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  • 6 Email Marketing Best Practices (And How to Implement Them)

    Monday, December 18, 2017 by

    Email MarketingEmail Marketing Do's and Don'ts

    Avoiding spam filters, figuring out the best times to send an email to your subscribers, implementing email segmentation... there’s a lot to learn about email marketing when you’re first starting out. But, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Email marketing is a medium that requires careful management. You can’t just expect the subscribers in your email list to become loyal fans of your business all by themselves. You have to put in a lot of work to build that relationship. That’s the main reason you created your email list in the first place: To connect with your customers. Email marketing is all about building relationships with your customers and proving yourself worthy of their loyalty. How can you achieve that goal? You can start by following these tips.  

    1. Learn The Basics

    What good is an email list if you don’t have the proper knowledge to even format an email? Not to be rude, but if you want to build a more engaging email list, you need to show off professionalism through your emails. No one will take you seriously if you write emails like this: bad email marketing example Learn to format your emails properly. Customize your email templates to fit your branding. And, above all else, learn to write like a professional. Also, learn how to avoid spam filters. The words you use in your subject lines may cause email spam filters to assume your email campaigns as spam. Spammy words like 100% Free, Act Now!, Free Money, are sure to get your emails blocked by spam filters. Replace those spam words with power words to make your subject lines more attractive and boost email open rate.  

    2. Develop High-Quality Lead Magnets

    Just because you’re giving something away for free doesn’t mean it has to be cheap. Your lead magnets are the source of your lead generation process. It’s where the relationship between you and your subscriber begins. Develop useful and high-quality lead magnets to make a strong first impression to your subscribers. Show people how much you value their email by giving away things that they normally have to spend money on. Go beyond free ebooks and checklists. For example, QuickSprout offers a free online marketing course worth $300 for their email subscribers. That kind of commitment shows subscribers what type of content they can expect from joining the email list. lead magnet example

    3. Collect And Measure Your Data

    Data is the best friend a marketer could ever have. Without gathering and measuring data related to your marketing strategies, your efforts to grow your business will go to waste. It’s the only way you can know for sure if your business is growing or not. So start collecting data from the first day of your marketing campaign. Go to the root of your marketing strategy and start by measuring the content marketing ROI to see how your blog converts visitors into leads. And then you can measure your email campaigns to improve open rates and click-through rates. Also, make friends with A/B split testing tools. Test everything from your opt-in forms on your blog to your email subject lines to find what works best for your audience.  

    4. Segment Your Email List

    Email list segmentation is becoming one of the most important factors of creating an efficient email marketing strategy. This could very well determine whether or not your marketing efforts are going to be successful. Email segments allow you to better target your email campaigns to send the emails to the right people. Whether it’s based on interests, location, special holidays, anniversary celebrations, or even sending a birthday wish, list segments will help you build a more successful marketing strategy.  

    5. Find The Right Time To Send Emails

    Finding the best time to send an email to your subscribers can be tricky. Because you may have a list of subscribers from around the world. If you send an email at the wrong time, it might get mixed with rest of the emails and your subscribers may not even notice your email. So, how do you make sure you send the emails at the right time for all your subscribers? This is where your list segments come to help. If you’ve collected the location data of your subscribers, you can create a sending schedule for segments separately based on the location. Or, you can use the tools provided by your email marketing service and let them find the best time for your email list. Email marketing services like Constant Contact have advanced technologies that help you figure this out. best time to send email

    6. Personalize Like A Friend

    It doesn’t matter whether you’re representing a corporate brand, a small business, or even yourself, you should personalize emails to send them to individuals, not a group. Emails are read individually so you need to personalize them in a way that helps you to create a connection with each individual. The best way to do that is by treating each and every one of your subscribers like your friend. According to research, personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and boost conversions by 10%. Just remember not to treat them like your best friend where you end up making bad jokes or write emails in slang terms. Keep things casual and friendly, like a new acquaintance you don’t want to lose.  

    Conclusion

    Overall, these practices can help you develop a good email marketing strategy. But, if you care about making a true connection with your subscribers, find a way to offer value through your email campaigns. If you’re only using your email list for sales and promotions, you will start to lose your subscribers one by one.
  • 5 Tips to Make Your Website More Mobile Friendly

    Thursday, November 16, 2017 by

    tips to make your website mobile friendlyHow to Make Your Website More Mobile Friendly (And Why You Should)

    Are you seeing a decline in organic website traffic? Are you still using the same old website design that you used when first starting your website? It may be hard to believe, but your bad website design may be the main reason why you’re losing website traffic. As you may know, Google recently changed its search algorithm to give a ranking boost for mobile-friendly websites and also punish other desktop-only websites. If your website is not properly optimized to meet Google’s mobile-friendly standards, you're putting your entire business at risk. It’s time you make some changes to improve your website. You can start by optimizing your website for mobile devices. Here’s why. HostGator Website Builder

    Mobile Is The Future

    You’re probably getting a decent amount of traffic for your website. You’re generating good sales. And everything seems to be working fine. So you might wonder: Why change your website design when nothing seems to be wrong? Well, maybe you haven’t noticed yet is that mobile devices are slowly taking over the world. In fact, mobile devices are already in the lead for most internet usage after surpassing desktop devices. why make website mobile friendly In a few more years, everyone will be using smartphones and tablets to browse the web. It will probably be too late to save your business by then. So, take action now to make your website future-proof.  

    Beat Your Competition

    Reports show that 62% of companies with a mobile-first website design see an increase in sales over companies with desktop-only websites. It’s not surprising, then, that 52% of users claim they are less likely to engage with a website with a bad mobile user experience. By making your website mobile-friendly, you're better equipped to beat your competition and rank higher on Google Search. Show the world why your business is more innovative than the competition and also increase your sales in the process.  

    Rank Higher On Google

    As we’ve mentioned earlier, Google now gives a ranking boost for mobile-friendly websites. That means whenever a user searches for something on Google, the search engine will show mobile-friendly websites above other websites. Google rolled out this update to its search algorithm in May 2016. So, if you’ve noticed a drop in organic website traffic since then, this could be the reason why. Optimize your website with a responsive design and you’ll be able to recover the traffic that you’ve lost and even gain better ranking on Google.  

    Tips for Making Your Website More Mobile-Friendly

    Before we get started on optimizing the website, you need to figure out how much your website needs to be improved. Use the Google Mobile Friendly Test tool to test your website and see which parts of your website needs to be fixed. The tool will also offer suggestions on how to improve your site for mobile devices as well. You can also use your Google Analytics data to learn what type of mobile devices your website visitors mostly use. Then you can better optimize your website for certain device screens based on that data. check google analytics for traffic decrease

    1. Optimize For Touch Screens

    One of the biggest differences between mobile and desktop devices is their interaction methods. On mobile devices, people are used to zooming in with fingertips and swiping across to view more. Making your website design responsive is not enough to offer a great user experience to mobile users. You have to optimize your website for touch screens as well. This includes adding touchscreen navigation to the website. For example, you can make sure the slideshows on your website can be swiped across with fingertips. Make forms, such as your email opt-in forms, easier to fill by reducing the number of fields in a form.

    2. Compress HTML, CSS, and Images

    Making your website load faster is another important part of optimizing a website for mobile devices. You must make sure that your website loads fast enough to keep visitors from getting frustrated, especially on mobile devices. Compress your high-resolution images to ensure your blog posts don’t consume too much data on mobile devices. Also, compress and minify your website’s HTML and CSS to give a speed boost. Installing a good caching plugin will help you with that.

    3. Choose The Right Font Sizes

    Even some of the most popular blogs are still using tiny font sizes that makes our eyes hurt when reading. Your visitors shouldn’t have to zoom in on your blog posts just to read its content. This completely ruins the user experience. increase font size for mobile users You can actually fix this problem by configuring a viewport to make sure your fonts are rendered to correct sizes on different device screens. It’s a simple process, but you’ll need some CSS skills to get it done.

    4. Switch To A Better Theme

    Of course, since you’re using WordPress, the easiest method to make your website mobile friendly is to upgrade to a better theme. Simply buy a modern WordPress theme that comes with a mobile-friendly design and replace your old theme with the new one. It’s as simple as that. Or, you could use a plugin to optimize your website for mobile devices. However, this method is not recommended and it will make your website load slightly slower. Only use it as a temporary fix until you find a permanent solution.

    5. Implement AMP

    AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open-source project developed to offer a smooth web browsing experience to mobile users. When implemented, AMP creates optimized versions of your blog posts that can be viewed on mobile devices in split seconds. It makes your website load so fast that browsing an AMP-powered website feels like using a native app on your phone. Google also ranks AMP-powered websites higher on its mobile search results. You can easily implement AMP on your website using a free WordPress plugin. amp for wordpress mobile website

    Over To You

    Keep testing your website until you perfect the design for mobile devices. Use a tool like BrowserStack to get that job done. What advice do you have for making a website more mobile-friendly? Please share in the comments!
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  • Top 5 Tips for a Successful Blog Content Marketing Strategy

    Tuesday, October 31, 2017 by

    blog content marketingCreating a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Blog

    Blogging is a great way to build awareness for a business. But, you can’t just launch a blog and publish random articles hoping it will increase your sales. You need a proper plan for that. Reports show that blogging help generates 67% more leads for B2B marketers. However, according to Content Marketing Institute, only 86% of B2B companies and 77% of B2C companies currently use blogging as part of their marketing strategy. If you’re starting a new business blog, you already have plenty of competition to beat. And the best way to make sure your efforts last is to get started with a well-executed plan. This is where the content marketing strategy comes in. Create Your Blog

    Why Create A Content Marketing Strategy?

    A content marketing strategy is simply a plan that you put together to make sure you create, publish, and promote content that ultimately helps you with website traffic generation, lead generation, and to increase sales. This process is called the inbound methodology. An effective marketing strategy that turns strangers into leads and then into customers.inbound marketing strategyContent marketing is an important part of the inbound methodology. Content is what brings the visitors into your blog and convert them into leads. Obviously, without a proper strategy, all the efforts you put into creating blog posts and videos will go to waste. Follow these tips to create a content marketing strategy that brings solid results.  

    1. Plan Your Content Based On A Buyer Persona

    The first step in setting up your content marketing strategy should be creating a buyer persona. The buyer persona is the profile that describes your ideal customer. Its main goal is to figure out what type of customers you want to target through your content. If you don’t have a buyer persona yet, go and create one. Once you have a buyer persona, you can start planning your content based on that profile to attract your ideal customers. For example, if your ideal customer is a 20-year-old female entrepreneur who’s planning to start a business, you can create blog posts with beginner-friendly tips for launching a business and also talk about the problems female entrepreneurs face in this field. Planning ahead is the key here. You should at least plan for 3 months worth of content to keep consistency and add a flow to your blog publishing schedule.  

    2. Work Towards A Specific Goal

    The main purpose of using a content marketing strategy is to achieve a goal. Otherwise, you can publish random posts only wishing people would subscribe to your email list or buy your product. It’s important that you define a specific goal for your content marketing strategy. But, it should also be realistic. For example, if you’ve generated 1,000 subscribers in the past three months from your content efforts, you can set a goal for your next 3 months to generate 20% more leads. It’s all about always working toward a better goal and increasing the results of your marketing campaign.  

    3. Measure Your Content Marketing ROI

    Being able to measure the success of your content is probably the most important part of your content marketing strategy. However, it’s also one of the aspects most bloggers and marketers forget to imply. Unlike offline marketing, the great thing about digital marketing is that it allows you to easily measure the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing campaigns. And yes, you can measure your content marketing ROI as well. Just make sure you use the right metrics to measure your content marketing strategy. For example, how much shares your blog posts get on social media is not an effective way to measure your content. Instead, measure how effective a blog post is at converting traffic into leads.  

    4. Experiment With Different Content Types

    There are many types of content you can include in a content marketing strategy. You can create videos, blog posts, SnapChat videos, podcasts, eBooks, and more. Different types of businesses find success in different content types. For example, a startup that targets teenagers will find success with Snapchat content than blog posts. So, instead of trying to conquer them all, experiment with content types to figure out what brings you the best results and invest on creating more of that type of content. If blog posts generate more leads for your business, then try creating different types of blog posts like how-to guides, checklists, and case studies. See what type of blog posts works best and craft more of those.  

    5. Update & Repurpose Your Old Content

    Ask any professional blogger or marketer and they’ll always advise you to create “evergreen” content to achieve the best results from your blog. This is true. Some topics can bring you more results in the long run than the others. However, even these evergreen posts need to be updated from time to time. Do an analysis of your blog content every 2-3 months and see which blog posts generate lower results. Then revamp these blog posts by improving the quality and optimizing them for better keywords. Ahrefs managed to boost their pageviews by 468% by simply updating one of their old blog posts. When done properly, this strategy can bring you amazing results. Also, don’t stop after hitting publish on your blog posts. You can repurpose your blog posts to create more content from them. For example, you can create a Slideshare using the bullet points in your blog post. Copy and paste your blog post into a Medium post or a LinkedIn post. Create a short video. Or turn your blog post into a PDF ebook. There are so many ways you can try to make the most of your content.  

    Conclusion

    While these tips can aid you in creating a content marketing strategy, remember that the success of your efforts will depend on the quality and the consistency of the content you create. Even if the results are coming in slow, keep developing great content and stick to your content plan. Eventually, it will deliver the best ROI you can receive from any marketing strategy.
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  • 5 Ways to Track Offline Marketing Efforts

    Monday, September 18, 2017 by

    Track Offline MarketingHow to Track Your Offline Marketing Campaigns

    How can you track the results of offline marketing campaigns such as billboards, posters, magazine ads, or TV ads? Some marketers might say it’s impossible. But, we’re about to prove them wrong. With the right strategy in place, you can track your offline marketing campaigns to analyze the results and discover whether they’re worth the investment. And no, you don’t have to be a marketing genius to do it. In this post, we’ll show you why it’s important to track your offline marketing campaigns and how you can track them all by yourself without having to spend a fortune. Let’s get started, shall we?  

    Does Offline Marketing Still Work?

    Today, it’s easier to create an online marketing campaign than ever before. Almost anyone can easily launch a Google AdWords campaign or a Facebook Ads campaign instantly without having any prior experience. To make things even better, online marketing allows you to target specific audiences and easily track the progress and the effectiveness of your ad campaigns. With all these advanced technologies in place, some might wonder if offline marketing still worth the effort. Well, believe it or not, offline marketing still has its benefits. In fact, according to a study, offline marketing campaigns can actually help boost the effectiveness of online campaigns by 40 percent. Also, offline marketing still plays a major role in branding and influence as well. Which is why most businesses still invest heavily in billboards and TV ads. Create Your Blog

    Why Track Offline Marketing Campaigns?

    The biggest downside to offline marketing is that there’s no way for you to track the effectiveness of your campaigns. There is no analytics for billboards and posters. You just keep pouring in money hoping for the best. At least, that used to be the case with offline marketing. But, not anymore. Now, there are ways you can go around this problem quite easily by mixing your offline marketing with online analytics. This allows you to track conversions and leads to understand whether or not your offline marketing campaigns work and which campaigns are more effective. You can then use the results to invest in the most effective strategies.  

    How to Get Started

    There are several different ways you can track your offline marketing. Depending on the type of campaign you’re running, you can decide how to track your conversions based on different strategies. Here’s how you can get started.  

    1. Create Landing Pages

    Creating offline marketing campaigns to drive traffic to your website homepage is a poor strategy that will simply be a waste of your money and efforts. Billboard with websiteInstead, you should create landing pages for each and every promotion of your marketing campaigns. This way, you’ll be able to easily track the page with analytics and, more importantly, convert your visitors into leads with an effective email opt-in campaign. The only problem with this strategy is that the URL of the page tends to get a bit longer when you create custom landing pages. These are not only difficult to show in banners and posters, but also makes it harder for people to remember. Which is why this next step is crucial for tracking offline marketing.  

    2. Use UTM Codes and QR Codes

    You can analyze your landing page visitors with Google Analytics. But, only to a certain point. For example, if you were to promote your landing page through different mediums like billboards and magazine ads, how can you measure the success of each campaign and figure out which drove the most visitors? QR codes on print ad This can be easily fixed by adding a tracking code to your URL. These are called UTM codes. If you’re using WordPress, you can use a tool like MonsterInsights UTM Builder to create custom tracking codes to be used with your different offline marketing campaigns. Then you can use a URL shortener to create a shorter custom URL. This will help you recognize different traffic sources in Google Analytics. MonsterInsights URL plugin Using QR Codes is another effective strategy to implement tracking in a convenient way which also allows users to easily scan the code using their smartphones to get more information about promotions.  

    3. Utilize Coupon Codes

    Another popular way to track your promotions is by using coupon codes. These usually work in print media, such as leaflets, flyers, and newspaper/magazine ads. uber promocode While you provide the users with a discount to purchase your products, you also get to use those coupon codes to track your marketing campaigns by creating different coupon codes for each campaign. Whenever someone uses the coupon code on your website to buy a product, you’ll know where they came from.  

    4. Track Phone Calls

    It may be hard to believe, but it is possible to track phone calls. Using this method you can track your ad conversions via phone calls to make the most of your offline marketing campaigns. Certain services, like CallRail, provides marketers with solutions for tracking phone calls, record calls, and measuring call conversions with advanced reporting and analytics. call tracking While this doesn’t necessarily relate to website promotions, it may come in handy when you want to include multiple Call To Actions (CTA) in your offline marketing.  

    5. Leverage Augmented Reality

    What does the future hold for offline marketing? Will it still work? Would people still interact with posters and flyers in the future? Well, the technology has found a way to make offline ads even more entertaining with augmented reality. Shazam recently rolled out an innovative new feature turning the music discovery app into an augmented reality solution for brands. Basically, this allows brands and businesses to create print ads with digital interactions by adding a small Shazam icon in the ads. Shazam brand marketing When users scan the Shazam icons in print ads using the app, they receive more information about the business related to the ad on their own phones. It’s an incredibly fun and an entertaining way to make offline ads interactive. Of course, Shazam aims to provide businesses with analytics for these ads as well.  

    Summary

    Hopefully, these tactics will make you think twice about the way you approach offline marketing in your next promotion. As a modern marketer, you should always be aware of how to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Mixing online marketing with offline marketing can bring you much better results than limiting yourself to just one strategy.
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  • How to Optimize Images on WordPress for Lightning Fast Loading

    Monday, August 21, 2017 by

    how to optimize images for your website

    Optimize Images and Make Your Website Load Faster

    Did you know that nearly half of your website visitors expect your site to load in 2 seconds or less? Even worse, most will abandon your site if it fails to load within 3 seconds. The good news is you can significantly reduce the number of abandoning visitors by speeding up your website. Images often account for most of the downloaded bytes on a web page. If you’re looking to significantly boost your page speed, the first thing you need to do is to optimize images on your WordPress site. Below are 5 image optimization tips for lightning fast loading.  

    1. Compress images

    The best way to prevent slow loading images on your WordPress site is to compress your images with your photo editing software before you upload them. But what if you don’t have access to the right software, or want to optimize the existing images on your site? An image compression plugin is the easy solution that lets you optimize images on the fly as you upload them to your WordPress site. Image compression allows you to reduce the size of your images without affecting their quality. Compression is the process of reducing the image size by removing image info algorithmically that a human eye can't perceive, so the image still looks clear and sharp. The best way to compress high-resolution images is with the the EWWW Image Optimizer plugin. Upon activation, you can optimize all the images automatically as you upload. It can also optimize your existing images on your site. ewww image optimizer  

    2. Leverage lazy load

    Do you want to use a lot of images on your site without making it load slower? Reducing the number of images is not an ideal solution, especially when you want to convey messages that can’t be done with just plain text. If you're using a lot of images on most pages of your WordPress site, you’ll want them to load only when they're visible to users, which is known as lazy loading. Lazy loading your images helps you to save your bandwidth and improve your page speed. To lazy load your images, you just need to activate the Lazy Load plugin on your site. It uses jQuery.sonar to load images only when they’re visible to your users.  

    3. Use the right format

    When editing images for your website, you often need to compromise between the display quality and the file size of the image. Saving images in the right format is the best way to optimize them and keep a balance between display quality and file size. Wondering which image file format is best for your website? Here’s a rundown of the most common:
    • JPG is a lossy compressed file format. Use this format to store photographs at a smaller size. It’s the best choice for images with a lot of different colors.
    • PNG is a lossless compression file format. Use this format for simpler images and transparent images. It's a good choice for storing line drawings and text at a smaller size.
    • GIF is best suited for images that are very small and ones that use only a few colors. It’s a good choice for clip art, charts, etc.
    Here's an example of how the file formats look different, courtesy of Bluewave. jpeg vs gif vs png comparison The best way to edit and save images optimized for the web is by using Photoshop. If you need a free alternative, you can use GIMP instead. Below are a few free online tools that help you optimize your images with a perfect balance in quality and file size.
    • TinyPNG uses a smart lossy compression technique to reduce the file size of your PNG files without compromising its visual quality. You can upload up to 20 images, maximum of 5 MB each.
    • JPEGmini uses recompression technology to reduce the size of images without compromising their perceived quality. You can either use their free web version or use a premium desktop app.
    • ImageOptim is a Mac app that allows you to reduce the file size of images by removing bloated metadata. Its main benefit is that it lets you enable lossy minification so you can compress your images to get the smallest file sizes possible.
     

    4. Prevent Image Hotlinking

    Hotlinking is a process of stealing your server bandwidth by serving images on third-party sites, while still loading them from the original source. This practice is often followed by content scrapers and increases your server load as well as bandwidth usage. The easy way to disable hotlinking from your WordPress site is by adding the below code to your .htaccess file. RewriteEngine on RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$ RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?yourwebsite.com [NC] RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ - [NC,F,L] Make sure to replace yourwebsite.com with your domain name in the above code. This code blocks hotlinking your images while still allowing images to be viewed in search results and on your website.  

    5. Use CSS instead of images

    Using an image often requires a larger number of bytes than HTML, CSS and JavaScript. A great strategy to boost your loading time is to leverage CSS effects wherever possible instead of using an image. For instance, you can generate certain shapes like gradients, rounded rectangles, and drop shadows by using simple CSS. While using CSS, keep an eye on browser compatibility because not all browsers render it the same way. By following the above image optimization tactics, you can drastically improve your page loading time. Keep in mind that for every second you shave off of load time, you're encouraging your visitors to stay on your site longer.