4 Web Marketing Tips: LinkedIn for Writers

LinkedIn is an easy and effective way for Writers to stay connected with their associates in the industry.  Writing is both a service (ghost writer, journalist, etc.) and a product (published articles, new book, etc.). While LinkedIn won’t put a download a book, it’s an important tool for Writers to build a network of colleagues and open the door to new opportunities for publication Continue reading “4 Web Marketing Tips: LinkedIn for Writers”

Good Email Address Format Is A Key to Great Mailing List

I help clients set up their website to work with their mailing list. Lead generation is a very important function of a business website, however I’ve had several clients who come to me with gi-normous mailing lists. One list was 10,000 names. They thought their email blasts and e-newsletters were being delivered to 10,000 individuals until they upgraded to one of the top-notch contact services (like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp). Then, they were surprised when chunks of their list were being rejected. They were stuck between the bad news that they had an under-performing mailing list and that they couldn’t send out a new email blast until their list was cleaned up.

This why these contact companies are top-notch… they have scanning tools in place to check out email addresses so you’ll know if they are formatted correctly and if they are still live and viable.

I’ve heard the complaint that these services are expensive for people with big lists. Yes, many contact services charge by how many contacts you have in your database.  What if that 10,000 name list was really only 1000 good addresses? Would this reduce your current costs or perhaps make starting a contact list more affordable? For sure!

There’s one thing you can do right now.  It’s the first step toward cleaning up your contacts. If you can download your list as an Excel file or in CSV format you can look through the email column for poorly formatted email addresses.

  1. Look for addresses missing the “@” symbol. Without the “@” emails won’t be going anywhere.
  2. Look for addresses missing the “dot” in dot-com, dot-edu, dot-org, etc. Again, without the dot emails won’t be going anywhere.
  3. Look for addresses that have spaces in ANY part of them. A space is simply not good email address format. If you try to send to addresses with a space, your emails won’t be going anywhere.

What should you do when you find a poorly formatted email address? If it’s an obvious error you can add the dot or the “@”. I suspect this will make you squirm, however I recommend deleting contacts all together when the email address is bad. If you can’t email them then they shouldn’t be in an e-mailing database!

If you have a big list and want to maintain as may good addresses as possible, I use professionals who can quickly scan for errors and prop up the quality of the list. It’s worth it! You may end up with a shorter email list, but they will be legit addresses that can receive your newsletters.

Constraint: It Can Make Internet Marketing Easier

Tim Brown, CEO at IDEO posted on LinkedIn today: “Instead of accepting a given (design) constraint, ask whether this is the right problem to be solving.” Constraint? It sounds so… confining. It got me thinking about how constraint is construed as a bad thing. We want the world and we want it now—no constraints. Continue reading “Constraint: It Can Make Internet Marketing Easier”

Be Prepared to Communicate… and to Keep Communicating With Your Web Visitors

Email email emailStraight out of the Scout manual… Be Prepared. It may be the motto for the Boy Scouts, however it’s a motto to adopt if you want to engage with your web visitors and generate new business. Here are 5 tips you can prepare right now so the next website contact you get won’t me a missed opportunity.

1. Use email. I recall a client who didn’t use email. They had a list of reasons: it’s impersonal, they had a new computer and hadn’t hooked it up, they didn’t have time to respond to emails. If you have a website and no way for people to contact you via email, then you are losing potential business.

2. Have a recognizable email address. Here’s an immaginary example– you have a business called 3 Bears Porridge Inc. You use 2 different email addresses:  info@3bearsinc.com and 3bearsinc@gmail.com. Either of these are acceptable and recognizable by new business. If you felt tempted to use bittybear@gmail.com, just be aware that when you go too personal the email address may not be recognized as originating from your business. Yes, if they recognize your incoming emails, they are more likely to respond to them!

3. Know how you’ll respond. When you get an email from new business you’ll need to know how you’ll respond. Will it be with a phone call or by a follow up email? Knowing what you’ll do means you’re that closer to doing it! If you’re like my client who doesn’t have time for email, have a plan in place for a return phone call or an assistant who can answer your emails.

4. Mark your territory. Just as your email address should be recognizable, so should any materials you offer for download on your website. I wish I could just give you one example of this however it seems to be a running trend, thus I a dozen examples.  So here’s the rule: When you create any handout for your website, anything people will download and print, brand it with your business name, address, phone number, and any other means that will help they find you and do business with you!

5. Give them something to hold onto. No one leaves the party with out a party bag! Whether it’s by phone or email, give any warm prospect something to keep them engaged in doing business with you. Ask:

May I sent you a sample?
May I have your permission to add you to my mailing list?
Please watch your email for a special offer.
I have an appllication form I’d like to email you.
Would you like a coupon for…?

See… any of these questions will slow down the process to keep the engagement going.