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Welcome to Josh Baker's Practical Advice for Optimizing Your Internet Marketing blog. Here you will find internet marketing optimization and online strategy articles full of tips, tricks, discussions, and thoughts to help you take your marketing and business to the next level of success.

Archive for Email

In 1973, the University of California at Berkeley was sued for showing bias in admissions for women to their graduate school. Men had a much better chance to be admitted than women according to the statistics given. The reporting showed that this sex bias was unlikely due to chance since the percentage difference between the men and women admitted was so large that it had to be in fact true.

But when the numbers were looked at by individual department, it was actually shown that there was a small but statistically significant bias that favored the women in actually having a higher chance at being admitted.

How can this be? Simple, it’s called Simpson’s Paradox. Simpson’s Paradox is when the trends derived from the data from individual subgroups are reversed when the groups are combined.

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Google announced their Gmail Priority Inbox feature today which will basically separate (re: filter) your email into 3 different categories as they arrive, essentially dividing up those emails into:

  1. Important and unread
  2. Starred
  3. Everything else

According to their blog post Email overload? Try Priority Inbox over at The Official Gmail Blog, Gmail will use a variety of signals to predict which email messages are important and over time using your email habits determine which “box” each arriving email should go into.

If you are an email marketer, will your emails end up in the Important and Unread “box”, my guess this early on is “probably not” if the recipient’s habits don’t have them opening your emails frequently or responding back. They even make a reference to it (bacn) in their post. Who knows for sure at this point, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out over time.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Categories : Email
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My time is just as yours is, extremely valuable. This requires me to make the best use of the time I am getting paid for as I only have a set number of hours a day to get things done. Just like you, I have multiple projects at any time being either started or that need to be completed.

At minimum, I get at least ten free webinar email invites each week from various businesses that want some portion of my time. Usually, I don’t have the time to even attend one free webinar.  I may register for one just in case some time clears up for a topic I want to learn more about, or use as a refresher, but usually I don’t ever show up. I don’t show up because often my memory kicks in and I remember how disappointed I was in most of the webinars I attended in the past.

However, once in a great while there will be one webinar that I get excited about attending and just can’t wait for that time to come, and if it turns out to be a good one I walk away having benefited in some manner. Most of the time though the invites get deleted because they just aren’t convincing enough to make me want to exchange my time for what is being offered in the webinar email invite.

Does your free webinar invite answer any of these common questions that recipients often ask themselves?

  1. Why is this webinar relevant to me or what I do?
  2. What will I learn by attending and what will be covered?
  3. How will it benefit me by attending?
  4. Why is the presenter fit to teach me, what makes them someone I want to listen to? Prove it!
  5. Are you going to try to sell me something, and if so is it 80% sales pitch, 20% content?
  6. Have you helped others already, what are others saying – i.e. testimonials
  7. The email creative and copy bores me, too generic, stock photos I’ve seen before 100 times, too much copy that rambles -will the webinar be just as generic, dry, or unprofessional?
  8. Is there be a question and answer session?
  9. Can I email questions ahead of time? If so, to what email address?
  10. Do I have to pay for the call? Am I paying for you to give me a sales pitch?
  11. What time does the webinar start in MY time zone?
  12. How long will the webinar last?

 

Most importantly, your webinar content must match what you promise to offer in the invite and preferably even more to increase the WOW factor.

Your turn! What other common questions can you think of? Let me know!

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Categories : Creativity, Email
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Today I received an email from the Web Marketing Association that made me chuckle when it arrived in my inbox and I read what the From Line stated. Slightly immature on my part, but at the same time a good reminder to always review all aspects of your emails. Although this is their proper name and it did get my attention (and as a matter of fact I forwarded the screenshot for others to look at too), Outlook only displayed a portion of the from line for me.

Click on image below to see full size:

Your email from line and why you should view all aspects of your emails.

 
I should note that this was in Microsoft Outlook.

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I am often surprised at how many local brick-and-mortar businesses don’t offer email newsletters. If they do happen to offer them, they are sent out way too often or much too infrequently and have little to no benefit for the recipient-they don’t build a relationship between you and the reader.

Creating a relationship-building opt-in email newsletter is an absolute necessity and just one of the many must-do ways for you to stay top-of-mind with your target audience (current or potential customers). It’s extremely important not to send out email that has no real value for the recipient. You have to make sure that the content in the email newsletter provides value, and not just stroke your ego. You will over the long-term greatly benefit by providing value to the reader. Make sure the email newsletter keeps your audience interested; the kind of interest that makes them want to tell everyone they know about your newsletter and business which of course spreads word-of-mouth.

As a quick example to explain the concept, imagine you own or manage a local brick and mortar gourmet food shop. You could implement almost immediately a free weekly or biweekly email newsletter to customers containing:

  • 1 or 2 recipes where the ingredients are available at your store
  • A few special tidbit facts on the origin of the recipe or a new spice
  • A cooking tip, maybe in a video format (don’t forget to post it to YouTube, or Howcast)
  • A food storage tip
  • An interview with a local chef/celebrity/politician about food and or cooking

You could continue to create more value and engagement when you:

  • Offer incentives (a gift card to your store) for people to send in a review of recipes they cooked from your newsletter, or a family recipe of their own.
  • Feature a spice of the week or of the month and don’t forget to mention to newsletter readers know that they can stop by your store and pick up a sample (no purchase necessary) to try it out, or a special price on it, or a sample of food using it.
  • Give readers the opportunity to stop by your store and pick up two additional recipes for free. You could also reverse the offer and give out the two free recipes to those who come to your store and let them know they can get more every month via email by registering for your email newsletter.

The list of possibilities and opportunities is endless. Be creative with your expertise to provide an enewsletter of value, something they want and find worth in receiving and to not delete. Build that relationship with your customers that they won’t get at your competition.

For some this post may be really basic, but way too many miss the point and most importantly the opportunity. You are creating a newsletter to build a relationship that will convert to sales over time, not necessarily today or later this week. You want an email newsletter that is worth it for the reader to open, read, and save in their email box, and if you’re doing it right they are sitting on the edge of their computer seat waiting for the next issue to arrive. It should demonstrate your expertise, draw them back into your store, and even inspire them to forward it to friends.

Keep the expertise up, the sales pitches low-key (unless you’re Kmart) but intertwined – and build that very important value-relationship with your audience.

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Categories : Email
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