email marketing

How do you grow your email list quickly and effectively? Do you advertise on social media, use special list building software, or do you pray to the lead generation gods for better, quality leads?

How many tools do you really need to list build? Maybe a dozen?
60 online marketing experts were asked a simple question:
“If you could only choose 3 tools to grow your email list, which 3 would you choose?”
At Conversion Sciences, we like to break down our list building strategy into three parts. Content, destination, and calls to action.
We use the Content Cascade for transcribing webinars for a month’s worth of quality content. Hootsuite helps us share that content over time on social media. WordPress plugins help funnel the type of traffic we get from social media. We also recommend building a separate site for phone visitors. Finally, we’ve built a conversion mini course on our website and use CommerceScience.com to significantly grow our subscribers.
Here are just a few of the top tools recommended by 60 Marketing Experts in a poll by RobbieRichards.com
Top Tools For Email List Building
Read the Robbie Richards Blog for more of the best tools for list building.
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The Conversion Function is the number of actions taken for an online property divided by the number of visits to that property.

The Conversion Rate Function

The Conversion Rate Function: Actions over Visitors


Here is where we find the solid blue line in our websites.
It runs through our sites and our landing pages. It slices our prospects’ mobile phones, their tablets and their computers.
PPC, SEO and Content Marketing-Digital Transportation

We charter the digital vehicles that carry people to our online properties.


We begin by chartering the digital transportation that will bring people in under the line, these confounding and complex people we call visitors. This is not an inexpensive undertaking.
We cajole Google with it’s menagerie of penguins, pandas and hummingbirds. We cast our banners and our ads across the internet, chasing prospects as they surf. We create the content, we share on social, and we send the emails that bring them to us.
We pay their fares promising them a trip to a place meant for them. Our place.
They arrive below our line, looking for that solution, that thing that will make them feel better, that product to adorn themselves, that moment of entertainment when they can let go.
The blue line stands as a ceiling to our visitors and they image how things might be different if they could just get up there.
Above the line.
They are always tempted by the exit, the back button, the next search.
image
It is this blue line that our visitors struggle with, which means that we as online businesses struggle with it, too.
Those tempted by the line find reason and method to climb.
For some, this might be quite easy. Others will accept the help of friends and strangers.
We create the line. We draw our blue line. Sometimes higher. Sometimes lower.
It is our duty help more of our visitors to rise above this line.
How will you help your visitors become customers?
We choose the tools that will elevate them.
Will we let them devise a system of pulleys and knots with which to climb.
Will we provide the clear steps, a little boost in their efforts.
Will we ask them to make a leap of faith and trust in their agility to spring safely above our blue line.
Will we try to make it effortless using the machinery of our websites to transport them to a fixed location, a place above the line? And what will make them take that leap, to step on, to push the button.
The vision we have for our blue line is one in which many make the journey. They come with their money in hand, ready to spend, ready to engage.
Conversion happens when visitors rise above the blue line.
We see them coming with ample intuition and a nourishing supply of common sense, all calibrated by the way we see our business, ourselves and our world.
As it turns out what we call sense isn’t that common.
These frustrating people we call visitors aren’t like us. They aren’t even like the people we know.
They come with their own rules, with their own ideas of beauty and their own sense of how things should work.
They are not here to be manipulated. They are here to be understood.
When they are not understood, they seem mesmerized by the exit, transfixed and hypnotized.
Why are so many visitors drawn to the exit?
We paid to bring them here and they, in their flagrant individuality choose not to stay.
What Quicksand does your site create for visitors?
In our hubris, we create the quicksand that will trap them. Did our navigation confuse them, do our words lack clarity, did we call them to act in the way they like to act.
We are opaque to them, and this is scary. Our very visitors fear us like a bad dream on Halloween.
Your visitors have natural fears keeping them from converting.

Your visitors have natural fears.


Are we lurking behind our website, ready to pounce, to steal from them or, worse, to make them feel stupid and incompetent?
Do we fear being known for who we really are? For it is the unknown that allows our visitors imaginations to run to places we did not expect them to go.
How are we dealing with this complexity?
For this is a complex problem.
How high will we set our line? What distance must these lost souls cover to find their solution?
What have we provided them? Why should they put their fears aside? How will we transport them above the line?
For it is their journey from below the blue line that tells us who they are and who we should be for them.
I’m pleased to be exploring these questions over three days at Digital Elite Camp in Tallinn, Estonia.
Estonia via Google Earth
If you aren’t planning to be in Tallinn, you should follow us from right where you are. We’re going to be exploring some fun and helpful stuff.
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There are few challenges more daunting than mailing to a purchased email list. In fact, I usually recommend against it. Nonetheless, it is often the only way to access a specialized audience, and list purveyors continue to lie about the value of their list.
If you are creating landing page for an offer to a purchased mailing list, you will have to work extra hard.

Stress Free School Supplies Page

The top portion of the Stress Free School Supplies Page works hard, but fails to nail the “lead.”


Such is the case with Stress Free School Supplies. The owner of the business is a former teacher and understands the problem schools have in getting parents to purchase the necessary supplies for the year.
Her offer is that she will create a custom list on Amazon.com for each school. This allows parents to buy everything they need with a click. Her business will also provide the flyers and emails needed for reaching out to parents.
Her audience is a purchased list of school administrators, whose job it is to solve this parents / supplied problem.
Any competent landing page will:

        

  • Makes an offer.
  •     

  • Provides a way to take action, typically using a form.
  •     

  • Delivers tangible proof.
  •     

  • Earns your visitors trust.
  •     

  • Shows relevant images.

For a “cold” email list the page must master two of these components: the Offer and Trust.
The initial questions for those who receive are, “How does this work?” and “Can I trust you?” Only then do you get permission to make the sale.

An Offer that Makes Visitors Want to Stay

OfferThe offer is the primary value proposition, the reason the visitor should buy — or at least the reason they should keep reading. For a cold email list, the offer must reach out and grab the reader by the throat.

Create a Stress Free Back-to-school shopping experience for parents.

Is the offer relevant to the reader?

Currently the primary offer reads “Create a Stress Free Back-To-School Shopping Experience for Parents.” This headline is directed more towards parents than it is to school administrators.
While I’m sure that school administrators love their kids’ parents, I bet we would do better if we wrote a headline that addressed their pain, rather than the parents’ pain. The key to a great headline is understanding the administrators’ pain.

        

  • That students will be showing up to school without proper supplies.
  •     

  • Teachers will have to accommodate unprepared students during a chaotic time.

Establishing Trust

Trust

Trust in this case has two components:

        

  1. How does this work?
  2.     

  3. Are you legitimate?

“How it works” is buried in this case; the paragraph below the offer is dense, non-specific and lacks clarity.
Amazon is a powerhouse brand, familiar and trusted. Since Stress Free School Supplies is an affiliate, we suggested “borrowing trust” from Amazon and using their logo on the page. Currently the logo is buried in the fine print low on the page.

Amazon Affiliate

Why is this logo buried low on the page?


We also suggested logos from any PTA associations she may belong to as well as any business associations (BBB). Another suggestion was to put a face to the company. Doing this increases lead generation conversion rates because people know they will be dealing with a real person not a computer automated recording and begins building that trust.
We usually do not recommend social media icons on landing pages. Stress-Free School Supplies needs trust symbols, and we suggested she keep them on the page. However, we recommend moving them to a less prime location than directly under the form.

Enticing Action

Form

The for is the way school administrators to taking action. The goal of the form is to make it easy for administrators to sign up for the service without looking like a “squeeze” page.

The submit button for this form is in a strange and confusing place.

The submit button for this form is in a strange and confusing place.


This form currently has six blanks, including 2 emails and a zip code. The more personal information you request on a form, the more abandonment you will experience. We suggested to her that requiring only their email would help to heighten form fills. But, the main issue with this form is not the blanks, but the button to submit the form.
The call-to-action button was lost on this page. It was up and to the right of where we had just finished filling out the form. If someone had scrolled down while filling out the form, they may miss this entirely. We suggested moving the CTA button under the form, which they have recently done.

Providing Proof

Proof

Currently the proof is given by testimonials and the FAQs.  However, The FAQs are at the bottom of the page, so 50% of people won’t make it that far and the testimonials are lost in a milky way around a vibrant picture that grabs the eyes attention to it, not the testimonials. A suggestion would be to put pictures of the individuals to these testimonials to drawl the eye and create an emotional response. Another good example of proof would be adding the number of orders filled.

Show the Product

Image

What do the images on this landing page do for conversion? Bottom Line:“The goal of the images are to help me visualize owning and having whatever it is you offer.” The image in the page header is of school supplies. An image near the middle of the page shows… school supplies. This is not really why administrators sign up. Here the image takes away from the testimonials near it.

School supplies image

The Caption for this image may be “This is what school supplied look like!”


In Summary, this landing page needs to knock the offer out of the park and establish trust quickly. It’s the value proposition to its viewers through better targeted copy and adding an image that will explain the process.

For more information, please read: Discover the Chemistry Behind a Successful Landing Page [Infographic]
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By avoiding our online marketing confirmation bias or Oedipus Complex we lay the path to greater insights and greater profitability.

This is a guest post by Craig Andrews.

Sorry, no salacious stories about sons killing their father and sleeping with their mother. But in Oedipus Rex, Sophocles had insights about Online Marketing more than 2 millennia before the internet. The play’s hero had a tragic flaw that plagues all of us. It is our Confirmation Bias or Oedipus Complex.

“My poor children, I know why you have come— I am not ignorant of what you yearn for.” – Oedipus Rex, Sophocles

The Greek tragedy opens with Oedipus, the King, telling the people he knows the source of their pain. It turns out that he is the source of their pain.

At some point, we all approach our internet visitors the same way Oedipus approached the Thebans. We are absolutely convinced we know why our website visitors have come and what they yearn for. But if we don’t continually test and challenge our assumptions, we are just as guilty as Oedipus.

The Origin of Our Complex (our Confirmation Bias)

We are passionate about our business and our customers. We invest time in serving and understanding our customers. When this makes us over confident, we can miss important insights. Even in looking at our website analytics, we can find data that confirms what we believed. This “confirmation bias” can cause us to quit scouring data when we find the data that supports our hypothesis. We must press further.

As an example, a client was convinced their customers wouldn’t visit the website using mobile phones. Yet 5 months after launching a new site, 1/3rd of their website conversions were from mobile phones. In another instance, we saw sustained double-digit organic traffic growth and assumed it was due to Google.

Turns out Google traffic was dropping while traffic from other search engines was rising. Haunted by the words of Oedipus – “I know why you have come” – I was wrong. Continuing with the wrong assumption without correction would have resulted in additional lost traffic from the world’s largest search engine.

No Fate But What We Make

Oedipus thought his ruin was the product of fate. We should not. Rather, we must continually test and challenge our assumptions.

In the digital world, every customer touch offers an opportunity to learn more:

  • Website visits, email campaigns & pay-per-click advertising all enable you to study customer behavior
  • Free analytics tools provide extensive demographic data and even a degree of psychographic data (interests & hobbies)
  • The technology customers use to access your site provides valuable insight into your customers’ context and experience

Don’t Gouge Your Eyes Out!

“You don’t know whether something will work until you test it. And you cannot predict test results based on past experience.” – Eugene Schwartz, author of Break-through Advertising

Take action and put a plan in place. Effective plans should include 2 types of testing: testing a new hypothesis and challenging an existing belief.

New Hypothesis Challenge an Existing Belief
The call to action isn’t clear The increased conversion rate is because of recent changes
Item X is causing friction & will be corrected by doing Y Our website visitors prefer using PCs
Site Navigation isn’t clear Most of our mobile visitors use iPhones
Our visitors don’t identify with a specific graphic Our website visitors are in a specific demographic
Our current graphic isn’t objectionable, but distracts from the conversion Our visitors are looking for bargains

New hypothesis testing is familiar – it’s classic conversion optimization. But testing to continually challenge existing beliefs is what really helps to avert our Internet Marketing Oedipus Complex. Our existing beliefs, held too tightly, can get us in deep trouble.

Our team recently improved a client’s home page bounce rate 10%. Immediately, conversions started shooting through the roof. Initially we thought the changes to the home page were an overwhelming success. It seemed logical. Change followed by success, right? We chose to challenge our belief. After digging into the analytics, we discovered a few things:

  • Indeed, reducing the bounce rate improved site conversions
  • Only about half of the increased conversions were attributable to the home page changes
  • A different high volume landing page (Page “R”) had also seen an increased conversion rate
  • No changes had been made to the other page (Page “R”)
  • The increased conversion rate on the 2nd page (Page “R”) appeared to be seasonal

We found our answer in analytics under Behavior => Site Content => Landing Pages. This lets us track conversion rates based on the first page visited on the site.

Home Page Page “T” Page “R”
Conversion Rate Improvement 48% -8% 39%
% of Total Site Traffic(as a landing page) 57% 15% 28%
Percent of total Conversions(as a landing page) 26% 44% 31%

Our focus was on the Home Page and Page “T” but ignoring Page “R”. Again, it seemed logical. The Home Page receives more than half of the site traffic and one of our home page changes directed traffic to Page “T.” Our confirmation bias initially led us to ignore the 39% improvement on Page “R” where we have a significant number of conversions. But without changes Page “R” seems to be seasonal.

Now We Know (More) Why They Have Come

This discovery put a finer point on what we reported to the client. Instead of promising the client continued conversions at the new rate, we showed them how some of the higher conversion rate would be seasonal. Now the client is happy because they have permanent changes that increased the conversion rate. They also have realistic expectations for the future.

As a conversion optimizer, we now have a new hypothesis to test. There may some seasonal surge in this one category. We record that and study it next season. If it is indeed a seasonal surge, then we can tune the website and email campaigns for this newly discovered seasonality, giving the client a strategic advantage they didn’t have before.

This is the power of challenging existing assumptions. In addition to perfecting our view of reality, it opens new opportunities. With these new opportunities, we can find new and innovative ways to increase conversions in our digital media channels.

Do you yearn for success?

When Oedipus discovered the reality of the situation, he gouged his eyes out so he wouldn’t have to see it. To be effective, we can’t fear the truth. We must pursue understanding even if it results in abandoning a strongly held belief that we want to remain true. That means we need to:

  • Commit to a thoughtful, structured and methodical process of testing
  • Regularly compile a list of hypotheses and rank them
  • Regularly identify currently held beliefs and rank them
  • Perform systematic testing on these hypotheses and beliefs
  • Always learn from each and every test – especially if the test appears to be a failure

When Oedipus proclaimed he knew what the Thebans yearned for, he was speaking from his gut and intuition. Intuition is a useful tool, but let’s let the data proclaim what our website visitors are yearning for. By avoiding our confirmation bias or Oedipus Complex we lay the path to greater insights and greater profitability.

About the Author

Craig Andrews is the Principal Ally and founder of internet marketing agency allies4me. Andrews brings extensive scientific and marketing expertise to allies4me. Over the last 25 years, his experience has spanned search engine optimization, internet marketing software, biomedical and semiconductors. Andrews is backed by a team of marketing allies who support start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.

In recent years, clients have been seeking guidance from allies4me on Social Media strategies. Rather than jumping on the latest hype, Andrews sought to understand Social Media through solid metrics across large data sets. The result is an unconventional and insightful approach to Social Media. Testing and data driven decisions advise all areas of allies4me work. Solid metrics and disciplined parsing of data is where allies4me clients find results.

You can connect with Craig Andrews on Google+ and LinkedInYou can find allies4me on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

For more information about testing hypotheses that convert, check out the latest Conversion Scientist’s Podcast,  “Writing Test Hypotheses That Make You Money”.

It’s time to stop boring people with how good your open rates and click-through rates are. Tell them what each and every person on your list is worth in dollars by measuring Revenue per Recipient (RPR). When you track the results of your emails down to the dollar, you track your own value down to the dollar.
From Marketing Land: Marketing Power Processes: Tracking Email To The Dollars by Brian Massey


Subscribe to the Podcast

Tweetables: Click to Tweet

Power Process: Ignore Email Open Rates & Click-Through Rates
Revenue-Per-Recipient (RPR) Ties Marketing to the Money
Like trees in the winter, it’s important to prune and shape your email list.
Most email clients now show the subject line and the beginning of an email in the inbox view.
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7 Eye-Catching Email Subject Lines to Catapult Your Open Rates | Unbounce

@unbounce – Writing headlines and subject lines and tweets all have something in common: You have a limited number of characters to get a prospect’s attention in a very noisy environment.
Steve Young gives us some tested subject lines to consider in our campaigns.
Have some fun with your subject lines and don’t take yourself too seriously!

Should I Use A Carousel?

So, should you use a carousel, those rotating hero images now found at the top of most B2B and B2C websites?

The answer is “carefully.”
This clever little site illustrates the reasons rotating banners are so frustrating. The timing, the amount of text and the order all come into play.
We have been able to tune a rotating hero on an ecommerce site so that it outperformed a static image. But it took several test cycles and didn’t work in every case.
Have a little chuckle at yourself and enjoy the content on this site — if you can read fast.

No More Guesswork: 5 Website Formats Proven to Get Results | The Daily Egg

The folks at CrazyEgg have a wonderful summary of the five website formulas found in my book. Read this and you can skip chapters 3 and 4.
Want to get Brian’s For Further Study posts delivered right to your inbox? Click HERE to sign up.

Mobile app or mobile site?These are the stories that caught the eye of The Conversion Scientist last few weeks. If you are a curious marketer looking to learn more about conversion, please subscribe my weekly recommended reading list, For Further Study.
The new book is being announced at Conversion Conference Chicago. For more, sign up to get a copy of my up-coming book: Your Customer Creation Equation: Unexpected Website Formulas of the Conversion Scientist.

22 Amazing Mobile Email Marketing Statistics-Mass Transmit

Jun 11, 2012 06:06 pm
In my upcoming book, I make the case that email is preferable to social media for storing market attention. You might think that, in the era of mobile devices, my preference for email may seem quaint.
Think again.
Clearly, mobile devices and email go together like milk and Cap’n Crunch cereal. Only healthier. Enjoy these stats and keep that email coming!

Mobile Site or Mobile App: Which Should You Build First? [INFOGRAPHIC]

I only touch on the issue of Mobile Apps in my new book Your Customer Creation Equation. So I’m happy to share this very helpful infographic on Mobile websites vs. Mobile apps.
Is it just me, or is it clear that mobile websites are the way to go (except in extreme situations)?

Buddy Media CEO Makes Unforgettable ‘We Got Bought’ Video

Jun 05, 2012 08:06 am
How is this touching video different from your corporate press release? In every way. “The Human Voice is Unmistakeable.” In Your Customer Creation Equation (coming in June) I make the point that your business should be using the content it naturally makes to feed your audience.
Clearly Michael Lazerow is good with an iPad and Keynote.
What are you good with?

How to Build and Operate a Content Marketing Machine | SEOmoz

May 29, 2012 03:24 pm
It is a great sign that @SEOMoz included Conversion in their grand plan for Content Marketing. This infograph considers conversion a key component of content marketing, but in my upcoming book on conversion I make content a key part of conversion marketing. Different approaches, same result.
Enjoy the Infograph.

What makes a 30 second movie go viral? | Webreep Blog

May 14, 2012 07:26 pm
This is a very geeky look at what makes video go viral. Very geeky. That’s why I love it. Dr. Brent Coker introduces us to the Branded Viral Movie Predictor (BVMP). Yes, it even has an acronym. If you’ve considered doing a video in the hopes that it might “go viral,” read this first and be sure you have the appropriate doses of congruency, emotive strength, network involvement and paird meme synergy. Don’t you love science?

The process of naming SXSW panels is part of the process of getting them accepted. The fine folks at SXSW seem to prefer interesting, surprising panel titles. Of course, they may be swayed by the votes that cleverly-named panels get at the start of the selection process. Thirty percent of the decision to choose a panel comes from the number of votes garnered.
An unexpected title might just help get votes.
Each year, I do a study of the SXSW panel names, looking for inspiration and common themes that I can use in my own email subject lines. This year, I present examples of panel titles that use the following hacks:

Things That Don’t Fit Together: Non-Sequiturs

Our brains are wired to discard the familiar faster than a bear can spell Constantinople. It is the unexpected that gets the attention of our conscious and prepares us for action. These titles demonstrate the use of twists to pull readers out of their inbox apathy.

Lists of Three

There is something memorable, readable, and easy-to-count about lists of three. This method is especially successful when the third item is overly specific or doesn’t fit. See “Things that Don’t Fit Together” above.

Shock and Awe

Boring subject lines make me want to poke needles into my eyes! Sometimes it makes sense to hit readers over the head with something that is just plain shocking. Sometimes.

Rhymes and Alliteration

Sensual subject lines supplement the bottom line. Alliteration is the repeated use of consonants. Rhymes grab your readers like a musical phrase. Don’t be afraid to add a little poetry to your prose.

Create a Common Enemy

You may find your reader united behind you by identifying a common enemy – like the delete key.

Insult Someone

Don’t be a wimp. When all else fails drop the political correctness and tell the reader what you really think.

Lead With a Number

Four session titles that use numbers. When we offer the reader a specific number of things, they know they are going to get a manageable set of tips or tricks that is easy to scan and digest.

Make Up Words

If you find yourself with subjectlinitis, tossing a memebomb or two may be your best hope. New words can turn a deletophile into a reader.

Pop Culture References

If you know your audience, you slip them some “Funky Cold Medina” in the form of a pop-culture reference. For your geeks, “Star Trek” or “Star Wars” will do. For the younger generation, something from the “Harry Potter” series might make a connection. Music is usually a sure bet. Can you name the sources of the following references?

Metaphors and Similes

Similes are like can openers for the mind. Metaphors are the batteries in the flashlight of your email. The technical term for this style of messaging is “transubstantiation,” using the characteristics of one thing to add meaning to another in the eyes of the reader.

Target an Audience

Right-handed marketers, take note! Targeting your audience can significantly increase the relevance to two groups of people: those to whom you are speaking, and those who feel left out by the fact that you aren’t speaking to them (you left-handers felt a twinge of anger at being left out, didn’t you?).
This approach takes guts, as you are consciously ignoring part of your audience in the hope of truly engaging another.

Sex Sells

Even the “oldest profession in the world” required some persuasive messaging. Your reader may see sex as the most base or most exalted activity humans can engage in. This is the risk and the reward for bawdy banter in your email subject lines.

Big Promises

If you’ve got the goods, big promises will make you rich in as little as three days. Big promises make the reader ask, “So, how can you do that?” even if they are skeptical. Of course, if you can’t deliver on the promise with sufficient proof in your email, all is lost – including your credibility.

Add an “i”

New This Year, turn your subject line into an iLine! All it takes is one little vowel.
I give you over 100 examples of each of these in my ClickZ column 14 Email Subject Line Hacks. I promise you’ll be amused and inspired.
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BourneConversion-Cropped
eatprayconvertcropped
Conversions_with_God_Book

After nine months of writing, fifteen chapters complete and dozens of columns supporting the effort, you’d think that the easiest thing to do would be to pick a name for my conversion marketing book.
As it turns out, this is difficult.
So why read a post about selecting a book title? Because, it’s all about conversion – not just the book, but the title is about converting book prospects into book readers.
The title of your book is key to maximizing conversions. It is like the subject line of your email, like the headline of your landing page, and like the value proposition of your home page. Get these wrong and your conversion rates will plummet. However the book title can’t be changed. Once chosen you are stuck with it until you write another.
It’s expensive to test titles, and this makes a Conversion Scientist very nervous.
I’ve considered a number of approaches. These approaches will also inform your online marketing.

Leverage something familiar

My first thought was to leverage something familiar, something that is already popular. This spawned several mockups including The Bourne Conversion, Eat, Pray, Convert, How to Win Friends and Convert People, and Conversions with God.
Unfortunately, copyright issues will prevent me from using any of these.

Ask your SEO person

The next thing I had to consider was how people might find the book on search engines. Phrases like “online sales conversion,” “analytics,” “conversion rates,” and “social media” are some of the most commonly searched phrases in the conversion marketing space. With this focus in mind, several titles were considered:
Online Sales Conversion: The Science of B2B, B2C, Online Services and Social Media Websites
The Well Managed Web Site: Conversion Strategy and Analytics in Simple Terms
Managing Websites to High Conversion Rates
Online Conversion Strategy
In my opinion, words like “conversion” and “analytics” are too clinical. Furthermore, these conversion terms don’t really get that much search traffic, so this strategy became less important to me.

Leverage your existing brand

I’ve been marketing Conversion Sciences and The Conversion Scientist pretty consistently for six years now through writing, speaking and training. The business is familiar to many online marketers and business owners, the two primary targets for my tome.
Playing on the science angle associated with the brand yielded several interesting titles, including the original working title, Get a Reaction.
Marketing + Science = Customers: Online Conversion Strategies to Transform Prospects into Buyers
Conversion Science: The Proven Formulas for Transforming Online Prospects into Customers
The Science of Reaction: Proven Conversion Formulas of Internet Based Companies

Own a word

I’ve always like one-word book titles that are provocative, like Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” and “Outliers.” I thought “REACTION” might be the word that sticks with people in my space.
REACTION: Getting visitors to take action on your website
Get a REACTION: Proven Strategies of the Conversion Scientist
The Science of REACTIONS: Websites that Convert Visitors to Leads and Sales
My feeling is that you have to have a large marketing budget to get a word to stick in the minds of potential readers. I didn’t get a multi-million dollar advance, unfortunately.

Surprise them

Seth Godin is great at naming books with unexpected titles, such as Purple Cow, All Marketers are Liars and Meatball Sundae. I thought the unexpected or absurd might work for my book as well.
It’s Raining Soup. Get a Bowl. How to turn Internet traffic into a delicious business.
Glad I Stopped By: Websites We Love to Do Business With
They Did What?! Unexpected Strategies of The Conversion Scientist
Marketing Backwards: Unexpected Strategies of The Conversion Scientist
The Website Genome Project: Proven Research of The Conversion Scientist
The truth is, I’m not Seth Godin. Darn it.

State your topic plainly

We often get too clever for our own good when we’re writing headlines, subject lines, and book titles. It’s a business book, after all.
Managing Your Website: Conversion Strategy and Analytics for the Managers and Business Owners
Online Conversion Strategies for Websites that Dominate Their Marketplace
The problem with these is that the reader is more likely to fall asleep before finishing the title.

Ask your personas

If you follow The Conversion Scientist, you know that I believe creating visitor personas is the best way to get high conversion rates on your website. The same applies to books, and I have developed several personas for this book.
With this guidance, I was able to choose a book title that combines the right ingredients… I hope. Here’s what I know about my personas.
Most of my personas have heard of The Conversion Scientist through my columns, blog posts and speaking. This tells me to leverage the familiar science angle.
One persona studies marketing, and they are reluctant to read a book that will give them same advice they’ve already heard. Therefore, the title should indicate that it is presenting a fresh way to look at online marketing. Use terms like “unexpected” or surprise titles like “marketing backwards.”
Finally, all of my personas are human, which means they respond to things like metaphors, rhyming and alliteration (the repeated use of a sound in a sentence or phrase). This tells me I should use these tools.
After reviewing these persona requirements, we settled on the following title:
The Customer Creation Equation: Unexpected Formulas of The Conversion Scientist™
The alliteration and rhyming nature of the main title will help people remember the name. It has the important search terms “conversion,” and “customer” in it. The terms “equation” and “formulas” evoke the science theme of my brand.
Finally, the strategies are “unexpected,” and indeed the book contains advice contrary to what you have been told. This was a tough decision for me. One of our personas is trying to solve a specific marketing problem. Calling my recommendations “unexpected” may not appeal to her. She will want to know about “proven” strategies, and I did consider the subtitle “Proven Strategies of The Conversion Scientist.” Yet, I knew she would find value in being “cutting edge,” and “unexpected strategies” should appeal to her.
Did we pick the right title? Which would you prefer to read? Let us know in the comments.

You won’t be converting much of anything if you start with the wrong kind of website. Find out which of five conversion signatures your website should be following with a free video that introduces some key concepts from The Customer Creation Equation.

Groupon emails appeal to all of the buyer personalities.

Groupon emails appeal to all of the buyer personalities.

Whatever you think of deals site leader Groupon, you can’t argue with their amazing success.

Since 2007, Groupon has built an email list of 50 million subscribers and have kept them enraptured even though they send an email almost every single day.

Is it the deals? I would argue that it is not. Groupon: Is it the Deals or the Copy?

Find out how the layout and copy of their daily inbox offering keep people on their lists and reading day after day.