Killer Resources for Freelancers … and an Option for Those Who Don’t Want to Go It Alone

This week, Stefanie Flaxman and I yielded the floor to a pair of smart gentlemen who we don’t hear from quite as often as we used to. And we featured a writer you haven’t seen on Copyblogger before. Her debut post for us is a must-read for writers who like being able to pay their
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The post Killer Resources for Freelancers … and an Option for Those Who Don’t Want to Go It Alone appeared first on Copyblogger.


Networking, Avoiding Hard Stuff & Lessons Learned Making 100 Projects in 1 Year

If you are stuck in the romantic notion of what it looks like to create a business and you need some motivation to stop running away from the hard work, you’re going to love this episode.

On today’s show we are joined by none other than Justin Jackson, who went from having a day job to being a successful author and creating 100 projects in one year, all to show that it is possible for you to become an indie entrepreneur (even in Canada!).

Justin is the founder of MegaMaker, where he advises software, SaaS, and digital product companies. His books, Marketing for Developers and Jolt have sold thousands of copies, and truly saved him from bankruptcy. On his blog and in his podcast he focuses mainly on topics like product marketing, helping entrepreneurs and software companies around the world.

Inside this episode Justin shares his experience of pursing his indie entrepreneur dream and how he got caught up in the romantic fantasy of what it’s really like to start a business. Justin gets vulnerable, revealing that his initial motivation for creating 100 projects in a year was to impress others and get approval from celebrity entrepreneurs, instead of doubling down on what was already working for him. Plus, he gets super real with us about how you absolutely cannot avoid the hard work that entrepreneurship requires.

Subscribe (how to)   iTunes   Overcast   Pocket Casts   Stitcher   Google Play   RSS  

“Discomfort is the key; it’s essential to creativity and growth.” — @mijustin
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Key Points From This Episode:

  • Why Justin could not have been an indie entrepreneur without a strong network. [0:03:32.1]
  • The turning point that opened up the possibility for Justin to quit his day job. [0:06:30.1]
  • An overview of Justin’s books, and whether or not they are right for you. [0:09:36.1]
  • A single blog post that put Justin on the map; This is a webpage. [0:10:124.1]
  • Justin’s journey of creating 100 projects in a year. [0:14:50.1]
  • Learning not to get caught up in the romantic fantasy of being a business owner. [0:25:44.1]
  • Identifying your motivations behind starting a business; do they align with your values? [0:29:29.1]
  • Biggest lessons Justin learned from his challenge of creating 100 projects in a year. [0:36:39.1]
  • Why we get caught up in the idea that “the grass is greener on the other side”. [0:46:39.1]
  • Recognizing that you have to lean in to your discomfort, fully owning your story. [0:49:02.1
  • Understanding that the beginning stage of every business is difficult. [0:55:19.1]

“The only people that can give you any true feedback are people that just signed up and paid for your product or people that just cancelled.” — @mijustin
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Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

  • A Toolkit for Indie Entrepreneurs —
  • FreshBooks —
  • Justin Jackson —
  • Justin on Twitter —
  • Mega Profitable —
  • MegaMaker —
  • Marketing for Developers —
  • Jolt —
  • Product People Podcast —
  • Build and Launch Podcast —
  • MegaMaker Podcast —
  • This is a Webpage article —
  • Jason Zook —
  • Heroku —
  • Peter Levels —
  • Jeff Sheldon —
  • Tobias van Schneider —

“Networking, Doing the Hard Stuff and More Lessons Learned From Making 100 Projects in 1 Year”
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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Engage Customers: Tips for Holiday Marketing

Marketers, are you ready? It’s that time of year again. With the National Retail Federation expecting holiday sales to increase between 3.6 and 4% from last year, consumers will be shopping more and spending more money, meaning marketers and brands must work harder to connect prospective customers before their competition does. But, to attract and retain consumers during this season, brands can’t miss a moment with their audience.

Here are some of the technologies and techniques marketers must adopt to win over customers this holiday season:

1. Get Relevant or Get Ignored

This won’t be the last time you hear this saying. When you personalize the customer experience, your customers will understand you respect their time. Have you ever found the perfect gift for a loved one, added it to your cart, forgot about it, and sadly found out it was sold out the next time you logged on? It’s unfortunate but happens far too often.

Amazon constantly wins when it comes to personalized customer experience. If a shopper puts an item in the cart and logs out, Amazon reminds her it’s there, but selling quickly. Additionally, the company integrates recommendations across the buying experience: from product searches to the final purchase, showcasing a seamless process and demonstrating its understanding of customers’ needs.

A retailer that also stands out when it comes to relevance is Neiman Marcus. The brand reaches its customers by delivering real-time, personalized videos to passive browsers of its website and transforms them into active shoppers by highlighting specific designers, seasonal promotions, and a buy-online-pick-up-in-store service. This campaign drove incremental online revenue and increased brand awareness with a highly targeted audience, revealing the power of personalized videos.

2. Mobile Will Still Dominate, but Experience Matters Most

Every marketing message should be optimized for every device. However, with 76% of mobile shoppers changing their mind about who to buy from based on the user experience—not just how it looks on the device and optimization—user experience plays a huge role in the purchasing decision this holiday season.

This holiday season, a barely personalized message or video about a product or service consumers want—or want to give their loved ones—won’t persuade them into buying anything. By contrast, a personal video probably will, if it taps into an anticipated experience, such as a video showcasing how much use they will get out of the ski gear they’ve been eyeing. In fact, we have found that personalized videos that relate back to something a customer is experiencing or will experience can drive up to 20 times incremental revenue growth, a 22% reduction in customer churn, and a 19% increase in digital adoption. 

3. Create Video Content That Taps Into Emotion

Over 50% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI, and that number is only growing. Video is the most compelling storytelling medium, with a combination of sight, sound, and motion that captivates viewers and evokes their emotions.

Think about the last time you watched a video and shared or liked it over social media. What was the reasoning behind the engagement? Did you laugh? Feel sentimental? Emotions are contagious, and consumers—people like you and me—love to watch and share content that inspires us.

And, the holiday season is that time of year where brands battle it out to win over customers through “giving back” and “feel good” campaigns. I always think back to last year’s John Lewis #BusterTheBoxer video. To this day, it’s still one of the most widely shared holiday videos. But, imagine if you can personalize or make that video relevant to a specific viewer. It can spark emotions that drive purchasing decisions and brand loyalty.

4. Embrace Consumer Laziness This Holiday Season

I don’t mean this in a negative way. Thanks to innovations like Alexa, Siri, Google, and Cortana, consumers’ habits have completely changed—people will take the easiest and most hassle-free path to get what they want—especially during the holiday season. The issue is marketers are only slowly catching up and not capitalizing on human laziness.

The way consumers shop is constantly evolving. Think about it: you’re ordering your favorite brand of wine for your holiday party through Alexa. All you need to say is, “Alexa, order me [insert brand name here] bottle,” rather than go to the nearest liquor store to pick it up or even order it online. Marketers need to keep up with this evolution. Catering to customers and getting them what they want, when they want it, with the least amount of effort on their end will be essential this holiday season and into the next year. As such, marketers need to develop these automation strategies now.

The holiday season is competitive but mission-critical. Consumers are distracted. For retailers to shine brightly this holiday season—despite technology evolving and competition heating up—they must deliver content in an entertaining, valuable and relevant way. Video isn’t the only medium, but it’s the most successful storytelling medium with the potential to combine big data and automation with the emotion of sight, sound, and motion.

What holiday marketing plans do you have for your business this year? What has worked in the past for you? I would love to hear your plans in the comments.

The post The Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Engage Customers: Tips for Holiday Marketing appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Marketo Marketing Blog

Infographic: The Surprising Words That Get Content Shared on Social Media

surprising words social media

It always comes back to copywriting. You can blindly post to social media, or you can take a step back and carefully wordsmith the language of your updates. The right concoction of words can multiply the effect of your social media efforts. Today’s infographic will help you get started in the right direction. Just be sure to track what you’re doing and measure the results. And even though most social media networks track your performance for you (using their native analytics systems), I find it’s always a good exercise to record your performance in a Google spreadsheet. It makes you…

The post Infographic: The Surprising Words That Get Content Shared on Social Media appeared first on The Daily Egg.

The Daily Egg

Why Marketers Shouldn’t Shy Away From Long-Form Content

There are numerous studies confirming that long-form content works. It performs better in search and attracts organic traffic. But while everyone agrees that long-form content is the most efficient way to gain attention, not everyone can write as well as a professional journalist and keep the readers engaged.

There is increasing pressure to write long-form content, but the attention spans of users are getting shorter each day. People are used to consuming short bits of information and when presented with a longer piece, they simply scan the article or jump directly to the summary. So how does one build a good long-form post that provides tons of value and is read from start to finish?

In this blog, I’ll explore the tricks that can make your content more readable and cover key reasons to write long-form content despite the obstacles.

Why Long Form Content Works

Long form content works for many reasons. From a technical perspective, Google considers long-form content more authoritative, but that doesn’t mean that you should throw in thousands of meaningless words into the article and expect rankings to improve. Even though such a black hat tactic might work, it will inevitably lead to high bounce rates and the page will go down in search, eventually.

Instead, try to come up with a topic that provides value to your targeted audience and cannot be covered in a shorter format. There is a general misunderstanding that the readers won’t have enough patience to read the long form content, but if the topic requires detailed coverage in order to be understood you won’t have to fight for the readers’ attention.

There are three key reasons that long-form content gets results:

1. It Provides Detailed Information.

Customers are inundated with short content. It’s common for the users to scan several short-form content pieces before an objective opinion can be formed. Long form content is different. It provides a comprehensive overview of the topic including contrasting opinions, step-by-step action plans, and detailed instructions.

2. It Keeps the Readers Engaged

Surprisingly, long-form content presents a challenge to the users. The benefit of short-form content is that it’s incredibly easy to digest and doesn’t require much effort. With long-form content, readers know that they need to invest time and effort.

It might sound contradictory, but when you see a long article online, the association with authoritative media, such as New York Times or New Yorker, comes up. You then assign more value to the article, which in turn makes you more attentive to the information at hand. This offsets, to an extent, the fear of having to invest more time in the article.

3. It Increases Shareability

The power of social is undeniable. There is a whole slew of psychological forces that come into play when we share content. From boosting our egos to trying to be helpful and expressing virtual empathy, it is undeniable that sharing makes us happier.

Sharing long-form content makes us look better because it shows that we follow authoritative resources. Long form content also provides tons of value that we feel compelled to share with others. Additionally, considering the amount of effort that goes into writing and producing the long form piece, it’s normal to want to support the author, who created such an outstanding piece.

How to Keep the Readers’ Attention

Human focus is limited. While you might have the most interesting topic and groundbreaking research data, you can’t expect the readers to consume it all. It’s important to construct your long-form content in a way that makes it easy to read and comprehend.

Here are some tips to help you create a great long-form content piece:

1. Break Down Longer Content Into Shorter Pieces

Just like large projects have to be broken down into tasks, long-form content must have distinctive paragraphs and headlines to help the readers navigate the article. Having no proper structure makes the content look visually intimidating. But when the readers see distinctive paragraphs and commit to reading one of them, they feel compelled to read further.

2. Close Every Section With a Kicker

A kicker is a compelling closing idea or a quote. Essentially, a kicker is similar to a cliffhanger in a TV series—it promotes anticipation and keeps you thinking about possible future scenarios.  Most articles end with a kicker, but in a long-form piece, you’ll have to use several kickers to keep the readers engaged. Try to incorporate kickers at the end of each section. A kicker could be a surprising revelation, a challenging question or a hint of what is coming in the next section.

3. Start Every Section With a Lede

Lede is another technique used in journalism to improve readability. Opposite to kicker, a lede is placed at the beginning of an article or an article section. A good lede contains the essence of the story and communicates the important information all the while capturing the imagination. You don’t want to give out all the information in the lede, but you can tease the readers or give a catchy summary.

4. Use Lists

Bulleted or numbered lists are the structural elements that support readability. Readers like bulleted lists because they allow for quick scanning. Bullets and numbers in text are also perceived differently than words and letters so they can be used as stylistic elements to draw attention to certain parts of the article.

5. Insert Screenshots and Visual Cues

Visual elements give the readers a long-awaited break from reading. Pictures are sometimes more compelling than text and convey the information in a straightforward and creative way. You can create custom designed visuals with the help of online graphic design tools and incorporate them into your long-form piece for increased engagement and better readability. Screenshots also help get the point across or provide step-by-step instructions if you’re trying to give actionable advice.

6. Adjust Your Fonts

When it comes to fonts, it’s best to take the web designers’ approach. Sans serifs such as Arial, Helvetica, Trebuchet, Lucida Sans, and Verdana help readability online, while creative fonts can be used for headlines to make them stand out.

The size of the font matters too. Most web designers recommend 16px as a standard size for web content. 16 px on screen looks exactly the same as the text in the book, which is why most people find this font size the most convenient and legible.

7. One Idea Per Sentence

“One idea per sentence” is a writing technique expressed by Theodore Bernstein in his book Watch Your Language. The author claims that content with multiple ideas per sentence is hard to comprehend and even harder to remember. On the contrary, a story with only one idea per sentence allows the writer to express the idea in a clear and concise manner, which in turns makes the article more memorable.

If you’re using multiple conjunctions, dashes and connecting words in a particular sentence, this might be a sign that you have too many ideas in that sentence. Try to break the sentences into shorter pieces. Also, question the purpose of each sentence and paragraph as you write.

SEO also takes into consideration the Flesch-Kincaid Readability test which analyzes how difficult it is to read copy within an article. The longer your sentences are, the more difficult it is to discern the point.

8. Indicate Estimated Reading Time

Reading time indicators simplify the selection process of readers, and are being increasingly employed in online content platforms. In 2011, psychologists Claude Messner and Michaela Wänke concluded that the faster we make decisions the happier we feel. The reading time indicator tells us the time we need to read the article, simplifying our decision process and contributing to our happiness. Additionally, knowing the length of the article assists the reader with time management. No one likes to commit to something that doesn’t have a defined time frame. When you provide the readers with estimated reading time you eliminate a possible source of anxiety.

Moving Forward

Creating long-form content requires a substantial investment of time and resources, but it also helps establish your expert image online and drive thousands of visitors to your site. So get on the bandwagon, brainstorm topic ideas, write your long-form piece and develop a promotion strategy to distribute your article online.

How have you used long-form content in the past in your marketing plan? How might you use it in the future, based on the strategies I’ve outlined here? Let’s keep our discussion going in the comments.

The post Why Marketers Shouldn’t Shy Away From Long-Form Content appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Marketo Marketing Blog

6 Tips For Email Marketing Success This Holiday Season

Black Friday and the holidays are fast approaching. Big box retailers have filled their storefronts with holiday décor, and Santa will soon to have hour-long lines at the mall. You’ve got a choice with your brand: to embrace holiday marketing or to let it pass you by. Of course, you know that your strategy, no matter what needs to engage your customers across multiple channels. And with email being 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter, it’s important to note that email is not to be ignored.

In this blog, I’ll cover six critical tactics to run a successful email marketing campaign this holiday season.

1. Segmentation

According to DMA, marketers have found a 760% increase in revenue attributed to email from segmented campaigns. Start with some basic segmentation: separating your active subscribers from your inactive subscribers. This not only ensures the best possible deliverability, but you can then target the two separate groups with different messaging. A simple subject line tweak to the inactive segment that feels personal and triggers emotions, such as ‘We missed you,’ can go so far as re-engaging them. Once you have this covered, you can delve deeper into segmentation, focusing on things such as age, gender, browsing activity, and purchase history.

2. Personalization

A key element of successful email marketing lies in personalization. This can be as simple as putting the subscriber’s first name in the subject line or body copy of the email, or something a little more sophisticated, such as re-targeting the consumer with similar options to items they have previously purchased or browsed, or adding personalized suggested content through a solution like Marketo ContentAI. Campaign Monitor’s report states that emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, so why not start there?

Remember—always keep an eye on your data and watch to see what works for your audience. If you consistently achieve a higher open rate with subject line personalization, consider making it a permanent fixture in your email strategy.

3. Re-engagement

One strategy for the holiday season is targeting inactive subscribers with a re-engagement campaign in the lead-up to Black Friday. This means slowly ramping up the re-targeting campaign—to avoid being blacklisted—and aiming to re-activate subscribers and build your database in time for the big sales. The first step is ensuring these subscribers are still within the time limit of permissions in the various CAN-SPAM/CASL laws. Once you have that covered, you can split the segment into manageable chunks and begin to email.

I suggest sending a similar email to that of your active list, with a varied subject line and intro paragraph. This keeps it relevant and straightforward and only involves minor copy tweaks to be more personalized to that segment. At the end of a couple of weeks of re-engaging these subscribers, hopefully, a number will drop back into the active list, just in time for those sales!

4. Re-emailing

Another tactic in the lead-up to the holiday period is to re-email those who have not yet opened the email from your initial send. If you’re sending a daily email, wait 6-8 hours and use a query to find those subscribers who haven’t opened.

Compile a segmented list of these email addresses and re-send the email—with a different subject line and hero. Everything else in the email can remain the same, and you should hit the audience who choose to check their emails at a later time. If they happen to see the earlier email, the subject lines are different, so it’s win-win.

5. Testing

One of the key elements of successful email marketing is testing. With a test and learn principle, it is possible to continually make improvements to those all-important KPIs, such as open rate and click-through rate. This principle remains true around the busy holiday period, and you should continue to utilize it to boost engagement.

Subject line testing is the most obvious, with a straightforward tactic being to send two separate subject lines to a select group of active subscribers, and send the remaining subscribers the winner 2-4 hours later. This ensures relevancy and can be done each time an email campaign is sent if desired. (Tip—most email service providers will automatically send the winning subject line to the remaining subscribers, so no need to set an alert here!)

Once you have subject line testing covered, try moving on to content testing. You could test static vs. GIF in the hero image or a different content layout. Always split these A/B tests and keep all other variables the same to ensure a fair test. The time of day and day of the week are other tests to optimize send time. Remember to re-test these each year, as the database changes over time and so can preferences. Analytics will be your best friend here. Pay close attention to the insights provided, and continue to build on them to achieve a successful strategy that consistently improves your KPIs.

6. Mobile Optimization

Always make sure your email design is responsive. According to MovableInk’s Consumer Device Preference Report from Q1 of this year, 73% of email is now opened and read on smartphones or tablets, and 27% is viewed on a desktop (non-apparel). With over half of all emails being opened on mobile devices, a non-responsive design will cause high unsubscribe/spam rates and deter consumers from interacting with your brand. Ensure that you are providing the best possible user experience to your consumers so that your click through and conversion rate don’t drop over the holiday period. With an ROI of $ 38 for every $ 1 spent, email continues to be the most effective online marketing tool.

With these six email marketing tips for the holiday season, you’re set for success! Do your email marketing tactics around the holidays differ from the rest of the year? How might you introduce some of these tactics into your strategy for this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

The post 6 Tips For Email Marketing Success This Holiday Season appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Marketo Marketing Blog

Get Custom Advice For Boosting Your Conversions With Unbounce’s New Landing Page Analyzer

Introducing: The Landing Page Grader, by Unbounce

As a savvy marketer, it’s our sincere hope you never start a campaign without a dedicated landing page for sending your paid traffic to. But — as you know — the job isn’t over once a landing page is created.

Your real opportunity is in understanding how your page performs.

Beyond tracking standard performance measures like conversions and landing page quality (LPQ), you’ve likely wondered about other factors like:

  • Is my landing page copy clear? Are there too many words? Too few?
  • Is my page faring well on mobile? Does it load fast enough?
  • Is this page just designed nicely, or is it also optimized for SEO?
  • Is this a good conversion rate for this type of page in my industry?

Ultimately you want to know whether you’ve got an especially high converting page, or if there’s anything specific you can improve. But it can be difficult to know what ‘good’ looks like, and you may not always have a second set of eyes to help you critique.

New: Try Unbounce’s Landing Page Analyzer

For years we’ve seen the need for a landing page audit tool or landing page grader of some sort, and so—after many months of development—we’re very pleased to unveil the Unbounce Landing Page Analyzer.

With this grader-style tool, you input your landing page URL (along with a few key details) and The Analyzer instantly delivers a comprehensive, personalized report with custom recommendations you can try today to increase your conversion rates.

Unlike other landing page reviews, The Analyzer is truly a deep dive into your performance.

Not only do you get a summary of how your page compares to others in your industry, but you also see important page performance insights including your landing page’s speed, load time, and page requests that may be slowing things down.

If The Analyzer discovers your images are too large (contributing to slow load time), your custom report will include compressed versions of all your images to replace quickly and get your page loading even faster.

Not your average landing page grader: The Analyzer compresses images for you

Pictured: you’ll get custom, compressed images as part of your page analysis.

In The Analyzer’s comprehensive report, you’ll see specifics across nine categories, and discover whether your landing page:

  • Conveys trust and security
  • Appears properly on social networks and mobile
  • Is designed in a way that’s especially high converting
  • Contains too many calls to action
  • Has an appropriate Flesch reading ease and sentiment for your industry,
  • and much, much more.

Looking for a landing page checker?

Evaluate your landing page to reveal real, data-backed insights in minutes.

Wait, aren’t there other landing page graders out there?

Touche! There are other landing page analyzers/graders/calculators available, but we can confidently say Unbounce’s is the most sophisticated and comprehensive you’ll find. Ours is the only landing page analyzer on the market leveraging AI technology, and the endless amount of campaign research done by our customers and our in-house marketing team.

For the past eight years, we’ve been obsessed with the question “what’s a good conversion rate?”, and Unbounce’s internal research team has employed proprietary AI technology to analyze the behavior of over 75 million visitors to 65,000 landing pages with a goal of understanding what makes a customer convert.

We have more data than any other conversion platform to provide insights on what a high-performing landing page looks like, and The Analyzer leverages this insight.

Need a landing page checker? Check out the Landing Page Analyzer

The Analyzer’s data is sourced from Google Page Speed Insights, and our very own proprietary data broken down by industry.

Actionable feedback you can implement today

The best thing about this landing page review? You’ll discover instant improvements that might take you only minutes to fix.

The Wizard of Moz himself, Rand Fishkin ran the following product’s landing page from through The Analyzer and had some great things to discover.

Rand wanted to run this page through for a landing page review

How’d this Moz page fare? Here are Rand’s initial thoughts:

“I’m glad to see we passed so many of the technical checks! I was a little nervous. [I] Realized that the page is missing testimonials or social proof. That’s a head-smacking moment.”

Rand may be a bit self-depreciating here, however. Moz’s page scored really well with a 75% overall:
The landing page grade for moz's page

Rand’s overall landing page grade.

Rand’s verdict on trying out The analyzer?

Rand Fishkin

“I’ve never seen a page analysis tool that’s focused on optimization. In my opinion, this can be hugely helpful for folks to quickly check that they’ve nailed the basics of landing page optimization and accessibility. I have no doubt tens of thousands of websites can get better just by applying this tool’s advice.”

What did we learn?

Interested in what The Analyzer could teach us about our in-house landing pages at Unbounce, we ran our recent event landing page for PPC Week through to see what we’d take away:

PPC week landing page

Pictured: The landing page for PPC week we input into the Landing Page Analyzer.

We learned the page converts very well for our industry (7.7%), and while the page loads pretty quickly (0.7 seconds), at 3.32MB it’s overweight and could be loading even quicker if we reduce it to less than 3MB:
our landing page evaluation for PPC week

Our PPC Week page’s overall grade. Note our message match and page speed could use some work.

What The Analyzer told us regarding page speed

Our PPC Week landing page is running a little slowly.

Fortunately, The Analyzer also provided us with some compressed images that will help us load up to 9% faster:

Some PPC week images we can replace

We also saw that our page title, meta description and H1 tags were helping our SEO visibility (which was important for this particular page).

All of these quick-to-change factors can improve this PPC Week page for us, but we’re most excited to see what you’ll discover about your own landing pages. Bonus, you don’t need an Unbounce-built page to try The Analyzer, either. Give it a try today and let us know what you think!


Introducing Test Kit

We’re excited to announce the release of Test Kit, our latest feature that makes email marketing even easier. Test Kit allows VerticalResponse users to preview emails before they’re sent, ensuring that messages display and perform properly across email clients, devices and browsers. Never guess about an email campaign again — Test Kit lets you hit Send with confidence. 

What is Test Kit?

An email that looks great in one inbox may be a distorted mess with broken links and images in another. This is because emails can render differently across programs and devices. While many marketers will wisely send a test email to their own accounts before sending campaigns to their entire list, more thorough testing is crucial to confirm that emails look their best in every inbox.

To give users a comprehensive view of the way emails are rendering and to help catch any mistakes before messages are sent, VerticalResponse’s Test Kit features three different types of tests: Inbox Preview, Subject Line Preview and Link Checker.

Inbox Preview

Your subscribers open their emails using different programs, browsers and devices. Inbox Preview allows you to see your email just as your subscribers would with real screenshots. Just one click will run the test across 58 of the most popular email clients, devices and browsers, including iPhone, Gmail, Yahoo, Chrome and Safari.

Subject Line Preview

Subject line character limits differ by browser and device. To ensure that the enticing copy you’ve composed for your subject line is read in full, you need to make sure that it doesn’t exceed the maximum display length.

Subject Line preview shows you a list of mail clients and the maximum number of characters that will be displayed for each. This preview grays out any letters that won’t be visible, so you can adjust your subject lines if necessary.

Link Checker

An incorrect, broken or forgotten link in an email isn’t just embarrassing — it’s a missed conversion opportunity. Link Checker automatically checks all links in your email so you never send an email with a broken link again. The Link column will list all the links in the email. Just click on a link and the page will appear within the VerticalResponse app.

Why use Test Kit?

Improve campaign performance. After reviewing your email, use what you’ve learned to improve the message’s appearance and readability, so you can drive readers to take the action you want.

Increase credibility. Sending a slick-looking email with a powerful subject line and working links tells readers that you’re a serious, professional organization.

Update efficiently. Test Kit is part of the email editor, so you can see test results in a matter of seconds. Inspect your emails before you hit the send button, and then quickly and easily update your email designs based on the test results.

How Test Kit works

Test Kit operates on credits. To use the feature, you pay one credit per test. Pro plan users automatically receive credits. Free or Basic plan users can purchase credits as desired.

Access Test Kit within the email editor by clicking on the “Preview” button on top of the message. “Test Kit” is one of the drop-down options.

You shouldn’t have to guess how your emails will appear to your subscribers or cross your fingers and hope for the best before you hit send. Test Kit makes it possible for you to build better emails and create campaigns that look exactly the way you want them to. 

Spend less time reaching more customers

Try VerticalResponse today

(It’s free!)


© 2017, Amber Humphrey. All rights reserved.

The post Introducing Test Kit appeared first on Vertical Response Blog.

Vertical Response Blog

What is Domain Authority?

what is domain authority

A 1-100 score predicting how well a site will rank in major search engines. Domain Authority is a measure of how well a website is likely to perform in search engine results. It’s a search engine ranking score developed by Moz to give an overview of likely site performance. After Google deprecated and then stopped publishing PageRank, DA became one of the go-to replacements. Where Do I Find Domain Rank? If you’re using Moz toolbar, it’s here: If you’re inside Moz Open Site Explorer, it’s here: How Does Domain Authority Work? DA is a good quick way to tell if…

The post What is Domain Authority? appeared first on The Daily Egg.

The Daily Egg

Stop Everything & Setup Google Analytics Email Conversion Tracking!

It’s terrible when there’s activity on your site that you’re BLIND to. What pages are people using? What calls to action are effective? Etc.

(Note: we haven’t fully launched this yet, but you can be the first to know about a new course we’re doing on tuning up your website to be way more effective in just 3 days.)

So in this post I’m going to show you exactly how to setup one of the most important pieces of data you can track.

An email conversion is one of the most important events that can happen on your website because it turns visitors into relationships.

Yet, surprisingly, so many indie businesses aren’t tracking email subscribers in Google Analytics!

Tracking email conversions in Google Analytics is critical for understanding what pages on our site are EFFECTIVE at converting visitors to email subscribers.

And luckily, it’s a pretty easy thing to setup. So here’s what I’m going to walk you through:

  1. Create a “Thank You for Subscribing” page on your website.
  2. Tell your email marketing provider to redirect new subscribers to this new “Thank You” page. (I’ll show you how to do this for MailChimp and ConvertKit below.)
  3. Tell Google Analytics to track visits to this “Thank You” page as Goals.

If you don’t already have Google Analytics installed, you can read this or watch this to do that now.

OK, let’s get started.

1. Create a “Thank You” page on your website

This will be the page that every new subscriber will see as soon as they subscribe on your website.

When a new person subscribes, let’s send them to a custom page on your website instead of a generic page from your email provider.

Here’s the three things to do in this step:

  1. Create a new page on your website.
  2. Give it a URL you’ll remember like /thanks or /subscribe-success.
  3. Add content to this page suitable for a new subscriber. You’ll see ours, for example, if you signup for any of our free Guides. (Note: you can come back later and spend some quality time on this.)

Helpful links for this step:

  • Here’s a great article on what content you can put on your thank you page.

2. Set a custom “Thank You” URL in your email provider

Now we need to tell our email marketing tool to send each new subscriber to our brand new “Thank You” page.

Below I’ll show you how to do this in both MailChimp and ConvertKit.

Custom Thank You Page in Mailchimp:

In MailChimp navigate to your list and then click 'Signup Forms'
In MailChimp navigate to your list and then click ‘Signup Forms’”

Select 'General Forms'
Select ‘General Forms’

From the drop-down, select 'Confirmation thank you page'
From the drop-down, select ‘Confirmation thank you page’

Enter the URL of your thank you page and click 'Save'
Enter the URL of your thank you page and click ‘Save’

Custom Thank You Page in ConvertKit:

Navigate to the form you want to set a 'Thank You' page for
Navigate to the form you want to set a ‘Thank You’ page for

Click 'Settings'
Click ‘Settings’

Select 'Redirect to another page', enter your 'Thank You' page URL and click 'Save Form'
Select ‘Redirect to another page’, enter your ‘Thank You’ page URL and click ‘Save Form’

Tell Google Analytics to track visits to this “Thank You” page as Goals

Every time someone visits this thank you page Google Analytics will count that as a goal. You just gained a new relationship!
In Google Analytics navigate to Conversions -- Goals, then click 'Set up goals'
In Google Analytics navigate to Conversions — Goals, then click ‘Set up goals’

Click '+ New Goal'
Click ‘+ New Goal’

Choose 'Custom' then click 'Continue'
Choose ‘Custom’ then click ‘Continue’

Name your goal, choose 'Destination' and then click 'Continue'.
Name your goal, choose ‘Destination’ and then click ‘Continue’. What we’re doing here is telling Google Analytics to count a goal every time a visitor goes to a specific webpage — our “Thank You For Subscribing” page.

Enter your 'Thank You' page URL into the 'Destination' field. Turn on 'Value' and enter a '1' in the Value field. Click 'Save'.
Enter your ‘Thank You’ page URL into the ‘Destination’ field. Turn on ‘Value’ and enter ‘1’ in


Now you’re tracking conversions!

In the weeks to come Google Analytics will be tracking any new subscribers as goal conversions.
  • Now you’ll be able to tell — WITH DATA! —  which pages are the most effective at causing conversions on your site.
  • You’ll also be able to make important strategy decisions based on your new data.
  • These are the kinds of strategy decisions we’ll be teaching you how to do in the Website Tuneup Course, but if you’re experienced on the web already this data will help you come up with new strategies on your own!