Archives for March 2010

The Great “SWEEP STEAKS” Contest

“Floyder, I am ready!!!”

Not only did Jim’s proclamation get my attention, it got the attention of everyone in the place. And, like me, they could all see that Jim was, in fact, ready. The question was – – ready for what? He was attired in some of the most unique garb I have ever seen anyone wear. His outfit looked like a cross between a Haz-Mat suit and something retrieved from the prop storage unit of a really bad Science Fiction movie. Where he actually did acquire all of the various parts of his outfit was a mystery, but not as confusing as why he had chosen to dress that way – – and then announce to me that he was ready. By now everyone had actually gathered around us, and I figured we should find out what was going on.

“Jim,” I asked, “what are you prepared for?

“The contest. I heard you and Randall talking about a contest where you have to sweep steaks. I have been around enough raw meat to know that it can get more than a little nasty, so I thought I had better get an outfit that would protect me from all the yuckiness.”

If you have read many of my other blogs you already know about Jim. Owner of an independent Sporting Goods Store, he is, to the best of his ability, trying to go “Hi Tech” with his Marketing. And, as a result, he sometimes gets his wires crossed in regard to the different programs being offered. That, obviously, is what had happened this time. Jim had joined Randall Mains, Director of Pathmaker Marketing, and I the other day late in a conversation we were having regarding the various aspects of a project we are working on for a client. Pathmaker’s area of expertise is coming up with Internet Marketing Ideas, which ranges from Keyword Marketing and Search Engine Optimization Services to Premier Blogging Services and everything in between. For this particular client, the “contest program” that we are employing includes the base contest, a sweepstakes, and a giveaway. Jim, having heard only bits and pieces of what was being said, surmised that there was a contest where the winner would be the one who could best sweep steaks. I smiled at Jim as I explained to him, and all of those present, what Randall and I had actually been talking about.

The loud groan from the crowd indicated that everyone present was hoping to watch the steak sweeping actually take place. Everyone but Jim drifted away, and once we were alone he just gave me a somewhat sheepish grin. I smiled back, knowing that to him a steak-sweeping contest might actually be a valid Small Business Marketing Strategy. As I thought about it, I could almost accept that it could be an Internet Business Marketing Promotion if you reached the right Target Market with an E-mail blast.

“Floyder,” Jim said, breaking my train of thought, “is the contest program working?”

I assured him that it was. So well, in fact, that this was actually the second contest we are doing for the client. That seemed to satisfy him, and, bidding me adieu, he sauntered out of the restaurant to parts unknown. I, on the other hand, could only wonder if he would have, in fact, won the steak-sweeping contest!

To preview our real NLT Facebook SweepstakesBible Contest and Giveaway, visit the linked copy in this string of text through April 30, 2010. You could enter to win one of our daily NLT Bibles or the Grand Prize of a trip to Hawaii.

Please like & share this blog post:

What Do You Mean They Weren’t Looking For Me!

Boy, I hate to burst a friend’s bubble! Especially when that friend thinks he is excelling in my area of expertise. Especially when that friend is Jim.

Now, you probably have already read about Jim though he wasn’t referred to by name. Jim is the gentleman who referred to “Pay Per Click” as “Paper Clip,” and wasn’t thrilled by the program’s results, nor by the fact that I had corrected him on it. Anyway, he is doing his best to keep up with technology, and decided he would start a Blog. The owner of an independent sporting goods store and a pretty fair fisherman, Jim decided he would do a Blog on fishing. He has been at it for about a month, and when we had lunch the other day he breezed into the restaurant and announced that he had finally hit the big time!

Enjoying the beaming smile on his face, I asked what was up. He explained that he had fourteen hundred hits on his latest offering, 5 Important Facts about Fly-Fishing in Arizona.  And, he proclaimed triumphantly, he didn’t think that many people even knew his name. Without thinking I informed him that undoubtedly most of them didn’t. He gave me a hard look – – he wasn’t to the point of fuming, but he was, at least, brooding. Knowing he deserved an explanation, I shared a few Internet Marketing ideas with him.

The reality is, I explained, that approximately 82% of the people who read our Blogs have not typed in our name, but rather a keyword. This, I went on to tell him, is the basis for Keyword Marketing. Keyword Marketing is an excellent Online Marketing Tool, and one that Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing, the firm I am associated with, feature as part of their Search Engine Optimization Services. My best guess was that people were looking for advice on fly-fishing in general, and fly-fishing in Arizona in particular, and that’s how they came upon his Blog.

Jim was a little deflated; there was no doubt about it. He is a friend, and not wanting to bring him down and leave him there, I shared some of the positive aspects about his situation. I first pointed out to him that now fourteen hundred people do know his name. Next I suggested to him that he might want to use what he had started as a social Blog as a subtle way to market his business. His spirits were lifting, and he seemed genuinely interested in the prospect of using his Blog to increase his business.

Warming to the discussion myself, I explained how another Pathmaker Marketing associate, Karen Randau, knew a gentleman who had developed leads for a hunting lodge that he owned and operated. He just wrote about some of the interesting experiences the people who stayed there had enjoyed, and before long people were asking about flyers and what not. Utilizing all of the knowledge and expertise at Pathmaker’s disposal, I assured him, would allow us to help virtually any business use a Social Networking program such as Blogging to promote their business without violating the unwritten code of “fun” that is associated with Blogging.

By the time lunch was over Jim had returned to being his beaming self. We discussed some other topics that might bring him new readers, and speculated on how many hits each one would receive. He was thrilled that he might get fourteen hundred new customers, until I pointed out to him that probably half of them were probably from out of state. I got that hard look again, until I explained to him how he could deal with that, too – – – but that’s for another day and another Blog!

To learn more about Keyword Marketing visit, go here

Please like & share this blog post:

You Mean I Won’t Get 4200 Leads?

It’s a good thing that my friend Jim is my friend, or we would probably come to fisticuffs every time we talk about the Internet. I have been working with Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing for some time now, and as a result Jim seems to have taken it upon himself to stay abreast of my new industry. Since we discussed his endeavors with his Blog on fishing, he has begun to use it as an Online Marketing Tool, and he has actually had some success with it. He has another friend, apparently, who is also sharing Small Business Marketing Strategies with him, and either Jim isn’t listening closely enough to what is being said, or the other person doesn’t really understand what they are talking about, as Jim frequently comes to me with his facts slightly askew. Let me give you another example.

Jim called me on the phone the other night and asked if we could get together and talk about this great Internet Marketing idea he had regarding the Search Engine Optimization Services that Pathmaker offers. The excitement was so evident in his voice that I agreed to meet with him the very next morning. I had no more than sat down and ordered a glass of OJ than he fairly flew into the restaurant and proclaimed,

“I am going to get 4200 leads this time, Floyder!”

Everyone in the place was enjoying his enthusiasm, so rather than trying to thwart it I steered him over to a booth that was at least somewhat isolated so we wouldn’t interrupt too many people, and listened to what he had to say. He repeated, even more excitedly than the night before, that he was going to be getting 4200 leads with his next venture excursion into Online Marketing. When I asked him how he knew he would be getting 4200 he simply said, “Well, that’s how many were in a Roman Legion.”

It stopped me, I’ll have to admit. Even knowing Jim the way I do, I couldn’t quite bridge the gap between Small Business Marketing on the Internet and the Roman Army. Sensing my perplexity, Jim quickly said, “Floyder, I’m setting up a Legion program, and since there were 4200 soldiers in a legion I figured I will get 4200 leads.”

I couldn’t help it – – I was still baffled. Heaving a big sigh, I confessed my ignorance of his latest endeavor and asked him what a “Legion Program’ is.  Now it was his turn to heave a big sigh. He shared with me that this is where you proceed by Targeting Keywords to send people to your Landing Page, and then those people can contact you about your product. See, he finished up, it’s a legion program.  I shook my head slowly back and forth, as it dawned on me that he was referring to a “lead gen,” or lead generating, program. Now, this is an excellent way to use Internet Marketing, and many of Pathmaker Marketing’s clients use such a program to glean leads as often as they try to actually make a sale. Nodding that I now understand what he meant, I corrected Jim’s conception of what he was embarking on.

He wasn’t devastated, but he did become a little glum. It was apparent that he had his heart set on those 4200 leads, and the fact that it wasn’t as guaranteed as he thought it was took a lot of the air out of his sails! H perked up, though, when I assured him that it was possible he would still get the 4200 leads, and maybe even more. Almost back to his earlier jovial self, Jim headed to his shop and I decided to tell you all about his “Legion Program!”

Please like & share this blog post:

I Think My Google Paper Clip Must Be Rusty!!!

If you have ever seen anyone “fume” you know that it is not a pretty sight. Now, there are several things that might make a person fume: For a truck driver it is a freeway that has turned into a parking lot and for a vacuum cleaner salesman it is finding out the house they are in has no electricity after they have dumped their grit and grime on the new carpet. For most business people, the match that will torch their psyche to the point that they fume is investing dollars in a marketing program and getting little or no return. 

That latter description describes a good friend of mine. I recently met him for coffee, and as soon as he came in I could tell he was fuming! I waited until he placed his order, and then got him to talk about what was wrong. He told me he had recently spent nearly three thousand dollars on a Google Paper Clip Program and reaped no profit from his investment.

I interrupted him with the quizzical look on my face. When he asked me what was wrong I shared that I wasn’t sure what a Paper Clip Program was. He explained that it was where you only have to pay when someone clicks on the Ad and goes to your website. Me pointing out to him that the proper term was “Pay Per Click” and not “Paper Clip” did not endear me to him. In fact, I think if anything he was fuming even more!

As he continued to talk he began to look at me with a jaundiced eye, knowing of my involvement with Pathmaker Marketing. By the time he finished, it had become somewhat apparent that he was blaming me for his plight, though he had gone to a different fundraising company and I had had nothing to do with his current circumstances, directly nor indirectly. I forgave him the fallacy of his misplaced blame, and instead of getting upset with him decided to try to help   him – – at least to calm down.

As we continued to talk he explained that his biggest complaint was he didn’t get the results he had desired – – sales! In fact, on the item he was selling he made a six-dollar profit per sale, and he had only sold twenty-four. A hundred and forty four dollars, he pointed out, was a long ways from three thousand. And, he added, twenty-four was a long way from one percent of 119,000. That set off a bell or two, so I asked him to explain what he meant.

He had been told, he shared, that he should expect a one to two percent success rate on the number of hits he got. The program had been running for nearly three months, and in that time he had received just south of 119,000 hits. Even at one percent, he said, obviously having done the math at least several times, that would be almost twelve hundred sales! He assured me that seventy two hundred dollars would have been a great return on his investment, but he didn’t get the twelve hundred sales!

Knowing that I might be taking my life in my own hands (remember, he was fuming!) I boldly pointed out to him that the Pay Per Click Program had been immensely successful! Preparing to duck, I watched as he just stared at me, incredulity heavy on his face. What I said was computing, but very slowly. I waited until I figured he had at least a reasonable grasp on what I had said, and then I explained what was, to him, my outrageous statement.

I shared with him that the task of a effective internet marketing campaign like Pay Per Click is to drive qualified potential buyers to his website. The program had, apparently, done just that. His problem, I pointed out, was not with the Pay Per Click program, but rather that his website was the culprit. If that many people went to view what he had to offer, and only twenty-four made the decision to buy, his site was not converting the site traffic effectively, and might be in desperate need of repair.  He needed some new internet marketing ideas for his site, so I pointed out, like a restaurant blaming a cab driver because none of the passengers that he brought them got out and dined there when the reality was the eating place looked like a dive.

He pondered it for a while, and as he did so I saw his jaw muscles relax and a placid look rest gently on his countenance. As we sat there, however, I saw a reverse metamorphosis take place, as his jaw again tightened and a brooding look supplanted the peaceful demeanor that had so recently been there. Shaking his head in disgust, he answered my unasked question when he asked, “So I guess I wasted the eighteen hundred dollars I paid my web designer?”

I just nodded and grinned, fully understanding his plight. Internet Marketing Ideas, with all of their intricacies and ramifications, can be a challenge. That’s why I would suggest that you visit Pathmaker Marketing and see how we can help you wisely invest your marketing dollars. After all, I would hate to see you fume!

Please like & share this blog post:

Silly Rabbit – – Twitter Is NOT Just For Kids!

If a man could have a dollar for every misconception regarding the various aspects of Internet Marketing he wouldn’t have to involve himself with Internet Marketing! Case in point – – I was jawing a bit with a friend of mine and he said, somewhat disgustedly I might add!, that whoever invented Twittering ought to be shot. I was a little taken back, of course, and asked him why. His explanation really blew me away! Twitter, he explained, is nothing more than another application of the Internet to take up a teen-ager’s time. It has, he went on, no practical application for business and, as a result, was a colossal waste of creative energy.

He paused, waiting to see what my response would be. He is aware, of course, that I am affiliated with Pathmaker Marketing and had been introduced to Randall Mains, Pathmaker’s founder and one of its creative geniuses by another staff member, Karen Randau. The sly grin that began to creep across his face made me wonder if his earlier statement was a reflection of how he really felt, or if he was just trying to get my goat. Whatever his motivation, I opted to choose this as a challenge for me to defend my position as an expert in the realm of Internet Business Marketing Promotion, and decided if I couldn’t dazzle him with my brilliance I would at least baffle him with my bull crap!

“Do you know who created Twitter, and why?” I asked, knowing that he didn’t. Not waiting for an answer, I explained to him that back in 2006 Jack Dorsey was conducting a brainstorming meeting for Odeo. His goal, he has since shared, was to create a Short Message Service (SMS) where the best, freshest, and most relevant information could be shared between people. He and his group viewed Twitter not as a social network, but as an information network. In fact, I went on, really starting to get into it, today Facebook is the number one Social Network while Twitter is the number one micro-blogging network.

It was close, but at that point I figured my grin was bigger than his! Others near us were becoming intrigued with what I was sharing, and I realized that my friend’s whole intent was to make us the center of attention. Warming to the challenge of monopolizing the whole room that he had set up for me, I continued with my barrage of techno-talk, consciously trying to submerge the entire room with a tsunami of verbiage!

You see, I went on, Dorsey and his staff liked the SMS aspect of what they were developing. They felt it most beneficial that you could both update, and receive, your information from anywhere. As they continued their brainstorming they realized they would be crating quite a buzz – – and decided they wanted to capture that concept in the name they came up with. Someone suggested that you would be buzzing your friend’s pocket – – an actual physical sensation. As the name-storming continued they came up with “twitch,” but felt that was not a good product name because it doesn’t bring up the right imagery. A member of the team grabbed a dictionary and began looking at words that were around “twitch,” and came up with Twitter. The definition was “a short burst of inconsequential information,” and “chirps from birds.” And according to Dorsey, that’s exactly what the product was.

I took a long pull from my glass of cola and stole a glass around. We had ‘em, no doubt about it. While the whole room may not have been hanging on my every word, everyone was listening for they realized this was a wealth of information that they could deposit in their memory bank for future withdrawal. I smiled, as I nodded and winked to my friend as I prepared to leave, knowing that my parting shot would garner more than one groan from those present.

“This has tremendous business ramifications,” I shared. “Give me a call and I’ll explain them to you!”

To learn how you can use Twitter to promote your business, perform keyword marketing, or use it in conjunction with targeting keywords, contact Pathmaker Marketing. After all, you may find the program so exciting that it will set your heart a twitter!

Please like & share this blog post:

I Want Steak — Not Spam!!

One of the most dangerous things we can fall victim to is thinking we know more about a topic than we really do. This happened recently with a friend of mine. He knows of my involvement with Pathmaker Marketing, and, like everyone else, he would like a piece of the Internet pie. My first word of advice to him was to consider e-mail marketing, at which he wrinkled his nose, nodded his head back and forth, and looked as though I had just kicked his dog. A little surprised at his response, I asked him what was wrong and he shared with me that he believes all e-mails, and thus e-mail marketing, is little more than spam. He further went on to add that most everyone he knows feels the same way and want nothing to do with e-mail marketing. Then I asked him why he had some pretty interesting comments.

First of all, he explained, for the most part all you get is junk mail. He got quite worked up in regard to this issue, pointing out that with at least “snail mail” the marketer has to invest in the printing and postage of the piece and that helps hold down the quantity you get at least a little bit. With the Internet, he went on, people can send out stuff with virtually no expense to them, so nearly everyone is doing it. I

I waited patiently until he finished – – he is, after all, a friend. When he simmered down to where I figured he could at least grasp what I was about to say, I asked him why he thought so many people were using e-mail marketing. He pondered that for a while and then reluctantly admitted because it must work for them. I agreed, and also pointed out that another reason he might want to consider the program is because he doesn’t have to invest a small fortune like you do with direct mail.

I could see in his eyes that he had now made this a point of debate between him and I, and he felt as though he had lost round one. Liking a challenge myself, I waited to see what he came up with next.

“What about information stealing?” he countered.

What about it, indeed! I asked him if he intended to steal anyone’s information. He replied with a horrified look that I immediately translated to mean “of course not!” I pointed out to him that we have had con men ever since the devil convinced Eve to take a bite of that apple, but that didn’t make every fruit salesman evil. I agreed with him that individuals using the Internet need to use caution and common sense in regard to the information they shared, but that no one should be paranoid to the point that they might miss out on a really good opportunity just because it came to them in an e-mail.

I had to smile when I recognized the look of resignation on his face. He had been convinced, though he originally had wanted to be, that e-mail marketing is still a viable way to get your business involved with the Internet’s potential. He will, of course, have to spend some time to learn the “do’s and don’ts” of e-mail marketing. The best way to do this, of course, is to contact Pathmaker Marketing and learn from their years of experience and wealth of expertise. To learn more about the value of email marketing or email fundraising visit this link today.  To see a Case Study of a successful email fundraising client, go here.  After all, there is just as much “steak” out there as there is “spam.”

Please like & share this blog post:

10 Tips for Successful and Effective Internet Marketing #9-11

In this fifth of five blog posts, I’m providing you with 10 Internet Marketing Ideas that will help you be successful online.  Some are practical, some are philosophical, but they are all intended to help you be more successful with your small business marketing strategies. Here are numbers nine and ten, plus a bonus eleventh key to effective internet marketing:

9.    TIMING CAN BE EVERYTHING – To effectively Market certain products we need to have a real grasp of our Target Market.  You will, for example, be able to sell Christmas Program Packages to Pastors – but not in January!!  Typically, they begin their search for Christmas materials shortly after the Fourth of July.  Proper “timing” may also help determine what gives you the greatest sales success at any given time may be.  If you are not familiar with the seasonality factors in your products or business, then determine them.  Proper timing for your offers can bring in substantial results!

10.    TALK WITH YOUR AD VENDOR – Your vendor may not know your line of business as well as you do, but they are seeing advertising results across many clients and industries that you do not have access to, and they will be able to identify trends that are working and universal strategies or tactics that are being effective for other clients of theirs.  Talk with them. Pick their brains. Get the input and feedback on your campaign.  Ask questions.  They may be able to give you those extra tidbits of helpful advice that gets your campaign over the top.

11.    DON’T BE A JOHNNY COME LATELY – Avoid last minute stuff. Many mistakes get made because you are rushing to meet a deadline and everything is coming together at the very last possible moment.  Avoid that pattern.  It leads to errors and oversights.  You need to get your strategies ironed out in advance, and then develop your designs, then budget time for reflection.  Give yourself a day or two in the schedule to reflect on what you’ve done and how it could be improved. Sometimes we’re so caught up in the details we can’t keep a perspective on the big picture. You prevent this tunnel vision by ensuring you have that one extra day or two to reflect on your work and make sure it really hits the mark, and has all the components it needs to be a successful online advertising campaign for your company.

For further internet marketing ideas, or tips for fundraising professionals, visit Pathmaker Marketing, or call Randall Mains direct at 623-322-3334.

Please like & share this blog post:

10 Tips for Successful and Effective Internet Marketing #7-8

In this fourth of five blog posts, I’m providing you with 10 Internet Marketing Ideas that will help you be successful online.  Some are practical, some are philosophical, but they are all intended to help you be more successful with your small business marketing strategies. Here are numbers seven and eight:

7.    TEST – TEST – TEST  – The only way to determine what is going to work for you over time is to throw a lot of stuff against the wall and see what sticks.  The odds of first time success are low, but the lack of immediate success should not be discouraging to you.  Consider this – – of all the thousands and thousands of men who have played Major League Baseball, only 102 hit a home run during their first plate appearance.  Of those 102, only three hit a grand slam!  Some of the men who didn’t hit a home run in their first plate appearance include Henry Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Babe Ruth, and Barry Bonds!!  Willie Mays went 0 for 12 at the beginning of his career, but did hit a home run his 13th time at bat!  Thomas Edison tried hundreds and hundreds of times to perfect the light bulb.  When asked if he was discouraged by all of his failures, Edison reportedly replied, “Young man I have not failed at all.  I have successfully concluded that none of the elements I have tried so far will work!”  An important point to remember here is that not everything that works for one business will work for another.  As a result, you will need to do your own testing, and not rely just on the results of what others may discover about their product/service/business. Try numerous approaches to see which angle or channel may work for you.

8.    STICK WITH WHAT STICKS! – The goal of “testing” is to throw mud against the wall to see what sticks, and then to stay with what sticks.  We often have such a propensity to be on the “cutting edge” of Marketing that we neglect to step back and decipher exactly what is working versus what is “cutting edge” testing.  While Twitter and Facebook are growing trends for marketers, and often get enormous press, “tweeting” may not be making any money yet for many advertisers.  As you hear about “what’s new,” don’t forget about “what’s old.”  E-mail, with its proven track record, has become a bankable commodity, and that, after all, is what marketing is all about – putting money in the bank!  Find out what works for your business. Stay with what works. Try out the other things using recommendation #7: test, test, test.

For further internet marketing ideas, or tips for fundraising professionals, visit Pathmaker Marketing, or call Randall Mains direct at 623-322-3334.

Please like & share this blog post:
Get Notified When a New Blog is Posted!
CLOSE
Get Notified Each Time We Post a New Blog
CLOSE

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)