Does your company host webinars, seminars, workshops or other events throughout the year? Do you have an organized, accurate system in place for capturing and tracking registration information? Does this system require you to manually enter that information into your ACT! database?
We recently hosted a lunch and learn workshop where our guests learned how to use custom ACT! fields and tables, dynamic groups, and the ACT! E-marketing tools to more efficiently organize and track their event details, even eliminating the need for manual entry of registrant information! The guests were amazed at how easy this was to accomplish and marveled at the time it will save them. And
they left with our Event Email Marketing Checklist
, which provided the step-by-step setup instructions that we use when planning our own events.
If you are interested in learning about how you can more efficiently plan and organize your events, contact us at (847) 520-0860. And don't forget to download our Event Email Marketing Checklist
today! We hope you find it useful.
Plus, visit our free ACT! resources
page for additional marketing articles and white papers. We'd love to hear how you use ACT! to plan and organize your events!
Does your company host webinars, seminars, or other events during the year? Did you know that ACT! can be used as an event planner to help you more efficiently organize and track your event details? ACT! has a variety of tools that can be used to ease the process of event coordinating, such as:
- Custom fields and tables - Add custom fields to your layout to track important event information (like contact registration and payment information) and create a custom table to track and display all the details of your various events
- Dynamic groups - Create dynamic groups for each event that will automatically add your event invitees, registrants, and attendees to the pre-defined groups. This is incredibly useful for quickly and easily sending out invites, reminders, and post-event follow-up messages.
- Sage E-Marketing for ACT! (SEMA) - Use SEMA to send out professional event email invites. Review the SEMA email blast reports to help you follow up with contacts who haven't registered but appeared to be interested based on their interactions with your email.
- SEMA Surveys - Create your event registration forms with the easy-to-use SEMA survey tool. Capture all the important registrant information and set each response to map back to an ACT! field - even the custom fields you created - eliminating manual data entry.
- Sage Drip Marketing - Take all of your event email invites, reminders and follow-up messages and add them to a pre-defined campaign series that will automatically send the emails on the dates you tell it to.
Using these ACT! tools can take your event organization to the next level! You can find out more about how to utilize and implement these event planning tools at our upcoming ACT! lunch and learn workshop.
Can't attend? Feel free to call us (847) 520-0860 to learn more today. We'd love to hear the ACT! tools or tips you've used to help in your event preparations.
Most email marketing
messages are meant to inspire people to take action, ie. make a purchase, register for an event, call today, etc. The writers put a lot of thought, effort and time into those messages, often without considering the most important aspect of email marketing - the subject line. The truth is, if your subject line doesn't motivate people to open the email, even the world's best marketing message isn't going to be successful. Here are 5 tips for creating subject lines that will have people begging to read more:
1) Know your target audience! What are the topics they are buzzing about today? People are more likely to open emails that are relevant to their needs or interests. So grab their attention by writing about your audience's "hot topics" and create subject lines that include these buzz words (How? See number 2 below)
2) Think like a reporter. Magazines and newspapers spend a lot of time and money to know exactly who their target audience is and what they want to read about
. So take a lesson from them and create strong, attention-getting subject lines suited to your business. Or, if you are really struggling to identify relevant content for your audience, review magazines in your industry. You can learn a lot - without investing all the resources.
3) Use numbers when possible. Today's consumers are busy. An email subject line that lists "5 Quick Tips" or "Top 10 Reasons to..." suggests a quick read and lets the reader know exactly what to expect.
4) Avoid bait-and-switch tactics. Honesty is the key to building trust. If you are sending out a monthly e-newsletter, it may be perfectly appropriate to simply title it as "XYZ Corp. January News" - or you may wish to incorporate buzz words from one of your news articles. Just make sure your subject line always accurately reflects the content of your email, lest you be known as the company who cried wolf.
5) Test your subject lines to find what works. Segment your contacts into two or more groups and send each group the same email using different subject lines. Using your email provider's analysis tools, compare the open rates. Did one subject line have a greater influence than another? Use the information you gather to help you create future subject lines. Are you unhappy with the analysis tools provided by your email provider? Contact us
to learn how easy creating and analyzing
your email campaigns can be with ACT! E-marketing
. Do you have a tip you'd like to add? We'd love to hear it! Comment below.
If you've tuned into my recent webinars, you've heard my analogy of drip marketing being the best employee a company could have. Yes, it is a tongue-in-cheek statement. However, when I explain the analogy to new drip marketing clients, they begin to view the initial drip marketing efforts involved in a whole new light. Let me explain... A drip marketing
campaign is a highly-effective tool for automating your marketing messages - and for freeing up your time to pursue other business activities (attending baseball season-openers, for example). To create a successful drip campaign, there is
some initial pre-planning and email template creation involved, and it does take considerable time to set-up. So people often ask me, "Well then, how does this actually save me time and money?"
And here is where my analogy comes into play. I simply ask you to consider Drip Marketing (DM) a new employee for just a moment and let's look at how it can successfully contribute to your business.
As you know, with any new hire, you need to invest some initial time training and over-seeing that person. He/she needs to become familiar with the basics, such as how to clock-in, where the office supplies are located, how to use the phone/computer/other systems; then, you move into the meatier elements that help them perform their core job responsibilities. When you think about it, a lot of initial effort goes into training that person to work independently. Then what happens? They quit a year later - and the process starts again. (Insert very large sigh.) With DM, you never have to worry about that! Hence, why I call it the best employee you'll ever have. Look at the other benefits:
- It's cost-effective: With a subscription rate as little as $30/month or at most $150/month, it will likely be the cheapest "salary" you pay. DM has no benefit requirements, it won't call in sick or take vacations - in fact, it works 24/7 and 365 days/year. It won't lie or steal your trademarked secrets or coveted office supplies. DM saves you money, while it makes you money!
- It's efficient: You spend some initial time developing a thorough, well thought-out campaign, and once it's launched, it will automatically send what you want, to who you want and when you want it sent. You can rest easy while on that much-needed tropical vacation knowing your customers are still receiving your important messages. In fact, unless you tell them, they'll never know you were gone. Can someone say, "Pass me my 9 iron, and another fruity umbrella drink, please?!"
- It will save you time long-term: It eliminates the time spent scrambling to send out another thrown-together marketing piece; the time spent before each email questioning who to send it to and when; the time on the tropical golf course talking your assistant through how to send that email blast you forgot needed to go out. Also, Swiftpage allows you to easily duplicate your campaigns and simply tweak the templates with new or updated info, eliminating future upfront time.
- You can easily view and analyze your campaign results: The Swiftpage reporting tools track the results of your email blasts and allow you to export the results into excel or, for ACT! users, you can upload that data directly into each contact's record. Then, upon your tanned and well-rested return from said tropical get-away, you can follow-up with them without missing a beat.
- It helps you to build better business relationships: By continually and consistently reaching out to your leads and clients, you are nurturing that relationship and building their trust and loyalty. People buy from people they know, like and trust. You want that to be you!
An automated marketing system, like DM, can not only help you save time and money, but best of all, it can lead to increased sales and referrals. And an "employee" doesn't get much better than that. By the way, anyone seen my sand wedge??
Do you have a "when I remember to do it" marketing approach?
Do you market to "only some of your clients" and "only some of the time"?
Does your marketing tend to be a messy, thrown-together, if-I-have-time, last-minute effort?
Are you discouraged with your marketing results?
If so, you aren't alone; but I implore you to re-think your marketing initiatives. The truth is, messy marketing produces little to no results, which is discouraging... causing you to avoid it until the next marketing requirement rears its ugly head... at which time, you quickly produce a messy, thrown-together, last-minute piece... that yields little to no results... leading to increased discouragement and avoidance... Do you see where this is going?
It doesn't have to be this way! You can quickly send out professional marketing campaigns that yield successful results. And it can be done easily if you incorporate 5 key elements into your marketing. It's what I call Intelligent Marketing.
Intelligent Marketing is a well thought-out, multi-channel lead and client nurturing process. It is a process that relies on both traditional media and e-mail marketing to send messages that foster our credibility and trust. Intelligent Marketing is:
• Personalized - It's more nurturing and enticing when we receive a marketing piece that feels like it was written just for us. I LOVE my name - I love to see it, hear it, say it. And studies show (or at least I'm under the impression that they do) I'm not alone (because that would make me narcissistic). Most people love their names - so make sure to include a ‘Dear Tina' opening line. Also, sprinkle other known personal info into the body of the message - just remember to keep it professional, not creepy.
• Relevant - Our marketing pieces should contain information that relates to our customers' needs, wants and behaviors. The last thing we want to do is send discount offers on snow blowers to our Florida residents. Remember the target audience when sending marketing messages.
• Well-Timed - Be considerate of people's inbox. We don't want to lose business by over-loading our customers with emails, or by sending them too infrequently. Find the "just right" for your industry's customers. In regard to marketing follow-ups (or follow-throughs), research shows that our first contact attempt with new leads should come within 5 minutes of receiving their information, or they are likely to purchase elsewhere.
• Thorough - We always want to use a variety of media throughout our marketing campaigns to create a multi-channel approach. We want to include a mix of postcards, letters, emails and phone calls.
• Automated - Last, we want to deliver our intelligent marketing pieces consistently over a prolonged period of time. To do this efficiently, consider implementing an automated system, also known as a drip marketing system. Drip marketing is a system that automatically sends our marketing messages to our targeted contacts.
Implementing these 5 key elements into our marketing initiatives can, ultimately, save us time and money - and our precious sanity. With some initial efforts on our parts, we can transform our marketing efforts from messy to moneymaking!
Learn more about one of the industry's most powerful drip marketing
and email marketing
Another year comes to a close - and it continues to amaze me how fast the world changes. Technology is forever advancing at the speed of light. Admittedly, it is exciting to continually be offered new, innovative business tools, and
to have a multitude of ways to "get connected" with people, but it can also be a bit daunting and over-whelming.
With the creation of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., our marketing efforts are being transformed. In this fast-paced, consumer-dominated world, you'll find your biggest marketing ROI comes from taking your messages to the places (or sites, in this case) your customers and prospects are most frequenting. Yes, if you haven't already, it is time to plug your nose and jump into the social media pool.
Scary - yes (esp. if you are over the age of 20 and just can't grasp 'tweeting' - 'twittering' - 'twitting' - whatever it's called); Impossible - no; Easy - it can be!
According to a recent survey by Strongmail
, most businesses understand the importance of this growing trend and do have plans to increase their 2010 spending on e-marketing and social media. (So you best get started or you'll miss the boat!)
Click on image to view larger.
However, most businesses report that they aren't sure how or where to begin and more importantly, they don't know how to measure their results for optimal success. Thankfully, for us at KSC, the new social media tools in ACT! 2010 allow us to easily see which social media sites each client is involved with, enabling us to gain valuable insight. When combined with the powerful ACT! e-marketing tools, we can create targeted messages to any number of clients - and quickly track and analyze the results. ACT! has made it easy.
However, regardless of the tools you use to increase or enhance your e-marketing and social media initiatives, it is important that you simply get started. Launch your company's name and brand into the social media-obsessed world by creating a company Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blog, etc. profile. Update it often. Connect with others who have the potential to become a customer or can help you find customers. Think of it as social media networking.
Embrace the current craze (or at least accept it), then plug your nose and jump into the 'Tweeting' (now you know) pool, the water's nice and the rewards are nicer.