Monetizing Your Mailings by Selling Digital Content

We touched on this topic not too long ago in our post Using Autoresponders to Help you Sell and today we are going to take a closer look at how to get started selling digital products to monetize your mailings to generate another income stream.

Most blogs should be able to create a digital product to sell and generate income. While it might be hard to see how this revenue model relates to a mailing list, remember the subscribers on your list have given you permission to contact them via email. Signing up for an email list is a transaction. In this way, your email subscribers are already clients, they just haven’t paid (yet!).

As long as you’ve done the legwork on your part of the relationship, delivering high-value content, you have established a strong, trusting connection between your subscriber and your brand. With digital products, you can turn these individuals into paying clients!

How can I get started selling Digital Content?

Ebooks and email courses are the most popular forms of digital products our publishers promote and sell to their mailing lists. If you are new to offering digital products on your site, here are two different ways to begin introducing the process:

  • The Enticement

    • Use content on your site that touches people looking to solve a problem or fulfill a need related to your digital product. (How-to posts are great for this!)

    • Solve this issue in the content on the site, but offer a free enhancement to that solution. To receive the free enhancement, the reader must submit their email address and confirm their subscription.

    • Deliver your freebie with an Autoresponder after the subscription has been confirmed, and in the same email offer your digital product.

  • The Bundle Strategy:

    • Create small products (short eBooks or printables) and add them to your digital product inventory. While each of these items should be purchasable individually, they will be used to increase the value perception when bundling them together.

      • Example: If you had 10 ebooks at $4.95 each, that’s a $49.95 value, however the bundle would be available at a lower price. Remember that you had no actual intention of selling a standalone ebook. If someone buys a single one, that’s just a happy bonus.

    • Follow the same method mentioned in the enticement strategy to pitch the bundle. Emphasize this is their only opportunity to purchase at the discounted, bundled price.

    • You can also offer this bundle in various other places in your mailings, linking them to Autoresponders as well.

What about my current subscribers?

Never forget about current subscribers! Make them feel special by always offering your list an opportunity to buy from you before officially launching any product on your website. This is also a great way to test a new product’s market potential. If you are about to offer a new free printable, download or eBook, send a Newsflash to your current lists with the content first. As long as you use an autoresponder to deliver the incentive to your new subscribers, you don’t have to worry about duplication.

Brainstorming Time!

  • First, list any digital products you have purchased in the past 2-3 years.
  • Why did you buy these products? Was it the content? The offer itself?
  • Now think about the content on your site. List 3 ways you could use your current content to create a digital product.
  • Take it a step further and list 3 new digital products you would like to offer in the future.

And there you have it! Recognize what sparked your interest in purchasing other publisher’s digital content and look at how you can incorporate it into your site. We’re willing to bet you already have at least 3 digital products waiting to be packaged together with the current content on your site. The next step is creating the Autoresponders and Parsers to set it all in motion!

When you begin to sell digital content, the most important aspect is to always deliver on your promises. Each transaction and each email should be one which reaffirms your customer’s trust in you and your product. Test this process in detail to ensure all aspects are in line and processing correctly before you launch it to the world. If you have any questions, or team is here to act as guides and walk you through the setup if needed!

Questions, comments or suggestions on what you’ve read here today? We’d love to hear your feedback! Send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

A Word on Monetizing your Mailings

Monetizing can be a wonderful addition to your mailings as it can help offset your costs of maintaining a mailing list. However, if you haven’t yet begun monetizing your mailings, there are a few things we want to touch on before you start. If you are currently monetizing your mailings, this will be a simple reminder, and we’ll give a few ideas on how you can increase your efforts later in the post.

Your Purpose is Your Priority

It’s true that your mailings can be a very powerful tool in monetizing your online efforts, and because of this we, as publishers, must put extra thought into our choices. The quality of your email list relies on the trust between you and your audience. When choosing which methods, you’ll use to earn revenue, ensure that your choices do not violate the agreement you made with your reader when they gave you permission to access their inbox.

It is also important to remember, as much as we try, we cannot always please everyone. Unsubscribes happen and as a blogger or small business owner, we should not take this personally. (Even though it’s hard not too sometimes!) Think of it this way, you are paying per unique active subscriber. Do you really want to pay for people who are not interested in your content or products? Those who unsubscribe are self-selecting out of your potential client base. In reality, this is A-Okay! It leaves you with a more focused list.

PRO TIP: Pay close attention to any spikes in unsubscribes when you change your monetization strategy. Check your FeedBlitz reporting to see why a reader has unsubscribed. Use this information to guide your choices about content and your monetization strategy moving forward!

Often, significant changes in your strategy can lead to a temporary bump in the rate readers unsubscribe. This is perfectly normal and will settle out over time.  Unsubscribes happen because not everyone will be open to your new strategy. It is part of the growth process, which can be uncomfortable at times, but it’s often necessary as our sites grow and change with us.

Keep an eye on your open rates.

Coupon and deal bloggers aside, the open rate goal for your list should be about 20%. In an ideal world, every subscriber would open, read, click through and rave about every mailing we send. However, we all know this isn’t the case. (Trust us, we’d love for that to happen, too!) That is why the average open rate falls at about 20% for most mailing lists. And to be even more complicated, the 20% that opens your email one day, most likely won’t be the same 20% that opens your email the next.

While this can seem frustrating, if you notice a sudden, recurring drop in open rates after implementing your monetization tactics, take a few minutes to decide if it is a result of your monetization strategy or a consequence of one of the following conditions:

  • The content has drifted from what was originally promised.

  • The content has dropped in quality.

  • The content has increased or decreased in frequency.

  • The mailing itself is no longer being seen, perhaps landing in spam folders. Watch your content carefully when trying to make a sale, take a tour of your spam folder to see what terms and practices to avoid. Too many punctuation marks, too much repetition of terms like “free” or “deal” look spammy.

Working with Your Monetization Strategy

If you’ve been monetizing your mailings for quite some time now, you are most likely past the regular fluctuations of beginning an initial monetizing strategy. You can very well be positioned strategically enhance your efforts.

An example of this would be testing the various layouts and number of ads which appear in your mailings. Do you prefer square ads between posts, or have you tried for a marquee or banner ad? Do your ads appear after every post, or every 2-3 posts in weekly or monthly mailings? These are all items you can easily adjust in your FeedBlitz ad dashboard. If you plan on editing your ad placement or frequency, we recommend allowing the changes to remain in place  for at least 1-2 months in order to truly gauge the effectiveness of the change as ad revenue fluctuates with the market

When it comes to sponsored and affiliate content, when is the last time you spoke with these vendors? Have you considered updating your contract to include guest posts from their representatives? Or possibly adding their logo to your template for a select time frame. At FeedBlitz, we like to batch our content into monthly or bi-monthly themes. This could be something you may consider offering to a vendor – sponsoring a month-long theme as opposed to an occasional post. There are many options when working with sponsors or affiliates! Re-examine your strategy and pinpoint any areas to shine new light on it.

In the end, it’s always best to remember that your website is your platform and you ultimately determine the tactics which will best move you forward. If at first your subscribers are not happy about your jump into monetization, they either will be one day, or they will make way for those who are.

As one publisher so appropriately phrased it to us at a blogging convention:

It’s your own, personal sandbox. What toys you choose to put in your sandbox is up to you, you’re the owner, but don’t be surprised if there are some people who are no longer interested in playing in your sandbox after you shake things up a bit. That’s OK. There’s another sandbox which fits them perfectly, and that leaves an open space for new people to join your sandbox to play.

We really do love hearing from our readers! If you have any questions on today’s post or would like to offer a topic for a future post, please send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email, and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

How to Start Monetizing Your Mailings

It’s truly wonderful when a passion or hobby is an income generator. Even if making money from blogging isn’t on your radar, you may be surprised by just how simple it can be to earn from your mailings! There are many ways you can begin generating revenue from the work you’re already creating. In this post, we are going to focus on three very simple ways you can begin monetizing your mailings:

Banner Ads – Sponsored Mailings – Affiliate Links

banner ads screen shot.PNG

Banner Ads: The Simplest Way to Monetize Your Mailings

Just as ads can be used to monetize your website, they can be added to emails as well. You can sell ad space yourself, track the statistics and manually insert the jpgs or gifs into each mailing, or you can join the FeedBlitz Ad Network and let us do the work for you!

FeedBlitz works with a set and forget ad network, LiveIntent, to handle all the details, removing the headache and guesswork that can accompany monetizing with ads. With this system, publishers are able to enable ads in their chosen category, and then never give them another thought.

Pro Tip: This monetization strategy is ideal for sites who publish frequently and rely on consistent content production to drive their earnings.

Within the FeedBlitz system, you can determine the type of ads in your mailings and precisely how often and where you would like for them to appear. After logging in, select My Account from the left-hand menu, then Ad Revenue Share. Turn ads on by selecting Change Ad Insertion Settings. Here you can choose the marquee ad, our top earner, shown above, or you can insert them into other areas of your mailing. Selecting this option will show the below options:

Ad Insertion Settings Main.PNG

Similar to banner ads on the web, the revenue of these ads are CPM. ) The more opens, the more ad views, the more income you can generate. You can check your earnings at anytime by logging into FeedBlitz, clicking on Earned Ad Revenue and then clicking Earnings.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Ads are a truly passive method of monetizing your email list and may not always be an appropriate addition to your emails. We highly recommend suppressing or removing ads when their presence would detract from the purpose of the mailing such as:

  • Activation Emails – Ads can distract the potential subscriber from clicking the link and completing the subscription process.

  • Sales Funnel Emails – The goal of your email is for the subscriber to perform an action other than consuming content. Minimize any distraction from your goal of moving subscribers along your sales funnel.

  • Sponsored Content – You don’t want your sponsor to have to compete for your reader’s attention, or worse have a competitive brand’s ad display in the same mailing.

  • Very Personal Notes – Sometimes we as publishers have to write about situations or events which are too personal, too important, or too sad for ads of any kind to be appropriate.

    • Use the tag noads in your post for ads to automatically be removed from that mailing only!

Sponsored Content and Affiliate Links

Affiliate programs can be a great revenue generator depending on your niche.

Caution! Not all email service providers are affiliate-friendly. FeedBlitz of course is, but should you be working with another provider, please be sure to check their terms of service before proceeding. Additionally, be aware that not all affiliate programs allow links to be sent via email. 

Affiliate links can be added to any mailing where they would make sense. It can be as simple adding an affiliate link to a product you mentioned or adding linked images for products related to your topic. Once you’ve been accepted into an affiliate program and know the rules, you can add the links wherever they make sense and fit the program’s guidelines.

If your list has a strong focus or is geared to a specific demographic, you may find brands that are interested in buying sponsored content. You can get very creative with who you approach for this avenue of monetization. The important thing to remember is to ensure the content offers the same value you promised your subscribers when they joined your list.

Before approaching a brand with a sponsorship proposal, you will want to have the following information handy.

  • Set the number of emails and their schedule as part of the package.

  • Include the number of subscribers, as well as your open and click through rates.

    • Don’t forget to give a brief summary of your readers’ demographics!

  • Decide whether you will be offering a focused newsflash (content sent only to the list and not posted on the site), the exact content posted to the site, or an introduction and teaser to encourage clickthroughs to the full content published on your site.

  • Offering a sponsorship can be used as an upsell or a negotiation tool to secure a better rate.

    • If the campaign is set to run for a select number of days or weeks, consider adding the sponsor to the mailing’s template with a banner or by thanking them in the footer of each mailing sent during the campaign.

You don’t have to start with large corporate brands to begin earning sponsorship revenue. It is often easier to attract smaller brands to build your portfolio before reaching out to larger businesses and corporations.

And let’s not forget compensation can come in forms other than money! (Even if that is our favorite and the one we use to pay the bills.) You can always explore trades of services or a group post sharing to wet your feet with sponsored or affiliate content.

Brainstorming Time:

  • Before you begin monetizing your mailings, you first need to fully and completely understand your reading audience. Take a few minutes to write a bit about them: How old are they? Where do they live? What is their family situation? Their hobbies? What are their interests and other websites they may read?
  • Next list the top 3 topics you write about and then brainstorm a few items that could be associated with those topics. For example: If you write a lot about organization tips, you can associate items like planners, shelving or cleaning supplies.
  • Now look at everything you’ve written down. You’ll have a good idea of the type of ads your readers may enjoy as well as possible sponsors or affiliate partnership potentials to reach out and work with. You can take this exercise into much greater detail, or just do a quick run through in 5 minutes or less to get your mind thinking about monetizing.

Monetizing your mailings is a great way to generate income from your writing, but it isn’t always for everyone. Next week, we will touch on some common worries many publishers have before monetizing, and some warning signs that may mean you have gone too far. For those who are already generating income with their mailing, we’ll discuss a few ways to take your monetizing to the next level.

Do you have questions on the best practices to begin monetizing your mailings or how you can enhance your ad program? We are here to help! Send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Is Gmail About to Wreck your Email Marketing?

What you need to know

Google has announced that, starting next month, they will reject email that purports to come from Gmail, but isn’t sent by a Gmail server.

How this might affect you

If you use a third party email service, like FeedBlitz, to send your email updates, AND your from address is a Gmail domain (e.g. mysuperduperblog@gmail.com), then your emails will probably not get through, unless either your email service or you change something.

What you need to do this month

If you’re with FeedBlitz, nothing! We will take care of this for you, and your email will get through, just as we did when Yahoo and AOL implemented the same policies in 2014.

If you are not with FeedBlitz, and you send emails using a Gmail address, you need to change your sending address. Ideally to one that better reflects your brand (such as me@mysuperduperblog.com). If you have a hosted web site, most site hosting packages come with at least one email address. Use that!

If you are with FeedBlitz, we recommend you do this anyway, not because your mail won’t go through (remember, we’re taking care of this for you), but because it’s better branding.

Do I have to give up using Gmail for my business?

Absolutely not. You can set up Gmail to pull from other email accounts (it’s in Gmail’s Settings, on the Accounts & Import tab).

What’s going on?

Google is helping curb spam by changing their DMARC policy. AOL and Yahoo did this in 2014. Basically, they’re saying to inbox providers, if you can’t prove that the email really came from Gmail, don’t accept it. Why? Because spammers use fake Gmail addresses, but they don’t run through Google’s servers. Spam sent this way fails DMARC authentication, and because Google’s policy will change to “reject” next month, most modern ISPs will not deliver it. Result: Much less spam for you. Hurrah!

This is a Good Thing.

BUT… legitimate email, such as your newsletters and blog updates, sent by email services like FeedBlitz that have been using your Gmail address will now get blocked, because that email won’t authenticate as coming from Gmail (which is true; it’s coming from us). FeedBlitz will automatically change the sending address where necessary to ensure your emails do in fact get through (and your replies will reach your Gmail account, so that’s OK too), so no FeedBlitz publishers or subscribers will be affected.

But if you’re not with us (you should fix that ;) ), you need to check with your email service provider (ESP) – and probably change your sending address.

Let’s Talk Branding for a Moment

Many (far too many) bloggers use <theirsite>@gmail.com as their email address when their domains are at <theirsite>.com. You’ve ponied up for the web site, have your branding just so, and then … oof. Let the ball drop at the email address. It’s not a huge branding fail, but ceding control of your business’ email address to Gmail could just get very sticky, starting next month.

So, go on. Finish the play on your branding with your email address. Update your mailing list’s settings.

Incidentally, if you’d like to find out about how you can extend your own domain’s email authentication to your FeedBlitz mailings, you can, using SPF and / or DKIM. It’s easy to set up, provided you have access to your DNS (domain name) settings.

The Email Audit Checklist for Deliverability, Branding and Conversion

Even if your plan is to hire a company to handle it for you, conducting an email audit can seem overwhelming! Where do I even start? What should I be looking for? The questions can stop many from getting started. To streamline the process and help you get started, we have created a light checklist to get organized and highlight actions for you to take.

Available as a one page here, below we walk you through the steps and discuss why each is important to your audit.

Deliverability + Branding – Are your emails reaching your subscribers and do they follow acceptable email practices?

  • Is the mailing CAN-SPAM Compliant? CAN-SPAM is the law that governs commercial email communication. It protects your subscribers and outlines the penalties and fines for non-compliance.
    • Is there a visible unsubscribe link? FeedBlitz covers this for you!
    • A physical address? We take care of this part, too!
  • Does the brand appear as the sender’s name? This lets the reader know your blog or business is sending the email. It’s the “from” in the address blocks.
  • Is the logo highly visible and clear? We recommend having it in the header of your email.
  • Is the subject line appropriate for the intent of the publisher? Best practices insist on staying away from click-bait when crafting your emails. This can also have an effect on whether you land in the SPAM folder or not. Do not over-punctuate for effect and avoid repeating words like Free, Deal, or Act Now.
  • Does the sending time match your audience? When are your readers going to read your email? Are you sending short pieces perfect for skimming in the afternoon carpool line or should your recipient settle in with a cup of coffee for an in-depth read?
  • Does the content in the mailing match publisher goals? When a reader subscribes to your list, they are entering an agreement allowing you access to their inbox. Do your best to stick with content that follows this agreement.
  • Are there multiple calls to the same action in the mailing? Have clear, tasteful calls to action to increase chances of your readers doing what you want.
  • Do you have links to and content from your social channels? Your mailings can drive growth to your social channels and platforms by simply having links, or the content itself, available in the email.

Metrics and Reporting – The Average Open rate is approximately 20% for non-deal focused sites, 13% for deal sites. If you are not meeting these benchmarks, a close look at the cause for the low open rate is required.

  • Do you notice any recurring bumps or dips in subscriptions, open rates or clicks? Examine content the sent at that time as well as frequency. These results can and should impact future content creation.
  • What are the most common unsubscription reasons?
  • Does your mailing frequency match what was promised in the offer? Did you promise to only mail weekly but find yourself sending 3-4 emails a week? Possibly edit your sending to schedule to match your promised mailing frequency.
  • Too many mailings? Offer a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly mailing option for those who would prefer less frequent email. 
  • Has your content type changed? It’s OK to gradually change the conversation, but if you want to go completely off topic, it may be best to offer a separate mailing for those who are interested. If you write on many topics, try offering category based lists to allow your subscribers to choose the content they are most interested in.

Conversion

  • In your mailing, is the Call to Action clear and well placed? Simple and direct is best when it comes to crafting clear Calls to Action.
  • Have you tested different subject lines, templates and call to action placements? A/B testing is great to see what your readers respond to most. Pick one item and test it for a few weeks, whether it be the Call to Action placement or various subject line styles. This will help you craft more effective, engaging emails for your readers.
  • Are the social links in your mailing correct, live and active? You would be surprised at how easy it is (and how often it happens!) for social links to be incorrect. Take the time to double check and ensure links are going to the correct profiles.
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  • Do you have correct, active subscription forms in the three main places? When’s the last time you tested your subscription process? You cannot convert readers into subscribers with broken forms.
  • Sidebar – Pop up – Post Footer
  • Do subscribers complete the subscription process? You may need to check with your email service provider to see the correct number of pending emails vs those who have confirmed.
  • Is your incentive offer too aggressive? If there is there a more than 50% drop between submission and activation, your incentive offer may be too aggressive, leading subscribers to give an email address with no intent to confirm.
  • Is your activation email too cluttered with other information and links? Keep this email clean with the clear goal of clicking the one link to confirm the reader’s subscription.

This checklist is a simplified overview of an email audit. Its intent is to help you get started and take stock of the health and effectiveness of your current email campaigns. Print it out and schedule time to begin working through the sections, make notes of your additional thoughts and ideas along the way.

Trust us – your list and your site will thank you for your due-diligence!

Now that you have taken the time to clean up your email marketing, we’ll shift our focus to using your email marketing to generate income. We think you’re really going to enjoy this series starting next week. Stay tuned!

In need of an email audit but not sure where to get started? Send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email, and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

List Hygiene: Weeding out Inactive Subscribers

Our previous post introduced you to the concept of conducting an email audit. Today we’re taking a closer look into what we consider to be an invaluable step in the email audit process: conducting list hygiene. Or as we like to say … Adios, inactives!

Performing list hygiene is the process of removing subscribers who have gone dormant or inactive. Don’t worry, this isn’t done manually, you won’t be pulling the stats on each individual email address, but rather conducting an automated search based on your criteria.

What are the benefits of conducting list hygiene?

Performing list hygiene works to remove inactive subscribers from your mailing list, leaving only the core group of targeted, engaged, interested readers who are more likely to open, read, click, share and possibly purchase from your mailings.

Not only will this improve your metrics and diagnostics reports (open rates, click throughs, etc.) – which can be important when attracting potential direct advertisers or affiliate partners – but it can have a positive impact on your payment tier within FeedBlitz as well. Publishers are charged for active, unique email subscribers. Weeding out those subscribers who are still considered unique and active, but have not engaged with your emails or content has the potential to reduce your service fee. Who doesn’t love that?

How do I conduct List Hygiene?

Before beginning the process, first you will want to determine how far back to go in your timeline – 60 or 90 days are good starting points. You’ll be pulling all email addresses for those subscribers who have not opened or clicked your emails for this set period of time. We suggest polling the totals for both time frames before making your ultimate decision.

Once you determine the time frame, then you’ll want to decide whether to delete the emails immediately or use these addresses for a re-engagement campaign. If you plan on undertaking a re-engagment campaign, we’ve outlined the process below the video. Otherwise, just delete the new list when the move has finished.

Follow along with the video below, it walks you through the process step-by-step.

Trouble seeing this video? Please click here.

Did you know about the FeedBlitz Support YouTube channel? Find tons of videos like this one to help you up the ante with your email marketing. Check it out!

The Basics of a Re-Engagement Campaign

As mentioned above, you have the option to simply delete inactive subscribers or you can launch a re-engagement campaign to see if any are still interested in receiving your content. To do this, we suggest publishers schedule a series of 3 emails to convince subscribers to rejoin your list:

  • Email 1 – The goal of this email is to alert subscribers they’re on your radar. A subject line of “Still interested in receiving our content?” or “It’s been awhile since we’ve seen you.” will accomplish this and let them know and provoke them to take possible action. Include in this email a link to a subscription form asking them to re-subscribe. Also let these subscribers know they will be removed should they fail to take action.

Pro Tip: You want readers who have been inactive to show they are interested in remaining on your list by taking action and choosing to re-engage. Otherwise you keep inactive subscribers inactive!

Bonus Note: It is important to add a Trigger to your lists that removes a subscriber who resubscribes to the main list from the re-engagement list. Our team can help you with this if you are unsure where this feature is.

  • Email 2 – A reminder of your first email sent just 5-7 days after the initial email. We like a subject line of “I don’t want to lose you, but..” so these particular, complacent email subscribers are reminded of the first  email or are seeing this for the first time. Also include the link to the subscription page to let them know they are able to re-subscribe so they don’t miss out on valuable updates.

  • Email 3 – A “So sorry to see you go!” email another 5-7 days after email 2 and just two days before deleting the list of inactive subscribers. Still include the link to re-subscribe, but be firm in that this could possibly be the last bit of contact they receive from you.

These emails do not need to be lengthy. Generally those that are more concise have proven to be more effective during re-engagement campaigns.  Don’t expect a high return on the process. The open rate for the inactive list is likely to be only a few percent at most. They don’t normally open your emails and are unlikely to now. This process is to ensure there are no false positives. Wish the inactive subscribers well and send them on their way ….. you’ve got real, active, awesomely engaging subscribers to focus on!

What are your thoughts when it comes to performing List Hygiene? Do you find it an intriguing, necessary concept or would you prefer to keep inactive, yet still deliverable, email addresses on your list? We would love to hear your feedback and experience if you have recently conducted a List Hygiene and/or re-engagement campaign! You can email responses to support@feedblitz.com.

Questions on how to start a List Hygiene campaign or any of our other services? We are here with your answers! Send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

FeedBlitz: Your New Artisanal Email Service Provider

Here at FeedBlitz we have been behind-the-scenes busy to create something really great for you. After months of analyzing our dream journals, vision boards, planning, designing, re-grouping and focusing on pure synergy within the dynamics of our mission, we are finally ready to reveal to you the next quantum leap in humanized, customer-centric email marketing.

The Moment of Fruition

The dew was glinting in the early morning sunlight, my diffuser gently humming next to me, when the epiphany dawned. Haven’t we always wanted to do more, be better, connect more with our audience, yet still revere the sacred space that is our subscribers’ inboxes?

Yes. Yes, we have. With the clarity that only my inner child could divine, I knew it was time to evolve, transcend what we do here at FeedBlitz. We needed to become … more. It’s no longer enough to continue to be the best automated email marketing solution around.

We needed to create a transformative experience. Take a fresh look. Re-evaluate our comfort zones. To not only deliver your message but also recreate that sensation, the one which courses through my veins and invigorates my spirit like the first sip of an early morning matcha tea before my children arise from their slumber, for every subscriber opening their hearts to your content’s ineffable enlightenment.

I found myself yearning for a truly honest, organic, fulfilling email marketing experience.

Introducing Artisanal Email, from FeedBlitz

And so. We’ve completely reinvented ourselves. Realigned our corporate chakras. Listened to the drum circle of our hearts beating in time with the thrum of our message deliveries. Artisanal Email, from FeedBlitz, will expand your subscribers’ consciousness, well beyond the veils of each one’s computer screen, smart phone or tablet.

This revolutionary new path to email marketing fulfillment not only breaks out of stale industry standards, it also simultaneously restores that vintage feel your grandparents would recognize. If your grandparents had had computers and email, back in the day. And if they had? Their perfect email service provider would look, well, a lot like Artisanal Email, from FeedBlitz:

  • Our new data centers are exclusively powered by renewable energy sources, including solar, wind and methane sourced from our unique industrial-scale KQCP (kale / quinoa composting plant).

  • Our latest servers have been hand-reared from motherboards in free range, certified-organic server farms. Always cage-free, their fans are free to spin without constraint. We never use antibiotics on any of our servers. Ever.

  • Emails from our publishers will be requested through our system and then typed one letter at a time on an antique Underwood typewriter, meticulously scanned into the FeedBlitz interface, then distributed into the Universe with the highest of intentions.

  • We will also be offering a Letterpress upgrade, for those who want a truly tactile email marketing experience.

  • All testing and authentication policies, including our DMARC records and DKIM headers, are now cruelty-free, never tested on animals, and are conducted from a place of pure love and light.

  • All email templates and subscription forms moving forward will be hand crafted with the finest materials, using only the purest of pixels to highlight and enhance your branding impact.

  • Every email’s background will be constructed from pure iHemp(tm), for that rough-hewn on-screen sensation which only an archaic, obsolete form of simulated paper can properly provide.

Email Transcendence

These enhancements and many more are what you can come to expect from the newly acclaimed FeedBlitz.  As your Artisanal Email Service Provider, know that our mission is to create much more than mere ordinary, mass-produced, soulless, industrial email marketing messages transmitted through the interwebs.

No. Artisanal Email is different. A loving, dare we say intimate, fully enveloping email experience. The essential oil of your online presence. Your content marketing spirit animal. The tiny house your list can live in, knowing its carbon footprint is minimal and in ethereal balance with the elements.

We are more than your email service provider. We are your neighbors, your counselors, your gurus. FeedBlitz is your Artisanal Email Service Provider.  And that is a relationship which will last for multiple lifetimes.

* No animals were harmed in the creation of this blog post, and trained blog whisperers were on call for the duration of its editing.

P.S. Lest our push to provide a more crunchy granola email solution has upset you, we ask that you take this piece with the sense of humor, fun and smiles with which we wrote it! No offence was intended …. Happy April Fool’s Day to all!

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Spring Cleaning for Email Marketing: 5 Reasons to Conduct an Email Audit

Buckle up, publishers, it’s Spring Cleaning time for your email marketing! Don’t worry, we aren’t going to police your keyboards with air dusters or wipe down your screens with microfiber cloths. This month we’ll be talking about a different kind of spring cleaning: the email audit.

Did you miss February’s series on Autoresponders? Click here to catch up!

While the term “audit” isn’t always popular this time of year, conducting an email audit has shown to greatly increase the effectiveness of email marketing. It’s a time to review your current process and shine light into areas that could use a little cleaning up. Below we walk you through our Top 5 Reasons to Conduct an Email Audit to give you an idea on why and where to get started.

  1. Deliverability – Simply put, are your emails reaching your subscribers? Luckily, FeedBlitz takes care of a majority of this for you. We work tirelessly to ensure the highest sending reputation for or publishers on our end, with CAN-SPAM compliant emails, diligent bounce rate monitoring, and removing undeliverable addresses, our publishers have full control over items such as their subscriber list, content and mailing subject lines. Do you have a list populated with live, active subscribers? And provide content your subscribers find interesting, with appropriately titled subject lines? This all contributes to your deliverability and can have a lasting impact on your reputation as a publisher.

Pro Tip: Avoid phrases such as “ACT NOW!” or “Open right away!” in your subject lines. Emails shown to have titles containing these (and similar) phrases often find themselves in Spam or Trash folders, no matter how great the sending server’s reputation.

  1. Subscribers – In theory having a large mailing list can sound great, but in actuality a medium-sized list of active, engaged subscribers is much more valuable. We encourage our publishers to remove inactive subscribers as often as they are comfortable in doing so. Not only does this have an effect on your open and click through rates, but it can keep you from being charged for subscribers who have an active email address and are receiving your emails, however they do not open them.

  1. Reporting – FeedBlitz offers an in-depth selection of reporting and metrics for each of your mailings. To access these reports, login to your account, select your Mailing List and scroll down to Delivery and Metrics under Mailing Activity as shown below:

List Management - FeedBlitz.png

It’s easy to get lost when it comes to reporting data, so here are a few questions to get started when looking over your reports:

  • Did a particular mailing spark a higher open rate? If so, take a look at the subject line, was it different from others?

  • How about your click-through rates, did a particular email or set of emails incite more engagement from your readers, enticing them to click through to your website? This can help you shape your editorial content for upcoming mailings.

  • Sending mailings at the same time or different times? Why not test different times of sending emails to see if your subscribers prefer a particular time and are more likely to open and engage in your emails.

  • Why are readers unsubscribing to your mailings? Is it something you can address such as frequency (solution: offer a weekly delivery option) or content?

These questions are just a few to get started on evaluating your metrics. Consider your ultimate goals with your email marketing and work backwards to what actions need to happen from your readers in order for you to reach these goals. See what reports relate to these actions and go from there.

  1. Branding – We talk a lot about branding on the FeedBlitz blog, but that’s because it is so important! Are your mailings in line with your current branding initiatives? Logo, tag line, fonts and colors all up to date? What about the look and feel of your template and subscription forms, is there something you could add or remove from them to improve their appearance and/or effectiveness? (We touch on this more in our #5 reason below.) Have you thought about the tone and voice of your emailed messages? Is this all in line with the current state of your website or blog?

*Note: If this seems overwhelming, pick one aspect of your branding (i.e. site colors) and make sure that is consistent throughout your email marketing. Use the Eye Dropper tool we mentioned here to provide consistency among colors.

  1. Conversion – Whether you are emailing to encourage sales, grow your list or send readers back to your website, your goal is rooted in conversion and this is one of the most valuable attributes of email marketing. An email that garners a lot of opens is one thing, an email that engages the reader and incites a click through to your site, a forward to your friend, a share on a social channel or a direct sale is even better. Are readers clicking your links? Are all the links current and active in your template (think social sites, references to your website, etc.)? Could you put a Call to Action in a better location in your email? This are all worth testing to get the maximum results for your mailings.

And that, friends, is just a brief overview! An email audit can be as in-depth or as simple as you’d like for it to be, but the above are the main reasons and areas we encourage our publishers to focus.

Now time for some homework!

  • Sit down this week to pick one of the five reasons and apply it to your current email marketing. Go for more if you have time, but start with one and possibly tackle another one next week.

  • Identify one action you can take from that reason to improve your email marketing. Is it time to clean up your list? Edit your content? Update your logo?

That’s it. Pick one out of five and take one action on it!

Many companies, FeedBlitz included, will have an email audit as part of their service offerings. This is a great option if you do not have the time or staff to conduct a full, in-depth audit. (Think of it as hiring a maid to come in a do a deep cleaning to check the Spring Cleaning off your to do list!) If this is something you may be interested in doing, please reach out to let us know and get started.

Coming up next week, we’re going to take it a step further and explore the process of cleaning up your email list. We call it List Hygiene here at FeedBlitz, and our publishers have found great benefit in both removing unwanted email subscribers as well as using it to spark a re-engagement campaign.

Are you in need of an email audit but not sure where to get started? Send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Your RSS and Email Ad Options Just Got Better

FeedBlitz exists for several reasons:

  • To simplify email marketing for bloggers and business owners;
  • To save you time reaching your audience;
  • To help you generate more revenue from your online presence.

In support of that last mission, unlike other email services, we have a built-in ad network (think of it as “Adsense for Email and RSS feeds” if you like) that enables you to passively generate revenue from every email that you send, and every post in your RSS feed. These are unique capabilities that only FeedBlitz offers. The best day of every month, for me, is the day when I send our publishers their ad income payments. (We are also affiliate marketer friendly, which is important to a great many of you.)

To help you monetize your feeds and mailings better, last year we introduced the “marquee” ad unit, which sits atop your mailings if you opt in to our email ad program. The marquee is very successful; it’s far and away our most successful ad unit. It was a little limited, though, as it was only available to our email clients, and was restricted to only appearing at the top of a mailing.

Not any more! We have now extended marquees to help you make more with every post:

  • Marquee ad units are now available for RSS feed advertising (they are also now the default RSS ad unit);
  • In-content marquee ad units are now available as an email ad option for publishers opted in to our email ad program.

Put another way, the much greater revenue potential of the marquee ad unit is now available everywhere and to everyone in FeedBlitz’s ad network, not just the topmost slot in emails.

New RSS Ad Options

Previously, the only option for RSS ads was “on” or “off” – and all you got was a 300 x 250 rectangle. Now, the default is the marquee, with the option to change back to rectangles if you wish. Marquees are wider, and a little deeper, than the rectangles they’re replacing, but they have a MUCH better revenue profile, and leave less ugly white space off to the right. They also re-size responsively in FeedBlitz emails.

If you want to make more from your FeedBlitz feed, you don’t have to do a thing! If you want to change the ad setting back to rectangles, go to your feed’s dashboard, click settings, and then hit the monetization tab:

Email Ad Options

If you’re using our ad network for email (or want to!), go to the “Ad Revenue Share” section under “My Account” in the left side bar. There you can change the insertion settings to use marquees instead of your current choice. You can do this without having to have the top marquee enabled, so you can benefit from the greater revenue marquees offer and still keep your logo front and center.

Simply your Email, Save Time, Make More Money

It really is that simple! We’re proud to be able to extend our support for bloggers running businesses with these new ad options. If you’d like to learn more, start a trial today, or contact FeedBlitz tech support for more information.

Using Autoresponders to Help you Sell

Over the past few weeks we’ve introduced you to Autoresponders and shown you how to get started with your first automatic email series. While these automatic emails are great for staying in touch with your subscribers, they can also be used as a means to generate passive income on a consistent basis.

Consider this scenario: You’ve stumbled on a great, new site and begin devouring the content. You notice they have an eBook available for purchase with even more great content you can’t get on their site. The process seems simple enough, you make the purchase and the content arrives in your inbox as promised, all without having to speak directly to someone. This is an Autoresponder at work.

Another instance would be signing up for an email course where you will receive content over a series of weekly or bi-weekly emails. Where are those emails coming from? You guessed it – they’re coming at you courtesy of Autoresponders. No manual sending required.

Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? It is and it’s also very simple to get started as well! Let’s take a closer look at these two options and a few more ways Autoresponders can help you in selling:

  • The one-time purchase. If you have an eBook or archived lecture you are interested in offering for a fee, an Autoresponder can be used to deliver this content. FeedBlitz is fully integrated with PayPal which allows our publishers to use what is called a Parser to trigger your Autoresponder which sends the content once the purchase has been completed. A true set-it-and-forget-it option, this can generate income for you as long as you have the content available and market it optimally.

    •  Take the one-time purchase a step further by sending a follow up Autoresponder a week later suggesting another related item they may be interested in purchasing, since they enjoyed their initial purchased product so much!

  • The email course. Similar to the one-time purchase, the email course is triggered by a Parser which sends the Autoresponder once the purchase is complete. The difference in this option is the Autoresponder is a series which sends out the content gradually, over a predetermined time frame. This option can require extra setup in terms of creating the content and emails for the series, however email courses have shown to be great passive income generators for many of our publishers.

Pro Tip: Want to keep your purchased offerings or opt-ins separate from your main mailing lists? Create a Standalone Autoresponder and allow your readers to subscribe directly to it. (Don’t worry, we’ll help you create a rule to add all subscribers to your main mailing list once the series is complete.) Learn how to do this here!

  • The product launch. Many online marketers use Autoresponders to ignite interest and deliver free content associated with an upcoming product launch. You can gather email addresses well before this series starts and establish a target start date for your Autoresponder Series to begin. Delivering content in this way engages your target readers and can increase your chances of a successful product launch.

  • The affiliate link email. We may have mentioned this a time or two here on the FeedBlitz Blog, but we’re big affiliate fans and allow you to be as well. Autoresponders are a great way to keep it fresh in your readers’ minds which services and products are your affiliates. While this is less direct than the previous options, the affiliate email can still produce a viable, passive form of income.

  • Cross-promotion of products, posts and services. Do your readers know all of your services and products you offer? Did you do a blog post series in the past you would like to remind them about? Sending Autoresponders throughout the year (1-2 a month) will keep your subscribers engaged and fully aware of everything you offer.

    • This is especially beneficial should you have separate mailing lists pertaining to categories or services. You can strategically introduce these readers to another facet of your work by crafting an email showing the relation and what value they can receive from broadening their subscription to their site.

Whether directly or indirectly, our publishers have used the Autoresponder feature to increase sales and reader engagement across the board. From beginning bloggers to big time businesses, all it takes is a little planning, the initial setup and you’re all set to start turning your content into income generators with Autoresponders.

Interested in learning how to set up Autoresponders attached to a purchase or have questions on any of our other FeedBlitz features? Send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

Do you have an Autoresponder Success Story? Send us an email support@feedblitz.com. We’d love to hear more about your experience and your site may even be featured on the FeedBlitz blog!

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!