A Page Out of the Yearbook: Supercharge Your Survey Strategies



Surveys are a great tools for niche magazine publishers to use to boost readership as well as sales. However, often times survey efforts are often done in the wrong manner, which can leave readers unhappy and your sales unchanged. Mixing up your survey strategies could be just the trick you need to further your audience development and increase sales. We have pulled a few tips for supercharging your survey strategies from the Niche Yearbook, take a look:

Niche Media

Take a peek at some tips for improving your surveys.

  • Narrow your target: It can become a bad habit to send out numerous surveys and target a very general audience. Chances are, you will see better results if you narrow the people you decide to send surveys too. Sending a mass number of surveys can also make readers feel unimportant and just another number on a mailing list. Take a deeper look into demographic and behavioral data to get a better feel for who you should be targeting and who is more likely to respond to the survey.
  • Keep it simple: It’s no secret that we move fast when it comes to the internet. Items on the web have only a few second to capture our attention and work to keep it. This applies to your surveys as well. In order to keep the reader engaged, your best bet is to keep it simple. Don’t try to accomplish too much in one survey. Instead, break it up into smaller surveys in order to keep the reader from becoming bored or distracted.
  • Turn your surveys into dollars: The completed surveys that you will get back are extremely valuable. They reveal important information about your publication and what readers want out of it. You can use these surveys to your advantage by offering them to advertisers.
Surveys are an important tool to any niche publication and should be paid proper attention. If you have found your survey results are turning up less than impressive, try tweaking with a few of these tips.

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

A Page Out of the Year Book: Organizing eMarketing



Having multiple internet marketing strategies is important in order to boost audience and sales revenue for your niche publication. However, we understand that having so many internet marketing efforts can sometimes become overwhelming. That is why we have pulled a few tips from our very own Niche Media Year Book to help you get your marketing strategies under control. Check out some tips for controlling your internet marketing efforts:

Niche Media

Check out some tips for organizing emarketing efforts.

  • Measure what matters: One of the first steps you should take when organizing your internet marketing is to take note of what channels are working versus the ones that are not. Take a look at your trends and patterns in your emarketing efforts and look for signs of overall improvement. If you find that a certain channel is working and showing improved results, chances are you will want to keep it around.
  • Think before expanding: Jumping on the latest social media craze can be tempting but sometimes it is not the correct move to make for your niche magazine. Instead of making the decision to expand by adding a new channel of emarketing, first consider optimizing and improving your current channels. This will ensure that you tried new efforts before making a big decision like adding a new emarketing channel.
  • Tie it all together: Instead of using each channel of emarketing separately, it is often best to find ways to mix them together to get better results. Brainstorm new ways of using channels together to boost ad sales and audience numbers. Doing this is also a good way for making your content more noticeable and remarkable.
eMarketing can sometimes be tricky if you are unorganized and unsure of which direction to take it. Be sure to get your efforts under control and have a clear idea of what you would like to get out of it for the best results.

 

 

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

e-toons



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out these other articles that ran in the February 2012 Vitamin e! Newsletter:

eDistribution: Email Deliverability Tips and Myths (Part 1 of 2)

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=392

 

eContent: 10 Fresh Content Ideas to Perk-up Your Next e-Newsletter

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=405

 

e-Spot: Is Your Facebook Page Configured to Capture e-Newsletter Opt-in Forms?

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=426

 

Carl’s Capsules:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=420

 

e-Newsletter of the Month: Get Your Thrills at Thrillist.com

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=431

 

(R)e-run of the Month: Top 6 Email Conversion Mistakes

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?=414

 

 

 

Carl’s Capsules



 

 

Welcome to the premier issue of Vitamin-e: The first e-Newsletter about e-Newsletters (yeah, it sounds sort of weird, but let’s face it—we all need a shot of energy in our e-Newsletters). Here at Niche Media we run events for magazine publishers and the #1 most popular topic for years has been e-Newsletters. Everyone has them. Everyone recognizes what a key role they play in their online marketing program. But, it seems as if many of you are not completely satisfied with the results of your e-Newsletter. This is where we come in to save the day: we’ve developed our Vitamin e-Newsletter to help you with your efforts. And to really help—we’ve organized e-Newsletter World (http://www.enewsletterworld.com/). Hope to see you there in Dallas, May 7-8, 2012.

Tip of the Month: Manic Mondays. I hate Mondays and apparently everyone hates them. Obviously, don’t send your e-Newsletter on Monday. The day and time you send out your effort is important. I’ve read a lot of research about the timing of e-mail efforts. Data has proven that in general Wednesday and Thursday are the best open rate days. Time matters too. We’ve experimented with various times–early in the day, mid-day, late afternoon. The winner to date has been late morning. We have a national audience for all our efforts, so we send around 11:00 AM EST. That way, most people are in work mode when they receive our e-Newsletter. We have a B2B audience, so this works best for us. If you have a specialty consumer audience you may find different results.

I’d love to hear your success or failure story about your e-Newsletter experience. We can all help each other.

Cheers,

Carl
Grand Poobah
Niche Media
carl@NicheMediaHQ.com

 

Check out these other articles that ran in the February 2012 Vitamin e! Newsletter:

eDistribution: Email Deliverability Tips and Myths (Part 1 of 2)

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=392

 

eContent: 10 Fresh Content Ideas to Perk-up Your Next e-Newsletter

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=405

 

e-Spot: Is Your Facebook Page Configured to Capture e-Newsletter Opt-in Forms?

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=426

 

e-Newsletter of the Month: Get Your Thrills at Thrillist.com

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=431

 

(R)e-run of the Month: Top 6 Email Conversion Mistakes

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?=414

 

e-toons:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=443

 

Is Your Facebook Page Configured to Capture e-Newsletter Opt-in Forms?



 

 

Want a quick, easy idea that you can implement today—for FREE—to increase subscribers to your e-Newsletter and help integrate your e-Newsletter with your social media site? Make sure you have your corporate Facebook page set up to capture subscriber opt-in forms for your e-Newsletter. Many of you are already doing this, but for those of you who aren’t take a moment to set this up on your Facebook site—it’s quick, easy, and a smart idea.

Most ESPs have directions right on their website which guide you through the process. Because the instructions are specific to each ESP, we can’t give you detailed steps here, but we’ve listed links to many of the most popular ESPs’ step-by-step instructions on how to add forms to your corporate Facebook page. Basically, what you’ll be doing is logging into your Facebook page, going to the “Edit page” icon, adding the “Static HTML: iframe tab” App, and then customizing the set-up of the form from there.

(This iframe tab App can also be used to customize your Facebook page in other sophisticated ways. Check out this example from iframetab.com’s Thomas Story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmnTFSzOOH0&feature=related. Also beware of old instructions that mention the Facebook App “Static FBML”—this is an old app that is being phased-out and not the one you want to use.)

Many ESP’s have their own custom app or code for setting up these forms, so begin with the links below if you use one of these ESPs, or search your ESP’s website for similar instructions and get started on integrating your e-Newsletter with your Facebook page today!

 

AWeber: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/facebook-opt-in-form.htm

 

Campaign Monitor: http://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/post/3612/facebook-subscribe-form-app/

 

Contactology: http://help.contactology.com/kb/getting-started-with-contactology/add-your-sign-up-form-to-facebook

 

iContact: http://blog.icontact.com/blog/how-to-add-an-icontact-email-newsletter-sign-up-form-to-your-facebook-fan-page/

 

emailDirect: http://www.emaildirect.com/blog/2011/03/how-to-add-a-newsletter-sign-up-to-your-facebook-page-update/

 

My Emma: http://help.myemma.com/Audience/AddingASignupFormToYourFacebookPage

 

Vertical Response: http://help.verticalresponse.com/how-to/tutorial/adding_an_opt-in_form_to_facebook/

 

Check out these other articles that ran in the February 2012 Vitamin e! Newsletter:

eDistribution: Email Deliverability Tips and Myths (Part 1 of 2)

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=392

 

eContent: 10 Fresh Content Ideas to Perk-up Your Next e-Newsletter

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=405

 

Carl’s Capsules:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=420

 

e-Newsletter of the Month: Get Your Thrills at Thrillist.com

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=431

 

(R)e-run of the Month: Top 6 Email Conversion Mistakes

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?=414

 

e-toons:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=443

 

 

(R)e-run of the Month: Top 6 Email Conversion Mistakes



 

 

Overwhelmed by all the information out there? No time to sift through every ESP’s blog tips on e-Newsletters and e-Marketing? With our “(R)e-run of the Month” we do the work for you by culling through the fluff and passing on the most useful and interesting e-Newsletter tips out there.

Conversionista.com is one of our new favorite sites. Check out their blog—every article title grabs your attention and offers an interesting twist on multiple aspects of conversion. This post is from good old 2010, but worth re-running, as Conversionista reminds us not to forget the “news” in e-Newsletter!

http://www.conversionista.com/the-top-6-email-conversion-mistakes-nearly-everyone-makes-%E2%80%93-part-1/

 

Also, check out this great post from The Straight North Blog, which offers some clear, concise tips covering design, organization, and content for your e-Newsletter:

http://www.straightnorth.com/blog/22-tips-for-getting-your-email-newsletter-read/

 

Check out these other articles that ran in the February 2012 Vitamin e! Newsletter:

eDistribution: Email Deliverability Tips and Myths (Part 1 of 2)

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=392

 

eContent: 10 Fresh Content Ideas to Perk-up Your Next e-Newsletter

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=405

 

e-Spot: Is Your Facebook Page Configured to Capture e-Newsletter Opt-in Forms?

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=426

 

Carl’s Capsules:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=420

 

e-Newsletter of the Month: Get Your Thrills at Thrillist.com

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=431

 

e-toons:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=443

 

 

10 Fresh Content Ideas to Perk-up Your Next E-Newsletter



 

 

 

(Part 1 of 2)

You’re frantically searching the web for ideas for your next e-Newsletter and you have no trouble finding a plethora of tips and advice—run a case study, take a survey, offer actionable tips, respond to readers’ questions—the only problem is, you’ve heard it, seen it, and done it all before. Your e-Newsletter looks exactly like last month’s issue and your readers are bored. What’s an e-Marketing Director to do? Before you tear your hair out and chuck your computer out the window, consider trying one of these alternative content ideas:

1. Round-Robin Interview: Yes, interviews are a great way to liven up your e-Newsletter and break through the doldrums of article-after-article in your field—but instead of focusing on just one industry expert’s responses to your questions, why not pose an interesting question to five industry leaders in the same field. This brings together multiple perspectives for your readers. You can take it a step further and have the same interviewees comment on their peers’ responses—or your e-Newsletter staff can play that role by pointing out the interesting differences in the responses and analyzing them to conclude the piece.  This technique also has the added benefit of minimal time commitment from your interviewees, which makes it much more likely for you to get a “yes” when attempting to gather responses from busy industry leaders.

2. Reader-Generated Content Contest: Why not take two fairly standard e-Newsletter content areas and combine them for an interesting twist. Reader-generated content (whether questions, anecdotes, tips, or case studies) is a way to keep fresh ideas flowing into your e-Newsletter, while staying reader-focused. Normally, you might run into the obstacle of not receiving enough reader-generated material—or at least not enough quality reader-generated material. Successful, clever people are usually busy people—probably too busy to take the time to respond to your e-Newsletter request for questions or topics, unless there’s a contest involved. Offer a prize or freebee related to your industry. The contest aspect will increase both the number and quality of your entries. Choose a specific area or question which you think will be of interest to your readers; is there a particularly tricky problem in your industry that readers might have creative solutions to? Then you can run the “top ten” submitted responses and ask readers to vote for their favorite entry. It’s no coincidence that some of the most popular shows on television have viewers voting; people love to put their two-cents in. This content-contest can generate a multi-issue piece and up reader involvement in your e-Newsletter.

3. Mission Impossible: Most case studies we see highlight the success stories. Corporations, vendors, and their clients rarely want to tell you about their failures—but this is a great area to exploit for learning what not to do and figuring out how to do it right. Have you seen the Food Network’s highly successful Restaurant Impossible? Who doesn’t love a rags-to-riches turn-around story? If you can focus on someone in your industry who is struggling, profile their struggle, and put them in touch with people who can help turn things around for their business or problem area, this makes for compelling content.

4. Event Reviews: Most industries have a variety of events competing for your readers’ time and money. Events are often publicized in e-Newsletters, but how are reader’s really going to know what goes on at these events and which ones are really worth their time? If someone on your staff is not personally attending all of the major events in your industry, draw on your network of colleagues to get the inside scoop on the event scene in your industry. Try to avoid turning this into a mere sales pitch for the event or a scathing critique—rather, focus on what each event has to offer and what makes each event unique while incorporating both pros and cons in your review. Direct quotations from former attendees will add authenticity to this type of piece. This works best when tying together comments from last year’s events with previews of up-coming events.

5. Step-by-Step How-to Videos: Advice and tips can only go so far, but in this age where your 7-year-old can easily produce quality video clips why not offer your readers some guided video how-to’s? Is there a great Facebook app they could be utilizing or other free software you’ve come across, or an exciting and easy DIY idea that would interest your readers? You don’t need to get fancy for an e-Newsletter video. These days, even with a basic built-in camera and mic on your computer you can make a decent video clip, upload it to You Tube, and embed it in your e-Newsletter.

Read ideas 6-10 in Part Two in next month’s issue…

 

Check out these other articles that ran in the February 2012 Vitamin e! Newsletter:

eDistribution: Email Deliverability Tips and Myths (Part 1 of 2)

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=392

 

e-Spot: Is Your Facebook Page Configured to Capture e-Newsletter Opt-in Forms?

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=426

 

Carl’s Capsules:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=420

 

e-Newsletter of the Month: Get Your Thrills at Thrillist.com

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=431

 

(R)e-run of the Month: Top 6 Email Conversion Mistakes

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?=414

 

e-toons:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=443

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email Deliverability Tips and Myths: Part 1 of 2



 

 

 

By Jeanne Jennings
Consultant, Email Marketing Strategy (www.JeanneJennings.com)

Most email marketers have seen their deliverability improve in recent years, but getting the email you send to the inbox remains a challenge. A study done last year by Return Path found that only 87% of legitimate email messages sent in the United States reach the inbox (http://www.returnpath.net/landing/globaldeliverability1h11/); another 8% are diverted to the junk mail folder and 6% go into a black hole. If 14% of the email messages you send don’t make it to the inbox that means that your return on investment is probably 14% less than it could be.

In this two-part article, I’ll address some myths about deliverability—and provide some simple and inexpensive things you can do to get more of your email delivered to the inbox.

1.    Tip: Check your email reputation on a regular basis

According to Return Path, 83% of deliverability problems are caused by reputation issues. Elements of your email reputation include your IP address procedures, spam trap hits and authentication (more on that below).

You should check your email reputation on a regular basis—at least once a month. It’s easy and it’s free—but many marketers still don’t take the time to do it. All you need are the IP address(es) that your email is sent from and the domain used in your “from” address.

Here are three sites I use with my clients:

All three sites are user-friendly and provide self-explanatory one-step forms for looking up your IP address—and they provide information on who to contact if you see an issue with your email reputation.

2.    Myth: Avoid using the word “free” in the subject line

This springs from the wide spread use of content filters like Spam Assassin, which analyze the words, design and programming of an email message and assign points for things which are frequently seen in spam emails. An email with a score of 5.0 or above is likely to be diverted to the junk mail folder or not delivered at all.

Using “Free” in the subject line actually earns you no points in Spam Assassin. Still not convinced? Look at your own inbox. Free shipping is one of the most effective offers used by the top online retailers—and it’s very frequently featured prominently in their subject lines.

Content filters were first used in 2003-2004. Back then they were seen as critical to inbox delivery. Fast forward to 2012—the technology used by ISPs to detect spam has come a long way.

Today you’re much more likely to be mistaken for spam due to issues with your HTML code, lack of authentication, or not properly warming up a new IP address. So while it’s still useful to do a content filter check, content alone is unlikely to have a significant impact on your deliverability.

3.    Tip: Make sure you have email authentication in place

Email authentication allows an ISP to confirm that the IP address delivering the email has authority to send on the “from” domain’s behalf. Once again, setting up authentication is inexpensive and simple, but a surprising number of companies aren’t aware they should do it.

SPF, SenderID and DomainKeys/DKIM are the email authentication protocols used by ISPs today. To learn more about the differences between them, read a three-part series I wrote for ClickZ back in 2005: (http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2138905/an-email-marketer-s-guide-deliverability-part-spf). While authentication has progressed in the last 7 years, this will give you the basics and discuss the differences between the technologies.

There are a number of free resources online to help you update your DNS entry to include an SPF record, which is what these protocols use to authenticate your email. You will probably need to involve your ESP or your IT folks. Here are a few to get you started:

In part two, we’ll cover one more myth and two more tips about deliverability.

Until next month,
Jeanne

Read more of Jeanne’s tips and myths next month in Part Two…

 

Check out these other articles that ran in the February 2012 Vitamin e! Newsletter:

eContent: 10 Fresh Content Ideas to Perk-up Your Next e-Newsletter

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=405

 

e-Spot: Is Your Facebook Page Configured to Capture e-Newsletter Opt-in Forms?

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=426

 

Carl’s Capsules:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=420

 

e-Newsletter of the Month: Get Your Thrills at Thrillist.com

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=431

 

(R)e-run of the Month: Top 6 Email Conversion Mistakes

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?=414

 

e-toons:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=443

 

e-Newsletter of the Month: Get Your Thrills at Thrillist.com



Think your subscribers are burned out on your monthly, or even weekly, e-Newsletter? Well, take a page out of the Thrillist playbook as they manage to send daily e-News offerings and have still grown their subscribers from 30,000 in 2008 to over 4 million in 2012.

Thrillist is a digital publication that focuses on a variety of local recommendations from restaurants to gadgets to entertainment and they currently produce 21 local editions from San Francisco, to Dallas, to DC, and every major metro area in between. Their target audience is affluent, young urban males—thus a heavy focus of each issue is on the local hot spots in the restaurant and bar scene—but their readership and recommendations span a broad spectrum. Unlike other recommendation sites, which offer readers local coupons for anything and everything with little quality control, Thrillist has a strict editorial policy which keeps their recommendations separate from any sponsorship, advertising, or even staff freebies.

Spend some time on their site or subscribe to their daily e-Newsletter offering in your area and you’ll see that they are searching out the hippest suggestions in tips and hot spots, providing quality content that their readers appreciate. This focus on protecting their content from being taken over by advertising is something we can all learn from: readers can smell a sponsored advertorial a mile away and they will be willing to hear from you more often if they know your e-News provides them with quality content on a consistent basis.

How does Thrillist thrive and what can you learn from their e-News strategy? One of their many impressive tactics is a heavy reliance on locally produced video which they began incorporating in March of 2010. These simple spots usually run around one-and-a-half minutes and are preceded by a quick 30 second sponsored ad. Videos can help you generate revenue from your e-Newsletter and help hold reader interest while preventing list-fatigue. With the ad revenue and the added editorial benefit of video you can’t go wrong by working more of these types of brief video clips into your e-Newsletter in 2012! Check out a few of our favorites from www.Thrillist.com:

Thanksgiving Leftovers: http://www.thrillist.com/food/san-francisco/thanksgiving-leftovers_cooking

 

Woodshed Restaurant in Fort Worth: http://www.thrillist.com/food/dallas/tx/76107/fort-worth/the-woodshed_american_bbq_bizarre-food_good-for-groups_great-beer-selection_grilling_events

 

Uber Transportation: http://www.thrillist.com/cars/chicago/uber_services_websites

 

Check out these other articles that ran in the February 2012 Vitamin e! Newsletter

eDistribution: Email Deliverability Tips and Myths (Part 1 of 2)

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=392

 

eContent: 10 Fresh Content Ideas to Perk-up Your Next e-Newsletter

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=405

 

e-Spot: Is Your Facebook Page Configured to Capture e-Newsletter Opt-in Forms?

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=426

 

Carl’s Capsules:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=420

 

(R)e-run of the Month: Top 6 Email Conversion Mistakes

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?=414

 

e-toons:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=443