It’s easy to get caught taking metrics at face value and not really interpreting what they mean. Benny Blum, for Search Engine Land, makes a valuable point about how time affects how you value your channels’ performances. You have to be wary of making changes too soon and effectively destroying what would have eventually been a great platform.

Obviously, there are difficult choices to make about where to allocate your ad budget across options like PPC, email, social media and organic search. However, if you looking at your click and conversion rates over an optimal amount of time, you might be overreacting to perceived underperformance.

It is easy to underestimate the power of emails to create conversions. However, sending the right email at the right time can actually increase sales dramatically. If done well, a single automated email can increase sales by 10%.

Here are three email remarketing tactics that can help you start driving conversions you may be missing out on.

1) Educational Email Course – While some customers that come to your site are already aware of how your product will solve their problems, many will not come equipped with a good understanding of the problem or why the solution you offer is important.

An educational email course helps walk your uninformed potential customers from understanding their problem to the checkout. It also helps build your reputation and credibility.

By showing customers why they should trust you as an expert, as well as sharing information, you help consumers progress along the The Buyer’s Journey. Once they get to the point where they are ready to purchase, they will choose to go with the company that was with them from the beginning.

Just don’t overwhelm them with emails. Six to eight emails a month will be able to drive conversion rates up, but an email a day will send potential customers running.

2) A/B Test Your Most Profitable Campaigns – We all know why you should be A/B testing your webpages, but have you thought about testing transactional and remarketing campaigns? Most don’t, but Chris Hexton from Unbounce suggests it is just as important, if not more so.

Choose your most effective email, and begin A/B testing. Change the copy, or maybe the subject line. Maybe even try different addresses to send the email from.

3) Prompt Users to Pay More When the Time is Right – If you have multiple payment tiers or annual pricing, you should really already be doing this. Take a look at your current metrics and see which segment of users are already upgrading, and create an automated email to prompt all who would be included in this group. Now, once you have begun to understand the behavior driving upgrades, find an email that will pre-empt this type of action.

By pre-empting users with a call-to-action, they are likely to respond, especially if you can circle in on users that have been paying monthly for a few months. They will likely want to upgrade to annual payments.

While these suggestions are far from a comprehensive list of solid email remarketing tactics, they are easy and can help rejuvinate your email marketing.


As we all know, the way to become popular on the internet is to create high quality content that engages your audience.

It is obvious when looking at the digital landscape, and even more clear if you ever get to have a conversation with any of the people working for the sites gaining popularity right now. Content strategies are always the most important issue to them for growth.

The issue with content marketing is it can be a little intimidating if you are just getting started. The good news is everyone can do it, you just have to start small.

First, you should probably redefine what you think of as content and what you think of as your product.

When trying to create a high quality product for your company to buy, it seems difficult to justify spending much time creating blog posts, but what you need to know is blog posts, webinars, and ebooks are your products as much as whatever you are selling.

Every aspect of your brand or your company that your customers experience is your product, and your content is often the first chance customers get to see your product. That makes it a bit easier to rationalize putting effort into your blog posts. That doesn’t make the feats any less daunting though.

Your company doesn’t have to start big with content marketing, however. Ray Grieselhuber, CEO of Ginzametrics, suggests starting with something small like an email marketing strategy, which allows you to send your audience more information about your products, as well as telling them how they can achieve what they want through your product. Just keeping in touch with your audience frequently with small bits of content is a good start.

From there, you can begin building a blog, offering larger portions of content, then maybe begin creating a webinar. Start with what you can handle, and build larger. You don’t have to leap into the deep end immediately.

The most important part is, of course, not to procrastinate. Just start making things to connect with your audience. Overthinking it will just make it seem harder than it actually is.


Google Remarketing was recently updated to make it easier to set-up and easier to use. In case you aren’t familiar, Google Remarketing allows you to present users, who were previously on your site, with relevant ads as they continue browsing the web.

Marc Weisinger, of Search Engine Watch, has three key reasons you should be using one of the most powerful tools available to online marketers.

1. It’s Simple and Easy

Previously, implementing the remarketing code was a several step process. Now, you install one simple code in the footer of each page of your site and get on with your day. You can’t get much easier than one step.

2. The Possibilities are Endless

With the universal tag in place, you can use the Adwords interface to target specific groups. How specific? Well, that is up to you.

Want to target only those users who landed on a promotion page? Done.

Want to target only users who added a product to their cart, but didn’t end up buying? Done.

Plus, each new target group you set up gets the benefit of the cookies already stored by your universal tag.

3. Target Positive or Negative Audience

Before starting your next email marketing campaign, use the Adwords interface to target users who click through from your email to your site.

Alternatively, you can instead choose to exclude those users because, afterall, they sound pretty loyal and engaged already. That way, you don’t bombard them with your ads and are sure to instead target those users that may have seen your email but weren’t convinced right away.

Forrester Research Inc. recently researched the purchase paths of 77-thousand online shoppers to come to the conclusion that social media does not lead to direct sales. As Zach Stambor reports for Internet Retailer, “less than 1-percent of transactions for new and repeat customers can be traced back to social links.” 

Despite these findings, another Forrester survey found that, when asked, consumers claim that they do make purchases based on social media posts. Nearly half agreed that they find out about new products or brands through social media and 40-percent said social media posts are “a great way to discover sales.”

Essentially, this means that, despite the lack of direct sales associated with social media, it is still a valuable tool to raise awareness of your brand. Think about your own purchase path for products you’ve bought online. Does one email or social media post lead you to whip out your credit card? More than likely, you do some research and view mulitple marketing channels.

Forrester’s purchase path analysis found just that. One-third of shoppers take this multi-faceted approach for first time customers and it’s almost half of repeat buyers.

Perhaps the most telling statistic to come from the analysis is the role of email for repeat customers. Almost a third of that return business came from email. 13-percent went directly from email to sale and 17-percent read the email and clicked through to other marketing channels.

Facebook features about 800-million users, yet there are nearly 4-times that many users of email. With numbers like that, you’re likely already using email marketing to reach your audience. If you’re not, look at that number again and get started immediately.

Shelly Kramer, of, advises you to get the most out of your emails by combining them with your social networks. As the included infographic shows, you can improve your click through rate significantly simply by including social sharing in your emails. You can also build your audience for your online profile and, as your customers share your message through their own account, you get a larger audience for each message.

You can also include a prominent ‘Subscribe’ button on your site so that you can do the most with each email. And be sure to research plug-ins that can add links to your social media profiles in your signature and include your latest blog post as well.

As with any message, the goal here is to be seen and heard by as many people as possible. These are a few easy ways to build a bigger audience.

Security researchers at FireEye and SpamHaus have shut down a botnet called Grum whose servers were mainly in Panama, Russia and Ukraine. The people controlling the botnet quickly worked to move the command and control servers to secondary servers, but a major server in Panama was successfully shut down.

A researcher at FireEye named Atif Mushtaq said that more than 20,000 computers were still part of the botnet but that after shutting down Grum they would soon be ineffective.

Find out more details on this story at BBC News.

As many blogs that get decent traffic know, you often get a lot of spammy comments on your posts, even when you have a decent anti-spam plugin or two.  Well, there are other routes to go when you STILL get spam comments.  And I’ve found a nice one. Read more

I had noticed recently that I was sending emails to certain people and not receiving replies (when it could be expected I’d get some).  Well, it appears that some hostings services are starting to tightly conform to RFC 2181 by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), which was updated in July of 2009.

What’s happening is basically that mails sent by the mail servers that are set up with aliases for the domain are getting bounced by these hosts that are conforming to RFC 2181.  The servers should be set to a proper A record or directly to an IP address to prevent this issue.  If you’re having similar issues, talk to your hosting company (if your mails are bouncing) or talk to the people who sent the emails whose emails bounced when they sent them to you.

For me personally, I know I need to keep my emails in check since it’s a primary form of communication and business, so this is rather important.  It’s good to be aware of such updates that can have an impact on potential business and even on personal communication.

So what exactly is email marketing?  Well, this is a broad term that can cover a lot of material, but the basic idea of email marketing consists a method of internet marketing using a list of email addresses.

Bad email marketing is what everyone knows (and despises): spam.  This is mail that is untargeted, sent out to every email address acquired, and not always from a specific location.  Some people sell email addresses to companies who use the addresses for this purpose.  And a lot of it is sent.  More than most realize – in June of 2007, the estimated amount of spam per day was just under 100 billion messages.  That’s a lot of spam.

Why so much spam?  Because a percent of it actually converts.  Maybe not you and me, but there are people out there who see something in their spam and decide they need to buy that product.  And since the cost of spam is essentially null, the ROI is more than enough excuse to send out millions (or billions) of emails a day.

So yes, that’s BAD email marketing.  What’s good email marketing?  Good email marketing is having a highly targeted market and offering quality information through email to individuals in this market.  For example, if I had a dog food site, I might offer important information about which dog foods cause health issues in dogs, for anyone who joins my email list.

This is targeted email – the people who sign up actually WANT to receive information from me, and are happy when I give them quality information.  To do email marketing well means you should send out good information.

A lot of internet marketers use email lists as a means to sell.  While this can work, if this is the only thing they use their list for, it can turn away many customers.  If you do this, in the eyes of some people on your list, you’re becoming more like spam.  To avoid this, quality information that is FREE should be offered moderately frequently.  Consider it – if you sign up for a list, you’re not getting in because you want to be sold things, correct?  You sign up because you want information.  So give your list information!  Good information, if you want to be seen as an authoritative source.  Then, when/if you choose to market a product of some kind, they will be more open to this, as you’ve established a level of trust.

To do email marketing, one of the major techniques is by using what’s called an “autoresponder”.  This is a tool that allows several email addresses to be placed into a group, and each email can be sent individual messages, addressed to each individual (instead of an anonymous group).  In some cases, the individual’s name can be identified, to make the mails you send more friendly and personal.  The benefit is that once you’ve written your emails, they can be sent to all your list, as well as to anyone who joins your list.

With autoresponders, you can schedule each email to be sent out immediately (with a broadcast) or at set times, or you can have a number of emails that can be sent, spaced apart by a certain number of days.  So if I had five emails that I wanted sent to my list and all new list members, I could write these emails, set them to each be sent three days apart, and then not have to worry again.  When a new list member is added, they are sent the initial email, then the next three days later, and so on.

One of the best ways email marketing can be very effective is by setting up a relationship with your customers.  If you demonstrate that you truly know what you’re talking about, and that you’re just a normal person, a level of trust can be set.  From that point, it’s much easier to interact with your list members.

It’s been said that the best way to make a sale is through personal one-to-one interaction – using autoresponders comes very close doing this in an online way.  Treating your customers well will always make them value you as a merchant more than one who treats their customers just as numbers.

For me, I personally prefer using an autoresponder system called Aweber.  I’ve used them for several years, and they are a high quality system – they can handle several thousand members (if you have a list that large), but work just as well for smaller lists.  I recommend considering using email marketing for your business, if it’s applicable.  Usually there are ways you can establish a relationship with your customers doing this, and then you’ll have customers you’re happy with, as well as having customers who are happier with you.