Email Newsletter: 3 Alternatives to an Ezine

Email Newsletter: 3 Alternatives to an Ezine

This article was inspired by a conversation I had recently with a client; in fact this isn’t the first time I’ve had a similar conversation with clients, so I thought I’d share my response to them with you. This client basically said to me,

“Tracey, please tell me I don’t have to send a weekly ezine!”

Note: An ezine is another name for a newsletter or electronic newsletter.

I know that for many business owners the thought of sitting down every week/month to write and prepare their ezine is really quite a daunting prospect. And, of course, you can get a VA (Virtual Assistant) to pull it all together, upload it to your list management service, and send it out. But that still doesn’t alter the fact that you have to WRITE it!  And this is why many business owners don’t follow through with this very effective marketing strategy.

A few years ago, it was all the rage to send out a “pretty” weekly/bi-weekly/monthly electronic newsletter.  And by “pretty” I mean lots of colorful graphics, headers, different sections etc. etc.  But now there are two major factors that come into play that makes this method of communication a little outdated and unnecessary:

  1. People’s inboxes are overflowing.  They don’t want a lengthy, pretty-looking newsletter. What they want to be able to do is scan their emails quickly and pick out any tidbits of relevant information. This means that you, as the publisher, need to make your communications quick and to-the-point.
  2. People are no longer reading their emails on just their desktop PCs/laptops.  They’re now reading them on their tablets, iPads, and the majority of your readers are reading their emails on their smartphones while they’re out and about, which means that the smaller screen is going to make viewing of your nicely laid-out newsletter more difficult to read.  And if your layout isn’t responsive to different types of media, then your newsletter will be almost impossible to read on a smartphone.

So, given these changes in both society and technology, what’s the answer to this?

Create shorter, to-the-point, and as plain as possible, communications for your subscribers that just have a single call-to-action embedded in them. And this means streamlining the information that you send out.

You do have options!

So with that in mind, here are three alternatives to the standard, long-form newsletter:

1. Send a Tip of the Week. I’m sure if you sat down you could easily come up with a whole series of quick tips around your area of expertise. If you came up with 52 you’d have a whole years’ worth of tips in one sitting.

2. Send an Article of the Week. Instead of a quick tip, send out an article instead.  And rather than include the whole article in your email communication, provide an overview with a link to read the full article on your blog (this is what I do — and it works very well!). And, again, if you can come up with 52 different articles you’d have a whole year’s worth.

3.  Host a weekly free teleclass. I’ve seen several business owners do this with huge success. If speaking is more your thing, invite your list to a free weekly teleclass. Share a popular topic and then open it up for Q&A. What a great way for your audience to get to know you better! You email communication then would be a very simple invitation to your weekly teleclass and, as your subscribers have already opted in to your list, no need to make them optin again for your teleclass — simply provide all the call-in information in your email.

As you can see, there are several alternatives to the standard ezine/newsletter approach. And in today’s fast-paced, overwhelmed society, it makes sense to come up with something much more streamlined.  Pick whichever one works best for you. The important thing is that you have a stay-in-touch strategy in place and that you are consistent on your delivery.

What’s your alternative to an ezine? Share in the comments below.  And if you’re struggling with this, ask your question below; I’d love to help.

© 2017 Tracey Lawton Training & Consulting LLC

Tracey LawtonAbout the author: Online Business Development Strategist, Tracey Lawton, teaches life coaches, business coaches, and virtual assistants how to become more organized, streamlined, and automated so that they don’t constantly bottleneck projects and processes. Having the right systems in place leads to consistent revenues, more clients, and less stress and overwhelm. Get your free Systems Checklist TODAY and see if you have all of your bases covered.

 

7 Simple Steps to Organizing & Hosting a Successful Teleclass

7 Simple Steps to Organizing & Hosting a Successful Teleclass

This simple strategy can add hundreds of new subscribers to your list … practically overnight!

And it’s a very simple, yet low-cost marketing strategy that you can implement on a regular basis to reach your target market.  Plus you’ll have the advantage of you being able to interact with your audience – they’ll be able to hear your voice and you will become more ‘personable’ to them.

So what is this amazing online marketing strategy?

Hosting your own teleclass!

Just some of the reasons why teleclasses are so popular are:

  • They show off your expertise
  • Easy to set up
  • Fun to host
  • You get to interact with your target market
  • Build your list a.k.a. your online community

But a couple of the downsides, and probably why many solopreneurs don’t take advantage of this simple marketing strategy, is that:

  • You need to spend some time preparing the material and organizing the event.
  • It can seem a bit daunting if you’ve never hosted a Teleclass on your own before.

I’ve been hosting teleclasses for YEARS!!!! I love doing them, for all of the reasons mentioned above. And, of course, over the years I’ve got the system down to a fine art. So what I’d like to do today is share with you my top 7 simple steps for organizing your own teleclass so that it’s fun, brings you a TON of new subscribers, and gets you interacting with your audience.

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Step 1 – Decide on a topic.  Take one of your most popular articles, or if you have written several articles around the same theme use those, and turn the content into a teleclass.

Step 2 – Decide on a format – will it be a teleclass or a webinar?  How long will the event last for?  If this is your first time at hosting an event – keep it simple – 25 minute presentation (which includes your introduction) and 20 minute open Question & Answer session (which also includes your offer and closing statement).  Make it as easy for yourself as possible.

Step 3 – Decide on a date and time.  Pick a date and time that is most convenient for you to host the teleclass.  Just because a lot of teleclasses seem to be hosted in the evening, doesn’t mean this is when you have to host yours!  Mine are usually hosted late morning because this fits my schedule best.  Also consider the different time zones too.

Step 4 – Book the line. Create an account with your teleconference company and schedule the call. Make sure that your teleconference company has conference recording capabilities.

Step 5 – Prepare your marketing materials.  Create your sales page, autoresponder sequence, and promotional emails.  Make sure on your sales page you let the participants know that by signing up they’ll also receive a copy of your newsletter.

In your autoresponder sequence be sure to include all the call-in details (and on any subsequent broadcasts you send out).

Step 6 – Announce it. Announce your Teleclass to your subscribers and post to the various Teleclass announcement sites and your networking groups.  Create a list of places where you want to post to and use this as a checklist to ensure you get everywhere covered.

Step 7 – Record your Teleclass (this is essential).  Not only will it encourage sign-ups – even if they can’t make the live event they’ll get the recording – but it also gives you the opportunity of repurposing your material.  You can turn your recording into your ‘free taste’ on your website, a bonus product, or add a workbook to it and sell it as a for-fee product.

And on the day of the event:

  • Ensure you send out a reminder on the day of your call.
  • Dial in to your teleclass at least five minutes before it’s due to start.  People do dial in early, and you want to be there to greet your participants as they turn up.
  • Have your class notes all written out and in front of you, along with teleclass timings.

And most importantly, remember: you are the expert.  You know something that your participants don’t, and they have come along to learn from you.  That thought alone will stop the nerves… I promise!

That’s it!  In just seven simple steps you can be on your way to hosting your very first teleclass.

What’s your biggest question about hosting your own teleclass?  Let me know in the comments below … and I’ll answer you!

© 2017 Tracey Lawton Training & Consulting LLC

Tracey LawtonAbout the author: Online Business Development Strategist, Tracey Lawton, teaches life coaches, business coaches, and virtual assistants how to become more organized, streamlined, and automated so that they don’t constantly bottleneck projects and processes. Having the right systems in place leads to consistent revenues, more clients, and less stress and overwhelm. Get your free List Building System Checklist TODAY and start to grow your list so you can ensure a constant flow of clients.

 

5 Winning Strategies For Getting Highly Targeted Traffic To Your Website

5 Winning Strategies For Getting Highly Targeted Traffic To Your Website

Website traffic is not a problem. Getting it to visit YOUR website is!

There are an abundance of your ideal clients out there all searching for the solutions that your services offer.  But the problem is they don’t know about you … yet!

As a solopreneur, one ingredient you need for a successful online business is traffic… and lots of it!  But there are so many websites out there, all competing for the same traffic, that it can be difficult to attract visitors to YOUR website!

Today, I’d like to share with you my top five strategies for attracting highly targeted visitors:

1. Create a Free Taste

Your free taste is something that you give to someone in exchange for them giving you their name and email address, and signing up to your list.  Your free taste is also your chance to show off your expertise, and give your new subscriber a sampling of what it is you offer.

It must be something of value to your subscriber, without giving away the whole shop!

Then you simply promote your free taste on your website, in your email signature, in your Resource Bio, and any other place you can think of!  Place a call to action and people will read it, and click through to your website to get what it is you’re offering.

2.  Get Others To Promote Your website For You

If you have products and programs for sale then you can easily get other people to promote them for you by offering an affiliate program.   People will sign up to your affiliate program and promote your products and programs through their website, newsletter, and/or blog.  In exchange you offer them a percentage commission for each sale that your affiliate makes – and make it a generous commission so that they have a real incentive to promote you.

If you’re currently using a shopping cart service, check out everything they have to offer – they may have an affiliate program included as part of their service.  Mine does!

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3.  Participate in a Joint Venture (JV)

This is an excellent way to drive highly targeted traffic back to your website, and very easy for you to organize.  Gather together some of you colleagues who offer complementary products and services to you and agree to promote each other’s products and services to your list.

I participated in a joint venture earlier this year where the organizer created a dedicated web page for this promotion.  Everyone’s promotional ‘blurb’ was listed on the website, and each ‘joint venturee’ sent an announcement out to their list during a specified period directing their subscribers to this webpage.  I got a TON of new subscribers as a result!

4.  Content Marketing

Several years ago, think around 2008-09, one of the most successful and cost effective online marketing strategies that you could do is to submit your articles to various online article submission websites. But now, with the onslaught of social media and video, this strategy has now expanded and you have to think in terms of a complete content marketing strategy.

Content marketing involves taking your written article and making it available on:

  • Your blog
  • Article directories
  • Social media
  • Recording as an audio file (podcast)
  • Recording as a video

Whilst this may sound like a lot of work, it really isn’t once you get a system going for it, and this is a great way to:

  • promote your services;
  • elevate you to ‘expert’ status within your chosen niche; and
  • grow your subscriber list.

Remember … your content marketing strategy has one purpose, and that is to drive traffic back to your website.  The search engines love it when you have lots of different links coming back to your website, so content marketing is also great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)!  With each piece of content you submit, you need to include some kind of call to action (and if you’re using Twitter, you don’t have many characters to play around with) that contains information about you, your business, and an active hyperlink back to your website.  For example, my calls to action always direct readers back to a blog post which, in turn, directs them to sign up for my free taste.

5.  Host a Free Teleclass

Hosting a free teleclass is a great way for you to get out in front of your target audience. They actually get to listen to you presenting your information, and have the opportunity to ask you questions on the call – all of which can’t be achieved just by writing articles!

And it also gives you to chance to interact with your target market, and find out valuable information about their struggles and pains. It all goes towards building the like, know, and trust factor that is so important when building a solo service business.

All of these strategies work well on their own, and I’ve had a huge amount of success with each one of them!  You can choose to implement just one strategy, or use a combination.  Whichever you choose, they all achieve the same goal… to drive highly targeted traffic to your website!

Where are you struggling to get more visitors to your website? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to help.

© 2017 Tracey Lawton Training & Consulting LLC

Tracey LawtonAbout the author: Online Business Development Strategist, Tracey Lawton, teaches life coaches, business coaches, and virtual assistants how to become more organized, streamlined, and automated so that they don’t constantly bottleneck projects and processes. Having the right systems in place leads to consistent revenues, more clients, and less stress and overwhelm. Get your free List Building System Checklist TODAY and start to grow your list so you can ensure a constant flow of clients.

 

3 Simple Sign-up Strategies to Grow Your Email List!

3 Simple Sign-up Strategies to Grow Your Email List!

If you’re not fully maximizing your website you’ll be missing out on new subscribers.

There are many ways to capture a visitor to your website, and turn them into a new subscriber, but if you’re not fully using all of the strategies available to do so, then you’re going to be missing out on filling your pipeline with potential clients and customers.

In this article I’m going to be sharing three very simple ways you can fully maximize your website so that you capture more visitors who come to your website.

Driving traffic to your website is only one side of the coin; once you’ve got visitors there you then need to get them onto your list!

Having a sign-up box on your website detailing your ‘free taste’ in exchange for your visitor’s name and email address is one way that you can do this, but deciding WHERE to place your all-important sign-up box for maximum impact is also just as important.

Depending on whether your page is a sales page, an information page, or some other type of web page will determine the strategy you use for enticing your web site visitors to sign up to your list.

I’d like to share three different, but very effective, sign-up page strategies with you.

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1.  At The Top Of Every Web Page

Your sign-up box should appear at the top of every single webpage on your website – the top right-hand corner has been researched to be the most effective place to put this. Or another place is at the top of the right sidebar, if you’re using a WordPress blog.

Why do you need to this?

Because you never know where someone will enter your website from.  As your site grows and more pages/posts get added, it will be getting picked up by the search engines for different terms or key phrases – and they might be phrases that aren’t on your home page, but on one of your other pages instead.

Someone could enter your website and leave via the same page (in other words they don’t stop to look around), and if you haven’t got a sign-up box on that page, you’ve got no chance of getting their name and email address – and they won’t know you offer a ‘free taste’.

2. Using Exit Grabber/Popup Software

Another sign-up strategy that I’ve been using for many years Exit Grabber software.  This is a clever piece of software that knows when a visitor is about to leave my website and only pops up just before they leave.

The popup box reminds a visitor not to leave without first grabbing their free gift, whether that’s a report, checklist, tip sheet, or some of kind of gift that you’re offering in exchange for a visitor giving you their name and email address.

Again, if you’re using a WordPress site there are many different exit grabber/popup plugins that you can use — both free and paid.

3. Adding A PS To A Sales Page

Internet marketers have done their research and the conclusion is that a lot of visitors to your sales page are going to scroll straight down to the bottom of your sales page first to read your PS’s!

So, if the first two strategies aren’t suitable for a particular page on your website or one of your sales pages, be sure to include a PS that tells your visitor what your ‘free taste’ is. And rather than include the sign-up box in the PS, provide a hyperlink that takes them to your sign-up page.

All three sign-up page strategies offer something slightly different, depending on your particular web page, and are very effective for ensuring that your website visitors don’t just leave your website without first signing up for your free offer.

So once you’ve got traffic coming to your website ensure that you’re capturing your visitor’s information by implementing at least one of the three different strategies I’ve shared with you today.

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© 2017 Tracey Lawton Training & Consulting LLC

Where are you struggling with your list building? Post in the comments below; I love to help!

Tracey LawtonAbout the author: Online Business Development Strategist, Tracey Lawton, teaches life coaches, business coaches, and virtual assistants how to become more organized, streamlined, and automated so that they don’t constantly bottleneck projects and processes. Having the right systems in place leads to consistent revenues, more clients, and less stress and overwhelm. Get your free List Building System Checklist TODAY and start to grow your list so you can ensure a constant flow of clients.

 

List Building: Facts & Figures

List Building: Facts & Figures

If you’re new (or newer) in business, you may have heard that you need to be “building your list”, or “the money is in the list” or any variation thereof.  So let me take a minute today to explain to you exactly what this means, and why there’s so much emphasis on this business-building strategy. Think of this article as your list building overview!

Why Building An Email List Is Important

Before you can set about bringing in new subscribers every day (a.k.a. building your email list) you need to understand why this is such an important business building strategy.

If…

  • You’re struggling to get clients
  • Your income looks more like a ride on a theme park roller coaster
  • Not enough people buy your products or register for your programs
  • You’re losing confidence in your ability to build your business

Then…

You need to create a BIG email list, which means you need to have a plan in place to bring in new subscribers EVERY DAY. And your subscribers need to be highly targeted, meaning that you don’t want just anyone on your list, but you want people who have a specific problem that they want solving, and which your services/products/programs can solve for them.

So, before you put any list building strategies in place you need to be really clear on who your ideal clients are and what the problems your business solves for them.  Then, in your marketing and list building activities you can speak directly to that group of people.

It’s Simply A Numbers Game

Ever wonder how the big guys manage to have six-figure launches? Or sell a ton of products? Or fill their live events?

It’s not because they have a better product than you. Or are more of an “expert” than you. Or any other reason you care to come up with.

It’s simply because they have a bigger email list.

They have a BIG pool of subscribers who are their ideal clients. So when they make an offer to their subscribers more people sign up.

Let’s Do The Math…

Let’s make some assumptions based on industry averages* for email marketing to professional services business to business sector…

  • Email open rate = 20%
  • Email click through rate (subscribers who open your email click through to whatever you’re directing them to) = 3%
  • Conversion rate (subscribers who click the link in your email and then take action on your offer) = 4%

So, let’s just look at those first two numbers — opens and click throughs. On an email list size of:

  • 500 subscribers: open rate = 100 subscribers, click through rate = 3 subscribers
  • 5,000 subscribers: open rate = 1,000 subscribers, click through rate = 30 subscribers
  • 50,000 subscribers: open rate = 10,000 subscribers, click through rate = 300 subscribers

Now, before you feel despondent by some of these numbers, just a few things for you to note here:

  • These numbers are on a single email broadcast – not an entire launch campaign.
  • This is an industry average number. Your own numbers may be different (which is why it’s important to track your stats too). You need to know how YOUR business is performing.

But you get the picture… it all comes down to numbers!

* Email marketing statistics 2016, Smartinsights.com

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1,000 Subscribers — The Tipping Point

There is a ‘magic number’ when it comes to building your list.  If you can work your way torwards gettting your first 1,000 subscribers you’ll see things start to snowball after that.  You’ll see more results from the offers you make, more interaction between yourself and your subscribers, and you’ll find once you’ve got some basic list building strategies in place, you’ll start to draw new subscribers to you every day.

However, before you go rushing off to work on your list building, let me just say that with all this talk of list building and numbers etc. remember that at the end of every email address is a person. Your first priority should be to build your relationship with that person, so consider that with every email that you send out. How is it building your relationship with your subscriber?

So now that you know a little more about email marketing and why it’s important that you have new subscribers EVERY DAY where are you struggling with your list building activities? Post in the comments below; I’d love to help.

© 2017 Tracey Lawton Training & Consulting LLC

Tracey LawtonAbout the author: Online Business Development Strategist, Tracey Lawton, teaches life coaches, business coaches, and virtual assistants how to become more organized, streamlined, and automated so that they don’t constantly bottleneck projects and processes. Having the right systems in place leads to consistent revenues, more clients, and less stress and overwhelm. Get your free List Building System Checklist TODAY and start to grow your list so you can ensure a constant flow of clients.

 

Annual List Building Plan – Explained In 3 Simple Steps

Annual List Building Plan – Explained In 3 Simple Steps

As I’m sure you already know, there are a ton of different list building strategies, and equally as many differing opinions on which one(s) work best.

So when I first started purposefully list building (back in 2004), I would try all of these different list building strategies … and none of them really worked! Well, they didn’t work consistently, anyway.

It wasn’t until I took a step back and looked at exactly what I was doing that it all started to make sense for me.  Me being me, I need to see things in a logical, step-by-step order.  It’s how my mind works – if I can’t see the logic in something it doesn’t make sense.

I realized that what I needed to do was organize all of these different list building strategies into a format that made sense to me.  And when I analyzed each of the strategies I’d been implementing I realized that different strategies worked at different times, and sometimes I’d get a lot of subscribers in a short amount of time, and at other times I’d get a consistent trickle of subscribers – slow & steady.

The solution to this analysis was to create a List Building Plan, which in turn became my List Building System (and you want to automate and streamline your system wherever possible).

As a result of analyzing all of these different strategies that I was implementing, and looking at which ones worked, and how they worked, I came up with 3 list building layers:

  1. Content Marketing
  2. Fast Lead Generation
  3. Skyrocket Your Subscribers

And each one of them works at different times throughout the year.

To get a well-rounded List Building System in place that brings you new subscribers daily (which is the goal of your List Building System) you need to incorporate all three list building layers into your annual marketing plan.

Here are the three different list building layers explained, so you know exactly what to do and when:

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Layer 1. Content Marketing: At the heart of your list building plan is the Content Marketing — this is those articles that you write, send out via your newsletter and/or post to your blog.  Then you promote those articles via article directories, social media, maybe you record it as a podcast or YouTube video.  It’s this constant stream of content that you create that brings you new subscribers on a regular basis, i.e. daily.  It’s the slow & steady approach.  If you were to just implement a Content Marketing System then your list will grow, but at a much slower pace.

Layer 2. Fast Lead Generators: The next layer of list building, then adds to the Content Marketing by bringing you a lot more subscribers in a shorter amount of time — think short bursts rather than a constant trickle.  These are activities such as

  • Hosting your own teleclasses/webinars/online trainings
  • Speaking on other people’s telesummits/virtual events
  • Speaking to networking groups or in-person events
  • Sponsorships – whether a booth/table sponsorship or speaking in front of a group

These are the activities that you want to be thinking of building into your annual marketing calendar — maybe not every week or every month, but certainly several times throughout the year.

I participate in a giveaway event about 3 times a year, with one giveaway event bringing me 1,000+ new subscribers. I’ve done that for about the last 6 years.

I also get asked to speak on telesummits a few times a year too.

And that’s why I refer to this layer as Fast Lead Generators — more subscribers in a shorter amount of time. And it works in tandem with your Content Marketing System.

Layer 3. Skyrocket Your Subscribers: Then the final layer can really add a lot of new subscribers very quickly — if done right we can be talking a couple of thousand new subscribers.  And this layer focuses on you hostomg your own giveaway event and/or telesummit.  You’re the organizer/host and as such it’s a lot more work than participating in someone else’s event — but the payoff is huge.  However, because of the additional work involved, it’s something I only recommend you done once a year, or twice at most.

So you can see why I refer to it as Skyrocket Your Subscribers because this really can add big numbers to your list over a specific time frame – maybe two weeks or even a month depending on how long you have your event running for.

Where are you struggling with your list building? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to help.

(c) 2016 Tracey Lawton Training & Consulting LLC

Tracey LawtonAbout the author: Online Business Development Strategist, Tracey Lawton, teaches life coaches, business coaches, and virtual assistants how to become more organized, streamlined, and automated so that they don’t constantly bottleneck projects and processes. Having the right systems in place leads to consistent revenues, more clients, and less stress and overwhelm. Get your free List Building System Checklist TODAY and start to grow your list so you can ensure a constant flow of clients.