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Quick, check your in-box! It’s filled with more e-mail from God. Men, women, and children will love the daily messages from God in a uniquely designed book. Every message starts with a Scripture reference and continues with a refreshing thought for reflection.
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A couple weeks ago, Yahoo changed its DMARC policy to stop fraudulent emails. In response, many email receivers started bouncing emails with Yahoo.com From addresses sent from non-Yahoo servers. Yesterday, AOL announced the same change to its DMARC policy, and we expect to see similar results.
Like the Yahoo change, this will only affect senders using an AOL.com From address. The solution is also the same: We recommend using a custom domain for your From address instead of AOL.com. If you need help registering a new domain or setting up email addresses, please contact a web developer.
In addition to changing your From address in campaigns, we also recommend changing the contact email for your account and user profiles. This will ensure MailChimp features, like Conversations, continue to deliver email on your behalf.
It’s only a matter of time before other ISPs, such as Gmail and Hotmail, make similar changes. So switching to another freemail provider is like hopping stones in a smoking volcano: You might find some temporary solace, but you should instead focus on getting out of the volcano. Using your own domain will prevent future deliverability issues caused by sudden changes made by ISPs.
As with the Yahoo update, we continue to support ISPs who change their DMARC policies. Adjustments have to be made if we want to move forward in the fight against spam.
It’s no secret that mobile usage has skyrocketed in the past year or two.
More people are using their mobile devices more often, to do more things than ever before:
- Litmus reports that more than half of people read email on a mobile device.
- Shop.org reports that among U.S. smartphone users, approximately half have consulted their smartphones when looking for a product or service. And about one-third of people ages 18-55 have purchased a product on their smartphone.
Mobile is going to be a key way to reach consumers. For many businesses, it already is.
But most businesses are still very green when it comes to mobile marketing. Many say they lack the know-how, time, and budget that they think is necessary to start mobile marketing.
How Do You Know What Mobile Tactics Are Right For Your Business?
Wondering if mobile marketing is right for you, or how to get started with it?
This Mobile Marketing Decision Tree, courtesy of our friends at 60 Second Marketer can help you choose which mobile marketing tactics are best for your business:
Share This Decision Tree
Do you know people who are (or should be) thinking about mobile marketing?
Share this infographic with them via your blog, website, or favorite social network.
Here’s the HTML you can copy/paste to share it on your site…
… and here are links to share it on social…
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Engagement is the end game for content marketing. Getting people interested in and involved with your product is half the battle in making a sale. When your customers know that they can look to you for stellar insights and advice about the industry, you’ve succeeded. But achieving this goal is not easy. It takes a lot of time investment to create the high-quality content you’ll need.
Here are five tips on how to use content to increase your audience’s engagement.
Create Gated Content
“Gated content” refers to information or whole sections of your web site that are only available to people who agree to provide something in return. Gated content creation can be tricky to execute, but when used well, it’s a great way to not only pump up engagement but also to generate leads. For marketing purposes, that “something” is usually contact information, such as:
- Geographic location
- Email address
- Phone number
- Company information
Gated content may also require payment for information, such as whitepapers or exclusive video, but generally speaking it’s just another rung on the sales funnel.
WebpageFX’s gated content for a free marketing template
Not every company is comfortable with using gated content. Some are wary of alienating potential customers who are not ready to establish contact, or sending them to competitors who do not have gates. It’s best to reserve gated content for premium information; be sure to leave product descriptions and blogs free to navigate for any visitor.
For instance, a site such as Gate to Garage, which sells a wide variety of furnishings and décor, would not benefit from walling off its product listings to visitors. But it might consider requiring potential customers to submit an email address for future contact if they want to see a how-to video or white paper.
One thing to keep in mind, don’t gate all your content. Leave blog posts and infographics as free material for everyone. That free material will drive traffic to your site and then special gated content can be used to increase engagement and build an email database.
Run a Live Q&A Based On of a Controversial Piece of Content
Live chats have a colorful history on the internet. They’re one of the earliest ways that companies engaged with their customers, dating back well before the age of social media. Though they’ve evolved over time, they still remain a great way for businesses to gauge opinions about not only their products but also their industry. The smartest way to draw people in is to play off a piece of content that’s gotten a lot of attention.
This type of content will inspire strong opinions on both sides, which will draw people into the conversation. Be sure to promote the Q&A beforehand, but don’t just rely on live questions to fuel the discussion. Solicit questions and topics beforehand via social media, and keep things open-ended so that you can engage as many people on as many aspects of the issue as possible. If you’re doing the chat on Twitter or Facebook, look over your analytics beforehand to decide what the best time is to hold the conversation.
Last year Paper.li, an online content curation service, sponsored a live Twitter chat to promote awareness for bloggers, who make up the hottest area of its community. The success of the Q&A surprised even the company’s community manager, who personally heard from more than 200 people after the chat via email and on Twitter asking for help and offering their input. The chat also reached people in other countries, a bonus Paper.li hadn’t expected.
Include Calls to Action at the Bottom of Content
Sometimes when you become engaged in a great piece of content, whether it’s a whitepaper, a blog post or a podcast, you’ll forget how you stumbled upon it and your true purpose for looking into the subject. Don’t let that happen to your potential customers. While you don’t need to hammer them over and over with sales pitches, you do need to gently remind them as they reach the end of their time with your content that there’s something they need to do. That may mean registering for something, buying a product or filling out a form.
Whatever it is, make sure your call to action is clear and concise so that you don’t lose your fish from the hook. On the blog for WritersRelief, an author submission service, posts end with reminders that the site can help make writing dreams come true and a link to their submission page, a succinct but effective call to action.
Ask Questions at the End of Blog Posts to Increase Comments
This sounds like an obvious way to increase engagement, but a surprising number of sites do not try to interact with their readers this way. They’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Once you’ve finished discussing the topic at hand, ask your readers what they think. Many blogs put a daily question at the bottom of a blog post in bold, training readers to look for these queries and answer them, thereby increasing engagement.
Don’t just get people to comment, though. Interact with them in the comments section and see how you can further engage them. For instance, the Gawker network of web sites have perfected this approach. Writers interact with readers, exchanging ideas — okay, and often insults — in such a way that the comments sections themselves have become must-reads.
Be Consistent at Something
Consistency is the very best way to establish yourself on the internet, which is largely a bastion of inconsistency. Muck Rack is known for newsletters. Shweiki Media is known for webinars. Find something content-wise that you can be great at, that your customers have a real need for, and that you can deliver on a consistent basis. Then carve out your niche.
Muck Rack’s Newsletter
Play to your personal strengths. If you don’t have time to blog, but you’re a pithy tweeter, make Twitter your thing. Establish a following for your brilliant daily take on something in your industry, whether it’s the latest headlines or even a reality TV show. Author Jennifer Wiener, for instance, is just as famous for her prolific tweeting about “The Bachelor” as she is for writing New York Times bestsellers.
Building an engaged community of readers takes time. Start with these tips in mind as you work on the content that just might make your site a hot spot for customers.
Mobile marketing is still in the cutting-edge stage, meaning everything is still fairly new, at least to most people. But customer desires demand that we continue to advance forward, and the latest wish is beacon marketing.
Wait, what exactly is beacon marketing?
In a nutshell, a beacon (in this context) is a wireless device that targets nearby phones and tablets, providing information of some sort to the user. With beacon marketing, this usually means a beacon being placed in a brick-and-mortar business (retail shop, restaurant, etc.) and then providing value (coupons, discount, or secret deals) to customers inside (or nearby) the establishment who have downloaded the necessary app.
Customers have indicated that they’re more than ready for beacon marketing, so why haven’t retailers jumped on board? Perhaps it’s because they don’t know enough about it. Beacon marketing company Swirl tackles that challenge with this infographic, illustrating customers’ pain points and desires. Some of the key points from the infographic include:
- 85% of customers have used a mobile shopping app while inside a store (and 66% of those say their smartphone activity has influenced their purchase).
- 65% of customers prefer their smartphones as their main info-gathering method while shopping, and the same number trusts their favorite retailers more than any other app or network (even Facebook and Google) with their location data.
- 80% of customers would be interested in receiving push notifications about sales and promotions while inside a store.
- More customers would make a purchase based on beacon sales and recommendations than on limited-time sales.
The post Your Customers Wish You Were Using This Cutting-Edge Marketing Technique [INFOGRAPHIC] appeared first on @AskJamieTurner.
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We’ve heard it all over the place: “I send plain text emails because HTML emails get filtered into the spam folder.”
But is the belief that plain text emails get better email deliverability than HTML ones rooted in reality?
We sat down with our Director of Deliverability, Mohammed Ahmed, to find out.
The answer, it turns out, isn’t so black-and-white.
HTML Isn’t Automatically Less Deliverable, But…
According to Mohammed,
“If you send an email with broken HTML, it could possibly be the tipping point for an email already in danger of landing in the spam folder. Or if it’s broken enough that your users can’t read it, they may mark it as spam.”
So certain HTML emails — poorly coded ones — can potentially experience poor delivery rates.
But of course, not all HTML emails are poorly coded.
So why the urban legend about HTML being less deliverable than plain text?
A Little History Of HTML And Spam
Over time, ISPs like Yahoo, AOL, and Comcast have used various filters to protect inboxes from unsolicited messages.
Spammers, eager to keep reaching potential customers, looked for and often found ways to get their emails past the filters. Naturally, ISPs adjusted their filters in response. And the pattern continued to repeat.
Since HTML emails have more components than plain text (code, images, etc), filters have historically given them a harder look.
So will those filters, designed to catch spam, inadvertently keep your HTML emails away from the people who signed up to get them?
In short, not really.
In 2012, we talked to Laura Atkins of Word To The Wise, who shared that while HTML-only emails were more likely to be filtered, when the they were were accompanied by a plain text version, this wasn’t the case:
“If you send mail that is heavy on the images and low on the text, it’s going to look like spam. This doesn’t mean it’s going to be a delivery problem necessarily. But, if the mail has other issues: mentions domains that have iffy reputations or recipients that aren’t engaged then a heavy image to text ratio may be enough to tip the mail into the bulk folder.”
Here’s How Things Stand In 2014
HTML email can only affect your deliverability if you have a broken tag, or if you’re not sending that plain text version.
No plain text version? To a filter, that may look like you’re trying to slip something shady through.
Note: when you create HTML emails in AWeber, we’ll automatically generate a plain text version to create a good experience for your subscribers AND to support high email deliverability. So we’ve got you covered there.
And if your HTML email contains a broken tag? In that case, it’s not the filters you need to worry about.
In Mohammed’s words, “If you have a broken tag, it means [readers] are probably going to click on the report spam tag, because they’re not seeing the mail they’re supposed to see.”
These spam reports damage the reputation of both your site’s domain name and the IPs your emails are being sent from. If either develops a reputation for sending high levels of spam (or emails reported as such), your future messages are more likely to be flagged.
Now, here’s the really good news:
When you create your email marketing campaigns in AWeber using our drag-and-drop message editor, we’ll automatically make sure your HTML is correct and valid. We’ve got you covered there, too.
The Best of Both Worlds
The bottom line: if you’ve been holding back from sending HTML emails because you’re afraid of poor email deliverability, it’s time to stop.
You can send beautiful HTML emails AND get good delivery, too.
Other Questions About Getting Great Delivery Rates?
It seems like every time I meet customers, deliverability works its way into the conversation.
What else would you like to know about reaching the inbox?
Add your thoughts and questions below; we’ll address them here and/or in a future blog post.