4 things I do to combat SLAM – a/k/a email information overload

January 31, 2011 under Social/Mobile Marketing

My inbox has 200+ emails a day, so every week I have over 1000 messages I quickly review. Something happened while I was cleaning my inbox.  I got a finger cramp using my delete button.  My inbox was bursting with slam – not spam – SLAM.  I reached helpful information overload.

When I surf the net I find interesting websites.  I sign-up to receive marketing emails, but that strategy often results in an inbox mess.  SLAM is invited sales messages via email.  I bet everyone has an email inbox which has loads of travel deals, store coupons, and other helpful emails.  Maybe 10 or 20% of your emails are important – the rest are slam.  You’ve reached SLAM overload when you begin to hit the delete button without reading the emails.  You feel guilty how much junk mail you receive, but you also feel helpless.  SLAM is taking over your time and energy.

This situation is worse if you are a business owner.  You’ve been told you need to promote your business on the internet.  So you create a website, and a few social marketing profiles.  Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc. are great ways to connect with people.  Then you realize this type of marketing requires time and encourages SLAM.

My job as a marketing consultant is to review cutting edge products and services.  To keep on top of new internet marketing strategies my inbox management had to involved.  For me to overcome my SLAM insanity these are 4 techniques  I use to keep things straight.

#1 – I created multiple email addresses I have one email address for my friends and family.  Then I have dedicated project email addresses, a dedicated sales offers email address, etc.  I use the email service as an external filing system.  I also have a schedule when to read each email.  Personal email/customer emails are read daily, but junk mail/sales offers once a week.

#2 – I use multiple email folders Most email services offer you an option to create folders for messages.  Get the messages out of your inbox and filed quickly.  There’s also a feature where you can forward the messages into the folders upon receipt.  Outlook help has a great tutorial how to set up forwarding rules.

#3 – I turn off my notification You are not Pavlov’s rat – you don’t need to look at the email constantly.  Unless you have nothing else to do with your life.  I really like Outlook, but the notification box is a nuance.  Look at your inbox first thing in the morning – once at noon – and once before the end of the day.  A delay of a few hours is not going to be the end of the world.  The best part you control your email rather than it controlling you.

#4 – I opt-out of emails Don’t get me wrong something at one time the information seemed important.  Still if  you notice you habitually delete messages without reading them – unsubscribe without regret.

I hope this information is helpful to give you control over your SLAM.  Have a productive day!

Christine

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Use Social Marketing to get ahead in business

January 24, 2011 under Social/Mobile Marketing

Hope that everyone is happy, healthy, wealthy and wise.  2011 has started with a bang here in Connecticut.  Old man winter has done his best to remind us whose in charge.  Since Christmas the Northeast has a minimum of one storm a week.  When will it end…only 147 days until Summer!  People who are home suffering with the bad weather are surfing the internet.  When they are bored they use their computer to scope out Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or a host of other websites.  Which lends itself to the question, how does a business capitalize on this new medium of business traffic?

Think of your customer base – what social sites are they visiting?

Does your customer use local sites to read reviews.  As a restaurateur it would make sense to have a social marketing presence on Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.  There’s also Yelp where people leave reviews.  Does your customer look for industry specific information?  Find out where your customer visits, and choose to focus all your social marketing energy there.

What is the age group of your customer?

Who has the credit card – speak directly to them.  Crazy fact, if Facebook’s population were a country – it would be the 3rd largest in the world behind China and India.  That is an awful lot of people who are using Facebook.  Other social marketing sites are much smaller, but it is still a strategic move to consider posting a bio if your prospects regularly visit the site.

Do you want a business or consumer customers?

Business clients use sites like Manta to find business related websites.  When you need a VP, Director, or business owner to find your company make sure you have a complete updated business profile.  Exhaust all the free options first, evaluate where your leads are coming from, and consider paid advertising last.  Consumers who visit a shop might need a mobile or local social marketing focus.

How does a B2B company use social marketing to promote their business?

This is an interesting questions, obviously you should look to your internal customer database first.  These people are a logical choice to promote your social marketing efforts.  Ask them to like a fan page – or link to your website.  Social marketing is about social proof.  Make sure that you have a strong opt-in system so that you don’t spam them with unwanted email/social updates.

How often should you update your social marketing efforts?

Watching the feed daily is critical, but updating is another story. Too little and your customer will forget why they signed up for your information.  Too often and you’ll lose the punch of your message.  You must balance how much influence you plan to have in their email/facebook life.

Bottom line – don’t look desperate, or smarmy.  Social marketing is about helping and offering information.  Business people who go out of their way to SELL, SELL, SELL on their social network will quickly be shut down by the customer and the network too.

Big benefit – consistent social marketing helps your search engine optimization.  Kill two birds with one stone with social marketing and search engine marketing.   We understand you’re busy running your business.  When you don’t have time for a social marketing initiative hire a consultant to work on your behalf.  Your virtual social marketing assistant can help you get your social mojo on.

Keep Warm and Get Social

Social Consultant – Lady In Red Marketing



We’re featured on the Web

January 21, 2011 under SEO Tips, Social/Mobile Marketing

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Biz Buzz Blog #102 – Google Secret Sauce – Content

January 16, 2011 under Biz Buzz, SEO Tips

65 out of 100 people choose Google to search the internet.  Today everyone is looking for the holy grail of organic SEO…the first page of Google.  How does a website owner ethically move to the top of Google fast?

Scenario:  A business owner spends a few hundred (to several thousand) dollars to develop a website.  Fast forward.  After a few months website owners see a visitor plateau, or worse, a fall-off in traffic.  They know they need visitors, so they turn to their website designer to get back on track.  The webmaster/designer might enhance visual elements, maximize keyword density, or use other SEO tricks.  Yet the site still struggles to move up the Google ladder.  What is the problem?

Search engine traffic is as skittish as a deer.  Traffic might visit, but will leave just as quickly if the website is missing content WOW factor.  Website owners can tweak their code, but text content is the backbone to better long-term organic SEO results.

I can hear some business owners (and webmasters) complaining their website isn’t “content based.”  They sell a widget, or have some pictures of a product.  How can they put content on their site?  Enough already, this is cyberspace, but the rules of business still apply.  Your customer wants to know who they are dealing with.  Prospects want to know about the features and benefits of the product or service you provide.  Content will distinguish you from your competition, and boy is there a ton of competition.  Google doesn’t recognize pictures, so only the words sell the sizzle.  Sell your products, in as much vivid detail, with passion.

For example, many restaurant website suffer from lack of content.  They put a menu, and the hours of operation.  Boring!  Put some creativity into the site – write a biography about the chef, talk about the style of cooking, or the décor, but make sure the keywords and content complement each other. Another way to generate content is incorporate critiques, and fan pages into the website.  Keep an eye on the public commentary and make sure you add information from social sites like Yelp.

To conclude, every site can present unique content.  Turn to a marketing and writing professional if you don’t feel creative.  Know what type of information your customer wants to see.  Reach beyond the simple company and product facts, and add some creative keyword content to your website.

Let’s optimize-

Dylan

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DIY Websites and SEO

January 10, 2011 under Biz Buzz

When someone makes the leap into the wild, wild internet world they have two choices when designing a website.  Do it themselves, or hire a website designer to put together a website.

Both choices have pluses and minuses…Today let’s examine option #1 – DIY websites

Positive:

  • You are in control of the process – take as long as you want to develop your site
  • You control the content, look, feel and how often you update
  • You control the HTML code and keywords
  • Less Expensive…Maybe?

Negative:

  • You are in control of the process
  • You control the content, look, feel and how often you update
  • You control the HTML code and keyword

Only different between our two lists are the price.

Initially putting together your own website seems less expensive.  You can get a website domain name and hosting with GoDaddy or HostGator super cheap.  You don’t need to rely on anyone to update your website.  So designing your own website is the lowest cost alternative on the surface.  Except the website design phase is never over.  You may have the feeling “glad that’s finally done…I’ll just a check this off my to-do list.”  Without a strong SEO and social marketing plan a website will die of boredom and lack of visitors…

Now you need to:

Spend your time developing your website…
Learn about basic HTML code…
Know about keywords…
Spend time creating content…
and promote your website…

How many hours will it take to learn and do those tasks?

Whether you’ve already created a website, or considering entering the internet marketing world, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vitally important.

First step – Contact us today for a website review

Next step – Refer back to step #1

Until we meet again in cyberspace -  Join our Facebook fan page (BestSEOinTown), and get social today.  Keep this moving forward – retweet – give me feedback – but get off the sidelines and get optimized!  Everyone who becomes a fan will get a free website review.

Dylan

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