Happy holidays and be safe!

thanksgivingI am getting ready to travel to see relatives and celebrate Thanksgiving with family.

I wanted to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.

Be safe. No drinking and driving!

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Free Shirt Friday- CarCovers.Com @CarCoversCom

This week’s Free Shirt Friday is from CarCovers.Com. They are a long-time friend of mine who attend my annual Elite Retreat Conference. I’m also thrilled to have them a part of our enterprise level automated email marketing platform: The PAR Program. 

CarCovers.com specializes in car covers for all makes and models of vehicles. Their goal is to provide your vehicle with the best defense against sun damage, weather damage, physical damage and natural damage. They are a respected provider of Car Covers, Truck Covers, SUV Covers, and Van Covers.

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My Stats From New Gmail Changes In Email Sorting

Last June Gmail introduced the “tabs” that sorted promotional emails into their own section outside of the inbox.

For those who don’t use Gmail here is what it looks like:

tabs

People all over the internet were chiming in about how this was going to alter email marketing as we know it.

Even email service providers were writing “theories” on what was going to happen.  With our PAR Program company, we not only are a service provider with email being a component but more importantly,  unlike any email service.  I actually have real experience actually doing what I am providing.  Over 11 years now.

And being I have an actual product myself that I sell using my PAR Program,  again unlike these companies developing theories,  I see real stats.

So here are my findings.  Again only related to Gmail Users (@gmail.com addresses):

10-25% decrease on initial open/click rates on average 24 hours after the email is sent .Average time to open/click emails much longer.Overall 10 day average had a significant increase in click/open rates.Increase in revenue from emails (20% in my ShoeMoney Products).

I believe the increase in e-commerce sales from our clients and my own products is pretty simple.

People get the email but its non intrusive because its filed away.  Which is why we see the delay in open/clicks/purchases.When people get time to actually go through their promotional section they have time to read the email and react.  This is why we see an increase in opens/clicks/purchases over the long haul.

Now I don’t expect these results to be typical.  I have been doing email marketing for 11 years now focusing on consumer engagement.  I personally write all the copy for our clients as well as advise them on various key points.

If your subject line, from address/name, and email copy are not good (or you just don’t know how to do it right)  then this is going to hurt you.  Now people have time to unsubscribe and report you as spam.

So if you have good copy these gmail tabs are going to help you a lot as people digest the value you are giving them and react as such.

I have some other really interesting stats coming up soon so stay tuned!

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Free Shirt Friday – Bench-Mor @BenchMor

Bench-Mor brings us this week’s Free Shirt Friday.   Bench-Mor™ states that it will simply increase your bench press capability. While reducing the stress on your shoulders, elbows and chest, the strategically developed device will help perfect your bench press form so that muscle memory occurs resulting in a rapid escalation of weight capability.

3 - sarah@shoemoney.com - ShoeMoney Capital Mail

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Free Shirt Friday- Hit King Styles @HitKing_Styles

This week’s free shirt friday comes from Hit King Styles . The baseball inspired company is run by Chuck Olsen from Delaware. Their  goal is to provide eye-catching products, with motivational, or underlying messages. Their first design, the HK Crown, is their base design and conveys their main message: ‘crown yourself’. The crown atop the diamond represents dominating one’s own realm, or your “zone”. The conjoined “HK” represents the company logo, but also represents confidence, and unity.

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If you would like to see your website or company featured on Free Shirt Friday click here.

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How I use Google Analytics ‘Compare’ Feature to Motivate Me to Grow My Blog

This morning, a reader asked me this question:

“How do you motivate yourself to grow your blog traffic from day to day?”

We’ve covered a whole heap of techniques for growing the amount of traffic you attract to your blog in our Blog Promotion category (also check out this ‘how to find readers page‘ and listen to my recent finding reader webinar) but one thing that has helped me on the ‘motivation’ front lately is the report below in Google Analytics (click to enlarge).

comparing-traffic.png

What you’re looking at is the traffic so far today (the blue line) on Digital Photography School compared to the traffic on the site one week ago (the orange line) – arranged by the hour.

I’ll tell you how to get this report below but first, the reason I love this report is that it tells me whether I’m on track to get as much traffic to my site today as I had this time last week.

Having something to compare traffic keeps me motivated to better the previous week’s result.

Note: I always choose to compare traffic from exactly 1 week previous because on our site we see quite distinct rises and falls in traffic on different days of the week.

In the chart above you can see the day’s traffic started well, with the first 4 hours between 1.7% and 18.1% higher than the previous week.

This all happened while I was asleep so when I checked in at 9am I was pleased! However, I also saw that from 6am-8am that we were beginning to slip behind.

Knowing this gave me a little bit of motivation to find some ways to drive more traffic to the site today.

I took a look at the schedule of Facebook updates that I had planned for the day and decided to move a status update I thought would drive some traffic to be earlier in the day.

That status update went live at 9am and resulted in a nice bump in traffic to get the blue line trending up above the orange again.

I also identified some older posts from my archives that I then scheduled to be tweeted throughout the next 24 hours (based upon my advice from last month to promote old content), which I thought would help us to keep nudging the traffic up higher for the rest of the day.

Having this report open is a great little source of motivation to keep working not only at writing great content but also driving traffic to it.

I also find that having this comparison open during the day (and watching ‘real time’ stats) helps me to spot anomalies in traffic. It helps me to quickly spot if there’s a problem (server issues) or on the flip side it shows me when a post might have been shared on a big blog or social media account.

Knowing this information helps me to react quickly to fix a problem or leverage a traffic event.

UPDATE: here’s how the traffic looked at the end of the day in the comparison view:

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 8.56.20 am.png

Things slipped for the last hour or two but over the full day visitor numbers were up by 4.22%.

While a 4% increase in traffic isn’t the most spectacular result I see it is a small step in a larger race I’m running. I know if I can see even a 1% increase in traffic each week that over a year or longer that it’ll significantly grow the site over time.

For those of you new to Google Analytics here’s the easy process to get this report (it will only take you a couple of minutes).

1. Login to your Google Analytics Account

2. In the menu click on the ‘Overview’ link under ‘Audience’

Audience_Overview_-_Google_Analytics.png

3. By default you’ll be looking at the last months traffic. You want to drill down now to today so in the top right corner click on the date range and a calendar will open up like this:

Audience_Overview_-_Google_Analytics-6.png

4. Select today’s date.

Audience_Overview_-_Google_Analytics-5.png

5. Check the ‘compare to’ box and then in the new date field that opens up underneath you can put in last weeks date by clicking on the day you want to compare it to. Once you have – click ‘Apply’.

Audience_Overview_-_Google_Analytics-7.png

6. You’re almost done now. You should be looking at a report that compares the two days but by default it’ll be showing you the total of the days in the chart as two dots. You want to view this now as ‘hourly’ so hit the ‘hourly’ tab.

Audience_Overview_-_Google_Analytics-8.png

You now should be looking at the comparison of today’s traffic with the same day last week (note: your current days report won’t yet be complete unless the day is almost over and it does run an hour behind).

This comparison tool is really useful for a while heap of reports.

For example you can choose to compare one week with another:

Audience_Overview_-_Google_Analytics-10.png

In fact, any period of time can be compared with any other period.

Also, with a date range locked in you can drill down into many other metrics.

For example, earlier today I was doing some analysis comparing this last week with the corresponding week in September, which was just before we did our new redesign on Digital Photography School.

A day by day comparison showed a great improvement in overall traffic.

Audience_Overview_-_Google_Analytics-11.png

Drilling down further, and viewing the two weeks by the hour, was also fascinating and showed that the two weeks had remarkably similar patterns in traffic from hour to hour – so the increase in traffic was very even across the week.

Audience_Overview_-_Google_Analytics-12.png

Under that chart was some interesting data:

Audience_Overview_-_Google_Analytics-16.png

Not only were Visits and Page views well up – but being able to see that bounce rate was slightly down and that average visitor duration was up was encouraging. Seeing Pages Viewed Per Visit was down showed we have an area to improve on (we’re already working on this) and seeing that we had a good rise in ‘new’ visitors was something that should be investigated further.

To investigate the rise in ‘new’ visitors I moved into the ‘Acquisition’ menu on Google analytics. The same date range and comparison is still selected so now I’m able to compare the two periods when it comes to different sources of traffic and see why we’ve had rises in traffic:

It turns out we’ve seen increases in a few area:

Search Traffic is up:

All_Traffic_-_Google_Analytics_and_Preview_of_“Untitled”.png

Facebook Traffic is up (due to my recent experiments):

All_Traffic_-_Google_Analytics-2.png

But interestingly Feed traffic is down (giving us something to investigate).

All_Traffic_-_Google_Analytics-3.png

There are many other areas you can drill down into with the comparison tool – almost anything that Google Analytics has a report for you can compare from period to period and get a great overview of how that stat compares very quickly.

Have a go yourself – do some comparisons and let me know what you find in comments below!

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