Your first welcome autoresponder message

when to emailYour welcome autoresponder is your crucial chance to make a first impression on your reader. If you have a great welcome message, subscribers will read it, be impressed by the quality and continue to open your emails in the future. With a poor welcome message, they may very well never open your emails again.

Before we go over what makes a great welcome message, let’s go over some all-too-common mistakes that people make in their welcome messages.

 

What Not to Put in Your Welcome Message

First of all, never send a welcome message that basically just says “Thank you for joining.” When you do, you’re wasting valuable on-screen real estate by saying almost nothing. You’re also wasting your reader’s time.

You should also NOT sell in your first email. Selling in your first email immediately gives a poor impression and may very likely burn out your subscriber right then and there.

These two points really go without saying, but many email lists – as many as 50% in some markets – make one of these two mistakes. Do not send contentless first emails and do not send sales emails as a welcome message.

 

 

What Makes a Great Welcome Message

First of all, your welcome autoresponder message needs to have stellar content in it. This content can be right in the email, or it can be a downloadable report, MP3 or hidden web page on your site.

The content should be some of your best. Remember, this is your chance to make a first impression. Whatever tips, advice or expertise you have to offer your readers, put as much of it up front as you can.

In addition to having great content, it’s important to let users know what to expect in the future. What kind of content can they expect in their mailbox? How often will you mail them? This first email is a great place to set expectations.

Finally, set them up for the next email. Finish off with a bang by telling them what your next autoresponder message will be about. Make sure to use benefit-driven language so they know exactly what’s in it for them by opening your next email.

If you can get a subscriber to open a first email, read a report and open the next email, you’ll most likely have a reader for life as long as you provide great content and don’t oversell.

The basic formula is this. The first email sets up expectations for future emails, while providing valuable content right up front and demonstrating that you really know what you’re talking about. Set the impression that they’ll get something of value by opening your emails, by delivering high-value content the moment they get your first email.

Aweber-Getresponse-IContact-Mailchimp Who do you use?

Aweber, GetResponse, IContact and Mailchimp are four of the most popular autoresponder options for small to medium sized marketers. What are the benefits and drawbacks of each? Who should you use? This article will shed some light on each service to help you make your choice.

Costs

In general, the costs of each service are all on par. AWeber tends to be slightly more expensive than iContact and GetResponse, though just by a few dollars a month. Each service tiers up their costs based on how many subscribers you have. It’s important to note that AWeber counts unsubscribed leads as subscribers that you have to pay for. If you want to really get rid of a lead, you need to delete them from your database.

Deliverability

AWeber has the strongest reputation in the industry for deliverability. There are both benefits and drawbacks to this. The clearest benefit is that your emails have the highest chance of getting delivered. That said, iContact and GetResponse both have top-notch teams of email managers who stay in constant contact with ISPs to ensure their mail gets delivered. The downside of high deliverability is AWeber’s pickiness with how their email system is used. They have to be very stringent to ensure that no spam is being sent through their system, which unfortunately can sometimes bar you from genuine marketing activities.

 Adding Outside Leads

AWeber and GetResponse both don’t allow you to add outside leads, even if they’ve double-opted into a list in the past. If you’re moving from an existing database to a new email system, you basically cannot move to AWeber or GetResponse as a result. If you run in-person events and need to add leads from people who sign up on paper, you also can’t do this by AWeber or GetResponse. IContact allows you to import outside leads.

 Who Not to Use

Never use your shopping cart’s email system to manage your email lists. 1ShoppingCart, for example, has a pretty bad reputation for deliverability. Even self-hosted shopping carts like Zen Cart have their limitations. For one, the emails are sent out from your server, whose IP address could have been used for spam in the past. You also don’t have the benefit of having a team helping you ensure that your IP isn’t getting blocked. Always use an outside system for your email list management for best deliverability. The only exception is Infusionsoft, which will give you a dedicated IP and server. Another service to avoid for internet marketing is MailChimp. Though many marketers are attracted to their “first 500 subscribers free" offer, their mandatory double-opt-in will cost you a lot of money in the long run. Though they have a solid reputation, unless you’re willing to lose as much as 60% of your list to double-opt in, you shouldn’t use MailChimp. These are some of the pros and cons of the various autoresponder services. As you can tell, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to which email service to use. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision best for your business.

Celebrate Your Freedom From These 4 Tired Content Marketing Tactics


4-content-marketing-tactics

Freedom is an expression that you’ll hear a lot this week as we celebrate America’s independence. Our forefathers had a vision for a country that provided citizens with certain rights and responsibilities for themselves and their neighbors.

Marketers today have a unique opportunity to sign their own declaration of independence to free themselves of tired content marketing tactics. This is a declaration that removes antiquated approaches to content marketing and instead focuses on creating value for their customers in a way that builds a better future.

Recent research has found that over 80% of marketers are creating content ,which means that the competition for customer attention is becoming increasingly difficult. Now is the time for marketers to break free of tired content tactics and begin creating more memorable interactions with customers. As continue to execute and refine your approach to content marketing, make sure that you avoid making the following mistakes. 

#1 – Self-Centered Content

In the past, many brands spent time creating content for their website that only provided detailed information about their products and services. Today, the companies that are creating content that speaks to the pain points of their customers are the ones that are winning at content marketing.

Today’s savvy and connected customers have countless options available to them which means that marketers must spend their efforts providing helpful resources that focus on solving the top pain points that customers are facing.

#2 – An Inconsistent User Experience

Imagine for a second that you wanted to buy a specific type of firework to celebrate the 4th of July with your family and friends. In order to find the best location for purchasing your fireworks, you did some research online. However, once you got to the actual fireworks stand, nothing matched what you found online. Instead of finding the fountains and rockets that your family had their heart set on, there were only snakes and poppers.

When brands fail to provide accurate information and a consistent user experience across multiple channels, it creates an unpleasant experience for their potential customers. We now understand that often times it takes multiple touch points to convert a customer which means that no matter where they are interacting with your brand online, they should be provided with accurate information in a consistent way.

#3 – Failing to Experiment

Once you get into a habit (any habit) it can be incredibly difficult to break. It can be easy for brands to get in a rut with their content marketing tactics because let’s face it, once you understand how to plan for, execute and measure a particular tactic, it becomes more comfortable each time.

Don’t let this get in your way of experimenting with different content types that may appeal to your audience. There is no one-size-fits-all solution and it’s important that your content team is experimenting and innovating in a way that keeps your customers engaged. Different content types that you may want to experiment with include:

  • Video
  • Webinars
  • Crowdsourced Content
  • Influencer Driven Content
  • Case Studies
  • White Papers
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • eBooks

#4 – Content That Doesn’t Connect

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling B2C or B2B products or services, at the other end of every purchase is a person that is driven to make a buying decision. While a company’s content could very well be optimized for search engines in a way that makes them findable, that doesn’t mean that it’s optimized for their buyers.

Once a potential customer reaches your website, offsite content or social profile, you have a very limited amount of time to create an impression. If they can’t see themselves in the content, then they will quickly abandon your content in favor of a content that better suits their needs.

In order to stand out, you MUST create content that tells a compelling story in a way that moves your audience. We are visual learners so it’s also important to include visuals that help create a connection to your text content

Celebrate Your Content Freedom Each Day

You have the freedom to constantly delight your customers and innovate the way that you approach content marketing. Don’t be content with the status quo.The bar for content quality is constantly being raised so it’s incredibly important that you take every step necessary to create compelling content that connects you with your customers.

What other tired content marketing tactics would you like to see your brand (or other brands) break free from?



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