Tag Archives: online

5 Keys to Improve Email Open Rates

Getting your email marketing content setup is not the end of your work.  Ensuring that the greatest potential possible OPEN the email is critical and you MUST spend time to improve email open rates.

Are you using email marketing or automated email nurture campaigns?  HINT: You should be!

A key for email marketing is the open rate.  It does no good whatsoever to have great content if it never gets read!  In this episode we dive into 5 keys to improve email open rates.

Ready to dive in?

Listen Now:

Subscribe:  Halftime Mike on iTunes  | Android users via RSS  | Listen on Stitcher.

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5 Keys to Improve Email Open Rates Video Podcast

What are the 5 Keys to Improve Email Open Rates?

I’m glad you asked!

In my book, Game Plan for Social Media Lead GenerationI showcase the digital funnel.  It’s in the “lead capture” area where your Call to Action takes place.  In the Capture area you have reached ideal potential customers and now directed them to your website and this is where the CTA needs to kick in and work for you so they sign-up.  Once they sign-up they are going to get started on your automated email nurture series.  This is a sequence of emails dripped out to them over time and this is the key area where email open rates need to happen!

Without the opens, they don’t get to know you and build trust with your company!

See Digital Marketing Funnel image below…

The funnel is a strategy of reaching the right audience, engaging that audience, and then bringing that audience to your website, and email is a key ingredient!

Email Open Rate Keys

According to eMarketer, almost 237 million Americans will use email in 2017. This represents a significant portion of the online population.  People read email!  Here are 5 keys for great open rates:

1. The Email Subject line

It all starts with the email subject line.

Readers must be enticed at the subject line level to open your email!  This is your first and most important objective because many times those looking at their email inbox make a decision to open or not open based solely on the subject lines of all new emails in their inbox list!

[Tweet “Many times an email open is determined solely by the subject line! 5 keys to greater open rates by @Mike_Gingerich”]

Due to this, the subject line needs to be something more than what you can dash off at the last moment. I have had emails where I’ve spent more time crafting the perfect subject line than I spent writing the email.

If the subject doesn’t grab them, they won’t read it!

Whenever possible:

  • Personalize your email subject lines, most ESP (email service providers) allow you to do this easily.  “Hey, Mike, this 30% off deal is time limited!”
  • Keep subject lines short, specific and action oriented
  • Avoid lots of ALL CAPS and multiple exclamations!!!

If your email contains an offer, tell your audience about it, so your recipients know what’s inside the email waiting for them.

Again, keep it concise, active, and inviting.

2. Timing is Critical

Timing your email send to an ideal “sweet spot” can lead to greater open rates. Email marketers agree that mid-week (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) emails are most successful for B2B businesses. If you’re B2C, your delivery window widens by Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

I like to send emails early in the morning, so they’re in the inbox when it’s first opened in the am. Or around lunch, people ease back into work by checking their emails. Because they’re full and satisfied, they’re more likely to be patient enough to read the mail rather than deleting it for lack of time to read it.

If your email is promoting an event with specific timing, send the email a couple of weeks before and again a couple of days before the event.

3. Offer Valuable Email Content

Give your customers something of value in every email. Even simple tips and tricks on how to do something can be value-adding. What you take for granted can be valuable information for others! When you offer value, you’re less likely to end up in the “unread” category down the pike.

I recommend you focus on one key item in a email and have 2-3 related and supporting links.  This is a good way to drive traffic back to past blog posts and bring visitors back to your website.  The email should not be massively long or the entire full blog post.  It introduces the topic, dives into a key point and then points to the website post for the rest.

4. Segment the Email Lists to Increase Open Rates

It’s a good idea to segment your list right out of the gate. Group your readers by products they’ve purchased, where their IP address is located, or special interests. Your ESP will now their location from their IP address.

Add several email subscription forms to your list with free downloads and segment as to the download they choose or page they subscribe on.

Here are a few of the most common data sets you may want to segment by:

  • Time they have been on your mailing list
  • What they’ve purchased from you
  • Date of the last purchase from your company
  • Last interaction

Drilling down with that information can lead to more effective and directed email campaigns.

5. Ensure Mobile Friendly Emails

Take your email recipients’ lifestyle into account as well. A full 64% of decision-makers read their emails via their smartphone. (Want to know what your readers are viewing on and you use MailChimp? Learn how here.) If your email isn’t formatted to be easily read on a mobile screen, you may receive fewer click-throughs and find your open rate decreasing over time.

If you make these changes and don’t see an immediate turnaround in a declining open rate, don’t get discouraged. There is an art to strategic email marketing. When you pay attention to the data you have from email recipients in your email marketing system, you’ll become better attuned to what works best for your business.

So, what are you waiting for?  Go look at your open rates and your emails and make adjustments on future emails deployed!

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  This is just a sample of the goods I deliver to help you get on track, think through your key online changes and what you need to do this year to succeed.
  2. Identify your “one thing.”  What’s the next single thing you need to take action on that you learned today?   Share below!

Resources: Keys to Online Success


Help Spread the Word!

Please let your Twitter followers know about this podcast.
Simply click here now to post a tweet >>.

If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please “go over to iTunes,  leave a rating, write a review and subscribe!

Thank you so much for your support!

Why the Halftime theme Mike? 

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn’t. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

Subscribe: Halftime Mike on iTunes | Android users via RSS | Listen on Stitcher.

Download this Episode:
Catch all the episodes of Halftime Mike by signing up for inbox delivery below!

Need help planning your Social Media and Online Marketing?

Grab my helpful checklist that includes strategy for social media lead generation. Click image!

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What is a Website Call to Action?

The question, “What is a website call to action?“, is a frequent question I get.

Beyond the need to know what it is, online marketers need to be using a call to action regularly and effectively on their websites!  It’s often one of THE most overlooked lead capture and digital marketing components out there.

A call to action is literally a specific tool to get the visitor to a specific action you desire on your site.  Is your business using call to actions effectively on your website?  Let’s look into the “what”, “how”, and “why” of call to actions for your website.  This little piece has tremendous value!

Ready to dive in?

Listen Now:

Subscribe:  Halftime Mike on iTunes  | Android users via RSS  | Listen on Stitcher.

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Video version of What is a Website Call to Action

What is a Website Call to Action?

I’m glad you asked!  The “what” is the starting point.  A website call to action is a tool (image linked, widget, form or pop-up form) with the specific goal to move (or call) the website visitor to take a specific action that you want them to take on the site.  Typically this is a means to do the following:

  1.  Keep them on the site
  2.  Move them into your lead funnel
  3.  Obtain their email address to use in further marketing

The “Why” of a Website Call to Action

The call to action is a needed digital marketing funnel action to move a visitor into the funnel, and to move them from “unknown” to a “known” based on having a email address.

In my book, Game Plan for Social Media Lead GenerationI showcase the digital funnel.  It’s in the “lead capture” area where you Call to Action takes place.  In the Capture area you have reached ideal potential customers and now directed them to your website and this is where the CTA needs to kick in and work for you!  See Digital Marketing Funnel image below…

The funnel is a strategy of reaching the right audience, engaging that audience, and then bringing that audience to your website.  Once on your sight it’s critical that the website Call to Action do it’s job as noted of moving the user to take action.

Additional values of a Website Call to Action

Other benefits a call-to-action helps with are building trust, adding value, and offering related resources….it’s a next step and a way of further connecting with the visitor so that when they are ready to purchase, you are top-of-mind!

  • Can Build Trust (by taking to additional value-adding resources)
  • Helps visitor in their research
  • Introduces next step content

Blogging is central to the Digital Marketing Funnel strategy as you are producing valuable resource-rich content on your website that you can share on social media and integrate with CTA’s.  As you use the blog to market your products and services, it’s crucial to include a CTA (call to action) within each post.

Without a CTA to motivate your readers into taking the action you want them to take, your readers won’t take any action at all. It’s simply information on the web they see and then leave.  You need to guide your readers to take the action you desire!

Help others learn about website Call to Action…

[Tweet “Recommended! Great tips here on website Call to Actions via @Mike_Gingerich”]

Here’s what a Call to Action can do for your website:

Increase Web Time on Site

The more pages a visitor goes to on your site, the more they increase time spent, and the more opportunity you have to build trust and rapport.  With statistics showing that up to 70% of web visitors don’t come back to a website, you’ve got to capture them and give them some great info that first time!

Get the Reader to Read More Content

One of the best ways to convert traffic is with quality content that makes the reader stay on your website. Adding a call to action of related articles to your blog posts will invite readers to read your other posts. All you have to do is link to the related topics using keywords. For instance, the keyword “online marketing” can be linked to other articles on social media marketing, website marketing or email marketing within the blog post.

A simple and clear way to do this is with a titled area “Related Content” and then have a bulleted list with keyword titles linking to other articles on your blog or website.

Grow Leads

Email marketing is a powerful strategy to generate sales. Use a call to action to get your website readers added to a email nurture list.  One of the best ways to tempt people to subscribe is by giving discounts or access to premium content in exchange for them signing up. For example, if your blog post focuses on photography, you could offer a free eBook with tips about photography to readers who provide their email address.

The “How” of a Website Call to Action

The call to action should be action-oriented!

It should be brief, concise, clear, and easy to locate. Readers should be forced to see it, but it shouldn’t be so large that it diverts attention from the main content. It should also not ask for lots of information.  Keep it simple, like name and email address to access a ebook.  Try different call-to-actions including sidebar CTA’s, in-page call-to-actions, and pop-up CTA’s.

Example of a website call to action pop-up

Value adding resource Call to Action pop-up using Waftio.com

So, what are you waiting for?  Go look at your website and your last blog post.

How is the call to action integrated on that page?  Take a look at my site here, how many CTA’s do you see?  I use waftio for the main pop-up and I also have the call-out at the end of the post.

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  This is just a sample of the goods I deliver to help you get on track, think through your key online changes and what you need to do this year to succeed.
  2. Identify your “one thing.”  What’s the next single thing you need to take action on that you learned today?   Share below!

Resources: Keys to Online Success


Help Spread the Word!

Please let your Twitter followers know about this podcast.
Simply click here now to post a tweet >>.

If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please “go over to iTunes,  leave a rating, write a review and subscribe!

Thank you so much for your support!

Why the Halftime theme Mike? 

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn’t. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

Subscribe: Halftime Mike on iTunes | Android users via RSS | Listen on Stitcher.

Download this Episode:
Catch all the episodes of Halftime Mike by signing up for inbox delivery below!

Need help planning your Social Media and Online Marketing?

Grab my helpful checklist that includes strategy for social media lead generation. Click image!

web and social media marketing checklist planner

How to Succeed Online – 4 Keys for Online Marketing Success

How can your business have online marketing success?

What does it take? What are the key online marketing foundations?

These are questions I was recently asked, and I decided to answer in this podcast with a look at the 4 key foundations I believe are absolutely essential to online marketing success.

Is your business doing well in the 4 areas I note below?  They are essential and cover your website, social media, email marketing and more.  Let’s walk through the 4 in detail!

Ready to dive in?

Listen Now:

Subscribe:  Halftime Mike on iTunes  | Android users via RSS  | Listen on Stitcher.

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How to succeed online – 4 Keys to Online Marketing Success

To succeed in marketing your business online today, you really need to be strong in these 4 fundamentals.  Each plays a part, and the sum together makes a cohesive strategy.  The 4 keys are:

  1. Content
  2. Social Media
  3. List Building / Lead Capture
  4. Partnering / Networking

Video Version of the 4 Keys to Online Marketing Success

Content

By content, we mean a blog resource center with great articles.

The starting point of success online is quality, regular content on your business website/blog. This is the “home base” for any company and one which needs to be carefully crafted and meticulously maintained. It is the source for quality information to share on social media. It’s the “footprint” that can be searched and discovered online.  Let me say that another way…good content on your website helps both SEO and Social Media.

SEO value comes from having keyword rich, resource blog post articles that answer questions, build trust and offer value.  These posts can then be found by those searching the web, and they serve as great material to share on social media.  This is not product specific, but more about the application of and resource material.  The “how to’s” are great.

Content needs to be generated at least weekly if not more to build a footprint out on the web.

Social Media

For social media, it’s imperative online to amplify your quality website content, you have to be fluent and fluid in social media sharing, engagement, and conversation. Knowing the difference between being a bullhorn and being a magnet (see www.magnetmarketers.com) is key. Social media really needs to flow as a relationship building tool, one where the end goal is to help and add value to others.

With average users spending 40 minutes on Facebook a day cumulative, it and other social media networks are where the people are spending time!  You want to reach them and connect?  Go there!

50% of your social media efforts are simply to attract the right type of person to you (the ideal customer persona) and to engage with them.  30% of your social media efforts are to drive them to a specific lead capture on your website via social (more on that below), and 20% is direct sales offer.  Largely Social Media isn’t a direct sales channel!  It’s a discovery and connecting tool that can be ultimately used to move people to your website.

List Building / Lead Nurture

The last 2 keys, list building, and networking flow from a solid web content foundation and are key business strategy tools.

First, list building and lead nurture.  For lists, we mean email lists.  Getting their name and email is moving from a fan to a lead you can nurture.  A solid lead nurture list for email marketing is critical for online success.

This is best done on your website.  Soft offers of value (ebooks, videos, coupons) that give a value-adding resource are the way to grow leads.  I recommend adding our Waftio lead capture tools to your site as pop-ups and active widgets work best to capture the attention of your visitor. Simply ask for name and email and offer the resource while getting permission to add them to your list.

Then nurture that contact and build trust through regular, resource-rich emails over a multi-week time period, ending with a sales offer.

Partnering / Networking

Networking online to build relationships and partnerships that can benefit both parties is the quickest and strongest way to really ramp up online once you have your foundation in place. Find near-product/service partners you can do joint ventures with.  Share their content, and have them share yours!

So, in my opinion, you’ve got to look at 4 keys…..Active social media presence, great content on your website, list building lead capture tool for email addresses and peer networking to build momentum and partnerships. It’s possible! Go for it!

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  This is just a sample of the goods I deliver to help you get on track, think through your key online changes and what you need to do this year to succeed.
  2. Identify your “one thing.”  What’s the next single thing you need to take action on that you learned today?   Share below!

Resources: Keys to Online Success


Help Spread the Word!

Please let your Twitter followers know about this podcast.
Simply click here now to post a tweet >>.

If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please “go over to iTunes,  leave a rating, write a review and subscribe!

Thank you so much for your support!

Why the Halftime theme Mike? 

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn’t. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

Subscribe: Halftime Mike on iTunes | Android users via RSS | Listen on Stitcher.

Download this Episode:
Catch all the episodes of Halftime Mike by signing up for inbox delivery below!

Need help planning your Social Media and Online Marketing?

Grab my helpful checklist that includes strategy for social media lead generation. Click image!

web and social media marketing checklist planner