Emails Going to Spam? 12 Reasons Why and What You Can Do About It

Worried about your emails going to the spam folder? We’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’re sharing 12 reasons why your emails go to spam instead of the inbox and what you can do to prevent them from doing so in the future.

As you’re about to see, you’ll be able to fix most of these issues all by yourself as they’re directly related either to what’s inside of your email messages or how you build and manage your email lists.

Only a few will require some additional help from your email marketing software provider.

For each element, I’ve also included actionable tips that along with the email marketing best practices will help you build strong email deliverability and get your emails in front of your subscribers’ eyes.

Table of contents

  1. You don’t have the permission to contact your recipients
  2. It’s not clear what your subscribers are signing up for
  3. You’re making it difficult to unsubscribe
  4. Your email frequency is off
  5. You’re not paying enough attention to email list hygiene
  6. Your emails are image-heavy (and text-light!)
  7. You’re linking to suspicious websites (among other things)
  8. You’re playing dirty
  9. You’re not using the right email marketing software
  10. Your email engagement rates are low
  11. You’re sending your email campaigns from a freemail domain
  12. Your mailing IP has a bad history record

1. You don’t have the permission to contact your recipients

There’s nothing wrong in wanting a big email list.

Although our studies show that email marketers with the largest lists tend to have lower average email open rates, you shouldn’t ignore the fact that their potential to generate sales revenue is huge.

But having a big contact list shouldn’t be a goal in itself. And you shouldn’t aim for it at all costs.

Recent regulations like the GDPR or the upcoming CCPA have become stricter about how email marketers handle customer personal information. It’s no longer enough that you give your email recipients the option to unsubscribe.

Before you start sending your email campaigns, you should always make sure that you have the permission to do so.

If you neglect that, you’re not only risking that your emails will be going to spam, but also that you’ll be fined.

That’s why if:

  • you’re still filling your email campaigns with contacts from Outlook, Gmail, LinkedIn, or any other place where you’ve interacted with people,
  • you’re an ecommerce business automatically adding people to your list from the checkout page,
  • you’re using a pre-checked newsletter consent checkbox in your web form,
  • buying or downloading email lists from the ‘reputable sites’…

…you should stop right now.

There are plenty of perfectly good email list building methods out there you could try.

And if you’re unsure whether it’s OK to contact some of the people who’re already in your database, consider running a reconfirmation campaign. By sending an email that’s going to ask your audience to continue and stay opt in, you can be sure that only those who’re still interested in your offer will end up on the list.

Pro tip 1: If you’re finding consent management challenging, check out the GetResponse GDPR fields.

These will help you easily store, manage, and view all the consents that your contacts have given you.

GDPR fields are similar to custom fields that you’re probably already familiar with, but there’s one significant difference: instead of editing your consents, you can only create newer versions.

Thanks to this, you won’t end up overwriting your contacts’ permission settings and you’ll know exactly which version of the consent they’ve given you.

Here’s an example of what you’ll see when one of you contacts gives you their consent, e.g., when signing up through one of your landing pages.

How it looks when a contact has given you consent for marketing communication.

Pro tip 2: If you want to stop your emails from going to spam, make sure to always exclude contacts who haven’t given you the right consent.

This will help you avoid making mistakes when you’re running email marketing campaigns that aren’t dedicated to your entire database.

Here’s how you can do this in GetResponse:

Choosing recepients in GetResponse email database.

To select your target audience, check the box next to the name of the list or segment you want to include or exclude from receiving your message. If the same subscriber is present in more than one list or segment, they’ll receive the email only once.

On top of using lists and segments, you can also use suppression lists, where you can store any contacts that shouldn’t receive your communication. A suppression list won’t be included automatically, so make sure to include it manually when sending your email campaign.

2. It’s not clear what your subscribers are signing up for

Transparency is key, especially when you’re building an email list.

When filling out your signup form, users should be fully aware of what kind of communication they’re going to be receiving in the future.

It’s not alright to advertise one service and send emails about another one unless you’ve specified that in your web form.

Or to say that you’re just collecting submissions for a competition and end up using the email database for marketing communication.

Be crystal clear about what you’re going to talk about in your emails. And then deliver on that promise.

When you do that, you’ll see that your unsubscribe, and complaint rates will drop.

And as for your chances of leaving the junk folder – they’ll most definitely increase.

Pro tip 1: Make sure that your web form, the thank you page following it, and your welcome email clearly state what your users are signing up for.

Doing this early in the subscription process improves your chances of building strong relationships with your audience. And, reducing the likelihood of your emails going to spam.

Example of a subscription confirmation page from Further.

Example of a subscription confirmation page from Further. On this page, Further reminds their users about the type of content they’ll receive in the future and how they can make sure they won’t miss out on the content. By doing this, they’re decreasing the unsubscribe rates and improving their deliverability at the same time.

Pro tip 2: If you want to lower your unsubscribe rate, make sure to fill out the name and description of your email lists.

This will help your audience decide which lists they want to stay subscribed to and which ones they want to opt out from.

Here’s what it looks like when a contact clicks the unsubscribe link in one of the emails sent by the GetResponse Marketing Team.

They see all the essential information regarding their subscription. This includes the date of their subscription and the name and description of the list they’ve signed up to.

Unsubscribe preferences.

3. You’re making it difficult to unsubscribe

This one’s among the top reasons why email recipients report emails as spam.

If someone wants to stop receiving marketing communication from a particular sender, the last thing they want to do is to spend extra time looking for a way to unsubscribe.

The moment they find it difficult or lose trust in their request being processed successfully – they report the message as spam or manually move it to their spam box.

In both cases, the marketer is at loss.

Here’s what you should avoid:

  • Burying down the unsubscribe link below the main part of your footer (e.g., by adding empty lines on top of it)
  • Hiding the unsubscribe link (e.g., by changing the copy or writing in a hard to read color)
  • Making your recipients contact you to resign from the newsletter
  • Making recipients log into some form of a panel to unsubscribe or change their mailing preferences
  • Taking unreasonably long to process your users’ requests to unsubscribe

Adding any of the above roadblocks just gets you closer to having your emails marked as spam and having them negatively evaluated by ISPs spam filters.

Here’s one example of an email I received that’s making one of the mistakes I’ve mentioned above. Something you don’t want to do in your own email communication.

Unsubscribe link placement mistake.

Pro tip 1: If you’re worried about your unsubscribe rate being too high, consider offering your subscribers a way to opt down and lower the mailing frequency.

A separate email list or segment will be enough for you to divide your recipients into separate groups, e.g., those who want to receive your emails every couple of days and those who prefer a weekly roundup.

Alternatively, you could also add a short description explaining why the subscriber is receiving your emails and reminding them when or how they’ve signed up for your newsletter.

Pro tip 2: If you’re seeing that your spam complaints are high and you’ve followed the tips described in points 1-3, you could try providing an additional unsubscribe link right after your preheader text.

This may look like a radical move, but it’s better to have more people unsubscribing from your list rather than having them report your messages as spam.

Note: Our observations suggest that people from particular cultures may have a higher tendency to click the ‘report as spam’ button. One of such countries is Russia, which tends to observe the highest average complaint rates as we’ve found in the Email Marketing Benchmarks report.

Moving your unsubscribe link to the preheader may be your best bet if your target audience shows similar tendencies.

4. Your email frequency is off

Emailing too frequently?

People get tired and start ignoring your emails. They stop engaging with your communication, and because of that, internet service providers (ISPs) such as Gmail move your newsletters to the junk folder.

Sending one email every couple of months or so?

People don’t remember you and deliberately ignore your emails (maybe even mark them as spam). Or they accidentally miss one or two and lose the chance of seeing your content for several months straight.

As you can see, neither of these options is good for your email deliverability or your ROI.

The second one’s problematic for yet another reason.

If you have a big email list that you contact only every couple of months, ISPs might get alerted by the sudden email blasts. Such spikes in activity might cause temporary blocks, higher bounce rates, and more emails going to the junk folder.

Pro tip 1: Set the right email frequency by putting together your key email marketing metrics, like the total number of conversions, unsubscribe rates, and bounce rates).

Once you decide on the right email schedule, make sure to communicate it to your audience, e.g., in your subscription form or the welcome email.

Pro tip 2: If you want to increase your email frequency without alerting the spam filters, start by contacting your most engaged subscribers first. Use suppression lists and exclude segments less likely to respond to your email campaigns.

After you’ve managed to successfully engage your best recipients, you can start slowly including those who read your newsletters less eagerly.

High email frequency example.

Some email marketers can get away with having high email frequency. Here, even the name of the newsletter suggests that it’s a daily newsletter update. Be careful with this approach, though, as it can easily backfire. Users can get overwhelmed by too frequent communication. That will result in an opaque churn. Meaning, they won’t unsubscribe from your communication, but by ignoring it, they’ll be affecting your overall email deliverability.

5. You’re not paying enough attention to email list hygiene

Email list hygiene may sound like a funny term. But it’s a process that can have a massive impact on your email deliverability.

Email list hygiene management is about identifying the engaged subscribers, re-engaging those who’ve become unresponsive, and getting rid of those who hold no business value.

And whom do we mean, when we’re saying that they’re holding no business value?

Not just people who are no longer engaging with your communication, clicked the unsubscribe button, or marked your emails as spam.

We also mean those who’ve provided a wrong email address or those who’ve abandoned their mailboxes.

To keep your list clean – and hygienic – you should use confirmed opt-in (a.k.a. double opt-in) and run re-engagement campaigns on a regular basis.

Sending a last resort campaign may work even better, if you put it together with a Facebook or Google Ads campaign.

By doing this, you’ll make sure that your list is clean from misspelled, inactive, or spam trap emails.

If you’re using GetResponse, this process is simple.

You can run Facebook ads directly from your account. Just select the list or segment you want to reach with your Facebook ad, customize your ad, and you’re good to go.

If you’d like to learn about this, read our step-by-step guide to designing Facebook ads in GetResponse.

Pro tip: If your list hasn’t been cleaned in a while or you haven’t processed bounces and unsubscribes before, you should start now.

The best way to do this is to set up an automated re-engagement campaign that’ll send a couple of emails to those recognized by the system as inactive.

GetResponse includes ready-made marketing automation templates that you can use to carry out such a campaign.

Engagement and retention in GetResponse.

Here’s what one of such templates looks like:

A marketing automation template from GetResponse.

If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to choose whether you want to remove such subscribers from your list completely or try retargeting them using another marketing channel.

Bear in mind that there’s no set rule for when a contact should be identified as inactive. This will largely depend on your sales cycle.

In ecommerce, for example, some recipients stay inactive for the larger part of the year, but they’ll check their emails for discount codes and information about promotions around the holiday season.

Automated email results statistics report.

Take a look at this example report for one of our automated emails. We send this email to users right after they’ve filled out the subscription form in the GetResponse Resources. Notice that the bounce rate is almost 3%, most of which is caused by hard bounces (misspelled or non-existent email addresses). Removing these addresses automatically and early into the subscription, will help you ensure your deliverability is unaffected, especially when you’re planning some bigger promotional activities.

6. Your emails are image-heavy (and text-light!)

Email marketing is slightly different from other marketing channels.

Although images do play a big role in it, they can’t dominate your newsletters.

Many email marketers make this mistake: they pack their email templates with images, to make them look nicer, and spend less time coming up with the sales copy.

Here’s one such example from a renowned brand. Notice that even though there’s text in the email body, it’s still part of an image.

An image-heavy email.

This may seem like a good strategy – after all, people like images and can read the text even when it’s part of an image.

But there are two problems.

One is that, unless you provide the ALT text to your image, consumers that use screen readers may have trouble reading your content.

Just like it would be with the following email.

An email without alt text for images.

Second one is that ISPs like Gmail or Outlook see this a bit differently.

Lots of heavy images make heavy emails and ISPs want to process as many emails as possible. By making your newsletters image-heavy, you’re making this process more difficult and resource-consuming. And because of that, they may choose to filter your emails less favorably and place them in the spam folder or even bounce them.

That isn’t to say that all emails that contain heavy images will go to spam. Email marketers with high deliverability and high subscriber engagement can often get away with slightly heavier newsletters.

But I’m going to assume that this isn’t you, since you’re reading this article.

On top of the email weight, ISPs also look at the amount of text that’s visible in your newsletters.

They check the text-to-image ratio to evaluate the quality of your message. That’s because a lot of spammers wants to avoid the text-based content filters.

In general, the more text or the higher its ratio compared to images the better.

Additionally, ISPs also compare the HTML and text version of your emails. These have to match, otherwise the message looks suspicious to say the least.

Naturally, this doesn’t mean your emails have to be text-only. Especially given that our studies have shown that emails that contain at least one image tend to have higher average open rates than the plain text ones.

So what should you do, when images need to be part of your email template?

First of all, check whether your email software automatically reduces the size of images you upload into your newsletter.

For example, when you add your own images into your email template in GetResponse, they’ll be cropped and compressed before they’re delivered to your email subscribers. This is different for GIFs, however, which are not being altered.

Alternatively, when saving your files in your image editing software, make sure to use an option that’ll be called “export them for the web” or something along these lines.

And if you’re on a budget or just don’t want to bother your designer, use an online tool called Squoosh. It’s really quick and can help you make your images optimized – both to be used in the email campaigns or on your website in general.

Pro tip: One way to increase your text-to-image ratio is to add more copy into your footer. There, you could explain why your subscribers are receiving the email, who it’s being sent by, and how one can manage their mailing preferences or unsubscribe.

This is in addition to adding the elements that are required by CAN-Spam Act and other regulations. One such element is the impressum, which states the name and physical address of the company sending the email.

Another way you can increase your text-to-image ratio is to add copy (in text, not over an image) into your email introduction and product descriptions. The same goes for creating CTA buttons, which could be coded and styled so that they don’t look much different from what your designer would create.

UX perspective: View entire message example.

This is more of an UX concern rather a deliverability one (so it won’t stop your emails from going to the junk folder), but you might want to take this into consideration. Gmail, which is the most popular email client, will clip emails they consider too large. If you add too much content, a critical part of your message might remain hidden until someone clicks the “View entire message” link.

Bonus:

Learn how to create high-impact email campaigns with this exclusive give:

Increase Your Emails’ Impact

7. You’re linking to suspicious websites (among other things)

Not many email marketers realize this, but when ISPs analyze your email’s content, they also go through your links.

If you’re trying to improve your email deliverability, because your emails are going into the junk folder, here are several things to avoid:

  • Linking to websites that have low reputation
  • Using links that redirect users too many times
  • Using suspicious link shorteners
  • Having small text-to-link ratio
  • Linking to too many different domains

Bear in mind that your links could be hidden in the images that you’re using. If they’re hosted on a website with a bad reputation, you might also get hit by spam filters.

In general, you should check the websites you’re linking to and how many links there are in your email in general. Again, the higher text-to-link ratio the better.

As for the number of domains you’re linking to, what you should be looking for is the so-called domain alignment. In other words, in the ideal world, the domains that are used in your from address, mailing domain, and inside of your email content will all match.

Pro tip: Before hitting the send button, make sure to analyze your emails with a spam checker, like the Spam Assassin tool that’s built into GetResponse.

Spam Assassin tool in GetResponse.

If you use this tool and notice that your score is too high (most filters are set to 5.0), try to identify the element that’s responsible for the higher Spam Score. If you’re unsure which one it is, try cutting out the content of your email one element or section at a time and keep checking if the score’s changed.

This way you’ll be able to locate the section or individual element that’s causing trouble. It could just as well be a single link or part of your copy, so pay attention to all elements within your email template.

If you’d like to reduce your GetResponse spam score further, there’s one more thing that you can do – add the plain text version of your message into your email template.

Why bother adding it?

Because it’s one of the elements, ISPs use to evaluate the authenticity of your email campaigns. It can also be useful for those who prefer to read emails in their non-HTML version.

Besides, this step should reduce your Spam Score roughly by 1.1 point.

And all it takes is two clicks. Just click on the Plain Text option at the bottom of the Email Creator arena and then clicking the HTML to Plain link.

This GIF shows you the whole process.

How to reduce GetResponse spam score by adding the plain text version of the message.

8. You’re playing dirty

Some marketers will do anything to increase their email open rates.

Even if their tactics mean that the recipients are at loss.

What sort of tactics are we talking about? For example, adding phrases like “Re:” or “Fwd:” to their email subject lines.

Adding these elements is meant to trick the subscribers into thinking that your marketing email is just a regular message they’d receive from a friend or colleague.

Naturally, newsletters and other marketing communication don’t work this way.

Although they do include personalization or a friendly from name, they’re not meant to trick people into thinking that they’re sent in response to their previous email.

How about using ‘spam words’?

You know, words like “buy now” or “free”.

Believe it or not, most lists of “words to avoid” are now obsolete.

Spam filters have evolved so much, they don’t just look at the direct use of common phrases like the ones above. Using phrases like “cheap” won’t move your emails into the spam folder.

Note: this is different for using names of drugs and other similar products.

Still, there are tactics that you should avoid.

Here are a few, shared by our Deliverability Manager, Martin Schwill, for Econtent:

Just what is considered spam these days? In general, the fundamentals still apply. This includes using a low-quality list that has not been cleaned and/or its subscribers have not clearly opted in to receive messages. Also, poor quality messages, inaccurate targeting, and the lack of solid authentication technology, all continue to be key triggers for filtering. Digging deeper into the current state of spam filters, here’s what else the filters are evaluating behind the scenes:

If the message resembles current or known phishing scams.

Hashbusters: These blocks of text, which are sometimes invisible to recipients, are often used in the mail structure itself in an attempt to deceive the filters.

Hiding text in HTML comments or by using fonts, colors, or backgrounds to reduce their visibility.

Incorrect or suspicious code.

The image-to-text ratio.

Pro tip: Now that spam filters have become more complex, your main focus should be on increasing your email subscribers’ engagement. One of the best ways to do this is to use email automation. Automated emails are sent in response to your recipients’ actions and preferences, which is why they generate above average open and click through rates.

9. You’re not using the right email marketing software

I know this sounds like we’re tooting our own horn, but it’s impossible not to mention a critical factor – your email marketing software.

It’s not only the technology that’s enabling you to send emails to thousands or even hundreds of thousands of recipients within minutes. Your email service provider also plays a big role in delivering your emails to your subscribers’ inboxes.

Let’s take our example.

Here, at GetResponse, we manage your IPs reputation, process bounces, unsubscribes, spam complaints, and set up feedback loops.

Thanks to this, we know when an email address is no longer active, is misspelled, or when the recipient wants to unsubscribe. Once we see such addresses, we remove them from your list, so that your deliverability isn’t affected, and you don’t have to pay extra for contacts that hold no value to your business.

We also team up with various ISPs and anti-spam organizations to learn from each other how to better secure our systems and fight spammers and phishers.

As a result, our email deliverability is 99%, as reported by Return Path.

Pro tip 1: One more thing that’s worth pursuing is email authentication. Setting up the SPF and DKIM records will make you recognizable for the ISP. Identifying you means they’ll be sure you’re not impersonating anyone else. It will also help you increase your reputation and make all the good things you do “stick” to your brand. It will also help you get better knowledge about your reputation.

If you’re a GetResponse user and would like to learn more about how you can authenticate your domain using the DKIM, read our help guide.

Pro tip 2: While designing and coding your own emails from scratch works for many out there, one of the common reasons why emails go to spam is that their HTML code isn’t clean.

To avoid that, either hire a developer who’s on top of the email design game specifically (coding for email is very different from coding websites) or use an email creator.

The latter will help you design and edit your email templates freely, without the need to bother your designers. On top of that, you’ll know your emails are designed specifically for all the most popular email clients.

10. Your email engagement rates are low

Spam filters are also looking at how much your subscribers engage in your email communication.

The more your recipients interact with your content, the better your chances of landing in the inbox.

This also means you don’t have to be as cautious as those who are just starting to send email campaigns or those whose emails land in the spam folder.

You can add heavier images into your newsletters, send bigger blasts in one go, or even increase your mailing frequency and still reach the inbox without a glitch.

The opposite is also true. The lower your engagement rates are, the more careful you have to be about how you run your email campaigns. You need to put extra effort to have your emails delivered successfully.

If you’re seeing that your average email marketing metrics are below the email industry benchmarks, there are a few things you should do.

First of all, focus on improving your email list hygiene. As we’ve discussed in point #5, it’s critical to keep your list clean from bad or inactive email addresses. That’s why you should regularly run re-engagement campaigns that’ll reactivate and separate inactive recipients from your most loyal readers.

The second thing you should consider is lead nurturing. Instead of throwing your new subscribers into the same stream of communication everyone else receives, you should treat them in a more special way. By designing a drip campaign, you can turn your new contacts from complete strangers to active consumers one message at a time.

A big part of your lead nurturing campaigns will be welcome emails. They’re not only great for creating a great first impression but also for engagement and deliverability. They reach an average of 80% open rates and 25% CTRs, and can help you get your customers used to checking your emails in their inbox. You can also use welcome emails to ask your recipients to add you to their safe senders list.

And setting up welcome emails is easy. All you have to do is either set up an autoresponder or a marketing automation workflow that’ll be sent right after a new contact joins your list.

Here’s what this looks like in the GetResponse Autoresponders:

welcome message in getresponse autoresponder.

Last but not least, make sure to segment your audience for all major campaigns. Rather than sending email blasts to everyone who’s on your list, pick the customer segments that are most likely to be interested in your offer.

This way you can exclude those who’ve been already receiving too many emails or would find the content you’re about to promote irrelevant.

Pro tip: Increasing your email engagement rates takes time. If you’re having deliverability issues, be sure to start sending your email campaigns to your most engaged audience.

11. You’re sending your email campaigns from a freemail domain (e.g. Gmail or Yahoo)

When starting their journey with email marketing, marketers often use freemail domains like Gmail or Outlook to send out their newsletters.

Up to a certain point, this works fine. Their emails reach the recipients and the marketer doesn’t need to do any extra work to get them delivered.

But when their list grows, the freemail domain in the from address is often the reason why their emails end up in the spam folder.

The reason for this is that ISPs prefer to see domains that have been registered by an individual sender, whom they can trackback.

Naturally, this is not possible for freemail domains, like Yahoo, Outlook, or Gmail.

This may explain why freemail domains are often abused by people who deliberately want to send out spam.

The good news is that it’s an easy fix.

All you have to do is set up your own company domain or create a subdomain under your existing domain and use it for your email campaigns.

Even if you’re going to use it only in the from address, and not the mailing domain you’re physically sending your messages from, it’s going to help you deliver your message better.

That isn’t to say that changing the from address is going to instantly change things for you. Your from address will slowly build a reputation of its own, so it’s best to gradually increase your sending volumes rather than go for a big email blast right away.

Pro tip: I know I’ve mentioned this before, but using tools like the Spam Assassin will help you identify such common mistakes as the freemail domain in your from address.

By running your newsletters through a spam checker, your chances of reaching the inbox grow considerably higher.

12. Your mailing IP has a bad history record

If you’ve gone through all the aforementioned reasons, fixed them, and your emails are still landing in the spam folder – the chances are that your mailing IP is to blame.

The IP you’re sending your email campaigns through builds a reputation of its own. And this reputation stays with that address for months, even when nobody’s using the IP to run their email campaigns.

This means that if you’ve acquired an IP address (or your email software provider assgined you one), it may have someone else’s reputation still affecting the deliverability.

This isn’t usually a problem, because most email marketing providers use a number of shared IPs to process your campaigns.

In other words, the reputation is built by a number of marketers at the same time. Plus, the email traffic is directed through different channels to make sure the deliverability stays intact.

Having said this, if you’re experiencing deliverability issues and you’re using your own mailing IP, this is something you should explore further.

Note: It’s also possible that your IPs’ reputation gets affected by someone else who’s sending their campaigns from an address within the same class. This is rarely the case, but if nothing else works, you should check out the reputation of addresses within your IP class, too.

Pro tip: To check if your IP is listed on one of the popular blacklists, you can use online tools, like the MXToolBox.

Bear in mind that not all blacklists affect your email deliverability. Some were created only for commercial reasons and aren’t used by ISPs when filtering your emails.

Even if you do find your IP or domain listed on one of them, it doesn’t necessarily mean your emails will go into the spam folder.

Action plan

Now that you’ve learned these 12 reasons why your email campaigns could be going to spam instead of the inbox, it’s time you start improving your email deliverability.

If you’re unsure about any of the factors mentioned above, just reach out to us in the comments and we’ll do what we can to help you out.

And if you’re ready to move your campaigns to an email software provider with 99% deliverability, there’s GetResponse for you :).

Emails Going to Spam? 12 Reasons Why That Happens and What You Can Do About It

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The post Emails Going to Spam? 12 Reasons Why That Happens and What You Can Do About It appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article

The Business Jargon & Buzzwords You Love to Hate

If you work in a business setting, you’ve probably heard, or even used, at least one of the many cliche business terms that float around most offices. From bosses strategizing on how to get the “biggest bang for their buck” to a coworker sending you a slightly passive-aggressive email that starts with “Just a friendly reminder…”, it’s everywhere and it can be equal parts annoying and exhausting. Business jargon has become so overused that it often lessens the impact of what’s being said and undermines the credibility of whoever is saying it.

At GetResponse, we aim to help individuals relay strong and persuasive messages to their audiences. Accordingly, we thought it would be interesting to find out exactly which common business phrases are the most used, and the most hated, in the business world.

To gather our data, we surveyed over 1000 people across different ages, industries, and locations. We were able to pull insights from our responses to see information such as the most common terms heard, the most annoying terms, and the most passive-aggressive terms. To see what we found, check out the information below.

most common jargon better results table.

Every company is looking for ways to achieve better results, both internally and for clients. We asked respondents what term they are most likely to hear when it comes to improving their results, and two kept coming up: “best practices” and “raise the bar.” Separating the responses into regions, 38.41% of people in the Midwest and 37.04% of people in the North were most likely to respond with “best practices,” while 39.22% of people in the South and 41.94% of people in the West were more likely to respond with “raise the bar.”

Perhaps, people get irritated by hearing the words “best practices” because it’s a reminder of rules they choose to ignore. In fact, more than half of email marketers send the same email to all recipients.

Most passive-aggressive email lines table.

It’s easy to be frustrated when a client or coworker asks a question you’ve already answered, and even though you can’t say, “if you read my last email you’d know”, it’s very tempting to do so. We asked what people say to nudge people to read things more thoroughly and the results differed slightly between men and women. For the most part, however, they agreed “As per my last email…” and “Just a friendly reminder…” were the most appropriate phrases for this situation.

28.97% of the men surveyed were more likely to respond with “As per my last email” as the most passive-aggressive sentence while 26.44% of women were most likely to respond with “Just a friendly reminder” as the most passive-aggressive sentence. Of course, there’s nothing like a good “Please let me know if I’ve misunderstood” or “According to my records…” to express irritation according to about 15% of respondents in each category.

most common jargon for work harder table.

It’s pretty rare for an employer will come out and say, “We really need you to work harder, but we’re not going to pay you more for it”. However, we’ve all probably been on the receiving end of a carefully phrased sentence masking that request. The most common phrase respondents saw was “We want you to take your career to the next level,” with 30.43% of people in the Midwest and 27.96% of people in the West seeing this phrasing the most. The response that was seen a nearly equal amount by respondents around the country was, “We’re asking for 110%.” You know, because 100% effort just isn’t enough.

most common jargon for project performance table.

Common jargon can also be heard in discussions with clients to boost credibility. The most common phrase respondents heard in these meetings was “biggest bang for their buck” and was followed by “value-add.” 35.51% of people in the midwest were most likely to hear “biggest bang for their buck” and they were also most likely to use the term “secret sauce” out of the four regions.

worst jargon describe ideal candidate table.

If you’ve ever seen a job posting, you’ve probably noticed certain phrases that describe the employer’s ideal candidate that made you cringe. We asked our respondents what their least favorite term was for a job posting and the majority thought “badass” was the worst by far. Other terms our respondents picked were “ninja,” “rockstar,” and “superstar.” An equal amount of respondents in the West found that “badass” and “rockstar” to be the worst descriptors. Interestingly, nearly one in ten people in the West have seen “sherpa” in a job posting.

least favorite marketing term table.

The marketing industry has been evolving quickly as the internet continues to influence sales. When we asked respondents what their least favorite marketing term was, the results were split by generation. 24.91% of Millennials responded with “target” as being their least favorite marketing term to hear, while 23.08% of Baby Boomers and 24.73% of Gen X responded with “funnel” as their least favorite marketing term to hear.

Though it seems funnel is the least favorite jargon word among certain groups, there is a big chance that it will become the most beloved one!

GetResponse has recently rolled out Autofunnel – a tool with which you don’t have to speak any jargon, or know the big marketing words – it simply guides you step-by-step through creating a sales / marketing process, doing work for you. No coding required!

least favorite business jargon term table

Respondents were also asked to tell us their most hated jargon terms to hear in any context. “Synergy” was the term that was most commonly picked. After “synergy,” the next most commonly picked term was “teamwork,” followed by “touch base”. Other hated terms that were picked included “think outside the box,” “work harder,” and “best practice” among many others.

You can’t escape most of these expressions in the workplace, and their usage is usually justified. Some are perfect to describe what your goals are, what your brand is like, and who your audience is. But, if you find yourself using some of these phrases too often, you may want to change up how you’re speaking to your colleagues and clients.

Once you’ve tweaked your communication, you can safely use GetResponse and it’s solutions to maintain your relationship with customers, without the fear of irritating them ;).

Let us know in the comments which of these buzzwords are you guilty of using the most in your business communication. And, if there are any other phrases marketers use that make you roll your eyes!

Most hated jargon according to employees.

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Original Article

How to Marry SEO with Email Marketing and Catapult Your Rankings

Email marketing has long been an intimate medium of communication with customers. As the GetResponse email benchmarks report shows, welcome emails can get as high as 84.22% open rates.

On the other hand, SEO remains one of the most reliable sources of driving website traffic and brand awarenesses. Among the major marketing channels, SEO and content marketing have the lowest cost per lead (CPL).

But, what if you can marry the two?

As you’ll see later in the article, the clicks from email subscribers trigger a positive cycle of engagement on your website. It can lead to a cascading effect of more links, more referral traffic, more brand visibility, and higher search rankings.

So let’s get cracking with few ways to creating a compelling marketing strategy at the intersection of SEO and email marketing. Here we go!

Start a waterfall of engagement through your list

Shreya Dalela, a B2C content marketer, had a client in the cosmetics industry with a list of over 20k subscribers. However, the brand only sends them promotional emails.

When Shreya suggested the client to send educational blog posts over email, she faced a huge resistance. The stakeholders of the brand believed that email is solely for offering discounts.

Is the brand missing out on engaging traffic?

Well, most content marketers know that the returns of their content marketing and email marketing efforts are compounding. Hence, they deepen their relationships with their subscribers by serving them value (which might mean sending helpful information instead of discount coupons).

Indeed, the email opens from your subscribers don’t solely result in one-time clicks and feedback on your blog posts. Quicksprout has found that email audiences tend to leave more comments than other traffic. The reason is that email subscribers are more “loyal, engaged, and vocal.”

emails create more comments.

The subscribers that like your content will comment, share the article on social media, and bring new visitors to your site. The engagement from your list triggers a traffic cycle.

traffic cycle triggered by email

And what do more social shares and more discussions on your blog posts mean for your search rankings?

It might result in lower bounce rates, higher time on page, and more comments. These positive engagement signals help your content rank. Also, there’s a positive correlation between social media shares and your ranking.

So start with sharing your latest articles with your email list. A small intro to the subject with a link to the post works well. Remember that repeat visitors are more engaged and likely to buy from you.

content marketing in email newsletters.

Large email list, several segments

Do you have a large list? Or, are you serving different types of audience?

Then, it makes sense to segment your list. It ensures that you send relevant content to your email subscribers. Remember, the goal is not merely to hit the inboxes of MORE people. Instead, it’s about earning higher engagement with every email you send.

For instance, Pat Flynn puts up a question at the end of his emails to let this audience describe their current stage of business. It helps Pat categorize his subscribers into buckets and send them helpful content as per their situation.

categorizing email subscribers.

Actionable takeaway: Regularly send your latest blog posts to your email subscribers. GetResponse allows you to tag your subscribers (invisible to the contact). You can also create automated workflows and add the tag actions in them. It’s useful to tag subscribers that began a new course.

GetResponse also has advanced search and segmentation options. You can use them to segment your list based on factors like location and engagement score. It ensures that you reach the inboxes of contacts interested in your content.

contacts in getresponse.

Pro Tip: Add UTM parameters to your email campaigns to track their effectiveness

If you want your message to be tracked even more precisely, then go to GetResponse Integrations tab, and configure the Google Analytics form.

google analytics getresponse integration.

Conduct surveys of your audience to plan your content

Loosely put, SEO involves publishing high-quality content that satisfies user intent. Then, building backlinks from high-authority websites to that page. Usually, marketers plan their content calendars by relying on keyword research. They search for keywords with low-competition and decent search volume.

However, this doesn’t take your existing email subscribers into account.

Every day new people that search for solutions to their problems find your content (targeting relevant keywords) and they, in turn, become your audience.

audience quick chart.

While that’s great brand exposure, to build a sustainable business, you need a loyal audience that happily engages with you. For that, you need to serve their informational needs.

Indeed, 90% of the most successful B2B content marketers put their audience’s informational needs first. It makes sense to seek the participation of your existing email subscribers in your content creation efforts. Let me share a few examples.

A decade ago, David Siteman Garland started his company, Create Awesome Online Courses. He teaches people how to create and sell courses online. It has crossed $10M in yearly revenue and is #938 on the Inc. 5000 list.

Surprisingly, you won’t find blog posts on his website that target keywords related to online course creation. Indeed, he hardly has any organic traffic on his website.

caoc david siteman garland ahrefs rank.

However, he regularly creates exclusive podcasts and content for his existing customers (that includes me). He regularly engages with his email list with updates about his life and ties the conversation back to course creation.

exclusive content received in email.

Does the success of CAOC highlight the importance of engaging with your existing email subscribers and customers?

Here’s another email I received from star blogger, Adam Enfroy. He mentions the way forward for his blog based on the feedback from his subscribers. His latest five blog posts are also based on it. He ends the email requesting the subscribers to reach out if they want him to cover other specific topics.

adam enfroy asking for subscribers feedback.

Generate organic traffic from your audience interests

You can take Adam’s idea a step further. After surveying and finding the topics that interest your subscribers, you can tie them to the keywords that have decent search volume.

Suppose you find that your subscribers want an article on starting a freelance writing business. You find that the keyword “freelance writing jobs” has a huge volume and decide to target it.

keyword volume freelance writing jobs.

You know that your audience consists of English-as-a-second-language (ESL) speakers.

So, you create an article titled: 25 ways to get freelance writing jobs for ESL speakers.

It targets the keyword “freelance writing jobs” and makes your content relatable to your audience. When you share it with your subscribers, it will resonate, get better engagement, and more social shares.

Remember what user engagement does to your search rankings?

Are you worried that making your article relevant to a niche audience will limit its popularity and prevent you from ranking?

Then look at the likes of Ryan Robinson. He writes about side hustles on his website. Hence, his article on starting a blog used the angle ‘on the side’ to keep it relevant to his audience.

relating to a niche audience in seo.

Did that prevent his article from ranking for the keyword “how to start a blog?”

Nope.

Instead, he ranks for 14K other keywords and gets upwards of 25K visitors every month.

great ahrefs ranking.

Here’s Ryan’s take on limiting his audience:

I’m actually excited to limit the audience I’m writing for. Over the years, I’ve come to really feel strongly that when you try writing for everyone, you often end up writing for no one – which is why I love to niche down in my audience targeting. I choose to write specifically for people who are starting and growing a side business because it’s something I can personally relate very closely to with my ten years of experience in that world. I know their problems, challenges, motivations so intimately that I can connect well with that type of person, so it gives me a strong competitive advantage when I do write for them.

Actionable Takeaway: Choose a feedback tool and get regular feedback from your email subscribers. Ask them for ideas on content and their other needs.

You can also create surveys using GetResponse. Choose “Forms and surveys” from the menu and click on the “Create a new Survey” button.

managing surveys in getresponse.

You can use the drag-and-drop tool features to create different types of questions.

creating a survey in getresponse.

Once you have answers from your audience, then use a keyword research tool like Ahrefs. And try finding relevant keywords for your audience interests.

Generate more leads from your top-performing content

Do you create content every week? Orbit Media found that the bloggers that published every week are 2.5x more likely to report “strong results” than those published every month.

blogging results by publishing frequency.

However, once you have a repository of great content on your blog, it makes sense to slow down and focus on optimizing existing content. For most websites, a few pages make up most of the traffic. For instance, Neil Patel generates 28.7% of his search traffic from .1% of the pages on his site.

performance on search results.

To capitalize on the success of your existing content pieces, you can repurpose and distributing them to reach more people. One email marketing strategy that most bloggers rely on to drive evergreen traffic to their top posts is…?

Welcome emails.

As welcome emails have the highest open and click-through rates, sending your best content starts your relationship with new subscribers on the right note. Here’s an example of a first email from Nat Eliason that shares his most popular articles.

most popular articles in a welcome email.

Another simple strategy to convert your top-performing content into a smoking hot lead magnet is creating an actionable email course. You can attach a task at the end of each lesson to help your audience progress towards their goals (for which they subscribed in the first place).

For example, Ryan Robinson offers a free course ‘Start a Profitable Blog in 7 Days’ in his top-performing article on the same subject.

lead magnet example.

What’s awesome is that after the free seven-day course, Ryan pitches a paid course to these new subscribers. It helps Ryan generate a little extra revenue.

You can also repurpose your guest posts and case studies as lessons inside your email course. A few months ago, Nat Eliason launched an email course taking us behind the scenes from his Cup & Tea Leaf blog project. He didn’t shy away from repurposing his Ahrefs guest post on updating content in the last lesson.

email with a lesson.

Doesn’t it feel awesome to reap MORE benefits from your top-performing content?

In 2015, Buffer conducted no new content for a month experiment. During that time, they repurposed their highest-performing content into email drip campaigns, Medium posts, LinkedIn Pulse articles, Ebooks, etc.

The result?

60% open rates (that’s terrific engagement) and over 18k signups on their email drip campaigns.

As you grow your email list and improve your relationship with them, you get more clicks and engagement on every article you publish.

That, in turn, is the ticket to…

Higher search rankings.

Also, in the optimization process, you generate more leads and help your bottom line. What’s not to like?

Actionable Takeaway: GetResponse has some simple and effective templates under the Automation section for designing your “Welcome Email.”

simple welcome email automation templates.

You can also use the autoresponder to create email courses.

Start a curated email newsletter

To rank higher in search engines, you need backlinks from authoritative websites. They count as a “thumbs up” by other websites for your site. And generating links comes down to building relationships.

Is there a way to network with industry professionals without writing detailed blog posts?

Yes, you can choose thought-provoking articles that you’ve been reading and share insightful tidbits from them.

If you regularly hand-pick and compile such links and package them into an email newsletter, you become irresistible. You create anticipation in your subscribers.

Can you see how curating email newsletters is an excellent strategy? It’s a great way of finding a place in the inbox of industry professionals and remaining at the top of their heads.

For example, content marketer, Jimmy Daly, has maintained a weekly personal newsletter for a few years now. He shares links to a few interesting articles, a tweet of the week, some random links, and sponsored stories.

jimmy daly popular newsletter.

The newsletter has built up an excellent reputation for his personal brand as it reaches folks at Google, Apple, Harvard, and more. Ahrefs shows that his website has racked up over 100 backlinks that include a reference to his newsletter “Swipe File.”

swipe file backlinks generated through a newsletter.

He has even landed mentions from authors writing for websites like Entrepreneur.com (which in this case are fellow content marketers deriving value from his newsletter).

swipe file mention on entrepreneur com.

A few other marketing folks that send weekly newsletters include the likes of Kevin Indig and Nat Eliason. It’s crazy how they manage to send value-packed emails on the side of their full-time jobs. However, the newsletters have helped their authority.

And as we’re talking about curated newsletters, how can we forget the 5-Bullet Friday? It’s a weekly email newsletter curated by Tim Ferriss and reaches over 1.5 million subscribers.

5 bullet email newsletter.

Tim delivers five things he has enjoyed over the week. Even the 25th most popular link of the newsletter last year managed to get more than 42,000 clicks. The reason why his recommendations can spark off so many clicks is the way he adds context to the things he shares. The updates are personal and relevant to his niche and audience. Here’s an example:

5 bullet email newsletters appeal

Occasionally, while curating such a newsletter, you can also plug links to your articles. Freelance writer, Elise Dopson, sends a bi-weekly newsletter on content marketing. Under the section of content marketing resources, she shares links to her latest work.

elise dopson newsletter links.

That’s how a curated newsletter can help you build relationships, and even convert into more tangible results like backlinks.

Actionable Takeaway: Save the best content that you read every week using a tool like Pocket or Evernote. Then, use the drag-and-drop GetResponse editor to convert them into an email newsletter. Did I mention that you can choose from over 500 newsletter templates inside the tool?

Final Thoughts

I hope you learned a few ways to let your email subscribers’ feedback improve your content marketing as well as SEO efforts. You can also repurpose your existing assets and convert them into digestible email lessons for extracting more juice from your content.

While they may seem unrelated at first, SEO and email marketing together are a very powerful combo. So whether you’re a new brand or a well-established business, integrating the two can deliver massive business results.

Are there any other ways you’re using email marketing to help your SEO efforts? Let me know in the comments below.

Author: Chintan is a writer and an ROI-focused content marketer. Join him at Elite Content Marketer and learn how to grow your business through content.

How to Marry SEO with Email Marketing and Catapult Your Rankings.

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Original Article

What Makes A Good Holiday Email Campaign ( 8 Examples)

Good Holiday Email Campaigns

Ah, holidays – the time of year everyone who sells online has been impatiently waiting for.

If there’s time to dazzle your audience, it’s definitely now.

While there are many ways you can impress your customers, nothing beats a stunning holiday newsletter.

To help your holiday emails stand out in the crowd (and the inbox!) better, we’ve gathered eight inspiring holiday email campaign ideas, along with examples and explanations on what makes them so good.

Let’s get you all prepped up for the holiday campaigns now, shall we?

Table of contents:

  1. Order before [DATE] and have it shipped on time for [holiday name]
  2. Here’s your [holiday name] to-do list
  3. We do Holidays our way
  4. You snooze, you lose! The [holiday name] sale will end soon
  5. It’s not all about Christmas, Cyber Monday, or Black Friday
  6. Year in review
  7. Only for you
  8. Didn’t get the gift you wanted?

Bonus: We’ve prepared a free holiday marketing checklist to help you plan, manage, and optimize your holiday campaigns before the hottest sales season.

Get the checklist

Bonus no.2: Also, be sure to sign up for our upcoming free webinar that will prep you up for the holiday sales fever even more!

Reserve a seat

But the businesses who are going to be the biggest winners of the holiday season race aren’t just the ones who can simply manage the increase in customer enquiries and product orders. They are the ones who successfully capture the attention of their target audience and convince them to do the holiday gift shopping at their store.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is through email marketing campaigns. Not just any campaigns, though, they have to be creative, eye-catching, designed with the audience in mind, and sent at the right time. And that’s just the beginning.

Below I’ve gathered six holiday email marketing campaign ideas along with examples from brands who’ve managed to stand out in my inbox. Although this is an entirely subjective opinion, read on to find out the reasons why I think these campaigns are worth remembering.

Also, if you’re unsure about how you can make your emails feel and look special this holiday season, check out our latest holiday marketing campaigns guide. There, we’ve gathered some of the most creative ways you can build your list, craft your subject lines, and design your messages. No matter if it is for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Christmas – your campaigns will look great!

Whether you agree with them or not, just let me know by posting a comment below this post. Perhaps you have your own favorite example you want to share with the rest of us? I’d love to see them!

Holiday Email Marketing Ideas

1. Order before [DATE] and have it shipped on time for [holiday name]

Ideally, your promotional campaign should have been running for at least a week before the holiday festivity begins. Naturally, the closer to the big day, the more intensive your marketing efforts should be.

With the holiday just round the corner, some of your prospects might worry whether they’ll have their order shipped on time. That’s why you could make one last attempt to convert them. How? By offering free overnight shipping or running an “order before [DATE] and have it shipped on time” type of campaign.

Example
From: PUMA
Subject line: ⌚ Order before 2pm EST for FREE overnight shipping.

Here’s an email I received from Puma, morning before Christmas Day.

It’s a simple message that includes all the usual elements – a couple of banners, a few links to different secondary offers, a navigational bar, and social media icons.

Puma free overnight shipping email offer for Christmas.

Puma free overnight shipping email offer for Christmas

So why is it so good?

If you’re anything like me, you’re usually running a little behind the Christmas schedule and doing the gift shopping at the very last minute.

And it’s not because you’re hunting for special deals, but because you either haven’t found the perfect gift yet or you haven’t realized that December’s passed right in front of your eyes.

This email was designed with this kind of audience in mind. The late shoppers.

It’s not overly complicated and it doesn’t have to be. It quickly communicates the offer that’s going to get you saved if you still haven’t purchased Christmas presents for your loved ones – Free overnight shipping.

The offer’s first mentioned in the subject line, then again in the preheader, and finally in the banner that’s centrally placed in the above-the-fold part of the email.

Besides the main offer, there are four other elements (secondary offers) that have been purposely emphasized. The sale event, gift cards, gift guide, and Holiday FAQ. All of these are crucial for anyone who’s running late with their holiday shopping, and needs to act quickly.

Although this isn’t the only email that I found in my inbox that revolves around the last-minute shipping theme, in my opinion it was the most effective one for the following three reasons:

  • It was quick to communicate the main offer, which is the free overnight shipping that’ll get you your order in time for Christmas.
  • All elements of the email were used in an effective way – subject line, preheader, and the above-the-fold section all reemphasized the offer.
  • It delivered value by pointing the recipient to the offers they’re most likely interested in, e.g. gift cards, gift guide, or the sale event.

To top it off, the use of the watch emoji in the subject line was a nice addition that made the email stand out even more in my inbox.

Another one that did catch my attention was this email from ASOS. However, their animated GIF and the *terrible* dad joke only managed to get them second place in this category.

Christmas holiday email campaign from Asos.

Christmas holiday email campaign from Asos

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: Remember when and how your audience is going to read your email. Do they have much time to read through it? Or maybe they’re tight on their schedule and need to act fast? Use this information when designing your message and when it’s needed, go straight to the point with your offer.

2. Here’s your [holiday name] to do list

Holidays are a busy period, both for marketers and consumers alike. Most of us are turn back to the good ol’ pen and paper to put together all kinds of to-do lists.

But what can you do with this information as a marketer? For one, you can create a to-do list your audience will actually enjoy checking and going through.

Example
From: Bonobos
Subject line: Welcome to the Holidays, People.

For this year’s Thanksgiving, I received a neat email from an online retail brand named Bonobos.

Unlike other messages I found in my inbox around this time, this one used hardly any visuals. All it contained was a white to-do list on a dark-gray background.

Bonobos Thanksgiving email to-do list

Bonobos Thanksgiving email to-do list

So why is it so good?

First of all, this email clearly stands out. When scanning my inbox, I actually closed the message first and then had to re-open it, just to take a second look at what I just saw.

Upon a closer look, I’ve noticed that this isn’t just a simple to-do list. At least not one that I’d expect to receive from a brand. It’s more of a list I’d create for myself, with added humor – for example, Memorize cousins’ kids’ names – and hyperlinks that’ll help me complete some of the errands, like Get something nice to wear for dinner.

The humor’s spot on. The copy looks like it was written by someone who understands the target audience very well. The email itself is really easy to scan and fun to engage with. Rather unusual, but I actually enjoyed going through all the points up to the very end of the message.

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: Stand out, be creative, engage your audience, and show them that you understand them well. Consider using phrases, abbreviations, or hashtags they use in their communication to make your marketing messages more authentic.

3. We do holidays our own way

When you hear the name Black Friday, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? It’s probably one of the following: discounts, sales, or free shipping.

Most brands hop on the Black Friday bandwagon with the same approach. To sell more, by offering a better deal than what their competitors offer.

But what you don’t expect is that a brand you like will remind you about the mission that drives them. The mission that, most likely, made you choose them in the first place.

Example
From: United By Blue
Subject line: Why We Picked Up Trash Today

Below is the email I got for Black Friday from a brand that I follow – United By Blue. As you’ll find on their website, they sell responsible durable goods. What does that mean? In a nutshell, they sell products for people who care for the outdoors. And for every product they sell, they pledge to remove 1 pound of trash from the Earth’s oceans and waterways.

United By Blue Black Friday Campaign.

United By Blue Black Friday Campaign

Now that you know their story, you’ll also understand where their email’s coming from.

So what’s the email about? It’s a message that explains why for this year’s Black Friday, they decided to do a proper cleanup. Oh, and they called it Blue Friday.

Unlike what you’d expect from a retailer during this time of year, the email doesn’t talk much about their products. Instead, it invites you to learn more about Blue Friday and how to host your own cleanup, and shows you the people who joined them for this wonderful project.

Not so surprisingly, they do also offer a special deal for their customers. But the information about their special sale is only available once you scroll down to the very bottom of the email.

United By Blue Black Friday Sale.

United By Blue Black Friday Sale

So why is it so good?
This one, again, comes down to understanding your audience and answering the question – why did they choose your brand in the first place?

With United By Blue, the answer is pretty simple. It’s because they make products for people who, like them, care about nature. How can they prove that their mission statement isn’t just marketing fluff? With their actions.

Having organized the cleanup and shown pictures of those who participated in it – which include their CEO and Director of Operations – they said more than any regular marketing newsletter ever could.

What’s more, their message is mostly about getting people to participate or even host a cleanup in their own neighborhood. The information about the sale they’re holding for Black Friday comes much, much later.

To sum up, even though this email arrived quite late, i.e. on Black Friday afternoon, it’s very effective. It managed to capture my attention and got me to read it all to the very bottom, where the information about the sale was placed.

Even though it arrived later than any other message I expected to receive that day, it sure made an impact and made me reconsider what I wanted to order for Black Friday.

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: This may not work for everyone. But if you know your audience well, then you don’t need to use your main CTA button to lead to the sales page. You can focus on content and carry on with your mission, and your audience will follow you.

Are there any other brands that caught my eye because they were doing holiday marketing slightly different? Not many, but the one that has is certainly worth mentioning here.

The team behind Cards Against Humanity once again proved that they know their audience pretty well. Take a look at the following two emails and see for yourself.

Do you think any other brand would get away with closing down their store or simply collecting money to dig a hole nobody could ever find? I don’t.

Cards Against Humanity Black Friday Special.

Cards Against Humanity Black Friday Special

Cards Against Humanity Hole Email

Img. 7 – Cards Against Humanity “We’re Digging a Hole” Email

As you can see, sometimes you don’t need to follow best practices to stand out. Quite the contrary, sometimes it pays off to be different, especially during the holiday season when the competition levels are at their all-time high.

If you want to read the whole story behind their Black Friday campaign, read on what the Cards Against Humanity team have to say about their crazy sale.

4. You snooze, you lose! The [holiday name] sale will end soon

Even though holiday sales last for quite long, some of us still have trouble finding something special for themselves or their loved ones. That’s why marketers keep sending them multiple reminders and last-minute emails, hoping to convert them before everyone goes offline to spend some quality time at the dinner table.

What if there was a way to make your email stand out from all the other reminders out there? Apparently, there is.

Example
From: Casper
Source: Reallygoodemails.com

Like the email from Bonobos, this message doesn’t look much like anything else you’re used to in your inbox. It’s what you usually see when you’re lying in bed, either going to sleep or just waking up. It’s an image that resembles your clock app.

Casper Black Friday Sale Newsletter.

Casper Black Friday Sale Newsletter

When you look closer at the image, you see that each alarm has a special name. Along with witty names, you also find information about the super sale and early bird discount the brand’s currently offering.

Just as you’re starting to get slightly nervous that you might miss out on yet another deadline, you find a comforting message, just below the clock app. It says that you can rest comfortably and even sleep through Black Friday, as you can shop with Casper without even leaving your bed. All you have to do is go to the brand’s website and type in the code: SLEEPIN.

Why is it so good?
Casper is a brand that sells mattresses for your bed. Although to some this may not sound very exciting, they’ve managed to make an impact with their marketing communication more than once.

This is one of those examples. What I like about this email is that it fits in so well with what they actually sell. Bed mattresses, clock app, multiple alarms set not to miss an important date, and finally a discount code with the phrase – sleepin.

The email’s relatively short and manages to quickly communicate that you can shop online, without ever leaving your bed. And of course, you wouldn’t want to leave your bed, even if it was for a great sales event like the ones you expect to see on Black Friday now, would you?

One more thing that makes this email campaign even greater is the second newsletter that comes after it. Even shorter, following the same principle, but this time aimed at people who – despite the reminders – managed to sleep through Black Friday.

Casper Last Black Friday Followup Email.

Casper Last Black Friday Followup Email

What’s most interesting about this email isn’t the humor or its length. It’s the fact that they decided to extend the Black Friday sale beyond the one day.

This is something we’ve been seeing more and more often over the last few years. Brands seem to be wanting the Black Friday craze to go up until Cyber Monday or even later in the week.

Personally, I’d watch out not to discourage customers from shopping when prices are at their standard level, but this is something each ecommerce business has to decide on their own.

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: Make sure each element of your email reemphasizes what you’re actually trying to say. A good design can often help and deliver the message much quicker than words ever could. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about good copy.

5. It’s not all about Christmas, Cyber Monday, or Black Friday

When referring to the holidays, you might be thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas, or maybe Hanukkah.

But, there are so many other holidays along the way. They may not be as popular as Christmas, but does that mean you can’t tie them nicely with your brand?

Marketers behind the email marketing campaigns for Casper would disagree.

Let’s take a look at some of their more creative newsletters.

Example

From: Casper

Subject line: That extra hour, though.

This campaign is about celebrating the brand’s most favorite day of the year.

Curious what day it is?

It’s the Daylight Saving Time. Because you can sleep in, one hour longer.

And they’re selling mattresses, pillows, and everything else you need to sleep well.

Now isn’t that brilliant?

Besides the idea for the campaign, what stands out about this email is its design. As it’s always the case with this brand, their message looks beautiful.

Casper Day Time Savings Emails..

It’s simple, contains a clear heading – in fact, the whole typography’s really good – and a single call to action button that says “Party on”.

The descriptive, humoristic CTA button is placed next to a discount code and an animated GIF alarm clock that makes the information about the 10% OFF discount impossible to miss.

Then finally, below the main part of the email body, there’s an additional link that lets you “Find a sleep shop near you”. Yup, not a store, a sleep shop.

One more thing worth mentioning about this email is the top bar, located just below the navigational bar.

It’s very subtle. It contrasts nicely with the email body and since it’s in the above the fold section, it’s quick to inform the email recipients about the latest offer.

If anyone’s just skimming through their inbox, there’s a chance they won’t read the whole email but they’ll see that top bar. And if it captures their attention and generates interest, they’ll definitely scroll down to learn more about the offer.

Example

From: Casper

Subject line: New season? New bed.

Now I don’t want to sound like a big fanboy, which I may have just become, but here’s another great email from Casper that follows a similar line of thought.

It’s using yet another special time of the year, although not really a holiday, to promote their products.

In this email, Casper’s using the end of the summer and the beginning of “slumber” as the key idea behind their campaign.

Casper end of summer campaign email.

Casper’s end of summer campaign email

Similarly to the previous message, we’ve got the top bar summing up the main offer (located above the fold), one single CTA button that says “Start hibernating”, and a nice image with flip flops and warm slippers that accompanies the whole offer.

The copy? We’ve learned to expect this kind of copy from them.

A slightly awkward rhyme (Summer, Slumber), “Sleepin’ season”, “Start hibernating” – all of these tie in with what their business is selling.

There’s no “buy now” or “start shopping”.

It’s more creative than this.

Everything is put together nicely. The email’s short and sweet.

Although the offer itself isn’t new or creative – just another 10% OFF discount – the email campaign just looks good and is a joy to observe in the email inbox.

6. Year in review

When preparing their marketing campaigns, most marketers focus on what they’ve got prepared for their customers. Their blow out sale, free delivery, contest, or new line of products.

Less often, they focus on their customers – what they’ve done and what they’ve contributed to.

“Year in review” is one of the less seen campaigns. Perhaps because it doesn’t scream “buy now” and maybe it doesn’t provide a big return on investment.

At the same time, from my experience at least, it’s one of the most engaging types of campaigns.

Is it going to work for everyone? Probably not.

It should work for brands, services, or SaaS platforms that customers really care about.

It’s not just about summarizing the products someone bought over the year – that wouldn’t work unless these products meant a lot for the customers.

It’s about…

Well, let’s see what it’s all about :).

Example

From: Sevenly

Subject line: Thanks! Because of you…

Sevenly is an online retailer, that runs charity-themed campaigns and gives back part of their profits to those in need.

As you can read on their website, they pledge to donate $7 per purchase in their 7-Day Campaigns and 7% from their cause-themed collections.

So, every time you buy from them, you get that instant positive feeling that you’re doing something good.

The challenging part is that, over time, you may feel less motivated to help out in this way. Especially if you’re not seeing the direct outcomes, like what the money’s been invested in.

To counter this, Sevenly came up with this idea to send out a “thank you” campaign that summarizes just how much the brand and all of those who’ve participated in their campaigns, have contributed over the year.

As you’ll read in this email, in 2017 they’ve raised $4.9 million in donations, 1.7 million people helped them out, 2.4 billion free impressions were made for their selected causes.

Sevenly thank you email.

Sevenly’s thank you email

Why is this email so good?

There are several things that make this email special.

It’s the idea behind the campaign. Summing up all the milestones can definitely help the customers feel that they’ve made a difference in someone’s life.

The sender’s name, aka “from” name, also stands out. In your inbox, it says the email came from “Your Friends at Sevenly”.

If you’re trying to build a community, that’s definitely one way to do it.

As for the design, the email looks nice. It’s not overcomplicated, but the point of this campaign was to provide information to the recipients and thank them for their contribution. It’s not meant to sell.

So, although I can’t say much about the design, it seems to fit with the goal of this campaign.

Example

From: Spotify

Subject line: Everything you need to know about your year in music

Now, there are two emails I really want to show you.

Both of them were sent by Spotify, in different years – 2016 and 2017.

The idea behind them was to summarize everything the Spotify users have listened to over the year. The number of minutes, most popular songs, favorite genres, and so on.

By doing so, they wanted to engage the users, make them reminisce on the things they’ve listened to in the past and have fun analyzing it.

Email Spotify Year in Review

Spotify yearly summary email 2016

And I think they succeeded in this.

In fact, I remember that we’ve had lots of fun sharing the results with our colleagues over the last two years.

I bet it was similar in your office or among your friends, too.

Why are these emails so good?

First of all, I want to emphasize the differences between them.

Except for the most obvious – one’s in English (sent to my colleague), the other one is in Polish (that one’s mine).

The idea behind them was slightly different.

The 2016 one summarized and placed everything in the email. The 2017 one directed you to a landing page where you could have generated the results once you’ve logged in to your account.

I guess the newer one is better for Spotify in terms of activating their users and getting them back to their site.

The other one, however, is more complex and I appreciate it more, mainly because it used dynamic content to personalize the experience for their users.

Other than that, both of them are very nicely designed.

The more complicated one especially, given how different the results could have been for each individual of their customers.

I have to say, aggregating this amount of data and using it to personalize the content for their user – great. Making it pretty at the same time – awesome.

I’m sure this idea could work just as well for other brands. In fact I’ve seen Grammarly, Google Local Guides (example below), and Tripadvisor send out similar “summary” emails.

Unfortunately, they still have a lot to improve, if they want to be as engaging as this inspiring email from Spotify.

Google 2017 highlights email.

Google 2017 highlights email

 

7. Only for you

Exclusivity is a powerful thing, and marketers have known this for a long time.

The holiday sales season is a perfect moment to remind your contacts that being on your list has its perks.

Example:

From: Williams Sonoma

Subject line: 20% Off Fall Decor – Wreaths, Plants & More

williams sonoma holiday campaign email for halloween.

Williams Sonoma holiday campaign email for Halloween

This is a holiday newsletter I’ve received from Williams Sonoma shortly before Halloween.

Design-wise, there’s not much to say about this message. It’s very similar to all the other email campaigns sent out by this brand. Well, consistency in design is a good thing.

Perhaps the only thing that stands out about this email’s design is the uncommon use of the preheader section. You don’t usually see links like “Shop now” or “Find a store” before the “View email with images” URL.

I assume this was done for the mobile audience, but I’m not sure whether this tactic is very practical. As always, it’s one of the things you just have to test on your own.

While there isn’t anything particularly remarkable about this email’s design, the idea behind the campaign is very interesting.

So, if it’s not the design, what makes it great?

Let’s see.

Why is this email so good?

What I like about this holiday newsletter is that it makes the recipients feel special. Maybe not all of them, but the cardholders for sure.

This approach has three clear benefits. It makes their cardholders feel appreciated, and it motivates them to buy more frequently. Plus, WS presented the offer to their entire newsletter audience, so other recipients may feel inspired to join the WS cardholders club.

What’s surprising is that I don’t often see campaigns like this one, although developing one shouldn’t be particularly difficult.

That said, let’s look at one more holiday newsletter template which uses a similar approach.

Mark and Graham holiday fall email campaign.

Mark and Graham holiday email campaign

As you can see in this message from Mark and Graham, right below the navigational bar and above the main headline in the header, there’s a message that says, “Email Exclusive Offer”.

What this tells the subscriber is that this offer is nowhere else to be found. It’s exclusive, unique, and available only to the chosen ones.

If you’re a marketer, you know that offering something like this isn’t difficult, nor expensive.

All you need is to offer early access to your new product lines, exclusive products, additional bonus points, free shipping and returns, or additional content that’s available only through email.

Lesson for other ecommerce business: What’s the benefit of being your subscriber or a loyalty club member? If you figure this out, make sure to communicate it to your audience. Make them feel special, and they’ll pay you back.

 

8. Didn’t get the gift you wanted?

Is it possible to sell Christmas gifts after Christmas has ended?

As it turns out, it is.

You just need to focus on a different audience.

Example

From: Mahabis
Subject line: no mahabis under the tree? treat yourself instead…

mahabis inspiring holiday email campaign.

Mahabis unboxing day email

For most people, holidays are about spending time with family and friends, eating dinner together, and exchanging gifts.

Because of that, marketers spend most of their time coming up with new ways of convincing their audience to spend their holiday budget on gifts for others.

In this holiday newsletter below, Mahabis took a slightly different approach.

They focused on the fact that you too might have wanted to receive a special gift.

Perhaps nobody knew that all you dreamt about was a pair of Mahabis slippers. Does that mean you shouldn’t get them? Definitely not.

What you see in this message is a clever discount offer that lets you extend the holiday feeling by treating yourself with one of their products.

They also playfully called their campaign “unboxing day”, referring to the boxing day that takes place on the day this message was sent.

Why is it so good?

I really like the idea behind this campaign. You don’t often receive a holiday newsletter that focuses on the recipient. Instead, most of them help you buy gifts for others.

If you’re a fan of this brand and have long been waiting to buy a pair of their slippers, this message would’ve definitely caught your attention.

After Christmas is over, the odds are that 1) you’re short on money and could use a discount code, and 2) you’ve not received the gift you truly hoped for.

In this holiday newsletter, Mahabis is betting that this is the case for you.

And I think this is a solid strategy.

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: When preparing your holiday campaigns, consider changing the focus to your recipients (instead of their family and friends!) Think about what they need or want this holiday season.

Maybe they want to look good at the Christmas dinner party? Perhaps they’re hosting the party and want to make sure it’s going to be a blast? Or maybe they just want to treat themselves with something nice?

Go ahead, be creative, and try something new!

What else should you try for your holiday marketing campaigns?

Marketers try different approaches to deliver value to their audience. Depending on who they’re communicating with, the tactics they pursue will vary.

Here are a few more examples of email marketing campaigns that, in my opinion, worked pretty well. Without going into much detail, take a look at how effectively they’re using animated GIFs and product recommendations based on the price range.

Special Father's Day Message

Special Father’s Day Message

American Eagle Outfitters Sales From The Crypt Newsletter

American Eagle Outfitters Sales From The Crypt Newsletter

Mark And Graham Something Special For Her Under 100.

Mark And Graham Something Special For Her Under 100

How GetResponse can help with your holiday campaigns

Now that you’re inspired and ready to take action, it’s time to craft your stunning holiday newsletters.

And that’s what GetResponse can help you with.

Inside GetResponse you’ll find an intuitive email creator that’ll help you quickly build and send holiday newsletters to your audience.

And if you’re not sure about your design skills, don’t worry – you can just use one of the ready-made templates that are available for you to use.

If you’d like to create stunning Christmas email templates – and other holiday emails, too – all you have to do is sign up for a free trial and give it a go.

In addition to the free newsletter templates and the email creator, you’ll also find that GetResponse offers a great number of tools that’ll help you run your holiday campaigns better.

With tools like Facebook ads, social ads creator, landing page creator, or webinar software – you’ll be fully equipped to run holiday campaigns like a pro!

Inspiring-Holiday-Marketing

Related posts

The post 8 Inspiring Holiday Email Campaigns and What Makes Them So Good appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article

25 Lead Magnet Ideas to Help You Build Your Email List Faster

Struggling to get more leads for your business? Let’s talk about lead magnets, then – the single most important element of any effective lead generation strategy.

In today’s post, I’m going to define what lead magnets are and how you should go about choosing one to generate leads effectively.

I’ll also provide a list of 25 lead magnet ideas and examples you’ll be able to use in your own marketing campaigns.

Let’s get to it.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a free incentive that you give away to your website visitors. It’s meant to capture their attention and convince them to provide you with their contact details – typically an email address and a name.

Lead magnets are also often called signup incentives, signup offers, content upgrades, freebies, opt-in bribes, and many other terms.

Lead magnets - example from Search Engine Journal.

Example of a lead magnet used by Search Engine Journal.

Why are lead magnets important?

Website visitors have become immune to ads and pop up forms that offer them no value. Their natural reaction is to click away or click the cross sign, without feeling even a tinge of regret.

Take a look at your own signup forms. What’s their conversion rate? If you don’t offer any form of signup incentive, chances are they’re in the low digits.

That’s why marketers came up with the idea of offering lead magnets. A natural way of exchanging something of value (e.g., a piece of content) for a user’s email address.

Eye-catching, interesting, and relevant lead magnets are an essential part of all effective lead generation strategies, especially if you’re using marketing funnels.

How to choose a good lead magnet for your campaign?

There are many email list building methods you could use in your lead generation campaigns.

But if you choose to use lead magnets, you should pay attention to how you select one that’s right for your campaign.

After all, lead magnets aren’t just meant to get you your prospect’s contact details. They’re meant to help you start a relationship.

People who download your lead magnet should leave with a good feeling. If they feel it wasn’t worth their contact details, no amount of lead nurturing is going to help you convert them.

That’s why when choosing your content upgrade, it’s worth answering these four questions first:

Q1: Does the lead magnet get me closer to my business goal?

This may look like an odd question to start with, but your lead magnets shouldn’t be chosen without having your business objectives in mind.

Naturally, one goal of an opt-in incentive is to generate a lead. But what kind of lead?

Do you want thousands of email subscribers, a tiny percent of whom will be somewhat interested in your services?

Or maybe you prefer to collect a group of a 100 highly-qualified leads from a specific niche?

A guide for higher education institutions may help you collect fewer subscribers than, let’s say a guide that explains how any marketer can increase their email metrics.

But the chances are these will be more-qualified leads who are exactly the type of audience you want to reach.

Q2: Is the lead magnet appealing and interesting?

It should capture your visitor’s attention and spark their interest, so that they won’t click away or close their browser window.

Q3: Is the lead magnet relevant for them?

Would your lead magnet interest a CMO and a university student doing research for their thesis?

The chances are that your content’s going to be accessed by various types of audiences.

Unless you’re using complex algorithms to show lead magnets based on your users’ behavior, you should at least try to make them relevant to the page where they’re displayed.

For example, if it’s an article on home workout routines, your content upgrade could be a list of healthy breakfast recipes.

Q4: Is it worth exchanging for an email address?

One of the ways of increasing the conversion rate of your signup form and landing pages is to increase the value of your content upgrade.

While establishing the actual value of your lead magnet is often difficult, it shouldn’t stop you from wanting to maximize it.

If the content you’re offering isn’t easily available anywhere else, it would take a significant amount of time to find it somewhere else, or it’s got something unique (e.g., your expert commentary or point of view) then you’re off to a good start.

Some marketers like to estimate the value of their signup incentives. They show a three- to four-digit price tag, which they then cross out for those who’re ready to join their newsletter subscription.

It’s a sound strategy, but only if your content is really that valuable.

Adding a price tag to something of poor quality isn’t going to magically turn it into gold.

And, even if it gets you some additional subscribers onto your email list, it’s likely that you’d also see an increase in the unsubscribe and complaint rates.

Alright, with the theory out of the way, let’s now take a look at the following list of 25 lead magnet ideas, examples, and explanations on how they could be useful for your lead generation campaigns.

25 lead magnet ideas and examples

1. Email course

An email course can be a great lead magnet.

And an easy one to set up, too!

Instead of sending all the course materials in one go, the idea is to divide them into smaller chunks (lessons) and send them to your email recipients one by one.

Thanks to this approach, your email subscribers get a lot of value, over an extended period of time.

And because you’re not giving away all the course materials right away, you get a better chance of building a stronger relationship with them.

What kind of content could be turned into an email course that’ll help you increase your email signups?

Virtually anything.

If you’re an expert in agriculture, dog breeding, or playing squash, you could gather your knowledge and offer it as an incentive to sign up to your email list.

It all depends on your niche and what your target audience is interested in.

Here’s an example of an email course that was used as a lead magnet:

email course lead magnet wistia.

As you can see, this is an email series on Video Marketing Fundamentals from Wistia.

This approach isn’t uncommon, especially in the online marketing niche.

We’ve also used the same approach and gained a lot of success with it for GetResponse.

You can check out our Resource Center to see some of our latest courses.

As I already mentioned, setting up an email course is easy.

All you have to do is put your lessons into a sequence of emails, which can be either set up as autoresponders (the easy way) or a marketing automation workflow (slightly more advanced but also allows for adding behavior-triggered emails and tags).

2. Infographic

Infographics can be both fun and useful.

Many people like them, because they can quickly provide the key information on a particular topic and do so in a format that’s enjoyable to look at.

It’s also not uncommon to see infographics get a lot of social shares and backlinks.

But there’s one issue with infographics that needs to be mentioned.

It’s that some of them have a relatively short life-span. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re trying to take advantage of a special event or a particular season.

holiday marketing infographic seasonal incentive.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to keep creating infographics too often, you’ll want to develop one that’s going to help you generate leads for months to come.

How can you do that?

Check out your existing content. See which posts or videos get a lot of engagement and traffic from the organic search throughout the entire year.

Most often, you’ll be able to find content that’s highly popular and is worth repurposing, i.e., being turned into an infographic.

Next, do a Google search for images and see if there’s anything similar already out there. If there is, you’ll have to make sure yours is better and can outperform the existing one.

What if you don’t have content that’s ranking well just yet?

In this case, go to question and answer types§ of websites like Quora.

These get a lot of organic traffic in pretty much any niche you can imagine.

Search through the categories, find the one that’s relevant to your niche, and check out the questions that have been posted there.

Look at the ones that get a lot of views, follows, and comments on.

Then all you have to do is pick one specific topic, gather all the best answers, and turn them into a neat, share-worthy infographic.

Also, you can use tools like Ahrefs to identify the top performing infographics and get inspired by what’s attracted a lot of social shares in the previous year.

top performing infographics ahrefs

3. Calendar or planner

Calendars and planners can make very effective lead magnets, especially if you offer them at the beginning of the year.

Everyone’s just starting to lay out the plans for future campaigns and events to attend.

That’s when you can ‘hit them’ – and get a lot of engagement in the process, too :).

Create a calendar that revolves around your niche (e.g., planting calendar for different plants and seeds if you’re in the agriculture vertical) and offer it in exchange for an email address.

It can work even better if you make it in a print-friendly format.

This way, if anyone prints out your calendar, they’ll keep seeing your logo next to their desk for the entire year.

Should you plan to run a lead nurturing campaign afterward, your work will already be that much easier. Your email recipients will remember you from the logo they keep seeing every day.

Below’s an example of a retail calendar we’ve done at the beginning of this year.

We haven’t actually used it as a lead magnet, but we just as well could have, and I bet the results would be satisfying 🙂

holiday infographic lead magnet getresponse resources.

4. Spreadsheet

In some niches, spreadsheets are very popular.

Take online marketers or personal finance bloggers for example.

People in these industries often come up with different spreadsheets that help them optimize their work.

And it turns out there are many people with similar needs to theirs, so all these bloggers and marketers have to do is share their existing spreadsheets with the others.

What’s even better is that these often don’t even have to be very complex. Like social media or editorial calendars with different columns and rows prepared for individual online marketing channels.

Other times, the spreadsheets will include more complicated functions and detailed explanations on how they should be used.

These are even more powerful as most users won’t be able to develop them on their own.

Also, when you know that someone’s put a lot of effort into preparing a spreadsheet, you don’t feel bad that you have to offer your email address in exchange. You know you’re getting real value out of this deal.

In both cases, spreadsheets can help you speed up your email list building process.

All you have to do is put them behind an opt-in form and them to the thank you page or an automated thank you message.

It’s that simple 🙂

Below’s an example of a page that does just that. What’s interesting about it, however, is that instead of paying with an email address you’re being asked to share the resource to gain access to it.

free spreadsheet facebook share alternative.

5. A cheat sheet or list

The longer you work in a given industry, the more experience and knowledge you obtain – at least in theory!

Some of it is probably difficult to find or access for someone new to the business.

So why not take advantage of the years behind your belt and put them into a downloadable list or a cheat sheet?

We tend to forget about this, but there are people who prefer shorter pieces of content like cheat sheets over ebooks.

They don’t have the time to download and read long-form content. They prefer something quicker to read that can help them make significant changes to their strategy fast.

This is a win-win situation.

Creating a cheat sheet shouldn’t take you too long – after all, you already have the knowledge that’s necessary to develop it, so all you have to do is combine it in a logical way.

You’ll also get more subscribers who are actually using your content, rather than just downloading it.

Shouldn’t this be a goal for all our content?

The interesting thing about lists is that they can be used in any industry.

You could create a list of:

  • recipes (e.g., gluten-free, Halloween themed, or for organizing a picnic),
  • tools (e.g., for marketing automation, for start-ups, or those that are free of charge),
  • resources (e.g., on a specific topic or for a specific group of customers),
  • workouts (e.g., for those who are traveling or working out at home)
  • looks (e.g., clothes for summer vacation or business trips)

As you can see, all of these ideas could be turned into a lead magnet that’d generate tons of new email subscribers.

For your inspiration, take a look at these two websites that used checklists as their opt-in incentives.

on page seo checklist optin incentive.

checklist lead magnet.

6. Ebooks, guides, and whitepapers

There are still many people who like more long-form content.

Ebooks, guides, and whitepapers. All of them are great lead magnets and can help you grow your email list faster.

While putting them together can often take a hefty amount of time or require special software if you want them to look particularly good (I use InDesign), their lifespan tends to be very long.

The argument that supports the use of ebooks is that they’re often perceived as more valuable than an infographic or a cheat sheet.

Some of the marketers using ebook lead magnets even go as far as to say that their guide is worth several hundred dollars, but this one time they’re giving it away for *free* – in exchange for your email address.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that all ebooks have to be very comprehensive. I see plenty of downloadable guides and whitepapers that offer little to no value whatsoever.

But that’s not the approach I would recommend.

You should always pay attention to the content you put inside of your lead magnet.

You want your new subscribers to be happy about the exchange that they’ve just made.

If they don’t, you’ll likely observe high unsubscribe and complaint rates – and this is going to be counterproductive towards your deliverability and success with email marketing.

Sadly, we see this quite often for single-message autoresponders, most of which are thank you emails.

autoresponders average email open click through rates.

As you can see in the screen above, taken from our recent study, their engagement rates are high, but so are the unsubscribe and complaint rates.

Ask yourself – who normally signs up to an email list and unsubscribes right away?

Other than your competitors, my intuition tells me these are the people who’re unsatisfied with what they’ve received in their thank you message.

resource bundle getresponse resources.

7. Report

Do you think your blog readers would appreciate something even more comprehensive than an ebook?

If so, then offer them a report.

Reports can work wonders for your lead generation strategy.

Right away, they put you in a different position. If they’re based on a large-scale study or have been conducted with a world-known research partner, they can help your brand be perceived as an authority in the industry.

The challenging part is that they take time and resources to develop.

You probably won’t be able to create one even under a month.

Not unless you’re awesome at data mining or have the ability to launch a survey that’s going to gather thousands of answers in a short amount of time.

But if you do have enough time, resources, or can launch a large-scale survey – do it and then write a report with the findings.

If it turns out good, you can expect a lot of attention from other media sites – not to mention an increase in your email list size.

From personal experience, I can tell you that they’re great for self-development, too.

In the process of analyzing the data, you’ll learn a lot and get plenty of ideas for new content pieces you can use in the future.

email marketing report getresponse ascend2.

semrush research study pdf lead magnet.

8. Video

Just like with cheat sheets and lists, some people prefer content that’s quick and easy to consume.

For example, videos.

Videos can work well both for user engagement and email list building.

Depending on the kind of video and what it is about, you can often watch them while doing something else at the same time.

They usually don’t require the same amount of attention as other types of content – and this is what makes them so popular.

While not all videos should be turned into lead magnets and put behind an opt-in gate, many of them can.

Interviews with interesting guests, tips or tutorials, examples effective strategies, and of course webinars.

See what kind of videos are popular in your industry and try offering one in exchange for an email address.

As an additional incentive, provide a quick summary or a short version that can be accessed without paying with email.

This will give your users the chance to make a solid decision whether they want to watch the full video and sign up to your email list.

optin incentive video getresponse.

Speaking of videos, I’ve also seen marketers use video and podcast transcripts being used as lead magnets.

I’m not the biggest fan of this approach, though I can see how they could be beneficial for email list building.

At the end of the day, I consider transcripts as something that’s meant to help your users consume your content better (and rank in the SERPS, too).

The odds are that some of your prospects are using a screen reader to access your content due to some hearing impairment.

As such, I don’t think it’s fair to ask them to leave their email address in exchange for the transcripts.

free course preview content marketing lounge.

9. Consultation

You may argue that we live in a digital world where you can buy services and products from across the globe.

But the truth is that at the end of the day – people buy from people.

For some purchases, especially those that require significant commitment (time or money), people want to consult someone before they sign anything.

We’ve learned that this is often the case for some particular cultures, e.g., in the ASEAN region where the human factor makes a big difference.

If you’re an expert in a field – you either have an agency or are a solopreneur – and you offer your services online, consider giving away a 15- or 30-minute consultation in exchange for an email address.

There’s a big advantage to this approach.

Right away, you’re able to start building a relationship with your potential lead.

Plus, in most cases, you immediately know, if there’s any business to be made – whether the customer’s the right fit and they’re someone you’d like to work with.

There’s one more argument that supports this type of lead magnet.

It’s the fact that if someone’s signing up for a consultation, they’re probably already looking to buy. Maybe not immediately, but at least in the near future.

And that’s a much better ground for building long-term relationships than cold pitching out people of the blue :).

online consultation signup form.

10. Free quote or price estimate

People often research and compare different options before they make any financial commitment.

This is the case for services such as car insurance, mortgage, financial loans, and others.

Offering them for free can help you generate a lot of traffic, but the truth is that most people won’t convert.

That’s just the way it is, and we have to accept this.

Reciprocity is powerful (If you’re unfamiliar with this topic, I highly recommend that you read the book Give and Take by Adam Grant), but people feel less motivated to return the ‘favor’ if they don’t know you and it’s the first – and maybe last – time they see your website.

That’s why offering a free quote only after someone provides you the email address can be a great approach for your lead generation strategy.

A popular way of doing this is to get the user to fill out the form half-way.

Ask them a few questions first, let them choose from all the available options, and right before they’re about to receive the quote – ask them about their an email address.

While this may irritate some of your users, as long as you’re transparent in your communication you should be OK.

People will understand that updating the information to provide the service takes both time and effort, but you need to make sure they understand how much value they’re getting out of this exchange.

free project estimate braincode agency.

11. Coupons and deals

Ecommerce marketers know this the hard way.

You don’t usually make a lot of money from your first-time buyers.

That’s because you have to invest to acquire them – to get them onto your site, to make them check out your products, and finally to make the first purchase.

These costs add up pretty quickly, and it’s often not enough to convince your new visitors to even make that initial purchase.

That’s why many ecommerce marketers choose to add coupons as their lead magnet.

The coupon is meant to give that extra push to help the users to make the first commitment.

But some marketers worry that offering a coupon right away is a bad practice and that it’s going to drive their profits down.

That’s true for the short-term. But if you’re able to convince your first-time buyers to order from you again – you’re going to win in the long-term.

Through lead nurturing campaigns, automated emails including product recommendations, and other tactics. If you do it right, your efforts will pay off.

If you’re unsure about giving away coupons in exchange for an email address, you can add some restrictions.

For example:

Your coupon is going to be valid only for a one-time purchase above a certain amount of money.

Alternatively, it could be valid for a second purchase instead – this way you’ll motivate the first-time buyers to make another commitment.

There are multiple ways to use coupons both as lead magnets and regular incentives meant to engage your existing or inactive customers.

Do the maths, see if you can afford using them, and don’t worry if your profit margin on the first-time buyers isn’t too high.

Pro tip: Make sure your discount codes and coupons work at all times. According to the data from Statista, “discount code doesn’t work” was the number one reason why users abandoned their shopping carts in the US in 2017.

discount first purchase newsletter.

While my explanation of using coupons and deals up to this point referred to products that you sell yourself, it’s worth mentioning that this doesn’t have to be that way.

The deals that you offer don’t have to be on your products.

They don’t even have to be for tangible products at all.

There are many marketers out there, who run affiliate sites that’ll send you great deals in exchange for your email address.

If you buy any of the products or services through them, you’ll get a good discount, and they’ll earn a commission.

Perhaps one of the most known sites that work in a similar way is Appsumo.

It gathers hundreds of thousands of marketers who’re either looking for great deals on tools or are trying to launch their product to that specific target audience.

And based on the kinds of offers they run (even up to 80% OFF), it’s safe to assume their email list grows quickly.

deals appsumo newsletter.

12. Free delivery

Some say that free delivery is even more powerful than offering coupons.

I can see where they’re coming from.

Many users often don’t mind spending a lot of money on different products, but they’ll think twice before buying something that has an extra delivery cost added in the checkout.

According to the data from Statista, unexpected shipping costs are the biggest reason why users abandon their online shopping carts.

digital shoppers reasons for abandoning carts us 2018.

Also, there are people (myself included) that would rather spend slightly more money to earn the free delivery, if it’s available above after a certain threshold.

That being said, if you’re an ecommerce business, offering free delivery should be one of your key strategies to help you grow your email list.

Free delivery can be a great alternative to price coupons, especially if you’re not particularly enthusiastic about offering them to your customers or are worried it’ll hurt your brand’s perception.

Once again, you shouldn’t be too worried that including the free delivery will cut down your profit margin on the first-time buyers. You’ll get it back in the long-term.

And if you want to see more commitment from your customers, offer it only if they spend more than a particular amount on their order. Or just limit it to their first order, all together.

13. Chance to win something

Who doesn’t like to win something now and then?

Not many marketers use this approach but offering a chance to win something can be a good lead magnet idea.

There are however a few challenges with this tactic.

First of all, the prize should be valuable and relevant to your target audience.

It wouldn’t make sense to offer a free power bank if you were running an online clothing store.

Neither would it be to offer something of minor value like a keychain.

Also, your prize should be redeemable.

No matter where your customers are from, you should be able to ship anywhere in the world.

There’s one more challenge with this approach, but this one’s a bit harder to handle.

Richard Wiseman wrote about it in his book – The Luck Factor.

Some people consider themselves unlucky and don’t believe they’ll win. That is also why they might not want to take part in your prize-draw.

For this kind of people, I’d suggest that you emphasize how strong their chances of winning are or the fact that everyone gets some kind of a prize.

As I said, not many marketers use this tactic to grow their email list.

However, I’ve recently come across a site that’s using it effectively.

As you can see below, a chance of winning a set of marketing-related books can work very well – if your target audience is in that niche.

Given that this blog was all about marketing, the prize was relevant.

Also, what’s clever about this tactic is that by offering books from world-famous authors, they’re right away using their names to position the blog at a similar level.

Even though the readers might not be familiar with the blog yet, they’ll anticipate that the content they’ll receive via email will be similar to what the famous authors write about.

chance to win books best lead magnets.

And here’s another, slightly similar example, but with a less-clear incentive.

contest lottery email lead magnet idea.

14. Event tickets

There’s yet another great idea for a lead magnet – event tickets.

If you organize your own event – great. Instead of giving away a free admission, ask people who’re interested in the event to register and leave their email address.

What if you don’t run any events?

Then, you can try and partner up with those who do. Quite often, partnering companies (who either pay a certain amount of money or help co-promote the idea) can get a certain number of tickets for free.

Then you can use those free tickets as your lead magnet.

This tactic is pretty popular among companies that organize events.

best lead magnets chance to win conference tickets.

15. Online events and webinars

I know I’ve previously mentioned that videos (including webinars) make great lead magnets.

However, I felt that online events, meetings, and webinars deserve a separate point on this list.

The reason for this is that videos are often a one-way type of communication.

Webinars and online events, on the other hand, are usually meant to be a dialogue.

Whether it is one presenter, the host and their guest, or a number of different presenters – the idea behind using this form of content as lead magnet is the same.

You’re offering value – a presentation or keynote on an important topic – in exchange for an email address.

The more you offer – a better speaker, more interesting topic, or simply more speakers talking about different topics – the higher are your chances of getting people to opt in.

online event registration page.

At GetResponse, we often run webinars, either on our own or with special guests, as well as we take part in similar initiatives organized by other companies.

In fact, here you can check some of the recordings of webinars we hosted in the past.

Thanks to them, we manage to gather several thousand registrations every time.

Best of all, their setup is straightforward.

You can actually host your own webinar in GetResponse in just a few steps.

16. Free samples

Another way ecommerce businesses can increase their email list’s growth is by offering free samples.

There are two ways you can go about offering them.

You can either add the free samples to your customer’s first order or offer them right away but charge for the delivery cost.

The second approach is actually very similar to what one rapidly growing ecommerce company called Wish is doing.

They’re offering one product, free of charge, for anyone who registers to their platform and pays for the shipping.

This way they’re getting thousands of people to download the app and fill out their details, and all they’re giving away in exchange are small-value products like headphones or phone cases.

Other companies have followed a similar approach. Foundr.com, for example, offered a free issue of their magazine which featured Sir Richard Branson to anyone who joined their email list.

There’s one more benefit to using free samples. You can get people to try out your products, which might be especially difficult if you’re launching a new line or brand.

17. Case study

Case studies can be very effective when you’re trying to convince others that your products or services are exceptional.

Here’s why.

They show the process – exact steps and tactics your customers had to take – to achieve great outcomes.

This process may neither be quick nor easy, but you’re the expert and can help others achieve great outcomes, too.

In other words, you’re helping your potential customers imagine what the desirable results are and showing them that you know the way to get them.

On top of that, case studies show that your brand is trustworthy and desirable.

After all, awesome brands wouldn’t have teamed up with you and relied on your expertise, if you gave off a suspicious vibe.

But let’s talk about using case studies as lead magnets.

My opinion is that in most cases case studies shouldn’t be put behind the paywall or an opt-in form.

It’s often too soon to ask the user to leave their email address as you have to yet earn their trust.

At the same time, you can use them as a lead magnet if you prepare two versions of your case studies.

One that’s a summary of the results and tactics that were used to achieve the great outcomes.

And the second one, the one you can put behind a signup form, that goes deeper into the entire process that your companies had to go through to identify and analyze the problem, formulate tests, come up with alternative scenarios, and finally how you’ve run the campaign.

This way you’re achieving the best of two worlds – one quick case study that can help you inspire your potential customers and another one that helps you generate leads.

So if you’ve got a success story to share or are in the process of developing one, consider creating two versions that’ll help you build in your email list building endeavor.

case study pdf download.

18. Online tool or web app

Many SaaS companies choose to create free tools that can be used by their target audience, almost completely free of charge.

Almost, because all the user has to do, to access the free tool, is to give their email address in exchange.

This tactic can be very effective, especially if the tool you offer brings a lot of value to your users and it’s something they’ll be accessing on a regular basis.

Not sure what I’m getting at?

Take a look at the following tool called LSIGraph.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s an online tool used by SEOs and other online marketers that helps you find semantically related keywords.

So whenever you’re optimizing a page or writing an article, which you want to rank higher in SERPs – you should check out the LSIGraph.

You can use the tool for free, but it has a limit on how many analysis you can do per day.

If you want to use it for more than three phrases per day, you can increase that limit to 20, by leaving your email address.

It’s a very clever tactic that helps the people behind LSIGraph attract a wide enough audience and convert only those who’re serious about using their tool.

Those who need to use the free tool more often, must have already realized its value to their business.

This means they’ll be more motivated to leave their email address.

Plus, if they reach the new daily limit several times in a row, they’ll probably even consider going for the paid plan.

free online tool lead magnet lsi keywords.

Here’s another example of a tool that marries lead generation and offering value successfully.

iconosquare instagram audit tool.

This one was so interesting, that I decided to reach out to Olga Rabo, from Iconosquare, to share in her own words the story behind the Instagram Audit Tool they developed.

Creating new tools can be a great way to promote your main offering.

Iconosquare offers the best-in-class Instagram analytics for brands and businesses, and last year we came up with an idea to start creating side-tools to our main offering. One of the tools we created was the Instagram Audit Tool.

The process is simple: you sign in with your Instagram account, and let the tool evaluate your Instagram account based on specific metrics, such as your posting frequency, engagement rate, your use of hashtags, etc.

It gives you an immediate score to let you know if you’re doing a good job. If you leave your email address, you’ll get a full, detailed report with tips on how to improve your Instagram performance. As you complete the audit, there’s a “Start your free trial” button, which gives us additional few hundred not leads, but trials, per month. And it’s good trials, too, that convert to paying customers later on.

Currently, the tool lists on the 1st Page of Google results when you look for “Instagram audit” and has organically acquired 102 backlinks from 55 domains.

How did we promote the tool?

The regular “checklist”:

-Blog post on the Iconosquare blog, to cross-link it with the tool,

-Newsletter (to our blog subscribers and customers),

-Social media promotion,

-A bit of Adwords and paid social,

-Dropped it on Product Hunt.

This was basically it.

The success of the Audit Tool lies, thus, not in its promotion tactics, but in the fact that the idea itself came from our users, so we knew there’s demand for a tool like that. Every day, we’re getting dozens of emails from customers and subscribers, asking us to review their Instagram accounts and tell them where they can improve. So why not use the audience feedback, create a simple solution and use it as a new way to generate trials?

I just added one more backlink to this list.

That aside, as you can see, tools like these can work very well, not only for growing your email list but also for your SEO.

19. Quiz

There’s something about quizzes that people just love.

A couple of years back, all my friends were checking which Friends character they resemble the most or which Hogwarts house the sorting hat would place them in. And, of course, by years I mean weeks.

While quizzes are usually fun, they can also be very useful – especially if you know how to use them to build your email list faster.

The same goes for surveys. They can be engaging, educational, and great for lead generation.

The good news about both of these tools is that they can be used in any industry.

For example, here’s how Iconosquare (once again), used a quiz to let users test their Instagram strategy level.

quiz instagram strategy iconosquare.

quiz instagram strategy iconosquare blog content.

online calculator survey lead generation 2.

quiz instagram strategy iconosquare blog content email signup.

And here’s another quiz, that lets you test you Digital IQ.

digital iq quiz lead magnet example.

digital iq quiz lead magnet example 2.

20. Online calculator

I’m a big fan of online calculators.

Whether it is to calculate the cost of your mortgage rate, car insurance, or projected electricity bill – they save a lot of hassle, and in doing so, they provide value.

I use them on a regular basis, but it’s rarely the case that I see online calculators being used as a lead generation tool.

And that’s a big mistake.

They can be a powerful lead magnet and can help you increase the size of your email list quickly.

But don’t get me wrong, not all calculators deserve to be used in exchange for an email address.

Plus, Google often comes up with clever ways to overcome the need of using them.

Take currency exchange for example.

Here’s what you’ll see if you type in “200 pounds to PLN” into Google search.

google currency converting calculator.

Alright, so if that won’t work, what kind of online calculators have the chance of being an effective lead magnet?

The answer’s pretty straightforward: those that provide information that’s otherwise difficult to obtain and people are interested in it.

Additional points for making the calculator fun to use.

Need an example?

Below’s a screenshot of a calculator that was used by a company called Eneco.

online calculator survey lead generation.

fun online calculator for lead generation example.

As you can read from this blog post, the company managed to generate over 1,000 leads with their online calculator in just 6 weeks.

What did the calculator do?

It helped you estimate how much it would cost to buy a homecharger for your electric car.

This is a perfect example of a calculator that had to work well.

Its timing is perfect – more and more people are interested in buying electric cars.

Its topic is highly relevant – those who’re interested in buying an electric car are often worried they won’t be able to charge their car very efficiently.

Its playful – the calculator starts with two warm-up survey questions about your name and how you like to recharge yourself (e.g., beer vs smoothie).

Its smart – you’re being asked about your email address only in the last step, after you’ve answered six other questions and already made an initial commitment.

I’m not at all surprised by this result and hope to see more of such calculators being used as lead magnets in the future.

21. Swipe file

Another idea for a lead magnet you could use are swipe files.

While this is mainly relevant to the copywriting, advertising, and online marketing niche, you could use them for any other genre of writing or subject.

Think of examples of great headlines, joke or storytelling structures, opening lines for presentations, and design inspirations.

In fact, we’ve created a swipe file for great welcome emails.

The idea behind it is simple.

Step 1. Gather and organize tools others would find useful.

Step 2. Put them behind a web form.

Yes, it’s that simple.

email swipe file.

22. Newsletter

I feel that many marketers keep forgetting that newsletter itself, can be an effective lead magnet.

We usually treat it the other way round.

We’re asking someone to leave their email address so that we can then send them the newsletter.

But if your newsletter content is good enough, it should be treated as a lead magnet itself.

The value we’re promising here is in a form of a newsletter.

One that’s sent on a regular basis, be it weekly or monthly, and includes information we find useful or inspiring.

One such example is the CB Insights newsletter I receive every other day.

It contains interesting information on trends and stories on various startups and other companies in the technology space.

newsletter signup form cb insights.

Not so surprisingly, here at GetResponse, we also offer a newsletter that includes our weekly set of articles from the blog.

It’s currently subscribed by over 15,000 SMB marketers for whom – and I hope I’m not exaggerating right now – our content’s valuable enough that they decided to opt in.

If you feel like you could learn a few things on effective strategies for SMB marketers, I’d be honored if you joined our mailing list :).

newsletter signup form getresponse.

23. Waiting list

Exclusivity is one powerful thing.

Think of all the limited-edition cars and clothes from only the best fashion designers.

Or the huge lines in front of the club that just opened up in your city the other month.

People like to be among the first ones to see, read, and experience things.

Believe it or not, this applies to non-tangible products, too.

You can create a waiting list for online courses or tools, just as if they were something you need to touch with your hands.

It could be the limited-access to the beta-version of your platform.

Or a completely new tool you wanted to try out with your pilot group.

You can create a sense of exclusivity and build your email list by simply making people wait.

Of course, It’ll only work if you’ve already offered something that’s good and what you’d normally charge for.

In other words, you’ve earned your users’ trust.

Once you’ve done it, you can try to offer them something even better.

And in theory, if they have to wait for it, it’ll be even more powerful.

brightonseo waiting list lead magnet.

waiting list online conference.

24. Toolkit

This idea kind of overlaps what we’ve covered in some of the points above.

Nevertheless, I think it’s worth mentioning the fact that your lead magnet doesn’t have to consist of only one individual material e.g., an ebook.

If you promise more materials in one go, you might get a better chance of converting your website visitors into email leads.

Consider the following example.

What you can see here is a toolkit – a big file consisting of various PDFs and frameworks that’ll help you create your own platform.

While this particular example doesn’t require the users to leave their email address to access the files, it’s easy to imagine it working this way.

platform design toolkit lead magnet.

Why put all the files together in one bundle, instead of offering them one by one?

The truth is, you need your user’s email address only once.

While it’s tempting to divide up your files and tag each and every resource they download separately, it seems that the brand wanted to provide as much value to their potential customers as possible.

By offering them all the files in one go, they’re definitely doing so.

And if you’ve read any of these frameworks or files, you’ll know that they’re pretty complex.

If anyone finds them too hard to go over on their own, they’ll know exactly who to reach out to, to ask for help.

Here’s another example, this time from Shopify.

several free tools lead magnet ideas.

We’ve actually used this particular tactic for GetResponse, too.

It’s the idea that’s behind our Resource Center, which I’ve already mentioned before.

Users only need to provide their email address once, and they can access all the ebooks, reports, infographics, and other materials we publish on a regular basis.

resource bundle getresponse resources.

25. Slideshare and presentation notes

Most marketers put up their slides on Slideshare or another similar website, where their audience can access them easily.

And it’s a perfectly fine approach.

It’s great for those who’ve attended your presentation and want to go through your materials again.

It’s also perfect for those who haven’t been to it, and might somehow stumble upon your content when doing a Google search on the specific topic.

At the same time, who says you can’t offer your slides or presentation notes as a lead magnet in a web form?

Especially the latter, can be very useful for those who’re interested in your presentation but haven’t had the chance to see it live.

I’m not able to travel around the world to go to all the great conferences that are currently taking place. That’s why I’d definitely leave my email address in exchange for either the presentation deck (though these often aren’t useful without the voiceover) or the presentation notes with useful links to read up on.

searchmetrics presentation download webform.

I’m sure your target audience would feel the same way, especially if your presentations provide actual value.

And if you’re not convinced that this could work for an individual marketer, consider using this for an online conference or an event that you’ve run in the past.

Sharing presentations and presentation notes from the previous editions can help you generate leads, who you can then try to convince to register for your upcoming event.

For more lead magnet ideas, look around you

I’ve just gone over 25 ideas for effective lead magnets.

If you do another Google search, I’m sure you could find posts with more than 100+ ideas for freebies, opt-in bribes, or however you prefer to call them.

But I recommend that instead of typing your next query into the search engine, you start by looking around you.

Take a look at your desk, your wall right next to it, your Slack, Google Keep, and email.

I’m sure you have some sort of a folder with useful shortcuts, links, tips, or other things that improve your work.

Rings a bell?

Now take these and think about if you can turn them into a lead magnet.

Can they benefit your customers? Will they make someone’s life easier or more enjoyable?

If it’s a yes, there are two things I want you to do.

First, the obvious one, use it to grow your list.

The second one, a personal favor, just let me know in the comments what it is that you’ve decided to use as your lead magnet :).

25 Lead Magnet Ideas to Help You Build Your Email List Faster (1).

Related posts

The post 25 Lead Magnet Ideas to Help You Build Your Email List Faster appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article

How to Drive Traffic to Your Site

By now you probably don’t need us to convince you that using video for marketing is the way to Drive Traffic to Your Site.

We’re purposely going to skip the analysis of all the available literature that studies the psychological aspects of using animated vs. static images in communication.

Instead, we’ll just point out to the following:

Since 2017, Facebook has officially been on a mission to focus more on building a community around video.

By improving the organic reach achieved with videos and constantly studying how we engage with them, they’re encouraging marketers to produce more and higher quality video content for their Facebook users.

They’ve also launched Facebook Watch, a video-on-demand service that offers a mix of user-generated and premium content including popular TV shows.

Not too surprisingly either, Facebook users began to see that videos generated 5x more engagement than static images.

So why haven’t all brands joined in on this trend?

Simply put, not everyone can afford to spend their time or budget to produce video content for their social media channels.

Heck, this is the exact reason why we haven’t been doing video ads all that often in the past.

Plus, there’s another problem – you need to spend a lot of time to think of really unique posts to engage followers organically. (Without paying for ads you can reach 5-30% of your followers depending on how viral the post gets)

To sum up, a few facts:

  • video is 5x more engaging,
  • adding photos make the post 2x more engaging,
  • on average you are reaching only 10% of your followers (without boosting the post) – the more engaging the video or graphic is, the better result you get.
  • you probably don’t have much time, ideas or resources to spend on promotional videos and graphics creation

We decided to tackle this problem and this is how we developed the GetResponse Social Ad Creator.

Social Media Ad Creator.

Let’s take a look at what you can achieve with it.

Note: If you’ve read our previous post about the upcoming new tool we’ve been working on, the GetResponse Autofunnel, make sure that you pay attention to step #4 below.

How to promote your products using the GetResponse Social Ad Creator

Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re selling hand-made rustic decoration for those who are planning and organizing a wedding. Chances are, you already have plenty of photos of your products in different variations and a shop configured on Etsy.

That’s all you’ll need to get started.

Step 1. Get the app and log in.

To get the app, simply visit the page and hit one of the download buttons to have it installed on your iOS or Android device.

Once you’ve installed the app, there are a few ways to access it:

  • you can log in using your GetResponse login,
  • you can create a new account using your Facebook or Google accounts,
  • or you can try the guest account.

Step 2. Find your favorite template or build one from scratch.

Now that you’ve logged into the app, you can either create the graphics from scratch, automatically from your store or begin to browse through the 200+ pre-designed templates.

To find the one that’ll match your product best, you can filter the templates based on their popularity, size, hashtag, or business objective.

Let’s say that for our wedding décor business the main goal is to promote our products and boost sales. In this case, we’d go with the “SELL” templates.

social media ads creator sell template.

Once you’ve found the one you like the most, just tap on it.

Here’s one template we’d use to run a social media ad campaign to promote our rustic wedding décor business.

Getresponse Social Ad Creator GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

If you decided to start from scratch, just click on the pencil icon to proceed.

Step 3. Edit text and layout.

Whether you’ve selected your template or started to create one from scratch, it’s time to brand the post as your own. Edit the texts, colors, and upload your logo. You’ll want your audience to recognize your brand right away.

Want some inspiration? This post offers some good guidance on how to create engaging social media graphics.

Step 4. Add photos of your products, automatically.

If you’re using the GetResponse Autofunnel or selling your products on Etsy, I’ve got good news for you.

You can add your products from both of these services, automatically.

All you have to do is click on the pencil button and select the available integration, Etsy or GetResponse Autofunnel.

social media graphics

What if you’re not selling a physical product or don’t have any photos you could use?

Unsplash photo library social ads.

No problem. You can use the Unsplash image library that’s available for you in the app. Just type your keyword to browse from over 500,000k free photos available in the app.

As you can see, thanks to this process you’re saving a lot of time and can publish your social media posts in several minutes.

Step 5. Ready? Time to share it! (Or save it to your phone and the GetResponse Files and Images)

Time to add the finishing touches – the title and description of your post, as well as link to the order page.

Once you’ve done it, you can pick and connect the social media accounts you’ll publish the post on. Your posts can help you reach your audiences on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Alternatively, you can save the post to your phone or the GetResponse Files and Images.

saving ads.

This lets you use the posts outside of the app, for example if you’d like to promote them using the Facebook and Instagram Ads.

Give it a try and let us know what you think

As you can see, the process of creating videos with the Social Ads Creator is pretty straightforward.

Still, we understand there may be some learning curve involved with it and there may be some features or integrations missing. That’s why we’d like to ask you for feedback. Give it a try, test it out, and let us know what you think.

We’re happy to include your feedback in our roadmap planning process, so if you see anything that could improve the app, just let us know!

GetResponse Social Media Ads.

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Make Your Employee Newsletter a Winner

Although they’re “just” for your own staff and colleagues, employee newsletters shouldn’t be taken for granted. Once you learn how to do internal email newsletters best, they can be effective communication tools. It’s important to thoughtfully craft them as a strong employee newsletter can serve an important role inside the organization.

Things you should know about Internal Email Newsletters:

Objectives of employee newsletters

Before going into how to come up with excellent internal email marketing messages, it’s important to know what the objectives of these newsletters are and what elements define them.

Why do you want to send internal newsletters to your employees? These are the main reasons why employee newsletters are so popular in various departments such as Human Resources, Employer Branding, and organizations in general:

  • To inform. Email newsletters circulate in a company to distribute information intended for affected employees. The information included is relevant and useful for targeted departments and employees – even regardless of hierarchical rankings.
  • To break down silos. Aside from distributing relevant information to everyone in a company, email newsletters can also be used as tools to encourage camaraderie among employees, who normally don’t have a strong everyday belonging feeling as they might be separated by cubicles, team designations, or departmental assignments.
  • Provide framing and an external narrative. All employees also have their own families, friends, and social circles. So explaining why companies do things and giving them an easy way to be proud and spread the word, can be a very strong catalyst for word-of-mouth.
  • Reduce email overload. Instead of sending multiple notices, announcements, or acknowledgments to various departments and employee groups, a company can make use of internal email newsletters as a more efficient distribution of information.
  • Work together with other communication channels. Email newsletters can present company information as a reference alongside other channels. For instance, they can announce or acknowledge the achievements of a specific team or department. Where normally this would only be found on an intranet, slack or bulletin board posting.
  • Grease the wheels of employee onboarding. Getting new employees up to speed with everything that’s going on in the company is just as important for the new recruits as it is for the organization itself. You want your new employees to feel that they’re part of the team as quickly as possible. And not only because you need their help in your key projects. A highly effective onboarding process can improving employee commitment up to 18x as a recent study showed.
  • Get feedback and improve employee happiness. When you have teams working off-site, with a distributed team in various locations or even in one location but on different projects it is easy to lose touch.Internal emails can help you learn, engage and retain your employees for longer. Ask feedback through employee email surveys. It is important to not just say you care about employees – but show action on points raised. Email can be one piece to aid in getting feedback and improving happiness and retention.

employee survey email

An internal email from GetResponse, asking for feedback in a survey form.

  • Improve your products and services. In your internal newsletters, you can tickle your employees. Tickle them to give back fresh ideas through surveys – encourage them to participate in different innovation places. Workgroups, Brainstorms or Hackathons. Solutions to the challenges your company is facing are often found by anyone in the company. Email as a firestarter to get valuable feedback from people across all departments. This includes employees who are not as prone to speak up by themselves or hard to meet in the corridor.

Employee Onboarding Email for New GetResponse Team Membrs

Example of an onboarding employee email newsletter sent to newly recruited members of the GetResponse team

Elements of effective employee newsletters

To write effective internal email newsletters, the following elements should be taken into account:

  1. Target audience.
    Internal newsletters have a fixed target audience – internal company employees. This sounds like one group, but often it isn’t. What do they want to hear about and are interested in? If you have a big company or very diverse interests represented, think about adding segmentation on the content. For instance segment on the departmental level.
  2. Content relevance.
    All email newsletters should be written to serve a purpose. So mix and match the content with the above-mentioned objectives. At the same time, readers shouldn’t feel that they wasted their time reading (and acting on) your email. Or the email marketing engagement will plummet a few newsletters in.
  3. Format and presentation.
    Adopt a consistent format to make newsletters familiar and easy to read/digest for everyone. It’s handy to keep a similar layout, style, and overall presentation for internal newsletters. Use a fixed but flexible email template. Why not do some grid style planning on it? Getting it right once will save a lot of time and effort.
  4. Tone of voice and style.
    Your tone of Voice and style to use depend mostly on what the company or organization stands for and sounds like. It’s important to pick a style that suits the company. Hitting the right tone will also make your newsletters engaging and appealing.A company like Red Bull might want to pick a different tone than a Starbucks, and these differ quite dramatically from a law firm, non-profit, or governmental, for instance. It can be light-hearted or more stern and formal. We often speak about company culture, an internal newsletter is a tangible “representative” of company culture.

GetResponse employee newsletter template for boy’s day

Boy’s Day email precisely targeted at male team members. Such occasions are a great opportunity to come up with a completely new email template design.

Pointers for writing better internal newsletters

The objectives and elements already give you an idea of what makes the most effective internal email newsletters. Keep them in mind while writing. Your goals will guide the writing of your internal email newsletters.

Naturally, don’t forget to follow the general rules of effective email marketing campaigns and email marketing best practices.

  • Ensure that information is complete. Readers shouldn’t feel like they are only being teased. Where a B2C sales emails might want to tease out engagement, you want to give enough info. Internal newsletters aren’t school books either: try to be complete – but not overcomplete. The amount of information needed is probably smaller than you expect!
    Linking to – for instance – an intranet for more info is great. Or a reference “ask X at department Y for more information” can be a good way to encourage interdepartmental contact and dialog.
  • Keep internal newsletters simple.There is no international award for brevity. But there should be! Make your newsletters short. Short. Have short sentences and short paragraphs. The point in making things concise and simple is avoiding that people skip the info altogether.
    Bear in mind that everyone in the company is (or should be?) busy and won’t always have the luxury of time to read wordy and long-winded newsletters.
    Most importantly newsletters should demonstrate a sense of fluidity so reading them appears natural. Especially think about rewriting that CEO musing. (they do love their long intros and columns!). Rewrite it a few times to make it better.
  • Make newsletters engaging and empowering. Employees should read the internal newsletters because they find them interesting or engaging. Not because the boss demands them to do so. There is nothing wrong in making the emails engaging enough to create a habit of reading them, but how?
    To make newsletters more engaging, use a conversational or casual tone. Unless it’s a company policy, it isn’t required to write in a formal tone. They are often not as strict as official company or organization correspondence so you have some leeway for making them interesting and engaging.

How to write newsletters that get opened, read, and clicked

  • Be creative or use humor. To make newsletters engaging, be creative or use a bit of humor. For example when putting on a reporter-hat about a recently held company event, don’t just yodel out the facts in straight journalistic powerpoint-to-bullet-point form. Try adding in some humor-laced comments along with candid photos. (You know what I mean, when I say just don’t overdo it.)When a department or project team “achieves a commendable feat”, as they say. Let everyone know and they can serve as an inspiration. Like you. Already read halfway through this huge blogpost. Well done, a “commendable feat”! You might feel a bit inspired already? More recommended internal newsletter topics coming up at the end of this article.
  • Use visuals images and photos if you can. Imagine a device that looks like a endless teleprompter of lengthy, non-stop blocks of grey text. Feeding line after line of boring text. The human is a visual animal.The reading experience with images is so much better. In fact, according to a recent study by GetResponse, emails with images have 43% higher click-through rates. Visuals are certainly recommended when writing about boring facts and corporate updates. Depending on your tone-of-voice, your own pictures (non-stock) featuring the in-house employees always do better.
  • Keep it appropriate. Creativity and some humor make newsletters better but always keep it appropriate. When reporting about layoffs or poor company performance, for example, humor is out of the question. It might go without saying, but it’s not right to make fun at times of unfortunate events and to make fun of a specific employee or department for the sake of making the newsletter engaging.
  • Keep improving. – A/B testing is a form of an experiment to determine tweaks that can enhance the results of a project or campaign. There are a number of other email newsletter tests you can consider. In doing internal email newsletters, think mostly about the subject lines and the type of topics. Of course, the changes or tweaks that received the most favorable KPI’s / statistics will likely be used for succeeding newsletters. But next to the numbers, quality feedback is also important. You can just walk up to your colleagues and ask, or do it in form of an employee questionnaire.

GetResponse internal newsletter informing new employees about an internal app

Internal email newsletter informing team members about a new mobile app they can use to make their days even sweeter

19. Employee newsletters examples and ideas

Employee engagement with your email doesn’t happen overnight. For that to happen, you need to communicate with them regularly and make your emails interesting. Have a bit of an edge too.

To make sure your emails get opened and read, it’s best if you have a few “golden topics”, but also switch it up every once in a while. Employee newsletters aren’t strictly business-related only.

Here are 19 employee newsletters example and ideas to get the internal communication juices running. Most of them you can use as standalone mail or a a segment in your company newsletter:

1. New team member announcement

Is someone new joining the team? Take this chance to present their profile and let them say a few words about themselves.

A new member intro shouldn’t read like a resume. Instead, a personal angle usually works better. Think about hobbies, an interesting book they’ve recently read, favorite music, or how they like to spend their free time.

This will help make a connection with colleagues. It is a conversation starter for the new recruit and get to know those who share similar interests.

internal newsletter introducing a new team member

Ada, GetResponse Blog Editor, introduced herself when she first joined the Marketing Team.

2. Commendable feats and milestones

Employees do extraordinary things all the time. Perhaps they’ve hit a milestone to be proud about. When a department or project team “achieves a commendable feat”, let everyone know through the internal newsletter and they can serve as an inspiration.

Whether they’ve been with your company for over 10 years or they’ve run their first ultramarathon, let others join in on the celebration. Also a great place to show “Employee of the Month” or “Employee of the Year” is in your internal newsletter.

Build up a team spirit, some additional likability and they are happy to cheer and congratulate each other on their achievements.

3. Personal anniversaries and other celebrations

You don’t have to offer cake or spa vouchers to celebrate your employees’ birthdays and other special events.

If one of your employees had a baby, got married, or it’s their birthday, you can send them your congratulations and best wishes.

It’s great seeing how team members’ lives are changing over the years, when they’ve received different kinds of those emails during their time in your company.

4. Recommendations and must-sees

It can be that some of your employees aren’t local. Maybe relocated to join your company or they’re working remotely and only rarely visit the company HQ.

A top recommendations on places, shows, or restaurants to visit could be a bit of a different topic – some companies do centrally organise outings to go see sporting events or a concert together with others from the company.

What if your office is in a small town and everyone knows everything there is to see?

Then you can focus on a different kind of recommendations. For example, books, movies, or interesting playlists.

This type of communication can help your team members plan their time outside of the company or start discussions on things they like to do in their spare time.

And who knows, they may even choose to organize a team get-away to catch a few drinks or visit a concert after hours?

5. Team spotlight

Team spotlights are more common in enterprise, but it’s not exclusive to big companies.

Introduce the team – whom it consists of, what they’re working on, and what others can reach out to them about. People usually don’t know what other teams are working on.

They may know something about their area of work, but not necessarily the details.

Newer employees often end up not knowing who to ask about certain projects or if something’s being developed. Something an employee / project directory (They used to call that a Face Book, can you imagine?!) on an intranet could relieve if you’d go and actively search in it. Turns out, nobody is that active if they don’t know the details of the projects exist.

Including a team spotlight in your employee newsletter can help bridge that.

Additionally it gets a bit of coffee machine: “Hey weren’t you in the newsletter?” going and employees know where to turn if they have an issue in a given area.

6. Team party

Company retreats, parties, and getaways are popular these days.

If your team’s relatively small, organizing them is pretty easy.

But if you have a few hundred employees, some of whom are working abroad, planning everything requires a lot of effort.

You can avoid some of that hassle by sending regular updates with details about what’s coming and what your team members have to do to join you on a trip.

It’s also useful to store all that information in one single space, like a company intranet, to which you’d point from all your emails.

If you’re planning this type of email communication, make sure to keep it going even some time after the event’s taken place.

Prepare a summary, send pictures and videos, and ask for feedback so that your next company retreat will be even better.

7. Special day events

You can’t organize team getaways all the time. But why not bring the party to the team. By that I mean organizing a special day at the office.

You can plan them around special dates, like the International Coffee Day, Star Wars Day, or Read a Book Day.

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate, there is a whole calendar with holidays and special days. Your special day events can be one-off, or something you run regularly.

For example, do a movie screening night, or a board game afternoons every couple of weeks. Slightly less frequently, team members are invited to have fun on various occasions like Pizza Day or Fry-Day.

8. Competitions and contests

Everybody has that one (a bit too) competitive colleague. Some competitive spirit is always good though. And you will see that employees also have the same drive in their personal life. Why not channel that and invite employees to represent your company during a race or other type of contest. Or even plan competitions inside of your company.

Finding ideas shouldn’t be too hard either. You could plan it around sports – cycling, running, swimming, etc.

These could also be around some other hobbies. Cooking, baking, photography, or showing a good-doing.

You’d be surprised how involved people can get, especially it’s about something they really enjoy doing.

9. Surveys

Gathering feedback is fundamental in all areas of business to be able to thrive. Feedback is an essential part of day-to-day team interactions and development plans. The addition of an email / online survey is that they are quick, structured and you can learn about your employees’ opinions.

Ask about anything: Company benefits, training opportunities, satisfaction with the workplace, or a recent company retreat. Or the more general “idea box”.

The thing you can do with online surveys, that you can’t in face to face is give an option for these to be anonymous. Just make sure people feel safe to share and aren’t judged by the outcomes.

10. New job openings

Internal recruitment is a good way to progress, both for employees and the company.

It allows your employees to grow and develop new skills and reduces additional time and money on training new hires.

The counter argument? People from outside of your company can bring new skills, perspectives, and knowledge that’s often hard to develop internally.

Leaving that argument aside, it just makes sense to let your employees know first when there’s a new job opening. Not only because some of them might want to apply for the role. But because they might know of someone who’d fit the role perfectly and could recommend them to you.

We tend to surround ourselves with people who are similar to us. That said, if you’re happy about your employees’ attitude to work and their performance, the odds are their friends will have similar traits.

This is especially useful for recruitment processes in very competitive industries (e.g. IT Development) or where the access to experts is limited.

11. Training opportunities

Helping your employees grow, a list of training opportunities is great content when for your employee emails.

This is a no-brainer if you’re already running workshops and trainings, that people can attend. But you can also tap into the knowledge inside the company. Start a new initiative and ask your team members to share their knowledge.

employee quiz email

Example of a quiz / survey around employee training. Think about giving it as assessment (what is my level, do I need it?) and evaluation (What have I learned).

Perhaps there are people on staff, who like to teach others about their skills, like something very specific like coding or more general “business skills” like creating kick-ass powerpoints / presentations skills. Your colleague just visited a bootcamp or international event and can share their learnings with others.

Talk to your employees and invite them to talk about their areas of expertise. You’ll be surprised how many people enjoy sharing their knowledge with others.

It is also an opportunity for your team members to learn about new topics. some companies think takes the form of an AMA (Ask Me Anything), where one employee does a (short) presentation and all attendees can discuss. And who knows, maybe this will motivate them to develop new skills and apply for one of your more-specialized roles?

12. Doing good and giving back.

Many companies give back to the community. It is a part of corporate responsibility. doing good can take many forms:
* Volunteering
* Fundraising or donations to charity
* Sponsor sport, clubs and local associations
* Give back a day to do some good.

Whatever the cause is, let your employees know about it and encourage them to join in.

It’s good to know that the company you’re working for and spending a big part of your daily life in – shares some of its resources with those that need it.

I bet some of your team members would be happy to join and help out with the initiative. Sometimes it’s the absence of a “group” that’s stopping others from doing something good for the community.

13. Important industry updates and news

Naturally, not all communication has to be about perks, benefits, or team parties.

You’re running a business after all.

That’s why internal email communication can also be around the things that affect your business and the industry you are in. If there are any legislative changes or there’s an interesting trend that can help your business grow, let your employees know about it.

14. Product and service development updates

A company should know what their products and services are if you want them to serve your customers effectively. Everyone in your team’s affected by your developments and it only makes sense to keep them informed about all the new cool stuff your teams have been working on.

Your Marketing Team needs to know what’s on the roadmap and what’s been launched. in order to best market your product.

Your Customer Service Team can help your customers better, if they know about the latest releases and services.

Your Sales Team will be able to sell better, if they have the answers or use-cases for your new features.

And that list goes on. It makes sense to let people know what the developments with products and services. It also signals respect that people don’t need to find out about changes from external news.

15. A (personal) message from the board or the CEO

An internal newsletter is a chance to share company’s results, future plans, forecasts, and so on. Because If you want your employees to follow the vision, they need to know where the company’s heading. You can’t keep this locked in the boardroom, sharing the vision is a sign of effective leadership.

If your organization is large you won’t be able to have a 1 on 1 with everybody or even chat with them in the hallway, you’ll need to get it across in other way. In your employee newsletter for example.

But sometimes the news your CEO will have to share, won’t be positive at all, and time sensitive. If there’s something is affecting the company and its customers in a negative way, they better learn about it so they can get prepared and know what the correct narrative is. (internal PR).

Imagine a scenario where your customer data has been leaked or your company has been hit by a DDoS attack. Some other kinds of company problems. Your employees need to be quickly informed about them, so that is worth an internal (email) update.

16. Changes in company leadership / people moving on

Not all companies are comfortable talking about people are leaving. But in certain cases it makes total sense to do so, for example, when it is a retiree and send them off with a nice goodbye.

Or when it’s someone with a key function, beloved company evangelist / face of the company / that awesome intern. When people are changing positions or leaving the company, this is a good way to let the rest of the company know.

17. Legislative or fiscal changes affecting employees

In certain countries legislations and fiscal policies change regularly. But at least yearly new tax laws might come into effect. Although this isn’t necessarily an exciting topic, it’s important to keep your employees updated on things that might affect them.

An extreme example is, for instance, the case of Brexit.

If your company’s based in the UK, and employees are British, they might be affected by the potential withdrawal of the UK from the EU. People can have real worries about what is happening.

Similarly, should a country that your team members often travel to have changed their policies with regard to travel permits, they want to know.

It may not sound breaking news, such information can save employees from unnecessary hassle if they were planning to go on a business trip to a chosen country.

18. Customer reviews and feedback from the frontline

Some team members are on the frontline. They get to talk a lot to customers, hear their feedback, and know how people think about the company.

Others don’t have that same level of direct customer and market feedback. They don’t get to see how their work impacts customers every day. The good news is that you can change that. Share some of customer reviews and feedback, gathered directly or from social media, etc.

It is a great motivation to see that customers appreciate the work that is done.

19. Just for fun

Fun may not sound like it has place in a company newsletter, but maybe it makes more sense than anything else.

Adding jokes, puns, and trivia can brighten your employees’ day. If it’s done a regular basis, say biweekly basis, team members might open your newsletter just to see that one segment.

Picture this:

In the earlier days of GetResponse, one of the team members used to prepare a funny magazine with different stories including people in the office.

He’d mix them into the popular stories from the news or TV shows, comment on bigger projects that were being developed in the company, or simply write funny poems.

These magazines have been such a hit that for several years, they have been framed and presented by the entrance to the company’s main building.

If that doesn’t speak for company culture I don’t know what does.

Your internal employee newsletter

In writing effective internal email newsletters, get the tone right. Find your mix of topics and share appropriate content that fits with objectives. it is good to have consistent format and an engaging and empowering tone. Internal newsletters are often different from your marketing emails. The internal newsletter objectives serve as a guide on what you should put in there. They justify and answer the “why” you want to send those engaging newsletters.

Writing newsletters isn’t serious journalism or creative writing either, but when you are trying to engage the whole company, it’s inevitable to try doing different things every once in a while. Feel free to share in the comments how you plan your employee newsletters!

Looking for internal newsletter templates?

Brand your business with perfect design. Choose from our database of over 500 HTML templates or watch this video tutorial to create professional emails that encourage engagement with your campaigns.

Author: Jordie van Rijn is an independent email and eCRM marketing consultant. Entrepreneur Magazine titled him “One of 50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch” and brands like Unilever and KLM turn to him for advice. He is the founder of an international platform for Email and Marketing Automation Software selection. Next to helping companies improve their marketing results, he is often asked as a trainer and keynote speaker. His practical and enthusiastic approach is contagious and will have you sending better emails the next day.

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Original Article

Blogging in 2019: Marketing Benefits and Best Practices

In an image-driven world, visualization is still a hot topic, especially in marketing. The hype around video content is still alive and well, and blogging is everything but over.

If you’re planning on starting your own business or stepping up your business game, your content strategy should still involve blogging, as there are great marketing benefits of it.

Featuring a blog as part of your website significantly increases your chances of being ranked higher in search engines.

Also, businesses that use blogging in their content marketing campaigns have increased chances of generating more leads than those who don’t. There are dozens of good reasons why blogging is important:

  • It’s an essential content marketing tactic.
  • Blogs provide in-depth material that is engaging.
  • People trust blogs.
  • It allow businesses to develop a unique brand voice and stand out from the crowd.
  • Blogging drives traffic to sites and is excellent for SEO campaigns.
  • Blogs provide inbound links that give sites a higher rank in search engines.
  • Blogging is cost-effective and gets results.
  • Blogs allow businesses to get in touch with their consumers.
  • Blogging is essential for a strong social media presence.
  • It’s better than advertising.

With all this in mind, let’s go through some of the most important marketing benefits of blogging, as well as what the best blogging practices are in 2019.

Marketing benefits of blogging

Blogging is an excellent inbound technique that helps every online business create value for its consumer base and sell their products more effectively.

Now, business blogging has to be all about quality, usefulness, and relevance. These three things give any online business authority in their niche by posting in-depth content that will capture the right audience by providing specific solutions to specific problems.

If we take all these facts into consideration, we can safely say that the most important marketing benefits of blogging are:

  • Industry expertise
  • SEO & more traffic
  • Exposure
  • Subscriptions
  • Lead generation
  • Backlinks

Industry expertise

As a business owner, you want to show your audience that you are an expert in your industry. The main benefit you get from this is trust. The best way to do this is by sharing high-quality, industry-relevant knowledge with your customer base.

That means that you need to be consistent in publishing in-depth content. In return, you build confidence with the customers that will result in their trust. A loyal customer is the best customer, and it’s much easier to sell if they trust your brand.

SEO & traffic

The main benefit of search engine optimization is higher ranking in search engine results. But, SEO is much more than just that. It’s a tactic that works best in the long run. SEO makes your brand visible and it helps you stand out from the crowd.

Writing blogs around the most frequently used and popular keywords when publishing relevant content is the best way to increase online visibility. Higher ranking means more online users seeing your blog.

On top of all that, blogging also requires using online tools to increase online visibility in searches even more. It’s a fantastic way to drive more traffic to your website.

A lot of recent studies have shown that most online users don’t go beyond the first page of search results. So, if your brand doesn’t show up on page one of Google, it’s like you don’t exist. If you use SEO to your advantage, you get higher ranking and increased visibility, which allows you to feature more prominently in search engine results.

The higher the ranking, the more traffic you drive to your website. People use the most popular keywords to find what they need, so blogging and keeping SEO in mind helps you be the first to answer their questions and solve their problems.

Also, if you need help writing SEO-friendly content we’re here for you ;).

Exposure

Building brand awareness is an excellent way to stay competitive by staying relevant. Instead of investing in promoting your brand, building awareness allows it to promote itself.

Every brand needs online exposure to increase its visibility and a blog can provide it by sharing valuable knowledge.

It’s not only about selling and revenue, it’s also about catering to the needs of your customers and educating them further about your industry, niche, brand, products, services, and so on.

It’s about adding value and spreading awareness about new features and products.

Subscriptions

Subscriptions are a great way for any brand to engage with their customers and get to know their preferences and habits.

Blogging helps businesses collect emails – asking people to subscribe to a blog they find helpful is much easier than trying to get them to subscribe for email updates as soon as they land on the homepage.

All these subscriptions are an excellent way to add more users to your marketing funnel to improve brand-customer communication, offer products that might interest your audience, promote new products, and so on.

Lead generation

When a business builds a list of potential customers, they can use these subscriptions to improve their lead generation. Communication allows a brand to convert potential customers into loyal consumers.

That’s why most brands use such a contact form to capture those potential customers. Once a brand generates enough demand, they can sell easier, but it’s also a great way to cultivate interest in their products.

Backlinks

One of the greatest SEO growth tools is generating inbound or backlinks. These are links on other web pages relevant to your business niche that link back to your website. Backlinks create even more value for customers and also help online businesses remain relevant in search engine results.

Be sure to check out the most effective tactics to earn high-quality links.

Best practices in blogging

Now that we’ve pointed out some of the most important marketing benefits of blogging, let’s review the best blogging practices to get those very benefits.

Create a content calendar

A content calendar helps business get organized throughout the entire year. This helps brands be more productive, stay consistent, and always have the most relevant content prepared.

Use a content calendar to show the right information to the right audience and at the right moment. This way you’ll avoid cluttering your blog with loads of chaotic information.

There are many online tools that may help you and your team plan all the posts in advance and stay on schedule.

Provide value

Consistent content generation helps an online business create value.

And when a brand consistently provides value, it helps them grow and expand their customer base, increase lead generation and conversion rates and generate more revenue.

Blogging is the best way to do this, as you can post in-depth and original pieces, that can’t be found anywhere else, as many times as you find suitable, even with little budget.

I’m sure people will appreciate you being a knowledge compendium on everything they need to know about your niche.

Make it visual

Blogs help brands find their voice by exploring issues and concerns of their audiences. Brands can capture the attention of their customers by providing exactly what their audience needs. This is where visualization plays an important part.

Content greatly matters but content alone isn’t enough to make the best impression. So, making it visual allows the customers to not only read about the business but also see it.

If you give examples, try to add a couple of screenshots and photos (always give credit, btw.). If you’re trying to illustrate something or give instructions, you can make infographics, GIFs or even videos, and embed them in your blogpost.

Images can also bring lots of traffic to your website – you just need to know a few trick, so be sure to check out 6 Tricks for Getting Traffic to Your Blog from Image Search.

GetResponse likes to show visual examples of good marketing automation workflows on the blog. Why? Because it familiarises the user with the product, gives visual inspiration and shows that it’s easy to use.

Example of implementing photos of your product on your blog.

Keep the content quality consistent

If the quality of your content is consistent, it helps potential customers and online users trust your business.

Publishing quality content means establishing authority in your line of work.

On top of all that, quality, fresh and unique content ranks well on Google, so you do the math.

Do all the needed research before you make statements on your blog. Write on subjects that matter, even if it matters to a teeny-tiny segment of your target audience. Enrich the content in any way you seem fit.

Also, it’s not a good practice to publish clickbaits – it makes you untrustworthy and lowers your blog’s quality.

And, remember to proofread your content before you hit “publish” to avoid any funny or business-threatening mishaps.

Engage with users

Modern online users love personalization. Customers are more likely to buy from the brands that engage with them and listen to them. One of the best ways to this is by asking for feedback.

Customers can use blogs to leave comments and impressions, which is an excellent way to engage with them even more. Some companies adjust their marketing strategies according to the engagement they get.

So, encourage your readers to comment on your content, say what they like and dislike, ask questions, and tell you what they’d like to see in the future. Then, reply to as many of them as you can to make the audience feel seen. They’ll know there’s a real person behind the blog that cares about their community and they’ll visit you and engage with you even more.

Promote your content

Since blogs help brands promote their content, blogging is an excellent way to stay ahead of the competition. Every brand that actively promotes their content in an interesting and consistent way encourages its customers to buy more. Blogging is all about the content promotion so by putting the two together, brands can reap significant benefits.

Share the posts you publish on social media and send content updates to your subscribers once in a while ;).

Allow guest authors to share their knowledge

I already touched the subject of how backlinks help your brand increase organic traffic, search engine rankings, and the overall domain authority. Well, there’s one more way: guest authors. Guest blogging has many benefits such as mutual reputation benefits, increased social visibility and, of course, more traffic.

Set up a subscription funnel

Setting up a subscription funnel by using your blog allows you to gather valuable contacts, engage with them, establish a relationship, and maintain a connection with your customer base to increase sales and grow more revenue.

Add great calls-to-action

CTA or a call to action, is the key to mastering the best blogging practices.

You probably know CTAs from (and use them in) your emails and landing pages. But do you incorporate them into your blog?

A blogpost captures the attention of the potential customer by subtly promoting your product in the copy and once the person is hooked, you place a CTA to seal the deal.

Good CTAs increase conversion rates, create more revenue and grow and expand your business. More importantly, CTAs directly invite customers to trust your brand and buy your products.

Conclusion

Based on everything I’ve mentioned, it’s safe to say that blogging is essential for your business if you’re planning on staying not only relevant but competitive in your business industry.

It’s more than clear that in 2019, small and medium businesses need blogging if they want to beat their competition.

Blogging in 2019

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How to Increase Higher Education Student Engagement with Marketing

Planning your higher education marketing strategies is about working around two things: the rising cost of tuition and the growing number of students applying to post-secondary institutions. Not to mention, students have a lot of options to choose from.

To compete, you need to create digital marketing campaigns that:

  • appeal to peoples’ emotions
  • create a sense of urgency.

But why exactly is this the case?

Consumers attach the same personality characteristics to brands that they do to people.

Yet, this is about a lot more than creating a sense of belonging. Because your students need responsive and relevant support.

Here are some steps that you can take to improve the student experience.

Bonus resource:

Want to learn how to enroll international higher ed students? Then get our newest guide and learn about the 10 most-effective ways that’ll help you improve your enrollment campaigns in 2019.

1. Personalize your emails through making them timely

Is your newsletter not getting the results you hoped for? The issue might be a lack of personalization. It plays an important role in your students’ experience with your brand. Not to mention the fact, that it’s one of the key email marketing best practices in general, that delivers the highest results.

But what’s so important about personalization that makes it so effective?

It’s about reaching the right person with the right message at the right time.

With your students, you can do this by making them feel special…

One way you can do this is by showing your appreciation for the time and money they invested in your courses. This approach works no matter how long it has been since your students enrolled in your courses.

A great example of this is the George Brown College Continuing Education Newsletter. Since I’m one of their former students, I receive their emails on a regular basis.

A week before the holidays, they sent me a message, which showed their appreciation:

Email newsletter sent to students of the George Brown University before the holiday break.

The one thing that made it effective was its timing. The email also reminded me that now is the best time to sign up for new courses if I want to enroll in the winter semester:

Email alert about upcoming university courses from George Brown University.

George Brown’s message showed up in my inbox a week before the holiday season. So, I had a head full of ideas for the new year. As a result, I asked myself “why not take another course?”

What should you do if your former students are still on your email list?

When a new semester is around the corner, remind them of your registration deadlines. But you’re likely wondering what makes former students such an asset. Cost is a major contribution; a great example of this is the emphasis colleges and universities put on international student recruitment.

To work around factors such as decreasing birth rates and shifting demographics…

The amount colleges spend on international students is increasing. Because this is happening in so many different countries, attracting international students is becoming a competitive process.

Prioritizing healthy relationships with current students and alumni will help bring down recruitment costs.

Although that seems like a lot of work, you can simplify the process. This involves setting up automation triggers, which add former students to your GetResponse Marketing Automation workflow.

Every time a student completes a course, send them an invitation to join an email list. This email list is a great way to notify students about the following:

• Registration deadlines
• And course/special event news and updates.

2. Provide incentives tempting enough to turn prospective students into current students

One of the best business models I’ve come across in the higher education sector is Brainstation.

Brainstation is a company that offers courses in the following disciplines:

  • tech
  • design
  • digital marketing

Their students are working adults who want to upgrade their skills.

On a regular basis, they host panel discussions and events that cost as much as a cafe lunch.

So, what makes their approach so effective?

A lot of their event attendees have such a great time at their events that they register for courses. An important side note about their programs: they’re not exactly cheap. I looked up the costs, and full-time rates are $14,000 for full-time programs. Yet, they offer a scholarship program to accommodate students who can’t afford their tuition costs.

Not to mention:

  • Their application process is as much work as applying for a job.
  • And their courses are a huge time commitment. Students spend an average of ten to twelve months in their courses and certification programs.

So, everything I mentioned are hesitations that the organization has to work around.

The folks at Brainstation work around that by rewarding events with a high number of guests. Sometimes, they add event attendees to an email list and thank them for their time. This often involves offering a time-sensitive discount:

Brainstation congratulations email.

According to a RetailMeNot survey:

Four out of five (80 percent) consumers said they feel encouraged to make a first-time purchase with a brand that is new to them if they found an offer or discount.

Discounts will help you work around the biggest flaw of using events to attract students. They’re likely not ready to buy your courses right away. This is exactly where discounts can make a big difference.

Limited-time discounts encourage your students to stop procrastinating during the enrolment process.

But creating urgency isn’t always about charging less. Sometimes all people need to hear is a subtle reminder that they only have a limited amount of time to apply.

A great example of this is LinkedIn and how they sell their courses to LinkedIn users. This involves encouraging users to sign up for a 30-day trial of LinkedIn Learning:

LinkedIn learning message.

This allows people to test drive the platform for free. It also allows them to decide if the monthly subscription fees are worth paying for.

There are also other ways to increase student enrollment. Here are some tips on how you can use PPC campaigns and email marketing for higher student enrollment.

3. Send emails that create accountability and fight against shiny object syndrome

One company that does this in an effective way is the Boss Project. Because their courses are online-based and aren’t time sensitive, they have to work around shiny object syndrome.

No idea what shiny object syndrome actually is? Here’s a quick definition from Entrepreneur contributor, Jayson DeMeyers:

It’s the entrepreneurial equivalent of a small child chasing after shiny objects. Once they get there and see what the object is, they lose interest and start chasing the next thing. This may be business objectives, marketing strategies, clients or even other business ventures.

Founders Abigail and Emily tackle this by sending emails that encourage student accountability. When students enroll, they receive an automated email that congratulates them on their enrolment. This email also provides a few bonus resources and instructions:

The Boss project email notification.

Two weeks later, students receive an email that shows them how to leave a review of the course:

Automated email updated two weeks from signup.

So, how do you make your students feel accountable enough to:

  • finish your course?
  • and not switch to another course, with enticing benefits?

You need to remind them of the benefits:

Using benefits in email communication.

An email, like the above example, will remind current students of the value of your online courses. Because it focuses on missed opportunities of not completing your courses.

The good news is that a lot of this can be automated. Once you’ve chosen the conditions and set up a workflow, your messages can be sent automatically.

Here are some examples of how you can do this with email automation.

4. Create student ambassadors who will provide honest responses to student questions

Enrolling in courses at the adult education level can be frustrating. Because answers to questions about everything from:

  • course prerequisites and registration
  • to learning what being a student is like, before paying tuition fees

can feel like a cold and uncertain process. A great example of that is this tweet in response to a student question:

York University generic tweet.

Rather than providing a personalized answer…

They responded with a link to an FAQ page and hoped for the best.

Yet, managing social media as a higher education professional can be challenging.

According to Hootsuite:

The biggest challenge facing institutions is streamlining their social efforts campus-wide.

One of the many options available are student ambassador programs. Student ambassador programs include future students in a current student’s journey.

The job of the ambassadors is to use social media to capture the student experience. Because they’re students themselves, they point of view their point of view matters. But why is that the case?

Here’s an example of how an interaction with a student ambassador often “feels”:

De Montfort Uni DMU tweet.

Campaigns like these set you apart from your competition. Because they create two simple options:

  1. Attend the university, because it aligns with your values
  2. Don’t attend the university, because it doesn’t align with your values.

The feeling of campus life is especially important for international students. Because they are likely moving far away from home to enroll in your courses.

Encourage your ambassadors to produce content on everything from:

  • Information on key factors such as housing, food, and the people you’ll meet
  • To the experience of going to classes, writing tests, etc.

And when students have questions, encourage them to interact with ambassadors:

  • in person
  • over email
  • and during social live stream Q&A events

Strategies like these are essential. Because social media is the first point of contact between students and universities. So, it’s important to create a first impression that counts.

But above all else…

Students are often investing a great deal of time and money. So, it’s important to focus on making transparent information accessible to:

  • current students
  • future students
  • and alumni

Otherwise, they’ll change their mind and dedicate their time and money to something else.

Author:

Rosemary RichingsRosemary Richings is a specialist in blog content promotion and audience outreach strategy, who offers straight up content creation for websites and blogs. Since 2014, she has worked with diverse clients in the lifestyle and ecommerce industry. The clients that she has worked with include large organizations, such as E-bay and Yellowpages Canada, and startups/ small businesses such as Lokafy and BeFunky. She has also been published on sites such as Buffer, Search Engine Journal, the Weebly Inspiration Center, and more. Check out Rosemary’s latest in her ebook, Blog on, a blogging starter kit for entrepreneurs. Feel free to connect with Rosemary on Twitter @rosiemay_r for recommended reading material, along with news about her latest projects and content.

How to Increase Higher Education Student Engagement with Marketing

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Original Article

Tips And Tools To Write SEO-Friendly Content

Want your business to grow without increasing your marketing budget? Then make sure you produce SEO friendly content.

Here’s how it works.

Search engine optimized (SEO) websites with solid authority and a good backlink profile rank higher in the search engines.

If your website shows up on the main page, you’ll get more clicks, shares, likes, and engagement.

If nobody ever finds your page, then even the best-written articles are pointless.

Needless to say, if you want your business to thrive, you need to make sure you write SEO-friendly content.

I’m not saying it’s easy. There is plenty of thought and foresight that goes into writing strong SEO content.

But once you learn the basics and include them in your content production process, you’ll see it’ll generate good results without adding to your workload.

Power this up with some promotional activities and a good marketing funnel, and you’re good to go.

But for today, let’s stick to the topic of SEO optimized content.

Here’s what you’ll read about.

  1. Use headlines and sub-headers
  2. Add links to previous content
  3. Optimize the length of your article
  4. Choose your keywords wisely
  5. Optimize your images
  6. Make the content shareable
  7. Write high-quality content
  8. Content optimization tools

SEO-friendly content

Before we go into details, let’s make sure we’re on the same page.

What does SEO friendliness mean?

SEO-friendly content is the type of content that’s created in a way that helps the search engines rank it high.

Although some marketers think this means it should be stuffed with keywords, it’s really meant to help them search engines find, understand, and connect your content to the topic you’re trying to cover.

As you’re about read in this article, making your content SEO-friendly takes much more than just spraying keywords around your posts, videos, and other forms of content.

How to make your content SEO-friendly

1. Use headlines and sub-headers

Using headlines and sub-headers does several things for SEO optimization.

First, it makes your writing skimmable and therefore easier to read for your readers. People are more likely to share things that are easy to read.

The same goes for search engine robots. When crawling through your site, they’ll recognize your headlines and use them to better understand your content, like which parts are the most important ones and so on.

Also, having headers and sub-headers increases the keyword saturation, but remember to not abuse this to game the system.

2. Add links to previous content

One of the ways search engines rank content is by the number of backlinks they get.

Good content tends to get a lot of backlinks – both external and internal.

If you want to drive traffic and rank your older content higher, then you can’t forget to link to them from your newer posts.

This helps the search engine robots – and people – to find your best articles.

Plus, links to high-quality, reputable websites increases the validity of your own website. The better the links, the higher your page will rank in search results.

Also, using credible sources within the body of your text creates trust with your readers.

3. Optimize the length of your article

Back in the day, most blog posts you’d read would have up to several hundred words. It was a numbers game, the more posts you’d publish, the more traffic you’d get.

These days, it’s rarely the case. Even on the GetResponse blog you’re reading right now, you’ll mostly find articles that are 1,500+ words, and published less frequently.

That’s because in the last several years, Google has shown that it gives higher priority to longer, higher-quality content. They aim to provide their users with best-possible answers and this often boils down to having posts that provide the most thorough answer to the user’s query.

It’s not enough to write 300 word articles anymore. But it’s also not about watering down your content.

Take a look at your Google Analytics reports and see which posts generate the highest engagement for you. Which ones are visited the most and which ones are read for the longest amount of time. And then, which ones generate the highest conversions, e.g., newsletter sign-ups.

Then, use that information to find the approach that’s going to work best for your niche.

4. Choose your keywords wisely

Some marketers like to just sit down and start writing. They leave SEO optimization for the last moment.

Others start by writing down the keywords they want to incorporate in their content.

That’s the approach I prefer.

You start by identifying keywords relevant to your topic. You either come up with them off the top of your head, use the keyword planning tools like the one from Google, use a more advanced SEO tool like Ahrefs or SERPSTAT, or hire an SEO agency to do that for you.

If you haven’t started this process just yet, you should start with this guide to keyword research.

And once you start writing, use the keywords in the title, headlines, meta descriptions, ALT tags, and main copy.

5. Optimize your images

Images are essential to making your content interesting and shareable. People are far more likely to purchase from a company whose website has attractive and relevant photos.

You can optimize the photos by adding keywords to the image files and providing the ALT tags.

Make sure you also optimize the size of the photo. Pictures that are too large will slow down the load time and hurt the SEO.

Make the image as small as possible without compromising the visibility or quality. Many image editors will let you do that with their in-built features. If yours hasn’t got it, an alternative is the Squoosh app, a free tool that lets you resize and compress your image files quickly.

6. Make the content shareable

So, you’ve successfully managed to write an SEO-friendly, content rich, interesting article that people want to read. The next step is to make it shareable. Websites like ShareThis and AddThis make it easy to add social media buttons to your website so people can share the content easily.

7. Write high-quality content

This one should be pretty self-evident, but it isn’t always applied. The best way to get people to read and engage with your content is to write content that is useful and entertaining. Search engines reward sites that have high-quality, relevant content. Quality is more important than almost every other factor on the list.

Once you have a strong idea in mind for how you’d like to write and format your content, consider using some of the following tools to simplify and improve the writing process.

Content optimization tools

Hemingway Editor

Hemingway Editor is a fantastic resource for everyday writing tasks, but it’s especially helpful when reviewing articles for SEO optimization. Hemingway Editor analyzes your articles to find and highlight any sentences that are difficult or “very difficult,” to read. It also highlights instances of passive voice. Articles that are highly readable are more frequently shared, and articles that are shared the most get the best SEO rating.

Read-Able

Read-Able is similar to Hemingway Editor in its ability to analyze your articles based on readability. But instead of highlighting sentences that are difficult to read, it gives your text an overall readability score. The score tells you what age group will be able to easily read the page. If you have a URL for the website, you can enter the URL instead of the text.

ESSAY MAMA

Essay Mama offers clients a wide variety of writing services. The team of professional writers can create SEO friendly content for your website. Because it is absolutely vital to provide your readers with clean and correct content, Essay Mama can also provide proofreading and editing services. If you’d like, you can have the website format the content and add headlines and images.

HELP.PLAGTRACKER

When writing web-based content, it is natural to turn to similar websites for inspiration. PlagTracker will analyze your article, find any instances of plagiarism, and replace them with new, original content. This website can help guarantee that your articles will never feature plagiarized content.

KEYWORD DENSITY CHECKER

Keyword Density Checker scans your text or URL address to find out how many times you have cited each keyword. It’s particularly helpful if you have a very large article, and you want to make sure it’s not overly saturated with keywords. As mentioned before, keywords should take up about 1-2% of the text.

SEO Optimization

This on-page optimization tool analyzes your website or URL address and gives you an overview of the SEO Optimization factors. You can add up to five keywords, which the algorithm will search for and tell you how often each word is used.

Your turn

Hopefully, you have found this content useful. If you use the tools and tips mentioned in this list, you will be able to create SEO friendly material regardless of the industry for which you are writing. You will eventually learn to write content that people want to read and share. SEO friendly websites get more traffic, and higher traffic levels improve your SEO score. What other ideas do you have to improve the quality of your SEO? Do you have any additional tricks to achieving better search engine results? Share them in the comments.

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