Keep it local, social and mobile, and be happy with what you’re doing. That’s just some of the valuable marketing information we’ve picked up off the streets. We feel it’s imperative that we gather as much good advice as we can, and that it’s selfish to keep it to ourselves. With Street Spam we can invade people’s lives with a camera and a microphone and gather the information you need to be successful…while unearthing the inner entertainer in everyone we meet. Here we ask marketing dos and don’ts, as well as test our informers on their five-second elevator pitch.
What makes a great Email Newsletter?
If you’re in Affiliate Marketing and operate a blog, chances are you have a weekly newsletter. I’m a sucker for signing up for that newsletter as it’s just easier to be reminded of my favorite blogs and what they’re dishing out in my inbox. Maybe I’m too much of a sucker, as I had to do some cleaning up of my inbox this week. It’s interesting that the newsletters that made the cut all had similar characteristics. If you’re thinking of revamping your current newsletter, or looking to begin the weekly delivery of your goodies- then give these tips a look-see. The anatomy of your newsletter is listed below…
It begins with the subject line
Make it compelling to your audience. Use your readers first name with words like “HOW TO”, “TRENDS”, “This week’s METHODS….”, or “72% prefer…..”. The goal is to get your reader to open your email. And for the love, please do not say “My Blog’s Weekly Newsletter”. #snore
Keep this consistent for future newsletters. Have sectioned content that gives brief descriptions and a link to the details. For aesthetics try to provide three to five sections. Don’t forget bold, concise titles are best for each section. Newsletters that had too many sections or too many words were instantly deleted from my viewing pleasure.
You’re a blogger so you’ve likely been doing content generation all week. It’s completely acceptable to list your posts of the week in sections and link off to the articles. Or, maybe your newsletter is a place for additional content that just isn’t right for a blog post but you still would like to communicate. Need some ideas? Consider……
- Featured Tip of the week for your niche
- Better yet, Featured Product of the week. Use those Affiliate links!!
- Upcoming Events for your niche
- Case Study
- How To’s, Trends in your Niche, Stats, or your opinion about any combination of those three.
Do be careful when discussing your Company News. This is in similar vein to titling your Subject Line “My Blog’s Weekly Newsletter”. More often than not, your reader will become bored. Name.com may be an exception for talking about our company, as we at least try to entertain you while discussing our happenings. We’ve used Unicorns, our CEO asking if he stuttered while cussing, and cute cuddly animals while talking about our company. Which brings us to the next part of the newsletter anatomy…..
Try adding one thing to amuse your audience. Maybe that’s a trivia question, a link to an entertaining video, your hand drawn cartoon, your opinion of your most interesting Instagram pic of the week,…anything.
Ask your readers to do something. Maybe it’s asking them to follow your social media links? Maybe it’s asking them a poll question. If you like the poll idea, make sure there is the option to view the results – people like seeing where their opinions stack up.
And lastly, pay heed to the technical aspect
Your newsletter should have HTML and plain text elements. Most likely your software does this for you, but view your newsletter in both options so you understand your user experience. I like to enable the HTML version but newsletters that had poor format in plain text or too many HTML elements were deleted and unsubscribed.
Speaking of unsubscribing—that was a very necessary element for me to locate. On the more positive side for you, be proactive and give subscription options—such as future communication about their reading preferences. Also consider the RSS feed.
Don’t get stuck with how to construct your weekly newsletter. These tips were designed to eliminate that pain as well as give you some a strong back bone for developing your newsletter format. This may seem like a lot of information but seriously, you’ll notice, especially if you are newletter-ing already, that you’ll shorten your newsletter process. It’s not so daunting as you may think.
Enjoy and out of curiosity, let me know if you’ve tried any amusing tricks in your newsletters.
Every week there are more YouTube views in America alone then there are people on the planet. That’s nuts. But what’s even crazier is if you’re not taking advantage of the massive eyeball magnet that is the online video juggernaut. YouTube is now the second largest search engine on the Internet (Yes, Google owns all of us). Troy Olson from JEMSU has a video marketing background, so look to these tips to move your videos up the page ranks and your business in front of more customers.
Episodes of The Insightful air every week and offer insight and education for the entrepreneur…and anyone else who wouldn’t mind tapping the minds of nationally renowned experts.
For our weekly show The Insightful we had started a conversation with Erika Napoletano, whose star is rising as Redhead Writing. Here she continues with how she pulled all her outgoing media into one focused enterprise, how you can do the same thing, and what certain brands are doing right.
Every week The Insightful features a new expert and gaining the insider knowledge that makes people and businesses great.
Author of The Power of Unpopular: A Guide to Building Your Brand for the Audience Who Will Love You (and why no one else matters), and a rising star in digital marketing strategies, SEO and all that’s necessary to thrive in today’s business world, Erika Napoletano has branded (with burning hot bluntness) herself as Redhead Writing. In this episode of The Insightful, you’ll get a glimpse of why her website says she “strives to say what others won’t and don’t (but should).” Here, Napoletano aims her truth crossbow at your business, and culls all the unnecessary things you’ve been doing to market it.
Being a former East Coaster naturally I was stoked to head to Boston for HostingCon. I haven’t attended many conferences so I was excited to absorb information, hang out with my team outside of the office, and catch up with vendors and partners. Needless to say, by the time Wednesday rolled around I was officially burnt out. Between burning the candle at both ends, hitting the conference sessions and vendor meetings all day all while keeping up with email was a grind. There was an internal thread going around questioning how effective we are in pushing our brand and producing compelling content. In my sleep deprived state I was feeling a little bummed out questioning if what we were doing (putting ourselves out there) was the best strategy. Just as I’m spiraling into this bad place I walked into an Industry Trends session presented by Christian Dawson the COO of ServInt and he reassured me that we’re on the right track.
As I sat down the slide deck read, ‘Be Interesting.’ He went on to explain that the best way to find your niche in a competitive industry is to follow your passions. He noted that you can’t beat the big guys on price, perceived quality of service, and certainly not on ad spend and mass awareness but you CAN beat the big guys by being more responsive, more nimble, more market-targeted, and most importantly by being MORE INTERESTING. (For the record, that’s why we keep this guy on staff.) Christian went on to say that sameness + smallness = invisibility. In order to be less invisible he suggests being interesting. As I’m sitting there taking it in, the internal struggle started bouncing around my head again until he closed with his most emphasized point: HAVE THE COURAGE TO BE YOURSELF.
All in all it seems like a cheesy lesson but it really hit home for me. We’re a wacky, small company largely off the map trying to compete with all the top players. I’ve learned the best thing we have going for us is ourselves and we’ve got great products to back it up. We do business openly and honestly and always put our customers first, as long as we continue to go down this path we can’t go wrong.
Big thanks to Christian for the pep talk 😉
It seems anybody with a computer has become a social media expert. They’ll tell you that you need “presence on the web,” which sounds cool but is about as fulfilling as a bowl of dust. What you need are people who know about your presence, and are so impressed they tell other people about it. Imagine that. People coming to you. No more cold calling or desperate sign throwing in a dangerous intersection. It’s called inbound marketing and this quick little interview is packed with useful information from one of the most talented inbound marketing mavens in the industry, Rebecca Corliss from HubSpot.
Skip to about :50 for the meat.
Since the 1990’s, banner ads have come a long way. Looky at this 1997 retro ad from apple we found:
There has been a lot of research since then as to how to make effective banners. Let your advertiser worry about the ad design, but as far as making them work for you on your site, as an Affiliate, here are 3+1 tips:
1. Don’t clutter your site with ads. This can come off as looking unprofessional and turn your visitor away. Instead, space your ads and include quality content to balance the look of the site (and keep the reader on your page).
2. Choose 3-4 banners max for your page. This number has been shown to be the most effective. Statistics show that the first few banners get the most attention. As the order of placement increases, the click-through rate decreases, meaning your first few ads will get the most clicks while anything above and beyond receives less clicks. Choose wisely among the ads you wish to promote (greedy me would choose the ads that are the most effective with the highest payout).
3. Consider user experience with ad placement. You will capture the most attention from your user with anything placed “above the fold.” Above the fold just means the space at the top of your site before your user has to scroll. So place your banner ads above the fold. History lesson – “above the fold” originates with newspapers. Anything that was on the front page before the fold in the middle of the paper.
4. Repetition. It seems counter-intuitive, right? A 2011 study by Casale Media (http://casalemedia.com/files/Casale-Ad-Visibility-Report-FINAL.pdf) shows the magic number being five. Showing an ad at least five times resulted in an increase of 175 times in the number of clicks. Wowza!
The basic goal for any affiliate is to get the most clicks/conversions possible for the most commission possible. If you are using banner advertising, we hope you find these suggestions useful!
Let us know if you’d like to see information on any other affiliate related topics: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article heavily influenced by: http://www.minonline.com/news/Banner-Ad-Effectiveness-Strike-Early-Visibly-and-Often_18652.html and the statistics presented in: http://casalemedia.com/files/Casale-Ad-Visibility-Report-FINAL.pdf)
Part 2 of Caroline’s series on Affiliate Marketing. Here’s Part 1 to get you started.
Wanna know what most affiliates do with their web sites to make money as an affiliate marketer? It’s easier than you think! I got all inspired to share this information with you after reading Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day by Evgenii “Geno” Prussakov. Try one of these 5 marketing approaches while promoting your affiliate offer. Successful affiliates rarely stick to one method – here’s to you if you give them all a try!
1. Give CONTENT PUBLISHING a shot!
Think Blogs. Basically, choose the offer you want to promote, then build content (that means helpful information regarding the product), then monetize that helpful information with the affiliate merchant links. Those links are usually in the form of banners, widgets, text links, and video.
We promise it’s more exciting than it sounds – especially for those visiting your “couponing” site. Use this strategy to organize all discounts in one location for your visitors. The better the categorization of the products, the more your success. Popular methods of categorization are holidays, low price mark downs, expiration dates, deal of the day coupons, etc.
3. DATA FEEDS
Affiliates using this method will produce websites that allow users to comparison-shop several merchants for one type of product. The affiliate will pull the product information from a data feed of each merchant to their site. Users of the site are able to price and feature check among several merchants for the same product. That’s an affiliate commission for you, if the user uses the merchant link from your page to make the purchase!
4. EMAIL MARKETING
Do you have a targeted mailing list of individuals who have opted in to receive communication about certain products? If so, and you allow those individuals an option to opt out – then this method may work well for you. Just be extremely careful that the Affiliate Program you join allows for email marketing. There can be serious consequences for spamming of unsolicited commercial emails.
5. USE SOCIAL MEDIA
Affiliates are leveraging social networks, forums, and microblogs for sales (just make sure to comply with the terms and conditions with the form you choose). Some are creative to develop Facebook apps, then monetize them with their affiliate links or tweeting deals on Twitter. Some have even created social shopping engines where users help each other shop – leading to commissions for you. The more innovative you are the more success you may see.
Of course these are not the only methods of promotion for your Affiliate Links, but hopefully you’ve got a better idea how to get started! Now, get out there and make some money!
****Source Shout Out- “Affiliate Program Management: An Hour A Day” by Evgenii “Geno” Prussakov , Chapter 1 Understanding Affiliate Marketing.