Category: Email Marketing

7 Ways to Create a Black Friday Email Campaign That Drives Sales

U.S. retailers earned a record $7.9 billion on Black Friday in 2017, according to Adobe Analytics. That’s an increase of nearly 18% from the prior year!

A Black Friday email campaign is a great way to cash in on all this spending. However, with thousands of Black Friday emails to compete against, it can be difficult to get your audience’s attention.

With these 7 email campaign tactics, you’ll stand out inside the inbox.

1. Keep it short.

People often debate the ideal email length. While there’s often no simple answer, on Black Friday there is. Keep your content brief. Your subscribers’ inboxes are filled with other emails. They’re busy looking at numerous sales and online shopping.

So get straight to the point. Describe your sale and link off to your website.

For example, see how mattress company Casper does this in their Black Friday email below.

Related: 5 Tactics for Short Emails That Pack a Punch

2. Don’t bury the lede.

Journalist are often advised not to bury the lede a.k.a. the most important information. For email marketing, this is true as well. Your most important or interesting information should be near the beginning of your email. On Black Friday, this is crucial. And the most important information is the discount or deal you’re offering.

To make it easy for your subscriber to see your special offer at a glance,  include it in the headline of your email.

For their Black Friday email campaign, Code School, an online education platform, describes their discount in a brief and bold headline. The headline makes it simple for subscribers to see exactly what the offer is.

Related: 8 Top Brainstorming Techniques to Help You Write Killer Emails

3. Show off your goods.

Another way to increase your click-through rates on Black Friday? Display your product images inside your emails. If a subscriber sees something they like, they’ll be much more likely to click on your call-to-action button.

Active gear retailer HuckBerry created a gift guide for their 2017 Black Friday email campaign. They gathered their best deals into one email, including large product images, the original and discounted price, short descriptions, and call-to-action buttons for each product.

4. Refine your subject lines.

To beat the competition in the inbox on and around Black Friday, your subject line must be engaging. To craft a subject line that stands out, try one or a few of these tactics:

  • Describe your discount or sale in your subject line.
  • Mention how much time people have to claim your deal.
  • Be funny or witty.
  • Keep your subject line under 30 characters.
  • Use an emoji.
  • Explain the discount or sale.

Here are a few subject lines from 2017 Black Friday email campaigns that use these tactics:

Example 1

Company: Chubbies

Subject line: not a typo: 50% off

Example 2

Company: C&T Publishing

Subject line: Hours left to shop the Black Friday sale

Example 3

Company: Levenger

Subject line: Only Hours Left – Black Friday Weekend – 30% Off + Free Shipping

Example 4

Company: Nordstrom

Subject line: Black Friday shoe deals from UGG, Tory Burch, Hunter and more

Example 5

Company:  Physique

Subject line: Black Friday Deals 💸🎁

Example 6

Company: Overstock Art

Subject line: Last Chance to Shop the Exclusive ⚡ Black Friday ⚡ Gallery

Related: Your Guide to Writing the World’s Best Email Subject Lines

5. Use GIFs.

Adding motion to your emails is a great way to be unique and delight your subscribers on Black Friday. Add a simple GIF, a moving image, to do so.

Bonus: We created FREE GIFs you can use in your emails. Download them here.

Kidly, a children’s toy and clothing company, created a GIF for one of their Black Friday emails.

It’s fun — which matches their brand — and seasonal. The headline and image work together to create a stand-out email.

Related: Everything You Need to Know about Using GIFs in Email

6. Explain when your deals end.

Create urgency by informing subscribers that your sale ends soon. In his book Persuasion, best-selling author and psychology professor Robert Cialdini explains that urgency is a psychological trigger that encourages people to act.

Wonderbly, a children’s book company, creates a sense of urgency in the headline and copy of their Black Friday email below.

7. Send emails when others aren’t.

Sometimes, the best way to get high engagement is avoiding the crowds. To do so, send an email campaign in early December. It’ll be easier to get your subscribers’ attention.

MusicMagpie, a company that purchases used technology, sent a post-Black Friday email campaign in 2017.

To make their email extra relevant to subscribers, they position their services as a solution to the problem of overspending on Black Friday.

Start crafting your Black Friday email campaign today.

Need help? Download our free “What to Write in Your Emails” guide. You’ll get an email course that’ll show you how to write great emails. Plus, we’ll also give you more than 45 fill-in-the-blank email copy templates.

(Thanks to MailCharts and Really Good Emails for the email examples used in this post.)

The post 7 Ways to Create a Black Friday Email Campaign That Drives Sales appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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4 Ways This Expert Launched His Coaching Career with Email Marketing

Before Michael Port became a highly sought after professional speaking expert, he needed a way to convert his website visitors into customers. That’s when he discovered the power of email marketing.

“Email marketing launched my career,” Port said. “Very rarely does anyone ever buy anything just because they went to our website. It doesn’t work like that, especially when you’re selling services.”

Michael Port is the co-founder of Heroic Public Speaking, a speaker development and coaching company helping new and established speakers. He is the author of the six books, including bestsellers Book Yourself Solid and Steal the Show. He is also the host of the most popular podcast on public speaking and performance, Steal the Show with Michael Port.

Since his entrepreneurial start in 2003, Port has leveraged the power of email marketing to nurture and convert business prospects into clients.

During a recent interview with Port, I asked him to share the email marketing blueprint he and his team uses to turn subscribers into customers.

4 keys to the Heroic Public Speaking email strategy

For the Heroic Public Speaking team, an effective email strategy comes down to four key pillars:

1. Determine an audience and goal for every email.

Every email you send should have a goal.  The Heroic Public Speaking team’s goal is to get their email subscribers to visit and watch the videos on their website. And the goal of these videos is to convert them into clients.

Ports team uses a very simple checklist of 3 questions to evaluate the purpose and audience for each email and landing page:

  1. Who is our audience?
  2. What do we want them to do?
  3. How are we going to get them to do it?

They run every single email through this checklist. If they can’t run it through that framework, they cut or revise it.

2. Use pattern interruption to grab attention

Port is a firm believer in well-designed emails that adhere to your brand identity. Yet, he says you should sometimes stray from using designed email to leverage a psychological cue known as “pattern interruption.” Pattern interruption is when you intentionally disrupt an established pattern to grab your audience’s attention.

That’s why he occasionally sends text-only emails. Since he regularly sends templated and branded emails, text-only emails interrupt the pattern and stand out. This increases his click-through rates and engagement.

“Design matters. Yes, we still do text-only emails, because sometimes the pattern interrupt feels more personal and will create a quick, direct response from the recipient. But because we’re an organization, not just an individual, there needs to be consistent visual brand identity in addition to consistent written brand identity.”

If it feels like a personal email from an individual, subscribers pay attention and are more likely to respond in the way you would like.

Pro tip: AWeber’s email templates support beautifully designed templates as well as text-only templates, all of which are mobile responsive. Log in now to try them out. Don’t have an AWeber account? Try AWeber free for 30 days.

3. Tailor your message to your audience with segmentation.

The Heroic Public Speaking team targets two types of customers: individual consumers and corporate businesses. Since these audiences have different pain points and goals, Port’s team communicates with them in different ways.

With their corporate funnel, Port’s team uses more one-to-one outreach for these prospects at the top of the marketing funnel, and then use automated systems to move these leads through the sales cycle.

With their consumer funnel, they use email automation throughout the entire buying process to move prospects through the funnel.

Their consumer group contains 4 different types of individuals:

  • People who are already very successful professional speakers
  • People who want to be professional speakers but are just getting started
  • People who speak to help spread their message/brand
  • Professionals who want to get better at presenting because it’s a big part of their job

Because these groups have unique goals, Port’s team sends a customized automation series to each one.

To automatically add the right person to the correct customized automation series, Port relies on his sign up flow. Here’s how it works:

First, Port shows site visitors a simple signup form that offers lead magnets in exchange for subscribing. By minimizing the fields on this form, Port can get more people to complete it.

Once subscribers sign up, they arrive on the “thank you” page. This is where they can self-select the segment that best fits them. After selecting an answer, they’re automatically added to the corresponding automated email series. This allows the Heroic Public Speaking team to provide each unique segment with content that’s relevant to their needs.

If subscribers don’t select on option on the thank-you page, they have additional opportunities to self-select within the email series.

Pro tip: You can use AWeber’s tagging and behavioral-automations to allow your subscribers to self-select their segments. Simply assign tags to the custom field selections on your sign up form or add/remove tags when subscribers click a link within your welcome email. Then you can start them on targeted automated email campaigns, or save them for future broadcasts.

4. Choose the right email marketing platform.

According to Port, it’s easy to choose the wrong email platform when you’re just getting started.

“Small business owners get sucked into all of the bells and whistles of these massive platforms that they do not need. It just gets too complicated,” he said.

Instead, Port suggests choosing a platform that fits three qualifications:

  1. It’s easy to use.
  2. It fits your current business needs.
  3. It can scale with your business as it grows.

By using a simple, user-friendly platform, it’s easier to see fast results from your email marketing efforts.

Try AWeber free for 30-days

Port recommends AWeber because of its ease of use and ability to turn leads into customers.

“Without a tool like AWeber, it’s very difficult to do the work you need to do to get someone to say ‘Yes’ once they become aware of you.”

Ready to start getting clients to say “Yes” to your services or products? Start your free 30-day trial of AWeber today.

The post 4 Ways This Expert Launched His Coaching Career with Email Marketing appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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6 Uncommon Tips to Have Your Most Productive Day Ever

Don’t have enough time to write emails every week? Too busy to regularly clean your subscriber list?

You’re not alone. In our 2018 subscriber survey, our audience cited a lack of time as their biggest challenge.

So we searched far and wide for uncommon productivity tips to help you take back your time.

With these 6 unique tips from experts across the world, you’ll have your most productive day ever.

6 uncommon productivity tips

Productivity tip #1: Write a “not-to-do” list.

Financial expert and investor Warren Buffett swears by the “not-to-do” list. He says that this exercise helps separate extraordinarily successful people from the average person.

First, start off with a list of 25 goals you want to achieve and circle the 5 tasks that are most important to you. Tackle these first 5 items on your list, avoiding numbers 6 to 25. These uncircled goals are the distractions that stop you from making the most of your time. They now become your “not-to-do” list! Don’t give any attention to these tasks until you complete your first 5.

Related: 8 Top Brainstorming Techniques to Help You Write Killer Emails

Productivity tip #2. Take a break.

In order to get more done, you might log out of Facebook or Twitter. But according to Ron Friedman, Ph.D. and award-winning psychologist, it’s important to incorporate 15-minute breaks into your busy workload. They’ll refresh you so you’re ready to get down to business.

Instead, budget a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon break for amusing distractions like social media or television. It’s actually proven that social media can decrease stress throughout your day. Microsoft conducted a study which found that employees were more productive after being allowed to check their Facebook feeds while at work.

Related: 12 Questions with the Social Media Experts at Sendible

Productivity tip #3. Work in sprints, not marathons.

Time management expert, Francesco Cirillo, both created and uses the Pomodoro Technique on a daily basis.

The Pomodoro Technique lets you reward your hard work with timed breaks. Rather than working against the clock to meet deadlines, you work with the clock to get things done.

The technique suggests working in 25-minute stretches or “sprints,” each followed by a short 5-minute break. After 4 of those 25-minute stretches, you get to take one long 15-minute break. It allows you to come back to your work after each break refreshed and ready to tackle the next task at hand.

So it looks like this:

25-minute work sprint, followed by a 5-minute break.

25-minute work sprint, followed by a 5-minute break.

25-minute work sprint, followed by a 5-minute break.

25-minute work sprint, followed by a 15-minute break.

Repeat.

Know when it’s time to give it a rest by using the Tomato Timer, which helps you apply the Pomodoro technique. It’s a stopwatch that will track your 25-minute work increments as well as your 5-minute and 15-minute breaks.

Productivity tip #4. Accomplish your least favorite task, first.

Mark Twain once said “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.” Everyone has their daily dreaded task (a.k.a their “frog”). Maybe it’s the email you don’t feel like drafting or research you’re not in the mood to do.

Top-selling author Brian Tracy used Mark Twain’s quote as the basis for his productivity book, Eat That Frog. In the book, Tracy argues that you should do your most difficult task first every single day because it’s easier to avoid procrastination if you complete your most difficult task first.

Productivity tip #5. Don’t multitask.

Cramming your schedule full of too many tasks can leave you overwhelmed. And trying to multitask to get everything done can lead to mistakes and wasted time.

Earl Miller, a professor of neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says that multitasking decreases your productivity. The human mind can only hold small amounts of information at a time. When you rapidly switch from one task to another, your brain uses up a lot of mental energy trying to keep up. This can cause you to lose time since you’re more likely to make mistakes.

Instead of multitasking, focus on one task at a time. Once you complete it, move on to your next one.

Productivity tip #6. Think like a millionaire.

Bestselling author Thomas Corley conducted a 5-year study of 177 self-made millionaires. His findings?

That 50% of those within the study all woke up 3 hours before the start of their workday. Since most people are not awake yet, these early morning hours are rarely disrupted by distractions. Try it for yourself: You can use that additional time for many things — like working out, creating your goals for the day, or finally starting that email campaign you’ve been putting off. Start tomorrow, maybe you’ll be included in Corley’s next study of self-made millionaires.

Related: Overwhelmed by Automation? Wait Until You Try This Simple Tool

Put these tips to the test.

Ready to see how productive you can be? Follow these 6 simple steps to take back your day,and make the most of your time.

To save even more time, download our FREE “What to Write in Your Emails” course. You’ll get 45+ fill-in-the-blank email templates to write emails in minutes. 

The post 6 Uncommon Tips to Have Your Most Productive Day Ever appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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Should You Capitalize Your Subject Lines? This Marketing Expert Found Out

Have you ever wondered if you’re using the right tactics to market your business?

John Oszajca did. He’s the founder of Music Marketing Manifesto, an online consulting business that teaches musicians how to sell and promote their music.

Oszajca has been capitalizing the first letter of his email subject lines for years. Yet, he wondered whether this was giving him the highest opens and clicks possible.

So he used a simple tactic to find out.

The simple subject line split test Oszajca used to get more people to open and click his emails.

To test his assumptions about subject lines, Oszajca set up an email split test.

He created two identical versions of a promotional email for his upcoming “Copywriting for Musicians Workshop.” Both versions warn subscribers that this is their last chance to register for the workshop. In his first email, he followed his typical formula of capitalizing the first letter of his subject line. He also capitalized the first letter in the second clause.

Subject line #1: Last chance – This ends tonight

In his second email, he didn’t capitalize any letters.

Subject line #2: last chance – this ends tonight

He sent each email to a different 10% of his subscriber list.

To capitalize a subject line or not? The answer is below.

After waiting 4 hours, Oszajca’s split test results revealed that the subject line with lowercase letters got 35% more opens and clicks!

So he sent the winning email to the remaining 80% of the subscribers on his list.

“It was fun to test certain things that I have been doing for years based on gut,”  Oszajca says. But now he has data to back up his process, he says, and a deeper understanding of his subscribers’ behavior.

Related: 6 Email Split Tests You Can Set Up in 1 Minute

Now, find out what your own audience prefers!

Want to know what kind of emails lead to the best performance with your own subscribers? Use AWeber’s split testing feature to find out. (Don’t have AWeber? Claim a 30-day free trial here.)

And if you’d like to learn more about split testing, download our FREE guide to split testing.

The post Should You Capitalize Your Subject Lines? This Marketing Expert Found Out appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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This Subject Line Split Test Increased Website Traffic by 83%

You can set up an email split test in 1 minute that could nearly double your click-through rates and website traffic.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Because that’s exactly what happened when Light Stalking, a photography sharing community, split test their subject lines. In this post, discover the simple change that increased their website traffic from an email by 83%.

The subject line split test

Every weekend, Light Stalking hosts a photography challenge around a particular theme. People can post a photograph that aligns with the theme and share their feedback on other’s photos.

Rob Wood, the founder of Light Stalking, relies on email to drive traffic to these weekend challenges. That’s why Wood decided to run an email split test on the subject line of his recent weekly challenge email, which asked people to submit a photo of a silhouette. “I was trying to get more opens, more reads, and potentially more traffic,” he said.

Related: How to Create Amazing Photos for Your Emails on Zero Budget

For his split test, he created two emails in AWeber. Each message used the same email content but with different subject lines. Wood wanted to find out whether a short subject line that mentioned the topic of the challenge would win against a subject line that was longer and announced that the next weekly challenge was live.

For email 1, Wood used a descriptive, straightforward subject line: “Weekly Challenge is Live!”

For email 2, he wrote a short subject line that hinted at the topic of the challenge: “Silhouettes.”

Related: 6 Email Split Tests You Can Set Up in 1 Minute

Wood set up his split test so that 5% of the subscribers on his email list received email 1. And 5% of his subscribers received email 2. He waited a day to see which email performed better. Then, he sent the winning email to the remaining 90% of his subscribers.

Wood hoped this would maximize his engagement.

Pro tip: In AWeber, you can customize what percentage of your list receives each email in your split test. You can also test up to 3 emails at a time! (Want to try AWeber’s split test feature? Create a free trial account now.)

The split test results

The subject line “Silhouettes” won! It got 10% more opens than the email with the subject line “Weekly Challenge is Live!” It also earned an 83% higher click-through rate. This drove nearly double the number of website visitors compared to the email with a longer, more descriptive subject line.

When Wood sent the winning email to the remaining 90% of his email list, he was able to get an above average click-through rate. This drove more people to the Light Stalking community and increased forum engagement.

“This split testing feature is great. It will have a noticeable impact on traffic to my site from newsletters,” Wood said.

The takeaway?

Boosting your open rates by even a small amount can have a huge impact on your click-through rates and website traffic. To see how your own subscribers respond, try testing a short subject line that’s less descriptive against a longer, more descriptive subject line.

Not sure how to set up your own email split test? Download our free guide to email split tests. You’ll learn everything you need to know to run successful split tests.

The post This Subject Line Split Test Increased Website Traffic by 83% appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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Your Small Business or Nonprofit Could Win $20,000! Here’s How

Small Business Big Impact Award

In your life, there are big, defining moments that you never forget. Weddings. Heartbreaks. Vacations. Graduations. Homeruns. Births. Funerals.

But then there are smaller, defining moments that stay with you, too. The experiences that transcend your everyday “normal,” and bring delight and surprise into your life. They suddenly transform your ordinary into extraordinary. They’re memorable, unexpected, and impactful.

It’s these smaller moments that AWeber has strived to create daily for our customers over the past 20 years.

It’s why we provide an award-winning 24/7 Customer Solutions team at our headquarters in Pennsylvania. They’re here to help you succeed around-the-clock.

It’s why we send socks, T-shirts, stickers, and hand-written notes to a new group of customers every single month.

It’s why our Chief Operating Officer, Sean Cohen (who started as a Customer Solutions Manager at AWeber 17 years ago) still communicates with customers through email or on the phone on a weekly basis.

It’s why every new feature we release on our platform is based on extensive, one-on-one customer feedback.

It’s why our spam-fighting space explorer mascot, Commander AJ, makes impromptu appearances at conferences to meet up with customers. (Heck, it’s why we built a lifesize space explorer mascot to begin with!)

And it’s why, after a customer tweeted us saying, “I love AWeber. If you guys made a cereal, I’d eat it every morning,” we actually made a brand-new cereal and sent it to him.

“Everything we do has an impact on our customers,” says Cohen. “So we shoot for remarkable. Not good. Not great. But remarkable.”

Now, to celebrate 20 years of creating remarkable experiences for more than 1 million small businesses, AWeber wants to reward one small business or nonprofit that goes above and beyond for its customers. That’s why we’re launching the Small Business, Big Impact! Award.

Small Business Big Impact Award

The Small Business, Big Impact! Award contest begins on October 15, 2018, and all entries must be submitted by January 4, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. ET. To enter, click here. Tell us how you already create remarkable experiences for your customers — and how you’d use the $20,000 to make an even bigger impact.

The post Your Small Business or Nonprofit Could Win $20,000! Here’s How appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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8 Top Brainstorming Techniques to Help You Write Killer Emails

brainstorming techniques

I can’t think of anything to write.

That’s one of the top reasons we hear from customers about why their email marketing went stagnate. They just run out of ideas or topics to write about. So instead of sending a lackluster email, they don’t send any at all.

Even pro writers come up with major email block. Ann Handley, co-founder of Marketing Profs and the popular book “Everybody Writes,” only sent two emails to her subscribers in 2017. (In fact, the lack of communication was her catalyst behind revamping her entire newsletter strategy this year.)

We never want your email list to go dormant. After all, you put in a ton of work to gather subscribers. Don’t leave them hanging. That’s why we’ve gathered 8 brainstorming techniques that will help you create a list of topics for future emails. Never waste time trying to think of a topic when you should be writing!

Quick Notes on Brainstorming

First things first: Let’s go over a few quick notes re: brainstorming.

  1. Coming up with ideas for your content is serious, but don’t get too caught up on producing the perfect idea right away. If you’re too critical, you won’t get anything written down. You never know what a random word now could make you think of later. Keep a positive mindset and be open to any and all ideas.
  2. Don’t worry too much about following the rules. Brainstorming is all about creativity and finding whatever method works best for you. While one person might do well with a structured brainstorming process, another might thrive with a loose, free-flowing idea session.

The important thing to remember about brainstorming ideas for your email campaigns is that you’ll want to stay open-minded throughout your process . . . regardless of what that looks like. Next, let’s start looking at a few specific brainstorming techniques you can try to get the ideas flowing.

Brainstorming Techniques for Stellar Email Ideas

Brainstorming Technique #1: Word Association

Start with one or two words related to a broad topic, and write down anything they make you think of. Let your inner editor rest for a bit and just jot down whatever ideas and words come to mind. If you need help, try a tool like Visuwords to get the process going.

Don’t overthink things or worry about explaining how the words are related (at least right now.) Instead, let the ideas flow and see what interesting concepts naturally arise.

Word Association Brainstorming Techniques

Image source:

Brainstorming Technique #2: Mind Mapping

This is a similar concept to the word association technique. Start with a word in the middle and draw lines outward to the ideas that word sparks. Mapping helps you visually process your ideas and decide which ones are the strongest.

Mind Mapping Brainstorm Techniques

Image source: CoSchedule 

Brainstorming Technique #3: The Medici Effect

If we can figure out how things are connected, sometimes we can borrow solutions or ideas from another field to solve our own problems. Look for parallels around the issues you’re facing in different areas — like your personal life or at work.

For example: Did you recently overcome a challenge at work that taught you a lesson or provided some new perspective on an issue? How can you share that experience as a story that may help your audience with their biggest pain point? You might have come to a solution that would make for a brilliant email campaign.

Brainstorming Technique #4: Blind Writing

Just. Don’t. Stop. You don’t need a plan of attack or an outline for this — just put words on a blank page, no matter what they are. You never know what will spark an idea, and writing anything is the first step to writing something good.

Brainstorming Technique #5: Challenger

Make a list of your assumptions (about your customers, your content, your format, etc.) and then challenge them one by one. You might think you already know the best way to do something, but we don’t make progress by never questioning things.

Related: FREE Course: Learn How to Write Better Emails

Brainstorming Technique #6: SWOT Analysis

Create a table to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) to your current approach to email content. This helps you see your process in a more analytic way and logically decide if there is a more effective way to write, share, and educate.

As you complete your SWOT analysis, be sure to see what your main competitors are doing and make notes on how you may (or may not) be measuring up with your current approach.

SWOT brainstorming techniques

Image source:

Brainstorming Technique #7: Turn to Your Readers

Conversations with your subscribers can lead to a treasure trove of email ideas. Ask your subscribers questions and try to find out as much information about them as possible. What do they actually want or need from you? What are their biggest obstacles, goals, or main pain points?

Your subscribers feedback will be immensely valuable to your business. You can use it to write your next email, and other types of content like blog posts, videos, and social media posts. You can also take it a step further by using the feedback to correctly position your product, inspire loyalty, and/or develop all-new products.

Brainstorming Technique #8: Start with the Subject Line

Set a timer for 5 minutes. Then, come up with a list of subject lines that you would absolutely open if they hit your inbox.

These subject lines may spark some all-new content ideas. We use this technique at the start of many of our content planning meetings at AWeber. In fact, some of our most popular stories have come out of this exercise. We keep an updated swipe file of the subject lines — some of which are practical, some of which are outrageous — and browse the list for new blog post or email ideas whenever we need some inspiration.

Related: Your Guide to Writing the World’s Best Email Subject Lines

Brilliant Email Ideas, Time After Time

Consistently sending emails is a wonderful way to keep subscribers engaged, but try not to forget that no one wants to open an email that doesn’t actually have any new or useful information. Having a constant supply of fresh email ideas keeps you from getting marked as spam and sent to the junk mailbox, never to be opened again.

On a regular basis, brainstorm new topics through these different approaches and keep a swipe file of your best and brightest ideas. You’ll never hit a bottleneck in ideas for email campaigns again.

Ready to start sending killer emails to your list? Then sign up for your free 30-day trial of AWeber today.

The post 8 Top Brainstorming Techniques to Help You Write Killer Emails appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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After 4 Years, We Rebranded Our Email Newsletter. Here’s Why.

Every Thursday at 2:00 p.m. ET, we email our weekly newsletter to more than 30,000 subscribers. It contains our most recent educational blog posts, videos, and webinars.

This email earns a high open and click-through rate every week. And the majority of our audience regularly shares positive feedback with us about it.

But we started to wonder: Could we do even better? Were we missing anything? So we went to the experts — you, and all our subscribers — to find out.

This year, we asked more extensive questions in our annual survey. We questioned subscribers about what they liked and what they didn’t. We asked them what changes would improve the email.

When we began analyzing the results, we learned some surprising things. Here’s what you told us and what we did about it.

You said we should stand out more. We took that pretty seriously.

When we asked readers what they thought of our newsletter, one said, “OK, but just ordinary.” And another said, “The simplicity is great. But your branding needs to be stronger.”

Great emails stand out. They stop readers in their tracks. They’re valuable and beautiful. And they have strong branding.

That’s why we’ve rebranded our email with bright colors, a new name, and a new logo. Introducing FWD: Thinking — our updated and improved newsletter.

After running a split test of this updated newsletter against our standard newsletter, we saw positive results. We got great email engagement and happy feedback from subscribers. One subscriber even messaged us to say, “Love this new layout!”

But this newsletter isn’t simply rebranded. Using your feedback, we’ve revamped the content, too.

You asked for quick, easy-to-digest advice. We added it.

As we were reading through the survey results, themes quickly appeared. Time was the most common one. You said you don’t have a lot of it, so you need information you can digest in minutes.

“Give me quick wins,” one reader said.

Another said, “I’d like more content with small, easy steps.”

That’s why we added a quick tip section to our newsletter. This section highlights inspirational quotes, actionable advice, and pro tips. You can read it in seconds and apply it quickly.

Related: The 4 Survey Emails That’ll Give You Answers to Your Most Pressing Questions

You’re busy. Now, you can instantly find out how much time it’ll take to read a post.

Many subscribers told us that they’re not sure if they have the time to read an article when they receive our email. So they archive the message to read later. Then, they never get to it.

That’s why we added read times to our posts within the email. Now, you know what your time commitment is before reading and can plan accordingly.

Related: How to Craft Irresistible Newsletter Content

You said our newsletter was overwhelming. We made it easier to focus on what’s important.

You can’t have too much value in an email, right? That’s what we thought. So we pack each of our newsletters with tons of valuable content.

But some of our readers said this was actually overwhelming. “I think maybe fewer items per newsletter would make me more likely to read it. It’s kind of overwhelming when there are so many articles to read,” said one subscriber.

This feedback was a challenge for us. Although some readers were overwhelmed, others appreciated how much content we included in each email.

Instead of cutting content from the email, we decided to make it easier for readers to focus on what’s new.

In our newsletter, we originally had 3 sections with educational content. The design of each section was identical.

While this format was simple and easy to digest, it could also overwhelm time-strapped subscribers by giving them too many choices.

In our updated newsletter, we’ve made it simple for readers to tell which post is the most important — with design hierarchy. Instead of 3 identically-weighted content sections, we now have 1 featured post and 2 supporting posts.

We placed more emphasis on the featured post by using a larger image, describing the post in more detail, and centering it. We decreased focus for the 2 supporting posts by making them smaller and decreasing the explainer text.

This use of hierarchy makes it easy for busy readers to pick the one post they should read. And for those who want to read every post, we still have the same amount of value in each email.

Related: The Top Email Design Trends You Must Know

You have questions. Now you can ask them directly from our newsletter.

This reader comment had a big impact on our redesign: “I don’t know how to start, and I don’t know how to make the time to do [email marketing]. I work long hours, and I get back home very tired.”

We wanted to help. After brainstorming how we could better serve this reader, we came up with an idea: What if we asked our readers to submit questions directly from our weekly newsletter? Our team of email experts could answer these questions by creating a detailed blog post or video.

So we added a new question submission section to our newsletter. Now, readers can submit their questions. And we can write content to answer those questions in the near future.

Related: The Simple Question You Should ALWAYS Include in Your Emails

What do you think?

We’re excited to see how you like the improvements. Have questions or feedback? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post After 4 Years, We Rebranded Our Email Newsletter. Here’s Why. appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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New: Split Test Your Emails in AWeber!

Split Testing Is Here!

Want to send the best email? Test your next idea — no matter how big or small — using AWeber’s new-and-improved split testing feature.

We’ve rebuilt our split testing tool to help you send high-performing, effective emails.

Testing can transform the way you send. It allows you to figure out what email content resonates best with your audience.

You can test simple tweaks, like changing a call-to-action button color to drive more sales, re-writing a subject line to get more opens, or adding an image to increase engagement.

You can also test bigger changes, like wildly different email copy, or varying send times.

How it works

You have the flexibility of sending an A/B test to 50/50% of your subscribers, or you can add a third group of subscribers to receive the variation that wins. (After you determine the winner, simply schedule and send a copy of that message the third group.)

You can split your entire list or create a test that only targets a specific segment. This is perfect if you’re currently using tags to group your subscribers.

Related: How to Create a Segment Using Tags in AWeber

Most email service providers’ split testing tools only allow for subject line testing. But with AWeber’s new-and-improved tool, you can test:

  • Varying subject lines
  • Pre-header text
  • Email designs or templates
  • Images vs. GIFs vs. no images
  • Body copy
  • Call-to-action text or placement
  • Background and button color variations
  • The actual time you send the message

The possibilities are limitless!

Check out our Knowledge Base article to learn step-by-step directions on how to start testing.

What AWeber users are saying

We built this feature using feedback from AWeber users like you! Over the past few months, we rolled out split testing to a small group of customers.

“This split testing feature is great,” says Rob Wood, founder of Light Stalking, a popular photography blog. After just one subject line split test, Rob saw “a noticeable impact on traffic” — a 33% increase! — to his site from his newsletter.

In our own tests, we’ve been driving more opens and clicks as well! We have tested short vs. long subject lines and emojis vs. no emojis on our blog newsletter.

Here are six tests you can run today

Looking for ideas on what to test? We have you covered.

Head on over to this fresh blog post where our conversion content pro, Liz Willits, reveals SIX awesome test ideas you can set up in 1 minute.

Get ready to test!

This month, we roll out more split testing posts, case studies, and videos. We’ll even do a live webinar (be on the lookout for an invitation your inbox in the next couple weeks). Split testing has the power to transform your email marketing.

Get started today, subscribe to our newsletter, and stay tuned for more inspiration and education.

Check out all of our product updates from 2018!

September: Tag a Bunch of Subscribers at Once
August: Awesome Sign Up Forms and a New GoToWebinar Integration
July: Create Modern, Sleek Emails Faster than Ever
July: Visualize your Campaigns performance with our mobile app
June: AWeber’s Customer Solutions Team is Now Available 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week!
May: Connect Your Email Marketing with More Than 100 New Apps
April: Automation, Segmentation, Mobile App Updates, and More
March: One-Click Automation and Segmentation
February Product Updates: 5 NEW Features Have Hit Your AWeber Account
¡Atención! Connect with Your Audience in 13 Different Languages
Push Notifications– Now Available in AWeber’s Stats App

Ready to try AWeber free for 30 days? Let’s get started.

The post New: Split Test Your Emails in AWeber! appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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Why You Need to Split Test Your Emails (and 4 Best Practices to Get Started!)

Wondering what subject line gets the most opens?

Curious what call-to-action yields the most clicks?

Unsure whether to use images or GIFs?

There’s a simple way to find out once and for all: Split test your emails.

What is a split test?

Split testing (or A/B testing) is a method by which you can scientifically test the effectiveness of your email marketing.

When split testing, you create two versions (called variants) of an email to determine which email statistically performs better. Once you find which email variant performs best, you can update your email strategy to include the winning email. This allows you to identify what emails engage your subscribers best, which can ultimately help you increase conversions and revenue.

Why you need to test your emails

Split testing is an effective way to find out what’s working and what’s not in your email marketing. Rather than assuming your customers would prefer one kind of email over another, you can run a split test to find out in a methodical way.

The more you split test, the more information you’ll have on hand  for your future emails. And while a once-and-done test, or even an occasional test, can yield information that will expand your marketing knowledge, regular testing can provide you with a successful email marketing strategy.

Related: 6 Email Split Tests You Can Set Up in 1 Minute

4 best practices to get started

1. Test one element at a time.

Never test more than one change at a time. Have a control email that remains the same and a variant with one change — like a different color CTA button, or a different coupon offer — you want to test. If you have multiple variables, it’ll become difficult to identify which one caused a positive or negative result.

For instance, let’s say you’re a blogger who writes about gardening. You decide to split test an email’s subject line to improve your open rates. The goal of your split test is to discover  if longer, descriptive subject lines or shorter, direct subject lines perform better. You also want to see if including a subscriber’s first name in your subject line will increase your open rate.

So you write two variant subject lines:

Subject line #1:  3 Ways to Stop Weeds from Growing Before They Start

Subject line #2: John, Stop Weeds Today.

After looking over your analytics, you find that subject line #2 performs better. Great!

But there’s a problem with your test: You don’t know why variant 2 performed better. Was it because of the first name? Or was it because the subject line was short and direct?

To avoid this confusion, test one variable at a time.

2. Have a plan.

Prioritize your tests. Run split tests for your most important and most frequently sent emails first. And know what you want to fix about your emails before you run tests.

Struggling with low open rates? Try subject line tests.

Stuck with low click-through rates? Test your call-to-action button copy.

Create a split testing plan where you conduct one email split test a week or one email split test per month.

3. Record your results.

Keep records of the email split tests you’ve performed, the results of those tests, and how you plan to implement your learnings.

Not only will this keep you accountable for implementing changes, it will allow you to look back on what did and didn’t work.

4. Keep split testing.

You are never done split testing. Why? Because even if you find something that may be true of your subscribers now (for example, they like shorter subject lines), that may not be true three months or a year from now.

So keep testing. The more you refine your email strategy through split testing, the more you improve your emails — and your bottom line.

Testing 1, 2, 3

Ready to discover even more split tests you can use to optimize your email marketing strategy?

Check out our free Minimalist Marketer’s Guide to Split Testing to learn everything you need to know to become a split testing master.

The post Why You Need to Split Test Your Emails (and 4 Best Practices to Get Started!) appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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The 3-Step Formula for Generating Email Leads from Speaking Gigs

When you present to a live audience either on stage or on camera, you have an opportunity to change the way they think, feel, and act.

But what happens when the camera stops rolling or after you walk off stage is even more important. How do you continue to engage your audience and drive them to action?

The answer: email marketing.

With email marketing, you can continue to build upon the relationship you formed during your speech and create a stronger connection with your audience.

During our recent webinar with speaking pro Michael Port, he shared his secrets to building an email list from speaking events.

Port has inspired audiences from the stage for more than a decade. He was a professional actor. Now, he’s the founder of Heroic Public Speaking and coaches some of the world’s best speakers.

Below, learn Michael’s 3-step system for building an email list with your speaking opportunities.

(Want to watch the entire recording of Port’s webinar? Register here.)

1. Create a curiosity gap.

People tend to take action when they have a desire to achieve or learn something. You can create this desire (and use it grow your list) with a curiosity gap.

A curiosity gap is when there is a void between what someone knows and what they want to know.  And according to Port, it’s important to create one with every speaking opportunity you have because it’s what drives your audience to take action.

To create a curiosity gap, answer the “what” and “why,” but don’t give your audience the “how” yet. You want them to think, “That sounds awesome! But how do I do that?”

Here’s an example: A sign up form is a tool that allows you to easily collect subscribers. By optimizing your sign up form, you can triple your subscriber growth and double your revenue.

By creating a curiosity gap, you’ve now piqued their interest. You’re ready to move to the next step: filling the gap with a tool or resource.

2. Fill the gap with a tool or resource.

Once you’ve created a curiosity gap and your audience is looking for a solution, give them a tool or resource to fill the gap and satisfy their need or desire. (In step 3, we’ll explain how to deliver this tool or resource to your audience from the stage.)

When creating your tool or resource, Port suggests staying away from denser pieces of content, like ebooks, white papers, and reports. In his experience, these aren’t as effective at generating email leads from the stage because they are denser pieces, requiring much more time to consume.  Audiences want content that are easier to digest.

Instead, offer shorter tools, like tips, formulas, grids, calendars, and templates.These tend to convert more audience members into email subscribers.

You could also test this theory with your own audience. Offer up a simple, easy-to-consume solution and another more in-depth, time-consuming solution. Different audiences will prefer different tools and resources. For instance, an audience of medical doctors may want a published research document or white paper. An audience filled with social media marketers may want a content calendar download.

Continuing with the sign up form example from before, the “how” is: With my simple checklist, you can optimize your form in minutes.

Port also recommends that you make sure your tool is specific to the lesson you’re teaching from the stage. And mention your tool a couple times during during your presentation, like halfway through and at the end.

Related: 22 Brilliant Lead Magnets That’ll Inspire You to Grow Your Email List Right Now

3. Build your list and nurture your audience member.

Now that you’ve introduced the tool or resource that’s going to fill your audience’s curiosity gap, you’re ready to invite them to subscribe to your list to get it.

Building a list from the stage is different from building it online. Your audience likely won’t have their laptop ready to visit a website and opt in. And even if they did, typing in an address while they’re listening to your presentation is distracting. But what almost every audience member will have is a mobile device.

That’s why you should use a tool like Call Loop, EZ Texting, Textiful or Join By Text to invite your audience to join your email list and receive the tool or resource you’re offering.

Here’s how these tools typically work:

  1. Ask your audience to text a phrase (e.g., OPTIMIZE) to a specific phone number (provided by the texting service you use).
  2. After your audience texts the phrase to the phone number, they will receive a response on their mobile device that asks them to respond with their email address.
  3. Once they respond with their email address, they will be added to your email list automatically and receive your welcome email.

Pro tip: Call Loop supports AWeber’s advanced tagging capability, so you can automatically segment your subscribers from your various speaking gigs. Then, you can add them to Campaigns specific to the topic you were speaking about.

Step up your speaking game at Heroic Public Speaking LIVE

Need more help with your public speaking? Join Port and his team at Heroic Public Speaking LIVE, October 1 to 3 in Philadelphia, PA. The AWeber team will be there as a sponsor. Come meet up with us to learn how to use email marketing to reach and connect with your audience off stage.

Not sure how to get more leads? Struggling to create a profitable email strategy? We can help. At AWeber, we’re not just an email marketing platform — we’re a team of email experts that want to see you succeed. You can contact us day or night to get all of your questions answered.  Start your free 30-day trial of AWeber today.

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Your Start-to-Finish Plan to Getting 1,000 Email Subscribers

Get your first 1,000 subscribers

We wish we could wave a magic wand and give you 1,000 highly-interested email subscribers, but unfortunately, email marketing doesn’t work that way. That would be pretty cool though, wouldn’t it?

The reality is: Getting subscribers is hard work. That’s also why according to Ascend2, 54% of marketers say that growing their list of email subscribers is a top marketing priority.

You want quality email subscribers, and you want more of them, but the question is: How do you find them? Better yet, how do you make sure they stick around?

Ready to reach 1,000 (or more!) email subscribers? Follow the plan below.

(You can also sign up for our FREE email list growth course. Learn how to grow your list in under 1 hour!)

Craft a better email newsletter

First things first: To effectively grow your subscriber list, you want to make sure you’re always sending your best content. Before you send out your next email newsletter, it’s a good idea to take a step back and evaluate what’s currently working and what’s not.

Related: How to Create an Irresistible Email Newsletter (Plus, 19 Newsletter Examples for Inspiration!)

According to the Direct Marketing Association, the four most important email marketing metrics are:

  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Conversion rate
  • Open rate
  • ROI

Having a good grasp of how your emails are performing (based on these metrics) will not only ensure you’re providing value, but that your subscribers will also continue to open your emails.

An easy way to identify your top-performing content is to review your email newsletter analytics. Pay attention to the emails that not only received the highest number of opens and clicks.

Related: Subject Line Formulas You Can Steal to Boost Your Open Rates

Are there certain types of content that get more clicks than others? Is there a section that has barely been touched by subscribers? Take note of these trends for future planning. Of course, your subscribers won’t want to see the same articles and information in every email, so it’s best to create new content and support it with older pieces where applicable.

After you have a handle on what’s working and what isn’t with your current newsletter, use your findings to create an even better one. As you begin to gather more data on your subscribers and understand what they like to see, you’ll be able to tailor your emails to be even more impactful.

Get your emails in front of the right people

Now that you’ve refreshed your email newsletter, it’s time to make sure the right people see it. Here are a few tried and true tactics that you can put to the test to grow your subscriber list.

(Not sure how to get more leads? Struggling to create a profitable email strategy? We can help. AWeber isn’t just an email marketing platform — we’re a team of email experts that wants to see you succeed. You can contact us day or night to all your questions answered. Start your free 30-day trial today.)

1. Tap your connections and current subscribers

Leveraging your network is a great way to steadily increase your subscriber list, and often the best place to gain traction especially in the beginning. Although some of your connections may not be interested in the material themselves, they might know someone who is.

Reach out to current subscribers and encourage them to share your email with people they know who may be interested. You can make this ultra-simply by including a link for quick sharing within your email. (Basically, you’re asking them to forward your content on to those who may enjoy it!)

Here’s a fantastic email example of how to ask your connections to share your content. Use it as a template for your own outreach.

Pro tip: According to QuickSprout, subscribers are 3x as likely to share content on social media than visitors who view your content through other sources. Make sure your content is easy for subscribers to share with their social networks as well.

2. Include CTAs across your channels

It’s no secret that calls-to-action are essential when helping customers take the next step. The same rings true for bulking up your subscriber list.

Add a CTA to sign up for your email newsletter within each of your blog posts and on your website. Also, pinning a post with the link to sign up to all your social profiles will help make it easier for potential subscribers to see.

how to get 1,000 email subscribers

Providing as many opportunities to make signing up a breeze will increase the likelihood of more users subscribing.

3. Invest in social advertising

Social media is a powerful tool, especially when backed by a few bucks. It can help you reach your target audience thanks to ad formats that cater to email signups. For example, this Twitter ad from Really Good Emails is eye-catching, yet simple.

twitter ad for email sign ups

This playful Twitter ad not only aligns with their brand, but it clearly tells users what to do next. Don’t be afraid to play around with your ads and test different creative and copy. Like email marketing, the only way to understand what resonates with your audience is to test, test, test!

And don’t limit yourself to just Twitter. For instance, you could put an image of your newsletter in your Instagram Story and ask your followers to “swipe up” to join your email list. 

IG Story Email sign up

4. Write for other industry blogs

Guest writing is a great way to reach an audience you otherwise might not have the chance to. It seems unlikely that you would be able to increase signups for your email newsletter on another site, right?

The truth is: You definitely can.

In addition to the valuable content you’re already providing in the guest post, include a link to a dedicated landing page that offers more free content with no catch. Just be sure to include a CTA for visitors to sign up for your email newsletter.

AWeber customer Noah Kagan from OkDork did just that and was able to increase his subscriber list:

guest post email sign up

With guest writing, you not only provide value to a new audience, but you also have the opportunity to find subscribers who might become some of your best customers.

Related: Understanding the Marketing Funnel: 5 Strategies to Improve Your Email Marketing

5. Monitor and track your email performance

A sure-fire way to ensure you reach your goal of 1,000 subscribers — or any marketing goal for that matter — is to monitor the performance of your emails and adjust where needed.

Make sure you have the correct tracking in place on both your email newsletters and your website. The data you collect will allow you to identify top-performing content and inform decisions that help evolve your email newsletters, which will result in more subscribers. It’ll also help you find out which lead generation methods are producing the most impactful results.

To keep things simple (and free!) start with a tracking tool like Google Analytics that can help you watch your numbers and gauge performance. You can set this up in just a few minutes and start gathering in-depth analytics around your email and website traffic.

Without the ability to track key metrics, it will be difficult to understand how your readers are interacting with your content and what they likely want to see more of in the future.

Wrap up

If you’re not quite where you want to be yet regarding your subscriber count, don’t get discouraged. There are many ways to boost your lists — just remember, it can take time to attract the right audience. Wouldn’t you rather have 1,000 engaged subscribers than 10,000 uninterested ones?

Get started building your email list today with our FREE Email List Growth Blueprint course

 

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