Archive for January 29, 2013

Marketing with Email Signatures

January 29, 2013

Think about how many business emails you send each day. Now think about the email signature you’re currently using on your emails. While email signatures are commonly used as a way to identify the sender and provide important contact information, many people are missing out on the valuable opportunity to use their signature line as a marketing tool. Here are a few tips to help you create an effective email signature that your recipients will remember:

  • Create brand recognition by including your logo, tagline, mascot, or other graphic that is tied to your brand.
  • Choose images carefully and use them sparingly, so your signature doesn’t overpower your message.
  • Increase web traffic by enticing readers to visit your web link for a free sample, free white paper, or to subscribe to your newsletter.
  • If you include a web link, spell out the address rather than using hyperlinks. This will eliminate trust issues caused by opening an unknown link and will also make it easy for recipients to copy and paste the address into their browser.
  • Offer a teaser that entices the reader to ask for more information or to click a link to learn more.
  • Personalize your email signature with a photo to help readers put a face with your name.
  • Consider adding a brief quotation that represents your business or provides an insight into your personality.
  • Create a consistent brand image by standardizing email signatures throughout your company.
  • Change up your messaging frequently to keep it fresh and interesting for email recipients.

Email Signatures

The Secret to Selling to Someone Who’s Not (Yet) Ready to Buy

January 25, 2013

There was once a man named Charlie who sold insurance for a living. Charlie was a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy who enjoyed what he did. Charlie had a friend named Steve. Steve was in his late thirties and happily married, with a wife and two kids.

Charlie and Steve would play the occasional round of golf with some friends. Charlie would tell Steve about the importance of having life insurance for someone in his situation, but without being pushy.

Steve had his reasons for not buying at the time and would always put it off. Charlie, being the good, persistent salesman that he was, would bring up the topic regularly without being annoying.

One morning while Steve was at work, a colleague who was about the same age, with two kids and in seemingly good health, had a sudden, unexpected heart attack and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Guess who Steve called that very afternoon to get the paperwork started for the life insurance policy he had been putting off for years?

What’s the moral of our story as it pertains to your business? You can have the greatest product, the best service, and a great price, yet some of your prospects will still not buy. The reasons are many, and some are a mystery that you won’t be able to solve right away.

While you’re scratching your head trying to find those answers, your real job is to continually market your services by educating your target audience about what you can do to help them achieve their objectives. Why? Because one day soon, your prospect will be ready to buy, and she will remember the persistent, but pleasant person who has been looking out for her best interest all along.

Charlie knew that secret, and now you do, too.

Secret to Selling

Lessons From the Greatest Direct Mailer of All Time

January 22, 2013

Direct mail has been a proven money maker for many years and continues to prove its worth to this day. In this age of all things digital, it’s ironic to note that many who have tired of wasting valuable time and resources with unproven tactics are once again turning to direct mail.

If you’re one of the wise ones who have penciled this powerful strategy onto your marketing calendar this year, it would be smart to learn from one of the best direct mail sales letters ever written.

In 1974, Martin Conroy wrote a simple, two-page sales letter which was continuously mailed out with very minor changes between 1975 and 2003. Not only did it have amazing longevity, but it was responsible for raking in over a billion dollars in new sales.

This letter was a simple story. The best salesmen, teachers, CEOs, and communicators know that stories told well sell! Whether you’re selling something or trying to get others to take action, simple but powerful stories can do much of the heavy lifting for you.

There are many reasons this piece proved to be so successful. The classic formula of attention, interest, desire, and action are beautifully articulated in the piece. Here are a few other lessons to learn:

  1. It pulls you in with a story and emotional hook which makes you want to read more.
  2. It’s simple and clear, so you can follow to the end without getting lost.
  3. Emotions and hot buttons are weaved throughout the copy so your interest remains high.
  4. The benefits are crystal clear.
  5. There’s a clear call to action.
  6. It offers a risk-reversal and guarantee for those on the fence.
  7. It makes a promise and restates that promise at the end.
  8. It provides three options: Good, Better, and Best.

These simple 781 words proved to be a key circulation builder for subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal for over 30 years. There are seminars and courses which have been taught using this letter as a prime example. Studying the letter and learning the techniques and power can make your next direct mailer a big success as well.

Here’s a link to the letter’s text, along with some information about its amazing success.

Lessons