Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Writing Effective Subject Lines

Subject lines are one of the most important components of a successful promotional or newsletter email. Working in tandem with the from line, the content of a subject line is the key determinant for whether a recipient will open an email, delete it immediately, ignore it, file it for future access, report it and/or filter it as spam. The subject line content is also a major component in the algorithm of many ISP and recipient-level spam filters. In other words, a poorly written subject lead may not only go unopened, it may not even reach the recipient’s inbox in the first place.

Keep these six principles in mind as you approach writing subject lines for your messages:

  • Inform: Subject lines should convey something important, timely or valuable, and should say to the recipient: "If you don’t open and read this email, you'll miss out on something of real value."

  • Intrigue: Your email is competing with 50 to 100 or more other emails for the recipients' attention. To increase the chance of having YOUR email be opened it must intrigue the recipient, the same way a well written headline does. It must stimulate some part of the recipient’s brain, prompting them to open the email immediately.

  • Entrust: Your subject line can support or hurt your brand image. Subject lines that over promise or mislead will ultimately destroy trust with recipients, damaging your brand and driving customers away.

  • Action: Subject lines are a major driver of click-through rates, as they “direct” recipients to pay attention to specific articles, products and information. Every email you send should have an overt or implied strategy behind it. You hope that specific products are purchased over others or that recipients read a specific article and then visit your Web site seeking additional information. Subject lines should reflect your goals and help direct recipients to take the desired action.

  • Empathy: While your emails may be distributed to thousands or millions of recipients, they are being received by individuals. Subject lines must recognize this and “speak” to the needs and interests of your recipients as individual customers, readers or prospects.

  • Togetherness (Subject Lines and From Lines Must Work Together): Largely because of the dramatic increase in spam email in the last year or two, recipients increasingly look at a combination of the from and subject lines to determine whether it is from a trusted source. As a result, the job of a subject line now must not only entice someone to open an email, it must discourage the recipient from deleting it as an unwanted email.

11 Tips to Make Your Email Messages Meaningful and Relevant

  1. Use your company or brand name in the "from" line, which tells recipients who sent the email.

  2. Write a brief (six words or less is ideal) subject line that accurately represents the message’s major content. Longer subject lines are OK, just make sure each word is critical and the most important are in the first 50 characters – those that follow will get cut off in many email clients. Include the email’s title, if it has one (such as a newsletter title). If you can't, then include your company, division or brand name in the "from" line. List it first here.

  3. Keep HTML-format messages as simple as possible. The more gizmos you pack into an HTML message -- superfluous images, graphics, sound or video -- the more likely something won't work on your recipients' computers. Store rich-media content on the Web; limit image size and use colors that reflect your logo.

  4. In HTML messages, use alt tags and support text around images so that readers whose email clients block images by default will still get the gist of your message. Many email clients will also block alt tags, so good use of text is key.

  5. If you offer a text version (read why here), make sure the content includes links to all of your core functions and tasks. Don't force readers to click to the Web version of your newsletter to receive its benefits or manage their subscriptions.

  6. Load up on relevant links. If your goal is to funnel readers to your Web site, give them many access points, such as two or three order buttons sprinkled around a promo message instead of just one, or links to related information on your site. You've probably got a wealth of info at your site; make it easy for your readers to find it.

  7. Lose the generic action button. Instead of "click here," use descriptive terms such as "Order now!" or "subscribe me!" or "Get white paper here." Be explicit about the actions you want users to take.

  8. Test each email message before you send it, in different browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, etc.), email clients (Outlook, Lotus Notes, Gmail, Yahoo!) and platforms (Macintosh and PC). Click each link; watch out for oddities and inconsistencies in the way images load (or don't load) and in text fonts and widths.

  9. Adhere to your users' preferences for frequency, format and content. If you keep sending promo offers to people who signed up just for the newsletter, you'll lose them.

  10. However, you can promote your other publications in your messages, as long as those promos don't get in the way of the main content. For example, add a brief product offer at the end or side of a newsletter or announcement message, or list headlines from relevant news stories in a promotional-offer message. This way, you can promote other products and services without committing readers to extra emails.

  11. Help readers manage your information. Include a forward-to-a-friend link in messages where appropriate and a print option that links to a printer-friendly version of an HTML message. Label those functions, either with icons or brief text.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

SEO is wasting my time

Personally, I don't like SEO (Search Engine Optimozation). People say SEO is important for your online marketing strategy and you have to be on the top list of the first page of major search engine like Google, Live Search and Yahoo. But I found it was wasting my time optimizing my website to be crawled by stupid spiders.

Yes, people search everything on the internet via search engine but it does not mean that it is an effective tool for your online business. To optimize your site. You need to have large amount of contents on your website which needs time to spend. May be half of your working hour each day.To compete with your competitors , you cannot wait . And I am doubting one strategy of SEO - Link Popularity.

Link Popularity is a measure of the quantity and quality of other web sites that link to a specific site on the World Wide Web.Search engines such as Google use a special link analysis system to rank web pages. The philosophy of link popularity is that important sites will attract many links.

Because of that philosophy behinds SEO, many online marketers just put links back to their website on others' to increase link popularity. I found some sites on the top list were just garbages. To get popularity , you must have a quality website and other guys link to you because they see the value of your website and they have a will to link to you because of that value. That is the true value of link popularity. Not you who put links on others.

If you like SEO and you have time and do not want to spend money, go for it. I 'd rather go for other online marketing tools such as PPC (Pay Per Click) and Email Marketing. The best tool to generate me conversion is Email not SEO becuase you can tell everything to your audiences in onetime - in your email- your core value, your promotion, your situation. SEO can't.

Search Engine Optomization can generate you traffic. PPC can also generate traffic yet faster and I found more effective than SEO.I have optimized SEO for almost a year the traffic was , yes, good but after I started running CPC , the traffic is a rocket increase and the conversion rate was much better.Before running PPC my property related website got 4000 - 4500 visits per month. Then I started PPC. Suddenly, I got 6500 visits from month one I started running PPC on my site.

But if you guys like to know how to optimize your site I will tell you but for the next articles i will go in detail why PPC is much better than SEO and how to run an effective PPC.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Successful Email Marketing - How It 's Done: Contact List

You should start with a quality list not quantity. Your target audiences should VERY VERY relate with the topic you are sending out.

If you are sending email regarding selling properties, you must have a list of property owners who are selling their condo, houses or lands. If you are sending email about Omega Speed Master Moon Watch , you should have a list of watch lovers.

People tend to open email if the email is related with WHAT they are interesting in the meantime . I never open email regarding Viagra because I don't have such a problem (Do you?). Don't just send email to anybody. If possible,you should personalize your email for each recipient, that will generate the best results.

House lists generate the best e-mail marketing results. So how do you grow your house list? You must offer them some benefits ( I mean some useful stuffs) such as project progress, promotion of the month, market analysis - you name it. Don't provide them special offers or special deals otherwise you will get only junk email addresses from those who just want those special offers.We need quality not quantity.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Successful Email Marketing - How It's Done: Intro

How can you maximize the chances of getting a decent response from your email campaign?
Follow my simple rules and your email campaign should be successful right from the beginning.
Let's start with definition of email marketing.

Email marketing is, as the name implied, the use of email in marketing communications.

Generally, email marketing is used to refer to:
  • Sending direct promotional emails to try and acquire new customers or persuade existing customers to buy again
  • Sending emails designed to encourage customer loyalty and enhance the customer relationship
  • Placing your marketing messages or advertisements in emails sent by other people

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing, also referred to as web marketing, online marketing, or eMarketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.

The Internet has brought many unique benefits to marketing, one of which being lower costs for the distribution of information and media to a global audience. The interactive nature of Internet marketing, both in terms of providing instant response and eliciting responses, is a unique quality of the medium. Internet marketing is sometimes considered to have a broader scope because it refers to digital media such as the Internet, e-mail, and wireless media; however, Internet marketing also includes management of digital customer data and electronic customer relationship management (ECRM) systems.

Internet marketing ties together creative and technical aspects of the Internet, including design, development, advertising, and sales. Internet marketing does not simply entail building or promoting a website, nor does it mean placing a banner ad on another website. Effective Internet marketing requires a comprehensive strategy that synergizes a given company's business model and sales goals with its website function and appearance, focusing on its target market through proper choice of advertising type, media, and design.

Internet marketing also refers to the placement of media along different stages of the customer engagement cycle through search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads on specific websites, e-mail marketing, and Web 2.0 strategies. In 2008 The New York Times working with comScore published an initial estimate to quantify the user data collected by large Internet-based companies. Counting four types of interactions with company websites in addition to the hits from advertisements served from advertising networks, the authors found the potential for collecting upward of 2,500 pieces of data on average per user per month.