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Which Media is Right to Reach Your Target Market? 16 April 2008

That’s probably one of the most often-asked questions my clients put to me…

Well, the answer is, it depends on your ‘ideal customer‘. (If you haven’t a clue what that means or who that is, then my Stop Working With Deadbeats! Attract IDEAL Clients & Knock Out The Competition Instead will help you hone in on what is potentially one of the most important elements of running your business.)

In a nutshell, you need to know your target buyers like the back of your hand before you can target them appropriately. Until then, you are pretty much wasting your time, expense and effort trying to reach them.

OK, for the point of this post, let’s say you know exactly who your ideal client is. By now, you should know that a) targeting has suddenly become much easier, and b) you know where they ‘hang out’, which publications they read, and so on.

Assuming you decide to advertise in a given publication that they read, make a note of whether any of your competitors are advertising regularly there. If so, that’s a good sign…

Now, phone up the advertising department for that publication and tell them that you are thinking of placing an ad, and that you’re currently researching the results of ads in the same industry (ie, those of your competitors). 

You will be surprised as to how honest they’ll be with you.

If it all sounds good, arrange a multi-run ad deal – ie, where you place a similar-sized ad in that publication for a number of issues (ideally, seven, but at least three if you can push to that). Make sure you include some kind of code for tracking purposes, and then measure the response you get. If it’s good, repeat the ad – it is obviously extremely well targeted. If for some reason it bombs, consider your ad’s copywriting and/or offer. Could either be improved upon?

The key to ANY advertising and marketing is to test, track, tweak and test again and again until you get the response you want. I covered more on this in a recent issue of my newsletter Communiqué for Success

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Britain Tops the E-Commerce Charts 8 April 2008

Britain is way ahead in the European shopping stakes. A whopping £5 billion (approx 6.31 billion euros) in online sales ahead of its closest European competitor, in fact.

The figures come from a recent study conducted by data supplier Mintel, which also reports that last year Brits racked up £12.8 billion (16.16 billion euros) worth of online sales. In contrast, the Italians and the Spanish favoured brick-and-mortar shopping, spending just 1.1 and one billion euros respectively. Germany fared well with a total of 13 billion euros (£10.3 billion) worth of sales.

And the UK online market shows no real signs of slowing down. It has shown a healthy 75% growth over the last two years alone. What’s more, UK online sales are expected to increase by as much as 200% over the next four years to hit £44.36 billion (56 billion euros). says Mintel.

Do you sell your products or services online? If not, why not? there’s a burgeoning market out there…

You can double, triple or even quadruple your sales when you learn the dynamics of selling online and how to easily apply it your business. 

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Reader Q&A: How Do I Grow My List? 4 April 2008

A reader asks: “I’m having trouble attracting people to my website, more specifically opt-in members for my list. Can you help?”  

Answer: There are a myriad ways of achieving your goals. Here are a some to get you going:

  1.  Make sure your website is targeted for your ideal customer, using language and ‘triggers’ that will appeal accordingly.
  2. Optimise your web pages, especially your home page, using SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques to drive more search engines to your site, and help your visibility among the search results.
  3. Start a blog, and link back to your website. Search engines love fresh content, and writing regular blog posts is an excellent way of keeping them happy. 😉 
  4. Make sure your newsletter sign-up box appears not only on your web pages, but also your blog.
  5. Make it worthwhile subscribing to your ezine –– just because it’s free is no longer a valid reason.
  6. Write articles and submit them to online article directories. Make sure your ‘author bio’ or resource box features a live hyperlink to your newsletter, and offer a gift to subscribe.
  7. Use Google Adwords to get qualified traffic. Make sure the landing page is suitably targeted.

Hopefully, this little lot should be enough to get you started and keep you busy for a while! Good luck, and let us know how you get on…

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Businesses Ignore Customers’ Emails at Their Peril 27 March 2008

More than half of leading organisations are still ignoring customers’ emails, according to new research.

This seems counter-intuitive and, from a business point of view, rather foolish…

As a busy sole trader, I take the time to provide as detailed a response as possible to customer queries. With prospective customers, I aim to respond to their emails within 24-48 hours. With existing customers, I like to get back to them as soon as I can, often within the same day their emails are received.

Naturally, when deadlines are looming or I’m away on business, this can be put off target. But usually it works out just fine.

Due to the nature of being a sole trader, anything above and beyond this is nigh on impossible. There are so many ‘hats’ one can wear.

That said, I would expect a larger company to have an adequate and speedy customer-response system in place. There is nothing worse than a company who goads you into becoming their customer with fast, efficient email responses, only to drop off once they have you in their database… 

For all e-commerce businesses, customer fulfilment should be one of the most important aspects of running that business. Most business owners would be alarmed to think that customers leave a company not necessarily because they’re disillusioned with the product, but rather the service (or lack of it).

With today’s ‘need it now’ online culture, it is absolutely crucial that every promise made to your customer is fulfilled on target, on time…

How do you measure up? 

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When English is Bad For Business 25 March 2008

The March 2008 issue of ‘Communiqué for Success’ is ready for public viewing (for a limited time only). Subscribers get privileged, advanced notification and member offers and specials, so be sure to sign up for your free copy.

This issue of the much-talked-about newsletter answers such questions as:

• Why is old-school English damaging your sales?

• What is the future for CfS?

• How can you move your prospects beyond wanting to buying?

• What is the best way to avoid toxic clients?

• How can you grab your ad critique & consultation?

• Where can you get free online fax services? 

All the answers (and more) are in this month’s newsletter.

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Word count for this issue: 2,223

Approximate time to read: About 11 minutes    

Scanning Time: About 41 seconds

Suggested props: White Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows
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You can see the current and some of the past newsletters by going towww.mediaminister.co.uk and clicking on the “F*REE stuff” link on the top menu.

And it’s all freeeeeeeeeeeee.

Enjoy!

 

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Customer Retention in an Uncertain Market 3 March 2008

The latest edition of ‘Communiqué for Success’ is now available for public viewing (subscribers get advanced notice when it’s hot off the press). It answers such questions as:

• How can you retain customers in an uncertain market?

• What is happening to CfS – and what does it mean for you?

• How can you win the attention of the growing digital marketplace?

• What is the number one secret to effective marketing?

• How can you successfully market online?

• Where can you get free online hosting? 

All the answers (and more) are ready to be revealed.

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Word count for this issue: 2,613
Approximate time to read: About 12.5 minutes    Scanning Time: About 45 seconds
Suggested props: Organic Hot Chocolate or NoCaf
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You can see the current and most of the past newsletters by going to www.mediaminister.co.uk and clicking on the “FREE stuff” link on the top menu.

You’ll also find direct links to my other sites.And it’s all freeeeeeeeeeeee (for now).

Enjoy!Tracey

PS – The direct link to the latest newsletter is —http://www.mediaminister.co.uk/cfs/19February2008.htm

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Online Marketing: Why Colour Matters 15 February 2008

Subscription marketing expert Don Nicholas says colour certainly matters in online marketing.

Don says that when a publisher did an A/B split test of two versions of his landing page, one fared substantially better than the other. The only difference was that one had an order button that said “Order Now” in navy blue type on a dark orange (ochre) background, while the other version had black font on a red background.

The navy/ochre order button generated 27% more orders than the red button – more proof as to how seemingly small changes can make a big difference to the bottom line.

Why such a big difference, though? Well, most people regard the colour red as ‘hot’ and attention-seeking. But in certain online and offline marketing elements it can work against you. This is because red also means “Stop!”

Says Don: “Is that really what you want the reader to do when he gets to a button that says ‘order now’?”

Source: NEPA Presentation on Landing Pages  

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