Tuesday, May 26, 2009

3 Methods to Personalize Your Campaign Messages and Offers

Personalized marketing messages typically perform much better than generic messages to general audiences. In some cases, conversion rates double or triple. That often equates into significant changes in ROI and future sales opportunities.

Conceptually, personalization is taking a message that normally comes across as “hey you” and turning it into “Dear Joe Customer,” in such a way that the recipient of the message actually feels appreciated and cared for. Messages are read more and the audience takes action.
  1. Variable Content
    Variable content is either creative or copy that changes from audience to audience. Existing technologies allow a marketer to control variable content down to actual images and phrases that are used in order to better connect with the intended recipient.

    Variable content also includes the use of the name of each recipient. An example message may say:
    “Dear [customer name],
    “We appreciate the purchase of [product] you made last month. We also offer [accessory] to go along with it. Please visit our website at: [url] to explore your options.

    “[Manager Name]”
    Now, imagine that example with appropriate images and other content. There are many variations to adjust for effective conversion.
  2. Variable Offers
    Not all market segments are alike. A personalized message improves when the message includes a personalized offer as well. A senior citizen segment may appreciate the value of an offer differently than a younger demographic on a specific product. Offers should cater to the recipient for a higher conversion rate, which results in a higher ROI.
  3. Multi-Media Campaigns
    Internet solutions often offer a much more flexible environment for the use of personalization and variable content. Offers can be sent in one media to attract the audience and then, hand them off to an online conversion tool like a website or Personal URL (PURL).

    The key to these campaigns is to understand how to attract, redirect, and then convert the audience. Often an “offer they can’t refuse” accompanies the first message but must be redeemed upon transfer to the second media type. When the transition is smooth, the execution can yield great results.
Article found on Vauntium Marketing: here

Monday, April 27, 2009

Direct Mail Getting More Attention

A DMA survey recently identified direct marketing pieces are getting more attention than in the past. Recipients are seeking better deals, coupons, and special offers. When these offers are combined with multimedia technology, many will make a purchase right online. In other cases they will give up personal information in return for subsequent offers and specials.

The key is to market with proven direct marketing techniques. Use pieces that are designed well, speak directly to your audience, and call the audience to action.

Contact a marketing company like Vauntium for direct marketing solutions that work.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

DoFollow and NoFollow Explained

Search engines do not see all web links the same. In fact, it is possible for a web master to request that a search engine NOT follow certain links to keep SEO value from "leaking" from a website. Some websites, blogs, and other web tools may allow you to link as a professional without providing you with search engine credibility.

Search engines use special properties within link tags to determine whether or not they should spider the link and follow it to the next page. The property may be set to "dofollow" or "nofollow". The search engine then knows what it should do when it arrives at a link.

Professionals work diligently to promote their websites to search engines. What pros may not know is that a site they believe is providing great SEO benefits may simply be using their content for their own purposes without providing linkthrough credibility.

Many online professional services like ProSPOTLIGHT and others offer the ability to make posts and submit content with "dofollow" status. Any time a pro links from that service to another website, they receive the SEO benefit.

The key is to find websites that are known for their "dofollow" practices.

Maximize Your ROI with Powerful Direct Marketing Solutions

The return on some forms of direct marketing campaigns is often difficult to track. However, powerful direct marketing campaigns can produce powerful results and drive significant business.

Direct marketing campaigns include (not all inclusively):
  • Postal mailings
  • Email
  • Door hangers, flyers and magnets
When executed correctly, the ROI can be significant compared to other passive types of marketing. The message to the audience must be clear and compelling. It must be delivered to the right audience, segmented by demographics, psychographics, life style variables, etc.

Multi Media Campaigns

Media is powerful in direct marketing activities. Often multi-media solutions integrate the best of each activity. For example, a post card or email may be sent to a customer with an offer redeemable online at a conversion website. One audience may be more compelled by one technology than another. The key is to know which technologies and media types are available and then understand how to execute a campaign for the highest results and returns.

The Vauntium direct marketing team offers solutions across many technologies and media. Contact the team to learn what we can do to achieve your marketing objectives.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Attracting and Converting Leads Online Using SEO Concepts

How many leads did you convert from natural search engine traffic last month? how about over the last year?

Your natural search engine rank is key to your online web traffic and converted business. We're not talking here about paid search engine advertising but natural results that result from successful SEO practices.

There are 2 key concepts to successful SEO activities:

  1. Relevance
  2. Popularity

SEO and Website Relevance

Website relevance means that your content and tools match the keywords search engine users search on. For example, if I search for "las vegas realtors" search engines return the top results for "Las Vegas" and "Realtors", "Real estate agents", etc. They want to return results that best match the inquiry. They provide the best results for users based on relevant, well written content.

SEO and Website Popularity

Search engines give significant credibility to websites that appear to be authoritative. An authority site is one that others recognize  as credible and accurate. Search engines tally the quantity and quality of inbound web links to a website.

SEO Activities

Several key activities will promote websites significantly.

  • Keyword analysis - search engine keyword analysis to determine which keywords should be targeted on a website.
  • On-page keyword optimization, including meta tag optimization - page by page keyword placement to accurately make a page relevant to an audience.
  • Inbound link campaigns - campaigns by which content, articles, blog posts, and other forms of content from popular websites link to a website creating popularity.

Lead Conversion

Once a visitor has found a website via search engine results, it's key to make sure the conversion tools are powerful. Compelling calls to action drive prospects to conversion elements. These prospects become converted as visitors accept special offers for service or products in return for the sale or for their contact information. Websites can be powerful conversion tools as the drives sale and lead engines.

SEO and Conversion Solutions

Find an SEO company that is expert at website optimization. Realize that SEO results don't occur overnight and they may require a significant budget of time or money depending on how strong the competition is for a particular website.

Also find a design company that can convert prospects once they arrive on a website.

Contact Vauntium to learn more about our SEO and web design solutions. Also consider using an SEO friendly website like ProSPOTLIGHT to promote your professional assets.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

6 Costly Mistakes in Content/Copy Creation

A marketing message is only effective as its ability to engage and compel its recipients. It is common for a message to become confusing or forgotten unless it is written clearly with direction and purpose. Several mistakes make content ineffective. 
  1. Poor Grammar
    Great grammar is expected whereas poor grammar gets noticed. Copy writers are expected to compose content that is expressed with proper verb conjugation, voice, tense, pronoun use, etc. Readers appreciate well written grammar because they are able to understand and digest the material without being distracted by mistakes and mishaps.
  2. Poor Spelling
    Many people are quickly distracted and turned off of a message by poor spelling. It is important to use spell checkers and review copy before it is published. It is key to make sure the was’s and were’s  and the there, they’re, and their type words are used appropriately.
  3. Poor Formatting
    A run on sentence may be confusing and emotion killing. At the same time, a list of 50 bullets is intimidating. Content should be written with headers, paragraphs, and appropriate fonts and sizes. Blinking or scrolling text is rarely appropriate. The format of a document should help the reader find and read what they are looking for quickly.
  4. Lacks Competence
    Copy should appear credible and indicate that some thought went into it. Writers should research some to approach an audience with valid and valuable information. All to often, blog writers and other editors allow content that seems useless. Readers will abandon it quickly. 
  5. Lacks Relevance
    Copy should target an audience. It should be relevant to that audience. Examples, stories, links, etc. should all apply as valid, pertinent content. Content is made relevant when the composer writes for the audience with a purpose in mind. The copy should contain facts and concepts the audience expects.
  6. Too Long
    Many points can be made in very few sentences or words. Long winded explanations become cumbersome and the audience becomes bored. The goal should be to get a point across in as few words a possible so the target may move on to the next step in the process.

Friday, April 10, 2009

7 Elements Every Creative Piece Should Exhibit

Effective creative materials are key in any type of marketing. Sometimes the creative is simple, sometimes it is elaborate. Sometimes it is monochromatic and sometimes it is vibrant in color. The key to great creative is to design it for the target audience based on the channel in which the message will be delivered. Here are some suggestions every creative piece should exhibit.

  1. Forethought
    Every creative piece should appear as though it was intended for the audience. If it looks last-minute, targets know it. A creative piece should be planned and well thought out. The message should be clear and the piece created with purpose.
  2. Structure
    A message gets lost in a mess. On the other hand, a message can jump out and grab a target when if the campaign is structured around it. Most creative pieces use some sort of logical structure. Even when a piece intentionally has little structure, there is logic to it. Materials should exhibit some sort of structure.
  3. Graphical Presence
    A picture is worth how much? ...a thousand words...or more. Intentional, appropriate graphics can deliver a message much quicker than words in some cases. Whenever possible, there should be some professional graphical element to a creative piece.
  4. Attention Grabbers
    Every message should sum up to a brief point. Whether tastefully formatted text or a well placed image, some element should strike the audience and grab their attention. Sometimes the most simple elements may serve the purpose.
  5. Calls to Action
    Every marketing message should have some purpose. Most should call the audience to take action. A call to action is usually one of the attention grabbers and is enhanced graphically with formatted text or an image.
  6. Color Theory
    Most creative pieces should have a professional color scheme. They should have pallets that appeal and attract; colors that match. The colors should match logos, images, and fonts. On occasion, clashing colors may be used to draw attention to something but for the most part, recipients want to feel a professional presence with a message.
  7. Layout Principles
    A professional creative piece will have a specific layout tailored to drive the audience to take some action. In some cases the layout can be so important that it is the key factor to driving business. The layout should play an intentional roll and when possible it should match the layout of other media the message is presented in.

Parts of this post were cited from the Vauntium Creative article: 7 Elements Every Creative Piece Should Exhibit

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Successful Methods to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Internet websites are key business generators for many businesses. Traffic to those site is as good as gold. It is common now to bank on certain conversion rates for great websites. If search engines trust them as authority sites and other online services link to it there will be significant traffic from your audience. Several key search engine optimization (SEO) factors will drastically improve the traffic to a website.

  1. Keyword Analysis
    Search engines and readers alike rely on relevant content. They give credit to pages and sites where the content matches what they want. It is key, then, to use online tools to analyze the keywords that best fit your business for both competition and actual offering. Not everyone can be in the top ten for a single keyword. Those who are pay considerably for those positions. Others are better off shooting for keyword phrases instead of single keywords.
  2. On-Page Keyword Management
    Once the keyword analysis is complete, every single pages must be adjusted for keyword relevance so it can stand alone for the topic it targets. This is called on-page keyword management. Every page must be written, both publically and in the meta tags for search engines and readers to gleam the topics and view them as credible and well written.
  3. Inbound Link Programs
    Popularity is as important or more important to search engines and readers as the content itself. Popularity indicates credibility on a specific subject. There are programs to generate non-reciprocal inbound links. Links from credible sites are weighed more heavily than others. There is a real science to nailing down solid inbound link programs.
  4. Blog Traffic
    Consistent blog activities can generate significant website traffic. Readers and search engines thrive on new relevant content and blogs create the perfect format for it. Every website should have a related blog.
  5. Link Bait
    Applications and great, accurate content attract links from other websites. Webmasters strive to become credible and valid and want to present the best the web has to offer. Link bait applications and content can attract that type of attention driving significant traffic.
  6. Publish the URL Everywhere
    Every publication by a company should include a link to a converting website. Every ad, every campaign, every business card, every single publication should reference a companies website.
  7. Create a Great Site
    Bottom line, if a website is great and it is relevant the audience will visit it. Web designers and copy composers must be conscious of great web site principles and spend the time and resources to establish a professional online brand visitors will frequent and commit to.
Related marketing article: 7 Methods to Drive More Traffic to Your Website
Other marketing resources: Marketing Toolkit

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

10 Methods to Convert More Online Business

Online activities can generate significant business for a business or organization. The website design may be responsible for as much of the traffic conversion as the content and offer.

  1. Graphically Pleasing and Professional
  2. Navigation
  3. Layout
  4. Content Rich
  5. Funneled Approach
  6. Calls to Action
  7. Up to Date
  8. Well Supported
  9. Socially Connected
  10. Consistent with Other Marketing Efforts

The key is to plan out online activities and maintain a consistent direction. As a brand is created and a website is designed to convert traffic, a business will begin to realize a maximized ROI.

Read the full article "10 Methods to Convert More Online Business"

Monday, April 6, 2009

Convert Leads and Drive Business Online

Businesses and professionals often leverage the internet to drive business and convert potential prospects into leads and subsequent sales. Many incorporate website interactions into their overall marketing plans to generate interest and disseminate valuable information. Some brands see phenominal results as they push their brands online.

What do successful websites and applications offer that engage visitors to take action becoming a lead or sale? We've identified key elements every website must have to convert traffic. A few of those elements include:
  • Convincing value proposition
  • Attractive design elements
  • Clear calls to action
  • Compelling content and applications

Vauntium web solutions are designed to retain visitors and capture their interest such that they take action and convert. Our analytical tools allow our clients to track successes and key metrics for analysis. Contact the Vauntium team to learn more about attracting and capturing internet visitors for your business.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cheap Ways to Build Your Brand

Every business or cause has the need to build a reputable, successful brand to promote whatever is being sold/pitched. Here are some cheap ways to build a brand.


Blog posts are distributed to many aggregators via feeds. They are also submitted to search engines within minutes of posting. The audience for a blog may be tremendous and create interest or drive business.

Printed Labels

Everything your customer/clients sees should have your logo and image on it. Every email, brochure, and communication should have consistent branding. One way to ensure phisical items are branded is to order printed labels and place them on everything.

Email Newsletter

Your contacts should receive regular and frequent contacts from you. A newsletter is a way to remain fresh in their mind while adding some value to their operations. Consider placing something of value like tips, articles, etc.

Thank You Notes

Always send a thank you note to your clients and others with whom you do business. It is key that they feel appreciated for their business.

Affiliate Channels

Allow others to promote and sell your products and services. Establish an affiliate channel and make it worth the while of affiliates to drive your business.

Driving a brand does not have to be difficult. It takes consistent activities to create an image and set expectations with your clients.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Branding 101

Creating a brand is about creating a memorable image, mark, or symbol that potential customers will remember at the time of a purchase decision. It is much more than simply throwing a logo on something and pushing the product. A brand's value begins at its inception and grows or shrinks with each subsequent target interaction.

When building a brand, consider who your target is. Consider the reasons your target will decide to purchase.
  • Is the product hip? or is it a need? or does it have some special value?
  • What images and brands is your target already accustomed to?
  • What message will draw your target's interest?

Building a brand takes time, money, and a lot of effort. It takes dozens of impressions before your targets begin to recognize that a brand is here to stay and can be trusted. It takes being noticed when the target is ready to make a decision.

There are also various media types to consider when selecting a branding method. Some targets are internet savvy. Others, read the newspaper. Yet others receive their information on their mobile devices. We'll get into this in another post.

Branding is part art and part science. A couple of additional questions are important as homework until the next post:

  • What do you do to track your successes?
  • Are your prepared to make changes to your brand if your existing one isn't working?

Professional Marketing Introduction

This blog is dedicated to principles of marketing. It'll consist of the basics concepts, advanced concepts, analytical theories, resources, and will cover a broad spectrum of media.