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ConvertKIt  »   GetResponse  »   Aweber

The pace of innovation and the number of resources available to marketers today is nothing short of incredible.

An astounding 1,876 companies across 43 different marketing categories, including SEO, social, video marketing, sales enablement, mobile analytics, and dozens more exist according to VentureBeat.

What’s more, many of the categories didn’t exist in the report just one year earlier.

But just one category continues to perform well year after year: email marketing.

WHAT IS email marketing

Email marketing is a powerful marketing channel, a form of direct marketing as well as digital marketing, that uses email to promote your business’s products or services.

It can help make your customers aware of your latest items or offers by integrating it into your marketing automation efforts.

It can also play a pivotal role in your marketing strategy with lead generation, brand awareness, building relationships or keeping customers engaged between purchases through different types of marketing emails.

the importance of email marketing

Email is a big part of our lives as professionals, individuals, and, yes, even consumers. Think about this, how many people do you know without an email address? There’s a good chance that you can count these people on one hand.

According to Radicati Group, more than half of the world’s population uses email as of 2019. And this number is expected to increase up to more than 4.3 billion by 2023.

Data from Pew Research also shows that 92% of adults in the United States use email. And, 61% of these email users are checking and sending emails on an average day. This presents a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes to reach their target market, no matter what their audience looks like.

By adding email marketing to their list of digital marketing strategy, businesses can improve their reach and visibility. Thus, allowing them to engage and convert more leads consistently.

Not only does email marketing allow you to take advantage of the prospect of reaching a large group of people… …but this medium can also offer benefits that other digital marketing tactics can’t provide.

Email marketing allows you to personalize your messaging and tailor messages based on customer actions. You can also segment your audiences to ensure that the right leads are getting the most impactful information at the most effective times.

Perhaps one of the greatest reasons why email marketing is so important is that your competitors are using it. In fact, Marketing Land reports that of the 1.45 million emails sent per month, 1.38 million of these emails are sent by U.S. companies.

Here’s another interesting figure, 85% of Gen Z say that they prefer to use email over other modes of communication. And this percentage will definitely grow once they start having jobs. This means that if you want to remain competitive in the digital marketplace, you need to start using email marketing to reach your audience.

history of email marketing

(infographic)

how it works

Sign up for an email marketing tool

Email marketing is a process can be fully automated with the help of a good email marketing tool. If you try to use your personal account to email hundreds of people and manually keep track of the results won’t work, so your first step is to select which platform to use.
An email marketing platform will help you to:
Create an email list Add users to your list using a number of methods
Send emails to your audience
Provide you with reports on how many people open your emails and interact with them
Provide you with different options to segment your audience based on specified criteria
Create retargeting audiences on Facebook based on your email list
Automate various email marketing tasks such as sending a welcome email to your subscribers
Make sales directly from an email message
Create email funnels to redirect users to pages/products/actions you want them to take
The most popular email marketing tools to consider are:
Hint: I’m using ConvertKit for the last 10 years for all my email marketing needs. It’s a complete platform with great features and it’s a leader in email marketing software.

Create an email marketing strategy

As with any type of digital marketing campaign, the first thing to do is to create a strategy.

Having an email marketing strategy in place before running any campaigns will help you to:

Decide how email marketing will be used in conjunction with the other online marketing campaigns you’ll be running Decide which email marketing platform to use and figure out your monthly costs

Decide on the strategies to use to grow your email list

Decide when to use automation and what kind of messages to send and when

Have the right reporting mechanisms in place to measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns

Build your email lists

For email marketing to work, you need to have a BIG list of active subscribers so the most important task in your strategy should be how to grow your email list.

As mentioned above, it’s not only a matter of adding random people to your list but people who manually registered to receive your emails.

Growing and maintaining an email list is tricky but with the right approach and tools, it can a valuable asset for your business.

The best ways to increase your email subscribers are:

Publish great content on your site – if your content is not what users want, whatever technique you use, it won’t help you get more subscribers.

If, on the other hand, your content provides value to users, your email list will grow faster.

Give them incentives – Free eBooks, trial offers, and other ‘gifts’ are great incentives to offer to users in return for their email address.

Make it easy to subscribe – Having the position of your signup buttons in places that users can easily spot (on both desktop and mobile), will make a difference to the number of people that can sign up for your emails.

Automate your tasks

Email marketing automation is a strategy that sees marketers send triggered or timed promotional emails to subscribers on their mailing list. It enables online marketers to send out personalized messages to both prospects and customers on a schedule or when specific conditions are met.

One of the biggest benefits of email marketing is that it’s a process that can be fully automated.

When we refer to email marketing automation, we mean sending targeted emails to your users based on the actions they take when they receive your emails or actions they perform on your site.

The most common email automation tasks are:

Welcome emails – Sending a welcome email to users as soon as they subscribe to your list

Email campaigns – Sending them a series of emails (replicating a sales funnel)

Abandon cart emails – Sending emails to website visitors that added a product to their shopping cart but did not checkout

Cross-selling / Upselling – Suggest products to customers based on their purchase history

Review/Feedback forms – requesting feedback/reviews from customers X days after they made a purchase

A final word on email marketing

Monitor and improve performance with A/B testing.

Clean up and maintain your email lists.

Email is used by 50% of the world’s population.

Resources: 

ConvertKIt  »   GetResponse  »   Aweber

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what is seo?

When learning anything for the first time it is best to start with the basics. First, what is SEO? Wikipedia defines SEO as:

“Search engine optimization is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. SEO targets unpaid traffic rather than direct traffic or paid traffic.”

However, there is so much more to SEO as we will explore in this article.

more on Wikipedia here

search engine optimization

The purpose of SEO is to increase the quantity and quality of inbound traffic to your website. It is beneficial to both the consumer and business because it connects searchers with content that is most relevant to them. The goal is to rank as high as possible in a search engines index.

Rankings in SEO refers to a website’s position in the search engine results page. There are various ranking factors that influence whether a website appears higher on the SERP based on the content relevance to the search term, or the quality of backlinks pointing to the page.

The most used search engine in the world today is Google for purposes of this article we will be referencing SEO in how it relates primarily to Google Search.

As mentioned above there are many factors which impact your SEO and thus your index ranking for Google Search.

Learn SEO online at Coursea offered by UC Davis

relevant quality content

One of the most important things to keep in mind when considering SEO is the quality of your content. Is your content relevant to your audience and does it provide your readers/users with value? Make sure you are creating content with your audience in mind.

It is important to create content that appeals to the interests of your target market or answers their questions. Not all posts need to be about your product or service, but they all should be industry related. Assert yourself and your company as an expert in your industry by writing SEO-friendly content that is interesting and informative and do it better than your competition.

Learn more about creating content and content strategy through Coursea offered by Northwestern

store your content in one place

Try to keep all your content primarily in one place. In order to get the credit and traffic your website deserves it is best to keep your original content under your own domain name. That means if you have a blog opt out of hosting with WordPress or Blogger and host the blog in a subfolder on your own domain (ie: www.example.com/blog ). Any time you have an opportunity to showcase other forms of original content like videos, infographics or whitepapers, make sure to also embed them onto your website as well and share from there.

www.letsceo.com

Create eye catching headlines

Create eye-popping, attention grabbing headlines to pull your audiences in. You have a very short amount of text to make a very big impression and most studies show that the average attention span of site visitor to be approximately 7 seconds.

So, don’t underestimate the power of an effective headline!

Write headlines that are clear, interesting and make use of rich keywords. In addition to a great headline, also make sure your meta descriptions are interesting and further elaborate on the topic of your article. Keep in mind that your title and meta description are what show up in the search results, so make them count.

Keywords are critical

Try to build around keywords and longtail phrases. In order to utilize a keyword or phrase successfully you should first do some research on keywords and phrases and there are many online tools that you can use for this including Google’s keyword planner, Keywordtool IO, and Word Tracker. Use relevant, keywords and longtail phrases in your headlines as well as throughout your content to let both your readers and the search engines know what your post is about. But beware, too many keywords will not only turn off your readers but can result in search engine penalties for keyword stuffing. Use keywords thoughtfully and sparingly, sticking to a more natural feel. In addition to using keywords throughout the body of your post, take advantage blog tags by tagging a few relevant keywords for each post; most general blogs have tagging capabilities already built in.

Perform keyword research with Google here

structure your content

Structure your posts and save outlines that you create. Remember it is not only what you are saying but how you are saying it. How you deliver your content is important. The contents of your post may be great but can be easily lost in an unorganized, inefficient format. Breaking your content up into smaller paragraphs with headlines makes for an easy read that will keep your readers engaged. For the search engines, back-end organization is key too. Using proper tag hierarchy when tagging headlines is important to maintain a well-structured article. Well designed outlines can be reused and quickly deployed.

utilize photos and graphics

Be sure to use photos and infographics. This ties back in with structuring your posts and keep your audience’s attention. People are visual. Adding an image along with your blog post can make a big impression. Have a Pinterest account? In addition to promoting your blogs across your other social media channels, posts with images can also be pinned, adding another avenue for traffic to your website.

Create and utilize infographics here

promote content on social media

Promote and mirror your content through social media channels. Social media is a powerful tool that can help increase the reach of your content and promote sharing. Post each new article on social media sites and in forums, using engaging descriptions and a call-to-action. Since the power of social media lies in sharing, it’s also important to have share buttons on each of your blog posts. If you want more control of how your links appear when they’re shared, implementing Twitter Cards for Twitter or Open Graph for Facebook can give your shared links a boost, and may help your click-through rates.

build links to increase your ranking

Build links that connect back to your site. Link building has come a long way since the days of link buying and link farms, but links are still an important ranking factor for SEO. Linking to your own articles or website in your post ensures a link back to your website if your article is picked up by another site. If you get creative with other types of content like infographics and videos, adding an embed code on your site helps to promote content sharing and also adds a link back to the original source. Creating great content helps increase the shareability and the likelihood that other websites will link to it, so aim for quality and avoid “blackhat” techniques that could get your site penalized.

Learn more here

measure performance with analytics

Finally, be sure to continually track your site’s analytics. Stay on top of your SEO content by monitoring your efforts. Google Analytics is an easy and free way to track your page views and the average time spent on a page. Check things like your bounce rate and time on site to get an idea of how users interact with your website after landing on your content. If you see a high drop off in addition to a low average time spent on the page, that’s an indication that your content wasn’t relevant to what they were looking for, or worse, wasn’t interesting. Also, take a look at the number of social interactions to get an idea of the virality of your post. Just looking at these simple metrics can give you a good idea of which content pieces are well-received and liked so that you can replicate that type of content down the road.

Analyze your SEO performance