People seem to obsess over them, making theirs unique, eco friendly, oversized, undersized, made of metal, made of plants, yoga mats etc
But… it doesn’t seem like the same focus has been placed on email signatures. For many of us who send a lot of email (50+/day) and hand out 1 business card rarely any focus on business cards vs your email signature is misplaced.
Today I am going to share a little test we ran at adbank with our email signatures that had some interesting results and how you can efficiently benefit from upgrading your email signature as well.
We wanted to have an email signature that communicated the unique value proposition of BLADE and made people pause so they took the 2 seconds needed to understand it.
The value proposition of blade is install our ad blocker and replacer and receive free crypto while you browse like you normally would!
It takes 60 seconds to do and once done you are setup forever with the ability to use referral links and share with others.
Tyler the adbank UX/UI designer came up with the following design and instructions…
Step 1 – Concept – What simple single GIF animation communicates your unique value proposition for your business?
Step 2 – Creative
Working with an in house designer is handy but UpWork or Fiverr could also be options for getting what you needed done.
Here was the creation Tyler came up with on round 1…
Step 3 – Implementation
Implementation is not as straightforward as you would think. Here are the step by instructions for getting everything setup…
Step 1: Download your signature from the google drive folder
Step 2: Go to your own GSuite accounts google drive and create a new folder titled “email signature”. NOTE: this needs to be its own folder at the top level of your drive.
Step 3: Upload your email signature to your new “email signature” folder.
Step 4: Turn on link sharing and then “sharing settings”
Step 5: in the sharings settings, click advanced in the bottom right corner.
Step 6: In the advanced sharing settings, under the “who has access” title, click the blue “change” button.
Step 7: Turn the settings radio button to “on – public on the web” and press “save”.
Step 8: Now go to your email and click the settings icon and select settings from the menu.
Step 9: Scroll down to the email signature text box and click the image icon. NOTE: make sure the checkbox that says “insert this signature before quoted text” is checked.
Step 10: In the image selector, navigate to the google drive tab
Step 11: Navigate to your signature gif and select it by pressing “select”.
Step 12: Scroll to the bottom of the settings page and click “save”
Step 13: Your email signature should now automatically be embedded every time you compose an email!
We didn’t have all the tracking we could have had setup (should have used link tracking) but the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. In the first week several people shared with me…
As a result we are going to be implementing a similar approach across other businesses and setup better tracking to see what works and what doesn’t work.
If you have ever had a clever strategy with your email signature I would be interested in hearing about it!
Over the years I have had a lot of partnerships, some have worked out extremely well building friendships and achieving success for everyone… others have ended in failure and disappointment.
Many people say they like to avoid partnerships because they are always messy! This would be much less fulfilling for me since much of the satisfaction I get from the companies we run is winning together.
It is true partnerships are often messy, but here are some of the lessons that I have learned and structures that have seemed to work for me and some of my business partnerships. Hopefully if you’re putting a partnership together or adjusting one you already have- this might help you avoid these mistakes.
Most Importantly – There is no ONE system that is best for everyone. The key is to understand the motivations of people involved and find a solution that has everyone’s incentives aligned.
I have had my share of painful discussions, but fortunately- I haven’t had any disagreements that I haven’t been able to solve with people.
In the news in just the past 2 weeks and just in Canada there have been a couple examples of partnerships going off the rails publicly impacting in some cases thousands of people!
Here are 5 of the most common mistakes I have either made myself or seen others in the online world make…
Below are 3 of the structures that have worked most consistently for me.
Structures That have Worked:
Stewardship / Structure
No matter how good the partnership is setup there is a need for ongoing stewardship and management. The way this has worked well for me is the following…
This is a work in process and I try to follow the guidance from the book Traction.
Standardized Business Stack
Having some standardization across the different businesses when it comes to the business systems has been helpful
Summertime is around the corner. For me this usually means long weekends at the cottage, outside activities with my wife and kids- like hiking, biking and boating and also just some general vacation time. I’ve always been an outdoorsy guy so the summer is a great time to recharge and reap the benefits of our area, especially since it doesn’t last too long here in Canada!
Although the down time is really nice, it unfortunately has come at the expense of some of my businesses- especially the ones that are relatively low maintenance and are easy to fall off my radar. I’ve had a long history of taking my foot off the gas pedal during the summer when it has come to my content sites, which for some sites has lead to irreversible traffic declines and lost revenues!
Over the years I have noticed a consistent decline starting in or around June and July which coincides with the beginning of summer. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I’m a guy who is pretty data oriented and systems focused- so this predictable decline is annoying to me. What’s more annoying is that it is entirely my fault. If I had just taken a little bit of time to get in front of my content strategy and systematized the content creation process then I could have saved myself (and my sites) the hit that we ended up taking.
Take a look as some of these screenshots- none of these sites have recovered fully from these declines!
So what are my takeaways for this year? I’m going to get in front of my content creation strategy and systematize the content creation and publishing on my money sites so that I don’t even have to think about it this summer while I’m taking some time off. I’ve leveraged my team at Content Refined come up with a great plan that they will execute over the next 5 months so that it’s completely hands free for me.
Take a look at my spreadsheet for all of my money sites for the summer! I’ll quickly use one of my sites as an example to show you what I’ve done. And hey don’t steal my Keywords! 🙂 I’ll give you this sheet or free at the bottom of this article so that you can create your own plan!
Figure out how many articles you want published on a monthly basis. For this particular site, I have steady traffic already and am just looking to maintain. I figure 6 articles per month at 1000 words each will be sufficient in keeping the momentum I need around this size of site.
The Team at Content Refined has engineered my site and separated it into the pillar topics. This is to make sure that every section of my site will get some content throughout the summer. They’ve picked the keywords and assigned the month of production to each
Search Volume and competition are super important when it comes to picking keywords that will predictably rank on search engines. The gold standard that Content Refined uses is searches above 500 per month with a competition of under 30% are most likely to rank top 10!
We leverage other tools such as marketmuse to pull the average content score and the average word count that we should be targeting for each article. This way the writer assigned to each article knows how long it should be and what kind of content score we expect when we run it though marketmuse. If an article exceeds the average content score it is more likely to outrank the competition !!!
I’ve opted to have the team at Content Refined deliver these on a monthly basis and update the spreadsheet accordingly. Alternatively I could have had these articles created all at once and then scheduled out on a weekly basis. The team is pretty flexible and can work with your budget and needs.
Now I’ve got my summer content plans ready to go and a system in place to make sure that my content creation strategy doesn’t fall off the priority list. I’m really stoked that I got in front of my content marketing goals for the summer and I think this will help avoid the trend. So what are you waiting for?
Download my spreadsheet for free: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DjC0ir8UqigcXwa-nJrPTt2Mz2UPG_Vqk_Psy0PWz64/edit#gid=0
To have your summer content strategy taken care of, visit https://www.contentrefined.com/summer-special/ and have a chat with them on how they can do this for your sites!
Today Content Refined turns 2.5 years old and Maddie has recently shared a BIG post about the journey!
Plus they just had a video produced to help people learn more about Content Refined…
In this post I want to share 3 lessons I have learned from my position (idea identification, initial system architecture and assembling/stewarding the team).
In the summer of 2016 Maddie joined my team with the mandate of systematizing the content creation process for my portfolio of sites. She killed it!
From that effort we decided to launch Content Refined as a content marketing company.
I documented that launch when I announced it in this post – https://authoritywebsiteincome.com/content-marketing-strategy-launch-business/
It grew incredibly well, achieving 10% week over week growth for the first few months.
There have certainly been a fair number of challenges/opportunities and in this post I hope to share from my perspective what the 3 most significant lessons were.
For everyone that reads this site they know I LOVE systems. Systematized business processes and systematic solutions to problems are core values for the business.
However, despite the engineers desire in me to build a system that doesn’t require great people to run it never happens. Great systems allow great people to execute better.
As I significantly shifted my focus in 2017 to adbank my core businesses needed to be managed and any business where there was a manager responsible for running the business did well. However any business that was solely dependent on a system went off the rails.
Maddie grew the business, Laura managed it while Maddie was on mat leave and I have had limited ongoing involvement. No system could have been built to adapt to the changed and achieved what the team has achieved!
Content Refined has been a great business with significant initial success and very solid longer term performance. But as with any recurring revenue business that is non-essential, churn is the enemy!
Trying to keep growth moving while fighting churn is a never ending battle and can be very unmotivating.
Sometimes even solid months feel like this…
For anyone who ever wants to dig more into recurring revenue business models this is the best article on any subject ever and it focuses on metrics – https://www.forentrepreneurs.com/saas-metrics-2/
Congruent has been my favourite business word for awhile. Ensuring the people, value proposition and systems are all aligned congruently is critically important.
Building that congruence around the set of strengths that makes you unique and focusing on it has been where our biggest successes have come from and also, when we drifted, where our biggest failures occurred.
For Content Refined, the effort around data analysis (to determine what tools/metrics give our content the best predictive ability to perform well in Google) has been very rewarding. Trying to broaden and sell other services where our set of strengths didn’t align didn’t get off the ground in a significant way (for example, an email marketing service to existing clients).
Being accountable for results and not just words, as a content marketing company that uses data (and the thousands of articles we’ve already published) to continually refine what is working now, is what has Content Refined clients loving the service.
I hope my view on the 3 key lessons while stewarding the growth of Content Refined has been useful.
If you have any content marketing needs be sure to book a free call with Maddie or Laura… they often share some pretty incredible and specific to your site insights on those calls! You can book here if there is availability.
It has been a very busy 1.5 years in my business with the majority of my personal focus being on the blockchain ad tech project adbank.network. Today we have launched something new and I wanted to share the story behind it on the first day it launches (despite the ironic timing this is not an April fools joke).
You can see the result of the last year of work here – BLADE ad block & reward extension (just went live)
(note please use referral code – c0903255-a8b2-32f6-3466-7d96fce1b64f)
The total amount people will earn for browsing the web with BLADE installed is estimated to grow to ±$15/month – enough to cover a streaming services cost!
The rest of my businesses have mostly continued to run well (especially the ones where a great manager/team was in place – Kelley, Maddie, Laura etc). However, some of the projects have suffered… my personal portfolio has had some struggles with limited oversight on management (more on that in another post).
Today I want to share some of the exciting work that is being done by adbank and how we think it will change the landscape of digital advertising…plus how it can directly benefit you!
If digital advertising is the monster industry it is and you the end user/audience are a significant part of the value created why don’t you have any control over the process?
Seems like we should have more control over the process.
If you want to learn more about what BLADE is you can check it out here but here is the simple explanation…
The simple story is once you install the browser extension (BLADE) you will start getting rewarded for seeing ads in Cryptocurrency.
(note please use referral code – c0903255-a8b2-32f6-3466-7d96fce1b64f)
Free to download and use + earn crypto (ADB) for browsing the web like you normally do!
I often talk about incentive alignment when working on any business and really like what Charlie Munger says…
Within the BLADE ecosystem here is how each of the actors are incentivizes…
How Users / Audience (anyone who installs and uses BLADE) Benefit:
How Advertisers Benefit:
How Publishers Benefit:
For such a simple concept… ad block extension that rewards you for viewing ads… a lot has gone in to make it happen.
For those interested here are a few of the challenges the team overcame.
To give you a little behind the scenes on what we have built to make all of this work there are
Checkout BLADE on the first day it is live HERE!