Archive for September, 2015

Discover The 5 Major Aspects Of A Successful Lead Nurturing Campaign

As the marketplace moves online, the majority of leads are not going to do business with you in the first instances. Lead nurturing becomes a key component of one-to-many marketing automation. The whole experience of the way leads interact with marketers and receive input from them becomes more process-based and systematic. Marketers can now collate a complete set of data based on the leads’ history of interaction to qualify them further down the marketing funnel.

This ‘input’ that marketers offer to leads is valuable content that educates, keeps them engaged and warms them up. A consistent and automated dissemination of content establishes a strong brand presence at the top of prospects’ minds even as leads and marketers do not meet, until the leads send a strong signal like filling in a telephone number in a form or agreeing to a product demonstration. When online lead nurturing can produce such revealing data, that’s how powerful and effective the marketing process can become.

Consider the following factors in setting up a proper lead nurturing campaign:

1) Set your goals.

funnel

In popular understanding, there are 3 parts to a marketing funnel:

a) ToFU (Top Of The Funnel or Awareness stage): The prospect is experiencing a problem and requires knowledge to better understand what he is going through and why.

b) MoFU (Middle Of The Funnel or Consideration stage): Having understood and defined the problem, the prospect is considering the various options to solving it.

c) BoFU (Bottom of The Funnel or Decision stage): The prospect has shortlisted possible solutions to his/her problem and will finalize his purchase decision.

The goals of each part of your funnel is to prepare your leads with the necessary information and usher them to the next part. They always have a choice to opt out, thereby disqualifying themselves out of the funnel, but you want to focus on the leads that remain in the funnel.

2) Define your market persona.

interview

Before the marketing process begins, you must first define the type of prospects to target. Instead of spending important advertising dollars on drawing in the wrong set of prospects, construct a market persona based on the majority of your customers and concentrated around their needs and wants. By creating a buyer persona and nailing down your clients’ needs, lifestyles and even apprehensions, you will have the capacity to think of a ready answer to address your clients’ challenges. By placing ourselves in the shoes of our prospects, we can better pre-empt their purchasing decision. It’s so much more effective to zero in on the right leads this way because it is very difficult to measure the degree of favorable response to mass marketing.

To give you a hint, you can start by asking current customers or prospects the following questions:

Role:

  • What is your job role? Your job title?
  • How is your job measured?
  • What is a typical day?
  • What skills are required?
  • What knowledge and tools do you use?
  • Who do you report to? Who reports to you?

Goals:

  • What are you responsible for?
  • What does it mean to be successful in your role?

Challenges:

  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • How do you overcome these challenges?

Company:

  • What industry or industries does your company work in?
  • What is the size of your company (revenue, employees)?

Watering Holes:

  • How do you learn about new information for your job?
  • What publications or blogs do you read?
  • What associations and social networks do you belong to?

Personal Background:

  • Age
  • Family (single, married, children)
  • Education

Shopping Preferences:

  • How to you prefer to interact with vendors (email, phone, in person?)
  • Do you use the Internet to research vendors or products? If yes, how do you search for information? What types of websites do you use?

As your leads answer these questions, you will find it easy to segment them in order to present to them the most appropriate content in their context. It also demonstrates your perfect understanding of their needs and challenges at any particular point in time, thereby maximizing the impact of your marketing messages.

3) Design your content

contentdesign

As you are already aware, the content in your emails plays a major part in lead nurturing by influencing the thinking process of your readers to be in line with your goals. The mindset behind your writing is to identify a problem and the need to solve it, impart knowledge and benefits, and emphasize action and accompanying results on the readers’ part. The regularity of messages queued and released on schedule within a workflow enables you to build ongoing relationships with your prospects/clients while keeping them engaged.

Although the content may be carried within emails, the content itself can take many forms, like a whitepaper, blog post, video, webinar, infographic etc. You could start with offering general advice that reflects the depth of expertise your company has. Instead of mentioning your products or services straight away, write some tips that your readers can easily apply themselves to solve low-level problems when they are in the ToFU or BoFU stage.

Overdeliver in this aspect of content marketing to the point when you have no choice but to propose a commercial solution to a larger or high-level problem. By then, your leads should also feel comfortable and find you trustworthy as a solutions provider. Even so, there is yet another way to qualify different types of buyers according to low-ticket, mid-ticket and high-ticket purchases. It is not very often that prospects will buy big-ticket items if they can’t perceive such a value. You can “whet their appetite” for future purchase by offering a cheap product like a more exclusive e-book, a recorded video tutorial, a 2-hour solutions-based coaching session etc. And only when they are ready that you can invite them for a free demonstration or trial use to orientate them for your flagship product.

Therefore consider how your emails are designed to deliver content that guide your leads along a well-defined buyer’s journey.

4) Set a timeline for your marketing funnel

timeline

This correlates with point 3 regarding the length of time by which you can afford to overdeliver on free content to nurture your leads. Although there is no fixed rule of thumb to how long the time could be, it is said that 75% of your leads buy within 18-24 months. It also depends on the degree of sophistication of the product or service you are selling. How you come to settle down on a definite timeline depends on how much content you have come up with and how you space them out at regular intervals. Be free to experiment with the way you sequence your content delivery, but it is of utmost importance that you must trust yourself that you did all you can to win over your prospects with your selling proposition, and thereafter you must discard the leads whom you perceive as remaining disinterested.

5) Define metrics for marketing campaign performance

metrics

Testing and tracking for results remains to be an integral business practice for all forms of marketing, therefore you must define the result metrics of your lead nurturing campaign or sales cycle, such as email open and click-through rates, social media reach (retweets, Facebook likes, fan/follower growth rates, impressions, shares etc.) and lead conversion rate. Metrics are the details that tie in with the goals mentioned in point 1.

As time goes, you will begin to discern and separate the non-performing marketing strategies from the good ones, and you want to improve or filter out the non-performers and concentrate more energy on the ones that work. Results will influence your future decisions on how to tweak the offers you send, the email subject lines, calls-to-action, content, landing page design etc. As the saying goes, “the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.”

There you have it: the 5 major aspects of a successful lead nurturing campaign. In summary, you first determine your goals and metrics and how long you expect to reach them, know who you are targeting and identify what content to disseminate. The setup process can be time-consuming, but in the spirit of Inbound Marketing*, ultimately it will be beneficial to improving your lead quality at lower cost and your bottom line.

Are you generating enough leads for your business? Not satisfied with the quality of your leads as you hoped for? If you like us to examine your lead nurturing process, call us or write to us for a free consultation so we can give you a FREE website assessment and take your business to the next level!

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

How To Ensure Your Article Submissions Are Not Rejected

How To Ensure Your Article Submissions Are Not RejectedYour article marketing strategy will prove to be useless if your article will not be accepted by the publishers who review what you have been submitting.

And to ensure the probability that your articles will be accepted, here are some important points to remember before you go into article submissions.

1. Check and proof-read your own article. Some authors do not proof-read their articles because they find it takes a lot of time. But if you want your articles to be accepted quickly and easily, it is your duty to make help out the publisher. How do you do this?

The first thing you should do is to check and review you grammar and spelling more than once. You might have missed something when you checked the first time around but you will come upon it the second or third time.

It is also best if you have and know someone that will review it for you. Ask that person to look for anything that does not seem right. This would be from grammar to sentence formation. They are more likely to see mistakes that you have missed.

When writing articles, you get very familiar with the content that you will not anymore aware of mistakes committed.

It is very easy for writers to miss out obvious mistakes. Adding some familiarity into them does not help either. You will just commit more because of this. By having someone read article, this problem will be eliminated.

2. Your articles should have value. If you want free traffic for your site, articles are the best ways to do it. But keep in mind that they are not supposed to be an advertisement. That is why you are using them in the first place. Making your articles appear like one will make publishers delete them so fast you would not know what hit them.

Put yourself in the publishers’ shoes. Their primary concern is to look for some new, fresh and useful content to supply to their readers. For them, good articles are personal commentaries about the latest trend in the industry or reviews about a certain product.

Trying to include a link to your site is obviously advertising. The instant they see that, they dispose of them quickly without bothering to read that you have written a good content. All you efforts thrashed.

Try to go back to the time when you were just new in the article marketing business. You were hungry to get the freshest and the most valuable information. Your articles were all precious to you.

Every writer has the right to a resource box space at the end of each article. This will serve as your advertisement. And this is as far as you can go. Readers who have found your article interesting would surely want to go visit your site to get more information about you and what you are offering.

As small as they seem to be, resource boxes serve much greater purpose if you compare it with others that are promoting visibly and with obvious advertising mediums posted.

When writing your resource box, try to be as brief as you can. They do not have to be near as long as your article. Try to also limit the number of links you put into them. The standard resource box consists of only 4 to 5 lines.

3. Articles should be straight and up to the point. An article is written with one key point in mind and that is to be informational. Do not beat around the bush, be as clear as you possibly can. Keep in mind that your readers are of varying intellectual capacity. Not all can understand idioms or figures of speech.

It is said that an article that is appears to be boring to you may be clear and understandable to your readers. You should have a writing style that is not too difficult to follow. Nothing turns a reader off more than reading an article that seem to go on circles.

Creating a quality article can be easy. Just try to consider your content, your readers and the publishers and you are on your way to a fast and steady start to profits.

Related post: Discover How To Write For An Online Audience

Unleash The Info-Product In You!

Information Products

In the realm of Inbound Methodology, content is the main driver of Inbound Marketing. It is the key message that your organization delivers for 2 purposes:

1) To generate leads by driving website visitors into a marketing funnel.

2) To generate entry-level, medium-ticket and high-ticket customers depending on an information product’s quality and pricing.

For sure, creating content for a product takes several times more effort than writing a quick blog post, and it remains a challenge for many organizations, but whether you believe me or not, you do have an info-product inside you!

If you have been researching or involved in online business for very long, you have no doubt seen a multitude of offers for e-books, whitepapers, reports and training courses on every subject imaginable.

Why? Because information is the hottest product on the market!

At the most basic level, it’s actually the ONLY product. Information cuts straight to the root of all selling, which is answering the customer’s question: “What will this product do for me?”

There’s another reason, though. Pure information is a product that doesn’t require a huge financial overhead to produce—other than the hard knocks you got in gaining the experience and information—and is easy and relatively low-cost to deliver to the customer. That is what makes it such a great product for us, as marketer, business owners and entrepreneurs, to offer.

Everyone has unique work/life experience, training, and skills that others don’t have. You probably already have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that you have not fully realized! Everyone knows something that others want to know, or can do something that others want to learn.

That’s how I know you have an info-product inside you. Everyone does. Your first assignment is to decide which of your many gifts you are going to offer to the world!

Does that mean you have to be able to write a book? No, not necessarily, although content does mostly come in various print forms like PDFs, slides presentation, infographics, checklists etc. You can also film videos, record your know-how as an audio speech, create a software, design templates or run webinars. You can creatively produce and package your content in any way your imagination tells you!

Before you decide on the content to create and how to position your info-product, you need to find your USP first. If you were to research the online marketers who are honestly making the money they claim to be earning online, you would discover that they all have a USP. Your USP IS your product, however you package and deliver it.

If you have not figured out your USP yet, read “What Is Your Unique Selling Proposition?

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

5 Things To Do To Grow Your Connections And Get More Leads On LinkedIn

5 Things To Do To Grow Your Connections And Get More Leads On LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional social media platform to get more leads connected to your profile by building relationships and becoming an invaluable resource to others.

Discover 5 things you must do to grow your LinkedIn presence rapidly.

If you want to have success on LinkedIn, it’s essential to have a profile that’s professional, search-optimized and client-focused. In other words, your LinkedIn profile must speak to your ideal clients and tell them how you can help them.

First of all, make sure you use the same keywords in your profile that your ideal clients would input when doing a search for someone with your specialty, be strategic in your choice of language. Some of the most important places to include these keywords are in your: Headline, Summary, Current work experience (in the title and description), At least one past work experience (in the title and description) and Skills.

You also need to have a headline that makes people want to click on your profile. Once they get to your profile, you need an enticing summary. Include the following in your summary: One to two paragraphs telling your story: who you are, why do you do what you do, what makes you credible, who your ideal clients are, what problem your ideal clients face, what solutions you offer to solve those problems and call-to-action: what you want them to do next (call, email, connect with you, etc.)

2. Join LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn groups are an excellent place to start to grow your network. LinkedIn currently allows you to join up to 50 groups. However, the vast majority of the groups you join should be the ones your ideal clients are in. To locate potential prospects within each group, enter the group you want to prospect and click on the number of members. Scroll through the group members to see if there is someone you want to invite to connect.

LinkedIn will show all your first-degree connections in the group first and only list 500 members of the group. You may have to use the search box located at the top of the page to find other members who would make good prospects.

3. Save Successful Advanced Searches

LinkedIn’s advanced search tool is also great for finding potential prospects. It offers excellent functionality with the ability to search for people by keywords, relationship, groups, location and industry, which are all available with a free account. The people who come up will not always be perfectly targeted, but it will narrow your search down. Make sure to remove first-degree connections from your search parameters, since they are already part of your network.

LinkedIn will send you an email once a week when someone fits the search criteria you set up. You can have up to three Saved Searches with a free account.

4. Create A Sequence Of Messages

It is not enough to just grow your network. Build a relationship with your new connections. Send a sequence of value-based messages to your prospects. Always take the time to personalize each message appropriately before sending it. The more individualized your messages, the better the results. While this may seem counter-intuitive, none of these messages should include any of your products or services. It is extremely important that you do not include anything that could be perceived as spam or a sales pitch in your messages. This is the fastest way to kill any potential sale.

The Message Sequence

  • After your initial connection request, send a message thanking the person for connecting. If feasible, include one valuable resource in this first message
  • Then, depending on your goals and industry, prepare one or two relationship-building messages to send out over the next couple of weeks. You can also send another resource or two, such as relevant stats or helpful tips.
  • After a couple of messages, if you feel like you have established some rapport, move the relationship offline. Suggest a phone call, Skype call or in-person meeting. No relationship with a potential prospect should be kept solely on LinkedIn—or on any online platform, for that matter.

If you want to turn a prospect into a client, a real conversation must take place. The only potential exception is if you’re selling low-priced online products.

5. Share Content With Your Network

Use LinkedIn to establish yourself as an industry expert and an invaluable source of information. Create and curate information that’s of interest to your target market. Here are a number of places to look for content: LinkedIn Pulse, Twitter, related groups on social media sites, company blogs, newsletters of relevant online magazines, companies and industry sites. Spend even a small part of your day searching relevant sites. That way you stay current with industry trends and news, and find articles to share with your network.

Whenever you post an update, your connections will see it in their news feed and, depending on their settings, get it in an email. This keeps you top of mind and positions you as an expert in your field. Posting in LinkedIn groups is another way to establish your credibility, while helping you build relationships with potential prospects within a group.

What Is Your Unique Selling Proposition?

What Is Your Unique Selling Proposition

One of the biggest issues any business would face is its unique position in the market. If you’ve not got a unique position, then you’ll find that you’ve got nowhere to “stand out” of the crowd throughout your promotion.

USPs were originally defined as a position a company took to make them stand out from their competitors and make the customers of said competitors switch to them. It works as an understandable and tangible reason for people to buy your product, over that of other competing products, or as a benefit that your competitors don’t offer.

For example, a bank in the UK can be promoting itself based on these propositions:

1) All call centers are in the UK—so no one is dealing with crackly lines, or broken English due to the call centers being based in a lower-cost area of the world.

2) It has no middlemen—which means there’s no commissions to pay to anyone.

3) It has no shareholders, so it does not charge money for things that should be free.

That’s the USP for that bank and it has resulted in many people switching to it.

The USP is anything that makes you ‘different’ from your peers. The only caveat to this is to make sure it’s a clear difference—anything unclear, or too technical may not work, or be completely overlooked by your customers, thereby creating no reason for them to switch to you or choose you over your competitors.

Your unique selling proposition is a clearly defined statement of what your business stands for—what makes it special apart from others, and is your key to monopolizing a stake in your customers’ mind. If you have not thought of a USP before, why not think through all the departments of your business e.g. finance, accounting, human resources, sales and marketing, pre- and post-sales support etc. and discover if there’s anything outstanding enough to be worth telling your customers about it? Just don’t be shy about promoting it.

Say, your USP could be your customer service position, whether it has to do with your response time, or your guarantee. But if your rivals are also competing on response time, one strategy is to flesh out a true instance or circumstance as a case study for prospects to refer to. By this method you’re telling the story of how Mrs. Smith became very relieved that fast response time had saved her husband’s life and therefore became a high-profile testimony for the hospital. People love inspiring stories because they are what make incidents sound special and unique. This would be your USP angle.

Ultimately, having a USP is nothing more than a matter of positioning perspectives. How do you want your business to be viewed by your prospects compared to others? It certainly helps that each individual’s needs are already different. All you can do to the best of your abilities is to craft that position to match their needs, thereby gaining a competitive edge over other merchants/vendors. Thereafter, everything you do to reinforce the USP is to instill confidence in the prospects that your proposed solutions will work out. You will have to be fluid and flexible in your approach to reconcile with a wide range of different needs and yet align your corporate values with the common points shared by these needs in order to serve well and consistently in the business.

Is Social Media Going To Kill Email?

Is Social Media Going To Kill Email?

The phenomenal rise of social media has created a wave of excitement in the marketing industry. It has never been as easy to share information online and to connect with like-minded individuals as it is today. Social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are changing the way we as individuals, and as businesses, communicate. There are 2 key questions that we are facing with:

  • How to incorporate these new mediums into an effective marketing strategy?
  • Will B2B social media communications replace email marketing?

The answer is: yes, email isn’t going anywhere yet. Social and email can comfortably co-exist. Here are 4 reasons social media isn’t going to kill email:

1. Email is the preferred communication medium in business. Confidentiality and security are 2 very crucial and sensitive business matters. Can you imagine sending an internal financial statement via Facebook or LinkedIn?

2. You need an email address to connect to social networks. Email has been the common denominator for account creation and identification in all online social networks. It’s virtually impossible to create an online profile without providing an email address. Email is still a default means of access to your online accounts and it looks like it is going to stay that way for a long time.

3. Email is social too. One of the most popular ways to share content with friends or family is to send a link via email. Here we see a true synergy between social networks and email, where we find interesting content, and then share it with those closest to us. It’s true that social media has reinvented the concept of ‘sharing’, but the path a message takes is long and complex. And chances are high that somewhere along the line, email plays a role.

4. Mobile and email work well together. Emailing is a dominant activity on mobile devices, and the trend is increasing. For every hour spent on a mobile device, an average of 25 minutes is spent on email. This habit will become more pronounced as mobile usage increases, both business and personal.

Email Marketing: 5 Little Tricks To Improve Email Performance

5 Little Tricks To Improve Email Performance

It is always best to send marketing emails to those who actually want to hear from you. But no matter how hard you follow this, your emails oftentimes end up unopened or ignored. And then, when someone actually opens your email, they don’t actually click through. This is the main roadblock of email marketers today. But don’t worry, here are 5 little things you can start doing immediately to improve your marketing email performance.

When you send email from a real person, your email open rate increases. It’s that simple. Recipients tend to pay more attention to emails coming from an actual person’s name rather than a generic email “from” name, like angela_coopersmith1980@gmail.com. In fact, many email filters are set up to look for numbers, underscores, and superlative adjectives. A/B tests have proven that personalizing the sender’s name and email address increased the open rate an average of 3%.

2) Add links to your images.

The main purpose of email marketing is to get recipients to click through to a web page. One way to increase this without suffocating the copy with links is to put a link to your images in the email. Email readers have a high tendency of clicking through if it is indicated that the image has a link. A great example would be a call-to-action button. It’s quite tempting and makes you find out more about that image, provided that your image is interesting enough.

3) Add ‘alt’ text to your call-to-action buttons.

Many email clients set the default image viewing option to off. That means most of your audience may not see your well designed and optimized CTA. When you set an image’s ‘alt’ text, though, you let recipients who can’t view images in their email know exactly where to click to complete the action.

4) Add social sharing buttons

More email views lead to more opens and clickthroughs, so be sure to extend the reach of your email by adding social sharing buttons. Many email tools come with templates that have built-in social sharing buttons that make it easy—just fill in the destination URL and you’re good to go.

5) Add a ready-made email forwarding option.

Another way to increase the clicks on your email is to prompt your audience to forward the offer. You can add a little P.S. at the end of your email copy, such as “Not responsible for your company’s social media? Feel free to forward this ebook to a friend or colleague using social media marketing.” Link the call-to-action to a pre-made email complete with subject and body—all the first email recipient has to do is enter their associates’ email addresses and hit ‘send’.

9 Quick Tips On Using LinkedIn For Marketing Purposes

linkedinlogo

1. Profile Image

Since LinkedIn is a professional networking site, keep your profile picture strictly professional. It projects a good image and a sense of presence in your page.

2. Show off your work

Make use of the tools that let you upload projects, SlideShare presentations, image galleries and videos. Do not miss this opportunity!

3. Update your Status

update

This should be a regular habit, to keep your profile on the surface for your connections. An article per week and at least 1-2 short updates per day would be a good way to expand your reach, giving visibility to connections of the people connected to you that share or comment on your status.

4. Customize your URL

By default, your profile URL would look something like www.linkedin.com/in/gg-3475285. It’s not attractive at all. You may change it to anything you like that’s easier to remember or looks much better for your business cards.

5. Personalize your connection request

linkedinconnect

Instead of using this generic invitation as seen below, you may want to add value in your message or a personal touch, or something that would make you stand out.

6. Focus on helping

Do not try to immediately sell to new connections. People expect collaborative networking and value, not be wrangled out for a sale.

7. Engage your connections

Once you have new connections, do not ignore them. Engage to them by responding to their status or sharing links that might be helpful to them.

8. Encourage your employees to post company updates

people

Encourage your employees to use LinkedIn and share company updates. This will enable them to be brand ambassadors and increase your company’s visibility.

9. Optimize your profile

Use relevant keywords in headlines or taglines.

Update your content.

7 Ways To Craft Perfect Posts For LinkedIn

7 Ways To Craft Perfect Posts For LinkedIn

According to LinkedIn, more than 4 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages. Furthermore, 87% of users trust LinkedIn as a source of info that affects decision-making.

How do you ensure your content is among the trusted sources?

Let’s look at the LinkedIn-specific best practices.

1) Keep link titles under 70 characters.

When you’re uploading a link directly to your LinkedIn Company Page, if the original post has a lengthy title, be sure to click into the title to edit it. Any title above 70 characters gets cut off when posted on your Page.

2) Keep link descriptions under 250 characters.

Similar to the link title limitations, the description associated with your status update is given 250 characters before it’s cut off with an ellipsis. So shorten your meta description to properly display on LinkedIn.

3) Share links for engagement.

According to QuickSprout, including a link in your LinkedIn posts drives 200% more engagement. Just be sure to follow the above tips to optimize those link updates accordingly.

4) Share images for comments.

According to QuickSprout, posting images results in a 98% higher comment rate. “A picture is worth a thousand words”, so start sharing quality images and get more comments.

5) Share videos for higher shares.

According to QuickSprout again, linking to YouTube videos results in a 75% higher share rate. Rather than reading a long novel, people are more interested in visualization of the content in form of the video.

6) Publish a new status update roughly once a day.

According to LinkedIn, publishing 20 posts per month allows you to reach 60% of your audience. More status updates get readers to familiarize with your company name and the content you publish.

7) Send LinkedIn Announcements.

LinkedIn announcements can serve as a powerful tool to increase your LinkedIn lead generation. On the days we send an announcement to a LinkedIn Group, we see a spike in leads for the day. We also see the impact of that sent message trickle over the next day or two. Another option is to engage in a set number of groups and then find a way to use one of the group’s announcements for your own (relevant) marketing.

Discover 3 Inbound Marketing Strategies For Your Business Expansion

Discover 3 Inbound Marketing Strategies For Your Business Expansion

Let’s recall the last time you were out in the street and an enormous billboard caught your attention. Did you immediately visit the advertised website? Or did you proceed on your journey without remembering?

This is a prime example of a fizzled endeavor at an outbound marketing strategy. Consider those “in your face” advertisements you see regularly like those promotions at the sides of buses or taxis or the large print ads taking up 50% of the newspaper. Does this style lure you to find out more about the offer?

Most likely not. Not only outbound marketing “pushes out” ads without a targeted audience or demographic in mind, it regularly consumes up your advertising dollars quicker than you can say, “Where are my revenues?”

What marketers today should know is that effective marketing doesn’t have to appeal to the masses in order to see a return, but instead concentrate on creating remarkable or compelling content that attracts people by piquing their interest. This type of advertising is known as Inbound Marketing*. I share the following 3 Inbound marketing strategies that can develop your business and get results.

1. Construct A Buyer Persona

You have a business. You offer an item or service. Customers are your best supporters as they trust your brand and use it. They picked YOUR business to purchase from and not from your competitors. Instead of spending important advertising dollars on drawing in the wrong set of prospects, construct a buyer persona based on the majority of your customers and concentrated around their needs and wants. By creating a buyer persona and nailing down your clients’ needs, lifestyles and even apprehensions, you will have the capacity to think of a ready answer to address your clients’ challenges. By placing ourselves in the shoes of our prospects, we can better pre-empt their purchasing decision. Beyond that, you can foster a closer relationship with existing customers as they begin to adore your brand and unreservedly evangelize it. It’s so much more effective to zero in on the right leads this way because it is very difficult to measure the degree of favorable response to outbound ads.

2. Build Trust With Content Creation

Effective Inbound marketers must continually engage prospects with informative content. Offering guidance, learning tips, or answers to their inquiries encourages readers to identify closely with your brand. Content design also takes on a variety of creative approaches: blogging, vlogging, ebooks, infographics, videos, webinars, social media publishing etc. As time goes, content becomes the vehicle with which marketers lead prospects through their marketing funnel, ultimately winning them over for the sale. Yes, the sales result is paramount, but I must emphasize the use of content in establishing and building trust in the minds of prospects. When a prospect completely comprehends and believes in your brand, it is natural that they become willing customers.

3. Be Active On Social Media

Consider these statistics as revealed in a HubSpot study:

  1. Internet users spend 4 times more time on Facebook than Google
  2. Number of active users on:
    • Facebook: 1.3 billion
    • Twitter: 645 million
    • LinkedIn: 300 million
    • Google+: 300 million
  3. 74% of marketers saw an increase in traffic after spending just 6 hours per week on social media
  4. At least 35% of marketers have acquired customers on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter

Social media publishing and engagement is therefore integral to your Inbound strategy in converting visitors to leads and acquiring and supporting customers. When you keep customers happy, they can be evangelists for your brand. Their public displays of delight will appeal to their connections and your prospects too!

The more you apply social media marketing, the sooner you will encounter more in-depth strategies, but let’s start with fulfilling basic requirements:

  1. Consider the frequency you are going to publish/post on the 4 major social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Plan out the regular timings for your posts so that your fans and followers can readily anticipate them.
  2. Show your personality. Don’t be afraid to show what makes you, your company and corporate culture special and enjoyable to work or associate with.
  3. Design your content presentation. As mentioned earlier, mix up the form of your content with images, videos, downloads, blog posts, quotes, polls, questions etc., but take into account the appropriateness/suitability of the content form for a particular social network, the publishing timing and the persona of your readers. 80% of your content should be interesting and helpful and 20% can be promotional.
  4. Know your buyer persona. I keep coming back to the ‘persona’ because it is important and unavoidable. In the context of social media, knowing your buyer persona thoroughly allows you to get content to them at the right place at the right time. Consider these questions:
    1. Where are they spending time on the Internet?
    2. Which networks? Is it only the big 4 or a niche site targeted at people in the same industry or interest?
    3. Why are they there? For business or pleasure?
    4. Most importantly, what sort of content do they want to read and share?

Taking everything into account, Inbound marketing is about giving and winning client steadfastness as opposed to beating a message into prospects’ heads and trusting it will stick. By applying the 3 fundamental Inbound marketing strategies as stated, brands will eventually see enormous returns for their efforts on less advertising dollar expenditure.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

How Does Google Panda Help Inbound Marketing?

How Does Google Panda Help Inbound Marketing Marketers?

We all know that Google changes its search algorithm regularly. How frequently does Google do it? About 500 to 600 times per year (or around 40 to 50 times each month).

In Feb. 2011, Google launched Panda.

Panda update affected approximately 12% of queries and was specifically targeted at low-quality or “thin” sites, as well as sites with high ad-to-content ratios.

For the first two years, Google Panda updates were rolled out about once a month but Google stated in March 2013, that future updates would be integrated into the algorithm and, therefore, less noticeable and continuous.

Google released a “slow rollout” of Panda 4.1 for the week of September 21, 2014.

In fact, Google Panda is a filter that prevents low quality sites and/or pages from ranking well in the search engine results page. The filter’s threshold is influenced by Google Quality Raters. Quality Raters answer questions such as “would I trust this site with my credit card?” so that Google can distinguish the difference between high- and low-quality sites.

More specifically, article directories (a.k.a. “content farms”)—including wisegeek.com, suite101.com, and ezinearticles.com—bore the brunt of Panda’s attack, witnessing major drops in their search rankings.

Google Panda affects the ranking of an entire site or a specific section rather than just the individual pages on a site.

Google says it will only takes a few pages of poor quality or duplicated content to hold down traffic on an otherwise solid site, and recommends such pages be removed, blocked from being indexed by the search engine, or rewritten.

However, Matt Cutts, head of Webspam at Google, warns that rewriting duplicate content so that it is original may not be enough to recover from Panda, the rewrites must be of sufficiently high quality, as such content brings “additional value” to the web. Content that is general, non-specific, and not substantially different from what is already out there should not be expected to rank well.

While the release of Panda sparked outrage among some marketers, who viewed the update as a malicious attack on their rankings, other marketers (especially the ones who had been playing by the rules and creating quality content all along) welcomed Panda enthusiastically.

I believe that as the principle of Inbound Marketing* is focused on generating sales leads through providing quality content to educate the prospects on the area of expertise of the marketer, Google Panda will naturally help these marketers. As a result, their websites and networks of content will benefit from Panda.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

6 Helpful Tips For Flawless Posts In Facebook

6 Helpful Tips For Flawless Posts In Facebook

According to Facebook, on average, 1,500 possible stories are filtered through per day on an average Facebook user’s news feed, but only 300 of them actually make it into a user’s news feed. So how do you ensure your content is included in that 300?

Let’s look into the Facebook-specific best practices for crafting attention-grabbing posts to be included in that 300.

1) Engage fans with high-quality photos.

Although Facebook has made moves to crack down on photo posts with links, images on Facebook remain to be among the most engaging posts. Instead of posting a text message, consider the option of reproducing the message as a nice graphic. This will increase the chance of your message getting shared or liked.

2) Remove links from copy/text.

Keep your copy succinct by removing the horrendously long URL you’re sharing from the text in your post. Any user can click on the generated thumbnail or title for that URL to navigate to the blog post, web page, or any URL you’re linking to, so there is no need to include it in the copy of your post as well.

3) Increase or decrease the post’s word count?

According to a study from TrackMaven, posts with 80+ words garner 2X as much engagement. And yet, WeRSM also advocates that posts with 80 characters or less are the most engaging. What I feel is regardless of the length of the post, it must always add value to the reading experience. If the post has to be long, the ‘punchline’ has to be visible within the first 3 sentences before readers click the “See More” link.

4) Try different punctuation and emoticons.

According to the same TrackMaven study and AMEX Open Forum study, various punctuation and emoticon uses on Facebook garner different results respectively. Each is worth testing for which works best with your audience. More importantly, emoticons have a positive application in an informal environment like Facebook.

5) Post to the news feed before an album.

While albums on Facebook are great for organization, including photos within an album limits the engagement per photo uploaded. We’ve seen zero engagement on photos added directly to an album. However, if we upload that same image directly onto our news feed as a one-time update, it suddenly receives much more traction.

6) Publish after work hours and on weekends.

According to the aforementioned TrackMaven study, posts published after hours (5 p.m. – 1 a.m. EST), see 11% more interactions than those published during the day (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.). They also see 29% more interactions than those published before work (1 a.m. – 8 a.m.). This calls for a need to test and identify the most optimal part of the day to publish our posts, including after folks have clocked out of work for the day and over the weekend when they are staying at home.

The 8 Advantages Of Sending HTML Email

HTMLA previous post listed out the benefits of sending out a clean, non-HTML email. Still, depending on your email marketing strategy and approach, there are enough advantages to using HTML email:

– Branding: Include your company logo.

– Recognition: Make your emails feel like your website with a similar design.

– Tracking: Estimate the number of times your messages are opened by recipients. You can’t track the open rate of a text email.

– Highlighting: Use bold, colors, and fonts to draw attention to important parts of your message.

– Compatibility: Send HTML and text messages at the same time and email programs that can’t display HTML will automatically display the text-only message.

– Images: Display images to reinforce your message, but make sure the email still looks okay with images turned off.

If you have a product or service that is best presented visually e.g. a TV, notebook etc., then HTML is the way to go because people will want to see it. If you are simply describing the product update or service, such as “we’ve upgraded our database infrastructure” then text is the right choice.

– Links: Have website links with text descriptions instead of long ugly URLs. A graphical call-to-action button also has a positive impact on click-through rate.

– Familiarity: It’s easier for recipients to scan HTML emails when they become accustomed to your layout.

HTML for email is significantly different than designing for a website. Special care was taken in designing these templates for:

– How messages look when images are turned off.
– HTML display in popular e-mail clients such as Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Eudora, etc.
– HTML display in popular web clients like Yahoo!, Hotmail, and Gmail.
– CAN-SPAM compliance with postal address and unsubscribe link inclusion.

Testing-wise, the best way to understand how different browsers, email clients, and mobile devices interpret your HTML email is to see for yourself! To save yourself the trouble of testing every single email send, test a few options once, and then create a template to use for each email you send using the winning version.

The issue of whether you stick to sending a text or HTML email or both will depend on the context of your message, your target readers, and the click-through performance you are aiming for. You should test-send an email to yourself so that you can consider your own reaction towards reading it. The general rule of thumb is to send short and sweet text emails to recipients who do not know you well and HTML emails to known contacts.

Tips From HubSpot’s Top 10 Inbound Marketers

Tips From_HubSpot's Top 10 Inbound Marketers

Embarking on your Inbound Marketing* efforts can be a difficult thing to do. Since it is fundamentally different from traditional marketing strategies, it takes some getting used to. What better than to look up to some of the best Inbound Marketers for tips and advice? We quote from 10 of HubSpot‘s most successful Inbound Marketers.

1) Get things done

“Never let perfection impede performance. A good blog article published today is better than a perfect blog article published next week.” – Sam Mallikarjunan

2) Keep your ego in check

“I think in all industries, but perhaps especially in the world of marketing, an overabundance of arrogance (and an under-abundance of humility) can lead to decreases in productivity, creativity, and collaboration.

The best inbound marketers I know aren’t the ones writing books, going on world tours, and—to put it more bluntly—letting the world know how damn awesome they are every single day. Instead, truly effective inbound marketers are the folks who readily admit that they need help, who regularly get input and advice from their peers and coworkers, and who put the quality of their work ahead of their personal branding.” – Erik Devaney

3) Focus on one goal at a time

“Solve one goal at a time, and think holistically and strategically about how your tactics will come together to solve that goal. It’s very easy to get lost in the list of items you need to get through to execute on inbound marketing—blog posts, offers, social posts, emails, etc., but focus is critical.

For example, if your pain point is TOFU in X region or Y vertical, every Inbound marketing campaign you create and run should be to fix that goal, specifically.” – Kimberley Darling

4) Focus on the most impactful metrics

“Modern marketers are surrounded by data that provides plenty of insight into the performance of our marketing campaigns and channels. But not all metrics are created equal.

Successful marketers will be able to view their funnel from a high level, identify where the pain is, and isolate the metric that needs attention. Then they will focus the lion’s share of their energy on improving this metric, and align the goals of upcoming campaigns to solve this pain.” – Ian Stanley

5) Embrace agility

“Highly successful Inbound marketers monitor their goal progress daily, and pivot quickly if it looks like something won’t lead to the results they planned.” – Rebecca Corliss

6) Set measureable goals both short term and long term

“It’s important to establish goals—and metrics to help you measure those goals—so you know what success looks like. You might find it helpful to set a yearly goal, and then backtrack short-term goals from that larger vision to ensure you keep making progress.” – Jessica Meher

7) Apply your insight

“The best Inbound marketers I know can extract valuable data from the fluff and use it to make great decisions for the business. Just getting your hands on the data isn’t enough—you need to be able to use those numbers to fuel actionable plans so you can turn around dismal performance (or turn good performance into stellar performance).” – Ginny Soskey

Get involved in new skills

“One of the most important qualities of an effective marketer is that they have deep knowledge and expertise in one or two areas, but they’re also able to see the full picture and think critically in other areas, as well.

For example, you should be able to come to a team meeting with the folks who are working on the other parts of your marketing, and help them think through their efforts and strategy. Being able to understand how all of the aspects of your marketing work will help you make a much broader and more meaningful contribution to the team and the team’s goals.” – Sarah Goliger

9) Question everything

“For everything you do, constantly ask yourself: Why are you doing it? How will you know if you were successful? Your time is a precious commodity, so you need to constantly question what you’re doing so you can optimize how you use your time.” – Ellie Mirman

10) Don’t be afraid to fail

I think a highly effective inbound marketer is someone who is willing to experiment and occasionally fail. It’s important to constantly think of new ways to approach problems, especially if the same problem keeps cropping up again and again. As long as you’re learning why something worked and why it didn’t, failure should be embraced.” – Rachel Sprung

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, social media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

What does it mean to be W3C-compliant?

W3C Compliance

Qualified webmasters and web designers will know what W3C compliance is about. So what is W3C compliance?

The W3C is the World Wide Web Consortium and since 1994 (that’s way back) the W3C has provided the guidelines by which websites and web pages should be structured and created. They set the standards by which best practices in web design are defined and followed through according to the type of coding used, whether it’s HTML, XHTML, XML (blog feed), CSS etc.

If not for W3C standards, nothing that you read on screen would be intelligible. One of the main challenges that Tim Berners-Lee, the so-called Father of the World Wide Web, had to face up to and solve during W3’s formation is to ensure interoperability and that data is not lost in translation as they are presented on-screen.

It is still quite a big issue among webmasters today. From personal experience, I had encountered webmasters who designed sites without thinking how people would view them in Firefox. If you don’t care for web visitors, you lose a market share, simple. (Part of the problem is that proprietary features that do not conform to any existing W3C specifications are designed into popular browsers, so life become very difficult for those of us attempting to create websites that look good across most, if not all, browsers, platforms, mobile devices, screen sizes and resolutions and overcome most types of visual disabilities.)

From a digital marketer’s point-of-view, when designing a website, you need to bear in mind that visitors ONLY respond in 3 ways:

1) To click on a link.
2) To opt-in.
3) To purchase something.
4) And only 1 ACTION AT A TIME.

The last point is terrifically important. I recall seeing a website with black background with lots of links, blinking graphics and bright banners. It reminds me of Las Vegas. If I fly to Las Vegas for the first time and not knowing anything about the place, I wouldn’t know where to start enjoying myself. That’s the problem with such sites. Everywhere is a shout, yet there is still no obvious call-to-action.

I’m coming round a full circle to say that Inbound marketing* cannot break away from W3C compliance even as the webmaster may not realize this. A W3C-optimized website will score highly in user experience and lead conversion. Business website owners must consider 2 points for website optimization:

1) Have a goal in mind for what you’d like to accomplish with your website.

2) Make it easy to be understood and crawled by search engines, i.e. the colours are not all over the place, the layout is not messy, the HTML code is not bloated or excessive, the one single message on the current page is clear etc.

Thus the principle is: the more obvious a call-to-action is, the more clarity a website design must have. It must simply scream, “DO THIS”, and nothing more. When a site is made simply, I presume it cannot veer too far from W3C specifications.

Is your website optimized for lead conversion? Is your call-to-action loud and clear? If you are not sure that your website is generating the right amount of targeted leads, click the graphic below and ask for a free website assessment. We accept your request as a challenge and are glad to help!

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

4 Major Steps On Getting Sales Without Selling Out

1. Spend More Time Listening Than Talking

keep calm and use active listening

Get to know your prospects by asking a lot of questions. This way, you truly learn what this person really needs help on. The more you listen, the better you are positioned to respond. It is simply part of Client Relationship 101. Understanding each other is the key to an effective working relationship.

value vs price

Refrain from discussing rates over the phone or meetings until the near closing stage. Give them a range only if you feel that it will help the prospect make a decision. Most client meetings or phone calls are of limited time, therefore try to maximize the communication by figuring out how you can deliver as much value as possible, and how the conversation will be more about the challenge rather than about you. Once you have built a mutual understanding of how things can be done, you may then follow up with a detailed rate card for evaluation and perhaps a feedback too.

The most important thing is to have healthy business relationships with happy clients. And to be able to provide good service that benefits your clients, spend less time thinking about how much earnings can be made and focus more on the delivery of expected results.

3. Turn Away Business

smiley face

Would you rather have 20 “just satisfied” clients than having half the number of ‘happy’ ones? The strong source of revenue of most successful businesses come from repeat customers.

Try not to pressure yourself to sell when you enter a conference or events. Focus on creating and building new relationships instead. This mindset will put you in a position that engages on objective conversations. Give your prospects the feeling of confidence in you by sharing the best possible information with them, even if you end up recommending an alternate solution or other service providers to them. If they want to work with someone else, it’s okay. At the end of the day, what matters most is that the people you talked to will succeed. Be equally excited being a referral engine for your peers (even if they are competitors), this will build up your reputation as a businessman/consultant. Good things will come back ten-folds.

4. Create An Inbound Marketing System

inbound marketing

If you are not very good in cold pitching, it doesn’t mean you can’t do business or get sales/clients. Build a system that generates targeted leads almost effortlessly. The principle of Inbound Marketing* is based on over-delivering information of ‘freemium’ value to create a great impression, thereby warming cold visitors to look up to you as an authority of your expertise and to want to learn more about you as a person and your better offers.

The current, more acceptable trend in marketing communications is leaning towards dialogue rather than sales talk. It may take months or years to master the skill of business conversation but when you care to invest in objective conversations with the prospects you meet, soon enough you are going to reap what you sow.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

Content Writing: Discover How To Write For An Online Audience

Article MarketingOne of the issues that a business writer or blogger must understand is how to compose for the online consumer.

For starters, content writing for an online market is very much different than composing for print media. Web users are less tolerant. They scan substance on the screen, which is more stressful for the eyes. Also, they have more selections at their disposal. If they don’t like what they’re reading, they can go to another page at the click of a button. Capturing their interest and sustaining their attention are a must when it comes to composing online content.

These are some very fundamental tips for writing a quality business article:

1. Make certain your titles are captivating. Within copywriting circles, it is understood that “the headline gives weight to 80% of the first impression” before readers decide whether to continue reading the sales copy. The same principle applies to the article title. Readers will subconsciously critique your whole article based on the first impression they get from your title. You only have 3 seconds to sway them to stay, and such can only be accomplished by means of a catchy title.

2. Use bullets and numberings as much as you can. Listing the key points of your article in an easily readable format encourages readers to peruse the article to the end, searching for the information they want or tidbits they will deem captivating. You can make things easy for them by designing your website for simple browsing. You can also highlight vital statements of your content via bold fonts or variation of hues.

3. Keep your words understandable. Write just like you’re telling a message to a 12-year-old child. This isn’t meant to insult your prospective client. This is so because the average reading comprehension of Internet users is really that of a 12-year-old pupil.

4. Make your paragraphs short. Creating white spaces between sentences enhances readability and allows readers’ eyes to rest. It is especially important for online publications. Aesthetics experts even concur that 2/3 of the article should be composed of white spaces.

5. Add at least 1 image into your article. As the saying goes, “An image is worth a thousand words.” Images add richness to your content. The relevancy of images can help emphasize key points and make readers more willing to read a long article. It also encourages readers to share articles on social media because social networks can feature the image in the post. In an e-commerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is very important in selecting and purchasing a product.

Why You Can’t Rely On Inbound Marketing Alone

Why Can't You Rely On Just Inbound Marketing Alone?

Nowadays, Inbound Marketing* is becoming increasingly popular due to its effectiveness and cost-efficiency.

However, what happens when you’re not selling a product or service that is in high-demand (high volume of Google searches)?

1) What if no one is looking for your solution?

Prospects are not always searching for your solution or informative content, and hence your product.

While Inbound marketing strategies allow you to increase your digital presence, it is unlikely that Inbound Marketing alone will generate enough leads to sustain your niche business. Hence, there is a need for a certain amount of traditional, outbound marketing such as online advertising (e.g. search engine marketing) and email marketing.

2) Prospects are comfortable where they are—unaware they have an issue.

Studies show that one of the major obstacles the Inbound Marketer faces is the status quo. When it’s your prospect’s decision to do nothing, often because they do not realize they have a problem.

Thus, as your prospects are unaware of their issue, they do not actively search for a solution—and in turn, you.

If you want to better promote your products, you’ll need to challenge the status quo of your prospective customers.

Hence Inbound Marketing is not enough to acquire leads.

HubSpot, the World’s #1 Inbound Marketing Platform, has also seen this gap. They have integrated Outbound Marketing tactics such e-mail marketing along with marketing automation with Inbound Marketing features to help generate more leads for their customers.

Traditional Marketing isn’t dead.

Advantages of Traditional Marketing (particularly native advertising) include that the advertiser creates a focused and direct message and is able to control when, where and how it is seen by the targeted audience.

The best marketing strategies incorporate both dimensions of Inbound and Traditional, Outbound Marketing, and find the balance between the two to maximize ROI.

So Outbound Marketing and Inbound Marketing can not only co-exist but complement each other, such as marketing automation to follow up with leads.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

The 5 Stages Of An Online Lead Nurturing Process

lead nurturingThere are at least 2 scenarios that come to mind as to why leads are not closed for the sale:

1) Some marketers presume that it is alright to start promoting their products and services barely days after new subscribers enter their lists.

2) In larger organizations, the corporate ‘tradition’ goes that the marketing team generates and passes the leads to the sales team which handles the promotion, but the sales conversion remains consistently low. The sales team may simply cancel the leads that it considers ‘cold’, whereas the marketing team feels ‘hands-off’ since the leads are already passed on. Neither team knows how to rekindle the leads’ interest.

In both cases, there is a gap in the marketing cycle that fails to make the leads feel eager in looking forward to hear more from the marketers. It is what lead nurturing precisely does: to invest in a little more time to build a long-term relationship between the marketer and his/her leads.

For the reason that leads generation is only one side of the coin, now discover how to build trust and loyalty that paves the way to an easy sale in 5 stages:

1) The Handshake: This is the first point of contact whereby a visitor gets acquainted with the marketer’s website and registers for an e-newsletter, an e-book or a webinar. When the visitor sends a message using the contact form, s/he is also initiating a handshake.

2) The Conversation: The purpose of the conversation is to inform and educate subscribers about the challenges related to the general topic they registered for. In the Information Age, readers like to learn more, so it is an opportunity to address details not initially included in the first set of downloaded material, or to delve deeper into the issues.

This being a conversation, the marketer can also seek feedback and start a dialogue with subscribers to build trust and loyalty. The marketer has to take note and take advantage of the various content delivery channels—email, mobile, ezines, blogs, article directories, whitepapers, social media etc.—to grow his/her reach.

3) The Contact: This is the stage where more marketers probably fall short. Insofar where the ‘Conversation’ is concerned, the same information is dispensed to all subscribers. Now having felt encouraged by what they have read, the subscribers will reach out to marketers for more information specific to their needs. Marketers must offer personalized content and even a proposal to turn them into true business prospects.

4) The Qualification: It is time for marketers to consider whether their solutions are a good fit for prospects’ needs. Now that content distribution and communications have steered the conversation in a certain direction, marketers must step up to address the likely problems each prospect is facing and state why and how they can be solved. A problem analysis can be conducted by asking prospects a series of questions that break down the details, thus giving marketers a well-rounded understanding of each case they are facing.

5) The Close: Finally, marketers submit a formal proposal that calls for prospects to take up the offer. There is no denying that as marketers and prospects move through each lead nurturing stage, chances are higher that prospects feel more comfortable to continue the work with marketers they are familiar with. Beyond the ‘Close’, marketers must continue to do what they have set out to begin with: deliver on their promises and instill loyalty and confidence before prospects look elsewhere for competitors.

The 5 stages of the lead nurturing process is key to creating a strong, happy business relationship that naturally encourages further business. It’s about being “systematic in activity, dynamic in response”. Now that’s an easy slogan for marketers to remember.

The 7 Merits Of Not Sending Your Newsletter In HTML

newsletter

If you design your newsletter in HTML, don’t send it as an email. There are benefits to putting it up as a web page and sending your subscribers to it:

1) You keep my email ‘clean’ with pure text so it less likely gets filtered out.

2) You can archive it so subscribers can revisit for reference.

3) By redirecting them to your site, you also remind them of your site so they can navigate elsewhere for more resources.

4) As you build an archive, you also grow your site with more pages. It helps with search engine optimization to an extent.

5) You can add in interactive features on the web page like a chat box or the Google calendar for event or promo forecast.

6) Your subscribers are more likely to “tell a friend” about good web content rather than forward emails. Apply viral marketing techniques on this point.

7) You can even repackage your newsletter content into an ebook, video or podcast in the future.

A direct e-mail message is most effective only when you want your subscribers to take action on a single message, i.e. “In this week’s exciting line-up of topics, you have…[list out in bullet points]” So focus on getting that click to your newsletter, effectively disengaging them from their inbox and clutter of emails, and let them enjoy reading your content at their own pace.