Greg Magnus

AIM Custom Media Websites Blogs Glen Allen, VA 23059

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Promo Content Working Better Than Expected B2B

We all know that content is king, right? Not necessarily. Too much content performs poorly if the recipient doesn't have the time to read it. And, if the goal of your email marketing content is to sell then don't dismiss targeted B-to-B promotional copy. Here's my point.

B-to-B email marketing focuses heavily on relevant content – lots of info and educational flare. Is it working? Not as well as we think in all cases according to a recent study published by the MarketingSherpa, which provides an example where a merchandiser targeted and tested promotional content against informational content. The promotional content won with 89% more CTRs and five times more revenue! You can read the entire article here, Test Shows Promotional Content Beats Information (open access closes August 27).

Take aways from the full article:

  • People may not want to read about you products or services as much as you think. They might just want to buy them.
  • Discount offers or coupons are common nowadays so don't hesitate to use them; almost required to get attention.
  • Email marketing works best when the subject line text reflects the content closely. 
  • Don't abandon educational content but condense the info as much as possible; use only the most important aspects of the message you are communicating.

Also note there are two critical items associated with successful email marketing: testing and targeting. When you know your audience (targeting – list segmentation), you should be well aware of what he or she wants – make sure you know what they want (testing). And, let them know you value their time – quickly get to the point.

Top Grading for Small Business Owners Adding Staff

After marketing your company successfully, it grows. The following business article is for our clients in the process of adding to their staff. Our friend, Bill Boyer, contributed the article for publication here (his contact info can be found at the end of the article).

TOP GRADING

Top grading is a concept that has been used by some of the larger well-run companies (for example, GE and Allied Signal) for many years, but it is probably unknown by most smaller company CEO’s and owners.  However, it may be more important to the small company, especially at the initiation or expansion of the company, than it is for any of the major corporations.Top Grading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching, and Keeping the Right People, written by Bradford D. Smart, describes the process in detail.  Smart has been a guru of employment selection for over 35 years.  In this book, he details an extensive process for selecting employees.  This includes developing very specific performance objectives for each position, a detailed job description, and detailed interview processes.  Reference checks and background checks are critical.  In addition, he recommends giving a homework assignment to the finalists.  The goal of this assignment is to determine if the individual is a self-starter, and whether they are willing to roll up their sleeves and work for the job. Continue reading

Why Companies Are Moving Marketing Online The Emerging Trends

The amount of research supporting the effectiveness of online marketing is staggering yet many business owners are still unconvinced or just inadequately informed. If you are seriously looking for reasons to justify spending marketing dollars online, here are a few facts and trends to ponder:

Although most marketers allocate minuscule amounts of their budgets to their email efforts, the channel continues to deliver substantial returns on every dollar spent. According to the Direct Marketing Association, marketers spent $500 million on email in 2007 to capture an astronomical $23 billion in sales – yes, $23 billion in sales; that's not a typo.

The DMA forecasts:

  • During 2008 marketers will spend $600 million on email to drive $27 billion in sales; and
  • Email delivered $48.56 in sales for every dollar spent in 2007. A substantial return is also predicted for 2008; $45.65 for every dollar spent. More from the DMA is available here.)

The results are in. The success of online marketing is supported by reliable research reports and marketing pros have taken notice. In McKinsey's July 2007 global survey of marketers, more respondents used email than any other form of digital advertising. Some people still don't understand the value but those that do are moving online across the spectrum of marketing activities, from building awareness to after-sales service. They see online tools as an important and effective component of their marketing strategies

McKinsey survey of marketing executives reports that: Continue reading

AIM GeoTargeting Services

Now more than ever, when your prospects look for products and services locally they are turning to the web.

  • About 75% of US households use the web when seeking products or services locally.
  • 54% of search users no longer use the phone book.
  • Approx. 4 billion searches were conducted on Google in one month (July 2007)

These are qualified leads looking for the specific service or product you provide. What techniques can you use today to help them find you? This article here explains a few that will improve your local search results.

If you prefer to outsource this type of work, call AIM Custom Media – our GeoTargeting Services for local search let's them know you're in town.

What is AIM GeoTargeting? A program that drives local dollars to local businesses with an affordable internet marketing solution. One more thing, 78% more people are using the Internet to find a local business than they did just two years ago. Many small businesses have been slow to respond – don't wait until you lose market share. Get involved now and cherry pick ripe leads "looking" for, but not finding, you.

Contact us for details at 804-915-7379 or via email and we'll contact you.

Legal Sources For Free Stock Photos

As a custom publisher I'm always looking for images to use for client projects. Most often, our graphic artists will create a custom images that fits the purpose of the communication. Having the right image is important – savvy marketers know that 93% of communication is non-verbal and that your prospects and clients – are more effectively persuaded by solutions that they can see.

If you have a hobby site or more time than financial resources (i.e., it is better to outsource your graphics to a pro given their importance), then consider spending a few hours surfing for free images. Today, I stumbled upon this site with a great list of legal and free sources for stock photos. Here's an excerpt:

If you’ve ever tried to design a website or blog, you’ve probably felt the need to add images to your creation. It can be easy to see the Internet as a free-for-all, but images belong to the people who created them. Staying legal means you’ll have to either create your own images or buy them from stock sites. Fortunately, there are a number of sources for free images, and we’ve collected them here. So read on for 100 sources where you can find free stock images: and don’t worry — they’re all legal! << More Here >>

2008 Marketing Trends Survey

After listening to a teleseminar this afternoon – "Search Marketing Trends and Tactics" – it appears the obvious has been confirmed by marketing research; budgets for online SEO and related online marketing tactics will continue to increase. The data for the teleseminar was gathered from:

  • Surveys of 2,475 Search Engine Marketers and 711 SEM Agency Pros
  • Partnered Research
  • Lab Tests
  • In-depth Interviews with Survey Respondents
  • “Best of” Data from 500+ Research Orgs.

2008 Marketing Trends SurveyThe most interesting slide in the presentation shows the marketing pros perceived ROI for different marketing tactics. As the graphic on the right shows, house email marketing campaigns scored highest (click on the image to the right for full-size view).

Email is considered the strongest marketing tactic when compared to marketing tools such as SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (paid search marketing), public relations, direct mail, etc. 

Even though the proliferation of SPAM is reaching an all time high, email remains one of your best, and most cost-effective, tools when marketing directly to your existing customers and your extended target market.

There are several ways to effectively reach your target market online: email newsletters, PR campaigns using social networks, a blog with email capabilities, etc. As a former owner of multiple publishing companies, I have worked on marketing campaigns within a variety of industries. Each industry has unique characteristics and often it is best to collaborate with specialists to plan and implement effective strategies.

If you need help managing a proactive online marketing strategy, feel free to contact us for a free telephone consultation. Enhancing your ability to communicate with your target market can start today with a phone call (804-915-7379). Whatever questions you have – no strings attached.

Additional Resources

2008 Search Marketing Trends and Tactics
(MarketingSherpa teleseminar slides)

Mercedes-Benz Club Newsletter
(sample email newsletter designed & managed by eoecho.com)

AMG Market | Mercedes-Benz Enthusiasts
(sample blog designed and managed by eoecho.com)

Exhibitor's Journal

The Benefits of Direct Response Marketing

Direct response marketing is a key component of any marketing plan in today's business world. When looking for immediate feedback, which should always be measured, direct response marketing strategies are preferred especially when it comes to trade show marketing.

Our friends over at ExhibitorsJournal.com posted a nice piece on the benefits of direct response marketing for those interested. Here's an excerpt:

For any business, it is crucial to market yourself and your “brand” to a target audience. One way this can be achieved is through direct response marketing, which is a form of marketing that is designed to achieve a direct and immediate response. Obtaining an immediate reaction can be especially important when it comes to trade show displays. Your first impression is often what detours or attracts future clients. But how does one attract the right potential clients for their business; their “brand.”

This is where direct response marketing comes in…

Targeting the right audience is one of the most important aspects of direct response marketing. In fact, experts calculate that 40% of the battle in obtaining the desired response is based on. . . . << MORE >>

Do you have a direct response marketing strategy that works? If so, please leave a comment for our readers. Thanks!

New Friend Features From Wink

Wink is a great place to track your "places on the web" for sharing with your friends. Here is an update from the folks at Wink that I rec'd today:

New Friend Features from Wink!
A fun way to keep in touch…

We here at Wink have added some cool new features to help you keep in touch with your friends online… no matter where they are.

New stuff at Wink!

1. Claim a Wink Profile.  Search for yourself on Wink and claim the profile that comes up if it's you.  If not, create a new profile and fill in with a photo, location, interests, whatever you like.
2. Add Places.  Add in some of the places you hang out on-line. Social networks, blogs, feeds, etc.  Your page now contains a feed of things you post or do at these places.
3. Add Friends. See which of your friends are on Wink by checking your address book.  Invite any friends that aren't already on Wink. Add people you find on Wink, regardless of what social network they use.
4. Keep Track of your Friends.  Wink shows you a feed of what all  your friends are doing or posting.  Blog posts, Twitters, Diggs, etc. If anyone is too prolific for your tastes, you can remove any of their places from the feed.

My Wink page is here: http://wink.com/profile/eoecho

Tips For Your Proposal Graphics and Oral Presentations

The graphics (visuals) we use in our sales and marketing presentations are often gathered from canned material we use in our written proposals. But most visuals in a written proposal are far too detailed, wordy, and difficult to read when used in an oral presentation.

You’ll be far better off, and you'll save time and resources, if the graphics for both your written and oral proposals are developed from the start to serve both purposes. Here are a few quick tips when preparing your proposals and presentations:

  • Establish a working meeting for your writing/production and presentation team early in the process to ensure that what’s written is optimized by the oral presentation.
  • Provide the presenters with everything they need to know before they prepare their first draft of any oral presentation.
  • Develop graphics for your written proposals knowing that they will also be used during the  oral presentation.
  • Understand that the graphics will be enhanced during oral presentation given non-verbal communication and other delivery techniques will have a measurable impact on evaluators.
  • Role-play to anticipate the evaluators’ questions and reactions through an effective simulation (make it fun so everyone is relaxed).

Additional Resources

eoecho.com | custom publishing: we provide proposal support that reduces the load on your staff when large proposals are due. In addition, we can provide two-person teams (writers, proposal managers, etc.) and the publishing support needed for both written and oral proposals. Ph: 804-915-7379

If you are in the Washington, DC area, consider this seminar ($65 per person) hosted by the APMP-NCA (Association of Proposal Management Professionals, National Capital Area Chapter):

May 23rd Roundtable
The Blended Bid: Synergizing the Written Proposal and Oral Presentation
APMP-NCA’s May Roundtable
Time: 5:30 – 8:30 PM
Fairview Park Marriott, Falls Church, VA

Giving Away Memberships Helps Rocket Premium Subscriptions

Should you give away some content to increase the number of people paying for your site's premier content? MarketingSherpa just released a case study that discusses how Linden Lab tested and implemented this tactic to radically improve its paid membership rates. This is the link to the report.

TOP 10 Picks for 2007 – Emerging Technologies

Desktop software that allows musicians to play in sync over the internet – as if they are in the same studio – is one of many emerging technologies demonstrated at DEMO 2007 this year. Head on over to Read/Write Web's post for their TOP 10 Picks From DEMO 2007. You won't be disappointed.

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