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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
 

Traditional Marketing Tactics Are Not Dead

March 10th, 2015 by

I can make a believer out of you … Some people need statistics to believe in something. Some require testimonials from people like them detailing the success of something. What do you need?

There has been resurgence in direct mail and it has created a higher demand. Everyone is online. This makes it difficult to really stand apart from you competitors on the Internet. Why do we believe that direct mail isn’t going away?

  1. Direct mail has the highest rate of success in new customer acquisition at 34 percent compared with other marketing channels. (Target Marketing)
  2. Forty percent of consumers say that they have tried a new business after receiving direct mail, and 70 percent have renewed relationships with clients that they had previously ceased. (Ballantine)
  3. Almost 75 percent of B2B marketers rate direct mail as very effective. (Earnest Agency)
  4. Four-fifths (79 percent) of consumers will act on direct mail immediately compared to only 45 percent who say they will deal with email straight away. (Direct Marketing Association)
  5. Half (50 percent) of U.S. consumers prefer direct mail to email. (Epsilon)
  • Golden Mailer, Direct Mail Stats
  • “I learned years ago that when it comes to marketing if you do nothing, you get nothing. It’s that simple. I have advertised with Golden Mailer for over 10 years. Unlike the results of an Internet search, I am not one of the dozens of similar businesses fighting for attention. My Golden Mailer ad will be one of its kind and never will there be more than a couple in my industry. Advertising is expensive but if one customer comes to my business through an ad and later refers two more the ad more than pays for itself. “ – Michael Primus, Attorney at Law

Company Benevolence Programs … Make it a Community Habit!

February 27th, 2015 by
By Chelsea Irwin

Over the last year Golden Mailer has been blessed to partner with the HOPE program for local foster and homeless children in the East Bay

Golden Mailer had the unique experience this year to sponsor children from the local Mount Diablo Unified School District’s HOPE program. We have blogged in the past about the HOPE program, but here is a quick explanation of what they are all about: Last school year, the MDUSD HOPE program served 511 homeless children, grades K-12 and 151 foster youth. These are children living in shelters, cars, motels, and staying temporarily with friends in what they call “doubled up” and “tripled up” living arrangements. Most of us don’t see this or believe it is happening in places like Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, or Clayton, but it is.

As a local and family owned business, the employees at Golden Mailer agreed that volunteering would be best served in the local community…

Children in Classroom, HOPE, Golden Mailer

There is nothing more important to the future of your community than providing inspiration and support to the young adults who will be running the local businesses, enforcing the law, operating on your loved ones and eventually raising the generation to follow. This is why we came together as a company to pull together resources and help provide holiday cheer to those that need it the most.

It doesn’t feel like there are many children living in homeless or poverty stricken situations in the East Bay, but there are. When we use the word “many” we simply mean that even one child is too many. My hat is off to everyone who did something this holiday season to help make a stranger’s holiday a little brighter. Dedication to Benevolence Programs is proven to give employees a more positive view of the company they work for and speak with a higher level of respect outside of work to friends, family and associates about management and company culture.

Working with the dedicated members of HOPE shows you the unfortunate truth… THIS NEVER ENDS.

These children need food year around, school supplies, clothing, and resources available to show them that they haven’t been left behind or forgotten. Simply because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you should forget about the less fortunate members of your local community. A few months ago we wrote about different ways you can volunteer or simply donate money to local organizations all year long. There are countless ways to get involved, read Golden Mailer’s 2015 Holiday Volunteering Blog for more information.

Why start company Benevolence Programs?

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in daily routines and we quickly forget about the children sleeping in cars or shelters in the middle of February. This was one of the many great experiences that the Golden Mailer team has started to make a tradition as a dedicated partner with the local HOPE program. We encourage you to start your own tradition and give what you can to your local community all year long.

“It Takes A Village”

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.

Golden Mailer Ugly Sweater Party 2014!

December 26th, 2014 by

Happy Holidays From Golden Mailer!

It was a close vote ending in a happy tie. Congrats to Mary & Chris for winning the 2014 Ugly Sweater Party Contest. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Golden Mailer Ugly Sweater Party

Sometimes a picture is worth 1,000 words…

From everyone at Golden Mailer we wish you Happy Holidays and a safe New Years!

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.

Bay Area Social Media Opportunities for Local Businesses

August 12th, 2014 by

Almost 68% of people who live in Walnut Creek work for privately owned companies, and of those companies, more than 30% are considered small to medium sized locally owned businesses. On average, only 18% of small businesses are using social media as a marketing tool to reach out and engage with current and potential customers. A recent survey revealed that more than 60% of business owners don’t think investing in a social media marketing strategy will benefit their brand or financial success.

Social Media Opportunities for East Bay SEO Small Businesses

Business owners disregarding social media as a waste of time will continue to alienate potential customers and slowly lose current customers. Even your loyal customers will gravitate toward similar (and competitive) local businesses that are actively engaging with the community online and creating brand recognition that digital consumers recognize and trust.

Digital media is how most consumers are attaining information. Bay Area social media has outgrown the days where social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube simply helped people keep in touch with college friends and share baby pictures.

Why are Bay Area social media marketing strategies such a vital vehicle to engage with customers? There are more than 325 million mobile devices in the United States alone. Consumers use their phones to find the best deals on products and services close to them. Cars even have built-in technology that tells the driver where the cheapest gas station is within a 5-mile radius. Consumers can literally ask their mobile phone questions about where to eat if they’re looking for a restaurant close by. The voice on the other end, commonly known as “Siri”, quickly searches the web and provides a list of the closest sushi restaurants or what Mexican restaurants are still serving happy hour prices.

If you aren’t implementing an Internet strategy, you aren’t coming up in these searches and you’re losing a lot of costumers simply because they don’t know you’re there. Mobile devices graduated from simple communication conveniences to human appendages. This wasn’t a slow evolution, we blinked and the digital age surrounded us… America’s primary source for information and sometimes even an addiction. If your advertising efforts with print coupons, mailers, magazines, or newspapers does not include online placement of those coupons you are wasting valuable time and money.

The same survey, sponsored by Network Solutions, provided the below feedback from the 18% of small business actively using social media to engage with consumers and increase brand awareness. Here are some stats about what social media can do for Bay Area businesses, especially if you have competition you’re losing business to.

  1. 70% indicated that their social media presence met or exceeded their expectations
  2. 61% stated that social media brought them new customers
  3. 52% found it developed a higher awareness for their organization with their target market
  4. 46% stated that it helped them stay engaged with current customers
  5. Only 6% reported that negative comments by dissatisfied customers hurt the image of their company more than social media helped it (Keep your eye out for our next blog that will discuss reputation management and why monitoring your online brand is so vital – regardless of your hesitation to actively push your business online, you are likely still being mentioned in reviews and rankings.)
  6. 50% found that it takes up more time than they expected
  7. 75% reported that they broke even or made money using social media, in spite of the time required to actively participate
  8. 84% believe that they anticipate that they will either break even or make money with social media within the next year

Bay Area Website Design & SEO: Online Marketing Budgets

July 15th, 2014 by

How do you determine the best Bay Area website design and where do you pull the funds?

With all the advancements and new vehicles available to market your business, you learn that nothing is ever a sure thing… Once we find something that works, we tend to stick to it. There are two common idioms that are both contradicting and true. Marketing professionals typically pick one and act as a strong advocate for it, but when presented with the other, they have a hard time disputing the validity.

“Never put all your eggs in one basket” -OR- “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

Walnut Creek Website Design and SEO Budgets

The success of every business ranges vastly depending on the marketing strategy that is best suited for them. While a strong majority of marketing directors strictly practice the commonly used motto, “Never put all your eggs in one basket,” this is built on the fear that if all your eggs are in a single basket, you will end up with eggs on your face. We are a culture built on making investments, but we’ve also lived through decades of financial markets that have been fast to rise and even faster to fall… Thus, we are programmed to diversify. For marketers, this requires allocating your budget across dozens of outlets, hoping those resources will reach as many customers through as many different vehicles.

(more…)

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