Email Auto Responders – A Quick Tutorial

I am a fan of email auto responders that send a pre-determined email reply out from your address.  They can be very helpful for new business development as an information tool for prospective customers.

As ever, there are good and bad examples of automatic emails.  Here are four examples we have received recently that can show you the best and worst examples.  Most are from marketing and sales agencies / organisations and so the bad examples make me cry with shame….. there’s so much to improve.

Let’s get to work.

Example 1 – Failure Message

We got this after trying to email J Walter Thompson in Houston, TX.  Their website didn’t list the office contacts so we used a directory called MacRae’s Blue Book.   This is what came back from our email:

Directory Listings fail message

A request for contact that failed.

  • Check and update all the free listings services that have your company and office.
  • Create a unique email address so you can track effectiveness e.g. macraes@jwt.com would have worked here.
  • Contact yourself through them as a mystery shopping exercise at least once a year, preferably 6 monthly
  • Where do email enquiries go?  Which phone number do they list and who answers it?

Email effectiveness 4/10

Example 2 -Zero Information

Membership organisation NYAMA (New York American Marketing Association) whose membership-based services are surely the profit engine for the organisation.  But hey, send them a membership enquiry on their auto form and one week later [hardly an automatic response] this comes in:

Thank you for submitting this form

  • “Thank you for submitting this form.”  Great – send me what I already know I sent you
  • What happens next?  No mention of next steps towards becoming a member
  • Timeliness – this reply came back 5 days after we completed the online form
  • Nothing happened

Email effectiveness 2/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Example 3 – Inbound Emails

When you send an enquiry in to a company’s ‘general’ email whether by form on the website or direct, what happens to that email?

Everyone knows that spammers and malcontents will be using it too – so what reassurance can you give people that their message has got through?

Great information auto-response

  • This one came from a retail marketing agency fronted by a TV celebrity.
  • They have good information about what to expect from the agency, the celebrity and where to get more information free / cheap and also training
  • But the email came from one general email address – they need to split the contact so people interested in the celebrity and people interested in the agency are directed to different places.
  • We wrote back to confirm our interest in the agency and received the same auto-response again.  Irritating.

Example 4 – the perfect first reply

And finally, a look at a nice, short friendly reponse from a media agency.

Perfect auto response email

  • The message gives a real person’s name as a point of contact
  • Sets clear expectations about what the agency will do next
  • Sounds genuinely friendly

Copy this one.

Autoresponders are a good tool to kick off your online marketing.

 
Simple. How many emails do you write daily? How many blog posts? You only have to write an autoresponder once. It will then go to as many new recipients as activate the trigger. Forever. It will always go out in the same time format that you set up at the start. It’s easy. You don’t have to think about it. And all the while it keeps up a relationship with your readers. Voilà.

And if you need help, let us know! Hire a Creative Agency Secrets team of copywriters to set up your auto responder – we know what we’re doing and can give you the shortcuts to great outcomes and customer engagement.

More With The Creative Agency Secrets GUIDE TO AUTORESPONDERS

The Top 6 most popular articles of all time

How To Hide Your Business Address On Google

Having your business address easily accessible through Google is a fantastic resource for traditional brick and mortar businesses. However, in today’s world, there are many e-commerce companies or organisations that simply don’t need their address openly available to the public. If you fall into this category, this post is for you.

If your address is on Google My Business and you want to hide it, here are 3 easy steps to get it done.

While I will be using our company, Creative Agency Secrets, as an example, it’s worth mentioning that we keep our address visible to the public since we have a physical office space that many of our clients visit. Nevertheless, this is a very useful tool for many businesses, such as one of our clients, AmCham. AmCham is a virtual company whose employees work from home, and as a result, they don’t want the addresses public. So let’s get started.

Step 1: Get to the “Info” page

The first step is to log in to your Google My Business page. On your Google My Business portal (located on the first page), click the menu bar on the top left corner of the screen and select “Info”

Google My Business Portal

 

Step 2: Edit Your Address

On this page, select your address and a window should pop up where you can edit your address settings.

Info Page With Address

 

Step 3: Change Visibility Settings

Scroll down to the bottom of this window and you’ll see a box saying “I also serve some customers at my business address”. Un-check this box and your address will be hidden from the public.

Address settings

 

Bonus – Step 4: Edit your radius of service

Many companies can only offer their services in a certain area. Google gives you the option to adjust your service area in the window to ensure your business prospects are within reach and that you’re only getting relevant inquiries for jobs.

You can either select the “Region, city or postal code” option and add a general area your business operates in, or select the second option, “Within ___ km of my business”, and establish a radius of access for your business. And of course, don’t forget to click “Apply” at the bottom right to make sure it’s all saved.

Set radius of business

For example, one of our past clients, MethSolutions, offers meth testing in their clients’ locations. However, they can only service locations that their certified samplers can access by car. They have hidden their main office address, but each sampler stationed around New Zealand has a specific but limited area that they can reach and meth test. They used the “Region, city, or postal code” option to ensure that they will get business opportunities from local and accessible clients, but don’t necessarily have to give their exact location away. As the picture shows, one of the areas the can access is the suburb Pegasus in Christchurch, so Google Maps highlights that region.

MethSolutions business area

We hope this helped you optimise your use of the Google location feature. Good luck and let us know if you have any questions or concerns!

Google Alerts

How to Use Google Alerts to Drive Business

Google alerts are an extremely useful resource for promoting your business online. First of all, if you aren’t using Google Alerts to track your business, you’re missing a seriously useful hack. They are particularly handy for staying up to date with relevant and timely information regarding your business, so you can react immediately to any publicity or news as soon as it happens.

But that’s not all Google Alerts are good for…

Google Alerts can also be used via RSS as a news aggregator on your website or blog! This is particularly useful for showing your visitors you know what is happening around you as well as demonstrating a position of authority with regards to your particular topic. Displaying the latest, relevant news results provides a great reason for your fans to continue returning to your site. Tailored, niche content is much easier to digest when it is a subject aligned with your own browsing interests. It may even help increase the likelihood of your visitors purchasing from you!

The best part about this is it can be totally automated, so you don’t have to spend time curating material. But make sure you have tested and refined your alert keywords in order to get the best results. Or, be sure to check the results from time to time in order to filter out anything that doesn’t fit with your brand.

We will be putting together a guide explaining how to get Google Alerts displaying as an RSS feed on your website shortly…

The next application for Google Alerts is a little more intricate: With a bit of research and a thorough understanding of your target market, you can even use Google Alerts to find new business!

Example: How to use Google Alerts to Generate Leads

Our client provides storage equipment solutions to the global rowing community. Although they can retro-fit single pieces of equipment inside an existing boathouse, their biggest projects come from clubs and organisations who have or are building brand new facilities. These new facilities obviously require a complete fit out of storage equipment and therefore, are our client’s ideal market. So how do you know when a new facility is built and looking for storage equipment? Timing is everything – if you find them too late, they may have already sourced a supplier and you’ll have missed the boat. Google Alerts provides the answer!

By setting up alerts with keywords such as “new rowing boathouse”, “rowing building new boathouse” and “new rowing club” for example, you get a nice summary of boathouse developments happening around the world.

Of course you have to continue your research beyond the alert itself to determine the lead’s value. Sometimes, results are completely irrelevant, and sometimes they are duplicates of material you have already covered. However, on the whole, they are incredibly useful at identifying future projects, as they are often newsworthy topics in their local area.

google alerts example creative agency secretsgoogle alerts example creative agency secrets

The next step is to track all your leads in a spreadsheet. Information such as who to contact and where they are located is particularly important. Additional research on the lead’s website often provides the necessary information to point you in the right direction.

In our client’s case, we were interested in contacting the architects of the boathouse, so that we could get involved with the club and their design process, as early as possible.

We have experienced great success building up a database of quality leads for our client in recent months. It is then up to our client to continue the dialogue with the prospective club and come to an arrangement. We have had a great deal of success converting these previously unknown prospects into happy customers, and have done so without investing hugely in advertising, outbound mailing campaigns or other conventional outbound marketing activities!

We have been able to minimise the time taken to research new sources of business through alerts and have increased the prevalence of new business, while making it easy to filter out results of no value. And as it updates you each time a new boathouse is being developed, you don’t waste time searching for them manually. A weekly check of your alerts inbox provides you with enough

Regardless of your industry or business, there’s bound to be a positive application to use Google Alerts for. Whether it is direct lead generation, building a database of bloggers and journalists to share content between, or even researching a network of businesses whose interests align neatly with your own, the uses for it go on and on.

Learn How to Growth Hack your Website in May

Learn How to Growth Hack your Website in May

What it means to Growth Hack.

Growth Hacking is a new phrase meaning to aggressively make a step-change in business success.  It’s not just a cute phrase, there are specific techniques which can make significant improvements to website success.

You define success and we’ll teach you how to make it happen.

What is your #1 marketing and sales problem?

Get the answers about how you can growth hack your web success with USA experts Dan Morris and Rachel Martin during May 2016.

Face to face consult or small group workshops.

Email rebecca@creativeagencysecrets.com with your #1 marketing and sales problem.

Rachel Martin website GrowthHacking expert

Rachel Martin website GrowthHacking expert

 

 

Know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

Know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

How well do you really know your audience?

Do you know what their interests are, what they want and need? Sure, we’d like to think it’s all about us and our brand. But there are strategies to reach your audience in a way that will get them engaged in you and your brand that goes beyond the surface of what you think they want from you. There are tried and true ways for you to know your audience better.

What’s your common denominator?

Find out what you have in common with your audience so you can be the brand that they trust. Engage them to keep them coming back to you. If you’re a marketing communication manager, in public relations, an agency marketer or have done the Audience Industries Sequoia curriculum, you should understand what to do, how and when you need to to make sure your audience comes back to you… every time.

Get to know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

Audience Industries is coming to a town near you in May and are bringing Circles with them. Really good news for you. The course is broken up into 7 modules that will help you to really get to know your audience. Audience Industries wants to show you how to bring your audience to you, over and over again. Keep them coming back by speaking their language, learning their paths and optimize your ads to deliver maximum value for your site. Because we know, it’s all about the money.

Here’s what’s in store for you if you sign up for Circles:

  • Module 1: Learn what your audience has in common with you
  • Module 2: Be the brand/business that your audience trusts
  • Module 3: Find out what your audience wants and needs
  • Module 4: Break down the elements of compelling stories and apply them to YOUR story
  • Module 5: Understand what makes your audience take actions on your site and use the information for good
  • Module 6: Get the strategies that create likes, clicks, shares… real engagement on your social media channels
  • Module 7: What you should know before you optimize your ads

Sound like something your business needs?

We thought it might. That’s why founders Dan Morris and Rachel Martin are bringing Audience Industries to New Zealand for the second time. The Circles curriculum is coming to these big NZ cities this May, so book your tickets now while there’s still time:

It’s not just the Circles curriculum that’s coming to town.

If you think the Circles curriculum is good… you’re right! But Audience Industries has 3 other curricula that we think you should take a look at, too, to help you grow your business in an online world. Read more about the Audience Industries NZ Tour from Creative Agency Secrets to see just what else you can learn from Dan and Rachel. Don’t waste any more time wondering how to grow you business revenue online! Book your tickets for a city near you now.

From attraction to traction: build your list with Unbounce landing pages

Landing pages are important to drive valuable conversions for your business as we wrote before, whether from current customers or new prospects. But designing the perfect landing page can take several weeks to accomplish.

Well, at least, it used to.

Enter Unbounce, a tool we are using to create beautifully designed landing pages, built to deliver easily measurable outcomes.

Yes, we know: there’s a ton of groundbreaking offers popping around on the internet every day, promising to be the Holy Grail of marketing. Luckily you have us to filter the noise and point you in the right direction! 🙂

Why we chose Unbounce Pages

This complete add-on tool has the advantage of offering quick creation and editing, cutting a lot of time from the development stage of the landing page strategy for our clients. Unbounce delivers agile results, not neglecting the “best practices” learned by the developers with intense market research. Every Unbounce landing page is completely mobile responsive, which means extra points for you in Google’s eyes.

Having a successful business on the internet is a tricky thing if you don’t focus on driving results with the right strategy. Among lots of features, Unbounce offers A/B tests and Google Analytics tracking that are amazing at collecting data and eliminating doubts in the decision-making process. It can all be integrated seamlessly into WordPress, Joomla and other CMS platforms, so the landing page doesn’t feel disconnected from the rest of your website. When a visitor gives you their e-mail address, it can automatically go to your new MailChimp highly-focused list for future prospects. Simple as that.  Check out all the Unbounce integrations.

Build your mailing list

Do you feel like building a highly-focused list of contacts is what’s missing from your digital marketing strategy? Contact us right away.

creative agency secrets new landing pages

The Landing Page: Is Yours Performing?

Landing pages are undoubtedly one of the most powerful features of your entire website. We’re willing to bet that, regardless of the purpose of your website, you have at least one landing page to filter your web traffic towards a purchase decision or other desired action. You don’t want to let your prospective customers slip away because your landing pages are ineffective, do you?

This got us thinking, “How effective are our own landing pages at driving action?” Further exploration of this question revealed our landing pages could, indeed, be better.

What makes an effective landing page?

Each landing page only serves a single purpose.

It should be stripped of the full range of information available on the rest of the website in order to focus the visitor. Having additional content on the page only distracts the visitor from the reason they arrived there and, thus, decreases the likelihood of a successful conversion.

Your landing page should also be able to accurately measure where your traffic is coming from and where they go next. Having too many variables on the page creates unnecessary complications in your analytics and reduces the effectiveness of the page.

Our old landing pages were visually outdated and cluttered with a stack of information that did not show clear actions.

How did we improve them?

The solution came in the form of Unbounce, a tool that specifically builds quality landing pages which drive results. We have dedicated an entire blog post to explaining the advantages of Unbounce – subscribe to our blog to catch future posts and to stay up to date on other marketing tips for business.

We redesigned the landing pages for our 3 core offerings as a business – Marketing Services, Training and Free Marketing Advice.

Aside from an enhanced aesthetic make-over, which fits in perfectly with our branding and design, the pages now have a much clearer and appealing interface, outline the purpose of the page and make it even easier for visitors to find exactly what they need to take further action.

We compare the old and new versions of the same page:

Old vs. New Landing Page Designs

Marketing Advice

free-marketing-advice BEFORE

OLD 

Free marketing advice landing page

NEW 

 

Marketing Training

marketing-training BEFORE

OLD 

Marketing Training landing page

NEW 

 

Marketing Services

marketing-services BEFORE

OLD 

Marketing Services landing page

NEW 

Which looks more appealing to you?

Do you need help improving your landing pages?

Get in touch!

Business Relaunch

Business not working effectively? Have you considered a business relaunch?

If your business isn’t working as effectively as it once was, a business relaunch might be for you. Relaunching a business is a proactive decision taken to ensure that your business stays relevant and engaging in this new fast-paced, dog eat dog world. If a business is relaunched successfully, it can shed its old, ineffective face – and usher in it’s new, more successful era. Here are our tips for business relaunch, to make sure you nail it.

Our Tips for a Successful Business Relaunch

Do Your Homework

The first step of any major change is to work out what isn’t working. Analyse your business, and work out what was effective, and what wasn’t. Recruit someone to give you a hand with this; preferably someone unbiased who won’t sugar coat the truth. From here, go deeper and work out why your business wasn’t working; have your customers changed? Has your market changed? Is your product still what it once was? This is the defining moment of a relaunch decision – carry it out accordingly! Having extensive knowledge of both your own business and the wider market is key to a successful relaunch.

Learn from your Mistakes

Now that you know what wasn’t working and why, it is time to make some changes. In front of you there are two ‘piles’: the good things and the bad. Keep the good things – be it your software, product, or even your business cards, and take the lessons from the bad things. These lessons are the most important part of a relaunch – learn from, and don’t forget them. Make positive decisions based on what you learned – this is where your business has its grand rebirth – it is a landmark moment. You have an effective business again – go you.

Spread the Good Word

Now you effectively have a new business – but no one knows about it. This is your time to share your business with the world (again). If you can signal the relaunch of your business with an event, and promote it in such way as to get people talking about it, you’ll put yourself in a strong position to start well. Your main aim here is not only to promote your business, but also to differentiate it and shed the image of the old one. If you can express the fact that your business is leaner, meaner, (maybe cleaner and greener), and here to stay – then you might be onto a winner.

Want to read more?

This article focuses on business relaunch options, and introduces the concept of pivoting your business
While slightly older, this article shares some fantastic war stories of businesses that have relaunched.
Look here for a quick relaunching guide from Marketing Donut.

Good copywriting for membership websites

This month we’re working on two clients both with membership businesses.  They need strong copywriting on both their home page and the landing / squeeze page where the pitch for members is made.

We got out and tried to find some good examples of membership sites where a really compelling landing page lays out the offer and the benefits.

It was surprisingly hard.

I had hoped that Copyblogger would be good – but despite moving much of their content behind an email registration wall, the old landing page is no longer there – maybe they’re so well known that the benefits are no longer needed.

We did find some….

Blogging Concentrated Prime

A subscription service for monthly coaching and education on all aspects of blogging for profit – this page really lays out the details of what a member gets and shows archive material which is also available to each new joiner.  The video welcome is a nice touch.

Blogging Concentrated Prime membership area

Blogging Concentrated Prime membership area

Tom Poland’s 8020 Center

A totally different approach is used by expert business coach, Tom Poland.  He uses a letter form to make a strong offer in the headline and a personal offer – with a guarantee.

Tom Poland's 8020 Center offer

Tom Poland’s 8020 Center offer copywriting

EConsultancy and Digital Marketer

Both offering education services to modern marketers, these sites have a near-identical page layout and copy style.  Interestingly, the DM list of advisory courses look like individual tiles, but they all go to a letter-style long copy landing page from the founder, Ryan Deiss.

Econsultancy landing page copywriting example

Econsultancy landing page copywriting example

Digital Marketer landing page copywriting example

Digital Marketer landing page copywriting example

 

Got any other examples?