Tag Archives: marketing

Right on Dude! Follow Through and Follow Up: 2 Keys to Success

spicoli-hand

Kris Jenkins had it. Michael Jordan had it…many times over. Even Jeff Spicoli had it, if you consider Mr. Hand’s desire for Spicoli to merely show up for class, even if having pizza delivered to class wasn’t part of the deal.

What is “it”, you ask? Follow through, and its twin, follow up.

I’m not one to rant, though I will if given the opportunity. It depends on the topic. As you can see, I’m writing about two basic, yet shockingly absent, keys to…well just about anything: follow through and follow up. Ok, so this is about to shift into a rant. I do so unapologetically, as I believe you’ll agree that it’s rant-worthy.

Before I jump in with both feet, I should point out that none of what follows is fabricated for the sake of the post. I’m a storyteller, and love a good piece of fiction as much as the next person. That said, this post is, unfortunately, non-fiction masquerading as horror, grotesquely formed with a seemingly endless supply of appalling rubbish. Commence rant.

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Obligatory Thor GIF via Giphy

 

Sorry Yoda: Only “Do”, Never “Do Not”

Raise your hand if you’ve heard the expression, “Do what you say you’re going to do”. Yeah, me too. And so has just about everyone else, from Generation Z to Baby Boomers. So, if we’ve all heard this and know it’s meaning, why is the action part – “do” – so glaringly lacking?

Follow through and follow up are two keys to success in both your both personal and professional lives. As a teenager, you proudly carried the flag of anti-tyranny rebellion, protesting any request (all of which were, like, totally unreasonable) from your parents. You learned what follow through means when you found yourself “unfairly” grounded. “I’ll never treat MY kids like that,” you growled as you skulked away to your room.

Fast forward to your adult life. Maybe you’ve married and produced some kids. Life gets busy, but not too busy to forgo disciplining your kids for whatever treasonous act they’ve committed (like leaving dishes on the dinner table). As you swing the hammer of discipline like Thor, and hear your hellion of a child shout, “I’ll never treat MY kids like that,” a feeling of déjà vu sweeps over. Wait, what’s that? Now I’m showing my kids what it means to follow through?

In your personal life, follow through means standing behind something you say. “If you don’t do your homework, you lose (insert device).” Few threats draw a line in the sand like that of taking away your kid’s device(s). It’s also the line that is challenged more than raptors testing the fences in Jurassic Park. Fail to follow through on this promise and you’ll end up with a T-Rex sized problem.

Always Be Closing (Following Up/Through)

Follow through and follow up in business and your professional life are two skills that, while not hard to do in reality, seem to be as fleeting as the evidence supporting the existence of the elusive Sasquatch. Sidebar: I keep an open mind…and let’s leave it at that. But I digress.

As Chris Farber once wrote, and something I strongly believe: EVERYONE in a company is in sales/business development. What about development or compliance, you say? Whether it’s building new functionality or managing risk and regulations, every team within a firm has a sales responsibility in that all ultimately serve clients. Fail to follow through on a client request, and whoosh, kiss that client (and likely others) goodbye. Flip side…deliver what they want and make them happy, and they’ll continue to buy your products or services.

Follow through and follow up are core competencies for successful business developers, across a wide range of roles, including corporate sales, account management, relationship management, and recruiting. Most sales take place at, or after the fifth contact with a prospect, so why not continue to follow up with your prospect until at least that point? If you tell your prospect you’ll provide something, you’d better follow through. Do it.

Filling the Gap

In the first sentence above, I mentioned recruiting. In many posts and updates I read on LinkedIn, and in conversation with colleagues, a common theme arises: a lack of follow-up from a recruiter. Someone I know well has been approached by dozens of recruiters. After an initial contact and perhaps an introductory call, only a handful followed up or followed through. The trail ran cold with no further contact whatsoever, despite follow-up by my friend. That’s no way to run a people-focused business.

Fair or not, this assessment is obvious, given the visibility of the recruiting profession. It’s a sales, business development, and relationship management role that sits in clear view, considering the number of people looking for new gigs. How hard is it to fire off a quick note to show someone they matter?

I follow up or follow through with whatever I’ve been asked to deliver, and I do so in a reasonable amount of time. What’s reasonable? Depends. One key to successful follow up and follow through: setting proper expectations. This is a topic for another post, but suffice it say: if you don’t manage expectations, you’ll find it tough to follow up or follow through timely.

Do: follow through and follow up. Don’t: be a Sasquatch.

 

 

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Using Next Level Power Questions At Events To Boost New Business

 

A short time ago, I wrote about how my kids have Jedi-like qualities when it comes to asking for what they want. While I don’t fold as easily as a storm-trooper granting Luke and Obi Wan passage, the process often leaves me just as befuddled. Perhaps it’s because of the relentless, tireless line of questioning, but when they’re peppering me with ongoing, open-ended questions, I can feel my resistance draining. It’s not a negative thing, mind you, but quite the opposite: I feel proud of their ability to keep their eyes on the prize and not back down.

In the previous post, I wrote about the value of power (open-ended) questions in getting the information we need to help move the sales process forward. Power questions help us uncover needs, potential objections and perhaps most importantly, entice the prospect’s involvement in the dialogue. As any marketing or business development professional will attest, your odds of winning new business increase exponentially when the other party is actively participating. If he/she just sits there, arms folded and uttering an occasional grunt to let you know they’re still alive (but not for long), then you’re doomed. We can do better.

Knowing what to ask and when to ask it can be challenging for anyone in marketing and business development. Timing is everything. Since situations vary, it makes sense to have a plan for the different environments in which we meet and engage with prospects (and clients for that matter). Being prepared is a key success factor. Can you remember anyone going into a test, meeting or anything without preparing, and doing well? Yeah, me neither.

Conferences, seminars and networking events are prime opportunities to meet prospects and clients (along with bringing home suitcases full of swag). If your company taps you for this assignment, prepare. Aside from watching a YouTube tutorial on how to fold a suit for travel without destroying it, take the time to come up with what I call next-level questions to ask prospects during the event.

At some point, you’ll end up mingling with other attendees during a cocktail hour or dinner event. For purposes of this post, I’m using a financial services conference setting, though these questions are easily adaptable to other industries. People like to talk about themselves, so your job is to ask questions that encourage them to open up. After the typical greeting, you can create a meaningful interaction by asking questions following a logical progression. Four types of next-level power questions include:

Introductory Question

1. What is your role, and what are your primary responsibilities?

(Don’t settle for just learning someone’s name and title. This question gives them the opportunity to tell you about themselves.)

2. What’s been your experience with systems like Advent, Portia or DST?

(Insert whatever system or process is relevant to you and your company’s products/services. Again, get them talking.)

3. In what ways have client or regulatory initiatives impacted your firm?

 

General Follow-Up Questions

1. How does your firm choose a software provider?

2. What key projects is your firm considering?

3. What do you look for when implementing a software solution?

 

Functional Follow-Up Questions

1. To what extent is cost-basis accounting a key service offering?

2. What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of implementing performance systems?

3. In what ways are digital strategies impacting projects?

 

Transition Questions

1. What makes your company choose one product over another?

2. Why are those the deciding factors?

3. Who is involved in the decision-making process?

 

By no means is this meant to be a complete list. Each situation we encounter is different, and as marketing and business development professionals, we have to adjust accordingly. Being able to adjust on the fly requires preparation. In the above conference example, do your homework BEFORE you to the event. Knowing who will be there and obtaining relevant key information about these people is a powerful ally in achieving success with business development. How so? Read on.

A few years ago, while in a Marketing & Business Development capacity for a company, I attended a conference in Las Vegas. Before the event, I used a list of expected attendees to group clients and prospects by the type of service and revenue tier. With this list in hand, I gathered information on each person from our CRM system to build a prospect profile. To complete the competitive profile, I researched each person outside of our CRM system to find interesting tidbits that I hoped would enrich conversations.

For one attendee in particular, I learned that she was actively involved in many conversation efforts, including one whose goal was saving tigers. Knowing this, I sought her out during the event, since my company was also heavily involved in conservation initiatives. I was hopeful that this would encourage a productive dialogue since we had shared interests. We crossed paths, and I talked to her about my company’s conservation programs and asked about hers. I had several “Next Level” power questions ready, and these, combined with my research, moved the conversation forward. This opened a larger dialogue about my company that ultimately led to new business and revenue.

Time to level up!

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Improvise, Overcome & Adapt: 3 Keys to Successful Business Development

 

Like many people I know, I’ve slipped a movie quote or two into more conversations than I care to count. While some may view it as an unnecessary distraction, I see it as an art form. Knowing when to crow bar a movie quote into a conversation takes skill!

I’ll give you an example. I coach my son’s baseball team, and not too long ago, I threw batting practice. At one point, when throwing to my son, he hit a scorching line drive right back at me. Instead of ducking behind the screen, I turned to my left and tightened my right arm to absorb the hit. It hit me flush in the middle of my upper arm, which immediately began to throb.

When I got home, my son was overly excited to tell my wife that he had drilled Dad in the arm. After yelling at me for being macho instead of safe, she offered ice and asked where it hurt. The movie quote guy in me responded with a line from the classic Chris Farley flick, Tommy Boy. Pointing to various spots on my arm, I said, “Well, it hurts here. Not here, or here so much. But right here.”

Another movie I’ve found quote-worthy many times is Heartbreak Ridge, the 1986 Clint Eastwood vehicle. Early in the movie, Clint’s character (Sergeant Highway) takes command of an undisciplined group of Marines, and has them assemble outside the barracks first thing in the morning. Sgt. Highway is wearing an olive shirt, while the platoon is wearing all different colors. The dialogue that unfolds:

Highway: “Strip off those T-shirts.”

Marines mumbling, as one says: “Say what?”

Highway: “You’ll all wear the same T-shirts.”

The following morning, the Marines gather outside the barracks, all wearing the same olive color shirt. Highway, however is wearing a red shirt. This scene plays out as follows:

Highway: “Strip off those T-shirts.”

Marine: “Gunny. We’re all the same.”

Highway: “Same as me?”

Different Marine: “How the hell are we supposed to know what kind of T-shirt…”

Highway: “You improvise. You overcome. You adapt. Now get off those god-@#$% T-shirts now.”

Later in the movie, the Marines do exactly as Sgt. Highway directed: they improvised, overcame and adapted by figuring out which T-shirt Highway would be wearing the following morning.  Sgt. Highway’s mantra has real-world application, no matter the industry, job or task.

When it comes to business development, being able to improvise, overcome and adapt are three keys to success. Each has its own meaning, but all point toward the same goal: winning new business. While it’s a job responsibility and task given to a specific team, business development touches every group within a company, as Chris Farber deftly notes in a recent post. It stands to reason then, that the three keys mentioned above also apply across corporate groups.

Improvise: to make, invent or create something using whatever is available.

It’s not often that the business development process unfolds as planned. Things often go awry, from rescheduled meetings to unexpected people in attendance that threaten to derail the process. A business development pro can improvise in a rapidly changing environment, but do so while maintaining credibility. Perhaps you’re presented with new information during a meeting that will quite possibly change the direction of the conversation. By asking power questions, you’ll elicit the information you need to improvise.

Note: improvise also refers to speaking or performing without preparation. My suggestion: don’t do this. Always prepare. Leave improv to the comedians.

Overcome: to successfully deal with or gain control over something.

Obstacles. Objections. Business developers encounter these roadblocks at every turn in the process. What separates the pros is their ability to move past these challenges and keep the cycle moving. Overcoming objections (a topic for a future post) might require the business development pro to improvise. Knowing your product and its benefits (not features), along with your prospect’s pain points is one way (for starters) to successfully overcome a client or prospect’s objections.

Overcome also has another meaning: to defeat someone. If you approach business development in this way, the only defeat that can be ensured is yours. Don’t; just don’t. Business development is a collaborative process, not a one-person war.

Adapt: to change something so that it functions better or is better suited for a different purpose.

Darwin’s theory says that survival goes to the fittest. In business, this is only partially true. Survival and success goes to those that can also adapt to new regulations, changing industry demands and rapidly evolving technology.

For a business development pro, having the ability to adapt is critical to success. It’s not the same as improvising in the face of new information received during a prospect meeting; rather it refers to changing the overall approach as directed by client and prospect feedback. In the financial services industry, frequent rule and regulatory changes can have a dramatic effect on firms. Getting ahead of these developments by adapting the business development process to focus on new requirements demonstrates credibility and adaptability.

So as Sgt. Highway commands: “Improvise. Overcome. Adapt,” or he’ll tell you to strip off that business development T-shirt.

#improvise #overcome #adapt #winning

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Rock The Vote: Getting Constituent (Customer) Feedback

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is Election Day, and across America, people from a wide swath of life and experiences will cast their votes for an array of candidates and ballot initiatives. This process will unfold in big cities and small towns alike, all with a singular purpose: giving constituents the opportunity to voice their individual opinions. In some cases, the feedback will result in significant, wholesale changes; while in others, voting results will reaffirm an existing direction. Nevertheless, the premise is the same: getting constituent feedback to plot the course forward.

This scenario can, and should, play out in the corporate setting. Companies should welcome the opportunity to get constituent (customer) feedback, and seek it out on a regular basis. Too often, business gets in the way, and customer input isn’t received until it’s too late to do anything about it. Smart organizations recognize the value of getting feedback about the products and services their customers are using. Listening to what your customers have to say isn’t a one-shot task; rather, it’s a fluid, ongoing process that incorporates multiple business groups and client segments.

Should your company ask for customer feedback? In a word, yes. When companies create a business plan, an important part of the plan is a comprehensive competitive analysis. This is critical in understanding the company’s position in the marketplace. To accurately compete this process, a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) should be conducted. Asking for, and receiving, customer feedback on a regular basis has many benefits that, together, resemble a SWOT matrix. These include:

Strengths (What Works Well)

Everyone wants to hear that someone else thinks they are (insert superlative). Companies are no different. Getting customer feedback helps companies understand how their product or services add value. Knowing why customers are staunch advocates for your products or services is invaluable competitive information. Get it, and use it to your advantage to crush the competition.

Weaknesses (What Could Be Better)

It’s been said that when people have a bad product or service experience, they will tell ten other people about it. While this describes individual consumer behavior, it also has meaning in the corporate world. By actively seeking customer feedback, companies will uncover product or service issues that clients are experiencing. Understanding and improving the customer experience is not optional. Customers want to know that their voices are heard. Ignore them at your own peril.

Opportunities

Who knows industry trends better than your customers? If your customers are investment firms, then you know that they operate in a heavily regulated environment that requires them to anticipate change. Obtaining regular feedback from these firms will help your company stay abreast of industry trends. Using customer feedback to anticipate future needs and then design practical solutions opens the door of opportunity. If it knocks, will your company be there to answer?

Threats

Whereas customer feedback helps companies pinpoint opportunity, it also identifies threats. These are threats that could challenge the future viability and success of your company, such as:

  • Changing regulations that could render your company’s flagship products and services obsolete
  • New competitive forces that may arise where competition was previously scarce
  • Industry trends that would adversely impact your company’s operations (i.e. reduced demand for outsourcing)

Getting customer feedback will help your company identify potential threats before they arrive. Adaptation is a key to the longevity and staying power of companies. Adapt, improvise and overcome.

Strategic Roadmap

Roadmap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Companies create and follow a strategic roadmap that guides all business functions, including product development, marketing, sales, operations and finance, among others. To build a flexible, scalable strategic roadmap, companies often solicit customer feedback. For a company providing analytics software to the investment industry, obtaining insight from customers about current/future needs is invaluable. The feedback may help prioritize product development objectives (if enough customers, or the biggest customers, are asking for something to solve pain points), along with sales and marketing efforts. If your clients are willing to give you a blueprint to follow, why not follow it?

There are several ways for companies to obtain customer feedback that are well known, though often under-utilized:

  • Formal client surveys (email, newsletters, tools like SurveyMonkey)
  • Online and print polls
  • Social media interaction and engagement (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
  • Information gathering through business development processes

Regardless of the method, companies need to get regular, open feedback from customers. Don’t be afraid to ask clients to give you their honest opinions. They’ll appreciate you asking for their input, and you’ll get invaluable information about how to keep them as a customer.

Ask and you shall receive.

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How Ghostwriting Leads To Spirited Marketing Communications

 

Halloween arrives this weekend, and with it, costumed hordes of kids will descend on our neighborhoods demanding a king’s ransom of candy before moving on to another home. Kids wear costumes to pretend to be something else, such as superheroes, vampires and ghosts, all with the goal of earning a strong candy-based ROI. In the corporate world, when it comes to writing and marketing communications, people also pretend to be someone else. They’re called ghostwriters. I should know – I’m a ghostwriter too.

Ghostwriting does not refer to a translucent, sheet-covered entity scribbling out content; rather it’s a long-standing practice of one person writing content for another. In a typical scenario, a writer authors an article or thought leadership piece on the behalf of another (client or manager). If the content is published, it will appear under the byline of the client or manager, not the ghostwriter.

For example, let’s say I write and publish a thought leadership paper on behalf of a client named Frank N. Stein, and the article is published in a leading magazine. It will appear in the publication as having been written by “Frank N. Stein”. I don’t receive direct attribution (credit) for writing the paper; my client does, hence the term “ghostwriting”.

Ghostwriting is usually associated with publishing the following types of content:

  • Articles
  • Thought Leadership Papers
  • White Papers
  • Books

This content is published through both print and online media, including magazines, self-publishing books through Amazon, LinkedIn and company websites. Some companies have voracious appetites for publishing their own content on proprietary platforms, like LinkedIn company pages, corporate websites and client newsletters. For these firms, ghostwriters play a key role in delivering a regular flow of content, which allows company resources to focus on other high value tasks.

Ghostwriting can move the needle of your marketing communications ROI like an EMF meter in a haunted house. How so? Ghostwriters bring an outside, unbiased perspective to content creation, and with clear subject matter expertise. Every piece of content that a company creates and publishes is an opportunity to expand its influence. A few ghostwriting examples:

  1. A thought leadership paper outlining an effective approach to data management will resonate with investment firms struggling to control disparate data sources.
  1. An article detailing cost-basis accounting and reporting builds credibility and the company’s position as an expert in the field.
  1. A research paper examining complex performance attribution concepts demonstrates expertise and establishes the company as a leading voice in the industry.
  1. A newsletter sent to clients of an investment firm communicating performance results, investment rationale and outlook provides clients with peace of mind, transparency and accountability.

Aside from these examples, ghostwriters add value by writing case studies, crafting tag lines and slogans, creating product sheets, responding to proposals and designing pitches. Having a third-party, objective view removes organizational myopia. It also challenges the status quo and looks for ways to improve the company’s value proposition.

While Halloween is one day per year, ghostwriting occurs year round. It’s not a supernatural phenomenon for companies to fear, but a living, breathing process that adds exceptional value.

No tricks, just treats.

 

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Why Your Company Should Use Case Studies to Shift Sales Into High Gear

Gears

Case studies have long been a marketing tool used by consulting firms to demonstrate value. However, any company that sells products or services can leverage case studies to drive sales with new clients and increase sales from existing clients.

Regardless, they are a powerful tool in the sales process and companies from all industries should use them to drive business. There are several key reasons case studies can help your company drive sales and should be part of your sales arsenal. Before discussing these key attributes, let’s review the proper format.

Navigating Case Study Format 

Go With the Flows

1. Background/Challenge

This section describes a client’s pain point (s) that your company’s products/services helped overcome. Demonstrating an understanding of specific pain points will resonate far more with prospects than simply saying, “We understand your issue with ‘X’”.

Think about it this way: would you rather see a doctor that has an understanding and experience treating your specific medical ailment or one that doesn’t?

2. Diagnosis/Solution

Once a company has hired your firm, or purchased one of its products or services, the real work begins. From start to finish, whether for a quick one-day installation of carpet or a multi-year implementation of a data, trading and reporting system for a financial services firm, establishing a good working relationship with your client’s staff is a critical success factor.

A compelling case study will show your prospect several things: an ability to work with people and teams, analyze problems and craft realistic solutions. The Diagnosis/Solution section demonstrates your company’s ability to help prospects navigate through change of varying complexity. Given the detail necessary to provide a sufficient description of your company’s involvement, this component of a case study should be the longest.

3. Results/Impact

This is where the rubber meets the road.

Companies buy products and services or hire other firms to produce tangible results. For some, the goal is improving operating efficiency; for others, driving top-line growth is the desired outcome. Either way, if your firm has helped clients achieve their objectives, then this is where you describe those results.

The Results/Impact section should include a brief summary of the background and teamwork components, and conclude with the tangible results your company delivered. Numbers speak more loudly than words, so quantify results wherever possible.

  • Did your client’s sales increase? If so, by what percentage?
  • Were you able to help them reduce errors, or improve productivity?

These are tangible results and, quite often, clients will be happy to share this information – if you ask. With this in hand, you can draft a robust and compelling Results/Impact section that illustrates your company’s value proposition.

Having covered the format of a case study, let’s look at why case studies are such a powerful weapon in a company’s sales arsenal.

How Case Studies Can Accelerate Sales

Boost Sales

1. Proof of Concept

‘Been there, done that.’

This is strongest value that a case study provides to your prospect. It shows your firm’s ability to solve pain points that your prospect is currently experiencing. When you can articulate that you have already solved the same problem they face, that experience is worth its weight in gold.

2. Focuses on Benefits, Not Features

Too often, the sales process bogs down when trying to communicate value, in the form of features (“With us, you get ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’). For a prospect that is struggling with an issue, hearing about the benefits they’ll gain (“Here’s how we’ve helped others and can help you, too) is far more important. Illustrating benefits helps a prospect understand how your product/service can address their pain point. A list of features only describes characteristics of a product/service, which is relatively meaningless to the prospect.

3. Highlights Competencies

Before buying a product or service, companies want to know that your firm has the expertise to support them. Not only can you present a viable solution to their pain, but you also have the expertise to implement the recommended solution. And post implementation, it shows that you have the knowledge and wherewithal to help the client deal with the issues that will inevitably arise.

4. Illustrates Client Relationship Skills

It’s been said that, all things considered, people buy from people they like. Case studies can demonstrate your company’s likability in that they describe how well your company and its people work with others. Perhaps you had to bridge the gap between two internal stakeholder groups, or help teams understand the value they’ll gain from releasing a death-grip on outdated legacy processes. Either way, it shows your ability to empathize and respect others, while moving the project forward.

5. Shows Ability to Produce Results

When you can deliver results for clients, they will continue to buy your products and services. Case studies show that you have real-life experience producing meaningful results, and gives client and prospects with a strong reason to buy your products or services.

Who benefits from using case studies to drive sales? 

Time to Improve

In short, any company.

For example, financial services firms use case studies to articulate the ways in which they produce value, whether through investment performance or improving efficiency of operations teams. Case studies help IT companies illustrate the value they’ve produced for clients by enhancing security, stability and organization of technology architecture. Recruiting firms use case studies to describe how they’ve delivered value for clients by leading hard-to-find placements or time-consuming searches.

Case studies improve your company’s credibility, brand awareness and sales growth. They can also build and reinforce relationships and trust with clients and prospects. If you’re not using case studies to shift sales into high gear, what’s holding you back?

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How To Use Email To Hit the Mark

Don't Fail at Email!

Don’t Fail at Email!

Email is a vital marketing tool for attracting new clients while keeping in contact with current clients. However, many companies overlook important structure and content items, with often disappointing, if not disastrous results.

The following items, when used in email marketing campaigns, can render the email useless, and frequently divert your important email to the junk mail folder. Some of these are content-related, and can be just as damaging. Do any, or all of these, and you’re well on your way to a successful fail mail campaign!

  1. Attachments

Unless you’re emailing to people/companies with whom you’ve had a previous dialogue, sending emails with attachments is an effective way to go directly to the junk mail folder.

  1. Pictures

Not to be confused with HTML imagery; emails with .jpeg, .png, and other image formats often find the spam folder with impressive speed.

  1. Lame Subject Line

Since email is often the first introduction of your firm to a prospective client, why use a boring, stale and unattractive subject line? Lame subject line equals rapid-fire deletion.

  1. Too Much Content

Ever receive an email and open it, only to be greeted by content whose length rivals CVS receipts? While grunting, “Ugh” in exasperation, you click to delete the email with a brutal efficiency.

How far did you read, if at all?

  1. Too Little Content

Sending an email with barely more than a subject line is like to telling your prospective client, “I’m too lazy to bother with giving you enough information to help you find out more about us, but you should buy anyway.”

Let me know the next time you find a prospect or client that accepts this ‘offer’.

  1. Weak Content

When it comes to communication, content is king. Make sure that it’s the best it can be! Perhaps you’ve got the right amount of content, but the content itself lacks the sizzle that attracts people. Without a compelling message, prospects won’t see value in your company’s products or services.

Use strong, powerful words…like verbs. Typically, the point of an email is to solicit some sort of positive response. Having a call to action with verbs does just that. It puts prospective buyers in the frame of mind of using your product and elicits an emotional response to using your product.

A Volvo dealer might close an email to prospective buyers with the following call to action.

“Grip the wheel. Sink into the soft leather seats. Experience the exhilarating sensation that only comes from driving a new Volvo. Test drive yours by the end of the week, and get $500 cash back toward your purchase!”

  1. Lack of Links

Posting links in your email campaign is a simple, yet effective way to drive traffic to your company’s website. It’s also far more Google-friendly. Depending on the length of your email, you should have 3-5 different links (not five links that all go to the same landing page). One hint – make sure that your website content is compelling too!

Email is a critical form of communication for companies of all sizes. Some use it mostly for interacting with clients; others use it to drive new business. Either way, following these simple guidelines increases the likelihood that your important emails reach the target audience and deliver the right message. With one chance to make a good first impression, why wouldn’t you make the extra effort?

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