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6 Reasons to Use A Dark Background in Your Email Design

AWeber Updates Aug 23 - Sep 10, 2021

Dark backgrounds are far less common than light ones in the world of the internet today. But, with the increasing popularity of dark mode and attention on dark mode from designers, don’t write off black and dark emails because you’ve never done one before.

Dark colors can imply anything from elegance and sophistication to nighttime and spookiness. Plus, intense lighter colors are starkly visible on a dark background.

And a dark email is almost guaranteed to grab attention in a world of white in inboxes — resulting in better click through rates from people who opened your email.

So, to help you get started, here are six reasons to use a dark background for your next email. Each is paired with one version of our newly-designed “Fresh” email template, ready to use in your AWeber account.

1. Highlight colors

Dark background email template with makeup and text that says "feel like yourself with our lightest line yet."

Do you have a particular image or product that you want to bring attention to? A black background provides amazing contrast to make your products “pop.” 

You don’t need intense colors to make a cool email like this. Think about Apple — they often use black backgrounds to highlight white or light colored devices. 

Add your image to a dark background email to see how it looks.

2. Show off your designs

An email template with two cartoon people and text that says "Let's create something together."

Do you have some cool graphics that represent your company? Or, do you want some? Either take creative graphics from your site — or use one of the thousands provided in Canva — and add them onto a dark background.

Putting brightly colored imagery — like the people pictured above — can give depth and emotion to your email. Try it out! If a dark email with bright graphics feels right for your brand, send it and see what your audience thinks.

3. Create a mood

Dark background email template with an image of a barista making coffee and text that says "Start your mornings different."

Black and dark colors indicate sophistication, elegance, mystery, power and style. Any of those moods can be created in your email simply by designing it with a dark background.

Whether you have a premium service or course to promote, you want to show off a sophisticated design, or you’re trying to create mystery around an upcoming event, an email with a dark background will give the right impression.

4. Grab attention

An email template with a bright neon-light like text that says "Boston Philadelphia New York."

In a sea of white backgrounds, the dark will stand out. Look through your own inbox — you’ll likely see that most of your transactional, personal, and promotional emails are designed with dark text on a light background.

Draw attention to your event, product, or promotion with an email that is dark-colored across the background with a white overlay. You’ll catch the eye of your audience with your alternate look, and their focus will be on your headline and CTA.

5. Imply nighttime

Dark background template with a computer screen and keyboard and text that says "Enter the name of your stream."

What do DJs, music venues, brewpubs, nightclubs, security guards, stand up comedians, restaurants, astrologists, and party buses have in common? They all work at night.

If your business runs almost entirely at night, use a dark background to match your customers’ experience and expectations. Choosing dark over light is a subtle difference that can result in better email engagement and more sales.

6. Match a holiday theme

Dark background template with an image with pumpkins and text that says "Pumpkin Carving Festival."

Dark-themed events like Halloween or New Year’s Eve are traditionally promoted with dark backgrounds for a reason — that’s exactly what your subscribers want to see.

Holidays are tied to memories and emotions from the past. Dive into the emotions of these darker festivities with dark emails. An email on a dark background will engage your subscribers and get them excited about your event or promotion.

A tip for emails with dark backgrounds: Keep the text to a minimum. A dark email is, by nature, design-heavy. Don’t go overboard with what you write — whatever is left will pack a punch.

Start your next email with “Fresh” — our dark background template

No need to spend time designing your next dark background email from scratch. We just updated our email template “Fresh” with 7 new color variations, all with dark backgrounds. They look like the images in this post — so go check them out for yourself. 

Sign up for a free account or sign in now start a new drag-and-drop message, click “choose a template” and you can find “Fresh” under the category “Home.” Let us know how your email turned out in the comments below.

The post 6 Reasons to Use A Dark Background in Your Email Design appeared first on AWeber.

How to Calculate ROI in Marketing [Free Excel Templates]

It’s a brand new month, everyone! It’s a time for new beginnings. New email campaigns, blog posts, and social media strategies are on the horizon.

But, aren’t we forgetting something? With last month’s activities done, we need to pause for a second to examine what worked and what didn’t. You can’t do that just by saying last month’s activities were “great” — because “great” doesn’t pay the bills.

11 Email Newsletter Best Practices

email newsletter best practices

Launching an email newsletter can be a great marketing strategy for your growing business. Not only does an email newsletter give you a unique opportunity to connect with your customers, but a well-crafted newsletter can even drive sales and boost website traffic. Meanwhile, an email newsletter can also help to establish your company as an authority within your given industry.

Still, launching an email newsletter can be easier said than done—especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with this type of writing and ideation. Fortunately, with a few tips and best practices in mind, you can launch a successful email newsletter that will help your business reach new levels of success.

Decide on a newsletter type

Get started by determining what type of email marketing newsletter you want to launch. There are many different “styles” of newsletters to consider. One popular format is that of a news digest with articles that you and your marketing team craft yourself; this style is a great way to establish your business as a knowledgeable industry authority, though it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive to come up with article topics and carry them out.

Another option to consider is a curated newsletter that contains articles from other sources. This format is a lot easier and less time-consuming (since you’re not writing the articles yourself), but may not have as much of an impact on your brand reputation.

Set expectations up-front

The beauty of an email newsletter is that the people you’ll be sending it to are people who have exclusively signed up for it; this means that the people you’ll be reaching are already interested in what you have to say. Still, it’s important to establish and maintain trust between your brand and your audience by setting clear expectations for your newsletter upfront.

This means that on your newsletter sign-up page, you should explain in detail what type of content your readers should expect to see. If the newsletter is going to be partially promotional, be sure to let your audience know that they will occasionally see special deals or other promotional language.

Use a consistent, branded template

No matter how often you send out your company’s newsletter, it’s important that the template and design remain consistent. This means that you should spend some time creating a simple and branded template now that you’ll be able to easily use with each newsletter you send out. 

When crafting a template, simplicity is key; for easy readability, for example, try to stick with a color scheme that does not include more than two or three colors. 

Not sure where to begin when it comes to your email newsletter template? Tools like AWeber Smart Designer and Canova are great places to start; here, you can find all kinds of eye-catching templates that are easy to use.

Send at a consistent day/time

Timing is everything when it comes to your email newsletter. It will probably take a little trial and error to determine the best timing and frequency to send out your newsletter based on your audience’s habits. In general, however, you will receive the best click-through rates if you send out your newsletter first thing in the morning. 

Once you determine the best day and time to send out your newsletter, stay consistent with it. You might even consider using scheduling software to automatically send out your newsletter at an exact day and time with each new publication.

Write punchy subject lines

While the content of your newsletter is undoubtedly important, you also don’t want to overlook the importance of a punchy email subject line. After all, your subject line is the first thing your audience will see—and it will play a major role in determining whether your reader will open the email or ignore it.

In general, you should try to keep your subject lines short (41 characters or fewer, according to a Fool.com article). Also, be careful not to overuse exclamation points or CAPSLOCK in your subject line, as this can come off as spammy.

Use a familiar and friendly “from” name

Believe it or not, the sender name you use for your email newsletter can make all the difference in its open rates, too. Rather than using a generic “from” name, consider addressing your newsletter directly from your company’s owner or another familiar name.

Encourage two-way dialogue

Your newsletter should always be a work in-progress, and one of the best ways to improve on your email newsletter is to encourage two-way dialogue. This means taking the time to ask for feedback on the content you’re sending out; you can do this by including an occasional survey or even using polls to track responses via click tracking.

Optimize with split tests

Another great way to optimize your newsletter is to use split tests, also commonly referred to as A/B tests. Specifically, a split test may involve sending out two different versions of your newsletter and tracking which one gets the highest open rate. You might even send out the same newsletter but with different subject lines to see which is most successful.

When A/B testing, can also try sending out your newsletter at different times of day or even on different days of the week. By tracking which version is most successful, you can get a better feel for what type of schedule to set for your email newsletter.

Offer easy unsubscribe options

At the end of the day, you only want people who are truly interested on your newsletter list. With this in mind, it’s important to offer easy unsubscribe options to your audience. Make sure you have a clear “unsubscribe” button or link included with each newsletter. This will improve your email deliverability, too, as many email platforms will automatically mark some newsletter content as spam if an unsubscribe link is not detected.

Segment your audience

Knowing your audience can also make all the difference when it comes to the success of your email newsletter. Furthermore, list segmentation can help you better target your audience with the content that is most relevant and useful to them. 

There are many different ways to segment your audience. Consider, for example, segmenting by location. If you have customers in different states, sending out a unique newsletter to members in each state can help you better target each audience while sending them more relevant and useful content. You may also consider segmenting based on interests or even specific stages in the buying process.

Use a mobile-responsive design

These days, most emails are read on smartphones. With this in mind, it’s important to not only have a newsletter design that is readable on a computer/laptop, but on any mobile device as well. If your newsletter cannot be easily viewed on a mobile device, you run the risk of losing more than half of your readers. Take the time to test your email newsletter on a wide range of devices—and check out this useful guide on optimizing emails for mobile.

The bottom line on email newsletters

Crafting a successful email newsletter is something that takes a lot of time, research, and refining. By knowing your audience, choosing the right type of newsletter format, and making sure your publication is optimized across all devices—you’ll be off to a great start. With all these best practices in mind, you can begin reaping the benefits of a successful email newsletter, including a more engaged audience and increased website traffic.

The post 11 Email Newsletter Best Practices appeared first on AWeber.

Guide to Successful Email Marketing Campaigns: 7 Best Practices

Guide to Successful Email Marketing Campaigns

Did you know people send 306 billion emails each day? That number will likely hit 361 billion by 2024. It may seem like a saturated field, but marketers report that email marketing is their leading method for acquisition and retention.

Email marketing is a powerful tool when used correctly.

But, if you don’t follow email campaign best practices, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle of emails people receive every day. Your goal should be to stand out in an inbox full of offers and provoke a response from your audience.

What is an email marketing campaign?

An email marketing campaign is a series of time-bound emails that drive a specific audience to take a desired action. Email marketing campaigns can welcome new subscribers to your list, promote an event, announce a sale, highlight a product and deliver value-packed emails to your prospects. According to a 2018 report:

  • 40% of Millennials and 33% of Gen Z prefer promotions via email over other avenues.
  • 80% of Americans check their email at least once a day and 1/4 check multiple times a day.
  • 62% are more likely to check emails on a smartphone and expect responsive design.

How do email marketing campaigns work?

Emails should be part of your digital marketing strategy—working with other campaigns and targeting key audiences to help you reach a desired goal. This means that your emails should be tracked and metrics gathered so you can see the impact each part of your email campaign has on your audience.

Types of email marketing campaigns

There are several types of marketing campaigns. Some brands will default to promotional campaigns, but this becomes a brand-centric approach that alienates the customer. In a solid email marketing strategy, you will use a number of different campaign types.

Welcome Email Campaigns: Your first emails introduce new customers and subscribers to your brand. Consider what impression you want to make with your welcome email campaigns (hint: don’t push sales first!).

Nurture Email Campaigns (Drip Campaigns): Tied to a lead magnet, the emails in a nurture campaign are all sent out when a lead takes you up on an offer (like a free guide or eBook). These emails should help transition the lead from their interest in the initial offer into an interest in your brand.

Promotional Email Campaigns: Emails that promote your sales, events, webinars and products are crucial for helping boost engagement, but can quickly be overdone. The right email to the right person at the right time is a killer campaign worth its weight in gold.

Customer Support Email Campaigns: Support your exisitng customers in your email marketing campaigns because customer retention is more efficient than customer acquisition. How are your campaigns supporting the leads that have already converted?

How to run a successful email marketing campaign

To get great results, you need to do more than send out random emails. Your campaign should be carefully planned out and tracked for effectiveness. Here are crucial steps to take when running an email campaign.

Identify your goals

You should never make a move without having specific goals in mind. Your marketing goals should be clearly defined so that you and your team can be on the same page. Establishing goals may seem intimidating, but they serve as a benchmark to see if you are getting the kind of traction you need from your campaigns. Always write SMART goals—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.

Segment your audience

Your audience is filled with a wide variety of individuals at different stages in their journey with you. Treating your email marketing as a one-size-fits-all content hose is not going to benefit anyone.

When you segment your list, you can send out relevant emails to specific parts of your audience. You don’t want to send out a local event announcement for people in another country. You certainly wouldn’t want to send the same introductory emails to a loyal customer that you would send to a new lead.

You can segment your email list by things like:

  • Location
  • Demographic
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Professional title
  • Point in buyer’s journey
  • Past purchases
  • Activity on website

As you plan your campaigns, consider which audiences you will target and craft content accordingly.

Establish campaign timelines

Set the time period during which your campaign will run. Your campaigns should be a concise series of related emails, which means you need dates established for sending out emails and pulling reports.

It’s more effective to time your emails with company events, product releases, seasonal dates and content publication. Create a content calendar to help create a defined visual of when campaigns will be finalized and published.

Map your email content

Using your segmented lists and content calendar, you will visibly map your content to show who you are contacting and how content will be delivered at the right time for them. The content calendar helps align content with publishing dates, while the content map helps you identify what kinds of content you are sending out.

A content calendar for email marketing might include segments like:

  • Branding (Information, Updates, Reputation)
  • Promotional (Sales, Events, Webinars, Products)
  • Nurturing (Drip Campaigns, Sales Funnel Emails)
  • Customer Support (Tutorials, How-To’s, Guides, DIYs)
  • Automated Response (Welcome Emails, Cart Reminders)
  • Personalized Content (Special Deals, Recommendations)

As you map out where your scheduled emails fall, you may notice a heavy trend in one area and lacking in another. Filling the gaps can help you create a more robust email marketing strategy that covers all your bases.

Write your email content

Don’t wait until it’s time to send out an email to write the email. Create your campaign before you even send out the first email. You can always adjust the content down the road.

If the goal is to be mindful and strategic with your emails, you want to make sure they all flow together right from the start. When writing your content remember:

  • Write in your brand voice, staying consistent with your other content.
  • Include images and graphics in a dynamic and mobile-friendly layout.
  • Trim unnecessary language to avoid wasting the reader’s time.
  • Craft a subject line and opening sentence to spark interest.
  • Write for the audience (not your brand) and personalize your content.
  • Include a singular CTA that takes prominence and aligns with the campaign goal.

Test your emails

Don’t just start firing off emails. Test them out to address as many issues and bugs as possible. You can write out a “pre-flight checklist” to check things like:

  • All links and buttons to make sure none are broken or going to the wrong place
  • Image sizes (compressed to load quickly)
  • Grammar and spelling
  • Formatting—check the display on different devices and email clients (Yahoo, Gmail, etc.)

Testing your emails also helps ensure your content is completely ready to go by the deadline you’ve set in your content calendar. You can then schedule your emails so they are sent out during the best times for your target audience to increase your open rates and click-throughs.

Measure your campaign success

Finally, choose key metrics that will tell you if you are achieving your specific goals for the campaign or not. While you might feel nervous about defining your goals, there are things worse than failing—specifically, pushing forward without realizing your campaigns are failing. Metrics are crucial because if your campaign doesn’t work as expected, you will know to adjust for the future.

Choose the right email marketing service

Are you looking for a FREE email marketing service? Check out AWeber today and boost the success of your email marketing campaigns with access to our Smart Designer, award-winning customer service team, and more.

Are you ready to get started? Let’s talk!

The post Guide to Successful Email Marketing Campaigns: 7 Best Practices appeared first on AWeber.

Buy or Connect a Custom Domain to Make Your Landing Page Professional in Minutes

Buy a domain and connect it to your landing pages.

Setting up a landing page is one of the fastest ways to create a web presence. All you have to do is pick a pre-designed template, then add your logo, business details, and contact information. Click publish and your page is live!

But the URL of your page will look like this:

https://yourname.aweb.page/p/4a6e75a4-cb74-4202…

It’s not the most shareable or professional link to use for your business.

But there’s good news: You can now buy a custom domain — like examplebusiness.com — directly from your AWeber dashboard! Then, the domain will be immediately available for you to use on one or all of your landing pages.

Do you already own a domain through IONOS, GoDaddy, or Google Domains? Connect it in seconds and set up your landing page on your domain or a subdomain. (If your domain is on another provider, you can still set this up, it just takes a little longer.)

But first, what is a domain?

A domain, sometimes called a domain name, is the text you type into a browser to access a website. For example, google.com, yahoo.com, mcdonalds.com. Although the actual address of these websites is technical, you can use the easy-to-remember domain to access the websites.

It’s very easy for you to set up a custom domain for your website or landing page, too! They are generally quite affordable and can be bought through a “domain registrar” like IONOS, GoDaddy, or Google Domains. 

Now, you can actually buy using Google Domains directly inside your AWeber account, and connect it to your landing page in about 30 seconds.

Why should I buy a domain for my business?

A lot of marketing is about branding. The name of your business carries the reputation you’ve built for it — professional, friendly, dependable, or more subtle details, specific to you.

Just like having your name on the front door (if you have one), your business cards, and in your email signature, you should have an easy-to-remember domain that represents your brand, too.

Buying and connecting domains to your website has become easier and easier to do. The fact that you can now buy one directly from AWeber proves that! There’s no downside to getting one set up.

How to buy a domain through AWeber

1. Sign into your account and click on your name in the lower left corner, then “My Account” and “Domains and Addresses.”

AWeber dashboard showing to click on avatar, then "My Account" then "Domains and Addresses."

2. You’ll see an option to add your domain or buy one from Google Domains:

Don't have a domain? Get one now from Google Domains.

3. Click on “Get one now from Google Domains”  and you’ll be redirected to a page where you can choose a domain. 

Note: I recommend something simple that includes your business name and nothing else. For example, if I had a coffee shop called Coffee Under the Trees, I’d search for coffeeunderthetrees.com. Google Domains will give you some domain insights, too.

Buy a domain with AWeber and you'll get Google Domains search and insights.

4. When you find a domain you like, click Buy. As you can see, most domains will be around $12 a year. Go through the purchase process and you’ll be redirected back to your AWeber dashboard with the domain already connected!

Now we need to attach your connected domain to your landing page. 

5. Navigate to the landing page you want to connect this domain to. Click on Settings for the page and then Landing Page URL. You’ll see an option for Custom Domain, with the domain you connected available. Choose it, publish the page, and your landing page is ready to be a website.

Connecting your domain to your landing page.

How to connect my existing domain in 30 seconds

If you originally bought your domain with IONOS, GoDaddy, or Google Domains registrars, you can connect your domain really easily within AWeber, using our domain connect feature.

Instead of clicking to purchase a new domain, add yours in the field below Add a New Domain:

Add a current domain to your AWeber account by entering it into the field.

You’ll see a page that confirms you’d like to connect your domain:

Connect your GoDaddy domains to AWeber automatically.

Click Connect Automatically with GoDaddy (or IONOS or Google Domains) to connect your domain. Sign into your registrar’s account, and then click Connect again.

Connecting your domain examplebusiness.com to AWeber Email Authentication and Landing Pages from AWeber requires some DNS changes.

You’ll briefly see a success page, then you’ll be directed back to your AWeber account. It’ll take a couple of hours for the domain to process (which is the case on any platform) and then your domain will be ready to go!

What if I have a domain that’s not through IONOS, GoDaddy, or Google Domains?

We plan to add more domain registrars in the future. For now you can connect your domain the “good old fashioned way.” 

Check out this article that explains how to configure your custom domain for landing pages. And hey, while you’re adding DNS records, set up DKIM and SPF records for your domain, too.

Buy a domain today

Whether you’re looking to start up a web presence or create a new site for your side hustle or project, you can do so easily. Set up your domain in AWeber today or get started with a free account.

The post Buy or Connect a Custom Domain to Make Your Landing Page Professional in Minutes appeared first on AWeber.

Accept Payments in 100+ Currencies with AWeber Ecommerce

AWeber updates, released Aug 11 - Aug 25, 2021.

At AWeber, we’re proud to be an international company helping customers connect with their audiences around the world. So we’re excited to announce that you can now accept payments on your landing pages in over 100 currencies.

Why did we add 100+ currencies?

This is one of the most requested features since we launched our ecommerce landing page builder earlier this year. We are so glad we can now offer full payment options to business owners around the globe.

Dealing with conversion rates can result in lost money and time. With 100+ currencies now available, businesses outside of the United States can save time spent with less conversion math, save money that could be lost in market fluctuations, and face one less factor in price decision making.

New currencies could open up your international market

Selling products in multiple currencies is an opportunity for every business. Think about it: You can now offer digital products like courses, ebooks, or paid newsletters internationally without requesting that your customers do price math. 

Plus, showing your customers prices in their currency lets them know your services are available and useful for them.

Selling across borders increases the number of prospective customers you can reach. If you’re a specialist, you can market to and reach those with niche needs —  worldwide.

How can you expand your marketing to capture the international market? Well, you could simply add a secondary pricing button to your current landing page. Or create a new page by copying your existing landing page and updating the payment button’s currency and other location-specific information or languages.

How do I change currency on my sales pages?

1. Log into your account, then head to landing pages

2. Click on the landing page you want to update or create a new one and choose a template.

3. Add an ecommerce button from the element panel on the left of the screen, and click on it to choose your settings.

4. When you set up a product, you may already have available products in your currency. If not, create a new one.

Currency alternates you can choose within the AWeber dashboard under Product Name.

5. Below Name and Payment Type and next to Price, you’ll now see a Currency option. Scroll or begin to search for the 3 digit currency code. For example, GBP, AUD, CAD, etc. Choose yours, and your payment will update automatically.

That’s it! Finish setting up your button and page, then click publish and start promoting it.

A full list of the currencies available are here on Stripe’s page.

How do you plan to use currencies in your business?

We’re curious: Is this a feature you’ve been dying to hear about? Are you thinking of new ways to implement currencies in your sales strategy? Create or update a landing page and let us know what you did in the comments.

The post Accept Payments in 100+ Currencies with AWeber Ecommerce appeared first on AWeber.

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