Marketing

Does Email Marketing Work?

If you have any doubts about the power of email marketing or if you’re trying to convince the boss of its value, take a look at this article, “Why Do Email Marketing?” It has just been updated for 2008.

I know this got my attention. For every dollar spent on email marketing in 2008 it is predicted that you will get a ROI of $45.65. Of course, if you’ve been reading my newsletters and blogs, you know you just can’t blast out SPAM. You have to engage people in a conversation about something that interests them. I know most of the people getting this are interested in a ROI of 45 to 1 – all day long.

I have an updated audio file on My Website if you would like to see how the technology works. Let me know if you’re interested in doing something audio on your site or in your newsletters, email, etc. and I’ll tell you how to start.

It Takes Time & Work To Have A Successful Website

I just got off the phone with friend of a client who wanted to know if I had any ideas as to how to get more traffic to their website. I asked him when was the last time he updated it, added new content, started a blog and linked them, added some white papers or articles. The answer was never. They had built it and believed that people would then come. Sorry – it doesn’t work like that anymore. You have to build a relationship with your prospects and clients and part of doing that requires a conversation with them. That means you build your site and then you continue to add to it and change it and give your clients a reason to come back again and again.

Seth Godin, a marketing guru’s guru has it right in this Blog.

How to Out Market the Competiton

I am always amazed (but not surprised) at how many
companies I work with don’t have a clue of what is their Unique Selling
Proposition. Without one (or without knowing it) you become just
another commodity company and you might as well make plans on selling
out or closing up. That’s how important your USP is to you and your
company.

By the way, this applies to all businesses! It doesn’t
matter if you are a Fortune 100, a professional practice, or a mom and
pop retail store. You must have a USP!

What is a USP? The USP
very clearly answers the question, "Why should I do business with you
instead of your competitors?" Here are three questions you can ask
yourself that will help you formulate your USP.

1. Why should I choose to do business with you vs. any and every option available to me?
2. What do you offer no one else can or will?
3. What is your reason for existence in your chosen market-other than the fact that you want to be there?

Your
USP must always be stated as a benefit that your clients and customers
can clearly identify with and agree upon its uniqueness and value to
them. The long-term marketing and operational successes you achieve
will ultimately, be helped or hurt by the USP you decide upon.

Let’s look at an example:

"We
will deliver any computer part in our catalog to you within 48 hours or
you don’t pay!" Now this would be a powerful USP that would definitely
set the company apart. The competition would have to scramble to keep
up and it would create the perception that this company is THE COMPANY
to do business with in their industry/market.

Most organizations
don’t have a USP, only a "me too," commonplace, wishy-washy business
that feeds solely upon the sheer momentum of the marketplace. There’s
nothing unique; there’s nothing distinct. They promise no great value,
benefit, or service — just "buy from us" for no justifiable, rational
reason.

Do you like spending money with a firm that has no unique
benefit, service, selection, guarantee, etc.? I doubt it, which is why
we are more than willing to switch companies for little or no reason
when we don’t get the value of a USP.

You cannot compete on just
price and/or service alone anymore. Customers have the internet to
search and they can always get a better price and even better service
elsewhere. You have to be unique and you have to be able to take that
uniqueness and make it part of your overall company strategy. And,
then, you have to be able to implement the strategy.

The worst
thing you can do is to not deliver on your USP. That’s the kiss of
death for many companies. It’s like having a beautiful strategy in a
three ring binder in your desk but never implementing it (which will be
the subject of another letter soon).

Take some time today and
write down your USP. Then ask your employees and co-workers to describe
the company’s Unique Selling Proposition. I think you might be
surprised at their answers. And, if you are, it’s time to sit down and
create your USP and make sure every person in the company is focused on
delivering it. I guarantee if you do create it and deliver it to your
customers and clients…you will add considerable income to the company
bottom line.

The Poole Consulting Group

Don’t Blame The Market – Blame The Marketer

WineglassThe mortgage crisis, foreclosures, Iraq & Iran,
etc. seem to have quite a few people in a panic these
days. Many are
seeing the glass half empty and some are hunkering down, pulling back
from spending on their businesses and generally waiting for the sky to
fall. I agree there are signs that could signal a recession and I think
the spending of our government is out of control. I also have concerns
about what is happening to our environment and how that could affect us
in the long term. It’s only sensible to have appropriate alternative
strategies personally and for your business. But, are you using these
fears as an excuse for failure?

I remember many times over the
last 40 years that if I had let myself be restricted by the events out
of my control, I would never have gotten out of bed in the morning to
go to work. Very few businesses fail because of a poor market – but
lots of them fail because of poor marketing.

Too many people
seize on bad news as a reason to justify their lack of success and
their lack of even trying. When I first started in sales for 3M I was
given the worst territory in the region. It was a small county in
northwest PA that had been decimated by steel plant closings. If I had
listened to all the "smart guys" in the company I would have known I
could not succeed there. Instead, I went about meeting people and
talking to them about their businesses. We talked about the positive
attributes of the area. I got to know them as people and I built
relationships.

And, you know what I learned during that time of
double digit inflation, double digit interest rates and double digit
unemployment? I learned life still happens! People still bought houses.
People opened new businesses. People still made things and people still
bought things. And, I learned that if I engaged in good marketing and
positive thinking, they bought from me. They bought enough for me to
set new sales records for the company out of that county that wasn’t
any good.

The salespeople and businesses that failed during those
challenging economic times bought into what other people were saying
about the market; they bought into a justification for failure. Don’t
fall into that trap! Next month – next year – there will be more
calamities (just listen to all the talking heads on the network news).
It’s how you think about them and the action you personally take that
will make all the difference.

The Poole Consulting Group