• Making your welcome email, welcoming!

    On: October 1, 2018
    In: Email marketing, Marketing, News, Online marketing
    Views: 1551

    We all know the importance of making a first impression whether it is your store, your staff and your advertising.  One of the elements a lot of businesses are using is email to reach new and repeat customers, but how often have you thought about the type of experience you are giving these people with your emails?  My guess is probably not much.

    The open rates for welcome emails are usually over 50% which is much higher than for typical email correspondence.  For this reason alone, it is imperative you take the time to make this first impression a lasting and good one!

    Here are some things you need to include:

    • Make customers feel good about signing up with you starting with the subject line (welcome to xxx), let them know they are part of a community of people who have joined your e-newsletter and make them feel safe by restating that you will not sell their information to a 3rd
    • List a preview of what they can expect from your emails such as type of content and how often you plan to send. If you’ve made an offer that required them to sign up, include a download or coupon of that offer.  One of the main reasons people sign up for your email list is to receive a special offer.
    • Make sure your emails are getting through and not going into spam. You can accomplish this by using the Spam Checker if you use a program like Constant Contact.
    • Personalize your emails to set you apart from competitors and use copy to engage your customers so the messages don’t look automated. Make sure the copy and words represent your brand.
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  • The Power of Video Streaming

    On: September 1, 2018
    In: Marketing, News, Online marketing
    Views: 1016

    Video streaming is becoming standard fare for consumers and is giving traditional TV watching a run for its money.  Here are the latest stats on streamers from Nielsen:

    • 93% of streamers are watching traditional TV
    • Streamers aged 25-54 consumed 2 hours and 30 minutes of over-the-top (OTT) content per day. (OTT is the term used for the delivery of film and TV content via the internet, without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-tv service like a Comcast)
    • 47% of those streamers above only watch traditional TV while 46% consumed a mix of traditional TV and streaming
    • 59% of US homes are streaming enabled

    Streaming devices attract a young, affluent audience.  Homeowners that are 35 years old or less are 34% more likely to own a streaming device.  They are also 32% more likely to have children and 17% more likely to have a college degree.   If your target market includes this audience, your marketing plan should consist of a video streaming component.

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  • How to tell if your digital advertising is working?

    On: June 8, 2018
    In: Marketing, Online marketing
    Views: 1157

    Digital advertising is a very cost effective way to improve your brand’s awareness and drive traffic to your website that can be turned into sales. How do you measure the success of your campaign? The following are key metrics that you should be paying attention to:

    1. Set your goals upfront to enable you to focus on the right metrics that will indicate success.
    2. Monitor upticks in web traffic that indicate that you have been successful in attracting users through the combination of messaging and ad creative. In addition to paid search, monitor the increases in branded search and direct visits that coincide with campaign launches.
    3. Click through rates measure the number of times your ad is clicked compared to the number of times it has been shown to users. For example, if your ad is shown to 100 people and 1 person clicks on it, you have a click through rate of 1%. CTR can help you determine the effectiveness of your targeting and creative. Low CTRs might mean the creative isn’t resonating or the audience is the wrong target. 2% is an average CTR rate.
    4. Conversion rate tracks the rate that users take a desired conversion action on your website (purchase a product, make an appointment, request a phone call). Make sure you have conversion tracking set up on your website to monitor accurately. An average conversion rate is 2.5%
    5. Return on investment – in order to attribute ROI to specific campaigns, you need to be tracking ad clicks all the way through to the close of the sale.

    By reviewing the above numbers, you will have a better understanding of which campaigns are performing well and those that need to be improved to bring you better results.

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  • 7 Marketing Trends to Watch

    On: April 2, 2018
    In: Marketing, Online marketing, Social Media
    Views: 1486

    There is so much research and studies on all the latest and greatest marketing tools, it can be overwhelming to know which ones to pay attention to.

    Here is what we think are the ones to watch:

    1. Video Marketing – video keeps growing each year as companies continue to incorporate it into their customer experience. Video marketing is projected to account for 80% of total internet traffic by 2020 so jump on the bandwagon!
    2. Storytelling – we all love a good story so it is easy to see why brands are focusing on crafting stories as part of their digital marketing strategy. Marketers are switching from social media being a traffic generation channel to a customer engagement channel.
    3. Social Media Costs Rising – Advertisers much invest dollars on social media channels in order to have any traction. With more advertisers on each social media platform, the cost is rising and forcing advertisers to choose between adding to social media budgets and finding other channels to drive brand awareness.
    4. Chat bots – people no longer have to be waiting for customer service thanks to chat bots and their AI powered live chat tools. Expect to see more companies embrace this technology to improve their customer service.
    5. User Generated Content – you are more likely to trust another person’s opinion over a celebrity endorsement which is why adding testimonials and reviews to your website is a must.
    6. Interactive Content – your content strategy should include quizzes, polls and videos for interactive content.

    Sources: Smartinsights.com

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  • Following the consumer journey 

    On: October 12, 2017
    In: Consumer Journey, Google analytics, Marketing, Online marketing
    Views: 2459

    The consumer journey is the digital path that a consumer takes while online from awareness to purchase.  By understanding the buying habits of your online target audience, determining how they find you online and the steps they take to actually purchasing or making a call to action, businesses can minimize their marketing effort and maximize their revenue.

    Where to start?

    Since consumer journeys are solely based on how they engage with your website, start be breaking down each online interaction to determine where there are drop offs.  People are most likely to enter your website through a search engine.  You want to make sure you have optimized your website with the proper key words that will be used when a consumer is looking for your product or service.  You will want to take advantage of Google Ad words to assist with searches.

    Next, you want to review what pages on your website people are going following their search.  Not every consumer journey starts on the home page.   Make sure all your pages provide an opportunity for further engagement otherwise the consumer will exit your website.

    The final step of the consumer journey is the checkout or call to action.  You need to understand how consumers interact with this page.  A complicated or unsecure site may result in an abandoned shopping cart.  Make sure you have assurances to your consumers against stolen identity, price increase protections, secure site icons, and return policies.

    Google Analytics is great way to study the traffic patterns and behavior on your website to determine what needs to be modified to enhance the consumer journey for your business.

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  • Brand Ambassadors: What they do & What are the Benefits

    On: December 14, 2016
    In: Branding, News, Online marketing
    Views: 1295

    What is a brand ambassador? A brand ambassador is a person who represents the brand by going into the community and increasing brand awareness. They can accomplish this through many different faucets. For instance, they can create events, attend events, create a social media presence, or even use personal experience to spread awareness through word of mouth. Often times around colleges, brand ambassadors are unpaid volunteer positions given to students. If this is not an option, you can easily pay a brand ambassador minimum wage to entice them to help.

    When searching for your perfect brand ambassador it is important to make sure their values align with the brand. In most cases they will have very little supervision when it comes to being out in the community and interacting with potential customers, so you want to make sure what they are saying and how they are acting aligns with your company.

    The Benefits:

    • Inexpensive
    • Creates Positive Word of Mouth
    • Increases Company Awareness
    • Helps Reach Different Geographical Locations
    • Receive Direct Feedback
    • Seen as More Credible

    A brand ambassador can assist in brand awareness and brand image overtime. It also helps to create a direct marketing strategy to better reach your target audience. Remember, you want a brand ambassador to align with your target audience with regards to ethics and personalities.

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  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media

    On: February 4, 2016
    In: Branding, Online marketing, Social Media
    Views: 1212

    Social Media—a term that is widely used in today’s world. It helps us stay connected with old friends, keep an eye on what our peers are up to, and can even now be used for job hunting.

     Social Media and its variety of websites can serve as a huge benefit for users. From political tweets with trending hashtags, to youtube videos providing DIY tutorials, social media can help with just about anything.

     Because pretty much anyone can dabble in the channels of social media, most people do not realize that there is an art to it. In fact, there are specific things that one can do in order to use social media to their advantage.

     This blog series offers an insight into how to use the multiple websites of social media. I have made quick lists of do’s and don’ts in order to make your life easier when it comes to social media.

     Enjoy!  Learn and Conquer!


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  • A Millennial’s Take on Millennials

    On: July 29, 2015
    In: millennials, Online marketing
    Views: 1442

    I read so many articles on the coveted “millennial” generation and how to advertise/market/appeal to them when I was brainstorming for this blog that I started to feel like I was reading about a species of animal or tribe in a foreign country. And that’s the problem with a lot of what is written about “us”; the authors aren’t “us”.


    I often see articles written by people who are a few decades older than us that claim they’ve “cracked the code” on this millennial generation…I can tell just by reading the first few lines of the article if they really know their target audience. For example, the first suggestion one article made was to “Go Mobile”.


    My first thought…well, duh. Sorry, but this article was written just a few weeks ago (in 2015), and if you haven’t been mobile for at least the last few years, you’re behind the times. A lot of people were using their phones to go online in 2009 – I definitely was, and I’m not even close to being the most tech-savvy millennial or individual in general. If I try and find your business on my phone (which I do…like daily) and you’re not there, I’m already on to the next business that is.


    I finally read another article where marketing directors actually – gasp – asked a young (millennial) employee how they should market to his generation. His response?


    “Stop trying so hard”. And I have to agree.


    The thing is, “millennials” are such a diverse group of people that you can’t just market to a broad generation like you might have with Baby Boomers or GenX. Even with those generations, it’s dangerous to lump 70 million plus people together and say one-size-fits-all. You’ve got different genders, ages (18 year olds are vastly different than 34 year olds, so that right there can mess up your marketing plan), races, political affiliations, goals, careers, likes, dislikes, you name it that you have to take into account for who you’re trying to sell to.


    My first piece of advice I can give, as a millennial, is (if you’re trying to market to us) to hire millennials who actually are interested in your product/brand and then ask for their input and thoughts on how it would be best marketed. Who knows better how to reach a target audience than someone actually in your target audience? Don’t just discount them because they’ve only been in the workforce for three hours. I can’t tell you how many times I wish I could tell people “that’s not going to work” or “you have it so wrong” when I read about people debating on how to market to “the young people”. Do what you want with what they have to say, but I would highly recommend at least asking.


    Another piece of advice I read in articles constantly is “make an online presence”, either through Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. Which is great, but considering a lot of millennials are on these social media sites all the time, it has to be more. You can’t just create a Twitter account, get a couple hundred followers, and tweet once every week or two and call it a day. I’m not going to follow you or be a Facebook friend if there’s nothing there. Doing something different to engage with your consumers will get the millennials to talk about you on their Facebooks or Twitters or Instagrams and that’s the best way to market to young people. The Chive just did a great feature on a Facebook page created by two comedians called “Customer Service” that replies to ridiculous complaints people post on a company’s Facebook page. They’re hilarious, fun to read, and “with the times” – which even if you disagree with or don’t like, at least understand that a huge number of millennials are with the times and love companies that aren’t typical and go outside the box.


    Lastly…although I’m sure the Baby Boomer generation would like to distance themselves from us entitled, narcissistic, and disconnected millennials, we’re not really that different in terms of what’s important to us. We’re facing the largest amount of student debt in history, and doing what we were told to do (by many Baby Boomers) – going to college – got us degrees but not necessarily jobs, and if we did get jobs many of them don’t exactly pay enough to justify this massive amount of debt that only grows the longer we can’t pay it off. So before you think that you’re marketing to a generation that will pay any dollar amount to have a product or service they like, think again. Price might not be everything that we look for, but it’s up there.

    Leah Post



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