social media Articles

Better Email Newsletter Sharing on Facebook and Twitter

Better Email Newsletter Sharing on Facebook and Twitter

Posted by Nick Moore on 05/24/2010

Post Your Broadcasts On Facebook!

Social media is a big part of the marketing world these days. Most net-savvy businesses (including us here at AWeber) have a presence on Facebook and Twitter. That being the case, we’ve found that people are always looking for ways to make their social media and email marketing campaigns work together.

Those of you familiar with our service will know that we’ve helped customers automatically tweet their email newsletters for some time now.

Recently, we’ve updated our social media options to make combining your social media efforts with your AWeber account even easier.

Automatically Post Broadcasts On Facebook!

With our new Social Media / Sharing options you can automatically post your broadcasts to your Facebook wall.

In the spirit of consistency, you can create new connections with Twitter and Facebook through your account’s List Settings page. This is also where you can pick a default Twitter and Facebook account specific to each list.

Social Media List Settings

If you want to get started with this new feature right away, you can refer to our knowledge base for a more detailed walkthrough.

Multiple Twitter / Facebook Accounts? No Problem.

Tweet From Multiple Accounts

As we were revisiting our options for social media integration, we decided to make it easier for our users to work with multiple Twitter accounts. If you’re unfamiliar with how Twitter works with AWeber, we have an easy-to-follow knowledge base article.

When creating a broadcast you will find the options to tweet / post your broadcast towards the bottom of the page under the “Social Media / Sharing” section. The accounts you have selected as your defaults will automatically be selected for your convenience.

Don’t Forget To Check The Preview!

Tweet / Post Preview

So now that you’ve added your Twitter and Facebook accounts and selected a default for each, we’ve provided you with a preview of what your new tweet / post will look like. As a good measure and reassurance you can see exactly what you are about to post / tweet before you send your message.

How Does Integrating Email Marketing and Social Media Help Your Business?

Have you been sharing your email newsletters on Twitter, Facebook and/or other sites? (If not, are you planning to now?)

What have the effects been (or what do you expect they will be) on your business and marketing?

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Tried and True Email Marketing Tips

Tried and True Email Marketing Tips

Posted by Amanda Gagnon on 05/11/2010

No painted yellow lines exist on the road to email marketing mastery. Blogs, books, and case studies are piled into mountains, and climbing them can be daunting.

Fortunately, your fellow email marketers have left signposts along the way. Their comments, tweets and reviews signal which resources they found most useful. Their comments add their voices into the discussion, making that resource even more valuable.

One hill in those mountains of resources is the AWeber blog. Our readers’ comments and tweets show which posts they appreciate most. Those posts are assembled below to give you insight into some of the biggest issues that could crop up in your path.

The Posts Most Traveled

How To Add an Opt-In Form to Your Facebook Page

How to Add an Opt-In Form to Your Facebook Page

This Facebook application lets you invite your entire contact list – and anyone else who visits your page – to sign up for your emails.

Watch the video in this post to find out how to set this up, step by step.

'Do Not Reply' Address Don't Bother.

“Do Not Reply” Address? Don’t Bother

If you send emails from an address that doesn’t accept replies, you’re sabotaging your campaign and your relationship with subscribers.

This post and the responding comments explain the mistake you’re making and discuss the effects in detail.

3 Ways To Build Urgency In Email Subject Lines

3 Ways To Build Urgency In Email Subject Lines

A sense of urgency in your subject lines might prompt more subscribers to open your emails. Getting too dramatic, however, jeopardizes your credibility.

Find out how to strike the right balance with compelling, straightforward subject lines.

How to Market Like Nine Inch Nails

How to Market Like Nine Inch Nails

This industrial rock band has a marketing strategy as alternative as its sound. Email’s conversational, customizable nature means it’s an ideal medium for putting this strategy to use.

Read this post to discover ways you, too, can market like a rock star.

{!firstname}, Think Before You Personalize

{!firstname}, Think Before You Personalize

Personalizing emails with subscriber names has been reported to send opens and clicks skyrocketing. It might do the same for you – but it might also cause other problems.

Learn what they could be, and then discover some deeper, more useful ways to personalize.

Engage Subscribers: Six Fun Email Ideas

Engage Subscribers: Six Fun Email Ideas

Written as a response to no-spend New Year’s resolutions, this post is appropriate for any time you hit a lull in sales. Instead of pushing discounts that customers don’t want and you can’t afford, use this time to build loyalty with these entertaining ideas.

Test Results: How Long Should Your From Line Be?

Test Results: How Long Should Your From Line Be?

Before customers even get to your subject line, they encounter your from line. But what do they see there?

Different ISPs have different cutoff points, so your from line might be chopped in a way that leaves subscribers questioning who you are. Find out how to rewrite your from line for maximum recognition.

If You’re Lost, Ask Us For Directions!

If you find yourself confused by anything in these posts, you are welcome to contact our helpful and friendly Customer Solutions team. We’ll be happy to provide the best directions we can to guide you on your journey.

If, instead, you have a brilliant insight about any of these posts that you want to share, please feel free to leave your own comment. We look forward to reading your take on these topics!

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A New Approach to Email Marketing

A New Approach to Email Marketing

Posted by Amanda Gagnon on 04/27/2010

There’s a ripple moving through the marketing world, and it’s bringing change.

According to industry experts, customer service is “the new marketing“. When you take care of your customers, they feel good about you. When they feel good about you, they stick with you.

With email marketing, thoughtlessly pushing the same message at your entire customer base is no longer enough. It doesn’t take care of them. It doesn’t show that you recognize and respect them.

Let’s take a look at how you can apply the new marketing approach to revolutionize your email campaign.

It’s About the People

According to media marketing expert Chris Brogan:

Chris Brogan
Chris Brogan

“Old marketing would be: find buyers for my product. Hunt them down and relentlessly hit them with messages until they buy. The bigger the number of prospects, the better the yield.

“New marketing is more like: find people who make more sense. Start relationships with them before selling to them. Learn more about them. Make the offer – if it makes sense.

Broken down step by step, this advice holds several useful suggestions for email marketing in ways that serve your customers.

“Start relationships before selling to them.”

Interview with Chris Guillebeau

In a video interview, AWeber customer Chris Guillebeau says about his subscribers, “I’m going to be in these relationships for years.” So he invests time courting each one.

  • He sends each new subscriber an individual message to thank them for joining. It’s quick and small, but an appreciated personal touch.
  • In his first autoresponder, he candidly expresses hope that they’ll find his emails interesting.
  • In the next few emails, he challenges readers to reflect on their lives and goals – no sales yet. A few messages in, he invites feedback. And then he responds to it.

“As you gradually introduce products and services,” he explains, “many of those people will end up purchasing and supporting you.”

“Learn more about them.”

Learn more about them

The best way to learn about your customers is to ask about them. You could:

Guillebeau suggests the question: “Why do you read my (emails)?” The answers he got from his own readers helped him entirely reconceptualize his content.

“Make the offer – if it makes sense.”

Introduce new products ahead of time

Make sure each product you introduce is something your audience wants. Then, make sure you get them ready for it.

  • Guillebeau leads up to the launch of each product or service by introducing it ahead of time.
  • Flint McGlaughlin of MarketingExperiments suggests thanking existing customers for their past purchases. This establishes a level of intimacy and reminds them that they trust you already.
  • You could also segment – split your list into new, mature and veteran subscribers. Each segment might appreciate different offers. Every few months, reset the segments.

Keep in Mind

The key to new marketing is building two-way, trusting relationships with your subscribers. You want their purchases, yes. But you also need their word-of-mouth support, their ideas and their goodwill.

“You must overcome the resistance before you can even start the sale,” says McGlaughlin. “Don’t ask me to kiss you before we’ve even gone on a date.”

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Email Marketing, Meet Social Media

Email Marketing, Meet Social Media

Posted by Amanda Gagnon on 04/06/2010

Social MediaEmail marketers are scrambling to cope with Web 2.0.

Over 70% consider “competition with social media for recipients’ time and attention” an important challenge for 2010, according to Marketing Sherpa’s 2010 Email Marketing Benchmark Report.

So how can you deal with this challenge?

Try Email 2.0. Instead of competing, implement these ideas to put social media to work for your campaign.

Draw Up a Plan

First, it is important to pin down your strategy. What are your specific goals?

You could, for example:

  • Find out what’s being said about your company
  • Reach a wider audience (your contacts’ contacts)
  • Have informal conversations with your customers
  • Get feedback on new ideas

For more tips on building a social strategy, check out Groundswell authors Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li’s 4-step approach.

Put It Into Action

Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, try these moves to meet those goals and point your social network back to your emails.

  • Tweet your newsletterOccasionally, you may want to broadcast a brilliant newsletter beyond your list. Follow these steps to tweet your newsletter and show the Twitterverse the value of your emails. Put a sign-up form in the newsletter for new converts.

  • Add signup form to FacebookPost a sign-up form on your Facebook fan page. Your fans’ contacts will see any posts they make about you, and potential fans can also find your fan page via search. If they click over to your page, a sign-up form instantly invites them to join your list.

  • Make web form visiblePeople who start following you via social media need a reason to subscribe by email, too. Make your web form is clearly visible, and try offering an extra incentive for signing up.

  • Provide share buttonsYou aren’t the only one who can hype your campaign: your readers can, too. Buttons to share your emails on social networks offer opportunities to promote your message – and give you a chance to go viral.

  • Search social networksTrack the chitchat. Run a search on these sites to find out where people are talking about you (and what they’re saying!). Respond where appropriate, and link to helpful pages on your site or relevant blog posts.

    Twitter Search | Facebook Search (choose “Posts by Everyone”) StumbleUpon Search | Digg Search | Delicious Search

    Bonus: Not only do these searches reveal which sites to focus on, they might also be full of ideas for fresh newsletter content!

  • Facebook applicationsFacebook has long offered the ability to host a custom application for your fan page. Now, you can have your application either request or require users to sign up for your emails. These opt-ins can then be imported to your email list.

  • Pay attention to your subscribersFor a closer relationship, show as much interest in your subscribers as you ask them to show in you. Invite them to share their username for the network of their choice. Then pay attention to what they say.

Remember, the more readers see you, the more you’ll stay on their minds. And instead of an email automaton, they’ll see you as a person.

Your 2.0 Tactics

Which of these methods have you tried with your campaign? Have you seen a change in your relationships with subscribers?

In your experience, is the extra time and effort worth the results? Let us know!


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How Email Can Make You A Customer Service Star

How Email Can Make You A Customer Service Star

Posted by Amanda Gagnon on 03/18/2010

I know you. You tell me what you want. I make it. I remember next time.

-D. Peppers and M. Rogers, Enterprise One to One

Customer satisfaction is vital for a company’s success. You take care of every customer, not only because you appreciate their business, but also because you know the profound effect of word-of-mouth.

Promptly responding to feedback can make you in an otherwise break-you situation. Read on to discover one company whose lack of response cost them millions, and three others whose effort earned them rave reviews.

As Joseph Jaffe points out, “Retention is the new acquisition.” Work on your own retention with these ideas on finding out what subscribers want – and delivering it.

A Public Relations Nightmare

Canadian country singer Dave Carroll‘s guitar was broken in spring of 2008 by United Airlines’ boisterous baggage handling.

The airline ignored Carroll’s complaints for months. Fed up, he launched a YouTube video informing the public that United breaks guitars (and a follow-up about the messy aftermath.)

The video was viewed over 7.5 million times. United eventually offered Carroll a settlement, which he redirected to charity.

United’s share value fell by 10% after the video’s release. The $180 million loss would have bought Carroll over 51,000 new guitars – and saved the airline’s reputation.

Gold-Star Acts of Service

On the other hand, when companies jump to respond to customer feedback, it pays off. Not only did these three avoid the snafu that United went through, they were also publicly praised.

Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific flight attendants circumvented protocol to get a stranded passenger halfway around the world to his home, earning a glowing recommendation.
Planet Hollywood
Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas found a disgruntled Facebook post about poor customer service. They apologized within hours with a basket of wine and chocolate.
Comcast Twitter
Comcast’s Frank Eliason addresses customer concerns – and improves the company’s reputation – on Twitter. No need to wait for the cable guy – he’s @ComcastCares!

You Can Do It, Too

As an email marketer, you are already a step ahead of the game. Through your email list, you are already in contact with lots of your customers. Here are some ways you can tell your readers that you want their feedback, and get it from them.

  • Make sure that the “reply” address and postal address listed in your emails are legitimate. If you don’t check them frequently, start doing so. Respond to every complaint and every compliment – show each customer you appreciate them.
  • Periodically send out customer satisfaction surveys. Design them so your readers can critique as much as possible. Cover every topic you can think of, then leave room for ones you miss. Encourage comments and stories, and again, respond wherever you can.
  • Include your company’s phone number in your emails with a clear invitation to call you with any questions or concerns.
  • Set up an autoresponder that invites feedback. For example, AWeber’s new blog subscribers get an email that shows all the ways they can contact us and asks for their feedback and preferences.

Once you have your customers’ feedback, go use it!

  • Apply your findings to the content of your newsletter. If your readers prefer certain topics, concentrate on them.
  • If you get feedback regarding a lack of interest in certain types of content, try segmenting your list. Group subscribers with similar preferences and send the content each segment most wants.
  • If you use a rating scale, segment the subscribers who rate an email low. Ask them what they didn’t like or what content they’d rather see. Personally address any serious problems.
  • Use the feedback as content in your emails. Positive comments can be included as testimonials. If you make a change based on a reader’s suggestion, write about it. You value your subscribers and your door is always open – let them know.

What Makes You Shine?

It’s been said that customer service is the new marketing.

How do you find out what your customers want? How personal do you get with your responses?

How does their feedback make a difference in what you do? Share your thoughts!


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Our Top Posts From 2009

Our Top Posts From 2009

Posted by Amanda Gagnon on 01/07/2010

2009 was the year of social network integration, testing send windows and organic list growth. While 2010 will bring its own trends, these changes aren’t going away.

Here’s a quick refresher of things that went down in email marketing last year.

These posts highlight some new AWeber features, a few colorful examples and the soundest advice we can offer.

2009: The Year of Posts in Brief

Using Email to Grow a Community: AWeber Talks to User Ramit Sethi
On his personal finance site, Sethi teaches his readers to be rich. Here, he gives a bonus lesson in email marketing success. His tips on building an email community are as valuable as gold.

How To Add an Opt-In Form to Your Facebook Page
Adopting social media techniques was a major move that many email marketers made in 2009. This post teaches you how to add an opt-in form to your Facebook profile, directing new contacts straight to your email list.

And since Facebook has more than 350 million active users, and over 700,000 local business accounts, it may be just the place to expand your online presence.

Design Inspiration From Fellow AWeber Customers
Three cameos of customer newsletters show what’s possible for small-time email marketers. Their clean design and quality content offer inspiration far into the future.

Have a Look At the New Web Form Generator
By far our biggest release of the year, the new web form generator was welcomed with open arms! Gone are the days of manually editing HTML; our web form tool helps you create professional and aesthetically pleasing web forms with absolutely zero HTML knowledge.

Test Results: How Long Should Your From Line Be?
“From” line length can largely impact the open rate of an email, yet it’s easy to overlook in the design process. Review what lengths are ideal in the major email clients.
This type of analysis should also be applied to subject line length. Make sure your subscribers can read the reason they should open each email!

{!firstname}, Think Before You Personalize
Personalization can be powerfully effective when used in the right ways. It can also be easily misused. Learn how to avoid the mistake of assuming that a string variable makes a message personalized, targeted or relevant.

“Do Not Reply” Address? Don’t Bother.
This post examines the trend of using an an unattended email address that discourages replies to emails, and explains why you should never do that with your own campaigns.

Deliver Smarter Autoresponders With Send Windows
Sometimes, certain days or times are ideal for subscribers to receive your emails. Find out why, and then learn how to increase your follow-up messages’ effectiveness by setting up send windows.

2010: Use It Wisely

Email marketing, with the biggest ROI of any marketing channel, is a path that can lead you to success. We hope these posts serve as stepping stones on your journey.

For more inspiration, read through the other email marketing tips that 2009 brought.

What would you like us to talk about in 2010? What steps are you planning to take in the new year? Let us know!

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How To Add an Opt-In Form to Your Facebook Page

How To Add an Opt-In Form to Your Facebook Page

Posted by Justin Premick on 06/23/2009

AWeber + FacebookGiven Facebook’s continued growth, you’re likely to see even more discussions of how marketers can and should be using it to connect with customers.

For those of you who are running Facebook pages (or want to), there’s now an easy way to add fans and visitors to your email marketing campaigns…

Adding an Opt-In Form to Facebook Pages

Alex at the Return on Subscriber blog offers an excellent tutorial (complete with screenshots) that walks you through the process.

In a nutshell, it comes down to adding an application to your page that lets you insert HTML, then pasting in signup form HTML just like you would on any other web page (not sure how to add a signup form to your website?).

Go check out the Facebook tutorial.

What To Do With Your Facebook Page Opt-In Form?

I’m sure you have some creative ideas on what kind of offer you would make to Facebook visitors and fans.

I’m still brainstorming ideas for our own use; for now, the form on the AWeber Facebook page (which I set up immediately after reading the tutorial above) is for this blog’s newsletter:


(Click above to see the form on our Facebook page.)

What ideas do you have for incorporating an email marketing campaign into your Facebook page?

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6 Social Networking Tactics for Email Marketers

6 Social Networking Tactics for Email Marketers

Posted by Marc Kline on 06/20/2008

Social network
There are plenty of people writing about how to leverage social networks for profit, so I won’t waste your time rehashing them.

Instead, I’d like to share some tips about what I know best – email marketing – and some ways to bridge some social networking tactics to your campaigns that can make a real difference in the results you see at the end of the day.

Take a look and see if you can implement some or all of them to your campaign today.

 

How to Make Your Email Campaigns More Social

  1. Place a small headshot image next to your signature
  2. Example of signature with imageEvery social networking site has a place for your picture. So does your email! Show those pearly whites right next to your signature to infuse some more personality into your email.

    It may seem like a minor change, because it is, but subtle changes like this (like creative personalization, geographic targeting, and other subtle tricks) can contribute to a waterfall effect when used together.

  3. Start a group on a social networking site (e.g. Facebook, MySpace) your subscribers can join
  4. Social networkEmail, by nature of it’s technical specs, is a one-to-one communication tool. Even when you send to thousands of people, it’s usually important to write your copy as if you’re talking to one subscriber personally.

    Social networking, on the other hand, is a many-to-many communication tool, which differentiates it from the conventional web and email experience and contributes to its popularity.

    Would your subscribers be even more engaged with your content if they could discuss it with one another? Would they then share it with their friends on the social networking sites they use?

    Hint: Having your subscribers communicate with one another may get them more interested in your content without you having to do any more work.

  5. Interact with your subscribers
  6. Walkie Talkie CansJust because email is one-to-one doesn’t mean it has to be one way. Remember that people can always hit reply to anything you send them. Take advantage of that fact. Ask them for feedback.

    You can also use polls and surveys, and include the results and subscriber feedback in your future messages. TV and radio programs do this sort of thing to keep you tuned during commercials.

    Even though the time between our emails last at least a little longer than 30 seconds (or at least it should!), this is a great way to keep your subscribers “tuned in”.

  7. Write like a real, live person
  8. You are real and live, right? You aren’t a robot like these guys over the on the right, are you?

    Well, don’t be afraid to write like it! Remember to connect and relate with your subscribers, and be approachable. Of course, you can overdo it with the personal information, but too often I see email marketers underachieving on this front.

  9. Network with other content providers
  10. Networking with others with similar interests, of course, is natural on a social networking platform. It’s not necessarily so with email, when we’re focused on getting our newsletter out on time with relevant content.

    Still, there are many potential benefits to linking up with non-competitor authorities in your industry. Think: ideas for content to fill your newsletters with, possible guest writing opportunities that help build your list, and a word of mouth campaign that builds your authority and rapport (with real live, humans… and robots…really, like Google).

  11. Link up your social networking profiles
  12. Are you a social networking addict yourself? Do you Twitter, have a Facebook account, or share pictures related to your website or business on Flickr?

    Unless you have some serious skeletons in your closet, try making use of your email newsletter’s sidebar, signature, or footer and throw in a few links.

    If you write your content like someone your subscribers can get to know and trust (see #4), and someone they want to be associated with, you just might make some new friends (and get exposure to friends of friends, and friends of their friends, and so on).

What is This List Missing?

I can give a partial answer: your ideas! You’ll have to fill in the rest.

Are you a social networking addict? Have you used Myspace, Twitter (some of us do – see Tom, Sean, and Justin), or Facebook (join our group!) for your business?

Please share so we can all benefit from eachother’s thoughts on this topic. Contribute to the discussion below.


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