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Web Analytics 101: Website Tracking for Beginners

Hey, you! Yes, you. I’m watching you. I can see how you got here, where you’re from, and how long you’ve stayed. Creepy? Nah. It’s just part of basic web analytics, and it’s something you should be doing, too. (Don’t worry – I can’t see everything you’re doing, i.e. personal information. That’s a different kind of ESP.)

If you’re new to tracking your website’s analytics, getting started can be a little daunting. That’s why we compiled these resources. Let this post be  your ‘website analytics 101,’ a breakdown of everything you need to get started and begin seeing better results.

What is Website Tracking or Web Analytics?

Website tracking is the practice of collecting and analyzing specific user behavior on your website such as what source they came from, what pages they visited, how long they were on your site, and what, if any, action the user took.

How Do I Get Started with Website Visitor Tracking?

For every good project you’ll need the right tools, and web analytics is no different. There are several options to choose from when deciding which website analytics tools to use, but we’ll concentrate on the most well known — Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is the go-to website tracking tool for small business owners – and it’s free! Like any new tool, it’ll take some getting used to. But once you know what to look for, tracking your website’s activity will become intuitive…and dare I say, fun?

The first thing you’ll need to do in Google Analytics is define your goal or conversion. Then go to the settings section and under View Settings, click on Goals. This is where you tell Google what goal(s) they should be tracking and how. 

Consider: Is your goal an email newsletter signup? Download a PDF guide? Click through to a specific landing page? A product order? This should align with your overall business goals.

You can have more than one goal.

Set Up Your Tracking Parameters

Adding tracking parameters to your campaigns is essential for web analytics tools to collect detailed information down to the specific campaign where that visitor came from. Google uses what is called UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) to identify where a user originated.

Here’s what a basic Google UTM URL should look like:

Base URL - The page of your website that you want traffic to goUTM Parameter - The string of code after the...
Free Black Friday and Cyber Monday HTML Email Templates and Landing Pages

This year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be unlike any other holiday promotional season. Safety concerns around COVID-19 have most customers re-thinking their normal Black Friday excursion to brick-and-mortar stores, as consumers are — understandably — cautious about in-store shopping over Thanksgiving weekend.

Source: National Retail Federation - Holiday Planning Survey 2020

Unsurprisingly, online shopping will most likely dominate this year. 96% of retailers are expecting online-only shopping due to COVID. And, many are expecting significantly more holiday sales from online-only sales this year. 

Source: National Retail Federation - Holiday Planning Survey 2020

To help you prepare for a busy holiday shopping season, we put together a free Black Friday email template, Cyber Monday email template, and Black Friday landing page templates for you to use. 

Free Black Friday email templates

One of the best ways to communicate with your audience and visually engage them with your brand is through eye-catching email design. So we put together a couple of Black Friday and Cyber Monday email templates — available for free in your AWeber account. 

These templates allow you to keep your brand identity while adding a modern twist. Use these professionally designed templates as a starting point and easily customize the content with your offers.

This Black Friday email template balances black with the primary color of your branding. 

"The default color in the template is red, but AWeber's customers can easily change it out with their brand color. The ability to customize the color allows the email to feel a bit more part of their branding than just a black Friday email,” says AWeber designer Jeni McGuigan.

In AWeber's drag and drop email editor, you can easily change the background color of your template in 3 easy steps:

After selecting that row of the template that you want to color, the settings for the row will appear on the right side of the message editor.Click the color selection box, which is labeled "BG Color."You will have the ability to select a color from the color palette and recently used colors or use the color picker to choose your brand's color.

Free Black Friday landing page template

We also created a Black Friday landing page template...
How to Write Breakthrough or Bust Email Copy

Are you sick of following copywriting ‘best practices’ and grammar rules?

So is Joanna Wiebe.

As Founder of Copyhackers, Joanna knows a thing or two about writing killer copy that converts. But sometimes, amazing copy lingers right outside our writing comfort zones.

On this episode of The FWD: Thinking Show, Joanna joins us to talk about the ‘best practices’ that are meant to be broken — and which ones shouldn’t be — and why standing out in the inbox sometimes means saying goodbye to safe copy. 

Episode summary

“Best practices create mediocrity.”

That’s the thesis of Joanna Wiebe’s concept behind breakthrough or bust email copy.

By doing things differently and not being afraid to break the rules, Joanna argues that adhering strictly to best practices and never trying to do something different will hinder our success with email.

But aren’t best practices meant to help us? Guide us? Help us create copy that resonates with our audiences and stand out?

Yes. And no. 

Conversion copywriting best practices can make copy polished and ‘ignorable.’ You need to do or say something that evokes discomfort. The point is — as Joanna says — to challenge boardroom consensus. 

Ready to learn more about crafting breakthrough or bust email copy?

Listen to the Episode Now

Time stamps for interview highlights

1:09: Joanna’s background in “copywriting”

5:09: What is breakthrough or bust email copy?

8:08: Best practices are lame, but there are some that can’t be broken

13:09: How to quit following best practices

16:30: How to get buy in for outside-the-box email copy

21:28: What is group discontent?

23:11: The 9-word email framework and why it’s important to split test emails

30:05: Unsubscribes aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but you can minimize them

32:35: What is an email swipe file and how should you use it?

35:45: Joanna’s best advice for email marketers

Learn more about Joanna Wiebe

Joanna Wiebe is the creator of Copyhackers and the Copy Chief at CH Agency. For nearly 15 years, Joanna has optimized copy for incredible companies like BT, Canva, Glowforge, Intuit, MetaLab, Prezi, SAP, Sprout Social and VWO. She’s also spoken at conferences like Mozon, INBOUND, SearchLove and CXL to teach audiences to write copy that converts. 

Want to read the blog post we talked about...
‘Tis the Season: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Holiday Emails

2019 marked the first-ever trillion-dollar holiday shopping season, but does that mean the 2020 holiday shopping season will be merry and bright, too?

Even amidst the pandemic, experts expect the majority of consumers to turn to online shopping this year. In fact, ecommerce sales are expected to grow by 25%-35% year-over-year. 

With shoppers hesitant to return to retail stores, 66% of shoppers plan to spend more of their holiday dollars online this year.

That means if you want to capitalize on the predicted growth of online shopping this holiday season, then a plan for your holiday emails is more important than ever. 

It’s never too early to start thinking about your happy holiday email marketing campaigns. Why not spend some time now, before the hustle and bustle starts, to get your holiday emails ready?

Here are some of our top tips to help you prepare and send holiday emails that drive sales.

1. Start your holiday email planning early

There’s a reason you see toy stores, supermarkets and other retailers start putting out holiday decorations and flyers between Halloween and Thanksgiving. People get to making wish lists and buying gifts as soon as the first cold snap hits.

It’s better for shoppers to pick up a gift from you early than for them to wait until the last minute, when they’ve already over-spent their budget and may be less likely to spend.

Plus, the holiday season is often one of the busiest times of the year. Set yourself up for success by starting to plan early.

2. Create a holiday email calendar

Keeping track of all the holidays (like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Hanukkah, and the New Year) can quickly become overwhelming. Creating a holiday email editorial calendar can help organize the mayhem.

A calendar can also help you accommodate for the rest of your team’s time, which comes in handy if they’re helping with tasks like design, writing, or scheduling the message.

Make sure your email editorial calendar is up to date with your holiday campaigns. You’ll be sending a lot of emails this time of year, so planning everything out in advance will help you meet your deadlines and create content your subscribers will love.

At the same time, make sure you don’t overmail your audience. If you start to notice more unsubscribes than usual, consider the frequency of your...
Improve Your Email Marketing Content: 18 Proven Tips

Whether you’ve been sending emails to subscribers for 10 years or 10 days, it’s important to consider how you might be able to improve your content every now and then.

After all, things change over time; between your subscribers, your industry, and even your own business. As a result, it’s important for your emails to keep up with those changes, too.

And if you’re just getting started with email, you may feel like you've just been going with the flow, and aren't really sure if you're “doing email right.”

Wherever you are in your email marketing journey, there's always time to recalibrate your emails. Let's take a look at 18 different ways you can improve your email content. 

1. Always deliver value.

Every time you create a new email draft, you should be asking yourself, “What will my subscribers get out of this email?” If you can’t answer that question, it’s time to close out of the draft and come back to it once you've figured out the value your subscribers will get from the email.

Why? Because sending content your subscribers are interested in and find valuable is the foundation of any successful email strategy.

If you’re not sure what your audience wants, their most commonly asked questions is a good place to start. If you run a fitness studio, for example, you can take questions your clients often ask and use that to inspire content for your emails or blog posts (which you can then send via email).  

2. Explain why content in your emails are relevant.

Sending valuable content is the key to creating engaging email content, but sometimes you have to also be clear about why it’s important. Professional writers often talk about the importance of writing “benefits-focused” copy instead of just listing a bunch of product or service features. I often find the same applies to emails, too.

When you send content to your subscribers, be clear about why you think it’s helpful to them; in other words, explain what they’ll get out of completing the action you’re asking them to take, whether that’s reading a blog post, watching a video or purchasing a product.

Check out this example from one of our Weekly Blog Digest emails:

Since our goal for the email is to encourage people to click through to read this blog post, we made sure to explain the benefit to subscribers.

The more you can...
Email Authentication: A Powerful Way to Help Get your Emails into the Inbox with DKIM

Getting into the inbox is the foundation of successful email marketing. You can spend hours crafting the perfect message, but if it goes to the spam folder, your subscriber won’t see it. 

Mailbox providers (Gmail, Yahoo, and others) are always looking for ways to make the email they place in their customers’ inboxes more relevant. With the ever-increasing amount of emails being sent each day, the filters and systems they have in place are more advanced than ever, and are evolving continuously.

To get into the inbox, you first need to follow fundamental email deliverability best practices:

Only send email to people who have asked to receive it.Make your content relevant, well-designed, and engaging.Don’t send people content they are not expecting.Don’t send more email to a person than they can easily read, and don’t send so little that they forget about you.

If you have these best practices covered, then read on to find out how to supercharge your emails’ performance with DKIM.

Making your emails stand out

Imagine a large, fast-flowing river. It’s autumn, so there are leaves floating down the river. I ask you to jump into the river and get me a leaf with my name written on it that fell from a specific tree. Now imagine that there are billions of leaves in the river.

This is like what mailbox providers do every day to place emails into their customers’ inboxes.

Given this, when mailbox providers receive a message they attempt to identify who sent it, which allows them to treat emails from them as a group. Note, though, that doesn’t guarantee that every email will have the exact same outcome.

This identification goes beyond just looking at the sending email address; behind the scenes there are email authentication standards in use that senders can take advantage of to ensure that their emails are grouped correctly and that they stand out from the crowd.

Giving your emails authentication superpowers

Want to give your emails that extra effort to improve your email deliverability? Then setting up your DKIM is a must email deliverability best practice.

So what is DKIM?

DKIM is an email authentication technology that helps stop spoofed emails. It also connects domains in the email to the email message in a strong way that mailbox providers pay attention to. In other words, it makes an email “leaf” stand out in that...
Get Higher Open Rates with 22 of the Best Email Subject Lines

If you’ve ever sat down to write an email, you’ve probably asked yourself: “what if no one opens my email?” 

Not a fun feeling, right? Especially if you’re worried that the success of your email rides entirely on your subject line. It’s basically the thing that will make subscribers want to open your message. 

Thankfully, there are formulas to help make writing the best email subject lines as easy as pie. 

These 22 subject line formulas will help you write catchy subject lines that make subscribers eager to open your emails in no time.

Descriptive subject line formulas

The best email subject lines give your subscribers instant value. How? Tell your subscribers exactly what they can expect from your email using just your subject line. 

[Number] ways/strategies to [desired end goal]

Example: 10 ways to get more email subscribers

[Desired end goal] without ever [negative feeling]

Example: Lose weight without ever feeling hungry

How to [desired end goal] even if [barrier to accomplish desired end goal]

Example: How to design a website even if you don’t have coding skills

[Action verb] with/by [lead magnet]

Example: Kickstart your business with our Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing

[Desired end goal] with/by only [plan/strategy to reach desired outcome]

Example: Get a job by only networking on LinkedIn

Want more [desirable outcome] and less [undesirable outcome]?

Example: Want more time and less stress?

Short subject line formulas

Want to stand out in the inbox? Then a shorter subject line may be the best strategy.

On average, there are about 44 characters in an email subject line. Plus, mobile devices tend to cut subject lines off around 33-43 characters. If you want to make sure your subject line is fully visible — no matter how or when your subscriber receives your message — the best email subject lines may be short. 

Get rid of [pain point] forever

Example: Get rid of sleepless nights forever.

[Action/plan/method]. Here’s why/how

Example: A/B test your videos. Here’s how

New [content]

Example 1: New guide! 

Example 2: New arrival: check it out

[Number] recommended [product] for you

Example: 7 Recommended homes for you

Personalized subject line formulas

Plus, don’t overlook the power of personalization. Personalized email subject lines have...
6 Steps to Grow your Audience with Webinars and Email Marketing

Freedom Digital Marketing founder Laurie Conrod helps real estate agents and other entrepreneurs grow their businesses.  She teaches entrepreneurs how to automate their lead generation using direct response marketing and social media marketing. 

She knew there had to be a better way to grow her small business efficiently and her client base than the time-consuming task of traditional prospecting. "I didn't want to prospect people anymore for lead generation. I wanted to learn how to tap into the millions of people that are on the Internet," said Conrod.

She needed a way to entice potential clients to attend her free training and then capture these attendees to offer her digital marketing services. This strategy would enable Conrod to demonstrate her knowledge and skills to prospects in a low-risk format. However, she lacked a reliable platform to manage her growing client database and power her online training.

Until she came across AWeber and GoToWebinar.

Here are the 6 steps Conrod followed to grow her audience without prospecting. 

Step 1: Create an engaging lead magnet

Conrod uses webinars as her lead magnet to attract prospects. "The goal as an entrepreneur is to build 'know, like, and trust' with people as quickly as possible in order to make sales. Letting them see me on a webinar, how I present myself and my expertise is one of the fastest ways for people to get to know, like, and trust me. GoToWebinar has been such a powerful platform for me to use," says Conrod.

She usually offers free training on topics such as online lead generation, social media marketing, and email marketing. In Conrod's training, she teaches realtors the basics of running Facebook campaigns and social media marketing.  

AWeber provides a direct integration with GoToWebinar, which means you can instantly add GoToWebinar registrants directly to your AWeber list.
Click the video box to start the video. Step by step instructions listed below.

Step by Step on how to integrate GoToWebinar with AWeber

In your account, click the Integrations link in the upper right corner of the page.Find the GoToWebinar integration and click on it. On the next page, you will want to click the "Connect" button.You'll then be asked to log into your GoToWebinar account. After doing so, click the...
Build Landing Pages That Stand Out with New Templates and Easy to Use Features

We know your passion is your business (whether it’s full time, side-hustle or a passion project) and not necessarily designing landing pages. 

So we took care of that for you. We put together beautiful, ready-to-use landing page templates. The best part? They’re already in your account.  

Each landing page is professionally designed and chock full of content ideas to help you get started. All you need to do is add your logo and a few other content elements to customize the landing page. Creating a high-converting landing page shouldn’t be difficult, so we’re already adding new landing page templates to help you convert more subscribers.

Why you need a landing page, even if you have a website

The purpose of a website is to encourage visitors to learn about you and your business by visiting different web pages. The problem is that websites can distract your visitor from the one action you want them to take: sign up for a specific service, attend an event, purchase a product, or download a piece of content. 

On the other hand, a landing page is a single web page built to drive visitors to take one specific action. It intentionally limits where visitors can navigate to limit distraction. A landing page is an awesome opportunity to provide incredible value to your visitors, turn followers into subscribers, and engage with your audience at a deeper, more meaningful level. 

A landing page can be part of your website. If you have a WordPress website, AWeber makes it super easy to add your AWeber landing page to your WordPress website. But you don't need a website to have a landing page. 

The power of the AWeber Landing Page Builder

AWeber's landing page builder is a powerful tool to grow your business without the restrictions and limits of many of the other landing page and email marketing companies.

"With AWeber's Landing Page Builder, you can have a fully functioning website out of the box without paying for anything more. We know it can get challenging, managing, and paying for multiple solutions. AWeber provides one unified place where you can manage everything," says Andrew Prawl, AWeber Product Manager.

Why invest hours or thousands of dollars into creating a multi-page website when you can launch a landing page to test an idea or a concept in minutes for free?

New landing page templates...

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