Why You Should Automate Your Emails
I have a confession to make. As a professional email marketer for over 15 years, I just started using email automation within my own business model. GASP! NO! WHAT DID SHE JUST SAY? OMG! I know I know, the truth hurts, and there you have it. There are several reasons why it took me so long to make the jump. Would it really work? Would my readers respond? Would my emails become impersonal...cold even? And lastly, truth be told, I procrastinated. I knew it would take a bit of work (up front), and I kept putting it off.
I had become my worst nightmare of a client come to life. After, now a year and a half, of working with email automation for both my clients and my business, I can honestly say...OMG Why Did I Wait So Long!? Here is what I learned this past year.
YES YES IT REALLY DOES SAVE YOU TIME
I want you to take a step back, and think about all the "marketing" email campaigns you send out on a monthly/bi-monthly, even yearly basis. Say it be a thank you email, a welcome email, a follow up email. Perhaps your business sends out happy birthday emails, or anniversary emails. As a business, we all pretty much send out a hand full of the same emails over and over. So why recreate the wheel every single time?
STRIKE WHILE THE LEAD IS HOT
Did you know...NEVER is a prospect's interest higher than when they join your mailing list? Whether they join via your website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile or Instagram, that prospect wants more information on your company. How long do they have to wait to get it? Answer, they shouldn't have to wait at all! Your "welcome email" should arrive immediately after they join. BAM - thank you for your interest in ABC company, and here's how we're going to make your life easier...etc.
LET THEM SEGMENT THEMSELVES
Gone are the days where you send out a "blast" email to one list. Today, email marketing is about sending out information (content) your readers want to receive. So how do you know what information they're craving? Let them tell you! When you create your sign up form, provide them with different interest based lists to choose from. For example, if you own a Doggie Daycare, you may offer more than just daycare. How about if they could join lists called:
EASILY CREATE THE PERFECT SALES FUNNEL
#truestory. I offer one-on-one training to individuals on how to grow their business via LinkedIn. After our session, I send them a follow up email with two guides of everything we covered, some action items, and to let them know that I'm here to help them should they have additional questions. I had to write this same email over and over again, and then I just started copying and pasting the content and changing their name (sound familiar)? This past year, I really went to work. I created a 6-part email series that each of my trainees would receive, in the sequence I chose. The sales objective was for them to consider me to help them with an email marketing program. EUREEKA!!! I got more than half of my trainees to work with me again.
Want access to my 6-part email series? Simply shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You've heard the term, work smart not hard. That's exactly what email automation brings to the table. A smarter way to implement an effecitive email marketing program. Note, that email automation can't and shouldn't replace all of your email marketing campaigns, such as your monthly or quarterly newsletters. But the sky is the limit on all the ways you can implement and autoresponder campaign.
Stuck on ideas for your first autoresponder? Then download my free guide: 4 Simple Ideas to Get Your Autoresponder Series Up and Running Fast
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Before you dive into creating your welcome email, you want to ask yourself what tone you'd like to set and recognize who you'll be speaking to. Hopefully you have segmented your database into different lists, and thus you wouldn't send the same email to your potential customers as you would to your VIP's would you?
Think of your welcome email as your first date email. This is the first impression they'll receive of your business in the inbox. So you want it to be a great first impression! When you're prepping for that first date, you perfect your hair, toy with your makeup, try on a bunch of different outfits and shoes! Guys you...well take a shower and brush your teeth, perhaps more, but the point being, we all make an effort to look our best. You should include the same prep work when creating your welcome email.
BE ON TIME
As soon as someone opts-in to join your list, they should receive your welcome email as soon as possible. Their interest in your organization is at an all time high, strike while the irons hot.
SAY THANK YOU
A welcome email should always be a thankful email. Now-a-days everyone is asking you for your email, so it's quite a privilege to have a potential customer provide you with theirs. They're interested in your business and they showed you so by giving you their email address. So...say thank you.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Moving on to what to expect. Inform you readers exactly what they'll receive now that they have joined your list.
"Hi John! Thank you for joining our crew. XYZ company will send you a monthly email loaded with ABC content."
ASK YOUR SUBSCRIBERS TO "WHITELIST" YOU
Suggest to your subscribers that they put your “From email address” into their address book. That will tell Internet Service Providers like Yahoo and Google that these subscriber are expecting to receive your email. There are many benefits to getting whitelisted with just one of them being higher delivery of your emails into the inbox. .
Continuing on with your date, you want to showcase your best work right off the bat. Their interest in you is at its highest peak, so reiterate that they made the right decision in asking you out, in choosing your business.
HAVE A CALL TO ACTION
Welcome emails generate four times the total open rates and five times the click rates compared to other emails. In taking it a step further, you should consider thanking your prospects by rewarding them. This is a great time to encourage new leads to take action with a discount offer.
My tip to you
Did you know, that the PS section in an email is the most read sentence in an email? Use this to your advantage. Include a fun fact about you or your company. Lead them to a fun page on one of your social media channels. Ask a trivia question and provide the answer in a follow up email. The possibilities are endless!
Now that you've presented yourself in such a way on your first date, hopefully it will lead to a second date...a phone call, a click, a donation...a new customer!
PS You're "welcome" to download my free guide: 4 Simple Ideas on Your First Autoresponder (includes a welcome email )
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Whether you’re just getting started with email marketing or a seasoned campaigner, you’re probably familiar with the term “automation”. In fact, it’s probably something you’re already doing in a really simple way with email autoresponders.Think of your "Welcome Email". When someone signs up to receive your emails, they automatically receive a welcome email thanking them for signing up. Simple right?
In it's simplistic definition, an Autoresponder is an email you create and send to a contact or list of contacts, in the order and frequency you decide. The series will launch after you add a contact to a list - by you, OR if they opt-into your list through one of your online sign-up form(s).
Now lets say you could automatically send that interested customer another email, what would you say?
Here are 4 real-world examples of how businesses are automating their emails.
1. BIRTHDAY MESSAGES - A single-step campaign that triggers a customer an email on the morning of their birthday or the month of their birthday. This is an excellent way to build relationships with customers. For best effect, ensure the message has a personal touch and include a special offer in the email as a way of saying “happy birthday”.
2. COUPON MESSAGES - How many times have you been at the register about to pay for your goods when the cashier asks for your email. This is one way to grow your list yes, but why not take it a step further? Provide them with an instant wow experience. Upon submitting this new email address, an autoresponder immediately sends them an email with 10% off coupon they can use right then and there. The value of the coupon, plus the instant gratification can generate future sales.
3. EVENT MANAGEMENT - As a speaker, I conduct many seminars and webinars as part of my business model. I can say first hand that a utomation is a huge time saver when it comes to managing communications for an event. Event campaigns begin by triggering a thank you / confirmation email to someone immediately after submitting their event registration form. I follow up with an event reminder email to registrants on pre-determined dates before the event. A final step I take, is to trigger a post event survey and or thank you email to attendees 1 day after the event.
4. WELCOME EMAIL SERIES - Have you thought about another email you'd send out to follow your welcome email? What if you sent them a second email 3 days later letting them know of your social media channels? Maybe a third email goes out a couple of days later to include a success story, customer testimonials etc. With a welcome email series, you want to paint a picture of what life would be like working with you.
Autoresponders can be an incredible addition to your email marketing program. Remember to keep it simple, don't over-think it, capture your voice in each email, and make sure to test the autoresponder.
Ready to get started with your first Autoresponder? Download my Free Guide Now: 4 Simple Ideas to Get Your First Autorepsonder Series Up & Running Fast!
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I decided to practice what I preach and start my own referral program. One thing I have learned, (thus far), is to keep it simple both for myself, and especially for my clients. In this time starved society, don't make it difficult for your super-fans to take part in your happy-go-lucky thank you program. Like anything, once you have your program in place, it won't work unless people know the program exists. So here 6 ways to simply...let people know. PROGRAM PLACEMENT - If your referral program is easy to find then it will increase its’ performance. Unfortunately, this is an area that many companies fail to consider. They end up burying the program. Make your referral program visible immediatley upon someone visiting your website, in the root navigation, and using banner displays. Another way to bring the program to light is to include it in your LinkedIn Summary and at the forefront of all of your social media channels. NETWORKING GROUPS - I'm a member of a hand full of networking groups. And like most groups we meet once or twice a month to conduct business, pass leads etc. When you're having your one-on-one's or it's your turn to present, make sure you inform the members of your referral program. Don't assume they know it exists. EMAIL SIGNATURE - Include information about your referral program within your email signature. You can also hyperlink the text within your signature to lead them to a landing page that would include more detailed information on your program. INVOICE REMINDERS - Billing isn’t always a pleasant experience to have with your users. So this is a great time to inform your user-base that they can save and or make $ off of your referral program. ANNOUNCMENT - Take advantage of your owned media, like your email list. Sending out an email to tell your email subscribers about your referral program is a great way to start an awareness campaign - check out mine below :smileyhappy: BLOG POST - You can also write a blog post to tell current and prospective users about your referral program. Make sure to optimize the article for search so it can rank when people are looking for *your company* referral program. This will give your users who are looking for the referral program another easy way to find it. Finally, try to keep the program flexible. I have a colleague who has sent me 4 new clients! My program is simple, for every new client she provides she'll get 20 bucks. Easy Peasy. Well, thus far, she's closing on 100 bucks, simply by passing on my name. I sent an email to her to confirm her address, to which she emailed me back with the subject line reading I have a great idea! "I’ve been thinking about the referral gift you offered to me – a friend and I were spending some time chatting yesterday, and there is a charity she is involved with that is in serious need of funds…now I know my $60 thank you from you (so far), isn’t going to fund an entire charitable organization, but my thought is - instead of me getting that cash, it could be donated to the Children’s Advocacy Center instead…. And, any $20 thank you going forward for each of my clients I send your way to utilize Constant Contact, could also go to the Children’s Advocacy Center." My response? That's not a great idea...that's a BRILLIANT idea! YES!
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1. Cut down to the essential In this time-starved society we all live in, people simply don't have time to read a long email. So cut to the chase and inform them what exactly you want them to do and how you want them to do it. 2. Motivate your readers to take action No one will ever sell your goods and or services better than your customers. So why not include their personal testimonials to provide your readers with yet another reason to do business with you. 3. Include the same link multiple times, not just in the included Call To Action Button 4. Follow up quickly Once your reader has taken the action you have asked them to, send them an immediate Thank You and encourage them to refer others. 5. Include a video Videos by far, get much more engagement than an image. 6. Use a button in every email you have a Call To Action. 7. Segment your lists Not so strangely, as your email list begins to grow...say into the thousands, your open rate begins to go down. This is not surprising, if you're sending out a "blast" of the same content to the entire list. Nothing and I do mean NOTHING beats a special offer that's based on the recipient's specific interests.
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1. Know Your Target This is basic marketing 101, but it never ceases to amaze me how many companies and or individuals do not have a clear view of who their target market is. Once you understand that LinkedIn can perform as a search engine, making it even easier to find your clientele, the skies the limit for sales. Think about your perfect client and what key words would represent their LinkedIn profile. Would such words as small business, sales, insurance, banking, real estate exist within your client's profile? Then begin to search for your "Ideal Client Profile" using those key words. Begin with your 1st connections and see how many possible clients exist just within your first connections alone! 2. Know Your Uniqueness What makes you stand out from the 300 milliion LinkedIn crowd? What are you offering that differentiates you from the rest? Once you understand what makes you and your products different from the rest, you'll want to pepper these key words within your own LinkedIn profile, so that your potential clients can easily find you as well. Remember, they're searching for you, just as much as you're searching for them. So make it easy for the both of you to find one another. 3. Create a Call to Action So you've built an incredible LinkedIn profile, but it means nothing if the leads aren't coming in, right? Just like email marketing, you need to have a call to action. You need to instruct your prospects what you want them to do and how you want them to do it. It may be a phone call, an email or just a visit to your site to sign up on the mailing list. Even a message as simple as "First Time Home Buyer? -- Click HERE" can have significant impact for real estate agents. You can't simply expect someone to call or email. You have to ask them. Also, be sure to collect their personal information so you can continue to connect with them. 4. Get Active You can simply start by answering questions within your groups (groups that hopefully encompass your Ideal Customer Profile). Choose a question you are completely comfortable answering. You want to position yourself as the expert in your field, without overtly pushing your products/services onto your Ideal Customer Profiles. Once a conversation has begun offer a private phone call to be able to help even further. Upon the conversation wrapping up offer your soltuions at your normal rate..if further assistance is needed. So long as you look at LinkedIn as a place where you can bring value to others, you'll be way ahead of the game. Cheers! www.linkedin.com/in/vanessacabrera/en
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I bet before you even begin to read this post you have already checked your email, correct? I'm curious which of those many emails did you click on and why? Did you delete some right away, while kept others in hopes of getting back to it later? I went through the exact same process. There are some companies I can't wait to hear from, while others I keep reminding myself that I need to unsubscribe. How can the small business owner make sure that their emails are the ones that are getting opened and more importantly are clicked through once opened, rather than being on the top list of one of the companies to unsubscribe? Wouldn't you love to see your open rate skyrocket? See your call to actions come to life as your click through rates soar. Become the company your readers love to share your content on their social media sites! You absolutely can become an effective email marketer in your own right. Take a look at these 10 habits you can begin to incorporate into your email marketing initiatives. Habit #1 They get permission from their target audience I personally do not believe in purchasing email lists. Think of it, we've all gotten emails from companies we know **bleep** straight we didn't opt-in to receiving their emails. Right off the bat, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth about this company. You'll be more effective when you're speaking to an audience that wants to hear from you. Habit #2 They pay attention to what their readers want Listen to your audience. Pay attention to what they are asking on social media, conduct surveys, see what your competitors are doing and join forums where your audience hangs out. A smart marketer already knows what their audience wants before they send out a campaign. Habit #3 They know their voice We all can recognize a standout email when we get one, because it sounds that it was written by a human, and it has a certain flavor to it. Rather than receiving the same salesy type of email time and time again. Great email marketers understand they are speaking to people, not "an audience". So their writing style is from one human being to another human being, not from brand to customer. Habit #4 They have an objective Many of my clients tell me, I NEED to send out an email because I haven't in the past 2 months! If this is why you're sending out an email, you don't understand email marketing. Each and every email that you send out should have a specific objective you can properly measure. They answer these questions before even beginning to write the email. Why am I sending this campaign out? What specifically do I want my reader to do? Be very clear in your call to action. Keep it simple. Remember a confused reader will not take action, no matter what. Habit #4 They are consistent Your customers and potential customers may not require your products and or services right now, however, when your consistent with your communication efforts, you're positioning yourself as the expert in your field, so that when they do need you, you're already present within their mind. Note: Consistent does not mean for you to send out just promotional emails.Consistency requires for you to remain consistent in your desire to serve. Don't send out just promotional emails, don't over email, and definitely don't send content they did not ask for. Send out useful information your audience will appreciate. For example if you're a carpet cleaner, you can send out an email that includes tips on how to remove wine from your carpet. The more you help your audience, the more they would appreciate doing business with you. Habit #5 They create subject lines that scream OPEN ME You do not have to be a creative writer to create an irresistible subject line. All you have to do is BE HONEST. Tell your readers exactly what they can expect to read once they open your email. If you're writing based off of what your readers are asking for (Habit #2), then your audience will already be inclined to open your emails. Never do the bait and switch tactic. This is where a subject line gets one curious enough to open the email, just to find out that the subject line had absolutely nothing to do with the content within the email. This infuriates both me and you I'm sure. Don't be that email marketer. Habit #6 They know how to work an auto-responder series Remember the time when you signed up to a list to receive that beautiful welcome message and then...crickets. You received another piece of communication from them in a few weeks and by that time you had completely forgotten who they were. Great email marketers use auto-responders to send out a sequence of emails to every person from the time they sign up. This ensures that the person gets more exposure to their messaging in a timely fashion. Habit #7 They will never SPAM you What exactly is SPAM emails. In a nutshell, SPAMMING means you are bombarded by emails that are selling you something you did not sign up to receive. Honest email marketers will not besiege you with their affiliate programs. They also will stay true to their brand. In other words if one signed up to receive makeup tips and tricks, then you shouldn't send them advice on how to grocery shop on a budget. Habit #8 They have a clear call to action In this day-in-age everyone is extremely busy. How would you like to receive a looooong email from every single company you opt-in to receiving their emails. Answer? You wouldn't. So keep your emails short sweet and to the point. Be very clear of what you want your readers to do, and how you want them to do it. Remember always have one objective for every communication you send out. Habit #9 They build relationships with their readers With social media now in major play with companies and their customers, smart marketers understand that they need to build a relationship with their readers before they even ask for anything from them. They know that they need to prove themselves first, communicate to them that they are here to HELP, not to land another sale. How do they do this? They give tons of valuable information for FREE (remember that wine stain), they tell stories, they include their customers within their stories (testimonials), all to build trust. So when the time comes to choose your business, the loyalty has been created so there is no need to go anywhere else. Habit #10 They know how to create killer promotions Because they have listened to their audience and know exactly what they want, from there, it's quite easy to create a promotion your customers will respond to. Combine this priceless information with the right pricing and persuasive techniques that work, i.e. for a limited time only (this works!). Your customers will have no choice but to be excited about your offer. As a Master Certified Constant Contact Expert, I live and breathe email marketing. And I have learned a lot from my clients. Want to supercharge your email marketing in 2015? Answer these questions and see what magic you can create. What can I do to make my readers feel special? How can I stand out in the crowd? What can you give them as an unexpected treat (think of the feeling you get when you get flowers at the office). Don't forget to have some fun with your email marketing. Your objective for one of your email campaigns could simply be - Make Them Smile Today. Remember we are all human beings, we should communicate and relate to one another as such. Cheers!
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Thanks so much Laura! Yes many people don't take the time to really create a proper profile on LinkedIn. I think they don't truely understand the value of LinkedIn and how one can aquire leads through this very powerful social media channel. If they did...I know we'd see more and more amazing profiles. Thank you again for your kind comment.
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LinkedIn is a powerful tool for making business connections—but it is just that, a tool. Even the most active users miss on some simple ways to optimize the way they use LinkedIn. But it all begins with your profile. Someone looking for a new career path vs someone looking to grow their business on LinkedIn would have very different profiles. Before you jump into the B2B art of growing your business via LinkedIn, you need to make sure that your profile should mirror who you are and why someone would want to do business with you. 1. Upload a Decent Profile Picture Your LinkedIn profile photo sets the tone for everything else a viewer will experience on your page — just like match.com or Instagram. Except LinkedIn isn’t match.com or Instagram. It’s the world’s largest professional network. So that means: No blurry photos No photos of you cropped out of a group shot No photos of you at a ball park (unless you’re gunning to work for one) No avatars And for goodness sake, no selfies! 2. Write a Killer Summary! The headline of your LinkedIn profile is highly searchable. I know that no one on LinkedIn is looking for “President of Your Social Media Mentor.” So I list something more search-friendly that speaks of what I do on a daily basis — and for which people may want to hire me. “Social Media Strategist that specializes in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Email Marketing” paints a much better picture of who I am and how I can help potential clients. Whatever you do, don’t leave the summary blank or limit it to a few bland sentences. This is your chance to be creative and describe who you are and what you’re passionate about. Make it personal, while also highlighting key accomplishments you don’t want anyone to miss. 3. Showcase Your Value Via Recommendations Get some high quality recommendations – especially from existing happy customers (quality is better than quantity). This will give visitors a better idea of what you’re like as a person. After all, people like to do business with people not companies. We're all still human, LinkedIn simply gives you the incredible opportunity to connect with other humans. But don’t rely on LinkedIn to do the asking for you with their recommendations request feature. Ask in person or write a personal email sincerely expressing what their recommendation would mean to you. Don't forget your key words you want to be "found" for. Think of SEO within your LinkedIn profile. 4. Use the Power of Endorsements Pay attention to your endorsed skills. This can lend credibility to you. Second, this part can also be searched for. If you have unique skills or technical abilities, you should list them here. This will let people looking to work with you find you. Adding information here is like doing a bit of SEO for yourself! Tip: If someone endorses you for one of your key skills, endorse them back for one of theirs. Social Media Etiquette 101 5. Build a Mutlimedia Profile Most profiles on LinkedIn are just plain text – how boring is that? Build a visual profile and you’ll instantly stand out. This LinkedIn feature (called “Professional Portfolio”) allows you to share presentations, photos, videos, links, PDFs, and more. So use it to your advantage and show off your creative work! BONUS TIP! Make sure you include current links to your company site, your Twitter account, Facebook page, any of your other social sites. I find that a significant number of people who check out my LinkedIn profile go on to follow me on Twitter! LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful vehicle to make monster connections for a chance to do big busines. I myself am on LinkedIn everyday to see what business opportunities I can be a part of, it has been a big part of me growing my own business. Interested in finding out more strategies on how to Use LinkedIn for Sales Prospecting? Connect with me on LinkedIn today! Good luck guys. www.linkedin.com/in/vanessacabrera
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Whether you know it or not, mobile is already having an influence on the way people interact with your business. Here are 5 simple tips you can do to make sure your email campaigns are mobile friendly. Be as Concise as Possible in Both Design and Content – have a clear message and focus on the essentials. Use a Single Column Template – make it easy for your subscribers to read and navigate thru your content. Use a Single Clear Call to Action - tell your readers what you want them to do, then make it really easy for them to do it. Visit our website for more information or Get This Deal, as an example of one of my own single column mobile-friendly emails above. Avoid Tiny Fonts – for body text use a minimum font of 11pt. For headlines use a minimum font of 22pt. Also consider using strong contrast of colors. Note my example above, I used a dark color text on a light background. Take It Easy on Images – only use images that are essential to your content and always preview your email campaigns to assure your images are displaying as they should. Look great everywhere! A little work on your email design can go a long way in making sure your emails look great no matter where people are reading them.
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Get Organized Before Promotion Begins 4-6 weeks Select and book your venue 4-6 weeks Set up an event home page and registration form using Registration Page: Make the event page look visually appealing and include as much detail as possible, include session descriptions, speakers, bios, and testimonials from previous attendees (if you have them). Registration Form: Include information that helps communicate with your registrant’s pre, during & post event. I normally collect the following information First Name Last Name Email Address Organization Name Phone Title – so you can see if they are the owner or decision maker Website – so I can review their online presence and better understand their marketing needs Where they heard about the seminar – useful if you’re using multiple promotional channels or partners Now that you have your landing page and online registration page up, it’s time to spread the word and promote your event. Plan and Create your Email Marketing Campaign 4 -5 weeks prior Send a Save the Date Email – you do not need to include all the details of the event. Think of this as a teaser. 4 weeks prior Send out an Evite, an email that invites them to the event and provides a clear Call To Action like Register Now! 3 weeks prior Send out a 2nd Reminder Evite – only to those within your database who HAVE NOT yet registered. With , this allows you to do this quite easily! 2 weeks prior Send out another Email that provides additional information on the event that was not included within the first 3 to entice them even more. Perhaps you have added another speaker, your menu may be finalized, you may have finalized your raffle prizes…etc. 1 week prior Send out a reminder email to those who have already registered. Even though your potential customers have registered, life gets busy and they may have forgotten about the event, or forgotten to put it on their calendar. Within the same time-frame you’ll want to send a Time is Running Out email to those who have not yet registered. Your copy should mirror a sense of urgency. 1-2 days prior Send out a final reminder email to those who registered to attend. This last reminder may seem a bit much seeing as if you already sent out a reminder email the week before. But think about it, how many of last week’s emails do you remember? 1-2 days after the event Studies show that hot leads fade within 48 hours of an event, so make sure you schedule a thank you for attending email to your attendees, as well as, a sorry you couldn’t make it email to those who didn’t attend. You may want to include pictures of the event to peak their interest in attending a future event. Creating and Planning Your Social Promotion Twitter – I encourage all of my clients that when hosting an event, make sure to include an assigned # to that event. So that your staff, attendees and even non attendees can take part in the online conversation of the event. Tip: If you want to create a special hashtag for an event or campaign, select one that hasn’t been used before and remind everyone to use it in related tweets. Be sure to include the hashtag in any promotional materials. Make it informative but short. LinkedIn – LinkedIn is not the forum to constantly post about your event, that’s what your twitter # is for. However, you absolutely can use this forum to inform and invite your connections about the event and provide a link to the registration page, especially if you do not have email addresses to all of your LinkedIn connections…who does? Facebook – Facebook can be a great forum to have a little fun with your event. Hashtags have arrived on Facebook, so be sure to promote your designated # on Facebook as well. You can post 2-3 of your emails within your email campaigns. No need to post each and every email you sent out to your Facebook page, that is what the inbox is for. Encourage people to post pictures and tag themselves during and after the event. More Social Promotions You Can Use via Use built-in social sharing to share your landing page and event on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. Add your event details to your Facebook page with our EventSpot Facebook App. Create a landing page for your event and put the URL on your Facebook page, website, or blog. Add a list of some or all of your upcoming events to any landing page. Interested in planning your next event with EventSpot? Contact me to expedite the set-up process and have your event up and online in no time!
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Facebook recently made updates to their API and SDKs, but one of the most impactful changes was buried at the bottom of the announcement: “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.” If you use apps like Constant Contact and many, many more, you may be using a like-gating (also known as “fan-gating”) feature. It works by showing different content to fans and non-fans. Let’s take for example a social campaign I am currently running. You can download my content, How to Create a Killer Facebook Promo in 10 Easy Steps, by first liking my Facebook page (for non fans). When you visit my page, Facebook will then check to see if you are a fan of my page and will present the view accordingly. Once you “like” my page, you will then need to provide additional information I require in order for you to receive this white page…ie your email address. Why such an update? So why did Facebook move forward with this change? Here’s the explanation straight from the source. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike. I appreciate the move, and it may actually help the user experience. If a user rarely interacts with a brand, they won’t see that brand’s content anyway. But I doubt it will do much of anything for advertisers. If I target fans of a particular page, I’m not able to only target “actively engaged” fans. I target all fans, and that will include those who were incentivized to like the page. But targeting based on activity seems like a pretty darn good idea, doesn’t it?? What does this mean for future marketing initiatives on Facebook? Marketers are going to have to get more creative with their content! But don’t panic this isn’t the end of the world. Embrace that your fans will be those who care most about your brand. But also accept that it will now be harder to increase those numbers, particularly if you previously thrived with contests and other like-gating. No matter what the method of increasing your audience, you need to establish a compelling value proposition. Why should someone like your page? The “incentive” may be as simple as providing the most thorough, helpful or entertaining information in your niche. Additionally, you should still use third party apps to build your email list. So instead of requiring users to like your page to get the incentive, you are collecting an email address. This is allowed! Ironically I am hosting a webinar to discuss this very same topic: 60 Ways To Grow Your Email List – if you’re interested in attending, click HERE to register. As I’ve stated time and time again in many of my seminars: Email is NOT dead, and here’s yet another reason why you need to incorporate email with your social media marketing. I have already discussed changing strategies with my clients due to this change, and it was relatively easy to shift gears. Why? Because they already had an email marketing plan in play BEFORE they moved forward with their social media marketing initiatives. Do you? Now You How does the loss of like-gating impact your approach and Facebook marketing in general? Click HERE to provide your input.
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