Email Marketing

5 Things Leaders Should Know About Email Marketing

Email Marketing

Leaders today have so much more to deal with than ever before. With the simple advent and ubiquity of email, social media, and electronic commerce, leaders have many more opportunities and threats to balance.

And no where are the stakes higher in growing an organization’s business and presence than in email marketing.

Leading Email Success

Email marketing has evolved from the days of simple HTML and emails without text and video.

Whether you are marketing a local company or an online business, there are a few things email marketers need to know to insure your next email-based marketing campaign is a success.

1) Create a Voice for Your Brand

It’s essential to create a voice for your brand or any brand you are marketing with the use of marketing with email. Having a voice for a brand is a way to relate to potential customers, causing them to find out more information about your brand, business and what is has to offer.

Using a genuine voice is also a way to connect with those who are unfamiliar with the type of business or industry you are in.

When your voice appears too “corporate” to a consumer-based audience, this may ultimately cause them to find a brand that is more relatable and easy to communicate with, which is why it is essential to keep up a professional, yet friendly tone when building a new brand.

2) Share Catchy Headlines

Any time you are sending a new email campaign it is essential to implement a catchy and relevant headline. Using a catchy headline can drastically improve the open rate you are able to receive with the subscribers you currently have for your website, brand or any newsletter you have live.

If you are unsure of the headlines that you should use when creating and sharing new content, use various search engines and keyword communities to discover the hottest and latest trends with main keywords you are focusing on and the industry you are representing.

3) Post Relevant Content

Posting relevant content and excerpts within any email-related marketing campaigns you send is also imperative in order to maintain the attention of potential customers and future clients. Any time you add new content to your website or blog it is important to consider the type of content you plan to share based on the audience of readers who will be viewing the material once it has been published.

Understanding your audience is key when using a marketing campaign with the use of email to draw attention to any brand while generating potential leads.

Research some of the most popular articles in your field to find the type of content that is most in-demand before moving forward and generating new articles to share on your official website in addition to any social media platforms you are using to build you brand and business.

It is also important to note that emails will appear differently if your subscribers are using mobile platforms. Ensure your emails are optimized to ensure consistency across platforms.

4) Consistency is Key

Consistency is key when implementing new marketing campaigns for any business, whether local or online. Be sure to update your online followers or subscribers at least once a week to help with avoiding becoming irrelevant or forgotten about altogether.

However, it is also important to avoid over-posting, as this can trigger the loss of followers and interest in your business altogether.

Over-posting content may be construed as spam or unwanted information, which is why it is important to limit the number of updates you share on your official blog along with the use of social media. There are several data analytics tools out there to help you monitor the proper amount of contact you should have with your subscribers.

5) On Social Media

Implement Social Media Within Marketing Campaigns Using Email

Implementing social media within email-related marketing campaigns is also highly recommended when you want to build a brand online while improving your overall professional reputation.

Using social media within email campaigns can be done with rich HTML as well as email services that allow you to quickly implement HTML, images, videos, gallery and other media within your campaigns before sending them to subscribers of your website or brand.

The more you know about how to effectively market using email-based campaigns, the easier it is to reach any audience or demographic you are trying to reach. Understanding what is important when launching a new email campaign can ultimately help to build a larger following while getting the exposure you need for any brand or business.

So, what are you doing to insure that your email and online efforts are in sync with your marketing and business goals. What sort of metrics do you have in place to make sure that you are getting what you are paying for. How can you improve your organization’s messaging with effective email marketing? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————
Robert Cordray

Robert Cordray is a freelance writer with over 20 years of business experience
He does the occasional business consult to help increase employee morale
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

Image Sources: capillarytech.com

Sales Leadership

5 Techniques for Sales Leaders to Excel

Sales Leadership

Leadership is one of the most exciting roles to “wear.”

Leading a team of winning sales managers and sales people is the ultimate high. The wonder and beauty of people in sales is their energy.  They are hardy, enthusiastic, dynamic, embrace challenge and usually love what they do and how what they sell changes things for their customers.

Nothing is more fun than participating in the high energy when your team is “hitting their numbers.”  Finishing strong means awards, celebration, appreciation and acknowledgement for you and your team!

Inspiring your leadership team when things are doing well is easy.  Because there are extreme highs in sales, the opposite also exits – those extreme lows when some contract doesn’t come through after months of hard effort, loss of a big account or the challenge of aggressive goals for the coming year.

This is the stimulating and challenging part of leadership that gives you your moments to shine!

What’s a leader to do?  A few simple ways to keep growing!

1. Prevention

By having a policy in place where you enforce the need to continually resell your existing customers you can keep business and often prevent loss.  Focus existing customers on the benefits of being with your company and prove that you value them.  Are the benefits increased satisfaction or greater effectiveness, an overall savings in intangibles, greater value to their customers?  Drop in on some of the customers yourself as a way to extend appreciation and value.  People are mobile today and building loyalty is transferable in a big way. Create your list!

2. Support

As the leader your availability to teach, coach and advance skills is one of the best ways to build a high performing team that keeps growing each year.  Build a promotion track with cross-training and mentor programs.

3. Listen

When you work with your team ask questions about their needs, the needs of the customers, what they want from you as their leader.  Highly effective leaders take the ideas, concerns, and suggestions and act on them.  Your credibility increases exponentially when you carry out one of those great ideas.

4. Relentless Effort

Demonstrate unwavering resolve.  Encouraging your team to keep going in the face of adversity, or the big “no” brings rewards.  This builds resiliency and perseverance needed when it’s their turn to lead.

“Resolve never to quit, never to give up, no matter the situation.” Jack Nicklaus

5. Possibility

Engage in possibility thinking with other leaders in your company.  Ask what values and policies they put in place in addition to the ones from corporate that are giving them greater success.  Utilize the knowledge that is available to you.  Stimulate the innovative and creative side of yourself and others to come up with ways to grow the business that gives you an edge.  Do this monthly.

A last note from “Tribes” by Seth Godin

“The secret of leadership is simple – do what you believe in, paint a picture of the future, go there…people will follow.”

These are just a few simple, straight forward methods.  I’d love to hear some of yours!

What are some of the ways you successfully led year after year? How do you reduce the complexity of retaining business, gaining new business, and developing the next leaders? What are the key characteristics you value on your team?

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Kathy Holdaway

Kathy Holdaway is the CEO of Kathy Holdaway Ventures.
She helps maximize leadership, sales, and business growth possibilities
EmailLinkedInTwitterBlogWeb | 619.497.099
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Image Sources: getafteritsales.com

Ideation Bulb

Hey Leaders: When is an Idea a Good Idea?

Ideation Bulb

Leaders frequently face the challenge of trying to determine weather a new idea is a good one or not. And these ideas can originate either from their own minds or from others on their team.

But how do you ascertain if any given idea is worthy of further exploration? How do you prioritize those that do warrant more investigation?

Learn to G.R.O.W.

One simple method is to test an idea with the G.R.O.W. Quotient: Gain, Risk, Obstacles and Willingness.

The G.R.O.W. Quotient is a quick way to qualify an idea that supports further action and quantify how is should be prioritized.

I will start first with the simple mechanics. This is a collaborative tool, one that is meant to foster dialogue and is served well by the collective intelligence of a group. I use the G.R.O.W. Quotient frequently in Ideation workshops or in Solution workshops.

Each of the four elements is based a 5 point scale where a rating of 1 signifies “little or few” and rating of 5 signifies “a lot or many.”

The formula is as follows:

“G” Rating – “R” Rating – “O” Rating + “W” Rating = G.R.O.W. Quotient

Gain

What is the upside or return on the idea? What would it mean to the organization to solve this issue or to sell this product? Would the organization gain a little or a lot from this idea?

Risk

What is the risk inherent in this idea? What could happen to the organization, what might it cost? Would it impact the relationships with clients or customers? Is there a little or a lot of risk in taking this action?

Obstacles

What are the barriers? What limits the implementation? Is it capital intensive? Does it require an organizational shift or change in culture? Are there a few obstacles or are there many?

Willingness

What is your personal willingness to take on this initiative? What is the team and overall organization’s willingness? Is there an internal champion? Is there a little or a lot of willingness to act?

Be Positive

To qualify an idea as something warranting further exploration, the G.R.O.W. Quotient should represent a positive number.

  • A negative G.R.O.W Quotient is an indicator of an idea, which in its current state, is not worthy of further pursuit.
  • Use the G.R.O.W. Quotient to help quantify and prioritize an idea.
  • The optimal G.R.O.W. Quotient is 8.
  • The closer the score is to 8, the higher the priority that should be placed on the concept.

Know Your Score

To illustrate its use, I offer this example:

During a senior staff meeting, a VP of Operation suggests increasing the customer lead-time from 48 to 72 hours. The President suggests to the group that they use the G.R.O.W Quotient to evaluate the idea. The group decides that increasing the lead-time would improve order visibility, assist production efficiency and increase order fill rate.

The group decides there is a fair amount to gain and assesses a rating of 4. A few customers might not be pleased with having to order 3 days out, but the VP of Sales feels confident she can explain the benefits and get those customers to buy into this change.

The group feels the overall risk is low and assesses a rating of 2.

Other than a need to train the customer service department and change warehouse and order dates, there are few obstacles in the way and the team settles on a rating of 1.

Finally, the company is committed to providing the best customer experience.

Increasing order fill would help them better deliver on this commitment. The team determines that there would be strong willingness to make this change and therefore awards a rating of 5.

(“G” rating = 4 ) – (“R” rating = 2) – (“O” rating = 1) + (“W” rating = 5)

The G.R.OW. Quotient is 6. The team decides to move forward with the change in order lead-time.

Be Wise, Prioritize

This simple process accomplishes a few key things:

  • First, it provides a way to qualify an idea that supports further action
  • Next, it also provides a quantifiable means to determine how to prioritize
  • Finally, and most importantly, it provides a framework to discuss and dissect an idea by extracting the concept from its originator and injecting objectivity into the process

I am confident that the G.R.O.W. Quotient is a simple tool to implement. However, I do not have that same confidence that this short article is adequate to explain its implementation. Therefore, I encourage you to use the comment section below to pose any questions or to request further clarification. I will do my best to respond to each!

Thanks for reading

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders
———————–

Elliot Begoun

Elliot Begoun is the Principal Consultant of The Intertwine Group, LLC.
He works with companies to Deliver Tools that Enable Growth
Email | LinkedIn | TwitterWeb | Blog

Image Sources: http://charlestlee.com

Face To Face Leadership

5 Reasons Why Face-to-Face Leadership is Still King

Face To Face Leadership

Despite the convenience of electronic communications like phone calls, conference calls, email, texting, instant messaging, and video conferencing, face-to-face meetings have some unique benefits that are nearly impossible to achieve otherwise.  

And the very best leaders know this and make sure they have the right balance of personal communications.

As for the concern of added costs due to traveling, using tools like Hipmunk to book  flights and hotels can lower the cost of travel and help make more face-to-face meetings happen. This way you can save money while adding value to relationships.

5 Reasons Why Face-to-Face Leadership is Still King

1) Show Them How Important They Are

No matter the level of commitment to building a relationship, it is difficult to give your undivided attention in a virtual meeting. E-mails will pop-up, the phone may ring, and participants end up getting distracted.

Meeting face-to-face sends a clear message that this person is important enough for you to drop everything else and focus on them for the duration.

 2) Leave no room for misinterpretation

Nonverbal communication can often express a lot more than words. Reading and interpreting body language is a key leadership skill that is often lost in virtual communication.

Face-to-face meetings make it easier to combine what is being said with facial expressions and body posture, leaving no room for misinterpretation.

3) Build Better Relationships

One of the most effective ways to quickly build trust is to meet with someone in person; and employees will be a lot more likely to follow someone they trust. It is a lot easier to build an authentic connection, build people up and provide people with clear and concise direction – all behaviours that help cultivate trust – in person.

Building a relationship on trust and mutual respect are hallmarks of great leadership.

4) Receive Real-Time Feedback

There is no room for slouching in the corner during a face-to-face meeting—attendees will not only participate but also fully engage in discussion and provide you with invaluable feedback.

It is an easy way to assess whether your initiatives are working, When meeting in person, there is the opportunity to address any issues that may come up, before they escalate.

5) Address Sensitive Issues

As a leader, you will undoubtedly come across sensitive topics every now and then. No matter how great the work environment is, issues ranging from employee personal hygiene habits to  inappropriate dress will inevitably arise.

Prepare for these types of conversations by going over rulebooks, or any other materials, and keep the conversation professional.

If the issue is personal and has a negative impact on performance or career prospects, they should be dealt with in person, with plenty of sensitivity, and in a way that supports the employee’s dignity.

So how often to you prioritize face-to-face meetings with the people that you lead? Do you depend too much on “virtual relationships” that you are jeopardizing your leading and influence? What can you do to be more proactive in this area? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders
———————–
Fiona Moriarty

Fiona Moriarty is the leading content strategist at Hipmunk
She creates, curates and optimizes web content for the savvy traveler
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Web

Image Sources: bloomberg.com

Birth of L2L

On Leadership, Authenticity and the Birth of Linked 2 Leadership

Birth of L2L

In cleaning out my inbox today, I came across an unopened email from December 2013 that had a link to an interview I did with MediaShower about “Authentic Content.”

The article is a great piece about how the Linked 2 Leadership Group on LinkedIn got started and how the L2L Blog got started.

Check it out. I hope you enjoy the perspective!

10,000 Hours in 10 Minutes: Tom Schulte on Authentic Content

Studies have shown that it takes about 10,000 hours to be an expert in something. Our studies show it only takes 10 minutes to read one of our expert interviews, where you learn from the experts!

Today we’re chatting with Tom Schulte of Linked 2 Leadership – a group of global professionals dedicated to leadership development, organizational health, and personal & professional growth. It’s all about growing and developing leaders.

How does Tom market Linked 2 Leadership online? And how does he channel all his passion? And what is his advice when it comes to content and online marketing? Read more to find out.

Tell us more about you and what you’re passionate about.

I am passionate about helping global professionals learn, grow and develop other leaders in the areas of leadership development, organizational health, and personal & professional growth. As a sales and marketing professional, I was “bitten by the leadership bug” 10 years ago (this month) while attending my first live leadership conference when I was working as Sales Director for leadership guru Dr. John C. Maxwell.

I saw the direct connection between being a great sales person and being a great leader because I drew the connection in my mind that any great sales person knows that they are really nothing more than a problem-solver. And the very best leaders do just that: they solve problems that lead others toward success to achieve goals.

So for me, learning how to engage others in a way that equips them to become better leaders equates to adding a multiplier to my passion and helps more people get more done and be more successful.

And also, I am passionate about bacon. Loves me some bacon!

Tell us more about Linked 2 Leadership and why you started it.

I worked as a director of sales for a leadership development firm for 5 years. I felt the calling to start my own values-based leadership training firm that provided short-format, high impact training built for a “smartphone attention-span.” So in 2007 I started Recalibrate Professional Development with a training program and a train-the-trainer model to help cure what I call “the Knucklehearted leaders” of this world.

To promote my new business and find prospective trainers to purchase my offering, I went to the (then) up-and-coming business social media site LinkedIn to find sales prospects. But contrary to my natural sales instincts, I found that I could not get myself to just reach out to professionals there with a message that might come across like “Hi, I am Tom. I see that you are a corporate trainer and I am stalking you on LinkedIn and I want you to buy my stuff!”

My conscience hit me and I felt that I should practice what I preach to be most effective. I felt that I should go to this marketplace and simply “show up as a giver” and build credibility and trust before asking for anything from them. So I started an official group on LinkedIn called “Linked 2 Leadership” and put forth my lofty goals and rules for this new group to help them learn, grow, and develop other leaders. I felt that I should “show up as a giver” and provide value to group members before I ever asked for a sale from any trainer I met online.

I started discussions, asked questions, and compiled the results in three free PowerPoint offerings (now over 250,000 views, 20,000 downloads) available as training aids for new members. I figured that it was my duty to provide “a safe, fresh, and clean” forum for topical discussions to build trust and provide value to members of the group. And it was from this group that I started the “blogazine” (blog+magazine=blogazine) with contributing authors from the membership pool. Now after 5 years and with over 25,000+ members in this private group, our site called “Linked 2 Leadership: The Leadership Collaboratory” is one of the most popular leadership sites in the world.

How would you describe your philosophy when it comes to marketing a business on the Internet?

My motto for marketing on the Internet is this: “Show up as a giver and build trust based on serving others with authentic value.” This is contrary to so much of what I have witnessed over the years on the Internet from hucksters who only serves to manipulate, trick, or hypnotize people into purchasing something. For all of those tacky quick-sale shysters, I refer to their practice as “schmarketing” (sh** + marketing = schmarketing.) I feel that our purpose here on earth is to serve others, not gain from them. And in serving others our needs, wants, and desires will be met.

So to “show up as a giver” and provide authentic value that solves real problems is the only true way to market to people to whom we are supposed to serve. Adding value through our online and off-line efforts is the only real, authentic way to sell.

What’s the most successful piece of content you’ve published on one of your blogs?

Early in my web publishing experience I had the fortune of meeting a very special person to join the Linked 2 Leadership Group named LaRae Quy. She is a former FBI counter intelligence agent who dealt with Cold War Soviet spies to try to get them to convert to double agents (Wow!). After this season in life, her new role was to teach others the leadership lessons she learned during that exciting period in her life. Her touchstone content focused on mental toughness and how to overcome fear, discouragement, bad advice, and naysayers to reach new personal heights of achievement brought on by mental toughness.

LaRae penned a title on the L2L Blogazine titled “4 Secrets of a Strong Mind” that has surpassed the 25,000-view threshold. She attributes this success to the need for so many in our culture today to find new ways to cut through the clutter of confusion, busyness, apathy, and fear and find solutions that directly impact productivity and the bottom-line of personal satisfaction.

How do you use social media to market and lead?

I was an early adopter of social media for my personal and professional life. In 2005, I was interviewed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper about MySpace and how it impacted my family. At the time, I had five teenagers in my home who all were interested in this new “social media thing.” Times were much different then, but I understood the power that it held for me, my wife, and family. Since that time, I have understood that ANYTHING I PUT ONLINE might affect my future well-being and that I should be mindful and careful about what I post on any business or professional networking site.

Now, keep in mind that this social-exposure-mindset was developed before Facebook and Twitter took-off in any professional’s mind. But this exposure-mindset gave me the perspective of how to understand a life in the ever-present public life arena. So, for me, I decided that I would live my professional and personal life as ONE PERSON, with a single online/offline persona.

I knew that my digital footprint would follow me to the day I die, so I decided that my online persona would reflect the “true me” and it would simply be an amplification of my offline self. This mindset has helped me maintain an authentic life that is viewable for anyone. I certainly understand that this type of lifestyle has its risks and is not for everyone, but I figured that this ideal would serve me well by forcing me to live my personal life in public way that brought a visible accountability to my private life. I think of this as a daily exercise in accountability. And this is the way that I market and sell. You get what you see. And my social media marketing will always reflect my single, authentic voice.

Thus, the leads that I get are, by default, pre-filtered and very interested because they know what they are getting.

What is the L2L Blogazine and how do you use it to increase your influence?

The L2L Blogazine is a popular site for global professionals interested in helping global professionals learn, grow, and develop other leaders. The content covers twelve related topics in the areas of leadership development, organizational health, and personal & professional growth. By being the editor and publisher of the content, I am able to ensure that great content from a wide variety of sources is brought to our readers in a consistent way that is highly readable on all devices and provides an exceedingly clear, cogent, and clarifying message to all who engage with what we produce.

This broad-based exposure helps me build credibility, influence, and recognition for providing quality content that serves global professionals interested in increasing their influence. The L2L brand is strong and reliable because we focus on bringing value through an authentic voice sculpted by decades of experience in the marketplace of ideas. The natural credibility of bringing truth to light over time increases the credibility of everyone involved because we stand up to scrutiny and because we hold fast in service to others.

What is your opinion on the future of content and blogs on the web?

Because I have been web publisher for so many years, I have seen a tremendous shift in what is acceptable to produce and publish on the web. In years past, it was acceptable to have content published on one’s site and also have it replicated elsewhere on the web. But with so many places ripping off content, or just re-running content with no discernible voice for originality, the web was becoming one giant place of replicated content.

Now with Google algorithms patrolling the web for singular content, providing exclusive, original content is the key to success. I see the future of content being more singular and exclusive in nature for popular domains. I see sites that provide originality being more popular and those replicating it being doomed. Running a popular site with many contributing authors runs the risk of providing duplicate content, but I see tools emerging to make the task of providing original, single-voiced content easier in the future.

What’s your SEO philosophy?

As I am no SEO expert, it is difficult for me to pronounce an articulate, persuasive philosophy other than to just say that content creators must be outstandingly original. I feel the days of manipulating search engines for traffic generation are over. Over recent years, because of technologies like Google Panda, search engine “trickery” and “gimmickry” designed to increase a site’s exposure and traffic has been replaced with more fundamental concepts like “authentic voice.”

Consequently, my philosophy is to fill my reader’s minds with new, exciting, and excellent content from grass-root providers that no one else can provide. Organic growth and smart content will yield our best results.

You’ve won a ton of awards for great content. What do you think has been the key to this success?

The key to the success for the Linked 2 Leadership Blogazine has been our singular focus on outstanding content on twelve related topics provided by passionate experts who share their expertise, experience, and heartbeat for serving others. Our L2L group has such a drive to help others learn, grow, and develop other leaders that it simply overflows onto the pages of our writers. Our expert team of editors provides an easy-to-read format fit for modern devices and attention-spans so that readers have a strong and reliable source for information to help them in their quest for excellence. We feel that continuing to have a servant’s heart and passion for helping people will be the key to expanding our influence and reach over time.

Plenty of things to think about – a really fantastic interview, thanks Tom! Check out theL2L group on LinkedIn and also follow Tom on Twitter. And, of course, don’t forget to spend some time at the Linked 2 Leadership blog.