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5 Effective Ways to Increase Email Open Rates

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When someone mentions the term “email marketing campaign” many people would often think about having email opt-in forms on their blog or even customized landing pages hoping to increase the amount of subscribers on their list. When people start analyzing a strategy that is NOT producing any results, they often look at the wrong metrics. For example, 9/10 people would often think it’s the landing page, content or actual message which wasn’t clear enough, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Many top players in the industry will tell you that once you have a handful of subscribers and are ready to start an email marketing campaign, the most important thing is having your email messages opened. You’d be surprised how many email marketing campaigns fail as soon as you press the “send” button. Think about it this way…

If your average open rate is 20%, that means 70% of your email subscribers are not viewing your email messages. This also means that you’re losing 70% potential profits you could have been generated through your subscriber. The good news we have enormous resources in the form of data that shed light on the “optimal” email message actually get opened and produce conversions. Let’s look at the “5” most important factors which will increase your open rate.

Optimal Sending Time

If you schedule your email to be sent at the right time, you’ll be surprised how it can dramatically increase your open rates. For example, several email service providers (ESP) have done studies in the past calculating the optimal time to send out emails. It’s been proven that 8PM-12AM is the best time to fire out any campaigns you have planned for your subscribers. If you think about it, this is the time that people have arrived home from work, had dinner, spent time with their family and have some spare time to hop on the computer. 8PM-12AM is when people don’t need to rush through emails and engage with the content within each message. During work hours 8AM-5PM, people are more likely going to open work related emails and skim through the rest opening only the ones which they feel are important enough.

kevin_1

Image by mailermailer.com

A few important things to keep in mind before sending your next email campaign: First, obviously implement the time shift discussed above so that your email lands in the inbox between 8PM-12AM. Next, keep the time difference in mind when sending emails to people in located in other countries.

Right Days of the Week

When choosing the right days to send emails there are a few things to consider. First, sending emails is not about what’s convenient for you but when the customer is most likely going to check their inbox. Statistically, it’s been proven that sending on weekdays is the optimal time to reach the recipients with most of it having to do with how accessible email accounts are to people. For example, on weekdays people are at work and/or in work mode so continuously checking their emails. Weekends, on the other hand, people tend to be more recreational enjoying family time, shopping and trying to make the most out of days off.

Let’s get to the statistics…

email open rate - day

Image by GetResponse

The time to send emails is from Monday – Thursday since it’s the beginning of the week. It’s also the days that people are back at work logged into their email accounts skimming through the weeks work. However, for optimal performance, it’s recommended that you send between Tuesday-Thursday for the following two reasons:

First, people are done going through most of their emails and have organized their inbox that typically happens on a Monday as it’s the beginning of the week. Monday people tend to skim through quickly and only read those which standout (work related, personal and other business interests). Tuesday to Thursday people most likely pay more attention to every email that comes through increasing the open percentage of your emails.

Secondly, you fall into the days that have shown the highest CTR. GetResponse analyzed 21 million messages sent, and CTR was the highest from Tuesday to Thursday. Much of the increase in CTR has to do with the recipients having cleared their inbox of junk, spam or anything that looks unresourceful earlier in the week.

Email Regularly

It’s a great way to increase brand awareness and not scare people away. The last thing you want to create is email inconsistently because that will scare people away. For example, once someone opts into your newsletter they expect to get updates and not implementing a regular emailing frequency will make people forget about your newsletter. When someone forgets their on your list, it increases the chance that they’ll mark your email as spam when you send a follow-up. Keep brand awareness and open rate high by sending frequent updates to your list. Make sure to send them high-quality content in each email, so they gain substance out of your newsletter.

Implementing this strategy has never been easier since many email service providers streamline the entire process. You can easily setup an auto-responder sequence that sends periodic emails once or twice a week. Once this sequence has been setup, it’s automated, and you don’t need to worry about it unless you’re adding more emails to the sequence.

Personalize Your Emails

Emails that have been personalized with the first & last name of the recipient in the subject lines have performed 6X better than others. There was an Experian study which analyze the data of 24 billion emails, and the results were amazing:

  1. Even though the most common approach in sending mails is using the first name, mails with the last name had a slightly better open rate.
  2. Mail subject lines with the first and last names had the highest open rates.

How do personalized emails make a difference?

There are many reasons however being able to cater directly to the person helps. Next, there is a psychological aspect which involves “special” or “personalized” treatment that has triumphed the way we interact in society. It’s the same factors which would determine the amount of the tip you’re going to leave for the waiter or waitress at a restaurant.  When emails are personalized, it’s a way of showing respect and builds comfort that translates into an email being opened by the recipient.

kevin_3

Image by CrazyEgg

Personalizing your email messages is very easy since it’s an option provided by ESP’s however make sure you add the right code into the message. Next, you need to ensure you collect the first & last name during opt-in. Without having this information, the “code” will not be able to pull out the right data.

Another good trick is to personalize the sender name changing it from the company name to your personal (sender) name. It’s creating a one-on-one platform for communicating which again builds a level of comfort between you and the recipient.

Another strategy is to use first & last name followed by a personal question. Since time, we have been programmed to respond to questions so would automatically want to respond to an email that throws out a question. Make them short and right to the point, for example,*full name*, How are you doing?

  • *full name*, Your ready to get started?
  • *full name*, Want to increase blog traffic?
  • *full name*, Ready to make some money?
  • *full name*, Looking for a new credit card?
  • *full name*, Paying too much for insurance?

Provide ONLY The Best

One of the best ways to increase email open rates is by establishing a reputation of providing “high” quality content. Many times people will open emails and find low-quality content that will deter them from opening emails in the future. It’s not important to send your subscribers a follow-up each time content is published so take your time finding content which is useful and provides substance to your readers. This builds your reputation as someone whose emails are worth reading and can provide problem-solving information.

I’ve been part of several email lists which bombard me with useless information and after 2-3 follow-ups I’ll unsubscribe from the list. I’ve also been on email lists which send 2-3 follow-ups per month, and their content blew me away and I’m still on their list today. It’s important you understand why people joined your newsletter in the first place which is because they read useful information on your blog and are hoping you keep providing top-notch content. It’s important not to disappoint them so provide only the best to your subscribers, so they stay loyal subscribers and returning visitors.

Wrapping Things Up…

Start implementing these strategies right away and analyze how they improve your open rates. Without a strategy to increase your low open rates, your going to lose out on the opportunity to convert your subscribers into loyal readers or sales. Over the next month, start analyzing data until you achieve an optimal open rate. The good news is, once you find something that works you simple need to scale to achieve the highest possible results.

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Hi everyone! My name is Rizvan Ullah and my blog Ranktactics provides internet marketers with tutorials on traffic generation, social media marketing, product reviews and case studies. Check out Top WebHosting Providers for bloggers, and CDL practice tests to follow another one of his passions.

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1 Key Concept to Grasp to Go from Full Time Employee to Pro Blogger

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My journey from fired security guard to professional blogger got bumpy sometimes.

I expected this.

Why not?

I programmed myself to be an employee. Go to work. Listen to my boss. Do what they told me to do. Spend 5-6 days weekly at work. Get a paycheck every Thursday.

The process felt quite comfortable to me. Simple and quite easy. Although I was unhappy at the time.

I did understand making the leap from employee to entrepreneur would be uncomfortable, thank goodness.

I filmed a Facebook Broadcast today discussing this key concept to grasp:

While writing my eBook I put myself in employee shoes. I worked a handful of jobs before I became a professional blogger. Doing the 9-5 bit felt pretty comfortable because all appeared to flow in orderly fashion.

The split second I was fired, I tasted freedom. After taking a few months off I enjoyed spending time how I wished to spend it. Sweet. But the moment I chose to become a blogger – after this stretch of no work – I instantly felt many deep, uncomfortable fears arise in my being.

I became my own boss, which scared me. Would I be lazy? Or would I work when I needed to work? How about this blogging deal? What would I do? Who would teach me? How would I make money?

Uncomfortable torrents of feelings flowed through my being. Being an employee felt comfortable, but confining. Being an entrepreneur felt freeing, but uncomfortable, sometimes. Totally different ballgame, totally different feelings, between my employee days and entrepreneur days.

I circle the globe as a pro blogger. Dealing with uncomfortable feelings was beyond worth living this fun, freeing lifestyle.

My wife snapped this photo during our trip to gorgeous Paekakariki, New Zealand.

For me, there is no other way to live.

But you need to know what’s in store before you choose to make the transition from full time employee to professional blogger.

Most New Bloggers Have No Idea What it Takes to Be a Pro

I know many full time employees who dive into blogging with no idea of the uncomfortable but freeing feelings they will experience on this journey. Many employees feel writing a blog post and publishing that sucker leads to success, totally avoiding the freeing but uncomfortable feelings of:

  • networking
  • writing eBooks
  • creating products
  • broadcasting live on Facebook
  • patiently learning blogging
  • delaying gratification in the form of delayed profits
  • rendering service to people without expecting anything in return
  • learning how to develop blogging posture with your product and service pricing
  • learning how to deal with critical readers
  • learning how to process terrible product or eBook reviews

Guys; unless you work a particularly high level, prestigious job, you never have to explore all of these uncomfortable emotions as an employee. After you dive into blogging and decide to grow your blog into a full time venture, you better believe you will face, embrace and release many uncomfortable fears to see greater and greater blogging success.

The upside, guys? Wading through uncomfortable feelings:

  • frees you
  • helps you become comfortable with being uncomfortable
  • boosts your blog traffic
  • increases your blogging profits
  • connects you with inspired, successful bloggers, as you move up in blogging circles
  • attracts profitable ideas to you
  • makes you unstoppable

Be realistic, guys. Employees are used to taking orders, working for a set period of time weekly and getting a steady paycheck. Pro bloggers give themselves orders, work a lot more than the average employee and do not see steady paychecks for quite a while.

Of course, being free and seeing paychecks that dwarf most employee paychecks are the ultimate rewards for dealing with fleeting but sometimes highly uncomfortable feelings.

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How To Create International Blog Content & Help New Audiences

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As a blogger or vlogger you might find certain niche ideas are already covered before you think of them. Grr!

Popular niches get saturated – it’s a natural cause & effect of the popularity of blogging.

But what if other countries who speak your language still need that niche topic or idea!?

By simply tailoring your how-to post (for example) with keywords and imagery for a specific country, you can enter into a whole new and unsaturated arena.

In this post we’ll look at just one example of how I took a saturated U.S. topic and brought it to India, with hopes of reaching new audiences far and wide. Let me know if you think it will work out or not!

What Niche Ideas Can You Bring to Other Countries?

Note that by “bring” I don’t mean you have to pack your bags and hop on board a flight, but you could!

There are always some niche ideas that translate better across borders than others. For example jokes about Kelly Anne Conway might not be too funny in Japan. But how to make Swiss Chocolate truffles or how to beat level 5 of Mario, now those are topics people will want everywhere and probably translate.

Topics that blog well across borders:

  • How-to gaming
  • How-to tech
  • Latest fitness advice
  • Cooking how-to
  • SEO
  • How to make money online
  • Travel guides
  • Etc

There are obviously many more topics which people will want to read about regardless of the country you’re in. But if you’re looking to both help internationally and increase blog traffic on the home front, you’d be smart to pick topics that appeal widely or combine popular things.

If you look at the list above you can combine a few topics like SEO, how-to tech, and how to make money online into the topic of “how to make a website”, which is exactly what I chose to do for the Indian audience.

I wanted to attract as many viewers as possible and sometimes a certain angle like “how to make money through ads” leads people to actually be interested in your website tutorial, or gaming tutorial, or whatever it is. You gotta be your own salesman!

So here’s a little more into the bread and butter, the research and execution of how I think you can create blog content for an international audience.

8 Steps to Make Your Content Internationally Friendly

1. Find a contact living there

Your journey to make content that does great with a new audience starts by simply finding one of your friends of business connections living in that particular country. If you can’t find someone in your immediate network, Google the topic you want to focus on and connect with local bloggers, or even do a joint post! In my case, I was connected with a few super nice contacts at HostGator India who told me what hosting packages Indian uses like the most, and also explained places, themes and styles people in their city are proud of.

2. Establish the need

Your next step is to really understand the need for what you’re writing, filming etc. Do people need guidance on your topic? Which people? When do they need it? This kind of understanding is a bit of legwork up front but will make it so much easier to understand what you need to actually make once you start the fun process of creating. In my case there are very few tutorials to help people make a WordPress website in India, but there is a vast growing presence of WordPress websites in general, up to 47% of all websites using a CMS. Ideally you have the lack of content and the heavy need, but it’s not mandatory.

3. Research current competition

Once you have a contact giving you some inside info and know what people need, you should see who else is making your type of content so you don’t do the same thing (and so you can do it better!) Tools like ahrefs show you detailed competitor backlinks, rankings and other strategies they might be using, but simply knowing how to read the SERPs in Google and YouTube is often enough. Can’t say my competition here, but watch out 🙂

4. Hunt down all the necessary tools

Okay so you’ve realized your competition isn’t too stiff and you see an opening for your amazing new blog post or video. Before you just start creating, see if you can use local tools to get the job done. If you’re cooking, go out and buy exactly what that person in that country would be using to make it easier on them. In my case, we chose to go with a #HostInIndia trend and use HostGator, one of the largest web hosts in India with offices in Delhi and Mangalore. It was a bit tricky signing up from Minnesota onto their India servers, but it had to be done to show the process, and it actually went incredibly smoothly. It was crucial we go with Indian servers as their are faster for local audiences, often times cheaper, are paid for in rupees and these servers use Softalicious as opposed to Quick Install (if we had used Quick Install that would have potentially confused people).

5. Use societally accepted methods and standards wherever possible

Next, any purchases done in your tutorial (you might not have any, or may buy things on your own) need to be done in the local currencies with local providers. In my case we paid rupees through PayPal which redirected us to the Indian site merchant, who then exchanged our dollars for rupees and made it all work happily.

6. Offer people choices

Now that we’ve done the grunt work and made our purchases, it’s time to setup content and what better format of content than have some user-friendly choices! Would you users like to good a vegetarian option or use meat? Would they like the 7, 30 or 90 day health plan? Simply structuring your content with options can lead to a lot more traction from the start and definitely over time than just taking people down one path and telling them what to do. In my case I let people choose to make a Indian website for free with the Elementor theme, which works great anywhere around the globe, and offered people a super premium plus option to go with Divi by Elegant Themes.

7. Pick the right time to launch

With your content tied down and edited to perfection, you lastly should be sensitive to when you launch. Gathering peoples attention is essential to a successful lifelong piece of content, and if you miss it you might think you create the wrong stuff when really it was just a timing issue. Right seasons, days of the week, and times of the day all factor in here. In our case, my deadline was Nov 1 as this is about 1 week before Diwali begins. My launch timing wasn’t great, it was midday Thursday U.S. time so people go the content Friday morning in India. If anything, I’d have rather launched it for their Monday morning! Oops! But hope it works anyways.

8. Share, Share, Share!

Last but not least, connect with your original contacts and create a gameplan for sharing! Go to the blogs, local sites even newspapers to get the word out. Just because you wrote it or filmed it, does not mean they will come! You have to get your content in front of eyeballs and even setup giveaways and other opt-in-centives if need be! Be aggressive and don’t let your hard work go unnoticed.

So What Was Our Final Product?

In the end, using the above 8-step plan I was able to create two videos and start a movement we are calling WP4India designed to help the India WordPress audience dominate in all shapes, sizes and forms!

Here is what we made:

And here is the free India website tutorial.

Final Thoughts

Of course what you create may not be a video about WordPress, you can think of things far more original to bring over seas! I hope this guide helps inspire you when you’re out of blog ideas in your national niche – sometimes none of it has been covered for people abroad, so get to it!

Do you create content that does well internationally? Please let us know a few of your strategies below!

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How Committed Are You to Your Blog and Business?

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8:24 AM.

Sunday night.

I have been working on and off since 8 AM.

I:

I could turn it in, watch Netflix and hit the sack in a few hours.

But I am committed to blogging and my business.

Being committed means putting in hours of work every day.

Smart work.

I treat blogging like a job; not a hobby.

You can listen to our podcast chat here:

I come across some bloggers who mean well but simply do not put in the time. Bloggers who treat blogging like a passing hobby, or a fad.

How do you expect to succeed with blogging if you are not fully committed to blogging? How do you expect to outshine bloggers like Alonzo and I if we work 7 days weekly, for hours daily, and you publish a blog post every 3-4 weeks, and call it a week?

Some bloggers literally blog for 1-2 hours weekly and expect to see a full time income through blogging. Are you serious? Imagine walking into a job, sitting down for an hour, working, leaving the office and expecting a pay check every Thursday? You’d be fired, instantly. In the blogging world, you essentially fire yourself, failing and quitting because you made no real commitment to blogging.

Blogging Is a Job

Blogging is a job.

Meaning you set aside hours daily to devote to blogging. Even if you work full time, you better be spending hours daily at least, for 5 days a week, to build the foundation for a thriving blog. Then ramp it up to 5-8 hours daily on the weekend. Gotta put in the time.

I suggest setting up a work space in your home, specifically designated for blogging. Act like a professional. Enter your blogging work space daily. Get to work.

Learn from Pros

Being committed to blogging and your business begins with learning how to blog from established, pro bloggers. Follow their blogs. Invest in their courses. Take notes on their insights. Study the notes. Put the notes into action through your daily blogging work.

The Upside

Sure; sometimes, you would prefer spending all of your Sunday watching football. But if you are new to blogging you gotta understand that every day counts. Especially if you work full time and only have 1-2 days off each week.

Giving up a few afternoons of football and being 100% committed to blogging helps you lay the foundation for a fun, freeing lifestyle. I got rid of cable a decade ago. I saved some scratch but more importantly, devoted much of my free time to building my blog and learning how to succeed with blogging.

I circle the globe as a pro blogger these days. Trashing cable helped me free up my time and energy so I could commit fully to blogging. Committing fully to blogging helped me create a fun, freeing lifestyle to where I could become a full time blogger who travels the world.

Fun, freedom and joy await the committed blogger. But you need to be honest about your blogging effort.

Be genuine; have you learned blogging from top shelf bloggers? Have you spent hours daily following advice from pro bloggers? If you have not fully committed simply be honest about your lack of effort and step it up, guys. If you have been all in from day 1, good for you. Expect to run circles around most other bloggers in your niche.

Blogging is good to you if you are good to blogging. Stop treating blogging like a hobby, or passing thought. Be all in so you can live a fun, freeing life as a successful blogger.

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