How Important are Online Reviews?

 

Read the stats and you tell us if your business could benefit!

Positive comments from customers mean the average business sees an 18% increase in sales. Customers who read those positive reviews generally spend 31% more than customers who don’t.

If you have negative reviews or bad comments about your business, 22% of customers will never buy from you. It gets worse; if you have four or more bad customer reviews, it could mean up to 70% of your potential customers never walk in your building to meet your fantastic sales team or to see your incredible deals. They’ll never even give you a chance.

The Good. The Bad. And the Non-Existent.

Positive reviews = good.

Negative reviews = bad.

But it’s more complex than that.

Having no reviews raises a different kind of suspicion among savvy shoppers. We see it all the time; a sketchy business creates a new social media account to start selling “the latest and greatest” items. People buy. The business never delivers. Instead, they start a new business under a new name and they do the same thing again.

Yes, these people eventually get caught. But this is why that’s important when it comes to your business.

Established businesses have reviews. Sketchy businesses don’t.

If your business doesn’t have online reviews, customers won’t trust you. The end.

Online Reviews Help Manage Your Online Reputation

Navigating the world of online reviews can be a bit complicated. You never (ever) want to put fake reviews on your website. But sometimes you do need to ask people to give you a review. It’s a delicate line to dance. But we happen to be expert dancers. (At online reviews, anyway. You don’t want to see us cut a rug.)

We have the tools you need to manage your online customer reviews. In fact, online reputation management is part of several marketing packages that we offer to businesses just like yours. Check out our online reviews. And if you prefer “word of mouth” referrals, we have plenty of business owners you can talk to. They’ll tell you the importance of online reviews and how The Get Smart Group can help. What are you waiting for? Schedule your free consultation today.


Forging Great Customer Relationships on Facebook

Ever wonder if your Facebook presence is having much of an impact? If it’s not, it should! Facebook serves to connect you with your customers and build their trust as well as helping you find new customers. Your Facebook presence can have a big impact on your ROI.

We’ve talked about what a benefit email and newsletters can be in nurturing leads and engaging customers, but do you know what your Facebook account has going for it that email doesn’t? A captive audience. Unlike emails, where there’s a chance they won’t be opened, your Facebook updates are being read effortlessly and naturally just as customers are scrolling through their feed. Now you can capitalize on that and convert a captive reader into a loyal customer.

First, recognize that Facebook can be an easy and effective tool for garnering leads, nurturing leads, and keeping your customers engaged with your brand.

Facebook has almost 2 billion active users monthly. Your customers are there and using it daily. That gives you a great opportunity. Be there, too! Be responsive. Be interactive. By doing so, you’ll reduce the friction points that can send a customer on to a competitor.

Friction points are the barriers that stand between a potential customer and your business. An example would be when you unexpectedly run out of stock on an item. That causes friction between your customer and you. Instead of purchasing immediately, now a potential customer may change their mind or find the product somewhere else. As a marketer, your goal is always to reduce or eliminate friction points so that customers have a seamless, pleasant experience with your business.

Utilizing Facebook helps you mitigate another common type of friction: discovery friction. Here’s an example. Jill wants to order Indian food so she looks up a new restaurant on Facebook. There’s no menu and very few reviews. What will Jill do? Most likely, she’ll scroll down to another local Indian restaurant, find the menu, read good reviews, and order her dinner – with no more thought to the first restaurant. In fact, she may never interact with the first one again. It’s a sad story, right? It’s so easy to avoid, just by being active on Facebook and making it easy for customers to discover you and get the information they’re looking for before moving on to your competitor.

Engage with customers.

Who could have known just 15 years ago how simple and quick it would become to engage with customers? While it’s rare that a person would come into your store to give you feedback, you can now easily rack up the reviews online! These ratings have become a huge part of how we pick the companies from which we buy our products and services. To forge great customer relationships, make sure you’re always responding to Facebook messages and reviews. For best practice, stick with these guidelines:

  • Respond quickly – we’ve all seen the “typically responds within…” message in the “About” section of other business Facebook pages. Some customers expect a response within minutes and others are okay with a day or more, but in general, respond as quickly as possible.
  • Build rapport with customers by personalizing responses and letting the spirit of your company show through your honest, transparent comments.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of defending yourself against negative reviews. Sure, you’re bound to have the occasional customer who just can’t be pleased. But arguing or defending is likely to end up reflecting badly on your business. Instead, be polite and apologetic. Something like, “I’m sorry you’re unhappy about this situation. Can you please call us so we can try to resolve this?” will show other potential customers that you’re an ethical company making a good faith effort to help an upset customer.

Utilize great content.

Let’s be real, nothing is going to make a user “unlike” and “unfollow” your business page faster than constantly getting bombarded with the same pitch to buy your product or service. Yes, effective Facebook pages post about their products, sales, and specials, but they shake it up by including other types of posts that create opportunities for engagement apart from a hard sales pitch. Here are some ideas:

  • Give a teaser and then link to your more in-depth articles or videos. Make the content interesting to readers and relevant to what they want to know. Free information is the hallmark of social media branding. Give them your knowledge, insight, and learned experience for free, and they’ll come to you when it’s time to whip out the pocketbook.
  • End your post with questions or another call to action. Need some suggestions? Try “Which color would you choose for your home?” “Take this quiz and tell us which leadership style applies to you!” or “We can’t wait for summer grilling! What’s your favorite summer activity?”

Here’s the takeaway. Engaged Facebook followers are more likely to turn into new customers or be returning ones. Get the most out of your social media presence by being active and letting the personality of your brand show. Need help building your Facebook platform? Get Smart and let us do the hard work for you! Schedule a free 30-minute marketing consultation to learn more.


Why Consistency is the Key to Successful Digital Marketing

consistency

 

When you’re composing your digital marketing attack plan, don’t forget one of the most important (if not the most important) aspect: consistency! Both in building your brand and in marketing it to customers, consistency is key.

Familiarity

When your best friend answers your phone call, you don’t say, “Hi, it’s Steve. Can I speak to Bob?” because you recognize his voice instantly. You know each other, and there is familiarity. You have a relationship that lets you jump right into the meat of the conversation. When Bob picks up the phone, you say something like, “Hey, what are you doing?” or “Hi man, do you want to catch the 8 o’clock movie?” In the same way, digital marketing consistency builds familiarity, and a relationship, with your target consumers.

When your Facebook posts, emails, and blog posts all have the same personality, voice, and aesthetic, you build brand recognition with your audience. When it comes to ROI, brand recognition is golden. As you become more familiar to your target consumer, you become the name they recognize and trust and, before you know it, that target consumer is a loyal customer.

Consistency = Connection

Consistency, both in the type of content and marketing you do as well as frequency, forges a connection with consumers. One of the goals of honing the voice and personality of your brand is to bring about an emotional connection with customers.

“Emotional Connection” might bring to mind Super Bowl commercials that make us tear up and reach for a tissue, but all sorts of emotional connections are effective. Does your content include sarcasm, snark, or dad jokes? That works! Humor is a great way to bond with consumers and build connection. Need more examples?

  • You can earn trust by turning out high-quality, educational content that shows you’re the expert in your field. Consumers trusting you enough to turn to you for information… that’s an emotional connection!
  • Promise to beat any competitor’s price and following through on it. When your target customer is looking for a deal and you’re who comes to mind, you’ve made an emotional connection with him.
  • Delivering superior service, treating customers like family, offering a stellar return policy, giving free shipping… all these and more are ways to connect with consumers. If you haven’t already, find the elements about your company that you want customers to know.  Showcase things about your business that will spark an emotional connection, and consistently include them in all types of your digital marketing.

Once your voice is the same across the board, meaning your style is consistent between blog posts, emails, and social media, don’t forget the second part of the connection equation: frequency! You can’t show up on Facebook once a month with a killer post. You need to be there frequently, at least once a week, staying in your customers’ feeds, gently slipping your marketing in front of their eyes so you keep reinforcing that connection.

 

Basically, it all boils down to this: keep a clear view of the message you want to deliver to consumers and the style that fits your business. Use that same style across all digital marketing, and consistently produce content, and interact with those who take the time to comment on your social media posts.

 

We completely understand that sometimes this may be easier said than done. You might be thinking something like, “I just want to build swimming pools! I’m not really great at social media posts and writing emails.” That’s where The Get Smart Group comes in and does it for you! From Facebook and Instagram posts to articles and marketing emails, we work hard to convey your unique brand and your voice in every post. To get started, request a FREE 30-minute marketing consultation.


The Power of Good Branding

When you think of branding your business, you may think of only the visual aspect of it: the logo, tagline, website design, etc. In actuality, branding your business goes way beyond mere imaging. It’s everything about your company, product, and service that makes an impression on consumers. Yes, your logo and website are an important part of that but so is customer service, your mission statement, and your “voice” or personality.

Your brand influences people’s reaction to your product or service, even their gut reaction to it. Think about the brands you love to use. How do you feel when you see their logo, or a special deal they’re offering? Now, think about a brand you had a terrible experience with … how do you feel when you see their marketing messages? Yikes! Powerful stuff.

Good branding is critical. Not only does good branding make an impression on customers and earn their business, it builds loyalty. How does a consumer decide which company to do business with? They choose the one they’re familiar with; the name they trust. That’s what your branding does. Even if they’ve never done business with you before and haven’t received a direct referral, your brand shows consumers who you are, that you’re trustworthy, and it inspires them to choose you.

Good branding makes an impression.

Arguably the most important part of making a lasting first impression on consumers is your logo. A great logo is not only eye-catching but memorable. Whether done through design or wording, it informs consumers what type of business you are. In honor of the playoffs, let’s look at two NBA logos for a good and not-so-good example.

First, the good example. The Toronto Raptors logo is clear and well designed. Gone are the days of the cartoon dinosaur dribbling a basketball on a purple background.

The team’s newest logo is much more bloodthirsty. Raptor claw marks are a nod to the team’s name and mascot, while the basketball tells you straightforwardly what kind of organization it represents. It gives the impression of a fierce brand, perfect if you’re a sports team hoping to dominate all the other NBA teams. Even non-NBA fans will identify this logo as belonging to a basketball team.

Now we have the Portland Trail Blazers with a less successful logo. What is this? Are the black lines supposed to be trails? The white section could vaguely resembles a ‘P’ so maybe it’s intended as a monogram for Portland?

The truth is, we don’t know, and if you’re not already an NBA fan, you probably have no idea that this is a logo for a well-known sports team. A non-fan who spots this on merchandise as they’re walking through a store will have no idea what type of business it represents.

Instead of this logo sparking brand recognition from the first moment it’s seen, the Blazers brand must already be known to the consumer. For an NBA team who really only markets to its fans, that’s probably okay. For basically every other type of business under the sun, that’s a  problem.

Your Brand Tells Consumers What to Expect from You

Depending on what area of the country you live in, you may be familiar with a sandwich shop called Jimmy John’s. Every commercial, jingle, or ad you’ve ever seen or heard from Jimmy John’s promises that they are “freaky fast.” If you walk up to the counter to order, they’ve usually got your sandwich made before you’re done paying. They don’t put it in a bag or give you a napkin – because they ain’t got time for that – but that’s okay, because you’re probably there because you like and appreciate their “freaky fast” brand promise. Going for delivery? If you order Jimmy John’s and a coworker orders from a pizza place, everyone knows who’s going to be digging into their lunch first.

Now, if Jimmy John’s branding promised to deliver food super fast, but they were routinely slower than they promised, that stigma becomes part of their brand, because a brand is not just the branding you try to portray, but it’s the overall impression a consumer has of your business.

Your Brand Helps You Connect on an Emotional Level

When you show consumers that you “get them” or have the same values as them, you connect on an emotional level. How can branding help you do this? There are many ways and here are a few:

  • Highlight that you’re a family-owned, local business.
  • Be active in your community.
  • Give military discounts.
  • Know your target audience and market it to it. For example, if your clientele is mostly women over age 50, use images and wording appropriate to them.

Make sure your brand’s personality meshes with your audience. For example, if your target demographic is 40-something dads, ads with hipsters probably won’t do it for you. Through what goggles do your target audiences view your marketing content?

Your Brand Creates Loyalty and Generates Referrals

If you look deeper, past the logo, packaging, and website design (although these can impact customer loyalty), here’s where the intangible aspects come into play. Your brand builds loyalty when you follow through on your branding promises. Customer service, expert knowledge, and high-performing employees are all parts of your brand that build loyalty.

For example, if your branding is all about quality, make sure your products stand the test of time, and be there for your customers if problems arise. Similarly, If you promote great prices, then focus on providing your customers products at price points they can’t get anywhere else.

That’s why Customer Relationship Management is essential. Building your relationship with your customer brings them back to you when they’re ready to purchase. As a great example, we offer custom CRM programs for our clients. We customize email campaigns so you can stay in touch with your current customers to fulfill more needs as well as generate sales with your leads.

Your Brand Sets the Culture with Your Employees

You can motivate and give your employees something to believe in with your branding. A strongly branded company gives your employees a team to be part of and a goal to work toward, something to take pride in.

All aspects of branding can seem overwhelming especially to a new business but if you focus on how you want customers to view your brand, the branding steps to take become easier to see.

Need help with your branding? Let The Get Smart Group help! From CRM email campaigns to social media posts, we can help you grow your brand!


What Social Networks Pay Off For Your Business?

 

Being a savvy business owner, you know that being on social media is crucial but have you wondered which networks you need to be on? Do you really need to have a presence on all social networks? To be an active participant on every available network, you could easily hire a large, full-time social media team to manage your accounts. Would it be worth it?

Nope. That would be a waste of resources, because in truth, the only social networks where you need to be active are the ones that your target demographic are on. If you’re active on Snapchat but your target audience isn’t there, that doesn’t help you one iota.

With so many choices—Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, and counting!—how do you know which social networks will pay off for your business? It might be simpler than you think. As long as you know your target demographic and which social networks they’re active on, you know which ones are important for you. And we’ve done the work for you! Check out this breakdown of the most popular social media platforms.

…Coming in at #1. . .

Facebook!

You’re probably not surprised at that. According to the Pew Research Center, Facebook is the most popular social media network in America with 68% of all Americans using the network and roughly 75% of those users being active every single day. When you take a look at the specific demographics, (see the fact sheet here), you see that 78% of Americans aged 30-49 use Facebook while only 27% of this age group are active on Twitter. So, if your market is adults in the 30-49 age bracket, Facebook is imperative for you but Twitter, not so much.

Source: https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/social-media/

YouTube

Would you be surprised to know that the second most popular social network in the U.S. is YouTube? If you think about it, it makes sense. Thanks to YouTube, there’s never been an easier way to get a tutorial in a split second  – for free! Users from the very young to the very old can all be reached via YouTube.

You might be thinking, “Making and editing videos is a lot of work.” But here’s the thing to remember: YouTube gives you the chance to show potential clients that you’re the expert in your field. When you put out informative video content introducing products, showing proper techniques, and helping people troubleshoot issues they may run into, they start turning to you for your knowledge. Then, because they trust you, they stay to buy your products and services.

Instagram

Another popular social media network across most demographics is Instagram. This network is growing and, if you’re not currently on Instagram, it might make a lot of sense for you to join! In 2016, just 28% of Americans were active on Instagram. Last year that number had risen to 35%. It’s especially popular among women. The key to Instagram success is to be able to produce visually-appealing content as it’s a very image-centric social platform.

Snapchat, Twitter, and others

While Snapchat, Twitter, and other networks are still very popular with some users, the demographic narrows on these. Here, you’ll mostly find teenagers and users in the 18-29 age bracket. If that’s the group you’re marketing to, you definitely want to be on Twitter! However, we understand that most businesses are marketing to an older, more financially-established demographic, in which case, you can feel safe to focus on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

There are ways to target your demographics even more specifically within these platforms, optimizing your ad spend and maximizing your ROI. That’s where The Get Smart Group comes in. We’re experts at finding and targeting the best possible targets for your ads.

For a more detailed demographic breakdown, take a closer look at the Pew Research Center Study.

Hopefully, this article has helped you know which social media networks to focus your resources on. If social media really isn’t your thing, you can still win at social network marketing! How? Get Smart and let us do the hard work for you. For more information, start with our free 30-minute consultation!


The Anatomy of a Smart Digital Marketing Campaign

Nearly half of all businesses don’t have any kind of digital marketing strategy. Don’t move past that too fast. These businesses are all engaged in some type of digital marketing but they don’t have a strategy.

If that’s where you are, we’re here to help.

The best digital marketing campaigns are part of a larger strategy because each campaign works together to build your brand, connect with your audience, and sell your products.

Here’s what all smart digital marketing campaigns have in common:

It has an Objective

Girl: “Let’s get in the car and drive.”

Boy: “Where are we going?”

Girl: “Who cares! Life is a journey, not a destination!”

Traveling without a destination is a romantic idea in the movies but it doesn’t play out the same when it comes to business.

Employee: “We can reach 100,000 people for $500.”

Owner: “Then what?”

Employee: “Who cares! Life is a journey, not a destination!”

Nope, that’s not how it works. Structuring ads to capture cold traffic, and then keep them engaged via remarketing ads, is the best way to convert a digital marketing campaign into cold hard cash. That’s a language that every business owner understands fluently.

It is Targeted

Digital marketing platforms like Facebook and Google allow very specific targeting options so the ad dollars you spend are exclusive to your ideal customers. Here at The Get Smart Group, we build complex avatars to help us hit your ideal customer. Using the right language in your ad, the right image to catch your audience’s attention, and the right targeting sets you up for a smart digital marketing campaign.

It Stays on Budget

How many people are you able to reach in your market? In an ideal world, you’ll have enough of a budget to hit all of them. However, that doesn’t happen often. Look at your bottom line and determine how much money you can set aside to run a smart digital marketing campaign. We recommend that businesses new to digital marketing start with a smaller ad budget because it’s easy to increase as your ads build momentum.

It Evolves

Not every digital marketing campaign is a home run but the smartest marketers take what they learned and apply it to the next one. Smart digital marketing campaigns evolve over time with language, imagery, targeting, and budget to find that sweet spot where your ROI is right where you want it!

Many business owners know they need a smart digital marketing campaign but they need a little help to get started. We’re happy to help! Schedule a free consultation today; our team would love to get to know your business a little better to see how we can help!


Did you know, Facebook Ads are less expensive than Google Ads?

 

You’re probably already using Google AdWords to target customers who are searching for your type of product or service, but are you taking advantage of Facebook ads, as well? While they won’t replace your need for Google ads, they are a powerful marketing tool in their own rite. The cost per click is generally lower with Facebook compared to AdWords, allowing you to get more bang for your buck. Plus, Facebook ads are built for any budget. You can spend thousands of dollars a day or just one.

Facebook vs. Google

The important thing to understand about Facebook ads and Google AdWords is that they are apples to oranges when it comes to their intended purpose. Google is a paid search ad. Meaning, you’re targeting customers that are specifically searching for your product or service. So, if Jane is looking for a baby crib on sale, and you happen to have nursery furniture for 30% off, you and Jane are a match made in heaven. You just have to step into her field of vision so she can see you’re perfect for her. In this scenario, Google is the pair of binoculars that lets her skip over everybody offering sofas, dining room tables, and recliners so she can focus in on your baby furniture-filled hands.

Facebook, on the other hand, is a paid social ad. Instead of targeting customers who are using search terms to find a product or service, social media ads help users discover businesses based on their interests. Basically, paid social lets customers find you, even when they aren’t specifically looking for a product or service.

So, in the case of our nursery-planning friend, Jane, even though she might not be searching for that crib at the moment, Facebook knows she fits your target demographic in gender, age, and many other ways. Plus, she’s doing lots of things online that have told Facebook she’s interested in family planning and nursery furniture and baby names—making her the perfect potential customer to appreciate seeing your ad in her feed.

The Facebook Benefit

Another way to think of Facebook ads, and social ads in general, is that they are all about awareness. By marketing to Facebook users who fit your target demographic and have shown their interests line up with your product or service, you get the chance to bring awareness of your brand directly to your ideal customer, who may not have even previously known you existed.  

Facebook ads can also earn you more “likes” and followers, drive more traffic to your site and blog posts, and encourage more engagement in general with your target audience.

Bang for Your Buck

As we said, you can advertise on Facebook for mere dollars. But since you can be sure that every person on Facebook who sees your ad is someone who you directly want to be influenced by your brand, you can see a big return on your investment! The important thing about your marketing budget, is that you’re making each dollar you spend work both harder and smarter. That’s where using a mix of search ads (Google) and social ads (Facebook) come in to play.

Want to be confident you’re maxing out the “work harder and smarter” when it comes to digital marketing? Let The Get Smart Group take you to the next level!


Essential Foundations of Digital Marketing


Any business owner knows, it’s a digital world out there. Gone are the days of posting flyers around town or simply placing an ad in your local paper to drum up a little business. To succeed, you need a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to help you stay top-of-mind with your customers.

But, digital marketing is … complicated. Multilayered. And doing it right means focusing on all five key foundational pillars to give your business a truly holistic digital marketing approach.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

How do you research anything anymore? You use a search engine. From phone numbers and addresses for businesses, to questions about history, recipes, shopping and more, search engines have become central to our lives.

Search engines use complicated, proprietary algorithms to determine search results, but there are some things we know always help improve search engine rankings. Key among these is good, updated content. For example, consider adding a blog to your site and updating it regularly to help increase your SEO.

Mobile Marketing

Have you ever left your mobile phone at home by mistake? It kind of feels like you’ve misplaced a part of yourself. People almost ALWAYS have their phones – for business, for social networking, for gaming – and marketing has quickly adapted. Your digital marketing must include a mobile ad strategy, and the website you point people to MUST be mobile-friendly.

Social Marketing

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. Pinterest. LinkedIn. You’ve likely used at least one of these in your personal life. Your business may even have an account on one or more. But what’s your full-scale social marketing strategy?

Social is where your customers are spending a lot of their time. For that reason alone, it’s a place you need to be. Experiment with video, GIF, carousels, filters and other options to create shareable content that will spread your message.

Email Marketing

Social didn’t kill email. In fact, Experian reports that every dollar spent on an email marketing campaign returns $44.25. People use their email, typically checking it at least once a day, and will act on a well-targeted campaign.

Multimedia Search

Today’s web searches are smart. They return categorized results not just for web pages, but also for images, videos, shopping opportunities, etc. Build your website and categorize your assets correctly so that your business shows in as many appropriate categories as possible.

Of course, you can tackle some of this on your own. But it’s always best to work with a trusted digital marketing partner who has an eye for strategy and details – one who can combine these five fundamentals of digital marketing with a deep knowledge and understanding of your business to get the results you want for your business success. A partner like The Get Smart Group. Contact us today.

415-800-2040 Extension 701


Inbound and Outbound Marketing: The Magnet vs. the Megaphone

 

Outbound advertising used to be the only way to fly. Marketers sprayed their messages far and wide — capturing few leads for their many efforts. Outbound ads continue to have a place in the advertising universe, though it’s been greatly assisted by more modern means for tracking where those messages should go and honing the messages for better results.

But digital advancements have paved the way for a different kind of marketing. Instead of going out to reach your audiences, you can now bring those audiences to you. It’s less intrusive, and if done right, more effective, because you’re focused on people who’ve expressed an interest in your business and/or your products or services.

For most businesses, a healthy mix of inbound and outbound promotions hit the spot. Outbound marketing is the megaphone you use to attract initial attention, and inbound marketing is the magnet you use to reel them in.

Where does inbound and outbound promotions fit into your business model?

Outbound Marketing: The Megaphone

Outbound marketing is what you probably think of when you think of “marketing.” Advertising, direct mail, cold sales calls – things that get your business message out to the largest number of people as possible. Like a megaphone, outbound marketing is the act of spreading your message to as many people as possible.

And there’s a lot of value in that. That’s the reason why so many big brands use outbound advertising to raise awareness about and pique interest in their products – it works. If you use it yourself, and track your efforts appropriately, you’ll quickly see which outbound marketing efforts work best for your business. Plus, today we have more ways of targeting outbound messages than ever before, by segmented social media advertising audiences, geo-targeted digital ads, mailing lists sorted by income and age, and so much more. It isn’t the “spray and hope” of ages old.

We live in an incredibly ad-savvy world. People know where ads are going to be and diligently avoid them. They record shows on DVRs so they can fast-forward through the commercials, or opt for Netflix and ignore your ads entirely. The only way for outbound marketing to be effective is to target only those who are inclined to want your message, using tools like SEO and keywords, well-written and informative blog posts, and a fresh, inviting approach to social media channels.

Inbound Marketing: The Magnet

Once you’ve attracted your audience using smart outbound techniques, you switch to smart inbound tactics. Done right, it doesn’t really feel like marketing at all. Instead of yelling it out through a megaphone to everybody, you’re attracting those most interested in your message to you. It’s the magnet of the marketing world.

Inbound tactics convert the leads drawn in through outbound efforts and nurture them into qualified leads, closed sales, and eventually, delighted customers! This is done through various methods, including lead forms, Calls to Action (CTAs), landing pages, etc. You close the deal using targeted emails, direct calls, smart social media interactions, and other nurturing tactics.

Excellent inbound tools include sleek brochures, an attractive and easily-navigated website, an informative and interesting blog, e-books, whitepapers, valuable email newsletters, and similar methods.

Draws like e-books for free download, email newsletters, and other free (but valuable!) content build your inbound “magnet.”

Compared to outbound, inbound costs significantly less, because instead of paying to reach a gazillion people with no interest in buying or money to buy, you’re reaching out to people with an expressed interest in what you have to offer. Inbound marketing is an essential part of your advertising mix today.

Whether you choose to leverage the magnet, the megaphone, or both, it’s important to have the right partner. Someone who can help you find the mix that makes the most sense for your market and your business.


The Get Smart Group is a talented team with the knowledge and experience poised to help take your business exactly where you want it to go. Let’s get your marketing strategy planning started today with a free consultation.


How to Create Powerful Marketing Emails (That Actually Get Opened)

 

What gets sent 205 billion times per day but only gets read about one-quarter of the time?

Your emails.

Depending on the industry, marketing emails might be opened more or less than that, but it’s a general indication of how many emails you send out versus how many do what they’re intended to do — nurture your leads and engage your customers.

From the moment we wake up, every couple of minutes during the work day, and right up until we go to sleep, we’re constantly checking our email. That alone is a pretty great reason to make email marketing a focus for your business. Want another one? Email marketing has the highest ROI, with approximately a $40 return for every $1 spent.

Obviously, email can be beneficial to every business. But, what can you do to ensure that your emails are effective, don’t end up in a spam box, and actually get opened? Just follow these tips for success.

Understand Your Focus

While every email doesn’t have to stick to the same theme, by and large, you start an email marketing campaign with the idea that the emails are going to accomplish a particular thing. Do you want to grow your community? Get more engagement on your site? Highlight specials? Bring more attention to your store and convert that into sales? For example, if you own a fitness center, your goal for your email list might be to educate and inspire clients to keep them motivated and returning.

But it’s important to define and stick to your email marketing goals. Sorry, “lead nurturing” is way too narrow a goal. Shoot for something solid like, “increase lead conversion by 30% this calendar year,” or, “encourage 15% more people to use our products and services after the sale.”

The List Matters

Third-party lists aren’t very effective. To get a real return on your investment, whether you want to build engagement or convert new customers, you need an email list that is composed of people who want to be there.

So how do you build that list?

A great way is with a pop-up on your site for first time visitors, all the better if you’re giving away a little freebie with signup. Have a signup form in the sidebar or at the top of your site, and link to it occasionally on social media. Any time you have a contest or giveaway, make signing up to your email list one of the ways to get an entry. A good old pen and paper signup sheet at your retail checkout and at all events is always a good bet, too.

At The Get Smart Group, we use a number of highly effective ways to generate solid, high-quality leads to build email lists: lead forms, landing pages, webforms, and more. Furthermore, we can help you target these leads effectively by designing drip campaigns that match your specific products and services. No more general emails that don’t speak to what a particular lead originally showed interest in.

Meaningful Emails

Once you’ve built that email list, how do you get people to open your emails, keep opening them, and stay subscribed? With well-designed, highly-targeted content!

Depending on what your focus is, this will be unique for each business, but in general, if your email is adding value to your subscriber, they’ll stay subscribed and keep reading. Here’s a few ideas.

  • Does your email content answer their questions?
  • Is it wholly a sales pitch, or does it provide useful, actionable information?
  • Are you sending subscribers blog posts or a newsletter? The content needs to stay fresh, well-written, and engaging.
  • Are you sending marketing offers? You may think the only time customers will be interested is if you notify them of specials or sales, but announcing new stock, limited editions, or focusing on a specific feature of your product is effective, too.
  • Invitations and event notifications are a great way to improve CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Every time you host or sponsor a special event or class, or have something noteworthy on your calendar, it’s a good thing to include in an email to your subscribers. Sending pictures and an update after an event is also good email fodder.
  • Always include images, graphics, and other visual content.

If you follow these tips, you can confidently create that subscriber list, knowing your emails will be well-received. Need a little help with emails, or managing your online marketing in general? Let us give you a review of your current online marketing methods, plus give you a few tips on meeting your goals with a Free 30 Minute Marketing Consultation!