16 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Get More Email Subscribers in Less than 5 Minutes

Businesses, bloggers, and entrepreneurs live and die by their email marketing.

“The money,” as it’s often said, “is in the list.”

That’s why there are so many great articles out there offering strategies for getting more leads and boosting conversion rates.

But what if you’re short on time? What if you’re not technologically savvy?

Since most list-building strategies are geared towards advanced users with seemingly infinite amounts of time on their hands, your Average Pat is often left out in the cold.

Not this time.

This article is for those sleep-deprived bloggers with day jobs. It’s for the parents juggling twenty things at once. It’s for the hopeful entrepreneur who is not quite ready for A/B testing, search engine optimization, and other gobbledygook.

It’s for anyone who needs easy list-building strategies that can be implemented in less than 5 minutes.

Ready? Let’s get started…

1. Add an Exit-Intent® Popup

Hey, did you know that over 70% of the people who leave your website will never return?

Did you know you can convert many of these abandoning users into email subscribers with one simple trick?

It’s called Exit-Intent® Technology. It detects user behavior and prompts them with an optin form when they’re about to leave.

Here’s How You Do It

You can create an Exit-Intent® popup in a matter of minutes.

Just follow our guide to create your first campaign. Then go to Display Rules » If… and choose “exit detected.” After that, choose the level of sensitivity you want.

Or, follow this easy video tutorial:

Don’t have OptinMonster yet? Click here to get started!

2. Add an Optin at End of Articles

Readers who reach the end of your article are primed.

Your headline grabbed their attention. Your introduction drew them in like moths to a flame. Your bullet points and anecdotes kept them on the edge of their seats.

Of the millions of articles they could have read, they read yours. And they read until the very end.

They like you. They really, really like you.

That’s why the end of your article is the perfect time to ask them to join your mailing list.

Here’s How You Do It

Adding a call to action in your author bio and the end of each article is a great way to strike while the iron is hot. Here’s how Jeff Goins does it:

But what if your blog’s theme lacks an author bio section? What if your website has numerous authors?

Then you can use OptinMonster to create an after-content widget with some enticing copy to compel your most-engaged readers to subscribe. All you need is an inline campaign and a compelling Call to Action (CTA). Lilach Bulloch uses inline forms to help her convert 57% of website visitors.

Case Study: See How Lilach Bullock Converted 57% of Visitors with Strategic Messaging Repetition!

Readers who make it to the end of your articles are focused. They’re engaged and looking for direction.

Direct them to your email list.

And while you’re doing that …

3. Turn Popular Posts into Lead Magnets

It has many names.

Lead magnets, giveaways, ethical bribes…

Whatever you call it, it’s mighty effective at compelling readers to subscribe to your email list:

“Want this neat bonus? It’s free! I just need your email address…”

But here’s the thing:

Creating lead magnets can be tricky.

What if you don’t have time to write an ebook or create a PDF checklist? What if producing an email or video series is more than you can do right now? What if creating dazzling infographics is beyond your current skill set?

If this describes you, it doesn’t mean you’re resigned to a fate of sitting on the sidelines while everyone else gains more email subscribers.

Not if you have 30 seconds to spare.

That’s all the time it takes to convert one of your popular articles into a handy, easy-to-print, PDF file.

Go to Print Friendly and enter the URL of the article you’d like to convert. Click the “PDF” button. Click “Download.”

Then all you have to do is offer it and deliver it to visitors. And that’s a simple process with OptinMonster.

Here’s How You Do It

All you need to do to deliver your lead magnet is to use one of OptinMonster’s Success Themes.

Go to the Success View in the OptinMonster campaign builder.

Choose the button on your optin and click Editing Button Element » Action. You’re going to edit the Action to redirect to a URL by entering the download URL for your lead magnet.

Here are some more ways to deliver your lead magnet when people sign up.

Pretty easy, right? Almost as easy as…

4. Using Content Locking

You know what’s a really quick way to get more subscribers without having to create new content?

Content locking.

It’s where you block off part of the content visitors are reading until they subscribe. And it’s easy to do with OptinMonster. In fact, Trading Strategy Guides added 11,000 new subscribers by using it.

Case Study: See How Trading Strategy Guides Added 11,000 Subscribers With A Content Locking Script!

Here’s How You Do It

First, you’ll want to identify which of your blog posts have the highest traffic. If you’re using WordPress, you can easily see your most popular posts in your dashboard by using MonsterInsights.

Or, you can use Google Analytics. Just click on Behavior » Site Content » Landing Pages. By default, it will show you data for the past 7 days. You can use the date range selector in the top right corner to get a longer view.

Create an after-post or inline campaign as described earlier, then go to Optin » Inline Settings in the OptinMonster campaign builder. Click the “Lock Content Below Campaign?” toggle to activate it, then choose how you want content to be blocked. You can either blur it with Obfuscation or remove it completely

That’s it! Once visitors subscribe, they’ll magically get access to the content, and you’ll have new subscribers.

You can check out our guide to gated content marketing for more details on this strategy.

You could also…

5. Use a 2-Step Optin

Want to know a neat psychological trick that’s proven to increase email signups? It’s the Zeigarnik effect.

This bit of human psychology just means we’re primed to finish an action we start. And it’s why OptinMonster’s 2-step optins are so successful.

Here’s How You Do It

Choose a popup campaign, go to Display Rules » visitor clicked MonsterLink™ to enable MonsterLink™. Then click the “Copy MonsterLink™” button to copy the code. You can add it to any page on your site.

When visitors click the link, your email subscription campaign will appear.

Here’s an example of a 2-step optin used by the US Student Loan Center. This is what visitors see when they click the link.

For more detailed step-by-step instructions, see our guide on how to use MonsterLinks to load your popup with the click of a button.

6. Try a Different Button Color

What color is your optin button?

If you answered “I don’t know” or “what does it matter?” you’re potentially missing out on an easy way to increase optins.

Did you know 85% of shoppers say color is a primary reason for why they buy a certain product?

Did you know the color blue creates a sensation of trust? Red a sense of urgency? Green a sense of relaxation?

By knowing how people perceive different colors and using this knowledge to your advantage, you can increase the likelihood someone will want to join your email list.

Here’s How You Do It

If you’re using OptinMonster, it’s pretty easy to change the button colors in any campaign. Just click on the button, and you’ll see the editing options on the left. Click on the color button to popup the color picker and choose your new color.

So what color should you use?

Research into color and conversions says it depends on the context.

All the psychology in the world won’t matter if your CTA color blends into the background, so be sure to choose a color that stands out from the rest of your blog or website.

And while we’re on the subject of buttons…

7. Split Test Button Copy

Do you use generic copy such as “Subscribe” or “Sign Up” for your optin buttons? If so, I have bad news for you:

It’s actually your CTA button’s copy – not its color or positioning – that matters most.

If you’ve never given your button’s copy a passing thought, it’s time to remedy the situation.

Provide value and relevance, but be sure not to exaggerate.

Keep it simple, but don’t be boring. It’s okay to use two sentences so long as they are short.

One particularly effective strategy is to personalize your optin button.

Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers suggests writing button copy in the first person. By personalizing the words, they become more appealing to the reader.

Let’s look at a few examples.

Which sounds better?

Which wording can you relate to?

Which button would you rather click?

The differences are subtle, but during her testing, Joanne found first-person pronouns (“I” and “my”) beat the competition by a whopping 24%.

Sometimes, “subtle” can be huge.

To get the same data on your button, you’ll need to split test. This is easy with OptinMonster.

Here’s How You Do It

Login to OptinMonster, and click on the three-dot menu to the right of the campaign you want to split test.

Select A/B Split Test,” then “Create Split Test.” Name your split test and you’ll get a duplicate of your campaign.

Then change one element of your campaign, like the button wording. Save and publish the campaign, and OptinMonster will automatically divide your traffic and collect data so you know which one works best.

8. Prominently Display Testimonials

Did you know OptinMonster is recommended by the likes of Michael Stelzner, Ian Cleary, and Yoast?

Of course you did.

OptinMonster prominently displays these heavy hitters on our homepage and Testimonials page. There’s no way you could miss them.

Why do we do this? Because it shows we’re the real deal.

People won’t give their hard-earned money or email address to simply anyone. They want to know you’re on the up and up.

Offering testimonials helps build trust, and more trust means more email subscribers.

Here’s How You Do It

Go find a great endorsement you’ve received.

Look at the reviews people have given you. Browse through your comments and emails. Search for mentions on social media.

Be A Better Blogger found its featured testimonial when the great Amy Harrison tweeted the following:

This tweet was turned into a testimonial that’s displayed whenever a reader clicks on one of Be A Better Blogger’s MonsterLinks™:

That optin form? It’s currently sporting an awesome 26.09% conversion rate.

I’m no mathematician, but it would appear Testimonial + OptinMonster = More Email Subscribers.

Of course, all the awesome testimonials in the world won’t help you if readers can’t see them, so…

9. Remove Distractions

How many widgets do you have in your website’s sidebar?

How many different calls to action are at the end of your articles?

How many choices are your visitors given?

If you’re inundating your readers with options, how can they be expected to take the one action you want them to take?

Want more email subscribers? You need to cut down on the clutter.

Here’s How You Do It

The following screenshot from Henneke Duistermaat is a perfect example of a landing page that focuses on what’s important: getting that email address.

Per Henneke, this landing page has converted as high as 59.6 percent.

It’s easy to see why. Every aspect – from the headline to the testimonial – is designed to increase conversions. There are no social media icons, advertisements, or anything else to distract readers from the task at hand.

What lessons can we learn from Henneke’s landing page?

We should remove distractions. We shouldn’t prioritize our social media icons. We should move the “search” option (which few people ever use) to the footer. We should stick to one CTA for each article.

We should get rid of anything that doesn’t help us earn more email subscribers.

Here are some more tips on creating high-converting landing pages.

And while we’re removing unnecessary items…

10. Stop Asking for Too Much Information

On your optin forms, do you ask for “name” in addition to “email address”?

If so, let me ask you a question…

Do you need it? Do you do anything with that information?

If the answer is “no”, you need to stop asking people to provide it. A/B test after A/B test confirms the more information you ask from readers, the less likely they are to optin.

Keep it short and sweet.

Stick to the bare essentials. Only ask for the information you need.

Here’s How You Do It

Don’t need names? Don’t ask for them. Have no use for phone numbers? Don’t ask people to input them.

Just keep it simple.

The less data you request, the more email subscribers you’ll earn.

Customizing your optin form fields is easy to do with OptinMonster and it works on any campaign. Simply choose the fields you want on your form. It’s all drag and drop.

11. Share Your Campaign Everywhere

You know what the trouble is with some email campaigns?

There are limits to where you can share them.

It stands to reason that the more places you can display campaigns, the more chances you have to get more subscribers.

Luckily, this couldn’t be simpler with OptinMonster.

Here’s How You Do It

Once you’ve created a campaign you’re happy with, go to the publishing options. One of those is a Shareable MonsterLink™.

Grab the link, and add it anywhere you want to show the campaign – social media, author bios, email signature and more.

See how simple that was?

And speaking of places to add a link…

12. Link to a Campaign in Your Twitter Bio

Right now, what information is in your Twitter bio?

Your occupation? A personal quote that holds special meaning to you? Perhaps a hashtag or two or ten?

Why don’t you use that precious real estate to promote your email list?

That’s how Brent Jones used his Twitter bio:

Simple, effective, and takes minutes to implement.

Here are some more ways to get leads from Twitter.

Here’s How You Do It

While logged into your Twitter account, click the “Edit profile” button on the right-hand side of your profile page. You’ll then be able to change your name, profile and header photos, bio, and more:

Once you’ve added a link to your bio, click “Save changes” and admire your handiwork.

But there’s still somewhere else you can add that link…

13. Add an Optin Link to Your Email Signature

In a given day, how many emails do you send? Ten? Twenty? More?

If you’re like most people, the answer is: “A lot. I send lots and lots of emails.”

What if I told you each of those emails you send is an opportunity – either an opportunity lost or an opportunity gained?

By placing a hyperlinked CTA in your email signature, you have the ability to turn every recipient into a subscriber.

Here’s How You Do It

Each email provider is slightly different, but for Gmail go to Settings » General. Scroll down and you’ll find the Signature section:

The link in your signature could point to a landing page, your homepage (assuming it’s optimized), or an article with a particularly-appealing optin bribe.

14. Be More Social

Chances are you already spend several hours each week on various social media platforms.

That’s good – in a recent Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner noted how a majority of marketers increase leads when they use social media for 6+ hours each week.

Ah, but there’s a catch.

How you’re using those 6+ hours each week matters.

Sharing videos of kittens and puppies won’t help you unless your business is related to kittens and puppies. Publishing photos of food won’t help you unless you’re a chef or restaurant owner. Live tweeting a Kardashian TV show won’t help you unless… well, it’ll probably never help you.

To see the lead-generating benefits of social media, you need to be purposeful with those 6+ hours.

Here’s How You Do It

Be helpful. Answer questions. Share worthwhile content. Reach out to people. Make connections.

If people find you indispensable on social media, they’re going to want more of you.

More helpful advice. More answers to their questions. More worthwhile content.

And where will they go to get “more”?

Your email list.

15. Add a “Subscribe” Check Box

If you’re a WordPress user, there are two plugins that can boost optins with little-to-no upkeep. Just ensure the plugins stay up to date and you’re good to go.

But don’t worry, you’ll be notified when there are updates available in your WordPress dashboard!

The first plugin is WPForms, which you can use to add a subscribe checkbox to any form on your site. This works with the most popular email service providers including MailChimp, Constant Contact, and AWeber.

With one simple click, readers can optin to your mailing list while submitting your contact form, or any other form. It makes subscribing very easy, and readers tend to like easy.

You can check out these step-by-step tutorials on how to add a MailChimp signup checkbox to your contact form or see the tutorials for AWeber and Constant Contact instead.

Ready for the second plugin?

16. Add a “Thanks for Commenting” Redirect

The second plugin we mentioned is Yoast Comment Hacks.

When someone leaves you a comment for the very first time, this plugin redirects them to a “thank you” page. Ramsay Taplin of Blog Tyrant uses this page to encourage subscriptions:

Check out these step-by-step instructions on how to set up an after-comment redirect on your WordPress site.

If you ask readers to subscribe when they are engaged (and it’s hard to get more engaged than “leaving a comment for the first time ever”), the odds of them taking you up on your offer are pretty good.

It’s Time To Increase Subscribers

You realize they’re yours for the taking, right?

Your ideal customer? Those readers who will hang on your every word? The people who will advocate for you and preach your virtues to their friends?

They’re all out there… ready to join your email list.

You just need to make it as easy for them to do so as possible.

OptinMonster can help, so if you’re not already a customer be sure to check out our list of features. For those who are short on time and tech savvy, we’re a breath of fresh, lead-generating air.

Next, check out our ultimate guides to email marketing, growth hacking, and SEO for even more success with marketing.

And be sure to follow us on YouTubeTwitter, and Facebook for more guides, tips, and tutorials.

The post 16 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Get More Email Subscribers in Less than 5 Minutes appeared first on OptinMonster.

Continue Reading 16 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Get More Email Subscribers in Less than 5 Minutes

The Secret to Writing Addictive Email Content

Top marketers use the same strategy to craft addictive emails. And it’s not beautiful email design or flawless writing. (Although these are both important!)It’s sending valuable emails that your subscribers actually want in their inboxes.Not sure if your emails are addictive? Follow these 5 rules, and you'll craft addictive content your audience won’t be able to find anywhere else.Prefer to listen to this blog post? Check out the podcast adaptation of this post or watch the YouTube video:

1. Solve your audience’s problems.

Addictive content is helpful. And the best way to create helpful content is to brainstorm topics that address your audience's needs.Not sure what your audience needs? Figure out their biggest "pain point" — or the problem that keeps them up at night. After all, people don't buy a product or service because of it's flashy features. They ultimately purchase a product because it solves a problem for them.By understanding your subscribers' biggest pain points, you can more effectively promote your product and write convincing marketing copy. Here's how to find your customers' pain points.

2. Keep your subscribers interested.

Addictive content is interesting. To create interesting content, there are a few writing principles to keep in mind.First, choose a tone that works best for your audience. In many cases, taking a conversational tone can improve readability and make your brand more relatable.However, if your audience expects a serious tone because it’s more appropriate for your industry, then keep it formal.Regardless of whether your tone is light-hearted, witty, irreverent, or formal, you should treat your subscribers with respect, says John Corcoran, founder of Smart Business Revolution."I don’t talk down to people," says Corcoran. "I make it worthwhile to read my emails. I even bury jokes in the ‘P.S.’ and small font at the end just to delight and surprise people who are paying attention.”Second, organize your email content in a way that’s easy for subscribers to read and skim.In today’s fast-paced world, you may only have a few seconds to showcase the value of your email. Structure your content so the most important information is at the top. Additionally, use headlines, subheadlines, and bullet points to break up large chunks of text. (It's so much easier to read on mobile devices. At AWeber, we recommend paragraphs being 2 to 3 sentences max.) To emphasize important parts of your message, try bolding, italicizing, or underlining words and phrases.Related: 8 Top Brainstorming Techniques to Help You Write Killer Emails

3. Craft unique content.

Addictive content is one-of-a-kind.In order to make your content stand out from the rest, try taking a new angle on a topic. This will also help establish you as a thought leader in your niche.For example, many people think that you need a ton of email subscribers to be successful with email marketing. But this isn’t the case! So AWeber's Product Marketing Manager Tom Tate wrote a blog post which explained that a small, engaged email list is better than a huge, disengaged one. This post was extremely successful because it provided a unique angle on an important topic.You can also try new content mediums where your competitors may not have big audiences. If your industry is flooded with blog posts and ebooks, experiment with other forms of communication, like podcasts or video.Not sure what to write in your emails? Check out these 45+ free email writing templates to get you started.

4. Keep your promises.

Addictive content is transparent.A big reason why subscribers disengage with an email list is because the emails no longer deliver the value they were expecting. So don't try to get readers to open an email with "click bait" — or a subject line that's enticing, but has very little to do with the content inside the message.The first step to transparency with email: Explain what content you'll send and how often you'll send it on your sign up form.By telling people what they can expect before they sign up to your list, they’ll know what they’re getting into. Plus, you’ll be more likely to attract the right subscribers (which are more likely to engage with your content and purchase your products or services).The second step to transparency: Stick to your promises!If you say you'll send an email once a month, don't bombard your readers with emails every two days. If you say you'll send helpful tips and advice, don't send advertisements. If you do, you'll see your unsubscribes and spam complaints increase almost immediately, which will ultimately hurt your business in the long run.Related: 9 Inspiring Sign Up Form Ideas to Grow Your Email List

5. Create connections.

Addictive content builds relationshipsWe enjoy doing business with people we know, like, and trust — as opposed to a large faceless corporation. Humanize your message to increase connection and engagement with your subscriber.The deeper a connection you make with a subscriber, the more likely they are the engage with your emails, buy products from you, and tell their network about your business.One way to do this: Ask questions. The more feedback — good and bad! — you gather from your subscribers, the more likely your business is to succeed. By asking your subscribers questions, may discover a flaw in your product that is stopping them from purchasing. Or maybe they all mention one feature that they absolutely love, and that you can capitalize on in your marketing material. Or maybe they'll tell you their biggest business challenge, which leads to your next great product idea. Or maybe you gather a bunch of fantastic testimonials and case studies that you can promote on your website.Feedback is fuel for your business.Another way: personalization. You don’t need to be pen pals with each of your subscribers. But you should make them feel as if you’re sending them personalized emails.Here’s why: 74% of marketers said that targeted messages and personalization of emails improves customer engagement rates.Try including your subscriber’s name in your message. You can add their first name in the middle or end of the email copy instead of at the beginning, which draws your reader’s eyes downward and keeps them reading. Or you can collect your subscribers’ birth dates on your sign up form. Then send them a celebratory message or a coupon on their birthday.The more you try to connect with your readers, the more successful your email marketing will be.For more ideas on how to personalize your emails, check out this post on engaging subscribers with contextual emails.

Ready to learn more about email marketing?

Check out The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing. It’ll give you an A-to-Z plan to launch an email marketing strategy that’s valuable to your audience.Additional reporting by Liz Willits and Jill Fanslau.

The post The Secret to Writing Addictive Email Content appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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The Ultimate Guide to Email A/B Testing

In a world where people are bombarded with countless emails on a regular basis, it’s more important than ever to craft emails with purpose.According to Statista, 269 billion emails were sent in 2017, and that figure is expected to rise to a staggering 333 billion by 2022.These days it’s not enough to assume you know what type of email your audience will want to open — let alone read through it entirely.You have to be certain.Creating great emails requires a lot of hard work, researching, and strategizing. The best emails are crafted not only with goals in mind, but also with the target audience at the forefront.From subject line strategies to sound design principles, there are many components that make up a successful email. But how can you be sure that one version of an email will be more successful than others?You’re not the first person to ask that question.What if there was a way to be sure that one version of an email would generate more engagement, lead to more landing page views, and/or provoke more sign ups?Well . . . there is.Email A/B testing or split testing is a brilliant way to determine what resonates with your audience and what sparks their interest. With email A/B testing, your team can gather data-backed proof of the effectiveness of your email marketing.(AWeber just released a new email A/B testing feature that allows you to test more than just your subject lines — like send times, copy, templates, buttons, and more! Try out AWeber for FREE for 30 days — and split test away!)

Getting Started with Email A/B Testing

Conducting an email A/B test is simple. Create two or three identical versions of the same email, but change one variable like the subject line, the lead image, or the CTA button. You can test variables as distinct or as nuanced as you see fit.For example: You might test the color of a CTA button versus testing the subject line.Related: 6 Email A/B Tests You Can Set Up in 1 MinutesIf you think that creating multiple versions of the same email with a tweak or two sounds tedious or time-consuming (and wonder how much insight can you gain from changing the text on a CTA button), consider this.AWeber customer and photo sharing community Light Stalking split their email subject lines to gauge the success of one versus the other.As a result, they were able to increase their web traffic from the winning subject line email by 83%.How’d they do it?The founder of the community, Rob Wood, wanted to run an email A/B test on the subject line of the Light Stalking weekly challenge email, which asked subscribers to send in a photo of a silhouette.The test was simple: Wood created two identical versions of the same email, changing only the subject lines. The first email used a straightforward subject line, “The Weekly Challenge is Live!” and the second email was just one word and hinted at the nature of the challenge, “Silhouettes.”The email with the shorter headline (“Silhouettes”) was the winner, which Wood sent to the remaining 90% of his list. From there, the email yielded an above-average click-through rate, which drove more people to the Light Stalking website and increased overall engagement levels.Impressive, right? And simple. This is a perfect example of how email A/B testing helps you make data-backed decisions.With that, let’s talk a bit more about the basics of email A/B testing and how it can help you optimize your next email campaign.Related: Should You Capitalize Your Subject Lines? This Marketing Expert Found Out

Setting Goals for Email A/B Testing

Anyone can split test an email, but like anything in digital marketing, having a clear goal and purpose for testing is essential. Sure, you can run a quick email A/B test and obtain useful results, but having a more precise testing strategy will yield more powerful data.Email A/B testing is a great tool to use at any time, but it can be especially useful if you want to gain insight on a new campaign or email format. Before you begin your test, it’s essential to establish what you are testing and why.A few questions that can help guide your team at this stage include:
  • Why are we testing this variable?
  • What are we hoping to learn from this?
  • What is the impact this variable has in relation to the performance of this email?
In theory, you could test any element of an email, but some variables will give you more insight into your subscribers' minds than others.The beauty of split testing is that no variable is too small to test.

Copy Elements

Copy elements such as subject lines, headlines, body copy, and calls to action immediately come to mind when thinking about what variables to test.After all, copy elements are some of the first things people see when your email pops into their inbox (as well as after they open it), so it’s important to optimize.For example, a personalized subject line that reads, “Ben, did you see this?” versus “Did you see this?” could be the difference between a subscriber opening and deleting the email.But just how important are a few words?We wanted to get to the bottom of this, so we added an extra word to a call-to-action button in one of our promotional emails. Doing so subsequently increased our trial subscriptions by 12.8%. Talk about the power of words.

Design Elements

Design elements like colors, fonts, images, templates, and spacing are just as crucial to an email as the copy and links.Did you know that 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices? With this in mind, think about how your email visually appeals to subscribers and what they need to get the best reading experience.These two emails have the same copy and messaging, but are presented in very different ways. One puts a bit of written copy up top, while the other relies on a central hero image as a visual cue. This simple tweak in formatting could yield wildly different results.Email A/B test different templates, layouts, and formats to see which yields the best results for your email campaigns.Related: How to Create Amazing Photos for Your Emails on Zero Budget

Additional Elements

Aside from the visual and copy elements within an email, you can A/B test a few other variables as well. Testing when you send an email could be just as important as what your email says.When measuring the success of an email as it relates to the time it’s sent, consider:
  • Day of the week
  • Time of day
  • Relation to the time of year (e.g., holidays, industry events, seasons, etc.)
Testing the time you send an email can provide a valuable understanding of your subscribers' behavior as well . . . not just their interests.Not sure about what font to use for the body of the email? Test it. Going back and forth between a few colors for the CTA button? Test it.The bottom line: You can and should test different variables of your email campaign before launch so you can optimize for success. Just be sure you’re testing only one variable at a time to get the most accurate and useful results possible.

How big should your test sample size be?

It’s important to note that when conducting your email A/B test, you’re testing on only a small percentage of your subscriber list.You want your test list to be large enough that you can gauge how the rest of the subscribers will likely react without using the entire list, but just small enough that you can send the winning version to a large portion of your audience. The goal is to get accurate, significant results, so bigger lists (minimum 75 to 100 subscribers) typically work the best.However, keep in mind that you should be using a sample that represents the whole list, not just a specific segment.Related: Your Start-to-Finish Plan to Get 1,000 SubscribersSo what does a sample look like?There are many ways to approach this. You can figure out a generic sample size with a calculation that factors in your email list confidence level, size, and confidence interval.Or, if you’re an AWeber customer, you can manually select the percentage of your list that will receive each version of the split test.Either way, make sure you select a viable percentage of your list to send your test emails to so you have enough data to analyze. Often this is in the 10% to 20% range.

Best Practices for Email A/B Testing

Email A/B testing seems pretty straightforward, right?It is, but like any experiment, if you don’t solidify the details and ensure your test is valid, your results may turn out to be useless.Keep these things in mind when creating your split test:
  • Use a large enough sample to get as close to statistically significant as possible
  • Make sure your sample group is randomized
  • Test early (like before a campaign launch, so you have time to interpret the results) and test often
  • Identify each variable you want to study and test one at a time
The important thing to remember when it comes to creating an email A/B test is that it doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Email A/B testing is designed to deliver powerful, straightforward insights without a bunch of confusing variables.

Email A/B Testing Set Up

You have the basics of email A/B testing down, so let’s next discuss how to set one up properly.

Determine your goals

First things first: Identify the intentions behind the campaign you want to test.Your goals will act as your compass when figuring out the details of your email A/B test. Every component of your campaign should trace back to your end goals.

Establish test benchmarks

Once you have defined your goals, take a look at your current email data and examine how your previous email campaigns have fared. From there, use your findings as benchmark numbers.These numbers will be significant when it comes time to analyze your email A/B test data so you can gauge early success. These numbers should also help you decide on the variables you want to test moving forward.

Build the test

You have your goals and your benchmark data; now it’s time to build your test. Remember to test only one variable at a time. (Refer back to our best practices — above — if needed.)Bonus: Did you know AWeber customers can automatically split test their email campaigns (and can test up to three emails at a time)?It’s true. Here’s how it works:1. Log into your AWeber account.2. Hover over Messages, then click Broadcasts.3. Click on Create.4. Name your split test. Be as detailed as possible when naming them so you can make sure you select the right one when it comes time to run the test.5. If you’d like, you can send your split test to a segment a.k.a. a group of subscribers. Click on the drop-down menu and select the segment.6. Using the slider, define your split segments into their two or three groups. (You can change the percentages to make sure you’re testing with only a small percentage of your list. So if you were sending to two groups, you could have 10% of your list get one variation and another 10% get the second variation. Then, you can send the winning message to remaining 80% of your list.) Once you are satisfied with your settings, click Save.7. Then, to select the message you want to test, click Select a Draft on the right hand side menu.8. From there, select the message you want to use and click Select.9.You will then see the selected message added into one of your split test segments. Click Schedule to schedule your split test message.10. Schedule your message just as you would with any other Broadcast message within your AWeber account. Once your Broadcast settings are set, click Send Message Now.There you have it! Repeat these steps each time you want to send a split test message.

Email A/B Testing Inspiration and Examples

It can be tricky to identify what variable test can help you improve key metrics. Here are a few examples that can help you figure out which variables to test.

To improve your open rate…

This one is easy! To improve your open rate, you need to test different subject lines. We recommend trying a few different types of subject lines like questions, capitalization, long vs. short, subject lines with emotional value, emojis, etc.You can also test different preheaders — the preview snippet of text that is next to your subject line or below it (on mobile) in your inbox.In addition to testing subject lines, try sending the test emails at different times of day and see if that has an impact on the open rate. Your subscribers may be more inclined to open an email in the morning on their way to work or at night after dinner instead of during the middle of a workday.The better your subject line, the more likely your subscribers will open the email and read through. Having a solid subject line is like getting your foot in the door.Related: How Do I Avoid the Spam Filter?

To improve your click through rate…

Keep subscribers interested in the email by providing eye-catching, engaging content throughout. If it’s your click-through rate you want to improve, make sure you create clickable content. Consider how interactive content, information gaps (missing pieces of info that spark a reader’s curiosity), or contests could boost your in-email engagement.There are also many variables you can test to optimize for click-through rate — a strong CTA, intriguing anchor text, personalization, spacing, or bold imagery. Just remember to test one at a time to ensure you know precisely why subscribers are clicking more (or less).

To improve your reply rate…

Many marketers tend to overthink this one, but it’s actually pretty simple. If you want your subscribers to reply to your emails, ask them to!It’s that easy.Try testing a “From [your name] at [your business here]” approach, which can make an email feel like a personal note instead of an email blast. (For instance, “From Andy at AWeber” would be the sender name that appears.)  Think about it: If subscribers think they are replying to an actual person, they are more inclined to do so.You also might try testing long-form vs. short-form emails with a call-to-action that encourages subscribers to reply to the email with their thoughts, opinions, or questions.Leverage that P.S. line, too. That last line can be an opportunity to encourage conversations and replies from subscribers.

Tracking and Measuring Email A/B Testing Success

We’ve covered a lot of ground so far around email A/B testing.With so many elements to test, you might be thinking, “How can I verify that a campaign is successful or that a test yielded helpful data?”The answer: Think back to your goals. Your goals will tell you what metrics you should pay the most attention to and what you should work on improving. For example, if generating more leads from email campaigns is your goal, you’ll want to focus on metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and form fills.It’s also important to look at your metrics as a whole to see the big picture of how an email performed. Being able to track that data and refer back to it will also help you optimize future campaigns.Another question that might be top-of-mind for you: How long should you let an email A/B test run for before ending it and analyzing the results?According to Zapier, after about four to five days the effectiveness of an email dies out. They claim that if your email isn’t seeing any other significant activity after five days, it’s likely it won’t see any other activity.However, digital marketer Neil Patel recommends running your A/B test for at least two weeks with 100 subscribers to determine any statistical significance of your results — or that they aren’t due to chance. If you run your test for too short a period, you run the risk of not allowing enough subscribers to open the email.With that being said, why not test how long you run your test? If you see engagement with your emails die out after 48 hours, then you can cut the tests off around that point.Once your test has ended and as you begin analyzing your data, keep detailed notes of your findings. Ask yourself:
  • What metrics improved?
  • What elements of the email flat-out didn’t work?
  • Were there any patterns that correlated with past tests?
Maintaining records and tracking results will help guide future campaign optimizations.Put together a testing roadmap or a detailed record of what you’ve tested, the results, and what you plan on testing in the future. That way, you’ll have a detailed account of your tests and won’t leave any stone unturned in the process.

Get Started with Email A/B Testing Today

Email A/B testing is imperative to the success and optimization of any email campaign. It allows you to gain real insight that can help you make decisions about existing and future emails.Email marketing is always changing, and as subscribers’ attention spans seem to get shorter, it’s vital to know what will yield the most success.Get started today with AWeber. Our email A/B testing tool allows you to do more than just split test subject lines — you can test almost anything (calls-to-action, colors, templates, preheaders, images, copy, and more!). Give AWeber a FREE spin for 30 days. Want to learn even more about email A/B testing? Download our free guide here.

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2019 Email Marketing Statistics: We Analyzed 1,000 Emails from Today’s Top Experts

Nearly every business with an email marketing strategy wonders how to write the perfect email. They question the length of their emails. (Short or long?) They wonder how they can get more people to open their emails. (Should I capitalize my subject lines or not?) And they debate even the little things. (Emojis or no emojis?)And there isn’t a simple answer to these questions — until now.With the help of AWeber’s data scientist, we analyzed 1,000 emails from 100 of today’s top marketers. Our goal? Gather email marketing statistics that will answer these questions.The 100 experts we analyzed are the best of the best. Their email strategies engage thousands and drive millions in revenue. Many of them see unheard of results (like 80% open rates and 30% click-through rates).In this post, we answer 4 important questions: And more!

Want to skip to a specific section? Click on one of the questions above.

Email marketing statistics: Words in an email

The average email length

Of the 1,000 emails we analyzed, we found that emails have 434.48 words on average. 434 words takes approximately 3.3 minutes to read. 

Why some pros go with shorter emails

However, more than 50% of the emails we analyzed contained 300 words or less (a 2.3 minute read time). With people receiving more emails than ever before, it makes sense that experts are sending shorter emails. Email marketers need to stand out to captivate their readers. Short emails might be a good strategy for doing so.Henneke Duistermaat is the founder of Enchanting Marketing and one of the 100 top marketers whose emails we analyzed. She often sends emails with less than 300 words.“Have you ever heard someone complaining they're not getting enough email?” Duistermaat said. “Everyone’s inbox is overflowing. We’re all time-starved. So, we love succinct messages that help us make a quick decision: whether to reply or not, whether to click through or not.”

Why some pros send long-form emails

Yet, 24.1% of the emails we analyzed contained 601 words or more. And 11.4% of them had more than 901 words, a read time of approximately 6.9 minutes.These experts stand out by sending long emails packed with valuable content, like Ann Handley. Handley is the Chief Content Officer at Marketing Profs, a marketing education company, and one of the top 100 marketers we included in our research. She sends her newsletter TotalAnnarchy via AWeber every other Sunday. On average, her newsletters contain 1,838.5 words, which takes roughly 14 minutes to read.Handley said, “It's not that long-form emails are effective. Rather, what's effective is emails that have value for the people on your list. I don't set out every other Sunday with a goal of writing the longest email I possibly can. But I do have a goal of writing an authentic, valuable, fun letter to each and every subscriber on my list. I put my heart and soul into it, and that's why people respond.”Matt Kepnes, author and founder of travel blog Nomadic Matt, is also on our list of top marketers. He sends long-form emails as well. On average, they contain 802 words. Instead of linking off to posts on his blog, he includes entire articles within his emails. These messages see high open and click-through rates. “People will read longer emails if the topic is important enough," Kepnes says.

How to choose your email length

So how do you decide whether to send short or long emails? It depends on your unique business goals, according to Andy Crestodina, a top email marketer and the founder of website consulting company Orbit Media. “If your goal is simply awareness, long or short is less important. If subscribers see it, like it, and smile, you met the goal! If your goal is traffic, then give the recipient the minimum amount of information needed to decide to click. The CTR (click-through rate) is everything and more text just means more noise in their inbox.”

Email marketing statistics: Characters in a subject line

The average character count of a subject line

Email subject lines play a huge role in whether your messages get opened. In fact, 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone, according to research done by Business2Community.After researching 1,000 subject lines, we found that email subject lines have 43.85 characters on average. 82% of experts send subject lines with 60 characters or less. Which makes sense considering most desktop email clients, such as Gmail and Yahoo!, only display approximately 60 characters before a subject line gets cut off.

Why you should consider using short subject lines

46% of emails are opened on mobile devices, according to research conducted by email testing service Litmus. So it’s important to consider how mobile devices affect the ideal subject line character length.Most email clients stop displaying an email subject line on mobile devices once it reaches between 33 and 43 characters. The exact number varies from one email client to another.Since they don't get cut off in the inbox, shorter subject lines may outperform longer ones. And because only 10.9% of subject lines contain 20 characters or less, it may also be an opportunity to stand out.Brian Dean, founder of SEO company Backlinko and one of the 100 top marketers whose emails we analyzed, sends subject lines with an average of 15.1 characters. “After lots of testing I've found that short subject lines get much higher open rates,” Dean said. He believes these results are due to two factors:
  1. Short subject lines reach the inbox more frequently.
  2. Short subject lines are more mysterious.

“I used to try to outline the entire message in my subject lines. And it gave people no reason to actually open my email,” Dean says.

Email marketing statistics: Emojis in subject lines

The percentage of emails with emojis

Only 6.9% of the 1,000 email subject lines we analyzed incorporated emojis. That leaves a whopping 93.1% of subject lines without them. 

Why only 6.9% of emails contain emojis

Experts might see emojis as a risk, since they can display differently, and sometimes incorrectly, in email clients.In fact, subscribers opening emails on old computer operating systems may not see emojis at all. “Windows 7, which holds a major market share of 48.4%, offers very limited support for emojis, displaying in black and white or not at all,” email testing company Litmus says in its research on emoji support in email.[caption id="attachment_88494" align="aligncenter" width="800"] [Image source: Litmus][/caption]

Why you should consider using emojis in your subject lines

While only 6.9% of subject lines included emojis, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. In fact, this may mean you should test them with your own audience. It could be a huge opportunity to be unique.And emojis might actually increase open rates — as long as you use the right emoji, according to Mark Asquith, marketing expert and founder of Rebel Base Media. (Asquith is one of the 100 top marketers whose emails we included in our research.) He frequently uses the icons in his own subject lines. “A well-placed smiley, timer, or contextual emoji used alongside a well-thought-out subject line will really make your message stand out within someone's already very busy inbox,” he said.

Try a/b split testing two email subject lines — one with an emoji and one without. The results from your split test can help determine if emojis boost open rates with your own audience.

Related: How to Split Test Your Emails

Email marketing statistics: Subject line capitalization

The 3 capitalization formulas for email subject lines

To find out how top marketers use capitalization in their email subject lines, we examined the subject lines from our 100 experts to see if they relied on a particular capitalization formula.We found 3 common formulas: sentence-case capitalization (the first letter of the first word is capitalized), title-case capitalization (the first letter of every word is capitalized, except for articles like “the” and “an”), and all lowercase capitalization (every letter is lowercase).As an example, here is the same subject line with these 3 different formulas applied to it:
  1. Sentence-case: This is an email subject line
  2. Title-case: This Is an Email Subject Line
  3. All lowercase: this is an email subject line

How experts capitalize their subject lines

60% of email subject lines use sentence-case capitalization, 34% use title-case capitalization, and only 6% use all lowercase email subject lines. 

Are lowercase subject lines an underused secret?

The majority of the experts we analyzed use sentence-case capitalization. But a few experts consistently send emails with entirely lowercase subject lines, like email marketing expert Val Geisler. Geisler is a freelance consultant and writer who specializes in email marketing, and we analyzed her emails for our research.Geisler points out that people are more likely to open an email if it’s from a personal connection or friend. “If you're writing an email to a friend, are you going to title-case the subject line? Probably not. You likely won't even use sentence-case capitalization," she said.“I write my emails like I'm writing to a friend so my subject lines follow the same principles. Does it work? I'll let my ~80% open rates and ~30% click rates speak for themselves.”

How should you use these email marketing statistics?

Use these findings as a guide the next time you’re writing an email.Want to stand out? Try a strategy that most people aren’t using — like emojis in subject lines or lowercase subject lines.Want to follow a proven strategy used time and again by the experts? Use the findings in this report to follow time-tested email copy strategies used by the majority of experts.Ready to start using this data to send better emails? Sign up for your free 30-day trial of AWeber today.And to receive more research like this, subscribe to our weekly email newsletter FWD: Thinking.

About the data from this research

We analyzed 1,000 marketing emails from 100 successful businesses and entrepreneurs. While we didn't randomly select these businesses, we chose experts across multiple industries and from numerous countries.See the complete list of the 100 businesses we included in our research (and follow them!) here.

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The 7-Day Challenge to Jump-Start Your Email Marketing in 2019

Every year, 80% of new year's resolutions fail by the time February rolls around. Launching your email marketing strategy shouldn’t be one of them.That’s why we created a simple, 7-day challenge to help you dominate email marketing in 2019.By the end of it, you’ll have launched the most important parts of a successful email marketing strategy. And the best part? You only need 30 minutes or less each day to complete this challenge.(Don’t have an email marketing platform? You’ll need one. Set up a FREE email marketing account in AWeber.)

Day 1: Choose your email template and brand it. (30 minutes)

This step is often overlooked. Many people use different email templates every time they send an email. Or, they never fully customize a template to match their brand.But branding an email template and using it consistently are important. Your brand sets you apart from your competitors. It allows you to be unique and develop a personality for your business. It builds credibility and trust between you and your subscribers. Your subscribers can see your content and immediately tie it back to you.Step 1: Choose your email template. Find an email template that works with your brand and your message. A plain template is often better than one already filled with colors and background images, because it’s easier to make it your own. Then, add your logo to the top or bottom of the email. (Inside AWeber, there are 8 NEW email templates you can easily customize to fit your branding. Choose the template format you'd like. Then drag and drop to add your images and build the layout you want.)Step 2: Add your brand colors to your template. Don’t overdo it! Too many colors can be distracting. Try adding your brand colors in just a few places, like your call-to-action buttons, header image, or headlines.For example, in the welcome email of AWeber’s FWD: Thinking newsletter, we incorporate our brand colors by using a header image with AWeber’s green and blue gradient and a call-to-action button with our brand’s shade of blue.Homework: Watch this video on How to Design an Awesome Welcome Email.To do: Choose an email template and add your logo and brand colors to it.

Day 2: Customize your confirmation message. (15 minutes)

A confirmed opt-in message is an email you send people immediately after they fill out your sign up form. It asks them to verify they want to subscribe to your emails by clicking a link or button in the message.Confirmation messages are optional but strongly recommended. They serve as proof that your subscribers definitely want to be on your list. So internet service providers (like Gmail and Yahoo!) may deliver more of your messages to the inbox when you use confirmation messages. Plus, it prevents subscribers from signing up using fake email addresses.To make your subscribers more likely to confirm their subscription, you can follow these common best practices for confirmed opt-in emails:
  1. Keep your content short.
  2. Explain the value your subscribers will receive by subscribing to your list.
  3. Tell them what they need to do to confirm.
Homework: Read Writing Confirmation and Welcome Emails People Love.To do: Set up and customize the subject line and content of your confirmed opt-in email. (If you’re an AWeber customer, you can follow these directions to complete this step.)

Day 3: Create a sign up form. (30 minutes)

Sign up forms allow your subscribers to easily join your email list. You can promote your form by adding it to your website and sharing a hosted sign up form with your audience. Hosted sign up forms allow you to share your form anywhere, even if you don't have a website.Homework: Read 9 Inspiring Sign Up Form Ideas to Grow Your Email List.To do: Write your sign up form copy and build your form using ideas from the homework post you just read.

Day 4: Write your welcome email (30 minutes)

A welcome email is the first message subscribers receive after joining your list and confirming their subscription. And it gets a lot of attention — on average, open rates are 4 times higher and click-through rates are 5 times higher than other emails, according to marketing research company Experian. You can take advantage of this above average engagement by crafting an excellent welcome email.Your welcome email should:
  • Welcome subscribers to your email list.
  • Deliver the lead magnet you promised on your sign up form.
  • Explain what kind of content you’ll send subscribers, how often you'll send it, and what they'll learn.
  • Introduce yourself or your business.
  • Ask subscribers to add you to their address book. (This is called whitelisting and it can help more of your emails bypass the spam folder.)
Once you draft your welcome email, take some time to personalize it! Personalization makes your subscribers feel you’re writing a message specifically to them. Something as simple as including your subscriber’s first name in the subject line or body of your welcome email can boost opens and clicks. Homework: Read The One Email You Should Always Send and How Personalization Can Help You Connect with Subscribers.To do: Write and build a welcome message for your subscribers using AWeber’s Drag and Drop Email Builder.

Day 5: Automate your welcome email. (10 minutes)

You wrote your welcome email. Your next step? Automate it. That way, your subscribers will receive it immediately after they sign up for your list.Simply create an automated series for new subscribers in your email marketing platform. Here's how:
  1. Build a new automation series in your email marketing platform. Make sure it's set up to send to every new subscriber.
  2. Paste your welcome email content into the template you chose on day 1.
  3. Add your welcome email to the series.
  4. Activate your series.
Your email marketing system does the rest!Homework: Read Email Automation 101: How to Use Automation.To do: Create a welcome series using AWeber’s automation platform Campaigns and add in your welcome email. (Here are step-by-step instructions for setting up your own welcome series in AWeber.)

Day 6: Publish your form on your social media channels. (20 minutes)

Your list is set up and your confirmation and welcome messages are ready to go. Now it’s time to put your hard work to the test and start to grow your list!An easy first step is turning you social media followers into email subscribers. People who follow your brand on social media have already shown they want to hear from you. And there’s no better way for them to stay up to date on your latest content and sales than joining your email list.Post a link to your hosted sign up form on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and ask your social followers to subscribe for exclusive updates.Homework: Read 7 Expert Tricks to Grow Your Email List with Social Media.To do: Add your sign up form to your Facebook profile and tweet out the hosted URL to your form.

Day 7: Share your sign up form with your connections. (20 minutes)

Reach out to the people you already know, like colleagues, friends, or family members. Ask them if they want to sign up for your email list.Let them know what content you are offering and explain the benefits they would receive if they sign up.If they say no, maybe the content you’re offering just isn’t for them. But maybe they know someone it would be perfect for. You never know until you ask!Homework: Read How To Get Your First 50 Email Subscribers in Less Than 30 Days. Use the fill-in-the-blank copy template in this post to easily reach out to people.To do: Contact 5 people you know. Send them the hosted URL to your sign up form and ask if they’d like to join your email list or share it with someone they know.

Ready, set, go!

Congrats! If you completed this 7-day challenge, you’re well on your way to launching a successful email marketing strategy.Want more content like this? Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletter FWD: Thinking for email marketing tips from the pros.

Bonus challenge

Ready for your next challenge? Then try this: Create a lead magnet — a freebie you give subscribers when they sign up for your list. Lead magnets can increase the conversion rate of your sign up form.For example, author and productivity expert Paula Rizzo offers a free List Making Starter Kit in return for signing up for her email newsletter, which she sends via AWeber.Homework: Read How to Create a Lead Magnet in Less Than a Day.To do: Build a lead magnet, add a link to it in your welcome email, and mention it on your sign up form.

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The 6-Step Plan to Escape the Spam Folder

You're not a spammer — but your emails can still land in the spam folder.And once they’re stuck there, it’s difficult to reach the inbox again.That’s why we asked AWeber’s Director of Deliverability Karen Balle to explain how you can escape the spam folder.Multi-million dollar companies seek Balle’s advice on reaching the inbox. This is the same 6-step plan she lays out for them. And now, you can use it too.

Step 1: Make sure you have permission.

It’s illegal to send emails to people who haven’t subscribed to your list. It’s also a great way to go to the spam folder.So, if your emails are going to spam, review your email lists to make sure all of your subscribers opted in to receive content from you.If you purchased one of your lists or all of your lists, delete those subscribers from your email marketing platform. They’re just hurting you. Plus, they didn’t give you permission to send them emails anyway, so they are much more likely to mark your emails as spam or not open them at all.If you’re not sure whether your lists are purchased, review subscribers to see how they joined. (You can see these details under Subscriber Management in AWeber.) Look for large lists of imported subscribers. Make sure you have a record of how you acquired these subscribers.Related: The Ugly Truth about Buying Email ListsBalle also recommends using confirmed opt-in (COI) emails for every new subscriber. A confirmed opt-in email is a message that’s automatically sent to people who fill out your sign up form. It asks them to confirm they want to join your list by clicking a link or button in the message.Internet service providers, like Gmail and Yahoo!, are more likely to deliver your emails to the inbox when you use COI emails. And on top of that, COI messages keep spam robots off your email list. Spam robots are automated computer programs designed to find sign up form code on your website and submit fake information to join your list.  (Nobody wants a robot on their list. It’s difficult to tell them apart from real subscribers. And they decrease your open and click-through rates.)Related: Writing Confirmation and Welcome Emails People Love

Step 2: Find the type of content your audience loves.

Often, your email reputation is damaged because your subscribers aren’t engaging with your emails. If your open rates are below 15% and your click-through rates are below 5%, you’re in the danger zone, says Balle.To rebuild your email reputation, you need to boost your open and click-through rates. There’s a simple way to accomplish this: Send content your audience can’t wait to open and read.Take a look at the emails you’ve sent in the past, says Balle. Are there certain messages that earned more opens and clicks? If so, you should send more content like this! Jot down a list of related (but new) content ideas for future emails.Related: 8 Top Brainstorming Techniques to Help You Write Killer EmailsYou can also ask your subscribers what kind of content they’d like to get from you. Simply send them a brief email asking what questions they have.Once you know what kind of content interests your audience, draft a few emails around those topics. We’ll use these messages in step 4!Related: 18 Tried-And-True Ways to Improve Your Email Content

Step 3: Build a segment of your most-engaged subscribers.

Using your email marketing platform, build a segment of subscribers who have clicked a link in one of your emails in the last 3 months.This is your most engaged group of subscribers. They are more likely to open and click future emails.You’ll use this segment of people to begin rebuilding your email reputation with internet service providers. With a good email reputation, more of your emails will reach the inbox!Related: How to Create a Segment in AWeber

Step 4: Send value-packed emails to your segmented audience.

For the next 2 weeks, focus on sending high-value emails to the audience you identified in step 3. Aim to send 1 to 2 emails each week. Use the messages you drafted in step 2!Make sure that your audience likes the content you’re  sending. High open and click-through rates and low spam complaints are a good indicator that they do.But fair warning: You won’t see high rates right away.When recovering from spam folder placement, your open and click-through rates will start low, according to Balle.“You want to make sure that those metrics are increasing. Many companies give up too early during this step. It will be around two weeks when you really start to see a difference,” she says.Once your open rates are above 15% and your click-through rates are above 5% with your engaged segment, start gradually increasing your segment size. Add people to your segment who clicked an email in the last 4 months.As you send emails to this larger segment, watch your open rates and your click-through rates for about a week. If they hold steady, then add people who clicked an email in the last 5 months. Watch your open rates and click-through rates again. Keep going until you’re sending to people who clicked your emails in the last 12 months.One of the biggest mistakes Balle sees is adding people to your segment too quickly. Each time you add more people to your segment, make sure you don’t increase your segment by more than 50%. For example, let's say you have a list of 10,000 engaged subscribers. When you increase your segment size, add 5,000 subscribers or less. Send for about a week. Then, add the next segment.And if you add a new segment and you can’t increase your open and click-through rates, stop adding new segments. Move on to step 5.Related: The 7 Questions Everyone Has about Email List Segmentation

Step 5: Create a re-engagement campaign for unengaged subscribers.

Now, it’s time to try to re-engage subscribers who aren’t opening and clicking your emails with a re-engagement campaign. A re-engagement campaign is a group of emails that asks people to confirm they actually want to be on your email list.For your re-engagement campaign, build a segment of people who haven’t clicked on a link in your email for the last 12 months or at the point where you could no longer increase your opens and clicks.The segment size for this re-engagement campaign should be no more than 10% the size of your newly engaged list. If it’s larger, it could sabotage the work you’ve done so far with your engaged segment. So if you have a list of 10,000 subscribers who have recently clicked a link in one of your emails, your engagement campaign should only include 1,000 people.  You may need to send multiple engagement campaigns to cover all of your less-engaged customers.Once you build your segment, send a re-engagement campaign to them. Send one email. Wait 7 days. Then, send one more. Don’t send a third. According to Balle, a third re-engagement email often ends up in the spam folder.Related: How to Win Back Subscribers with a Re-Engagement CampaignIf you have subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked an email in more than a year, you might want to consider excluding them from your re-engagement campaign. They are less likely to re-engage, and they may sabotage your re-engagement campaign by decreasing subscriber engagement.

Step 6: Delete subscribers who don’t re-engage.

If a subscriber doesn’t re-engage or hasn’t opened an email in years, it’s time to delete them. They’re just hurting your email deliverability and your bottom line.Related: How to Delete Unengaged Subscribers

Stick to the plan. Reach the inbox.

Improving your email reputation takes time and patience. But by following this plan, you can increase your chances of reaching the inbox and build a healthy email list of people who want your emails!Want to use an email marketing platform that helps more people reach the inbox? Create a free account with AWeber.

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The 3 Best Copywriting Formulas for Email Marketing

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a recipe to follow when it came to writing your emails? A recipe that not only sparks interest among your subscribers, but also encourages them to complete a call-to-action?You can! Many marketers use copywriting formulas, which are proven structures to help you write more effective copy faster.Copywriting formulas provide a starting point to help you organize your message for the most persuasive impact. It’s how you turn so-so copy into killer copy, and convert subscribers into buyers.Take a look at three tried-and-true copywriting formulas that are perfect for email marketing, below. You can also use them on your social media feeds or in blog headlines, too! That way, you reach your audience no matter where they are.

Copywriting Formulas for Email Marketing

Formula 1: F-A-B

You understand your product or service from the inside out, but it can be tough to communicate all the important details about it in an email or two. Plus, you run the risk of losing your reader’s interest if you drone on too long about your product features.Yes, it’s important to explain the features of your product — but where the magic happens is when you connect those features with the advantages and benefits they bring to your customers.With the F-A-B formula (which stands for Features, Advantages, Benefits), you can touch on your product’s bells and whistles, but you focus on why a person would find your product beneficial.Here’s the breakdown:
  • Feature: Briefly explain the elements of your product. Keep it short and sweet.
  • Advantages: Highlight why these features are unique and how they can make a difference in your customer’s business, life, etc.
  • Benefits: Showcase the value of your product and how it can solve your customer’s problems.
The emphasis is on why your product’s features are great and how they can help your customers rather than dissecting each feature ad naseaum.So, how can you implement this formula?It might look something like this:

Insert feature will help you insert advantage so you can insert benefit

Example of F-A-B in a Tweet: Our wireless Smart Robot Vacuum will clean your pet’s hair off floors and carpets, so you don’t have to spend time chasing down hairballs.

These same principles can be used in subject lines or stretched out to serve as body copy. For the latter, you may expand on the advantage and benefits in multiple paragraphs to really drive the value home.

Formula 2: P-A-S

It may not come as a surprise that P-A-S made our list, but it’s a tried-and-true copywriting formula that works for just about every scenario.In fact, marketing legend Dan Kennedy calls it the most reliable sales formula ever invented.Let’s take a look at how it works:
  • Problem: State your audience’s issue.
  • Agitator: Agitate the problem by talking about why it’s a problem in the first place.
  • Solution: Solve your audience’s issue by presenting your product or service as the solution.
This copywriting formula works best if you focus on the "A" aspect. To “agitate,” you need to stir up all the negative emotions attached to their problem. Make the reader squirm in their seat. Get inside their head.And just before they’re ready to scream “Enough!”, present them with a solution (your product or service!).(Not sure what your audience’s "P" — a.k.a. their biggest problem — is? Here’s a great guide to finding your subscribers’ biggest pain point.)Here’s how you could use it:State a problem: Got pet hair all over your carpet or floor? Agitate the problem: More pet hair means more time sweeping your floors. You're already busy enough. Do you really want to spend all this extra time cleaning when you could be doing other things? (Like napping or reading or watching Netflix.) Present the solution: Or you could control your pet hair problem with our new Smart Robot Vacuum. Just charge it, turn it on, and get back to your day.Like the F-A-B formula, the P-A-S formula translates well on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or in headlines because of its directness. Using this same example, you could send a Tweet that says:

Pet hair everywhere? Spending more time cleaning up pet hair means less time for the things you want to do — like napping or watching Netflix. You could spend time sweeping every day, or you could let our Smart Robot Vacuum clean it up FOR you.

The P-A-S formula is excellent for subject lines, but it’s also a fast and easy way to explain your value proposition in a quick way. Many email marketing geniuses use this formula in their own emails.Here’s an example from Paula Rizzo, an AWeber user and a TV producer who has an entire side business called The List Producer. Through this business, she helps customers stay organized with various checklists and courses.Subscribers who sign up for Rizzo’s email below have stated they’re feeling a lack of control in their digital world. Their inbox is overflowing and they can’t keep up!In her first email, Rizzo welcomes her new subscriber, tells them a little bit about her business, and then launches into agitating their problem. The agitation section is shown below:Then, Rizzo hits the reader with a solution: a paid course “Take Back Your Inbox: Stop Drowning in Unread Messages, Respond Quicker and Finally Achieve Inbox Zero.” (Check out all that’s included in her $47 course.) 

Formula 3: A-I-D-A

A-I-D-A is arguably one of the most-used copywriting tactics of all.First, here’s what it stands for:
  • Attention: Catch the reader’s eye.
  • Interest: Pique their interest with a compelling setup.
  • Desire: Make them crave the thing you’re offering.
  • Action: Tell them how to get the thing.
This is a classic formula for selling, so it makes sense to deploy it in an email environment where you want readers to take action and move from their inboxes to the next stepping stone in the conversion path.Here’s how you could use it:Attention: No matter how much you love your pet, there’s probably one thing that drives you nuts. Interest: Pet hair is a never-ending battle (and it’s one you’re always losing). Right? Desire: Smart pet owners know it doesn’t have to be that way. The Smart Robot Vacuum is always on top of hairballs (so you don’t have to be). Action: Click here to get 20% off your purchase today only!With a simple, actionable setup that solves problem and reduces a customer’s pain points, this formula is a sales-driving machine not only in emails, but also on landing pages and in video scripts.

Stretch it out!

You can use these copywriting formulas in one email — or you can expand it over a series of automated emails.For instance, with P-A-S, you could use it over the following 5-email series:Email 1: Introduce the reader’s biggest pain point Email 2: Agitate the problem Email 3: Really get in there! Agitate the problem some more. Start to hint that there may be a solution for their issue... Email 4: Offer the solution — your product or service! Email 5: If the reader doesn’t convert, you can offer a coupon or special incentive to buy.Digital marketer gurus like Amy Porterfield, Henneke Duistermaat, and Jeff Walker have used similar email series when they launch a new online course or product.

Additional copywriting tips

Once you find a copywriting formula that works best for you, keep these tips in mind as you begin writing.Avoid jargon Using words that your customer may not understand is a quick way to lose their interest. Make sure they understand your message and what value you can provide them.Nail the subject line It’s been said a million times, but it rings true. Having a solid subject line that piques the interest of your subscribers will ensure the email content you worked so hard to create has a chance to be seen. Be sure to deploy A/B testing to find your strongest option.Related: 6 Email Split Tests You Can Set Up in 1 MinuteBe conversational Being personable with your copy is a great way to engage with your customers and show them that there are real humans behind your brand. Conversational tones not only make your brand sound more relatable, but it’ll ensure your customers understand what you’re saying, too.For more email copywriting advice, check out our full list of copywriting tips.

Formulas save time and maximize ROI

Copywriting formulas are an excellent way to make sure you communicate your message clearly and present it in a way that will be most receptive to your audience. Different formulas work for various products and messages, so keep testing and tracking what you learn from each formula use.Ready to see a greater ROI on your email marketing? Sign up for AWeber today or contact a Customer Solutions member. (Our team is available 24/7 at our Pennsylvania headquarters!)

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How to Write a Sales Email That Sells

Making the sale is one of your top priorities in business.

Your sales growth will be one of the biggest determining factors of the success of your business. And while it’s great to increase your social media following and website traffic, if it doesn’t positively affect your sales, it isn’t helping you scale.

How do you get better at making the sale? One area to focus on would be your conversion copywriting. When a lead takes action or becomes a customer, we call this a conversion.

When you create a conversion-based sales email template, your goal is to have the person who receive your sales emails take an action. This means they might jump on a phone call to discuss your proposal, schedule a video call to walk through a demo presentation, or meet you in-person to talk about customized solutions for their business.

These tactics are most commonly used in the B2B world, meaning businesses who sell products and services to other businesses, but conversion copywriting is still important in B2C (business to consumer) markets. The outreach process just looks a little different depending on your industry.

We want to focus more on the B2C side of conversion copywriting with our sales email examples today. As you read through what should be included in every sales email, you’ll have the opportunity to test it out for yourself. Practice makes perfect, especially when you create your first sales email template.

A step-by-step guide on how to write a sales email

Before you craft a sales email template, it’s good to start with market research. If you don’t understand your potential customer base, it will be more difficult for you to make a connection when you send a sales email.

Some executives and entrepreneurs get dozens or sometimes hundreds of sales emails sent to their inbox each day. With so many sales pitches coming their way, you’ll want to find ways to make yours stand out.

One of the best ways to do this is to personalize your emails. You don’t have to create each email from scratch, but you will want to leave a little wiggle room for personal details.

By doing your research, it shows that you didn’t just copy and paste the same sales email you sent to someone else in their industry. Personalizing your sales emails takes some extra work, but you’ll have an easier time convincing the person to call or email you back if you put in the initial work.

Once you have done your research, you can begin to outline your sales email to create a reusable template that can be easily personalized. Inside each sales email template, you’ll want to have a few key elements.

Write an enticing subject line

You can put a ton of work into crafting the perfect sales pitch inside your email, but it’s wasted effort if the person never clicks on it.

When you open your inbox, what is the first thing you do before opening an email? You probably read the subject line to see if it’s relevant to you.

Subject lines tell your customer lead what your email is about by teasing them with a little information. If they are intrigued to learn more and open your email, you’re doing it right!

Subject lines can be one of the trickiest things to write. You only have so many characters to entice them to open your sales email. This is even harder now that 40% of people open emails on their mobile device first, which usually shows four to seven words of your subject line before it cuts off.

How do you write a subject line that is short and sweet, but also gives a compelling reason for your audience to open your sales email? That’s the million dollar question.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all rule to what will work, here are a few things we’ve gathered and noticed.

These commonly used words can actually tank your sales email open rates if you aren’t careful. Tread with caution when using any of these (or, better yet, just strike them from your list!):

It’s great if you can put the person’s name into the subject line to show that you personalized it. You could also put the name of a mutual connection that suggested you should both connect. This will build trust with your audience member before they read your sales pitch.

Here are some other good subject line examples from Hubspot:

  • [Prospect name], question for you re: [topic]
  • [Mutual connection] suggested I say hi
  • Strategies for achieving [result they want]
  • How are you [leveraging, responding to] [recent trigger event]?
  • Question about [prospect’s goal]
  • Just read your post on [topic], and …
  • Have you considered [idea or strategy]?

When you write your subject lines, don’t forget to measure your open rates. This stat will quickly tell you how successful your subject lines are. Most companies shoot for a 30-50% open rate, but we recommend looking into your industry standards.

As you compare subject lines, you can create an A/B test to see which variation performs the best. During an A/B test, you can take a small subset of your audience to send one subject line to while sending another subject line to another small subset. Once you determine which subject line does best, you can use the winning one for the rest of your sales emails. (Psst, it’s one of our favorite ConvertKit features, too!)

Write an engaging email opening

Someone has clicked on your email based on your subject line… now what?

The first thing they’ll see is your opening line. Sales emails can sometimes get a bad rap because of how cheesy or overused email opening lines can be.

Some of the worst ones sound like:

  • “You don’t know me but I’d love to talk to you about…”
  • “Can you spare a few moments of your time to talk about…”
  • “Are you currently looking for a solution for…”
  • “I have a special offer for you…”
  • “It’s your lucky day because…”
  • “I was looking at your website and…”

And our all-time least favorite: “Hi, my name is…”.

Instead, you want to open our sales email with a more engaging opening line.

This is the greatest place to show that you’ve done your homework. The more you personalize the opening line, the better.

You can:

  • Congratulate them on a recent promotion within the company
  • Share that you’ve read one of their recent blog posts,
  • Introduce yourself based on a mutual connection you both have.
  • Chat about other interests you share with one another (maybe you check their social media to find these out)

Once you have personalized your opening line, you can transition into the body copy of your email. This is where you’ll introduce your company, the solutions you offer, and how it is relevant to their problem.

Write concise body copy

Your body copy is essentially the “meat” of your sales email sandwich.

While it can be tempting to put all of the information you possibly can into your body copy, most people will simply skim your emails.

You don’t want to take up too much of their time in the body copy. Instead, you can create sales copy that directly addresses their pain point, share that you have a solution or strategy to help, and transition into your call-to-action.

You can start by asking an insightful question that relates to the research you’ve done on the company. Make sure your body copy speaks to the overall business goals of your prospect.

We recommend keeping your body copy to about five sentences max. This allows you to give a taste of the information you’ll share with them on a phone call or in-person meeting without your email turning into a novel.

It’s especially important to have short body copy if your sales email is your first real interaction with the person. With cold pitches, you want to make your case and quickly get to the call-to-action.

If you are having a difficult time getting to the five sentences mark, you can always add a sentence that states you have more information to share with them or that they can request more information if they are interested.

That way, your customer leads can decide how much information they want from you before you send it all upfront. That’s the surest way to overwhelm anyone!

By giving them the decision on whether or not they want more information, you’ll also be able to see which customer leads are “hotter”, meaning they are more interested in learning about what you offer.

Create a clear call-to-action

Now that you’ve primed your audience with the body copy, you can move on to one of the most important parts of your email: your call-to-action (CTA). You may have heard of a CTA before, but it simply persuades your audience to take a specific action.

In this case, your call-to-action could be scheduling a phone call, in-person appointment, or simply replying back to your email if they want more information. We often see that phone calls garner the highest conversions because of how easy it is to jump on a phone call, but choose whatever method works best for you and your prospects.Having a strong and clear CTA is essential to your sales email. Without it, you may have a great sales pitch but your lead won’t know what they need to do next if you don’t clarify which action will help them move forward in the process.

When you think about your call-to-action, keep your overall sales funnel in mind. What are the next steps after someone takes action on your sales email? How does it relate to the bigger picture of your sales and onboarding process? Once you map this out, you’ll be able to confidently choose a relevant call-to-action.

You can also add link triggers to your call-to-action so when it is clicked, you are able to tag interested members within your email list. You can do this easily in ConvertKit with our automated link triggers. Then you can keep up with your connections and ensure they get the most relevant information sent to their inbox.

Pro tip: You might want to add a deadline to your call-to-action to increase urgency. This is a good element to test to see how well your audience reacts and participates with it. Deadlines can often get people to act quickly if they are interested, so it may be worth implementing into your sales email strategy.

Add an easy-to-access email signature

After placing your call-to-action in the email, you can sign off with a simple email signature. It usually will include your name, your company (or the company you work for), and possibly your position title if it is important to what you do.

Some salespeople put links to relevant articles or add social media handles to their email signature, but we recommend keeping it simple with the elements above. You can create email signatures with free tools like Hubspot’s Email Signature Generator or create a branded email signature with Wisestamp for as little as $2.99/month.

Respond with a timely follow up

Just because someone doesn’t reply back to your first email doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. It may have gotten buried in their already full inbox, or they simply forgot to take action. This is a great opportunity to follow up with your lead to see if they are still interested in talking with you about a collaboration or opportunity.

If you sense that the person is busy, you can follow up after a week to see if they got your email and had a chance to look it over. You can restate the call-to-action and sign off with a personal note about how you are excited to talk with them soon.

This follow-up email should be shorter than the initial email, but you can include that you are happy to send more information their way if they are still contemplating if your product or service is the right fit. Anything you can add to make taking action easier is great!

Before you send your first sales email, download this sales email template

Remember that it should be more about them than it is about you.

Instead of focusing on all that your business can offer them, address their pain points and help them feel seen, heard, and understood. This will help you create a stronger connection, even with a few short sentences.

Your first sales email template is just that: a template! You can continue to experiment with it and test each element to see what performs best. Your first version is only the beginning. The more you test, the better off you’ll be in seeing conversion improvements over time.

And if you want a little extra direction, download our sales email template below to help you get started.

Start testing your sales emails today!

Download template

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