5 Ways Your Fans Can Help Optimize Your Site for Conversions

I’ve been watching Facebook closely for a long time.

I’ve tested hundreds of ad iterations.

I’ve worked hard to build organic reach for myself and my clients.

Here’s what I’ve concluded: Facebook is awesome. But it’s also tricky.

Why? Because the algorithm is constantly shifting, forcing marketers to up their game, readjust their techniques, and reorient their strategies.

Here’s the thing. If you have a social presence for your business, Facebook has decided that your organic reach needs to shrink.

Again.

You know, of course, that this isn’t the first time the social giant tweaked its algorithm.

In June, Adam Mosseri, VP, Product Management for News Feed at Facebook, shared a post that detailed how Facebook was updating the news feed.

The core of the update is to prioritize posts that come from friends and family while reducing the onslaught of content from businesses and other publishers. Facebook wants users to see more posts from actual people, not businesses doing marketing.

The gist of the algorithm remains the same.

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But the variability is increasing. Mosseri explained:

It will vary a lot by publisher mostly based on how much of their referral traffic or their reach is based on people who actually share their content directly…

If you’ve got strong engagement from your audience and they’re shouting your name from the rooftops as they share your content, or generate content around your brand, you’ll be far less impacted by the update.

But most of the businesses I work with aren’t enjoying that level of stellar engagement.

This is what it boils down to. If you want to improve your reach and engagement, you’ll need to find ways to leverage user-generated content (UGC) since that’s what friends and family will see first.

What I want to communicate is pretty simple: User-generated content is one of the most effective forms of content marketing available today.

User-generated content is the future of content marketing.

UGC will act as dynamite to your social media presence, accelerate your onsite content efforts, increase engagement, boost conversions, and build up a wall of defense against any algorithm the world throws your way.

Let’s talk about where the rubber meets the road—your fans helping your site become a conversion-generating machine.

Why you should put your money into user-generated content

There are a lot of benefits to UGC, and those benefits can be significant. And that’s primarily because you’re not limited to social media when it comes to working with customers to acquire and leverage it—though that’s where a bulk of your gains can come into play.

Consider for a moment that more than half of the adult users on Facebook have around 200 people in their immediate networks, according to Pew Research.

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That social network graph looks something like this:
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If the algorithm wants all those people to see content from their connections first, it’s in your best interest to get your audience producing or creating content about you.

And that’s not just for the sake of a little (or even big) boost in visibility.

Consumers fully admit they find branded information from their peers trustworthy—85% of consumers, to be exact.

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That’s because the vast majority of them find that kind of content to be helpful when they make a decision about whether or not to make a purchase.

Nielsen’s study on this subject showed that 92% of consumers trust content and the opinions of their peers over any other kind of advertising.

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UGC also has influence over that trust, according to data shared by Yotpo:

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UGC is the best way to beat an algorithm that wants to topple and bury your promotions amid pictures of babies, beards, and breakfast platters.

But you’re not limited to Facebook in leveraging it.

With variations in engagement time across different social channels, you can see where there are opportunities to use user-generated content to drive up engagement as well as increase consumer trust.

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Some brands are having a lot of success on other social channels and digital properties with UGC.

Below are a couple of examples of brands that leverage UGC using different channels.

A touch of wanderlust

National Geographic asked users to capture unforgettable people, places, and experiences that have impacted their lives from their travels around the world. The hashtag campaign (#wanderlustcontest) brought in tens of thousands of submissions branded to NatGeo.

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And, of course, among those public submissions were some truly breathtaking and awe-inspiring photos people were all too happy to continue sharing.

Ignite user creativity

Nissan’s luxury car brand, Infiniti, ran a campaign promoting its Q30 model, aiming to leverage the content of its fans to help promote the vehicle. The New Heights contest had users print out a marker card that would display the vehicle in 3D when used with their mobile app.

Fans were encouraged to show off the vehicle in unexpected places by snapping pictures and sharing them with a branded hashtag via different social channels.

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These two great examples of building campaigns and visibility from user-generated content had a couple of things in common:

  1. They both revolved around contests. While this is a good way to encourage action among your followers, it’s not always necessary to give something away in order to source user-generated content.
  2. These two campaigns were actively asking their fans to provide the content.

This aspect—the asking—is the most important part you need to remember.

Why? Because the majority of brands simply don’t ask. If you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it.

It’s just that simple.

So, what’s the simplest and most effective way to get UGC?

Ask your users to provide it.

If you want UGC, ask your followers to provide it

Brands don’t want to be pushy, but with UGC, you’ve got to approach it like you approach a call to action (CTA).

With a CTA, you’re telling your audience explicitly what you want them to do. It’s been proven time and again that without a clear call to action, you lose conversions.

But only about 16% of brands take the same approach with UGC, expressing to fans just what kind of content they want to see. Without that kind of direction, consumers aren’t sure what’s okay to share.

In fact, 50% of consumers want brands to tell them what they should include when creating and sharing content.

You don’t need to give away a luxury or big-ticket item when you make the ask, but you do need to ask.

Don’t sit and wait for your fans to provide you with gold.

Here are some of the best ways you can start sourcing and leveraging user-generated content for your brand and social channels.

1. Curate user-generated content with Yotpo

I’ve long felt that Yotpo is an impressive platform for sourcing reviews, engaging customers, and utilizing customer feedback to promote growth.

Now, it’s even better than ever.

Yotpo has stepped up its game with the recent launch of the Yotpo Curation tool.

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This tool allows you to collect relevant Instagram photos from fans and influencers, displaying them on a single dashboard.

From there, you can tag products and handle rights management (including engagement with the original user to say thanks), inject the photos into your product pages, and even sell from your timeline.

This simplifies the tedium of trying to manually source user-generated images and lets you quickly benefit from the social proof tied to UGC.

In one survey conducted by Yotpo, 77% of consumers admitted they preferred to see consumer photos over professional shots:image03 5 5 Ways Your Fans Can Help Optimize Your Site for Conversions

That’s a clear indication of what you should have on your product pages.

Imagine the impact of having quality reviews alongside images showing off your products being used by actual customers.

It would provide a significant lift in conversions when you consider that 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site displaying user reviews. A study conducted by Reevoo showed that reviews alone, without any other UGC, lift sales by 18%.

The Yotpo tool turns your customers into brand ambassadors right on your product pages, plus you can create your own shoppable Instagram galleries or post that UGC to other social channels.

2. Build a community

When I talk about building a community, I’m referring to a gathering of people. Literal people in online gatherings.

You may view your social channels as individual and separate communities, but they’re really not. At least not without some kind of organization.

There are a lot of ways to build communities, e.g., Facebook groups, subreddits on Reddit.com, or communities built into your website.

A community you create and manage can give your fans a sense of belonging and make them feel connected to your brand. They’ll share a mix of personal content as well as content related to the brand as they engage with one another.

Through this engagement, you’ll see things like images, videos, and testimonials crop up that are ripe for the picking.

That user-generated content feeds back into the community, encouraging others to generate more of it, and it helps anchor prospective customers who were on the fence about making a purchase.

Giant Vapes is one of the largest online retailers of e-liquid for electronic cigarettes. It also operates a Facebook community, roughly 25,000 members strong. Members regularly share the products they’ve purchased, industry news, their opinions about interactions with the company, praise over shipping and deals, and more.

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3. Give them customization and unique experiences

Customization provides your fans and customers with a sense of real ownership. They’ll naturally want to share with their friends and family what they’ve created, and you can play on that desire by asking them to do so.

Whether it’s a customized piece of clothing, a bag, or a vehicle, customization often leads to some great user-generated content.

And sometimes you don’t even have to ask.

Scores of people got excited about the announcement of Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker. Players create their own Mario levels to play on their own or share with the community. Fans, new and old, went crazy when it launched, and YouTube was flooded with the creations of streamers, generating a lot of visibility for the brand and the game.

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This video has almost 12 million views to date.

In the same vein of creating unique experiences, Hello Games is seeing images and videos of their game No Man’s Sky showing up all over the web, including a subreddit devoted to the game (a user-created community).

No Man’s Sky features a universe boasting over 10 quintillion procedurally (randomly) generated planets, each with creatures and alien plant life different from the last. That guarantees unique content, and fans have been quick to share images and videos of their discoveries since its recent launch.

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When you give your audience something they’ve never experienced before and the chance to create something unique they feel they own, they’re more likely to share that experience far and wide. That builds a lot of trust and provides a lift in conversions.

4. The UGC contest

I touched on contests above with a couple of examples, but in recommending this approach, I wanted to add one more because of the success of the campaign.

Back in 2014, Starbucks invited fans to decorate their white cups with customized art. Fans were asked to submit the images through Twitter with the #whitecupcontest hashtag for a chance to win. There were thousands of entries, and, of course, a constant stream of buzz that drove customers to their local stores.

I’m mentioning this contest specifically because it pulls in elements from my last point: let users customize and do something unique.

You don’t have to have a multi-million dollar budget to add customization to your product line.

Sometimes, you just need to give your customers a blank canvas and set their creativity free.

5. Use videos on product pages

Yotpo can strap a rocket onto your conversions with user-generated images, but don’t let the rocket run out of fuel.

If you can get your fans and customers generating videos of your products in use, those should be added to your product pages as well.

Explainer videos are great, but there’s nothing that sells a product faster than a video showing real, happy customers, who are 100% satisfied with their purchase.

Here are some quick stats that show how effective product videos really are:

  • 90% of users admit that seeing a video about a product helps them make a purchase decision
  • 36% of customers trust video ads; imagine the trust you gain from earned media
  • 64% of visitors are more likely to buy a product after watching a video online
  • Product videos can increase conversions by as much as 20%

Conclusion

Aside from those five tips, it goes without saying that you should absolutely be using product reviews on your website and social channels such as Facebook.

Leverage that social proof, and find creative ways to team up with your customers.

A large portion of your audience are happy to create and share content for you—they just need to know what you’re looking for.

Tell them how to help, inspire them to get creative, and watch your conversions climb steadily as your collection of UGC grows.

Are you using user-generated content right now to build trust with your audience and increase your brand’s visibility? What techniques are you using, and what’s the most successful?

 5 Ways Your Fans Can Help Optimize Your Site for Conversions  5 Ways Your Fans Can Help Optimize Your Site for Conversions  5 Ways Your Fans Can Help Optimize Your Site for Conversions

 5 Ways Your Fans Can Help Optimize Your Site for Conversions
Source: QuickSprout

The post 5 Ways Your Fans Can Help Optimize Your Site for Conversions appeared first on JZ-ART.

Source: JZ-Art

Maximize Your 2017 Hotel Marketing Budget

Hotel Budgeting Webinar

Date & Time: Thursday, September 8, 2016 11am PT

Duration: 1 Hour + QA

Cost: Complimentary

Webinar Session: Key Strategies to Maximize Your 2017 Budget

Leverage Today’s Trends to Gain Market Share in 2017

Join this webinar to understand the latest digital trends that will affect your business in 2017 and how to budget for next year’s success.

This webinar will allow you to maximize your budget by creating a marketing plan that engages customers and search engines. Our experts will discuss how to accurately measure your current digital performance, as well as your competitor’s performance, the impactful trends and strategies to consider for next year, and a comprehensive budgeting tool that will ensure nothing slips through the cracks! We recognize each property requires customization based on marketing goals and budgets, thus we will highlight important variances during this webinar.

Webinar Key Takeaways:

  1. Digital Marketing Review- tools and methods to understand performance
  2. How to digitally prepare your property for 2017
  3. Budgeting for 2017, for various types of properties

After this webinar you will be able to budget for the highest returns in 2017 by understanding your current digital performance, competitor performance, and trends affecting the overall marketing landscape.

Panel:

  • Chris Rockett, Senior VP Sales
  • Tammie Carlisle, AVP Customer Solutions
  • Sara Linton, Product Marketing Specialist (Moderator)

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR


Source: Paid Search

Impact Your Rank and Revenue with Top Search Strategies [Webinar Recap]

 

We have this week’s webinar recap ready for you! Our search team hosted an educational 30 minute webinar to discuss the best ways to get your business to rank higher on the search engines and increase your online revenue. This webinar covered topics such as how users search today, the capabilities your website platform should contain for easy indexing by search engines, mobile testing and content, relevant links and directories to allow searchers find your business on and off line, and the impactful updates to make in Google My Business.

Additionally, please find the remaining questions and answers from the webinar below,

How do you set up back links?

First, for an understanding of backlinking we suggest watching our Milestone Minute video, Backlinking Basics.

There are many different ways to set up backlinks. You can claim your business listing on internet directories, like YellowPages, TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc. You can get your business listed in more niche-specific websites, like Resortsandlodges.com, Spafinder, etc. Ensuring that your map profiles (Google Maps, Apple Maps, and others) link to your website is another option. Local linkbuilding for hotels can also involve working with hospitals, local universities, conferences, local event listings, and other businesses that may work with people from out of town, who’ll need a place to stay.

Where do you answer direct questions?

The best place to do so is in the FAQ section of your website. Compile a list of the most common questions that your customers are asking about your business, and provide answers for each one within the FAQ page.

Editing the Knowledge Graph (Clarification)

Many elements of the Knowledge Graph are editable by business owners/managers: Name, Address, Phone Number, Website, Photos, Map Placement, Social Media Links. For all of those fields, edits may be submitted directly through the Knowledge Graph. Two primary areas are not editable by business owners/managers: Description and Amenities. Changes to these sections require a call to the Google My Business support.

A big thank you to Aaron, Terry, and Jake for this great webinar!

If you enjoyed this webinar, register for our next webinar on September 8th, “Maximize Your 2017 Hotel Marketing Budget


Source: Paid Search

9 Psychological Insights I Use When Designing a Pricing Page

Let me be upfront with you.

I’m not a web designer.

I work with some amazing web designers. I know a few things about web design. But when it comes right down to it, I’m not a designer.

What am I? I’m a marketer.

Why am I talking about designing a web page, specifically a pricing page?

Here’s why. Web design and marketing overlap. A lot.

When you get into a discussion about web design, you can’t help but talk about psychology. And when the page being designed is a pricing page, psychology plays a huge role.

What kind of psychology? Customer psychology.

Customer psychology is the study of the way people think, act, decide, and make purchases.

It has everything to do with motivation, mind tricks, color, placement, filtering, eye tracking studies, and, yes, web design.

That’s why I’m confident in my ability to design a great pricing page.

I constantly A/B-test my pages to make sure I’m choosing the most optimal design, and most of the design choices you see throughout my web properties is based on simple psychological principles.

Psychology is common in marketing and design, regardless of the industry. Look at a casino, for example.

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Every inch of that building, from the carpet and floor designs to the signs and turns was designed to psychologically keep people in the building spending money, not focusing on time and outside responsibilities.

Web design is the same way. And when it comes to the pricing page, these psychological principles are extremely important.

Here are a few of the tactics I use when designing pricing pages—one of the most important steps in your conversion funnel.

1. Devalue money in the viewer’s eyes

Since we’re on the subject of Las Vegas… Another trick casino owners use is the idea of mentally devaluing money.

When you step up to a table, they exchange your money for chips.

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Why? There are several reasons. One is that it makes it easier for dealers to count, but it also detaches people from the value of their money. It’s easier to gamble away two chips than $2,000.

A lot of people are in debt, and, while it’s great that you run a business, you need to get people to stop thinking about their bills.

The average user who looks at your pricing page might have in the back of their mind their consumer credit card debt.

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Maybe you’re not running a casino. How do you get people to stop thinking about their debt problems and instead focus on the value of your product, regardless of the price?

Let me give you an example.

Cornell researchers recently partnered with the Culinary Institute of America to research this concept of devaluing money on restaurant menus. Two different study groups were given two different menus, one with a dollar sign next to the pricing and one without.

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The group given the menus without the dollar sign spent more money. Why? Because they weren’t put off by the high $ price.

One example I’ve shown elsewhere is this pricing page. Notice the small dollar signs?

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That’s not a mistake.

The same thing is happening here:

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The dollar sign serves as a trigger to remind people of the value of money. What they should be thinking about is the value of your product.

A simple removal or minimization of the dollar sign will make your pricing page more compelling, more powerful, and more psychologically potent.

2. Color-coordinate everything

Research from the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health indicates colors are perceived in different ways by different people based on experiences, genetics, context, and other factors.

Still, there are brands of every kind that use specific colors within their logos.

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If you’re at the beginning stage of building your company, choose a color scheme that matches the emotion you’re trying to evoke.

There was a time when Geocities ruled the web and websites commonly looked as though they were drawn by crayons. Thankfully, we’ve progressed, so basic black text on a white background is considered standard for text (with a few exceptions).

Headers and buttons, however, can vary greatly. Amazon uses a yellow color for the “Add to Cart” button on its pricing pages.

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Walmart uses a red-orange.

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Best Buy utilizes bright blue and yellow for different options.

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Whatever you choose, make sure it speaks to your brand and is consistent all the way through to avoid confusing customers at a crucial step.

3. Size matters

Size does matter when designing a pricing page.

Here’s the simple truth. You want people to see the important parts first because that’s what needs to stick with them the longest.

Let me go back to this pricing page to show what I mean:

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What’s the first thing you look at when you see this page?

Probably the center column, focusing on the “Growth” package at $400 a month.

Why? Because it pops with a vivid blue against a very light gray backdrop.

Plus, it’s bigger than the others. Size is important. It’s also centrally located.

All of these are key differentiating features that psychologically emphasize the importance and superiority of that plan.

Where exactly does size matter?

  • Headlines
  • Call-to-action buttons
  • Price boxes (as pictured above)

As explained in Psychology in Action, larger fonts make messages enter our brains faster as we don’t have to struggle to see them.

This split-second difference of time and attention puts the page into a logical and cohesive, Feng Shui-like, order for browsers.

4. Limited time offers

If someone thinks their time to act is limited, they’re more likely to take action quickly rather than delay it.

Several studies have looked at how limited time offers affect our brains. Sites such as eBay and Groupon have practically built empires on the concept.

Essentially, it boils down to supply and demand.

When you create scarcity, the perceived value of an item goes up. It’s called a theory of psychological reactance, which explains why we hate to miss out on a golden opportunity when presented with it.

You’ve probably heard of fear of missing out, or FOMO, right? Same idea, different angle.

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Amazon uses this technique to great effect with constant inventory reminders on every item: “Only 10 left in stock – order soon.”

It’s a great call to action.

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Even though we know one of the world’s largest fulfillment centers will definitely replenish its supplies of literally everything, will it happen soon enough? Can we wait and will it be more expensive next time?

Dr. Eldar Shafir, from Princeton, and Dr. Sendhil Mullainathan, from Harvard, explored how people’s minds work when they feel they’re lacking something. The perception of scarcity leads them to make mistakes or bad financial decisions, spending more money than they should.

Psychology Today’s author Shahram Heshmat notes,

Scarcity orients the mind automatically and powerfully toward unfulfilled needs.

It also motivates us to prioritize our choices, e.g., we’re more frugal with toothpaste when the tube is close to empty, and we rush to purchase a product or service to obtain a deal.

5. Discounts and VIP membership

People love feeling like they belong. Costco, Sam’s Club, and AAA are just a few of the memberships you can get these days to feel like you’re part of a country club.

Everyone wants to be a VIP, so offering VIP membership bonuses and discounts encourages customers to keep spending money at your business. Instead of buying just one roll of paper towels, you can subscribe and save.

image18 9 Psychological Insights I Use When Designing a Pricing Page

Or buy 10 and get one free.

These promotions increase clicks because, as Ian Newby-Clark explains in Psychology Today,

We are social creatures who yearn to be included. We want to be a part of the group and strive for goals set for us.

It’s like a drug: belonging to something bigger than yourself provides a sense of purpose and meaning to our lives.

Marketing Profs has a great article describing how the inclusion of fans into a community motivates them to support a brand both as customers and ambassadors. I suggest you take a look at it as it’s a great read.

As psychologists point out, our social identity is defined by the groups we belong to. This is why Xbox and PlayStation fans, for example, are so prone to debating their platform’s superiority.

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The NFL, along with all other major sports organization in America, uses this psychological principle to its advantage.

Fans show up sporting their team’s colors and mascot costumes because it makes them feel like they belong.

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Above: Seattle Seahawks fans surround a Cleveland Browns fan Sunday, Nov. 30, 2003, at Seahawks Stadium in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

6. Offer tiered pricing

As Talia Wolf points out,

Tiered pricing opens the door to all sorts of psychological techniques.

Hyperbolic discounting occurs when different pricing models provide different benefits, allowing us to personalize our shopping experience. Companies such as BuzzStream and CloudFlare employs this technique:

BuzzStream pricing plan
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CloudFlare pricing plan

1 96109 resized 870w screenshot www.cloudflare.com 2016 01 28 00 29 50 9 Psychological Insights I Use When Designing a Pricing Page

Choice-supportive pricing, anchoring effect, and the decoy effect can also be employed to your advantage. With tiered pricing, anything is possible.

Amazon has about a dozen varieties of Prime combined with rewards cards, affiliate bounties, and subscription services to give you payment options beyond just “cash or credit.”

Tiered pricing is becoming even more popular these days with the growth of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model.

By subscribing for longer terms, people know they can often save money and thus seek out these types of deals.

Rational choice theory is a framework to model social and economic behavior. It states individual actors choose the option that maximizes their interests and provides the greatest benefit.

A tiered pricing model provides customers with purchasing options that are all, ultimately, with you.

7. Doorbusters work

Retail has long utilized doorbusters to get people in the doors. These savings are responsible for Black Friday leaking further into Thanksgiving every year. Once you have people in the door to buy a low-priced item, you can upsell them better, more expensive products.

Any pricing page should also have a “recommended” and “similar” section. These personalized offers help lead consumers to buy the right item for them, increasing trust in your e-commerce brand along with the ROI.

It should be noted, however, you should avoid the classic bait-and-switch scam that will get you in trouble with the FTC and ruin the reputation of both you and your brand.

It’s also worth mentioning that many analysts think Black Friday is about more than just the doorbusters.

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Professor Jane Thomas at Winthrop University says:

It’s more of a tradition than anything else. People ritualistically line up at brick-and-mortar stores the Friday after Thanksgiving while a growing number wait for Cyber Monday the following week online.

There’s also a psychological difference in the way we perceive prices such as $13.99 vs $14.00. The item priced at $13.99 is more likely to sell because even though it’s only a penny short, it’s $13 and change instead of $14.

Although consumers initially hit a website looking for a cheap deal on SEO services, soon they realize they’re also missing social media, video, CRO, PPC, and many other aspects of marketing.

They want more.

That’s the value of the doorbuster.

The initial doorbuster brings them to you for a killer deal. You get them in and then convert them to buy more stuff.

8. Get smaller yeses first

Much like with the doorbuster sale, you want to lead people by convincing them to agree to smaller things before hitting them with the big ask.

Zendesk does a great job of leading customers through smaller yeses first:

image03 1 9 Psychological Insights I Use When Designing a Pricing Page

While the option is there to buy, Zendesk wants you to try the free version first because they’re confident you’ll come back as a paying subscriber once you’ve experienced the platform.

Who doesn’t like free stuff?

By convincing customers to say yes to the smaller ask first, you make saying yes to the bigger ask much easier.

It’s all part of the psychology of negotiation,

explains Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD.

Making the pie bigger for everyone increases the maximally efficient outcome 79% of the time.

You don’t have to necessarily give out anything for free either. As explained above, even month-to-month subscriptions are a smaller ask than a year-long contract, so providing different levels of the same offer will do the trick.

9. Provide choices

As explained above, offering both payment and product choices is a great way to improve revenue on pricing pages.

A customer is buying a TV, do they need a warranty? Cables? A stand or mount? A DVD Player, home stereo system, or Chromecast?

Give people options for bundles, add-ons, and other available sizes, colors, and brands. But don’t give them so many options that they get overloaded.

In 2000, researchers S.S. Inyengar and M.R. Leper conducted a study allowing supermarket shoppers to sample the different flavors of jam available for purchase. The test compared the impact of having 24 jam flavors to choose from versus having only 6.

Only 3% of those who sampled the 24 flavors went on to purchase the jam, compared to 30% who sampled only 6 flavors.

Too many options will inhibit your customers’ ability to make a clear decision.

Conclusion

Psychology is important in web design and marketing. How people perceive a brand is directly impacted by the appearance of every landing page, including the pricing, checkout, and confirmation pages.

By A/B-testing different versions of those pages, while implementing the psychological principles discussed above, you’ll be able to optimize conversions and revenue streams from your online marketing.

What psychological techniques help you design your web properties?

 9 Psychological Insights I Use When Designing a Pricing Page  9 Psychological Insights I Use When Designing a Pricing Page  9 Psychological Insights I Use When Designing a Pricing Page

 9 Psychological Insights I Use When Designing a Pricing Page
Source: QuickSprout

The post 9 Psychological Insights I Use When Designing a Pricing Page appeared first on JZ-ART.

Source: JZ-Art

How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic

socialmedia How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic

Have you ever used paid social media? I know some people who completely avoid it. They think it means cheating, or it’s somehow inappropriate.

In my opinion, paid social media traffic is an excellent tool.

Obviously, I’m not talking about illegitimately purchasing likes or shares from spammy businesses (more on that below).

I’m discussing legitimate paid methods.

If you use them properly, you can quickly grow your audience, your brand, and your revenue.

However, if you use paid traffic without first educating yourself and deliberately seeking out the best tools and information, it will lead to huge financial losses.

Knowing how to use paid social media traffic is important. But what’s even more important is determining when you should use paid social media traffic.

I think that’s where a lot of the confusion starts for some people. Maybe you’ve wondered the same thing.

When should you start spending on social media traffic, impressions, or clicks?

For paid traffic, like for many aspects of business, timing is everything.

I’ve already written many articles on how to use paid social media traffic to effectively grow your business and increase the ROI of your marketing campaigns.

But today, I want to cut through the noise and help you make an educated decision on whether or not you should be using paid traffic at all.

Ready?

Let’s begin.

First, a definition

Before we dive into the deep end and discuss the ins and outs of paid traffic, I want to start with a definition.

When I talk about paid social media traffic, I am not talking about buying likes or fake followers.

This is an absolutely terrible business tactic!

It leads to a poor quality audience that has no interest in you or your company and will result in large followings that do not help you grow your brand.

image06 How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic

Not to mention, it’s also a very sleazy and unethical approach to social media marketing.

By paid social media traffic, I mean the practice of investing in paid ads and marketing for the purpose of delivering your content to relevant audience members—audience members who are actually interested in what you are selling.

Instead of paying some kid with a computer in a foreign country to “like” your photos, you are actually putting your content in front of someone whose interests genuinely coincide with what you are offering.

With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

When should you pay for social media traffic?

Let me answer this question with four statements. If any of the following is true of your business, paid traffic may be your best approach.

1. When you are building an audience from the ground up

One of the first situations in which you should pay for social media traffic is when you are building an audience from scratch.

If you are just getting into the game of social media marketing, paid traffic is critical.

Think about it.

  • If you have no audience, no one is going to see your content.
  • If no one sees your content, no one shares your content.
  • If no one shares your content, your following cannot grow.
  • If your following cannot grow, your social media efforts are completely irrelevant to your business.

Such is the struggle of the social network newbie.

Is it possible to grow your social media accounts organically when you are starting from scratch?

Of course.

You can reach out to other similar brands, link your accounts to your blog or YouTube channel, and use friends and family to help your content get off the ground.

But that is life in the slow lane.

Using the organic methods, you could reasonably expect to have a decent social following (3,000 – 5,000 followers) within about 18-24 months.

However, if you use paid traffic, you could cut that time in half while doubling your traffic.

2. When you are diversifying the demographics of your audience

A big problem many brands have is that they get caught in an endless cycle: they target the same type of audience over and over and over again.

image03 How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic

For example…

Let’s say you own a local business.

You run a chain of unconventional gyms with your primary locations on the East Coast.

In addition to your traditional marketing campaigns, you use social media and content marketing to grow your brand and increase your company’s exposure.

Over the years, you’ve built up a reputable following on Facebook, but your audience is primarily located in your hometown and the surrounding cities.

Now, you want to open another location on the West Coast so that you can enjoy sunny beaches and fruity beverages while helping people get fit.

The only problem is, your entire online following is located about 2,000 miles away from your new location.

Not exactly ideal for building a new customer base, is it?

This is where paid traffic becomes a life saver.

With paid social media traffic, you are able to target new demographics and promote your brand in new locations.

You can get really specific, like this:

image02 How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic

Using social media in a geotargeted way like this is especially useful for brick and mortar stores looking to relocate or for online business looking to tap into a new audience.

3. When you are looking to scale your social platforms with a similar audience

If you’ve already built up a healthy social media following and you are looking to make your social media platforms even more profitable, paid traffic is the way to go.

While organic traffic is great, it doesn’t generally work well with large followings.

This is because of the law of diminishing returns.

image01 How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic

Source: vibhavagarwal.com

Let me explain.

Imagine you are an aspiring bodybuilder who is just starting to lift weights. After the first couple of months, you are going to see humongous gains.

You will pack on muscle, shred fat, and improve most of your lifts by close to 100 lbs. But after about 6-12 months of doing this, you’ll see that your improvements start to slow down.

You will still be gaining muscle and losing fat. You will still be increasing the amount of weight you can lift. But it will not be as drastic.

Then, as you continue training on a regular basis, you will start reaching a point where even marginal gains are difficult to achieve. You will start approaching your genetic potential.

And then, you have one of two options:

  • You can continue training naturally and understand that you are close to your peak and improvements will take a long time.
  • You can decide to use steroids or some other performance-enhancing drug to beat your genetics and achieve even more gains.

Now, this is not an ethical or health-based argument for steroids, but it is a pretty effective analogy for paid traffic.

You see, whenever you first launch your social media campaigns (if you really know what you are doing), you will probably see some pretty quick growth.

You will go, as they say, “0 to 100, real quick.”

image07 1 How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic

0 to 100,000 anybody?

After the first year, you will likely have several thousand followers across your various channels.

In the second year, growth may continue at an even more rapid pace.

But eventually (and this typically happens around the 10,000 followers point), you will hit a wall.

You will still be adding to your followers, but, unless you are willing to start using the “performance enhancing drug” of paid traffic, it will take you years to hit your goals.

However, if you are willing to invest into paid traffic, you can beat the law of diminishing returns and skyrocket your social media following in a very short amount of time.

Luckily for us, there are no ethical, legal, or health concerns related to paid social media traffic like there are with steroids.

You have little to lose and much to gain.

4. When you want to increase your organic reach

I know that using paid traffic to increase your organic reach sounds like an oxymoronic statement.

And it is. But hear me out.

Just because someone follows you or “likes” your content does not mean your content is actually showing up in their newsfeed.

People simply follow too many different brands and individuals for all of them to show up in their feeds.

I, for example, follow dozens of other influencers and tech blogs across my various social channels.

But I rarely see any of the new content posted by the people I am following.

image04 How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic

It’s not because I don’t like the content or because I have no need for what they are sharing.

It’s simply because of the volume of content published each and every day.

If you want to grow your organic reach and get your content in front of people who already like and follow you, you need to invest in paid traffic.

It will increase the frequency with which your content is seen by your followers, and your audience will be more likely to actually find out about a new product you are offering or a promotion you are running.

When should you not pay for social media traffic?

Now that I’ve covered some of the situations when you should pay for social media traffic, I want to touch on one of the biggest reasons why you should not pay for social media traffic.

It’s about quality.

If you are looking for super high quality traffic, paid ads may not be your best approach.

The current stage of your business will determine the type of traffic you want to generate.

For those of you just getting started, the single most important thing to focus on is simply generating more traffic and getting your content in front of new eyeballs.

For others, especially if you already have a strong social media presence, your focus should be on generating high quality traffic.

The quality of the audience you build with paid traffic will generally be lower than the quality of the audience you build with organic traffic.

This is due to a variety of factors.

First, we have to acknowledge the unfortunate reality of social media. There are hundreds of thousands of bots and fake accounts.

Whenever you use paid traffic, it’s much more likely that you will attract more of these automated accounts than you would if you were growing your reach 100% organically.

The second factor is that people who seek out and find your brand organically are typically much more likely to purchase than someone who simply “liked” your page because your ad popped up on their phone.

If someone has taken the time to find your social media pages without the persuasion of advertising or paid marketing, it means you are solving a problem they have.

These people will be much more likely to share your content, be engaged in your discussions, and invest in your products.

Now, using paid traffic obviously does not preclude you from generate organic traffic.

However, you have to remember opportunity cost.

image05 How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic

Source: quickmeme.com

Every hour you spend and every dollar you invest in paid traffic is a dollar and an hour you could have spent optimizing your social platforms and website to generate high quality organic traffic.

With that in mind, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of the current stage of your business and your goals with social media.

Next steps and measuring your success

Now that you are a little bit more informed about the times when you should and should not use paid social media traffic, I want to discuss one last thing before I leave you to it.

Measuring your metrics.

While tracking your metrics is extremely important whether you utilize paid traffic or not, it is doubly important whenever you are investing your hard earned dollars in social ad campaigns.

You need to have clear business goals for your paid traffic campaigns.

Whether it is to generate new leads, increase sales, or simply increase brand exposure, you have to have clearly defined objectives for your investment.

Once you’ve defined that objective, it is imperative that you track your metrics to ensure your investment is actually getting you closer to your goal.

image00 How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic

Source: moz.com

Are the individuals you reach on social media buying your products? Are they joining your email list? Are they reading and sharing your content?

If you are not tracking these metrics, you will never be able to effectively run paid traffic campaigns.

You’ll end up spending thousands of dollars that could’ve been better spent elsewhere, and you’ll end up with a negative ROI.

Conclusion

Paid social media traffic is a phenomenal tool.

If you use it in the right situations and in the right way, it can accelerate the growth of your business in a way that few other investments can.

But the key here is you have to use it at the right time.

If you are using paid social media traffic in the wrong situations, you’ll end up losing money and damaging your brand.

Take the above advice to heart, and decide for yourself whether paid social media traffic is a worthwhile investment in your current circumstances.

How have you used paid social media traffic in the past? What were the results?

 How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic  How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic  How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic

 How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic
Source: QuickSprout

The post How to Know When You Should Use Paid Social Media Traffic appeared first on JZ-ART.

Source: JZ-Art

New Tutorial: Design a 3D Set Extension + Free Roof Pack!

In the first tutorial in our Superhero landing series, we begin by creating a digital rooftop using the all new Roof Toolkit!

  • Use the Roof Pack to create a digital set extension!
  • Add Smoke and composite greenscreen footage
  • Insane workflow tips for Element 3D
  • Outside Global Illumination-style Lighting
  • Aux Channel tips
  • Physical Shader tips and Ground Reflections

Download Tutorial Raw Footage and Grunge Texture


DOWNLOAD the FREE ROOF PACK: For After Effects!


Alternate Files

Rooftop Toolkit – OBJ
Rooftop Toolkit – JPG
Rooftop Toolkit – PNG

 

 

Source: Video Copilot

Update: Google My Business Insights

The Google Knowledge Graph is one of the first places most users go during the search process. Data on how users interact with the Knowledge Graph is available through the Google My Business (GMB) dashboard. But these user insights are limited to just a 90 day period, and they are not available via the GMB API. NAPtune, Milestone’s local listings management platform, is recording these user insights monthly and allows users to analyze data for longer than 90 days. Our recent analysis of user insights, for 150 days across 34 sample businesses, shows that, on average, a business drives approximately 1,389,362 views with 63% from search and 37% from photos.

The analysis also showed that both accurate listings and quantity of photos on Google My Business are positively correlated with clicks. On a typical GMB profile, clicks are split as follows:

Customer Search Actions

On August 9th 2016, Google began rolling out updated versions of the user insights. Here is a quick update on the changes:

What’s New?

Google added two new charts, which display how and where customers are searching for and viewing your business on Google.

The first chart shows you how users are searching for your business. Data is split into two groups:

  • Direct: includes searches with business name or street address.
  • Discovery: includes non-branded searches, like the category, product or service.

Google Search

The second chart breaks out where, on Google, customers are viewing your business. The data is split into two groups again:

  • Search: Include users who used Google Search to find your business,
  • Maps: Includes users who used Google Maps.

 

This chart shows that having a correct listing on Maps is just as important as visibility on Google Search, if not more so:

Google Business Search

What Else Has Changed?

The previous ‘Clicks’ graph has been replaced by a ‘Customer actions’ graph, with stats on photo views displayed alongside website visits, direction requests, and phone calls. This change indicates that Google is considering a photo view an action of equal importance to a phone call, driving direction request, or click on the website:

Search Behaviors

What Has Been Removed?

Google has removed metrics on Google+ page views and Google+ post views. Those two figures, combined, typically account for less than a tenth of one percent of a business’s views.

In sum, the change in metrics displayed will lead to more relevant insights into the ways customers interact with businesses across Google’s different core products. They will give deeper knowledge about where businesses are deriving the most success through Google, and where additional opportunities for improvement can be found. The more relevant data you have regarding your business the better your marketing strategies and results, take your time to review Google My Business today.


Contributed by:
Aaron Horowitz, Digital Marketing Strategist, Milestone Internet Marketing
Kanika Thakran, Senior SEO Manager, Milestone Internet Marketing

 


Source: Paid Search

4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

opportunity 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

Digital marketing.

To some, it’s merely another fancy buzzword. To others, it’s the backbone of their entire business.

In my life, digital marketing is almost everything I do.

For most entrepreneurs, however, it is a highly underutilized and misunderstood tool.

Most people think digital marketing has to be an expensive endeavor that takes thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to see any success with.

This is simply not the case.

There are a number of free tools and opportunities within digital marketing that most entrepreneurs are missing.

Here are just a few of them to help get you started.

1. Use the power of blog commenting to build links

Blog commenting has become a practice synonymous with spammers and sleazy online marketers.

image01 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

Because of this, most entrepreneurs do not take advantage of this incredible opportunity.

Despite the negative connotation, blog comments are a fantastic way to promote your business and build a very natural link profile.

It’s only when blog commenting is used improperly (like in the image below) that it’s damaging to your Google ranking and personal reputation:

image04 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

So, how can you use the power of blog commenting to market your content in an authentic, natural, and non-spammy way?

The first and most important step is finding the right blogs to comment on.

The best way to do this is simply to use blogs you regularly read or blogs that show up in your social media feed.

This practice ensures that you are posting on sites relevant to your niche.

It also increases the authenticity of your comments since you are an actual reader and probably have gained real value from the content you are commenting on.

However, if you already comment on your favorite blogs on a regular basis and are looking to expand your reach, there are other ways to find places to comment.

An easy way to do this is to utilize the Google Search Console and Advanced Search Operators.

Let’s say you are running an online fitness clothing store for women.

You could enter any of the following search operators into Google:

  • Women’s athletic wear “comments”
  • Women’s athletic style “leave a reply”
  • Women’s athletic clothing “leave a comment”

For example:

image07 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

The search operators you are using clearly specify to Google that you only want search results that have the option to comment on the page.

After you’ve compiled a list of potential blogs to comment on, you can check their Ahrefs ranks to determine whether or not they are worth your time.

Now that you are done with the easy work of finding high quality blogs to comment on, it’s time for the hard stuff.

And that’s getting your comment approved.

This basically comes down to writing a non-spammy comment that still includes a link to your site.

Since most high-quality blogs have a pretty heavy moderation policy, this is not an easy task.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Always fill the name field with your name—not the name of your site. Comments that have URLs in the name field are deleted most of the time.
  • Leave the website field blank. Since you are going to include a link in the body of your comment, leaving the website field blank will help improve the odds of your comment passing the moderator.
  • The best way to comment is to pick a relevant point from the blog content and then expand on it in an authentic and genuine way.

Take a look at some of the examples below to see the right way to do this:

image00 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

image05 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

2. Don’t overlook press releases

I know, I know.

“What the heck, Neil? Press releases?! We are in the 21st century here!”

And I get it.

But press releases, when used properly, can actually be a pretty fantastic tool.

If you time the article right, a press release can generate a load of views and shares for your content.

When you have a large number of people, especially journalists, reviewing your content, it is more likely that your work will be picked up by major publications.

This can be a pivotal component of getting your content to go viral.

Press releases can also help your link-building campaigns in a big way, but you have to be intentional about the content.

Here are a few of the benefits, if you can ignore the not-quite-accurate benefits of “rankings” and “links.”

image02 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

Links and rankings do happen, but only indirectly.

If a journalist or blogger sees your press release and decides to cover your content or include it as a part of a major story, the keywords you’d use would be key.

Make sure your content is filled with keywords you want to rank for.

This way, if a journalist takes a quote from your work, you’ll be able to build up links to help boost your rankings.

The most important thing to keep in mind when running a press release, however, is your message.

Unlike with a regular blog post or YouTube video, when you run a press release, you and your content are now in the spotlight.

If you have any incongruency in your messaging, any incorrect data, or serious errors within your release, the PR will do more harm than good.

With a press release, you are shouting your message from a mountaintop.

Make sure you are shouting the right message.

While press releases are typically very expensive endeavors, costing anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars, there are tools online that let you generate press coverage for free.

Here are a few of the best:

There are certainly drawbacks to press releases.

They do not directly improve SEO; they are difficult to track; and if you make a mistake, you can do more damage to your brand than good.

However, if you know your way around, you can actually market your content quite effectively using free press release sources.

Just make sure you consider the pros and cons before filing for a release.

3. Get on Google+

With the prevalence of social media in today’s marketplace, it surprises me that more businesses do not take advantage of the Google+ platform.

Google+ is a fantastic free way to market yourself, your business, and your content.

Getting started on Google+ is simple.

Because I’ve already written extensively on how to use Google+ for your marketing campaigns, I’ll give you only a brief synopsis in this article.

The first step is to claim authorship with your personal Google+ profile.

Basically, this makes it easier for readers to identify your content, and it will allow you to position yourself as an authority within your niche.

Here’s how you can do this as simply as possible, courtesy of Social Media Examiner:

image06 e1471392871757 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

Once you’ve linked your content to your Google+ account, it’s time to start utilizing the power of the Google+ apps.

The first thing I recommend is using the +1’d Content app.

This allows people to recommend a website or a post. It will increase your click-through rate and will allow people to share and comment on content outside of Google+.

Next, you need to set up YouTube integration with your Google+ account:

image10 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

Source: youtubecreator.blogspot.com

Let me share a little statistic with you.

People spend almost 6 billion hours—a month (!)—consuming YouTube content.

By integrating your Google+ and YouTube accounts, you will expand your reach on both platforms simultaneously and increase the number of eyes viewing and sharing your content.

And finally…

The big one.

Google Hangouts.

Google Hangouts is by far one of my favorite marketing tools.

image09 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

If you have any degree of authority within your niche, running regular Google hangouts is one of the fastest ways to engage your audience and improve your sales.

When people get to interact with you in a raw and unedited form, they tend to connect with you on a deeper level.

This will build engagement with your audience, transforming them from casual readers to raving fans.

Using a Google Hangout to host a webinar is also a great way to boost sales, especially whenever you are releasing a new product.

However, be warned.

If you are using webinars solely to promote new products, users will leave, and you will damage your online reputation.

You need to offer massive value while hosting webinars before you even mention a new product.

4. Do link outreach (the right way)

When digital and content marketing first started to take off, the tactic of link outreach became very common.

Link outreach basically looked something like this:

image03 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

And the thing is…

…this used to work.

However, in the modern business world, the above strategy will probably have a 1-3% success rate, likely with lower tier websites and blogs.

But.

The core strategy of connecting with other influencers and having them promote your content (either by replacing a broken link or just sharing it outright) still works.

If you do it the right way.

What is the “right” way?

Focusing on relationships first and link building second.

Here is the deal.

A lot of Internet marketers are a pain in the butt.

They are constantly seeking to gain value from other people—those they have no relationship with—and rarely offer anything in return.

If you want to stand out from this crowd and actually succeed in your link-building efforts, you need to try a different approach.

The first step is to find companies you want a link from in the first place.

I once again recommend you select blogs and websites you are already familiar with and read on a regular basis.

But if you’ve already worn out all potential opportunities with your “regulars,” you can try another approach (shout-out to Ryan Stewart of Ahrefs.com for introducing me to this).

If you want to find great places to get potential links, then fire up Google, and input one or more of the following searches:

  • [Your keyword] + “Top posts of the week”
  • [Your keyword] + “Friday link roundup”
  • [Your keyword] + “Best posts of the week”

image08 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

This will allow you to find blogs and websites already curating great content.

Trust me: it’s a lot easier to get a link from one of these resources than from a blogger who only promotes their own content.

Now that you’ve found the blog you want to get a link from, it’s time to connect.

This does not mean you immediately email them, asking for a link to your content.

The first step you need to take is to start following the blog/website/influencer on social media.

Once you are following them, drop them a line with something simple:

Hey, this is so-and-so. I read your piece on XYZ and really enjoyed it! Keep up the great work!

Once you have broken the ice and made the first contact on social media, start commenting on their posts and on their blog.

Do this for about a week, continuing the conversation you started above, if at all possible.

Once you’ve established good rapport and the influencer is aware of you, it’s time to ask for the link.

While this tactic works great for broken links, it works even better if the blogger regularly posts a “Best of the web” article or something similar.

You will end up getting more traffic from a weekly roundup than you would from a broken link.

And, if your content is good, you may end up getting a repeat “customer” who will continue linking to your company for months or years to come.

Conclusion

Digital marketing can be a lot simpler (and less expensive) than people think.

But you have to be willing to take an “outside the box” approach to it.

Equipped with the above four tips and tricks, you’ll be able to market your company more quickly and effectively than ever before.

None of the advice I’ve given here is easy, but it’s simple and doable.

Take the time to educate yourself on these four opportunities, and learn how to capitalize on them to grow your business.

And invest your time in uncovering the wealth of other free digital marketing opportunities available in today’s marketplace.

You may be surprised at how effectively you can market your company and your content without a big budget.

What is your favorite free digital marketing opportunity?

 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing  4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing  4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing

 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing
Source: QuickSprout

The post 4 Free Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing appeared first on JZ-ART.

Source: JZ-Art

Updating Drivers for Element 3D

Element

Sometimes fixing bugs can take a little longer than expected and sometimes a solution just shows up out!

Nvidia recently released the new 10 Series graphics card and the specs are pretty insane! As always, we like to make sure our plug-ins like Element 3D runs smoothly. Sometimes we find a small issues and rework the plug-in, and release an update. But a recently changed Driver was causing a more tricky case, so we have been working on it over the past week.

And of course we have this sweet Roof model pack coming out with some new tutorials so we wanted everything to be solid! So we were trying to figure out this Driver issue and we were about reach out to some of our friends at Nvidia when suddenly, they released a new Driver today that fixed the issue! Yay!!

So thanks to Nvidia for fixing it so quickly, it’s nice to know they are continually updating drivers.

If you are using a Nvidia 10 Series card, the latest Nvidia Drivers are working great!
Download Nvidia Drivers

Now let’s get back to the fun stuff!

NOTE: If your Recent AMD drivers are causing any issues with Element 3D V2, we did an update about 2 weeks ago to fix some random bugs there. You can login and download all plug-in updates from the customer section.

peel_still

Source: Video Copilot

How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

stats How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

Back when I was an Internet newbie, I had no idea what numbers to focus on.

I would look at Google Analytics. I would see lots of numbers. And I would be confused.

So, what did I do?

I did what most people do. I focused on vanity metrics.

What are vanity metrics?

image05 6 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

Vanity metrics are numbers. That might sound all data-driven and growth-hacky.

But vanity metrics are numbers that don’t lead anywhere. As Eric Ries said,

…they don’t offer clear guidance for what to do.

Examples of vanity metrics:

  • Raw number of pageviews or site visitors
  • Number of downloads
  • Number of subscribers

I’m not knocking these metrics completely.

After all, if you are involved in the world of Internet marketing, metrics are one of the single most important things you can learn, understand, interpret, and act on.

If you’re not tracking your metrics, you’ll never be able to figure out how you can improve your marketing performance and, by extension, your revenue.

But you have to choose which metrics to focus on.

This is why establishing specific KPIs, or key performance indicators, is one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself, your team, and your bottom line.

But which metrics should you be tracking? And more importantly, which metrics should inform your marketing decisions?

This is the question I faced early on in my Internet marketing career.

What metrics do I focus on?

Eventually, I came around to the right perspective on things.

Here’s how it happened.

  • First, I realized that revenue was my single most important metric.
  • Then, I worked backwards to find out what numbers most impacted my revenue.
  • I used those numbers—my KPIs—to track my progress toward revenue.

With so much variability in marketing techniques, it’s easy to get bogged down in minutia and focus on metrics that do not significantly affect your revenue.

To help you on your quest for maximum revenue, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most important KPIs you can track for maximum performance, maximum ROI, and maximum revenue.

Each of these metrics should be tracked on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis so that you can see the complete picture with regards to your marketing efforts.

Tracking them is only the first step.

Acting on these metrics is the real deal.

1. Traffic

If you want to be able to develop effective content and digital marketing campaigns, you have to track your web traffic so that you can understand what’s working and what’s not.

Unless you are tracking your web traffic, you will never be able to truly gauge the effectiveness of your different marketing methods and increase the amount of traffic your website receives.

For example, by tracking your web traffic, you may find that when you are consistently posting on Facebook and LinkedIn, your traffic soars, but whenever you focus on Instagram and Twitter, your traffic plummets.

Luckily, tracking your web traffic is fairly straightforward.

By using Google Analytics, you can track the number of sessions and page views you get each day as well as the details such as bounce rate, demographics, and source.

image02 7 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

“Traffic” is, of course, a pretty broad term.

Traffic can encompass a lot of the more detailed features of your website audience, all of which are important to pay attention to.

Your website traffic tells a story—a story of how engaged and active your audience is, how frequently they visit you, and how likely they are to purchase from you.

The better you know your traffic, the better you’ll be able to achieve your revenue goals.

2. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

This is one of the most important metrics any company, especially startups, should know.

Chase Hughes wrote about this metric on Kissmetrics. He called it “the one metric that can determine your company’s fate.”

I’d say that’s a pretty important metric.

So, what is the customer acquisition cost?

Here is a simple definition:

CAC: The price you pay to convince someone to purchase your product or service.

Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of that definition.

The CAC should include the cost of market research, software, team salaries, paid analytics platforms, and, of course, the price of any paid advertising.

If you want to be able to effectively grow your company through your marketing efforts, you have to know how much it costs to acquire a new customer.

In spite of its complexity, this is actually fairly easy to calculate.

All you need to do is add up the monthly marketing budget and then divide that number by the number of new customers you acquired that month.

For example, let’s say you spent $2,000 a month on marketing and acquired 5 new customers. This brings your total cost of customer acquisition to $400.

You can calculate the number on an annual basis, as in this example:

image09 4 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

With this knowledge, you now know how to effectively budget for marketing, depending on the number of customers you wish to acquire.

Using the above example, if you wanted to acquire 20 new customers in a month, you would need to spend roughly $8,000 in marketing efforts.

While this number may vary month to month based on how effective your marketing campaigns are, averaging the cost of acquisition over three months will give you a good idea of what you need to spend on marketing to attract your desired number of new customers.

To better understand your CAC, it’s helpful to break down the specific channels you’re using to acquire customers.

For example, you may be using several marketing methods: paid search, social media, and email marketing.

Each channel has a different associated cost. Knowing how much you’re spending per channel gives you a more accurate assessment of your CAC.

image03 1 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

Every industry will have a different method of tracking CAC. In some industries with a long sales cycle and more “touches” for customers, the CAC will be higher and more complex.

image10 5 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

While it’s important to know your CAC, it’s just as important to know how to act on it.

If your CAC is too high, for example, you have a problem. The customer’s value must exceed the CAC in order for the business to function.

image00 7 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

Navigating the delicate balance between CAC and LTV is something that marketers need to understand and take action on.

image01 5 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

3. Social media reach

Social media marketing has become one of the most popular methods of marketing your content and your company.

With more than 2 billion people using social media around the world, there has never been—in the history of the human race—a platform that could allow you to have as much reach and influence as social media can today.

image06 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

In addition to their massive reach, most social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, provide you with the tools to track your reach within the applications.

If you want to maximize the amount of revenue you generate each week, month, and year, you need to track the effectiveness of your social campaigns and understand the ROI of each platform.

How do you do this on Facebook?

Simple.

  • Go to your company Facebook page.
  • Click on “Insights” at the top of the page.

image08 10 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

Facebook Insights provides you with data to help you fully understand what your audience is doing, how it’s interacting, and how it’s impacting your business.

When you know this data, you can develop a rock-solid social media strategy to maximize your reach and revenue.

4. Landing page conversion rates

If you truly want to maximize your revenue and send your conversion rates through the roof, you have to make sure that each of your landing pages is fully optimized.

You need to know which landing pages are leading to conversions and which ones are underperforming so that you can effectively craft landing pages that will increase your revenue.

You may find that one landing page has a high amount of traffic while another—with a lower rate of traffic—actually has a higher conversion rate.

For this reason, it’s crucial to track at least four major metrics on landing pages specifically:

  • Bounce rate
  • Exit rate
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Conversion rate

Each of these numbers contributes to the overall picture of your conversion rates and keeps you from being locked into a skewed perspective.

One way to help broaden your perspective is to understand what an “average” conversion rate is. It’s hard to nail down an “average” because of the variety of industries, channels, and types of conversion that exist.

When you start, don’t expect to instantly explode with a 5% conversion rate. Most of us are lucky if we can get a 2% conversion rate.

image12 1 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

Again, conversion rates vary a lot based on the channel. Here’s a breakdown of the range of variation of conversion rates by channel:

image11 6 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

By monitoring all the important metrics around your landing page and combining the best working elements, you can create high-converting pages.

5. Email marketing metrics

Despite the growth of social media, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to acquire and keep customers.

Email marketing allows for a more personal and targeted style of marketing, and if you are willing to pay attention to the metrics, it will lead to more sales and revenue than you previously thought possible.

It’s important to track all the metrics related to email marketing. Here are the ones I suggest you track:

  1. Delivery rate
  2. Open rate
  3. Click rate
  4. Conversion rate

What kind of expectations can you have for these metrics? Here’s Ciceron’s research:

image04 6 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

Depending on the complexity of your email marketing, you may wish to analyze your metrics even further:

  • Unique open rate
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • List growth rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Inactive user rate
  • Forwarding rate
  • Earnings per email
  • Earnings per click
  • Complaint rate

How do you take action on this kind of data?

If you see that you have a low open rate but a high conversion rate, you should probably work to improve your headlines or cut back on the number of emails you send.

Conversely, if you notice a high open rate with your emails but a low click-through or conversion rate, you should probably improve your copywriting within the email to incentivize readers.

Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing methods. Plus, it’s one of the easiest:

image07 6 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

It makes sense to use email marketing and then act on the data you glean from analyzing its performance.

Conclusion

If you can learn to effectively track the important metrics of your business, you’ll be able to see how your marketing efforts are affecting your revenue and have a better understanding of how you can improve and optimize your marketing efforts.

But like with anything in the business world, this is something you have to track proactively. You cannot just set it and forget it—track one or two metrics and then leave it for months at a time.

If you can be consistent with tracking your metrics, focusing on how every decision you make affects the bottom line, you can maximize your revenue and take your business to new heights.

Keep in mind that you are focused on one top metric: revenue.

When you lose sight of revenue, you’ll easily get distracted by meaningless metrics that don’t show you where you’re actually going. Worse, those metrics may fool you into thinking you’re making progress when you aren’t.

To be truly effective, your marketing metrics should show you a path forward—how to earn more revenue.

Metrics really are the magic key that can unlock marketing success. But they are a double-edged sword.

Read them wrong—and your marketing is doomed.

Read them right, act on them—and your marketing will push your business forward.

What are the most important KPIs you currently track?

 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics  How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics  How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics

 How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics
Source: QuickSprout

The post How to Become a Marketer Who’s Obsessed with Metrics appeared first on JZ-ART.

Source: JZ-Art

Have an App? The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing It Free

Apps are huge.

But you already knew that. But did you know just how big apps are?

Did you know that as of June 2015, more than 100 billion mobile apps had been downloaded from the Apple App Store alone?

Google Play? 65 billion.

These are pretty insane numbers. And get this: the world’s app obsession shows no signs of slowing down.

These numbers go up. And up. And up. And up.

image04 6 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

The world uses mobile devices.

And mobile devices use mobile apps.

Which makes mobile apps big business.

The estimated worldwide app revenue is predicted to hit $77 billion by 2017—more than double the $35 billion it reached in 2014.

image15 5 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

What does this mean for you?

If you’ve created your own app, you’ll want to claim your piece of the pie and cash in on it. (And if you haven’t created an app, you may want to give it some thought.)

Apps don’t sell themselves. In fact, app marketing is one of the hottest and most contested marketing battlegrounds of the marketing era.

With millions of apps, how do you stand above the crowd? How do you distinguish yourself in a crowded marketplace in which your innovative idea has already been iterated a thousand times? How do you get your app to the front of the crowd, to the top of the search results?

And harder still, what’s the best way to go about promoting it if you’re on a tight budget?

Most app creators I know are startups—a few smart people with a killer idea but not much cash to show for it yet.

Is it possible to market your app free?

Thankfully, yes—it is.

Notice, however,

  • I didn’t say “easy;”
  • I didn’t say “quick.”

But free? Yep, I’ve got you covered.

Here’s a step-by-step formula I’ve found to be incredibly effective and that can get your app the exposure it needs to get major downloads.

If you’ve created an app, good for you. But that’s only the start. Once the app has been fully developed, you have a new full time job. Your job now is to market your app.

What’s my focus here? I want you to earn more money with your app.

Heck, I want you to create the next Instagram or Pokémon GO!

It’s all about the marketing.

Let’s dive in.

Start with app store optimization

App store optimization (ASO) may be somewhat of an overrated buzzword these days, but it’s an essential first step for promoting your app.

Because 63 percent of apps are found through app store searches, you’ll want to make sure that you’re adhering to some basic ASO principles.

image07 5 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

The story becomes even more intriguing when you look at these 2014 stats from MobileDevHQ. They asked survey respondents where they found the last app they downloaded.

image01 4 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

Boom. App store wins.

Obviously, when it comes to viral apps such as Pokémon GO, people usually hear about them online or through social networks. I don’t expect very many people to be searching for “virtual monster game” in the app store.

Nonetheless, the vast majority of app downloads happen because people are finding them through app store searches.

How do you “do” app store optimization?

Fortunately, the process is pretty straightforward and similar to standard SEO.

Some elements include:

  • choosing the right keywords
  • using a keyword in the title of the app (“apps with keywords in the title ranked on average 10.3 percent higher than those without a keyword in the title”)
  • creating an awesome description that’s catchy and fully encapsulates what your app is about
  • including a series of detailed screenshots so that potential users fully understand the features.

Optimizely advises you to address these five points:

image00 6 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

If you need a little direction, I recommend checking out this guide on ASO from Moz.

App store optimization is the process you should follow for both Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

There are, however, some significant differences between the two:

image02 4 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

Whatever you do, start with app store optimization.

It’s free. And it’s effective.

Get reviews

Social proof is the lifeblood of online marketing.

You can use it to enhance the perceived value of your app and to encourage more people to download it.

I know that I personally like to look at the overall rating as well as three or four user reviews before I download a new app.

If I see that it has an overwhelming number of positive reviews, it probably means that it’s worth my time, and I feel much more comfortable clicking “Install.”

If your app has little to no feedback, I suggest you ask for app reviews.

Ratings and reviews are huge factors in the success of your app. Just take a look:

image06 4 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

If your app has a one-star rating, only around 10% of consumers would consider downloading it. If, by contrast, your app has a five-star rating, 100% of consumers would consider downloading it.

The brutal fact of app marketing is this: If you have low rankings, you won’t get ranked, and you wont’ get downloads.

image03 7 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

Be sure to provide notifications to app users, encouraging them to review the app as they use it.

There are numerous websites where you can obtain legitimate reviews, many of which are free. Check out this list for an overview.

Create an app landing page

Once you’ve got the nuts and bolts taken care of, I suggest building a landing page specifically for your app to add to your site.

This might include a few screen shots, some positive reviews, or even a brief video tutorial of how it works. It doesn’t need to be anything over the top. Quite frankly, it’s best to keep it simple.

Below are some examples of app landing pages.

This landing page showcases the functionality of the app while conveying the mood and sense of the app through colors and images:

image16 2 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

Vonage’s app download page allows you to “learn more” but also gives you an easy way to download the app for your specific country.

image08 1 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

Foursquare’s app provides that simple interface with the same SMS download option that Vonage provides.

image11 3 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

Some of the best mobile apps usually display a picture of a phone with a screenshot of the app in use. This kind of imagery sends a message. It says “this is an app” and “this is what the app looks like.”

If you create a landing page for your app, I suggest you follow that example—a phone with a screenshot of the app in use.

Here’s the landing page for Everest:

image12 7 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

I like the simplicity and functionality of this weather app:

image14 4 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

If you’re already generating a considerable amount of traffic, you can turn casual visitors into app users without going to a whole lot of trouble.

Place download links on your website

You can capitalize on your site’s traffic by simply creating download links to your app and placing them on your site.

A logical location would be right next to your social media links. Above the fold is ideal.

With hardly any effort, you can bring some considerable attention to your app by leveraging the existing traffic you’re generating.

Make sure you use the standard download images. Most users have been conditioned to recognize these icons. When they glance at your website, they’ll instantly notice these buttons and click and convert.

image10 4 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

Reach out to tech publications

In my opinion, positive press is one of the best ways to jumpstart a company or, in this case, an app.

Imagine if your app could get a positive mention on a place such as Mashable!

image09 7 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

If you want to take your app from relative obscurity to a global audience, tech publications are just the ticket.

But to be totally honest, this is by no means a cakewalk, especially if you are targeting big name publications. But it’s definitely feasible with a little persistence.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Research tech publications and any other media outlets relevant to your niche. This post has some examples.
  2. Develop a pitch for an article that will feature your app while providing value for a publication’s target audience.
  3. Contact editors.

I will say that most editors are incredibly busy, so it may take some time to get a response (a week or more isn’t uncommon).

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get an instant response. Just keep at it until you break through.

Keep sending emails, and keep following up.

If you can get your app featured on a site such as TechCrunch or Mashable, the effort you put in can pay handsome dividends.

image13 7 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

For starters, I suggest you use this list from Spacechimp as a source of places to get reviews and mentions.

This method is totally free. But it does take some serious time.

Reach out to influencers

While guest blogging may not have quite the same impact as a write-up in a tech publication, this route tends to be easier and can still get significant results.

The key here is to perform some research and find a handful of blogs that are related to the niche your app is in and that have an audience that would be interested in it.

For instance, a productivity app might reach out to Lifehacker to see whether they can get featured in the annual Lifehacker Pack.

image05 5 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

You’ll want to follow the same basic formula that you would for reaching out to a tech publication and develop a quality pitch that a blogger can’t say no to.

Just make sure you fully familiarize yourself with their style and tone first.

Promote on social media

If you’ve already got a sizable audience that’s dialed in, you should be able to gain some decent exposure.

In this case, simply promote your app directly, or post links to articles featuring your app.

If your audience isn’t large enough to help you promote the app, I recommend contacting relevant influencers to see if they’d be willing to share your app with their followers.

Sometimes, this is all it takes to crank up your exposure exponentially.

However, I’ve found that this is usually a numbers game, so you’ll want to reach out to at least five influencers.

Conclusion

With “smartphone users spending 89 percent of their mobile media time using mobile apps,” there’s plenty of opportunity.

Even if you’re on an extremely limited marketing budget, you can still promote your app and bring it to the mainstream.

By following these steps, you can successfully reach your demographic and maximize your number of downloads.

Can you think of any other effective ways to promote an app on a shoestring budget?

 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free  Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free  Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free

 Have an App? The Step by Step Guide to Marketing It Free
Source: QuickSprout

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Source: JZ-Art

What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

blogging What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

I’ve been blogging for longer than ten years.

Ten years! And I haven’t quit.

That’s a long time.

I’m not trying to toot my own horn here. I simply want to make a point.

Why haven’t I stopped blogging? After all, I get tons of traffic from old blog posts that I wrote two, four, and even eight years ago.

Why do I keep at it? Writing is punishing work. It’s tough, and it takes a long time. Don’t I have better stuff to do like binge-watching Netflix or just relaxing?

Why am I so devoted to blogging?

I’ll let you in on a secret. I actually love what I do. That’s one reason. I blog because I like to do it.

But there’s another reason. It’s a business reason. And it’s built on data.

If you know anything about SEO, you know that Google values fresh content. Fresh content is a significant factor in positively influencing ratings. The logic here is that the more frequently you update your site, the more frequently Googlebot (Google’s crawling bot) visits your site.

In turn, this gives you the opportunity to achieve better rankings.

Although you can update your site in several different ways (not to mention all the different types of content you can create), writing new blog posts tends to be the simplest way to generate fresh content.

So let’s go back to my question: why do I keep blogging? Why are you blogging? Should you quit? Should I quit? Are there better ways to do marketing, gain traffic, and grow conversions?

Is blogging truly all it’s cracked up to be? More specifically, just how big of an impact does it have on SEO?

In this article, I’m going to do away with niceties, guesses, and “best practice” advice. Instead, I’m going to dish up the data so you can get the cold, hard facts on what happens if you decide to stop blogging.

Some key stats

First, here are just a few statistics from Kapost to put blogging in perspective:

  • Brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month.
  • Blogs give websites 434 percent more indexed pages and 97 percent more indexed links.
  • Blogs on company sites result in 55 percent more visitors.
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads per month than those that do not blog.

These are some legit numbers. They show just how monumental of an impact blogging can have.

But what would happen if you stopped blogging?

You pull the plug. You quit. You’re done. No more publishing.

What would happen?

Would it have any catastrophic consequences, or would it merely be a mild impediment?

Let’s take a look at a study that put this to the test.

251 days of no blogging

WordPress developer/social media manager/SEO expert Robert Ryan conducted a simple yet enlightening experiment.

In 2015, he refrained from posting any new content on his blog for 251 days. That’s eight months and seven days.

Here are some of his key findings:

  • Overall traffic to the site saw a major decline as it fell by 32 percent.
  • Organic traffic dropped by a massive 42 percent.
  • Traffic to the contact page was down by 15 percent.
  • Overall site conversions fell by 28 percent.

What can we take away from these stats?

Blogging affects overall traffic

When Ryan quit blogging, his traffic rapidly fell by 32%.

The image quality is low, but here’s the chart that he posted:

image11 5 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

The fact that Ryan’s overall traffic dropped by nearly a third during this time is tangible evidence that there’s a correlation between your blog output and your overall traffic volume.

Quite frankly, I find it a bit alarming to see such a dramatic drop just because of not blogging.

Of course, we should keep in mind that his experiment lasted for over eight months.

If you stopped blogging for only a month or two, the consequences probably wouldn’t be this extreme.

However, it still wouldn’t do you any favors.

This brings up a good point. What if your business runs into trouble, you get sick, or something else happens that prevents you from blogging for a time?

I suggest having a backlog of articles to publish at all times. I like to have several posts scheduled ahead of time. If something unexpected comes up, at least I know my posts will go live according to the schedule.

Organic traffic can take a massive hit

A 42 percent drop in organic traffic is colossal.

For some businesses, that kind of drop could make the difference between making money and losing money.

An organic traffic loss of that magnitude is similar to receiving an algorithmic penalty.

Most websites earn most of their traffic organically.

image03 3 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

If you’re in the “business services” industry, you earn a disproportionate amount of organic traffic.

image05 6 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

Where does all this organic traffic come from?

It comes from content. More specifically, it comes from blogging.

Organic traffic is nothing to wink at. This is the lifeline of your business. This is your audience.

It’s hard to dispute that Google does indeed show preference to sites with consistently fresh content.

As Moz explains,

“Websites that add new pages at a higher rate may earn a higher freshness score than sites that add content less frequently.”

image00 6 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

It’s all theoretical, of course. No one knows exactly how Google’s algorithm works.

But we can’t dispute the fact that quitting a blog leads to an organic traffic nosedive.

By having a dynamic site (publishing content) as opposed to a static one (not publishing new content), you provide Google with new content to crawl and index. In turn, this keeps you on Google’s radar in a positive way.

You also have to consider the fact that each new blog post presents an opportunity to generate more backlinks and rank for additional keywords.

I imagine that you want to see an uptick in traffic like this:

image01 3 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

The fact is, you can’t get traffic like that unless you blog like you mean it.

When you stop blogging for an extended period of time, your stream of organic traffic can dry up, which can obviously have some undesirable consequences.

More blogging equals more leads

The stat from Kapost, stating that brands with 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month, and Ryan’s stat—stating that traffic to his contact page fell by 15 percent—show us just how intertwined blogging and lead generation really are.

This makes sense when you think about it.

No blogging means much less organic and overall traffic. In turn, fewer visitors are landing on your website, which means fewer leads.

Blogging, quite obviously, leads to more leads.

image06 7 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

Notice this data from MarketingCharts.com. Their data shows that a higher blogging frequency is positively correlated with higher customer acquisition rates.

image10 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

Quitting blogging is a conversion killer

The final and perhaps most alarming of Ryan’s findings was the drop in overall site conversions (28 percent).

I can connect the dots to see how this could happen.

Few people blog just for the heck of it. We blog because it makes a significant difference.

We blog because it builds conversions.

But how does this work? How is blogging so inextricably linked to conversions?

From my experience, I’ve found blogging to be an incredibly effective way to build rapport with my audience and get them comfortable with the idea of buying.

For example, before a prospect would want to go ahead and purchase Crazy Egg, there’s a good chance that they would first want to explore “The Daily Egg,” which is the accompanying blog.

I don’t sell anything on that blog. I just provide value, value, value.

image09 6 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

In fact, two stats from Aabaco found that “60 percent of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site.”

It’s about fostering positive feelings, as vague as that sounds.

Furthermore, “78 percent of consumers believe that companies behind content are interested in building good relationships.”

Good relationships are built one blog post at a time.

Basically, blogging builds trust.

If you blog the right way, you can demonstrate transparency.

image04 5 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

Transparency, in turn, creates trust.

There’s no secret here. If you want to truly influence purchases (conversions), you should be blogging.

Customers look to content to grow and sustain positivity and goodwill towards the brand.

This positivity and goodwill influences conversions. You’ll earn more conversions because you are blogging. It’s that simple.

image02 6 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

I would also make the point that stopping blogging out of the blue can make you look a little flaky in the eyes of customers. Some may even wonder if you’re still in business.

No one wants to do business with a place that seems quiet and untended. You might still be in business, but if your blog isn’t buzzing with new content and activity, users might get the idea that you’re not around to serve them.

This will kill your conversions.

For these reasons, you can see how a lack of blogging can slowly trickle down to hurt conversions and eventually result in a considerable decline in customers.

Jeff Bullas provides an excellent explanation of how blogging builds credibility in this infographic:

image08 9 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

These aren’t just random stats. These are concrete data-driven signals that your blog builds your credibility.

And your credibility as a business influences whether or not people will buy from you.

The takeaway

While I can’t say for sure that you would experience the same level of backlash that Ryan did, it’s fair to say that quitting blogging for an extended period of time isn’t going to help you.

Even going a single month without an update could throw a wrench in your SEO.

For this reason, I can’t stress enough just how important it is to be consistent with publishing blogs.

Everyone has their own opinion on what the bare minimum is, but most bloggers would agree that you should strive for at least one per week.

But to determine the ideal frequency, I would suggest checking out this post I wrote about determining how often you need to blog.

A blog such as the Huffington Post (yes, it’s a blog) publishes an article a minute. They can do that because they have a ton of semi-free and syndicated content being pushed out.

If you’re Forbes, you might publish more than 1,000 articles a month.

image07 4 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

Obviously, you won’t be able to keep pace with Forbes or Huffpo, especially if you’re blogging for your personal brand.

Instead, you should focus on consistency. As this article shows, when you quit blogging, your traffic and conversions tank.

If you stay consistent, you’ll win.

Conclusion

Blogging accomplishes much more than simply demonstrating your expertise and building trust.

It plays a major role in SEO, and the frequency of your blogging can determine how much traffic you bring in, how many leads you generate, and ultimately how many conversions you make.

If you want to win at the game of online marketing, you’ve got to be publishing content.

And you can’t stop.

Internet marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. As a ten-year veteran of this sprint, I can attest to the fact that it gets ugly and tiring, and there are times when you want to quit.

But I can also attest to the fact that your hard work pays off.

Sure, at times you might feel like you’re banging your head against a wall, but all that work is doing something. It’s growing your audience. It’s building trust. It’s pushing up conversions bit by bit, day by day, month by month.

Don’t quit.

Have you ever tried a similar experiment, and if so, what were the results?

 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?  What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?  What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?

 What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging?
Source: QuickSprout

The post What Happens to SEO When You Stop Blogging? appeared first on JZ-ART.

Source: JZ-Art

11 Personal Brand Building Hacks That Will Earn You More Customers Within Two Weeks

brand 11 Personal Brand Building Hacks That Will Earn You More Customers Within Two Weeks

If you run an online business, you are probably aware that building a strong personal brand is one of the most powerful tools in your entrepreneurial arsenal.

While most entrepreneurs understand the power behind effective branding, very few understand how to effectively execute and build a reputable personal brand.

If that’s you, don’t worry.

With a few simple tweaks and hacks, you can ramp up the power behind your brand and build a bigger fanbase than you ever thought possible in a few short weeks.

Here’s how.

1. Use professional profile photos

If you want to be taken seriously in the online world, you need to present yourself with an air of professionalism.

I know it may be tempting to use that cute avatar as your profile picture, but it comes off as adolescent and unprofessional.

Invest the time and money into a professional picture, and it will be worth its weight in gold for your personal brand.

Make sure you smile. Why? Because a smile can build trustworthiness.

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Here’s how MedicalDaily.com summed up the research on this subject:

Psychologists specializing in facial expressions are still unsure as to whether a human smile is a tool used for communication or an involuntary expression that conveys our emotional state. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön and the Toulouse School of Economics have confirmed that putting on an honest smile that is genuine can influence people to cooperate with you by perceiving you as trustworthy.

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The professional photo I use on this blog is simple and effective. Shirt. Suit. Tie. And…smile!

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In the photo above, I’m wearing a suit. That helps, of course, but it’s not absolutely necessary. To look professional in a photo, you don’t need to be wearing a business suit.

By “professional photos,” I mean the quality and subject of the photo.

I was browsing LinkedIn recently and came across a guy I know to be really professional. He does top-notch work and is the president of his own company.

But his profile photo doesn’t shout professional! In fact, it’s kind of hard to figure out what’s going on in his picture. The quality and subject of the photo don’t speak to his professionalism.

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Isn’t there a place for fun photos? Sure, but make sure you’re using them in the right place and at the right time.

I’ve discovered that fun or casual photos can grab people’s attention—like this one on my blog NeilPatel.com.

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Here are a few key things to remember:

  • When it comes to your profile photo (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), make sure it’s a headshot. No one else needs to be in the picture—no kids, pets, or significant others.
  • Smile.
  • Don’t wear sunglasses.
  • Wear something that’s appropriate to your job and position.
  • If possible, use the photo services of a professional.
  • Use a high-quality photo. Pixelated headshots aren’t effective.

Look, you don’t need to be a good-looking person to have a really high-quality headshot that brings in the leads. All you need is a sharp, crisp, professional photo of your face.

2. Present content authentically

We live in an era of frauds and fakes. If you are not intentional about your presentation, even high quality information may be disregarded or come off as disingenuous.

Whenever you write an article or record a video, speak or write authentically, from the heart. Don’t worry about what people will think.

Whether you swear like a sailor or are as clean-cut as they come, whether you are reserved and quiet or as intense as a Navy SEAL instructor, use your own personality and style whenever you share your message.

People will appreciate the authenticity. Your polarizing nature will create more loyal customers and fans than you can imagine.

3. Create and share killer content on a regular basis

The world is so full of new and exciting content that it’s easy to get left behind (even with an established brand) unless you are regularly creating and marketing high quality content.

A guy like Brian Dean has a strong personal brand:

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He needs to be publishing really great content on a regular basis in order to generate leads for his business.

As expected, his content is always top-notch:

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Whether you are creating YouTube videos, podcasts, or blog posts, you need to keep your head in the game and crank out killer content on a regular basis.

What’s “killer” content? Here are a few pointers:

  • Well researched—back up your claims with data.
  • Unique—don’t repeat what everyone else is saying.
  • Longform—lengthy content gets more social shares, more backlinks, and higher search engine results.
  • Genuinely useful—solve problems; relieve pain; provide answers.
  • Grammatically correct.

4. Stay consistent on social media

The average person in the Western world spends around 3 hours on social media each day.

If you don’t build and maintain a high profile social presence, your brand will suffer a slow but certain demise.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s social media presence is on point. He’s always publishing content, and it’s always good.

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Social media is so prevalent in our modern culture that it’s become an absolute necessity for any aspiring entrepreneur to master the art of social media branding.

How do you remain consistent on social media? Here is a schedule you can follow:

Twitter: 5 times a day

LinkedIn: 1 time a day

Google+: 1 time a day

Facebook: 2 times a day

Branding isn’t complicated. It’s simply a matter of deciding what your jam is, knowing it, and being all about it, everywhere you are.

5. Tell a compelling story

People love stories—it’s part of our DNA.

We have a neurological response to storytelling:

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The effect of a story is so powerful that it’s impossible to ignore.

James Clear, a popular blogger, explains his take on stories:

In the end, my work ends up being one-part storytelling, one-part academic research, one-part personal experiment. It’s a colorful blend of inspirational stories, academic science, hard-earned wisdom.

His stories are now part of his personal brand. He uses storytelling to introduce the lessons he teaches on his blog.

A story? About a tough job? And the Tour de France? Yes, please.

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And while the days of listening intently to tribal leaders tell tales of struggle and victory while huddled around a campfire on the savanna are over, we still connect with stories in the same way we did thousands of years ago.

If you want to effectively build your personal brand, you have to center everything around a story.

And not just any story, your story.

One of the quickest ways to grow your brand and your business is figuring out how you can craft and share your story in a way that’s as relatable and authentic as possible.

6. Be intentional in positioning yourself

How do you want to be known in your niche?

Are you the friendly expert? The sarcastic a-hole? The mentor full of tough love?

Think about people with strong and recognizable personal brands such as Tucker Max (the sarcastic a-hole), Tim Ferriss (the friendly expert), or Garrett White (the tough love mentor).

All of them decided how they wanted to position themselves within their niches and then built their brands around that.

If you want to succeed in your entrepreneurial endeavors, you’ll do the same.

You have to own it. Stick with it. You’re building an identity.

Maybe Tucker Max likes his identity. Maybe he doesn’t. But he made the bed, and now he has to lie in it.

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Selena Soo positions herself as a publicity and business strategist for experts, authors, and coaches:

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Every email, webinar, ad, and update is focused on that one point.

Brendon Burchard is a passionate coach who has positioned himself using the “Live. Love. Matter.” slogan. His positioning has allowed him to create a powerful presence that people don’t forget.

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7. Host hangouts and reply to comments

One of the quickest and most efficient ways to grow your personal brand is to connect with your audience.

Whether you are responding to comments on your blog, hosting weekly AMA Hangouts, or annual live meetups, getting involved with your audience and building rapport will put you on the fast track to a massive and recognizable personal brand.

8. Create a recognizable logo

The human brain processes logos in around 13 milliseconds, faster than the blink of an eye. I bet you recognize these logos:

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A recognizable and high quality logo is essential to your visual marketing and personal brand.

Think about brands like Pepsi, Amazon, Google, and PayPal.

All of them have established strong logos people instantly recognize. Whether you love them or hate them, you cannot look at the Pepsi logo or see the colorful letters of Google without immediately acknowledging the brand:

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Use the power of the human brain to your advantage, and craft a high quality logo that will increase your recognition.

A personal brand logo creates a visual hook for people to pair with your brand. If you are trying to brand yourself using only a title, your name, or a slogan, it won’t be as effective.

The human brain uses a variety of sensory inputs to create a lasting memory—sound, motion, color, smell, and imagery.

By creating a colorful and unique logo, you’ll be able to develop visual imagery that sticks in people’s minds.

Think about Jimmy Fallon for a moment. He has a strong personal brand and uses his circular logo and blue moon imagery to reinforce this in people’s minds:

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Rachael Ray, the celebrity cook, has a fun, light, and memorable logo featuring her name:

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9. Create a brand tag line

Another great way to build your brand recognition is to create a powerful and easy to remember tagline or mission statement.

“Open happiness.”

“Stay fresh.”

“The few, the proud, the ____.”

“Let’s go places.”

Even without me telling you the brand names, you’ve probably recognized the brands of Coca-Cola, Subway, the U.S. Marines, and Toyota.

Brands try to harness a feeling, an emotion. That’s why a brand that makes automobiles can have a tagline with a visceral and deep-seated impact.

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That’s the power of a well-written tagline.

Even in a so-called “boring” industry, Microsoft tries to be inspirational.

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A personal brand has even greater potential for inspiration and motivation.

10. Start a podcast

If most of your work is centered around the written word, starting a podcast is a fantastic way to build a stronger online personality and establish a more powerful brand.

Podcasts are a rawer and unfiltered medium for sharing information, and if you can grow them and market them well enough, they can also be a fantastic strategy for monetizing your brand.

11. Start speaking at events

One of the best ways to establish authority of your personal brand is to speak at events or conferences:

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Although speaking at TEDx or The World Domination Summit may feel out of your reach right now, start with smaller gigs, and build from there.

Getting up in front of a live audience, while being vulnerable and not having the ability to edit mistakes or correct your speeches, is a powerful way to build more authenticity into your brand.

Speaking takes practice. Many people are afraid of public speaking, but I think everyone should try it at least once.

Who knows? You may find that it’s something you love and are good at!

Conclusion

You’re now equipped with 11 powerful tips. These hacks work.

If you are willing to take action, you can grow your personal brand at an obscene rate, earning more customers and building a loyal following quicker than you ever thought possible.

It will take hard work and sacrifice on your part, but I promise that if you do what you need to do and use these 11 tips, your brand and your business will never be the same.

A personal brand is a powerful thing. How have you used your personal brand to gain more clients and customers?

 11 Personal Brand Building Hacks That Will Earn You More Customers Within Two Weeks  11 Personal Brand Building Hacks That Will Earn You More Customers Within Two Weeks  11 Personal Brand Building Hacks That Will Earn You More Customers Within Two Weeks

 11 Personal Brand Building Hacks That Will Earn You More Customers Within Two Weeks
Source: QuickSprout

The post 11 Personal Brand Building Hacks That Will Earn You More Customers Within Two Weeks appeared first on JZ-ART.

Source: JZ-Art

Impact Your Rank & Revenue with Top Search Strategies [Webinar]

Search Strategies Webinar

Free Webinar: Impact Your Rank & Revenue with Top Search Strategies

When: Tuesday August 23rd 11am PT

Length: 30 minute (+QA)

Milestone is hosting a complimentary webinar to discuss the latest trends and strategies for local businesses to attract new online customers.

Our experts will discuss the need of a comprehensive on and off page promotion strategy along with quick updates to your digital presence that will allow more searchers to find your business online. Digital marketers of a location based company (hotel, bank, retail store, etc) will find this webinar extremely useful in understanding ways to increase website traffic.

Panelists:
Aaron Horowitz, Digital Marketing Strategist
Terry Teng, Digital Marketing Strategist
Jake Brennen, Moderator

Register-here

 


Source: Paid Search

How to Write Marketing Emails That Get Results

To some, email marketing can seem antiquated and even prehistoric when compared to more cutting-edge tactics such as SEO, social media, and mobile optimization.

Although it may not be the sexiest of strategies, there’s no denying that it still gets results.

In fact, “email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.” Just take a look at how it compares with other methods:

image08 7 How to Write Marketing Emails That Get Results

Also, you are six times more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet.

What about ROI?

For each dollar spent, email has an average ROI of $38. Impressive. Here’s how Adobe paints the picture:

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And it gets better.

Email marketing is easy.

Check out this data from MarketingCharts.com:

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Email tops the list of “most effective” digital marketing tactics. But look! It’s also easy!

Results? ROI? Easy? Effective?

Email marketing is killer. It works. It’s awesome. You need to do it.

But in order to truly harness the power of email marketing, it’s important to understand the psychology behind it and to know how to write emails that get results.

The statistics say that email marketing is effective. But statistics tell only part of the story. Statistics can’t predict whether your email marketing efforts will be effective.

In order to create a successful email marketing campaign, it’s crucial to know the tricks of the trade. Getting people to notice your emails, open your emails, click on the stuff in your emails, and respond to your emails is tricky.

Here are the fundamentals of what I’ve learned over the years.

1. Getting emails opened

Half the battle is getting prospects to open your emails.

Research from HubSpot found that companies with 1-10 employees typically receive a median open rate of 35.3% and companies with 26-200 employees receive a median open rate of 32.3%.

Here’s another look at the stats from SmartInsights. Find your industry in the list, and see how your open rates compare:

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These numbers aren’t exactly staggering.

I’ve found that the key to maximizing my open rate is making my emails as personal and interesting as possible.

For instance, I suggest using your first name as your from address.

Why do I suggest this?

The data says so. In one survey, researchers asked “What most compels you to open a permission based email?”

I know what would get me to open an email: the from line!

Do I trust the sender? Do I want to hear from them? Do I like what they write? Is it going to help me in some way?

The best way for me to find that out is by looking at who sent the information.

Just take a look at these numbers. The from line is leading the subject line by double!

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Most people are already drowning in emails and don’t want to open something from some questionable corporate entity. But many are willing to open something from a real person, who is reaching out to them one-on-one.

If you are signed up to receive emails from me, you expect to see “Neil Patel” in the subject line.

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I wrote the email, so I might as well be the one sending it.

Besides, it gives you, the reader, the authentic sense that you’re hearing from me as a person, not some disembodied email marketing software.

2. Writing a captivating subject line

If your subject line is uninteresting, uninspiring, or mediocre, your email is likely to get passed over. Also, if it gives off a spammy—used car salesman—kind of vibe, it’s probably going in the trash.

How do you grab attention with the subject line?

I’ve found that addressing a common issue or concern works well.

For example, you might promise that the contents of your email can help solve a problem, provide readers with valuable information to improve their lives, or make them happier.

Buffer knows that their audience wants to hear about social media tips. That’s why they use subject lines like this one:

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Throwing in some power words that stimulate readers and appeal to their emotions can have a tremendous impact as well.

Here are just some of the power words you can use:

  • amazing
  • mind-blowing
  • jaw-dropping
  • blissful

You get the idea. I recommend that you check out this list of 317 power words from Smart Blogger for more ideas.

Here’s something I do to save time and effort and increase effectiveness of my email campaigns: I use or repurpose my blog article titles as my email subject lines.

This doesn’t work for every industry or email marketing campaign, I know. But it works for me. The goal of my email marketing efforts is to help people with great content. That content, of course, lives on my blog. So, I might as well use the title of my article as my subject line.

3. Pique their curiosity

Finally, you’ll want to make it so that readers are so intrigued by the subject line that they can’t resist opening your email.

You’ll want to pique their curiosity and leave an information gap that can be filled only by clicking.

For instance, a B2B company might use a subject line such as “How to Double Your Sales in Just 30 Minutes.”

One of my highest open rates came from an email I sent asking for people’s help. I genuinely needed and wanted the response of my readers.

When I asked for readers’ help, it created an information gap between my request and the point of my request. Why did I need help? The result was an insane level of open rates.

I’ve seen other great marketers do the same thing. Jayson DeMers, for example, created this email subject line that caught my attention:

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He even used a smiley face.

4. Writing a killer opening line

Now that you’ve gotten readers to open your email, you need to draw them in deeper with an awesome opening line.

This is probably more important than you might think.

Why do I say this?

Because the subject line isn’t always the first thing that people see!

GASP!

Yeah, I know you’ve been told that the subject line is the most important element of an email. As I explained above, however, the from line seems to have a higher level of impact on whether or not the email gets opened in the first place.

But is that all? The from line and the subject?

No. The first line of the email is important too.

Most email browsers today display a portion of the message directly in the email browser. You don’t have to open the email to read a small section of it.

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Depending on the length of the subject line (and the viewport of the browser), the body of the email has two or three times as much visibility!

It’s not just desktop email programs that do this, though. Don’t forget about mobile devices!

Most mobile email apps show the opening line.

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So, what do you write in your opening line?

I like addressing each reader by their first name. This comes across as being personal and authentic, which is key for getting them to read on.

I also like to avoid the classic “Hi, my name is…” routine.

Instead, I prefer to opt for something like “I noticed that you…” or “I saw that we both…”

This approach helps the reader relate to me better and faster. I gain their attention by drawing upon a shared experience.

Make sure you get to the point of your email from the get go. Preliminary chatting might turn off people who simply want to find out what the email is about.

Just get right to the point so that you can make an instant connection.

Notice how Jacob McMillen did this in his email:

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Writing like this will earn the respect of your readers. You value their time. You give them what they need. They get on with their lives.

5. The body

This is where it’s time to really connect with your reader. It’s your opportunity to show how your product/service can provide them with real value and improve their life.

I suggest keeping it short and simple and not overloading your reader with extraneous information.

Remember, the point here is to gain their attention and build some initial rapport. You’re just looking to warm them up to advance them through the sales funnel.

You’re not necessarily going for the jugular right away.

Be sure to break up text into short, digestible paragraphs.

I also suggest speaking in second person and using you when speaking to readers.

Ask personal questions to give your email an intimate feel as if you’re talking face-to-face.

I think HubSpot gives some good examples of this:

  • Do you have unanswered questions about [topic]?
  • How, if at all, would you like to improve your strategy?
  • Is [benefit to them] a priority for you right now?

If you’ve ever read Ramit’s emails, you know he does a great job with this. The paragraphs are short. The tone is personal. And the whole point of the email is spot on: it’s filled with helpful, actionable information.

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6. Nailing the closing

Besides the subject line, the closing is arguably the most important part of an email.

It’s the point where a reader will decide whether or not they want to act on your offer and proceed any further.

The goal here is to wind down and transition into a well-crafted call to action (CTA).

What do you want them to do next?

Maybe it’s to check out a landing page, sign up for a course, download an e-book, or straight up buy a product/service.

Whatever it may be, your CTA needs to be crystal clear.

Tell them exactly what you want them to do next, and make sure there’s no guessing what that action is.

Some of us have the mistaken idea that we need to sneak in the CTA or somehow hide it in the email so it’s not so obvious. Please don’t make this mistake.

Your CTA is the money of your email—the reason why you’re sending it in the first place. Make it strong, unmistakable, and absolutely clear.

This email from StackSocial, while not exactly personal, does have a great CTA. You can see it directly in the body of the email—the place where my eyes are first going to look.

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7. Creating urgency

Here’s another thing I’ve learned.

Many people have a tendency to procrastinate. Maybe they’re wrapped up in something at the moment or just aren’t in the mood to complete your desired action right now.

This is no good because once they close an email, the odds they’ll come back to it are slim to none.

That’s why it’s vital to create urgency so that they feel compelled to take action right away.

Most marketers complain that the “most challenging obstacle” to their email marketing is getting people to take action by clicking on the call to action (or whatever the click goal of the email is).

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I’ve found that setting a tight deadline tends to work well for this.

For example, you might say that an “offer expires tomorrow,” or “get it before it’s gone,” or “only 10 spots left.”

This is essential for getting a prompt reply.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that email still matters and can be just as effective as many of the newer marketing tactics.

It’s easy to get distracted by creating a sizzling-hot Twitter strategy, building a Facebook group, or starting your live video channel.

Those are all great things, and I don’t discourage you from implementing them.

But email still works—although not on its own.

To truly get results, it’s necessary to follow the right formula and understand the mindset of your readers.

By following these techniques, you should be able to increase both your open rate and response rate.

How does email marketing stack up against your other primary marketing channels in 2016?

 How to Write Marketing Emails That Get Results  How to Write Marketing Emails That Get Results  How to Write Marketing Emails That Get Results

 How to Write Marketing Emails That Get Results
Source: QuickSprout

The post How to Write Marketing Emails That Get Results appeared first on JZ-ART.

Source: JZ-Art

Are There Holes In Your Bucket That Leak Profit?

In my 40+ years in this business I’ve found something that never ceases to amaze me.

People are more than willing to throw lots of money at new, unproven tactics when instead they would be better served spending the relatively small amount of time it’d take to fix the holes in their process that are leaking profits.

Usually directly into their competitors’ wallets.

Below I’m going to reveal the six areas I’ve found where you can quickly seal the holes in the bucket – and often double or triple your profits.

Profit Maximizer #1: Lead Generation – Most people give little to no thought about an actual lead generation strategy. They may spend, at times a lot, on advertising, but that does not equate to a lead generation strategy.

To have an actual strategy you need three things…first, a clear idea of EXACTLY who you’re trying to attract. Second, a lead magnet that instantly attracts your ideal prospect. Third, a way to measure the effectiveness of any media that you’re using.

Simply getting clear on these three things will save you thousands of dollars while putting more of the right prospects in front of you.

Profit Maximizer #2: Lead Capture – I recently went to a new restaurant outside Cleveland. I heard about it from a friend and I enjoyed it quite a bit. My waitress actually asked if we’d been there before and, when I said “no,” went on to tell us about the restaurant in a well scripted presentation.

But at no time during my visit did they even attempt to capture my information so that they could continue to communicate with me and provide me with a reason to return.

They, like many businesses are operating on a strategy of “hope” and that’s a BAD strategy. They HOPE that I liked it enough that I’ll return. Thing is, I did. But I like a lot of restaurants, and the chance of me returning to their restaurant next time I’m going out diminishes each and every day that I don’t have contact with them. And they have no way to contact me specifically because they didn’t even attempt to get my information.

Capturing people’s information is a MUST. You can do this online, in-person, or by phone. It’s easier than ever, yet most make NO attempt and it’s costing them tens or even hundreds of thousands.

Profit Maximizer #3: Non-Buyer Follow-Up – This is the BIGGEST area of opportunity for 99% of people I work with. They don’t have a systematized, automated strategy to follow up with prospects to turn them into customers, clients or patients.

Once you’ve captured their information, you now have the ability to put a campaign together that consistently moves people who don’t immediately purchase towards the sale. This is more important the higher the cost of your product or service.

You need to put a well thought out, online AND OFFLINE follow-up campaign into place for those who are initially interested but not yet ready to say “yes.” This could include: emails, texts, phone calls, postcards, newsletters and should probably include all of these items. If you don’t have this you’re most likely letting 30%-70% of your potential customers, clients and patients buy from your competitors.

Profit Maximizer #4: Conversion in Customers, Clients or Patients – This is an area where you can add to your bottom line without adding a single dollar of expense to your business! Imagine each day you currently have 100 people coming to your website, contacting your office, coming into your store or however people reach out to you. Can you tell me out of those 100 people what percent will do business with you? If not, you should figure that out fast.

Then you need to put in strategies to increase that number. Many times it’s as simple as putting simple processes into place to help that person buy from you, or buy MORE from you. Imagine you’re a dentist and someone comes in for teeth cleaning. Do you have scripts in place to sell them other products or services? If not, you just let them dictate their dental care. Do you assume they have the best toothbrush, the best toothpaste? That they don’t need fluoride or want whitening? How much is it costing you in lost profits to make those assumptions?

Profit Maximizer #5: Repeat Business – I read that Domino’s Pizza has an app that customers can use to order pizza online, but it also sends notifications to those subscribed, with special offers. This allows them to turn slow nights for their stores into busy nights.

EVERY business should have in place a campaign to consistently keep in touch with their past customers, clients and patients. This is another demonstration of how most businesses run on “hope.” They hope you’ll remember them when you need another widget and not have been attracted to a competitor in the meantime.

This too should be a multi-media campaign using online and offline pieces to consistently provide value and give them a reason to return.

Profit Maximizer #6: Referrals – Almost no business does this well. While many stumble across ‘referrals by chance,’ almost none generate a steady stream of ‘referrals by design.’ Yet if I asked most business owners who their best leads are they will almost inevitably say it’s those that were referred to them by a past customer, client or patient.

What if you weekly, monthly or even just quarterly provided your past customers with the tools they needed to actually become an “unpaid sales army” with useful reports, emails or gifts AND specific instructions on exactly how to introduce others to your business? It’s such an easy strategy, but virtually no one gives this the smallest iota of thought or effort.

Plugging these six holes in a leaky profit bucket will much of the time provide all the growth a company can handle and many times MORE than they’re looking for. Be warned, this is not SIMPLE, but it’s not hard. It just takes committed time and effort on your part to layer in each of these six strategies.

If you want to see the fastest way to layer these into your business then you should reserve a spot for the upcoming livecast GKIC is doing, where you’ll get the exact steps to getting your lead generation, conversion and maximization engines up and running and putting them on autopilot.

Click here now to reserve your spot and get a front row seat to discovering how the truly successful run their businesses and achieve the success they deserve.

Source: Dan Kennedy

Digital Marketing with Proven Results. Call (888) 924-5558 Now. The only SEO, Design & Marketing Company with Proprietary Referral Software and Tangible Results.

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