CategoryMarketing

Using a Marketing Calendar

Using a marketing calendar
Many business owners may not necessarily be doing their marketing planning this way or may choose to be doing this in a similar way. Either way, using a marketing calendar can be hugely successful strategy to grow your business through effective marketing.

What is a marketing calendar?
A marketing calendar is a way to organize your marketing activity to specific dates or deadlines relevant to the target markets of your business;

For example a florist could target mother’s day marketing and promotion. It may be a more general month target of for instance targeting Christmas shoppers in November. It can also be used to schedule information or promotion to clients who have been engaged to services for a specific period, such as an insurance company may wish to do certain marketing activities prior to renewal dates for instance.

A marketing calendar can be a way of aiming at different key target markets throughout the year and aligning all the marketing efforts for greater impact in gaining your target markets.

You may also notice trends at certain times of the year, which you may choose to attempt to exploit more fully in your marketing calendar planning. For instance a financial planner may see a spike in new year resolutions leading to more interest in wealth creation early in the new year.

How to do a marketing calendar?
Your marketing calendar is a working document you can revise and update throughout the plan year. A marketing calendar should be simple. I recommend a simple spreadsheet matrix with months or dates with your key target market type described along with the key marketing efforts directed at that target market.

Go back and review your target markets.
A good business should know exactly who or what kind of client or customers it would like. Remind yourself the types of target markets that you may be winning more, make more money from, have more competitive strengths in, more specialized in or even just downright enjoy more. The key is don’t be too broad or have too many. The more specific your target market is, the easier your marketing becomes and chance of marketing success.

Review all of your marketing activity
If you haven’t already done so, go on and write down all your marketing efforts in detail and check on just how effective each marketing tool is for you. To state the obvious you should then consider putting more focus on the ones that work and eliminating the ones that don’t work. You could also try to match certain ones to the different target markets.

Some examples of your marketing efforts maybe be:
• Signage

• Social media

• Websites

• Referral partners

• Business networking

• Paid online marketing

• Asking for referrals

• Web blogging or SEO

• newsletters

What if this doesn’t apply to your type of business?
Perhaps your business is not at all dependent on the date or time of the year. If so, consider just having after care schedules to perhaps ask for referrals or cross sell you at a certain point after a sale.

Where do I find the time to do this?

Well often business owners do not get out of the business long enough to develop some systems to improve their businesses. If this is the case they are unlikely to get different results.

So they need to look at ways to free up their time to devote in this area. This can be achieved by delegating or training staff to be more capable and giving the business owner more time to develop their business.

Otherwise they may simply outsource their marketing and grow their business that way.

Some other examples
• One business owner says he arranges a highly discounted sale of stock or wrongly sized materials. As well as clearing out stock, staying tidy, it brought in new people into his showroom and lead to sale of his real product too.

• Use a regular say monthly newsletter of useful information or stock listing to your customer list. It will be a great way to keep you in mind of the customers. You may also be inviting them to buy or use your services at the perfect time they may be considering that very purchase at that time.

• Curiously at times of elections spending can slump in economies. So you could factor this into your marketing calendar too.

Here are some reasons why a marketing calendar will help your business grow
1. having a plan gets you to a destination. You will be efficient in knowing what to do at certain times of the year and can repeat these year in year out.

2. Focusing on less gets you a better result. Improving your efficiency from your marketing tools will get you better results.

3. More clients and customers come with more marketing activity. Thinking in this way and implementing a system to gain new clients will be effective in improving your sales.

4. Improve your branding and reputation. Honestly, being consistent and having good marketing activity will make you appear to be an even more successful business therefore attracting more clients and customers.

5. Become more productive. By working on your business you will learn how to outsource and delegate. This will also get your more profit or results with your time.

6. Making more success in your business always improves your personal life balance. So having more profits may in turn means more holidays or more staff to help you better enjoy your non working life.

Digital Marketing to Promote Businesses to Greater Heights of Success

Conventional or off-line marketing has existed since the beginning of history. But, these days, if a business is to achieve success then, there is just no better alternative to on-line marketing. To put it in short, on-line or digital marketing is all about promoting a business across the virtual domain of the Internet. Some of the core strategies for this line of marketing include web designing, email marketing, social media promotion, search engine optimisation, content marketing including videos and others. This modern marketing concept is potential enough to make or break major international brands and small-scale startup businesses, along with everything that range in between.

Overlapping domains of conventional and digital marketing

Any marketing approach through digital media channels is digital or on-line marketing. The domain of digital media is fast expanding. Presently, social media channels, websites, TV, radio, mobile handsets and even non digital media like billboards and transit displays are considered as digital marketing components. In other words, at present, conventional marketing include aspects like P2P (person to person) marketing, elements of direct marketing that on-line marketing does not cover and print advertising. Actually, the domains of off-line and on-line marketing are fast overlapping each other. Elements of traditional marketing like on-line directories, URL landing pages, web banner advertising, QR codes and others have a strong connection with on-line marketing.

Reasons to assign greater importance to digital media

It is not just marketers and business owners who are driving the shift to digital media. Even consumers are contributing to this phase change. The majority of digital media channels, including various social media platforms and websites, can be more easily tracked. Whereas, print media and other traditional marketing approaches are hardly easy in that aspect.

In contrast to traditional advertising, its on-line counterpart is much cost-effective. Unlike running conventional advertising, one does not need to invest a fortune in running on-line advertising campaigns. The modern advertising approach is equally ideal for small, medium and large-scale businesses, as well as for startup brands.

These days, consumers do not flip through yellow-pages or directories anymore, to find any business to avail its products or services. They Google the required information, either using their hand-held mobiles, laptops or desktops. Thus, businesses hardly have any better alternative other than depending on on-line marketing using the platform of digital media.

Dependable web solutions companies

In this vastly changed landscape, businesses need to hire reliable web solutions-providers. Actually, modern marketing efforts for businesses revolve around building smart and business-friendly websites. A corporate website should ideally represent both the business and the brand. It is also important to ensure that it is easily navigable and user-friendly. Last but never the least, businesses need to invest on optimising their websites, so that the sites rank higher in SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

There are many freelancers, providing web design, development and SEO services at reasonable rates. It is better to pay a higher price and hire a professional brand that provides comprehensive web solutions than working with freelancers. There are many brands that provide a wide and impressive range of services including web design, search engine optimisation (SEO), content marketing, PPC advertising, social media marketing and many more. Hiring such companies will give better mileage in course of time.

Module 1 Chapter 4 How to Plan Your Marketing Funnel

MODULE 1

CHAPTER 4

HOW TO PLAN YOUR MARKETING FUNNEL

1.0 INTRODUCTION

2.0 OBJECTIVES

3.0 MAIN CONTENT

3.1 What is Marketing Funnel?

3.2 Awareness

3.3 Consideration

3.4 Conversion

3.5 Loyalty

3.6 Advocacy

4.0 CONCLUSION

5.0 SUMMARY

6.0 ASSIGNMENT

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The next thing that naturally follows Market Research is the process of setting up your Marketing Funnel. This chapter will focus on how to do just that.

2.0 OBJECTIVES

– To highlight what a strategic marketing funnel is

– To demonstrate how to tactically set it up

– To encourage each student to set her own in her chosen market niche.

3.0 MAIN CONTENT

Before we go in to discuss how to plan your Marketing Funnel, there is a need to define it.

3.1 What is a marketing funnel?

It is an overall plan to channel new prospects into your business with the aim of developing a relationship, a sale, repeat sales and finally turning them to become not only your clients, but also your raving Fans for life.

It has also been defined by other authorities as a simple marketing system that you set up to collect email addresses of your prospects in such a way that you can market to them automatically.

There are two types namely: a lead-driven and a sales-driven marketing funnel.

After securing a purchase from your prospect, the former puts the customer in your list, your control for further marketing while the later puts them in the affiliate merchants’ control, gone forever out of your hands.

For beginners I recommend lead-driven marketing funnel as it is very useful for affiliate marketing, but sales-driven marketing funnel is good if you have your own product as a merchant in ClickBank etc. where other affiliate are selling for you. At the end you get the money and the list for further marketing.

When you are setting up your lead-driven marketing funnel, you need 2 things namely: a free offer and an autoresponder. I will deliberate on them in other parts of this eCourse.

However, strategically, a marketing Funnel is usually depicted as an inverted pyramid (or funnel), with 5 connected parts:

  1. The top broad inverted base =>
  2. The middle small part =>
  3. The smaller underneath vertex =>
  4. The smallest tip that opens into the funnel channel =>
  5. The channel.

The inverted Pyramid (or Funnel) portions described above can then be labelled in that order as listed:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Conversion
  4. Loyalty
  5. Advocacy

3.2 Awareness

The top broad zenith (in the inverted pyramid) represents all the ways you attempt to create awareness for your brand, product or website; to attract and lead the people to your website. This include over 5-10 free and paid ways that you will regularly use to attract prospects to your website and finally to your products.

Top and easiest among them are the Social Media – Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Squidoo Lens, Classified Ads, Press Releases, HubPages, Answer Sites, Forum, etc.

There are simple ways of placing ads on those sites – those kind of ads you often see on sites like Facebook and Yahoo Answers, etc.

The major aim is to create public/market awareness of your brand, products and services.

3.3 Consideration

The middle portion called consideration. It is where you offer to them valuable goods and services as baits and pecks to get them involved in doing business with you.

The goal here is to make a calculated attempt to convince them to join your list.

Thus, whatever you are offering must be very relevant to your market niche, but quite different from what you are putting up for sale.

If you are selling Affiliate products, the vendor will more often than not provide you with products that will serve as Free Offers which you can use here as baits to get people into your lists. If they don’t, you can create them by yourself using free but relevant downloads or free products from other sources.

3.4 Conversion

The bottom portion represents the period that you have successfully convince them to join your list. This is called conversion.

Two things may happen immediately they have join your list. They will either buy your product or fail to do so.

As a savvy marketer, you must know that the game is not yet over till (and even after) they have bought from you.

The next thing is to get them on your educational series by sending to them lessons on the relevant niche. More often than not, they will later end up buying from you (if they did not, initially).

Thus, for most prospects, they need some kind of education on what they are about to get involved.

Email series of at least 7 lessons can help the prospect pass over this stage to become a customer.

3.5 Loyalty

Loyalty is when your customer shows up repeatedly to buy your related products in connection with the initial purchase.

3.6 Advocacy

If you did the above groundwork well, your customers by now will be recommending your products and services to other customers – his friends, relations, acquaintances, etc. It is a sign of Loyalty and what every Marketer that knows his Onions should be aiming at.

This is the ultimate level of Internet Marketing!

Planning your marketing funnel:

Tactically, here is a simple and straightforward way to plan your marketing funnel.

From top to bottom Marketing Funnel typically contains:

  1. Freebies
  2. Sign up
  3. One Time Offers (OTOs) often at a very minimal initial prices
  4. Free eCourse
  5. Sales Promotion
  6. Membership Site Offer or
  7. Another OTO, all at reduced initial prices
  8. These positions may vary slightly depending on your goal for setting up the marketing funnel

4.0 CONCLUSION

It is only when you set up a marketing funnel for your niche market that you have really start business – online business. Otherwise, Internet Marketing is just your hobby and not yet a Business for you.

5.0 SUMMARY

The conduct of this aspect of business is also influenced by the approach of the marketer, some prefers a Soft Approach while others use the Hard Approach to Marketing.

I will return to this topic with more details when I will be discussing on setting up the Autoresponder Messages.

What do you think you should do next after this?

Did I heard you say: Domain Name Registration and Hosting?

You are absolutely right, and that is what I will be talking about in the next chapter.

6.0 ASSIGNMENT

Can you plan and set up your own funnel in your chosen market niche before you go unto the next eCourse?

Avail Digital Marketing Services To Transform Your Business

A strong marketing strategy is not a choice, but it has become a necessity for every business be it a startup, medium-sized company or large organization. Every business is struggling to keep up with promptly evolving customer behavior. A personalized marketing strategy can help a business to know what customers wish for.

When implemented in a right manner, a marketing strategy can show noticeable results in the context of ROI, traffic and online visibility. However, achieving desired results is not so easy. In order to get the most out of it, the marketers should go on board on a range of digital marketing services to transform the way they promote their businesses.

A successful digital marketing campaign includes professional strategies, structures, and top-notch technologies, along with professional experience. The experts utilize cutting-edge digital marketing techniques to drive bottom-line development of a business. If you run an online business and would like to grow by leaps and bounds, it is the time to hire a digital marketing expert. If you are still confused, here are some reasons why you need an effective digital marketing strategy for your business –

Get a direction

Many businesses don’t have a clear motto and aim. They don’t know what they want to achieve exactly. The experts set the goals keeping in your mind your expectations and utilize the best methods to achieve them for you. The marketers start the work by outlining the business goals. Planning, execution and management, etc. all the responsibilities are carried out by the professionals.

Know your market share

In order to satisfy demands of the customers, it is essential that you know your market share. The experts analyze customer’s behavior, buying tendencies, competitors and many more things to let you know where you exists the market. Social media marketing is one of the advanced and useful digital marketing techniques that allow a business to know the customers. The experts increase engagement with customers by making a strong and dynamic presence of clients over social media.

To be in competition

Online marketing is not a one time job, it is an ongoing process. If you are not utilizing avant-garde digital services, your competitors will move ahead to you. Every day, many companies are launched over the internet with a common goal to achieve success and increase profit. Without proficient marketing plans, it is not possible to survive in the competition. Having a professional digital marketing partner may enable you to lead the battle. Don’t give up if a marketing plan is not offering quick results, be patience and wait for productive results.

To build loyalty online

Gaining confidence of your clients is not an easy thing to do, it requires constant efforts. By utilizing right kinds of marketing services, you can build and maintain trust and loyalty among clients about your brand. The marketers know how to make the clients remember you with online reputation management and branding. Blogging, content marketing and social media activities, etc. can help you to build loyalty among target audiences.

Know your customers

A successful marketer always understands the mind-set, needs and expectations of the clients. If you don’t how what your clients very well, it is time to invest in an effective marketing campaign. The experts evaluate the clients, identify weakness and address them to nurture your business.

Go beyond the boundaries

With traditional marketing techniques, you can grow, but can’t reach the edge. Digital marketing services allow you to go beyond all the boundaries. By investing in SEO, social media marketing and PPC, etc. you can enlarge your reach to your potential customers.

Encourage customer engagement

Professional digital marketers understand the worth of customer engagement for the growth and popularity of your business and they encourage it using various tactics. They segment the customers according to your interest and allow you to interact with them.

Taking A Look At ROI In Digital Marketing Compared To Traditional Forms Of Marketing

To any businessperson, the return on investment (ROI) is of great importance. We can define ROI as the profit you get after making an investment. You can also call it the cost that you save because of making an investment.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing is made up of different areas: email marketing, SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, just to mention a few. Compared to the traditional way of marketing where you need to spend millions for you to reach your target market, digital marketing is highly cost effective. You can use it regardless of whether you are running a small one-person local business or a large corporation.

All you need to do is set up your campaign depending on your budget. The marketing strategy also gives you the benefit of running A/B split tests that help you settle on the most effective marketing strategy that saves you a lot of money.

It’s also easy to make adjustments in digital marketing. If you have noticed that a certain Ad isn’t doing as well as would like it to, you only need to make a few tweaks and you are good to go. It’s a completely different issue with traditional marketing. With the traditional form of marketing, the process is long, time-consuming, and often expensive. For example, if you have made a mistake in a magazine, you have to ask the editorial team to make another Ad. You also have to wait for another magazine publication to see the changes.

There are plenty of online tools you can use to measure your digital marketing success. For example, when you use paid online Ads, you can easily track the number of people that click on them. You can also tell those that buy your products. You can also track your traditional marketing technique but it’s going to take time and is often inaccurate. For example, how can you accurately tell the exact number of people that watch your television Ad?

Finally, it’s easy to accurately target your audience with digital marketing. You can target your audience depending on the location, age, sex, and other parameters. This is something that is almost impossible with the traditional marketing techniques.

ROI on digital marketing vs. traditional marketing

Due to the ability to specifically target your ideal customers, digital marketing gives you a better ROI. This is because you spend an amount that is enough to reach the people you are interested in. While this is the case, you should note that the ROI increases as you increase and master your connections.

Verdict

While digital marketing has a high ROI than the traditional method of marketing, you have no reason to ditch the traditional marketing techniques as they have been proven to be highly effective in certain industries. All you need to do find the right channel that reaches out to as many of your target market as possible. You should remember that the future of marketing is digital; therefore, you should invest heavily in it.

3 Marketing Strategies Every Artist Should Implement

Social Media

Social media marketing is a strategy that is just that, social. It is typically done on an Internet platform that engages the public in your content via your computer, smartphone or tablet. Social media allows your target consumers to engage with you and your brand. Some of the most common social media platforms used in marketing today are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Managing your Social Media Marketing can be very time-consuming. So, I recommend focusing your time and content on a few sites. Here are some recommendations:

Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are visual platforms that will connect your art with customers. With Facebook you can create a business page this is separate from your personal page. The business page will allow you to create a community of followers that can like, comment, and share your images and content. Instagram has the same basic framework as Facebook in that you can create multiple profiles and navigate between them within the app on your phone. This similarity is nice if you have a personal and a business profile. Instagram is a social media outlet that focuses on images which are perfect for visual artists. Again, you can create a community of followers. For Instagram, the usage of the hashtag is vital in generating traffic to your profile, unlike Facebook that is better built on sending requests and calling for people to share your page.

YouTube allows the public to take a step into your studio to see you working on your most current pieces. It may not seem like YouTube is a form of social media but in fact, by definition it is. Social media is any networking platform that allows users to communicate and connect in a social way. Due to the ability to like, share, and comment on videos on YouTube it is truly a social network. YouTube is actually a social media platform before it is a video marketing technique. In the next section, I will share a bit of information about how you can turn this social media platform into a video marketing tool!

Video Marketing

Video marketing is meant to call your consumer or viewer to action. For a video, you create to be considered video marketing it should either generate interest back to your website or to something they will need to pay for in order to gain additional access. Videos are a great way to share your talent with the public and generate interest in your art. Videos also allow your followers and subscribers to get to know you. Viewers enjoy the feeling of developing a relationship with you. When you can create a sense of loyalty, your viewers can become some of your best marketing partners because they may share your videos with their friends.

Since YouTube is free this is a great way to share videos that focus on your art technique or provide short free tutorials for a specific art medium. Don’t forget for this to be a marketing technique it needs to generate something the viewer will need to act upon or purchase. By running a link at the end of your video to send them to your website or offering more in-depth instructional videos for a price at the end, will qualify as a video marketing tool. With YouTube, you can create a channel that may focus on the techniques of your particular style of art or you can post instructional videos with step-by-step information to complete a unique piece of artwork. Free and low-cost video editing software, like Apple’s iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, is available to allow you to truly customize your videos before uploading to YouTube.

Let’s use a watercolor artist who focuses on floral still life, as an example. The artist posts a 5-minute painting tutorial on the subject matter of roses on YouTube. The video was created through the iMovie software that comes standard on most Apple computers currently. At the end of the free 5-minute video, the artist then advertises a paid 30-minute video from their website that will walk the viewer through painting a floral still life with roses from start to finish. The webcam and software come standard with Apple products. The cost for creating this example of video marketing was free.

Social Media and video marketing are both virtual ways to reach your target audience. A low-cost type of marketing that is more tactile and leaves a lasting impression on your audience is through guerrilla marketing.

Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing is a grassroots, low-cost, fun, and in-your-face marketing strategy. Often guerrilla marketing takes the form of visual art like spray paint tags or unique posters and decals allowing it to seem like a natural fit for visual artists. This marketing strategy is meant to create interest and cause the bystander to be curious enough to investigate the advertisement. It takes more imagination and creativity than money to make guerrilla marketing work for you.

Implementing guerrilla marketing can be a fun and exciting. Some ideas for guerrilla marketing might be to use vinyl stickers or paper posters; this is called wild posting. Walking billboards or quick pop up galleries of work in public places are another trending approach. It should also be stated that legal issues can arise in regard to how or where wild posting and pop-up galleries appear. Posting decals or posters can cause an issue especially if they are placed on paid advertising or local, state or federal fixtures. In most municipalities, there are permits that are required for setting up in public places. Don’t let the risk of legal infringement deter you from using this strategy. With the proper research and planning, guerrilla marketing can be a quick and fun way to create buzz about your art.

Social media, video marketing, and guerrilla marketing are ways to increase awareness and create artist loyalty from the community near and far. Successful marketing will help you increase brand awareness and loyalty among art consumers.

Top 3 Questions CEOs Should Ask Marketing Leaders

Driving increased revenue and market share requires a comprehensive knowledge of your customer along with aa commitment to the customer experience. CEOs should be an advocate for improving customer experience (CX) that drives successful B2B customer acquisition. Specifically, when talking to marketing leaders about B2B marketing strategies, CEOs should be asking these tough questions to ensure that CX is central to the marketing strategy:

HAVE YOU IDENTIFIED TARGET PERSONAS IN YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGY?

Going through the exercise to develop personas based on market and customer research is fundamental to understanding your target customer. Additionally, personas help marketing teams engage these customers in the buyer journey based on motivators and detractors. For example, persona-based web experiences are 2 to 5 times more effective. Yet, only 44% of B2B marketers use personas as a part of their B2B marketing strategy. CEOs focused on successful customer acquisition should expect personas are incorporated into the marketing touchpoints along the buyer journey.

HAVE YOU MAPPED A PERSONA-BASED CUSTOMER JOURNEY TO SUPPORT B2B CUSTOMER ACQUISITION?

Once personas are developed, marketing should create persona-based experiences that move target customers forward in their journey to purchase your B2B organization’s product or service. B2B marketing strategies should play into each customer touchpoint along the buyer journey. To create inspired customer experiences that contribute to increase revenue and return on marketing program investment, marketing leaders must focus on the touchpoints that move the buyer forward. CEOs should be asking hard-hitting questions to ensure marketing’s focus is aligned with B2B customer acquisition.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE AND MEASURE THE SUCCESS OF YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGY?

Supporting the successful execution of an organization-wide customer experience initiative should be a B2B marketing strategy that has clear goals and metrics. Your marketing leadership should outline how their B2B marketing programs create direct contribution to revenue and fuel high growth. CEOs should expect marketing to provide the customer experience metrics that show direct contribution to B2B customer acquisition.

NEXT STEPS

A customer-centric organization is critical for B2B customer acquisition. This customer centricity should start at the top with CEOs advocating for customer experience initiatives. CEOs should be asking their marketing leadership the hard questions to ensure customer experience is embedded in marketing programs and support driving customer acquisition. Inquiring about personas, customer journeys and success metrics should help CEOs gauge marketing’s alignment with the organization’s revenue and growth goals.

How To Create an Email Marketing Campaign

Your First Email Marketing Campaign

Congratulations! So you’ve started your business and now you are thinking of landing your first contact. You heard money is in the list and you are now thinking of creating a list of prospective clients for future marketing purposes. Or perhaps you haven’t created your first contact but you intend to start a list.

The thought sounds exciting and adventurous until you discover that you can lose those hard earned contacts and worse, you could be criminally charged for spamming or sending unsolicited emails on the internet. Most of us are unaware that there are laws that prohibit businesses sending unsolicited emails on the internet and we become liable when we do the wrong thing.

In this article, I will show you how to create an email campaign without putting you or your business at risk. You will develop what is called a “whitelist” which means a list of authorized contacts while maximizing your earning potential through lead generation. You will also learn what is email marketing, how to build your first authorized email list, how to create autoresponders, and how to use email marketing as the premier tool for success in your business. Let’s start with sending a clear message…

Sending Loud and Clear

Let us say that you have never sent an email before and you are thinking of introducing your products and services to potential buyers. The first impression is always the best foot inside the door of any business. Therefore you want to ensure that an introductory letter is prepared. This should be brief and highlight the features and benefits of your business to the prospect.

Once your letter is prepared, make sure it is edited properly before sending it to your contacts. Depending on the nature of your business, you should target people who would be interested in your offer. In order to determine this, you could look at the yellow pages within your neighborhood or community,

After you have identified your market you are now ready to make your first communication with them. This communication is referred to as an email marketing campaign, but first, we need to seek permission from these contacts. Many would ask the question: “what is email marketing”? We will now look at how an Email Marketing Campaign aids in this communication…

Email Marketing Campaign

This form of communication is one of the best ways to communicate effectively with your contacts. It is a planned and organized way of sending emails, newsletters, updates or marketing information to your customers and prospects in a timely manner.

Time-based emails are normally automated and sensitive. Sending an email at the wrong time could negatively impact the desired response. On the other hand, sending emails regularly and on a timely basis could improve the possibility of future business between parties.

With that being said, there are 4 important things to look for in an effective email marketing campaign.

  1. Who is sending the email– It is legally mandated that contact information is affixed to your email campaign. This adds credibility to your message and creates trust about your business.
  2. Content– This form of communication is different from ordinary emails because it is specific to your business. Whether you are sending a newsletter, or you are informing your contacts about an offer or promotion, it must be clear in your mail.
  3. Action– Your email must have an action at the end for it to be effective. These actions are normally linked to a sales page, an offer or a giveaway. If one is sending a newsletter, it must be very informative and entertaining. It should highlight community happenings, events or notices.
  4. Opt In Features– Unfortunately, there could be a time when your contact is no longer interested in your offers or business. He or she should have an option to exit your program. It is mandated by law to have your unsubscribe button at the end of your email marketing campaigns.

Authorized Recipients

Now that you have ascertained who to send these emails to, you are ready to dispatch them. Your list should have contact persons who agreed to receive your first emails. Once the client agrees, you should create a template email that indicates you recently received permission to send emails. After the prospective customer receives and clicks the “subscribe” link in the email, they are automatically added to your list.

You can build various lists within your email marketing account. This enables you to send relevant offers and information to each list, for example, “work from home list” “employed list” “students list” “Customers list” “Prospect list” and so on.

If you did not get permission, in the beginning, you should not send an email marketing campaign until you at least first communicate with your prospective contact.

The purpose of this preliminary exercise is to reduce the likelihood of unsubscribed contacts on your list. Although you cannot control when someone decides to unsubscribe from your program, there is an accepted ratio that will not send a red flag to your email marketing providers.

If there are too many unsubscribes and spam report, your account could be terminated or BLOCKED. Therefore, it is reiterated and advisable that you get permission prior to sending your first email marketing campaign.

When you have satisfied the above requirement and are ready to send your emails, you will be asked some questions by the provider. This is a further attempt to advise you of the laws of email marketing and also to ensure policies are adhered to with respect to a method you used in garnering your first contact list. In addition, it is an opportunity to welcome you to the email marketing program.

Now that you have satisfied the above criteria, you are ready to send your first email marketing campaign. However, after sending your first campaign, there is no need to manually time and follow through. Setting up an email marketing campaign allows you to set the time and frequency of trigger emails. These trigger mails are called autoresponders.

Autoresponders

Autoresponders are time-sensitive emails that are sent out automatically to your contact list. The purpose of this smart way of communicating is to keep your list updated and fresh. It also provides life to your business as it triggers a follow up once someone receives, opens or reads your emails. You can always change how you want your autoresponders to be sent.

Your email marketing plan should allow you to create signup forms which could be embedded on your website. The smart way to build contacts is to affix your email marketing link in your personal email. Please be reminded that it MUST have an opt-in link to allow the subscriber to enter or leave your program at any time. THIS IS MANDATORY.

The key to a successful email campaign is to keep your emails unique, short and very informative. Always remember to communicate your intentions with a link to solicit further actions. Once you set a time for the email to be sent, you will be able to get feedback. Let’s use similar initiative to review the entire purpose of email marketing.

Feedback

We have looked at how to create an email marketing campaign by preparing for the first authorized recipients of the campaign. We further looked at creating an effective autoresponder and now we will need a feedback from our program to tweak our marketing efforts.

Fortunately, most email marketing software have tracking capabilities similar to Google analytics. This tells you the demography, affinity, and habits of your target markets. The software also indicates who opens your email, unsubscribe or take action by clicking on a link and so on. Having reviewed all the relevant details of the work that you put into your email marketing campaign, you will be able to change your timing, improve your product information, or increase your list to improve your chances of conversion in the future.

Your company’s Email Marketing campaign should set the pace for your business expansion while you concentrate on another aspect of your business. The good thing about email marketing is that when the entity is not open for business, email marketing is still open 24/7. That is the beauty about online marketing and technology.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Affiliate Marketing

Most people have heard of affiliate marketing, even if they haven’t actually started doing it. Affiliate marketing is basically referring people to various products and services around the internet. For each sale you generate through your affiliate link, you earn a commission. The size of the commission depends on the products themselves, who is selling them and the percentage offered by the seller to the affiliate.

But what is actually involved in affiliate marketing? What do affiliates do on a daily basis? How do they earn money and how do they learn what to do?

1 An Example Of A Successful Website

There’s several ways of marketing products and services online. Many affiliates create a blog first and sell products and services through their blog. Martin Lewis has a very successful website called moneysavingexpert.com. This is also an affiliate website. By creating content and helping people decide which service to use: which credit card offers to choose, the best interest rate etc. moneysavingexpert.com makes money by sending website visitors to various offers. If a sale is made through this website, the link this credited to it and a commission is made. By creating content, offering value and helping people make sensible choices, the website has built a reputation and become more prevalent over time. Google ranks the site highly in the search engines and thousands of people use it to make purchasing decisions every day.

2 How Can I Get Started As An Affiliate?

Affiliate marketing is huge. There are thousands of people already making their main source of income from the internet. To get started as an affiliate you need to learn some basic strategies and build various methods of generating traffic from the internet to those offers. A lot of affiliates start with a simple blog. Many travelers ‘blog’ about their travels. If you don’t have a passion or interest to blog about, you can start by following an online course which will help. See my bio for more info on this.

3 How Long Does It Take To Make A Living?

Some people go into affiliate marketing with the intention of creating a second income. Some people want to make big money. Depending on how much time you can dedicate to your affiliate business, and how dedicated you are to it, is a big factor in determining your results. Results vary from person to person. With a large advertising budget and the right business model, some affiliates have replaced their living in 6-12 months. For others it can take years before it replaces their existing income. Depending on your approach, advertising budget, and business model, it can take between 3 months and several years to build it to a point where it can replace an existing income.

4 Can Anyone Do It?

One of the great things about affiliate marketing is that the technology is now available to allow anyone to build their own online business. As long as you are prepared to learn and implement that knowledge, anyone who can operate an email, can use online platforms and tools to build their own online business. The main thing you need is the desire to learn. Affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone though. It does take a lot of hard work and it can take years before you are rewarded financially.

5 What Are The Pitfalls Of An Affiliate Business?

You need to dedicate some time to your affiliate business for it to work for the long term. Some people go into affiliate marketing thinking it is some magic pill which will pay them instantly in cash. Much like a job you can’t expect to get out more than you put in. Affiliate marketing is performance related. This means you don’t get paid unless you can successfully sell products and services online. If you don’t know what you are doing it can take years to do this. You can’t be a dabbler and expect to earn the big money. The big earnings are created over years of hard work. Don’t expect to achieve this with only a small amount of input.

6 What Are The Best Things About Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing offers an incredible amount of flexibility and freedom. You can work an affiliate business from anywhere in the world providing you have a laptop and an internet connection. You can choose your own hours and build it up around existing work. Many people come into affiliate marketing because it offers this kind of flexibility. They can choose their priorities in life: spend more time with family, choose your working hours, travel and work abroad. No more commuting to work or working long hours for a boss you don’t like.

Affiliate marketing also offers incredible scalability. A business which is local is always limited to the people who can travel to that business. An online business can be global. Using digital products in conjunction with a global reach, you can scale using tools and software to reach thousands of people through digital technology. By using automation much of the work involved with an online business can be pre-built. By building automation into the business model, you can focus your activities on reaching a larger audience through content creation and paid advertising.

7 Why Am I Struggling With My Affiliate Business?

A lot of people struggle with their affiliate businesses.This can be for a number of reasons. Firstly building up an affiliate business takes time. You need to dedicate a lot of time to an affiliate business in the first place. Only when you reach a ‘tipping point’ do you really start to see your progress. Many affiliates simply don’t realise how much work is involved. They underestimate how much time they need to dedicate to their online business to make it work.
Paid advertising can allow you to grow your affiliate business quickly. But it costs money and you need the right products too. You can’t advertise small value items with paid advertising. You won’t generate enough profit to cover your advertising costs. You need a range of products and an email list to advertise through.
Content marketing takes much longer to work, depending on your chosen area of business. If you find an untapped niche to market your blog in, you can make some fast progress. However, with a competitive niche you will struggle to get noticed above all the other content which you will have to compete with. There’s several reasons why you might struggle. The main one is lack of knowledge. Get the right education first and your affiliate business will move much faster.

8 What’s The Best Affiliate Model To Use?

There are many different affiliate models, all offering something different to suit the individual. Some affiliates target search traffic and aim to get their content found on Google. Some create their own products and sell them directly to customers. However, having a range of products which you can sell over and over to existing customers is a great model for long term success. Selling a single item online is limited. It means you can only make one commission from each sale. By choosing membership products to promote which also offer back end sales and a built in sales team, you can benefit from monthly commissions and up-sell commissions for the lifetime of any given customer. Selling membership products is definitely a game changer when it come to affiliate marketing because you make an income from each customer, rather than a single commission. But a good model to choose is one in which you have a passion for and can keep doing for the long term. Choosing products which you have no interest in is a short sighted plan. Think about what you would like to do online to generate an income. If you choose to go with your passion, your business will last much longer, and be more successful.

9 Can I Just Sell My Own Products?

Many affiliates create their own products to sell online. However, when you are starting out it is a good idea to learn the basics of marketing first. That way you can start earning more quickly from your affiliate business. I spent a long time creating my own products when I first discovered affiliate marketing. But I didn’t sell anything because of a couple of reasons. Firstly I didn’t research whether my products would have a big enough demand. Secondly I didn’t know how to market them. By joining a program which teaches you how to market products first, you can start making money more quickly. Don’t waste time creating products if you don’t know how to sell them. Marketing is a much more important skill for making money online. Once you know this skill, you can then apply it later when marketing your own products and services. Also your own products will be limited in range. By using an existing product range, you can benefit from products which are already selling. You can choose a program which offers high ticket commission, monthly memberships, back end sales and a built in sales team. Building your own products which offers all of these things not a possibility for most people when starting out.

10 What’s The Point Of Affiliate Marketing?

Some people struggle with the concept of affiliate marketing.They think it sounds too ‘salesy’. When I understood affiliate marketing I immediately found it appealing simply because I needed a flexible way to work around my contract work. I had to drop what I was doing at a moments notice if the phone went. This meant other jobs were awkward to juggle around. No-one wants to employ a ‘flaky’ employee. I wanted to work from my laptop and affiliate marketing gave me that opportunity. For many people this is the reason why they choose affiliate marketing. They can earn an income from their laptop, choose their working hours and not have a boss or place of employment. You don’t have to sell directly to anyone or even talk to a customer. There is no stock to hold. Added to this, the scalability of affiliate marketing which lets you scale up to a global audience and deliver products on autopilot, makes it the best flexible business of the future.

Top 6 Mistakes App Entrepreneurs Make During App Development and Marketing

Building a successful mobile app is a tough task. Chances are low for all mobile app developers to excel. New app developers who are jump starting out in the game are afraid to take the risks, as most of the new apps are left unnoticed in the market. If you see the app store, you will find that more than 50% of the apps fail in the market. This is the reason why beginners face a lot of challenges to become successful app developers.

How entrepreneurs enter the app market

There are many companies that encourage beginners to step up and try their luck in mobile app development. There is a great difference between being technically skilled and becoming successful. Not all skilled app developers are successful in mobile app industry. The biggest task for app developers is to develop a unique app and market it straight to their customers. I would like to share the top 6 mistakes entrepreneurs should avoid while developing and marketing the mobile app.

  1. Building an app for multiple platforms

This is one of the common mistakes app developers do. Entrepreneurs face a very competitive space, as there are millions of apps on Google Play and Apple Store. Instead of doubling the cost of developing app for multiple platforms, one should focus on building for one platform first. By launching a mobile app on two different platforms simultaneously, you are adding more to the development time and cost.

Additionally, if you make any changes to the design and/or functionality of the app in one platform, you have to do it on both places. Hence, developers should avoid this mistake of developing for multiple platforms at the same time.

  1. Incorporating too many features

Most of the mobile apps fail in the market due to very less or too many features. However, there are lots of apps that are plain and simple, and yet have a great potential to sustain in the market. Users check new apps for a short period of time. Providing too many features will drive away users, as the features may make the app look complicated.

The goal of entrepreneurs should be to keep the users glued to the app. This is possible by incorporating essential features on primary screen and rest of the features to secondary screens. This strategy not only keeps the app simple, but attracts new users too. The app users will not show much interest in overwhelming design and features, and discard the app. Hence, it is important to develop apps with this in mind.

  1. Forgetting the ‘WOW’ factor

The number of mobile app users is expected to reach 80 million by the year 2018. Seeing the increasing number of mobile app users, App Stores of Android and Apple have set a bar with the design and user experience. If you give your Smartphone to a child, he/she will know how to use it. This means, the expectations of mobile users are entirely different from that of web. The user will give up on your app, if it is very difficult to use.

On the contrary, online users may not give up so easily despite of poor user experience. App developers should understand this difference and build extra-ordinary mobile apps with stunning features and functionality. As soon as the user launches the app, there should be a ‘wow’ factor to hook up the users.

  1. Inflexible marketing plan

App development and app marketing are two important phases of building a successful app. However, entrepreneurs tend to show much interest in development compared to app marketing. As the App Stores are crowded with millions of apps, your app may not be discovered on app store even on the day of launch if you fail to market it properly. Entrepreneurs should think of a perfect marketing plan as the app is being developed. Apps can be marketed in multiple ways by creating a clear strategy of target audience and their preferences.

If we see social media, we understand how drastically it has changed in the recent years. Marketing goals are changing from time to time, as a result of which what is working today may not work tomorrow. Entrepreneurs should create a flexible marketing plan that accommodates current and future market situations. By being flexible with own marketing strategies, app entrepreneurs can stay ahead of others.

  1. Putting all the efforts in one basket

Technology and marketing are ever evolving, which means a single strategy will not generate same results. If you see the development and marketing plan of the top 10 best mobile apps, you will see how they used technology to market their apps. The marketing channels they used earlier were entirely different from that of the channels they are using now. It means entrepreneurs should diversify their marketing efforts to ensure that they are not putting all the efforts in one basket. Focusing on one tactic for long period may diminish the returns.

My advice is to consider marketing plans as investment strategies. If you want a steady increase in popularity & profitability of the mobile app, you need a healthy mix of marketing tactics. Trying new marketing tactics and plucking the ones that are no longer effective will increase the popularity of the app.

  1. Ignoring the audience and not releasing the updates

As an app entrepreneur, you should understand the fact that you are developing mobile app for other people. We all know that people have different need and preferences, and it is difficult to develop an app for everyone. It is essential to define target audience before defining the features of apps. Before developing an app check what actually users want and what type of solution they prefer.

Even after developing an app that has demand in the industry, there would be people who are unsatisfied with the features or performance of the app. The job of an app entrepreneur doesn’t end with development and marketing. The mobile app should be improved on a regular basis according to the user’s preferences. Once the bugs are fixed, an update must be released so that audiences are aware of the fixes.

Developing a great mobile app is not an easy task. There are lots of hurdles that come across while developing and marketing the app. By avoiding the above listed mistakes while developing and marketing the app you will increase the chances of creating a successful app that is covered by press and is well monetized.

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