Monthly Archives: July 2015

How to get consumers to do what you want through email

Clear and concise call to action.

There you go, thats it! You now know the email marketing world’s biggest secret to getting a consumer to do what you want. Although mind control would probably be more effective, we don’t have the luxury of Professor Xavier’s Cerebro. Instead we will take the next best thing and use email marketing to put our messages in our clients pockets.

What is a call to action in email?

We are all familiar with asking our audience to do something. This is the call to action that everybody knows about, but in email it needs to be handled a bit differently.

When someone chooses to engage with your email, what you want them to do must be BLATANTLY and SIMPLY stated. It also needs to be in the language that your audience speaks to make sure they know EXACTLY what you want them to do with no room for interpretation.

Thanks to Word Stream for compiling these Kick Ass call to action examples. Take a look at them and you will find a number of consistencies.

1. They stand out

2. They are simple

3. They are unique

Here’s why these are important….

Standing Out

In less than 1 second, your audience needs to know where they’re being directed and what they’re being asked to do. When that matches with their goals, they will take the step you’re asking them to. “Be awesome” & “Grow my traffic” on clickable buttons are  a couple of great examples of how to stand out in a way that will encourage engagement.

Staying Simple

We are all busy people, and if something doesn’t grab my attention immediately I will rarely take the time to learn more about it. If you can’t get your next step across in a couple of words, your audience is going to continue about their day without the amazing next step you provided to them.

Be Unique

Your competition is out there probably doing a lot of the same things you’re doing to build exposure. Make sure that you will be memorable when a consumer compares your brand to another one that is similar to yours.

Do you have questions about what types of CTA’s work well in your industry? Contact us and ask to speak with one of our experts in your industry!

call-to-action-buttons-1

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Innovation is the core of our success….What drives your success?

Idea and Success

in·no·va·tive

ˈinəˌvādiv/
adjective
  1. (of a product, idea, etc.) featuring new methods; advanced and original.
    “innovative designs”
    • (of a person) introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking.
      “an innovative thinker”

What does it mean to be innovative? It’s not a question that I ask myself very often, but it is still very important to consider when strategizing and planning for the future.

Innovation is always going to be necessary if a business is planning on keeping their doors open. No company can continue doing things the same way forever, and no company should be content to do the same things.

At TrueMail Marketing applying an innovative thought process to traditional ideas and methods has been a focal point for our work.

Our efforts have led us to working with residential solar providers in a number of capacities. Most of these relationships have centered around doing the same thing that everybody else is doing in an incredibly saturated marketplace. Consumers are being inundated with web based messages about “Going Solar”, and our clients were seeing results that indicated our efforts would not be a viable solution for long.

After seeing lots of success in the mass tort space with TV commercials, we wanted to bring something new to the Solar providers that have been doing the same thing for so long. Instead of working through the muddied waters of web based leads, we took a model that was successful in another industry and introduced it to solar lead generation which is quickly losing its credibility.

Our process starts with a 60 second TV spot that talks about the benefits of going solar, and then encourages consumers to call in if they are interested in learning more. After they have taken a few minutes for our call center to confirm that they are in fact a qualified candidate for a PV installation, the expectation is set that one of our trusted installation partners will follow up with them within 24 hours.

These individuals are not incentivized in any way, which means that 99% of the people calling in after seeing our commercial are truly interested in going solar. The verification our call center puts each lead through ensures that our clients are only receiving leads that match the exact specifications for their ideal customers.

This has eliminated a lot of the work that our clients used to do to find, generate, qualify and close leads.

Does your current marketing company have a proven track record of pushing the envelope, and finding newer/faster/easier ways of achieving your goals? If not, TrueMail Marketing might just be able to earn your business. Contact us today if you would like to learn how we can put the same innovation and optimization to work for your specific goals!

How to piss off and alienate your audience #DailyDilbert

Daily Dilbert 7-16-2015

While the marketing manager in this strip thought she was being funny, she definitely offended a portion of her audience. Her attempt at humor was seen as an insult, and perception is reality for your audience. You may be missing opportunities all together to connect more deeply with your audience. Or in the worst case scenario, you push them away completely

There are a lot of good case studies from brands that have messed up with their messaging and offended a large portion of their customer base. Many times the messages are misinterpreted because of a cultural difference, which is why national brands will have different advertisements running in different geographies.

I’m sure everybody has seen the Allstate commercials with the Mayhem character. Well, there is another version that targets a Mexican audience because Allstate is a sponsor of the Mexican National soccer team. This is a good example of tailoring your message to your audience.

Don’t make the same mistake:

Gerber – When launching products in Africa, they used the same labeling as in the US with a baby on the label. When sales suffered, they did some research (a bit too late…) and learned that because many people cannot read, companies usually put pictures on the label of what is inside the package.

Pepsi – As the brand expanded into China they launched a slogan that translated to “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”

KFC – The US slogan “finger-lickin good” was interpreted as “eat your fingers off”

Coors – In Spain, the slogan “Turn it loose” translated to “Suffer from diarrhea”

These are some fairly drastic examples, but they serve as a great reminder that it is very important to know how your audience will receive a message. You should literally put yourself in your audiences shoes from time to time and evaluate your content and brand. Ask yourself what John Smith thinks, or better yet, ask John Smith and other consumers you interact with directly!

Connect more deeply with your audience:

Don’t be content to simply avoid offending your audience, you should strive to build a strong connection with your audience.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to know them intimately. By being constantly aware of what is important to them, you will be able to share specific aspects of your brand that will appeal to them on multiple levels. This goes beyond simply providing the lowest price, or the best product.

Consumers make buying decisions based on the perceived value of a product and that can be heavily influenced by a brand. One message perceived as insensitive, or even as something that doesn’t appeal to my needs gets ignored. On the flip side, one that speaks to me will be substantially more likely to receive my money down the road.

Choose your voice carefully… #DailyDilbert

Daily Dilbert 7-8-2015

Does anybody else think that this will end horribly for the pointy haired boss and Tina? We don’t know much about Tina other than that she is a tech writer that is supposed to write in the pointy haird boss’s voice. You wouldn’t have an IT guy write a sales blog for the same reason you don’t put the IT guy in a sales role. He (or she) has strengths, experience and language that are probably not in line with your audience.

I know that this comic strip focuses on a blog, but your voice should be consistent across your brand. This includes things content across your entire brand. Somebody should know that they’re seeing/reading the same voice across your website, advertising, social media, blogs, newsletters and anywhere else they choose to interact with you.

The voice that you write in plays a large role in the brand of your brand. It is the WHO of your brand and is what will make or break its written success. There are hundreds of amazingly successful brands, and each one has their own voice!

Do you know what your voice is? It needs to be unique to you as the brand you’re working to represent. If you’re crafting copy for work, or for your personal brand you need to make sure that your content follows a degree of structure.

How do you define that structure? I have a friend who spent some time in Hollywood and he met with writers as part of an internship in college. When He came back, he told me about when he got to work with the writers of The Matrix. Before they start scripting, they perform a character analysis and use a “character diamond” when building a characters voice.

Character Diamond

If you haven’t done so already, do a quick character analysis. The example that my friend came back with was for ‘The Oracle’ in The Matrix and it looked something like this:

-Giving

-Mysterious

-Wise

-Caring

-Optimistic

-Selfless

-Motherly

-Cheerful

Every time that the writers would include The Oracle in the script, they would keep each of these in mind. Their goal was to have four (hence the Character ‘Diamond’) of these characteristics visible in everything that they wrote regarding her character.

The voice that you use for your content needs to match up with your brands characteristics. Making sure that the voice represents the brand and message your audience enjoys will help make sure that it is successful. Otherwise you will struggle to build a relationship with your audience.

Do you stand out? #DailyDilbert

Daily Dilbert 7-6-2015

This strip is from a couple of years ago, but brings to light a very relevant question for decision makers at businesses of all sizes. Do I do what everybody else has been successful with, or should I find a better way of doing everything?

Both schools of thought can be successful, but one of them has proven to drive success more than the other. There may be some trial and error, but that isn’t a bad thing! You can read more about that here, Marketing Strategy, Lightbulbs And What They Have In Common, but the short version is that it makes you smarter and helps you become more efficient.

Everybody else is doing it this way so I will too!

Consumers already have the power to decide where to spend their money, and eventually which brands will thrive and which will wither away. Thinking like this strips a brands ability to differentiate themselves and how consumers view them.

This thought process is a bit more traditional and requires less thinking outside of the box. It is the opposite of a high risk/high reward concept and does not work well for every brand. If you market yourself the same way that your competitors do, whichever brand consumers favor will win out or both will just continue to take their share of wallet.

Chances are that if you enjoy fast food, you prefer Burger King or McDonalds. If you love McDonalds and choose to spend your hard earned coin there regularly, but Burger King starts doing something different that catches your attention you will have a higher likelihood of switching your allegiance. If nothing is changed, neither brand is going to take market share from the other.

This is rarely the case in business as almost everybody is trying to increase their marketshare by coming up with better and more effective ways to promote themselves and the products/services they provide.

I think for myself and am going to do it my way!

If this sounds like you, you have entrepreneurial characteristics that can carry you far. It is necessary to differentiate your brand from the competition to grow. It is difficult to stand apart from your competition if you look and act the same way that they do.

To go back to the McDonalds and Burger King comparison, one of them has done quite a bit to differentiate themselves from other fast food joints.

Paying With Love during February and giving away prizes with a Monopoly contest are just 2 of the things that McDonalds has done to differentiate themselves from other fast food chains. Both of these are concepts are unique that were newly introduced into the restaurant industry.

You can look at brands like Apple, Amazon and Uber and see that they have chosen to do things differently and that is why they stand out from their competition. The differences that consumers see are why each of these companies have become massively successful.

What do you think? Does your brand do best when it is part of the crowd, or does it thrive by being unique and more memorable?

Do you REALLY know your customers?

Daily Dilbert 7-1-2015

Who are your customers? If you can’t answer that question with specificity, your marketing is not operating anywhere near 100% of its potential. To market effectively, you should know exactly what your customers like want, specific buying behaviors, their professions, hobbies, tastes and interests. Knowing your customers this intimately is a key characteristic of a successful marketing plan.

Most of the clients I have worked with do not have this level of knowledge regarding their customers. This seems kind of scary to me since those customers are what allow the business to continue operating and to continue meeting the financial needs of their employees. Without customers a company cannot exist, so why do many companies not know as much as possible about the lifeblood sustaining them?

I don’t have an answer for that question, but I do know that some of the most successful companies know EXACTLY who their customers are and how to think like them.

This goes beyond simply knowing some of the demographics behind who some of your customers are now. Knowing the following with extreme precision will make your marketing efforts more effective, because you will be able to see your company and brand through your customers eyes. You will know why they are buying, and be able to make sure that they choose to buy from you.

There are hundreds of examples on the internet that you can read about. I found a couple that were compared in a Forbes article that may be familiar to you. Which would you rather be compared to in the future?

Case Study – How to fail

Kodak

This is a brand that anybody who was around during the 90’s or before is familiar with. They had products in nearly every home and were seen as an industry leader. However, as technology advanced their customers started to change also. Their model did not change as necessary which led to the company filing for bankruptcy in 2012. Their customers transitioned to digital images and digital cameras and Kodak failed to respond.

Excited customers were finding other brands to purchase from as a direct result of Kodaks unawareness, or unwillingness to adjust with their customers. Their mistake was thinking that its loyal customer base would stay with them and not change. This arrogance is why brands like Canon, Nikon and Sony have all surpassed this former giant.

Case Study – How to win

Skullcandy

Beats by Dre and Bose are some of the most popular headphones available. However, Skullcandy has found its niche in the market and has been quite successful despite the mass popularity of these much more visible brands. Skullcandy has identified a specific target audience and knows them intimately.

Their secret for success isn’t in a secret, they just know their customers really really well! The founder truly understands the needs of individuals who want his funky products. His target audience ranges from young teens to 30 somethings. They are hip. They love music. They are active and enjoy extreme sports like snowboarding, BMX, surfing and skateboarding. He knows what they wear. He knows they are, or want to be, cool. He knows what they watch and where they shop. He knows what apps they have on their cellphones and iPads. Not only do they have Skullcandy headphones, they have multiple units.