Elements of a Responsive Subscriber List


Reaping rewards

Every online business that provides great service to generate satisfaction among its customers will likely reap rewards from the time, energy and dollars it invests in such an effort; because as each and every customer derives satisfaction from products and/or services provided by a particular business, there is a very good chance the customer will become a returning customer, buy again and, in many cases, recommend that business – your business if you provide the satisfactory product or service – to other people which, in most cases, could generate additional business for you and your site.

And as more traffic is driven to your site, you will certainly have the opportunity to entice many of them to subscribe to your mailing list (opt-in or subscriber list). This is the type of list that invite website visitors to participate in free information and product campaigns in exchange for their agreement to receive promotional materials such as newsletters, catalogs and other such materials designed to keep them updated about your site or your product niche. Such promotional materials are sent via email to list members at different time intervals.

When using email as the vehicle with which to market and advertise your products and services, as well as your brand, you eliminate the need to incur high costs and expenditures, because – let’s face it – mail is free, and if you can manage to create your own promotional and advertising messages you can also save a bundle of money. With an opt-in or subscriber list, you can be pretty sure that what you are sending out is received, viewed and read by subscribers and not simply deleted. Since they have signed up for service and have consented in receiving it, you should have no problem getting them to open and read your email messages.

Promote to a captive audience

This also means that there are constant reminders to your subscribers about the products and services you offer, as well as any new products, promotions and special-deal campaigns you are having. Of course there is always the increased chance that existing subscribers will forward your new product and special-deal information to other potential customers as they tell their friends and families about you and your site. Keep in mind, though, that a subscriber may unsubscribe when they feel that they are not getting what they signed up for or expected. So it is important to insure that they are satisfied with your opt-in marketing strategies while you keep them excited in receiving your newsletters and catalogs.

In the following paragraphs we discuss a few ideas that could help you build a list of subscribers who might just be as eeager to receive your promotional material, as you are eager to send it to them.

Make your promotional materials interesting and fun while trying to use a little creativity; but not too overly artsy; but build around what your product/service is about. For example, if you are selling car parts, put some pictures of what is new in the auto parts world, a new wing door possibly that can fit any car and make it look like a Lamborghini.

Try to research what people are looking for; this way, you can stay one step ahead of them all the time, and you will be their bearer of new (great) tidings. They will be eager to receive what you are sending them because they know you always have fresh and new things to share with them…

…More list-building ideas

Write good articles that can be very informative , but light at the same time. If subscribers enjoy your articles, they will go to your site by clicking the links that you will put in your newsletter to read some more; and you can also provide articles designed to connect with many people. Be diverse in your articles. Put something humorous, then put something informational, then put something which consists of both.

Are you wary about quality articles because you don’t like writing? No problem, because there are many professional and experienced article writers that can do the job for you for minimal fees. They know what they are doing and can provide the need that you have for your newsletters. The money you pay for your articles are will be justified by the many sign-ups and the potential profit from sales you will get.

Create and send an ebook to your customers about anything that is related to your business or site. Use your knowledge and expertise in the field you have chosen to help other people who are similarly interested. Offer this e-book for free! You can write about anything informational and helpful to your subscribers; things like manuals and guides, for example, among many other things. This ebook could be used as a reference for many of your subscribers.

Share this ebook with everyone; even other sites. But just make sure that they don’t change the links in your ebook that were created to drive traffic to your site. If you want, you can always get others who specialize in article writing to write them for you just like they were your own articles. Your investment once again will be justified by the great marketing this will generate.


The eCoupon discount

Add ecoupons to your newsletters that will give them access to special discounts; and put a control number in your ecoupon so that they can only be used once. When people get discounts that can be found in your newsletters, they will be eager to receive the newsletter in anticipation of what you are promoting next.

All that having been said, if your subscribers can derive benefit(s) from your newsletters, they will be very eager to receive them. Just don’t flood your mailing list with promotional messages, links and banners that will annoy your subscribers.

Selection of a Blogging Platform to Fit YOU





For your unique blog

The selection of a blogging platform will probably be one of the most important decisions you will have to make as a blogger; because the right platform can make blogging such a smooth and enjoyable writing experience, while the wrong platform can surely make this popular online activity more of a puzzling and frustrating chore. And since the program used to blog with is such a powerful part of an individual’s blogging prowess, it is well worth an investment of whatever time it takes to find a platform that provides the most ideal balance between a user-friendly interface and a flexible framework that allows you, the blogger, to make your blog look and feel unique.

That having been said, it is also true that finding the right platform isn’t always easy, even though a little contemplation coupled with a bit of research could put you on your way to finding the perfect blogging platform for your purposes. Let’s use video blogging, for example, as a blogging type that might best demonstrate the importance of a blogging platform; especially since video blogging is a relatively new and popular technology. Video blogging has a lot of advantages over text-based blogging, can very effectively grab the attention of web surfers, and can make people much more likely to become excited about the blog’s content because of its dynamic nature; but only when it’s presented properly.

Ease-of-use versus customization

But, the wrong blogging platform can make a video blog look terrible, fail to play and get stuck in frames just like the old malfunctioning TVs used work (or not work) when their antennas broke. It is true that video blogs require a lot of digital tools and resources in order to get the best results; including a considerable amount of server space, more time to process and upload a video file, and more time to load. So already there are a number of issues inherent with video blogs which place even more importance on making sure that the blogging platform you choose is supportive of all types of blogging, from text blogging to photo and video blogging.

Deciding what your priorities are as they pertain to ease-of-use versus customization, it is important to point out that the blogging platforms most adaptable to high customization, like Movable Type, are a bit more difficult to use than very automated platforms like WordPress. So if you are new to blogs and to internet technology, you might want to sacrifice the ability to create a custom background design, or to integrate a unique font into your template, in order to find a program that will be easy for you to use. On the other hand, if you are a veteran web designer with knowledge of HTML or JavaScript, you will probably find the limitations of a user-friendly platform to be frustrating.

Read between the (reviewer’s) lines

Keep in mind that there is really not such a thing as a platform that is objectively the best blogging platform, because every blogger has unique needs, and the blogging movement is more about individuality than anything else, so it makes plenty of sense that there would be many different platforms available that are designed to meet the needs of different kinds of individuals undertaking different kinds of projects. But this diversity is a good thing because it means that you will almost certainly be able to find a program that suits your level of technical aptitude.

However, the fact that no two bloggers require the same things from a blogging platform can certainly make your search for the right platform a bit tricky; so when you are reading reviews of different platforms, try to keep your priorities in mind and do your best to take the reviewer’s viewpoint into consideration. In other words, a negative review written by an accomplished software designer who complains that a popular platform is too limited may tell you that the platform in question is ideal for a beginning blogger.

What’s your UBR?

Simply put, there is no such thing as “one size fits all” where blogging platforms are concerned, so instead of looking for the “best” platform, look for the best platform for your specific criteria. It’s similar to many of the conversations me and my buddy, Douglas, has had over the years about why he finds Joomla so easy, smooth and straightforward to work with, but do not like WordPress and can’t do the things with WP that he often does with Joomla; while I, on the other hand, prefer WP to Joomla for all the same reasons. So take the time to look for the blogging platform you’ll most comfortable with, which simultaneously meets your unique blogging requirements (UBRs). Good luck!


When Email Marketing Efforts are Ineffective…


Help with email marketing

Most savvy business owners understand the importance of email marketing even if they lack the know-how to run an effective email marketing campaign. Simply put, these business owners realize the imperative to run email marketing campaigns to help them meet the needs and expectations of their target audiences, but they might not possess the skills, or have the time required to orchestrate an email marketing campaign that could yield truly effective results.

Fortunately for these business owners, they don’t have to know a great deal about email marketing because there are many Internet-based marketing consultants who can assist them in planning and running an effective email marketing campaign. So in this article, we will provide a few tips for locating a capable consultant to assist business owners and companies of all sizes – including your business, if you lack the time or required skills – in the creation, administration and completion of an email marketing campaign.

One of the most important criteria in any consultant you seek out and hire to assist you with your email marketing campaigns is experience, which must specifically pertain to results and degree of past success s/he can demonstrate (or document). This is important because one of the best indicators of how well a consultant will perform for you is how well s/he has performed in the past; meaning that if a consultant was able to help multiple past clients to attain their company goals through email marketing, that consultant will likely be able to assist you in achieving similar results.

EMC hiring criteria

Another important criterion which should be taken into consideration when hiring a consultant to assist you in your email marketing efforts is the opinions of that consultant’s past clients; so before making a commitment to work with a particular consultant you should request references from past clients, with the understanding and intent to contact each of the past clients provided and question them about their experiences with the consultant. Follow through at this stage is vital in order to to obtain accurate feedback, so you should not just site on these references, you must contact them and get their opinions about the consultant’s work.

An important point to keep in mind is the fact that most consultants will likely only provide references whom s/he is confident will offer positive opinions of services s/he provided. That having been said, you can still learn a great deal about the consultant’s style, personality and techniques through the references you obtain. This is important because the consultant’s personality, as well as his/her skills and abilities are also as important as any other aspect of the of the Email Marketing Consultant (EMC) hiring process.

Keep in mind that – like anything else in life, or any other relationship – there is the possibility that you do not get along with the consultant, or you may have difficulty communicating with him/her, a situation which could make it difficult to work with him/her altogether. On the other hand, if you are not providing the consultant with enough information, or offering feedback which could help him/her to adjust proven email marketing strategies to better meet your expectations it might be hard for you to meet your stated business goals. So a good working relationship (chemistry) with your chosen consultant will also be very important.

Qualified, objective reviews

While it is true that skills, knowledge and experience are all important characteristics of a good email marketing consultant, sometimes none of these factors matter if personality conflicts prevent you and the consultant from communicating adequately. Therefore your personal opinion of the consultant should always be carefully considered before making a hiring decision; and one way to influence your personal opinion is to contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to get objective independent reviews of the email marketing consultant you are considering hiring.

The BBB can provide you with a great deal of information regarding the past performance of most email marketing consultants who have been in business for a number of years and does not have any unresolved complaints with the BBB. This additional research will be a good indication the consultant performs adequately and treats clients fairly. Conversely a consultant with a number of unresolved complaints against him/her is not likely to be a good choice.

Drawing conclusions

Similarly a consultant who has a number of independent reviews raving about the quality of services s/he has provided to past clients will likely be a good choice to assist you in your email marketing efforts, while a consultant who has a number of poor reviews on the Internet is not really a good candidate for the job. Obviousdly you can draw your own conclusions based on reviews of the consultant’s historic profile; but if past clients were not happy with the services s/he provided, you will likely also not be happy with these services.