Author Archives: Mike Gingerich

About Mike Gingerich

Author: Mike Gingerich, President of web firm Digital Hill, Co-Founder of TabSite . Digital and Social Media Marketer, Speaker, and Business Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, total digital junkie! Seeking to add value, make the complex simple, and leave a positive impact. Follow me on twitter: @mike_gingerich.

Why You Need an Email List for Your Business

Why You Need an Email List for Your Business

Successful small businesses use email as part of their digital marketing strategy, that’s a fact. It’s low cost, has a limitless reach and a high return on investment.

A small business can’t really run a digital marketing campaign without an email list. It’s similar to going to battle without your artillery. Save for a miracle, you’re never winning that fight.

Here are just a few reasons why an email list is crucial for any successful business.

Besides Your Website, it’s the Only Marketing Tool you Own

Think about it for a minute. A digital marketer depends on several tools to run a successful sales campaign. These include search engines and social media networks.

Have you ever thought that you don’t own these tools? If Facebook feels like it, they could suspend your account or close it altogether? Google has done it many times, same with Twitter.

The only two items you really own are your website and the email list. They are the only two things no one can take from you. Do everything in your power to guard them.

A Properly-Maintained Email List Makes Marketing Easy and Cost-Effective

The average SMB spends $75,000 on digital marketing, or just over $214,000 on marketing yearly, representing up to 12% of revenue. A solid email list can significantly reduce these costs as well as simplify the marketing process.

Here’s why. Email is the king of business communication. According to Exact Target, 46% of consumers prefer emails, 36% prefer text, and only 13% prefer social media. And sending email is extremely affordable even if you hire a specialist. And email providers charge peanuts for their services. AWeber, for instance, charges $30/month.

Above all, with an email list, you have a sales-ready market. You’re not making cold calls. Put these factors together and you’ll see the high ROI potential of a great email list.

Email has the Potential to Become a Large Part of Your Income

You might not believe it, but there are people out there who make quite a bit of money on their email lists.

Michael Hyatt is the perfect example. An award-winning author of a best-selling book, Michael openly says that his email list is his biggest asset. “It is my number one business priority and asset,” he says.  “This multi-million dollar business wouldn’t have come to be without my email list. The list accounts for 90% of my income.”

A strong email list can become a key source of revenue for you too.

So, Grow Your List to Grow Your Business

When your email list expands, your business grows. Why? Because you’re adding more sales-ready leads to the funnel!

What to Send to Your Email List When You Don’t Know What to Say

What to Send to Your Email List When You Don't Know What to Say

We’ve all been there. After doing a fantastic job getting thousands of people to sign up for your email newsletters and you find yourself with nothing to say.

You need to keep them on board with exciting newsletters. Otherwise, you might not only lose their attention but could also lose the customers themselves. What kind of newsletters can you send to keep them hooked?

Here are 7 types of newsletters that you can share with your email list to keep them excited.

Remix an old blog post

Let’s begin with an easy one. You write blog posts all the time. By now, you probably have thousands of posts published on your blog. Whenever you experience “writer’s block,” feel free to reinvent one of those posts and send it as an email newsletter. Just make sure to update it so the information is relevant. Also, add a few ideas and tips to freshen up the piece. This is a great way to freshen the content on your blog and get Google indexing your website again.

Your success story

People are always looking for inspiration. It doesn’t matter how many other stories they’ve heard out there; if you have something that can energize and encourage them to pursue their goals, they’ll always have an ear for you. If you can do this while staying humble, rest assured of winning plenty of hearts along the way.

“X Mistakes I Made”

…Or something along that line. Everyone who wants to succeed will always be looking for ways to avoid obvious mistakes. Why not share a few things you got wrong over the years and how you overcame the challenges? Why not share a few things that you didn’t know at the beginning and how understanding them can accelerate the journey to success? Readers will like your story.

Answer frequently asked questions

In the time you’ve been in business, you’ve had customers and prospects ask you all kinds of questions. It’s also likely that some questions keep popping up over and over. Use your email newsletters to provide answers to those questions.

Share some exciting news

This could be news about anything; your business, the industry, products, technology, and so forth. As long as it’s something you know that your contacts not have heard yet, share it. For instance, if you’re introducing a new product, share that. Share news about an upcoming promo or contest. The list is endless.

Traffic/growth/income reports

Sharing progress reports with your list also works well. It could be graphs and stats showing how your traffic has increased over the past years. It could be growth reports showing your revenue and how far you’ve come. Or, it could be income reports. Sharing these pieces of information tends to increase consumer confidence in a brand.

Free downloads

Finally, whenever you run out of ideas for your email newsletter campaign, consider giving away a freebie. A popular option is e-books. E-books showcase your knowledge and strengthen the bond between you and your list. What’s more, freebies have been proven to prime consumers for paid products.

These 7 ideas should keep your contacts engaged and informed year round.

How to Make Money With Your Email List

How to Make Money With Your Email List Email marketing is not dead– not even remotely close to dead. In fact, data shows that the impact of email marketing may actually be increasing every year. A record number of new email accounts are still being created every year. The average email user is receiving more emails today than at any other time in the past.

Rather than being used as a form of interpersonal communication, as it was at its onset, it’s now used as a central component of eCommerce transactions. Because your local utility company and your cell phone provider will send you email notifications when a bill is due, and a corresponding receipt once you’ve paid, brands know you’ll eventually check your email. It’s only natural that it’d be used as part of any serious online sales effort.

Obviously, there are two basic steps to any email marketing effort:

  1. Collect email addresses.
  2. Send out a newsletter, or market to your list.

Strategies, best practices, and variations on how to go about accomplishing these two steps will differ from one industry to the next.

Try these four powerful email marketing optimization strategies:

  • Provide value

    If you only send sales emails, be prepared to lose a lot of subscribers. Resulting in a rather dismal conversion rate. Send valuable content, intensely-targeted to your list, and you’ll earn the right to pitch your prospects. They’ll respect you, trust your authority in the space, and will have had enough chances to have considered doing business with you prior to your official ask.

  • Design your funnels

    Don’t be discouraged if you’ve been lumping your whole list into one category and emailing every subscriber on each campaign. Moving forward, you can begin to sculpt out defined list sub-sections. For example, a ‘previous customer’ segment is a no-brainer. Segmented lists for specific business objectives and for specific marketing campaigns not only allows greater granularity in targeting, but it also gives you a greater ability to experiment.

  • Blog optimization

    If your email marketing efforts are stagnant, you may want to look further up the chain. You might have done a great job converting new site visitors into email subscribers, but have you built any relationship with them prior to their opting-in.

    The answer to this can make the difference between a “who is this emailing me?”-response or an “Oh, these guys have a course?” type of response.

    Work on your blog content, keep it fresh, relevant and useful to your target audience. This practice will improve the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.Click To Tweet
  • The ‘tripwire’ trick

    This is as crafty and slick as it sounds. A tripwire is a very small ask you put directly after an email list subscription in each of your funnels. A tripwire might be $5 or $7 and it has a psychological reason for being used. Studies have shown that people are more likely to purchase from brands they’ve already done business with rather than ones they’ve never bought from.

    Therefore, it makes smart business sense to get a quick, low-cost sale from as great a percentage of your list as possible. As a result,  they experience what it’s like being your customer. Thus eventually make a follow-up purchase.

No matter what tips or email marketing strategies you try, just make sure you don’t write-off email marketing altogether. There is money in your list. All you need to do is grow it and get better at harvesting it’s potential.

How to Use Confirmation Emails to Make More Money

How to Use Confirmation Emails to Make More Money If you’re already using email marketing to generate leads, convert sales, and delight customers; you’re doing a great job! Aside from boasting a phenomenal ROI, email marketing is also the most effective way to reach customers and prospects.

To help boost your ROI even further, today, we want to give you a few tips on how to use confirmation emails to drive lead generation and sales.

You probably already know about confirmation emails – the emails you usually send to customers who’ve just made a purchase, thanking them for buying from your store and asking them to come back.

But, did you know you can use these emails to more than just thank customers? Did you know that you can use the emails to pitch your brand and products? In fact, you can even use confirmation emails for remarketing! Click To Tweet

Use them to up-sell and cross-sell

Up-selling and cross-selling are two of the most effective marketing strategies. According to one Nielsen study, consumers actually love it when sellers offer new product options. It shows them that the seller cares.

Consumers prefer to buy products from brands they are already familiar with. Put these two factors together, and you have up-sells and cross-sells contributing to between 10% and 30% of e-commerce revenues.

With this in mind, when sending the purchase confirmation email, use the opportunity to suggest a complementary product. For instance, if one buys a shaving razor, ask if they’d be interested in shave cream. If they’ve just purchased a phone, ask if they need a phone cover, and so on.

Use the emails to recover abandoned shopping carts

Shopping cart abandonment is a huge challenge in the e-commerce industry. Last year alone, more than 70% of shopping carts were abandoned midway through transactions, costing merchants $4.6 billion in the process.

Use emails to reach out to consumers and convince them to go back and complete the purchase. For instance, you can send an email asking about the difficulties the shopper experienced on your site and offer to provide help.

Send a confirmation email alerting consumers about discounts on the items in the abandoned shopping carts. This works particularly well if the consumer was window shopping. A discount offer can make them change their mind and return to complete the purchase.

Use confirmation emails to promote your brand & expand your reach

There are a couple of ways to do this. For instance, use emails to ask consumers to share the experience on social media. In the email, ask them to “share” the message, providing buttons to your preferred social media networks to make the sharing easy.

Another option is to ask them to sign up for your newsletters, read your blog, or subscribe to your YouTube channel. A consumer who thoroughly enjoyed the shopping experience will not hesitate to do so.

Finally, ask consumers to rate your business and leave reviews on popular review platforms. These ratings and reviews will convince other shoppers to consider your brand.

The best part, email campaign so the emails are sent exactly when they need to be sent, further increasing your conversion chances.

How to Market Your Website

How to Market Your Website Back in the late ‘90s, only a handful of businesses had an online presence, so digital marketing wasn’t very competitive. But it’s a completely different story nowadays. Organizations of all sizes, industries, and sectors are on the internet today, each vying for the attention of their target audience. In order to market your website, you need to optimize it. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this.

To successfully grow your website, it must be:


Slow websites are not appealing to both people and search engines. Visitors close websites that take too long to load, while Google’s algorithm ranks them lower in search results. Also, with so many other websites to check out, there’s no reason why people won’t switch to faster websites instead. So if you don’t want people clicking X on your homepage, remove the clutter such as too many third-party widgets and non-optimized images.


A complicated layout drives people away. It’s better to stick to something clean, simple, and usable. Ensure that navigation is straightforward so that visitors can browse without getting lost. Also, don’t forget to make your site fit for mobile devices. Because most people use their smartphones and tablets to go online, it’s important for your site to be easily viewable on smaller screens.


Content is still king. Marketing can only do so much like attracting more visitors. But engaging with them and making them stay? That’s all about content. Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on just articles if writing long blocks of text is not your strongest suit. With today’s multimedia options, you can create infographics, make posters, shoot videos, produce music, etc. It doesn’t matter what form the content comes in as long as it’s high-quality.


SEO is still one of the biggest factors that help determine the success of a website. Therefore, don’t ignore SEO when designing your website. Fill out the meta title and meta description, add relevant keywords to your post titles and subheadings, and lastly, supply alt tags with descriptive text for your photos, add keywords to URLs. These little things go a long way in making your website more discoverable by people and search engines alike.


Getting visitors is not enough. What really matters is turning them into potential leads, and one way to do that is capturing their information via a subscription box. But to get people to subscribe, the subscription box should be visible without being intrusive and enticing without being pushy.

Also, it should ask for minimum information such as email address, as opposed to a detailed form with multiple fields. People don’t have the time to fill out a full questionnaire, plus they are less likely to share a lot of information on a website they still don’t know well enough.

Just keep it basic in the beginning; once you’ve established a good relationship with your subscribers, you can ask for more details later on.

A successful marketing campaign begins with a good foundation. Once you’ve built a website with the aforementioned characteristics, you can expect to get stronger results from your campaigns.

How to Repurpose Your Blog Content

How to Repurpose Your Blog Content Are you getting the most out of your blog content? You spend hours on each post, researching information, looking up keywords, finding photos, creating graphics and all the other details that go into writing a  blog post. If all of that time and work goes into a single post, then you’re throwing money out the window. Repurpose your blog content is one of the most efficient ways to use your resources.

Here are a few ideas to get you started on great ways to repurpose your blog content.

Create an Ebook

Chances are, you publish a lot of blog posts on the same topic. Therefore, you can pull these posts together, write an introduction, and group them into full chapters. Your readers get a convenient way to consume a large amount of your content through one file, and you get a high-value asset to use as a lead magnet.

Syndicate Your Posts

Syndicate your high-quality blog posts. Reddit, StumbleUpon, Facebook & LinkedIn Groups, LinkedIn Publishing, Medium,  and Scoop are great networks for syndicating. These networks can get more traffic to your website. Websites for press releases and news sites are two good sources for syndicating your blog content.

Leverage Social Media

Think beyond Facebook, Twitter, and other general purpose social media sites. You can share links to your blog posts, with a summary, on niche social media communities. For example, you can find sites that cover pretty much any subject, and if all else fails, the massive social media site Reddit will have a community (subreddit) that tackles the topic. Make sure to read the rules for each network as they may have a strict process in place for self-promotion.

Create Infographics

Does your blog post have short, sweet snippets of information and data points? Leverage this formatting for infographics that add visual appeal to your content. Create shareable infographics that are well suited to embed on other websites and social media profiles.

Develop Content Upgrades

Some blog post types work well for different formats, such as a transcript for a podcast post. Hence, these content upgrades can be attached to the post, expanding the information available or presenting it in a different form. Don’t forget to collect the reader’s email address to add to your mailing list.

Maximize your ROI by repurposing your blog post content. When you think outside the box, you can come up with dozens of repurposing ideas for your content marketing strategy.

You’ve Got a New Email Subscriber, Now What?

You've Got a New Email Subscriber, Now What?

Building an email list is so important for your business. It yours, you own it, and it won’t disappear. After your list is set up, what do you do? Learn what your next steps are.

The Welcome

Get your relationship off to the right start by giving them a valuable welcome email. Your welcome email should introduce to your brand, show your personality and some of your most useful content. Promotion codes and a list of your most popular resources offer an excellent way to get started. Let the subscriber know how often they should expect your emails, and do your best to stick to that schedule.

Long-Term Nurturing

While your email list is an important source for customer conversions, your emails shouldn’t be filled with pushing sales tactics. Buyers need to trust your brand before they decide what they want to buy from you.

Stick to your email schedule and fill your newsletter with interesting content. Buyer’s guides give subscribers the opportunity to educate themselves about your product and industry. Mix in promotional messages, so you’re top of mind when it’s time to purchase.

Behavior-based Messages

Another use for your email list is sending messages based on the subscriber’s actions. If they add something to their cart and leave the site, an abandoned cart email reminds them and may entice them to finish the checkout process. An order confirmation email is another example of a triggered message.

These messages arrive immediately after the subscriber acts, or shortly after. You reach them in critical decision-making periods and may be able to persuade them to make a purchase and overcome their sales objections.

Personalize the Experience

Email personalization comes in a few forms. At the very least, using the subscriber’s name or another unique identifier is a must. Most email marketing tools make adding this information easy and straightforward.

Segmentation is another excellent way to offer relevant, customized emails. Demographic information, interests, previous purchases and consumed content are a few options for separating subscribers into groups.

Your email marketing list is an extremely important asset for your brand. Implement these suggestions to maximize your email marketing value and boost your cash flow.

What’s Up with Pop-ups?

What’s Up with Pop-ups? Popups have been around in several forms throughout the years. Abuse early on in Internet history has given them a bad reputation. However, they have some strategic use when you know how to implement them appropriately they also have some drawbacks. So think carefully before you add them to an advertising campaign.

The Good Side of Popups

Popups give you a way to highlight important information you want to make sure all of your visitors see. For example, if you have a time-sensitive promotion, you can use an interstitial (pop-up) to alert new visitors.

Depending on what country you’re in you may need to show notices for your cookie and privacy policy. A pop-up can act as a way to get notify people visiting your site, rather than hoping they see the agreement button in the header or footer.

Another strategy that works well is using popups as email newsletter subscription forms. When triggered to pop up as people exit the website, these forms are incredibly successful in attracting new subscribers.

The Dark Side of Popups

Google is penalizing websites whose popups negatively impacts user experience, particularly for mobile audiences. Search engine rank is so competitive this move could make it difficult for sites that want to use popups.

There are 3 types of mobile popups that will get you a penalty.

  • Lightbox style popups show up as an overlay but blur out the content underneath.
  • Scrolling popups require moving down the screen to dismiss it.
  • Full-screen popups are no-nos under this algorithm.

Popups have a place in your website marketing campaign, but you have to be aware of their best practices and adhere to them. For example, making it easy to dismiss the popup and targeting specific users, so the popup doesn’t show all the time. Using these 2 techniques will not impede the user experience.


Popups can be an intrusive experience, or they can be a valuable method for driving leads and engagement. Use them carefully and make sure you follow all of Google’s requirements.

How to Convert your Email List to Sales

How to Convert your Email List to Sales Nearly every small business marketing article will mention building an email list. However, few of these posts tell you what to do with subscribers after they sign up. When you’re ready to convert your email list into paying customers, here are some tips to put into action.

Research Competitor Email Tactics

Do you know what your audience expectations are? Your idea of an email marketing campaign and what’s standard for your industry may be completely different. Look at the phrases used in industry emails, the type of marketing materials included in the emails and other items your ideal customers may have already seen.

Develop a Valuable Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is a resource that will benefit your audience enough that they will give you their email address for it. You may already have one of these for list building purposes, but it’s always a good idea to continually create new magnets to expand what’s available and to bring in more people.

Your free opt-in offer also gives a  new subscriber a chance to see your expertise. If they learn from you in your free material they’ll know they can learn from you if they pay you.

Use Personalization in Your Emails

The typical person subscribing to your emails receives hundreds or thousands of generic emails from countless businesses. They’re used to simply skimming past these one-size-fits-all messages because they don’t apply to their needs.

Segment subscribers into several interest groups and deliver messages that speak about the areas that make the most sense for that interest group. Use their name to stand out over the generic emails in their inbox.

If you have a lot of buyer data for your email list, make sure you’re leveraging it for a quality customer experience.

Automate Repetitive Processes

By automating email campaigns, you can free up a lot of time. These automated campaigns take over repetitive tasks like sending out the free opt-in offer. Schedule your free opt-in drip campaign to send a series of emails over the course of a month or year. Since your email service provider handles that side of things, you can turn your attention to developing more content or talking to potential buyers.

Build Relationships Through Consistent Newsletters

Few people are going to buy your products with your first email. Slowly develop the relationship by showing up and being consistent. Schedule your emails to arrive on the same day of the week and time of day. This practice lets customers know that you’re a reliable company.

An email list is an excellent tool for generating sales, but you need a solid strategy for turning subscribers into buyers. Start implementing these tips and you’ll see improvement from your current strategy.

How To Ask For Testimonials

How To Ask For Testimonials Testimonials are a great tool for increasing potential customers’ trust. They get first-hand impressions from their peers, which can influence their decision to make a purchase or use your services. It can be tough to get testimonials from your current customers, as many people only get motivated to share their experiences when they’re negative. Here are a few ways that you can ask for testimonials to put on your website.

Follow-up Email

Have a follow-up email sequence that goes out after a customer purchases. Make sure that you request a testimonial. Explain why testimonials are important to your business and encourage readers to share their experiences online. Link to Google My Business, Yelp or LinkedIn to make it easy for them to submit their review.


Send out surveys to your email list and include a field that requests information about their past experiences with your company. You not only get testimonials with this method, but you also have the opportunity to find out about any issues that your customers may have. They won’t always come directly to you with their feedback this way you get the information you need to improve.

Brand Advocates

Some customers love your company and products so much that they would go to the rooftops and shout how much they like you. In many cases, they’ll be willing and eager to provide testimonials for your site.

These are the most loyal people that you’ll have buying from you, and they’re quick to recommend your company to family and friends. These testimonials are often excellent front and center on your site.

Don’t Be Afraid of Negative Testimonials

Many companies heavily censor testimonials and reviews on their websites, thinking that they have to project perfection to attract new customers. However, when every single testimonial and review is overwhelmingly positive, potential customers don’t trust them.

Negative or neutral testimonials help balance out the positive ones. This makes it more likely readers will trust all the info. Another benefit of getting negative feedback from customers is that it gives you an opportunity to do better.

These people might not have reached out to your customer service proactively. However, now you have the opportunity to resolve their issue and make them happy. In some cases, your biggest critics end up turning into your most passionate brand advocates.

What’s your next move needed to get testimonials going for your website?