“There are some people out there who believe that email marketing is dead. I’ll tell you from personal experience that is far from the case.
I do agree email open rates are on the decline. Arts and artists are getting only about 17% opens. Let’s look at your inbox for an example: How many emails do you receive in a typical day? Now think about how many of those emails you actually open. Of those emails you did open, who were they from? Typically, but not always, the first emails you open are from the people you already know, right?…
Email Marketing Strategies That Actually Work Checklist:
Select an email management service.
Add a data collection form to your blog, website and social media platforms.
Consider creating a compelling offer.
Before you craft your email ask yourself: “What is my desired outcome?” “What do I want the reader to do?”
Write an attention-grabbing headline (write a couple) that you’ll use in the subject header of your email.
Provide at least three links to the “next step” you want your reader to take in the body of your text.
If the email is really short, or you’re sending an html- based message, two is fine.
Track your results. Most email management services will allow you to go into your database and check the click through rate.
Split-test your email campaigns. Craft two or three different emails slightly, adjusting each, and then send to portions of your list.
What better time than right now, at the beginning of a new year, to claim or update your local business directory listings. Remember, I am here to help if you need me! …and the first 30 minutes are on me! Check it out!
“Social media is particularly effective in generating traffic; real estate selling is the type of business that benefits from continuous streams of new prospects. It is only logical that these two areas find each other and combine to form a dynamic partnership that promises to rock any real estate business venture. But even while there is a natural affinity between social media marketing and real estate selling, the desired positive effect is far from automatic.
Social media simply makes it easier to reach out to more people but it does not guarantee that these people will buy from you. You still need to work on setting up your social media framework, then work it until you get the results you want. Just like learning how to punch will not guarantee that you will win every fight you get into, knowing how to wield social media requires a period of hands-on engagement that gives you an idea of how this tool can help you succeed given the unique situation and problems your business faces.
Here are some things to keep in mind when launching into social media marketing for selling real estate:
Define your market niche.
This holds true whether or not you are considering social media marketing. It also holds true regardless of the nature of your business. Social media is all about engaging your audiences, and different audiences respond to different things. Read More>>
Find your “sweet spot” and create an offer your target markets cannot refuse.
If you have played tennis you will be familiar with the concept of the “sweet spot.” It is that part on the racket that just feels absolutely right when you hit the ball, and your shot gets placed perfectly no matter what. You need to find the sweet spot for your target audiences; that is why segmenting them was absolutely necessary. Read More>>
Drive traffic to your web pages.
This is where social media marketing becomes directly useful. Tell your friends about your Website, or about your business. Then ask them to tell their friends about it. The reach of your social network can be incredibly enormous. Use your social media connections as channels through which to distribute your marketing materials. Read More>>
Build your email database.
If this is the only thing you ever succeed in doing out of all these initiatives, then you may give yourself a pat on the back. Your marketing database will be the core of your business, regardless of how you fare with your social media, SEO and other marketing efforts. It is what you can build the rest of your marketing strategy on.
Google PageRank is one of the methods used by Google to determine a web page relevance and importance. Google now uses hundreds of algorithms and is continually updating and adjusting, so it’s important to stay up to date with all things Google. Although it can often be a daunting task.
PageRank is only a small part of Google’s method of counting link votes and determining which pages are most important on the web based on the results. This is how Google presents us with a clean and uncluttered search result. Additionally, a page that is linked to by many pages with high PageRank receives a high rank itself. If there are no links to a web page, then there is no support for that page. Again, PageRank is only one method Google uses.
Why Google PageRank Is Important?
That’s simple. Important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results. It is a measure from 0 – 10 and is based on backlinks. The more quality backlinks the higher Google PageRank.
Remember, not all links are created equal. Don’t listen to the ‘bologna sauce’ out there that pushes hundreds of useless links. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. A quality link would be from a site that has at least a PageRank of 4.
To Google, a link from page A to page B is considered a vote, by page A, for page B. PageRank does not rank web sites as a whole, but is instead, as each page individually.
Here are the steps you should take to build and increase your Google PageRank:
Build Quality Links with Directory Listings
Local Directory Listings
Industry Directory Listings
Niche Directory Listing
Build Quality Links with Content and Commenting
Forums & Blogs
To increase the PageRank of your website, get back links from popular and relevant niche sites, but remember that the back links from high PR sites are the votes you need to increase higher Google PageRank.
Last night, Google started pushing out new PageRank data to the Google Toolbar users (if you can find any one using the toolbar anymore). The previous PageRank update was done in August 2012 and typically occurs ever few months or so.
Despite PageRank still being part of the algorithm, SEOs know that toolbar PageRank is often outdated and not that useful. In addition, there are many other factors part of the algorithm that may or may not be as important as PageRank.
Although there are valid arguments on both sides of this issue, I recommend you still at least pay attention to your Google PageRank, if not for anything more than analyzing and monitoring the qualify of the sites linking to your posts.
“Defy conventional wisdom and you just might break from the pack.
When competition is ruthless and everyone offers more or less the same services and abilities, it’s hard to separate from the pack. So once in a while, it just might pay to do something that defies conventional wisdom. Here are some ideas.
1. Let the customer name the price.
I once heard of a restaurant that had no prices on the menu. Instead was the notation, “Pay what you think the meal was worth.” Most customers were afraid of embarrassing themselves by underpaying, so they tended to offer more than other restaurants were charging for similar fare. The owner made more money than he did in previous tries at the restaurant business with conventional menu prices. So what’s this got to do with Roofing? Read More>>
2. Give it away for free.
Budget a certain amount of work to give away each month for free to churches or charitable institutions. Involve your customers by inviting them to nominate deserving recipients. Read More>>
3. Reward complaints.
Debra Koontz Traverso is a marketing consultant and author of Outsmarting Goliath: How to Achieve Equal Footing with Companies That Are Bigger, Richer, Older and Better Known. She tells of helping a Philadelphia bar owner establish a complaint system from patrons. Each month the winner’s picture was placed on a Complaint Wall of Fame. The program was talked about around town and written up in a daily newspaper. How would this work when implemented by a Roofing Contractor? Read More>>
4. Create more customer awards.
You don’t have to limit them to “Best Complaint.” Hold contests for “Nicest Customer,” “Best Landscaping,” “Cutest Pet,” etc. Have your work crews nominate people for these awards. Be sure to publicize the heck out of them. Become known as the “fun company” in your business. Read More>>
5. Make a virtue out of high prices.
Nobody gets sticker shock browsing around in a Tiffany’s jewelry store or a Rolls Royce dealership. That’s because if they did, they wouldn’t be there. Some businesses thrive on charging high — even outrageous — prices, because they cater to the “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” crowd. Read More>>
6. Show and tell.
Seeing is believing. Document with photographs the difference between botched jobs and what you promise to provide. Show before and after photos of renovation projects in which you take pride. Showing is always more effective than telling, especially to non-technical customers, and it enhances your professionalism. Read More>>
7. Create a splash with help-wanted ads.
The Irish Plumber is the name of one of the Chicago area’s largest plumbing and HVAC service firms. Several years ago the company ran a series of TV and radio commercials advertising for HVAC service technicians. The script emphasized that the company offered top pay and benefits, but that they only hired the best and applicants must be able to pass a drug test.
The company not only generated a lot of job applications, they found these recruitment ads also generated service calls better than some of the commercials they ran dedicated to that purpose. People want to do business with top-notch companies, and price is often a secondary consideration.” Read More>>
When advertising on radio, it’s important to utilize the right station format or combination of formats to reach your unique target audience.
You have listened to the radio for years, you know what you like and which radio stations you tend to gravitate towards. However, as local small business owners, I’m afraid placing a radio ad has nothing to do with what you like. It’s about honing in on the right mix of radio stations for your unique local audience.
There are unique audiences with each format. For example here is a quick glance at how to put this list to good use. If you are looking to target the following, look further into these radio formats:
Soft Adult Contemporary
Farm News and Talk
Soft Urban Contemporary
Young Adults Teen to 25
New Rock — Modern Rock
R & B — Urban
Contemporary Hit Radio (Top-4O)
Dig deeper with my complete list of formats including a brief description.
This list of Radio Station Formats And Demographics will get you pointed in the right direction
There is huge value in advertising your local small business on radio. I may be a bit biased, as I worked in radio for more than 18 years – however mostly I am just right! I’ve seen radio advertising work in countless small businesses just like yours across America. If you haven’t considered adding local radio advertising to your marketing mix, I highly suggest you do when planning for a successful 2013.
New business opening in town? Send a small welcoming bouquet with a good luck card. Try sending out a small, stylish sample product to local hotels, hair salons, schools, country clubs and restaurants. Read More>>
2) A brand new, stylish website.
More and more people are going online to do their shopping, having a website with a shopping facility allows customers to order 24/7 with you. If you already have a website, perhaps consider getting it revamped or a complete overhaul Read More>>
3) Join flower-based forums and florist directories.
There are hundreds of online forums that allow people to ask questions about flowers, decorations and the art of floristry – consider joining and share your knowledge as well as advertising your name. Read More>>
4) Get published in local newspapers and magazines.
If you’ve just set up your flower shop, try contacting the local newspaper – a new shop is big news, they may well want to write an article about you, your trade and what you offer. Read More>>
5) Look into local fairs and expos. Remember the key occasions flowers are bought for and look into any fairs or expos revolving around those. Wedding fairs are good for expanding your client base, as are business expos.”
Holiday Marketing Tips For Dentists – 3 tips from a boxer
“The holidays are nearly upon us, and you can almost hear the opening bell being rung. And with that sound, businesses all over the country prepare to square off against each other in the ring of holiday marketing! But not everyone can be a winner. There will be winners and losers when the dust settles in January.
You see, the holidays are not about the high upside of your marketing, because you’re not taking advantage of a little known opportunity. Everybody knows there is business and money to be had through holiday advertising, and they are prepared to fight for their share of it. If you are not prepared, you will not be one of the winners of this marketing fight.
Here are three Holiday Marketing Tips For Dentists you can use to emerge victorious in your fight for the customer’s attention this holiday season.
Holiday Marketing Tips For Dentists:
1. Punch with a plan.
If you want to end up on the losing side of the fight this holiday season, just go out there and start throwing aimless punches — all you’ll be doing is adding to the holiday noise. It won’t produce results, and it will probably bruise your relationship with customers and prospects. Rather, what you need is …Read More>>
2. Show up at the right venue.
There is one way to ensure that you lose your holiday marketing fight: Show up at the wrong venue. If you aren’t fighting in front of the right audience, every punch you throw is in vain. In order to be successful with your marketing, …Read More>>
3. Keep punching!
Imagine this scenario: After round 1 of a bout, Boxer A and Boxer B are essentially tied. They traded punches, and so far it’s a draw. Due to this reality, Boxer A decides the rest of the fight is not worth his time and concedes. Does this sound like a correct assessment of the situation? Of course not!” …Read More>>
A Local Brand Survey. Are you delivering ‘unrelenting passion, not unending spin’?
According to Wikipedia, “A brand is a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
Taking it one step further, under30ceo asks, “So what exactly is a brand? It’s the personification of a company. If a company were a person, it’s the personality and habits of that person. …the gut feeling a person gets about a product, service or organization.”
“A brand isn’t a brand to you until it develops an emotional connection with you.” Daryl Travis – Emotional Branding
“The process of forming a brand is the result of “unrelenting passion, not unending spin.” John Moore – Tribal Knowledge
Building upon John Moore’s quote above, let’s take a look at your local brand to ensure you are delivering ‘unrelenting passion, not unending spin’.
A Simple Local Brand Survey
Your goal is to discover these three things:
1Awareness Does your local community even know your small business exists?
2Engagement Is your local community currently using your products or services?
3Satisfaction Is your local community happy with your current offerings and how they are delivered?
You can easily survey your customers and local community via Social Media using the following simple brand survey questions. Copy and Paste these babies, you are gonna need them!
Do you trust [Insert Business Name]?
What are [Insert Business Name’s] greatest strengths?
What are [Insert Business Name’s] greatest weaknesses?
What does [Insert Business Name] stand for in your mind?
What is it about [Insert Business Name] that makes it unique?
What is the greatest value [Insert Business Name] provides to you?
What need does [Insert Business Name] fulfill?
What would you say is [Insert Business Name’s] mission?
Why does your local community need [Insert Business Name]?
With the new year right on our tail, this is a great time to survey your local brand performance so you can evaluate brand shortcomings, enhance brand successes, fill in the gaps for increased growth in 2013.
In addition to surveying your customers and community on your local brand, likewise survey your employees. Read more in my previous post, 5 Step Employee Brand Slam.
Without further, or any for that matter, adieu, let’s dig in:
1. “Emergency Info Wallet Cards – Include local emergency numbers like the fire department, police, poison control, etc. Include your contact information and the phone number for claims. Customers will be glad to carry such a valuable card around in their wallet and they will always have your information in their pocket! Referrals are the cheapest and easiest form of insurance agency marketing.
2. Great Email Signature – If you don’t already have an automated email signature, make one right now. Include every bit of contact information about you like your address, phone numbers, website, twitter, facebook, etc. With each new day comes a new form of communication and everyone has a favorite. Make sure you accommodate all communication preferences for marketing.
3. Keep a Voice Recorder in Your Car – When you’re driving and spot a commercial vehicle record some information about the vehicle and the phone number. You can call the owner later and explain where you saw the vehicle and that you would like an opportunity to make a bid on their insurance at the next renewal. In case you want to order one now, here’s a link to digital voice recorders
4. Provide Unparralleled Customer Experiences – Amazing customer experiences are one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. In today’s market, where consumers often expect to be taken for granted and treated poorly, when you treat your clients better than kings and queens they will tell the whole world. They’ll go on Facebook and tell a thousand people! You’ll never cold-call again if you can turn your book of business into your own sales force. Here’s some customer service ideas I put together to get you started.
5. Get in Their Cell Phone – Encourage clients to program your insurance agency phone number into their cell phone in case they have a claim or billing question. They will always be walking around with your contact information. If someone asks them about insurance it will be easier to refer. Referrals are the most successful insurance marketing strategy.
6.Volunteer– The hand that gives, gathers. There are many opportunites for growing your business while volunteering. You can get great PR in the newspaper, meet other local community members and business owners, and educate people about the values and benefits of insurance. Choose a non-profit you have some interest in since the more passion you have, the more benefit.
7. Harness the Power of Facebook - Stop pretending its not a huge opportunity or you can’t do it and start making money with Facebook. Unless you only sell Medicare Supplement Plans, nearly every client you have is already on Facebook and the average user has 130 friends! If you need ideas, check out another article I wrote: 100 Facebook Marketing Ideas For Insurance Agents. Be creative, not too self-promotional, and use Facebook to amplify your community presence. And by the way, updating your Facebook page with fresh and interesting content has never been easier with our latest free marketing product for insurance agents, the Insurance Agency Facebook Idea Dashboard.
8. Host a Window Etching Event
– Window etching is a process of inscribing the VIN number of a vehicle into all the glass on a car. It is supposed to reduce auto theft. You can sometimes team up with the local police department or an organizaiton against insurance fraud like these guys. Gather free insurance leads from the vehicle owners. Remember to frame the sales conversation around any discounts they’re getting for the window etching.
9. Door Hangers – Sounds old school, but paying someone to go door to door hanging advertisements on doorknobs can be part of your insurance marketing strategy. Arm the person with talking points about your insurance agency just in case.
10. Good Old Telemarketing – The reason insurance agents still telemarket…it still works. Focus telemarketing in the evening, give your telemarketer lots of talkpaths to use and conduct role plays periodically to keep your telemarketer sharp. Don’t aim to quote and sell insurance policies right away. Respecting the prospects, making a positive impression, and gaining an x-date can be more valuable than providing an instant quote.
11. Keychain Tags – I mean the thin plastic tags that the grocery store, gym, and credit card companies give members. Include the insurance agency contact information. Customers will want it so they can call you if they have a claim. Now they will always have your contact information for when they refer your agency. Referrals are the best insurance marketing.
12. Get Your Own Website – In today’s marketplace, not having a website is like not having business cards. In addition to looking unprofessional, it also prohibits you from doing any legitimate online marketing.You can get a professional insurance website in three days for under $100 so why haven’t you done it already? And for the captive agents… if your “website” is a page about your agency on the carrier’s website then you don’t have a website. You have a webpage driving local traffic to your carrier’s domain to help them sell more insurance directly to your prospective and existing clients!
13. TV Advertising – If you get an opportunity for some cheap exposure it may be worthwhile. The best television marketing opportunities would be during programs specifically aimed at your target prospects while they are thinking about your services – like during a program about home improvement or cars. In my opinion, TV ads still do not offer the same ROI as other insurance marketing strategies.
14. Market Your Agency Online – InsuranceSplash owns a network of insurance-themed websites oriented toward consumers. Each has an agency locator and you can list your agency on each website. It’s commonly accepted that having consistent information about your agency referenced on more websites across the internet can boost your ranking with Google and agency name citatations on regionally specific pages of websites all about insurance should help! Signing up for the lifetime membership is simple, cheap, and only takes five minutes.
15. Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Advertising – These are sponsored results that show to the right when you search on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. This can be an excellent insurance marketing opportunity because it drives traffic to your insurance agency website only from people actively interested in insurance. You choose who views your ads by location and demographics. Google Adwords – MSN AdCenter (includes Yahoo.)
16. Local Networking Events –Chambers of commerce and many professional organizations host networking events so businesspeople can meet other businesspeople. Make as many contacts as possible and follow up with people that will assist your insurance marketing with referrals. These events are always loaded with salespeople, focus on how you can help everyone you meet and have fun. Help others be successful and the karma will come back to help your insurance agency marketing.
17. Host Seminars – It requires promotion, but you can host seminars about financial planning, understanding insurance, saving money on insurance etc. Invite people to your insurance agency office, use a meeting room at a local chamber, use space from a community center, or rent a location. Present a topic that is time sensitive and enticing. “Learning About Deferred Medical Savings Accounts” will not draw as many as: “Secrets to Stop Uncle Sam From Stealing Your Retirement.”
18. Internet Insurance Leads – There are several providers of marketing insurance leads. These are mostly insurance websites that encourage visitors to submit their information to receive competing insurance quotes. The information is then sold to many competing agents. Success rates vary greatly by insurance agency. Remember to call the unsold leads back 6 months later. And 12, 18, 24… InsuranceLeads.comNetQuote.comAgentInsider.com
19. Email Newsletters – Capture your clients’ email and develop an insurance marketing email newsletter. Online email marketing providers can help you produce professional looking newsletters and track who opened emails, what they clicked on, and how long they viewed the message. Make sure to send useful information. People receive too much spam and you don’t want to be that type of insurance email marketing sender. Sending sales emails can be illegal. CAN SPAM Act. For our insurance marketing ideas newsletter, we use a service called Aweber but we’ve also had good results from another provider named MailChimp.
20. Door-to-door Relationship Building– It’s not easy, but it might be the cheapest and most effective insurance marketing strategies. To be successful with face-to-face insurance marketing orient all conversation around how you can help the organization (with referrals and promotion, not just insurance). Have a non-sales conversation prepared, like a local community event you are organizing and recruiting help for. Be respectful and make an impression without interfering or coming across as a typical salesperson. Get x-dates and follow up with the decision makers before renewals. You will be surprised how many non-commercial insurance leads you get.”
Per a new report from the University of Edinburgh Business School, the more friends you have on Facebook — or, perhaps more accurately, the more “friends” you have on Facebook — the more stressed you’re likely to be about having them.”
When I stumbled on this post this evening, I knew I had to read it. Once I read it, I knew I needed to share it. It offers actual facts and figures about the head-on hit we take daily with Social Media. I personally struggle with this, especially on Facebook. I’ve been searching for a balance and coming up short. Perhaps you are too.
“Facebook’s power, and its curse, is this holistic treatment of personhood. All the careful tailoring we do to ourselves (and to our selves) — to be, say, professional in one context and whimsical in the other — dissolves in the simmering singularity of the Facebook timeline. The circumstantially mediated relationships typical of IRL interactions — you see your boss at work, your friend after work, your mother-in-law at Thanksgiving — are mediated instead by one overarching, and overpowering, circumstance: Facebook.
Suddenly, Work You is the same as Family You is the same as Friend You (is the same as Gym You is the same as Cooking Class You is the same as Trip to Thailand You is the same as Road Trip You is the same as Words With Friends You is the same as Happy Hour You). The You itself — which is to say, you yourself — gets flattened, condensed, homogenized. Contextual personhood gives way to comprehensive personhood. You become, for better or for worse, universal.”
Although there is no list of the Top 10 Ways To Deal, the information and read are well worth it.