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Category: Tips & Tricks

5 tips for sending out newsletters this Christmas! Email Marketing, Tips & Tricks

Yes it is only November, but here at Toddle we believe in early planning – Here are our 5 tips to help you with your Christmas Newsletter Templates

Plan Ahead
There is no point in deciding in late December that you are going to send out a Christmas themed Newsletter – Plan ahead for best results. Gather together a list of items / offers / discounts that you would like to offer your customers.

Know the one that is one too many!
Yes it is Christmas and yes you can get away with sending more newsletters than normal – but remember don’t just send out a newsletter everyday for the sake of it. Try and do some research on when is the best time and day to send out newsletters. Also keep the content and offers relevant to your audience. The more relevant it is the more click-thru you will get!

Personalize your newsletters
Every company will send out a newsletter at Christmas – It is going to be a crowded market so you need something to make your newsletter stand out. Make sure to mention your customer by name and use content to make them feel special and wanted – “Welcome back John, here is a 10% discount”. Also don’t ignore your subject line. Remember your subject line will ultimately decide if your newsletter is opened or not. Think about your content and remember you need a call to action in every single newsletter. Make sure this call to action goes to the correct page on your website.

Limited time pricing
Lots of companies are now providing limited time pricing – “Order before 10th December for an extra discount” etc. End a sale on Christmas Eve or have a special New Years Day sale. This is a sure way of people actually opening your newsletter but also clicking through to make a purchase on your store.

Re-assure your Customers
Make sure to re-assure your customers that if they order from your website they will have their products delivered in time for Christmas. Make sure to mention your cut off point for last orders to ensure that they are delivered for Christmas. Also remember you might have international subscribers so take this into account. As well as creating a level of urgency with the last date of ordering, you are also giving a feeling of assurance to your Customers.

Remember Toddle.com offer Christmas Themed Newsletter Templates – Just log into your account and they are available in the ‘Change Design’ button

Free Webinar – Top 10 Checklist for Hotel Email Marketing Success 7 Training, Advanced, Checklist, Conversion, Email Marketing, Email Newsletter Templates, Email Tracking, Hotel, Seminars, Talks, Tips & Tricks, Video Guide, Webinar, Workshops

My talk from the Hotel Website Marketing Conference.
Download and print the checklist mentioned here.

Webinar Transcript

SLIDE 1
Today, I’m going to tell you about email marketing. It’s probably not the shiniest, sexiest form of marketing that you have ever heard of today, but I can tell you it works.

Behind every good social network and twitter account there are email notifications updating you as to what’s happened.

And there’s a very good reason why email works so well as it does and that’s because almost everybody has it. There are 1.4 billion email addresses currently in the world and at least half of them are checked daily. So it is well worth looking at.

SLIDE 2
Email works best in two ways that I’m going to discuss with you today. One, look at it as a customer retention tool and two, look at it for sales and campaigns. I’m going to ask for a bit of audience participation here for the next step, I’m going to ask you all to stand up, please. Just to give you an idea, if you are sending out an email campaign, what kind of numbers you can expect and all the rest of the talk today is about how you can influence those numbers.

For the case of today each of you stands for 10 people. So we are sending out a campaign to 1000 people – for a particular sales campaign for a particular offer. So you send it out to a 1000 people, actually you’re going to test it first. You are going to send out two versions of the campaign, one to a 100 people and one to another 100 people and you’re going to see which gets the best response.

So from that you are going to lose 200 people. Can I ask the back two rows to sit down please? The best message and best creative you’re going to send out to 800 people. Of those 800 people, 200 will open it, so can I ask the next three rows to sit down please?

Of those 200 people who open it, 8 are going to click on your campaign, so can I ask just the front row to stand up and everyone else to sit down.

Of those 8 people, just one person is going to buy from you. So can I just ask one person to stand up? The rest of you may sit down.

So that’s one person of a campaign of a thousand newsletters that you just sent out. But it costs you about ten euros to send out that campaign, they have just bought a weekend from you for about 500 Euros. So, for an investment of about 10 Euros you’ve just brought in 500 Euros and that is from one email campaign that you just sent out. I hope you’re sending out a hell of a lot more campaigns throughout the year

I use that sort of as a baseline for you and also if you are using email and you are not achieving those kinds of results you need to seriously look at what you are doing. Email marketing offers one of the best returns on investment for online marketing. It is exceeded only by search engine marketing. Below that, at almost half the value are your paper clicks, Google analytics – it is direct, it is personal , it can be highly targeted and it is a really highly effective tool. So I am going to present ten checklists for you, and you can get them at the end of the talk, print them out, stick them up in your office and look at them every month that you are doing your email marketing.

SLIDE 3
First are you capturing subscribers everywhere? How many people are walking through your hotel today, and how many people are you actually getting email addresses for. You can get them in a lot more places than you might think. How many people came to your website today? Are you capturing their email addresses? People are going to huge efforts to try and find you, whether online or offline, they are going through the effort to get to your hotel. Grab on to them, don’t let them go – please. Eighty percent of people that visit your website never return again. Find a way to grab a hold of them. Capture them on the web, by phone, reception, bar, spa, golf if you do that. Capture them at dinner, have forms ready in different places and train your staff to ask: “I might not have the answer now and I know there is something you are interested in – how about we send you updates when it is on again?” – every opportunity you have.

And then if you run out, don’t just look inside your own hotel, look outside. Is there any way outside your hotel you can capture subscribers, linking them with different organizations, putting out offers, competitions.

Some of the most effective ways of getting subscribers is of course, ask, captured through your website. Look at co-registration deals with other organizations so you can share subscribers. Offer a course…I know one hotel that did very well by offering a wine appreciation course, purely by email. What they did is they repurposed all the content and information about the particular wines they were stocking from their wholesaler and they repackaged it as a course – one newspaper ad, very cheap, lots of subscribers. A lot of long term business from those subscribers.

Put out an e-book I know another B+B and what they have done is they have traveled around to all the local attractions and put together an ebook that can be downloaded for their area, giving them a tour guide. They put it on their web page and you have to subscribe to get access to that.

Ask for referrals from existing subscribers. Offer free stuff and any emails you are sending out, mention your email newsletter.

SLIDE 4
Just some examples of subscribe forms that are out there at the moment, I wont name these guys …it is a terrible subscribe form. They are asking for too many details and there are too many obstacles. Basically look at the fact that every additional element you are asking of subscribers, you are going to lose some of them. But at the same time, you need to try and capture as many details as you can from those subscribers as possible, and I will tell you how you might be able to do that.

SLIDE 5
I put this as a much better example of a subscribe form. They have got a reason as to why you would want to subscribe and they have a competition to enter in to stay in their sister hotel. If there was any suggestion there it would be to make a bigger pizzazz about the competition to get the subscribers, make it pop!

A particular technique for catching subscribers was from a hotel in the US called the Broadmoore Hotel and what they did was a trade conference and they offered a competition for a free digital camera. It was a particular trade conference for people organizing events. They wanted to promote their meeting facilities. So what they did was a competition for a camera and they got about 300 entries. And they set up a series of 3 email newsletters. The first email newsletter was to tell them “thank you for entering our competition, we will let you know your results shortly, also here is some information about other services we offer.” They did a follow up letter with “There is a winner/ come check our website to find out if you won and also, here are some other services we offer.” And then the third email was, “Sorry you didn’t win/ Here is another competition/ All you need to do is sign up to be contacted about details about particular offers we have.”

They spent around 15 thousand setting up the booth and the competition, and in return they brought in about 250 thousand dollars worth of business from that individual campaign and they still have the subscriber base to build upon going forward.

SLIDE 6
In terms of detail and capturing lots of information, there is a lot of information you can capture without asking. Email, first name, brilliant. In terms of city and country, with a little bit of basic technical know how, you can capture that information from their IP address. So there is no reason to ask for those if you can find the information any other way.

SLIDE 7
Have you asked for permission – which is always the big question. Of course you have to ask permission to mail someone, but there are two definitions of spam: The law and then the real world. The law says you can email another business if you have had any contact with them at least once. If they ask to be unsubscribed, you have to provide unsubscribe information. That is essentially it. If you have no business contact with them, you cannot contact them and if they have not asked, you cannot contact them. I would actually say to disregard the law – not in terms of spamming everyone, in fact quite the opposite. You have a new concern in that everyone you email now, and all their email clients have a big huge “this is spam” button on top of their email client. If anyone presses that, it all feeds back to the ISPs and it will build up a profile on your email domain that you are sending out from. If enough people click that, it will affect all of your business emails. People can forget that they subscribed. People use this as the easiest way to unsubscribe and it is going to affect your business. So it is important that you are sending out relevant information, that they clearly did subscribe and that you are providing information that they are going to want in the future.

There is a third concern regarding spam laws, and that is that you need to be concerned with the spam laws in the country you are sending to. So if you are sending to the US, subscribers in the US, their spam complaints come under their law. So please make sure that you have permission and that you are sending them good content.

SLIDE 8
Make sure you are capturing the details of the right person. You may be getting my credit card details and name on the booking but it is my wife who decides how the credit card gets spent.

SLIDE 9
If there is only one thing you do with your emails lists, do this: segment your users into tastes, events, dates, anything you can to narrow them down into particular groups. It is one of the most powerful and most underused aspects of email marketing. I suggest breaking them down into tourists and local, if you do a lot of local business. In terms of tourists, try and find out where they are from, the reason for travel, the dates they are traveling on and services used. So if they are heading over on a particular date, chances are they are going to have holidays the same time next year, so start sending out a campaign shortly before their holidays. If they are coming over for a particular date, find out why and maybe there is a chance you can attract them again next year. If they are coming over for your spa then you will know they loved your spa – so send them out offers just for that spa. If they are coming over for golf, same thing. One hotel group I was working with was actually monitoring at what particular time subscribers were actually opening their mail so that they would send a campaign again next week or next month at that same particular time because they knew chances are the people are sitting in front of their computer at that time.

Local, again, why, are they there for a birthday, are they there for an anniversary, it happens every year, are there particular activities are there some sports on TV, you can talk to them again next week when there is another football match, you can bring them in.

So please segment your subscribers. It is an amazingly powerful tool and it will actually drive your marketing, going forward.

SLIDE 10
Tell them you are not dead. There are three types of email marketing and the first is the email to tell them you are not dead, because if they don’t hear from you every month, they are going to forget you and they are going to think you are dead. I am suggesting that you should be sending out at least two different campaigns every month.

One is the “I’m not dead” email – “Hi, we are here, hope you are well, just touching base.” And the other is a particular sales targeted campaign which is based on your segmented list. View the “I’m not dead” email as a customer retention tool to build trust and relationship. And when you build that trust and relationship it will make your sales emails so much more effective and powerful.

Brand it, Keep it short and sweet, about 3 short paragraph articles, you don’t have to go into any great depth. Make sure it is useful and as was discussed earlier today, put in links to your other social media, your Facebook account your Twitter account that people can connect with. People like connecting with you through different channels.

In terms of what type of content you can be sending, Kieran earlier, at Ireland.com handed you a terrific tool as far as I’m concerned, the first time I had seen his talk today. But sending you information on local events, on local content, on things to do, things to see – that is almost providing all of your content for you that you can send out to particular subscribers. That is going to save you a huge amount of time.

There are free information, free content and articles out there, one is Ezinearticles.com, various quality in those articles but you can use them for free. There are images out there, Istockphoto.com is pretty cheap per image or you can use Flickr.com with creative commons which are basically images that people upload to Flickr, allowing other people to use them, you just have to link to their website.

SLIDE 11
Send out seasonal messages /how to guides.

SLIDE 12
There is a great video on Youtube on how to pack like a butler, which has 42 thousand views on Youtube. It’s Youtube. Why don’t you imbed that on your site and link to it from your email.

SLIDE 13
Cooking tips as the Kilkenny River Court did from their chef.

Of course, travel tips

SLIDE 14
Personal stories. The Shellbourne has one about a baby being born in the room.

SLIDE 15
You can aggregate news and send it on. Just attribute to where the news came from.
Break down reports into plain English for travelers.

SLIDE 16
Fun news, I know a good hotel that sends out a Good News Thursday. People love receiving that. Or share your own news.

SLIDE 17
Top ten lists are very effective, I think that keeps the TV station Channel 4 in business with their top 100 comedy moments every Christmas.
Share your expertise.

SLIDE 18
Keep it simple. Add value. If you can’t write 3 articles, write 1. But make sure it is of use to the people you are sending it to. Be useful, be personable.

Don’t spam and don’t attach big attachments. I got one from a hotel recently and it was a 10mb download. I was downloading it on one of the little Three mobile dongles and it took ages. I don’t want to know how much it costs and it was just a menu for the restaurants. It was very very disappointing. Please don’t do that.

SLIDE 19
The second campaign you send out each month is a targeted offer or offers, depending on your groups. After segmenting, this should be very very easy – because it is going to be driven by the data. You are going to know every given month whose birthdays are coming up.

If you are checking in with the rest of the hotel, you know who has not played golf in a while. Send them a reminder. Send them an offer. If they have played golf a lot, send them an invite to invite friends along.

You know when Mothers day is coming along. You know when people have taken holidays so you know when their holidays are due again next year..

SLIDE 20
Send a clear targeted offer to these people. If you have concerts on, send them an offer. If you know what particular music they have been to in the past.

SLIDE 21
Easter and Mothers Day day of course.

SLIDE 22
Even language can be targeted by. This is what we have done ourselves which is sent out in English French, Dutch, and German

But don’t target it too much because we had one hotel and golf resort send out a great offer for the ladies night for the over 50s. And no one replied because they did not want to admit they were over 50.

SLIDE 23
You have heard a lot of mention about social media today. It can actually be a hugely valuable tool for market research to help you decide when you are sending out your email. I set this up about a week ago on Twitter, through the Twitter search. Twitter search gives out a little RSS feed, Mark was showing you, and you can import that link into Google reader.

Google reader after a week will show you these nice charts of when people mentioned that particular term, last week, last month and when during the day most people were mentioning that term. That gives you the data of when to send your particular campaign. Hugely valuable.

SLIDE 24
Automate your marketing. There is a huge amount you can automate out there. You can set up your mails to go out 12 months, 24 months in advance and you can even put them in a cycle because people aren’t going to remember what they got two years ago.

So we are talking what – 12 particular articles set up, or 24, and you do it once. You set up the automation through tools I will show you later that will do this. Then you sit back and concentrate on other parts of your marketing.

For bookings, events, locations, look at setting up an automated series of mails that can go out, associated with that.

An auto responder. Most of the email marketing tools do provide this as part of their feature set. And it is basically that when someone’s email address is added a set series of emails, for a particular amount of time is sent out to that user, one after the other.

SLIDE 25
I was at a hotel just about two weeks ago and I was looking closely at the customer journey in preparation for this and I was looking at how I might improve it and I so I booked the hotel and I just got a confirmation email and not a whole lot more. What I think should have happened, was that as soon as I booked, I got a follow up thank you email and then immediately an upsell email to try and offer me a deal on a dinner that night that I am staying, local events, do deals with local organizations. But I definitely should have been upsold because I want to have a good time when I am there. It is not really a sell if you are providing opportunities for me to have a really good time while I’m there.

Just before I arrived I should have gotten an email confirming all of my details, how to get there, my travel itinerary and possible other things I could see while I m there. And then afterwards I definitely should have gotten a thank you email and can we send you more information, check out our social media channels.
That is just my suggestion of a way that could have been used more effectively.

Again, as I just touched on there, upsell your customers and there are huge amounts of opportunities you have. When someone’s making that booking they have the credit card in their hand, they have trusted you enough, you want to take advantage of that, they want to have a good time. Help them have a good time by providing additional services. You are in a great position; you have the customer on the hook.

Upsell dinner, spa, breakfast, an upgrade in hotel room, but make the offer time limited in order to get them to respond very quickly.

SLIDE 26
This is an example from the Luxor in Las Vegas after a booking they send out information on their restaurant and their dinner.

SLIDE 27
I hope you are tracking your return on investment. For hotels, this is a general number, an average number for hotel rates. Expect an open rate of 27.5 percent,. a click through rate of 7.17 percent A spam rate of .08 percent and an unsubscribe rate of around . 49 percent.

SLIDE 28
The more you segment your lists and the more you target your messages, the more those numbers are going to go up. This is an example of the many tools that are out there. This is an example of the data they can give back to you. So you send out a campaign and this will give you information on who opened, what bounced, when they opened it, what they clicked, who they forwarded it to, and you can actually see that the three spikes in the graph are the mornings of Australia, here and the US.

Typical example of what the tools can provide: subscriber management, email templates, editing, personalization, sending, tracking.

SLIDE 29
Of the tools that are out there, here is a quick list. Toddle, which is our own service, will help you do the creative, the rest will help you do the sending, the managing. Expected costs: Vertical Response costs 10 dollars per month for about 500 subscribers. And that is subscription based whereas Campaign Monitor does per subscriber, so it is .01 cent per email you send it to.

There are web based applications or desktop based applications or groupmail which is another great service will charge a one off cost of 139 dollars

SLIDE 30
That is mostly it. Just manage, track and measure what you are sending out and make improvements each month.

If someone forwarded to a friend, why did they? If someone clicked on a link, why? How can you do more of that? Why do they unsubscribe and basically make next months email better.

SLIDE 31
I am over time so I am going to just flick through a few creative examples that I came across, I really like this particular design for an offer. It is an example of a competition with a clear call for action. A very clear offer and very few distractions and for a spa resort , nice how they made the design very effective for what they were offering.

SLIDE 35
That is it, Thank you very much. I put together a top ten list for you. You can download it from the website here. I suggest hanging it up and going it through every month. Thank you very much.

Landing Page Optimization: Sell more by spending less Advanced, Business, Conversion, Increasing Response, Landing Page Optimization, Tips & Tricks

I had great fun talking about Landing Page Optimisation at Bizcamp Newry. It was a great event and well done to the crew for organising it. Below, is part one of my presentation. Part two can be found here.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is the webpage you direct traffic to from a specific email, ad or piece of marketing. Its goal is to convert that traffic into sales or sign ups.

Landing page 2On the right is a landing page:

If I asked you right now to hand over your credit card would you do it?
Feeling nervous? Why? What do you mean you need more information?

Some information you are looking may include:

  • Who are you?
  • What am I buying from you?
  • Is the service/product good?
  • Do I want it?
  • Do I want it now?
  • Can I trust you?
  • Who else thinks this is a good deal?

The tricky bit is to get the balance right; giving just enough information to get the conversion. Include too little or too much information, or add unclear messaging and you start loosing sales.

Typical components of a landing page are:
rudderThe typical components of a Landing Page are:

  • The Primary offer
    • The primary offer
    • The total solution being offered
    • Headline
    • Sales copy
    • Image(s)
    • Pricing
    • Call-to-action
    • And anything to indicate a limit (number, time) to the offer.

    Here is an example of a landing page for the site Rudder.com. It comes from a case study by WiderFunnel.

    In this case study Rudder redesigned their landing page to try and increase conversion.
    The resulting page managed an amazing 45% increase in conversion.
    So how did they manage it?

    ruder 2Here is the new landing page. Can you spot a few differences?

    An article over on I am a landing page designer offers a good explanation why this new page converts so well.

    • The redesigned page swapped the main header copy and image positions – copy on the right, image on the left.
    • The value statements are in bullets along with check marks. An image of a lock is placed next to the security statement.
    • Lots of white space is used above the button to draw in the eye.
    • Button size is increased and the call-to-action text is much more descriptive.
    • A testimonial is placed directly underneath the button, as it gives that extra push.
    • 2009 Webby Awards nominee icon is included along with an iPhone App notice and iPhone image.
    • As Featured in the Press, icons of CNBC, TechCrunch and Cnet, logos added to the bottom of the page.
    • The Truste icon was removed.
    • McAffee and Verisign logos are also added.

    In summary, adding these visual references and clarifying the layout of the page gives the user confidence in signing-up for this service. Benefits are clearly outlined and, most importantly, we know that Rudder is free and secure; a vital element, not to be ignored when dealing with issues of personal finance. Rudder has since redesigned again.

    Redesigning order pages for maximum conversion

    Catalog 1Catalogue 2
    Here is an example of an order page for a free Audiobooks Catalogue featured over on Which Test Won. The old version is on the right, new redesign is below.

    As you can see, in the redesign, an image of what you are signing up for is added. The most interesting thing about this new page is what’s been taken away. Sometimes simplifying things is the best course of action. In this case, the new Landing Page is much better off for this decision, as users know exactly what this form is for. You must be absolutely sure that every item, piece of text or image you add to the order page, adds to a visitor’s knowledge about why they’re signing-up.

    In the first page version, the left and right column had no relevance to the purpose of the page. At the very least, they distracted a visitor or at worst, led a visitor to click away from the order page without taking any action. The result? The new order page resulted in 42% more visitors registering for a free catalogue, a dramatic increase.

    Clarity Trumps Persuasion

    The answer then, lies in not making a form ask for fewer details but just enough to secure the sign-up. Shorter pages are not the goal either. They need to be long enough to make a sale. See how SEOMoz added $1million to their revenue with a longer sign-up page. What converts best, on any landing page, is clarity above all else.

    Part two can be found here.

    Give us a shout on info@toddle.com if you would like to discuss improvements to your landing pages.

Your 2010 online marketing plan Business, Checklist, Content, Email Marketing, Email Newsletter Templates, Ezine, Inspiration, Minute Marketing Tips & Ideas, Seasonal Email Newsletters, Tips & Tricks

Happy new year. I hope you are well rested from the break and that Christmas was good to you. Welcome to 2010. A new year, a new opportunity to try new things and I can feel it in my water, it is going to be a good one.

To jump start your marketing I have put together a wonderfully simple online marketing plan for you for the year. It is put together as a checklist and it has the basics filled in with space for you to add your own twist and cross them off each month. It also includes few tips on what holidays and events you can use each month. It is based on one I have been using last year and I can tell you it helped me focused and on track.

Go ahead and download, print it off and hang it over your desk. This year you are going to be ahead with your marketing!

If you think you could do with some more information on how to get started or improve your email marketing campaigns sign up to our free email marketing course. More useful tips and tricks are found on our monthly newsletter so feel free to sign up below.

Keep us posted and let us know how the plan helped your business and let us know how we can improve it. We will showcase replies right here on the blog.

Copy and Paste your email newsletter to send it Advanced, Email Client Tips, Email Marketing, Email Newsletter Templates, Ezine, Gmail, Sending Newsletters, Tips & Tricks

Occasionally emails do not arrive after you send them from toddle, and due to restrictive email filters in companies, they may not arrive as beautiful as they should. It is rare but it does happen.
So we have done some testing and have an alternative way for you to import your finished Toddle newsletter into your email client ready to send to your subscribers.
So far this is tested on Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail (Windows Live) and Outlook 2003. This does not work with Outlook 2007 unfortunately. We are doing further testing with the other email clients.

  • After you hit the SEND button in Toddle, go to the HTML version of your newsletter. You can find the link in Advanced Sending Options in Toddle under the sent button.

  • When the new page opens displaying your newsletter, click EDIT > SELECT ALL and then COPY. This copies the entire newsletter into your clipboard.

  • Open your email app and start a new message. Make sure your editor is set to HTML or Rich Text. Select EDIT > PASTE.

Now your email newsletter is ready to send to your clients.
If you have any problems with this or you are using this in any other email client not mentioned above please let us know how you get on.

Are you a hotel? Grab your TOP 10 email marketing checklist. Checklist, Email Marketing, Hotel, Tips & Tricks, Toddle

We have been working with the hotel and hospitality industry developing email marketing strategies and designing custom email newsletters for some time now. Over the course of working with many hotels, travel sites and hospitality services we realized that key information necessary to run successful campaigns was being missed on a regular basis. For example not getting the email addresses of both parties who book a double room or not getting contact details for a whole team not just the person who books the rooms.

In response we designed this easy monthly checklist to make sure you are harnessing the potential of your email marketing campaigns. So download, print it off and hang in your office. This way you will never wonder again how to structure your campaigns and if you are gathering emails from every possible source, client booking and referral.

If you think you could do with some more information on how to get started or improve your email marketing campaigns sign up to our free email marketing course. More useful tips and tricks are found on our monthly newsletter so feel free to sign up. We design fantastic custom newsletters for the hotel industry so give us a shout and we will be sure to help you.

Keep us posted and let us know how the checklist helped your business! We will showcase replies right here on the blog.

I’m starting out in Email Marketing. Should I buy an email list? 9 Happy users, Avoiding Spam, Business, Content, Email Marketing, Email Newsletter Templates, Ezine, Sending Newsletters, Tips & Tricks

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I was catching up on some reading this morning and the question of buying email lsits came up again. Here is what I think about it. If we are talking about ‘opt-in’ marketing I don’t believe buying lists is of benefit to your business. Firstly, where did the list originate from, are those on the list in your target market and did they give permission for their emails to be disseminated to third parties. Can you be completely sure that they have given permission at all?

In my experience bought lists can cause headaches, namely receivers hitting the spam button and not appreciating the unsolicited mail. If losts of people hit the spam button often enough your messages will not get through. It is far better and far more sustainable to grow your contact lists through opt-ins like sign up forms on your website, from connections made in your business and by simply asking in the first place.

To my mind bought lists are not worth the financial outlay and are in fact a danger to your business. Why take the chance of destroying your goodwill by sending emails to people you don’t know and have no connection with. After all email marketing is about relationships built over time, advice and support given to your user that is valued and appreciated by people who want to read about what you have to say.

It is tempting to try to fast track to thousands of connections but in reality it may turn out to be a very backward step. Makle connections honestly and help your user. Give them information they need and look forward to receiving. So instead of blacklisting you they send your insigntful content to their frienda and family thereby growing your connections organically as a trusted expert and friend!

10 TIPS TO ATTRACT NEW SUBSCRIBERS 9 Happy users, Business, Email Client Tips, Email Newsletter Templates, Seminars, Sending Newsletters, Tips & Tricks, Toddle

Business cards

1. Ask
Sounds simple and it is. You will be surprised how your customers, partners and friends will happily agree. Make it a part of your normal business interaction. A sales call, a first meeting, a network event, before you say goodbye tell then you have information you believe would be useful to them in your newsletter and can you add their email. Now you have promised to deliver good, useful content so make sure you deliver or your customers won’t be long unsubscribing.

2. Blog / Site
I heard recently that up to 80% of a website’s visitors do not return. People simply forget or think they have found the information they need and move on. Email is a great way to hook them in and remind them to come back when you have new news and updates. Your customers have done the hard work and found you among the millions of sites on the web. So grab them and don’t let then go too easily. VERY prominently on your blog or site put up an email subscribe box with a GREAT reason to sign up.

3. Offer a free course
Seth Godin has a great story of a wine merchant, who used free information provided to him, to create a wine appreciation course by email. By putting a single ad in his local paper users subscribed to his course. Newsletter by newsletter he explained the virtues and characteristics of the wines in his shop and along with it, gained the trust and confidence of would be purchasers. The information he gave out was free provided by the wine makers. The upshot: He became known in his locality as an authority on wine; he converted readers to purchasers and ultimately grew his business. Like our wine merchant think of the expertise you have in your field and see how you can repackage it to your subscribers. Keep it simple and relevant to the needs of your clients.

4. eBooks
Very similar to the free course above. For readers who prefer books to courses package up your information into a downloadable eBook. As part of the download process ask them to subscribe to additional information and advice from your newsletter.

5. Competition
I noticed in a local restaurant a big fish bowl by the cash register offering a years free membership to a local gym as a prize. All you had to do was drop in your business card and agree to get a healthy living newsletter monthly.
What a great idea. The restaurant gets a free prize for their customers and the gym gets a list of people who have indicated they want to get more active and healthy. You can offer a competition via your website, local newspaper or try and find out who else is sending newsletters to your target market and team up with them.

6. Free stuff
Incentivise people to sign up. Offer something free. An eBook, as above, a free 30 minute consulting session or a special offer only for subscribers. I noticed a tourist office recently offering USB drives for the first 100 people who signed up. An expensive promotion but it worked with me! Whatever it is make sure you have calculated that you will get the returns. Something else to consider, is your incentive is believable? At this years Marketing Sherpa conference in Boston, a great case study highlighted how a GUARENTEED incentive of $250 received only 12 responses. That is, a guaranteed payment of $250 dollars if a subscriber responded. However, when the same company offered the same subscriber list $7 per sign up they got over 500 responses. People simply did not believe the $250 offer.

7. Ask for referrals
Similar to point 1. Just ask. Most of us are more then happy to refer other people to services, sites or information that they will find useful. If your customers and subscribers are happy with you, then they will only be too happy to refer your newsletter to someone else. Make sure you have a nice big “Forward to a friend” link in your newsletter.

8. Give a talk / network
Events and seminars are great places to meet new people. When you are exchanging business cards ask if you can send your newsletter to them and mark their cards for adding their details later. If you are standing up in front of these people then you are already perceived as an expert in the field and someone worth listening to. So at the end of the talk, tell the audience you can send them more information on a particular point or topic, they just need to drop up their business card.

9. Make your subscribe box pop
You are going to need to test this. Play around with the location, colour and wording of your email subscribe box on your site. You will be surprised but some very minor changes can increase sign ups by up to 400%.

10. Email Signatures
You are sending out hundreds / thousands of emails every year. How many of your emails promote your email newsletter in your email signature. Look at doing the same on discussion forums and social networks.

For every point above there are a few things to keep in mind to make the process more effective:

A.  Tell people how often they should expect the newsletter (people are afraid they might get overloaded with mails daily)
B.  Where possible show them an example / link to the type of mail they will get
C.  Send them a welcome mail as soon as they sign up. A month down the line they might not remember you and unsubscribe or mark you as spam.

Got any more tips? What works for you? Let us know.

Image thanks to atomicShed

Sending your Toddle newsletter with aweber.com Advanced, Email Marketing, Email Newsletter Templates, Ezine, Sending Newsletters, Tips & Tricks

Aweber.com helps you in creating lasting customer relations though effective Email newsletters, Autoresponders, RSS to email and other email marketing tools.

Sending your Toddle newsletter through Aweber.com is fairly easy. Below I will explain all the steps invloved in the process.

  • First, sign up with Awebber.com or log in to your existing account.

  • Once logged in, click on Messages, then Broadcast and then on Create Broadcast Message button.

  • Now, go to the HTML version of your Toddle newsletter. You can find the link in Advanced Sending Options in Toddle. Right click on the newsletter and view page source. Copy all of the code.

  • Choose Basic Plain template in Templates. Enter your email Subject, and paste your HTML code in the text area for HTML message under Source tab.

  • You can preview what your newsletter looks like in the Preview tab.

  • Scroll down. You will find an area for text version of the newsletter. You will find the text link in Advanced Sending Options in Toddle. Copy all that text and paste it in Plain Text Message.



  • Scroll down and enter additional information required for sending your newsletter. e.g. sending schedule, who to send to and so on. Then click on Save Broadcast Message. Your message will be sent immediately or saved for later according to the schedule options you chose.
  • This is all there is to sending your Toddle newsletter through Aweber.com.

Send BCC for Privacy Email Newsletter Templates, Tips & Tricks

When you are sending an email newsletter to many people you really do not want everyone to see each others email address.
By default email clients display a TO: field and a Cc: field where you can add your email addresses. But there is also a Bcc: option where everyone will get an email addressed to just them and no other email addresses are visible to them.

Bcc is shorthand for blind carbon copy. If the Bcc box isn’t visible when you create a new message, you can add it.
In Outlook to view the Bcc address box:

  1. In Outlook, on the Actions menu, click New Mail Message.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • If you are using Word as your e-mail editor, on the toolbar, click the drop-down arrow to the right of the Options button, and click Bcc.
  • If you are not using Word as your e-mail editor, on the View menu, click Bcc Field.

All new e-mail messages now display the Bcc address box.

Other email clients should be pretty similar or have a Bcc button placed somewhere around the To: field.