Inbound and Outbound: The New Faces of Advertising 

How many times have you switched on the television to watch your favorite show, only to fast-forward through five minutes of commercials before getting to the good stuff? How many radio ads have you switched stations on, how many useless emails are sitting in your spam folder? Random advertising like this is called outbound marketing, and more and more evidence is mounting to prove that, in this context, outbound marketing just doesn’t work. So why does your company still do it?

Consumers Tune Out Irrelevant Advertisements 

We as consumers have gotten so accustomed to being bombarded by ads promising the best, the sexiest, and the most affordable, that we have become really good at tuning them out. According to Mashable, in fact, 84% of consumers between the ages of 25 and 35 have left a website specifically because of the advertising. So your outbound ads are not only getting ignored; they are driving consumers away in droves. 

Your customers want an experience that is tailored to their interests. Inbound marketing gives them that experience. 

As a blanket term that covers everything from content marketing to social media engagement to the user-friendliness of your website design, it takes a focused marketing roadmap to really pull all the elements of inbound marketing together. A focused inbound marketing strategy can include:

  • A website that is responsive, clear, and easy to navigate. If you don’t already have a website, you need one! CouponCodeHoster has some great deals to save you money on your hosting, domain registration, email, and more with GoDaddy.com.
  • Web content that offers useful and engaging information
  • A multimedia approach, including the use of video, audio, and plenty of visuals. Consider a service like Slidely to help you out with that.
  • Industry-specific downloadables, like eBooks, white papers, or infographics.
  • Numerous feedback mechanisms
  • A strong social media presence that really relates with your consumers
  • A Service Level Agreement between marketing and sales to increase productivity and improve customer experience 

So Where Does That Leave Outbound Marketing?

While inbound marketing is imperative for your company’s ability to bring in leads, engage consumers, and make loyals out of one-time customers, that doesn’t mean that there is no place for outbound strategies in your marketing mix. The key is to use them sparingly, and strategically. Your outbound marketing tactics must be data-driven if they are going to bring results.

     

  1. Use your inbound marketing tactics to generate leads; use outbound to nurture those leads.
  2. Target specific audiences with outbound methods. For instance, send out email blasts to a particular demographic, or mail print material to consumers who have shown interest in a certain product line. 
  3. Keep online advertising to a minimum, and don’t ever buy pop-up ads. That will only decrease your credibility in the eyes of the public — if they get seen at all.
  4. Pay attention to the timeliness of your outbound marketing. Don’t take out a television ad targeting small business owners during business hours; don’t send out coupons for a steakhouse until Lent is almost over.
  5. Research your prospects before you cold call. Nothing will turn off a potential client like being contacted by someone who clearly doesn’t know anything specific about their company’s needs. 

The future of marketing is inbound. Companies who don’t whole-heartedly embrace it risk losing valuable business to their competitors who offer a more integrated, cross-media experience for consumers. But that doesn’t mean that outbound marketing doesn’t have its place. Use it wisely and selectively, and all of your marketing efforts will show real, measurable results.

Attention Product Creators: Here’s How You Have Success (Hint: coupons!)

8 Ways Info Product Creators Can Ensure Customer Success

Every info product developer hopes their customers can achieve a high level of success. Unfortunately, it is fairly predictable that limited numbers will actually complete the course and take the necessary action. In some cases, the purchase might have been an impulse buy, with the purchaser not having an immediate motivation to work at the course. However, there will be occasions where an identifiable factor is standing in the way of success. As the product creator, attempting to remove all obstacles and make the course as achievable as possible is in your interest, leading to increased positive reviews, testimonials, and subsequent sales. The following seven techniques can all be used to ensure success for the greatest numbers of product buyers.

Create a Start Guide

A quick-start guide can be an underestimated part of an info product, particularly if there are various elements to the course. The start guide can detail the best way to approach the course and a procedure for gaining the best results. If the course doesn’t require a guide of this kind, you could still create an introductory video or manual to introduce new customers to the product and offer some encouragement.

Give Away Free Coupon Codes:

One way to get your customers to purchase ‘upgrades’ on your product is to supply them with promo codes to entice them to complete their transaction. You can also give out exclusive coupon codes to your existing customers to give out to their friends and family. This is a great way to give your existing customers discounts, and expand your customer base. And best of all? It’s 100% free! Even big companies like GoDaddy and Uber do similar programs:
http://coupongo.org/godaddy-renewal-code/

Survey Customers

One of the best ways to understand your customers is to survey them. Asking direct questions can reveal issues with your product, general concerns, and roadblocks that prevent success. Most surveys throw up unexpected answers that prove more common than you might anticipate, so try to ignore any preconceived ideas you may have. Additionally, you could ask to call a select group of customers directly to gain a deeper understanding.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/csat/

Study Success Stories

product creators - coupon codes
Adding customer support is a great way to keep customers happy.

As customers achieve success with your info product, it is likely you will receive a number of testimonials and responses. These positive messages are often used as part of a marketing campaign, but they can also shape the course as a whole. Your success stories can give an insight into the elements that worked, certain factors that weren’t effective, and a methodology that helped achieve success. These success stories can be implemented into the product as well as detailed for customers as a way to motivate them.

Maintain a Presence

Online info products can sometimes leave buyers feeling they are left alone to follow the process. People will often pay at a premium for personal coaching products, but they can be prohibitively expensive. It is possible, though, to maintain a presence without investing too much additional time. Sending an autoresponder email series can help customers feel supported, while occasional webinars could be used to answer any questions or concerns.

Add a Support Desk

Anyone highly committed to the product will usually have some questions. There will inevitably be some common questions that can be worked into the course. However, there will also be others questions that are less common. A support desk is a good way to ensure your customer service runs smoothly, while a knowledge database can help people get quick answers. Additionally, customer success software, such as Totango and Gainsight, can be used to proactively assist buyers. 
https://confluence.atlassian.com/servicedeskcloud/setting-up-service-desk-users-732528877.html

Update Your Product

Creating info products is a great business opportunity, as you can automate many of the processes, but it is still important to update products to ensure customer success. Products can be updated as you learn from your customers, making sure the product answers common questions, has a workable process, and encourages taking action. Depending on the niche, you should also update the product with any relevant industry advancements, making sure to conduct regular reviews of pertinent information.

Build a Social Element

Many of your customers will be active on social media, so adding a social element can cater to these users. The most obvious step is to create a private Facebook group, limiting access to those who have purchased the product. A private group can foster a community atmosphere, encouraging members to interact and motivate each other towards success.

There is no way to ensure complete success for all your customers, regardless of your product quality and the niche you operate in. You can, however, adopt these techniques to reduce the chances of failure and assist your customers in all the areas they require it. Customers purchase products with the best intentions, but there can sometimes be hurdles that reduce motivation and drive to follow through with the course. By analyzing the problem areas, offering simple solutions, and assisting customers as they go through each stage of the course, it is possible to radically increase the number of customers achieving great success.

Why You Need to Pay More Than $5 for Your Logo

If you are currently in the market for having a logo designed then you might have noticed some adverts whereby people claim you can have the job done for as little as $5. Now, we know that this does sound rather enticing, but to be perfectly honest you should just walk on by this offer and we are going to examine why that is the case. There are a lot of things that you should spend more than $5 on when starting a website as well, such as your web hosting! You can still get the best price on hosting services by using one of the many coupons available.

However, it is important for you to consider that there is more to life than just always trying to get a bargain and that becomes even more important when you are dealing with something such as the logo for your business or website. We are not saying that the people that do this job for such little money are conning you because generally speaking you do get what you paid for, but at this point, we are going to study why you need to pay more for your logo.

The Problem of the $5 Logo.

If you can move past the idea that this is a bargain and let us look at why there are so many problems associated with paying so little for a logo.

In the absolute vast majority of occasions, you will be paying somebody to use a program whereby they take a pre-existing template for a logo and add your name to it. This is the absolute plain and simple methods that are employed and even though your logo is technically unique, it is hardly going to be able to reflect your business in the way that a good logo should.

The people that do this job for such little money have a tendency to be able to really throw out those logos and there is little care or thought that goes into their production. It literally takes them minutes to do it and yet your logo is one of the most important marketing tools that you can have.

In other words, paying just $5 for a logo means you get a botch job whereby your logo looks the same as countless other people or companies and that is hardly a good thing.

Why You Must Avoid it.

By now, you should have become more aware of the various issues that are associated with paying so little for a logo but let us look at them in a bit more detail and give reasons as to why this option must be avoided.

1. It is not unique.

The designers may say that it is unique and technically this is true, but it really is stretching the imagination and your logo will just blend into the background.

2. It will not reflect your company.

A good logo has to reflect what your company is about and represent you and your brand. How can you expect this to be the case when no care or effort has been put into the development of the logo? Just using a simple template and adding your name does not equate to a concerted branding effort.

3. They do tend to look cheap.

You can tell the difference between a cheap logo made via a template and one that has been individually designed for you. The individually designed version is able to be blown up or shrunk down to different sizes and it does not change the quality. These templates are largely stuck to one size limiting what you can do with it.

4. You get little say in it all.

When you pay so little for something there is a very real feeling that you have next to no say in how things then evolve. This is a problem because you want to be involved in each and every aspect of your logo being designed from graphics to the font to the size and even the colors that are used. You need to know that the designer understands your intentions and what your business is about, but how can that happen when these cheap plug-in templates are being used?

As you can see, there are so many problems associated with paying this paltry sum to have your logo designed and our advice to you is to avoid this like the plague. The money that you invest in having a quality, and genuinely unique, logo designed is going to work its way back to you tenfold simply because it will reflect better on your brand and make you come across as more professional.

Just remember, you get what you pay for and you do not deserve to short-change yourself or your business.

How to Choose the Right Font for Your Website

When it comes to choosing the correct font for your website then there is more to it than the average person realizes. Rather than simply selecting something that you think just looks nice, there are various fonts that are just known to be more effective and pleasing on the eye compared to others.

So, that being said, how exactly do you choose the right font in the first place? How do you select from the thousands that are available and then have the confidence that you have made the correct decision?

Well, it is going to be slightly easier than you think.

Why the Correct Font is so Important.

Just immediately prior to going into details as to how to choose the font, we should explain why this is so important.

It has been shown via research that the type of fonts that are used on a website will have a direct impact on the way in which people then view that site. Also, the correct font is going to make it easier for them to read your site and to then understand what it is that you are saying. If it is not pleasant on the eye then they will have a tendency to just navigate away.

Also, it is known that different fonts will elicit different emotions and reactions in your visitors so you can change how you want people to perceive your website just by the font that you use. If you are wondering about some examples then think about how some fonts are more fun in nature and how that would not exactly work well on a website for an insurance company.

How to Choose that Font.

So now that we have addressed the issue of why the correct font is so important, we need to tackle how you choose it in the first place.

First, you need to get to grips with the different options that are out there and by this, we really do mean the fundamentals as there are just too many fonts to go through. You should be aware that most web projects are going to use sans serif options so stick to that form of typeface and things should work out well on your website.

Next, you need to be aware of the simple fact that fonts have to be legible on every single device and browser and you are best to stick to the traditional formats or those that are from Google Fonts just to make life easier. Typefaces that are too fancy may not come across well on other browsers or devices and that is why testing in advance is so important.

Furthermore, a number of designers will spend time dealing with the type and the layout and then focus on the font almost like an afterthought. This in itself can work exceptionally well as you get an idea of the tone of the text and can then find a font that fits in with that tone. Trying to fit things together in the opposite manner is certainly a lot trickier to do.

For this, think about the following questions to help you narrow down your options.

  1. What colors are being used on the page? This can influence the style of font.
  2. How busy is the page? Could it handle a more elaborate font or is simple going to be better?
  3. Is the page more formal or is it more casual?
  4. Is the text bold or light? Some fonts only really work well in one option.

The final point that we are going to look at here is connected to the load times because believe it or not, but each font is capable of loading at different speeds. This is where testing your site becomes even more important and you can make your life easier by testing it via Google as they can tell you the impact a font has on the loading speed before you put it on your page.

Overall, when it comes to choosing the correct font for your website then you can see how there are various key points to always keep in mind. You have to think about the style of the website, the message that is being put across, load times, colors, layouts, and so much more. In all honesty, you should complete almost every other part of the design before then selecting the font and by doing so you may very well prevent a major headache.

The 3 Biggest Characteristics of a Good Logo

Creating the perfect logo has to be one of the most important challenges that you need to face in the world of design. This applies no matter if the logo is being designed for a website, advertising, or a business card and people are often taken aback by the amount of thought that really should go into this apparently very simple process.

It is important for one to remember that the logo is going to be something that you are remembered by and it is going to effectively become your calling card. You only have to think of the Nike swoosh or the logo for BMW cars to know how the logo itself then becomes assimilated with the brand and becomes a sign for a certain type of product.

That being said, in order to create the perfect logo it does make sense for you to know what constitutes the biggest and most important characteristics of a good logo. By being aware of this, it should then make the process of designing something that bit easier although you do still need to have a creative brain to ultimately come up with a winner.

1. It is Memorable and Makes an Impact.

This is surely the biggest characteristic possible in that the logo has to be able to make an impact and the individual that sees it should find that it is easy to remember it. You want the logo to make a positive impression on the individual. You want it so that they can easily remember not only your company by simply viewing the logo but also what it then stands for.

Earlier on, we used the example of the BMW logo and if you stop and think about what that means to you when you view it then you get an idea of the point we are trying to make here. This logo stands out and people associate it with a quality vehicle that is made to high standards and as soon as people set eyes on the logo all of these positive attributes come into their mind.

This is only possible because the logo itself is easy to identify and there is no doubt that it does make an impact.

2. It is Versatile.

One area in logo design that has changed in recent times is that there is much more of a need for the logo to be versatile and we have to explain exactly what we mean by this.

A logo has to render well on any web device as well as any marketing material. It has to be able to be blown up to a larger size and shrunk down to something smaller and yet it must be legible and easy to identify at all times. The logo has to be flexible and able to be incorporated into different designs when it comes to marketing materials or websites as this is one thing that has to remain constant in its design.

3. It Must be Relevant.

The final characteristic of a logo that is extremely important is that the logo needs to be relevant to your business or whatever it is that you are doing. People must be able to link the logo to your business and be aware of what it represents. A logo that is unable to do this will be seen as confusing and largely pointless and who wants that to be the case?

This is why you have to think carefully about the reason for the logo in the first place. How is it fitting in with your entire marketing plan? How is it fitting in with your business? Relevance is more important than you think.

Now, there are so many other important factors and characteristics that anybody should take into consideration when it comes to designing a logo but at this point, we believe that the three noted above are perhaps the absolute key. There is no doubt that you should take some time in developing your logo as it is the one thing that everybody should then be able to associate with your business. A poor logo will only ever reflect poorly on your business and that is hardly the correct foot to set off on.