Did Social Selling Kill Prospecting?

The proponents of social selling are wrong. Dead wrong. They claim the key to modern selling is to attract and engage rather than interrupt and push.

But here’s the problem with that statement. Attracting and engaging has always worked among good sellers. Pushing has never worked. That leaves interruption.

Lately, the social selling “experts” love to vilify interruption. This is pure poison.

Calling and emailing (active prospecting) is tough. But it remains effective. Intercepting the prospect online using content is fine.

It’s just not enough.

Can You Sell Without Interrupting?
Here’s a comment from one of the biggest names in social selling.

Sales Rep: email, call, email, call, email, call
Buyer: delete, ignore, delete, ignore, delete, ignore
Social Selling: reach and teach/educate and engage.

I challenge any sales person to reach, teach, educate and engage a prospect without, first, interrupting them. Whether you do it with a phone call, email or a piece of content one cannot earn a conversation by waiting for one to happen.

That’s called being a wallflower.

At some point we’re forced to reach out. Contact the prospect. Interrupt.

Sellers that are effective at interrupting win. Those who don’t lose.

We live in a world filled with hype and buzz about inbound marketing. But the truth is sales prospecting is vital to the success of any B-to-B organization.

Is Traditional Prospecting Dead?
“Prospecting is broken,” says Kraig Kleeman, an accomplished prospector, trainer and speaker.

Because, he says on his blog:

  1. There is a strong cultural antagonism against receiving anything that at all resembles an unsolicited sales pitch;
  2. Sellers, almost universally are ill-equipped at avoiding this horrendous obstacle;
  3. There is a strong cultural aversion among sales professionals to making sales calls;
  4. Lack of well-developed process creates fear and uncertainty in the hearts of sellers which leads to paralysis.Source: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/

    Kirkwood Direct is largest service provider that offers comprehensive and effective end-to-end direct marketing communications solutions to their clients. It offers various services like Data Management/ Data Acquisition, Commercial Printing, Mailing Services, E-marketing and many more. Call (978) 642-0300 or visit site.

     

Sharpening the Tip of the Spear

During the frenetic activity that precedes the holidays, I find myself looking at the flood of marketing materials that comes to both my real and digital doorsteps and trying to rethink where organic search fits in the marketing ecosystem. Organic search has long been hailed as the “tip of the spear,” a means of introduction to new customers. This means that for some, organic search is pigeonholed as a customer acquisition strategy. This is a bit short-sighted given how shopping behaviors have changed, for it underplays organic search’s role and the leverage that can be gained with it for other on- and off-line marketing efforts. Enhanced, leveraged results can only come by sharpening the tip of the spear. To sharpen the tip, it is necessary to make sure that your search efforts coordinate with your other marketing efforts. Just ride along with me on this notion for a few blocks; the meter is not running.

Follow the Typical Shopper
As more commerce moves to e-commerce, shopper behavior is morphing. Have you finished your holiday shopping? Have you found that perfect gift yet? Today, shoppers don’t travel from store to store looking for the just-right gift. Instead, they go directly to their favorite search engine and look for the type of gift they want or the brand. This behavior is more like sourcing merchandise instead of shopping. If your organic search efforts have focused on developing search visibility for shoppers who source goods, then your efforts will be rewarded. Savvy shoppers do more than just source the goods. They also check reviews on the product and on the merchant. How do they discover this valuable information? Once more, they pop a query into their favorite search engine for “reviews on … ” If your reviews for both products and your services are highly visible on search, you can readily tick off two more boxes that the shopper will check before making a purchase. If your product pages are highly visible, yet your reviews are off the mark, you have some sharpening to do.

Source: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/

Kirkwood Direct is largest service provider that offers comprehensive and effective end-to-end direct marketing communications solutions to their clients. It offers various services like Data Management/ Data Acquisition, Commercial Printing, Mailing Services, E-marketing and many more. Call (978) 642-0300 or visit site.

 

How to Find and Edit Meta Tags: Titles, Descriptions and Headers

Although SEO continues to evolve and change at a seemingly lightning pace, the fundamentals like HTML titles, meta descriptions and headers remain just as important as they always were. All three are buried deep within the HTML code for your website.

If you, like many business owners, are not fluent in HTML, you might have no idea how to find and edit these meta tags. Here is what you need to know for each one.

Title Tag
Each Web page’s title is displayed in the browser, but not actually on the page itself. To see the title of a particular page, bring the page up in your browser and read the name of the tab it is in. However, tabs often cut off titles. To view the entire title, or to edit it, open up the HTML code for your Web page, which is much easier than it sounds.

With the page open in a browser on a Windows computer, simply right click with your mouse anywhere on the body of the page. Select the option that reads “View Source” or “View Page Source.” A new page will open with all of the HTML and other code for the page in question. If you are not familiar with HTML, it might look like gibberish.

Near the top of that page of code, look for the bracketed word “title,” like this: <title> and </title>. All of the text between the opening and closing title brackets is your Web page’s title. Make sure it is less than 55 characters and attention-grabbing, and the keyword phrase you want to rank for is present.

Meta Description
A Web page’s meta description is like an ad, or preview, of the page’s content. It does not directly influence Google rankings, but it helps to generate more clicks when viewers read it in search results. However, the meta description does not appear anywhere on the web page. To access it, again you’ll need to “View Source” or “View Page Source” following the instructions above.

Source: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/

Kirkwood Direct is largest service provider that offers comprehensive and effective end-to-end direct marketing communications solutions to their clients. It offers various services like Data Management/ Data Acquisition, Commercial Printing, Mailing Services, E-marketing and many more. Call (978) 642-0300 or visit site.

 

Ford Cuts the BS and Focuses on Trust

A couple of weeks ago, as I scrolled through my Facebook feed, I came across a “Suggested Post” from Ford featuring a video of Elle King and Betty Who. I’m a fan of Elle, so I stopped scrolling and watched, despite my usual disdain for all things “suggested” on social.

The video is just under three minutes, and these two female musicians discuss things near and dear to my heart: body image issues and body positivity, being authentic and creative, pushing the limits that people set for you as a woman. I watched the entire thing, realizing that, yes, Elle and Betty are driving around Brooklyn in a Ford Focus, but the car is not the focus (pun intended) of the video.

Instead, it’s these two bright, talented, articulate women talking about life, talking about issues that I deal with, too. And what kept me watching was the conversation they were having … an honest conversation between two friends. I loved it.

It’s not until 2:41 in the video that you see the words “Ford Focus” come onto the screen. Then there’s a quick shot of the traditional Ford logo, followed by Elle mentioning that if you want to listen to the entire conversation (yes, they recorded a fabulous 20 minutes!), go to infocus.pitchfork.com.

By 2:50, there’s about 9 seconds of video of a gentleman telling Betty, still in the driver’s seat, about the assisted backup camera in the car. But that’s it.

Source: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/

Kirkwood Direct is largest service provider that offers comprehensive and effective end-to-end direct marketing communications solutions to their clients. It offers various services like Data Management/ Data Acquisition, Commercial Printing, Mailing Services, E-marketing and many more. Call (978) 642-0300 or visit site.

 

Google AdWords Audit Checklist: How to Optimize Your Campaign

Google AdWords is a vital advertising tool for many businesses. It allows you to focus your advertising budget on customers who are ready to buy, giving you a steady stream of eager new prospects. It also allows you to start with whatever budget you’re comfortable with, making it a tremendous resource for small businesses.

However, many business owners are not maximizing their campaign performance, so they are leaving money on the table month after month. Like anything else, your Google AdWords campaign must be audited and maintained regularly to ensure that it remains fully optimized. Here is a checklist to follow.

Keywords
Keywords commonly trip up both new and experienced AdWords users because there are so many factors to consider. To optimize your keywords, I recommend using three distinct tactics, each of which addresses a common problem.

  • Pruning: The goal of pruning is to remove unprofitable keywords from your list, including those that are irrelevant and those that, for whatever reason, simply do not perform well for you. To start pruning, run a Google AdWords Search Terms report from the Keywords tab of your account. Any keyword that does not show solid performance should be removed or paused. Also consider adding negative keywords, which tell AdWords not to display your ad if a particular word appears in the search string.
  • Fishing: The goal of fishing is to find new keywords that will be profitable for your campaign. Again, run a Google AdWords Search Terms report and look for keyword phrases that are performing well, but are not yet in your Ad Groups.
  • Replanting: Replanting is a process to optimize your top performing keywords while limiting your budget for new or unproven keywords. Move your top keywords into their own campaign, and focus on tweaking your ad copy and landing pages to tightly match those keywords. Likewise, move unproven keywords to their own campaign and reduce their budget until you get more data on them. Replanting allows you to improve your quality score, increase your click-through rate, and maintain better control over your advertising dollars.

Ads
Your ad copy is an excellent place to optimize your AdWords campaign, since it is virtually impossible to write perfect copy on the first, or even the tenth, try. Here are a few ways to optimize your ads.

  • Split testing: Never allow just one ad to run in an ad group. Always run at least two ads so that you can compare their performance.
  • Offer: No matter how good the rest of your ad copy is, a weak offer can sink your AdWords campaign. Remember that a great offer minimizes customer risk and overcomes the tendency for procrastination. Review your competitors’ offers, think through what would appeal to your ideal customer, and split test different offers in your ads.
  • Extensions: Ad extensions factor into your quality score, and also play a role in improving your click-through rate, so make sure you are taking advantage of all of them. The Review extension, with a third party endorsement, is particularly useful in building credibility.
  • Other factors: Other areas of your ad copy that should be audited include your headline, display URL, and description. Make sure that each section is clear and succinct, focusing on how you can solve a problem or fulfill a need for your prospect. Ensure that your entire ad is internally consistent, easy to follow, and has a strong call to action.

Landing Pages
Your landing page is your opportunity to close the sale, turning visitors into leads and customers. It must be laser-focused to match the ad, reassuring the prospect that she is in the right place and explaining what to do next. Optimizing your landing page is not easy, but it’s critical to your campaign performance.

  • Dedicated landing pages: One of the most common mistakes that business owners make is using their homepage as a landing page for ads. A secondary mistake is using the same landing page for lots of unrelated keywords. Make sure your landing page is 100 percent congruent with the keywords and ads in each Ad Group.
  • Congruence: As mentioned above, your landing page must be fully congruent with your ad. This means that the landing page copy should match the keywords, and the landing page offer should repeat the offer made in the ads.
  • Call to Action: It sounds crazy, but I have reviewed countless landing pages that do not explicitly explain what the visitor needs to do to start the buying process.  As a consumer, it’s frustrating when it’s not clear what to do so most prospective customers will leave rather than try to figure it out.  So make sure your landing page has a clear call-to-action, ideally above the fold so the visitor does not have to scroll to find it.

Tracking
Tracking is the only method you have for determining how well your AdWords campaign is performing. Make sure that each of the following forms of AdWords tracking is set up properly in your account:

  • Webform conversion tracking to measure how many visitors complete your webforms
  • Shopping cart conversion tracking to measure how many visitors complete online orders
  • Website call tracking to measure how many visitors call after clicking on your ads
  • Call extension tracking to measure how many people call using the number displayed in your ads
  • Offline sales import conversion tracking to measure how many sales are generated offline via phone calls or in-person

Optimizing and maintaining your Google AdWords campaign is an ongoing, never ending process. A regular audit procedure will determine which portions of your campaign are working well, and which need some attention. Although it may seem lot a lot of work, following an audit checklist like this can be completed quickly if you break up the tasks over the course of a week or two.

Source: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/

Kirkwood Direct is largest service provider that offers comprehensive and effective end-to-end direct marketing communications solutions to their clients. It offers various services like Data Management/ Data Acquisition, Commercial Printing, Mailing Services, E-marketing and many more. Call (978) 642-0300 or visit site.

 

3 Organic Search Predictions for 2016

It is always fun at the beginning of the New Year to pull out the crystal ball and make bold pronouncements about what the New Year will bring. I confess my ball is not crystal but, instead, is one of those plastic eight balls that always says “future is cloudy,” or some other meaningless sentiment. This still does not keep me from looking ahead and postulating as to what the future may bring. Here are my three rock-solid predictions:

Prediction 1 – Google Will Make Hundreds of Changes to Its Algorithm
It is easy to predict that Google will make hundreds of changes to its algorithm during the span of the year, because the search engine regularly claims to make hundreds of changes each year. So why highlight the obvious? The point is that it is pointless to try and chase every tweak and change made by Google. Once upon a time, algorithm chasing was a very much practiced art among SEOs. Most wise practitioners no longer chase changes, endlessly looking for ways to defeat the mighty algorithm. Unfortunately, many of us work with clients who still believe that there is a value to aggressive algo-chasing. As a result, it is one of my missions to dispel this thinking and replace it with a more balanced approach.

Prediction 2 – Google Will Announce Some Big Change
This is another can’t-miss prediction that I am sure will come true. Each year, amid the hundreds of minor changes, Google announces some big change or other that is predicted to have a serious impact on search rankings and their resulting traffic. The real question is whether the next much-ballyhooed change will be another fizzle, like Mobilegeddon or something else. Giving preference to mobile-friendly sites was supposed to be the proverbial Armageddon of search, but it was a bit of a fizzle. The reason it fizzled was that the well-optimized sites – those at the top of the rankings – were already tooled up for the change, and their results did not suffer much at all. An answer appears to be emerging for how to avoid being caught up in responding to the announced and the inevitable unannounced major change like the Phantom Update. The ability to float unscathed above the turbulence of all this change is possible and does not require prescience or magic.

Source: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/

Kirkwood Direct is largest service provider that offers comprehensive and effective end-to-end direct marketing communications solutions to their clients. It offers various services like Data Management/ Data Acquisition, Commercial Printing, Mailing Services, E-marketing and many more. Call (978) 642-0300 or visit site.

 

12 Design Considerations for Optimized Landing Pages

“It’s just the order card.” I hear this all the time from young creatives and marketers alike. This can be one of the most overlooked parts for a campaign, direct mail package and/or landing page. Yet it shouldn’t be. That’s your cash register — where you can lose a sale if the messaging is difficult to figure out, hard to complete, and unclear what to do next.

Let’s dive into digital order forms and explore some best practices for how you can design landing pages that will help close the sale instead of frustrating your page visitors.

12 Design Considerations to Optimize Your Landing Pages
1. Roadmap the page:
The layout is critical. Create a clear path for your customers to follow. It should be obvious where to go and what you want them to do step by step.

2. Hit them in the face with a frying pan: Don’t be clever or cute. Be obvious. You have only a few seconds before they get confused, frustrated, lost or simply change their mind.

3. Deliver a clear page headline: Have a headline that clearly spells out the purpose of the page. Place it at the top as the start of your page roadmap.

4. Use visual cues: People “read” pictures faster than words. So be sure to include your logo, a picture of your product, your call to action (CTA) button, color blocks and containers.

Critical Mention Landing Page5. Remove the clutter: Ask yourself “Does it really need to be there?” Is it helping the customer or simply confusing them? Is it visual clutter? It’s either a yes or a no. “Maybe” is always a no.

6. Use contrasting colors: Color can be a powerful tool. It can help you roadmap your page and make it clear where users need to pay attention. This is most important when it comes to your information collection and your CTA.

Source: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/

Kirkwood Direct is largest service provider that offers comprehensive and effective end-to-end direct marketing communications solutions to their clients. It offers various services like Data Management/ Data Acquisition, Commercial Printing, Mailing Services, E-marketing and many more. Call (978) 642-0300 or visit site.