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Showing posts from June, 2012

A Different Kind of Feedback

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Most of us would agree that feedback is generally a desirable thing and necessary for continuous improvement. Yet there seems to be a whole area of performance that gets ignored due to little or no feedback: internet marketing.

If you are ignoring your feedback (in the form of statistics), you’re missing two important things:

Without a baseline to measure ongoing performance against, how will you know if you’re getting better or worse?Without feedback about your performance and information about people’s interests, how will you know what to do to improve?
Below are some suggestions to help you get the feedback you need. They can all be applied to an enewsletter campaign but certainly have broader applications.

Tracking codes
Online bulk email applications will have this built in. You can also use services like Bit.ly and other URL shorteners. Within the application you will be able to view overall statistics and trends. Plus you’ll get more useful things, like how many people clicked o…

Avoiding False Assumptions

I am not my own ideal client. Certainly I fit within the target market I have so clearly defined. Being a small business owner, I can identify with all of my ideal clients - we share many of the same needs and desires. But there is a distinction: I don’t need the services that I offer. Because I have skills and expertise that my clients lack, I also have different preferences and perspectives.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget this... too easy. When making decisions or coming up with new ideas, I clearly wear the shoes of my ideal client, but not quite. So when I think, “I wouldn’t like that” or “that wouldn’t work for me”, I’m really limiting my options based on false assumptions.

False assumptions can lead to painful lessons and lost opportunities. I’m trying to be more careful about the assumptions I make and the results I predict. I’ve written this across the top of the whiteboard in my office: “I’m NOT my ideal client!” It’s a constant reminder to consider options fully and not make a…

Resources Online (Wrap Up)

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Here are some of my favourite online tools all wrapped up in one place:

Colours and other shiny things:

Color Scheme Designer - Play around to find a scheme you like or enter an html# and it'll give you complementary matches. This is one of my most used online apps!

COLOURlovers - Very useful for determining colour schemes and for seamless backgrounds.

Flickr - If there is anything visual about what you do, you should be using Flickr, another social media tool and a whole other community.

Wordle - A fun little online 'toy' for generating 'word clouds' from text that you provide.

Prezi - A very different kind of presentation software. It's not likely I'll ever use Powerpoint again.

Research and productivity:

Google Insights for Search - Compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties.

Google Alerts - An easy way to monitor your online reputation and a whole bunch of other things. Another one I make a lot of use of.

Dood…

3 Keys to Creating a Call-to-Action

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We all use calls to action but we often don’t think of them that way. Writing an email to a friend asking for feedback, emailing to arrange a coffee date, sending a follow up note – these all contain calls to action whether obvious or implied.

A call to action should be crafted to suit the situation but here are 3 characteristics of any effective call to action:

SIMPLE

Uncomplicated and straightforward is what you’re aiming for. Convey the essence with just a few words. Don’t use jargon and don’t mislead or try to trick your reader into action.

NATURAL

Minimize the options. It may seem like a good idea to give options but, in fact, it causes indecision. If possible, have only one choice and make it the natural next step with little thought required.

EASY

A simple 1-2-3 process is easy. A 1-step process is even easier. In some situations you may need another call to action to get through steps 2 and 3. Keep to baby steps and few of them.

None of these factors will be effective without the othe…

Plan to Give Your Best

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If what you have to share, show or write about isn’t great, don’t put it out there. That was one takeaway from Scott Stratten. I had a double dose of him a couple of weeks ago - read his book, UnMarketing, and attended his webinar. (Highly recommend!)

I have to agree with Scott, but can’t let it rest there. It’s too easy to let that become an excuse for not showing up at all. We can plan to have 'great' to share.

I feel strongly that keeping to a consistent 'content creation' routine has big benefits.
A newsletter in particular becomes successful by establishing expectations over time - about the content, look and delivery. There is benefit in working hard to establish those expectations. A regular delivery schedule is an easy expectation to master. This holds true for other forms of content sharing as well. Slip once and it’s easier to slip again. Having a routine and deadlines keeps us focused. It’s easy to indefinitely put aside those things that don’t have deadlines…