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September 2008

Everyone likes options

Everyone really does. You like options, don't you? And so do your subscribers to any of your email marketing lists.
Simple business (of even life) rule: give your leads, prospects, clients options.

Suppose you've created various AWeber email campaigns, we have. One campaign for every range in wooden flooring our prospects can choose from. Again, options. Every range email campaign comes with its own set of follow-up messages telling our prospect more and more about the range, the benefits etc.

Multiplelists But we also like to keep our prospects, clients up to date with our Monthly Newsletter (another email campaign on AWeber). AWeber makes it very simple to mail out your newsletter (broadcast) to multiple lists.

This can work very well. Your prospect only has to subscribe to his favourite  campaign (list) and you can still email him or her your standard marketing message.
Of course you tell your prospects when they subscribe to one of your specific campaigns you will also send them your standard marketing messages - so they know and it is anticipated.

But.....

What if your prospect likes what you send him on the campaign he actually subscribed too but not your standard marketing messages. In order to stop the 'standard' his only option is to unsubscribe from the list - but that also removes him from the original campaign.
Or vice-versa: your prospect doesn't want to receive your specific messages from the original list any longer but she would like to continue reading your standard marketing messages (your newsletter with monthly special offers for example). Again, her only option is to unsubscribe from the original list and if she knows where to find your webform register again for your standard lists. Not simple.

There is however a very simple solution within the AWeber system: automation (in the TAB List Settings):

Aweber automation for more options

Of course you tell your prospect when she subscribes to one of your specific campaigns you will also send her your standard marketing messages - so she knows and it is anticipated.

Using the automation gives your subscribers the option to unsubscribe either from the specific list or from the standard list. More chances for you to keep his or her on at least one of your lists.


Glitz or content? - Why a blog platform can be as good or even better for your business

Most small business have a web presence. Most small business have delegated the creation of their web presence to web design companies. Most web design companies want to put Glitz on your web site to show off their talent.

What do your web site visitors want?

Look at the sites that currently rank high on the search engines and you will see that they have simple designs with graphics that use minimal bandwidth, and they're easy to navigate. Simple, clean designs are what both search engine crawlers and search engine users like, as it lets them get the content they want without any fuss. This is what your web presence should be aiming for
 
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Above are all samples of web presences created on blog-platform (Typepad).

Potential clients want to know what you can do for them, not how fancy or glitzy your web site is.



7 Key Reasons to use a blog-platform for your business website

Blogs (short for weblog) are mostly know for their ability to 'produce' articles (also called blog posts). It is a misconception that blogs are only used by freelancers in the service business - mainly in the marketing or finance sector - geeks dissecting software packages, teens fantasizing about their 'heroes' in tv-series, movies or about boy-bands, social media pioneers about the latest social media communities.
Nothing could be further from the truth than this. Of course there are many of the above mentioned blogs around, but there is an increasing trend for small business to use a blog to increase 'brand-awareness', to give advice on various subjects and much more. Many multi-nationals use blogs to keep in contact with their clients/users all over the world. It's simple, straight-forward and effective. And not to mention: profitable.

Every business - small, medium or large - should consider creating a weblog. If done properly (and consistently) it has a tremendous positive effect on a business' turnover, nett profit and brand awareness. Subscribe to the Blogging and Webmarketing Tips below to discover more. A Report "7 Reasons to use a blog-platform for your business website is just one of the tips you will receive. Just pop in your name and email address in the form you can find in the right top corner of this blog.



How far should you take email-marketing?

As businesses we would like to contact as many (targeted) prospects as possible, knowing the statistics that only a small percentage will end up as one of our new paying clients.

I'm highly in favour of email-marketing, as long as it is based on Permission Marketing, because it can be so cost-effective and automated. Our own business (retail wooden flooring) uses this method daily and with great results.

There are however companies who IMHO take email marketing a step too far (make that a whole mile!), and I think it'll do exactly the opposite of what they're trying to achieve.

Last week I received an email apparently from my sister-in-law in The Netherlands. Translated it goes like this:
Hi info (part of my email address before the @), xxxxxx (my sister-in-law's name without a space between first and surname) sends you this message to videomail together. Through the weblink below you can send your video-message to xxxxxxx. And then you will receive a video-message from xxxxx back as soon as possible.

Regards
xxxxxxxx

When I checked out what this was all about I ended up the landing page: Welcome to invite.net (in Dutch uitnodigingen.net). There it states that as soon as I agree to the condition I can send my sister-in-law the promised free video-message.
The condition: At the same time all your MSM-contacts will receive a request to send you a video-message.

And absolutely no way around it, no opt-out box like "I don't want you to contact my contacts, I will send them an invite myself if and only if I think they would be interested in what I'm about to discover can be done with your program. At the moment I still have many doubts if it's really worthwhile to trouble them."

No wonder that email-marketing is still fighting to get rid of its bad (just spam) name! I gracefully declined the offer to send my sister-in-law a video-message; we have other, more practical and ethical ways to do so.
Wonder how many 'contacts' will take the trouble to have all their contacts spammed with a ridiculous promise.

If you, as business owner or marketing manager, want to start off on the right foot when exploring the possibilities of mass-targeting prospects - whatever good it will do - give at least an opt-out option. You might end up with a larger number of prospects.

A better way of course is to make sure you only target qualified leads instead of mass-targeting. The more qualified your target (i.e. already looking for a product or service you can supply), the more he/she will take you up on your offer. And then a whole worthwhile, honest, ethical relationship can start. No trickery needed.

Greetings from the 1 plus 1 makes 3 experts

Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)