“Email marketing launched my career,” Port said. “Very rarely does anyone ever buy anything just because they went to our website. It doesn’t work like that, especially when you’re selling services.”
Michael Port is the co-founder of Heroic Public Speaking, a speaker development and coaching company helping new and established speakers. He is the author of the six books, including bestsellers Book Yourself Solid and Steal the Show. He is also the host of the most popular podcast on public speaking and performance, Steal the Show with Michael Port.
Since his entrepreneurial start in 2003, Port has leveraged the power of email marketing to nurture and convert business prospects into clients.
During a recent interview with Port, I asked him to share the email marketing blueprint he and his team uses to turn subscribers into customers.
4 keys to the Heroic Public Speaking email strategy
For the Heroic Public Speaking team, an effective email strategy comes down to four key pillars:
1. Determine an audience and goal for every email.
Every email you send should have a goal. The Heroic Public Speaking team’s goal is to get their email subscribers to visit and watch the videos on their website. And the goal of these videos is to convert them into clients.
Ports team uses a very simple checklist of 3 questions to evaluate the purpose and audience for each email and landing page:
Who is our audience?
What do we want them to do?
How are we going to get them to do it?
They run every single email through this checklist. If they can’t run it through that framework, they cut or revise it.
(Is your small business or nonprofit making an impact beyond the inbox? Tell us how, and you could win $20,000 from AWeber! Click here to learn more.)
2. Use pattern interruption to grab attention
Port is a firm believer in well-designed emails that adhere to your brand identity. Yet, he says you should sometimes stray from using designed email to leverage a psychological cue known as “pattern interruption.” Pattern interruption is when you intentionally disrupt an established pattern to grab your audience’s attention.
That’s why he occasionally sends...
You're not alone. In our 2018 subscriber survey, our audience cited a lack of time as their biggest challenge.
So we searched far and wide for uncommon productivity tips to help you take back your time.
With these 6 unique tips from experts across the world, you'll have your most productive day ever.
(The Small Business, Big Impact Award: AWeber is awarding $20,000 to one small business or nonprofit that’s creating remarkable experiences for its customers or community. Enter today to win $20,000!)
6 uncommon productivity tips
Productivity tip #1: Write a “not-to-do" list.
Financial expert and investor Warren Buffett swears by the "not-to-do" list. He says that this exercise helps separate extraordinarily successful people from the average person.
First, start off with a list of 25 goals you want to achieve and circle the 5 tasks that are most important to you. Tackle these first 5 items on your list, avoiding numbers 6 to 25. These uncircled goals are the distractions that stop you from making the most of your time. They now become your "not-to-do" list! Don't give any attention to these tasks until you complete your first 5.
Related: 8 Top Brainstorming Techniques to Help You Write Killer Emails
Productivity tip #2. Take a break.
In order to get more done, you might log out of Facebook or Twitter. But according to Ron Friedman, Ph.D. and award-winning psychologist, it's important to incorporate 15-minute breaks into your busy workload. They'll refresh you so you're ready to get down to business.
Instead, budget a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon break for amusing distractions like social media or television. It's actually proven that social media can decrease stress throughout your day. Microsoft conducted a study which found that employees were more productive after being allowed to check their Facebook feeds while at work.
Related: 12 Questions with the Social Media Experts at Sendible
Productivity tip #3. Work in sprints, not marathons.
Time management expert, Francesco Cirillo, both created and uses the Pomodoro Technique on a daily basis.
The Pomodoro Technique lets you reward your hard work with timed breaks. Rather than working against the clock to meet deadlines, you work with the clock to get things done....
John Oszajca did. He’s the founder of Music Marketing Manifesto, an online consulting business that teaches musicians how to sell and promote their music.
Oszajca has been capitalizing the first letter of his email subject lines for years. Yet, he wondered whether this was giving him the highest opens and clicks possible.
So he used a simple tactic to find out.
(Is your small business or nonprofit making an impact beyond the inbox? Want to make an even bigger impact? Enter the Small Business, Big Impact Award, and you could win $20,000 from AWeber to do just that!)
The simple subject line split test Oszajca used to get more people to open and click his emails.
To test his assumptions about subject lines, Oszajca set up an email split test.
He created two identical versions of a promotional email for his upcoming “Copywriting for Musicians Workshop.” Both versions warn subscribers that this is their last chance to register for the workshop. In his first email, he followed his typical formula of capitalizing the first letter of his subject line. He also capitalized the first letter in the second clause.
Subject line #1: Last chance - This ends tonight
In his second email, he didn’t capitalize any letters.
Subject line #2: last chance - this ends tonight
He sent each email to a different 10% of his subscriber list.
To capitalize a subject line or not? The answer is below.
After waiting 4 hours, Oszajca’s split test results revealed that the subject line with lowercase letters got 35% more opens and clicks!
So he sent the winning email to the remaining 80% of the subscribers on his list.
“It was fun to test certain things that I have been doing for years based on gut,” Oszajca says. But now he has data to back up his process, he says, and a deeper understanding of his subscribers’ behavior.
Related: 6 Email Split Tests You Can Set Up in 1 Minute
Now, find out what your own audience prefers!
Want to know what kind of emails lead to the best performance with your own subscribers? Use AWeber’s split testing feature to find out. (Don’t have AWeber? Claim a 30-day free trial here.)
And if you’d like to learn more about split testing, download our FREE guide to split testing.
The post Should You Capitalize Your Subject Lines? This...
Sound too good to be true? It's not. Because that's exactly what happened when Light Stalking, a photography sharing community, split test their subject lines. In this post, discover the simple change that increased their website traffic from an email by 83%.
The subject line split test
Every weekend, Light Stalking hosts a photography challenge around a particular theme. People can post a photograph that aligns with the theme and share their feedback on other's photos.
Rob Wood, the founder of Light Stalking, relies on email to drive traffic to these weekend challenges. That’s why Wood decided to run an email split test on the subject line of his recent weekly challenge email, which asked people to submit a photo of a silhouette. “I was trying to get more opens, more reads, and potentially more traffic,” he said.
Related: How to Create Amazing Photos for Your Emails on Zero Budget
For his split test, he created two emails in AWeber. Each message used the same email content but with different subject lines. Wood wanted to find out whether a short subject line that mentioned the topic of the challenge would win against a subject line that was longer and announced that the next weekly challenge was live.
For email 1, Wood used a descriptive, straightforward subject line: “Weekly Challenge is Live!”
For email 2, he wrote a short subject line that hinted at the topic of the challenge: “Silhouettes.”
Related: 6 Email Split Tests You Can Set Up in 1 Minute
Wood set up his split test so that 5% of the subscribers on his email list received email 1. And 5% of his subscribers received email 2. He waited a day to see which email performed better. Then, he sent the winning email to the remaining 90% of his subscribers.
Wood hoped this would maximize his engagement.
Pro tip: In AWeber, you can customize what percentage of your list receives each email in your split test. You can also test up to 3 emails at a time! (Want to try AWeber's split test feature? Create a free trial account now.)
The split test results
The subject line “Silhouettes” won! It got 10% more opens than the email with the subject line “Weekly Challenge is Live!” It also earned an 83% higher click-through rate. This drove nearly double the...
But then there are smaller, defining moments that stay with you, too. The experiences that transcend your everyday “normal,” and bring delight and surprise into your life. They suddenly transform your ordinary into extraordinary. They’re memorable, unexpected, and impactful.
It’s these smaller moments that AWeber has strived to create daily for our customers over the past 20 years.
It’s why we provide an award-winning 24/7 Customer Solutions team at our headquarters in Pennsylvania. They’re here to help you succeed around-the-clock.
It’s why we send socks, T-shirts, stickers, and hand-written notes to a new group of customers every single month.
It’s why our Chief Operating Officer, Sean Cohen (who started as a Customer Solutions Manager at AWeber 17 years ago) still communicates with customers through email or on the phone on a weekly basis.
It’s why every new feature we release on our platform is based on extensive, one-on-one customer feedback.
It’s why our spam-fighting space explorer mascot, Commander AJ, makes impromptu appearances at conferences to meet up with customers. (Heck, it’s why we built a lifesize space explorer mascot to begin with!)
And it’s why, after a customer tweeted us saying, “I love AWeber. If you guys made a cereal, I’d eat it every morning,” we actually made a brand-new cereal and sent it to him.
“Everything we do has an impact on our customers,” says Cohen. “So we shoot for remarkable. Not good. Not great. But remarkable.”
Now, to celebrate 20 years of creating remarkable experiences for more than 1 million small businesses, AWeber wants to reward one small business or nonprofit that goes above and beyond for its customers. That’s why we’re launching the Small Business, Big Impact! Award.
The Small Business, Big Impact! Award contest begins on October 15, 2018, and all entries must be submitted by January 4, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. ET. To enter, click here. Tell us how you already create remarkable experiences for your customers — and how you’d use the $20,000 to make an even bigger impact.The post Your Small Business or Nonprofit Could Win $20,000! Here’s How appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.
Sound familiar? Of course it does. It's one of the top reasons our customers give us for letting their email marketing flatline. They just run out of ideas or topics to write about.
Even pro writers come up with major email block. Ann Handley, co-founder of Marketing Profs and the popular book "Everybody Writes," only sent two emails to her subscribers in 2017. (In fact, the lack of communication was her catalyst behind revamping her entire newsletter strategy this year.)
But when your emails stall, you can't make connections with your subscribers. You can't sell. You can't gather feedback from your audience. You're leaving money on the table!
Never waste time trying to think of a topic when you should be writing. Here are 8 brainstorming techniques that will help you create a list of topics for future emails.
(Is your small business or nonprofit making an impact beyond the inbox? Want to make an even bigger impact? Enter The Small Business, Big Impact Award, and you could win $20,000 from AWeber to do just that!)
Quick Notes on Brainstorming
First things first: Let’s go over a few quick notes re: brainstorming.
Coming up with ideas for your content is serious, but don’t get too caught up on producing the perfect idea right away. If you’re too critical, you won’t get anything written down. You never know what a random word now could make you think of later. Keep a positive mindset and be open to any and all ideas.
Don’t worry too much about following the rules. Brainstorming is all about creativity and finding whatever method works best for you. While one person might do well with a structured brainstorming process, another might thrive with a loose, free-flowing idea session.
The important thing to remember about brainstorming ideas for your email campaigns is that you’ll want to stay open-minded throughout your process . . . regardless of what that looks like. Next, let’s start looking at a few specific brainstorming techniques you can try to get the ideas flowing.
Brainstorming Techniques for Stellar Email Ideas
Brainstorming Technique #1: Word Association
Start with one or two words related to a broad topic, and write down anything they make you think of. Let your inner editor rest for a bit and just jot down whatever ideas and words come to mind. If you need help, try a tool like...
This email earns a high open and click-through rate every week. And the majority of our audience regularly shares positive feedback with us about it.
But we started to wonder: Could we do even better? Were we missing anything? So we went to the experts — you, and all our subscribers — to find out.
This year, we asked more extensive questions in our annual survey. We questioned subscribers about what they liked and what they didn’t. We asked them what changes would improve the email.
When we began analyzing the results, we learned some surprising things. Here’s what you told us and what we did about it.
You said we should stand out more. We took that pretty seriously.
When we asked readers what they thought of our newsletter, one said, “OK, but just ordinary.” And another said, “The simplicity is great. But your branding needs to be stronger.”
Great emails stand out. They stop readers in their tracks. They’re valuable and beautiful. And they have strong branding.
That’s why we’ve rebranded our email with bright colors, a new name, and a new logo. Introducing FWD: Thinking — our updated and improved newsletter.
After running a split test of this updated newsletter against our standard newsletter, we saw positive results. We got great email engagement and happy feedback from subscribers. One subscriber even messaged us to say, “Love this new layout!”
But this newsletter isn’t simply rebranded. Using your feedback, we’ve revamped the content, too.
You asked for quick, easy-to-digest advice. We added it.
As we were reading through the survey results, themes quickly appeared. Time was the most common one. You said you don't have a lot of it, so you need information you can digest in minutes.
“Give me quick wins,” one reader said.
Another said, “I’d like more content with small, easy steps.”
That’s why we added a quick tip section to our newsletter. This section highlights inspirational quotes, actionable advice, and pro tips. You can read it in seconds and apply it quickly.
Related: The 4 Survey Emails That’ll Give You Answers to Your Most Pressing Questions
You’re busy. Now, you can instantly find out how much time it'll take to read a post.
We've rebuilt our split testing tool to help you send high-performing, effective emails.
Testing can transform the way you send. It allows you to figure out what email content resonates best with your audience.
You can test simple tweaks, like changing a call-to-action button color to drive more sales, re-writing a subject line to get more opens, or adding an image to increase engagement.
You can also test bigger changes, like wildly different email copy, or varying send times.
How it works
You have the flexibility of sending an A/B test to 50/50% of your subscribers, or you can add a third group of subscribers to receive the variation that wins. (After you determine the winner, simply schedule and send a copy of that message the third group.)
You can split your entire list or create a test that only targets a specific segment. This is perfect if you're currently using tags to group your subscribers.
Related: How to Create a Segment Using Tags in AWeber
Most email service providers' split testing tools only allow for subject line testing. But with AWeber’s new-and-improved tool, you can test:
Varying subject lines
Email designs or templates
Images vs. GIFs vs. no images
Call-to-action text or placement
Background and button color variations
The actual time you send the message
The possibilities are limitless!
Check out our Knowledge Base article to learn step-by-step directions on how to start testing.
What AWeber users are saying
We built this feature using feedback from AWeber users like you! Over the past few months, we rolled out split testing to a small group of customers.
"This split testing feature is great," says Rob Wood, founder of Light Stalking, a popular photography blog. After just one subject line split test, Rob saw "a noticeable impact on traffic" — a 33% increase! — to his site from his newsletter.
In our own tests, we’ve been driving more opens and clicks as well! We have tested short vs. long subject lines and emojis vs. no emojis on our blog newsletter.
Here are six tests you can run today
Looking for ideas on what to test? We have you covered.
Head on over to this fresh blog post where our...
(AWeber just released a new split testing feature that allows you to test more than just your subject lines — like send times, copy, templates, buttons, and more! Try it out today for FREE.)
Too often, people focus almost exclusively on subject line split testing. They optimize their subject lines and boost open rates. However, they rarely split test the content inside their emails.
This is a big mistake. After all, a high open rate doesn’t matter if subscribers don’t read the content inside your email and take action.
There are simple email content split tests that can have a big impact, like these 6 easy split tests.
1. Headline vs. no headline
Does having a bold and colorful headline at the top of your email content grab your subscribers’ attention and keep them reading?
To find out, send two emails — one with a eye-catching headline and one without a headline.
For example, let’s say you’re a fitness blogger, and you’re sending an email about the five stretches you recommend before a workout. You could run a split test with one email variant that has no headline and one email variant with a headline at the top of the email content that says, “5 pre-workout stretches to prevent injuries.”
Pro tip: Like the email template from the example above? It's called Wane Light and you can find it in your AWeber account. (Don't have AWeber? Try it out free for 30 days.)
2. Personal salutation vs. no salutation
Do your subscribers like to feel that your emails were written specifically for them? Run a split test to find out!
Try using their first name in the salutation of your email (for example, “Dear John,” “Hi John,” “How’s it going, John,” etc.) and see if you get a higher click-through rate. You can also incorporate someone’s name at the end of a sentence or in another natural (yet unexpected!) place in your email.
Pro tip: If you have an AWeber account, you can easily add a first name to your email subject line or content to personalize your messages.
3. Images vs. no images
Are your subscribers visual people that like images in their emails? Or, do images distract them from your content and call-to-action?