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How Creating Custom Segments Can Help You Get The Right Content to The Right People

How to get the right message to the right person

Delivering the right content to the right people at the right time doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, custom segmentation is a lot easier than it sounds.

As your audience gets to know you and your content over time, you will learn what interests them by their behavior. 

Let’s say you’re a cookbook author. One subscriber may favor vegan recipes, while another may favor recipes with meat. Maybe someone consistently shows interest in a product you sell. 

If you know this about your subscriber base, then you can create custom segments and deliver information you know will delight them. 

Custom segmentation lets you break down your audience into groups of people who show interest in specific topics or products — like vegan or meat-based recipes — as well as when they take specific behavioral actions.

The more you personalize your emails, the more your audience is likely to engage with your content. 

How to use tags to segment your email list 

Tags help you organize your subscribers according to interest or behavior. Using tags is an easy way to send content just to audience members that are interested in a particular product or offering.

The video below shows you how to tag subscribers with a keyword or phrase that identifies their interest or action. 

https://aweber.wistia.com/medias/8oeobwr2q3

You can also set up the tags ahead of time to automatically be added to your subscribers when they take a specific action.

Tagging is a powerfully-simple way to transform your email marketing. By applying tags, you will make sure your subscribers only receive content relevant to them.

Create a custom segment to send highly-targeted messages

Creating custom segments lets you send messages to groups of subscribers with a particular tag.

Let’s say you are a cookbook author about to launch a new book on vegan cooking.  You know that a vegan cookbook may not appeal to your entire list. If you create a custom segment for users who have expressed interest in vegan recipes or cookbooks, that segment will be most receptive to your message about your vegan cookbook. 

Diagram showing a custom segment for Vegan Tag and Engaged customer.

If you have another cookbook for meat lovers, that is an entirely different audience than your vegan audience. You would create a custom segment using tags for people who have actively opened and have a Meat Eater tag.

Diagram showing a custom segment for Meat Eater Tag and Engaged customer.

Once you tag your audience, it is super easy to add a personal touch in your email, thanking them for joining, donations, or purchases. The tag also can serve as a reminder of how they connected with you so you can follow up with them in the future.

https://aweber.wistia.com/medias/8oeobwr2q3

Save time with dynamic segments

Rather than manually setting search criteria every time you send an email to a particular audience, create a segment and use it whenever you want to reach that specific audience.

Custom segmentation can also help you improve your open rates, click-through rates, and increase sales or conversions. It can even lead to fewer spam complaints and improve your deliverability.

Why? Because subscribers love content that feels personalized to them. In fact, marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized experiences, according to Monetate.

Take action! In the video below, learn how to easily create a segment of subscribers using tags, how to save your dynamic segments, and then send a personalized email within AWeber. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-vArblESXE

Need inspiration? Here are just some of the cool things our customers are doing with custom segmentation and tagging.

Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation grew it’s list 500%

The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation is a non-profit that communicates with donors and subscribers through email to share news of medical breakthroughs and raise funds for research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Tagging and segmenting their audience is essential so they can provide the most relevant communications.

“The subscriber management features in AWeber are huge for us. In the past, I couldn’t tag people we already had on our list. Now I can. I used it last week to tag donors with the year of their donations.”

-Jerry Louis, Web Developer & Graphic Designer

The Fisher Center for Alzheimer Research

Using AWeber’s solution, the foundation experienced a 500% increase in subscribers on its email list.

Fable and Folly Productions

Fiction audio podcast producer Fable & Folly used tags and custom segments to send personalized podcast episodes with different plot twists. Based on subscribers’ clicks, they had the power to create their own story.

Landing page for Civilized Podcast

“The automated Campaign feature, when combined with automations and tags, allows our email subscribers to play a role as an antagonist in the story using meta tags,” says Producer Sean Howard.

The biggest challenge for most podcasters is getting attention. More players with big budgets are entering the space, so independent producers need the best tools to build an audience.

Civilized email

AWeber’s email marketing platform allows Fable and Folly to stand out and to connect with their listeners. But not all email providers are created equal. Creating the interactive experience required Fable and Folly to move from Mailchimp to AWeber to accommodate their need for trigger-based automations.

“Choosing to work with AWeber was a no-brainer. Their platform allowed us to weave 23 fully-produced minisodes into an amazing interactive experience. The move to AWeber was seamless, and AWeber’s platform helped combine audio, graphic design, and written media to bring Fable and Folly’s storytelling to a whole new level,” said producer Sean Howard.

No matter what you do, you can use tags and custom segmentation to fit your needs.

Depending on your business, there are many different ways you can use tags to trigger automated campaigns or group subscribers together for more targeted content.

Content Creator

If you have multiple products or pieces of content, tag the subscriber based on the page they visited or the sign up form they filled out. The tag will then automate campaigns to send them relevant product information or content.

https://aweber.wistia.com/medias/a4gevc8agf

  1. Go to the element that you want to automate (landing page, sign up form, web page.)
  2. Enter the tag you want assigned when someone visits that element.
  3. For prior visitors, you can add the tag manually or through a bulk import.
  4. Go to the campaign you want to automate.
  5. Click “Replace Trigger” and enter the tag you want applied.
  6. Enter the tag.
  7. Click save and exit.

Selling your products online

Assign subscribers a tag based on their purchase or an abandoned cart. Automated campaigns can easily be set up to send relevant content that your audience will find engaging when a tag is applied. Or, start personalizing with one of AWeber’s pre-built campaigns.

https://aweber.wistia.com/medias/ewk6srif5d

  1. Click the integration tab on AWeber’s navigation bar.
  2. If you have the Shopify integration, go to the Cart Abandonment section, select Advanced Features and enter the product, list and tags you want to add. Then click the green “Add Automations” button. Note: Each ecommerce integration has slightly different options for this step. Visit AWeber Knowledge Base for other ecommerce integrations.
  3. Go to AWeber’s Campaign Marketplace to copy the share code for the pre-built ecommerce campaign.
  4. Go to Campaigns and click the green “Create a Campaign ” button and select the “Import a Campaign” option.
  5. Enter the code you copied from AWeber’s Campaign Marketplace and click the blue “Import” button.
  6. Name your campaign and click the green “Create” button.
  7. Click on the campaign to customize the email and add or update any tags.
  8. Then activate your campaign.

Non-profits and fund-raising

Keep your subscriber list current by adding tags when a new or existing subscriber donates. The tag allows you to add a personal touch in your email, thanking them for their recent donation and serve as a reminder when you need to reach out to them for a donation the following year.

https://aweber.wistia.com/medias/ir4s93he4y

  1. You can either add tags to your subscribers manually or through bulk update on import if you have more than one subscriber to update.
  2. To update manually, go to your subscriber tab
  3. Go to the subscriber you want to update and click on their name
  4. Add or update the tags in the “Tags” field.

Ready to grow your business?

Whether you’re starting a new business, launching a passion project, need to grow your audience, or you run an established e-commerce business, AWeber provides a powerfully-simple email marketing solution for any small business.

AWeber’s email marketing platform includes unlimited landing pages with every plan, unlimited emails, email automation, sign up forms, and email analytics.

Start for free and quickly grow your business with powerfully-simple email marketing from AWeber.

Sign up for AWeber Free today

The post How Creating Custom Segments Can Help You Get The Right Content to The Right People appeared first on AWeber.

How this artist tells visual stories through email to make more Shopify sales.

BOMONSTER is an artist who creates art and apparel for hot rod, truck, and motorcycle fans using a unique scratchboard style to create his images with a sharp knife. A blackened board is scratched with a sharp Xacto blade revealing a white layer underneath. 

BOMONSTER visually tells a story through his scratchboard art that creates an emotional connection with his audience. He sells his artwork at live music events and car shows across the country, and through his website with the help of his wife and adult children.

But BOMONSTER had a problem. He knew he needed a way to keep in touch and connect with his customers. At shows, his customers kept asking him if he had an email list to subscribe to for updates on his work. 

He tried to do it on his own by sending them PDFs from his personal email, but most of his messages went into spam folders. Plus, creating emails on his own was tedious and lacked eye-catching design and branding — which are important elements to an artist. 

Not only did he need an email marketing solution that could easily integrate with his Shopify website, he needed an email marketing provider that had the features he needed to run his business. He also wanted something affordable and powerfully-simple. AWeber was the perfect option.

“What’s important to my customers is important to me.” 

At live shows, BOMONSTER found that people continually asked him if he had an email list in order to receive updates. 

He knew he needed to put an email marketing plan in place to help build customer relationships.

“I did a lot of research into email service providers (ESPs) when opening my Shopify site, and most were too expensive or offered analytics too advanced for my start-up needs. I read some favorable reviews of AWeber that made it seem like it was easy to use. So, I decided to give AWeber a try,” says BOMONSTER.

“Whenever I send out an email, I notice a spike in sales from my website.”

BOMONSTER sought an ESP that works seamlessly with Shopify, which gives him the freedom to create and alter the look and feel of his site. 

“I love that AWeber works well with Shopify. Everything is seamless, from the pop-up forms that integrate with my lists, to product and blog links in my emails,” says BOMONSTER.

AWeber’s Shopify integration also enables tag support, which allows you to apply unique tags for each product your subscribers purchase. With tags, you can also pinpoint customers who have shown peak interest in your product but haven’t purchased yet. Then, you can send them a message to motivate them to buy finally. 

https://aweber.wistia.com/medias/2outlc003c

How to set up tag support in AWeber’s Shopify integration

  1. Connect your Shopify integration with AWeber.
  2. Select “Advanced Settings.”
  3. Enter the “Product,” “List,” and all of the “Tags” that you want to automate.
  4. Click the green “Add automation” button after you enter each tag.
  5. To automate a specific campaign, go to the “Messages” tab in the AWeber dashboard and click “Campaigns.” 
  6. Select the campaign you want to automate and click the blue “Replace Trigger” button.
  7. Then select the “Tag Applied” blue button.
  8. In the side column, under “Tag Applied ” enter the tag you want to trigger each campaign.
  9. Activate your campaign.

Related: Watch this demo to learn more about AWeber’s Shopify integration

“Email is the ultimate storytelling vehicle.”

Email is all about creating an emotional connection and telling a relatable, visual story. Each email that BOMONSTER sends tells a story and creates a deeper and more meaningful connection with his audience. Listed below are a few of his favorite email moments.

A different approach to holiday promotions

BOMONSTER’s #1 objective for his emails is sales, but if they look too “sales-ey,” it can affect the open rate. He tries to avoid the pattern of continuous discounts, “how-to” or “what’s new” emails – understanding those could be effective strategies in small doses – but he wants the customer always to be surprised with something new. 

Rather than the traditional holiday promotional email, for Christmas, he sent out a “Merry Christmas – thank you for your support” message with a cool Santa hot rod graphic. He found it generated sales because it was an alternative to the holiday “sell/sell/sell’ emails.

Holiday email from BOMONSTER with a Santa hot rod graphic.

BOMONSTER’s “fiercest competitors”

During COVID-19, BOMONSTER sent out an email linked to some artist friends’ websites calling them his “fiercest competitors.” 

The other three artists he promoted in that email are friends of BOMONSTER. “We’re all self-employed and going through a tough time. It might have been a little reverse psychology to promote myself while promoting them. But it came from a genuine place of being a fan of all their work and wanting my customers to support all good work in the category, not caring who gets the sale,” says BOMONSTER.

Email highlighting other artists.

Father’s Day — celebrating Dad, the ultimate photobomber

For Father’s Day, BOMONSTER sent a funny story about his dad always accidentally photo-bombing his pictures. 

BOMONSTER email showing his Dad photobombing card show pictures.

Virtual car show

BOMONSTER watches corporate brands and how they react to customer trends. Music and entertainment went 100% to streaming services. Zoom meetings became popular and live events started branding themselves as “virtual” experiences. 

BOMONSTER thought a virtual car show through email could be a fun way to use his car show photos taken earlier to connect with his audience when those car shows were canceled.

BOMONSTER email on virtual car show.

“Business in 2021 will go to the brands that create online relationships with their customers.”

As companies adapt to an online sales model, the ones that connect personally to their customers will win. One of the benefits of small business is the ability to talk personally to customers with credibility. 

BOMONSTER knows many of his customers from live events or social media. He decided to write his emails in first-person to create a more personal “letter” feel. 

“My emails show that I am a person, not a corporation. I don’t mind being personal because I imagine actual customers when writing,” says BOMONSTER.

“Artists don’t sell, people buy.”

Art is an emotional decision and rarely a rational purchase. It either grabs you, or it doesn’t. “Not everyone likes my art but the ones who do, love it. There’s nothing I could say to the ones who don’t to change their mind. All we can control is presenting it as well as we can and hope someone relates to it enough to want it,” says BOMONSTER.

Email allows BOMONSTER to present his art virtually, which is seen by more potential customers.

BOMONSTER email on his original art comissions.

BOMONSTER’s best advice? “Pay attention to what large, successful companies do, and apply them to your small business.”

BOMONSTER opens emails he receives and takes note of what they look like and how they communicate. Some inspire, others get closed immediately. He identifies what he likes and that he can emulate.  

BOMONSTER’s five rules for email marketing:

  1. Friendly wins over insincere
  2. Fun wins over boring
  3. Good art direction wins over standard forms
  4. Clarity wins over complexity
  5. Design for mobile, and it will also work on desktop

Connect with your audience and start growing your email list today!

In your AWeber account, you’ll get everything you need to grow your own business online — including sign up forms, newsletters, landing pages, and access to hundreds of integrations to the most commonly used business products and solutions.

Start your 30-day free trial today.

The post How this artist tells visual stories through email to make more Shopify sales. appeared first on AWeber.

Want to Grow Your Email List? See How This Photographer Grew His List by 300 percent

James Maher photograph

James Maher is a New York Photographer, a huge Knicks fan, and a lifelong New Yorker who got his driver’s license at 30 years old — as any true Manhattanite should. Maher never took the conventional route. His love of photography started with using Photoshop to make fake driver license IDs at the University of Madison with his college roommates. 

Over time, he grew his business to offer an eclectic mix of products and services — including photography print sales, a portrait business, conducting workshops, creating online content, and authoring three books. Despite having a diverse business, COVID-19 still shut down his business along with the rest of New York.

He knew he had to transition some of his business online, so he took some time to look at short-term revenue options that could set him up for long-term growth. He began brainstorming how he could re-create traditional in-person experiences into new online opportunities.

In order to do so, he followed 5 essential steps to grow his email list and pivot his business to an online format.

The 5 essential steps to growing your list

Step 1: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a process of optimizing your website to get organic (or unpaid) traffic. Maher drives traffic by regularly providing unique, engaging, and free content on his site for people interested in learning about photography. 

For example, he gives away a free New York travel photography guide on his website. This free guide is an essential part of Maher’s SEO and content marketing strategy.

New York Photographer's Travel Guide

“Email and SEO together are the two backbones of my business. It is a vital way to reach my fans. I don’t think I could have as diverse of a business without it,” said Maher.

He also guest blogs on other photography websites that link back to a sign up form on his website to help drive traffic.  

Step 2: Unique sign up forms 

Each piece of content on Maher’s website is downloadable when a user enters their email address. Maher uses different signup forms for the various pages of his website that hosts unique content. The sign up forms connect directly to a list in Maher’s AWeber account.

The New York Photographer's Travel Guide sign up form.

Step 3: Automated email series

Depending on the content users download, Maher sends more in-depth information in an automated email series, which allows him to share information and tips, build relationships with new subscribers, and promote paid products.  

Automated email on an Introduction to Street Photography

Although each audience member will receive multiple emails in the sequence, Maher reminds them at the top of each email of the content they may have missed or that will be coming in a future email.

Each email includes thought-provoking images and step-by-step instructions for other photographers.

Email showing how to steps and thought-provoking images

“My email list was always vital and incredibly important to my business, but it’s even more important now because I have started to transition to more online content,” says Maher.

Step 4: Let analytics be your content compass

AWeber’s analytics help guide Maher determine the type of content he sends and when. “It gives me a lot of information about how my information is perceived, and if the content is engaging,” says Maher.

Maher reviews regularly both the open and the click-through rate on the content that he sends. Sending engaging content has allowed him to attract new audiences to his email list.

AWeber's analytics dashboard

Step 5: Expand your reach

Maher uses his downtime to set himself up for long-term success by creating content and online products to grow his email list. 

His latest online product, “Editing and Putting Together a Portfolio in Street Photography,” drove revenue and allowed him to promote some of his other services like individual portfolio reviews.

Landing page for the online class: Editing and Putting Together a Portfolio in Street Photography

While social distancing is still in place in New York City, Maher takes time to introduce himself to as many new groups of people as possible. For example, he gives photography zoom presentations to groups and camera clubs around the country. Most people who attend the presentation visit his website and join his email list.

Promote to your own email list

Maher also promotes the new online course to his email audience.

Email on James Maher's online class: Editing and Putting Together a Portfolio in Street Photography

During this time, when many members of his audience have reduced income, Maher has adjusted his payment model to “pay what you can.” 

The suggested price for the online class is $25. The average payment turned out to be about $25 because some people were getting it for free or $5, but some people paid $50 or $100. 

“I’m going to do that going forward for more of my products now. It provides me some income and builds my emails list, so it is a win-win for everyone.” says Maher.

Online class sign up form

Take advantage of lower advertising rates to promote on social media

The rates for advertising are much lower than usual due to COVID-19, so it is a great time to promote posts on social media to stand out from the crowd.

Maher uses Facebook ads to target local photographers in the Northeast. They see the ad, download the photography travel guide, and are added to his AWeber list.

AWeber then sends an automated email sequence that lets them get to know Maher, learn photography tips, and get a sense of the type of content they will receive from going forward.

Example of a Facebook advertisement

“I’m testing and tweaking the Facebook ad a bit now given that people aren’t really traveling to New York with COVID-19 going on. But I’m finding that it’s still doing very well at converting photographers, particularly with the cheaper ad pricing. If you provide them with good, interesting content, you can grow your list,” says Maher. 

Short term cash needs can translate into long term growth

Maher has shifted his business’s focus toward creating online experiences that provide short-term revenue that keeps his business going. He created online classes about photo editing and online photography portfolio reviews. He even started working with photographers to help them create portfolio websites. 

Every post, promotion, or email drives people to his sign up forms with the end goal of growing his email list. 

The creation of each online product is just the first phase of its product life. “Each online product will eventually integrate into a bigger package in the long term. I’ve been building this business for about 17 years, and I had the formula down — but COVID-19 broke the formula,” says Maher. 

“The silver lining is COVID-19 gave me the time to execute on ideas I always had in the back of my head. I believe my business is going to come out of COVID-19 stronger and more prepared for the future.”

Connect with your audience and start growing your email list today!

With AWeber, you’ll get everything you need to grow your own business online — including sign up forms, newsletters, landing pages, and access to our award-winning customer solutions team. 

Start your 30-day free trial today.

The post Want to Grow Your Email List? See How This Photographer Grew His List by 300 percent appeared first on AWeber.

How Email Marketing and Patreon are Keeping the Lights on for Entertainers

Danika Holmes & Jeb Hart

Danika Holmes and her husband Jeb Hart are in an acoustic/pop/soul duo, Danika & the Jeb. Because of COVID-19, their spring tour and summer shows have been cancelled.

As Holmes explains, “The first time a cancellation came for a show, it was a bummer. The second time it was an inconvenience. And the third-through-30th time, it was a crisis.” 

Danika & the Jeb have been making their living as touring musicians for 10 years, and getting a regular day job is not an option for them.

So they adjusted their business model — the show must go online!  

But they moved more than their shows online. Danika & the Jeb moved every part of their business online, including their entire merchandise store. 

And, going online allowed them to connect more intimately with their audience, in unexpected ways. 

Email marketing and Patreon — a winning combination.

To make it easy for their audience to access their new music and offer  support, Danika & Jeb used the membership platform Patreon. Patreon allows creators to get paid for the content they create, including video, songs, webcomics, audio performances, and more. Fans support creators and artists by paying either a few dollars per month or per post.

Danika & the Jeb, release their content on Patreon for as low as a $1 per video or song donation.  They get paid every time they release something new, and their supports become bonafide, real-life patrons of the arts!

Patreon membership level web page.

“We make music. We share music. We make videos. We share videos. Pretty simple. Our Patrons are literally helping us keep the lights on and the music playing,” says Holmes.

Danika & the Jeb Patreon landing page.

Email is the lifeline that connects with their audience.

Using email marketing, Danika & the Jeb send their audience updates on their music and behind-the-scenes life. “AWeber and email became our number one and best way to keep in touch with our audience,” says Holmes.  

Email featuring behind the scenes image.

Email helps them explain what patrons can expect since this new online reality is new to both creators and audiences.

Email of Danika & the Jeb first post on Patreon.

Email helps them promote more than music.

Danika & the Jeb moved their entire business online: apparel sales, an online guitar course, and custom guitar jewelry made from strings from an actual performance. They use AWeber to introduce their audience to these unique offerings to drive revenue.

Email showing Danika & the Jeb's retail products.

Tools to pivot quickly.

Danika & the Jeb needed tools that were simple and quick to use so they could start generating income quickly. “We launched our Patreon quickly, within the first week after this happened,” says Holmes. 

They decided to go with a donation ‘pay what you can’ model. Everyone gets the same access no matter their donation level. Danika & the Jeb recognized that they were not only ones who lost income. “We didn’t want people who need music in their lives to feel like they couldn’t afford our music,” says Holmes.

Re-engaging sleepy subscribers.

Though Danika & the Jeb have been with AWeber for over ten years, they reevaluated their email strategy by reengaging with subscribers who hadn’t opened any of their emails in a while.

They launched a re-engagement campaign to those who had not opened an email in the past 6 months to better understand who their truly interested contacts were. Some of the people they contacted reached out and asked them to use a different email address. 

Related: How to Create a Re-engagement Campaign

“The overall percentage of those inactive subscribers that become active was low. But the quality of the subscribers who re-engaged with us was high,” says Holmes.

Here is one of the re-engagement emails that Danika and the Jeb sent out.

Danika & the Jeb re-engagement email.

Related: What to write in re-engagement emails.

Using the complete toolbox.

Danika & the Jeb wanted to make it more obvious how to sign up for Patreon. So they used AWeber’s drag-and-drop email builder and split testing capabilities to optimize their email marketing.

Related: 6 Email Split Tests You Can Set Up in 1 Minute

They found adding a button and testing button colors made a huge difference in their engagement.

Danika & the Jeb email highlighting using a colored button.

First impressions matter. 

Danika & the Jeb love AWeber’s automated email campaigns. As soon as a new person joins their list, they immediately get an email thanking them for signing up.  

The email includes easy ways for the new audience member to connect and engage with them, including:

  • Social links
  • Patreon link
  • Online store link
  • Their dog’s Instagram account.

“I love the autoresponder feature. It is easy to set up. You don’t have to be an expert,” says Holmes.

Danika & the Jeb autoresponder email.

Connecting with people in new ways.  

Danika & the Jeb are musicians first. But they also love data. AWeber’s analytics and reporting features help them to understand their audience better and what content they prefer. 

“I love going to the broadcast page and seeing how many people have opened each email. It helps me learn what subject lines work and what ones don’t,” says Holmes

Unlike social media, AWeber lets Danika & the Jeb know when people are viewing their emails.

Creating a multicultural community. 

The online shows built a multicultural community of core supporters that never existed before. Previously,  people came together from a specific geographic location to see Danika & the Jeb’s in-person shows. Now, people from South America, Europe, New Mexico, Florida, Ohio, and all over the world can listen. 

“There’s no other scenario where all of those people would have been together at once. They all chat with each other. It’s creating a multicultural experience for us, too,” says Holmes.

Chat messages between Danika & the Jeb and their audience.

Audience members’ pets need music, too. 

Danika & the Jeb love to receive photos of people’s pets watching their online shows. 

Holmes even highlighted some of her favorite ones in a recent email mentioning that her audience is getting “fluffier.”

Email featuring images of pets sent in by fans of Danika & the Jeb.

Sharing the intimate side of the songwriting process.

For the first time in their lives, Danika & the Jeb are sharing their songwriting process, from start to finish They want their patrons to experience more than just watching a song performed online. 

“It’s a deep dive into the creative process behind the song. Some of the content is exclusive only to Patreon members. Other content, Patreon users will see first, and then a month later we release to everyone on our AWeber email list,” says Holmes.

Notes showing inspiration of a Danika & the Jeb song.

The AWeber difference.

Danika & the Jeb have been with AWeber for over 10-years. Email has always been an important element in building relationships with their audience.

But Danika & the Jeb are musicians, not email experts. If they ever have a question, they reach out to the AWeber Customer Solutions team. 

“Holy cow. You guys have the greatest customer service ever. They’re so patient. Nobody’s ever treated me poorly or made me feel bad about not knowing certain things. I love that I can get an actual human. That’s amazing,” says Holmes.   

Connect with your audience and start growing your email list today!

In your AWeber account, you’ll get everything you need to grow your own business online — including sign up forms, newsletters, landing pages, and access to our award-winning customer solutions team. 

Start your 30-day free trial today.

The post How Email Marketing and Patreon are Keeping the Lights on for Entertainers appeared first on AWeber.

How This Travel Blogger Used Email Marketing to Grow — Even When the Tourism Industry Lost $2.7 Trillion in Revenue

Michele Frolla owner of the Intrepid Guide

Michele Frolla is a travel and language blogger at The Intrepid Guide. She earns a living from affiliate commissions, advertising revenue, and working with tourism boards to promote destinations.

Unfortunately, when the world stopped traveling, affiliate income and ad revenue for bloggers in the travel industry stopped too. But for Frolla, COVID-19 has been a blessing in disguise. “It has forced my hand to do something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” says Frolla.

Frolla always wanted to launch a language program to teach her audience new languages. To help her decide if this was the right direction to take her business, Frolla turned to her email marketing platform and email subscribers.

It turns out her audience is as interested in language as the destination where the language is spoken.

So she launched a new language program using email marketing for every step of the process.

Here’s how she did it.

Build your email list to protect yourself from the unknown

Frolla learned the hard way, as did many in the travel industry, that things can change overnight.

The World Travel and Tourism Council is projecting a global loss of 100 million jobs and $2.7 trillion in revenue due to COVID-19. And Statista forecasts that global revenue for the travel and tourism industry will be down 34.7% in 2020.

Explore new revenue opportunities

The COVID-19 experience led Frolla to take a good look at her business and consider how she could continue earning money that’s not dependent on travel, advertising revenue, or social media platforms. 

As a travel and language blogger, Frolla’s previous revenue sources had included income from affiliate commissions, advertising revenue, and working with tourism boards to promote destinations. Unfortunately, when the world stopped traveling, Frolla’s affiliate income and ad revenue from the travel industry stopped too.

That’s why she decided to investigate the option of creating a language education program. With a program like this, she could continue to provide value and a service to her audience — even when they can’t travel. 

“I can sell my language products. My audience can purchase the product and use it when they’re commuting, at home, or traveling. It’s something that I’m quite passionate about and makes sense with the way things have been for the tourism industry the past few months, “says Frolla.

To promote her new language program, Frolla knew she would need a larger email list. 

Frolla used 2 tools to grow her email list and welcome new subscribers.

1. A landing page

When Frolla first created her travel blog, she knew that email marketing was important. She chose AWeber because she wanted to go with a platform that was going to grow with her. “I’m getting my head around the incredible power of the tool,” says Frolla.

Frolla has found that landing pages created with AWeber’s Landing Page Builder are an awesome way to grow a list by being able to share specific information. She drives traffic to her landing page from her social media, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

The Intrepid Guide landing page

“The landing page was easy to set up. I decided to direct traffic to a certain landing page to get my language and travel tips, as opposed to having pop-ups all the time or having a sign up form that might not get seen,” says Frolla.

2. Automated email campaigns

After someone enters their contact information on your sign up form or landing page, you should immediately send an automated email to welcome them to your email list. This is exactly what Frolla does with AWeber’s email automation platform Campaigns. 

Frolla welcomes subscribers to her list, includes links to some of her most popular content, and sets expectations on how often she will communicate with subscribers.

Related: [Infographic] How to Write an Engaging Welcome Email

The Intrepid Guide autoresponder

Your email list is an excellent way to gather product feedback.

Frolla uses email marketing to identify users and provide feedback before she launched her product. 

Recruit your most loyal followers to test your product.

Frolla recruited some of her most loyal subscribers to be part of a testing team for her new product. Via email, she sent them a form to apply to be a part of her testing team. It allowed her to get real user experiences to improve her course.

The Intrepid Guide testing team email

Don’t forget to ask for testimonials.

She also was able to get testimonials from her testing team Frolla uses the testimonials in all of her promotional materials as social proof of its impact.

The Intrepid Guide testimonial quote

The Intrepid Guide testimonial quote

The Intrepid Guide testimonial quote

Promote your product to your list

Frolla announced to her entire email list and on social media that she had a new course coming to create some buzz around the launch.

How to Master Common Italian Phrases course

Giveaways can get your audience’s attention.

Frolla gave away two free courses as part of the launch. In the email, she made it super easy to enter the giveaway by including a link to enter.

The Intrepid Guide giveaway email

Explain why you’re passionate about your product

A lot of your audience may purchase the product because of the creator as much as the content. While it is essential to detail the features and benefits of your product, don’t forget to tell your audience why this product is important to you. 

How to get other people to promote your product 

The power of email is magnified when you can get others to promote your product using their own email list. You should never buy an email list. But you can extend your reach when influencers or affiliates promote your product to their own lists. 

Related: Why You Should Never Buy an Email List

Extend your reach by creating an affiliate relationship with influencers.

An affiliate arrangement can be a win-win situation for everyone if done right. 

It helps you quickly grow your audience by introducing you and your product to a whole new group of people. You can set up your affiliate program so that you and your affiliate both earn a percentage of revenue every time someone purchases your product. The affiliate, or influencer, will receive a commission for each product they sell. 

How Frolla created her affiliate group 

Frolla reached out to people in the language community — bloggers that she knows and trusts and bloggers who know and trust Frolla.   

The communication Frolla sent was straightforward. She would send an email or message on social media and say: “Hey, I’ve got this course coming out. Would you help me promote it?”

If Frolla received confirmation that they were open to promote her product, she would send them a link to a Google form so they could provide details to set them up as an affiliate.

Expand your affiliate group beyond your network.

Frolla also expanded her outreach to people she did not personally know. With the Facebook community administrator’s permission, she posted in private Facebook groups and asked the group members if they would like to become an affiliate.

She also reached out to content creators of courses Frolla had previously signed up for or taken. Since she was familiar with their class, she could be sure they created quality content and had an audience with similar interests to Frolla’s own audience.

Make it easy for your affiliates to promote your product. 

Frolla uses a course creation platform (Teachable) that makes it easy for customers to purchase her product and for affiliates to get their commission. There are several platforms available, so make sure the platform that you are considering integrates with the tools you are already using — like AWeber.  

Frolla includes bonuses that are exclusive to her product and only available for a limited time, so there is an urgency to take action.

Frolla also sends her affiliates a product launch kit that includes:

  • Social media banners for FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • A sequence of six emails for her affiliates to customize to their audience.
  • Product information.
  • A list of benefits of being an affiliate.
  • The retail price.
  • The commission percentages that affiliates earn.
  • Launch dates.

The Intrepid Guide twitter social media post

Pro tip: Make the process as easy as possible for your affiliates. Do all the heavy lifting for your affiliates so they can focus on promoting your product. 

Send email swipe copy to your affiliates.

To make it ridiculously easy for affiliates to promote your product or services, send them email swipe copy. They can quickly customize the email content and send it to their list. 

Frolla sends her affiliates a document containing a 6-part email sequence. She includes email copy and images of the product. She recommends that each affiliate adapts the emails to their own voice.  

Here’s what the email sequence covers:

Email 1: Introduction to course 

Email 2:  Benefits of learning italian

Email 3: Frequently asked questions about Intrepid Italian

Email 4: What people say about Intrepid Italian (testimonials)

Email 5: Creates urgency. (24 hours left to buy)

Email 6: Final warning. (2 hours left to buy)

Try AWeber and start growing your business online.

You’ll get everything Frolla  uses to grow her own business online — including sign up forms, newsletters, and landing pages.

Start your 30-day free trial today.

The post How This Travel Blogger Used Email Marketing to Grow — Even When the Tourism Industry Lost $2.7 Trillion in Revenue appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.