Four Tips To Ensure Your emails Get Opened – Instead Of Just Hoping They Do!

email open rate

Eight Second Memory?

People’s attention spans have reduced significantly over the past few years. A quick Google search has brought back this statement, which is apparently quoted quite often:

“The average American attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds; in 2013, it was eight seconds.”

Some examples also add that the average attention span of a goldfish is eight seconds, although it would appear that some defenders of goldfish challenge this commonly held belief…..

Anyway, let’s put goldfish to one side now and move on.

As it is now 2015, I guess it is safe to assume that the attention span figure is still around eight seconds. With such a small amount of time available, getting people to click rather than delete is absolutely crucial.

In a typical inbox, people see only three pieces of information when trying to decide whether to open your email.

“In the crowded consumer inbox, everything is at a premium—especially the recipient’s time.Consumers are doing a cost-benefit analysis on a minute-by-minute basis—even if they don’t know it”

To read further and to find out about the four tips to ensure an opened email, please click Here to link to this excellent article curated from the MarketingProfs website.

Read the full article Here

I was actually thinking about writing a post on this very topic, with a working title along the lines of “factors determining email open rates” when I came across the MarketingProfs article during my research.

As this is already an excellent article and so well written by the author Emily Konouchi,  I thought it more appropriate to curate.

Mike Flanagan

Four Tips To Ensure Your emails Get Opened – Instead Of Just Hoping They Do!

Four Tips To Ensure Your emails Get Opened – Instead Of Just Hoping They Do!

email open rate

Eight Second Memory?

People’s attention spans have reduced significantly over the past few years. A quick Google search has brought back this statement, which is apparently quoted quite often:

“The average American attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds; in 2013, it was eight seconds.”

Some examples also add that the average attention span of a goldfish is eight seconds, although it would appear that some defenders of goldfish challenge this commonly held belief…..

Anyway, let’s put goldfish to one side now and  move on.

As it is now 2015, I guess it is safe to assume that the attention span figure is still around eight seconds. With such a small amount of time available, getting people to click rather than delete is absolutely crucial.

In a typical inbox, people see only three pieces of information when trying to decide whether to open your email.

“In the crowded consumer inbox, everything is at a premium—especially the recipient’s time.Consumers are doing a cost-benefit analysis on a minute-by-minute basis—even if they don’t know it”

To read further and to find out about the four tips to ensure an opened email, please click Here to link to this excellent article curated from the MarketingProfs website.

Read the full article Here

I was actually thinking about writing a post on this very topic, with a working title along the lines of “factors determining email open rates” when I came across the MarketingProfs article during my research.

As this is already an excellent article and so well written by the author Emily Konouchi,  I thought it more appropriate to curate.

Mike Flanagan

Is Your Site Responsively Compliant?

Is Your Site Responsively Compliant?

When Google announce an algorithm update, they usually do it fairly quickly, with little to no warning.

Many Internet Marketers are painfully aware of the impact of Google’s Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates. Especially those Marketers whose site’s were hit and tumbled down the SEO rankings to some far-flung page in the outer-listings.

I was still too new at IM when those updates were rolled out, but I did read of many horror stories, where the website incomes of Marketers was just wiped out overnight.

It must have been very tough for those whose sites were affected, but I guess that some of them were “living on the edge” by indulging in techniques and activities that reside on the darker sides of “white-hat”. So it was only a matter of time – really –  before Google would react. And react they did, by hitting them where it hurt, a direct slap down the rankings for everyone they deemed as trying to “game” their systems.

For me and others who started out in the last year, the Google updates have actually been of benefit to us, by helpfully highlighting the things we shouldn’t be doing. When learning anything new, it is very annoying having to “un-learn” something when you find out that it could expose you to unnecessary risk and is just plain wrong.

The other main benefit for newbies, is that the after-effects of the Google updates, put everything on a far more level basis than it had been for a very long time.

So that brings me to the point of this post.

At least a month ago, maybe longer, Google announced the coming of the Mobile Ranking Algorithm:

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

This algorithm will include mobile-friendly usability factors, as more people are using smartphones and other mobile devices, it is now more important than ever that all sites are mobile-friendly.

The word from Google is “Responsive Design”.  So it is up to all site owners to ensure that all pages are available and render correctly to all devices from the same URL.

More details are available Here

Three Simple Ways To Test A Site For Responsiveness

Number 1 – Resize Your Browser Window

A quick and simple test is to adjust the browser window size to see if the site would be usable on a small screen.

The first screenshot below, with the caption “Site Viewed In Wide Browser Window” shows the Home page of my site in a wide browser window. It was taken from a 24inch display screen and is perfectly OK.

However, the second screenshot with the caption “Site Viewed In Thin Browser Window” is a totally different story. I have reduced the width of the browser window – on the same 24inch display – and you can see that my banner and the share icons are the only elements on the page that are responsive.

All the text, the menu and the dark grey background have gone.

Unfortunately for me, it means that my site will fail the mobile responsive design test! And that is exactly the reason why I am currently rebuilding my site off-line.

Chrome Developer View

Site Viewed In Wide Browser Window

 

Site viewed in thin browser window

Site Viewed In Thin Browser Window

 

Number 2 – Google Chrome Browser

Another way, for those that use the Google Chrome browser, is to right-click anywhere on the page.  A menu will then appear, as shown in this image  below with the caption “Right Click Menu In Chrome With Inspect Element Highlighted”

Right Click Menu In Chrome

Right Click Menu In Chrome With Inspect Element Highlighted

 

A “Developer Area” showing lines of code will appear at the bottom of the screen, taking up approx 25% of the display area, as shown in the image below:

Chrome Developer Area At Bottom Of Screen

Chrome Developer Area At Bottom Of Screen

 

The screenshot shows the screen as viewed  from the  bottom left section.  I have drawn a red arrow pointing at a mobile-phone icon, which will display a drop-down menu  called “Device” in the upper left area of the screen, as shown in the screenshot below:

Device Drop-Down In The Upper Left Area Of The Screen

Device Drop-Down In The Upper Left Area Of The Screen

The drop-down menu lists quite a number of mobile devices from different manufacturers. Devices ranging from smartphones to tablets can be chosen and the page shown under the list will adjust according to the dimensions of the selected device.  This feature of Chrome makes it possible to see how your site will look on a range of different devices – all for free!

 

Number 3 – Google On-Line Tool

To test the mobile friendliness of a website, Google have produced an on-line tool which is available Here

The preferred result is the display of the following message, in green –  “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly”.  Unlike the message I got from the test, as shown below:

Googles Mobile-Friendly Test Tool

Googles Mobile-Friendly Test Tool

 

Oh dear, I’ve got some work to do before the 21st of April!

The Tool shows the problems found and what needs to be done to make the site compliant. My mission is to do just that and achieve  an “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly” in a nice friendly green! I am actually in the process of rebuilding my website, with WordPress locally installed on my PC using WampServer.
WampServer is a Windows web development environment. Mac users have a number of alternatives to go at,  as listed Here

 

Six Tips For A Mobile-Friendly Website

  • Use The Same Domain for mobile and desktop sites. Don’t use a different domain, subdomain or subdirectory for mobile users.
  • Media content, including video & audio, to be available to play in the required formats of all mobile devices.
  • 404 Mobile Error. If a page is not available for mobiles devices, don’t just redirect to a default 404 error for desktops.
  • Avoid Duplicate Content on site versions for desktop & mobile. That’s why Google wants all sites to have a Responsive Design.
  • Don’t block JavaScript, CSS and image files. The Googlebot needs to have easy access to these website files.
  • Mobile Page Speed is important to the user experience and the site’s loading process will have to be optimised.  Google’s Page Speedtest Tool is Here.

 

I hope this information has been of some benefit to you. I will certainly be working on the responsive conversion of this site and uploading it before the 21st deadline, which is actually Tuesday of next week. And achieving the “Awesome – Mobile-Friendly” status from Google.

Actually, if you are inspired by the word “Awesome”, there is something else I want to point out to you that is truly deserving of the word.  Most affiliate programs out there are much the same, in terms of their commission payments, differing only by 1 to 2 percentage points. And apart from providing a few banners and emails to use, you are pretty much by yourself when it comes to promoting the product.

This one is different.

But, you don’t have to take my word for it, just click The Affiliate Club banner below and find out for yourself.

If you’re not yet ready to dive into the world of affiliate marketing, then maybe this would be more suitable for you. Just click the banner below

Kind Regards,

Mike Flanagan

Mike Flanagan

PC Problems, Virus Attack and Backups

PC Problems, Virus Attack and Backups

In this video, I talk about the recent problems I have had with my computer, initially started by a virus/malware issue that caused hardware damage to an 8GB stick of RAM & a 2TB Hard Drive.

I then go on to discuss anti-virus/malware and backups, both local & cloud-based.

At about the 06:15 point in the video, I mention a link for Copy.com .

With Copy.com, you get 15GB to start plus an extra 5GB if you get it through my link.

20GB is not bad for a free account!

Of course, you don’t have to go through my link, but if do, just Click Here

I also talk about a continuous on-line backup solution I use called Backblaze. Click Here to go there and check it out.

 

PC Problems, Virus, Firewalls and Backups?

https://miketflanagan.com/

The dreaded BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death)

You may well ask what all of this has got to do with Internet Marketing or running an On-line Home Business.

Surely this topic belongs in a blog focused on IT or computer related stuff!

Well, yes,  it is ” IT or computer related stuff”, but without a computer of some description it would be impossible to access the Internet – let alone run a business on it. Admittedly, there are tablets and smartphones, but it is generally easier and more efficient to use a desktop or laptop computer for this task.

However, if a tablet or smartphone is your preferred device, then please forgive my impertinence. But bear in mind that any device that accesses the Internet is potentially vulnerable and requires protection.

Also, this post concerns a PC, because that is what I use and what was attacked. But don’t get too smug if your ‘tech’ of choice is made by Apple Computers.

So, welcome to my latest post that unashamedly focuses on the computer or other devices  we all use every day and maybe even take for granted.

The Computer “Thingy” That Gets Me To My Website

Taken for granted and mostly overlooked, except when needed, that box of electronics that sits on your desk or lap is under constant threat when connected to the Internet. Unscrupulous people all over the world are always on the lookout for a vulnerable computer that can be exploited to gain access to your personal and financial information. They can also use it to launch attacks on other vulnerable machines, or even relay spam and phishing emails through it so it looks as if the messages are coming from you.

There’s no need for paranoia, just an awareness of the fact that threats  are always out there.

The crowd of sniveling under-rock-dwellers that spend their miserable little lives writing malicious code for the purpose of causing maximum disruption or stealing sensitive information, have been busy expanding their repertoire of coding mayhem into the realms of Apple’s OSX & IOS as well as Linux and Android Operating Systems.

During the course of my career, I have met a lot of very intelligent and talented individuals, who live and breath hardware and sof tware design. Most of them are still working very happily writing software and/or designing electronic products. Unfortunately, some have been led down a darker path, donning a “black hat” and wasting their considerable talents, by focusing on malicious software creation, cracking  and hacking. I don’t know why – maybe some kind of traumatic incident in their personal or business life acted as a catalyst and triggered a vengeful mindset.

But who really knows the reasons why? Except, maybe,  the individuals themselves.

The takeaway here is Vigilance .

Don’t become a sitting duck by thinking that it’s only Windows based PC’s that are vulnerable. There are always people, somewhere, actively working on exploits and thinking up different methods to gain access and take control of all popular operating systems, including OSX, IOS, Android and the more popular distributions of Linux.

Always ensure that the computer or device you work with, has known and respected Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware programs running, that receive at least daily updates to their definitions databases, so they are always prepared for the most current piece of nasty coding lurking out there. Also, always try to work behind a firewall, whether it’s the one built into your broadband router, as most are these days, or a software version installed on your computer/device.

Remember that everything is secure and robust before someone decides to launch an attack.

It’s only after the event when weaknesses are exposed. But, by that time, it is much too late.

My PC suffered a virus attack, although it didn’t look like that was the problem at first.

But, after a lot of investigation, research and diagnostics, I tracked all the problems down to a file with the magnificent name of zlibwapi.dll.wwbak that was sitting very nonchalantly in the system32 directory.

Now, there is a file called zlibwapi.dll which is associated with the zlib data compression library (zlib.dll). As ‘wapi’ is contained in the name, it would suggest that this file is a Windows Application Programming Interface (WAPI) that would act as an interface to an application requiring access to the library of functions contained within zlib.dll (dll = Dynamic Link Library).

So it’s quite normal to find both zlib.dll & zlibwapi.dll files on a PC, as there are many applications that use the compression functions in the library. Those that immediately spring to mind are any that manipulate photo, video or other graphics files. A quick search on my PC shows the files used extensively within Adobe applications as well as Camtasia and various video conversion programs.

I’ll be writing more on this in future posts, so stay tuned!