One of the simplest and yet, most effective methods we have found to grow our mailing list at Creative Agency Secrets, has been with the integration of a ‘Lightbox’ or a ‘pop-up’ plugin.
For any business operating with an online presence (let’s face it, if you’re not, you should be!), one of your primary objectives should be to acquire email addresses of potential customers to sell your glorious products and services.
However, relying on customers to navigate your site and opt themselves in is like telling your dog to fetch a ball that it doesn’t know exists. You need to show them the ball and especially why they want to chase it!
Okay, what is a lightbox?
To put it simply, a lightbox is an extension programme on your website that jumps up at your visitors displaying a customised message, usually requesting visitors to supply their email address in exchange for some kind of benefit. These benefits are typically newsletter subscriptions, prize giveaways, eBooks, online courses and other free rewards.
Key factors to building an effective lightbox
Firstly, your lightbox needs to stand out. Web users are exposed to multiple lightboxes on a daily basis. You need to ensure yours captures their attention. Most lightbox software allows customisation of colour schemes and text which aid in making it visually appealing when it appears on your website. Aside from being eye catching, you need a powerful and enticing message that will draw them in as well as outline clearly what they get.
The lightbox should serve a single purpose – sign up here to receive benefit ___. If you make it too complicated, visitors will lose patience and simply close it without completing the signup.
Offer your visitors something that they want. No visitor is going to sign up for your offer if they have no interest in it or cannot see any real value from it.
Set frequency and page display settings to something reasonable that will not drive people away. Your lightbox should be a passive reminder, not an aggressive punch in the face to get visitors to sign up.
Associate it with your email client management software and it will directly import the email addresses it collects into that programme, saving you time and effort.
Once you have your lightbox setup, you simply launch it and leave it to acquire all those precious email addresses on its own. Easy!
An example of a Sumo Lightbox on a client’s website
Some lightboxes work better than others however. Our previous (paid) lightbox on one client’s website appeared cluttered and ‘busy’ on the webpage. After some deliberation we decided we should see what else was available.
We assessed a number of alternatives across a range of features such as mail client integration, level of customisation, price and so forth. Although paid and free versions existed for most options, we discovered the benefits of many of the premium lightbox providers were not substantial enough to justify the purchase.
Our clear favourite at the end of the process was a product called ‘List Builder’ developed by Sumo*. Their simple user interface meant it was pleasant for our visitors to engage with and the customisable colour and text allowed us to align the lightbox with our clients’ brands.
In the first few months, we saw the number of subscribers jump from roughly 20 – 30 per month to over 300! Our mailing lists continue to grow steadily and our lightbox is undoubtedly a key driver in facilitating this.
So what are you waiting for? Convert your web traffic into willing customers immediately, or get in touch if you would like us to help you get there.
*For a full breakdown of the lightboxes we compared, click here.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Jeremy Peskeyhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgJeremy Peskey2015-09-16 12:02:322018-02-02 09:34:52Grow your mailing list fast - with a Lightbox
Anniversary Marketing event. Here’s what we recommended
Create a special cake (unique box, big plus small cake in one box, different sizes, multi-buy)
Use your database of past customers and create a mailing campaign
Create a landing page on your website “30th Anniversary” – on the page talk about the history of the company and tell them there will be a contest every week during July and you’re planing a special cake edition. As each email gets sent out, edit the page to include more and more information
Send messages as follows
1 month in advance (1 June) telling them to expect something special at the anniversary.
2 weeks later tell them what it will be and say you’re taking advance orders at a special discounted price for 1 week only. [This is useful because you then know the volume you need to bake.]
1 week after – send an email saying you will raise the price to the normal price on the website in 1 day [this will drive more sales].
On 1 July start the contest on Facebook and also run it on the website. Include a simple entry form so you get their email addresses.
On 8 July announce the winner of the first week on Facebook and the website page. Also email every person who entered and did not win offering them a special price on a cake and encouraging them to enter again.
Repeat each week till the end of July.
If you want to boost contest entries you can do Facebook advertising to send people to your landing page.
I am really looking forward to the cake Linda’s sending over for the team… morning coffee will never be the same again!
Marketing education is a big part of our overall new business strategy. At Creative Agency Secrets we strive to find ways to connect with our potential clients and be a part of their marketing success whether they work with us or not. We hold complimentary marketing management and idea calls, host free marketing seminars, create appraisals for websites and so on. But what makes it all work is our ability to follow up with the people we meet and educate. It’s one of our core lead generation and client winning strategies, and it could work for your business as well.
What following up does for your business
Staying connected develops relationships between you and your prospective clients or friends. This means you build up a network of people who can use your services, direct you to new clients and endorse your work.
Here’s a case study of a sports equipment online retailer we manage marketing activities for called Space Saver Rowing Systems. The client was so impressed with our work that when their manufacturer started looking for marketing assistance, the client directed them to us.
In another example, we worked with Zeald website designers to host a free marketing event. From that connection we gained several new clients, among them – European Auto Spares. We followed up with them individually after the event.
We’ve got loads of these stories and all because we helped our contacts in their endeavours and kept up communications with them. In short, following up with people can net you leads and create a healthy flow of revenue for your business.
Keep the relationship flowing: the different ways we follow up
Meeting summaries for prospective clients – summaries are quite common, usually in the form of a dreary PDF or bullet-pointed word document. Along with that, we like to include anecdotes or a friendly sentence relating to something new we learned about the prospective client from that meeting. This gives those who joined the meeting more reason to read the email and even better, a reason to reply. To the right an example of a regular email following up a business meeting.
Something that we love to include in these that makes all the difference, is a link to one of our helpful blog posts or free eBooks. We look for a related topic in the email, then link a keyword or two and mention it may help. For example, if the email pertains to construction an email campaign, we might link to our cold emails eBook!
Newsletters – if you run a regular newsletter about your personal or company activities, invite your contacts to it. Make sure first that they’ll get something out of your blog posts and focus on explaining that to them. Newsletters don’t only inform, they help keep you and your business in the minds of others. This can make the difference between whether or not they think of you when new work arises. For an example, sign up to our newsletter list and see what you learn.
Related business – categorise your past clients and business friends by business type. This lets you update contacts in different industries on related updates to your activities or information you find. To make the most of this, as soon as you form a new business relationship you should create a related industry update alert via a tool like Google Alerts. This way you’re following the industries most related to your activities and the alerts remind you that you have a connection to that industry. Then you can report any exciting news you find straight to them.
Us? Well, we’ve created our subcontracted services listing for exactly this reason. It’s an activity we do whereby we list all the work we can’t do or isn’t related to our services, and those listings get picked up by other businesses with the right set of skills for the job. It’s a fairly simple information sharing activity but with huge potential impact. As a result, people loves connecting with us.
Follow them – if you keep up to date with the activities of your contacts you can provide more relevant input or updates. This is another exercise making sure you keep your follow ups linked to you with context as opposed to random email drops asking them how they are.
Daily tasks for this would include reading LinkedIn status updates. Weekly or monthly tasks include reading your contacts’ newsletters. One way we keep up with our industries and clients is by setting Google Alerts searching for company names. We also set an event on our Google Calendar that has a list of company websites and blogs to read up on in the description.
Be diligent and consistent when you’re following up with people. Sometimes they are busy or skip emails, life gets in the way. Keep trying while not being too aggressive and you’ll grow on the minds of your clients and leads. Change up your approach to be more informative if a friendly nature doesn’t catch their eye. For example, you could direct them to tools or blog posts that will directly improve their way of business or provide them with a new opportunity. We posted up several examples of catch up emails and following leads through email that we’ve written previously to help you on your way.
Many of these ways to follow up with contacts can fit into your day to day activities, especially if you’re a marketing agency like us. If you spot yourself working on something that could help out some of your business contacts, send them an email and keep up to date. But more importantly – keep your business in their minds, and leading with a positive impression.
Click each icon to find more blog articles on the topic – educate yourself in modern marketing
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/relationships-cas.png1142809Theo Martinhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgTheo Martin2015-02-23 14:58:562015-02-23 14:58:56Business & Marketing Tip: Following up with leads and relationships
New Clues published in January and numbers 52-67 apply to our marketing communications world in particular. [see below]
Oh, and also pay attention to number 100
You want to know what to buy? The business that makes an object of desire is now the worst source of information about it. The best source is all of us.
It will be hard to adhere to them – because marketers are busy fouling their own nest, much as we did with banner adverts, SEO and oh-so-many other internet tools which we over-exploited so the makers ended up changing the rules to exclude our actions.
Seems to me ever more of a message about the quality of content, ease of discovery and honesty of presentation.
Your marketing strategy for 2015
If your marketing strategy for this year even remotely resembles what you did for the past 5 years tear it up. Forget it. The businesses who will thrive understand Cluetrain, they present their wares at least in part in a Cluetrain-format and will reap the $$ rewards accordingly.
Just call us if you think you want to change and don’t know how.
Now, what do you think?
I’m going to get my whole team to read Cluetrain original next week as their homework!
New Clues for Marketers
The New Clues that directly relate to the practice of marketing. Numbered from the original. Read more
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/cluetrain.png205139Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2015-01-27 11:29:392015-01-27 11:29:39Cluetrain has New Clues - time for newbies to read the original!
Email is a vital tool to growing your business. It’s non-invasive, interactive, and most of all – integral to business communications, so often get noticed.
One way to use email is through cold emailing, which is emailing to people you don’t know. It can come across as underhanded, but when done correctly it’s a marketing practice that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Find out about cold emails and how to write them in our free eBook…
Christmas campaigns may seem like a gimmick, but they work. That’s because it’s a time of year where people are looking to buy and as a result, customers are far more communicative.
Hellmann’s Christmas Advert
Look reactionary by planning early
Planning early has many benefits. For example, you don’t want to get a campaign stopped behind bureaucratic doors and miss your chance to launch it at the best of times. If your campaigns are pre-approved you won’t miss those good opportunities to launch them when they come by.
Nothing says “viral campaign” like a relevant one that comes out as soon as a meme starts. Start planning your campaigns early, and plan multiple variations for different situations. Then all you need to do is keep your finger on the pulse throughout the run-up to Christmas period and unleash your chosen campaign when the best opportunity arises.
Here’re a few campaign ideas:
Relevant product promos – promo your 2015 calendar when advent calendars start getting popular.
“Still time to buy” reminders – customers often rush for purchases just 1 week before Christmas, so a little timely reminder can go a long way.
Discount codes & free delivery – while most common of Christmas campaigns, a time-liimited discount campaign is often short and sweet enough to catch more attention.
Extended returns period – take the “giving mood” approach and develop a relationship with your customers.
One things for sure, each campaign must decide on a clear goal. Review previous campaigns, check their strengths and weaknesses, then carefully plan out how you’ll support your campaign goals through action.
Focus on increasing dialogue with customers (not necessarily hard sales)
Christmas is a great time to develop customer relationships as well as just push sales. Use the increase of inbox opens and social media interactions to build your email lists and get more in touch with your customers. Outside of capturing emails you could also push feedback forms and surveys to capture behavioural data which can improve all your 2015 campaigns as well.
Simply wish Merry Christmas via email or pop-up box.
Run social media competitions that require email opt-ins, but instantly give a discount when a customer enters.
Re-engage with past buyers by offering them something special for doing business with you again.
Have fun and test out marketing platforms you wouldn’t normally use, potentially opening your exposure up to a whole new crowd.
Offer something DIFFERENT
Make an impact and stand out from the crowd by doing something different. Implementing a wishlist on your website (EXTRA: can use data for targeted mailing!), personalising your promotions and running some exciting social media competitions are a few ways to have your company look both professional, and interested in its customers.
The question you need to ask yourself now is – “what’s the best Christmas campaign for my business”?
7 steps for creating your Christmas marketing campaigns
STEP 1: Collect and assess behavioural data from past campaigns.
This should be as straight forward as going into a database and looking through campaign statistics. If you’re not doing this already, a simple excel spreadsheet and recording past campaign data should be your next course of action!
STEP 2: Think of 5 opportunities/ circumstances for sending campaigns.
These opportunities should be periods around Christmas (start of advent calendars, last week before Christmas, etc). Try to find opportunities that can easily be related to what you offer as a company.
STEP 3: Write up these campaigns.
Carefully plan out each campaign with action lists and then make sure you’ve got the content ready to go for each action.
STEP 4: Schedule campaigns that can be scheduled.
If your campaign is time dependent, schedule it and make an alert to remind you when it goes out. Once it is live, you should still have to take action (such as sharing your campaign via social media), so have that ready.
STEP 5: Create daily Google Alerts for topics that the remaining campaigns can react to.
If you’ve created some reactionary campaigns for the holidays, make sure you’ve got ways of identifying when they can best be activated. We use Google Alerts to track conversations so that we can react to them, and it’s a great way for looking for that perfect campaign launch opportunity.
STEP 7: Recap on all campaigns (analytics and assessment).
Once is all said and done, sit down and have a good look at the results of each campaign and how they went. This is very important as it will help you create more successful campaigns for the future!
Looking for fresh ideas and assistance on your Christmas marketing?
Writing and reading long emails [Image credit ContactMonkey.com]
There are people who do not favour writing long messages, yet there are others who buck the trend to compress and shorten messages. Because they have a beautiful writing style they “get away” with long messages.
I often read these.
David Baker runs ReCourses – a service advising owners how to run their marketing agency as a better business.
Read this example.
I came across this interesting statement recently:
“Incorporating interactive can move your firm upstream strategically, especially if you understand that interactive work is really database marketing reborn. Providing [prospects] with interactive opportunities is tantamount to allowing them to emerge incognito from the protected castle to sample the promises before they lower the drawbridge again. In this [case] the consumer has initiated and then defined the sales context. And as a potential buyer he is far more likely to buy because he has reestablished control, first by learning more in an environment where he controls the shape and pacing of the information, and then by giving [you the] permission to sell to him.”
The concepts are important, of course, but what’s most interesting is that it was written in April, 2000, nearly fourteen years ago. I wrote it in an article for Persuading, trying to help agencies like yours understand how digital work should fit within the marketing mix.
There was some real enthusiasm in writing that, largely from the promise that the internet would provide a new era in marketing. It didn’t fulfill that promise, really, as privacy concerns, inept agencies, and lousy UI dominated the lack of innovation.
Enter marketing automation technology (MAT), though, and the internet is finally delivering on its promises. This is especially true in the marketing of professional services, where decisions are more considered and where authenticity and truth can be established via thought leadership content.
While the wait has been lengthy, the pace of recent developments has far exceeded what we have come to expect. MAT is a milestone that will honestly change every single thing about selling your services:
You can establish a funnel to define the most likely path to hiring you.
You can develop the tools to bump leads to the next stage in the funnel.
Prospects will be fully aware of your abilities, your remuneration, and what you won’t do. In the process of discovering that, prospects will self-select themselves out of the running so that you avoid the biggest danger in business development: dating prospects that are not marriagable.
Best of all, it changes the equation from pushing to pulling.
The amazing thing is that—no matter how good you are at selling—if you are in front of a prospect that has already taken the safety chain off the door and invited you in, you can sell. Yes, you can sell. What you hate about selling is trying to convince a prospect that they need you. No more. MAT has changed that for you.
There is so much to learn about this and I hope you will join us in Chicago on March 6 for a packed day of learning MAT, both for yourself as an agency and in your work as an agency for clients.
David C. Baker
Why is this long email effective?
Deconstructing this email the method David uses is this:
Open with a statement (the quote)
then challenge my understanding by explaining it’s over 14 years old!
explain its relevance today
Bullet point list of benefits [not features] of the technology
Give reassurance of the ‘amazing’ outcomes available to users
End with an invitation to buy from him
So that’s a series of subjects that you can use for your next email (whether to a cold introduction or a luke-warm prospect).
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/contact-monkey.png569523Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2014-10-07 12:07:052014-10-02 12:18:11Long copy email as a sales tool - example