates. I have managed to increase optin rates to over 80% for some landing pages. So don't focus on the 10% standard the rest talk about. Testing these little changes can easily ramp up your conversions.
4. Just Ask For An Email Address
5. Use The Perfect Offer
Targeting your offer to a specific group of people will give it much more traction that trying to appeal to everybody. A good offer provides a specific solution to a major problem.
6. Split Test Your Offer
Keep the test clear by changing just 1 element at a time. And don't get bogged down with testing fonts or headline color. Think about ways to change the tone of the message.
7. Pre-Fill Forms
8. Use Single Optin
Fans of this method like the advantage of integrating some additional ads in the process. But this stuff just interupts your message and hinders the flow of your site.
With single optin, your customer gets what they want right away and even if the email bounces or gets sent to junk, the message still gets through. The trade off is that you might end up with some junk email addresses in your database. But we can live with that.
9. Be Specific
So if you're attracting visitors using Facebook ads for example, you can get your programmer to set up facebook connect to collect email addresses. It's totally congruent with your visitors mindset and definitely worth the extra effort.
Get Your Emails Opened
Once you have a mailing list, the next job is to make sure your messages get through to your customers. First You need to get past the spam filters. Then you need to stand out amongst the noise of thousands more messages in your readers' inbox.
10. Use AWeber Subject Lines That Stand Out
It's called Swiping. Just steal them from other people and modify them for your own message.
Here are 3 places to get inspiration -
- Look in your own inbox and find the headlines that stand out for you.
- Check out the front page of Digg, and look on the covers of magazines like Cosmopolitan.
- Find killer post titles on premium blogs like Copyblogger, The Onion and The Huffington Post.
11. Tag Your Messages
For example, I use [MOJO] for my rockstar listbuilding members, Pete uses [FlipTheSquid] for his emails. It make's it easy for somebody to spot your message in their crowded inbox.
12. Tell Stories
Use your emails to tell stories and leave questions unanswered. Your tribe will be looking out for the next instalment of the saga so you don't really need to worry about the subject. And just like tip #8, you can use stuff like (part 1 of 3) in your subject lines so when part 2 arrives, theyíll be unable to resist the juicy episode.
Just have a think about the 'story' of FlipTheSquid!
13. The Lost Art Of Autoresponders
Broadcasts are great to test small campaigns but when they're working, add them to your autoresponder. Using your autoresponder allows you to truly weave your story into all your emails that talk to your customers over and over. Hit and run email blasts are over. It's 2011 people.
Once again - this is exactly what is happening here with FlipTheSquid - we are testing the content and flow through broadcasts but they will be going into an autoresponder sequence eventually.
14. Use Newsletters
"I write a newsletter." I'm sure I scoffed but I think I got away with it. I thought the newsletter was dead - but I had No Idea!
The next day when I found out who that guy was. It was Martin Avis - a true gentleman amongst marketers. One of the 'good guys'. I later learned that Martin makes his living from working 2 hours a week writing his 'lame newsletter' with an ugly ass signup page. I started to pay attention.
Thing is - the crux of a newsletter arrives every day / week / month and the recipient expects it. Over and over. Open rates are epic and the ability to weave stories that last for weeks or months at a time helps build lifelong Mojo.
Today Pinky, we're gonna take over the world!
First off - flip your thinking and ask how you can serve your customers. Give them what they want.
Again, there's no magic script that I can give you. It's up to you to tell your story, create real value by teaching and sharing. Build trust and subtly weave recommendations into your emails. Put your customer first.
But you want people to take action right? Here are a couple of ways to actively engage your customers.
15. Include specific Instructions
- Click a link
- Visit a blog post
- Reply directly to your email
- Complete a survey
- Buy your software
- Download your wordpress plugin
Whatever it is, be transparent. Highlight the benefits of the end result to the reader. Btw. It's ok to ask for favors too. Just be honest. People love to help each other. It's how we're wired.
16. Segment Your List
They're your core tribe who ignite the touch paper and help your message spread like ebola.
But don't disrespect the rest because someday, they might step up and join your core tribe too. Just acknowledge that there will always be people who like to hang out on the fringes. Just because they're not up front moshing doesn't mean they're not buying your CDs and t-shirts.
17. Open Squeeze Pages
But there's a middle ground where you can share some information for free and still collect an email address. It's called an open squeeze page and it's often split across 3 or 4 pages. As the reader gets deeper into the content, they become more engaged and those who make it through to the end are highly targeted and already engaged when they enter their email address.
It filters out the free-loaders and your tribe is immediately more focused. There's already more MOJO.
Get more visitors
Once you have the lead and follow-up machine in place, you need to find your customers. They don't even know you exist yet so there are some simple strategies to help them find you. You can buy traffic on Facebook for example, but for now, we'll focus on some free evergreen methods.
18. Become Contagious
They're powerful because they're independent and when somebody else tells your story, they OWN in. You get to leverage their reputation and the MOJO they hold among their community.
Use a free tool like CloudFlood to add a viral element to your download pages and reward your customers for spreading your message.
19. Find Another Audience
Solo emails or email ad-swaps with carefully chosen partners allow you to leverage the MOJO of other leaders in your space. And a little bit of that trust will flow into your community. Or find somebody with a relevant product and place a link to your site in their members area or download page (integration marketing). Reciprocate.
Then there's guest blogging. You don't think this guest episode is entirely altruistic do you?
20. Reward Your Greatest Sneezers
The internet is saturated with new products and launches and its a busy marketplace. Only a handful of affiliates will be worth their salt, but that's OK. It's just the Pareto Principle at work.
21. Start Today and Keep Going!
The best time to start is right now. Make the same effort for those first 10 subscribers as you will for your next 10,000. It's amazing practice and you'll learn to make your mistakes early. By the time you have 10,000 subscribers, it'll be effortless.
Using email to create real relationships and mutual respect manifests a pre-eminence that snowballs. It's tempting to follow the herd and send out 'carpet-bomb' affiliate promotions, but you'll lose your expert status in a heartbeat and destroy your business.
Get it right and you'll be unstoppable. You'll have the power of the sledgehammer with the enduring precision of a fine Swiss watch.
That's It - One More Final Freebie From Marc ** The MOJO REPORT **
I know it was a lot so perhaps pick out a few of these tactics and give them a shot. Not everything at once.
Now to cap that off here you can download a copy of Marc's MOJO Report - that basically expands on many of the tactics raised here.
And you can rebrand this and pass it on too. But the Report itself is terrific - a great read.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
Make mental note - "must solicit more guest episodes"
Until next time then - stay tuned - it's hotting up!
A mentor of mine and Marc's is featuring in the next episode - an absolute ripper! A guy that runs the very best advanced email marketing program on the planet!
We're stepping up the pace!
Part 15 Coming soon.