listhead

listhead

There are many who favor lists as a way to attract an audience or eyeballs to a website. Similarly, there are many who find them contrived, overused and dull.

It's all about what you have to say and how you say it. Lists are easily digestible and eye-catching; nothing wrong with either of those.

So why top tens? Here's a double-handful of reasons to go with lists:

 

 

 

 

1. Eye catching. People respond

2. Easily digestible. Readers can get to the points quickly and time is money.

3. Promise and deliver. Any headline that lists a number of reasons, secrets, types, or ways makes a very specific promise of what’s in store for the reader.

4. They build your authority. Lists demonstrate a mastery of your area of expertise.

5. Easy to share. Need I explain?

6. Headlines containing numbers receive higher responses.

7. Longevity. Lists attract long-term traffic; they have a good shelf life.

8. Re-purpose. It's easy to reuse lists in emails, newsletters, etc.

9. Food for thought. A good list gets people thinking, talking, engaged.

10. Left brain. The list format has been successful for decades with direct marketers, magazine publishers, and others because it lets readers know exactly what they’re getting, and the list format speaks to the organized left side of the brain.

Generally, for a list to be successful it should be relevant to the brand and the product/service, though you can present it in a unique way. Just be sure to elaborate sufficiently to bring value to the reader.

Oh, and lists of ten are over abundant. make your 6, or 9 or 13.

How do you feel about list stories?

 

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Bob Namar is the Namarketer, a professional writer, editor and Internet marketer providing promotions and marketing via custom content to businesses in New York and New Jersey.

 

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Authorbob namar

QUALITY. It's the buzzword we all chase, for our businesses, for our clients or customers, and for our personal lives. But what is quality?

image

It is sometimes called 'excellence' or 'merit' or something else clever that the company is using to communicate they are "better than" somebody else. But it is usually a false chase. What quality is not is perfection. Too many minds get caught up in the 'it's got to be perfect to please, to work, to serve'. But it doesn't; because nothing is perfect.

But it can be free of mistakes; and it should be.

Namar on quality

So proofread that sales sheet three times over, then give it to someone else to proof, too. Double-check that list you are about to send to. Recheck those logos; are they the right color/size/shape? Is the copy saying what you really meant it to?...what you want it to?

Customers, clients, business partners may overlook an error; but they won't forget it. And repeating those errors is worse that being wrong, because it says you are being sloppy and uncaring about your relationship with them.

Quality is getting it as right as you can, consistently, confidently.

Go forth and make quality.

noerrors

Why is it that the best results for email are seen in the p.m., but the vast majority are sent in a.m.? Performance is everything. As a marketer, when you launch an email campaign, you try to focus on all the elements that could make it a success--or a failure: subject line. length, offer, creativity, images, and so on. One factor that usually gets the most attention is: When do we send?

email as social media

Conventional wisdom has long held that early in the day, when people are fresh and at work, is the best for performance (open rates and clickthroughs). But new research from Experian shows that while a.m. is by far the most popular time to send out that email, p.m. is better in terms of performance--far better. While performance will obvious vary by industry and other factors, in general, later--much later--is better. Between 8 p.m. and midnight, the open rate is more than 30% higher; and the clickthrough rate is almost 80% higher than their early-to-rise counterparts.

The reason? While open for debate, it seems rather straightforward that people have more time in the evening, to not only to spend time online, but to engage. The Internet, like a good nightclub, is a place to go for action after dark.

Namarketeers, take note.

A social enterprise is an internal social network. Think business version of Facebook where all colleagues are able to collaborate in real-time on documents and projects. It  is a truly collaborative environment to service and support customers and prospects and make better use of employee time. No more waiting for email or hoping someone will pick up the phone. It takes away the geographic boundaries and massively increases business efficiency.

Namarketer social enterprise

Made possible through cloud computing, businesses are extending this familiar model to establish a similar synergy between their employees, customers and business partners — thus, employing a new social enterprise.

The value of the social enterprise is simple. It allows customers to get closer to their favorite brands, offers them a voice when they have something to say (good or bad) and encourages them to make better buying decisions. For companies, it magnifies the voice of the customer, allows them to identify macro trends, improve their customer service, maximize sales through new channels and even improve employee satisfaction.

The social enterprise is a strategy, not simply a single system or idea. It impacts an organization’s culture, processes, systems and bottom line. Leveraging social media in the enterprise is new to many, but time is ticking for those who haven’t developed a social enterprise strategy — chances are competitors have a head start. The cost of not taking action could be high.

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Authorbob namar

1. What do you do? 2. What problem do you solve?

3. How is your product or service different?

4. Why should I care?

Describe your product or service in 140 characters or less, short enough for a tweet. Business professionals who stand out are the ones who deliver their pitch in less than a minute, but still make their points quite persuasively.

But it is not all about speed or brevity as the infographic below details quite nicely.

Content communications

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Authorbob namar

AN advisory board helps you focus your editorial marketing content

Content Advice

One of the most underrated, but most valuable parts of any content generating groups is the editorial advisory board (EAB). Even if your business isn't content, if you publish anything tot the outside world (and if you don't you likely should) then you should have an EAB to help you with your content and your content calendar.

These boards are generally made up of the publication editors or your chief content office and a handful of internal (and occasionally external) experts on your business. Keeping the group small will make it exclusive, more desirable and sought-after. Their expertise could be about your product, your service or even you sales force.

Your content will improve immeasurable with input, advice and suggestion from these boards. Now, they do not direct your content, so you are not surrendering power or decision making; rather they provide subject matter ideas, comment on content that was produced, and provide opinion on topics or projects underway.  Often, the cross-talk generated between board members in your regularly scheduled meetings (important) will be valuable in itself.

Who to choose?  In  compiling a board, choose members from different disciplines, regions or business groups; you want a variety of opinion. Don't pick friends; you will learn more from agnostics or even those who not so friendly -- they will be more honest (and you may improve a relationship). Most importantly, they must commit to you schedule of meetings. It is pointless to have an adviser who never makes it to the meeting. Compensation is generally the honor of being asked, but can also include where appropriate a listing  within the publication or on a company website.

Start simple, but start now. The creation of a content marketing advisory board will completely revolutionize your content marketing and your marketing overall. You will see and hear about  things that you had never considered. Content ideas will flow like a river and direction and priority over content will reveal itself in a golden shaft of light.

Start emailing invitations.

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February is Library Lovers Month

Perpetual calendar pictured available here.

A is for Autoresponder marketing autoresponder steam punk

Autoresponders are used to send an automatic e-mail in response to an incoming e-mail message. This allows for the sender to know the e-mail has been received. They can be used effectively in customer service by indicating to the consumer:

  • A query was received
  • Alternate means to find information
  • A response timeframe

Your Advantage: An autoresponder can also be used to distribute a digital product (a white paper or some other thought leadership content) in response to an e-mail request.

Take advantage of this technology. Create content which helps position you as an expert in your niche, which will encourage your readers to spread the word about you, raising your credibility.

The content you develop  may be used further down the road, for an eBook or another free giveaway for new customers; remember, writing informative, instructional content is never wasted.

As always, additional soft marketing can be included in these emails, with links to your website and encouragement to find out more information on certain pages of your website. Promote an event, newsletter, or upsell your prospect/client...automatically.

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Authorbob namar