Mass email campaigns still work – If done correctly!

Some business owners think that bulk email campaigns are a waste of time.  Nobody reads emails and utilizing mass email campaigns are just spam.  However, real life examples show that a properly written email, sent out to a qualified list, can lead to some healthy results.

Case Study

I was working with a large client recently that sells software.  The client has about 2,200 customers scattered across the country.  My client wanted to sell their latest version to their customer base.  In order to prove my abilities I suggested we do two tests.  The client would work on bulk email campaigns to the whole list of customers while I worked on a smaller sample.

Different Pricing for Different Items

The software in question is offered in different levels, similar to new cars.  Cars with bare essentials cost the least and as the options are added the price goes up.  This software does the same thing.  The most expensive version of the software has every available feature that a person could think of while the cheapest version offers the essential functions without the bells and whistles.

Mass Email Campaigns by My Client

The client came up with a lovely graphic, complete with the company logo and pictures of $100 bills.  The headline said “Save 10% or Save $900”.  At first glance, this is either misleading or confusing.  After all, is $900 a good deal?  That depends on the price.  If the price is $15,000 then the $900 discount will not be as much as a 10% discount of $1,500.  Fortunately, the client was not selling anything in that price range.  Their products ranged from $825 to $3,500.

Over the course of two days the client sent this promotion to its entire list of 2,200 clients.  22 customers responded with interest and asked for more information.  That is about a 1% response rate, very similar to direct mail rates.  One sale closed for $1,200.

My Strategy for Bulk email Campaigns

I approached my list of 131 clients in a completely different manner.  I put together three different emails, one message for each level of software.  After all, since the software had different prices it made sense to discuss the exact discount available for each version of software.  I also began the message with the contact’s first name like this “Hi, John, “ and included the customer’s company name in the body of the message.  This means that all 131 emails looked personalized.  The name of the contact, the name of the company and the exact discount available to each company was spelled out in the email.

So, how did I do?  Out of 131 emails, I received replies from 33 customers asking for a full quote, a 25% response rate.  4 of those deals closed for a total of $6,790 in new business.

Do you think bulk email campaigns work?  Would you like a 20 to 25 percent response rate on offers?  There are three key points to this particular success story:

  1. The customer had a list of previous clients they could contact
  2. The successful campaign utilized personalization for each message
  3. The client offered a fantastic offer to customers in order to get a response.

If you would like to learn more about putting together an email campaign for your current and past clients, get in touch with me.  You can use the contact form below to send me an email and we can set up a time to talk via phone or web chat.

The Dreaded UNSUBSCRIBE: Why Readers Stop Reading Your Emails

Email is hands down one of the best technological advancements for businesses. Sending documents, links to websites, videos, photos and news can all be done in a matter of moments and reach people all over the world. However, as the general public has become more tech-savvy they are also becoming more guarded of their contact information.

Aggressive Nature of ISP’s

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Email providers like Gmail and Hotmail have become more aggressive with their monitoring procedures. When customers fail to open an email or choose not to click on links offered in the messages, those senders are seen as spam by the ISP. Thus, a lack of action on the part of one of your subscribers forces your message to wind up in the junk folder. Not a good sign.

Why Interest Levels of Subscribers Tend to Drop Off

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One marketing company, Litmus.com, did a study to find out why subscribers lose interest over time. Would you like to guess the Number One reason??? TOO MANY EMAILS, TOO OFTEN. People don’t want an email every day or every other day. Over 50% of the surveyed people stated this as their reason for unsubscribing from email lists. The second reason, with over 40% of respondents, said the content offered by the emails were boring or repetitive.
What Can You Do to Keep Subscribers Happy and Interested in Your Offers?
Make sure that subscribers are choosing to opt-in to your service. An even better approach is a double opt-in option. This will require subscribers to take an extra step but it also ensures they really want what you have to offer.
Design emails with frequency options. Give the customers a chance to tell you how often they want to receive messages. This allows the customer to stay in charge while staying in touch.
Put a note in the emails asking subscribers to place your email address in their list of approved contacts. This will stop your messages from automatically hitting the spam folders and reinforce acceptance from the client or prospect.
Test, test and test some more. Test the days that you send out emails messages to see which days get the best response. Test times of the day. Change the subject line. Change the offer. Change the introduction. Test every feature of the messages and make notes about what works and what doesn’t.

Are you using email to stay in touch with clients, educate them and pre-sell them on your products or services? If you would like to learn more about email marketing use the form below to get in touch with me.

Video is Very Important to Helping People Find Your Website

Televisions and movies have held the attention of the American people for years. Thanks to digital formats and equipment, people are finding it is quite easy to record almost anything and post it online. Viral video marketing is all the rage for companies that want to try and hit a home run with a simple clip. But would it surprise you to find out that those same short videos can make it easier for people to find your website?

Power of Video is Twofold

There is no denying that people would rather see a video than read a long piece of text. The online video king, YouTube,
stated that in 2010 an average person would watch at least 15 minutes of video each and every day online. But in 2011, the viewing time increased by 35%! People want to see your products, your business, your happy clients and other related items online, at their leisure.

But video makes it easier for your website to be found. Since Google, the largest internet search engine, bought YouTube, videos have more prominence. A video focused on providing quality content to a popular search term will show up high in the search engine results.

Information Reigns Supreme Online

Besides helping people to find a website easier, viral video marketing allows you to explain complicated topics and show happy results. It is perfect for showing your property, your equipment and doing how-to such as improving accuracy with a rifle or perfecting a particular fishing cast. Happy clients smiling and bragging about the wonderful work you have done are also great ways to use video to boost your appeal in the local market.

Are you currently using viral video marketing? What kind of results have you seen? Would you like to learn more about video and how to use it on your website to attract more customers?

Leave your comments below or use the Contact Form to get in touch with us. Don’t forget to download your free copy of our report “5 fatal Internet Marketing Mistakes that Can Kill Your Business”

Improve results from Email Marketing Efforts

What is the best way to get better results from the emails you send out to past clients as well as prospects?  Grab their attention.

That does not mean you need to send out some picture from a horror movie claiming they will suffer terrible consequences if they ignore your email.  But it does mean that your emails should be packed with valuable information.  Information that can help people make a decision, use a product or service better, or simply enrich their knowledge.

Make no mistake, social media is the current juggernaut when it comes to sharing among friends, family and businesses.  However, this sharing is usually pictures or video clips or jokes.  Email still reigns as the chief method of sharing valuable information.

Here are simple guidelines to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your emails

  1. Use celebrity endorsements – We have all seen them.  The famous actor endorses a particular charity in hopes that fans of the actor will contribute time, money or other goodies to the charity.  A local sports coach might endorse a particular automobile dealer or doctor, etc. You can do the same thing with your emails.  By referencing success stories from big companies that have offered a similar product or service like you, you are riding on the coattails of the larger company.
  2. Work with the end in mind – What do you want customers to do?  Do they need to sign up for more emails, visit another website, purchase from your physical location, or take some other effort?  If you have one high end product that you would like all of your clients to purchase, focus on moving email readers down the path to purchase that item.  Educate them, so them pictures and videos, provide testimonials from other clients and answer popular questions in emails about the product.  All of this is done with a single goal in mind; the final big purchase.
  3. It’s like exercise; you have to keep at it – Don’t think that just one email blast will solve all your income needs.  It takes consistency in the form of the message and the frequency of the emails.  Decide on a schedule, and start sending out the emails.  Test different headlines, different offers, time of day, days of the week and any other variable that you can think of.  Keep testing and refining to improve results.

What success have you seen with your email campaigns?  What obstacles are you facing?  Leave a comment below.

P.S. If you are the type of person that prefers to just hand over a task to someone and let them handle it, get in contact with me. I would welcome the chance to help you improve your income from email marketing.

How to Use Your Next Booking to Make A LOT of New Bookings

Leverage: [lev-er-ij] (noun) the use of a small initial investment, credit, or borrowed funds to gain a very high return in relation to one’s investment (source http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/leverage)

Would you like to use ONE successful fishing trip or hunting trip as a means of winning a LOT more customers?  Read on to see how you can use leverage to your marketing advantage.

Take LOTS of Pictures

When people are trying to determine if they want to use your services, they want to get a feel for everything.  People are interested in the lodge, the food, the equipment and of course the property.  If you are a fishing guide then you should have lots of pics of your boat, tackle and the waters you frequent.  Include some pics of happy people holding a nice catch.

If you are a hunting outfitter, then you will have more targets for your pictures.  You can take pics of the lodge, the hunting ground, the cooler where game is stored, the vehicles used to transport people out to the field and of course the hunting grounds.  Once again, have lots of pics of smiling faces with their recent trophy.

Video Will SELL You to New Prospects

Want to know a little secret about video?  People are sick and tired of advertisements.  BUT, people love to be genuinely informed and want to see success.  So give it to them.  Get a cheap mini camcorder and record as much as you can on your next outing.  Explain what you are doing along the way.  For fishing guides, hold up the tackle, talk about the weather and the season.  Take video of the cast and retrieve, explaining why you are doing certain things at a certain time.  Finally, when the client hooks a fish, film as much as you can.

For hunting guides, do the same thing.  Explain about the animal’s tendencies during the current weather conditions.  Explain why you are setting up in a certain space.  Talk about the techniques being used (calls, rattles, decoys, etc.) and the success you have had in the past with the techniques.  When your client cuts down on a trophy, get it on film.  With one of the small camcorders you can be ready at a moment’s notice to get everything in action.

Putting It All Together

Now that you have some pictures and videos of a successful outing, you can start broadcasting the information in lots of different ways.  Obviously, you can write up a quick summary and put it on your website, including links to the pictures and video.  You can put snippets of the video on YouTube and other video sites in order to gain new leads.  The same can be done with a handful of pics on photo sharing sites.  Take your notes, along with some diagrams and photos, and make a slide show.  Post the slide show to a site like Slide Share.  Notify people via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ about the recent outing.  If you are taking advantage of a text message marketing service, you can send out a short text to past clients and new prospects about the new video and photos.  All of this information, links and media can come from ONE booking.  And it can lead to a BUNCH of new bookings.  IF you leverage it correctly.

P.S.  Looking for a way to stay in touch with past clients?  Have you considered using text message marketing?  It is a great way to keep you in front of your customers and it is SUPER cheap.  You can get started with a FREE month here.

Fishing Guides and Hunting Guides Can Generate Revenue WITHOUT New Clients

Fishing Guides and Hunting Guides Can Generate Revenue WITHOUT New Clients

The lifeblood of any business is generating income that exceeds expenses.  A retail business has to sell enough products to offset their cost of goods as well as their various expenses.  A service business has to book enough clients in order to pay their expenses and make a profit.  However, with a service it seems the business owner is always trading time for money.  But there are ways that a fishing guide or a hunting outfitter can make money without booking a new client.  Here are just a few examples.

Sell Your Knowledge

One way to turn a profit is by putting your knowledge up for sale.  Consider a fishing guide for an example.  A guide has to know where to look for fish at varying times of the year and what type of strategy to use in order to land quality fish. Scouting bodies of water, paying attention to the season and weather conditions all play a part in finding fish.  If you could put that information down in the form of a series of videos, along with a written transcript, you could likely sell it to some of your past clients. Many of your clients would like to know how to look for fish in their local lakes and rivers and would be glad to pay for that kind of information.

Rent Out Your Space

If you have a large piece of land for your hunting operation you could consider renting out some of the area.  Local archery tournaments or dog field trials would love to use a piece of prime wilderness to conduct their competition.  If you have a large banquet hall or similar type of meeting area then you could contact the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, National Wild Turkey Federation or Quail Unlimited and offer your space for an upcoming banquet.  This would open doors to future clients since they could see your facilities and get a firsthand feel for your location.

Use Celebrity Attractions

The great thing about hunters and anglers is their willingness to share information that will help somebody else.  With the explosion in recent years of cable channels based on hunting and fishing there are a lot of new “celebrities” for the outdoor world.  Many of these people would love a chance to come to your facility to promote their show or products.  They might charge a fee, but at the same time most of your past clients and people from the surrounding area would pay for a chance to see some of the folks featured on weekly television.  You could contact the local boat and ATV dealers and ask them to sponsor part of the event along with showcasing some of their new products.  Think of it as miniature hunting and fishing expo held right at your location.

If you are a fishing guide or a hunting outfitter looking for additional ways to make money, consider some of these ideas.  You could find that it is easier and just as profitable when compared to your primary means of making income.

P.S.  Do you have an idea for some knowledge you could sell?  Sign up for our free giveaway and I will write the sales letter for you, free of charge.  This could be a great way to earn some passive income from your years of experience.  Find out the details here.

Attracting new clients for your fishing guide business

Fishing guides are a great bunch of folks.  They have taken their passion for the outdoors and turned it into a way to make a living.  Some guides are also competitive tournament anglers while others are simply really good at locating and landing trophy fish.  However, far too many of these people end up struggling at their chosen profession for one reason; lack of business.  If you want to make a REAL living at being a fishing guide, then you need to focus on one primary goal.

MARKETING

That’s right, I said it, and I ain’t backing down from it.  Here is the reason why more marketing will help you grow your business and provide you with the lifestyle you dream of.

  1. More Exposure – When you put together a comprehensive plan to keep your services in front of more people, you become better known though out your potential market.
  2. Better positioning – If you were facing some kind of surgery, who do you want handling the scalpel?  The guy that just graduated college two weeks ago or the guy that has completed dozens or hundreds of surgeries just like yours?  When people get ready to book a fishing trip they want proof that YOU can help them locate and land the big fish of their dreams.
  3. Stable income – When your marketing pieces are all working like a fine oiled machine, you won’t be in the position of looking for new clients and offering ridiculous discounts just to get some business.  You will have a steady stream of people wanting to use your service and willing to wait on your schedule.

Marketing Plan in a Nutshell

A well laid out marketing plan would look like this:

  • A website that outlines your services, prices, photos and videos from past trips and LOTS of feedback from happy customers
  • Regular supply of information via Twitter and Facebook.  Post up information about how fish are acting during the current season, what to do to prepare for a fishing trip, setting expectations for a guided trip, what type of lures have the highest success rate, etc.
  • Make consistent blog posts to your website.  A couple of times a week are great.
  • Consider offering a newsletter via email.  This can be a simple one or two page document highlighting success from recent customers, biology piece describing certain fish species and expectations for the next 4 weeks.
  • Send out postcards once a quarter.  Great way to stay in touch with past clients and keep you in front of them.

Getting Clients Quickly

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to get some new bookings is to send out a postcard to all of your past clients.  Put together a timely message that puts a sense of urgency on the part of the client.  Don’t fall for the same old “hey, we are a great guide, we appreciate your business in the past, now come spend more money” trap.  YOU must give the client a REASON to call you and TELL them to call you.  If you can manage to do that in a few lines on a postcard then you should see a good return on your marketing investment.

If you like this post, please subscribe to the blog using the button on the sidebar to the right.  We will be putting out a new post soon about ways you can make money WITHOUT booking a client for a fishing trip.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @the_red_writer!  Lots of good stuff going on there!