Create a Waterfall of Downloads for Your Ebook

Writing your first ebook is exciting. But once it’s finally written, you’ve got to find a way to get it in the hands of your audience.

After all that hard work, long nights, and endless research, it would be a shame if your book went unread.

Those of you who have recently written an ebook, are in the process of writing one, or planning to write one in the near future need to start thinking about your distribution methods.

You could be the best writer on the planet, but if you don’t know how to market yourself, nobody will know about you and your writing.

That’s how you need to approach your ebook distribution strategy. Think like a marketer. Not everyone with great writing skills is a marketing expert.

If you need some guidance on getting tons of downloads for your newest ebook, you’re in luck.

I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to create a waterfall of downloads. Here’s how you do it.

Start taking pre-orders

Don’t wait until you’re done writing the ebook to promote it. Taking pre-orders in the early stages is a great way to build hype for your ebook and brand.

If people know they can get the ebook in advance, it may seem even more appealing.

Lysa TerKeurst used this strategy to promote her ebook, Uninvited:

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This approach is great because it gives people a reason to pre-order the book. Anyone who pre-ordered this copy was able to download the first five chapters right away.

They’re also promoting some limited gifts, which were undisclosed. Both of these promotions can pique the interest of potential readers.

Getting to download chapters in advance gives people a feeling of exclusivity. They have something that not everyone has access too.

Plus, if they enjoy the first chapters, they could even start promoting the book themselves.

Come up with other ways to give people an incentive to pre-order your ebook before it gets released. If you’re charging for downloads, you can offer a discounted rate for anyone who pre-orders it.

Even if people don’t order it in advance, putting it out there creates a buzz around your ebook before its release, exposing it to your potential readers.

Record an audio version

Not everyone prefers reading ebooks. Recording an audio version can make your book more appealing to a wider audience.

According to the Pew Research Center, print books are still more popular than ebooks and audio books:

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Ebooks are more popular than audio books, but as you can see from the data, there are still people who prefer listening to audio books.

But how does releasing an audio book increase downloads for your ebook?

Pair the two together. Say your ebook download comes with a free audio version as well. Pitch this any way you want.

Or you could charge for the audio book and offer the ebook as a free download.

If you continue to release different formats of your ebook, it will appeal to a wider audience and increase the number of downloads you can get.

Create blog posts out of each chapter

If you have an active blog, you need to take advantage of that channel as a marketing resource.

You’ve already got an audience familiar with your voice and visiting your website to read your blog. Those are the people you need to target first.

It’ll be much easier to get downloads from your blog audience than from people who don’t know who you are and have never heard of you before.

Rather than just blogging about your ebook once or twice, you can generate lots of blog content by writing a post about each chapter. There are many benefits to this marketing strategy.

First of all, it gives you a way to add fresh content to your website. This is great for SEO purposes and improving your Google ranking, which can drive traffic to your website.

But blogging is also great because it gives you an excuse to promote your new content on your other marketing channels.

For the past four years, bloggers have been using social media as the primary method of driving traffic to their posts:

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Each time you blog about a new chapter, you have an excuse to post on your social media accounts.

Another reason why you should employ this strategy is because these posts will be super easy for you to write. You’ve already done all the heavy lifting with your ebook.

These blogs will be summaries of the chapters, which you already know like the back of your hand. It won’t take you lots of time and effort to write this content.

If you can keep your readers engaged with these blog posts, you’ll get ebook downloads. Just make sure you don’t give it all away in the blog. Otherwise, your readers won’t have a reason to download the ebook.

Tease your audience just enough to keep them interested, but make them download the ebook to get all the information.

Place a download link all over your website

Obviously, you need to promote your ebook on your website. But don’t restrict that promotion to just one landing page.

Put the download link all over your website. Just make sure it is not overwhelming or doesn’t appear as spam. Websites with simple designs have higher conversion rates.

For example, put a CTA button on your home page, side bar, and slider menu. If someone navigates to another page on your website, have a pop-up window appear with a download link.

Doing this will make it obvious that your ebook is available for download.

Right now, marketing experts are not properly utilizing CTA buttons:

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Fewer than half of websites have a CTA button that can be spotted in less than three seconds. That’s far too long. More than 70% of businesses don’t have their CTAs on the interior pages of their websites.

Don’t make this mistake.

You should also start A/B testing your CTA button’s placement, size, wording, and color. These tests will help you improve your site’s efficiency so you can get maximum exposure.

Try to get downloads from your email subscribers

As I said earlier when discussing blogging, you need to try to get as many downloads as possible from people already familiar with your brand.

Targeting your email subscribers is perfect for this. These people are interested enough in your brand and voice to sign up to hear from you on a regular basis.

It’s much easier to target your existing audience than trying to find readers elsewhere. Check out how Help Scout uses this technique in their email newsletter:

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It’s direct and straight to the point. They aren’t trying to promote anything else except for this new ebook.

The message ends with a clear call-to-action button that’s serves as a link for their subscribers to download the ebook.

Those of you charging people for an ebook download can try to entice your email subscribers to buy it by offering them a discounted rate.

Publish infographics with research from your ebook

People love visuals.

Infographics are great because they help drive more traffic to your website. Here’s why.

If you start publishing high quality infographics, other websites will use your visuals to improve their own content. As a result, you’ll get a referral link.

This will increase the chances of your book getting exposed to a wider audience.

You can even add a logo or some other identifying mark to all your infographics with the title of your book. The headline of each infographic could include the title of the chapter you were referencing.

If you have never made an infographic before, don’t be intimidated. It’s quite easy.

There are plenty of free online tools and resources available that let you create customized infographics. Check out Canva to start.

Don’t turn down guest-posting opportunities

Remember I said earlier that blogging on your own website can benefit downloads? Well, you can also get more ebook downloads by writing guest posts.

Guest posts expose your ebook to a new audience. People who read other blogs may not be familiar with your brand and voice. But you can get their attention with your guest post.

Just like with infographics, you’ll be able to get referral links for your guest posts. You can even have these referrals go straight to the download link.

I see way too many people turn down guest-posting opportunities. In fact, more than 40% of bloggers don’t write guest posts at all.

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This is a complete missed opportunity. Anytime someone offers you a guest post, you should jump on it. Just make sure their website has the same core values as your brand.

You don’t want to be associated with anyone who is not in line with your morals. If nobody is offering you guest-posting opportunities, find them on your own.

Websites will be thrilled to offer guest-posting because they get to publish new content without having to do any of the work. This is a win-win scenario for everyone.

Read sections on a live video broadcast

Live videos made the list of my top marketing trends to look for in 2018. This is a great opportunity for you to reach and engage with your audience on social media platforms.

Start with platforms such as:

  • Facebook Live
  • YouTube Live
  • Instagram Live.

Use whichever platform has the largest social media following. If you’ve got lots of followers on all of these networks, that’s great. Host live video broadcasts on all of them.

Just make sure your live stream isn’t boring. You’d want to read some passages to give people an idea of what they can expect from your book, but that’s not all you should do.

Marketing experts say live video is a great way to deepen your engagement with your followers:

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Answer questions in real time about your writing process, research, and inspiration for writing the ebook.

You could even give away some copies to people watching the live stream.

Leverage social media platforms

You want to make sure you exhaust all your marketing distribution channels to promote your ebook. I’ve already discussed your website, blog, and email subscription list.

In addition to using social media to broadcast live videos, you’ll also want to take advantage of the other features on these platforms.

Post pictures and videos to get the word out to your followers.

Encourage shares on Facebook and retweets on Twitter. Add a download link to your Instagram bio.

Think about all the followers you have on these platforms. Target them before the release. Promote the release date hard. Even after the book is written, keep up your social media marketing strategy to get more downloads.

You can try to work with social media influencers on these platforms as well.

Promote your personal brand

Why should anyone read your ebook?

You need to start promoting your personal brand. Position yourself as an expert on the subject.

If you have a degree in a specific field or any personal success stories relevant to the content of your book, let people know about that.

Answer these questions to help you define your personal brand:

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What makes you qualified to write an ebook?

If you brand yourself properly, it will add credibility to your book. As a result, more people will be interested in hearing what you have to say.

This will lead to more downloads.

Conclusion

Writing an ebook isn’t enough to get downloads.

You need to take proper steps to make sure people download your ebook.

Start taking pre-orders to build hype and gain exposure before the book is released. Record an audio version to make the book more appealing to people who prefer listening to books.

Blog about it. Use each chapter of your ebook as an inspiration for a blog post. You can even take advantage of guest-posting opportunities.

Create infographics to drive more traffic to your website. Make sure your site has a clear CTA on every page with a download link.

Target people who already know who you are. Use social media as a distribution channel, and stream live videos to create an authentic interaction with your audience.

Always promote your personal brand so people know you’re an expert on the topic and qualified to write this book.

If you follow these tips, you won’t have a problem getting tons of downloads for your latest ebook.

What strategies are you using to get more downloads for your new ebook?

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How to 24X Your LinkedIn Post Views in a Single Day

  If you’re not getting views on your LinkedIn posts, you’re losing business. How do I know that? 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. That means if your audience isn’t engaging on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on thousands of potential leads. And missing out on leads is never good for the bottom line. LinkedIn can … Continue reading “How to 24X Your LinkedIn Post Views in a Single Day”

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14 Ways to Get Free Advertising for Your Business

When you work at a small business with a limited budget, it’s not really possible to shell out $340,000 for a 30-second TV commercial, or $10,000 for an email marketing campaign.

It can be frustrating when your budget dictates how many people your business can reach.

Surprisingly, there are a lot of free ways to supplement your paid advertising efforts. By incorporating free advertising tactics into your strategy, you can remove some nonessential costs and dedicate your budget to deeper, more longterm plays.Click here to take inspiration from the most remarkable campaigns we've ever  seen.

In fact, we suggest some of these methods regardless of your budget.

To help you spread the word about your business without breaking the bank, we’ve compiled 14 ways to get advertising for free.

1. Use Google My Business to Optimize for Local Search

One of the most powerful free ways to advertise your business is through Google My Business, which enables companies to manage their presence on Google Search and Google Maps. The tool can bolster your rankings in local search results. Ranking high in local search shows you’re a legitimate and relevant company: you wouldn’t rank #1 in Google for “pizza places near me” if you’d closed down six months ago. Plus, if you rank high in local search, more consumers will choose your business over a competitor’s. In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is key.

2. Check Out Yext

The more places your business is listed online, the better your chances of showing up in search results, and the easier it is for potential customers to find you. To ensure great local SEO, the details of your listings on every website and online directory need to match up. For instance, if your website lists your company’s new phone number, but Yelp lists your old one, this inconsistency could hurt your SEO. Yext scans the web to find every place your business is listed, so you can tweak your listings to guarantee accuracy.

3. Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs

There are a few major advantages to guest posting for a well-established blog. You can benefit from connecting to that blog’s audience, and you can also start establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Since guest posting on a popular blog allows you access to an established audience and high domain authority, this practice can sometimes be more beneficial than posting to your own blog. Plus, you can link back to your own website from your article, giving you an inbound link that boosts your domain authority and can increase your own website’s ranking in search engines.

4. Answer Quora Questions

Writing content for Quora can expose your business to a large audience: TechCrunch reported that some of Quora’s active contributors receive more than 30,000 monthly views. Besides the large built-in audience, your business can answer direct questions from prospective customers. This lets you interact with high-quality potential leads and establish yourself as an expert in the subjects that matter most in your industry.

5. Publish Content on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an platform to connect with professionals, which is why it’s also a great place to share business-related content. LinkedIn’s blogging platform lets you demonstrate your expertise within your industry. Your connections and other LinkedIn members will engage with your posts and share them, doing the free promotion for you. With almost half of all social media traffic coming to B2B company sites from LinkedIn, it’s a missed opportunity if you don’t publish and promote content on LinkedIn.

6. Offer to Do Interviews on other Business’s Podcasts

To figure out which platforms your team should priortize, it’s important to diversify your promotion platforms to discover where your audience is already consuming content. Some of your audience might prefer listening to podcasts over reading articles. To reach those people, contact a few businesses with podcasts and pitch interview ideas.

7. Promote Your Website on Your Email Signature

With all the emails you send every day, it’s a shame if you aren’t taking advantage of the promotional potential of your email signature. Your email signature can also be unexpected property to promote a sale, contest, event, or even a new blog post. Add a link to your business’ website on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles, as well.

8. Send Email Newsletters

An email newsletter can be a useful vehicle to promote content, share business-related news, and build deeper relationships with both potential and existing customers. There are plenty of free tools out there that assist you in designing, sending, and optimizing your newsletter. With the right time investment, an email newsletter can be the perfect place to share quality content with leads and potential consumers, establishing your brand as helpful and informative.

9. Network at In-Person Events

Connecting with fellow professionals at industry networking events is a great opportunity to meet potential consumers in a place where they are eager to discuss your business. The niche topics of networking events ensures you’re meeting high-qualified leads. For example, a “Best Technology Startups of 2018” event will primarily be filled with participants who are interested in technology and startups. Particularly for small businesses looking to make their first connections, networking is a chance to get your name out there, meet potential partners, and find opportunities for growth. Plus, it’ll keep you up-to-date on trends in your industry.

10. Speak at an Event

Similar to networking, speaking at an event about a topic related to your industry is another way to exhibit your expertise. Giving a thought-provoking and powerful speech will draw attention to you and, by association, your business, which can increase brand awareness and prove your business is qualified to tackle consumer’s challenges. To start, brainstorm different topics and volunteer at various upcoming networking events and trade association conventions. If you’re afraid of public speaking (don’t worry, a lot of us are), you could enroll in a local Toastmasters chapter to improve your game.

11. Do a Free Product Giveaway or Contest

A product giveaway or contest is an easy way to incentivize new viewers to check out and subscribe to your social media channels or website. Plus, handing out inexpensive branded products like t-shirts or mugs is a good way to spread your brand name. Word of mouth is alive and well — and a little swag can go a long way.

12. Put Up Brochures or Flyers

Putting up brochures or flyers in local libraries, coffee shops, and businesses is a unique way to market to offline locations where people spend a good deal of their time. You can create free brochures and flyers on PowerPoint. Depending on your industry, it might even help you reach an ideal clientele: if you’re a physical therapist, for example, perhaps you could hand out brochures to local gyms or nearby hospitals.

13. Create YouTube Videos

YouTube has more than a billion active users, which accounts for almost one-third of everyone on the internet. Plus, 59% of executives — i.e. decision makers — go to videos before written content. Creating engaging and informative YouTube videos is one of the most efficient ways to sell your brand. If done right, your YouTube videos will entertain viewers enough to seek out your website.

14. Take Advantage of Your Partnerships

Partnerships are an opportunity to offer supplementary services that you don’t provide. For example, a web design company and a copywriting agency might choose to partner together, so when a client requires written content for her web pages, the web design company can offer copywriting services from their partner. This increases consumer satisfaction, and it also provides exceptional advertising opportunities. When your partner’s consumers need your services, your partner will point them in your direction.

marketing

 
Best Mktg and ad campaigns

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How to Use Continuous A/B Testing to Increase Conversions

When was the last time you updated your website?

If you have to stop and think for a minute to answer that question, you may have a problem. Your website needs to be monitored and updated on a regular basis.

However, you don’t want to make changes without any rhyme or reason. That’s why you can use A/B testing as a tool to help guide your website updates.

But before you start A/B testing, you need to understand how it works. It’s not just a one-time thing. Some of you may have tried these tests in the past and seen an improvement. So why did you stop?

For those of you who have never tried A/B testing, it can be difficult to know where to start. Regardless of your situation and experience with A/B testing, I can help you.

Continuous A/B testing will make your website more efficient.

I’ll explain how you can use this strategy to improve your business and help you boost your conversion rates.

How A/B testing works

A/B testing isn’t difficult to understand. You start by creating a hypothesis about a certain element and then run a test to see if your theory was right.

To do this, you create two different versions of your website. Half of your site traffic will get sent to one version, and the other half will get directed to the variation.

Here’s a visual representation to give you a better understanding of what I’m talking about:

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Once you set up the test, you wait to see which variation has higher conversion rates. Then you draw conclusions and update your website with the version that converts the most.

What’s tricky about A/B testing is deciding how long to test things and what elements need to be tested.

Honestly, there’s not one right answer to those questions. But I’ll give you some guidance to help you run these tests efficiently.

Test your CTA buttons

When you’re trying to get higher conversions, it’s best to start with the button that gets people to convert.

Obviously, these buttons are different for each company in every industry. It depends on your goal on a specific landing page as well. Some of you may be trying to drive a sale, while others may be trying to get site visitors to opt in to their email subscription lists.

The key here is picking one element to start. You don’t want to test two theories at once. Testing multiple hypotheses doesn’t give you conclusive results because you won’t know which variation impacted the results.

That’s why you should be running tests continuously to maximize the efficiency.

Start with something subtle and easy such as the size, color, or placement of your CTA button. For example, you could hypothesize that a larger CTA button will have higher conversions.

You can also test the actual text written on your CTA button. Try testing power words against action words.

Here are some of the power words that convert the most:

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Are any of these words used in your call to action?

Here are some more statistics about the conversion success of words that prompt an action:

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Based on the numbers in these graphics, you could hypothesize that a call to action that says “Sign up for free” will have higher conversion rates than one that says “Download now.”

But there’s only one way to find out. Test it.

After you test one of these and are satisfied with the results, move on to another test. If you started with the size of your CTA button, move on to the color. After that, you can test the text or placement of the button.

Test all the CTAs this way on each page of your website.

Fewer than half of websites have a CTA button that can be spotted in less than 3 seconds. Putting so much effort into testing your CTA will definitely give you an edge over your competitors.

Evaluate your headings

After you’re satisfied with your CTA button analysis, move on to other components of your website that stand out the most.

Your headlines and subheadings definitely jump off the page, so it makes sense to test those next.

If your headlines aren’t worded properly, visitors may not even read all the content on the page. While testing the CTA may seem more important, visitors could miss out on your entire value proposition if the headers don’t keep them engaged.

In addition to conversions, you should be looking at analytics that show for how long each visitor stays on the page.

If one headline causes the average page viewing time to be significantly longer than the variation, it will definitely increase the chances that the visitors will convert.

Here’s an example of an A/B test of a website’s headline:

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As you can see, the two pages are identical, except for the headlines. The variation has different words for the main heading and subhead.

The test yielded conclusive results. Website visitors who saw version A filled out the form at a 27.76% higher rate than the ones who saw version B.

If your tests are only within 5% or so of each other, you may not be able to say that one is definitely better. To find out for sure, you can run an A/A test before your A/B test to see what your standard deviation is between the same versions of a web page.

Improve your checkout process

For those of you with an ecommerce website, you need to find ways to minimize shopping cart abandonment.

Using A/B tests on the layout of your checkout process can really help you maximize conversions. You’ll be able to tell which elements are working and which ones can be tossed away.

I’ll give you some ideas of what you can start testing.

Are you accepting coupon codes? If you have an option for visitors to input a coupon code during the checkout process, it could send them searching for a code.

But if these codes aren’t always readily available and they’re just something you offer to a disgruntled customer, it shouldn’t be a primary element of your checkout process.

Test it out to see what kind of results you get.

You could also test a guest checkout vs. login to checkout conversion rates. I’m assuming you’re offering a secure checkout, so use A/B tests to see if the size and placement of your security badges have an impact on conversions.

Test every element on the page. Something small could make a huge difference.

Here’s a great example of something subtle that iHerb used when A/B testing their checkout process:

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Take a look at the left side of the screen. They have a shipping cost calculator. All the customer has to do is input their zip code to get an estimate on their shipping costs.

But the Heavy Duty Bag promotion draws lots of attention away from the calculator.

Here’s another version of the page:

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As you can see, the image was removed and the “Calculate” button was placed much closer to the “Proceed to Checkout” CTA.

OK. So technically they changed two elements of this page, which I know I said you shouldn’t do. But this was subtle enough to be effective.

I’m a big advocate for removing clutter from your pages, so I think it was a smart decision to get rid of the image in addition to moving the placement of the calculator.

Find out which images convert

You definitely want to use images to help you improve your website. It’s just a matter of deciding what images to use and where to place them.

If you’re on the fence about a decision, or you have some images already on your website, run A/B tests to see which ones have the highest conversion rates.

For example, you could test an image of a man vs. a woman to see if they yield different results. Or you could test an image of the same model but with different facial expressions, such as smiling vs. a serious face.

Is it better to have one big image as the background for your website? Or will a white background with the image in the forefront have higher conversions?

The only way to find out for sure is to test your theory.

You should also consider the size and position of your images in relationship to other elements on your website.

Continuously run these tests to maximize your conversion rates.

For example, let’s say you find out that a photo of a man converts higher than a photo of a woman. Now you’ve got to find the most optimal position of that photo on the page, so your tests will continue.

Test different color schemes

Colors can make a huge impact on how people see your website. That’s because different colors impact us differently.

We’re programmed to associate certain colors with certain events. For example, what color does everyone wear to a funeral (at least in the West)? I’m not trying to sound grim, but that’s one of the reasons why we automatically associate the color black with death.

Test colors for every component of your website, such as the color of the text, the menu icons, and CTA buttons.

Here’s an example that tests the colors of the call to action on this website:

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The pages are identical, including the text. The only thing that’s been changed is the color. Refer back to what I said earlier about our minds automatically associating certain colors with things.

Well, we’re programmed to go on green and stop on red. So a valid hypothesis for this A/B test would be that a green CTA button will have higher conversions than the red one. You’ll have to run a test to find out if that’s true for your website.

Use A/B tests to improve your emails

Everything we’ve discussed so far is related to your website. But that’s not the only platform you use to get conversions.

A/B testing is not limited to your website. You can also test factors within your email marketing campaigns.

Here too, you can focus on your CTA, colors, images, headings, and text.

But you can test other factors as well.

For example, use A/B testing on your email subject lines. The content of your message can be the same, but see if you have a significant difference in open rates and conversions based on the subject.

Test the word count of your marketing emails.

Recent studies suggest that emails between 50 and 125 words have the highest conversion rates.

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Think outside the box when you’re running these A/B tests.

Don’t assume you’re only allowed to test elements of your website. Email campaigns are another viable option.

Revisit your early tests

A/B tests don’t just last a day or two.

Typically, you’ll want to run each test for at least a few weeks to make sure you’ve got a large enough sample size to yield conclusive results.

Let’s say you run 4 or 5 different tests on your CTA button. That alone could take 3 months. Then you test your headlines, images, colors, and checkout process.

By the time you get through all these tests, a year or two could have passed since your initial test.

Well, don’t stop now. Go back and see if your CTA is still as efficient as possible.

Conclusion

A/B testing is one of the best ways to increase your conversion rates.

But you don’t just run one test and call it a day. This process needs to be a continuous part of your marketing strategy. Always strive to make improvements to your website.

Test things like your CTA buttons, headlines, and checkout process.

You can also test visual elements such as your images and color schemes on your pages.

A/B testing isn’t just restricted to your website. You can apply this strategy to your email marketing campaigns as well.

Once you finish testing something, move on to the next element. After you’ve tested everything, start back at the beginning.

What elements of your website are you testing first to improve your conversion rates?

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Social Media Cold Outreach: How To Send a LinkedIn Message to Anyone on LinkedIn

Can you remember the first time you cold-called someone? Just thinking about it makes my palms sweaty. My heart was pounding out of my chest as I dialed. And I tried to think ahead to how I would introduce myself and make a connection, but the nerves just clouded my mind. Each ring of the phone … Continue reading “Social Media Cold Outreach: How To Send a LinkedIn Message to Anyone on LinkedIn”

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