Sales and marketing — two words that work hand-in-hand in any business. No matter how great of a marketing department you have, if your sales department can’t close the deal or know how to process and take advantage of leads, you’re spending good money after bad. In the same token, a really good sales department that can’t get enough leads to keep your team busy is costing you money, time and a lot of aggravation.
Start by assessing all of your marketing and advertising efforts. Break it down by media market like online versus outdoor versus print. Try to track your lead generations to the marketing efforts you’ve done. Figure out how many leads you get from anyone of the media market sources and figure out how much money you’re spending in that market to get those leads. What you’re trying to assess is your lead cost to generate one lead.
Wishing you a year of gratitude – As the Holliday season approaches, it’s important to be grateful to our co-workers and employees – those special individuals who support us throughout the year, help our businesses grow and connect with our customers. Make a game out of it and engage your staff. Ask for ideas on how to improve your website, add features, enhance content and create more value for your customers. Create a fun “creative contributor” aspect to your work week and show your employees you value their opinion and the work they do.
Think about adding an “employee of the month” page to your website. Post staff photos in their work environment and include short bios about who they are and what they do. You could even feature customer success stories and testimonials to show your clients you care about their experiences and the relationships you are building together. And remember, take the time to send out an e-mail greeting to thank your customers for their support and to wish them Happy Holidays!
I would like to personally thank SRQ for giving me the opportunity to contribute here and to the readers for their continued support and encouragement. And to Ringling College, thank you for giving me the opportunity to teach this semester and for inviting me to come back next semester. To my students, a special thank you, you have taught me even more than I would have expected and I was grateful to help you showcase your talents.
Get website ready now for 2016 – before you head out of the office for the holidays!
Here are our top 10 tech tips to get done this December:
Have you considered blogging on your website? Sharing your insights is a fantastic way to position yourself as an authority in your line of business with minimal investment. Consider developing a simple annual editorial plan and schedule time to write at least one blog post per month. If you plan out the subjects in advance, you can even write the blogs ahead of time and post them at a defined date each month.
Blogging about your expertise will help increase your website’s SEO organic ranking rate. Translation: the more content your website is able to offer; the better chance of the site being indexed within all major search engines. Remember to keep the subject related to your business, offering tips, techniques or expertise directly related to your company and background. Encourage your readers to give you feedback, posting comments and allow them an option to share the post on social media.
External hard drive space and cloud storage have become so inexpensive we no longer have any excuse not to have multiple backups of our digital content to protect all of our devices—computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. Think of the many hours you invest at your company in gathering client data, developing amazing creative solutions, conducting online research, finalizing that perfect proposal or even just preserving your photos from a family vacation. Now, imagine all of that work is gone in an instant due to a computer crash. Think of the hours of billable time that would be lost in trying to recreate what was lost.
I recently had one of my computer hard drives fail. I had backed it up onto external storage drive—but that one failed too. Thankfully, I had a third backup in the cloud and all of my data was saved. It’s not as simple as just connecting your computer to an external hard drive, or with Apple, turning on Time Machine, and initiating a backup. You also need to periodically check your backups and the integrity of the drives you are using. Another great, cost-effective and convenient solution is to subscribe to a cloud computing backup service.
Now is the time to start working on your holiday promotional campaigns and taking advantage of the power of of online resources – especially e-blast emails – to help spread the word. Whether you are a seasoned pro e-mail marketing pro or a novice, here are some tips you should keep in mind to increase the effectiveness of your campaign. It’s important to have a clean and modern e-blast design, and even at our ad agency we sometimes find this challenging.
During the Holiday season, time is especially short for your customers and potential customers and they will spend only about 4.8 seconds scanning your email before they decide to read further. So, designing an elegant and simple e-blast that clearly states your key messages is essential in getting their attention – fast! Resist the temptation to cram tons of text in your promotions to ensure the message elicits action.
How do you decide what design will work for your business? At Nuevo, we’ve conducted countless focus groups to determine what is most appealing to consumers. We’ve found consumers are most interested in discounts, special sales and coupons this time of year. Sounds obvious, right? The “prime real estate” in your e-blasts is from the headline down to the first two or 3 inches of that email. Here is where you must convey your message clearly and concisely and without room for interpretation.
Every business should take extra steps to safeguard its customers’ information and protect business technologies from hackers. It is always a good practice to change passwords at least 3 times a year. Make your password hard to crack. Good passwords should include both uppercase and lower case characters, special characters (like #$%! etc.) and be at least 21 characters long. You can find a few good online password generators (https://lastpass.com/generatepassword.php). If you use a password generator, make sure the passwords are generated on your local device such as your laptop or desktop instead of your handheld, and to be extra safe, change a few of the characters in the auto generated password before you use the new pas sword. A strong password would look like this: “g8T06^P4h&Jw@5X*8Aa79We.” Using a phrase with numbers replacing some key text characters is also a great idea.
A strong password is important to protect personal information and business assets online. Using a different password for each unique web site login that is long and has multiple types of characters (numbers, letter and symbols) will help protect you and your business from someone hacking into your accounts.
What is messaging and why does it matter to you and your business? Well, if you have a website, it’s assumed you are using it to provide valuable information to your current and potential customers. So it may surprise you that major search engines like Google, MSN, Bing, etc. don’t actually have human beings visiting your site. Due to the sheer magnitude of websites that exist, search engines use BOTs (short for “Robot”) – automated software that spiders or indexes your web site. These BOTs take many factors into consideration when placing a ranking on your site.
Messaging refers to the overall subject matter of any given page on your website and the content within it. In the eyes of a search engine BOT, the subject matter, content and Focus Keywords on your site combine like a mathematical equation to “score” your page and provide a numerical ranking. By default, the effectiveness of your entire website is translated into an index “number.”
According to Lynn La at CNET: “AT&T has finally rolled out its native Wi-Fi calling feature on certain smartphones, after the Federal Communications Commission granted the wireless carrier’s waiver request for the feature. Starting Oct. 8, AT&T customers with the latest phones, the Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, as well last year’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, can make and receive calls using a Wi-Fi network as long as the handsets are also running Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 9.
Wi-Fi calling can be useful whenever users find themselves in an area with weak or no carrier coverage. By using a local Wi-Fi network, such as the one set up at your house or available in a public space like a cafe or library, you can still make calls without a cellular connection. And because the feature is baked into the devices themselves, you and the person you are calling won’t have to download a third-party app or service.
Out of the four major U.S. carriers, AT&T is now the third to roll out Wi-Fi calling, following T-Mobile and Sprint. AT&T hoped to launch the Wi-Fi calling feature last month when Apple first released iOS 9. Last week, the carrier accused the FCC of dragging its feet on approving the waiver it needed to offer the feature. The FCC, which denies the claim it was slow to OK the request, granted the waiver Tuesday.