AnswersWanted Inc https://answerswanted.com/ Vancouver Email Marketing Firm Fri, 06 Aug 2021 19:01:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 Can You Hear Me Now? Four Reasons Why Your Email Message Might Not Get Through https://answerswanted.com/can-you-hear-me-now-four-reasons-why-your-email-message-might-not-get-through/ https://answerswanted.com/can-you-hear-me-now-four-reasons-why-your-email-message-might-not-get-through/#respond Wed, 30 Jun 2021 21:54:23 +0000 http://www.answerswanted.com/?p=1693 Are your emails getting stuck in the spam filters? Does it seem like your message isn’t getting through? Are you feeling frustrated that, with all the time you spend crafting the perfect emails, your customers maybe aren’t receiving them? Wondering what might be getting in the way of your emails and inbox bliss of [...]

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Are your emails getting stuck in the spam filters? Does it seem like your message isn’t getting through?

Are you feeling frustrated that, with all the time you spend crafting the perfect emails, your customers maybe aren’t receiving them? Wondering what might be getting in the way of your emails and inbox bliss of consistent delivery every time?

Here are four reasons why your email might not get through:

Bad Reputation

Is your server to blame? Your server might have a bad rep that’s keeping your message from hitting the inbox. This is something that should be checked out. It could be your customer inboxes just don’t trust where your message is coming from.

Find out how you can get trust back into your relationship and emails back into their inboxes.

Bad Ratio

Are your emails too image heavy? Your text to image ratio matters, you don’t want to be sending photo albums (unless you are literally selling photo albums, in which case you still need to not have too many pictures of them.) While humans are visual creatures, they also need words for context.

Don’t take “show, don’t tell” so far that you never say much of anything. You’re going to want a healthy mix.

Bad Words

There are certain words and phrases that you could use that might be making your client inboxes wash your mouth out with soap, sending you to the junk folder to think about what you have done. You might not even be aware you’re doing it!

Inboxes have smart features that help screen out offers from Nigerian princes and you don’t want to get painted with that brush because of vocabulary choices.

They Just Aren’t That Into You

If you’re emailing folks who haven’t opened or clicked in 180 days, you could be setting off red flags with their email provider. This is why list maintenance is so important. You don’t want to come off like a stalker. You want email providers to know that you only email people who want to hear from you so they let your message through.

Avoid the spam filter by attending to these areas and more with a thorough audit of your email marketing campaigns. With a systematic review, we can show you if bad reputation, bad ratios, bad words or emailing folks who just aren’t that into you are standing between you and client inboxes.

Stop asking “Can you hear me now?” and start asking “How can I help you now?”

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If You Don’t Send These Emails, You’re Losing Money From Your Ecommerce Store https://answerswanted.com/if-you-dont-send-these-emails-youre-losing-money-from-your-ecommerce-store/ https://answerswanted.com/if-you-dont-send-these-emails-youre-losing-money-from-your-ecommerce-store/#respond Wed, 30 Jun 2021 20:14:24 +0000 http://www.answerswanted.com/?p=1690 Your email list could be making you more money... if you use the right automations. These days it’s not enough only to have a good list. You need to use your list to your advantage. Leverage as many sales as you can and build relationships with your customers, in a way that demonstrates "who [...]

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Your email list could be making you more money… if you use the right automations.

These days it’s not enough only to have a good list. You need to use your list to your advantage. Leverage as many sales as you can and build relationships with your customers, in a way that demonstrates “who you are as a company.”

You can’t rely on social media alone. You need to grow and focus on your list. Focus on the opportunities you have to land in the email inboxes of your customers (and prospective customers). If you aren’t sending these email sequences, you are leaving money on the table.

Opt-in / Nurture / First Emails Campaigns

This is your welcome series. It is like a first date… the getting to know you phase. It is to show the customer how you are providing value, and putting your best foot forward, so that they know what to expect. This series is training a potential customer to open your emails by being visible in their inbox – while the connection is fresh.

As an added bonus, you can use these to get your customers to follow you on social media. This will provide more opportunities to present offers.

90 Day No Opens

These are the sequences that have subject lines like:

– Was it something we said?

– We’re sorry to see you go…

This series is about re-engaging dormant subscribers, and getting your offers back in front of them. These emails are like rumble strips on the side of the road that wake your customers up before they get off course (without the fabulous thing that you want to sell them.)

It helps keep your list fresh, and selling great!

30 Day No Purchase (AKA Winback Campaigns)

These sequences re-engage people who have already invested in what you have to offer. They remind them why they need to invest again. Winback puts your friendly face in front of your customers, reminding them of their need, and what a great experience they already had with you.

Winback sequences get you back on your customers’ radar.

VIP email series

Everybody loves appreciation. Relationships build when we recognize things like loyalty. Your VIP email series lets you share the love and helps your customer feel special. It lets you position targeted offers based on a customer’s level of engagement and it builds goodwill.

This is laying out the red carpet for your most valuable customers, letting them know you see them.

Browse Abandon (Waffles)

Have you got some fence sitters on your list? They came, they saw, they left. What do you do now? How do you get them back on your site? Re-engage with a browse abandon sequence full of customer reviews and bring that wow factor to close the deal.

Save waffles for breakfast! Make yourself some customers who are eager to come to the table.

Cart Abandon Emails

Did somebody wander off and leave a cart full of goodies? It’s hard to watch that happen, especially when you know that these are things that they need. In that case you are going to want some simple reminders, maybe 24 hours later, and offer an incentive to get them to hit the buy button.

Don’t let cart abandonment happen to your customers, help them remember what they forgot to get from the store. Remind them there’s important stuff sitting there, just waiting to be shipped.

After Purchase Follow Up

Sending product specific follow up after a purchase is so valuable. You can position related offers (refills for consumable accessories), you can gather feedback about their satisfaction with the product and you also get to keep providing value even after you’ve closed the sale. That active interest in client service is going to stick with them when they make their next purchase and it’s key to building a positive relationship with your customers.

If you want to experience e-commerce success, make sure your customers and would be customers are getting these important sequences. They help you build your relationship, move more product and keep providing the value that you want your brand to be known for.

These sequences will help you show up on in your ideal customers’ inboxes and on their credit card statements, exactly where you want to be.

Don’t leave money on the table, clean up by hitting send today!

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What fraudsters know that brands need to learn https://answerswanted.com/what-fraudsters-know-that-brands-salivate-over/ https://answerswanted.com/what-fraudsters-know-that-brands-salivate-over/#respond Thu, 13 May 2021 19:17:21 +0000 http://www.answerswanted.com/?p=1019 How to increase sales dramatically without destroying your brand or losing your soul in the process. Over the years I've had the luxury of working with some of the biggest brands in the world. I've also had the pleasure of doing business with three man painting firms, and even sadly, some frauds. (unhappy face). [...]

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How to increase sales dramatically without destroying your brand or losing your soul in the process.

Depositphotos_4813254_s-2015Over the years I’ve had the luxury of working with some of the biggest brands in the world. I’ve also had the pleasure of doing business with three man painting firms, and even sadly, some frauds. (unhappy face). What I learned, however could change your life forever.

The key difference between the brands and the frauds won’t shock you. Frauds build trust way faster, and get sales faster. Heck, a professional fraud can have literally no product, no establishment, no paperwork and even no business card and easily make sales all day long. What they truly lack, and what in fact makes them a fraud, is usually a product problem.

Usually the product they have doesn’t actually *do* what they say it does, or they don’t have a product to offer at all. You see, products in reality only prevent refunds and lawsuits. It’s a crude view, but stick with me. The fact is, you don’t have to have a product to make sales! Granted, it helps the honest salesman sell it when they can believe in it.

Heck, many big companies have been built on products that look amazing, demonstrate well but don’t actually do what they say they’re going to do. Classics like the solar powered car ventilation, The classic historic Veg-o-matic, and others.

What if the fraudster had a GREAT product?

Say the fraudster in our story above happens to actually FIND a cure for psoriasis, balding, cancer etc. Technically, they’re no longer a fraudster anymore… Now they’re simply someone with unbelievable passion, enthusiasm and outrageous claims, followed by a product that actually does what they say it does. Sounds like a match made in heaven, doesn’t it?

The best fraudster knows something that 90% of businesses don’t know. Without this knowledge, brands and businesses can still do ok, but they cannot rake in millions in sales in a short period of time.

What’s a brand, and why do I need one?

Many marketers have hurt small businesses by telling them they do NOT need a brand. They simply tell them that coca-cola marketing is a waste of time, and that spending money on ‘branding’ related activities is unprofitable. They’re only half correct. You SHOULD spend some time considering how you are perceived by the marketplace. What colors you use, what feelings your products/services evoke and all that. It’s actually a good idea to really craft that…

Fact is, you cannot sell something to a farmer wearing a 3 piece suit and tie. You can’t sell something to a lawyer while wearing stained overalls. Your company’s look and feel must match something that your ideal customer would actually feel comfortable with. Just imagine walking into a bank setup inside an old 1900’s, poorly taken care of barn. You just couldn’t imagine putting a $100k into investments there.

Where brands go wrong

In business you can do a lot wrong and still get results. It might cost you more, take you MORE precious time or take a ton more energy, but you’ll get results. Sometimes with big companies, or smaller high margin companies, they spend so much time on their look, their presentation, their emotional story and how they’re perceived, they almost avoid anything that looks like sales like the plague!

There is a nexus point, a crossing.. a zone in the middle where you can have an incredible presentation, high quality look and feel and yet still have an effective sales engine!

Here’s what fraudsters know:

 


#1. Their customer’s biggest pain. Granted, the promise to solve it. Some fraudsters have a gut instinct and can read the crowd or the person in front of them. They can listen to people as they gripe about various issues, then promise with conviction to solve them. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting anyone LIE and say they can solve someone’s pains… but as brands, thought leaders and heck even businesses in general we SHOULD be leading the charge on the pains we DO confidently solve. We should know and listen to our customer well enough that we can easily write a message that would appeal to them.

#2. The fear of staying in this spot. They know customers do NOT want to stay in this pain, frustration etc. Granted, you do not want to go around preaching that the sky is falling.. but sometimes through pictures, video shorts and other ways we can show the realities of not solving a problem without using fear directly.

#3. How to create a sense of urgency. Urgency and scarcity are just SOME of the biggest triggers known to man to help create desire. It’s what makes Apple product launches hot. It’s what separates the Ferarri from the Toyota sales. The pre-order for a Ferrari is a minimum 2-3 year wait, and so the urgency to not wait longer (for fear it might take even LONGER to get what you want, the rare status symbol) is very real.

If there is truly no limit to the product (IE: Apple could easily wait until they’ve manufactured 4 million devices, in fact sometimes they do..) you can create one by not shipping all the product at once and releasing it in batches. When a fraudster sells something, they always play on the deal being offered going away, the product or the opportunity is going away… and why not?

Real companies, getting QUICK and powerful results…

cause based marketing ad by major brandHere’s the big takeaway. Here’s what brands DONT do that keeps them from getting windfalls of sales.
(besides the obvious of knowing your ideal customer’s pain, and proving you can solve it)

#1. Making people feel uncomfortable. Here’s a weird fact about humanity. If we’re comfortable, we stay where we are. It’s only when we’re uncomfortable that we choose to take action and change things. Brands are usually afraid of reminding people of their pain. Sure, they’re usually ok with doing it in a playful way in a commercial on TV with cute things, but rarely do they ever want to actually make someone feel like the old way is painful.

#2. Cause-based marketing. Movement and cause based marketing work so well! They propel us to take up our protest sign and join legions of buyers and customers in the march against something. It could be anything from the old way of doing things, to the big picture vision of what the world would be like with the solution or just simply attaching themselves to a completely unrelated cause like world hunger.

#3. Being human and raw. Most CEO’s, people and companies in general don’t really want to talk about why cause based marketing imagethey made a product. Not the REAL story. They don’t usually want to talk about the struggle, the mistakes, the frustrations and lost investor dollars. Yet these very authentic things are what build trust, and create incredible stories people tell and never forget. Since the dawn of time, humans have loved stories, especially one where there’s conflict, a build up of more conflict and a resolution of some kind. In fact, there are only 7 basic story types in the whole world and they all fall into these categories!

If you do NOT know what your customer’s biggest pain actually is, and you NEED to figure that out, so that all your products can demonstrate the transformation they create in solving customer pains… You may be interested in our COMPLETE market analysis, which provides exactly that and so much more.

Knowing their pains makes writing copy like pushing a hot knife through butter. If you DONT have a budget to hire a team or agency to create this kind of intellectual report, and want to spend the hours to learn to do it yourself, signup here to be notified when the course is completed.

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The headline writing article you will regret not reading. https://answerswanted.com/the-one-headline-article-youll-regret-not-reading-really/ https://answerswanted.com/the-one-headline-article-youll-regret-not-reading-really/#respond Wed, 27 Jan 2021 05:27:13 +0000 http://www.answerswanted.com/?p=1054 Headlines are both deadly and powerful part of your marketing arsenal. There are ways that an improper headline can destroy your credibility and your brand. There are also ways a killer headline can drive enormous amounts of traffic and have your marketing piece go viral. Famous copywriters have said since the 1940's, spend 50% [...]

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Headlines are both deadly and powerful part of your marketing arsenal.

There are ways that an improper headline can destroy your credibility and your brand. There are also ways a killer headline can drive enormous amounts of traffic and have your marketing piece go viral.

Famous copywriters have said since the 1940’s, spend 50% of your time on your headline, and the other 50% on the rest of your copy. Let’s tune into what John Caples wrote in his book “How to Make Your Advertising Make Money”

they-laughed

Headline written by John Caples

“My interest in advertising headlines dates back to the time when I was a cub copywriter and was not allowed to write headlines. Ev Grady the copy chief, would hand me a layout with the headline already lettered in. Below the headline was a blank space. ‘write copy to fill the space’, he would say.

Evidently I was not considered good enough to write headlines. I don’t know how you can impress a young man more forcibly than to imply that there is a task to which he is not equal. From that time on, I was determined that someday I would write headlines”

Headline writing danger that lurks (the 1940’s advantage)

Seems pretty wild and silly to suggest that a poor headline could damage your brand, or even make you look stupid doesn’t it? Yet… today we have a brand new danger to headlines that didn’t exist in the 1940’s. In fact, one might say the early copywriters had a HUGE advantage over us! Hype wasn’t all that common back then.

We were only one or two generations away from the cultural “dead serious” culture that exists in the UK. (To this day, the UK is strongly against all hype).

Today, we have these websites called “Viral Mills” that churn out gut wrenching, gossipy stories with strange images that we call “Click Bait”. You’ll know you’ve clicked on clickbait when you hit a site loaded with ads and weird images and a super short story or video lifted from some other website. They’re extremely low value, and extremely high eye candy. If you’re bored you can find yourself reading this stuff all day!

Great places to find headlines…

 

Why I bothered to write this blog post…

Screenshot 2016-04-26 11.36.42Let me get right to it. There isn’t a whole heck of a lot of people doing headlines (and the attached content) correctly. It’s just not very common. I read a LOT of content. I could call myself a content junkie and my wife would even agree. However, I’m continually inspired by the writers of headlines at the Washington Post.

Before I dig into the why, let me provide some concrete examples of stuff that just blew my mind:

  • “Want to see a great U.S. city in one day? Two math majors show you how.”
  • “The startling thing that happens to black girls in preschool”
  • “The 9-year-old who setup a lemonade stand to help his parents fund his legal adoption”
  • “How Rachel Roy embodies the new trend in celebrity cheating scandals”
  • “The future of TV is arriving faster than anyone predicted”

These aren’t earth shattering headlines are they? But they’re interesting, they’re believable and they’re strange/fascinating enough to grab your attention. That’s the magic sauce in 2016. It’s having enough clout to back your headline, be interesting… be fascinating without going over the edge.

LOTS of their headlines are like this. If you’re at all questioning the power of these headlines, checkout the shares… most of these got HUNDREDS of shares and thousands of likes.

STOP! Before you write a DAMN word of a headline…

Customer Avatar - State DiagramYou have to consider WHO this content should appeal to. If you’re clients are the type that earn under 40k, never attended college or heck, barely finished high school and spend most of their time in front of the TV (bombarded by garbage)… Your headline research should start at the checkout stand… IE: Cosmopolitan, Weekly World News, People Magazine, National Enquirer etc.

If you’re ideal client is a highly intelligent scientist who might buy your special graphing calculator, then your headline research might start in the forums or groups of electronics majors. Perhaps it might start in Scientific American or Psychology Today…

You really should do some kind of ideal customer exercise to really get a 360 degree view of WHO they are before you start writing ANY kind of headline. The formula’s will NOT all work for everyone.

 

Some headline general types:

    • The how to headline (EG: How to do X)
    • The guarantee headline (Guaranteed to ____ within X days)
    • The benefit headline (top benefit of the product)
    • The promise headline (By the end of the article you will…)
    • The testimonial headline (A personal revelation)
    • The question headline “Are you tired of making your boss rich?”
    • The anxiety headline “Does this make your skin crawl?”
    • The news style headline “Scientists are now saying…”

 

 

My personal favourite headline swipes:

Who else wants _____

The secret to ____

Can you pass the ____ test?

The biggest ____ myth

The Toughest ____ Question To Answer

____ Isn’t as ridiculous as you might think…

A man invented _____ because doctors (experts) were tired of _____

Don’t call me a _____

Here’s what’s helping ____ to _____

____ Statistics / Trends you can’t ignore (IE: iTunes trends you can’t ignore)

[Do something] like [world-class example] (IE: Party like Paris Hilton, Speak Spanish like a diplomat)

 

Additional Headline Creator Tools:

Headline Analysis Tools


Still reading down here, eh?

 

Stuck and need help? Contact us for marketing coaching support.

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Email’s biggest unbeatable weapon https://answerswanted.com/emails-biggest-unbeatable-weapon/ https://answerswanted.com/emails-biggest-unbeatable-weapon/#respond Mon, 02 Nov 2020 03:49:43 +0000 http://www.answerswanted.com/?p=953 Oh boy... Now to prove the title of this blog post is completely justified! I hate hype :( As too much of any good thing dilutes its value, email is facing some interesting challenges. New marketers are placing higher value on social and things like Periscope, Meerkat and Blab.im. Old (experienced) marketers don't teach [...]

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Oh boy… Now to prove the title of this blog post is completely justified!

I hate hype 🙁

As too much of any good thing dilutes its value, email is facing some interesting challenges. New marketers are placing higher value on social and things like Periscope, Meerkat and Blab.im. Old (experienced) marketers don’t teach what REALLY works in email as much, because it’s just not sexy…

Can I let you in on some secrets?

Email is actually the single most powerful thing on the internet. What? I know, bold claim, but hear me out. Facebook fan pages see 5-7% exposure to their posts unless you boost posts, or get lucky and get tons of shares. Twitter’s like shouting in outer space. Pinterest and Instagram are like hashtag Russian roulette. Google search wants you pay by the click or be at the mercy of their ever-changing algorithms…

Email’s the only medium where you’ll happily get access to 30-50% of your tribe in one click (once you’ve collected them), and… You can easily back them up (download your email database) and move them to another email system. Something you can’t do with followers, fans and likes.

But, I’ve tried email without success… (warning below)

I’m sorry. I spent a pinch of text there above laying a foundation, but here comes the single biggest stupid yet simple secret to email. Nailing this will make everything work.

Be personal.

People are TIRED of getting automated (FirstName) emails. They’re tired of things feeling like yet another marketing story. It needs to sound like someone is talking directly to them. Their hopes, fears, dreams, nightmares, challenges, concerns the whole 9 yards.

Experts “in the know” call them Seinfeld emails.

Why? Because back when Seinfeld started their show, they pitched NBC on launching a sitcom about nothing. It wasn’t really about NOTHING though, it was actually about normal every day life and the things that happen in your day.

Reality TV and social media have single handedly proven people LOVE this stuff. This is no different in email.

Here’s the warning:

You can train your list though. From the very first email they get, you can train them to expect heartless, feelingless content. You can also train them to expect conversational, down to earth GENUINE emails written just to them. A fellow club member, tribe member, and contact that you love and want to share your genius with!

Join my list, you’ll see the kinds of stuff I write, and how I litterally make it a personal letter to my family of email and online marketers. You’d be surprised to hear my average open rate is 54% right now.

Some top experts that I know have a nick named “Bill and Susan” ideal target customer that they’ve written a complete 3D writeup about. They know their likes and dislikes, their enemies and fears.. They can write to these people and imagine their smiles, their frowns.

Bottom line? Be personal, write stories, share and make it feel like a letter directly to them.

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3 Ways To Revive a Dying Email List https://answerswanted.com/3-ways-to-revive-a-dying-email-list/ https://answerswanted.com/3-ways-to-revive-a-dying-email-list/#respond Sun, 20 Sep 2020 05:31:24 +0000 http://www.answerswanted.com/?p=908 You've spent big money on ads, networked with people, collected business cards, poured your soul into blog posts and videos to collect a nicely sized email list. Yet, for whatever reason, the list has gone stale.   Reasons a list can go stale: You forget/don't have time to mail them for a while Affiliate [...]

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You’ve spent big money on ads, networked with people, collected business cards, poured your soul into blog posts and videos to collect a nicely sized email list.

Yet, for whatever reason, the list has gone stale.

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Reasons a list can go stale:

  • You forget/don’t have time to mail them for a while
  • Affiliate promotions and customers get used to emails not containing value
  • You haven’t sent much relevant email lately
  • List fatigue from mailing too often

Whatever the reason, who likes to let a valuable asset go unused? You still long for the realistic (and achievable) goal of mailing something customers really DO want and to rake in the cash… Or hey, never mind the money. Maybe you’re just really looking forward to genuinely helping people with their hopes/dreams/needs. That’s awesome too.

Let me share a few ways you can revive a dead list, share some stories and some wisdom give you all the answers that you’d only ever find by interviewing experts, or paying huge consulting rates.

#1. The famous 9 word email

Many dollars are chased marketing after the wrong people. They inevitably

The subject should just be their first name, ie. “Bob”.

The body of the email should be these 9 words:

“Are you still looking at getting [insert] [your] [service]?”

Typically this is sent one at a time, but weirdly enough it works even if sent via mass blast to a list of unresponsive users.

#2. The “I’m sorry” email

It’s funny, this subject line has been in my back pocket for years. In the spirit of providing incredible content, I feel like I can share this with you. However, I had this one client who for years delivered nothing but affiliate offers to her list of mostly 40+ year old single women who clung to her as their fearless leader. She had kind of abused the relationship and it was a sizable list not worth losing.

In an effort to stop blasting flat content and start rebuilding a relationship, I suggested we apologize to the list. This wasn’t an easy thing for her, as she was a pretty confident person. Either way, out of the 30,000 which hadn’t had an open rate higher than 5% in months, the list responded with a whopping 25%!

That might not sound like much but truthfully any business would jump at a 20% increase in sales. Surely the increased response and activity eventually did the same.

Note: People think the I’m sorry is going to include a gift or a special offer. WARNING. Not just any special offer, a REALLY good offer. Not anything anyone else can get.

You can apologize for not sending enough stories, for not sending often enough or whatever, but the idea is… you recognize you could do better.

#3. The “I’m sad to see you go” email



This one really gets lists. If you find “I’m sorry” didn’t work, this is by far the most powerful strategy. I’ll admit, it has pros and cons but it works.

I typically send an email saying we have run the newsletter since 199_ and started with just 10 subscribers. We’ve come along way but some people aren’t opening our emails…. We’ve decided to create a hot list, only those who open/click our emails will be on it. In a nutshell if you want to stay on the list… click here…

There’s more to this email than that, I have a few other emotional tricks I add. (which you can get if you take my template package free).

Note: You will get people emailing you upset. Some don’t read the whole thing. Some still want assurance they’re on your list, some will be glad to be removed, upset you’d dare remove someone without their permission.

Honestly, this passion to either stay on, or go away is well worth the renewed interest in your stuff. I’m just preparing you, if it’s a big list… instruct your support staff to expect these emails.

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Gmail: It’s similar to messages that were detected by our spam filters. https://answerswanted.com/gmail-its-similar-to-messages-that-were-detected-by-our-spam-filters/ https://answerswanted.com/gmail-its-similar-to-messages-that-were-detected-by-our-spam-filters/#respond Thu, 14 May 2020 04:51:10 +0000 http://www.answerswanted.com/?p=1552 Common Gmail Content Flags: It’s similar to messages that were detected by our spam filters. It contains content that’s typically used in spam messages. If you have seen this message, it's probably driven you mad! Is it my email authentication? Is my email domain banned? What’s going on? Why does [...]

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Common Gmail Content Flags:

  • It’s similar to messages that were detected by our spam filters.
  • It contains content that’s typically used in spam messages.

If you have seen this message, it’s probably driven you mad! Is it my email authentication? Is my email domain banned?

What’s going on?

Why does it test OK? Mail-tester, Glock apps, the Postmark app, Isnotspam or whatever… said it was GOOD!

First, why did this happen?

This isn’t actually Gmail’s ‘kiss of death’ message. That’s different, and I’ll write another post about that sometime. This is strictly a content issue. The contents of your emails contain words that are instant spam triggers AND Gmail hasn’t seen enough of you.

See, Gmail’s algorithm favors engagement. I could write a whole post about what kinds of engagement, but for now, just imagine replies, clicks, and opens as the important ones. Until it has seen a significant amount of this from YOUR domain, (IP address is irrelevant these days – unless you’re a spammer) you’re probably going to have to be careful at first, and slowly build reputation.

That’s another thing, you have to be super careful NOT to keep mailing when the engagement drops. What I mean is, when you mail say, 2,000 people, and the first 1,000 sends are opening at 12-14%… If you start to see that drop, you’ll want to stop and not let it keep mailing. If you get to the point where you’re seeing 2-3% open rates or lower, you know you’ve triggered their abuse flags. You’ll also want to be careful about speed of sending… but that’s not your issue here, so I digress.

Want a proven test to see if it’s your content or not?

Grab a few paragraphs of the bacon ipsum, and test that by sending to a gmail account. If it inboxes, you’ve got go back and re-write your original email. If you’re not familiar with lorem ipsum, and wondering what the heck bacon ipsum is… Well, back in the day someone borrowed a 1400’s poem to use as text filler on websites they were building. Of course, the lorem ipsum is used so much now that even spam filters know it’s junk.

OK let’s stop here for a moment. You probably don’t realize the value of the gem I’m dropping here. Most new mailers and marketers don’t have a nice cache of copy or content they KNOW will inbox; something they can copy, paste, and know always inboxes. If this inboxes, you know it’s your email and not your system. Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

Why would my email be considered spam?

I could steal a bunch of content from all over the web and put it in this article but (obviously) I won’t do that.

Hubspot has good industry guidelines for common keywords that will automatically throw you to spam. They include words like free, discount, money, while you sleep, etc. They’re common things Google knows are spam. If you use a ton of these words you will not inbox. If you have a strong reputation you MIGHT be able to inbox a few hundred of these, but if your engagement score drops… well you get the idea.

So, relax. Go re-write your email and get that promo out the door!

Warning, this could cost you

Don’t get fooled by a false positive!

Have multiple Gmail accounts to test that email you’re sending on. Each of these ‘test’ Gmail accounts are known as “seed accounts” in the email industry. Don’t spoil your seeds by accidentally creating engagement. By removing them from the spam box, replying to them, or clicking on the links you may accidentally teach YOUR Gmail account that you want this content.

That’s great for you, but you’ll stop seeing what cold Gmail accounts see!


If you’re looking for email advice, you might consider a training session. I’m pretty busy, but you can schedule a call through Clarity if you want specific advice.

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Four ways a well written story has made millions of dollars https://answerswanted.com/3-reasons-to-give-up-content-marketing-start-telling-stories/ https://answerswanted.com/3-reasons-to-give-up-content-marketing-start-telling-stories/#respond Sun, 02 Feb 2020 08:28:00 +0000 http://www.answerswanted.com/?p=931 In March of 2012 Bryan Stevenson, a civil rights attorney gave a TED talk that entered into the history books. Not only did Bryan get the longest standing ovation in TED history, but he also received an incredible amount of donations to his cause, all without a pitch... in only 18 minutes! "In addition [...]

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once-upon-a-time-719174_640In March of 2012 Bryan Stevenson, a civil rights attorney gave a TED talk that entered into the history books.

Not only did Bryan get the longest standing ovation in TED history, but he also received an incredible amount of donations to his cause, all without a pitch… in only 18 minutes!

“In addition to giving Stevenson a standing ovation, the audience assembled in the auditorium that day donated $1 million to Stevenson’s non-profit organization, the equivalent of $55,000 per minute that he spoke.” ~Forbes

He spent 65% of the presentation telling stories about regular people…like his Grandmother.

The stories themselves were gut wrenching, emotional and transcended race, gender and time. They allowed anyone of any status or lifestyle to connect with his message.

  • Think about that for a second, one MILLION dollars collected.
  • There was no pitch involved or request
  • Without any special build up of benefits
  • No talk structure a marketer would use

Why Stories Work:

A Princeton University professor conducted an experiment watching brain patterns between a story teller and a set of listeners.

The results were fascinating:

“One of the graduate students in Hasson’s lab, Lauren Silbert, told an unrehearsed, 15-minute story about one of her high school proms — a disastrous experience involving two suitors, a fistfight and a car accident, while undergoing fMRI.

The results showed that, not only did all of the listeners show similar brain activity during the story, the speaker and the listeners had very similar brain activity, despite the fact that one person was producing language, and the others were comprehending it.

This brain coupling, or “mind meld,” attracted media attention in outlets including the website of the technology magazine Wired” – Princeton University

You can literally cause someone to feel the same pleasure, pain, and emotion that you convey in your stories.

If someone’s already experienced the pains of not solving the problem, and the pleasure of seeing the solution in action, you can see how that would make it easy to convince someone to do something differently?

There are many other story formats, too many to list here. Download my outline of the critical elements to a sales story, and how to dig up your own stories to connect with other people and spread your vision and ideas!

A

How to Use Stories:

Now, how about this? What if you used stories as a form of marketing?

Here are a few ideas to get your brain going on creating a story for your products or services.

  1. You could use fictitious stories
    One famous such example is the one written by Martin Conroy for The Wall Street Journal. This direct mail advertisement was the control (the main unchallenged converting letter that the publication used) to successfully get new subscribers for twenty eight straight years!

    From 1975 to 2003 they mailed the story of these two fictitious young gentlemen who graduated from the same college, same marks, same upbringing (very much alike) both working for the same company. One became president of that company.

    The difference? One subscribed to The Wall Street Journal.

  2. You could use client testimonials
    Have a client that’s wildly successful with your product? Despite the somewhat recent controversy, Jared Fogle is a classic example of this. Jared claimed to have lost a ton of weight, and Subway restaurants advertised his story to show customers how healthy their product was.
  3. Start with why
    Simon Sinek, well known for his famous speech titled “Start with why” that focuses on sharing with people the mantra, or mission of you or your company. The vision and the ultimate reason you do what you do.

    That story itself is no better proven than in the company Tom’s Shoes. Blake Mycoskie founded the company on the idea that when you’re buying a pair of shoes from them, you’re also buying some for someone else in the world who doesn’t have any. The infamous “One for One”.

    The shoes themselves aren’t amazing, but people aren’t buying the shoes. They’re buying the story!

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What 12 Years Taught Me About List Building https://answerswanted.com/what-12-years-taught-me-about-list-building/ https://answerswanted.com/what-12-years-taught-me-about-list-building/#respond Mon, 27 Jan 2020 08:57:32 +0000 http://www.answerswanted.com/?p=875 I don't give myself enough credit. So for a few seconds, let me do that. Since 2003, I've personally coached over 300 people. I've had clients go from zero to 10,000 subscribers. I've also had clients go from 3,000 to 468,000 subscribers, following my advice. That's not to say that every client has had [...]

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Screenshot 2015-07-27 14.52.53I don’t give myself enough credit. So for a few seconds, let me do that.

Since 2003, I’ve personally coached over 300 people. I’ve had clients go from zero to 10,000 subscribers. I’ve also had clients go from 3,000 to 468,000 subscribers, following my advice. That’s not to say that every client has had that kind of success. However, after all these years, I can easily say I’ve seen some patterns in what works and what doesn’t.

I could write a book on this, and I just might! But, for now, let’s dive into some genuine ways you can easily build a massive list of email addresses…

#1. Solve important problems

Ever been searching for a computer bug, a smartphone issue or some other challenge? Maybe why the cat won’t stop peeing on the rug, or what kind of bug you found in your closet? These can all be 3am issues for someone.

Things that keep them up at night worrying.

A completely free solution, that only requires an email address – properly positioned in front of searchers who need this solution, will get results.

I could spend hours talking about how to find these types of people, but… that will have to be another article, for now… just know that EVERY market has something they desperately need information or a product for. No exception.

#2. Give access to a membership site

This is probably THE most successful one, or one of the top options. Every huge company you’ll ever see used this one. Facebook is a classic example. Account creation… Something that WordPress and many free softwares do automatically, is something people don’t think twice about. Signup for my newsletter? No thanks. Signup for access to this website? Sure why not.

Screenshot 2015-07-29 11.58.32As long as the membership site has a clear reason for it’s need/benefit of course. You can’t invent some useless software and hope for a run-away success. That said, it’s not hard to create a free membership site, a free quiz or “online tool” that does a quick analysis of some kind.

This, by the way is how my one client got the nearly 500,000 opt-ins. The $129/year $13/month membership site had a preview (and at one time a free day’s access) to a membership site loaded with content.

#3. Access to software downloads

I guess it goes without saying that software that solves a problem (like something that recovers deleted files, or serves some other function on your mac/pc like an ad blocker or something) is going to get registrations and since they’re getting the software free, you’ll need somewhere to send their registration code.

#4. Valuable tools

Quite similar to the others above, a well known marketer I’m a huge fan of has had a lot of success giving away a Microsoft Excel sheet. It contains some of the industries most complicated formulas all in one sheet to help you easily manage your ads. Obviously he knows his audience well and they need this, so they have no issue trading their email address for it.

Likewise, in your own industry, think of an invaluable checklist, worksheet, excel sheet, template that your ideal customer would love to get their mitts on. This works very well.

#5 . Webinars (sort of)

I’ve seen people build descent sized lists with webinars, but realistically they’re becoming too frequent in the internet marketing market and MLM market. Probably would work really well in a market where there isn’t too many webinars. That said, simply calling them “live trainings” and focusing on specific issues that are best taught in a live training.

 

Now.. Let’s talk about opt-in offers that DON’T work very well anymore:

#1. “Subscribe to my newsletter”

Ironic that in 1999, you could litterally have an opt-in box that just said that and you’d get signups. Mainly because if you happen to have the only scrapbooking newsletter on the internet, or the only free subscription to crochet patterns, well.. you got signups. In 2015, there’s too much spam, this just won’t work (even if you are the only guy in your niche)

#2. “Free report solves..”

There are some free report titles that work as an exception like the one mentioned in the “solve a problem” above, beyond that, this basically has stopped working. People are tired of getting a 1 page download that doesn’t have any value in it.

Screenshot 2015-07-29 12.04.52#3. “Free Video”

Again, if it solves an immediate need like unjamming a Kx-9000 Panasonic printer, it may work… However most of the time the whole free video thing has been over done.

Too many people have ‘sold’ people on a free video, only to have the consumer land on a talking head video of some guy explaining something for 15 minutes that could have been in a one page report.

 

What should your email opt-in be? Post a bit about your business (and even a link if you like) and I’ll try to respond with some ideas!

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3 Performance Killing Reasons You Need an Experienced Email Marketer https://answerswanted.com/3-performance-killing-reasons-you-need-an-experienced-email-marketer/ https://answerswanted.com/3-performance-killing-reasons-you-need-an-experienced-email-marketer/#respond Sun, 04 Feb 2018 07:04:52 +0000 http://www.answerswanted.com/?p=1682 Most businesses I speak to are doing everything in their power to pull as much revenue as possible from their lists. It can sometimes seem like every angle has been tested. However, I assure you they haven't! This is in no way meant to be a pitch, but simply the facts that prove having [...]

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Most businesses I speak to are doing everything in their power to pull as much revenue as possible from their lists. It can sometimes seem like every angle has been tested. However, I assure you they haven’t!

This is in no way meant to be a pitch, but simply the facts that prove having your email marketing done by even the most seasoned copywriter, information marketer, or direct-response marketer can cost you up to 30% of revenue!

Why experts and professionals fall short with email:

Many years ago I was running an email system for a membership site that enjoys over 8500 members. At the time they had a half million email addresses and we basically sent the whole list the newsletter every week, as well as, various segments on other days.

At the time, I assumed it was normal that people would go dormant, with hundreds of opt-outs every mailing.

I also couldn’t bear removing people, even if they hadn’t opened or clicked in a year.

Then, disaster struck… a subject line that didn’t agree with the list. We got a slightly higher than average unsubscribe rate which triggered an automated account ban.

Yeah, they actually DISABLED our account!

Do you back up your email lists? If you don’t, now’s a good time to do just that. Don’t think “that won’t happen to me.” Anyway, back to the story. This forced us ‘seasoned marketers’ (but novice email marketers way back in 2010) to seriously look at email server technology, list maintenance, and ESP (Email Service Provider) rules.

Most marketing agencies and long-time marketers don’t actually KNOW what the thresholds are at their ESP (Mailchimp, GetResponse, Infusionsoft, etc.) for getting booted. Not only that, they don’t realize that they’re likely not in-boxing well. This is because they don’t know how they’re viewed by Google, Hotmail, Yahoo, and other major email providers. Not knowing this is a killer.

 


So, how about we dig into the
TOP 3 things most novice email marketers simply don’t know.

#1. They don’t really know much about inboxing

Sure there’s the obvious stuff like: not using certain spam trigger words, but it goes far deeper. Here are just SOME of the factors that can impact how Google/Yahoo/Hotmail and others see you:

  • Mailing dormant email accounts
  • Bots, spam traps, and aged accounts
  • Sending too high or too low volume over certain periods
  • Emailing invalid email addresses
  • Getting too low open rates, click rates, and other engagement metrics
  • Too many complaints

You might say to yourself: “wouldn’t my email provider just remove these?” Some don’t remove them, but they *do* suppress them. That means you’re not mailing them when you send, but you’re still paying for that in your total contacts in the system price. Others just boot you once you reach a certain threshold of complaints, bounces, etc.

Email experts have a plan for the constant scrubbing of these list dangers.

#2. They don’t use enough automation recipes

What’s an automation recipe you ask? Well, just imagine that with eCommerce there are MANY other scenarios, besides the obvious ‘cart abandon’, where you want to send reminders, or notifications, along the customer journey.

They can be used after a certain period of dormant opening or buying, or to remind/reward customers for certain behaviours.

We typically use seven standard automations for our eCommerce clients (and several more case-by-case ones.) I’m not trying to do the “us versus them” thing, but seasoned email marketers who have been around the block long enough will know exactly when, and what type of email to put in place, to keep the customer moving through the lifecycle for maximum revenue.

#3. They still like to mail the entire email list

You know, in 2007 this was still the only thing marketers knew! Send out your “newsletter” every month, which is as outdated as submitting your site to Google for a better SEO. Heck, if that worked we’d all do it – but it doesn’t. I’m not saying you can’t get SOME results doing this, but it’s not the BEST way to get results.

In the last few years all the big marketers have been preaching segmentation. This is establishing smaller groups of your subscribers and buyers in order to speak to them differently than the whole mass. Segmentation produces FAR more revenue, opens, and results than what’s called ‘batch and blast’ or mailing your whole list with the same stuff.

I’d go on a rant about micro-segmentation, but I don’t think there’s time for that. Let’s just say people like to feel special… and not all people want the same things. There are automated and simplified ways to get people to put their hand up and say “I’m one of these” and be able to deliver a more customized sales funnel for those folks.

Some of the best segments are specific types of product users, obviously buyers, newbies of the product vs veterans of the product, and product evangelists. The obvious openers clickers and engaged… but the real secret juice is knowing when, where and how to segment and automate so it’s not more work.

Don’t neglect the back end.

StarWars films netted 7.5 billion dollars in sales, but merchandise netted 14 billion. There is more money in the back-end of your marketing systems than there will ever be in the front, if you’re doing it right.

Schedule a strategy session with one of our experts today! Email info@answerswanted.com for more information.

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