As we’ve learned over these last three weeks there is so much information inside your Google Analytics account. We learned how to connect it to your website in Part 1 and in Part 2 we learned how to read those statistics and how to find what you need quickly. Today, we’re talking about Google Analytics integrations that will take your stats to the next level
GA is a robust tool that can help you not only read those statistics, but it gives you a snapshot of the health of your business. From your website to MailChimp or other email service providers and even Youtube!
Mailchimp (which is what I use on a daily basis and you should too!) is the most important integration to me and that’s because it gives me the answers I need quickly and I don’t have to go to other places to find it. I can access the information right from my MailChimp reports page! To set this up follow these instructions:
Google together with MailChimp can help you optimize your campaigns by giving your readers what they are most interested in.
Google Analytics & Youtube
You can also combine your Google Analytics account with your Youtube Channel. I found this great step-by-step video by ExtremeWebDesign.com
Google Analytics & Social Media
It’s very easy to track the amount of traffic that comes from different social media platforms. There is no integration, no coding!
This information is already there! Just sign in to your GA account and follow these intructions:
As you can see you can easily keep track of your statistics and therefore improve your content creation, campaign optimization, social media ads or posts, etc.
Knowledge = Power!
Starting next week I’m going to be starting a new series on MailChimp! I hope you’ll join me. Don’t want to miss out? Sign up below↓.
Get Ready For The Holidays With These Customizable Pinterest & Instagram templates!
*The tools and products below are used by me on a daily basis. However, I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE and I am not paid by these companies.
One question that I get asked quite often is, “What tools do you regularly use to do what you do”. I spend 90% of my time online and finding tools that are easy to use, easy to set up, and affordable could be a whole career in itself. If you’re not familiar with me I run three websites, three FB groups, spending time on social media platforms, plus I manage over 58 websites (not including my own).
If you missed part 1 you can find it HERE. Today we’re going to talk about a few more of the important tools that I use to run my business. There are so many tools out there and I have to admit I’ve been guilty of shiny object syndrome and I’ve gone down enough rabbit holes in my time, but I have found that less really is better when it comes to running your business.
There are things you need to do:
Email service provider (newsletter vs rss feed)
Keeping track of your statistics
These are just a few, but they are the ones we’re going to cover today.
Email Service Providers
I’ve worked with a lot of email service providers and I’ve even recommended a few, BUT I always come back to MailChimp. I hands down recommend this to everyone whether they are a blogger or have an eCommerce site. You cannot find better value then the paid version of MC and if you have under 2,000 you can use totally FREE!
Below are a comparison of the top three email service providers CONSTANT CONTACT, CONVERTKIT & MAILCHIMP:
You can see here that for $9.99 you can have up to 50,000 contacts with a MailChimp Essentials account. Under 2,000 is completely free.
ConvertKit charges $29 for 1,000 subscribers.
As you can see Constant Contact wants a whopping $45 a month!
I use MailChimp, I recommend MailChimp and if you look right over there →→→ ( in the sidebar) you will see the MailChimp logo. I’ve recently partnered with MailChimp and after weeks of testing, I am now an official MailChimp expert. I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE I DO NOT MAKE MONEY FROM YOU SIGNING UP. I just really love the service.
Have questions about what MailChimp can do for you? Just email me at Rena (at) theblogging911.com.
Tracking Your Statistics
You know I love me some statistics! So much so that I became a Certified Google Analyst. Also over there →→→ BUT that doesn’t mean that it’s the only tool I use. Sometimes you need comparing views especially when you’re trying to see if what you’re doing is working.
So of course, I turn to Google because let’s face it, they are the internet Gods. But I also like using JetPack’s statistics. You can get a lot of information by comparing the two. Jetpack has a free and a paid version and it does offer a lot of features but you can get the same information for free.
Google Analytics is free and very easy to set up these days and if you use the MonsterInsights plugin it gets even easier. I totally recommend all three of these products.
IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure to filter out your own IP so that you aren’t counted in those statistics. I made a video showing exactly how to do that in this blog post.
Creating content is nonstop so anything you can find that will help you accomplish creating compelling content that people are actually wanting to read can be difficult some days. I usually write all of my content right in the WordPress post editor but when I’m working on ideas I like to open up a Google Doc. They are easy to use and easy to share. I do have Microsoft Word, but Google Docs is just easier sometimes and this especially true if you’re using Gmail.
I like to get inspiration from several places. It may be a newsletter I’ve read, a webinar I’ve watched or a podcast I’ve listened to. My favorite place to go for a little inspiration is Pinterest first. I am a visual learner and Pinterest is the eye candy of visual learners. I love to learn and I try to learn something new every single day even if it’s just about myself.
I also get a lot of inspiration from your questions, but lately, my most favorite way to create content is in my newsletter. I share a blog post every week, but I also like to have conversations with all of you. I love hearing your replies so please keep them coming! Also, if you have something that you’d like me to cover let me know.
I have to be totally for real here. I struggle with organization every single day of my life. I am not an organized person and I work hard, but don’t always accomplish my goals. My mind doesn’t work the way it used to and some of my struggles are memory issues, spatial judgment, and organization. That being said as a business owner I require a certain amount and the way I’ve found to deal with this is to try not to overcomplicate it. I have bought courses on time-blocking, organizational concepts, and automation and on and on. All a waste of money in hindsight.
No one thing works for me so I use a multitude of services to achieve the mediocre amount of organization I can actually stick with and here it goes.
I save all of my clients’ assets to a shared folder in Dropbox. This is also where I store all website backup copies. I also store most of my assets there as well, but historically I have used Google Drive for client files and One drive for mine, but recently decided to keep it all in one place. I spent a REALLY LONG weekend setting it all up, but I love it now.
I am very new to the Trello game and I cannot believe what I have been missing! I am still working out my system there because I did what I always did and ran around like a sugar addict in a candy store creating more and more boards, but I have created ONE BOARD that contains EVERYTHING I need in my daily business. Client info, passwords, subscriptions, and even a list of the many, many courses I’ve bought over the years.
Is also a great place to store graphics and pdfs etc. You can create folders to keep it all in order. This way when I’m making a graphic I have what I need to create it in the client folder. I love Canva so much (I have the business account) that I totally did away with Photoshop & Illustrator. I can do everything I need to do with Canva and $12.95 is a lot better than $53 monthly!
Is another place to store things. I create a secret board with every new design to pin inspiration, ideas, and branding pieces. I always have a few secret boards going for research purposes.
The world is filled with great ideas and broke business owners with fabulous products but no sales.
The fact is, ideas are not what drives most business success. Marketing does. So before you quit your day job to branch out on your own, it pays to have a solid marketing plan in place. Start with these 5 ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
For information product sellers, coaches, and service providers, one of the best sources of new clients is in free training webinars. No matter what your niche, the promise of in-depth training at no cost is enough to entice potential clients to part with an email address (which you’ll be able to market to later) and an hour of their time.
Not only that, but webinars are a fantastic way for those potential customers to get to know you better. And the better they know you, the more likely they are to buy.
Not comfortable hosting a webinar? Hit the keyboard and start sharing your thoughts and ideas via your blog, ebooks, guest articles and other written content. For internet marketers, this gives readers a taste of what they can expect from your product. If you sell physical products, it provides the perfect opportunity to share usage tips and other important information with your buyers.
Of course, there’s another important benefit to content marketing, too: search engine optimization. Google and other search engines index the words on your website and use the information to present search results to their users. Content marketing is a tool you can use to make the most of these results and to bring more potential buyers to your website.
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google and plenty of other sites all offer paid placement, and with today’s powerful analytics tools, it’s easy to create ads and drive traffic inexpensively. Consider starting with Facebook, since the cost is low and it’s easy to target your ads to your ideal client. Once you’ve perfected your funnel, you can branch out into more costly ads with a larger reach, such as Google AdWords or another ad network.
Don’t limit yourself to these three marketing methods though. There are dozens of others you can try, including affiliate programs, JV partnerships, automated funnels, direct mail campaigns, and even television advertising. The key is to keep testing and tweaking to make the most of every marketing effort, so that your business continues to grow.
I’m sure that’s no big surprise to you. In fact, you probably browse the Internet at light speed, too, scanning titles and subheads, skipping to the bottoms of sales pages, and fast-forwarding through videos just so you can get to the next thing.
The same is true for your readers, and if you want to capture their attention long enough to entice them to opt-in to your mailing list, then you have to keep that in mind.
A Tip From Newspaper Publishers
Have you ever noticed that everything you need to know about a news story is in the first paragraph? Journalists are trained to answer all the questions—who, what, where, when, why and how—in the first few sentences, just in case the story gets cut off when the paper goes to print.
In today’s online world, where column inches no longer matter, this type of story formatting isn’t quite so critical anymore, but it’s still a useful tip to use when you’re writing an opt-in page.
Think about it: If your readers are skimmers (as most of us are) then making sure you include the most important information right at the top of the page is going to greatly improve your conversion rates.
For opt-in pages, that means putting the biggest benefits in your subject line and following it up with two or three sentences that build on your headline. That’s it. Keep it short, sweet, and benefit-driven, and you’ll have greater success than you would with longer content.
Whether your opt-in incentive is an eBook, a video, or even a simple checklist, having a graphic representation of your offer is an important component of your landing page.
Typically, you’ll create (or have created) a digital book or CD cover. You can easily outsource this, but be sure you follow these strategies:
Bold fonts and short titles make your cover more readable.
Use high-contrast colors for more visibility.
Be true to your brand. Stick with colors and fonts your readers expect.
Crafting a Compelling Call to Action
While it seems as if you can expect readers to know what to do when they land on your opt-in page, it’s just not true. You have to invite them to take the next step. Give them specific instructions and you’ll have higher conversion rates than if you just leave it to chance.
Your call to action should tell a reader exactly what to do, like this:
Click here to download
Enter your name and email for instant access
Watch the text on your form buttons, too. After all, “Subscribe” or “Sign Up” doesn’t exactly make you feel excited, does it? Consider using a phrase that matches your call to action instead, such as:
Get the Checklist!
Send the Video!
Take a look at your opt-in pages. Do they follow these strategies? If not, consider making some changes to your copy, your images, and your calls to action, then watch your results. You’ll more than likely see a boost in conversion rates if you do.
Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of setting up your sales funnel? You’re not alone. Many online business owners fail to properly plan out their funnel, and it shows.
They have an opt-in incentive that doesn’t appeal to their audience.
Their follow-up emails don’t flow naturally from the opt-in.
Messages are unbalanced—either too many sales pitches or not enough. Even worse, the offers don’t match the market.
Making these mistakes is common, so if you recognize yourself here, don’t feel bad. The good news? There’s an easy fix.
Step 1: Survey your market
All too often we think we know what our readers and potential buyers want, but in reality, we’re simply guessing. We make the mistake of believing that we are our market, but that usually is not the case.
The only way to know for sure what your market truly wants and needs is to ask them. Set up a simple survey (even a Google form will work) and ask your blog readers, social media followers, and email list to give their opinion.
Do this right, and you’ll know exactly what you should be offering your audience, plus, you’ll know that language to use on your opt-in page.
Step 2: Create your opt-in
Now that you know what your market needs, it’s time to create your opt-in incentive. Keep in mind that readers today seem to prefer simple, easy-to-digest offers rather than 200-page eBooks or 7-part video series. This makes your job a bit easier, too.
Some popular choices for opt-in incentives include:
Step 3: Map out your autoresponder
Every good opt-in incentive should be followed up with a series of emails that build on the material. If you’ve offered a resource guide, for example, then your follow-up emails might include usage tips for each of the resources, or case studies that show how others have benefited from using the tools.
Step 4: Make an offer
Arguably the most important part of your funnel, your offer must be the logical next step for readers to take. They’ve worked through your opt-in incentive, read and acted on your emails, and they’re hungry for more. Time to make your offer.
Just like the other pieces of your funnel, your coaching offer needs to be the answer to your readers’ most burning questions. If you consider your opt-in and follow-up series to be the “lite” version, then your coaching offer is the premium package. Bigger, beefier, and the perfect next step.
Before you post your first opt-in code, take some time to map out your funnel according to these steps, and you’ll not only fill your funnel faster, but you’ll close more sales along the way.
Ready to start building out your sales funnels? There are just a few things you need before you can get started. Here are some of the most popular options when it comes to putting together both free and paid funnels:
Lead Pages—when it comes to building opt-in pages, LeadPages.net is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal. They’ve tracked and tested a variety of page styles to determine which ones convert best, and they make it easy for you to build similar pages for your funnel.
It does come with a monthly fee, though, so before investing, you’ll want to be sure you can recoup your investment.
Instabuilder—similar to LeadPages, but without the monthly investment. Instabuilder is a plugin for WordPress that allows you to create your own funnels. It includes several funnel templates and a drag-and-drop page builder that makes it easy to get just the look you want.
AWeber—Probably the easiest email manager on the market today, AWeber is the choice for many small business owners, not only because it’s simple to use, but because it’s also economical. Starting at less than $20 per month for up to 500 subscribers, AWeber offers both autoresponders and broadcast emails, list automation, and segmenting, so you can send emails exactly when—and to whom—you want.
AW Pro Tools—an add-on to AWeber, AW Pro Tools gives you added control over your list management by automatically removing unsubscribes, moving subscribers from one list to another based on the link they click, and other useful automations.
PayPal—The simplest of all payment processors, PayPal allows you to take payments online for a very reasonable fee. It will also act as a simple shopping cart.
Ontraport—Another email manager, Ontraport offers shopping cart functionality as well, so you can create powerful funnels that are fully integrated with your sales process. The benefit here is that you don’t have to try to synch your cart with your email system, since it’s completely self-contained.
Infusionsoft—Probably the top tool for any business model, Infusionsoft is an all-in-one solution for customer management, funnel setup, mailing list, and even membership sites. It’s priced at the high end, but if you can (and will) use all its power, then Infusionsoft is well worth the investment.
You can see that you have a lot of options when it comes to building out your sales funnels, but what are the must-have items? At the most basic level, you must have:
A way to create web pages. A simple WordPress website will fill this need, with a little bit of work. LeadPages or Instabuilder are nice to have, but not essential, especially if you’re just getting started.
A way to capture email addresses. AWeber is definitely the top choice here, but others include MailChimp, Constant Contact, and iContact.
A shopping cart. PayPal is as easy as it gets when it comes to shopping carts, but other options include 1 Shopping Cart, Woo Commerce, Infusionsoft, and aMember.
I recommend you start small. Build the funnel framework as simply as you can, using tools that don’t cost a fortune. Once you have a few funnels up and running, you will be able to see where they can use improvement, and how the tools available to you can help make your funnels convert better and work more efficiently.
For an online business owner, a sales funnel is probably the most important marketing tool you have. And yet many entrepreneurs – both new and established – have no clear understanding of what a funnel is or how it works.
As you can imagine, failing to fully understand this critical part of your business means fewer sales, lower profits, and ultimately, an unstable business.
A Simple Sales Funnel
At its most basic, a sales funnel consists of free content, which typically requires nothing of your readers. Many sales funnels begin with blog posts, YouTube videos, Facebook content, and other information readers can access at no cost. This is the “top” of your funnel.
Next, you’ll have an attractive offer that requires a very small “payment” of sorts – typically an email address. You’ve seen this type of offer on websites all over the internet, and probably even signed up for some. This is the free ebook or guide, video series, checklist, workbook, or other valuable content that is available in exchange for “opting in” to an email list.
Once on your mailing list, you’ll then present your readers with a series of low-cost offers. Perhaps you have a low-priced ebook or a trial membership.
Customers who purchase your low-priced product move further down the funnel, and are presented with more, higher priced products. As they continue to buy, they move closer and closer to your top-end offers, which make up the bottom of your funnel.
How Your Funnel Works
If you imagine your funnel as looking like, well, a funnel, it’s easy to see that your free content—at the top—is consumed by the largest number of readers. Below that, your extreme low-cost item (available only for the cost of an email address) attracts a smaller subset of the true freebie seekers. Next, your low-priced products bring in yet a smaller group.
Finally, as you near the tip of the funnel, only the most loyal of fans and customers will purchase your highest priced offers.
Your job, as the business owner, is to ensure that your funnel leads buyers naturally from the top, free offers all the way to the bottom. The more buyers you can keep in your funnel, the more money you will make.
Most new—and even established—business owners can easily envision the top of the funnel, but if you truly want your business to grow, you must master the entire process, and that starts with understanding what a funnel really is and how it works.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be covering sales funnel in depth. Want to keep up? Sign up for my email list and you’ll get it first!
Do you use a sales funnel? Do you recognize one when you see it?
Are you so frustrated with the results of your email marketing campaign that you’re ready to throw in the towel? Don’t worry about it – we’ve all been there. Email marketing seems like a simple way to boost sales.
And it can be, provided that you can get your subscriber to open the email in the first place. After all, it doesn’t matter how great your marketing message is if no one ever reads it, does it?
In the busy world that we live in, you need to time the email perfectly so that they get it when they have time to open it. Is there any point in sending it through late on Friday afternoon when everyone’s getting ready to go home, for example?
Security awareness training is another thing that you’ll have to consider when crafting your email. Many companies have software that allows them to remove any suspicious messages and spam before they get delivered to their servers.
There are a good few more, but these will be dealt with in the EveryCloud infographic that we’ve published below. You’ll learn:
· Why email marketing is still the best thing since sliced bread
· How people use emails and whether or not they view them on their mobile phones
While huge corporations can afford to spend a lot of money testing out different marketing strategies, small businesses do not always have that option due to a much more limited budget. That is why they usually need to stick to proven marketing methods which have the best ROI.
The Benefits Of Email Marketing
One such method is email marketing. It is a cost-effective way to reach a large number of customers and has the added benefit of enabling you to track the marketing campaign results easily.
Another great benefit of using email marketing is that you can target specific audiences with specially designed and personalized content. This improves the chances of the email being opened and read because it will reach people who are more likely to be interested in the products and services that your company is offering.
Email marketing also brings dozens of other benefits, all of which are listed in the infographic below provided by 99firms.com.
Know What You Want
Before you start creating an email marketing campaign, you need to define your goals. What is that you are hoping to achieve from the campaign?
Sales conversions – It goes without saying that every business wants to improve conversions. Luckily, there are many metrics that you can use to see how well your email marketing is affecting them.
Website traffic – Bringing as many people as you can to your website can only be a good thing. Not only will this raise awareness of your brand, but it will also improve its ranks on search engines. You can see how effective your emails are by taking a look at the click-through rates.
Increase revenue – Another common email marketing goal is to increase revenue. When recipients start to become customers, you can declare your email marketing campaign as successful.
Once you know why you want to use email marketing, you should segment your email lists into relevant groups. That way, you can send specially designed content to certain groups of people. If you do otherwise, i.e., send the same email to all the addresses you have, your campaign will fail.
When it comes to the future of e-commerce, nothing is set in stone. Its hard to believe, what with the rise of online shopping, that many e-commerce businesses are still in the early stages of development and are yet to fully find their feet in such a busy marketplace. Others are adopting eCommerce to the fullest and offering all sorts of benefits such as same day shipping and delivery of subscription boxes to their customers. Here’s a great post The 51 Best Subscription Boxes from ThrifyCrates.com
It is for this reason that many retailers may find the predictions for trends to come in the e-commerce industry pretty futuristic, such as drone delivery or payments made with digital currencies. As a smaller business, if you can’t compete with some of the market giants out there like Amazon, you should instead focus on the things that are more achievable in the short term.
Ecommerce customer service automation is now almost commonplace with online retailers. People are used to heading online and having a chatbot pop up in the corner of the screen asking if you need any assistance.
In general, online retailers will be paying particular attention to the customer service element of their businesses, as currently this is what has been lacking from online shopping. Many people still prefer shopping in brick and mortar stores as they have constant access to a member of staff to help them with their purchasing decisions.
To encourage people to head online, this should also be achievable digitally, without the need for businesses to hire many members of staff to handle queries. Already in 2017, AI has been able to handle 45% of customer questions using live chat, and as this technology continues to develop, this number is set to grow.
Technological developments will also be the cause of more trends, such as the use of cryptocurrencies, most commonly the Bitcoin. Although digital currencies have been around for a while now, it is only more recently that they have started to be considered as a payment method for online stores. It is looking likely that this will become more commonplace in the years to come.
For more information of future trends to look out for, take a look at the infographic below which was created by industry experts.
So you’ve created your first list & you’ve connected WordPress & Mailchimp so now we’re going to finish up by connecting your free offer to your sign-up form.
You have created your free offer? Right? It doesn’t have to be a 100-page ebook. It can be a checklist, a “how-to”, or even a “how-not-to”. It can be an ebook, a .pdf, or a checklist. Something that your reader would love to have without giving away the farm so to speak.
Once you have that free offer ready to go upload it to your website and copy the URL. Next, you’re going to sign into your Mailchimp account. Go to your list and then look for “sign-up forms” and click. We’re actually going to tackle two steps today.
First, we’re going to design our sign-up forms and we’re going to connect our freebie. You have three choices when it comes to sign-up forms. You have General forms, embedded forms, & pop-ups. Today, we’re going to be working with General forms.
Once you’ve gone into general forms you’ll see Forms & Response Emails. In the drop-down below forms & response emails is a list of all of the possible emails in this series. As you can see, there are a lot of options and they are pretty self-explanatory. We’ll be working in the General forms area.
As you can see you have three sections, “build it” “design it” & “translate it”. Under “design it” you can add your logo, brand colors and any other design elements that you’d like to include. The great thing is you only have to design the first one and all the rest will take on the same design.
So now, you have your forms designed it’s time to hook up that free offer. In that same drop-down menu choose the “confirmation thank you page”. Now I want to tell you that if you want to send your subscribers to another page instead that is also possible. You may have a page on your website that is designed to give away your offer or a landing page etc. In that case, you would simply copy that page’s URL and place it in the box and hit save.
To use this form (as most of you will) click on edit (it will appear in the right-hand corner of the form’s sections when you hover over it). You can edit to say anything you want. It can be as simple as “here is your freebie” then you would make “freebie” a link and put the URL from your offer that you uploaded to your website media file. Click save and you’re all set.
I suggest that you go to your website and actually sign up for your own mailing list and follow it through all of the steps to make sure that everything is working correctly. Plus, it’s always a good idea to get a copy of all of your newsletters to make sure everything looks the way you’d like it to.
Have questions? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll get that answer right back to you!
There are lots of ways to hook your MailChimp account to your WordPress website. Today, we’re going to discuss a few of them. The first way is simply to integrate the two by going to your MailChimp account and clicking on your profile and integrations. You will copy a snippet of code and put it into your website’s head area. If you’re using Genesis (and I totally recommend that you do) you can find this area by going to GENESIS>> THEME SETTINGS scrolling to the bottom of the page until you see the HEAD section. Paste the code there and you’re good to go.
If you’re not using Genesis you can still make changes, but I recommend using a plugin to do it. First, you’ll want to install the Insert Headers and Footers plugin. From the Add Plugin page, search for “insert headers and footers.” You’ll want the plugin that was created by WPBeginner, which should be the first result. Install and activate it.
Don’t want to mess with code? Then you can use your choice of plugins that you can use specifically for Mailchimp. I like the Easy Forms For Mailchimp or the Mailchimp Forms by MailMunch plugins or again if you’re using Genesis you can also use the Genesis Enews plugin. There are literally hundreds to choose from. TIP: Make sure that any plugin you download is compatible with your theme, has been downloaded a lot and has been updated within the last few months.
The number one issue with WordPress is plugin compatibility. Different plugins can cause other plugins to stop working correctly. TIP: Always keep track of the name and date you install a plugin. This will help if there is ever a new issue. I’ve created a free plugin tracking sheet that you can download here.
There’s another method that is by far my most favorite and I’m going to show you how to do it. If you make your own graphics on Canva or Photoshop then you can make your own static form for your website.
Simply create a graphic, something that goes with your design. Use your brand logo and colors whatever you like. If you want one that goes all of the way across your site then it will be something like 1200×400, but if you want a signup on your sidebar [TIP I recommend that you have three on your site, so that no matter what your readers are using they will see at least one of them] then it will be something like 400×400.
Have you ever made your optin? Is this something that you think you could do? Let’s talk about it! Leave a comment below.