Tag Archive for call-to-action

Video Marketing: 10 Tips For Using Videos To Market Your Business

10 Tips For Using Videos To Market Your BusinessYou want to use as many media as your business allows you to market since you’re reaching a wider audience than you would with text alone.

Some prospects respond better to video than they do to text, so here are 10 tips and tricks for using video to market your business:

1. Keep ’em short

Whether you’re loading videos on YouTube or you’re using them to pre-sell products on your blog, keep them short (around 5 minutes or so)…especially if your audience includes people who don’t know you.

If needed, break a long video into multiple smaller videos. From experience, I found that if people knew beforehand how short they can expect a video to be, they will be more willing to sit through it.

2. Post videos on your sales pages

You can use video salesletters to highlight the main points of your regular salesletter. You can also use videos to demonstrate what the product is and how easy it is to use.

You may also get your satisfied customers to give you video testimonials.

3. Choose your keywords carefully

If you’re loading your videos onto YouTube, choose keywords that your market is currently using to find information in your niche.

You may also choose keywords that match those being used alongside other popular videos in your niche.

4. Know your purpose before you start

Before you film, choose one purpose for your video. Is it to get subscribers? Send traffic to your blog? Pre-sell a product?

Whatever the reason, base your entire video around that singular goal.

Don’t confuse your viewer by giving more than one option.

5. Create a call-to-action

You should create at least one call-to-action in your video, where you tell people exactly what you want them to do and why (e.g. “Go to yourdomain.com to grab Part 2 of this video, but hurry, you can only get it free for a limited time!”).

6. Encourage comments

If you’re posting your video on YouTube, on your blog or other social sites, encourage comments (even controversial ones). The more people talk about your video, the more your visitors will return to your page to see what’s new in the discussion.

7. Use other social sites to jumpstart the viral effect

If you want your video to go viral, you need to promote it. One way to do that is to link to or embed your video on your social media pages.

8. Blog about your video

Another way to promote your video is to blog about it. If you embed your video on your blog, then encourage your visitors to social-bookmark it.

9. Ask your JV partners to share your video with their prospects and customers

Yet another away to advertise your video is by asking your JV partners to mention it in their newsletters, blog about it and share it with their social media contacts.

10. Put a video on a CD/DVD and give it away for free

You can build a physical mailing list by putting your video on a CD or DVD and giving it away for free to those who give you a mailing address. Be sure to include an upsell at the end of your video.

In summary: You can use videos to pre-sell products, demonstrate products, teach your prospects, drive traffic to your sites and grow your mailing list. Start applying these tips today and you’ll be amazed at what video marketing can do for you.

9 Tips For A Successful Email Marketing Campaign

9 Tips For A Successful Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing is still an indispensable marketing channel. How do you get your emails to stand out from the others in your readers’ inbox? Here are 9 tips for you:

1) Appeal to your buyer persona: Any marketer can write a generic email to his/her prospects, but it takes a real conversion expert to nail down the precise content that addresses your customers’ needs, lifestyles and even apprehensions. When you can define the likely customer profile that buys your product or service, you will have the capacity to think of a ready answer to address your customers’ challenges. By placing ourselves in the shoes of our prospects, we can better pre-empt their purchasing decision.

2) Focus on the beef of the message: Each email should have one clear message. I know this practice goes against those who publish regular ezines or newsletters with multiple articles or sections, but the benefits are:

a. You take less time and effort to complete an email
b. You can space out your content into an email series
c. Your readers are more likely to act on a strong call-to-action

So the point here is to avoid excessive content. Create the specific message using brevity and conciseness. Your customers will respond more positively to a message that is easily understood and goes straight to the point.

3) Exclusive specials to email subscribers: Offer special promotions and discounts that are only available for those on your mailing list. Or provide valuable information that is not included on your website. Another way is to use gated content to ‘force’ website visitors to subscribe to read the full content. Sending holiday messages or birthday greetings (plus birthday-only promos) to enhance the business relationship.

4) Branding: Whatever distinctive design elements and styles your company already uses, such as logos, fonts, and color schemes, should be incorporated into the emails you send out too. This will cause your readers to instantly recognize your company.

5) Strong call-to-action: It’s best to begin with the end in mind. Tell your readers exactly what they have to do. Make your links or graphical buttons stand out.

6) Take advantage of preheaders and make email previews work to your advantage: A preheader displays the initial line of the email body, with the text highlighted. Gmail and many other email platforms show this first line right after the subject line, so that is one easy way to get the attention of a subscriber.

7) Always proofread any correspondence that you send: This may seem obvious, but it is easy to get caught up in the informality of emailing. It’s just email, right? Actually, that couldn’t be farther from the truth! Every e-mail you send is a direct reflection of your business.

Whitelisting: Remind your readers to whitelist your email address so that your emails will not land in their spam folder.

9) Mobile-responsive design: With emails being read on a gamut of devices, it becomes necessary to design them for readability across the board.

Following these 9 tips will go a long way to ensure you can run a successful email marketing campaign. Are there other tips I have not covered. Feel free to comment below. Have a great day!

Lead Generation: 10 Tips For Getting More Subscribers

10 Tips For Getting More Subscribers

More subscribers are almost as good as money in the bank, so here you go…

1. Include a call-to-action at the end of your blog posts.

Let your visitors know that if they like your blog posts, they’ll love your newsletter content.

That’s because you save some of your best niche tips, tricks and secrets for subscribers.

To get more subscribers, include a link to your landing page at the bottom of your posts, along with a reason to click on that link.

Example: Discover 101 more weight loss tricks for free—click here!

2. Encourage a viral effect.

You can get more subscribers simply by including a note at the bottom of every newsletter where you encourage your existing subscribers to forward your email to their friends, family and colleagues who could benefit from the information.

Example: “Do you know someone else who could benefit from these dog training secrets? Please forward this e-mail to them—they’ll thank you for it!”

3. Use your forum signature file to get new subscribers.

If you’re visiting busy niche forums, include an ad and a call-to-action in your forum signature.

Example: “Free report reveals the health secrets your doctor doesn’t want you to know! Click here to claim your copy now…”

4. Point your social followers to a free report.

Make full use of social media sites—Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest—to grow your list.

Simply point your fans and followers towards your squeeze page to pick up a free report. Include this link on your profile page as well as in some of your posts.

5. Embed your links in your products.

Include links in your free reports too and encourage your readers to share what they have read with their friends.

6. Drive traffic to your landing page using videos.

You can create YouTube.com videos for the sole purpose of driving traffic to your newsletter sign-up page.

To get the best results, include a call-to-action at the end of your video where you promise viewers they can get the second part of the video—for free—when they join your list.

7. Tap into Hubpages to get new subscribers.

Create Hubpages.com pages around niche topics with the purpose of driving visitors and point as many links as possible to your landing page.

8. Co-promote with others in your niche.

Here you can swap endorsements with your partners. You can post your endorsements on your respective blogs as well as in your newsletters. I’ve also very successfully done ad swaps where I swap ads with other marketers.

9. Unleash the power of content marketing.

First create a multi-part article series around a niche topic.

Then upload Part 1 to the article directories (such as: EzineArticles.com, GoArticles.com and IdeaMarketers.com) and upload the rest of the series to your autoresponder.

Use your article byline to encourage people to get the rest of the series (starting with Part 2) by clicking through to your squeeze page.

10. Form a newsletter co-op.

Do a co-registration deal with one or more people in your niche, that is, when a prospect joins your partners newsletter, they also get the option of joining your newsletter at the same time (simply by checking a checkbox).

Summary…

You can use each of these 10 lead generation methods to get dozens, hundreds or even thousands of new subscribers. Test them out, track performance and do it over and over again. Just imagine how big your list will be once you apply all these methods.

Is The Best Place To Put A Call-To-Action Really Above The Fold?

Numerous authorities and experts in blogging commonly recommend placing call-to-action buttons “above the fold” for best results. Originating from the newspaper industry, businesses used this principle in their website design for two major reasons:

1. Slower Internet speeds and computer processing power
2. User awareness of scrolling behaviour on web pages

These factors required businesses to be selective of the content they placed on their web pages to maximise the audience they would receive.

What is the “Fold”?

“The fold” is the space where your web page is viewable to your user without having to scroll down. Heatmap studies indicate visitors spent 80% of their time focusing on the content above the fold. Although website visitors do scroll down the page, viewing time of the page decreased sharply when they went below the fold.

According to best practices, keeping vital information above the fold ensures users see your call-to-action button and quickly understand your page. Anything “below the fold” will only be viewed by 50% of people who visit your page.

Image: Landing page setup according to best practices | Source: The Landing Page Course

These analyses suggest keeping your CTAs “above the fold” would do best.

CTAs Below The Fold

But what if I told you CTAs below the fold can work just as well as those above the fold, if not better?

Marketers have also created successful CTAs that depart from the “above the fold” best practices. In the same heatmap study, people can be motivated to continue reading down a page if:

1. The layout encourages scanning
2. The initially viewable information makes them believe it will be worth their time to scroll.

The AIDA model; or attention, interest, desire and action are four factors your website visitors consider when making a decision to take action as they interact with your professional landing page.

  • Attention: Capturing attention of your visitor with a relevant and punchy headline
  • Interest: Generate interest with smart copy or a well-placed video or visuals
  • Desire: Create desire by using features and benefits to appeal to your visitor”s needs
  • Action: A strong CTA to complete the marketing story the other 3 elements were setting up. To convince your visitor your solution is the best suited to meet their needs

The AIDA format allows your professional landing page to tell a story aided by crisp design, smart copy and clearly indicated navigation to guide visitors to continue reading.

Image: Landing page setup according to AIDA formatting | Source: The Landing Page Course

Benefits of below the fold CTAs

High-speed Internet, touchscreen devices and increased computer processing power have made scrolling become second nature. Therefore, do CTAs really need to be above the page fold?

CTAs below the fold allow you more room to explain complex products offers. Sufficiently addressing visitor”s queries and doubts in your landing page ensures they are excited and ready to click the CTA button when they reach the bottom of the page.

If visitors don’t understand your product or have doubts, they’re not likely keen to buy your product.

Positioning the CTA lower on the page can work better to give prospects time and space to digest the information needed to make an informed decision.

In an A/B testing of two Boston Globe sign up pages; with the control CTA above the fold and the alternative CTA below the fold, testers found no significant differences between the two treatments.

In another example by Content Verve, moving the CTA below the fold increased conversions by 304% (Control) than a CTA above the fold (Treatment A). These results have been replicated by Certified Knowledge.

Source: Instapage

So why is “above the fold” still considered best practice in landing page design?  Below the fold CTAs can perform just as well as CTAs above the fold, if not better.

Ideal CTA Placement Depends on Your Offer Complexity

The below graph by KISSmetrics illustrate the correlation between the complexity of your offer and the best place on your professional landing page to put your CTA.

Source: KISSmetrics

Placing the CTA above the fold works best if the product offer is simple and the prospect does not have to do a lot of thinking to make an informed decision.

Alternatively, CTAs below the fold work better if the product offer is complex. Prospects may have more questions that need to be either explained in your landing page copy or thought over before making an informed decision.

Rushing to convince your prospects can be counterproductive. Asking for a commitment before establishing the value of the offer to your prospect will kill your conversion rates. Ultimately, your conversion rates are influenced by how motivated your prospects are to click your CTA.

Page scrolling is now second nature to consumers but they are also becoming more discerning. Marketers should consider if their CTAs are positioned where they are sufficiently compelling such that prospects are motivated to take action, rather than worrying about placing CTAs above or below the page fold. Thorough A/B testing of your landing page will help to find out what is best for your offer promotion.

Why, What And How To Post On LinkedIn Pulse Strategically

pulse

If you are an avid business blogger, you would have heard of LinkedIn Pulse by now. Pulse is gaining rapid popularity as an eminent content publishing platform. Content marketers would welcome Pulse as an additional channel for content dissemination, but it is not “another channel”. Pulse disseminates your articles to all Pulse users (writers and readers) and not just your connections. Moreover Pulse posts are said to achieve rankings in Google News Search.

As LinkedIn has established itself as a business-oriented social network with very active members, you can be sure that your quality articles will pick up the eyeball counts out of the 300 million Pulse users out there!

To get started with Pulse, click to the Home feed of your LinkedIn account, and click “Publish a post”.

Now, let’s not take these potential 300 million users for granted. Their eyeballs will easily glaze over your article headline or title if it is not click-worthy and compelling. More than that, your entire post must be engaging, which you means you got to demonstrate thought leadership by thinking deeper and writing longer than other writers, especially your competitors. If you are going to write on Pulse regularly, do each article once and do it great, instead of being lacksidal about your work.

The best type of articles to write are those based on personal experience or industry insights or actionable tips. As your readers are fellow business professionals, highly relevant insider information that informs them in their own situation or that is applicable in their work will garner better engagement rates.

Using your articles to continually engage readers in a conversation is a great form of brand building. More than that, your Pulse post could get you linked up with other professionals who can open doors of business opportunities for you. This is not something that is remotely possible in other social networks. It is a good idea to stress a final call-to-action whereby you encourage readers to connect with your LinkedIn profile or follow your Company Page to learn more about you and your business.

As you can see, getting started on LinkedIn Pulse is as easy as clicking “Publish a post”, but the benefits of using it is manifold. There is no place better than LinkedIn where you can:

1. Reach an interested audience,
2. Grow your network,
3. Train yourself to write better,
4. Build up your brand and credibility, and
5. Create fresh business opportunities

All at the same time!

The 5-Step Formula To Successful Inbound Marketing

The 5 Step Formula To Successful Inbound Marketing

1. Create valuable content for all stages of the purchasing cycle

Marketing is like a gear; it is always moving. Think of this while you create your content. You should think of what your target audience needs and what they problems face so that they can benefit from your content. What they need yesterday may not be what they need today, so it is important to keep updating your content and make sure that it is always valuable. Blogging, social media posting, email marketing and video publishing are all great ways to consistently update your online presence and get found in search engines and by your audience.

2. Invite people who need your products and services

It is important to set goals and understand who you are creating content for and why. Focus your content around long-tail keywords and phrases that your customer are likely typing when they research products and services online. The Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a helpful tool that allows you to compare different search volumes of different keywords and phrases so you can gain a better idea on what keywords to optimize.

3. Convert visitors into leads and build the relationship

Conversion is very important in Inbound marketing*. Once someone lands on your page, it is necessary to give them a call-to-action (CTA) so that you can collect their personal information, learn more about them and begin the process of servicing their needs. For example, you can make it clear and obvious that visitors can register for free ebooks. By their registration, you get their contact details which is important for the next step of cultivating the relationship through a dialogue.

4. Transform leads into satisfied customers

Once you have found your potential leads through lead scoring, there are various ways to transform them into customers. Follow-up emails, tailored email marketing, workflows and campaigns are the common ways to do so. A key point is to personalize your messages to them, such as according to their background, interests and needs. You can also use an marketing automation software like HubSpot Singapore to trace your leads to see what kind of messages they are more interested in.

5. Monitor and modify your marketing strategy

The last step is one of the most essential pieces to Inbound marketing. You need to evaluate your results, such as how much you have spent to acquire how many leads and customers. You should keep refining your lead generation strategy to make sure that you are consistently meeting your goals and going in the right direction. In addition, you should rigorously test the effect of different CTA designs, website designs and website content because a little difference can deliver a significant improvement in results.

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

5 Things You Should Know About Paid Search Marketing

Paid search marketing is a great strategy to direct targeted traffic to your website and grow business, but it can become expensive too. How do you guarantee the most profits out of your paid ads? There are 5 significant things we can do about it.

  1. Long-Tail Keywords

The main thing you need to learn about search marketing is how keywords work. Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a great resource for discovering keywords in your industry.

Broad keywords are highly recognizable keywords that attract large volumes of search traffic, but they are too expensive and not effective for beating the competition.

You want words that your customers use to look for you without fail, so you need something called “long-tail keywords”. As they are longer in phrase and more specific, they may not be relevant to your competitors if you and your competitors deal in different business areas. Long-tail keywords can make up for quality search-driven traffic.

For example, the term “social media marketing” is broad or too generic. The much less common (as a result, less popular) phrase “social media marketing for small business” receives few searches, but better exemplifies a long-tail keyword or phrase. You may even further and try something like “the best B2B LinkedIn marketing strategies for small business”.

Correspondingly, going narrower on long-tail keywords allows you to spend lesser of pay-per-click marketing because your business rivals will not be thinking like you, hence less competition for keywords. Your ROI will increase too.

  1. Know the Industry

There are a lot of places to put ads, with each website having its own pros and cons. You should understand some of the major types of paid advertising and decide to use which types according to your goal.

a) Display Ads or Banner Ads – Banner ads stand out so noticeably on the page. They are very common and come in a variety of sizes. Other marketers have long said that banner ads are ineffective because they are too obvious as advertisements, but they tend to target customers who are not actively looking for something new. Display ads can be purchased using a pay-per-click or cost-per-thousand-impressions model or they can be displayed for a certain length of time.

b) Text Ads –These ads generally are less expensive than display ads and target customers that actually are looking for something specific. They can be very effective but depend heavily on good keyword research and A/B testing.

Here are a few of the places you should try listing your ads, though there certainly are many others:

a) Google AdWords – Google AdWords are an apparent choice for many businesses. They offer display and text ads in association with highly targeted keywords. Bonus Tip: Your Google ads will generate a better ROI the longer you use. Google will rewards long-term customers with better “quality scores“.

b) Bing or Yahoo! – Bing and Yahoo both offer alternative ad platforms that work similarly to Google’s. They combine display and text ads with targeted search terms. Some brands find that, while these options bring less traffic, the overall ROI is a bit better.

c) Facebook or LinkedIn. – Social media marketing has grown rapidly in popularity over the last few years. These ads combine text and display elements and are targeted based on user preferences, demographics, and location.

In the beginning, it is essential to try different options and use hard data to make final decisions about where you want to put your money. Hard data will tell you what gives you the best return. Good tracking capabilities will make this possible.

  1. Tracking

The wonderful thing about online marketing is that you get the latest metrics tools and technology to track everything.

The free Google Analytics is a must when it comes to measuring online ad performance.

Once you have it set up, you should become very familiar with Google Analytics Custom Campaigns. These options allow you to create a customized URL for each ad that will help you see overall performance for all of your ads. Using Google Analytics in this way will give you a single dashboard for comparing all of your advertising campaigns.

  1. Create a Landing Page

It is important to send incoming visitors to a unique page (called a landing page) on your website, rather than your home page. There are 3 very good reasons for using this strategy:

  1. Landing pages allow you to customize your message for incoming visitors. This means that you can continue the message that you started with your ads, which creates a cohesive experience.
  2. These custom landing pages allow you to push visitors toward specific actions, such as downloading a free ebook.
  3. Landing pages make tracking your visits very easy.

You can gain a lot of information about how to reach out and sell to your new visitors. In some cases, you can create a single landing page for an ad campaign, or even for each keyword that you purchase. Landing page conversion rates will inform you how effective your ads are.

Every page you send to your prospects should have a clear call-to-action. A bad CTA confuses them and wastes your money. It’s the difference between a sale and wasted money.

You would like to decide what the “number one” desired outcome for each page is before designing a landing page.

Lastly, you may have launched your page, but you aren’t done yet. Small adjustments can make a huge difference in your overall conversion rate.

A/B testing is being scientific about testing which methods or elements work best. When you go about A/B testing, it is important that you make only a single, testable, change each time. For example, you could test the effectiveness of your page’s headline or button placement, but not both at the same time.

By testing a single change, you will be able to see conclusive results about what works best. A/B testing is an ongoing process, so don’t stop. Keep testing and modifying your page.

  1. Review Results Regularly

Whatever you do, don’t check your results every day. It is best to wait so that your analytics have time to accumulate accurate trends and information. Then determine a set time period for reviewing your statistics and making changes. It might be monthly or weekly. Checking monthly is good for picking up broad shifts.

Also, you might consider using spreadsheets to track your statistics. It’s easier to pick up on trends and understand what you’re seeing when you dig into your own analytics to pull out the numbers for your spreadsheet.

Be prepared to kill keywords that are under-performing. Remember, conversion rates are your most important statistics, not clicks. Clicks just waste money unless they are doing something purposeful for you. As mentioned, the incentive with Google AdWords is the longer you run your ads, the better your rates and quality score will become. This will be true particularly if you rely heavily on good A/B testing and are constantly refining your ad purchase.

5 Essential Features Of An Inbound Marketing Website

5 Essential Features Of An Inbound Marketing Website

In order for B2B digital marketers to effectively promote their businesses and acquire sales leads, their websites must immediately address the needs or challenges of visitors. Inbound Marketing* strategies rely on an interactive relationship between the marketer and his prospects, and it starts with his website. There are 5 features of Inbound Marketing websites that set them apart from other websites.

  1. Value propositions – With large amounts of information being directed at Internet users, they gradually succumb to a shorter attention span. Thus, it is important to grab the attention of website visitors quickly so that they will stay and browse your website. Am emphasis on design aesthetics makes the website visually appealing to its visitors, such as the use of colors, catchy headlines, visual design, etc. For instance, HubSpot has the value proposition of the statement “The #1 Inbound Marketing Platform” to arouse the curiosity of visitors to their website. After all, if the marketer doesn’t care about the website, why should the visitors?
  1. Accessibility – Websites are not just being visited from computers these days. A comScore report says smartphone and tablet usage now accounts for at least 60% of all online traffic. Making your website mobile-friendly encourages your visitors to stay longer on it. A mobile-responsive landing page provides another channel for effective visitor-to-lead conversion and bounce rate reduction.
  1. Social media activity
    Friend us on Facebook.
    Follow us on Twitter.
    Connect with us on LinkedIn.
    Sound familiar? The way Inbound Marketing works is that it functions in a closed loop, where all Inbound marketing platforms are integrated with each other, such as the main landing page, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the blog. Links for each social network should be displayed clearly for the website visitor to see so they find it easy to move from network to network.
  1. Landing pages – Landing pages are where the contact details of a prospect are acquired. Initially, the prospect’s name and email address are sufficient for submission when s/he want to download the free offer, e.g. ebook, white paper etc.. For successive downloads, other contact details should be collected. These are done so that digital marketers can better identify the prospect and his/her keen interest in specific topics and tailor-make their content to better serve the prospect’s needs. As the marketer-prospect relationship develops, the better marketers know their prospects and their problems, the more likely prospects become customers of suitable solutions.
  1. Calls -To-Action (CTA) – The call-to-action (CTA) button or link encourages visitor action, such as “download your FREE ebook” or “access your FREE trial”, therefore it must be designed to look visually appealing yet straightforward to visitors. Here is an often overlooked tip: create a CTA button for your “contact us” page too. Set up a readily accessible channel for your visitors to contact the marketing or sales team with the CTA on as many web pages as possible. This also provides the team staff opportunities to clear prospects’ questions and doubts and help them better understand the products or services on offer.

These 5 essential features are what set Inbound marketing websites apart from their traditional counterparts, not only for attracting more website visitors, but also the ideal kind of visitors that are likely to turn into leads.

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

Discover 7 A/B Testing Tips For A Successful Inbound Marketing Website

A/B Testing Tips For A Successful Website

Conducting an A/B test (or a split test) for the marketing elements of Inbound Marketing* website is a great practice for identifying effective ways to communicate your message and convert traffic into leads. Testing for website performance enables you to know which buttons, colours, images, etc. receive the most clicks or views, and the most strategic areas of the website layout on which these elements should be positioned.

To start off, the most important and memorable page for visitors would be your home page. It is essential to have your visitors drawn to the home page as that is where all your information is available to them. Included below are 7 A/B tests you can start running on your home page that could result in better conversion rates.

  1. Call-To-Action (CTA) buttons

CTAs are very important especially when it comes to selling or redirecting your visitors. They are a very powerful tool to generate sales leads. You can make many variations and changes to them like the colour, font, shape, placement, relevance, choice of words, etc. You can read more about the must-haves in CTAs here.

They all seem to be simple and easy to change and experiment, but one small difference can change your visitors’ attitude and behaviour towards your website and brand.

  1. Navigation bar

The navigation bar allows you to experiment with linking to website sections that drive the most traffic. You can also switch the order of your menu tabs, and measure which order works best for you. Besides reordering, you could experiment with the copy and font of the tabs.

  1. Login and signup buttons

You have to decide on whether a login or a signup is more valuable for your company. Once you have decided on your priority, you could try swapping the order, changing the colour, changing the shape of the button (if there is any), or any other variations to gain more clicks for your focus.

An example would be Dropbox. This is how their home page now looks like, note the difference for login/signup buttons:

Dropbox

  1. Content offers

You should publish the most popular or key content offers on your home page. Test several offers at the same time or rotate them over a fixed time period to measure click-through or opt-in rate to determine the best-performing offer and promote that one aggressively.

  1. Images

Your images need to be carefully selected and make sure that they are sharp, relevant and add value to your home page. Some images may encourage more attention and engagement than others, different forms of images e.g. photos vs. illustration, can also impact the response of your website visitor. Test out the placement, different images, size, and other possible changes, and find out which best suits your website.

  1. Headlines

This is the most significant text of your home page, visitors look straight at this when they are in your home page to find out more about you. With this in mind, you should put in effort to create the best headline with an eye-catching copy and design.

  1. Hyperlinks

The way hyperlinks work is similar to CTAs, whereby the choice and phrasing of your words (anchor text) can impact differently. Strong words stand out more than others. You can try a different phrase or make use of a different colour of hyperlink to check which option affects your click-through rate.

Just remember, whenever you have new ideas, split-test them. Testing and tracking the performance of web design elements is a proven method to validate their effectiveness in digital marketing.

Related articles:

1) 6 CTA Tests For Maximizing Click-Through Rates

2) 6 Tips For A/B Testing To Increase Conversions

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

4 Interesting Ways To Convert An Inbound Marketing Skeptic Into A Believer

How To Convert An Inbound Marketing Skeptic Into A Believer

Skepticism among Singapore marketers and businesses often occurs when they do not know all the facts. In today’s world, with new things surfacing everyday, skeptics are all around. Information and education is the answer as to how to convert a skeptic into a full believer. The challenge is in communicating the facts and examples in a way such that it creates an impact pertaining to the skeptic’s particular doubts.

Here are 4 ways to turn a skeptic into a believer.

1) Skepticism Dissolves As Trust Is Built

We need to break down the natural wall of skepticism that tends to get built up when a new idea or solution is presented. Here are a few actions to help initiate a level of trust:

a) Acknowledge that change and results will not happen overnight: Inbound marketing* will take some time from your team to be implemented effectively and produce results.

b) Admit that change is not going to be easy: Inbound marketing requires involvement from each team member for a defined set of processes and goals. Establishing set responsibilities with the contributing team builds a higher level of accountability.

2) Skeptics Will Ask Pointed Questions

Anticipate and be prepared to answer questions that support your argument related to Inbound Marketing when you are planning to pitch. The following questions will likely to come up at some point of the process:

How does inbound marketing differ from traditional marketing? Traditional marketing is about pushing a message out through certain channels to gain attention. Inbound marketing is about creating valuable content through blogging and premium content concentrating on buyer personas, thus drawing attention in.

How does it give us a competitive advantage? The Internet is the easiest place for a business to build market share. A website that has strong content, backlinks and continues to publish relevant content on a regular basis will establish stronger impression of authority on the subject or niche.

3) Skeptics Will Need Reliable Resources and Facts

Inbound Marketing has proven to be more effective than outbound marketing at both generating leads and driving sales. This statement alone will not convert a skeptic into a believer, but here are a few facts and data sources that will.

An inbound lead costs 61% less than an outbound lead

Companies that blog once a month generate 70% more leads

70% of all links clicked are from organic, not paid

4) Skeptics Will Look for the Bottom Line

Setting realistic expectations with a skeptic is critical. It comes down to team contribution, understanding buyer personas and the challenges with each of them, and the intensity of your team’s approach.

Incorporate inbound tactics into outbound methods of outreach: When sending an email distribution, include a “top of the sales funnel” offer, ebook or white paper.

Add visual calls-to-action on your website: Placing a Call-To-Action (CTA) in every spot on your website that a new visitor may see is critical to capturing important information.

Share valuable content that targets your buyer personas: Understanding your buyer personas is one of the most important factors to creating valuable content. Factors to consider when generating content include aiming to solve a prospects problem, elicit an emotion, or empathize with their needs.

Track and analyze your activities: One way to immediately evaluate success is by reviewing growth in organic traffic and leads. When done right, the statistics that support inbound marketing and the impact it can make on generating leads for your business will turn any skeptic into a believer.

After they’re sold, educate your ex-skeptics with more information on Inbound Marketing and soon, your Inbound Marketing efforts will be up and running.

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

How To Design Your Website The Inbound Marketing Way

How To Design Your Website The Inbound Marketing Way

Inbound Marketing* has brought digital marketing up another level, and the area of website design is also affected. A good website design is instrumental to the establishment of a company’s online presence, and for this reason, let’s look at how Inbound web design compares to traditional website design and how to stay relevant with the latest design techniques.

First, we identify the similarities so we can get them out of the way: both Inbound and outbound-oriented websites should look professional and presentable, search engine-optimized and provide a user-friendly environment. But that’s about it when it comes to similarities.

Here are 4 features that separate an Inbound marketing website apart from an outbound-oriented website:

Content – The first thing you should notice when you browse an Inbound marketing website is the amount of content on the site. It typically several of these items: videos, webinars, blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, infographics, tip guides and podcasts.

An Inbound marketing agency knows that the key to converting website visitors into leads is content. They also know that content helps sites get found through search engines. The more content you have, the higher your site is going to rank on major search engines and the more your visitors are going to share that content on social media, which in turn will also drive rankings and traffic.

Offers – Content for content’s sake is not enough. Professional Inbound marketers know they need content for everyone visiting the site, not just the people ready to buy today. This means taking into consideration your prospect’s buying process when you create content for your Inbound marketing website.

The offer includes no-risk offers for people at the top of your sales funnel, low-risk offers for people in the middle of the funnel and the direct business offer for people at the bottom of the funnel who are ready to buy.

Blogs – Most people know they need a blog on their site, but it’s the Inbound marketing leaders who recognize the strategic importance of an active blog. In short, the more you blog, the more you are going to get found on major search engines, and the more blog posts get shared by your connections and followers on social media. If your blog content is compelling, more people will visit your website. It’s only natural that content demonstrates your expertise, establishes your authority and gets people curious about what you can do to solve their problems and challenges. Blogging is integral to today’s Inbound marketing efforts and without a blog post published 2 or 3 times a week, your website is at a severe disadvantage.

Personalization – The top-performing websites are able to create a highly personalized surfing experience for their visitors. As progressive marketers, we need to consider creating a similar experience. One way to do this is to be smart about our marketing and use Inbound marketing tools to deliver content in context.

This means that when a prospect has downloaded a free report from your site, you want to follow up by offering him/her related pieces of educational content. The only way to know this about your prospect is to use a platform like HubSpot. Modules like customized workflow design, smart call-to-action (CTA) buttons and landing pages that adjust according to past behavior help to personalize a visitor’s website experience.

Take a look at some Inbound Marketing websites and you will quickly see the focus on conversion, content and how they tell stories to engage prospects, turning them from visitors into leads. Additionally, to perfect your website, apply A/B testing to drive more conversions, and also make sure your website incorporates a good font for your readers.

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

11 Must-Haves For Mobile-Optimized Landing Pages

11 Must-Haves For Mobile-Optimised Landing Pages

Did you know there are 6 billions smartphones in use worldwide? This translates to about 90% of the world’s population. With mobile browsing being a fundamental function of the smartphone, more websites are catching on to having their pages optimized for mobile viewing. Asian and Singapore marketers would do well to make their websites or landing pages mobile-responsive. If your visitors can’t view your landing page properly on their smartphones, your click-through rate and subsequently lead conversion rate are going to be much lower than otherwise.

Here’s a checklist to make sure you have the best mobile-optimized landing page.

1. Be visible

Plugins such as Flash and PNG-24 images don’t work great for mobile browsing. Instead, you can turn to HTML5, jQuery, or JPGs to be visible to mobile viewers.

2. Scale to size

Scale your content appropriately to the type of device consumers are going to use to access your page. Also, remember to scale your page for both portrait and landscape views.

3. Be concise

With mobile pages, less is definitely more. The small screens of mobile devices coupled with lengthy copy will instantly dissolve your reader’s attention, so keep your text short and sweet.

4. Include a call-to-action (CTA)

The purpose of your landing page comes down to this. Offering something useful in exchange for your readers taking action on your page via the CTA. On a mobile phone, the CTA works much better as a button than an opt-in form.

5. Be thumb-friendly

Make your CTA buttons or any other interactive elements on your landing page big enough to be clickable, add enough space between clickable links (to avoid mis-clicks), and use touch swipe gestures whenever possible.

6. Slim is in

Have your content in a single column so viewers can scroll in a single direction.

7. Simplify

When it comes to forms, it can be quite a hassle on mobile devices. Keep them to the bare minimum, or split your form into two pages.

8. Load fast

If your page takes ages to load, you’ll get a high bounce rate. Keep your data below 20kb so your page loads under 5 seconds.

9. Be straightforward

Limit the number of actions a user has to take to get to the reward or offer, and make sure each action is compelling and easy to fulfill.

10. Be legible

Make sure your content is big enough to be read. If visitors have to squint to read your text, they will likely leave your page immediately.

11. Test for the best

Test the different elements on your landing page using A/B testing. Elements that work on a desktop page may not necessarily work on mobile pages.

Before mobilising your landing pages, make sure you have solid fundamentals in landing page design. Read “6 Features Your Landing Page Should Have“.

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“).

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.

Smart Calls-To-Action (CTA) In Inbound Marketing

Smart Calls-To-Action (CTA) In Inbound Marketing

“But I already have Calls-To-Action!” you say. “What is a ‘smart’ one? Do I need it?”

A Call-To-Action (CTA) is a button or link on your website that visitors click on to execute an action, like going to the next web page or download a free ebook. What is important to marketers is that CTAs can track and record visitors’ actions so marketers can determine where the visitors’ interest lies.

On the other hand, smart CTAs allow you to display a different button based on the purchase cycle stage of the customer. There are 2 main uses of smart CTAs:

1. Creating different messages for different purchase cycle stages

Smart CTAs allow you to design different messages based on whether the individual is a prospect, a lead or a customer, so as to cater to their different demands.

For instance, if you are providing content (such as an ebook) in exchange for the prospective customer’s contact information, if s/he should return to your website, they will not be interested in the same ebook, and so through smart CTAs, you could perhaps display a different link to another content.

Early-stage CTAs may focus on content that draws the prospect to your supporting material, while later-stage CTAs may direct the leads to sales consultations or demos.

2. Tailoring messages to different industries

Using buyer personas, you can adapt your CTAs to cater to a different set of criteria, such as which industry they are working in or their geographic location.

For instance, if you have a special offer for customers in a particular geographic area, you can change your message to be specific to those people. Likewise, if you want certain customers to see particular offers, you can do that too.

Smart CTAs allow for different marketing strategies for different parties, and are essential in Inbound Marketing* as they allow the Inbound marketer to tailor-make the marketing message for the right context at the right time.

5 Things To Do To Grow Your Connections And Get More Leads On LinkedIn

5 Things To Do To Grow Your Connections And Get More Leads On LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional social media platform to get more leads connected to your profile by building relationships and becoming an invaluable resource to others.

Discover 5 things you must do to grow your LinkedIn presence rapidly.

If you want to have success on LinkedIn, it’s essential to have a profile that’s professional, search-optimized and client-focused. In other words, your LinkedIn profile must speak to your ideal clients and tell them how you can help them.

First of all, make sure you use the same keywords in your profile that your ideal clients would input when doing a search for someone with your specialty, be strategic in your choice of language. Some of the most important places to include these keywords are in your: Headline, Summary, Current work experience (in the title and description), At least one past work experience (in the title and description) and Skills.

You also need to have a headline that makes people want to click on your profile. Once they get to your profile, you need an enticing summary. Include the following in your summary: One to two paragraphs telling your story: who you are, why do you do what you do, what makes you credible, who your ideal clients are, what problem your ideal clients face, what solutions you offer to solve those problems and call-to-action: what you want them to do next (call, email, connect with you, etc.)

2. Join LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn groups are an excellent place to start to grow your network. LinkedIn currently allows you to join up to 50 groups. However, the vast majority of the groups you join should be the ones your ideal clients are in. To locate potential prospects within each group, enter the group you want to prospect and click on the number of members. Scroll through the group members to see if there is someone you want to invite to connect.

LinkedIn will show all your first-degree connections in the group first and only list 500 members of the group. You may have to use the search box located at the top of the page to find other members who would make good prospects.

3. Save Successful Advanced Searches

LinkedIn’s advanced search tool is also great for finding potential prospects. It offers excellent functionality with the ability to search for people by keywords, relationship, groups, location and industry, which are all available with a free account. The people who come up will not always be perfectly targeted, but it will narrow your search down. Make sure to remove first-degree connections from your search parameters, since they are already part of your network.

LinkedIn will send you an email once a week when someone fits the search criteria you set up. You can have up to three Saved Searches with a free account.

4. Create A Sequence Of Messages

It is not enough to just grow your network. Build a relationship with your new connections. Send a sequence of value-based messages to your prospects. Always take the time to personalize each message appropriately before sending it. The more individualized your messages, the better the results. While this may seem counter-intuitive, none of these messages should include any of your products or services. It is extremely important that you do not include anything that could be perceived as spam or a sales pitch in your messages. This is the fastest way to kill any potential sale.

The Message Sequence

  • After your initial connection request, send a message thanking the person for connecting. If feasible, include one valuable resource in this first message
  • Then, depending on your goals and industry, prepare one or two relationship-building messages to send out over the next couple of weeks. You can also send another resource or two, such as relevant stats or helpful tips.
  • After a couple of messages, if you feel like you have established some rapport, move the relationship offline. Suggest a phone call, Skype call or in-person meeting. No relationship with a potential prospect should be kept solely on LinkedIn—or on any online platform, for that matter.

If you want to turn a prospect into a client, a real conversation must take place. The only potential exception is if you’re selling low-priced online products.

5. Share Content With Your Network

Use LinkedIn to establish yourself as an industry expert and an invaluable source of information. Create and curate information that’s of interest to your target market. Here are a number of places to look for content: LinkedIn Pulse, Twitter, related groups on social media sites, company blogs, newsletters of relevant online magazines, companies and industry sites. Spend even a small part of your day searching relevant sites. That way you stay current with industry trends and news, and find articles to share with your network.

Whenever you post an update, your connections will see it in their news feed and, depending on their settings, get it in an email. This keeps you top of mind and positions you as an expert in your field. Posting in LinkedIn groups is another way to establish your credibility, while helping you build relationships with potential prospects within a group.

Email Marketing: 5 Little Tricks To Improve Email Performance

5 Little Tricks To Improve Email Performance

It is always best to send marketing emails to those who actually want to hear from you. But no matter how hard you follow this, your emails oftentimes end up unopened or ignored. And then, when someone actually opens your email, they don’t actually click through. This is the main roadblock of email marketers today. But don’t worry, here are 5 little things you can start doing immediately to improve your marketing email performance.

When you send email from a real person, your email open rate increases. It’s that simple. Recipients tend to pay more attention to emails coming from an actual person’s name rather than a generic email “from” name, like angela_coopersmith1980@gmail.com. In fact, many email filters are set up to look for numbers, underscores, and superlative adjectives. A/B tests have proven that personalizing the sender’s name and email address increased the open rate an average of 3%.

2) Add links to your images.

The main purpose of email marketing is to get recipients to click through to a web page. One way to increase this without suffocating the copy with links is to put a link to your images in the email. Email readers have a high tendency of clicking through if it is indicated that the image has a link. A great example would be a call-to-action button. It’s quite tempting and makes you find out more about that image, provided that your image is interesting enough.

3) Add ‘alt’ text to your call-to-action buttons.

Many email clients set the default image viewing option to off. That means most of your audience may not see your well designed and optimized CTA. When you set an image’s ‘alt’ text, though, you let recipients who can’t view images in their email know exactly where to click to complete the action.

4) Add social sharing buttons

More email views lead to more opens and clickthroughs, so be sure to extend the reach of your email by adding social sharing buttons. Many email tools come with templates that have built-in social sharing buttons that make it easy—just fill in the destination URL and you’re good to go.

5) Add a ready-made email forwarding option.

Another way to increase the clicks on your email is to prompt your audience to forward the offer. You can add a little P.S. at the end of your email copy, such as “Not responsible for your company’s social media? Feel free to forward this ebook to a friend or colleague using social media marketing.” Link the call-to-action to a pre-made email complete with subject and body—all the first email recipient has to do is enter their associates’ email addresses and hit ‘send’.

The 8 Advantages Of Sending HTML Email

HTMLA previous post listed out the benefits of sending out a clean, non-HTML email. Still, depending on your email marketing strategy and approach, there are enough advantages to using HTML email:

– Branding: Include your company logo.

– Recognition: Make your emails feel like your website with a similar design.

– Tracking: Estimate the number of times your messages are opened by recipients. You can’t track the open rate of a text email.

– Highlighting: Use bold, colors, and fonts to draw attention to important parts of your message.

– Compatibility: Send HTML and text messages at the same time and email programs that can’t display HTML will automatically display the text-only message.

– Images: Display images to reinforce your message, but make sure the email still looks okay with images turned off.

If you have a product or service that is best presented visually e.g. a TV, notebook etc., then HTML is the way to go because people will want to see it. If you are simply describing the product update or service, such as “we’ve upgraded our database infrastructure” then text is the right choice.

– Links: Have website links with text descriptions instead of long ugly URLs. A graphical call-to-action button also has a positive impact on click-through rate.

– Familiarity: It’s easier for recipients to scan HTML emails when they become accustomed to your layout.

HTML for email is significantly different than designing for a website. Special care was taken in designing these templates for:

– How messages look when images are turned off.
– HTML display in popular e-mail clients such as Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Eudora, etc.
– HTML display in popular web clients like Yahoo!, Hotmail, and Gmail.
– CAN-SPAM compliance with postal address and unsubscribe link inclusion.

Testing-wise, the best way to understand how different browsers, email clients, and mobile devices interpret your HTML email is to see for yourself! To save yourself the trouble of testing every single email send, test a few options once, and then create a template to use for each email you send using the winning version.

The issue of whether you stick to sending a text or HTML email or both will depend on the context of your message, your target readers, and the click-through performance you are aiming for. You should test-send an email to yourself so that you can consider your own reaction towards reading it. The general rule of thumb is to send short and sweet text emails to recipients who do not know you well and HTML emails to known contacts.

What does it mean to be W3C-compliant?

W3C Compliance

Qualified webmasters and web designers will know what W3C compliance is about. So what is W3C compliance?

The W3C is the World Wide Web Consortium and since 1994 (that’s way back) the W3C has provided the guidelines by which websites and web pages should be structured and created. They set the standards by which best practices in web design are defined and followed through according to the type of coding used, whether it’s HTML, XHTML, XML (blog feed), CSS etc.

If not for W3C standards, nothing that you read on screen would be intelligible. One of the main challenges that Tim Berners-Lee, the so-called Father of the World Wide Web, had to face up to and solve during W3’s formation is to ensure interoperability and that data is not lost in translation as they are presented on-screen.

It is still quite a big issue among webmasters today. From personal experience, I had encountered webmasters who designed sites without thinking how people would view them in Firefox. If you don’t care for web visitors, you lose a market share, simple. (Part of the problem is that proprietary features that do not conform to any existing W3C specifications are designed into popular browsers, so life become very difficult for those of us attempting to create websites that look good across most, if not all, browsers, platforms, mobile devices, screen sizes and resolutions and overcome most types of visual disabilities.)

From a digital marketer’s point-of-view, when designing a website, you need to bear in mind that visitors ONLY respond in 3 ways:

1) To click on a link.
2) To opt-in.
3) To purchase something.
4) And only 1 ACTION AT A TIME.

The last point is terrifically important. I recall seeing a website with black background with lots of links, blinking graphics and bright banners. It reminds me of Las Vegas. If I fly to Las Vegas for the first time and not knowing anything about the place, I wouldn’t know where to start enjoying myself. That’s the problem with such sites. Everywhere is a shout, yet there is still no obvious call-to-action.

I’m coming round a full circle to say that Inbound marketing* cannot break away from W3C compliance even as the webmaster may not realize this. A W3C-optimized website will score highly in user experience and lead conversion. Business website owners must consider 2 points for website optimization:

1) Have a goal in mind for what you’d like to accomplish with your website.

2) Make it easy to be understood and crawled by search engines, i.e. the colours are not all over the place, the layout is not messy, the HTML code is not bloated or excessive, the one single message on the current page is clear etc.

Thus the principle is: the more obvious a call-to-action is, the more clarity a website design must have. It must simply scream, “DO THIS”, and nothing more. When a site is made simply, I presume it cannot veer too far from W3C specifications.

Is your website optimized for lead conversion? Is your call-to-action loud and clear? If you are not sure that your website is generating the right amount of targeted leads, click the graphic below and ask for a free website assessment. We accept your request as a challenge and are glad to help!

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

5 eMail Newsletter Mistakes Most Singapore Marketers Make

eMail Newsletter

“It’ll have everything our customers need, all in one place.”

“Our list will be different—people will look forward to getting our newsletter.”

“Since we’re only sending it once a month, it’ll be a breeze to put together.”

Any of these statements sound familiar? While all of these things may become true for some, most often, email newsletters flop. They become an uninteresting junk of content that people automatically ignore, archive, delete, or straight up unsubscribe from.

That being said, here are the most common mistakes nearly every Singapore marketer makes when creating an email newsletter, and how you can avoid them.

Mistake #1: Having a Poorly Segmented List

As with any email marketing, the content in your email newsletter should be relevant to your audience. And that doesn’t happen without list segmentation. The problem is, often email newsletters are sent as the catch-all content—it’s so generic, it can apply to everybody on your email list!

Or no one at all, because generic content doesn’t get you far. Your email newsletter should only go out to those recipients who are interested in the subject matter of the newsletter. If my newsletter focuses on the latest social media developments, is it wise to send that newsletter to subscribers who wanted to hear about marketing automation software? I think not.

Mistake #2: Information Overload

Email newsletters often suffer from a few types of information overload: either the breadth of information covered is too wide, the quantity of information is too overwhelming for any reader to actually consume, and/or the information is just plain not interesting.

General rule: Write a brief description of the content in your email newsletter, then include a link to read more on your website so your reader isn’t overwhelmed with text in the email.

Not only is this easier to consume, but it also drives visitors to your website, provides opportunities for reconversion, and gets you more indexable pages filled with great content to improve your SEO!

Mistake #3: Competing Calls-to-Action

In most email marketing, with every new call-to-action you include, the effectiveness of each is diluted more and more. So in an email newsletter with so many different pieces of content contained therein—surveys, deadlines, offers, product launches, etc., it’s easy to break one of the cardinal rules of email marketing: including only one call-to-action!

So how do you get past this? The first step is acceptance—there will be more than one call-to-action in your email newsletter. But that doesn’t mean they have to compete with one another. Take a step back, and ask yourself what you want your recipients to do when they read your newsletter. What’s the point?

Mistake #4: Inconsistent Design and Layout

Because email newsletters are a compilation of stories, many businesses change the appearance of the emails from time to time to accommodate the ever-changing content. It makes sense—images could be of different sizes, there might be an uneven balance of content, or you can’t decide which content should be prioritized. But instead of making difficult choices, marketers often just adapt their newsletter design to accommodate a particular issue’s specific topics.

Don’t do it! Not only does it take lots of time to edit your email template, it also confuses your regular readers. Use a standard format for every single newsletter so it is recognizable to your subscribers. That means the same layout, the same image alignment, and the same placement of links and calls-to-action so your reader can scan and find the information they want.

Mistake #5: Vague Subject Lines

This is an easy fix, but such a common email newsletter faux pas. Often, the subject of an email newsletter is something along the lines of Weekly [Company X] Newsletter or Monthly [Product Y] Update.

What does this mean? What will the reader learn?

The interesting part of the email isn’t the frequency at which the recipient receives it—it’s the juicy information you’re divulging! Email newsletters have the opportunity to be chock full of interesting content, and as such are a very useful Inbound marketing* tool. So it’s a shame when marketers put significant time and effort into compiling and sharing their best announcements, offers, and content in an email newsletter, only to have it fall on deaf ears because the subject line lacks a hook.

Use these tips to ensure your next email newsletter is a smashing success and it leads to an ever-increasing, dedicated list of subscribers that look forward to reading your email content.

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