5 Ways to Capture Email Addresses From Landing Page Traffic

April 29, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  Most marketers I know who use landing pages to make direct sales online focus on conversion: getting as many visitors as possible to the landing page to place orders. Other internet marketers, when writing landing page copy, focus not only on conversion but also on search engine optimization: keyword selection and meta tag creation that can increase traffic by raising the site’s search engine rankings. But in addition to all this, savvy online marketers are concerned with a third performance metric: capturing email addresses. If you have a 2 percent conversion rate, then for every 100 visitors to the landing page, only two buy. What happens to the other 98 visitors? You won’t be able to add their […]

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The 10 Biggest Graphic Design Mistakes You Can Make in Your Marketing Pieces

April 15, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  Design plays an important role in the success of your content. Long before they read your words, readers will begin judging the value of your content by its appearance. Here, according to desktop design guru Roger C. Parker, are 10 of the most common graphic design mistakes and how to avoid them: 1. Overuse of Color The overuse of color does a disservice to readers who print white papers on inkjet printers. Avoid solid-colored backgrounds behind the text. Such pages can cost several dollars each in ink supplies. In addition, bright colors can create distractions that make adjacent text hard to read. Finally, text set in color is often harder to read than black text against a plain […]

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8 Steps to Webinar Success

April 8, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  Webinars have long been an effective content marketing tactic. Your prospects can hear you talk and see your slides right on their com­puter screens. A typical sales funnel for a content marketing campaign incorporating a free webinar is: Put up a webinar registration page. Drive traffic to the registration page with an email invitation. Hold the webinar. Make a special offer at the close of the webinar. Follow up with emails reminding attendees and registrants of the special offer. The biggest problem with webinars is that more and more companies are producing them. That means the web is getting cluttered with them, making it more difficult to get attention for your event. Build your visual webinar presentation like […]

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34 Critical Tips for Creating Enewsletters That Get Opened and Read

Learn how to write enewsletters that make prospects reach out for more. April 1, 2020 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  Whether you’re building brand awareness, generating leads or making direct sales, there are two ways to sell your products and services to your enewsletter subscribers. One is to place small online ads in the regular issues. These ads are usually a hundred words or so in length and include a link to a page on your site where the subscriber can read about and order the product. The other is to send stand-alone email messages to your subscribers, again promoting a specific product and a link to your site. My enewsletter, The Direct Response Letter (www.bly.com/report), is not the most successful or widely read on the planet. […]

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How to Build an Opt-In Elist of Customers and Prospects

This may sound like a “duh” step in your marketing prospect, but not having an elist could squash any real progress you make using emails and enewsletters. March 25, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  If you want to ramp up your online marketing program, your first step should be to build a large, opt-in elist of customers and prospects (unless you already have one). That’s because without a significant online “house file” (list of opt-in subscribers), you can only reach prospects in your niche by renting other marketers’ opt-in elists, which is hardly cost-effective: Each time you want to send another message, you have to rent the list again — and that can easily cost you hundreds of dollars for every thousand names on the […]

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One-Step Vs. Multistep Content Marketing Campaigns

Find out the difference between these two foundational campaigns so you can determine which best fits your needs. March 11, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  When it comes to marketing, there are two types of campaigns you can run: one with just one step or one that includes multiple steps. One-step content marketing is a limited campaign in which you essentially deliver a piece of meaningful content to your target audience. That’s it. The classic example of a single-step use of content is writing an op-ed piece or letter to the editor for your local newspaper. You express your opinion in a short article that runs once. There’s no explicit call to action (CTA) mechanism for the reader to respond to. No list to join. […]

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Copyrighting 101 for Content Writers

You don’t have to have an English degree to be a good marketing writer. But you do need to follow a few rules that will help you create interesting and effective content marketing materials. March 4, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  Virtually all multichannel marketing campaigns today combine content marketing with copywriting, so a content marketer or writer should at least learn the fundamentals of copywriting. Below are a few tips to get you started. Write a killer headline The headline is the first thing your reader sees and the most important part of the promotion. The headline’s main job is to get the prospect’s attention in a way that makes them want to know more about what you’re selling. The more specific your headline, […]

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The 5 Cs of Content Marketing Copy

Master these five skills and you’re well on your way to creating content that grabs attention and turns prospects into buyers. February 26, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  I love formulas for writing for two reasons. First, the best formulas are simple, easy to remember and rapidly mastered. Knowing them can help you create content and copy that’s twice as effective in half the time. Second, the reason they became formulas in the first place is that they work! Related: The 10-Step Effective Content Marketing Campaign There are literally dozens of time-tested content and copywriting formulas out there. If you don’t know any of them, you could be unnecessarily wasting your time reinventing the wheel with each promotion you write. You could also be writing inferior copy […]

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The 10-Step Effective Content Marketing Campaign

Content marketing isn’t hard. Follow these 10 steps to do it right. February 19, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  What makes for successful B2B and B2C lead-generating content marketing campaigns? There are 10 key steps.   Step 1: Define the Target Audience and Their Information Needs In B2B, defining the target audience or readership involves knowing the industry, company size and prospect’s title, responsibilities, education and degree of knowledge in your chosen topic, as well as how they use your type of product in their business. You should also think about the information needs of prospects at the stage of the buying process at which you’re reaching them.   Step 2: Come Up with a Strategic or Useful Content Plan A strategic content plan is one in […]

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How Problem-Solving Case Studies Help You Market Your Business

Few marketing tools are more effective than an anecdotal case study. Discover how you can create your own and increase sales. February 18, 2020 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  Almost any company can profitably market with case studies. And while case studies don’t need to adhere to any one formula, there are general guidelines you should follow. The average case study is relatively brief: one or two pages long, or approximately 800 to 1,500 words. More complex or in-depth case studies can run 2,000 to 2,500 words. An effective case study makes readers want to learn more about the product it features. It’s a soft sell designed to lure your prospects into requesting more detailed information. If you’ve mirrored the reader’s problem successfully, the case study […]

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9 Ways Your Content Marketing Can Generate Leads and Close Sales

Find out how upping your content marketing game can close more deals. February 12, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  Content marketing performs nine functions that help both B2B and B2C marketers generate more leads and ultimately close more sales. Let’s explore them: 1. Sets the specs. Content marketing can edu­cate prospects on what features, functions, and capabilities they should look for when buying a particular type of product or service. If you’ve presented your criteria in a white paper or other medium that looks like useful information and not a sales pitch, readers will absorb and accept your guidelines. They’ll then use the spec­ifications you’ve set. Say you sell motionless mixers, one of the products I helped market at Koch Engineering. In your ads, you […]

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The 7 Rules of Writing Persuasive Technical Content

Helping people understand what your technical products do will be easier if you follow these seven guidelines for writing B2B technical content. February 5, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  A lot of B2B marketing either promotes technical products, sells to a technical audience, or both. The nature of these marketing campaigns poses a challenge to those who must create them because the marketers tasked with executing these campaigns often lack a technical background. Therefore, they may have a steep learning curve and difficulty understanding what they’re selling and to whom they’re selling it. I’ve been writing copy to sell technical products to engineers, scientists, programmers, and other techies for more than four decades. Here are seven tricks of the trade that give me an edge […]

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10 Tips for Creating Landing Pages That Convert the Most Prospects

Once you’ve attracted prospects to your website, you need a way to get them to pull the trigger and buy. These 10 tips help them do just that. April 10, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s book The Direct Mail Revolution: How to Create Profitable Direct Mail Campaigns in a Digital World. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound Here are a few suggestions for sharpening up your landing page content to increase conversion rates: 1. Build credibility early People have always been skeptical of advertising, and with the proliferation of spam and shady operators, they’re even more skeptical of what they read online. Therefore, your landing-page copy must immediately overcome that skepticism. One way to do that is to make sure you clearly display one or more credibility […]

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How This #DirectMail Piece Packs a Small but Powerful Punch

Postcards can’t hold much copy but when done right, you’ll see your business grow. April 3, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s book The Direct Mail Revolution: How to Create Profitable Direct Mail Campaigns in a Digital World. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound For many products and offers, especially complicated ones, you’ll need to send a full direct mail package or a self-mailer to tell the story, present the facts, answer objections, and allow the consumer to place an order. But not all direct mail campaigns require you to do this in-depth—a postcard works well enough to do the job. On a postcard, the space for graphics, copy, and the reply mechanism is much more limited, but they work great under these conditions: The product is familiar […]

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The Secret to Getting #DirectMail Prospects to Reply Immediately

Follow these tips, and you’ll soon see replies flooding your mail box. March 27, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s book The Direct Mail Revolution: How to Create Profitable Direct Mail Campaigns in a Digital World. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound An effective direct-mail package doesn’t just ask for a response; it makes readers feel they’d be making a mistake by not responding. It also creates a sense of urgency, or gives a compelling reason why a response is required today, not tomorrow or next week. It boldly asks for the order or some other response, such as a request for information. The focal point at that stage becomes the reply element: the part of the package the reader mails back to the advertiser to place an […]

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Why You Don’t Want to Fail This #DirectMail Test

To measure the success of your direct mail efforts, you’ve got to test your campaigns first. Follow these guidelines to get the most bang from your buck. March 20, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s book The Direct Mail Revolution: How to Create Profitable Direct Mail Campaigns in a Digital World. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound In direct mail (DM), testing is the process of putting a letter or package in the mail, counting the replies, and coming to a conclusion based on the results. Testing is a huge advantage that direct marketers have over branding and general advertisers: We first do a small test to determine whether our direct-mail package works. If it does, we can gradually expand the campaign. On the other hand, if the […]

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The 5-Step Plan for Turning Prospects into Customers

Using this five-step plan can help you write powerful, persuasive copy that attracts your best customers. March 13, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s book The Direct Mail Revolution: How to Create Profitable Direct Mail Campaigns in a Digital World. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound In direct marketing, structure is key: If your copy doesn’t follow the formula for persuasion, it won’t work, no matter how creative you get. There have been numerous formulas for writing persuasive copy throughout the years. The most famous is probably AIDA, which stands for attention, interest, desire, and action. In copywriting seminars, I’ve taught a variation on AIDA known as the motivating sequence. The following explores the five steps of the motivating sequence: Step 1: Get Attention Before your promotion can […]

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Looking for Leads? These 4 #DirectMail Offers Are Your Answer

When it comes to lead generation, there are only four types of leads that work. March 6, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s book The Direct Mail Revolution: How to Create Profitable Direct Mail Campaigns in a Digital World. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound In a two-step direct-mail campaign, where you’re trying to generate leads rather than direct sales, there are four basic offers you can make: soft, hard, negative, and deferred. Soft Offer for Lead Generation In lead-generating direct mail, the simplest and most common offer has traditionally been a free brochure and other information describing the product or service. In direct mail, this typically reads, “For a free brochure on the Widget 3000, complete and mail the enclosed reply card today.” What the prospect gets […]

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How to Create Upsells that Boost Your Sales with The #DigitalMarketingHandbook

Once you’ve attracted buyers to your site, don’t let them get away without trying to increase the sale. May 30, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s book The Digital Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound Upsells are an important part of your autoresponder communication system that, if done correctly, will bring you more revenue than just your direct sales. Upsells on a smaller level can easily be done on your shopping cart page before the cus­tomer gives the credit card information and closes the purchase. In this case, the upsell is positioned at the top of the page, visible to the customer as they land on that page. The customer can take a moment to look at what it is, decide to click the check box, and […]

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Designing a Sales-Generating Landing Page That Attracts Traffic

If you’re selling a single product or making a single offer, you need to learn to craft a hard-working sales-generating page. Find out more. May 16, 2018 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s book The Digital Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound Sales-generating landing pages, also known as sales pages, online sales letters, or microsites, are usually single-page websites dedicated to selling one product—typically a product that’s suited for ecommerce, meaning customers can directly order it from the page using their credit card or PayPal. I have a sales page for a $19 ebook I sell on how to make money by writing, publishing, and selling PDF ebooks. This page has been very effective for me: It gets a 32 percent conversion when I drive traffic to it […]

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