[INFOGRAPHIC] How to Create the Best Videos

Video has changed everything about marketing, and that’s not an exaggeration.

From advertising, to content marketing, to how to’s and FAQs, video has quickly become an essential part of every agency or business’s marketing plan. And that’s because they have proven to be effective—they’re eye-catching, engaging, memorable, and can be extremely informative when utilized the right way.

Most people in business and marketing know about the potential and power of video. They know that it’s becoming essential to learn how to create the best videos. But there are still a handful of people out there saying “is video really that important?”

The answer is yes—and surveys, polls, and traffic metrics have proven it 1000x over.

The only stat you really need is that 80% of video marketers said video has directly helped increase sales, but we are going to give you more… 87% of video marketers said that video increased traffic to their site, and 99% of people that did video marketing in 2019 said they would continue in 2020. Videos help drive traffic, capture leads, build brands, and (most importantly) makes sales.

Are you convinced yet?

When companies, agencies, and business owners are hesitant to start using video as a part of their marketing strategy, they usually say it’s either too expensive, complicated, or time consuming. Maybe it’s a mixture of all three. And those are legitimate concerns, but it doesn’t change the fact that video is still definitely worth your time.

If you don’t have a big budget to buy a nice camera and microphone, it’s not the end of the world. Even without top-shelf equipment, you can still create the best videos. You can use your phone to start out, and there’s lots of free or low-cost video editing software out there that can get you started. But there may be one other big question you’re asking yourself…

How do I create the best videos?

The benefits of making videos is obvious, and getting the equipment to make videos is relatively easy, but is it actually easy to make a video? Depending on who you ask, the answer drastically varies.

To keep it simple, it can be easy to make great videos—you just have to be prepared. Going in blind and hoping for the best is a strategy that a lot of people use, and it’s almost always a bad one. Preparation is important and having a proven method to video production is going to help you make amazing videos that will drive traffic and generate more leads.

Where should I post my videos?

It’s really important to choose what medium you want your videos to live before you dive into production—that’s part of the preparation. The three major social media websites that people post videos to are YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram—these are the places where you’ll get the most traffic. But each of them has a slightly different strategy for posting. Here are some things you should remember about each one.

YouTube

YouTube is by far the most popular video sharing platform in the world. It’s a great place to post basically any video your business makes, but it’s definitely a great place to have lots of how-to videos and other informational videos about your business and your products.

The ideal length for your YouTube videos is usually anywhere between 6 to 10 minutes. That may seem long, but there’s something you have to remember about YouTube compared to the other platforms:

When people are on YouTube, they are there to watch videos.

Although people watch videos on Facebook, they’re usually not the specific reason someone visits the platform. It’s a lot easier to get someone to watch a somewhat longer video on YouTube because they’re expecting it when they log in to YouTube.

That doesn’t mean every video has to be 6-10 minutes. If you’re wanting to post an advertisement on your YouTube account, it’s probably better to keep it shorter because no one wants to watch a 6-minute advertisement. But it is definitely the place for your most tactical, extensive content.

Facebook

Facebook and YouTube are decently interchangeable in their content—chances are if you post a video on Facebook, you should definitely post it on YouTube, as well. But the thing about Facebook is it’s also greatfor everything… from advertisements and promotions to funny and engaging content.

The ideal length of your video content on Facebook is anywhere between 2 and 3 minutes, and that’s mainly because it’s hard to keep people around. People also typically only watch Facebook videos and Facebook ads for about 30 seconds, so you have to make sure you make the most of the beginning of your video.

One more note about Facebook videos… you really need to utilize subtitles! According to the American Press Institute, 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. That makes it clear—subtitles and closed captioning is an absolute must.

Instagram

Instagram is probably the least important platform to use as a video medium for your business. Your Instagram videos should really only be about 30 seconds, and they should probably be used to push people to your website. The videos on Instagram should be used as flashy previews for your full video on Facebook, YouTube, or your website. Make the most of the time you have your viewer’s attention—your video (previews) should be really visually appealing and make people want to click through to watch the extended version.

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Now that you know a little bit more about the platforms that you’ll be posting on, it’s time to dive into the formula for making great videos.

Here are the 7 steps to formatting your videos and making great content.

1. Tell them what’s in it for them

Like we said, you have a limited amount of time to capture the attention of your audience. You want to let them know right off the bat what’s in it for them and why they should take the time to watch your video. If you keep them guessing what the point of the video is, they’re probably going to tune out in under 30 seconds. Here’s an example of a good way to do this

A person sitting in front of a computer screen Description automatically generated

This is a content video that we released last year on Facebook. When people scroll across the video, this is the very first they see. By starting the video this way, with the actual video bordered and the text at the top of the screen, we can make it extremely apparent what people will get out of this video: common marketing mistakes that they may be making.

By doing this, there is absolutely no waiting and no guessing game. The second someone sees the video, they will instantly know what’s in it for them. If you do this, you make it way more likely some who is interested will stick around and watch the whole thing. If they just keep scrolling, then you know you were probably not going to get them to subscribe or purchase anything anyway.

You don’t have to use text to tell people what’s in it for them—you could begin the video with it. Even if they aren’t listening to the video, your subtitles should still be able to tell them what’s in it for them! The important thing is that you let them know the reason they should be watching, which leads into the next step…

2. Intro and branding

Now you need to let the viewer know who you are and what you do. This is the whole point of making the video, right? The point of making videos is to provide tactical or entertaining content is so viewers will become more familiar with your brand and check out your products. It’s accomplishing Step 1 (Aware) of the Customer Value Journey. If you just provide content but never actually tell them who you are, then there’s absolutely nothing in it for you.

It doesn’t have to be a big flashy logo (although it can be)—it can be really simple. Let’s use the same video from earlier as an example…

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In this video, we let our audience know who we are with a simple lower third title caption. It identifies the speaker and puts our company name so users can see it in case they miss the profile that’s sharing it. This is a subtle way of doing branding in your intro, buy you can also go much bigger…

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You can also have a big intro and branding screen before you get into the actual content of your video, like we did in this YouTube video. This obviously makes sure that no one can miss it.

Now you may be thinking, “shouldn’t I do the intro and branding before anything else?” Although that seems logical, you want to make sure that people will watch your video in the first place. If the first thing they see is your branding, and not a reason why they should actually watch the video, it’s way more likely they’ll just keep scrolling or click a different link. Reel them in, and then tell them who you are (or just do both at the same time).

3. Give them the value

This is the part where you deliver on your promise. This is going to be the longest section of your video—where you give them the information that they came for. Again, keep in mind the platform in which you’re posting on, but try to provide as much in-depth information as possible. If you overpromise and underperform in a video, it’s not going to be good for your future viewership.

With videos—just like blog posts, infographics, or any other form of content that you may use for content marketing, you need to make sure that you provide something of actual value. People don’t like being pandered to or told obvious things—if you promise six amazing tips to boost traffic, then you need to make sure that’s what you actually provide. If you say that you and your co-workers are going to do a funny challenge, then make sure the video is interesting and engaging from beginning to end.

This part will take by far the most planning because it was your inspiration for posting in the first place. The rest of this video process can’t reach its full potential if you don’t put in the work to nailing down the reason people actually want to watch. If you can figure this part out, what are you offering that the audience wants and how to get it across to them in an effective way, then all of these other parts will fall right into place.

4. Recap with a conclusion

A summary is important because it reinforces everything that you just taught. It makes your information, and your brand, way more memorable. The recap doesn’t have to be complicated—it’s actually better if you keep it really simple. Here’s an example from one of our YouTube videos about the best types of lead magnets that businesses can use.

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This recap strategy keeps it really concise—it just goes through and lists the five types of lead magnets one more time so that everyone can remember the main, big picture items. The list doesn’t go into depth or quickly break them down one more time… because it really shouldn’t have to. You already spent a lot of time offering all of that information—if they want to hear it again, then they can rewind the video.

Remember your ideal video lengths—if you add too much information into your recap, you’re probably going to go way longer than you should. Give your audience the quick hits, and then move on to the next part.

5. Advise them

Now that you’ve given them that information that they came for, and then reinforced it, you need to give them the next steps. It could be some advice, a recommendation, encouragement, or even a warning. But no matter what it is, it should be helpful and pertain to the information that you just provided them.

In the case of the lead magnets above, it may be advice about the types of situations you should provide (or not provide) a certain kind of lead magnet. In the case of the marketing mistakes, maybe it’s a warning about what can happen if you continue to make the same mistakes. There are so many ways you can advise the viewer, but it’s added value to what should be an extremely tactical video.

6. Call-To-Action

Now for the part that’s the most important aspect of the video for your business. At the end of every video, there should be a CTA that attempts to turn viewers into subscribers, regular visitors, and customers. It can be as simple as prompting people to simply visit your site by clicking a link, or it can be a link to a lead magnet. The end goal is to make people end up on your website, but it would be ideal if you could collect some of their information so you can start to email and reach out to someone that you know is interested in your industry.

Here’s an example from the lead magnets video from before:

For the CTA on this video, we are imploring people to check out our blog and take a look at our lead magnet checklist. That blog post works as the CTA because it is related to the information in the video—if the viewer is interested in what the different kinds of lead magnets are, then you can probably assume that they would be interested in more information about how to create great lead magnets. It’s then partnered with this lead magnet worksheet, which is legitimate, tangible value to the viewer.

Here’s the best part, though: we can then use that lead magnet checklist as a lead magnet. 🤯 When people go to download, we require them to put in their email so we can serve them relevant offers and keep them up to date with what’s going on with the business. Then it’s exponentially more likely that they will make a purchase in the future, which was the end goal of making the video in the first place.

7. Drag at the end

Once you’ve delivered the CTA, you’ve reached the end of the video. So, the CTA should be the last step, right? Wrong. You should actually drag the end of your video—meaning you let it continue to run for 10 to 15 seconds after the last word is said in your video. That may seem like a waste, but there is a legitimate reason for doing this…

Towards the end of videos, most platforms suggest other videos for you to watch. Those suggestions block the entire screen, which means it makes your CTA graphic useless. In the example above, we want people to continue to look at the arrow and think, “I should really click on that link.” If their screen gets blocked by other recommended videos, they’ll see our graphic for only a few seconds before more videos pop up and they completely forget about the CTA. By allowing 10 to 15 seconds before the end of the video, you let people actually contemplate whether they want to follow your CTA, making it more likely they do what you want them to. Let the video breathe before it fades to black; your funnel may literally depend on it.

If you follow this video formatting strategy, you’re going to make great videos that are truly effective. It will put your business in a great place to turn your video marketing efforts into subscribers and customers. Now that you have the stats and the formula, all you need is a phone and some creativity to create the best videos and grow your business!

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Our Take on Glossier’s Ad Strategy

Recently we read this article that breaks down the Google Ads strategy of Glossier, and to say we were blown away by the insights would be a bit of an understatement.

Author and Founder of Store Growers Dennis Moons uncovers their campaign structure and breaks down every type of ad the company is running on Google. In the end, he was able to determine that Glossier makes $156k/mo in gross profit! Sounds crazy, right?

Well, Moons’ in-depth analysis got me thinking about how we’ve never actually discussed on the DM blog how intertwined SEO and paid traffic truly are. So while Glossier’s strategy and profit from Google Ads is impressive, it’s just as impressive that almost their entire search strategy is built around branded keywords…

*Note: “Branded keywords” means that someone is already aware of the brand when searching on Google. For example, someone who types in “DigitalMarketer certification” clearly already has an awareness of DigitalMarketer, so it would be considered a branded term. But someone who types in “digital marketing certification” doesn’t have a clear awareness of our brand, so that keyword would be non-branded.

It’s a bit of a controversial topic, but when you dive into the data, you can clearly see how much paid can affect organic traffic and rankings.

Ask me how I know… back when I worked as an SEO Manager at a tech company, the SEO team was breaking records left and right. We were doing so well, in fact, that the CMO told us he would buy us lunch at the restaurant of our choosing every time we broke another record. We were obviously thrilled (mostly because organic traffic was increasing WoW, so every week we were rolling out to another free lunch). Ya, I’d say we were sitting pretty.

The problem was that the paid advertising team was becoming more and more… let’s just say agitated (rightfully so, if we’re being honest). They knew that the work they were doing was actually affecting our numbers. So while paid search traffic wasn’t spiking to record-breaking levels, the ads they were running were causing organic traffic to spike. And the SEO team was raking in all the benefits.

In order to prove a point, one of the paid search team members decided to turn off their channel and stop running ads for 24 hours.

*Cue chaos*

Turning off any paid channel (even for a short period of time) at a large tech company can and will make a big impact. Organic traffic dropped almost immediately. And because our efforts to find any issues turned up fruitless, we were ready to believe we were hit by the latest Google algorithm update.

Alas, after our paid search counterpart let us scramble for long enough, they turned their channel back on… and almost immediately organic traffic was sent soaring once again.

Point proven.

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Of course, I don’t want to say that paid advertising completely controls organic search (my background is in SEO, after all), but it is a big contributing factor. And while SEO efforts are obviously important, when the strategy is functioning cohesively with paid search efforts, you can expedite results!

In the Glossier strategy, one thing Moons points out is that Glossier’s product line includes generic naming structures, making it easier for them to show up not just in organic search but also in Google Ads. This is a near genius marketing trick…

Yep. Nine out of 10 of their top keywords are branded. But it doesn’t particularly matter when your branded terms have monthly search volumes around 550,000. But all that brand awareness had to stem from somewhere… hmmm, I wonder if it came from an original strategy that generated organic traffic. 🤔

According to this Business Insider article, Emily Weiss, CEO and Founder of Glossier, actually started a blog back in 2010 called Into the Gloss. As a staffer at Vogue, the blog was built to discuss her experiences with the beauty brands because she felt they weren’t adequately representing women and their needs. She interviewed top celebrities and beauty brands, and the site quickly grew into a community of women discussing their experiences with makeup and the beauty industry.

The rest, of course, is history. Weiss received backing from Forerunner Capital and Glossier was born in 2014.

But the EXTREMELY important detail in this story is that Weiss organically built a blog to talk about an industry that she thought needed improvement. She had questions about the issues facing women, and her site became a sensation because other women resonated with her and had the same questions.

Take a look at the early years of Into the Gloss organic rankings:

At its peak, the blog was ranking for over 480k keywords! For context, DigitalMarketer’s all-time record is about 35k keywords. That is exponential organic growth that Weiss built, which then enabled her to launch Glossier.

Obviously, my favorite part of the Glossier story is that, even though it wasn’t calculated, the strategy used to launch into one of the biggest beauty brands is one that we’ve worked to implement at DM over the past few years.

I think one of our contributors Rachel Miller said it best, actually. “Content won’t matter if there isn’t a conversation to follow it.

That’s exactly what Weiss did. She built a brand around the conversations women were already having. In fact, if you look on Glossier’s About page, you’ll see that they actually still focus on this same idea:

Now, we’re building the future beauty company where everything we make starts with you. We create the products you tell us you wish existed. We believe in thoughtful design, and enabling conversation (which is where it all starts). But most of all, we believe that beauty is about having fun, wherever you are in your journey.

I think it’s clear that in order for the company to thrive, they needed both the organic and the paid strategies. And the same was true with DigitalMarketer. Back in 2018, when I started as the SEO Manager, this was one of the first graphs I sent to the team as I was auditing the site.

As you can see, it’s the correlation between paid spend and organic traffic from 2017 to the end of 2018. What was clear was that while we continued to decrease spend for paid Facebook and Google Ads, we were seeing a continued drop in organic traffic.

The solution for a situation like this isn’t necessarily to ramp up spend. The health of our organic traffic still needed help. Afterall, it’s a two-way street, both paid and organic need to function properly in order for one to help the other.

Our first step was building content for search that was going to generate conversations. We created pieces such as:

These are just a few of the posts we built around questions and conversations we saw marketers already having. And all of these posts did extremely well because we knew that they were topics our audience actually cared about.

Once we felt confident in our organic search strategy, we then knew it was the right time to start increasing spend on our paid channels.

Our paid strategy across Facebook and Google was also carefully planned. We built ads for different awareness buckets so that we could continue conversations with prospective customers throughout different stages in the funnel.

This meant that some of our ads would drive to the types of content we discussed above, while other ads were driving to lead magnets for those further along in the customer journey. The whole idea was that while we could optimize for organic, we still needed the paid search aspect to allow our strategy go above and beyond.

Glossier did the same thing. While it’s clear that their focus isn’t so much on the organic side of things anymore, it really doesn’t have to be.

As a marketer, you’ll find that as you start to build out your own strategies, once you hit specific goals, efforts are better spent in other areas… like Google Ads that generate $156k in profit every month! That’s not to say some channels aren’t important, it’s just saying that there is a time and place for every marketing strategy.

*Note: I do want to mention that it would obviously still be beneficial for Glossier to focus on organic search. While the brand awareness is there, there is clear opportunity in those unbranded searches. 😉

So yes, while Google Ads are a big part of Glossier’s story, organic search was also a huge contributor, and to be successful, you will need to implement both a paid and an organic strategy, and leveraging the two in unison can help your business grow to new heights!

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What is Customer Experience (And Why You Need to Prioritize It)

Customer experience is the reputation you have with your customers.

It can be great, okay, or downright bad—and each experience will impact your business in some way. Great customer experiences give you the hockey stick growth that you dream about. Okay customer experiences make it hard, but not impossible to get customers to buy more products. But bad customer experiences can pull your business down like a sinking ship in the ocean.

Every business knows that customer experience is crucial to their success, but few know how to actually make the customer experience a part of their foundation.

In comparison, it’s easy to put together a marketing strategy because it’s way more straightforward… write good copy and show it to the right people. Customer experiences are a lot less tangible—is a great customer experience defined by free products and services, great content, one-on-one coaching, the list goes on forever…

Let’s break down what different customer experiences look like.

What is Customer Experience?

Customer experience, in its simplest definition, is the experience your customers have with your brand. It’s the email funnel that leads them to the sale and then keeps delivering more information to them once they’ve bought the product.

A customer buying an ecommerce product continues through the customer experience when they receive their transaction email, delivery status email, package delivered email, and the leave a review email.

These are the places where you can overdeliver and create a memorable customer experience, the kind of experience that builds a tighter bond between your brand and your customer.

For example, MUD\WTR™ includes stickers and a “Your New Morning Ritual” recipe pamphlet in their packages, which isn’t something advertised when you buy their coffee alternative. When a customer gets their order, they open their package to find more than they bought—relatable stickers and an easy guide on using their MUD\WTR effectively.

A box with a shipment of MUD/WTR and some extra bonuses

This is marketing that goes past the sale, and it’s an example of a great customer experience.

Here’s the thing—your marketing strategy doesn’t stop as soon as someone unboxes your product or signs up to work with your company. If anything, it should ramp up.

Think of all the work you put in to move these people through the Customer Value Journey, from cold leads to piping hot leads to landing the sale. Instead of focusing on the next round of people who might buy from you, put some of that focus on the ones who already have.

Then, take a look at the difference in your business.

Why You Need to Prioritize It

It’s obvious that you want to prioritize customer experience if you have competition—whoever delivers the better experience is going to win the customer and their return. This is an easy perspective to view your business world through.

Another easy perspective is realizing that Google is now prioritizing customer experience in its search ranking. SEOs around the world are figuring out how to create the *chef’s kiss* customer experience that makes their content better than the others ranking for the same keywords.

What’s not obvious is that customer experience can save you money. It’s tempting to bring in new customers, give them their product, and immediately look back toward your funnel to see how you can get more customers. But, what about the loyal customers who just bought from you—are you nurturing that relationship?

These are the people who put their hand up and said, “Yep, I love what you’re doing. Here, I’d like to give you my money in return for your product/service and I’m really excited about it.” Have you caught them in their state of excitement and over-delivered on an experience that makes them turn into raving fans of your brand?

If you haven’t done this yet, don’t worry. You have plenty of time (and options), but let’s get you started as soon as possible. Having a better customer experience is going to boost the value of your customers.

We call this Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and you can work your business around this metric by seeing how much an average customer spends on your products/services. Your CLV can be calculated by taking the Average Order Value and multiplying it by the Average Purchase Frequency. This is your CLV.

And here’s the thing about CLVs—they’re easier to double than conversion rates. You’re probably tempted to figure out how you can double your conversion rate on your next campaign, but this is hard. Like, really hard. Impossible, no. Hard, yes.

Do you know what’s so much easier? Doubling your average cart value (how much somebody spends in a single purchase). All you have to do is create bundles or introduce an ultra-high-ticket offer that’s 10x your current Average Order Value.

Ba-da-bing. 🎉

Your customer experience is the reputation you have with your customers. They’ll love your brand if you put time and attention into giving them the best possible experience they could have with you—but they’ll also notice if you don’t put that attention in.

Prioritize your customer experience to make your customers happy, Google happy, and your finances happy… because happy customers buy more products. It’s just a fact of business.

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4 Questions To Make Sure You’re Creating Consistent Copy Across All Platforms

Marketing is like being a well-paid juggler—you’ve got social media in one hand, marketing in another, and somewhere above you is your content strategy.

And that’s just to name a few of the marketing channels you’ve got on your plate. With all of these platforms, it can start to get really hard to keep your copy consistent.

We all know how important copy is—it’s the thing that defines your brand and moves prospects through the Customer Value Journey. But what happens if someone reads your copy on social media, opts-in for your offer, and is met with totally different copy? 😧

Leads won’t be able to get past the “trust factor” that’s essential for them to trust you enough to buy a service or product from your business. Just like any other relationship in our lives, the customer to business relationship requires consistency.

Here are 5 questions to make sure you’re creating consistent copy across all of your platforms.

Question #1: Does this copy abide by my brand guidelines?

Your brand guidelines are the blueprint of your brand. They’re going to help you figure out what’s a “Yay!” and what’s a “Nay…” in your copy. Brand guidelines are going to be a huuuuge (serious emphasis on the huge here) help to keeping your copy on brand, especially if you have a larger team.

Think of them as the SOP for writing your copy and content. If your copy doesn’t check every mark that it needs to on your brand guidelines then it’s going to create inconsistency across your platforms and funnels. Use this checklist to make your life easier—if the copy can check every brand guideline on that list, green light it! If not… ask yourself—what needs to be changed?

Question #2: Would my customers expect this from me?

Your copy is your brand voice. After engaging with your business on social media, through your articles, or your emails your prospects are going to be used to hearing a specific voice from you (ahem, think of your brand guidelines). They want to keep hearing that voice…not unexpectedly read or hear a new brand voice.

If your brand voice is always fun and playful, but you come out of nowhere with a call to action that’s formal and professional, your prospects are going to be confused—and a confused person never buys. In a confused state, your lead is feeling hesitant. By reading or hearing copy that they would expect from you, your leads are in a confident state—and a confident state does buy.

Question #3: Would my customers recognize me if I took away my branding?

Let’s take away your brand colors, fonts, and images…can your customers still see you? This might be tough for some brands, but it’ll help you make sure your branding is consistent from socials to products. If the only thing holding your branding together is your color palette and fonts—there’s a big problem. While this stuff is all icing on the marketing cake, your copy is the actual cake. 🍰

If your copy is so on point that without any other clues about your brand your followers, subscribers, and customers can tell it’s you, you’ve nailed it. You’ve made a delicious cake that people want to bite into…and you’ve added the icing on top that makes people even more excited to grab their fork.

Question #4: Does this fit in with my other copy?

Every brand has a different way of asking their followers to engage with their content, their website visitors to subscribe to their newsletter, or their subscribers to click on the offer. Each time you write copy for a new offer you want to look at it in the context of the copy you’ve written for your other offers. Is your new copy so far off that your customers are going to feel like they don’t know you as well as they thought they did?

New copy should fit in well with the other copy you have live right now. This isn’t to say that you can’t A/B test your copy and do something totally left-field—as long as it’s still coming from the same field. Think of this in the context of your brand colors…if you usually brand with a medium-color green but you want to highlight something with a lighter green, that makes sense. Your leads and customers aren’t going to be totally off-put. But, if you decide to scratch the green and go with yellow…they’re going to be asking—is this *insert your company name’s* website?

Use these questions to make sure your copy is consistent from the first touchpoint all the way through to the day your customer buys your highest ticket offer. This consistency is what your relationship is built on—so make it a strong foundation.

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What is an Email Funnel?

As a consumer—it would be nearly impossible to count the number of email funnels that have hit your inbox.

We can safely say, it’s been a lot. Businesses love email funnels because they swiftly move new subscribers toward their first purchase. Let’s take a look at the Customer Value Journey to get an idea of where your prospects are when they become subscribers.

The Customer Value Journey is the journey a prospect takes from finding out a business exists (Stage 1: Awareness) to becoming such a raving fan of it they’re actively promoting the business like a salesperson only they pay you (Stage 8: Promote). 📣

When we talk about email funnels, we’re talking about the shift of a prospect choosing to become a subscriber (Stage 3: Subscribe) to buying your first offer (Stage 4: Convert).

Email funnels are a big deal in the marketing world because they work… really, really well. People are still tuned into their inboxes, check out these statistics from OptinMonster:

  • 99% of email users check their email every day
  • 85% of the people you send an email to will receive your email
  • More than 75% of teenagers still use email

Yep, you don’t need to figure out how to renegade on TikTok anytime soon; emails can reach every demographic you’re interested in.

How Email Funnels Work

Email funnels turn subscribers into customers by using specific strategies that sell products or services. We’ll get into those strategies in a minute, but first, take a look at the return businesses are seeing on their email funnels:

The number of emails you use in your funnel is going to depend on what you’re selling, but generally you’ll use a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 7. If your subscriber hasn’t converted by your seventh email about this offer—then you don’t want to keep bombarding them with it.

When you’re putting together your email funnel, you’re going to be highly focused on the copy you use. There are 4 emotional triggers to use in your email funnels:

  1. Gain: What does the subscriber gain by buying the product/service?
  2. Logic: Why does buying the product/service make total sense for them?
  3. Fear: What happens if they don’t buy the product/service?
  4. Scarcity: How long do they have to choose to buy this specific product/service?

Each email is going to follow a similar template:

  1. Introduction: Give a warm introduction to what you’re about to talk about (you wouldn’t walk up to somebody and start talking without at least saying a few introductory words first)
  2. Body: Use gain, logic, fear, and/or scarcity to show them why this offers matters to them NOW
  3. Close: Craft a clear call to action
  4. P.S. (Not always used): Add in extra gain, logic, fear, or scarcity

Here’s an example of an email funnel we ran for our Napkin Challenge. The first email uses logic and curiosity to drive the subscriber to want to create a marketing plan that gets them customers.

Subject Line: The napkin that cleaned up a $248k mess

Preview Text: A how-to guide for fixing a BIG problem

Touching on the fear business owners have over the complication of marketing these days, our second email was quick and to the point.

Subject Line: why is this so complicated?

Preview Text: Maybe marketing isn’t the problem.

And then our third email used everything we know about the pain points of our avatars (thanks to the Customer Avatar Worksheet) to show them what they would gain from taking part in The Napkin Challenge.

Subject Line: time to hit the reset button

Preview Text: There’s no “do over” button, just “do better”

If you want to look at more email funnels, take a look at your inbox. Now that you’re familiar with what an email funnel is, you’ll realize that you’ve gotten a lot of these emails in the past. Some may have worked well (you bought the product) and others not so well (either the funnel was off, or you weren’t their target avatar).

Email funnels are a BIG part of marketing strategies because they’re the platform that moves subscribers from Stage 3 of the Customer Value Journey to Stage 4, the stage where they become first-time customers of your business.

And that’s a big deal for every business. 🎉

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The 24 Modern Marketing Commandments

There’s something brand-new marketers need to know.

There’s a foundation for marketing—that when followed, it will lead to success. It’s a foundation that has transcended from traditional marketing to digital marketing and whatever comes after.

We call these the Modern Marketing Commandments. They’re the 24 pillars of marketing that you can base any successful strategy off of, like the necessity of inspiring action and the importance of talking to customers.

These commandments couldn’t come from just anyone. They’d have to come from someone with experience who has lived in the marketing world for a long time—and even helped shape it. Someone who’s spoken on hundreds of stages to the best marketers in the world, built his own company to teach marketers, and spent the majority of his career marketing to… marketers. 🤯

You guessed it—the only person we could think of that could lay out the Modern Marketing Commandments is our CEO, Ryan Deiss.

Time to give him the stage…

Here are Ryan’s 24 Modern Marketing Commandments.

#1: Thou shalt build revenue FIRST and brand SECOND. Brand matters, but the primary goal must be sales. It’s possible to sacrifice brand at the altar of sales and still recover, but you cannot sacrifice sales at the altar of brand and hope to survive.

#2: Thou shalt write offers… not slogans. Slogans might win awards, but they don’t make sales. Great marketing inspires ACTION! It does not merely inform or entertain. Also, there’s a special place in marketing hell for advertisers and marketers who stack up awards for their “creativity” but who have never owned or influenced a sales number. They would do us all a favor if they stuck to finger painting.

#3: Thou shalt balance data with gut. Data should rule the day 9 times out of 10, but sometimes you need to trust your instincts and do the things that can’t be tracked.

#4: Thou shalt be willing to pay for attention and awareness. Paid vs. organic… inbound vs. outbound. This is not a debate. This is choosing dessert at a buffet. The answer is, “YES!”

#5: Thou shalt endeavor to piss at least a few people off. The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s apathy. If your brand doesn’t have any haters, it almost certainly doesn’t have any raving fanatics, either. Great marketing DIVIDES!

#6: Thou shalt be specific. Make specific in claims and deliver specific in content. If you want your brand to be respected, start taking stands and speaking in absolutes!!! (Like, for example, posting a self-aggrandizing list of “marketing commandments” on Twitter.)

#7: Thou shalt not stop marketing just because a lead is generated or a sale is made. Marketing shouldn’t stop at the order just like date nights shouldn’t stop after you get married. Never let the romance die.

#8: Thou shalt deliver BIG ideas using as few words as possible (F = ma)—“When you have nothing to say, for the love of God don’t let someone convince you that you need to say it.”—Roy H. Williams

#9: Thou shalt use as many words as needed… there’s no such thing as too long… just too boring.

#10: Thou shalt deliver at least 2X what thou hast promised. Under-promise and over-deliver… don’t let your marketing write a check that your product can’t cash. (NOTE: It’s in the spirit of over-delivering that I give you more than 10 commandments…)

#11: Thou shalt not chase shiny objects. Stop talking to marketers about what’s new and what’s hot, and start talking to and watching what your customers are doing.

#12: Thou shalt choose clarity over cleverness – see Commandment #2.

#13: Thou shalt talk to your customers. How can you know what your customers want if you don’t talk to them? Marketing isn’t “guess and test.” Marketing is research, research, test, research, research, test, research,  test, then scale. You can’t call yourself a marketer if you haven’t talked to at least 25 customers.

#14: Thou shalt not confuse the reason people buy with the reason people stay. Customers quickly forget the real reason they purchased the moment you scratch that first itch. That’s why it’s essential that you speak with BOTH prospects and customers when writing copy.

#15: Thou shalt not propose marriage on a first date. Focus 70% of your time on the message, 25% of your time on determining the sequence of messages, and 5% of your time on targeting. Targeting is overrated. With the right message, the best targeting is always the untargeted target that is filtered by truly compelling, well-timed messaging.

#16: Thou shalt not pour water into a leaky bucket—OR—Thou shalt not amplify a turd. Optimize the offer FIRST… then amplify it.

#17: Thou shalt tell stories. Tell stories of transformation… stories of identity… stories of triumph over a common enemy. Humans do not take action until they have first imagined themselves taking that action, so paint a story of a more glorious future and then paint them into it. Do this, and they will ask you to take them there.

#18: Thou shalt remember that humans only ever buy one of two things: 1) transformation or 2) identity reinforcement. Know which thou art selling.

#19: Thou shalt be authentic. Speak like a human, don’t pretend to be something you aren’t, and above all else… tell the truth! (NOTE: Write in the King James version only when being ironical.)

#20: Thou shalt create movements. Don’t you know that movements are made when marketers stop talking about “drill bits” and “holes” entirely, and, instead, start talking about the evil bastard that created the need for the 1-inch hole in the first place?

#21: Thou shalt entertain. While information may capture someone’s attention for a moment, the only mechanism available to HOLD that attention is entertainment. As my friend Roy (see Commandment #8) likes to say, “Entertainment is the only currency available today that can purchase the attention of a too-distracted public.”

#22: Thou shalt make people laugh from time to time. The best marketers are able to pull off a joke at a funeral.

#23: Thou shalt make people cry, and yearn for things they do not yet have. It’s ok… it’s our yearnings that let us know we’re still alive. And most importantly…

#24: Thou shalt love thy customer and sincerely yearn for their happiness and success. Empathy is the most valuable skill in marketing, and the only one that can’t be taught).

These commandments are the foundation of marketing—they’re what you build the rest of the house on with the confidence that no matter how big you make it, your foundation will never break.

Come back to them whenever you feel yourself getting distracted by the latest and greatest marketing tech stack or the new social media app everyone is claiming will knock Facebook off its pedestal.

Because it doesn’t matter what the tech or platforms are. All that matters is delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

And that’s all that will ever matter, today and beyond.

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7 Tips to Improve Communication on Your Marketing Team

In the world of marketing, effective communication can be… challenging.

With the number of projects, assignments, and moving parts that most marketing teams have, it’s easy for communication to go by the wayside. Deadlines creep up, stress levels rise, and the only thing any one team member thinks they can do is work their way out of the hole.

You may also be facing a case of messages getting lost in digital mediums and people not being on the same page. Team communication, now more than ever, is constant and hard. It can be easy to want to just give up and go about your responsibilities alone.

But communication is an extremely important skill for marketing teams to develop and constantly improve on; trust me, it will make everyone’s lives easier.

Here are 7 tips for better communication that will make your work life a lot easier.

1. Embrace Communication and Task Management Tools

As the workplace becomes increasingly digital, paper memos and emails aren’t going to cut it anymore. You need business tools that will enable communication between team members to help supplement those other, more conventional methods.

Task managers like Trello and comprehensive, collaborative tools like G Suite and Office 365 can make it a LOT easier for team members to not only know what others are working on, but help them out as well.

2. Make The Most of Your Meetings

In the fast-paced marketing world so often dictated by tight deadlines, finding a time that your team can meet together and discuss strategy is really important. If everyone on the team can sit down and focus all of their time and energy to getting their duties clarified and their goals aligned, it will make all of your communication about work in the future that much better.

Trying to get everyone on the same page on an individual basis is nearly impossible. If you can find a regular meeting time, and then make sure you stay on schedule, your marketing team will be working better than ever before.

Bonus Tip: have a meeting agenda for every team meeting, and stick to it to help stay on track.

3. Be Brief and Direct

Simply put, say what you need to say. As all good marketers should know, padding your message with too many words weakens what you have to say. To promote better communication, the best thing you can do is make all of your words worthwhile. Whether it’s offering constructive criticism or talking about your ideas for an upcoming project, the best thing you can do is make sure everybody knows exactly what you mean.

Bonus Tip: There’s a difference between direct and rude. Don’t be rude in your pursuit of streamlining communication. People will immediately tune you out if you have a reputation for being disagreeable or passive aggressive. Getting your message across is important, but not at the expense of your relationships with your co-workers.

4. Listening is More Important Than Talking

Don’t you hate it when you’re talking to your team members and they seem like their thoughts are ten miles away? Hate to break it to you, but odds are there are times when you do the same thing to them.

Talking is a lot easier than listening, but listening is way more important for maintaining productive relationships. Not only does it show that you respect the other members of your marketing team, but active listening is the only way you’ll ever come to meaningful compromises and conclusions in a team setting. It’s an essential skill for better communication, especially when your marketing team is full of creative people who want to have their ideas heard.

5. Good Writing Skills are Critical

Now that more and more professional communication is moving online and happening through text in places like Slack, there is little room for error. Your ability to effectively communicate begins and ends with good writing.

This doesn’t mean you have to try to be the next Shakespeare or read an entire book about grammar (as fun as that sounds), but the last thing any of your co-workers want to do is try to make sense of a long, rambling, run-on sentence. Putting more time into correct spelling and proper punctuation when talking to your co-workers may seem a bit pedantic, but it’s the difference between communicating efficiently and not communicating at all. If you ever need an example, just remember this— “Let’s eat Grandma!” and “Let’s eat, Grandma!” mean two VERY different things.

6. Get to Know Each Other

When you’re a part of team, working with a bunch of strangers is the last thing you want to do. You need to have a certain level of comfort within your team, because the way you talk to your friends is WAY different (and more comprehensive) than the way you’d talk to someone you hardly know. Plus, can you imagine a world where can’t hold friendly conversations with you co-workers?

Have happy hours. Go to lunch together. Learn a little bit about each others’ personal lives.  It doesn’t mean you have to be best friends, but if you neglect to build any level of a personal relationship with your co-workers, your team is never going to communicate at the level they need to.

7. Have a Common Goal (And Make Sure Everyone Knows It)

Part of being a team means they everyone on the team plays a role. No one should be doing the exact same thing—that’s a waste of resources. But it is important for everyone to know where their individual role fits in to the bigger picture.

If the team has something that everyone is working toward, a clearly identifiable common goal, your marketing team will have much better communication when it comes to talking about their own individual projects. It keeps everyone on the same page and helps them know how they can support each other better.

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16 Tools to Make You a Better Social Media Marketer

So, you’re ready to build your social media empire?

You’ve come to the right place.

From the title of this article, you know you’ve stumbled upon 16 golden eggs of social media marketing tools. What you may not realize is these eggs were found, tried, and tested by Roland Frasier. He’s the CEO of the War Room Mastermind. That means that he’s the head honcho of helping million-dollar marketers… become better marketers.

He’s one of the most popular speakers at the annual Traffic & Conversion Summit and after each presentation the audience usually just
stares wide-eyed, unsure of what to do with all the new information.

This article will help you automate, optimize, and analyze your campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn using a top-dog’s social marketing tools.

Here are the 16 social media marketing tools you shouldn’t live without.

Linked Helper

Paid: $

Linked Helper Social Media Marketing tool

Linked Helper is a LinkedIn marketing tool. Their goal is to make your LinkedIn marketing strategy as automated as possible. Linked Helper costs $15/month maximum and has automation options for connections, messaging, and endorsements. They also have an email list builder and a list manager, so you can build a marketing funnel.

Linked Helper:

  • Sends personalized messages
  • Auto-responds to messages
  • Automatically exports visitors’ profiles to a CSV file
  • Endorses your contacts automatically to better your chances of being endorsed in return
  • Automates following and unfollowing

Agorapulse

Paid: $$$

Agorapulse Social Media Marketing tool

This is a social media management tool for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. With Agorapulse, you can run all of your social media accounts and your social media team from one platform. You can create a content calendar that publishes to every social account, learn about your audience, stop trolls from leaving negative comments, export your social media stats, and communicate with your social media management team. It can be expensive, but it is well worth the investment because of how much time it can save you.

Agorapulse:

  • Let’s you reply to all of your social media messages in one place
  • Finds relevant social conversations that your audience would be interested in
  • Measures your follower growth, engagement, and conversions
  • Posts content based on your schedule
  • Helps communicate with your team and manage each member’s task access

Sprout Social

Paid: $$$

sproutsocial

Sprout Social has quickly become one of the most used social media tools in the industry, used by 20,000+ different brands and businesses. Sprout Social is a all-in-one tool that allows you to not only improve your social traffic, but build a better relationship with your newfound consumers. is Its cheapest option is $99 a month, and goes all the way up to $250 a month for all of their features. Those prices make it somewhat expensive, but what it offers you is worth every penny.

Sprout Social lets you:

  • Manage every social media platform for your business
  • Schedule social media posts
  • Engage with followers
  • Get in-depth social statistics and analytics

Hootsuite

Paid: $$$

hootsuite

Hootsuite is arguably the most used social media tool on the market today because of how many things it can be used for. Similar to Sprout Social, Hootsuite is an all-in-one social media management, analysis, engagement tool that can help you get a leg up on your competition. From publishing, to listening, to creating ads that actually work, Hootsuite helps you do it all. It has three plans, two of which are pretty cheap and one is extremely expensive.

With Hootsuite, you will be able to:

  • Manage all of your social accounts from one platform
  • Monitor and protect your social media accounts and data
  • Schedule posts
  • Receive in-depth analysis of your social media statistics

Hypegrowth

Paid: $$

Hypegrowth Social Media Marketing tool

Hypegrowth was created for businesses and social media marketers who are growing an Instagram or Twitter account. They’re a follower growth service that gives their customers real and engaged followers. There are 2 plans, an Instagram growth plan and a Twitter growth plan. They also have Instagram analytics and a Twitter unfollow tool.

Hypegrowth grows your following by interacting with other accounts. None of the followers are fake or forced to follow you—they’re organic followers. They say that you’ll see results within 2–3 days of starting the service.

Socialmonials

Paid: $$

Socialmonials Social Media Marketing tool

Socialmonials makes social media campaigns for businesses. Their automated campaign builder self optimizes to increase your ROI. They’ll give you a pixel code to place on your website so you can track your ecommerce revenue and leads, as well as automatically put anyone who enters or shares your campaign into a CRM so you can retarget them later.

Socialmonials lets you:

  • Create a content calendar, preview posts, and add pictures and links
  • Integrate user-generated content into your social media schedule
  • Launch social campaigns to social media and your website
  • Make a personalized share button
  • Track data and compare analytics

PowerAdSpy

Paid: $$

PowerAdSpy Social Media Marketing tool

PowerAdSpy spies on your competitors Facebook ads and tells you what’s working and what isn’t. Imagine if Buzzfeed’s Top Performing Headline article turned into a social media marketing tool that showed you the Facebook ads relevant to your niche. They’ve put millions of ads from 15 countries under one hood and give you the opportunity to search through them by top performer, keywords, shares, likes, comments, and calls to action.

Using PowerAdSpy, you can:

  • Search ads with your keywords and find precise data about the ad
  • See the live ad directly on Facebook
  • Bookmark the best ads to your personalized ad swipe file
  • See the geo-targets of your competitors
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Anyleads

Paid: $$$

Anyleads Social Media Marketing tool

Anyleads is a lead generation software for small and large companies. Their platform covers a lot of digital marketing bases, serving customers with needs that range from a sales chatbot to a personal content writer.

Anyleads features:

  • A sales chatbot that captures visitor data
  • A social proof widget that shows notifications on your website
  • An artificial intelligence personal content writer that creates daily content
  • A prospecting tool for finding and capturing emails and sending campaigns
  • A YouTube subtitle extractor
  • A community of influencers you can choose to collaborate with

Rev

Paid: $

Rev Social Media Marketing tool

Using Rev, you can upload audio files and get a transcription, add captions to videos, and translate documents. It’s one of the most necessary social media marketing tools for businesses who rely on videos for conversions. What’s unique about Rev is that they also offer foreign subtitles. Their service is great for business owners, but it’s also used for legal, academic, and personal needs.

Rev can:

  • Transcribe audio or video for $1 per minute
  • Caption videos for $1 per minute
  • Translate and transcribe videos into subtitles in foreign languages for $3–$7 per minute
  • Translate documents into 35+ languages for $0.10 per word

AdEspresso

Paid: $$

AdEspresso Social Media Marketing tool

Marketers can use AdEspresso to make ads for Facebook, Instagram, and Google and then optimize them as they’re running. The campaign builder manages all of your ads and analyzes how well they’re doing. They also have a built-in communication platform (like Slack) that lets you collaborate with yo
ur team.

AdEspresso features you’ll like:

  • Create campaigns for Facebook, Instagram, and Google
  • Manage all campaigns in one platform
  • Analyze campaign insights
  • Communicate with your team and approve campaigns/have campaigns approved

Catvertiser

Paid: $$$

Catvertiser Social media Marketing tool

Catvertiser is one of the social media marketing tools that is specifically for Facebook. It’s an ad campaign builder and optimizer. It’s similar to AdEspresso, but totally focused on Facebook. They have campaign templates and creative files, a Google Analytics integration, and an automated boost feature for advertising your best content.

Catvertiser uses a cost per action (CPA) bidding model so you only pay for your ads when an action is taken by a user. You can choose the action that makes the most sense for your campaign or A/B test actions to see which one has the best ROI.

Driftrock

Paid: $$

Driftrock Social Media Marketing tool

Driftrock is a sales and lead generator for Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn. The social media marketing tool platform will connect all of your lead generation sources and track leads from the first click all the way to offline purchases.

Driftrock syncs with:

  • Facebook custom audiences
  • Google customer match
  • Facebook lead ads
  • LinkedIn lead generation
  • Local Facebook ads
  • Facebook marketplace
  • Lead analysis and segmentation

Followerwonk

Paid: $$

Followerwonk Social Media Marketing Tool

Followerwonk is a Twitter analytics tool. Using the social media tool, you can search Twitter bios, compare users, track followers, and sort followers. This is a social media tool for businesses, agencies, and marketers focused on growing their Twitter following.

Using Followerwonk, you can:

  • Search Twitter bios to find people that you should connect with
  • Compare accounts so you can find follower overlaps and target new influencers
  • Analyze followers by location, bio, who they follow, etc.
  • Compare your relationship with your followers to your competitor’s
  • Find the content that your followers like the most

Trello

Paid: $

Trello

Trello is a content organization and internal communication tool that gives marketing teams a place to clearly detail and illustrate plans in a fun, colorful, collaborative way. Trello creates boards where you can easily document, plan, and organize social posts so that way everyone on your social team is on the same page. It also cuts down on meetings or Slack messages, as well as sends an email to everyone on the board when someone updates the board. It’s also, at most, $17.50 a month, so it’s not going to break the bank.

Trello is a tool for businesses, marketers, and agencies who want to:

  • Organize their social schedule
  • Improve their planning for future posts
  • Improve their internal communication
  • Create a collaborative workspace

Sprinklr

Paid: $$$

Sprinklr Social Media Marketing tool

Sprinklr is a social media management tool for enterprises. Within their cloud, they offer social and messaging suites, advertising, marketing, and research.

  • Their social platform lets you find, engage with, and listen to your customers
  • Sprinklr Advertising creates campaigns for your target audience that get published at the best time across all social platforms
  • You can improve your content by using planning tools, workflow automation, and AI insights
  • Get data on your target demographic

StitcherAds

Paid: $$$

StitcherAds Social Media Marketing tool

StitcherAds is a Facebook and Instagram ad tool for ecommerce and brick and mortar stores. They offer a personalized campaign builder based off consultations with their Facebook and Instagram experts. One of the most unique features of StitcherAds is they help you outsource campaign management to qualified freelancers.

Using StitcherAds, you can:

  • Use their solution engineers for any campaign tech hiccups
  • Get a personalized campaign strategy
  • Build an image or video campaign
  • Outsource campaign work
  • See product-specific data to improve your ads

A social media strategy that grows your following, gets you engagement, and creates conversions can be automated. Using Roland Frasier’s approved tools, you can automate most of your social media strategy, optimize it, and then analyze it so you’re growing your empire.

Regardless of what social media platform you’re trying to take over, there’s a social media marketing tool waiting to get to work.

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4 Reasons Your Email Open Rate Is Decreasing

Hitting send on an email you’ve spent days perfecting is a great feeling, but that marketer’s high comes crumbling down after you see your open rate is lower than usual. 😢

What happened?

First, it’s important to know this happens to almost every marketer. At some point, you’re going to see lower than usual open rates and you’re going to wonder what went wrong.

Second, it’s necessary to come at this with an open mind ready to fix a few problems instead of thinking there’s only ONE problem. This is especially true if you’ve been seeing lower than usual open rates for a few days, weeks, or months.

Let’s take a look at 4 different elements of your email that may be causing your email open rate to decrease, and how you can fix them so you can get back to the open rates you used to see.

#1: Your Email Is Too Big

If you’ve been successfully sending emails and seeing a great open rate, but since sending one particular email your open rate has tanked—this could be a very easy problem to fix.

Emails sent to Gmail addresses get “clipped” when they’re bigger than 102KB. Considering Gmail has 1.5 billion users, this is a worthy problem to focus on fixing. When an email is clipped, a Gmail user can’t see the entire email like they can a <102KB email. They have to click on “View Entire Message” to load the email in their browser.

Here’s what a Gmail user sees when an email gets clipped:

Unless a Gmail user clicks on the “View Entire Message” link, this DOES NOT count as an email open. From experience, we can tell you that Gmail users don’t favor clicking on that blue hyperlink. They prefer to have their entire email accessible as soon as they open it.

To avoid having your emails clipped, make sure they’re less than 102KB large by:

  1. Sending yourself previews that you view in Gmail to make sure the entire message loads without the [Message clipped] notification
  2. Using an HTML sizing tool to see how large your email is

There are a few reasons your email may be too large. By removing individual blocks from your email (text, images, spacers, etc.) you can reduce the size of your email. For example, if you have 3 separate text blocks right after each other and your email is getting clipped, try to figure out how you can put all of that text into one block.

If your email open rate bounced right back to where it used to be—GREAT! This tells you that the only reason your open rate decreased was that your subscribers were avoiding clicking on that “View Entire Message” link. Easy fix. 🤓

If your email open rate is still really low, keep reading to see how else you can push your open rate back up.

#2: You’re Using Too Many Spam Words

This is a really easy problem to run into without realizing it. If your email campaign has too many spam words in it, email providers (like Gmail, Yahoo, Hey, etc.) are going to toss your email right into your subscriber’s junk folder. It’s their job to protect their users from spam emails that promise them millions of dollars from a king far, far away.

To protect their users, they mark hundreds of words and phrases as spam. Here are just a few of the words you may be using that you don’t realize are creating spam red flags:

  • Affordable
  • Apply now
  • Bonus
  • Click here
  • Free access
  • Money
  • Promise
  • Unlimited
  • Win
  • Urgent
  • Purchase
  • Open
  • Increase sales
  • Increase traffic
  • Take action
  • Trial
  • Order now

Some email hosting platforms like ActiveCampaign will run your email content through a spam test before you hit send so you know your email passes the test. Removing as many of these spam words as possible from your emails will keep your email out of the junk folder and in the inbox.

If your email fits like a swaddled newborn within 102KB and you’ve taken out anything that could be considered spam—but you’re STILL seeing a decreased open rate, let’s test out a few more options starting with your subject lines.

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#3: Your Subject Lines Aren’t Doing Their Job

Your subject lines really have one, single job: get someone to open your email. Optimized at 41 characters or 7 words, they make Tweets look like full-on essays. And considering how small they are, they have to pack a punch to do their job.

At DigitalMarketer, we’re alwayyyyys testing out new subject line strategies to see what’s working well and what’s not.

We’ve figured out there are 5 email subject lines that tend to do really well:

#1: The Dead-On Offer Subject Line

These subject lines focus entirely on what you’re offering, and nothing else.

Example: Email Marketing Announcement: Enrollment is Back Open (21.56% open rate)

#2: Curiosity/Blind Subject Line

Subject lines that make people curious about what’s inside your email OR totally unsure of what’s going on and wanting to know more tend to do really well.

Curiosity Example: Netflix’s Huge Homepage Fail

Blind Example: Cut Off (one of the best performing subject lines in our promotional emails in 2019)

#3: Self Interest Subject Line

Your subscribers love to know what’s in it for THEM if they open up your email.

Example: Up to 85% OFF Our Best Copywriting Strategies

#4: Urgency Subject Line

A subject line that stresses urgency makes subscribers interested in your offer motivated to open your email so they don’t miss out on a good deal.

Example: LAST CHANCE: DigitalMarketer Lab goes off the Market in 3…2…1…

#5: Story/Relevance Subject Line

These subject lines bring the reader into a story they’re curious about, just make sure you’re delivering on the story you promised to tell.

Example: Here’s the REAL Reason Amazon is Buying Whole Foods

Use your email platform’s A/B testing tool to see which subject lines are able to improve your open rate. You can set your A/B test to automatically switch to the best performing subject line after a set number of hours so you don’t have to worry about defaulting the best performing subject line a few hours after hitting send.

If your subject lines are spot on and you’re still seeing a lower than usual open rate, it’s time to take a look at your content.

#4: Your Subscribers Aren’t Excited to Read Your Email Anymore

We know, it hurts to hear your subscribers aren’t loving your content but at the end of the day—who is the content for? Them. What does that mean? It’s time to figure out what makes them get that little surge of excitement every time they hear a ping and see your business’s name.

Your subscribers may not be loving your content for a few reasons. The best way to figure out what went wrong is to ask them. Using a survey platform you can ASK them what they want to read from you. In your survey, make sure to ask specific questions and to give an option for them to write their own suggestions.

For example, if we were surveying our audience we’d ask them if they wanted to read more content on:

  • Digital marketing trends
  • Google SEO updates
  • Facebook algorithm updates
  • Case studies on successful digital marketing strategies
  • Influencer marketing strategies

Then, we’d ask them, “Is there anything else you want us to cover?” and we’d give them the option to type in their answers.

Another way to ensure your subscribers are going to want to read what you send them is to segment subscribers as they come into your list. Instead of having a huge master list of every subscriber that you send every email to, segment your list based on how they came into it.

For example, if subscribers are coming into your list for a specific lead magnet or offer, create a segment for them. Then, you can make sure the emails they get from you are relevant to that lead magnet or offer. This is a win-win because you’re going to know exactly what content they’re interested in and they’re going to get read emails they’re actually interested in.

Now that you’ve gone through your email size, spam word usage, subject lines, and content—do you still have a lower than usual open rate?

If you do, here are a few more email elements to take a look at to get that open rate back up to where it was:

  • Deliverability
  • Sender reputation and score
  • The frequency that you’re sending emails
  • Tracking

A decreased open rate doesn’t mean you have to give up on your list. It just means that something is wrong, and you need to go into research mode to figure out what it is and how to fix it.

You’ll get back to getting excited to hit that send button, knowing your subscribers are BEYOND excited to see your name pop up in their inbox.

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Is a Podcast Right for Your Business? (5 Questions to Ask Before You Start a Podcast)

It happens to all of us—we’re listening to a kickass podcast episode from another business and we have an epiphany…

Why don’t I do this?!

Been there done that (so much so that we have 2 podcasts). Podcasts are a great—really, really great—way to reach your customers, show your expertise, and create more content that builds a relationship between your customers and your business.

We’re all for podcasts, but that doesn’t mean every business necessarily needs one. Some industries work perfectly for podcasts while others might be a huge miss.

Before you spend time and money on creating the ultimate podcast studio and reaching your audience, ask yourself these 5 questions.

#1: Will Your Podcast Help You Reach More Customers?

Just like with any type of content you’re thinking about creating you want to make sure it’s something your customers even want. While a huge majority of consumers are interested in listening to podcasts, the question is—are they interested in a podcast from you?

If you feel like they are… then that’s a green light to move forward to the next question. If you’re already wondering if they would be, it doesn’t mean you can’t create a podcast. You just may need to get creative on the traditional model.

For example, Macy’s could host a podcast where they have a famous fashionista interview other famous people in the fashion industry. While their consumer isn’t going to be overly excited for a podcast on the backend of Macy’s business model, they’ll definitely be interested to hear from fashion leaders. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

#2: Can You Show Your Expertise Via Podcast?

For most businesses the answer to this question is yes, but for a select few this might be a bit harder. We’re not mosaic painting experts, but it might be hard to showcase your expertise as an artist using only words (we’re definitely open to being proved wrong here though 😊).

To make sure a podcast is right for your business, you want to figure out how you’re going to be able to showcase your expertise within each episode. For example, that could be by interviewing experts, talking solo about industry topics, or even explaining how you’ve been doing something that others in your niche would want to do as well. These are all ways to show your expertise.

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#3: Can You Tie Your Podcast Back to Your Product?

At the end of the podcasting day, your podcast has to serve a purpose. More than likely, that purpose is to create awareness around your products. When you’re thinking of creating a podcast, you need to think of the end goal. If you want to increase sales, what does your podcast need to be about that would tie perfectly back to your product?

For example, at DigitalMarketer we have the Perpetual Traffic podcast and The DigitalMarketer Podcast that talk about marketing strategies and interview experts. These topics fit perfectly with our membership courses and workshops as well as our annual live event, so it makes sense to have them.

#4: Can You Commit to Sticking to It And Being Consistent?

Sporadic podcast uploads don’t drive a huge subscribership. Just like other mediums of content (blogs, videos, social media posts, etc.) you can’t just hit publish once every few weeks. You’ll need a schedule to show people that you’re consistent and they can expect to hear from you every day, week, two weeks, etc.

Tell your subscribers, listeners and everyone else what days they can expect to get your newest episode and build an editorial calendar around it. Create a podcast schedule and make sure you stick to it!

#5: What Would Be the Best Possible ROI from Your Podcast, and Can You Get That With Less of an Investment?

And the most important question of all—is podcasting worth the investment for your business? This a tough metric to nail down as podcasting is generally pretty difficult to pinpoint conversions through. But, you can look at the time and money investment it will take to start and maintain your podcast and ask yourself, “Could we put this money elsewhere and get a better return on our investment?”

For example, let’s say you’re willing to put $1,000 towards your podcast but you’ve also never run social media ads. A business owner might ask themselves if they should hold off on the podcast and put their $1,000 into social media ads so they could get a clear ROI. Once their ads are converting, then they can decide if now is a better time to start a podcast.

Podcasting can have a great ROI on your business, especially in the first few stages of the Customer Value Journey. But, that doesn’t mean it’s the best move (right now!) for all businesses.

Use these 5 questions to confidently choose, or not choose, to start your podcast.

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