Effective Messaging
November, 2014

Happily it all went very well. My eye operation was a marvel of 21st century medicine in a mere 25 minutes. I had to stay heads-down for four days. That was challenging, but I got through it. And now I'm waiting for the sight to fully restore. It's not there yet, but I was told it can take up to six months.

And the webinar went well, too. Lots about that in this issue.

The first article discusses the value of doing webinars and factors to consider if you do one yourself. The second article is about subject lines, again. But with a twist. I made a mistake that was actually a good thing.

If you're local to the Berkshires, look out for the Winter issue of Berkshire Magazine at the end of this month. I have an article there entitled "Moment by Moment" about integrative healing. There will be a link to it in the December Web Words.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving with good food and good friends.

I'm on Facebook and Twitter. Follow me.

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In This Issue
Webinar Post Mortem - How it turned out
If it Bleeds, it Leads - Some mistakes are good
Web Tips - AnyMeeting
It's Time
Webinar Post Mortem
I gave my first ever webinar last month.

Are you curious to know how it turned out?

Do you wonder why there's a photo of a swimming pool in this article?

And, more importantly, should you consider a webinar of your own?

Bottom line, I'm glad I did "Online & Offline: Effective Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Profits." You can view it here. (You'll also find out about the swimming pool.) Full disclosure, we did have some sound glitches. I'm still not sure why we had these problems since we tested everything the day before without incident.


I liked doing the project in collaboration. Not only was I supported by someone who had experience with the software, but John Stahl and I worked well together, and we were each able to reach a much larger market. It's different doing a talk without an audience you can see, which is another reason why collaboration works well. We set a goal of 25 attendees and 21 people signed up. Not all of them attended, but we still had a good turnout. Thankfully most of them stayed online in spite of the audio problems.

If you're thinking about a webinar, consider collaborating with someone who markets to a different audience, but offers a related product or service.

I emailed or spoke to almost all of the people who signed up, which resulted in some new Web Words subscribers, a few leads for the future and one new client. As in all communications online and off, webinars need a clear and compelling message. I was gratified by the feedback. Most people said they got value from their investment of time.

Going Forward

John and I did a lot of planning for the webinar. We had several meetings and a run through. I made a completely new set of slides designed to appeal to an audience who were, perhaps, distracted by other tasks.

I would like to try different software. (See Web Tips below for more on that.) And I am definitely planning more webinars in 2015. Let me know what topics you'd most like me to cover. If you want to collaborate (or suggest someone else), tell me about that too.

If it Bleeds, it Leads
Hand with knife
This old newspaper adage means the gorier the story, the higher on the page. Inadvertently, I proved this to be true in email marketing, too. Not that I was surprised.

As you may know, I made a mistake last month when I sent out an email promoting my Webinar "Online & Offline: Effective Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Profits." I gave the date as November when, in fact, it was October 23. I instantly got several emails informing me that November 23 is a Sunday. Oops.  

So I sent a correction with the subject line, "I can't believe I made this mistake." And guess what? My opens rate was up 12% from the first email. A total of 135 additional people opened the email about the mistake. The number of clicks on the registration page went up, too, and three people from the corrected mailing attended the webinar. Only one attended from the first mailing.

  • I wouldn't do something like this on purpose because I'm too much of a perfectionist and because I think it's dishonest. But I'm sure that some marketers do.

  • It's worth sending out the same message more than once with a different subject line. That's legit and a good thing for promotion.

  • Subject lines do have a huge impact on opens rates. This isn't new news. I've been writing about the criticality of subject lines for years. Here's an example.
The Cost

When I made the decision to send a special email about the webinar, I knew there would be a cost--I would get some unsubscribes. I work really hard to make Web Words a valuable communication for my readers, and I still get unsubscribes. So a promotional email about the webinar would certainly cause a loss. I decided it would be worth it if I got 5 or fewer. I got 6, so close enough.

In email marketing as in most things in life, you're looking for a good return on your investment. In this case, it was worth it. I got more signups from the additional mailing than I did from just Web Words alone. And, because I sent it out twice, I got even more.


Web Tips


Even though there were some audio problems with my recent webinar, AnyMeeting is worth checking out if you want to offer webinars to promote your business or cause. AnyMeeting offers a free version that displays ads and two levels of paid service. The other leading webinar systems--GoToMeeting and WebEx--are expensive starting at $39 and $24 per month respectively. 

The free version of AnyMeeting allows up to 200 attendees and doesn't require that participants download software before joining an online session. It's easy to use and has most of the features offered by its more expensive competitors.  


And Finally . . .

Shawenon Communications collaborates with small businesses, solopreneurs, professionals and not-for-profits to get their messages across in the written word.

We specialize in electronic communications, including e-zines and other forms of email marketing, Web sites and social media.  We also ghostwrite articles and other business communications. As a solution provider, we resell www.shawenon.com



First name
Susanna Opper
Shawenon Communications

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
It's Time 
SO turtleneck cropped
Constant Contact is offering 30% off for the first three months of your subscription if you sign up by November 14.

I'm offering free consulting to get you up and running. Now is the time to be in touch about starting your email marketing program. There are still a few more slots left, but I've got prospects for them all, so this offer isn't going to last much longer (I hope).

If  you or anyone you know wants to use Constant Contact please, please be in touch with me.



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