Tag Archives: email marketing

11 Ways to Increase Signups from Your Landing Pages

Whether you’re hawking a new menu for your restaurant, or building an email list for prospective car buyers, landing pages are your friend. They’re designed to turn web visitors into prospects by capturing email addresses and other handy information.

You can push traffic to a landing page with brute force marketing dollars. But converting that traffic to usable email addresses and leads is part science and part voodoo. There are a ton of variables in play, like font, size, form field sizes, label placement, colors, copy, layout. And that’s just for starters, so our first piece of advice is to refine landing pages through A/B testing.

Fortunately, a lot of geeky research has given us best practices to get started. Here’s our top 11 list.

1. Write concise headlines that clearly state the offer and tell the visitor what to do. “Download a Free Guide to Purchasing Your First Home Without Regret.” Is this headline longer than usual? Yes. But it gives the visitor all the needed information to make a decision to download the white paper quickly.

2. Resist the urge to be “clever.” It’s a difficult and humbling lesson for us writers, who, on most days, are paid for our wit and silly puns, i.e. “Home is Where the Hearth Is.”

3. Make sure that design, language and visuals are consistent across all the promotional platforms. Otherwise, your visitor will experience a disconnect (read: loss of trust) and drop your page like a hot tater.

4. In general, don’t use offers that aren’t directly related to the information you’re trying to sell. Aside from possible legal and ethical issues, you’ll also receive a bunch of junk signups from people more interested in winning an Apple® watch than seeing the resolution of your new ultrasound.

5. As comedian Sam Kinison said, “Tell me what to do, and I will do it.” The same holds true for call-to-action (CTA) buttons. “Submit” is meaningless. Be clear and direct, “Download our free white paper.” Or restate the benefit, “Save on Maintenance. Send my eBook.”

6. Form design is a graduate degree unto itself.  Key tips: label the form fields precisely. “Full Name” not “Name,” and for an address, specify which one: practice, or home. Again, this isn’t the place to be clever.

7. Design tip: Line up form labels on top of the form fields, not to the left. There art plenty of articles about the technical design aspects of form design. For inspiration, though, I love Smashing Magazine’s overview of some of the best and most creative.

8. With at least 40% of your traffic visiting by phone, mobile compatibility for landing pages is an absolute must. Otherwise, you’re missing an important chunk of your audience, and quite possibly taking a SEO hit from Google.

9. The objective of a landing page is to encourage visitors to follow a path to the call-to-action. Anything that gets in the way of that visually should be hacked out.

10. Use an A/B test on all the elements of the landing page. Start small, e.g. testing two versions of the landing page, or the color of your CTA buttons. For further information about anything related to user interface, read articles by Jakob Nielsen at the Nielsen/Norman Group.

11. Agencies and in-house groups alike tend to obsess about conversion rates. That’s okay, but the ultimate metric is the number of qualified prospects converted. The secret is to repel people who you know aren’t qualified.

For example, your event to educate health club owners about your product could be perceived as an invitation to fitness buffs. Try crafting a message like, “Knowledge is more important in health club success than muscles.”

That’ll send them running for the door.

Learn more about email marketing, marketing automation and web development services at Ideopia.com/Services.

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Canada’s New Anti-Spam Law Could Spank You

Like an iron fist smothered in maple syrup, Canada is sticking it to brands with the toughest email marketing law in the land. And if your company deals in the Great White North, it may apply to you.

Effective July 1, the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) requires businesses to obtain permission to send emails, text messages and possibly social media postings to customers or prospects.

Two Varieties of Consent: Implied or Express

Implied consent requires documented proof of a relationship with a consumer. For example, Jasper in Nova Scotia ordered a batch of squeegees last May and gave you his email address.

Express applies mainly to prospects, or any customer you can’t prove you’ve done business with in the last two years.

To gain the golden stamp of approval, you must dish out opt-in messages and compete with a flurry of others doing the same thing.

While mega brands like Ford entice customers with freebies – a chance to win a free Mustang – small businesses and non-profits don’t have the same resources.

Some experts believe companies will see opt-in rates of less than 20 percent without the help of an agency or digital marketing plan.

Whether you’re a global brand with customers up north, or considering business ventures there, it’s best to have an agency (and lawyer) on your side. Or risk stiff fines – up to $1 million per person, and up 10 times that for companies found in violation – and an email list worth less than a can of spam.

But for now, let’s just hope this crackdown doesn’t spread south of the border.

Read more about CASL here.

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Ideopia Wins Medical Marketing Awards

Ideopia competed with more than 3,000 entrants to win two Gold and two Bronze Medals at the 2014 Aster Awards, which recognize creative accomplishments in medical marketing. And the winners are:

Reliance Medical Products (Mason, OH) — Gold for magazine “Legendary Campaign” for examination chairs

Eyefficient, Inc. (Cleveland Ohio) — Bronze for Eyefficient.com web and mobile sites.

Reichert Technologies (Buffalo, NY) — Gold for “Blink Blog” and email newsletter.

Reichert Technologies — Bronze for magazine “Animal Campaign”

We thank the Asters, the Academy, the Jamaican Bobsled team, and the great clients who work with us as true partners: Steve Juenger, vp of marketing and sales, Haag-Streit USA; and Mark Newkirk in his roles as Director of Global Marketing for Reichert Technologies; and more recently as CEO of Eyefficient, Inc.

See our Aster award winning entries on our WavyBrainy blog.

Learn more at our medical division website, Ideopia Medical Marketing.

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Troubleshoot Email Marketing with Infographic

We all have that “where do you start” feeling when trying to diagnose response problems with email campaigns or landing pages. There are so many variables! We designed this

checkup infographic to help you ask the right questions in the right order.

We invite you to share it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook, and click to download a full-sized Email Checkup Infographic.

You can also see if we live up to our own hype by subscribing to Ideopia’s marketing newsletter, The Blender.

Scroll down for the goodies.

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How to Evaluate Your Email Newsletter

After we send an email, some of us like to watch the opens in a real time. (We can stop whenever we want.) In the interim, it’s fun to hypothesize why some stories get a lot of clicks and others don’t. While this is great fun, we decided this methodology is useless. There are simply too many variables that affect clicks: position on page, the headline, the topic, news, weather, time of day, season, business category, and day of week just to name a few.

Now we have a better solution. Instead of looking at just one issue, we aggregated the data from 12 months on all the stories and articles including remails. The articles are placed into categories, e.g. home tips, fixtures and lighting, and the categories are ranked according to popularity. This still isn’t scientific, because you haven’t corrected for all the variables. But you’ll spot trends that you can A-B test for in future issues.

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Blow the Dust off Your Email Program

Perhaps you’re coming out of winter hibernation and noticing that your email results are slumping: open rates and click thrus are down, unsubscribes are up. And your mom hit the SPAM button. See if you recognize these symptoms:

Your email list isn’t true opt-in

You swipe names off business cards at tradeshows, buy affinity lists, or enter customers in contests without gaining permission to send other email.

Your creative is burned out

You send the same emails over and over again with minor changes. Your customers feel SPAMed and drop out.

You don’t have effective landing pages

Your email sends customers to a page in a catalog that is unrelated in design and message to the email, and doesn’t have a response mechanism. This trains them not to click!

Your list is stagnant

Even the best email programs lose subscribers. Email addresses and jobs change, and people just get overwhelmed. Make sure that your acquisition plan replaces subscribers at the rate they’re lost and also factors in your growth objectives.

There is no reason to click thru

Are you giving away the whole story in your email instead of using teasers? Do you provide offers, white papers or real news to entice prospects? If not, don’t expect higher click thru rates.

Your frequency is off
Every list has a frequency it will tolerate. Are you mailing weekly, bi-weekly, monthly? If you increase or decrease the frequency does your response increase?

Poorly designed email

Do you give your customers something to click within the first 300 pixels? Is your email just one big image? Do you have clear and compelling calls to action in text? If not, review best practices and tweak.

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Email Marketing: When to Send?

7Of the many factors that determine the success of an email campaign, the time of day and day of week campaigns are deployed is the most often ignored. New research from Pivotal Veracity may just change your timing. It shows, for example, that the elapsed time from when messages are first sent and first seen has expanded from 23.2 hours in January 2009 to 25.9 hours in August 2009. This is critical if your email campaign is time sensitive.

Target an Episode

Pivotal Veracity also identifies 2 daily episodes especially pertinent to B2B mailings targeting office bound workers. The first period in the morning, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. is the most extended time people use to cope with their email. Later in the day, from 2 to 3 p.m., workers attend to their emails in shorter bursts. While mornings are popular, PV suggests that your customers may view your email as welcome relief later in the day.

The ideal time of deployment is a moving target. As soon as a day or time becomes “popular,” it’s time to move your campaign away from the onslaught of email competing for your customer’s attention.

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