Grow your mailing list fast – with a Lightbox

One of the simplest and yet, most effective methods we have found to grow our mailing list at Creative Agency Secrets, has been with the integration of a ‘Lightbox’ or a ‘pop-up’ plugin.

For any business operating with an online presence (let’s face it, if you’re not, you should be!), one of your primary objectives should be to acquire email addresses of potential customers to sell your glorious products and services.

However, relying on customers to navigate your site and opt themselves in is like telling your dog to fetch a ball that it doesn’t know exists. You need to show them the ball and especially why they want to chase it!

Okay, what is a lightbox?

To put it simply, a lightbox is an extension programme on your website that jumps up at your visitors displaying a customised message, usually requesting visitors to supply their email address in exchange for some kind of benefit. These benefits are typically newsletter subscriptions, prize giveaways, eBooks, online courses and other free rewards.

Key factors to building an effective lightbox

  • Firstly, your lightbox needs to stand out. Web users are exposed to multiple lightboxes on a daily basis. You need to ensure yours captures their attention. Most lightbox software allows customisation of colour schemes and text which aid in making it visually appealing when it appears on your website. Aside from being eye catching, you need a powerful and enticing message that will draw them in as well as outline clearly what they get.
  • The lightbox should serve a single purpose – sign up here to receive benefit ___. If you make it too complicated, visitors will lose patience and simply close it without completing the signup.
  • Offer your visitors something that they want. No visitor is going to sign up for your offer if they have no interest in it or cannot see any real value from it.
  • Set frequency and page display settings to something reasonable that will not drive people away. Your lightbox should be a passive reminder, not an aggressive punch in the face to get visitors to sign up.
  • Associate it with your email client management software and it will directly import the email addresses it collects into that programme, saving you time and effort.

Once you have your lightbox setup, you simply launch it and leave it to acquire all those precious email addresses on its own. Easy!

bizsparkup lightbox creative agency secrets

An example of a SumoMe Lightbox on a client’s website

Some lightboxes work better than others however. Our previous (paid) lightbox on one client’s website appeared cluttered and ‘busy’ on the webpage. After some deliberation we decided we should see what else was available.

We assessed a number of alternatives across a range of features such as mail client integration, level of customisation, price and so forth. Although paid and free versions existed for most options, we discovered the benefits of many of the premium lightbox providers were not substantial enough to justify the purchase.

Our clear favourite at the end of the process was a product called ‘List Builder’ developed by SumoMe*. Their simple user interface meant it was pleasant for our visitors to engage with and the customisable colour and text allowed us to align the lightbox with our clients’ brands.

In the first few months, we saw the number of subscribers jump from roughly 20 – 30 per month to over 300! Our mailing lists continue to grow steadily and our lightbox is undoubtedly a key driver in facilitating this.

So what are you waiting for? Convert your web traffic into willing customers immediately, or get in touch if you would like us to help you get there.

*For a full breakdown of the lightboxes we compared, click here.

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.

Anniversary marketing campaign ideas

 

Linda Horton from Bermuda makes amazing Bermudan Black Rum Cakes and is planning a 30th

Horton’s Bermudan Black Rum Cake

Anniversary Marketing event.  Here’s what we recommended

  • Create a special cake (unique box, big plus small cake in one box, different sizes, multi-buy)
  • Use your database of past customers and create a mailing campaign
  • Create a landing page on your website “30th Anniversary” – on the page talk about the history of the company and tell them there will be a contest every week during July and you’re planing a special cake edition.  As each email gets sent out, edit the page to include more and more information

Send messages as follows

  • 1 month in advance (1 June) telling them to expect something special at the anniversary.
  • 2 weeks later tell them what it will be and say you’re taking advance orders at a special discounted price for 1 week only.  [This is useful because you then know the volume you need to bake.]
  • 1 week after – send an email saying you will raise the price to the normal price on the website in 1 day [this will drive more sales].
  • On 1 July start the contest on Facebook and also run it on the website.  Include a simple entry form so you get their email addresses.
  • On 8 July announce the winner of the first week on Facebook and the website page.  Also email every person who entered and did not win offering them a special price on a cake and encouraging them to enter again.
  • Repeat each week till the end of July.
If you want to boost contest entries you can do Facebook advertising to send people to your landing page.
I am really looking forward to the cake Linda’s sending over for the team… morning coffee will never be the same again!

 

Email Campaign Case Study: Space Saver Rowing Systems

Email campaigns are one of our specialties. One campaign we ran recently with Space Saver Rowing Systems launched their product, Wraptor Balance, exposed to a core group of potential customers.

Step 1: initial context

campaign 1Our first email blast was designed as an introduction to the product.

It had a simple design and asked all the major questions to illustrate how having this product can solve issues the customer has with beginner rowers.

Following the opening paragraph was a list of ways the product solved the issue. This, accompanied by specifications, images and  customer quotes, gave the product a well-rounded and positive image.

The email ends with a firm call to action dominating the bottom of the email – a risk-free trial of the product – as well as a warm farewell from the client.

Topping it off, we used a post script.  P.S. statements are one of the most-read statements in emails! They firmly guided readers to the product landing page and reminded them to act on the call to action.

As you can see, the results were solid with a 40% open rate and 10% click through rate. The success however, came in reply emails requesting trials which lead to sales for our client:

campaign 2

Step 2: follow up

campaign 2

One of the greatest assets to a successful campaign is the follow up email. Not only does it feel personal, it also allowed a specific offer to be made for a no-risk trial of the product.

The analytics show a smaller number clicking through, but the client got trial requests and sold product off the campaign so it more than paid for itself.

campaign 2

Case study: email marketing drives sales for Space Saver

We take pride in our ability to create successful email marketing campaigns that deliver measurable results. We meticulously plan emails to be sent so each one is effective and engaging to the target audience. Here are two case studies:

The sports equipment brand

Space Saver Rowing Systems (SSRS) is a rowing boathouse equipment retailer. They recently launched a new product – The Wraptor Balance. We worked with them on a campaign that generated responses and resulted in sales.

The new product launch campaign

Gathering the right media for the product – The Wraptor Balance is an innovative tool best experienced before purchase. We can’t bring an experience through the internet but we can bring the experience to the reader with videos, photos and the offer of a free trial.

A landing page – Our next step was to create a landing page for the product on the SSRS website. We focused on clear messaging showing how the product was important to use for beginners and why it makes a difference.

We then created web buttons which led readers to the next step in the process: a trial or purchase. Landing pages are incredibly important to product launch campaigns as it is the one consistent place directing customers to an action. As long as you can lead a customer there you’ve got them interested.

A series of blog posts – We then went about scheduling several blog posts that were short and exciting while directing readers again to the Wraptor Balance landing page. This quickly achieved our goal to find interested prospects and get them invested in learning more about the product.

The email blast and its format – Emails are great if you already have a mailing list, which is the only catch.
We sent out 2 emails – the first being a lengthy description of the benefits of having a Wraptor Balance in a rowing club boatshed. The second was more focused with more emphasis on customer experiences through testimonials.

The results

The email campaign saw a whopping 40% open rate accompanied by 10% clicking through to links we included…

1

Over time we continued to generate small pockets of interest as well…as the graph below shows.

2

As a result of the campaign Space Saver Rowing Systems has provided 15 clubs with a trial of the Wraptor Balance with 3 confirmed sales to date (and more on the way).

The business consultant

Nick Muller runs a leadership program called Coaching for Change. This is a 4 session training program run over a 6 month period that teaches leaders how to bring change about and lead small businesses to success.

He embarked on an email campaign using our services with the hope of boosting attendance to his program, and we delivered. 9 emails across a 4 week period were sent to two separate email lists which brought him a handful of new signups to his high price coaching course. Each email was unique. The first was an introductory message; the second email followed the first but was a lot shorter and used as a reminder. The final one in the series split our lists between those who had clicked on a prior email and those who hadn’t. For those who hadn’t we focused on the email title more than the content. For those who had clicked on a prior email we focused on convincing them to make contact.

3

From the graph above it’s plain to see we maintained consistent email open rates around the 30% mark for each of the 9 emails. Normal campaign opening rates are often around 20%, with more successful campaigns reaching 30-40% (yes, that’s us!). Sending the 3rd email out to people who hadn’t clicked on a previous email worked well with a maintained 30% open rate also. This means, as a result of sending that extra email, we expanded the reach of the campaign.

4

This graph (above) shows the click rates of links within the emails we sent. It once again proves how effective our repeat emails were. The stats suggest that with our third email we managed to convince those who hasn’t opened an email before to both open the email and click a link.

Creating campaigns that count

Our email campaigns consistently demonstrate our attention to detail and planning. By isolating how to get in touch with our the target markets of our clients, crafting the right message and adapting that message based on the recipients’ actions we can create an effective email marketing campaign.

 

Get more out of your email campaigns:

Contact us

for a Skype or email conversation and start your planning as early as possible.

 

Business & Marketing Tip: Following up with leads and relationships

A mutually beneficial client winning strategy

Marketing education is a big part of our overall new business strategy. At Creative Agency Secrets we strive to find ways to connect with our potential clients and be a part of their marketing success whether they work with us or not. We hold complimentary marketing management and idea calls, host free marketing seminars, create appraisals for websites and so on. But what makes it all work is our ability to follow up with the people we meet and educate. It’s one of our core lead generation and client winning strategies, and it could work for your business as well.

What following up does for your business

Staying connected develops relationships between you and your prospective clients or friends. This means you build up a network of people who can use your services, direct you to new clients and endorse your work.

Here’s a case study of a sports equipment online retailer we manage marketing activities for called Space Saver Rowing Systems. The client was so impressed with our work that when their manufacturer started looking for marketing assistance, the client directed them to us.

In another example, we worked with Zeald website designers to host a free marketing event. From that connection we gained several new clients, among them – European Auto Spares. We followed up with them individually after the event.

We’ve got loads of these stories and all because we helped our contacts in their endeavours and kept up communications with them.  In short, following up with people can net you leads and create a healthy flow of revenue for your business.

relationships casKeep the relationship flowing: the different ways we follow up

Meeting summaries for prospective clients – summaries are quite common, usually in the form of a dreary PDF or bullet-pointed word document. Along with that, we like to include anecdotes or a friendly sentence relating to something new we learned about the prospective client from that meeting. This gives those who joined the meeting more reason to read the email and even better, a reason to reply. To the right an example of a regular email following up a business meeting.

Something that we love to include in these that makes all the difference, is a link to one of our helpful blog posts or free eBooks. We look for a related topic in the email, then link a keyword or two and mention it may help. For example, if the email pertains to construction an email campaign, we might link to our cold emails eBook!

Newsletters – if you run a regular newsletter about your personal or company activities, invite your contacts to it. Make sure first that they’ll get something out of your blog posts and focus on explaining that to them. Newsletters don’t only inform, they help keep you and your business in the minds of others. This can make the difference between whether or not they think of you when new work arises. For an example, sign up to our newsletter list and see what you learn.

Related business – categorise your past clients and business friends by business type. This lets you update contacts in different industries on related updates to your activities or information you find.  To make the most of this, as soon as you form a new business relationship you should create a related industry update alert via a tool like Google Alerts. This way you’re following the industries most related to your activities and the alerts remind you that you have a connection to that industry. Then you can report any exciting news you find straight to them.

Us? Well, we’ve created our subcontracted services listing for exactly this reason. It’s an activity we do whereby we list all the work we can’t do or isn’t related to our services, and those listings get picked up by other businesses with the right set of skills for the job. It’s a fairly simple information sharing activity but with huge potential impact. As a result, people loves connecting with us.

Follow themif you keep up to date with the activities of your contacts you can provide more relevant input or updates. This is another exercise making sure you keep your follow ups linked to you with context as opposed to random email drops asking them how they are.

Daily tasks for this would include reading LinkedIn status updates. Weekly or monthly tasks include reading your contacts’ newsletters. One way we keep up with our industries and clients is by setting Google Alerts searching for company names. We also set an event on our Google Calendar that has a list of company websites and blogs to read up on in the description.

In Summary

Be diligent and consistent when you’re following up with people. Sometimes they are busy or skip emails, life gets in the way. Keep trying while not being too aggressive and you’ll grow on the minds of your clients and leads. Change up your approach to be more informative if a friendly nature doesn’t catch their eye. For example, you could direct them to tools or blog posts that will directly improve their way of business or provide them with a new opportunity. We posted up several examples of catch up emails and following leads through email that we’ve written previously to help you on your way.

Many of these ways to follow up with contacts can fit into your day to day activities, especially if you’re a marketing agency like us. If you spot yourself working on something that could help out some of your business contacts, send them an email and keep up to date. But more importantly – keep your business in their minds, and leading with a positive impression.

 


The blue icons opposite are part of our 8-Step New Business Development Methodology.  6 Create Opportunities icon5 Relationship Development icon

Click each icon to find more blog articles on the topic – educate yourself in modern marketing

 

 

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

Direct mail subject line text

Email marketing subject line recommendations

This week has been spent writing direct response emails for client campaigns.

And so it was delightful to receive one which has a really awesome subject line.  You may want to emulate it.

Direct mail subject line text

Direct mail subject line text

 

What a timely question!  This week I am doing the business planning for Creative Agency secrets during 2015.  And so yes, the beginnings of my 2015 lead generation is now in place.

But it may not be for you!

Here are three more subject lines I’ve used this week

  • Subject: Ride the escalator to business success; don’t climb the stairs
  • Subject: You can run your business the way you always have….
  • Subject: Closing the loop

The last one is particularly effective for getting decisions from prospects and pushing them into buying.

Ask me about it….

Do you need help writing direct response emails?

Download our e-book on Writing direct response emails.  It covers a range of scenarios from cold emails to driving sales and includes samples which you can use and adapt.

The blue icons opposite are part of our 8-Step New Business Development Methodology.  

Click each icon to find more blog articles on the topic – educate yourself in modern marketing

2 Marketing Communications icon

6 Create Opportunities icon

 

 

 

Below you’ll find the full text of Mark’s email and the event he and David Baker are promoting.

 

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!