6 Great Places To Place Email Sign-Up Forms On Your Website

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

There is simply no better way to build a customer base than by creating a large email subscription list. It goes without saying that you need to use more email sign-up forms on your website but where should you place them? Read on to learn the highest converting locations for an email subscribers list.

1 – Top Of Sidebar

Avoiding this location is a great way to lose prospective subscribers. The top of your sidebar is one of the most visible places on your website and will immediately catch the eye of visitors. Don’t mess it up by placing it ‘just beneath’ the sidebar.

After Single Post

This is just pure common sense. If someone reads one of your blog posts to the end it’s fair to say he is interested either in your company or your industry. Now is the time to strike by including an email sign-up form.

The Feature Box

If you don’t already have a feature box on your website, start creating one. Simply come up with a few benefits of your service (or blog) and list them in bullet point form with a cool image. Add your email sign-up form beneath it. Hopefully, your feature box content will be good enough to ‘warm up’ your audience and compel them to discover what you’re all about.

The Footer of Your Website

This works on the same principle as the ‘after single post’ form; once people make it to your footer, it’s clear they are engaged with your content. This is the point where you need to ask to take action and a sign-up form is as good as it gets.

About Page

The ‘about me’ page on your website should be one of the most commonly visited pages. Most marketing experts believe you should have up to 3 email sign-up forms dotted throughout your page. If you don’t, you’re losing out on a huge amount of potential subscribers like almost every other blogger.

Lightbox Pop-Up

This features last because it can be a risky strategy depending on your industry. In some niches, it works brilliantly but in others it will ruin your conversion rate simply because it annoys people.

The frequency of email sign-up forms you should use depends on your industry and customer base. A tech savvy audience already knows where to find email sign-up forms but if you’re in an industry such as health & fitness or Forex, you’ll need to be more aggressive because readers may not be as savvy as you.

Online Business Listings You Should Consider

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Media

In order to give your small business the best chance of success, it is necessary to get listed in online directories. Not only will you make it easier for people to find you, it also improves the domain authority of your website since it increases the number of backlinks to your site. It is a practice that doesn’t even take much time and the result can be significant growth. This time should only be spent on relevant and high quality directories that will improve your company’s online visibility.

Best Online Directories

Whenever you come across a good directory, make a note of it in a spreadsheet or bookmark them to keep track. Once you come across 50-100 directories you can begin to determine which ones are the best for your business.

  • Industry Specific: Look for the top-rated directories in your industry; if you sell paint for example, a quick Google search will reveal the top directories in that niche. These directories will receive a lot of traffic so you need to add your business to them.
  • Local Directories: Small businesses need more local business than giant companies so check out well-known directories such as Yelp, Yahoo Local, SuperPages, Merchant Circle, Manta and others. It is also worth going to Get Listed in order to find more local directories by industry. A fast Google search by location should also reveal lots of relevant local directories.
  • What Your Competitors Use: Analyzing the backlink profile of your rivals should help you determine the directories they are listed in. There are some great tools such as CognitiveSEO which help you to find the backlinks of rivals and filter out these backlinks from directories. The aforementioned tool can also sort out the backlinks of your rivals by authority which helps you see the top rated directories first.
  • General Directories: Once you have exhausted all of the above options, general directories can come next. These ones allow businesses to list themselves in general categories. Type inurl:category directory (type in the name of your industry instead of ‘category’) to find general directories that have a category for your business. The best general directories include DMOZ, Best of the Web and Yahoo.

If you follow all of the above directories you should have hundreds of choices. The next step is of course to get your business listed on as many of them as you think is necessary. Once you have completed this task, you business will have a far greater level of visibility than ever before.

Why LinkedIn Is a Great Advertising Platform

Posted on Jul 22, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Marketing, Social Media

 

In the era of social media, many businesses make the mistake of completely overlooking LinkedIn as a method of advertising. As good as Twitter and Facebook are, ignoring LinkedIn is a colossal mistake. There are an estimated 300 million users of this platform, two-thirds of who are outside the United States. Below, we look at the reasons why it is a fantastic advertising opportunity that you simply can’t miss out on.

Type of User

Make no mistake; LinkedIn is the social network of choice for the affluent professional. If you want to get in touch with senior executives and other figures of power, LinkedIn is the place to be. It’s estimated that the average LinkedIn member has a household income of around $110,000 while almost half of the site’s audience has some form of decision making power in his/her company.

Exposure

As I mentioned above, LinkedIn has a huge global presence and this is only set to increase as the platform is seeking to branch out into China. There are an estimated 140 million professionals in China and Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are blocked by authorities so LinkedIn could have a free run at the Chinese market.

LinkedIn has focused on international growth for quite some time now with a greater emphasis on mobile users. In fact, over 40% of the site’s visitors use their mobile devices, a figure which increases to over 50% in nations such as Singapore, Costa Rica and Malaysia. Therefore, if you are joining the mobile revolution, you have a platform ready and waiting for you.

Tools

There are a host of awesome tools to help you connect with your audience. For example, there are new targeting filters for advertisers which allow you to surface ads based on the preferred language of the user. You can also specify the audience for every single post in your feed so you can actually identify the people who see the specific ads or updates. As a result, you can send out different feeds for American and Malaysian users at the same time.

Whether you want to use a passive advertising approach or else you would rather be more aggressive, LinkedIn has the tools to complement what you’re trying to achieve. There is arguably no better way to receive online introductions to important people in your industry than the LinkedIn platform. Finally, it encourages active group participation so you have the opportunity to mark yourself out as an expert in your field.

5 Ways to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Search Engines

Posted on Jul 8, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

Despite being around since the beginning of Internet marketing, cracking the SEO code seems as hard as completing a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded. This feeling is not helped by the constantly changing search engine algorithms which dictate where your landing page ranks. Yet increasing your level of organic traffic doesn’t need to be so difficult; read on for some handy tips on optimizing your landing pages for Google and the other major search engines.

Title Tag

We’ll assume you already know the importance of using keywords relevant to your industry so we’ll move on to title tags. Search engine spiders only crawl the first 65 characters so anything you include above that is virtually ignored. Therefore, you need to get your message across quickly and this means including keyword(s) in the title tag.

Pay Attention to META Description

This is a quick and basic description of your landing page content and should not exceed 160 characters. Again, you need to include your keyword along with a cleverly crafted call to action. Your META description should be designed for the reader instead of the search engine bot.

Don’t Forget Your URL

A landing page URL containing relevant keywords always looks more attractive to search engines. However, don’t force the keyword into the URL if it doesn’t look right or if it is too long as this is bad for user experience and looks spammy.

Attract Attention with the Headline

It is always a good idea to look at some newspaper headlines to find out how media experts do it. Your headline should immediately compel visitors to read on while still being honest. There is nothing worse than reading a misleading headline and discovering the copy bears no resemblance to what you read in the headline. Again, place a keyword in the headline as this is a signal to the bot that the landing page is relevant to this keyword.

Be Careful With Images

While images are great for improving user experience and breaking up bland paragraphs of text, you should not saturate your landing page with them. Search engines are still not great at picking up images. There are a few tricks experienced web designers use to get around this problem but the fact remains, only include images that add to your landing page.

Suddenly, getting your landing page ranked on search engines doesn’t seem so daunting does it? None of the above tips are particularly hard to implement and while it takes time, you should see some results in the medium to long-term.

5 Rules When Dealing With Negative Comments About Your Email Campaigns

Posted on Jun 20, 2014 by Response Wise | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media

One thing about email marketing is that if the recipients of your emails aren’t happy, they can mark you as a ‘spam’ sender and get your business into a lot of trouble. The CAN-SPAM Act heavily penalizes spammers and if your company is deemed to fall into this category, it could be fined to the point where it becomes bankrupt. But how do you respond to negative comments about your email campaigns? Read on to find out.

1. Don’t Delete & Ignore
While you have the right to delete hateful, racist, spam comments, you can’t click ‘delete’ every time someone says something you don’t like. Set out a list of rules regarding comments and if anyone breaches them, you can delete the comment without looking like a crybaby.

2. Respond Fast
The longer you take to respond, the more your reputation suffers. Savvy companies have a stock ‘we’ll respond as soon as possible’ message for social media accounts and this is not a bad idea to use. The last thing you want is a customer believing you don’t care what they have to say.

3. Discuss in Private
If someone has an axe to grind with your email marketing campaign, offer to resolve the issue privately. An email to the person in question is a good place to start because the last thing you need is an irate individual with time on his handing taking to social media to outline his disgust with your organization.

4. Stay Calm
If someone leaves you a particularly nasty comment, it is all too easy to snap and respond in kind. This is a bad idea since company meltdowns have a nasty habit of appearing in the public sphere. Give yourself some time to cool down before responding to ultra negative and offensive comments so you can approach it rationally instead of acting on emotion.

5. Be Prepared
While it is great to follow the tips above, this final point is the most important of all. If you are already prepared for negative comments you can greatly reduce the level of stress you suffer. Consider potential scenarios and possible answers to common comments. It is also important to have your staff well-drilled and ready for action if the worst happens.

 
Getting ready for negative comments about your email marketing campaign is a form of reputation management. Once you develop a thick skin and understand it is part and parcel of business, you should be able to handle whatever is thrown at you.

5 Simple Ways to Combine Social Media with Email Marketing

Posted on Mar 19, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media


It seems as if email marketing performs better than social media; according to McKinsey & Company survey, email is approximately 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined! Of course, email marketing is just part of the equation and just because it is more effective than social media, you shouldn’t completely disregard the latter. In fact, integration of the two will provide you with an even greater ROI because of the potential wider net provided by social media. Below, we show you 5 ways in which you can combine the two for more customers.

  • Sharing: As you want more readers who are like your current audience, tap into the networks of your subscribers and ask them to share their newsletter with their social media ‘friends’.
  • Newsletter Updates: When publishing a newsletter from Response Wise, you can automatically post on social media when your newsletter gets published. It is customizable on Facebook and LinkedIn and you can even post a picture. The day before your newsletter is due to be released, post an update on your social media channels previewing the content and remind people that there is still time to sign up.
  • Use Links: Simply link back to your business website from your newsletter and your social media profiles. I would recommend that you send a link to a specific landing page rather than a home page. Consider the reasons why a social network follower would want to visit your website and ensure that you provide precisely what they are looking for when they reach the landing page.
  • Use Pinterest: View your latest newsletter and pick out an important image from it and pin in on one of your company’s Pinterest boards. Now you must link it back to the newsletter. Not only will this give you some welcome additional exposure, it is also a neat SEO trick as well.
  • Social Media Snippets: Another great way of getting newsletter subscribers to connect with you on social media is to take screenshots of positive customer engagement on Twitter/Facebook etc. and then use Snagit or a similar tool to take a snapshot of these conversations and include them in your newsletter. For best results, combine this with a call to action and enjoy an improved response rate.

Although you will perform admirably by only using email marketing, savvy businesses also utilize social media channels because they know that a combination of the two provides unbeatable results.

Blog Content Marketing Strategies For 2014

Posted on Mar 4, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Social Media

About the only constant in the world of blog content marketing is ‘change’ and that’s precisely what is on the agenda in 2014. By now, you must surely be on the content marketing bandwagon along with an estimated 92% of marketers and if you’re one of the 8% who isn’t, what on earth are you doing? While it is important to note that the fundamentals of compelling and shareable content will never be altered, the channels, tactics and audience consumption of content will and below, we look at some of the key blog content marketing strategies for 2014.

Responsive Design

While it is easy to focus on a mobile-friendly blog content strategy, the reality is that you need to encompass a range of channels simultaneously. According to research, almost 90% of Internet device sales will be tablets or Smartphones by 2017 so you need a blog content strategy that addresses the changing consumption needs of your audience.

Responsive design is the ideal solution as it involves web design that can be viewed on any device. Rather than having a separate mobile site, you can use responsive design for a website that changes in size and readability according to the device being used to access it.

Link Earning

Google has introduced yet another algorithmic update called the Hummingbird and now the search engine giant takes into account context and conversational language in its rankings. Instead of creating dozens of pieces of ‘fluff’ content in order to link build, companies will be forced to create non-scalable large content projects in order to earn those links. The good news is that in-depth articles that provide value will outperform 100 small posts and also have the added bonus of marking your blog out as an authority in your niche.

Custom Content

Another important blog content strategy involves curating content from several top quality sources to create highly targeted posts. There are already a host of useful tools to help with this process including Custom Timelines on Twitter and Showcase Pages on LinkedIn. Instead of creating content about a topic in different formats such as emails, videos and blog posts, you can package it all together for an improved and highly informative experience that your target audience will love.

Blog content marketing must no longer be seen as just another part of your marketing strategy; companies need to realize that it is a vital part of building brand awareness, generating leads and gaining customers.

Is Mobile Commerce The Way Of The Future?

Posted on Feb 25, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Social Media

The short and simple answer to this question is ‘yes’! Mobile transactions have already caught on in a big way with many consumers welcoming the convenience they bring. Although privacy and potential awkwardness are some of the concerns raised by those not yet joining the mobile commerce revolution, it appears as if this form of payment will soon be an unstoppable juggernaut.

Mobile Penetration

It seems as if mobile commerce is already threatening to take over the world. A huge report relating to digital marketing looked at data from over 15 billion visits across hundreds of retailers. It found that the average order on a mobile tablet was approximately 20% higher than desktop orders. It’s also worth noting that owners of iPads tend to be in the higher earner bracket and are more prone to impulse purchases with their disposable income.

Higher Click-Through Rates

A company called Marin Software performed a detailed study on the click through rates of tablets, smartphones and desktop/laptops. The study covered the final quarter of 2011 and found that smartphones and tablets outperformed laptops and desktops by approximately 25%. Another company found that the click-through rates from mobile phones were actually 45% higher than on desktops.

Nighttime Shopping

We have the perception that mobile commerce will be successful because it is shopping on the move with consumers making purchases while riding the Subway. It may surprise you to learn that mobile commerce actually peaks at night because during the day, mobile users tend to spend their recreation time on social networks. Naturally, you also need to infiltrate social media but that’s another story.

Mobile Shoppers Are Focused

It has been found that the average keyword search on iPhones and Android devices is actually twice the length of a desktop keyword search. You may think that this is an indication of mobiles being harder to use. In fact, the search takes longer because those using mobile commerce are more focused on what they’re looking for. According to Microsoft figures, around 70% of desktop search tasks get done in 7 days or less. The same percentage of mobile commerce search tasks is performed in 60 minutes or less! Almost 90% of consumers using mobile phones to search for products/services will make a purchase in less than 24 hours. In effect, mobile commerce causes people to have a laser-like focus which is excellent news for online businesses.

Hopefully, this information will prove that mobile commerce is indeed the wave of the future. Realistically, it’s hard to see it slowing down any time soon as the number of smartphones and tablets increases and online shopping becomes even more convenient and all-encompassing.

Benefits Of Integrating Salesforce With An Email Marketing Provider

Posted on Feb 18, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Social Media

Unless you are foolish enough to believe that you already have enough customers (and no company on Earth would ever think that), you need marketing to succeed and email marketing is one of the most cost effective solutions. Salesforce is a CRM that offers a host of options for companies looking to boost their sales and they also have an email marketing option which comes free when you sign up for their total package. However, there are limitations to what they offer since they are not a specialist email marketing provider. What Salesforce can do however is allow you to integrate with an Email Service Provider like Response Wise thus giving you the best of both worlds.

Volume

Salesforce is pretty restrictive when it comes to sending emails. No matter what package you choose, you’re only allowed a very limited number per day. When you choose their Professional Edition package, you are only allowed send 250 emails at a time so you would need to send 4 batches in a day just to get out 1000 emails. The Enterprise Edition allows you to send 500 emails at a time while Unlimited Edition users can send all 1,000 at once. When you integrate with Response Wise, you will be allowed to send tens of thousands of emails per day if that is your wish.
Marketing Automation

When you integrate Salesforce with one of its selected email marketing providers, you have the ability to send thousands of email messages without having to be present. Marketing automation also has the ability to dynamically add names or take them away from a distribution list which is based on pre-established segmentation formulas. You can use data from visit and behavioral patterns in order to apply formulas to leads. You can set up campaigns that involve sending emails up to 180 days before an event followed by automated reminders which are sent until the event has concluded along with a ‘thank you’ message afterwards.

Salesforce can provide you with an email marketing solution but if your company’s needs are more complex, you’ll need a dedicated provider, like Response Wise.

Developing Email Campaigns For Mobile Devices

Posted on Feb 4, 2014 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Social Media


The huge increase in popularity of smartphones and their convenience for users means that email marketers need to find ways of tailoring campaigns to suit users of mobile devices. As at May 2012, it was discovered that approximately 66% of smartphone users check their email at least once a day. Clearly this is a golden opportunity for email marketers.

However, it is not being grasped properly as email marketers are struggling to turn email views into click-throughs. While 27% of emails opened on a desktop or laptop are clicked-through, only 10% of emails on mobile devices enjoy the same success. It is obvious that marketers need to change their tactics and formulate content specifically for mobile users and here are some tips.

Find Out The Devices Being Used To Click & Open

You need to discover if your target audience uses tablets or smartphones and also learn more about their purchasing behavior: for example, do they open the email using a mobile device but only make the purchase on a laptop or desktop? Most surveys indicate that iPhones are used most often when it comes to opening retail emails for example with Microsoft Outlook second and the iPad third.

When it comes to click-throughs, it would appear as if Outlook and Hotmail are the most commonly used devices. There are some interesting statistics we have discovered; while the percentage opens and click-throughs are almost the same on Outlook, there is a significant difference when it comes to iPads. It appears as if over 30% of people use the iPad to open the email only without clicking-through.

Getting Them To Open

The strategy for opening on mobile devices is similar to that of desktop opens but in the case of mobile, there is a pre-header text visible in the inbox. Use the pre-header text along with your name and the subject line together to entice them to open the email. Make sure the name is recognizable and it is best to use your brand name here. The pre-header text contains rich text and you should state your call to action at this stage.

The subject line should be no more than 40 characters long and the email itself should be filled with the benefits of using your product. Avoid using words like ‘coupon’ and ‘voucher’ and if applicable, have a seasonal theme to generate interest. It goes without saying that the email must be readable and also quite short. You can use longer copy if it is necessary but the email must be scrollable and the template must be clickable.

When you take the above tips into consideration, you should help your audience to interact with your emails on a mobile device. Send the emails at the optimum time and increase the level of convenience and you should see a boost in audience responsiveness.

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