Increasing Video Click Through in Email

Watching Video on a Table

Video is an incredible tool to have on your site as well as use with your email marketing. If your email is set to send automatic RSS-to-email notifications and your post contains a video, our system will show the video’s placement in the post, linked to the embedded post on your site.

However, if you are sending a Newsflash email there is a simple and highly effective technique to increase video click throughs to your site or to the video on a platform like YouTube. As opposed  to sharing a “See the video now!” link, insert a screenshot image of your video with a faux play button added to the center.

Screenshot of a video showing the play button.

If interested, your reader will attempt to press the play button on instinct. With this image hyperlinked correctly – be it to the post on your site, a different site or video sharing channel – your subscriber will have completed the action you desired for them to take. You’ve just created a visual, video-specific call to action for your Newsflash emails.

If you have any questions, simply send our team an email at support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

Removing Instagram Captions in Your Mailings

Image of a vintage camera

Your FeedBlitz template is capable of pulling the three most recent Instagram photos for your subscribers to see. This is a great way to cross promote your brand, while broadening the views of your photos, without the hassle or worry about algorithm changes within the Instagram app.

With your three most recent photos, the template also pulls the captions of these photos. If you tend to post longer captions or use multiple hashtags in your captions, this can take up an increased amount of space in your template.

To easily remove Instagram photo captions in your email template, you will need to remove the <$BlogItemTitle$> element located in the Instagram section of the template. To do this your template will need to be in the Advanced Template Editor.

In the ATE, scroll down in the template to your Instagram box. This is where you will remove the tag  <$BlogItemTitle$> to remove the captions of your photos:

This will remove the captions while leaving the photos visible and still linked to your Instagram account. You can easily apply this to captions on your other social channels as well, should you wish to remove captions for your Pinterest, YouTube, Etsy, or Shopify feeds.

If you have any questions, simply send our team an email at support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

How to Socialize Your Emails

Man and woman looking at a tablet and sharing a laugh.

When integrating your email marketing into your overall marketing plan, it is essential to consider the intersection of social marketing and your emails. At FeedBlitz, there are three main areas to integrate your social media marketing with your email marketing. You can work with all three or simply focus on one at a time, whichever suits your audience best.

Autopost to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn

All publishers have the ability to autopost new updates to Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn.  This feature can be enabled by selecting your site from the site dashboard and choosing: I Want To…Set Up a New…Social media posting. You will be able to select which channel you would like to initiate or edit from here.

Pro Tip: With Twitter, you can automatically add hashtags to each post. This is a great feature if you post with one major focus, i.e. #emailmarketing, #DIY, #glutenfree, etc.

Not only does autoposting reduce the need to manually post new updates to each individual channel, it can add to the frequency of  your posting when used in conjunction with manual posts in order to reach a broader audience.

A few important notes on autoposting:

  • Within the publisher dashboard, you can only connect one account from each channel. If you would like to add a second account to autopost updates, check out the steps in this Quick Tip on how to do that!

  • Autoposting is not on the same schedule as your automatic mailings. Posts are sent to social channels once it is picked up in your RSS feed, so within 30-45 minutes of the post going live on your site.

  • When your social accounts are linked to your FeedBlitz account, the number of followers are counted in your total audience found on your site dashboard. You are not charged for these followers, only unique, active email subscribers.

Add your Social Icons

When we  talk about adding social icons to your email template, there are two different ways you can do this.

  1. Make your posts shareable by adding social sharing icons to each post. Your posts now are incredibly simple for your readers to instantaneously share without needing to visit your website first. You can able social sharing icons to your posts through your FeedBlitz RSS feed. Select your RSS feed then choose I Want To…Change…Per-post Sharing as seen below:      Screenshot of How to Add Social Sharing to RSS Posts

  2. Add your social icons within your email template. Our EZ Template Editor is designed to easily add your social channels as well as change the icons themselves if preferred. *Note: We recommend changing the icons to match those on your website for branding consistency! The location of your icons can determine the response of your readers. If your focus is to increase your social audience, place the icons towards the top of your template will increase this likelihood, however, if this is not a priority, you can add these icons to the bottom of your template.

Incorporate Your Social Content

Our publishers spoke, and our development team listened! Within all email templates is the ability to incorporate your Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Etsy and/or Shopify accounts. Doing so will pull the three most recent posts of these channels and display them in your mailings. There are many different possible benefits and reasons to do this, so we listed just a few:

  • Increase revenue within your Etsy or Shopify accounts by always having your newest products on display for your subscribers.
  • No more worrying about algorithm changes within Instagram when your subscribers can easily see what you’ve been posting.
  • Expand your audiences on these channels by introducing the content to your readers.
  • Link to a specific Pinterest board associated with your blog or product launch.
  • Capture audiences with your latest YouTube videos, enhancing your connection by incorporating visual and audible messages from you and your team.

It is important to know that pulling the three most recent posts from these channels also brings in the captions of these posts. If you would like to truncate or remove the captions of these images, send our Support Team a request, and we will walk you through the steps on how to do this.

Pro Tip: Do you find incorporating your social channels into your template creates too much content? Consider creating an automatic weekly newsletter with only your social updates! Think of it as a “What we’ve been up to around the Web!” update. Our team can work with you on setting this up as it is a great way to keep readers in the know, without overloading individual emails.

Working with all of the above are merely suggestions on how easily it is to integrate your email marketing with your social media marketing. It is our goal here at FeedBlitz HQ to make this integration as simple as possible.

While there is a fine line between over-socializing and under-socializing your newsletters, you will be able to determine the appropriate amount of social integration based on your unique audience. Spend some time testing what works best for you and your audience to find the ideal combination of social sharing, posting and integration.

If you would like for our team to take a look and offer suggestions on how to make your emails more social, just let us know! We’re here to help as the success of your email marketing is at the top of our priority list.

Questions on anything in today’s post or on any of our FeedBlitz features? Send our support team an email to support@feedblitz.com. You can also 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!

Working with Images in Your Mailings

Woman looking at computer editing photo

Using images in your content can do wonders when it comes to increasing engagement. Many publishers will feature their main image with only a short line of text in their emails to encourage readers to click-through to their website. These images can really draw a reader back to your site, as long as they behave properly when converted to email.

All FeedBlitz EZ templates are responsive which accommodates a variety of image sizes. However, should you notice your images bleed outside the borders of your template, there is a simple solution to avoid this in future mailings.

Best practices encourage the use of images no larger than 600 px wide in your posts. Following this guideline  will ensure your images are transmitted correctly to your email template.

Be advised, however, that some email clients will show the original image size, regardless of the adjusted dimensions specified by your template or blog post. The best method is to adjust the images in an editor before uploading them to your post or email template in order for the desired image size to be shown no matter which email application is used.

If you have any questions, simply send an email to support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

How to Personalize Your Emails

Typewriter typing Dear Sir or Madame

Increase Personalization by Adding a First Name to Your Emails

If you’re looking to create a personal touch to your emails, adding the subscriber’s first name is a great place to start.

Before beginning we recommend brushing up on your Custom Field Knowledge and working in our Advanced Template Editor.

In order  to add  a subscriber’s first name to an email, you will need to have the custom field identified and switch your email template to the ATE.

In the ATE switch to the Custom Fields tab. Copy the Template Tag for your Custom Field to add to the template, above the <$BlogPosting$> tag as shown below:

FeedBlitz Dashboard showing how to add a first name

Should you only have Custom Field information for a portion of your subscribers, but plan to gather it for everyone moving forward, you can still include a greeting, with their name, while having an alternative should the field be blank. To do this, use the following line of information:

<$if FirstName$>Good morning, <$FirstName$>!<$else$>Good morning!<$endif$>

This is using an “if this, then that” scenario that if a First Name is present, it will be shown, however, if no value is assigned to the field, you are listing an alternative.

FeedBlitz Dashboard showing the inserted code for a conditional first name field

Using this condition works to prevent this from happening:

Email preview showing what appears when a first name field is entered without a condition.

A quick, simple way to personalize your mailings, you are able to add Custom Field information to your mailings as you see fit.

If you have any questions, simply send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

How Not to Get Stuck Creating New Content

Frustrated man yelling at his computer.

Creating engaging and meaningful content, and doing so consistently, isn’t always as easy as it sounds. We’ve been in the email marketing business for quite some time, and have published a lot of content along the way, so we know as well as you how frustrating getting stuck coming up with new content can sometimes be.

An editorial calendar helps tremendously with planning, but what happens when the idea well runs dry when filling out that editorial calendar? There’s the great standby go-to content ideas such as creating a list, writing a How To article, using video as opposed to a text post or designing an infographic, to name a few. Today we’re going to talk about a few of the content generation ideas we keep in our back pockets here at FeedBlitz HQ. Or in other words, how we avoid getting stuck creating new content! (Because no one likes screaming at their computer screen in frustration, right? Right.)

Repurpose Old Content

To some, this is a given while others aren’t so sure of the practice. Repurposing old or archived content is taking something you have previously posted and offering a new twist or a modern spin on it. Can you relate it to something happening today? Are there new tools or resources available you can use to update the information? Maybe you wrote individual posts that would be great grouped together for a monthly theme? You can even begin a greatest hits or oldie but goodie themed post once a month where you repost the content and add an updated introductory and closing paragraph to the text.

If your concern is readers noticing repeated content, know that when we say old or archived posts, we’re reaching back at least 8-12 months. Think of how many new subscribers have joined your list since then! Additionally, a good open rate is 20%, which means only 1/5th of your readers see any given piece. There has also been a lot of  new content added to your site. Should a subscriber receive the content a second time, they will most likely not remember its initial posting.

Tell Readers What NOT To Do

*Spoiler Alert: This is exactly what we are doing in this post right now. Check out the title again, How Not to Get Stuck Creating New Content. See what we did there?

Instead of telling your readers what they should be doing, try telling them what they should NOT be doing. A bit of reverse-psychology at it’s best, you are luring readers in by helping them avoid something negative. This post could have easily been titled Content Generation Ideas or How to Create Even More Great Content, yet we chose to re-frame it in telling you how not to find yourself in a very familiar (or annoyingly frustrating) position. It’s a small tweak but can easily grab your reader’s attention as you are offering great value in avoiding a common pain.

Another idea in this category is to share how you have failed at something. This is a big step for many publishers as it can be tough to admit our wrong-doings or failures, however, it not only offers a sense of humility on your part, but it connects with your readers as well. You are providing valuable insight and education to your readers by offering the opportunity of learning from your mistakes. This can save them both time and money, while it further establishes you as an expert resource in your field. That is a win-win in one blog post!

Check Your Support or FAQ Channel

A not-so-hidden gem for creating new content can be found sitting in your support queue or Frequently Asked Questions page on your website. A good portion of our content is based on questions we receive from our publishers. This method alone is the inspiration and motivation for our weekly Quick Tips  blog posts.

Is there something you could explain in a different way or highlight the answer in a new or updated post? How about a common question you notice frequently coming into your support channel? Not only will using these questions provide topics for new content, but the content provides a quick, easy answer for your readers to find on your site as well. Our Support Team often replies to reader questions with links to specific posts offering step-by-step directions, screenshots, videos and more to assist in their responses. If you are new to this practice, it is also a great way to begin training your clients and subscribers to check your site for answers before opening a support ticket.

And there you have it! Add these three tips to your arsenal and you’ll find yourself in a better place to avoid getting stuck when it comes to creating new content. It’s not fail-proof, however, it’s helped us here at FeedBlitz HQ when we’ve needed it! And besides, one of these ideas got you reading this post, now didn’t it? We practice what we preach. Now get to writing!

Stuck in a rut with your content? Send our team an email to support@feedblitz.com. We’ll take a look at your site and content and offer a few ideas to help keep you moving forward! You can also 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!

Grow Your List with Subscribe by Text

Do you speak at events, host live streaming sessions, or produce a podcast? If so, our Subscribe via Text option is the ideal tool to have on hand for your listeners to easily and quickly join your list.

To get started with this option, select the Subscribe by Text / SMS option under Lists. From here you will be prompted to select your mailing list, if you have more than one available.

Screenshot of FeedBlitz Dashboard showing Subscribe via Text Option

Subscribe via text is enabled on all mailing lists. The default text code is your mailing list ID, however you can set this code to be any unique code like. Once a listener or viewer texts the designated code to the number 1.781.262.3877, they will receive an automated text message containing a link to your subscription form.

Click to set up the text as noted above. You are able to designate as many codes as you’d like, and can customize the message your listeners receive:

Pro Tip: Speaking or attending multiple conferences? Create new codes along with custom fields for each conference. This will tag your subscribers so you are able to easily differentiate which subscriber came from which conference.

Standard text message and data rates may apply for your subscribers. Separate codes will need to be used for individual mailing lists.

If you have any questions, simply send our Support Team an email at support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

Email Marketing Delivery Metrics and Reporting

The success of your email marketing isn’t always immediately obvious. More than having a growing list with 1,000s of emails on it, a successful email marketing program also focuses on open rates, click throughs and other key metrics to track its success.

Thinking about sorting through reports and working with numbers can cause even the most mathematically-inclined to develop an eye twitch. Here at FeedBlitz HQ, we work to make this as simple, and headache-free, as possible. Offering a full fleet of metrics you can follow, you’re able to decide precisely which metrics are most important and easily track the progress.

Types of Email Delivery Metrics and Reports

FeedBlitz offers three categories of email marketing reports: At-A-Glance, Summary and In-Depth Metrics. All accessible from your Mailing List dashboard, these reports are found in the Mailing Activity section:

At-a-Glance reporting comes in the form of the FeedBlitz Heat Map. This report allows you to quickly see what links were clicked in individual mailings. Learn more about our Heat Maps in this FeedBlitz Quick Tips blog post.

Pro Tip: Want more Quick Tips from FeedBlitz? We cover all sorts of email marketing and FeedBlitz-platform related questions in short, easy to digest posts. Subscribe here to get our next tip!

Summary reports can be accessed by selecting the Monthly Mailing Metrics as highlighted above. This report shows the Subscriber Stats along with Mailing Stats for the month selected. You will also be able to quickly identify which mailings for that month were deemed most and least engaging, opened and clicked.

 

In-Depth Metrics reports take a closer look into specific target points related to your email marketing. These delivery metrics and reports include:

  • Delivery Metrics:  The number of emails successfully sent, opened, clicked, bounced (both soft and hard), unsubscriptions and complaints, as well as forwards the email received.

  • Circulation: Total number of emails sent for each email.

  • Engagement Report: Closer look at how your subscribers reacted to your email including automatic social shares, opens, clicks and more – all listed by subscriber.

  • Open Analysis: Open rates for each email sent. You can also select Open Analysis by Reader to see this information by subscriber.

  • Click Throughs: Separated into three categories, you are able to see Click Through Rates by article (post), tag (custom field) and reader. For a quick look at this data, you can check out the Heat Map to see which links were clicked in the mailing.

  • Subscription Changes: Total numbers of subscribers who unsubscribed, were removed due to undeliverability (hard bounces) or deleted by the publisher.

  • Unsubscribe Reasons: Why users are choosing to unsubscribe to your mailings. With FeedBlitz users must select a reason for unsubscribing, which offers incredible insight for you, the publisher.

  • Referring Pages: Keeps track of all referring pages to your list and ranks them from most to least popular.

A few additional notes on your in-depth reports:

1. Easily export all data, or a summary of the data, in any of the in-depth reports from the report dashboard.
2. Change the graph format in the second drop down menu to suite your preferences
3. Adjust the length of your report in the third drop down menu to include a few or  many days for your data.

Tips for Working with Email Marketing Reports

Working with reporting metrics and data can seem like a large project. We suggest the following steps to ease into the process so your approach is focused and effective.

  1. Glance through all of the reports to familiarize yourself. Download or export a few of them to make any notes for future reference. When you’re ready, select one or two key points of focus, such as open or click-through rate and identify a goal for each metric.
  2. Carve out some time to dig into the specific reports for your target point of focus. Make as many notes as you’d like, citing any changes in numbers (a bump or a loss can be equally important here!). It’s important to view these statistics in historical context before making content decisions based on these stats. There are normal seasonal fluctuations that will affect your list’s metrics. With this information in hand, brainstorm a few  strategies to increase the success of this metric. When your focus is increasing your list’s membership, should you  optimize different or new referring pages? Or are you going to reduce churn by focusing on  a particular unsubscription response? Use the notes from your research to create 3-5 action steps you can take to achieve your desired goals.
  3. After implementing your new strategy allow at least 2 months to see to make a determination on the success or failure of your efforts. Don’t forget to compare your results with your list’s historical performance. If your actions did not move you closer toward your goal, go back to your notes and brainstorm a few more action steps to take and repeat it again. Working in this manner will help you pinpoint exactly what is and is not working for each metric.
  4. Once you are satisfied with the data on your original focus metric, select the next few metric and repeat, until you have worked your way through the entire list.

It can be tempting to focus on increasing every metric  all at once, and trust us, we’ve tried that in our own email marketing journey, but experience has taught us well! The best success comes with deliberate focus and attention to just 1 or 2 key targets before moving on to the next set, and we’re positive many of our publishers will agree with us.

If you use our delivery metrics and data reports on a regular basis, we would love to hear about your experiences! Send an email with your feedback to support@feedblitz.com. Thank you in advance as we look forward to hearing from you!

Interested in using reporting metrics to boost your email marketing, but not sure which report to follow first? Send our support team an email to support@feedblitz.com. You can also 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!

You Don’t Always Have to Email Each Post

Using Exclude Tags  to Refrain from Sending Posts

We understand there are times you would like to post an item to your website without having it sent to your mailing list. Exclude tags are a simple way to do this in FeedBlitz.

Have you missed a tip or two? Catch up on all of our Quick Tips here!

You can find exclude tags in the Settings of your Mailing List. Look for the line “FeedBlitz sends All New Posts,” and click this to trigger the dialogue box below.

Here you are able to enter any tag you wish to use to exclude a post from your mailing.

The tags used here must be used in the exact same format as on your website. It is important to remember exclude tags are case, spacing and punctuation sensitive. Any posts published on your site tagged with your exclude tag in the FeedBlitz settings will prevent the post from being mailed to your subscribers.

Pro Tip: If you prefer using categories instead of tags, that’s no problem as tags and categories are treated the same by FeedBlitz!

A scenario for using exclude tags, other than for individual posts, can include sending category-specific posts, such as our Quick Tips posts. Both our main blog post mailing list and our Quick Tips mailing list are powered by the same RSS feed. For this, we exclude all posts tagged ‘quick tips’ from our main mailing list and only include posts with this tag for our Quick Tips mailing list. This prevents subscribers from receiving two emails, should they be on both lists.

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If you have any questions, send our Support Team an email at support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

Which links are most popular in your emails?

Working with Your Heat Maps Report

Reporting metrics are key when it comes to evaluating the success of your email marketing campaigns. While FeedBlitz offers a fleet of metrics and data reporting with each mailing, as well as summarized monthly mailing metrics, our publishers also have access to what we call the Heat Map.

A heat map is available for each mailing and is a great, quick reference guide to see what were the most popular links in your mailings. Accessible from your mailing list dashboard, located under Mailing Activity, select Heat Map for any mailing you are curious about.

You will be taken to the web version of your mailing. Each link that has been clicked by a subscriber will be tagged with the percentage of clicks it has received. If there is no tag, that link has not received a click.

 

Why is this information important? Consider the following:

Do your readers tend to click more links towards the upper portion of your mailings? If yes, restructure your mailings to have the most important content listed first.

Are readers clicking the title or Read More enticement to your website in order to read the entire article? If no, consider increasing the content preview or adding/removing a photo to incite the click through to the full article.

Are subscribers interested in clicking your social media icons? If no, test moving them to the top of your newsletter if trying to increase your audience, or move them to the footer if this is not a priority for you.

These questions are merely a starting point for incorporating the heat map into your email marketing. An ideal check-in between lengthier metrics analysis, heat maps provide instant insight as to what and where your readers are and are not clicking in your mailings.

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If you have any questions, send our Support Team an email at support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!