Marketing Is Not Marketing

I see it too often and it breaks my heart. Aspiring and passionate entrepreneurs and business owners who try to “get” marketing. Unfortunately, they have it all wrong. Well, most of them (99% in my opinion) out there think marketing is just marketing.

Marketing is not marketing.

Marketing is not branding.

Neither is advertising.

Marketing is about response.

I’ll say it again… Marketing is all about response.

Without expecting (and feeling confident you’ll get) a response from your marketing efforts… you’re wasting your time and effort.

Don’t get me wrong – there is a place for branding and in some cases advertising (if the goal of advertising like PPC ads is to get a response) – but it comes nowhere near the importance of direct response marketing. Direct response marketing is the only type of marketing that will actually yield sales and results in your business.

In other words… Direct response marketing is what drives the success (or failure) of your business.

Let me explain why this is so important.

Your marketing efforts MUST (I repeat, MUST) focus on getting a response – an action from the prospect – because it’s the pre-cursor to getting a sale or getting an optin or anything else that drives the results of your business upward.

That’s when everything else (sales, customer service, etc.) is easy because your marketing has done most of the hard work – finding, educating, and nurturing your people so they take the desired action you want them to take.

It’s about action… And every marketing effort you deliver (an email, video, sales letter, direct mail piece, social media update, etc.) should be 100% focused on having the prospect take action. And I don’t mean an action like they get this warm fuzzy feeling of “oh, that was pretty cool” and do nothing about it. I’m talking action here in the form of an optin to your list; they call you; they click the Add to Cart button and buy from you; they share your message or product with friends, etc.

Too many get it wrong. They focus on their product or their service and pay so little attention to the marketing effort needed to get that product or service to the people who need it most. Don’t get me wrong – you have to have a kick-ass product or service. It’s a given in my book because if that’s not the case and your stuff can’t 100% genuinely help someone and add a ton of value – you shouldn’t be out there in the first place.

Target a specific niche or market when your marketing message can get a response. To the point where you feel confident enough where you can almost feel like you’re guaranteed to get a response.

Think of it like this: Don’t fish in the entire ocean using generic bait. Fish for mackerel in the area of the ocean where mackerel hang out and use mackerel bait they want. You should think about your marketing in the same way. Identify and define the peeps in your niche, find where they are and where they hang out, and then develop the marketing that will get you the response from them that you want.

One last word of advice: Never delegate marketing. It’s like the rule of never delegate the checkbook in your business. You can delegate certain aspects of your marketing (like the technology, implementation, etc.) but never, ever delegate your marketing efforts. It’s the lifeline of your business.

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

12 Best Online Marketing Strategies For 2012

At this time of each year we think about what we accomplished over the last year – and what we want to improve on for the upcoming new year.

From a marketing perspective, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all new ideas and bright shiny objects out there to pull our attention away from the marketing strategies that matter most – those that will actually improve your business and expand your marketing reach.

So, in honor of the new year – I present to you the 12 best online marketing strategies to focus on for 2012. There could be more – but these are in my opinion the best strategies to bring you quicker to your business goals using online marketing strategies that work.

Don’t choose them all! Focus on the 2 or 3 that you feel could impact your marketing effort the most – and carve out the time and plan for implementing them next year!

  1. Improve your irresistible free offer. Perhaps it’s time to replace that outdated “free report” or “eBook” with an even higher value freebie to offer site visitors. As I referred to in my post about the best freebie out there (read it here) – my favorite is still the Audio CD – which has huge intrinsic value because it’s a physical “thing” and you can capture mailing addresses in addition to just email address.
  2. Launch a new product or program. There is always something you can “launch” whether it’s a new product or program. You can also “re-launch” something you did this year that performed really well. My post shares some great methods for launching a new product or program (read it here.) Think about what you can do differently this time around to make it even more engaging and worthwhile for your audience. Add more bonuses and juicier incentives to help increase sales.
  3. Do a new webinar or teleseminar. Each new year is a great time to host a new topic using either a webinar or teleseminar. It can also be a perfect time to switch up the format and see what works best. Been doing a bunch of teleseminars lately? Try a webinar? Doing just webinars? Try a teleseminar. And, choose a topic that is new to your audience and see what kind of response you receive.
  4. Connect with a new joint venture partner. Have this year be the year you establish a great partnership with a new strategic alliance or joint venture partner. I explained how to do this in my post about joint venture as a great list building strategy (read it here.) Someone that you feel can really pull you and help you in a big way – while you can do the same for them. I always like to think outside the box about who to connect with – and expect something great as a result.
  5. Create an affiliate program. Perhaps this is the year you launch an affiliate program. Affiliates are a great way to spread your message and build your list – while also supporting your sales of products or programs. Pretty much most shopping cart programs (1ShoppingCart, Infusion, etc.) support affiliate programs and are easy to establish.
  6. Update your website / blog. Website looking a bit outdated? Perhaps it’s time to hire a graphic designer for that new logo you’ve been craving or hire a website developer to update your entire site. I shared how important design is when it comes to marketing online in an earlier post (read it here) so don’t skimp on the important details when updating your website. First impressions matter most when designing your website.
  7. Be more active on social media. Are you one of the folks who has a Twitter account but hardly ever uses it? Perhaps you’re wondering exactly what to post on that new Facebook fanpage you created? Have this year be the year you be more “social” on social media. Remember, you can’t be active on these social media sites unless you show up and do the work. My post about being active on social media can help you (read it here.)
  8. Start a pay-per-click advertising campaign. I’m a huge fan of pay-per-click advertising. One of my earlier posts about PPC explains that it’s one of the best and most effective ways to quickly and authentically build your list with highly qualified leads. Whether it’s Google AdWords or Facebook ads – they convert brand new prospects onto your list and you can target very specific groups of people searching what you have to offer. Yes, you gotta pay for the traffic – but – it’s definitely worth it on the long run (I show you how here.)
  9. Add video to your marketing. It’s 2012 and you’re still not using video in your online marketing? It’s time to jump onboard with the most powerful and effective way to connect and build trust online with visitors to your site. With the advances of technology and video equipment costs plummeting – you really have no excuse to do more video and start reaping the benefits immediately. Stuck with where to start and how to do it? My blog post about using YouTube can help you get started (read it here.)
  10. Generate more content. Only posting to your blog once every other week or once a month? This is the year you need to generate a ton more content – way more than you’re even doing now (unless you blog every single day.) Putting out high-content and high-value articles and blog posts is how you get new traffic as well as nurture the existing audience you have on your list. As I referred to in my post about how to get to page one of Google – content is king (read it here.)
  11. Be smart about SEO. Still don’t have a clue about search engine optimization or how it relates to your blog or website? SEO is critical for having massive success online – and can’t be ignored or overlooked anymore. Develop a comprehensive SEO strategy about how to improve your search engine rankings for your best keywords and let’s get to work. Need help on where to start? My blog post about the ABC’s of SEO will help (read it here.)
  12. Email your list more often. Only sending the email newsletter out when you have the time for it? This is the year we get you on a consistent and frequent schedule of emailing your list all this great content you’re now generating. If you’re doing monthly now – consider bi-weekly. Sending the newsletter every other week? Let’s make it happen by sending it weekly. As my earlier post about emailing your list more frequently explains – the more you email your list – the higher your open rates and consumption of your content – which is all good (read it here.)

There you have it! The official 12 best marketing strategies to grow your business with online marketing for 2012.

Please comment below which of these strategies (or others if you have them) you’ll put into place for the near year and let’s make 2012 the best year yet!

Happy New Year!

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

The Most Important Page On Your Website

There is no denying that having a solid website is critical for success in building your online business. Not only does it represent you and your message for so many to see – it allows you to attract new visitors and gives you a tremendous opportunity to convert those visitors into leads.

Having a “client attractive” website that pulls people in with your compelling message is critical in building your list with highly motivated and qualified leads.

But, do you know WHICH page on your website is the most important for converting the most highly qualified leads onto your list?

Homepage? Nope.

Contact page? Nope.

Squeeze page or Landing page? Maybe – but not the most qualified.

In my opinion, the most important page on your website for attracting and converting highly qualified and motivated people onto your list is the About page.

Yep – the “About” page. The page where you “tell your story” and allow visitors to find out who you really are and why you do what you do.

Why? It’s the ONE page on your website where you have the best opportunity to truly engage with your visitor with your story, your why and your message. When you do so effectively and in an authentic and compelling manner – you have the best ability to convert them onto your list – when they are the MOST interested, engaged and motivated by reading about you.

How? Easy… And, this is where most people miss it. I’ve seen countless of “About” pages on a website with no optin box. None. Big mistake. Yes, there is the basic optin box on the upper part of the page – but as the visitor is scrolling down and reading more about you – they’re super interested and engaged.

So, why not include an optin field throughout the page as the visitor is reading? Perhaps as you’re telling your story about how you got started or why you do what you do – including a very transparent optin box for the visitor to optin at that moment to find out more will massively increase your conversion to your list.

And, because these people are actively reading your story and everything about you on the About page – you know they are interested and engaged more so than anywhere else on your site. It’s the most transparent and conversational way you can connect with a visitor on your site.

They are learning about you – and wanting to find out more. Including an optin field sprinkled throughout your About page will increase the likelihood of them joining your list.

It’s not a hard call to action like you may have on a squeeze page or landing page referring to your IFO. It could be more subtle and simply refer to whatever the topic is you’ve written as part of that section from your About page.

For example, mine might look like this:

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I’m also the ONLY expert in a very crowded field of “Internet Marketing Coaches” that teaches purely “authentic” online marketing strategies. I don’t bother with all the fluff out there online that focuses on making a quick buck and places no value on the relationship with a prospect or client.

Best of all – I am very practical and easy to work with. I’m known for over-delivering with my clients and giving them EVERYTHING that I have and much more. I show you step-by-step how to do something so it’s easy to put into place and doesn’t require a technical background or “techy” skill set to implement what we cover and quickly put it into action so you can see immediate results.

Want a taste of how I can help you quickly and easily build your email list in an authentic way? Enter your email address below for my free report: Build Your Authentic List:

Enter email address here:

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Doing this small change will not only increase your conversion and build your list, but build your list with truly engaged and interested subscribers – which will pay off in a very BIG way over time…

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Everything Happens for a Reason

If you’ve been following me on Twitter and Facebook recently, you know that I had a nasty ski accident out here in Vail, Colorado. I was here for ski training with my race team from Stratton Vermont for 4 full days of skiing and training with some of the best skiers in the world. Skiers were here from all the Olympic teams spanning from the USA to Austria and Canada. I had a day where I got to see some of my heroes on the slopes – Ted Ligety, Bode Miller and even Lindsey Vonn.

Unfortunately, I had a freak ski accident and ended up damaging my knees (both of them) pretty bad. I thought it wasn’t too bad – but as the pain got worse, I got it checked out with X-rays and an MRI along with multiple trips to the Vail Medical Center and their doctors and specialists. It turns out that I completely tore both of my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and meniscus (knee ligament) as well as chipped my bone on my outer left knee. I will end up needing reconstructive surgery on both knees and have several months of recovery with physical therapy and many weeks on crutches. No skiing or physical activity for 6-8 months and possibly back for tennis next summer and competitive skiing next winter.

You have to understand – skiing to me is like nothing else. Beyond my wife and kids – it’s one of the few things that inspire me and motivate me more than anything else. Needless to say, I was quite saddened and devastated with what happened.

During these last few days (in particular from the time of my accident to my final diagnosis from one of the best sports medicine doctors on knee injuries) I learned a lot about the people around me – and myself. Below is what I discovered – and I share it with you so can learn from my perspective – as I’m sure we all have trying times like this where the outlook does not look good.

Think positive. During the two days when I didn’t know exactly what the diagnosis was, I stayed positive. And, I mean ultra positive. Talking to my wife Fabienne and others – I consistently thought about the good that will happen – focusing on the result that I most wanted (full recovery and no long term impact.) Even though I now need surgery and will not ski for the better part of the year – being in a place of positive expectation and having an optimistic attitude helped me with going through this experience and not feeling down or negative about it – and ending up not having a worse situation than I am in now.

Bigger purpose. This experience led me to believe there is a reason behind this accident – and a bigger reason I am choosing to have this experience and what it means for me in my long term purpose here on Earth. Yes, it may sound kooky – but I believe it. It’s all about rising to the challenge and stepping up to what this experience is going to lead me to next.

Focus. Now that I have this time to reflect – I can focus clearly on what really matters. Yes, I will still watch the ski videos and obsess over skiing – but this experience leads me to believe that there is a time for being present NOW – and focusing on what really matters most. My family (my wife and kids) and the close friends I have with me. This is by no means a life altering accident – but it’s in these times of challenge that we should all find it important to reflect and contemplate on what matters most.

Gratitude. I am certain that being in a place of gratitude during this time – if not all the time – is critical for feeling positive and upbeat about what is going on around you. I had a long conversation with my wife Fabienne where I listed everything I was grateful for – in this moment. My wife, my kids, my friends, my work, my surroundings, my support at home, etc. I didn’t stop with just the obvious – I drilled down to being grateful for the glass of wine I had that night. Gratitude works wonders – if you trust and state what you’re grateful for.

Humor. I definitely needed to laugh along the way. From the funny picture about the beef jerky I posted to laughing with my ski buddies here about my accident and their own experiences with ski injuries – laughing and making light of a situation can help you feel even more positive and optimistic.

Long term perspective. Although I was really down and upset about what happened – I had to put things into a longer term perspective. Will I ever ski again? Yes. Will my knees recover 100%? Yes. Can I walk (with crutches) and be present with my wife and kids? Yes. For a time I was pissed about not being able to ski this season. But, it’s only one year. I’ll be back next year – and every other year – for many years to come. Think of the joy that will bring me and those I am with.

Community. This is where it gets really inspiring. The comments and support and reaching out from so many – was so supportive and uplifting. The comments on Facebook alone were partly responsible for keeping me motivated and inspired. It felt so good to be recognized and loved in that way – something that social media and technology can do for us – unlike anywhere else. People from under the woodwork on Facebook reached out and offered words of support, recommendations, a place to stay and even a ride to the airport. For this – I thank you…

So, I do believe that everything happens for a reason – if you think about it in that way and allow yourself to believe it. If you go about your daily routine and never think about the subtle coincidences or big shifts that leave you wondering about WHY – remember this: It all happens for a reason.

Perhaps it’s time for YOU to step in and step up. Or, perhaps it’s simply time to slap on some skis and hit the mountain. 🙂

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

p.s. As I wrote this I was listening to some reggae music and this track from Ziggy Marley came on. His words resonated with me and I wanted to share them with you. Again, everything happens for a reason…

Life has come a long way since yesterday I say
And its not the same old thing over again I say
Just do what you feel and don’t you fool yourself I say
Cause I can’t make you happy unless I am I say I say I
Got to be true to myself got to be true to myself

How Often Should I Email My List?

I get asked all the time – how often should I email my list? I often answer “as many times as you can get away with.” Listen – the more they digest and consume your stuff and you educate them with your content – the better.

But, I usually 100% of the time answer with “it depends.” I know – it’s not the answer you want to hear. However, it really depends on a number of factors. Here’s what you need to consider before you decide how often you should email your list.

You have to know what your subscriber appetite is for your content. Are they hungry enough where if you gave them more high value / high content stuff (articles, videos, blog posts, etc.) each day – would they want it? Can you actually generate (and sustain generating) that much content? If the answer is yes – than I see keep sending until they say stop.

How will you know when they say stop? When the open rates start to go down and the opt-out starts to go up. That’s the easiest and quickest way to track your efforts.

Here are other factors to consider when deciding on email frequency to your list:

1. Determine what is your existing schedule for emailing your list? Is it random – meaning you email them whenever you feel like it? Or, do you have a pre-existing schedule like once a month or once a week? Once you set a schedule – it’s important to stick to it. They are conditioned to expect that schedule from you and you don’t want to decrease from it. Focus on trying to increase the frequency. Don’t go from more to less – always try to go from less to more. The end goal is to email your list more often but have it not significantly impact unsubscribes or open rates.

2. What is your market and subscriber conditioned to expect? What is their expected appetite when they subscribe? Are they the type who often spend their entire day in email (can email them more) or rarely check more than a few times a week (email them less.) Knowing that is a good indicator about how many times you can email them without doing too much and not giving them enough.

3. Content matters most. The more frequently you can send really good content (and it has to rock) – the better. There are some lists I subscribe to (like the Internet Marketing updates from HubSpot) that send maybe 1-2 emails every day. I don’t mind and pretty much open each email since the content is that good. If your stuff rocks – you should have no hesitation to send more of it.

4. Where are you in your email plans? Meaning – are you just sending out content or are you in a launch or campaign mode? During a launch or campaign often times subscribers are receiving more emails (and generally OK with it). As long as the increase in the volume of emails is complimented with good content and not banging them over the head every day for weeks on end.

5. Track it. In any change with regard to your emailing your list – always check your metrics to ensure it’s having the right impact and effect (and expected result) for your efforts.

I recommend at least once a week. I know for some people that sounds like a lot. And it is for someone just starting out. If that intimidates you – than perhaps try once every other week. But, think of this: Anything less than every other week is almost counterproductive. Waiting 14 days between sending a valuable piece of content to your list doesn’t do enough in terms of building a long lasting relationship with positive goodwill and nurturing the subscribers on your list.

The balance is finding the right schedule where your subscribers never think “I want more and I’m not getting enough” or “this is too much.”

Remember: “consistency breeds trust.” You have to commit and stick to the schedule that works best for you and your subscribers. Your peeps depend on it (more than you’ll ever know.)

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

How To Get On Page One of Google

I get asked all the time – how do I get my site to the top ranking on Google? If there was an easy and quick solution – we’d all be doing it – and we’d all be at the top page of Google.

But, it doesn’t work that way. It takes knowing what works – and the commitment (plus time and effort) to get the results.

We all want top rankings from Google. Why? As people online are increasingly using the Internet (and most of the time Google) to search for information or resources – top ranked websites in the Google search results are getting the most clicks. How much more traffic and visibility do the top ranking websites get in the results?

A ton… The top ranking gets more than 50% of the clicks from a search. #2 gets close to 14%. After that you’re in the single digits (and not even to mention if you’re not on page one of Google.) More clicks = more traffic = more leads.

So, it’s important to know how Google determines page rank. Page rank represents how important a site is on the Internet. Google figures that when one site links to another site, it is like a vote for the other site. The more votes – the more important the site must be.

But, the importance of the site that is casting the vote also determines how important the vote itself is. Google calculates a site’s importance from the votes cast for it. So, the importance of each vote is also taken into account when determining page rank.

It’s basically Google’s way of deciding a site’s importance. The more important the site, the higher it will appear in the page rankings.

I will break down the 3 most important concepts to increase your page ranking and get on page one of Google.

1. Content. Content is king – more important than anything else. No matter how slick or compelling your website looks – or how many other sites link to it – the content has to got to rock. It must be relevant and keyword rich for the search terms that people are looking for on Google. If you can create killer content and match that to exactly what people are searching for – you’ve reached Google page rank nirvana.

2. Consistency. Now that you’re churning out fresh and relevant content – you must do it consistently. Once a week just doesn’t work anymore. Writing an article for your newsletter once a week is not going to bring you a ton of traffic. Why? Because that content once a week won’t get you on page one of Google (top page rank.) What does? Blogging. You need to be blogging 2-3 times a week (if not more) to consistently put out new content that gets noticed and gets traffic. That will get you on page one of Google. And the blog posts don’t need to be long, drawn out articles (see content point above to ensure you’re putting out the best content.)

3. Compelling. If it’s not interesting to read or worth the time and effort for someone to consume it – don’t bother. Your content (blog posts and articles) literally has to rock the reader’s world. Keep it interesting and the reader will want to share it with others and comment on the relevance. This helps build visibility and back links (which helps your Google page rank.)

Want proof? At ClientAttraction.com we have generated twice weekly blog posts and video content around compelling marketing and mindset information – for very relevant and highly searched keywords (i.e. “how to implement more”, “avoid price resistance”, “how to delegate”) and we’re all #1 top ranking.

If you search for “how to implement more” on google.com – see what shows as top rank on page one. Of 279 million web pages – we’re #1. We didn’t even exist for that search phrase 4 weeks ago before we generated that content.

How did we do it? See #1, #2 and #3 above.

There you have it. An SEO lesson on Google page rank and 3 important strategies to ensure your site is up at the top. I look forward to seeing you there with me. 😎

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Why This Day Matters

To be honest I was hesitant to write a blog post about September 11. Thinking to myself – what does this memorable day 10 years ago have to do with Internet marketing?

First, I concluded nothing.

Then, after some consideration and thought I realized – EVERYTHING.

Ten years ago today I worked at One World Trade Center in NYC. My office was on the 38th floor and I was headed to work that day like so many others in lower Manhattan. Fortunately for me I was able to get out of the elevator (I was literally in the elevator heading up when the first plane hit) and then escaped through the black-lit fire stairway by climbing down all 38 floors to the ground. Once I ran outside and scurried to safety – the second plane had already hit.

After running 20 blocks north to get away from the catastrophe, I turned around and the last image I saw was the towers crumble to the ground. I was speechless and left having an enormous sense of remorse and guilt for having been lucky to escape. To this day I constantly think back about “what if” – and feel blessed to be here today.

I’ve had a lot of different emotions about how to feel today based on what happened 10 years ago. At first, “guilt” was a big part of it – but I’ve been able to embrace and appreciate so much more in my life from that horrific experience. I think like many other New Yorkers who were there that day – we’ll be forever changed – and have a different perspective on life. What always comes to mind is that Fabienne would have lost her fiance and my 3 beautiful children would never have been born.

From that perspective – is how I try to live my life every day. I try to live more in the moment – enjoying and savoring the little things that make each day special. It’s why I chose to leave my corporate job and join the ‘Entrepreneurial World’ with Fabienne. It’s why I put all of myself in coaching our clients on what I love to do most. And it’s also why I never take for granted an opportunity to kiss my wife, hug my children or say hello to a close friend. THIS is what matters most – and I’d ask you now – what matters most to you? How can you use your life to make a difference in other peoples’ lives through your business?

At the end of the day it’s not your email list or the marketing or the business that matters. It’s the connections and relationships that you have and the fortunate experience to live life to its fullest each and every day. And it’s also the way that you make a difference in peoples’ lives by doing your purpose here on earth.

I’ve never shared this publicly like this before, but I wanted to share it in the hope that you realize the tremendous impact you have on people every single day, even if you don’t realize it.

So let’s do this – make the most of the time that we’re here together. You’ll never know when you get another chance.

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Get Higher Open Rates With Split Testing Email Subject Lines

We all know the power of a compelling, engaging and thought-provoking email subject line. It’s the key to cracking the code of having your subscribers open your emails, read your content and click links to get to your sales pages, blog posts and landing pages. I shared all this in a previous post about the chain of online marketing.

And one of my earliest posts about how to create compelling email subject lines received some great feedback and response from readers as well.

However, there’s something missing that makes it all work together: Knowing what email subject lines work best. But, how do you know?

Split Testing.

That’s right – you need to split test different email subject lines to see which ones get higher open rates. Once you begin to see different open rates for different email subject lines, you’ll begin to incorporate the elements of the higher open rate email subject lines in your emails going forward.

For example, let’s say you’re about to send an email to your list of 1,000 subscribers on a new blog post. The first thing you need to do before even thinking about the body of the email is come up with the subject line. You need to answer these questions:

What is engaging and interesting to the viewer?
What is compelling and thought provoking to the viewer?
What is going to make your email “stand out” from the rest in their inbox?
What is going to get a reaction like – “wow, that’s cool – I’ve got to read that!”

So, you come up with a basic email subject line and then continue with the rest of the email and send it out to your list. Chances are you had a few different ideas or variations of the subject line – but you just couldn’t decide.

That’s where split testing comes in. Instead of using just one email subject line, split test using your #2 choice and see what the response is. If you did just one email subject line and that generated an open rate of 30% – great. But, if you chose to split test the second subject line and got an open rate of 40% – bingo. You know which one would work better for you in the future.

I’ll explain it this way. An open rate of 30% for 500 people and 40% for the other 500 people is not as good as an open rate of 35% for 1000 people. Why? You don’t have the benefit of knowing that the subject line of 40% worked best and be able to refer to the elements of that email subject line in the future for higher open rates.

I split test pretty much every email I send out. And pretty much every email marketing system can support it relatively easily. I’m a stickler for split testing as many different email subject lines to see which ones generate the highest open rates.

Here are some examples:

Even a subtle change with the word “the” and “here” made a 9% difference in open rate…

But here’s a real good example:

65% vs. 47%. Which open rate would you prefer? And look at the difference in the subject line. One is referring to my blog post and actually telling the reader to “open up!” which is pretty compelling on asking them to take action. The other one is more curious and thought provoking about how getting an optin is like getting a kiss on the cheek (I liked that one.) This one is clearly more engaging and interesting and thus got a higher open rate. So, I’ll clearly be using more subject lines like this going forward.

Split testing email subject lines is one of the best ways to gauge how your list responds to your marketing efforts – often better than your emails and web copy.

So, the question is: Are you giving it enough thought? Try split testing for your next email campaign and see what the results are for higher open rates. You’ll be glad you did.

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

The Skinny on Google+

The Skinny on Google+In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a new kid on the social media block. And our friendly online giant, Google, brings it to us.

I’ve had a lot of questions about Google+ ranging from how to use it and is it worth paying attention to. Many people out there are calling it the “Facebook Killer” but I don’t see it like that. The social media landscape is vast and varied enough that there is (currently) enough room for another player in the game. I say – bring it on! Google is obviously a HUGE player in the online world so anything they do – you pretty much HAVE TO pay attention to it.

Google+ is offered on practically all Google products (Gmail, Google.com, Google Docs, etc.), and its adoption is spreading quickly. I heard recently it attracted more than 10 million user registrations in the first two weeks (more than Facebook or Twitter during their initial launch phase.)

But, as a marketer – what do you need to know? What’s the lowdown on Google+ to help you with marketing and your online presence?

Well, here’s what you need to know as this new player starts to emerge.

In a nutshell, Google+ enables real-time updates (like Twitter) and lets you stay in touch with “circles” of friends (similar to Facebook, but with easier options for creating and viewing groups). You can also check into places with it (like FourSquare).

So, what’s in it for us marketers? Although Google+ is still relatively new, we can already see what it has as potential from a marketing perspective.

+1 Feature. Similar to Facebook Like – it allows you to promote and share webpages and content online by ‘+1’ the page. So, many marketers have already started to add Google’s “+1” feature to content pages and websites. That means more user engagement for you from your website visitors and another method for people to spread the content and get the word out.

SEO. Just like with any other method of social promotion, the more +1’s your content gets, the more likely Google will consider the topic relevant to those search terms. It’s a recent SEO trend, which relies more on recommendations and people suggesting relevant content as opposed to “black and white” marketing strategies to get your content on the top pages of Google. So, over time Google will factor +1 scores into its search algorithm. When you write about a subject on Google+ and your circle (friends) Google that subject, your comments and links are displayed on page on of Google.

User Intelligence. The more you use Google+, the smarter the platform gets as recognizing your usage and recommending items in your News Feed. You’ll start seeing increasingly relevant updates and content coming from within your network – meaning users most interested in what you have to say will find your content more easily, and will be more likely to refer to it and share it.

Influence. Google+ is another way for users to share what they’re reading and watching. Right now, the people on Google+ are people – it’s not available to companies or brands yet. So, the early adopters and users of this platform are able to establish the trend and how interactive the platform is with their network. So, the biggest influencers on Google+ will become the most active and influential sharers of content.

Even though Google+ is just starting out, its reach and ease of use make its implications for online marketers worth consideration. Join today and stay tuned to see where it goes!

Here’s an amazing secret to use Google as a marketer:

+1 notices are posted in everyone’s Gmail inbox – meaning if you +1 something it has the potential to show up right in someone’s Gmail inbox – which is where they are spending most of their time anyway – in EMAIL. This point alone makes Google+ a must for any marketer.

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live it!

p.s. Check me out on Google+ here. http://gplus.to/derekf and check out http://gplus.to to get your own customized Google+ URL.

Make More Money With A Responsive Email List

My most recent product launch taught me a lot about my list. And, as one of subscribers or readers, I thought I’d share what I learned so you can perhaps learn something as well for your online business. I share some important ideas and strategies about how to condition your email list to ‘respond’ to and ‘engage with’ your offers, so you can make more money as a result.

Not many marketers talk about the condition of your email list, but it’s an important concept to understand. The idea is to understand how ‘responsive’ your list is to your emails. One great indicator to the condition or responsive of your list is to measure your open rates. The higher the open rate – the more engaged and responsive your subscribers are to reading your emails and consuming your content. They are literally “conditioned” to engage and open and read your emails. They know-like-trust you and you’ve built a great connection and relationship with them where they want to read your emails – and will do so regularly. One would say this list is well conditioned to respond to you and your information.

But opening emails is not the only way to measure the condition of your list.

You actually have to present offers to your list and see what their appetite is to buy. Examples:

  • List A has 100,000 subscribers and many of them are conditioned to not buy because they are just sold too way too often and never receive any valuable content. The owner of List A makes very little money as a result.
  • List B has 10,000 subscribers and many of them would be conditioned to buy but they never do because the owner of List B is too hesitant to actually launch something and ask the subscribers to buy something. The owner of List B makes very little money as a result.
  • List C has 1,000 subscribers and many of them are conditioned to buy (and do) because the owner of List C is regularly putting out offers that are well balanced with the content and value he gives to the subscribers for free. The owner of List C makes good money as a result and his subscribers are happy.

Which list would you rather own? Notice it’s not all about list size…

To be clear, I’m not talking about asking your list to buy through endless emails about your offer all the time over and over again until they buy, delivering no content or value whatsoever. Nope. I’m talking about doing a launch and offering a genuine product or program to get subscribers to take action and buy. If you never ask, you’ll never know if they’re responsive to the offers you’d potentially put out there. Not too mention the missed revenue opportunities.

So many people are hesitant to email so often and scared people will opt-out and leave. Here’s the deal:

I just emailed my list 5 times in 4 days – all pretty much about buying a product (at a high $497 price) – and I had 2 people opt-out. That’s from almost 1,000 people. I actually had more new people opt-in this week than ever before. Why? My list is conditioned and expects to receive offers now and then (albeit infrequent) along with the excellent content and high-value information I give my subscribers. They’re fine with the balance and so me asking them to buy a few times here and there is OK – very few of them left. That’s my relationship with my list and that’s how my list is ‘conditioned.’

Giving valuable offers to your list about buying something (in moderation) will start to condition your list to allow and expect it. Over time they will be even more responsive to future offers when provided along with your excellent content and value you’re giving them.

Remember the notion of the 80/20 rule when it applies to your list? 20% of your list will respond 80% of the time – and they are the ones that will read and engage and respond to your emails most frequently. The other 80% pretty much do nothing all the time. If they opt-out, so be it. Move on and focus on the more engaged people on your list. They’re the ones that matter.

So, stay in touch with your list – don’t go dormant. Hang around and add value and ask your valued subscribers to buy something every now and then. I just did with my list – and made a nice 5-figures by sending 5 emails and shooting some funny video.

I don’t say this to brag – but to show pretty much anyone can do it.

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

p.s. If you want to see the exact emails I used as part of my email campaign for my recent launch, click here. Take note: sending these emails to your list may not yield the same result. Tweak for your own purpose.