Help with email headlines – a short guide

We work day to day with clients on email campaigns, personalised cold emails, event invitation blasts and much more. Over the years we’ve become accustom to building effective email headlines that get emails read and replied to, and we’ve noticed that without that experience entire campaigns can be rendered useless. So if you lack experience building effective email headlines that get your campaigns read and replied to then you’ve come to the right place!

The Creative Agency Secrets short guide to email headlines

Email headlines are a lot like blog headlines. We’ve boiled it down to a few select simple rules:

  • Short and simple.
    Getting to the point quicker with fewer words helps grab attention and keeps it. Shorter headlines are also usually more exciting which entices further reading.
  • Promise what the full message contains
    If readers believe the title is misleading to the content, they’re more likely to discard your email after reading it! It’s all about trust, people.
    This also comes along with cohesion and comprehension because if you’re conveying two things at once the reader is less likely to understand what you want them to do and why.
  • Relevant to the target audience.
    This tends to be a given because again, the headline of the email should reflect on the content and your content should be getting sent to the right target audience. But too many times we see email headlines that reflect a part of the content which isn’t interesting or relevant to the target audience. Make sure the your next email headline brings out the part of the content most likely to interest your intended readers.
  • Make readers curious.
    Don’t give them everything, leave them wanting! This should be simple with our first rule of headlines being short but sometimes a “90% of x does y” type of headline isn’t as effective as “So how many of xes do ys, you think? Here’s your answer:”

You may be a cut above the rest now that you know these 4 simple rules, but we’re not done yet. We want to arm you with the best practices, so here’s some fantastic email headline examples (we found many of these on CopyBlogger! They’re a brilliant content marketing resource):

  • “Why you should always [content]”
  • “Your answer to [content]”
  • “10 ways to [content]”
  • “Your competitors do [content], why?”
  • “What everybody ought to know about [content]”
  • You Are Not Alone

Which is your favourite? Let us know how your next campaign goes!

 

Want to learn more about email marketing, or get an experienced marketer to build campaigns for you?

Contact us! We’re your next big marketing success.

How do you know that your business website is performing?

Business websites are no longer a ‘set-and-forget’ business asset. Any website which you haven’t touched for months or years is depreciating faster than melting ice cream in summer. It is not helping your business.

The race to perform on Google was thought to be an un-winnable chase for small businesses who don’t have huge marketing promotion budgets.

That is no longer true.

All businesses run on Key Performance Indicators and so today I am going to run through a few important measurements that you can use to see if your website is performing well.

Going Web Mobile

The first one – and the most important is mobility. Google has announced that it will be including mobile-friendliness as part of its algorithm from 21st April.
Test your website here 

If your website fails the test – get in touch with your developers and build a mobile friendly website.

Machine readers for key words

The second one is a quick test to see how a “machine” reads the words on your website. We all know Google, Bing and Yahoo are search engines. What we forget is that engines aren’t human. When machines read web pages they find different emphases than we humans do.

Here’s a test you can do – take the words from your website home page and paste them into the Open Calais Viewer  Click ‘submit’ and then they tell you which words and phrases a machine thinks are important in what you’ve written. If those words are not the most important key words for your website – re-write them until they align.

Clever humans have written another machine reader which also shows sentiment analysis – what subtle messages are communicated using the tone of voice and context of your home page texts. Take the same words and paste them into Alchemi API Language . The keywords tab on the left is colour coded to show positive (green), negative (red) and neutral (grey) sentiment. The size of the squares shows the perceived importance of each phrase.

Expert copywriting for the web combines both human and machine reading – it’s very worthwhile getting these right.  Creative Agency Secrets are copywriting experts.

If you can write clearly about what you do, show off pictures and short articles and work with social media, email marketing and old-fashioned direct mail then your business can stand out.

Get local

Did you know that Google, as the premier search engine, is getting increasingly local? You do not have to compete with a huge national firm who does the same thing as you. It’s easy now just to set your search horizon to the local geography that you serve.

Let me prove it to you. Open up a search engine (Google, Yahoo Search or Bing) and search for “Your business name” and “Your suburb”. Do you show up? Probably yes.

Now change the search to “Your business type/profession” and “Your suburb”. Same answers? Or not?

Narrowing the search terms you show up for allows local businesses to shine as beacons to the local prospective customers they want to work with. And for New Zealand business owners, this is a godsend. Google’s Webmaster Tools are free supports that allow you to register your physical location with them so you can include a Google Map with a red pin at your location. Then customers can easily find your premises and load directions into their mobile phone maps for driving directions.

The hard part of web marketing

There was always going to be a “BUT” in this article…. well here it is.

You cannot get the search results you want with a static website that hasn’t been updated or changed for months.

This means that business owners need to learn how to rub and maintain their websites, just like driving a car – this means acquiring a knowledge of how to present your business to its best advantage, how to show off your skills, how to find the right audience and encourage them to come to your website – not just once but over and over.

In short, you need to learn how to Drive Your Website.

We are running training during May 2015 in 5 cities in NZ to teach you how to do this.  Blogging Concentrated NZ starts on May 1st in Auckland and ends in Christchurch on May 9th.

Improve The Way Your Website Appears On Google

We’re often asked by clients when we begin working with them to increase their Google presence. So what’s the easiest way to do this?

Simply put – you need to help Google to help you.

Follow the steps below to increase the size of your “Online Real Estate”.

Map/Contact Details (The Red Boxes)

The easiest thing to do add to your “property portfolio” is create a Google+ Page for your business. Go to http://www.google.co.nz/business/ and register your business.  Chances are, Google has already added your site to their index and simply wants you to verify the information before it displays it as it does in the red boxes.

After locating your business (and verifying if need be) you’ll be greeted with your Business Google+ Dashboard. It’s here you can add phone numbers, office hours, address and map location.

Google_Meta_Descriptions

Sitelinks (The Yellow Box)

Most sites don’t have what is known as “Sitelinks” when you search for their business. These are drawn from Google’s index of your website and are based on what Google thinks are the most important pages on your site.  Sometimes you and Google disagree on this!

Getting The Sitelinks

Enabling Google to index your site and enable Sitelinks is simple – submit an effective Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools and ensuring your robots.txt file isn’t blocking the pages you want as Sitelinks.

These steps assume you’ve already verified your site on Google Webmaster Tools (click here if you haven’t)

  1. Generate a sitemap.xml file (using either a sitemap plugin or a generator such as http://www.web-site-map.com/).
  2. Upload your sitemap to your site’s root folder (the URL will most likely be www.yourcompanyname.com/sitemap.xml).
  3. On your Webmaster Tools home page, select your site.
  4. In the left sidebar, click Crawl and then Sitemaps.
  5. Click the Add/Test Sitemap button in the top right.
  6. Complete your sitemap.xml URL into the text box that appears.
  7. Click Submit Sitemap.

Checking Your Robots.Txt File

  1. Still in Webmaster tools, under Crawl, click robots.txt Tester.
  2. At the bottom of the page, enter the URLs you want to be sitelinks and ensure Googlebot is “Allowed” to index them.

Choose Which Pages Are Linked

Although most of your site hierarchy is decided in the Sitemap (Google “page priority levels” if you’re not sure), how Google deals with multiple pages with the same Priority Level is purely random.

Therefore to make sure the ones you want to appear appear you have to “demote” certain pages from appearing. On the left menu under “Search Appearance” you’ll find “Sitelinks”. On this page you’ll be able to enter in the URLs of the pages you don’t want to be used as Sitelinks on your Google search results.

*Don’t forget to shorten the metadata description on the pages that are Sitelinks – most SEO guides suggest 160 characters or fewer – however for best results we try to use 90 (that way Google won’t shorten your description, cutting out important information).

Of course, if you’ve got any questions about setting these up or other best practices do please leave us a comment or Contact Us – we’re always happy to help!

Free training: What can we do to improve our Search Rankings?

The Blogging Concentrated team are coming to New Zealand in May from 1st to 9th 2015.  Creative Agency Secrets are their hosts and we are running one-day training events in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch for you to learn about how to make your business website effective as a marketing and sales tool.

Ahead of the visit, we organised 3 free training sessions for you to gauge the quality of training and to get you excited and signed up for the NZ events.

The first was yesterday – and here’s the recording for you to listen and share SEO Improving your Search Rankings.

SEO improving search rankings

Join us for the event in your city:

Each link page shows you the curriculum, the venue, the times and the amazing food you’ll be eating (only joking about the food – but it is amazing).

Join us for the next free advance taster event on April 13th on The Business Mindset of Blogging.  Sign up by clicking the “YES” I will watch button.

 

Are you the CEO of your business website?

Yes I’m asking you if you drive business success from your website?

Is someone in charge of making your firm’s website successful?  Making the websitedeliver business goals?  It doesn’t matter if you’re self-employed or work for a giant corporation, if you have a website we will teach you how to drive proactive success with Blogging Concentrated education.

Announcing the Blogging Concentrated New Zealand Tour

Running to five dates, we are bringing the US founders of Blogging Concentrated, Dan Morris and Rachel Martin, to NZ so we can get ahead learning how to become the CEO of our websites and drive business success.

Five dates, Four Cities, Two Leaders and One YOU.

Join us in Auckland on May 1, May 3; Wellington on May 6th; Nelson on May 7th and Christchurch on May 9th for the best, practical website marketing execution training available.

What will I learn?

Websites are the modern marketer’s best tool to build new revenue streams and grow audience engagement.  This training comes from the leading edge of best practice with two international practitioners sharing their up to date knowledge.

Learn specific techniques that will deliver outcomes including:

  • Audience engagement with clusters marketing
  • Persuasion and action techniques
  • How to tell a story
  • Using data dashboards to improve conversions
  • The copywriting words that create engagement
  • How to use custom sidebars to optimise your adverts
  • A YouTube strategy to keep viewers on your videos
  • And more….
Watch the 4 minute video Dan and Rachel recorded about the NZ sessions 
Everything taught in the sessions is based on real-world learning and used daily in Dan and Rachel’s own business websites.  They know these techniques work.
You will be learning practical solutions from knowledgeable technicians.

Blogging Concentrated Testimonials

“I think you are going to revolutionize the way I write posts – the Adsense lecture was phenomenal. We will be contacting you with more specific questions e.g. How on earth do we get the CPM per post spreadsheet – and everything else, once we decompress what we’ve learned.”  R Miller

“You know when you go to a conference and you sit through sessions that simply regurgitate stuff you already know?  Yeah, I hate that, which is why I’m so excited about being at Blogging Concentrated Atlanta, Dan R Morris and Rachel Martin have put together a ton of original content that is not just informative but actionable.  When they come to your town you should definitely sign up and go.”  Simon Salt

“Stay in front of your audience was worth the price of the conference ticket! Wow!” Penny Woodin Rogers

“@DanRMorris 16 minutes in and mind exploding with actions already!” Amie Flowerday

“Hi Dan,  Just wanted to say thank you so much for all the valuable information you and Rachel gave us this weekend.  You can not put any price on what we learned, and I am forever in debt to you both!”  Emily Luscombe

Want to pay less for the event?

The Blogging Concentrated business has 2 parts – training events and BC Prime, a subscriber community who buy training and advice by monthly subscription.  If you’re curious about the depth of knowledge these guys bring to training events – read the BC Prime page – note the huge quantity of 2014 Release Archives – impressive, eh?  6 – 10 new pieces of educational content per month…

Choose BC Prime when you book your ticket and pay less – but GET MORE.

Ready to become the CEO of your website?
Join us by booking your ticket

button register

There are two prices, one for BC Prime members and one for the public.
Avoid limp education, buzz phrases and marketing hype.  Concentrate on workable, practical solutions that you can implement immediately on your website.
You know where to come!

 

Creating Direct Share Links: Share Link Generator

The other day we were sitting here creating a Google Form survey and thought “gee I wish we could embed some way for respondents to share this survey!”. Well, one quick Google search later and we came across Share Link Generator.

What as Share Link Generator?

Quite simply, Share Link Generator is a tool that makes it easy for your audience to share whatever type of content you’re passing around. First step is for your to create some content. Once you have that, choose which social media platform(s) you’d like your content to be shared on. Then, copy a direct link to your content and paste it into your chosen social media platform(s) on Share Link Generator and click the “Create the Link!” button.

From there, Share Link Generator will generate a unique URL that, when clicked, will direct the user to a web page showing a post they can confirm to send to that chosen social media platform. Yes they’ll have to be signed in but ultimately it’s a single landing page with a single call to action, and that call is just to click “POST”!

How we use it

The links generated are rather hideous on their own, so we choose to hyperlink (either on a picture which is most effective or simply through text) or where hyperlink options aren’t available we call them through a Goo.Gl shortened URL.

The result?

We’ll keep you posted, but we think this could be a quick and easy activity to increase shares and interactions with your online content. Only time will tell!

 

Cluetrain Original

Cluetrain has New Clues – time for newbies to read the original!

I listened to the FIR podcast #790 and found that Cluetrain has been updated!

Cluetrain Original

Cluetrain Original

New Clues published in January and numbers 52-67 apply to our marketing communications world in particular. [see below]
Oh, and also pay attention to number 100
You want to know what to buy? The business that makes an object of desire is now the worst source of information about it. The best source is all of us.
It will be hard to adhere to them – because marketers are busy fouling their own nest, much as we did with banner adverts, SEO and oh-so-many other internet tools which we over-exploited so the makers ended up changing the rules to exclude our actions.
Seems to me ever more of a message about the quality of content, ease of discovery and honesty of presentation.

Your marketing strategy for 2015

If your marketing strategy for this year even remotely resembles what you did for the past 5 years tear it up.  Forget it.  The businesses who will thrive understand Cluetrain, they present their wares at least in part in a Cluetrain-format and will reap the $$ rewards accordingly.
Just call us if you think you want to change and don’t know how.

Rant over.

Now, what do you think?
I’m going to get my whole team to read Cluetrain original next week as their homework!

New Clues for Marketers

The New Clues that directly relate to the practice of marketing. Numbered from the original. Read more

FREE eBook: Cold Emails – Doing it right and netting yourself leads

Cold Emails Book CoverEmail is a vital tool to growing your business. It’s non-invasive, interactive, and most of all – integral to business communications, so often get noticed.

One way to use email is through cold emailing, which is emailing to people you don’t know. It can come across as underhanded, but when done correctly it’s a marketing practice that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Find out about cold emails and how to write them in our free eBook…

Cold Emails – Doing it right and netting yourself leads

In this eBook, we’ll go through how to:

  • Write cold emails that encourage a response.
  • Tailor your cold emails to the right clients.
  • Personalise cold emails.

Looking for more insight on how to build great email campaigns, and sell directly to your audience? Contact Us!

ModComs pitch pack video

B2B video brochure – cool sales tool

Matt O’Neill is the Managing Director of ModComms – a company that produces The Pitch Pack, he sent us this neat video pack which business to business marketers

ModComs pitch pack video

ModComs pitch pack video

can use to open new leads.

How does PitchPack work?

The pack is a bit like a card brochure – you open it that triggers a magnetic switch which opens the power – a logo displays for a second while it warms up and then the first video plays

A typical pack has 4 videos – they come with volume controls and the larger packs have more videos on them.  Al the components are built in – from batteries, speakers to CPU.

They are encoded to Xvid format – the reason to use a specific codec is that it is lower file size with max picture quality.  A standard has 256 mg memory of which 170 is usable the rest is operating system.  so it gives about 17 minutes of video playback.

Finish watching, close it like a book and that switches it off.

In the spine there’s a little USB port you can charge the battery and uploading the videos.

If a client wants to use it the production process is firstly to design the outer pack – card wrap – using a standard Adobe Illustrator template.  The videos have to be produced and then you have all the assets.  These are sent digitally to China.  The factory sends back a prototype in digital print (not litho).  Sometimes there are small amends, it is signed off for manufacture and production.

One thing is critical is quality assurance with Chinese factories -we include two rounds of this – locally it’s checked in Shenzen and then it’s sent out and we check a few samples too.  Then we dispatch – sometimes it’s a bulk delivery, other times we do the fulfilment individually.

As part of the marketing it’s important that the telesales follow up to fix the meetings.

What types of Business use PitchPack?

It’s any B2B organisation providing a higher value product or service.  Tech companies like it, hotels, consultancies, engineering groups and some internal comms – high level changes across global senior teams.

Integration wit the sales funnel – the clients using account based marketing principles.  Some use it for the ‘door opener’ – grab attention of a senior decision maker.  It’s critical to have a structured follow up process.  Or use it as a leave-behind or a send-after to answer questions.  Salesman can film themselves on a mobile phone giving the answers and then include other videos too.  Those companies that are a bit more sophisticated and using lead scoring, for example, the score triggers sending a pack.

Personalisation – we are used to it with paper mail, but when you show the recipient that there’s an introduction just addressed to them – it’s flattering.  Anecdotally we hear it is very powerful.

Results – using a campaign with a global software company – we did a small run of 250 packs of which 240 were distributed.  They got 23 meetings with decision makers and they’ve got 4 deals with an average value of GBP250k each.  That campaign cost 5k on the packs themselves, 7k producing one video and re-used another couple of videos.  Total campaign cost 16k.

Why should our readers try the service?

Video is growing – mobile traffic about 50-70% of mobile traffic is video now.  Cisco predicts that 1/5 of the world’s population will access video online by 2016.

As a medium, video creates feelings of trust and so when brands use real people or show people doing real things curiosity is triggered.  When making video for marketing purposes don’t put everything in.  Leave them wanting more.

Confidence in the brand is built and sometimes amusement.  If you can make video for business funny you will have next to no competition because there’s so little out there.

With that popularity it’s a blessing and a curse – the competition will only get more furious.

Marshall Mcluan said the medium is the message in 60s and these packs are both – it allows people to explore video in their own time in their own way wherever they happen to be.

This is an easy differentiation tool – stand out from the crowd.  I remember in 2005 there were personalised USB sticks but now these are ubiquitous.  This type of marketing tactic is now at its 2005 moment but in 3-5 years it’ll be old hat.

If you are producing video for the pack, the content can be re-used across other media – home page, landing pages, powerpoint, email-able files.  The results are pretty tangible – looking at it in pure numbers.

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