Direct Marketing Automation – Your Most Reliable Marketing Strategist

Marketing Automation is an evolving concept and that’s why it does not come as a surprise that only a few marketing companies are actually using it. There are, of course, many companies waiting eagerly to climb the bandwagon, so it is a probability that we will see a decent surge in the number of companies and marketers using the direct marketing automation concept in the coming year.

Modern marketers exposed to the evolving technologies and advanced tools in marketing believe that marketing automation would be at the core of marketing activities of businesses of all types and sizes, in the not-too-distant future and they could be spot-on in their assessment. Marketing automation can be used to bring together tactics, technology, strategies and software to automate and streamline tasks that are repetitive, saving marketing professionals time and effort. Direct automation software can also be used for accurately monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and initiatives.

Create Winning Strategies and Tactics

It is commonsense that strategy and tactics are key elements of a successful marketing campaign. Strategies help create the main framework and provide marketers the big picture. Tactics involve the implementation part of the marketing plan. These two elements must work together in synchrony for direct automation to produce results.

Automation tools must be customized to make an impact on every business, depending on the size and nature of operations of an enterprise. It must also be suitably tweaked to meet individual marketing strategies. However, some elements of marketing automation are constant to all. These include generation of quality leads, conversion of leads to sales, increasing revenue, nurturing prospects for future use, and personalizing the experience of customers. In many ways, marketing automation focuses beyond direct sales.

Helps Nurture and Develop Long Term Relationships

Marketers believe that by using the right marketing software platform, they can nurture human relationships more effectively. Nurturing long term relationships is central to effective marketing.

Marketing Automation works through the process of automated tracking and monitoring of individual prospects on the company’s website. The marketing team can use the various automation tools to decipher prospect’s interests, needs and goals. It provides marketers the input needed to create personalized campaigns based on user behavior. Direct marketing automation tools can be used to create enticing offers that are sharply relevant to each individual prospect.

With the best automation software, you will be able to collect data about prospects which can help in grouping them based on their common interests, behavior and demographics. The segmentation of customers is a much desired marketing activity because not only does it save marketers time but also helps take the guesswork out of larger marketing campaigns. Management of campaigns can become easier and the campaigns can become more focused and effective.

Direct marketing automation tools are being effectively used for monitoring social media campaigns. Its growing popularity stems from the fact that automation is easy to use, affordable and has the ability to create strategies that can be long term winners.

Why Building a Successful Business Relies on Consistent Marketing

Keys to Consistency: How to get into a marketing rhythm to boost your business income

Let me ask you a question. How many of you NEVER missed a day sending your newsletter, posting daily social media, or publishing a blog post?

That’s what I thought… Guilty!

What’s funny is that deep down we know the importance of marketing our business consistently, but SO many entrepreneurs and business owners are an epic fail at delivering on that promise.

What keeps us from marketing consistently?

Why is inconsistent marketing so hurtful to our reputation?

How can we put a plan in place to make consistent marketing easy?

This article will provide answers to each of these questions and help you get on track with better consistency for your business marketing.

What’s Not Getting Done in Your Business – A Self Assessment

How many of these inbound marketing tasks are not being consistently done in your business?

  • Daily social media posts
  • Weekly blog articles
  • Weekly or bi-monthly newsletters
  • YouTube Videos
  • Posting and participating in LinkedIn and Facebook groups

Or these other valuable marketing efforts that will build your brand recognition and boost your business?

  • Networking and keeping in touch with connections
  • Commenting on other blog posts
  • Podcast and Webinar booking and promotion
  • Following up with sales leads

If there are items you are not getting done, then you are leaving money on the table. Why is it we do that to ourselves?

The Big Lies We Tell Ourselves About Why We Don’t Market Consistently

  • I don’t know what to write about. True, staring at a blank computer screen is not inspiring. One way to avoid this is to create a marketing calendar. This is one central document that you can use to map out your promotions for the year and ensure your marketing messaging themes align with it.
  • I don’t know what my audience cares about. This is a lame excuse; there are clues all around you. For one you can survey your list and followers to find out their biggest challenges. Secondly you could do keyword research to find out the high-searched topics. Third, see what others in your field are blogging about. What topics caught your attention?
  • I’m too busy. True, it’s easy to be loaded up with client deadlines and appointments. I know this happens to me the most. There are a couple of ways that even busy business owners can market regularly. The first is to get a marketing assistant. If you don’t personally have the time or discipline to get a weekly eZine out for instance, an assistant can post the articles on your blog and preschedule them to go out in your email marketing program. The same is true for your social media. You can delegate some of your social media to a reputable resource who can curate content and preschedule it using a tool like Hootsuite.
  • I am a terrible writer. No problem. If writing is not your thing, you can record short audios or videos instead. You can even record yourself talking out an article and have it transcribed. You can pull your articles from other materials you have written such as your book, workshops, and webinars. Finally, there are many talented writers that can take your concept and turn it into an article written with your voice.

Why Inconsistency Hurts Our Business So Much

It’s easy to think that if you miss a weekly email newsletter it’s no big deal. But when you publish a weekly newsletter, its making a promise to your readers.

When you miss that connection, it breaks your promise. Not only does that weaken your relationship with your list, but it can lead to mistrust.

When you communicate consistently with your readers it builds a trusting rapport and connection. They look forward to seeing your emails rolling into their inbox. Don’t let them down.

Plus, inconsistency can lead to your readers to forgetting about you.

They move onto the next most exciting ‘guru’ in their inbox who connects regularly with them. Then when 2 months later when you finally send out a newsletter, they delete it or mark it as SPAM thinking, “Who is this? I didn’t subscribe to this newsletter.”

How to Reform and Become a Consistent Marketer

  • Schedule time for your marketing. Book an ongoing weekly appointment for you to curate your social media, write articles, publish newsletters, create email blasts, and develop freebies for your list. It could be “My Business Monday”. Promise yourself to keep that time set aside for marketing your business.
  • Create an idea file. Whenever you come across emails, articles, and quotes that inspire you, save it to a folder in your email or make an Evernote list of “article ideas”. Use this as your source of inspiration when stuck on a topic to write about.
  • Develop an editorial calendar. This acts as a roadmap to keep you on track with topics, messages, and promotions. This way your marketing messaging is in perfect alignment with your promotional efforts.
  • Get help. If your business is growing fast and you don’t have time to handle all the marketing yourself, congratulations! Even if you do have time to handle your own marketing, outsourcing it can free up time for you to spend on profit-generating activities. Plus, someone who specializes in social media, blogging, and copywriting etc. can often produce better results in less time.

Imagine how your business could grow if you were organized and consistent with your marketing. Make the commitment today to make marketing your business a top priority and watch your business grow!

And if you are looking for help in online marketing, we can help! Contact us today to discuss your needs and how we can help you get consistent with your marketing.

Are you guilty of not being consistent with your marketing efforts? Tell us why in the comments – do any of the above resonate with you or is it something else?

To your success,

Business Owners – You’ve Selected the Wrong Market to Sell To, Here’s What You’re Missing

What I’m about to tell you about is nothing short of the foundation of all successful businesses. Yet most business owners are only vaguely aware of this and don’t spend much time thinking about it, when they should spend most of their time thinking about it.

What is it?

It is a complete and exhaustive understanding of the characteristics of your ideal customer.

All business owners know who their customers are, don’t they? Not exactly.

Don’t misinterpret the point I’m making. You should know your customer about as well as you know your spouse. (I said about!)

Why is this so important?

Once you know the characteristics of your best customers, you can then seek to clone them by finding prospects that fit their profile.

This doesn’t happen by accident – it is a very deliberate process that is more involved than it appears at first.

Let’s start from the beginning – how do you go about selecting a market to begin with?

Selecting a Market

No matter what business you are in, you need to carefully select the market that you will be selling to. If, for example, you do home remodeling in the Seattle area and you define your market as ‘homeowners in the greater Seattle area’, you are in doomed to failure.

If you go with this approach, your message will be so broad that it won’t strongly appeal to anyone. When everyone is your customer, no one is your customer.

Getting this right is of utmost importance because your marketing message will be tailored specifically to your chosen market. The reality is that a poor message aimed at a well-selected market will produce far superior results than an amazing message aimed at a poorly selected market. Spend the time to get this right.

Narrowing the Market

Once you have a market in mind, narrow it down. Consider these aspects when narrowing your market:

  • Do you have the ability to reach the market affordably and efficiently?
  • Is your market known to be responsive?
  • Do you have an understanding of the market – can you empathize with their needs and desires?
  • Do you have a natural affinity with the market?

The more you can narrow your market, the more you can tailor your message to their specific trigger points. Your message should resonate strongly with your chosen market segment while simultaneously being of no interest to everyone else.

A Gold Mine

If you’ve done this right, you are now building a highly responsive and engaged customer base that finds value in your products or services.

Don’t stop here.

The largest expense for most businesses is customer acquisition. Once you have them, sell them additional products and services, don’t try to recruit additional constituencies with different messaging. The hard work is done! Now is the time to work on maximizing customer value. Here are just a few ways to do that:

  • Communicate more frequently – not just offers, but useful info and humor
  • Reward your regulars with special deals
  • Turn your products and services into a subscription service
  • Group your customers by level of engagement and develop strategies for moving low engagement customers ‘up the chain’ – one-time offers, free samples, buy 1 get 1 free, etc.

The Bottom Line

A lot of work goes into market selection. Don’t overlook this aspect of your business. Pay very close attention to the characteristics of your best customers. Determine what they have in common and develop strategies to find more of them. This will ensure your marketing message is relevant and allow you to maximize the value of each customer you acquire.

Important Decisions Before Entering Network Marketing Plans

Consider the Products:

Most companies that market their products through distributors have quality competitive prices. On the other hand some companies are way overpriced have questionable values and are absolutely unsafe.

Practically every service or product that can be sold through multilevel marketing, which includes health, beauty, fitness and other products that aren’t available on store shelves. Requires you to be very skeptical before buying or selling their products that are advertised as super ingredients or have guaranteed results. Most of these quick fix solutions are unproven, and marketed fraudulently because they are basically useless. In many cases they could be very dangerous. You should always check with professionals before using any of them-or selling them.

If you decide to join a program and promote the products, you must be sure that the network marketing information is truthful and that there’s good evidence to back up the claims You are making. This means that before using any claims and repeating what the company has said about a product verify that there’s competent and reliable research to back up their claims.

Learn More about the Company:

Study and research the company’s track record conduct a progressive Internet search with the name of the company using keywords like review, scam, or complaint. Scan several pages of search results. Also research the company in newspapers magazines and other areas.

It’s extremely important to find out:

• Has the Company Been Sued for Deceptive Practices

• Do They Have a Positive Reputation for Customer Satisfaction

• How Long Has the Company Been Active

• What’s the Word on the Street about the Company’s Product on Blogs and Websites

Search for information with the state attorney general’s office for complaints about any company you are considering even though a lack of complaints doesn’t always guarantee that a company is legitimate.

Evaluate the Plan:

Never sign a contract or pay for anything at an “opportunity meeting”. Consider your options take time think about your decision remember real money is involved in your investment, so don’t rush into it without doing some research first. Don’t feel pressured!

Go to the person that is sponsoring you in that network marketing business and ask about the terms and conditions of the plan, which include:

1. Future Costs

2. How the Compensation Is Structured

3. Evidence for the Statements about How Much Money You Can Make

4. Precise Name and Contact Information of Company Representatives Able to Answer All Your Questions

Make sure you get everything in writing. Never join any program where the reward for recruiting new people is more than that for selling the product. The latter is a tip off to a pyramid scheme! Not a true network marketing company.

Always remember that when you recruit new distributors to your marketing organization, you are responsible for the claims you make about how much money they can earn. Always be realistic and honest. Because of your promises fall through, you will be held liable. This is the case even if you are repeating claims you read in a company brochure or heard them from another distributor.

If something is unclear, always ask for more information until it is crystal clear to you. The network marketing information from your sponsor and other distributors in the organization should answer all of your questions. Your sponsor and others above your sponsor’s level make money if you join the program. So it’s imperative that you take your time resist the pressure to join. Never rely on hearsay references about payments from the company or distributors that pretend they were successfully earning money through the network marketing plan.

Research Refund Policies:

Make sure any refund policy is in writing, includes information about returning unused products, restrictions and penalties. You might think you’re minimizing your risk if you can return a product but some policies differ on whether you’ll get a full refund and how long it might take. Some network marketing companies require that you buy network marketing information on training or marketing materials possibly asking you to pay for seminars in order to get discounts or to create your own network distributors. Ask other distributors how much time and money they have spent on their training, network marketing materials, and seminars on network marketing information when they joined. Ask whether you are required to participate in periodic training programs and what happens if you decide not to.

Have a Close Friend or Legal Advisor Review the Network Materials:

It would be very beneficial to consult with an accountant, a lawyer, or someone else you trust who is not affiliated with the marketing plan and review the terms and compensation. Ask them to determine whether the claims backup the information in the marketing company and the amount of money you can make, then scrutinize the information you receive.

Consider If This Is the Kind of Work That Suits Your Talents and Goals:

Think about would you enjoy selling products to the public face to face. Consider how many hours others like your sponsor and other distributors spend after they joined and how much time they spend now. It’s important to think about no matter how good the product is and how solid the plan you need to invest sweat equity and money for your network marketing to pay off. Always evaluate the demands of the business like training, recruiting new distributors, managing the paperwork, tracking inventory, and the shipping process.

Don’t Be Shy:

Question your sponsor and other distributors, dig for details. Never consider it intrusive or nosy! Remember you’re on a mission to check out the potential business that will require your money and your time.

The information they give you will help you determine false claims about the amount of money you make and whether the business is a pyramid scheme or not.

Important Questions That You Need to Ask:

• What will be your annual sales of the product?

• How much of the product you need to sell to distributors?

• What’s the percentage of sales to distributors?

• Last year what was your expenses, and money you spent on training and buying the products?

• What was your income last year including bonuses minus your expenses?

• How many hours did you dedicate to the business last year?

• How many people have you recruited?

• And what percentage of your earnings came from recruiting other distributors and what percentage came from selling inventory?

It’s extremely important to have a complete picture of how the network marketing plan works. You need to know how much money distributors make, how much time and money they spend on the plan, and how long it takes before you break even and start making money you need to know how big of a down line do I need to make money. A clear sign of a pyramid scheme is distributors selling more product to other distributors than to the public or if they make money from recruiting and not from selling!