Showing posts from March, 2012

How to Create Content for Sharing

If you want to reach a wider audience than just your own contacts, you will need to create content that people WANT to share. This is the primary way to grow your audience and make new contacts in the online world.

How do you create content that people want to share? Here are some tips that apply not only to your newsletter, but also to your website, blog, and social media strategy.

Appeal to your readers’ motivation to connect with each other – not just with your brand. Build community among your clients, prospects and colleagues.

Trust is the cost of entry for getting shared.Your content has to be trustworthy and so do you – and that will mean different things in different industries and to different market segments. Make sure you know what trust means to your target market.

Keep it simple... and it will get shared. And your message won't get muddled as it gets passed along.

Appeal to your readers’ sense of humour. If you can make your readers laugh, you’ve got it made. Keep in min…

Make Sharing Easy

I'm such a critic - an enewsletter critic that is. Of course, critiquing other newsletters is partly how I get better at my job.

I'm often disappointed when I receive a newsletter or promotional email that doesn't give me buttons for easy sharing, especially when it's something I want to share. In many cases, with the amount of information to read these days, I will shrug and move on. I would have shared the information but the sender turned it into a job. Another job I don't have time for in my already busy day.

How often do people shrug because they can't share your information easily?

Think about your own activities, what encourages you to share? And how easily do you give up?

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Top 10 Strategic Benefits of an eNewsletter

Is email marketing an untapped component of your marketing strategy? Here’s what an eNewsletter can do for you. It can...

Enhance your reputation.Increase lead generation.Provide invaluable information about who is interested in what, so you can follow up with contacts in a more strategic way.Be a very cost-effective communication channel with your clients, customers, colleagues and prospects.Quickly identify obsolete contact information, so you know to re-connect to get an update.Leverage your other marketing efforts: website, social media, blog, etc.Provide immediate measurable results.Give your contacts the opportunity to easily and immediately interact with you.Provide a higher response rate because it is being sent to a receptive audience.Be more cost-efficient and environment-friendly than a printed newsletter - no printing or mailing costs. Which of these benefits are important to you?

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e-mail or email?

How do you spell it? During a recent workshop with Twirp Communications, I was updating the keywords on my LinkedIn profile. After proudly doing the update quickly, Anita searched on one of my keywords. Immediately she spotted a disconnect. I had spelled 'email', but she had spelled 'e-mail' when she searched.

Now I have to admit, I'm prejudiced against hyphens. I don't know why, but I try to avoid them unless they're necessary. We had an 'internal communication' here at Daley Progress (Danielle and I talked) about it just a couple of days before the workshop and we had decided to standardize all our usage to the un-hyphenated versions of 'email' and 'enewsletters'.

How foolish of us to think that prospects and colleagues will use the search terms we want them to use!

Now we will have to re-visit all of our online content, with a view to making it more 'search friendly' - rather than about what we like. Who knew a hyphen coul…

Accountability: More Than A Deadline

If you’ve been in business for more than a few months, you’ve had the discussion about accountability with at least one other business owner – and will continue to have that conversation with other business owners.

We all struggle with staying focused and getting things done. One way that we combat this is by setting up systems of accountability. Our systems vary greatly, from detailed plans and deadlines to mastermind groups and more. One strategy that can be effective is bringing another person into your system to be accountable to. Telling someone else about your goals and deadlines is a step in the right direction.

But accountability works best when it’s more than deadlines and reminders - when there’s the real potential for loss. That could be the loss of money, if we are paying someone to keep us accountable. It could be the loss of opportunity, if we aren’t acting fast enough. It could be the loss of integrity or trust, if the opinion of the person we are letting down is impor…

Website Management Tips

Recently I have been doing a lot of web research which had me landing at many different websites. I noticed some common problems that are easily corrected. Although none of these tips are new, here are 3 tips that are worth repeating:

Make your website easy to maintain and maintain it. While it might be appealing to pay a lot of money for a flashy website and hand over the updates to someone outside your organization, take a good look into it first. Make sure you pick a company that will process your updates inexpensively and quickly. Make sure that you keep control of the branding and look of your website. If you are handling your website in house, make sure you are updating it quickly as changes occur within your organization. Events and resources are particularly frustrating for web users when they are not current so it is best to always include a link to the organization's website rather than a link to a document they have provided.

Audit your website. Business owners a…

Is Your Content Accessible?

I discovered last year that everything on the web is not accessible to people with disabilities. In my case, I was designing a website for a wonderful client who is blind. I was using an application that was somewhat new to me. Once I had the first draft of the website all ready, I sent a link to my client for her feedback. To my dismay, she couldn't read the website! (Perhaps I should clarify that her JAWS software couldn't read the website, but the result was the same.)

At this point I should clarify that I'm not a bonified website developer - I use website builder software. This means that I had absolutely no idea how to go about making the site accessible. Logging a help ticket with the website builder folks elicited the response that their sites are accessible. Say what?

So I went back to my tried-and-true website builder software and built the website there. It was quite a relief to get the report back that the site 'worked'.

Here is where I admit that it ha…