It seems that what emerged as sound email principles and etiquette apply just as well to email marketing. But its not just email marketing… it’s effective email marketing.
Where previously formal letters and faxes used to be the way to communicate with clients and potential customers, the shift to the ‘softcopy’ world of the Web has meant that this same type of communication would have to happen in a format pertinent to this new venue. Email and email marketing asserted itself as the prime method of contact then. From brochures to customer support, everything can now take place through a few types on the keyboard and few clicks of the mouse.
However, there still is a protocol and a proper manner for effective email marketing:
- Be clear
Email is a shortened form of communication. There is no space for flowery and overtly ego-soothing language. Basic courtesy applies, like proper greetings and such, but on the whole, emails should be short and clear. Get to the point as soon as possible. Let your recipient know what is expected of him, what he stands to gain through this communication, and how he can gain it (for example, what he has to do, such as be within the first hundred to visit a site and thus earn a discount)
- Offer value, not information
Provide incentive for the email reader to read and click through. Add value to your communication. Attract and seduce. Don’t be surprised a boring, hum-drum email is deleted as soon as the recipient reads the first few lines. Entice, and do not provide too much information in the content. The website is there for this purpose. The email is for communication.
- Prefer text
Graphics take long to load and often emails with graphics and attachments are deleted immediately or go to a junk mail folder.
- Label your images if you use them.
Some people get only the text in an email in their browser. If you include graphics but fail to label them, the whole message may not make sense or the reader may not be enticed. Providing labels lets him know what stands at such a place in the message.
- Use a hook
You should aim to catch the attention of your reader from the first line itself. A good hook works then. Its message should be relevant and clear so that the customer can then immediately decide to read on or not. Remember that a reader is won through the first few lines itself.
- Support the hook
In the body of your email, use relevant information to support your hook and its message. However, be concise, as this isn’t an opportunity for an info dump. Your information should simply reinforce your hook.
- Be short and concise
Readers won’t read every word that is down in an email. They usually scan the thing in whole. Use the space you have succinctly to maximize the opportunity to grasp the reader.
- Provide the most important information first
Make efficient use of the top space of your email. Many readers read email through a preview pane. The top third of your email will be displayed in this pane, and based on this information, a reader may decide to read the full or delete the message already.
- Use a legible and easy to grasp format
- Arrange your text in a manner that is pleasant to the eye.
- Delineate text and paragraphs using hyphens or lines.
- Use legible font such as Georgia and Verdana in a readable size.
- Use bullets and lists to more clearly define your message so it can be grasped at first glance.
- Use the active voice
The active voice ‘involves’ the reader in the message and pushes him to react.
- Know your audience
And write accordingly with appropriate wording and information.
- Avoid URLs that are too long
Such addresses in emails can be difficult to click as they lose their link when they are ‘broken’ onto 2 or more lines.
Aim to have a URL on its own line. If needed, shrink the text for the link. Or you can offer the address without a hyperlink but as a ‘copy and paste’ option.
- Avoid caps and excessive use of punctuation marks
That’s basic email etiquette, which carries forward into your business communication.
- Offer an option to unsubscribe
Always offer a ‘way out’ for your recipients. An unsubscribe link is expected to be seen at the bottom of the email.
Providing your recipient with the option to continue receiving emails or to terminate the reception shows caring and courtesy to the reader.
Also ensure that an unsubscription is effective immediately.
- Easy to subscribe as well
Make it easy to subscribe as well. Provide links and offer a way to your guest book or how to provide comments and feedback. This shows consideration on your behalf.
It is also a good idea to let your readers know that they are free to forward the email as well.
- Make it easy to change subscription address
This way, if a client or recipient changes his address, he can make sure the email follows as well.
- Make good use of your subject line
The headline of your message should go in the subject box, as this is the first glimpse recipients will have to your email. Use it judiciously to convey information.
- Address your recipients by their name
This shows consideration and a personal touch. You definitely win over more people through a personalized message than through an impersonal mass bundling.
- Avoid in holiday periods
This time is often holiday from emails too, so keep email marketing communications to the minimum too.
You could however send out a message with the holiday’s greetings and best wishes.
- Consistency with corporate design
Having the same kind of layout and formatting as your website and other business communication supports ensures that someone recognizes your email at first glance too.
Once you have found the right template/format, use it every time.
- An email address that says who you are
People are more apt to trust a message with a From line containing information about who you are and where you’re from. This will also prevent your email from being listed as spam and from ending in the junk email folder.
- The landing page should fit the email and the offer
Make sure you are leading your reader to the right destination through the links provided in the message.
People hate wasting their time, and if this happens even once, you stand the risk of losing credibility.
By tailoring your landing page for links, you also make better use of your website to further engage the customer’s interest.
- Motivate newsletter sign up with a freebie or bonus
Offer something in return as an incentive. This could win you a lot of new subscriptions.
- Have good multimedia if you are using it
If you are using audio or video, make sure they are of good quality and can be accessed easily.
- Reply to requests within 24 hours
This is basically common courtesy but it pays to be recalled. Ensuring prompt replies show you care and value your customers.
- Email should be service oriented, not marketing oriented as with paper
Your aim through email marketing is to inform and provide an ‘easy’ access to your company.
- Customize so it doesn’t look like spam
Make sure your message is unique in its content and format so it isn’t brushed off as spam.
- Offer use
r control if possible
Wherever possible, give your reader the opportunity to tailor your communications to him. People are most apt to listen to the information they have asked for.
- Provide contact information for you
Always provide a way of contacting you. The signature in emails is one of your greatest effective email marketing assets.
By making use of these email marketing tips, you should be able to create a successful and effective email marketing campaign.
The purpose of this article is to outline three different ways of getting a WordPress blog up and running. WordPress is a free blogging software, has many benefits and is supported by a large community of users and developers.
A “blog” is abbreviated from the term, “web log” which is a form of online diary or journal.
Since its advent a few short years ago, blogs have found numerous uses. Just to name a few, these include:
- teenagers putting their thoughts and ramblings online
- hobbyists giving updates about their interests and passion
- people staying updated with friends overseas
- professional bloggers updating specific niche products
- multinational corporations (MNC’s) such as Microsoft & General Motors using blogs as marketing tool
Like a web site, a blog has global reach. However, it’s far cheaper, quicker and definitely easier to maintain a blog than a traditional web site. A blog’s contents can be easily updated by submitting short or long articles (commonly known as blog posts) through an easy-to-use graphical interface. As a blog’s content is updated regularly, they naturally attract both human readers as well as search engines hungry for fresh content.
To set up a blog, we need some form of blogging software or platform. There are free software like Blogger and WordPress and there are paid platforms like Moveable Type and Typepad.
Blogger is owned by Google. It’s free and perhaps the easiest way to create a blog and your first post, literally within minutes! Howeer, its features are somewhat limited.
Thus, WordPress is a good alternative if you are looking for free blogging software. As it is an open source software, it is literally supported by a huge community of users and developers that assists both new and experienced bloggers. Not only feature rich – it supports categories, pages and trackbacks, just to name a few – it is constantly being updated through its core software as well as through software plugin’s which are bonus software components that extend the basic functionality of WordPress. For more information, visit WordPress.org
Here are 3 different ways to get a WordPress blog up and running:
1) Via WordPress.com
2) Via WordPress.org
3) Via CPANEL’s Fantastico
Like Blogger, you can get your WordPress blog and first post up and running within several minutes through WordPress.com! This site is meant for people to get a taste of WordPress without having to go through the somewhat involved procedure via WordPress.org (see the section below). If this is the first time you are getting your WordPress blog up and running, you should definitely give this a shot.
It’s as easy as going to WordPress.com, clicking the button that says “Get a WordPress Blog Now>>” or something like that and following the directions there. And then, you start posting!
In this case, your WordPress blog will be hosted on WordPress.com totally free. Therefore, you do not need your own web host. The only drawback is that there are limitations such as you can’t install your own themes or plugin’s.
Instead of having your blog hosted on WordPress.com, you can install WordPress on your own web host. (Of course, in this case, you need to have your own web hosting account which preferably comes with a version of “CPANEL” – a an easy-to-use graphical control panel to manage your web host.)
Setting up of the WordPress blog comprises the 3 main steps below.
Step 1: Visit WordPress.org and download the WordPress installation files which are free (since it is open source software as mentioned before). As the files are in a compressed format, run your compression utility (such as Winzip) to expand the files to your hard disk..
Step 2: Run your File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program and connect to your web hosting account. Then upload the installation files to the domain (if you have multiple domains hosted) and folder that you want your WordPress blog installed.
Step 3: This step is going to be challenging for the non-techie type if they managed to survive Step 2! You log into the CPANEL of your web host and create and configure your MYSQL database. After this is done, you need to configure some files to complete your installation.
Next, launch your browser to access your blog and start making your 1st post by running the “wp-admin.php” script that has been installed.
As you can see, this is the “normal” but very tedious way of setting up of your WordPress blog.
However, the effort you expend is worthwhile as you can configure all aspects of WordPress like installing the theme you like and adding HTML codes to include Google AdSense on your blog to earn some profit, etc.
Again, you install WordPress on your own web host but this time through FANTASTICO. In this case, not only would you need to have your own web hosting account, it MUST come with a version of “CPANEL” that includes “FANTASTICO” – an advanced script installer that automates a 1-click WordPress installation! (Actually a few clicks are needed.)
With FANTASTICO, all the 3 steps above are automated for you. All you need to do is to log into the CPANEL of your web host and then click the FANTASTICO icon, which is a smiley face.
In the next screen, click on “WordPress” and then click on “New Installation”. FANTASTICO will open a form and you fill in a few things like which domain (if you have multiple domains hosted) and which folder to install to. Once you have typed in the information and pushed a button, FANTASTICO will install WordPress in a few seconds!
How is that possible? That’s because the installation files are already at your web host. This saves you time as you don’t have to download them from WordPress.org, expand them and upload to your web host. Likewise, the databas is also automatically created and configured for you.
Next, launch your browser to access your blog and start making your 1st post by running the “wp-admin.php” script that has been installed.
As you can see, this is the “preferred” method of getting a WordPress blog up and running, also within minutes.and yet you can have all the benefits of configuring all aspects of WordPress, such as adding Affiliate Programs easily (including Amazon.com) and Google AdSense to make a handsome profit month after month!
Are you a webmaster who needs funds to keep your website running? Or is your website the only way for you to earn income? Whichever you are, for as long as you are a webmaster or a web publisher and you need cash, affiliate marketing may work well for you. With affiliate marketing, you may get a lot of cash pouring into your bank account easily. And if your website is rich in great contents and you want to earn more profit, why not get into the Google Adsense program as well? Why Affiliate Marketing? Well, simply because affiliate marketing is the easiest and probably the best way to earn profits online, unless otherwise you are a businessman and would rather sell your own products online than advertise other businessman’s products on your site. But even online retailers can benefit from affiliate marketing programs, because affiliate marketing actually works for merchants as well as it works for the affiliates. Affiliate marketing, simply said, is a relationship or agreement made between two websites, with one site being the merchant’s website and the other being the affiliate’s site. In the relationship, the affiliate agrees to let the merchant advertise his products on the affiliate’s site. The merchant, on the other hand, would agree to pay the affiliate in whatever method they have agreed into. This would generally mean easy income for the affiliate, as he would do nothing but place the retailer’s ad on his site. This would also be very beneficial for the merchant, as getting affiliates to advertise their products would be a lot more affordable than hiring an advertising firm to promote their products. There are a variety of methods on how the merchant would compensate the affiliate for his services, and for the webmaster, these methods simply translates to the method by which he would earn easy cash. Among the more common methods of compensation are the pay-per-click method, the pay-per-lead method, and the pay-per-sale method. The pay-per-click method is the method most preferred by affiliates, for their site’s visitor would only have to visit the advertiser’s site for them to gain money. The other two methods, on the other hand, are better preferred by merchants, as they would only have to compensate you if your visitor becomes one of their registrants or if the visitor would actually buy their products. Getting much profit on affiliate marketing programs, however, does not depend so much on the compensation method is it does on the traffic generated by your site. A website that can attract more visitors would generally have the greater chance of profiting in affiliate marketing programs. What about Google Adsense? Google Adsense is actually some sort of an affiliate marketing program. In Google Adsense, Google act as the intermediary between the affiliates and the merchants. The merchant, or the advertiser, would simply sign up with Google and provide the latter with text ads pertaining to their products. These ads, which is actually a link to the advertisers’ website, would then appear on Google searches as well as on the websites owned by the affiliates, or by those webmasters who have signed up with the Google Adsense program. While one can find a lot of similarities between Google Adsense and other affiliate marketing programs, you can also see a lot of differences. In Google Adsense, all the webmaster has to do is place a code on his website and Google takes care of the rest. The ads that Google would place on your site would generally be relevant to the content of your site. This would be advantageous both for you and for the advertiser, as the visitors of your site would more or less be actually interested with the products being advertised. The Google Adsense program compensates the affiliate in a pay-per-click basis. The advertisers would pay Google a certain amount each time their ad on your site is clicked and Google would then forward this amount to you through checks, although only after Google have deducted their share of the amount. Google Adsense checks are usually delivered monthly. Also, the Google Adsense program provides webmasters with a tracking tool that allows you to monitor the earnings you actually get from a certain ad. So, where do all of these lead us to? Where else but to profits, profits and even more profits! Affiliate marketing programs and the Google Adsense program simply work, whether you are the merchant or the affiliate. For the merchant’s side, a lot of money can be saved if advertising effort is concentrated on affiliate marketing rather than on dealing with advertising firms. For the webmaster, you can easily gain a lot of profits just by doing what you do best, and that is by creating websites. And if you combine all your profits from both the Google Adsense program and other affiliate marketing programs, it would surely convert to a larg