The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Yotam Derfler serves as Vice President of Business Development. He is responsible for sales and publisher development for Gold Lasso.

Best Practices for Growing a Very Targeted Email List

As a result of more sophisticated spam filtering, it has gotten exponentially more difficult to get your email messages delivered to your subscribers, let alone have them opened.  Below are some email best practices that can help make the most of your email campaigns.

Getting permission from your email subscribers is not an option. It is important that each person you send an email to has given you their explicit permission for you to do so. These days, your company's reputation can be damaged by sending unsolicited email. Regardless of how relevant you think your message is, purchasing a list exponentially increases your chances of being blocked, or your messages being flagged as spam.  Therefore, explicit primary permission is really the only way to build your subscriber list within the email channel.

Quality is more important than quantity. A common misconception amongst neophytes is that the law of large numbers applies to email marketing: thinking they will find success by sending to a large list. The opposite is true.  The smaller, more targeted the list is, the better the performance.  

Keep your messages as focused and relevant as possible with a prominant call to action. If you wish to grab your readers’ attention immediately, you should communicate to them swiftly and clearly. Subscribers who are pressed for time will not have much patience to read through lengthy messages. You need to convey your message within the first few paragraphs and have an attention grabbing call to action.

Setting the expectation in the signup process is important. As soon as your subscribers’ signup for your offers, you are beginning the first stage of a relationship. If you get this part right, your subscribers will be anticipating your email messages. But if you fail at this, they most likely will not open your messages. You need to start the process by communicating with your subscribers what they can expect from your messages. This might sound obvious, but too many marketers get this wrong. Not only should your opt-in form be clear on what you are sending, but how often as well. Also, after the signup process, subscribers should be greeted with a thank you page that tells them what is coming and what to expect in the future.

Email marketing, when implemented correctly, strengthens and builds the relationships you have with your subscribers.  Contact us  here at Gold Lasso for more advice on email best practices and to help you grow your list.

 

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Lead Sharing - It works but be mindful how you do it

Many businesses engage in lead sharing with little thought about what they are really doing and how sharing customer and prospect information can actually destroy the relationships they have built or trying to build.  Let’s take a brief look at some important considerations in designing a lead sharing program to maintain quality customer relationships.

Relationships Not Profit Should Be Your Business's Goal
Obviously, the primary goal of any business is profit, but the only way to get there is a strong focus on building and maintaining customer relationships.  People buy from those they can trust and from those who can give them the best product or service to meet an individual need.  People are tired of being sold. They now want to buy and their terms.  If your company is sharing customer or prospect data, even though your privacy and user policies permit such activity, your business is most likely betraying your customers' or prospects' trust.

If Your Privacy Policy Says You Can Share Customer And Prospect Data  - Change It!
Search engines seem to like “Privacy Statements” in business websites.  What does yours say about sharing visitor’s information?  Take a quick look at Google’s Privacy Policy.  Google clearly states that it will not use personal information outside of Google, except with a person’s consent.  If you intend to share information voluntarily given to you on your business website, you had better make it crystal clear to the visitor how you intend to use that information.  If your privacy policy states that you can share pesonal data be prepared for the backlash when you do share.  Some savvy consumer will source you as a breach of trust despite your policies and out you as a participant of bad practices to others.  If you intend to participate in a legitimate lead sharing program, make sure it's explicit, opt-in and transparent to your end users.  Opt-In should always be one to one, not one to many.

Opt-Out = Game Over!
Once prospects or customers have informed you they made the decision to opt-out of your marketing, you cannot sell or transfer their data to third parties.  Doing so can open your business up to major legal heaches and public relations nightmares.  In other words, despite using good or bad lead sharing practices, an opt-out should signal a true end of any value to the relationship.

Lead sharing has been around for a very long time, even before the Internet.  Lawyers, financial planners, banks and the like have always referred customers to other professions.  Today, lead sharing is much more than just exchanging email lists to allow you to start sending mass emails to potential customers. Genuine lead sharing is finding a partner to help look for opportunities to combine the talents and expertise of both businesses in a way that can best benefit the customer.  This way both businesses will get exposure and a real service will be delivered to the general public.

RegReady is a transparent, fair and balanced customer acquisition community helping you develop true opt-in marketing lists and sales leads. We are advocates of quality customer relationships developed through permission-based marketing and education. We help you find prospects motivated to ask for more information. Contact us today to see how it works.

 

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Conversion Optimization Involves Seeing Everything From The Customer’s Point Of View

In order to get a higher percentage of website visitors to take action to become an actual lead or customer, businesses must realize that today’s online marketing has evolved into much more that just a convenient way to shop.  For marketing strategies to work, businesses must clearly understand that conversion optimization involves seeing everything from the customer’s point of view.

Stop Selling Features – Start Selling Solutions To Problems
Most customers prefer to solve their own problems, therefore areas of websites dedicated to helping people are the ones visited most often.  Self-help content can include video tutorials, FAQs, or comprehensive information downloads. If your marketing strategies include social media, if is very important to ensure prompt responses to visitors’ inquiries or comments.  Your main goal should be to establish trust and this can often be more challenging for smaller brands, especially online businesses.

Does Your Website Include Unique Product Information?
To stand out from the competition, your business website must have a unique voice.  To make your products or services more unique, you may want to give your descriptions a personal touch. You must be totally honest and transparent in describing your product or service from your own unique perspective.  Don’t get too caught up in the facts, because people buy on emotion.  People want to know exactly how your business is different from the others.

Is Your Website Consistent In Its Formatting?
To help you better understand just how effective your web presence is, put yourself in the shoes of your visitors.  How easily can you perform the same tasks you’re asking your customers to complete?  Most people like to find information for themselves.  A website without consistency can ruin the on-site experience for visitors.  A site that produces a bad experience for potential customers is also bad for sales.  Oftentimes, your homepage will look a little different that the other internal pages, but consistency must be carried from one page to the next.  The primary navigation of your website should not change.  Visitors must be able to immediately figure out where and how to get the information they need.

You Must Follow Up And Follow Through
If leads are simply falling through the cracks, you’re just throwing away profits.  Prospect follow up can include auto-responders, follow-up emails, or other forms of effective follow up. Customers must realize that your business will care just as much after the sale as it did before. An effective post-sale marketing strategy will let them know that you really do care because you’re proving it.  You will not only retain satisfied customers, but customer goodwill is a fantastic repeat business generator and an excellent source of referral business.

No matter what you’re selling, you must stop seeing people who visit your business website as just “traffic”.  You must completely understand that these visitors are actually real human beings.  As these visitors engage at different levels, each word they read and each piece of media they view will form a mental image of your business.  This image will determine whether they buy from you or a competitor.

RegReady is a transparent, fair and balanced customer acquisition community helping you develop true opt-in marketing lists and sales leads. We are advocates of quality customer relationships developed through permission-based marketing and education. We help you find prospects motivated to ask for more information. Contact us today to see how it works.

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Data or Leads? The Secret to Conversion Optimization

Tracking conversion optimization results is just part of online marketing, but most marketers make it more difficult than it needs to be.

Data is an important asset to every marketer. Data tells us when we are succeeding and when we are not. But most marketers get lost in the data and forget that those numbers represent real people.

Marketers get lost in their data when they relying heavily on search engines for traffic. When traffic comes from lead generation instead of search engine results, data is more meaningful. In turn, meaningful data can be used to further increase conversion rates.

Let's take a look at three popular conversion techniques and see how marketers are failing to use them to their fullest potential by relying solely on search engine results.

A/B Tests - Marketers live and die by A/B tests. A valid A/B tells the marketer what changes will produce positive results. Unfortunately, most marketers perform these tests when they are receiving traffic from only search engine results. A/B tests conducted on search engine traffic predict what will work for most visitors researching the topic. Tests on lead generated traffic predicts what will work for those visitors looking to buy.

Simplified Landing Pages - Short and simple landing pages perform better than more complicated landing pages. But all landing pages work better when traffic is lead generated. Most random web searchers that land on landing pages aren't really that close to buying yet. That is why most landing pages are longer and filled with ad copy. Lead generated traffic makes the landing page's job easier. All the landing page should do is tell them how to buy, not try to convince them that they should.

Promotional Content - Every landing page is a sales pages but customers don't want to be sold. The more promotional a landing page is, the better chance it has to convert a random web searcher into a paying customer. But it also increases the chances of turning off a ready-to-buy lead generated visitor.

Crunching data in order to figure out what works is part of online marketing. But data obtained from lead generated traffic will produce better results than that from random web searchers.

 

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Understanding The Different Phases Of A Marketing Lead Funnel

If you were to ask any online marketer – “What is the biggest problem you face in your online business?”, the most common answer would probably be – “Developing an effective lead generation and lead management strategy”.  Businesses must learn how best to move away from the old mass-marketing strategy to target marketing.  The lead funnel is probably the missing element of most marketing programs.  Businesses must learn how to move quality leads through the different phases of a marketing lead funnel.

Lead Generation – The Wide Area Of The Funnel
An effective lead generation strategy is critical to filling the top of the lead funnel.  Obviously, the more quality website visitors you have, the better chance of converting more visitors into quality leads, and eventually customers.  Two of the major problems in this area are the lack of online presence and the lack of content-fuelled SEO.  The days of writing content to please search engines are over.  The key to web content is to write to please the tastes of your target audience.  Compelling calls to action will be the key to creating high interest in the product or service you’re offering.  A business blog will help immensely in building your brand and also help establish a good reputation for your business. Developing a social media strategy that works best for your business can be a key factor in quality lead generation efforts.  It is important to understand that all lead generation efforts must be totally up-front and transparent.

Lead Cultivation – The Middle Section Of The Funnel
Lead cultivation or nurturing allows you to move your quality leads through the sales funnel. This process allows you to actually position your business and build a connection with your target audience.  Lead cultivation must be designed to attract the right buyers and create a demand for your products or services.  This is an opportunity to educate and build relationships.

Lead Conversion – The Smallest Section Of The Funnel
The content of your website or blog, in addition to educating your prospects on your products and services, must also provide tips and information on how to make the best vendor selection. You must show your visitors how your product or service can best meet their needs or solve their problem.  Lead conversion is all about focusing on key problems and issues.  This phase of the funnel must be more than simply focusing on you.

The successful transition from lead to customer is by no means the end of the marketing process.  It is the post-sale process that really secures your customer base and stimulates customer loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising. Many online businesses fail simply because they do not have an effective post-sale strategy. 

 

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