Archive for Marketing

How Can Your Marketing Collateral Draw More Attention?

One of the most often misused tools of any business, marketing collateral can be leveraged in amazing ways. Defined as the collection of ads and media used to support and grow one’s business, marketing collateral is often thought to be mere accessories to a business when, in all actuality, they can be the very lifeblood of any thriving company. Not to worry. If you need help finding better ways to use your marketing collateral to garner more attention, keep reading.

Appeal to Emotions

First and foremost, one of the best and easiest ways to better leverage your marketing collateral is by using writing copy that appeals to the emotions of consumers. For instance, if you are selling bug spray, showing a woman in a swarm of angry mosquitoes would be a very great way to appeal to the emotions of consumers. By doing this, you will find that more customers are compelled to try your product as the jolt to their senses will leave them looking for a new solution to their issue.

Call to Action

Another important element of marketing collateral is to ensure it includes a quality call to action, or a word or phrase requesting that the customer purchases your product or service immediately. Although this may seem like a minuscule task, by presenting the customers with a problem and insisting that they immediately try your product and service to fix it, many customers will find themselves drawn to your page or site in order to quell the unpleasant emotions being created by the mere thought of experiencing the scenario you have presented.

Overall, marketing collateral can be a highly influential tool. Nevertheless, unless you are aware of how to use these tools effectively, they amount to little more than collateral damage.

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Building Keywords to Add to Your Content

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the practice of adding just the right mix of the proper keywords to get your website to rank high in search engine results. This allows potential visitors to find you easily, and increases traffic to your website. While some run away screaming at the mention of SEO, it is really not a complicated process. The following three tips will help you add keywords to the content on your website, so you can increase the number of new and returning visitors to your site.

* Determine Your Purpose

First, determine what you are trying to accomplish by bringing visitors to your website. What are people looking for that they will find on your site? The whole purpose behind keyword optimization is to put the right mix of keywords into the content on your website, so your site will be picked up in search engine results. If the search engines can’t find you, neither can people that are looking for what you have to offer. Once you determine your purpose, then you can choose keywords to pepper into your content to allow your site to be on the first page of search results.

* Research Keywords

Next, research keywords for your website. There are several websites out there that will help you choose the right keywords for your website. The keywords you choose should reflect what your site is about. Your site likely already ranks high for certain keywords; keyword analytics sites can help you determine this. You should also brainstorm to think of other keywords that may be untapped. This will help you increase your search rankings.

* Check Your Keyword Density

Once you have plugged in the chosen keywords, go back to your favorite analytics tool and analyze your keyword density. Remember that too few keywords will cause your website to fall in the search rankings, but having too many keywords can also hurt you. This is called “keyword stuffing,” and is harshly penalized by the major search engines.

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5 Steps to Successful Inbound Marketing

With inbound marketing, your website is your hub and you want your audience to not just visit, but stay and interact. To do this, you need to make sure that you are providing a wealth of information (without giving away the proverbial milk for free) and keeping your brand consistent. Hopefully, while you do this, you are displaying your ultra-cool company persona as well.

By sharing your expertise through blog posts, white papers, and more, you will attract and encourage your audience to pass the information along to their colleagues and acquaintances. In essence, you are inviting your audience to share your materials so you reach an even larger number of people over time.

But you can’t just throw things up on your website and assume they will be shared. You can’t just upload or post items and think that they will be received well and be the next viral email or Facebook post. Here are some tips to make sharing easy and encourage your audience to share your content over and over again:

Don’t assume that your viewers are already connected with you. Many will not be. So make sure that visible buttons and links are available on your website for the audience to hop on over to your various social media profiles and connect with you via Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn and so on. Having the graphic buttons on your HOME page with direct links to those profiles is a must. But don’t be shy. You can add them to every web page. You can also whip up a blog post discussing social media and inviting your audience to come and hook up with you via the social media platforms they are active on.

Make it easy. There are plenty of plug ins that will make it a simple action for the viewers to share your material. Ideally, every blog post will have the ability to quickly and easily be distributed across multiple social media platforms if the audience feels compelled to share.

Don’t be afraid to ask. It’s okay to ask your audience to share something that you feel especially important to pass along. You might not want to do this with every single thing you post on your site, as it may get old real quick with your audience. So do this selectively. But don’t be too shy about it either.

Make sure your items are share worthy. Not everything is. And that’s okay. But you want a majority of your material to be passed along. So try to be timely by tying material into current topics, a calendar item or hot button issue. Also, take a look at your headlines…are they eye-catching? You have a second or two to grab your audience’s attention. Make your headline work for you.

Talk to your audience. This is not monologue time. Think and post with a dialogue in mind, every single time. You are inviting interaction. You are nurturing a budding relationship. You want your audience to speak back to you, to pass along your amazing materials and spread the word about you. So don’t toot your own horn with every upload and offering. Ask for feedback. Ask for comments. Pose questions and start that conversation up.

Over time, you will come to see what types of items are passed along via social media platforms and what topics receive more interest and dialogue. As this happens, you should evolve your materials to fit that “need.” Remember, sharing is caring. So be a giver!

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Creating Landing Pages That Extend

When designing and building a landing page, we typically have a specific purpose in mind. For example, let’s say that we have a goal of registering 100 people for an Open House event. We may promote it through direct mail, emails, and a banner ad. All of those medias will point to a landing page.

When people hit it, we certainly want them to be able to easily figure out how they can register for the event. We may take steps to ensure that there are not too many distractions on the response form.  We may limit how many fields we require, or how many questions we ask of people. These types of decisions can have a positive effect on the percentage of people that do respond to our offer.

However, once someone clicks the Submit button, we can take a slightly different approach. Many times, we may be tempted to simply put up a “Thank You” message and call it good. If so, there is a chance that we are losing out on an opportunity to capitalize on an interested audience.

If we only say “Thank you”, then we have created a dead end. We may have accomplished our specific goal, but we are pretty much guaranteeing that they are going to close the browser or go visit another website. However, by using that Thank You page as a way to further communicate and engage the responder, we may find greater success.

Here are a few possible ideas for how to “extend” a user’s experience with a landing page:

  • Put a link to your corporate website, and a compelling reason to visit it
  • Embed a YouTube video that is associated with your company
  • Link to your social media sites  (add the social badge, or simply promote one of them with a big logo and reason to click: “‘Like’ our Facebook page”)
  • Encourage people to share what they just did on their social media pages (i.e. “Tweet This: I just RSVP’d for ABC Company’s Open House on the 23rd”)
  • Invite them to subscribe to your newsletter
  • Are you selling something? Put a link to it.
  • Deliver a personalized experience — based on how they responded, display a custom message  (in the form of text, pictures, or video)

These are just a few possible ideas.

Sure, not everyone will click on the links that we provide on our Thank You pages. But we will never regret putting forth an effort to extend someone’s engagement with our brand.

(If you’ve had success with extending your landing pages, please feel free to leave a comment on this post.)

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Integrating QR Codes with Personalized URLs

Integrating QR Codes and Personalized URLs
QR codes offer a number of benefits for marketers. One of the most important benefit is the ability to tie together the print, mobile and web channels to increase the response rates on multichannel marketing efforts.

Since QR codes make it easy for people to jump from print to the web, this intelligent tool can add to the success of your personalized URL (PURL) campaigns, too.

QR codes have the ability to lower the barriers often surrounding customer response which, in turn, leads to an increase in overall campaign response rate.

Here are several benefits that can be easily achieved by coupling QR codes with PURLs to boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns:

Providing one-to-one communication
PURLs can be embedded right into QR codes, so when a customer or prospect scans the code,  they are taken directly to their personalized landing page.

Once a recipient is at that personalized page, you have the opportunity to engage with them and have a one-on-one dialogue.

Making it easy to respond
QR codes make PURLs portable. They allow the recipient to access each individual PURL without the need to sit in front of a computer.

Because people are on the go, and many carry their phones with them at all times, this portability is ideal in increasing the response rate.

Additionally, QR codes eliminate the need for a recipient to type what may be a rather lengthy PURL into their web browser.

By simply pressing one button on their smartphone, your prospect or customer is automatically directed to their own personalized website. This eliminates the chance of typos and decreases the amount of effort required by the recipient to access the information.

Tracking and measuring
Every marketer knows there is nothing more important than being able to measure the success of a campaign.

PURLs provide the ability to track which recipients visit their personalized page and, depending on the level of the PURL, gather additional contact information about each individual.

Similarly, various software programs have been developed that will also record the amount of scans per day, what time those scans took place, the location of the scans, and the type of device being used to scan the code.

Together, QR codes and PURLs can provide a more complete picture of which recipients express interest and which leads are the hottest.

QR codes will only enhance the value PURLs already bring to campaigns, becoming a logical extension of the PURLs you may already be implementing. Use them to fill the gap that other cross-marketing tools cannot.

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8 Ways to Use Variable Data

Are you using your customer data to the best of your ability?  Are you not satisfied with your return on investment for all of your direct mail marketing efforts?  Utilizing variable data may be your answer to these frustrations.

By using this particular service, it will help you create more customized marketing campaigns for your customers depending on what information you have about them.  By creating and delivering more customized and personal messages to your audience, you can be sure to see an increase in your marketing response rates!

Here are some of the ways variable data can add more value to your marketing campaigns:

  1. Create personalized messages by using your customer’s name and company in your online and offline marketing campaigns.
  2. Add coupon codes for specific services and promotions.
  3. Use it for the numbering sections for invoices, and cross-promote related products if applicable.
  4. Take advantage of their order history to promote related products to them at a later date.
  5. Utilize their address or location for geographical promotions if you have more than one store.
  6. Add a personalized URL to track who went to the correlating landing page.
  7. Graphics can be different depending on what types of clients you are sending your promotion to.
  8. Just like graphics, text can also be adjusted to help your marketing message relate to your audience more.

As you can see from these examples, you can understand why these tactics will help make your marketing efforts stand out more to your targeted audience.  If you have data that can help you make more specific marketing messages to your audience, take full advantage of it!

If you would like to learn more about how you can start incorporating variable data in your marketing campaigns, give us a call!

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Cross-Selling in Your Marketing Campaigns

There are very few marketers out in the world that will confess to having “enough time”.

Marketing departments are typically full of ideas and excitement – but they face the same clock as the rest of the world.

Their file cabinet may have marketing strategy documents… their whiteboard full of plans and action items…. and their desks may be covered in sketches.

However, the best intentions in the world do not always mean those projects will see the light of the day. Thus, when you do get a project done, you need to capitalize. Take full advantage of the content that you are pushing to the world.

For example, you may want to launch a campaign that promotes your eNewsletter while getting insights from your customers.  One strategy you can use to accomplish this is by using a landing page that features a quiz.

Respondents can be entered to win a prize after they submit their quiz answers and contact information, but can also be asked if they’d like to subscribe to your eNewsletter.

Yes, there are other ideas for campaigns that would specifically drive newsletter subscriptions. But here, you can take advantage of a campaign that did see the light of the day, and use it to help drive eNewsletter subscriptions.

The bottom line is, there are many ways you can cross-sell and promote your various services through marketing campaigns.  Why waste the opportunity?  Use your existing efforts and realign them to also incorporate different sales targets.

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How Do I Track My Direct Marketing Campaigns?

When starting a marketing campaign for your business or company, the first thing you want to establish is a way to track the success of your campaigns. This will help you figure out what is working for your company and what’s not working. By establishing clear cut ways to track your marketing efforts, you can determine where your ideal audience is viewing your marketing efforts and if they are responding to it.

Traceable Codes

There are 2 main ways you can use traceable codes in your marketing campaign as a way to measure their success. If you are sending out mailers that indicate a special sale or promotion that you are having, use a specific code on the mailers that the users have to enter in order to access the discount. When the promotion or sale is over, you will be able to determine if customers found the sale via the mailers and unique code you used and how effective the mailers were. The other way traceable codes can be used is by adding them to your coupons that you offer. You may choose to offer coupons to your newsletter subscribers and a lesser coupon to all of your other potential customers. With 2 unique coupon codes, you will be able to trace which coupons were the most effective.

Sales Campaigns with Unique URL

When sending out mailers or a newsletter to your customers, you can include a specific, special URL that the potential customer has to type in or click on in order to get to the offer or discount. This way, you will be able to track how many people accessed the discount via the specific URL.

Offer a Gift with Specific Purchase

A great way to track a marketing campaign is to offer a small, free gift with the purchase of an item. You can offer this free gift when the item is purchased with a specific code, through a specific URL, or during a short time frame. You will then be able to check how many customers redeemed the free gift offer.

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SEO Tools to Improve Content Marketing

As more customers turn to the internet as their primary source of finding a new product or service, it’s becoming crucial for businesses to pay attention to their ranking in the search results of major search engines. The best way to do this is to improve your SEO marketing. Here are some of our favorite tools to help you with that.

 1. Yoast

This is a WordPress SEO plugin, allowing you to assign keywords to pages that you write content for. The tool has a number of useful features, but some of the most useful ones are designed to keep you appraised of the most common search terms related to your subject and the keywords that your competitors are using.

2. Google Keyword Planner

This tool was originally designed to help websites that generated revenue on a pay-per-click basis, but it can be used by just about anyone. It allows content generators to search for keywords and ad groups related to specific terms. Once the list is generated, it will also tell you the popularity of each search term.

3. Google Trends

This tool allows you to see the popularity of various search terms over a specified period of time. This makes it ideal for websites or businesses that see surges in business during certain times of the year or month. You can even set up an editorial calendar based on the search word trends in order to adjust to the rising and falling popularity of various terms.

 

These tools are just some of the dozens of SEO tools available out there. Don’t be afraid to try different ones as you work to improve your website.  As we mentioned, SEO for your website is becoming more and more crucial in the digital age.  Nearly 90% of consumers utilize a search engine at least once during their time spent on the internet.  It is becoming one of the top ways for potential customers to find your business.

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Can I Make Cross Media Marketing Cost Effective?

Since the cost of large-scale radio, television and print advertising is out of reach financially for many small businesses, you might have given up hope on ever being able to afford an effective cross-media marketing campaign. Plus, advertising via social media and your website is quick, easy and inexpensive, which is why it’s so easy to get stuck in the digital advertising rut and stay there. If you’ve been wanting to break out into other forms of advertising in addition to digital advertising, but don’t think you can afford it, consider this.

The number one factor that determines whether or not your marketing campaign is worth the dough you’ve invested is your return on investment. The more people that you can turn into customers with your campaign, the greater your ROI will be. To boost your ROI, be sure to put your advertising dollars where they will have the most effect by tailoring your campaign to your market.  ROI can also be boosted by limiting your investment to only relevant and cost-effective communication mediums that you’re confident will be reach your target audience.

For example, instead of sending out mailers to everyone in your community, do some research so you can send mailers out to residents who will be most interested in your services. Also, purchase advertising space  in relevant publications to your target audience and don’t spend unnecessary money “just to get word out.”  Make sure your communications and targeted and relevant.

Keep in mind that it’s not so much about how much advertising you’re doing as it is about when and where you’re doing it. Five thousand brochures given to the wrong people will do little for your business. However, if you hand those brochures out at a community event where attendees are interested in your products and services, you will gain new customers.

Narrowing your audience allows you to spend less money on advertising while improving your ROI, which will make your cross-media campaign much more cost effective.

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