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Drive More Referrals with the New Marketing Funnel

In the first 5 minutes of this episode of The FWD: Thinking Show, John Jantsch — Founder of Duct Tape Marketing — said something that could shock a lot of marketers.

“As marketers, we’re not in charge of getting people to buy from us or creating demand,” said John.

But as he went on, his meaning became more clear.

“We need to organize our buyers’ behavior and create content that addresses that behavior.”

Jantsch created the concept of The Marketing Hourglass™ to explain how marketers can organize their buyers’ behavior in a way that improves their marketing strategy.

In this episode of The FWD: Thinking Show, Jantsch discusses how marketing has changed over the years, and how marketers can apply the new marketing funnel to gain audience trust, especially through email marketing. 

Episode summary

There’s no doubt marketing has changed over the last decade, but Jantsch explains the thing that’s changed most about marketing is how people buy. 

The stats speak for themselves:

61% of mobile searches are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile friendly site.80% of potential customers won’t consider a business with low ratings.64% say watching a marketing video on Facebook has influenced them to make a purchase in the last month.92% of consumers will visit a brand’s website for the first time for reasons other than making a purchase.82% of small business owners claim their main source of new business is referrals.

Jantsch says that creating content that addresses customers’ and potential customers’ needs at each step of the customer journey ultimately drives more referrals and helps grow your business. 

Of course, a powerful part of creating and distributing valuable content is through email marketing. Listen to the rest of John’s conversation to hear his best email marketing tips and strategies for business growth. 

Listen to the episode

Podcast timestamps

3:40: Stats every marketer needs to know. 

7:45: As marketers we need to organize behavior.

9:00: Why referrals are just human nature. Create a journey so everyone who comes to learn about the company comes to be a referral source.

11:00: Content is one of the greatest ways to move people along the customer journey if you understand their goals and objectives around each stage.

12:00: What is the...
How to Create a Winning Call-To-Action on Your Sign Up Form

You’ve poured your heart into creating the perfect incentive to attract subscribers and build your email list. Now the only thing between you and greatness is your sign up form call-to-action (CTA).

While there are several key components that go into creating an effective sign up form, one of the most critical is that little button that screams, “Click me!"

Your call-to-action (CTA) button is the last step that stands in the way of having a thriving email audience.

When building an email audience, your sign up form CTA can make or break your chances of converting website visitors into email subscribers.

Your sign up CTA carries a lot of weight in the decision to subscribe, so it’s important to avoid taking shortcuts and apply the following best practices.

What makes a good sign up CTA?

Creating an effective sign up form is easier than you think. Here are some best practices to consider when writing the CTA for your sign up form.

Button Size

The size of your CTA button has an impact on its ability to convert visitors into subscribers. Does it get noticed right away? Make it big and easy to see or click.

Remember, many people will see your sign up form on a mobile device, which means a lot of people will be clicking your CTA with their fingers instead of a small cursor.

Button Color

Color can have a potentially big impact on whether someone subscribes. Red buttons tend to convert best, followed by green. But regardless of what works for others, make sure you stay consistent with your brand. Don’t use a color that clashes with the other colors of your website.

Also be sure to use a color that contrasts with what surrounds it. You want it to be clear that it’s your sign up form CTA button.

Copy Length

Keep the copy on your CTA button brief and easy to read. If your potential subscriber can’t quickly read it and decide to take action, you’re likely going to lose them. Try to keep your copy to less than 40 characters in length.

Voice & Tone

Your CTA button should align with your overall brand voice and tone. Consider your ideal audience: How would they respond? How would your CTA make them feel?

The key here is to write in a way that feels human and authentic. The usual “Submit” or “Sign up” copy feels dry and – dare I say – robotic. To bring some personality into your CTA copy, try using informal, humorous...
Deck Out Your Email Campaign – 6 Free Holiday Templates

The holiday shopping season is in full swing! And you know it's bound to be a busy one. 

In fact, some businesses report that up to 30% of their annual sales occur during the holiday season. 

But when it comes to sending marketing emails around the holidays, how can you get noticed in very crowded inboxes? 

Adding a touch of holiday cheer to your design can make all the difference. That's why the AWeber design elves created these professionally-designed holiday email templates that will help you stand out in the inbox. 

Free holiday email templates

Keep the momentum going past Black Friday and Cyber Monday and capitalize on all this holiday shopping by planning your holiday email promotions now. And use these beautiful, predesigned templates in your email campaigns.

These HTML holiday templates are all mobile responsive, so they will look great no matter how your customers view them. 

They are perfect to:

Send a festive seasonal greetingInspire shoppers with a gift guidePromote a holiday saleShare holiday hours or shipping deadlinesDrive traffic to your website

1. Gift Guide email template

A gift guide is a perfect way to showcase your awesome products and services during this holiday season. Quickly populate the Gift Guide template with your products in a matter of minutes. 

There are three visual and color palate options, so you can choose one that most closely matches your business and brand.

The Gift Guide series even includes a matching, customizable landing page.

Easily add discount coupons

Holiday shoppers are often on the hunt for discount codes. 

All of AWeber's templates allow the option to add a discount coupon or code with the coupon widget. Simply click on the coupon widget and drag a coupon over to your template to customize.

2. Nature holiday series

If you're looking for an eye-catching holiday template that stands out in the inbox, consider the Cardinal series.

It is perfect for sending a holiday greeting, showing off a few products, or sharing blog posts with your audience. There are three different color pallets to choose from.

3. Festive Season's Greetings email template

The Christmas season is ideal for strengthening relationships with your customers by sending out a season's greetings email.

This HTML email template...
What You Need to Know About Switching Email Marketing Tools

For the past 22 years, we have helped more than 1,000,000 small business owners, entrepreneurs, and content creators connect and build relationships with their audiences through email marketing. 

And in that time, one thing has become abundantly clear: small business owners have a lot on their plate and wear a lot of hats. 

So when it comes to moving from one email service provider to another, it can seem daunting to begin the process, whether it’s due to a lack of resources, time, or expertise.

That’s why AWeber’s team of email marketing experts are available around the clock to help transition all of our customer’s content, subscribers, and information over to their new AWeber account. Plus, we do so quickly and at no cost — which is pretty awesome!

Sound too good to be true? Read on to learn more about AWeber’s migration services and when to consider switching email marketing tools.

How to know it’s time to switch email marketing providers

Feel like you could be getting better results from your email marketing? If any of these 5 scenarios sound familiar to you, it might be time to switch to another email marketing tool.

1—You need better email deliverability. To grow your business and connect with your audience, your emails need to be noticed. And that’s not possible when your messages are going to spam. 

Getting your messages into the inbox is the bread and butter of email marketing. Unfortunately, many other email marketing providers outsource their email deliverability, forfeiting control of their customers’ email delivery process.

Not AWeber. We’re proud to maintain an in-house deliverability team that works to ensure your messages are hitting your subscribers’ inboxes.  

2—Your current platform is hard to use. You're busy. You don’t have time to spend figuring out a clunky platform. You need something simple, intuitive, and streamlined that works with all the other tools you use to run your business.

Plus, depending on your current email marketing tool, you may not get the support you need in order to figure it out. Which brings me to my next point…

3—You need expert support. Many email marketing providers reserve their customer support for customers on their higher, more expensive pricing tiers. But how does that help people who are just starting out, who may need a little more help as...
How Photographer Jared Polin Uses Email Marketing to Create and Drive Traffic to His Content

Jared Polin went from unknown Youtuber to one of the biggest names in photography.

His journey began in 2008, when Polin filmed a video of himself talking about his camera gear. It was awkward. He was visibly uncomfortable in front of the camera. But he kept going.

He created another video. And another, and another.

In 2010, he launched his website Fro Knows Photo to show off his photography expertise and land some freelance jobs. His following back then was non-existent, but he kept creating.

Slowly, people began to notice. They asked questions about his techniques and Jared answered them the best way he knew how: with videos.

Today, Jared has nearly 1.27 million YouTube subscribers and more than 260K email subscribers.

But his success didn’t happen overnight. He cultivated his following over time with incredible content, a smart marketing strategy, and persistence.

I’ll show you all of the tactics Jared uses and how you can apply them to your own marketing strategy.

Getting started with content creation

When Jared started Fro Knows Photo, he had no business plan. He didn’t wait until he could create the perfect video; he just started executing.

“I don’t have a business plan,” he said. “I have ideas of what I want to do and I go with it. I think the problem people run into today is they worry too much. It’s important to plan, but start executing. Start doing. Then iterate along the way.”

The sooner you get started, the sooner you can collect feedback. The sooner you collect feedback, the sooner you can pivot (if you need to).

The majority of Jared’s videos today are aimed at helping people take better photos. But education wasn’t his goal in the beginning.

“The idea was to put out content with the photos I was taking so I could get more jobs because businesses would see my work and try to hire me,” he said. “That didn’t happen. What happened was people started asking questions about photography. I pivoted right off the rim. People would ask a question, I would put a video out about it. It started to grow from there.”

If you’re having trouble discovering the direction you want to take with your content, find out where your ideal audience hangs out online – think forums, the comments sections of popular blogs and Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Get involved in those communities and pay attention to the questions...
How to Get Noticed Online: 5 Steps to Brand your Landing Page

What does having a “strong brand” mean to you?

For some, images of mega corporations like Apple or Starbucks come to mind. Others may think of brands that align with their values, like Bombas or TOMS. 

Regardless, I’m willing to bet you thought about a large, recognizable brand — which is why small businesses can have a hard time creating a strong brand identity. 

Unlike larger corporations, you don’t have a team of brand experts to help you maintain and create your brand. You may feel that branding is reserved just for Fortune 500 companies. You may not have a website and feel like you can’t brand your company until you do (side note: you may not need one). 

On top of that, branding your business can feel like an overwhelming task, especially for those with limited bandwidth, time, money and resources. 

But brand recognition is something every business needs to consider. Brand identity is not about the stuff you sell, but how people feel about interacting with your business. I think Jeff Bezos said it best: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” 

Armed with the right questions to ask and a marketing solution that includes the right tools, you can create a stellar landing page that gets you the brand recognition you deserve. 

We’ll take you through 5 easy steps to help you brand your business, get noticed online, and set up a beautiful landing page. But first, let’s dive into why branding matters. 

Why brand consistency matters

Building a consistent brand doesn't have to be a huge project, but it requires that you spend some time figuring out how you want your brand represented and what you want it to say about your company.

Going through a branding exercise is well worth your time for four main reasons:

It sets you apart from your competitors and brings a unique personality to your business.It helps you connect with your customers.It allows you to communicate your value to your audience and helps build credibility.It makes it easy for others to recognize that a product, website, social media post, etc. comes from you.

So let’s talk about how to create a brand identity and establish brand recognition through your landing page. 

How to create your brand identity

Before you jump into your design, you need to establish a brand identity. And...
Spend Less Time Writing Emails with These 12 Pre-Written Email Campaigns

Once you select your email marketing provider, you have everything you need to send awesome emails. 

There's only one thing left to do: get started! The sooner you start writing and sending emails, the sooner you can build lasting relationships with subscribers. 

Writing quality content – and doing so consistently – is one of the biggest challenges for anyone who sends emails and is also one of the most important. According to research 49% of consumers said that they would like to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands on a weekly basis.

That means writing engaging email campaigns is incredibly important. But who has the time and energy to write and send consistent emails at the most opportune time for each subscriber?

Autoresponders save you time and energy

Next to you, autoresponders are the hardest-working member of your team. They work tirelessly for you, never take PTO, vacation, or even a lunch break. 

Why is that? Because autoresponders are email messages that you set up in advance to send automatically at a time interval that you set. You have control over the number of emails sent in a sequence and when they are delivered. Some autoresponders may only have a single thank-you email, while others may have multiple emails in a sequence depending on the campaign’s purpose. 

Autoresponders can ultimately save you time and energy. It lets you connect with your audience around-the-clock, convert leads into customers, turn customers into superfans, and drive serious results via email. And it does all of this while you're busy doing other important things, like running your business.

But there's one big catch: your email campaign needs to include the right emails in the proper order if you want to reach your goals.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could easily import a proven, tested campaign from an email expert into your AWeber account with just a few clicks?

Well, you can!

12 best autoresponder email marketing workflow template series that work (and why)

We created pre-written autoresponder email marketing campaigns with fill-in blank templates to get you started.

Adding any of these pre-written automated email campaigns into your AWeber account will save you time and allow you to market your business 24/7. 

It is super easy to set up: pick your favorites, copy the...
The Only Email Marketing Best Practices Guide You’ll Need in 2021

Sending emails can feel intimidating at first. It may even cause some “email anxiety” (yeah that’s a thing). But sending emails doesn’t have to be complicated or scary if you follow some basic email marketing best practices.

As you go through this list of best practices for email marketing, you won’t see guidelines about how many emails you should send, or how long your email needs to be, or the optimal length of a subject line. 

The truth is, that while these are all great and important questions, the answer to these questions is different for every company. You can only answer these with email testing (which by the way IS a best practice).

No matter what your business is or what industry you’re in, some tried-and-true best email marketing best practices can only help guide you to success. 

1 - Create automated email campaigns

Email automation allows you to send the right message to the right people at the right time without having to set up and send one-off emails every time.

A perfect example of an automated email marketing campaign is your welcome email. Studies have shown a welcome email can generate 320% more revenue per email, 4 times higher open rates than other emails, and 5 times higher click-through rates than promotional emails. 

In addition to the welcome series, you can set up email automation campaigns for:

Cart abandonmentsThank you for your purchase or download or sign upConfirmation of an opt-inAn event based trigger like an anniversary or birthdayIf a customer hasn’t opened an email in several months, you can trigger a “We miss you” message

While automated email campaigns can save you time and lead to higher results, it’s important not to set it and forget it. You should still monitor the performance of your automated email series and find ways to test so you can improve your email performance.

2 - Segment Your Email List

Email segmentation is a way to break up your list into smaller, more targeted groups, based on a specific set of criteria. 

When you segment, you can send more personalized and relevant content or offers to customers based on similar interests, geographic location, purchase history, and so much more.

Plus, it leads to a higher open rate, click rate, and conversation rate. And more importantly, higher revenue. Some marketers reported as much as 760% increase...
No Website? No problem! Get Your Business Online with Landing Pages

Starting a new business or a side project is always exciting. But knowing where to start can sometimes be confusing.

Many people think they need to build an elaborate website with your story, products or services, blog, and other navigable pages before anything else. It’s what makes the idea feel “real.” 

And while that can feel like a concrete first step, the truth is your time and money is better spent building relationships, networking, and setting up the necessary infrastructure for your business.

The process of building an entire website can be time-consuming and costly. But, there are benefits to having an online presence — especially if your goal is to sell products or services. So how is this done without a website?

Enter landing pages.

They let you build an online presence without spending the time or money on fancy website building tools.

Plus, they give you the ability to test new ideas and products to see if they’re viable before jumping in full time.

Not familiar with landing pages? Watch the video below and read on to learn what they are, why you need one, and how to get started.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a single webpage that drives visitors to take one, specific action. It intentionally limits where visitors can navigate, because it is built to get people to take an action, like subscribing to your email list or buying your product or service.

On the other hand, a website is made up of several web pages and provides all the information potential customers need to know about your business. The purpose of a website is to encourage visitors to navigate around the site to learn more about your products and services.

A landing page can be part of a website, but you also don’t need a website to have a landing page. The key difference between the two is the ability to focus your visitors’ attention on the action you want them to take.

Landing pages always include a sign up form to collect subscriber information, such as email addresses, names, interests, location, and more. But, as you can see from the image below, landing pages can include so much more as well. 

Why do I need one?

Not only do landing pages allow you to cost-effectively build an online presence while testing your idea, they give you the opportunity to drive traffic and begin building your email list....

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