6 Ways to Improve Your Email’s Subject Lines

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Massive email marketing campaigns are a great way to get more eyes on your newsletter or website since you can reach thousands of people at once. However, your campaign won’t be successful if nobody opens your message. According to Madison Logic, over 122 billion emails are sent an hour, so knowing how to stand out from the crowd is important.

Your email’s headline is arguably the most important part of the message since it’s the part readers will see first and make a split-second decision whether opening the message is worth their time. Headlines that aren’t interesting will quickly be marked as read or deleted. In fact, copywriter coach Chris Marlow claims that studies have proven that headlines are responsible for 50-75% of an ad’s success.

Knowing just how much of your campaign’s success rests on the headline alone, it’s important that you really take the time to examine how effective your headlines are. Here are a few great tips to craft better headlines:

Personalize your subject line.

A study by MailChimp examined about 24 billion emails and found that subject lines with the recipient’s first and/or last name were opened more often than those without. The most effective emails had both the first and last name, though those which only used the last name were strangely more effective than emails that only used the first name.

The power of first name personalization varied based on industries. Personalized emails sent to those in the government were opened 92% more often than usual while there was 45% difference for the creative services/agency industry. There were positive effects in all sorts of industries such as software, art, retail, and entertainment, but proved to be ineffective in the legal industry with a -31% open rate.

Create a sense of urgency.

A headline that compels the user to read right away will surely be opened. Such a headline tells the reader that there is some important information within the email that needs to be read right away and can’t be put off until later.

The aforementioned MailChimp study found that the following words results in a higher open rate:

Urgent: 79%
Breaking: 68%
Important: 55%
Alert: 31%
Note that Adestra similarly found that “alert” lead to a 61.8% increase in open rates.

You could also give a deadline with phrases like “today only” or “last chance” to make sure that they know they must act now.

Make them feel special.

Much like how adding a first and last name to a subject line makes the email feel more personal, so too does adding phrases that make the email sound like it’s exclusively for the reader. Headlines such as “An exclusive offer just for you,” “For your eyes only,” or “A message for our dear customers only” makes the reader know that this message is just for them or their group of people.

Keep it short and simple.

Your subject line should ideally be 6-10 words, under 50 characters, and provide a description of what the reader can expect in the message. People are used to receiving an overabundance of emails and won’t want to waste any time on something that doesn’t immediately meet their needs. Subject lines that are too vague or too detailed won’t be opened very often.

Short headlines are especially important when considering that 40% of emails are opened on mobile and that longer headlines will get cut off. You can shorten your headline by using contractions and not spelling out numbers. (i.e. “don’t” instead of “do not” and “45” instead of “forty-five”)

Capitalize each word.

MailChimp found that capitalizing each word in the subject line lead to a 7% increase in open rate while only capitalizing at least one word lead to a -1% open rate. These numbers are small, but they shouldn’t be overlooked. If you have a very large mailing list, the small percentage points can translate to hundreds or thousands of consumers.

Use an A/B test.

You will likely reach a situation where you have multiple headlines you would like to use, but can’t decide which one is best. You should A/B test them by sending them to segments of your mailing list. Collect some data and then send out the winning headline to the rest of your list.

Make sure to keep as many factors as consistent as possible. For example, if you sent Headline A at 2:00 AM and Headline B at 9:00 AM, you shouldn’t be surprised if there’s a stark difference in open rates.

Using the right headline hacks can exponentially improve your marketing success. You should use MailChimp, Constant Contact, or another email marketing service to send out your emails, track statistics, and watch your numbers grow. You can find more useful marketing tips with my done-for-you service.

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9 Awesome Tools to Help Your Twitter Game

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With over 328 monthly active users, it’s hard not to acknowledge the power and popularity of one of the world’s most prominent social media platforms. The microblogging trend has taken the internet by storm and it’s easy for anyone to follow their favorite brands and celebrities from the ease of their phone. You too can take advantage of this platform by utilizing these handy tools to boost your marketing efforts.

Hashtagify

Twitter is all about hashtags and there’s nothing better at finding the right hashtag than Hashtagify. If you want to know which hashtags work best for your industry, Hashtagify is the tool for you. With over 40 million hashtags in its repository, Hashtagify will be your best friend to get noticed during hashtag searches.

Tweriod

The clever combination of “Twitter” and “period” should tell you all you need to know about this app. You can spy on your followers and see when they are most active on Twitter, therefore giving you a better idea of when to post during peak times. Combine this with a scheduling app and watch your retweets climb higher.

Buffer

Speaking of scheduling apps, Buffer gives you the ability to schedule tweets and posts at certain times. This is especially useful when trying to target your audience during peak times or when experimenting with different time zones and the like. You can pre-write all your tweets and have them scheduled to be sent out in a few hours or even a few weeks.

Twilert

Another clever combination of words, this app alerts you when your keywords are messaged on Twitter. For example, you might opt in to receive emails whenever someone mentions your brand name on Twitter, allowing you to swiftly respond to them. Managing your social media presence and watching what people are saying about your brand is incredibly important to maintain a positive image of your company.

Bit.ly

Bit.ly is great because it does two things. The first is that it shortens your links which is very useful for fitting in everything you need to say in a 140-character limit. The second thing Bit.ly does is track the number of clicks so you can see how many people actually interacted with your link.

TweetChat

One of the most annoying aspects of Twitter is that you can’t interact with someone directly unless you send them a direct message or input their handle in a private tweet. Luckily, TweetChat changes all that. This handy app allows you to have private conversations without all that other annoying hassle.

BuzzSumo

This tool used by everyone from BuzzFeed, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, IBM, Expedia, and more. It’s most useful feature is that it allows you to see what sort of content related to a certain topic is most popular so that you can gain insight as to how people are talking about that topic. It also helps you track what your competitors are doing on social media so you can compare statistics against them.

Triberr

Twitter is a great place to find like-minded people. Triberr does exactly that; you can find “tribes” of people with the same interests or in the same industry as you.

HootSuite

If you are in charge of managing multiple social media accounts, HootSuite is the tool for you. This handy program allows you to simultaneously look at and manage several different accounts at the same time even if those accounts are on the same platform. Its clean interface makes it easy to use and allows you to compare posts side-by-side.

These are just a few of many useful Twitter tools that can help gain you followers and boost brand engagement. Simply find out which ones work best for you, make an account, and have fun.

All of these apps are easy to use, so feel free to experiment and test out different techniques to find out which marketing strategy works best for you. And, if you’d like more access to invaluable online marketing strategies, check out my done-for-you service.

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Make Cold Emails Work for You

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Cold emailing is not as awkward as cold calling, but it still can be a frightening thing to do. A well-written cold email could be the key you need to get into contact with employers, celebrities, speakers, and just about anyone else you want to contact. You might be trying to reach out to one particular person you want to partner with or you might be trying to sell your product to two dozen people you met at a conference. Either way, cold emails are a fast and simple way of communication.

Unfortunately, it is often very difficult to find a way to get somebody to notice your email amongst dozens of other messages. Most people have countless spam emails in their inbox that they never read and they might disregard your email in the same way. Here are some tips you can use to make cold emails work for you:

Keep it Short and Sweet

Busy people don’t have a lot of time and they’re not going to stick around to read an essay when they have 200 other messages to read. Make your headline direct and to the point. Avoid the fluff in your message and stick to the bare bones. You should be passionate, but avoid gloating too much over your love for the recipient’s work. The emails should be easy to read and respond to without the recipient having to dig up extra facts or ponder about what you were saying.

Establish Yourself

If you met the person before, make sure to indicate that. If they don’t know who you are, you must establish your credibility. Tell them what you do or what organization you are from. You can show them sample of your work, if relevant, but avoid piling on too much detail. A quick and easy way to establish yourself without taking up too much space is by linking to your website or LinkedIn profile. These links will explain everything you need to so that you can save time and space.

Remember that there are certain elements of your personality that you want to shine through: your professionalism, your confidence, and your passion. It’s much easier to decide how to display these things when you are behind a computer screen rather than when you are meeting with someone in real life. Avoid generic messages and let your personality show.

Make it Personal

You should know something about the person you are reaching out to. Personalize the message so that it meets their needs and expectations. People are far less willing to respond to what looks like a mass email sent to a dozen other people. Take the time to begin the email with the person’s name rather than “to whom it may concern.” If you are sending out a mass email, you can use certain software to automatically add the recipient’s name to the message.

See if you two have anything in common and use that to your leverage. Perhaps you picked them to speak at your conference because of their vast knowledge on biology. Maybe you reached out to them because you both graduated from San Francisco University.

You should also take into account who exactly this person is and why you decided to reach out to them. Let the person understand why you are reaching out to them and not anybody else and how they can benefit from it. Quite obviously, people are far more inclined to perform a favor if they can benefit from it in some sort of way.

Proofread

Once you click “Send,” the message is gone forever so any mistakes you make will be loud and clear. Sure, you can always send another email with corrections, but that seems unprofessional. Proofreading doesn’t take that long and it always pays to double-check the details. Make sure that your letter to TechCrunch doesn’t say that you are writing to The Verge and make sure that any dates are accurate. You don’t want to send yesterday’s copy-pasted letter if it still has yesterday’s date on it.

Follow Up

It’s true that the vast majority of cold emails will never receive a response, but it’s always good to follow up if you haven’t heard back from them in a week or so. In fact, the recipient might have just forgotten to get around to answering your email because it got lost in their inbox. Make sure that you mention the first email you sent them so that you don’t come across as a complete stranger.

Conclusion

Getting someone to read a cold email is always a challenge since most people are natural adverse to opening up anything strange or unfamiliar. However, cold emails can become your business’s top way of reaching out to new clients, customers, and partners. If you want to find out more about how to utilize this, check out my done-for-you system.

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Online Marketing Myths You Probably Believe

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Marketing online is already incredibly difficult. Sure, you have the entirety of the internet to appeal to, but it also means that you’re competing against countless other online marketers. The internet is a vast place and standing out against a sea of competitors isn’t an easy feat, but a successful online marketing campaign can easily bring you the customers you’re looking for.

Unfortunately, many marketers are far too misguided about what they think works and doesn’t work on the internet. Many marketers go barking up the wrong tree so to speak and end up wasting time and resources on fruitless endeavors. Here are just a few commonly held myths that end up hurting marketers:

Myth #1: We need to be on as many social media platforms as possible.

It’s true that you certainly want to get your message out to as many people as possible, but not all audiences equally deserve your attention. There are countless social media platforms to take advantage of–Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.—but that doesn’t mean you need to use all of them.

Each social media platform has a different audience and those audiences are all interested in different things. Do you think a company like Tastemade that markets by making cooking videos would have as much success on LinkedIn as they do on Facebook? Would a company for elderly people like Life Alert want to market on Snapchat where 71% of its members are under 34?

Rather than trying to spread yourself thin, choose the most ideal platforms and focus your efforts there. You can expand your marketing efforts when you can acquire more overhead, but it’s best to play to your strengths while still starting out.

Myth #2: My company needs to be #1 on SEO results for important keywords.

SEO can be a difficult game to play and it’s never easy to get to the top of a Google search for popular keywords. For example, if you are running a shoe store, it would be very nice to be the first result when someone types “shoes” into Google.

However, it might be more beneficial and realistic to aim for mastering long tail keywords—that is longer and more specific phrases. Long tail keywords make up 70% of Google searches and generally indicate that a consumer is more willing to convert and purchase than a short tail generic search.

For example, “shoes” is a short tail keyword that might be used for someone who’s simply browsing the internet while someone who uses long tail keywords like “black dress shoes,” “good running shoes,” “cheap sneakers,” or “sandals for summer” are probably ready to buy.

Myth #3: This other company is doing it, so, why can’t we?

It’s tempting to look at successful companies and try and imitate what they’re doing. Sometimes it works such as when Instagram copies Snapchat’s story features and ended up beating Snapchat at their own game. However, this isn’t always the case.

Take the example of the Amazon Fire Phone: Amazon’s short-lived attempt at entering the smartphone market. The phone’s multiple flaws and inability to stand up to Samsung or Apple means that its obituary was written rather quickly. On the other hand, Amazon has been instrumental in killing Borders and has companies like Sears, Macy’s, and Best Buy on the ropes.

The takeaway is that what works for one company doesn’t work for everyone else. If it did, every company would be doing the same thing. You have a different audience, different brand, different mission, and a different set of values. Find your own unique voice.

Myth #4: Email is dead. Long live the new social media king.

Social media might be the new big thing, but don’t count out email just yet. Believe it or not, a study from McKinsey & Company found that companies acquire new customers via email 40 times more than they do on Facebook and Twitter combined. The study also found that 91% of consumers check their email every day, make purchases three times more often via email than via social media, and that they order 17% more when ordering via email.

Clearly, there is a lot of misinformation in the air as to how online marketing should be done. Knowing what works and what doesn’t work can mean the difference between life and death for your company. For more handy internet marketing tips, check out my done-for-you system.

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What Is People-Based Marketing?

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Marketing is all about reaching people and all marketers want to find out how to reach the greatest amount of people with the smallest amount of effort. This often means sending the same generic message to hundreds, if not thousands, or people. However, everyone is unique and therefore has unique needs. What is relevant to one person might not be relevant to the next. It’s hard to be that brand that appeals to everyone since each person is so different. This is where people-based marketing comes in.

What It Is

People-based marketing represents the original promise of digital and internet marketing; it allows you to replace your broadcast with personalized messages and experiences that the consumer wants to see. It allows brands to establish a marketing system centred around the individual consumer and utilize plenty of data to track that person’s behaviour and spending habits. People-based marketing strategies revolve around the consumer and all marketing efforts are aligned to fit their needs.

One company that utilizes people-based marketing very well is Spotify. Users stream music for several hours a day, often depending on their mood. Listening habits change when the user is relaxing, driving, or exercising and Spotify tracks all this data.

Spotify’s algorithms help create customized and personalized experiences for its users. It will recommend new releases that the listener might enjoy, create personalized playlists based on listening habits, and even remind users of music that they haven’t listened to in a while. These features make users feel like Spotify is tuned into their specific wants and needs.

The best way to utilize a people-based marketing strategy is by paying attention to the three main elements:

Identification

This is the first and most important part of people-based marketing. Without any identification, everyone you’re trying to target might as well be a nameless and faceless person.

Cookies used to be the main method of tracking internet users, but this method is slowly becoming outdated. More people are using multiple devices, especially smartphones, to connect to the internet and much of this information cannot be tracked using cookies.

One of the main ways to identify people is with deterministic targeting which targets users based on accounts and email addresses. For example, Amazon can track what someone doing whether they’re using a desktop browser, mobile app, Kindle, or Alexa since it requires them to use the same account for all platforms.

Another strategy is called probabilistic targeting which uses data analysis to link devices based on things like location and IP addresses. For example, if a computer and a smartphone are both connected to the same home Wi-Fi address, it’s a possibility that both devices are owned by the same person.

Data

You want to find out the most you can about your consumer by collecting data. You can use identifiers such as email addresses to dig up all sorts of information about their habits. This includes, but isn’t limited to, what devices they use, what they like and share on social media, who they follow on social media, what they’ve purchased, what product reviews they’re read or written, which products they’ve looked at, and how often they spend.

Automation

Lastly, automation is what will make your life easier. You probably have received several automated marketing emails in your life, many of which were tailored to your personal needs. Common automated emails you might’ve received are:

Telling you events or products you might be interested in based on your history
Telling you that your shopping cart isn’t empty
Telling you when an item is restocked
Asking you if the product arrived on time
Asking you if the product was in satisfactory condition
Asking you how much you liked the product
Asking you to leave a review
Conclusion

People-based marketing is the future of marketing. You should strive to aim for individuals rather than masses for a more effective marketing strategy.

One easy way to do this is to use an identity resolution service like LiveRamp IdentityLink which helps identify consumers and track their habits. You should also utilize digital marketing platforms to keep a database of consumers and track their unique habits.

It’s not a stretch to say that people-based marketing can completely transform how your company reaches out to consumers and makes sales. If you’d like more access to invaluable marketing strategies, check out my done-for-you system.

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What Millennials Want From Brands?

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Whether you like it or not, millennials are becoming one of the fastest-growing demographics in the US. They will be your future customers and your future workers. With new demographics comes new ways of doing things.

Millennials have gotten a bad rep. They’re lazy, they’re narcissistic, they’re entitled, and they’re the “me generation.” They’re addicted to technology and can’t put down their smartphones. They believe that everyone deserves equal recognition, regardless of how much work they put in.

Not only are many of these statements wrong, such myths will make it difficult for companies to adapt to a new demographic. So, what do millennials want from brands? Here are a few things they look for:

Authenticity

Millennials want brands to be real and authentic. A study by Concentric Marketing found that 49% of millennials return that they know and trust. Many millennials see companies as nameless and faceless corporations. Social media is a great way for such companies to engage with millennials and show their authenticity.

Social influence

Millennials are very receptive to content on social media websites, particularly if that content is shared by trusted friends and family. The Concentric Marketing study found that 55% of millennials find out about products from friends, 40% of millennials buy from brands recommended by friends and family, and 85% of millennials tell friends about products they enjoy.

Social causes

Millennials want to change the word for the better. In fact, 2014 Millennial Impact Report found that 87% of millennials gave donations to at least one nonprofit in 2013. Millennials support companies that give to charities and want their donations to be spent wisely and transparently. A great way to do this is to promise to give a certain fraction of your profits to various charities and causes. Use social media to advertise your company’s humanitarian efforts and millennials will notice.

Purpose

Millennials are much more likely to buy products if the brand’s values match their own. This requires more than just a good marketing campaign or a catchy slogan. It involves transparency for how the products are created and how companies operate. Branding must be consistent across all social media platforms to keep the message strong and consistent.

Engagement

Millennials want to engage with brands. They want to have dialogues rather than monologues. They want to listen and they want to be listened to.

Brands should engage with millennials. Find ways to allow them to participate and share their thoughts and opinions. Internet contests and open Q&A sessions are two great ways that companies can reach out to their audience. Brand who invite millennials to be a part of the experience will ultimately succeed at capturing their attention and winning their hearts.

Conclusion

Millennials represent the largest growing demographic and most brands must appeal to them one way or another. A 2016 study from Statista found that Americans aged 25-34 spent more time on the internet than any other age group. In fact, that group spent an overage of 2,891 minutes on the internet via PC every single month! Add this to the popularity of smartphone and tablet apps and you have an internet-addicted generation.

Your company’s internet presence can give them what they need: authenticity, social influence, social causes, purpose, and engagement. You can interact with your audience members, build a loyal fan base, ask for their feedback, and tailor your strategy accordingly.

Ask yourself how your company upholds these values on social media and study your marketing metrics to see how engaged millennials are with your company. You may find that your internet marketing needs to be updated to become more appealing to millennials. And, if you’d like more access to invaluable online marketing strategies, check out my done-for-you system.

 

 

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Why People Share: The Psychology Behind Social Media

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Social media has taken the internet by storm. There are 31.25 million Facebook messages, 347,222 tweets, 17,361 LinkedIn profile views, 48,611 Instagram pictures, and 300 hours of YouTube videos uploaded each minute. The internet is full of content that’s constantly being created or shared.

We already know what is happening, but let’s dig a little deeper and get to the “why” of it. Why do people love sharing on social media? What’s the psychology behind it?

As luck would have it, a study by the New York Times Consumer Insight Group found the answer for us. Researchers concluded that there were five major reasons why people share on social media:

Entertainment

Perhaps this is the most obvious answer, but it was also the least common reason out of the five. Everyone loves a good dog video or a funny prank that they can laugh at and share with their friends. After all, what is the internet for if not entertainment?

Less than half of shares are motivated by entertainment or passion. Nevertheless, it does explain the tendency for funny YouTube videos to go viral as people want all their friends to see it.

Supporting a cause

It’s almost impossible to go onto social media and not see someone talking about a cause they are passionate about. The study found that 84% of respondents use social media to share their support for a social cause. Whether it’s fighting against immigration bans or police brutality, social media remains a powerful tool for expression.

A perfect example of this would be the Ice Bucket Challenge. Politicians, celebrities, athletes, and hundreds of others all participated in this viral challenge which helped raise over $130 million for various ALS organizations.

Self-Fulfillment

Related to the above point, many people share on social media to feel good about themselves. A simple click of a button can let all your Facebook friends know how they can best provide relief to hurricanes or donate to their local homeless shelter.

Sure, some might call it slacktivism, but it’s hard to overlook just how excellent social media is for raising awareness of important causes. It’s an easy way for people to make themselves feel better while fighting for a good and noble cause.

Expressing Yourself

The study found that 68% of respondents love sharing things that they feel helps them express who they are. Whether someone is showing the world their love of dogs or how excited they are for the latest blockbuster summer hit, there’s something that just feels good about expressing yourself. No places are as good at showing someone’s uniqueness as social media.

It only takes a few clicks to let the world know who you are and what you like. Many people don’t have the chance to divulge such details about themselves in the regular world, so social media provides a wonderful vehicle where they can truly be themselves without fear of judgment or restriction.

Friendship

This last point takes us to the social aspect of social media. More and more people are making new friends and connections online. It doesn’t matter if you’re finding your next hot date on Tinder or connecting with a potential new business partner on LinkedIn—social media and the internet has made meeting new people much easier than ever.

According to the study, 78% of respondents share on social media to keep in touch with old friends. It makes sense when you consider that the vast majority of Facebook friend lists are people that most users never keep in touch with. Sharing content allows them to reconnect with those who they haven’t talked to in a while and rekindle old friendships.

Conclusion

It’s impossible to deny the massive influence that social media has in our current day and age. The influence of companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram also allows brands to capitalize on new opportunities as they can reach people who are just casually scrolling through pages from the comfort of their phone.

Take a look at your content and ask how it plays in to one of these five psychological factors. You never know what sort of marketing strategies might arise after a little bit of introspection. And, if you’d like more access to invaluable online marketing strategies, check out my done-for-you system.

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5 Incredible Reasons You Need to Market on Pinterest

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Pinterest may not be as popular as Facebook or Instagram, but it still has a lot of potential for any company that wishes to get their brand name out there. Pinterest is an incredibly unique platform that can boost your marketing efforts like never before. Here are 5 facts compiled from all over the internet that will convince you to market on Pinterest.

Pinterest is incredibly popular.

Pinterest’s popularity has been steadily increasing and it now represents a nearly unstoppable force that eclipses other social media websites. Data from Pew Research Center found that, in 2016, 26% of U.S. adults use Pinterest which puts it behind Facebook (68%) and Instagram (28%), but ahead of LinkedIn (25%) and Twitter (21%).

Pinterest claims that it has 150 million monthly active users with 70 million of them from the U.S. and 80 million of them from outside the U.S.

Pinterest is great for sales.

A Shopify study found that people who are referred through products via Pinterest are 10% more likely to make purchases compared to those referred from Facebook or Twitter. Furthermore, the average Pinterest order is $80, which is higher than that of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and several other websites. However, Rich Relevance placed the average order value per session even higher at a whopping $199.16, which easily triumphs over the average orders of $92.27 from Facebook and the measly $58.02 from Twitter.

Additionally, a study from BlogHer found that 53% of BlogHer readers and 47% of U.S. consumers have bought an item based on a recommendation from Pinterest.

Pinterest users have a lot of money to spend.

Why are Pinterest orders so high? Perhaps it’s because many people who use the social media app have very high incomes.

The average Pinterest user is 40 years old and half of them make at least $50K a year. Ten percent of households that use Pinterest make over $125K a year. Clearly, there is a lot of incentive for marketers who want to appeal to potential buyers.

People use Pinterest to decide what to buy.

If there’s anything that would convince you to sell on Pinterest, it would have to be these statistics:

96% of active pinners use the site to gather information and conduct research.
93% of active pinners use the app to plan purchases.
87% of active pinners have bought something because of Pinterest.
72% of active pinners use Pinterest to decide what to purchase offline.
39% of active pinners use it to find out information about new products.
A study from Millward Brown Digital found that active pinners said that Pinterest helps them decide what to buy in these categories:

79% – Food and Ingredients
60% – Home Décor
53% – Clothing and Accessories
51% – Hair and Beauty
47% – Health and Fitness
What does all this mean? People use Pinterest because they are looking for something to buy. It’s like a social media version of a shopping network.

Pinterest is great for marketing towards women.

A surprising 81% of pinners are women and the average female user will make 158 pins. Data from the Pew Research Center found that only 15% of U.S. adult men use Pinterest compared to the 38% of adult U.S. women that use the platform.

Pinterest might be one of the few social media platforms where women dominate making it ideal for beauty and fashion brands. Instagram is also very popular among women, which may suggest that image-based content marketing is great for appealing for a female audience.

Furthermore, data from BlogHer found that 81% of women trust information they read on Pinterest compared to the mere 73% of women that trust Twitter and 67% of women that trust Facebook.

Pinterest is one of the most exciting platforms to reach new audience members and drive sales. Get started by creating a Pinterest account, tracking metrics, and watch the sales roll in. And, if you’d like more access to invaluable online marketing strategies, check out my done-for-you system.

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Using Images to Improve Your Content Marketing

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Whether they are inserted into the header or placed within the main body of text, images are an illustration of you contents core idea. Including simple images that relate to as wide an audience as possible will help maximize the work your content can do.

Where Can I Find Photos?

There are a number of places on the web you can find royalty free images that are free to download. Even more where you can pay to download. The easiest way to find the latest resources is to do a search for “Royalty Free Images.”

No matter where you go for images, it’s vitally important to give proper attribution when required. A good rule of thumb for attribution is to credit the contributor of the image and include the website where you found it, ie: “Photo Courtesy of ABCD from FreePics.com.”

The same goes for a registered trademark or trademarked product. For example, if Nike Swoosh or an actual Nike product is seen in the photo, include a statement like, “Nike, the Nike logo, and Nike Products are trademarks of Nike Inc., registered in the U.S. and internationally.”

Image SEO

According to most experts in the SEO field, Keywords appear to be the end all be all of SEO. Primary Keywords, secondary Keywords, Google “Keyword” and the list of sources of info will probably go on forever. With Image SEO the first location to use your primary keyword will be the image filename.

The right filename will let a search engine know what the image is about. This means if your image is a women’s top in a specific abstract design, the file name shouldn’t be DSC12345.jpg. Instead, you want to rename it “ann-monique-womens-top-abstract-v.” This gives the search engine spiders something to grab onto and take back to their part of the web.

Start a file name with a lowercase letter or a number and remove all spaces. For multiple words, join them with a dash.

Loading times can be crucial for websites to maintain traffic. The faster the site, the easier to visit it. Images can have a huge impact on this. Standard resolution for a screen image is 72ppi and most web pages won’t need an image to be more than 1000-1200 pixels wide. To put that into perspective, a typical smart phone camera today will give you an image at 72 ppi but the file will often be over 3000 pixels wide (or more).

There are a few online image editors that work quite well and often don’t cost a thing or have a minimal membership fee with added benefits. Two are PicMonkey and Pixl.

When uploading your image, you will often be given an option to add “alt text” or “alt tags.” This is also another good place to use your keyword placement.

In most e-commerce catalog pages, the product is shown in a specific place on the page that doesn’t overlap any other image or text. JPEG images are most commonly used for this. I’m adding this quick highlight in case a need arises for you to remove the background of a photo.

JPEG images include a visible background showing behind any curves or irregular lines. If you’ve taken the trouble to remove the background of the photo of a product but save it as a JPEG (JPG), you will still be stuck with a background color when you re-open it.

PNGs allow you to make the background transparent so it can be used over any color, texture or other text. This can be helpful if you decide to show multiple products in one virtual shot but don’t have the means to retake the photo.

GIF images are a much lower quality than JPEGs or PNGs. Best for small decorative images and icons it is doubtful you will have a reason to use them on a product page. Most often they are used to float basic logos over pages or header graphics since they can be saved with transparent backgrounds, like PNGs.

Even if it takes extra time to find just the right image for a post, the increase in SEO and lead generation make it worth your time.

Monitoring the social media marketing landscape is vital to your success. If you’d like to have access

to even more powerful marketing tips, as well as a way to generate conversion-ready Internet marketing prospects each month, click here to learn about my done-for-you system.

For details on how you can get started with your own online business:

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Using Craigslist to Market Your Business

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From e-commerce websites to furniture wholesalers, small businesses are discovering the marketing capability of Craigslist.org.

If you provide a service or sell wholesale or resale products, Craigslist is a tool to add to your marketing arsenal. On Craigslist, users know they will find what they are looking for nearby, so they don’t get stuck sifting through ads for service providers that are located on the other side of the country.

Posting on Craigslist does require that you follow their rules. The site has some general policies as well as specific ones that vary based on the category of your ad. Failure to follow these will cause your ad to be flagged and removed from view.

Excessive flags could lead your account being closed permanently, so stay up to date on any changes in policy that may occur from time to time.

It is possible to adhere to the rules and still get plenty of engagement with prospective buyers or clients.

If you’ve never considered using Craigslist for marketing, this information may help you decide.

Identify Your Market

The first thing you’ll need to do is determine where you want your ads to be posted. Not all areas are city specific. A good way to find your target areas is to start by choosing the State you reside in.

When you select a State, you will be given a list of all the Craigslist sites that are in that State.

For example, if you select Florida you will see a list that includes Orlando and Tallahassee but also shows the Treasure Coast, North Central FL, and South Florida with a notation that this option includes separate sections for Miami/Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.

From there you can determine which area or areas you want to target.

Build Your Ad

Once you’ve found your target areas, you want to develop a posting schedule for each one and create ads that are area specific.

Once upon a time, you could create an entire HTML and CSS coded ad from scratch that coordinated with your Branding. However, the site decided it wanted to focus on keeping a user-friendly option for everyone, not just the tech savvy or paid post designers.

Fortunately, they did improve the design of the basic ad layout, the biggest improvement being room for additional photos. Where you used to be limited to 6 and then 12 photos, you are now able to include up to 24. This is a huge advantage if you are selling a product.

Even though Craigslist is designed for the “common man” to easily post ads for sale, as a professional you want to make sure your ad looks as polished as possible.

Here are some easy ways to make sure you look like a business and not someone trying to clean out their garage:

Use High-Quality Photos

This means hiring a photographer or investing in a good camera and not just using the one that came with your smart phone. Make sure photos are well lit and most importantly, STRAIGHT.

If you choose to take the photos yourself, it would be a good idea to have access to photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop, or creating an account with one of the online photo editors like PicMonkey.com.

Try to Use Headers and Bulleted or Numbered Lists

This makes the ad easier to read and less likely to be skipped by the user.

Since there isn’t a text editor available for posts, you can make headers stand out by capitalizing each word or making them all caps. To create a bullet list, you’ll need to use a symbol available on your keyboard like the asterisk found over the 8 or a dash.

Now you know that Craigslist is not just for people getting ready to move or looking for romance in the personal ads. If used properly, it can bring in new traffic and leads, introducing you to clients spanning a wide variety of interests and businesses.

For more information and to get up to date guidelines visit Craigslist.org and get started today.

Monitoring the social media marketing landscape is vital to your success. If you’d like to have access

to even more powerful marketing tips, as well as a way to generate conversion-ready Internet marketing prospects each month, click here to learn about my done-for-you system.

For details on how you can get started with your own online business:

Watch the Free Video

Visit this page for our brief video welcome message.


The Online Business Advisor