Are you running events? It's a great way to promote your business or nonprofit.
No matter what type of event that you run, you need a cost effective way to get your attendees to come.
The great news is the more often you have events, the easier it will be to get attendees at future events.
In this guide, we will explore ways to utilize email marketing to get more people to attend your events.
I've hosted dozes of events the past 5 years as part of my partnership with Constant Contact.
I've also hosted several events for Toastmasters. In 2013, when I was Public Relations Director for Toastmasters District 40, I actually promoted and hosted an event that broke a 20 year old attendance record!
So, yeah, I may know a thing or two about this topic. There are 2 keys you need to understand when promoting an event with email marketing. Those keys are: relevance of your emails to your audience and frequency of your email promotion .
It doesn't matter if this is a paid gig, nonprofit fundraiser, or a free church meet and greet. These rules all apply. Let's examine each one in depth.
Because there are a lot of lessons to be learned about promoting events with email marketing, this post has been broken down into two seperate parts.
Click here to read about relevance
Click here to read about frequency
If you are promoting events through email marketing, relevance is incredibly important. If your subscriber doesn't see value in your emails, they will unsubscribe. They will not find out about later events that actually ARE relevant to their interests. Even worse, if it's really irrelevant, they may share a bad word on social media or one of the various review websites.
There are two types of relevance to be aware of and the solution is the same: segmentation.
The first type of relevance is audience relevance.
For example, say you are running events for the YMCA. Your audience is every member of the YMCA and all potential members. All ages are represented.
Should you tell everybody about every single event?
No, you shouldn't.
Here's the problem.
The senior citizens will tune you out for things that aren't relevant to them.
The teens will tune you out for the senior events.
Pretty soon, both will get annoyed and tune you out for everything.
In other words, only send the senior citizen activity promotion to the senior citizens.
Only send the teen promotion to the teens.
How To Segment Your Email List
There are a few ways to segment like this.
For example, you can segment by leveraging your attendee list. If they came to the event before, they will come again.
You could also segment your email list through your sign up process. Simply ASK your subscriber what types of events they want to hear about and only tell them about those.
Need help setting this up? Click here to sign up for one of my done for you email marketing and consulting packages.
Next, let's look at location relevance.
What is location relevance anyway?
Location relevance is sending event emails where there's a probability of the user being close enough physically to attend the event.
People don't get upset when being invited to an event. People get upset when they are invited to an irrelevant event.
For example, one time one of my LinkedIn connections sent me an email invite to a networking event.
Sounds good, right?
Except the event was that night and in London!
I'm in Dayton, Ohio.
Needless to say, I was very annoyed, especially after this happened multiple times.
I ended up unsubscribing from this person's email list and blocking the connection on LinkedIn.
Not the response he was after.
However, I've gotten invites to an event in Fiji before and was ok with it. Hey, it's Fiji. I'm going to open the email to see the photos.
The Fiji invite was for a weeklong retreat with world class speakers. Even though I didn't have the budget for the event at that time, there was a possibility that I would be interested in attending.
That's location relevance in action.
Here's the key. Split up your list. Tag by location. Only invite people who are close enough to reasonably be able to go.
If not, you will have a lot of upset readers.
How To Segment Your List By Location
There are a few ways to do this.
Like I mentioned above, one way to segment your list by location is to leverage your past attendee list. If they attended before, they will most likely attend again.
Just like with audience relevance, you can ask the subscriber during the sign up process what event locations they want to know about.
You can also segment by location by using phone numbers. Create a field in your Excel spreadsheet for phone numbers and upload the your contact list again.
Create tags by the area code and only send the relevant events to people in that area code.
It's certainly not perfect because sometimes people will move and keep an old phone number but it's better than no segmentation at all.
What About Statewide Events?
Some things are pretty obvious when you are tagging by location. Some are not.
It's not always obvious how far people are willing to drive for your event.
I've seen this situation quite a bit with my event promotions with Toastmasters and other statewide nonprofit organizations.
If the event is a free lunch 3000 miles away, the people on the other side of the country probably won't come.
But what about events in nearby cities? You know that some people are willing to drive that hour or two for an event and most people aren't.
I've found that the best way to get around this is to start out the month listing the entire event list for the entire state. In other words, an email with a master calendar.
As each individual event draws closer, send reminder emails to people who are most likely to attend, the people in the city of the event.
When the travelers show up, add them to the list for that particular city. Now, you can market to them more aggressively the next time.
Click here to read part 2 of this post: frequency
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This was originally posted on the Mr Leads blog
By now, you’ve probably heard of the hottest fad this summer, Pokémon Go. It’s the hot new cell phone game that’s been sweeping the country lately.
But, can it be used as a way to attract people to your business?
In this post, I will answer your questions about what Pokémon Go is and if it can be used it as part of your overall marketing strategy.
What is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go is an Augmented reality mobile phone game. It works as an overlay over your phone’s camera and GPS system where you capture characters.
Here is a quick video from Cnet that explains it a little further.
Who created Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go was originally conceived as an April Fools prank by Google in 2014. The prank got so much buzz that Google sent it to a subsidiary called Niantic to create a full game out of it. Niantic was later spun off as an independent company.
Is Pokémon Go just a fad?
Most likely yes. However, it’s also a new revolution in gaming. The strategies outlined in this post could be used for future Augmented reality games as well.
What are Pokestops and Gyms?
Pokestops and Gyms are designated physical locations for gameplay. This is what brings the in person mobility into the game.
Where are Pokestops and Gyms located?
The Pokestops and Gyms are located in public places, typically parks, points of interest, churches or businesses. For the most part, the players have been welcomed by the location owners and managers. There have been a few incidents, like at the Auschwitz museum where there was some frustration with players at their location.
Many small businesses were delighted to find out that they were selected to be a Pokestop or a gym, causing a sudden uptick in business.
If I’m not at a Pokestop or Gym, can I still play the game?
Yes, but it’s a very limited experience.
How were the Pokestops and Gyms chosen?
These were chosen by Niantic, the creator of the game.
My business wasn’t chosen to be a Pokestop or Gym. Can I pay Niantic to create one at my location?
This is not available yet. This article from Forbes mentions that this is part of Niantic’s future plans for the game.
For now, you can submit a request with Niantic to get a Pokestop at your location, but there’s no guarantee of you getting one or when this option will be available.
What are Lure Modules?
This is where is gets interesting. The Lure Modules are a way for extra gameplay. The players can earn lures or simply buy them through the app for $1 for 30 minutes of play.
Or….the business owner at the Pokestop can buy them to “lure” in customers!
This is where it gets fun.
In this story from Bloomberg, a pizzeria in New York increased their sales by
Here’s an example of a church using Pokémon to attract people to visit them.
What types of businesses are great for using Pokémon to get more customers?
If your business can use some extra foot traffic, Pokémon is a great way to do it cost effectively. Some examples of businesses that are ideal for a Pokémon promotion include: restaurants, bars, festivals, churches, shopping areas, bowling alleys.
Your business should be targeting the same demographic as the Pokémon game, or their parents. Currently, most Pokémon players are between age 12 to 30.
What should a business consider before doing a Pokémon promotion?
There are a number of things to consider before doing a Pokémon promotion. Some of these include:
How are you going to convert the players into customers?
What will be your policy of having players under age 18? What about the parents?
How will you keep the players safe?
Will having players at your business disrupt your other customers?
Do you have enough space and staffing to accommodate the influx of people to your business?
Should a Pokémon Lure promotion be advertised?
Yes, absolutely. You will get some foot traffic from inside the game, but for best results, you should also market your Pokémon promotion.
If you have an email list, and absolutely, you should have one, the first and simplest thing you can do is send an email out to your list.
Next, put something out on your social media channels. For best results, consider making it an event and limiting the time of the event.
For even more players, buy a social media ad. All the major networks like Facebook and Twitter allow you to target by zip code, age and other demographics. A well placed ad can bring in a lot of traffic for a small budget. Since the Pokémon players are a younger demographic, also consider buying advertising on some of the newer social networks like Instagram and Snapchat.
As you can tell, having a Pokémon promotion can be a great way to bring in customers to your business. But, you need to plan it out and do it right.
This is a limited opportunity for local business owners who were lucky enough to be chosen for a Pokestop or Gym. Unfortunately, if you aren’t one of those business owners, you are out of luck until the sponsored location feature is released.
Need help getting started with a Pokémon promotion? Contact me today at www.mr-leads.com/consultation to request a free consultation.
For further reading about Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go: How the Pokéconomy Is Changing Business, One Lure at a Time PC World
Pokémon Go Is Driving Insane Amounts of Sales at Small Local Businesses. Here’s How It Works Inc Magazine
6 Ways To Use Pokémon Go In Your Local Marketing Campaign Forbes
The CEO behind ‘Pokémon Go’ explains why it’s become such a phenomenon Business Insider
17 Small Businesses That Are Totally Cashing In On Pokémon Go BuzzFeed
Bookstores Are Just As Obsessed With Pokémon Go As You BuzzFeed
Niantic CEO Confirms Sponsored Retail Locations Are Coming To ‘Pokémon GO’ Forbes
Request A Pokestop At Your Business
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I recently got a chance to watch this excellent video by Videofruit, where he interviews motivational speaker Grant Baldwin. If you haven’t have a chance to see the video, check it out below.
One of my favorite lessons of the video is the section on goal setting. Grant is a big proponent of 90 day goals.
Why 90 days? It’s because a year can be too long to stay focused. For many people, including me, it just seems to far away to stay motivated.
But 90 days…well, that’s much easier to see.
Here’s a video that expands on this concept:
When doing any sort of goal setting, you need to think about what types of goals that you want. There are performance goals and process goals.
A performance goal has an element of things that are out of your control. An example of this would be: Make 10 sales this quarter.
A process goal is something that’s completely under your control. An example of this would be: Make 100 cold calls this quarter. You can’t guarantee that the 100 cold calls will turn into the 10 sales. However if you DON’T make the 100 cold calls, you definitely WON’T make the 10 sales.
Here’s a great video from Jill Konrath that expands on this concept:
So, here’s what I did and I would like to encourage you to do the same.
1) I wrote down my performance goals for this quarter
2) I wrote down my process goals that would enable me to achieve my performance goals.
I then broke that down into weekly goals and decided on what day of the week I would do each item.
Now I have daily process goals. It’s time put those on my schedule and hold myself to it.
So, as an example, I decided that one of my process goals is to do 6 webinars this quarter. That breaks down into 2 webinars a month. I decided that Wednesdays would be my webinar day. I created a weekly action item that every Wednesday I would do webinars. On my off weeks, I now work on creating the new webinars.
I like to use software to help me create action items. My favorite tool for creating daily tasks is Todoist.
Here is a You Tube video from dottotech.com that explains what Todoist is and how to use it.
You may be wondering what to do if you have too many goals on your list. After all, you have daily tasks and responsibilities that you need to do on top of your goals.
Here’s what you need to do:
1) Ask yourself if all the goals on your list are REALLY important. Can one or two be eliminated?
2) Can you delegate some of the tasks to staff or hire someone to do it for you? If so, DO IT!
3) Are there existing day to day tasks that can be outsourced or automated to free up your time to work on your goals?
As you can see, goal setting doesn’t have to be daunting. I’m sure you will agree that it’s something that’s worth taking a look at.
How have your efforts with goal setting gone? Were they successful? Leave a comment below!
This article was originally posted on the Mr. Leads blog
Michael Hyatt’s 90 day challenge
Fast Company article on 90 day goals.
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Are you looking for new content for your email newsletters?
There are many places you can look to obtain new content. For example, you can write a blog post from scratch and link to it. You could also promote an event or a new product.
Another way to do it is simply curate a list of articles related to your industry and send them out as a newsletter (with proper credit of course).
Today, I want to outline a simple strategy that you can use for prewritten content: Private Label Rights (PLR) articles.
PLR articles are written by a professional writer and sold to multiple people in similar industries. Done right, this can be a win-win situation. The writer sells the article for a little less money per article, but since it’s sold multiple times, she makes more money overall.
With PLR, you get to credit yourself as the author of the content!
PLR content can take many forms. Some examples of PLR content are: short articles for a blog post, a report, a video or a Power Point presentation.
There are many resources out there for PLR content, and like anything else, some sources are good and some not so good. A simple Google search for “PLR content” will reveal dozens of sources of PLR sellers. My favotite resource for PLR content is Big Content Search, but there are many other sources out there.
Note: if you are planning on using PLR content as a blog post, be sure to rewrite it so Google doesn’t hit you with a duplicate content penalty. Still, you will save significant time since the PLR can provide the “seed” research for the article.
As a newsletter…..PLR is great! Drop it into Constant Contact (or whatever service you are using) and you are good to go.
Another great use of PLR is giveaway reports. If you are building a mailing list online, you should be giving away something to entice people to join your email list. A PLR report can be that giveaway item.
This article originally appeared on the Mr. Leads blog.
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Are you stressed and overwhelmed in your business?
Are you as productive as you could be?
Are you doing your best work?
I recently discovered a little exercise to find my best work and outsource the rest.
When you do this and understand it, you will be better in your business, and will be more fulfilled.
A wise man once told me….”When you are doing something, you aren’t doing something else.”
In other words, if you are doing something you don’t like to “save a couple bucks,” it takes you away from things that will make you money.
As entrepreneurs and especially for those of us that are solopreneurs, we wear many hats. It’s our job to figure out which hats we WANT to wear. Then, we need to figure out which tasks could taken off our plate through outsourcing and automation.
I want to share a simple exercise with you.
I wish I could say I made up this exercise but I can’t. To give credit where credit is due, I want to thank Brent Weaver and the team at Ugurus for sharing this with me. It’s been very helpful.
Take out a sheet of paper and make 4 lists. If you want to be all fancy pants, you can also do this in a Word document, Evernote, Trello or a spreadsheet. It doesn’t matter how you do the list, as long as you do one.
In the lists, label the following 4 columns:
Column 1) Things I love doing and am great at
Column 2) Things I like doing and am good at
Column 3) Things I DON’T like doing and am good at
Column 4) Things I DON’T like doing and I am NOT good at
Think about your average day.
You do lots of things. Some examples are: answering emails, attending events, making client calls, selling, invoicing, etc.
There are also the things you personally need to get done. Some examples of these are: making dinner, washing dishes, fixing things in your house, etc.
How many different tasks have you done this week?
It’s a lot when you really think about it. I think I had about 75 tasks on my weekly list when I did this exercise.
Now, put each task in its appropriate column.
Here’s the goal….get as many of the column 3 and column 4 items off your plate as you can.
This can be business OR personal. For example, I DREAD anything related to housework, yardwork or home repair. I am glad to have others who are better at these things do them for me.
There are also tasks you know you SHOULD be doing, or have someone else do, but aren’t currently doing now.
For example, maybe you need to create a marketing plan. Maybe you need to update your Facebook page. Maybe you need to start that blog. Perhaps you should finally start sending out that newsletter.
Put all these tasks on your list in the appropriate category.
So, how did you do?
How many things are in the dreaded column 4?
It’s ok if you have a lot of tasks there. Now the question is, how are you going to get those done?
Can you find someone to do it for you?
What’s your plan of action?
If any of those column 4 items relate to your online marketing, you know where to find me.
Click here and set up a consultation so I can help you get those off your plate.
This article originally appeared on the Mr. Leads blog.
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At my Constant Contact seminars, attendees consistently ask me if Constant Contact is a CRM system.
While Constant Contact is not a true CRM, it does have some CRM functionality.
In this article, I will tell you a little more about what a CRM is, how Constant Contact relates to CRM tools, and how you can use Constant Contact and CRM tools together.
First, let’s define what a CRM is. CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM helps you understand your customers, your clients and your team.
With Constant Contact, you can do a few basic CRM types of functions. For example, with Constant Contact, you are able to enter names, email addresses, company info, social media profiles, and notes. You can also search through your contacts and pull up their contact information.
Constant Contact also allows for tagging of your contacts.
More importantly, with Constant Contact, you can view your previous email campaigns and see who interacted with each campaign. From there, you can tag the contact for further follow up. This follow up could be an additional email campaign, a one on one email communication, a direct mail piece or simply a phone call.
However, I would not define Constant Contact as a full CRM system.
According to the Zapier blog, most CRM systems have a combination of the following tools:
Contact: The simplest of all, Contacts are the records for the people you’ve listed in your CRM. Just like in your address book, they can contain the names and personal info of your customers and clients. You’ll likely also see Company and/or Account in your CRM; these are specialized contacts for the organizations you work with, and you’ll likely link your individual contacts to a Company or Account.
Lead: Some contacts are special: they seem likely to want to do business with your team in the future. Leads are these special people, to whom you’ll want to pay particular attention.
Opportunity: Turns out, that lead was really interested, and you think you’re going to be able to sell them your product or service. Now they’re an Opportunity, and you’ll want to list info about what exactly this opportunity is and track it in your CRM.
Quote: You’ve worked with a Contact, turned that Lead into an Opportunity, and now you’re almost ready to make a deal—and so you’ll Quote them a price and the service or products they’ll get for it. That’s what Quotes are for—and no, it’s not the place to store your inspiring business quotations.
Deal: Everything worked out and you’ve sold your product—or perhaps it didn’t, and the Opportunity fell through. You’ll track both of those with Deals, which will show your Won and Lost Deals.
Profiles: Typically, these would be the people inside your own company that are using your CRM app. Each of them may have a Role, or a particular set of permissions in the app.
Campaign: Marketing is one of the main reasons you’d use a CRM, and Campaigns refer to your marketing campaigns. As such, they’d list the contacts and companies most crucial to your next marketing campaign, along with results, notes, and more.
Tag: Similar to tags in Gmail or metadata on your photos, tags give you a way to add extra info to a Contact, Deal, or anything else in your company. This extra data gives you more ways to filter and sort through your CRM.
Activity: Activity in a CRM typically refers to anything that’s happened in the app—new Deals, Contacts, Opportunities, or perhaps just a message from your colleagues. They’ll usually be listed in a Facebook-like news feed so you can look over them easily.
Before you decide on a CRM system for your business, you need to ask yourself what you want your CRM system to do for you. How will it make you more productive?
There are dozens of CRM systems on the market today and each one operates a little bit differently. You need to determine which features are best for how you operate, the size of your team and your budget. Used correctly, a CRM will make you more productive.
For small business owners, there are dozens of CRM tools on the market right now and choosing one can be overwelming.
Currently, I use one called Less Annoying CRM. It’s simple and easy to use and the price is very reasonable, $10 a month for unlimited contacts. They offer a 30 day trial, but if you use my referral link here, they will extend that to 60 days.
Less Annoying CRM is one of dozens of CRM tools on the market today. Inthis article on the Zapier blog, you can read reviews of 25 of the most popular CRM products.
Most CRM tools come with a free trial and you should try 2 or 3 of them out before making a final decision for your business.
You may be wondering if you will need to enter the information multiple times. Luckily, tools like Zapier and Cazoomi allow you to sync up your CRM data with your Constant Contact list. Enter it once and you are good to go!
Having a CRM is a great system once you get the hang of it. I’m much more organized than I was in the past.
Need help getting your CRM to work with Constant Contact?
Reach out to me with your question and I’ll help you figure it out.
This article originally appeared on the Mr. Leads Blog
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At my local Constant Contact seminars that I host in Dayton, Ohio, the number one objection that I get from potential Constant Contact customers is “I just don’t have enough prospects to justify this.” T
I’m here to tell you that no matter who you are, you DO have enough and I’m going to show you step by step exactly how to get started.
For this process, I’m going to use a new Constant Contact feature, the birthday campaign.
Did you know that Constant Contact has this feature?
Yes, they do!
Note: You need to be on the current version of Constant Contact and have a plus account (formerly known as Toolkit) to get this feature. If you aren’t sure if you have it, reach out to me and I’ll be glad to help you out.
The point of this campaign is to maintain and accelerate the relationship and keep your name top of mind with your prospects, clients and networking contacts. Most people screw it up because they pitch too soon to people that have no interest.
Here is the easy step by step process to get started with birthday campaigns and move them into your sales process.
Step 1: Get a spreadsheet of email addresses together. Put in 4 fields. First name, last name, email address, birthday. Look through your networking contacts in Outlook, Gmail, Linkedin, etc. for names and email addresses.
Step 2: Delete the “friends” you don’t really know. If you got an email from that person, would you immediately recognize the name? If not, delete it.
Step 3: Find a source of birthdays. I recommend that you start with Birthdays for Android, but there are other tools out there. This tool will pull in birthdays from Google+ profiles. Facebook is another great source of birthday info. I found that Facebook’s mobile app is the easiest way to do this. Look under events and then you will see a birthday list.
Step 4: Add the birthdays to your spreadsheet. There are some formatting rules for birthdays, so be sure to reference this article before importing.
Step 5: Import the spreadsheet into your Constant Contact account.
Step 6: Inside of Constant Contact, click on create, then click on automate your emails and then click on create a birthday campaign and create a birthday email. Here are some instructions for doing that.
Note: DO NOT PITCH. This is not the time to do one of those phony baloney half hearted birthday emails. However, if you have something free to give them, that you really do charge people for, it’s fine to stick in a coupon for it in the birthday email. Think about birthday campaigns that companies are already using. When Panera’s sends out free muffins for my birthday, I get excited and I bet that you do too.
Step 6 bonus: If you know a mailing address, use SendOutCards to send a printed birthday card to the best prospects and clients. If they are a valuable client or referral partner, use SendOutCards to send a gift, like brownies or a book. Again, DO NOT PITCH.
Step 7: Go into Constant Contact and create a postdated email for 5-10 holidays. You can do well known holidays like Christmas or Halloween. Some people like using goofy “holidays” like “National Goof Off Day”. Doesn’t really matter. It’s all about creating top of mind AWARENESS for yourself. Here is a website with a list of wacky “holidays.”
Step 7 bonus: Do the same thing in SendOutCards with your top prospects and clients.
Step 8: Come up with a useful free report. Maybe “Top 10 mistakes people make when refinancing their house” or “Top 10 ways to protect your credit”. It can be something simple with 200-500 words. Don’t overthink it.
At the end of the report, leave a phone number that people can call to schedule an appointment. I take it a step further and use Acuity Scheduling to professionally schedule appointments online.
Step 9: Create a simple landing page on your website. You can use the Constant Contact form tool to easily create this in under 10 minutes. Again, don’t over think it. When the prospect opts in, send out an automated email from Constant Contact with a link to download the report.
Step 10: Send out an email to your birthday list and say something like, “Hey I’m not sure if this would work for you or not, but I created a report that I think you would be interested in. Click here to get it.” Send them to the landing page from the previous step.
IMPORTANT: You want the prospect from your birthday list to OPT IN to the second list. Do not just give the report to them.
Step 11: Send follow up emails to the NEW list. In other words, the people that asked for the report. Continue to build value, this time giving more details about what you do. Invite them to webinars or seminars. Ask them if they want to set an appointment with you and move them into your sales process.
I guarantee that if you take this seriously and DO IT, that you will get lots of new clients and referrals out of it.
Do you have any questions or concerns about the process? Leave a comment below and I will answer them.
Need help? Click here to schedule a free 20 minute consultation with me and I can assist you further.
This article orginally appeared on the Mr. Leads blog.
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Unfortunately, many of the tools out there for website tracking also contribute to the problem. Google Analytics is the tool that most web designers are familiar with and the one that most of them will install when building a website for small business owners. Unfortunately, it’s also the most intimidating to use!
However, tracking your visitors is very important! You aren’t going to know if you are getting results until you find out what is and what isn’t working for you. If you aren’t tracking your website traffic, one social media site might be sending all of your traffic and you wouldn’t even know it!
How much traffic does your website typically get?
What days of the week are your visitors going to your website?
What pages are they looking at
How did they find your website?
Where are they located?
How long are they staying on your website?
If you are paying for advertising, is it working? Which ads are working best?
If you are selling anything on the site, or you have an opt in form for your newsletter, how are your customers finding out about it?
Which social media channels are getting you the best results?
If you are sending out an email newsletter, which blog posts are your subscribers reading?
What devices are they using? Mostly on a computer? Tablet? Cell Phone?
I’ve used several different tools over the years to track my traffic, some good and some not so good. I recently discovered a powerful website traffic tracking tool calledClicky that’s easy to use and very accurate. They have a free and a paid version. For most small business owners, you can get away with using the free version, but I’ll tell you about the features of each.
The following videos will show you exactly step by step how to get started with Clicky and how to read the traffic reports.
This first video will show you how to sign up with Clicky and add it to your website.
In this video, I will show you how to read the reports in Clicky and what they mean
This final video is for advanced users. If you are tracking email opt ins or are selling anything on your website, you need to set up goals. This video will show you exactly how to set up goals and how to read the report.
I hope these videos help you get started with tracking your website visitors. It’s a simple process.
The one drawback of Clicky is they don’t have a mobile app.
For most of you, the free version of Clicky Web Analytics is more than enough. However, if you are using the goal tracking to track ecommerce, are doing tracking your opt ins to your newsletter, or are doing any paid advertising, it’s well worth it to spend a little bit for the paid version of Clicky. Try it out and let me know in the comments below what your experiences are.
This article originally appeared on the Mr. Leads blog.
Constant Contact partner and LinkedIn expert. Author of Mr. Leads LinkedIn Bootcamp
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If you want to have real results from your email marketing strategy, you will need to place an opt-in form on your website so your prospects can join your email list. There are several tools out there that you can use to accomplish this and in this post we will explore some ways to do it effectively. Before you can decide on a tool, you need to figure out what types of opt-ins you are collecting. Here are some things to consider: Are you using pop up subscribe boxes? Are you using a simple opt-in form, perhaps on the side of the page or the top? What type of offer are you going to use to incentivize your visitor to sign up? Are you going to have multiple sign up offers, like a free ebook book on one page and a video on another page? Are you going to be blogging? Are you going to split test multiple offers on the landing page? What’s your budget? Is it compatible with your email marketing service provider? What type of website to do have? These questions all need to be figured out in advance before you pick a tool. Since I am a Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert and Constant Contact is a market leader in email marketing services, I looked at all of these tools from that perspective. If you are using another provider, you will need to do some additional research to see if it works with your newsletter provider. Sumo Me If you aren’t sure what tool to use or don’t want to spend any money, Sumo Me is a great place to start. Sumo Me is a suite of online marketing tools such as an image sharing tool, a pop up subscribe box, a smart bar, which is a subscribe box at the top of the page and more. Compatibility: WordPress plugin or html code make this compatible with most websites. Cost: Sumo Me is a free tool, which makes it a no brainer if you are just getting started. Lead Pages Lead Pages has quickly emerged as one of the top tools for growing your email list. The list of things that you can do with it is quite staggering. They have proven templates for everything that you can think of as well as a few that you had no idea existed. They have landing pages that you can use as a stand alone site or a number of tools that you can integrate into your existing website. Compatibility: WordPress plugin or html code make this compatible with most websites. Cost: Lead Pages starts at $25 a month and goes up from there depending on what you are doing with it. It’s more expensive than the other tools being reviewed in this post, but it’s also the most powerful. Jot Form If you are looking for a simple opt-in form on your website, then Jot Form is for you. You can use this program to create simple contact forms and to grow your list. Compatibility: WordPress plugin or html code make this compatible with most websites. Cost: Free for up to 100 submissions a month. $9.99 a month for up to 1000 submissions. PopUp Domination If your main source of opt-ins will be from a pop up ad, then you should definitely consider PopUp Domination. They have over 30 beautiful pop up designs. Additionally PopUp Domination can do split testing, exit pop ups and much much more. PopUp Domination has been used by top marketers for several years for good reason. It works well! Compatibility: WordPress plugin or html code make this compatible with most websites. Cost: Starts at $47 for the basic license Optin Monster Optin Monster allows you to create optin pages a number of different ways including pop up forms, a floater bar, a slide in, a widget and more. They also allow you to split test your opt-in form so you can see which one works best. Compatibility: WordPress plugin only Cost: Starts at $49 for the basic license This article originally appeared on the Mr. Leads blog.
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At my Constant Contact seminars, people ask me all the time about the Can-Spam Act. This is a law that was put into place in 2003 to combat spam emails. You can get fined for violations. Typically not much, but sometimes it can be thousands of dollars depending on how extreme the violation was. Some people have gone to jail for violating the Can-Spam Act. (typically for phishing related crimes) Yes, it is a big deal! Major email marketing service providers like Constant Contact have to help their customers understand this law and enable them the tools for doing so. To be in compliance with the Can-Spam Act, your emails need the following: Unsubscribe compliance A visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism is present in all emails. Consumer opt-out requests are honored within 10 business days. Opt-out lists also known as Suppression lists are only used for compliance purposes. Content compliance Accurate from lines (including “friendly froms”) Relevant subject lines (relative to offer in body content and not deceptive) A legitimate physical address of the publisher and/or advertiser is present. PO Box addresses are acceptable in compliance with 16 C.F.R. 316.2(p) and if the email is sent by a third party, the legitimate physical address of the entity, whose products or services are promoted through the email should be visible. A label is present if the content is adult. Sending behavior compliance A message cannot be sent through an open relay A message cannot be sent without an unsubscribe option. A message cannot be sent to a harvested email address A message cannot contain a false header A message should contain at least one sentence. A message cannot be null. Unsubscribe option should be below the message. Source: Wikipedia Luckily most of the tools that are needed to comply with the Can-Spam act are already provided to you. Compliance with the law is one of the most important reasons you should be using a service like Constant Contact instead of traditional email for your newsletters. Additionally, you should be getting permission from your contact before putting them on your list. This can be as simple as asking someone at a networking event if they want your newsletter or using an opt in form on your website. You should not under any circumstances be buying an email list of names or downloading names off of your prospect’s website. This is a definite violation! Legitimate email service providers like Constant Contact will shut you down in a heartbeat if you don’t get permission in advance. They will know if you didn’t get permission, because emails sent without permission will have lower open rates and higher spam complaint rates. They check these things on every email sent. At my Constant Contact seminars, people ask me all the time about the Can-Spam Act. This is a law that was put into place in 2003 to combat spam emails. You can get fined for violations. Typically not much, but sometimes it can be thousands of dollars depending on how extreme the violation was. Some people have gone to jail for violating the Can-Spam Act. (typically forphishing related crimes) Yes, it is a big deal! Major email marketing service providers like Constant Contact have to help their customers understand this law and enable them the tools for doing so. To be in compliance with the Can-Spam Act, your emails need the following: Unsubscribe compliance A visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism is present in all emails. Consumer opt-out requests are honored within 10 business days. Opt-out lists also known as Suppression lists are only used for compliance purposes. Content compliance Accurate from lines (including “friendly froms”) Relevant subject lines (relative to offer in body content and not deceptive) A legitimate physical address of the publisher and/or advertiser is present. PO Box addresses are acceptable in compliance with 16 C.F.R. 316.2(p) and if the email is sent by a third party, the legitimate physical address of the entity, whose products or services are promoted through the email should be visible. A label is present if the content is adult. Sending behavior compliance A message cannot be sent through an open relay A message cannot be sent without an unsubscribe option. A message cannot be sent to a harvested email address A message cannot contain a false header A message should contain at least one sentence. A message cannot be null. Unsubscribe option should be below the message. Source: Wikipedia Luckily most of the tools that are needed to comply with the Can-Spam act are already provided to you. Compliance with the law is one of the most important reasons you should be using a service like Constant Contact instead of traditional email for your newsletters. Additionally, you should be getting permission from your contact before putting them on your list. This can be as simple as asking someone at a networking event if they want your newsletter or using an opt in form on your website. You should not under any circumstances be buying an email list of names or downloading names off of your prospect’s website. This is a definite violation! Legitimate email service providers like Constant Contact will shut you down in a heartbeat if you don’t get permission in advance. They will know if you didn’t get permission, because emails sent without permission will have lower open rates and higher spam complaint rates. They check these things on every email sent. This article originally appeared on the Mr. Leads blog.
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You’ve decided to start your email newsletter. That’s great. You are taking action that could lead to more sales and more money in your pocket. However, if you aren’t careful, you could also be making some critical errors that could make the newsletter ineffective. Even worse, your mistakes could destroy your online reputation, or even your entire business. Here are some critical errors that email marketers make and what you can do to fix it. Building the email list using poor tactics This is one of the top mistakes that I see. One of the worst things that you can do is download your entire LinkedIn contact list and dump them into your newsletter list. Don’t do it! This will only tick people off! There is an easy alternative that you can do instead. Yes, it takes a little more work, but it will make your list a higher quality one that will get you better results. This tactic is simple: invite your potential subscriber directly via LinkedIn’s messaging system. Give them a reason to visit your website and let your potential subscriber opt in via the opt in form that you SHOULD be using on your site. I’m currently using SumoMe to create the forms on my sites. It’s free and integrates directly into Constant Contact and many other email service providers. The easiest way to entice people to opt in to your email list is via a giveaway report of some sort. For example, if you are in the real estate business, your report could be about the “5 Critical Errors That People Make Before Shopping For a Home”. Make an email address required to download the report and just like that, they are on your newsletter list! Another way to turn your LinkedIn contacts into email subscribers is via Facebook ads. Did you know that Facebook allows you to upload a list of email addresses and create ads based on that list? You can even upload a list and then do targeting within the list. As an example, I could upload my list of LinkedIn contacts to my Facebook ads account and only target women between 20 and 35 who are connected to me on LinkedIn and live within 10 miles of West Carrollton, Ohio. Yes, it’s super targeted and super effective. In the ad, I can direct people to my website that contains my opt in form. Under no circumstances should you be adding emails purchased from list brokers or scraping them from websites. This includes lists from websites in which you are both a common member, such as adding all your fellow members of a Chamber of Commerce. Using these lists are a clear violation of the Can-Spam Act and should not be used! Violations of the Can-Spam Act will get your account on Constant Contact(or any other legitimate email service provider) shut down in a hurry. Using Images Without Text Another critical error that I see in email newsletters is the overuse of images. Studies have shown that 43% of Gmail users are reading their email with the images turned off. If you are using just an image without accompanying text, then those 43% of your subscribers will see a blank screen and will either ignore you or worse yet, file you away in the spam file. This will certainly not help your reputation! By the way, image only emails are also a favorite technique of spammers, because the ISP has no way to read the email and filter out the common spam words. Because of this, many ISP’s are simply putting all of the image only emails in the spam file. Therefore, if you are sending an email with just text, it’s much more likely to end up in your subscriber’s spam folder before they even have a chance to read it. Not Providing Value Another problem I’ve seen with many marketers is not providing value. For example, if you are just selling, selling, selling without providing anything useful up front, you will get nowhere with your newsletter. Even worse, some people that liked your business before will suddenly DISLIKE you and will leave you WORSE off then before you even started the newsletter to begin with. How can you get around this problem? By providing useful content. For example, if you are in the mortgage business, instead of just blasting out rate sheets, you could give free tips on how to rebuild credit or partner up with a real estate agent or insurance agent to have them guest post for your newsletter. As you can see, it’s critically important that you plan out your newsletter and have a strategy for success. This article originally appeared on the Mr. Leads blog.
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Are you looking for content for your small business newsletter? When I talk to small business owners about their newsletter, having enough content is always one of the top concerns. Today, you will discover some ideas for finding great usable newsletter content. 1) Have A Contest Everyone loves a good contest! Give something away of value and see your opens skyrocket. For best results, also post the contest on social media. 2) Product Announcements What’s going on in your company or industry that you can announce or provide commentary on? It’s is a great thing to mention in your newsletter. 3) Testimonials Who’s using your product or service that is super impressed? Share their testimonial, either in text format, or link to a You Tube video. 4) Interviews Interview someone related to your industry and write about that in your newsletter. If it’s informative, it will definitely get read! 5) Staff Photos Show photos of your staff and inside your company. It will personalize your business. 6) Personal Announcements Sometimes, when appropriate, you can post personal stories or photos and like the tip above, it will personalize your business. Works best during the holiday season. 7) Links To Other Content Be known as the person who links to good content. Many popular newsletters are simply a collection of links. 8) Exclusive Subscriber Deals Everyone loves a good deal. Create a deal for your subscribers and they will love you for it! 9) Tell A Story Tell a great story, either about yourself, or someone you know, such as a client or staff member. It can pay off handsomely. 10) Insider Tips What do you know that your audience doesn’t? Share that knowledge and you will be seen as the expert. If you do it well, it’s also an excellent opportunity for upselling a service. 11) Private Label Rights Articles Sites like Big Content Search and others sell content that you can republish in your newsletter. Usually these are sold in bundles. Since they sell the content multiple times, the pricing tends to be very reasonable. This is a great way to get newsletter content fast! 12) Ezine Articles EzineArticles.com and similar sites have articles that you can reprint in your newsletter. These sites require that you post a link back to the author at the end of your content. So, be careful that the author is not a competitor. On the plus site, the articles tend to be well written and they are completely free to use. 13) Guest Post Invite a client or complimentary business to write a guest post for your newsletter in exchange for a link to their website. You get content, they get publicity. A win-win. Bonus tip: The next month, reverse the process and you write an article for their newsletter. 14) Events Have an event coming up, either live or online? Your newsletter is a great place to publicize it and get the word out. Conclusion As you can see, there are lots of ways to get content for your email newsletter. Now, go out there and do it! This article originally appeared on the Mr. Leads blog.
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