Quick tips on how to keep your brilliant email campaigns out of the junk folders.
Imagine that your business has come up with one of the best email marketing campaigns of all time.
None of that useless spammy nonsense, of course.
No, you’ve simply crafted an ingenious way of updating your loyal customer base with exciting news which you think will be of genuine interest to them.
Perhaps you’re announcing a special offer, the launch of a brand new product or service, or just something that your clients will find useful or of great value.
So far so good.
But what if a big chunk of your amazing emails end up getting mistaken for spam and thrown straight into the junk folders without ever getting seen by your recipients?
Here are a few quick handy tips to help your future marketing emails find their true destination…
Getting to grips with Internet Trolls AND genuine criticism of your services.
Everyone’s a critic.
But are you handling any online criticism of your business and services in the most productive way?
Are you making a clear distinction between valid criticism and blatant Trolling?
Is it ever ok to delete critical messages or negative feedback on Social Media?
And are you responding to criticism in a professional and effective manner, or do you end up getting bogged down in long-winded online feuds?
Arming myself with a red hot poker (just in case), I’m heading out into the darker corners of Cyberspace today in search of the right answers…
Of course, online criticism is a very contemporary problem.
Way back in the mists of time, not that many disgruntled customers would have bothered to summon up the vast energy levels required to actually pick up the telephone and make a complaint.
Taking things one step further, I would imagine that hardly anybody at all would have been willing to march up and down the streets with a giant megaphone in a bid to air their grievances with as many other people as possible.
That last idea might sound a bit silly and over-the-top, but it’s not a million miles away from what unhappy customers can do today.
It now takes barely any effort at all to leave a scathing online review of a business, or type a quick negative comment.
There’s no longer any need to worry about face-to-face confrontation, potential awkwardness, or even just very basic everyday etiquette.
Nope. These days, we can just quickly upload our opinions into Cyberspace and put our negative words on very public display.
Maybe even slightly too easy…
Is Twitter gearing up to drop the 140-character limit in your Tweets?
Rumours and speculations have been spreading around the Twittersphere in hushed whispers over the last month.
And this time I’m relieved to say that they had nothing at all to do with the alleged leaked photographs of the Scooby Doo wallpaper in my office.
The latest rumour is that Twitter could be getting ready to ditch the 140-character limit from your Tweets.
And unlike the Scooby Doo wallpaper scandal, it does appear as if these particular rumours could well turn out to have some substance behind them…
But is this potentially huge new development something to be welcomed or feared?
How exactly is Twitter likely to implement such a drastic change, and could it have a huge impact on your business tweeting?
And in the meantime, how can you currently ‘cheat’ the 140-character limit with very little effort?
How to create the perfect ‘About Us’ section for your website or social media profile.
“So…..tell me a little about yourself. What are your hobbies? What do you like to like to do? What makes you tick? Give me a bit of background. Describe yourself to me…..”
I don’t know about you, but I always find that to be one of the most dreaded and spine-chilling questions that anyone could ever possibly ask.
I’m sure that many of you out there are quite happy to chat freely about yourself and your achievements without any inhibitions at all, and that’s a great gift to be cherished.
But for the rest of us, this kind of perfectly innocent but devilishly probing question can just stop us in dead in our tracks for a minute or two, whether we come across it on some kind of application form, interview, an ice-breaker in a meeting, or even just in a new social situation.
Being asked to describe yourself and quickly sum yourself up in a few quick soundbites just seems to be quite an odd thing to be asked to do. It makes some of us dry up a little bit, almost as if we’d rather they had simply asked us to calculate the weight of the sun, or the latitude of Timbuktu.
Interestingly, this ‘drying up’ often translates over to our web presence, too – in particular, when it comes to filling in the details of our ‘About Us’ page.
We often find ourselves scratching our heads in puzzlement, wondering just what on Earth we are supposed to put in here, exactly.
Are you learning from brilliant business ideas or are you just trying to copy them?
Nobody likes a copycat.
But are you taking true inspiration from the cream of cracking business marketing, or are you simply delivering a weaker imitation?
I know a business owner who goes by the nickname of Tigger.
Last night, he was brave enough to stand up in the middle of Smokey Joe’s Business Bar and make the following insightful announcement;
“I only ever learn from the very best of the very best! I take a promising idea from an experienced professional and I turn it into a genius concept for my own business!”
I suspect that Tigger may have had a few drinks before making this announcement, although I still think he wholeheartedly believed in his own words.
The irony is that less than five minutes earlier, somebody else had stood up in the middle of the bar and said the exact same words to rapturous applause from Smokey Joe’s crowd.
When Tigger had come along shortly afterwards and just copied every single word already spoken, the response from the crowd was more a sense of muted bafflement.
In truth, Tigger doesn’t really learn from others.
He’s just a Copycat who tries to shoehorn other people’s ideas into his own business marketing without stopping to think if they will work or they will fit.
And the problem with a copy is that it’s never quite the same quality as the original…
Why you could lose out on BIG results by not setting deadlines in your business marketing.
Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
You only have the rest of your life to read this Blog article!
Act NOW before it’s too late!
No, wait, that doesn’t quite work, does it?
I think we may possibly require something that creates just a little more urgency…
But are you creating urgency in your own business marketing by setting out clear and genuine deadlines?
There was definitely a degree of urgency in Old Bert’s behaviour today.
He’d just heard that the local Sweet Pastry Shop was offering half-price Banana Nut Muffins until 2pm this afternoon.
Old Bert is not one to miss out on a good bargain.
I’ve never seen him move so fast in all my life.
He raced out of the Martin Print office so quickly that I didn’t get the chance to tell him that the offer was actually running yesterday.
I really don’t think I want to be here when he gets back…
But it’s fair to say that owners of smaller businesses can often have a relaxed attitude to setting deadlines and expiration dates for offers.
Just how long exactly is the average attention span of your potential business customers?
A quiet evening down at Smokey Joe’s Business Bar was pierced by the following question from a fellow business owner standing right beside me.
“Hey Martin!” he began.
“You might know the answer to this one. It’s probably relevant to your field of expertise.
“A few of us were having a good healthy debate a little earlier about the average attention span of a potential customer.
“One guy was trying to say that business marketing needs to grab attention within just a couple of minutes, as the average attention span of a consumer isn’t much longer than that.
“I argued that business marketing needs to make a point within seconds rather than whole minutes. The average human attention span must surely be getting shorter and shorter every year, don’t you think?
“So what exactly is the average attention span of our potential business customers these days, Martin?
“Martin? Martin, are you even listening to me?”
At least that’s what I think he said.
To be honest, I became distracted after the first few words.
A dog had just wandered into the bar dressed up in a Superman costume and it was now trying to liberate some left-over nibbles from a recently vacated table nearby.
In fairness though, a lot of people would have found their attention wandering even without the surprise super-dog incident.
Here’s the shocking truth of the matter.
The average attention span of a human being is now a paltry 8 seconds.
Even more incredibly, that’s now one second less than a goldfish!
So, if you’re promoting your business to the goldfish market, you have one extra second to play with.
Otherwise, you need to grab that crucial attention within an average of just 8 tiny seconds.
But how exactly can you capture attention in such a relatively short window of time?
But how many of your prospective customers will walk away without ever discovering the truth?
“I know that I run a truly outstanding business!
But why am I finding it so hard to convince my potential customers of this?
Most of them just seem to go with cheaper prices and lower quality elsewhere without ever even realising what they missed out on!
What am I doing wrong?”
It’s a common cry for help.
This particular one came from a business owner called Alex who was venting his feelings in my direction this week down at Smokey Joe’s Business Bar.
A bit weird and unexpected, really.
I’d only asked him if he had any loose change for the jukebox.
But there you go.
Here’s the thing.
I know Alex runs an amazing business.
His products and services are genuinely excellent. He puts his closest competitors to shame. He should rightly be hailed as the number one name in his field.
He should also be charging a lot more to reflect the quality of his services.
And the customers should be battering down his door to pay him this money!
But that’s just not happening.
Alex just doesn’t seem to be convincing his potential clients that his business is awesome.
How the three latest Facebook updates could impact your Business Page.
The latest updates from Facebook could potentially see a further decline in your post reach and referral traffic.
But what exactly are these three brand new updates and what do they mean for your Facebook Business Page?
There was definitely a sinking feeling down at Smokey Joe’s Business Bar when we first heard the announcement on new updates from Facebook which will change how content is delivered to the user’s news feed.
Even before we’d heard any of the details, we instinctively knew that it was going to be bad news for Business Page owners.
It always is.
I can’t remember the last announcement from Facebook which included any good news for Business Pages.
One business owner in the bar was still happy to admit that he was intrigued, though.
“I’ll be fascinated to see how they can make my post visibility go any lower than it already is!” he howled.
As the details were slowly revealed to us, it unfortunately looked as if our instincts had been right.
It certainly punctured the mood in the bar.
Such a shame after the pirate-themed Karaoke competition had gone down so well, too.
The new updates were officially unveiled in a new Facebook Blog post written by Product Manager Max Eulenstein and User Experience Researcher Lauren Scissors.
Most of the big changes relate to balancing the news feed content between posts from personal friends and ‘pages’.
As you can probably already imagine, it’s the ‘pages’ which are now walking away with a tougher deal and less visibility.
So let’s take a closer look at each of the three new updates in turn…
Why failing to accurately identify your target audience is bad for your business.
You can’t please all the people all the time….can you?
A particularly ambitious business owner may well believe that his or her target audience is absolutely everybody on the planet!
And you can hardly blame an entrepreneurial spirit for thinking big.
But in the ongoing battle between corporate giants and smaller businesses, are we really in a position to make such a strategy work?
Or should we be adopting a different and far more focused approach?
In short, do you really know exactly who your customers are?
Down at Smokey Joe’s Business Bar last week, I was with a group of Small to Medium Sized Business owners.
I’m talking about the sizes of the businesses, not the sizes of the people.
We were gathered around a table drawing up detailed character profiles of our perfect ‘typical customer’.
I’m not quite sure now how or why we started to do this.
I suspect it had something to do with the Electronic Quiz Machine getting taken away for repairs on that day.
A few of us really got into the spirit of things and were able to draw up quite convincing profiles of our specific target audiences.
I’d like to think that my own profile for the perfect Martin Print customer – in search of premium-quality printing and results-driven design to boost their business marketing – was pretty detailed and accurate.
Although I now think I may have used the wrong colour for the hair.