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”

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!

The 5 Common Mistakes Made by Hunting Guides and Fishing Guides

Everybody makes a mistake, and there should not be any shame from making an honest error.  HOWEVER, failing to learn from a mistake is where the real problem lies.  Listed below are the common errors made by fishing and hunting guides in their day-to-day business.  Correct these errors and you are well on your way to improving your profits.

Failing to Keep a List

Most of the people involved in the hunting and fishing business rely too heavily on word of mouth.  That is one reason why so many of these guides find themselves trying to work at another job while also offering their guide services.  One of the best things a guide can do is capture contact information from their clients.  Get their email, home address and phone numbers and store them in one spot.   This makes it a snap to send out an email blast announcing news and more services.  This leads us to the next mistake . . .

Failing to Stay in Touch

Guides are like old high school friends.  Everyone promises to keep in touch and stay connected, but it rarely happens.  If you operate a hunting lodge or a fishing guide service you owe it to yourself to plan out a strategy to stay in touch with past clients.  Send them a postcard about the upcoming season.  Drop them an email to ask if they have any recent trophy pics they want to share.  Send them a letter once a quarter about things they can do to prepare for next season.  Stay in touch so they will get in touch with you for their next outing.

Failing to have a Strong Set of Policies

What will you do if there is a tornado that destroys your lodge?  What if the temperatures go out of whack at your location and leave your clients empty handed?  What if your client ignores your requests and takes the wrong trophy?  You cannot possibly compensate a client for every conceivable catastrophe but you need to be prepared.  Have your policies laid out in writing and ask the client to sign a waiver form covering items out of your control.  The power of a handshake and a verbal agreement is not what it used to be.

Failing to Branch Out

Do you offer only type of service at your lodge?  Maybe you are a quail guide and all you do is offer quail hunts.  There is nothing wrong with having a laser-beam focus on doing one thing and doing it better than the competition. But that does not mean you can’t branch out in other ways.  Have you considered chatting with another guide that offers a different type of service and selling it to your list (see first point above)?  If you are a quail guide, I would imagine you could sell quite a few guided turkey hunts for your turkey expert down the road and he would cut you a commission on each sale.

Failing to Pay Attention to the Small Details

When a hunter or angler comes to you for your services they expect you to take care of everything.  They literally want to show up, put in a little effort and leave with a trophy.   It is important that you pay attention to the little details to make the trip enjoyable.  Clean sheets on the bed, recently cleaned restrooms, clean vehicle for transporting guests and a clean, fresh smell in the lodge are just a few examples.  Keep everything tidy and presentable and you will reap the reward of repeat bookings.

 

Have you fallen victim to any of these mistakes?  If so, what steps are you taking to correct them?  Leave me a comment, or question, below and I will be happy to help you out.

 

 

Finding New Customers is a Lot like Fishing

The average angler or hunter is a person that likely works a full time job doing something other than hunting or fishing.  They look at outdoor guides as an enviable position.  I mean, how could it get any better than to make a living working in the outdoors?  However, most outdoor fans don’t realize that running a hunting lodge or a fishing guide service takes dedicated effort and year round work. When it comes to finding new clients, there are some strong similarities to fishing.

Tried & True Methods

Most anglers, as well as fishing guides, have a handful of techniques or strategies that work well for them.  It could be something as simple as using a Texas rigged worm 90% of the time, or it could be a system of working through a handful of lures until something bites.  Anglers know that past experience says “I have used this lure/technique before to catch fish, it should work again.”   However, sometimes doing the same old thing just does not work

The same can be said for marketing.  The old fashioned method of “give customers great service and they will tell all their friends about you” is a strategy based on hope.  More often than not, outfitters and guides need to be proactive in trying out marketing methods like email, social media, and web leads to go along with their traditional forms of advertising.

Familiar Spots

Anglers are notorious for fishing a “special spot” that they think nobody else has ever found.  They caught a few fish there once, maybe twice, and now they are convinced that fish live there.  However, seasoned tournament anglers will tell you that finding a pattern in a lake, stream or river is a better strategy.  If bass are hitting a blue and black jig around a particular drop-off chances are good they will hit the same lure at a similar type of drop-off elsewhere in the body of water.

When it comes to marketing outfitters need to branch out from their familiar zone.  Video might work great for them once, and then fizzle.  In the meantime, their competition could be using a blog and social media to drive in new leads and find customers.

Stay Current with Gear and Changes in Technology

Anglers love to get new toys.  New rods, reels and lures are just the tip of the iceberg.  There are digital scales, waders, ventilated shoes, hats, gloves, hook removers etc., etc., etc.  They have no problem talking to their fishing buddies to find out if anybody has tried the latest gadget to find out if it is worth its salt.

Marketing changes as technology changes.  The techniques and strategies that were in use 10 or 15 years ago are antiquated relics now.  An outfitter that does not have a strong web presence with significant amounts of updated information will lose to the competition quickly.

 

Try Something Different 

Wonder if THIS will catch me some fish???

Anglers get stuck going after the same old fish.  A trout guy will spend HOURS fishing for the rainbow beauties while ignoring the crappie, bass, carp and steelhead located all around him.  Same can be said for anglers that like the other species.  Anglers need to try their hand at catching a new type of fish and even a new technique.  They could discover some fun that they were neglecting.

Outfitters also need to try some new techniques.  Whether it is a full scale social media blitz or simply getting their toes wet in one place like Facebook or Twitter, they should try out something new.  They may find some new friends and discover a new side to their business that they previously had never considered.