Why eNewsletters are my favourite marketing tool

With only around 4% of people who like your Facebook page seeing your posts in their News Feeds (unless you pay) and this number shrinking – here is why the eNewsletter will be your favourite marketing tool.

The #1 reason I love eNewsletters is because they remind you to build your marketing GOLD.

What is your marketing GOLD?

Your email list.

You can’t control Facebook and it’s costly to play. Plus you don’t own anything on Facebook. You own your email list – so treat it like the pot of gold that it is. Here’s 3 reasons why:

  1. Low cost – when you collect an email address, add it to your list and use it keep in touch with your customers and prospects – no $$ necessary (just time) until you build up your database.
  2. High effect – the average open rate for emails is 22% by your customers and qualified leads – compared with 6% reach to Facebook fans who may not even be your target market.
  3. Low risk – you own your email list and no-one else controls it – it’s yours. You control your message, the timing of when it’s received and who sees it.

So, now you know why eNewsletters rule – here’s 7 reasons to have one:

  1. Generate sales leads
  2. Increase traffic to your website
  3. Communicate your promotional messages
  4. Tell people about your product or service
  5. Connect with your customers and prospects – get them to like you
  6. Build loyalty with your target market – gain their trust
  7. Boost your credibility – earn their respect

Now 7 tips for how to do one…

  1. Be helpful – your content must be useful or it won’t get read. Yes, it’s easier to write the promotional stuff you want people to know about, but think about it from your audience’s point of view if you want them to read it.
  2. Tell stories – start with your story and your clients’ stories. As a wise friend told me: “Your story needs to connect with others so they can feel you.” People don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it! Start writing the words “I believe…” – then fill in the blanks to explain why you do what you do.
  3. Be regular – commit to how often you will send your Newsletter and tell your audience. This creates expectation and trust. Stick to your schedule if you want your email marketing to work.
  4. Use your own voice – write like you speak. Record yourself talking your content, then transcribe it. Your voice needs to show up in your writing so people recognise you as being authentic.
  5. Use strong calls to action – ask your readers to do something specific. Tell them to click here and why. Use hyperlinks to your website. Ask them to reply to your email and why.
  6. Write good subject lines – when MailChimp analysed more than 40 million emails sent by their users, they found the secret formula for subject lines: Don’t write ‘sales-y’! Anything that even hints of spam gets thrown away immediately. Just describe the subject of your email. For instance – “(Your business name) Newsletter – April 2014”.
  7. Use MailChimp – there are countless email marketing programs around, but MailChimp is one of the most popular and easy to use, plus you can use it for free until you reach 2,000 subscribers.

Yes, Newsletters can be time consuming, but I believe done right, they could be your #1 marketing tool. Remember to measure your results – MailChimp offers detailed reports and check your website analytics to see which stories and links are working best. In the end, it’s about getting more leads and sales for your business.

Here are some links for more information:

  1. For how to grow your email list with social media click here
  2. For email campaign results by industry – average open rates, etc. click here
  3. Subject line comparison results – how to write a good subject line click here

Leave me a reply below with your questions and comments!

The secret to optimising your blog for search engines

Optimising your blog and website copy for search engines like Google is based on the simple rule that what you write is easy for both your audience and search engines to read. The old days of stuffing keywords into your copywriting are over. These days the key is to write naturally to appeal to your target audience with content that is relevant and informative. When you have an idea for your blog post, here’s what you can do to optimise it:

Identify your keywords

Log into Google AdWords – go to the ‘Tools and Analysis’ tab and choose Keyword Planner. Type in your product or service, website address and product/service category – then click ‘Get Ideas’. Google will display a list you can download and save as an Excel file to play with.

Keywords must be relevant and popular. Identifying your relevant keywords should be easy – they’re obvious. To identify popular keywords, look at the Google Keyword Planner columns called ‘average monthly searches’ and ‘competition’ to find out how many people are typing your most relevant keywords into the Google search bar.

For instance, if you’re an Au-Pair agency like my client, how do you find your relevant keywords? This one’s a little trickier because the natural keyword ‘Au-Pair’ contains upper case letters and a hyphen. Google’s system doesn’t recognise any difference between uppercase and lowercase letters, and hyphens in keywords are treated as spaces. So the keyword is ‘au pair’.

After downloading the excel file of keywords in Google’s list, sort the competition column by largest to smallest (the larger the number, the higher the competition for that search term). Now you’ve got your own list of keywords to use in your writing.

Use Long Tail Keywords

Instead of trying to rank for highly competitive search terms such as ‘au pair’, ‘au pair Australia’, or ‘au pair agency’, using long-tail keywords lets you get better rankings easier for your unique keywords, with lower competition. A long-tail keyword for my client could be ‘au pair help at home’ or ‘au pair agency Australia’. As long as your keywords are near each other, they don’t have to be grouped together either.

Don’t overdo it – just choose one or two long tail keywords per blog entry because keyword stuffing is history, remember. Enjoy your keyword research and think ‘natural’ like a search engine!

What questions do you have about identifying the best keywords for your business?

How to hustle your content

“Content marketing excellence is the result of the successful intersection of search engines, social media, email, content and blogging. Done well it is a multidisciplinary approach to the challenge of making your content as visible to as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.”

This quote by Jeff Bullas – my favourite blogger, strategist and author on content marketing, social media and online marketing. In his latest blog, Jeff explains the one big thing some of the best content marketers forget and it’s how to hustle their content.

Optimising for search engines, publishing to Facebook and other social media platforms, Tweeting repeatedly and emailing your list. Jeff summarises how you can get people to see what you’re posting on your website and blog.

Engaging email is trustworthy, relevant and conversational

Here are my top takeaway points from today’s ‘engaging email marketing’ webinar by Marketo:

  • Email messages need to be engaging to be absorbed.
  • Engaging email is trustworthy, relevant and conversational.
  • Build trust by setting expectations and maintaining them – tell your audience how often they’re going to get emails from you, what to expect, what types of content to expect, who it’s going to come from and what the subject lines are going to be like – then maintain the expectations you set.
  • Tell your new subscribers to check their email for your welcome email  – tell them who it’s going to be from and what it’s going to say.
  • Always stay relevant – make sure your messages are not too broad, be as targeted with your content as possible and segment your lists!
  • The key to relevance is behavioural targeting – this shows what your subscribers are actually interested in and can increase engagement by 50% or more.
  • Your email subject line is really important – how you word it depends on your marketing goal – you have to test and see what works best for your audience.
  • The optimal length for subject lines is between 30 and 50 characters – longer gets cut off in your inbox.
  • You need to have conversations that flow from one communication to the next… not just campaigns.
  • Listen and adapt to your audience.

You can download Marketo’s free report on engaging email marketing here http://au.marketo.com/definitive-guides/engaging-email-marketing/

Lighten up on sales messages and help people

In his new book Launch, Michael A. Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner, says lightening up on your sales message and helping your target audience with great content is the key to social media success.

Michael offers the elevation principle in a simple formula:
GC + OP – MM = G
Spelled out, the formula reads: ‘‘Great Content’’ plus ‘‘Other People’’ minus ‘‘Marketing Messages’’ equals ‘‘Growth’’

Launch book cover

The idea is to gain your market’s trust and attention by giving them information that is helpful and appealing to them, instead of giving them your sales pitch.

This is a highly cost effective marketing tool if done right, as Michael explains. It just requires research into what your audience wants to know. Then some creative planning to deliver it to them in an engaging way at the right time of day via the right social media.

Basically, Michael says: “Your goal should be to trigger this thought in the minds of people:

‘‘If their content is this good, how much more valuable would their products or services be?’’ Triggering the ‘‘how much more?’’ question is highly desirable and will help turn lurkers into customers.”

Click here to read the first chapter of Launch and get more detail on this powerful marketing concept.

Engaging your audience with social media

The power of social media to engage and connect with your target audience cannot be ignored by anyone marketing a business today. Public relations people and publicists know offering informative and entertaining content that’s relevant and timely is the key to getting valuable free editorial coverage . The same goes for social media marketing – because offering content that is informative, entertaining and ever-changing is the key to engaging with your audience. Engaging first and selling later is the main principle of social media marketing.

Major brands Coca Cola and Starbucks are said to have five times more traffic to their Facebook fan pages than to their websites. That’s why investing in your social media presence is so important for today’s marketer.  To learn more about social media, a fantastic place to start is by subscribing to Social Media Examiner.

If you don’t have time to learn all about social media and use it to generate leads, then you can hire a social media manager to set you up, train you up, or do it for you.

 

 

 

The right attitude for getting publicity

The right attitude for getting publicity
To get media publicity, you have to have the right attitude. In fact, your attitude is more important than your aptitude, says US book publicist Jodee Blanco says in The Complete Guide to Book Publicity.
Link http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-Book-Publicity/dp/158115349X
Having the right attitude starts with understanding how you can develop a win-win relationship with the media. Unlike advertising, you can’t buy editorial space – you have to earn it.
This means researching the media outlet you are approaching with a well-considered story idea that will appeal to their audience. You earn publicity by helping journalists do their jobs. The win-win comes when you get valuable free coverage money can’t buy and the journalist gets a story.
As Jodee Blanco says: “Many novices are either too tentative or overly cocky on the phone…”  The key is being confident enough to sell your pitch while understanding the media don’t owe you anything. You are trying to help them do their job.
It’s your preparation that brings confidence.
The other key factor to having the right attitude is overcoming fear of rejection. Your book won’t be right for every media outlet, no matter how convinced you are otherwise. When you get no interest or no reply from the media (because it will happen), don’t take it personally. Understand journalists are always busy and are only interested in story ideas that make their jobs easier. It’s not a direct criticism of you or your book. It’s just about finding the right fit with the right media for your topic.
Yours in book publicity
Chelsea McLean

To get media publicity, you have to have the right attitude. In fact, your attitude is more important than your aptitude, says US book publicist Jodee Blanco in The Complete Guide to Book Publicity, available on Amazon.

Having the right attitude starts with understanding how you can develop a win-win relationship with the media. Unlike advertising, you can’t buy editorial space – you have to earn it.

This means researching the media outlet you are approaching with a well-considered story idea that will appeal to their audience. You earn publicity by helping journalists do their jobs. The win-win comes when you get valuable free coverage money can’t buy and the journalist gets a story.

As Jodee Blanco says: “Many novices are either too tentative or overly cocky on the phone…”  The key is being confident enough to sell your pitch while understanding the media don’t owe you anything. You are trying to help them do their job.

It’s your preparation that brings confidence.

The other key factor to having the right attitude is overcoming fear of rejection. Your book won’t be right for every media outlet, no matter how convinced you are otherwise. When you get no interest or no reply from the media (because it will happen), don’t take it personally. Understand journalists are always busy and are only interested in story ideas that make their jobs easier. It’s not a direct criticism of you or your book. It’s just about finding the right fit with the right media for your topic.

Yours in book publicity

Chelsea McLean

#1 book marketing strategy – from co-author of Australia’s bestselling book of 2008

It pays to listen when bestselling Australian author Rachael Bermingham gives book marketing advice. Recently Rachael spoke at a breakfast event organised by Terri Cooper to share how she came to write and publish four bestselling books in four years, including the mega-successful 4 Ingredients.
When I asked Rachael about her most effective book marketing strategy, she was quick to reply with this ‘zero-cost’ technique:
1. Write a kick-ass media release that is eye-catching – don’t be afraid to break the rules and use colours, images, bold and italics to capture the media’s attention.
2. After you send the release, personally call everyone you sent it to within 48 hours.
3. When you get a journalist on the phone, say you are calling to see if they received your media release. If not, tell them about your book.
4. Tell a story and explain how your book benefits people. Don’t ever sell your book – instead, get the right angle for a topic that will engage the media audience.
5. Make it about the community – what they want and need. Appeal to people’s emotions.
6. Watch the media and comment on what is happening within your area of expertise.
You have to sell 300,000 copies to have a bestselling book in Australia. Rachael and her co-author Kim McCosker sold over 950,000 copies of 4 Ingredients 1 which was named bestselling book of 2008 in Australia. You can see their hugely successful media release here
Insert link to Word doc – media release
And you can get the book’s media kit and more on 4 Ingredients 2 and 4 Ingredients Gluten Free here
http://www.4ingredients.com.au/page/media.html
Rachel has also self-published ‘How to write your own book & make it a BESTSELLER’ which is full of secrets for how to make your book into a bestseller.
www.HowToWriteYourOwnBook.com.au
Yours in book publicity
Chelsea McLean

It pays to listen when bestselling Australian author Rachael Bermingham gives book marketing advice. Recently Rachael spoke at a breakfast event organised by Terri Cooper to share how she came to write and publish four bestselling books in four years, including the mega-successful 4 Ingredients. 4 Ingredients Low Res

When I asked Rachael about her most effective book marketing strategy, she was quick to reply with this ‘zero-cost’ technique:

  1. Write a kick-ass media release that is eye-catching – don’t be afraid to break the rules and use colours, images, bold and italics to capture the media’s attention.
  2. After you send the release, personally call everyone you sent it to within 48 hours.
  3. When you get a journalist on the phone, say you are calling to see if they received your media release. If not, tell them about your book.
  4. Tell a story and explain how your book benefits people. Don’t ever sell your book – instead, get the right angle for a topic that will engage the media audience.
  5. Make it about the community – what they want and need. Appeal to people’s emotions.
  6. Watch the media and comment on what is happening within your area of expertise.

You have to sell 300,000 copies to have a bestselling book in Australia. Rachael and her co-author Kim McCosker sold over 950,000 copies of 4 Ingredients 1 which was named bestselling book of 2008 in Australia. You can see their hugely successful media release here –

Sample media release – 4 ingredients Rachael Bermingham and Kim McCosker

And you can get the book’s media kit and more on 4 Ingredients 2 and 4 Ingredients Gluten Free on this web page

Rachael has also self-published How to write your own book & make it a BESTSELLER which is full of secrets for how to make your book into a bestseller.

Go here to get your copy of this easy to follow guide to writing, self publishing and promoting your own book by a woman who has sold over a million copies of her own books.

Yours in book publicity

Chelsea McLean

How to maximise TV coverage and ‘TV 1sts’

So you are about to launch a new book with high hopes of attracting national TV coverage and appearing on the likes of A Current Affair, Today Tonight, Mornings with Kerri-Anne, The Morning Show, Sunrise and Today.

When you pitch to these programs, they show interest! But alas! There’s a catch! Turns out every show wants to be the first to have your story go to air. That means you have to choose and risk disappointing the other programs. What to do?

For most authors, the unfortunate reality is you may not be able to appear on more than one big TV show at the time of your book launch. The producers will ask you if you are appearing on another show and if you have already committed to an interview, they might pass on your pitch because they are worried their viewers will switch off if they have already seen your story.

So what is the best way to handle this when you are seeking to maximise publicity for your book?

You can either stagger your pitches to your most promising TV programs first and wait for their response before moving on to the next one. But this takes time and you need to be ready to start pitching about a month in advance of your book launch. If time is an issue, the other option is to pitch to all your target TV shows at the same time.

A plus for pitching simultaneously is you could play interested shows off each other to encourage them to be the first to say yes to an interview. It might help you move things forward faster if you have more than one major program interested at the same time.

The downside for this is, once you have committed to an interview, it could be too late if another show asks you later. This can be a downer, especially if the other show reaches a larger audience!

Ranking which programs you would prefer to be on first can help you manage your approach and seek the most exposure possible for you and your book. There is no hard and fast answer for how to approach this, but it helps to be prepared and know how it works with TV.

Yours in book publicity

Chelsea McLean

Print media lead times

If you want to get print media coverage to coincide with your book release in stores, you have to be ready to contact magazine editors 3 to 6 months before your book is printed. That’s how far in advance they plan their editorial.

That means if promotional timing is critical for your book to sell, you must start work on publicity before your book is ready for sale. You can send copies of the book manuscript to key target media who ask to see it in advance. Often, the media want to see your book content before they agree to endorse it.

Print lead times vary for different magazines which can be categorised into:

Long-lead magazines

Annual, quarterly, bi-monthly and monthly magazines plan their editorial content with really long lead times. These are the ones you have to be ready to contact at least 3 to 6 months before your book is out.

Short-lead magazines

Fortnightly and weekly magazines have shorter lead times. This could be good news if you want faster results. Still, they work months in advance – similar to newspaper magazines.

Newspaper magazines

Magazines inserted into newspapers have much longer lead times for production than general news pages. If you are interviewed by a newspaper reporter, generally the story could be published the very next day. Not so for newspaper magazines – they tend to work to production deadlines around one month in advance and plan their content even further ahead.

So don’t wait to put together your media kit – you can get ready to contact the media before your book is in its editing and printing stages.

Yours in book publicity

Chelsea McLean