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 Perhaps it’s time to replace that outdated “free report” or “eBook” with an even higher value freebie to offer site visitors.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!

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!

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!

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.

Do You Know The Chain of Online Marketing?

As marketers we are sometimes perplexed why a particular program or product is not selling. We created a great offer, wrote the sales page, sent the emails and people are just not buying. What went wrong? Was it the offer or the sales copy or the emails? We scratch our heads and wonder why.

Well, it has to do with all the individual steps as part of the online sales process. One breakdown in the chain can cause the whole campaign to fall apart and it won’t be successful. When you look at each of the links in the chain – they all have to perform and convert in order for the overall campaign to be successful.

Here’s what I mean:

A product doesn’t sell online unless it has a compelling offer. It can’t just be positioned on it’s own without some juicy incentives and a strong call to action to motivate prospects to buy. This will include flexible pricing plans, bonuses, scarcity and a guarantee.

But alone a strong offer won’t work. You need compelling sales copy…

A sales page won’t convert unless it has compelling sales copy. A strong headline and compelling sales copy that speaks to the emotions and thoughts of the prospects that convince them that what you’re offering will solve their problem or be the answer to the question they’ve been asking. This will include video, testimonials and motivating sales language to engage them to buy.

But alone a strong offer and compelling sales copy won’t work. You need a high click-through-rate in your email…

Prospects won’t click on the links in your email unless you have compelling and motivating clickable links in your emails. The click-through-rate is what indicates what % of people read your emails and feel interested enough to click the link in the email to see what you have to offer. This will include using bold and CAPS and highlighting keywords in the clickable links to get them to click.

But alone a strong offer and compelling sales copy and motivating clickable links in your email won’t work. You need compelling email copy…

Readers have to feel engaged and motivated when reading your emails. Writing compelling and engaging email copy will motivate them to take the next step. And you need to keep your email copy interesting – so the reader wants more. This includes mixing up the format and including both small and long paragraphs; perhaps also using images in the email (or even video images).

But alone a strong offer and compelling sales copy and motivating clickable links in your email and compelling email copy won’t work. You need a thought provoking email subject line…

This is where it all begins. Your email subject line is the first introduction to what you present before anything else. It has to be thought provoking and interesting and motivates people to open the email and wanting to read more.

So, see how it all ties together. Prospects will never see your offer or get to your sales page or click your links or read your emails unless you get them to open your emails. All the steps matter – and a few words in the email subject line is often times what matters most…

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

Strike Them While The Iron Is Hot

Strike is a little bit of a harsh word for the concept I describe here but I think the phrase, “strike them while the iron is hot” applies most definitely. The word is not overly “authentic” – but the topic is extremely authentic and important in developing an amazing “first-impression” with your newly added leads.

The concept is this: Too many marketers (and I mean WAY too many marketers) don’t bother with the immediate follow up when a new lead joins their list. In so many ways and on so many levels they just miss the boat completely. How do I know? I see it way too often.

I subscribe to hundreds (yes, hundreds) of email lists. Only about 10% I open and read regularly. Why? Most likely those are the ones where I was immediately identified and treated not as a number – but as a brand new person as part of their community. I was treated extraordinarily well vs. any other “list” I was part of. In essence, the marketer (list owner) responded to me immediately while I “just opted in” at a time when I was most interested, engaged, curious and motivated to respond to their emails and offers. Needless to say, I was HOT! 🙂

Basically – they spoke to me while I was hot. Hot meaning – just after opt in.

So, I’ll help you out. Here are some of the biggest no-nos when it comes to responding to new leads to your list. If you’re doing any (or worse, all) of these – you’re missing MASSIVE opportunities in build a long-term relationship with your prospect so they’re likely to buy from you or work with you.

  • Not emailing immediately when they opt-in. And I mean the SECOND they opt-in. Not next day or worse – NO acknowledgement at all. A cookie-cutter double opt-in request from your email marketing system doesn’t count
  • Not thanking them for joining. You can’t email them immediately about whatever it is about YOU. It has to be about them and genuinely thanking them first and foremost goes a long way
  • Not giving them the IFO. If you offer an ethical bribe like a free report or audio MP3 – give it to them immediately and make it easy for them. Don’t wait until the next day or have them click multiple links to get what they actually wanted in the first place
  • Not emailing them the day after. And, I don’t mean just emailing them your regular stuff (i.e. ezine) like anyone else on your list. They are different. Yes, they are special. They just joined – acknowledge that in a next day follow up and engage them that way

It’s like dating: the act of someone joining your list is like they give you a kiss on the cheek after a first date. They’re interested. They’re thinking, “We’re dating now. Show me what you’ve got and I’ll think about giving more.”

You want to treat them differently than anyone else and they’ll respond. Better yet, remind them why they were originally interested and SHOW them what you can do for them and they’ll respond. Better yet, make them feel special and talk to them! ‘Talk to them’ actually means email them! Too many marketers are afraid of emailing newly added leads in fear of they will opt-out. Wrong! If you email them using the ideas I mention above they will respond and respect you even more. Again, strike them while the iron is hot.

What happens if you DON’T do this?

The worse happens. Which brings me back to the 90% of email lists I belong to… Your emails are auto-achived, rules and folders are created – and your emails go into a folder that people will get around to reading… LATER. And, later means NEVER! This is otherwise known as the “black hole” of email where you DON’T want to end up. So, treat your new leads well while they’re hot and you’ll ensure more email opens, more engagement and higher conversion in sales in the future.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Slice and Dice Your List for Better Results

There is no disputing the power of email marketing. The ability to write an email, click the “Send” button and communicate to the “’masses” on your list is powerful. Is it almost TOO powerful? Well, if you’re not segmenting your list effectively – you’re marketing to the masses. Not enough marketers take advantage of email segmentation. Email segmentation is the ability to slice and dice your subscriber list into smaller sub-lists based on different categories, actions or other characteristics.

When you segment your list, you can use the data that you have about the different subscribers in your list to create smaller, more targeted sub-groups. Using the power of list segmentation – you can send more targeted, relevant emails to those smaller groups triggering a higher response and increase your results.

The simplest example is segmenting your list between prospects and customers. Think about it. Even though some information in your emails is appropriate for both audiences, there is definitely content that will serve one group more than the other. Your subscribers will enjoy the emails that you send them more, if the content is relevant and timely to their specific needs.

Now before you start thinking this is going to be technically hard or tricky – it’s actually pretty straightforward when you look at it from the perspective of HOW you want to segment your list. Don’t worry about the technical “setup” – just focus on the most relevant and meaningful sub-lists that you require. Most email marketing systems and their support staff can easily help to set it all up for you. Email marketing systems like Aweber, 1ShoppingCart and Infusionsoft support this (some more so than others.)

Is it worth it? Totally…

Some email marketing studies have shown that upwards of 40% of people have higher open rates when they segment their email lists. 28% showed lower unsubscribe rates and 24% have experienced bigger revenues. It seems to me that it’s worth some effort to see if you can segment your list to improve your results.

Start off by doing simple list segmentation (like I described above) with prospects vs. clients and then move onto further segmentation (i.e. different sub-lists for different types of clients.) You can also segment by some of the basic information like demographics and geographic information if you have that available in your database.

Also, be sure you take the time to actually STUDY the results of your list segmenting efforts. If you aren’t testing or tracking the effectiveness of your emails in terms of open rates and click-through rates – then it’s not worth the effort.

Chances are your overall email marketing effectiveness (and revenues) will improve and your subscribers will thank you for it.

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

Your Assignment:
How can you segment your subscriber list? Spend some time seeing what information you have in your email marketing system that you can use to segment your “main” list into smaller “sub lists” and then develop (actually map out) email campaigns focused on those specific sub groups to get a higher response. Interested in finding out more about list segmentation and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.

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Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include: Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

What Is The Real Value Of Your List?

People talk about list size all the time. The myth out there is the bigger list – the bigger the revenue. As we know, that’s really not the case. A smaller and more authentic list can yield massive revenues than a much larger and less responsive list. It all comes down to the value you provide to your list and in return the monetary value (in terms of sales) yielded back to you.

So, the question is: how best can I measure the value of my list?

DVPSPM

Huh?

That stands for Dollar Value Per Subscriber Per Month. And take it from me – it’s a magical number. It’s actually one of the most important benchmarks I personally use to track the responsiveness and monetization of a list.

Here’s how it works:

Take your revenues. This is total revenue (not income; don’t subtract expenses) for a given period. I like to track this by month but you can retroactively go back and track for an annual period (say for all of 2010) for EACH month.

Take your list size. This is total size of your list you send for email marketing. Again, it’s best to track this by month and you can easily search in your email marketing system by a date created field to get a total number of subscribers for a GIVEN month (say for each month of 2010).

Take your revenues and DIVIDE it by your list size. Example:

April 2011 Revenues $10,000.

April 2011 list size 2,500

= $4 Dollar Value Per Subscriber for April 2011

Now, what’s real interesting is looking at that benchmark over time for different months. If your list is growing in size – are your revenues growing accordingly? The idea is that as you grow your list – you grow your sales (more people on the list to buy). But, your marketing efforts and the responsiveness of your list to your offers needs to stay in line. Your list gets too stale (not growing the list) and revenues increase – the dollar value per subscriber diminishes. Your list grows really quickly (through JV’s or other list building strategies) and your revenues decrease – same result. However, if you increase your list AND increase your revenues steadily each and every month – LIST MONETIZATION NIRVANA.

The goal is this: always focus on having an increasing number month to month. That means in a nutshell your list size is increasing AND your revenues are increasing.

What’s a benchmark to start with? I’ve heard in the true Internet Marketing space that $1 DVPSPM is a good benchmark. Anything around the $10 mark is golden – so let’s shoot for that. Remember, the more authentic and “value creation” list you have – will yield a bigger payday.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Setup a Rock-Solid Sequence to Build Your List

Often times we overlook the basics when it comes to list building. We (and me included) get distracted by all the bright-shiny-objects out there that we overlook the tried-and-true methods of consistently and systematically building your list. Simple things like “setting up the steps” we take for granted – when those are the factors that often matter most in order to massively build your list with little effort.

In this article I share critical strategies about how a rock-solid sequence is required to consistently and systematically build your list. Why? You need a well-designed sequence to ensure everything works like a well-oiled machine. Without it, you’ll never have a superstar strategy in place that allows you to go out there and build your list in droves.

The first step in a sequence is selecting the system. By system I mean email marketing system. You need to have something. Sending emails via Gmail or Outlook to your list just doesn’t cut it. I’m talking about using anything like Aweber, ConstantContact, 1ShoppingCart, Infusion, etc. You need to pay the money and invest the time to set it up and get the email templates in place. Remember, you just need to set it up once and then its there working for you. Setup your system properly (get some technical help if you need to) with the right templates and auto-responders so they are pre-canned emails that work for you, automatically. You’re not going to be in there and randomly or manually sending emails to your list when you remember to follow up with them. Your job is to find the traffic – your system has the job to convert them on your list. It has to be a “system.”

The second step in a sequence is selecting the stuff. By stuff I mean what are you actually sending them when they opt-in and beyond? If they’ve chosen your IFO and you’ve delivered that – what else are you sending them? Is it just email copy (words) or something more? Can you send them audio or video or perhaps another great piece of content that you know will help them? How are you doing it? Plain text or HTML email? Strategically think and then map out what your readers are looking for most and then deliver it to them. But – not all at once. That’s what our last step in the sequence is for.

The last step in a sequence is the actual steps in the campaign. This is one most people overlook and it’s usually the most important. The steps are a must-have when it comes to list building. You need to map out first on paper what you want to happen when someone opts-in to your list. You need to determine what emails to send and when. Think about it from the perspective of the opt-in. What number of emails makes the most sense and when? Actually map them out and write them out before you build it into the system. For example, I have a six-email auto-responder campaign when someone joins my list. It’s spread out over a 15-day period. Yes, that’s 6 emails in a little over two weeks. Why? I want them to take an action in each email and I use high-content and high-value information to trigger that action. My emails are designed to generate a response each and every time. That way my subscribers are engaged and motivated to take action.

So, it pays to develop a sequence. Set it up once and then focus on the BIG stuff – getting traffic to your site and converting your prospects to leads and leads into clients.

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

Your Assignment:
What sequence do you have in place when new people join your list? Have you strategically mapped out and is it effectively working for you?. Think about the response you’re looking to generate with each and every email you send as part of an auto-responder campaign and see what emails and when you send them could be improved. Interested in finding out more about email sequences and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.

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Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include: Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

The Importance Of Where You Host Videos

Video rocks. There is no denying it. And furthermore, there is no disputing that video helps conversion across the board. From landing pages to squeeze pages to sales pages – chances are if you use video – you’ll attract more leads and convert more sales. Period.

But, have you ever given any thought to where you ‘host’ your videos? I mean does it matter if you use YouTube or Viddler? Or what about private hosting like ezs3.com or flowplayer.org? Does it even matter?

Yes, it does. Here’s why:

Videos are all about getting a response. Now, the response you want your viewers to take depends on the action you want them to take. And, where you host your videos will help dictate what action is intended for them to take. Meaning – different hosting options for videos will support and dictate what type of response your viewer can (or cannot) take.

For example, if you’re hosting a video on a squeeze page or a sales page – what is the desired response from the viewer? Opt-in (in case of a squeeze page) or buy (in case of a sales page.) Correct? So, in that scenario, it makes complete sense to host your videos on a professional service where there is no other option for the viewer to take. You don’t want them to click on the video and get pop up ads or invitations to watch other videos or anything like that. The model is this: watch and opt-in or watch and buy. Nothing else. I prefer to NOT have a player bar (that shows the timer at the bottom of the video) to restrict the ability for the user to fast-forward the video. The professional video hosting services can be enhanced to add your logo or branding to your videos as well as offer clickable-links directly in the videos to your shopping cart or buying process.

However, if you’re posting a video in a blog post or article – where the desired response from the viewer is to comment on your blog or share it with others through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter – I would definitely recommend using a social video hosting service like YouTube or Viddler. I actually welcome the idea that the viewer is inspired by the video so they click on it and see my video channel with ALL my other videos where they can watch them, comment about them, share them, etc. That’s the intent. Branding your ‘social’ videos on a social site like YouTube makes sense.

So… it DOES matter how and where you host the video. Think about it the next time you’re producing videos and automatically choose the same service over-and-over again for hosting. You need to mix it up to get the desired result from your viewers.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!