Monthly Archives: March 2015

4 Ways to Boost Your E-Newsletter

Newsletter

Remember when e-newsletters first became popular and you thought you were cutting edge for switching over? Well your cutting edge newsletter is now outdated. If you haven’t redesigned your template since starting out, you are long overdue for a new look. Here are 4 things to change to capture your audience’s attention again.

1. Be Responsive

These days, almost everybody has a mobile device that they use to check their email. The world is moving at a fast pace and if you want to keep up, your newsletter has to look good on any screen. If somebody pulls your newsletter up on their phone or tablet and it doesn’t look good, they’re immediately closing it without even thinking about clicking on to your website. Even if they have the best intentions of trying it again when they’re in front of a computer, chances are you’ve lost them.

2. Advertise Wisely

A newsletter is not the same thing as an advertisement. Your readers are looking for relevant and interesting content. It’s good to let people know about big sales that you have coming up, but that should not be the main focus of your newsletter. Keep big banner ads to a minimum or, better yet, just nix them all together. And make sure your ads don’t push your content below the fold. Your first priority is to engage people with content.

3. Outline Clearly

Very few people are going to sit down and read your entire newsletter. They are going to scan it, looking for the pieces that are most relevant to them. So make sure you have easy to read headings that clearly tell what each article is about. People don’t like to read long blocks of text either. Break up your content with subheadings, images, and graphics. White space is very important for letting eyes rest and keeping your newsletter from looking cluttered.

4. Embed Features

One of the big advantages that an e-newsletter has over a paper newsletter is the ability to be more than just text. Make the most of these features. Embed Twitter feeds, social media links, video content and more directly into your newsletter for a modern, relevant feel. It is wise to stay away from gifs as they often load slowly and have jerky playback. Encouraging people to share your content gives you a wider audience and increases your reader’s engagement.

Embrace all of the options available for e-newsletters and get creative. There are no limits to what can be done with today’s technology. Throw out your old template and find something modern, fun, and interactive that will draw your audience to your site with a much higher click through rate.

5 Tips for Successful Online Sales

The Glory of the Internet Series - E-commerceMany people see selling online as a way to move their product without the overhead of a physical storefront. With online sales skyrocketing, there is obviously room in this growing market for more vendors. But it isn’t quite as easy as opening a webpage and waiting for sales to come rolling in. Here are 5 things you need to be successful in the online market.

1. Start Small

It’s good to dream big, but you shouldn’t start out that way. If this is your first venture into selling online, try putting a few listings up on an online market like Amazon or eBay. This saves you the hassle of having to build your own website and attract traffic to it. If you become successful, it’s easy enough to direct customers to your new site.

2. Low Shipping and Handling Costs

Free shipping draws customers likes flies to honey. Offering free shipping on orders of a certain size almost always nets a larger sale. When you are charging for shipping, keep your costs as low as possible. Some sellers try to slash their prices and then make up for it on high shipping costs, but buyers are catching on. They will appreciate the lower shipping cost, which is often the tipping point when choosing between two similar products.

3. Go Global

One of the nicest aspects of online marketing is how easy it is to reach an international audience. Be aware of all the shipping regulations involved in moving items across borders, however. It may be best if you start with a local market and expand as your business grows. If you do approve international sales, don’t be afraid to pass the higher shipping and tax on to your customer. It may cost you a few sales, but it will protect your profit margin.

4. Easy Payment

People are a little wary of entering their payment information online, and rightfully so. If you purchase a payment gateway, your customers will recognize a trustworthy source that they will feel safe using. This is also the easiest way for you to set up an online checkout. Just take the time to make sure that you aren’t going to be paying more than you wanted for the convenience.

5. Get Feedback

Customer reviews are the number one determining factor in whether someone makes an online purchase or not. This also lets you know what your customers are happy with and what needs work. Ask visitors to your site to complete a short survey. Offer a discount on their next purchase to add a little incentive. Not only does this get you the feedback you need, it also builds customer loyalty.

5 Ways to Generate Leads and Increase Traffic

Generate Leads Increase TrafficNo matter what the size of your business is, you are always looking for ways to increase traffic to your site and generate more sales, right? Generating leads is very important, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are five tried and true methods of increasing leads.

1. More Calls to Action

Every visitor to your site is not necessarily a victory. Every visitor to your site who interacts is. Don’t assume that people are going to follow the links to enquiry forms or points of lead capture. It needs to be easy for them to click on to what they are looking for from any page. It may seem like you’re just repeating yourself, but any successful business owner knows that redundancy is never a bad thing.

2. Automated Lead Generation

The more you can automate, the larger your business can grow. This allows you to match your business’s growth with more lead opportunities without having to invest a lot of overhead into resizing. This frees up much of your time, which is always a valuable commodity. It also ensures that you have everything in place to seize whatever opportunities for growth arise before they pass you by.

3. Facebook

Many people see Facebook as a free marketing tool, but it can become a much more effective tool if you put a little money into it. And I do mean a little. Just a dollar a day nets astronomical results on Facebook. A one dollar ad on Facebook for one day reaches 4,000 viewers. If you don’t have an extra $30 a month in your advertising budget, then you need to find it somewhere because this is too good of a deal to pass up.

4. Re-market

If you don’t know what your conversion rate on your website is, you really need to look into it. For now, we’ll go with 2.3%, which is the average conversion rate. That means that over 97% of the people who visit your site leave again without buying anything or making any inquiries. Re-marketing is how you remind them of what they came for. Most people take 6 days to make a purchasing decision. You need to re-market in order to keep them interested throughout that six day period.

5. Build Partnerships

The great American business model is based on pulling yourself up by your boot straps, but it turns out that insisting on doing everything yourself is not the surest way to succeed. Finding affiliate partners greatly increases your marketing reach. The most straightforward way to gain affiliate partners is to pay someone else to market your brand for you, but it’s not the only way. You can even turn customers into affiliates by offering rewards for recommendations.

SEO Vs SEM And The Pros And Cons

SEO Vs SEM If getting the best results you can from your website is your top priority, then utilizing the most effective online marketing program is key. There are two key areas you should take into consideration when marketing your website. They are Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The main focus of an SEO is being at the top of search results. It uses keywords that are related to your business to get your site to the top of the list of a web search. The focus of an SEM is choosing the right keywords and advertising options for a paid search such as Google Ad Words.

SEO Pros

When you are at the top of an organic search results for your industry it makes people think you are one of the leading companies and very reputable in your field. Depending on your field, 80 percent of people will click on links in the search and not one in the ad area. This provides for the largest quantity of traffic to your business. Since you don’t need to pay for every click on your link, traffic keeps compounding to your link. Results keep coming as long as your SEO activity stays current.

SEO Cons

SEO isn’t easy to implement and requires a steep learning curve to do it. It can sometimes take months to even see the results you are looking for. If you are new to it it might be in your best interest to find someone that does SEO as a business. This would require a lot of groundwork on your behalf to find a reputable business that will get you the results you need.

SEM Pros

If you have a new business you are promoting then SEM is a way to kick start the traffic to it. It is a very effective and speedy option to get website clicks. When you buy keywords you can bypass Google’s indexing systems and algorithms and shoot straight up to the top in rank in search results. Google AdWords are at the top of search results and the first thing that people see.

SEM Cons

Your competitors have the same access to Google Ads and so this can get pretty expensive. As soon as you stop paying for SEM you will see an immediate decline in the visitors to your site. You also have more and more people that are buying software that blocks ads. It won’t cost you money but it does create a reduction in your audience.

SEO and SEM each have their strong suits. You can look at it as time investment vs money investment. SEO is a long-term more stable investment that will require patience. Whereas, SEM is more of a short-term investment that will get you immediate results. For most businesses they find that implementing them both based on need is the best way to go.