Marketing-assessment

Do You Have an Effective Call to Action on Your Website?

February 26, 2013 by Peg McDermott Leave a Comment

There are a lot of good businesses out there, businesses that provide great products or useful services. However, many of these companies fail due to not being able to get potential customers to act. It's hard enough to get people interested in your business, but interest is not enough. Once you get people to your website, you have to have an effective call to action to convince them that right now is the time to take advantage of what you have to offer.

When you're trying to nudge people into acting now rather than later, word choice matters. The first task in choosing the right words is to define what you want the end result to be. This needs to be specific and immediate; yes, you want to get great revenue figures, but what is the first step in that? Convincing people to download your ebook? Getting them to sign up for your newsletter? Having them browse through your online store? Your call to action needs to be about what your audience can do today, right now, to help you help them.

Once you have your immediate goal defined, explain to your audience in concise terms how following your call to action will benefit them. What will your product or service do for them, that they would want to sign up right away? How will it make their life easier? What interesting or desirable thing will it accomplish?

After you've made the benefits clear, it's time to choose the appropriate words to get the reader to act. Presenting your business and its benefits in a polite and professional manner is fine, but you need strong action verbs to get people to make the move from reading to doing. Work those action verbs into short, easy-to-digest phrases that make it instantly clear to the reader what action they should take next. Here are some tried-and-tested examples:

* Click here to try it!

* Sign up today!

* Order yours now!

* Subscribe here!

* Download now!

You'll also want to tell your reader why they need to engage in the desired action immediately. If they feel like they can come back at any time, they're more likely to put it off and then forget about it. Having offers available only for a limited time, or to the first X number of people who subscribe, will make people more likely to take advantage of those offers while they still can.

Have a look over the call to action on your website. Is it performing as well as you would like? What changes could you make to create a stronger, more effective call?

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Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert, Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. Find her on Google Plus, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Tagged With: website, blogging

How to Set Up a Pinterest Page for Your Business

February 19, 2013 by Peg McDermott Leave a Comment

Late last year, Pinterest finally gave businesses the option to open a business account. This is a big deal for several reasons. One, you can actually use your business name rather than a first and last name for the account. Two, there are tools available that can help tie your Pinterest account to your brand, like follow buttons, "Pin It" buttons to help visitors share images from your site, and widgets that allow you to display Pinterest board previews directly on your website. Three, Pinterest is providing educational tools to help businesses learn how to get the most out of Pinterest-based branding.

The first step, however, is to get your business account set up, and how you go about that depends on whether you're starting from scratch with a new account, or whether you started out before actual business accounts were available and need to convert a personal account to a business account. You may also choose to leave your personal account personal, and open up a second account for your business.

If you've already been using a personal Pinterest account for your company and are worried about the changes that will happen if you switch, rest assured that everything looks pretty much the same. The difference in business accounts is primarily on the back end, in the way you interact with Pinterest and the tools they provide for you to monitor and market your account. To convert your account, all you have to do is visit the Pinterest business center and click on the red button at the top that says, "convert your existing account." If you don't have a Pinterest account and simply want to create one for your business, click the other link that says, "join as a business." Both of these links will take you through the process of setting up your account, with the main difference being that you'll have to select a username if you're setting up an account for the first time.

Of course, just because you can convert an existing personal account to a business one doesn't mean you have to. If you were using one account as a combination personal and business account and you don't want to get rid of the personal content, then by all means, open up a separate business account and keep your personal one personal. Keep in mind, though, that the new account will start with zero followers, so convincing people to add you on both accounts may be tricky.

Do you have a Pinterest business account? Are you making good use of the tools the site provides for business owners?

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Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert, Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google Plus, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Tagged With: Pinterest

4 Tips to Get More Followers for Your Blog

February 12, 2013 by Peg McDermott Leave a Comment


If you've started a blog for your website, you've taken an important step in your marketing journey. However, in order for that step to benefit your business, you have to find ways to get people reading the blog posts you write. Here are four things to keep in mind, both when you're writing your blog, and when you're trying to find effective ways to promote it.

Tagged With: blogging

How Should you Respond to New Subscribers?

February 05, 2013 by Peg McDermott Leave a Comment

If e-mail marketing is an essential part of your online strategy, then having the right autoresponder service is also essential. As switching autoresponders is such a pain and can cause you to lose a lot of subscribers, it's important to do your research first before you commit to a service.

AWeber
AWeber is pretty much the go-to name in autoresponders. Their list of features is impressive, as is their base price of $19 per month, but the tricky part is what happens when your subscriber list grows. The first 500 subscribers are included in the price, but for larger lists of 10,000 or more, the additional monthly fees can drive your cost up to nearly $150 a month. They do have a $1 30-day trial, though, so you can try the service out for virtually no risk.

MailChimp
What MailChimp has going for it is superior design tools, so if the look and feel of your emails is important, this might be the service for you. On the down side, there is no phone support like with AWeber, and affiliate marketing is not allowed. MailChimp is mostly free if your subscriber list is under 2,000, but autoresponder management does not come included with the free version of the service.

Constant Contact
Constant Contact is probably the most comparable to AWeber in terms of features, but is scaled up to attract larger businesses, whereas AWeber is more for single-person marketing efforts. There is more of a learning curve with the Constant Contact system than there is with AWeber, but not ridiculously so, and if your company is going to be a power user with huge subscriber lists, Constant Contact may be the better choice for you.

1ShoppingCart
The main advantage to 1ShoppingCart is that it provides an all-in-one e-commerce solution. As the name suggests, their main product is a shopping cart, along with affiliate features and delivery of paid digital downloads. As such, their autoresponder add-on service is more of an afterthought, so if the autoresponder itself is the thing you're most interested in, 1ShoppingCart may not be right for you. However, if you really need an integrated online shopping system that includes an autoresponder, then this is definitely an easier solution than purchasing the various services separately.

In short, AWeber is good for most, but for small subscriber lists where cost is a factor, MailChimp is a reasonable and affordable choice. Larger companies with a lot of subscribers may want to go with Constant Contact, and those looking for an integrated e-commerce solution will want to give 1ShoppingCart a try.

Do you have an autoresponder service you use? What are its pros and cons?

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Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert, Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +, Twitter, and Linkedin.

Find her on Google Plus, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Tagged With: Email Marketing

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