Archive for November, 2015

26 Fantastic Ways To Grow Your Email List Organically

26 Fantastic Ways Singapore Businesses Can Grow Their Email Lists Organically

For many companies in Singapore and Asia that are inclined towards digital marketing, email marketing is a big part of pushing their products and services out in order to get more sales. However, start-up marketers shudder at the thought of building a subscriber list from scratch, because the task just seems onerous, so they turn to purchasing mailing lists from 3rd-party sales lead generation companies as a first resort. But chances are purchased lists in Singapore or Asia may do more harm than good in marketing your brand.

Firstly, you never know how many times the same contacts have been resold and emailed to by previous customers! The initially warm receptivity of fresh sales leads towards email ads wears out with the passage of time and it becomes a matter of time before they turn hostile by reporting email ads as spam.

Secondly, these contacts, which never personally opt in through your website in the first place, are not going to recognize you or your company. In any marketing processes, there is “warm-up phase” required to educate and nurture sales leads until they come around to understanding who you are, where you are coming from, what is your expertise, and finally, what you have to offer. Failure to adhere to best marketing practices can result in ruining your brand’s reputation in the long run, something which is obviously undesirable. This malpractice of email marketing is common in Singapore and Asia.

Thirdly, when you factor in the inevitable attrition rate, acquiring new email subscribers is as much continuous as it is critical to the survival of any online business in Singapore and Asia.  This means you can’t rely on buying email lists forever, even if you are privileged to purchase warm, targeted lists from rare quality sources—you could go broke! It pays to reduce your acquisition cost by generating email sales leads yourself, with your own skills and technical resources.

For these 3 big reasons, I have created a quick checklist of 26 tips for growing your list organically for you to run through. Some are simple to execute, while others are sophisticated and require planning. Not all will be applicable in Singapore or Asia depending on the nature of your business, but do keep your mind open and continue to maintain what you have always been doing and considering new methods. These are tried and tested implementations that email marketers in Asia reported with great success.

1. Wherever possible, publish your opt-in form in the top fold on every web page. Your website visitors can’t help but notice it and subscribe if they so wish. Give your opt-in form as many chances as possible!

2. Use a lightbox-style popup form. A popup form is best implemented in article pages, whereby the visitor scrolls down to scan the article and is disrupted by a sudden popup. For the best conversion rate, the offer must be related to the topic of the article. Not recommended for implementation on every web page because it would seem obnoxious. Use it selectively.

3. Speaking of the offer, make it an valuable gift that visitors can’t resist! Ask yourself: What is it that I would pay for but give away for free? Not saying that you are to give the whole house, but value is subjective. Think strategically what you can offer as a lead-in—the beginning phase of a buyer’s journey to bring complete fulfillment to their needs, wants, problems, challenges etc.

4. Give visitors compelling reasons to subscribe by stating the benefits of your offer. Even introduce quantity-limited or time-limited exclusivity.

5. Create an ecover graphic for your gift to increase its appeal. You can find some amazing 3D ecover designs here.

6. Keep your opt-in form short and sweet. Most forms I see on other websites only ask for a name and email address and that is good enough. Some even do away with the ‘name’ field. Here at iSmart, as we provide landing page design to our B2B clients, we also find the necessity to ask for more information about their visitors like job designation, income level, number of years of experience etc., but we implement ‘smart’ forms designed by HubSpot Singapore which will not ask the same questions again should existing subscribers opt in for another offer on the same website, not even their names and email addresses.

7. Have dedicated landing pages to drive subscriptions because visitors can now focus 100% of their attention on your offer, thus increasing conversion rate.

8. Reproduce your landing pages in your Facebook fan page! This is possible with setting up a tab and showing your landing page within the tab’s iFrame area. Use Woobox for this.

9. Make use of social networks to send your fans and followers to the landing pages. Tweet about it or announce it in your Facebook timeline or LinkedIn news feed. Also mention your offers in your LinkedIn profile description, as Google+ posts and in the Google+ ‘About’ section. If you have gotten ecovers ready, pin them on Pinterest and consolidate them in a pinboard so that fellow pinners and followers can find them easily.

10. Include social sharing buttons on the landing pages to encourage subscribers to share them to their own connections!

11. Include your landing page/offer link in your email signature.

12. Try pay-per-click (PPC) advertising using Google AdWords or Facebook Ads to drive targeted traffic to your landing pages. Compared to email list purchases, you can start small and manage your expectations over how much ROI is generated from each lead.

13. Design mobile-optimized landing pages and use AdMob to promote them.

14. Write and submit articles to article directories or be a guest blogger. Content marketing is mostly a free but effective method to demonstrate your expertise, establish your authority and get readers curious about what you can do to solve their challenges.

15. Email existing contacts to let them know of your latest gift and encourage them to share with their social connections.

16. Go one step further by setting up an affiliate program to attract affiliate sign-ups so that affiliates are motivated by monetary incentives to promote your landing pages, provided you have something to sell in the back-end.

17. Comment on other blog posts of related topics so that you can leave your name and landing page URL in your comment.

18. If you write a regular newsletter, archive old issues for public viewing so website visitors can expect what kind of quality content you have to offer, and will subscribe if they so wish.

19. Branch out into producing short YouTube videos to drive traffic to your landing pages. The URLs can be mentioned in the text description or shown as a caption or in the last few seconds of the video.

20. Do ad-swapping. Ad-swapping is a mutual arrangement in which 2 non-competing marketers exchange ads to cross-promote each other, the main aim of which is to get new subscribers very quickly. Ads can come in the form of banners, text links, blog posts or even tweets, but the most common and effective swap medium used by digital marketers is email. If the other party is reluctant to carry out an ad swap, discuss how else he could benefit from collaboration for as long as you can get him to promote your gift/landing page to his list as a form of personal endorsement.

21. Purchase a solo ad space. Normally, marketers would not do ad swaps because they already have a solo advertising scheme in place for their emails or newsletters. Check with them how much it costs to place an ad in their newsletters and how many new subscribers can be expected. Marketers can charge for solo ads because they have huge readership, so do consider solo advertising as a possible investment option for lead generation.

22. Keep creating new offers! More offers lead to more landing pages and more reasons to opt in more often to download them.

23. I have seen a couple of brilliant last-ditch effort to get unsubscribers to resubscribe again. A simple message on the ‘unsubscribed’ page goes like this: “We are sorry to see you go. If you feel you have unsubscribed by mistake, please click the button below and you are back in the list!”

Other websites employ a “double unsubscribe”, which is similar to “double opt-in” in that you have to click a confirmation link in a new email.

Yet others offer an alternative gift (or a lightbox popup form) on the ‘unsubscribed’ page to entice you back, or execute an exit popup showing a subscription form for another gift.

24. If you are a frequent business networker, you can also print your landing page URL on your business card and tell people about it if they need more information.

25. Host your own events, both online and offline: webinars, hangouts, seminars, training classes, networking sessions, contests etc. These events provide opportunities for participation and the first gate is a simple online subscription or registration form!

26. If you print marketing collateral, include your landing page URL or a QR code in them. QR codes are especially effective for exclusive promotions and can be depended on for its ‘anonymity’, need for a small print area and suitability on certain items like receipts, catalogs, small sheet inserts, bags, boxes, price tags, etc.

Discover 2 Simple Ways To Capture More Sales Leads And Customers!

Sales leads that are generated via Inbound Marketing* are extremely important, because they are the prospects who have indicated an interest in your company or your products. However, many companies in Singapore and Asia make mistakes while trying to close the leads. These leads are either not being contacted on a regular basis, or companies give up on following up with them for various reasons. This closes the door on great opportunities for many businesses in Singapore and Asia.

Most companies make 2 assumptions about ‘bad’ leads:

  1. Assuming that a prospect places you as a priority, solely based on their expression of interest
  1. Assuming a lead isn’t interested just because they aren’t replying to company emails and calls. This could simply mean they’re busy with other matters at the moment.

With this in mind, here are 2 ways to capture more customers for your business in Singapore and Asia.

1. Follow up until you get a response.

You’d be amazed at how many opportunities are still out there long after many companies have simply given up on trying to close the sales leads. Continue to follow up with the prospect/lead until you get a definite response. If there is no response for a long time period, do not assume that they are no longer interested. Continue establishing contact, and sooner or later, this lead is likely to turn into a customer.

2. Engaging the prospects at the right time.

According to a Lead Response Management study, if you call a lead within 5 minutes of sign-up, your chances of connecting with them are 100x higher than if you call back a few hours later or the next day. The reason is simple: your prospect would still be in front of their computer considering what you have to offer. However, if there is a long break between their sign-up and you contacting them, then your competitor may already have gotten that business. There is a saying that goes, “Money loves speed.” Moving fast in this competitive world creates greater opportunities for you in Singapore and Asia. Contacting through a personal email message or a personal call explaining the USP of your product/service will make your lead seriously consider on his/her buying decision.

Follow these 2 strategies to get in touch with your sales leads, and through lead nurturing, eventually convert them into customers, thereby completing the Inbound Marketing funnel.

To read more about common mistakes made in Inbound Marketing, take a look at our previous post “3 Big Mistakes Rookie Inbound Marketers Make“.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing in Singapore and Asia that involves SEO, social media marketing, blogging and creating landing pages to generate sales leads.

What Is Marketing Automation?

What Is Marketing Automation?

One of the primary goals of every marketing manager in Singapore is to consistently generate as many sales leads for their organizations as possible. Marketing automation is a dream tool for marketing managers, if executed properly.

Marketing automation Singapore refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments to more effectively market on multiple online channels (such as emails, blogs, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.

By specifying criteria and outcomes for tasks and processes which are then interpreted, stored and executed by software, marketing managers can increase efficiency and reduce human errors.

Originally focused on email marketing automation, marketing automation refers to a broad range of automation and analytic tools for marketing, especially Inbound Marketing Singapore.

The use of a marketing automation platform is to streamline sales and marketing organizations by replacing high-touch, repetitive manual processes with automated solutions.

Inbound Marketing* in the context of marketing automation combines two major trends in marketing: the move to web-based Inbound Marketing, and the growing utilization of Marketing Automation.

Inbound Marketing attracts prospects to a company’s website through a combination of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing Singapore, then engages them with thought-leadership content, converts them to identified sales leads through the completion of forms, and then nurtures them through a program of drip marketing through email marketing until prospects are determined to be “sales ready”.

Imagine you’re trying to grow a plant. First you need fertile soil ripe for the growth of your plant. Next you need seeds themselves to care for, and last you need water and light in order to nurture those seeds into a lush, blooming plant. It’s not foolproof, but it’s not impossible.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

How To Get More Sales Leads By Solving Landing Page Problems in Asia?

How to Get More Leads by Solving Landing Page Problems

Landing pages have one simple purpose: to generate sales leads. Many companies in Singapore and Asia, for lack of digital marketing expertise, do not know how to utilize landing pages, and as such, miss out on online lead generation opportunities. Yet, for a significant percentage of companies that do, their landing pages are poorly designed and have poor lead conversion rates. Today, you will discover the prevalent challenges that cause a lack of sales leads in Singapore and Asia and the solutions to solving the most common professional landing page problems.

Problem #1: No traffic

Once you’ve created and put up your professional landing page, the next step is get raw traffic. If you’re not getting any traffic flow in the first place, there is no way you can increase your number of sales leads. Here are a few things you can try in order to generate more traffic:

– Create more content

Statistics state that blogging 3 times a week increases traffic by up to 55% as compared to blogging once a week. Logically, when there’s more content on your website for people to read, readers are likely to stick around longer on your website and would be curious to learn more about your expertise. Having more content also means more opportunities to be found on social media platforms and in search results. For tips on creating content, check out our blog post “4 Easy Ways To Churn Out Blog Content Consistently“.

– Search engine optimization

Make sure to use the same language that your target audience is using in order for your website to get found. By using similar terms, your website will rank higher in search results, which will bring you more traffic.

– Increase your social media presence

Try getting more followers on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, so that you can get new traffic referred to your website. You can do this by following other relevant accounts on social media so that they will be aware of your presence and will then check you out, which might bring you traffic eventually.

Problem #2: Low conversion rates

If you’re getting good traffic, but no conversions, you’re going to have to make a few changes to your professional landing page in order to optimize it for generating conversions. To do this, you can try changing elements such as your forms and CTAs. Form length is tricky, because with short forms it is difficult to capture enough information, yet with long forms, visitors tend to leave your page before filling up the entire form. Try A/B testing with several different form lengths to see what works best. You can also do this with different colours and sizes of your CTAs to see what gets the most clicks. Read more about A/B testing here.

Problem #3: High bounce rates

Bounce rate is the percentage of people who viewed your page, but left your website. Here are a few things you can do to make sure people are staying on your site, so that they eventually fill up your forms:

– Optimize your website for mobile devices

If your web page is not compatible with mobile devices, viewers are going to leave immediately. With more people using mobile browsers nowadays, you might be losing out on valuable traffic and conversions because of this. Optimize your page such that not only are mobile users able to view the page, but are able to navigate it better using mobile-only landing page features.

– Decrease page load time

There are many small things you can do to make your page load faster, such as changing the file size of the images you use on the professional landing page. When your page loads faster, people are less likely to leave halfway through the loading process.

Use these tips to give your landing pages a little revamp in order to get higher conversion rates!

Inbound Marketing: ALL Your Questions Answered! (Part 2)

Inbound Marketing: ALL Your Questions Answered!

Previously in “Inbound Marketing: ALL Your Questions Answered! (Part 1)“, we defined what Inbound Marketing* is and how it works. In this post, we explain why you should start on Inbound Marketing right away.

WHY should you start focusing on Inbound Marketing?

4 simple reasons:

1. Inbound Marketing gets you not just any traffic, but gets you the right traffic.

The right traffic refers to people who are most likely to become leads, and customers eventually. Conventional marketing, sometimes called interruption marketing, reaches out to a wide audience through a variety of techniques such as telemarketing, direct mail, email spam, and TV/radio advertisements, but only a small amount of this audience is cast in by this form of marketing.

But why?

There’s a good chance that the audience you’re reaching out to has absolutely no interest in what you’re promoting. But with Inbound Marketing, your traffic is the right traffic, because your content lines up with customers’ interests, helping them be where they want to be, instead of getting interrupted by calls, spam mail, and TV ads.

2. The Internet is the future.

The Internet is the present and the future. Inbound Marketing is the present and the future. As we move forward, new solutions allow us to block out the interruption we face from traditional marketing—”Do Not Call” registries, email spam filters, opting out of junk mail, and the ability to skip or fast—forward through TV/radio advertisements.

On the other hand, we rely on the Internet for everything—we embrace the Internet. When in doubt, we search the net for answers, be it for store locations, meal ideas, or for a particular service you require. On top of that, we are also constantly on the net during our leisure time. In a nutshell, we are always on the Internet.

Think about it this way: if you were to put up a poster advertising your business, would you choose a location where you have everyone’s attention, or somewhere that nobody frequents? The former, of course. Since everyone (ie. your potential customers) is on the Internet, the Internet is the place for your business to be.

3. The Internet is free

Most of the platforms you’ll need to use in Inbound Marketing are free. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and a slew of other social media and blogging platforms are completely free for your use. Additionally, there’s a handful of other tools you can use in tandem with your blogs and social media to track your progress on the World Wide Web—check out a blog post we wrote about it here: Top 5 Online Tools You Can Use For FREE

Think of all the costs you’ll save when you make the transition to Inbound Marketing!

4. Inbound Marketing is sustainable

It is sustainable in terms of costs—it saves a great deal of money and allows your marketing efforts to carry on for a much longer time than if invested in traditional marketing.

It is sustainable in terms of your success. In Inbound Marketing, you earn your audience through your content, whereas in traditional marketing, you buy your way to your audience through purchased contact lists and paid advertisements, which more often than not, leave them irritated and interrupted. The audience you get from Inbound Marketing is going to appreciate your content and your business more, because they are where they want to be. As such, they will stick around instead of blocking you out; not only will your audience be sustained, but will probably even grow, through the powers of Internet sharing, ie. word of mouth (or word of keyboard, in this case).

When?

The time for Inbound Marketing is NOW.

To learn more about Inbound Marketing and what it can do for your business, subscribe to our blog.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

Inbound Marketing: ALL Your Questions Answered! (Part 1)

Inbound Marketing: ALL Your Questions Answered!

Never heard of Inbound Marketing? Well, now is the time to know more. Or if you’ve heard about it but don’t understand it, you’re at the right place. Inbound Marketing is everything that matters to your business, and here is everything you need to know about it, in this two-part blog post.

WHAT is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing is about using content to attract customers, rather than pushing your business outwards to potential customers, as in the case of traditional, outbound marketing. Inbound Marketing, by naturally earning your customers’ attention with your interesting content, brings them to where they want to be—closer to your business.

HOW can you start on Inbound Marketing?

Creating content and spreading that content is what drives the process of Inbound Marketing. At this point, you might be wondering: How am I supposed to create content? What do you mean by content? To learn more about content creation, take a look at our previous blog post: 4 Easy Ways To Churn Out Blog Content Consistently. As for what you should be creating content about, it can be anything that would spark interest in your business, such as educational and informative material that solves people’s problems.

As for how to get your content out there, there is a plethora of platforms you can use, such as blogs, podcasts, videos, eBooks, e-newsletters, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and so on.

How Inbound Marketing works:

The 4 Stages Of Inbound Marketing

Now that you know what Inbound Marketing is all about, stay tuned for the second installment to this post to find out why you, and all other businesses, should start on Inbound Marketing right away.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

6 Quick And Easy Tips For Improving Readership Of Your Content

6 Quick And Easy Tips For Improving Readership Of Your Content

All of us are no stranger to the practice of scrolling past content that doesn’t interest us—it’s a daily routine of scroll, scroll, scroll, until we reach something that catches our attention. There are just too many emails and articles on the Internet for us to stop and read all of them. Even with the good old newspaper, there’s hardly anyone who has the time to read each and every article. So how do you make sure your content is catching on to your audience?

Answer: The secret lies in your title (or headline).

It’s obvious why the title is important—it’s usually big and it’s usually bold, and it’s almost always the first thing the audience sees. Here are 6 tips to creating a compelling title to get those readers:

1. Ask your readers a question

When you use a rhetorical question as your title, as your audience reads it, not only are you questioning them, they are questioning themselves too. When they realize they may not know the answer to your question (for example, why people aren’t reading their content), more often than not they would proceed to look at your content in order to obtain an answer.

2. Relate to a wide audience

When your title relates to a wider audience, less people would ignore your content. For example, if I had titled this post “Why Aren’t People Reading Your Blog?”, it wouldn’t have caught the attention of those who do not run blogs. However, “content” can also refer to other types of content, such as emails; this will ensure that your title does not lead your audience into thinking your content is unsuitable for them.

3. Use unique words and phrases

This means you can’t have a title that is completely boring. Spice it up with words and phrases that aren’t commonly used, and this will catch your audiences’ attention. For example, the title of this post could have been “Are You Flabbergasted That No One Is Reading Your Content?

4. Focus your title on the audience instead of on yourself

“Why Aren’t People Reading My Content?”

vs.

“Why Aren’t People Reading Your Content?”

It is human nature to be self-centered. Let’s face it, your audience isn’t going to care about your readership, they care about theirs. Through your title, target their concerns directly; use you-language instead of me-language.

5. Let them know you’re providing exclusive information

Using titles like “10 Secrets To Get People To Read Your Content” or “Today We Reveal How To Improve Readership” make your audience feel like they would be missing out on vital information if they were to skip your content.

6. Use numbers to reflect the length of your post

When you tell readers you have “4 Tips For Improving Click-Through Rate”, they are more likely to read your content than if you told them “Several Simple Ways to Improve Your Click-Through Rate”, because:

  1. They know it is a list of tips, and they will be able to take a quick scroll through each of the 4 main points
  2. They do not immediately assume your content is lengthy, because you’ve told them it’s just 4 tips

Keep these tips in mind for the next time you have to come up with an enticing title, for it makes all the difference.

Aside from having a great title, your choice of font is also important in getting higher readership. Check out our post “How To Choose The Right Fonts For Your Inbound Marketing Content“.

6 Tips For A/B Testing To Increase Conversions

6 Tips for A/B Testing To Increase Conversions

A/B testing is a form of statistical hypothesis testing, which is carried out with the goal of identifying what changes you should make to your website in order to optimize it for maximum interest from its viewers. If you haven’t heard about this concept before, here are 6 things to know about.

1. The control and the variation

The control is simply your “A”, the version of call-to-action (CTA)/landing page/form format etc. that is normally being used, and the variation is the “B”, the version of changes you are trying to test.

However, one should always remember that just because it is called A/B testing doesn’t mean you can only test one variation against one control; if you’ve previously tested a blue background against a grey background with the blue background proving to generate more conversions, it does not mean that blue is your final answer. Instead, you could then go a step further and test your blue background against other colors, in order to find the most effective color for increasing conversions.

2. Testing should always be conducted simultaneously

In A/B testing, there is always the control and the variation that is being tested for its respective effectiveness. Don’t test the variation after having tested the control, or vice versa, because there are always other factors besides the testing that can affect your click-through rate. Test them at the same time.

3. If you have more than one difference, your results cannot be attributed to only one difference

For example, if you’ve decided to conduct your testing with two completely different pages, your results cannot be attributed solely to the CTA variation. Instead, you must consider that your results can be due to either the new CTA, form format, images, or background color, or a combination of all.

4. One A/B test is not enough

The process of testing should be a continuous one. Trends are always changing and people’s tastes are always changing. With that, the effectiveness of things are always changing as well. Carry out testing regularly in order to keep your website consistently at the top of its game.

5. You need to control the duration of testing

If you run your test for too short a period, your results are not going to be accurate. For example, if you conduct your test from Monday to Wednesday, you are missing out on results from people who usually browse the Internet on weekends. That being said, it’s also not advisable to run it for too long a period of time, because that means there are going to be more variables that you’re not in control of. To tackle this, make sure you’re aware (to the best of your ability) of any secondary variables that could be affecting your testing so that you’re able to account for any anomalies in your results.

6. A/B testing results are not an absolute reflection of everything

If you test a red CTA button against a green CTA button, with the red leading to more conversions, it does not mean that having red buttons and red text all over your web page is guaranteed to generate more conversions. While your test has shown that more people prefer the red to the green, there are still some who don’t. So don’t take one A/B test result and assume it is applicable to everything on your web page…it isn’t. Instead, carry out separate tests for different things, as some people may like a red CTA button but prefer a blue background on your landing page (read more about CTA A/B testing at “6 CTA Tests for Maximizing Click-through Rates“).

6 CTA Tests For Maximizing Click-Through Rates

6 CTA Tests For Maximizing Click-Through Rates

There are a few conversion path elements such as landing pages, calls-to-action (CTAs), and emails that can be tested to see how you can generate more leads by using A/B testing. Having CTAs throughout your website and/or blog will certainly help visitors find your conversion pages. There are 6 must-have elements on your CTAs, which we wrote about previously. But the focus of this post is to help you and your CTAs effectively capture your visitors’ attention, and eventually generate more leads.

You can use a variety of different CTAs on your website, which will help you get click-throughs, converting your visitors into leads. But how can you be sure of which of the many CTAs on your blog is best optimized for driving the most number of leads?

This blog post will take you through various tests that you can carry out in order to help your CTAs increase click-through rates.

1) Test the color of your CTA buttons.

Many companies are terrified of going off-track with their brand’s color scheme. But is your CTA button blending in with the rest of your page? This can sometimes happen when you adhere too closely to your brand’s color palette. If this is the case, try using a different, more contrasting color for your CTA, while sticking to the brand’s regular style. This way, it will still look good against the rest of your website, but will become more attention-grabbing for your visitors.

2) Test the success of text CTAs vs. image CTAs.

Place various options of both text CTAs and image CTAs on different pages throughout your website. This will give you a vague (albeit not entirely accurate) idea of which type of CTA works better for your products and your company.

3) Test the placement of your CTA.

Typically, readers don’t always reach the end of an article they’re reading, so if you place your CTA at the bottom of your page, it’s likely that your viewers will miss it. To avoid this problem, your CTAs should be nearer to the top of the page, so your visitors won’t have to reach the end of your article in order to see it. Even better, try a rolling CTA that stays on the screen as the readers scroll up and down your web page. This way, they can decide to click-through at any point without having to look for the button. Read more about motion-based CTAs below.

4) Test static vs. motion-based CTAs.

People are so habituated to seeing advertisements on websites now that their eyes automatically gaze over static images on web pages. So perhaps, you could test a CTA that appears when the user reaches a certain point on your page, or constantly stays on the page, and then compare the click-through rate against that of a static CTA.

5) Test a different phrase.

“Download this eBook”, “Receive this eBook”, “Grab this eBook”, “Claim this eBook”—these are phrases you often see on a CTA button. But how do you know which phrase generates the highest click-through rates? Test out different variations on web pages with the exact same content and see which is the most successful. Even the smallest changes can make the biggest impact.

6) Test the button size.

If your CTAs are too small, they might go unnoticed on your website, but at the same time, if they are too big, it may be considered as a cache for the viewers. So, once again, test it. Try out various sizes and see which one works best.

Run variations alongside one another, and at the same time in order to eliminate uncontrollable variables that affect your results (A/B testing). After time, you will be able to transform your website into a lead generating machine once you’ve figured out how to make your CTAs as successful as possible! Remember, you won’t know what works best for you and your website in your industry with your audience until you test it for yourself. Therefore, you should always be conducting these little tests on your website, to continually upgrade your website to have the best elements that generate the most leads.

The Secret to Integrating Email Campaigns with Social Media and Mobile

The Secret of Making Email Campaigns Work Effectively with Social Media and Mobile

Among businesses going digital, email remains a popular marketing channel in Singapore. It is one of the most effective methods for mobilizing contacts. You can personalize an email to address each recipient individually as if each of them thinks they are the only one to receive it from the sender, therefore they should feel their interest has been served.

However, email marketing is not a winning strategy on its own. Rather than using it as a one-off tool, your marketing efforts will be far more successful if you properly integrate email marketing with social media marketing and mobile marketing.

Email & Social Media Integration

It is evident that email strategies that are integrated with social media produce better results. Studies show that 65% of the top 20% of B2B marketers integrate email with social media for the purpose of lead generation, compared to the industry average of 51% (Aberdeen Research).

Fortunately, integrating social media into your email strategy is easier than you might think. Here are some tactics to help you get started:

Adding social media sharing and follow buttons to your emails will increase the reach of your emails beyond the recipients in your database. By increasing the visibility of your brand, you are more likely to generate new leads.

Send emails based on social media insights. By using integrated marketing analytics, you should be able to see a list of email subscribers and leads who have mentioned your company on social media platforms. You may like to send them a follow-up email with targeted information in addition to responding to those highly engaged social leads.

Grow your email list through social media. Leveraging your social media presence gives you additional channels to build your email list, thus improving the awareness of your brand. For an example, consider placing a call-to-action on your Facebook page. Ensure that you spell out clear benefits to email subscription so that you can turn your social media followers into subscribers.

Email & Mobile Integration

Creating a strategy to reflect the way recipients open and read emails is going to be extremely important in the coming years. Studies show that 48% of all emails are opened on mobile devices, and 69% of mobile users delete emails that are not optimized for mobile viewing. However, it is surprising to note that only 11% of emails are mobile-optimized. Here are some tactics to make your email strategy mobile-optimized:

– Test your email templates to see how it appears on different mobile devices.

– Ensure the call-to-action buttons and links are easy to click for readers using touchscreens.

– Create both plain text and HTML versions of your email.

– Use descriptive text under the images, in case it does not appear.

– Optimize the landing pages and forms of your email links so that mobile users can easily fill out their information.

Top 5 Online Tools Singapore Marketers Can Use For FREE

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Tools You Can Use For FREE

As marketing cost of Singapore businesses gets higher nowadays, Singapore marketers are looking for alternative tools they can use at the best price—FREE. This article shows 5 of the best and free online tools we are using now.

  1. HootSuite

This powerful marketing tool will help you manage your companies’ social media presence with ease. Once you create an account, you will be able to add 5 of your social media accounts, to which you can post in just a few clicks. You can even schedule your updates for any given time. By using its own dashboard, HootSuite also allows you to monitor the newsfeeds of all your accounts in just one window.

  1. FollowerWonk

As stated on their website, this web app provides you with Twitter analytics, allowing you to dig deeper into your twitter account and find out more about your followers. You can find out who your followers are, where they are, and when they tweet. You can also use super-actionable visualizations to compare your social graph to others, and can even share your reports with anyone.

  1. Photo Pin

As a blogger or an article writer, it is important to add some visuals to your posts on the internet to make it more attractive to the readers. Finding FREE and GOOD images has been a challenge even for me until I came across this website called Photo Pin, a website which provides good quality photos with most of them free for download.

  1. Google Trends

Keywords are getting trickier as time passes by. With the recent Google keyword apocalypse (Google’s 100% keyword change), we’ve lost access to much of the keyword data that laid the foundations for our previous efforts. Fortunately, there are still ways to find out what the high opportunity keywords are. Ironically, one of them is to use Google. Google Trends allows you to search for a keyword and assess its search volume throughout different time and location dimensions. You can see the keyword’s overall performance to determine whether it’s being entered more or less often in a Google search—a great indicator of whether or not you should continue optimizing it on your site.

  1. Hubspot’s Marketing Grader

If you’re new to Inbound Marketing*, your website is the place to start in building an Inbound approach. There are plenty of things to consider, from the website’s SEO performance to your “social friendliness”.

HubSpot’s marketing grader tool takes a look at your website through 6 critical inbound lenses: Overall, Social Media, Blogging, SEO, Lead Generation, and Mobile Optimization.

Marketing Grader will help you understand:

  1. Competitive Benchmarking: Is your marketing more or less effective you’re your competition?
  2. Lead Generation: Are your marketing efforts generating enough leads and sales?
  3. Mobile Marketing: Is your web presence optimized for mobile devices?
  4. Social Media: How effectively are you using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in your marketing?
  5. Blogging: Is your blog driving results that justify the time investment, or are you wasting time doing the wrong things?
  6. Overall Analysis: What are the strong points and shortcomings in your marketing?

Marketing Grader also outlines why you should take particular steps to improve and what your top priorities should be. With customized action items to help the top of your funnel, the middle of your funnel, and your analytics, Marketing Grader makes it easy for you to figure out your next steps.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

5 Reasons Why Emails Don’t Get Opened

5 Reasons Why Emails Don't Get Opened

Email marketing has become an essential tool for business ever since the introduction of the Internet, and now even more so with the growth of Inbound Marketing*. It is a form of direct marketing that uses electronic mail as a means of communicating messages to an audience.

As marketers, we’re always seeking new ways to improve the content, design, headlines etc., to get more of our audience’s attention towards our emails. However, some recipients will delete an email before they even open it! Why?

Below are 5 reasons an email may never get opened:

  1. Email Subject Line

Firstly, you have to consider the importance of subject lines in conveying your message. You only have one shot at making a great first impression, and the subject line is responsible for this. It serves to provide the audience with some insight as to what the message is about and hopefully spark their interest; it is the deciding factor as to whether your email gets opened.

Subject lines that are too long or too broad will often be ignored. DON’T write in all CAPS or include symbols or strange characters! Not only is this obnoxious, but you’re more likely to end up in a spam filter. Make your subject line relevant to the message and easy to understand what you are offering. Make it simple and clear!

  1. Sending at the wrong time

If you have implemented an email campaign, knowing what day of the week and at what time of day is the best time to send an email blast is a key element for email success. Sending on the wrong day or time can negatively affect your email performance. According to a Pivotal Veracity study, early morning email delivery has the lowest open rate. This makes sense since the first time most people check their email is when they arrive at work, and the common habit is to delete anything unimportant in order to reduce clutter before the day starts.

According to MailChimp, more people open emails during the day than at night. You may find that changing the time that you send your emails will change your open rate. More emails are sent during the week than on weekends, with Tuesday and Thursday being the highest volume days.

  1. Serving annoying content

Your content must be valuable to your audience by taking on the qualities of being informative, interesting or compelling. Good content makes and supports the value of what you are offering. It should be well organized, easily found, and easy to promote. If you are not able to serve content that is full of information and offering what they are looking for, your email would end up in their trash box. Here are the 8 types of emails you should be using. (Tip: Having good content in your emails will also help you to create an enticing subject line, which as we said earlier, is important as well.)

  1. Sending one big image

We know it’s enticing to take that gorgeous flyer created by your professional designer for printing, then save it as a JPG file and plug it into your email, but sending one big image is risky. Servers are more likely to filter emails with large images, and our audiences may move on to other things before your image fully loads. Some email programs like Gmail and Outlook block images by default.

Thus, what is the best way to produce an email? Get your HTML designer to slice your gorgeous image and convert it to a HTML version.

  1. Landing in spam

There are several things that email filters will search for when reviewing your content for spam. Words and phrases like “Guaranteed”, “Free”, “Act Now” and “Credit card” are red flags for spam filters. Using numerous special characters and excessive punctuation marks will also flag spam filters.

Use the above tips in conjunction with testing and you may perceive an improvement in your open rates.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

Discover 3 Easy Ways To Optimize Your Blog Content

3 Easy Ways To Optimise Your Blog Content Presentation

Most webmasters know the benefits of blogging Singapore and how it positively impacts Inbound Marketing*. It is the most frequently updated module of a website. The freshness of blog posts means visitors perceive up-to-date websites as more credible. Websites that are updated regularly are also spidered by search engines more often.

And the more blog content you write, the more keywords and key phrases you get to fill up and publish. You will also inadvertently create more internal and external links to related content. All these elements help SEO, increase knowledge for the benefit of readers and aid accessibility through search.

Here are 3 other ways to improve your blog content presentation.

  1.     Incorporate text with images

Incredibly long blog posts are the in-thing now, but for some readers it is difficult to completely read a whole post due to short attention span or fatigue. Try incorporating images into your blog posts. It is not only attractive by providing support to the context, it also provides “visual breaks” so readers know they are starting afresh in a new segment of the post. It becomes easier to read that way.

  1.     Click-to-share function

Adding social bookmarking buttons to your posts allows your visitors to easily share your content with others on popular social media platforms such as Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Your content will reach a wider audience and you will garner more traffic, which is likely to result in greater leads and sales later on.

  1.      Include related posts

You can add related posts to a certain blog post to keep visitors engaged on your site and increase their page-views-per-session. You can try the Contextly plugin, which allows you to customise the look and layout of related posts, or manually select and list out related posts.

3 Ways to Optimise Your Blog Content Presentation - Contextly

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blogging and landing pages to generate sales leads.

3 Major Reasons Why You Should Invest In Inbound Marketing

3 Major Reasons Why You Should Invest In Inbound MarketingInbound Marketing in Singapore is slowly but surely gaining awareness. In the past 2 weeks, we were picking up the pace of evangelizing the Inbound concept to our corporate contacts. Most are open to listening, though only some are getting keen about it, but change is coming and our audience are acknowledging that they have plenty of room for improvement on the digital marketing front.

In our conversations, we begin to identify a few common problems or challenges that Singapore businesses share in their marketing efforts. These are the 3 major reasons why you should invest in Inbound Marketing:

1. You Are Not Attracting Qualified Prospects As Well As In The Past.

Seasoned marketers whom we have talked to in Singapore don’t know this, but here’s the shocker: according to a comScore report, 60% of all online traffic are driven by mobile devices! Even companies with corporate websites should not feel ‘safe’ if their websites are not mobile-ready. That’s how fast things have changed. If you’re standing still, you are already as good as moving backwards.

A static website is useless if it’s not generating any value to you. Inbound marketing techniques can be incorporated into your website so that it can work to generate leads in a database, thereby making it a powerful marketing tool.

It is also a time to review your prospecting methods and consider new traffic sources on the Internet. We at iSmart Communications can help you with designing an Inbound strategy blueprint for attracting highly targeted leads. A few recommended ways to do this are:

* Develop buyer personas for understanding your ideal customers and tailoring content creation according to their goals, pain points and interests.

* Demonstrate expertise, establish authority, increase traffic, dominate your niche through blogging

* Extend reach, solidify influence, grow and convert fans and followers through social media

* Increase online search visibility with search engine optimization (SEO)

* Create steady streams of targeted traffic with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

2. You Don’t Know How To Convert More Visitors Into Leads

As many Singapore businesses still conduct their marketing in a traditional manner, they missed out on many opportunities to harness cutting-edge analytics software to measure their results. Being able to track, measure and analyze leads conversions can tremendously help marketers understand where their efforts are performing well or not, so they can make sound decisions on future strategies. Some of the actions that can be taken are:

* Create compelling offers like ebooks, reports, whitepapers etc. that appeal to needs of prospects

* Set up landing pages on your website to entice visitors to take up the free offers by filling in their names and email addresses

* Conduct conversion optimization and A/B testing

* Apply list segmentation for better targeting

3. You Don’t Know How To Convert More Leads Into Customers

Your success at growing revenue depends on what happens after lead conversion. From what we understand, most businesses have a sales strategy, but it is rendered weak due to a lack of lead qualification and nurturing. The biggest missing link in the marketing process is in cultivating leads the right way until they are sales-ready, otherwise salespeople need not work doubly hard just to win the sale.

To name a few, the effective sales conversion measures that can be adopted are:

* Qualify leads according to a numerical score so you can prioritize them according to sales-ready status

* Design email marketing campaigns that add value to the leads’ knowledge

* Apply marketing automation within your campaigns so that every prospect goes through the same optimized and consistent experience.

* Review to improve sales communication and closing techniques that blends seamlessly with Inbound Marketing

Final Thoughts

It’s not a question of ‘if’ Inbound marketing is going mainstream in the business world, but a matter of ‘when’. The mobile Internet users are already dictating where the marketplace should be, so the longer companies in a fast-paced country like Singapore play catch up to this evolution, the more likely they are going to lose out to their competitors! One business owner related to me an incident whereby a prospect asked her for her Twitter handle (username) and she responded with a blank look on her face. Wow, do you know what the prospect was saying? The prospect wants to connect with her. In the larger picture, it is time to engage your likely prospects where they are online and let them know how you can serve to fulfill their needs.

The crux of Inbound Marketing is in building close relationships between the company and the consumers such that consumers are more in control of their decision-making based of the valuable information (or content) they receive from you, and such that you can still enjoy a good sales record without consumers feeling that they have to purchase under compulsion.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

How Does Blogging Help Inbound Marketing?

How Does Blogging Help Inbound Marketing?

Not surprisingly, a blog is considered one of the most effective platforms for Inbound Marketing*. An estimated 73% of the businesses use blogging for marketing purposes.

More significantly, a blog is nothing but an amalgamation of experiences, ideas and thoughts, giving insight to readers from the writer’s perspective.

There are 3 compelling reasons for Inbound marketing companies to use blogs as their marketing platform.

Regular Blogging Increases Traffic

Blogging is an easy way to increase traffic to your company’s website. The more links to your website you have listed on Google, the better opportunity you have for web searchers to find your blog and your product.

Acting on advice, some businesses have doubled their blog articles and experienced double the traffic to their websites. According to HubSpot, businesses get 59% more traffic after increasing the number of blogs articles from 100 to 200 and those who blog 20 times/month get 5 times more traffic than businesses that blog 4 times/month.

All you need is an hour out of each day to blog, and trust that you offer remarkable, value-adding content that compels your readers to share over social media. You’ll definitely see an increase in web traffic.

Quality Blogging Generates Leads

Regardless of the niche or nature of the business, blogging is is instrumental to generating leads. B2B and B2C companies who blog frequently get 70%–80% more leads respectively than those which don’t.

Optimized Blogging Improves Search Engine Rankings

Blogging also increases your online presence as more blog posts get indexed in search engines. Use choice keywords in your articles and also list out the keywords, topics, and categories you want your business to be associated with.

As you blog on a wide range of topics (your business, industry, product, customer lifestyle etc.), you naturally build up your keyword database; therefore use related words and expressions as much as possible when writing your posts.

Gone are the days when companies and advertisers could simply assert a message and the public would immediately buy into it. With the growth of the Internet, you now have access to expert opinions and reviews that were, in the past, harder to come by.

When your business contends that you’re an expert in your field through blogging, not only do you improve SEO and web presence, you increase your ability to turn potential customers into actual customers. Having your own corporate blog increases your chances of attracting and delighting visitors like any other blog-savvy companies. The best part is your time, effort, and money that go into producing insightful articles are far more minimal than that of producing more intensive promotional materials.

There are many marketers who have implemented blogging strategies to experience drastic improvement to their business.

Why not follow in these marketers’ footsteps and implement their ideas to grow your business through blogging?

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.