Tag Archives: information

Sending Online Coupons Increases Sales And Promotes Your Local Business

By: Jeff Schuman

An effective way to promote your local business information and also increase sales at the same time is to include coupons with an email marketing campaign. Those receiving the promotional emails are more likely to open them when discounts for products or services are involved.

A recent survey by Experian discovered that when marketing emails also included a coupon there was a higher transaction-to-click rate than those without. The results were the same whether the full list received the email or if only a segmented group received it.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important for all small local businesses to understand the importance of having an auto-responder and some type of opt-in subscription form on their website. Once in place, business can be more efficient and effective with sending marketing emails.

With most consumers now thinking of ways to save money, businesses need to be keenly aware of the importance of offering deals. Those that understand this and meet those demands will be more successful than those businesses that underestimate the importance of doing so.

In fact, Experian has also found that 66 percent of United States households now use coupons. It’s important for businesses to send out coupons via email because there’s an increase of nearly 50 percent of people using coupons from that source since 2007.

The value of email coupons is that they increase interaction or participation of the readers and can be seen in these statistics: marketing emails including coupons are opened approximately 25 percent of the time compared to only about 17 percent if they don’t include them. When coupons were redeemed online, there was a 17 percent higher click-through rate.

There are some best practices that local businesses should consider when planning an email marketing campaign that includes coupons:

– Make sure the offers you send out match the type of list you’re targeting.

– To find out what gives you the highest return, test your coupon amount and frequency.

– To make your coupon recipient feel special, use the words “exclusive” or “selected” on the coupon.

– To create an urgency for people to “react now”, it’s best to mention a time frame or a specific date for it to be used.

– To help get rid of unwanted inventory, time your coupons to your business cycles by offering deep discounts on products nearing a season’s end.

– Add a link to the email that gives the recipient the opportunity to “share with a friend” or “tell your group”, etc.

Coupons can be a real win-win for everyone. Customers get the deal they’re looking for and you get extra sales while clearing out inventory, and a chance to promote your local business information.

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

About the Author:
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Allowing Your Expertise to Shine Through: Common Reasons That Keep Entrepreneurs from Moving Forward

by Lisa Cherney

In today’s fast paced world we have access to more information than ever before, be it books, media or opportunities for education. And while it’s great to have all this information and learning at our fingertips, it can sometimes be a detriment to us. In fact, for some people, it can be an excuse for them not to move forward in their business.

Two reasons like this I’ve heard recently include: “I’m just not sure I can be successful. I know I help people, but I need more experience.” And “I need to get another certification [take another seminar/get another degree] before I can be an expert and really put myself out there.”

My friend and client Michele PW was held back by these specific reasons. Michele is an example of someone with great expertise – she is one of the hottest marketing strategists around, writes copy and creates campaigns for very well known people that get results (www.MichelePW.com).

Michele started out as a freelancer, selling services. She got into infomarketing and had some really big successes, but she always had trouble doing it for herself. She came up with a couple of products, but none of them sold as well as what she did for her clients. Her belief was that the real money would be in copywriting, not her expertise.

“I knew people could make a lot of money selling products. I knew that in my head, but I didn’t believe it for myself. I guess when you’re doing copy for people, even though you’re out there in the spotlight, you feel like you’re still the support and behind the scenes,” Michele says.

“The problem for me was that I was the expert who always needed to read one more book before I could call myself an expert,” she explains. “I was so stuck on that and I think that’s why I really didn’t value selling my knowledge. I had people pushing me to do some sort of copywriting product and all I could say was, ‘There are plenty of good products out there, what am I going to add to the mix?’ Working with Lisa pulled me out of that and now I’ve had some very successful products. Now I see that I didn’t value my knowledge. Then I wouldn’t have said that was the reason, but looking back I see that now. A big part of working with Lisa was her support and being able to call her in my moments of weakness and angst about change. If you don’t push through and have a number of people who support you, you’ll just start spinning your wheels and never get out of it.”

There will always be another book or blog to read or another degree or certification to be earned. There will always be another seminar to take or conference to attend. But at some point you need to realize that you ARE an expert in your field and you are holding yourself back – and not helping people you could be helping – by not allowing your expertise to shine through.

Entrepreneurs fail. It’s as simple as that. Every single entrepreneur out there, no matter how successful they look on the outside, has failed. Yes, they are very successful, but for all those successes, they also have failures. There were things they tried that didn’t go anywhere. But if you don’t own your expertise and take risks, you’re never going to have the big successes. Granted, you’ll never have failures, but you’ll never have success either.

About the Author

Lisa Cherney is a Marketing Intuitive and President & Founder of Conscious Marketing™. For 15 years she worked at Fortune 500 companies and top advertising agencies.

Lisa tells her story in her co-authored book “Inspiration to Realization,” available at www.ConsciousMarketing.com. Conscious Marketing also offers workshops and coaching. Visit her website for more details or call 887-771-0156.

How Do You “How To?”

by Enzo F. Cesario

“How to…” are two words that end up in search engines quite frequently. The Internet is 100 percent information transmission — someone has something to share, and others have things they want to gain. The how-to phenomenon exemplifies this dynamic like few other events can. People no longer have to go out to the store to get a book on car maintenance or pot roast recipes — they just hop online and grab the information for free.

Ah, but that’s not to say there’s no money in how-tos. How-to celebs like Kimberly Clayton Blaine and Michelle Phan have made substantial headway in the world of how-to videos, with their once quiet video sites gaining major cooperation from organizations like Lancôme and Yahoo! as a result of their rapidly-growing popularity.

But what exactly makes a good, solid how-to video? What parts need to be included in a proper series in order to encourage people to keep coming back for view after view?

Part 1: Choose a Topic People Care About

It might seem like a given, but a lot of marketers seem to forget that people have emotions and minds of their own, and they can tell when someone isn’t giving their all. Someone who is obviously “phoning in” a performance is likely to get dismissed out of hand compared to someone who obviously is knowledgeable and passionate about their chosen topic.

There are a lot of ways for a presenter to show they care about a topic. Great how-to artists — and when done well, it truly is an art — like to diverge from the main discussion to give a very short aside, such as a recipe specialist sharing an anecdote about mixing up salt and sugar in an icing recipe. Others might offer tips about how to circumvent official channels for acquiring supplies and share knowledge about secondary, less expensive sources. In short, the great ones don’t just share the hard details, they also behind-the-scenes information to help spark their audience’s interest.

Part 2: Ensure Purity of Purpose

That said, small asides that showcase personal interest in the topic are good, but the stress must be on “small” or short. The average attention span of most web users is not terrifically long — there’s so much to see, do and learn, so a how-to video must capture interest and hold it without fail for the duration. Thus, make sure that every element included in the video is absolutely necessary to the message being conveyed and/or to capturing the audience’s hearts and minds.

If a small aside illustrates a more personal interest and helps the viewer connect, great — keep that in. If, on the other hand, it’s just kind of funny, nix it. Focus on the details and make sure that everything in the video is bent to the task of fulfilling the how-to process. Always remember that the viewer is present for a reason: to learn what information is available.

Part 3: Allow for Style

Each person has his or her own style, without question. Style is a complicated thing: It’s composed of accent, pattern of speaking, physical mannerisms, personal attire and more. Does the presenter actually show up in the video, or does the video conceal his or her face? Is the video shot in real time, edited for sectional content or does it use a stop-motion process so that the presenter is never visible throughout?

No one style is appropriate to every venue, and styles can be stretched to odd degrees. One might find it odd to adopt an exceptionally formal tone when presenting a how-to on baked beans and cornbread. On the other hand, this kind of style might be exaggerated for comedic effect, and this human element of irony might keep the viewers coming back. In short, don’t be afraid to experiment with a few different styles, possibly under alternative accounts, until finding one that works.

Step 4: Take the Time Needed; No More and No Less

YouTube is a popular venue for video how-tos, for obvious reasons. The default length for most videos is 10 minutes, which provides a reasonable benchmark for simpler how-to guides. It also has become a benchmark for video tolerance in general simply because of the sheer number of users growing accustomed to videos based around this length. That said, YouTube recently increased its maximum video length to 15 minutes, so be sure to keep an eye on viewers’ habits.

Indeed, the issue of time can be a bit tricky for a how-to. Ideally, unless the procedure is a particularly long one, the how-to should be kept to a single video. This may mean taking multiple shoots to see how various treatment lengths work for the project. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to let the video expand to several “episodes” if the how-to in question is large enough. Something as complicated and involved as building a backyard deck can reasonably be expected to require several videos to encompass.

Step 5: Cross Promote

The currency of the web is reputation. If people think poorly of a site, it gets poor views. Having a good attitude and a cooperative spirit is often the best way to get a good promotion off the ground, and this includes how-to videos.

For example, a site might consider promoting a fellow though unaffiliated how-to expert if their videos cover a gap in the site’s own knowledge. A cooking site whose patrons ask about a type of cooking none of the site’s staff specialize in could refer them to a colleague who just happens to know what he’s talking about. Additionally, one might promote webzines and non-how-to sites that cover similar topics.

About the Author

Enzo F. Cesario is an online brand specialist and co-founder of Brandsplat, a digital content agency. Brandsplat creates blogs, articles, videos and social media in the “voice” of our client’s brand. It makes sites more findable and brands more recognizable. For the free Brandcasting Report go to Brandsplat.com or visit our blog at http://www.ibrandcasting.com