Author: Justin Premick

The Many Benefits of Engaging People’s Curiosity in Your Emails

By Justin Premick

My name is Benny Lewis, and I don’t have much experience in Internet marketing. I actually blog about rapid language learning. But a year ago I started an email newsletter for my blog and have been getting an excellent return out of it. How do I do it? I inject some personality into it, and I use people’s curiosity to get them on my list and keep them reading!

Memorial Day Support Hours 2011

By Justin Premick

AWeber’s support offices will be closed on Monday May 30, 2011 as we observe Memorial Day.

As always, we will monitor the AWeber system and the support inbox to address any critical issues.

We’ll be back at 8:00AM Eastern Time on Tuesday, May 31st to answer your questions by phone, email and live online chat.

Thanks, and have a great holiday!

Core Values: Our Blueprint for Success

By Justin Premick

Since Sean last posted about our Core Values on AWeber’s ten year anniversary, a lot has changed.

Among other things, we moved into a brand new office, hired even more talented individuals, focused on giving back and worked hard to foster a sense of true community at work through various events and opportunities for recognition of jobs well done.

Yet even though AWeber is constantly evolving, one thing remains the same: our Core Values define the AWeber family. Only they’ve changed a little too, so we want to share them with you and give AWeber employees the chance to explain why they really sum up what makes AWeber an awesome place to work.

AWeber’s Core Values

  1. Foster Respect and Cooperation.
  2. Listen to What People Say About Us. Invite Feedback.
  3. Learn. Educate. Innovate.
  4. Don’t Take Ourselves Too Seriously; Have Fun.
  5. Create Remarkable Experiences.

Foster Respect and Cooperation

As we grow, it’s important for us to retain the family feel we’ve had since day one. That being said, fostering respect and cooperation isn’t a requirement, it’s simply a product of our environment. We recognize the importance of working together and believe every opinion should be heard.

Paul Jacobsen

Paul Jacobsen

“Regardless of your position here, everybody is treated equally and anybody is easily approachable, much like the Golden Rule. Everybody here follows this particular value naturally. When you work with people that example this, it sets a comfortable environment and tasks get done more efficiently and productively.”

Jay Moore

Jay Moore

“Knowing that I can depend on my fellow team members allows us to work as a more cohesive unit; a shining example of cooperation.”

Bill Eshbach

Bill Eshbach

“After many years, I came to the realization I don’t know it all. I don’t have all of the answers. As a result, I have to ask others for input…and without cooperation, I would be an island. I am not. And, no one should be.”

Listen to What People Say About Us. Invite Feedback.

We value the opinion of each and every person who uses our service and we rely on your suggestions to provide the type of service that you need and want.

Karl Holman

Karl Holman

“While we can’t accommodate every request, at least we can continually encourage our customers to speak out. Of course, while the compliments are better and far outweigh the complaints or suggestions, all forms of feedback should not only be encouraged, but also welcomed as valuable learning tools and blueprints for our future success.”

Robert Murphy

Robert Murphy

“I feel that the greatest value to a customer is acknowledging that they are as much part of the organization as I am.”

Feedback can also come from interested and engaged employees. Input from team members is incredibly valuable and an instrument of our success.

Chris Hoover

Chris Hoover

“I implement this by listening to our co-workers. As I talk with them about my ideas, or about ideas/issues they are dealing with, I try to encourage and foster discussion on these issues. As the issues and ideas are fleshed out, I try to see where/how I can help implement the solution in our databases.”

Learn. Educate. Innovate.

Learning and development are also key components of our company. We not only strive to educate customers, but continually seek new and informative sources for our own knowledge.

Dan Deming

Dan Deming

“When managing one of the development teams here at AWeber, I always keep in mind the proverb that ends ‘Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’. When another team member here asks me a question, I will not only give him the answer, but point out how he could have located the answer himself using the resources available to him. I view the many different types of questions that are escalated to me from the different departments I interact with as an education opportunity and am always pleasantly surprised at everyone’s willingness to learn.”

Lindsay Valente

Lindsay Valente

“This Core Value means a lot to me personally because I believe that education is extremely important in the success of our company, our customers, and each individual AWeber team member. I find personal success in educating people and giving them the tools they need to execute their goals.”

Ethan McCreadie

Ethan McCreadie

“I remember, when I was a child, hearing adults say that they had never stopped learning, and not believing them. If you keep learning, I wondered, why are we only required to go to school until twelfth grade? Now I get it though. One of the things I love about working here is that in exploring new and potential technologies, I am constantly learning.”

Don’t Take Ourselves Too Seriously; Have Fun.

There’s never a shortage of fun at the AWeber HQ. Team members create so many opportunities to enjoy themselves while at work. From Tuesday Star Trek Club to intense Magic: The Gathering games at lunch, there’s always something to get into.

Tracey Churray

Tracey Churray

“We always manage to have fun at work. Right now, the Customer Solutions Department is playing Bingo by completing every day tasks – just to make it fun.”

Erin Carney

Erin Carney

“If people can smile, laugh at, or just be entertained by anything I do, I’m happy. And if all else fails, it’s never too late to break out the radio and start a dance party!”

Kelly Madden

Kelly Madden

“Working in such an open company allows us to be ourselves and show some of our unique aspects that make us, us. We play hard, but we work even harder. Not everyday is a smooth day here, but what I do know is that I leave with a smile each day. We are able to lift spirits, which in turn allows us to help customers in a friendly, positive manner. When you work for a company that wants you to have fun, that shows us that we are valued as not only employees, but as people.”

Create Remarkable Experiences

Because we do have fun at work, we are able to give the best support possible to over 100,000 customers. Our enthusiasm helps us provide remarkable experiences beyond what they might expect or even hope for, which is our favorite challenge.

Jordan Bernstein

Jordan Bernstein

“By helping keep our systems running smoothly, and ensuring the systems in our office and data center are running well, my team is able to make everyone’s experience better and in turn get the job done more efficiently. Of course, only when everything’s working right!!! But that’s why we do what we do…the ultimate goal to reach exceedingly higher levels of service and reliability, which in turn results in a better experience for both customers and employees.”

Ben Krein

Ben Krein

“The world of a SysAdmin is all about dealing with computers & networking – makes it hard to relate to experiences. But then, that’s kind of how we do make remarkable experiences: we keep things working so people don’t have to think about it (at least that’s our goal). The remarkable experience we offer others is one of reliability and confidence in the tools they need to use everyday. And if something does break, we offer the knowledge and time to make it right.”

Jeff Spencer

Jeff Spencer

“To me, I guess it means going the extra distance in order to ensure that a customer has a positive experience with us. By positive experience, I don’t just mean solving the issue that that particular customer contacted us about, but also making sure that they receive quick, competent, and friendly assistance that they normally would not receive elsewhere. The truth is that pretty much everyone who works here is remarkable and remarkable people will always create remarkable experiences.”

Understanding What We’re All About

AWeber Team

Our dedication to providing amazing service has been solid since day one, but without a strong team, AWeber would not be the incredible company that it is today. We continue to progress as a forward thinking company because we constantly reevaluate our Core Values.

Each one of us has a copy within arm’s reach that serves as an everyday reminder that we are a unique company. We want everyone who interacts with us to feel our commitment to their individual success, and we hope that hearing straight from some of these passionate employees gives you a better idea of how things work here at AWeber!

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Want 60-70% Open Rates on Your Emails? Here’s How I Do It

By Justin Premick

This is a guest post by Andreas of London Cyclist.

He contacted me asking if he could share how he’s achieved increased open rates for his email marketing campaigns. I think you’ll enjoy his story and advice.

Take it away, Andreas! -Justin Premick

Listening in awe to a highly accomplished blogger about how she built her email list, I only had one burning question in my mind.

When the presentation was over, I eagerly worked my way through the crowd and asked: “I’m getting email open rates between 60-70%… what can I do to get it higher?”

The blogger looked at me a little shocked.

It Turns Out 60-70% Constitutes a High Open Rate

She sat down with me and we pinned down the key things that were contributing to the success.

Four of these you can easily implement in the next hour, while the last one will take a little longer.

Whilst I wouldn’t recommend you use email open rate as your only key metric, it’s one of those things that as email marketers our eyes can’t help drifting towards.

Here’s how I maximize mine.

Find Your Perfect Time and Stick To It

Through testing I’ve found the perfect time to send out my emails. Now, I stick to it religiously.

To achieve the same result, try split testing your emails and seeing which one receives the highest engagement.

Once you’ve found the perfect time, deliver on it consistently. This way subscribers come to expect it. Most of my subscribers get to work, flip open their email and grab a cup of tea while they read my newsletter.

Use The Headline and First Sentence Effectively

We all know a well written headline will tempt someone to open an email. But did you know there’s a another key thing subscribers see when they are deciding whether to open your email or not?

It’s the first sentence inside the email. I’m often disappointed to see most email marketers are missing this opportunity to lure people into reading the email.

I typically receive emails where the first line inside the email reads: “Click here if you cannot see this email correctly”. Hardly attention grabbing!

The first item in my email newsletter is my logo. I’ve set the alternative text inside the logo to a secondary headline I use to lure people into the email.

The HTML You Need For This

<a href=”” ><img src=”Put the URL of your logo here” alt=”Put your secondary headline here” border=”0″ /></a>

Deliver Exclusivity

My subscribers often receive content that is not available on the blog.

Whether that be an exclusive competition, a new article or something a little bit more personal about me or the site that I wouldn’t share on the blog. This gives subscribers an extra reason to be vigilant about opening my emails.

My open rates often skyrocket when there is content in the newsletter that cannot be found elsewhere.

Draw People Into the Next Email

Another method to make sure people are opening the emails you are sending out is to point out what is coming up next. If one of the topics in your next email strikes their interest then they’ll look out for it. I do this by simply having a “Next Week” section at the bottom of my e-mails.

The Big Secret

The above four techniques can be instantly applied to great effect. The final suggestion takes a little longer.

If you sat me down in a quiet cafe and pushed me further on the techniques that have worked I would lean back, scratch my head and tell you this:

Treat your email subscribers like you treat your best friends. Take an interest in them, learn what their needs and fears are and then create content and products that will suit them perfectly. Then they will always be eager for your next email.

Your Steps to Take for Higher Open Rates

  • Create an email schedule. Deliver emails consistently and make sure readers know when to expect them
  • Make sure the first sentence readers see isn’t “Click here if you cannot see this email correctly”
  • In your next email think about what extra content you can give that hasn’t be seen before
  • Hint towards what content is coming up to draw people into the next email
  • Get to know your audience so you can cater your offers and content to them

Andreas Kambanis started London Cyclist when he saw the need for a place for casual cyclists to meet and exchange tips online. He uses email marketing to sell his own products such as the London Cycle Routes eBook and affiliate offers. You can check out his newsletter here.

Meet AWeber at SXSW 2011

By Justin Premick

Meet AWeber at SXSWAre you headed to South by Southwest (SXSW) 2011?

Sean Cohen and I (Justin) will be there from Friday, March 11 until Tuesday, March 15. We’re looking forward to a busy few days of interesting sessions and discussions with businesses about how they’re growing and marketing themselves.

We always love meeting AWeber customers and other smart people, so if you’re going to be down there, let us know!

You can reach us through Twitter – Sean is @scohen and I’m @justinpremick. We’ll also be tweeting from the @AWeber account, so if you’re not going to be there, follow us for updates from the show (you can also follow the #SXSW hashtag, but with thousands of people attending, it may be a lot to digest).

Hope to see you there!


Meet Us at MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Email Summit

By Justin Premick

MarketingSherpa Email SummitAWeber will be at MarketingSherpa’s Email Summit from Monday 1/24/11 until Wednesday 1/26/11.

If you’re headed to the conference, we’d love to meet you. Amanda and I (Justin) are going, so keep a look out for us or drop @aweber a line on Twitter.

If you’re not going to be there, you can keep up with what’s happening and the data and lessons being shared, by following the #SherpaEmail hashtag on Twitter.

Hope to see you there!

Christmas and New Year’s Support Hours

By Justin Premick

Please note that AWeber’s support offices will be closed on the following days as we spend time with our loved ones during the holidays:

  • Friday, December 24, 2010
  • Saturday, December 25, 2010
  • Friday, December 31, 2010
  • Saturday, January 1, 2011

As always, we’ll be keeping an eye on our service and the support inbox to address any urgent issues.

We’ll return on the following Mondays (December 27 and January 3) at 8:00 a.m. EST to answer your questions by phone, email and live chat.

Thanks, and have a great holiday!

Support Hours – Thanksgiving 2010

By Justin Premick

On Thursday, November 25, we’ll be eating turkey, seeing family, watching football, and generally enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday.

Our support offices will be closed, but rest easy — the AWeber software is still coming to work Thursday. We’ll be keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t try to take the day off, too ;)

We’ll be back in the office at 8:00AM on Friday, November 26, so if you have any questions on Thursday email us and we’ll get back to you then.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Link Tank: SEO Videos, Stock Photos and Kermit The Frog’s Inbox

By Justin Premick

Link Tank is our way of showing you some of the interesting, useful, thought-provoking and other eye-catching stuff we come across. For more of these, see the Link Tank tag.

Aaron at SEO Book points out several handy videos on SEO basics.

If you grit your teeth every time your marketing questions are answered with, “It depends,” find out why it really does depend.

Is your product a vitamin (nice to have, but doesn’t fill a desperate need)? Turn it into an aspirin!

Using stock photos and other generic images on your site or in your emails? According to Jacob Nielsen, you might want to rethink that. (Hat tip: @putorti.)

If you need a playful pick-me-up, take a peek at Kermit the Frog’s inbox.

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Link Tank: MySpace’s Fall, Email Don’ts, The Value of a Social “Share”

By Justin Premick

Link Tank is our way of showing you some of the interesting, useful, thought-provoking and other eye-catching stuff we come across. For more of these, see the Link Tank tag.

A few years ago, MySpace was the “undisputed king of social media.” What can your business learn from its fall?

Malcolm Gladwell talks about new media’s use in organizing and activism.

In a recent comic, The Oatmeal offers a few email etiquette pointers.

Some are simple, others flashy. All 45 of these email newsletter designs are all worth a look.

Eventbrite shares the value of a social “share.”

Do you use email the same way your subscribers use email? You might be surprised.