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Email Marketing Tips

Email Marketing Tips and Best Practices: AWeber Blog


We Added 2 New Emails to Our Blog Series, and Increased Clicks by 630%

Permalink - Posted on 2018-04-18 18:56

You've probably read about email segmentation. In fact, pro email marketers recommend it all the time. But is it really worth the work? After all, segmentation takes effort. It’s much easier to simply blast your list with a generic email. To find out, we decided to put segmentation to the test. We updated our blog's email automation series. The goal? To ask each subscriber what content they wanted in their inbox, and email them segmented content based off their choice. We got some crazy results — like an email click-through rate 630% above our average. Here’s how we did it ...

How we redesigned our blog welcome series to collect subscribers’ preferences

When people subscribe to our blog newsletter, they receive a weekly email with our latest and best blog content. We also send them an automation series right after they subscribe. This series is our way of welcoming subscribers to our email list. We explain how often we’ll send them emails and what kind of content they’ll get. Then, we email them our best content — like our top blog posts and our best free courses. But something was missing from the series ... We didn't know what topics our audience was most interested in learning about, and we had no way of segmenting our audience based off their individual learning interests. This info was important for two reasons:
  1. Knowing what topics the majority of our audience wanted to read would help us write the right content for our audience. If most people were interested in automation, for instance, then we should be writing more posts about automation!
  2. Knowing more about each individual subscriber would help us send more relevant content. Instead of sending every subscriber the same blog post, we could send blog posts to groups of subscribers based on their interests.
That's why we redesigned our blog series. In the new series, we asked subscribers what content they wanted to receive. All they needed to do was click a link to tell us what topic they were most interested in. There are 6 email marketing topics our audience typically asks questions about. We made these 6 topics the options a subscriber could click. They could learn how to:
  • grow their email list.
  • automate their email marketing.
  • create and send emails.
  • design emails.
  • make money with email marketing.
  • improve their open and click-through rates.
Or, they could choose to learn about everything! To gather our subscribers preferences, we added this simple email to our blog welcome series: When a subscriber clicks on one of the links, they get access to a landing page where they can download the free "Essential Guide to Social + Email Marketing." (That's our incentive for having them participate in answering the question.) On that page, we also share some of our most popular blog posts in their chosen category. But behind the scenes, even more is going on! Using AWeber’s Click Automations, we automatically tag subscribers with a label that matches their choice when they click on one of the options. For example, if a subscriber clicks “Grow my email list,” they receive a “grow email list” tag. Using AWeber and tags, we can build segments of subscribers who have a particular tag, and then send one-time emails or automation series to that segment. This gives us the ability to do some pretty powerful things. Let’s say we wanted to share our latest post on increasing email open rates. Instead of blasting our entire list, we could send that post specifically to people who told us they wanted to improve their open and click-through rates. By segmenting our audience in this way, we hypothesized that we’d get better open and click-through rates. But there was one flaw with our method. Not everyone opens an email. Even fewer people click on it. Our new email would only collect the preferences of subscribers who chose to engage with it. This meant that we wouldn’t be able to collect the interests of everybody on our list. That’s why we added a second, similar email at the end of our welcome series: This email gave subscribers who didn't click on the first email another chance to share their preferences. By adding it to our series, we were able to encourage even more people to tell us what topics they’d like to learn more about. And the best part? Using segmentation and automation, we only sent this email to people who didn't open or click the first email asking for their preferences. Here’s how we structured the updated series:

Email 1: Welcome to the AWeber blog newsletter!

  • Goal: Welcome subscribers to our list, tell them how frequently we’d send emails, deliver our incentive, and ask them to whitelist us.
  • Delivery time: Immediately after subscribing
  • Audience: All subscribers

Email 2: Share your interests and we’ll send a free guide

  • Goal: Encourage subscribers to share what they’d like to learn about email marketing by clicking on a link in the email
  • Delivery time: 1 day after email 1
  • Audience: All subscribers

Email 3: Explore the best email marketing content

  • Goal: Share our best blog content with our audience and get them excited about being a subscriber
  • Delivery time: 1 day after email 2
  • Audience: all subscribers

Email 4: Get 45+ email copy templates and master your content

  • Goal: Delight our subscribers with even more educational and free content –– our “What to Write in Your Emails” course.
  • Delivery time: 1 day after email 3
  • Audience: All subscribers

Email 5: Would you like another free guide?

  • Goal: To encourage more subscribers to click on a category and tell us what they’re interested in.
  • Delivery time: One day after email 4
  • Audience: Subscribers who didn’t click on a category in email 2
To get a visual picture, here's an automation map of the updated series: In the updated series, there are 7 content categories subscribers can choose from. However, we only use 6 tags in our series. That’s because the final option is to “Learn it all!” If a subscriber clicks this, they are tagged with all 6 tags, rather than a 7th separate tag. Compare that to the automation map of the original series, which only had 4 basic, sequential emails: Pro tip: Instead of sending people to a landing page when they click on a Click Automation, you can send them to a hosted form that says something like “Thanks for sharing your preferences! We’ve updated your info.” This can be easier than creating a landing page.

But we still had a problem … what about our current subscribers?!

When we updated our welcome automation series to include these 2 new emails, we already had thousands of subscribers on our blog newsletter list. And since this series was only for new subscribers, current subscribers didn’t receive it. Which meant that we wouldn’t find out the interests of our current subscribers through this series. So we decided to send all of our current subscribers a one-time broadcast email to ask them the same question. This email functioned in the same way as the 2 emails we added to our automation series. When a subscriber clicked on one of the options, they received a tag that matched their choice. The email content is nearly identical to the ones we added to our automation series: After sending it, thousands of our current subscribers clicked on an option to tell us what they’d like to learn about. 40% of them clicked “I want to do it all!” The second most popular choice was “Grow my email list,” with 21% of people clicking this option.

We chose the most popular category and gave subscribers a cool freebie.

Since the majority of our subscribers said they wanted to learn about list growth, we decided to email them our free course “Email List Growth Blueprint.” And we saw phenomenal results. Our open rate for this email was 118% higher than our average open rate for this list. Our click-through rate was an astounding 630% higher than our average click-through rate. 😱 This record-breaking engagement is thanks to the power of segmentation and sending the right content to the right people. Theory proved: Segmentation works.

Skyrocket your engagement! Try this out yourself.

Want to do something similar on your own email lists? Simply follow these steps:
  1. Write 1 or 2 emails and add them to your automation series
  2. Add a question and answers to your new emails.
  3. Add hyperlinks to your answers. You can link off  to a hosted sign up form or landing pages
  4. Use AWeber's Click Automations to tag subscribers based off the link they click. The options you give subscribers don't need to be about their content preferences! You could ask subscribers for their skill level at a certain task, what products they're interested in, or anything that helps you send more targeted content!
  5. Send relevant one-time and automated emails to your subscribers using AWeber’s tags to build your segments.
Need help setting this up? Call, chat, or email us. We'd love to walk you through it! Want to try this, but don’t have AWeber? Get a free account for 30 days and test it out.

The post We Added 2 New Emails to Our Blog Series, and Increased Clicks by 630% appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Your GDPR + Email Marketing Playbook: How to Prepare for the New EU Data Law

Permalink - Posted on 2018-04-13 14:28

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only, and you should not consider it legal advice. We recommend that you seek legal and other professional counsel to determine exactly how the GDPR might apply to you. A new law called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go into effect on May 25, 2018 — and it will impact email marketers around the world. The good news? If you’re using AWeber, you’re probably already doing many of the things required. Keep reading for a walkthrough of the GDPR, what AWeber is doing to prepare, what it means for your email marketing business, and how you can prepare for the changes.

What is the GDPR?

The GDPR is a European privacy law approved by the European Commission in 2016. Its purpose is to “harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.” This is fantastic news for EU citizens. The GDPR will hold businesses and entrepreneurs more accountable for data breaches, require them to not only keep records of a person’s consent to disclose personal information, but also clearly state what the data will be used for up front.

Why the GDPR is a good thing for email marketers

The goal of the GDPR is to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches in an increasingly data-driven world. While it requires a bit more effort on your part, it can also lead to some pretty important benefits to your email marketing. Here’s why... By taking greater measures to protect and use subscriber data correctly, you’re more likely to send more relevant, targeted, permission-based emails to your subscribers. And that can translate into more trust with your subscribers, fewer spam complaints and unsubscribes, and better email deliverability. Win. Win. Win!

Who does the GDPR affect?

The GDPR applies to any data controller or processor who collects, records, organizes, stores or performs any operations on personal data of those who live in the EU — even if you don’t reside in a European country. Personal data is any data that can be used to identify a person, including email addresses. Data Controller? Processor? What are those? Here’s a quick definition of each:
Data Controller: Any individual or business who determines how an individual's personal data is processed. Data Processor: Any individual or business who processes personal data on behalf of the controller.
As an AWeber customer who collects EU resident data, you would more than likely be considered a Data Controller. AWeber would be considered a Data Processor.

How does the GDPR affect me?

To understand how the GDPR will affect you, it’s first important to understand the key rights the new law protects and how these rights apply to you:
  • Right to be informed: Your EU subscribers can ask about personal data, how it is used, and why it is being used at any time.
  • Right of access: Your EU subscribers can request a copy of personal information at any time.
  • Right of rectification: Your EU subscribers can update (or request updates to) personal information at any time.
  • Right of erasure: Your EU subscribers may request that you or AWeber erase their personal data, cease further dissemination of the data, and potentially have third parties halt processing of the data.
  • Right to object: Your EU subscribers may unsubscribe from any of your emails at any time.
Knowing these rights allows you to better understand your responsibility in protecting these rights.

How to prepare your business for the GDPR

There’s a lot to think about with the GDPR, and we understand that it can feel a bit overwhelming. So we’ve outlined four steps you can take to help prepare for the GDPR.

1. Continue to abide by AWeber’s terms of service and privacy policy

We recently updated our privacy policy and terms of service for customers, affiliates, and developers who use our API. These updates reflect what we’re doing to be compliant with the GDPR. Be sure to continue abiding by these terms of service and privacy policy:

2. Get explicit, opt-in consent from subscribers

The GDPR describes consent as “freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous indication of the data subject's wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her.” Translation: You must explain how you will use a person’s data before he or she gives it to you. If you plan to use a person’s data for multiple reasons, you must disclose all those purposes from the get-go. For example, imagine you have a weekly blog newsletter. Once a person subscribes, they’ll receive a weekly newsletter from you, as well as an occasional email promoting your product. To be compliant with the GDPR, you must explain on your signup form that subscribers will receive both educational newsletter emails and promotional emails. There’s been a lot of talk about the need to have checkboxes in your signup form to be compliant with the GDPR. However, checkboxes are not necessary to comply with the GDPR, but are simply one of many ways to prove consent. Another way to prove consent is by adding simple language to your signup form that clearly explains how you will use a subscriber’s personal data, what kind of content you will be sending them, and how often you will be sending it. If you do, however, decide to use an optional checkbox on your signup form, make sure your checkbox is not pre-checked. To get affirmative consent, subscribers need to check the box themselves. Here’s an example from outdoor enthusiast Paul Kirtley that demonstrates how to clearly explain how a subscriber’s personal data will be used: As you’re reviewing your signup forms, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
  • Have I made it clear to the subscriber what information I am collecting?
  • Have I made it clear to the subscriber why I am collecting their information?
  • Have I made it clear what information I will be sending them?
  • Have I made it clear how often I will be sending them information?
Another common question people have is this: Do I need to have double opt-in (aka confirmed opt-in) now with the GDPR? You don’t need to have double opt-in to be compliant with the GDPR. You can still use single opt-in and be compliant if you can prove informed consent in another manner. However, there are benefits to using double opt-in, including a more engaged list of subscribers and better deliverability. For the subscribers who are already on your list, you can send a re-engagement email prior to the GDPR taking effect to confirm continued consent to receive your emails. You can use AWeber’s new click automations for broadcasts to tag subscribers who click the confirmation link in the email.

3. Create or update your public-facing privacy policies

Along the same lines as gaining explicit consent, it’s a good practice to create, review, and update your public-facing policies around data collection and usage. As mentioned above, your subscribers have a right to know how their personal data is being used, so make that clear and easy to understand in your policy. Also, make sure your policies are easy to find. You can do this by adding a link to your policies within the footer of your signup form, emails, and website.

4. Document and communicate a process for data requests from subscribers.

The GDPR requires that you document and communicate a process for subscribers to opt out, make changes to their personal data, request copies of their personal data, or request that their data be deleted entirely from your records. You may need to document a process for subscribers to make such requests. Once you have this process documented, you can communicate it through your public-facing privacy policy as well as within your emails. Here are the types of requests to document and communicate, and how to fulfill them:

Unsubscribing from your list

Under the GDPR, subscribers have the right to object or opt out of your communication at any time. Your subscribers already have the ability to unsubscribe on their own using the “Unsubscribe” link in the footer of your emails. However, you can also unsubscribe them manually if they request it, either on a list-by-list basis or by bulk unsubscribing someone. You can also make this option more obvious by adding it within your email messages. Here’s an example from Ann Handley with her bi-weekly Total ANNARCHY newsletter. You’ll notice she added an unsubscribe link following her signature, with some playful language.

Updating personal data

Subscribers also have the right to rectify or update their personal data at any time. Similar to the unsubscribe link in your emails, subscribers already have the ability to update their personal data on their own using the “Change subscriber options” link in the footer of your emails. However, you can update their information manually upon request.

Requesting a copy of personal data you maintain

With the GDPR, your subscribers have the right to access their personal data you maintain. Unlike opting out or update personal data, your subscribers won’t be able to access this information on their own. Instead, they will need to request it from you. AWeber makes this easy for you to find this information within subscriber management. Using the filters, you can search for the subscriber’s email address. Then using the “Export CSV” option, you can export your subscriber information in a format you can deliver to them.

Deleting subscriber data entirely from your records

Under the GDPR, your subscribers also have the right of erasure. In other words, the right to be forgotten. That means you must delete their personal data upon request. Deleting subscribers is easily done within your AWeber account using the “Search All Lists” feature. Simply use the “email” filter to search for the subscriber’s email address. Then check the box(es) next to their name and click “Delete.” When you delete a subscriber from your list, that subscriber’s personal information will be deleted entirely from your reports and your list. However, deleting a subscriber will not affect your reporting data; you’ll still be able to view anonymous, aggregate reporting data in your account, but the deleted subscriber’s name and email address will be removed.

5. Begin keeping comprehensive records of how you collect personal data.

The GDPR also requires that you can prove the nature of consent between you and your subscribers. This has two parts: showing the signup source in the subscriber data, as well as a copy of the signup form or data collection mechanism from which they provided that consent. You can accomplish this by either saving the underlying code, a screenshot or PDF you used to collect their information. Remember: these tips are not intended to be legal advice and in no way represent a comprehensive standard for ensuring the GDPR compliance.

Download our GDPR checklist

Whew! That was a lot of information. Fortunately, we’ve boiled it down to a one-sheet checklist for a quick reference as you prepare for the GDPR.

What is AWeber doing to prepare for the GDPR?

AWeber is already self-certified with both the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield, and we comply with lawful transfers of EU/EEA personal data to the U.S. in accordance with our Privacy Shield Certification. Additionally, we are actively preparing to be fully compliant with the GDPR by May 25, 2018. To help us do so, we formed a dedicated, cross-functional team to organize, lead and carry out the work that needed to be done to bring AWeber into compliance with the GDPR. Here’s what this team has been working on:
  • Developing a comprehensive strategy to comply with the GDPR
  • Conducting a detailed audit of our personal data and processing practices
  • Updating our terms of service and privacy policy to include the GDPR changes
  • Review our services to ensure we protect the rights of EU citizens mentioned above
  • Developing Data Processing and Security Terms for our customers
Moving forward, we will hold regular training sessions to ensure our team members are always up-to-date on our processes and best practices for helping our customers.

What’s next?

In the coming weeks, we’ll be making Data Processing and Security Terms available to AWeber customers. Keep an eye on this blog post and our help article for an update and link to the terms. Or contact us to request it. To learn more about the GDPR, visit www.eugdpr.org. Have questions? Comment below and we’ll do our best to answer them. Not an AWeber customer? Get the peace of mind of working with a trusted provider. Try AWeber free for 30 days.

The post Your GDPR + Email Marketing Playbook: How to Prepare for the New EU Data Law appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

How to Pinpoint Your ‘Hook.’ Find Your Unique Selling Proposition in 6 Simple Steps

Permalink - Posted on 2018-04-11 17:25

When it comes to selling a product or service, fitting in is overrated. Too often, businesses and entrepreneurs try to create something for everyone. The end result is generic, trivial, and, well, boring. You can’t be everything to everyone. You can’t have the best ice cream and the best ribs. You can’t be the best organizational tool for solopreneurs and large multinational corporations. You can’t have the best high-intensity interval classes and the best bodybuilding classes. Sure, it can be scary to go left when everyone else is heading right, but the upside to going left is huge.

Embrace your uniqueness

Take Rick Barry. He’s an NBA Hall of Famer and one of the greatest free throw shooters of all time. What made him so great? When at the free throw line, the former Golden State Warrior would grip the sides of the basketball, bend his knees, and then simultaneously lift both arms and hoist the ball into the air. That’s right: Barry perfected the “granny-style” shot. It was incredibly accurate. Barry made 3,818 of his 4,242 free throw attempts, good for a 90 career shooting percentage from the line. (For perspective, the average FT percentage in the NBA during the 2016-17 season was 76 percent.) Barry’s technique involves less moving parts. It gives the ball a better chance to sail in a smooth, perfect arc toward the basket without elbows or wrists getting in the way. Barry found an unorthodox — but undeniably effective — method. He’s the only player to lead the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the American Basketball Association (ABA), and the NBA in scoring for an individual season. He’s an eight-time NBA All-Star, and was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. When he finally retired from the league in 1980, he ranked first for field goal percentage. Barry zigged left when everyone else zagged right, and his success at the line is nearly unmatched. If he had gone with the conventional free throw style like everyone else, would he have been a record-setting free throw shooter? Maybe . . . but it would have been a lot tougher for him. And he definitely wouldn’t have been as memorable. The same goes with creating and promoting your product. If you want to make money, you need to find your own effective “granny style.” Marketers call this your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). It’s the element that makes your product stand out from the crowd of similar products — and it can change everything for you.

Identify your USP

Finding an effective Unique Selling Proposition (USP) can be difficult. After all, how many businesses and products are truly one-of-a-kind? There are thousands of life coaches, personal trainers, electricians, therapists, authors, yoga instructors, digital marketers, clothing retailers, and so on. What makes yours stand out? Quick note: Don’t be unique for the sake of being unique. Selling fur coats in a heat wave may be unique, but it’ll make you zilch. Here at AWeber, we have terrific automations and an easy-to-use interface, but we choose to highlight our amazing award-winning customer service as our USP. We’re not just bias. Our customer solutions team took home TWO Stevie Awards this year. (The Stevies are basically the Oscars of customer support.) There are a bunch of Email Service Providers a customer can pick from. They ultimately pick us because they know they’ll always have a live expert in our Chalfont, Pennsylvania headquarters to help them — whether it’s via chat, email, or phone. While other ESPs are cutting back or nixing their customer service hours altogether, we’re adding to ours. Right now, you can talk to an AWeber solutions member Monday through Friday from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. Haven't signed up for your FREE AWeber trial yet? Create your account today!  Our ultimate goal: to roll out 24/7 customer support in the near future.

So what’s your USP?

Download this list of six questions below. Answer them to pinpoint your business's hook.

The 6 Questions You Must Answer to Find Your USP

  Once you’ve answered the 6 questions, ask yourself: How does my product or service solve my target audience’s biggest problem? Then try to boil it down to a short and concise answer. (One to two sentences MAX.) This sentiment is your promise to your customer. Put your USP everywhere so it stays front of mind. Make it your computer and cellphone background. Frame it on your desk. Sign it at the bottom of your emails. Live it, breathe it — and make sure it applies to your product.

The post How to Pinpoint Your ‘Hook.’ Find Your Unique Selling Proposition in 6 Simple Steps appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

New in AWeber! Automation, Segmentation, Mobile App Updates, and More

Permalink - Posted on 2018-04-06 15:06

Product Updates from AWeber

Spring is here! It's time to grow and engage your email subscribers with our latest features. We were so excited to announce one-click automation and segmentation in Broadcasts (one-time emails) last month. And now, we're excited to share four more updates inside your AWeber account!

Add and remove tags based on your Broadcast opens

With Broadcast Automations, you've had the ability to:
  • add a tag when a link is clicked.
Now, you can also:
  • remove tags when a link is clicked.
  • add tags when the email is opened.
  • remove tags when the email is opened.
Add and remove tags in your Broadcast emails. What you need to know:
  • Advanced automation and segmentation is here! 🎯
  • Add and remove tags based on clicks and opens in Broadcast emails 🔖
How to take advantage of this feature:
  • Learn more about our latest automation features in our recent webinar (now pre-recorded.) Register to watch on-demand here.
  • Tagging your subscribers allows you to create dynamic subscriber segments or trigger smart automated sequences of emails using Campaigns.

Easily track your day-to-day growth with AWeber's Stats app

Keeping tabs on your subscriber growth and decline can help you see what's working and identify key trends. It allows you to pivot and optimize your content strategy. Now, inside the AWeber Stats app, you can see the total number of active subscribers on all of your lists at-a-glance, as well as the change in growth from the previous day. See your list growth at a glance in AWeber's Stats app. What you need to know:
  • Easily keep up with your email marketing performance on your mobile device. 📱
  • Know how many active subscribers are on each list, and where you are seeing notable growth and decline. 🚀
How to take advantage of this feature:
  • To get immediate insight into your email marketing stats, download AWeber's Stats app for free on iTunes or Google Play.
  • Take a few seconds each day to check your stats and look for trends. See a high decline in subscribers? Look for any changes in your email content or frequency. See a dramatic increase? Look for opportunities to repeat your success!

Create subscriber segments based on new open and click engagement attributes

You can now create dynamic subscriber segments based on the "No Opens," "Any Opens," and "Any Clicks" since a certain date, or period of time. Image of our new opens and clicks since selector in Subscriber Management. What you need to know:
  • Create segments of subscribers that have or have not opened, or have clicked since a specific period of time (i.e. 3/1/2018) or a rolling relative time period (i.e. 30 days ago.) 📅
  • After searching for these subscribers, you can apply tags which can trigger automated follow up, or create segments to send one-time broadcast emails to. 💌
How to take advantage of this feature:
  • Learn more about how to create segments based on engagement by visiting our knowledge base.
  • Creating segments based on open and click engagement can help you identify your most and least engaged subscribers. One important element in any successful email marketing strategy is re-engagement. Consider sending a re-engagement email or campaign to non-openers after a certain period of time.
  • Not sure what to write? Explore these tactics for re-engaging inactive subscribers.

Update your confirmation call-to-action button text

Earlier this year, we released an update to your confirmation email's design, which introduced an HTML button (as shown below). Default text for COI button. The default button text is "Confirm my subscription," which is perfect in most cases, but may not make sense depending how your subscribers opt in. We listened closely to customer feedback and offered additional requested copy options. This shows the additional copy options for the COI button. You can now select "Confirm my subscription," "Confirm my request," or "Confirm my email." The best part: These alternate call-to-action buttons are also compatible with our confirmation email language options. This shows the new button copy in Japanese. What you need to know:
  • You can now adjust your call-to-action button text in your confirmation emails based on what makes the most sense for your subscribers. 🆒
  • These options will be translated if you are using our confirmation email language options. 🙌
How to take advantage of this feature:
  • Head on over to List Options to edit and customize your confirmation email. Choose a call-to-action option that is in line with your request for a subscriber to opt in.
  • While updating your call-to-action, take a look at your confirmation email header and signature content to make sure everything is clear to promote confirmations.
  • Have questions about your confirmation email? Give us a call or let's chat.

Can't stop, won't stop. Check out all of our new features releases in 2018!

New in AWeber: One-Click Automation and Segmentation February Product Updates: 5 NEW Features Have Hit Your AWeber Account ¡Atención! Connect with Your Audience in 13 Different Languages Push Notifications– Now Available in AWeber's Stats App

Getting started with AWeber

There's a ton of awesome features in the pipeline for both beginners and advanced marketers. We can't wait to share what's on deck. Ready to start growing and engaging your audience? Log in today to start using these features. Not using AWeber? Get access to the latest updates and more! Start building your email list with AWeber today.

The post New in AWeber! Automation, Segmentation, Mobile App Updates, and More appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

4 Survey Templates You Must Send to Your Subscribers

Permalink - Posted on 2018-04-06 12:59

Have you ever wondered what content to send to your subscribers? Simply ask. That’s all it takes to get started with marketing segmentation. Ask your audience great questions, tag your subscribers based on their answers, and send more targeted and valuable emails to specific segments. Using AWeber’s new survey template, now available in every AWeber account, we’ve made it even easier to create and send simple surveys to your tribe. Our 4 survey variations

4 Ways to Use Survey Templates to Segment Your Email Subscribers

1. Segment your audience based on how they feel

The survey template in AWeber is actually four survey options in one! Using the Drag-and-Drop Email Builder, you can toggle through the four survey types. The default option presents a simple sentiment widget, as shown below. This is a screenshot of our sentiment widget in the survey template. Using a sentiment widget at the bottom of one-time broadcast emails is an effective and simple way to get a "temperature check" of how readers are responding to your emails beyond just opens and clicks. It provides you with valuable feedback so you can constantly send better, more compelling content to your readers. (Read how the sentiment widget helped us engage with more than 1,600 subscribers.) Using the template is simple and intuitive for your readers. When a subscriber clicks the happy or sad face, they are redirected by default to an image that says, “Thanks for your feedback.” Thanks for your feedback But if you want further feedback, you can always redirect them to a custom destination or a quick follow-up survey using a tool like SurveyGizmo, SurveyMonkey, or Google Forms. So what happens when your subscribers clicks? That's when the real magic starts . . . Using AWeber’s click automations, you can apply the tag “happy” for subscribers that click the smiley face and an “unhappy” to those that click that frown face. Then, create a quick segment based on these tags — happy and unhappy — so you can send future broadcasts to your engaged audiences. Or, you could use those tags to trigger an automated follow up message, which is an email that AWeber can deliver using email automation. For example, if they clicked the smiley face, you could send a quick thank you and offer a bonus offer or a related piece of content. It might also be an opportune time to ask for a review or testimonial. If someone was unhappy, send an automated follow up email to invite them to provide more feedback, or offer a relevant incentive to add value for the subscriber. Here’s a quick three-minute tutorial on how to do it:

2. Segment your audience based on an answer

Another easy way to segment your current audience is to invite them to answer one question with a single click. An image of the survey template element that presents yes or no questions.
  • Are you just getting started with _____?
  • Would you like to schedule a free consultation call?
  • Interested in live webinars?
  • Want to receive more information about this product?
  • Did you catch the game last night?
Based on the answer, tag your subscribers and optionally trigger an automated series of emails to be sent. This is perfect for inviting your subscribers to opt-in to a new email course or sequence of emails without spinning up a new list or asking them to sign up again. Simply tag your subscribers when they click "yes" or "no," and trigger the new campaign with each unique tag.

3. Offer a range of values

Yes or no questions are great for getting explicit feedback, but sometimes the answer is not as clear cut. Using the survey template, you can present a scale: This is an image of our survey template element that presents a 5-point scale. You may want to give subscribers a five-point range to answer questions like:
  • How was the webinar?
  • How interested are you in this product?
  • How do you feel about _______?
  • How likely are you to do ________?
Tag each subscriber with a relevant tag based on their selection and trigger an automated follow up, or send targeted one-time emails to these subscribers later. For example, if someone ranked your online course or webinar a "5," you could send them a follow up email with a request for a testimonial or a review. Also, while they're happy, let them know about other courses or products they might be interested in. However, if someone gave your course or webinar a "1", you could reach out and ask why their expectations weren't met. If it was a paid course, you could also offer them a refund. Starting a conversation can increase customer retention, encourage repeat purchases, and help you create fans and advocates.

4. Engage your promoters and detractors

Gauge the loyalty or advocacy of your customers with the Net Promoter Score® or NPS. It's a popular tool that many businesses use to quickly determine their customers' or subscribers' satisfaction. To determine your score, start by asking “On a scale from 1 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend our company, product, or service to a friend or colleague?” We developed a 10-point scale variant for this specifically. This is an example of our NPS survey style variation. NPS responses are typically grouped in the following way:
  • 9 - 10: These are your Promoters, or loyal fans and advocates. These are the customers most likely to promote your brand or product.
  • 7 - 8 : These are your Passives, or satisfied customers, but not yet true advocates.
  • 0 - 6 : These are your Detractors, who are currently unsatisfied, and likely candidates to leave your service.
Using click automations, you can apply multiple tags when a subscriber clicks a link. When sending an NPS-style survey, tag your subscribers by the unique number they choose (such as nps-0, nps-1, nps-2, etc.,) but also tag them by their group. For example, anyone who clicks 0 through 6 will get the same ‘detractor’ tag. Then, you can then trigger an automated follow-up response to each group to encourage positive interaction with you or your brand. Consider sending a thank you and bonus offer or content to Passives and Promoters. For Detractors, you should send a request for more feedback or clarity with the intent to improve their service.

Are you ready to survey and segment your audience?

We’ve put together a quick tutorial on how to get started with the template and read the results in AWeber’s QuickStats. Log in to your AWeber account, check out the tutorial, and get started with subscriber segmentation today. Not using AWeber? How likely are you try AWeber (free) for 30 days? 😉 If the answer is very likely, create your free trial account here.

The post 4 Survey Templates You Must Send to Your Subscribers appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

No Website? Create a “Hosted Sign Up Form” in Less Than 5 Minutes!

Permalink - Posted on 2018-04-04 12:09

Your list is powerful. Think of it as a room filled with people who have come to hear you talk. If they like what they hear, they'll stick around. Many will ask questions. A bunch will purchase your products or services. And a handful will turn into advocates who bring others into the room. To fill your room, you typically have an "opt-in" or "sign up" form on your website. Visitors can enter their email list to subscribe to your content. But what happens if you don't have a website?  Don't worry: You can still gather subscribers into the room without creating a website. All you need is a hosted sign up form.

What is a hosted sign up form?

A hosted sign up form lives on its own. It has a unique URL that you can share anywhere — like Facebook, Twitter, or even in your email signature. It's a quick way to start building a subscriber list without a website. Have a website? It's not a bad idea to create a hosted sign up form anyway. A hosted sign up form can come in handy if your website crashes or you just want a direct link to your sign up form.

Create your hosted sign up form in 5 minutes!

It takes less than five minutes to create your first hosted sign up form with AWeber. Below is a video of AWeber's Director of Product, Chris Vasquez, demonstrating how to do it inside the platform:   I decided to try it myself. Here are the step-by-step directions I took to create a quick hosted sign up form. First, give your form a snappy, attention-grabbing headline. It should tell people what they can expect from you for signing up to your list. For instance, what type of content will you send and how often will you send it? Since a hosted sign up form flies solo, you have to give it a little more context than you would if it was embedded on a website page. To make things easier for myself, I used a template that matched the theme of my blog. sign up form Next, edit your basic settings. I made my form name the same as my call to action, because that text will appear when you share your form on Facebook. Here's where you edit your form name: subscriber list And here's what it looks like when you share your form's link on Facebook: email marketing on social media Finally, choose the option to have AWeber host your form to automatically create a URL for your sign up form. email sign up form And that’s it! Easy, huh?

Now, share your hosted sign up form.


Get your followers excited to sign up for your list by telling about all the great stuff they can expect to get in their inbox. If you write regular blog posts, tell them that by signing up, they’ll never miss a post from you. Another way to share your hosted form on social media is to reach out directly to friends and influencers who you think could benefit from being a part of your list. Don’t overdo it, though. Sharing your form with a bunch of random people will make you look like a spammer.


Add a link to your hosted sign up form in your email signature. You don’t have to go into great detail explaining the value of your email list here, but make it clear that you're linking to your email list. If you regularly send emails to business associates, colleagues, or anyone else in your industry, make a list of people who you think would be most interested in your email list, then message them directly to personally invite them to sign up for your list.

Guest blog posts

Guest blogging is an awesome way to grow your audience. If you write articles for someone else’s blog, include a link to your hosted form either within your blog post or in your signature. Let people know that if they want to see more content from you, all they have to do is sign up. (Here’s how one blogger does it.)

Level-up with a dedicated subscribe page.

Consider adding a dedicated subscribe page to your to-do list. A dedicated subscribe page is a landing page whose sole job is to promote your email list. It's basically a glorified hosted sign up form, if you will. In addition to your sign up form, it can include a list of reasons to sign up, go into more detail about you incentive offer and offer social proof. Dedicated subscribe pages can be incredibly effective. The Daily Egg tripled their subscriber list with the help of a dedicated subscribe page. Here’s what The Daily Egg's subscribe page looks like: email marketing sign up form Here are a few tools that can help you create a dedicated subscribe page in a snap:
  • Wishpond lets you create easy-to-edit landing pages and integrates with Google Ads and Facebook Ads
  • OptimizePress helps you make high-quality opt-in pages that work with your WordPress site.
  • LeadPages helps you create and customize a wide variety of landing pages.
  • Instapage has a drag and drop editor that makes it easy to create great-looking landing pages.

Learn more about creating sign up forms that get results.

What are you waiting for? Log in to your AWeber account and create your hosted sign up form. Not an AWeber customer yet? Start your free trial today! growing_business_blog-1 Additional reporting by Kristen Dunleavy.

The post No Website? Create a “Hosted Sign Up Form” in Less Than 5 Minutes! appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

The Best Tool to Plan Your Email Marketing Automation

Permalink - Posted on 2018-03-28 19:50

Imagine this: Your best marketing content is delivered automatically to your audience at the perfect time. You don’t need to lift a finger. You watch revenue flow into your bank account. Your business grows. You optimize your automation. More revenue flows into your bank account each month. Now, you're saving hours and making more money . . . and it's automatic. That's the power of marketing automation. However, there’s one hurdle which often prevents people from using automation –– the fear that it'll be too difficult to get started. In fact, 50% of marketers think it’s difficult to implement marketing automation, according to the market research firms Three Deep and Ascend 2. After all, automation can get pretty complex. But, there’s a tool that can make it much more simple –– an automation map.

What is an automation map?

An automation map is a visual representation of your automation flow. Just like a map, it can give you direction, and help you plan ahead and avoid missteps as you create an automated series. Email automation can have a lot of moving pieces. Your automation map will help you take all of that into account and plan ahead. Plus, you can build upon your map as you add more emails and complexity to your automation. Here at AWeber, we use automation maps frequently. They help us review the flow and content of simple series and plan every step of complex, branching automation series. By glancing at an automation map, I can quickly see whether or not my email automation leads subscribers all the way through the marketing funnel. I can determine whether or not my series contains dead ends. And I can see if I’m segmenting my audience in the best way possible. Whether you’re just getting started with automation or an expert, an automation map can provide guidance and level up your efforts.

How to map your series

Before you start mapping, you should decide what tools you’d like to use to map your series. I recommend either hand drawing your series with a pencil and paper or planning your series out digitally with a tool like Google Draw. Which you choose all depends on your preferences. Once you’ve chosen your preferred tool, you’re ready to map your series. Every automation map is comprised of 4 simple elements:

1. The emails in the series

You might have a 4-email automation series or a 20-email automation series. Either way, the goal of the emails within your series is to lead your subscribers through the marketing funnel or persuade them to take a certain action. You can review your automation map to see if your content and emails will accomplish this.

2. Time delays between those emails

Whether it’s minutes, hours, days, or weeks, you should include a time delay between nearly every email. Time delays will deliver your emails at the perfect time, rather than all at once. So, what is the perfect time? That depends on your audience and the expectations you set on your sign up form and welcome email. If you’re unsure, survey your audience to ask them what they prefer. Or, test different time delays to see what works best for your audience.

3. Tags or labels you’ll use to segment your subscribers

Most email marketing and automation platforms can apply tags or labels to your subscribers when they perform certain actions, receive an email, or subscribe to a list. These tags can help you segment your audience into groups based off their tags. You can then send automated emails to those groups specifically. For example, let’s say you set up your email marketing platform to apply a tag to a subscriber when they click on a survey link in one of your automated emails. You could then resend the survey email to anyone who does not have that tag. That way, you could give non-responders another chance to answer your survey without sending an irrelevant email to those who already responded to your survey.

4. The various paths or journeys your subscribers might take

Action-based or behavioral email automation is when you send automated emails to people based off their actions. If you’re using action-based automation in your automated series, your subscribers will go down different paths or journeys depending on what they do. A subscriber who clicks one email may receive another email targeted to them. While a subscriber who opens a different email, may receive a 3-part email series based off that open. Your automation map should outline the different paths your subscriber could possibly take. This way, you can avoid sending too many emails to the same subscriber on the same day. And, you can preview your subscriber’s possible experiences. An automation map becomes extremely important when you start using action-based automation. You might think you have a brilliant idea for an action-based automation series. But, once you map it out, you might discover it would lead to a terrible experience for a particular segment of subscribers –– like getting 3 emails on one day.

An automation map in action

To help you see how automation maps work, we’re going to look at an example. Let’s say you’re an author who wants to promote his brand-new novel through automation. You decide to send a chapter every week for four weeks to your subscribers. At the end of the four-week automated campaign, you’ll promote a link to buy your entire novel. If you were hand drawing it, your automation flow might be mapped out something like this: The same automation map created in Google Draw might look like this: Pretty simple, right? But with this map, you know exactly what your time delays are, and you know exactly which emails will launch and to whom they’ll send. Now, let's say you want to take it a step further with action-based automation. You’ll still offer your novel for purchase after you send the fourth chapter, but you’ll also ask a question of your audience. Which genre do they prefer? Romance or Thriller. Depending on which option the subscriber clicks on, they are automatically tagged with either "Romance" or "Thriller." You’ve now segmented your audience into two groups, and you can target those segments with his other book titles that fall in those particular genres. You could then send 2 different automated series to those segments. For those who chose “Romance,” you could ask them to buy your new romance book. For those who chose “Thriller,” you can promote your new thriller book. Here’s an example of what your automation map might look like for this action-based series: As you map your own series, ask yourself these questions:
  • Should you apply a tag at the beginning and/or end of your series? (Doing so can help you identify who is currently within a series and who has finished a series.)
  • What’s the right time delay between each email? Am I sending too many emails? Am I sending too few?
  • Which emails slot into the different stages of the marketing funnel (awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty, and advocacy)?
  • Is there an email I can add to the series that’ll make my user more likely to convert?

Not sure what to write in your automated emails? This free course will help.

Before you can launch an automated series, you need to write your emails. If you have writer’s block or need direction, our free “What to Write in Your Emails” course can help. With over 45 fill-in-the-blank email copy templates, it makes writing as simple as copying and pasting. Enroll in the course today for FREE!

The post The Best Tool to Plan Your Email Marketing Automation appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

New in AWeber: One-Click Automation and Segmentation

Permalink - Posted on 2018-03-13 15:03

Featured image for broadcast automations post.

One click. What if that’s all it took for your subscribers to tell you exactly what they wanted? What if that's all it took to then automatically deliver the right message exactly when they needed it most? Now you can! One-click automation and segmentation is now available in AWeber broadcasts.

Powerful automation with a single click

AWeber continues to bring you advanced automation features that are so easy-to-use, we’re hesitant to even call them advanced. 🤖 You can now automate and segment like a pro without the hefty costs and clunky interfaces that other all-in-one tools might offer. Here’s how it works, technically:
  1. You send an email containing one or more links.
  2. When a subscriber clicks a link, you can then tag that subscriber with one or more unique tags.
  3. Use those tags to create subscriber segments, OR to kick off an automated sequence of emails using Campaigns. (Or both. Tags are super powerful.)
And here’s what’s really going on:
  1. You’re listening to your subscribers and tagging them based on their behavior.
  2. You’re sending your subscribers more relevant and valuable emails based on these tags.
  3. You’re developing stronger relationships with your audience, transforming prospects into paying customers, and paying customers into loyal advocates.
Using one-click automation and segmentation, you can:
  • Automatically send additional information or content without requiring your subscribers to opt-in again or join a new list.
  • Send one-time broadcasts to subscribers based on their interests, or exclude subscribers who don’t want to hear about certain topics or products.
  • Avoid managing a ton of lists just to segment your audience! Using tags, it is possible to power your email marketing campaigns from a single list in AWeber.
Let’s dig deeper into specific use cases that you can experiment with today.

Segment your subscribers with ease

One of the most common use cases for segmentation is to group your subscribers by interest. Here’s a sample email you could send today using AWeber. This is a sample email that explains how one could use click automations. If a subscriber clicks the first link, tag them “writingtips”. If a subscriber clicks the second link, tag them “listgrowth”. Or, if a subscriber clicks the third link, tag them “advancedtopics”. It’s that easy. Here’s a quick video on creating the segments:
Now, when you have a launch that’s perfect for people who want to hear about writing tips, you can send it to just them. If there’s a promotion for people who want to automate their business. You got it, send it to them. Something relevant for everyone? You can still email the entire list.

Trigger an automated campaign with just one click

Let’s say you put together a great automated sequence of emails using Campaigns. This sequence might be an educational email course, or a pre-launch for a specific product or service. Maybe not everyone wants that extra content. With one-click automation, you can let subscribers decide and begin receiving your awesome content with a single click. Here’s what the email could look like: This is an example of an email that could include one-click segmentation. When a subscriber clicks “Send me the email course!” you can apply a tag that triggers the automated course to begin. Here’s how to set up that campaign:
For more info on creating campaigns, check out our Knowledge Base article or contact us by phone, email, or live chat.

How to set this up in AWeber

Setting up one-click automation and segmentation in AWeber is simple. When scheduling your broadcast to be sent, you’ll find a new option: “Do you want click automations?” Do you want click automations? Click Edit and you’ll find a list of links from your email. Add your tags. Add your tags, click apply. It’s that easy.

Get started today

Don’t wait to get started. If you have additional questions – leave a comment below, or contact our live customer solutions team. Not an AWeber customer? Tired of fiddling with complex automation builders? Try AWeber free for 30 days. You’ll get access to these new features and our team of email experts.

The post New in AWeber: One-Click Automation and Segmentation appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

How to Write the Perfect Welcome Email in Under One Minute

Permalink - Posted on 2018-03-07 19:00

welcome email

Your welcome email is the very first message you send to your subscribers — so it’s important to make a fantastic first impression. The reason: If you dazzle your readers with your welcome email, they’ll be more likely to open the next email you send. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend hours crafting the perfect welcome email. You can do it in less than a minute. Seriously. We timed it. You can use AWeber’s Email Libs tool. It comes with 50 templates, and all you need to do is fill in the blanks. Check out how easy it is to use below.

What to include in your welcome email

This welcome email template in Email Libs includes some key components every welcome email should have.
  1. It welcomes your subscribers to your list.
  2. It sets expectations (reveals the type of content your subscribers can expect from you, as well how often they will receive it).
  3. It delivers your lead magnet a.k.a. your incentive (if you have one) for joining your list.
  4. It includes your contact information.
  5. It asks your subscribers to “whitelist” you so that your messages reach their inbox instead of their spam folders.
If you want to really knock your welcome email out of the park, though, we recommend using it as a starting place. 

Add your own twist

Once you fill in the blanks in the template, copy and paste the words into a Word doc or a Google doc. Then add your own “spice” to the text to personalize it. Here are some easy ways to do that. 1. Be human. Your welcome email is automated, but it shouldn't sound like it came from a robot. Your subscribers want to hear from you. Set the tone, and let your personality shine through. If you like using emojis, add one. 😎 If you have opinions, confidently express them. If you’re always an optimist, end with your favorite motivational quote. If you pride yourself on being irreverent, then tell it how it is! Heck, if you’re the king of “dad jokes,” include one. (How do you make a Kleenex dance? Put a little boogie in it!) Remember, this is your first impression. Make a splash right from the get-go. If you do this right, your readers will eventually be able to recognize your voice in every stage even if your logo and brand colors go missing from your emails. And they'll be even more excited to open your next email. 2. Avoid R.O.T. (redundant, outdated, and/or trivial information). Your content has to be valuable. A subscriber joined your list because they think you can help them solve their problem. Sure, you may have a free lead magnet to entice them, but that content still needs to be high-quality, fresh, creative, and useful. If it’s just something your subscribers can find on Google or your emails are full of content that your competitors also provide, they’ll bounce out of your list and never make it to the next email in your series. 3. Tell stories. Humans love stories. We communicate through them. We learn from them. Our personal stories and memories give our lives meaning and order.

Your welcome email can include your story. It’s your chance to tell your subscribers why you’re the best person to give them information.

But don’t write a novel. Try to keep your story to 10 sentences or less.

Here’s a great example of a super short, but compelling Story Email from Jill Angie of Not Your Average Runner. It’s her first email in her automated series for new subscribers, and it’s included as a section within her welcome note.

Story Email Jill’s story is 10 sentences. That’s it. But in her story she oozes likability and she hits her readers’ biggest pain point: weight loss. She knows that’s why her subscribers joined her mailing list, so she wastes no time addressing their challenge in her very first message. If you’re not a writer, no problem. Shoot a quick 30-second video of yourself and link out to it from your welcome email. Or include a photo of yourself. 

What comes after your welcome email?

Once you have your welcome email set, it's time to start thinking about the rest of your sequence. Check out the exact emails you should place into the 5 stages of the marketing funnel.  

The post How to Write the Perfect Welcome Email in Under One Minute appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

How We Got a 150% Lift in Engagement with This Sign Up Form Update

Permalink - Posted on 2018-03-07 16:10

Every subscriber on your email list is unique. One subscriber may prefer daily emails. Another may like weekly emails. How can you make everyone happy? Here at AWeber, we faced this question ourselves. Many subscribers who took our popular (and free!) "What to Write in Your Emails" course said they didn't like the daily cadence of emails. But we had a dilemma: Some subscribers told us they'd prefer more frequent emails, while others requested less frequent emails. That’s why, when we revamped the course in 2017, we decided to let subscribers choose their own course email frequency — with marketing automation! Subscribers simply selected their preferred email frequency on the course sign up form. Then, email automation (the most powerful marketing automation tool) delivered their course emails at their preferred time. This simple change skyrocketed engagement. Open rates increase by 47 percent and click-through rates increase by 150 percent! Want to see how we did it? Check out a step-by-step explanation below.

The 3 frequency options

While we wanted to give our What to Write subscribers the power to choose their own email frequency, we didn't want to make this choice overwhelming. So we limited their options to three:
  • one lesson a day
  • two lessons a day
  • one lesson every other day
These options allowed us to cater to those who wanted to consume lessons faster, and those who preferred a slower pace. To make this possible, we created three email series, each with different time delays between emails. The best part? We didn’t need to create all new content for the three different series for What to Write. We wrote the six lesson emails, and then, for each series, made small tweaks to the copy at the end of the emails. Here’s a screenshot from the end of the welcome email in the one lesson every other day series: Here’s the same section of that email from the one email per day series: And here’s the same section of the email in the two emails per day series: See how similar these three email sections are? We only needed to change a few words to make them relevant for subscribers. Once our automated series were ready, we launched them and collected the results. (Learn how to craft the perfect message with What to Write. The course is completely free — and it comes with 45+ email content templates. So if you're not a writer, you can just use the templates to fill in the blanks!)

Here’s what happened

There was quite a spread. Our subscribers had very different preferences:
  • 46% chose daily emails
  • 31% selected emails every other day
  • 23% chose two emails per day
However, this small change — allowing subscribers to choose their own email frequency — had a huge impact. As I mentioned earlier, engagement skyrocketed. Open rates increase by 47% and click-through rates increase by 150%! And giving our users the ability to choose when we messaged them improved our qualitative data, too. Here are just a few of the reactions we got after we implemented the change: One respondent said: “I really liked that I could choose how many emails I received a day. I chose two to get finished a little faster!” While another mentioned, “I really liked the choices for scheduling the classes. Was helpful and I did most of them near delivery date.” And one person even said, “The email series was phenomenal.” (Want to see the series for yourself? Sign up for the FREE What to Write course today!)

Step-by-step instructions for doing this yourself in AWeber

How we collected our subscribers’ preferences

First, you need to collect the frequency preferences of individual subscribers. You can begin doing this by adding a frequency question to your email sign up form. Here’s the question we added to our What to Write in Your Emails landing page sign up form: “How often would you like to receive lesson emails?” When a subscriber chose their ideal frequency on the form, AWeber automatically applied a tag to the subscriber which matched their frequency choice. (You can launch automated series based off a tag, so we used these tags to segment our subscribers into our three different automated series. I'll explain this in more detail shortly.) If you use AWeber sign up forms, you would set this up by:
  • Creating a new field on your form
  • Choosing “Radio” as your input type
  • Entering your question, your subscribers answer options, and the appropriate tags.
For our What to Write example, here’s what our form settings look like in AWeber: We named our tags “wtw-every-other-day,” “wtw-one-per-day,” and “wtw-two-per-day.”  (WTW is our abbreviation for What to Write.) Setting up the form was that simple! With this added question, our subscribers could choose their favorite frequency option on the form, and AWeber automatically tagged them. Now, let’s talk about the automated series. Pro tip: You can name your tags whatever makes sense to you! But keep in mind, you may want to use tags to segment your audience in the future. That's why tags should be descriptive enough that you understand what they mean.

How we set up the automated series in AWeber

We created three automated series in AWeber's automation platform Campaigns – one for each frequency choice. We set up the three automated series to trigger off the tags we used in our sign up form. If a subscriber had the “wtw-one-per-day” tag, AWeber automatically added them to the automated campaign which delivered one email each day. To ensure subscribers only received emails on the days they selected, we added time delays between each email. These time delays were different for each automated series. For instance, in the one email per day campaign, we added one-day delays between each email. Here’s how the finished one email per day campaign looks inside Campaigns: Pretty cool, right? Check out the FREE What to Write course for yourself. First, choose your lesson frequency. Then, start writing the perfect emails. Happy emailing!    

The post How We Got a 150% Lift in Engagement with This Sign Up Form Update appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

The Simple Question You Should ALWAYS Include in Your Emails

Permalink - Posted on 2018-03-02 13:58

Wouldn’t it be nice if emails came with a little “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” button like Facebook posts? You would instantly know if your message resonated with people or not. At AWeber, we made this a reality. We built a sentiment widget — a clickable question at the bottom of our emails that collects immediate feedback from our subscribers. It looks like this: This single clickable question has completely changed the way we engage with our subscribers. In this episode of “Win at Email Design,” I speak with AWeber email designer Kim Robbins about the results of adding the sentiment widget to all our emails. We chat about the importance of gathering feedback and how you can use it to optimize your messages and content. Watch the video above to hear all about the sentiment widget. What kind of feedback would you like to capture from your subscribers? (Click here if you want to add a sentiment tool to your own messages.) Feedback is like fuel for your marketing funnel. It can help you to subscribers into buyers and brand advocates. But are you including the right emails throughout your funnel? Discover how to map out your own powerful 5-stage funnel and how to create an automated email campaign that gets results around-the-clock in 24/7 Email Marketing Master Class. (Sign up soon! Class closes on March 13!) For more AWeber “Win at Email Design” episodes with yours truly, check out my YouTube page. There, you’ll find tips on how to to structure a welcome email and how to design an email using only text.

The post The Simple Question You Should ALWAYS Include in Your Emails appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

February Product Updates: 5 NEW Features Have Hit Your AWeber Account

Permalink - Posted on 2018-02-21 15:53

Your AWeber experience just received a serious upgrade. Scratch that. Your AWeber experience just received five serious upgrades. Check them out below, along with some ways you can take full advantage of these awesome changes and new features.

Your confirmation emails have a new design

We recently rolled out a modern, super-clean HTML design for your confirmation email a.k.a. the first email your new subscribers will see when they join your list. Here's an image of the old and new templates, swapping. What you need to know:
  • Your message will look great on desktops and mobile devices since it's an HTML design.  📱
  • We replaced that long opt-in link with a simple blue button that says "Confirm my subscription." 👈
How to take advantage of this feature:
  • You don’t have to do anything! All confirmation emails sent from AWeber now use this new design.
  • If you have any visual references to the old design, such as on your thank you pages, or within any videos, we recommend that you update to display the new email. Contact us by phone, chat, or email if you have any questions.
AWeber customers are already sharing their excitement about the new design! https://twitter.com/VlogNationInc/status/959150108364365825

The drag-and-drop editor is better than ever

Creating a beautiful and engaging email should be simple and enjoyable. After all, you're crafting a message that hundreds or thousands of people might read. We listened closely to customer feedback about our drag-and-drop message editor and made some tweaks to significantly improve your creation process. What you need to know:
  • We improved one of the key features of any drag-and-drop editor . . . the dragging and dropping! Look for a new indicator to show you exactly where the selected element will drop as you move its location. Indicator code name: the dog bone! 🍖
  • When moving elements around, your entire layout used to shift immediately, which was jarring. In fact, it was easy to forget where your element started before you moved it! We fixed this by maintaining your email's layout until you actually drop the element where you want it.
  • There’s also a faded placeholder where the element began. That way, if you change your mind and decide to put it back, you’ll know right where to drop it. Code name: ghosting. 👻
Dragging and dropping elements is now easier! How to take advantage of this feature:

It's now easier to personalize your email content

Using personalized contextual content in your emails is key to sending engaging campaigns. You can insert your subscribers' first names, or the URL where they signed up. You can also insert things like the current date, your signature, or an unsubscribe URL. There’s plenty to explore. So we completely revamped the dropdown menu. What you need to know:
  • Easily select variables based on their category using this menu. You can also create your own custom snippets in list settings, which will appear in this menu.
A quick animation of the new personalization menu. How to take advantage of this feature:

Survey your audience with a new interactive email template

This new template release can truly change the way the your interact with your audience. We wanted to know what our subscribers thought of our emails, so we developed our own handy sentiment widget. This inspired us to do even more surveying within emails, and we’ve constructed a template so YOU can do the same. Our new survey template! What you need to know:
  • Using the brand-new survey template, you can utilize 4 different survey types directly within your emails. ☑
  • Gauge the sentiment of your audience by asking them to click simple happy/sad faces, yes or no questions, a five-point scale, or by using the Net Promoter Score method.
  • View your results through QuickStats and create smart segments based on your subscribers’ responses.
How to take advantage of this feature: An animation of our new survey template.

Create, edit, and send messages from your mobile device

Our mobile app Curate is the perfect way to create and send a message from your mobile device, whether you're on-the-go or you just prefer to work on your phone or tablet. With Curate, you can collect and share content from around the web, or draft your own content using a simple editor. We’ve spent the past month making some design and usability improvements, including the ability to schedule your messages in advance. Schedule your date and time for Curate emails. What you need to know:
  • Using AWeber’s Curate app for Android and iOS, you can now create an email on your mobile device and schedule it to be sent at a later time. 📅
  • When you schedule a message to be sent, you can even review it on your desktop by signing into AWeber.com. You can modify or cancel the message, as needed. 📝
How to take advantage of this feature:
  • If you haven’t checked out Curate, download it today for your Android or iOS device.
  • Check out our Knowledge Base article to learn more about curating content and scheduling your emails.
  • Or, watch this super fun video that our Director of Product Chris put together and learn how to create and schedule a message from an iPad.

Getting started with AWeber

We're just getting started. Our roadmap for 2018 is filled with innovative new functionality to help your business take off. We can’t wait to roll out more updates in the coming months. Ready to start growing and engaging your audience? Log in today to start using these features. Have questions? Give us a call, or start a live chat! Not using AWeber? Join the fun! Start building your email list with AWeber today.

The post February Product Updates: 5 NEW Features Have Hit Your AWeber Account appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

I Sent Only 100-Word Emails for One Year and Here’s What Happened

Permalink - Posted on 2018-02-14 14:01

Last year, my wife Lindsay and I launched a writing experiment together. As busy parents trying to raise two young girls, we wanted a way to capture our thoughts and reflect on life rather than just watch it pass by. We decided to send 100-word emails three times a week for one year straight. Why such short emails? Nowadays, people have the attention span of a goldfish. Litmus, an email testing tool site, found that the average time spent reading an email is 11.1 seconds. That’s it! With Twitter, texting, and skimmable Facebook feeds, people are no longer accustomed to reading long-winded posts. You need to grab people’s attention—fast. That’s why Lindsay and I promised our readers quick, to-the-point short emails that could be read in one minute or less. We assumed subscribers would regularly open and engage with these shorter emails. We hosted the email list sign up form at 100-words.com. When people signed up, they received a 100-word welcome email that set the expectations for the series. It looked like this: 100-word email length (You can find the archive of all the 100-word emails here.) The very first email went out on January 2, 2017. Here were the outcomes of our little year-long experiment.

1. We are better writers now.

At first, it seemed easy to write 100 words. Then, suddenly, you’re staring at 500 words on the screen.  That’s when the real work begins. Lindsay and I had to be tough editors to get exactly 100 words every single time. We had to be concise (which was hard for us—we’re both ramblers!) without stripping away any context. Over the course of 12 months, this got easier and easier. Now, whenever I write, I carefully choose my words. If I can write a sentence in 10 words instead of 15, I do it. I'm a more succinct communicator since ending this experiment. (Try it for yourself! Go to wordcounter.net and begin typing a sentence. See how how quickly 100 words can flow from your keyboard to the screen?)  

2. Our open rates were extremely high.

The typical open rate—the measure of subscribers that opened your message—will vary depending on your industry, but 20% to 40% is the average. Our average open rate was 57%. Our high open rates were due in part to our small list (approximately 80 people because we didn’t do much promotion). As your list size goes up, your open rate typically falls. But our high open rates was also due to our short-and-to-the-point content. Our subscribers knew exactly what to expect from us. We never wavered. We never sent a 90-word email or a 105-word email. We never tried to sell them anything. We never took advantage of the fact that we were invited into their inboxes. Every single individual on that list was important to us. At the end of the day, I’d rather have 80 highly engaged subscribers than 1,000 that never open or read our emails. (Is it time to purge your list of subscribers? Find out here.)

3. We had a low unsubscribe rate.

Because our emails were just 100 words and super conversational, we ended up building relationships with a large portion of people on our list. Many of our readers would email us back and give us their thoughts, suggestions, feedback, and advice. If we missed a post, they would email us to ask why we were slacking. (They kept us motivated!) We only had a handful of people unsubscribe over the course of the year. I was recently reminded of a video by American author and marketing guru Seth Godin. In it, he says, “permission is the privilege of being looked forward to and being missed if you were gone.” I think this list of subscribers gave us that level of permission! They invited us into their inbox. They liked our content, opened it, engaged with it, and continued to invite us back week after week for an entire year. When you get to that point with your audience, you know you're doing something right. 

4. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

At the bottom of our emails, we always included a hyperlinked question “Did you like this email?” If the reader clicked the link, they were taken to a form to tell us why. These micro actions allowed for a feedback loop. People clicked through and left their reactions to our musings. They told us they looked forward to the short, snackable content every week, and their comments sometimes spurred new email topic ideas. Plus, the affirmations helped keep us energized to make it the full 12 months. If you want to set up something similar on your own emails, you can embed a sentiment widget. It allows you to track feedback on every message and learn what your audience likes and dislikes about your content. It’s a great way to constantly hone your emails and improve your open and click-through rates. Click here to learn how to embed your own sentiment widget.

Should you shorten the length of your emails?

One hundred words is an aggressive constraint, but it really forces you to edit yourself. Turns out, you don't need as many words as you think you do to write well. Now, I'm not saying you need to commit to a year of 100-word musings. But give it a try every now and then. For instance, if you send a weekly newsletter, keep your intro to 100 words or less. Your readers may appreciate the brevity. You can also send 100-word emails over a shorter timeframe, like two weeks or one month. Then track open and click-through rates and sentiment widget feedback to see if there's a change in your subscribers' behavior. They may start interacting more with your content than they did when it was longer. If you're looking for more email writing tips, check out this FREE What to Write course. You'll get 45+ email content templates to help you craft the perfect message every single time.

The post I Sent Only 100-Word Emails for One Year and Here’s What Happened appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Everything You Need to Know about Using GIFs in Email

Permalink - Posted on 2018-02-09 15:33

GIFs have come a long way since the Internet’s early GeoCities days when sites were littered with 8-bit dancing kittens and flashing rainbows. At AWeber, we create a lot of custom GIFs. (Check out these brand-new FREE Valentine’s Day GIFs that your readers will love.) So we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work when placing GIFs in emails. I breakdown a list of GIF best practices in my latest episode of “Win at Email Design.” I’ll talk about which GIFs tend to get the most positive feedback from our customers; the optimal file sizes for load time and subscriber data plans; copyrights; the greatest apps for creating your own; and the best resources for pre-made ones. After watching the above video, let me know your thoughts in the comments below: Will you test out GIFs in future emails?   For more AWeber “Win at Email Design” episodes with yours truly, check out my YouTube page. There, you’ll find tips on how to to structure a welcome email and design an email using only text. And if you’re not sure what to write in your emails? Download these 45+ FREE writing templates. Learn how to craft the perfect message or just fill in the blanks!

The post Everything You Need to Know about Using GIFs in Email appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Should Your Emails Match Your Website Design?

Permalink - Posted on 2018-02-01 15:42

You’ve spent long hours — and probably some decent money, too — honing the visual experience of your website. It captures the essence of your brand, while also being easy to navigate and interesting to click through.

So it makes sense that you’d want your email design to match your website. But which elements from your site should make an appearance in your emails, and which should not?

In this fourth episode of “Win at Email Design,” I discuss how these two brand assets can complement each other while also maintaining equally important and different roles.

After watching the video above, let me know your thoughts in the comments below: What website elements do you include in your emails?  

(Oh, and go easy on my outfit choice.  Looking back, the jacket was a poor choice.)

For more AWeber “Win at Email Design” episodes with yours truly, check out my YouTube page. There, you’ll find tips on how to create an awesome welcome email, how to rock a newsletter design, and how to design an email using only text.

And if you’re not sure what to write in your emails? Download these 45+ FREE writing templates. Learn how to craft the perfect message or just fill in the blanks!

The post Should Your Emails Match Your Website Design? appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

10 FREE Valentine’s Day GIFs Your Subscribers Will Love

Permalink - Posted on 2018-01-30 20:20

Time to get all mushy: Our readers and subscribers are the absolute best.

To show our appreciation this Valentine’s Day, we wanted to send you each a dozen red roses and a lobster dinner — but, according to our finance department, that would put us out of business. So, instead, we had our amazing designers create a bunch of super-fun GIFs to put on your site or in your emails.

Check them out below, download your favorites, and then pass on the love to your own readers and subscribers.

Not an AWeber customer yet? You're missing out! Create your free account right now!

Download Your GIFs

Step 1: Find the animated GIF below that you want to use in your email.

Step 2: Save it to your computer by either right clicking the image and selecting “Save Image,” or by dragging the image to your desktop.

Step 3: Upload the image into your email template.

… And that’s it!


1. Falling Hearts

2. Love Ya

Love Ya

3. Happy Valentine's Day/Heart Day

Happy Valentine's Day

4. Cutest Valentines

5. Hugs

6. Love Fireworks

Love Ya

7. Full of Love

Happy Valentine's Day

8. Heart so Full

Happy Valentine's Day

9. Pop Hearts

10. Be True

Show your appreciation year round

Want to show your love for your customers the other 364 days of the year? Here are some clever ways to deliver awesome experiences.

1. Send personalized notes.

Have you ever received a tweet from your favorite company? Or a lightning-fast response from tech support when you’re having an issue? It feels good to be acknowledged, doesn’t it?

Do the same for your customers and send a bunch of individualized emails. You can say “thank you for your business” to a new or interesting customer. You can send a quick note of thanks to your subscribers who gave your product, service, or program great reviews. Or maybe you can send followup emails to the ones who didn’t gave you good reviews — and ask what you can do better.

Include your contact info and tell them to get in touch with you if they ever have any questions.

2. Deliver seasonal content.

Get creative and think outside the traditional holiday seasons. For example, if you’re a coffee shop owner, you could send your subscribers a special coupon that they can use for a pick-me-up during tax season.

3. Reward your customers.

First-time customers could use a push to buy again and return customers deserve to be recognized. Give them a little something — like free shipping on their next order, a free consultation, or a downloadable resource that can help them make a buying decision.

4. Turn your 404 page into an opportunity.

A 404 doesn’t have to be a dead end. Instead,  use it as a chance to delight.

One quick example: If you stumble upon a 404 page on the site Flooring Supplies — the UK’s largest online flooring company — it says “Floor…Oh … Floor!” Here are some more awesome 404 ideas.

5. Respond to questions and comments.

Join in on your customers’ conversation. Forums, Twitter chats, and your own social profiles are great places to start. When someone gives you a digital shoutout, respond! It’s a fantastic way to retain customers and maintain stellar customer service.

If a customer has an issue, give them your undivided attention. By simply listening and working with them to solve it, you can turn a negative situation into a position one. Check out these ideas for turning customers into raving fans.

Have more ideas for delighting your customers? Tell us in the comments!

The post 10 FREE Valentine’s Day GIFs Your Subscribers Will Love appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Why This Art Director Is Ditching Design for Text-Only Emails

Permalink - Posted on 2018-01-24 18:23

Sometimes the stripped-down version works best. Like the acoustic version of your favorite song. Or the Instagram photo with zero filters. Or the film without the 3D effects.

But can the same be said about email design?

In this episode of "Win at Email Design," I discuss the pros and cons of stripping away images, GIFs, colors, header images, footers, logos, navigations, social icons, buttons, and columns. When all of those elements are deleted from a template, can you still even call it design? Can the email do as good a job of communicating as a heavily-designed email?

Not all text-only emails are created equal, either. I lay out some simple rules — like proper text size, alignment, hyperlinking, and word count — that you should still follow.

Watch the video above, and then let me know your thoughts in the comments below: text-only emails or heavily-designed emails?

For more AWeber "Win at Email Design" episodes with yours truly, check out my YouTube page. There, you’ll find tips on how to create a compelling welcome email and ways to rock a newsletter design.

And if you’re not sure what to write in your emails? Download these 45+ FREE writing templates. Learn how to craft the perfect message or just fill in the blanks!

The post Why This Art Director Is Ditching Design for Text-Only Emails appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

5 Email Marketing Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore in 2018

Permalink - Posted on 2018-01-18 21:44

I have two predictions for 2018. My first: Email marketing will drive insane revenue in 2018. Forget the 124 percent median average ROI reported in 2017 by the DMA. That’s a fraction of what you can earn from email this year. My second? The following 5 email marketing trends will help my first prediction come true. You can use them to stand out in inboxes flooded with bland, boring and downright spammy emails.

1. Hyper-segmented email automation

In 2018, a single automation series won’t be enough. As inboxes flood with more and more emails, you must be different to stand out. Hyper-segmented automation, when you create custom automation series for subscribers with different needs, interests, or characteristics, will play a big part in this. The more segmented and targeted your automation, the more it’ll resonate with subscribers. This leads to higher open and click-through rates. In fact, targeted emails can drive up to 77 percent of your overall email ROI, according to the Direct Marketing Association. One way to hyper-segment your audience? Allow subscribers to choose the type of content they receive. This is called self-selected email automation and it can skyrocket email engagement and sales. By making subscribers the decision makers, you’re taking permission marketing to a whole new level. Seth Godin coined this concept in his best-selling book Permission Marketing. Godin says that permission marketing is “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” With subscriber-selected automation, you can be 100% certain your subscriber wants your message. After all, they chose it. Here's an example of how a company might use self-selected automation to segment their automation. Tasty Treats, a fake bakery I invented for this example, has a food blog where they share gluten-free recipes and recipes with gluten. They also sell gluten-free cookbooks and cookbooks with recipes that contain gluten. When a subscriber first signs up, Tasty Treats sends this welcome email to find out if their new subscriber is gluten-free or not: Once a subscriber clicks on one of the purple buttons, they are tagged with either "gluten-free" or "not gluten-free." Tasty Treats then uses an email marketing platform — like AWeber — to automatically send an email based on the tag their subscriber has. (AWeber's Click Automations can help you do this!) If they have a "gluten-free" tag, they automatically receive this email one day after their welcome email: By giving subscribers the ability to segment themselves, Tasty Treats can send their audience more relevant content and increase sales by promoting more relevant products. This example is a simple one, but you can apply this same concept to send hyper-segmented automation series. Truity, a company that offers online personality and career tests, does just that. Using AWeber’s Click and Open Automations, Truity created custom automation series for each of the 16 personality types their subscribers might have. In the second email of their first automation series, Truity asks people to tell them their personality type by clicking the link that matches their type. Then, they are automatically added to the customized personality series which aligns with their choice. By hyper-segmenting their automation in this way, Truity can send emails series dedicated to the 16 different personality types. It's perfectly tailored to an individual. This increases subscriber engagement and better serves their audience. Want to create hyper-segmented automation with AWeber's Click Automations? Try AWeber free for 30 days.

2. Text only emails

While beautiful, image-heavy emails (like the Godiva email below) remain popular with huge retail brands, small businesses will continue to adopt simple, text-only emails in 2018. Text-only emails, although they may be less eye catching for subscribers, are popular among entrepreneurs and small businesses and will continue to be. For two reasons:
  • They feel more like a personal message and less like an advertisement. People tend to put up their guard when they think marketers are selling them something. Text-only emails, since they look like the messages you receive from friends, family, and coworkers, seem less like marketing and more like a conversation.
  • They’re easy to create. For text-only emails, all you need is written content. No more scouring the internet for free stock images or fidgeting with a clunky email template. Simply type your content and send. For time-strapped businesses, this simplicity is attractive.
Ben Settle, email marketing expert, copywriter, and entrepreneur, sends text-only emails without exception. As a result, his messages feel personal and raw, like an email from a friend.

< Personalization

People love content when it speaks to them directly. That’s why email personalization is so effective and will continue to play a massive role in 2018. Personalization can take many forms. It can be simple, like this example found in Weekly Coffee, a productivity newsletter created by AWeber’s Product Marketing Manager (and host of our Ask Me About Anything Podcast series!), Tom Tate. Tom very naturally places his subscribers’ first names in the second paragraph of this email: Or, it can be complex, like this email from KickStarter which dynamically inserts the number of pledges a subscriber’s KickStarter project has earned: No matter the complexity, personalization is a powerful way to engage your subscribers. And the top-performing email marketers will use it heavily this year. Here’s a few ways you can be one of them:
  • Add your subscribers’ first names in your email content. But be creative! Instead of “Dear [insert first name],” try incorporating a first name in the middle of a paragraph.
  • Email your subscribers on their birthdays. They’ll love a celebratory message!
  • Thanks your new customers for purchasing a product, give them advice for using it, and then recommend similar products they might like.
Want to learn even more about personalization? Read How Personalization Can Help You Connect with Subscribers.

4. Conversational voice

Stop thinking of email as an advertisement in 2018. Think of it as a conversation. A business-like, formal tone will be increasingly disenchanting to your audience this year. People want to know that you’re a person. They’ll resonate with you more and find your messages more interesting. Instead of jargon, use familiar words. Write like you converse articulate confabulate communicate speak. Read your emails out loud before you send them. It’ll help you hear where your content is unnatural or robotic. And finally, be yourself. Show off your personality and have some fun with your content. Really Good Emails (a company who shares, well ... really good emails) knows how to let their personality shine. They use humor, self-deprecation, and great word choices to show off who they are –– really cool people who love emails. Their conversational voice gives them a brand identity that’s irresistible and makes subscribers want to open their emails. Even if their logo and branding went missing, you would still know this email is from Really Good Emails because of its distinctive tone.

5. Storytelling

Once upon a time, in a castle surrounded by a cactus forest, lived an undersized platypus named Pluto. Good stories involve your imagination. The details and plot catch the reader by surprise. Instead of merely telling them to “Buy, buy buy,” you're creating a relationship. You're giving them a glimpse inside your life or your business. And this builds connections. In 2018, businesses will capitalize on the power of the story in their email marketing. They’ll begin their emails with a story that catches their subscribers’ attention, then relate it back to the actual point of their email. To make his email content more interesting and catch the attention of his audience, John Corcoran, founder of Smart Business Revolution, shares a personal anecdote and ties it back to his webinar in this email:

These 5 best practices are just the beginning ...

Now, you need to make them happen in your own email marketing. You got it! Want expert help for your 2018 email marketing strategy? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter all about email marketing. You’ll get our best blog posts and exclusive courses, webinars, and workshops –– delivered directly to your inbox.

The post 5 Email Marketing Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore in 2018 appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

3 Ridiculously Clever Ways to Get Subscribers to Buy Your Stuff

Permalink - Posted on 2018-01-16 19:04

When it comes to triggering impulse purchases, supermarkets are doing it right. They put the bakery up front because the smell of freshly baked bread is hard to resist. The flowers are by the door so you’re tempted to grab them. The checkout line is chock full of easy-to-reach candy bars and magazines that entice you while you wait. We’d like to think that our purchasing decisions come from a place of rational thinking. In reality, however, crafty marketers are steering us toward certain products every single day. It’s the same with email design, too. The best email marketers and professional designers on the planet use psychological triggers to compel us to open, read, click, and buy. Sure, it’s a bit manipulative. After all, they’re influencing how we act and make decisions on an subconscious level. But if these mental triggers are used in the right way — to put a valuable product into the hands of someone who really needs it — and not unethically, then it can be extremely powerful for both you and your subscribers. As a design professional, I use these triggers in email all the time. Here are 3 of my favorite ways to do it. (Put these design tips into practice with AWeber, which gives you the tools and templates you need to be an email marketing pro. Start your 30-day free trial right now!)

Establish trust with a brand identity.

Nowadays, marketing messages flood people's inboxes daily. In order to stand out, you might think the flashier and shinier the template design, the better. You’d be dead wrong. If you constantly change the format and template of your emails, readers will be left scratching their heads as to who the email is from. You’ll only increase confusion and decrease reliability. Instead, stick with a consistent look — even if it’s super simple. By doing so, you’re establishing a brand aesthetic. Over time, your customers will come to understand your core identity and they’ll feel as if they can rely on you. When you reach that level of influence, your subscribers will trust you. And if they trust you, they have a greater affinity to buy from you. Pick a template, make it yours and stick with it. It’s never too late to start creating standards and establishing consistency. Not sure where to begin? Kim Robbins, an AWeber email designer, put together this great brand standards worksheet to get you started.  

Create authority and likeability through great photography.

Marketing teams spend thousands of dollars on captivating product shots. That’s because fantastic high-quality images help guide our decision making and accelerate the purchasing process. They add professionalism and authority to the content. While product photography is a skill that can take years to hone, it’s now easier than ever to take fantastic shots with some very basic photography tools (some of which you may already own). Take the examples below. Both skateboards are listed on Etsy. The one on the left is a basic shot that shows the product. While you know exactly what you’re buying, the image is amateurish and doesn’t show off the board’s uniqueness. It also doesn’t create much of an emotional desire to like or buy the skateboard. By simply changing the angle, location and lighting, though, the photo on the right becomes more professional and appealing. You can easily see the features and characteristics that make this board different from other ones on the market. The image lends clout and instant likeability to the product. The best part: You can shoot photos like the one on the right with an iPhone. Natural window light + an iPhone + a simple background = the formula for inexpensive but high-quality product photography. If you want to go a step further, I recommend getting a lightbox to use with your iPhone or a DSLR. This folding one works great if you're selling small goods. For larger products, you can use a seamless background paper roll. The photographer of the skateboard on the right (above) probably used something similar to shoot that image. In addition to those tools, here are some other tricks to accomplish this level of photography:
  1. Get closer to the object to decrease the amount of clutter in your image. You want your reader to focus on just the product — not, say, the bookshelf or the buildings in the background.
  2. Change your angle from the expected human eye level to something more dramatic. For instance, try lying on the ground or standing on a ladder. Your reader isn't used to seeing the product from these new perspectives. This instantly makes it seem more interesting.
  3. Shoot the small details as well as the full product. The more aspects a buyer can absorb without actually touching the product, the more likely they are to  want it.

Build a community with visuals.

Belonging is a basic human need. We have an inherent desire to be part of a group — a family, a workplace, a team, a club, a hobby, an online group, or a religion. Capitalize on this sense of belonging in your email designs. If you can make your subscribers feel as if they’re part of a community by owning your product, then there is a greater chance they’ll buy from you. Here are a few ways to visually do that:
  1. Show a behind-the-scenes peek of the product creation. This creates the feeling of exclusivity. Subscribers feel like they’re privy to a process that not everyone gets to see.
  2. Showcase an aspirational lifestyle. Take shots of your ideal customer using your products in the wild. It gives your subscriber something to desire. They start to picture themselves as the model in the images.
  3. Create FOMO (fear of missing out). Include user-submitted images of other customers using your product. (Always ask permission before sharing.) By doing so, you’ll provide social proof of others using — and, essentially, recommending — your product. We take cues from others. So if your reader sees others using the product, they might take action and buy.
A quick reminder: These design tips should be used responsibly. Your product or service is a solution to your subscriber’s problem. The goal isn’t to coerce someone into buying something that won’t add value to their life. (Looking for a way to send beautiful emails to your subscribers? Start your free trial with AWeber today!)

The post 3 Ridiculously Clever Ways to Get Subscribers to Buy Your Stuff appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

6 Email Template Design Tips You Should Always Follow

Permalink - Posted on 2018-01-10 20:25

email template design

More than 260 billion emails are sent around the world every single day. So how do you make sure your messages stand out in a subscriber's inbox? Well, great content, for one. But another extremely important factor: email design. Eye-catching emails that effectively communicate your message will improve metrics like open rates, click through rates, and conversions. Luckily, email templates are an easy and time-efficient way to create beautifully branded messages. Most Email Service Providers have some to choose from. In fact, AWeber has more than 700 templates in our platform. (Not an AWeber customer yet? Sign up for your free trial today!) Before you start dragging and dropping your content into a template, though, there are a few design tips you should know. Follow these six simple tricks to get the most out of every template.

Pick the right template for the job

Do you want to welcome a new reader? Update them on a new product? Announce a huge sale? With hundreds of templates to choose from, you want to pick a design that best suits your goal. (Want a more customized template that perfectly matches your website or brand? Click here to work one-on-one with an AWeber designer to create one.) For instance, if you're an AWeber customer who wants to send a welcome letter to new subscribers, you may choose the “tidal” template (shown below). Then just add in your own text, logo, and personalization.  If you want to get your subscribers excited about an upcoming sale, catch their attention right away. Then lead them right to your discount, coupon, or offer. Here’s a simple, but effective design you might pick: 

Keep your design clean and focused

Choice is the enemy of conversion. If you give a person too many options, it makes it difficult for them to make a final decision, according to psychologist Barry Schwartz, who named this phenomenon "the paradox of choice." Keep this in mind as you choose or tweak an email template. The design should be a path that leads the reader toward your ultimate goal. Add in too many other routes, and your reader may never get where you want them to go. To give you an idea, here is an example from Moo, a custom print and design company. It’s a clean and focused email design that effectively promotes products. As a reader, you know exactly what the email’s goal is — to make you want to buy something! We love this design because it:
  • Follows a simple "Z" pattern layout, which means it easily moves your eyes in a zigzag that alternates text and images.
  • Consists of minimal elements and concise writing for a streamlined look.
  • Includes visual examples of each product to minimize the use of long chunks of text and to show off their array of products.
  • Creates defined sections for each product with the use of thin dividers.
  • Contains lots of white (or in this case, blue) space to draw your attention to the images.
  • Incorporates large “call to action” product buttons (i.e.: Shop Postcards) for easy navigation to their website.

Create an eye-catching header

While you want your email template to reflect your brand, you don’t need it to look exactly like your website. You want to draw your reader's attention to the important elements within your email — not overwhelm them with something that looks like a site. Forgo a heavy navigation bar at the top for something more user-friendly like the North Face did below. It still drives subscribers back to their site, but it limits the number of choices and keeps things clean.  If your email can serve its purpose without the navigation bar, then take it out like this Burberry email below. The goal of this email is to advertise their trench coat line and the design visually showcases this very well and plays up their brand. With the multi-tan color palette, you instantly know that it’s Burberry. The well-structured grid layout makes for a seamless flow of design as well. If the header was filled with navigational tools, it would diminish the overall feel of the brand and the message they are trying to send.

Balance your text-to-image ratio

When choosing or changing a template, keep your text-to-image ratio in mind. Text-to-image ratio is how much text there is in comparison to images in your email. There’s no such thing as the perfect “text-to-image ratio”, but most people stick with 60 percent text and 40 percent images. Here’s why it’s important not to rely too heavily on images:
  1. "Image-only" emails risk going to the SPAM folder since email service providers like Gmail, Yahoo! and Hotmail tend to filter and block them.
  2. Images may be ‘turned off’ as default by viewers or by their email client.
  3. Images can take longer than text to load based on browser and internet connection. A subscriber may leave the email before they’ve seen all the content.

Utilize alt text for images

When you include images in your messages, they may or may not always display in the email clients they were sent to. That's because many email services will disable images in messages that are sent to their users, unless the user actually verifies that they do indeed want to see the images. Alternative text is helpful in these cases. When an image doesn’t load, a line of text will appear that describes what should be there. Take a look at this email from Hotels.com where images were blocked, but the use of alt text was implemented. And here’s what it should actually look like: Now, you may be wondering, “Is including alt text worth my time?” Absolutely. Forty-eight percent of mobile clients will block images by default, according to the email testing platform called Litmus. If you set up alt text, the description will appear where the images were supposed to go. If you don’t, your reader will only see blank boxes. Alt text is also important for your subscribers with visual or certain cognitive disabilities. They may have a screen reader that will read the alt text to them so they get a full understanding of what’s included in your message. If you are using AWeber’s Drag & Drop editor, click here to see how to set up alt text for your images. Pro Tip: Not all images need alt text. If your image is purely for the aesthetics of the email, be sure to set an empty alt text value for the image.

Test your message

Mistakes can make you look unprofessional and sloppy. One bad experience may be enough to turn a subscriber away for good. So test your emails! It only takes an extra minute or two, but the payoff is huge. We even recommend sending the test email to a couple people you trust and who aren’t afraid to give you an honest critique. They offer a fresh pair of eyes that may catch something you didn’t. You should also send the test to accounts in different email services like Gmail, Yahoo! or Outlook. Here at AWeber, each of our marketing specialists has about three to five different test email accounts so they can review our messages and templates in multiple platforms before we hit the send button. And always test on different devices — desktop, tablet, and mobile — if possible. Sometimes an email template you selected on desktop may have formatting issues on a cell phone. AWeber’s email templates are all mobile-responsive, but we can’t vouch for all other ESPs, so test just to make sure. If you’re using AWeber: To easily check emails before you send, click on the “Preview & Test” button on the upper right-hand side of your screen. Enter your email address and hit “Send Test” to get a test email delivered to your inbox. If you’re not using AWeber: Check out email testing tools like Email on Acid or Litmus to preview your design before you send.

Your template design cheat sheet

Feel free to download this recap below for the next time you use an email template. And if you're looking for an email template that perfectly fits your style and brand, contact an AWeber designer today.

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