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Month: April 2012

Testing Advertising and Your Wallet

No matter if you are testing advertising via new media or testing the effectiveness of advertising concepts, testing your advertising and marketing is very important if you intend to increase profits and return on investment.

Testing is one of the toughest topics to discuss with business owners, especially when it comes to advertising. I personally enjoy it because it’s the one area that really opened my eyes years ago and lifted the curtain so I could see behind the scenes.

Which saved us money that was being flushed down the drain by ads that didn’t produce and drive traffic to our phones, email and front door.

You see, I just got plain sick and tired of paying all these companies for advertising, yet we didn’t really know what worked and what didn’t. And neither did they!

With some business owners, I almost feel like I’m tawkin’ to tha wall. And Yes, that’s some real NY accent coming out. But I mean it has has been a challenge in the past, seeing small business owners who refuse to test their advertising and marketing.

I’ve been a tester since the mid 1990’s, when I first did it the old fashioned way with paper and spreadsheets and to some extent I still use a spreadsheet for data tracking.

What does all this mean for you, my loyal reader?

About a month ago I joined a very small group of marketers in a Testing Lab that was very intense, advanced and fast paced. No joke – it was a four week whirlwind.

As we worked though and dug into the material, one of the presenters said that 95% or more of online marketers don’t test. Now this doesn’t come as a surprise. I mean look at the off line world and small businesses that advertise both on and offline. How many do you think test, split test and survey? Not that many has been my personal experience in the last 25 plus years.

So why should the online marketer test, track and survey?

I’ve been into testing for a long time. And here’s the bottom line….If you aren’t testing then you are missing out and are most likely still playing the guessing game.

Why Guess when you can Test? 

In the ‘ole days’ we had to test the old fashioned way; with physical surveys, special phone numbers, traditional email and spreadsheets. It was a lot of work, but well worth the effort and the time it took to accumulate the data.

For our small business this meant really seeing what was working and what was not. It was an eye opening experience that made me realize how important testing and surveying can be to a small enterprise.

So let me ask you a few questions:

Do you really want to spend money on advertising? Or do you want to attract new leads and convert them into clients? And put more money in your bank account?

After all, it is your money we are talking about here, not just testing.

Are you asking the tough questions – Why is this ad working? Why is that ad not working?
If not, then you should be. It’s your business. Your wallet and your future.

The only way to know is to test and test you must, if you desire to get the best results – meaning opens, click through rates, conversions to sale, subscriptions or some kind of action.

So do you really want to take your business to the next level? Do ya? Or are you just comfortable enough to say – I’m doin’ ok Dave – this testing sounds like a lot of work.

If you are ready to make the change, then start testing today, now, pronto, ASAP! And if you need some guidance, contact The SmallBiz Mechanic, he might be able to shine some light on the subject.

Test to Success,

Dave Krygier
Publisher

Email Marketing – “The Offliner’s Quest”

Email Marketing is one of the most powerful mediums that a small business can use to capture new prospects while better communicating and selling products and services to existing clients. Yet the more I research, the more I see offline and online businesses missing the boat and not using email marketing at all or very minimally. Some offline small businesses I’ve worked with only see email marketing as a way to blast their sale and event info to their existing list of customers.

Their perception of email marketing is simply adding the new customer to their email list and then on a monthly or quarterly basis they send out an e-blast. They yearn for more business and desire to use email, but still they search for the magic bullet that will bring new clients with wallets open.

You see us people don’t just want to know about the next biggest sale event or product launch. We like helpful, useful, quality information, especially when it pertains to a topic or subject that interests us.

Marketing via email is not just about sales, events and promotions. The idea is to connect and build a relationship with the subscriber and client.

In some cases the new client just needs more info and can be warmed up to an upsell with high quality content. So these content messages need to be mixed with sales messages allowing for the small business marketer to build up credibility and not just be a sales promoter.

Which means the better quality the content is, the more likely the subscriber is to open and read your messages.

With high quality content you need to focus on connecting with your subscriber so he or she looks forward to receiving, opening and reading your emails. And if you create the content right, then you can lead right up to your offers with credibility and keep the subscribers attention at the same time.

As an offliner with little or no experience in online marketing, you can market with email and develop a list of new subscribers and clients. Just remember to build value with high quality content and learn how to connect and cultivate the relationship, just like The List Building Guide teaches.

In the end it’s all about conversions and return on investment. If you build the list of subscribers, really connect and then offer products and services that meet their needs, then you should see more conversions and this should equate to $$ in your pocket.

Until next time,

Dave Krygier
Publisher

Reality & Gut Checks

Today is one of those days that I’m going to step away from the norm and talk turkey about business and marketing online. It’s not my usual post and some might even call it a bit of a rant.

Here goes…

Do you get tired of the cheesy pitches and phony baloney
classless marketing? I know I sure do and I see this kind
of stuff all the time.

It’s the marketing that reminds of the spa or car salesperson
who will do anything to close the transaction, including
altering the truth. It’s the marketing that just makes me turn
away and shake my head.

In several of my previous posts I mentioned being real.
It’s actually my Rule #1. But being real is what seems to
be missing in many online marketers’ campaigns and websites.

It’s like they threw out the morals and scruples with the trash
and just don’t give a you know what.

Well you know what…be real. Tell your story. Tell it like it is.
Your subscribers and customers (or clients) will respect you
and you’ll sleep better at night.

Now if you happen to be reading this and your online business
doesn’t have to do anything with building a list of subscribers,
then you already know or should already know that it takes
money to make money online.

That’s Reality. You have to market, even if it’s not through ppc, banners
classifieds, and what is referred to as paid advertising.

Oh and for the crowd that is into natural organic search and content marketing…
Your time is worth something so don’t give me the line that SEO and blogging are free and you don’t pay anything for either. Because I got news for you! You are either paying someone to do it for you or you are doing it yourself and take the time to do the work.

If you consider the work that you do is free, because there’s not any cashola changing hands, then I think you need a GUT CHECK! Because your time is worth something! It’s not free!

I see the word FREE everywhere. Lots of searches for FREE this and FREE that. Get this for FREE, that for FREE, etc…

I mean – you work at a job or business offline where free is a rare commodity these days, but when it comes to online – it’s gotta be free?

The new person asks, “Where do I find free traffic, free advice, free ads
and free websites?” It’s like they’re at the Internet food bank!

Let me put it to you this way:

You are building a business online and that means you need to
work and you will need to pay the price.

That price is different for everyone, but everyone pays it.

Now the work may only be one to two hours a day part-time or it may
be more than that. Either way – you need to do the work.

So go build your business and be real, so you can stay in the land of the self-employed.

 

 

What is Email Marketing?

What is Email Marketing and how do you use it in your small business?

Email marketing by definition is the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product, service & information by utilizing the digital channel of email.

Email marketing finds its roots in the offline world of direct mail where companies build databases of prospects and client names & addresses. These databases, otherwise known as lists are developed over time and in some cases used to be rented by list brokers to the company who was looking to mail to a specific region or demographic.

It’s important to understand how offline direct mail/direct response has impacted email marketing, so if you decide to use this channel you’ll be able to better understand and comprehend how to maximize your efforts.

Email Marketing for the Online Marketer

As one of the most powerful tools for businesses to communicate and connect with their subscribers and clients, email marketing is the medium by which both offline or online businesses can sell products and services in addition to surveying and providing quality information to the end user (subscriber or client).

Email marketing is the one communication channel that allows for different variations of messages, from HTML or text and can also include video and audio(link) to mix things up. With online software called auto responders, email marketing has become even more popular in the last decade, allowing more and more businesses to expand their horizons. Without this valuable software it would be nearly impossible to develop and grow an email list of any size.

There are a number of functions that the email software provides, allowing the marketer to create, develop and manage the list of subscribers and clients.

Four of these Features are:

  1. The Lead capture web form.
  2. The Interface to create, write and store email messages.
  3. The Database which maintains the subscriber’s information.
  4. The Reports that provide the marketer with a variety of useful information.

So email marketing now enables the online and offline marketer/business to develop relationships and have a sales channel that was never possible in the offline channel of direct mail.

Should you decide to take the next step and into the world of email marketing, subscribe here and get your hands on the List Building Guide.

 

List Building – “The Secret is in the List”

“The Secret is in the list,” the Internet Marketer says to his prospect. Kind of like the spider inviting the fly over to his web for dinner.

The real secret, which really isn’t a secret at all is this…The list is only part of the total equation.

The other part of the equation is that one needs to monetize the list in order to make any money. I go into this more in depth in this article about How to Convert Subscribers into Buyers. So if this topic interests you, click on the link and check it out.

Now if you are building a business online I am going to assume (which I don’t usually do) that you have a need and desire to make some kind of income.

As far as list building goes…you will need products and/or services in your sales funnel in order to see any kind of revenue come your way.

To monetize the list of subscribers you need to offer them products and/or services that are related to your business (niche) plus the subscriber must be in the marketplace for these particular products and services.

It’s the same in the offline world.

Yeh, I know, it all sounds so simple. It is truly that simple. Really it is.

And that’s why this article is so short, because list building is really simple.

Here is the overview:

1. Find people who have interest in your niche.

2. Attract them to your squeeze page and make them an offer they cannot refuse.

3. Treat them like your friends and along the way offer your products and/or services.

4. When your subscriber purchases, he or she becomes a buyer and you make money.

Not rocket science. Not a huge mathematical equation.

So if you want more insights and tips on list building – subscribe here.

Dave Krygier
Publisher