Author: Kelly Forst

The 4-Step Marketing Plan to Start Your Online Business

Start your online business in 4 steps

With COVID-19 posing challenges we never imagined, the future may feel uncertain right now. But that doesn’t mean you need to put your dreams on hold.

Whether you’re looking to grow or launch your online business, now’s the perfect time to set yourself up for success. 

Make the most of this extra time at home by following these 4 steps:

1. Build a landing page.

You don’t need a website to begin collecting email subscribers. With AWeber’s new Landing Page Builder, you can easily create a landing page that gets your business online fast. 

When creating your landing page, use a lead magnet to convince more visitors to subscribe to your content. 

Related: This Zumba Instructor Increased Profitability by 200% with Landing Pages

Bonus tip: Tag subscribers who complete your landing page sign up form so you can identify which subscribers filled out each landing page. You’ll also be able to send personalized, automated emails to subscribers based on the tags they have. (We’ll get to that in step 4.)

2. Create a branded email template. 

A consistent brand look and feel in your emails creates a sense of familiarity. Your subscribers will quickly know who sent the email — allowing them to focus on your email content. 

Include your brand colors, fonts, and logo. Consider using call-to-action buttons and bold featured images to make emails more scannable and appealing to the eye.  

Bonus tip: Email template design doesn’t have to be complicated. Try out the AWeber Smart Designer. It will create branded email templates for you in seconds using your website or social media profiles.

3. Write a welcome email.

A welcome email is your chance to leave an awesome first impression on your new subscribers. Introduce yourself, and make sure you deliver whatever you promised subscribers on your landing page — like your lead magnet or incentive. 

Bonus tip: Writing your welcome email is simple. We put together a checklist to help you get started.

4. Set up an automated email series.

With an automated email series, you can deliver customized messages to the right people at the right time. Plus, you can save time in the long run. 

Bonus tip: Trigger an automated campaign when a new subscriber joins your list or when a tag is applied to your subscribers. For instance, if you tagged subscribers that joined your list via the landing page form in step 1, set up an automated campaign that delivers content that’s relevant to your landing page or lead magnet.

Launch your business this week.

Take advantage of any extra downtime you may have right now and build your online presence. 

Start your free trial of AWeber and get access to AWeber’s Landing Page Builder, unlimited emails, automated campaigns and 24/7 customer solutions. 

The post The 4-Step Marketing Plan to Start Your Online Business appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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6 Ways to Keep Your Audience Engaged During These Unprecedented Times

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many schools, businesses, and stores have temporarily closed. People around the world are encouraged to stay at home as public health and safety remains the number one priority. It’s clear that the global pandemic has had an impact on all of us.

That’s why communicating with your audience is key. Being compassionate and doing what you can to help shows your audience you genuinely care. 

But once you’ve addressed the Coronavirus pandemic with your subscribers, what’s next?

Here are 6 ideas. 

1. Offer discounts on products or services your audience needs during or after the quarantine.

Be empathetic and show your audience that you’re in it together. 

Snap Kitchen is a great example. A healthy meal delivery service, Snap Kitchen solved a problem many people are facing by making meal delivery more affordable and accessible.

Snap Kitchen Discount Example

2. Help your subscribers learn something new.

Many people are currently quarantined at home. Now’s a great time to offer courses or webinars to help people take advantage of the extra time. 

For instance, MarketingProfs is offering its community of marketers a free educational webinar with their Chief Content Officer (and AWeber customer) Ann Handley.

MarketingProfs Free Educational Opportunity Example

3. Be available to answer questions

Speak with your audience directly through live video. Set aside some time to answer questions and brainstorm solutions to their problems. 

AWeber is holding Virtual Office Hours every weekday from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. The office hours will be streaming to all our social channels and our team will be answering email marketing best practices questions as a community.

AWeber Office Hours Example

4. Get creative with your products.

Help entertain your audience by giving them fun or educational activities to do at home. 

Michael’s, a popular craft store, is sharing a fun family activity on Facebook live every week.

Michael's Fun Activity Example

5. Make your services available online.

Whether you own a gym, yoga studio, or coaching business, video can help you avoid missing a beat. Set up a conference call or live stream workouts to your social channels. 

Or, offer exercises that your customers can do at home without equipment, like Comptrain did.

Comptrain Workout Example

6. Extend your free trial .

If your services solve a problem for people during the quarantine, consider extending your free trial.  

At-home workout company Peloton extended its free trial to 90 days to help people access workouts from home.

Peloton Free Trial Example

Have questions? Our team is available 24/7.

Reach out to us at help@aweber.com for guidance on communicating with your audience during the Coronavirus crisis.

The post 6 Ways to Keep Your Audience Engaged During These Unprecedented Times appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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How to Create Trustworthy Content That People Want to Read

how to create trustworthy content

Businesses battle to appear on page 1 of Google search results. Their goal: Get consumers to visit their website and buy. 

But, according to a study by Forbes and Yext, only half of consumers believe brands give accurate information in search results.

And 68% of adults in the U.S. say that trust in a brand has “a great deal” or “a lot” of influence on their decision when making a big purchase, according to another study by SurveyMonkey.

Ranking in Google search results isn’t enough. Your content also needs to quickly create trust.

Lee Odden — international speaker, B2B marketing strategist, and CEO of digital marketing agency Top Rank Marketing — joined AWeber’s FWD: Thinking Show to explain how to  earn trust and website traffic with SEO and content marketing.

His approach: Connect with influential people who have attention, credibility, and authority. These influencers should be able to produce and promote content their fans — and your potential customers — will love.

“Consumers trust content from influencers more than content that ranks in search. They even trust influencers more than they trust friends’ opinions,” shares Odden. 

Collaborating with influencers on content not only makes your brand easier to find, it increases your credibility. And it’s easy to start, says Odden. “The search terms you want to rank for will be the same keywords you use to find influential partners.” 

Watch the episode on-demand to hear more of Lee’s thoughts on earning trust through optimizing your marketing channels. 

For more than 20 years, AWeber has supported entrepreneurs and small businesses with powerfully-simple email marketing solutions. Get your free trial today.

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Are You a “Megaphone” Email Marketer?

avoid being a megaphone marketer

Think of your email list like a group of people you’ve invited over to your house for dinner. They’ve RSVP’d “yes” because they’re interested in what you’ll serve them and what they’ll learn from being there. 

Now, do you stand at the head of the table with a megaphone and tell them all about you and your business? Holler about all the amazing promotions you’re running? Do you let anyone else at the table speak? 

Or do you engage your guests in a lively conversation and discussion? Do you ask them what they need or want from you, or the best ways you can serve them?

“You can use email like a megaphone—where you’re just speaking loudly and not actually listening—or you can use it to create a conversation,” said AWeber’s Content Marketing Manager Jill Fanslau on the small business sales and marketing podcast Stay Paid.

One of the easiest ways to create conversation in your emails is by asking a question, said Fanslau. Ask your audience a question at least once a quarter to better understand what content they need and want from you. 

The best part about engaging your audience in a conversation? “You could get your next 10 email ideas by sending one question in an email,” said Fanslau. Your subscribers’ answers  could spark an idea for your next blog post, your next product, or your next lead magnet. 

There are a number of ways to ask a question in your emails: 

  1. Include a sentiment widget at the bottom of every email. (You can easily do this inside AWeber.) This gives you a quick and easy way to gauge whether your audience liked your content. Think of it like a “temperature check.”
  2. Send a survey. Asking your audience to complete a short survey can give you rich insights into what you’re doing right and what you can do better. (You may need to provide an incentive to get your subscribers to fill it out.)
  3. Reach out to individuals directly if you want to have a more personal, one-on-one conversation. If you receive great feedback, you can even ask that subscriber for a testimonial, to leave a review, or for a case study.
  4. Ask a simple question and encourage all of your subscribers to reply with their thoughts or feedback (good and bad). Let them know that you’ll read every single response. Reply to as many as you can so your subscribers know there’s a real person there. 

For more email copywriting tips and insights on engaging your audience with email marketing, check out Fanslau’s interview on Stay Paid. Or, listen on your favorite podcasting apps like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or Google Play.

AWeber supports entrepreneurs and small businesses with powerfully-simple email marketing solutions. Get your free trial today.

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