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7 Tips for More Effective E-blasts

Email marketing tips

Sending out promotional emails can be a tricky task. Appealing to the audience and capturing as many clicks as possible requires careful thought and testing. Try some of these simple tips to improve your open and click-through rates and effectively promote your products and services.

  1. Subject line appeal. Your subject line is the reader’s first impression if you use email. Keep it short and simple, but interesting. Ask a question or leave it open-ended to encourage the reader to open the email. Try to keep your subject line under 50 characters.
  2. Avoid looking like spam. Many email clients are now extremely effective at filtering spam out of inboxes, but avoiding trigger words in your subject line doesn’t hurt. Additionally, be sure the content of your email is honest and clear. Don’t offer something you can’t deliver or ask for personal information without providing a solid privacy policy.
  3. Have a clear all to action. What is the main action you want the audience to take? Download a free resource? Preorder a book? Purchase a Bible study? Make sure your desired action is clear, and provide an easy way for the reader to respond.
  4. Include a special offer. Get the reader excited by offering something new, exclusive, free, or at a discount.
  5. Use a clean design. Don’t clutter the e-blast with too much text or small images. Keep the design clean, simple, and attention-grabbing. Using one full image or a series of images is an easy way to offer an appealing, clean design and make the email user-friendly.
  6. Make links easy to click. Use buttons and images to encourage readers to click. Keep them near the top of the email and don’t bury your links in text or at the very bottom of your email. Include the links multiple times so the readers don’t have to search for them.
  7. Target to a specific audience. Send to an audience who will already have an interest in the type of product you’re offering for easy clicks.

Taking some of these basic steps can quickly improve your e-blasts, and continuing to test and adjust over time will offer valuable date for your future mailings.

 

Posted in Advertising Tips, Email Marketing


And the Award(s) Go To…

Each spring, the Evangelical Press Association caps off its annual convention by honoring winners of their Awards of Excellence and Higher Goals Awards, honoring excellence in overall publication quality and for achievements in individual editorial and design categories. At this year’s gathering in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 10 different publications of Christianity Today took home 45 awards, across 29 categories.

Harold Smith, President and CEO of Christianity Today, shared his thoughts on the good news, “Yes, it’s always great to be recognized in such a way by peers you admire. But it’s doubly thrilling to have a team that’s worked so hard in such a challenging industry to be so lauded for their work across ever-changing platforms. It’s but another reason why I thank God regularly for the men and women he’s drawn to this ministry.”

Awards of Excellence, given across five categories, went to Leadership JournalChurch Law & Tax Report, ManagingYourChurch.com, SmallGroups.com, ChurchLawAndTax.com, Christianity TodayBooks & CultureChristianity Today OnlineThe Behemoth, TodaysChristianWoman.com, and Church Finance Today.

In the Higher Goals Awards, Christianity Today‘s “Ponder Christian Soldiers” series, which focused on the experience of Christian soldiers, took home first place in the Article Series category, and the Today’s Christian Woman article “3 Lies We Believe About the Bible” won first for Biblical Exposition. “Prayer Before Reading St. Mark’s Gospel,” a poem in a series of four published in Books & Culture shortly after poet Brett Foster’s death, was awarded first place in Poetry.

This is just a glimpse of the award-winning work done by the writers, editors, designers, and production staff involved in the publication of Christianity Today publications. For a complete list of Christianity Today’s 2016 awards, go here.

Laura Leonard is managing editor of IgniteYourFaith.com, ChristianCollegeGuide.net, and SeminaryGradSchool.com, as well as the special advertising sections in Christianity Today magazine.

Posted in Company News


Behold, the Power of Words!

As an editor, I certainly believe that language is powerful. The right words, in the right order (with the right punctuation, of course) can truly inspire people to do all kinds of things.

One of the most powerful ways marketers can harness the power of words is through a clear, direct call to action. This is no easy feat. So when I came across this blog post from WordStream on “7 Ideas for Upgrading Your Call to Action,” I thought immediately of the marketers we work with at Christianity Today, and how these tips might help craft even more compelling calls to action.

Sometimes it’s as simple as changing one word. They suggest changing the word “your” to “my”—this conveys ownership on the part of the reader. In one experiment described in the post, a marketer at Unbounce found that making this simple change on one client’s account led to a 90 percent increase in click-through rate.

Other times, applying a mental framework helps shape the words of an effective call to action. A great one, they say, could be prefaced by the words “I want to…” This leads to strong action words that immediately connect with the target audience’s felt needs.

For more ideas, check out the full post here.

Laura Leonard is managing editor of IgniteYourFaith.com, ChristianCollegeGuide.net, and SeminaryGradSchool.com, as well as the special advertising sections in Christianity Today magazine.

Posted in Advertising Tips, Email Marketing, Online Advertising


It’s Time for Truth, Love, and a New Website

Beautiful Orthodoxy cross

Sharp and hurtful words jump off your screens. Unloving conversations are becoming the norm.

When you take a look at the world today, you see a turn toward ugly orthodoxy and attractive heresy—truth spoken in shrill and unloving ways, falsehood spoken in winsome and compelling fashion.

And you’re discouraged by the direction of the cultural conversations from both outside and inside the church.

All of the negativity has left the world in desperate need of truth, goodness, and beauty. In need of hope.

Christianity Today is taking the lead to reverse the trend by communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. We call it Beautiful Orthodoxy.

And now through our new website, BeautifulOrthodoxy.com, we’re calling leaders, partners, and friends to join the cause by living out Christ’s love and truth in their jobs, ministries, and communities.

Take a few minutes to explore BeautifulOrthodoxy.com. Watch a new video featuring our president and CEO, Harold Smith. Read stories and quotes by leaders who are committed to this cause. See how Beautiful Orthodoxy is at work in the articles across our various ministry brands. And find out how you can join with us in reflecting Christ’s love and truth.

 Beautiful Orthodoxy logo

Posted in Beautiful Orthodoxy, Company News


Advertise for Long-Term Effectiveness

When gauging the effectiveness of a campaign, most advertisers are concerned about the numbers. Results are crucial to demonstrating the effectiveness of an ad campaign. However, my more experienced marketers know the importance of a long-term campaign rather than a one-time, or one-month, campaign.

“It’s critical for marketers to understand how advertising affects brand value over time, as well as how it’s connected to brand loyalty,” said a recent Nielsen report. “Most advertising models show that loyalty is the largest driver of brand choice. The data from a recent study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS) makes it clear that the higher the loyalty, the higher the future brand sales will be.”

Advertising that builds strong consumer connections typically drive sales long-term, but also drives brand loyalty and total brand value. By connecting with the Christianity Today ministry for your advertising, you are reaching highly-educated, faith-centered, influential decision-makers, from pastors and church leaders to lay people within the church. We help to create a niche audience that is responsive and engaged over the long-term. Because our audience is loyal to our publications, our stats are typically better than the industry standard. We represent a trusted voice in this world.

Explore the advertising possibilities Christianity Today has to offer and talk with your Account Executive today to help you craft a long-term advertising plan and start seeing the benefits of advertising with a Christ-centered ministry and connecting with like-minded Christians.

Posted in Advertising Tips, Online Advertising, Print Advertising


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