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7 Steps to a Lasting First Impression

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First impressions never die...

First impressions never die…

Businesses who send welcome emails will see on average a 50% open rate, making them 86% more effective than email newsletters. So, if you haven’t included a welcome series into your email marketing strategy, you probably should start doing so.

Since email is one of the most easy and cost-effective marketing channels to build relationships, sending a welcome email can set the tone after someone has shown interest in your business. Most importantly though, it makes for the perfect opportunity to introduce your business and create trust with your new subscriber. Because as the saying goes “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Another great thing about a welcome series is that it is easy to set up. With the convenience of marketing automation (when an email is automatically sent to a subscriber after a triggered activity), you can provide a well-timed hello within seconds after a new subscriber has signed up to receive your emails.

Here are some tips to help you write an effective welcome email:

1. Be recognizable

Let’s be honest – people receive a lot of email and can forget what they have signed up for. Therefore, you don’t want your email to get overlooked in an inbox or marked as spam.

Be sure your sender name is recognizable in the ‘from label’ and that your company’s name is in the subject line. Also, your welcome email (and all emails for that matter) should reflect your branding for added recognition and legitimacy; this will help increase your open rates.

2. Forgo the “do not reply” receipt

If you are sending a welcome email to your subscribers, you want them to be able to interact with your company. That’s the point, right? With a ‘do not reply’ email you convey a message that says “thank you for signing up for our newsletters, but please don’t contact us.” Always allow for your subscribers to be able interact with you.

3. Personalize your message

Since your welcome email goes to anyone who signs up for your newsletters, you want to make each subscriber feel special. And what better way to do so by greeting them by name in your message. The awesome thing is that all email service providers have this feature, and all you have to do is drop a data/dynamic tag into your greeting and it will go from generic to more personal.

4. Thank the subscriber

Obviously your new subscribers find your company worthy enough since they have requested to receive emails from you, which is great!

Acknowledging that you appreciate them becoming a subscriber with a simple thank you – it will go a long way.

5. Let subscribers know what they can expect from your emails

You can never go wrong with a little clarification to remind the subscriber what they signed up for. A welcome email is the perfect place to tell them what content they can expect to receive in future emails from your company.

Remember – there should be a purpose or value to the email marketing campaigns that you send out. By letting your new subscribers know the benefit for having signed up for your newsletters, they will not have a reason to ever unsubscribe.

6. Provide a link to your email preference center

Always give your subscriber an opportunity to modify their subscriber preferences. Linking the email preference center in your email will allow your subscriber to have control over the frequency at which you will be emailing them or opt-out if they have changed their mind.

7. Add a Call-to-Action

Adding a relevant call-to-action in your welcome letter helps direct the subscriber to take the next steps. Whether that be a special coupon, a link to register for an event or a link to download your latest whitepaper, your subscriber will know to take a specific action. Also, adding a call-to-action will greatly improve your click-through rates and overall email performance.

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6 Ways to Boost Your Google PageRank Today

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With the abundance of free website builders, lower cost of entry into business and an infinite amount of resources available to start-ups, it has become increasingly easier for a business to have an online presence. This of course means an increase in competition no matter your industry.

With this oversaturation of the market and Google continuing to push organic search results further down the page in favor of paid listings it is becoming more and more difficult to get noticed on search engines without paying Google.

Why do you need to improve PageRank?

The #1 result on a search engine results page receives 30% of all clicks.

To understand why you need to improve your PageRank, you need to understand what PageRank is. Though it’s true that Google recently announced they will no longer update the ‘PageRank Toolbar’, PageRank will still be a factor in where your site shows up in a search engine results page (SERP).

PageRank is Google’s system for ranking web pages. A page with a higher PageRank is deemed more important and is more likely to be listed above a page with a lower PageRank.

Google describes PageRank: (more…)

What’s The Best and Worst Time to Send Email?

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The Best Day and Time to Send Emails

open-emailThe question “What day and time is best to send an email?” seems to be one we are asked quite often. And since we are constantly staying on top of the latest email marketing trends and have compiled a lot of research and data on this topic, we thought we would share with you some general email marketing trends that will help have a positive impact on your next email send. (more…)

10 Unique Content Ideas for Your Next Email Campaign

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Traditional Marketing

“Traditional marketing talks at people. Content marketing talks with them.” – Doug Kessler

I am a firm believer that the success of an email campaign is highly dependent on its content. As someone who has been both the marketer and the marketed, I can rightfully say that if you aren’t writing content that is relative and has value, then you can expect your emails to quickly find their way to the spam junkyard.

However, writing good content can sometimes be challenging. I can most definitely attest to that! After putting together many email campaigns, I still encounter writer’s block because I get stumped with what to write. Usually when that happens, I realize that it is time to come up with some fresh new content ideas.
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Why Spam Is Gross (and why not to do it)

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What is Spam?

Why Spam is Gross

No, not this kind of Spam.

Besides being a beloved meat treat in Asia and Hawaii, it is an email communication that is unsolicited and unwanted. The CAN SPAM Compliance Act threatens up $16,000 per violation for a number of email no-no’s, however these are rarely enforced and it is Email Solution Provider that suffers from the sending of spam like communications.

From my experience, the worst a company has to deal with by sending out spam is the cancellation or suspension of their account. While this can be costly and disruptive to an organizations marketing, it pales in comparison to the damage mass amounts of spam can cause an ESP.

Email IP Addresses that are whitelisted and “seasoned” are hard to come by and take a long time to develop. It only takes one bad apple to ruin it for the bunch. So, if you want a strong partnership with your Email Solution Provider be aware of what you are bringing to the table or your relationship will be very short lived. (more…)

How much is too much when it comes to Email?

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In the immortal words of Gordon Gekko…

Gordon Gekko, Greed is Good

The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works.

Well then, when is greed too much for your contact lists and when is the line crossed that enough is too much?

As an email consultant, one of the most common questions I receive from new and potential clients is, “How often is too often to send?”

If you simplified email marketing campaigns into their most basic elements, you as the marketer are looking for the highest level of engagement from your contacts. The more opens and clicks, the further down your contacts go in the buying process. If you can push as many contacts far enough down the buying road your revenues and ROI will go up. So why isn’t unlimited email frequency a standard business practice?

Simply put, because consumers have the right to Unsubscribe. They can actively vote if your communications are worthy of their time and attention. If you have developed your email list organically, then you know your contacts want to receive information from you. It is important to not abuse this position of respect from the consumer by betraying their trust and overwhelming them to the point of annoyance. There needs to be a balance between their interest and your passion for conversion. (more…)

35 Subject Line Formulas to Boost Your Open Rates

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What’s the easiest way to get your audience to open your emails?

jump_to_downloadWrite better subject lines.

Of course, you need to have a permission based email list of interested and engaged customers. Your audience’s inboxes are an endless stream of promotions, alerts, notifications, and spam. No matter how great the content of your email is, you’ll need to learn how to write subject lines if you want your audience to open your emails.

Or, you can skip to the bottom and download our “35 Subject Line Formulas to Boost Your Open Rates” guide.

Subject line writing is key to all internet marketing

Subject line writing is key to all internet marketingTrue, writing better subject lines will boost your email open rates, but that’s just the start. Understanding the psychology behind what makes an engaging subject line is the secret to successful email marketing. It will improve your results in nearly every aspect of your marketing, including:

  • Social media headline writing
  • Blog post titles
  • Sales page headlines
  • Presentation titles

The key to understanding how to write great subject lines is about understanding what causes a person to take a certain action. Why they say, “Yes.” And if you’re in the business of marketing – you are in the business of getting people to say, “Yes.”
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Purchased Email Lists: The Ugly Truth

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Building an email marketing list can be challenging and time consuming, especially if you’re a new business that is just getting started or trying to grow quickly. Unfortunately, many marketers take the easy road (or so they think) and purchase email lists to help grow their business without knowing the consequences that lie ahead.

Purchased Email Lists: The Ugly Truth

What is a Purchased Email List?

Purchased email lists are a collection of “non-opt-in” email addresses compiled by third-party vendors who then sell the list to a business or individual for a fee.

There are a few methods that third-party vendors use to build these lists. One common method is through banner advertisements placed on websites that offer a prize. And in order to claim the prize, these ads ask that you provide information such as your email address, which is then segmented into categories where you become a “target” for marketers.

Another method vendors use to collect email addresses is through buying email lists from industry trade shows (or other events) where it is common for people to provide their email information during the registration process.

And then there is email harvesting. This sneaky method uses “bots” to scour the web and collect email addresses from websites, forums and comment sections. (more…)

Is your WordPress site safe?

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WordPress has become one of the leading web platforms that powers millions of websites. Unfortunately, for WordPress, they have also become a major target for hackers.

With news surfacing of a new vulnerability, WordPress users need to be aware of the vulnerabilities and the dangers of running an out of date or unsecured WordPress installation.

What can happen if your WordPress site is attacked

how-do-wordpress-blogs-get-hackedMany WordPress hacks begin with Hackers injecting malicious programming into the website which grants them control over the site. Once a hacker has control of a website they can install programs to infect your visitors, compromise your secure data, redirect your site traffic to a new website entirely, and much more.

Hacked websites will often contain pharmaceutical terms (Viagra, Cialis, weight loss pills) or other spam that is unrelated to the website. Hackers can conceal this content in code so that is not visible to the human eye, but is visible to Google bots or other search engines crawling your site. Once this information is indexed by Google, people searching for your site will instead see search results for pharmaceutical companies which originate from your site URL.

Another common form of WordPress hacking involves redirecting your website URL to a different site, or redirecting individual links within a website. For example anyone visiting http://yoursite.com would instantly be forwarded to another website determined by the hacker. The latter method involves the hacker selecting individual links within a website that when clicked will then redirect the user to a new site. This method is much harder to detect. (more…)

Are your business listings confusing your consumers?

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Introducing FireDrum’s Business Directory & PowerListings Solution

In today’s competitive online marketplace, when it comes to information, people expect nothing less than accuracy. Indeed, misinformation can be the difference between keeping and losing a customer. But accuracy can be elusive, particularly when your brand lives in so many discrete destinations.

FireDrum has the proven expertise to make sure your business information is correct, consistent and convincing. Everywhere. FireDrum’s Business Directory & PowerListings Solution analyzes, identifies, and controls existing business listings of your locations through our unique publisher network, so all of your content is accurate, synced, and up-to-date across every digital channel. (more…)