the internet ideas blog

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring Snow

It's not very often that I post more personal items (you can get more of that on twitter) but I thought it might be fun to show you the snow we had overnight. This is the view outside my home's front window. I think it's about 6 inches and still coming down.

Hope your day is full of warm thoughts and internal sunshine.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Forget the Hype

Just about every business on the internet states, in some way or another, that they are the best for their particular product or service. Baloney! Companies all over the world will go to great lengths to developing and tweaking their product delivery, marketing, customer service etc. but fail when it comes to knowing their value statement.
A value statement is your unique selling proposition. It's the one thing that you can definitavely say sets you apart from the others.

Think of the tag line for these well known companies:
- Subway: Eat Fresh!
- Walmart: Everyday low prices.
- BMW: The ultimate driving machine.
- Avis: We try harder.
- Domino Pizza: We deliver hot, fresh pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.

What do these phrases say to you? It's a defining statement that promises (from subway) you'll always have a fresh sandwich. This is similar to your "elevator speech" but different in that the value proposition is the major difference between you and the next widget salesperson. Your value proposition should contain quantitative statements about the uniqueness of your business

Take a few moments today to define your value proposition. Think about your customer and what problems they face. Brainstorm with your team to discover those elements of business in which you truly excell to solve the needs of your customer. Think about the single most important reason people should buy from you above everyone else.
Once you think you've got it figured out, add your value proposition to the first page of your website as a headline and see how the public responds in terms of an increase in leads or sales.
This isn't the easiest task in the world, most of the time when I ask a client to come up with their value proposition I'm met with blank stares but once discovered, it turns into the one idea that the entire staff can get behind.

Need help with yours?
Contact me!

Monday, March 16, 2009

What's unsubscribe worth?

When sending out an email campaign most people focus on the open and click-thru rates. While you should be happy when your unsubscribe rate is under 1%, do you really know what that action is worth?

People who unsubscribe to your email felt that the message they received wasn't relevant to them. Worse than the "unsubscribers" are the "mark as spam" users. These recipients were so unimpressed by the email that was sent they simply mark the email as spam (which gets reported to the ISP, who could restrict your message from getting to recipients at all).

It's easy to ignore the unsubscribers but, it's like that old saying: "If one person complains to the company than 100 felt the same way but didn't complain." The unsubscribers are even more dangerous than you think. Because the web is such a social tool, the fact that your message didn't appeal to them will cause each person who unsubscribes to to tell at least 10 other people about the "bad" email that was sent.

The best way to combat unsubscribers is to have an eye catching headline followed by quality information that will appeal across the range of subscribers. If you do loose a subscriber then it's up to you to bring them back before they spread the word. Suggestion: try emailing them personally and offer them an incentive to rejoin / ask them what they found not appealing. Realize that your email may go unanswered but at least you've shown that you are genuinely interested in their opinion, which goes miles towards great customer service.

If you need help with any of your email campaigns, please contact me for a complimentary email review.
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