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Content Creation Tips

Marketing Lessons from a Criminal Moron

Way back when, before email and the internet, I was a newspaper reporter working in Belleville, IL. My fellow reporters and I used to pass time reading the arrest logs to hunt for juicy stories. Here’s one of my favorites: A checkout clerk at a local department store was arrested for theft after a customer…

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Shameful Email Marketing Tactics that You Should Avoid

What’s the worst email marketing advice you’ve ever received? I saw that question on an online forum and spent a few entertaining minutes touring this email marketing hall of shame. Sadly, every exhibit in the hall exposed tactics that many marketers continue to employ — to their detriment. If you want to master email marketing,…

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Focus on Strengthening Your Copy to Improve Marketing Results

Would you rather have an plain-looking website with great copy or a beautiful website with lousy copy? I’ll take the plain website every time. Why? Because I know of countless plain websites that drive action and convert sales at spectacular rates. But if the copy is weak, your website and other marketing content will fail…

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Why Your Emails Fail When You Lead with Product

This is a tale of two emails — one good and one bad. I’ll start with the bad one from a company I’ll call “Acme” (no need to reveal the culprit). I received an email with the subject line “Acme + Google Analytics/AdWords.” My first question: Why would I want to open this email? I…

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Marketing is a Three-Legged Stool

Every few weeks, my wife grabs the remote, points it at the television, presses various buttons and then, after failing to achieve the desired outcome, declares, “This thing doesn’t work.” Of course the thing does work, but she was pressing the wrong buttons. Small business marketers are often like my wife — blaming this thing…

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Open Rates Don’t Tell the Whole Story

It’s time for some email marketing myth-busting. Before I reveal the myth we need to bust, I’d like to give you a pop quiz (Don’t worry…I’ll grade on a curve). Here are results from three email newsletter for the same company and roughly the same list. Which mailing was most successful? January: 6,615 delivered, 1,119…

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New Year’s Resolutions to Help You Market Your Business

A few years ago, I was sitting at my desk in early January, wondering what to write for my monthly newsletter that was due the next day. As I struggled with writer’s block, I thought, “Never again!” I resolved to develop a content plan for that year and never let a lack of planning hinder…

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Personalize Your Emails To Improve Response Rates

If you want to improve email opens, click rates and overall campaign performance, I have one word for you: personalize. According to a 2015 study by Experian Marketing Services, personalized emails – in which the sender merges the recipient’s first name in the subject line – boosted open rates by up to 40 percent. Transaction…

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Technology Can Automate Follow-ups

Trade show follow-up used to be a nightmare for my company’s sales people until we automated the process with technology. Now we re-connect within minutes with the people we meet at our booth. We impress them with our diligence and attention. We sell more as a result. We do it all with less time and…

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