Archive for the ‘ Marketing ’ Category

A core feature of nearly every email provider is the ability to design great email templates. Well-known email marketing companies even make this a core part of their messaging with their tagline “Send beautiful email newsletters.”

I believe that these email templates are not only a waste of time, but also harmful to your business.

You should be surprised to hear this from me, since I am a designer by trade. I spend my time crafting elegant designs that I hope viewers will love. These designs can help build trust, show credibility, and create a better experience. I think they are incredibly valuable, but they shouldn’t be used in email.  

Why?

Let’s take a step back and look at marketing in general. The best way to market online is to teach, to regularly deliver valuable content to your audience so that they will trust you and eventually want to purchase from you. So when you send an email, what part of the communication delivers the most value?

That’s right, the content. So we should be stripping away everything else that isn’t necessary in order to focus on the content. Multi-column layouts, background images, logos, and all the other nonsense that typically fills marketing emails doesn’t deliver value to the recipient. Instead it is all about you, the sender. Flip that around and start delivering value.  

Emails that get read

Go look through the emails you’ve received recently that you actually wanted to read. They probably came from individuals. Not big brands or companies, but someone you have a connection with. Those emails certainly didn’t have a fancy template or design. They were just plain text, that got straight to the point.

Emulate those emails. Stop emulating the emails that never get opened or get sent straight to the trash.

The wrong focus

So maybe I’ve convinced you that email templates don’t add any value, but how are they harmful?

It comes down to focus.

Everyone who is handed a what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor and told to design or customize an email template jumps right in and starts customizing everything. Let’s ignore that usually, since most of these people aren’t designers, the results end up pretty bad. The true problem is that when crafting an email 95% of the time is spent getting the design just right and only 5% is spent on the subject and content.

Where does the value come from?

The content. So amateur marketers everywhere are using customizable email templates as an excuse to ignore writing the actual email (which is arguably the hard part).

By taking away the distractions you are forced to focus on delivering real value to your customers. If your email sucks it is because you wrote it poorly or had nothing to say.

Not plain text

Note that I am not advocating plain text emails. Clickable links, basic formatting (bold, italics, etc), open tracking, and click tracking are all really important. Take your existing email templates and strip out all the other design elements.
 
If your email looks like it could have been sent to a friend using Gmail, you are doing something right.
 
Author: Nathan Barry

 

The cruel fact is that it takes a marketer more than 10 years to really grasp the essence of writing a successful marketing campaign. What is the secret behind? A successful marketing campaign is a piece of message that is able to seize customers’ attention, convey clear instructions, and get customers to follow what you want.

The following seven elements reveal the secrets inside a persuasive marketing campaign. See how many you have missed:

A for Attention: Attention is the foundation of everything. Once you lose it, you lose it all. If you are sending mass emails to your customers, make sure you catch your customers’ attention in the email subject. Use professional email marketing software like 1and1Mail and MailChimp to personalize each email message and test different styles of subjects.

B for Benefits: What’s in it for me? People need to fight for resources to survive. According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, people seek for food, safety, love, self-esteem and self-actualization. Do you really know what your customers want? What needs do your products or services satisfy?

C for Credibility: Why should I trust you? Why should I trust what you say? Do other people trust you? Present your expertise in your area. Be specific. Sometimes, revealing a few of your weaknesses can boost your credibility. Therefore, be honest.

D for Difference: Why should I choose you, not others? What can you do differently than others? Make the difference tangible. Keep in mind that people may not need the best product or service, but the most suitable one.

E for Evidence: Provide strong evidences. Half of human’s brain is for logical thinking. Make your evidence easy to understand. Do not make customers think.

F for Fair +: Is it a fair deal? People are always looking for spending less and getting more. That’s how we stay alive and continue to thrive. The more you provide, the more people are likely to buy. So prove it to me.

G for Go: Add “Call To Action” at the end. It is easily ignored by many marketers. Even Apple’s marketers made such kind of mistakes! Make the action easy to do. Otherwise, you waste all the efforts before. Not doing anything is always safer than doing something different offered by you. Safety is always on people’s top priority. Therefore, ask your customers to make a little step forward. Once they get started, it is much easier for them to follow through.

These 7 secrets above can also act as a checklist for every marketer to review their marketing campaign before printing out the ad or sending out mass emails. Want to complete the above list from H-Z? Leave your comment below.

All human beings have needs. Only a few are inherent, and most of them are imposed by marketers nowadays. A successful email campaign is a piece of message that is able to seize customers’ attention, convey clear instructions, and get customers to do what you want. The following 7 simple laws are the principles or basic elements you must include to make a persuasive email campaign:

A for Attention: Attention is the foundation of everything. Once you lose it, you lose it all. Use your email subject to catch your customers’ attention. Draft at least 5 different subjects and then choose the best one. Run A/B test whenever possible and let your customers tell you what is best.

B for Benefits: What’s in it for me? According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, people seek for food, safety, love, self-esteem and self-actualization. What do your customers want? What needs do your products or service satisfies?

C for Credibility: Why should I trust what you say? Present your expertise in your area. Be specific. Sometimes, revealing a few of your weaknesses can boost your credibility.

D for Difference: Why should I choose you, not others? What can you do differently than others? Make the difference tangible.

E for Evidence: Provide evidences. Make your evidence easy to understand. Do not make customers think.

F for Fair +: Is it a fair deal? Can I spend less and get more? People look for fair deals in order to stay alive and thrive. Prove it to me.

G for Go: Add “Call To Action” at the end. Make it easy to do. Otherwise, you waste all the efforts before. Not doing anything is always safer than doing something different offered by you. Therefore, ask the customers to make a little step forward. Once they get started, it is much easier for them to follow through.

These 7 laws can also act as a checklist for every email marketer to review their email marketing campaign before clicking the send button. Want to complete the above list from H-Z? Leave your comment below.

Last but not least, download 1and1Mail to compose your persuasive email marketing campaign now.

A tiny mistake in your email marketing campaign can lead to a bad impression and unsubscription from your customers. Here is a checklist for you to review before you send out your email campaign:

  1. Are all the links working and linking to the correct webpages?
     
  2. Do you provide a plain text version of your email?
     
  3. Do all the images have alt tags?
     
  4. Do all your pictures have links and are they linked correctly?
     
  5. Do you personalize each email?
     
  6. Do you provide an unsubscribe option in your email?
     
  7. Do you explain who you are and why your customer should trust you at the beginning of the email?
     
  8. Are you tracking the clicks in your email using tools like Google Analytics and bit.ly?
     
  9. Have you cleaned up your list (bounce-backs and unsubscribers from your last email campaign?
     
  10. Have you tested how your email look in different web email platforms and email clients?

 

If implemented correctly, email blasting is the most powerful and has the highest ROI among all marketing channels. The first thing to do before you send out your email campaign is to select a healthy SMTP server to deliver emails. If you made a wrong move at this step, you would be risking your capital and the reputation of your company.

There are usually three types of email SMTP servers you can choose:

1. Partner Email SMTP Servers

These email service providers (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, AOL Mail, etc.) sign agreements that emails from each other's server will never be blocked and there is no limitation on the number of emails sent per day. The only limitation imposed is on the content of the email. Therefore, as long as you avoid using those spam keywords in your email, and do not send mass emails too fast, most of your emails will be delivered safely and accurately. By utilizing professional email marketing software, like 1and1Mail, you can get your job done very easily.

1and1Mail SMTP Server Setting

2. Email SMTP servers with healthy records

To ensure a SMTP server has a healthy record, there are three things to check. (1) The servers have fixed IPs and they are not in the blacklist of international anti-spam association. (2) The Reverse PTR Records are set correctly. (3) The settings on the SMTP servers are correct. Again, as long as you write good contents and control the speed of sending well with 1and1Mail, your IPs will not be blocked.

3. Unknown Email SMTP servers

These servers usually use dynamic IPs, do not have a correct DNS records or reverse PTR records, or are blacklisted by many well-known email service providers. Emails sent from these servers would be easily blocked or go into junk mail box.

To conclude, do some research on the email SMTP servers you are using. Moreover, do not be too aggressive when sending mass emails. Use them properly with professional email blasters to build up reputation of your domain and email account.

1and1Mail allows email marketers to personalize each email message to their recipients. Other than email marketing, let's look at more cases on how personalization has been applied to the Internet.

Personalized Marketing

1. Personalized Search: In the past, everybody saw the same results when they searched the same keyword. Nowadays, search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, are monitoring your search history, search patterns and signals from your social networks to personalize your search results.

2. Personalized Recommenders: People have different favors. It is not effective to show everyone the same items when they visit your online store. So far, Amazon has done the best job in predicting what you want and like based on your click streams and purchase history. When you revisit their website or in your email inbox, you can see personalized recommendations every day.

3. Personalized Price: Different people have different price sensitivity. With technology, websites are able to know the customer better and offer them the best price at the right time to boost sales.

4. Integration of Personalization Strategies: Of course, if a site can apply all of the above personalized strategies together, it can achieve the best conversion rate. Apparently, Amazon is a good model to study. Check out their Today's Deals, Wish Lists, Browsing History and email marketing campaigns once in a while, and you can learn a lot about personalized Internet Marketing skills.

On the other hand, personalization may introduce privacy concerns for some users. Marketers should watch out local rules when implement relevant online marketing strategies.

Download 1and1Mail 3.2 to start personalize your email marketing campaigns!

 

Once your email reaches your customers' email inbox safely, 2 factors are critical for the open rate of your email marketing campaign:

1. Sender's Name: Do your recipients know you? Emails with a known sender would be much more likely to be opened. When customers signed up your email newsletter, have you made it clearly that from whom they were expecting to get an email?

2. Email Subject: If you were the customers, would you open it? Is it easy to understand? Is it attractive enough? It works much better if you could customize the email subject to each of your recipient. It makes people feel respected.

Go ahead and make changes, and you'll see your email campaign open rate improve!

How to Spread Ideas

Go Viral or Go Home

Writing a message that doesn't spread is a waste of others' time and a waste of your life.Ideas that spread win!

After working in the Internet marketing field for more than five years and creating numerous successful marketing campaigns, here I am going to summarize the key elements that I have used every time to make a message spread out like a virus. Some examples are supplemented to help you understand each element more deeply and see how others apply them in real life.

Let's see how to go viral now!

1. Surprise

The message you want to spread has to be logical and reasonable, but somewhat beyond people's expectation. More importantly, you'd better do this in the title of your message.

Example: Remember the news "Steve Jobs has just six weeks to live"? It is common for a person to go to hospital and in fact Steve went to hospital many times. So what's surprising? It's "six weeks to live".

Question for you: What surprise in the message do I have for my clients?

2. Simple

Nowadays, people are overloaded with information. If you want your idea to get inside people's head, make it simple! The most effective way is to create a visual image for your idea, at least subconsciously. A picture is worth a thousand words.PS: If your idea is too long and complicated, make sure you divide it into pieces and spread it one by one.

PPS: Make a video whenever possible.

Example: Remember the story that the average person consumes 4 spiders per year in his sleep? Can you picturize a spider slowly crawling into your mouth in your head? Yes, you got it!

Question for you: Can my clients see pictures in my message?

3. Emotion

People's emotional brain (right brain) always works faster than the logical brain (left brain).If you count the news in the past few weeks, you will notice that bad news has occupied most of the columns, such as wars, murders, diseases, car accidents and natural disasters. Why? It is because bad news triggers the No.1 emotion in a human's head: fear. Fear attracts the most attention and calls for action.

When people spread your message, they either want to ask others for more information, or just want to seek for calmness through simple sharing.

Example: Still remember the spider?

Question for you: Any emotion you can embed into your message?

4. Jealousy

Jealousy is a very complicated human emotion. I specifically emphasize it here because it works quite well on people's subconscious mind. It is just so difficult for a person to admit that he takes the action because he is jealous of something.The resource is always limited on the planet. The fact that you get it indicates I lose it, in a sense. And lacking resource is a life-or-death issue.

Example: Remember the news of someone winning the lottery? Remember the news that some movie star had slept with several women? Remember the story that a simple business model made several millions of dollars per month?

Question for you: How could you create a sense of competition in your message?

5. Authority

This is the most critical factor why your audience has to listen to you, not others. Biologically, people were born to listen to authority because the world is full of uncertainties and the authority creates a sense of safety for us.

Example: No offence, but Made in Germany and Made in China, which do you trust more?

Question for you: How can I prove to my audience that I am authorized to talk about my idea?

6. Repetition

Something unfamiliar or unknown indicates danger. When it is repeated many times, it gets familiar to you and it creates a sense of safety in your head, unconsciously. Safety is a good thing.

Example: Why ads are repeated again and again on TV even though you hate them? Why an awful song starts to sound familiar and nice to you when you hear it everywhere? Why people fall in love with someone even though they do not have feeling for each other at the first sight?

Question for you: How can I show up in front of my customers more often?

7. Timing

When you read the headline news every morning, pause and think for a few seconds. It may be your chance.Try to relate your products to something popular recently. People are eager to read and spread everything related to it.

Example: Prince William's royal wedding boosted the sales of everything in the wedding industry, such as wedding dresses, rings, matchmaking services and divorce lawsuits. Anything else you can think of?

Question for you: What's today's news? How can I relate my ideas/products to the news?

8. Time

The longer a fact exists in our head, the harder it is to deny it. When the fact is proven to be false, people would fight to defend it, because the fact has become part of our belief, and we live upon such belief to survive in the world.

Example: In China, a majority of grown-ups still believe the Great Wall is the only construction humans can see through eyes from the universe. In United States, today most people still believe Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Question for you: How can I get my words out as early as possible?

Recommended Tool

Now you understand the key elements of how to spread ideas. You can actually apply them everywhere in life, through word-of-mouth, social media and emails.I use emails more often. Nowadays, people still allocate a specific amount of time every day scanning and replying emails, during which, they are more focused and willing to accept new things when they see something interesting or beyond their expectation. Therefore, apply the above-mentioned elements in your next emails today and see how viral they go!

Last but not least, you may need some powerful email blasting tools to assist you in spreading ideas. Using professional email marketing software ensure the deliverability of your email campaigns and you can personalize every email for each of your customers.

1and1Mail
Easy-to-use free email marketing software, perfect for small businesses. It allows you to create, schedule and send personalized mass email campaigns, manage email lists and design email newsletters. 1and1Mail Personal Edition allows you to send mass emails to 1,000 persons per batch, and it is so far the most affordable email marketing software that I can find in the market.

Original Post: http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-spread-ideas


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