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A Masterclass In Content Marketing – When You’re Out Of Ideas.

I was reading my Facebook feed and a US based content marketer of my acquaintance posted this request.

“OK, we write blog posts every month for a beach client. We’ve been writing for him for several years and the team is getting a little brain dead trying to drum up fresh ideas. Would love your help. They are a family-friendly vacation rental company (houses for a week, no weekends). Please leave your brilliant suggestions below & thanks!”

I couldn’t resist the challenge – but first, I started to read the answers she’d already garnered from her community.

What did I find out?

That there are a ton of creative folks whose minds are happy to help out when asked.

And so instead of stunning you with my amazing insight, I’m going to reproduce below the long list of suggestions made about what content to write about for a beach client.  And show you how you can adapt and learn from this list for your own business content marketing. 

How to use this content insight for your business

  • First, print out this article onto paper (old-fashioned, but helpful for this exercise).
  • Pick up a writing instrument (mine’s a fountain pen with liquid ink).
  • Draw two columns alongside the list of articles.
  • Go though the list and in the first column write down the underlying theme of the article title.
  • Then in the second column write down what an equivalent theme would be for your business.
  • Lastly, brainstorm 3-5 topic titles for each theme you write down for your business.

Have you got over one year’s worth of content already?

Here’s how to make the most of your archive and to lock good content into strong keywords and hashtags that convert.

The goal of content marketing is to get your website found, your brand recognised and aligned with the reasons people buy from you.  Creative Agency Secrets does local marketing.  I have many local marketing keyword phrase-laden articles on our website.  So when the local “grease monkey” in Pukekohe (don’t try to pronounce that if you’re not fluent in Maori) searched online for a local marketing agency, we showed up in the list, he called us; we’re meeting on Friday.  This is a marketing tactic that works and starts dialogue. And you can do it.

But if you think that ‘build-it-and-they-will-come’ is the tactic, you’re wrong. 

You must understand why people buy, what attracts them and then double down on the tactics and topics that already work for you.

Get canny with advanced content marketing

Make a keyword theme map with a few hundred keywords you’re probably not targeting. The keywords should dictate the content you write.  Use an independent, non-Google, non-Bing keyword discovery tool like SBI (we have an account and can do this for you).

Now you have that keyword theme map, which of the keywords are on page 2 of search results that could benefit from relevant, internal backlinks on your site? 

Also, does your business-model actually need new content? What does any single, new piece of content do for the business? Instead, how about focusing on the 20% of content that is already producing results and instead of writing more – promote that content more aggressively?  

Re-purpose the content that converts and share each piece more often also put it into every format (i.e. image square, image rectangle, video, audio, cinemagraph, infographic, ebook, slideshow, podcast guest) to maximise both its impact and its re-useability.

If the location is a very small place that is not overly commercial use the social content which is already being shared by visitors by searching “nearby” or local name hashtags.  The smart folks at from Socialize.co.nz demonstrated this to the Paeroa Chamber of Commerce members.  They brought up content on social media that tourists and visitors were sharing.  This already had the place name tagged on photos and other socially shared content.  If local business owners re-shared that content, while tagging each other, they could build up some serious momentum around the town name on social media.  And all this without creating any original content at all.

So thanks to Karen, she has helped us write your masterclass on advanced content marketing. 

46 Content Article Suggestions for a Beach Client

  1. What to pack (by season, by age of child, when Grandma is staying) 
  2. Activities for road trips 
  3. Kid friendly restaurants/ attractions 
  4. Road trip checklist to make sure your vehicle is road ready
  5. Beach fashion
  6. What to do when the weather is less than perfect
  7. First aid tips
  8. Disaster relief while on vacation at the beach
  9. Books to read on a beach
  10. Local beach walks
  11. Easy meals
  12. Meals using local ingredients and where to buy them
  13. Newest spots to check out this year… There are always new restaurants opening
  14. A feature on Oregon inlet fishing charters… My next door neighbor will be on the newest edition of wicked tuna, on fishin’ frenzy.
  15. The history of the area is also very interesting… And there are a wide array of topics, from casinos to shipwrecks, to boat building.
  16. The different types of architecture you can find out here is neat, too… Flat top houses (there is a tour each year), nags head style cottages (what do each of the different ornamental elements on them mean?), life saving stations, etc
  17. Beach nourishment is coming to the northernmost beaches this year, too. What is beach nourishment?  They are dredging sand from the ocean and pumping it onto the beach to widen them.
  18. Top reasons people didn’t go to the beach, but should have
  19. How to make the best sand castles 
  20. Top 5 reasons not to bury a sibling in the sand 
  21. Food that goes best with sandy fingers 
  22. Beat the heat with these 3 things 
  23. How to avoid sand spurs
  24. Top 3 things kids really want in a beach vacation 
  25. Top 3 things adults really want in a beach vacatio, 
  26. Don’t leave___ until you have eaten the____ 
  27. What NOT to do when you’re at the beach (leave the work and technology at home) 
  28. What to do when you want to sit on the beach and your spouse doesn’t
  29. Fun stuff off the beaten path
  30. Volunteer options when you’re staying at the beach (relax and do good at the same time)
  31. Best place to get coupons to save money on local attractions
  32. Do this, not that (places to go, places to avoid, etc.)
  33. Top movies to watch on netflix while you’re at the beach
  34. How to tell if you shouldn’t wear a bikini or speedos
  35. Top reasons to visit in seasons other than summer. There are lots of events in the spring and fall 
  36. Sea glass and shells are best found in the winter months
  37. The Secret to finding the best shells and sea glass
  38. Best places to take your kids out to eat
  39. Which restaurants are best for a date night
  40. Art projects for the beach
  41. 10 things to bring with if driving to save $$
  42. What to do in the rain
  43. Playing card games for 5-8 year olds
  44. Camps or other activities they can do
  45. Fun community activities if you want to meet others
  46. Where to shop for food
  47. Best source of local restaurant discounts
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.

Coworking space

How to get your first co-working members?

We have just opened a coworking space and although we are getting good traffic to the website we are struggling converting paid members, both online and offline. Any tips from those who have started coworking spaces on how you signed up your first 10 or 20 members?

The answer is the same for any new product or service being launched.

I have been a coworking user for 3 years (not an operator). Local Marketing by Experience is what you need to do. By this I mean get visitors to the space and pitch them when they are there…

My advice is this

  1. offer the space as a meeting venue for Meetups locally. Get people visiting the space through meetups and ask the organiser to allow you to pitch all attendees about the available space and “special rates” for their members.
  2. Research highly networked people you know and ask them to help you publicise on social platforms. Ask them to occupy the space free of charge on the condition that they use your space to host their meetings – so they bring people in.
  3. Offer the space short term for the use of local business incubator (they typically run Lean Canvas startup programs for 8 – 12 weeks). This gets visitors in the space and it looks busy… again, you achieve the objective of getting people in and using the space and used to visiting.
  4. Review your pricing. Find out why visitors choose to go elsewhere and if it’s price – adjust accordingly.
  5. Review your offer. Can you offer Co (collaboration) and Working (shared workspace)? Most only offer workspace. My advice is to proactively manage the collaboration part. How can you introduce workers to each other, now can you facilitate them winning new customers in your space, how can you leverage your networks to help them win business… .
    Coworking space

    Coworking space

    How can you use your platform to help them sell more?  If you do this, people will want to use your platform for their business because it grows as a result of the collaboration and the working together.  And the condition for that is to pay you to occupy your workspace…. problem solved.

Although all these tactics can work, my view is that the last one gives the most opportunity – but it takes work and is possibly hardest to deliver on quickly.

This is in answer to a question on Clarity.fm 

Podcasts – 7 Reasons Why Marketers Need Them

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of attending the 2016 Asia/Pacific Podcasting Conference, held here in Auckland. It was a fantastic two day event that showcased a number of talented speakers and presented some interesting ideas towards the future of podcasts.

Asia-Pacific-Podcast-Conference-logo

We use some sort of variation of podcasting with a number of our clients, and the buzz remaining from the Asia/Pacific Podcasting Conference got me thinking:

Is there substantial value to be gained from adding a podcast to your marketing mix?

I would argue yes, absolutely. Let me explain why…

podcasts are taking off1 – It’s going to be huge!

Podcasting is currently experiencing massive amounts of growth around the world. There are over 1 billion subscriptions to over 250,000 podcasts right now. With technology constantly improving, it is becoming ever more popular among the digital savvy.

2 – But, it isn’t as common as blogging… yet.

Which is a good thing. As more people start podcasting, competition increases and therefore, so does the overall quality of podcasts. Can you afford to wait until your competitors are experts before you join the race? As an early adopter, you have free reign to influence this goldmine of a marketplace as you like! Being seen as original and a pioneer can do wonders for your brand’s credibility.

3 – It is incredibly easy to do!

Sure, you have to feel comfortable on a microphone and possibly a camera too, projecting yourself to what could be… millions of people! But you could record your podcast from your bed if you wanted, never having to see these people hanging on your every word, which should help alleviate some of those nerves!

Worried that you don’t have anything to talk about, or don’t know enough about a subject to be an ‘authority’ on it? Fear not! Some of the greatest podcasters out there started out not knowing what they were talking about, but they did it anyway because THEY wanted to learn. In the process, they helped educate their audience and became known as the authorities in their chosen topic!

4 – You need but a few resources to get started.podcast equipment

Actually, all you really need is; an idea, a passion for that idea, a webcam/microphone/laptop/smartphone, maybe a co-host or guest and you’re basically away! It couldn’t be simpler. With ever-improving technological advancements, it’s getting quicker and easier to publish your content online without the assistance of a film crew or recording studio.

This also makes it incredibly time-efficient to produce a decent show as well! If you know what you’ll be talking about and a rough idea how to use the equipment, you can put together a clean, engaging show in a few hours! Obviously, this is dependent on how much editing and fine tuning you may need. You can be sure though, with practice, that time will get shorter and shorter as you perfect your craft!

5 – People engage in it.podcasts build community

Who has time to read lengthy blog articles anymore? Well, still a lot of people. But the point is, a podcast, if done right, will entertain you in a way that words on a page cannot. We lose so much emotion and sentiment in text, but those elements are carefully preserved when you listen to two people passionately discussing a topic.

Podcasting also allows for direct contact with your community/audience. Who wouldn’t become a raving fan of your show if you were personally shouting out to them? The very nature of a podcast immediately makes the listener/viewer feel like a part of your conversation and therefore, more likely to engage with your brand.

Podcasts should also be fun!
Yes, it may be difficult to make something like tax accounting sound fun, but at least it gives you a stage and a spotlight to express your personality or your brand’s character. This alone may be enough to sway any potential customers from a competitor and into your corner.

friends6 – Podcasts feel genuine.

Podcasts are typically independent of any large branding agencies and thus are ‘uncorrupted’ by the guise of corporate advertising. That’s not to say they are all without their own agendas. However, people seem to respond better to marketing sales pitches when they are delivered through a conversation, instead of being forced upon us by advertising agencies. This creates a unique environment for you to promote and sell your product/services without feeling like an infomercial.

7 – Versatility.

Podcasts can be enjoyed in places where reading a blog cannot! Your commute to and from work, while you sweat out the kilometres on the treadmill at the gym, while you walk your dog, cook dinner, sit in the bath or simply drown out the distractions of your surroundings.

microphoneAre you ready to start podcasting yet?

As businesses look for new platforms to compete for and connect with their customers, podcasting is sure to experience a major growth spurt as marketers seek to capitalise in the near future. In an industry driven by building ‘community’ and offering tailored experiences for their customers, podcasting offers both one of the most engaging ways of connecting and creates the perfect platform to deliver incredibly high-value content.

Of course, these aren’t the only reasons to get into podcasting. Check out these interesting statistics: Big Time Podcasting Statistics and Demographics if you need further persuasion.

If you previously discounted the idea of adding a podcast to your marketing mix, perhaps now is the time to reconsider.

Be ahead of new traffic for your business creative agency secrets audience industries new zealand

Be ahead of new traffic for your business

There are millions of people around the globe who want what you have.

They just don’t know you exist yet.

We just need to stand in front of them. Because it’s not always easy for a guy in Timbuktu, Kalamazoo, Ahipara or Middlemarch to just stumble upon you. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t pursuing their dreams and goals without you.

They have gathered with others, in clusters around the internet.

That’s why Audience Industries created their Clusters Marketing Plan.

Have you strategised the year plan for your business? Your niche topics, your challenges, your product launches? Have you coordinated your social media marketing around these ideas?

But most importantly have you structured your marketing so you’re always standing in front of the people who don’t know you exist now?

Chances are: no. Because we all get caught up in the daily activities that run our business. It’s time to get organized! Where do you even begin?

Start Here –> Audience Industries: Clusters

You need to get your editorial, sales, and marketing calendar all sorted so you can get ahead of new traffic for your business. So gather up your ideas, grab a pencil and your calendar, because with the Clusters curriculum we’re going to look at your business, evaluate who your audience is, how to grow it, and plan your path to success.

For marketing specialists, in-house marketing managers and marketing directors, public relations agencies, digital marketing agencies, full service agencies alike, together let’s etch out your plan, analyse the steps and plot the route. It all starts with you and your business.

Down to the details!

Here’s what Audience Industries will cover in the Clusters curriculum:

  • Start: What is your audience learning? Who are they and what are they focused on? Let’s mine this info, find partners, and learn new ways to do things.
  • Module 1: Locate the places and audiences where your message is welcome and put them on your marketing calendar
  • Module 2: Put all your notes and ideas you’ve made over the years, do the keyword research and trend analysis, and build your launch around them!
  • Module 3: Plan joint ventures into your schedule for the friends in your business niche and get both your audiences to grow.
  • Module 4: Find out what your audiences needs and wants, build it and work strategically through your marketing and editorial calendar.
  • Module 5: Don’t get wrapped up in the wrong keyword research tool. Go after the keywords you can win.
  • Module 6: 80% of your revenue stems from 20% of your efforts: find out what that 20% is and do more of it to increase your revenue.
  • Module 7: Plot the offers you’re going to make throughout the year against the demand and be smart about it-put it in your calendar!
  • Module 8: Put everything together in one place. Make room for lead time, pre-sales, pre-launch, follow-up, upsells and coordinate with your content, keywords, audience, hashtags and offers.

By the time you have completed the Clusters curriculum, you’ll have your editorial, sales, and marketing calendar set up for the whole year! You’ll be ahead of the game, just watching your new traffic take the route you pre-planned for them. Amazing!

If you haven’t been following the Audience Industries digital trail…

THE Audience Industries is coming to New Zealand and we’ve been writing all about it. They’ll be trailblazing their way across the north and south islands, spreading knowledge about how to turn your online business into a revenue generating machine. Four curricula in all, four cities, and eight days to learn how to kick your business into gear online:

  1. Sequoia – the place to begin your website marketing.  Suitable for website administrators, marketing staff and newcomers to online and digital communications. [1 May Auckland, 3 May Dunedin, 5 May Wellington]
  2. Circles – audience engagement is the only way to keep visitors coming back to your website.  What to do, how to do it and when to do it.  Suitable for marketing communication managers, public relations, agency marketers and anyone who has done the Sequoia curriculum. [4 May Dunedin, 6 May Wellington, 9 May Auckland]
  3. Clusters – once you know the techniques from Sequoia and Circles, put it into practice in a strategic year plan.  Suitable for marketing specialists, in-house marketing managers and marketing directors, public relations agencies, digital marketing agencies, full service agencies. [10 May Auckland]
  4. Escape Velocity – designed for entrepreneurs and startups, this course pulls together everything you need to drive revenue for your business from online/offline integration.  Suitable for both bootstrapping startups and established enterprise who have a goal to grow and then sell their business. [29 April Auckland]

With these curricula combined you can be the CEO of your website. Get your tickets booked now.

Audience Industries New Zealand Tour

Audience Industries New Zealand Tour

Announcing the Audience Industries New Zealand Tour

Creative Agency Secrets is proud to be collaborating with Audience Industries for the second year running! Together with founders Dan Morris and Rachel Martin we’ll be running an 8 date tour, making stops in Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington, learning how to drive online business success.

Learn how to grow revenue with your best tool: YOUR website!

Find out how to build new revenue streams and grow audience engagement with your website with the leading edge of best practice with these two leading practitioners. Here’s a taste of what’s in store for you when you attend Audience Industries:

  • Audience engagement with community marketing
  • Persuasion and action techniques
  • How to tell a story (that people WANT to read)
  • Using data dashboards to improve conversions
  • The copywriting words that create engagement
  • How to use custom sidebars to optimise your adverts
  • A YouTube strategy to keep viewers on your videos

Get past using buzz phrases and marketing hype! You’ll learn practical solutions that you can use immediately.

Want to find out more?

Read all 4 curriculum options in detail!

We know these techniques work, and you will learn the practical solutions directly from expert, knowledgeable technicians. Don’t believe us? Look at just a couple of the testimonials we captured from last year’s attendees:

Rachel and Dan have a really lovely style and they have ‘been there and done that’ so they are talking from experience.  They’re constantly tweaking their own approach and there is an emphasis on practical application. I found them very generous with their information. No holding back.

They were genuinely concerned about the group getting the information and being able to use it.  They wanted everyone to succeed and it’s unusual to find that in presenters.

They want the whole sector to grow.  Very personable, nice and the information was extremely useful and It was easy into put into practice.  

Jayne Richardson, @jreltd, Auckland attendee 2015

Book your ticket now

  • Auckland – April 29th – Escape Velocity Curriculum
  • Auckland – May 1st – Sequoia Curriculum
  • Dunedin, May 3rd half day – Sequoia Curriculum
  • Dunedin May 4th half day – Circles Curriculum
  • Wellington – May 5th – Sequoia Curriculum
  • Wellington May 6th – Circles Curriculum
  • Auckland – May 9th – Circles Curriculum
  • Auckland – May 10th – Clusters Curriculum

Get details on the detailed curriculum of what you will learn at each event.

We’re offering single-day tickets, or get a SPECIAL for two dates in one city.

Don’t miss out on the Audience Industries New Zealand Tour! Dan and Rachel will teach you the tools so you will become the CEO of your website.

 

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

When you’re new, or growing, and need social proof to prove your worth to the world

So, you’re starting out your business and you know you’ve got a good thing going. But something you don’t have yet from your clients: their endorsement of you and your brand or your product. Sure, they’ve told you they liked working with you and, of course, that made you feel good on the inside. But, with the interwebs, you need to have hard proof that says someone used your services and liked it enough to write it down in a social internet space. Like Google Reviews. Or Facebook. Or even just in an email and with your clients’ blessing. Okay, so, how do you do it?

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, or deduced from the title of this blog post, we’re talking about testimonials. Or reviews. Either or, they can be one in the same, if they contain ratings and words as friendly companions in whatever social app you’re using. There are multiple ways to get those testimonials so that, when a new possible client happens to Google you, lo and behold, they see other people like you and have used you and have provided their friendly feedback. Well, we rolled out with a fun and ‘give-back sort’ of way to request from our clients and those that have worked with us in the past. I think you’ll like it.

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Before the holidays, our Chief in Command, Rebecca, came across a non-profit organization called StarJam. Briefly, I just want to let you know that what they do is amazing. Through music and performing arts, StarJam lifts kids with disabilities up, helps them to learn new skills, and gives them confidence. Just take a look at the photos they have on their website, every time I do I just want to be a part of that! Anyway, back to the story. Rebecca wanted Creative Agency Secrets to be able to give to StarJam. We also, you guessed it, wanted to get testimonials. Testimonials in one hand, giving to a good cause in the other… hmm. There’s got to be a good way to put these two together.

And SMASH!

It’s the holidays, right? We can send out a good will email to our clients! WE will donate money in your name to StarJam if you can write a few words on Google about your time with Creative Agency Secrets. So, we reached out to StarJam to get their permission, find out if they felt comfortable with our plan, requested a few images to use and then started crafting an email.

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Key items we made sure to have in our email

  1. Make your headline engaging
  2. Make your text interesting to read
  3. Tell the reader what you’re doing or what you’re asking them to do

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials4. Hyperlink to wherever they need to go or whatever you’re referring to

5. Use images

The main thing we wanted to make sure to do was inform our followers HOW to submit a review. Some people don’t have Gmail. I know, crazy world, but we had to come up with a foolproof way to say ‘This is easy! Here, we’ll show you’.

Be Innovative with How You Get TestimonialsVoila! We created this easy to read image with everything needed to tell our audience how to do what we were asking them to do.

Then what? Well, we could wait around with baited breath. But, by this time, it was Christmas and we decided we’d come back to it in the New Year with fresh eyes and suntans.

And when we did… no reviews! We could have been sad and wallowed a bit but that’s now how you get good reviews. So we sent a follow-up email. Sort of a, “Hey, we know you were busy over the holidays, but…” reminder. Good idea, right? Of course.

But when you’ve asked the same way twice and you still get no response

You try another tactic. This time, we called, or in some cases walked over to, those who had worked with us in the past to ask them, oh so kindly, to provide us with a review while we donated to a good cause in their name. Sometimes it just takes the glimmer in your eye, the inflection in your voice, or just good ole human contact to make the connection you need.

And now we’re on the MAP!

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Tips to those using Google reviews!

  1. For one, you need 5 reviews to be able to see your star rating.
  2. For two… even if you have 5 star ratings for all 5 of your Google reviews… somehow you still only rate 4.8 stars

Number two will remain a bit of a mystery.

I hope this helps any startup businesses out there looking to get on the map as well with testimonials and reviews. As they say, right now, the BEST way to get business is by word of mouth. And online rating systems like Google, Facebook, and others are the next best things with the worldwide web!

What’s the best way to introduce my business by email?

We get asked this a lot and the short answer is that it must be part of a wider marketing / business development plan.  BUT Chalkwardwithin that context here’s our recommendation.

The best way to introduce a company to new buyers using email is this.

  1. Research potential businesses by browsing their websites and finding the names of people who work there. Cross-check the names using Linked In and build a spreadsheet database of prospects.
  2. Write a bespoke introduction email to the recipient which demonstrates you have researched their business and understand their needs. It should not be about sales. The first approach is about research and finding out more about them. Aim to set a time to speak on phone/Skype to find out more.
  3. For those who do not respond. Plan a second email with a gentle reminder of your interest in their business. Ask them to pass the message to the correct person if they are not dealing with suppliers.
  4. If they do not reply, add them to your mailing list and start to send regular, short, informative messages which will help their business (may include some sales messages, but very few).
  5. If you can afford it, send a postal mailing individually to each business with some collateral, samples or testimonials as a follow up. Again, invite them to connect with you by telephone/Skype.

The deep skill lies in writing that first, well-researched email.  It needs to be short, engaging and to create a desire to learn more from the reader.  If you work in B2C this is not a practical solution unless you are a startup, because it’s too time consuming.

Creative Agency Secrets provides email copywriting services, and training to teach your team how to write and execute email introduction programmes.

The Top 6 most popular articles of all time

Email Preferences check box

Email unsubscribe best practice

Today I had a raft of emails from which I wanted to unsubscribe.  It happens.  But the experience was so variable between the different service providers that it’s worthy of a blog post.

Box.com

Box came up first – I don’t use the service and so why are they writing to me.

Box.com dumb unsubscribe

Box dumb unsubscribe

Hit unsubscribe.

They use Eloqua for email distribution and I have to type in my address in order to unsubscribe.

Not good.  You know my address, therefore you should have it pre-populated.

New Breed Marketing

New Breed Marketing came up next – an event in a country where I don’t

Email Preferences check box

Email Preferences check box

live – I won’t go and I don’t want more invites to events that I can’t attend.

Hit unsubscribe.

They use Hubspot for email distribution and I find that I can update my email ‘preferences’ and select to only get their blog posts by email.  Perfect!

Check your own set-up by subscribing to your mail list (I always do this for our clients) and see what your unsubscribe experience is like.  Don’t want to annoy customers.