An Email Marketing Horror Story to Learn From

Email marketing storyOnce upon a time, there was a business owner who couldn’t figure out why his email marketing campaigns were not performing like he thought they should. He thought he did everything right, from writing the email to sending it out through his fancy email provider.

Yes, to him, it was perfect, but unknown to the business owner, there was an underlying darkness that was the cause of his ill performing email campaigns. It stayed in the shadows, lurking and sabotaging the business owner’s efforts.

The name of this vile and disturbing entity was poor planning.

AHHHHHHH!!

Don’t sound evil to you? Oh, but it is, my friend.

Without proper planning, anything can fall flat and fail. Especially someone who doesn’t know enough or thinks they know enough about the subject at hand.

For instance, if you fail to plan your content marketing efforts and instead, just write out everything and hope it works, well, that could cost you time, resources, funds and yes, possible clients.

Now doesn’t poor planning sound more EVIL than you thought?

So, how could the poor business owner not fail prey to the evil of poor planning? Simple, he should have created a solid email marketing plan and got some help putting it all together.

Mistakes and How to Over Come Them

You see, first, he just wrote emails talking about how great his product is and how the reader should buy it.

Now, if he had planned out the message, he would know not every reader would buy or even click on your emails right away. They take nurturing and a reason to trust you. Not to mention, you have to convince them your product will solve a problem they have.

I mean, think about it, if you have a product that doesn’t help me, why should I buy it? Today, buyers are more skeptical and very rarely buy with a bunch of hype and sales pressure.

Another reason the business owner failed was he kept sending the same message, over and over again. This makes the evil entity happy, indeed.

Instead, the business owner should have planned out a series of emails that connected with the reader and used different topics to put the reader at ease; not hard sell to them, over and over again.

Try special reports, tips and resources that specify on the problem and how your product will fix it. It’s selling, without selling.

When the business owner sent out his email, he didn’t really think about the subject line. Instead, he said sale and something cheesy, which he thought would motivate readers to open his email. This had the opposite impact and might have caused his email to go into their spam boxes.

Here is where he should have consulted with an experienced email copywriter and had them write his emails, with the right message for each. Sure, professional copywriters cost, but they make it all worth it.

The Moral of the Story

What did the business owner learn? He learned poor planning could cause your marketing efforts to fail and sometimes, cost more than what you thought it would. For him, it cost him valuable time, possible revenues and much more.

Now, this is just the tip of iceberg, as far as what you should do when planning out an email marketing campaign, but it’s where many business owners fail and then, wonder why no one buys their products. Instead, to avoid the dark, evil of poor planning, step back, and take time to plan and you will be well rewarded.

Do you lay awake at night dreading the evil called poor planning? Or, do you take the extra time to plan things out; avoiding the throw it and see if it sticks method?

How Nothing Helps Your Content Marketing

content marketing calendarI want to share something I thought of the other day about coming up with content ideas.

Why did I think about this? I got this question from a email subscriber:

“George, I’m at a loss for coming up with new ideas for content. How do you come up with ideas?”

That’s a good question, my friend.

Here’s one thing that came to me right away.

Ever watch the show Seinfeld? You know, the show about nothing?

Did you know something about nothing can help you create a lot more content? When someone asks me about coming up with ideas, this one really sticks out for me.

Nothing? George, have you lost it?

Stay with me, my friend.

You see, it’s hard to just sit around thinking about what to write about. Instead, just like Seinfeld, I let the flow of nothing take me to many content ideas.

In the show, they always come up with some story about how they went to the movies or the bookstore or something that just happened to them during that day.

This is a great idea when you’re looking for content marketing ideas.

You see, when I take an event, say going out to eat or a movie, I see and relate that to creating content that relates to my market’s pain points, it helps me sell my products and services.

It also helps me relate to my audience and how everyday things can give you ways to benefit your own business.

So, when you start banging your head about what to write about, step back and think about writing “nothing” and see where that takes you.

Remember, it’s about nothing and nothing is a good thing! :)

If you’re in search of a way to organize your nothing and something ideas for content marketing, go download my free editorial calendar template here:

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Content Marketing Tales: Stay Away from Blood Sucking Clients

This past Friday was Halloween and it got me thinking about all the ghouls and other baddies lurking around.

Not only in a trick or treat scenario, but also those in business, too.

What do I mean?

Let me spin ye a tale of a scary client and how I put a stake in him.

Once upon a time, I received a prospect email. He asked me to talk to him about some email marketing and content marketing services. Nothing out of the ordinary and the pay was quite good.

The problem was this: the client, was, well, a potentially blood sucking parasite that didn’t “get” it.

Usually, I stay away from prospects that set off my early warning alarms, but this one got through somehow.

At first, they kept in line and didn’t show signs of any “undead” type activity.

That was until one email conversation. They said they wanted “x” emails written by the next week. But, it was Friday at 4pm and I was already full and other work was already scheduled and this new request would be out of scope.

When I replied and explained why it wasn’t feasible, his response brought out a different face of my client – one of fangs and aggression.

He starting demanding and even though I said no, but instead, offered a compromise, he stayed this way from then on, throughout our business relationship.

He would demand more and more of my time, while making me neglect more of my other clients. It was stupid and I knew it, but he was paying much more than most.

I finally had enough and made the decision to put a stake in this undead, blood sucking client.

I told him no more. He didn’t like it, tried to sink his fangs more into me, but, I drove that stake further into his chest.

What’s the message behind this story?

Look at what blood sucking clients take from you; not just how much they pay. If you’re spending more time on them and that time and frustration outweighs what they pay, it’s time to reevaluate your relationship.

If you have to, just like I did, put a stake in them. After all, you will get other paying clients, but not all will suck away all your precious time and mental capacity.

Just my two cents, my friend.

If you have one or more blood sucking clients and don’t know how to start, now is a good time to break free by scheduling a marketing talk session:

Put a Stake in Your Blood Sucking Client

4 Lead Nurturing Tips for Increased Revenues

Lead nurturing into your sale funnelAll prospects are not created equal. Not all want to buy right away and move into the qualified status. For these lead types, lead nurturing campaigns give prospects and marketers what they’re looking for – more conversations and higher probability of buying relevant products or services.

If you’re living in the day of interruption marketing to put more prospects into the sales cycle, you’re going down the wrong path. Today, you have more savvy buyers and most don’t want your interruption marketing speak. They want information and lots of it, in most cases. Then, when they are ready to buy, if you’ve stayed in touch, you will get the call.

That’s where lead nurturing comes into play. Staying in touch, while staying the mind of your prospect ensures they call you when they want to buy.

To understand what are some ways to stay in touch with prospects, consider these lead nurturing program options:

4 Ways to Boost Your Lead Nurturing

1) Business blogging – Yes, email and newsletters are one of the most effective ways to spread content for lead nurturing, but business blogging is just as good and sometimes better at nurturing leads. With a blog, you can:

  • Get plenty of search traffic and convert that traffic into leads
  • Share quality content via social and point followers to the blog
  • Publishing content more often and sometimes with less effort

2) Answer offer content through email – If you fulfill requests for content, email is a perfect option to deliver, quickly. That way, you can see things, such as links to white papers, to prospects faster in email.

3) Use goals – For any effective lead nurturing program, you need to create goals first. Without these goals, you’ll see a lack of results and as a result, have no business benefit from your efforts. Want some examples of goals? Try these:

  • Convert software demo downloaders into paying customers
  • Keep in touch with prospects and ensure they call you when they’re ready to buy

4) Test everything – Since you repeat many things in a lead nurturing program, testing is key to learn what works and what doesn’t. Ensure you’re getting your efforts worth, look at these areas to test:

  • Headlines and subject lines in emails
  • Offer variations
  • You copy length, in every communication

Lead nurturing programs are meant to convert prospects that are not ready to buy. By using different platforms and tactics other than just emailing, you will ensure you get more conversions from your lead nurturing efforts.

For a sure way to use business blogging to stay in touch with prospects, consider organizing your content with a editorial calendar.

Download your content editorial calendar now

Lead Generation: Think Differently For More Leads

Lead generationAre your lead generation efforts lacking? Are you not sure why you don’t get as many leads as you should?

You might be doing the same things again and over again. If these strategies don’t pan out, you need change your views and try something different.

For example, are you not getting the sales and clicks from your email marketing or your on page time for your blog posts are low, change things up. This means thinking differently about your marketing and finding different ways to generate more leads and convert them into sales.

Try some direct mail – In today’s online world, not too many marketers use or even think about direct mail. It’s usually a multitude of online areas, but using this avenue can bring big results. Since email and other online messaging can get caught in a busy decision maker’s spam box, direct mail has a more direct approach – offline. In fact, many B2B marketers still use direct mail as a main lead generation source for their business.

Don’t forget calls to action – Many marketers organize their blogging well; send out emails and occasionally use landing page, but don’t include a call-to-action in their messaging. Sure, some might, but it could be a weak one or they may use passive words for lead generation.

Instead, use active messaging words and tell them what they should do. Get them to do it and you’ll see more conversions from all your marketing efforts.

Use social media – Social media isn’t just about selfies and hashtags, you can really boost your lead generation efforts with the right social strategy. Sure, it may take more time than other marketing tactics, but the payoff can be huge. Not to mention, social can help with brand awareness and other important marketing objectives.

A few ways to use social media for lead generation could include:

  • • Link to landing pages
  • • Use social media WITH your marketing – not in place of it
  • • Put calls to action in your social profiles
  • • Focus only on where your audience is; don’t get on every social network out there

Offer your audience incentives – Another great way to improve your lead generation and conversions are offer up some incentives. Many look for the deal and their motivation peaks with something that saves them money. To make this work, try different types, including time sensitive offers to instill a sense of urgency to act.

Boost Your Lead Generation Efforts

Generating leads from your marketing efforts don’t always need to come from the same ideas. Mix things up and try some old or new or different options to boost lead generation and your bottom-line.

If you’re looking for a primer for generating more leads and closing more sales, grab your free lead generation with content marketing checklist:

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