Your Best Salespeople Do Not Work for You

Marketing should not be about campaigns; it should be about relationships.

Advocate marketing is like getting a customer referral on steroids. The idea is that the customer doesn’t just give you a name, but talks about your service, promotes you and your company and helps tell your story in a more meaningful way.

Why you need advocates

When others talk about you, it is much more powerful than when you talk about yourself. The single most powerful way to sell your product or service is to create an army of advocates.

All advocates start as engaged customers. They have been trained properly and love using your product. When they are engaged they stay longer, they pay more and they use their social influence to sell the product for you. This is what an advocate does.

Social proof is the evidence that what you say is true. When a customer becomes an advocate, they let people know that what your company said is true, that what you do really does provide outstanding results because the customer experienced them and then talks about them.

Advocate marketing is about positive relationships of trust that are developed to maturity. Relationships of trust are driven …

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5 Best Project Management Tools For Marketers

Managing a marketing campaign can be tricky without the right project management tool. This is mainly because of the number of distinct channels that a marketer handles. A PPC project involves collaboration with an agency who take care of activities like copywriting, landing page design, keyword generation and so on.

On the other hand, a tradeshow campaign has internal stakeholders take care of tasks like printing brochures, getting product samples ready and so on. An ideal project management tool is something that provides the marketers with the flexibility to handle these various marketing channels seamlessly and comes with the ability to collaborate. In this article, we will discuss project management tools that are best suited for these needs.


Price: Free (unlimited)

Hubbion is a project management and collaboration tool that is quite useful for marketers. To begin with, users can create categories and status levels. This offers marketers with the flexibility to handle projects relating to multiple channels over a single dashboard without having to create separate boards every time. Also, the tool is free to use with no limitations on users, projects or file sizes. This can come in handy if you are a marketer handling dozens of …

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Marketing Needs Quality Data Before Big Data and Predictive Analytics

Recent marketing hype has been about new analytics and big data, and becoming marketing technologists. However, there are some fundamentals which must first be addressed, and a key stumbling block to effective marketing is the general poor quality of data. Data quality is non-negotiable. In a recent study, Britain’s Royal Mail Data Services found that the average impact on businesses was a cost of six percent of annual revenue. While there was some variance among respondents, clearly no company can afford to ignore this problem.

This concern with data quality is not limited to the United Kingdom. Experian’s data quality arm, in their annual benchmark report on global data quality, reported that while most businesses globally (and 95 percent in the U.S.) use data to meet their business objectives, less than 44 percent of them trust their data.

Customer experience is top of mind for 2017

Some 56 percent of the respondents in Experian’s report want to serve their customers better in 2017 and recognize that a key factor in achieving this is better data. Providing a rich customer experience is the name of the game, and poor or erroneous information about that customer could cause the …

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5 Easy Tactics That Optimize Conversion Rates

A lot of online marketers to figure out how to convert leads into buys. This is where a lot of marketers get stuck. Their mind keeps going back to the same thing; we need more traffic!

If we need to increase sales, we think of it as a traffic problem. But a lack of traffic is rarely the problem. You can throw $20 into a Facebook ad and instantly generate enough traffic to sell your product or service. A lot of these marketers are throwing thousands of dollars at their ads, but the focus is still on driving traffic.

It’s important to figure out what the real issue is. You’re not having a traffic problem. You have plenty of traffic as it is and adding more traffic will not help you if you do not know how to convert that traffic. For whatever reason, your content, your blog, your website’s sales page, your opt-in, etc. are failing at taking the plentiful traffic you already have and turning traffic into sales. 

Here are five easy tactics you can employ to convert traffic.

Strategy #1: Follow Amazon

Amazon might not be a perfect website, but just digging around and taking a good …

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Artistic license: Using email metrics to fuel creativity

Marketing analysts have been drilling it into us for years: It’s vital that we form our email marketing campaigns around the detailed information we’re gleaning about consumers. Every part of an email campaign – from the best time to send an email to the number of characters we should include in subject lines – should be A/B tested for audience preference. 

What many fail to mention is that the most effective emails are driven by a combination of data and creativity. Naturally, imagination and a steady flow of fresh ideas are needed to create the text and visual elements most likely to appeal to readers. But metrics help guide that creative flow, making the process of coming up with punchy, attention-grabbing content easier. If you identify with the 44 percent of marketers who feel that creating compelling content is one of their greatest challenges, here are just a few ways that data can provide some relief.

Establishing tone

Most of us know that readers tend to respond when a brand projects some personality and humor. But what type of humor will resonate with your audience? Which cultural references, if any, should you use? Is it OK to pepper you …

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The Favorite Four: Subject Line Slam Dunk Semifinals

Email marketing fans, make some noise!

It’s the semifinal round of our Subject Line Slam Dunk tournament – the ultimate A/B subject line test. Last week, we began with eight powerhouse contenders – each one a catchy turn of phrase that anyone would be happy to find in their inbox. You voted for the ones you liked best, and now we have our Favorite Four.

The winning subject line will be featured in an upcoming email – along with a very special offer to thank you for participating.

Vote for your Subject Line Slam Dunk semifinalists!

Join 140,000 small business owners

Get expert tips and email inspiration biweekly. Subscribe today and download our FREE Guide to Email List Management eBook.


© 2017, Amber Humphrey. All rights reserved.

The post The Favorite Four: Subject Line Slam Dunk Semifinals appeared first on Vertical Response Blog.

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Announcing the Subject Line Slam Dunk contest

The NCAA has the Elite Eight, we’ve got our Subject Line Slam Dunk.

Here at VerticalResponse we love a little friendly competition. We’ve also got an intrepid group of sports fans with office brackets, fantasy basketball leagues and collegiate allegiances who won’t say no to a contest. So in honor of March Madness 2017, we decided to hold our own little playoff bracket. We’re A/B testing eight subject lines, knockout tournament style, to find out which one is best. Vote for your favorite, and the winning subject line will be featured in an upcoming email – along with a not-to-be-missed offer.

A or B? C or D? Which clever catchphrase will be our champion? You decide.

Vote for your Subject Line Slam Dunk favorites  

Join 140,000 small business owners

Get expert tips and email inspiration biweekly. Subscribe today and download our FREE Guide to Email List Management eBook.


© 2017, Amber Humphrey. All rights reserved.

The post Announcing the Subject Line Slam Dunk contest appeared first on Vertical Response Blog.

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Make your mark | Create your own logo in minutes

Great news for anyone who has dreamed of designing their own logo for their business! Deluxe’s online Logo Maker allows you to create a stunning logo in mere minutes. 

Nothing is more important to your company’s brand than its logo. A professional emblem tells current and prospective customers that you stand ready to serve them in a reliable, reputable manner.

Now, creating your own professional-looking logo is easier than ever. With thousands of free templates to start from, the Logo Maker lets you customize your choice until it looks exactly the way you want. Design, and redesign, as many logos as you want without paying until you’re ready to download.

To create the perfect logo for your business, follow these simple steps:

  1. Enter your industry information and the text you want to use.
  2. Choose from hundreds of designs.
  3. Customize the layout and colors until it’s perfect.
  4. Save it, download it, and proudly display it everywhere your customers can see it.

And if you want to brush up on some logo tips, tricks, and best practices, download our free eBook, Guide to Logo Design, for everything you need to know about these crucial brand symbols.

What will your logo look …

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Hidden Costs of Restaurant Marketing

Your new restaurant might serve the best food in town, but if no one knows about it, you will never have enough customers to stay in business. Even if you have a great restaurant with first-class service, you need to create a marketing plan to spread the word about your business.

When you create your plan, it is important to identify hidden costs of restaurant marketing. If you target costs early on in your planning process, you will not have to worry about going over your budget. Here are a few hidden costs that may present themselves when marketing your restaurant. 

Website Development

Everyone knows that an attractive, user-friendly website is the first step in advertising your business. While modern website builders make designing a website for your business easier than ever, a website does not come free.

Behind-the-scenes costs of a good professional website include fees for website hosting, a website-building platform, a domain name and, if you do not have the time to create your own site, a customized template. Some of these, like a template creation fee, are just one-time fees. Other fees, like website hosting, may be monthly.

Direct Mail and Email Campaign

Direct mail and

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How to Market a Restaurant Without Going Broke

Opening a restaurant has plenty of costs, from the rent or mortgage of your venue to payroll for your employees, but you can’t forget to budget marketing into your plan. Although it isn’t the priciest part of opening an eatery, it is vital to getting the word out about your place.

If you consider the results from a recent study by The CMO Survey, the amount of money you allocate into solid marketing equals positive company growth. Businesses that spent an average of about 16.5 percent of revenue on marketing grew 1 to 15 percent over a year; those that spent an average of 50.2 percent on marketing grew 31 to 100 percent. However, that doesn’t mean you need to spend that much on marketing to see results.

Marketing experts suggest new restaurants spend 25 to 35 percent of their budgets on marketing to ensure potential customers know they exist. Most restaurants plan on devoting 3 to 6 percent of sales to marketing. That’s a reasonable amount that certainly shouldn’t break your budget. You can find a variety of ways to cut corners and get more customers and customer loyalty.

Inspire Customer Loyalty

One of the first questions your host …

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