Ever got an introduction to a new business prospect and wondered why they didn’t reply to your email enquiry?
Let us show you how to guarantee they read your message
Scenario: Rebecca (that’s me) introduces you to Jonathan Lewis. Hey, you should meet Jonathan, I’m sure you guys could work together.
What happens next is one of three possibilities
Rebecca emails Jonathan and cc you into the message – this is the best possible next step because Rebecca is known and trusted by Jonathan so he’ll open the message and see the introduction. PLUS you are cc so he gets your email and you see his and can reply direct keeping Rebecca cc if appropriate.
Rebecca says she’ll email Jonathan and ask him to get in touch – this is the worst possible next step because you have no control over whether she does it, what she says, you don’t get Jonathan’s email address and you don’t see the message. AVOID
Rebecca gives you Jonathan’s email so you can get in touch – this is the median situation. Your message will arrive in his in-box but he doesn’t know you, your email address won’t be white-listed and you risk being ignored
How to overcome scenario 3 above.
Your email subject line is critical
Writing this email is important – it’s your one big chance for Jonathan to notice you and make direct contact.
Ready for the perfect subject line?
Subject: Rebecca Caroe
Yes – that’s it. Make the introducer’s name the subject of the message – this will grab their attention and they will surely notice your message. Why is he writing to me about Rebecca? Hey, I know Rebecca maybe that’s news about her?
Dear [First Name]
Rebecca Caroe and I met this week and we were talking about [name the project / expertise] and she has recommended you and I connect. Her reason is that we are [state your business] and we need [state their business].
Can we fix a time to speak. I am available on [name 2 dates and times here – at least 3 days ahead of today].
Very much looking forward to learning more about [name their business].
Why this email works
It sets the context quickly – it does all the ‘thinking’ for the recipient.
You should be trusted with one phone chat or meeting because of the mutual connection (Rebecca) and you’ve given them an easy route for the reply message by suggesting the dates.
Go on, try it and tell me whether it worked for you!
September is the time business gets down to work after the summer break. Blair Enns at the Win Without Pitching team say this is the perfect time to clean out your list of prospects and new business opportunities.
Find out which ones are going to buy and which aren’t worth your time chasing further. Blair writes
Below is a simple email template that you can use to raise deals from the dead. It works throughout the year but this week, more than any other period in the calendar, is when it works best.
It was taught to me as The Takeaway but I refer to it by the subject line that I prefer: Closing The Loop. Draft it, modify it if you dare, but send it to all those prospects you were talking to over the summer about real projects only for them to disappear on you. That’s the intended purpose of this email – to raise deals from the dead and solicit a response from someone who has been avoiding you over the summer.
Your natural inclination is probably to do the opposite of what I’m about to suggest. Resist. Do not send an overly polite email. Do not make excuses for your prospect’s behaviour over the last few weeks. Do not email in pursuit of a yes or even an answer. No, your mission is to strip away all emotions and matter-of-factly just let your prospect go. Below is how to do this and then what to expect afterwards.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2013-09-03 10:00:002013-09-04 15:12:21New business development copywriting: Stalled prospects
This blog post series looks in depth at firms from our List of Agency Search Firms. These are businesses who help to match brands with agencies, while helping those agencies handle pitches and get meetings. You’ll learn exactly what agency search firms do, the different services offered and what your agency needs to look for in a search firm.
This week we’re taking a look at Trinity P3, a firm that focuses specifically on aiding marketers and agencies find work. Trinity P3 work very closely with their clients. Instead of working through lists that agencies and brands can search, they specifically communicate to the right people to match agencies and brands together. Throughout this process they help their clients manage themselves and their connections.
Trinity P3 at www.trinityp3.com/
Brand resource acquisition and allocation services
Agency benchmarking and assessment services
Environmental company alignment services
Agency search and selection services for brands
Budgeting services for both brands and agencies
Services for Agencies
With Trinity P3, agencies get matched with brands and can have their company processes assessed and improved. In addition to budgeting, benchmarking and company stats tracking, Trinity P3 also offers agencies an assessment on their environmental impact as a company.
Services for Brands
With agency search and selection services (including agency assessments) and resource acquisition and allocation, Trinity P3 are an all inclusive package company for finding the right agency for a given brand. They also offer budgeting services for brands on their work. Like agencies, brands can also have their work processes reviewed and revamped by Trinity P3. They also receive the same offerings for their environmental impact that Trinity P3 offers agencies.
Charges and fees
Trinity P3 charges clients (both agencies and brands) on a case by case basis and every service they offer on their website comes with a description accompanied by a link to submit a request for a proposal.
Mike Morgan, Director of Content/ SEO and Social Media Strategy
Who is Trinity P3 right for?
Trinity P3 works closely with their clients by maintaining communications rather than using menus and forms. This means they establish a close connection with you as a client and help you with more than just project management and project acquisition or deployment. Trinity P3 offers a good range of services for connecting companies to the marketing industry, suggesting they are appropriate for clients just starting out.
Few contact free services – The only way to interact with Trinity P3 and their services is through direct messaging of general contact or for proposals.
Difficult to compare agencies as a brand who is searching – They do not have a detailed list of firms and contacts available to you for your assessment outside of directly messaging them. This makes search and selection difficult although still possible as they have links to their contacts so you can assess them individually.
Facebook hasn’t replaced any newsletter (at least not yet but you never know what Facebook’ll do next). What Facebook has done is equal the amount of traffic driven to our website from our weekly newsletter. And helped us to recruit new opted-in newsletter subscribers.
Better yet – it’s all free.
Key things to note: Our weekly newsletter has over 4,500 subscribers. Our Facebook page had just 400 (over the course of this experiment we increased this to 550). Wow – that’s ten times fewer subscribers but they’re visiting and re-visiting the website.
Everyone knows the theory of email newsletters – their open and clickthrough rates so I won’t waste time here. We’re going to tell you how you can drive more traffic to your website from Facebook. Then invite visitors to join the newsletter.
What we were doing
We posted 3 times a day on Facebook, for Facebook – all of which was shared from other users and pages on Facebook. These posts were backed up by regular blog post entries (one every day) which were automatically fed to our Timeline. Very standard.
So what did we change?
There were 3 major changes.
The first was to do with posting amounts and timing. We increased the frequency of posting and changed what time of day we posted Facebook updates. This was increased to 5-6 times a day (effectively doubling our previous posting frequency).
The second major change is where we post from. We changed all sources of our posts to our website and then linked to them.
Our third major change was where we sourced our content from. It’s important to note here we hardly ever created original content – we either shared others or repurposed our archived content.
To facilitate changing the source of our posts to our website we installed new plugins. People will spend less time on our Facebook page because we are directing them to our website. As a result, many of the plugins we installed were to make sure our content is still shared (which often doesn’t happen once you leave a social media site). As we knew many of our visitors would also be arriving from a mobile device (Facebook’s App is becoming more widely used) we paid particular attention to how our site looks on mobile devices.
Step 1: Smarter Posting Times
Our audience is active at all times of the day. We were initially posting 3 times daily between 9am and 5pm – Not the smartest move when you look at the graph below of our visitor traffic over 24 hours.
Click To Enlarge
For this reason – we opted to post every 4-5 hours. Remember – we don’t want this to take up all our time and we definitely don’t want to be up all night so we chose to schedule our Facebook posts. To enable auto-posting of blog at all times of day we installed new plugins which I’ll discuss below.
Step 2: Make The Website The Destination
We want to drive traffic off Facebook to our website. This is marketing real estate that we control and manage. We’re not dependent on Facebook’s grace. Making most of your posts direct to your website is therefore logical. And remember our objective is to drive readers from Facebook to becoming opted-in newsletter subscribers.
This of course means publishing content designed for Facebook on your website. Whether you’re sharing an article or a photo, upload it to your site (add a link on the post to credit the photograph if appropriate). Don’t just link them straight to the original source, ideally you’re seen as the source of the content so they spend longer on your site and less elsewhere.
With our new plugins – photos are uploaded from our website to Facebook automatically. When a user clicks on a photo expecting it to enlarge they are instead redirected to our website (where there is a larger image front and centre). Bingo – we’ve just driven traffic from Facebook to our site. From here you have 2 challenges –
How can they share this with their friends?
What’s going to keep them from leaving your site?
The first challenge is easily answered – plugins which I will discuss later on. The second is to have an attractive website littered with quality content – this is discussed just below.
Step 3: Sourcing Quality, “Original” Content
To ensure our content is appealing, we need it to be socially shareable. While there are no guarantees, using already proven socially shareable content is a start. But you don’t want to appear a copycat. So how do you get proven socially shareable material while still looking “fresh” and “original”? The easiest strategy is to find content from sources other than Facebook. Pinterest was a great resource for me as pictures make the best Facebook posts and most photos came with a short description or piece of information – perfect.
Setting Up Your Website: Plugins Used
Below is a list of the plugins you’ll want to install if you’re on WordPress. I’ve described the types of plugins you want before stating what plugin we used. These plugins are all free and you may have your own preference.
New Automatic Posting To Social Media (Facebook/Twitter).
NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster [Hands down the best autoposter plugin. Fully customisable, plenty of social media options and looks like the posts were shared straight from Facebook. 2 great features of this plugin are that you can choose individual posts to be image posts or linked posts etc & Imports Facebook comments so your website appears popular]
A more simple “Like Us” button further up the News main page.
Facebook Social Plugin Widgets(This plugin installs widgets to be used wherever – we used them in the sidebar of our blog page [note page and not post])
When someone enters our site (for the first time) a like us on Facebook plugin pops up [This doesn’t interfere with our pre-existing Newsletter signup popup].
So what were the results of our changes? The graph below reveals all. With a simple change in the frequency and timing of posts our weekly reach exploded. This is most likely due to reaching more individuals as opposed to reaching the same people multiple times.
Click To Enlarge
Results of Our 2nd Change
The screenshot below is of our website’s referrals for the 2 week period before and during our Facebook efforts. As you can see, vast improvements. We basically received 1000 extra page views each week (remember, at the time we only had 400 people liking our page). I’ve highlighted the Twitter referrals as well (t.co) as although we designed this campaign for Facebook – using the NextScript Autoposter plugin we also published the same content to Twitter (although we changed the structure of the titles and links etc from within the plugin’s settings). You’ll notice the amount of referrals we got from Facebook Mobile (m.facebook.com). Good thing we had WPtouch installed so our page would look good on any device.
Click To Enlarge
Did Our Plugins Do Their Job?
I was initially skeptical when installing the Facebook Page Promoter Lightbox – no one likes popups. After 2 weeks though, we picked up 50 likes from external “Like” buttons. These buttons were only in 2 places, the first was in the sidebar on the blog page the second was the aforementioned lightbox. I’m almost 100% sure the lightbox is where we picked up all of those likes.
Click To Enlarge
Sling pic and both social sharing bars (vertical and horizontal) picked up a few extra “Likes” and retweets which was nice – nothing to write home about but every little bit counts. WPtouch can be attributed to the 13 mobile likes as although it means people liked our Page from Facebook (on a mobile device), the website must have been attractive enough to have convinced them.
The initial results are all very promising, only time will tell how good a long term strategy this is. The short term gains were an instant increase in likes going from 400 to 550 in 2 weeks, engagement going up and a large increase in unique visitors and page views. There were of course more minor, intricate strategic choices made during this period and still being made now – these will be discussed in a later post.
If you’d like any help setting these plugins up or want to discuss how this can apply to your online strategy get in touch by leaving a comment below.
Accountancy firms are the backbone of the business economy serving every sector of the community. Business owners use their accountant to get advice and recommendations on a wide range of commercial issues. They are trusted advisors for New Zealand business.
Yet accountants often present themselves poorly online. They are difficult to find on the internet, their websites are dull, unremarkable, and aren’t easy to use for prospective clients who want to research and find an advisor.
The attributes of a good business website:
Findable on search engines for search phrases that relate to the industry or product not the business name
State the services or products offered in clear, non-technical language
Illustrates specialisms and points of difference for the firm
Helps guide the customer to the correct service they need
Enable the customer to get in touch with the business by a range of communication channels – including social media as well as traditional telephone and email
Name key members of staff and their contact details
Show office locations, ideally on a map
Every business uses some form of marketing promotion to bring in new clients and to keep current clients coming back for more.
A website is the linchpin of modern business marketing activity. Most other marketing work directs curious web searchers to the website. These days, who hasn’t got a business card without the firm’s URL?
Creative Agency Secrets has appraised a substantial amount of accountancy firms’ websites for evidence of current marketing and promotion activities within the industry.
Here’s what we found
Over one quarter of all firms surveyed do no marketing promotion aside from their website.
38% have some basic promotion, normally in the form of a newsletter.
And at the other end of the scale 6% are very active and seek to engage website visitors and encourage them to get in touch with the firm.
Where does your firm sit on the proactive marketing scale?
Top performers include
Cabbage Tree Accounting
What sets these firms apart?
The best accountancy firms have several key attributes in common
They are highly informative both on their business, what they offer, and their industry
Their web pages maintain public resources for research and self-discovery
The have prominent and recent communication activity using written, audio and visual media which engages readers and keeps them on the website
They encourage the visitor to reveal his identity to the firm
Why do prospective clients find these factors appealing?
Imagine going into a shop for the first time – you browse around looking for the product you want to buy and at “just the right moment” a sales assistant steps forward and offers to help you. They guide you in an un-pushy manner to the product you want but stay on hand to answer any further questions you have. A modern website needs to do the same job for the firm.
But on a website a visitor is anonymous.
You have no idea who has visited your site – just tracking cookies and the number of visitors in your analytics. The Firm doesn’t know their names, what their interest is and whether they are looking to buy some accounting advice.
Businesses are moving into the social media scene. Yet most accountancy firms have not taken advantage of the core social media sites.
Our research reviewed accountants’ websites for public links to social media sites. We expected to see LinkedIn used the most because it is the professional business social media site but we were wrong: 34% had LinkedIn pages; 34% had Twitter and 46% had Facebook profiles.
Firms with an active social media presence tended to also have higher scores in overall web presence and influence. There are many additional influencing factors and it is important to note that where a company is on social media, they also have invested time in YouTube videos, blogging, or email marketing as well.
We ranked firms comparing their activity on the web by assessing how often they updated their marketing activities and what tools they used to market themselves online. This shows that activity really does boost your noticeability as an accounting firm online. What’s more interesting about these results is the outlying firms with our assigned activity scores of 2, 3 and 4 who also have a good Alexa Rank which suggests that content is an important factor in gaining a prominent online presence.
Online Marketing Tools used by Accounting Firms
There are a lot of opportunities to display expertise using content marketing techniques online.
When searching there accountancy firms’ websites for newsletters, we looked at whether firms actively requested prospective clients’ email addresses, and the ways in which the firm used them. Many displayed historic newsletters but they were often displayed in PDF format which is less searchable or sharable.
Of those with newsletters, a significant amount website visitors had no way to subscribe to receive the news online. Giving visitors the ability to subscribe gets you their email address for a mailing list and analytics information about those visitors. Mailing lists are a great way to start a dialogue with customers by building a self-service database. An opportunity lost by these firms.
Opted in databases of email addresses are among the most powerful marketing assets a firm can own. They can even be used to deliver a series of emails called autoresponders. These can welcome new subscribers, give them an introduction to the firm, and explain its services.
Many of the news pages or blogs for the accounting firms we researched are static and have not been updated for many months or even years. They have no clickability or linking to other pages in the website and they are created on a single web page. This means an individual article cannot be hyper-linked, only the whole page.
By creating a blog-style page, the opportunity exists to create more internal and external links to your site which again increases the chances for search engines to visit more frequently as well as encouraging visitors to browse across multiple website pages. This also provides opportunities for other websites to link to specific articles from you which ultimately lead the visitor to your website.
Larger accountancy firms host videos on their websites, mainly used for training. None have made use of online broadcasting technologies like webinars, podcasts or recordings. Video and audio recording is now cheap and easy to do. They are a good way to communicate and to enable listeners to share your content and are far more engaging than text.
Many accountants provide training and conduct seminars for in-person attendance. It would be very easy to broadcast a training event or record it at the same time for later broadcast. Training is a fantastic marketing tool but if someone can’t make the event time, watching a recording means they can still gain value from it.
Most accounting firms have the beginnings of a good website presence. However they need to add new functionality that works to continuously draw new visitors into the website from search, from the email database and to encourage them to reveal their identities and join in a dialogue with the firm. This can be enhanced by including social media in their marketing plans as they create more and more points of contact for potential clients, as long as you know your clients use social media to connect. LinkedIn is particularly good because of its professional nature.
If you’re an accounting firm looking for a free website appraisal, you’ll find one here at Creative Agency Secrets.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Theo Martinhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgTheo Martin2013-08-13 14:21:112013-08-15 12:34:00Online marketing for accounting firms: a research summary
THis week I’m focusing on a client whose website was not showing up on Google – not for pages and pages.
He knew this was a problem and had been overcoming it by paying for SEO to put it onto the top of search. But he knows this is a short term solution which he doesn’t want to continue.
We investigated and found 3 quick things to correct
Site meta tags were not populated
Blog was created as a page not posts
Photo Alt tags weren’t used and images were uploaded with the camera image id (long string numbers)
So some easy quick fixes.
Medium term, we’re teaching them how to use links and key words in blog posts which will reinforce search queries as well as social sharing and reciprocation.
Check out Otautahi Tattoo’s amazing story as refugees from the Christchurch earthquake and relocation, growth and reinvigoration in Auckland – the photo is of All Black Keven Mealamu having his latest ‘rose’ design added.
Otautahi Tattoo with Keven Mealamu All Black rugby player
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2013-06-26 09:52:362013-06-27 13:04:56Website not showing up in Google: BNI New Business Development tip of the week
Thanks to Dawn who wrote in asking “What does a client brief look like?”
Agency Client brief template
Let us help you out.
What to do when hiring an agency
If you sub-contract your marketing to an agency or to freelancers, you want to be sure that you pay for and get good quality work.
A lot of the quality of output is due to high quality input. By that I mean, briefing documents. If you can explain clearly what you want, how you want it done and timeframes, you are far more likely to get high quality work back.
For briefing we always give a lot of detail and we also ask the freelancer to write back with answers to our questions.
We choose these carefully in order to show us that THEY have read the brief.
Please tell me what access permissions you need before you start the job
And we also ask them open questions whose answers tell us if they understand the scope, how they would approach the job and allow us to assess how good their English is.
Estimate how long the job will take
Tell me what problems you anticipate
Below is a template document which we use when we receive instructions to do some marketing for our clients. You can download it from the link.
Each sub-heading is self explanatory – as a client you should fill in each section as clearly as possible and then send it out to the agency or agencies you want to work with asking them to send you price quotations.
Alternatively, you write longhand what you want and the agency will fill in the gaps in the document. Then you should approve it before instructing the work.
Wildfire was one of the first apps we found to do promotions on the Facebook platform. Founded by cool Kiwi entrepreneur Victoria Ransom, they got bought by Google and have clearly been spending time refocusing their work onto large customers who can afford $2,500 per month fees. The little people will have to go elsewhere in future.
Here’s a list we curated on List.ly of Wildfire Alternatives. Please add your own favourites.
A self-serve tool that allows you to create a new kind of promotion; include digital music rewards for every participant to increase engagement, and only pay for rewards for your fans. HipRewards promotions work seamlessly on all devices, even mobile. You'll gain fascinating insights on who your fans are and what they think.
TidalWave 's new premium Customer Service App creates a 'round-trip' solution for your Social Customer Service needs. By combining Social Media and BPMS into Social BPM, you can now address your clients needs directly through a combination of TidalWave for Facebook and TidalWave Process Manager.
Allows anyone to drive traffic, leads, and sales through campaigns on Fan Pages or mobile devices. Also, with one click, we create a mobile app based on your social data.Our goal is to provide a tool that caters to a brand new business looking to get started, a mid size business or agency focused on growth, or a market leader looking to empower their evangelists.
Votion helps Brands and Publishers create & keep customers through content types such as Brackets, Quizzes, Visual Polls, StackUp, Interactive Lists and MatchUps that are crafted for engagement. Our products build dialogs between brands & consumers
Social Campaigns from Constant Contact makes it easy for small businesses to create promotions and offers exclusively on Facebook. Integrated email and social posting features help to promote your offer to all of your social and email contacts to drive them to your Facebook page. Detailed reports track unique visitors, new fans, offer conversions, shares and new email addresses. Grow your fans and turn them into repeat customers and advocates!
Zeus Contest and Sweepstakes products are for one-time use and include the technology for either a Facebook Page and/or a standalone microsite (for up to 90 days) and ALSO include the complete Official Rules specific to your promotion. @zeuspromoapp
Piqora is an advanced Pinterest Analytics Solution that makes it really easy to identify and connect with influential brand advocates, get actionable insights into trending pins and boards, and measure key virality metrics to quantify brand engagement on Pinterest. Sign up for a free 14 day trial at www.piqora.com
Facebook contests are easy with OfferCandy. Create a sweepstakes in minutes with our easy to use, customizable templates. Engage with your facebook fans and track the results. No design knowledge needed. Grow your fans and in turn your business.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2013-04-17 15:56:402013-04-30 10:55:14Alternatives to Wildfire as they withdraw pay-as-you-go
Encouaging prospects to reveal their interest in your business is one of the hardest-to-master techniques for online new business development copywriting. You know you have website visitors, the analytics show the passage of traffic but it’s all anonymous.
You need to get better at contact forms:
Here are the symptoms
lots of people visit your website (probably)
few get in touch to find out more
fewer move up the funnel towards purchase
pipeline does not get many new enquiries from the website
How to Copywrite contact forms
Be economic with words
Only ask for information you NEED
Seek originality in your wording
We found a great example from Markitors – they offer a neat free tips service. Using the one free tip offer encourages action by the reader and recruits an email address to an autoresponder series.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2013-04-16 10:00:002013-04-16 18:30:11Contact Forms: New business development copywriting