ConvertKit – Email Marketing For Bloggers

ConvertKit – Email Marketing For Bloggers

ConvertKit is an email marketing platform that has built its reputation as being the go-to email provider for professional bloggers.

One of the claims made by ConvertKit on their website is that their product has “The power of Infusionsoft, but easier to use than MailChimp.” That’s a bold claim because Infusionsoft is very powerful indeed and is the email automation “engine” that sits behind many high-powered and often complex email marketing campaigns.

So, is it true? How Powerful is ConvertKit

Well, the thing that makes Infusionsoft so powerful is its campaign builder. Drag and drop flowchart or workflow based schematic campaign building that can deal with almost any kind of email marketing automation rules. Does ConvertKit have that – no. However, it does have a rules-based automation system which is, in itself, powerful and effective. The main selling point is that their system gives you all the power of systems like Infusionsoft but is simpler to use.

ConvertKit Email Marketing

When this happens – do that. Rule based email automation.

ConvertKit isn’t just about email marketing and automation though. There are lots of other features that will make it attractive not only to bloggers, at whom it is primarily aimed, but also to  a wider spectrum of internet publishers. These include Form Building, a Landing Page Builder, a Book Marketing tool and a wide range of pre-built integrations.

Integrations are a vital part of a system like this and all the names you’d expect to see are there including e-commerce providers like Shopify and Woocommerce, lead capture services like Unbounce and Leadpages and membership system such as Member Mouse and Rainmaker. Other services can be integrated using zapier for which there is also support.

My personal take on this is that ConvertKit provides the facilities and resources that email marketers, and of course bloggers, need but in a more accessible and easy-to-use way than Infusionsoft and some of the higher-end packages like Marketo and Hubspot. It’s also significantly cheaper – at least for those with modest numbers of contacts on their list.

ConvertKit Pricing

The entry level plan starts at $29/month and gives you storage for up to 1000 contacts. You can send unlimited emails to your contacts on any of their plans – even the cheapest. The price does rise as the size of your mailing list increases but that is pretty much standard practice and even if you reach the dizzying heights of a 5K opted-in list you’ll only pay $79/month. Beyond that, however, the price is not published and, in reality, most email marketers need to have lists that are substantially bigger than 5K contacts so if you have, or intend to have, a really large list it would be best to get a quote first.

We haven’t carried out a full-feature ConvertKit review yet but plan to do so – see the review button on the right for updates on that.

ConvertKit

Where To Find It
https://convertkit.com/
Product Type
Email automation platform
Paid/Free
Paid, Various Options
Free Trial Available
N0
Price
Entry level plan $29/month for up to 1000 contacts.

Online Quiz Creator – How to Generate Leads with Quizzes

Online Quiz Creator – How to Generate Leads with Quizzes

Online Quiz Creator – it does what it says on the tin

Online Quiz Creator is a better than average quiz creation platform which, for a reasonable monthly fee, including a completely free version with limited capability, enables you to build quite respectable online quizzes.

We’ve seen more than 3 million new leads collected using quizzes, often at a cost of less than $0.50 each which is fantastic value when acquiring new contacts that could turn into customers if properly nurtured. Online Quiz Creator is a low-cost solution to creating and managing quizzes on your WordPress website and if lead generation or conversion rates are an issue for you then this is an avenue you should certainly explore.

Quiz Works Online Quiz Creator

Since it became better known that quizzes, competitions, questionnaires and surveys were more effective at gaining people’s attention and engagement on Social Media and elsewhere than other types of content, there seems to be an abundance of Quiz making software on the market. Which is good.

Upon closer inspection however, some are better than others and some are quite lame by comparison to the best of breed which, right now, is probably Dialogr.

But what of Online Quiz Creator, what’s on offer there and how does it compare?

Well, the range of quizzes that can be built certainly seems comprehensive and would, I’m sure, meet the needs of most people. Those people requiring something a bit special, more sophisiticated perhaps, might find it runs out of steam but it’s well worth considering before moving onto the more expensive options especially since a free account with limited capability is on offer.

Firstly, Online Quiz Creator lets you create quizzes that can be run on any platform – mobile, tablet or desktop.

Next, it offers a range of variations, as can be seen on the next image:

We’ve tried to build some fairly complex quizzes in this package, so that we can write a meaningful Quiz Works review at some point in the future, and we have been very impressed with the results.

Built In LMS Option.

One of the barriers to delivering online quizzes to customers or, for example, employees within a ompany, has been the need for an LMS – Learning Management System. Historically these have been quite expensive and out of reach for many. Now, Quiz Works have addressed that with Online Quiz Creator which has its own low cost LMS.

A range of plans to suit all types of organisation.

Online Quiz Creator offers a completely free of charge entry level plan (known as the “Tiny Owl” plan) which should be more than adequate for you to evauate the package with. Paid plans, which open up more options, begin at $20/month for the “Smart Owl” plan and go up to the $99/month “Corporate Owl”.

Online Quiz Creator – Pricing & Plan Details

There’s also the option of a free demo – guided by one of their staff, to really show you what the package can do. You will also find a range of sample quizzes for you to try.

This is a major breakthrough in quiz making software that doesn’t cost a fortune or need an IT team to operate. It’s relatively cheap and very easy to use – we recommend Online Quiz Creator as being at least “worth a look” – here’s the link: https://www.onlinequizcreator.com/

See other quiz creation tools here: http://www.thedigitalmarketingdirectory.com/form-builders-quizzes/ 

Online Quiz Creator

Where To Find It

https://www.onlinequizcreator.com/

Paid/Free?

Free & Paid Options

Free Trial Available?

Yes

Price

Plans start at $20/month.

Speak2Leads – Turn Emails Into Inbound Sales Calls

Speak2Leads – Turn Emails Into Inbound Sales Calls

Unbounce is a landing page building system for small businesses but it is equally of interest to agencies and web developers. I don’t want to be unfair to them but I think it would be reasonable to say that Unbounce is probably still in the shadow of LeadPages and OptimizePress when it comes to landing page building environments.

That should change – this is a serious contender for my landing page builder service of choice – it isn’t quite there yet but watch this space.

So why do I think that Unbounce Landing Page Builder is capable of occupying such hallowed territory?

The answer is all about attitude. The Unbounce website is like a breath of fresh air, it clearly states what the system does and offers potential new users a completely free trial of one month.

So many software companies offer a few days and expect you to be able to evaluate their system in that time but 30 days is more realistic and enables you to really get “under the hood” and test it out thoroughly. There are lots of examples and the service has over 200 templates to get you going fast – here are a few examples:

Unbounce The Landing Page Builder for Marketers (1)

Just a few of the landing page templates supplied with Unbounce

Support resources are also excellent with tutorials being available for many requirements – lots of other services could learn from this example.

There’s a WordPress publishing option too which makes it a viable option for thousands of site developers who live and breath WordPress, as I do. Other integrations include MailChimp, Marketo and Infusionsoft so the hard-core email marketers will be happy.

If you do decide to use Unbounce then pricing plans start at $49. Support is good although it’s a shame they don’t have a UK office, or even a EU location, which means that time zone issues are likely to hold you up and that may be a concern for developers.

Nonetheless, the pro’s definitely outweigh the cons and I recommend that you take them up on that free trial real soon.

Speak2Leads

Where To Find It
http://www.speak2leads.com
Product Type
Landing page builder
Paid/Free
Paid, Various Options
Free Trial Available
Yes – 30 days
Price
From $49/month.

Increase Your Market Share With Lookalike Audiences

Increase Your Market Share With Lookalike Audiences

How many customers don’t you have? – find out with lookalike audiences

That’s right, I know it sounds like a nonsensical question at first but think about it. You know, near enough, how many customers or clients you have but do you really know what percentage of the total available business that is? How many people out there could be your customer, because you provide the product or service they require, but are not?

The problem isn’t unusual – most businesses are actually only selling to a fraction of their potential market. Now, thanks to services provided by Google, Facebook, Twitter and others, including LinkedIn, it is possible to get a much more accurate idea of how big your total market is and how you can target those potential customers who, at the moment, are not aware of you and what you do.

Google “Similar To” or Lookalike Audiences.

One of the benefits of setting up Google’s Remarketing option in your AdWords account is that it enables you to build rule-based “audiences.” So, you could, for example, build an audience comprising of people who had visited a particular page, or group of pages, on your website. We would then know that these people were interested in the product shown on those pages. This becomes a “remarketing audience” and you can target those people as they move around the web, visiting other websites that are part of Google’s Display Network. When this happens you can then show them an ad that will remind them of your offer or proposition and encourage them to return to your website. This process is called remarketing, (by Google) and “retargeting” by everyone else.

Once you create an audience Google works a little bit of magic and creates another audience for you – its called “similar to (whatever you called your original audience)” You will almost always find that the number of people in these audiences is higher than that of your original group. That’s because a similar to audience includes people who have made similar searches to the ones who visited your website and those pages that were specified for the particular audience in question but did not visit your site – instead they probably went to one of your competitors.

This is where you can get an idea of the proportion of the total market that you are getting. If your audience for people who visited your pages where you sell, say, ballet shoes, is 1000 people and the “similar to” audience for the same criteria is 20,000 then you know that you are missing out on more than 95% of the total available market at that time. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all have similar facilities.

How Can You Use Lookalike Audiences To Grow Your Customer Base?

You could just remarket to those audiences and hope that some of them are ready to buy. Statistically, some of them will be. But many more of them will not! So how can you position yourself to be number one in their mind when they finally are ready to make a purchase?

One way, favoured by Internet marketers the world over, is called “automated marketing” and makes use of an automated marketing funnel. You show an ad to the people on the lookalike audience but give them an option if they are not ready to buy. It could be anything, a free catalogue, a free discount voucher, free delivery, the list is endless. In order to get the offer however, the user has to give you their email address. Once you have them on your system, all tagged up with details of which audience they are in and what their browsing pattern has been, you can send them regular emails to keep them interested and to keep your name in their mind. Subsequent conversions happen at a much higher rate using this method.

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Places Scout – Lead Generation & Local Marketing Supertool

Places Scout – Lead Generation & Local Marketing Supertool

Places Scout is a powerful and versatile suite of tools for Local SEO and Lead Generation. If generating leads or optimising your business for local visibility is part of your Digital Marketing Strategy then Places Scout is well worth taking a closer look. Here’s our mini Places Scout review.

I have been a user of Places Scout since it came out as an online tool, (it was previously available only as a downloadable resource that you ran from your PC). The system has really come of age with the release of the online version and it comes with a strong recommendation. Places Scout gives you all the tools you need to market a local business, including citations, reviews, competitive analysis, local rank tracking and so on but it isn’t limited to local SEO – far from it.

Places Scout

What’s Included In Places Scout?

The primary function of Places Scout is to create contacts lists, or leads. in defined areas for defined keywords. So. if you wanted a list of locksmiths in Cambridge, or solicitors in Bath, this is the tool for you. Not only will you get the names but also email addresses, web details, MOZ & Majestic backlink and SEO details plus comprehensive social media data as well. Places Scout will tell you if the business it finds are verified with Google My business and Google+.

You can, in most cases, filter out data that you don’t need. There’s also a nice Citation research facility and good competitor analysis tools as well.

Added to that, there’s review monitoring and rank tracking plus a facility to carry out business listing audits – very handy for small SEO agencies and consultants.

In terms of value for money, it’s all down to volume. For smaller, localised jobs it’s very affordable but if you were generating big lists you would need to keep an eye on the costs as the credit system can start to rack up. Nonetheless, Places Scout is so powerful and yet simple to use  that you almost don’t mind the cost. It works and it does a great job.

There’s a free trial so I would urge you to try that if you need to do any of the things that Places Scout does. The paid plans start at $19.99/month for up to 250 leads per month. Support is very good and they get back to you quickly when anything goes wrong. If lead generation or local SEO is part of your digital marketing strategy then Places Scout is probably a must.

Places Scout

Where To Find It
https://www.placesscout.com
Product Type
Lead Generation, Keyword Rank Tracker & Local SEO Tools
Paid/Free
Paid, Various Options
Free Trial Available
Yes
Price
From $19.99/month

Unbounce – Landing Page Builder

Unbounce – Landing Page Builder

Unbounce is a landing page building system for small businesses but it is equally of interest to agencies and web developers. I don’t want to be unfair to them but I think it would be reasonable to say that Unbounce is probably still in the shadow of LeadPages and OptimizePress when it comes to landing page building environments.

That should change – this is a serious contender for my landing page builder service of choice – it isn’t quite there yet but watch this space.

So why do I think that Unbounce Landing Page Builder is capable of occupying such hallowed territory?

The answer is all about attitude. The Unbounce website is like a breath of fresh air, it clearly states what the system does and offers potential new users a completely free trial of one month.

So many software companies offer a few days and expect you to be able to evaluate their system in that time but 30 days is more realistic and enables you to really get “under the hood” and test it out thoroughly. There are lots of examples and the service has over 200 templates to get you going fast – here are a few examples:

Unbounce The Landing Page Builder for Marketers (1)

Just a few of the landing page templates supplied with Unbounce

Support resources are also excellent with tutorials being available for many requirements – lots of other services could learn from this example.

There’s a WordPress publishing option too which makes it a viable option for thousands of site developers who live and breath WordPress, as I do. Other integrations include MailChimp, Marketo and Infusionsoft so the hard-core email marketers will be happy.

If you do decide to use Unbounce then pricing plans start at $49. Support is good although it’s a shame they don’t have a UK office, or even a EU location, which means that time zone issues are likely to hold you up and that may be a concern for developers.

Nonetheless, the pro’s definitely outweigh the cons and I recommend that you take them up on that free trial real soon.

Unbounce

Where To Find It
http://unbounce.com/
Product Type
Landing page builder
Paid/Free
Paid, Various Options
Free Trial Available
Yes – 30 days
Price
From $49/month.

Unbounce Free 11 part Landing Page Conversion Course

The Smart Marketer’s Landing Page Conversion Course
Unbounce offers this free 11-part course with expert marketing advice from 10 world-renowned conversion experts. Well worth a look, just follow the link.

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