Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Facebook Groups a Waste of Time?

I have spent countless hours promoting ideas and internet marketing opportunities within Facebook groups. Now, I'm convinced that Facebook groups don't work. They are a waste of time, and all you get out of it are tired wrists and spam. Facebook recently allowed administrators of groups to 'pin' posts--that is to use a tactic used in forums known as 'sticky posts,' in an effort to pump life into a dying product. Facebook marketing groups are dying a slow death offering very little value to those who use them.

Earlier this year, Facebook announced timeline cover photos, like the ones used on personal profile pages in an effort to align the groups product with the rest of Facebook. But, for my personal belief, the Facebook groups are of no value and are a waste of time.

Most group members do not participate after being active for a very short period of time. There are no long lasting engagement levels among members, only growing numbers of inactive users. Forget making a sale or getting a signup from being a member of Facebook groups, you may from time to time get a like for a comment you make if that comment is read by someone who hasn't been a member for long. For the most part, Facebook groups are a dead wasteland taking up space within the social network.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Women Lead Men in Entrepreneur Decisions

"There Are 8 Women Entrepreneurs for Every 10 Men Entrepreneurs in the U.S." That's a good ratio. What that means is that women are stepping up to the challenge of owning their own businesses in order to provide a better standard of living for themselves and their families. Entrepreneurs are the backbone of this country with a record 29 million adults making the decision in 2011 to start their own business. What that means is adults are not waiting on the economy to turn around; instead these Americans are taking life into their own hands and changing the course of their lives, on their own terms.

Many network marketers have and are attempting to discover these millions of people who are looking for legitimate business opportunities. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2011 states that "In the U.S. 29 million adults (12.3% of people aged 18-64) were starting or running new businesses in 2011. Of this 29 million, the majority fall within the 25-54 age range (e.g. approximately 10% of all adults in the 25-44 age range, and 8% in the 45-54 age range, were engaged in starting a business in 2011)."

However, understand that these people who are seeking to start their own businesses are serious, they are also intelligent information gathering people who know a scam when they see it. So, don't think you can take advantage of them by offering them a program that is all smoke and mirrors, that is, a program that will only give temporary, short-term incomes. No, these business minded entrepreneurs are looking for long-term business opportunities that they enjoy doing and will do well.

Below is a YouTube video on the 21 Golden Rules of Entrepreneurship. This video is beneficial to both the aspiring entrepreneur and the marketer seeking to engage them. Enjoy and remember to market ethically!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Two Children of Black Friday

Black Friday is a huge money day for retailers in the United States.  You can tell how much retailers rely on Black Friday sales just by looking at the amount of sales circulars that come with the Wednesday paper (the day before Thanksgiving.)  Retailers spend lots of money to get our attention for this Holy Grail of retail sales.  They rely on consumers getting caught up in the hype of Black Friday and spending money, even money we don't have.  This year I was not surprised that retailers have decided to invade a traditional family holiday with their offerings of retail sales: Thanksgiving day sales.

Target, Wal-Mart and Kmart all had Thanksgiving day sales beginning at 8pm for Kmart.  The deals were tempting, but I kept feeling bad for those employees who had to work on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  What about family, what about sitting at home with all your crazy relatives, love them or leave them, on Thanksgiving for these people?  

Sure, I know that many people are just happy to have a job after having experienced one of the worst recessions in history.  Yet, all money ain't good money.  Family and family values should still matter.  Business should never take over what is really important in life.  Maybe I'm just old fashioned because I value my family and the time I spend with them.  But from a business standpoint, does having Thanksgiving day sales (which you know will get bigger next year and continually grow) cause resentment among the employees who must work this holiday?

According to an article on the Harvard Business Review, employees don't like working on Thanksgiving.  "One group is definitely worse off: retail employees. Customers can pass on Gray Thursday, but employees are stuck. They often have to show up several hours before opening. And they don't like it! Casey St. Clair, a Target employee, was so upset that she set up a petition on to "save Thanksgiving" and go back to Friday morning opening. By midday today more than 370,000 people had signed it."

To what benefit is it to retail businesses to forgo employee happiness?  Apparently, the recession has made businesses more callous and less concerned about employee happiness or unhappiness.  The pool of eligible and available workers is plentiful, and if a group of employees decide they don't want to work on Thanksgiving, well, there are many who will.  

Of course, ethically, that doesn't make it right, but from a business standpoint, earnings are earnings, and nothing will get in the way of a good opportunity as the one that has emerged for retail sales on Thanksgiving.  Black Friday has birthed two children:  Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving Day sales days.  

From an ethical standpoint the HBR article further states:  "And when retailers make decisions such as opening stores on Thanksgiving, without even a clear benefit to the companies or their customers, retail employees are once again reminded of how little their companies care about their lives and well being. What difference does it make if a household with two working parents or a single-parent household hardly ever has time for a big family gathering? What difference does it make if a joyful family tradition has to be cut down to size? That's not a business matter. Is it any wonder that Walmart associates and community supporters were mad enough to protest about bad jobs in front of Walmart stores on Black Friday?"

I guess it's true that desperate times call for desperate measures, and the retail industry is desperate.  

What do you think?  Did you have to work Thanksgiving?  And if so, how did that make you feel?

Friday, November 23, 2012

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

How to Sell without Selling

Everyday in my line of work, I have an opportunity to sell something to people.  Perfect strangers allow me access to their homes, their lives and their personal space, yet I choose not to sell them anything.  However, I am one of the most successful reps in my market.  How is it that I am successful at persuading people to do something they have very little knowledge of, and not be a salesperson?

Because I work at being me.  It's The Power of Attitude 

Selling is hard work.  You have to memorize scripts, memorize and remember the right things to say at the right roads of objection.  When you're being yourself, it's so much easier to have a natural conversation with people.  They trust me more that way.  I get in the door 65% of the time, and my closing ratio is 54%.  Yet, I do not sell anything at any time to anyone.

When I leave a panel members' home, they feel like they can call me with any problem, and they do.  At all hours of the day or night, and that's okay.  I tell them I am always accessible, and I am.  See, the one thing I learned in this business is that people don't buy a product because it is the greatest thing since sliced bread; no they buy a product because they like the person presenting the product.  They trust that person, they can identify with that person.  Who you are is who you will be.  When I approach the door of a household, I let them know I'm not trying to sell them anything, only that they have an opportunity to participate in something that most people would love to do.  They are unique and special.  Then I let them know what it is that I have for them.

The majority of them are just as excited about participating once I tell them this, and they let me in their homes, offer me dinner, and some want me to come to church with them.

Being yourself is important when you're marketing a product or service.  It makes you less nervous or anxious.  

Share some of your tips for success below, do you work at being you, or do you sell a product?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy has Retailers Planning Online Sales

It's never too much, too late or too soon for retailers to take advantage of a situation and turn it into a revenue generating marketing tool.  Well, Hurricane Sandy or Frankenstorm as it has been called as well, has some retailers either catching flak for poor marketing taste, or other retailers making money off Hurricane Sandy.

Retailers were hoping shoppers who were hunkering down inside their homes would be online shopping, if not shopping, at least looking.  But, how do you shop when now your home has been destroyed, or you're homeless.  Now Christmas gift shopping isn't high on your agenda.  Having a place to stay for you and your family is now first priority.

American Apparel was on the hot seat the other day because of a Tweet they published: "American Apparel's Hurricane Sandy promotion, which read, "In case you're bored during the storm, 20% off everything for the next 36 hours - offer available: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virgina, Maryland, Rhode Island - Just Enter SANDYSALE at Checkout."   Of course, this is one of those marketing messages that will go into the hall of shame of advertising as bad timing, poor taste, and quite frankly should have been better thought out.

But, are we living in a world where successful online marketing belongs to the most outrageous, shocking, viral messages in order to make sales?  Have we become desensitized so that it doesn't matter what advertisers promote or how they promote it?

Let's hope not.  Hurricane Sandy is a terrible natural disaster that has left many dead, homeless and lives uprooted.  At this time, it is not known if online merchants will be impacted this holiday season due to the after effects of Hurricane Sandy.  I guess retailers will have to wait to see if consumers will forgo online holiday purchases in lieu of getting their lives back together.

What are your thoughts, do you feel that online retailers like American Apparel lacked class by posting that Tweet?  Let us know how you feel below.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rumor Has It: Facebook to Offer Classifieds?

There is a rumor floating around that Facebook will offer its own brand of classifieds.  You may say that Facebook already has Marketplace...well Marketplace was sold to Oodles and it hasn't lived up to the expectation of mass integration.  Marketplace is similar to throwing an ad against the wall and letting it live there to see if it sticks.  However, the almost one billion Facebook users didn't believe the hype, so Facebook may be looking to make their own Craigslist-style classified ads.

Craigslist might not like it, according to CNET, "Craigslist presumably won't be too happy if Facebook does head in its direction, though it's unclear how much it can do about it. The company has been fiercely protective of its own listings, and in July Craigslist sued PadMapper and the data harvester it uses, 3taps, for "unlawfully and unabashedly mass-harvesting and redistributing postings."   By contrast, Facebook is purportedly building an entirely new classified network.

This should be interesting, because the Facebook classifieds will be in the timeline/news feed of users.  Again it will be targeted, to geo-location, behavioral targeting, et al, to make the ads as relevant and transparent as possible.  So, if you're in St. Louis, Missouri, and there is an apartment for rent, you may see this classified ad in your timeline.  Those seeking to post classifieds will pay a fee if they are selling something, while those who are posting apartments for rent, for example will not.

But, right now Facebook won't confirm nor deny if they are developing such a product.  As usual, stay tuned to your Facebook page for further changes.  We all know Facebook changes so much that it's hard to keep up.  Facebook classifieds will probably be coming sooner than you can finish reading this post.

What are your thoughts?  Will you be happy to see a Craigslist-style classified ad product on Facebook?  Post your responses below.

Friday, October 26, 2012

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mobile Marketing = Right Now Marketing

Mobile Marketing is growing, but you may be struggling trying to find the right advertising programs that will result in overwhelming sales. Here's a Tip from Teasa: if you're in the entertainment niche, mobile marketing equals right now marketing which equals sales!

In an Online Media Report, "Digital purchases, excluding apps, such as movies, TV shows, music and ebooks are the most common types of consumer transactions on smartphones, with nearly half (47%) of users buying these goods."

So, if you're a recording artist, or an author, think how your product would be marketed on a smartphone or tablet. I see people all the time reading books, magazines using their tablets and smartphones. Tablets for reading have become the new newspaper or magazine in the workplace, with many cubicle sitters enjoying their favorite pastime in electronic form.

If you are going to use mobile marketing, the first thing you must do is market your product offline, like at events, book signings, flea markets, meet and greet, etc. in order to generate interest in your product. Take pictures with your fan base, sign autographs, sign your CD's, sign your books. In return, collect data, get permission to send them emails, direct mail, text messages, become their Facebook or Twitter friend so you can market to them. Then take all that data and use a system like Trumpia which will send out these types of messages for you automatically.

Trumpia offers multi-channel marketing for social media, email, SMS, text messaging, voice and chat all in one platform. They also are offering a free trial that you can access RIGHT HERE.

Make sure with your mobile marketing you include a direct method for purchasing your book or music product. Keep it simple, easy to use and fun to look at and consumers will reward you with multiple repeat purchases.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

How To Lose All Your Subscribers In One Week

Proven Opt OUT Techniques

We all know that there are techniques that have been proven effective in getting people to opt-in to mailing lists.

Successful email marketers practice these opt-in enhancing techniques daily.

Just as there are proven opt-in enhancement techniques there are an equal number of proven ways to encourage members of your list to opt-out and they are even more effective than the opt-in techniques.

Simply follow the opt-out techniques to insure the failure of your email marketing business:

1.Do not use the personalization feature that your autoresponder provides. The recipients of your marketing messages will delete them quickly.

2.Dont worry about the subject line of your marketing emails...just put anything....or maybe even nothing. This will guarantee that your emails will be unopened, unread and will never have a chance to be acted upon.

3. Dont check your spelling or your grammar. Thats just time wasted. They wont be reading them anyway...and if they do read one, you can rest assured, that they wont be reading the next one.

4.Dont bother with formatting. Just use a Word document and dont bother with using Note Pad.

The recipients who receive mail in plain text will get an email that they cant read and if you make your lines really long, they might have fun trying to figure out what the message was supposed to be about.

5.Be sure never to use complete website addresses. Just word-wrap your links. Its a lot easier.

Of course, those who receive messages in plain text wont be able to see the link at all...but thats okay.

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6.Send about ten marketing emails to every name on your opt-in list every single day. They are really going to love having their inboxes filled with marketing emails from you....NOT.

7. Be sure to use a lot of exclamation points and big blocks of all capital letters.

The recipients of your marketing emails will think that you are yelling at them...they will be looking for the opt-out button really fast.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How To Market Your MLM Product At Vendor Shows

I've been looking at working some vendor shows with my Network Marketing product and I did some research as to what works and what doesn't in terms of vendor show success. Here is a checklist for you to use if you're marketing an MLM or Network Marketing product at Vendor shows.

Checklist for showing your product or service at a vendor booth.

*Make sure you are in a high traffic area, like being near the food court or the bathroom. These are places people will go and lots of people will go there. You will be sitting in the catbird seat if you get this prime real estate.

*Do your math. What's your return on investment going to be? If the rental for the booth is $150.00 and your product sells for $39.99, yet you have to purchase banners and decorations to make your booth eye appealing and catchy, add all those figures up and divide the total by the cost of your product. That will tell you how much you need to sell in order to break even. Anything sold over that number is pure profit.

*Know your product, know your compensation plan, be personable and friendly. I tell MLM people all the time, if you can't explain your compensation plan, then that means you won't be able to explain it to others. And if you can't explain it to others, then they won't be able to explain it either. The key to MLM or Network Marketing success is duplication; be able to teach others what you know, or else you won't have sustainable income.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Sometimes concepts that work need to be reinforced. I thought I'd put this up.

The seven habits of highly effective people are:

1. They take initiative. (“Be Proactive”)

2. They focus on goals. (“Begin with the End in Mind”)

3. They set priorities. (“Put First Things First”)

4. They only win when others win. (“Think Win/Win”)

5. They communicate. (“Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood”)

6. They cooperate. (“Synergize”)

7. They reflect on and repair their deficiencies. (“Sharpen the Saw”)

Monday, August 13, 2012

How Often Should You Send Email Marketing Messages?

Marketing by Email: The Basics

Email marketing is one of the easiest of all methods to market on the least it is easy after an opt-in list is built up to a substantial number.

Getting an opt-in list built up to a substantial number is the hardest part and it is one that is never completed.

However, once an opt-in list is built, the basics of marketing by email are really rather simple. They can be made complicated but they certainly dont have to be.

1. Each marketing email should promote only one product, one service or one event such as a teleseminar or webinar.

You should never try to promote your entire inventory or every project that you are involved in to the same audience in the same email. Keep it simple.

2. Email marketing messages need to be very short. They should only be 300 to 400 words long. The main selling points of the product that is being promoted should be brought to the attention of the reader by the use of bullet points. These should all be simple sentences...not long paragraphs.

3. Email marketing messages do not need to come across like a used car salesman on TV. The use of all capitals is the written version of conversational shouting and it is just rude.

The use of multiple exclamation point is another form of shouting and they just cheapen the message.

4. Email marketing messages should not be sent too often. The recipients will become irritated and opt out of the list if their inboxes overflow with email marketing messages from the same sender.

5. Each recipient of a marketing email message should be addressed by their first name.

Autoresponders come with a personalization feature. This feature needs to be used on every marketing email that is sent.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Do Link Exchanges Really Work?

That's what many of you have asked, do Link Exchanges really work?

Making Use of Link Exchanges

There has been some criticism of link exchanges of late. There are those who say that link exchanges create two-way traffic and these folks are opposed to any technique that sends traffic away from a website.

Link exchanges do, in fact create two-way traffic. It is true that by posting a link to a website that sells products or services that are complimentary to the products and services that you sell, you will be sending traffic to another website.

The opposite, however, is also true. The website that you exchange links with will be sending traffic TO your website.

If the products and/or services that are offered by each partner in a link exchange are complimentary rather than competitive both parties can equally benefit from the exchange.

You wouldnt want to send a customers to a website that you were in direct competition with of course, but sending your customers to a website that sells products or services that they might also be interested in can be seen by your customers as a service.

Remember that when you do a link exchange you are implying to your customers that you are recommending the products or services being offered by your link exchange partner.

For this reason you need to be certain that the products and services that are being offered by your link exchange partner are worthy of your recommendation.

You wouldnt want to be responsible for your customers buying inferior products or services that you have implied are good. That could give you a proverbial black eye with your customers, as well as, your potential customers.

Websites that you choose as link exchange partners should have a PageRank that is at least equal to or better than your own PageRank.

It wont do you a lot of good to exchange links with a site that is listed on page 20 of search results.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Be Social Media Personal on Facebook and Twitter

Don’t forget to be human and social media personal on Facebook and Twitter.

People like the human side of social media marketing. Your tweets, your Facebook status updates will gain so much more traction if you give people the real side of you. Social media networking has so much clutter, that I believe people have forgotten they are talking to people on the other side of that computer screen. Remember, in social media, you are talking to people, not at them.

Whenever I post updates to my Facebook Fan Page TeasasTips, I notice the things that get the most shares are the experiences I share that I have had. People don’t want to read textbook crap, they can get that anywhere. Your fans/followers want to know what have you done with that textbook crap and how did it work for you. Simple as that. People respond to me, not the marketer, but to me, the person. Whenever I post jokes, scripture or some of my photos, people believe they are getting to know me, so my response and engagement level is higher than if I just post cold marketing advice.

The same thing goes for your personal Facebook page. Want to get a lot of shares and comments? Put personal stuff on there, like funny pictures or jokes, funny stories about yourself. Those are the things that people connect with. So the next time you’re on Facebook or Twitter or any other social networks, remember that you are talking to people, and if you can talk to people, you can get all the things you need.

Friday, August 10, 2012

{INFOGRAPHIC} Marketing Report: How Americans Spend Their Money

This piece of data/infographic is helpful to online marketers. Why? Because it shows where consumers spend their money online when they choose to shop there. If you are a marketer with an online business, for instance you own or make jewelry, you'll be happy and pleased to know that consumers spend a huge amount of money online on watches.

"The top five online retail categories are: jewelry and watches, consumer electronics, event tickets, computer hardware and books and magazines."

An astonishing 42% of purchases were made online. Is your business one of those benefiting from that statistic? Take a look at this graphic below and start figuring out where to target your advertising messages. Note: Spending is always higher during the holiday season, with many companies only reaching their yearly profits during this time.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Open My Emails Please!

Open Rates and Email Marketing

Funny thing about emails...if they arent opened, they arent read and if they arent read they wont be acted upon.

They become the equivalent of a piece of snail mail that is delivered to your home and tossed into the trash can without being opened or sales papers that arent even unfolded before being tossed out. Unopened emails are useless.

Open rate is probably the single most important piece of information that your autoresponder provider can give you and certainly the one you need to pay the most attention to.

If your open rate is low, you need to find ways to improve it. If you have a good open rate, you need to find ways to make it better. Anything less than a 100% open rate can stand some improvement.

Improvements in the open rate will translate directly into improvements in link clicks and link clicks will lead directly to more sales.

The first and most important step is to get the recipients of your marketing emails to open them rather than just automatically hitting the delete button.

They did opt-in so you must have done something right in the beginning or you wouldnt have permission to email them in the first place.

Your subject line needs to capture the recipients attention. There needs to be enough of a tease in the subject line to get them to at least open the email.

Dont let anybody tell you that free isnt a good word to use in a subject line...everybody loves free. Secret is another good word to use in a subject line.

Being nosy is a human trait that email marketers can use to get the recipients of their marketing emails to open them.

Try using the recipients name in the subject line of your marketing email.

When people think a message is meant for them personally, they are more apt to open the message and read it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How to Increase Your Email Opt-In Rates

Opt-In Box Necessities

Ah! The opt-in box! It just sits there on a website waiting for a potential customer to type in their names and email addresses.

When names and email addresses are typed in, that means that they are added to an opt-in list and that they have given an email marketer permission to send marketing emails to their in-boxes.

The opt-in box is the direct connection to the inbox! Its a beautiful system that works very well....most of the time.

Problems can arise when email marketers forget to include the necessities in those opt-in boxes or when they include more than what is necessary. Too much is just as bad as not enough.

The necessary information that an email marketers requires from a customer or a potential customer is ONLY their first name and their email address. If more information is asked for, fewer people will complete the opt-in form.

If you ask for a first and a last name or for a mailing address or a telephone number, the person who is filling in the blanks on an opt-in form will start thinking identity theft or SPAM or middle of the night phone calls and they will surf away as fast as they can. ONLY ask for first names and email more.

The person who is filling in the blanks on an opt-in form wants to be assured that their email address isnt going to be given to anybody who wants it or sold at any price. A privacy statement is an absolute necessity on an opt-in form.

The privacy statement can be a very simple statement and can, also, contain a link to a longer version of your privacy statement.

Whether there is a link or not, there should always be a clear statement that assures a person that you will not share their information with anybody else.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What I know....

While you can’t hurry trust or manipulate a
business relationship into a specific time frame, you’ll
find it’s worthwhile to invest time in the relationship forming
process by asking the right questions about the
customer’s past and present—and, equally important,
being patient and listening to their answers.

Monday, August 6, 2012

What's a good way to feed your RSS feed?

Post to Blogs and Forums to Build Opt-In lists

List building is maybe the most vital part of email marketing. You must have an opt-in list and building a list is far superior to buying a list.

In order to build an impressively long opt-in list, you first must find the people who are the best prospects to be members of your list.

Fortunately, you can find many of them gathered together on blog and forum sites that have topics related to the products or services that you sell.

They gather on blog and forum sites to discuss mutual goals or mutual problems that your product or services can help with.

A word of caution: posting to blogs and forums is a time consuming task so you need to restrain yourself a little bit when deciding which of these blog and forum sites to join and participate in.

Remember that for each site that you join, you are going to need to make posts of 300 or more words 3 to 5 times each and every week.

That is a task that requires at least 1 hour per day per forum or blog. If you join 4 blogs, it will be safe to assume that you are going to spend about 4 hours a day for 3 to 5 days each week.

While posting to blogs and forums is a high-cost advertising technique in terms of time, it costs absolutely nothing in dollars. You will be speaking directly to your very best prospects.

You must never join a blog or forum and immediately start advertising. This will get you tossed out on your ear.

You use a signature tag that includes a link to your website and then you treat the other members like new neighbors that you want to get to know.

Personalize your emails for best open rates

Personalization Works

Let me ask you a question. When snail mail arrives at your home or your place of business and it is addressed to resident, what do you do with it?

I thought so...I do the same thing. It is either tossed in the round file or it starts a meaningful relationship with the shredder.

There is one more question. If the mail is addressed to you but when you open it, it greets you as, Dear Friend what do you do with it? Me, too. It meets the same fate.

If you think about it, you apply those same principles to your email that you apply to your snail mail. You classify mail that does not address you by name as junk and hit the delete button.

You arent the only one who does that. Everybody mostly uses those same criteria and they apply them to the marketing emails that YOU send, as well.

Your autoresponder came with a personalization feature. You need to learn to use it and you need to use it with every email that you send out whether it is a welcoming, thank-you, or marketing message.

Some autoresponders include a feature that allows you to put the first name of the recipient into the subject line of outgoing messages, as well.

Learn to use that feature. You wont want to use it every time but there will be times when it can be very helpful.

Personalizing your email messages will keep them from being deleted before they are opened and read. If the recipients dont open them and read them, they cannot possibly act on them.

Personalize your outgoing marketing emails in order to increase your open rate, as well as, your link click rate and your bottom line. Nobody wants to be completely anonymous.

I recommend SendStream, (30 Day Free Trial), Aweber or Vertical Response (Build Stronger Customer Relationships with Email Marketing. Free Trial!), for all your email marketing solutions. Check them out, certainly one of them has a great offer going on this month!

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

How Much Power Does A Facebook Like Have?

How much value does a Facebook Like have? I posted this comment on Facebook the other day regarding the influence a social media Facebook Like has---or basically, what is the financial value of a 'Like' as quoted by Heather Whaling, president of Geben Communications: Having a lot of 'likes' will not pay your rent or your mortgage. The bank doesn't accept 'likes' as collateral." Sooner you get familiar with the new Facebook page design, the bigger competitive advantage you can gain.

One of my Facebook friends took offense to the quote by saying "Likes have value." Yes they do have value, but how many marketers can substantively say that Facebook is generating an income sufficient enough to quit their day jobs, and work full time from home making an income off the social media network? Not many, there is only one Mark Zuckerberg. However, there are many webinars, whitepapers and special reports that can help assist marketers in how to make a Facebook Fan Page engaging and relevant enough that it generates leads which can lead to an outbound lead program that will create prospects from those leads. But, the key is, how many marketers are actually attending those professionally hosted webinars getting free and invaluable information so that they can learn how to do this? I can guarantee you that it is only a small percentage of the ones on Facebook. Social media tremendously expanded the potential of inbound marketing so HootSuite & HubSpot have paired to talk about the science of inbound marketing.

One way to do this is by integrating social media marketing with email marketing. Did you know that "without proper practices in place your social integration efforts may not be as profitable as they could be?" Yet, many marketers shoot blindly at a target of 900 million users (the amount of people who have Facebook accounts) hoping to get the attention of a few, then will hound them to death to make one or two sales. Why not, take the time, a week, a month, as long as it takes, get the best practices in place to do it right, and make a lifetime income? Facebook Likes do have power, they are very valuable, that's why NBC Olympics has a Facebook page with 159,494 likes -- you can bet most of these people, if not all of them will be watching the Olympics and using Facebook to comment about their likes, dislikes with the programming as well as their most memorable moment right on Facebook. Those Likes have a financial value tied to them because those people will be watching the Olympics, thus watching the commercials intertwined within the Olympics and making purchases of some of those advertised products (which when this occurs, advertisers make money and NBC can continue to charge for those ads.) This is a tangible metric that comes from social media marketing and the power of a Facebook Like. But, NBC did not just throw up a Fan Page and hope for people to Like it, they developed a marketing plan that had a beginning a middle and an ending, just like any book you might read.

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The power of a Facebook Like lies in the behind the scenes planning of that Like. As a marketing professional, you want to work your marketing plan in reverse order, that is, know what it is you want your social media marketing campaign to accomplish, then figure out how to accomplish this goal, then learn which segment of your target market you will be focusing on. If you don't know who this is, or how to discover market segmentation, contact me for a private social media marketing consultation. However, if you choose to just throw marketing messages up on the wall hoping something sticks, then go right ahead. As my grandfather used to say, "keep throwing at the wind, one day you might hit something." The only problem with that theory is you can't pay your bills on hope.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

How To Get Mobile Opt-Ins From Your Customers

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Mobile marketing is not only mobile smartphones, but it also includes tablets, e-readers and iPad devices. When you think mobile, think about all of these gadgets, because the owners of them will be connecting with you.

According to marketing agency Merkle, 63% of mobile consumers check their email on their mobile devices an average of one to four times per day. That's huge! Another survey done by ClickZ found that people are not casual phone readers. About 70% read emails, 18% skim their emails and the rest just glance and delete them. But, here's a statistic you never want to forget, many individuals report their mobile phone is within reach 24 hours a day. With that in mind, here are tips on how to get mobile opt-ins from your customers.

First, you will want to build trust with your brand. If you build trust between your brand and your customers, they will trust you with their time and most importantly access to them, and will opt-in to your offer.

Create engagement by offering loyalty programs, new product alerts and shipping details or confirmations to your customers. When a customer opts-in for mobile, think of it independently of email opt-ins. They are similar but the trust level is different. When a customer shares their mobile telephone number with you, you are closer to their lives, and the proximity between business and customer is reduced. So make sure you communicate with your mobile customers at the right time (the time when they are most likely to read their SMS messages), delivering the right message all the time. You may need to run split tests to find out when is the best time to send your marketing messages to your opt-in customers.

Make it easy for consumers to type in a mobile number or click a check box in order for customers to set preferences. Remember, your customer is using a mobile device and is not on a computer, so it may not be so easy to do these tasks.

Provide an in-store or on property offer that creates interactive engagement. QR codes are not dead! A QR code your customer can scan that gives additional loyalty points or freebies and coupons. Coupons and discounts come alive on mobile devices because you can even embed a scannable barcode in coupon emails so your customer can easily redeem the coupon by showing it at an offline venue. A merchant processing company can assist you with this if you have one. If not, contact me, I will help you get a loyalty program started for your business.

Easily create social media interaction by adding an incentive for liking a Facebook Fan Page, Following a Twitter account, or Pinning a Pin on Pinterest. These activities could be combined with mobile alerts sent to customers on a random basis.

These are just a few ways to gain mobile opt-ins from your customers. Mark Wittier, vice president of account services for Seattle-based direct marketing agency The Hacker Group states, "Mobile isn't a tactic, it's how consumers are choosing to consume information." You should make sure that when consumers choose your brand (opt-in) your offers are valuable and benefit them, otherwise, your mobile marketing campaign will die a fast death.

What are some of the strategies you use to get mobile opt-ins from your customers? We'd love to hear about them, reply below.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Are You Successful Because of God, or Is It You?

I just read this article published by Marketo, titled: "The God Complex and the Importance of Trial and Error," written by Jason Miller, it discussed a scenario where a company which wants to make detergent discovers how using a process of trial and error. The gist of the article summizes to create the theory which states do successful people have a God complex in which they refuse to believe, no matter the situation, that their way of thinking, their ideas are wrong regardless of the "complexity of the situation."

Let me tell you why that article sticks out to me. I have been marketing successfully and unsuccessfully at times on the internet since 2001. I've had my super successful times as well as times when I've just plain walked away from projects. There was a period where internet marketing programs paid my bills for three years and financed lavish vacations to the Caribbean and other wonderful places many people dream of going. But, then like an automobile factory that needs retooling to prepare for a new product design and new year, I reinvented myself to study email marketing, mobile and social media marketing. And in the interim, my income suffered, I had to go back into Corporate America and take a 'job,' but still polish my craft while doing so.

Still, I don't quit, I refuse to believe naysayers in my life, or those that give me quizzical looks when I speak so passionately about internet marketing and the joys I receive in living in my gift. It's as if I am in a world, a bubble world and I'm shouting loudly, yet the whole world passes me by, missing out on the greatest free information they will ever receive. Information that could change their lives tomorrow if only they would believe. I guess that's how God feels too, we pass by His word and Him freely, never once considering that if we only took the time to believe, gave Him a chance into our lives that it would be the greatest free information we will ever obtain if only we would believe. Hmmm, I'm starting to make a connection here between successful people and God.

I don't believe there is a God complex in successful people or their behavior, only if that God complex means having a belief in what God may have revealed to them by planting the seeds of an unbelievable idea in their minds (which is what God does.) I believe that business, successful business ideas are borne from those who believe wholeheartedly in that thing they believe in, so much that they refuse to give up despite the odds. Not all successful business people believe in God, I just happen to be one who does. I also know that you don't give up on a dream, no matter how bleak it looks, how depressing failure can appear, you never give up. Because the day you give up, is the day it all ends and you go back to doing that same thing you were trying to get away from--a JOB (just over broke.)

My recommendation to you is, if you have a light (a dream or idea) inside you, whether that light is flickering or a full flame, don't let it die out. Give your idea, your dream life, and room to grow. Sometimes you may hit a brick wall and that's only because the way you decided to get it accomplished was the wrong way, like getting lost when driving, sometimes we turn down the wrong road only to retrace our route and go back the way we came to get back on the right road. All I'm saying is sometimes, we have to get lost in order to find our way. Success is just that way. A great man once said, "if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it."

No matter what, God complex, or a belief in yourself, don't give up on your dream. It is who you are, it is what you were made to do.

Do you have a God complex?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

How To Create Mobile Marketing Campaigns That Convert

“A consumer who is viewing or using mobile advertising channels is more advanced in their usage of mobile services than a member of the general population.” If you're using or thinking about using mobile marketing, the one thing you should know is your customer and target audience is very skilled at using their device. They know how to open an email message on their smartphone or tablet, they also know how to use texting, video other mobile applications. So, with this understanding, you should have a base point of how to speak to your audience. Right there is a clue on the types of products and services you may be able to offer to your mobile market.

Keep your messages simple, because the easier it is for your audience to access your basket of goodies, the more engagement you'll get. The mobile market audience is increasing, according to Advertising Age, “Who’s making a mark in mobile? Content players,” February 4, 2008, "the number of Americans who watched mobile video grew 60% between January and November [2007]. This demonstrates the headway that advanced mobile technology adoption is making in the United States today. Mobile phone subscriptions in the United States have increased from 195 million in 2005 to 243 million in 2007." Check out the video below from mobile marketing vendor Cash Texts:

Cash Texts is a solid company who has their finger on the pulse of the mobile audience. They understand that conversion rates for businesses selling mobile products are higher than for businesses offering non-mobile products. With that being said, conversion rates for advertisers offering mobile products averaged 65% higher than the rates achieved by advertisers offering non-mobile products.

College students are among the early adopters that are making mobile their choice. This is the perfect target audience because college students are always on their cell phones! They use tablets and iPads all the time, so therefore, marketing to this audience would be a stroke of genius. Take a look at the graphic below, these verticals have been identified as having a very high conversion rate (60% and higher).

Make your mobile campaigns convert by encouraging engagement with your audience. One way to do this is to create a dialogue with your customer that goes beyond the initial impression. Mobile campaigns that convert are more effective than general banner placement campaigns. Offer discount coupon codes that are redeemable over the phone, online or in your store. These are successful audience engagement techniques and can increase your sales by 25%. The graphic below shows how you should engage your audience using mobile marketing.

Here are some final tips on creating mobile marketing campaigns that convert:

1. Analyze your audience

2. Tailor your campaigns to the technology

3. Increase your marketing when the level of customer engagement increases

4. Keep your messages simple (br>
These should be great take-a-aways for you to get started with a successful mobile marketing campaign that converts.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

5iphon Hardcore Extreme List Builder: Why You Need It

Have you ever noticed that people love to share information with others? Knowing something that somebody else needs to know makes a person feel better about themselves. It gives them self-confidence. They think it makes the person that they share information with think that they are smart and in the know. Listen to any conversation between neighbors and you will hear them exchanging information about who is the best plumber in town or where the best beauty shop or barber shop is located. Its human nature and a human trait that savvy email marketers can take full advantage of. That's wehre 5iphon Hardcore Extreme List Builder comes in.

Entice, encourage, and persuade the members of your opt-in list to share your marketing emails or your newsletters with their friends, families and co-workers. There are some fairly simple ways to do this.

1.In your newsletter include a coupon for dollars off on an upcoming product and tell your list that they you will honor the coupon when it is presented by them, as well as, by anybody that they share it with.

2.Include a free gift that the members of your list can share with their friends, families and co-workers. Be certain that the gift can only be downloaded from your website.

3.Send your list a quiz that is in some way related to the topic they are most interested in. Encourage them to share the quiz with others and post the answers to the quiz on your website.

Each time someone visits your website you have the opportunity to encourage them to opt-in to your list.

Each time one person opts into your list, you then have an opportunity to get everyone that they know to opt into your list if you can encourage them to share information...and they love to share information.

How do you grow your list? If you're not using these techniques, you're literally leaving money on the table. 5iphon Hardcore Extreme List Builder is free, check it out below, just enter your email address and get the tools you need to make money online. Because remember, the money is in the list!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

What's Your Social Currency Worth?

What's your social currency worth?

Your social currency is the value of your social networking influence. That is, how many of your friends trust you? And how deep is that trust within your friends' networks?

I've been doing some lurking on the various social networks lately, and noticing that I average about 2000 friends or followers on the most popular social networks. My Klout score is 56, and Pinterest members love my photos and repin them often.

But what does that mean?

How many of those social networking 'friends' actually trust me enough to buy from me if I promote something? How many of them will reach out to me if they need me to photograph their event (I also do event photography--family reunions, school reunions, parties, etc.)? Your social currency is the depth of influence your words, your status updates reach into your friends, your friends'-friends' networks.

Case in point, my sister in law Cathy, has a cooking business. She caters meals to local schools and sells lunches to hungry workers who have a taste for fine, healthy foods. She charges $5 per meal and does really well. I know because whenever she posts a picture of the meals for sale on any particular day, because I am subscribed to her updates, my smartphone blows up! My battery dies quickly from all the responses and orders she gets from hungry Facebook members. Even people who don't live in the St. Louis, Missouri area respond and ask things like can you "FedEx my order?" The responders are not just her friends, they are my friends, friends of friends of other friends. Cathy has a high social currency, her value is great.

That's because she has responded to a need, that is to eat, at a low price ($5) and she has great pictures to showcase her work. Now, Facebook helps her too, because each time someone posts something, whether it is a compliment on the food itself or the fact that a particular friend wishes they could get to St. Louis to enjoy the food, it is shared on that persons' page and all their friends see it too.

How far do your status updates reach?

My sister in law Cathy is a textbook example that social networking works, and she is using it the way it was intended to be used.

Let's go over the steps again:

1. She creates an affordable product 2. She stimulates emotion and desire by posting clear, engaging photos 3. She makes it accessible and easy to obtain

Notice any common denominators here? Ease of use, easy to get to, good to look at, appeal to emotion--the natural desire to eat, and networking.

Yes, good old fashioned networking still lives on Facebook and in social media networking.

If you want to take a look at what my sister does, click here for a look at the photos she posts on my page (by the way, she doesn't even have a Fan Page!)

Sometimes you can look far and wide and still not find your niche, then if you look in your backyard (or in the case of my sister in law, the kitchen), you can find a gold mine. What are you doing to increase your social currency and how much is it worth?

What do Free Reports, Whitepapers Have to do with Email Marketing?

Free Reports, Whitepapers and Email Marketing

As you've probably noticed I give away free reports each time you come to my blog. Partly because I want you to subscribe, but mainly because these reports are smart, relevant documents. If you read them sometime, you might just learn something. But, everywhere you go, every blog you visit, someone is giving something away, some kind of ebook that will help you become a better marketer, or a free report that will show you how to make $10,000 in one hour.

Well, I don't have those kind of pie in the sky offers, I'm more realistic than that. I have made lots of money online, never $10,000 in one hour, but I have made $6k -$7K in one month for over three years (2008-2011) using CPA marketing. It is not unrealistic, it can be done, if you understand the needs of people. Giving people what they want, when they want it is a trick that most marketers have not learned. Usually internet marketers remind most people of the used car salesman with greasy hair and a cheap suit, and quite frankly, people don't buy from that guy, and they won't buy from you either if you're that kind of marketer.

It's important to understand who your reader is, what they want, what they're looking for, and give it to them. My thinking is, two car salesman will not make any money if they are only trying to sell cars to one another. There are so many legitimate ways to make an income online, that it is not necessary to fall for scams and schemes. Blogging is one of the first ways to make money online just by including Google Adsense or other affiliate offers within the real estate of the blog and relying on traffic to earn an income for you.

However, most people won't click on an ad unless they find that ad of value or benefit to them. Remember, buying is an emotional action, and even though you're online advertising, people still respond to something that looks like them, acts like them, something they can relate to. That's why when you offer eboooks, free reports or whitepapers to people make sure you are giving the right audience the right product at the right time. Even so much as understanding the buying phase that reader is in, because let's face it, we're all consumers and we all make purchases everyday. The trick is understanding where that customer is in their 'buying cycle.'

I offer whitepapers and free reports from RevResponse. Why? Because they keep me from having to create an ftp product for download, and because these papers are well written by professionals like HubSpot, InfusionSoft, and other major companies. These companies are reputable, creditable and have enormous insight into internet marketing. I read and download many of them because it gives me a different perspective on online marketing as well as how I should do things. Basically, these whitepapers teach me how to market on the internet. I learned email marketing by reading what the major email clients like SendStream, Vertical Response and Aweber do to attract large clients. And you should too. So, the next time you visit my site, sign up for a free download and get a report or whitepaper. The first thing we must do is learn how to market on the internet and from what I've seen most internet marketers don't have a clue what they're doing. Many are just signing up for affiliate programs, and posting links on social media sites hoping for a sale. That's not marketing. Instead, that is like standing on a corner shouting at traffic as it goes by hoping someone will stop and listen to what you have to say.

So grab a free report or whitepaper, and don't be afraid to know what you don't know. You'll become more successful that way.