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Expanding your B2B Email Marketing List? Try these 3 Creative Ways

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Expanding your B2B Email Marketing List - Try these 3 Creative Ways_DONEThe most important component of any sustainable email-based B2B lead generation campaign is email list expansion. That’s because no matter how superb your content is or irresistible your subject line sounds, none of it would matter if your list is not optimal in quality and quantity.

And since most email lists shrink by an average of 30% every year, expanding your email should not be a one-time effort, but an ongoing one. Sometimes, the most effective ways to generate a list are those which are the easiest. You have to learn to turn every opportunity into something productive.

Here are 3 creative ways to grow your email list:

1. Mobile apps. A lot of people rely on their smartphones and tablets to instantly retrieve information they want: directions, weather updates, recipes, trivia or any other stuff that’s readily available and won’t have to require them to boot a laptop or PC.

As a business you can also leverage mobile apps to cater to the needs of people. What’s important is for you to know what information they need, so you could have them opt-in for a subscription, thus expanding your list for newsletters, promotions and other marketing content.

2. QR codes. Some restaurants and bars offer free drinks when people sign up to their e-newsletter by scanning a QR code posted on the wall, sometimes even inside restrooms. While usage rates for QR codes are relatively slow, it’s still being used as a means for customers to opt in even in the physical world.

Online, QR codes of course facilitate the lead generation process by doing prospects away with filling out lengthy forms. It’s the thing of the future, and sooner or later it’s going to be a huge part of the commercial industry.

3. Online contests. Believe it or not, there are people who find it hard to resist joining contests. So whenever you would host one, there will be participants for sure. On top of that, offer a really interesting and business-valuable prize so that even those who are not much of contest fans would also be swayed to take a crack at it.

When people are interested in getting the prize or the concept of the contest itself, it should be easy for you to have them disclose their email addresses to join.

5 Link Building strategies to reinforce your SEO strength

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5 Link Building strategies to reinforce your SEO strengthAre you still using outdated link-building techniques such as automated directory submissions or “10,000 links for $10” package purchases? If yes, chances are, you’re not doing well with your SEO since Google has already made those activities virtually useless.

The digital marketing scene has already evolved thanks to the release of the Panda and Penguin algorithms. But the essence of building backlinks is still pretty much alive, it’s just that traditional methods no longer fit the bill. Now, marketers have no choice but to rely on more instinctive actions plans to update their link building campaigns:

1.Guest posting – This technique hits two birds with one stone; not only that it introduces your content to a new audience, it will also provide you an avenue to position at least one backlink pointed at your website. All you need to do is figure out which blogs you need to guest post on, how often, and what kind of content you can share.

2.Venture with infographics – Do you have a talented digital graphic artist in your team? Try creating useful infographics. People like to seek and share them, mostly because it’s easier to grasp and pleasing to the eye. Come up with a unique concept and produce an infographic twice a week. Every time that someone references it on a site, new links would be created for you.

3.Link-building over email – Google is constantly making rounds in cyberspace, cracking down on links found in blog sidebars and footers. Instead of being an outlaw, why not develop an “in-content” link? These are the ones that are in the content body of the referring site’s pages. What you could do is to try emailing potential linking websites and request that your link be placed on a relevant page of content.

4.Viral content – If you could come up with content that is highly-valuable, highly-shareable and at the same time highly-entertaining, then you don’t need to extend your reach to your audience – they would be the ones to market it among themselves. Even without your direct participation, a multitude of backlinks would arise every time someone shares your viral content.

5. Breaking down competitor links – Tools like Majestic SEO (free plans are available) and Open Site Explorer from SEOmoz (free plan available, paid plans start at $99 a month) can allow you to view the websites that are linking back to your competitors’ websites. It can give you insights on potential sources and useful strategies that are prevalent in the market.

Chances are you might be a spammer – you just don’t know it yet

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Chances are you might be a spammer – you just don’t know it yet

When your content gets tagged as spam, it could be a major source of headache. Marketers have to deal with maintaining an honorable reputation to avoid being blocked or ignored in emails, blog sites and forums, and this task requires effort. This effort should have been allotted to more important stuff, like enhancing content quality or engaging with prospects.

But it does happen, and sometimes without your knowledge. All the while you think you’ve been sending your message across, but in reality you’re just a nuisance in the eyes of the recipients. You need to significantly improve your chances of reaching customers and prospects by taking the proper measures.

So how do you keep yourself off from the most wanted spammers list?

Polish your track record. Riva Richmond of Entrepreneur.com gave some advice on keeping your emailing reputation clean. “In the same way a bad credit score can freeze you out of the lending market, a bad sender score for your domain name or IP addresses can keep your emails out of inboxes,” Riva says. ISPs use a number of tools to determine sender reputation. The number of user complaints, which are made by clicking a report spam button, is a decisive factor in reputation. “If more than one in a thousand email recipients complain, your messages will be blocked altogether,” she added.

Improve your content. Spam filters are very watchful of trigger words that are closely associated with general spam. Their alertness becomes higher if you’re a newbie at email marketing with no apparent experience or reputation. What you have to focus on is creating strong, non-spam sounding content. Avoid words like “free trial” or “promotions”. Draft emails as if you’re sending an email to a friend.

Use clean lists. “Avoid buying lists as they typically include spam traps, which are fake addresses used only to catch spam, and addresses of people who haven’t given permission to receive marketing messages,” says Dennis Dayman, chief security and privacy officer at Eloqua, a marketing software and services company. He encourages building a list or real customers instead, which, although time-consuming, can pay off big time.

Seek help. Marketing specialists use dependable emailing tools and services so ISPs can recognize your content as legitimate and trustworthy. Leaving the task to experts can help you manage your campaign smoothly and also boost your sender score within the industry. Firms usually offer services free for the first month so you could gauge the effectiveness and assess whether it’s worth teaming up.

4 Email Marketing Gems – Born Out of Writing 1,000 Emails

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Justin Bridegan of MarketingSherpa shares 4 things he learned from writing a lot of email copy:

Having written close to 1,000 emails for MarketingSherpa promoting our marketing products over the past few years, I’ve learned a couple of things I thought I would share with you, many of them from my own mistakes.

At Summits, when people recognize my name from their inbox, they ask, “What have you found that works?” What a loaded question, right?

I’ve felt much like Edison, but with a marketing spin on it. I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways on how to not write an email.

Much like you, my writing over time has evolved to include some semi-universal best practices which many of us are familiar with, but sometimes get lost in the marketing translation from company logic to customer logic. So, here is a quick refresher.

Tip #1. Write your copy with the understanding that your audience is likely not reading, but skimming

It’s been said most people are either “filers,” who create a specific file folder for each email, or “pilers,” who let the inbox pile up with no hope in sight. Either way, your message is up against an already overflowing inbox. Standing out – and quickly – is the only hope you have.

I’m not saying all email messages have to be short, but they should be readable in a skim format. Your audience should be able to understand the main message in five to 10 seconds. Subject lines should be point first or last, not middle. Intro paragraphs should also be short and lead into the body copy, usually three sentences or less. Overall, you should test your email subject lengths to know what your audience prefers to read.

Tip #2. Stop selling to your audience and offer real value

Nobody enjoys being bombarded with product offerings and specials. Don’t get me wrong, we all like a good deal, just not all of the time and not every day. Your emails should be an ongoing conversation and always offer real value. Ask yourself, “Does this pass the ‘so what’ test?” If not, then scrap what you have and start over.

Use benefit-focused language such as “Get” or “Receive” without making them think about all of the things they have to do. You need to build some trust with your audience and make sure you provide an email address so they can respond with feedback.

Tip #3. Clarity is the key

Have you ever read an email and not understood what they were trying to say? I know I have. From internal acronyms nobody outside the office understands to copy containing three or four calls-to-action, too much clutter is a conversion killer.

Focus on one key benefit, map it to their pain point and solve it. Your email tone should convey a helpful and friendly voice. Never use words that don’t convey value, like “Submit,” or “Click.” When possible, provide more clarity and quantify your message. For example, use “Get instant online access to all 32 marketing search journals” instead of “Download now.”

Tip #4. Don’t take my word for it – test

What works for one company doesn’t always work for another. The only true way to know what works in your messaging is to test. For the MarketingSherpa audience, those who have purchased from us in the past tend to like short, right to the point emails, while new sign-ups tend to like more visual and lengthy copy. It is about tailoring your messages.

We’ve gleaned these insights from A/B testing. Before you implement any of my tips, I suggest you test them with your unique audience and product to see if they also work for you.


This article
originally appeared on MarketingSherpa.com.

Not getting new Prospects? Give your Email a Facelift

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Not getting new Prospects - Give your Email a Facelift

Email Marketing dwells in a fierce battlefield where hundreds of businesses shoot emails towards every company they come across with. Sometimes we tend to forget about the competition that we become contented with mediocre emails and then wonder why we never get positive responses from prospects.

Emails need to stand out in order to gain attention and ignite a spark of conversation. If your current email template is outdated and unattractive, you need to consider a complete makeover and see how significantly it affects prospect responses.

Here are a few things you could incorporate to give your emails a whole new look:

Go for crisp and short. Perhaps it’s high time for you to shy away from the usual lengthy content and switch to something that’s concise yet abundant with substance. Get rid of wordy paragraphs and tall tales. Emphasize only the important things, based on the target industry and your own company’s goals. Put it in perspective: whenever you receive an email from a marketer, what are the parts that you would normally skip?

The message is WOW. Within a few seconds and after the first several lines, your prospects must already realize why they should keep on reading your email. Keep it casual and try not to be too official-sounding with your choice of words. By understanding your target market carefully, you can come up with strong statements that would generally get their attention and make them think afterwards that their time was not wasted.

Encourage correspondence. Although it may sound like the ultimate goal of email marketing itself, what it means is that you should push for something that would make them write back for good reasons. Ask questions. Make them share opinions. Allow them to participate in polls. Give them anything thatdoesn’t entail signing them up for a commitment they don’t really like. Some marketers even use Gmail instead of their corporate email to give a more personal approach in communicating with their prospects.

Be careful with action buttons. Just like you, prospects don’t want to be deceived, or to feel they are being deceived. If you really need to include action buttons in your emails, make sure you specify clearly what they would do for the prospect. Don’t write “Get a Free Demo” if what the button really does is to route them to a page where they have to fill-out an enormous form. They would appreciate the honesty if you just put exactly what it’s for.

Accessorize, but with relevance. Links can help shorten an email, but putting unnecessary URLs or other external addresses can also smear its overall appearance. Only provide links to useful content, such as industry information, subscription pages, or social media connections.

Fast follow. Don’t wait for 48 hours to check on the progress of an email campaign. Draft a follow-up system that regularly (preferably within a 24-hour period) monitors development for possible responses and to normalize an already-established line of communication.