Increasing Open Rates: Magic or Method?

OPEN Sign: Tips to increase your open rate.

Excitement over email marketing tends to increase as your list grows. You can’t help but feel proud of your work as you add 5,10, 50, 100+ subscribers each week. These milestones build confidence in your abilities as a content marketer. It’s time to take the next step on your journey and attend an event to network with fellow content marketers, bloggers and online entrepreneurs.

At the event, everyone’s buzzing around, comparing best practices for all aspects of email marketing. Engaged in an intriguing roundtable discussion, about delivery metrics and list growth, a fellow networker congratulates you on your success and asks “What’s your open rate?

Suddenly, your excitement dips. Open rate? “I’m not even sure I know what an open rate is, let alone what mine is,” you think to yourself. You toss out a number that would seem appropriate (half? 30%? anything that sounds strong) then switch subjects so the focus isn’t on you anymore.

During the next break, you sneak off with your laptop to do some digging. After a bit of clicking, you find it – 8%. “8%?! That’s much lower than the numbers everyone else was mentioning!” Your excitement over the success of your email marketing starts to plummet as you realize you’ve grown a large list of people who don’t seem to be interested in opening your emails!

This can be extremely frustrating, however, do not despair–there are simple things you can do to help increase your open rate, and you can start with your very next email.

What is an open rate?

An open rate is the percentage of subscribers, of the total number of subscribers, who opened your email. Open rates vary, but a good number to aim for is about 20%, the industry average. Deal sites and coupon bloggers see a lower average open rate, closer to 13-14%, while highly targeted mailing lists with a specific niche can see significantly higher rates.

Your open rate is a marker of your overall email engagement success. If a subscriber isn’t opening the email, they certainly are not going to click your call to action (CTA), forward the email to a friend, or share the content on social media. You may not hit the highest open rate with each email, but by adjusting your approach with just a few tweaks, you can gradually increase your open rate and maintain a steady average.

How to Increase Your Open Rate

Increasing your open rate is a matter of testing and seeing how your subscribers respond. It doesn’t happen by chance, but by making a combination of strategic changes to produce the best possible outcome. Let’s get started:
  • Focus on your subject line. You can send the best content in the world and watch your email fall flat due to a poorly chosen subject line. When it comes to your subject line, keep it short, simple, and intriguing. Skip the emojis, the extra punctuation, spammy sounding phrases, and unnecessary words. 56% of emails are opened on mobile devices–that means you have 35 characters to make your subject line count! When your subject line looks appealing, subscribers are much more inclined to open and see what’s inside. Do a little research before hitting send, ask coworkers, friends, even family if they would open your email.

Bonus Tip: Work with your FeedBlitz Insights to see which of your previous subject lines resulted in the most opens. This can be a key indicator to what’s most effective with your subscribers.

  • Find the right time to hit send. If you’re hitting send when an industry blog post told you to, stop that right now. What may work for one content marketer or blogger may not work well with your subscribers. Think about your audience, your target personas — when would they most likely check their email? Try changing the time, day, or even the frequency of your email for at least three mailings to see if it has any impact on your open rate. If that doesn’t help, try another day/time combination. Cycle through a few experiments and then send on the combination that offered the highest average open rate. Don’t forget to pay attention to the calendar and note any holidays or current events that can affect your testing.
  • Send something worth reading. When you send quality, engaging, value-filled content in your emails, and do so consistently, subscribers are more likely to be interested in what you have to say. Your first line alone can determine whether a subscriber will open your email or not as FeedBlitz uses this line as the content preview on mobile devices.

    Along with automated blog content, consider offering exclusive updates to your email list. More than discounts or deals, send insider tips or personalized letters to show there is a benefit to being on the email list. This mixes up the content they’re receiving, while increasing interest and engagement.

Bonus Tip: P.S. – Embrace the power of the postscript! Let your email readers know what to expect in the next email so, they’ll be on the lookout for your next tidbit of content.
  • Target the emails you send. Not every piece of content will relate to all of your subscribers. Work with custom fields to tag your subscribers with their level of interest, skill, even where they live and you’ll then be able to segment your mailings, sending relevant content to those who are most interested. Brainstorm 3-5 ways you can segment your subscribers and experiment sending specific content to each group. Interested subscribers are more likely to open your emails, every time.

It’s not magic, it’s a method!

As you can see, increasing your open rate isn’t magic. It’s a process. You choose and test  strategies to find what works best for your audience. At your next conference, you’ll feel confident knowing your list is growing, your content is a success and your open rate is in check, being steady and healthy or gradually increasing!

Which tip will you use to increase your open rate on your next email? Let us know via email, we always enjoy hearing from our readers!

If you have any questions when it comes to email marketing, send our team an email at 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.

Guest Post: Getting Smart with SmartForms

Creating products and features to help our publishers thrive is our mission here at FeedBlitz HQ. After being contacted by today’s guest blogger and told of her great success using our SmartForms, we were more than happy to feature her on the FeedBlitz Blog. Read on for how this publisher used our SmartForm Subscription Forms to increase her signups and her sales!

I’ve been a FeedBlitz client for about 8 years, and while my business as a full-time author and writing coach has changed drastically since I first read Phil Hollows’ Listbuilding for Bloggers and signed on, it’s been awesome to discover that each time I need a new feature, FeedBlitz already has it in place.

Coincidentally, FeedBlitz’s recent “Growing Your List” blog post series launched around the time I hired a consulting firm to restructure my business and redesign my website. While the firm’s professionals worked behind the scenes on tech details far outside the bounds of my skill set, I was able to keep pace on a parallel track using FeedBlitz’s blog to grow my list and increase accessibility to my blog, seasonal newsletters, and income-generating autoresponders.
When restructuring my business first began, it was hard not to feel overwhelmed – I confess to getting lost down the rabbit hole of business webinars, lunch hour online chats about IT features beyond my understanding, and even enrolling in a few e-courses that just weren’t right for my business needs at the time. But one take-away from all that self-guided learning was that everyone seemed in agreement about at least one thing: getting a person’s email address via a pop-up form on your website would be essential for continued, successful online marketing and engagement.
Cue, Feedblitz’s blog post on SmartForms, which I’d been aware of for quite some time but hadn’t yet made time to understand. Within minutes of creating the form, I had a customized template set to my liking, and within hours, new subscribers were signing on. Thanks to additional blog posts in FeedBlitz’s series, I also understood I ought to offer an incentive to folks for sharing their email address, and thanks to pro tips from folks like Janelle at Zen Courses, I was finally starting to understand that my archive of over 2,000 blog posts in 10 years was a gold mine waiting to be upgraded, shared, re-linked, and properly tagged.
So I customized my SmartForm to match my new branding, then tied it to a brief autoresponder that starts with a free downloadable PDF titled “Top 5 Tools that Changed My Life as a Self-Employed Writer.” My list doubled in two months and continues to passively grow every week, slow and steady. Some of these subscribers were readers who had followed my blog for years, and had simply never seen or opted to enter their email address into the sidebar widget I used for subscriptions. Now—they’ll never miss a post, AND I can assure they get “first dibs” on discounts or limited time offers I only make available to this select group.

“My list doubled in two months and continues to passively grow every week, slow and steady.”

More importantly, new visitors to my site get to meet me first and foremost through the positive experience of a free PDF. They opt-in, so there’s nothing SPAM-like about it, and after a few messages from me about what I do, plus links to several free trials, the autoresponder finishes. They don’t hear from me again until my seasonal newsletter goes out, and click-through rates on those have also doubled.

How does it all add up, you might wonder? SmartForms helped me expand my audience, first and foremost, and that’s priceless. They also help me gather key information about my clients and audience, via custom fields. But more than all of that, this self-running feature helps me generate income.

Because of the positive experience folks are having getting a free PDF and a tasteful, SPAM-free set of emails linking them to free trials they’re interested in, eventually a handful of those subscribers become paying clients. And it all started with the SmartForm…

Katey Schultz is an author, writing coach, and founder of Maximum Impact: Precision Courses for Writers, Artists, & Trailblazers. Learn more at www.kateyschultz.com.

Thank you, Katey, for taking the time to talk about your experience with FeedBlitz SmartForm Subscription Forms. If you are a FeedBlitz Publisher and would like to share your experience and possibly be featured on the blog as a Case Study or Guest Post, please send us an email and let’s get the conversation started.

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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 Get Started with Custom Fields and Tagging

“Gather any information you want from subscribers by adding a few extra blanks to your subscription form.”

That was the driving motivation for our developers in creating our Custom Fields feature in FeedBlitz. Want to know your subscriber’s first and last name? We’ve got a blank for that. How about their date of birth? There’s a field for that one, too. Possibly throw in their zip code or country? Yes and yes! Now, let’s get started..

What is a Custom Field?

In FeedBlitz a Custom Field is any extra information attached to a subscriber beyond their email address. FeedBlitz publishers can create and manage an unlimited number of Custom Fields under Manage Tags and Fields. If interested, you are able to tag a large group of your subscribers by working through the Apply to Subscribers option, also shown below.

Screenshot of FeedBlitz Publisher Dashboard showing Custom Fields and Tagging

What can I do with Custom Fields?

With the flexibility of gathering the information you would like to have most, you are able to use the information gathered by Custom Fields to:

  • personalize mailings *Think having Dear _____, as your introduction.

  • target your subscribers with information-specific groups and lists

  • search and filter subscribers based on specific information

  • increased reporting and data measurements

  • create additional mailings such as:

    • Happy Birthday messages

    • Location-based mailings

    • Gender-specific offerings

How do I add Custom Fields to my SmartForm subscription forms?

Login to your FeedBlitz account and select Custom Fields under Publisher Tools. Choose configure custom fields and subscriber data capture. Here you will be taken to the following screen where you will be able to create a Custom Field. The below example shows the creation of a Custom Field to gather a subscriber’s Date of Birth:

Once set in your Custom Fields dashboard, you will be able to add these fields in your Smart Form subscription form. You can create these fields with either a simple text answer, as well as multiple choice options requiring either 1 answer or the ability to select multiple answers.

Your formerly simple subscription box can now gather all the additional information you’d like!

However, be mindful of your ultimate goal when creating your subscription form. Requiring too much information may cause a subscriber to close the form instead of completing all the fields. Be sure your requests make sense to your site and goal!

Pro Tip: Current subscribers can easily update their information by using the Subscriber Update Form in your Custom Field dashboard. Posing it as “a way to better help serve you” is often effective in encouraging subscribers to update their information!

It’s important to know that not all Custom Fields are created equal. Some can be used to appear in mailings, others can be used simply for segmentation purposes, while still others can be applied without the subscriber having to answer a specific question. We call these hidden fields.

Bonus Pro Tip: Do you want to secretly tag your subscribers by using a hidden Custom Field? We have a guide for that right here!

Use this brief introduction on Custom Fields as a great place to get started working with new fields. As simple as having a first name to say “Dear ____” or as complex as gathering leads for a real estate agent, there are many, many possible ways to incorporate Custom Fields into your email marketing strategy. Our Support Team is here to assist if needed when inserting fields into your newsletter template, editing smart forms, segmenting users and anything else you may need!

Ready to experiment with Custom Fields but still have a few more questions? 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 newsflash 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!

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 Funnels? 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!

Growing Your List: Enhancing Your Subscription Forms Part 2

On our mission to help you grow your list of subscribers, we covered in greater depth the value of customized subscription forms in our earlier post this week. (Need a refresher? Check it out here). Your homework from Tuesday’s post was to start creating a new (or reevaluate your current) SmartForm. Now that you’ve worked with our editing program and are on your way to creating a sleek, customized SmartForm subscription form to capture new readers, today we are going to talk about the various ways you can add your forms to your site.

What form will your subscription form take?

FeedBlitz SmartForms offer a variety of display options. We walk you through these below:

  • Sidebar Widget - Arguably the most popular placement for a subscription form, the sidebar widget can be as simple or complex depending on what you desire for your site.

 

Did you know? Our FeedBlitz SmartForms automatically sense who’s a subscriber and who’s not. That means the sidebar widgets collapse and the popups do not appear to those who are already subscribed.

  • Subscription Page - A separate subscription page is ideal for those interested in adding additional text such as your company’s Terms and Conditions or Privacy Policy, additional fields (date of birth, company, website, etc.), or you would prefer to have a subscription page link.

  • Popup - You determine how many page views and how many seconds (20-30 seconds is average) before the Popup appears, as well as the number of days the popup appears again to non-subscribers. This form option is also great for opt in offers or grabbing a reader’s attention.

  • Post footer - How many times have you read a blog post and at the end you notice a line or a box that reads something along the lines of: Like what you read above? Subscribe to get our updates direct to your inbox! Imagine someone who hasn’t been to your site stumbles upon your post. If they make it all the way to the end, odds are high they’re interested and wouldn’t mind hearing a bit more. A subscription form in the footer of your post is an ideal place to capitalize on new readers and capture their information.

Choose as many or as few forms as you’d like and create them to be as simple or complex as your site requires. The most important step is having at least one customized subscription form that fits your branding, that’s easily visible for your readers to use. This one step is incredibly valuable in establishing the tools to grow your list over the coming months.

Next week we’ll show you how to fully optimize what happens after a reader enters their email address and hits Subscribe. Hint: It’s a goldmine of customization points which many don’t apply!

As always, if you have any questions on the above or on any of our FeedBlitz features, you can email us 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 a SmartForm Success Story? Send us an email support@feedblitz.com, we’d love to hear more about it 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!

Growing Your List: Enhancing Your Subscription Forms Part 1

It’s no secret we here at FeedBlitz love the start of a new year and the excitement it brings. Many publishers see this as a time to set new goals, create new editorial calendars, and determine how they can have a greater impact with their website. It’s all very exhilarating, and we enjoy seeing our clients light up with fresh eyes for the new year.

A common goal for many of our publishers is to grow their list, widening their net of readers and prospective clients. (We wholeheartedly agree as this goal is a Top 5 FeedBlitz priority as well!) We’re all too familiar with how frustrating it can be trying to grow your list. Common questions we often hear include:

Should I blog more? Email more or less often?
Do I Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest enough?
Offer a contest? Join a course? Go on a business retreat?

Hit pause. Before you become overwhelmed, we’re here to help. We are dedicating the month of January to helping you grow your list, using the free tools available through your FeedBlitz publisher account. Our goal over these next few weeks is for you to set yourself in a prime position grow your list; not only now, but for the rest of the year.

This week’s focus is enhancing your subscription forms to encourage readers to submit their email addresses. For a majority of publishers, their subscription form is the most important Call to Action (CTA) their site has, so it’s the best place to start in maximizing your list growth potential.

Why should I customize my subscription forms?

Simple answer: To increase brand consistency, user experience and highlight your primary CTA.

Your site should offer readers a personalized experience, unique only to you. Going the extra step in creating customized subscription forms allows you the opportunity for brand expression when shaping that experience. Think of the personal touches certain hotel chains offer, the branded shipping some retailers use as opposed to bare boxes. These small details help create a full experience package.

As your subscription form is most likely the premier CTA on your site, the question isn’t “Why should I customize?” but rather “Why am I not customizing my subscription forms?”

Getting Started with FeedBlitz SmartForms

Since the release date in early March of 2015, our SmartForms subscription forms have taken a variety of shapes and sizes. Once our publishers began working with them, we’ve really seen great examples of flexibility and customization. Getting started with SmartForms is easy and we walk you through the steps here in this quick, 4:32 minute video:

Having trouble viewing this video? Click here.

Did you know we have a FeedBlitz Support YouTube channel with tons of videos like this one? Check it out here and see how you can up the ante with your email marketing!

It really is that simple to create a sleek, customized subscription form to match the branding. Mimic the colors of your site, pull in your logo for the header, change your font, the size of your boxes and more, all while being able to Save and Preview before it ever goes live on your site.

Pro Tip: When you’re designing your SmartForm, add a Classic Form to your page to capture potential subscribers. No need to miss anyone while you’re debating on whether the Sky Blue or Ocean Blue subscribe button will be most effective!

Worried about having your form be responsive? No need to think twice (unless you have a separate template for your mobile site). Our SmartForms are set to max-width and are naturally responsive for all screen sizes.

Now that we’ve gone through the process of why and how to set up a customized SmartForm for your site, we’d like to send you off with a bit of homework:

  • Log in to your FeedBlitz account and test out setting up and customizing a new SmartForm subscription form for your site.
  • If you already have one in place, examine it to make sure your form still fits your site’s message and branding.

Later this week we’ll be back with the different format options and placements you can use for your SmartForms. As always, if you have any questions on the above or on any of our FeedBlitz features, you can email us 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 a SmartForm Success Story? Send us an email support@feedblitz.com, we’d love to hear more about it 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!

Activity-Based Subscriber and List Management: Triggers

Ten Steps for Managing an Online CrisisGetting the right message to the right person at the right time is critical to making the most of your email marketing, and maximizing your results for your business, blog, or organization.

If you’ve read the Making the Most of FeedBlitz free manual, you will be familiar with parsers. Parsers help automatically add subscribers to the right list or autoresponder, based on activity in systems and services that are outside FeedBlitz.

Triggers perform a similar role based on activity within FeedBlitz. [Read more...]