Have you ever wanted to put your logo on the top of another image?
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Have you ever wanted to put your logo on the top of another image?
There is an easy way to do it using Pixlr.com
Russell Conwell once told a famous story called “Acres of Diamonds." It’s about a farmer who sold everything to travel the world, looking for diamonds so he could become rich. He died penniless, never knowing that the farm he sold had been built over a diamond mine. If the farmer had looked under his own feet, he would have found what he was seeking, without ever leaving home.
Are you standing amidst your own Acres of Diamonds, without even knowing it?
You could be, if you never review your CRM database.
It’s exciting to add a pile of fresh business cards to your contact database after a trade show. Welcoming new customers and sending out proposals, that’s fun. A good salesperson is always adding new prospects into his pipeline, because new prospects turn into new customers, right?
There’s even more money, buried deep in your CRM.
If you’ve kept in touch with an old prospect for a couple of years, and they think of you as friendly, competent, and helpful, they will buy from you when the time is right.
Until that time, they need to be reminded of you. Regularly.
You can strengthen your personal network just by looking through your entire contact database every month or two. If you notice any names that look unfamiliar, take a few minutes and call, email, or send a card to reconnect. Chances are, if you’re forgetting who they are, they’re forgetting you, too.
Your database can be more than just a file of everyone’s contact information. Ace of Sales provides 5 fields for each of your contacts that help jog your memory with details of your contact and your relationship to them.
With database fields like “Buying Motives," “Family & Friends," and “Questions, Ideas, and Actions" your CRM can be a contact-by-contact treasure trove that you can dip into when reaching out to an old contact.
The key to finding this treasure is taking good notes. When you enter any new contact into your CRM, you should always make a note of how you met, where they are in relationship to your sales pipeline, and a few personal details that only a thoughtful friend would remember.
Everyone in your contact database is a potential referral partner or a potential client.
When you scan through your contact list, look for people who could be referring you more business. Reconnect with them by sending a personalized email, that has a few pieces of information you share in common, like an inside joke.
Here are some ideas:
Don’t have time for contact-by-contact follow up this week? At the very least send a regular email newsletter to remind everyone on your list of who you are and what you do.
They don’t even have to open up your newsletter, and it’s still a win for you. Just by seeing your name in their inbox, it counts as a “soft touch." They will see your name, and remember who you are.
This matters big time when someone asks them later, “Do you know anybody who….?"
If they haven’t heard from you since last December, they might not drop your name. If you’re sending out e-zines, you’re the first one that comes to mind.
How often do you want to connect with each person in your network? Do you want to call, email, or send a printed card? How often? What kinds of contacts should get more frequent contacts, and which groups need less?
Write down your CRM strategy.
Set a schedule and stick to it like clockwork. Connect with value-driven messages, and your contacts will begin to look forward to the next time you reach out to them.
Average salespeople have a dwindling circle of influence. They only have relationships with those people who they’ve seen (or spoken to) within the last few weeks.
Reach down into your own Acres of Diamonds, and you will unearth profitable relationships every time you dig deeper into your CRM.
This “always on" scanning mode helps you filter out the noise from the salient, important information from your inbox flood.
Without knowing it, you probably did this with my ezine today. And guess what? Your customers scan your emails too! In the blink of an eye, your customers evaluate every email to meet two criteria:
1. Is the message important? 2. Will it be quick and easy to read?
Even if your information is important to your contacts, if your emails don’t produce a “yes" for criteria #2, they may be ignored or deleted right along with the spam.
To get your emails read and get a response, you must format your emails for scanning.
Ace of Hearts: Keep your emails and ezine articles short. Remember, your ideas, pitches, arguments, and benefit messages are far more interesting to you than anyone else. Need proof? Ask yourself why your spouse says, “that’s great, Honey" instead of “No...way, tell me more!" when you talk about work. Try to keep everyday sales emails to 150 words. Limit your lead ezine articles to 400, about the size of this article. If your emails go on and on, they immediately fail the scan test and you’re toast.
King of Hearts: Restrict the majority of your paragraphs to three sentences or less. Long paragraphs are scanning quagmires that can trigger the subconscious mind of your recipients to demand, “next email!"
Queen of Hearts: If you can’t avoid writing a large paragraph, make it easier for the reader to scan. Summarize the paragraph with a bolded title and structure the main points as a numbered or bulleted list. The result – instant “scannability!"
Jack of Hearts: Don’t bury your calls to action inside a paragraph. Whatever you’re prompting your recipient to do, whether it be download a PDF, visit a webpage, register for a webinar, or answer a question, put it on a line by itself and bold it.
Ten of Hearts: End your emails with a dialogue opener, not a closer. Stop writing “best wishes" or “warm regards" at the end of an email. It translates to “have a nice life." Instead, use a valediction that opens a dialogue. Try “Thoughts?"; “What do you think?"; or “Eager for your reply."
Sad fact: The ingredient list on your customer's frozen lunch is a more interesting read than your email newsletter - if your customer doesn't perceive it as valuable.What's that you say? Your emails are awesome? Of course they are - you wrote them, right?
It's time to get real. If your ezines and email newsletters aren't seen as helpful and insightful, they could be wrecking your reputation and the loyalty of your customers, rather than building them.
The real question is: How do your customers REALLY perceive your email newsletters?
Here are 3 ways to determine if your newsletters are NOT where they should be in terms of substance:
1. Falling open rates. In Ace of Sales, you can track how many people are opening your email. It's not a perfect report of all opens because email opens are impossible to calculate with 100% accuracy. However, if you notice your open rates consistently dropping, chances are your recipients don't like the content you're serving up.
2. If you have to ask. If your emails are perceived as valuable, a few of your customers will occasionally report to you how much they love getting your emails and how great your information and ideas are. If you have to ask, it's because no one is reading. If you have to ask, it's because your content isn't original, helpful, and useful enough.
3. No clicks. You can also track who clicks links in your email newsletters and ezines in Ace of Sales. This is the best data to reveal that recipients like your information. Here's a test: Try including the first half of an article in your next newsletter. Then provide a link to read the "Full Article" on your blog. Whoever clicks this link is smell'n what you're cook'n and it ain't no microwaved meal!
If open rates are dropping, links are unclicked, and customers are not replying with their thank-you's, it may be time to reassess your content and take it up a notch.
For help and ideas, review our 7 Ezine Topics to Keep Your Enewsletter Exciting
Writing an email newsletter won't get you very far if nobody wants to read it. Between you and the people reading your email, there are a lot of hurdles. Pesky spam filters, bland subject lines, and unscannable content are 3 of the main reasons emails go unread and unresponded to.
If your open rate is suffering, it might be time for an email newsletter overhaul.
Try some of these 7 Ezine Topics for your next newsletter:
If someone opens your email newsletter, they are willing to engage with you, your brand, and your ideas. Take advantage of this willingness, and direct them to your latest blog post.
Provide an excerpt of the first paragraph, or two, just as a teaser. The title of the blog post should link to your post page, as well as an image thumbnail, if you use one.
Not only does this fill your newsletter with relevant info, it increases traffic to your blog!
Ask Dave Letterman why people love lists, and he'll be happy to give you his top 10 reasons why.
Lists are a well-known method of improving scannability and readability of information online. They're highly digestible. Lists say, "I'm only this long, so it won't hurt a bit." Lists consistently get higher clickthroughs and pageviews than other content.
Make a list in every email newsletter, relating to your subject of expertise.
Wikipedia is a great source of historical trivia. You can select today's date (in the 2nd box on the right) and review a whole list of historical events that have their anniversary on the day that you send your email newsletter.
You can also have the daily digest of history delivered to your inbox by signing up here.
A section for interesting historical facts is easy to populate, and keeps your ezine fresh, relevant, and engaging.
Another cross-genre content source is quotes.
Whenever you add a quote from someone else, put one of your own quotes or tweets below it that relates to the famous quote. Make sure to link to your Twitter account.
With the rise of Pinterest, Tumblr, and other photoblogging sites, images that convey more than 1000 words have become viral methods of sharing information.
Include an image from one of your favorite Pinboards, or something you saw shared on Facebook. This makes for easy filler, and it's great to use visually.
That incredible message didn't get spread? Resurrect those amazing tweets!
Have a small section with your favorite tweet of the week, whether from yourself or a favorite fan, and be sure and include a link to your Twitter page, so people can follow you.
If you really want people to read your newsletter, improve their lives with your information.
Can your tips save them money? Or time? Or embarassment?
Focus a section on providing useful information, that your audience would find valuable, and it will be the most powerful section in your email newsletter.
Ezines, which are synonymous with E-newsletters, are now one of the anchor components of business communication. When done well, like Jeffrey's Sales Caffeine, they're rich with timely articles, updates, and value that customers grow to rely on. It's the fastest, most affordable way to reach all your customers on a regular basis!
Why not? They only cost a couple bucks!
If you don't see the value in it, consider this....
The Statistics:Ezine reports confirm that if your customer base is less than 500, which is true for most salespeople, you can expect around 40% to open your Ezine! It's the most effective tool salespeople can use to reach out and engage a few hundred contacts at once.
The Intelligence: With an Ezine, you know who opened your email, how many times, and when. That's priceless intel that informs you of the best time to follow up with a phone call!
The Response: Every salesperson dreads the vacuum of a quiet customer base. With each Ezine, you'll stir up a fresh flurry of thank you's, comments, questions, and unrelated requests for proposals!
The Referrals: If your content is valuable, a percentage of recipients will forward your Ezine to their associates. These are golden recommendations that incorporate your expertise and professionalism.
The Branding: Your reputation, skills, knowledge, personality, convictions, network, and successes are all aspects of your personal brand that attract people to you and build loyalty. A value-rich Ezine will act as an agent in building and propagating your brand.
Think an Ezine will suck up too much of your time? Don't know where to get good content and graphics? Intimidated by the technology? Don't know how often to send one? Allow me to answer all these concerns and your specific questions! Register and attend my upcoming free, live webinar titled "Create Your First Ezine." Click here to register for this free webinar.
Can't make it? Email me and I'll give you some alternatives.
Have you learned the power of the word "you" or do you send the same "I, I, I" messages to your customers over and over again?
When typing out emails to prospective customers, the natural tendency is to use phrasing that expresses your personal thoughts, convictions, and feelings. What may be heartfelt and genuine, sounds like hollow drivel to the recipient. It's similar to every other sales-y follow up they get, which all read something like this:
"John, It was terrific to meet today! Based on our conversation, I'm sure I can make a difference in your bottom line. I've attached my proposal and look forward to your response!"
Sound familiar? Here's a similar email shifting to "you" wording:
"John, thank you for taking the time today to point out the most important aspects of your RFP! You said reliable delivery will impact your bottom line most. In the attached proposal, you'll find a track record, testimonials, and solid ideas that will offer you just that. Your thoughts?"
Your emails will immediately spring to life with relevance, interest, and charm by forcing yourself to frame your emails around the recipient. The key is using the word "you!"
1. Challenge yourself to use the word "you" as many times as you can in your next email. Shoot for ten "you's" and zero "I's." See if you can do it!
2. Check out your "About Us" page on your company website. These pages are usually infested with "I, I, I" or "we, we, we" wording. Rewrite it as a "you" message centered on the benefits the customer will receive. If you're in charge of the website, replace the text with the new version and re-title the page, "About You!"
3. Replace general statements like, "It was great to get lunch today" with, stronger, relationship-building specifics like, "Your trip to Hawaii story was hilarious!"
Pictures are worth a thousand words. A thousand words are worth a thousand words too! But when you're publishing your Ezine, where do you get either?
Now, creating and sending you own Ezine (Email Magazine) is a snap. Get in front of all your customers on a weekly basis with updates, tips, ideas, and value.
Generally, you want to focus on subjects that are related to your line of business. Provide value first, and mention your product or service in the sidebar, to create a loyal audience.
If you need more ideas for your email newsletter subjects, be sure and read our free ebook Extraordinary E-Newsletters .