Marketing Library

The Secret about Belief Systems that Will Either Keep You Broke, Frustrated, and Stressed or Catapult You To Obnoxious Wealth and Success as Fast as Possible

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

An old joke: A man sits down with his coworkers to have lunch. Upon opening his lunchbox he says, “Sheesh! Tuna fishagain! That’s all I ever get for lunch and I hate tuna fish.” One of his coworkers says, “Well, why don’t you ask your wife to pack something different?” He sheepishly replies, “Actually, I packed it myself.”

Okay, I didn’t say it was funny, just old. But the lesson of the story is priceless. So many people eat tuna fish every day and complain out loud about their miserable situation even though they can choose to do something different.

What’s holding them back?

Let me tell you a true story to help you understand…

Jim Simpson of ZipTech Services is a client of mine in England. Jim is one of the rare members outside of the U.S. who actually “gets” that the marketing strategies I teach can be applied in any country, in any situation, and to any market as long as you are selling to human beings who have emotions. And bank accounts with money in them.

I don’t actively pursue clients outside the U.S. It’s not that I don’t want them as clients, but because there is a general belief that “American” marketing would never work in their country, and I don’t feel like dealing with that objection since I have plenty of untapped potential right here in the good old US of A.

(Side note: It is very useful to know what your customers’ beliefs are about your products and services since it’s the birthplace of most sales objections. That is why educational marketing in the form of free reports, teleseminars, seminars, and long-form sales letters work so well. It is designed to correct erroneous belief systems your clients have. In this example, I could overcome these negative beliefs with non-U.S. testimonials, case studies, and by changing the language of my marketing; I just choose not to right now because other bigger opportunities are commanding my attention.)

But I will say this: The international folks that DO find me and sign up are without a doubt far more progressive and successful than my average client.

Why? Because they understand the concept of the “slight edge.” They know that if they only get a few key lessons or strategies from my program, it is worth it. And since they are always seeking the slight edge in business, they willingly invest in themselves without a thought.

Compare that to the small VAR here in the U.S. with unlimited opportunities who says they can’t afford to invest “that kind” of money, that believes “that kind” of marketing won’t work with their customers, in their town, or in their situation, or who believes that they don’t have the time to work on their marketing.

They’re too busy mopping the floor to fix the hole in the roof.

This is lazy thinking. Excuses.

But instead of me droning on, read Jim’s story below. He went from a one-man shop to a thriving MSP with 6 techs in a VERY short period of time. My comments to follow:

Hi Robin, I’ve been very remiss in replying to your email – please accept my apologies. Yes, I would be flattered to be featured in your newsletter, so here goes…

Before working with Robin, I wasn’t doing much of anything; as a matter of fact, I “hired” Robin before my first employee!At that point I was just getting started so I used a subcontractor to deliver the support after I sold it.Those days are gone now and 2 years later, there are now 6 of us in the company. Our entire focus is to sell managed services and that is all that we do. EVERY customer is a subscriber. I’m not interested in non- subscribers because, in my opinion, it’s just not profitable enough business to go after. We will sell big project work, software, and hardware, but only to our subscribers.

For marketing, I only had a web site, an e-mail newsletter, and some great business contacts for referrals. It’s through these contacts that I produced the first sales. The rest of the marketing wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t that sharp or focused.

Out of all the strategies Robin talks about, the Master Sales Letter was the most important thing that I implemented. I didn’t send it to anybody, but it helped – even forced – me to define what we did and get the headline, copy, and offer right. I then used this as the basis for developing all the marketing material.

The next thing was developing client testimonials. I really went to town on this. I got lots of them and put them everywhere. Just recently we took Robin’s advice and did them as videos which feature very strongly on the web site.

I asked Robin to review our web site while it was still in beta. To be honest I didn’t like her advice at all. To paraphrase, she said that the site was too corporate, bland, and impersonal.

But she was right.

I revamped it to start off with a picture of me with a letter on the home page, pictures of the team on the banner, a meet-the-team page and pictures of clients.My Australian Cattle Cross even features on the site! Perhaps this was going to the extreme, but everybody loves it. I have to attribute these changes to the rest of the team here at Ziptech.

Theynot only helped in implementing a number of changes, but they were also the ones who finally persuaded me Robin was right about making our web site less corporate and more personal. The other big thing that we have done is post up free reports. They have consistently worked well for us and are regularly downloaded.

The results so far have been magic. These changes have resulted in a 658% increase in leads from the web site in the first month.Today, our site generates 73% of all new leads and 45% of all new customers. Through testing and tweaking the site, we have also been able to reduce the cost of a web lead by almost 60%.

The biggest lesson I have learned is to listen to what Robin says despite my reservations to give it a go. I’ve also learned that you need to do lots of things to produce the leads, not just one approach. I still have major things to do such as sending out the newsletter in hard copy to clients and regular direct mail to new prospects.

My advice to those of you who are just starting out with your marketing is to put yourself in the small business owner’s shoes to see that he doesn’t care about technology, but only what it will do for him. Base your entire business approach, support team, and marketing around this. Then write a Master Sales Letter that you can use as the source material for all your marketing efforts. You will find yourself reusing bits of the copy time and time again in lots of your marketing material. It will keep you on the straight and narrow.

Now, my comments…

First, Jim “hired” me before he hired his first technician—meaning, he knew he had to get the marketing right first—not after he had a few clients, not after he hired his first tech, not after he had some extra money laying around—FIRST. So many business owners get this wrong.

There are two big components to making a business work: marketing and fulfillment, with marketing taking precedence because without a client, fulfillment is not necessary.

Yes, all of you SAY you understand that, but if I looked at where you spend your time and focus on a day to day basis, I can guarantee that you are spending less than 10% of your time, energy and thoughts on marketing, and 90% on fulfillment, operations, and trivial, unimportant tasks.

Second point: Jim admits to being a bit squeamish about implementing some of the marketing; but at least he “gave it a go.” Again, so many of the members look at the marketing campaigns I give them and immediately decide they won’t work without a fair test.

One thing I have learned over the years is that you cannot judge a marketing campaign based on your initial reaction to it. There are campaigns I’ve seen that I confidently believed would NOT work only to be proven wrong, and surefire winners that turned out to be complete flops.

I’ve never said that I have all the answers, or that my marketing is the ONLY way of making money. But I have and will continue to press all of my clients to at least give it an honest attempt, assess, and draw conclusions from there. Quite honestly, I’m amazed that Jim’s staff encouraged him to try it—good for them and it’s an excellent sign that he’s done a great job in recruiting the right type of staff. Most employees would discourage anything “different.”

Third: The exercise of actually creating a master sales letter is incredibly valuable. It WILL NOT be easy, but if you wanted easy, then go work for someone else. You HAVE to develop your message –your USP.

I cannot give this to you. Each and every business has something unique, some type of angle they can take to develop their unique selling proposition and story. If you don’t, it’s going to be an uphill climb getting new clients, and your marketing will be rife with “me-too” platitudes.

The Gross Misconception Computer Consultants Have About Marketing and Attracting New Clients That Costs Them BIG

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

The other day on a group conference call, one of my clients told me they had been doing “my style” of marketing and getting “disappointing” results. When I asked what “disappointing” was, he said, “We have mailed out two series of your 3-step letter campaigns and have only gotten between a 1% and 3% response rate.”

Sheesh…where do I start?

First off, he had only been marketing his business for 3 months. “My style” or not, 3 months is hardly a drop in the marketing bucket. That’s akin to skipping lunch one day and expecting to lose 5 inches off your waistline. Is it enough time to make significant progress? Yes. And had he been proactively marketing to this list over time, building his reputation and relationship with them, AND had an incredible, irresistible, and exciting offer to make, he would have gotten even better results. However, he had NEVER done any type of marketing to position himself and build a reputation for his company. This was a dead, cold start. Plus, he didn’t even know where the list of names came from that he had been mailing, or how tightly qualified it was.

This is the biggest misconception about marketing that computer consulting firms have: Expecting too much too soon.

I’m amazed at the number of people who think they ought to be able to mail a letter or two and get such a huge stampede of new business that it will only take one or two mailings a year to buy a yacht and retire forever.

Of course, I have plenty of clients who have had dramatic results in a very short period of time. BUT, that is not the norm. Building a reputation for your company and securing a position in the marketplace take a lot of time and repetition. This client IS doing the right thing; my only fear is that he gives up too soon thinking he’s not making progress, which he certainly IS.

Second, a 1% to 3% response rate from cold prospects who have no earthly idea who you are in a high transaction service business is not only perfectly acceptable, it’s downright generous.  The average client in a computer consulting business could easily be worth $5,000 to $15,000 a year NOT counting referrals. And THAT is only if you do an okay job at servicing them. Mail 700 prospects with a 1% response rate and you get 7 new prospects. If you’re terrible at closing and only get 3 to buy, that’s $15,000 to $45,000 in NEW business from one mailing! Just try to get that type of return from any other investment you are making right now.

Another important lesson here is that the ONLY way to get good at marketing and developing campaigns that actually DO provide an above-average response and return is to do a lot of bad marketing. No one gets behind the wheel of a car the first time in their life and drives like Mario Andretti. If you want to get to the point where client attraction and marketing becomes easy and effortless, you have to constantly work at it; not just when you find the time or get so desperate for sales that you’re paying for groceries on credit cards.

Don’t fall into the trap of giving up when things don’t go perfect, or underestimating the number of campaigns and communications it will take to build your reputation in the marketplace. If you are going to do it, do it right.

Want To Know The Exact Marketing Strategies That Work Best For Attracting Profitable New 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.

What The Book “The 4-Hour Workweek” Is Really About

By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.

www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

As you may recall, last week I participated in hosting a teleseminar with Timothy Ferriss, author of the new hot-selling book, “The 4-Hour Workweek.” (Click here to download the mp3 recording of this teleseminar). Based on the e-mails and phone calls I received after this teleseminar, I can tell that Tim has really hit a nerve with his message – and a good nerve at that.

Some read the title of this book and think that it’s the new flavor of “get-rich-quick” schemes or “get skinny without diet or exercise.” And if you stopped at the title of the book, you may very well think that too.

But after cracking the cover and devouring the contents, the core message finally revealed itself to me.

This is not a book about living like a multi-millionaire, although there are succinct directions on how to do just that.

This is not a book about gaining freedom from your business, although there are plenty of how-to strategies to make you unnecessary to your own operations.

And this is not a book about how to live your life like a tango-dancing, world-traveling rock star, although he leads by example on how that can be achieved.

What this book is really about is challenging the beliefs that keep you locked into a self-imposed prison of scarcity, pain, and mediocrity.

This prison is not made of steel and concrete. It’s constructed of excuses, procrastination, complaining, self-pity, and negative thinking; and the warden is your own self-manufactured belief system.

So many people willfully sentence themselves to “hard times” behind the bars of these prisons by believing that they cannot make more money or that they cannot enjoy more freedom from their business because _____ (fill in the blank with your own person belief in these areas).

As Tim points out in his book, many people sacrifice a dream life they could have right now because they are chasing a “someday/maybe” goal that they think they have to achieve in order to be happy and successful OR because they simply haven’t even attempted to achieve it because they think it can’t be done.

Pity.

That’s why thousands of people are reading and recommending this book. It’s waking them up from their daily slumber of routine and obligation, and forcing them to take a fresh look at what they are doing and why they are doing it in the first place.

Why am I recommending it to all of my clients?

Because the #1 reason most computer consultants suffer from bad marketing, low income, and stagnant growth is due to limiting beliefs they hold to be true about their time (I don’t have time to do marketing), marketing itself (I’m a technician and everyone knows that technicians are bad at marketing), and about generating money (they think money is scarce, hard to come by, and somehow “evil” if it comes easy).
If you want to find out if you are clinging to beliefs that are limiting your success, growth, income and happiness, take a look at an area of your life that is less than perfect and ask yourself why. The belief will usually reveal itself in the form of a story or a label you’ve sewn on yourself.

In the 3-Hour Client Attraction and Marketing Blueprint seminars I’m currently hosting, I spend quite a bit of time dealing with self-limiting beliefs around marketing and making more money because THAT is the true root of all evil.

I can give everyone in attendance a marketing campaign or system that will, without a doubt, increase sales and deliver more clients. Honestly, that’s the easy part. The hard part for me is getting people to give up the hard-wired beliefs that trap them into behavior and routines that kill their income, freedom, and personal achievement.

I don’t try to teach them everything I can about building a marketing system – that’s what my Toolkit is for. What I DO achieve is the 2×4 to the head to wake them up from their daily slumber and get them to finally see a lighted path to the income and success they want from their business and – until my seminar – thought was so difficult to achieve.

If you want to join me at a 3-Hour Client Attraction and Marketing Blueprint Seminar, you will 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.

How One VAR Acquired 4 New Managed Services Contracts In Less Than 3 Weeks, With 6 More Lined Up To Buy!

By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.

www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

With managed services all the rage, many of my clients want me to provide them with campaigns and strategies for selling these services. To that end, I recently received the following e-mail from a client using my marketing strategies that demonstrates how he secured 4 new managed services contracts in less than 3 weeks time, with 6 more lined up to buy. First, read his story, and then read on to see my comments on how to make this happen for you…

Paul Miller“I am writing this letter to let you know that your Technology Marketing Tool Kit has been a great investment! It has helped us gain more face time with potential clients than ever before. We have been using the direct mail letters you gave us for three weeks, and we are about to close four new clients and have set up meetings with six more. I’m looking to gain $2,780 per month on managed services revenue alone, and who knows how much more on new projects being discussed! This is too easy 🙂 To date, I have had to hire another field engineer or else scale back on the sales calls. The “Get Out of Computer Trouble Free” card is the best. This card, coupled with the managed services mailing campaign you gave us has worked the best for us. We are going to start mailing campaigns using other materials in the kit, and I fully intend to give you feedback as we go. Tell your other clients this: Pick about 25 really good potential clients and mail the material to them in U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail flat-rate envelopes. Spend the $4.05 postage per envelope. I know it sounds expensive, but it will pay off! Make sure to include a special report in addition to whatever material they decide to use. I look forward to giving you additional feedback as we make progress.”

Sincerely, Paul Miller, Owner, NOW! Technical Solutions

Now, here’s how you can use this to improve the marketing for your own managed services program…

  1. Use multi-step direct mail. Many people think direct mail is too expensive and ineffective, but when done right, you will find it will give you a higher return on your marketing dollars over all other marketing outside of referrals. To do it right, pick a highly targeted list of prospects and mail them an offer to get their first service call free (the “Get Out of Computer Trouble Free” card mentioned by Paul). Make sure you put a deadline to respond in order to build urgency. But don’t stop there. Make sure you mail that same list at least 3 or 4 times within that month to remind them of the deadline. If they still don’t respond, put them into your monthly newsletter mailing (yes, you should be doing a monthly newsletter). As an aside, make sure you really understand how to write powerful, convincing sales copy. If you don’t know how, get help. Lackluster sales copy will kill a marketing campaign.
  2. Paul mentioned using Postal Priority Mail to send his initial letter; this is critical to the response he’s getting. One of the biggest hurdles you have to overcome in marketing is getting your prospects to open and read your communication, whether it’s direct mail, e-mail or even a phone call. Using priority envelopes is a great way to ensure the prospect will open your mail. Obviously, only use this for highly-qualified prospects.
  3. Include a free report instead of a brochure. Generally, brochures are the biggest waste of time and money in marketing because no one reads them. The free report mentioned by Paul is a buyer’s guide on how to find and hire an honest, reliable, and trustworthy computer consultant. This report educates the buyer, answers frequently asked questions, and overcomes many of the common sales objections buyers have to managed services and outsourcing their computer support. Not only does this further sell the prospect on buying from Paul, but it also injects a great deal of efficiency into the sales process because the prospect is pre-sold before he ever calls Paul. Also, the free report provides valuable information to the buyer and therefore, it is more likely to get read.

3 Ways To Double Or Triple The Revenue From Every Customer You Have

Free Articles On IT Marketing and Increasing IT Sales

By: Robin Robins,

Author and Founder of the Technology Marketing Toolkit System

At the time of writing this, the economy is tanking and everyone is looking for fast, easy ways to drive revenue. However, most IT businesses make the mistake of trying to find NEW customers and completely overlook the acres of diamonds in their own backyard. As Ron LeGrand says, they are “stepping over dollars to pick up dimes.”

In most cases, IT businesses make the mistake of thinking that if they provide really great service, it will make their customers want to spend more with them. While great service IS important, it isn’t a ‘cure-all’ to getting them to pay more. Here’s why:

  1. Customers forget to come back. How many times have you been overdue on an oil change or going to the dentist for a cleaning? If you’re being honest, it’s probably more often than not. Is that because you got bad service? Maybe, but the real reason is simply because you get busy and without someone nagging and reminding you, it goes on the backburner UNTIL it becomes urgent.
  2. They don’t understand everything you can do for them. This is a HUGE oversight of many IT firms; they assume their customers understand everything they provide because they’ve “told them once before.” Look, people are busy. They have the attention span of a gnat. Not only do you have to tell them, but you have to constantly REMIND them over and over again of how you can help them. Many of my clients have LOST customers because they went somewhere else for printing problems, software support (usually line of business software), telephone systems, etc., and ended up letting their competition in the door. Plus, just because someone says “no” right now doesn’t mean their situation won’t change in 3 to 6 months. Keep promoting!
  3. They don’t really understand the core value proposition of an offering, and therefore think they don’t need what you’re selling. This is purely poor salesmanship.

So how do you fix these things and secure more revenue from every customer you have?

#1. Add a subscription income element to everything you sell. Remember this: break-fix is a good way to go broke-fast. EVERYTHING you sell should have some kind of ongoing subscription to it. Not only will that keep your customers more loyal, but you’ll double or triple the lifetime value of every one you have. Some of the ways my clients are doing this is through managed services (of course) but also, spam filtering, web hosting services, hardware as a service, software as a service, leasing, managed backup, managed security services, telephone service and VoIP to name a few. Try to add as many ‘subscription income’ services as possible.

#2. Communicate with your customers on a MONTHLY basis, using both online and offline media. One of the best ways to do this is with a newsletter that is full of fun to read articles, photos, and personal stories about you, your staff and your customers. Every month, pick one client and write about their business and what you’ve done to help them run faster, better, and cheaper. Include photos of you and your staff going to conferences, promoting at a trade show, hanging out with clients, helping out a local charity, showing off your new company van, etc.  This will endear your readers to you and make people actually look forward to receiving your newsletter. And of course, take one product or service every month and write a promotion for it. Repetition is key!
All of this content can be posted on your blog, but it’s also very important to MAIL a copy to your clients because you will get a better overall response than just doing online and e-mail communications.  Here’s another little money-saving tip: many manufacturers and vendors will pay you cash to sponsor a section of your newsletter! Just offer to include a flyer or an article about their solution and you can use the money to pay for the printing and mailing.

#3. Put a formal referral system in place and actively promote it every chance you get. To make it really effective, integrate it into your monthly invoices and into your sales process. Offer a discount or a bonus if your client gives you the names of 3 or more of their friends and business colleagues, PLUS an additional gift or bonus if the people they refer actually buy. By offering a reward simply for giving the referral, you’ll capture more. Also, make sure you THANK people for sending you a referral and round back with them later on to let them know what happened with the person they referred. This is not only good manners, but it will make the person want to refer more people to you.

To learn more strategies for marketing your IT business and to claim a FREE audio training CD that will give you easy, proven, low-cost marketing strategies for selling more IT services, go to: www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com Supplies are limited.

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

There isn’t a technology company today that doesn’t want to do an e-mail newsletter. They’re easier to send than paper and ink versions, incredibly cheap, and much faster. However, e-mailing just any kind of junk to your clients is NOT a good idea, and it can have negative consequences, especially since many of your clients have paid you money to cut down on the number of spam e-mails they get, not add to the pile.

However, when done right, an e-mail newsletter can be a very valuable tool in your marketing arsenal. But before you hit “send”, make sure you’ve figured out how you are going to overcome the following 3 hurdles. You have to:

  1. Get your message read.
  2. Capture the recipient’s interest with a compelling offer or message.
  3. Get your recipient to respond, buy, or take action NOW.

Every month I review hundreds of e-mail campaigns for my clients. In almost every case, the company has not thought about much less addressed the above three issues. Let’s take the following e-mail promotion I received as an example (the name of the company and URL has been removed, but this format is one that I’ve seen frequently used):

Subject Line: Acme Company News – January 2006
—————————————————
Making IT Easy
January 2006 Newsletter
If you would like to be removed from
this list click here.
******************************
Business Technology Newsletter
******************************
Jan 26, 2006
Sign up at www.yoururlhere.com

Online newsletter version:
www.yoururlhere.com/somelink

New Ways To Stay Connected
We have several new ways for you to receive support. Thanks to a new technology we’ve implemented…
—————————————————

First of all, the subject line contains absolutely no benefit to the reader so it violates rule #1, get your message read. Unless I know that this newsletter is an amazing piece of journalistic material (and it’s not), I’m going to delete it immediately (which I did).

No one in today’s business world needs more “stuff” to read and sending a company newsletter that contains nothing but boring filler articles and content is a surefire way to put a virtual bullet in your campaign. We hardly have time to read the books and articles we actually want to read, let alone a newsletter full of self-serving information about your company.

If you get past the subject line, the first dozen lines are nothing but a waste of time. This content should have been included at the BOTTOM of the message, not at the top. Then, the headline of the first article is vague with no curiosity or self-interest. To top it all off, this entire newsletter was void of any offers, promotions, or reasons to respond. What makes this even worse is that this company sends out this SAME style communication every single month and in doing so, completely destroys any future chance of getting someone to actually read their newsletter. Once the recipient realizes this newsletter contains nothing they would be even remotely interested in reading, they will quickly opt out or delete it whenever another copy gets sent. Here is a revised version:

o.

—————————————————
Subject Line: <FirstName>, they’re coming in fast and furious…

Hi <FirstName>,

There has been a recent outbreak of incredibly devious viruses that are making their way past corporate firewalls and anti-virus software. We’ve detailed a quick report to update you on what these viruses are and 3 simple things you need to do right now to protect yourself.

To get the full story, click here now.

Dedicated to your protection,

Robin Robins
Computer Wizards R Us
—————————————————

I would then take them to a website that provides a short article on the viruses and recommendations for protecting a network or computer from them. Then, I would make an offer for a free network security audit or consultation that would only be made available to the first X people who respond to the article.

Here are 3 more tips for sending e-mail newsletters or promotions:

  1. ONLY send e-mails to people who have requested to receive information from you that way. Spamming clients who have not opted into your list online is a big no-no. Not only can it destroy client relationships, but it can also land you into legal trouble. Always include a free report or some other offer on your website to encourage visitors to give you their email address (opting in). To see an example, go to www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com. I offer a free CD as an ethical bribe to get visitors to opt in; they get some great information and I get the opportunity to develop them into a client.
  2. Personalize the subject line and body copy. This always increases the response to a campaign. I usewww.marketerschoice.com, but there are several good e-mail broadcasting systems that will allow you to personalize the message.
  3. Make the content interesting to read. This is probably one of the most difficult things to accomplish since most IT businesses are not great copy writers; however, if you are stuck for content, make your clients the stars. Include stories about them, what they do, and how you’ve helped them.

As a final note, e-mail newsletters are better than sending nothing but they cannot replace the power of paper and ink newsletters. In almost every case, printed newsletters outperform e-mail in terms of a financial response.

.

The Single Biggest Source Of Sales That AlmostEveryone Overlooks

The other day I got a call on my cell phone from Bank of America from a women who claims she helped me open my account roughly 14 years ago wanting to “get back in touch” and “see if there’s anything I can help you with.” Of course, I didn’t call her back, although I felt like ripping her a new one given that she’s NEVER, in 14 YEARS(!), reached out, sent a note or even a cheap Christmas card. Why she thinks I’ll cheerfully return her call to allow her to sell me something is beyond me — yet this is the SAME big mistake I see over and over again. Businesses that put ZERO effort into building a relationship with and staying in touch with their clients, who only reach out when they’re desperate to sell something. She doesn’t deserve my business.

To the point, I’ve seen a big number of clients have great success with conducting QBRs (quarterly business reviews, also called QTRs or quarterly technology reviews). Whether you’re calling it a review or simply calling to connect with your clients, if you’re NOT regularly talking to or meeting with your clients to discuss new ways you can assist, you ARE leaving a LOT of money on the table. Read full article and comment →

One Change That Could Triple Sales

Try offering a bonus gift with purchase. Yeah, I know… you’re too “cool” and professional to do that. Big mistake. We’ve test­ed and found that offering a free pair of Bose noise-cancelling headsets to anyone who signs up for the Done-For-You services has quadrupled sales — that’s FOUR TIMES the close rate, with no other change in the value build, pricing, presentation, etc. As always, TEST. Tell clients that if you can get started by X date, you’ll give them an iPad, Xbox or, heck, maybe try the Bose headset. The key is to make sure it’s a QUALITY gift — not some cheap, worthless piece of crap that nobody wants. Read full article and comment →

Stop Making These Mistakes When Using Testimonials!

One of the most important things your marketing must accomplish is establishing trust and credibility. We live in a very non-trusting society, and without earning a prospect’s trust, you won’t make the sale. One incredibly powerful tool for establishing trust is the use of an abundance of quality testimonials — yet I see so many businesses making the mistake of not having any testimonials, or only a handful of very weak, non-specific ones. Every testimonial should be written to accomplish one of two things: validate a claim or eliminate an objection. If you want to make your testimonials WORK, here are a few quick tips: Read full article and comment →

The Most Horrifying Word In E-mail Marketing

Not “spam” but “junk folder.” Okay, that’s two, but it’s my newsletter so I get a little poetic license. Trivial matters aside, study after study shows that the average click-thru rate for most e-mail is in the 2%-3% range, meaning a whopping 97%-98% never had a chance to connect with your recipient – and people aren’t just deleting you, they’re funneling your e-mail to their junk folder instead of opting out. There are a number of things you can do to improve your chances of getting your e-mail opened, read and acted on, including short subject lines with teaser copy, sending the message from someone they know and NOT a company name, messages that look like a personal message over an ad and making sure what you send them is not mindless fodder but interesting, relevant content. Read full article and comment →