Posts Tagged ‘Internet marketing’

Putting The “Service” Back In “Customer Service”

May 11th, 2010

Posted by Sean Cohen of Aweber

The future of customer service is here. Technology has made seeking out support faster and easier than ever. But, has your digital age company sacrificed true service in the name of automation?

Today, finding customer support is as simple as writing an e-mail or picking up the phone. But, even though you’re not face-to-face with your customers, you still leave a lasting impression. Do you come across as caring and competent, or menacing and mechanical? » Read more: Putting The “Service” Back In “Customer Service”

Super Little Traffic Generation Tip

May 11th, 2010
Hi,

I’ve got a super traffic generation tip that I use in my
business everyday and I want to share it with you.

This tip will boost the power of your current website traffic.

+ Build a high value business asset
+ Drive traffic wherever & whenever you want
+ Develop a better relation with your customers
+ Increase your sales
+ Reduce your costs
+ Save you time

What is this miracle like tip you ask? » Read more: Super Little Traffic Generation Tip

Email Deliverability Tips

May 9th, 2010

Posted by Tom Kulzer (AWeber CEO)

Ensuring requested opt-in email is delivered to subscriber inboxes is an increasingly difficult battle in the age of spam filtering. Open and click thru response rates can be dramatically affected by as much as 20-30% due to incorrect spam filter classification.

Permission

Confirming that the people who ask for your information have actually requested to be on your list is the number one step in the battle for deliverability. You should be using a process called confirmed opt-in or verified opt-in to send a unique link to the attempted subscriber when they request information. Before adding the person to your list they must click that unique link verifying that they are indeed the same person that owns the email address and requested to subscribe.

Subscriber Addresses

When requesting website visitors to opt-in ask for their “real” or “primary” email address instead of a free email address like Yahoo or Hotmail. Free emails tend to be throw away accounts and typically have a shorter lifetime than a primary ISP address.

List Maintenance

Always promptly remove undeliverable addresses that bounce when sending email to them. An address that bounces with a permanent error 2-3 times in a 30 day period should be removed from the list. ISP’s track what percentage of your newsletters bounce and will block them if you attempt to continually deliver messages to closed subscriber mailboxes.

Message Format

Usage of HTML messages to allow for text formatting, multiple columns, images, and brand recognition is growing in popularity and is widely supported by most email client software. Most spam is also HTML formatted and thus differentiating between requested email and spam HTML messages can be difficult. A 2004 study by AWeber .com shows that plain text messages are undeliverable 1.15% of the time and HTML only messages were undeliverable 2.3%. If sending HTML it is important to always send a plain text alternative message, also called text/HTML multi-part mime format.

Content

Many ISP’s filter based on the content that appears within the message text.

    Website URL:Research potential newsletter advertisers before allowing them to place ads in your newsletter issues. If they have used their website URL to send spam, just having their URL appear in your newsletter could cause the entire message to be filtered.

    Words/phrases:

    Choose your language carefully when crafting messages. Avoid hot button topics often found in spam such as medication, mortgages, making money, and pornography. If you do need to use words that might be filtered, don’t attempt to obfuscate words with extra characters or odd spelling, you’ll just make your messages appear more spam like.

    Images:

    Avoid creating messages that are entirely images. Use images sparingly, if at all. Commonly used open rate tracking technology uses images to calculate opens. You may choose to disable open rate tracking to avoid being filtered based on image content.

    Attachments:

    With viruses running rampant and spreading thru the usage of malicious email attachments many users are wary of attached documents. It’s often better to link to files via a website URL to reduce recipient fear of attachments and reduce the overall message size.

CAN-SPAM Compliance

The January 2004 Federal CAN-SPAM law introduced a number of rules regarding the delivery of email. It’s important you have your legal counsel review your practices and ensure you are in compliance. The two most important rules include having a valid postal mail address listed in all commercial messages and a working unsubscribe link that is promptly honored to remove the subscriber from future messages.

Reputation

Reputation services are often used by large ISP’s as a way to vet email senders regarding their email practices and policies. Businesses listed with these services are then given less stringent filtering or no filtering at all. Several reputation services are:

  • http://www.isipp.com/iadb.php
  • http://www.bondedsender.com
  • http://www.habeas.com

Relationships & Whitelisting

Contact with major ISP’s and email providers is essential in letting them know about your requested subscriber email. Many large providers such as AOL and Yahoo have specific whitelisting programs and postmaster website areas to ensure your email is delivered as long as you meet their policies and procedures in handling your opt-in list.

Email deliverability is about ensuring requested opt-in email is delivered to the intended recipient. While no single tip will enable you to get 100% of your email delivered each one utilized as a group can go a long way to reaching that goal.

.

=-> Learn how to setup your own email list, Increase your sales using these methods, to get started you need a Aweber account.

Email Newsletter Open Rates

May 8th, 2010

Posted by Justin Premick of Aweber

Think you know the best day and time to send your email newsletter?

Ever wonder if your fellow email marketers are all sending at the same time you do?

Convinced your open rate is too low (or amazingly high)?

Some recent statistics pulled from all AWeber users may help you answer these questions:

What Kind of Open Rates Are People Getting?

If you’re sending HTML emails, you probably use your open rate to help gauge your success.

Even though it’s not a perfect measure of whether people are actually opening and reading your emails, it’s useful as a relative measure:

If it goes up over a short period of time, more people are probably reading
If it falls over a short period of time, it’s almost certain fewer people are reading.

Plus, all other things being equal, it can give you some motivation (if your open rates are lower than other senders’) or satisfaction (if your rates are higher).

So, here goes…

Average Open Rate Last Month: 13.6%

When Is/Was The Best Day To Send?

You’ll often hear (at least, I often hear) that Tuesday is the optimal day to send, because on Monday people are catching up from the weekend, and that on Tuesday morning you’ll have their undivided attention before they jump into their work for the upcoming week.

Do the numbers back up that theory? Let’s see.

The breakdown of open rates by day of the week:

Monday
13.67%
Tuesday
13.21%
Wednesday
14.07%
Thursday
14.52%
Friday
13.25%
Saturday
12.09%
Sunday
13.26%

Last month, Tuesday was actually the second-worst day to send, at least if you’re measuring by open rates.

(While we’re breaking assumptions, I should point out this, too: the hour of the day that got the best open rate was not 8-9AM, or 9-10AM, but in fact 2-3PM Eastern Time — email newsletters sent during that hour last month enjoyed a 19.1% open rate.)

Does This Mean I Should Switch My Campaigns To Thursdays?

In a word: No.

Don’t break with your readers’ expectations just to try to follow the latest day of the week stats. You might actually reduce your open rate by doing so.

In both March and February, Thursday newsletters got the 3rd-worst opens vs. the rest of the week.

I hesitated a little to publish these stats, because I’m concerned that people might flock to sending their newsletters at the day or time that happened to get the best results lately.

Please, don’t drastically change your sending times/days just because you see that the average last month, or any month, happened to be higher on a different day or time.

Yes, you might eventually be able to shift your sending schedule, or split test some broadcasts, but if you up and move everything, you may throw off subscribers who are used to hearing from you at the usual time.

“It’s So Busy, Nobody Goes There Anymore”

To get at the other reason for not shifting your sending based on these stats, let’s paraphrase Yogi Berra (see above).

If everyone switches their sending schedule to send on say, Thursday, then recipients will start getting a ton of email that day, and start paying less attention to each individual email.

One possible reason for Thursday’s success last month may be that it wasn’t as popular as say, Tuesday or Wednesday for sending email:

Percentage of Newsletters Sent by Day
Monday
16.0%
Tuesday
17.7%
Wednesday
16.9%
Thursday
16.6%
Friday
15.2%
Saturday
8.8%
Sunday
8.8%

Those higher-volume days mean more emails in readers’ inboxes, which might contribute to reduced open rates. Following that reasoning, some people may look at the low weekend volume (more email newsletters were sent on Tuesdays than on Saturdays and Sundays combined) and see an opportunity to get their audiences’ undivided attention.

My main point in showing these is to point out that our assumptions about what works are often quite wrong, and that you ultimately have to test for yourself to see what best suits your audience.

Some Inspiration… And Some Help

Are you getting better open rates than this?

If so, GREAT! Give yourself a pat on the back…

…but don’t get complacent. Open rates aren’t the be-all, end-all of email metrics. They don’t guarantee that people are reading your emails, only that they have images turned on and that they probably saw your email for at least a moment.

Plus, there’s always room for improvement, right?

Some ideas that can help you raise your open rates:

Ask people to add you to their address books. Some email programs will display images from senders who are in the recipient’s contact list.
If you are putting pictures in your emails, use the ALT text for those images to pique readers’ interest in what the picture is, so that they enable images. Or, just directly ask readers to turn on images!
Add a picture of yourself to your emails, near/next to your signature. People like seeing your smiling face, and if they see it in one of your emails, they may be more likely to turn on images to see it again later.

.

=-> Learn how to setup your own email list, Increase your sales using these methods, to get started you need a Aweber account.

Weakness in Safe List

December 3rd, 2009

How would you like to send your commercial emails to people you do not know, but are expecting to receive such mail from you? Wait a minute. That does not sound right. How can this be?

It is simple, if you know what is really going on. Everybody who is on these lists, also known as safe lists, knows that they will be receiving emails from other members. This is possible because that is one of the conditions of their “safe list” membership.

And those who join these lists are willing to agree to this condition because they themselves would want to send out their own commercial emails to the others on the list.

The result: everyone is sending emails to each other but no one is reading them!

It gets worse when some savvy members sign up for the membership using a free or less-frequently-used account to store the useless emails they will never bother to open and read.

Having said that, it is always wiser to start your own mailing list and build it with opt-in subscribers, no matter how tempting safe lists can be or how many members there are in a safe list.