Filter The NoiseBlog

We blog about design, technology, internet marketing and business on the web. As the name implies, we aim to "filter the noise" and share only the most relevant information. Feel free to chime in anytime with your thoughts and comments. Established 2004 in Colorado Springs, Colorado by HighTouch Web Design and Internet Marketing.

Ways to Increase your Email Marketing List

Kim Kolb - Thursday, January 27, 2011

If you don’t have any compelling offers on your site, you’re ignoring a huge opportunity to grow the size of your email list. This is true whether you're a B2C or a B2B company - offers are one of the most effective ways to harvest email addresses and leads from your site traffic.  You'll want to note that a boring quarterly newsletter is NOT featured below.

Here are 4 ways to create offers that can help dramatically increase the size of your email list and lead conversion volume.

Educational / How To Offers

These type of offers are valuable to B2B's because you are giving them valuable information. These can also be good for B2C's because those are most time "How To's". Regardless of B2B or B2C, you are offering a "way" to do something.

  • eBooks – “Download our comprehensive guide to inbound marketing and ecommerce”
  • Whitepapers – “Understand how to nurture your email list”
  • Buyer's Guides – “Which LED underbody kit is right for you?”
  • Fact Sheets – “10 facts you need to know before purchasing a used car”
  • Checklists – “The 5 key steps to preparing your IT department for the iPhone 4”

Free Stuff Offers

Everyone loves free stuff. Every week, I get a free offer from "All You".  Whether I need it or not, I submit my info to receive my free sample.

  • Contests - “Send us your cutest dog picture; cutest picture wins free doggy day care!”
  • Sweepstakes – “Enter for a chance to win a free copy of the book!”
  • Giveaways – “Register for your free welcome gift of a free keychain!”
  • Quizzes –“Who was Warren G. Harding’s dog? Let us know and two lucky history buffs gets a free dog bowl!”
  • Surveys – “Take our survey and get $10 off your first order!”

Coupons and Deals

Like with the free stuff offers above, everyone likes to feel as though they are getting a good deal. Running special offers for a discount is always a great way to get more customers:

  • Coupons for dollars or percentage off – “Sign up for future offers and savings to receive 10% off your next order today!”
  • Free shipping – “Create an account today and get free 2-day shipping through March 1st!”
  • Time-sensitive discounts – “Save 20% on flower arrangements through February 14th – order soon, roses are going fast this year!”
  • Bundled deals – “Fill out the form to get a free iPad if you sign up for our service in the next 2 weeks!”

Events

Events can create huge engagement from your interested prospects and customers. Because events require your prospects to physically show up at a certain place at a certain time – even if that “place” is online – event registrations indicate serious fans of your brand, products, and services. Think creatively about what constitutes an "event" for you: consider sponsoring charity events, conducting in-house mini-events, and use your site to collect registrations with names, emails, and other pertinent information.

  • Webinars – “How to get more leads using Email Marketing”
  • Off-site events – “Meet us at the Fine Arts Center for a fundraising event on Tuesday”
  • On-site / in-store events – “Come in every Friday for free drinks, snacks!”

Spin up a few new landing pages on your site and start experimenting. You will quickly find which have the best traction among your traffic and customer base if you keep an eye on your offer's performance metrics. Encourage your new email signups to share your offers on social media, email the offer to a friend, and get the word out to exponentially increase your offer's reach.

Tell us how you grow your email list?

Creating Great Landing Pages

Kim Kolb - Wednesday, January 26, 2011
1) Remove Navigation and Other Distractions

Your landing page should have one simple purpose: Get someone excited enough about your offer so that they're willing to hand over their information. For best results, you'll want to remove distractions like navigation and additional offers. Keep your visitor's focus on the offer at hand.

Getting Started

2) Use Your Headline to Explain the Value of Your Offer - What's in it for Me?

People's attention spans are short, especially online. Because of this, you'll want to make sure that your offer is as clear as possible. The best way to achieve this is to have a clear title. Specifically, you'll want to make sure your title contains:
  • A clear action (e.g. "Get Started Today")
  • A clear description of your offer (e.g. "Complete form to discuss project")
  • An explanation of the value of your offer (e.g. "Custom Websites")
I've seen many landing pages that miss one of these three key details.

3) Use Caption Text Under Your Image(s)

You should always include at least one image on your landing pages. Images are engaging, they make your offers more tangible, and people like them.

That said, one of the most commonly overlooked elements on landing pages is image caption text. Behaviorally, people are much more likely to read the caption text on an image then to read the body text of your landing page.

Use your caption text to help underline the value of your offer.

4) Use Thank You Pages & Suggest Next Steps

When someone has finished filling out your landing page, what do they see? You should think carefully about this question.

Your "thank you" page is a great opportunity to suggest your lead's next action and should help them further connect with your company or brand. "Subscribe to our newsletter," "Read our blog," "Connect with us on Twitter," or "Share this offer with a friend are all are excellent examples of things you can suggest on a thank you page.

5) Make Your “Submit” Button Engaging

No one get’s excited about submitting their information to a marketing database. Because of this, you should always change the default text of your "submit" button.

The best practice here is to use an action word and to remind your visitors about what they're going to get. Think about which button you'd rather click below:

Bonus Tip: Avoid “Contact Us,” - Create Stronger Offers

A “Contact Us” page does not count as a landing page. If this is the only "offer" on your site, you’re just going to attract spam and sales people. Diversify and create more offers.

Specifically, create one early-stage and one late-stage offer. For example, an early-stage offer could be a guide, a kit, or a white paper. A late stage offer can be a free consultation, an estimate / price quote or a free trial.

Do you have a great Landing Page you want to share?  Send us a link.

Hi, I'm with Kirby Vacuum, Don't shoot

Kim Kolb - Thursday, April 15, 2010

OH My Gosh! I didn't even realize companies still used Door to Door Soliciting, I mean Sales, oops I mean Marketing.  I think this out does the Billboard ads.  

I was working in my home office today and I got a knock on the door.  Hmm, I thought.. Not expecting anyone.  I opened the door, I am not kidding on this next part, the young kid, maybe early 20's says to me as I am opening the door, "Hi, I'm with Kirby Vacuum, Don't Shoot"!  Since I am not real quick with my responses... I took a second and said, I have had a Kirby before and I don't need another since I have all hardwood!  The Rep did not seem to take this as harsh as I probably made it sound. He just said, "Okay, thanks".  Off to the next house he went.

What is Kirby's goal in going door to door?

  • Personal interaction
  • Face to face
  • Set up Demonstration
  • Closing a deal

With Outbound Marketing, you are being interrupted when you didn't ask to be.  Somebody is interrupting what you do to tell you what they do.  Telemarketer's, TV ads, all are Outbound Marketing. 

How does Kirby track their Outbound Marketing?  Just like we track Yellow Page ads, TV ads, etc. There is no way to track them unless there is a physical action that takes place.  You actually have a demo scheduled, you clip the coupon and use it, you tell the person where you found them.

  • If last year's "Outbound Marketer" could have tracked what he did when he came to my house, he would have been able to tell this year's "Outbound Marketer" that I don't have carpet.  
  • What is the cost-benefit to having people pound the pavement?

I do have to say that the salesperson had a wonderful attitude.  

I would love to hear feedback on this and your thoughts about door to door sales.

Adobe's CS5 Launch Video for Business Catalyst

Dave Kolb - Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Here is a preview of Adobe's CS5 launch video for Business Catalyst. Adobe director of product management, Bardia Housman demonstrates this new hosted application for building and managing online businesses.

Great Job Bardia and the Business Catalyst team!

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