Archive | List Building

Market Your Business for Free: Email Marketing

If you've been in business for any length of time then you've probably heard this: "The Money is in the List." I know it sounds cliche, but imagine sending out an email and then earmarking $ 20,000. It's been done. If you have enough people on your list, and you have built a relationship with these people, it's possible to get a high return on your mailiings to those on your list.

Now, in order to get the most from this marketing technique, you'll need to first build a list. You can use the other techniques in this series to help you do this. These techniques include article writing, forum marketing, free classifieds and others.

Once you have built your list, then you'll want to start marketing to these subscribers. Mixing up your content and offering both content and sales messages to them will help you build a relationship with them.

Another recommendation I would make is that you do not mail more than twice per week. If you mail too often, you'll overwhelm your readers. If you do not mail enough, then what will happen is that your readers will forget about you. Then they'll think that you're spamming them even though they signed up for your list.

An important point I want to make here is this, and you'll find this often happening with those who are new to the internet, or those who do not know how to use the internet: sooner or later you will be accused of spamming them. You can try to explain to them that because they signed up for your list and confirmed their email addresses, it's not spam. By confirming their email addresses, they have agreed to receive email from you.

Now, what I've learned from this is that even if you explain this to them, you're wasting your breath. They will not get it. The best thing to do is simply delete them from your list. I usually block these people from resubscribing to my lists. Then I avoid having possible spam complaints down the road that could cost me my business.

When you are constructing your emails, you'll want to use two different types of emails: content and sales. A content email can be a link to a blog post, an article, a free gift, or anything that helps your readers get to know your business better. You are giving them value and adding value to your business.

Sales emails are slightly different, and you'll need to learn how to write these. This includes having a catchy effective headline, short sales copy, and a call to action. The biggest reason you want to keep it short is so that you avoid getting your email trapped in the spam filters.

Let me emphasize here that you want to make sure you build a relationship with your readers. They will be more receptive to your offers, and you'll make more sales. Also, make sure that the marketing you are using is targeted. You do not want people joining your lists who are not interested in your offers. These people will not respond, and if you have a limit on the number of subscribers you can have on your list the way I do, you do not want that dead weight on your lists.

Posted in List Building

Testimonial Magic – The Art of Credibility

Question.

Is a testimonial a statement written by your customers broadcasting how great your are? No. Although your establishing trust amongst your prospects, their interests resides in your products solution. Your testimonials should mention results of the benefits of use from your products or service. Additionally providing your customers photos, full name and city, state, country and with permission provide there website url and contact email address.

How to Obtain vital Statistic by rating

You may also allow your visitors to actually rate your testimonials, this is of course optional. I'm going to incorporate it into my testimonials in the near future. Because you can use the stats you gain from ratings on a scale from one to five, and with this information you can tell if your visitors view you and more importantly your product. As being credible, and your able to view what kind of testimonials your prospects want to see.

Magically watch as your credibility undergoes amazingly dramatic increases in sales, because your prospects are now aware how pleased your customers are who benefited from your products solution.

How Many Testimonials should you provide on your sales letter?

Naturally we are all human, prospects require a reliable source to fix the problems they are facing. Leave no doubt in the minds of your prospect that your products solution will fix there problems, by providing a sea of ​​testimonials in your sales letter. To increase your conversion rates even more, obtaining quality endorsements from top names in your niche will 100 percent convince your prospects your products solutions is credible.

How to Collect Testimonials from your customers, friends, etc …

Collecting testimonials is the fun part … Getting your hands on important peoples email, and politely asking them to provide you there testimonial. After enjoying a sample or trial version of your product, can be the best option to collect credible testimonials. Provide incentives or rewards, by hosting protests for the best written testimonials in exchange for publicity or some type of reward.

You can also give a sample or trial version of your product to friends, co-workers etc .. Another way to collect testimonials is through forums and groups incorporating your topic of interest for your product. Then providing after establishing a relationship, and providing them a sample or trial version of your product in exchange for a testimonial. If they enjoy the benefit of use from your product, they'll provide there honest testimonial.

Establishing testimonials will not only have your competitors on there knees, but link popularity in search engines will result as well as my friend …

Posted in List Building

How to Make Big Profits With Your Email List

Have you ever heard that the money is in the list? Well, actually it really is. Many people who are just starting their business online, think they will start to build their list later on, when their campaigns start making more profits, so they have some money to reinvest. But they are doing it wrong, and here's why.

An average internet marketer makes at least $ 0.25 per month per one subscriber. A smart internet marketer makes four times as much. Super affiliate marketers make $ 2, $ 3 or even more each month, per one subscriber. Do you imagine what you can do with 1000, 10,000, or even 100,000 subscribers? Well, read further, because this might soon become your reality.

As I said before not every marketer working online makes the same amount of money per one subscriber. This of course depends on the niche they are working on, but the most important factor is the relationship between you and your subscribers. You have to gain these people`s trust. When they trust you, they will trust your advice, and will buy what you recommend.

Additionally, it is very important to stay RELEVANT to your topic, and to only promote trusted products and services. Just one mistake here and you lose all the trust.

There is HUGE money to be made even with your list of 2000 active, responsive subscribers. Think 2000 subscribers is a small list? Well, try to stand in front of 2000 people and say your message. You will at least be nervous. You can actually make a living with a list of 2000 subscribers.

Posted in List Building

List Building for Starter – Things to Remember in Using Forums for Your Online Business Success

Forums are very helpful for online marketers. This is one of their ways to hone and attract further clients. In fact, many online marketers have benefited from its use in generating traffic in their sites and in expanding their subscribers list.

Discussions in the forum are a good way to search for information that you are interested. With the many forum sites that you can find online, numerous niches can also be found with relevant questions and worthwhile solutions offered through the interaction. If you are not familiar with the different forum sites, just search it in your search engines and they will provide you with many links.

Realizing the importance of forum in your online marketing campaign, you have to be well equipped with the proper ways of dealing and using this medium. These are very important since you do not want to be banned in any forum sites and lose the purpose why you have to indulge in forum discussions. In this article, let me remind you of some important things that you should always be aware of.

Every forum site has their own rules to follow. Always take time reading this important part before you indulge into your business. Through these rules you will know what to do and what are the restrictions needed to be avoided by every user.

Since the purpose why you indulge in the discussion is to attract your target market, you have to be equipped with enough knowledge to have an interaction that is substantial and rich in knowledge. That is why you have to post whatever important information that your audience would like to know in your niche. This will help boost the interest of your target market. With this, always update your posts and do not give them ideas that were already indicated before. Repetitive posts will turn your credit down and your post might be deleted.

Moreover, forums are used for worth discussions. People indulge in to this because they want to learn something new. With your approach, always have a sense of respect to your clients. Avoid being rude to them. You might not stand out in your niche or no one will read your account if you are like this.

Your credibility in your niche as well as your mastery is dependent on how you present your ideas to them. Crooked ideas will never succeed in the forum. That is why you have to know very well how to simplify ideas rather than making it complex with no proper direction. Aside from this, your punctuation is very important. You will have a hard time letting your audience know what is in your mind if you do not know how to relay it properly and comprehensively.

Lastly, if you want to get noticed by your target market, you should not only post great information. You have to get involved always in the discussion. Be active! Always provide your target market fresh ideas. Do not be clever with your ideas. This is the purpose of discussion forums.

Posted in List Building

Marketing Automation and Trends

Marketing Automation technically refers to being able to feed in information, criteria and outcomes for repetitive online marketing activities such as high volume email marketing into web-­based software and letting it run communications for you once the background work is done.

While the term marketing automation initially came into play and use with reference to email marketing, it is now used for a broader range of automation and analytic tools for web-­based marketing and helps in the long run to streamline sales and marketing activities by replacing constant, repetitive processes with automated solutions. In that sense using the word automation actually sells the strategy short of what it actually does.

If you’re a savvy marketer, then the concept of marketing automation has moved beyond its status as an extra and is a must-­have portion of your back-­end investment when it comes to your digital marketing delivery. And as technology itself advances on a day to day basis, it is necessary to keep track of the new trends in marketing automation in order for you to have a focused strategy behind your planned, automated activities.

The point is, that if you are convinced of the benefits of online or digital marketing then it is up to you to realize that you also need to adopt to technologies that will help turn your business around.

Digital communications specialists, trend watchers and analysts have been keeping a close eye on the ever changing digital landscape and have been saying that for companies looking for marketing automation platforms integrated with CRM (customer relationship management) – it’s all about driving revenue for the brand based on how well the content is targeted.

Ideally you need to be able to map how you influence or interest you potential buyer right through all your mediums and buying journey. This will allow you to be able to deliver the right content, in a timely manner across the correct and most effective channels to a perfectly matched audience.

If you have not started yet, this is the right time as it’s all about being able to stay ahead of the curve with your digital marketing strategy – so invest in the right tools for each of your online mediums from email marketing to social media advertising to search engine optimization and you may just about be on your way to becoming a success in the online marketing game.

Posted in List Building

Small Company Marketing And Marketing Communications – Optimizing Planning And ROI In The Short Term

Starting any B2B or B2C business isn’t easy. While small and midsized enterprises account for over 95 percent of all businesses, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only 50 percent of small businesses survive for more than four years.

Why is that? We have observed three major factors that can be fatal:

1. Managers often face too many “important” or “urgent” situations, and find themselves with too little time and skill to evaluate and execute the correct decisions;

2. Even when they know what they want to do, businesses often lack the resources, including funding and appropriate staff, to act in the short, and often long term;

3. Frequently, newer organizations lack the knowledge and expertise to profitably develop the marketing and marketing communications strategies, plans and executions necessary for their growth.

Add to this the current explosion of digital marketing choices; for a beginning business, what used to be a fairly straightforward marketing process has turned into a complex web of choices. Limited resources also means increased importance on understanding and determining the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing dollars, much less how to improve it.

A recent survey by Forrester Research found that sixty percent of buyers are now making their purchase decisions without interacting with a sales person, or even standing in front of the actual product. The implication for all organizations is that all marketing programs must be focused and crystal clear, and this is especially true for newer organizations.

Optimizing Marketing And Marketing Communications Planning

Navigating through today’s rapidly changing demographic, economic, technical and political landscape can be overwhelming for any company (or nonprofit, for that matter). Marketing strategies, plans and executions must be developed and executed with intelligence. And businesses must understand and have confidence in what results to expect.

Most strategies, plans and executions aren’t perfect, no matter how solid you and your staff think your assumptions have been. Ask yourself, “Is here anything more that can be done to ensure the success of your program?”

Actually, there is. Engage a marketing and marketing communications professional, for two to three months, to evaluate your plan and make recommendations on how to improve it before you commit your capital and other resources to it. Choose someone who has the ability to see the entire picture of your business, including customers, prospects, employees, competitors; someone who understands new and traditional media; and, someone who is passionate about improving your ROI.

Does this sound like a lot of work, time and money which you can’t afford? Frankly, often you can’t afford not to take this step. An investment with the right professional should more than pay for itself, and should profitably improve sales in both the short and long term. Apolitical, fresh eyes and candor can go a long way toward improving ROI, and should also help you, your employees and other stake holders eliminate some of the stress about the future.

What Exactly Will A Marketing Consultant Do?

During this two to three month engagement (perhaps more, depending on the situation), a marketing professional will:

1. Learn all aspects of your business, including interviews with your key constituents;

2. Evaluate the existing marketing and marketing communications strategy (target audience, category, brand benefit/point of difference, reason to believe), plan, spending, and specific creative executions and media selection;

3. Recommend specific changes to the overall program where necessary, and bring in other professionals if needed because of their specific areas of expertise;

4. Provide a procedure for measuring and evaluating the new program and the objectives of the agreed upon plan. Benchmarking and on-going analysis are key elements of successful programs, allowing for change or refinement as you proceed;

5. Inform and discuss the reasoning behind the completed plan so that the organization fully understands the rationale behind it.

The end goal of this outsourcing is to improve your ROI by using professional expertise and leadership to provide an integrated and holistic plan with meaningful tactical executions. And, importantly, doing so before committing time, money and resources to a new and lengthy plan. In other words, “Look Before You Leap.”

Selecting A Marketing Consultant

Ideally, you should look for an established, media neutral B2B and B2C consultant, with brand experience across industries, companies and nonprofits, both large and small, who is willing to tell it like it is so candor will flourish. Don’t settle for a consultant with experience in only your niche or industry, or someone selling only one particular discipline. One size fits all often means nothing fits! And be sure your selection is analytically driven, and willing to test their recommendations in the real world.

The often hectic, early years of your developing company may, in fact, be the perfect time to undertake a long range professional review of your business and opportunities, avoiding the dangerous practice of relying on “this is the way we’ve always done it” as a business plan.

Hopefully, some of these thoughts will help, but as Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Posted in List Building

Is Your Marketing Content Authentic and Impactful?

What are you sharing with your audience?

Is it content that is aligned with your brand? Are you sharing it with your authentic voice? Is it having the impact you want it to have?

All good questions to be asking about your marketing content. Those aspects and more go into creating great content that really brings your audience, connects, and builds relationships. All essential steps before a buying decision.

You can craft your content to connect, so you build that relationship. How? Here are 6 aspects of successful content:

1. Educate

Demonstrate your expertise by sharing what you know. When you do, it adds to the perception of your brand as a subject matter expert. You also give your audience a taste of what it would be like to work with you.

2. Entertain

I recently did a video where I put on a top hat and Groucho Marx glasses and mustache. It was fun to be goofy! And I got so many comments – people liked seeing me laugh at myself.

Your sense of humor is part of your authentic, unique self, right? We'd love to see that!

Another way to entertain is to surprise people. Do something unusual. Include a little intrigue to keep their interest.

3. Tell stories

Stories engage. Since we sat around a fire in caves, we've been telling stories. Your marketing as a whole tells a story about your business. Stories are the most effective way to sell your product or service. Tell stories about your business, your impact, your clients, your team in a way that aligns with your brand. Tell a powerful story and you'll connect with people in a deeply meaningful way.

4. Add value

Bring value to your audience with your marketing content. If you're looking for ideas, listen to your audience! What are they asking? What are they commenting on? If you want to know more, ask them! Guide them to additional resources, like one of your articles, podcast episodes, or videos.

5. Be authentically unique

Bring out what's unique about you and your brand. That authenticity is what sets you apart and helps you connect with your ideal audience. Fly your freak flag! Emphasize how special you are.

6. Be relevant

Consider your audience. Is your content going to speak them? Bring them the information they want?

Every time your business touches the outside world, you're telling people something about you and your business. Each time is also an opportunity to connect with your audience and if they like what you've presented, to share it and spark conversation.

See how many of these aspects of successful content in your marketing you can include for more impact. You'll connect and build the relationship that will lead to more income for your business.

Posted in List Building

Direct Marketing Strategies for Clothing Stores Considered

Clothing Stores have a tough go of it these days due to the heavy discounting on clothes from retailers who sell Chinese goods and clothes. It is not easy to attempt to sell clothes for 5 to 10 times the price especially to the average American who simply is looking for a nice shirt to wear. Once it is nice enough it satisfies that need.

Nevertheless, clothing stores can win the game by building up a strong base of regular customers through a network of referrals and word-of-mouth advertising. Of course this means first the must get customers into the store to buy and then make them very happy so they tell all their friends. Easier said then done you say? Well indeed you are correct.

A robust yet inexpensive marketing and advertising program might do the trick. Let me explain; you see, Direct Marketing or Direct Marketing set of Strategies for Clothing Stores should be considered. For direct-mail marketing to be effective it needs to be repetitive and it is recommended that direct-mail marketing pieces be sent out every three months. It is also recommended for clothing stores to send out direct-mail marketing pieces to all those customers within a 15-mile radius. Please consider all this in 2006.

Posted in List Building

Marketing Planning – Don’t Do SWOT

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is a popular framework for developing a marketing strategy. A Google search for “SWOT” and “planning” turned up almost 93,000 hits (August 2004), most all of which laud the use of SWOT. Some students have said that it is the most important thing they learned at the Wharton School.

Although SWOT is promoted as a useful technique in numerous marketing texts, it is not universally praised: One expert said that he preferred to think of SWOT as a “Significant Waste of Time.”

The problem with SWOT is more serious than the fact that it wastes time. Because it mixes idea generation with evaluation, it is likely to reduce the range of strategies that are considered. In addition, people who use SWOT might conclude that they have done an adequate job of planning and ignore such sensible things as defining the firm’s objectives or calculating ROI for alternate strategies. I have observed this when business school students use SWOT on cases.

What does the evidence say? Perhaps the most notable indication is that I have been unable to find any evidence to support the use of SWOT.

Two studies have examined SWOT. Menon et al. (1999) asked 212 managers from Fortune 1000 companies about recent marketing strategies implemented in their firms. The findings showed that SWOT harmed performance. When Hill and Westbrook (1997) examined the use of SWOT by 20 companies in the UK in 1993-94, they concluded that the process was so flawed that it was time for a “product recall.”

One advocate of SWOT asked: if not SWOT, then what? Borrowing from corporate strategic planning literature, a better option for planners is to follow a formal written process to:

  1. Set objectives
  2. Generate alternative strategies
  3. Evaluate alternative strategies
  4. Monitor results
  5. Gain commitment among the stakeholders during each step of this process.

I describe this 5-step procedure in Armstrong (1982). Evidence on the value of this planning process, obtained from 28 validation studies (summarized in Armstrong 1990), showed that it led to better corporate performance:

  • 20 studies found higher performance with formal planning
  • 5 found no difference
  • 3 found formal planning to be detrimental

This support was obtained even though the formal planning in the studies typically used only some of the steps. Furthermore, the steps were often poorly implemented and the conditions were not always ideal for formal planning.

Given the evidence, SWOT is not justified under any circumstances. Instead, use the comprehensive 5-step planning procedure.

References

Armstrong, J. S. (1982) “The Value of Formal Planning for Strategic Decisions,” Strategic Management Journal, 3, 197-211.

Armstrong, J. S. (1990), “Review of Corporate Strategic Planning,” Journal of Marketing, 54, 114-119.

Hill, T. & R. Westbrook (1997), “SWOT Analysis: It’s Time for a Product Recall,” Long Range Planning, 30, No. 1, 46-52.

Menon, A. et al. (1999), “Antecedents and Consequences of Marketing Strategy Making,” Journal of Marketing, 63, 18-40.

Posted in List Building

5 Tips To Improve Email Delivery

Email delivery rates can vary dramatically depending on your email configuration, the type of software you are using, and the servers that you are sending your mail from. Below are 5 tips to help you improve your email delivery rates and get more of your messages in front of your recipients.

1. Be Relevant

Include content in your emails that are both relevant to the recipient and make sure your message is well formatted. Make sure you include information or helpful tips that will benefit your reader. If all they receive from you is a constant stream of advertisements they are more likely to mark your message as spam or send it to the trash.

2. Send In Small Batches

Most ISPs monitor and measure the amount of emails that are coming from your mail server. These ISPs will throttle your email delivery rate back if they detect large amounts of mail being sent from your domain or mail server. It is important to send your mails in small batches that will not trigger the ISPs to temporarily or permanently block emails from your domain.

3. Get On White Lists

The most effective method to improve your delivery rate is to enlist the services of a company like Return Path . If you can get your server whitelisted then you will have an unobstructed path your recipient inboxes.

4. Get Off Black Lists

If ISPs have detected you are sending too much email or if individual recipients have reported your email as spam you may end up on one of many hundred of individually operated black lists. To check if you are listed on any of these black lists we suggest MXToolBox . You can enter your domain or IP address into this tool to determine if you have been blacklisted. If you determine that you have been blacklisted you can also request to have your information removed from the black list at the operators discretion.

5. Always Reply to Challenge Responses

As you are sending out mailings you may receive challenge emails that ask you to confirm that you intended to send email to the recipient. It is important to always respond to the challenge emails with a response as this will build your sending reputation and improve your email delivery rates. If you do not respond to the challenge emails this will hurt your sending reputation with the ISP that sends you the request.

Posted in List Building

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