You ready for something new?

by mandy on December 9, 2014

I want you to get even more value from this blog.

So I’m going to try something new: micro-lessons that you can implement right away.

I have a hunch that you’ll love it.

If you hate it, let me know, I’ve got a back up plan.

But here’s the deal…

… you know I looooooooove to share strategy and marketing psychology.

As valuable as that information is, most of the time, you just need to get a “good-enough” email out the door!

Am I right?

I have a hunch that there are hundreds of folks feeling pinched for time that can use quick tools and training that immediately help you send high quality, high performing emails.

So let’s just get to some sweet free training.

What’s next…

You’ll get videos that are less than 2 minutes with optional templates or checklists you can use with each micro-lesson.

And that’s it.

Spend 2 to 4 minutes per week with me to improve your email performance.

You’ll get a ton out of this. I promise.

Today’s video

The Most Important Email You’ll Ever Send

Lesson downloads

About 60% of your new subscribers will open your welcome email, here’s a worksheet to help you create your own compelling copy along with some copy for swiping if you don’t know what to say.

100% of your new subscribers see your Welcome Page. Here’s a worksheet to help you create a memorable welcome page with tried and true copy to use for this page.

What’s next after today…

We’re both going to learn as we go.

I expect to evolve this approach, especially with feedback from you.

I’ll plan to also cover:

  • What you need to include in your emails — and what you don’t
  • Content ideas for emails that your readers will love
  • Subject lines that get opened
  • When to send emails to get the best open rates
  • How many emails to send? Worried that you’re sending too much or too little?
  • How to run effective sales email campaigns
  • How to run effective fundraising email campaigns
  • Why you might need a reactivation email campaign – with a great tip on using Facebook to help you
  • What to do with an old email list or dormant email list
  • Much, much, more

Be sure to check back later this week for my next post: 3 “tried and true” ideas for what to say in your first welcome email

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Cool tools to make social media easier

by mandy on November 13, 2014

Repeat your tweets

This is crazy good news if you’re time crunched.

There is such a glut of content out there (some of it is even good), that we’ve always recommended you should reuse and republish your best content, especially as your lists grow, regardless of social media platform.

Who’s got time to keep coming up with genius content?

What if you already peaked with your best content and your new audience hasn’t seen some of your best stuff yet?

All kidding aside, for Twitter and to a lesser extent, Facebook, an analysis of 1 million tweets supports our advice.

Wisemetrics lives up to their name with the following analysis of how your content holds it value better than your used car.

  • On average, the second tweet about a news get 86% as much performance as the first one
  • The 6th time you’ve posted the news, you’re still get 67% as much performance as the first time you posted


Do yourself a favor and reword it a bit each time, but if you’re only tweeting your best content once, you’re wasting time and money.

Repeat your Facebook Posts too!

Griping about organic reach being down, or picking up your marbles and leaving Facebook altogether like Copyblogger did, isn’t going to make you feel better.

Or do your business any good either.

If you’re like me and most of my clients, you HAVE to be on Facebook because your audience is there checking out pictures of their grand-kids, cat videos, or stalking the people they went to high school with.

No judgment.

Here’s a great work around.

First, the performance of a repeat post on Facebook doesn’t hold it’s value as much as I just showed on Twitter.

There’s a 38% loss of performance at the 1st repetition on Facebook vs 14% on Twitter.


That means that your repeat post performs at 62% the level of the first post.

And all you did was change the wording a little.


Next tool: Are you trying too hard on social media?

Here’s a fun free tool to measure if you’re trying to hard, which means you might be annoying, or worse, you look…

… desperate.

I find that people are on one side of the pendulum or the other.

You self-promote too much on social media.

Or, you don’t want to self-promote because it makes you feel cheap and salesy.

We can agree, though, that success on social media for both business and personal is about connecting in an effortless authentic way.

I’ll admit, this tool is in good fun and more relevant to your personal life, but it’s still worth a “look-see” for your business or nonprofit.

Why a “look-see?”

I looked at people who were really good at social media and sure enough, their scores correlated with their success on social media.

Axe Body Spray created a fun tool called Social Effort Scale, to support their “effortless” marketing campaign.

Social Effort Scale - Log in


The Social Effort Scale  is free and rates your posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to tell you if you are “trying too hard with your social media sharing.”

Warning: You have to be careful about how you log in on your social media accounts to measure your business versus your personal accounts.

I measured both.

Your scores are based largely on the way you format your updates, so you get scored as trying too hard for using too many:

  • Hashtags
  • Capital letters
  • Emoticons
  • Exclamation marks

If you’re like me and speak at conferences, you get penalized for having too many hashtags if your audience retweets or tweets during your talk, so I would definitely evaluate the results against what your goals were or are. I love audience tweeting highlights from my presentation.

Here’s the fun part.

The tool allows you to compare yourself to other Twitters users without getting caught comparing yourself to them.

You can click on your categories for Twitter to see what type of posts get rated “effortless” or “trying to hard.”

My Twitter score is great at 92% effortless.

Social Effort - Twitter


My Facebook score is a downright “walk-of-shame” at 57% trying too hard.

I’m ashamed.

I will do better.

Social Effort - Facebook Walk of Shame


Thanks to Kevan at Buffer for making me aware of this one.


Fast tip: how not to be boring

by mandy on October 24, 2014

Can you afford to send emails that no one opens?

Didn’t think so.

Everyone, except your boss, has to have a super-interesting subject line to get their emails opened.

Email in-boxes are pretty democratic: major national brands like Amazon, Apple, and American Red Cross are in the same boat as you and can’t get away with boring subject lines either.

The difference? Major brands just have more dedicated staff to come up with interesting subject lines and test them.

Clickbait works, but…leaves a bad after-taste in everyone’s mouth.

Don’t know what clickbait is? Here’s clickbait: “You may have already won $1M dollars”

Then you open the email learn that egg noodles are on sale and you can enter a sweepstakes to win $1M dollars with 1.7 trillion to 1 odds of actually winning.

Way to errode trust.

Don’t be that guy.

Instead, be interesting with your services, products, and mission.

Here’s how to do it without a huge staff and on a quick turnaround.

Watch Good Morning America

This is not an advertisement for GMA by any means.

But, by 7:20 a.m. GMA has run out the hot news and they start promoting their lifestyle-but-less-than-burning-news stories.

Make no mistake: millions in dollars of revenue ride on viewership staying tuned into GMA for the lifestyle segments after the top 15 minutes of news.

Tune in at about 7:20 a.m. to see how they promo their upcoming segments.

Here are examples of how they promoted the same “secondary” story more than once. See how they make it relevant to the viewer every time:

“Coming up: a new scam affecting your home computer. How you could be at risk.”

“New development in home computer scams: What you need to know “right now” to protect yourself.”

“What happens at the water cooler? New research on gossip”

“During football season, what you don’t know about keeping your food safe.”

“What you should know when you tailgate.”

Let’s be honest, not all stories covered by GMA are hot topics.

But the show “makes” them hot, by making all story promotions:

  • All about the viewer
  • A cliffhanger, or
  • A question

Here’s the thing, it might be hard at first, but you will build skill and subject line writing muscle if you keep writing subject lines that are “all about the reader.”

It gets much easier over time and the boost your open rates makes it rewarding.

CNN Promoted Stories are “bankable”

Another reference to see what headlines/subject lines are working is to go to Again, not an advertisement for CNN, but this is a great tool for you to use.

Here’s what you do:

  • Click on any story related to your services, products, or nonprofit mission (promoted stories aren’t on the home page)
  • Scroll all the way down to the bottom to the section titled “Promoted Stories”
  • These are stories promoted by the advertiser listed in the grey print right after the headline
  • Those headlines are “bankable” because they are constantly tested for performance
  • See the “recommended by Outbrain?” Outbrain is a company that specializes in driving traffic via click-throughs, so they are on top of all clicking trends in just about every industry.

Screenshot 2014-10-24 09.07.03

Want to get more specific with your audience?

Check out the “most clicked” stories, or the top 3 stories, on any publication related to your product or mission to see how they make the content relevant to the reader in the headline.

Better yet, know the publications your ideal customers or donors regularly read to see what kind of content and headlines they click on. Specialty magazines like these are “gold.”

  • Men’s Health
  • Good Housekeeping
  • Outside Magazine

What if you don’t like using “clickable” subject lines

Even if you personally don’t like it, or it’s not the way you talk about your mission or product, or maybe you feel it cheapens your mission, please keep in mind that your mission or business isn’t served when your emails aren’t opened.

Then go write a high opening subject line.


3 essentials to set your email marketing on fire

October 16, 2014

I cringe when I hear marketers coach you to grow your email list because a big email list is a “money machine,” or a ticket to “print cash.” There’s no denying that your email house file is a huge asset that can drive massive revenue… ….but only if you do it the right way. C’mon over […]

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Instantly boost your email copy writing for dazzling results

October 12, 2014

Who’s the best person to write your email copy? It’s not you. It’s your customer. It’s your donor. It’s the man, or woman, or teenager, or elderly donor, or 45 year old finance executive that’s reading your email. That person you want to take action. Here are 4 ways you can instantly boost your copy writing 1. […]

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It’s only 56 days until Thanksgiving

October 3, 2014

It’s only 56 days until Thanksgiving. Our biggest sales and donations quarter of the year has arrived. Time to gear up your year-end email marketing. This week I’m re-sharing my popular year-end fundraising series from last year, almost all of which is applicable to for-profit sales too. Year End Email Marketing Tips Your Campaign Brief […]

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Quick win: Turn your email signature into an effective call-to-action

September 26, 2014

Did you know that on average each of us sends, receives, and replies to about a 100 business emails per day? Want to get the most out of these 500 high-value impressions per week? Here’s an easy peasy quick win you can use in the next 5 minutes to boost your email list, or get a […]

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Here’s the best advice I got all week

September 19, 2014

Want to stand out in today’s digital communications? Make it easy for your reader. Be direct. And pass the 50 word test on your website, email, landing page, or blog to get higher conversions. What’s the 50 word test? It’s the best advice I got all week. I failed the 50 word test and will […]

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Wow! Here’s Your Social Media Post Cheat Sheet

September 11, 2014

My Clever Agency is living up to their name with this wildly useful Infographic shown below (keep scrolling). They give you social media posting template with annotated advice. I think the “timing” at the bottom of the Infograph is a bit of dodgy advice. I also encourage you to place your top keywords in your title, not […]

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It’s only 111 days till Christmas

September 5, 2014

More importantly, it’s only 84 days until Black Friday, when your year-end campaign becomes most visible. If you’re in retail or a nonprofit, you just shuddered reading this. This means you have about 83 days to prep for the season that drives, on average, 40% of your revenue. You’re up to the task. I believe […]

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