Tag Archives: digital marketing

Increase Your Email Subscribers with Your Blog Articles

Increase Your Email Subscribers with Your Blog Articles
It’s the digital marketer’s mantra: the real power is in the list. You’ve got one shot to impress a website visitor, but endless opportunities to reach out to your email list subscribers.

Blogs are a great way to capture interest and email addresses, but if yours isn’t exactly a gold mine of signups, then it’s time to make a few tweaks. Our recommendations are:

1. Get Responsive!

Responsive design is so critical that Google and other search engines are penalizing sites that aren’t mobile-friendly, and accessible across platforms. More important than that: if your readers can’t access your blog on their phone, they will go elsewhere.

2. Put Opt-In Forms on Every Page

No one is going to look for your opt-in form. Make it easy. Use simple text. Ask for as little information as possible. Add a big, easy to click button. Finally, put it above the fold.

Did you know that the old “sidebar” forms don’t really work optimally anymore?  It’s good to have one but you need something more to “get in front of” the visitor more clearly.

3. Use the “Skyscraper Method”

The Skyscraper Method technique was developed by Brian Dean of Backlinko, and it’s very simple and very effective.

  • Find the very best content in your niche
  • Figure out how to rework it, rewrite it, and make it BETTER
  • Post your new, improved, viral-ready and completely shareable link bait on your blog
  • Repeat

4. Help People Find What They Need

Even if you have a blog that is Shakespeare worthy in style and has the depth of Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining quasars, you’re not going to get the traction you should be out of it if people struggle to find their way around.

Make sure your navigation is simple and intuitive, and place a search box in a prominent and easy to find place on every page.

5. Add A CTA to Every Post

If you don’t get them to sign up before they read your post, make sure you catch them at the end, by including a call to action (CTA) inviting subscription at the end of your posts.

6. Add a Bounce Popup

Good salespeople never give up, and neither should your site. If your opt-in forms haven’t captured their information, and your CTA fails, add a popup to your site that only appears when people are about to leave without signing up.

Chances are, most visitors who leave won’t come back soon, so you have nothing to lose by disrupting them, and asking them to subscribe.

7. Ask Often and Clearly

Most internet users aren’t sure what they are supposed to do next when they land on most sites. Ask them to take action is often all that’s required. Once they’re on your list, you’ve succeeded in the first step in email marketing and relationship building.

Don’t let your hard work blogging go to waste. Turn your business blog into a marketing machine!  Ready to try a Waftio pop-up or widget?

Website Best Practices for Lead Generation

Website Best Practices for Lead Generation

The ultimate goal of an inbound marketing campaign is lead generation. Your site can attract a lot of visitors, but if all they do is browse and leave, then your efforts have failed.

To be successful, think of your website as a series of pages with elements that work together to turn a visitor into a potential customer. Lead generation follows a pattern which begins with a blog post, followed by the homepage, ‘about’ section, contact form, and a ‘thank you’ page. Every page corresponds to a step in the marketing funnel, starting with searching for info and ending with a submission of contact details. Let’s take a look at each one:

Blog Post

The blog post is the front liner of your website. It’s what people most often see first when looking for information on search engines. Traffic can come from a link posted on social media. The job of a blog post is to make people aware of your business. It should contain relevant information your target audience finds useful. It should be optimized with the right keywords to rank on the search engine and shared on social media.

Homepage

If your blog post generates interest, visitors will be curious about your business. They’ll go to the home page to learn more about your business and what it does. Make sure your homepage clearly explains what you do and how you do it to make visitors stay on your site and explore more pages. But what kind of details?

Visitors don’t necessarily know what you do. Provide a clear explanation of what your business does and how they help people. So on this page, share testimonials from satisfied customers and site any media attention you’ve gotten. Visitors will find it easy to see the value your business offers from people who have experienced it firsthand.

‘About’ Section

At this point, visitors already know what the business is, but not why it exists and who’s behind it. They want to know your objectives, your values, your vision, and mission. This should be included in your ‘About’ section. This your opportunity to earn visitors’ trust. Humanize your business by introducing yourself and your staff, talking about how the business started and share your vision for the future. People are careful about who they align themselves with. So if a business seems shady, they won’t trust it. Be transparent and open.

Contact Form

If you’ve filled out the first three pages, then it’s a quick step for your visitors to take action like filling out the contact form and leave their contact details. Once you have these, congratulations, you got yourself a lead. You can nurture your leads through email marketing and convert them into paying customers.

‘Thank You’ Page

Although the process of lead generation ends after the submission of a completed contact form, a new process begins right away — nurturing leads. You can start right away by showing heartfelt gratitude beyond the generic “thank you.” On this page, write a personalized message and offer additional value such as an Ebook download and links to more resources.

Do all leads follow this simple flow? Not necessarily, but it should give you a general idea of how visitors behave on websites.

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Tips for Lead Generation Campaigns

Tips for Lead Generation Campaigns
An effective lead generation campaign is made up of multiple elements working together. Here’s a list of these different ingredients along with ways to maximize them:

  • Tools

There are tools you can use to manage and store your leads. These tools will help you get to know your target market beyond names and email addresses. You’ll get access to crucial information, like what visitors do before completing a lead conversion form, and what they do after completing the form. You’ll know how they navigate the site, where they spend time, and what clicks they link. The best thing, some of these tools are free.

HubSpot Marketing Free lets you add contact forms and pop-ups to capture your lead’s information. If you already have forms, submissions will be automatically captured. Once a form is submitted, additional information associated with your lead’s email address will be gathered. You’ll see your lead’s public social profiles, giving you more insight on the kind of consumer they are.

Another free tool, HotJar, tracks visitor behavior through heat maps. These record movement on your website. You’ll see taps and clicks as they happened on your site. It identifies those parts of your site that are usable and intuitive, and the parts that aren’t. This can help you redesign your website to make it more user-friendly, especially for mobile screens.

  • Incentives

Creating engaging offers for every stage of the marketing funnel will help generate more leads. All conversions start out at the awareness level. They move down the funnel to the last level (which is advocacy) simply because they liked what they see at every stage and want to see more. So don’t ignore someone who’s looking around, in favor of someone who’s thinking of making a purchase. Treat both of them well.

The person who’s more interested in reading a brochure than signing up for a free trial may be persuaded to convert, but only if you nurture them from the start of the buyer’s journey.

Offers don’t have to be monetary in value at the early stage where people are looking for information. They’re not even thinking of buying anything yet, so deals like discounts won’t matter much. What’s important is relevant content, so offer e-books, whitepapers, checklists, or other resources they may find interesting.

  • Social media platforms

Many online marketers use social media to raise brand awareness. It’s not a surprise because it is effective. But it’s also effective for lead generation. Instead of posting links to articles, infographics, videos, and website content, you can post links to your landing pages with deals’. You can also post links to your best performing posts (a.k.a. those that generate the highest number of leads).

Use the unique features of your chosen platform. For example, Facebook lets you add a CTA button on your Facebook Page. With one click, it directs people straight to your website.

Twitter has Lead Gen Cards which generates leads within a tweet. When a user clicks on the CTA, that user’s name and email address will be sent to your form – all without them having to leave Twitter.

A lead generation campaign can go so many ways, but if you follow these tips, your own campaigns will blossom.

How to Use Double Opt-in Effectively in Email Marketing

How to Use Double Opt-in Effectively in Email Marketing
In email marketing, the best system for collecting quality email addresses is to use a double opt-in system. This is when subscribers undergo a two-step subscription process.

  • Part 1 – They sign up with their email address at your website.
  • Part 2 – They need to click on the confirmation link sent to their email inbox.

This process is necessary because it protects you. Anyone can type in someone else’s email address. Without a double opt-in system, people who don’t want emails from you may get them. Unsolicited emails are not only annoying,  but they’re also considered spam.

On the other hand, usually, people can’t access someone else’s inbox. So without a click on the confirmation link, no unwanted messages will be received.

Double opt-in also protects you from getting low-quality email address. Anyone who’s really interested in your products or services will confirm their subscription. You can be confident that your marketing efforts are focused on leads that have a high chance of becoming conversions.

Now that we’ve cleared why a double opt-in is important, the next thing to address is how you implement it. From users’ point of view, the additional step in the subscription process can be frustrating. For you, it’s just a click. For them, it’s about switching between browser tabs or apps.

Make it feel less like a task and more like a treat. Here’s how:

Set expectations on the website

Let people know what’s going to happen next, so they know what to expect. When you’re using a double opt-in, the page with the subscription form should let the subscriber know a confirmation email will be sent shortly. A reminder to check their spam folder is good, too.

Don’t forget that even if subscribing to websites is simple; not everyone is tech-savvy. A little help can go a long way for these people.

Write great copy in the email

Skip the generic “click the link to confirm” text. Instead, make a unique customized message that’s interesting, and reflects your brand’s image.

For example, if you’re a running an online shop for designer labels, replace the standard, “Sign up for our mail list” to something like “Be a VIP!”. In this scenario, exclusivity matters, so your copy should get that point across.

Offer a welcome gift

Gratitude goes a long way. A “thank you” message is enough in most cases. But if you really want to stand out to subscribers, go the extra mile and offer them something they want. It can be an exclusive sneak peek, a free whitepaper, a coupon or discount, or anything that’s related to your business.  Describe this in the email and have details appear on the confirmation web page when they have clicked the link.

Double opt-in will not get you as many email addresses as single opt-in. But the email address you get are people that really want to be on your list. In the end, that’s what matters more in conversion.

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How to Lower your Website Bounce Rate and Increase your Conversions

How to Lower your Website Bounce Rate and Increase your Conversions Most people these days know that websites are not like baseball diamonds in cornfields. If you build it and don’t market it, no one will come. When readers come to your site, if they don’t stay you will struggle to reach your website goals.

Fortunately, you can reduce your bounce rate (people that come and immediately leave) and increase your conversions. Many of these techniques are fairly quick and simple.

Here is a quick guide list to help you:

  1. Make it simple.

    Users don’t want to struggle to find menus or figure out what your site is for. Make your user experience and navigation easy to understand.

  2. Keep the important stuff above the fold.

    If people don’t see what they want when they land on the site, they’re going to look somewhere else.  “Above the fold” means visible without having to scroll down the page!

  3. A big button that says “click here”.

    Isn’t sophisticated, but it works.  Tell people explicitly what you want them to do.

  4. Work on loading speed.

    You want your site to load as quickly as possible. Visitors get tired of waiting for your site to load and will go elsewhere.  This is especially true on mobile devices.

  5. Create great, user-focused content.

    Your website should be a carefully curated collection of what your visitors want to see and how you can fix their pain points.

  6. Mix it up.

    Articles and blog posts are great, but videos and images are compelling content tools too. Create slideshows, animated explainers and to keep visitors engaged and interested.

  7. Use graphics and images to make your sites interesting and engaging.

    Make sure they’re high quality and well suited to your message you want to get across.

  8. Add customer testimonials to your site.

    People want social proof. They’re far more likely to stay on sites (and eventually make a purchase) if they see that people trust you.

  9. Keep your site fresh and interesting.

    When people land on a site that’s out of date and old fashioned, they assume it’s a forgotten relic, and look for sites that are modern and up to date.

  10. Follow the golden rules:

    Clear fonts, high contrast, and easy to find and navigate menus. You can get creative with a lot of things, but you don’t want to mess with the usability of your site.

  11. If you don’t already have an SSL certificate, get one.

    Websites with SSL protection tend to rank higher because Google now favors secure sites. Users are savvy enough to look for the lock these days.

  12. Always include a call to action.

    Your blog may draw readers to your site, but if you don’t tell them what to do, they might wander off.

These are just a few of the things you can do to improve your site, cut your bounce rate and improve conversions, and they’re some of the easiest. Try them, and track your results. You may find you only need minor tweaks to get a significant impact.

Why People Open Emails

Why People Open Emails Though email is a product of the modern digital age, it’s almost old-fashioned compared to social media. And yet, email looks like it will stick around for a long time. According to the Q4 2016 Email Benchmark Report by global information services group Experian, 56% of total email opens happened on smartphones or tablets in Q4 2016. This illustrates the fact that email has made the transition from desktop to mobile use.

The same report also states that quarter-to-quarter revenue per email increased from 6 cents in Q3 2016 to 8 cents in Q4 2016. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering emails can be sent out to a whole subscriber list with only one click, a jump in revenue is a per subscriber stat.

For entrepreneurs, this is an opportunity you can’t miss. When you have a subscriber list, you have the ability to reach out to people quickly and easily via email. And if you do it right, your messages will be read.

But what makes people open emails? Several factors are influential here:

Timing

Emails are likely to be read within the first hour of being delivered. In the following hours, the chances are lower. After 24 hours, the odds are no longer in your favor

The day you choose to send an email has a direct impact. If you want to have a higher success rate, pick Tuesdays or Saturdays. Tuesday has an average open rate of 18%, the highest among all weekdays. But among all days of the week, Saturday has the highest open rate at 18.3%. Evenings after 8 pm fare the best, followed by afternoons from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Reputation

Who you are and what your business does plays a key role in your emails getting opened and read. So building an image as a trusted authority in your niche is critical. If your previous emails didn’t offer much, or if your website and social media pages lack substance, people will think your emails follow suit. It takes a while to establish a good reputation, but it’s well worth the effort.

After sender name, the subject line, offer, intro paragraph, and expected length (in that order) influence the chances of getting your email read.

Personalization

Let’s say your name is Alex and your email handle is alex101. You receive 2 emails, one with “Alex, here are great deals for you!” or “alex101, here are some great deals for you!” The chances are that you will regard the second email as spam and send it to trash without even a glance. An email handle used as a greeting is a dead giveaway that the email is auto-generated. Most people suspect that emails are auto-generated, but it helps if it doesn’t look like one.

Most online marketers currently want to focus on social media and other forms of digital marketing, but email isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so step up your email game.

How to Clean Your Email List

How to Clean Your Email List

You need a healthy email list to be successful at email marketing. Ongoing list maintenance keeps your deliverability high and conversion rates at an acceptable level. Use these tips to get the most out of your email list.

1. Purge Inactive Subscribers.

If too many people delete your emails or mark them as spam, all of your messages may go straight to the trash. Reach out to inactive people. Inquire if they still want the information and messages you provide. If not, take them off of the email list. If they’re interested later on, they know where to find you.

2. Be Consistent

You don’t have to email your list every day to see results. You do need to be consistent if you want to email your list once per week, try to stay with that pace. Focus on quality over quantity. You’re competing with countless other marketing messages in their inboxes.

3. Track Your Open and Click-through Rates

Do you know how many people opened your last email? Your click through rate? Pay close attention to your email stats. Track:

  • The type of emails that work best with your subscriber list
  • Open rates
  • Click-through rate
  • Device the email was viewed on

You can learn a lot about your subscriber preferences and use that information to improve with each message.

4. Provide Value in Exchange for the Email Sign-up

People have crowded inboxes, so you need a pretty good incentive to get space in there. If you run an e-commerce store, you can offer free shipping or a discount on their first order. For B2B companies, ebooks or a comprehensive guide to your industry is a good way to attract new subscribers.

Never Buy an Email List

Never Buy an Email List

Everywhere you turn, you hear email marketing gives you the best returns of any digital marketing method. However, attracting subscribers to your email list takes time and effort.

You may think that buying a list would save you time and effort. It’s tempting to shortcut the process of building your own list. But buying an email list brings a lot of trouble your way.

Poor Data Quality

10,000 records might sound like a great foundation for your email marketing efforts. The reality is that you end up with a list filled with data quality issues. Inaccurate emails, missing names, and other problems make the information practically useless for your company.

Failure to Comply with CAN-SPAM

Do you know how the list provider got the emails that they’re selling? If they put together the list without getting an opt-in from all parties, then they’re not following the CAN-SPAM act. If you use this list for your emails, guess what? You’re on the hook for any violations as well. It only takes a few fines from CAN-SPAM to ruin your day and your marketing budget.

Email Deliverability Problems

One element that spam filters look at when determining whether your mail is spam is the deliverability. If you have a lot of people marking your message as spam, the email filter is going adjust its behavior accordingly. You don’t have a preexisting relationship with the paid lists; it’s unlikely you’re going to offer something relevant to their needs. All the people marking your emails as spam adds up. It will be hard to get your message out there.

Violating Email Service Provider TOS

How closely did you read your email service provider’s terms of service? Many of the top companies specifically state that you can’t use a list that was paid for. After all, it’s their email servers on the line if you start taking actions similar to a spammer.

Poor Conversion Rates

Even if you get a paid list with a specific niche, you can’t truly know if you have a targeted audience at the other end. When you have a mismatch, you see poor conversion rates. Your organization also takes a reputation hit, which can further impact your conversion ratio.

List Saturation

Nothing stops an email list provider from selling an “exclusive list” as many times as they want. After all, how likely is it that you’ll find out someone else is using the same list? This list oversaturation results in a lot of people who are tired of their inboxes getting filled up with junk.

Need help building your list? Contact Digital Hill, we can help you develop a strategy using Waftio to do it right.

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Using Social Proof to Get More Leads

Using Social Proof to Get More Leads There are many strategies for lead generation with digital marketing: blog content extras, social media advertising, lead magnets, etc. One particular strategy that is extremely powerful to get more leads is social proof.

What is social proof?

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.

In layman’s terms, people are more likely to buy something when they see others doing the same. Here are a few examples where you’ve probably seen social proof in action:

  • When you go out to eat on a Friday or Saturday night, it’s likely that you’ll have to wait. Most restaurants tend to have a smaller lobby so that patrons have to wait outside, making it appear that this is a popular restaurant, and therefore a good place to eat.
  • Similarly, if you go out to a nightclub, the most popular clubs always have a line out the door, regardless of whether the club is full. This makes others want to get in line to check the club out as well.
  • Several years ago, Dropbox put out the Mailbox App and required new users to sign up to be put on a waiting list. This made people want to get in on the action because an app with a waiting list must be pretty awesome.

How can you use social proof to generate leads and increase the buzz about your business?

1. Customer testimonials

The most common forms of social proof are your business reviews and customer testimonials. Use these to your advantage by adding a testimonials section to your website or create branded graphics with testimonials to share on your social media profiles.

2. Influencer marketing

Using celebrity endorsements or getting well-known bloggers and social influencers to use and endorse your product is a great form of social proof. This can be an ad or offering of a free product to share with their followers.

3. Follower/social share count

Include your social media follower count or the number of social shares on your blog posts to increase the likelihood that others will share your posts. You can use plugins on your website that show these numbers automatically. Social Warfare is a great plugin for WordPress, and it adds a count to the social share buttons.

4. Mentions in the media

Has your business been written about on influential websites, magazines, or blogs? Create a separate page for all of your media mentions. Share links to the articles about your business so potential customers can read them and decide if they want to work with you.

5. Industry certifications, accreditations, or badges

If your business has certifications or accreditations from your industry, you should share these on your website. Some industries have required certifications, while others have badges that help your business stand out. Regardless if the certification is required or not, it’s a great idea to share your additional education, licensing and credentials with potential customers.

6. Number of customers

McDonald’s has the slogan “Billions and billions served” because it shows that they have a huge customer base. Share how many orders you’ve received, customers you’ve had, or clients you’ve worked with.

Social proof is a highly powerful method for getting new leads and new customers. Start implementing a few of these strategies to start bringing in more business.