Organising that newsletter

I’ve been harping on about my newsletter for a while now but have I set it up to succeed? Its all a matter of organising that newsletter!

Organise That Newsletter

The US Navy decided to send packages by jets. The hard part was figuring how to fit the packages in the missiles.

Why have a newsletter?

Newsletters are useful for retention and they also help by nudging people to come back. There are many pro bloggers who use email marketing as a part of their marketing strategy.  

“Building a list?” what is that?

You may see the pros write this “building a list” line from time to time. If you read anything from Neil Patel’s Quicksprout blog or Pat Flynn’s SmartPassiveIncome, you’ll know that building a list is important.

To put things into sharper focus this is a list of emails of your audience. Not a shopping list. Marketeers break down this list further by suggesting those who buy from you, those who tend to share your work or “interact” and those who fit your target audience. Your list can be broken down further into segments (like an orange) if you so do wish.

If your blog covers more than one area (or niche) you can create a campaign to cater for each interested party. It’s like a buffet.

When you start reading about “Conversions” and “Leads” you are deep in marketing territory. Essentially building a list is about helping to fulfill the criteria to achieve these two buzzwords. A conversion is someone channelled down a path to buy something, a lead is the same. The difference between conversion and leads is that conversions can be based on any outcome (such as a person downloading a free guide), leads are only potential for a sale.  

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink

The same is true with many things that people might choose to click on your website. It’s all about design and what you are trying to give away. It’s all about value and the sense of imperatives.  

Where am I having to adjust the newsletter?

Firstly, my campagins themselves aren’t sorted out.

  • I need an introductory email to welcome the new subscriber (which I haven’t done).
  • I need an RSS style campaign where each new mail is posted out (which I haven’t done).

This is kinda bad on a scale of 1 to 10 and me scoring 0.5. I need to remedy this!  

Is my newsletter signup form sexy?

Simple answer, no! I’ve compiled a few examples from other notable sites for you to peruse. Notice how each differs significantly and yet do employ some similarities.

WPBeginnerSignup

WPBeginner have a segmented mailing list because they write various different topics around WordPress. This signup sits in the sidebar.

SocMedExSignup

A very graphical example of eye candy signup from Social Media Examiner. This chap sits in the sidebar.

SmartPassiveIncomeSignup

A full width footer signup from Pat Flynn’s SmartPassiveIncome

LeavingWorkBehindSignup

A large full width Signup box from Tom Ewer at LeavingWorkBehind.com

I use the most basic option from MailChimp. A clean form lodged in my sidebar but this isn’t enough.  

BPsignupSidebar

My “Mr. Bean” style Sidebar Signup. Hopefully you are seeing a colourful new one and thinking, hmm, I know why he changed that!

Do I want to put my signup anywhere else?

I want it as the last thing you see in each post. The pre-footer footer. The point at which you realise;

Oh snap, this article has finished! Maybe I should sign up for the newsletter for all that tasty goodness?!”  

What’s this A/B Split testing malarkey?

Split Testing is yet another one of those marketing terms. It works by splitting those who take an action on two or more forks. The analysis of which technique or layout performed better can normally be declared quite quickly. Marginal changes mean that further split tests are required. Neil Patel of Quick Sprout is a particular fan of the split test. Often by changing the colour of a button, re-positioning it or adding some inspired content somewhere, you can push more people over the line.

So in simpler terms I have 100 people view the same page except 1 unique difference:

  • 50 people see a red button
  • 50 people see a blue button
  • The red button results in 10 people performing the required action.
  • The blue button results in 3 people performing the required action.
  • My split test has told me I should use a red button.

The good thing about a split test is that it can be run an almost infinite number of times. You could have it running all the time tweaking something or other about how you want to “convert”. These campaings aren’t always perfect because you might have unknown and unusual spikes in your traffic and your sample group may not act “scientifically“.

MailChimp and Aweber provide this option but as I’ve discovered for MailChimp this option only unlocks after a few successful mail campaigns have been run. That’s not such a bad thing because if you are beginner it is a bit more technical.

My questions to you!

  • Did you create the list at the start or sometime after when you realised how important it was? 
  • How do you organise your newsletter?
  • Do you have one?
  • Have you ever used split testing? Do you plan to?

 

End of Month Traffic Report – January 2014

End of Month Traffic Report - January 2014

I continue the time-honoured tradition of producing this traffic report for yet another interesting month of Blog Prefect Traffic.

There is quite a lot going on, quite a lot of new jazz (not old jazz). I have experimented with a few things and I have termed 2014 as the year of both Experimentation and of Strategy.

As a change of format this month I am going to display the posts I wrote and published. January was a fairly productive posting month in comparison to some previous bad performing months in 2013.

Post List:

In terms of WordPress Stats, here are how these 9 posts performed:

  • Post #1 – 12 views
  • Post #2 – 2 views
  • Post #3 – 1 view
  • Post #4 – 1 view
  • Post #5 – 13 views
  • Post #6 – 17 views
  • Post #7 – 0 views
  • Post #8 – 1 view
  • Post #9 – 2 views

It doesn’t look like a great result for all that effort but some of those articles have done considerably better than I had anticipated. Those with minor hits probably didn’t resonate with the audience for one or more reasons and I suspect content choice, image and title use or a lack of trend were to blame.

My most successful article this month was the one that required the least effort by me. It was a series of shared YouTube videos put together as a cognitive piece. It was also a topic that was on “trend”.

My least successful article was the one most personal to me. The topic may have been a bit dry for others to view and may not have matched the target audience. It is interesting to see what people do and don’t click on to read. I always find it fascinating.

The End of Month Traffic Report – January 2014

EoMTR GAF Average time on Site is a good measure for me. If you’ve read any of the previous reports you’ll know that I have recently re-evaluated what is important in terms of the various metrics on offer. Marketers for business find conversions to be most prime in their calculations, everything else is somewhat secondary. For me people taking time to read what I’ve read is important.

ATOS = 15 Minutes 2 SecondsAdverse 59 Seconds, -5.94%

Pageviews is the second most important factor in measuring effectiveness.

  • WordPress = 114, +40 inverse, Up 54.05%
  • Google Analytics with GAF = 77, +31 inverse, Up 67.39%

Bounce Rate is the look of how effective those page views were. GAF separates the weak from the strong in this regard. GAF records bounce rate at 0% whereas the unfiltered results give the bounce rate picture.

Bounce Rate = 76.67% Adverse 3% 

This is notably higher than last month. I consider 80% to be danger territory so I need to make my content more relevant and somehow reduce the bounce. This has also a fair bit to do with my audience targeting strategy and how people find themselves on the site. I know that some of the images that people come for having nothing to do with my ideal target audience and they are the people who are forcing up my bounce rate.

Visitors

  • WordPress = 75 +35 inverse, Up 87.5%
  • Google Analytics with GAF = 13 +5 inverse, Up 62.5%

Highest Visitor total ever recorded in Blog Prefect History on WordPress. Second highest GAF total of current history. I definitely did better this month!

Referrals are well reported on the WordPress Site stats. I’ve had a fair few this month.

  • 21 Google+
  • 9 Google Search
  • 7 Google Image Search
  • 3 Bing
  • 2 Yahoo Search
  • 2 Theoldreader.com
  • 1 Angryjoeshow.com
  • 1 Dailypost.wordpress.com
  • 1 LeavingWorkBehind.com

Conclusion

I’m upbeat by the results and yet I know I can do better. Normally I might stretch into an almighty pantheon about where I could have done things better but all in all January was a very committed month. Some of my posts fell flat on their face which disappoints me considerably but such is life. Next month is going to be considerably different as I am going to be enacting some notably different strategies.

You’ll begin to see a marked change in my traffic report following these amendments. The 2014 Gamble is key to this change and in part will drive some of my change in strategy.

Related Reports: