Category Archives: internet marketing

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.

3 Reasons You Must Use Mobile Marketing

Why should you be interested in mobile marketing?

Think about it, when you leave home, what do you take with you?

If you forget one of them, do you head back to get it?

Do you feel naked without it?

1. Gen Y and Z consider e-mail passé.

2. There are 5 billion plus cell phone users vs. only 1.8 billion Internet users

3. 30% of all search queries contain a city, state or zip code.

Mobile marketing is particularly important if you have a storefront and are trying to get traffic to your store.

It’s no longer critical to even have a website since there are many online vehicles where you can have an online presence.

The important factor is that more and more people are buying smart phones and letting their fingers do the walking by searching for products and services from their phones rather than their desktops and definitely not with paper directories.

So make sure you’re getting onboard with this trend and stay tuned for more tips about how to get started.

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.

Is Your Brand Increasing Your Sales or Killing Them?

mercedes-logoI talk with a lot of marketing strategists who extol the importance of branding for a company’s success but it’s like pulling teeth to drag most of them down from the conceptual clouds and get specific about exactly what they mean.

Every company has a brand whether you’ve proactively designed it or not.  Your brand isn’t just the way you present your company; it’s how you’re seen in the eyes of your prospects and clients.

coke_logoMost of us recognize the highly advertised brands like Coke, Mercedes Benz, Nike etc., but someone the connection between what those big companies with huge advertising budgets do doesn’t clearly tell  smaller business owners what they should do and why.

According to Rob Frankl, “branding is not about getting your prospects to choose you over your competition; it’s about getting your prospects to see you as the only solution to their problem.”Nike-Logo

Here’s what I discovered when I went on a quest to clear up my own vagueness about this topic.

There are 3 major components of a brand: content, style, and graphics.

Content derives from your values, beliefs and key messaging you deliver to the marketplace.  What do you say about your company or products and services?  Why are those things important to you?  Do your ideal clients actually care?  How do you know?

Style reflects the personality of your brand or firm.  Are you intelligent, fun, stodgy, casual, conservative or out in left field?  Again, is there a style to market match?  You need credibility with your marketplace and the way you ‘behave’ in your market will either attract or repel them and determine how much they trust you.

Graphics is all about the visual, physical representation of your company. It includes colors, font, logos and photography.  It is the first thing people tend to focus on and create but really should be the outflow of the first two components.

You must know who you are but if you create your brand just based on your internal interests, you could miss the mark by a mile.  You must also thoroughly have and understand your target audience before you attempt to ‘present’ yourself to them.

It your brand is appealing, it will make people want you.  Real branding raises your bottom line revenues, lowers customer acquisition cost, increases customer retention and profitability. So review the way you’re portraying your company, check with your clients and prospects to understand how they view you and if you’re confident you’re sending the message you intend, market the heck out of it (in all of the right places, of course)!