How Important is your Marketing?Written by Charlie Cook
Bob called last week from Phoenix, Arizona with some stunning news about his web site. He first contacted me in fall of 2003. He had a web site that was helping him generate a healthy income but he sensed he could be doing even better. He wanted to get more visitors to his web site and get more of them to contact him about his retail liquidation services.
Are you interested in getting more prospects to your web site and prompting more of them to contact you?
Over two months I worked with Bob to help him clearly define his target market, identify problem he solves, and clarify his marketing message. We improved copy on his web site and structure of his web pages to prompt more people to contact him. I showed him how to write articles and use them to generate a steady stream of visitors to his site.
Bob was happy with results of these changes, but I wasn't. He was getting more visitors to his site and more inquiries, but I thought there was potential for even more growth. I knew that Bob could be doing better if he would just change his marketing message. Despite my best efforts to persuade, cajole and prompt him to rethink how he talked about what he did, Bob was happy with his existing marketing message.
Prior to working with me, Bob had spent ten years regularly experimenting with his marketing message and had found a sentence that generated best response he’d ever had. It was working; he was keeping busy, making money and didn't want to mess with success.
We finished our work together almost a year ago, so I was surprised when Bob called last week. It turns out that he hadn't stopped experimenting. He had taken my advice to heart after all and been fine-tuning his marketing message so that it described problem he solves for his clients clearly and concisely.
With this new marketing message at top of his web page, Bob is getting 3 times number of inquiries about his services. That's 300% more people who know problem he solves and who are contacting him about his services.
Branded Email: The Next Generation of EmailWritten by Jason DeVelvis
For past 75 years, almost every form of popular communication has transformed from black and white to color. Newspapers, television, and computers are only a few examples. (Well, some computers went from green and white to color…)
That leaves this question: Why hasn’t everyday email communication done same? Think about it this way – your company probably spends quite a bit of money on building brand image. Billboards, newspaper ads, radio ads, jingles, TV commercials, logo creation, business cards, corporate letterhead, and websites are just a few of places that corporate marketing dollars might be spent. Why leave out one of most used (if not most used) form of communication that you have?Everybody Wants to Brand Their Email
Branded email can be classy enough for more conservative companies (legal, banks, medical, etc) and showy enough for businesses to highlight products or services that have to have that graphical edge. Most companies can develop a template (or set of templates) that’s geared toward how you want to use them. The ability to choose from more than one template is also a nice feature to have, so you can vary emails you send based on purpose.Me and Branded Email Down By Schoolyard
When you’re considering a branded email system, do your homework. And if company has a free trial, take it. You don’t want to purchase something and end up hating it. Keep in mind, however, that most companies, however, won’t develop a custom design for you to use during your free trail, so you won’t get full experience until after your purchase. But while you’re researching, here are some things to look for:
- Spam Filters – See what they say about spam filters. A good system can get past most spam filters (with exception of extremely strict filters). If you’re testing system, can you send an email to yourself? (If you test lots of systems and none of them get past your filter, consider getting a better one, or making yours less strict)
- Email size – If system embeds or attaches images to email, stay far, far away from it. You don’t want all of your emails going out at 300-1000k in size. That would be a long download even on a broadband connection. The typical plain text email is 5-10k; your emails shouldn’t go over 100k, and even that is pushing it. – Do note that Outlook, by default, will embed any image in an email when you click send. You have to turn this off through Tools > Options > Mail Format > Internet Format > HTML Options checkbox (MS Outlook 2002 and 2003)
- Usability – Make sure product is easy to use. The last thing you want to do is waste precious time trying to use a bad product while sending your email. You should be able to set your account up, and send emails like normal.
- Functionality – If your email contains links to specific pages or areas in your website, you can send traffic directly to your catalog, your affiliate/reseller site, your online video, anywhere you want them to go. This is a much better opportunity than “Hey, go check out my site at www.EmailAppeal.com!” As old adage goes, on Internet you’re always 1 click away from losing a customer.
- Dynamic Capabilities – Be sure you can easily change your contact information, picture (if system allows you to upload one) and any other sensitive information on your template.
- Control – Do you have control over aspects of design, or can user change design at will? Brand control and consistency is a big deal in any business.
- Security – Does system require you to send your email through a different server or to a different email address? This is a security risk whether they say so or not, as your emails are all being routed through a third party server. A good system will work without requiring you send your email through a third party.