New Messages & Designs to Light Up The Sky This 4th of July

The 4th of July is casual – flip-flops, picnics, sparklers, pools, tank-tops, and of course – FIREWORKS!

This week, don't forget to send a casual Independence Day greeting to all your contacts that's sure to light them up.

Don't have time to write or design anything cool and interesting? No problem.

Our NEW pre-written, pre-designed 4th of July messages are ready to send. Just light the fuse and watch the fireworks! 

To send one:

EXAMPLES:

Sales 2.5 – Combining the New Tools with the Old Rules to Maximize Sales

Sales 2.5 – Combining the New Tools with the Old Rules to Maximize Sales

If you’re ready to finally learn how to combine all the New Tools of sales with the Old Rules of traditional sales, then get ready for the Webinar Event Series of the Year!

Introducing, “Sales 2.5 - Combining the New Tools with the Old Rules to Maximize Sales!

A Brand New Webinar Series starting Monday, June 16th and running through Thursday, June 19th (1pm to 2pm Eastern each day)

New Father's Day Graphics & Messages: No Dad Left Behind!

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Father's Day is Sunday, June 15th – but think for a moment about last Father's Day. To how many friends did you wish a "Happy Father's Day?" Lots, right? We do it because it's a gesture of respect to family men we admire. Now think of all the customers, co-workers, and partners who are family men you admire. 

Father's Day messages and graphics by Ace of Sales are designed for you so you can shout out your message of respect to them all. Surprise ALL the great fathers in your life with 7 new messages that are written, designed and ready to send – and – 7 new dynamic graphics to add to your Father's Day greeting.

Don't leave any fathers behind – WOW them with an email or printed card that will make them feel respected and help you be remembered.

Log in to Ace of Sales (or sign up for a free 30 day trial). Open a new email or printed card window. Then choose a graphic from the Father's Day category. To use a pre-written message, click on 'Message Library' and search for 'Father's Day.'

 

Father's Day Messages Set 1 - "Breaking Plaid"


Father's Day Messages Set 2 - "Dadspirationals"


Father's Day Graphics Set 1 - "King of the..."


Father's Day Graphics Set 2 - "Superhero"

New Vacation Messages: Be The Last One to Say 'Goodbye!'

It's inevitable – your customers are going on vacation.

I know, I know, it's horrible news. What's worse – there's nothing you can do about it. Slashing their tires isn't a viable option, but there IS something you can do.

Find out when they're heading out and send them a farewell message. Use one of our new Vacation Messages - written, designed and ready to fire off before they shove off. They're witty, they're memorable, and you won't end up in jail.

Log in to your account (or create a 30 day free trial). Click on the 'Message Library' tab. Search for 'Vacation.' Pick your fav and fire away.

Memorial Day Messages Like Your Contacts Have Never Seen Before!

Our new Memorial Day Messages are pre-written, pre-designed, ready to send, and free to anyone with an Ace of Sales account!

That's not a trifecta, that's a quadfecta! Log in to your account or create a free trial account, then go to the 'Saved Messages' tab to choose your favorite message.

Send your Memorial Day greeting to a single contact or a group of contacts. 

Memorial Day is about remembering our country's heroes – but it's also about family, friends, fun, and festivities. Have fun with everyone in your database using these ready-to-send messages that are sure to get a response!

Happy Memorial Day from the Ace of Sales Team.

How To: Use Opt-In Forms With Redirects to Generate Leads & Build Your Contact List

(Note: Read the Autoresponder Companion Post)

Marketers know the term 'redirect' as it relates to marketing processes. But if you're in sales, customer service, or another area of business development, you may not be familiar with it. 

When using an opt-in form (available as an option for any group you create in Ace of Sales), adding a 'redirect' adds powerful functionality by offering value to new contacts automatically.

An OPT-IN FORM enables a contact to give you their information via a web form in exchange for an offer of value. Opt-in forms are typically available on a website, blog, or landing page and can be used on any type of computer - desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.

Here's how opt-in forms work (double opt-in process):

  1. You create an opt-in form – which exists on a webpage.
  2. Visitors go to your form via a web link.
  3. Visitors add their contact information and click submit (opt-in step 1).
  4. A link is emailed to the visitor to confirm that they opted-in (opt-in step 2).
  5. Once they click the link, you get their contact info.

An OPT-IN FORM REDIRECT adds a very helpful feature to step 4 above. When you set up your opt-in form, you can designate any webpage to automatically open in the visitor's web browser as soon as they click the email confirmation link. You are 'redirecting' them from the confirmation link to the webpage you chose.

What can you do with an opt-in form redirect? 

If you're using an opt-in form to grow your newsletter subscribers, you could open a thank you message along with a sample newsletter in a browser window once the subscriber clicks the email confirmation link.

You could offer an ebook incentive. As soon as the visitor gives you their contact info using your opt-in form and clicks the email confirmation link, you can send to them to a page to download an ebook. They get an ebook – you get a new lead.

You could set up an opt-in form on your tablet or phone to use at a networking event or tradeshow. When someone fills out the form and submits, you can use the redirect to open a video to play for them.

You could offer a white paper, a video, or a PDF download.

Login to Ace of Sales to set up an opt-in form with a redirect, and the ideas for how you can use them will start popping. Give it a go, you self-marketer!

Here's an example of how to use an opt-in form with a redirect:

 

1. Set up an opt-in form and add a webpage to the redirect box.

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2. Opt-in form visitors can submit their contact info in exchange for an offer of value, like an ebook.

 

3. A confirmation link is emailed to the opt-in form contact. 

 

4. As soon as the contact clicks the confirmation button in the email they receive, the webpage you designated opens up to deliver your offer of value (like an ebook).

How Slanted Is Your View of Customer Loyalty?

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Rank the following in terms of what drives the highest level of customer loyalty:

Price, Product, Process, People

Most companies and people in sales behave as though Price comes first and People are last.

Here's how they look at it:

1. Price: Customers care first and foremost about our price. Therefore marketing must center around sales and discounts. Likewise, selling depends on sacrificing margins, therefore we'll adjust the sales plan.

2. Product: After price, customers want bells, whistles, quality, choice, and customization. Competitors are advancing their products through R&D and so must we!

3. Process: If price is low and our products are good, customers will put up with our crappy website, slow delivery, computerized phone system, and 10 page invoices. After all, we don't have time or the money to improve how we do business right now.

4. People: We say it's our people that make us great, but truthfully our turnover is high, our salaries are low, our expertise is lower, and our training is non-existent. We're ultimately focused on a few people - our stakeholders - who exhaust us with their demands for higher productivity, longer hours, and lower prices.

Have you witnessed this kind of backwards thinking? How about in your own thinking?

I'm a self-marketer. I believe in the power of the individual to create a steel-braided bond of customer loyalty. Customers, whether they're aware of it or not, seek out professionals they believe in and become loyal to. Empowered, honest, smart, likable salespeople are a sign of a great company. When a buyer finds their person, they trust that all the other "P's" will eventually follow, fall in line, or fail to matter.

The true hierarchy of customer loyalty is:

1. People: Where I go, my customers follow because they know I'm committed to excellence. My dedication, expertise and our friendship will be the last things that fail them.

2. Process: Our products may not fit everyone, but they're easy to evaluate, try, buy, and they're delivered on time. High experience. Low frustration. Customers build their processes around ours.

3. Product: We may not have the widest features or selection, but we believe in our products and we're fully trained to answer any question and offer custom ideas for everything we sell.

4. Price: We're not the lowest, because our value is the highest. Our customers agree, we've earned our high margins and they don't mind paying them. Not everyone can afford us, but they wish they could.

At the beginning, notice I didn't say companies necessarily "believe" that people come last in building customer loyalty. They "behave" as though they do. Big difference. If you read their brochures, small, medium, and big companies all boast that their people are their strength. But by focusing on price and not the customer's experience through their people and their processes, they prove they're just like the rest - low value commodities. When your people are invaluable consultants and your processes become the industry standard that make life easy, customers find a way to afford you.

Final note: What about companies who say their industry has been commoditized and no matter what they do customers will always buy low price? There are 2 responses to this:

1. When a possibility has never been witnessed, impossibility is assumed. Just because you've never seen anyone in your "commodity" business rise above the price wars to command a margin and establish loyalty doesn't mean it can't be done. PC's are considered a commodity, but Apple still leads PC sales with high margin laptops. Their prices are the highest, their products are great but don't do everything, buying through their website and retail stores is the industry standard, and their top execs are household names. Zappos became one of the greatest success stories in the online "commodity" apparel world because of their easy return process and world class customer support. Stop blaming the impossible. Be the first in your industry.

2. If your industry is so locked up in regulation and limitation that the human side and relationship opportunity have all but been removed as factors, I challenge you that it may be time to consider changing industries. Price wars drain the joy of serving, the pride of being the best, and your natural need to be useful and make a difference. Sometimes, the grass IS greener on the other side.

How do you look at it?

Let's open the discussion. Agree? Add your insight. Disagree? Challenge my model with your comments below. You can be sure I'll respond.

Want to agree or disagree with me more? Sure you do! Follow me on Twitter

After the "Before & After Webinar", Take the "Fast Start Webinar"

Did you attend last week's Before & After webinar?

If you did, now you know a whole new way to use email to differentiate yourself, give value, get responses, and accelerate relationships!

Didn't catch it? Don't miss out – watch it now:

Want more? Join me for my "Fast Start" webinar next week - I'll show you just how easy it is to use the ideas I shared in the "Before & After Webinar." And I'll also give you 2 email power tips not covered in last week's webinar.

Sign up for one of my 25 minute "Fast Start" sessions (all times Eastern):

Tuesday, May 13, 11:00 AM

Tuesday, May 13, 2:00 PM

Thursday, May 15, 8:00 AM

Thur, May 15, 4:00 PM

See you then,

– Andy

This Mother's Day, Get Social With All the Moms You Know

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Think about it. How many mothers do you know?

For most people, it's hundreds.

Chances are, those moms you know have a few things in common. They love to feel appreciated and they love to use social media like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.

This week, send a social media inspired email or printed card that's sure to make all the mothers you know smile and feel appreciated. 

To send one of our new Mother's Day designs, log in to Ace of Sales (or sign up for a free 30 day account). Click the Email Greeting icon. Choose a design. Select contacts. Add a message and send!

Happy connecting! And if you're a mother, Happy Mother's Day to you.

Before & After: A Tale of a Frustrated Salesman

Andy Horner, Founder & CEO, Ace of Sales

Andy Horner, Founder & CEO, Ace of Sales

I started my career as a junior web designer at a creative web agency around 1998 when the internet and websites were just exploding. It was a gold rush for those of us pioneering the new industry of website design and development. I worked my way up to senior designer, then art director, and finally creative director. 

By the mid 2000's, I 'd reached the ceiling of my earning potential. The only way to climb higher was to transition to sales. So I did. The websites my agency developed ranged from ten thousand dollars all the way up to a quarter of a million. I was selling to municipalities, manufacturers, telecom, and universities. It was high dollar sales and the competition was fierce. 

I quickly learned that for enterprise websites, which often had a sales cycle of six months to a year, the sale was often won during the follow up and stay-in-touch process. The combat skills of this battlefield were communicating creatively, giving value, building trust, exhibiting professionalism, and most importantly – connecting with the prospect.

Just like today, the prospect almost never answered the phone. Texting didn't exist and even if it had, it'd be as inappropriate to text a prospect as it is today.

So that left email as my only way to reach out.

My emails looked like everyone else's – black text on a white background. Bland. Blah. Boring. Not only did my emails look like my competition's, they looked just like the other 100 messages my prospects received on any given day.

So, I started to ask myself...

What could, and should, email be?

I discovered a few email marketing programs, like Constant Contact, but they really didn't fit my needs for one-on-one communication. Ecard services were fine for inviting parents to a birthday party or sending my aunt a get well greeting, but didn't apply to business. There just wasn't anything out there. Since my only options were boring Outlook emails or mass email tools for marketers, I realized the only solution was to build an email program for salespeople.

Soon we hooked up with Jeffrey Gitomer (which is a tale on its own), and we transformed the  prototype system I'd created into Ace of Sales. The primary goal was simple – give salespeople a tool that actually helped them make sales. That was over four years ago. Now used by almost ten thousand salespeople, our mission hasn't changed. We continue to ask...

What could, and should, email be?

A recent study reveals that email is 40x more effective at customer acquisition than both Facebook or Twitter and is still growing compared to organic search.

What could, and should, sales-making, customer-connecting, and relationship-building emails be?

Our amazing customers are showing us. I never imagined how they would help shape the tool, drive ideas for improvement, and apply their creativity to our product. I also never dreamed how many customers would become friends along the way.

Ace of Sales is my story of before and after. It's Jeffrey's story of before and after. And it's our customers' story of before and after. 

I invite you to watch our new video to learn how it could be your 'Before & After' story too.

Before & After: Your Email Makeover Story Webinar

Their first webinar together in over a year, Jeffrey and Andy return with a muscle car of an event. Their new presentation tears the hood off your email strategy and supercharges it with new examples and ideas to:

  • Get responses
  • Wake up silent prospects
  • Drive clicks
  • Excite customers to work with you 
  • Connect with humor
  • Get proposals downloaded and read
  • Foster longstanding loyalty
  • Get your newsletter out routinely
  • Inject your paycheck with more closed sales

The webinar will include brief and basic training on how to apply the ideas and examples using Ace of Sales.

Complimentary Webinar with Jeffrey Gitomer & Andy Horner

THURSDAY, MAY 1 – 30 minutes

4 SESSIONS ARE AVAILABLE

Seats limited to 1,000 per session / Live Q&A at all sessions

REGISTER NOW:

8AM EST SESSION

11AM EST SESSION

1PM EST SESSION

4PM EST SESSION

Crack a Few Smiles This Easter with Four 'Fab'ulous Pre-created Messages

I've always thought Faberge eggs were over the top. The amount of ostentatious detail that artists invest in the graceless shape of the egg is just plain silly. 

So, this Easter, we decided to poke a little fun at the world of Imperial Eggs by imagining how self-conscious plain old, everyday eggs might feel in the presence of Faberge grandeur.

Our new feature messages for Easter are predesigned, prewritten and ready to send in a couple clicks for just $1.99 each!

To send one of these 'fab'ulous messages, click on the Message Library and then click the Easter category. 

Don't have an Ace of Sales account yet? That's as silly as a Faberge! It's free to try for 30 days - hop to it!

Check out the two examples below...

© Messages, including graphics and text, are the copyright of Ace of Sales. Rights to the messages are restricted to purchase and use within the Ace of Sales system.

How Does Yahoo!'s New Email Policy Impact You?

Are you seeing a lot of email bounces recently? Are you sending your Ace of Sales emails from a Yahoo! email address, like eddiewarner@yahoo.com?  These two circumstances are probably related, and it's likely due to Yahoo!'s new email authentication policy. 

Before I explain the impact of the new policy and what you can do about it, let me first describe the basics of how email marketing services, like Ace of Sales, send email. When you're logged in to your Yahoo! account and send email, you're sending directly from your Yahoo! email address through the Yahoo! email servers. Your recipients see your Yahoo! email address in the From field.

When you send email through any email marketing service, Ace of Sales included, you're really sending from an email address hosted on the email marketing service's email servers.  Most people who use email marketing services and their recipients rarely see the 'true' email address of the sending server. Why? Because, email marketing services allow you to display what email address you want your recipients to see in the From field. You can use any email address you like, including a yahoo.com address.

When you use an email marketing service, it appears to your recipients that you're sending them an email from your Yahoo! email account. In actuality, it's being sent from a hidden email address from your email marketing service's server.

Though you may find it hard to believe, there are loads of people who abuse email. Shocker, right? Because of this, Yahoo! has finally decided they don't want people sending email from what appears to be a Yahoo! email address, when it really isn't. Understandable.

Yahoo!'s new policy change is also a technology change. Whatever email marketing service you use, Ace of Sales or anyone else, using a yahoo.com email address in the From field will cause a very high number of your emails to be bounced or blocked. That means your recipients never receive your emails. Not all email sent from an email marketing service using a yahoo.com email address in the From field may be bounced – but it will certainly be enough to notice in your open and click rates.

If the email address in your From field ends in yahoo.com, any of your recipients who use an email service that respects DMARC polices, like Gmail, Hotmail, and other prominent services will be much more likely to reject – or bounce – your email. 

So what can you do?

Simple. Switch from using a Yahoo! email address in your From field to another email address. You can use an email address from Gmail or Hotmail, who don't currently have the same authentication policy as Yahoo!. Could they adopt the same policy in the future? Yes, they could. Email fraud is worse than ever, and it's certainly within these popular services' rights to protect themselves.

The best strategy is to switch over to a custom email address that you set up at a hosting service like GoDaddy, Network Solutions, or 1&1. You can get yourname.com or yourcompanyname.com. Another alternative is to use your existing company email address. Or you could set up an email address to use just with your email campaigns or newsletter, like eddie@eddiewarnersupdates.com. It doesn't cost much and you'll avoid the high bounces due to Yahoo!'s new policies.

Ace of Sales offers one other option that few other email marketing services provide, so you can continue sending email from your yahoo.com email address. It's included with every account. We call it 'Email Delivery Boost.' Using this feature, you can send to up to 25 recipients at a time. Turn it on inside your Profile area, and you can set up your Ace of Sales account to send from your email server, including a yahoo.com account. To learn more about this feature, contact our Support Team at 800-865-7496 or support@aceofsales.com.

There are two constants with email marketing - nothing is ever constant, and email marketing will continue to grow. Learn, adapt, and keep having fun with your recipients!

Comment below to add your thoughts or email support@aceofsales.com with your questions.

Escape The Sales Insanity Rut

Guest Post by Ace of Sales Certified Partner, Jean MacDonald

Guest Post by Ace of Sales Certified Partner, Jean MacDonald

Albert Einstein said "The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result."

As salespeople, if we are not setting ourselves apart and being game changers, we are like all the rest of the many salespeople out there that simply wash, rinse, and repeat.

What does your email look like? Are the emails you send or receive all the same boring stuff? Are you lost when it comes to being creative with your marketing? Do you just blast a newsletter out there once a month, hoping people flock in with responses? On the other hand do you even know if anyone opened your emails or newsletters? When was the last time you sent a printed card? Better yet how many cards have you received this year, thanking you for the great job you did?

Finding Ace of Sales has been more than a game changer for me. It's my master key to unlock responses and relationships. And it's my self-marketing "buddy." I send outrageous emails, dynamic newsletters, and beautiful printed cards. By the way, not only do I send fabulous emails and newsletters but I know when people open them and also know when they go to my links! (note: then follow up is key)

For those I have introduced this to, using this tool on a regular basis has brought outstanding results. An illustrator said that she has sold her work because of the email greetings, a mortgage broker told me he is getting noticed and closed 3 deals the other week. A wedding planner told me because her customer was able to see her picture and a beautiful backdrop the agreement was signed.

You may ask, how easy is this to use? I like to say “Fisher-Price simple.” Now the real question, what is the cost? Try it 30 days complimentary and then just $20 a month. WOW! Less than the cost of 4 cups of specialty coffee - no caffeine or calories.

Escape the insanity rut! Let’s be outrageously creative together.

Bus or Car: Which Self Marketing Vehicle Are You Driving?

What was your favorite PBS show growing up? I loved Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers as much as the next kid, but my favorite program was 3, 2,1 Contact. Remember that show? I can still remember munching on Little Debbie snack cakes while being mesmerized by their science skits and reoccurring stories, like the Bloodhound Gang.

One of 3, 2,1 Contact’s best pieces was a simple but brilliant math lesson about efficiency. Shot documentary-style, the setting was a school parking lot. Parked in front of a group of 60 kids was a school bus and a hatchback car. A young lady asked the viewer which vehicle could transport all the kids to the destination on a very small, specific amount of fuel (I don’t recall the exact volume). 

As a kid, I thought the car would use the gas more efficiently. It’s so tiny! Both vehicles attempted the task. The hatchback, which could only hold 3 passengers, ran out of fuel on the 6th trip after transporting only 18 kids. The bus, which could carry all the children in one trip, successfully completed the challenge. 

To my surprise, the bus was the more fuel-efficient method of transportation.

This illustration applies to the current Sales Automation business trend.

Sales Automation is the “set it and forget it” process of acquiring new customers. Email blasts and search ads drive prospects to landing pages, which then capture their info, score them, and queue them for salespeople to contact. The salespeople complete a call or demo and re-score the prospect, which triggers a whole new set of emails or higher tier calls.

Ugh.

That’s the bus at work. It’s fast. It’s efficient. And guess what, it creates customers who have no loyalty to you or the company.

Thinking back to the 3, 2, 1 Contact bus/car test, let’s ask a different question. Instead of "which vehicle was more efficient?” what if they were testing "which driver made more of a personal connection with their passengers?" The bus driver could never get to know the children they carried. But the car driver could have chatted and connected with each car load on a personal level - a few minutes to talk to each kid.

As you decide how to gain efficiencies in your sales process this “spring cleaning” time of year, protect the customer relationship!

Perhaps you route support calls back to the same sales rep the customer spoke with first. Maybe you send a printed thank you card with a unique message to every new customer. Try sending at least one unsolicited referral to one of your customers each week. Once a customer has been contacted, all templated messages should include a personalized intro.

Automation may dominate the current conversation in sales, but heed this warning:

You can automate a sale, but you can’t automate a relationship.

'Bear' Essentials for St. Patrick's Day

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Green beer. Green rivers. Green lipstick. Green EVERYTHING!

St. Patrick's Day is no doubt one of the weirder and wilder holidays! Whether you're one of those crazies who go all the way on St. Patrick's Day or you're a more sensible type who grabs their once-a-year green socks, don't forget to send a greeting to your customers and contacts.

St. Patrick's Day is all about friends, family, fun, festivities – and sometimes even acting like an animal.

So here's a series of fun and festive pre-designed, pre-written St. Patrick's Day messages with an animal flair and a 'pinch' of weirdness.

To use the messages:

  • Log in to your Ace of Sales account (or sign up for a 30 day free trial)
  • Click the Message Library tab
  • Click the St. Patrick's Day category on the left
  • Preview and purchase your favorites for $1.99 each (yours to use over and over!)
  • Click 'Use'
  • Add a contact or group of contacts
  • Make any edits you want, then send!
  • Enjoy the appreciative responses!

Speaking of appreciation, we appreciate you!

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the Ace of Sales Team!

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New Daylight Savings Designs Added

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Don't let your customers experience the Wake of Shame this Sunday by forgetting to spring ahead because of Daylight Savings.

That's right – we lose an hour!

Twice a year, you get to be Johnny-on-the-Spot by reminding your customers about the upcoming time switch.

Here are 3 new pre-written, pre-designed messages that will help you do it in style! They're 100% ready to send.

Just log in to Ace of Sales, click the 'Message Library' tab, click the 'Daylight Savings' category in the list on the left, preview the messages, purchase your favorites for $.199 each, and send to all your contacts in seconds.

Way to go, Johnny!

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Never Say "Open the Attachment" (Updated)

The next time you send an email with a file attached, avoid instructing your recipient to "open the attached file." Such instructions are now a red flag to do the exact opposite. Viruses cloaked as harmless email attachments have ruined countless computers and devices in a single click. To many, clicking any email attachment is no longer worth the risk.

So, how do you get your recipients to open your attachments so your sales and projects can move forward?

You stop using attachments. You start providing download links.

Upload your files to a well-known, free file-hosting service like, Dropbox or Box. Then, paste the public download link to your file into your email.

Advantages: 

  • Recipients feel more safer clicking to receive your file
  • You're not filling up their inboxes storage with attachments
  • Download clicks are trackable so you know when to follow up!

Here's an example how to handle it:

"Tom, please download the Word file from Dropbox to review the outlines of our milestones for the month."

or...

"Nancy, here's the Excel spreadsheet (Dropbox download) with our detailed proposal."

When you follow this tip, your files will be opened more frequently, you'll have a new window into recipient engagement (via click tracking), you'll naturally get more responses, and fewer recipients will wonder if opening your attachment will require a trip to their dreaded IT department.