How to Use Video Sales Letters to Grow Your Health Business

Did you know that using video sales letters (VSL) in your marketing efforts can seriously ramp up your conversions?

If your health and wellness business isn’t already using video sales letters (VSL), you’re missing out on a great way to sell more products and services.

Using VSL can be much more effective for communicating your message to potential customers and clients, and for engaging and informing them.

Written content will often be skimmed or read at speed but video is much more likely to be consumed in full and can be hugely effective at keeping your audience interested. This is why even long form VSLs can perform a lot better than the equivalent amount of text on a sales page.

The end result? You can quickly build a solid relationship with your audience and move them along your sales funnel at a faster rate. It’s also a fun way to introduce prospects to your products or services.

If you’re targeting a younger audience in your marketing, stats point to video as a key way to engage them.

Chances are, your competition hasn’t started to use VSLs in their marketing. And that means that you can jump in and start engaging more potential customers and clients.

What to Know About Creating Effective Video Sales Letters

Chances are, your competition hasn’t started to use VSLs in their marketing. And that means that you can jump in and start engaging more potential customers and clients. 

Ready to learn some tips for writing a strong VSL script?

  • Tap into a major pain point that your audience is currently struggling with and make that clear from the very start of the video. Tell your viewers exactly what type of problem you’ll be solving for them by the end of the video. You can take this up a notch by letting them know why it’s important to tackle this problem right now. When it’s done right, this type of introduction will mean that your audience is desperate to find a solution to the problem … right now! 
  • Most viewers will have doubts or objections that make them reluctant to fully buy into the solution that you’re offering. This is part of human nature and you need to make sure that your VSL addresses these and overcomes them. 
  • Use as much data and research as you can to build trust with your audience. Let them know why they should put their trust in the solution you’re offering. 
  • Highlight the benefits that your product or service offers. This is where many businesses go wrong as it’s easy to slip into highlighting features, rather than the benefits. 
  • Keep a conversational tone to the script. Ideally, you want the script to be written as though the voiceover is speaking directly to your audience, in much the same way that a friend would talk to them. 
  • A strong call-to-action is really important. Written sales letters and sales pages always look to include this and VSLs are no different in that respect. Emotions such as fear can play a part here in convincing your audience that at best, nothing will change if they don’t take action (and that things could well get worse). 
  • Following this up with a no risk guarantee can take away one of the final doubts or objections that may still be lingering for your audience. 
  • Testimonials and other social proof can help your audience to feel compelled to buy. 


How to Write a Great About Page for Your Health Business

The About page is one of the most visited pages on the average website and for a lot of people, it’s also one of the most difficult to nail.

One big mistake that many health businesses make? Putting the focus solely on yourself and glossing over what you can do for your customers/clients.

Health and wellbeing is a hugely personal area and it’s vital to build trust as much as you can. Your About page is a great opportunity to do this, as long as you can strike the right tone and balance.

It’s true that your readers will usually want to know a little bit about who you are and what your business does but they have bigger concerns when they land on your About page … namely, how you can help them to improve their health and whether you’re the best fit for their needs. This is why it’s so important to write your About page with your audience in mind.

A few tips for writing an effective About page:

  • Have an in depth understanding of your audience before you write a single word of your About page. Not entirely sure who your customers/clients really are? Do a bit of delving first and get this part nailed. Doing this means you can resonate with your audience more effectively and they’ll know straight away if you’re the right fit for their needs.
  • Highlight your journey to where you are right now. A personal story can work great for this. Most readers will be turned off by a dry list of facts and you’re more likely to connect with them if they can see parts of themselves in your brand journey. This can be particularly effective if your journey was prompted by issues and problems that your audience is likely to be facing right now.
  • Focus on your customer needs. Briefly introducing a problem that your audience is facing can set this out right from the start. You don’t necessarily need to go deep in terms of emotions but you’ll want to make it obvious to your audience that you understand where they’re at and where they want to go in the future.
  • Once you’ve made it obvious how you can help your audience, you can move onto talking a little more personally about yourself. This isn’t always going to be relevant to your business but you can build more trust by doing it, especially if you’re a smaller company. Sharing personal info that isn’t relevant to your business (such as hobbies) can help you to connect on a deeper level with readers who are already sold on what you can do for them.
  • Finishing things off with a call-to-action (CTA) can avoid the chances of people moving away from your site without taking the time to connect with you for the future. A CTA can be anything from signing up to your newsletter to connecting with you on social media. Whatever you choose, try to make sure that it’s something that will keep you front of mind going forwards.
  • Don’t be afraid to weave in your personality, especially if you already have a fun brand voice on other pages of your website.

Health Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

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The Ketogenic Diet is all about encouraging your body to burn fat as its main fuel source, rather than glucose. This is known as ketosis and it can have a lot of benefits for your health. In a nutshell, the Keto diet is a high fat, low carb way of eating.

What Can the Keto Diet Do for Your Health?

You’ll probably have more energy. The first few days aside, a lot of people find that they have more energy when they’re following the keto diet and using fat as fuel.

It can help to manage type 2 diabetes. The carb restrictions can help to manage type 2 diabetes, according to studies. A one year study of people with type 2 diabetes found that being in ketosis led to more stable blood sugar levels. The Keto diet can also support weight loss, which is important for managing type 2 diabetes.

Heart health can improve. It’s true that you’re eating plenty of fat on the keto diet but these are good fats that support heart health. According to

studies, some of the cardiovascular markers that can be improved through a low carb diet include triglycerides and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. At the same time, levels of “good” HDL cholesterol improved.

Inflammation markers can reduce. These days, we know that inflammation is strongly linked to lots of health problems, including heart disease, autoimmune disease and diabetes. Following a low carb diet has shown great promise for reducing markers of inflammation, including high-sensitivity C-reaction proteins (hsCRPs) and white blood cell counts.

You might sleep better. After your body has adjusted to being in ketosis, you may find that your sleep is deeper and better quality than before.

Your cognition may improve. Early research has suggested that the brain might run more efficiently on ketones than glucose. Healthy fats can also help to protect your brain against inflammation. If you’ve been suffering from brain fog and other cognitive issues, going keto can potentially improve the situation.

It can reduce dangerous visceral fat. As you may know, storing too much fat around your middle is linked to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer’s Disease. Visceral fat is stored around your organs, namely the kidneys, liver and pancreas. It lies underneath the subcutaneous fat and it’s definitely not something you want to have a huge amount of. The Keto diet can help to cut visceral fat more effectively than low fat diets.

What About Side Effects?

There can be some side effects to deal with as your body moves into ketosis and these can start happening within days of first starting the Keto Diet. Some of the drawbacks include constipation, bad breath (that will often smell like nail varnish remover!), fatigue and flu-like symptoms. You might also find that it feels harder to exercise. These tend to disappear once your body gets used to being on the keto diet.

If you’re on medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before trying to go keto.

What to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet?

Most of your calories will come from fat and this accounts for as much as 70 per cent of what you eat each day. Alongside this, protein makes up another 15 to 25 per cent and the rest is carbohydrates.

Generally, you’ll be restricted to 20g of net carbs or less to get your body into ketosis. When your body doesn’t have enough carbs to burn for fuel, it’ll switch to fat instead.

Fat can come from avocado,  some nuts, coconut and olive oils and high fat dairy such as cheese and butter (preferably grass fed butter).

For protein, you can eat fish, unprocessed meat  (preferably grass fed) and eggs. You don’t need a huge amount of protein as keto is focused more on high fat than high protein.

What Not to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet?

With the Keto Diet, there’s a lot that you can’t eat. This includes grains, legumes, pulses, root veg and most fruit (excluding berries, which are okay to eat). Processed carb rich foods and sugary foods are out. That means no cake, biscuits, ice cream, rice, potato and pasta, for example.

Avoiding Weight Gain Over the Holidays

With so much tempting seasonal food on offer over the holiday season, it might seem inevitable that you’ll put on a few pounds. Between November and January, lots of us put on at least one extra pound (and sometimes a lot more!). And most people don’t lose this either, which is definitely a big incentive to try to avoid putting on extra weight over the holidays. With a few savvy tips, you can enjoy the holidays AND keep your weight under control.

Balance protein and carbs

During the holiday season, a lot of meals and snacks will be carb heavy with not much protein. This can ramp up your appetite as protein helps to fill you up and is also useful for maintaining a healthy weight. Trying to balance carbs with some protein can be super important for avoiding overeating. Adding some meat, poultry and fish to your plate over the holiday season can help with this.

Don’t skimp on fiber

Another nutrient that holiday food can lack is fiber. This can also help to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Vegetables, legumes, whole grain, nuts and seeds all add some all important fiber to meals and snacks.

Bring your own dishes

If you’re invited to a holiday party and are worried that the dishes on offer will hinder your efforts to not gain weight, ask your host if they’re okay with you taking along your own healthy dish. This gives you a lot more control over what you’re served as you can make sure that it’s healthy and filling.

Work in extra activity

Look for ways to get a little more active while you’re running holiday related errands. Park the car further away from the store, for example. It’s super easy to get more steps in without doing anything special. And it’ll probably be easier to get a parking space too!

Get active with family and friends

If you usually sit around with friends and family during the holiday season, try getting a bit more active together. Even if it’s just a gentle walk, it’s a lot better than nothing. Plus, you won’t be focused on food!

Don’t skimp on sleep

Burning the midnight oil during the holiday season can make you more likely to put on weight. That’s because not getting enough sleep makes you snack more, according to studies. Lack of sleep can also throw your metabolism out and make it harder to keep your weight under control.

Keep stress under control

The holidays can be a super stressful time and this can be bad news for your weight. Chronic stress can mean a continuous production of cortisol, a stress hormone that is released during the stress response. High cortisol levels are linked to weight gain, especially belly fat, and you’re more likely to turn to unhealthy foods.

If you start to feel overwhelmed with everything you have to do during the holiday season, taking steps to manage your stress levels can help to control your appetite and weight. Meditation, mindfulness, yoga and journaling can all help with this.

Factor in liquid calories

It’s not just the contents of your plate that matters from a weight gain perspective … what you’re drinking can be super important too. Sugary and alcoholic drinks can be a huge culprit in consuming extra calories and they’re widely available throughout the holiday season. This can mean that you end up putting on weight, even if you’re really careful with eating. Drinking alcohol can also mean that you snack more, which is a double whammy for weight gain. Sticking to one or two drinks and alternating with water in between can help to manage both the calories in your drinks and on your plate.

Downsize your plate

The bigger your plate, the more likely you are to eat more so it makes sense to swap down to a smaller plate. This might seem obvious but making a simple change like this can make a big difference as to whether you gain weight over the holidays or not. Experts tend to agree that more white space encourages the need to cover it with food so the less white space you have, the better! Another trick is to cover the white space with salad to fool your brain into putting less food on the plate.

Rope in a like minded buddy

If you have a friend who is also committed to avoiding weight gain over the holidays, get them on board as an accountability buddy. Check in with each other regularly to talk about your goals and any temptation you encounter. It’s only human to feel tempted by delicious looking holiday food but a quick chat with a like minded buddy can get you back on track.

7 Ways Ginger Can Improve Your Health

7-ways-ginger-can-improve-your-healthGinger is often used in recipes as an ingredient to add flavour and has long been a staple in Asian cuisine. This isn’t the only reason to use it; this spice also has some pretty powerful health benefits too!

Here are some of the roles it can play:

#1 It’s Anti Inflammatory and Antibiotic

Ginger has been used for many years as a herbal medicine, largely due to the fact that gingerol (the main bioactive compound) has been found to have anti inflammatory properties.

Studies have also shown that ginger can have antibiotic properties and fight against infections. In particular, it can protect against bacteria that can lead to gum disease.

#2 It Can Lower Cholesterol

Studies have indicated that ginger has the potential for lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, even in people with high cholesterol.

Research on rats has shown that ginger extract can lower LDL cholesterol and can even achieve the same effects as cholesterol medications.

Another study on individuals with high cholesterol found that taking 3g of ginger powder for 45 days led to impressive decreases in a range of cholesterol markers, including LDL cholesterol.

More research still needs to be done to confirm whether ginger has the potential to protect against heart disease.

#3 It Can Reduce Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Research has suggested that ginger can help to reduce the discomfort of osteoarthritis, a painful condition affecting the joints.

In one study, those who took ginger extract twice daily for 6 weeks experienced less pain in their knees on standing and felt comfortable taking lesser amounts of pain medication compared to the control group.

In another study by the University of Miami, osteoarthritis sufferers were weaned off anti inflammatory and painkilling medications and split into 2 groups. Over the 6 week study period, the group taking 255g of ginger two times per day noted more significant improvements in pain relief than the placebo group and found it easier to walk 50 feet.

#4 It May Improve Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics

One small scale study conducted in type 2 diabetics in 2015 found that taking 2g of ginger powder per day led to a reduced fasting blood sugar of 12 per cent and HbA1c (a blood sugar marker) by 10 per cent over a period of 12 weeks. There were decreased risk factors for heart disease too.

The study group contained less than 50 people so the results are by no means conclusive but researchers have strong hopes it could signify that ginger has impressive health benefits for type 2 diabetics.

#5 It Can Help the Stomach to Empty More Quickly

Studies have shown that ginger can encourage the stomach to empty itself more quickly than it would otherwise, which can benefit people suffering from chronic indigestion.

In one study, eating ginger after having a bowl of soup led to the stomach emptying after 12 minutes, compared to the previous time of 16 minutes.

Another study showed similar results, with the stomach also demonstrating on a “half emptying” time.

#6 It Can Reduce Menstrual Discomfort

Studies have showed that ginger can be successfully used to relieve menstrual pain for women.

In  one study, the ginger group  took 250mg capsules four times per day for the first 3 days of their period while the other group took 400mg ibuprofen or 250mg mefenamic acid capsules for the same time period. Ginger was found to be just as effective as both other pain relief options.

#7 It Could Treat Some Forms of Cancer

Research has suggested that ginger could have a big role to play in treating certain types of cancer, including ovarian cancer.

A study carried out by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Centre found that ginger powder had the ability to kill ovarian cancer cells. Their research involved applying a paste of ginger and water to ovarian cancer cells, all of which died as a result of the contact.

This was just an initial study and there’s still a lot more research to be done to see if ginger could be used as an effective cancer treatment in the future.

Research has also shown great potential for ginger to fight the growth of colorectal cancer cells. A study by the University of Minnesota carried out on mice found that taking gingerol three times per week slowed down the growth of these type of cancer cells so that tumours grew less quickly.

How to Use Ginger

Ginger is a pretty versatile spice and can be used in a variety of ways. Some ideas include:

  • Adding small amounts of fresh ginger to smoothies and juices/shakes
  • Adding a pinch or two of powdered ginger to soups, sauces and even salad dressings
  • Adding 3/4 teaspoon of chopped fresh ginger to hot water to make fresh ginger tea

When you’re buying it, fresh organic ginger is your best bet. If you prefer the dried organic versions, these are generally thought to have the same benefits as fresh organic ginger.

 

 

 

 

IBS and Your Diet

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If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you know the misery, pain and discomfort that happens when something triggers your symptoms.

Stress can play a big role in this but food will often be a culprit too,

Many people find that certain foods trigger symptoms of IBS but these can vary from person to person.

Some foods have more potential than others on the IBS front, although they won’t necessarily cause problems for you.

Because some foods will be a trigger for some people but not for others, the same advice won’t work for everyone with IBS. You’ll need to find out what your personal situation is and adapt your diet accordingly.

Foods That Can Trigger IBS Symptoms

High-Fat Foods: Foods that are high in fat can stimulate the gut in general so they’re not the best option for IBS sufferers. A lot of processed foods fall into this category such as pizza, French fries and fried chicken.

High FODMAP Foods: Foods that have higher FODMAP content can be an issue for IBS sufferers. The theory is that these foods encourage a greater amount of gas in the intestines, which can lead to abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.

A lot of fruits and vegetables can be problematic if you have IBS due to their FODMAP content but some do have a lower FODMAP. This includes bananas, blueberries, grapes, lemons, limes, honeydew melon, olives, oranges, pineapples, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, papaya, Bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, green beans, kale, lettuce, potatoes,  parsnips, squash, tomatoes, turnips and zucchini .

Grains with a low FODMAP include quinoa, brown rice, bulgur wheat, oats and spelt .

Legumes: A lot of people with IBS can’t tolerate legumes due to their carb content. This is largely because they’re quite difficult to digest and can lead to a buildup of gas in the intestines. Some of the legumes that can be a problem include baked beans, butter beans, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, soybeans, split peas and black-eyed peas.

Insoluble Fiber: Foods that are high in insoluble fiber can cause abdominal pain and other IBS symptoms, including whole grain breads, high bran cereals and brown rice. You may want to limit your intake of these foods if they prove to be a trigger but it’s best not to cut them out altogether unless you’re advised to by your doctor.

Fructose: The sugars found in fruits can trigger IBS symptoms so you may find it helpful to eat less fruit and use vegetables as the bulk of your 5 a day.

Sorbitol:  This artificial sweetener can encourage diarrhoea if you’re susceptible to this. It can be found in some diet foods, as well as sugar-free chewing gum and mints.

Caffeine: Coffee and other caffeinated drinks (such as fizzy drinks) can trigger IBS symptoms for some people. If this is the case for you, it’s a good idea to limit how much tea, coffee and cola you drink in the average day.

Spicy Foods: Spicy foods can be a big IBS trigger and you’re more likely to have problems if you’re eating foods with chilli in. A study has suggested that some people with IBS have more of a certain nerve fibre that leads to pain if they eat chilli peppers. If this happens to you, now you know why spicy foods cause you so much discomfort!

Finding Your IBS Trigger(s)

Sometimes, it will be obvious which foods  are triggering your IBS symptoms but in a lot of cases, it can be more difficult.

Keeping a food diary is one of the most effective ways to try to pinpoint which foods are causing your IBS symptoms. This can help you to see if your symptoms flare up on days when you have certain foods or drinks and you may be able to spot a pattern over several weeks.

Eliminating Certain Foods

If you suspect that one or more foods are causing your IBS symptoms, an elimination diet is the easiest way to see if this is definitely the case.

If it’s just the one food that seems to be the problem, you can try cutting this out for a while and seeing if it makes any difference to your symptoms.

If more than one food is a possible culprit, it can be more complicated. You could try cutting them out one by one, or the other alternative is to remove them all from your diet and then introduce them back in gradually to see how many of them trigger symptoms.

General Diet Related Advice

  • Smaller meals spread out throughout the day can work better than 3 larger meals. These tend to be easier to digest.
  • Savour your meals and don’t rush through them. “Bolting” your food can trigger IBS symptoms even if none of the foods in it is a trigger.

3 Secrets to Writing Compelling Blog Post Introductions

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Aside from the title, what part of your blog post needs the most work?

If you said the main body, your blog stats are probably telling you that you’ve got a high bounce rate and people aren’t hanging around to read your posts.

How do I know this? Because you’re not recognising how important the first few sentences of your posts are.

It doesn’t matter how great the rest of your post is as they simply won’t get that far if you don’t hook them from the get got.

This is why you need to pay special attention to the opening of your posts and get to grips with some of the tried-and-tested ways to grab your reader’s attention:

Ask a Question

I started this post with a rhetorical question as it’s one of the most effective ways to draw your readers in and make them think right from the off.

When we’re asked a question, we usually want to answer it (subconsciously, if nothing else!) and that’s the simple reason that this tip works so well.

Ideally, you’ll follow this up with an answer – mostly straight away but sometimes you’ll see bloggers keep an air of mystery in the introduction and keep readers guessing for a little bit longer.

There are two ways that asking questions can help you to connect with readers.

The first option is to lead with a question that they can relate to. This can be to do with a problem that they want to solve or a situation that resonates with them. This gets them thinking, which is a great way to get them engaged in your post from the very beginning.

My opening to this post veered more towards this one as I wanted to gauge how much emphasis you place on introductions. Some of you may have known the answer but if you’re not a blogger, you may have assumed that the nitty gritty of a post is always the most crucial bit to work on.

Neil Patel also uses this tactic in this post:

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Alternatively, you can go with a burning question that your readers will be desperate to know the answer to.

Using a question doesn’t have to be the very first part of your introduction. You may choose to use it after another tactic, for example.

Anecdotes or Stories

If they’re interesting and have some relevance to the post, anecdotes can be an intriguing way to open a blog post.

If it’s done well, you won’t be left wondering where the blogger is going with the anecdote or analogy as they’ll be able to tie it seamlessly back to their blog topic.

 

Here’s here CoSchedule have used this to great effect in this post:

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As you can see, this anecdote is immediately intriguing. Bet you really wanted to find out what happened 7 years ago that was so memorable, right?

Anecdotes can take a few different forms. They can be personal and relate back to something that has happened to you, or they can be about other people (as the CoSchedule example above demonstrates). Either way, it’s got to be interesting and have a strong connection to your blog topic … even if this isn’t immediately obvious to the reader until you elaborate and tie it into the theme.

Stats

Incorporating facts and stats into introductions backs up the points you’re making  and sets the scene for why you’re writing the post in the first place. This kind of opening tells your readers exactly why they should care about the topic in question and can work better in a lot of situations than leading with personal anecdotes or stories.

Here’s how Neil Patel uses stats in the opening for his post on creating great graphics to use on social media:

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The Bottom Line …

Introductions are a key chance to hook your reader and make them feel that your post is going to be relevant to them. In fact, it’s your only chance as most people will simply move on if they don’t connect with what you’re saying. Get this part right, and there’s a much bigger chance that the rest of your post will actually get read.

 

 

What Exactly Does a Social Media Manager Do?

Social media management skills are in strong demand right now as more businesses look to build a strong presence on social networks. There are now a whole array of full-time jobs specifically based around managing a company’s social media activities, which may lead you to wonder what exactly a social media manager does.

I’ve been a freelance social media manager for over 5 years now, and have taken partial or full control of social media accounts for a range of companies. This involves a number of different skills, including:

Content Creation

Creating content to use in social media posts probably seems like an obvious task for a social media manager but this can actually be quite a complex challenge.

It’s getting increasingly difficult to cut through the noise on social media and stand out and that’s without taking Facebook’s many algorithm changes into account.

Creating the right kind of content that your audience will love and that will encourage them to engage with you through likes, comments, shares and re-tweets is a lot harder than many people assume and it’s all too easy to get it wrong. Many brands do far too much of the “hard sell”, for example, or post content that they think that their audience will want to see and wonder why they’re not getting huge engagement.

There’s no magic formula for the kind of content that works well for a particular company but a good social media manager will do some experimenting to see what works well and stay on top of trends that might have an impact on their content strategy.

Content Strategy

Knowing what to post on social media isn’t luck; it’s the result of meticulous planning in the form of a content strategy. This takes into account your goals for using social media and the most appropriate ways to achieve this through your content. As well as your posts themselves, you’ll also need to think about blog content. An effective social media manager can put this strategy into place, refer back to it repeatedly and where necessarily, revise it to stay on track with your goals and on top of ever changing trends in social media.

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Content Curation

Posting your own content is all very well but curating and posting great content from other sources can grow trust and authority with your audience. Finding content and scheduling it can be time consuming but a good social media manager will know the go-to industry sources and the tools to make life easier.

Community Management/Engagement

If your social media efforts are going well, you’ll have an engaged community that frequently interacts with your content and a steady stream of current and prospective customers who want to know more about you. Customer service is crucial on social media and most people expect a timely response to their communications, especially for questions and enquiries.

Depending on what kind of company you are and how many interactions you get in the average day, this may be too much for you to manage by yourself and many choose to pass this over to a social media manager. They can respond to comments and enquiries and where necessary, liase with customer services or sales staff for more in depth queries.

Monitoring/ROI

How do you know if your social media efforts are really working? Numbers and engagement tell some of the story but you need to dig deeper to see how you’re doing in comparison with your goals for using social media. Things like traffic, email sign ups and conversions can all highlight whether social media is having a positive effect for your company’s bottom line.

 

 

How to Write Compelling Marketing Emails

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If it’s done well, email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to build a stronger relationship with customers and get a better return for your efforts compared to a lot of other types of marketing.

Getting it right in terms of copy is absolutely vital if you want to make email marketing work for you. It’s not always as easy as you might think to write a persuasive email that doesn’t come on too strong and is genuinely useful for your subscribers, while also encouraging them to take the action that you had intended (whether this be clicks, registrations or actual sales).

Here are some tips for crafting highly effective marketing emails.

Getting the Subject Line Right

One area that you definitely shouldn’t neglect is your email’s subject line. This alone will determine whether subscribers open the email or just delete it. Most people will only take a matter of seconds to decide whether they want to open an email so you need to get this right. If you don’t nail the subject line, the hard work that you put into the email’s main body will be a complete waste of time as your subscribers won’t actually read it at all.

A good subject line will pique interest without being too much of a hard sell. Actionable language can work well here, as can a sense of urgency to take action right now. Above all, your email subject line needs to let readers know what they’ll get if they open the message. Misleading subject lines can encourage people to open the email but if the content isn’t what they were expecting, it also makes it more likely that they will avoid opening future emails or unsubscribe from your mailing list. As a worst case scenario, they may even flag you up as spam.

How to Write The Main Body of the Email

The main body of the email needs to expand on the subject line and usually has a call-to-action (which is the main reason for sending out the email in the first place!). This can take a number of forms, including click throughs and registrations.

To start off with, it’s useful to remind the reader of your relationship and why you’re contacting them. Did they register for something, for example? In many cases, the rest of the email won’t have much relevance if you don’t set out the context.

Regardless of what you’re hoping to achieve through the email, always play up the benefits for the reader. What will they get out of clicking through to a particular landing page or reading your latest blog post? How will a particular product or service change their life? It might seem obvious to you but you’ll need to spell out to your readers exactly why they should do as you suggest, rather than hoping that they connect the dots.

A conversational tone works best in most marketing emails and it’s an ideal chance to inject some personality into your brand’s marketing. Ideally, you’ll want to aim your tone at the reader, rather than including “I” or “we” throughout.

One call-to-action per email is enough; anything more than that is known to lower the potential for click throughs. Most people will only perform one action off the back of an email and won’t return to it to for a second click through.

How Long Should a Marketing Email Be?

Be as concise as possible when writing a marketing email. Most people only scan through their emails, especially marketing ones, so you risk losing their attention if your email is more than a few short paragraphs. If you have lots of say about a product or service, send readers to a custom landing page where they can read about the benefits in more detail but don’t try to include this level of information in the email itself. Stick to punchy copy that is designed to encourage readers to take action.

Text and layout are key here in helping readers to skim through the content without missing anything important. Your call-to-action is usually hyperlinked and will therefore be a different colour to the rest of the text but you can go a step further by making it bold and more eye catching so that readers literally cannot miss seeing it.

Why Does Email Marketing Work?

A lot is due to people wanting to stay informed while on the go via their mobiles. The vast majority of consumers will at least open an email from a brand that they have agreed to receive emails from, whereas social media messages have a shorter shelf life and can easily be missed.

Another factor is that subscribers have chosen to be connected to your brand via email and to take their relationship with you a step further by doing this. Assuming that you’re going out of your way to make their life better through your emails, they can therefore be a lot more receptive to being prompted to buy from you via an email.

Can You Do Social Media in 15 Mins Per Day?

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You’ve probably heard experts say that you only need to put 15 minutes aside each day for your social media efforts but how true is this really?

How Much Can You Realistically Do in 15 Minutes?

Let’s face it: 15 minutes is not a very long window of opportunity and it doesn’t give you much time to go much beyond putting out your planned posts, even if you schedule them for the coming day.

Assuming that you’re not just pushing out glorified sales messages all the time, you’re also going to need time to curate content from other sources that will add value for your audience. This means looking for third party content that will inform and engage your fans and help them to be invested in your brand. Doing this thoroughly every day will likely take all of your alloted 15 minutes and realistically, it could take longer than this if you’re choosing content that will work well for each network. What works for your audience on Facebook won’t necessarily perform well on Twitter so you’re probably going to need to spend a bit of extra time selecting types of content that you know has a better chance of engaging your followers on that particular platform.

Why You’re Going to Need Longer Than 15 Minutes

Curating relevant content isn’t the only task that you’re going to struggle to fit into a 15 minute “social media” window. Interacting with your followers, responding to customer service questions and enquiries and generally being a sociable brand that people will want to engage with just isn’t going to happen if you’re only spending a maximum of 15 minutes per day on your social media.

A fairly established brand that is making a big effort to be approachable on social media will have lots of opportunities to engage with fans, whether this is through answering their service/product related messages or responding to their comments on posts. If you can factor interactions into a quarter of an hour and share a mixture of useful content from yourself and other people, it’s fair to say that you’re not using social media as well as you could. The bigger brands often have dedicated customer service accounts due to the amount of enquiries that they field in the average day but even a relatively small brand could find themselves needing to do more in terms of customer support than they can realistically manage in such a short window of time, especially if they’re using social media well.

Failing to acknowledge your audience and not answering their queries can turn them off your brand in favour of a competitor but many brands still don’t recognise the importance and value of strong and timely customer service. When a potential customer contacts you for the first time on social media, you may not be the only brand that they are considering using and a fairly quick response that tells them what they need to know can mean that you actually make the sale – especially if your competitors are lax on the customer service front.

Many brands don’t realise that they need to “warm up” potential customers before they are likely to buy from them, and this can involve interacting with a lot of posts and asking questions about products before they commit. If you’re only pushing out sales messages and aren’t taking the time to engage with your audience, there’s a good chance that fans will unfollow you and never get as far as buying from you.

What If You Don’t Have Enough Time?

Hopefully by now, you understand the benefits of spending more than just 15 minutes on your social media efforts. Trouble is, you probably bought into the whole “15 minutes only” advice because you don’t have a lot of additional time to spare away from the nitty gritty of running your business. This might feel like a catch-22 situation in which you know you ought to spend more time on your social media but you’re scared of stretching yourself too thinly if you do so.

One option you might want to think about is outsourcing some or all of our social media efforts to a social media manager. This lets you save time and stress, and you can be confident that engaging social media content will be posted regularly and that it offers value and interest for your audience. Worried that someone else won’t be able to replicate your brand’s voice? The best social media managers will be able to post engaging content that is genuinely useful for your fans and speak to them in your brand’s voice. Even if you don’t really have a voice right now, they can help you to find one that works for your brand. Handing over partial or total control of your social media accounts isn’t as scary as it might seem.

Worried that someone else won’t be able to replicate your brand’s voice? The best social media managers will be able to post engaging content that is genuinely useful for your fans and speak to them in your brand’s voice. Even if you don’t really have a voice right now, they can help you to find one that works for your brand. Handing over partial or total control of your social media accounts isn’t as scary as it might seem.

Handing over partial or total control of your social media accounts isn’t as scary as it might seem. A social media manager will work with you to create a content plan before they officially start working on them so you’ll know what kind of content is going to be posted and how they’ll interact with your followers. Tools like HootSuite can make it easy for you to work together on the customer service side of things, and you can be “assigned” any messages that can’t be answered by your social media manager without confirmation or elaboration from yourself before they respond.

How I Can Help

If your business needs some support with their social media or blogging, get in touch with me to discuss how I could help!

I’ve worked with a range of brands to help them to get targeted followers (that are genuinely interested in the type of products/services they offer), drive traffic back to their website, attract new leads and generally be more productive on social media. I’ve got experience in the pet care, food, tourism, digital marketing, insurance and charity sectors in particular.

Take a look at my Social Media Management page for more details on my packages and prices.