Category Archives: internet marketing tips

5 Reasons Why Text Marketing Will Trump Email Marketing

Text marketing is poised to become the next generation of connecting with your prospects and customers.   Think about it.  When you leave home, what do you take with you?  If you’re like most people, you take your keys, your wallet and your cell phone (way more often than you take your PC).

Here are some startling statistics that will make you wake of and take notice.

1. Market size
Cell phones usage is on track to reach 5 billion over the next few years versus 1.8 billion internet users. This makes the mobile marketin three times larger. If you’re going for volume, it would silly to ignore this statistic. Even if you market to a niche industry, the chances are the buyers are mobile enabled.

2. Technology advances
51 million mobile users are on smart phones.  Costs continue to drop and technological capabilities continue to improve.

95% of mobile phones have texting capabilities.  73% of new mobile phone buyers say text messaging is the most important feature.  (Do your teenagers answer or return your calls to their cell phones as quickly as they do your texts?)

3. Usage
Every type of mobile interaction is on the rise. 50% SM interactions happen on cell phones. Online networks now send text messages to alert users of status updates.  Mobile apps are almost addictive and keep users ‘plugged in’ to their mobile phones more than ever.

4. Supply vs. demand
350 billion text messages are exchanged monthly. Only 15% of texts include a marketing/commercial message, yet 30% consumers want coupons sent to phones.  This represents a huge gap in unmet needs. Consumers are looking for deals they can access at a moments notice as they are out and about shopping and running errands.

5. Efficacy
Text open rates are 90% vs 8 – 12% for email and 2% for print. Gen Y & Zers actually consider email passé. Some universities have actually stopped distributing email accounts.

So if you’re interested in continuing to connect with your market, you must start incorporating new strategies that reach them where they are.

How to Create a High Quality, Targeted Lead-Generation Machine

Lead-generation is one of the steps in the sales process many businesses struggle with. Here are some effective and not-so-effective ways to pull prospects into your business.

List brokers are helpful but not all brokers are created equal. Not all lists are equal.

Some brokers sell information that is not useful.  They give you what you ask for but it’s old and out of date.  Or they may sell you information for which they are paid the highest commission from the company that actually owns the list.

There are three types of lists
1. Compiled lists – based on attributes (Demographics like age, zip code, marital status, mortgage amount). These are the least expensive but they are also the least responsive.

2. Response lists – purchasers of similar services/products. These lists include actual buyers.  If you’ve ever purchased products from a catalog, you’ve probably noticed that you started receiving catalogs from other, similar companies. Someone sold your name because you demonstrated that you spend money in certain areas. It indicates you’re likely to do it again.

These lists are more responsive to related offers and therefore are more expensive to buy.

The downside with these types of lists is that they are generally sold as one-time-mailing lists. The brokers embed a few “test” people with addresses that secretly go to them. So if you try to use the lists again, the brokers will know and likely charge you a penalty.

3. House lists
The best list is one you have compiled from your own customers, prospects, certain contacts in your social networks, visitors to your website.

The key here is that you must COLLECT these contacts and compile them into a list so you can follow up with them.  It’s rare that people plunk down a substantial amount of money on your table the very first time they encounter you.

However, When you cultivate the relationship by consistently offering value and staying top of mind, they are more likely to purchase from you rather than your competition when they are ready.

This is where the machine kicks in.
1. Drive traffic to your website or blog. Use SEO or create organic (FREE) traffic through article and video marketing.

2. Have a COMPELLING way to collect the contact information from your visitors.

3. Create an automated follow-up system for these visitors as well as people you’ve met through other venues (so long as they’ve agreed)

4. Use your follow up system to build credibility, trust and create relationship with them. Then periodically and over time, introduce them to and give them opportunities to buy from you.

When you automate your process, you’ll create a lead generation machine.  When you focus on creating value with those leads, helping them solve problems and demonstrating your expertise, you’ll be able to convert your leads into sales.

Using Video Marketing to Build Your Personal Brand

I learned a ton recently about creating videos.  I’ve also been studying how to use videos for marketing yourself and your business online.

Watch this video and then read the tips that follow:

1. Use an interesting (but not too distracting) background.
Having a background adds visual interest. Make sure it’s attractive, neat and adds either credibility or fun.

2. Use natural sunlight if at all possible
Natural light is the very best. It’s much cheaper than having to buy studio lights and works better than artificial light.

3. Add an opening title slide and credits or a call to action at the end.
These items will make your video look more professional.  The call to action is what will drive traffic to your website if that’s what you’re trying to get people to do.

4. Include occasional comments to highlight certain points.
It’s easy to add text in Windows Movie Maker Live and iMovie.  Again, this makes your ‘production’ seem more polished and professional.

5. Optimize your video for the key words you want to be known for.
YouTube is one of the most searched websites online. When you optimize your video by including keywords in the description and tags, people who are looking for what you’ve mentioned, will find your video more easily.

6. Use variety.  Add a few special effects.
Variety will stimulate the minds of your viewers and keep them watching through to the end.

7. Be entertaining, not just educational.
When people are having fun or being deeply moved, they’ll stay engaged.  Even if you’re training them on something, they’ll remember your message more if it engages their emotions in addition to stimulating their brains.

Video marketing is becoming the standard medium for branding and online communications.  Make sure you incorporate this strategy in marketing plan.

5 Ways to Blaze a Trail of Traffic to Your Website

Many business owners I speak with are feeling overwhelmed with all there seems to be to do.  They need sot find ways to bring business to them in addition to seeking it out themselves.  Here are some simple ways you can position yourself as an expert, gain credibility, increase traffic to your website and draw people to you!

1. Get on YouTube
Instead of watching other people’s funny videos, create some of yourself sharing tips about your expertise.  Create a You Tube channel and publish away.

(Check out mine, Limitless Dream Leader.) These don’t have to be high quality visually. A flip phone or camera that shoots video will be fine.  It’s the content that establishes you as an expert.

2. Publish articles
There are tons of article directories on the internet. Many publishers of blogs & ezines  like this use other people’s content.  They will scour article directories looking for key topics they think their audience will want. If you’ve written something of interest to them, they will pick up your article.  Make sure you have your website in the ‘resource box’ at the end with a ‘bribe’ to entice them to visit your site and leave their email address so you can build a relationship with them.

3. Optimize your website for search terms your market is looking for
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a fortune on this.  Take a few minutes and ask yourself, if you were looking for your on the internet and didn’t know it existed, what phrases would you search on?  Those are your keywords.  TIP: relevant multi-word phrases are better than single words (i.e. gluten free bread vs bakery). You might have to find someone to enter them in the proper place on your website, but you can find someone inexpensive on Craigs List or elance.com.

4.  Update the content on your website regularly
Not only will this make you appear ‘current’, but the robots that troll hyperspace looking for interesting sites to recommend in search results won’t visit you much if nothing changes on yours.  Blogs are great for this reason.  If you don’t have one yet, make sure you incorporate it in your website for added traffic.

5. Install Google analytics
It will help you understand where the traffic you get is coming from so you can refine your efforts even further.

There you have it.  Five ideas that won’t cost much to implement but that could make a world of difference to your website visitors…and your bottom line.