The call to action (CTA) is the most important part of a website. It’s what turns visitors into cash. So, before you write the copy for your next so-so CTA, take a look at these 9 tips. Take advantage of them and you’ll be increasing conversions in no time at all.

1. Use active words.
You see active words all the time. Think of all the action words you see in ads: buy, subscribe, download, register, call, etc. Why are they there? Because they inspire people to act, just as their name suggests.

2. Keep it short.
Notice that all of my tips here are short. They are to the point and do not have any unnecessary words. Use this philosophy in all of your calls to action. If you want to capture attention, don’t write a novel.

3. Use simple words.
Resist the urge to use complex words and sentence structures. If there is a smaller, more simple word to use, use it. The average person doesn’t read at a high level. Simple words have high conversion rates.

4. Convey urgency.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you could do today, right? Wrong. Everyone puts things off until tomorrow. Your job is to ensure that your call to action isn’t one of them. Convey “now or never”!

5. Use buzzwords.
They might sound cheap and overused, but they work. Think of all the buzzwords you read each day: unique, innovative, award winning, exclusive, solution, leading, etc. Don’t count them out.

6. Avoid spam signals.
There’s a thin line that you need to learn to toe. Avoid any language or punctuation that will send up red spam flags. For example, avoid the use of “!!!” or “!?!”

7. Use numbers.
It seems like everyone is creating lists these days, right? Right. That’s because lists involve numbers, which are more appealing to the human eye than words. Notice the number in the title of this post.

8. Advertise the value.
You can sell anything to anyone when you know this trick: promote the value. It sounds simple, but it’s overlooked. Put yourself in their shoes and focus on what’s in it for them. Show them the value right away!

9. Be specific.
Did you know that you miss out on leads because your CTA isn’t specific enough? They want to know exactly what is going to happen when they click through. Explain the specifics of what you want them to do and what will happen after.

Are you already using some of these tips? Which tips have worked best for you?

Think back to when you first tried your hand at affiliate marketing. What was your first campaign? Was it a success? The fact of the matter is that new affiliates make tons of mistakes. Heck, even affiliates who have been in the game for years make mistakes. There are two very common, very dangerous affiliate mistakes that shine above the rest though.

It’s natural, especially when you’re new to the game, to want to move on and multiply. If things aren’t working out, you’ll want to try a different offer, a different niche. If things are going great, you’ll want to expand and build campaign after campaign.

The problem here is that most campaigns aren’t successful from the get-go. It usually takes quite a while to perfect a campaign and really make it work for you. While it’s important to fail fast to succeed fast, you want to make sure you’re not in too much of a rush. Like all things in life, it’s about balance.

Of course, there’s the opposite approach. That is, sticking to one or two campaigns for too long. Whether or not they’re profitable for you is irrelevant. Putting all of your eggs in one basket, regardless of the industry, is not a good idea. What if one of those campaigns takes a nosedive?

Remember, affiliate marketing is not a perfect science. It’s true that most affiliates have seen the majority of their success from approximately 10% of their campaigns, but that other 90% is important. You have to try new things and experiment if you want to reap the rewards.

Plus, this is not a predictable industry (for the most part). There are ups and downs, ups and downs, ups and downs. What happens if you’re only running two campaigns and they’re both going down at once?

The moral here is to find a happy medium between too many campaigns and too few campaigns. Leaning too far in one direction could mean the difference between affiliate success and affiliate failure. Often, it is hard for new affiliates to master this delicate balancing act, which is the real barrier to entry in Internet marketing.

This data is based on sending 30 million emails.

Keep in mind these are not spammers. These are well branded e-commerce or service oriented companies using an enterprise solution.

I just want to be clear on that. These companies combined have a email rate spam report rate of .0006. But that is also very low because they are emailing their existing database of clients as well as new clients interested in their services or products.

Ok with that said I have put together the following stats. Again please keep in mind these are mostly “value add” emails.

People open and click on the most emails between 9am and 11:30am CST on weeknights and 7pm to 10pm CST on the weekends.People open and click on the most emails on Mondays. People make buying decisions from emails received on Thursdays (they clicked on a link and made a purchase). The average time someone takes to make a buying decision from a email is 4 days. The average time of day people make a purchase 7pm to 10:30pm CST. The longest we have seen for someone to purchase a product or service from a email we have sent is 6 months (since we started the company). Shorter subject lines get higher percentage rates.  1 word subject lines scoring the highest. Capitals on every word in the subject line have a 25% less open rate then subjects with every word in lowercase.

The first feeling that comes to mind when you mention the term ‘email marketing’ usually is not positive. With technology constantly developing newer and newer ways to communicate via the internet, some feel that the bland, mundane tasks of email marketing are behind us. Wrong! Even though the world of marketing is constantly changing, email remains a viable way in which to communicate with subscribers about virtually anything. Best of all, you can revamp the process to make it easier, more creative and therefore more appealing to your subscribers. We will discuss a few strategies you can use to deploy this type of success.

Gigantic Potential

The fact is that more people are connected to one another through email than through any other outlet – including Facebook. Email has remained the bridge between “old” and “new”; for those who do not wish to make a phone call but do not want to use social networking, email is a vital component of communication and business. Backing up this assumption is the fact that over 70% of all internet users check their email more than five times per day. While some bloggers, webmasters and businesses are worried about pinging search engines with updates on their site, others are striving to build a line of communication through the most tried and true medium currently on the web.

Personal Preference

Most web users still state that email is the preferred form of communication when it comes to day-to-day business and notifications. Facebook and other social networks may have allowed users to find lost friends and new acquaintances, but people still prefer a more personal form of communication that is generally achieved via email. Another statistic shows that nearly 4 out of 5 people prefer to receive commercial communication via email as opposed to Facebook or other methods – this number alone should seriously make you re-think a strategy that is currently neglecting email marketing.

Effective Reach

We all may think that email marketing is hit or miss; this is true to some extent. However, it is more effective than taking out advertisements or pinging search engines with content in terms of the % of people who read or follow-through on the email. Data shows that nearly 70 percent of people have purchased an item or service within the past twelve months as a result of an email they received. While you certainly will not be buying email lists to accomplish this, this should still give you confidence in maintaining and improving the communication you have with your existing subscriber base.

Conclusion

While many have labelled email as an old, ineffective means of communication, the data shows us that people still prefer email to newer social interaction and do in fact respond to those messages. You can even use email marketing as a way to encourage your subscribers to connect with your brand through platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Google+. If you are willing to accept this and re-commit yourself to expanding and improving your email marketing program, you will be successful.

View the original article here

infographicWith plenty of different forms of advertising and publication forming over the past several years, many bloggers are looking for alternative ways to catch the eyes of their readers while also creating something that will spread beyond the realm of their own blog – hopefully attracting others to become readers. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a infographic that summarizes a topic or event in an aesthetically-pleasing fashion. By boiling down the subject material into an easy-to-digest format, you stand to gain much attention from those seeking refuge in an internet environment of information overload.

Origins

Before you begin designing the finer points of the infographic, you must first develop a concept. By having a stellar idea sketched out from the beginning, you will be able to keep on track and deliver all the necessary information. Since your blog most likely is dedicated to a particular niche or category, it is smart to stick to this subject material – although other bloggers have had great success using an infographic outside their own realm to generate buzz and hype about their site. Generally speaking, a good concept will cover the history and facts of the subject while also maintaining a creative element. These tactics combined will result in a wave of people and search engine bots viewing and pinging your website.

Data

With your idea solidified and brainstorming finished, you can now move to the research and data-collection part of building your infographic. Some concepts may cover factual, historical events or ideas and will have a plethora of information to support your premise. Others may be circumstantial or involve trends that are not as clear; still, you will need to locate data, statistics and other concrete facts that support your position. After you have assembled the data necessary for putting the infographic together, you should then proceed to organize it in a word processing document or similar program so as to make the final part simpler.

Design

At this stage, your worries are putting the collected data into a graphically-pleasing format that viewers will enjoy and can appreciate. Usually, you will want to start off with a large canvas in a program such as Photoshop; an infographic is usually shown in “thumbnail” mode and are meant to be clicked on to see the entire image. You can always resize the image later, so feel free to make it as big as you feel comfortable doing. Colour schemes, borders, fonts and other elements are variables that will depend on your own likings, the theme of your website and the theme of the topic.

Distribution

Finally, you are ready to begin pinging your website with the new infographic. We recommend that you host the image on the same server and domain as the blog; you will most likely receive a boost in traffic and an uptick from search engines by earning inbound links. You may wish to put it on its own page, followed by a click-through link to the full-size image. You also want to place social sharing options on the page so others can spread the word about your newly-published infographic.

View the original article here

Most websites and companies have heard of mega social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Their omnipresence on the internet is something that we all either use on a day to day basis or are witness to when navigating just about any website. What some webmasters and businesses fail to realize is that there are dozens of other social networking websites out there that cater to smaller yet more dedicated audiences. In the world of niche marketing, these tiny social networks can be valuable in getting your products and services seen by those who are interested.

The Premise

Many people use the major social networking platforms, but they may also enjoy using platforms that are less populated and therefore more relative to their particular interests. Instead of a social network of 100 million users who have an array of different interests, many of these networks instead have populations closer to 100 thousand users that share the same unique interest. If your site is built around the premise of a particular niche or isolated category, then there is most likely benefit in finding a social network that caters to these interests. Those who successfully utilize these systems can stand to gain a heaping of new traffic and revenue for their sites, companies and projects.

Finding Your Niche

As previously mentioned, there are plenty of smaller social networking platforms on the internet that offer people like you the ability to market a brand to interested users. If your current operation revolves around pinging YouTube videos about art to interested users, then you may wish to use a site such as deviantART that currently boasts over 20 million users. Likewise, a campaign that revolves around the sales of custom comic strips may find welcome arms awaiting them at ComicSpace, which has a dedicated fan base of around 100 thousand users.

Building Your Base

Upon joining one of these niche social networks, you will probably notice that there is a pecking order of sorts – that is, there are a number of established, reputable posters who have earned the respect of their peers by providing quality information and updates. If you think you can simply begin pinging YouTube videos and instantly become a star, then think again. You will need to gain the trust of fellow community members by providing substantial value to the discussion at-large. This is perfectly feasible but does usually take some time before people begin to notice your worth.

Conclusion

With a plethora of niche social networks currently available on the web and new ones constantly being created, you are sure to find a network that matches the criteria of your site or business at one point or another. By being an active member, providing valuable content to the members of the community and occasionally plugging your own project in an intrusive-free way, you will begin to reap the rewards that these networks can offer. Best of all, most of these networks are absolutely free to join. With no excuses left and only time to spare: why are you still waiting? Begin your newest social networking adventure today!

View the original article here

Nobody has to tell you that your small business is important. Even more so is the way in which you allocate funds for any advertising efforts – whether they be conventional banners or social media targeting. If you have ads pinging to Google, Bing or other platforms and want to get the best bang for your buck, then you absolutely have to take the proper initial steps to ensure that your funds are being allocated in the best way possible. No two businesses are the same, so it is up to you to determine which venues are appropriate for your advertisements. The following article will help streamline that process regardless of ambition.

Market Research

Prior to placing any orders for advertisements, you first need to understand who exactly you are trying to reach through your efforts. Is your business attempting to market a product to the 18-25 demographic or stay-at-home moms? Knowing the exact target market of your product or service is not only vital for advertising but also required for any measurable success. Many upstarts make the mistake of failing to determine their audience, something that often leads to a higher rate of failure for those businesses.

Review Past Attempts

If you have used advertising campaigns in the past, then it is imperative that you review the results and assess your prior performance. Were the ad campaigns that had been pinging to Google and others effective in terms of click through rate? Which ads did well and which ones did not in terms of conversions, leads and sales? Having this information readily available helps you avoid making the same mistakes once again.

Assess Your Niche

Every niche and industry is different in terms of what advertising approach works best to attract like-minded users. If you are attempting to reach people in the consumer electronics category, for instance, then you will want to emphasize a heavily-reliant online campaign that may feature an intense amount of social networking outreach. On the other hand, a less technologically-savvy niche may find advertising to be more effective with traditional web advertising methods.

What Are Your Goals?

Every business should have a stated and concrete goal when it comes to what they want to achieve through advertising. A failure to determine how much additional revenue is to be generated or how many new visitors should be attracted to the site will ultimately lead to overall failure for your advertising campaign. There are many advertising solutions available that may be suited for your business depending on whether you wish to increase traffic, increase sales or increase community engagement.

Diversify Your Advertising

Even if you have settled on one particular format for your advertising campaign, you will still want to create multiple variations to test the success of each approach. Having all of your eggs in one basket can lead to failure if the initial ads were all poorly-designed or failed to attract the attention of viewers. By using different images, text and forms of persuasion in each ad, you will have a better chance of finding that perfect solution that drives traffic to your site. From there, you can then design multiple ads that revolve around that premise.

View the original article here