Doing Business When Your Heart Is Breaking

brokenheart

How do we go on when our hearts are breaking?

Wednesday evening in Charleston was a horror. Thursday morning found most of my colleagues in shock. Collectively we are all reeling from the heinousness of the crime committed by one monster. Yet on Thursday, June 18, 2015, the phone kept ringing, clients still needed help, and all the while, our hearts were broken. Our eyes wet with tears.

As a small office, ours has the luxury of organizing our time to fit our schedules. However, we cannot turn the world off in times of crisis. Nor can we hide perpetually from being sad.

During calls and conversations yesterday and today, I’ve been open with people about my feelings; my shock; my horror. My colleagues have responded in kind, sharing their grief and their hurt at the murder of nine innocents and the savaging of a community.

Being open

And why wouldn’t we want to be open? Why wouldn’t we want to be frank about our hurts? This is the time to connect and bond with one another. We cannot wipe this stain from the heart and continue unaffected.

For me, being real means being open about what affects me and how my entire self is involved in how I serve my clients, how I’m friends, and how I want to be perceived. This is a core value for me. And it’s how I do business.

I hope you are feeling the caring and concern from those with whom you encounter as you transact your daily business. If not, perhaps you can take a moment and discuss your feelings before you begin your next sales call, or discuss the next marketing plan, or the sales objectives for August.

Honest hearts

Your heart and soul will be better for talking about your feelings and I expect your professional associates will feel better too, and you’ll create greater human bonds. And at the end of the day, we are in business person to person, not website to website, press release to outlet. We are all people with hearts and souls. Let’s embrace that.

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Charleston American Marketing Association Marketing Bootcamp

Charleston AMA Bootcamp

Intensive marketing bootcamp covers many topics

If you’ve been thinking that you could benefit from intensive training on marketing tactics, the Charleston AMA Bootcamp will provide exactly the focused, one-stop get-going forum for you.

Beginning at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 30, the Bootcamp takes place at the Historic Rice Mill on Lockwood Boulevard in downtown Charleston. Tickets are $50 for AMA members, $65 for non-members and $25 for ticket to the social event only. Early registration is imperative as I understand the event always sells out.

I’ll be one of the round table facilitators for the event. At my table we’ll be focused on discussing how Google perceives your website.

Marketing bootcamp roundtables include:

  1. Native Advertising
  2. Google AdWords Express
  3. Inbound Marketing for leads
  4. Facebook Advertising
  5. Instagram for Marketing
  6. Using Video in your Marketing
  7. Creating Content
  8. Marketing E-commerce
  9. Social Media 201-the next level
  10. What does Google Think about My Website?

Register at Eventbrite

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Email Subject Lines Critical

Email subject lines that astound Let’s hope your email subject line doesn’t read like this

Everyone can be embarrassed by sending out emails with subject lines which don’t exactly convey what you mean. Like the one depicted above which came from an organization seeking to intrigue people who need to overcome the sales challenge of “but.” However, the subject line of the email was poorly worded and implied something other than their hoped for call to open. Their subject line actually read:

Need to sell butttt….. Then come to this workshop!

Email subject lines are the first opportunity you have for your email marketing to work for you. If they use language which is too salesy or off message, they will be marked by most email programs as spam.

MailChimp, our preferred email marketing platform notes,

The best email subject lines are short, descriptive and provide the reader with a reason to explore your message further. Splashy or cheesy phrases more often cause your email to be ignored rather than make them stand out.

Avoid subjects with words which lower open rates

Stop words are things like FREE, Open Now, Free Offer. Even if the subject line doesn’t have these words, MailChimp reports there are some words which will cause lower open rates.

We identified innocuous words that won’t trigger a spam filter, but will negatively affect your open rates. They are: Help, Percent off, and Reminder.

Writing a clear call to open that is helpful, localized and precise increases your open rates.

The latest data reported by Marketing Charts from a Return Path study show that subject lines between 61 and 70 characters receive the highest open rates.

ReturnPath-Email-Read-Rates-Subject-Line-Length-May2015

Avoid clickbait subjects

And think again if you are planning to try some clickbait subject lines that incite a strong reaction just to get readers to open. The study from Return Path notes:

“Clickbait” subject lines generally don’t do well, surprisingly, with “secret of” terms (-8.69%) having a significantly below-average read rate

If you’re using MailChimp, Constant Contact or Vertical Response, you have an opportunity to test the subject of your email to help verify what results you might get. If you don’t have the tools to review subject lines, refer to your open rates and analyze subjects which have the highest open rate for you then cross that to an analysis of the number of characters in your subject line in order to develop even better open rates.

When working with our clients, we’ve seen high open rates for emails with Welcome and Thank you in the subject lines, especially when the emails go to new subscribers. Seasonal messages with good wishes also are highly opened.

If you’re not already using email marketing to keep in touch with your customers or prospects, you might want to reconsider that decision. Email marketing remains the single one to one marketing tactic which continues to perform well for businesses across the board. It’s not expensive and it’s effective.

Ascend2-Most-Effective-Difficult-Digital-Marketing-Tactics-Sept2014

To get started with your email marketing, call us at 843-628-6434 or email us via our website contact form.

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Tremes and the Purpose of Life

What do chickens have to do with the sharing of memes?

According to Discovery Science’s Through the Wormhole, “It’s not just genes that govern how we evolve. Our ideas or “memes” are much the same – they are passed on and can shape the way we live. Is the passing of ideas the reason we exist?”

Why do we share?

Have you ever wondered why Internet based jokes, quizzes, images or videos catch our attention and compel us to share and “like” and interact with them? Some scientists say that we’re wired to share ideas that we find in common with others. In Through The Wormhole, tremes are explored as the basis of our purpose in life.

Tremes: Are they why we’re here?

As a fan of the Science Channel’s program, Through the Wormhole, I find myself deeply intrigued when episodes focus on things which some might think are intangible. Such as a recent episode’s question: “What is the purpose of life?”

Watch this video as a scientist explores how shareable, technology based ideas, known as tremes may indeed be our primary reason to be alive.

If you don’t see the video embedded in the post, click to watch on the Science Channel.

What do you think? Is the spreading of ideas across our population a reason for life? This PR person thinks it’s highly probable. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Bounce Rate Demystified

Bounce Rate demystified

Click the image to view the original at Kissmetrics

Google Analytics is a valuable tool for every website owner. By monitoring your Analytics reports, you may determine which pages and content types are the most valuable.

Learning just a few key reports to monitor will help you improve the value of your content to your site visitor. This is a simple tutorial in pictures that makes it very clear.

Bounce Rate vs. Percentage Exit

If you’ve been in business any time within the last five years, you know that your website analytics mean just as much as your budget report. In fact the results of your analytics dictate how your business sales improve and grow. It’s important to monitor bounce rate, especially when your goal is to decrease bounce and provide interesting content–which some people call creating stickiness. Google Analytics can seem intimidating. Read on to learn what it means when your bounce rate is too high or your exit rate is fairly low.

In this post, we’ll explore the meaning of these two terms and a few others within the scope of Google Analytics Behavior Reports.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is simply a measure of visit quality for single-page views. Boiled down to the basics, this just means how often people leave your site after originally visiting a single page on your site. When potential clients or followers depart your website without really looking at anything your company has to offer, they’re obviously still shopping around. This means that if you aren’t hooking them from the get-go, this is probably not the way to attract new business.

Google Analytics uses an equation to calculate bounce rate for you, so it’s not necessarily important that you understand the way it’s derived. However, if you know the basic formula, it’s easier to see the way it all works.

Kissmetrics Bounce Rate Equation

Basically, it varies across industries how high the bounce rate is on average. The bottom line is, no matter what your bounce rate actually is, you can always improve it.

  • Provide relevant content: If your readers get the answers they need, they’ll visit your page more often.
  • Define all ambiguous terms: No one wants to read a post on something they don’t understand.
  • Get rid of pop-up ads: Ads make people angry. Angry people don’t come back to your site and don’t look further than the first page.
  • Make sure the layout is user-friendly: Not everyone is tech savvy, so a site that’s difficult to navigate without some insight as to how it might work. Clean it up, and that population of viewers is less likely to bounce from your site.

Percentage Exit

Percentage Exit rate refers to the percentage of viewers who leave the site from a specific page or set of pages. This is normally reviewed considering time spent on each page as well as the progress made on each page per view.

Google Analytics compiles this for you with its own algorithms. You’ll find this statistic in your Behavior Overview Report. After that, it’s up to you to take the information and use it to the site’s advantage.

Review the Exit Pages Report [Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages] to determine which pages are most commonly points of departure from your site. Analyze time on page and notice if there is any congruence you can determine between the page preceding the exit page. Pages with lower exit percentages indicate more valued content.

Repairing a high exit percentage boils down to the same advice provided for a high bounce rate – create more compelling content your target market finds useful or interesting. As you make modifications and tweaks, review that page’s exit percentage to see if your changes made a difference.

These tips, as well as diligence with Google Analytics Reports, should improve your site’s visibility and interaction from potential clients. After all, this is what makes all the difference in the reports, behavioral or budgetary.

Bounce Rate Demystified.

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