Tuesday, January 27, 2009

5 Steps to Newsletter Mastery

What is good email design? And how can you hone it to heighten the payoff of your email marketing investment over time?

Like any ambitious endeavor, success favors preparation. In this article is best practices for optimal email newsletter design and how, with careful cultivation, you can plant the seeds that will yield a bounty later. As you will discover, launching successful newsletters is not difficult--it simply involves a hearty combination of knowing your goals, drafting a plan and executing with precision. Staying committed to each is essential.

Mastery Step #1: Define Your Purpose

Your email marketing program--and each newsletter within it--deserves a well-thought-out plan. It's essential to determine what goals you want to accomplish and how they align with your department's or your company's overall communications strategy. The idea is to send emails that convey context, reinforce company "voice," and build your brand by creating a positive user experience. Draft a rock-solid email messaging plan, listing yours goals and the content and design features that will support them. Ensure every element--imagery, copy, palette, tone--supports your brand and communicates consistency across campaigns.

Mastery Step #2: Know Your Audience

Always remember: Your audience is in cahoots with their own interests. That means, no matter what your plans are, if your newsletter doesn't speak to, reach, or intrigue your audience, then you're not going to see the response you want. Since you're also marketing to current or potential customers, it's imperative to understand what they want to see and how they want to see it.

Take into account the following demographic considerations and plan accordingly:

- Is your list comprised of B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer)?

- Does your list skew to teens, middle-aged or elderly individuals?

- Is it predominantly female or male? Age, generation and gender are big influencers in design. Vary font size, message relevancy, tone of voice, and color themes based on whose reading and why.

- How well do recipients know you and your company? If you're emailing to prospects, delineate clear and relevant benefits in the subject line to deter spam alerts. If your list already knows you, personalize the message by including your name in the "from" line and put the recipient's name in the body.

A few quick tips on keeping the audience front and center:

- Execute "precision marketing:" create newsletter campaigns based on demographic information (age, sex, income, geography, buying habits)

- Place the content most relevant to your target demographic above the fold.

- Speak to your audience on the level they prefer, talk up not down to young adults, be respectful yet upbeat and friendly to seniors.

- Create visual and content templates unique to each demographic group.

Mastery Step #3: Crystallize Your Message

To win the hearts of customers, you need a meaningful message--well told and well presented. To get there in a newsletter, it's essential to define your content's purpose. Do you mean to build customer loyalty, start a conversation, sell a product, offer a discount, or ask for opinions?

Perhaps "all of the above" sounds good, but be warned: like any message, a newsletter saturated by multiple themes and intentions loses steam fast. Spare your readers the burden of too many links, options, and themes. If you don't, they'll likely abandon the search and leave. If your goal is to sell more, try saying less. Be precise. Showcase your products, offer incentives, and present obvious and enticing links. Save the rest for another round.

Map out your newsletter with clear goals in mind--and don't overwhelm readers with too many or unrelated messages.

Remember these quick tips:

- One objective is best for all emails.

- If you have multiple objectives, break it up into manageable sections or send several emails over time.

For example, of the following objectives, choose two or three per campaign:

- Build customer interaction/brand awareness

- Drive customers to your Web site

- Sell your products or services

- Promote events or news

- Recruit brand champions to spread your message

- Communicate your unique selling position and cultivate customer interest

- Build or introduce new brand attributes: color, logos, messaging and tone

- Create hype and fuel social networking

Email marketing is essentially a speed game, word economy is a must. Don't take time getting to the point: say it now, fast, and clearly. Remember that your newsletter is about prompting readers to click to your site. Communicate enough benefit, briefly coined, so readers will want learn more.

Make calls-to-action stand out with unique symbols, arrows, or font and color choices. Pick a style and stick with it--if you use a red triangle to denote section links, then always use them. This consistent effect trains your audience to quickly identify and to respond to links within the message.

Mastery Step #4: Carefully Chunk Content

Structure, design, nuance and message blend to create the force--powerful or weak--behind any communication. How these aspects coalesce in your newsletter content can affect your brand image, sales goals, customer relationships, and future business demand.

As many big-name e-marketers know, achieving email newsletter success requires shapely, succinct, engaging and easy-to-follow content. Once you master the form of these design strategies, over time your newsletter's effectiveness will rise to the occasion.

For starters, a carefully chunked page--that is, a page broken into bite-sized pieces served under clear, informative headings--creates a palatable design tempting to even the pickiest reader. Content chunking is cousin to several essential design tactics. For example, avoid the formidable "wall of text;" present brief, quick-read paragraphs that prompt a "click" rather than teach a lesson; and buffer sections with plenty of white space and complimentary, appropriate imagery.

Akin to content chunks is the "6-second rule." Keeping this in mind will shape everything you do in your newsletter design and campaign, from subject line, to byline to calls to action. The gist is this: if your reader doesn't get it in six seconds or less, then they're gone. Do not collect $200. Do not pass go. They couldn't care less. That's because the way to your readers' hearts is through direct, clear, scannable content that piques their interest and offers quick benefits. How you convey that in the speed game of email marketing is with carefully and concisely structured pages.

Here are a few tips to assist you with 6-second rule mastery:

- Use headings to communicate the essential messages on the page.
- Segment content to make the page "scannable".
- Offer obvious and enticing links to your site or promotional page.
- Restrict paragraphs to three lines or less.
- Break key points into bullets rather than paragraphs.
- Include title, byline, and call-to-action in each paragraph and bulleted list area.
- If you have multiple objectives, chunk each one into bite size nuggets.

Mastery Step #5: Send Multi-Message Campaigns

We've covered the importance of limiting each newsletter to just one or two clear objectives. Now, what about big, complicated messages that still need to get out?

Once you outline your campaign's successive messaging goals, list the topics for each email. Then you can run it as an ongoing conversation with your audience on a theme you make familiar by stretching it across days, weeks, or months. Always remember, the ultimate goal is to get them to your site.

Here are a few tips for multi-message success:

- Stay nimble and allow your Web site to do heavy lifting.

- In each successive email, sprinkle intrigue elements--ask question, offer tidbits, lay breadcrumbs--to get them to your site.

- Use teasers in each email about what's coming next week, month, etc.

- Create reflective content on your site to pair with each message.

- Maintain a consistent theme throughout the entire campaign, in your newsletter and on your Web site.

- Suggest a timely, limited offer to create extra incentive to buy, click or return.

- Plan multi-message campaigns to coincide with larger, yearly marketing strategies.

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The Importance of Deep Linking in Your Search Engine Marketing

If you are an experienced webmaster then you probably know that creating back links to your website is one of the best things that you can do to improve your Search Engine Ranking Placement (SERP). Google openly discusses the importance that their algorithms place on back links and even recommend that webmasters who want to improve their traffic use back links. Both Yahoo! and MSN are starting to talk openly about the importance of back links in their search algorithms as well.

There are a number of strategies that you can use to create back links to your website. Some of these strategies include emailing webmasters and asking them to place a link to your website, submittíng your site to directories, distributing free reprint articles, and paying for links. All of these have their pros and cons, and some have a better success ratio than others.

How Many Back Links Does Your Website Have?

Take a look at your website and see just how many back links you actually do have. Do not do this for only one search engine, but for all search engines where you are trying to get good SERP results. To check your backlinks, simply type into the particular search engine's box - link:http://www.yourdomainurl.com . Of course you will replace the yourdomainurl with the name of your domain.

The more back links that you have to your website, the better off you are. Not only do back links help your SERP, but also the visitors of pages where your back link is listed may just choose to visit your site.

A common mistake that new webmasters make is that they create back links, but they have all of these links pointing to their home page. It is great that you have 50 back links pointing to your home page, but take a look at other pages on your site. How many links are pointing to these pages? The answer is probably zero unless you have utilized deep linking in your link building campaigns.

What Are Deep Links?

Deep links are links that go to specific pages within your website. For example, let's say that you have a home improvement website that has a large number of pages and articles on it telling people how to do projects. If all of your back links are pointing only to your home page and you have none pointing to specific article pages, then you are not getting the full benefit of your linking activities.

Think about it this way, if I go to your website and find a piece of information that I find particularly helpful or interesting and I want to tell other people about it, how will I do it? When I tell all my friends on my blog about this great page of yours, am I going to link to your home page? No, I am going to copy and paste the actual webpage address out of my browser, into my blog. That is deep linking and what is considered to be natural linking by the search engines.

What Are Natural Links?

Natural links are those links that are created by people other than the website's marketing team. Suppose I posted a link in my own blog that said that the "most easily understood tutorial, I have read, for creating a php-xml parser" was: http://www.sitepoint.com/article/php-xml-parsing-rss-1-0 , and I put my quoted text into the link. That is a natural link, because I created the link with no prompting from the management at SitePoint.com.

Difficulties In Creating Deep Links

There are a few problems that you will run into when trying to create deep links to your site. One problem is that if you ask a Webmaster of another site to link to you, they will most likely just link to your home page. When you submít to directories, the vast majority of them will only allow you a link to your home page, not a deep link. Even if they do allow you to submit a deep link, they will not allow you to submit 10 deep links.

Success Tips For Creating Deep Links

Deep linking is quite a bit easier when utilizing free reprint articles as a part of your link building campaign. This is because you can put whatever link you want to put in the "About The Author" box. The About The Author box is required to stay intact in all websites that are using your article. If you intend on writing a large number of articles to promote your domain, then you will want to optimize your results by putting a different deep link into the About The Author box for each of the articles that you write.

Another method of doing this is free and easy, but requires a bit of time. Take keywords in each page of the text on your website and make a hyperlink on that word or phrase to another page on your site. This is very easily done if you know how to do basic HTML. The ultimate goal here is to have every page of your website linked to, at least once, by another page on your site. You will want to spread these out among your domain's webpages, instead of having just a couple of pages linking to the other 50 pages.

Another reason to spread your links across all of the pages of your domain, is that users are likely to be turned off by a page that is almost all hyperlinks; those pages often appear spammy or cluttered. A good idea for any Webmaster is to create these internal deep links when you create a new page. It is much easier to spend a couple of minutes from the beginning, rather than trying to go back and do all of them at a later date.

Incorporate Deep Linking Into Your Linking Strategies

Deep linking is as important a consideration as back linking! It does not matter which page visitors use to enter our websites. If they like what they read on our internal pages, they are more likely to view other pages on our websites. If they view other pages on our website, they are likely to find our homepage, and we will get a chance to tell them why they should buy our products or services.

Deep links to our website help to ensure that the search engines will have good cause to show our internal webpages as well as our homepage. For every page in our website that gets great SERP, our chances of getting a sale are increased significantly.

We have 15 pages on our website, eight of which provide real content to our prospective clients. All eight of these pages have a significant number of back links pointing to them. 48% of our visitors land on our home page. 37% of our visitors land on our internal pages. As a result, 85% of our traffic lands on our website as a result of our back links, either directly or through our natural search placement in the search engínes. The remaining 15% arrive on our website through bookmarks, personal referrals, and paid listings.

Deep linking works. Give it a shot.

For SEO Services visit: unisoft-technologies.com

The art of writing a link exchange request that is not spam

Got links?Link exchange requests have a very bad reputation. The reason for that is that many people send mass link exchange requests that are nothing more than spam.

However, if you want to get links from authority sites, you have to send link exchange requests. The secret of successful requests is to write link exchange messages that aren't spam.

Get the reader's attention

If you want people to read your link exchange message, it should not sound like the dozens of other emails that the webmaster receives. Use the recipient's real name throughout your message. If your message starts with "Dear webmaster" then it's likely that it will be moved to the trash. Be personal. Write a personal message for each recipient.

Use a real email address with a real name as the sender address. Free email addresses and email addresses with numbers look spammy.

Get the reader's interest

What's in for me? You should answer that question as soon as possible in your email.

Do not list any features. Focus on benefits. First, nobody is really interested in the great features of your website. Tell the recipient how your website solves his problems or the problems of his readers.

Appeal to the ego of the recipient. Tell the recipient that you list only 10 websites in this special category and that he is in that top 10 list. It's easier to convince people if you appeal to their ego.

Create desire

The recipient of your link exchange message won't react to your request if you don't create desire.

To create desire out of interest, you can tell the recipient that you downloaded his ebook, subscribed to his newsletter or RSS feed, etc. The other webmaster is more likely to reciprocate if you have done something in advance.

Give the recipient the feeling that he's special. Include your phone number in your email message. Summarize why the recipient benefits from linking to you.

Make action as easy as possible

Don't make the recipient think. Make the linking process as easy as possible by giving him copy/paste HTML code with your link information. Of course, the code should only be an option and you should not insist on that code. If the webmaster want's to use another code to link to your site, that's okay.

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Identifying Target Markets For Your Brand

Identifying target markets for your brand is critical because your customers are the future success and growth of your business. But who are your customers and how can you find more like them?

In their book on leveraging creativity, Juicing the Orange, Pat Fallon and Fred Senn discuss the strategy of one of their clients, United Airlines, as it struggled to find a way to differentiate itself among the other legacy air carriers and the start-up, no-frills airlines that were chipping away at its market share. They decided to focus on the core market of frequent business travelers. These folks made up only 9 percent of United's travelers, but they represented 46 percent of United's revenue.

Their thought was that if they could appeal to the frequent business travelers, leisure travelers would follow. ("If these seasoned road warriors know which airline to fly, surely I can do no worse than flying with the same carrier.") This philosophy is similar to the secret of finding the best roadside diner: go where the truckers eat.

So focusing on your target audience may not be about finding the biggest group of people who can and will patronize your business, rather, it's about finding the best group of people. For United, focusing on the core market of frequent business travelers was their chosen strategy.

Finding Your Core Market

Your target audience is made up of the people who love of your business and what it offers. They are not everyone who will come in contact with your business.

In order to find your target market, start by refining your target audiences.

Just take a look at the customers you have now.

- Who are your best customers?

- Which target segment makes up the bulk of your customers, supporters, or members?

- What do all these segments or individuals have in common?

- Can you find others like them?

Recognizing what your customers have in common can help you craft a marketing strategy to draw in more of the same people, thus building your target audience into a successful business.

How much do you know about your best customers or supporters?

- What is their typical age?

- Are they primarily male or female?

- What level of education have they received?

- Do they have any special interests or hobbies?

- How much is their household income?

By combining demographic and psychographic information (see exercise, below), you can begin building a mental profile of your core market. One business may find that men over 55 living in the Pacific Northwest and are interested in pro sports are their best prospects. Another business might discover that highly educated, empty nester women with lots of disposable income are their most valuable targets.

The only way to develop marketing communications that resonate with your target audience is to become knowledgeable about their wants, needs, and motivations. So ask them. Set up a continuous feedback and communication loops between your customers and the company. Make two-way communications a part of your corporate culture. You might also consider designing a short survey and sending it to your current and prospective customers and see what kinds of offerings, messages, and services your business should be providing.

While most businesses have multiple target audiences, they should only have one core market in order to provide as much focus as possible.

Sometimes, discovering your core market is about deciding whom it is that you're NOT going to serve. Take Voce, for example, a premium wireless provider that isn't looking to sell mobile phones to the whole world (like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and the rest). Voce targets only upscale users with the finest-quality handsets, a simple, albeit pricy, flat-rate plan, and an exclusive concierge service--24 /7 live customer support. Every call to Voce is answered by a real, live human being--with no annoying phone trees.

Because of their conscious decision of who not to target, Voce is able to align its offerings (high-end handsets), its service (Voce Personal Assistance) and its retail locations (boutiques in Beverly Hills, California, and at Neiman Marcus) with its preferred audience. You will not find Voce phones or plans at WalMart or even Target.

This targeting is what keeps Voce from simply becoming another wireless face in the crowd and from wasting marketing dollars on reaching people who can't and won't become customers.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Enhance your sales using SEO services

Search engine optimization or SEO is a process by which the website is easily located.

It gives a good ranking result in the search of page. Search engine originates 90% of the traffic to the websites. It is very important for any site to be counted in the top ten sites presented by search engine results. So, the websites must have best designs, content, appeal, etc. to have a good online presence. By the help of SEO service, it is easy to advertise at a low or affordable cost to grasp large number of clients and customers.

Search engine Optimization Company first makes a good content for the websites. SEO Company analyses the topics presented on the web and the keywords on the websites. They completely rewrite it or edit the web copy. SEO India knows that the right keywords on the web increases the search engine ranking which is very important for every websites. SEO India checks the layout of the websites and its architecture to make the website highly ranked in the search engine result. SEO Company India can make it streamline and also user friendly so that, it can be easily read. They also check which search engine and directories are the most relevant to your website. Which one attracts the target audience? Which will bring the most traffic?

Search engine optimization is growing in India and around the world at a rapid speed. In a very short span of time, SEO services in India got success because it has become need for every one who wants to achieve success in web marketing. SEO teams consist of trained, experienced internet marketing experts, internet marketing, PPC campaign, etc.

SEO services India are fully utilized by people. Getting highest rank is very important for each and every website in the search engine result. To catch the attention of the customer, your websites needs real publicity and visibility in the search engine. So, it is essential for every site to have the best service. There are many SEO Service Company which are providing solutions to the problems related to search engine optimization. The services provided by them include writing contents for the products and also about links for the websites. This service helps in increasing the sales of products or the services belong to the websites. A SEO service comes up with different and new ideas to make your sites best. Similarly, to increase real traffic to your website, you need the best SEO service.

Keyword tags are the keywords used to search for information. SEO keywords tags are used by web visitors for searching the websites. SEO tags make the websites ranking in top or last in the search engine result pages. Search engine uses the keyword tags to compute the keywords density and then evaluates the related contents of the website to the web page. SEO services are used world wide to get a top rank among major search engine result. These are various companies that outsource search engine optimization services.

Abhay Mathur SEO Professional working with unisoft-technologies.com an leading SEO Company offering Ethical Search Engine Optimization Services.Visit To know more about right SEO Company SEO Services, SEO Services India, SEO India,SEO Experts New York USA,SEO London, SEO UK

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Link Bait: Attracting Links To Your Website

You know it is funny in a way. Webmasters have learned that the most important thing that they can do to improve the traffic to their website and to attract attention from the search engines is to build links to their website.

But when it comes time to actually start building links to one's website, people typically pick the hardest way to accomplish the task and then they get to work.

Working Hard

People have been told about various ways to build links to one's website, and they go through the process of picking out the method that they would prefer to use. It is kind of ironic that most people pick the method that they believe will be the easiest and least expensive to achieve, and when all is said and done, they will have picked out the hardest, least effective method of building links.

For example, most newcomers to online business choose:

* Reciprocal links;

* Directory submissions.

With Reciprocal Links, people buy a software package that helps them to search out websites that are supposedly "related" to theirs and then they send an email to the person who owns that website, proclaiming the benefits of trading links and asking for the link.

With directory submissions, webmasters can get software that is supposed to help with the process, but it takes hours just to submít one's website to a few dozen directories. Fortunately, there are service providers who also provide submissions to web directories. Regardless of how you get links submítted to web directories, you generally have to pray that those web directories are approving submissions, since most owners have abandoned their directories.

Beyond the time required setting up links in this fashion, and the frustration of getting very few links for the amount of time spent, the worst part of the equation is that the search engines tend to ignore links gained through these methods, and few humans find and follow those links.

Internet newcomers using these methods frequently spend a lot of time trying to promote their websites, and in the end, they have accomplished nothing more than wasting a lot of their time and energy.

Working Smart

What if I could show you a better way? Would you be intrigued enough by my methods to try them for yourself?

My point in sharing this with you is not to annoy you, but to help you get better results in much less time.

When we launch new websites, we ignore reciprocal links and web directories altogether. We consider both to be a complete waste of time, effort and money.

Let me put this into perspective for you by giving you a real life example.

On November 18th, 2008, we bought and built a new niche domain: http://www.shoppingtraveldeals.com/blog/

Today is December 27th, so this site has only been active for just under six weeks.

We purchased the domain on the 18th, had it set up with content on the 19th, and then on the 20th, we started promoting this website. We released our first and second reprint articles, promoting this site on the 20th of November. We released our third article on the 24th and the fourth on the 25th. Then we released our fifth article promoting the website on December 15th.

We also set up bookmarks for the main page of the website in Stumbleupon, Digg and Propeller.

In the 39 days since we bought this domain, our website has seen 520 unique visitors. The site had 86 visitors in November and 434 so far in December.

Now here is where it gets interesting.

We got traffic from 66 unique web pages, and we drew click-through traffic from Google and Windows Live, with 86% of our search traffic coming from Google.

On our search engine traffic, we have traffic on 171 unique keyword phrases. In order to better understand this search engine traffic, we ran the top 25 search terms through Google to see where our website ranked in the search results, and this is what we came up with:

* Two #1 listings;

* Ten listings that were ranked from #2 to #4;

* Ten listings that were ranked from #5 to #10;

* Two listings on page two of Google's search results (#11 to #20);

* One listing on page three of Google's results (#21 to #30).

We built this website with the express intent of earning affiliate commissions in the travel industry. The prognosis is good, as we have already started earning money from this website, and in terms of our current earnings, we expect to be in the black against our initial ínvestment into this website, within about three months.

More About Reprint Articles

The concept of the reprint article is to write an article and give it to other webmasters to use in their websites and newsletters, in exchange for a link back to your website.

Those articles that seek to teach something of value typically get published more frequently than those articles geared to sell a product or service. It is our fervent belief that the Author's resource box - the paragraph that follows the article - is the only place where a writer should try to sell his or her wares. The goal of the resource box is to get a reader to your website, and your website is where the real selling should take place.

Reprint articles provide good value to the people who use them wisely. But the online marketer must first be willing to invest the required time or money to have appropriate articles written and/or distributed.

While it is true that I work for an article distribution company, it is important to note that our guiding principle is that each article distribution company will reach a different and unique audience. As such, we always use our own service to distribute articles and occasionally we use our competitors' article distribution companies as well.

We distribute ALL of our own articles through our own company, because we know that our service does provide real value. But for some articles, we do go to some of our competitors to expand our reach and to reach new audiences.

We actually learned to do this from some of our more successful customers, who suggest that there are certain publishers that only we can reach, while our competitors also have certain publishers that only they are able to reach. As a result, many of our customers use two or three article distribution companies, and we do too.

Working Smarter

While reprint articles is a tool that we consistently utilize to build links and to grow traffic to our websites, there remains a more long-term, yet more valuable approach to building links for our websites.

Link Bait is an idea where you create a resource that people find so useful that they feel compelled to link to it from their own websites.

Look at it this way. With reprint articles, we have to write the article, and then distribute it through the sources we choose to use to get it into circulation. All told, we will invest several hours into writing, and then we will invest another hour to distribute the article.

All told, we will have spent four to five hours to write and distribute this article. In turn, we will receive dozens or hundreds of links from related web pages (the links are from "related web pages", because we designed the article content to look like what we are trying to promote). Writing and distributing articles typically creates a great return of value for our businesses.

But consider this. Last week, we created a resource page on one of our websites. This page is an enumeration of the +1200 article directories we know to exist on the Internet. We were not the first website to provide such a list, but we may be the first to give the Internet community an easy method to add new sites and to flag bad sites, automatically from the page where the sites are displayed.

If you are able to create a page such as this that people find extremely useful, then people are more inclined to link to your page, without you even asking them to do so. The beauty about building pages like this on the Internet is that all you have to do is to let people know it is there, and then the links will roll in steadily.

One Link Bait page we built on May 1st, 2004 has been used by the public more than 38,000 times according to its built-in counter. And according to a Yahoo search, it has more than 10,000 inbound links from third-party websites.

We built this page in a day, wrote one article to let people know it was there, and then we left the page alone for more than four-and-a-half years.

Do you see how it is much easier to build one link bait, notify the world, and then to let people link to your web page for you? The time invested in our Text To Hyperlink Converter was less than 12 hours, yet it has attracted +10,000 links with almost no promotion on our part. And this article will generate +100 links in exchange for five hours of our time.

In Conclusion

We are working smart when we write and distribute articles to promote a website. The Shopping Travel Deals site attests to the value of reprint articles to build links and traffic to a new website quickly.

But we are working smarter, when we invest the additional time to build a link bait web page that people will appreciate and link to for us, without any additional effort on our part.

For SEO Services contact us.

Source: http://searchengine--optimization.blogspot.com/