The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

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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Reduce Your Cost Per Lead With Inbound Marketing Techniques

The old style of marketing, known as “outbound marketing” required businesses to attempt to warm up fresh leads through cold calling, print ads, trade shows, and other means. All were attempts to get the leads to come to them. Not only did this process require a lot of time and patience, but the cost of acquiring one qualified lead was very expensive. Many businesses have taken a completely opposite approach – why not have the leads initiate the contact with us? Lead generation through what is known as “inbound marketing”, or “permission-based marketing” has been shown to produce more sales-ready leads at a lower cost per lead than any traditional form of marketing. Let’s look at some ways to reduce your cost per lead with inbound marketing techniques:

Business Blogging Will Expand Your Inbound Marketing Efforts
By creating an effective business blog, you can greatly expand your inbound marketing efforts while also improving SEO. The major search engines reward sites with fresh content by giving them a better position in search results. By providing fresh and relevant content on a regular basis, you can establish yourself as an expert by providing information people want and need. Your blog gives you one more place to use promotional tools like free giveaways, webinars, and social networking. You can place your message in front of interested consumers who will actually come to you, rather than being forced to chase after them. Creating a blog and keeping it current does require time, however. Since time may be your most valuable asset, you may consider outsourcing your blog to a business blogging service.

Social Media Builds Relationships Before And After The Sale
You are probably using social media sites like, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, or LinkedIn already, but you may not be using these sites to your maximum marketing advantage. Just as your inbound marketing efforts are focused on converting leads to customers, you must also understand that a good lead management program must also focus on keeping the customer after a sale is made. Social media should be used to build relationships with customers before and after the sale. You are building brand awareness, exchanging ideas, and establishing trust and confidence in the minds of consumers. If people like what they see, there is a strong possibility they will share their experience with their friends. Word-of-mouth is some of the best advertising and will likely result in permission-based leads that are absolutely free of cost.

Content Marketing Is The Cornerstone Of Inbound Marketing
Great content must always be the cornerstone of your inbound marketing and lead generation efforts. You must have current, relevant, and informative content that will bring people into your sales process, instead of you having to go after them. Your website must be optimized to close leads and engage visitors once they arrive. Your content marketing efforts must leverage your best writing in ways that provide information people are looking for in the ways they want to receive it. Once people opt-in to an offer, you can deliver your message in a way that is important and relevant to them.

Inbound marketing allows you to create a useful informative website, blog, and social media presence in ways that aren’t interrupting your audience to get their attention. Instead of reaching out to cold and potentially unqualified leads, leads come to you.

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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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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Acquisition Marketing Is Driven By The Customer’s Experience

There were days in Internet marketing where “acquisition” simply meant getting a lot of traffic to a website. It seemed as though businesses weren’t really concerned about what happened when the traffic arrived, they just wanted to get website visitors. Today, mass marketing has been replaced by target marketing and online businesses are beginning to realize that acquisition marketing is driven by the customer’s experience.

Target Customers Must Become Aware Of Your Product or Service

Obviously, the first hurdle in establishing an effective customer acquisition strategy is making the consumer aware of your product or service. It is no longer enough to rely solely on a well-designed business website to attract a target audience. With the growing popularity of social media, online businesses have a better opportunity to promote their brand and establish trust and confidence in their company. Content optimization, link building, social media, and strategic partnerships all can yield effective results for years to come. Designing permission-based e-mail and direct mail marketing campaigns ensures your message is delivered to those who asked to receive it.

Target Customers Must Learn How Your Products Are Unique

Marketing strategies must focus on how your product or service can best meet the needs of the consumer. The entire process must be easy for the consumer and you must understand their mindset, needs and concerns. With this understanding, you can offer extra information or product assurance through customer testimonials. Another unique quality of your business could be that you are totally honest and transparent in all dealings with consumers.

Target Customers Must Be Convinced To Buy

The acquisition of new customers depends on how well your business can build comprehensive relationships with the general public. Whether it is through advertising, promotions or some other motivation, persuasion is what eventually convinces a prospective customer to buy.

Looking out for your customers’ interests makes acquisition marketing a long-term process. Satisfied customers will buy from you more than once and they will produce more sales through referrals. Customer acquisition techniques must change as technology changes. To remain in competition and maintain a high acquisition rate, you must always explore new methods to entertain customers.

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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