How to Build Your Marketing List Through the Amazon Kindle Store

What’s the best way to build your email list? It’s a question every marketer asks themselves on a weekly (or more likely daily) basis. We all know that email, despite competing against new kids on the block social media, SEO and their ilk, still provides the highest ROI. But there’s a problem. Email’s high return is dependent on having a high quality list. As a CRO nut you’re more than familiar with the best practices for landing pages, pop ups and the psychological elements to persuasion. The problem you face doesn’t lie in on page optimization, but in driving traffic…

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How to Build Your Marketing List Through the Amazon Kindle Store

How to Build Your List Through the Amazon Kindle Store

What’s the best way to build your email list? It’s a question every marketer asks themselves on a weekly (or more likely daily) basis. We all know that email, despite competing against new kids on the block social media, SEO and their ilk, still provides the highest ROI. But there’s a problem. Email’s high return is dependent on having a high quality list. As a CRO nut you’re more than familiar with the best practices for landing pages, pop ups and the psychological elements to persuasion. The problem you face doesn’t lie in on page optimization, but in driving traffic…

The post How to Build Your List Through the Amazon Kindle Store appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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How to Build Your List Through the Amazon Kindle Store

Make Your Cold Prospecting Emails Feel a Little Less Cold

Email marketing is often praised as one of the most effective marketing channels, and for good reason: you’re reaching out to people who have already expressed interest in what you’re doing.

But sometimes, especially in the realm of B2B, there’s a case for reaching out cold…

cold-prospecting-email-call-me-maybe-650
I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe?

I’m talking about cold prospecting emails: reaching out to someone you don’t have a direct relationship with and starting a conversation.

Now, this isn’t about blasting them with info about your business. It’s about providing immediate value and serving up an irresistible next step.

It’s worth noting that there’s a fine line between cold prospecting and spam, so please read up on laws for your country. But when done right, reaching out cold can be an easy way to pull in highly qualified prospects — especially when you’re A/B testing to perfect your strategy.

And that’s exactly what this post is about.

Here are five recommendations for improving your cold prospecting email copy and subject lines — pulled from real-life testing data.

Let’s dig in.

1. Get up close and personalize

If you don’t have a relationship with the person you’re reaching out to, you can at least demonstrate that you’ve done your research.

Mentioning the prospect’s name and demonstrating familiarity with their business can help in easing that initial friction… in some cases.

Have a look at this A/B test we ran for a social media SaaS tool:

Subject A: If you chat with only one social media firm this year, make it COMPANY

Subject B: PROSPECT + COMPANY: let’s work together

Subject B was the winner with a 38% lift in open rates (statistically significant) and more clicks. I found this somewhat surprising result because A, unlike B, mentions the subject matter — showing that the company has done their research.

However, I’ve found the combination of mentioning the prospect and client names in conjunction tends to beat many worthy subject line opponents.

Pro tip: Some of the most effective personalization comes before you send your first email — by getting your targeting right. Here are some key targeting elements to you get started:

  • Geography
  • Title
  • Industry and company size
  • Age, gender and other demographic criteria

Filtering by these factors will help you create and test hyper-targeted messages that prospects will be much more likely to find relatable.

The bottom line here? You can’t send relevant messages before knowing who your prospect is.

Do your research and target your emails — the more personal, the better. (For extra credit, check out great Quora thread on why segmentation, targeting and positioning are important in your marketing efforts.)

Want more help writing emails that convert?

Check out our Smart Guide to Email Marketing Conversion for more pointers.
By submitting your email you’ll receive more Unbounce conversion marketing content, like ebooks and webinars.

2. Prove your pudding!

There’s a big difference between saying you improved something and demonstrating it.

When introducing your company to a prospect, get into the details of how you’ve helped other others. In particular, provide before-and-after statistics, usage numbers and any other data that demonstrate the impact your involvement had.

Take these two approaches to email body copy, for example, which we wrote for social media image recognition tool Ditto Labs:

ditto-labs-email-a-b-test

The version on the left was the control that focused on concisely summarizing who uses the product and core benefits. Although well written and concise, it lacked any proof through hard numbers.

Our hypothesis was to sacrifice brevity for working in meaningful statistics and specifics around how the technology works.

The result?

The version on the right won… by a lot. It had a 61% higher CTR and 119% higher conversion to scheduled meetings.

What do I think contributed to the success of the challenger? A few things.

  • The value proposition is super clear and encapsulated in five words: “Visual search for social media.”
  • The second paragraph jumps right into what differentiates this technology from competitors.
  • The third paragraph gets super specific about where Ditto gets it data.
  • The fourth paragraph drives home the technology’s value through hard numbers and data.

But most importantly, the second to last paragraph makes the next step crystal clear, which brings us to…

3. Sell the next step with a clear call to action

Forget about closing the deal in one email.

Focus instead on asking for a next meeting and getting in-depth on how it will be of huge benefit for your client, regardless of any future next steps.

Getting back to the Ditto body copy A/B test, take a look at the call to action from either variation:

Are you open to learning more?

In the losing version, the CTA feels abrupt and vague:

ditto-email-example-1

In the winning body copy, the same call to action is much more contextualized and therefore more actionable:

ditto-labs-email-excerpt-2

We make it clear that the way in which you’ll learn more is via a 20-minute call. There’s no guesswork — it’s ”Yes” or “No” to a 20-minute call.

Here are some other questions and calls to action you can borrow to be even more direct in your cold email prospecting call to action:

  • “What are a few times that work best for you over the next few days for a call?”
  • “Please reply to this email with whether you’re willing to talk further.”
  • “When works for you tomorrow to jump on a quick call?”

The wording should fit your writing style and sales process, but be sure your call to action achieves three things:

  1. Give context and specifics around the next step
  2. Make the next step low pressure
  3. Convey that the next step will be of value to your prospects, regardless of whether or not they become customers

At the end of the day, you’re starting a conversation.

So be real ask to continue the conversation in a meaningful way.

4. Get the subject line right

The subject line sets the tone for your future relationship with your prospect — which should carry from the email to the landing page to the conversion and beyond.

If this sounds like a tall order, it’s because it is. And there’s no “hack” or “cheat” to get it right.

Ultimately, you need to test subject lines that feel and read true to you and your value proposition.

I’m about to show you a couple of subject line tests. The takeaways here are meant to serve as inspiration more than firm guidelines. Just because you see A/B testing data here or elsewhere does not mean it will apply to your business.

With that in mind, let’s dig in.

Subject line test 1 for an anonymous company:

Subject A: You’ve got to see the new product name

Subject B: If you demo one type tool, make it product name

Subject C: Take 20 minutes to demo product name. It’s worth it.

Winner? Subject C with a 44% higher CTR than A and 21% higher CTA than B.

Notice this is the only subject line of the three that talks about the length (20 minutes) of the demo. Also notice that it starts with a verb: “Take.” This subject line was probably the most successful because it’s an upfront and specific call to action to take a 20-minute demo.

Subject line test 2 for another anonymous company:

Subject A: Save prospect significant time & money.

Subject B: This is the *one* type tool you must demo in year

Subject C: Type software that’s 10% faster and actually pleasant to use.

Winner? Subject line B with 62% higher open rate than C and 18% higher than A.

What’s my two cents? “10% faster” isn’t that exciting in email copy, and “significant time & money” is pretty vague. Subject B skips the unimpressive stats and vague promises for a direct and upfront call to action.

So what’s the point of sharing all this testing data?

To show that the words you use in prospecting email really matter. What message is going to encourage prospects to click and take the leap to set up a conversation with a stranger?

Choose your words carefully or get really wild — only a test will reveal what resonates best with prospects.

5. Keep the momentum going

You’ve tested for the most clickable subject line, and you’ve crafted a compelling CTA.

So what happens when prospects decide that they want to take you up on your “next step”?

Will you let them navigate to your website themselves and scramble for your contact information? Well, you could… but that’s likely to kill the momentum you worked hard to build.

Instead, link to a dedicated landing page that continues the conversation you started in your subject line and email body copy. Reassure prospects that they’re in the right place and that they’re closer to receiving the value you promised them.

And if really want to get that landing page experience right, check out Unbounce’s Landing Page Conversion Course.

Cold prospecting emails don’t have to feel cold

Cold prospecting emails shouldn’t feel cold.

It’s the beginning of the relationship with your future prospects, so talk to them as you would your favorite client. And test all the things to be sure you’re doin’ it right.

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Make Your Cold Prospecting Emails Feel a Little Less Cold

Using Google Analytics to Understand Your Social and Mobile Audience

Know your audience. It’s one of the key rules of getting better conversions. These days, knowing your audience isn’t simply about overall web traffic analytics; it means understanding your mobile and social audience too. Here’s why. How Big is the Mobile and Social Audience? In the US alone, according to Pew Research Center: Two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone 15% of Americans own smartphones and have limited other options for getting online. 10% of Americans own smartphones with no other way to get online. Worldwide, the number of smartphones is forecast to reach 2.06 billion by the end of 2016….

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Using Google Analytics to Understand Your Social and Mobile Audience

29 Essential Content Marketing Metrics [INFOGRAPHIC]

It took me a while to figure out the one significant difference between being a writer and being a content marketer. But that one, teeny-tiny difference is actually huge. In fact, it may very well be the key to a successful content marketing strategy.

Spoiler alert: it’s data.

A true content marketer knows not only how to hook you with carefully crafted prose, but also how to measure the success of said prose and then iterate on it.

But figuring out what to measure can be tricky. Which is why we’re sharing with you 29 Essential Content Marketing Metrics, a brilliantly designed infographic by content marketing and curation software Curata.

Have anything to add? Let us know in the comments!

metrics infographic

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29 Essential Content Marketing Metrics [INFOGRAPHIC]

Building An Advanced WordPress Search With WP_Query


Many WordPress superpowers come from its flexible data architecture that allows developers to widely customize their installations with custom post types, taxonomies and fields. However, when it comes down to its search, WordPress provides us with only one-field form that often appears inadequate and leads site admins to adopt external search systems, like Google Custom Search, or third-party plugins.

Building An Advanced Search System in WordPress with WP_Query

In this article I’ll show you how to provide your WordPress installation with an advanced search system allowing the user to search and retrieve content from a specific custom post type, filtering results by custom taxonomy terms and multiple custom field values.

The post Building An Advanced WordPress Search With WP_Query appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Building An Advanced WordPress Search With WP_Query

The Case Against Negative and Fear-Based Headlines

Content marketers everywhere are guilty of purposefully trying to scare the heck out of their readers.

“You’re making these mistakes! You’re doing it wrong. You’re wasting time and money. Your competitors are beating you!”

fear

At Unbounce, we’re as guilty of fear-mongering as anyone else. Some of our most-shared posts have spooky angles, whether we’re warning readers that they could unknowingly be missing out on conversions…

uvp-post-unbounce-blog-fear
This post by Rich Page, which plays on readers’ fear of unknowingly killing their conversions, pulled in 1,222 social shares.

… or flat out accusing them of doing it all wrong:

doing-adwords-wrong-unbounce-blog-fear-
Johnathan Dane’s vurry scurry post racked up 1,363 social shares and 215 (!) comments.

For a variety of psychological reasons, “scary content” just works — we all know this.

But when does creepy content become creppy?

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 2.16.11 PM
Via Urban Dictionary.

In other words, when does using fear and negativity in your content become a sleazy, click-baity tactic that informed readers will see right through?

It’s a debate that the Unbounce content team has been engaging in recently: is fear-based content at odds with a commitment to empower readers? Do vanity metrics like pageviews and social shares come at the cost of sounding pedantic?

Maybe, maybe not. But we think it’s worth reflecting on.

And that’s exactly what the Unbounce content team did, in a recent content strategy meeting. Here are some of the things we touched on.

Fear-based content isn’t delightful or empowering

Like most startups, Unbounce has a set of core values that we (try our best to) live by.

Two of these core values are especially dear to members of the content team:

delight-everyone-unbounce-core-value
be-empowering-unbounce-core-value

As content creators, we’re uniquely positioned to delight our readers by making learning fun, or even just make them laugh when they least expect it. (I challenge you to read my colleague Brad Tiller’s placeholder copy for our Persuasion landing page template and not let out a snort.)

But for Unbounce, delight is about more than just humor or entertainment value. It’s about understanding our audience so well that we can speak to their problems and concerns in relatable terms.

Beyond that, one of my favorite things about my job on the content team is that I am also in a position to empower marketers to become better at their jobs by providing them with actionable and comprehensive content. The kind of stuff that gets people excited about launching a new marketing campaign (by giving them the tools — and the inspiration — they need to do so).

It’s the reason we’re notorious for being hard on our contributors, always pushing them to provide more examples and more data — and it’s the reason we tease Content Strategist Dan Levy for constantly asking everyone to “unpack that.”

upload
Pretty sure Dan has “unpack that” tattooed on the inside of his eyelids.

But what happens when your post opens with a subtle jab at your readers, telling them, “Your competitors are doing it better than you”? What happens when your title is phrased condescendingly, implying that your readers are not-so-good marketers?

I think it depends.

Some readers will surely be up for the challenge, and that sort of phrasing will bring out their competitive side.

But other readers won’t feel too great about it. They won’t feel good about reading your post, they won’t feel empowered to try new things and they probably won’t feel good about doing business with you.

As Brad so articulately put it in our content team Slack channel:

There’s no shortage of awesome and thoughtful things for me to read, so I’m likely to skip something that comes from a position that not only presumes my incompetence, but shames me for it pre-emptively.

Write Click-Worthy Titles Without Resorting to Clickbait

Grab the 250-word summary of Nicole Dieker’s actionable post
By submitting your email you’ll receive more Unbounce conversion marketing content, like ebooks and webinars.

Your readers will see right through your tricks

At Unbounce, we pride ourselves on speaking to a sophisticated readership. Our readers are smart. If we bullsh*t or cut corners, we get called out. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Our readers keep us honest. Knowing that we’ve got a ton of smart people interacting with our content puts on the pressure to create genuinely helpful content. We try our best to skip past all the “black-hat shortcuts” and “easy fixes,” and go straight to the stuff that works because it’s fricken’ hard.

… But we’re not perfect, and sometimes we make mistakes. Pull up a chair, it’s storytime.

After an upcoming post is gone over with a fine-toothed comb by one of our editors, we send it off to an internal mailing list of 10-ish content team members. We poke further holes in the post (I told you, we’re hard asses) and vote on a list of potential titles.

Several months ago, we were doing just this for an upcoming post, and we settled on a title that we thought would catch people’s attention: Everything You’ve Been Told About Copywriting is Complete Nonsense.

When we hit the publish button, we learned what happens when you experiment with a negative title “because it works” without really delivering in the post itself. We got flamed in the comments:

copywriting-post-unbounce-comment-fear
Ouch.

The post contained some solid advice, but it was buried under a click-baity title.

We sacrificed clarity for something we thought would get us more clicks, opens and shares. And it backfired.

But we learned a really important lesson: to be as honest and genuine in our marketing content as possible. At the end of the day, if we perceive something as a “trick,” our informed audience is likely to see it that way, too.

And they’re not shy to call us out on it.

The upside of being honest and writing content that does exactly what it says on the tin (read: title)?

We attract an audience of smart marketers. The kind that won’t be fooled by BuzzFeed-esque click tricks. The kind that comes back again and again and leaves insightful comments. And potentially become brand advocates or even customers.

There’s a time and place for negativity

This isn’t to say that using fear and negativity in your titles is a black-hat trick or dishonest. Many members of the Unbounce content team felt strongly that there is a time and a place for these tactics.

As Brad put it:

Addressing fear is a totally legit tactic, and I think can be used in positive ways, ways that tap into our anxieties while simultaneously being reassuring about how we can address them.

Our Content Coordinator Amy Wood echoed Brad’s point, driving home the importance of following up the fear/negativity with an actionable solution:

I’m also of the opinion that it can be useful and warranted in certain situations. But above all else, we still need to be producing quality content that — click-baity headline or not — never makes the reader feel, ‘Well that was a waste of my time.’

So if you decide to use fear and negativity in your titles to draw readers in, don’t leave them hanging. Offer up the solution to those anxieties.

What are our other options?

If you’ve tested negative titles and feel you may want to experiment with other ways to get people clicking on your titles, check out Nicole Dieker’s post, “How to Write Click-Worthy Titles Without Resorting to Clickbait.”

Or grab the 250-word TL;DR summary we created below.

Write Click-Worthy Titles Without Resorting to Clickbait

Grab the 250-word summary of Nicole Dieker’s actionable post
By submitting your email you’ll receive more Unbounce conversion marketing content, like ebooks and webinars.

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The Case Against Negative and Fear-Based Headlines

18 Signs You’re A Conversion Rate Optimization Expert

Have you ever wondered if you’re a CRO expert? There aren’t many out there. Content marketers aplenty, coders everywhere, SEOs in abundance, and social media gurus on every corner, but conversion rate optimizers? They’re a rare breed. To find out if you fit the profile of an “expert,” see if these things apply to you. And if they don’t, it’s not too late to rise in the ranks. You won’t merely discover if you’re a CRO expert. You’ll also discover how to become one. 1. You Realize That Conversion Optimization Starts With Learning About Your Target Audience If you don’t…

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18 Signs You’re A Conversion Rate Optimization Expert

Diving Into Procedural Content Generation, With WorldEngine


When I was young and learning to program, I was fascinated by the possibility of creating things that could live inside my monitor. I had the same feeling when I started to play with procedural content generation, which is to find the rules behind a phenomenon, encode them in an algorithm, and use that algorithm to create something virtual, but realistic — a plausible simulation.

Procedural Content Generation

Typically, you can give a seed or some initial parameters to a procedural content generation algorithm, and get some result. You could generate the landscape of a city, the shape of a tree or an entire world.

The post Diving Into Procedural Content Generation, With WorldEngine appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Diving Into Procedural Content Generation, With WorldEngine

8 Steps For Building A Profitable Google AdWords Display Campaign

There is a misconception about the Google AdWords Display Network. Many believe it is only for big businesses running large-scale branding campaigns (think Coca-Cola). But that is not true! When display ads are set up and managed correctly, they can be just as effective as search ads in driving direct leads and sales. Let’s take a closer look at this misconception. Branding Vs. Direct Response Advertising First, let’s define the two types of advertising: branding and direct response. The misconception surrounding display advertising (branding) stems from a lack of understanding about these two very different types of advertising. With a…

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8 Steps For Building A Profitable Google AdWords Display Campaign