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The 4-Step Marketing Plan to Start Your Online Business

With COVID-19 posing challenges we never imagined, the future may feel uncertain right now. But that doesn’t mean you need to put your dreams on hold.

Whether you’re looking to grow or launch your online business, now’s the perfect time to set yourself up for success. 

Make the most of this extra time at home by following these 4 steps:

1. Build a landing page.

You don’t need a website to begin collecting email subscribers. With AWeber’s new Landing Page Builder, you can easily create a landing page that gets your business online fast. 

When creating your landing page, use a lead magnet to convince more visitors to subscribe to your content. 

Related: This Zumba Instructor Increased Profitability by 200% with Landing Pages

Bonus tip: Tag subscribers who complete your landing page sign up form so you can identify which subscribers filled out each landing page. You’ll also be able to send personalized, automated emails to subscribers based on the tags they have. (We’ll get to that in step 4.)

2. Create a branded email template. 

A consistent brand look and feel in your emails creates a sense of familiarity. Your subscribers will quickly know who sent the email — allowing them to focus on your email content. 

Include your brand colors, fonts, and logo. Consider using call-to-action buttons and bold featured images to make emails more scannable and appealing to the eye.  

Bonus tip: Email template design doesn’t have to be complicated. Try out the AWeber Smart Designer. It will create branded email templates for you in seconds using your website or social media profiles.

3. Write a welcome email.

A welcome email is your chance to leave an awesome first impression on your new subscribers. Introduce yourself, and make sure you deliver whatever you promised subscribers on your landing page — like your lead magnet or incentive. 

Bonus tip: Writing your welcome email is simple. We put together a checklist to help you get started.

4. Set up an automated email series.

With an automated email series, you can deliver customized messages to the right people at the right time. Plus, you can save time in the long run. 

Bonus tip: Trigger an automated campaign when a new subscriber joins your list or when a tag is applied to your subscribers. For instance, if you...
Deliver Personalized Emails in Less Time with Dynamic Email Content

Personalizing your email content increases opens, clicks, and sales. In fact, personalized emails get 6x higher transaction rates, according to research from Experian.

So why doesn’t every business personalize and segment their emails for each subscriber?

It’s time consuming. Email segmentation involves multiple steps — creating unique versions of each email, building your segments, scheduling your emails, and then tracking the results from all your messages.

That’s why AWeber just released dynamic email content. With it, you can create one email that’s personalized for each subscriber. You only need to hit send once.

What is dynamic email content?

Dynamic email content is text or images within your message that change based on the data or information you have about a subscriber.

For example, let’s say you run an animal shelter where you care for both cats and dogs. Your subscribers are animal lovers — some of them prefer cats while others prefer dogs.

With dynamic email content, you can send one email that delivers dog information to dog lovers and cat information to cat lovers.

When dog lovers open your email, it will look like this:

When cat lovers open your email, it will look like this:

Personalizing your emails in this way can significantly increase engagement and save time.

How do I use dynamic email content in AWeber?

AWeber pulls the right information into your dynamic emails using dynamic logic code, also called markup. The markup tells AWeber what data or information to add to your email.

You can use the following data stored inside AWeber to customize the content inside your emails:

TagsCustom fields Subscriber information — like first name, last name, and email addressSign up information — like subscription date, unique unsubscribe link, and location details like city and state

Related: What Variables Can I Use to Create Dynamic Email Content?

For instance, using the animal shelter example above, let’s say you tag subscribers to identify if they’re cat or dog lovers. Cat lovers have a “cat” tag inside AWeber. Dog lovers have a “dog” tag inside AWeber.

You want to send one email to your subscribers, but personalize the content for both dog people and cat people. To do so, you decide to use the headline, “Calling all dog lovers!” for subscribers with the tag “dog.” For...
This Zumba Instructor Increased Profitability by 200% When Her Gym Closed

When the governor of Pennsylvania closed local gyms due to COVID-19, it affected the livelihood of gym instructors and the physical health of their students. 

The situation forced Zumba instructor Alycia McFarlin to cancel her in-person Zumba classes. Her students were disappointed, and she lost recurring revenue from classes.

That night, McFarlin quickly came up with a plan to continue offering Zumba to her students — with online classes. 

Her first online class was a huge success, filling to capacity in 15 minutes. Plus, she increased profitability by 200%.

Here’s how she did it.

How McFarlin promoted her online Zumba classes

McFarlin had already experimented with and found a platform to host her online classes. 

The only problem? She didn’t have a way for students to learn about and sign up for the online classes.

At first, she considered creating a website to promote the online class. But McFarlin wasn’t sure if her online class would be profitable, and she didn’t want to invest countless hours building a website. She needed a way to quickly build an online page to promote her class and test out her idea.

So she used AWeber’s Landing Page Builder to create a landing page to promote her online classes.

“With AWeber Landing Page Builder, I was able to create a page in under 10 minutes that fit my style and personality, and included all the information that people would need. It allows me to communicate with people, gauge interest, and mold this online business into whatever it becomes,” says McFarlin.

Related: 10 Steps to Creating a Landing Page That Converts

The AWeber Landing Page Builder was perfect for McFarlin. It included all the features she needed, like:

FaceBook pixel IDsGoogle Analytics trackingThe ability to tag subscribers inside AWeberThe option to add videos to the pageA seamless integration with her AWeber email lists

The next morning, she started promoting her new online class. She posted a link to her landing page on her Facebook business page. 

“I ran a free trial. I limited it to 25 people, and the class filled within 15-minutes. Students were reaching out to me to open it up to allow more to attend, which was pretty cool,” says McFarlin.

A simple survey helped McFarlin offer the right product to customers and increase profitability...
6 Ways to Keep Your Audience Engaged During These Unprecedented Times

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many schools, businesses, and stores have temporarily closed. People around the world are encouraged to stay at home as public health and safety remains the number one priority. It’s clear that the global pandemic has had an impact on all of us.

That’s why communicating with your audience is key. Being compassionate and doing what you can to help shows your audience you genuinely care. 

But once you’ve addressed the Coronavirus pandemic with your subscribers, what’s next?

Here are 6 ideas. 

1. Offer discounts on products or services your audience needs during or after the crisis.

Be empathetic and show your audience that you’re in it together. 

Snap Kitchen is a great example. A healthy meal delivery service, Snap Kitchen solved a problem many people are facing by making meal delivery more affordable and accessible.

2. Help your subscribers learn something new.

Many people are currently at home. Now’s a great time to offer courses or webinars to help people take advantage of the extra time. 

For instance, MarketingProfs is offering its community of marketers a free educational webinar with their Chief Content Officer (and AWeber customer) Ann Handley.

3. Be available to answer questions

Speak with your audience directly through live video. Set aside some time to answer questions and brainstorm solutions to their problems. 

AWeber is holding Virtual Office Hours every weekday from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. The office hours will be streaming to all our social channels and our team will be answering email marketing best practices questions as a community.

4. Get creative with your products.

Help entertain your audience by giving them fun or educational activities to do at home. 

Michael’s, a popular craft store, is sharing a fun family activity on Facebook live every week.

5. Make your services available online.

Whether you own a gym, yoga studio, or coaching business, video can help you avoid missing a beat. Set up a conference call or live stream workouts to your social channels. 

Or, offer exercises that your customers can do at home without equipment, like Comptrain did.

6. Extend your free trial.

If your services solve a problem for people during this time, consider extending your free trial.  

At-home workout...
8-Step Guide to Email Marketing During a Crisis

During a crisis, your email communication can make or break your business. Even more importantly, it can help, hurt, or confuse people. 

You can't just ignore a crisis when it's affecting your audience. With the outbreak of the 2020 Novel Coronavirus, email communication about the virus skyrocketed.

In fact, 12% of emails sent on March 12, 2020 from AWeber’s email marketing platform talked about Coronavirus and communication about the crisis doubled.

Here is an 8-step checklist to guide you through creating sensitive, thoughtful emails during the Coronavirus crisis.

8-step guide to write emails about the Coronavirus crisis

Step 1: Act quickly.

Your audience expects to hear from you. Don’t wait to communicate important information.

Waiting too long can negatively affect your brand reputation and also confuse or stress your audience. They may assume you don't care or that you aren't taking the situation seriously.

Step 2: Be compassionate and considerate.

Take time to think about how the crisis is having a direct impact on your community, customers, and followers.

Pause insensitive marketing campaigns — like contests or humorous content — and unnecessary events — like in-person workshops or conferences.

Step 3: Describe the actions you’re taking to deal with the situation.

Your customers, prospects, and community want to know what you’re doing to support the health, safety, and well-being of the community.

Ask yourself the following questions and consider addressing these questions in your email marketing communication:

How are you cleaning your workplace or building differently?How are you protecting your customers and your staff?Have your hours of operation changed?Will your customers' service be disrupted? Will product deliveries be delayed?How can customers contact you with questions? Where can customers get the latest information about how you're handling the crisis?

Step 4: Try to help.

Businesses that take action to help those affected by the crisis will connect with their audience on a deeper level. People want to do business with brands who genuinely care.

Consider taking the following steps to help your audience during the crisis:

Set up a relief fund for those affected by the crisis.Create educational content that will help your audience navigate or understand the crisis....
Build Landing Pages in Minutes without Coding Skills or a Designer

Building your website can take countless hours and cost thousands of dollars.

And when you need to add new pages to your site, you’ll be stuck working with a clunky website editor. Or, you’ll be forced to hire a professional designer to do it for you.

Not anymore. Now, you can build beautiful landing pages in just a few  minutes without hiring a professional designer — with the ALL NEW AWeber Landing Page Builder. It's never been faster to create visually-stunning landing pages for your small business! 

How to use the AWeber Landing Page Builder

This 2-minute video shows how you can create amazing-looking landing pages in just a few minutes! Click below to watch the video.

Anyone can create a landing page with the AWeber Landing Page Builder!

"The magic of our landing pages is the simplicity of it. Each landing page template is beautiful, effective, and super easy to use.  It extends our email marketing software in a very natural way" says Chris Vasquez, AWeber’s director of product.

Here’s how AWeber’s landing page builder will make it easier than ever to grow your email list:

You don’t need coding or technical skills. Use the drag & drop builder to add images, update text, and customize your design. Get professionally designed templates that look great on any device. Choose from a gallery of responsive landing page templates.You don’t need a website. Build unlimited landing pages without ever creating a website.Use the AWeber image gallery to store both landing page and email images. Need to use the same image in your email and landing page? Just upload the image once and you can access it again and again. You even get a library of free stock images! It seamlessly integrates with your AWeber account. Anyone who completes your landing page joins your AWeber email list automatically — no extra setup required.Grow your email list quickly. AWeber’s design team created these templates with one goal in mind — convert more of your visitors into email subscribers.It’s free with your AWeber account. Every AWeber customer gets full access to AWeber’s landing page builder for free.

Whether you are  just starting a new business or need to grow your audience, the AWeber Landing Page Builder is the powerfully-simple way to create awesome-looking landing pages that will grow your audience while making your...
It’s Easier Than Ever Before to Send Super-Personalized Content to Your Subscribers Using AWeber

Personalization makes all the difference when it comes to email marketing. A recent study by Smarter HQ found that 72% of consumers in 2019 only engage with marketing messages customized to their specific interests.

This quick two-minute video introduces you to the power of personalization and how easy it is to implement using the new updates to AWeber's subscriber management tools. Click below to watch it! 

Always send the message that matters most!AWeber helps your list work harder, delivering more personalized and relevant content to your audience.

Gain insight into your audience. Updates to subscriber management allow you to sync your AWeber data with other third-party sources, consolidate lists, and create segments using tags.Update existing customers' information on import. The enhanced import process now updates contact information, tags, and custom fields for both new and existing customers in your account. Send the right content to the right people.  Sending relevant content that matters to your audience has never been easier. The updated bulk import process gives you more control over your list so you can better connect with your audience.  Automate messages and campaigns. Tag management and custom fields allow you to easily identify and automatically send relevant content to customers based on their unique interests, preferences, and behaviors.

At AWeber, we're always working to deliver powerfully-simple features to help you grow your business through email marketing. We hope you're as excited as we are about this awesome update to our subscriber management tools.
The post It’s Easier Than Ever Before to Send Super-Personalized Content to Your Subscribers Using AWeber appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.
How to Create Trustworthy Content That People Want to Read

Businesses battle to appear on page 1 of Google search results. Their goal: Get consumers to visit their website and buy. 

But, according to a study by Forbes and Yext, only half of consumers believe brands give accurate information in search results.

And 68% of adults in the U.S. say that trust in a brand has “a great deal” or “a lot” of influence on their decision when making a big purchase, according to another study by SurveyMonkey.

Ranking in Google search results isn’t enough. Your content also needs to quickly create trust.

Lee Odden — international speaker, B2B marketing strategist, and CEO of digital marketing agency Top Rank Marketing — joined AWeber’s FWD: Thinking Show to explain how to  earn trust and website traffic with SEO and content marketing.

His approach: Connect with influential people who have attention, credibility, and authority. These influencers should be able to produce and promote content their fans — and your potential customers — will love.

“Consumers trust content from influencers more than content that ranks in search. They even trust influencers more than they trust friends’ opinions,” shares Odden. 

Collaborating with influencers on content not only makes your brand easier to find, it increases your credibility. And it’s easy to start, says Odden. “The search terms you want to rank for will be the same keywords you use to find influential partners.” 

Watch the episode on-demand to hear more of Lee’s thoughts on earning trust through optimizing your marketing channels. 

For more than 20 years, AWeber has supported entrepreneurs and small businesses with powerfully-simple email marketing solutions. Get your free trial today.
The post How to Create Trustworthy Content That People Want to Read appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.
23 Ways to Tag and Segment Your Subscribers in AWeber

The days of one-size-fits-all email marketing are long gone. To get better results, you need to send targeted, personalized emails.

By delivering hyper-relevant content to those who are most interested in it, your subscribers will open, click, and purchase more.

In this post, you’ll learn how to use tags to create more targeted segments (or groups) of subscribers and increase your engagement.

What are tags and why should you use them?

Tags are simple words or short phrases you use to categorize and group your subscribers based on their interests, behaviors, or other shared attributes.

They allow you to segment your audience, send targeted one-time broadcast emails, and trigger targeted, automated campaigns. This leads to better subscriber engagement, improved chances of hitting the inbox instead of the spam folder, and higher conversions.

Start getting more personal with your subscribers and try these 23 easy ways to tag your subscribers in AWeber.

1. Tag someone who fills out your AWeber sign up form.

The easiest way to tag a subscriber is when they opt in to your email list using a sign up form.

With AWeber, you can create unlimited sign up forms, and you can apply different tags to subscribers when they fill out different forms. This way, you’ll know exactly which form a subscriber used to sign up.

For example, if you offer a 7-day email course, weekly newsletter, and downloadable checklist as lead magnets, you can have three separate sign up forms that apply unique tags to your subscribers. This lets you see quickly which lead magnets they signed up for. Iff they opt in to all of them, all three tags get applied!

Related: How to tag an AWeber sign up form

2. Tag someone who completes a custom field on your sign up form.

Let’s say you want to know a bit more about your subscribers at the time they sign up, such as what topics they’re interested in, or their experience level in a particular skill you teach.

You can collect this additional information, beyond just their name and email address, using custom fields on your AWeber sign up form, and you can associate a tag with each custom choice.

This allows you to segment your subscribers from the time they join your list, and create personalized experiences for each of them.

Related: How to tag a custom field in an AWeber sign up form

3. Tag...

Number of Total Worldwide Registered Domains Updated: Apr 01 2020