TJ16 – Content Marketing: How To Get More Customers With Less Marketing – Joe Pulizzi

17/8/2013 with

Traffic Jam with James and Joe Pulizzi WATERMARKEDContent Marketing is nothing new, companies like John Deere have been doing it for over a century. However in past few years as we move through the eras of web 2.0 and web 3.0 content marketing has resurfaced and companies both large and small are using it to catch the attention and trust of their target markets.

This week’s guest Joe Pulizzi, the ‘poster boy’ of Content Marketing is leading the content marking revolution. His company the Content Marketing Institute is the number 1 online resource for content marketing and it’s event Content Marketing World is the largest content marketing event on the planet. Listen in to this episode for a fast paced discussion on the what to do’s and what not to do’s of content marketing.


  • What is Content Marketing?
  • History of Content Marketing.
  • Content Marketing Advantage.
  • Knowing Who To Target.
  • The Perfect Piece of Content.
  • Why Consistency Is Key.
  • Timetable for Content Marketing.
  • Giving Away The Secret Sauce.
  • Give More, Receive More Strategy.
  • The Best Content Marketing Platform.
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Hello! Welcome back listener. You’re tuned in to Traffic Jam, the show that teaches you how to grow a profitable audience for your website. This is episode #16 of Traffic Jam and on today’s show I invite on to Traffic Jam the poster boy of Content Marketing Mr. Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute for a fun, fast paced discussion about, what other, content marketing of course. If you want to learn how to create epic content or if you want to break through the barriers that are actually holding you back from creating content in the first place, then you’re going to love this interview.

When it comes to content marketing Joe is the leading authority. He’s responsible for producing the largest content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World and the leading content marketing magazine Chief Content Officer. He is also the co-author of Get Content, Get Customers recognized as the handbook for content marketing might I add. And Joe has spoken at more than 200 locations and 10 countries around the world advancing the practice of content marketing. On top of all of that, he also has a brand new book coming out this fall called Epic Content Marketing and on this show today you’ll learn how to create some of that epic content marketing Joe describes.

Joe literally has all the content you can want on content marketing and we’ve strained so much down in to the very best bits and it’s coming right up next. But on top of all of that, we’ve got your favorite bits of course. In Traffic Jam today we have this week’s news in traffic, we have the one minute traffic tip and of course we have the Traffic Jam jam to play out the show and this week of course it’s chosen by my guest Joe Pulizzi and he picked a Billy Joel track so stay tuned until the end of the show for that. All of that though is coming up after the interview and we’ll get stuck right in to that right now.

James: So this is Traffic Jam episode #16 and joining me on today’s show is Joe Pulizzi for a little chat about content marketing. Joe, welcome to Traffic Jam!

Joe: James thanks for having me, I appreciate it.

James: Well, it is awesome to have you on the call and I guess since this is a call I can’t what attire you’re wearing today Joe, I have to ask, what color are you wearing sitting behind your computer today?

Joe: You know I’ve got a Star Wars shirt, it actually has a bit of orange in it but I am wearing orange pants so I have always have something orange on.

James: For the benefit of our listeners Joe’s personal brand color is orange and he can pretty much be seen every day wearing that especially when he is presenting. I am glad that even when the cameras are off Joe that you’re still true to your brand.

Joe: You have to be. I can’t go outside anymore without some orange on because somebody will call me on it.

James: Awesome, today’s topic of course is content marketing because that is where you are an expert and it is a real big buzz out there especially in internet marketing circles right now. Let’s set the scene for today’s topic. Joe what is content marketing?

Joe: Content marketing is a very old discipline that everyone thinks is brand new. I always like to throw that out James because content marketing as a discipline is over 100 years old, the John Deere, one of the largest tractor manufacturer in the world created a magazine called The Furrow back in 1895 and they are still producing that today. It’s now the largest circulated farming magazine in the world. That is historically what we would call as content marketing. Now because there are no barriers to entry and we are all indeed publishers, we are all getting in to content marketing and it’s basically instead of distracting our customers with advertising messages around somebody else’s content or creating our own valuable, compelling content and becoming the go to resources for our customers so that we can communicate now that there are no barriers to entry, we have all the opportunities in the world to be really that go to expert resource and create buyers from our prospects through great content.

James: Got it. You’re very much ahead on the curve on this right? You, Jeremy, have been doing content marketing for seven or eight years, the content marketing issue has been going what since 2009. What was it about content marketing that got you inspired to really take it up as your preferred method of marketing?

Joe: I started working in the publishing industry in the year 2000 and I was in charge for Penton media which is the largest independent business publisher in North America. I ran their custom media unit which means that if our sales reps couldn’t sell advertising in one of their magazines, they threw them over the wall to us and we tried to sell them things that were not advertising which became custom magazines’ newsletters, podcasts like this one, blogs – whatever was not advertising driven. And as I sat down with chief marketing officer from smaller companies to larger B2B organizations, I started to figure out that there is something to this. There is something about this thing going direct and if we get rid of some of these barriers especially in technology. I really thought that there was going to be a boom and talking to these CMOs – there’s a lot of terms for this industry, custom publishing, custom media, branded content, corporate storytelling, customer media is big in Europe. But when I said content marketing and this goes all the way back to 2001, CMOs have sort of shifted and I sort of get that. That means that I am creating my own content. And by the way they were all doing it right? They were starting their own videos, a lot of them had their own newsletters, but they were not taking it seriously as a market and as a go to approach and that’s where we’re seeing the big difference today. Before like you and your content folks are at the backroom or in the basement creating content like it’s sort of a hobby- and today it’s sort of a center point for marketing initiatives because if you want to be found in search, if you want to drive leads online, and if you want to have anything to do with your social media programs working, you better be telling fantastic stories at the center of that.

James: So that thing that brought about the shift –the whole big explosion of online marketing that revolves around the core discipline of content, is that what’s been the big change for all these businesses?

Joe: I think you can say yes because there are no technology barriers. You and I can start up a blog or a podcast in two seconds and it does not cost us anything – that’s a big deal, I get that. But the bigger deal is the consumer is completely in control. That’s the issue. The consumer can control the buying process and when I started this industry back over 15 years ago now, there were only a few channels that buyers can get information from – they were very distinct channels and there were trade shows and there were magazines and we were just starting seeing newsletters at that time. But they were basically vendors and media companies owned those channels, if you wanted information, you have to go to those. Now, all of us have a little device in our pockets at all times that we can get any information and ask any questions and get the answers to them that we want to so all the control has shifted and now as marketers we’re saying we lost all that control, sales does not have control anymore. Basically most of the buying process gets done before it even gets to sales now so its completely turned on its head. And in order to get attention from customers today we better be giving amazingly useful compelling information like media companies have done forever or  they can simply ignore us today.

James: Well I really want to ask you right up front Joe what sort of information is compelling or what sort of messaging should a business put out? Because I guess the big thing that I hear regularly from business owners and marketing people is what the hell do I talk about so what’s the directive from you there?

Joe: You can use all types of different tools whether it’s Google transfer or social reputation management systems listening devices. The best thing to do is talk to your customers and you have got to remember most of us have many different groups of customer types- that’s what we call buyer personas. We at Content Marketing Institute we have nine of them; we don’t have content strategies for all nine but we have nine defining groups that we target. You need a different content strategy for every one of those groups. So first of all, pick your audience, figure out what your goal is and what your objective is. And then what we’ve got to figure out is where we can really be the leading information expert for that defined group. The problem that most marketers run in to is that they try to boil the ocean with their content and you try to cover as many personas as you can do and that’s not going to work. You’re getting to broad, you’re not useful enough; you really need to focus and you really think about for that persona, for that customer you’re targeting, what are their paying points? What’s keeping them up at night? Basically all you have to do James is talk to them. You can do surveys, you can do lots of things, but I really prefer going around and talking to your customers and saying, what are you challenged with? What kind of information do you need to solve your buying problems and challenges and what do you need to live a better life and have a better career and those types of things? Those are the things that we need to be providing; not more information about our products and services, because James, they have plenty of that. There is no brand out there that has any shortage of that kind of information and when you say content marketing, that’s what a lot of people think – testimonial stuff and demos and those types of things- that’s fine. What we really need is information that is going to move our buyers to the buying process and answering their questions and you’ve got to figure out what those questions are. And then you have got to be giving away some of the secrets there not getting anywhere else. That’s where we’ve seen a lot of vanilla content like oh let’s target these keywords and then let’s do the five tips for that, the seven steps to that and it’s very, very vanilla. It’s just like everyone else, you have to figure out what is your content marketing mission statement. What is your story that is going to differentiate you and your brand and your mission from all the other content, I’m going to say crap –because there is a ton of it out there and we’ve got to separate ourselves. And that where most brands – they don’t take the really extra step and say this information is going to be the best information in the planet, it has to be because there’s so many other places our customers can get that information from.

James: Yeah, got it. And in fact you’ve written a book on this topic right? A book called Epic Content Marketing and it seems to be that a lot of people speak about and talk about creating epic content and writing epic shit. The one issue that I have with that and perhaps business owners do too, is do you think there is too much pressure on going out there and creating the perfect piece of content and is that holding a lot of businesses back from actually doing this stuff?

Joe: There is no such thing as the perfect piece of content because the perfect piece of content is one that never gets published. But it doesn’t mean that it can’t be an amazingly useful content. That’s same thing with a book right? Epic Content Marketing comes out this September and I could continue working on it right now James and what we have to do and that’s what I love about Seth Godin and Seth Godin says the most important thing for marketers you’ve got to shift- you’ve got to put in the process as you need to. And that means, it doesn’t mean we’re throwing out content and we’re haphazard about it. And that means you’ve got to put a process; for us, we have three different editors in the process before the content goes out. We look at the raw content, we are proofreading that content, we are looking at that from a search engine and social standpoint. If you have those processes, then you catch most of the things that make sure that that content piece is on target. Actually most marketers when they fall down, it’s not about the content, it’s that they stopped. It’s that they’re so campaign focused like they say we’ll work on this for three months to six months. But most marketing content don’t work that way, you need at least a year! And most marketers are very impatient. That’s the biggest problem. If we can get the marketers to get a little bit longer view point and a little bit more patience because they are out there, they’re blogging, they don’t see results in six to nine months and they stop and it could have been that next post that could have took them to the next step but they’re not doing that.

James: So you’re saying therefore that consistency is as importance as quality when it comes to content?

Joe: Absolutely, yes. If you are planning to do a content marketing program and you only have your sights set on three to six months, just go and do paid advertising. I think it is much worse to start a content program and to start building a relationship with some of your customers and then stop, than doing it at all. Don’t even go there! Think about it, I grew up in publishing; when we launched the content product; we did a three year timetable. And does any marketer out there think three years? And I’m not even asking to think about three years, I’m asking at least think about that six to 18 months timetable settled and we can figure out what those metrics are along the way and if we do that, that will be more successful with our customers because we’re not just looking for the quick hit.

James: Yeah, I mean I am not going to argue with you there based on experience and the listeners listening at the moment will be familiar with my content stuff and I have been doing this really, I would say, consistently, and when I say consistently, I mean, three, four, five content pieces per week for about a year now, and it really has been the last two or three months where that whole effort is really starting to pay dividend and it’s just blown through the roof. I guess if I had not the persistence to carry on through after six months, all the payoff would have been just for waste really.

Joe: For us when we started the institute, I started blogging about three times a week, targeting midsized to large enterprise  marketers and the first six months the only one who was reading my blog was my mom and she did not even know what I was talking about. I mean it really was like we had no audience! It was about the ninth month mark and now we’re at a 150,000 unique visitors a month and that took six and a half years to get there. Now everything has worked but really it was the ninth month mark for us that made sense. I don’t think everybody has to go out there and do daily blogging. Do what you can but just do it consistently so if it’s one post a week and one white paper a month or if it’s a weekly newsletter or weekly podcast, it needs to be at the same time and the same day. Get that consistency going and get that people to anticipate that content.

James: Yeah, got it. Well I want to pick up on something you mentioned a couple of minutes back where you said you’ve got to really find some messaging and information that consumers cannot find anywhere else to kind of differentiate yourself away from the pack. Do you think there is a worry from a business that they can give too much away? Like this is our own information, these are our own processes; this is what makes us unique, I don’t want the world knowing about it, so they keep it to themselves. Is that a challenge for business owners?

Joe: Yeah, it’s historically been one of the biggest challenges especially if you’re talking with consulting driven companies that feel that they have that some kind of secret sauce. Honestly, most of us don’t. Right, we think that our products and services are so fantastic but honestly, we’re the only ones that think they’re special. Really, they’re not that much different. You could probably find somebody else that does that. Even McDonalds secret sauce, you can go to in Canada and get the recipe. There is no secret sauce anymore. We need to get over that! What we talk to our clients about is look there could be a competitive advantage here but it might not last very long and if we talk about this now we can be a leader talking stories about this. We need to get out there now or somebody else is going to take that position, and it really does happen that fast. For us in content marketing, we came out with content marketing in 2007 nobody was calling it that, nobody positioned it just like that. Today, I couldn’t come out of content marketing. I mean there is nothing special about that term that’s going to differentiate us from anyone else. It would have to be financial content marketing or something with even more niche. Some people will disagree with me on this but I don’t think you can give away too much information. Of course if you are talking about patents and copyrights and those types of things but that’s not really for the most part what we’re trying to do. What we’re really trying to do is uncover the expertise in the organization that we already have and get that information out. We just focus on that. Like all your engineers and your product managers and your senior executives have so much wisdom that we’re not sharing with anyone, that we’re doing one on one with customers. What if we took that one on one content with the customer that we shared and we gave all this IP to, what if we took that and created 20 amazing pieces of content about it to help move buyers down the buying cycle? That’s content that we already have and that’ the thing- when we talk about content marketing directors or people that are social media managers or people running content, they’re thinking we’re are we going to get all that content? That’s never a problem, the challenges that we’re finding the content; it’s that always getting the content that we already have and putting it together in story form.

James: Yeah, exactly. Again, I am going to be testament to that, I put out a lot of content, especially in relation to the two services which I offer which is Google Adwords management and SEO Campaigns and I do talk a lot about what people would consider to be the secret sauce and I took a very reserved look I could go and say wait a second, if people try and implement this themselves and take all of my teachings. But truth is they don’t! they know that I can do it for them and they’ve much rather have an expert carry and handle that than to try and take on that knowledge themselves.

Joe: It’s funny I talked to a consultant from a very large consulting group that started to give away a lot of this content. They saw a ton more traffic, a ton more social and a ton more inquiries coming in and the same question was asked, do you feel you are giving away too much information? They said, look, there is going to be a small percentage that go out and do it themselves and there’s got to be some of our competitors who might take this information and find out something they did not know before but I am willing to take that risk because first of all that 1% that takes it and does something with it, those are not good customers for us anyway. What we want is the person who looks at us as an expert, sees that and says that’s too hard to do themselves, and then hire us to do the job. Just because of the fact that you are getting to so many more of the right people is going to make all of the difference.

James: Yeah, absolutely. Well I’m sure our listener out there are curious as to what tools they should be using for content marketing Joe, things like blog posts, podcasts, videos, social media etc., is there one platform for you that trumps the rest?

Joe: I hate this question. It’s a great question James – I hate this question because there are so many marketers who go straight to a channel or tools; they will say I want to do a blog, I want to do a newsy newsletter, I want to do a podcast – when that is like Step #7. Really what you want to be finding out is what our goal is, what is our objective, who is that audience that we’re targeting, what is that mission that we need to create? So we’ll pass all that and then let’s look at tools. I mean honestly, the blog is my favorite because search engines love it and social media loves it and you can launch subscription programs through blogs. That’s fantastic as long as 75% of all marketers have some kind of blog. Here is the challenge though, if you look at IBM research, 85% of corporate blogs have 5 or less blog posts which means that just because three quarters of us have blogs but the majority of those blogs are inconsistent or dead; which is the marketing mindset right? So if you can create a marketing blog that really solves the paying problems for your customers, you have something. I love e-books which are sort of white paper on steroids, our sexy white papers; I like those because you can integrate them with slide share. For those who don’t know what slide share is, it’s like the YouTube for Power Points. I think it is one of the most under rated social channels out there – SlideShare owned by LinkedIn. I love podcast like what we’re doing now, but as you know, it takes a lot of work to do a podcast, and you need a unique voice out there. I think that blogs may work better as a starter. I think there is still an opportunity depending on who your audience are at print. We do a print magazine Chief Content Magazine; the reason why we launched that is because I show all the posts dry up. Nobody’s getting mail anymore but everybody’s still got that channel. Think about it, if all your customers were on Facebook but none of your competitors were, wouldn’t you be like there’s a huge opportunity there to give amazing information and create a relationship in there. All the print just dried up so we’ve seen an incredible bump just through using print; it’s old school but it’s become new again. And then infographics are incredible because you’ve got Pinterest, the videos that you can do with Instagram and Vine, I think a lot of it is in experimental stage but the question that I ask is, just like you do when you’ve always gone to trade shows, where are your customers hanging out? Wherever your customers are hanging out is probably where you need some kind of a content focused there. The other thing that I would say is look there’s 26 to 50 content tools depending on the channel and how you look at it. What I would say is, be great at something – be great at a podcast, be great at your videos, be great at your blog posts and then use that as a core to create content products out of that. So let’s say you’re great at a blog you can get a white paper series, an e-book series, info graphic series from the blog post content that you create. Think about it from that standpoint and be great at something instead of dabbling in 17 or 20 different tools. If you look at the greatest media companies that have ever existed, they’re always great at one channel and then they leverage the other channels to roll that channel.

James: I love the part that you talked about print as well. We have in our episode #14 who’s an out and out online and he said that the best success that he’s had right now is getting back to basics and doing traditional offline stuff like direct mail, sending handwritten notes out to customer. Just the absolute basic stuff while everyone else is pushing their latest fad or tactic that everyone else is jumping on board with.

Joe: I understand it because print is so much harder to measure, you can measure clicks and likes and all that fun stuff but you can measure print. It just again takes time and consistency on focus on the audience but wow, we’ve been doing ours for three years and I just love going to trade shows and seeing Chief Marketing Officer’s holding out our magazine. That’s all I need to see.

James: Yeah, you’ve got it. Well I was actually having a browse through your content marketing playbook before the interview and I think you have 42 ways to connect with customers there. Some of the things that came lower down the list were a little bit more obscure – Facebook apps and virtual trade shows, is there anything there that you would say for our listener not to try because it’s just too obscure or not working for you right now, anything to avoid?

Joe:  The reason why we put out that playbook is they’re 42 legitimate ways marketers are using in some way so I would look at all of them. I can tell you that for us the blog is the best one to use and we use white paper, research, ebooks, I think honestly that a big opportunity is in research. I think if I was going in to content marketing right now, I would really look at partnering with a research organization coming out with research and answers because day to day everybody wants the data because they want the justification for the moves that they’re making I would look at that. And then you can use that in numerous ways. I would be weary if there’s things like action forum and offsite session networks, those concern me. So if I was going to look at anything, I would be careful. The first thing I want to do is look at if there are any channels like if there are any customers that are already active that I can tap in to I would look in to that first instead of saying I’m going to create my own LinkedIn group or I am going to create on my own link platform or my own discussion forum because it is so hard to create something like that and get that kind of community when people are already in it. I would go in to client communities that are already in there and tap in to them.

James: At this juncture Joe I am going to suggest to our listeners out there go and check out content marketing institute to see how it’s done well, but other than yourself, is there any really good examples of companies that are doing content marketing exceptionally well right now?

Joe: So I will give you some big and some small ones; the big brand, the epitome of content marketing is Red Bull. Red Bull is a media company that happens to sell energy drinks. They have a content syndication platform, they have a magazine, digital and print called the Red Bulletin, and they have about 5 million subscribers to that. They fund independent artists and then syndicate the content from that. They are just doing some amazing things. Procter & Gamble with their sites like Home Made Simple,, they have great content platform usually for every audience out there so those are some to look at. USCO Bank in Denmark, they’ve set up a television station within their bank and they feed that out on a consistent basis to their customers and prospects. I love those from a larger standpoint. American Express does where 99% of that content is not about American Express and they drive as many credit card inquiries through and anything else that they do. From a small business standpoint as simple as River Pools and Spas blog; Marcus Sheridan launched that blog, they were on the verge of bankruptcy in 2009, they launched the blog and answered questions no one else was answering and they’re selling more fiber glass pools than any other pool installers in North America two years later just from answering questions that no one else was answering. And the last example that I would show you is Open View Venture Partners, A BC Venture Capital Company out of Boston launched a platform called Open View Labs. It is one of the most helpful tools out there for small businesses and I love the fact the a venture company that most people don’t think as a capital company was able to create a content marketing platform as center to the organization and to their customer. So you can be any size and any industry, as long as you are focused on the needs of your audience, you can make it happen with content.

James: Wow! Cool! That was rapid fire, I’ll make sure that all those references are linked to off the show notes of episode 16 of Traffic Jam. Joe, before we close out, I want to ask you a little bit about your event that is coming up in 4 weeks’ time, the Content Marketing World, tell us a bit about that.

Joe: Content Marketing World, September 9th to 12th in Cleveland, OH this year. We’ll have about 1500 people represented in over 30 countries, it is the largest in person event for content marketing- over 60 sessions on a 100+ speakers. We’re just thrilled that it’s been able to grow like this. I’m completely biased James but it’s the best place that you can meet content creators in midsize and large brands that are doing this actively. We’ve really tried to reach out to international folks with this comms and things because we know it’s a pain to travel so far in the North America but we are able to get quite a good percentage of international folks of course, as well as from the big brands around the world that are coming in and I’m just happy about that event and that’s sort of become – we’ve sort of positioned ourselves as the South by South West for content marketing; that’s not nearly that big but we like to have a lot of fun and we’re looking forward to it this year.

James: Well I’ve got to say if there’s one thing that you can do to accelerate your businesses, hop on a plane and go to a specific live event where you can meet and line the people in the same sector as you; it will really move you forward. If that rings a few bells for people, Content Marketing World coming up, Joe it’s been an absolute content goal, thank you for your time today, I know our listeners are going to love it.

Joe: James, thank you, I appreciate it. Anytime!

This week’s news in traffic: a nice fun piece of news to kick things off this week and that is Yahoo, the kind of older yet frumpier brother to Google in the search the search arena is getting a brand new identity. On September 5th this year they’ll unveil a new logo. But in the lead up to that, they are showcasing variations of their new identity up on their homepage of So if you want to get a feel of the new direction that Yahoo is heading, head on over to and check out those logos.

Facebook’s graph search, the tool that lets you search by anyone to find stuff like people who live in my city or my hometown or friends of friends who like Michael Jackson or whatever combination you can dream, is now available to all users in the platform with US English set as a default language, and in turn, Facebook has now turned off search by name setting. So if you are yet to optimize your business for graph search searches, now is a good time to do this and if you want to get more information on how to do it, I suggest you check out episode#5 of Traffic Jam with my good friend Jennifer Sheahan.

Staying with Facebook, they have made an update to their algorithm meaning the post you make that may have been missed by your fans or friends can resurface at the top of their timeline if they’re still deemed to be relevant and still receiving likes and shares. In recent test following the release of this algorithm with a small number of users, this resulted in a 5% increase in the number of likes, comments and shares on the organic stories they showed from pages. This data does seem to prove that the important update that you want your friends and fans to find are now making their way towards the top of the timeline and are getting seen.  Whilst this is an important update which a lot of people are conversing over, I’ve got to agree with Scott Stratten who put it down to the point this week on Facebook and said if you want your content to get found by more people, create more awesome content on Facebook. There you go, words of wisdom from Scott to finish this week’s traffic news.

Okay, so right on to listener comments and feedback and there are a couple I want to mention this week, the first is a 5 star iTunes review from Kelly Lundberg who says, well done James, loved the style of the show, I really enjoyed the past interviews and look forward to many more inspiring episodes. Kelly was referring to episode#9 of Traffic Jam which was with Pat Flynn; all about podcasting and it should be the episode that Kelly is interested in because she herself has just started her own podcast where catwalk meets commerce. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur wanting to get in to fashion, which is a podcast well worth checking out and you can find it in iTunes.

I don’t make a habit of doing so but the second comment I want to read out this week is actually from my guest of last week, Justin Brooke who said on his Facebook page, Traffic Jam has a ton of killer episodes. This is probably the best podcast on iTunes for real meaty traffic lessons. Well Justin, I do have to agree, this is probably the meatiest podcast in iTunes for traffic lessons. If you the listener agree and I hope that you do, please head on over to iTunes and leave me a rating; 5-star, 4-star, 3-star, whatever you want to give it, I’ll read it on next week’s show and give you a bit of exposure to the Traffic Jam audience so go ahead and do that this week.

The one minute traffic tip: this week’s traffic tip is super actionable and it revolves around the subject of email marketing and getting your emails open. Now alongside the from sender field and shortly followed by the first 20 or 30 characters of your email, the most important element of an email that will determine whether it gets opened or not is the subject line. A few quick tips for crafting a powerful subject line is #1 make sure that your subject line is curiosity driven, #2 make sure that it’s chatty, a little bit like an email to a friend, #3 do not include the receiver’s name in the subject line despite what people say increasing the open rate- it doesn’t! What about some good examples of subject line? Well to finish off this week’s one minute traffic tip I’m diving in to my Evernote to give you some ideas, here you go. #1 Can We Talk?, #2 I Quit, #3 Hey, #4 Update, #5 Please Read This, #6 This Was Awesome, and #7 A Very Useful Resource. There you go, seven ideas for subject lines that may increase your email open rate. Go give them a try this week and let me know how you get on.

Okay, that pretty much rounds out another episode of Traffic Jam, before I do though, just a reminder, you can get more traffic news and training over at; two video training posts this week, one how to set up Google Maps Appa advertising and the second is an introduction to how Google search works. So if you’ve ever wondered how the answered are returned to you when you type the query in to Google, this post will reveal all. That you can get over at Here at Traffic Jam, we’ll of course be back with another episode next week. Playing out this week’s episode is a track by Billy Joel. It is of course chosen by my guest this week Joe Pulizzi and the track title is We Didn’t Start The Fire. Enjoy!




  • Yahoo’s Brand New Identity
  • Facebook Graph Search
  • Facebook Algorithm Update


  • Subject Line Tips for Email Marketing


  • Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start The Fire

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About James Reynolds

James is passionate about helping you get more traffic and sales from search engines. Join 3223+ subscribers who get traffic tips from James weekly