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Entries in marketing advice (15)


Stay Alert: Protect Your Performance

Just like you would buy a carbon monoxide detector or a smoke detector for your home, you need to set up safety nets that will alert you if something about your business goes wrong.

What am I talking about?

Automated Reports. Reports are more than just facts and figures you pull at the end of every month or every time you have to make a presentation to your boss or investors. Reports should be used on an ongoing basis to keep track of crucial numbers and performance metrics.

Setting up automated reports, ones that are delivered to your email inbox once a day, week, or month, is a good way to stay on top of multiple projects at once, long after your attention has shifted to something else. Keep an eye on key numbers. When something shifts dramatically from what it has been, or from your expectations, take the time to investigate and identify why the shift took place.

It’s a quick and easy way to keep an eye on your business. And the best way that I know to diagnose a small problem before it becomes a much larger problem.

Protect yourself!


10 Email Marketing Commandments

Email marketing is both an art and a science. There are rebels, those that go against the grain. Some are successful, others are very much not successful.

If you’re new to email marketing, here are 10 Commandments to live by:

  1. You shall grow your membership database via an opt-in option instead of adding people to your list and forcing them to opt-out.
  2. You shall never send an email to someone after they have already unsubscribed.
  3. You shall not bombard the users’ email inbox with more than they can handle. Set a regular schedule based on the type of services or products you offer and stick to it. Resist the urge to increase frequency.
  4. You shall use a subject line that relates to the nature of the email. Resist the urge to “trick” the person into opening the email.
  5. You shall make all emails that you send relevant to the audience that will receive them.
  6. You shall test your emails to improve performance non-stop.
  7. You shall track the performance of every email that you send.
  8. You shall respect the privacy of your subscribers, and never take them for granted.
  9. You shall worship email marketing as long as you live, never giving in or believing that the next up and coming technology makes email marketing obsolete.
  10. You shall break the rules when and if it makes sense to do so.

How to Think Like a Customer

If you're a long-time reader of this blog then you'll know I've reviewed her book before, but Kristin Zhivago's Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy has been a great influencer of how I think about marketing. Thinking like a marketer is all well and good, until it’s time to sell a product or service to someone who is not, and will never be, a marketer.

Who are you trying to sell to? The customer.

And how does your customer think? Unless you are very lucky, he or she probably does not think like you. And in order to sell to them, you need to know what they are feeling, thinking, and planning on doing.

There are a couple of ways you can do this:

  1. Become your own customer – go into a store or visit the website, call customer service or the sales department, ask questions and get friends of yours to do the same thing.
  2. Talk to your customers – this can be accomplished via one on one interviews, surveys or focus groups, follow up materials, etc.

In order to get the most out of the experience, think about what you want to learn.

  1. What are your customers looking for when they come to you? What problem are they trying to solve?
  2. What questions do they have? What happens when these questions are not answered?
  3. What is the experience like? What do they do immediately after they purchase from you?
  4. Why do customers choose not to buy from you and where do they go next?

Once you learn the answers to these questions, you will have a better sense of who you are marketing to. You will know what they want, and you will know how to give it to them. You can write advertising and website content that speaks directly to their needs and how you plan to meet them.

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