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The 8 Best Words to Use in Your Next Email

There’s a simple way to transform your email copy from passable to powerful — choose the right words. Effective words will inspire your subscribers to open, click, and buy.

Choosing the wrong words in your next email, on the other hand,  could damage your email engagement and even annoy or insult your audience. By learning a few key tips, you can avoid these common mistakes and write emails your subscribers will love.

In this article we’ll talk about:

8 Power Words for effective emails

These 8 everyday words can have a huge impact on your email engagement. (Spoiler: We just used one of them.)

You might be surprised. Some of the most effective words are ones you use everyday. The words are:

  • Now
  • You/Your
  • Thanks
  • New
  • Easy
  • And
  • Free
  • [Insert name here]

Now, find out why these words are so effective and how to use them.

Related: How to Craft Irresistible Newsletter Content

1. Now

The word “now” is one of the most effective words to use in email, because it invokes action and urgency. It asks subscribers to do something right away, rather than putting it off until later.

“Now” is a good word to use in your subject line to increase open rates. Or, include it in your call-to-action (CTA) button to increase click-through rates.

However, when using this word in your emails, you want to make sure that subscribers understand what action they need to take. The next step should be clear since you’re asking them to do something immediately. You can achieve this by making your email focused on one specific outcome with one CTA, a top trend in B2B emails in 2017.

Related: Download AWeber’s Email Marketing Statistics Report to learn more about calls to action (CTAs), writing effective emails, and email benchmarks.

Rifle Paper Co. utilizes the word “now” by incorporating it in the CTA button and focusing the email on one outcome: shopping for planners.

effective words in email

2. You/your

You can also make your emails more compelling by using the words “you” or “your” instead of speaking in the third person.

“You” and “your” are effective because they give your message a personal feel. This viewpoint can make your subscriber feel like you’re speaking to them exclusively, rather than a group of people. We use second person in our emails, blog posts, and ad copy. (It’s even in this blog post’s title!)

This email from Sky Sports incorporates “you” and “your” to get subscribers excited for their own summer of sport. The email does a really great job of letting subscribers visualize the impact in their own lives.

email words

3. Thanks

Thanking your subscribers is more important than you think. Not only does it add a human quality to your email, but it also builds brand loyalty. When subscribers know you appreciate them, they are more likely to have positive feelings toward you and your brand.

Then, when they are ready to make a purchase, they may not remember why they like you, but they know you made them feel good at some point in the relationship.

Not sure how to thank subscribers through email? Here’s an idea: Send an email celebrating the anniversary of when they subscribed to your list. You can take this opportunity to thank them while also reminding them of their long-term loyalty.

And there’s an easy way to do this with email automation! Just add your anniversary email to your follow-up series for 365 days after the first message.

Here’s a great example of how Harry’s said thank you in an anniversary email.

thanking customers in email

4. New

The word “new” is a great word to give subscribers that extra push to download your content or buy your product. To subscribers, “new” can signify that the content offered in the email is fresh, and they have the opportunity to get it before others.

It may also guarantee that the content was created with the most recent information. For example, if you are offering a download of a new industry report, subscribers want to know that the information found inside is up-to-date.

“New” works especially well for sales emails when you are introducing a recent product that has just been released because it invokes excitement! Who doesn’t love something brand new and shiny?

5. Easy

Using the word “easy” in an email emphasizes to subscribers that what you’re asking is not difficult.

Also, if you’re speaking to a beginner audience, it can alleviate worries about not being able to complete the task.

For example, let’s imagine that you are a personal trainer and your audience doesn’t know how to get started with weightlifting. To make them feel more confident, you can assure them that your services or content make it easy to get started and begin seeing results.

Check out this example email from Uber, which informs new customers that using the app is easy:

easy email writing

6. And

Try this in your next content offer email: phrase the offer in a way that makes subscribers think they’re getting a great deal by using “and.”

Even when you have nothing else to give (or time to create more content), restructure the way you promote it to make it sound like a great deal!

For example, we offer a guide called “What to Write in Your Emails” and when we promote this guide we often call it the “What to Write guide and 45+ email content templates.” The templates are a part of the guide, but by using “and,” we phrase it in a way that adds more value to the guide.

Applying this principle, we sent out an email offering free content when subscribers signed up for an AWeber account. The email bundled two pieces of content using “and” to maximize the value of our offer:

words to use in email

7. Free

“Free” is one of the most persuasive words in the English language, and for good reason. Because who doesn’t love free stuff?

It can get subscribers to take action, because there is no risk involved.

It can also signal that the subscriber is saving money. For example, online retailers use this effectively when they offer free shipping on purchases.

8. [Insert name here]

Personalization is key in your emails. Not only does it help you connect with subscribers, but it also catches attention in the inbox and in the email itself.

Consumer behavior research shows that when we hear our own name, it signals that important information will be directed at us. After all, it’s the first word we learn to read and write – even dogs and cats recognize their own name being called.

Adding a subscriber’s name to an email can earn more engagement and trust from the subscriber reading the message.

The email below from Simple uses the subscriber’s name in the headline to immediately catch his attention.

personalization in email

Words to start and end emails

Using the wrong words or tone at the beginning of your email is a great way to lose subscribers’ interest. You’ve probably received an email with an overly formal and impersonal “To Whom It May Concern,” or a too enthusiastic and unprofessional “Hey!!!!!”

And then there’s the awkward email endings. For example, a business ends an email with no signoff, or concludes an email with a mile-long signature, complete with an irrelevant, “inspirational” quote.

If you find yourself overthinking and unsure how to handle either your email intro or conclusion, here are a few tips to help you know how to say “hello” and “goodbye” in any professional email.

How to begin an email

When to say “Hello,” “Hi,” and “Hey”: These are written in order of formality, with “Hello” being most formal. If you’ve never met in person before and are writing for the first time, use “Hello [Name].” Once you’re more familiar, you can move on to “Hi [Name].” “Hey” is reserved for when you’ve established a rapport with the person.

When you’re unsure of their name: Say: “Hello there,” or simply: “Hello.” There’s no need to say: “To Whom It May Concern,” especially if the rest of your email doesn’t match this formal tone. When emailing a group of subscribers, instead of using “Hello,” you could try using an informal and fun greeting, like Ann Handley does in her newsletter TotalAnnarchy.

IMAGE

When you’re addressing a group: Say a variation of: “Hello everyone” or “Hi Team.” Keep it gender neutral and avoid saying phrases like, “Ladies and gentlemen.” If you’re sending an email marketing message to a group of subscribers, you should write as if you’re talking directly to one person. In this scenario, you could use “Hello” or even “Hello friend.”

When they have a title: If you’ve received an email from someone and their signature includes a title, you should always respond with this title. If you’re unsure of their title, it’s always best to do a bit of research ahead of time. Never address someone with a PhD as Mr. or Ms.

How to end an email

When to use which words: Think about the purpose of your email, and the kind of response you’re requesting to help you determine your signoff.

  • Best: A friendly signoff that doesn’t suggest familiarity.
  • Regards: This word is useful in a professional setting. You can soften it with “Kind regards” or “Warm regards.”.
  • Thank you: This is the most appropriate closing if you’re asking the recipient for a task or favor, or genuinely thanking them for something.
  • Sincerely – Use this only if your email is used in the place of a traditional letter.

What to include in our signatures: Most of us set up a signature to automatically populate at the bottom of our emails. Keep it simple to make sure it’s an appropriate signature in all situations. Include your full name, your professional title, and preferred contact methods. You can even include your headshot to add personality and a face to your name, like we do in the email below.

IMAGE

When to drop the signature: It’s a best practice to sign off your emails with a closing, even if your email chain has been going on for a while.

In the case of email marketing messages to a group of subscribers, you should include a signature if your email sender name is an individual’s name or an individual is sending the email.

Using words carefully

When in person, you can soften difficult conversations with your tone, face, gestures, and other body language. These subtle shifts are nearly impossible to mimic via email. When words are our only tool, here are some tried-and-true phrasings to help convey common awkward messages.

Sending emails during a crisis: In unprecedented times, there’s no one-size-fits-all manual for how to send emails to your email subscribers.

However, many learned during the COVID-19 pandemic that there *are* right and wrong ways to do it. Recipients can tell the difference between a genuine email and a company taking advantage of a crisis. Keep your messaging simple, your tone serious, and focus on the changes you’re making. We actually wrote an entire post about email marketing during a pandemic like COVID-19.

Asking for a quick reply: By using certain words, you can shift focus from the urgency of the situation to your appreciation. For example, “I would appreciate a reply at your earliest convenience.” Or provide a hard deadline: “To meet our deadline, kindly send me your thoughts by 5 p.m.”

Following up after no response: Most emails are opened the day they arrive. So sending a gentle reminder not long after sending your first email (around 2 to 3 days later) is a good way to gauge whether your recipient simply forgot, or they have no interest in responding quickly. For this email, you can keep it straight to the point, with a clear call to action: I am following up to see what you think about [issue].

For email marketing messages, you can easily send a follow up email to subscribers who didn’t open your first email.  You can even send an email to subscribers who didn’t click on the call to action in your first email.

Common email mistakes and words to use instead

Sometimes politeness can be misinterpreted as passiveness, uncertainty, or a lack of confidence. Skirting around the issue of what you really want can just cause more emails, wasted time, and misunderstandings. It’s best to just simply say what you mean and ask for what you want. Here are some common mistakes and ways to correct them by rephrasing your statements:

Instead of: “Just checking in,” say “Let me know when you have an update.”

Instead of: “Sorry, I thought I mentioned that …,” say “As I said, …”

Instead of: “I was wondering if …,” say “It would be best to …”

Instead of: “What time works best for you?,” say “Can you meet between 3 and 5 p.m. ?” 

Instead of: “Sorry for the late reply,” say “Thank you for your patience.”

Instead of: “Sorry I didn’t see that!,” say “Nice catch! Thank you. It’s updated now.”

Instead of: “I think we should …,” say “Based on my experience, we should …”

Overall tips

If you can’t fit the 8 power words or the email phrases from this post in your emails in a logical way, use the principles behind these words to brainstorm your own! Here are some guidelines to help you apply these principles to your own emails:

  • Keep it short. Use short words in your emails because they’re easier for your audience to read quickly.
  • Make it easy to understand. Avoid complex words and make it easy for your audience to understand your email.
  • Be specific. Using specific language will bring your emails to life and make your content more interesting for your email subscribers, colleagues, and clients — especially when you only have a few seconds to get their attention and make an impact.

Want more help?

If you’re stuck on how to effectively use these words in your emails or you just don’t have time to write your emails, try the What to Write guide. It includes 45+ email content templates, already loaded with the most effective words to use in your messaging.

Additional reporting by Shelby McGuigan. Updated on 6/2/2020.

The post The 8 Best Words to Use in Your Next Email appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.



Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.aweber.com

9 Ways to Crush the End of a Blog Post

When I graduated from college a few years ago, there were a couple of lessons that stuck with me.

First, as a journalism student, I was taught to never write a conclusion for an article.

While this became a habit, it’s something I’ve had to unlearn as a marketing writer because you need to write a conclusion in your blog posts.

Second, in my screenwriting class, I learned that every sentence you write should either move your story forward or reveal information.

As a blog writer, this second lesson is the standard I hold myself to. With conclusions, it’s no different.

Conclusions are a necessary element of your blog posts because they guide your reader on what to do next.

Below, let’s review the top ways to absolutely crush the ending of your blog post.

1. Write a summary.

Unlike a journalism article, when you’re ending a blog post, writing a summary is a great way to go.

That’s because your reader most likely forgot a lot of the points you made throughout the piece.

A summary conclusion should list the key takeaways from the article. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t just reiterate your points, but draw actionable conclusions that will educate your audience.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that your summary conclusion shouldn’t contain any fluff. That means all the information should be relevant and tie everything together.

2. Ask a question.

When I write a blog post, I try to remember that it shouldn’t feel dictatorial.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Blog posts should feel conversational. It should be informative, educational, and display empathy with your readers.

One way to do this is by asking your reader a question. You can ask them for their opinion and tell them to comment below. Note that you should only use this tactic if you have comments enabled on your blog posts.

Also, I think it’s important that your questions are specific. Readers are more likely to answer a specific question instead of, “Tell me your thoughts below!”

3. Include a call-to-action (CTA).

After reading a blog post, most users are thinking, “Okay, now what?”

This is why the end of a blog post is a great place to provide actionable solutions in the form of a CTA.

Your CTA could be a content offer, promote your product or service, or ask users to subscribe to your email newsletter.

Either way, every time a reader makes it to the end of a blog post, you should encourage them to continue consuming your content.

4. Inspire your audience.

When I read a blog post or am scrolling through social media, I want to feel inspired.

In fact, sometimes a simple blog post gives me an idea of how I could implement a new habit and inspires me to get started.

So, how can you inspire your audience?

At the end of your blog posts, you should challenge your readers to do something. For instance, if you’re writing a fitness blog, you can challenge readers to write a new grocery list.

Giving people a goal can inspire them to take action, download your content offer, or continue reading your blogs.

5. Direct your readers to do something.

You’ve probably noticed the pattern with the tactics I’ve listed above. All of them have to do with guiding your readers on what their next steps should be.

Whether you summarize your article or ask a question, the end of your blog post should direct readers on what to do next.

Sometimes it can be as simple as asking them to share the post or comment below. You’d be surprised how many people will do something just because they’ve been asked to do it.

6. Provide links to another blog post.

Have you ever been watching a video on YouTube, and then noticed a video in the recommendations on the side that you want to watch?

I don’t know about you, but the recommended videos are the reason I’m usually on YouTube for hours at a time.

When a reader finishes your blog post, we want to enact the same effect.

To do that, you can provide a link to another blog post of yours.

In a previous blog of mine on product knowledge, I ended the post by linking to one of our ultimate guides.

Here’s what that looked like: “Want to learn more about new hire training for salespeople? Check out our ultimate guide.”

7. Start a discussion.

Not to reiterate, but your blog posts should be engaging and start a conversation.

At the end of your blogs, you can encourage this by asking a discussion question.

Sometimes this comes down to the topics you’ve chosen to write about. Not all blog posts will warrant a discussion question, but if it does, it’s a great way to end a post.

8. Produce a teaser.

Teasing future content is a tactic that I see used on YouTube or podcasts a lot. However, I think it has its place in blogging as well.

If you’re on a writing schedule and you know what blog posts are coming up, you can end your blogs by promoting future content.

You can tell readers what’s coming next and what to look out for, so you can entice them to come back. Sometimes teasing future content can even inspire readers to subscribe to your blog.

9. Answer who, what, where, when, why, and how.

At the end of your blog post, you want to tie it up with a bow. That means that you should’ve answered all the questions a user might have.

To do this, think about the who, what, where, when, why, and how.

You can end a blog post by summarizing what the topic was, why it’ll impact the reader, what they should do with this information, and how they can implement it in their daily lives.

Keep in mind that this information should be personalized. It should be targeted to your buyer persona and answer why they should care.

Now, I know you’re probably wondering, “Well, how are you going to end this blog post?”

I’m going to cheat because I’m going to use several tactics I listed above — summary and CTA.

First, I want to remind you that it’s important to keep in mind how the end of a blog post will impact your reader’s journey on your site.

Ultimately, you want readers to continue on your site or engage with your brand, whether they read another blog post, share the post on social media, or download a content offer.

Now, I want to let you know about a great course from HubSpot Academy that’ll help you improve every element of your blogging strategy. You’ll learn how to craft a blogging strategy, and create quality blog content that your audience will love.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.hubspot.com


How to Audit Your PPC Campaign & Identify Metrics for Success

If you manage a Google AdWords account to supplement your organic SEO efforts, you know there are a plenty of metrics available to track and analyze.

Sometimes it can be confusing and overwhelming.

Since we all have limited bandwidth, it’s a good idea to narrow down the key metrics that really give you meaningful insight into what’s working — and what isn’t — in your paid search campaigns.

Before we dive into the key metrics to track, let’s review a checklist to look over when you’re auditing your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

1. Check your location and target settings.

When you’re auditing your PPC campaigns, the first step should be to check your location targeting settings.

To do this, ensure that you’ve properly set up the regions that your business serves. Keep in mind that you can also exclude locations where your company doesn’t have stores or can’t deliver to.

Additionally, you can review geo-reports to see what locations perform best. By doing this, you can prioritize your ad budget by location.

2. Evaluate your ad compared to your landing page.

After reviewing your analytics, you might realize that your PPC ads aren’t converting.

When this happens, it’s time to look at your ads and see if your landing page follows through on expectations.

For example, if an ad markets a “Free CMS,” but your landing page is focused on an inbound marketing certification, there’s going to be a disconnect.

To avoid this, ensure that your headlines and ad copy match the landing page you’re linking to.

3.Use ad extensions.

Ad extensions are one of the only ways to set your ad apart from the rest.

Essentially, ad Extensions allow you to supplement your ad with additional information at no additional cost. The information could be your phone number, additional site links, or even ratings.

If you don’t have these set up for your PPC campaigns, it might be time to see how they can enhance your ads.

4. Assess your keywords.

When you choose keywords for your PPC campaign, you should consider the search volume, match type, and negative keywords.

Usually, the keywords you’re targeting should have high search volume.

Then, you should consider the match type on your keywords. For example, if you use broad match, then you’ll want to add negative keywords.

If you use exact and phrase match, you’re more likely to get clicks and conversions, but you might miss out on other opportunities.

Generally, it’s a good idea to target keywords with a high search volume and use broad match. Then, you should modify your campaign with negative keywords so you can increase your conversion rate.

5. Measure your success with analytics.

When you want to audit your PPC campaigns, you have to take a look at your analytics.

These analytics will let you know what campaigns have been successful and what hasn’t. When a campaign hasn’t been successful, then you can troubleshoot and figure out why.

Now, you might be wondering, “What PPC metrics should I be looking at?”

Below, let’s review five metrics that will give you the most bang for your buck.

PPC Metrics

If you have limited time, these five metrics will give you a great overview of your performance. I’m not saying you should ignore all the other available metrics, but tracking these five over time will provide a solid measure of your success.

1. Quality Score

Quality Score is Google’s measure of the relevance of your keywords, used to ensure that searchers see relevant ads and have a positive experience. The factors that determine your Quality Score include:

  • The click-through rate (CTR) of the keyword and its corresponding ad
  • The relevance of the keyword and ad to the search query
  • The relevance of the keyword to its ad group
  • The CTR of the display URLs in the ad group
  • The quality of your landing page

It’s important to maintain good Quality Scores because Google uses them to determine your ad rankings as well as how much you pay per click.

Even if you think you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s when it comes to keyword research, campaign structure, and ad text optimization, low average Quality Scores are an indication that you’re missing some piece of the puzzle.

2. Click-Through Rate

Recently, I asked 17 PPC experts to tell me the top three PPC metrics they pay the most attention to when analyzing their AdWords accounts. Click-through rate was the #1 most common answer. CTR is important for several reasons, among them:

  • It’s one of the most important factors in determining your Quality Scores
  • It tells you whether or not your ads are relevant to searchers

Low click-through rates are a sign that either your keywords or your ad creative (or both) need improvement.

3. Conversion Rate

Another very popular answer in our PPC metrics interview, conversion rate tells you how many people who clicked your ad went on to complete the desired action on your landing page.

Conversion rate is just as important as click-through rate -– you don’t want to pay for tons of clicks and traffic if none of that traffic ends up taking a meaningful action.

Strong conversion rates mean that the money you spend per click is coming back to you in profits (that’s what we call return on investment, folks).

4. Cost Per Conversion

As Joe Vivolo of KoMarketing Associates put it, “This obviously is the number that makes or breaks a campaign from a success/failure standpoint.”

In other words, if you have to pay more to gain a new customer than that customer is actually worth to your business, then your campaign is failing; you haven’t attained a return on investment.

5. Wasted Spend

Wasted spend is a measure of how much money you’re essentially pouring down the toilet by paying for clicks that don’t convert. In other words, it’s an ROI killer.

The best way to reduce your wasted spend is through smart use of negative keywords. Negative keywords allow you to filter out traffic that is irrelevant to your business and unlikely to convert.

By creating a negative keyword, you’re preventing your ads from displaying for search queries that contain that keyword. Bidding on non-converting keywords is a waste of your marketing budget.

Want a quick way to check your performance for key metrics like these?

The AdWords Performance Grader is a free tool that performs an instant PPC audit on your AdWords account, comparing your performance in areas like Quality Score and wasteful spending to other advertisers in the same budget range.

It’s an easy way to see how you measure up to competitors and to benchmark your campaigns so you can track changes (hopefully improvements) in your results over time.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2011 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.hubspot.com


Pro Tip: Here’s how you need to work with Influencers on TikTok

Content suitable for YouTube or Instagram typically won’t perform well on TikTok so give your influencers some room to tailor the content to what they know works well.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.marketingland.com


How to Master Content Marketing on LinkedIn

There are a few different avenues for sharing information on LinkedIn, but which one is the best method? And what if you’re not ready to invest in paid advertising? There has to be another option, right?

The good news is that there is another option. In fact, there are a couple of ways that marketers can leverage LinkedIn’s platform for content distribution without having to pay for it.

Looking to send out short, digestible content? Engage with a status update.

Have something long and poignant to say? Publish an article. 

To help you get a better handle on where and how to execute a content marketing strategy on LinkedIn, keep reading. I’ve covered everything you need to know from tips on content you should (and shouldn’t) share to how to determine the right frequency for posting. 

How to Distribute Your Content on LinkedIn

1. Publish quick status updates.

One of LinkedIn’s most underutilized features is the “LinkedIn Status Update” (also called your “Network Update”) in your LinkedIn Profile. This is one of the best ways to stay in front of your target audience on a consistent basis. And when used correctly, these little messages pack a big punch.

Your status update “block” is a white box located just below your picture on your homepage. Whenever you share an update, your message is then broadcast to all of your network connections. 

You can also control the visibility of your posts before sharing. This means that you can pick and choose which posts you want to share with everyone, share with just your connections, or share with both everyone and your Twitter network.

Linkedin status expanded with all options

While updates serve as a great place to share your thoughts, linking in a blog post or interesting website will help you to provide an even richer source of insight. 

4 Tips for Sharing Updates on LinkedIn 

  1. Share links to interesting articles, websites or videos. Use words that grab the readers and encourage them to click the link.
  2. Attach a document to your status update. Your audience might appreciate receiving checklists, white papers, or case studies. Job seekers, this is a great place for your resume.
  3. Mention a person or situation that might be helpful to some of your connections. For instance, “I just met with @AlexPirouz from @Linkfluencer and found out they’ve just won the readers choice award from Anthill Magazine.” The “@” before an individual or company name allows the reader to click through to that person’s LinkedIn profile or company page.
  4. Talk about an event you are attending or have attended. This might encourage involvement and/or questions about what you learned there.

5 Things You Should Avoid When Sharing Updates on LinkedIn

  1.  Talking about what you had for breakfast (or your cat). LinkedIn is a professional network. Before you post, make sure that what you’re sharing is relevant to your audience and provides value. While your pancakes this morning may have been delicious, this isn’t the place for it. 
  2. Being a spammer. While it may be acceptable to post 20 times a day on Twitter, the landscape of LinkedIn is a little different. To avoid coming off as spammy, try to limit your updates to no more than a couple times per day.
  3. Talking about sensitive topics. I am too embarrassed to even think about, let alone share, some of the items I see posted as status updates. If your mother wouldn’t want you talking about it, don’t include it in your status.
  4. Continually pitching products and services. This takes people back to the days of big newspaper ads and screaming radio messages. This is not the purpose of social media, especially LinkedIn.
  5.  Don’t bother posting when no one’s looking. The update you posted at 11:30 p.m. on Friday probably won’t get much traction. Try to align your posting schedule with the business hours in which people in your industry operate. Of course, this varies if you have a global audience.

2. Publish and share an article on LinkedIn

Another powerful way to distribute content on LinkedIn is through the publishing platform. With all members now having access to the platform, it serves as a great opportunity to expand your reach in a major way. 

LinkedIn article by Brian Halligan CEO of Hubspot

I was first made aware of this feature when a friend of mine posted an update on Facebook mentioning how his article on LinkedIn managed to achieve over 6000 views and 550+ shares in little over 10 hours. I was intrigued, so I decided to conduct an investigation to see how it all worked.

I decided to test it out by publishing one of my articles, “5 Things All Great Leaders Have In Common.” Given that it was my first time publishing on the platform, I had no idea what to expect. However, what happened next totally blew me away …

Within a matter of minutes I started receiving invitation requests and messages on LinkedIn from members who had came across my article. 

Within a matter of hours the article had gone viral — achieving over 70K views, 11K+ shares, and close to 500 comments. Over the years, I have written hundreds of business articles but none of them had achieved the exposure and interaction that this one did. 

In addition to the exposure, I also managed to secure a few speaking engagements and an opportunity to coach clients for our business advisory firm. 

And while the article continued to gain traction as time went on, I couldn’t help but think that it was too good to be true. Unable to shake this thought, I decided to publish a few more articles over the coming weeks. Whilst none of them achieved the level of exposure my first article received, each article has now reached 10k+ views, 1000+ shares and 100+ comments on average.

If my success story wasn’t enough to sell you on the value of this platform, maybe the following benefits will.

3 Key Benefits of Publishing Long-Form Posts 

  1. Targeted audience. Considering a majority of your connections are like-minded professionals, it’s easy select topics that will resonate. This type of shared interest provides an opportunity to create a two-way dialogue where everyone is sharing their expertise and strengthening their relationships.
  2. More exposure. Every post you write and publish prompts a notification for your connections. This is a great way for you to showcase your thought leadership on your chosen topic and add value to those within your network.
  3. Increased following. If your connections like your content enough to like it or share it, that can open doors to a whole new audience. And if your connection’s network sees your posts and finds value, there’s a chance they will follow you to keep up with your contributions.

4 Steps for Publishing on LinkedIn 

  1. Define your purpose. What is your outcome in publishing content on LinkedIn? Who is the main target market you’re writing the content for? What are the main challenges they face within their role or industry? 
  2. Brainstorm topics. Once you have a clear understanding of why you’re writing the content (and who you’re writing it for), try to come up with a handful of working titles based on your audience’s challenges. 
  3. Narrow your focus. Once you’ve created a backlog of ideas, it’s time to hone in on one. Select the one that you think is most relevant to your audience and get writing. If you need guidance, refer to this resource from LinkedIn for tips on how to write effective long-form content.
  4. Select an image. Pick out a compelling cover image to accompany your post. (If you’re stumped for an image, check out these free stock photos sites.)

3. Publish video content.

If you’re a video marketer, you can alternatively publish pre-recorded or live video content on the platform. To upload a video, all you have to do is go to your status box and upload a file you’ve created. If you’d prefer to do something a bit more interactive, like a Q&A or a live stream, you can now use LinkedIn Live. 

Here’s a great example of a video recently published on the social platform:

Harpreet Singh announces The Future of Work Podcast in a video on LinkedIn

4 Key Benefits of Publishing Video on LinkedIn

  1. Targeted audience: Similarly to status updates and long-form publishing, you can cater content to the audiences that are following your brand or account on the platform. 
  2. More exposure: Like many other platforms, LinkedIn’s algorithms aim to show users a feed with diversified content from users in their networks. When you launch a stream on LinkedIn Live, your followers might be notified or see it pop up on their feeds. Similarly, when you upload a video, it might capture a user’s eye more than a text-based post. 
  3. Increased following: Similarly to other content strategies, those who like your videos will share, comment, or engage with them, which could cause their own followers or audiences to see your content. 
  4. Co-branding opportunities: Know a thought leader, or want to partner with another non-competing brand in your industry? Video is a great place to do this. When you feature a Q&A with an expert or a co-produced film on your LinkedIn, then tag the affiliated influencers or brands, their networks will see it as well. Not to mention, those involved with the video will probably share it to ensure their work goes noticed. 

3 Steps to Publishing a Video on LinkedIn

  1. Brainstorm ideas: Before you start producing something, you should work with your team to build out a video idea that will be engaging to your audience, provide valuable information, and can be scalably created on your budget.
  2. Create a recording environment: Once you have an idea, create an environment that you can film in, while also investing in any equipment you might need such as a camera or lighting. 
  3. Go live on LinkedIn or pre-record your video: To go Live or record a video through LinkedIn directly, go to the app and click the camera button in the status bar. From there a camera screen will open where you can start recording. To upload a video you’ve already recorded, simply go to the status bar on the app or desktop site and click the photo icon to add a video file.

adding a video to LinkedIn

How to Execute a Content Marketing Strategy on LinkedIn

Now that we have discussed the two main strategies you can use to distribute your content on LinkedIn, let’s discuss best practices for executing that content. Although each industry is different, keep in mind that the right frequency can make a difference. 

Step 1: Plan Your Content in Advance

In order to achieve optimal results, you need to plan the content you are going to share. Here are some tips for how to plan more effectively:

  1. Start by taking some time to find articles you want to share, status updates you want to post, or infographics that are relevant to your industry.
  2. Organize the content on a calendar and decide when you want to share them. (Click here to access HubSpot’s free social media content calendar template.)
  3. Leverage software — like HubSpot’s Social Publishing App — to schedule your content in advance.

When you have a plan, you not only save time, but you are able to focus your energy on finding the right content for your audience. 

Step 2: Determine Your Frequency Strategy

When sharing content, the goal is to identify a frequency that allows you to stay top-of-mind without overwhelming your audience. To help you achieve this balance, here are the publishing guidelines I follow:

  • Status Updates: 2-3 times a day.
  • Long Form Publishing: 1-2 times a week.

Keep in mind that every industry is different. While this works for me, you may need to modify this schedule as you see fit.

Step 3: Follow Up With Generated Activity

If your content marketing efforts are working, you’re going to notice a spike in your activity. This could be anything from increased views, connection requests, or even direct messages from viewers.

With that said, now is the time to strike up a conversation. If people are viewing your LinkedIn profile or requesting to connect, consider striking up a dialogue with them. By uncovering what interested them about your profile, you can then begin to uncover potential opportunities for collaboration.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in July 2015, but was updated for comprehensiveness in May 2020. 

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.hubspot.com


Bayesian A/B Testing: A More Calculated Approach to an A/B Test

What are some of the reasons you run an A/B test?

When I think of the benefits of A/B testing, I think of one of the most popular and concrete ways to experiment with ad designs that are effective for target audiences. I think of how changing one simple element can be the deciding factor for customers, and that running a test will help me figure out the preferred design.

Up until recently, I thought that there was only one kind of A/B test. After all, the definition itself is pretty straightforward.

Then, I came across a different kind of A/B test. This method still involves testing variants to discover the preference of an audience, but it involves more calculation, and more trial and error.

This method is called Bayesian A/B testing, and if you want to take a more specific, tactical approach to your ad testing, this might be the answer.

But first, let’s talk about how Bayesian A/B testing is different from traditional A/B tests.

Bayesian A/B Testing

There are two types of A/B tests: Frequentist and Bayesian.

Every A/B test has the same few components. They use data, based on a metric, that determines variants A and B. For example, a metric can be the amount of times an ad is clicked. To determine the winner, that metric is measured statistically.

Let’s apply this to an example of using the frequentist, or traditional, approach. In this scenario, you would design two ads and change one variable, such as the copy of the ad. Then, pick the metric, like the amount of times an ad is clicked.

The winner of the frequentist A/B test in this example would be which ad was clicked the most by your target audience based solely on results from that experiment.

If you were to illustrate these components in a Bayesian A/B test, you would approach the test using different data.

That definition can sound a little difficult to visualize without an example, so let’s go over one.

If your previous ad on Facebook drew 867 unique visitors and acquired 360 conversions, earning a 41% conversion rate, you would use that data to inform an expectation. If you were to figure that your next Facebook ad reached 5,000 unique visitors, you could infer that you’d earn 2,050 conversions based on that prior experience. This would be variant “A.”

Let’s say you look at a similar Facebook ad’s performance and ultimately earned a 52% conversion rate. This is variant “B.” What you have done by collecting the data from the two variants is to calculate the posterior distribution, and the previous tests you’ve run have now become the ground for your Bayesian test.

If, before calculating the posterior distribution, you had inferences about conversion rates earned from each variable, you can now update them based on the data you’ve collected. You can ask hypothetical questions about your test, such as “How likely is it that ‘B’ will be larger than variant ‘A’?” In this case, you can infer that the answer to this is 9%.

Then, the trial and error portion begins.

Bayesian methodology makes decisions by doing some inference. You can calculate expected loss by the rate your metric decreases when choosing either variable. Set a boundary, such as 2%, that the metric should drop below. Once you have collected enough data to support that a variant dropped below 2%, you’ll have your test winner.

Because your inferred loss for a variant is the average amount of what your metric would decrease by if you chose said variant, your boundary should be small enough to comfortably suggest making a mistake that large.

The methodology suggests that you are more willing to make a mistake of a certain amount, then move on to a more refined experiment instead of wasting time on a mistake that dropped below that threshold.

If you were to run two experiments, they would stop when the expected loss is below that 4% boundary. You would use the values of your variants to calculate your average loss. Then, you would begin the test again using these values as your prosperity distribution.

Bayesian A/B testing proves that you can make a business decision that won’t fall below that boundary you set. You can use the data you’ve collected to continuously run tests until you see metrics increase with each experiment.

When you use Bayesian testing, you can modify the test periodically and improve the results as the test runs. Bayesian A/B testing uses constant innovation to give you concrete results by making small improvements in increments. You don’t have to use inference as a result, but instead, use it as a variant.

If you’re running A/B tests on software or different channels, you don’t have to change them to run a Bayesian A/B test. Instead, you can look at the tools you have at your disposal in that software to give you more calculated results. Then, you can continuously run those tests and analyze them to pick your winners.

You might use a Bayesian A/B test instead of a traditional A/B test if you want to factor in more metrics into your findings. This is a really good test to calculate a more concrete ROI on ads. Of course, if you have less time on your hands, you can always use a frequentist approach to get more of a “big picture” conclusion.

Whichever method you choose, A/B testing is popular because it gives you an inference that can be useful for you in future campaigns.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.hubspot.com


19 Free Advertising Tips for Your Small, Large, or Local Business

When you work at a small business with a limited budget, it’s not really possible to shell out $340,000 for a 30-second TV commercial or $10,000 for an email marketing campaign.

It can be frustrating when your budget dictates how many people your business can reach. Here are some free and inexpensive ways to promote your local business: 

1. Use Google My Business to optimize for local search.

One of the most powerful free ways to advertise your business is through Google My Business, which enables companies to manage their presence on Google Search and Google Maps. The tool can bolster your rankings in local search results.

Ranking high in local search shows you’re a legitimate and relevant company: you wouldn’t rank #1 in Google for “pizza places near me” if you’d closed down six months ago. Plus, if you rank high in local search, more consumers will choose your business over a competitor’s. In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is key.

Click here or scroll to the bottom of this post to learn how to advertise on Google for free.

2. Check out Yext.

The more places your business is listed online, the better your chances of showing up in search results, and the easier it is for potential customers to find you. To ensure great local SEO, the details of your listings on every website and online directory need to match up.

For instance, if your website lists your company’s new phone number, but Yelp lists your old one, this inconsistency could hurt your SEO.

Yext scans the web to find every place your business is listed, so you can tweak your listings to guarantee accuracy.

3. Attend networking events and mixers.

Connecting with fellow professionals at industry networking events is a great opportunity to meet potential consumers in a place where they are eager to discuss your business. The niche topics of networking events ensure you’re meeting high-qualified leads. For example, a “Best Technology Startups of 2020” event will primarily be filled with participants who are interested in technology and startups.

Particularly for small businesses looking to make their first connections, networking is a chance to get your name out there, meet potential partners, and find opportunities for growth. Plus, it’ll keep you up-to-date on trends in your industry.

4. Speak at an association or local event.

Similar to networking, speaking at an event about a topic related to your industry is another way to exhibit your expertise. Giving a thought-provoking and powerful speech will draw attention to you and, by association, your business, which can increase brand awareness and prove your business is qualified to tackle consumer’s challenges.

To start, brainstorm different topics and volunteer at various upcoming networking events and trade association conventions. If you’re afraid of public speaking (don’t worry, a lot of us are), you could enroll in a local Toastmasters chapter to improve your game.

5. Put up brochures or flyers.

Putting up brochures or flyers in local libraries, coffee shops, and businesses is a unique way to market to offline locations where people spend a good deal of their time.

You can create free brochures and flyers on PowerPoint or Canva. Depending on your industry, it might even help you reach an ideal clientele: if you’re a physical therapist, for example, perhaps you could hand out brochures to local gyms or nearby hospitals.

6. Run geo-targeted Facebook ads. 

Facebook has more targeted advertising capability than any other platform. In addition to being able to advertise to a certain type of consumer based on interests or job description, you can target people who fit that criteria in a certain location. 

By putting a few dollars per day behind a geo-targeted Facebook campaign, you’ll build up a local following over time. Be sure to continue posting great content as well to keep this new audience engaged. 

7. Invest in direct mail campaigns. 

With direct mail, you’ll know that the right audience in your nearby area is receiving your promotions. 

While a single batch of mailers may not be enough to drive tons of business, doing frequent distribution campaigns will increase the number of impressions you make on your audience, which in turn drives brand awareness and keeps you top of mind. 

Surprisingly, there are also a lot of free ways to supplement your paid advertising efforts. By incorporating free advertising tactics into your strategy, you can remove some nonessential costs and dedicate your budget to deeper, more long-term plays.

In fact, we suggest some of these methods regardless of your budget. To help you spread the word about your business without breaking the bank, we’ve compiled a list of ways to get advertising for free.

1. Write guest posts for other blogs.

There are a few major advantages to guest posting for a well-established blog. You can benefit from connecting to that blog’s audience, and you can also start establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

Since guest posting on a popular blog allows you access to an established audience and high domain authority, this practice can sometimes be more beneficial than posting to your own blog. Plus, you can link back to your own website from your article, giving you an inbound link that boosts your domain authority and can increase your own website’s ranking in search engines.

2. Answer Quora questions.

Writing content for Quora can expose your business to a large audience: in 2018, Quora reported a worldwide audience of 300 million monthly visitors.

Besides the large built-in audience, your business can answer direct questions from prospective customers. This lets you interact with high-quality potential leads and establish yourself as an expert in the subjects that matter most in your industry.

3. Publish content on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a platform to connect with professionals, which is why it’s also a great place to share business-related content. LinkedIn’s blogging platform lets you demonstrate your expertise within your industry.

Your connections and other LinkedIn members will engage with your posts and share them, doing the free promotion for you. With almost half of all social media traffic coming to B2B company sites from LinkedIn, it’s a missed opportunity if you don’t publish and promote content on LinkedIn.

4. Offer to do interviews on other business’ podcasts.

To figure out which platforms your team should prioritize, it’s important to diversify your promotion platforms to discover where your audience is already consuming content. Some of your audience might prefer listening to podcasts over reading articles. To reach those people, contact a few businesses with podcasts and pitch interview ideas.

5. Promote your website on your email signature.

With all the emails you send every day, it’s a shame if you aren’t taking advantage of the promotional potential of your email signature. Your email signature can also be unexpected property to promote a sale, contest, event, or even a new blog post.

Add a link to your business’ website on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles, as well.

6. Send email newsletters.

An email newsletter can be a useful vehicle to promote content, share business-related news, and build deeper relationships with both potential and existing customers. There are plenty of free tools out there that assist you in designing, sending, and optimizing your newsletter.

With the right time investment, an email newsletter can be the perfect place to share quality content with leads and potential consumers, establishing your brand as helpful and informative.

7. Do a free product giveaway or contest.

A product giveaway or contest is an easy way to incentivize new viewers to check out and subscribe to your social media channels or website. Plus, handing out inexpensive branded products like t-shirts or mugs is a good way to spread your brand name.

Word-of-mouth is alive and well — and a little swag can go a long way.

8. Create YouTube videos.

YouTube has more than two billion active users, which accounts for almost half of everyone on the internet. 

Moreover, in a recent study, 84% of people said they’ve been convinced to buy something after watching a brand’s video, and people reported being twice as likely to share videos with their friends than any other type of content.

Creating engaging, informative, and share-able YouTube videos is one of the most efficient ways to sell your brand. If done right, your YouTube videos will entertain viewers enough to share your content and seek out your website.

9. Take advantage of your partnerships.

Partnerships are an opportunity to offer supplementary services that you don’t provide. For example, a web design company and a copywriting agency might choose to partner together, so when a client requires written content for her web pages, the web design company can offer copywriting services from their partner.

This increases consumer satisfaction, and it also provides exceptional advertising opportunities. When your partner’s consumers need your services, your partner will point them in your direction.

10. Post on social media.

Nowadays, social media is crucial to most marketing strategies. Luckily, most types of social media platforms and posts are free — even to businesses. While many platforms will let you advertise, you can still post or tweet for no cost if you’re on a budget.

Pick the platforms that best suit your audience. Then, post links, photos, videos, or text posts about your company, product launches, or any other occurrence that you’d like to promote.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a suitable place to start for most businesses. They all offer a way to share video, text, photo, and link-based posts and have large user bases. To learn more about other forms of social media, check out this post.

11. Experiment with photo and video platforms.

While Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn could be great platforms to start on, expanding to platforms like Instagram or Pinterest will give you more opportunities to show product shots or embrace the heavily-visual strategy of influencer marketing.

Aside from spreading awareness with free images of your product or service, most social platforms, including Facebook, offer live video and story features which can allow you to create video promotion related to your products. For example, you might use Instagram Stories or Facebook Live as an outlet to publish tutorials of how to use your products.

Because these videos and photos are on social, you can also boost their shareability by hashtagging them, creating interesting captions, and encouraging fans to react with actions like “likes” or comments.

12. Encourage happy customers to give online reviews.

Word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to market your product. Consumers trust the opinions of other consumers, especially when there are many great testimonies.

If you have happy customers, encourage them to write a review about their experience on popular review platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp. If you want great reviews on Facebook, be sure to create a Facebook Business page if you don’t have one already.

How to Advertise on Google for Free

As mentioned above, you can create a free page on Google My Business which can help you rank higher or first in search results. Here’s how it works.

Create your Google My Business account.

First, you’ll want to create a Gmail account for your business. Then you’ll want to register for Google My Business with that account.

Google will first ask you to enter the name of your business. Then, you’ll be asked to select a “Delivery Area.” In this form, note the mileage and area where your target audience lives.

Optimize your business page.

After your setup process is complete, you’ll be able to fill out your profile. As you do this, you ideally want to fill out all the information Google requests for the best search optimization.

A few key things you’ll want to include will be:

  • Your address
  • A phone number, email address, and other contact information.
  • Your website
  • Hours of operation
  • Photos of your business and products
  • A detailed description on what your business offers
  • Pricing or menu information
  • The year your company opened
  • Other business attributes such as “free Wi-Fi.”

The above items are things locals might search specifically for. For example, if someone searches for a “cheap Mexican restaurant open after 8pm”, Google will examine the details in business profile and prioritize your restaurant if it seems like a great match.

Here’s an example of what it looks like when a Google business fills out all their information:

cambridgeside galleria google business listing

Verify and monitor your business page.

Once you’ve created your Google My Business profile, be sure to verify your listing so Google knows it’s a real, legitimate business. There are a few ways to do this including email, postcard, and phone verification.

You can also download the GMB app to monitor how your business is doing on a smartphone. This post walks you through the different verification processes.

Don’t forget about SEO.

Along with Google My Business, taking advantage of free SEO strategies can also help your website rise higher in search results. These tactics can be simple and easy to work into blogging, web design, or other processes. 

Don’t let your advertising budget dictate how many people your business can reach. Start putting together your advertising plan today.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.hubspot.com


How to use Google Ads Explanations to understand performance changes

The new feature can help you identify the causes behind substantial shifts in Search campaign clicks, cost, impressions or conversions.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.searchengineland.com


‘What’s an ads guy doing running Google search?’

Some people may be unfamiliar with Prabhakar Raghavan’s background.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.searchengineland.com


Google My Business offers more flexibility with business hours

Check your Google My Business console to set your “more hours” to reflect COVID-19 precautions.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.searchengineland.com