Last week, I had a great opportunity to share my latest webinar, Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy in these Uncertain Times as part of the Verizon Small Business Webinar Series. I was so inundated with questions at the end of my talk that I promised to answer the remaining questions this week on my blog. Here are 15 questions and answers on digital marketing success from the Verizon Small Business Webinar Series Q&A session with Melinda Emerson.
Digital Marketing Strategy Q&A
Q: How do you feel the business environment will change coming out of the pandemic?
A: Digital marketing will be more important than ever. Cashless payments will be even more prevalent. Everyone is spending a lot more time online, which means your digital marketing strategy will be essential to your business success. Your powerful, unique value position is more important now than ever before. Then, focus on your website, landing pages, email list, and nurture sequences to build trust and drive sales.
Q: Are people using email more often now?
A: Yes! According to a new study just released this week by Hubspot, email use is up 50 percent across the board.
Q: I use MailChimp, and I have about 4600 emails on that list. Over the years, I had just kept adding (with their permission), but I was not segmenting them. Is there an efficient way to segment/clean this up without going through each and every one individually?
A: This is a common issue. My best suggestion for you is to do a 5-7 question survey that helps you find out who is on your list. Offer an incentive for completion such as a free ebook or to be included in a raffle for a bigger gift such as a laptop or iPad.
Q: We currently utilize LinkedIn Lead Generation Ads, and we see a lot of ghosting when we send emails after they fill out a lead gen form. Do you recommend a better way to reach out to them?
A: There’s a lot of aggressive lead gen activity going on using LinkedIn right now. People are tired of it. You are probably experiencing the backlash from it. Once you make a connection on LinkedIn, you must personalize all further communication. You need to add value to consistently build trust. Only once you get them to trust you should you make a pitch for the business. If you pitch too quickly, people will run.
Q: How do I check my email Gmail metrics like open clicks, etc.?
A: The only way I know to check your email metrics on a personal Gmail account is to use the app MixMax. It integrates seamlessly with Gmail and offers marketing automation features like 1-click scheduling, email tracking, templates, CRM sync, direct dial from Gmail, and email sequencing for drip or nurture campaigns. You could also just upgrade to G Suite Mail for Business at $15/month.
Q: Could you explain what a lead magnet is?
A: A lead magnet is an irresistible free offer that provides a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information. The goal of the lead magnet is to maximize the number of targeted leads you are getting on your email list for an offer. Here are a few examples: Ebook, Video series, Free Chapters of a Book, Resource List, Checklist.
Q: What software do you recommend for lead magnets?
A: I like Leadpages.com for the development of landing pages to promote your lead magnets on your website. And for developing your lead magnets, try designrr.io. It’s one of the best tools to create how-to guides, checklists, and ebooks in minutes. You’ll also need email marketing software to send your lead magnet to your prospects. I suggest using constantcontact.com, MailChimp or activecampaign.com
Q: How do you find the right person to help you with your social media campaign?
A: Talk to other business owners about who they use. Go out to social media to find a recommendation. Upwork.com, LinkedIn, and Twitter are great resources.
Q: I normally send my messages using MailChimp. What message should I send to my customers? I normally book weddings, concerts, proms, wine tasting events, corporate events, birthdays, and airport rides, etc.
A: Look for drive-through activities to share. People are going through a lot right now. Share other kinds of helpful information such as blog articles, recipes, pictures from previous events, fun activities people can still do with their kids at home. By the way, anniversary reminders and birthday greetings are still nice to receive.
Q: As a service producer, what calls-to-action do you recommend?
A: On all your landing pages on your website, you need to tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do—in big, bold, colorful text. My favorite CTAs include: “Get Started Today,” “Buy Now,” “Click to Schedule an Appointment” or “Download Your Free Marketing Guide.” Avoid vague copy like “See Plans” or “Get Pricing.”
Q: What is a good profit margin when we now have to/have to try to offer free shipping?
A: If you are offering free shipping, just make sure it’s not eating all your profit margin. Raise your price to cover the cost.
Q: What is the best approach to continue sales marketing for an art organization?
A: Art is a luxury purchase. I think you might need to take a social good approach to drive traffic to your website. Either you can donate 10 percent of all sales to a charity to support COVID-19 testing or to support your local health care workers, or try an auction event. I suggest that you auction off a really pricey piece of art with all of the proceeds to be donated to a pandemic cause.
Q: Do you think this strategy applies well to design consulting services or a nonprofit?
A: Yes! No matter what you sell, whether it is products or services or even if you are a nonprofit organization, you need a new digital marketing strategy in these uncertain times. Everyone is spending more time online, and you should too.
Q: Can you elaborate on those different email marketing automation options?
A: Here email a few email options:
- ConstantContact: Makes its service simple for even the non-techy business owner to use. They have a no contract, 60-day free membership, and offer helpful drag and drop templates. They also have an upgrade service that offers full marketing automation services.
- Mailchimp: They offer a free plan, with which you can send up to 10,000 emails a month to 2,000 subscribers. Their tools, templates, and built-in CRM are all accessible on this free account. This is a good all-in-one solution. They also have pay-as-you-go options, which work out to be cheaper for low-volume clients, whilst also giving you some included extras such as automation and integration options.
- G Suite: Google Mail for Business: If you have a Gmail account for personal email, you might want to upgrade to Google’s G Suite Mail for Business. The G Suite Basic Business email accounts drop the ads and allow using a custom email address on your domain. They also offer 30 GB of storage, video, and voice conferencing, secure team messaging, shared calendars, Google Docs, 24/7 support by phone, email, and online, security, and administration options.
Q: What are the most compelling tactics you have seen in your experience for the lowest budget?
A: The most compelling social marketing tactics that I’ve seen work are these five in no particular order.
- Long-form blogging (1200-1500 word posts)
- Focusing on no more than two social channels
- Intro and exit pop-ups on your site
- Facebook Ads
Don’t forget to grab your copy of my new Ebook, “How to Recession-Proof Your Small Business.” It will help you with your digital marketing strategy and put you on a path to a successful business post-COVID-19. If you are looking for an agency to handle your content marketing and daily social media marketing, the firm I use is Virtasktic. Tell em SmallBizLady sent you.