Friday, December 30, 2011

The Happiest New Year Thought -- Ordinary People Have Power

Ian and Meg Lawton followed me on Twitter this morning. Since I am one of 29,381 people the Lawtons are following, I assumed they were Internet Marketing folks, eager to sell me something. Moreover, I was a bit turned off by their hokey Twitter handle (@seeds4couples). I almost didn't follow back, but then I thought, "What the heck? I'll have a look."

So, I went to to see what these two were about.

The website had some pleasant bird tweets playing in the background and the colors were earthy and peaceful. Words like "greenhouse," "grass roots," and "community garden" appealed to me. A lot of the message addressed "the power of positive thought," not a new concept by any stretch, but always useful.

Visiting the Lawtons, I had a little revelation. How powerful the Internet is!

(Okay, duh. And, yes, I *do* feel a little like Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents saying, "Oh, Dear God, you are such a good God."). Nevertheless ...

Folks like Ian and Meg Lawton are doing their part to spread good will.

That's pretty awesome when you think about it. Similar messages come from thousands of videos, blogs, and sites developed by ordinary people who yearn to make a difference. Even a curmudgeon can get in tune with that simple notion, since, if anything can save this fair earth, ordinary people would be it. Transformation happens one at a time and, just like Ian and Meg, we've all got a shot at it.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 12, 2011

2012 Is [Definitely] the Year of Video

It’s all over the Internet, stuffed into every eNewsletter, offered up on any website that works, glowing LED at every click. It’s marketing VIDEO. By the end of 2012, we’re going to be seeing so much of it people will begin to ask [all over again] whether “this is the death of print.”

Examples? How about the following three videos, all of which landed on my desk in a single morning (December 1).

Square2Marketing has its “Video Marketing Minute.”

Direct Marketing IQ [Target Marketing Group] has DMIQTV.

Production Solutions features Package Formats that will get your attention.

None of these videos are fancy-schmancy. They feature real people talking about -- and demonstrating -- marketing expertise. The films are short, sweet, and targeted.

There’s plenty more where this came from, so if video isn’t on your 2012 calendar (yet), you still have two weeks to put it there. Happy New Year!

p.s. In its Who's Mailing What archive report, reported a big crash (33% decline) in B2B direct mail in 2011. Please note that all of the above videos are B2B efforts.

p.s.s. When this post appeared on The Digital Nirvana blog to which I contribute, one commenter defended direct mail's role in acquisition marketing and wrongly assumed I was echoing the oft-repeated "direct mail is dead" mantra. Not so. Direct mail remains an effective — even essential — part of acquisition marketing. DMIQ’s “Who’s Mailing What” analysis led to their conclusion that B2B marketers had been doing far less direct mail in the first six months of 2011, compared to 2010. Meanwhile, I, too, have seen an explosion of B2B marketing video, not necessarily for acquisition, but certainly as a substitute for textual "content marketing." I stand by the prediction that 2012 will be the year video becomes commonplace on websites, in emails, in eNewletters, and in landing pages. A case in point? HubSpot's brilliant use of a "What is HubSpot" video on its download landing page for a free eBook.

--scrubbed by MarketingBrillo

Friday, December 9, 2011

Why Email Propecting Is So Effective (When Done Right)

I just watched Ed Gandia's three videos on "warm prospecting." Ed is the founder of the International Freelancer's Academy, but the advice he offers here is terrific for anyone looking for business: PR professionals, direct marketers, and sales professionals can all use these tips.

Ed's three videos are each 15 to 20 minutes and packed with information. Sign up here and watch them if you have time, but the videos will be taken down on December 11. (Note: Ed includes a full transcript of each video, so you can download those pdfs if you can't listen today).

If you're in a hurry for quick information, here are my notes.

Why Is Email Propecting So Effective (When Done Right)?

1. Less intrusive and more convenient than cold calling.
2. Better than phone messages, which can't be scanned quickly.
3. Prospects are far more responsive to a well delivered email.
4. With cold-calling, you get 3 to 5 seconds; email gives you 20 seconds.
5. It's easier to digest a marketing message in writing.
6. When the email is personal and targeted, it's very effective.
7. Propsecting with email helps you stay motivated.
8. Email prospecting is inexpensive.
9. Email prospecting is quick and immediate!
10. You can hand-pick the prospects you want to work with.

Here is what doesn't work.

1. Don't send an email blast to a list.
2. Don't send the same message to everybody.
3. Don't use email to market your newsletter.

Warm Email Prospecting Works When You ...
1. Handpick your list.
2. Customize your list.
3. Write an email like this:

Hi Randy,

I’ve been reading about your company in the Atlanta Business Chronicle and the work you’ve been doing at Emory
Hospital. And based on the work I’ve done with Acme Medical and XYZ International, I may be able to help you get "X" accomplished faster and cheaper.

Here’s a short article on how I’ve helped Acme
Medical: [URL goes here]. Would it make sense for us to chat briefly sometime in the next couple of weeks?

[Your email signature]

1. Describe your ideal client profile.
- Get clear about the clients you are best suited to.
- No specialty needed.

2. Create a targeted list.
- Create a TARGETED list (identify organizations, identify specific individuals, find the email addresses for those individuals)

3. Establish a meaningful connection.
- You have to give every prospect a good reason to respond immediately
- Give the prospect a relevant reason to reach out to you.

4. Make a quick and relevant pitch -- 125 WORDS OR LESS.
- No small talk; no warming up the prospect.

5. Prepare for conversation.
- You need to be ready when the prospect calls you.
- Have some stock email to respond to a positive answer.
- Develop a set of talking points for the call.

6. Do smart follow-up


- Warm Prospecting is a direct response strategy. MOST attempts will not get a response.
- Recommends sending a 2nd response after 2 weeks of no response.

How to Uncover and Communicate a Meaningful Connection with Your Prospect

The key strategy is to give prospects a meaningful bridge to connection

Three Ways to find Meaningful Connections

1. Use trigger events
- A big event or change in the organization's industry is a logical trigger event; for example, positive or negative financial announcements; new manager in the department you usually work with; layoffs, downsizing; finding prestigious new clients, etc.
- Trigger events create a certain level of pain or need that makes the organization more receptive to your needs.
- Scour the news for trigger events (industry or trade pubs, business pubs, news magus, etc.).
- Set up Google alerts for organizations already on your targeted list.

2. Mention one of your high profile clients or one of your accomplishments.
- It may make sense to throw out names that the prospect may recognize or even names they may not recognize.
- Leverage your successes. Mention an award you've recently accomplished, or a placement you made for a client.

3. Leverage a mutual connection and think of LinkedIn.
- Look at your personal or professional network.
- See if somebody will make an introduction for you.
- Use LinkedIn account to see if somebody in your immediate network knows your prospect

What About Subject Lines for Your Warm Prospecting Emails?

1. Use your subject line to allude to the meaningful connection you will talk about.
- Examples: Congrats on the Book Deal! or … I Helped B&B Foods Rebrand …
2. Keep subjects short -- 30 to 50 characters.
3. Show relevance in the subject, but don't give away too much information and don't "bait and switch."In the body of your short email, deliver on the subject line.

-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo