How do I monetize my blog? You don’t.

Greetings.

Today’s topic is courtesy of  of Driving Traffic. Have you ever wondered how to monetize your blog? Well, don’t! A blog serves many purposes, but making loadsamoney from it really should not be one of them.

Kevin’s article explains more, and provides some ideas on what you should be doing…

How do I monetize my blog? You don’t.

By  on February 18, 2013

So you have decided to make some extra money online. You followed the steps and got your domain, hosting, CMS, theme, social media, and the list goes on and on. You finally start blogging; only to find out, the money isn’t cascading in. What’s going on here? You’ve been told that millionaires are made everyday online. You were told, “If you build it, they will come”. You have followed all the steps you knew of, and the money just isn’t coming. Don’t fret; every part-time (and full-time) entrepreneur has been there.

Spending your part time blogging isn’t the novel idea it once was. After investing your free time reading, learning, building, and writing, it can be frustrating to not see the results and is easy to get discouraged. The good news is, by attempting to take control of your financial future, you are taking strides to do something most people will never do. If you have made it this far and haven’t seen a dollar yet, I urge you to stick with it. While making boatloads of cash online isn’t as easy as some would lead you to believe, when you do find some success, it makes all of the time and effort all well worth it.

Honest Inventory

Take a critical look at where you are. It is no easy task to be objective when looking at a passion project, but this is an essential part of finding success in your endeavors. Take an outsider’s look at your subject matter, how you write about it, and make an honest assessment. If an outsider looked at your blog what would they say is the biggest issue?

Are you in the right niche, or in a niche at all? This might be the most important thing to consider. If you are in a highly competitive niche, you aren’t doing yourself any favors for someone who is starting out. By picking the correct niche you can save yourself a lot of trouble by having fewer competitors.

Is your site getting traffic? If you are hoping to generate your income from advertising and you do not have a staggering amount of traffic to your site, you need to reconsider your plan of action. There are not many (single) blogs out there that can generate a living wage from advertising revenue alone. So, stop barking up that tree if you are in this position.

This assessment can go on forever, from site design to mobile or social media strategy. I don’t want to you to get hung up here. Unless you are questioning your niche and don’t have traffic, you are ok. If those two things are an issue, you should probably go back to the drawing board and decide on a new domain or direction. Otherwise, if traffic is your only issue, join the club. What you can do in the short term is attempt to stand out from the crowd by producing what you consider being incredibly good content. Be a little more daring, opinionated, or possibly controversial (What do you want to say, but aren’t).

The last short term traffic bump can come from watching the trends. What are other people in your niche talking about? Use tools like blog aggregators (Technorati & alltop), and google alerts. Google alerts are essential for content creators; it is the easiest way to keep your ear to the ground for your topics, without burning your whole day trolling the web. When news is made in your niche, you need to give your two cents, or at least curate someone who is.

Another big pitfall to look out for is focus. My biggest problem starting out was the distribution of my effort. I tended to spend all my free time working 10 different projects. I would spread myself so thin, that none of my projects were up to a standard that I was happy with. Consolidate your efforts. If it comes down to it, pick the project that you have the most fun working on and run with it. Let the others suffer in the mean time. Chances are that if you enjoy it, it will show in the finished product.

Keep in mind the 80/20 rule. I learned this trick from Ryan Deiss, and have seen a consistent trend of successful people who use it. For those of you who are not familiar, it is the concept where you should be spending 80% of your time on what is actually making the bulk of your money. The remaining 20% goes to the other projects. Often 20% of your efforts will generate 80% of your revenue; by identifying that 20% you can save yourself a lot of headaches. There is a lot more to the theory, and I am not really doing it justice here, so look it up if you have never heard it.

Making Money

So, here’s the deal, simply having a blog isn’t going to be your main source of income. You have start thinking about revenue generation. There are a number of ways to achieve that. You can build an authority site, you can focus on lead generation and build a list, but today we are going to talk about products. The most effective way to monetize your blog is to start promoting products; an even more effective way is to promote your own products. This is arguably the most efficient way of generating passive income if done correctly. For many this can be a daunting task. But, it really isn’t as hard as it sounds.

The first step is deciding whether you will be dealing with physical or digital products. There is a separate path for physical products, so today I am just going to focus on digital products. For the part-time entrepreneur I think selling/creating/marketing digital products will be “lower hanging fruit” than physical products. If there is interest, I can write an article on physical goods and drop shipping.

Next is becoming familiar with the products in your space. Get an account with an affiliate platform (clickbank, commission junction, JVZOO, WarriorPlus). Take a look at the marketplace and sort the products for your niche by popularity or gravity. Go through the products to see what is out there, and what seems to be doing well. Make notes of products you like, are interested in, and what their rating/popularity/gravity is (you will use this later).

After having a grasp of what is out there, you can identify “holes” & needs for your niche. Start making plans for potential products. Try and dream something up that is feasible with a unique selling point, something that will set it apart from other products in your space. What would provide real benefit or value to someone with your interests? What would you buy? What do you know that others don’t? What problem do people in your niche experience often? Carl White just wrote an excellent article on how he fulfills the needs of different niches by utilizing facebook and linkedin groups (How to beat the big dogs at affiliate marketing contests).

What I would suggest if you are just starting out is a special report of some kind. You are obviously already familiar with writing, and most likely already have a good grasp on your subject matter.

Find a popular report like this in the market place that is selling well, and buy it. While reading through, make notes of structure, length, format, and the kinds of information covered. You can use this report as a guide when outlining your own product. Something to keep in mind is that on these affiliate-based platforms, the market is typically flooded with “me-too” products. You will need to distance yourself from the collection of similar products on the subject you are writing about. So, if there are already 5 reports out there on the subject you were thinking about and you don’t have anything that drastically sets yours apart from them, you should move on to the next idea.

After you have decided on a product and outlined it, it is time to roll up your sleeves and get to work writing (or building). In the mean time while you develop your product, you can implement other ways of generating revenue like affiliate sales and/or lead generation (list building).

Affiliate Offers

Get the notes you made earlier on products you like in your niche, and their popularity. There are a few things to think about here. If the gravity is really high on the product this is an indication that this product will provide some stiff competition when you attempt to promote it. Do some research on what/who you are competing with. If all of your choices have a lot of competition, you might need to go a little lower on the gravity results and pick something a little less popular.

Once you have decided on a few products you would like to promote. You can start building a plan of action. The easiest way to promote an affiliate offer is adding a banner image to your site linked to your affiliate link. These are often placed in your sidebar in a “text/html widget”. I would also suggest writing a review article on some of the features or sections of the product that you really liked. While you might want to frame this as a product review, keep in mind that you are ultimately writing sales copy. Copy writing is an art form, and can take a lifetime to master. A good short guide to the structure of a sales letter can be found here written by Perry Belcher.

Be sure to read my article on my clickbank youtube hack. If you do decide to create a video sniper, be sure to post the video on your site to take full advantage of the traffic you are already getting.

Promoting your product

Once your product is complete, you need to make a marketing plan. The nuances of marketing your product go far beyond what I can cover in this short article but, I will do my best to concisely cover the basics.

You will want to “prime the pump”. This entails dropping hints, and building as much buzz for the product as you can. You can do this with preview posts, social media blasts, and guest posting about the product.

Do your best to write a sales letter or hire someone to write your sales letter, following the outline I linked to above. Hopefully, you have promoted a few affiliate products by now and you have developed a “feel” for what works for your readers and what doesn’t. I would suggest making a dedicated page for your sales letter on your blog and not only making a blog post about it. Make sure your home page is featuring the product in some way (above the fold of the page), whether that is a featured post, banner, or block of content in the side bar. Call in whatever favors you can for promotion via email drops, banners, etc.

Promoting a product can (and will) be an ongoing endeavor, of optimizing, tweaking, rewriting, testing, and tracking. The brevity of this post has been a challenge as each paragraph of this article could be expanded into its own book. Hopefully I was able to illustrate the big picture of monetizing your blog.

Becoming a full time entrepreneur can be a colossal challenge, but with adequate planning and a clear vision you can set yourself up for success. Don’t make a half effort and then give up when you aren’t driving a Bentley a week later. These things can take time and dedication and more than just a blog. As I said earlier in this article, there are countless methods to get you to your goal, and today I covered one. One thing is for certain, stopping after you get your blog built is a mistake.

About Kevin Clanton

Kevin Clanton is part of the new generation of Internet marketers, originally starting his career as a programmer obsessed with all things information / technology. Online Marketing has quickly become his primary focus; where he is able to leverage his background in development to implement his dreams & ideas in order to quickly produce data on their effectiveness. Google Kevin has an intense drive to be as well rounded as possible in his business pursuits. He isn’t satisfied until he has a firm understanding of all aspects of a given business strategy.

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Thanks, Kevin.  Hope this helped you – much food for thought, eh?

If you want to get in to affiliate marketing but have no idea where to start,  click here to check out an innovative license rights program.. 

Talk soon.

Chineme

 

7 Ways To Make Money Using Nothing More Than Your List

Greetings.

An opt-in list can be quite crucial to any site or internet based company. Even for a small venture such as a niche profit site an opt-in list can make a world of difference and also add some extra income for your pocket. 

Rarely would you see an e-commerce site, big or small,
that is without an opt-in list.

An opt-in list allows for a company to market their wares
and site via an e-mail. With an opt-in list, a site and a
subscriber consents to sending and receiving a newsletter
from your company. Through this, you can keep your
subscribers abreast of what is currently available in your
site as well as whatever is coming out.

And because there is mutual consent between the two
parties, any mail sent to the list is not considered as
spam mail. There is a great number of successfully read
promotional materials such as catalogs, newsletters and
such that are sent because the subscribers themselves have
signed up for them, meaning, they do want to be sent those
items.

Building a list is crucial, only a small percentage
actually subscribes for an opt-in list. Many people find
promotional mails annoying but of you provide a good
newsletter or promotional material, you will see your
list build up and grow. You can also achieve this by
having good content on your site. If people like what they
see and read on your site, then they surely would want
more. Newsletters would be a way to attract them back to
your site. A little teaser or appetizer if you will.

But other than marketing your wares and your services, an
opt-in list can also be used to earn extra profit. Not all
lists can be used though. It would be good to first build
a successful list with a huge number of subscribers. The
more subscribers you have, the more money you can get.
Here are seven ways to make money using nothing more than
your list.

1) Place advertisements. There are many corporations who
will be willing to pay to put their banners and ads on a
list with many subscribers. Selling or renting out lists
is not a good idea so rather than doing that, many
companies would just rather place ads with lists that have
a huge subscriber base. Your newsletter could be placed
with many ads and each one spells money.

2) Have affiliations with other companies that have at
least a semblance or relation to what your site is about.
Here other companies will provide links and brief
descriptions of what they offer, products and services.
With every click made on the link that directs or leads a
subscriber from your list to their site, the company will
pay you. This P4P or pay for performance.

3) Make deals with other companies by asking for a small
percentage of sales done through your list. With every
sale done by customers that have come from your list and
have gone there because of your newsletter, the other
company will pay you a small percentage of your sales. The
more people who buys from them, the more earnings you get.

4) You may also get products from other sites on a
consignment basis and sell them to your list via your
newsletter. Place descriptions, articles and photos of the
product in your newsletter. There will be those who will
buy from you and when that happens, you can order the
product from the other site and sell it to your buyer.

5) Sell e-books or a compilation of your articles on your
list. Manuals and how-to articles are in great demand.
Many people will be willing to shell out money to gain
knowledge about a certain topic and subject. With your
existing list trusting your expertise in that area, an
e-book could be offered and sold or used as an incentive.

6) Create a network out of your list. Get people to invite
more people to view your site and subscribe to your list.
The larger your list is, the more people will be able to
click on your links and affiliate links as well as make
your advertisement rates higher.

7) Subscribers are willing to pay for information if they
know that it can be trusted and relied upon. Use your list
to get more and more people to subscribe to you as well as
browse your site. Lastly, you can use your list to earn
money by making them your partners. Your list will be the
bloodline of your growth and increase.

Elementary stuff, but often neglected. To keep up with
more tips and tricks, please sign up to receive my
newsletters here!

Talk soon.

Chineme
http://presentingyourfuture.com

No list, and/or no product? Have a look at this:
Matt Lloyd will be hosting a series of workshops
over the next few nights, explaining how he scaled
M.O.B.E. to a multi-7 figure business over the
course of 18 months:

Click here now!

The Futuristic Marketing program appears again, but…

…You have ONLY A 36 HOUR window to grab it!
Greetings,

If you missed “Futuristic Marketing”
consider this a moment of fortune :)

Loads of people missed their
chance to join the most talked
about program our industry has
ever seen…

… and so Jonathan has decided to
open the doors once again for JUST
36 HOURS!

Yes, do not delay, make excuses or
procrastinate in any way. You have
from 12noon, EST on Tues 14th
August!

Click here!

Go along and watch the FREE videos

which are packed full of amazing

tips and strategies for your online
marketing. And take the marketing
test.  All free.

Only then should you decide whether
or not to grab this phenomenal
opportunity being presented to you.

I didn’t wait! I purchased this
amazing program (or rather, set
of programs) the second the doors
opened in July and I can promise
you… the power of what’s inside
“futuristic” is simply 2nd to none.

I have already set in motion a
course of events that I simply
cannot return from! You definitely
will want to do this as well.

The first thing I created was my
first capture page on facebook -
from the software directly onto
my facebook fan page!

Click here to see it!

Do visit and ‘like’ it, lol!

I was then walked through how to
post ads on facebook for a song -
step, by step, by step.

It is OUR time to BREAK THROUGH.

We get handed the ELITE SYSTEMS,
knowledge, & wisdom to break
through in this game like NEVER
before.

I have been marketing online
for some years now and have not
come across anything like this
in value or content. EVER.

Click here NOW to claim a whole
new power to create money &
create success in your life

We’re all walked through the 

ENTIRE thing…and also have
supportive communities on face-
book and offline to go through
all aspects of the learning
and applying, and to answer
any and all questions!

I hope you’re ready for some of
the most amazing new marketing
results of your life :)

If you want to build an audience
that equals a 6-figure or 7-figure
income…the chance is staring
you in the face to do it.

THIS PROGRAM GETS MY 10 STAR
RECOMMENDATION!

Look me up on the inside!

Best,

Chineme Noke

P.S. Do NOT procrastinate!

Click here now! 

 

IMPORTANT – You’ve got to watch this before Wednesday…

Greetings.

This really IS important!!

We’re less then a day away from one
of the most exciting product releases
I’ve participated in in a long time. :)

Truthfully, I’m pretty anxious to get
my hands on some of the “goodies”
Jonathan & Mark are releasing inside
of Futuristic Marketing.

There are a few things that have me
REALLY excited. You can check them
out here…

http://bit.ly/futuristic-marketing

Pay close attention to what they call
the “Futuristic Influence Machine”.

I can not WAIT to get my hands on
that for my business. I know it’s going
to be a total game changer!

Plus, I’m really excited about getting
a few new methods to take my audience
to the next level… as I’m ready to
GROW beyond where I’m currently at.

But one of the things that definitely
excites me the most is “Graduation”,
which you can check out here…

http://bit.ly/futuristic-marketing

Take the time today to get all caught
up.

There are some important fast action
prizes for new partners who join
Futuristic Marketing Tomorrow morning,
& you could win prizes worth THOUSANDS
of dollars.

It’s really cool, and WORTH being fully
up to speed on.

Mark your calendar my friend! :)

I’ll be waiting by my computer tomorrow
at 12:00 Noon, EST (5pm GMT). I know
this is going to be one of the biggest
things I’ve participated in all year!

Make sure you get on the “early bird”
list right here to catch the worm…
(ie: get the chance to win the prizes)
and we’ll speak SOON.

http://bit.ly/futuristic-marketing

The party is JUST getting started. :)

Talk soon.

Chineme Noke
(Let’s link up on Facebook)

P.S. Believe me… this post doesn’t
even do JUSTICE to what you’ll see
in this video right here…

http://bit.ly/futuristic-marketing

If you want to leap frog your competition
this year, & truly put yourself at the
“Futuristic Edge” of success, then it’s
imperative you watch this video now.

Internet Marketing Mistakes

Greetings.

Today’s post is a two-part guest post from Kenneth Koh of Leadsleap and details the internet marketing mistakes he made when he first started online.  He says, “I hope my experience can help you avoid some pitfalls and hence smoothen your online journey in 2011.”

Part one can be accessed by clicking here.

Access part two here.

It’s a fascinating read and should provide you with much hope, inspiration and encouragement for your online efforts in the years ahead.

Thanks Kenneth!

Talk soon.

Chineme

http://internetmarketingviews.com

Quit Your Job and Network – Virally

Greetings.

As usual I’ve been looking at various programs in order to provide my ‘internet marketing view’.

Quit Your Job Course caught my eye recently. It was promoted to me as the total and complete marketers site, allowing you  to capture names and email addresses from every click on the net and after looking into it – I have to say I am impressed.

I joined and took the upgrades – I figured, they offer a money back guarantee so why not..? You are not in any way required to take the upgrades to get the benefits of the site. However, they do multiply the benefits, I have found.

What a concept – I must say.
The building of a list online is perhaps one of the most important skills you can ever have and this site is the most incredibly easy to use system
to literally explode your list.

This benefits WHATEVER you promote.
No matter if it is a Clickbank product, a matrix, an MLM or ANYTHING. Even Google ad words and ‘traditional’ style of marketing can reap huge benefits from this site.

You get to create your own opt in lists on total autopilot.

Now there have been other sites that have done this, but none that then throw in a TOTAL Auto-responder system and Email marketing follow up system as well.

The ‘Secret Weapon’ Sales system is a method for showing FULL PAGE ads –
And not just from clicks on your own links – but from clicks on links across the whole network and in fact across the ENTIRE INTERNET!!

Imagine that –
Totally targeted, unblock-able, Full page ad views from people that have already said they are interested…..

That alone is going to put a lot of dough in my pocket over the years to come.

And this works virally–meaning as you make referrals into Quit Your Job Course (either by promoting it or just using it and visitors click the Quit Your Job Course image on the Full Page ad window to join) you also earn ad credits on THEIR link clicks.  And this works up to 5 levels deep.  So you can create a massive amount of free ad views and web traffic by referring others to Quit Your Job Course also.

I didn’t get to test the full effect of a big down-line yet (I just got the tool) but I can tell you the rest of the site works exactly as stated–my links got clicked, My list is growing at a rate I have never seen before, and my ads got displayed.  Quit Your Job Course even tracked my results so I know how many clicks and how many ad displays.  That was an impressive unadvertised extra feature.

There is one more benefit and feature which might be the best of them all–down-line emailing.  You can email your down-line with offers, promotions, or whatever you like, and here is where Quit Your Job Course really shines.  They took time to make the emailing often enough that it’s valuable as a user, but no so often that it’s a burden to your down-line.  But the best part about this feature (and actually the credit earning too) is that it tells you exactly how long until you can mail again. They even give you an instant 250 Member down-line to mail to – before your first referral, but…  THE TOP LEVEL IS WHERE TO BE FOR SERIOUS MARKETERS – A GUARANTEED 3000 MEMBER MAIL OUT COMES WITH THE PACKAGE… Whoa!

Overall I have to say I am impressed with Quit Your Job Course.  It is simple yet powerful, and delivers on its promises.  Highly recommended to anyone who wants to explode their list and benefit from some excellent advertising.

See it and join here: (I negotiated to give anyone that joins through my link, instant EXECUTIVE membership, but this is not forever, so make haste)

Quit Your Job!

Yes, indeed.

Talk soon.

Chineme

http://internetmarketingviews.com

Mission Impossible? Creating Extraordinary Email Subject Lines

Greetings.

Today’s post is a long but important one.  It concerns email marketing and how to get the most out of it by Andrea Scarnecchia of Lyris HQ.

Mission Impossible? Creating Extraordinary Email Subject Lines Print E-mail
Email Marketing
Written by Andrea Scarnecchia
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Mission: Creating Email Subject LinesGreetings, email marketers. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to convince busy email recipients to open your email. You have two seconds and less than 50 characters to do so. Failure to complete this mission will result in dismal campaign results, overblown budgets and unhappy bosses. This message will not self-destruct in 5 seconds, but your subject lines may suffer severe casualties if you do not follow these instructions and read our tips on creating extraordinary email subject lines that even 007 would be proud of.

Today’s marketers are tasked with what feels like an impossible mission – to improve email marketing results without additional resources, time, or money. Thankfully, there’s a simple way to improve your email marketing campaigns immediately – optimizing your email subject lines. Taking a few steps to refine your subject lines can turn a mission impossible into a mission that is possible – and you don’t need a computer keyboard that also doubles as a high-powered jetpack to do it. By making use of personalization, creating a sense of urgency and testing campaign results, you’ll have all the tools necessary to turn your subject lines into powerhouses!

1. Personalization

Personalization within the subject line is a powerful tool to entice a recipient to stop scanning and start double-clicking to open your email. But personalization can be much more than simply inserting a name in the subject line. Yes, “Cathi, we have a special offer for you”, is certainly more likely to get Cathi’s attention than an email without her name in the subject line, but it isn’t the only personalization technique that has the potential to yield impressive results.

  • Purchase History: Many marketers have achieved email marketing success by using a recipient’s purchase history as a personalization technique. For example, if the recipient recently purchased a DVD of the Will Ferrell comedy Stepbrothers, an email subject line touting, “A Will Ferrell Comedy Sales-a-thon, Today Only!” sent to that customer may be enough to prompt them to check out the offer and perhaps even complete another purchase.
  • Purchase Timing: Another way to personalize an email subject line, especially for inactive subscribers, is to indicate the amount of time that has passed since their last engagement. Something as simple as, “It’s been a long time – come back and enjoy free shipping on us”, shows people that you realize they haven’t been interacting with your business, and you’re reaching out to them with a special offer to get them back.
  • Abandoned Carts: Some etailers with integrated Web and email analytics actually alert potential buyers to items that were left in their shopping cart, with an invitation to revisit the site and complete the purchase. This is a fantastic way to turn an abandoned shopping cart into an opportunity to close a sale and build a stronger relationship with a customer.

2. Urgency

Imagine that you’re reading this article and you start feeling hungry. There’s a good chance you’d stop reading, then step out and grab some lunch with the intention that you’ll finish reading the article later – whether or not that actually happened would depend on what went on after lunch. But what if I told you this article would only be available online for another 5 minutes – would you finish reading it now?

If you’re like most people, the idea that something is ending or limited may be enough to motivate you to take action more quickly. The idea is the same for email subject lines. Creating the need to take action immediately or soon is likely to generate higher open and click-through rates. Here are a two tactics for creating that sense of urgency:

  • Date/Time: There’s a reason why you see email subject lines that tout phrases like, “Today only“, or “Available only through July 22″. It’s because they work. Email recipients are moving through their inboxes as quickly as possible, and are consciously or subconsciously looking for any possible reason to bypass an email now with the intent to look at it later … and later may never come. Subject lines that create a sense of urgency based on a time-limited offer encourage people to pay closer attention and consider opening and taking action on the email immediately rather than putting it off to review at another time.
  • Limited Supplies: Another urgency-based tactic that savvy emarketers use is that of scarcity. By reminding people that supplies or offers are not unlimited, you increase your chances of compelling them to open and act on the email sooner rather than later. Email subject lines that use the “limited supplies” tactic may look like the following:
- $450 off any Complete System – Coupon expires after 500 Uses
- Only 12 Spots Left, Register for the XYZ Conference Today
- XYZ Brand Sunglasses Available on Closeout; Current Stock will NOT be Replenished

3. Testing and Measuring Results

Smart email marketers understand that one of the best ways to improve subject lines is by performing ongoing A/B testing. A/B testing is an extremely cost- and time-effective way to improve your email subject lines and your email campaigns. In A/B subject line testing, you keep your email creative and copy the same, except for the subject line. In essence, you are pitting one email subject line (Subject line A) against another (Subject line B) in order to see which one drives more desirable results.

For example, let’s imagine that you’re a marketer wanting to perform an A/B test on an upcoming email campaign promoting your online store’s Oscar Winners DVD Sale. The email content and creative for email A is the same as the email content and creative for email B, with one difference: the subject line.

Email A Subject Line: Oscar Winning DVDs at Matinee Prices
Email B Subject Line: All Oscar Winner DVDs on Sale Now

After the email subject lines are written, it’s time to test. Select a small but meaningful percentage of your entire mailing list – say around 20% – and send half of them Email A (with subject line A) and the other half Email B (with subject line B.) Then consult your email analytics.

Which email garnered a larger number of opens? Which created the highest percentage of clickthroughs? Did one convert better than the other? When you’ve identified the email subject line that helped you come closest to achieving your goals, select that version of the email and send it to the remainder of your mailing list. And if you find that neither email performed up to your expectations, go back to the drawing board for a new set of subject lines to test with another subsection of your larger group.

4. Testing Tactics

A/B testing can be used to test a variety of different subject line approaches and offers. Email marketers can test tried-and-true subject lines against hot-off-the-presses newcomers, and can see whether negative or positive subject lines perform better. Marketers can also challenge assumptions related to personalization, and can identify whether people are more responsive to specific or general offers.

  • Challenger vs. Champion: There’s a good chance that after running and measuring a variety of campaigns you have an email subject line or two in your back pocket that you count on. It’s the subject line that is practically guaranteed to create impressive open and click-through rates – in other words, it’s your subject line champion. But even champions need a challenger every once in a while.

    Consider an A/B test that pits your champion email subject line against a newcomer. You never know … today’s newbie subject line may be the champion of tomorrow’s email campaign. Don’t get stuck in the “not-broke-don’t-fix-it-rut” or your email marketing may get stuck too.

  • Negative vs. Positive: Consider the following two subject lines:

    Subject Line A: Embarrassed by Your Pitiful Movie Collection? Stock up Now
    Subject Line B: Show Off Your New Movie Collection – Stock up Now

    Both have the same level of personalization and the same call to action. The only difference is in the tone of the subject line. Subject Line A is somewhat negative while Subject Line B is more positive.

    Don’t assume that negative email subject lines are automatically going to perform poorly. Remember, your email recipients are driven by emotion just like all other human beings. Fear and worry are extremely powerful emotions that can yield surprising results. Sound crazy? Don’t tell that to the marketers who sell us deodorant so we don’t stink up the elevator at work, or anti-spam technologies so our computers aren’t infected by viruses that render all of our files useless and blow up our computers in the process.

  • Personalization vs. No Personalization: Personalized email subject lines always garner higher open rates than emails without personalized subject lines, right? Not necessarily. Don’t assume that personalization always reigns supreme. Take the time in your email marketing to occasionally test personalized versus non-personalized campaigns. Even if you simply confirm that you were on the right track, it’s still worth the minimal effort to perform a reality check.
  • Specifics vs. Generalities: A final tactic that many email marketers use to improve subject line effectiveness through testing is to see which creates the best results – a subject line that gives specific details or one that offers a more vague description. For example, consider the following two email subject lines:

    Subject Line A: All Romantic Comedies are 15% Off through Saturday
    Subject Line B: ‘Til Saturday, Save Big on Romantic Comedies

    The essence of the two subjects is nearly identical, but Subject Line A provides a more specific idea of the offer, while Subject Line B merely alludes to the fact that special offers are available. Similar to personalization, don’t automatically assume that one will perform exponentially better than the other. Take the time to test and let the metrics – rather than your assumptions – guide current and future campaigns.

Bringing it All Together

Extraordinary email subject lines can be as elusive as spies if you don’t know how to capture them. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to move them out of the shadows and into the inboxes. By personalizing email messages and creating a sense of urgency within the subject line, you’re increasing your chances of higher open and click-through rates. And with some stealthy testing and analysis, you can determine the true winners from those that are mere imposters. Take these tips with you into your next email mission, and you’ll make strides toward increased email marketing success.


About the Author
Andrea Scarnecchia is the vice president of marketing at Lyris where she is responsible for advising others on the use of metrics to deliver results from email and online marketing campaigns. As a data-driven marketer, she has been using data to advance marketing initiatives for over 17 years.
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Talk soon.
Chineme
http://internetmarketingviews.com

The Online YOU – the relevance of Social Media in Internet Marketing

Greetings.

I came across a very interesting article about the art & business of crafting your online self by Tara Gentile and I began to think about this very concept in terms of marketing your business online.

You have no doubt heard the mantra that people buy from those whom they trust, so how can you possibly trust someone whom you’ve never met and who could live on the other side of the world?

In Tara’s words, “how do you communicate the “essence of you” to people who’ve never met you before?”  I believe that this question is even more important when you’re asking people to part with their money for something that you are offering online.

So, how do you communicate the “essence of you” so that you will be trusted enough for relative strangers to do business with you over the internet?

Why, through social media of course.  There are more and more social media sites appearing across the net which devote a large part of themselves to business networking online.

Even Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and many other ‘social’ networking sites have recognised that business people are a very important aspect of their online presence these days.

But there are sites that now go further and devote themselves almost exclusively to business professionals who want to meet and do business with other business professionals.  However, the above mantra will still apply in human relationships – people generally tend to do business with others that they feel that they know and trust.

With that in mind, these business networking sites focus more on the background – both personal and professional – of their members and usually have some sort of rating system whereby members can rate other members on the quality of their prior business dealings and general interactions.

This sort of rating helps to shorten the learning curve for busy marketers whom have little time to make any in depth background checks on online entrepreneurs other than the good old ‘Google search’.

Quite apart from the quality of the products and services being offered, people want to know whether or not potential business partners are ‘nice’ people or ‘good eggs’.  After all, who wants to do business with rougues or scoundrels?

This is precisely why “The Online You” is a crucial factor in internet marketing and why you must portray yourself effectively and extensively across the net using social media and, more relevantly, business networking sites.

They are geared towards business professionals and they even combine  affiliate programs and referral bonuses for members to add to their business arsenals.

These business networking sites are many and varied but there are a few new kids on the block that I’ve written about before that I believe are going to be taking the online business world by storm.  There is also another that is due to launch within the next couple of weeks and is currently in beta mode.  More on that to come.

Ending with some more of Tara’s thoughtful post:

“you know me as the words i write, the information i share, and the people i introduce you to. i am all those things, put together, and examined.

but i am nothing without relationships

if its not for you, the people who i work hard to cultivate relationships with, i am nothing.”

Quite so.

Talk soon.

Chineme – http://internetmarketingviews.com