The Website Marketing Group Blog

About The Website Marketing Group Blog

Michael Doyle - Managing Director of The Website Marketing Group

After 14 years of working in this industry, every day is a new learning curve which is why I love the job.

Here are some of our findings on the “best of the web” to keep you up to date with the latest news in the Internet business strategies.

From small businesses to Australia’s leading brands across multiple sectors and disciplines, this means we know what works and what doesn’t, allowing us to deliver tangible results that benefit your business where it really matters.

Whether it is a new brand identity-logo design, a social media marketing,  a complex website, an email marketing campaign or all of the above and more, our team can deliver the solution for your business.
Contact us today on 1300 911 772.

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Congratulations to the TWMG Team ! The Website Marketing Group has been successful in making the Smart50 for the SmartCompany Smart50 Awards 2011.

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Five Biggest Mobile Marketing Mistakes (Infographic)

 

It’s a undeniable fact that mobile marketing is essential to any digital marketing strategy.

In 2015, smartphone conversion rates have gone up by 64%, compared to desktop conversion rates. More and more people are using their mobile devices to make purchases, catch up on news and otherwise stay connected with the world. However, as important as it is to have a mobile marketing strategy, it is even more important to avoid the most common mobile marketing mistakes. Effective mobile marketing can significantly boost a small business’ online presence. Bad mobile marketing can, however, ruin it.

In this infographic, you will learn five most common mobile marketing mistakes, and what you can do about them. With quick and easy fixes for the most common mistakes available, there is no reason your mobile marketing strategy should stay behind the fierce competition.

fatal-mobile-mistakes-infographic

Click to Enlarge

 

23 Clever Marketing Strategies Around #TheDress Viral Phenomenon

Is it white-gold or blue-black?

Recently, the picture of a dress is tearing online audiences apart globally on what its actual colour is.

People have been aggressively arguing on social media with two primary teams emerging: Team Blue and Black and Team White and Gold. Other variants have also emerged but these remain the two major camps thus far.

The surprising thing is, how come a trivial thing such as the colour of a dress can go viral?

Well, any content that can polarise views and make the conversation a debatable has the ability to go viral. People see this in daily conversations around sports, politics and any other topic where two strong viewpoints emerge. This is what happened with the dress phenomenon. Blue or Gold became those two strong viewpoints that breaks the netizens around the world.

Still, what made it a worldwide phenomenon? It’s BuzzFeed. The American internet news media company discovered the content on Tumblr and created more than eight(!) different stories around it. Given the number of users on the platform (distribution) that BuzzFeed is, it garnered over 40 million views to its various stories. So not only was the content viral-worthy (because it was debatable and polarised views), it had the right team pouring fuel to the fire.

Meanwhile, smart marketers around the world have taken the leap and launched their own interpretations of the dress. Here are some creative tweaks that might make you inspired (or chuckle):

1. Zalora Malaysia

zalora-dress-tweet

2. Tiger Beer Singapore

tigerbeer-singapore-dress-tweet

3. StarHub

starhub-dress-tweet

4. Snickers

snickers-dress-tweet

5. Snapple

snapple-dress-tweet

6. Smirnoff Malaysia

smirnoff-malaysia-dress-tweet

7. Singtel

singtel-dress-tweet

8. Scoot

scoot-dress-tweet

9. Pizza Hut

pizzahut-dress-tweet

10. Oreo

oreo-dress-tweet

11. M&M’s (version 1)

mnm-dress-tweet-2

12. M&M’s (version 2)

mnm-dress-tweet

13. McDonald’s

mcdonalds-dress-tweet

14. LEGO

lego-dress-tweet

15. KitKat

kitkat-dress-tweet

16. Guiness

guiness-dress-tweet

17. FlyScoot

flyscoot-dress-tweet

18. Duracell

duracell-dress-tweet

19. Dunkin’ Donuts

dunkin-donuts-dress-tweet

20. Digi

digi-malaysia-dress-tweet

21. Crocs Shoes

crocs-dress-tweet

22. Coca-Cola

cocacola-dress-tweet

23. AT&T

att-dress-tweet

The Top Nine Best Campaign Stories From February 2015

Successful campaigns are the best lesson to learn for startups.

As always it’s necessary to add in the caveat that you won’t find any hard metrics or ROI in the following post. It’s meant to be for inspiration and keeping up-to-date with what’s going on. There is a presidential native advertising, Barclays bank, the Capital One Cup, Topshop, The Hunger Games, and more! Let’s start with the first successful story of:

1. British Airways

British Airways has recruited Oxford University’s a capella group Out Of The Blue for a video spoofing Wham’s Club Tropicana. The choir gained notoriety last year when its version of Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie went viral. It now has 5.6m YouTube views. BA’s Wham tribute coincides with a period that is apparently the most stressful for booking summer holidays. Teaser photos were posted on Twitter and Instagram in early February and the video has now been shared across BA’s social platforms. It will also be shown on the airline’s in-flight entertainment systems.

 

2. Obama and Buzzfeed

It seems that native advertising can work, as long as you can call on the services of Barack Obama. The President partnered with Buzzfeed’s video team for a post aimed at driving people to the government’s healthcare site. The two-minute clip was embedded on Facebook and has been viewed more than 50 million times.

obama-buzzfeed-video

3. Barclays

UK bank Barclays has announced that users of its Pingit app will be able to transfer money to other people by using their Twitter handle. It works if the user has connected their Twitter and Pingit profiles.

barclays-beer-tweet

4. Nestle Internship

Nestle and Twitter have put a 10-week paid internship up for grabs to the person who submits the best CV using Vine. Applicants can either fill in a form or submit a six-second video explaining why they deserve the internship. The applicant with the best Vine video will be awarded a place at the assessment centre, to take place on 14 April, alongside 12 other participants. The process is apparently already live, though people can’t find where they need to submit the application, nor can they find anyone who has actually used the #6secondCV hashtag on Twitter or Vine.

5. Capital One Cup

On Sunday Wembley hosted the final of the world’s least prestigious football competition – the Capital One Cup. Spurs took on Chelsea in a really dull game that saw Tottenham lose 2-0. The night before it was a different story, as Tottenham’s fans outvoted their rivals on Twitter meaning the Wembley arch was lit up in the team’s colours. Fans had to vote using either #ChelseaAtWembley or #SpursAtWembley.

capital-one-cup-tweet

According to Topsy, the Chelsea hashtag has been used 4,331 times compared to 4,228 for the Spurs one, so something has gone awry somewhere.

6. Burberry

Burberry fell back on a tried and tested social trick for London Fashion Week, tweeting personalised images to other Twitter users. During its runway show on 23 February users could take a photo of the models using the hashtag #Tweetcam. Burberry would then tweet the image with the person’s hashtag and a timestamp.

It’s obviously a bit of a gimmick, but one that helps people identify with the brand and gives an extra reason to tune in to the fashion show.

burberry-tweetcam

7. The Hunger Games

Lionsgate has created a social media game to promote the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay on DVD. Users have to follow clues via promoted posts on Facebook that lead to Twitter and other partners sites including IGN, Break and Celebuzz. They can then unlock bonus content by cracking codes and completing challenges.

the-hunger-games-mockingjay

There’s also a crowd-sourced element to the campaign, as hashtags will be aggregated to unlock additional content as part of a virtual rebellion, which obviously ties into the film’s narrative. It’s an ambitious campaign and one that makes clever use of social ads.

8. Pret’s hot food tour

Pret A Manger took a branded food van on a tour of 12 British cities to give out samples of its porridge and quinoa rice pots. The tour was promoted through social, with local Instagram users recruited to take photos of the food in each location. Pret then posted the photos on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and used locally targeted paid media with the hashtag #HotPret to reveal which city it was visiting on that day.

pret-tweet

9. Topshop

Another London Fashion Week campaign, this time involving Topshop, Twitter and outdoor advertising.

Topshop broadcast details of next season’s trends onto eight outdoor advertising screens in the UK by listening into what industry influencers were talking about on Twitter.

topshop-twitter-campaign

As key trends emerged, they appeared in the TOPSHOP trend cloud as hashtags – for instance #colourblocking, #pleats and #utility. Customers could then tweet @Topshop using one of the trend hashtags to receive a curated shopping list inspired by the trend.

This campaign is a neat way of tying up offline and online media, though the tweet template was quite vague.

topshop-modernism-tweet

25 Apt Qualifying Questions To Be Asked To Your Prospects

qualifying-questions

How many times have you pitched a potential client, or sent a proposal, only to get a “Thanks, we’ll think about it and get back to you” email or phone call?

If you’re like most agencies, you pitch way more often than you close. And after awhile, you can become so discouraged you want to throw in the towel. Many agencies struggle with cash flow and thus leap at the chance to pitch anyone, hoping to get some business, any business, to keep the cash coming. And while we all need to put food on the table, is that really the best way to use what limited resources (time, energy, and money) you have got?

Of course getting work is important. But we have seen time and time again that getting the right kind of work from the right kind of customer is more important. Otherwise you’ll wind up selling your soul and that wonderful agency you started and love becomes nothing more than a job you hate.

There is a better way. The most successful agencies have a disciplined sales process they follow religiously. So if you haven’t mastered the fine art of sales or don’t have a clue about where to start when qualifying a prospect, there’s no time like the present to get started.

What Is Qualifying?

Qualifying is determining whether or not that guy who called to find out about your services is worthy of the time and effort it will take for you to convert him into a customer. That’s right — worthy of your time and effort. Because your time is valuable. Time is a non-renewable resource. Once gone, you can’t get it back. So it makes sense to use it as wisely as possible.

Just because some guy has raised his hand (filled out a form online, dropped a business card into your booth’s fish tank, or called to ask about your services, etc.), that doesn’t make him a lead. It just makes him kinda, sorta interested. It’s still too early in the process to know whether or not it’s a genuine opportunity. The courtship hasn’t even begun.

Why Does Qualifying Matter?

Let’s put it this way, would you marry the first guy (or gal) you met just because he (or she) looked or sounded nice? Aren’t there are thousands of other things you’d want to know before you got engaged? Dating is nothing more than a way to qualify a potential mate. In the days of arranged marriages, parents did that for you, or they hired matchmakers. The modern day equivalent of that is the agency search consultant — if the client has enough money to hire one. Otherwise both sides are stuck with DIY solutions — referrals and online research.

When you methodically qualify sales inquiries, you are using your time and energy wisely. Research has shown that qualified sales leads have a higher return on investment and a higher close rate. Conference Board’s study shows that 57% of the sales process is complete by the time you get a phone call. Prospects are far more educated today than ever before. That’s good and that’s bad.

It’s “good” because your marketing strategies can take advantage of this DIY world to educate them. That process can be used to qualify them (to a certain degree) while they come to know, like and trust you, or they disengage when they decide you’re not a fit for them. It’s “bad” because the sales process is far more out of your control than it used to be.

Know Your Best and Worst Types of Clients

When you’ve got a clear understanding of what types of clients are happiest and most successful in working with you, qualifying sales inquiries becomes much easier to do. Your first step is to get clear about what kinds of clients — their size, their products or services, the industries and markets they’re in, their company’s cultural philosophy, the resources they have, the competitive climate, their mission and values, the style and personality of the individual you’ll work with most closely, the challenges they face that you love helping to solve or fix and are good at it. There may be other things that you consider to be more important. Make sure you spell them out.

And it’s equally important to understand what types of clients are the worst match for you (and for them). Because those are the ones you want to refer to other agencies.

First Goal: Eliminate Non-Opportunities ASAP

Assuming you’ve got a funnel full of interested sales inquiries, your next step is start qualifying them. Your goal is to eliminate those companies that aren’t opportunities as fast as possible. The sooner you do that, the quicker you’ll find the ones that are most likely to convert into customers. The biggest mistake you can make is to keep working leads that will probably never convert. The most successful business development execs ruthlessly eliminate non-opportunities as fast as they can. They don’t make money by deluding themselves they can change a prospect’s stripes. Prospects are what they are. Get the facts. Size them up and eliminate. Move on.

Ask Good Questions!

There are lots of different sales methodologies you could use. IBM’s groundbreaking BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing) is probably the most common and well known. But BANT was developed back in the days when sales reps controlled most of the information that was shared with prospects. It’s no longer enough.

Good questions are provocative. They cause your prospect to think through challenges, and they elicit information you can use to determine if the prospect is a good fit for your company, diagnose their problem or challenge, and decide if you can have a mutually beneficial relationship.

Map Your Questions

Match your questions to where you are in the relationship. You don’t want your questions to feel like an interrogation, and you don’t want to spook someone away before they’re comfortable enough with you to answer.

Keep in mind that your first goal is to disqualify the non-opportunities ASAP. Ask those questions that could take them out of the running for you. This goes back to your best/worst types of clients. Find the “worst” ones and disengage.

25 Provocative Qualifying Questions

Here are some great questions we have heard asked at various stages of qualification. Use these as a jumping off point to create your own list so you can quickly disqualify non-opportunities and engage with the golden ones:

  1. For what reasons are you looking to hire a new agency now? What triggered your decision to hire an agency? What’s made this so urgent or important?
  2. What experiences, good and bad, have you had with other agencies? What do you want to be different this time around?
  3. What results do you expect to see from the work we do together?
  4. What are your company’s goals?
  5. What’s your most important priority? What’s your most urgent priority? If they’re not the same, ask: What will it take to focus on the most important priority? How can the urgent priority get downgraded? What’s your company’s biggest marketing challenge?
  6. What’s keeping you from overcoming or meeting that challenge?
  7. What internal resources do you have to apply to this challenge?
  8. How well are your competitors doing?
  9. What are your competitors doing that you’re not and wish you were?
  10. What do you want to be the best at? What do you want your company or department to be renowned for?
  11. What are you willing to stake your reputation on?
  12. What’s the average lifetime value of a customer?
  13. What’s your customer acquisition costumer?
  14. What’s your current marketing return on investment?
  15. Out of all your company’s departments, which one does your team most struggle working with?
  16. What’s your department’s relationship like with your sales team?
  17. How could you improve your relationship with (internal department named in No. 16)?
  18. What’s your process for choosing an agency? Have you used this process before? What worked or did not work? What will you do to get a different result?
  19. Who’s involved in making the decision? Who signs the contract?
  20. If you don’t hire an agency, how will you meet this challenge? What will you do?
  21. How will you know we have been successful?
  22. If marketing does not improve, what will it cost your company?
  23. If we deliver on agreed upon goals, what’s that worth to your company?
  24. What problems do you see down the road that could obstruct or constrain our working together?
  25. What makes you lose sleep at night? Or what do you need so you can sleep at night?

Increasing LinkedIn Engagement (Infographic)

Behold, all LinkedIn users! Increasing your audience engagement in this professional platform is not as hard as it’s used to be.

In a glance, LinkedIn may not seem as sexy as Twitter or Facebook. However,  with over 259,000,000 users and 2,100,000 groups, it’s a social channel that you can’t ignore. Sure, you won’t generate as much traffic from LinkedIn as you will from other social sites, but its audience tends to look for good businesses, which means each LinkedIn visitor is going to be worth more money.

So, how can you maximise LinkedIn’s usage? You probably already know that posting on the weekdays during the mornings helps, but did you know that if you do 20 posts a month, you’d reach 60% of your audience?

If you want to get more in terms of engagement in LinkedIn, just follow the steps in the infographic below:

Click to Enlarge

 

LinkedIn As One Of The Reliable Content Publishing Tool For Content Marketing

linkedin-unique-logo (Small)

Businesses place their best bet on numerous platforms these days. Google+, Twitter and Pinterest, just to name a few.

Social media still becomes the moving force behind company branding, customer engagement, and content sharing. However, many of them have been caught up in the social media whirlpool for quite some time now, and you might be thinking you have hit your best effort for both social and content marketing.

LinkedIn is on the rise as one of the most popular social networking platforms in 2015. In fact, a recent study has shown that LinkedIn beats Twitter at content marketing. Not only that, its main purpose is to connect with similar business owners in your field. It can even be used as a source for lead generation and luring in top talent to add to your company and it’s all possible by using it as a content publishing platform.

LinkedIn’s Transformation as a Content Publisher

At first, LinkedIn served as a professional networking platform for business professionals. As the need for powerful and engaging content grew, its users began requesting the ability to publish content directly on the platform. The platform listened to their audience and opened a content publishing option to premium members. In early 2014, LinkedIn slowly began to unlock its publishing feature and allow all members to use it as a content marketing tool. It moved forward with this decision as an effort to help businesses better build their brand and reach an untapped pool of audiences.

LinkedIn recognized that many professionals have valuable information, insight, and experience to share with their audience. Not only are brands now able to maximize their exposure with LinkedIn’s publishing platform, they are able to educate with content that can turn into conversions. After all, informative content is one of the driving forces behind the highest quality content that there is.

linkedin-and-coffee-cup

Benefits of Publishing Content on LinkedIn

While there are thousands of online resources where you can print and distribute your content, LinkedIn should become the top priority of your list. There are four appealing figures of LinkedIn to showcase how powerful it can be for content marketing:

  • LinkedIn generates 184 million unique visitors per month
  • It has a conversion rate that is 3 times higher than Facebook and Twitter
  • It has 172,000 sign ups per day
  • There are over 2 million groups to join and network with those in your industry

Starting to see the benefits of LinkedIn yet? Here are some important points to notice:

1. LinkedIn Offers SEO Benefits

While creating fresh and relevant content will certainly help your SEO, you can double your efforts by publishing original content on LinkedIn. Since the social platform has a high domain authority (where Google will definitely love it), it can help you expand your organic reach in the search engines.

Don’t forget, you can also optimize your own profile for professionals to locate on LinkedIn. A few simple tweaks to your headline can make all the difference.

2. Fewer Distractions so Visitors Can Focus on Your Content

Think of how easily distracted you are when you are on Facebook; the photo of a cuddly puppy or your cousin’s new baby can easily get you sidetracked. Let’s not even get into the black hole known as Pinterest.

The advantage with LinkedIn is that users are almost always focused and in the business mindset. There’s a lot of noise you have to cut through on other social platforms, but there’s a lot less of it on LinkedIn.

3. Taking Your Content Beyond Blogs

Even though LinkedIn’s publishing platform caters to blogs and articles, you can do so much more with LinkedIn in term of content marketing. Its publishing platform not only allows blogs, but it also encourages sharing for SlideShare slideshows, photos and videos. With LinkedIn, you are encouraged to go the extra mile with your content marketing efforts.

4. Strength (and Sales) in Numbers

Another advantage of LinkedIn’s new publishing platform is that members are able to reach professionals who are not in their own network. Furthermore, brands can build their own group of followers.

Imagine influencing a group of professionals who are ready and able to make buying decisions. It’s entirely possible with LinkedIn’s publishing tool, and it is super targeted to leaders and brands who are ready to buy your products and services.

5. LinkedIn Content Marketing Score Gives Insight to Your Best Content

Measuring the effectiveness and success of your content marketing can be an uphill battle. However, LinkedIn saw the need for a program designed to rate the quality and effectiveness of user content. With that, LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score was born.

Use LinkedIn Groups to Generate New Content Ideas

Engagement on LinkedIn is one of the keys to success on their platform. With that said, LinkedIn groups offer a lot of potential to not only network, but generate new content ideas and interact with other professionals.

As you interact with groups on LinkedIn, keep in mind that remaining helpful and informative is your best route to success. Keep questions and interesting takeaways on the backburner, as these can easily turn into new blog topics, slideshows, and more.

This can help with your efforts to continuously feed your LinkedIn audience with new content and not lose steam along the way.

Four Excellent B2C Marketing Content Marketing Techniques For LinkedIn

You might think that LinkedIn is only effective for B2B marketing and prospect searching, but there are opportunities to reach customers in B2C fashion. In fact, Content Marketing Institute found that 71% of marketers use LinkedIn to market B2C.

With that said, here are a few techniques you can use on LinkedIn to keep your content B2C friendly.

  1. Make your content quick to absorb: One of the biggest differences between B2C and B2B content marketing is that B2C customers are often looking for immediate solutions. While many B2B customers need time to analyze and weigh cost factors, B2C content needs to be quick and to the point.
  2. Focus on what consumers care about: Generally, customers care about themselves and meeting their own needs. Always cater your content to your audience and describe exactly how your products and services will yield the results that they are looking for.
  3. Aim to entertain: B2B content marketing can consist of whitepapers and studies, but B2C can be a little more lax and creative. Put a creative spin on your content to help your company cut through the noise.
  4. Education is key: Whether you are marketing B2B or B2C, education is crucial for establishing yourself as a thought leader.

LinkedIn For Content Curation

Content curation is quickly becoming a solid foundation of many content marketing strategies. While there are all kinds of techniques to curating content to share with your audience, LinkedIn is perfect a perfect spot to find some of the best content on the ‘net. Here’s why:

  • Many marketers are focused on generating compelling content specifically for their LinkedIn audience. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that most content you will find on LinkedIn will be polished, educational, and full of helpful information that your audience will love.
  • Since LinkedIn offers the ability to post images (think infographics) and slideshows, you will have direct access to multiple types of media to share in one convenient place.
  • LinkedIn offers all of the benefits that content curation brings: establishing yourself as a thought leader, building new relationships, showcasing new points of view, and engaging your target audience.

If you are curating content, be sure to add LinkedIn to your curation efforts for some variety and new opportunities.

Conclusion

LinkedIn is clearly becoming a powerful platform to generate, share, and create content. Regardless of your profession, if you aren’t using LinkedIn for your content marketing, you are depriving yourself of serious branding, networking, and client discovery potential.

9 Email Subject Tips To Boost Your Open Rates

email-subject-line

How many unread emails do you have in your inbox?

Most people get a lot of emails everyday and  most of them are left unopened. The chances of your email being ignored are pretty high, unless you have a trustworthy and appealing subject line.

Your subject line is the first (and the last) impression on users. In many cases, your email subject line is more important than the body. After all, a great newsletter is worthless if it never sees the light of day.

There are a few different views when it comes to creating terrific subject lines. Here are nine different types of effective email subject lines that you can adapt to your next campaign:

1. Simple Subject Lines

There’s a lot to be said for minimalism, as users need you to be clear and concise in your subject lines. Time is always a good asset.

Recently, MailChimp conducted an email subject line study and found that short, descriptive subject lines fare better than cheesy ones. Some might argue that humor and creativity should be avoided when creating good subject lines for emails, especially since many marketing experts say otherwise. The succinct, to-the-point approach is most applicable with notification emails, in which a user already has a connection with the content you’re delivering.

Most of these subject line examples involve updates or notifications connected with a user’s social media activity, order status, etc. These emails have a specific purpose, and so the subject lines should be specific as well.

2. Funny Subject Lines

A humorous subject line can really stick out among the dry, dull emails surrounding it. On the other hand, humor is a touchy thing. It thrives on exclusivity, which isn’t always great if you’re trying to appeal to the masses. Still, if you know your audience inside out and your emails are well-targeted, an appropriate joke can get your email opened and earn major reputation points with audiences on your wavelength.

Some funny email subject line examples:

  • Please Touch Me! Enterprise Delight via Multitouch
  • Defense Against the Dark Arts: ESAPI
  • Do Gamers Dream of HTML5 Sheep?
  • LEAN STARTUP: Baby Got (Feed)Back – Putting the Lean in Learn

Bear in mind that the cleverness of the other funny email subject lines might be lost on some users who didn’t attend Hogwarts or haven’t read Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?”. Always find your niche and make the recipients laugh, not scratch their head.

3. Controversial/Shocking Email Subject Lines

Sometimes controversy sells, and it most certainly grabs attention. Using shock, controversy, or insult in your subject lines requires you to tread really carefully. You may get opens, but at the cost of customers. This strategy requires you to be confident in your understanding of your audience’s tastes and perceptions. It’s a gambling move, but the pay-off can be pretty great. Here are some examples:

  • Everyone Is Gay: Social Media As Social Action
  • Why Your 5-Year-Old Is More Digital Than Most CMOs
  • Your Marketing Sucks: Why You Need to Think Local

4. Single-Word Subject Lines

One effective email subject line strategy involves going ultra-minimalist with one-word subject lines.

subject-lines-for-emails

From a simple design perspective, you can see why the Amazon Local subject line catches the eye – its length and shape stand out from the other largely similar-looking structures. Here is a good example:

effective-email-subject-lines

Click to Enlarge

Another great email subject line example comes from Mequoda with the simple subject line of:

  • Panic

It’s just a single word, but it’s an emotionally huge one. What should I be panicking about? Am I in danger? What’s going on? Am I having an existential crisis? Emotionally-walloping words make a big impression.

5. Email Subject Lines with Numbers & Lists

Many of the factors that make up a good blog post title also make a good email subject line. Incorporating numbers into your subject line attracts attention, as our brains are naturally drawn to digits. This tends to be why top 10 lists are so successful – lists are easier for our brains to process and they create curiosity, in addition to providing the promise of a quick and easy read.

  • SocialBro – 7 most annoying Twitter moments of the #Oscars2014
  • YouTube – 10 jaw-dropping drift videos on YouTube
  • Pinterest Partner Team – 3 ways to improve your Pins

Numbers and list email subject lines stand out for the same reasons that one-word subject lines or unusual punctuation do – they are visually jarring.

6. Personalised Subject Lines

Incorporating personalisation techniques into email subject lines is another way to increase open rates. However, incorporating a user’s name into the subject line becomes trivial these days, as this has become the common practice that many users consider these emails as spam. Instead, try location-specific offers and language, or interest targeting. LivingSocial and Groupon are old pros at this, sending emails with subject lines promoting deals in your area.

  • LivingSocial Deals – Best of Boston: Avanti Salon & More
  • LivingSocial Deals – Don’t miss out – Two-Hour Private Glassblowing Class for Two People

The subject line above combines personalisation (via remarketing) with scarcity to create an effective email subject line. In a broader sense, it’s good practice to understand your audience well enough to know what language, style, and offers will be attractive to them.

7. Questions & Other Punctuation in Email Subject Lines

Question marks and unusual punctuation offer another method for standing out from the email masses. Exclamation marks can be useful, but are so over-used in subject lines that they don’t tend to be very powerful. Instead, experiment with some fun symbols or loud punctuation to attract their eyeballs.

  • Coldwater Creek – Going…going…70% off Ultimate Sale is almost gone!
  • VUDU-Movies & TV – *RENT “Frozen” . Watch it today in 2D or 3D. *
  • HAILO Boston – We ? You

Asking your readers a question, as opposed to a standard statement, immediately engages them. Questions enter an instant dialogue with users, making them more likely to be opened.

  • Sephora Beauty Insider – Rough day?
  • Banana Republic – Final hours! Will you save 50%?

Above, Banana Republic combines a question with scarcity tactics. Sephora asks an emotionally-engaging question (really? you care?) with just two words, creating a truly great subject line.

8. “Missing Out” & Other Scarcity Tactics in Subject Lines

People have a deep, inherent terror of being left behind, of missing out. This flock mentality was a survival instinct once, but now it’s just another subject line strategy to goad us into a purchase. Email subject lines threatening scarcity (limited time offer!) tend to perform well, and this language is also common practice with squeeze pages. People will commit some pretty cold actions to avoid “missing out.” Yup, we’ve all got a serious case of the fear of missing outs. Throw in some scarcity words and you may be surprised how your click rates will change.

  • Bundle Stars – Pay $1.99 for a new bundle of 6 STEAM games (48 HOURS ONLY!)
  • Coldwater Creek – Ends Today! 36 Hour Outlet Sale. Hurry, this is your last chance…
  • Coldwater Creek – 5 HOURS ONLY! 50% off ALL Jeans in Stores. GO!

Examples above incorporate numbers, scarcity, punctuation, and partial capitalisation (emphasis on the partial) for some serious subject line success.

9. Mysterious Email Subject Lines

People dig a little mystery in their lives. Giving readers a little taste of something intriguing might cause them to bite…

  • ePrize – It’s all over December 25…

Email Subject Line Best Practices

Here are some tips for creating good email subject line for you to keep in mind:

  • Write multiple subject lines. You should write 10 subject lines for every email, just as you should write 10 titles for every blog post. Then choose the best one.
  • Keep it under 50 characters. It’s general best practice to keeps subject lines to fewer than 50 characters. Subject lines with less than 50 characters have higher open rates and click-through-rates than those with 50+. Go over 50 characters and you risk being cut o-.
  • Alliteration. An ample amount of alliteration attracts! Give it a try for some catchy email subject lines.
  • More caps is not equal to more opens. Covering your subject line in caps WILL NOT HELP YOU. Caps are powerful, but not to be trifled with. Use them sparingly and responsibly, like grenades.
  • Knowing your audience. Your best bet for creating good email subject lines will be understanding your audience intimately and catering to them. This is a major rule for pretty much all aspects of online marketing, and while it can be a bit tougher in a limited character field like a subject line, matching your audience’s interests and mannerisms is essential if you really want solid open rates.
  • Knowing your tone. Most good email subject lines rely on a conversationalist tone to attract readers. Sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy, known for their super-successful clickbait headlines, take advantage of a casual, conversational tone.
  • Call to action. It’s never a bad idea to try a call to action in your email subject line. While many opt-out due to limited character space, call to actions may improve open rates. Even a simple “Go!” can serve as a motivating call to action. If you’re not sure what makes a great call to action, check out this post on call to action examples by Dan for some help.
  • Using You/Your. While name-calling is on the out, it’s still considered a best practice to use “you” and “your” wording to speak directly and comfortably with readers.
  • Put Yourself in the “From” field. Keep your “from” section professional and consistent for business subject lines. This isn’t this place to be a goof ball – with so much spam floods, users want to see that you are a legitimate and trusted source. Most business emails put their brand name in the “from” field, or go with something along the lines of “John Smith from InvitaCorp”.
  • Always A/B test subject lines. You should A/B test everything you can get your fingers on, email subject lines included.
  • Pay attention to the preview. The email preview that follows the subject line is a valuable piece of property, and yet so many businesses ignore it or let it get filled with garbage text.
  • See something you like? Steal it! All the world’s greatest artists are thieves – they “borrow” from others, building on existing works to create their own. Don’t be afraid to break bad. If you see great subject lines that you think will work for your business, nab them! Tweak them a bit and try them on for size. Remember, imitation is flattery, so flatter the hell out of the best email subject lines.

Low Open Rates?

Having trouble with your email open rates? Working on your subject lines will help, but there may be other factors at play, such as:

  • Is the email viewable? If your email doesn’t read well on a user’s device, they won’t bother trying to decipher it.
  • Are you being a pest? If you’ve been emailing folks every day, they may be fed up with you and won’t be as likely to open your emails if you’ve been making yourself an annoyance.
  • When did you send it? Many people don’t check their emails as often on the weekend.
  • Quality of your email list. Is this a solid, targeted email list? If your list isn’t high-quality, it may reflect in your open rates.

4 Good Examples Of Click-Worthy Native Advertising Model

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Native ads have been a hot topic over the last couple of years among marketers for good reason.

Native advertising model aims to connect the gap between content marketing and traditional advertising, because advertisers use content they created, design it and promote it in a way that resembles the platform on which the content appears, providing a seamless transition between editorial and advertisement. This can also be cause for concern as the lines between editorial and advertising blur.

Basically, there are six native advertising units. These units include in-feed and paid search units, recommendation widgets, promoted listings, IAB standard ads with “native” elements and custom units. They are easily found throughout the Web, if users know what to look for. However, not all of these ads are click-worthy. Find out what makes a good native ad compelling and worth of a click by checking out four examples of these units below:

1. LovableDoggie

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Native Ad Unit: Promoted Listing
Brand: LovableDoggie
Why it’s Click-Worthy: When searching for “dog shampoo” on Etsy, the e-commerce site turns up more than 600 results. The top three results, however, are all native advertisements. Each one of these ads (including the one from LovableDoggie) are click-worthy not only because they are displayed for a targeted and relevant search, but also because they are the top search results served, which typically results in more clicks for advertisers.

2. JustFab

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Native Ad Unit: Paid Search
Brand: JustFab
Why it’s Click-Worthy: Unlike Zappos and ShoeDazzle, JustFab’s paid search advertisement features a star rating. Ratings are typically seen as a trust symbol by consumers and could be the difference maker when consumers are choosing a search result to click.

3. White Castle

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Native Ad Unit: Custom
Brand: White Castle
Why it’s Click-Worthy: White Castle’s ad is click-worthy because it is featured within a Pandora user’s rotating music carousel. By being neatly positioned next to the song that is currently playing the user experience isn’t interrupted, yet users still have the ability to click on the ad to learn more. Moreover, the ad makes its presence known to users who have Pandora playing in the background because it is accompanied by a brief audio advertisement between songs.

4. GrubHub

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Native Ad Unit: In-Feed
Brand: GrubHub
Why it’s Click-Worthy: GrubHub’s ad is click-worthy because it actually doesn’t look like an ad at all. The ad is essentially content being promoted by GrubHub that is positioned within Buzzfeed’s main content stream on the publisher’s website. Even with the “promoted by” label, users are more compelled to click on this content because it resembles the other content, in both the look (thumbnail image, text size, etc.) and feel (using an editorial-like title) of the other Buzzfeed articles.

15 Most Inspiring Quotes From Steve Jobs

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February 24th would have been Steve Jobs’ 60th birthday. To commemorate, here are 15 most thought-provoking and inspiring quotes from Steve Jobs:

1. “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

2. “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

3. “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”

4. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

5. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

6. “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.”

7. “I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”

8. “Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.”

9. “Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

10. “When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

11. “I want to put a ding in the universe.”

12. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

13. “My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”

14. “It’s better to be a pirate than join the Navy.”

15. “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”

The Periodic Table Of Content Marketing (Infographic)

Want to create a new content marketing campaign? Then this periodic table might be useful for you.

There are eight important areas that you need to pay attention:

1. Strategy

The right strategy is the fundamental key to success. Careful planning and focus is essential. You need a clear strategy, mapped to your long-term business goals. If you don’t have one and need some outside guidance, hurry up and find one that suits you and your business.

2. Format

Content comes in many different shapes and sizes. Note that you can use multiple formats for a single piece of content. Do an experiment. Write a blog post to support a visualisation or produce a video and slideshow.

3. Content Type

These are based on the common types of content that work well for our business. Many of them will work well for your brand too. Sometimes you’ll use multiple content types for a single piece of content. You could categorise this periodic table under a few different types.

4. Platform

These are content distribution platforms. You might own some of these (e.g. #59, your website). Others are social networking sites (your own, your network or third parties). All of these help spread the word about your content.

5. Metrics

These help you to measure the performance of your content. For the purposes of brevity, we have largely grouped these metrics together.

6. Goals

All content should support your primary business goals, whether that’s to generate lots of traffic, or to sell more, or to increase brand awareness. Focused content will tick a few of these boxes.

7. Sharing Triggers

This area contains various items that trigger people for sharing content. Think about the emotional drivers behind sharing, and make sure the content you create makes people feel something.

8. Checklist

You might want to review this part periodically. Errors need to be fixed, and all content should be properly optimised (for search, for social, and to support your business goals). Be diligent and you’ll get the best content strategy ever.

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Click to Enlarge

Click here to download the Periodic Table.