Monthly Archives: August 2010

Email Marketing Featuring Christopher S. Penn

The Internet show about small business marketing.

Podcast Episode #63 – Email Marketing

If you ask small business owners (and a lot of marketers too) how to do email marketing, you’re likely to get a lot of blank stares. It’s one of those things that’s difficult for entrepreneurs to wrap their minds around. Consequently, the power of email marketing is mostly under-utilized by small business.

In this episode of Power to the Small Business, email marketing expert Christopher S. Penn joins host Jay Ehret to discuss how to get started in email marketing, as well as its strengths, best uses and taboos. After listening, you may find that maybe email marketing is right for your business.

Guest: Christopher S. Penn, Blue Sky Factory, Boston
Length: 25 minutes


Email Marketing Notes and Links

Where email fits in the marketing mix: Marketing, Sales, Customer Service

To avoid spam problems, you have an ethical responsibility to send email that is;

  1. Relevant
  2. Timely
  3. Targeted
  4. Valuable

Contact your domain registrar and add these no-charge service certifications to your DNS records to help you avoid spam problems: SPF, DK, DKIM

Free email tools:

  • Google Groups: “The simplest, easiest way to start a mailing list”
  • Postfix: Open source email server for the tech-savvy.

Email Must Do’s:

  1. Have something valuable that is worth sending
  2. Educate
  3. Ask people to subscribe to your newsletter (Most important)

Free ebook: 50 Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List

Selected Quotes from Christopher S. Penn:

“Email marketing is what I like to call a pre-buy…for people who are not ready to make a full commitment to whatever it is that you’ve got… It’s a way to get that minor acknowledgement that eventually leads them into the sales process.”

“Email is a channel. If you have the ability to work in any channel, you can work with email marketing.”

“The one thing that differentiates email from most other forms of online marketing, is it’s one of the few accepted ‘push’ channels.”

Show Links

Christopher Penn’s Company: Blue Sky Factory
Blog: Awaken Your Superhero
Podcast: Marketing Over Coffee

Special Offer: Discount VIP Registration at Optimization Summit

Subscribe to this podcast by email: Power to the Small Business by Email Subscribe in a blog reader: Receive in a Blog Reader

The Keys To Transformational Branding

The Internet show about small business marketing.

Podcast Episode #62 – Transformational Branding

There are two ways to move your business forward. The first way is to make your business better. You look for ways to incrementally improve your business to gain an advantage against your competitors. It’s a crazy tough battle because your competition is likely doing the same thing. That causes you to think about the second way.

The other way is to be different, to turn your business into something that creates it’s own space. True differentiation is powerful because it changes the game. Your business is no longer part of a competitive herd. Sold! “What are we waiting for? Let’s be different.” But here’s where it gets tough.

To be different, you have to change. If you really want to be different, you have to transform your business into something that truly is different. That’s a lot harder than playing the improvement game. But not impossible.

In this episode of Power to the Small Business host Jay Ehret and guest Eric Brown discuss how you can achieve true differentiation with the Keys to Transformational Branding.

Guest: Eric Brown, The Urbane Way, Royal Oak, Michigan
Length: 23 minutes

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Transformational Branding Notes and Links

The Keys to Transformational Branding

  1. Reframing your business into something that’s different (second-order change).
  2. Analyzing the purpose of the things you do in your business to determine if they align with the results you get from those actions. Eliminate those that don’t.
  3. Changing the rules. Getting rid of the old rules and making up some new ones.
  4. Overcoming the fear of being something that’s different.

Selected Quotes from the show:

ERIC BROWN: “In lieu of doubling down on our strengths, sometimes we try to work on our weaknesses. Therefore, that brings us to a very safe and level place, but we’ve reduced what we’re different about.”

JAY EHRET: “In order to be different, you have to become something that’s different.”

ERIC BROWN:“The answers were really always right in front of us; by merely looking at, ‘What are we doing in our industry that everyone else is doing, that maybe we shouldn’t do?’ And then the opposite question is, ‘What are we not doing in our industry that maybe we should do?’”

JAY EHRET: “First order change is change that’s not really change. You rearrange the furniture in the house. Second order change is becoming a different class of business; reframing your business into something that’s truly different.”

ERIC BROWN: “When we began to focus on the customer’s experience, as opposed to our rules and regulations, it began to free up a lot of old thinking.”

JAY EHRET: “There are two big determinants (to transformation): Being able to think differently and reframe your business, and then overcoming the fear of changing into something that is different.”

ERIC BROWN: “When you start really transforming your brand, and by that I mean your behavior, and all of your employees’ behavior, your culture begins to shift. Your customer starts to notice that. And there is an expectation then, of what you’re different about.”

JAY EHRET: “One thing you have to decide as an entrepreneur is do you really want to be different, or do you really just want to be a little better at what you do. And If you do just want to be better, then you have to expect that you will be confined within your industry, competing with everyone else.”

Show Links

Eric Brown’s Company: The Urbane Way
Jay Ehret’s Company: The Marketing Spot
Transformational Branding Presentation at: Optimization Summits
Jay’s Presentation at ProductCamp Austin: Selling Your Soul
Recommended Event: ProductCamp Austin

The Social Media Marketing Formula

The Internet show about small business marketing.

Podcast Episode #61 – Power to the Small Business

Social Media Marketing Formula

If you spend enough time on the popular social media sites, you’ll find plenty of advice telling you to use social media marketing to increase business. It’s the specific “how-to” advice that’s lacking. Oh, there’s plenty of advice, but mostly in abstract form, such as “listen,” “engage,” and don’t forget to “share.”  In this episode of Power to the Small Business podcast we’re going to ignore the abstract in favor of concrete, exact advice. You get specific A-B-C steps that you can implement to help drive sales from this social media marketing formula.

Maybe the best thing about the information in this podcast is that it is result of research and real-life application. Stephen Woessner of the University of Wisconsin La Crosse Small Business Development Center, and author of the soon to be released book: Increase Online Sales Through Viral Social Networking, gives us this social media marketing formula based on his research and his first-hand experience selling products on the web using social media. He found that using the tactics he shares in this podcast episode increased sales conversion rate from 2%-4% for normal website traffic to a 22% conversion rate for social media traffic to the website.

Guest: Stephen Woessner, University of Wisconsin La Crosse Small Business Development Center
Length: 24 minutes


Social Media Marketing Show Notes and Links

Stephen Woessners’ Social Media Formula

The Steps

  1. Open your free accounts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (If possible, set them up as personal profiles)
  2. Start getting engaged with the conversation by sending out status updates. Reply to others and comment on their status updates.
  3. After you have built your network, start following the 6:1 recipe. Six life or professional-related posts for every one product or service related post.
  4. Start publishing status updates twice per day and do some testing.
  5. Every third day post about your product or service and link back to your business website.
  6. Use Google analytics to track the data.

Selected Quotes from the show:

“From my experience, I can easily conclude that a small business owner, out of nowhere, can use social networking to build a profile, launch a product, and generate online sales.”

“All these different content pieces are important, wherever they exist, because that’s what gives you things to talk about within your social network.”

“Just like any other promotional tactic, it needs to be nurtured, it needs to grow. Otherwise …you will wear it out just like a direct mail list that you send to 15-20 times without adding new people to it.”

“In my experience, you have to invest in building a community, you have to invest in developing conversation, before you can ever develop commerce.”

Show Links

Stephen Woessner’s Books:
Increase Online Sales Through Viral Social Networking
The Small Business Owner’s Handbook to Search Engine Optimization

Upcoming Events:
ProductCamp Austin
Optimization Summits

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