Monday 3 April 2023
Monday 27 March 2023
Thursday 4 November 2021
Over the course of the past six blog posts we’ve talked about the importance of consistency and how it can help you grow your traffic, your subscribers, your customers, your product catalogue and most importantly your income. Now it’s time to bring it all together and create a daily, weekly, and monthly routine that will keep you on track to continue to grow your business.
Any online business can be broken down into three different areas that need your effort and attention. They are traffic, list, and offer. You need visitors to your website. Then you need to convert those visitors into subscribers. Finally, you need to make those subscribers an offer so you can make money. Keep this in mind as you build your routine.
Do something every single day to send more traffic your way. This could be content marketing. It could be social media. It could be tweaking your SEO. Or it could be paid ads. Start by making a master list of things you can do to get more traffic. Pick things you can quickly do and rotate through one or more of them on a daily basis. Things that take a bit longer should become part of your weekly and monthly routine. For example, you may choose to learn how to run Facebook ads this month as one of your bigger projects. The most important part is to do things consistently to drive more traffic to your website.
Next, think about what you can do to get more subscribers. Adding an opt-in box to your latest blog post is a quick task that could go on your daily to-do list. Setting up a new opt-in funnel with a fresh lead magnet may make a great weekly project. Writing a book to tap into a new market via Amazon would be more of a project that takes a month or more. Come up with a variety of different things you can try, tweak, and do more to grow your list consistently.
Last but not least, you’ve got to make an offer. This could be something evergreen like crafting a new autoresponder email for your flagship product. It could be a daily task of running and tweaking ads. Or it could be a free SEO and social media campaign that you work on for a few weeks. Make a list of what you can do to get your offers in front of fresh eyeballs and get to work. And don’t forget to set aside some time each week to work on the next paid product as well.
Keep chipping away and continuing to build and fine-tune your routine. Your consistent efforts will start to pay off and more importantly, they will begin to compound as you get more traffic, grow your list by leaps and bounds, and add more products each new customer may be interested in. Keep at it. Consistency is the key to long-term profit.
Let’s talk about money. More importantly, let’s talk about how you profit from your online properties. You do it through ads, by making affiliate sales, or my personal favorite - by selling your own products. Those products are what we’ll be talking about today. More specifically, we’ll be discussing creating information products consistently. Why information products? Because you create them once and sell them again and again. No supply line, no storage, no overhead. When you make a sale, it’s almost pure profit.
I’m going to let you in on a secret it took me a while to discover when I first started out. It’s much easier to sell an existing customer a second product than it is to find a brand-new customer. It’s even easier to sell them the third, fourth, fifth one. You get the idea. That’s because you’ve done all the hard work of earning this person’s trust already and if you’ve done your job right, the first thing they purchased from you is already helping them solve their problem. That’s what information products are all about. Solving a problem. To create that next product, look at where your customers are at and think about what they need to do next. What’s another problem they will face and how can you help them solve it.
For example, your first product may be an eBook or course on setting up a WordPress site. Next, your customers may need to learn about creating content that attracts the right type of reader. And then they need to learn about traffic, and list building, and effective social media strategies. Each one of these could be a new info product or new content for your paid membership site.
Once you have an idea of what types of products you want to create, it’s important to get them out consistently. You want to have a new product out there for your existing customers to buy. Of course, you’ll also attract new buyers along the way who will then not only buy the new thing you’ve come out with, but hopefully also some of the other titles and courses you have out there.
Start with a list of products you want to create. Do your best to estimate how long it will take you to create the product and all the infrastructure that goes along with it like a sales page, a download page, autoresponders and solo emails to promote it, a promotion schedule etc. Make a list of everything you need to do before you can launch this new product. Then get to work. Chip away at it every day and continue to consistently work towards each of these new product launches, adjusting your timeframe as needed.
In the beginning it will probably be just you working on this product creation. Maybe you’re hiring out the graphics. Put that on the schedule and communicate with your graphic designer early to avoid bottlenecks. As time goes by, you may choose to outsource some of the product creation. Maybe you’re hiring an editor to proofread your work. Or a VA to help with the setup, infrastructure and customer service. Eventually you may even hire some writers to create these products for you. As your team expands, it’s even more important to have a schedule everyone works of off to make sure these new products come out regularly.
You should already have at least some very basic funnels set up for your online business. To make sure we are all on the same page, let’s quickly define what a funnel is when it comes to your website. It’s a way for people to work their way through what you have to offer. This could be going from the content of your blog, to signing up for your email list, receiving a series of emails and getting an offer for one of your products or services. That’s one simple funnel and I hope you already have that one set up.
While that’s a great start, it should be your only funnel. The goal for any business is to continue to find new ways to draw in more potential customers and engage them. That may mean setting up several new opt-in offers. It may mean sending out a monthly or weekly newsletter. It should always mean creating new products, or making offers for existing things. And of course it could mean presenting affiliate offers.
Funnels are great and they are never done. For starters, things change. Links break, you find better offers, and you learn more about your subject matter and have more or even better information to present to your audience. That’s why it’s a good idea to audit your existing funnels from time to time, updating, editing, and fixing them as needed.
It’s also a great idea to test and optimize your funnels. For example, you could split test two different lead magnets and see which one converts better. Test what product you present to your subscribers when. Tweak and test to improve your overall conversions, open crates, and click-through rates. Split test your sales pages… The sky's the limit when it comes to testing and tracking your funnels. The goal will always be the same - try to do a little better than what you have been doing. Over time, you’ll make huge improvements that translate into a bigger bottom line.
In addition to improving your existing funnels, you also want to set aside some time each week to consistently work on expanding and adding new ones. This could mean adding a couple of new autoresponder emails to your first funnel this week. And it could mean creating a new lead magnet next week that attracts a slightly different audience into your circle of influence. The important part is that you work on your funnels every single week. Consistency here, like in so many other areas of your online business is key. Doing a little bit each week, will help you grow, expand, and improve your funnels.
Wednesday 3 November 2021
Do you have a hard time with social media? Either you aren’t finding the time to get around to posting regularly and getting discouraged by a lack of results you’re getting. You know what I’m talking about. You aren’t getting a lot of new followers on your page on Facebook for example and when you post something only a small fraction of those people see the post. It can be discouraging and feel like you have to pay to play by buying ads if you want your content to be seen. Thankfully that’s not true. What is true however is that consistency can help you grow your reach on any social media platform. It can help you with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and anywhere else where your ideal customers choose to hang out.
Which brings up an important point. Before you dive in and invest a lot of time and effort on every single platform, take a look around. Where are your people hanging out? What media does your tribe prefer? For example, if you’re running a recipe blog, you have to be on Pinterest and depending on your particular niche, you may also want a Facebook presence, including a group, and possibly a YouTube channel. If you’re into sourdough, you’ve got to be on Instagram… Do your research and do your best to determine where you want to be before you get started.
Once you have that figured it, it’s time to come up with a posting schedule. Remember, consistency is key. You’re better off doing fewer posts and shares more regularly, than overdoing it and burning out. Start with a conservative number that you’re comfortable with across all platforms and write it down. For example, you may choose to do 5 tweets per week, 10 pins, 3 Facebook posts, one Facebook Live video and a new YouTube video every other week.
Once you have your schedule, it’s time to schedule the actual content using a calendar. You can use Google Calendar or an old-fashioned paper one. The key is being able to stay organized and having your social media goals in writing to ensure it gets done and posted regularly. How far out should you schedule? That’s up to you. If you like to plan in big batches every few months, go for it. If you prefer to be more spontaneous, do it once a week. Play around with different time frames and see what works best for you. When you know what you’ll be posting about and have the text and images ready ahead of time, it’s quick and easy to keep up with social media.
To save even more time and make social media content more hands off, take a look at some of the scheduling tools available. I like Hootsuite, MeetEdgar, PostPlanner, and Tailwind (for Pinterest). Use them to schedule and loop posts that will go out without you having to log into your social media profiles every single day. Instead, you can set aside time once every couple of weeks to do the bulk of your work. Then check in from your phone throughout the week to respond to comments etc. Getting organized and figuring out a system that works for you can be such a game changer when it comes to being consistent on social media and growing and engaged following. When you have those main posts going out on schedule, you can then pop in and interact & post in real time as and when time allows.
I have a question for you. How often are you mailing your list? Do you sit down once a month to create a newsletter for your existing subscribers? Or are you waiting to reach a certain number of subscribers before you even start to mail? If so, I think you’re making a big mistake.
Mailing lists only work when you use them to get in touch with your subscribers regularly. If you wait too long, they’ll forget about you. When you’re no longer relevant or important to them, they’ll unsubscribe, or worse, mark your emails as spam. Yes, even if it is something they opted in to receive. People forget. It’s your job to stay on top of mind. And you do that by emailing them regularly.
Mailing once a week is a good start for most people. If you’re not crafting email messages for your readers regularly right now, start there. Send out a message and let your readers know what to expect. Good mailing lists are all about setting and meeting expectations. Tell them that you’re excited to kick things off and that you’ll have something fun and valuable stuff to share with them each week. If possible, set a date and time and tell them to keep an eye out for your emails. This will do wonders for your open rates. For example, you could tell them to look for a new message from you every Wednesday morning. Then deliver on that promise.
Meeting expectations builds trust. Not only are your subscribers more likely to stick around, open, and read your emails, they’ll also trust you when you make an offer or a recommendation. That means you’ll start to see more clicks and sales on your affiliate links, and of course higher conversions on your own product offers. Build that relationship with your target audience and move people from prospect to customer, and eventually to raving fan by staying in touch regularly via email.
And here’s a little bonus tip. Ask your readers to share you with others. Every so often invite them to share your opt-in page or even ask them to forward one of your emails to people they know who may be interested in the topic. Keep it light and casual and don’t overdo it. You’ll be surprised how quickly your subscriber list will grow when you enlist the help of current readers.
To get started, commit to an email schedule. Start weekly and stick to it for a couple of months. Use the email schedule features of your autoresponder service to make sure it happens even if life gets crazy. Don’t miss an issue and work on building that reputation of being reliable and consistent and see what happens. I think you’ll be hooked.
One area where consistency will start to pay off quickly is when it comes to your website or blog. Putting out fresh content regularly is great for both your readers and search engines. Both will reward you for your hard work in their own ways. Let’s take a look.
Let’s start with the golden grail of web development. Free search engine traffic. We all want Google to send us as many new potential customers as possible, right? They in turn want to send the freshest and most up-to-date information to their customers. Who are their customers? People who search something via their search engine, of course. And it’s the search engine company’s job to ensure they deliver the best possible result. What does that have to do with you and consistency? Great question!
When you update your site regularly, you’re showing the search engines that you are up to date and relevant. This isn’t an article or blog post on a site that’s been sitting there for ten years and could be outdated. This is something you’re actively working on and the search engines will reward you by giving you higher priority over dormant sites. Of course, there are many other factors that go into ranking, but the easiest thing you can do to improve your SEO is to create content consistently.
Just as important is nourishing the relationship you have with these readers. Think back on the last time you’ve landed on a new blog or website through a Google search. Assuming the content was up to snuff, you appreciated the information, but you were probably a long way off from considering buying from this site, or even giving them your email address. But if you were curious enough to browse around, you may have become interested enough to bookmark the site, or at the very least have it on your radar when you come across it again later. By the way, making sure that happens is becoming easier with targeted advertising like FB ads for example. But that’s outside the scope of this post.
When you update your site regularly, you’re training your website visitors to come back for more. They’ll get in the habit of visiting and reading often. Of course, that’s not going to happen with every single person who comes across your site, and that’s okay. You want your ideal target audience, the people who are really interested in what you have to share. You’ll get their attention by publishing regularly and as they read and engage with you on your blog, they’ll move closer to becoming a subscriber and then a customer.
Of course, as an added bonus all this content you’re adding regularly is out there attracting new people through search engines, social media, and other people sharing links to your valuable content. That’s why you want to publish consistently to continue to grow.
We’re coming to the end of our seven-day challenge to use business planning to create explosive growth in traffic, customers, and most importantly income. Much of what we’ve discussed so far has been actionable steps like writing down your goals as well as mindset pieces like the one about stepping out of your comfort zone. Today is all about putting everything we’ve discussed so far and combining it into something that can give you that explosive growth you want.
You see when you use the basic concept of exponential growth to your advantage, it doesn’t take very much progress in any one area to see big results. We briefly touched on this idea back on day three when we talked about increasing traffic, subscribers, and customers to add to our bottom line. Today we expand on this whole idea in a few different ways and tie it all back into setting goals and business planning in general.
The idea is to make progress on your goals and stack them in a way that gives you leverage. Here’s an example. Let’s say your first goal is to grow your current part time income by $500 a month so you can quit your day job. Following the example in the previous blog post, you come up with a way to get that done by growing your traffic, subscribers, and customers. Since you were able to then quit your day job, you have more time and energy to put into growing your business. You set more ambitious goals and add another $2,000 to your bottom line. Instead of taking everything out in profit, you decide to continue to work on this whole leverage idea.
You set aside $100 a month to play around with Facebook ads to see if you can turn that into a profitable income stream. You take another $200 to start outsourcing some of the ongoing tasks that hold you back. You hire your first VA and now you’re really making progress. This in turn gets the attention of a fellow online entrepreneur in a related niche who wants to work on a project together. Do you see how this works?
One goal builds on the next and they all work together to generate exponential growth. Of course, this is just one little example. This can work in a myriad of different ways and will of course differ from one business to the next. My point is this…
If you start to think strategically and keep one eye on your next few moves, you can start to stack your efforts and engineer that explosive growth in a lot less time than you may think. Try it!
Can you think back on a time of real growth, be it in business, in your personal life, or anywhere else? More than likely, you had to step out of your comfort zone for that growth to happen. Yes, we can make progress by doing what we’ve always done. But it will be slow and more importantly, by staying within your comfort zone, you are limiting your potential growth. It’s when we step out of that zone, try something new, take a bit of a risk, and allow for personal and professional growth that we start to see big changes for the better.
Let’s say you goal is to grow your reach and get out in front of a larger audience. What you’ve done so far, and what feels comfortable is writing a blog post a week and then sharing it on social media. Yes, some readers will find you. Yes, if you double or triple your efforts, publishing more posts per week and sharing more often across all your social media accounts, you will see some growth and engagement. But you’re staying in your comfort zone.
What if instead, you used the time you would have spent writing another blog post or two per week and promoting it on Facebook, you took the time to write a guest blog post for someone else’s blog with a bigger reach. What if you sat down and recorded a fun and informational video that you can then share on YouTube, imbed in a blog post, and of course share via your favorite social media outlets. What if you used the time to set up and tested a Facebook ad that continually sends new leads into your funnel. If those things are new to you, that may seem like a pretty scary proposition. But getting uncomfortable and doing it anyway can have some huge rewards.
Writing and submitting the guest blog post can give you a lot of added exposure by allowing you to get in front of an established audience. It also gives you the change to start a relationship with a follow blogger that may lead to all sorts of other opportunities and collaborations.
Recording a series of videos gives you the opportunity to reach a completely different subset of your target audience. There are plenty of people who prefer video content to written posts and articles. There are people who spend hours each day watching YouTube videos who would never stumble across you and your blog otherwise.
Spending money on paid ads can sound like a scary proposition, but once you crack it and find something that converts well for you, you will get a steady stream of new leads in front of you without any added work.
There’s something else I want to mention, just in case I don’t have you convinced yet that getting out of your comfort zone is something you should be doing regularly. You won’t stay uncomfortable for very long. After recording those first few videos, submitting a couple of blog posts, and spending those first few dollars on ads, you start to get comfortable with the processes. Before you know it, they become second nature and yet another tool in your virtual tool belt. Once that happens, you know it’s time to explore some other marketing strategies and ideas.
Throughout this short little series on setting business goals, I’ve mentioned the importance of writing said goals down. That isn’t just because it’s easy to forget. There’s a lot more to it and there are some very important reasons why you have to write them down. I though in today’s blog post, I’d share my thoughts on this and hopefully inspire you to write down your own goals going forward. By the way, this works for any type of goal, not just the business ones.
The simple act of setting a goal, even if it’s just in your mind, doubles your chances of success. That’s a pretty big deal in itself, isn’t it? If you take it a step further, and actually write those goals down, you’re 10 times as likely to succeed. Read that last line again please. That’s right…you can increase your chances of making it by 1,000%. That’s mind-blowing.
There are a few different mental and psychological processes going on here that start to give us a glimpse into why it is so important and effective to write our goals down. The first is that it’s a lot easier to remember something that we’ve written down. You’ve experienced this first hand with your grocery list. When you make a mental list of 10 or 15 things, you’re likely to forget about half of them when you get to the store. If you write out the list on the other hand, and then end up forgetting it on the counter, you will remember the vast majority of the items you needed. This is explained through the fact that information has to be moved from one area of the brain to another to turn it from thoughts into written words on a page. A process called encoding is also involved. All of this helps you retain and store the information better. It’s the reason we’re asked to take notes during lectures in college.
Last but not least, when you write down your goals, you have something you can review regularly. This adds another layer of cognitive processing and increases your chances of success even further. Sadly, only a very small percentage of people make the time to regularly review and evaluate their goals. The ones that do are some of the most successful and highest achieving people out there. In other words, it’s something we should do as well.
To recap, start by setting smart goals. Write them down in as much detail as possible. Set aside some time to review them regularly. This could be weekly, or even daily. Give it a try for this coming quarter. Set yourself a goal. Be specific. This could be something like finally creating that first paid product or adding an extra $500 to your bottom line. Decide by when you’ll reach your goal and how you plan to get there. Write it all down and look at it every morning. This will help you stay on track and make time in your busy day to work on making progress towards your goal.
Today I want to share my thinking process for setting smart business goals with you. I like to work backwards from a financial goal to daily to-do lists. Here’s how that works. It always starts with a money goal. It helps if that goal has a meaning beyond the dollar figure. For example, let’s say that I want to buy a new car. The payment is around $400. To account for things like taxes and just to be safe, I’ll bump the goal up to $600. In other words, I need to add an extra $600 (or more… more is always better) to my monthly bottom line. Once that’s done and I am seeing that level of income on a regular basis, I’m ready to order my new car.
Once I know how much money I have to make, I can start to think about different ways to do just that. I could find more customers for one or several of my existing products. For example, if I have a $10 eBook, I would have to make an extra 60 sales per month. From there I can work backwards. If I know that on average one out of 10 email subscribers buy the book within the first month of signing up, I need to add 600 new subscribers to my list, which in turn takes 4,000 new visitors to my site. If that’s my plan, I know that my daily to-do list needs to include plenty of action steps to ramp up my traffic by an extra 4,000 people per month.
Of course that’s not my only option. I could also create another information product or eBook each month and sell it to both my existing and new subscribers. I could create a higher priced item so I need to make a lot fewer monthly sales to reach my $600 goal. For example, if I create a nice $100 product, it would only take 6 sales per month to pay for the car.
Since the car payment will be an ongoing thing, it also makes sense to look into recurring payments. This could be my own membership, or I could look into affiliate offers with recurring commissions. Depending on your market, there’s a lot out there that you can promote. For me, one option could be to create some content around content marketing and promote a PLR Membership like this one form [affiliate link to either biz or self-help membership]. It’s a $67 per month subscription with a 50% commission. That means I can expect over $30 in commissions each month. Let’s say it’s 30 to keep the math simple. I only need 20 members to pay for my car. Once I reach that number, I only need to add the occasional new member to balance out cancellations. Getting one or two more members in each month going forward should more than cover that.
Now I have a concrete goal to work towards which is convincing 20 people to sign up for the membership. My daily tasks will include things like creating content that includes an offer to the PLR membership, a short report about using PLR to build a targeted sub lists of people interested in using PLR in general. Then I start driving traffic to the content and the opt-in offer and start mailing regularly about the PLR membership. I may even craft a short autoresponder sequence to create an evergreen funnel.
Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I could approach other writers to see if they would be interested in writing some guest blog posts, answering some questions for an interview style post, or even do a webinar, all of which would of course promote the membership. By thinking outside the box and putting in some time and effort initially, it won’t take me long to get those 20 signups that pay for my new car payment. Because I really want that new car, I’m going to be motivated to get it done and grow my business by those extra $600 per month. In fact, chances are great that I’ll overshoot the goal by several hundred dollars and it’s something I can continue to grow month after month.
To grow your income, you need more customers. That in turn means you need more people to sign up for your list. Where do these new subscribers come from? You get them by increasing the traffic to your site. Some of the things you want to do and track then are:
- Get more traffic from various different sources. This should always be a priority and something you work on regularly. Track your growth as you move along and keep an eye out for fresh new ideas to boost your traffic.
- Your next focus should be getting more subscribers. As you start to get more traffic, your list will start to grow, but don’t stop there. Tweak your opt in-forms to increase conversion. Create a new lead magnet to get the attention of a different sub-group of your target audience. Set up a few dedicated opt-in pages and start driving traffic to them. Do what you can to continually grow your list and pick up speed in the process.
- The third piece of the puzzle and where things get really interesting is turning those subscribers into customers. You want them to spend money with you either by buying your products and services, or through your affiliate links. Offer more products. Raise your prices. Find more attractive offers you can promote as an affiliate. Work on your funnels. There’s a lot you can do to grow your bottom line once you have traffic and subscribers figured out.
The real power of this approach becomes apparent when you start to look at how these three things work in synergy. By getting more and higher quality traffic, while improving your opt-in rates, and creating higher prices products with sales funnels that convert well, you can quickly make a huge difference in your bottom line. Each of these elements alone will help, but by combining them, you will start to see exponential growth.
Let me illustrate this with an example. Let’s say you start out with 100 new visitors per day. 10 percent of them sign up for your mailing list, which comes out to 10 new subscribers each day. One of these people buys one of your products at $10.
Now let’s see you double your traffic. With nothing else changing, you go from making $10 per day to $20. But what if you can also improve your opt-in forms and get to a 20% conversion. You also create a few more products and each of your customers ends up spending 3 times as much as before. When we add all that up you go from making $10 per day to 40 new subscribers each day which means 4 new customers. If each of them spends $30 shopping around in your shop, you end up making $120. That’s a pretty big bump from $10 while still only requiring you to double your traffic. Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
You Have To Know Where You’re At Right Now To Measure Growth & Figure Out What You Should Be Working On
Are you ready to take your online business to the next level and watch some explosive growth unfold over the coming months? Great. Before you start to plot and plan what you want to do to make that happen, it’s important to stop and look at where you’re at right now.
Business planning for future success is all about data. You can work most efficiently and spend your time and money most effectively if you know exactly where you are starting from. By recording data, you can start to see what’s working, what isn’t, and what trends are starting to play out. And it all starts with recording where you’re at right now.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you want to record. First though, you should decide how you want to record this information. You can write it down by hand in a notebook, open up a word document to do it digitally, or use a spreadsheet. I prefer a spreadsheet because I have the option to have it calculate fun additional information like weekly and monthly averages and even map it all out in graphics to help me get a clearer picture.
Traffic – To grow you need to expand your reach. That means getting more traffic, but also engaging the people that come to your site by encouraging them to click around and read more. Good things to keep track of are total visitors, unique visitors, bounce rate, and of course where the traffic is coming from.
List / Subscribers – Your next goal is always to get these people on your list. Here you want to track total number of subscribers, conversion rates for each of your opt-in forms and pages, open rates for your emails, and also unsubscribes. As you start to collect and review this data regularly, you’ll get a much better picture of your subscribers.
Customers – Subscribers are great, customers are better. Start by keeping track of how many total customers you have and how many purchases per day, week, and month. Other good numbers to look at are total lifetime value of your average customer, repeat purchases, and refund rates.
Income & Expenses – Last but not least, look at your bottom line. This is your typical accounting data. You want to keep track of your income as well as your expenses. With those two sets of numbers, you can easily calculate your overall profit. I find it helpful to look at profit for the month, but track income on a daily basis.
Yes, you can look at most of this data in various different places like Google Analytics, your shopping cart, and your autoresponder service for example, but it’s important to have it all in one place. This makes it much easier to connect the dots and see the relationships between the different sets of numbers.
Now that you have your initial data collection set up, make it a habit to update the numbers regularly so you can see what’s working, what isn’t, and how much you’re growing as you move through the coming months and years.
Tuesday 2 November 2021
Effective marketing boils down to this: Find an audience, figure out what they need or want and then deliver it. Email is one of the best mediums to help you do just that. And it isn’t always about selling them on a product. In fact, that isn’t at all where you want to start.
First you want to build a relationship with your readers. You want them to get to know you. You want to help them out so they start to like you and trust you. Only then will you be able to make an offer and have them pull out their wallet and buy it.
Pay attention to your website stats. Programs like Google Analytics can give you a lot of information of where you’re readers came from, what page the landed on and where they were on your site when they joined your list. That data along with demographical information will tell you a lot about your audience.
As you start to email your readers, they will reply and get back in touch with you. Pay attention to what they’re saying. And don’t forget to read between the lines. Let’s say you’re in the parenting niche and you noticed that some of your readers are asking for suggestions on being a more patient parent. They complain about being short temperate and freaking out about little things. The real issue may be lack of sleep because the baby or toddler isn’t sleeping through the night.
Dig deep and see what you can learn about your market. Sometimes what they tell you they want isn’t the real issue. On the flip side, it can be helpful to ask them for suggestions. Keep the questions open ended if you want a lot to work with.
Or consider having your readers fill out a simple little survey. It’s quick and easy to do with Google forms. You get some good data and you get your readers to interact. Having them contribute builds a sense of community even via email.
Last but not least go back and look at the past emails you’ve sent. Pay attention to open rates, click through rates and unsubscribes. If a large percentage of readers opened the email, that’s a good indication they were interested in the topic. If they clicked link to additional content, that’s even better. If on the other hand you got a lot of unsubscribes, that might be an indication that either the topic was wrong or your language and overall message didn’t click with your audience.
Use all the data and information you get back to learn more about your target audience and connect with them on a deeper level. The more you know about your subscribers, the more effective your email marketing will be.
There’s a pretty neat strategy called foreshadowing that you can use in your email marketing to improve open rates. You may have seen this used on news programs and talk shows. Right before the commercial break, the host announces what’s coming up next. The idea is that you’re intrigued enough to sit through the commercial to see the next segment.
Another good example of foreshadowing is when magazines show images and headlines or short bullets of what’s coming in next month’s issue. Again, the point is to pique your interest and get you to either buy the next issue, or even better, get a subscription.
We can easily adapt this for email marketing and it works like a charm. Toward the end of your email transition from what you’re talking about today to what’s coming in the next email. Be vague on purpose, but grab their attention.
For example, if you’re talking about why email marketing is important and the next email will be about crafting subject lines to get a higher open rate, you may write something like this: “Keep an eye out for Friday’s email. We’ll talk about THE most important thing when it comes to email marketing. If you don’t get this right, nothing else matters.”
To mix it up, mention what they can find in the next email in the P.S. of your message. If you publish a weekly newsletter, try adding a section on what’s coming in the next issue similar to what you see in a magazine. Keep it simple and use images for best results.
You can even take it a step further and get your subscribers to open a previously sent email. This works particularly well if you’re writing a series of emails on a related topic. Toward the beginning of your email, you mention something you covered in the last email, then move into today’s topic and then wrap it up with a little hint about what’s coming next.
You don’t have to use foreshadowing in every single email. Sprinkle it in here and there where it makes sense. It also gives you a chance to pick up on in the subject line of your next email. Try using something like “As promised…” Even readers who missed your last email might be curious enough to open this one.
Give it a try and see if you start to see higher open rates and more importantly get your subscribers more engaged.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a number or a schedule you could follow? While it would be great if there was research that suggested that mailing exactly every 5 days gets you the best results every time, there is no such thing. And there’s a very good reason for it.
Every market, every niche, every audience and every person is different. While you’ll never make everyone on your list happy, there is a lot you can do to make just about any email frequency work.
Let’s lay the ground work first. You don’t want to have too much time in between emails, or your readers will forget you. Anything less than once a month is not a good idea. In most markets and for most business models you don’t even want to mail less than twice a month.
On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want to go any higher than one email per day on average. Yes, you may have days when you have a good reason to send multiple emails, but on a weekly or bi-weekly average, you don’t want to email more than once a day.
Start by looking at what you’re doing now. Then figure out how often you want to mail. Do you grow a closer connection with your market by emailing more often? Do you want to drive more traffic back to your site by emailing them links frequently? Do you want to grow your income by making more frequent email offers?
Once you know where you’re at and where you want to be, you can start to make a plan for getting from point A to point B. What you don’t want to do is to go straight from emailing once every few months to daily emails. It’ll get your readers clicking the spam button like crazy. Instead, start with monthly emails for a couple of months, then let your readers know you have more to share with them and start mailing weekly. Then a few months later, ramp it up to daily emails.
Or find a good reason why you’re mailing them daily. For example, while you usually publish a weekly newsletter with the occasional promotional email in between, running a 15- or 30-day challenge for your readers is a great excuse to hit their inbox daily without seeming pushy or spammy.
Listen to your audience when you get feedback on email frequency but also realize that there will always be someone complaining. Look at data like open rates to get a better feel for what frequency is working best for you and your audience.
The first thing you need to get right when it comes to email marketing is the subject line. If you can’t get your subscribers to open your emails, it really doesn’t matter how good the actual email is.
It’s easy to spend a lot of time crafting a great message and then just slap a subject line on it at the end. Spend some time writing them and see what type of headline gets you good open rates. Here are five tips to get you started.
Keep It Short
You want your readers to see the entire subject line before they click it. You also want to make it easy for people to scan through their emails. Try to get your point across in 50 characters or less. Pay attention to how your subject lines look on your own devices.
Another great idea is to keep a swipe file of subject lines that grabbed your attention. Even if the emails are on a very different topic, you can adapt them for your own needs.
Avoid “Spammy” Words
Stay away from using any words we all associate with spam emails. Words like “sale”, “discount”, “coupon”, “free”, “limited time offer” and even “reminder” are over used and even if they don’t trigger a spam filter and actually make it to your reader’s inbox, chances are high they’ll get ignored.
Instead, start by using the emails you’re saving in your swipe file and then go back and see what subject lines got the best open rates. Try to analyze why they worked well for your market. Not everything will work well in every niche. Find the types of subject lines that get your readers to open your emails and tweak from there.
While personalizing emails with someone’s first name has been overused in some markets, it still works well for many of us. Give it try and see if it works for you. Don’t overdo it, but use it when you really need them to open the email.
Depending on what data you collect when your readers sign up, you can personalize other things like their location for example. Seeing the name of your state or even city in an email subject line is sure to get your attention.
Pique Their Curiosity
We are all nosy and it’s hard to ignore subject lines that sound intriguing or only tell part of the story. Using “…” at the end of your subject line will also work.
The idea here is simple. You want them to click and open the email to find out what the heck you’re talking about or how the story ends.
Frankly the best tip when it comes to crafting compelling subject lines is to keep a swipe file of examples that got you to open the email.