AWeber Tip-Personalization Advantage

One of the largest of advantages of AWeber is your ability to customize each communication, so it feels like you are sending an email directly to the recipient. (e.g. Dear <first name>, or Hi <First name>, will appear as Hi John, or Dear John, …Don’t under estimate the power in personalizing your communications, as your readers receive hundreds of emails a day that are not personalized. This will help you stand out. Also, there are many customizations beyond your readers name, if you have considered collecting the information; City, Address, Gender, or any other custom field you decide is important to you and your list.

Here are a few personalization tips that will help you stand out amongst the masses:

  1. 1.       Consider adding your readers first name name to the subject line of your email. There is nothing sweeter than the sound of a person’s own name, and studies have shown emails get opened when a recipient’s first name  is strategically included in the subject line of your email. (e.g.  This video is insane <first name> ! )
  2. Try to engage your readers by asking them questions to get a response. (e.g. Do you have an idea or topic you would like us to cover <first name>?)
  3. 3.       Geo location targeting is all the rave the days. If you have collected the city your reader lives in, why not occasionally interweave this information into your newsletter.  (e.g. According to Bloomberg real estate prices in the United States have shown a sign of bottoming.  Is this the case in your community in <City>?

These are just a few of the personalization techniques you should consider.

Just as an FYI!  There are many experts who also disagree, and say that everyone knows these days it’s a computer program just inserting a name or data point. It’s no longer personal. I’ll leave the decision up to you in the end, but I would personally rather receive an email addressed, Dear or Hi Lee, as opposed to G’Day, Good Afternoon or nothing at all.

Rebecca Swayze of the Official AWeber.com blog did an interesting pro & con post on this that you may find an interesting read.

Email Inbox Utopia

I have achieved the ultimate email nirvana of  ZERO EMAILS in my inbox and know that you can as well. This has been extremely easy,  true,  and was accomplished managing both my personal & business email (200+ combined emails per day). In addition to seeing my In Boxes empty at the end of every day, I now only have to manage three folders! This is a far cry from the 50+ folders I managed before.

I’ll say that again, “Only three folders too manage all my email!” Life is simple again.

First off, I can’t take any credit for creating an uber email system or process. The awesome blogger/author(s) over at LifeHacker, Gina Trapani (blog post)  &  co-author of the LifeHacker book Adam Pash,  did all the heavy lifting and included an expanded version of this blog post called “Empty Your InBox With The Trusted Trio” in their book! For more detail definitely check out their book entlitled, “Lifehacker: The Guide To WOrking Smarter, Faster, and Better”. It contains an insane amount of valuable time saving tech techniques outside of your email inbox  just waiting to be discovered. They should be teaching this stuff to kids in school as far as I am concerned.

Here is the premise of achieving email inbox utopia and then I highly suggest you head over to LifeHacker to read their blog post then buy the  digital version on Kindle or hard copy of the book. It will be the best 10$ or $20, respectively,  you have ever invested:

  • Every email you receive can be either dealt with immediately or assigned to a folder in less than a minute.
  • You only need three email folders from this day forward; follow up, on hold & archive. (See the LifeHacker blog post and or book for more details)
  • You need not be a slave to your email ever again.  (As the screenshots of my two email in boxes below prove email utopia or nirvana is indeed achievable!)

Here are the screenshots of my gMail and Outlook email clients:

Outlook:

Outlook Email at Zero

Gmail:

Gamial Inbox at Zero

Lastly, here is my affiliate link to the book I highly recommend you read to achieve email inbox utopia and many more digital enlightenment techniques.

Integration Marketing Is An Art

If you are looking for ways to grow your business, organization or even your own social profile I know you’ll get a lot out of today’s blog post. Integration marketing when done right can be like two peas in a pod for growing your business organically.

As some of you know, I sit on the board of the Childrens Wish charity for my region in Canada (Manitoba & Nunavut). Today, I attended a grand opening of a local business that understands integration marketing is indeed an art (pun intended)! I think we can all learn from their success and endeavor to apply integration marketing  tactics in our own businesses.

ArtLandStudio.ca is a new business that provides art classes & workshops for kids aged 2+! Their target market is a very specific niche and they obviously put some serious thought to how they would launch their new business location to the Winnipeg community. For their Grand Opening they chose to approach the Childrens Wish charity to be a part of their first day & obviously plan to support CW as their Charity of choice.

The marriage of the two organizations is integration marketing at it’s finest! ArtLandStudio with one phone call was able to tap into having Childrens Wish help promote their business, while at same time help promote the charity all day for every parent & child who attended the Grand Opening! A true win-win for both businesses. The place was packed with kids and their parents, many of which I recognized as folks connected to our charity.

Could this work for you?

Take some time to think about other organizations that would jointly benefit from your promotion, launch, event, and if you can involve a like minded charity all the better.

Often integration marketing can bring to the table something your business needs while at the same time providing value to the other organization. What an awesome way to grow!!!

Take some time to consider the art of integration marketing & you may just surprise yourself on what you can come up with…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROhAtGxsVfI[/youtube]

Why Become An Aweber Affiliate?

1. I am both an Aweber customer and and an affiliate and think you should be too! Click my Aweber affiliate link HERE if you have no idea what I’m talking about.

2. Why am I both a customer and an  Aweber affiliate? I’m a customer because I have tried almost every email newsletter/ auto-responder service on the market & Aweber is hands down the best! As for being an affiliate. Well, it’s almost the same thing as getting $500 off your next car from your dealership if you refer a friend or family member who buys a vehicle. You get a price break on what you want and need, while sending business to someone you respect so your friend can get what they want and need! Win-Win!

One huge difference though!!!

Unlike a one time price break, the Aweber affiliate program keeps paying you month after month for as long as your referred customer keeps paying! (Hint: I’ve been a paying Aweber client for over 4 years!)

Here is the bottom line:

1. As a customer I pay 19$/month
2. As an affiliate I make more than $19/ month and growing!
3. Every customer referred to Aweber actually pays you 30% month

I think at this point you see where I’m going with this! At bare minimum why not become an Aweber affiliate and try to refer at least enough business to cover your costs? Even if it’s a simple link on your site, forwarding the link on Facebook or setting up your sister with the email list she needs for her hair salon, it is money earned & thus saved! So what if it takes a year or more to get enough customers…

It’s the biggest no brainer I’ve come across in a long time!

(My affiliate links below)

Free to become An Aweber Affiliate
1$ to become an Aweber Customer

Not paying for the best email list & autoresponder service online… PRICELESS!!!

I found this video on YouTube of  bunch of other people who love Aweber as much as I do. Apparently I’m not the only one who is biased :)

Get Started Today For Only $1! – AWeber Communications


The Email Wars

No, I’m not talking about Microsoft Outlook vs. Google Gmail. If that’s what you were looking for, LifeHacker just did a great post on the top 5 email clients you can read here: 5 Best Email Clients

Instead the question today is, are the e-mail wars vs. social networking still raging? Is e-mail as a business marketing tool still relevant?

Let’s try and answer these two questions:

The e-mail war indeed rages on! What I mean by this is that although social networking, micro blogging and instant messaging have taken the main stage the last several years, we ALL still rely on email as the main stay of a significant percentage of our time on the Internet and or mobile devices. Despite giving up a percentage of time to social networks, email is still the preferred communication tool on the Internet for the majority. The war rages on, with all of these additional social communication tools still requiring us to have a valid email address before we can use them! Heck, email even notifies us when we should be logging into our social networks. When Twitter or Facebook no longer depend on email addresses, then this will be the signal that the E-Mail Wars are coming to an end! This will happen one day, the world is just not quite ready for a Facebook or Twitter operating system just yet.

Is e-mail still relevant as a business marketing tool?

After conducting a seriously unofficial survey of many business owners I know, email is still by far the easiest way for them to reach out to all their customers the fastest! Unfortunately, for social networking, many, many SME business haven’t even graduated to email newsletters, such as Aweber or Constant Contact, let alone trying to create effective campaigns on social services such as Facebook or Twitter!

Word of caution to all of you tech company owners! Unless you are tech to tech B2B, then there is still a ton of educating needed on the ‘basics’ for a good number of SME clients and prospects (opportunity is alive and well in North America). Those companies that educate or automate… Will continue to win!

The email wars rage on and they are far from over.

If you are a small to medium sized business and want to read up on email marketing, I would suggest getting advice from the bloggers & professionals at companies that deal with email marketing on the front lines, day in and day out! Even more importantly, read the comments on these blogs as their customers often create light bulb moments you can take to the bank.

Checkout the blogs at:

Aweber/blog (email marketing tips)
Constant Constant Best Practices Blog

If you are a business or entrepreneur that has already figured out email marketing, and are ready to graduate to marketing on social networks. Then as far as I am concerned, there is only one person you need to study & learn from and that is Trust Agent:

ChrisBrogan.com

What do you think? Will a Facebook operating system replace your need for email one day?

The Fun Theory

I felt compelled to share this outside of the box video (produced by contestants in a VW viral initiative) where they were able to get 66% more people to take the stairs versus the escalators. So if you are anything like me, up here in Canada, and have ate a ton over Thank Giving long weekend, then we all know we need to take the stairs this week.

Volkswagen has put together something pretty cool and outside of the box with ‘The Fun Theory’ … do check it out : www.TheFunTheory.com

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lXh2n0aPyw&feature=youtube_gdata[/youtube]

Search Engines Hate SEO Tactics

After 13 years of successfully helping people market, sell & dominate their respective niches on and offline, I thought it would be good to start sharing some of my not so secret tactics with subscribers and visitors. Dominating a niche is a multifaceted approach and today I’m only going to focus on just one part of that process called Search Engine Optimization.

First off, unless you are prepared to spend north of TOO MUCH MONEY a month you are going to have a very difficult time legitimately dominating Search Engines Rankings for a top level niche online. The fact of the matter is that regardless of what any SEO company says for any price, the search engines will discover & punish SEO tactics. Maybe they will not punish you today, tomorrow, or even next month… but if it is purely a SEO Tactic it will eventually have the complete opposite effect that you desire.

So what is the secret to dominating SEO for any niche over the Long Run?

Is it back links? Nope, but over time legitimate back links can help.

Is it massive use of different social media accounts? No, although effective & integrity based use of company or personal social media accounts can be good for connecting with your niche, customers & prospects!

Is it paying for over seas content spinners to push out mass content across the web? Definitely a huge NO WAY!

Is it links from authority sites like Wall Street Journal, Major Universities & CNN? No, but as you can imagine a quality one way link from an authority site (the legitimate way) is great for your search engine rankings.

Here is the big secret folks.

The absolute best approach to dominating any niche online is…

It is all about regularly & consistently putting out the best content in the world for your niche. It must be content that is or could eventually be referenced by world class websites, offline publications & media. It is content that generates discussion. It is content that is relevant, timely & engaging. It is text, audio, video, PDF, documents and any other type of world class material you or your organization spits out.

If you or your organization spent 75% of your time on tactics and 25% of the time on content, then any Search Engine Optimization gains will surely be lost as quickly as they came. I Highly suggest you, your organization and everyone seeking better search engine rankings that the correct formula for long term domination of any niche online is spending 75% of the time on the content, and 25% of the time on legitimate strategies that the major search engines will be happy to reward your web property with higher rankings over the long term.

So whether you do it yourself, or choose to work with a marketing company, please be wary of any company, program or Search Engine Guru who doesn’t focus on the quality of your CONTENT, and is happy to take your money for the promise of 1st Page Rankings on Google, Yahoo or Bing. There are literally 1000′s of legitimate strategies you can employ to effectively distribute & promote your world class content on the web, and they aren’t a secret. In fact, Google, Yahoo & MSN openly blog to webmasters about what’s cool and what gets you or your marketing team in hot water. At bare minimum you or someone on your team should be keeping up with Google’s Webmaster Blog here: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/

To truly dominate Search Engine Rankings over the long term laser focus your efforts on creating world class content. If your organization does not have the talent to create top notch content, spend the money to get it done properly. Choose to work with only reputable, and experienced marketing firms & or professionals that can help you ensure both your content and online marketing will have the desired long term search engine rankings. Anyone can employ short term tactics and have short term success, but only the legitimate strategies you employ will improve your search engine rankings for years to come.

Thought Leadership

Who are the ‘Thought Leaders’ online?

Online they are the bloggers (including traditional journalists) YouTube video producers, the Twitter Elite, the Squidoo experts, and other online content creators that can create change and shift opinions.

Over the next few years offline thought leaders will be few and far between. Not that they won’t exist, as surely they will, but offline just doesn’t and won’t spread like years gone by!

You might want to get to know a few thought leaders sooner rather than later, or better yet consider becoming one!

Be The Change,
Lee

Excitement is Catchy

Have you ever had one of those days where every thing just clicked?

Well, after living through one of those amazing days and riding the high it has reminded me of the common cold. Now that may sound silly at first, but when you think about how easy the common cold spreads from sneeze, to door knob to another victim laying in bed with fevered night sweats; the viral nature of excitement seems simple.

When people in my circle are excited and smiling… I am too.

When ideas get shared with excitement… I get excited.

When a stranger shares their excitement with me… it rubs off!

Excitement is very similar to the common cold, at least in how easily it can spread.

Excitement is catchy. Go ahead spread it around :)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzlpTRNIAvc[/youtube]