7 Top Tips for a Better E-newsletter



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Whether your are B2B, B2C or an Association, you can make your good e-newsletter GREAT!

I recently had the opportunity to be a judge for an e-newsletter award. The panel looked for certain qualities immediately. Of course, navigability, layout and creativity were key elements. But it the entries didn’t also incorporate the 7 tips below, they were usually headed to the reject file.

Here are 7 Top Tips for making a good e-newsletter great:  [Read more…]

King Arthur Flour Cooks Up Success with Baking Sheet App



KAF-App-LaunchKing Arthur Flour, who most of us know for their healthy whole grain products, tasty recipes, and cooking classes, is actually a prolific publisher with exclusive niche content.

Earlier this year they came to GTxcel (formerly Godengo+Texterity) with an ambitious plan: they wanted to amass more than 3,000 recipes distilled from 22 years of publishing their Baking Sheet, a monthly 24 page compendium of original, kitchen-tested delights.

The King Arthur Flour Company was founded in 1790 and has evolved with the market, often leading the charge in baking technique and yes, publishing. See the back story here.

What resulted was a free app with paid content.   The app is built for smartphones and tablets —  iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and Google’s Nexus 7. [Read more…]

Test, Test, Test for Email Success!



By Ryan Dohrn, Digital Guru & Internet Consultant, www.ryandohrn.com

In order to communicate with subscribers, build a successful e-newsletter, or reach new online readers, you need to get people to open your emails. For media/publishing industry email blasts, Constant Contact reports an average open rate of 18.6% and a bounce rate of 8.6% with a click thru rate of 23.7%. (Source)

Many publishers fall far short of these numbers. So, what do you do to raise your open and click thru rates? Test for success!

1. Test your subject line:  A well written subject line out performs a generic subject line. Lists are also very popular.  Some great examples… “10 ways to grow your small business revenue”, “5 Hot Parenting Tips”, “10 Ways to market your business for under $100”. Review subject lines just like headlines.

2. Test your sending time: One way to boost your open rate is to look at when people who open your emails are doing so. Is it 8:00 am, Noon, 3:00 pm, 10:00 pm?  Try splitting your list in half. Send to half the people at your normal time, and to the other half on a different day or at a different time of day to see if one results in a higher open rate.

3. Check your “from” name: Most emails that are quickly ignored or deleted are those with an unrecognizable “from” name or address. Is your “from” name easily recognizable?  For publishers, try sending the email from the publisher’s name rather than editor@my-magazine.com or the name of the magazine.  Or, come up with a persona for your emails like Rex Reed or Mary Daniels.

4. Keep testing:  Use A-B testing often and really look and digest the results. Ask for detailed reports and testing from your team.

In the end, email will be a serious pat of your revenue plan. You and your team don’t need to invest much time, money, or effort to test your way to email success. All it takes is a commitment to start testing and keep testing.

This article originally is part of the June issue of Niched Out News. Full article list:

The Love / Hate Relationship with Email

Test, Test, Test for Email Success!

e-Marketing Tip: Fill Out Your Own Contact Form!

Niched Out Magazine of the Month: Hardwood Floors

Success Story: WEFTEC Goes Beyond Print with Tradeshow Media Partners’ Onsite YouTube Video Services

A Page Out of Our Yearbook: Email Marketing Subject Line Tips



Email marketing is an integral part of your niche publication’s content marketing strategy. Having well put together e-newsletters and emails is important in order to make sure they catch the attention of the reader. Part of being attractive to your audience members is creating great subject lines. Take a look at some tips for email marketing subject lines:

Niche Media

Check out some tips for creating great email subject lines.

  • Length: The length of your subject line is very important and should be taken into consideration. It is best to keep your email subject lines between 45 to 60 characters in order to avoid it being cut off by browsers. You should try to be as descriptive as you can within this character limit to avoid readers trying to figure out the purpose of the email.
  • Punctuation and symbols: Using symbols and punctuation in your email subject lines is also a good way to attract attention. For instance, instead of using the word “and” use the ‘+” sign to draw attention to the email and make it stand out among others.
  • Numbers: In addition to using symbols in your email subject lines, you should also use numbers to catch attention and generate interest. Numbers are short, to the point and let readers know right away what they can expect for the email.
Having good subject lines for your email marketing is crucial in order to see success. Email marketing is also very important in generating readers for your niche magazine.

 

 

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

Mobile App Content Strategies on the Rise



The rise in popularity among smart phones and the applications that go along with them are very important to the niche magazine industry. Niche publications must always be adapting and changing with technology in order to work with it and ensure ad sales and audiences continue to grow. A recent survey showed that many publications are already integrating mobile app content strategies into overall content marketing plans.

Niche Media

Mobile apps are changing the way readers receive content.

Mobile applications are a great way to interact with readers and provide new and interesting ways to keep them engaged. In order to ensure your mobile app content strategy is working well, it is important to have an optimized mobile site. This will make accessing your material much easier and preferable for readers. It is also important to remember that tablets and smart phones are not the same. The mobile site for your niche publication should cater to both devices, instead of just one.

The ways in which readers receive content are constantly changing, and it is crucial to stay up-to-date as to keep and grow audiences.  Eli Goodman, a spokesman for comScore, the company that conducted the survey, noted just how crucial these new strategies are:

“In the United States at this time, more than 40 percent of all existing mobile phones in use are smartphones, and over 50 percent of all recently acquired mobile phones are smartphones, moving towards the eventual majority. Mobile internet usage is directly correlated to smartphone adoption, so a mobile specific strategy is a must as a function of your broader marketing mix.”

Adopting mobile application strategies into your content marketing plan is important for all publications, especially niche magazines.

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

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

Carl’s Capsules: Have you filled out your own contact/subscribe form lately?



If you want a good laugh, try checking out many online contact forms. I’m talking about the forms we have our readers fill out to receive an e-newsletter or even just to ask a simple question. When readers find themselves clicking the dreaded “Contact” link on most companies’ websites, they’re holding their breath and praying they’re not sent to a page-long questionnaire.

As you know, many companies ask people to fill out 6 or 8 fields before they even get to subscribe or send their own e-mail message or question. In most cases the people trying to contact your company are potential customers—why in the world would you make it so difficult? You’re not a bank needing their mom’s maiden name. We might as well be asking for our customers’ blood types while we’re at it before we can let them have the privilege of contacting us.

On the flip side, you do want to ask some questions. When it comes to these online forms, most companies actually don’t ask for enough of the right info. (Sorry, I guess I’m hard to please, but you’ve got to play Goldilocks when it comes to your online forms and get them “just right”—not too long or too short.)

Many companies simply ask for an email address. I think this is a mistake. By gathering only an email address your organization is missing a huge opportunity to gather subscriber data for marketing efforts. We ask for only four things: full name, job title, company name, and email address. Most B2B contacts don’t have a problem providing this info. Obviously, this helps a great deal with personalization and segmentation of your audience.

Okay, forms may not be a hilarious topic, but they are incredibly important to any successful online marketer.

Carl Landau
Grand Poobah

This post is part of our monthly Vitamin E(newsletter) – a newsletter all about e-newsletters. To read more from this month’s e-newsletter:

eDistribution: Email Deliverability Tips & Myths (Part 2)

AntioxiDesign: What Pintarest Can Teach Us About e-Newsletter Design

eContent: 10 Fresh Content Ideas to Perk Up Your e-Newsletter (Part 2)

Carl’s Capsules: Have You Filled Out Your Own Contact/Subscribe Form Lately?

e-News of the Month: Pregnancy Weekly

(r)e-Run of the Month: e-Newsletter Revenue Generation

eToon: Free Doughnuts

eTube: Use Your e-Newsletter to Boost SEO!

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

 

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

 

 

 

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