25 Aug

Should Your Business Be Using Lead Generation?

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Synergy Suggestions on 25.08.16 by John Meloche

Now we intrude on a very heated debate in the business world. Should your business use lead generation? Throughout this blog we’ll be exploring both sides of the argument. We’ll be exploring the advantages and disadvantages of lead generation. The question now is, is lead generation a valuable service or disservice to your business?

Let’s explore its benefits first. Yesterday we mentioned how it’s a great compliment to your digital marketing efforts. Well that’s true, lead generation has been proven to increase the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns. It’s an ideal tool for expanding your e-commerce platforms. It further justifies the implementation of e-commerce platforms as it essentially enhances your online marketing presence. We mentioned the ways in which email and content marketing feed into your company’s digital marketing efforts. They both ease the online shopping process and thus further enhance your company’s digital marketplace.

With all this being said, there are always pros and cons to anything. The cons may be somewhat overwhelming for lead generation. These cons typically relate back to one extremely prevalent issue: finding serious leads. According to the B2B Technology Marketing Community, many B2B marketers have expressed their biggest challenge as “generating high quality leads.” Finding quality leads is extremely difficult. Many of your leads gathered from lead generation are not sales ready. The majority of leads you find, will likely be dead ends. That’s the main problem with lead generation. That inconsistency amongst leads is such a huge deterrent for businesses. Certainty is something you cannot get with lead generation, and that ambiguity creates doubt about whether it’s worth the cost.

Lead generation is an anomaly to say the least. It has the potential to be extremely effective, or it can be a bust. It’s a high risk, high reward marketing medium. So depending on how comfortable your business is with taking risks, it may or may not be ideal for you. If you have the resources, you’re confident in your leads, and you have patience, then lead generation could be good for you. It’s is a big mystery, but some businesses have cracked the code to lead generation success, can yours?

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23 Aug

What is Lead Generation?

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Social Media on 23.08.16 by John Meloche

A couple of blogs ago we mentioned lead generation. What is lead generation? Well it’s something all businesses are becoming familiar with. Leads are potential customers you believe will be interested in your business’ services/products. It’s the contact information of likely customers. Usually they’re people you believe would be a part of your target audience. So lead generation is merely the acquisition of the contact information of potential customers. It’s the process of converting strangers on the web into legitimate leads for your business.

There are many ways to get these contacts. Essentially it comes down to whether or not you want lead generation to be a part of your internal operations. Lead generation can be done internally, where you have employees searching the web for potential customers. Or you can do it externally as you can buy lists from other businesses. The lead generation industry is growing rapidly as businesses are trying desperately to connect to new customers digitally. This digital interdependence so to speak, is becoming a crucial theme in the 21st century.

Lead generation is becoming a crucial process in many business’ internal operations. Our world is becoming increasingly connected through digital marketing, whether that be through email marketing, content marketing, or social commerce. To conclude the digital divide is slowly disappearing and we’re observing a greater digital connection being formed in the business world.

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19 Aug

3 Essential Email Marketing Strategies

Posted in Small Business Advertising on 19.08.16 by John Meloche

We’ve looked at the increased usage of email marketing throughout the business world. We’ve analyzed its fit amongst the various types of businesses. We’ve looked at how you should structure your emails. And now to end it off, we’re going to look at simple things you can do to increase the response rate to your emails and boost your ROI. Here are a couple of additional strategies you can implement to help strengthen your email marketing efforts.

  1. Nothing’s better than Free. A great way to start an email marketing campaign is to give something for free. It doesn’t have to be something great but a small little gift is a good way to start a relationship with someone. People love free things, so if you provide them with that, then you can help build relationships with thousands of your email recipients.
  2. Timing is Everything. You have to be meticulous with your campaign. Every little detail has to be perfect. Being precise with your promotional efforts is what enables you to fully display your creativity. This doesn’t change with the timing of your emails. There are certain time frames that produce greater results than others. For emails, prime time is 8 p.m. to midnight. You would think that 9-5 would be better, but people are always working and are unable to check their emails. Better results have been apparent over the night hours. Experian Marketing Services conducted a study in 2012 and found that the time of day that received the best open rate was 8 p.m. to midnight (22% open rate). In addition to a greater opening rate, this time frame also received more clickthroughs and sales.
  3. Mobile Oriented Emails. People are always on their phones nowadays. That means that people are doing more and more things over their phones. That includes checking emails. Litmus, a notable email marketing firm, found that mobile opens accounted for 47% of all email opens in June of 2013. This trend has only continued going into 2016. Lots of people are checking their emails from their phones, you have to make sure your emails are compatible with the various mobile platforms. In fact, you could design your emails for smartphones specifically. Mobile phones are computers themselves, you have to make sure they’re accounted for in your email marketing efforts.

 

These are all just little things you can do to make sure your emails are actually opened. These little things all contribute to increasing the effectiveness of your promotional efforts. When it comes down to it, it’s all about precision. You have to be methodical with your emails as ultimate care with your promotional efforts is essential for success. Precision is just one of many ingredients for marketing success, but if you follow the guidelines listed over the past couple of blogs, you could see a good return on your investment.

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18 Aug

4 Tips on Writing Marketing Emails

Posted in Small Business Advertising on 18.08.16 by John Meloche

Lately we’ve talked about email marketing and how it can benefit your business. But we’ve yet to discuss the actual structure of these emails. What makes them so compelling for customers? How should your business write these emails? Here are a couple tips on how your business can send out persuasive and effective emails:

  1. Compelling Subjects. The subject acts as a hook. It’s the first thing consumers will see from your email; you want to make sure it catches their attention. Now depending on the nature of the email, the subject will vary. But usually something that conveys some sense of urgency tends to help. For example, a subject titled “Huge Sale, you don’t want to miss out!!” would probably work at catching the eyes of your readers. It doesn’t necessarily need to display urgency; comedic and witty subjects tend to work just as well.
  2. Personalize when you can. This might be very hard to achieve but if it’s feasible then go for it. The truth of the matter is everyone is different. We have different wants, needs, and desires. While you might be emailing a similar segment of people, they all could want different things. So it would be greatly beneficial to use whatever information you have on these people to your advantage. Personalization obviously caters more to an individual’s demands and thus increases the chances of them opening and acting on your emails.
  3. Incorporate Trendy Topics. If there are certain popular events going on, then mention them. Structure your email around these events. Use these events as a theme for your email. This enables you to improve you would be incorporating the Rio Olympics into your emails. Something as little as “Huge Olympic Sale!” as a subject would be a good way of using a trendy event to create interest. Essentially these kind of events are a great way of transferring external interest to your emails.
  4. Make Your Call To Action Noticeable. Your call to action is what incites the consumer to go to your website and buy your product. You want this feature to be extremely noticeable so that consumers know where to go when they want to finalize the transaction. A big button like “Buy Now!” would be good. The goal here is just to make sure the call to action is present and hard to miss.

 

When it comes down to it, these kind of emails thrive off creativity. If your company can move its creativity and innovation to the email forums, then you can have success. The best part about these emails is that you can design them; they’re like your blank canvas, you can do anything with it. So let your creativity soar and see those emails turn into sales!

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17 Aug

3 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Email Marketing

Posted in Small Business Advertising on 17.08.16 by John Meloche

How many emails have you received lately with the following subject “Huge sale, buy now!”? Probably a lot. That’s the new trend in our business world. We’ve discussed the rise of email marketing. But how does email marketing help you? How can it translate into success? Why should your business have an ongoing email marketing campaign? Here are 3 reasons why your business should use email marketing:

  1. Optimal Awareness. When you constantly get emails from businesses, it might come off as a nuisance or insignificant. But the fact of the matter is you remember that business. Their name, their mission, their brand, you keep all of that information in your head. It gives your business access to a very valuable commodity in the business world: top of the mind awareness. For example, let’s say you own a cosmetics company. You have an ongoing email marketing campaign and send people promotional emails regarding sales, new products, etc.. Those repetitive emails engrave your brand within the mind of the consumer. So when the time comes and they need some sort of cosmetic product, they’ll recall your company’s emails and try and take advantage of your promotions.
  2. Brand Loyalty. Email marketing campaigns enable you to develop a relationship with your customers. When you’re providing valuable products for discounted prices exclusively to individuals, people notice and appreciate it. Emails also allow you to regularly contact your customers and incentivize them to further shop with your company. Hence your building relationships with these people and contributing to establishing a loyal consumer base for your company.
  3. Increased Sales. The fundamental reason why any business pursues any marketing campaign. Sales provide the business with revenue that enables it to succeed. The reasons listed above engender augmented sales numbers. That’s the goal for any businesses’ promotional efforts. Not only does email marketing provide sales, but it does so at a low cost. Thus boosting your company’s ROI and giving you that much more financial incentive to utilize email marketing services.

 

Email marketing is yet another method of e-commerce that’s thriving and evolving. It’s an inexpensive way to display your company’s creativity and innovation all the while creating loyal customers. So join the trend and start emailing!

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16 Aug

The Rise of Email Marketing

Posted in Small Business Advertising on 16.08.16 by John Meloche

Yesterday we talked about newsletters and why businesses need them. Newsletters feed directly into an otherwise new and unique marketing medium. Online newsletter have incited the commencement of email marketing. This form of marketing entails businesses sending promotional emails to thousands of recipients.

Businesses generate leads and discover people who would most likely be interested in purchasing their products. This in turn has fueled another industry in lead generation, but we’ll get to that another time. Email marketing has skyrocketed in popularity over the past couple of years. According to a recent survey from Ascend2, 82% of B2B and B2C companies that took part in the study used email marketing technology. Every type of business is now finding use for email marketing and is fully utilizing it to reach new clientele.

There are a lot of reasons why email marketing is becoming so popular in today’s business world. For one thing, it’s inexpensive and it reaches thousands, or even millions, of people. The mass reach is crucial for the success of email marketing. A small percentage of people actually open the email; a 2% response rate is usually good. But since you’re emailing thousands of people, that 2% turns into a decently large number. Email marketing gives you the potential to achieve such a large return from little response numbers; getting more with less. Email marketing provides an inexpensive means to reach an immense number of potential clientele and thus has surged into the modern day business world.

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15 Aug

4 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Newsletter

Posted in Small Business Advertising on 15.08.16 by John Meloche

Businesses are relying more and more on technology for success. For good reason too, as technology has been proven to improve internal efficiencies, reduce cycle times, and enable businesses to grow their profits. Technology can now permit businesses to discover and keep new clientele. This is where newsletters come in. Newsletters are becoming more prominent in today’s business world. Why you ask? Well here are 4 reasons why your business needs a newsletter:

  1. Customer Relationships. We touched upon this in the paragraph above. Newsletters help you create valuable customer relationships. They enable you to create connections with new clients. When you send out newsletters, your company is sending someone something of value. Not only that, but these newsletters often feature special discounts and thus increases the perceived value of your products. When consumers use these discounts they see themselves getting a greater bang for their buck. Thus the customer becomes more satisfied with your company and a relationship is formed.
  2. Information. Newsletters allow you to keep customers up to date with any important new information from your company. This may include a new product, promotion, or event within your company. Newsletters serve as a great informational tool that keeps consumers updated with your all of your company’s actions.
  3. Improvement. Newsletters are also special because they provide a forum for customers to voice their grievances. These complaints can lead to more efficiency and effectiveness within your company. You can build off these customer complaints and discover how to make your company better. Hence a feedback option can improve your business and enable it to become better for future clients.
  4. Sales. Every businesses’ main objective is to sell. Newsletters do exactly that. According to Jay Baer at Convince and Convert, 44% of email newsletter recipients made at least one purchase in 2012 based on promotional email. This continues to be the case as more people are becoming “impulse buyers” and are shopping from their emails.

 

Newsletters just further enable businesses to expand their client base and create more loyal followers. It’s a great tool for brand loyalty and brand connection. E-newsletters enable businesses to reach more people and make them committed customers. These things all come together and further enable businesses to achieve their primary objective: increasing profits.

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11 Aug

3 Ways To Use Snapchat for Your Business

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Social Media on 11.08.16 by John Meloche

We’ve discussed how Snapchat can be valuable to a business. Most apps with a user base of over 100 million people typically tend to be of use for businesses. How do you unlock that value though? Here are 3 ways you can use Snapchat to help your business.

  1. Live Events. If your business is having a big event, Snapchat is a great way to broadcast it. Stories of live events are a great way to share your message and increase your publicity. Not only that but these stories are completely available to all of your followers and they won’t go away for a certain period of time. Either way this is a great way to get people excited for events as it brings forth a more authentic and exclusive view of everything going on.
  2. Behind the Scenes. People want to know more about your business. They want to know what your office looks like, what your employees are like, and what the office atmosphere is like. Showing everyone the fun stuff you do at the office can help you create a strong and loyal following. This is just a great way to show off the internal operations of your company to the public. The best part about this is that you can be creative with it. Creating certain events for office employees, filming birthdays, employee of the month announcements, you really can publicize your office in so many great ways!
  3. Contests/Promotions. Snapchat is a great place for promotion. It’s extremely easy to start fun new initiatives over the platform. So many fun campaigns have been started over Snapchat. So it’s easy to jump aboard and get your business’ name known across the forum. Not only that, but it’s a great place for contests. Posting stories about exclusive offers on products is a great way to get your name out there and generate more business.

 

Snapchat can be great for businesses. It’s very easy to create a loyal and engaged following for your company. The main characteristic pertaining to Snapchat is sharing. Well sharing is the main characteristic of any social media platform, but even more so for Snapchat. Snapchat helps you do something other mediums can’t do: share your internal efficiency. Snapchat, unlike other social media outlets, is an excellent means of revealing your office life and showing all the behind the scenes action of your business. That is something cherished by a lot of people and thus enables you to expand your fan base. So start snapping, make some fans and see your business grow!

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10 Aug

How Do Instagram Stories Affect Your Business

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Social Media on 10.08.16 by John Meloche

Recently Instagram released a new feature called “stories”, where people can post photos that only last 10 seconds on their profile. These photos are available for all of one’s followers to see. This feature has become extremely controversial due to it’s striking resemblance to another social media app: Snapchat. Yesterday we talked about Snapchat and how it could help your business, today we’re going to look at the Instagram story feature and determine where it should stand in your business.

There are currently a lot of mixed views surrounding the feature. A lot of dedicated Snapchat users aren’t happy with the duplication of the Story feature. Due to this mixed reaction, it would be safe to avoid the stories option on Instagram for a bit. Just maybe another week to let the tension die down. Another note, if your business doesn’t have Snapchat then you might want to use the Instagram Story feature as a trial for Snapchat. If you’re getting good engagement numbers on Instagram, then getting Snapchat might further help your business.

Now if your business is on Snapchat, and you’re deciding whether or not you should post more frequently on Snapchat or Instagram, or even if you should use the Instagram feature, then do a test run. Post on Instagram stories and evaluate your engagement, keep track of how many people saw your story and replied to it. After you’ve done this, do the same on Snapchat. Finally compare the two numbers, whichever platform is receiving the most engagement is the platform you should be using more frequently.

Now the Instagram Story feud is still at large. So waiting a couple of days before making your Instagram story debut would be ideal. That being said, Instagram stories do have the ability to bring a Snapchat-like vibe to Instagram, and thus gives the app an increased potential for success.

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09 Aug

Should Your Business Be On Snapchat?

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Social Media on 09.08.16 by John Meloche

We’ve discussed the benefits of social media and how social commerce is becoming more and more prominent within our business world. We’ve talked about the major social media outlets; however, we’ve neglected one: Snapchat. Snapchat is a medium through which people can send photos to each other. These photos can contain small messages and disappear in 10 seconds. In addition to this, people can post “stories,” 10 second photos that appear to all of one’s Snapchat friends. Now Snapchat is a very tricky option as it has a certain youthfulness to it that many businesses find hard to duplicate. The debate for businesses to have Snapchat is a contentious one but when managed properly, Snapchat can be a great asset for your business.

As I mentioned before Snapchat has a youthful aspect to it in the fact that messages literally disappear in 10 seconds or less. In addition to this, Snapchat has a very young audience. According to Statista, 60% of Snapchat’s audience are between the ages of 13-24. So what does that mean? It means that you can reach a younger audience over Snapchat. If your company targets people within that age group, then your marketing efforts can be intensified by promoting over snapchat. Snapchat is a great marketing tool that enables you to improve the selectivity of your promotional efforts as it essentially brings you right to a younger audience.

Another key Snapchat benefit is ease of communicati0n. Snapchat provides optimal means of one-on-one engagement. With Snapchat, it’s very easy to talk to individual followers. Not only that, but the pictures bring forth a more customized and reliable means of conversation. You can see when someone’s received a message and seen it too. You can develop more personalized messages as it’s easier to communicate with individual followers. What Snapchat really does is make you become more creative with your communication. It makes you become more people-friendly and better enables you to cater to someone’s individual likes/needs.

Snapchat is a very tricky medium, but when you take advantage of its key features, then you can claim a larger and more devoted user-base. Personalization is a characteristic cherished across any medium, Snapchat provides optimal customization and thus provides ample opportunity for success.

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