Jun 26

Tips for Writing Emails – Answer Readers’ Questions

The Five Types of Blog PostsBy Deborah Richmond

The goal of any email marketing plan is to Get Your Message Straight to Your Prospects Inbox.  You also want to make sure that message is full of good content that will be helpful to your readers.

When you're stumped for email marketing content ideas, a great starting point to use is a reader's question.

The content of your emails should be helpful to your readers, answering their questions and solving their problems. What better way to find questions to answer than to take a real one and answer it for everyone?

If someone has emailed you, contacted you on social media or commented on a blog post with a question, turn that question into an email. You can either write an original article using the question, or address the question directly, saying, 'Blog reader John from Oregon asks…'

There are several advantages to mentioning the reader. One is that other readers see that you're responsive and that you interact directly with your audience. This is great for building a relationship with your readers.

It also adds an element of social proof. If people are commenting or asking questions, this will encourage your other readers to do so too.

And if you have plenty of questions and other interactions, this is even more fodder for excellent email content. You can get the snowball effect going and you'll never run out of ideas!

To Your Success,

Jun 24

Good Subject Lines for Email – Catch Attention with a Question

Email Marketing – Getting Your Message Straight to Your Prospect's InboxIf you're using your email lists to contact your clients, customers and prospects, then you know how important it is to capture their attention with a good subject line.  your goal is to Get Your Message to Your Prospects with Email Marketing.  Your recipients' email inboxes are flooded with messages every day. Many of them are offering excellent promotions. How do you make your emails stand out from all the noise? You do so by piquing your readers' curiosity and a good way to do this is with questions.

It's only natural that when you see a question, you want to know the answer. This is the logic behind the question subject line. The reader sees the question and thinks they want to know the answer, even if they don't think they want to read the whole message. They open the message and are then drawn in by your compelling opening.

But here's the only drawback – you have to actually answer the question! Or at least answer it in such a way that it satisfies the reader.

An example would be something like, 'What's the best way to drive traffic?' Your email doesn't have to answer this question fully, and it can't because there really is no objective 'best' way. However, it can discuss a few of the most common traffic methods and then offer a link to a report that has more.

The subject line is all important because it's what gets your recipient to either open your message or throw it in the trash. A question subject line is a good way to get them to open the message, as long as you deliver on the subject line's promise. The best way to find out what works for your list is to test. Run two identical messages with only the subject line changed and see which performs better.

To Your Success,

Deborah

P.S.  If you would like to receive online marketing tips, sign up for the free E-Book "Pump Up Your Profits with Social Media" in the sidebar to the right on this page.  Not only will you receive this valuable resource, but you will also start receiving tips right to your inbox.

Jun 19

How to Tweet and Use Twitter to Market Your Business

twitter-iconThere are different “personalities” when it comes to tweeting. Some, like @guykawaski, post what seems like every few minutes. They share awesome and relevant links they think their audience will appreciate.

There are others who only post their new blog posts or things that are relevant to them. I don’t recommend this – share value and you’ll be a lot more likely to gain a loyal following.

There are some in the middle – they post things important to them, interesting links, links to their posts or products, and so on.

That is more of what I recommend and try to do.

1) Find and post interesting links relevant to your market. I find links using http://alltop.com and news.google.com.

2) Post about your new blog posts

3) Post links to special offers or events

4) Retweet interesting tweets from those you are following

5) Personally reply to people you are following (initiate some conversation!)

If you are looking for more help using Twitter to market your business, check out Twitter 101.

Jun 15

Social Media Tool “Social Mention” Review

socialmentionSocialMention.com is an online social media tool that I've heard others talk about. I decided to check it out and see if it had any value for me or my clients. In my business, I do a lot of testing and I try out a lot of strategies and tools I run across. Below you will find out what happened when I used SocialMention.com for my own brand.

What is SocialMention?

SocialMention is an online website tool that describes itself as “a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information.

How is it supposed t work?

The idea behind social mention is that you can go to the website, enter your website name, or product name, or your personal name, and find out who has been mentioning it and where. The site also offers an analysis of the data it finds to measure:

Strength: The likelihood your brand is being discussed in social media.

Sentiment: Ratio of mentions that are generally positive compared to those that are generally negative

Passion: The likelihood those mentioning your brand will do so repeatedly.

Reach: Measure of the range of influence

How is it supposed to work?

At its most basic level, SocialMention is intended to be a place to see who is mentioning your brand. The site purports to find the mentions, and list them with a link so you can see them first hand. This would be good for monitoring your brand. It is true that you brand may be talked about in places of which you are not even aware. SocialMention promises to bring those mentions to you to review.

The other big benefit is supposed to be the ability to use their analytics to give you information about your brand's online reputation.

What happened when I tried it?

The first thing I did was go to http://socialmention.com and type in the name of my brand “TekkBuzz”. This search is supposed to turn up places my brand has been mentioned. I searched for “all” to be sure to include any and all mentions that could be found.

Upon putting my brand name in, the search turned up several results. Most were, indeed, related to my brand. The list was a strange hodge podge of mentions, mostly my own, from YouTube. This was not surprising. I mention my website on my YouTube channel, so this is what should show up. I also mention my own website on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus, but none of these showed up.  The listings were seemingly random, most from several months ago. I put out fresh content all of the time, yet nothing newer than three months turned up.

There were a couple mentions by other people that I did not know about. So in this instance, the site did work to make me aware of social mentions I was unaware of. However, again these mentions were several months old.

What's good?

Socialmention.com is an interesting tool to use if you're curious if anyone has been talking about your brand. I would use it just for fun.

What's not so good?

In my case, the mentions seem to be limited to YouTube and FriendFeed. I know my brand has been mentioned by others on Twitter and FaceBook and LinkedIn. But none of these mentioned showed up in the list. And none of the mentions were current. All were several months old. This does not give me a complete handle on how my brand is doing.

The measurements hold little value for me. I prefer to work with concrete analytics such as number of unique visitors, number of retweets, etc. These somewhat vague measurements “sentiment' or “passion” might impress a boss who doesn't really understand social media. But they don't give me any of the concrete data I prefer to work with when analyzing how I am doing with my online presence.

My Opinion

While SocialMention.com is a good idea, the tool itself did not deliver to me the results I can really use to measure my online presence. It is interesting, and I may come back to it from time to time to see what it turns up for my brand, but overall this is not a tool I will be adding to my regular anaytics measurements.

To Your Success,

Deborah

 

 

 

P.S.:  Are you using Social Mention?  Do you find more value than I have?  I'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment below and share your own experiences.

Jun 05

Social Media Marketing Won’t Work, Unless…

ID-10019658Before you spend time working on your marketing strategy, you need to take time to answer the question: Who are your buyers?

You want to define who your buyers are so you can focus on finding the right people for your community. You will be actively seeking new members to join your networks. When deciding which networks to use in your strategy, you must think about the people who are your target audience. Understanding what they want and need is critical to deciding who to invite to your community.

For instance, a travel agent may observe her customers are between the ages of 30 to 70 years old. In recruiting community members, she will not focus heavily on teenagers or people in their early 20’s because these are not her buyers.

There are questions to ask yourself when thinking about your buyers. Make a list of the answers to the following:

  • Who are your major audiences?
  • What characteristics do your audience members share?
  • Who can you invite that falls under these categories?

Our travel agent might answer the questions this way:

"My major audience members are between the ages of 30 to 70 with discretionary income to spend on travel
My audience members love to travel and are adventurous. They often hold professional positions at work.
I will invite people who hold professional positions between the ages of 30 and 70."

Now our travel agent can look for groups of people on the networks who fit these criteria. She will find professional groups on Facebook and LinkedIn where she can begin to network and invite people to join her network community.

Another way to identify your buyers is to ask your customers about themselves. When you are on your network and interacting with your community, ask a customer, “Why did you buy? Did you get what you were looking for?” Their answers will provide information about characteristics of your buyers.

A quilt shop owner might receive a response such as, “I want to make gifts for my family for Christmas because I can save money.” Our shop owner now knows one characteristic of some of her customers is frugality.

Here are some other characteristics our owner might discover:

Emotions:

    • Fun-loving
    • Passionate

Interests:

    • Creative
    • Frugal
    • LearningDemographics:
    • 45 years – 75 years old
    • Female

Once you’ve identified characteristics of your customers, you are ready to find people who fit these descriptions.

To Your Success!

Deborah

 

P.S.: Interested in learning more about marketing with social media?  Sign up for your free ebook "Pump Up Your Profits With Social Media".  

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