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The Number One Secret to Building a Big, Responsive List

Building an Email ListIt has everything to do with the service provider you choose to manage your lists for you.

Choosing an email service provider is an important decision. It is the backbone of your online business and you’ll want to choose wisely.

I had been on an email marketing service provider learning curve while making changes to my business. I had been using 1ShoppingCart for several years.
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I cancelled my account after they introduced paid support only  and took away the ability to see any statistics about about my list and my campaigns.
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Of course there was no reduction in price for the reduction in services.
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I checked out both MailChimp and Constant Contact and was well on my way to setting up my accounts and messages when I realized that I had no way of creating a series of messages. Since I like to offer free mini-courses via autoresponder, I quickly realized that neither of these services met my needs.  I got my money back (for the Constant Contact; MailChimp is free) and moved on.

Which Autoresponder service have I finally chosen?

Aweber — and this is why:

1.  Create Not Just One List, but Multiple Lists Based on Your Subscribers

What a novel idea!  This little secret is one of the best inventions out there! Now you can stop annoying your subscribers (and risk having them unsubscribe) by sending out content they are not interested in. With multiple lists, you can send only the content your subscribers signed up to receive.

How? Aweber allows you to send out email to your lists separately by segmenting your subscribers based on what they opted in to receive from you.

AND you can create optin forms that automatically places each subscriber on a particular list. You will then have the choice to communicate with the lists individually, or all at once.

2.  Automatically Broadcast Your Latest Blog Posts?

This is my favorite!  It’s an INCREDIBLE BUSINESS AND LIST BUILDING FEATURE that other companies do not offer.  With Aweber you can send your latest posts directly, and automatically, to your subscribers.

.I’m sure you can imagine how this would help you stay in touch with, add value to, and build a relationship with your list.   

3.  But Do They Deliver?

It’s very important to know whether your subscribers are receiving your email or if they are just activating the spam function.  After all, what is the point of all your list and relationship building if your subscribers don’t receive your email?

Aweber has one of the highest deliverability rates in the industry. And they are constantly working with the internet service providers ISP) so that your messages from Aweber are delivered and not routed to your subscriber’s junk or spam folder.

4.  Direct to Your Social Media Accounts

Aweber is on top of the latest Social Media trends and because of that, you can automatically and instantly post your messages to Twitter and Facebook.

5. Create Great “Curb Appeal” With Their Already-Designed-For-You Templates

If you’re not a programmer (and who is?) you’re in for a treat because you can still have great-looking opt-in forms and newsletters. Aweber offers a great selection of both templates for newsletters and optin forms that you can either use as-is OR easily customize to suit your business.

Note: Apparently Aweber is changing their editor to make their already great system even better!  Look for it soon…

6.  Subscriber Stats:

The #1 asset of all business is the list and relationship with it. It follows then that sending out successful email campaigns is vital.  To be successful at this, you must be able to understand your subscribers. It’s especially important to know:

  • How many subscribers you have
  • How they found you (where they came from)
  • Whether they click on links within your email
  • If they unsubscribe, when and why

Aweber does a really good job of subscriber management. You can view detailed reports (even have them mailed to you) that include all the info you need to keep providing relevant and thoughtful information to them.

7.  Customer Support?

Aweber offers telephone, email, and chat support (personally, I find chat support very frustrating) where you can discuss any problem you might be having directly with a customer relations person. They also offer (free) webinars, short videos, an e-course, and tutorials so you can learn everything you need to help you send out successful campaigns.

8. The Price is Right

Aweber’s pricing is very competitive. In fact, you can test drive their service for just $1. Once you’ve had the opportunity to see how it all works, your plan would then increase to the very low price of just $19 per month.

As mentioned earlier, you may be able to find less expensive options, but the lower price is reflected in lower deliverability rates, fewer options, and not so great support.

Do your research, but I think you’ll agree that Aweber is best for small business. But no matter who you choose, just start building your email list as soon as possible.

Have You Been Seriously Thinking That It’s Time to Start Building Your List (and your business)?

If so, you’ll need this step by step guide to setting up and using Aweber. Click on the Buy Now button below and get started with Aweber today.

You’ll learn:

  • How to Set Up Your First Mailing List with Aweber
  • How to Add Your Free Incentive (encourage subscribers)
  • How to Set Up Your Squeeze Page (outlining all the benefits of signing up for your free item)
  • How to Set up Blog Broadcast to Go Out to Your Mailing List
  • And More

40 pages of step by step information in an easy to follow format.

Just $17.00 Click the Buy Now button below and get started building your list today.


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PS: I recommend 1ShoppingCart if you need a full shopping cart and a complicated affiliate
management program. They are the best.

Disclaimer: Links mentioned within this post may lead to affiliate links, and in such a case, I will be compensated for recommending the product(s). However, I will never recommend anything that I don’t personally believe in.

SEO: Simple Tweaks You Can Make to Your WordPress Content So Your Clients Find You

SEO… ugh… I know you’re probably thinking some or all of the following.

SEO: Simple Tweaks You Can Make to Your WordPress Content So Your Clients Find You

 

  • Search Engine Optimization is way too scientific for me–after all I’m an artist
  • SEO is way over my head–I’m a coach, not a techno geek
  • SEO looks incredibly boring. My eyes are glazed over even now
  • SEO is done by geeky guys who work in their parent’s basement and never see the light of day
  • SEO is illegal and, if caught, Google will banish you and your biz forever from search results

But in reality, SEO is a very powerful business skill that can get you a lot of traction in the competitive world of the internet. It’s really only a series of little tweaks you can make in your blog posts and on your pages that can amount to a huge rush of traffic, and clients that are finally able to find you in the search engines. (Of course, you can go much further than little tweaks and hire yourself an SEO strategist for big $$, but why not start small to see how it works?).

SEO is about “organic” search, meaning that you optimize your posts and pages for the people who don’t know a thing about you (eg: they are not friends on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites) They are the people who need you but don’t know it yet. They are the people who are in Google search right this minute, and are madly typing words into the search field trying to find a solution to their problem or answer to their question.

The words (keywords) they are typing into the search field are the only link between them and you (remember, they have never heard of you). If the words you use on your site (your keywords) match their search terms, then you will show up in the search results. The more exact your words match theirs, the higher you will show in the results.

You can probably see now that if you aren’t using the words (keywords) that this person is using to find answers, then you’ll never show up in the search results as a viable solution or answer to their problem(s). The better your site answers the searchers questions, the more Google will send you the highly coveted “organic” traffic.

So here is a summary of what SEO is:

SEO is the shortened term for Search Engine Optimization. As an online business and WordPress site owner, you need to know that SEO is what helps drive visitors to your website. And without visitors…well you know.

How Google Works

Search engines have names like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. When someone is searching for information on the internet, they type phrases or keywords into the Google, Yahoo, or Bing search field. They press “Enter” and receive a page with a list of search results.

SEO is “spoon feeding” your relevant content to the search engines so that it matches the searchers’ queries.

A search engine is a program that searches documents on the World Wide Web for a specific word or phrase. ~ Dictionary.com (SEO is tweaking your site to match those words).

Kathleen

SEO and Google Analytics go hand in hand. Check out this course.

[stickynotes title=”Google Analytics Course Just $7″ url=”http://www.thesavvyva.com/savvy-products/google-analytics-report/”]Click to Learn More[/stickynotes]

 

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Are You Serious About Building Your Business? A Large, Responsive List is Key! Here’s Why…

Building an Email ListYou’ve probably heard that “the money is in the list”and that you have to build a list in order to build your business.

If you are like most of my clients, you’re new to business (at least new to online business) and/or new to marketing your business. I hear over and over that the difficulty they face is in knowing where, why, or how to begin building a list. So let’s start with the why:

There are 7 important reasons for building a list for your business:

 1.  Automatic Follow-Up Processes:

(Ahhh automation… The dream come true for the stretched-to-the-limit business owner). Having a list allows you to set repeatable tasks on auto-pilot.  With a list and your autoresponder service,  you can have a follow-up system in place that makes sales for you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

 2.  Strategically and Continuously Build Your Business

Other than being available via chat on your website 24/7, how can you “be there” for your website visitor? Well, new prospects can be signing up to your email list automatically, every day, without your help or involvement. This is a way to continuously build your business without a lot of repeated effort.

 3.  “Capture” Visitors

You’ve put a lot of time and (financial) resources into your website, and this will really be a waste if you don’t have any way to “connect” with your visitors.  You have to begin adding systems and the most important one is to capture visitors.

Most will come and go from your site (forever) without even leaving a mark. Why not at least attempt to stay in touch with them? It’s an easy system to implement with a simple opt in form that captures their name and email address so you can begin to building a relationship with them.

4.  Stay on the Forefront of Their Minds

Who was it that sang, “You were always on my mind…”? It came to mind as I was writing this. Why? Because most of your business connections will not be ready to buy from you right away. People use the internet to do research, compare prices, and get free information.

If you’ve got a system in place for capturing their name and email address, you can stay on their mind by using your email autoresponders to send out your messages. When they are ready to buy what you offer they’ll remember you and what you offer because you’ve kept in touch with them all along the way.

5.  Save Time

Very few small business owners have a lot of extra time. Most women today are dividing their time between being mom, grandma, daughter, wife, housekeeper, cook, volunteer, worker, and business owner. Having tools to help put anything on auto pilot is usually a very welcome addition to their lives.

So instead of having to share your message one (you) to one (one client at a time) repeatedly, your autoresponder and list will enable you to reach one (you) to many (your whole list).  Imagine not only saving time, but also leveraging your time into long-term profits.

6.  (Appear to) Be Super-Human

It’s not humanly possible to “personally” connect with all your visitors (prospects) and customers unless you are using an automated system. Your autoresponder system allows you to send out a message  that appears to be written specifically for that person. It’s a great way to build relationships (and the “know, like, and trust” factor) that are vital to building your business.  

7.  Increase Your Sales Too

But the goal isn’t to just be awesome (although this is also a great goal too!) and send out lots of free, personalized information. What you really want to do is increase sales and profits. Nothing else can help you deliver these results the way an email list can.

SUMMARY: You now have 7 good reasons to begin to capture names and stay in the forefront of your visitors minds so you can increase sales and save time. What are you thoughts? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear…’

aweber-stickersBy the way, I have been testing out list building and autoresponder service providers, and I have to say that Aweber leads the pack for a lot of reasons. Find out why here (and receive a 30 trial for only $1):  http://aweber.com

Disclaimer: The links mentioned in this post may lead to affiliate links and in such case, I will be compensated for recommending the product. However, I will never recommend anything that I don’t personally believe in.

9 WordPress Essentials: Part 1

9 WordPress Essentials Part 11.  A Landing Page

Is usually associated with your main domain name.

It’s the first page your visitors will see (unless they have gotten to your site via a link to another page or post).  For example, on my site it would be the difference between http://thesavvyva.com and
http://www.thesavvyva.com/contact-the-savvy-va

Since it’s the main page of your site, it’s important to let your visitors know what you do or have to offer your wares and services. Introduce what you do, for who, why, and so on.

Here is an example of what not to do, from the real world:

I have walked past a store in my town many, many times. I would glance in the window and see Crocs (gardening shoes). I would think to myself, “Oh, it’s a Crocs store. Don’t need Crocs so I’ll just keep going”.

But yesterday when I walked past, I noticed some big containers of protein powder in the other window. This time I thought. “Huh?” Curious, I peered into the window past the display and realized that it’s a health food store.  I just happened to be in the market for some Stevia so I went in.  But had I not really looked through that window, I would never have gone into the store.

What happens when people come to your site? Do they know you are a health food store, or will they mistake you for a Crocs store? Can they tell at a glance what your site is about? Is there enough information to help them determine if you have what they want (need).  Be bold. This is your BUSINESS. If you were a brick and mortar store, would you hide all the goods behind a curtain? Of course not.

By the way, I would really like to report that once inside the store it all made sense, but it didn’t. The inside was as confusing as the window display. I found a guy to show me where the Stevia was; I paid; and left.

Has to have an objective.

What do you want visitors to do when they arrive at your landing page? Opt in to receive a free report? Click a link to go to a catalogue page?  Contact you? or something else?  This page has to support your objective.

2.  About Me Page

Tell your story.

This page is normally the second page that is viewed on any given site and should provide potential clients with information about you and your work. Think of this page as your answer to the “tell me about yourself” question in a job interview.

This is essential — after all, who wants to hire just anybody? People want to know who they are dealing with. It’s completely acceptable  and reasonable for your potential clients to do a little background research on you. Your about me page can make or break a business relationship.

Take it a step further than just publishing a resume or a list of accomplishments. Personalize the page and tell them why you are the best person to do business with.

 3.  Simple navigation

Creating an easy to understand navigation function for your site is vital.

This is the actual navigation bar for my site. It is positioned right under my header (banner) and contains all the links anyone needs to easily navigation around my site. Several of these links have drop down menus, for example, the WP Support link has several support packages listed one under the other. Clicking on any of them will take you to that particular page.


Website traffic always increases when the site navigation design is simple and straightforward. It also makes it more likely that you’ll have returning visitors because they’ll remember how easy it was to find your information.

At the very least, your navigation bar should be above the fold (which means that it is visible without scrolling).

Here is a another takeaway from the real world:

I received someone’s newsletter this morning and they are promoting a new product. One of the bonuses was an offer from another company to do a WordPress website review. Their sales copy was very compelling and I wanted to see who this hip new company was.

I got there and was unable to figure out who she was. There was no navigation at all other than 3 links in the sidebar, (that I believe most people would not know to click). There was no immediately visible means to contact this business either. Eventually I found the navigation at the bottom of the site after scrolling quite a way down the page. So overall it was not a good design.

The Studiopress templates have what are called breadcrumbs. If you look at the example in the image to the left, you’ll notice that across the top it says “You are here”  followed by Home / WP Support / WordPress By the Hour (10).

It is another way of making navigation that much simpler. If you were to click on WP Support, it would take you back to my general support packages, and then if you click on home, you’d be at my landing page. .

PS  Get your WordPress site assessed by this company.  Check this new service here: WORDPRESS SITE ANALYSIS

4.  Content is King Queen

Content is what drives traffic to your website.

People search online for information that will solve their problem, whether they need a service, a product, or a just a quick tip showing them how to do something.

Do you post enough content on your site so that you show up in (ideally their first page of) Google’s search results? Do you write blog posts? Do you create YouTube videos with solutions to the problems your potential market or niche have? Do you offer free reports? Cover all the bases. It will pay off over time.

PS  The words that people use to search online are important to know because their keywords have to match the keywords you use on your site.  To learn more about this, click here to get my free report: FREE KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOL

 

Your Online Presence

Creating a very powerful online presence is THE most important step you can take in building your online business.

And the most important aspect of your online presence is not Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. The hub of all your business and online activity is your website (or should be), and preferably WordPress.

If you have not invested in a site that you own outright, you are putting your business and lifestyle in jeopardy.

Taking this a step further, a brochure type of website is not going to cut it any longer. At one time, they were good enough, but no more. And when you think of all the competition you have online, you’ll see why a site that looks amateurish won’t work either.

You need a dynamic site and this means that you have to be able to make changes when you need to, (and that might be everyday).

Dynamic and changing sites are what attract interest and have people coming back. Is your site up to the standards of what shoppers and clients are expecting in 2011?

Are you getting the traffic you need to build your business and make enough money to support your lifestyle?

If not, you are probably making one or more of these very common and costly mistakes:

  • You’ve got a website that you’ve spent a lot of money on and you don’t get any significant traffic
  • This same site brings you no ranking or visibility in the search engines (Google)
  • You believed, or were lead to believe, that just having a site would bring traffic automatically
  • You aren’t using an autoresponder service to capture visitors’ information (name and e-mail addresses)
  • Your website is not easy for visitors to navigate, and most people just click away rather than explore it
  • Your website is not automatically connected to your social networking accounts
  • Your site doesn’t include a blog, so you aren’t getting the benefits of regularly updating your site
  • Basically, you can’t or don’t know how to use your website to your advantage

The good news is that with a WordPress self-hosted site you can have and do all of the above.

Start getting the traffic, exposure, and the sales you deserve for the hours you are currently putting into your business. Contact me via the form below, and let’s discuss a WordPress site for your business.

This form will send your email directly to my personal inbox. I will reply within 24 hours.
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Geolocation and WordPress

What is Geolocation?

According to Wikipedia, Geolocation is the identification of the real-world geographic location of an object, such as a cell phone or an Internet-connected computer.  Geolocation is closely related to positioning but can be distinguished from it by a greater emphasis on determining a meaningful location (e.g. a street address) rather than just a set of geographic coordinates.

Who should use this technology?

iPhone cell-tower geolocation works in Delhi.If you are a brick and mortar business and want customers to show up at your door, then this is for you. The plugin will pinpoint and share your location with your viewers.

Using this technology on a WordPress site:

You’ll need reliable hosting — this is not the time to use sub-standard hosting.  Bluehost is, in my opinion, the best hosting out there, but Hostgator, and GoDaddy are great WordPress website hosting companies as well. They all have the capabilities needed for this higher end technology so can integrate geolocation, doing it simply and seamlessly.

Geolocation is the name of a plugin for WordPress that will display information about your location, automatically determining the physical address where you are at and then showing this information on your website.

Is there a downside to using Geolocation?

It can be both good and bad because it pinpoints exactly where you are updating your content from (including the coffee shop you are at down the street).

What do you think?

Is this technology a long overdue service, or just another invasive mechanism? Or somewhere in between? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

Why WordPress: The Top 9 Reasons

Make Your Business Building Efforts That Much Easier With a WordPress Website

How? Well first and foremost, WordPress sites are great looking, easy-to-navigate, and super optimized for the search engines. After that,

  • WordPress helps to build your business quickly and easily. With WordPress, you will start getting traffic immediately after clicking the “publish” button. Why? Because the search engines love WordPress. Click on ‘Publish’ and the search engine bots go into action. Your content will be crawled and available on the market shortly thereafter.
  • WordPress causes every post, new page, and any new content in general, alert the search engines that you’ve posted it. With them crawling your site regularly, you get higher page rankings, and therefore more traffic.
  • WordPress is a super simple time saver–easy to move around in and get stuff done quickly. It’s extremely user friendly. You don’t have to be a computer expert to use it. You can create content rather than mess around with your server settings. Most people find it pretty easy to work in after they’ve had a chance to play around in the dashboard.
  • WordPress is free, regardless of whether you are running a personal website or a business site, and saves you tons of money. And you get the same, no, even better exposure on the internet for a fraction of the cost of a website. All you need is a domain name and hosting.
  • WordPress is used by some of the largest companies in the world. If they trust this platform with their multi-million dollar businesses, surely you can.
  • WordPress content is delivered via an RSS feed, simply and easily.  As an example of all the great plugins, the Feedburner plugin is an aggregate for all RSS readers–no matter which reader someone is using, Feedburner can manage that reader.
  • WordPress is open source, meaning that there are people out there who are constantly tweaking its performance, features, and any vulnerabilities. You will always have the latest version available to you, and for free of course. Up-to-date software is secure and stable software.
  • WordPress is a very secure platform to build your site on. Any WordPress security issues are usually related to not updating to the newest versio of WordPress, or to using passwords that are easy to guess and therefore, not secure. If you keep your site up to date, there won’t be any issues with security.
  • WordPress allows you to create user accounts that have different levels of privileges, making it easy for those who need a site with multiple authors. Have you been looking for a platform for your group blogging aspirations?

Contact me today to get yourself online with a WordPress site. Click here to check out my WordPress packages