How To Make Sure You Don’t Lose Your Gmail Readers

gmail tabs

Many Of Your Readers Use Gmail…Don’t Lose ‘Em!

Gmail recently introduced new tabs to help organize your inbox. Here’s a quick tip to make sure your readers don’t miss your latest and greatest emails…

1. Send an email or write a blog post to your list showing them what to do so that they don’t miss an email from you (sort of like this post:)

2. Most likely your emails are ending up in readers “promotions” tab. So tell them to GO to the promotions tab, then drag and drop your email into the primary tab.

gmail tab instructions

 

3. Then instruct readers to click YES when prompted to ensure they receive all of your future emails.

primary-emails

 

After readers make these quick and easy changes, they’ll never miss an email from you again:)

 

Aweber Tutorial: How To Create A Blog Broadcast Newsletter

Does the thought of creating a newsletter completely overwhelm you? Then I highly recommend creating an automatic blog broadcast newsletter in Aweber. And I’m going to show you how to do it in under ten minutes in this Aweber blog broadcast tutorial – video edition.

VIEW THE VIDEO ABOVE OR ON YOUTUBE

WHAT IS A BLOG BROADCAST NEWSLETTER?

A blog broadcast newsletter is an email newsletter that you create by pulling from the published articles on your blog’s RSS feed. If you have a WordPress or Blogger blog, then you absolutely have an RSS feed. Every time you publish a new article to your blog, it will be added to your Aweber blog broadcast, so the great thing about this strategy is that you can set it once and forget it.

HOW TO USE A BLOG BROADCAST

When I first started my consulting business, I was spending most of my time creating content and searching for clients, I didn’t have the time necessary to publish a regular newsletter. BUT one thing I knew was that it was very important to continue engaging my list. Sporadic engagement will only result in sporadic results, and people will forget why they signed up in the first place or even who you are. That’s why it’s a great idea to use a blog broadcast newsletter as your main weekly, bi-weekly newsletter, or as an article wrap-up type of a newsletter.

VIDEO NOTES

This video was created to supplement my original written tutorial:
The Beginner’s Guide For Creating An Online Newsletter

Newsletter/Autoresponder Service Used: Aweber

The Beginner’s Guide To Creating An Online Newsletter Step By Step

Want To Create An Online Newsletter That Rocks? It Will Be The Best Thing You’ve Ever Done For Your Business. Welcome To The Beginner’s Guide To Creating An Online Newsletter That Converts Visitors Into Fans!

create an online newsletter

Image Credit: Charis Tsevis

As a content marketer one of the things that I love to do is to create niche websites in areas of interest to me. I have sites and ebooks in several niche spaces, but one of my first niches when I started online was the relationship and dating niche. Already a saturated niche, I took a different spin on it from a psychological standpoint since I had the background as a psychotherapist and did very well with my sites. Recently, I took a major hit in the search engines for several of those sites and my traffic stats dropped significantly. I could spend a lot of time ranting about why some of my sites took hits and others didn’t when I used the same content marketing and SEO principles for all of them, but that’s for another post:)

What I wanted to talk to you about today is the fact that my business was able to survive the search engine hit, because I still had my very responsive email subscriber list. That is what all those internet marketers are talking about when they say that the “money is in the list”. No matter what happens to the traffic to my sites, I can always go back to my list and promote something, share something, ask them something and I will always get a response — including a sale.

So if you’ve been thinking about starting your own online newsletter but weren’t sure about all the details, then I’m going to walk you through them today lickety-split, so that you are up and running in the next 30 minutes. It’s crucial to the survival of any online business.

STEP 1 – What Is An Online Newsletter?

Creating an online newsletter, email newsletter, digital newsletter is all the same. In essence you are writing a newsletter and sharing it digitally with whoever requests to read it on a regular basis. Do you need a newsletter if you have an RSS feed for your blog? The answer is yes. An RSS feed will announce to your readers every time a blog post is published on your site, but a newsletter permits you to send more customized and personal messages to your list at any given time. It also gives you the unique opportunity to allow your personality shine through your copy.

The first purpose of your newsletter first and foremost needs to be to inform, educate and entertain your readers. If you do not publish anything worth reading, or only send promotion after promotion, then you are missing the point and your newsletter will fail.

The second purpose of your newsletter is to establish a relationship between you and your readers. This is what trust-based marketing is all about. My subscribers depend on my newsletter to deliver them a certain level of quality information on a regular basis. Irregular contact will mean that people may forget who you are and unsubscribe from your list or even identify you as a spammer.

The third purpose of your newsletter is to convert readers into clicks, customers, or clients. The only way to achieve this though is to make sure that your fulfilling the first two purposes of newsletter publishing.

STEP 2 – Sign Up For Aweber

You might be tempted to send your emails through your email client (Outlook or Apple Mail) because it’s free, but that would be a big mistake — many of your emails will never make it through the robust spam filters of most servers and your email client will not be able to handle sending emails out as your list grows in size.

That’s why I highly recommend starting your newsletter list off right from the start with industry leader Aweber. They are always improving their tools, the customer service is top-notch, and they have tremendous features all at an affordable price. I know because I’ve used several other companies before finally making my “last” switch to them several years ago. I have been happy every since.

STEP 3 – Create Your First List

You can make as many lists as you like in Aweber. I have lists for several different sites and niches. It’s very easy to do this. So after you’ve registered and signed in, the next step you’ll make is to click on “create and manage lists”.  Aweber also walks you through this process as well with their list wizard at the bottom of your screen.

STEP 4 – Complete Your Basic Settings

Here is where you fill out the name of your list (for your eyes only), list description (will be seen by people on unsubscribe page), contact information that subscribers will see in the “from” section of their emails, and a notification email address (this is where aweber sends you notifications that you have a new subscriber).

aweber online newsletter

STEP 5 – Personalize Your List

This is where you can add a little personal touch to your list with your company name, logo, url, and email signature. Readers will see this in various places. This section is where you also set up your list to integrate with social media sites Twitter and Facebook. A feature you’ll love!

STEP 6 – Set Up Confirmed Opt-in Email

When someone subscribes to your list, Aweber will send them an email asking them to “confirm” that they requested to be put on your list. The reader then has to click on the link in the email to confirm. This is called a double opt-in process and it is the system that most reputable companies strongly encourage us to use in order to avoid problems with spamming.

So Aweber gives you the ability to customize this first “confirmation email” which is really important because some people won’t even remember that they initially requested information from you. It’s up to you to remind them. You can and should edit the subject, intro and signature areas of your email. Aweber gives examples of subject lines you can use and honestly you don’t have to do much editing. Just make sure to change the “list name” info in the intro section to the full name of your newsletter. Don’t keep the list name in the intro section that you used when you created the list.

aweber confirmation

Lastly, you have the option of sending the subscriber to a customized thank you page AFTER they’ve confirmed or you can leave it blank and use Aweber’s standard thank you page. I use a customized page made very easily by creating a page on my WordPress blog. Details you can include in this page are: thanking the reader for subscribing, whitelist information, or a link to download your free offer or promotion. This is the page I use where confirmed subscribers can download my free ebook guide: Make An Ebook Tonight.

aweber confirm url

STEP 7 – Understanding Messages

There are three types of messages you can make in Aweber: follow-up, broadcast, blog broadcast. The type of message you will be creating FIRST is a follow-up a.k.a. autoresponder message. This email will be sent immediately after the reader confirms their subscription by default, so here’s your chance to make a good 1st impression. In my follow up email I typically give the reader a second opportunity to download their free guide. You could also write an email detailing WHY the reader should stay on your list and what they can expect from you and your newsletter. Make sure to also include whitelisting information (your newsletter’s email address), contact information, and any other good business practices you can think of.

create aweber message

When you go to create your first message, you will see that you have the option of creating a plain text message, an html message (allows you to use fonts, pics, etc.), using one of Aweber’s templates, or an html message using your own custom html. Lots of options! (I will write more about how to use these various message formats in future articles and be sure to link them to this tutorial.)

To make things super simple today, I would make your first follow-up message in plain text format. Plain text has the highest deliverability rate. The biggest thing to remember is that you cannot use link text in plain emails, you have to use full urls ex. http://abc.com in order for them to be live working links.

Write your message within the margins that Aweber recommends so that your emails do not spread too widely in the reader’s email. SAVE your email.

STEP 8 – Test Your Email

Aweber allows you to send yourself a test email so that you check exactly what your email is going to look like when you send it out. I do this before every weekly newsletter that I send out. You can do it right now to test your FIRST follow up message.

aweber test email

STEP 9 – Create Your Web Form

So how do you get people onto your newsletter list? This would be the perfect scenario: people search for a topic, find it on your website, read your article, then subscribe to your newsletter via web form to get to receive more of your information. In order for that to occur, you need a working web form that captures readers email addresses.

  • You only have to capture an email address on a web form for it work.
  • Email only forms typically convert higher.
  • I like to send more personalized emails though, so I ask for first name and an email address on my web forms.
  • You can create as many web forms as you like per list.
  • Aweber provides analytics so that you can see what forms convert better than others

Select Your Template

Choose the design of your web form from the many options that Aweber offers. You can make a few edits to the web form such as adding your own headers and footers, changing the width of the form, including privacy policy info box, and editing the call to action button. Save. Hint: Adding a compelling call to action in the header of your opt-in box will improve conversions. Don’t just ask the reader to “join our list”. That’s borrrring:)

aweber web form settings

Basic Form Settings

Customize your form’s settings by giving it a name (for you only), adding a custom thank you page url or selecting to use one of Awebers (The thank you page is where subscribers go when they first opt-in. They haven’t confirmed yet), and any already subscribed page you may want to include. Including customized pages in this area is totally optional and you will be fine just using Aweber’s standard forms. They have a text, audio, and video version that you can use that work really well. I choose to use a customized version for branding purposes and to give the subscriber something to do next, but that is an advanced strategy that you can save for later. Save.

web form settings

Grab Your Code

Now you are ready to publish your web form on your blog. The best position for your first web form is in the right hand corner or top of the right hand sidebar of your site. Statistics prove that this is where the eye travels first when a visitor visits your site. You can copy and paste the html code that Aweber gives you directly to any website or easily insert your web form into your WordPress blog using Aweber’s handy WordPress plugin.
aweber web code

STEP 10 – Publishing Schedule

Now that you have all the basics in place you are ready to make a big decision. Some entrepreneurs will send you a irregular “rant” and call that a newsletter. It is not. Some people will send you emails periodically about random topics and many of them will be promotional in nature — that’s not a newsletter. In my opinion, a newsletter is information sent to educate, inform, entertain and build a relationship with your reader on a REGULAR basis. That means weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

When you do this you will build FANS who not only invest in you but will spread the word about your message. When I surveyed my list, over 23% of them said that they heard about me from a word of mouth referral. Honestly, I attribute that to the fact that I stay in my readers inboxes every week.

Thank you very much for reading this tutorial today.

If after reading this and implementing you are stuck on article ideas for your newsletter, then please read on for additional information on generating article ideas. If you’d like me to do all the work for you, then take a second to look at my Editorial Calendar service.

Also, if you’d like to learn more about my own newsletter feel free to subscribe using the form below and when you do you will get a copy of my ebook writing and publishing guide: Make An Ebook Tonight as a free gift. Thanks again:)

Additional Reading:

NEW Tutorial: How To Create A Blog Broadcast Newsletter In Aweber

#1 Newsletter Tweak I Made That Increased Reader Engagement

Are You Ready To Learn How To Increase Client & Customer Engagement & Conversion? It’s Simple. Give People Permission To Have A Conversation With You.

client conversation

A funny thing happened to me over the last 2 months. I started remembering some of the stuff taught to me over the years about customer and client engagement and actually began implementing it:) This is how it happened…

1. Over the last few months I have had some conversations where the person referred to me as a “guru” or “expert” or “professional” and while these are flattering words they frightened me a little. I realized in those moments that one of the reasons why I had been struggling with generating more reader engagement (getting people to have a conversation with me online) is because the didn’t think they could. They didn’t think I was available or they thought they had to pay first to talk to me. Ugh! That’s so not me.

2. So I decided to run a random test (I do a lot of testing) with my newsletter (Copy & Content… formerly known as Unleash Your Income) and added a few words to every issue: Reach out to me on my Facebook Page if you want to shout me out or ask a question. I may not write this exactly in every issue, but some derivative of it so that my language is not forced but natural.

3. I noticed after making this one change that miraculously MORE people began to share, like, and comment on my posts OR they contacted me directly through a Facebook message. In fact, 70% of the people who contacted me via FB message ended up having a phone conversation with me later and 3 of those calls turned into clients. Not bad for a few simple words in my free weekly newsletter:)

4. So what is the real magic going on here? The magic is that I gave my newsletter readers PERMISSION to contact me to just say hello or to ask me any question they wanted. When I did that — they responded! Most people need you to tell them what the next step is in order for them to take it.

You can actually use this same strategy for the end of blog posts, videos, etc. and it will work.

When I do this I normally get responses via email (although I rather people reach me on FB:) but hey I’m not picky! Many people have said that they were surprised and pleased that they got a personal answer from me. Interesting right? I mean I’m not Oprah! And I didn’t get it at first, but you’d be surprised. That’s what a lot of people may be thinking about you too.

So go ahead…give them permission to have a conversation and watch how it opens up your business in ways you never imagined!

I’d love to open up the conversation about what you just read in the comments below or on my Facebook Page. Ask me anything:)

Ezine Articles New Guidelines

Ezine Articles Revamps Writing Guidelines

One of the article directories that I always promote here on my site is EzineArticles and that is primarily for the fact that is truly the most human reviewed directory out there — which I love because there is a level of quality on the site that is not found anywhere else — BUT that also leads toezine article guidelines problems for many new article marketers — Their articles get kicked back.

If you’ve ever had an article or are worried about article submission to EzineArticles, then I think you’ll be glad to know that they’ve revised their old writer’s  guidelines. They haven’t changed much, BUT they have rewritten them to further explain what you should and should not include in  your articles to ensure that they are approved in a speedy manner.

Here’s the new Editorial Guidelines breakdown:

Content Qualifications – As an introduction to the Editorial Guidelines, the Content Qualifications sections discusses how to keep your articles unique and informative, which in turn builds your credibility and a loyal audience.

Article Content – This section provides all the do’s and don’ts while writing the content of your articles.

Author Name – Your author name is an essential extension of your brand. These guidelines will help you in branding as well as choosing pen names and managing ghostwriters.

Format – Providing do’s and don’ts of article titles, optimizing your article body, how to use keywords naturally, tips for your resource box, as well as link strategies, the Format guidelines ensure you don’t let one bit of your article go to waste.

 

Attraction Marketing

What Is Attraction Marketing?

attraction-marketing

Singer Rihanna & Rap Artist Drake

Does It Work For Coaches & Consultants?

Attraction Marketing is the practice of drawing potential clients to your offers by showing them what your product or service is and how it will benefit them BEFORE they purchase it. The key to effective attraction marketing is to make the information and list of benefits so appealing that the client can easily make the decision to invest in you. Another name for attraction marketing is reverse marketing, but “attraction marketing” really gives a more accurate portrayal of the marketing process that happens.

While many industries practice attraction marketing, for us coaches and consultants, it works really well. For example, if you want to implement the use of attraction marketing in your business right away, a good way to do so would be in how you market your ezine or email newsletter.

One of the biggest challenges for solopreneurs is the consistent effort of building a list. Asking folks to simply subscribe because you have a few smart things to say is so 10 years ago! Your potential clients want to know what you teach, why you teach it, how they will benefit from it, and what results they may see.

Once you tell a prospect who you are and how they will benefit from having a relationship with you — I guarantee your conversion rate will be higher this month. You can see an attraction marketing type of newsletter optin page here ==>Newsletter Example

The real point is this. Think about how hard you have to work if you pursue clients in a direct way such as cold-calling, marketing mailings, etc. Now picture yourself doing 2/3 less of that work because you are organically attracting clients who are dying to work with you to your optin page and they are joining your list! Working with clients who have sought you out is a much different experience than being unnaturally aggressive towards client attraction.

So from this moment on, think about your marketing in terms of the number of “benefits” that your prospective clients will receive when working with you. Put those benefits front and center of your articles, web copy, social media — and when you do — you will emerge the leader in your marketplace!

Should I break that down a little more simpler?

1. Think about your work with clients to yourself.

2. What unique brilliance do you bring in your work with them?

3. Flesh that brilliance out into readable bullet points for blog articles, directory submissions, squeeze pages, and anything else you can think of that will make them drawn to you.

That is attraction marketing in it’s finest form!

 

 

Don’t Panic When Someone Unsubscribes!

Don’t Panic When Someone Unsubscribes From Your List

One of my coaches told me a long time ago that not everyone was going to like me and I remember saying “Oh of course I realize that”, but that wasn’t really the truth. The reality was that every time someone unsubscribed from my list – it made me feel a little sad – like “aww they don’t like me”. I didn’t like to read the reasons why they unsubscribed, but when I did most people were polite and kind and said basically that they were on too many lists and had to clean house. Yet I didn’t believe them:)

Then I had another discussion about a year later with another coach who basically told me the same thing, and this time I was ready to hear what she had to say. So I hope that I am that coach for some of you today. If you’re ready to hear it, here it is…

First Of All, You’re Doing Great!

You are competing with a lot of clutter out on the web. You are dealing with your competitors. The newbies. Social media. Celebrity gossip. Regular news. Reality television and much, much more. It’s a struggle everyday for the online soloprofessional (as many of you are) to cut through the clutter and get noticed. So first of all I want to say bravo to you for even getting the person to sign up for your list in the first place! BRAVO!

Why Someone Is Unsubscribing From Your List

With that in mind you have to understand that not everyone is going to stay and that’s okay. It really is fine. Because this is the reality:

1. That person was not ready to invest in you now or maybe even ever.

2. That person was not the ideal client for your product or service.  They realized it and jumped ship.

3. That subscriber really was on too many lists and probably wasn’t reading anything you were sending them.

4. That reader didn’t make a connection with your content which is fine. The only people that will buy from you are people that “get” you and trust you.

5. They joined your list just to get the freebie, not to stick around. In that case, hope you enjoyed it but good bye!

Other Possible Reasons That They Unsubscribe Which You Could Test

1. You may not be sending enough content consistently. So when people receive content from you, they don’t remember who you are or why they signed up in the first place and they unsubscribe. Sometimes they even list your emails as spam – ugh! You must communicate with your readers consistently. At the least – once a month. At the most – weekly. Test this by sending content more regularly.

2. You may be sending emails, etc. too often. It’s important that you know your niche as the “how often” part of this rule can fluctuate between niches. But for the average non-internet marketing niche – sending out something weekly is quite enough. Any more than once a week will probably get an unsubscribe. Test this by slowing down your publishing schedule for 60 days and see if you recognize a difference in the subscribe/unsubscribe rate.

3. People may be changing the way they read your information, so they might unsubscribe, but may want to follow you another way. Make sure readers know how to find you via Facebook, Twitter, RSS feed, etc.

Conclusion

Like article marketing and any other marketing technique, list building is a numbers game. People are going to unsubscribe, and don’t worry — you are not a failure because people unsubscribe. People unsubscribe from EVERYONE’S list. Just understand that the more people who subscribe – the higher your subscription stats as well as your unsubscribe stats. As long as one is balancing out the other — you’re fine.

If you stats are off kilter and your unsubscribe rate is higher than your subscribe statistic – contact me and we’ll discuss how to change that around.

 

Ezine Publishing: What Do I Do First?

Ezine Publishing: What Do You Do First

You will read a lot on the web about building your list. There are a million “list building” books and experts out there because the reality is that if you are building (any kind of business), then you need a list of people to market to. A business cannot support growth by only having new customers and clients. A business flourishes when it has repeat customers.

So that’s why businesses, especially on the web, rely on THE LIST. But once you have this list, what are you supposed to do with it? Well, think about who you purchase goods and services from. You purchase them from companies that you like and trust.

I prefer to do my Christmas shopping with Amazon because I trust that my items will be delivered either earlier than promised or on time. I tend to buy most of my computers and gadgets from Apple because I trust the quality of the products they build. I like to buy my kids winter coats from Lands End because they are durable, warm, and classic looking. The same could be said for certain coaches and marketers on the web. There are many that I have worked with or done joint ventures with because of my trust in their expertise.

I trust all these companies because of their products, but I also am encouraged to buy from them because I am on their “lists” and they send me regular emails a.k.a. ezines.

Sometimes the term “ezines” can be a little scary for people. I remember when I began writing my first one, it was absolutely a bit frightening. Heck, I didn’t know if people were going to be interested in reading it, but what I soon later discovered is that the people who did read it were the very same names I saw in my Paypal account. My regular ezine readers became my regular and routine buyers — and that’s no coincidence.

So What Do You Do First?

Well, first I want you to think about your favorite ezines or digital newsletters. What do you like about them? Which ones do you read every week or month?

For example, in one of the ezines that I read faithfully, the publisher includes an audio version of her articles. I love this because I can listen to her articles while I multitask. Not many publishers do this. In another ezine I read, I enjoy his writing voice. It’s very down to earth and conversational. No ones ezines ever sound like his!

Big Tip – The ones that you like are the ezines that you are going to model. You are going to take what you like from each of them and merge them into one unique ezine of your own.

Next Tip – Create a list from 1 to 5. List each part, section, or trait of your favorite ezines on this list. If you can’t think of five items, that’s fine. You can absolutely have a one page newsletter/ezine. So if you only like two things about your favorite ezines, then that’s all you need to include in your first ezine. It’s fine.

Last Tip – Consider your workload. Once you commit to an ezine, you need to be steadfast about it’s delivery time. Will it be every month? Bi-weekly? Weekly? Commit to the easiest publication schedule for you, but push yourself as far as you can go. Statistically you will convert more readers into customers or clients, the more often they read your ezine. So if you think you can publish bi-weekly instead of monthly. Go for bi-weekly.

Okay Seriously – Last Tip!
Think about your competition. (Eck! Them again)  Do they publish an ezine? If so, how regularly? What do they get “right” in their ezine and what could you improve upon? This will help with your strategy in planning the content and character of your first ezine.

Next Up: Ebook Publishing: What Do I Do First?

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