Email Marketing Results – How to Track Them with Announcer Pro

email marketing results chart in Announcer ProWant to grow your business or keep your current customer base engaged with email marketing? Then read on.

Several months ago, we posted about how to create and send your first marketing emails with Announcer Pro, an easy-to-use tool that’s built into the EarthLink Web Hosting Control panel.

Announcer Pro is included with all our EarthLink web hosting, ecommerce hosting, and professional website design and hosting plans. (The maximum number of contacts you can use, however, does vary by plan.)

After you’ve sent your first marketing email (using the 5 steps outlined in our previous post), you should get ready to monitor the results.

Today we’ll show you just what results and stats you can track with Announcer Pro.

How to View Your Email Marketing Results

  1. Sign in to your EarthLink Web Hosting Control Panel at control.earthlink.net.
  2. Click on the Email tab and then the icon for Announcer Pro.
  3. On the Main Menu screen, you’ll see some results in the Activity section as well as the Latest Email Statistics section.
  4. Click on the View Results tab at the top of the page to go to the Delivery Results page.

Your Delivery Results Page

The Announcer Pro delivery results page is an easy-to-read overview of your marketing email. Here’s what you’ll see on the main part of the page:

  • A large pie chart showing the percentage of opened, unopened and bounced emails
  • Percentage of your emails that were successfully sent
  • Click rate percentage for your emails
  • Percentage of recipients that unsubscribed
  • Percentage of emails that were flagged as spam
  • Twitter click percentage
  • Facebook click percentage

In the left-side column, you’ll see an Email Summary with the email name, subject line, reply-to-email address, and date sent. You’ll also get links that allow you to dig deeper into the results of your email.

Click, for example, on Clicks: 40% (that was my click-rate on my last email test; so this number will vary by campaign) and you’ll see the URL or URLs that were clicked on in your email, and a list of names and email addresses of the recipients who clicked on your email.

At the bottom of the left column, you’ll have the option to download a detailed report as an HTML, CSV, or PDF file.

Good luck with your email marketing efforts. Let us know how you’re doing in the comments section below.

Internet Marketing Services from EarthLink Web Hosting

Internet marketing seems to be the only advertising people believe in these days.  “Direct Mail is Dead!”  “Door to door advertising is useless!” “No one listens to telemarketers anymore.” It seems that internet marketing is the way to go, but it can be confusing for a small or medium-sized business to know what to do.

Don’t worry, because EarthLink is here to help.  Let EarthLink help you successfully market online with our online marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization…a fancy term for “get better results when people search google for you”) services!  They can easily be added to your Web Hosting package, and you’ll have the power of a team of experts behind you, making sure you have the tools you need to succeed.  Start using marketing tactics that work!

Product Page Checklist: 14 Elements You Need on Website Sales Pages

Price & offer are 2 elements of a good website product page.So, you managed to build your own website, or you had a professional web designer build your site. You’ve even got an ecommerce shopping cart for online sales. So…why aren’t you selling?

There are many possible factors, like traffic. If you aren’t driving enough traffic, sales are bound to suffer. But lets look at another important factor in online sales: your product pages. These are the pages that describe and sell your product. The pages from which you hope to generate your sales.

Unfortunately, due to the enormous range of product types (and services), each with its own unique characteristics and customer requirements, there is no-one-size-fits-all, silver-bullet of a product page. But there are standard elements of all product pages that you should only eliminate with good reason.

Use the following as your product page checklist and vary according to your own unique product needs.

  1. Headline: If you have a very large store selling many products that do the same thing, you may simply use the product name as the headline (as Amazon.com does). So people instantly know where they are and what’s for sale. If you are selling only one or a few products that fill different niche’s, take advantage of your headline real estate by crafting a more compelling headline. It may be one that promotes an offer or discount, that highlights a benefit, that draws readers in with a question, etc. Copyblogger.com has a great series of posts on headlines called Magnetic Headlines.
  2. Name of your product: If you are selling lots of product, and multiple products in the same area, that you include all elements of a product name (such as model numbers). Sometimes a small model number difference makes a big difference in the product. And make sure, especially if you are using product names as headlines, that you include descriptors that let people know just what it is. For example: Gizmo XYZ-750 may be the product name, but if, it’s a home theater system, Gizmo XYZ-750 Home Theater System is advised. Amazon.com does this well. You’re never left wondering by the headlines: OK, that’s the name…but what IS it? It’s also best practice to make sure you have the product name next to the offer and CTA (call to action), such your Buy Now button. So people are 100% sure what they are about to buy.
  3. Product offer: What’s the price? What’s the discounted price? Are their other incentives to order, order now, order multiple items, etc? Doing the math on offers is often effective. Don’t just say the price is now X. Say it’s now 35% off, or now you can save $200. In some cases, businesses also find showing the previous price with a strikeout and then showing the new lower price is effective. Amazon.com is very good at this. If there is a discount, they always show the List Price with a strikeout, their lower price under that (larger font size, in a different color), and they let you know in both a dollar amount and a percentage how much “You Save.”
  4. Call to action (CTA): This may be part of how you constructed your offer, but it’s worth double-checking. Make sure you have a strong CTA that tells customers what you want them to do. Use forceful verbs to drive action. It may be implicit that you want people to order your product, but be explicit: Order Now for Special Online Savings of 40%! Call Our Upgrade Hotline to Qualify for Our VIP Customer Discount! Click Here to Save $50!
  5. Pictures of your product: People are visual. It’s reassuring for them to see a product before they buy and not seeing it can introduce some anxiety (more so for clothes, furniture, electronics and other items where the style matters); and anxiety is the enemy of sales. Ideally, show multiple product shorts with different angles showing different features, different uses etc. Services are naturally hard to picture, but try to find photos to support your services. If you paint houses, showing houses you painted is perfect. If you are a plumber, maybe it’s just a picture of your truck outside a house or shots of the different kinds of work you do (sinks, shower drains, toilets, etc.). In some cases, a before-and-after photo series can be very compelling.
  6. Product feature list: This is often the easiest for businesses. It’s simply a list, or long-form copy about, the features of the product. What are the components that make the product or service compelling. For example, with EarthLink’s cable Internet service, you get high-speed connections up to 15Mbps (which is 250x the speed of dial-up), you get a complete online security suite, 24/7 support, free dial-up service, a cable Internet modem, etc. If we were selling a TV, the features would be the type of TV, screen size, resolution, built-in Wi-Fi, sound, etc.
  7. Product specs/technical parameters: Specifications can overlap with features, but they usually represent an extra level of detail down from the main features. The fact that your television is 48 pounds probably isn’t a main sales feature (though if it were just 5 pounds maybe it would be) but some people may want to know how much it weighs. Think about all the details people may want to know and make sure they can find this info. It can be linked to on a separate page or dynamic layer that pops up (like the Learn More and Compare Speeds links from our DSL Internet access page).
  8. Product benefits: This is one of the most important elements of your product sales page that is often overlooked. Benefits answer the consumer’s “what’s in it for me?” or “why should I care” questions. Sometimes because business owners are so close to their products they assume when they list product features that people simultaneously know the product benefits. That’s not so. You need to spell out not only that your TV has a XYZ-50 screen but that having an XYZ-50 screen means there will be no blurring while watching sports, that you can gather more people around the TV to watch at different angles without distortion, etc. Another way to think of benefits is to describe the pain they solve. For example, if you make service calls to people’s homes, saying you schedule in 15 minute windows is a great feature, but remind consumers of the benefit (the pain you remove): that you won’t waste your whole morning sitting at home wondering when you’ll get your service.
  9. What’s in the box: Make sure you specify everything a person can expect when they order your product. Some 3-D TVs come with 3-D glasses when you order them, others don’t. Some come with 1 pair, others 4. Is there a remote? Are there batteries? Is there a DVD setup guide? Etc. I was recently looking to buy and outdoor ping pong table and noticed some included ping pong paddles, some nets, and very few included outdoor covers to keep the table in good shape.
  10. Objections: Just because you are positive about your product or service, don’t forget people will have all kinds of possible objections or apprehensions about buying the product in general and about ordering from you specifically. There’s a sales and marketing acronym for this: FUD, which stands for fear, uncertainty, and doubt. You need to address and lessen potential buyers’ FUD to make them more likely to order from you.  Maybe you need more proof about product claims. Maybe you need to more explicitly show how this product is better than a competing product. Maybe you need to reassure people of your reputation. Maybe you need a strong and clear refund and return policy. Think about all the people who did NOT buy from you and why they didn’t. Put on your skeptics hat and make a list. You may put some of this on your main product page but put more details on a product FAQ linked from the main page.
  11. Guarantee / return policy: This overlaps with the Objections category above but it’s worth breaking out because it’s so important. Especially if you are a smaller business, not a top brand, or are relatively new online, you need to gain people’s trust. So having a strong and clear guarantee and/or return policy will go a long way to establishing trust and making sales.
  12. Testimonials, ratings & awards: This is another way to combat objections. Show testimonials from satisfied customers. Ideally, show them near where others will make their purchase decisions to help ease their fear, uncertainty and doubt. If you have a product rating mechanism, that’s great too, as long as you have enough ratings. Showing a product with 1 or 2 ratings may actually introduce more doubt. Depending on the nature of your product, you may have full case studies, which function as fact-based testimonials typically for large business purchases. Our EarthLink Business division has a page full of case studies about businesses that have benefited by using EarthLink Business services. Awards can also help support your product sales if you’re lucky enough to have won one. EarthLink Cloud recently won a Cloud Computing Excellence Award from Cloud Computing magazine, which we now have displayed on a rotating banner on the EarthLink Cloud homepage.
  13. Shipping/order information: The big fears around shipping are will shipping costs raise the price significantly and will I get what I order quick enough. The big sites are more consistent about shipping but since there’s a wider range of experiences with small companies, you have to work harder to allay people’s doubts. Make your shipping policies clear and make it easy for people to know when shipments will arrive (if necessary, include a phone number if you need to give an estimate that way).
  14. After the sale: Shipping info may be the last box you need to check, but depending on what you are selling, you may need to be clear about what comes next. For example: “Your shipment will arrive in 5 – 7 days. In 7 – 10 days we will call to schedule installation, which is typically complete in 48 hours. You will be able to choose from 3 installation windows per day. The installation typically takes 45 – 60 minutes. The professional installer will do X, Y & Z and make sure you are good to go before he leaves.”

15 Ways to Promote Your Website Offline

EarthLink Web Hosting customers can take advantage of several effective tools to promote their business websites online: EasySiteOptimizer and OneList for website SEO, Announcer Pro for email marketing, and Social Stream for social media marketing.

But don’t forget about marketing your business website offline. Just as online marketing can drive offline business, offline marketing out there in the real world can help support your online presence. Here are 15 ways to do it:

Use business cards to promote your website

  1. Business Cards: Put your website URL and domain email address on your business cards. You may even be able to show a thumbnail screenshot of your website on the back side of the card (but make sure it looks OK at that reduced size before you print). There are even free business card options available.
  2. Other Printed Items: If you use letterhead or have brochures or other printed items related to your business, make sure your website address is displayed on them prominently and have a plan to distribute these items to promote your website.
  3. Office Signs: If you have a brick-and-mortar store or office that customers visit, use it as an opportunity to cross-promote your website. Ideally, include some motivation for customers to visit the site: an online-only offer, coupons, tips or other valuable information.
  4. Swag/Giveaways: Print your website address on pens, calendars, coffee mugs, and other low cost giveaways; you can also produce some more expensive items to use as contest prizes. Get some ideas for customized promotional merchandise.
  5. T-Shirts: This could be in the swag/giveaways category, but I’m breaking it out because this is one promotion you can do yourself by personally wearing your customized T-shirts (or other shirts, sweatshirts and jackets). It can be especially effective if you are wearing your shirt around likely customers.
  6. Event Sponsorship:  Sponsor a local sporting event, school, festival, etc. Make sure you pick one that allows you to promote your website (maybe in an event program or by distributing your giveaways).
  7. Conferences & Conventions: Get out there and go to events like conferences that are relevant to your business. Be social, network, and have plenty of business cards and swag handy to give out to the people you meet.
  8. Teaching: Volunteer to teach a class/seminar at local library, school, or other community location. Ideally, get the venue to print your business website URL when they are promoting the event. And make sure you have business cards, brochures, giveaways, etc. available to distribute to those who attend.
  9. Vehicles: If you have a company car or truck with a logo and or phone number, you can promote your website address there too. Even if you don’t have a company vehicle, there are custom car decals, bumper stickers, and magnets that are easy to apply to your personal car. Or make a really big splash with a full car wrap. Get some vehicle marketing ideas here.
  10. Press Releases: You may need to hire a writer or PR service for this (and you may not get it picked up), but if you’re doing something new or exciting with your business, see if you can get the offline media to pick it up (if they do, you’ll get online promotion too). If you are writing a blog on your website, you may be able to repurpose a blog post for this.
  11. Local Newspapers & Magazines: See if you can get an article or opinion piece in a local publication. Make sure they print your name and website address with the article (a link to your website from the online version of the paper or magazine would be great for SEO too). Again, you may be able to repurpose a blog post for this.
  12. Coupons & Direct Mail: Depending on what you sell, a coupon or other small promotional ad distributed in something like a Valpak may help you promote your website offline. There are many other types of direct mail opportunities as well.
  13. Door Hangers: Print up door hangers and have them distributed in neighborhoods with your target customers (this is easiest and most cost-effective if your website caters to a local audience).
  14. Paid Advertising: You’d have to think about the ROI for this since it may be one of the costliest ideas, but some local radio or newspaper advertising may be cheap enough to make it work for you.
  15. Voicemail & Hold Music: If you have a voicemail system, include your website URL in the outgoing message. If your phone system plays hold music, add some website promotion into the mix.

As always, tell us what you’ve done to market your business website offline. We’d love to know what has worked.

Good luck.