Holiday Action Saves a Sour Shopping Season

July 15, 2009
Posted by Tom Kulzer (AWeber CEO)

Usually, U.S. retailers earn 20-80% of their entire yearly gross during the holiday season. But this year, things are different. The sluggish US economy has prompted Deloitte Research’s Carl Steidtmann to fear “the worst Christmas ever” in the retail sector.

Short of going door to door in a Santa suit, how can businesses increase profits and prevent a blue Christmas? Despite economic gloom, industry leaders have found that an e-mail follow up strategy can increase sales by a cheery 35%! To weather the ailing economy, use a follow up autoresponder during your holiday campaigns.


What Does It Do?

Follow up autoresponders follow up with your leads for you. You create a series of messages, and decide when they should be sent, (daily, weekly, etc.). Your autoresponder will send the messages to each new lead automatically. With no further intervention from you, your leads will remember you throughout the winter chill. And this regular reminding will mean more sales during the all-important holiday shopping season.

Give yourself the gift of a higher conversion rate! Follow up automatically using these simple steps:

•Offer Useful Information
•Personalize Your Messages
•Track Your Leads
•Broadcast Tailor-Made Offers

Offer Useful Information

Write your follow up messages for your leads – not for yourself. You want to talk about your great service, but your leads just want to know what they’ll get out of it!

At some point, you must have purchased something like your product. What were you looking for then? Was it information about pricing, styles, or holiday gift wrapping? Maybe just a clearer explanation of the product? Figure that out, and put the answer in your follow up messages. That’s what your leads want to know.


Personalize Your Messages

You don’t open postal mail addressed to “Current Resident”, and your leads aren’t going to read e-mail addressed to “Dear Internet Friend.” People are simply more likely to read messages that address them by name.

Autoresponders let you use variables to personalize your messages. This way, you write just one message, but Lenny Lead reads “Happy Holidays, Lenny!” while Kate Customer reads “Happy Holidays, Kate!”

Names are only the beginning of the personalization features available, though. In addition to full, first, and last names, some autoresponders let you add e-mail addresses, dates, or an ad category. The best even correct the capitalization in your leads’ names, giving your messages a much more professional look.

Track Your Leads

Get even better results from your snowballing list of leads by experimenting with follow up content and timing. Your experimentation will be much more successful if you have access to proper statistics.

Only use a follow up autoresponder that offers detailed lead statistics. Look for live, graphical stats that show your incoming leads broken down by day / week / month, all of your active leads, and leads who have requested removal from your list.

Broadcast Tailor-Made Offers

To get more bang for your holiday buck, look for an autoresponder that also lets you broadcast extra e-mails to all of your leads. Some even allow you to send tailor-made offers only to leads who meet certain criteria.

For instance, send everyone who’s been on your list for a month a special discount. Or, notify all leads interested in a certain product when a new shipment comes in.

Follow up messages keep leads warm. Use periodic broadcasts to convert them to sales!

Prevent a Crummy Christmas

Businesses of all sizes have seen their sales grow by leaps and bounds because of automated follow up. Implement your follow up strategy now to make the best use of holiday leads! Then, enjoy the season – your autoresponder is following up for you!

AWeber Creates Lasting Customer Relationships For You With Email Newsletters, Autoresponders, RSS to Email and Other Email Marketing Tools.

Sign up for an AWeber account, and get FREE instant access to the revealing e-mail secrets of Jonathan Mizel.

Follow me on Twitter

Join me on Facebook


Leave the Pain of Newsletter Design To Us - AWeber Email Marketing

3 Tips To Increase Your Email Newsletter Open Rates

July 8, 2009

Posted by Justin Premick

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:

Monday13.67%
Tuesday13.21%
Wednesday14.07%
Thursday14.52%
Friday13.25%
Saturday12.09%
Sunday13.26%

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
Monday16.0%
Tuesday17.7%
Wednesday16.9%
Thursday16.6%
Friday15.2%
Saturday8.8%
Sunday8.8%

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.

If you like this article, please email me or follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/digitaltalent2

SOCIAL MEDIA OPTIMISATION

April 4, 2009

Social Media is the new age of communication to build a solid brand advocacy and referrals to your business.

“The amount of time people spend online has, for the first time ever, surpassed the amount of time spent watching television.” Nielsen Online,”10th Australian Internet and Technology Report” confirms that there is several popular social news sites powered by millions of users that exist today.

The major attraction for a business to start building their “Social Brand” is:

Creating brand connection by engaging with your visitors
Creating sales opportunities without selling
Increasing the popularity of your business amongst a targeted audience, resulting in building your brand
Generating traffic to your website, thus creating new business opportunities
Interacting with your community, providing you the opportunity to build business intelligence which will assist in refining your business offering
With their popularity only growing, it is important to leverage social sites as a platform to boost your business, through content and links that get exposed to the user community. In a rapidly transforming digital world, Social Media Marketing offers a new avenue in online marketing.

A popular piece of content or relevant links on these sites is viewed by countless bloggers hungry for stories to blog about. Strategic naming convention will show your blogs, articles and profile to rank very high in Google in a reasonable amount of time.

Do you need help getting your business noticed?

Do you realise that back links (links from other sites to yours) are the answer, but you don’t know how to get those links created?

Are you so busy building your business that you are overlooking the most powerful and cost effective marketing tool on the Internet today?

Problem: Social Media Optimisation is fantastic but time consuming… it takes a couple of hours to set one profile and link it to various bookmarks, so imagine doing it on the top 24 brands!
Solutions: X2 provides you a dedicated team to implement your profiles in the top 10 Social Networks, then to set-up your Blog and first article and start ranking in the major search engines by using the top 10 Social Bookmarks and Blog listings.
Your dedicated staff will then liaise with you to provide you all your user names and passwords for you to maintain. It’s that easy! To get Tips & e-Boos JOIN our FREE Digital Talent Academy

Our service is provided by our dedicated Professional Social Media Optimisation Team.
Each client account is 100% manually created by our professional team.
X2 will create your account and register your personal/business profile with 24 of the most Popular Social Sites for your business.
You will then be provided a list with all your login details.

This list includes the following:

Registration and setup of your profiles with the 10 most popular “Social Networking” sites
Registration and setup of your profile with the 10 most popular Social Bookmarks
Blog Registration of your profile and setup of your first Article and Blog listings

Your dedicated staff will then liaise with you to provide you all your user names and passwords for you to maintain. It’s that easy! ENQUIRE NOW

Twitter is a new way to communicate to friends, family, work mates, and clients and is taking the world by storm.

Tweet Later allows you to automate some of your activities. With this website, you can schedule Tweets to go out at set dates and times in the fuutre, can auto follow anyone that starts following you, and send them a nice welcome message.
Follow Me: Twitter

Join Me: Facebook