Plus, 4 Tips to Help You Keep Your Marketing Going
It’s summertime. Time for rest and relaxation which is often hard when you are a business owner but it really is necessary.
I've been in business since 2000 and just did something I've never done before. I was out of the office for the better part of 3 weeks. That sounds insane, right?
Keep in mind that I am a solopreneur so I didn't have anyone to cover for me while I was away.
Don't worry, my clients were taken care of and with some careful planning on your part, you can do the same especially with your online marketing. Everything can be scheduled, right? And, guess what? You can also just take a break from posting content - I did.
I started with a mission trip to Haiti with my church. It was amazing and I’m happy to share details with you individually if you are interested. The key takeaway for me on this trip, unrelated to the mission’s work, was that I CAN be completely disconnected and, believe me, I was. In fact, when given the opportunity to get on Wi-Fi, I declined because I was afraid of all the messages I’d then feel like I had to answer. Knowing that I would be completely disconnected allowed me to plan for it.
Here’s what I did:
I started talking to my clients about 6-8 weeks before I left. We are usually 3-4 weeks ahead in planning but I wanted to get even further ahead on our planning calendars than we normally are.
I did have to double down on the work for these clients so that everything could be proofed and scheduled before I left.
I also reached out to my partners so they would not be surprised when they received my out of office messages.
I turned on my out of office messages for email and voicemail with clear instructions on how to communicate with me and when I would be back. This is key. I prefer email communication and I state that in my out of office voice mail. It’s just easier for me to respond in general to emails.
I could have also scheduled emails and social media posts to go out when I was gone as part of my own marketing efforts. I usually do this when I travel but since I was COMPLETELY off the grid, I decided to give my audience a break as well.
After I returned from my trip to Haiti, I had exactly one business day and one Federal holiday at home before my next flight left. This also took some planning as I had scheduled meetings and calls with my clients for that day to be sure everything was on track.
My birthday selfie at Trunk Bay with my son and his dad.
My next trip was to the US Virgin Islands. I was technically no longer off the grid but my cell phone often didn’t work at the best beaches and the Wi-Fi was fairly weak. And, I wanted to vacation. I had updated my out of office message to state that I did have sporadic access to email and voicemail as that was the truth. And I did boot up my laptop a few times for clients while I was there but it was mostly just to check on things.
What are my key takeaways? 4 Tips to Keep Your Marketing Going
1) You can take a break and you should. I need to allow myself to unplug more often. It was incredibly freeing to be completely offline as I was in Haiti.
2) Planning calendars are key to keeping your marketing moving at a steady pace. Please sit down and create a calendar and plan for your marketing activities. So many business owners I know are constantly running and putting out fires. This should not be the norm for your marketing.
3) Be reasonable in your planning. Don’t try to do a ton of marketing activities especially if you are not doing them now. I would prioritize consistent email marketing and a basic social media presence on your top social platform. Once that is steady and routine you can add more activities.
4) Use the scheduling tools available to you for online marketing. I scheduled email marketing campaigns, social media posts, and Facebook ad campaigns all to run while I was away.
Do you find it hard to get away from your business or do you have tips to share on how you do take vacations? Let me know in the comments. You may inspire a tired business owner to take that needed break.
Originally published at www.laurabcreative.com on July 20, 2018.
... View more
Super Bowl may be the one time in American TV viewing throughout the year when the public looks forward to the advertisements. Super Bowl ads have fast become part of the Super Bowl Sunday experience as much as the game, the snacks, and the halftime show. In fact, in lieu of a wardrobe malfunction or a bad 2 nd down call on the 1 yard line with 26 seconds left to play, the ads are often the most talked about part of the game, especially if you are a fan of any of the 30 NFL teams that were also at home watching the game.
Super Bowl ads may be entertaining, but they are bad marketing examples, especially for small business owners.
1. No call to action. Marketing today especially is about eliciting a measurable response. With limited time and resources, small businesses cannot waste any of them on branding. They need to have a call to action that gets prospects in their sales funnel. What is that first step in your sales cycle? What do you want your prospects to do once they find you? Is it subscribing to your email list? Filling out a form on your website? Calling for an appointment? This needs to be very clear in all your marketing. Unfortunately, most Super Bowl ads, do not have a call to action or more specifically a call to action that leads prospects down the path to purchase.
This year, however, I like two ads that have a direct call to action: Groupon and Stella Artois.
Tiffany Haddish gives a clear call to action: download the Groupon app.
Matt Damon implores you to buy a limited-edition Stella Artois Chalice which provides water to someone impacted by the global water crisis for 5 years.
2. No value to the customer. Super Bowl ads are more about being cute and getting talked about than delivering value to the customer. As a small business, you cannot afford to be cute and not make it clear to your customers what you do. As a society, our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter; the most effective marketing is to be direct about whom you serve and how you can help them.
A good example from this year’s Super Bowl ads is Percil with honorable mention going to Febreeze.
There's no question what Percil does. This is a good clear message.
3. No increase in sales. Often the most-loved ads do not improve the sales. Perhaps, the most-loved and favorite Super Bowl ad of all time featuring Mean Joe Greene was pulled after a few months by Coca-Cola because sales did not increase.
Unfortunately, this beloved ad did not help Coke sales.
Small businesses need to make sure there is a positive Return on Investment for every dollar spent marketing. Winning the ads on Super Bowl Sunday does not equate to winning sales. A smart small business owner should not be concerned with winning ad competitions, but rather sales competitions.
So by all means, enjoy the ads and the memes that spring from them. You can view them all here. However, please do NOT model your marketing after Super Bowl ads. Model your marketing with a good solid strategy that focuses on eliciting a measurable response.
Integration of Social Media
Now that social media is a key factor in business marketing for businesses of all sizes, I wanted to give some honorable mentions to those ads which do a good job incorporating social media. There are the occasional social media handles and hashtags at the end of some of the ads but this early Super Bowl commercial took it a step further.
The ad by Kraft is a great way to engage the audience during the Super Bowl however, they are asking viewers to go to a website and there is no indication in the ad of appropriate hashtags or Kraft social handles. Sometimes it is the little details that can greatly affect a campaign.
Kraft wants you to share your family game day pictures to be part of their Super Bowl commercial.
All your marketing should include your social media information. However, before you start pushing people to your social media, be sure you are not making these 6 Social Media Mistakes.
And finally, an honorable mention: part 2 of the Michelob Ultra Super Bowl commercial. Just for fun, because it's Chris Pratt but mainly because it includes my favorite country song from my childhood. You can ask my siblings, they will attest...I Like Beer by Tom T Hall.
Michelob Ultra "I like beer" commercial is part 2 of Super Bowl ad.
The original version of this post was published in 2015: 3 Reasons Super Bowl Ads are Bad Examples of Marketing.
This updated version was originally posted on laurabcreative.com at http://www.laurabcreative.com/blog/2018/01/2018-super-bowl-ads/
... View more
If you are a Constant Contact user, be sure to grab this quick report before year end.
Constant Contact tracks your list growth and gives you the following options under Contacts > Reports:
last 30 days
last 60 days
last 90 days
month to date
year to date
This is all great information and you should be tracking your list growth and unsubscribes on a regular basis.
However, the year to date data will reset on January 1. So, follow these instructions to grab the data before the New Year.
Log into your Constant Contact account.
Select "year to date" in the drop down on the right.
Take a screenshot of the full window, including the "Growth by Source" information below the overall growth chart. I use Snagit by TechSmith but you can use any screenshot software or just use Print Screen on a Windows machine or Shift-Command-4 on a Mac.
Save your screenshot so you can access the data when you are ready to review it.
This post originally appeared on my blog at http://www.laurabcreative.com/blog/2017/12/year-end-list-growth-in-constant-contact. You can view a two-minute video demonstration of this report there.
... View more
I have found Constant Contact is the right fit for 90% of the thousands of small business owners and nonprofit marketers I speak to each year. And email marketing is the number one digital marketing strategy you should be implementing in your business
In case you are unaware, Constant Contact is an email solution provider. What does that mean? It allows organizations to send one-to-many emails to that organization's permission-based list. It has long been the industry leader, especially for small business. I have been a user since 2003 and the product just keeps getting better.
I’m often asked why I love and recommend Constant Contact.
First of all, I believe Constant Contact knows its market is the small business and as such has kept the platform easy to use and cost effective for small organizations. Plans start at just $20/mo! And you can always start with a 60-day fully-featured trial.
They also have award-winning, patient, US-based customer support. If you spend more than 5 minutes on a question or problem within Constant Contact, contact Customer Support. They are amazing.
Lastly, Constant Contact has made an investment in the local community by establishing local education teams who present best practices on email marketing throughout your area. Local marketing professionals like me. You can find my webinars and Washington, DC-area events at www.laurabcreative.com/calendar. Many of my events are free, thanks to the support of Constant Contact.
11 New Constant Contact Features
So there are all the reasons I love Constant Contact as a company. Let's dive into some of the amazing new features. Some of these are brand new, others have rolled out across accounts over the last 6-12 months. All of these features are in the new Drag and Drop Editor, officially called the Third Generation Editor. This interface is so easy to use. You can create a mobile-responsive email in minutes with tons of cool features like:
Background Patterns. There are currently 8 different background patterns you can choose along with the ability to color them to match your branding. I've heard the ability to upload your own background images is coming soon.
Import PDF to Email. This is amazing especially if you deal with another stakeholder who provides a PDF promotion like an event flyer. You can now import this PDF into Constant Contact and the system will create an image in the email that is automatically linked to the PDF download as well as a download button below the image. I encourage you to include descriptive text and details in the text of the email as well for those users who have images turned off.
Specialty Blocks. These make it easy to add specific types of content above and beyond the general blocks that include text, images, videos, and social media links.
Read More. Pull all the info from a blog post including image, title, first few lines, along with a link to the rest of the post.
Poll. Ask readers a question and track their responses.
RSVP. I have been loving this simple, one-click way for readers to RSVP for an event.
That's just creating an email. There's also a ton of magic happening after you send your email.
Segmenting with Tags. You can segment your lists based on who has a certain tag or who does not have a tag. This means you can segment by customers or location easily.
Social Share. The new social share allows you to share your email on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter). I like to use this with clients to enhance their social media editorial calendar.
New Email Archive. Simply place a piece of code on your website and then select which email campaigns show up in your archive right in the Constant Contact dashboard. I love the control and simplicity of this feature.
We also want to serve our subscribers and manage our email lists.
Send Welcome Email by List. I have waited for this feature for so long. Now you can send tailored welcome emails with specific content for each of your lists. Read 3 Autoresponders to Use in Your Business Right Now for tips on creating your welcome email including a downloadable checklist. Do not overlook this important first contact that typically sees an open rate of 60-80%.
Resubscribe Contacts. You can now send an email directly to a subscriber with instructions on how they can resubscribe. This is handy when a business associate or colleague has accidently unsubscribed. This is a great feature but should only be used for contacts that you've spoken to about resubscribing.
Now you can make sure your emails are more effective with these great new reporting features.
Mobile vs. Desktop Opens by Campaign. Now you can see how many of your emails are opened on mobile versus desktop devices across the last 50 campaigns in your account as well as in each campaign.
Search and Compare Campaigns. Within the reporting section, you can search and compare results from campaigns. The compare feature will give you a graph showing key metrics. With this in mind, remember to name your campaigns so you can identify the subject and content of the email in the reporting section.
Click Through Heat Map. Now you can see which links were clicked in your email campaigns by viewing the heat map of actual clicks. This is helpful if you have the same link, say to an event registration, used in a headline, button, and image.
I know there are lots of options for email marketing but give Constant Contact a try. And if you are a past customer, I invite you to start a new free 60-day trial to check out all the cool new features.
... View more
Need the ability to have a public share link to be able to provide event registrant info to my staff. I don't want this available to other guests, just to people I send the link to. Similar to what you can do for survey monkey and google forms results.
... View more
You are on social media. You are posting updates. You may have even built a respectable following but you are getting no engagement or growth in your profiles. And, more importantly, you are not seeing increased sales from your efforts. What’s the problem? I see the following mistakes most often when I review a business’ social media presence through my social media audit. Surprisingly, the worst offenses happen when a business is actually paying an outside firm to handle its social media. Review this list and look at your organization’s social media. I hope it helps you tweak your existing efforts for better results.
No consistency. There is no consistency in your profiles. Can an outsider tell that your Facebook page, your Twitter profile, and your website are the same business? Do you use the same handles for all profiles? For instance, I am @laurabcreative everywhere: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Periscope, Snapchat, Blab, and Vine. This doesn’t mean that you need to be on every platform, but you need to have consistent handles across all platforms as well as consistent imagery and completed profiles.
To help you review this for yourself, I’ve created a Social Media Profile Checklist. This is where my social media audit starts and I always find a few places for improvement when reviewing a business. It is well worth your time to follow the checklist and review each platform.
No direction. The next biggest mistake I see is posting with no direction or what I call “posting just to post.” This is where you may have a social media plan and may even be paying an outside agency to post for you and that is what they are doing – just posting.
In fact, I don’t see a compelling reason why you should post every day. I’d rather you post a few times a week with really engaging posts than just putting something up there.
Social media is about engagement and connection with your audience. Posting just to post or taking a “set it and forget it” approach is counterintuitive to the entire opportunity that is social media marketing.
Many businesses continue to post the same type of content over weeks and months and wonder why they have nothing to show for their efforts. Here’s an example: do you post motivation quotes that are completely unrelated to your business? Do you actually have comments, likes, and shares on those posts? Even if you do, are they moving your clients or prospects any closer to buying your product or service? How about related articles? No likes and shares? Then why are you still posting them?
Please have a goal for your social media and make sure all your content stays on message. That doesn’t mean that all your content should be your own but it should certainly be on message.
As a caveat to this posting with no direction, we see the same posts across all platforms. Again, you are ignoring the different cultures and norms of each platform and just blasting your message. Please read Friends Don’t Let Friends Autopost.
No variety. Along the same lines, even with businesses who are posting and getting engagement, is a lack of variety in your posts. This means you are always posting a link or a photo but it’s the same photo -- even if it’s a happy customer in your store, it’s basically the same photo. I look for variety in types of content – photos, videos, links, text updates along with variety within those posts. Have you ever gone to an Instagram account and all the posts are different motivational quotes with the exact same design? Guess which posts will just get glanced over in the news feed? The boring ones. Shake it up a little bit. Vary your posts and watch which ones your audience reacts to.
No plan. Posting sporadically. I see this a lot in marketing in general. You ignore your audience until you have a big event or promotion coming up and then you post about it – everywhere and too much. You want a consistent drumbeat of valuable content to your audience. You need to earn the right to promote to them. If you need a deeper dive on this point along with fantastic examples, I recommend Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk.
No one is listening. This comes from posting where your audience is not. You can be posting great content all day long but if your audience is not there, you are speaking to an empty room. Not sure where your audience is online or if they even are? You need to ask them where they are and where they would like to receive updates about your offering. Not sure who your ideal customer is? Define your ideal client here.
No response. Not responding to your audience is a huge no-no. This is why you want to limit the number of platforms you are on so you can manage the engagement and interactions. Be sure to assign someone to monitor the comments and messages on all platforms and empower them to respond quickly. Some platforms, like Facebook, now show how quickly a page responds to messages.
I applaud your efforts to integrate social media into your marketing plans. It’s important to realize that there is no magic bullet and that social media is a conversation with your audience. I hope you will review these 6 mistakes and they will help you improve your social media marketing resulting in better engagement and, of course, increased sales.
Start with my Social Media Profile Checklist.
And for goodness sake, have fun. Social media is supposed to be social so inject some fun into your posts.
If you want some ideas to increase engagement and growth, please schedule your customized social media audit today.
... View more
5 Tips to Help Your Small Business Decide
There are so many social media platforms available for businesses and it’s often hard to decide which platforms you should use. You are hearing advice from all over that you HAVE to be on this platform or that. With my clients, I utilize my 3 Cs of Social Media to determine which platforms to utilize in the custom social media strategy I design for them, but what do we do to evaluate the latest and greatest, in-the-news platforms?
Initially, you want to do some general research on what type of platform it is. Why was it built? What type of content is shared? Who were the early adopters? Make a note of those influencers who are quoted in the articles, we will need them for step 3. This should give you a general idea of what is going on with a platform. Once you decide from this initial review that it may be a platform your business should consider, I recommend these steps:
Secure Your Handle. Download the app, create an account, and secure your handle. Remember we want a consistent handle across all platforms so try to match your existing social media handles. The advantage of jumping on early is that you should be able to secure your handle. I’m @laurabcreative everywhere.
Complete Your Profile. Now, upload your profile image or logo and complete your profile including your website URL and any other pertinent info. Make sure it matches the imagery, logo, and branding of your other profiles.
Listen. This is the biggest step. Don’t jump on and start pushing out content. First, find influencers in your industry or just early adopters on the platform and see what they are doing. Make sure you choose people who are using the platform well – remember any influencers mentioned in your initial research. Find brands that are doing well that speak to your same target audience so you are seeing both individuals and brand voices. Be sure to follow more than one or two. You may find you just don't like the style of some of the people and need to find others to follow. There are some bloggers/authors that I love but I don't enjoy their Snapchat stories, for example, so I don't follow them there.The benefit of listening is not just to see what other people are doing but also to get an idea of the culture of the platform so when you start producing content (if that is what you decide), you will be up to speed.
Decision Time. Does this new platform make sense for your business and your audience?
If the answer is yes, now you need to integrate this new platform into your existing social media strategy. What type of content are you going to share? What is the goal of the platform for your business? Is this something you can do well? Remember we are not just going to start autoposting our content here. For more, read Friends Don’t Let Friends Autopost.
If the answer is no, this platform doesn’t make sense for your business right now. That’s okay. Be sure not to add this profile link to your website, email signature, or anything else. If you are not participating, you don’t want to be driving people there. But, you should leave your completed profile up for SEO reasons and so you will be well-positioned should this platform make sense for your social media strategy in the future.
I hope these tips will help you make sense of the ever-changing online world. Did this process help you to choose or disqualify any platform? Let me know in the comments.
... View more
Do you want to know what your audience wants? You should ask them.
But, you may have reservations about conducting a survey even if it’s just a few questions.
Over the past year, I have gained incredible insight into my audience by using a simple technique I call the faux survey (H/T to Digital Marketer for the term).
What’s a faux survey? It’s one question in the text of an email with multiple choice answers.
[We should note that Constant Contact does have a great survey tool that I use with my clients as well but sometimes I only have one question or I want immediate results. When that is the case, I use the faux survey.]
I ask one question in the text of an email and then list the multiple choice answers. I create different hyperlinks for each of the answers. This not only makes the survey results as easy as checking my click through rates but it also gives me added marketing exposure because my audience is now going where I want them to go.
You can also create a simple 2 or 3 answer faux survey using images like this example for a restaurant:
How was your meal?
Sounds easy, right? But does it work? Of course, or I wouldn’t be writing about it. Here are a few case studies for you:
Case Study 1: Content Consumption by Laura B. Poindexter
I wanted to know how my audience consumed content. I really wanted to start a podcast. I listen to podcasts. I love them. I started out my career in radio. I love to talk. I really thought podcasting was for me. So, I asked my audience. Here’s the email:
Curious about my results? Considering I speak a lot both at live events and through webinars, I knew those 2 would score well. That is how I have built my list so it makes sense. The only result that really surprised me was the answer for podcasting. Can you guess how many people listen to podcasts? 1.92% That’s it. I was so sad. I mean there are always arguments for why I might want to podcast like to reach a new/different audience, but this is MY audience. This list is how I have built my business over the last 16 years. Surely I should start with what they are telling me.
The good news: think of all the time and money I didn’t waste on launching my own podcast. Now, I still love podcasts and it’s not off the table forever, just for right now. However, I am happy to dip my toe in the water (with little investment on my part) by being a guest on other people’s podcasts.
The added benefit of this strategy is in the link locations. Not only are you training your audience to click on your emails but you can also send them wherever you want through the link, just be sure it’s relevant. For the survey above, answering "I like to read blog posts" would take you here:
See the note at the bottom? I used Sniply to add the note at the bottom which helped to explain why they were redirected.
But wait, there’s more…after a few weeks, I went back into the email reporting and segmented the respondents into new lists based on their answers. If I ever launch a podcast, you can bet that handful of people will be the first to know.
I also took this opportunity to ask a bonus question for those not in the Washington DC area and sent them to my webinar calendar. I also then removed them from my local events list.
I like to say marketing is just about staying in front of your audience until they are ready to buy your product or service. (click on the bird to tweet that)
This email received an initial 25% open rate and a 16% click through rate. And to improve results, I used this strategy to Increase My Open Rate by 30% (which it did) bringing the total open rate to over 30%.
I’d say that’s LOTS of positives above and beyond the info I gained, just by strategically asking one question.
Case Study 2: Net Promoter Score, Data Services Company
My client wanted to implement a Net Promoter Score survey and track their results with clients post contract completion.
So we implemented a simple faux survey that asked if they were likely to recommend the business to anyone.
As per Net Promoter Score standard, scores between 0-6 are Detractors (so there was a problem), 7-8 are labeled Passives (they are happy but not likely to promote), 9-10 are Promoters (also know as your raving fans). We set up 3 landing pages with the following messaging:
Scores 9-10: Thank you so much, here’s how you can recommend us with clickable links
Scores 7-8: Thank you for your business. Let us know if we can help you in the future.
Scores 0-6: We are sorry to hear that we did not exceed your expectations, please contact us if there is anyway for us to serve you better. This page included a link t0 book a phone call directly with the CEO.
So you can see how powerful this simple strategy can be for your organization.
I’d love to know how you plan to implement a faux survey in your organization and if you felt this was helpful, please let me know in the comments below.
If you’d like more helpful tips like this and access to me to answer your questions, please join my free Facebook Group for small businesses and nonprofit marketers at www.marketing-hive.com.
... View more
You many know I'm not a fan of autoposting from one social media platform to another. Every platform has a different culture and different norms in terms of content. This practice of autoposting also defeats the entire social aspect of social media. You should be engaging in conversation with your audience, not just pushing your updates on them.
There are, however, best practices to repurpose your content across platforms to avoid many of the pitfalls of autoposting. Here I tackle how to repurpose your Instagram content on Twitter and Facebook along with step-by-step instructions and a link to a how to video.
I wrote in Friends Don't Let Friends Autopost why you should not autopost your Instagram to Twitter. Here’s what I said…
Instagram makes it easy to post to other platforms when you publish your photo. However, when you post from Instagram to Twitter, the image does not carry over; instead it is converted to a link. So create that Instagram image and publish on Instagram, then go into Twitter or an app that posts images to Twitter and upload the photo.
Here are some more reasons not to publish from Instagram to Twitter:
The hashtag conventions on Twitter and Instagram are different.
The number of characters allowed on Twitter is limited.
Links do not hyperlink in Instagram updates so should not be included. However, Twitter is all about links so you definitely want to include them in your updates.
Are the people you are tagging on Instagram using the same handle on Twitter? They should be but if they don’t you may be tagging someone else.
Repurposing Instagram images on Twitter
But what if you want to use that same image on Twitter? Here’s the easiest way to do that.
Post your update to Instagram.
Go to Instagram and select the share option which is found in the menu just below the image on the right.
The post will open up and you can select the text from your update. Select all and Copy.
Compose a new tweet in Twitter.
Paste your text and edit for space and Twitter conventions including links and hashtags.
Select the camera icon to add media. Navigate to the Instagram image and add it to your update.
It only takes a minute or two, but it is worth it to share your image on Twitter as an image instead of a link.
Repurposing Instagram images on Facebook
In that same article, I said…
I do sometimes (not all the time) post from Instagram to Facebook. After publishing on Instagram, I go back to the image and choose SHARE, choose Facebook, and edit the update removing the tagging and hashtags. I most often do this when I am at an event. This can also help build your Instagram audience from Facebook because the image will have a link to your Instagram profile. The images are perfectly square which works great on Facebook especially on mobile. I tend to share a wider variety of images on Instagram so I definitely do not just post all my Instagram photos to Facebook. I pick and choose a few choice images to share to Facebook.
Here's the best way to post your Instagram images to Facebook.
Post your update to Instagram.
Go to Instagram and select the share option which is found in the menu just below the image on the right.
The post will open up and you edit the text from your update.
Select Facebook underneath the update.
Please note: You won’t be able to tag other pages but you can post this update and then go to Facebook to edit the update and tag as needed.
Click here to see the how to video of repurposing Instagram images on Twitter and Facebook as described above.
... View more
How to set up a #GivingTuesday campaign in 5 minutes
What is a micro-donation campaign? This is a donation campaign for your nonprofit where you are seeking small donation amounts. This is a great way to reach new donors.
Here are 3 ideas for a micro-donation campaign for your nonprofit that you can set up today.
This is a great idea to try for a day of giving promotion like #GivingTuesday.
Do you have a specific project that appeals to the younger, more mobile-savvy generation that you will hopefully reach with a modern online campaign? Or you can offset an unexpected expense, especially if this expense is a result of your nonprofit’s success with their mission.
It’s also a great complement to your traditional end of year snail mail appeal and gives your current donors another way of giving.
The keys to choosing a micro-donation platform:
Easy set up – it should only take a few minutes to set up the campaign
Ease of use for the donor – we want fast and easy
Integration – it should be integrated into your email marketing platform so your new donors will be added to your email list
Mobile-friendly – you need to reach your prospects where they are and they are on their phones
Shareable – integration with social media is key to extending your reach and finding new donors. Supporting nonprofits make us feel good and we want to share that feeling with the world (and pat ourselves on the back at the same time).
It should be no surprise that I recommend Constant Contact’s Donation Campaign for this purpose. Watch this video to see how easy it is for me to set up a campaign in my demo account. Hint: it only takes 5 minutes.
Tips for setting up the Donation Campaign:
Upload a campaign image that includes some text. The platform gives the image a lot of real estate onscreen so I recommend adding some enticing text to the image. Remember to include all the pertinent text in the text block as well.
Send the email to a test list of your staff to activate the campaign and use the short link to promote the mobile-friendly landing page on social media.
Create a separate email campaign (using a mobile-friendly template) and link the Donate button to the short link of the donation campaign landing page.
Want a script to get you started on your first email? Download my One Page Checklist and Boilerplate Text for Your First Email.
... View more
Thank you for this idea. I used this method for a non-profit for a special event and it generated the highest reach ever 913 (302 Organic - 611 Paid - 50 Likes). It only cost $3.87. We have been trying to break 500 likes for sometime no thanks to Facebook changing their policies. Now at 488 and climbing due to this method. Thank you.
... View more
Originally published in 2015, this post has been updated at: 2018 Super Bowl Ads .
Super Bowl may be the one time in American TV viewing throughout the year when the public looks forward to the advertisements. Super Bowl ads have fast become part of the Super Bowl Sunday experience as much as the game, the snacks, and the halftime show. In fact, in lieu of a wardrobe malfunction or a bad 2nd down call on the 1 yard line with 26 seconds left to play, the ads are often the most talked about part of the game, especially if you are a fan of any of the 30 NFL teams that were also at home watching the game. Super Bowl ads may be entertaining, but they are bad marketing examples, especially for small business owners.
1. No call to action. Marketing today especially is about eliciting a measurable response. With limited time and resources, small businesses cannot waste any of them on branding. They need to have a call to action that gets prospects in their sales funnel. What is that first step in your sales cycle? What do you want your prospects to do once they find you? Is it subscribing to your email list? Filling out a form on your website? Calling for an appointment? This needs to be very clear in all your marketing. Unfortunately, most Super Bowl ads, do not have a call to action or more specifically a call to action that leads prospects down the path to purchase. The exception this year may be McDonald’s. McDonald's featured an endearing ad with a clear call to action. 2. No value to the customer. Super Bowl ads are more about being cute and getting talked about than delivering value to the customer. As a small business, you cannot afford to be cute and not make it clear to your customers what you do. As a society, our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter; the most effective marketing is to be direct about whom you serve and how you can help them. A good example from this year’s Super Bowl ads is Weathertech. There's no question what Weathertech does. This is a good clear message. 3. No increase in sales. Often the most-loved ads do not improve the sales. Perhaps, the most-loved and favorite Super Bowl ad of all time featuring Mean Joe Greene was pulled after a few months by Coca-Cola because sales did not increase. Unfortunately, this beloved ad did not help Coke sales. Small businesses need to make sure there is a positive Return on Investment for every dollar spent marketing. Winning the ads on Super Bowl Sunday does not equate to winning sales. A smart small business owner should not be concerned with winning ad competitions, but rather sales competitions.
So by all means, enjoy the ads and the memes that spring from them. You can view them all here. However, please do NOT model your marketing after Super Bowl ads. Model your marketing with a good solid strategy that focuses on eliciting a measurable response. Not sure where to start? Read about the 10 Marketing Must Haves for Every Business Owner.
... View more
Thanks so much Laura! Yes many people don't take the time to really create a proper profile on LinkedIn. I think they don't truely understand the value of LinkedIn and how one can aquire leads through this very powerful social media channel. If they did...I know we'd see more and more amazing profiles. Thank you again for your kind comment.
... View more
These basic tips are right on point, focused, and will surely deliver the user the impact they are looking for. I agree with you that completed profiles are important, and so is the use of Social sites if they are linked to the website. Many folks grab their brand name to ensure that they get it but they fail to actually use it. Great article....I'll read more if you write more!!!
... View more