19 of the Most Powerful Traffic Driving Methods to Build Your Business

First, there is no one magic trick that will skyrocket your blog’s growth overnight. But rather, there are a lot of little things you can do, that when combined, will lead to steady continuous growth – the kind of growth that seems to take on a life of its own.

Here’s the mindset to have when it comes to your blog and content marketing in general… you are continuously experimenting to see what works, and constantly learning from your audience.

It’s rather simple…

Experiment – did it work? And if so, how can you make it work even better?

And learn – who is my audience? What do they want? What do they fear? How can I become so valuable to them, they turn to me and my blog for advice and help?

Now that you have the mindset, let’s get into the tips, in no particular order whatsoever:

1: Learn Everything You can About Your Audience

We already talked about this, but it’s so important we need to go deeper.

Where is your audience coming from, both physically and mentally?

By physically, we mean what brings them to your site. Is it an ad?

A blogpost? A mention somewhere on the web? Social media?

Where your readers come from plays a large part in what they expect from your blog.

That’s why some bloggers set up separate squeeze pages for each traffic source, so they can custom tailor it to their audience.

And where are they mentally when they hit your blog? Did they just discover they have a problem and they’re looking for solutions? Are they looking to be entertained more than informed? What are they looking for, and why are they there?

If you can, interview your readers. You might get them on Skype, send them a questionnaire, ask questions on your blog, etc.

Ask things like:

What are your biggest challenges in <your niche>? You’re looking for the pain points you can help solve.

What have you done to overcome these challenges? This will show you how determined they are.

How do you find the information you need? This tells you where and how they are looking

What content format do you prefer? Video, written, audio, etc.

You don’t have to interview a lot of people to find the answers. In fact, according to research experts you should see a pattern emerging after just 5 interviews in the same audience segment.

Your goal of course is to learn as much about your audience’s needs and desires as you can. It’s not always about building buyer personas – after all, not all of your readers will be 37 year old college educated women with 2.4 kids and a $200,000 mortgage.

 

 

2: Get a Bird’s Eye View of Your Blog

Buzzstream put together a list of questions that will give you a good view of your content marketing strategy and help you identify your weak points.

You might go over this list of questions every 3-6 months and make sure you are still on track with your blog.

  1. Who is your audience? <dog owners>
  2. What are you offering them? <tips on dog training and care>
  3. How will they find you? <through guest blog posts and social media>
  4. Why will they care? <I give great tips they can use immediately>
  5. How will they interact? <they will watch videos and read blog posts>
  6. What will be their next step? <signing up for my dog training course>
  7. Why do they share it? <it’s great info, entertaining and awesome dog photos, too
  8. They might not share it if… <it’s too dry>
  9. A solution for this is… <inject plenty of humor and personality>

3: Use Your Competitors to Find Your Audience

Finding your target audience can be difficult. But then again, who says you have to reinvent the wheel? Just find out what is working for your competitors, and you can often use the same sites and techniques to drive targeted traffic to your own site.

First, make a list of websites that are closest to yours in topic and intended audience. If you don’t know them, try searching Google using your top keywords. Or use this Google query (related: yourcompetitorwebsite.com)

Next, enter the competitor’s domain on SimilarWeb.com to see where their visitors are coming from, which social networks they use, total visits, traffic by countries, search traffic and more.

4: Learn About Your Competitors’ Social Media Activity

Use http://www.fanpagekarma.com and http://buzzsumo.com to find out:

  • What is their average engagement rate?
  • How often do they post?
  • When are they posting?
  • What types of posts are they posting?
  • And most importantly – what is their best performing content?

Discovering what’s working for others can shorten your own learning curve dramatically.

You can also use http://likealyzer.com to get metrics on likes, growth and engagement.

If you want to analyze their Twitter account, use https://www.twitonomy.com to find their average tweets per day, total retweets and favorites, as well as how many tweets contained hashtags, links, mentions and so forth.

To learn about their SEO performance, you can use https://seranking.com for backlink research and more.

 

5: APP Your Content

Keep readers on your content longer by using this formula:

Agree: Begin with something your readers agree with. “These days politics are scary and unpredictable.”

Promise: Show them you have an answer, creating a contrast between what is and what could be. “But there is something you can do that will put your mind at ease and keep your politicians in line.”

Preview: Show them what will happen when they read your content. “In this blogpost, I’m going to reveal the 3 steps to easily making your elected representatives actually listen to you and act in your best interests.”

 

6: Stand Apart From the Crowd

The fact is, more content is published every minute of every day. It’s not enough anymore to have great content – you need content that stands apart from the crowd. It’s got to deliver value in a unique way with a radical new perspective.

Some tips to help you:

Try new content formats. For example, try an infographic instead of an article, or perhaps make a video.

Put a lot of thought into your headlines and make them really pop. If you can trigger emotions, curiosity, or a burning need to know what’s in your article, you’ve got a good headline.

For the content itself, either present something no one else has presented, or present the content in a way no one else has. I know, it’s a tall order but it’s something to aspire to.

Tell stories. It’s hard to go wrong if you become a great story teller. In fact, people will revisit your blog just to read your new stories.

Give stuff away. It could be pdf’s, prizes or whatever. Try creating info packed posts, and then giving away pdf versions of those posts for people to refer to later.

Take a stand. Don’t be afraid to express your opinions and back them up with evidence, facts, stories, etc. Having strong opinions you’re not afraid to voice can be one of the quickest ways to get your content shared and build yourself a loyal audience.

 

7: Use Great Headlines

According to CopyBlogger, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will check out your post. Yes, headlines are THAT important.

To get your copy read, write at least 5-10 headline variations that each incorporate at least two of the following: Curiosity, urgency, uniqueness, usefulness, specificity and news.

Choose the best 2-4 headlines and promote your content on social media using the different variations. After a few hours see which one gets the most engagement, and keep that headline.

As much as you might be tempted, don’t use clickbait headlines. When people see your post doesn’t line up with your headline, they’ll click away.

 

 

8: Call in the Bucket Brigade

Keep your readers reading buy using this old sales letter trick. Insert words and phrases that naturally pull the reader into the next sentence, and the next, and the next…

Examples:

  • “Here’s what I’m talking about…”
  • “You might be wondering…”
  • “I know you think this is crazy…”
  • “Here’s why…”
  • “Meanwhile…”
  • “On the other hand…”
  • “But here’s the really strange thing…”
  • “Want to know the best part?”
  • “And yet…”
  • “But that’s just part of the story…”
  • “As it turns out…”
  • “No wonder…”
  • “Sadly…”
  • “What does this mean for you?”
  • “I couldn’t believe what happened next…”
  • “Best of all…”
  • “By the way…”

    9: Focus on Making Content that can Go Viral

    Now, some folks will tell you that you can’t predict what will and what won’t go viral.

    Companies have spent fortunes trying to make viral content. Sometimes they succeed, and many times they don’t.

    So how can you, a solo entrepreneur, increase your odds that your content will go viral?

    According to Jonah Berger, author of Contagious, there are six principles to making viral content:

    Social Currency – People want to feel smart and cool, like they’re on the ‘inside.’

    We share things that make us look good.

    Triggers – Which gets more word of mouth – Corn Flakes or Disney? Be Disney, and remember that top of mind is also tip of tongue.

    Emotion – The higher the emotion, the more it gets shared. Remember, when we care, we share.

    Public – There are always people who will jump on board the latest trend. Think if it as, ‘Built to show, built to grow.’

    Practical value – the more valuable and useful content is, the more it tends to get shared. Think of it as, ‘News you can use.’

    Stories – Stories are like Trojan horses, coming in under the radar in the guise of entertainment, when really they are delivering a message

    You don’t have to hit all six principles, but the more you do hit, the more likely your content will go viral.

     

    10: Use Great Images

    I hate to tell you this, but odds are the images you’re using now aren’t helping you.

    In fact, they might even be hurting you.

    You already know that great images enhance a great post. But for this to happen the images need to be relevant and interesting. A stock photo of models in business attire staring at a laptop won’t cut it anymore.

    Best bets: Take your own photos. A photo of you holding something relevant or being in a relevant place will do wonders. People love to see who they are reading, especially if it is a REAL shot and not some studio photo that’s been photo-shopped to death.

    Source HIGH quality free images, and be choosy. It pays to spend that extra time finding just the right picture.

    Here’s a list of 21 sites with ‘breathtaking free stock photos’ to get you started.

    https://blog.snappa.io/free-stock-photos/

    Don’t have free time to find great pics? Hire a graphic artist on Fiverr to do it for you. They already have great sources and a knowledge of where to find what you’re looking for.

    11: Build Relationships with Your Fellow Marketers

    Your fellow bloggers and marketers have the ability to send vast amounts of traffic to your blog. But before this will happen, you’ve first got to build real relationships with them.

    This means reaching out and connecting without expectation of receiving anything.

    Think of it as making friends because that’s exactly what it is.

    If and when they later send you traffic, cool. But in the beginning, focus solely on building the friendship.

    So how do you go about becoming friends? Here are a few tips…

    • Follow them on social media
    • Engage their content on social media with likes and comments
    • Share their content on social media
    • Leave valuable comments on their blog posts
    • Subscribe to their newsletter
    • Ask them how you can help them with whatever they’re doing at the moment: For example, you see a blogger talking about their latest product they’re creating and you’re a whiz at video editing – ask if you can help them edit their videos. Yes, for free.
    • Do interviews with them for your own blogposts, podcasts, products, et
    • Buy their stuff and let them know you bought it
    • Meet them on Skype, or for coffee, or at a conference

     

     

    12: Open a Twitter Account for Your Blog, Get 1,000 Followers Fast

    If you don’t already have a Twitter account, go ahead and get one for your blog. Then focus on getting 1000+ followers in the first week or so. The key here of course is to get targeted followers, not just anybody. You want folks interested in your niche.

    You already know who your target audience is. Now make a list of Twitter accounts they are likely to be following.

    You can either find the Twitter accounts of your competitors to see who is following them.

    Or you can do keyword-based targeting using an app such as: http://narrow.io/, https://statusbrew.com/ or https://www.crowdfireapp.com.

    Use the ‘copy followers’ menu to add the Twitter accounts from your list. Follow those people who look like a good match. After a day or two, you can unfollow those who did not follow you using the same app.

    13: Use Pinned Tweets for More Engagement

    You can stick one of your tweets at the top of your profile page. Then when anyone visits your profile, they will see this particular tweet.

    Make it a good one – something that points to your best or most recent piece of content.

    Doing this simple: Visit your Twitter profile and select the tweet you want to feature. On the bottom right of the tweet, click the three dots. Select “pin to your profile page.”

    Refresh your page and you should see your new pinned tweet.

     

     

    14: Embed Tweets for More Engagement

    Just one click is all it takes for your readers to engage with your posts when you embed your Twitter updates.

    Plus, an embedded tweet is a sign of social engagement, further extending your

    Twitter reach. And it’s easy to do.

    Simply login to your Twitter account and go to updates.

    Select the tweet you’re going to embed.

    Click on the three dots at the bottom right of your tweet.

    From the drop down menu, select “embed tweet.”

    Copy the code and insert it into your blog post.

     

     

    15: Use Buzzsumo to get Your Content Shared

    Asking random people to share your content won’t work. But asking people who have already expressed interest in your topic AND shared content on that topic can work really well.

    Here’s what you do:

    Create a list of articles that are similar or related to your content.

    On Buzzsumo, paste the links to each article one-by-one. Click on “View Sharers.”

    This will show you everyone who shared the content.

    Yes, it’s a paid feature, but as of this writing you can try it for free. Add these people to a list and approach them on Twitter.

    Here’s where it gets tricky: If you send out the same tweet to too many people too quickly, it’s going to look like spam. Instead, create variations of your tweet and send them out over a period of time.

    Your goal: To make contact with these folks, hopefully to become friends and get them to comment on and share your content.

    16: Mention Sources, Get Retweeted

    You’ll usually get extra engagement when you mention others on Twitter, and it’s easy to do.

    When you share a new post on Twitter, include one or two source handles. This way they will be notified, and will hopefully like or retweet your update.

    First, search Twitter for the handles of your resources. Create several headline variations for your tweets, adding just 1-2 handles to each.

    Share your tweets at different times of the day. You can use Buffer to schedule your tweets.

    17: Get Retweet Momentum

    ‘Just Retweet’ is a platform for getting other people to retweet your content. Your goal here isn’t to buy random tweets – it’s to choose the right people to retweet for you.

    You can set up requirements such as interest and minimum number of followers, so you don’t have just anybody retweeting.

    Just having a few of these people retweet for you can give your freshly published content the momentum to reach a broader audience.

    Register at http://JustRetweet.com . You’ll immediately be given some points you can use to submit your own tweets.

    Click ‘submit tweet’ and fill out the fields. Select the criteria of your retweeters and click submit. Retweeting should start soon. Be sure to measure engagement see if it drives traffic to your blog.

    If this works well for you, rinse and repeat each time you post new content.

    18: Piggyback on Successful Giveaways

    Well-known bloggers generate thousands of subscribers by giving away free, downloadable content. Their audiences are highly engaged and relevant, and you can capitalize on their success.

    Here’s how:

    Create a list of successful giveaways in your niche. For each giveaway, find the link and enter it into Buzzsumo to see who shared it on Twitter.

    Create your own giveaway that is related to both your field and the popular giveaway.

    Let the people who shared the big giveaway know about yours, either via Twitter or email.

    Write something like, “I saw you shared <popular giveaway> and I thought you might also enjoy <your giveaway>.

     

    19. Accentuate Your Personality

    This is a bonus tip that applies to every single piece of social media and content marketing.

    In fact, this could be the actual bedrock of your entire marketing endeavor.

    You know how people always tell you to be YOU because YOU are the only YOU there will ever be?

    And that by being “you,” rather than copying other people, you have an edge of

    your own?

    Well…

    This is true.

    And it’s also NOT true.

    Because what if the real you is simply a nice, polite, mild-mannered person who doesn’t stand out in any way, doesn’t have any strong opinions, and just likes for everybody to get along?

    While there is absolutely nothing wrong with having this type of personality (many, MANY of us have this type of personality) there is a problem:

    • You won’t stand out from the crowd by simply being ‘you.’
    • Rather, you will blend right into the crowd and never be noticed or seen
    • So what can you do?
    • Pick three things about your lif
    • Three things that really stand o
    • Maybe at one time you were in the militar
    • Or you grew up in a super poor neighborh
    • Or you were a farm
    • Or you were a c Or you cleaned sewers. Whatever.
    • Maybe you adore video Or shopping. Or travel.
    • Maybe you collect quot Or old books.
    • Or maybe you paint, or garden, or ride motorcycles, or jump from airpla Pick three things.

    Now incorporate those three things into your persona, your blogging and your marketing.

    You could be the Harley rider who does needlepoint and volunteers at the homeless shelter.

    Maybe you’re the retired cop who loves woodworking and brags about how smart your dog is.

    You could be the dairy farm kid with 9 pets who considers herself an expert at choosing the wrong mates.

    You could be the diehard Yankees fan who bakes cookies and fixes cars. Congrats.

    You now have plenty to write about and make yourself memorable.

    How so?

    You can work your hobbies, interests and past history into your content. This makes the reader feel s/he is getting to know YOU, as well as your content.

    There is a connection there.

    You become a REAL person they can relate to and REMEMBER.

    This one little trick can make the difference between people visiting your blog once and becoming a diehard fan.

    You’re providing memory anchors for them. Here’s an example:

    Let’s say in the past week you’ve been doing a LOT of reading about marketing.

    You’ve visited a dozen blogs. You’ve learned a lot.

    But all those blogs and all those posts – don’t they just sort of run together now? Except…

    Except for that one blogger who related everything to her desire to own a cat ranch on the moon.

    HER you remember
    See? It works.

    This month we only had time (and room) to talk about your content and using Twitter to drive traffic.

    Next month we’ll give you more tips on using Facebook and other means to get you and your content noticed, loved and shared across the Internet.

    Use these tips and you’ll be building an audience and a mailing list faster than you ever imagined possible.

Why Facebook Dark Posts Are Your Savior

Heard of a Facebook dark post? Yes? No? Either way, we’re going to have a discussion about them today. Dark posts, a colloquialism for Facebook’s unpublished posts ad product, are a way to post things from your own Facebook page that can show up as posted by your page, but only to certain people.

Alright, so you know how normally when you publish a Facebook ad, you choose which people will see it? You can dig down into all kinds of demographics and information to help make sure that you’ve tailored an ad to specific audiences. Dark posts allow you to dig into that same type of targeting, but within the people who like your page.

For example, let’s say you have a clothing website with 3,000 Facebook likes. You want to promote a sale you’re having on all products, but know that it won’t be relevant for women to see ads with pictures of men’s jeans in them, and that you’re not going to sell many dresses by showing them to your male audience.

So, instead of compromising and creating a more general post that will be seen by everyone on your page, or creating two separate posts for men and women and publishing them both (ensuring everyone sees one post that’s not relevant to them), you can use a Dark or Unpublished post instead. You can make it look like your page published a post about dresses for everyone, but really only the women who like your page will be able to see, read, and engage with it (like, comment, etc.). On the other hand, the men on your page will think you posted an ad for men’s jeans and be able to interact with it accordingly.

Here’s another example: As a marketer who helps people with Pinterest marketing but also Twitter marketing, you could create completely different posts that target the fans of your page that you feel are most likely to be using those platforms in their marketing efforts. The possibilities here really are endless.

Unpublished posts can be created in a couple of different ways, but Facebook is working to unify them so that there aren’t so many tools to create similar ad products. For example, there has been a lot of confusion in the past over whether to use the standard Facebook ads page or their ‘Power Editor’ to create your ads, leading to many tutorials getting confusing when people find themselves in a completely different interface than the screenshots they’re trying to follow.

Unpublished or Dark posts are also important with the recently diminished organic reach of Facebook pages. For the same reason boosting a post became so popular, Dark posts help you better reach people who might never see your content unless they explicitly come to your page (and most people prefer to just hang out in their own timelines, understandably). Except Dark posts are an even better option, since you can help keep them from being shown to people they aren’t relevant to, and thus help keep your page’s engagement score from dropping.

It’s Not 2003, Time To Improve Your Landing Page

It happens all too often: You stumble upon a product to promote, or someone’s personal website and it looks like it was created in 1999.

You cringe and move on, and you know what sucks for that person? Their potential buyers and leads do as well. Everyone may think that their site is the special snowflake exception, and that it has a sort of old fashioned charm, but then everyone would be mistaken.

Landing pages change in effectiveness with consumer trends and buying habits, so it’s important to make changes to your own pages to reflect these. Here are a couple of major changes that have happened in the last 5-10 years, which affect how people buy online:

1. People are more sensitive to BS. Every landing page used to begin with a giant claim:

“WHO ELSE WANTS TO BE ABLE TO DO X IN ONLY Y HOURS, WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR BED!”

In short, headlines were sensational. They sounded exciting, but people have been let down enough to times to want to avoid them. In general, as customers got more comfortable online, they realized that anyone could say anything they wanted about themselves, and that they often did.

While this increased aversion to sensationalism may or may not have affected your target market to a large degree yet, it’s coming, so make changes accordingly: Honesty beats sensationalism in many markets now.

2. People expect more of design.

Websites now generally look a lot better than they did even just a few years ago. Design software that’s suable by just about anyone has meant that it’s become increasingly easy to not have a sucky page, and people have come to expect this.

If someone lands on a page with the standard sales letter formatting with non-flat elements and giant, multicolored text everywhere, they’re going to bounce and never come back. Often times, seeing on of these pages makes people think that it has been abandoned or is no longer relevant, why else would the owner have left it looking so poorly?

3. Text isn’t your only option.

Remember when everyone started using video landing pages? The buzz of their effectiveness would soon spread like wildfire.

The reality is that using different types of media on your site helps to engage different kinds of users, and accommodating all of them can help you achieve higher conversions. While you want one intended path through a page to be clear, it’s a good idea to still give users who want to learn about your product or offering in a different way the option to go somewhere and do so.

Finally, let’s stress something that hasn’t changed: Benefits vs features.

Yes, the old adage holds true, people are much more likely to respond to specifics about how their life will be changed by making a purchase decision than they are to hearing about all of the bells and whistles your product has.

Of course, it’s a good idea to avoid that sensationalist trap here as well. Honesty and value win in 2016.

How to Promote Your Blog Posts as an Online Marketer: Part 1

Content is king, queen, and the whole royal court these days. In fact, the nod given to creating longform, rich content by traditional ad agencies, who themselves have rebranded in droves to ‘media agencies’, should give you some indication as to the way of the online marketing tides right now.

Consistently, brands who embrace the content creation trend rather than throw more money at legacy methods are scoring bigger than their more stubborn counterparts, and that’s because it’s mostly a win/win scenario: Brands who are willing to work consistently build their followings, and consumers get something with a little more thought than a banner ad.

Naturally, the charge on content marketing was led by savvy content marketers long before mega-brands and agencies caught on, but the particulars of its evolution have little relevance today.

For marketers, this can be viewed as a good or a bad thing. On the one hand, you can come up with great ideas that people love and share and put those great ideas down into writing without being a bigtime agency. The bad part, however, is that they’ve got the chance to churn out a lot more content when working in teams.

How do you compete? Well, for one, you should always be striving to do what someone else does better than they have. Because content marketing is a value game, a vast library of past projects and work can be completely obliterated and made obsolete by one game-changing piece that’s so amazing, so legit, that people can’t help but pay attention.

The next step is to make sure that you’re giving every single post the ‘after-care’ it deserves. For independent content marketers, you’ll probably be looking to spend at least as long promoting an article as you do creating, and preferably 2-3 times that amount.

To achieve this, start putting together a promotion list with the different places and ways in which you will share every single post. As a new avenue comes to mind, add it. As you check analytics and find certain methods aren’t actually generating any interest or traffic for you, drop them and try and find something else to replace that method.

Content marketing fits, in many ways, with the concept of growth hacking, which has grown to relevance in the past year or two especially.

Growth hacking is about leveraging creative product and promotion hack that can help to give a business a viral growth factor in which every user you gain recruits at least one other user to the service or customer to the product, which means that a brand’s growth is, at that point, self-perpetuating.

Getting these tactics to culminate in a success story is the stuff of legends, but those who have been successful (like Dropbox, for example) know that the core is testing and tweaking constantly. Content marketing can be an excellent means in driving people into the top of that funnel.

In part 2, we’ll get into a few of the specifics for sharing a blog post once it’s been creative, and how you can even growth hack the reach of your articles, to an extent.

5 Tips for Emails that Get Opened and Convert

Email marketing is a bit of an odd duck: As other marketing channels have seen a distinct rise and fall in the face of social media and new communications technologies, email marketing still remains effective.

In fact, despite all of our new ways to communicate, people still retain the use of their email for daily use. Receiving invoices, communicating with customers, etc.; sure, other platforms have sprung up for these communications, but none are as ubiquitous as email. That said, email marketing has aged, and therefore it has changed. Getting your emails opened, then read, then obeyed, is no easy task. It was hard in the beginning, and it’s super hard now that everyone and their mother is used to receiving promotional emails. Let’s take a look at how your emails can be the exception to the rule in a “no open” world.

Give before you take: Many marketers have gotten a lot smarter about this now, but it wasn’t always the case, and there are still many who fall flat on their face when balancing their value. Think about the reasons you follow the accounts you do on twitter. Think about which emails you open when they slide into your inbox. They’re the ones that are important to you, not the ones that sell and annoy you the most.

Your customers are just like you, so make sure you’re building trust and value through emails that really offer something, before you every ask for any action(s) in return.

Avoid subject line cliches: This is the most controversial piece of advice here. Most people these days are used to the types of subject line formulas that have traditionally performed well, and haven’t realized that their effectiveness is dying down. Consider simply summarizing your subject lines in a way that makes them sound like they’re from a genuine person.

Companies now more than ever perform better when viewed as individuals or collectives of individuals rather than businesses.

Keep it short: How many of you have received emails from some marketer whose email list you opted which are pages long? How many of you read them to the end? How many of you send these types of emails yourself? If you want an email to be a sales letter, keep it short, visual, and enticing, then use a CTA to get people to click out of an email and onto one of your pages where you have more control. People are turned off when they expect a helpful message and are greeted with a 9 paragraph sales letter in email form.

Get feedback: One really can’t stress enough how valuable it is to hear back from your customers directly about how you’re doing and how they interact with your brand or your product. The assumptions you make may not be helping you at all, so it’s important that you reach out and invite feedback; you may just find that a slight tweak to your sales funnel could address something that is currently a huge conversion killer for your customers. This could take the form of either a personal email message or a survey.

Give Before You Take – A Brief Exploration of Value in Internet Marketing

Most anyone reading this is going to be familiar, at least in some abstract way, with the concept of “value.” The concept of value, or utility derived from content, products, or other offerings, is not unique to IM, however, and those working across a variety of markets, both online and offline, have to be keenly aware of the ways in which their value is perceived by customers. In this post, we’re going to go over the importance of balancing your ‘give’ with your ‘take’, and a few ways in which you can maintain that balance when working with IM clients.

The Why

Basic economics courses teach students that most people make their purchasing decisions based on a concept called ‘utility cost’; whenever someone is deciding whether or not to purchase an item or make a trade, they weigh whether the utility of what they will receive is greater than the utility of what they already have. Most commonly, this is the often quick and (nearly) subconscious assessment you would make as to whether an item is “too expensive” or seems like a “good deal.”

In online marketing, your customers make these decisions several times throughout your sales funnel:

– Is the freebie being offered worth more to me than the potential privacy giveaway and possible unwanted messages that entering my email could incur?

– Is the information this person posts on their site helpful enough to me that it’s worth taking ten minutes out of my day to read?

– Do I trust this person enough to take their recommendation that what they’re offering is worth my hard-earned money?

For many marketers, the second and third bullet points are where they lose people.

The Mindset Swap

Even though your end goal may be to make as much money as possible, your customer always wants to feel like they’ve “won.” In most IM-related instances, this means feeling like they’ve gotten the promise of greater future value from a product, tool, or training/coaching course than what they paid for it. However, there is another crucial evaluation that happens long before they’ll ever get close to purchasing, and that’s value-based-trust.

I recommend marketers practice a mindset swap, which involves taking the focus off of their bottom line and simply becoming a customer. Read every offer you’ve got, every promotional email, every review, and ask yourself, does this feel valuable? You are not smarter than your customers; if you know deep down that something you’re offering feels like a half-solution or copout, they’ll pick up on it too.

Most marketers, both experienced and novice, have a sales funnel riddled with these holes where offers feel like they’re doing more for the seller than the (potential) buyer. Remember, when perceived utility of an offer is viewed as a loss, people aren’t going to bite.

Actually Over-Deliver

Many of these low-value gaps occur because marketers are afraid of giving away ‘the whole solution’, system, or secret. Why then, you might ask, would someone make a purchase if they feel they’ve already been given the solution to their problems? It is a tricky balance, but too many err on the wrong side of the scale and come across as withholding value from their customers.

It shouldn’t be surprising that customers are often more likely to purchase after they have already had success with your methods and recommendations, and you offer them up a paid product that complements that success, rather than offering them a tiny piece of the puzzle with what they need to see any positive results locked behind a paywall.

Which scenario do you think is more likely to foster an ongoing, positive relationship with a new customer? An opt-in freebie that gives visitors a complete system to make $1,000 per month, which you then upsell to a different version with larger earning potential later on, or just offering them the first page of the main system right off the bat, which essentially renders it useless to them and gives them nothing they can act on immediately?

The former has a high chance of resulting in a lifelong customer, the latter might just tick someone off and see them opting out of your email list as fast as possible.

The point? Give before you ever ask to take, work from the customer’s shoes, and always over-deliver.

Is Email (Finally) Dead?!?

For years, people in the tech industry have been predicting (or lamenting) the death of email as a form of communication.

“Kids don’t use email anymore.” “There are better, faster and more effective ways to interact with other people, such as texting and social media.” “I know people who don’t even have an email address.”

These are some of the most common statements you hear regarding the death of email. (Perhaps it’s telling that I’ve been hearing these same statements for nearly a decade now.)

The Death of Email?

So what’s the real deal? Is email actually dead?

To answer this question, let me ask one of my own: When was the last time you checked your email account? This week? This morning? Just now?

The truth is that most people will go to their email every time their smart phone beeps, vibrates or otherwise indicates that a new email message has just landed in their inbox. It’s just a natural human response, kind of like when people used to answer their home telephones whenever it rang. It takes some time to de-program it.

More Popular than Ever

In reality, email is more popular than ever, especially among marketers. According to an April, 2015, study conducted by Yahoo! Labs and the University of Southern California, called “Evolution of Conversations in the Age of Email Overload”, most people are now receiving more emails in their inbox than ever before.

Part of that is businesses finally catching up with available marketing technology. While many small businesses have been collecting customers’ email addresses for years, it’s only been recently that many have finally figured out what to do with them.

People are more willing to give up their email address than they are, say, their mobile phone numbers. That’s because they know they can easily ignore or delete emails they don’t really want to see.

Too Many Emails

Today, most people receive more emails than they can conceivably read and respond to. Personally, I usually begin each working day by deleting about 80% to 90% of the emails in my inbox, mostly from marketers or others promoting something I’m not interested in.

Yet like me, most people won’t go to the trouble of unsubscribing from the source of all those emails out of fear that they might miss out on the one offer or email that they genuinely are interested in.

Ease of Email

It’s also easier than ever for people to keep up with their emails. Spam detectors have done an effective job of filtering out the truly irrelevant and unwanted emails. And now people can read their emails, or at least their subjects and who they are from, as a scroll on their smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices.

And because more emails today are being sent and received on mobile devices, they tend to be shorter. Perhaps this is why the average amount of time it takes for people to respond to emails sent from smart phones (28 minutes) is so much shorter than those sent from tablets (57 minutes) or from desktop computers or laptops (62 minutes,), according to the Yahoo!/USC study. Could that mean that emails and text messages are beginning to morph into the same thing?

They Myth of Young People and Email

As expected, older people tend to use emails more than younger people. But the difference may not be as big as many people might think.

During the course of the study, 53% of adults between 35 and 50 years old sent emails from their phones or tablets at least once, compared to only 49% of teenagers between13 and 19 and 48% of young adults between 20 and 35 years old. Older people (51+) sent the fewest emails via mobile devices, at 43%, according to the study.

So email is definitely not dead. It’s not even wounded. Eventually, however, it may eventually morph into something entirely different, in the way the telephone did.

4 Ways To Get Your Opt In Subscribers To Trust You Quickly

While the rest of the world have developed many barriers and protections to keep their e-mail accounts spam-free, there are also those that subscribe to mails that promotes their products, services and their site. This is mainly because these subscribes wants to know more about what these sites are offering and can be beneficial for them. They expect to get be kept posted on what they are interested in and what are new in the market or field they have chosen.

Businesses would be so lucky to have these kinds of customers; the basic element needed to get these types of people is trust. When your customers trust you they will reward you with their loyalty. Many internet users have gone to great lengths in protecting their email accounts from spam mail. Some free-mail internet providers and internet service providers offer spam protection while there are also some internet based companies that screen your mails for you.

With an opt-in mail list, the mails you send containing your promotional materials such as newsletters, catalogs and marketing media will go through. Your intended recipient will be able to read and view what you have sent making it a successful transfer of information. To be able to be allowed to do so, you will need permission from your recipient, to get this permission; you need to be able to get their trust. With the great lack of disregard for privacy in the internet, getting the trust of an internet user you don’t personally know is a big achievement.

To build a good opt-in list you need people to trust you, for a faster and quicker build up, you need to get your opt-in subscribers to trust you quickly. The faster you build your opt-in list the faster word about your site and company gets to be spread. The bigger the scope of your opt-in list the more traffic you get spelling more profits. Its easy math if you thin about it. Getting the numbers is not that simple though, or maybe it is?

ï    Getting the trust of your clientele shouldn’t be so hard especially if you do have a legitimate business. Getting your customers trust should be based upon your expertise. People rely on other people who know what they are talking about. Garner all the knowledge and information about your business. Ell, frankly if you decide to go into a business most probably you have an interest in it. Like how many basketball payers become coaches, you don’t really venture into something you don’t have any interest in.

ï    Show your clients that you know what you are talking about. Provide them with helpful hints and guidelines that pertain to what you are selling. Talk about how to install a roof if your into hardware products or provide articles on insurance settlements if you’re a settlement lawyer. You don’t have to be a big corporation to make use of an opt-in list. If your customers see you as someone who knows what he is doing and saying, they will trust you quickly.

ï    Be true to your customers, if you want to hype up your products and services, provide guarantees. The more satisfied customers you get, the bigger probability there is that they will recommend you. Generally, people will trust someone they know, when that someone recommends you then you’re a shoo-in. They will go to your site and check it for themselves and be given a chance to experience what the other shave experienced from you, so make sure to be consistent in the service you provide.

ï    Another tip in getting a customer to trust you quickly is to provide them an escape hatch. Show them that you are not there to trap them. Keep a clean list that would enable them to unsubscribe anytime they want. Elaborate your web form by providing information on how to unsubscribe from the list. Guarantee them that they can let go of the service when ever they want to. Many are wary that they may be stuck for life and would have to abandon their email accounts when they get pestered with spam.

Remember that when you get the trust of your clients don’t lose that trust. Because if you do anything with their email addresses like sell them or give them out, you will lose many members of your list as ell as potential members. The true quickest way to gain the trust of your subscribers is when you are recommended by someone they trust.

4 Crucial Things You Need To Do To Build your List

Online marketing may have developed a sudden surge these past few years, but many in the know how have felt its rise even from way then. As more internet based businesses are put up, the need to develop new marketing skills and knowledge based on this new medium have arisen. More and more marketing strategies are being discovered and developed to cope with the changing face of business the business world.

The demand for online marketing tips and strategies have drastically grown and a new form of business has been born, internet marketing strategies. While there are companies that are all too eager to help your site and business build a clientele for a fee, there also many ways that can spread the word about your sites subsistence in a more cost free way. One of this is Opt-in email marketing, also known as permission marketing.

Opt-in marketing requires the permission of a willing customer to subscribe to your marketing materials, materials that take form in newsletters, catalogs and promotional mailings via e-mail. The more opt-in marketing mail is sent, the more chances there is to bag sales and more sales. To do this, you must build a list of all those who wants to subscribe to your opt-in marketing list.

From your list, you will get your targeted customer, this is a good list since they already have shown interest in what you have to show and sell since they have willingly signed in for your list. These are the people who have liked what they have seen in your site and have decided they want to see more and maybe even purchase what ever product or service your company and site has to offer.

Many people would think that building their lists would take hard work and a lot of time to build and collect names and addresses. This is not so, it takes a bit of patience and some strategies but in doing this list, you open your site and your business to a whole new world of target market.

Take the effort to take your business to a new level, if traffic increase and good profits are what you want, an opt-in list will do wonders for your business venture.

There are many sources and articles in the internet available for everyone to read and follow in building a list. Sometimes they may be confusing because there are so many and there different ways. Different groups of people would have different approaches in building an opt-in list, but no matter how diverse many methods are, there are always some crucial things to do to build your list. Here are four of them.

1) Put up a good web form in your site that immediately follows the end of your content. While some may say this is too soon to subscribe for a website visitors application, try to remember that your homepage should provide a quick good impression. If somehow a website visitor finds something that he or she doesn’t like and turns them off, they may just forget about signing up.

A good web form for subscribing to an opt-in list is not hard to do. Just write a simple short statement about how they would like to see more and get updated about the site. Then there should be an area where they could put in their names and e-mail address. This web form will automatically save and send you the data inputted. As more people sign in, your list will be growing.

2) As mentioned in the first tip, make your homepage very, very impressive. You need to have well written articles and descriptions of your site. Depending on what your site is all about, you need to capture your website visitor’s fancy. Make your site useful and very easy to use. Do not expect everyone to be tech savvy. Invest in having good programming in your site, make your graphics beautiful but don’t over do it.

Don’t waste your time making the homepage too overly large megabyte wise. Not all people have dedicated T1 connections, the faster your site gets loaded, the better. Go for a look that borders between simplicity and sophisticated knowledge.

3) Provide good service and products. A return customer is more likely to bring in more business. Even then and now, a satisfied customer will recommend a business always. Word of mouth and recommendations alone can rake in more business than an expensive ad. As your clientele roster grows so shall your list. With more members on the list, the more people will get to know about what you have new to offer.

4) Keep a clean and private list. Never lose the trust your customers have entrusted you. If you provide e-mails to others and they get spammed, many will probably unsubscribe to you. Remember, a good reputation will drive in more traffic and subscribers as well as strengthen the loyalty of your customers.

3 Quick And Easy Ways To Build A Profitable Opt In List

You finally realize that you need a good opt-in list. After reading countless articles and sought expert advices and have read many success stories of people creating a small fortune with opt-in lists you finally decide to have one of your own. Then it happens, you think you have known everything there is to know about opt-in lists and have followed their advices to the T and you still werenít able to make a profit.

In fact, you may be losing money. You maybe hiring writers to help you out, or there are some expenses incurred, even if you have a big list, but only a very small percentage actually buys from you, your still losing profit. Youíll realize that after a few months when you see your statistics and sales figures.

So what could have gone wrong? Why have others succeeded where you have failed? The most common mistake is that you dived straight right in. You chose a topic where you think could be quite popular and would earn you money. This just not the case. Just because you wrote people from the list doesnít mean they are going to buy instantly.

Here I will offer more advice, for those who have started an opt-in list and have failed, you can rejuvenate your failed venture. For those who are starting, here are three quick and easy ways to build a profitable opt-in list.

1) Get your customers to trust you and your products first. Just launching your opt-in list would not make you an expert and a believable seller. Put many articles first before you start an opt-in list. Write about the topic you know and have started and used for your site. Try to put forums first to gain knowledge about your customers about their wants and needs and target those wants and needs.

Join forums from other sites as well. Provide expert advices and recommendations. When you feel that people trust you already, you will be able to start your own opt-in list. You can build a base as well with other forum users. You can ask them to join your list. Friends are always good customers. Put up a link to your site so that they may be able to see what you’re business is all about.

The certain truth is, the money will only come in when the consumers and subscribers believe and trust in you. They want a product or service that could be a good exchange for their money. People are not going to buy something out of your recommendation if they donít know you.

2) Find a product or service that people want and need. Although it may not be your forte, if you provide a service and product that you have researched and learned about well, you can carry it on forward. Invest your time, effort and money that you could sell as well as the buyers or subscribers of your opt-in list can use.

While it is true that it is best to sell something that you have interest in, there are not many people who have the same interest as you if you decide to sell something that is not entirely popular or profitable. Do your research well and you would see the profits come in. Also provide your subscribers with promotional material that they could actually use and spread around.

3) Make friends with other opt-in list users. This is basically beneficial especially if it is someone who has already launched a successful opt-in list. These are people that have the experience in this venture and experience is still the best teacher. While there are many articles available for you in the internet to use, there is nothing like getting a first hand account from someone you trust.

Experienced opt-in list users will be able to tell you what to do and what not to do because they have gone through it. While different situations occur for different people, the general concept can still be very helpful. There are many things to avoid and these people will be able to tell you which ones.

Building a profitable opt-in list donít just happen overnight. There are many preparations and effort to do. Opt-in lists are built from scratch, as your list grows, you should also maintain the quality of your list. Keep it organized and manageable. Get or hire help if need be, just make sure that your subscribers are happy and satisfied and they will be willing to buy from you.