Category: Email Marketing

AWeber’s Live Video Show Is about to Launch — and It’s Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Seen

At AWeber, our mission is to help small businesses succeed with powerfully-simple marketing tools and the support you need to use them.  

That’s why we regularly host free summits and webinars about marketing. It’s why we write a blog focused on email marketing, and we send our weekly newsletter FWD: Thinking. And it’s also why we offer 24/7 customer solutions.  

Now, I’m proud to introduce our latest free marketing education for small businesses — the FWD: Thinking Show.  The FWD: Thinking Show is a free, monthly live show where you’ll get marketing and business strategy from the smartest marketers in the world.  

Get-rich-quick marketing schemes don’t work. Top-secret formulas that cost thousands don’t guarantee results. Outdated marketing tactics don’t produce revenue anymore.  

Marketing that delivers real business growth takes effort, a bit of risk, and planning. This is the kind of marketing strategy you’ll get from the FWD: Thinking Show.  

And episode 1 of FWD: Thinking launches LIVE next week! Join me at 2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 22 as I interview Lee Odden, the CEO of TopRank Marketing.

What’s the format of the show?

  The show is like a webinar, podcast, and keynote speech combined! Each episode of the FWD: Thinking Show will follow this agenda:  

1. Quickfire Q&A

Liz Willits, the host of the FWD: Thinking Show, will ask the guest questions about their career, their best marketing and business advice, and more.  

2. Innovative ideas

The guest speaker will share one innovative business or marketing strategy to accelerate your growth.  

3. Audience Q&A

This is your chance to ask the smartest marketers in the world anything and get tailored advice.

Who is the first show guest?  

Lee Odden is a lightly bearded B2B marketing strategist, author, international speaker and CEO of the fine team at TopRank Marketing. His work integrating search, social, content, and influencer marketing for B2B brands has been recognized by numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Forbes.

Who is the host?  

Yours truly. I’m a professional speaker and marketing expert. I help run content strategy at AWeber. And I’ve taught hundreds of thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs how to successfully grow their businesses online.

Get your ticket to the FWD: Thinking Show!

It’s free! You can get your ticket here, and access the show on Wednesday, June 22 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

For the best experience, I recommend attending the live show. But if you can’t clear your schedule, claim your ticket to get an on-demand video of the live episode. I’ll email
the on-demand video within 24 hours of the live show.

The post AWeber’s Live Video Show Is about to Launch — and It’s Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Seen appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Read More

Meet AWeber’s NEW WordPress Plugin

WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. (Nearly half of all websites use it!) So it’s no surprise that it’s also one of AWeber’s most used integrations.

That’s why we rebuilt our AWeber for WordPress plugin to make it even more powerful and simpler to use to help you find greater success with email marketing. Here’s what’s new with our WordPress plugin.

It’s now easier to add sign up forms to WordPress.

You now have three “easy as pie” ways to add your sign up form to your WordPress website using the AWeber plugin.

Widgets

You can add your sign up form to your WordPress theme using the widgets in WordPress, which means it’ll be added to every page on your website. For example, consider adding your sign up form to your blog sidebar or website footer.

Related: How to add an AWeber sign up form using WordPress widgets

You can only place the AWeber widget in one widget area. If you want to add it to other widget areas, you can use the next method: shortcodes.

Shortcodes

Shortcodes are snippets of WordPress code that allow you to add your sign up form anywhere on your site. You don’t have to create these; WordPress automatically creates them for each of your sign up forms.

You’ll find your shortcodes inside the AWeber plugin under Forms.

If you want to add your sign up form to your entire site, simply copy the code and paste it into a text widget.

Related: How to add an AWeber sign up form using WordPress widgets

You can also add the shortcode to a specific page or blog post using the WordPress page editors, which we’ll cover next.

In the WordPress editors

To add an AWeber sign up form to a page or blog post using WordPress’s classic editor, simply paste the shortcode, or use the built-in AWeber button inside the formatting menu.

If you’re using WordPress’s Gutenberg editor, simply click the “plus” icon to add a custom AWeber block. Alternatively, you can also add a shortcode block and paste your shortcode.

Related: Detailed step-by-step instructions on how to add an AWeber sign up form to a WordPress page or post

Automatically add commenters and WordPress users to your AWeber email list.

We’ve also made it easy for commenters and users to subscribe to your email list.

The AWeber for WordPress plugin now allows you to add a checkbox to the comment section, where users can opt into your email list when adding comments on your pages or posts.

Related: How to enable the “Subscribe on Comment” feature 

You can also apply tags to new commenters and users who join your list so you can segment your subscribers and send them more personalized emails in the future.

Easily see where each sign up form is being used on WordPress.

You can also quickly view where all of your forms are being used across your WordPress website.

If you ever need to remove or change the form you’re using on a particular page, you can quickly access that page right from the AWeber for WordPress plugin.

Track you sign up form performance without leaving WordPress.

One of the biggest benefits of the new AWeber for WordPress plugin is that it saves you from having to toggle back and forth between your AWeber and WordPress accounts.

Quickly track how your sign up forms are impacting your email list growth without ever leaving WordPress. You’ll learn what’s working and what’s not, so you can optimize your sign up forms for better results.

Check to make sure the plugin is installed correctly.

You don’t have to be a technical whiz to use the new AWeber for WordPress plugin.

Easily make sure your plugin is installed correctly by using the ‘System Info’ screen to view the compatibility details.

Need help troubleshooting a problem? We’ve put all of the necessary info in the System Info screen. Share this with our 24/7 Customer Solutions team and we can get you back on track in no time.

Related: How to find the technical details of your AWeber for WordPress plugin

How to get started with the new AWeber for WordPress plugin

Already an AWeber customer? Download the AWeber for WordPress plugin today, and connect it to your AWeber account.

Plus, check out a recorded demo of the AWeber for WordPress plugin inside our customer community on Facebook.

Once you’ve had a chance to try it out, we’d love to hear your feedback. Leave us a review in the WordPress marketplace.

Not an AWeber customer yet? Start your free 30-day trial today and start using the AWeber for WordPress plugin.

The post Meet AWeber’s NEW WordPress Plugin appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Read More

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.

The post Are You a “Megaphone” Email Marketer? appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Read More

5 Ridiculously Cool Ways We’ve Used AMP for Email

AWeber and AMP for Email

Everything you know about email is about to dramatically change forever. 

That’s a bold statement, but it’s true…I know because my AWeber teammates and I are using revolutionary email technology that wasn’t widely available a year ago. In fact, we were one of the first marketing teams to start using it a few months ago. 

I’m talking about AMP for Email.

What is AMP for Email?

With AMP (which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages) for Email, your message is no longer a stagnant document that gathers dust inside an inbox after it’s read. It’s now a living, ever-changing experience that encourages the reader to stick around. To explore. To interact. To come back again and again. To participate.

It transforms a previously static medium into an interactive and dynamic channel in which to communicate with your audience.

That means readers can book an appointment, RSVP to an event, sign up for a newsletter, leave a product review, answer a survey or quiz, or view a live package shipping update — inside an email.  They never need to open a new window or head to their browser.

AMP for Email became available in Gmail in March 2019. The tech is still in its infancy and only currently available for Gmail, Outlook, and Mail.ru users, but it will become more widespread and robust in the very near future.

And right now, AWeber is the only small business email service provider to support the new AMP for Email technology for our customers. We are continuously evolving how powerfully-simple it is for you to send AMP for Email-powered messages in AWeber.

“By adding AMP message support to our API, we’re ensuring our customers have the most up-to-date tools and technology at their fingertips to create messages that will help them connect with their customers and rapidly grow their businesses,” said Chris Vasquez, Director of Product at AWeber.

AWeber isn’t just empowering customers to use AMP for Email. We’re using it ourselves.

How AWeber is using AMP for Email in our own email marketing

Since AMP for Email launched, my teammates and I have been using the tech in our weekly email marketing newsletter, FWD: Thinking. In fact, anywhere from 25% to 30% of all clicks on the newsletter’s main call-to-action (CTA) come from readers viewing an AMP-enabled version. (We still send an HTML version every week, too, for people not using Gmail, Outlook, or Mail.ru.)

We’ve only scratched the surface of what we can do with the technology, but it’s exciting to experiment to see which AMP elements drive the most engagement from our newsletter readers. Keep reading for a list of some of the interactive and dynamic AMP for Email content we’ve tested so far.

AMP for Email: Image Carousel 

We showed off our free, seasonal GIF guides in interactive image carousels inside the newsletter. As a FWD: Thinking reader, you could easily click or tap the arrows inside the email to scroll through a handful of GIFs. 

If you weren’t viewing the AMP-enabled version of the newsletter, you would have seen a single GIF at the top of the email. You had to click into the blog post to view more.

Big news! AWeber just added the image carousel into our drag-and-drop email builder. Just drag it into your email and add up to 6 images. You can use it today! Not an AWeber customer yet? Sign up for a free trial of AWeber.

We have tested the image carousel with two GIF guides so far:

Fall GIF Guide, August 2019

AWeber Image Carousel AMP for Email

Check out AWeber’s Fall GIF Guide.

Holiday GIF Guide, November 2019

Check out AWeber’s Holiday GIF Guide.

The percentage of readers clicking the AMP image carousel element increased by 28% from our Fall GIF Guide to our Holiday GIF Guide. 

The Holiday GIF Guide could have been more popular among AMP viewers, but we doubted that could account for such a drastic increase.

One of the main reasons we can surmise for the significant boost in engagement? In the short time between the two emails, Outlook made AMP for Email available and GSuite rolled out AMP support so it was turned on by default. 

Our hypothesis: The pool of potential FWD: Thinking readers seeing AMP for Email elements in their inboxes (desktop and mobile) is increasing every single month as more Internet Service Providers make it available. The percentage of people interacting with AMP elements will only continue to go up.

AMP for Email: Feedback Form

We’ve always collected questions and feedback from our readers. It helps pinpoint our readers’ biggest pain points and spur new educational content ideas. 

In the past, the CTA for our newsletter’s feedback form took you to a separate webpage to fill out. With AMP for email, you can now submit your question directly into the email. No leaving the inbox! This reduces friction for the user and increases our likelihood of garnering responses. 

AWeber Feedback Form AMP for Email

Our readers who received the AMP-enabled version of the newsletter noticed the change. One subscriber, Andre V., even wrote into the feedback form:

I have a question about this form in the email… Does it submit? What wizardry is this?

Andre, meet AWeber’s sorcerer, AMP for Email.

AMP for Email: Sentiment Widget

AWeber gives all customers the option to add sentiment widgets to their emails. You can think of them as quick “temperature checks” to make sure your subscribers find your content useful or not.

Previously, the sentiment widget would take you to a separate landing page outside of your inbox. There, you could add more info about why you liked or didn’t like the email.

AMP for Email, however, allowed us to make this element interactive and dynamic. Not only can you click on the smiley or frowny face within the email, but you can also write your response inside the message, too.

AWeber Sentiment Widget AMP for Email

Plus, you can find out how many other subscribers felt the same as you. If you leave the message, come back later, and click the face again, the numbers may update depending on how many people interacted with the AMP element while you were gone.

AMP for Email: Polls and Quizzes

We recently conducted a quiz inside our FWD: Thinking newsletter using AMP for Email. (It’s a lot like the quizzes you see inside Instagram or Facebook stories.) 

AWeber Email Quiz AMP for Email

After you clicked on an answer, you were automatically given the correct answer and the percentage breakdown of how many other FWD: Thinking subscribers chose each answer. 

Just like with our AMP for Email sentiment widget, if you left the newsletter and came back later, you could see updated percentages of subscribers’ answers.

So what happened if you didn’t have access to AMP? You were taken to a separate landing page that gave you the answer to the quiz. However, you never got to see the dynamic breakdown of subscriber percentages clicking on each answer. 

We also conducted a poll to see if people were sending Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday email campaigns this year — and we offered the final results in a followup email the next week. 

AWeber Email Poll AMP for Email

The experience for AMP users was the same as the quiz. You received a percentage breakdown of subscribers who were or were not sending Cyber Weekend email campaigns. If you didn’t have AMP, you were sent outside of the inbox to a separate landing page.

Overall, for both the quiz and the poll, we saw about 20 to 25% of the total clicks come from people using the AMP for Email element.

Next Steps: AMP for Email inside AWeber

Right now, getting set up to send AMP for Email messages takes a bit of work since you need to authenticate your sending domain and apply to be an AMP for Email sender in Gmail, Mail.ru, and Outlook. (You can see the full directions here.) 

But once you’re all set up to send AMP for Email, AWeber’s product team is making it as seamless and as powerfully-simple as possible for our customers to send AMP messages through our platform. We are currently the only small business email marketing provider that offers AMP for Email capability in our API, and we have already launched our first AMP element — the image carousel — in our drag and drop email builder.

For a rundown on how to use AMP for Email in AWeber, sign up for our free webinar on January 17.

The post 5 Ridiculously Cool Ways We’ve Used AMP for Email appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Read More

Check Out What’s New inside AWeber!

AWeber New Features

At AWeber, we’re always working to deliver powerfully-simple features for you. Our goal: to remove the complexity of email marketing so you can concentrate on making your business more awesome.

The 3-minute video below introduces you to the latest AWeber features that simplify how you send emails to your prospects and customers.

You’ll learn about Smart Designer, a free, intelligent design assistant that lets you automatically create an amazing-looking, branded email template in seconds. You’ll also see how Team Hub enables multiple users to collaborate around a single account. And you’ll discover all the ways we’re innovating our easy-to-use, industry-leading drag & drop email builder.

Click below to watch the video!

More exciting updates from AWeber!

In addition to the features in the video above, we’re also excited to announce that we’ve added the following updates to our platform:

  • AWeber’s Wordpress plugin was just completely revamped to make it even easier to grow your email list quickly. 
  • Broadcast stats have gotten a visual refresh to make it easier to understand who is opening and clicking your emails. 
  • The default email template in the drag-and-drop editor has been updated with some new, modern styles that render beautifully on all devices.
  • The tag dashboard now gives you a complete view of your tags, so you can better segment your audience and automate your emails.
  •  The campaigns list page lets you now easily see how many people have received each of the messages in an automated email series.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about these amazing new features. Go test them out and let us know what you think! Log in to your account now.

Not an AWeber customer? Sign up today for a free 30-day trial. You’ll get access to all of our powerfully-simple and innovative features.

The post Check Out What’s New inside AWeber! appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Read More

The 5 Emails You Should Send This Cyber Monday to Skyrocket Sales

cyber monday email examples

Cyber Monday’s online sales hit an all-time high in 2018, capping out at a record $7.9 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. That’s an increase of 19.3% from the previous year — and sales are only expected to go up this December.

Are you ready to hit “go” on your Cyber Monday email campaign? Here’s a content calendar you can use to make sure you’re maximizing your promotion. 

Your 5-Email Campaign for Cyber Monday 2019

November 29: Send your “teaser” email. Tease your promotion with a “preview” email sent out three days* before Cyber Monday. Let your subscribers know something big is coming on December 2 — but don’t tell them what. Get them excited for the announcement.

*You don’t want this email to go out more than three days in advance or you might cannibalize your sales leading up to the promotion going live. People may be hesitant to purchase if they know a better deal is just a few days away.

December 1: Send a countdown email. The night before your promotion goes live, send a 12-hour countdown email to your audience. (The anticipation!) You can schedule this ahead of time inside your AWeber account.

Don’t have an AWeber account yet? Sign up for a 30-day free trial, and get your Cyber Monday emails scheduled!

December 2 (morning): Launch your promotion. Send your promotion — whether it’s a coupon code that gives your subscribers a certain percentage off their purchase, a free gift with their purchase, or a special giveaway for the first 200 customers who purchase — on Cyber Monday.

Related: Automatically Create Your Own Beautiful, Branded Email Template in Seconds!

December 2 (afternoon): Resend your promotion. Not all your subscribers will engage with your email. That’s okay: Their inboxes are flooded on Cyber Monday with deals. That’s why I recommend resending your message to anyone on your list who didn’t open or click later in the day. It’s another opportunity for you to reach them. 

December 3: Post-promotion email. With AWeber, you can “tag” subscribers that go from your promotion emails and hit a certain page of your website. The next day, send that group of subscribers that made it to a certain product page or the checkout — but never ended up making a purchase — a followup email. Let them know the product is still available, reiterate the benefits of purchasing, and tell them that you’ll extend the promotion another few hours just for them!

Creative Cyber Monday Email Examples 

Below are a few of our favorite Cyber Monday email marketing ideas from years past. Use them as fodder to create and launch your own email marketing campaign with AWeber this Cyber Monday. 

Cyber Monday Email: Chubbies 

Chubbies, the brand that’s known for short shorts (think: “Larry Byrd” short shorts…i.e. lots of skin), had fun with their Cyber Monday email campaign. They called it Thighber Monday, and turned it into an event.

A new free gift — like duffle bags, blankets, hats, and more — was revealed every hour of Thighber Monday via email. If you bought a product on their site, you would receive that hour’s free gift along with your purchase. 

The campaign kept people coming back to their inbox hour after hour to check out which free gift would be unveiled next.

Cyber Monday Email Chubbies

Cyber Monday Email: Melyssa Griffin

Digital marketer and coach Melyssa Griffin helps bloggers and entrepreneurs grow their audiences and incomes. For Cyber Monday, Melyssa bundled all her online courses together for a fantastic deal. Bundling or packaging certain products can make the promotion feel larger and more impactful than giving a discount for each separate item.  

Cyber Monday Email Melyssa Griffin

Cyber Monday Email: Taco Bell

Taco Bell didn’t offer a Cyber Monday promotion. Instead, they banked on how hungry you’d be after a long day of online shopping. Taco ‘bout a novel idea. 

Cyber Monday Email Taco Bell
Photo courtesy of Really Good Emails

Related: 5 Powerful Ways to Drive More Sales Through Email

Cyber Monday Email: Everlane

Remind your customers of how good they always have it! That’s what Everlane did with their “No sale here” email. They called out the fact that their prices are already 50%  lower than most retailers, day in and day out. 

Cyber Monday Email Everlane
Photo courtesy of Really Good Emails

Cyber Monday Email: Lewis Howes

Motivational speaker and coach, Lewis Howes, focused on “exclusivity” for his Cyber Monday deal. He played up all the benefits of being part of the elite, members-only program and offered a significant discount on his monthly coaching program. 

Cyber Monday Email Lewis Howes

Quickly launch your Cyber Monday email campaign

Try AWeber for free for 30 days, and get access to all of our powerfully-simple email marketing solutions. You can set up an effective, beautiful, branded email campaign for Cyber Monday in minutes!

The post The 5 Emails You Should Send This Cyber Monday to Skyrocket Sales appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Read More

Are Plain-Text Emails More Likely to Reach the Inbox?

Plain-text emails inbox

Has a marketing “expert” told you plain-text emails hit the inbox more often than HTML emails? Or that plain-text emails have a 100% deliverability rate?

If so, they’re lying or misinformed.

In this post, I’ll debunk the common myth that plain-text emails reach the inbox more than HTML emails.

Plain-text emails are NOT more likely to reach the inbox.

I interviewed email marketing and anti-spam expert Laura Atkins to get her take on this myth.

Laura is a founding partner of the anti-spam consultancy and software firm Word to the Wise, and she has over 20 years of experience tracing internet abuse. At Word to the Wise, she advises businesses on how to reach the inbox and respond to spam complaints.

I asked Atkins if plain-text emails are more likely to reach the inbox.

“Anybody who tells you that does not understand how email filtering actually works,” she says.

Are simple emails with fewer images and links more likely to reach the inbox?

I asked Atkins this question as well. She says the amount of images and links in your emails does not impact inbox placement. However, the reputation of the domain (URL) you’re linking to and the domain where you host images that are within your email does matter.

“Every link that you put in an email, every domain you link to in an email, every image that you link to in an email has its own reputation. If that image happens to be something that a lot of spammers use, it’s going to have a bad reputation,” Atkins says.

If you use the same links and images that spammers use, your email is more likely to go to the spam folder. To avoid this, don’t like to sites with a bad reputation or include images hosted on a site with a bad reputation within your email content.

Not sure if a site has a bad reputation? You can use tools like Cisco’s Talos to check. Just paste the domain you’d like to check in their reputation lookup field. If it’s blacklisted, don’t include it in your email content.

Pro tip: Don’t use link shorteners, such as bit.ly or tinyurl.com, in your emails. They can hurt your chances of reaching the inbox, too.

How do you reach the inbox?

Some people will tell you there are simple tricks to reaching the inbox, like not using the word “free” in your subject lines. This isn’t true, says Atkins. They don’t understand how delivering emails works.

“Anybody who tells you, ‘if you do X your email won’t go to spam,’ doesn’t know how filters work,” Atkins says.

Atkins went on to explain that internet service providers (ISPs), like Gmail and Yahoo, use an algorithm which decides whether or not to deliver an email to the inbox or the spam folder.

These algorithms are complex and use machine learning. There are no easy tricks to deceive the algorithms. They are designed so that spammers can’t trick them.

Their number one goal? To deliver emails their users want and expect.

“This is their sole reason for existence … to identify what mail users want and to give it to them,” Atkins says.

Atkins says the best way to reach the inbox is to,

“Send mail your recipients want and expect.”

At AWeber, we recommend following this 4-step strategy to make sure your subscribers want and expect your emails:

  1. Set expectations on your email sign up form. Explain how often you will send emails and what kind of content you’ll send.
  2. Reiterate those expectations in your welcome email
  3. Consistently deliver emails with the content you promised.
  4. Clean your email list regularly to remove subscribers who no longer want your emails.

The main takeaway? Whether your email is an HTML or plain-text email has nothing to do with landing in the inbox or the spam folder.

In fact, people often confuse simple HTML emails with plain-text emails. They think they’re sending plain-text emails when they’re really sending HTML emails. Let’s dive into the difference between the two types.

What’s the difference between plain-text and HTML emails?

An HTML email contains HTML code that impacts the appearance of an email. Here are some examples of common HTML elements that might be inside an email:

  • images
  • bullets
  • hyperlinked text
  • columns
  • headlines
  • call-to-action buttons
  • bolded or italicized text

AWeber’s weekly newsletter FWD: Thinking is an HTML email.

Related: Subscribe to AWeber’s weekly FWD: Thinking newsletter to get email marketing advice and tips.

But this message from fitness expert BJ Gaddour is also an HTML email.

It doesn’t have images. It doesn’t use a fancy template. But it is an HTML email, because it contains bolded text and hyperlinked sentences — both HTML elements.

Most people think this email is a plain-text email, because it looks simple. But it’s not.

What does a plain-text email look like then?

It looks like this.

This email from Matt Chauvin of 20sJazz.com contains no images and no formatting. And notice that a full link is displayed in the email. With plain-text emails, you can’t hyperlink text. (For instance, Matt couldn’t hyperlink the word “Video” in the above email.)

In fact, a plain-text email contains only text, no formatting. But many people incorrectly label HTML emails with limited formatting as “plain-text emails.”

To illustrate the difference between a plain-text and HTML email, here is an HTML email from health food blogger Gina Homolka of Skinnytaste.

You can see there is a logo, italicized font, hyperlinked text (Spaghetti Carbonara), and an image.

Here is the plain-text version of the exact same email:

If you think so, someone lied to you.

Big difference, right? The HTML version is much more visually appealing than the plain-text email. It’s also much more likely that subscribers will want to engage with the HTML version, because they can visualize the food from the recipe.

Spread the word.

Know a marketer or business owner who only sends plain-text or simple emails because they believe it will get them into the inbox? Send them this article.

And if you’re currently sending a plain-text email or want to enhance your current template, build a branded, HTML email in seconds for free using AWeber’s Smart Designer.

The post Are Plain-Text Emails More Likely to Reach the Inbox? appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Read More

The Top Holiday Email Marketing Tips of 2019

Top Holiday Email Marketing Tips for 2019

Black Friday is less than a month away. Are your promotional emails ready?

Implementing an effective holiday email marketing strategy can help drive ecommerce and online sales, increase charity donations, or get your subscribers directly to your store.

But don’t wait until the last second to get started on your emails: Winter holidays are the top consumer spending events of the year, according to the National Retail Federation, and some businesses are already sending holiday emails.

That’s why I’m hosting a Facebook Live on November 5, 2019 at 1 p.m. ET on AWeber’s customer community page. Tune in to learn how to:

  • Create a revenue-driving email marketing plan for the holiday season.
  • Execute exciting holiday promotion ideas.
  • Write must-open holiday subject lines. 
  • Add holiday cheer to your email design.

And more!

Watch on November 5th. Even if you can’t stream it in real time, you can always catch it later. The video will stay up on AWeber’s Facebook customer community page.

Not an AWeber customer yet? To catch more Live videos from our email experts, sign up for a free trial of AWeber and join our private Facebook community. (Only AWeber customers can join!)

The post The Top Holiday Email Marketing Tips of 2019 appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Read More

This Email Copywriting Formula Will Defeat Writer’s Block

person typing on keyboard

Picture this: You fill your mug with piping hot coffee and sit down at your desk to write a sales email. You fire up your laptop and open a fresh draft. 

But, you find yourself staring at a blank screen — unable to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). You have writer’s block.

AWeber’s Liz Willits recently joined an episode of “Beyond the Hustle” — a podcast for entrepreneurs who hustle to make their dreams a reality — to share an email copywriting formula that helps her eliminate writer’s block.

Related: The 3 Best Copywriting Formulas for Email Marketing

“When you want to transition from providing value to selling your product or service, just remember ‘P.A.S.’ — problem, agitate, solution,” shared Willits.  

Start an email by highlighting a problem your audience experiences, and then agitate it by explaining why it’s a pain point for your audience. This demonstrates that you understand their struggles, and sets you up to sell your product or service as a solution, said Willits. 

“The goal is to show how your product or service is going to change your readers’ lives.”

For more tips on how to write effective emails, how to use email marketing and social media together, and what you should avoid in your email marketing, listen to episode 72 of Beyond the Hustle with Liz Willits and Carolina Millan below. Or, listen on your favorite podcasting apps like Stitcher or Spotify

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

The post This Email Copywriting Formula Will Defeat Writer’s Block appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Read More

How One Blogger Gained 120,139 Email Subscribers

Do you know what the key to a successful blog is? A loyal community of readers. 

No, not those one-off readers who visit your website, read a blog post and disappear. I mean, sure it’s great to attract as many readers as possible, but it’s a waste of an opportunity if you don’t know whether they’ll return — and you’re not enticing them to comeback.

This is exactly why building an email list is so crucial to any online business, especially if you want to convert your blog into a source of real income and actually make money blogging. Having access to your readers’ email addresses lets you not only communicate, but also build real relationships with them.

Working hard to drive traffic to your blog is only half the battle. You’ve still got to convert those brand new readers into (excited) returning fans. Here are four key ways I’ve optimized my blog for collecting a high volume (more than 120,000!) of qualified email subscribers.

1. Optimize content for search intent.

There’s been too much talk about only using keywords to rank well in organic search. What many marketers fail to understand is that Google never really relied on keyword stuffing to determine page rankings.

While using relevant keywords is essential, what’s equally important, is understanding how people search — also known as search or user intent.

Search intent refers to what users are actually looking for when they type a search query. This concept goes beyond keyword usage, because it aims to understand the psyche behind a particular search.

Here’s how to create impactful blog content that’s in line with search intent.

Evaluate keyword intent.

Keyword intent is all about giving searchers exactly what they want. Your ability to accurately interpret the intent someone has when they’re searching for a particular keyword phrase online is crucial to creating content that does the best possible job of answering their questions and solving their challenges.

Let’s assume you have a list of core keywords which include your brand name, features, and words related to your domain.

Another place to look for keyword intent is Google’s own search engine results page (SERP). Start by typing the main keyword in the search bar and Google’s auto-fill function will give you insights into what else people search for related to your keyword.

For instance, if you run a home decor blog and you want to write about small space furniture, you can type “small spaces” in Google and see what automatically appears below your keyword:

This will give you inspiration for your blog content, enabling you to make it more focused and in line with popular search intent.

Other places you can look at are the ‘Related searches’ and ‘People Also Ask’ section.

When you match your blog content to meet popularly searched queries, there are more chances of appearing on Google’s featured snippet which ensures maximum visibility.

Perform a content gap analysis.

If you’ve been consistently producing blog content, but don’t see it performing as well as it should, it’s time to pause and analyze. It’s quite possible that your competitors are doing a better job of matching the search intent for the keyword phrases you’re targeting.

Doing a content gap analysis lets you understand how your content is performing (compared to others ranking for the same keywords) and gives you the opportunity to identify areas of improvement that should help better address search intent.

Have a broad topic in mind? Great. Start with doing a Google search and studying the first page of results to see the high ranking pages. Then, evaluate each of them to see what they are missing. Consider these questions as you evaluate the content:

  • Is the information up-to-date? 
  • Does it answer all pertinent questions? 
  • Is it visually appealing and engaging? 

By the end of this exercise, you’ll walk away with some clear ideas for how to create content that fills these gaps better than the existing competition.

You should also use tools like Buzzsumo and SEMRush to study your competitors’ content and identify keywords they’re ranking for that are also relevant to your blog — and can be included in your future content lineup.

Create content that addresses user intent.

Now that you’re aware of the different kinds of search intent, it’s time to create blog content that addresses each of them. There are 3 types of search intent — navigational, informational, and transactional.

Navigational searches: Your reader is seeking a specific website. This kind of intent is generally direct and clear as the user is very specific about the brand/company they’re looking for. You can optimize your blog content for such a query by strategically using your brand name in the title, meta-description, and subheadings of the blog post.

  • Informational searches: Your reader is actively looking for information. This search query involves “how,” “what,” “when,” and “why” questions. Users are looking for answers or more information. You need to optimize your content to answer their questions.

    How? Create comprehensive how-to blog posts, videos, step-by-step guides, and eBooks. You can also create downloadable content to capture visitor email addresses and grow your email list. 

  • Transactional searches: Your reader is prepared to take action, such as making a purchase. Here the user seeks to make a purchase, so you need to create content that addresses their concerns while listing your product or service’s benefits, solutions, value-added offers, case studies, and even comparisons that entice them to take your desired commercial action.

2. Create quality content. 

None of these efforts will materialize in tangible business results if you don’t create quality (and meaningful) content that makes people want to read on.

From the moment of capturing their attention to the time they finish reading, your blog posts need to engage your readers so they hit the ‘subscribe’ button and join your email list.

Here’s a look at the ingredients of a perfect blog post that’s sure to increase your traffic.

Craft attention-grabbing headlines.

The headline forms the first impression of your blog post. You need it to grab people’s attention and attract clicks. So, the first step to write a successful blog post, is to create a powerful, SEO-friendly headline by keeping the following tips in mind:

Apart from adhering to this checklist, you should also use a tool like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, which tells you how powerful your headline is from an SEO point of view. If you score 70 or above, you can safely move forward with the headline.

Instantly hook readers.

Your title managed to get readers to click on your blog post, but that doesn’t guarantee they’ll read it.

So, how do you pull the reader in and ensure they make it through the entire post and feel glad they did? You craft a strong introduction that instantly hooks readers from the start. The first 1 to 2 sentences are crucial because they dictate whether your post will be interesting enough to warrant further reading.

Here are a few blog hooks you can use to entice readers to continue onward:

Answer questions.

Meaningful and relevant content will always win with readers.

So, uncover your audience’s burning questions  by scanning communities like Reddit and Quora. You should also review the comments section of your blog to listen to your readers and understand if they have specific questions or pain points you can address with new content.

Another effective way to deliver content your readers will want to read, is by sending them a short survey to understand which kinds of topics they’d like to learn about. Your readers’ opinion matters most — so let it be a two-way conversation and give them what they’re genuinely interested in.

Use appealing visuals.

More than 50% of our brains are used to process visual information, which means that visuals are way more powerful at driving your message home than chunks of text.

So, always combine meaningful content with visuals to make your posts more interesting and engaging. If there’s something that can be said better with the help of a short graphic, ditch the paragraph and explain it with a well-designed infographic instead.

Use images, GIFs, videos, colorful graphs, slides and infographics to break up the text and enhance the appearance of your blog content for better readability.

Optimize for mobile.

It’s a mobile-first world. If your blog doesn’t load quickly on a mobile device or requires users to zoom in and out to see it, then you’re losing out on a huge chunk of readers.

So, choose from only mobile-friendly WordPress themes to power your blog and incorporate responsive menus that automatically adjust to any device type or browser size, for users to navigate and read your content with ease. Before going live, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to evaluate your website.

3. Create clear, in-content calls-to-action.

The best way to get readers to join your email list is to tell them to subscribe with the help of clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons.

Here’s what you should keep in mind to ensure your in-content call-to-actions are effective.

Complement your content.

In-content CTAs should aid the reading experience and not obstruct it. They need to be organically weaved in, so they naturally flow with the content and avoid being intrusive.

So, if you’re writing about a particular pain point, your CTA needs to direct readers to a solution related to that particular pain point.

Match user intent.

You can increase conversions when you insert CTAs that match user intent. Use a tool like TextOptimizer to extract search intent tables and related questions that’ll help you understand what your blog visitors are specifically looking for.

Once you have that information, you can tailor your content around it and also insert relevant CTAs that match that user intent.

For instance, in my ultimate guide about how to start a blog, I inserted a clear CTA to my free course on growing a profitable blog — which matched the search intent of that post and expanded upon the goals of my readers. 

Make it highly visible.

An effective CTA is one that’s clear, direct, and manages to stand out on the page. Use action-oriented, specific words that urge the reader to take the desired action.

If you’re offering a free trial, include the word ‘free’ or any other value add that can generate clicks. It’s also a good idea to insert a fascinating statistic or create a sense of urgency if it’s a time-bound offer.

For CTAs to be visible, use contrasting colors that make them pop out and place them strategically for better visibility.

4. Use effective popups. 

Have you ever come across popups that appear right before you plan to leave the page? Those are called exit-intent popups.

While some experts say they’re a great way to capture email addresses and create a sense of urgency, they actually tend to create a negative last impression.

Instead of exit-intent popups, use a delayed popup that displays a relevant offer after a reader has been on your page for a set duration of time. Engaged readers will spend more time on your page. By showing forms only to these readers, you’re more likely to convert the right subscribers.

(Easily create a popup form in AWeber! Create your free trial account today.)

Match your form design to your website.

Your popup needs to be in line with your website design and layout. So, make sure it matches your website’s colors, theme, fonts and tone of voice in order to drive more sign ups.

Related: Create an email template that matches your website in seconds with AWeber’s Smart Designer.

Write actionable copy.

Readers are only ever one click away from abandoning your blog, but the right popup offer, featuring action-oriented copy and a prominent CTA, can entice readers to click through.

When writing the popup copy, clearly highlight the offer and value your reader will get in exchange for signing up. Create a sense of urgency and explain the benefits of subscribing to your blog. Here’s an example of a high-converting popup for for my free course on how to build a blog:

Ask only for the important information.

When readers are brand new to your website, you can’t ask them to fill out lengthy forms. Keep the sign up form simple and only ask for the most basic information you need in order to build a stronger relationship with them — their email address and first name.

Final thoughts on converting (more) readers into email subscribers

Creating high-quality blog content that attracts readers is one of the most effective forms of content marketing today — but you can’t afford to let all that traffic go waste once you’ve nailed a strategy for driving traffic to your blog.

Make it work for your underlying business goals by converting those otherwise one-time readers into email subscribers that you can build (and maintain) a long-term relationship with over the days, weeks, and months to come. Eventually, they’ll be primed to become paying customers.

Ryan Robinson is a blogger, podcaster, and side project aficionado who teaches 400,000 monthly readers how to start a blog and grow a profitable side business at ryrob.com.

The post How One Blogger Gained 120,139 Email Subscribers appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Read More

Meet AWeber’s Smart Designer!

Meet AWeber's Smart Designer

AWeber’s Smart Designer is a free, intelligent design assistant that lets you automatically create an amazing-looking, branded email template in seconds. That’s right: seconds!  

In a snap, AWeber’s Smart Designer analyzes your website or social media account for logos, imagery, and colors, and then automatically builds a gallery of ready-to-use, custom email templates for your business. 

If you’re an AWeber customer, Smart Designer will add your favorite template to your account. Not an AWeber customer? Create your template, and then sign up for a free trial with AWeber. We’ll automatically add it to the template gallery inside your account so you can start using it.

AWeber’s Smart Designer is our latest powerfully-simple feature that makes it easier than ever to connect with your audience and drive success for your business. 

With AWeber’s Smart Designer, you can:

  • Drive more sales: Branded email templates stand out in the inbox, which means more subscribers will engage with your content and click-through to your landing page or site. 
  • Get instant brand recognition: Achieve brand consistency across your marketing assets with free, auto-created custom email templates built exclusively for your business. 
  • Save time and money: Spend less time designing emails or paying someone to do it for you. AWeber’s Smart Designer can do the design work in seconds, so you can get back to focusing on other important, revenue-generating aspects of your business.

Want more information on how branded emails can level up your marketing and accelerate the growth of your business? 

Join us for a live webinar — “The Email Design Myths That Hurt Your Business (and How to Fix Them)” on October 16 at 2 p.m.

AWeber’s Creative Director Jesse Kennedy, Director of Product Chris Vasquez, and Senior Content Marketing Specialist Liz Willits will present:

  • Common design myths that decrease your opens and clicks
  • How email templates impact your engagement and inbox placement
  • Simple ways to make your emails more readable and engaging
  • Design tips to create emails that look great on mobile devices
  • …and more!

There will also be a live Q&A session at the end of the webinar. Sign up here. 

AWeber’s Smart Designer is super simple to use, too!

Head to www.AWeber.com/smartdesigner.

  1. Enter your URL or public social media account. Sit back, relax and let our intelligent design assistant do the work.
  2. Smart Designer analyzes your website or account for logos, imagery, and colors. 
  3. Seconds later, check out your gallery of ready-to-use, branded email templates!
  4. Save your favorite custom-built template to your AWeber account. (Not an AWeber customer? Create your template! Then select the option to start your free trial. You’ll be able to add and send your customized template from your new account.)

That’s it! AWeber’s Smart Designer is simple, fast, and brilliant. 

In fact, other small business owners and entrepreneurs are already taking advantage of the tool. Here are some of their reactions when viewing their unique templates generated by AWeber’s Smart Designer for the first time.

“AWeber Smart Designer not only provides me value upfront, it is setting me up for success before I even start with AWeber. I’ve worked on various email platforms, and I’ve never seen anything like this.” – Amanda Gobatto, Digital Girl Consulting

“Thank you! This looks amazing…” – Heather Hargrove, By Grove

“YES!!! I love it!” – Kim Beasley, Kim Beasley Consulting

Give it AWeber’s Smart Designer a try for yourself. Like what you see? Click the tweet below to share it!

AWeber’s Smart Designer is just one way to create beautifully-stunning emails with AWeber. You can also browse our 700+ ready-made, mobile-optimized email templates. Start your free trial today.

The post Meet AWeber’s Smart Designer! appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Read More

Power Your Agency’s Growth with Email Marketing

Power Your Agency's Growth with AWeber

Do you own or work for an agency that wants to deliver exceptional value to your clients? Do you also want to accelerate the growth of your own business?

Then you should partner with AWeber. We’ve been an innovative market leader helping more than 1,000,000 small businesses for more than 20 years.

With AWeber, you can quickly provide new service offerings that generate billable hours for your agency. You get access to powerful, easy-to-use features so you can craft a compelling email marketing program that attracts new clients, retains customers for longer, and generates additional revenue streams.

Here are some of ways agencies find success with AWeber:

  • Easily onboard and manage clients: AWeber’s Team Hub management feature allows you to create separate accounts for every client. Assign them customized roles and permissions, and conveniently manage them all from a single login.

  • Execute unique campaigns for every client: Quickly build and send stunningly-beautiful emails with our easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor. Or you can code and design from scratch. There’s a solution for everyone inside AWeber.

  • Fast-track conversions: Get results — fast. Target specific segments of your clients’ audiences based on their interests and traits, as well as the actions they take inside emails or on your clients’ websites.

  • Quickly optimize results: Our A/B testing tools are some of the most robust in the industry. From messaging to visuals to subject lines to CTAs, you can test almost anything. You’ll learn what’s working and what’s not, so you can iterate and optimize quickly for each of your clients.

  • Increase revenue per client: Effectively show the ROI on your email services and prove your agency’s value with our reporting tools. You can track performance of your clients’ campaigns and see how they’re impacting sales. Then, add offerings and services for new clients brought on at bigger retainers.

  • Receive monthly bonuses: For every client you bring on board, you’ll get a monthly bonus from AWeber. Just how much? Earn a 30% recurring referral payment for each account!

  • Connect to your other business systems: AWeber’s email API allows you to connect our platform to your other systems by using 300+ integrations or our open API.

AWeber is committed to making your agency as successful as possible. We support you day and night with our 24/7 award-winning customer support, and help you manage your clients at scale.

Want to learn more about generating new revenue with our market-leading, powerfully-simple email marketing tools? You can request a demo to speak with one of our team members when it best fits your schedule. You can also sign up for a live webinar on October 1 to hear more about how to quickly launch an email marketing program that drives new revenue for your agency.

Want to get started today? Try AWeber for free for 30 days.

The post Power Your Agency’s Growth with Email Marketing appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Read More