Marketing Library

5 Hacks To Getting An Envelope Delivered And Opened

The best offer is no better than the worst offer if it’s thrown away unopened before your prospect reads it. So here are a few ways to “sneak” past the human spam filter in every office and get your letters opened.

1. Make it look like personal mail. Use a real, live stamp. Hand-address the letter, and don’t put a company name or logo on the outside.

2. Send it PRIORITY mail or FedEx. Yes, it’s more expensive. But if you’re disciplined about cleaning up the list and targeting only those prospects you really want, this will be a good, smart investment into getting that prospect to want to engage with you. Read full article and comment →

The End-Of-Year Challenge That May Suck The Life Out Of Your Holiday Joy

Here’s a tough year-end test to give yourself that may not be a fun exercise to participate in. Get a clean legal pad of paper, a pen, a BIG cup of coffee and camp out in a place AWAY from your PC, phone or any other electronic gadget that might distract you. Get comfy. Then make a list of every improvement, advancement or breakthrough you’ve made or manufactured in your business in the following categories below. Make each of these a header on its own page and go to work trying to fill the pages, using one item per line (no cheating and writing in 48-point type like a five-year-old). Anyone who wants to send me photocopies of the pages they write out that I can publish will get $100 in Robin Bucks you can use in any way you like.

Again, the question is: “What Improvements, Advancements Or Breakthroughs Have You Implemented In The Following Categories?”

  • Lead generation
  • Online footprint, findability and presence
  • Closing sales
  • Increasing average sale
  • Increasing LTV (lifetime value) of a client
  • Customer retention
  • Employee productivity
  • Service delivery and operational efficiency
  • New products and initiatives
  • Your business’s security and stability
  • Bottom-line profits

If you can fill an ENTIRE page in each category, I can practically guarantee you’ve doubled your sales, profits and stability of your business and have significantly increased your personal income. Congrats! Half a page, you’re on track to have a damned good year and poised for explosive growth. Good job! If you have some pages that are blank while others are full, you’re probably running like a crazy person putting our fires, with some good going on, but being weighed down fixing others. If you’re all blanks, get a mirror and check that you can fog it. If you’re still (barely) breathing, you’re a Christmas miracle. No fogging, you done expired.

 

 

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night…

This is a BIG year for Halloween with no shortage of things to keep you up at night. Random shootings, terrorist attacks, Zika virus, the continual rise of cybercrime, riots over police shootings, the obesity epidemic, little kids getting kidnapped, killed or harmed. Hillary. Trump. Colin Kaepernick. Pick your goblin. Of course, there’s NEVER a shortage of things that will scare the pants off of ya if you think about it. Not a morning goes by where I hug and kiss my kids goodbye and have a fleeting moment of panic over whether or not some nut job is going to target their school for a shooting. I don’t think my parents ever even gave that a moment’s thought—yet my brother, Scott Robins, was shot dead on a Monday morning in his driveway by a neighbor who had lived for 40+ years next door to us in the home we grew up in. No one saw that coming. It makes you realize that so much of what happens is totally, completely out of our control—and THAT scares me more than a brain-sucking zombie apocalypse.
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An Easy Trick To Generate More Leads

One of the fastest ways to kill your lead generation mojo on any website, e-mail, landing page, etc., is to focus it on YOU and what YOU do, deliver, provide, etc. A really important point to remember about lead generation is this: ALL you need to do is sell the next step — be it to fill in the form, call a number, request a consultation, etc. To that end, there are two things to test out. The first is the provocative question. The second, flagging your prospect. For example, in the book Words That Sell, you’ll learn several provocative questions that are excellent subject-line starters for e-mails, headlines for landing pages and copy for all lead generation campaign openers, sub-headlines and, of course, headlines: Read full article and comment →

What To Do When Things That Should Work, Don’t

Last month on the Q&A call, I was told by a member they had implemented one of my campaigns “to the letter” but still had gotten ZERO results. Obviously not a good way to start a call! This fired off a great discussion with Jeff and the team and revealed a need for me to document a process for what you should do if a “tried and true” campaign does NOT work. This will be a LONG article, but a very necessary one that you should highlight and have handy to reference.

First off, you need to know that none of the campaigns and methods I’m teaching about marketing are open to debate about their effectiveness. They’ve been used and proven to work for small IT firms, big IT firms, small cities and big cities, internationally and with various audiences (lists). IF something I’ve given you is not working, there’s something awry; but the temptation is to quickly blame the campaign and move on—and SO many people jump in and make blanket statements about something “not working” when they’ve done no research, study, testing, etc. It’s utter foolishness. So this is my first big piece of advice about this situation: if a campaign has worked before somewhere and/or is working for others, IT WORKS. Your job is to dig deeper into why it didn’t work for you in this ONE instance… even if doing so is painful and what you discover disheartening. On that note, let’s tackle the first reason I see campaigns failing… Read full article and comment →

The Importance Of Constantly Keeping Your Funnel Full

By: Robin Robins,
Author and Founder of the Technology Marketing Toolkit System

I recently received an e-mail from a client who is teetering on the brink of closing the doors of his IT consulting business and getting a day job. His savings have dried up and he’s maxed out every credit card he has. Now, he’s desperate and calling us for help.

Of course we’ll do everything possible to help him, but now that he’s let it go so far in the red before doing something, it’s going to take a herculean effort on his part (and sheer magic on ours) to start the heart pumping again…which begs the question, why did he wait until now to get serious about keeping the funnel full?

Look…success or failure is not an overnight thing. If you are paying attention, you know if you are moving forward, backward or stagnating. The key is to do something the minute you notice the decline in sales or opportunities before you get so far behind the 8 ball that your only option is to file for bankruptcy and take a job working at Circuit City.

Marketing (and selling) is a numbers game. If you get X number of leads in the door, X number will become clients, and out of those, X% will end up being really good ‘sweet spot’ clients that are worth anything. It’s nothing to get emotional about – it’s just a fact of life. If you want to know how your sales are going to be 3 to 6 months from now, look at what’s coming into the funnel TODAY. There’s no marketing quick fix that can make up for months (or years) of marketing neglect; that’s why it’s so important to watch the numbers.

If you’re really good, your ‘numbers’ may be better than most; meaning your marketing efforts bring in a good quality and quantity of leads and you close a large percentage of the leads you get. But if you stink at marketing and lead generation, have no follow up system, and you’re weak at closing sales, you need to make up for it with more volume of leads (opportunities) coming into the funnel.

Simple, yes. Yet I see so many IT firms sitting back and watching the slow decline in their business. Instead of getting serious about doing everything possible to keep the funnel full, they stick their head in the sand and hope that the economy will get better, that their clients will refer more, or that some lucky turn of events is going to save them. A few month’s later, we get the desperate cry for help.

In the upcoming months, I think we are going to see more IT businesses disappearing and failing than succeeding. In most cases, it’s 100% their own fault so I find it difficult to feel empathy for the vast majority of them, especially when there are so many tools, seminars and other resources that can teach them HOW to be better at marketing. Yet they CHOOSE to stay “busy” doing other lesser-important activities, thereby manifesting their own demise. As Nido Qubein once said in a seminar I attended, “An empty bank account is a sign of a lifetime of poor decisions.”

So the question you have to ask yourself now is, what are you deciding to do to make sure YOUR funnel stays full?

Dedicated to your success,

Robin

5 Easy Ways To Instantly Make Your Web Site Sell Better

By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

One of the best revolutions to happen in the marketing world is online or web site marketing. The cost of developing and hosting a web site is infinitely insignificant to the amount of money it can generate. Unlike other advertising mediums like direct mail, yellow pages, networking, etc., a web site works 24/7/365, the results are instant, and you can make changes in moments rather than days, weeks, or months.

Here’s another extremely important point about web sites…

They are the best way to fuel referrals and word-of-mouth advertising. Think about this: When you hear about a company from a friend, what is the first thing you do? You check out their web site. If you’re unimpressed, you may or may not buy or come back.

When your clients tell others about your services, will they be equally unimpressed with your site? Will they have a reason to opt in or join your mailing list? Will it be absolutely clear to them what you do and why you are a better option than any of your competitors?

With so much of your marketing riding on your web site, it’s a mystery to me why more computer consulting firms DON’T have a web site, or they have a boring, amateurish-looking couple of pages linked together that give no reason to stay, revisit, or more importantly, buy something.

If you want your site to generate more revenue, here are 5 things you can do to instantly improve its effectiveness:

1. Put a compelling, interesting headline on the home page that, ideally, identifies who your best customer is and what you can do for them. I can’t tell you how many web sites I’ve been to that, for the life of me, cannot figure out what they do. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake with your site. For example, here’s a headline that I’ve used with several clients that is highly effective:

“Are You a Small Business Owner That is Tired of Waiting Around for Your Current Computer Guy to Call You Back, Follow Up, and Fix Your Computer? Are You Concerned About the Security of Your Data? Would You Like to Find a Way to Offload the Headaches and Frustration of Computer Problems Finally and Forever? Then You’ve Come to the Right Place!”

Don’t worry about the length; the headline on ANY marketing campaign accounts for the majority of the response. Clients won’t mind reading long headlines as long as they are interesting. I can beat a short boring headline with a long interesting headline any day.

2. Make the fonts easy to read. If you actually want visitors to READ your site, then don’t make the font grey or light colored, don’t use reverse copy (dark background, light letters), don’t use tiny fonts, and don’t put pictures behind the text.

3. Put a FREE offer on your web site and SELL it as if it costs money. Not everyone who visits your site will be ready to hire you on the spot. Some may be casually looking because someone referred them. That being the case, you want to do everything possible to get visitors to opt into your web site and give you their contact information so you can follow up.

My favorite is a free report, but you can use a free recording of a teleseminar or interview with you or a good client, a free service (first service call free, free spam filtering for a month, etc.).

4. Use lots of testimonials and client success stories. Visitors will not only be more likely to read those than a bunch of boring text about what you do, PLUS the benefits of your service will be easier for them to comprehend when wrapped into a real-life case study of HOW you applied your skills and expertise to help other business owners.

5. Have an easy way for visitors to reach you. I’m amazed at how many computer consulting firms only have a “contact us” form on their web site. What about those people who need IMMEDIATE help? I strongly suggest you have a “computer crisis” hotline that, if nothing else, goes to an answering service that can screen and forward calls to you. Remember, lack of responsiveness is the number one reason why business owners fire their current computer consultant and look for someone else.

Want to See How Other Small Computer Consultants are Commanding Higher than Average Rates
While Attracting More Clients?

Then it’s critical for you to join me at an upcoming Client Attraction and Marketing Blueprint Seminar.

You’ll learn:

  • How other SMB consultants are doubling the number of qualified leads and new clients they have using an “auto-pilot” client attraction marketing system that doesn’t require a sales team or large marketing budget to work.

    Click here to register now

  • How to avoid wasting thousands of dollars and your precious time on marketing campaigns that don’t work. I’ll reveal the exact marketing media that has been proven time and time again to work best when marketing IT services.
  • How to position yourself as the most “in demand” consultant in your area with the highest fees and still get more business than cheaper competitors.
  • The 3 critical characteristics you must develop to unlock a flood of new sales and business opportunities; these have nothing to do with your marketing, the type of clients you serve, the way you price your services, or your competition.

    Click here to register now

  • Auto-pilot marketing systems that will cut the time and effort of selling in half while virtually eliminating cheap clients. This is price-shopper pest control for your business!
  • How to get every ad, sales letter, brochure marketing campaign, website – and even your business card – to generate two to three times as many leads and sales as it currently is.
  • What type of marketing media is hands down the BEST for promoting your computer consulting services, and which ones will waste your time, drain your bank account, and leave you disappointed and frustrated.

This seminar is unconditionally guaranteed to give you specific, usable marketing strategies you can implement into your business and see results in your bank account within 6 weeks or less.

You will see actual campaigns and strategies that other small computer consultants used to double or triple their annual revenue, launch a profitable managed services practice, and transform the way they do business.

Click here to register now

Seating is limited! The last 2 events SOLD OUT. If you want to make sure you don’t miss out, click here now to register.

These Quick Tips Will INSTANTLY Increase the Number of Qualified Leads Your Web Site Generates

Attention All VARs, MSPs, and System Integrators Who Want To Generate Leads Online…

By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

Before I give you these quick tips, let it be known that developing a web marketing machine is an ongoing effort that requires a commitment to testing and refining your strategy, message, offer, and graphics, as well as traffic sources. BUT, sometimes simple changes can result in BIG increases in conversions (leads) and sales.

For example, on my current lead generation page:

http://www.technology-marketing-tool-kit.com/freecdoffer.php

I discovered that putting a picture of the free thing—whether it’s a report, CD, or ebook—nearly tripled conversion. Same traffic, same offer, same marketing costs, but now 3 times as many leads. If you are offering a free report, CD, teleseminar, seminar, or other offer, make sure you put a graphic of the “free thing.”

Here’s another quick tip…

Use squeeze pages when doing ANY online OR offline marketing. What is a squeeze page? It is a page similar to the one above that requires the visitor to provide some information about themselves to get access to the rest of the web site. Take a look at this page:

http://www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com//event

This is an example of a squeeze page. Before someone can enter the site to learn more about the seminars I’m conducting, they have to provide their contact information. If they have already done this once, we simply display the main sales letter page for the event so they don’t have to opt-in every single time they visit the page. This will create a segmented “hot list” of very interested to semi-interested prospects that you can follow up with.

For example, let’s suppose you are doing a sales letter to a cold list and you provide a web site as one of the ways to respond. If you drive them to a squeeze page, you are creating a hot list for your telemarketers or sales people to follow up with first – after all, these people actually took action on your direct mail piece. This allows you to focus your time and money on those who have given you a shy “yes” instead of the masses who didn’t respond at all.

Here’s another quick tip…

Use unique URLs to track response. For example, to promote my seminars, I’m sending six to eight direct mail campaigns to a specific list. The problem is, it gets difficult to know which piece of mail had the most impact. To solve this and track the results more effectively, I’ve set up various URLs that are tied to a particular piece so I can track response.

For example, I’m using the URL www.sellmoresolutions.com for ONE specific piece of direct mail I’m sending. By using this URL, I can see exactly how many unique visits and conversions I’m getting from that one piece of mail because I’m not using it anywhere else in my marketing and promotion. Another URL I’m using is www.technologymarketingplan.com. These sites all go to the same squeeze page, but have allowed me to track exactly how many responses each piece is generating.

If you are doing Yellow Pages ads, newspaper ads, direct mail, and other advertising, I suggest that you set up unique URLs and phone numbers to track response; otherwise, it will all get mixed in together and you won’t know which pieces of advertising media generated the highest quantity and quality of leads.

Dedicated to your success,

Robin

How Can You Possibly Expect To Sell Anything When You Don’t Know THIS…

By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

There is an old saying that says you can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. This is a great saying to live by, especially if you are a business owner or sales person whose bank account, lifestyle, and financial security is dependant on your ability to sell something. As sales people, we know we’re supposed to listen to our customers and ask questions so we can fully understand their wants and needs. Nothing new there; BUT, how many people actually do?

As a marketing consultant and sales copywriter, one of the most important things I have to do before writing any type of promotion is truly understand the target customer. In order to effectively persuade someone to take action, I have to know what they want most, what they hate, what they think about, what motivates them, and what their priorities are. This is the art of true listening; the ability to understand the way your customer thinks without filtering or altering it with your own beliefs, agenda, or opinions.

This is not difficult, but it takes practice. Hearing what someone said and truly understanding what they meant or where their opinion came from is as different as night and day. But if you want to become a great salesperson or marketer, this is a skill you must master. Let me give you an example, and give you a set of powerful questions that will revolutionize the way you “listen” to your customers and prospects…

IT managers have a much different agenda than a business owner. The IT manager wants to protect his turf. In most cases, he is very ego driven and doesn’t want to look bad to the boss or anyone else for that matter. He is a bit of a control freak (which, in truth, is not a bad trait for someone responsible for protecting a company’s data and operations). He needs to feel assured that you aren’t going to make him obsolete. This may be completely illogical from your point of view, but he’s the one writing the check.

You may think it’s obvious that you are there to make their job easier and to make them more productive. However, people don’t think logically, they think emotionally. Plus, the IT manager who feels this way is NOT going to verbalize this to you or anyone else. They’ll shoot a million holes in your proposal before they’ll admit they feel threatened by you. That being the case, you have to communicate in advance (through your marketing) how you are going to make them a hero in their organization, and then you have to be able to prove that through testimonials, guarantees, and other proof positive to your claim.

On the other hand, the business owner doesn’t have a clue about all the options, acronyms, and technical terms you are spouting off. As a matter of fact, it makes him a fearful buyer because he doesn’t know enough to determine whether or not you are giving him a good recommendation or not. Just the opposite of the IT manager–they want you to take control so they don’t have to concern themselves with anything technical. He doesn’t want to know the technical details. He simply is trying to figure out if he can trust you to do a good job, alleviate his problems, simplify his life, improve his business, and not overcharge him. His biggest concerns are making money, cash flow, customers, and avoiding business disasters.

Can you see how you would need a different marketing message to both of these individuals, even if they are in the same company? Most business owners don’t spend enough time truly looking at the world through their customers’ eyes and end up paying the price of this ignorance: starvation.

Years ago I did some work for an MRI imaging center. They wanted to find out how they could persuade more people to choose their state-of-the-art open MRI center over some of the older, better established facilities. They told me how new the facility was, how caring the staff was, how accurate the reports were, and how they would even come and pick up the patients at their home. They had tried running several full-page, very expensive ads in local magazines in an effort to get the word out about their new facility and the various benefits I just mentioned.

However, these ads were full of the reasons why they thought someone should be interested in their facility. Plus, they didn’t facilitate the natural buying process of their customers. After studying and understanding how patients choose MRI centers, I quickly discovered two things; first, most patients do not even realize they have a choice of MRI centers (they typically go where the doctor tells them to), and two, the second biggest concern was the fear of being in a very small, closed space. This is why their ads had zero pulling power…they didn’t educate the end buyer (the patient) that they had a choice of imaging centers, and they didn’t drive home hard enough the fact that they had an open MRI, which meant no more small, scary, claustrophobic tunnels to crawl in. But it doesn’t end there…

Upon even further study of where they were getting their BEST patients, I discovered that chiropractors treating accident victims were their best source of new business. After talking with several of their chiropractor customers (make a note of this; I actually picked up the phone and interviewed several chiropractors about why they were using this particular imaging center), I came to discover that they used this MRI imaging center because the reads (meaning the actual images and diagnosis) were more detailed than the ones they received from other MRI imaging centers, and therefore gave them a much better chance of getting their patients’ insurance company to pay for the treatment. Apparently, many insurance companies deny payment for chiropractic care unless it is deemed necessary based on the reads from the imaging center. One of the biggest frustrations for a chiropractor is not being able to deliver a full treatment plan to their patient because some insurance adjuster in a cubical with no medical experience is making the decision that chiropractic care is not necessary for their patient.

Now, without knowing the rest of the story, can you guess who I recommended they target and what the core message should be? For the slow group, here it is:

We targeted chiropractors with the following headline:

“Finally, A Proven Way to Stop IMEs from Interfering With Your Practice and Denying Payment for the Complete Treatment Plans Your Patients Need”

We built an entire campaign around a premise that included partnering with personal injury attorneys and using seminars and free reports to educate the doctors as to how they can best help their patients by sending them to this particular imaging center. Instant success. One of the first seminars they conducted brought in over 20 chiropractors–all good, viable customers for their center. Can you see that once you truly understand the customer, the message, and the benefits, the USP (unique selling proposition) becomes obvious?

So now, here’s your homework. Below are 12 questions you need the answers to about your target market BEFORE you start marketing to them. These questions will vary with the individual (business owners, IT manager, office managers, etc.) and the vertical market. Without the answers to these questions, you’re flying blind and will only get customers by chance or luck.

  1. What are your customers’ biggest frustrations, pains, and aggravations?
  2. What are they afraid of?
  3. Who (or what) are they currently using or buying from now?
  4. What do they like about this situation? What don’t they like?
  5. What do they secretly want?
  6. Who (or what) are they mad at?
  7. What trends are happening in their industry?
  8. What’s most important to them when looking for your product or service? In other words, what are the buying criteria for your product or service?
  9. What problems or frustrations have they had with other companies in your industry? Hint: they are going to expect you to be the same unless you can prove otherwise in your marketing.
  10. What events, situations, regulations, or dilemmas occur to prompt them to seek out your services? (Example: most companies installing a practice management or new accounting software package need to upgrade their network).
  11. What other companies are selling similar products and services to them successfully, and how are they doing it?

And finally, question 12 is a question you should already know the answer to, but probably don’t: What originally prompted your current customers to buy from you?

Once you know what your customer desires most (or wants to avoid most) your job is to make a good argument in your marketing materials as to how your product or service will help them get exactly that.

The Real Underlying Reason Why You Continue to Struggle to Attract New Clients, Make More Money, and Grow Your Business

By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

We like to think that the facts can convince people to change… We like to think that people are essentially ‘rational’ — that is, they’ll act in their self-interest if they have accurate information. We believe that ‘knowledge is power’ and that the ‘truth will set you free.’

But nine out of ten heart patients didn’t change even when their doctors informed them about what they had to do to prolong their lives. Ex-convicts knew how hard their time could be if they were arrested again, but it didn’t make a difference.

That’s because we take the facts and fit them into the frames we already have.  If the facts don’t fit, we’re likely to challenge whether they’re really facts or to dismiss the information and persist somehow in believing what we want to believe.” – Excerpt from the book “Change or Die” by Alan Deutschman

Just recently, I read one of the most fascinating books on belief systems and change: Change or Die. If there is anything in your life that you are struggling to change, I highly recommend it.

Alan Deutschman is a senior writer at Fast Company magazine and has interviewed some of the most successful business icons of our time. He created this book to reveal how  some people can change in even the most hopeless situations while others—who have the knowledge and information to change—don’t. Whether it’s heart patients who know they will die very soon if they don’t change or business owners trapped in unsuccessful businesses that keep them in a cycle of failure, the way to change is the same — and it starts and ends with belief systems.

Take my consulting business as an example. Most people buy my program looking for a “fix” to their marketing problem. What they don’t realize is that, in order for my clients to be truly successful, they have to change their well-entrenched negative habits and beliefs that got them to where they are in the first place. A better sales letter or web site won’t fix that.

Unless I can get them to embrace true change in their daily habits, what they believe, and how they use their time, the results won’t follow, or they will be slow and miniscule. That is why my selling starts after I make the sale—I have to sell them on the fact that success will come. I have to use client success stories to constantly reinforce that the methods and strategies work.

Otherwise, the average person will do exactly what Deutschman outlines in his book:

“We take the facts and fit them into the frames we already have. If the facts don’t fit, we’re likely to challenge whether they’re really facts or to dismiss the information and persist somehow in believing what we want to believe.”

If someone doesn’t believe direct mail can possibly work—they will find a way to prove it doesn’t. Or, if they completely lack the discipline to control their time, their ability to focus on a project, lean something new, or to develop the habit of steadfastness that is required to build a marketing system in their business, they will fail. It doesn’t matter what marketing “guru” they subscribe to.

And like it (or believe it) or not, that really is the true key to someone having success with my program. A better web site or postcard won’t change the belief that “selling is evil” or “asking for money is wrong” OR “I couldn’t send THAT letter to my clients.”  It won’t fix someone who can’t or won’t invest some time into researching and understanding their clients. And my program doesn’t automatically alter your schedule and free up buckets of time and space to get the strategies implemented.

I can give a client a surefire, guaranteed formula for selling managed services, but if they don’t truly believe in what they are selling or fear the sale in some way, they won’t use the formula, or worse yet—they’ll cherry pick what they feel comfortable with, leave out or change what they don’t like, and then blame the formula for not working.

Just like the 9 out of 10 heart patients who fail to get healthier, they would rather stay in denial than actually do what it takes to get better.

And it’s not because they don’t know what to do…it’s because their beliefs, fears, and bad habits are so entrenched that more information—no matter how proven or powerful it is—won’t alter the patterns they’ve anchored themselves to.

Dedicated to your success,

Robin