Pam, we are sure JetPack has nice features and all but it allows you to add a blog / comment subscription module only. On the other hand services like MailChimp and Aweber are professional email service providers offering many powerful features which allow you to really benefit from the email list you are building. As far as simplicity is concerned, we are slightly more inclined towards MailChimp, they have a great user interface even for absolute beginners, they have excellent documentation, and lots of resources to learn how to use each feature available.
Here’s what you do. Optimize your profile, especially your headline and Summary. Then use your customer avatar to create a Prospect Profile. Start sending sending out connection requests to people who match your criteria. Since you’re reaching out to people who don’t know you, they will first glance at your profile before accepting, which is why you want to make sure your summary is compelling.
A lead magnet (a.k.a. an optin bribe) is something amazing that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. This doesn’t have to cost you anything to create; most lead magnets are digital materials like PDFs, MP3 audio files, or videos that you can create yourself at minimal or no cost. It can be absolutely anything you want, so long as it provides value to your visitors for free.
Double opt-in, however, ensures the emails you receive are valid and are not being used by bots and the like (remember, sending too many emails to dead email addresses is a sign of a spammer, and you do not want to be mistaken for a spammer). However, you can use tools like BriteVerify which automatically screen out fake addresses or mistakes at the point where the individual is signing up.
But in this guide you have a blueprint, practical tips and actual real world working tools that you can put in practice right now. So just get started where you can and take action. There is a term called “analysis paralysis” where some do so much analyzing they become overwhelmed and fail to get the real work done. It is easy to happen in this internet space where we are literally in the information business.
Unsubscribe rate. Unsubscribes are always going to happen no matter what, and that’s usually OK because those people probably would never have bought from you anyway. However, a high unsubscribe rate can indicate that you are losing potential customers. Check the following: Why did people subscribe to your list in the first place, and are you delivering on that promise? Is the content of your autoresponder highly relevant to the segment it is being sent to? Are you sending too many sales emails with too little value emails? (Recommended reading: 5 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe from Your Email List.)
As for reporting options, AWeber presents the standard raw numbers and percentages (clicks, opens, unsubscribes, and the like). It also includes more advanced data such as opens, clicks, and revenue over time; subscriber growth; and stats by location, area code, or designated market area. In addition, you can compare results across your past 20 emails. You can track subscribers based on their signup method, and the list segmentation options provide plenty of ways to optimize your email marketing. Reports are well laid out and easy to understand; much of the data is presented in both chart and table format.
An affiliate product is created by someone else but you can promote it to your list and earn a commission on every sale you make. When promoting an affiliate product to your list you don’t want to just promote any kind of product just to make a quick dollar. Remember the effort you out into building a list of raving fans that know, like and trust you.
Wherever your one person is, that’s where you want to be. Focus your time and energy on developing a following on just one or two sites. Otherwise you’ll spread yourself too thin. Share other people’s content along with your original content while you’re building up your blog. Determine the best posting frequency for each site and then automate scheduling and posting. Feedly, IFTT and Buffer are great for scheduling other people’s content and Hootsuite and Meet Edgar are great for scheduling original content.
To manage expectations, it’s a good idea to send your subscribers a quick follow-up email immediately after they’ve subscribed. This is an optimal opportunity for you to, not only thank them for subscribing, but to also to introduce yourself, send them material that you think they’ll be interested in as new subscribers and remind them how often to expect your messages. Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder workflows (something we’ll talk about a little bit later), so use it!
With Constant Contact, you can build your email lists from your company website or even from your Facebook page. More than just an email tool, Constant Contact has plenty to offer apart from sending emails including managing blog content, event management, online survey tools, and coupon creation. It also offers a comprehensive set of real-time reports.
The key is when visitors hit your blog it needs to look like something. This will lure visitors to want to sign up for your mailing list in exchange for something of value that you offer. This could be a special report, an ebook or some other free gift. Marketers call these “lead magnets” because you’re attracting leads that you can eventually convert as you sell them products and services.
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There are drawbacks, however, and they are threefold: first, the program seems to be falling behind on the social media front. Second, AWeber is a little on the pricey side, especially for businesses with very small lists (1000 and under). Once you hit the 2500-subscriber mark, costs are more in line with industry averages. The company has no send-based subscription plan, which means if you have a large list but send infrequent emails, there are probably better choices for you. Third, the company makes its free trial unnecessarily burdensome by requiring a credit card. This would be a minor issue if not for the fact that customers have reported complications with canceling the service.
Under #2, be careful with popups or modals that cover other interactions, Google will now penalize this kind of activity on mobile. I suspect we’ll now see persistent banner style replacements on mobile (a strip across the top of the site that doesn’t scroll off the page or disappear until you close it or sufficient time has elapsed without interaction.)
When you write great content for your industry you can share it on other related blogs that have high traffic and authority. Guest posting and blogging is a great way to build your personal brand. It makes an awesome marketing channel for your blog. You want to target posts on sites that are relevant for your niche, have an active audience and will include backlinks to your blog and your mini bio in your post.
But the truth is more complicated. You only have one social media account, Facebook — because “everybody is on it”. And you don’t understand why anyone needs a whole YouTube channel. You’ve never uploaded a video to YouTube. And starting your “own blog” is crazy talk. Your read blogs — like this one, but why start your OWN blog? Sounds scary. Hell, you’re still on the bubble about whether you need a website.
Email marketing is such a critical component of business for most companies (with the rare exception) because you able to communicate with your audience in the place they spend a good chunk of time (their inboxes). You also have the added benefit of building an asset (an email list) that no external platform (I’m talking to you Facebook) can mess with.
Video marketing is probably the most powerful way to drive traffic to your site. People love to watch a video to learn something rather than reading text. And with the growth of mobile your video needs to be friendly for these viewers. You must get your point across a lot quicker and add elements of entertainment or gamification to keep peoples attention.
However, if you are willing to invest some money in your learning, I would heartily recommend that you stop reading immediately and grab yourself a copy of Start a Blog that Matters. This is an online course developed by the aforementioned Corbett Barr, and I cannot recommend it enough. I have been running through the course material over the last couple of months, and it has revolutionized my approach to blogging (which some of you may well have observed with interest).
I have very deliberately included two blogs above that have absolutely nothing to do with making money or online business in any way shape or form. That market is arguably the hardest to make money in, because it is so saturated. Thanks to Chris Guthrie for making the very sensible suggestion that I should include non-MMO blogs in my examples above.
Think about implementing referral links to incentivize your subscribers to spread awareness about your brand, too. Referral links allow your current customers to promote trackable links for your business. In exchange for sending new paying customers your way, you can give them incentives like discounts, coupons, vouchers, cash, prizes or redeemable points.