4 Keys to Business Success after Labor Day

At time of year, many of us press the reset button. Seems like New Year 's Day all over again, except with more school buses. So I thought it would be a good time to look at some fundamentals – the four big things that make the difference between success and just grinding along. As…

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Two More Ways to Boost Response to Your Newsletter

Today I want to share two easy ways to boost response to your newsletter. They are both being employed by one of my clients, an insurance agency in Hobe Sound, Florida. Indeed, one of the ideas was his. The secret behind both ideas is this: Relevance. Make your newsletter relevant to your readers and you…

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Your Contact List: Build it or See it Die

Over the years, I've gained a lot of experience about what works…and what doesn't. These lessons don't just come from my own experiences, they also come from those of members. So I will be sharing some of these experiences with you so that you can learn from them. However, I warn you: I'm going to…

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Banned! How a Client Got Blocked from Sending Newsletters…and How You Can Avoid the Same Thing Happening to You

One of my clients was kicked out of VerticalResponse this week for spamming people.  I want to share what happened so that you don't make the same mistake. But first, some background. As you know, spam is a huge problem. Just look at your inbox each morning. And because of that, email software (such at…

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Email Marketing Getting More Effective

Some good news. Most people who use email marketing – and that includes email newsletters – say that it’s getting more effective, as this chart from Marketing Sherpa shows. Says Marketing Sherpa: In general, the effectiveness of email for marketing purposes is doing well. More than 3 times the percentage of marketers who said the…

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The Personal Paragraph: An Easy Way to Boost Response to Your Newsletter

One of my best clients called the other day to report something that made a big difference to the response to his wife’s real estate newsletter. At the top of every email newsletter he sent out, he added a personal paragraph about something that was going on in their lives. Just a tidbit. He tells…

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Is the Harvard Business Review Claiming You Can Spam Other Businesses?

The blog over at the Harvard Business Review  is jumping. A recent post by Ruth P. Stevens stirred up that old hornet’s nest of “opt-in” versus “opt-out” marketing email. Here’s what she said: It’s OK to send unsolicited emails (newsletters and the like) to businesses with the expectation that they can opt out if they…

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One way to put video in your newsletter

I was at Infusionsoft's annual user conference in Scottsdale last week, and a straw poll among the audience found that people were split 50-50 over whether they preferred reading text or watching videos online (particularly when it came to sales websites). What's clear is that you cannot afford to ignore video when half your audience…

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Print newsletters and Canada’s second currency

OK, let me get the wisecracks about the title of this post over with right away – in case I lose my residency in Ontario. No, Canada’s second currency isn’t the US dollar. And it’s not the euro either, as an earnest store associate suggested to a friend last week in upstate New York. “Would…

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Newsletters: the bar is pretty low. Really.

I got a call on Tuesday from someone who is thinking of joining my newsletter service for real estate agents. She’s been receiving emails from me (not these, but others you can sign up for on my websites.) But she said something that disconcerted me. “The information is great, but it’s kind of putting me…

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The Perils of Newsletter Personalization

Yesterday I received a Facebook "be my friend" request. It went like this: "$Name$$, Facebook considered you as a friend. I enjoy meeting like minded people, hope you feel the same." Personalization is a wonderful thing. And so is technology. Mix them and you have a powerful cocktail – or a recipe for disaster. +++…

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The Day of the Dead

The cemeteries of Spain will be busy today. I've always found Iberian graveyards curious places. I never visited one when I was living there, but I saw many from the outside. You see, in Spanish cemeteries, many graves are set in high walls. The dead are stacked on top of each other, with stones marking…

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30 Days in November, 30 Interesting Messages

Want to take part in an interesting experiment? Want to see me potentially humiliate myself in front of thousands? I've been challenged by copywriter John Fancher to hone my email writing skills. He has pledged to create one auto-responder message each day. What is an autoresponder? It's computer software that automatically sends emails to your…

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Why Your ‘Bonus Document’ Is at the Heart of Your Newsletters

Members of my real estate newsletter service know that they get at least one bonus document as part of the program. Don't take the power of this document too lightly. It's at the heart of any successful newsletter. Here's why. The terrible truth is that people don't want to sign up for your newsletter. They're…

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Will Your Newsletter Pester People?

 I had an interesting chat earlier this week with someone who is thinking of joining my newsletter service. He was pondering sending a newsletter only every quarter instead of monthly. Why only every quarter? Because he didn't want to "pester" his readers. It's at that point that I said, "Hang on just a minute…." Here's…

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Real Estate Agents: How to Make 4x as Much Commission

Here's another of my little charts. This one applies to real estate agents and mortgage brokers in particular – but the general idea applies to any business. It makes a compelling economic case for keeping in touch with clients over the long term.   The chart shows the difference in commission earned by a real…

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How Repeat Customers Add Thousands in Income

Here is a chart that every business owner should print out and paste above their desk. What does this chart show? The bottom line shows the cumulative income of a business that has zero repeat customers. The higher line shows the cumulative income of a business that has 20% of its customers returning. Interesting, isn't…

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Give Before You Take: the Art of Nurturing Leads

So much of business is common sense, it pains me to write about it. Yet so much that business owners do goes against simple common sense that…well… I guess I just have to point out the obvious. Here's today's topic: give before you take. Imagine you meet someone for the first time and they say,…

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Why It Pays to Follow Email Newsletter Best Practices

Interesting chart here from Marketing Sherpa. It shows that – particularly in recent years – email marketing has been more effective when email best practices are followed. "At this point it’s no longer a walk in the park to get new subscribers; marketers are finding that they have to provide value, think about relevance and…

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How to Increase Email Newsletter Open Rates

Although I believe that email open rates aren't the most important statistic, it's still worth investing time in raising the percentage of subscribers who open your email. Here are some things to test: Subject line: Is the subject line really relevant to your reader? Does it indicate that the information inside will help him do…

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