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Expert Article in Duct Tape Marketing by Golden Mailer’s CEO

March 23rd, 2015 by

It’s Not Sexy… But It’s Time to Talk Conversion Rates

Tristan Barger, CEO, Golden Mailer

Don’t miss my full article on Duct Tape Marketing. Below is a sneak peak with links and clips from my guest article.

Guest blogger: Tristan Barger, March 17, 2015

Read the full article here: http://ducttapemarketingconsultant.com/determine-campaign-success/#

Not properly analyzing the success of every campaign might seem like an isolated issue. What you don’t realize is this lack of knowledge instigates several unintended (and seemingly unrelated) problems.

flat design icon set of analytics elements

Article clips:

“With no standard method to evaluate marketing campaigns business owners are left with no way to calculate investment costs, leads generated, appointments scheduled, deals closed or the final conversion rate of specific campaigns. You have no clue what’s working. These businesses don’t have the resources to track the necessary information or set-up these systems to complement their business and marketing model.

There is no solution that will work for every small business owner. But there is a solution that will work for your business, you just have to find it. Once you start looking into the number of qualified leads that come in and the close rate, you will get a better idea of what kind of CRM service you need. Do you simply need call tracking? Do you need web analytics and keyword tracking?

Marketing ROI, Golden Mailer

From personal experience, I will warn you that you might discover you have a bigger problem that needs to be addressed before anything else is done. If your close rate of qualified leads is at 15 percent, you need first to identify where in the process things start to “go off the rails,” and fix it. It could be an administration issue, poor communication with staff or a larger problem related to the kind of leads you are attracting.”

Read more on ducttapemarketing.com & the full article @ http://ducttapemarketingconsultant.com/determine-campaign-success/#

Sample of a simple Call Tracking service:

Call Tracking, Golden Mailer
 

Why Local SMBs Need Call Tracking

February 27th, 2015 by

Call Tracking … The perfect marketing solution for SMBs

It is important to know what marketing and advertising tactics are working for your business. For most SMBs a simple call tracking number with the capability to record calls, track campaigns by select numbers, and provide an overall report of how many calls each campaign generated in comparison to other campaigns is everything they need.

Golden Mailer, Call Tracking Service

Attach a call tracking service to your campaign for FREE – Contact us today for more information about Golden Mailer’s service or referrals for a different call tracking platform that fits your business needs.

Golden Mailer’s Call Tracking Services…

You can see what campaigns are more effective in the summer vs. fall. You can listen to calls and gather insight to how each incoming call is being handled by sales, administration, or even a call fielding service. Generate reports to reflect only the data you want to see and avoid digging through daily stats that have no impact on your actual conversion rate.

You’re on the go, and your marketing should be, too.

That’s why our mobile app makes it easy to create, send, and track emails, everywhere you are.

Call Tracking, Golden Mailer

A call tracking services is the first step to motoring how well a campaign is doing and discovering how effective your staff is at fostering a simple inquiry up to the point of sale. What you will often discover is many leads are not tracked correctly or follow-up methods are not as strong as they should be.

But even with these often complicated software services, business owners still find that one of their major obstacles is determining what leads came from where?

Most SMBs that offer only a few primary products or services get overcharged for CRM and Business Solution software platforms that bill them for a long list of capabilities that they will never use.

Why do we recommend this method to most SMBs and local businesses? It’s incredibly affordable, you only pay for the information you want, and the reports give you a very clear overview of the information to best establish conversion rates and campaign success.

QUOTES… We Motivate, Help, and Make Business Owners Laugh

February 21st, 2015 by

Golden Mailer Shares Some Friday Thoughts… Pass Them Along to Brighten Someone’s Week.

Weekly Tips:

Golden Mailer, Quotes for Work, Tips, Funny Work Quotes
  1. If you can, PRIORITIZE work BY GREATEST ROI. That way you will always be working on the task with the biggest impact.
  2. GIVE YOUR COFFEE A KICK! Everyone is putting grass-fed butter in their coffee. Why? It has the right fats to combat cholesterol, fills you up, and gives long-lasting energy.
  3. SORE NECK? Stop looking down at your phone to text. According to a recent study, when your head is bent at a 60-degree angle, the forces endured by the neck surge to 60 pounds.
(Inspired by BusinessHack.com)
  1. Spend the last 10 minutes of your workday reviewing the tasks planned for tomorrow, instead of poorly trying to rush through one last task for today. – Productivity Hack
  2. Create a template for emails that you frequently send out to the same recipients; this keeps you consistent and organized. A template eliminates the chance of forgetting to include important information as well. The recipient will know exactly what to expect and where to look for the information they need. (i.e. Sending campaign details to a client week over week that must contain report run dates, impressions served, clicks served, budget spent, etc.) – Productivity Hack
(Inspired by ProductivityHack.com)

Quotes:

  1. “We are really competing against ourselves. Aside from shared experiences and support, we have no control over how other people perform. Success is meeting your goals, not beating someone else’s goals.” – Pete Cashmore, Entrepreneur, CEO and founder of Mashable
  2. “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” – Henry Ford, Founder of the Ford Motor Company and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique.
  3. “Successful people do what the to rest us are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better” – Jim Roth, His rags to riches story played a major role in much of his work as an entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.
  4. “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan
  5. “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” – Steve Martin
  6. “Long-term planning is often undervalued by our indefinite short-term world.” – Unknown
  7. “Never mind what others do, do better yourself. Beat your own records everyday and aim for a better tomorrow.” – Unknown
  8. “Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.” – Anthony Volodkin, Entrepreneur

Giggles:

  1. “I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early.” – Charles Lamb
  2. “All I’ve ever wanted was a honest week’s pay for an honest day’s work.” – Steve Martin, Sgt. Bilko movie
  3. “Work is the greatest thing in the world, so we should always save some of it for tomorrow.” – Don Herold
  4. Peter Gibbons: Let me ask you something. When you come in on Monday and you’re not feeling real well, does anyone ever say to you, “Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays?” …Lawrence: “No. No, man. *Heck* no, man. I believe you’d get your *butt* kicked sayin’ something like that, man.” – Office Space the movie
It’s Friday… Do something AMAZING for yourself and someone you care about!

Should Business Owners ALWAYS be “On Call”?

January 14th, 2015 by

How to build client trust and still set boundaries…

I was reading through a discussion posted by Paul Castain on LinkedIn about sales reps remaining “on call” after hours. The responses all seemed to have a single underlying theme. It wasn’t stated out right in some of the responses, but it was at the foundation of their point. You need to set boundaries but still make sure your clients trust that they are a priority.

This is never as simple as it seems. Some respondents went as far as to say that they pick up EVERY single call they get – regardless of the day or time.

On Call Photo, Golden Mailer, Blog

This made me laugh a little because, well, that simply isn’t possible. You can’t take every call – Even when it’s the middle of the workday. You might be on a job site, talking to another customer, or installing a garage door. Of course, depending on your industry, your response time will vary… As will your customer’s needs.

For local businesses owners it’s hard to let it go to voice mail…

This is very true. For many businesses that invest a large portion of their budget into some form of advertising, missing a single call could cost them their entire conversion rate (again, depending on what your median sales point is). So they are left to push against the ocean. A point well made by Lon Lohmiller when he stated, “experience has proven that a work/life balance is critical for optimal performance at the times when the rep is “on”, which implies that there has to be “off” time that in the end I believe should be self imposed.”

Why can’t it be as simple as the “hours of operation” listed on YP.com, Google Places, or Yelp?

Once again, it’s just not that simple. Your customer might have the same work hours that you have listed on your website. So do you play phone tag for the rest of your life? No, most business owners that are out in the field for the majority of the day have what they call a “bat phone” – It’s a cell phone that office calls get forwarded to when they aren’t in the office.

Evaluate your target rich demographic and determine when they are most likely to call and try to make yourself available at those times. Some business owners do need to tweak their hours so customers can reach them on the weekends or evenings.

Set boundaries from the beginning!

If an existing customer calls you at an inappropriate time, don’t pick up, listen to the voice mail, and if it is in fact urgent, call them back immediately. If it can wait a day, call them back within 24 hours. Otherwise, you are setting a precedent that any problem is an emergency and will be dealt with immediately. This quickly becomes a habit and before you know it you’re camping with your family and the “bat phone” is attached to your hip. You get burnt out and can’t perform at an optimal level.

On Call Photo, Golden Mailer, Blog

Even the type A personality working seven days a week will get burnt out or over commit their time and resources to customers. It doesn’t matter how much you LOVE YOUR JOB, you still need to take a step back and focus on something else. Tunnel vision and the compulsions to make every single customer your first priority and your best friend will eventually crash and burn. Every client should be a priority. Make sure the squeaky wheel doesn’t get all your grease, and most importantly, be a dependable and reliable vendor that every client can trust.

Do Ghostwriters make you a Phony?

January 8th, 2015 by
By

Chelsea Irwin

I hate to break it to you, but most of what you’re reading online was written by the man behind the curtain…

If you really think that CEOs and VCs really have the time to sit down, with no interruptions, long enough to actually write some of the articles that they are posting online… you’re either naive, or have witnessed this first hand. I have witnessed this first hand, and work with CXOs who not only write their own content but enjoy writing it… I also know that this is rare.

(My hat is off to every executive that is as involved in the content creation process as the C-level team at Golden Mailer is.)

So what are you actually reading most of the time?

It starts with an idea. Usually something the “author” came up with in the shower or while his/her eyes were starting to glaze over at yet another employee’s birthday calibration. (I’m shocked the ice cream cake didn’t hold everyone’s interest for at least 15 minutes… especially those of us with lactose issues!?)

Then they get all ramped up about this idea. This is the fun part…? They want it published in Forbes.com! “There’s no reason it shouldn’t be, it’s an excellent idea that probably NO ONE has ever written about before.”

This is when the content writers (or “ghostwriters”) come in…

ghostwriters blog, Golden Mailer, Chelsea Irwin

First, you talk them off the ledge. Let’s start with a meeting. Hash out some talking points, possibly some analyst support, and then we can send you a mock up.

“FORBES!”

Yes, I understand. Let’s get what ever it is in your head down on paper first. ALWAYS RECORD THE BRIEFING CALLS!! These are high profile people and they read and meet with powerful connections multiple times a day. It’s almost like herding cats. First remind them of the topic. (By this point they have already thought of 10 more ideas – It should be a series!) You take what you can from the call; apply it to the topic at hand, and as a professional content writer, the rest is up to you.

You research and read and hopefully come across some of the material that sparked the initial interest in this topic. It’s your job to make “brilliant verbal diarrhea” sound great. You listen to the call over and over. Google some of his key phrases – BUT DON’T PLAGIARIZE! Attribute phrases if it fits. I have NEVER been afraid to attribute anything. It shows that I’m not plagiarizing and I did my research, or at least it shows that the author has.

This is a topic that could go on for pages. But I have two very important takeaways:

  1. As the writer, you have a responsibility to reflect the author’s opinions and point of view with facts and clear concepts.
  2. As the author, you have a responsibility to provide the writer with clear information. Not everything you have learned in the last 20-years. You must stay on track and stay focused for at least 15 minutes. You also have a responsibility to yourself to read EVERYTHING that is published with your name on it. Otherwise, you have no one to blame but yourself.

But no, I don’t think having a ghostwriter makes anyone a phony. I think most content writers would agree. They simply turn an idea into something you can share with other people.

After posting this discussion on LinkedIn

I was very surprised with how many people disagreed with me. When I really looked at the responses and why these people were disagreeing with me, I did find a common theme. “Writers” and “Journalist” – not just “Content Writers” – have a strong attachment to their words; it’s their intellectual property! The respondents that were fervent believers that putting your name on something you didn’t write is, “plagiarism, simple as that,” are the same writers that develop their own ideas and inspiration. Not to mention, many of them are book authors. I would agree that credit is due when someone ghostwrites a book.

I disagree that publishing a book about your life, which you didn’t necessarily write, but has your name listed as the author, makes you a liar. Many people make a living as Ghostwriters. They don’t have the name recognition to get a book deal, but they have the skills to help readers understand the author with words, the way the “subject” would want people to view them.

Maybe we can get into outsourcing your social media and engagement next time… That’s another can of worms!

Eliminate Obstacles and Reach the “Decision Makers”

December 30th, 2014 by

A recent study published by SalesStaff.com found that 52% of in-house B2B sales representatives considered “Reaching Decision Makers” as their biggest challenge. What this survey failed to ask is whom they consider to be the “Decision Makers”? The most difficult part of B2B sales is to identify the person within the organization most influential when it comes to budgetary decisions – That’s the person you want to impress and build your initial relationship with. I call this person “The Gatekeeper”.

According to SalesStaff.com, a few other areas in-house sales reps struggle with are:

I come from a sales background, my focus is also on new business prospecting and client retention. These are all different forms of B2B sales. I increased monthly budgets, sold additional social media packages, and convinced the company to resign quarterly retainers regularly. Many of these sales were made without so much as a direct conversation with the CEO and myself.

These “Decision Makers” that every sales executives and associates so desperately try to get on the phone don’t take cold calls; a CEO will rarely take a cold call. There is that small percentage… and sometimes we just get lucky, but 90% of the people you want to get in front of have a “Gatekeeper”. They trust this person to not let any calls through, schedule any meetings, or spend any money on anything they haven’t been convinced is worth it. That’s why convincing “The Gatekeeper” is the key to getting the meetings and the sells you want.

“The Gatekeeper” will always tell you their boss isn’t available. That’s when to pitch them. If they buy your pitch, they will bring it to management. Don’t simply leave a message and hope the CEO will call you back. The people that screen my phone calls, emails, and scheduling meetings are employees I trust and opinions I take seriously. If they tell me something is worth trying, I’m often too busy to hear the details, but I trust them, so most of the time I will just give them the green light.

Most CEOs send marketing material to an assistant, department manager, or even an intern with a brief message… “Can you look into this? Do you think it’s worth doing?” Business owners just don’t have time to look into every single pitch that comes their way. But if it’s a really good pitch, they just might look into it further.

You shouldn’t be expecting a high success rate when you’re pitching business owners over the phone while making cold calls. If you have a long standing relationship, that’s a different story, but anything less than that, you can expect a lot of:

  1. I’m sorry, he/she isn’t in right now, can I take a message?
  2. On vacation for the week, can I take a message?
  3. What is this regarding and I will make sure they return your call.
  4. In a meeting… stepped out for lunch… unavailable…
  5. Then, there’s just the HANG UP (which is always fun!)

After 10 years of working on both sides I can say one thing is certain, if you find “The Gatekeeper”, the person the “Decision Maker” trusts and listens to, you will get a lot further than assuming there’s nothing they can do.

Ask the person on the other end if they are up-to-speed on the company’s current marketing efforts. If they aren’t just an answering service, send them the material – It’s better than leaving a message that will rarely even make it to the target.

How Can My Business Get Penalized On Facebook?

November 18th, 2014 by

Is Facebook the best fit for your business & how to promote your product through blogs & non-promotional posts?

While the “rules” for promotional B2B activity on Facebook change more frequently than the Yahoo! logo design, Google algorithms, iPhones, or American’s hip sizes around the holidays… It is important to keep up with these changes to protect your company’s social media efforts on Facebook from being penalized.

So, how can my business get penalized on Facebook? Facebook recently announced that the networking giant can penalize post boosts that are too “promotional” as of last week. It’s not always clear as to what is “too promotional” but the decision was based on a survey determining that most Facebook users prefer to see stories and friend updates in their newsfeed rather than what Facebook deems product pushing.

According to www.SocialMediopolis.com, Facebook promotional regulations can best be defined as any of the following:

  • – Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • – Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • – Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

An excellent article on Jon Loomer’s blog used a great example of what Facebook will consider too promotional:

Golden Mailer Blog
Photo Attribution: JonLoomer.com

After reading what they determine is “promotional” it’s clear that businesses with Facebook groups or pages should stick to boosting articles of interest that lead the reader back to your website or Facebook page. This is just another reason why frequent blogging and content creation is such an important aspect of your branding. A recent survey published by www.hubspot.com found that blogging is a vital part of lead generation.

How can blogging benefit sales leads and keep your company from being penalized on Facebook?

By pushing your blogs that are educational and timely to your readers (this does not include transparent product or service pitches in the form of a blog), you can reach your social following and also increase engagement. Below are some recent stats collected from www.hubspot.com.

  1. Companies that blog have 97% more inbound leads than companies that don’t
  2. 92% of companies who blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog
  3. 81% of marketers rated their blog as useful or better
  4. 57% of US online adults read blogs
  5. 97% more inbound links for companies that blog
  6. Two-thirds of blog readers say a brand mention or promotion within the context of the blog influences their purchasing decision.
  7. 80% of adults say bloggers “can be very or somewhat influential in shaping product or service purchasing decisions.”
  8. Companies with more than 200 blog articles have 5X the leads than those with 10 or fewer.
Golden Mailer Blog

Facebook also announced a few weeks ago that sweepstakes and contests would also penalize a page. These rules are much more complex and something businesses should be constantly aware of!

Is Facebook really important for businesses?

In short, yes. But that is something that every business must weigh against resources and rewards. Below are some facts recently printed in a report from www.SalesStaff.com that might help business owners determine if Facebook is really the best place for their financial and time resources…

Golden Mailer Blog, SalesStaff.com pic
Graphic Attribution: SalesStaff.com

Mark Zuckerberg, the social network’s founder and CEO, said earlier this month that while a typical Facebook user could potentially view 1,500 updates a day, he sees only about 100. That means businesses that want to appear in that feed need to produce “really good content that’s going to be compelling to your customers.”

Business License Renewal: It’s That Time of Year

November 4th, 2014 by

Business owners in cities all over the Bay Area should be on the lookout for business license renewal notices.

According to Pleasant Hill’s OUTLOOK bi-monthly newsletter:

Business License Renewal, Golden Mailer

The notices for most cities will be mailed around mid December to the mailing addresses on file.

Address Change?

If your business mailing address has changed since last December, notify the city’s Business License Division as soon as possible to update your records and avoid any delay on receiving your renewal notice.

This will allow business owners the full grace period ending for most Easy Bay Area cities on January 31, 2015.

Closed or No Longer in business?

You should also notify the Business License Division if you are no longer in business, have sold, closed, or moved out of the city. Most cities require you to send a brief note explaining the situation; signed and dated, to the Business License Division of the city your business is located in.

No Business License?

If you are in business or own rental property in a city & are not yet licensed, call the city’s Business License Division as soon as possible to have the appropriate forms sent to you or answer any of your questions.

Customers Agree! Locally Targeted Advertising Grows Business

September 25th, 2014 by

Developing a Long Term and Trusted Relationship with your Advertising Firm Takes Time and Proof of Success

Partnering with an advertising and marketing team that understands your customers is one of the most important assets to a successful campaign.

Locally targeted Advertising, Golden Mailer

Work with an experienced professional

To achieve the expected level of success and ROI you need to work with someone willing to dedicate personal time and devotion to your company’s success. You should expect an experienced direct point of contact that will help you determine the best places to allocate your budget based on your customer demographics.

“After only 4 months of advertising with Golden Mailer coupons our customer increase was so large that we are adding a second fence crew to cater to zones bringing in such high volume results. We were amazed by the immediate increase in customer traffic and excited to expand to more zones, grow our company, and continue working with the team at Golden Mailer.” G & G Deck and Fence, Landscaping

“My personal point of contact is fantastic! He is responsive and proactive. He has a sense of urgency and always updates me when new mailers are going out. He has patience with my lack of response at times and always follows up with me. My experience has been extremely positive.” – Vitality Bowls & Utopia Tanning and Spa, Consumer Services

Make them earn your trust

Every advertising campaign should have a goal. In most cases it’s to bring more customers in the door. If your advertising partner can’t show you that the tactics they are using work, it’s time to move on.

“Golden Mailer has consistently brought business through my restaurant doors since my very first campaign with them. Customers bring in the coupons on a daily basis, both at lunch and dinner. This is the reason I have been using Golden Mailer’s services monthly, for over a year now!” – Kana Sushi, Restaurant

Making the process easy for you

In addition to the design, mailing, and demographic selection, all Golden Coupons are posted online and available to consumers searching for discounts in their area via the Internet. The campaign process should not be stressful, it should be exciting and pain free.

“The entire experience has been very smooth and they cater to my needs as a local business owner. For the cost of Golden Mailer’s advertising services, it is a no brainer. I have retained so many long time customers from Golden Mailer’s print advertising mailers” – Vitality Bowls & Utopia Tanning and Spa, Consumer Services

“My experience has been absolutely delightful working with the Golden Mailer team. They saw that my doors were opening soon and stopped in while I was doing some finishing touches to the restaurant. This was over a year ago and I have been using Golden Coupons ever since. They operate in a professional manner, always stay on top of my marketing needs and readily available should I have any requests!” – Kana Sushi, Restaurant

New Business? How to Build a Winning Team

September 16th, 2014 by

Understanding and Capitalizing on Individual Strengths

When you have a staff with a wide range of abilities, you can make sure every task is done efficiently and enthusiastically. Using people for what they are best at makes them feel valuable, and is key in retaining employees for the long term.

Winning team, Golden Mailer

An effective manager will work to support weaknesses and leverage strengths. It is important to put effort into enhancing employee’s strengths by giving them roles that allow them to exercise these unique abilities. As important as it is to build your employee’s strengths, they will undoubtedly have weaknesses you will need to compensate for. You can do this by helping them improve on their weakness, and by using other employees to do what they cannot.

The Whole Picture

You build your workforce as a whole, not by how promising an individual seems. If you interview someone for your sales team who has mediocre people skills, but has great technical skills, you would not necessarily hire them—at least not for your sales team. If their technical skills were valuable to your business then perhaps you would, but you would not hire them just because they have a valuable skill. Everyone is good at something. The question is: is the skill any particular person excels at going to benefit your company and fill a void in your team? Hire based on how an individual will complement the rest of your staff. Aim to create an unbeatable whole with members who can compensate for each other’s weaknesses.

How to Work With What You Have

If you already have a team with unknown strengths and weaknesses, then you can dramatically improve the team by finding what your members are good at. You can do this simply by asking them. Based on what they think about their abilities, give them tasks they will excel at. See if their abilities match their beliefs, and go from there.

Work with your employees to set dates and goals to improve a specific strength or weakness. Help the employee create a plan to meet the goal. This might include on-the-job training, special projects, training classes, a mentoring program, rotation of assignments, or online training. Allow for cross training with other veteran employees in order to develop strengths and buffer weaknesses. Often enhancing existing members’ strengths through pairing complimentary skills does a lot to overcome imbalances. If in the end, an employee’s best skill does not meet your needs, selecting other people better equipped to handle their position might be best.

Develop a Winning Team:

  1. Hire diverse talent with strengths that complement your existing staff.
  2. Determine the right people for the right positions and projects.
  3. Delegate tasks to the individuals who can successfully execute them.
  4. Know your employee’s weaknesses so you can compensate for them.

In the End

It is your responsibility to guide the development of your employee’s strengths and to determine how best to compensate for their weaknesses. Every organization has a diverse mix of people. Your challenge is to mold a team that can achieve a specific purpose. This is best accomplished by assigning positions, projects, and tasks based on employee strengths, while adjusting for individual weaknesses.

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