Getting The Most Out of Your Marketing: Part III: Call to Action

So you’ve told the reader what’s in it for them. You’ve included a great marketing offer. Now what?

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  • “Call now and we’ll throw in an extra Ginsu knife absolutely free!”
  • “Act now! Quantities are limited!”
  • “Discount good through January 30.”
  • “100% money-back guarantee for 30 days.”

Stimulate Your Readers to Take Action

You need a call to action. Something to stimulate your reader to get off his chair and call you or visit your website NOW. Without a call to action, he will put down your postcard/close your email and think he will come back to it later. At that point, you’ve likely lost him.

Getting the Most Out of Your Marketing: Part II: The Marketing Offer

You’ve written beautiful marketing copy. You perfectly describe your product, including benefits to the customer. You draw in the reader. And then it ends.

No one calls. What’s missing?

You forgot your marketing offer.

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Every piece of marketing collateral needs an offer. You can tell your readers how great your product is, but if you don’t give them an offer, you’ve wasted your time and money. Sure, they could call to find out your prices, but that would mean they would have to work. And you never, ever want to make the customer work. You want to make buying from you simple.

Getting the Most Out of Your Marketing: Part I: What’s In It For Me?

This is the first in a series of posts I’d like to offer that address how, with the right elements, you can turn an ineffective marketing campaign into one that gets results.

You’ve heard it before: the basis of your marketing should answer the question from your potential buyer:

“What’s in it for me?”

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It’s the truth. You yourself don’t visit a website or look at a product unless there is a clear benefit for you doing so.

Keep this in mind for your next marketing campaign. No matter if you have a newsletter, a blog, a press release or a direct mail campaign, you have to give the reader a reason to read. Otherwise, you’re missing out on potential business and wasting your time and money.

Here are some examples of how you can offer value in each of these types of marketing tools.

Newsletter

If you read my blog, you know I’m a strong proponent of e-newsletters. I send two out to Egg subscribers each month. I include a personal note, links to places I’ve been interviewed, and an article on marketing. Now, while I certainly hope my readers will read the press releases I’ve included and listen to my interviews, I know the reason they open my emails in the first place is that article. I’m providing useful information they can easily digest in their Inboxes. In return, I hope they’ll explore my websites and contact me if they need marketing services.

Marketing That Works: Becoming a Brand

Today, becoming an expert in your field is easy. What’s difficult is becoming a brand. Recently I was contacted by an individual who wants to brand himself as a real estate expert. It got me thinking about better branding myself as The Marketing Eggspert.

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How do you brand yourself?
The same way you would a product or service.

  • Relate why you are the superior brand to competitors
  • Create an overall depiction of what your brand has to offer (are you funny? professional? approachable?)
  • Promote yourself at every opportunity

Resolutions for your Business

I know, I know, New Year's resolutions are so cliche. But I've been making them for about 15 years, and unlike many people, I strive to achieve them all year long (well, at least until July). I already have my list of my personal resolutions, so here are mine for both my blog and my business.

Press Release 101: 24 Reasons to Toot Your Own Horn

Many companies don’t believe they have anything newsworthy to tell the world about. They couldn’t be more wrong. Every single business has something that’s worth putting into a press release. It’s just a matter of looking at it the right way.

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Your news doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. It might not even matter to anyone outside of the company, but if you’re proud of it, toot your horn!

The more news you have, the more active your company appears to be. I tend to be so focused on my business, I forget that getting interviewed on the radio or a blog is kind of big. So now I strive to write press releases about all my activities.

Excellent Holiday Marketing: Gift Giving

Now that we’ve officially crossed the threshold of Thanksgiving, it’s officially time to panic. Christmas is just right around the corner! The end of the year tends to be chaotic as businesses try to wrap up their activities for the year, but don’t let your customers slip through the cracks. By remembering them during this merry and mad time of year, you’ll be marketing your company at a time when people are sentimental and more likely to think warm, fuzzy thoughts about you. That’s where holiday marketing comes in.

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The secret to client gift giving is that it is marketing, although it should never, ever appear to be. In thinking about what to give, get away from the thoughts of advertising your brand or slogan. It’s simply the time to thank clients for their business and support of your company. Trust me, even if your logo appears nowhere on the gift, they will think of you.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to knocking your gift-giving out early.

1. Make three  lists and check them twice.
Not all your clients or contacts are on the same level, so break them out into your top clients (where most of your revenue comes from), medium clients, and good contacts that you’d like to develop into good clients. You may have a list of people for whom a simple holiday card would be sufficient.

David Meerman Scott: These Are The New Rules of Marketing

I recently came across David Meerman Scott’s Book, The New Rules of Marketing & PR , and was ecstatic to find someone in line with what I talk about here. Sometimes I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall trying to tell clients and readers the advantages of moving away from “old school” marketing and into Marketing 2.0. I devoured the book (and recommend you read it too) and then took a shot in the dark by emailing David for an interview. He replied within an hour. What a guy.

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Here’s what he had to say about marketing in a Web 2.0 world.

EM: Do you find it difficult to convince people that the rules of marketing and PR have changed (I sure do!)?

DMS: It used to be really difficult to convince people. Now it is easy. I just ask, “when was the last time you looked for a product or service or the answer to a question via TV, radio, newspaper or magazine?”

Then “How about on Google?” Then I say, “OK, that’s the same as everyone these days.”
Old rules “buy your way in with advertising or beg your way in with the media.” New rules “publish your way in with content.”
Here’s another: “Your brand is what Google says it is.”

Web 2.0 Marketing is Nothing to Fear!

Brent Leary wrote a great article on Small Business Trends about why small businesses aren’t all about Web 2.0. His reasons are likely pretty accurate:

1. Silly names (blog, wiki, podcast) turn people off.
2. Silly names make people think Web 2.0 is for kids.
3. Since not a lot of big companies are into Web 2.0, small businesses don’t want to dip their toes in yet.

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I understand change is hard. I understand that people are afraid of the risks involved in changing directions. But Web 2.0 and Marketing 2.0 are so harmless. Those of you wallflowers should know it’s like ripping off a bandaid. You make it a bigger deal than it is. You’ll never get that yacht you always wanted if you don’t look into how to market your company more effectively.

Should I Use Social Networking as a Marketing Tool?

Many people who are just getting into Marketing 2.0 assume if there’s an internet-based tool available for marketing, they should use it. Not always the case. When it comes to social networking (Facebook, Twitter), it’s not always the best use of your time when it comes to marketing (and it can be pretty time-consuming). I myself wasted a lot of time setting up a Myspace account for Egg Marketing only to find that the few people that were interested in our services really couldn’t afford them. It’s important to know the demographic of these networking sites (the highest percentage being teens) before determining whether they’ll be useful in your marketing efforts.

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1. Don’t join these sites just because you can and because everyone else is doing it. Really developing a presence on any one of these sites is labor-intensive, so have a purpose for doing so.

2. Most of these sites aren’t business-oriented (teens could care less about your paper company) so don’t be intrusive with your product mention. Find a way to work it in.

3. Just like anywhere else, your brand needs to represent something important to the consumer.

Direct Marketing That Works: The Lumpy Package

Marketing is cyclical. Where direct mail became passe a few years ago in favor of email (and then mobile marketing), it’s now a great way to have a big impact on getting your audience’s attention. But it can’t be just any direct marketing mail. A carefully planned out campaign is the only one sure to get the recipient’s attention.

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I have a client who launched a Thanksgiving direct mail campaign. Why? It beats the influx of Christmas cards and gifts, and because it stands out. We sent three mailings, each with its own Thanksgiving-related item (a corn cob, candle, and a toy turkey). The goal was to make the recipient smile, and let their guard down, so that my client could follow up with an appointment to meet them.

We could have just done a postcard campaign, but the recipients are a highly targeted bunch, and we wanted to step outside the proverbial box. So we’re sending lumpy mail, which is a surefire way to get the mail open.