Posts tagged "communication"

The stats behind email marketing

October 16th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “The stats behind email marketing”

ThinkstockPhotos-177268547

If a good website is the first-place finisher of all marketing tools, then effective Email marketing runs a close second. Way too many marketers ignore the numbers behind the subscribes/unsubscribes and clicks.

Here are key factors everyone can quickly check and track:

  • Unique Opens provides information on who opened your messages. It is a good way to ensure your subject lines are engaging.
  • The number and location of clicks tell you the number of people who take some kind of action, ideally to landing pages to complete your calls to action.
  • Bounces provide critical information as to the quality of your lists. A high number of bounces means a bad list or that it is way past time to clean up your list.

For more information on other email marketing statistics you may want to review, please contact us for an appointment to do an analysis of your current program. If you need some assistance reinvigorating your mailing program or implementing one, we can help.

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What to do with a bad review?

September 18th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “What to do with a bad review?”

Poor Rating

If you have been in business for any length of time, it is likely that you have had some customer transactions that were less than perfect. A bad review across online channels today can potentially cause a lot of harm. The natural reaction is to fight back, but that will only make a bad situation worse.

So, when you get a bad review…Here are four “NOTS”.

  • Do not ignore the review.
  • Do not deny that the issue existed. It may have seemed like nothing to you, but because your customer posted it, it was a big deal to them.
  • Don’t argue with the customer, or try to prove you are right and they are wrong.
  • Don’t pay to have “a cleaner” remove the bad review or write phony reviews to counter the bad one

And here are three things you should DO…

  • Do respond. Consider how you would want someone to respond to you when things do not go as planned. Do it tactfully. Take the high road. Be a professional. Acknowledge the issue and encourage the poster to re-engage to resolve the issue. The Golden Rule always wins.
  • Do apologize. Sometimes an apology is all the poster wants. Acknowledge you understand how they feel. And do what you can to make it right. Provide direct lines of communication and personalized attention to show you care and to get the conversation off line and not in the public eye.
  •  If you are able to satisfy the customer, ask them if they would mind posting a follow-up review indicating how the issue was resolved and their level of satisfaction.

Unhappy customers are an inevitable reality for every business. And although unpleasant, these issues can become a game changer for your company. They may reveal blind spots in service or where improvements can be made—a true silver lining take away after a stormy experience.

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Want to know how to write a great email?

September 11th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “Want to know how to write a great email?”

email compose

Your audience is busy. Stand out from the other five hundred emails they’ve received this morning by deleting most of what you’ve written. A shorter message stands out.

When you write a long email, your chances of being read, understood, and remembered are much lower. People are receiving far more junk email than ever before. Some folks have even declared “email bankruptcy” and deleted all of their old emails at once without reading them! So it’s important that you be as concise as possible.

Fewer words on a bold white background grab the attention of the reader and your message resonates. Longer messages hit the trash can without ever making an impact. Here’s my secret formula to writing a good email:

1. Write your email

2. Delete most of it

3. Send

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50 + 2 Improperly Used Words in Writing

August 28th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “50 + 2 Improperly Used Words in Writing”

ThinkstockPhotos-186501817

Using the wrong words in business communications can be more than just embarrassing, it can damage your credibility and could even be a cause for rejection of your proposal. I taught middle school grammar for two years and LOVED it. I came out of that experience with an even deeper love for the English language.

The way we speak is different than the way we communicate the written word. Check out these 52 frequently misused/abused words in business writing. Some of these may surprise you.

accept, except
accept – (verb) To agree with, take in, receive. Example: We accept your proposal.
except – (preposition) Apart from. Example: All committee members are present except for Ms. Brown.

acute, chronic
acute – (adjective) Sharp, intense, critical. Example: The company has an acute shortage of skilled workers right now.
chronic – (adjective) Constant, habitual, long lasting. Example: She is unable to work because of a chronic illness.

adverse, averse
adverse – (adjective) Unfavorable, opposing one’s interest. Example: They found themselves in adverse circumstances.
averse – (adjective) Antipathy, repugnance, having the feeling of being opposed. Example: She is not averse to increasing her workload.

affect, effect
affect – (verb) To influence something. Example: How will that affect the bottom line?
effect – (noun) The result of. (verb) to cause something to be. Example: Her speech had the effect of motivating the listeners.

allusion, illusion
allusion – (noun) A casual reference of mention of something. Example: Was that an allusion to Hemingway?
illusion – (noun) Something that gives a false picture of reality. Example: He believes democracy is an illusion.

all right, alright
all right – Fine, OK. Example: It’s all right to leave early.
alright – Incorrect spelling, but often shows up in informal writing.

apprise, appraise
apprise – (verb) Give notice to. Example: Please apprise me of the situation.
appraise – (verb) Determine the worth of something. Example: The ring was appraised before we purchased it.

assure, ensure, insure
assure – (verb) To state with confidence, pledge or promise. Example: I assure you the check is in the mail.
ensure – (verb) To make certain. Example: Following the instructions ensures you won’t get hurt.
insure – (verb) To purchase insurance. Example: Insure the package before you mail it.

beside, besides
beside – (preposition) At the side of, next to, near. Example: Take a seat beside me.
besides – (adverb) Furthermore, in addition to. Example: Besides, several of us will be out of town next week.

compliment, complement
compliment – (verb) To give praise. Example: I complimented Steve on his speech.
complement – (verb) To complete something or match it well. Example: Her skills complement the needs of our department.

continual, continuous
continual – (adjective) Often repeated, very frequent – but occasionally interrupted. Example: They’ve received continual complaints.
continuous – (adjective) Uninterrupted. Example: We couldn’t hear over his continuous talking.

disburse, disperse
disburse – (verb) To pay, distribute, scatter. Example: They disbursed name tags to everyone attending the meeting.
disperse – (verb) To drive off, spread widely, cause to vanish. Example: The throng of fans dispersed into the stands.

farther, further
farther – (adverb) At or to a greater distance. Example: We are located farther down the highway.
further – (adverb) More or additional — but not related to distance. Example: We need to have further discussion on that.

fewer, less
fewer – (adjective) Of a small number, only used with countable items. Example: He made fewer mistakes than last time.
less – (adjective or adverb) To a smaller extent, amount or degree — used with quantities that cannot be individually counted. Example: If they made less noise, we could concentrate.

imply, infer
imply – (verb) To suggest. Example: What are you implying by that accusation?
infer – (verb) To deduce from evidence. Example: From the look on your face, I can infer you’re not happy with the decision.

its, it’s
its – (pronoun) Possessive form of “it.” Example: The machine has lost its ability to scan documents.
it’s – Contraction of “it is.” Example: It’s not a question of right or wrong.

lose, loose
lose – (verb) Fail to win, misplace. Example: Did you lose your file?
loose – (adjective) Free from anything that restrains. Example: Since losing weight, his clothes seem loose.

of, have
of – (preposition) Frequently confused with “have” since “could’ve” is pronounced “could of.” But “of” cannot be used as a verb.
have – (verb) Proper verb form for “could have,” “should have” and “would have.”

principal, principle
principal – (noun) Person who has controlling authority. (adjective) Something essential or important. Example: Let’s talk about the principal reason we’re meeting today.
principle – (noun) Basic truth, policy or action. Example: It’s important to stick to our principles.

regardless, irregardless
regardless – (adjective or adverb) In spite of. Example: We are leaving, regardless of whether you’re ready.
irregardless – This is not a word. (Yes, you may find it in your dictionary, but you’re only embarrassing yourself if you use it.)

than, then
than – (preposition) In contrast to. Example: I’d rather speak face-to-face than communicate by e-mail.
then – (adverb) Next. Example: We met for dinner, then went to a movie.

their, there, they’re
their – (pronoun) Belonging to them. Example: Where is their car?
there – (adverb) In a place. Example: Let’s visit there.
they’re – Contraction of “they are.” Example: They’re not leaving without saying good-bye, are they?

Who, whom
Who – (pronoun) Use ‘who’ when referring to the subject of a sentence. Example: “Who loves you?”
Whom – (pronoun) Use ‘whom’ when referring to the object of a sentence. Example: “Whom do I love?”

whose, who’s
whose – (pronoun) Possessive case of “who” or “which.” Example: Whose keys are these?
who’s – Contraction of “who is.” Example: Who’s going to the game after work?

your, you’re
your – (pronoun) Belonging to you. Example: Your briefcase is over there.
you’re – Contraction of “you are.” Example: You’re not going to believe this.

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5 types of visual content

July 24th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “5 types of visual content”

Photo collage from cubes with pictures

Visual content is becoming more and more popular because of its ability to quickly communicate a concept; images are more shareable than text. Here are five types of visual content that resonate best with customers and prospects.<br />
<strong>Comics</strong> – can be a fun way to talk about a complex problem. Comics can be a great ice breaker to talk about bigger issues. A comic that identifies a problem can be an engaging way to introduce a whitepaper or a new solution.<br />
<strong>Memes</strong> – are phrases or sayings that are tied to an image. This can be used in a humorous manner, or can be more serious with a customer testimonial and image. Memes can be used as invitations, to share facts, to poke fun or to help customers digest small bits of information.<br />
<strong>Infographics</strong> – are a great way to summarize an issue or findings. Whether its survey results or showing two sides of an argument, a well-crafted infographic can help the reader understand the issues at hand and the possible solutions. We’re working right now on an infographic that is a key part of a non-profit’s fundraising campaign.<br />
<strong>Photos</strong> – are an often overlooked marketing tool. Cameras are ubiquitous. Almost everyone has one in their purse or back pocket. Don’t just throw event photos up on Flickr or Facebook. Take one of your event/meeting photos and use that to convey or promote your message.<br />
<strong>Videos</strong> – can be a challenge for a lot of companies. Often the cost to produce can be prohibitive for a small business, however, video is one of the most widely consumed forms of content on the internet. People will often rather watch a 30 second video than read a page of content. A video does not have to be a professionally produced piece of art. Segments of a webinar or a short video taken with a HD phone camera will often convey the message you need in a short amount of time.<br />
Marketers who are leveraging visual content are seeing significant increases in their blog traffic, social media engagement, visitor-to-lead conversion rates and inbound customer acquisition results.

Breathing life into dead leads

July 17th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “Breathing life into dead leads”

Cardiogram

At one point or another, every salesperson comes across a prospect that shows a high level of interest and then, seemingly out of nowhere, drops off the face of the earth. If you are looking to resurrect a dead lead, try some of these tips:

  • Create an engagement oriented offer. Maybe your lead needs a little more information before they make their decision. Try an offer of a helpful whitepaper, a new point of view, an infographic or experiment with a conversational call to action or a survey.
  • “Dear John.” It may sound counter-intuitive, but if your lead won’t return your calls or respond to your emails, try sending one last email to let them know that while you’ll always be there for them, you’re taking them off the top of your list. It may just provoke them to respond.
  • Keep them on life support. Try creating a “no person left behind policy.” Something inspired them to reach out to you in the first place. You just need to rekindle that interest again. Marketing automation makes it possible to put your dead leads into a recycled lead-nurturing track that can go on from here to the hereafter. Don’t give up—keep at it.

Persistence and the right message can really pay off for marketers. Try mixing up your delivery too. Email is great; email plus a phone call is even better. Add a compelling direct mail piece or hand written note into the mix and get ready to watch your dead leads live again!

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Email marketing by the #’s

July 10th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “Email marketing by the #’s”

 

 

Email marketing

Email marketing is an effective and popular way to reach customers, if they get read. These tips can help keep your subscribers engaged:

  • The best time to send emails is in the morning between 9am – noon.
  • Targeted emails’ open and click rates see a 14% improvement relative to general emails.
  • 52% of people use their cell phones for sending and receiving email. Make sure your emails are mobile friendly.
  • When it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message, email has the highest conversion rate (66%), when compared to social, direct mail and more.
  • 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone and subject lines with fewer than 10 characters had an open rate of 58%.
  • 7 in 10 people say they used a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week.

Quality communication with your prospects and customers can get you closer to that sweet spot of people actually looking forward to and reading your messages. Try testing subject lines and different offers in your email to see what is most effective with your clients.

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The one perk key employees really want

June 19th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “The one perk key employees really want”
Mixed group in business meeting

Open Communication

Based on a recent survey of more than 1,000 workers nationwide, 81 percent of employees said they would rather join a company that practices “open communication” than one that offers perks such as free food, gym memberships and the like. What’s more, the same survey found that only 15 percent of employees are satisfied with the quality of communication within their companies.

Since happy employees tend to provide better customer service –and customer service is absolutely vital for all small businesses – it makes sense for us to survey our own employees to see what perks they would like to see implemented. By getting to know your employees, paying attention to their hobbies, and recognizing the things they care about, any business can offer a variety of perks that fall within its own budget—and keep employees happy, motivated, and successful.

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That’s So Generic!

May 15th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “That’s So Generic!”

 

Far too often, I see transactional or marketing and sales emails coming from an address that looks like “do-not-reply@whatever.com.”

A do-not-reply email address gives the impression you’re not open to hearing from your customers. While you insist that they remain open to hearing from you (you are emailing them after all), you’re not keeping the channel of communication open so they can write back.

Sure, they could check your website for contact information or customer support, or reply through one of the social links you’ve included, but responding through social channels or contacting customer support doesn’t have the immediacy email communication does. It also requires extra steps on the customer’s part. Without explicitly saying so, you’re making it harder for your customers to contact you than it is for you to contact them. 

Your goal should be to create a two-way dialog between you and your customers. So open up your email channel to replies. Yes, it means that email address will also have to handle processing all the bounces and “out of office” auto replies, but taking 15 minutes to clean out an email inbox is worth it for the confidence it inspires in your customers. 

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