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Facebook Deals: A Good Deal for Email Marketers

Posted by Crystal Gouldey on 07/29/2011

Have you heard the news? Facebook will soon offer a service called Facebook Deals. What is it? If Facebook and Groupon had a love child, Facebook Deals is how you’d describe it. We already know that social media and email marketing work well together, so we’re very excited to see how well Facebook Deals ties […]


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Optimize Your Email Campaign: Boost Subscriber Growth

Posted by Crystal Gouldey on 06/27/2011

Building a list full of subscribers who are interested in your company means more interactions with your website and more sales. But how can you attract more subscribers? Last year, I worked with some AWeber customers on optimizing their email marketing campaigns. This experience allowed me to see which marketing tactics perform exceptionally well, and […]


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AWeber’s Facebook Web Form App

AWeber’s Facebook Web Form App

Posted by Nick Moore on 05/10/2011


If you follow the AWeber blog, or use our service, you may already know some of the ways you can sync your email marketingto your Facebook page.

But until now, to get an web form on Facebook, you’ve had to work with HTML. It was doable, but building your email list on Facebook should be easier.

So we built you an AWeber Facebook app.

It puts your AWeber form on your Facebook page in just a few clicks – take a look.

What Makes This App Different

Just like installing an AWeber web form on a Wordpress blog was possible before we announced our Web Form Widget for Wordpress, it’s possible to install a web form on a Facebook page without our app. However, the app makes the process a lot smoother.

Rather than copying and pasting HTML or Javascript, setting up the AWeber account just involves choosing the form you want to install from a dropdown menu. You can swap forms just as easily if you want to make a change later.

Get Started

If you want to jump in with both feet, you can start by adding the AWeber Email Marketing app to your Facebook page.

On the other hand, if you want to take things one step at a time, check out our knowledge base article, or just watch the video below:

Coming Soon…

What will the next AWeber app be? You tell us! Leave a comment or suggestion below, or, if you are a developer yourself (or just happen to know someone who is), take a look at AWeber Labs for information on creating new apps and integrations.

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AWesome Emails: Rita’s Water Ice

AWesome Emails: Rita’s Water Ice

Posted by Rebecca Swayze on 04/05/2011

They say the fastest way to a man’s heart is his stomach, but around AWeber it’s more like the fastest way to make friends with one of the many ladies in the office.

Bring Kelly a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato and she’ll be your friend for a week. Have leftovers from last night’s dinner for lunch? If you don’t give Erin a taste, you’re in serious trouble.

Our love of food has helped us stumble upon excellent email marketing campaigns before (hello, we realized that California Tortilla’s emails rock while eating lunch there!). This time the awesome emails come from Rita’s – the best water ice that just happens to be 3 minutes from our office.

Read on to see how exclusivity, charitable causes and involvement in social media sets Rita’s apart from other water ice chains, and how you can do the same with your campaign.

Their Messages are Exclusive

When you sign up for emails on the Rita’s website, you’re not just signing up to a boring, humdrum email list that sends out random company updates. Instead, Rita’s makes their emails enticing by turning them into an exclusive birthday club.

As promised on their sign up form, subscribers receive offers year round, a special birthday treat and the latest scoop on Rita’s, plus a coupon just for joining:

Take Note with Your Own Campaign:

  • Make your messages exclusive. Use personalization to address subscribers by name and inspire instant recognition. Then, create a defined campaign that focuses on something trackable, like birthdays or anniversaries to excite new subscribers and keep them coming back for more.

They Embrace Charity

Throughout the year, Rita’s supports a variety of causes and encourages their email subscribers to do the same. When you’re on the Rita’s email list, you aren’t just a member of an elite club of water ice aficionados. You actually have the opportunity to help charities and give back to the community.

If you are sending email marketing messages, you have permission to contact every person on your list. Why not use that opportunity to make a difference?

Take Note with Your Own Campaign:

  • Ask your readers to give back. Work on creating a responsible community of email subscribers. Your cause doesn’t have to be as large as Alex’s Lemonade stand, you just have to convey your passion and inspire your readers to contribute to a worthy cause.

They Get Facebook and Use Email to Promote It

In 2010, 54% of online marketers in North America surveyed said that combining social media with their email marketing led to better results.

Yet, lots of email marketers remain confused as to how to integrate their email campaigns with social media. They know it’s important to connect socially with their subscribers, but they aren’t quite sure how yet.

Rita’s is one of the companies that is doing it well. They embrace Facebook, and use the social media platform to run contests and engage fans. Once their contests are up on Facebook, they announce them via email:

Take Note with Your Own Campaign:

  • If you haven’t yet, now is the time to create a Facebook Page. Then, promote it in your emails and test different strategies to find the one that works best for your campaign.

Still Hungry?

Want more information about how to create a mouthwateringly good campaign? Sign up for our email newsletter and get delicious updates twice a week!

You can sign up here.

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3 Social Media Strategies For the Email Marketer

3 Social Media Strategies For the Email Marketer

Posted by Amanda Gagnon on 02/15/2011

Despite dire predictions that social media would kill email off, the two platforms have been coexisting in harmony for some time now.

Many marketers have discovered that their brand is stronger if they market through both channels. They’ve developed networks of social followers at the same time they’ve grown their subscriber list

s.

And a few marketers have taken the next step, merging their email and social campaigns for the best results of all.

Here’s how they’re doing it.

Sending Invitations

Have a lot of email subscribers? Summon them to your Twitter feed. Big audience on Facebook? Request the pleasure of their company on your blog.

Each person probably has one platform they’re most comfortable with. But they may initially encounter you on other channels. Give them the option to follow you where they prefer, or they may drop you altogether.

Include a small summons within each message or, like Tiffany’s, send a separate email to give the decision more significant weight.

Announcing Contest Winners

Hold a contest related to your brand. For example, Boondock Saints director Troy Duffy launched a mobile game tournament for fans.

You can do something as simple as asking for new product suggestions. Have your readers submit their answers either through email or social, wherever your audience is largest.

Tell them you’ll announce the winners on the channel you’re trying to grown. Link to a place where they can sign up to meet you there!

Give Them What They Ask For

You may already have a large, active audience on Facebook or Twitter and be looking to grow your email subscriber list (or vise versa).

Collect comments and requests from them on one medium and address them on the other. People who see your responses may click over to see what all the chatter is about.

How Do You Work Your Email-Social Magic?

Are you active on social networks as well as email marketing?

Do you find that each place has a different purpose? How do you try to get your audience into the channel where they’re most likely to “stick”?

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Link Tank: MySpace’s Fall, Email Don’ts, The Value of a Social “Share”

Link Tank: MySpace’s Fall, Email Don’ts, The Value of a Social “Share”

Posted by Justin Premick on 10/22/2010

Link Tank is our way of showing you some of the interesting, useful, thought-provoking and other eye-catching stuff we come across. For more of these, see the Link Tank tag.

A few years ago, MySpace was the “undisputed king of social media.” What can your business learn from its fall?

Malcolm Gladwell talks about new media’s use in organizing and activism.


In a recent comic, The Oatmeal offers a few email etiquette pointers.


Some are simple, others flashy. All 45 of these email newsletter designs are all worth a look.


Eventbrite shares the value of a social “share.”


Do you use email the same way your subscribers use email? You might be surprised.


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Post Your Email Newsletters to Your Facebook Fan Page

Post Your Email Newsletters to Your Facebook Fan Page

Posted by Justin Premick on 09/22/2010


Like many businesses, you may be exploring integrating social media with your email marketing campaigns. Doing so can expand the reach of your messages and grow both your fans/followers as well as your email list.

So at AWeber, we’ve made a point of helping you combine email and social media by helping you automatically share your email newsletters on Twitter and Facebook.

As some of you noted when we rolled out our integration with Facebook, it only worked with personal profiles (not fan pages) due to limitations with Facebook’s API. We knew you wanted to post to your fan pages, but it wasn’t technically feasible at the time.

Well, as the saying goes, the only constant is change. And this is a good one. Facebook has changed their API, we’ve changed our integration and you can now post your email newsletters to your fan pages.

How to Share Your Email Newsletters On Your Facebook Fan Page

Go to your List Settings page and click the “Connect To A New Facebook Account” button under the Social Media / Sharing header (this works the same way whether you have a Facebook account connected already or not).

Connect to New Account

When prompted, allow AWeber Email Marketing to manage your pages.

Allow Access

When you create your broadcast, go to the “Social Media/Sharing” section and choose to share the email on your fan page.

Share Email on Your Facebook Fan Page

That’s all there is to it! Feel free to take a look at our Knowledge Base for more detailed information and instructions on integrating Facebook and AWeber.

Enjoy!


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Email and Facebook: In a Relationship

Email and Facebook: In a Relationship

Posted by Rebecca Swayze on 08/12/2010

“Email – I can’t imagine my life without it – is probably going away,” Sheryl Sandberg Facebook’s COO boldly claimed at the Nielsen’s Consumer 360 conference earlier this summer.

Obviously, We beg to differ!

On the contrary, it seems obvious to us that email is stronger than ever – particularly when used hand-in-hand with social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

In fact, in our recent survey of email marketers, we found that:

  1. 33% reported integrating social media and email marketing has increased their subscriber base.
  2. 30% reported after integrating social media and email marketing they saw an increase in friends/fans/followers.

With email and social working hand-in-hand, how could email possibly go away?

The Allegation

Just as the Wall Street Journal made the claim that 2009 was “the end of the email era,” Sandberg spoke for Facebook, suggesting that the use of social media will bring about the demise of email.

Our Rebuttal

Email is still alive, thriving and only helping social media become an even more powerful tool than it already is.

The Nielsen Company, the same organization that held the conference that brought about the controversial claim, agrees. The results of their 2009 study of email and social media use indicate that “social media use makes people consume email more, not less…particularly for the highest social media users.”

The Nielsen Company

“If you want to know what people like us will do tomorrow, you look at what teenagers are doing today,” Sandberg touted.

So let’s take a look at what they are doing today. In a 2009 survey of people 18-24, the Participatory Marketing Network and Pace University found that the majority of those surveyed would rather abandon social networks long before they stopped using email.

Generation Y spends a large amount of time on social sites. Their average time spent on social networks each month is 33 hours, making them high social media users.

When they were asked which activity they would least like to give up for one week, only 9% said social networks, as compared to 26% for email.

Generation Y Survey Results

Graph from Marketing Charts via WebProNews.

That doesn’t sound to us like email is going anywhere any time soon. In fact, take a look at what positive effects the respondents of our recent survey have had with email and social media:

AWeber Survey

Clearly, there’s a correlation between the two mediums, and there is some truth to Ms. Sandberg’s presentation. As she attests, “Facebook connects people in really extraordinary ways.”

There are 400 million people who use Facebook worldwide. It obliterates communication barriers and can put you in touch with people all over the globe who otherwise would never have come in contact with your business or brand.

Working Together

When it comes down to it, people are people. Whether you are growing your email list or looking for people to “like” your brand on Facebook, any and all eyeballs on your service are welcome.

You have to remember that social networks rely on email in the most basic sense. Facebook requires an email address to log on, and their emails notify you of updates, friend requests and comments.

Rather than deny the importance of email, Facebook should embrace it! The two make a rather powerful pair – both play a significant role in that relationship.

They have the potential to increase awareness of the other and encourage users to participate with both mediums and they cultivate and nurture true brand advocates.

If you use social media and email together, or have ideas of your own for using Facebook or other social media sites along with email to create the biggest buzz, please share them!


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Small Businesses Investing More in Email Marketing, Look to Integrate Social Media

Small Businesses Investing More in Email Marketing, Look to Integrate Social Media

Posted by Justin Premick on 06/23/2010

Recently, we surveyed AWeber customers to see what small businesses are doing in their email marketing today, and what you’re planning to do in the future.

Turns out you’re doing a lot of really cool stuff (no surprise to us ;))!

Here are some findings and analysis from the survey:

  • Almost 70% of small businesses are employing some sort of social media tactics.
  • Small businesses find email marketing’s ROI more measurable, more quickly realized and greater than social media’s ROI.
  • Over 71% of small businesses plan to increase their focus on behavioral targeting in the coming year.

For more on this, see this article at eMarketer discussing some of the results, and the press release below. (The release is also available here.)

You can also grab a copy of the complete results and analysis.


Small Businesses Investing More in Email Marketing, Look to Integrate Social Media

Huntingdon Valley, Pa. (June 23, 2010) - AWeber Communications, a leading provider of web-based email marketing software for small businesses, today announced results from a survey of more than 2,500 small businesses regarding email marketing and social media marketing efforts. Email marketing continues to bring significant value to businesses with more than 82 percent of respondents planning to increase their email marketing efforts over the next year.

The survey, generated by AWeber and initially reported by eMarketer, indicates that the more social media grows in popularity among consumers, the more attention it will receive from marketers. While it may not be entirely clear how marketers are incorporating social media into their existing digital marketing efforts such as email marketing, almost 70 percent of small business marketers are employing some sort of social media tactics and a majority (77 percent) indicate that integrating email marketing and social media is either “very important” or “moderately important.”

The most popular tactics at the moment involve spreading content onto additional mediums such as sharing email newsletters on Twitter (36 percent) and delivering blog posts via email (35 percent). Small business marketers seem to recognize the value in driving social media followers and fans to their email lists and vice versa – allowing subscribers to access information from the medium they are most comfortable with.

“As the survey results indicate, email marketing continues to be a measurable, effective tool that brings significant value to small businesses, regardless of the nature of their business,” said Tom Kulzer, CEO and founder of AWeber. “It is also evident that marketers are continuing to realize the importance of integrating their email marketing campaigns with social media activities as a way to reach a broader audience, but are still learning how to do this effectively. We continue to provide our users with educational resources, including our blog and webinars to help them better understand how to engage with their customers.”

Another interesting finding from the survey centered on behavioral targeting, a method considered help deliver superior results. By specifically targeting email campaigns toward subscribers who have taken an action (opened a particular email, clicked on a link), nearly 50 percent of respondents indicated that behavioral targeting increases their conversion rates either significantly or moderately.

These responses also highlight a divide between email marketers who are testing behavioral targeting and those who are not. Nearly a quarter (24.8 percent) of respondents state that they have not tested behavioral targeting in their email marketing campaigns, while another 23 percent are not sure whether behavioral targeting increases conversion rates – a number which suggests that marketers may not be testing this thoroughly, if at all.

However, this divide may be shrinking, as an overwhelming majority of respondents (71.4 percent) plan to increase their focus on behavioral targeting in their email campaigns over the next year.

As the ongoing battle for subscribers’ attention escalates, relevance and value are at a premium making analytical date more valuable than ever. Nearly 70 percent of respondents indicate that analytical reports either significantly or moderately impact their email marketing strategies. Of the marketers who do not currently use these reports, more than one quarter are interested in using them.

Other key findings from the AWeber survey include:

  • More than 66 percent of respondents indicate they intend to use behavioral targeting as well as sales tracking in their campaigns over the next 12 months.
  • 54 percent of respondents indicate they intend to use Facebook as a tool to help build their email lists
  • Nearly 20 percent of respondents indicate that integrating email marketing and social media increased customer loyalty
  • Almost 12 times as many respondents said that email marketing ROI is more easily measured than social media ROI (61.46 percent versus 5.28 percent)

Methodology
The AWeber survey was conducted over a five-day period from May 20-24. Responses were entered anonymously by 2,579 AWeber customers. Based on the population size and the number of respondents, responses can be reported with a 99% confidence level with a margin of error of +/- three percent.

For more information, including full survey results and the executive summary, contact Justin Premick, Director of Education Marketing at justinpremick@aweber.com.

About AWeber Communications
AWeber Communications helps businesses increase sales and profits through its suite of web-based email marketing software. The privately held, debt-free company was founded in 1998. For more information, visit http://www.aweber.com.

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Thanks To Everyone Who Participated In The Survey!

To all of you who took a few minutes out of your day to answer our survey last month, thanks so much!

Hopefully it’s useful and motivating to see how your email marketing efforts and usage compare to those of other small businesses.

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What Your House Can Teach You About Email Marketing

What Your House Can Teach You About Email Marketing

Posted by Rebecca Swayze on 06/22/2010

An effective email marketing campaign requires framework. Successful marketers will always be the first to tell you that their campaigns are the work of careful planning and diligent consideration.

It’s actually much like building a house. There’s no way you can construct a building haphazardly, without direction, and turn out a flawless finished product. The result would be chaotic!

The same goes for email. You can’t randomly send messages to your clients and prospects without establishing expectations and formulating a plan, or they will tune out and unsubscribe due to your lack of organization.

Follow these guidelines for constructing a well built house and you’ll be on your way to creating a profitable and manageable email campaign in no time.

You Need a Solid Foundation

The strongest buildings are built from the ground up on a rock-solid foundation. For your email campaign, the foundation is your message content.

The whole point in sending email is to solicit an action. You want readers to click through your messages, buy products and respond to surveys. In order to engage subscribers and inspire those actions, you must consistently send subscribers interesting, relevant and incentivizing content.

  • If you are using email as a sales tool, you want to wow readers with your products and your knowledge, and establish yourself as an authority in your field.
  • If you’re using email as a retention tool and are primarily sending informational updates and newsletters, you want to create content that builds relationships.

Sources for Content

  • If your business has a blog, you already have one valuable content resource well within your reach. Try restructuring older posts for your new messages and pick posts with lots of comments – they obviously piqued the interest of your readers and will be relevant and helpful to new subscribers on your email list.
  • Don’t have a blog? Look through old emails from your customers. If you see the same questions about your product or service over and over again, take that as a hint. You could probably create a whole follow up series addressing the FAQs.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of content you need to create? Check out sites like Lateral Action and Copyblogger for inspiration and words of wisdom.

Plenty of Windows

Windows let light into your home. They give you different views of your yard and help you keep watch when the kids play outside. They also let your neighbors see in.

Instead of drawing the curtains tight on your email campaign, take the opportunity to give your readers a look inside. Be transparent. Build their trust by making yourself available.

Don’t make subscribers dig for your social networking sites. Instead, purposely link to your Facebook and Twitter pages so that they can’t miss them.

If you put all of the information about your company out there for subscribers to see from the get-go, you will never need to Windex the windows on your campaign or backtrack to make yourself more transparent.

Marketer Bill Gammell relates transparency to an episode of Seinfeld:

KRAMER: Newman and I are reversing the peepholes on our door, so you can see in.

JERRY: But then anyone can just look in and see you.

KRAMER: Our policy is, we’re comfortable with our bodies. You know, if someone wants to help themselves to an eyeful, well, we say, enjoy the show.

So reverse your peepholes! Get comfortable with your brand’s body and let your subscribers enjoy the show week after week through your emails.

Curb Appeal

Anyone who takes pride in their home understands the desire to make your property as clean and beautiful as possible.

You landscape, paint and generally spruce things up from time to time to keep your house in tip-top shape. After all, your home is a reflection of you.

Your email campaign should be an extension of your business in the same way. You should take pride in its appearance, and realize that a neat and approachable design will only contribute positively to the perception of your brand.

Using beautifully designed message and web form templates is the perfect way to put a professional face on your campaign. With hundreds to choose from, there’s bound to be at least one or two that fits your style.

An Impenetrable Roof

The roof on your building protects your structure and everything inside. Email deliverability requires the same amount of protection.

There are a few things you can do to safeguard your list:

  1. Confirm SubscribersConfirmed opt-in ensures that you only send messages to people who specifically request them from you. It also protects you from false spam complaints, and ISPs and spam filters give priority to senders who use confirmed opt-in.
  2. Get WhitelistedAsk subscribers to add your email address to their address books. While emails sent from AWeber customers already whitelisted on an ISP level, it’s important to reduce the likelihood of your mail being filtered to a junk folder on an individual level.
  3. Don’t Take Permission For GrantedRemember that subscribers are interested in a certain type of information, which is exactly what they signed up for when they gave you their email addresses. Send only valuable, relevant information that relates to the topics the reader expressed interest in.

A Maintenance Plan

Even impeccably built homes require maintenance. While autoresponders allow you to “set it and forget it,” the best email campaigns have owners that are extremely involved with their clients and their product.

Keep a close eye on the performance of your emails. Split test your subject lines and use analytics to track open and click through rates.

When necessary, do a little spring cleaning. Your campaign can never be too tidy!

Building your Own Campaign?

Do you have a basic blueprint for building your email marketing campaigns? What does it look like?

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