Proven Tactics for Creating Your Auto Responder Series

Proven Tactics for Creating Your Auto Responder Series

Creating an autoresponder series can be very powerful for your online marketing. One of the biggest stumbling blocks that business owners have with autoresponders is how to put their content together.

Here are some tips that will make things a whole lot easier…

Determine Your Goals

When you are trying to write an autoresponder series it helps if you understand what your goal is. Is it to make sales? Is it to introduce your subscribers to you and all your offerings? If you can narrow down your goals for each autoresponder series it will be easier to start writing the content.

Pick a Product of Focus

Each autoresponder series should concentrate on one product that you’re trying to sell. If you pick one product it will be a lot easier to create focused messages. You can then write a series such as “7 Tips For Losing Weight Fast”. Then send only one tip per day or week depending on how long you want the series to last.

There can be exceptions to this rule, but the more you focus, the more likely you’ll achieve the results you want.

Stay Single-Minded

Sometimes creating an autoresponder series, or any content at all, can become overwhelming because we want to cover too much. Stay single-minded on a micro topic with a specific goal for each series and it will be a lot easier to focus on coming up with short and to-the-point content for your autoresponder series.

Brainstorm Your Topics

Plan your series from beginning to end, to ensure you cover the topic from every angle needed. Simply set aside an hour or so to jot down ideas and flesh out how your series will work.

Include a Call-to-Action (CTA)

A call-to-action should be included in every single one of your autoresponder series emails. Don’t wait until the last one of the series. Your readers might not read every single email in the series and they need to be reminded of your offer. A targeted and focused call to action will be what makes your autoresponder series successful. Once you’ve delivered the meat of your content to them, end with a call to action that they can’t resist.

It’s Not the End

The most important thing to realize is when a subscriber comes to the end of a short (or long) autoresponder series, it shouldn’t be the end of the relationship. Otherwise, all that work you’ve done is lost. Ensure you continue to add messages to the series or set up your autoresponder software to move subscribers to another list once they complete a series.

Email marketing is an ongoing relationship, so keep things flowing with ongoing and useful communication.

The more you satisfy your subscribers’ cravings for quality information, the more likely they’re to respond to your call-to-action.

Selling Early to your List

Selling Early to the people on your List

Many people online approach things from the point of view that if you give tons to your customers at first, then they’ll be in a better position to sell them something later. This approach can most certainly work. After all, giving can create a stronger bond between subscriber and publisher, plus it fosters an environment of sharing and spreading the word about what you have to offer.

However, you can have the best of both worlds in a way that is manageable and very profitable.

The give, give, give approach means you sacrifice a lot of profit early on in the hopes of a bigger payout later on. It also relies on VOLUME to make it work because you’re focusing less on converting your prospects and more on getting a lot of them, so you can sell at a later time. A lot of extra work and stress can come with that volume.

If you’re a small publisher who doesn’t have huge subscriber numbers and followers, you have to work with what you’ve got and that’s why it is a good idea to focus on conversion. You don’t need a lot of traffic or a huge list to do really well for yourself, but you have to be willing to sell stuff. And seriously, it’s not that hard to combine tremendous value with selling. Plus, when you provide value and sell/recommend at the same time, you will attract the targeted audience that you want. Someone who wants your great information…but who is also willing to consider your product offers readily.

Consider These Scenarios:

Scenario #1: Jane is a natural soap maker who embarks on a campaign to get 5000 Facebook fans, so she gives out free incentives for becoming a fan and for referring friends. She is also building a mailing list at her site that is growing a little more slowly than she’d hoped, but that’s okay because she’s growing her Facebook following. She is getting lots of likes and comments on the tips and content she shares, but sales are coming in slowly as she isn’t quite sure how to convert these fans into customers.

Scenario #2: Jane, still a natural soap maker, decides to focus on building her own mailing list because she feels that having this asset of her very own is important. She offers a free gift on subscription, but decides not to sell anything at this time, because she wants to build a rapport with her readers. She gives out more free gifts and about 3 months down the line, she sends a promotion for a product she is very passionate about. She gets a couple of sales, a lot of opt-outs and a few complaints from subscribers telling her she promised free information and that she shouldn’t be selling to her list.

Scenario #3: Jane, still making natural soaps, has decided to really focus on her marketing and building her mailing list on her own website. She knows that email has really good conversions and it doesn’t cost much to build and market to a list, so like in scenario 2, she wants to build this asset. She also has decided to give out a free report with sign up, but has carefully put in a hard-to-resist offer in that report and makes sure to follow up with her subscribers. As her subscriber numbers grow, she is able to see sales coming in and continues to follow up to sell other products to those subscribers.

It’s a simplified view, certainly. But as you can imagine, all three scenarios could eat up about the same amount of time…but without a good sized mailing list of her own and a conversion plan in place, Jane struggles to make things work. If you present yourself as a business owner who has good information to share, but also has products to sell, you are more likely to attract your target customer. When you focus only on the free and growing your following, you attract a much wider audience, many of whom will have no interest in buying what you have to sell.

And really, what’s more important? Fame or a successful business that gives you what you need to live a fulfilling life outside of a computer screen? I guess that’s a decision we all have to make for ourselves.

The Importance of Segmenting Your Email Lists

The Importance of Segmenting Your Email Lists

Market segmentation is an important aspect of email marketing that you cannot afford to skip over. Segmentation is simply the process of identifying specific and meaningful groups of customers that you can target with specific messages, products and / or services in a way that resonates with them.

Why You Need to Segment

Segmenting your email list, no matter how small, is an important step toward boosting customer loyalty, increasing purchasing and it will help spark your creativity in terms of creating new products and services for your customers.

  • Boost Customer Loyalty
  • Increase Purchasing
  • Spark Creativity

You can introduce some very simple segmentation into your email marketing using your autoresponder’s segmentation features. Most autoresponders offer some sort of segmenting features. If it doesn’t, then you need to switch services because segmentation is an important tool to use that will make all your marketing efforts exponentially more effective.

How to Segment

First, decide how you want to segment your list members. A great way to start with segmenting is to segment based on behavior. Separating those who have purchased a specific item from those who have not is a good first step.

You can even segment subscribers from the beginning of their subscription by putting different sign up forms on each landing page they use to sign up for your email list. Aweber makes it a simple and straight forward process and these are the segmenting features available. Other autoresponders will likely have similar options.

  • Segmenting with Forms – You can include segmentation criteria right on a sign up form. Male from female, income levels, topics of interest and more. You can do this by adding questions that a subscriber clicks, and you can also do it by putting a different sign up form on different landing pages.
  • Behavioral Segmenting – You can segment based on who clicks various links in your email messages. You can do it via a link inside a normal message, or you can set up a poll specifically designed to assign people to various lists based on their answers. You can incentivize clicks by offering coupons, free downloads, letting subscribers choose their sales and more.
  • Surveys & Poll Segmentation – You can send buyers, subscribers, and list members surveys and polls that segment them based on their answers or in the case of some, their lack of answers. This is a great way to segment list members after they’ve signed up.
  • Give Members Self Segmenting Options – With Aweber you can actually include self-segmenting options in specific messages such as a rating scale so that your readers can rate your messages, products and services, thus adding them to a specific segment of your list.

Each of these ideas works by providing a special link to your subscribers that takes them to a hidden page on your website once they click it. Then by clicking it they also, due to the code involved, automatically get added to the specific list based on the segmentation criteria. Once it’s set up, inside your autoresponder service, it runs itself and is pretty hands off.

Segmenting customers from prospects is a good starting point into email marketing segmentation. When you do that, you’ll be able to better personalize and target your email marketing messages to make a bigger impact on their future behavior and increase sales exponentially.

Tips for Making Newsletters Simple

Tips for a Making Newsletters Simple

One of the most important things you’ll ever learn in business is that the money is in the list.

Make no bones about it, your list is quite likely the number one asset for your online business.

The problem is, a lot of people mistakenly put their newsletter or mailing list on the backburner because it seems like too much work.

That’s a darned shame because unleashing the power of your list doesn’t have to be much work at all…

Here are some tips to make things easier for you:

  1. Keep your emails simple. Forget about creating an “ezine” or magazine style publication because they are just too much work. Plus, test after test has proven that only a small portion of an ezine-type email is likely to be read.
  2. One topic at a time. Many people approach email by touching on multiple topics, so that there is a better chance of appealing to the reader. But again, it’s more work and multi-topic emails can create information overload for your reader. Overall, you’re likely to get better results when you keep your reader focused on the subject at hand. Try it, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.
  3. Better and higher priced advertising.If you’re selling advertising in your publication, it may create a need for extra content in your emails. If so, see Tip #4 and/or considering reducing the number of ads and charging more. Your advertisers may be willing to pay more for exclusive advertising space.
  4. Get help.Hire a ghostwriter or virtual assistant to help. There is no reason you have to do all the writing for your company.
  5. Make a schedule. Just like with your blogging and other content publishing, make sure your email marketing is scheduled too. Plan topics and product promotions ahead of time for more synergy and great results.

Making email a priority is pretty simple when you have a plan. What’s your email marketing plan?

Tips for Outsourcing Your Writing

Tips for Outsourcing Your Writing

As a business owner, there are so many things you have to take care of, so it’s not always easy to get to everything. If you’ve been putting off your email marketing because you never seem to get around with it, you can stop that right now. Here are some tips to help you effectively outsource your newsletter writing.

Identify Your Topics and Goals for Your Content

What do you want the content in your newsletter to achieve? For example, do you want to send traffic to a sales page? Do you want to boost your Facebook page or promote a new contest? Let your ghostwriter know what you want to achieve. It helps them write for your goals.

What Type of Content Do You Want to Writer?

In addition to sending the topics you’d like your ghostwriter to write on, let them know the type of content that you prefer or feel best fits the topic. For example, you might ask them to write a “how to” type article or a product comparison.

Assign the Content Well in Advance of When You Need It

Work with your writer to create a schedule that fits your needs and theirs. For example, you might assign November’s content in October so you have your content ready to upload into your autoresponder at the beginning of the month.

Planning ahead also ensures you bring forth the best content for your subscribers possible and makes it easier for you to include effective product promotions to go with that content.

Provide As Much Information As Possible

In addition to sharing the goals for each newsletter article also let your writer know:

  • What keywords and keyword phrases you want to use, if any. If you publish your newsletter content online then keywords can help improve SEO. If you have specific requests regarding the placement of keywords, for example in the title or the first paragraph, let your ghostwriter know.
  • What you want the message to sound like. Share your brand message and voice. For example, are you friendly and informative, controversial, or authoritative? Include a description of your brand image and message along with a few links to content that accurately conveys your voice.
  • Are there any links you want included in the message? You can always add links later after the content is written. However, sometimes the flow of the article can be improved when the writer inserts the hyperlinks in relevant and appropriate places.
  • How do you want it formatted? For example, does your audience prefer lists? Do they respond to bullet points and content with numbers or steps?

Obviously, it’s a great thing when you can get someone else do quality work for you and free up your schedule in the process. But another benefit you may not notice right away is that working with a writer ensures you are organized and proactive in moving your businesses forward. When there is a writer waiting for instructions, it forces you to stay on top of things and your business has no chance but to grow.

Your Email List – The Center of Your Content Marketing

Your Email List – The Center of Your Content Marketing

You know content is king, but how do you maximize your content marketing efforts? Here are a few things to help you do just that:

  • Put your focus on building a list and you’ll have a valuable asset to tap into over and over again.
  • Numbers don’t matter as much as results. Focus on conversion strategies over building volume.
  • You don’t have to do all the work. Employ the help of guest writers, ghostwriters and private label content.
  • When you work hard just to work hard, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Spend less time working and more time strategizing. That’s where the money is.

Put Your Focus on Building a List

Many online business owners feel that they need to blog X times per week or they have to write X articles per day.

It’s a dangerous trap because in this case, they’ve decided to SCHEDULE tasks, instead of working on RESULTS.

Whatever you’ve decided your schedule to be, this is NOT your magical formula to a successful online business.

Your key to a successful online business is knowing where to spend your time for maximum results.

It’s worth repeating – your key to a successful online business is knowing where to spend your time for maximum results.

It doesn’t matter how much people are singing praises for social media, blogging and other more modern ways of communicating…there is one key asset to your online business that you never want to forget about. And yes, it’s your mailing list.

Of course, all those other activities you do – like blogging, distributing content and “socializing” are important to your online business and they are what drives your list building.

Of course, just having a list isn’t enough. You’ve got to maximize that resource as well.

It’s all well and good that you have the tips to build the list, but what are you going to do with it? Well, you’re going to build a relationship with your readers, give them great advice they’ll come back for over and over again and you’re going to deliver AWESOME products to them too.

Here are a few tips that will help you make the most of your list:

  • Keep in regular touch, but don’t knock yourself out when you don’t have something to share. You want your readers to remember you and readily open your email, so email them when you have something interesting and useful to tell or sell them.
  • Speak directly to your audience. Get to know your readers and what they are looking for. Understand their dreams and their pains, so you can deliver what they want when they want. Write to them as if you’re writing a letter to a dear friend who needs your help. Be sincere. Be real.
  • Give information, but also give regular and relevant offers. If your goal is to sell a product, put your focus on that in that particular email. And better yet, be informative when you sell. The products you sell and recommend should enhance your readers lives, help them achieve their goals and/or solve their problems — your promotions can do the same.
  • Limit the number of links you include in an email. If you want them to really click a particular link, make that the only link in your email to increase click throughs on that particular link. If you have a newsletter with a few different topics or sections, make sure to mention the most important part at the beginning of the email. As interesting as we hope to be to our readers, their attention spans wane and they are not likely to read through the entire email.

Whatever you do, be prepared to evolve to your market’s ever-changing needs. As your list grows…you will gain new insights, know what works and what doesn’t. The more you can be in tune with, tap into that, and adjust where necessary, the more valuable a resource your list becomes.