7 Reasons to Start a Newsletter and Grow Your Business

7 Reasons to Start a Newsletter and Grow Your Business

In one of my recent articles (37 Email Marketing Stats that Show Why Email is Still King), I mentioned that “90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed.”. While newsletters are no longer the latest hot topic, they are still proving to be a very important element of email marketing. Newsletters that are done right have a number of advantages.

The last thing you want a customer to think upon opening your newsletter is to question how it got in their inbox. It may sound obvious but it’s important that customers sign up to a newsletter with the intention of actually receiving it — whether t be for entertainment, online shopping, marketing or even customer account information.

No matter what your target audience or niche market is, creating a newsletter has never been simpler with many easy-to-use online programs that assist you for every step of the way and let you be as creative as you want. The key to a successful newsletter is providing engaging and fresh content in an appealing format. There are many online guides you can read to inform you on what makes an interesting and successful newsletter.

You can see an example of how a newsletter should be laid out through the screenshot below. However… it’s not just the layout and structure of your newsletter that matters, it’s the whole concept and how you approach it as a brand, while also being seen by your audience.

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7 Quick and Effective Reasons to Start a Mailing List Today

In case you still haven’t dabbled in the world of newsletters and email marketing, here are just a few reasons to start.

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Create Loyalty, Trust, and Community

The first thing about a business newsletter is the trust that you create with your network. Once the customer becomes used to your consistent and regular content, and as soon as they begin to recognize that content as informative and interesting, the more loyal they will become and be familiar with your brand name. Remember, customers need to trust you before they buy from you.

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AutoResponders are Your Best Friend

When it comes to email marketing and mailing lists, few things are greater than the power of a solid autoresponder series.

Few brands do this correctly, but online marketers and bloggers have become masters at the process. The way it works is simple — someone joins your mailing list, and they are sent a series of mailings (based off your schedule). Each of these mailings are unique in their own way and helps build the relationship, trust, engagement and eventual conversion over the series of mailings.

The best part of this whole process is that you only need to create this mailing list series once. After that, every time someone new joins your mailing list, they will get walked through that same process (no matter when or where they came from).

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Increase Website Traffic

One of the best ways to increase repeat traffic to your site is through the use of a newsletter or mailing list. Unfortunately, around 70% of the people that visit your site for the first time will never come back. This is simply a numbers game and isn’t totally relevant to your site content or call-t0-action… there is just way too much content already out there.

My recommended tip for heavily increasing the conversion rate on how many people join your mailing list once their hit your site, is to implement popup subscribe forms and welcome mats. Through my own experience, these have worked better than all other methods.

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Boost Your Sales

With regular company newsletters, the opportunities to highlight a product or service are endless. Whether it be direct like an introduction to a new product, or a bit more subtle such as sharing a third party review of your service, it is easy to guide customers to your direct point of sales. Trust must be built first. Another idea to increase sales is to advertise special offers on the newsletter, therefore adding to value to it.

In addition to boosting sales, sending out a constant supply of mailings and messages to your audience will also increase their trust and desire to buy. It’s been reported that the average customer needs to see an advertisement for something around twenty times before actually making a purchase.

To learn more about how to increase sales with a newsletter, check out these sales funnel case studies.

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Increase Your Social Media Engagement

Similar to websites, social media can be an overwhelming place for your content to be found. However, when someone is on your mailing list, it is more likely they would follow you on their preferred social network of choice.

For this reason, it’s extremely important to include all your social media accounts in all of your mailings. Providing the option to share newsletter content via social media will increase engagement across all your networks – this way, the conversation transforms from the more personal and focused medium of email to the more public and casual medium of social media. Also, if you already have a well-known logo or brand in place, be sure to keep this same branding consistent across your social media channels. This will play a huge part in the overall trust, branding and engagement process.

At the minimum, be sure to include your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram accounts within your mailings.

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Distribute Important Content

One of the more obvious reasons to send out a newsletter is to keep your audience and your customer base up to date with all the company news. It is important that customers feel a part of this community that the newsletter has created.

To stress this point even further, I would highly recommend giving your “best” content only through your mailing list. This will serve you and your subscribers better in two ways; first being that you can incentivize the sign-up process with your best content, second being that your subscribers will actually want to stay subscribed to your mailing list — since they can clearly see it is your best work!

Remember… people join your mailing list because they want to get something out of it — make sure you are making it worth their time.

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Track Your Signups

Most newsletter platforms provide an option to view analytics such as Aweber or ConvertKit. The analytics provided through these platforms generally include the sharing rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, bounce rate and list growth rate. Such statistics are useful for developing your newsletter strategy.

If you want to bring your outreach, management, and automation to a whole new level, I highly recommend you take a look at what GetResponse is doing as of lately. They are now focused on making the process of visitor-to-email-to-customer as seamless as possible, while also providing full reporting in the process.

Starting a Newsletter is Easy… Converting Your Audience is Not!

At the end of the day, anyone can start a mailing list — it’s extremely fast, simple and affordable. However, to find success with a mailing list, you need to have an audience and provide value to them in order to get them to actually join your list. Even then, the work is still not done.

To fund success with email, you must continually add value, split test your results, track conversions and measure ROI. Once you’ve mastered this process, you can aggressively market your site, landing pages and mailing list to levels you’ve never even imagined!

7 Reasons Why You are Going to Fail at Affiliate Marketing

7 Reasons Why You are Going to Fail at Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the best things to ever happen to would-be entrepreneurs around the world. In short, it’s provided a platform and legitimate business for anyone to start making money online, from anywhere. No matter where you are located, what your current level of education is, or even how much money you have to get started with… affiliate marketing could be the opportunity you’ve been looking for.

However, just because something is easily accessible and available, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy.

This is especially true with affiliate marketing — which comes in all different forms, shapes, and sizes. The most simple forms are through advertising from Google or Amazon right onto your site, while advanced methods include PPC marketing, ad buying, and building out your own niche content sites.

Before you get too excited, I want to stress the importance of affiliate marketing and how real it is. To do this, I’m going to provide you with seven of the most common reasons why people fail at it. Everyone needs to learn to walk before they can run, and hopefully this article serves as a reminder that the same is true in the world of affiliate marketing.

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1 – You Think Affiliate Marketing is Easy

There is a good chance that you first heard about affiliate marketing through the internet. You likely saw something showing their check or heard about how someone made a killing by recommending different products or services online.

While all of that might be legitimate and authentic, the truth is that these stories are few and far between. Yes, people are making real money with affiliate marketing, but every success story that you hear actually had hundreds of failures and stories you never hear about behind it.

Affiliate marketing is real — but it’s definitely not easy.

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2 – Focusing Only on Content Creation Works Best

To find success with affiliate marketing, you need to niche down as much as possible. The thought process that you can go wide range and try to attract a generic audience and monetize it effective with affiliate marketing just isn’t realistic. It can work, but you will have more than a billion sites on the internet to compete again.

The truth is, you need to niche down as much as possible and become an authority for information within that space. The more you niche down, the easier it will be for you to not out stand out from the crowd, but to also rank higher in the search results as well. This will also be key for the effectiveness of your monetization.

However, just “creating content” isn’t going to do the trick. There are over a billion active sites on the internet today and Google is only listing 10 pages organically in their search results. This means it’s virtually impossible for you to rank on the main page of Google, unless you are going after extremely niche keywords and also have content that is catered to exactly what your audience is looking for.

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3 – Cater to a General Audience and Promote Everything

With over three billion people on the internet and nearly two-billion-plus being on social media, it must be pretty easy to make money online. After all, if you had a website or blog that was getting 10,000 visits per day and each one of them made you .01, that’s an easy $100 per day in your pocket, right?

Wrong… for the most part, the majority of site traffic and people online aren’t going to make you money. This is why it’s extremely important to niche down your site focus and content as much as possible. Once you have a steady flow of people coming to your site and you know exactly what they are looking for, that’s when you can start monetizing and putting an offer out there that you know they will eat up.

You can see a perfect example of this in my blog monetization guide where I walk through the niche process of sports, to basketball, to jump training. If this is something of interest to you, be sure to join my how to start a sports blog course on Udemy. It walks you through the complete process of how to start a blog, find a winning niche and also making money with jump training programs like the ones mentioned earier.

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4 – Let Google Adsense Do All the Work For You

Google Adsense is great. It’s helped millions of people discover how to start making money with their site, and for some, it’s even helped pay off their mortgage. However, these stories of massive success with Google Adsense are also few and far between.

If something is extremely easy to make money with, isn’t there some kind of catch? Well yes, that happens to be the case with Google Adsense as well — but only if you want to put some extra work in.

The ways Adsense works is simple. You throw a line of code on your site, then Google starts serving banner and text ads on your site. Every time those ads are clicked, you earn a percentage. (usually in the 30-50% range, but you never actually know). This means you are making only half of the money you potentially could be, if you were running direct ad sales, affiliate offers or working deals directly with relevant advertisers that are currently being served on your site.

Long story short… if you are only using Google Adsense and are quite happy with your earnings, you are simply leaving money on the table.

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5 – Relying ONLY on Affiliate Marketing

Just like you can do yourself some harm by only relying on monetization methods like Google Adsense, you can also do the same if you only rely on affiliate marketing. We all know how affiliate marketing works… essentially you are the middle man. The advertiser makes money, the affiliate makes money, and so does the network serving the ads.

Well, what if you removed both sides of the equation and still had your same business model and lead process in place? Then you’d likely make a lot more money.

It won’t work in all situations, but if you are pushing massive leads to a network or product/service that you can replicate or start on your own… why not? Over the long run, this could be a massive amount of profit right back into your pocket.

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6 – Staying in Your Hole and Collect Money

There are two sides to affiliate marketing — those who are quietly making money and no one knows about it, and then there are those who have blogs or websites where they talk about it. Neither side is wrong, and both have their benefits. For over 10 years I was an affiliate marketer in the dark, then I decided to launch this blog in 2007 and share my story and advice.

While both options are great, I will tell you that starting my blog completely changed everything. Not only did it become a new outlet for growth, branding, and business… it also made me a better writer, business owner, entrepreneur, public speaker and much more. The opportunities as a result of the blog have also been amazing.

On top of all of that, the blog also gives me leverage. If I wasn’t paid from an ad network or advertiser, the last thing they would want is to get blasted on the blog — this might not be the case if I was just a lonely affiliate without a voice in the community.

Again, both sides are great, but the networking and earnings potential for putting yourself out there is also immense

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7 – Diagnosed with a Case of Shiny Object Syndrome

If you want to fail at affiliate marketing, catch a good old diagnosis of ‘shiny object syndrome‘. Many of us not only know what this is, we are also guilty of it as well.

Shiny object syndrome is jumping from project to project, hoping to hit it big on the next one. A good example of this would be if you had a site that was doing extremely well and making series money, but then you saw a new blog post about someone doing extremely well with mobile CPA ads. So then you leave focus on your site and start focusing elsewhere. Not only have you lost your focus, you are now spread too thin on both sides and your original successful site is now quickly falling behind.

The same thing happens in affiliate marketing all the time, and this can be even more dangerous if you have active ad campaigns running with large daily budgets.

Your Success in Affiliate Marketing Falls on You!

As mentioned earlier, affiliate marketing is one of the best opportunities out there… but it shouldn’t be taken for advantage. Map out how you’d like to make money with affiliate marketing, create a real business that provides value, then implement a monetization strategy where you can compete and scale with time.

While all of this is going on, always remind yourself of the seven steps to affiliate marketing failure that I’ve listed above.

5 Possible Reasons Your Website Isn’t Converting

5 Possible Reasons Your Website Isn’t Converting

Conversions are crucial to making a website successful, but there are plenty of things that can interfere with an optimal conversion rate. Converting site visitors into buying customers is a tricky challenge, but the right strategies can make your website a successful powerhouse that turns visitors into profit.

You Aren’t Driving Traffic to Your Site

Your website can offer the perfect look, navigation, and content, but that means nothing if users can’t find it through search engines. An optimized site makes it easier for search engines like Google to crawl and index its pages. Invest in an SEO audit; a marketing agency that specializes in search engine optimization can assess your site and indicate the areas that need work.

Think of an SEO audit as a type of “health check” for your website. During an audit, SEO specialists poke around in the technical infrastructure of your site, observing on-page elements and off-page features in order to enhance search engine visibility, usability, and ultimately conversion rates. As the chart below shows, there are critical website SEO issues that can impact the way your website is run, including duplicate content, missing information, broken internal links, and the like.

Once the SEO team has assessed your site, they’ll present their findings and offer services that can help correct weak points.

Your Website Isn’t Responsive

It should come as no surprise that mobile usage continues to increase, and if your website isn’t responsive, you could be losing out on a core segment of consumers. There are two major templates used to create a mobile website: mobile templates and responsive design. What’s the difference? Responsive design does a website to adapt to any screen size, regardless of device.

In contrast, a mobile template requires a second, mobile-only website or subdomain, and these templates are built for a particular site—not for screen size. This can result in a poor user experience. According to Google’s Think Insights, if a user lands on your mobile website and can’t find what they’re looking for, there’s a 61% chance they will leave your site immediately—and there goes your conversion. Responsive design can also improve your SEO since having a single URL makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site.

Your Site’s Navigation Isn’t Clear

Navigation can make or break your website’s conversion rates—you want your site to first retain its visitors, then lead them through the conversion funnel. The right navigation features make it simple for visitors to find relevant information without requiring them to “hunt” for it. Better navigation may also improve Google’s ability to index important information, which may help your rankings in the long term.  To improve navigation, divide categories clearly, indicate these categories with accurate titles, and improve your search feature to make it easy for visitors to find whatever they’re looking for.

Your Content Isn’t Unique and Relevant

If you don’t offer unique content, what is it that separates your product from your competitors? To develop effective content, it’s important to uncover your target audience’s central motivation for purchasing your product or service. Who is buying your product? Who do you want to be buying your product? What’s their background? Is there a specific need or problem that would drive them to your offering? Answering these questions before creating a content strategy is essential.

Once you’ve honed in on your target audience’s needs, begin brainstorming titles that are tied to your business goals: answer your customers’ most frequently asked questions, write how-to’s and tutorials regarding relevant topics and tasks, and evergreen topics related to your industry that provide information your customers might be looking for. If you’re not a writer, or you simply don’t have the time to pump out content, you may also consider investing in unique articles from Constant Content.

You Aren’t Catering to Your Audience

Make sure your site caters to your target demographic. Your website design, images, copy, and products should be tailored to a specific user; trying to please everyone will alienate your target consumer. Instead of being general, get specific. Write to the right people, target your ideal customer with relevant content and imagery, and consider how your user will experience the site to better cater it to a visitor more likely to purchase your product.

These are just a few of the reasons your site’s conversions rates could be struggling, but fixing these major issues can significantly improve your consumer interaction and ultimately, your bottom line.