Natalia: Hi everyone, my name is Natale Goriel and I’m the online media coordinator for the US Small Business Administration. I�d
like to welcome you to today�s webinar. The webinar is made possible through a public/private
partnership with Microsoft and Constant Contact. We are really excited to work with these organizations;
because, public/private partnerships allow the government and the private sector to come
together in support of the small business community. It also allows us to hold free
webinars like this on a variety of business topics. In just a moment I will turn it over
to Helene Cohen from Microsoft. Before I do that I want to say a little bit
about why SBA is so excited about this partnership. We know that as small business owners and
entrepreneurs you need more of two things, time and money. Our mission at the SBA is
to provide the nation�s 28 million small businesses with the support they need in a
world where time and money are both short. We do this through what we call the three
C�s. First SBA provides capital to small businesses in the form of a guaranteed loan,
to start, expand, export or recover after a disaster. Second we help small businesses
with government contracts, which is a 100 billion dollar market.
Finally, what brings us here today is that SBA provides counseling services often at
no cost. Many of you might be familiar with the SBA resource partner network including
Small Business Development Centers or mentors, Women�s Business Centers, Veteran�s Business
Centers and our SBA Field Offices. I encourage you to visit sba.gov to learn more about what
services and events you can find in our resource partner network. In addition to the SBA Resource
Partner Network we work with private companies to bring in expertise in high priority areas
like marketing. When you�re running your business marketing might be one of those things
you put off doing if you don�t feel like you have the skills or time.
We know small business owners have a tight budget and that hiring a PR company can be
expensive, so through this partnership we�ll offer you with some marketing strategies to
help you succeed, so let�s get started. I�d like to now turn it over to Helene from
Microsoft. Helene: Thank you Natalia and we here at Microsoft
really appreciate the partnership and looking forward to lots of things to come in the future.
Good morning and afternoon to some of you. My name is Helene Cohen and I�m a marketing
manager for Microsoft in the United States Small Business Division. I was also an entrepreneur
for over eight plus years so I�m very passionate about small to medium sized businesses and
their success. I wanted to thank you for taking the time with us today. I�m going to spend
the next five to ten minutes giving you a brief overview of a study that was done objectively
by the Boston Consulting Group on the economic impact of technology and small businesses.
Next slide please. Over approximately a two year period the Boston Consulting Group was
actually hired to do a survey on over 4000 small and medium sized businesses in five
of the world�s largest and diverse economies. These countries included United States, China,
India, Brazil and Germany. With the economic downturn over the past several years the study
was meant to be objective research about really how technology can help or hinder the small
and medium business in our economies. Like I mentioned, the actual study was international
in scope and in very diverse countries to see how in fact technology can help or hurt
our economy. It was independently conducted. It was done
through a number of different means including Internet and phone surveys, actual interviews
with some SMB owners and secondary economic research as well. The industries that were
surveyed included agriculture, manufacturing, education, IT, and many others to make sure
that the study in fact was diverse. Next slide please. What they found from this study was
that small and medium sized businesses actually fell into three levels of IT adoption. They
included laggards, followers, and leaders. If you see the chart on the right hand side
which shows the laggards, followers and leaders. Then on the left hand side you�ll see the
level and the type of technology that was adopted. In terms of technology leaders they
tended to employ the full range of available tools, everything from productivity software
all the way to Internet connectivity and also to cloud based services. If we looked at followers,
you�ll see that followers made a wide use of many of the technologies, but in fact were
not typically using cloud based services. Then the laggards are actually defined by
the lowest level of technology needs and technology adoptions with only 60% of laggards actually
even using computers. If you�re in the laggard or the follower�s
category and you�re new to social and e-mail marketing, this webinar will really help you
move from a laggard into a follower and a leader category; hopefully, being able to
assist your businesses. Some key findings of this data are on the next slide, if we
can move to
the next slide please. IT enabled small businesses, so the businesses actually use technology
in many different ways, actually outperformed in both sales and job growth. We did see that
SME businesses were able to increase their revenue, 15% points after and create jobs
almost twice as fast as other businesses, but did not in fact use technology to take
them to the next level. SME revenue has an opportunity actually grow
close to 770 billion in the five countries if in fact technology was utilized. Then also
the ability to create new jobs, 6.2 million new jobs are actually able to be created through
the use of using technology. If you�re a small business and not currently hiring right
now, you might not find this relevant to you, but we wanted to let you know that my staff
is working with mayors, cities and business organizations at the local level across the
United States really to help partner and education on how technology can assist you.
We partner with companies like Constant Contact and also with organizations like the SBA so
that we can help educate. Next slide. Of all of the countries surveyed, approximately 25%
of the survey was done in the United States and this slide will basically show you that
if 15% of folks that are in laggards and 30% of followers were actually to utilize technology,
engage in cloud services, use social media and social e-mail marketing, the SME say would
be able to actually hire 2.1 million more employees and would be able to inject an additional
357 billion dollars into the economy. As you can see the study which will be available
to you on-line and we�ll show you that in one moment really indicates the need and the
opportunity to use technology to actually bring yourself to the next level and to allow
small businesses to actually compete against businesses that are potentially much larger
than them. Next slide. Getting things done, 95% of all technology users use Microsoft
Office. If you�re familiar with it, there are lots of great things that can be done.
There are Microsoft retail stores across the country that also offer free classes and education
on our office products. Using cloud services allows you to work from
anywhere. You�re no longer tied to one physical location and this is very important for the
small business owner that is in fact mobile most of the time and doing multiple jobs.
Using technology can really help propel your business and help you grow a profit, extend
you reach and help you meet a lot of changing needs. Next slide please. This slide actually
will be available, made available to you after this webinar. The slide actually just shows,
actually different support and resources available to you both from Microsoft and Constant Contact.
There are a lot of amazing resources through both of our companies as well as the SBA to
help assist your businesses in getting to that next level with technology. Next slide
please. Finally this is the link to access the BCG or the Boston Consulting Group Study.
It is htcp://aka.ms/bcg study. I�ll say that one more time. Htcp://, those are forward
slashes, aka.ms/bcg study. I wanted to thank you for giving me these few minutes to talk
to you about this incredible study that was done. I�d like to now pass this over to
Ron Cates from Constant Contact. Ron: Hi, my name is Ron Cates. I�m the Director
of Digital Marketing and Education for Constant Contact. The press has been really kind to
me the last few years. They�ve called me the grandfather of e-mail marketing, social
media pioneer, but a lot of you didn�t realize, that I am the person that created social media.
Way back in 1964 I was tweeting on paper, way before Twitter was created. Before Al
Gore invented the Internet. Before there was Wi-Fi. I have some skeptics watching so I
brought some photographic evidence. This is me in 1964, tweeting on paper. OMG, rode my
bike today without training wheels. That OMG thing I also invented that.
I did photo shop this. This is really me in 1964 though and I look at this and think oh
my gosh, what a serious young man. I�m really worried about what he�s going to be when
he grows up. That�s probably a future serial killer. It turns out I�m a social media
guy, so I think we all feel a lot safer. Quick tip right away. On the lower left you can
see my handle on Twitter is my name Ron Cates. Let me give you a quick tip, even if you haven�t
signed up for every social media platform yet, I want you to go out and do that today.
If there�s a platform out there you�ve heard of, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,
even if you�re not using it yet, you might use it in the future.
I want you to register for it; because, they�re all free. I want you to grab your name or
your business name before it�s taken by someone else. Now how many have tried to register
a dot com in the last five years? If you have you realize that almost every word and phrase
is taken. I don�t want this to happen to you. Go out and register today. I learned
this the hard way, that�s why I�m more sensitive to it. I had to use my real name
Ron Cates. I wanted to use my street name, but it was already taken. Gangsta666 is already
gone. I don�t want you to experience the same thing.
We�re going to start out talking about e-mail marketing, social media marketing, and how
to combine the two. We�re definitely going to demystify social a little bit. Now when
I say e-mail marketing, I wouldn�t be surprised if some of you thought well wait a minute,
why bother. I read that e-mail�s dead. Five years ago I read that everywhere. It was a
quote picked up by every bit of press. Ironically it was sent to me in an e-mail. It was a quote
from Sheryl Sandburg, COO of Facebook, so I think there was a conflict of interest.
A few months later Facebook came out with an e-mail program, so you can have a Facebook
e-mail address. If they want to contact you they do it via
e-mail. The one requirement to join up for Facebook is an e-mail address. Maybe it�s
not quite dead yet. If I was to ask the people viewing this webinar, how many of you have
Tweeted today? How many have posted to Facebook today? How many have checked their e-mail
today? I know that almost every hand goes up when I talk about e-mail. It is our preferred
method of communication in the United States. 95% of us do e-mail, between the ages of 18
and 64. We do it every day, multiple times per day. We�re pretty obsessed with it.
We check it on the average seven times per day. Small business owner 14 times per day.
Small business owner while traveling 24-44 times per day. If you�re a fine print reader
and you think you�ve got me, it says 18-64. What about 65+; because, maybe a lot of your
prospects or customers are senior citizens. It turns out that�s the fastest growing
demographic by a huge margin over any other age group. In fact in most cases e-mail is
the sole reason they went out and bought a computer. Now think about it. At 75-years-old
you probably didn�t hop out of bed and say, I want to master PowerPoint today, I better
go buy a laptop. At 75 you probably didn�t hop out of bed period.
The reason you got a laptop is so you can communicate with your friends and family and
e-mail is how we do that today. Now under 18 is the lowest adoption of e-mail, but out
of the group under 18 the number one reason they get an e-mail address in the first place
is not to join a social network, but it�s to buy stuff on-line. They�re a totally
golden group for a small business. Now in 30 minutes or so I�m going to show you how
to do e-mail marketing better than some of the world�s most famous brands. I know that�s
kind of a lofty goal, a lofty promise, but I�m going to pull it off.
I have dozens of examples of huge companies that do e-mail marketing very poorly and you
can do e-mail better than they do it today. Now here�s the neat thing. Last year the
average return on investment on e-mail marketing was the highest of any form of marketing.
The average return was $39.40 for every dollar invested. Now to put that into some real commonsense
sort of scenario, let�s say there�s a banking account, having a special promotion
today and for every dollar you turn in to them, they were going to hand you $39.40 back.
Where would you be right now? I�d be in line with you in the longest line
in the history of the earth and we finally made it to the front. We�d take our new
money and go to the back and do it all over again. Now that�s the average return on
e-mail, but I would ask you what�s the average e-mail you get in your inbox? Is it fantastic?
Is it sent on the right time of day, the right day of the week, the right number of characters
in the subject line? No. The average e-mail is kind of weak. It�s kind of poor. Even
though the average e-mail has a phenomenal ROI what happens when you do e-mail really,
really well? Then the return on investment is phenomenally, astronomically, almost incalculably
high. We�re not going to talk about average very
much. We�re going to talk about how high is high and get there. Now out of the dozens
of examples I have of big companies still doing e-mail poorly, I brought you one; because,
we don�t have a lot of time. This is one of my favorites and as we dismantle it you�re
going to learn about how to do e-mail well. This one is from Audi. I got it a few years
ago and they still do their e-mail marketing exactly the same way. The reason I was put
on their list is; because, I had just bought two new his and her Audis. Now I�m not married,
but if you saw my picture, you�d realize I have to get a date. I have to show up with
car keys, cash and usually a car. That�s why I lease also. I got put on their
list and this is the e-mail I get in my inbox. Now you already know this, but most e-mail
clients and when I say e-mail client, I�m talking about the software you use to read
their e-mail. Outlook is an e-mail client. By default some e-mail clients block images
and so the recipient says it�s okay to see them and so the number one best practice on
e-mail, don�t make your entire message rely on an image to convey the message. If the
images are blocked for some reason, will the e-mail still make sense? You can see these
two red diamonds in the upper left. These are where the images are. When they�re
blocked I see almost nothing but the fine print at the bottom. That�s practice number
two. If you�re using an e-mail service like Constant Contact, we actually allow you to
put text behind your images. When images are blocked, they can see what you wrote there.
Audi put nothing. Behind your header logo, don�t put the words header logo, put your
brand so they know who it�s coming from. This should say this is from Audi, please
download images. Even the fine print at the bottom is done poorly. Reading speed on a
computer screen is 30-40% slower than print. We have to do everything we can to make this
as easy to read as possible. Last year more than half of your recipients read their e-mail
on a mobile device. It�s even more difficult to read. We need to use a high contrast, like
a black or dark font on a white or light background, not black on gray. Much more difficult to
read, especially on a mobile device, almost impossible. The font is going to have to be
a little bit larger. Even the font type matters. The font�s a serif like this one, this is
Times New Roman with the curlicues. Those are slower to read on a computer screen, more
difficult to read than a Sans serif font like [inaudible 00:18:26] or Tahoma.
Essentially they�ve done kind of everything wrong that you can do wrong, but let�s go
ahead and okay the image. I�m sure it gets better. Wow this is beautiful. It says Ron
you should come in and buy this new car. One, this isn�t the car I bought and two I don�t
buy a new car every three weeks. Sometimes I wait six or seven months before I buy a
new car. This is where they really fail, really underutilize the power of e-mail marketing.
E-mail marketing by the way is a form of social. It�s the original form of social. More importantly
it�s how you monetize other forms of social. We tolerate almost zero content that�s promotional
via social. If you tweet out buy my stuff, buy my stuff all the time, you�re not going
to have very many followers on Twitter or Facebook. We do tolerate some promotional
content via e-mail, so this is how we come back and monetize the other pieces of social
and the two together amplify each other. Now where they really fail is they send the exact
same message to everyone. The reason I�m on their list is I just bought two new cars.
They take every e-mail address they collect. They dump them all into one bucket.
They should have a lot of lists. People who bought a sports car. People who bought a luxury
car, an SUV. People who came in and didn�t buy anything. People who bought two cars.
The message should be tailored to those individuals and that�s easy to do with e-mail. You can
have as many lists as you want. It even doesn�t cost anything extra to have people on multiple
lists. It de-duplicates automatically. If I�m on five lists and you send to all of
your lists at once, I don�t get five e-mails. This should be tailored and targeted. You
already know that target marketing works better than any other kind.
The consumer�s expectation has risen. They expect it to be targeted and professional
looking. When you send something that�s not tailored and it�s off-target, they opt
out, delete, unsubscribe or report you as spam immediately. Now make it easy for people
to connect with you, to join your e-mail list, to join your social network. With e-mail,
they can text to join. You can e-mail out a link. If they like you on Facebook we even
have a gadget you can put on Facebook so that you can start to send them e-mail to collect
their e-mail address. On your website, on every page, now for those of you who sell
something on your website I would ask you, what�s your conversation rate?
How many visitors buy on the spot? I know that no matter how great you are, that�s
not a high percentage, it�s not a high number. I�m real interested in you. I come to your
website. Maybe you pay for search engine optimization for SEOs to make you get better found on search
sites like Bing. I find you. Maybe, I�m just not ready to buy today. I visit your
site. I�m impressed. I go away. Well we get 6000 market impressions per day per person
in the United States. I can love you and forget about you; because, I get distracted. You
can put the sign-up point for your e-mail newsletter or list on your website on every
page. I sign up for it. You now have permission
to make this a two way street. You can come back out to me. We�re going to make it super
easy to join our e-mail list. They can text to join. QR code to join. Join on your website
on Facebook. Any place that connects with people, we�re going to make it simple. On
our website on every page in a prominent location I�m going to have a sign-up link for my
e-mail list. Now when I say every page, the reason for that is today when people search
for you on Bing, people don�t come to your home page as often any more.
It�s less than half the time. They come to a more relevant, more targeted page, so
use every page of your website. Now prominent location, upper left gets more attention than
anywhere else, so whatever is most important goes there. I would even give them an incentive
to sign-up right now. Now this is for a tennis store; because, I�m a serious tennis player.
I�m not real good, but I am very serious. If you sign-up for the e-mail list right now,
you get ten tennis tips from Rafael Nadal, the man who just won the French Open. There�s
an automatic e-mail that goes out when people subscribe.
It�s called a welcome e-mail. You can have those ten tennis tips right in there. It�s
a nice incentive to sign-up on the spot. It motivates people to sign-up immediately. Like
I said before every page, join our e-mail list. They click on that. They can automatically
sign-up for your e-mail list. Even an advanced best practice, archive some of your e-mails.
We can actually do that for you at Constant Contact. Make web pages out of your e-mails
so people can see what it is that you send. People are more likely to subscribe if they
see what you�re going to send first. By adding that archive feature they actually
get to see a little archive, a listing of the e-mails that you send out. You�re going
to put your best ones there. I look at it. I go these are great and boom they join your
mailing list. It�s that simple and that powerful and that fast and it�s really easy
to do. Now even e-mails can go viral. I want them to forward it to their friends. We�re
no longer marketing to individuals. We�re marketing to people and their entire network.
I�ve got a big e-mail list. On the average we have 244 friends on Facebook. I want them
to share it with everyone. I want them to forward their e-mail to a friend.
I want them to like me on Facebook. I want all their friends to see my content. I want
to maximize the virability of today�s communication. Forward e-mail. I�m going to put that up
at the top where people are more likely to see it. Most people have it at the bottom
and it�s unlikely I�m going to make it all the way down there. Even a polite command
works better than something generic like this forwarded newsletter. Please forward it to
two or three friends, can double your forward rate. Put it up top and double it again. A
good forward rate is only about � percent, but by doing all these things, I�ve had
much as high as 4%. If that isn�t exciting to you, once your
list gets bit that�s huge growth for free. It�s something that only takes you about
30 seconds to do. I did everything to grow my list with putting the tag everywhere, just
like I told you to. I have this number memorized eight years ago, when I sent out to my personal
contacts when I first started working for Constant Contact, I had 1055 subscribers.
Now I�ve got more than a million. This 4% forward rate, or even if it�s only �% forward
rate, that�s a huge number. That�s a huge list growth without much time investment and
it costs you nothing. The from line. Who cares? It�s from me,
right? Well, 60% of your recipients decide whether to open the e-mail or not, based on
the from line. There�s two pieces to the from line. There�s the from name and there�s
the from e-mail address. If you use an e-mail client like Outlook you see both of those.
If you see my from name Ron Cates and then in brackets my e-mail address. Now not every
e-mail client functions the same way. America On-line web mail for example is still incredibly
popular. It drops off the from name. It only displays the e-mail address.
Other e-mail clients do the opposite. If I�m sending from really the company, but my e-mail
address is Ron1958 at Yahoo.com and that�s all they see, they�re not going to open
that. By the same token if my business name, my from name isn�t something they recognize,
they�re not going to open that either. Both pieces of this have to clearly indicate who
you are, otherwise the recipients not going to open it and they might only see half of
that, either the from name or just the from e-mail address. By the way something that
comes to my real at something dot com, it�s opened a lot more than anything generic.
List that or news at isn�t going to get opened nearly as much as if it comes from
Ron Cates at something dot com, even if you have no idea who the person is. The subject
line, more challenging but important, 30% decide by the subject line and today a lot
of people are taking action just on the subject line without even opening the e-mail. My favorite
tennis store sent me an e-mail last month. The subject line is 30% off clearance shoes
this weekend. I didn�t even open the e-mail, but I was in line on Saturday. Sometimes we�re
finding when we survey people we know about 31% of them are taking action even without
opening the e-mail. Within 14 days they�re coming in, they�re
making a purchase or taking action. They didn�t even open it. They only went by the subject
line, so I strongly recommend you never clean out your do not opens; because, they can still
have big impact. The ideal subject line is a bit challenging today, but not impossible.
You might not hit ideal, but let�s get as close as we can. The ideal subject line is
short. It�s concise, 30-35 characters or less and that includes spaces. Today sometimes
subject lines are getting truncated, shortened; because, of mobile devices. Make sure if it�s
shortened it doesn�t become something silly. Make sure all the important words are up front.
I do have my favorite example. This was a year ago in November. It was from Neiman-Marcus
and the subject line is winter fashions you can�t afford to miss. In my browser in my
e-mail client it said winter fashions you can�t afford. That might be truth in advertising
for me, but it�s not the message they intended. I see this happening all the time today, more
than half of us are reading our e-mail on a mobile device. If the subject line is shortened,
does it still make sense? The ideal subject line will also have a call to action. Why
should I open this right now? The ideal subject line will even have the brand in it again,
if you can fit it. This isn�t going to always happen. You can�t always make it work, but
sometimes you can with some ingenuity. I used to do all the marketing for YMCA of the USA.
Their e-mails used to go out and they said YMCA News. I changed it to YMCA News: Free
Spring Swim Tips and the open rates went up by quadruple. The ideal subject line, the
one that gets the most opens every single time, here�s the big secret rule, they�re
the ones that tell exactly what�s in the e-mail. If you tell exactly what�s in the
e-mail it�s more likely to get opened than anything else. Let�s talk about social media
and why even bother. Some of us are like, well that�s just a lot of noise. I love
Facebook. I just connected with somebody from college whom I haven�t seen since college.
That�s 1976. I put up a picture of my dog. I did a video
of my cat doing a trick. That�s a lot of fun, but that�s not marketing. How do we
use these platforms to move the dial for our business? Last year more than half of us made
a purchase based on on-line recommendation. Today only 14% of trust advertisements. 78%
of us trust an on-line recommendation, even from a stranger. I travel a lot and I use
Yelp to figure out where I�m going to go eat. 90% of Yelp users decide where they�re
going to eat based on their reviews on Yelp. I don�t know any of those people, but I
trust them more than I trust traditional marketing. Traditional advertising.
We�ve become very smart consumers. We know that traditional marketing exists just to
sell us something. We kind of tune it out. 78% trust an on-line recommendation. 84% if
it�s from someone that we know. When someone on Facebook likes us and our network sees
that, that has a huge impact on engagement and sales and bottom line. If they hit the
Facebook like button, they�re 91% more likely to buy from us again. 93% more likely to refer
us to friends. It�s fantastically powerful and it�s unlike anything we�ve ever seen
in the history of the world. Let me give you my view of one of the most
important, yet most under looked components of social media. I live in Phoenix, Arizona
and I have a favorite grocery store. It�s called Safeway. It�s a pretty bit chain.
You might have one in your market. You might not, but if you don�t it�s a grocery store.
Now I like Safeway a lot; because, it�s close to my house. They have lots of stuff.
The people are real friendly. The store�s clean. Safeway actually spends a lot of time
and money, resources and investment to create this impression, to turn me into a fan.
Every one of you on this call, if you�ve done your business more than a year you can
take the entire call and tell us all these tales of when you�ve bent over backwards
to make a customer happy, to turn them into a fan. As a small business owner you do that
every day to survive. You create these huge fans, but then what? How do you harness that?
They want to become advocates on your behalf, but there really didn�t used to be an easy
way for them to do that. With Safeway, what�s going to happen? Ten years ago I liked them
so much, I�m going to do what, go in on my day off and stock their shelves for free
as a pay back. That�s never going to happen. The most they
could hope for a few years ago was I was so impressed with them that I would go to a party
and I go to super dull parties, so there�s a circle of people talking about groceries.
I go up and I tell them, oh I love Safeway, here�s why. How many people could I possibly
impact? How often is that going to happen? It�s almost nothing. Social is that cocktail
party circle on steroids. The virability is unlike anything in the history of the world.
You have fans that want to become advocates on your behalf. You get them to do it on social.
Work the two together. E-mail and social work together incredibly well. With Constant Contact
we actually have this tool where people can share your e-mail when they receive it on
their social networks, just by clicking on a button up at the top of the e-mail. I receive
your e-mail. I love the content or maybe it�s a really strong promotion and I want to share
it with my network. I can click a button and like it on Facebook or share it on Facebook
or on Twitter. We�re seeing up to 60% increase in reach of e-mail by adding this social share
bar. Again, I can�t think of any reason you wouldn�t want to include this every
time. The average return on investment on e-mail
is phenomenally high. Increasing it by up to 60% just by adding a button, I�m going
to do that every single time. Now some of you have some concerns about social and I�m
going to eliminate all of them right now. First, you�re worried that it�s about
big numbers. You need to have a million followers on Twitter for it to work and that�s just
not true. I know some of you don�t have a Twitter account yet, but let�s say after
this session that tonight you go and you create a Twitter account and by tomorrow you have
one follower, just one, lonely one, sad, probably has no impact at all, right?
Wrong. What if that one follower is me and you post something to Twitter and IJ like
it. It takes me less than a second to click on a button and repost or retweet that to
my followers. I�ve got a pretty good number of followers, but some of my followers really
have a lot of followers and the virability of this is unlike anything in the history
of the world. A year ago I had about 1500 followers, but those 1500 followers created
more than five million mentions of my name last year on Twitter; because, they have a
lot of followers, who have a lot of followers, who have a lot of followers, and if you post
something and they like it they�re going to retweet it.
They�re going to repost it on Facebook. The whole world is going to see it. Maybe
it�s because, you�re not a writer. Maybe that�s why you�re not doing social yet.
I totally understand this. Most of us didn�t get into our business to write. Now I have
a confession, I am a pretty good writer, but I�m also a perfectionist, so I will fret
over every word and sentence and phrase and at the end of the month I don�t have a paragraph
done. It�s kind of pointless. Social is not about being perfect. Perfection is the
bane of social. It�s about being real, authentic, transparent.
We want to connect with a real human being. The power of social media, it�s a bit ironic
to me, the fact that it�s visual; because, I view it as a backlash to our digital age.
We don�t know our neighbor�s names anymore. We buy from the cloud. Digital entities arrive
into our inbox who want to connect with a living, breathing person, but we�re not
willing to get rid of our laptops or our Surface Pro. We�re doing it now via social networks.
It�s real important. You decide up front, what is the persona of your business? If your
business was a living, breathing human being, what language would it use?
What words would it use? What words would it not use? That�s how we communicate via
social and e-mail. It�s not taking your print marketing stuff, copying and pasting
it into a Facebook post. It�s a whole different form of communication. It�s more concise.
It�s less formal. It�s more human. The other good news is that more than half the
content on social isn�t something that you wrote, it�s something that you found and
shared. Hey, I found this really great article, click here to read it. It�s really easy
to copy a link and share that link and be the expert by being the arbitrator of what
other people should read. Time wise, I don�t have time to come up
with this content. I�m going to show you some examples where you can come up with content
literally in seconds. I�m going to tell you right now you can invest 10 or 15 minutes
two or three days a week and you can have a big impact on social media. Where should
I be? What platform should I be on? Facebook, LinkedIn, what about MySpace? I heard that
was really huge. It was eight years ago. Now there�s about seven people there. There
are new platforms all the time. I will bet you real money that five years from today,
there�s going to be a platform more important than Facebook that hasn�t even been thought
of yet. The growth of niche sites is phenomenal. I
didn�t know this a few years ago, but I definitely know it now. There�s a social
site, a network for nuns that�s more important to them than Facebook is. Last year for fun
as an exercise, I created my own social network. It�s for standup comics. It�s called standupshare.com.
It�s had zero marketing. It has 60,000 members already. Here�s the point. You need to create
a social presence. I recommend you at least create a Facebook account and a Facebook page;
because, then your followers can let you know if there�s another platform that�s become
more important. That can�t happen if you have zero social
presence. Pick one or two of the popular platforms, do those really, really well and then your
followers will let you know. They�ll give you an idea of what�s more important out
there and you can decide where to spend your energy and time. Now I talked some about content.
It�s about being real and authentic and transparent. This is from a Farmer�s Market,
this is real. When we think Farmer�s Market, we usually don�t think high tech, social
savvy, but they�re incredibly smartly profound when it comes to posting.
Here�s one of my favorite posts. It�s 2:00 a.m. do you know where your fruit is?
Now that took about five seconds to type and if you say so what? Within minutes there were
likes and comments. Within a week there were more than 1000 comments and more than 700
likes. When you scroll down the comments as a business owner, you learn invaluable information
about your prospects and customers. They love my fresh watermelon. They wish we had peaches.
Parking is a real pain in the neck on Saturday. Think about all the things you�ll learn
as the owner. Pages and pages and pages of content they�re
creating for you. Think about that. The very best stuff you can post on social passes two
rules. One, are they going to want to share it with their friends? Two, would incite them
to comment. I want to incite them to comment often; because, as they comment they�re
creating new content for me on my behalf. Pages and pages of content is invaluable that
I didn�t even have to do. It�s almost like getting Tom Sawyer to get his friends
to wash the fence for him. Now this took about five seconds. How many of you don�t have
five seconds in a day to do this? I do this in front of big rooms and I see
people squirm. They all want to raise their hand. I was a small business owner also. I
knew that five seconds in a day could be my whole bio break for the day, how about one
second? Don�t tell me that you don�t have one second. Click, post. Watermelon cut in
half. Click, post. You say well so what? Within minutes there were likes and comments, within
a week more than 700 comments, more than 500 likes. This reminds me of summer. Boy I want
to go buy this right now. It�s making my mouth water. Anytime you have an authentic
moment of enthusiasm, even if it�s about a product.
I just got this new thing in, I�m so excited. It�s fine to take a picture of that and
post and talk about it. I have a friend that owns a hobby store in San Diego. They sell
radio controlled airplanes, cars and boats. He has nine employees. When the UPS person
brings in that new super cool thing, the employees fight over each other to be the first to unbox
it. Now what would have bigger impact? He could hire a videographer. Spend 30 grand
doing an infomercial about his products and put it on YouTube or he could pull out his
Smart Phone and tape that 30 seconds of real, unbridled, authentic enthusiasm and put that
in a Constant Contact e-mail, or on YouTube or on social.
Night and day difference; because, it�s real. Customers come in all the time and they�re
excited. Record that or quote them. Take a picture of them with the product. The questions
that you get asked every single day, answer those on social. Show off your expertise and
your experience. The reason your customers ask you the same thing every day it�s not
because, they�re not smart. It�s because, you�re an expert. You�ve become an expert.
You need to show that off and not shy away from that when it comes to social. I know
in this country at least, we�re brought up to be kind of humble.
I don�t want to buy from the ninth best in the zip code. I want to buy from an expert.
Don�t be afraid to use that word and brand yourself in that way. Show off your expertise
and your experience. It�s a relative term and you certainly have it. You qualify. Lastly,
we�re going to do another one of these in two weeks on the 24th, same time, same place.
It�s going to be super charged, word-of-mouth. It�s social media marketing made simple.
We�re going to go a lot deeper into social. A lot more prescriptive. Where to post? When
to post? How many times? What the content should be? It�s going to be a blast, so
you don�t want to miss it. Please mark it on your calendar or register
today. I made sure we had some time for questions. Shoot.
Natalia: We do have questions here, so I�m going to start here. My business isn�t open
yet, should I start my social media account now, or how far in advance do I start creating
buzz? Ron: I would create my Facebook business page
today. It doesn�t matter how many people find it today. Some people will. I would start
promoting that to my personal e-mail list. The fact that I�m opening a business, that
they can like my page. Comment about the business I�m going to be creating. My past business
practices. I could create word-of-mouth now. Social is word-of-mouth. There�s no such
time as too early. There was a big product launch in Europe three years ago. They actually
started promoting it before it was available for sale 18 months in advance.
When it was finally available it went through the roof, unbelievable; because, of all the
buzz created. There�s almost no such thing as too much lead time.
Natalia: Okay, some social media questions here. Do social media tools think together,
so one post is shared on multiple platforms? Ron: Some do. For example, you can have your
Twitter feed show up on your Facebook page and vice versa. There are tools out there
that are free that allow you to post to multiple sites at one time. Some even allow you to
post in the future. I�m going to mention two of them. One is called HootSuite. That�s
H-o-o-t-s-u-i-t-e. There is a free version and a paid for version. The free version is
very robust. You can find it at hootsuite.com. The other is called Tweetdeck. That�s T-w-e-e-t-d-e-c-k,
found at tweetdeck.com, free version. Both of them allow you to create posts that go
out in the future. I love this. One you log in to your free account and you can see all
your links and stuff, and your Facebook stuff and your Twitter stuff all on one page.
You don�t have to log into all those platforms separately. Two I can create a post and say
I want this to go to all these platforms right now, or I can create a post and I want this
to go out to Facebook Tuesday, at 10:30 a.m. or I want this to go out to Twitter Friday
night at midnight. Even if you had only ten minutes a week you could do it all at one
time and rather than all your postings going out at one time, it�d be spread out. Any
time in the future. I love this feature. I�m 55-years-old and I�ve got four kids. I�ve
got tweets going out to them 40 years from now just to scare them.
I�m still watching you. I�m very disappointed. Some of you are laughing, you�re thinking
that�s ridiculous, that�s not true; because, you�ve seen my picture and you realize,
I couldn�t possibly be 55 but I swear I am. All right next question.
Natalia: How can a Facebook page translate to sales and we�ve had that question a few
times now. Ron: It keeps you top of mind. It creates
relationships. Two real important things. One we get a lot of market impressions per
day and even if we love you we forget about you sometimes. By seeing you show up in my
Facebook feed, I remember. How many of you have a restaurant that you really love and
you just forget to go there sometimes? Right, we all do. If I got an e-mail from that restaurant
once a month, as soon as I see the logo, I�m going to salivate and go over there and buy
something to eat. If I see them show up on Facebook or my Twitter feed.
Now even more important than that by being connected on Facebook or Twitter or e-mail,
it creates the perception of a relationship. Harvard Business School says people will spend
more, 67% more if they perceive they have a relationship with you. Not only because,
they shop with you more often. They�ll even pay a price premium. Now think about that.
If you create the perception of a relationship you�re not competing on price anymore. That�s
fantastic. Now this is from Harvard Business School. I read it. I�m a bit of skeptic,
so I said I would never do that. I guess that�s everybody else.
Then I thought about it, I do it all the time. I�m a tennis player. There�s a tennis
store in my town called All About Tennis. I�m in there all the time. They know me
by name. They string my racquets on the spot. They know what kind of shoes I wear. Now I
could drive around town and save money on shoes and stringing racquets. I could buy
a line and save even more money and I don�t do it; because, I feel like In know those
people. You all have a place like that, a destination like that and you want to become
that type of destination where the people feel like they know you and have a relationship.
That�s kind of personal, but even something as mundane as gasoline. We�ll go to a four
corner intersection. There�s four gas stations. We�ll decide which one to shop at, not based
on the price at the pumps or the colors but who works behind the counter. If we feel like
we know them, that�s where we shop. Social media, e-mail, they allow you to build this
type of relationship perception that really generates sales and allows you to no longer
compete on price. Natalia: Great, how do you separate your business
Facebook page from your personal page? Ron: When you first create your Facebook account
you�re creating a personal profile. That�s for you, your family, your friends. Separate
from that you create a business page and that�s where you communicate with business stakeholders,
customers, prospects, so you can definitely separate the two by creating a Facebook page.
Now you can find how to do that at Facebook by clicking on the help button. There�s
also a site we created that walks through all these things in detail. It�s called
socialquickstarter.com. I�ll repeat that. Socialquickstarter.com. It actually walks
through every major platform, how to set it up, how to create your business page, etc.
with a lot of detail. That�s free to the entire world. Socialquickstarter.com.
Natalia: Okay, we have a few e-mail questions here. How do I add a like button into an e-mail?
Ron: Two different things One, when I send out my e-mail I want to have all the icons
of my social platform in there to make it easy to follow me. If I�m on Facebook and
Twitter, I�m going to have the Facebook icon, the Twitter icon. If you happen to be
using Constant Contact, we actually have those built in, so you just click on a button and
it is kind of automatic. Now I can also set things up so that when people receive my e-mail
they can like it or share it on their social networks. That happens to be a Constant Contact
exclusive thing. It�s called the social share bar.
We even report on it so we can tell you how many people liked it, shared it, what platforms.
I�m sure there�s obviously some way to code that. I�m a good coder and it�s beyond
me. If you�re doing this on your own I�m not sure how you would create that.
Natalia: Is a once a month magazine style, I�m not sure if magazine style e-mail or
a shorter e-mail once a week is better? Ron: The number one reason people opt out
of e-mails, stop following you, unsubscribe it too much communication for you, too many
e-mails from you. Now if the content is really good you can send a bit more often. Really
this is the number one reason I love e-mail is; because, you can have multiple lists.
How often you send and how much promotional content you dare try to get away with, those
two things vary directly with the strength of the relationship. Let�s use the tennis
store as an example. If I went into the tennis store once ever in my life six weeks ago,
just to buy some tennis balls and I start getting an e-mail from them every week and
it�s buy these strings, buy these racquets, but my stuff.
I�m going to opt out in a second. I�m going to hate them. I�m going to think they�re
a spammer. They really should have more than one list. A regular customer, someone like
me I would love to get that promotional e-mail every week, but someone who just went in there
one time I�m going to send once a month and it�s going to be more educational content
like how to improve your forehand. Now I�m always going to include some promotional content
related to the educational content, so I might have that entire article about how to improve
your forehand. Maybe there�s a sidebar that says, �Hey,
by the way, did you know that the type of strings you use can have a big impact on the
power of your forehand? Click here for string specials.� The stronger the relationship
the more often I can send. The weaker it is, that�s probably once a month. If it�s
a weaker relationship prospects, weak relationship more educational content, maybe completely
educational content. Never be afraid to give away a lot of intellectual property when it
comes to marketing today. We�re smart marketers. We�re smart consumers.
We know that our attention is valuable. We know that that�s what you want, but we�re
willing to give it to you if you give us something in return and I want intellectual property.
I want that more than I want money. Intellectual property will get you attention more than
a discount will. Show me what makes you an expert. Show off your expertise, your experience.
You all have lots of that to share and don�t tell me you don�t; because, I�ve been
challenged on this. The toughest one ever, I was in California, a lot of people in the
room and a woman stood up and she said, �Ron, I get it. I really do. It�s about sharing
content and my expertise. I have nothing to talk about.�
I said, of course you do, everyone does. What do you do? She said I sell commercial plastic
sheeting. I thought to myself, wow, did I just really mess up in front of all these
people, but I�m good at this and so I stalled. I said in a little bit, wow, that�s fascinating.
How many kinds of commercial plastic sheetings do you sell? Twenty-six different kinds. I
went wow, really, what�s the difference? Now you couldn�t stop her from talking.
Oh if it�s this kind, if you�re doing this project, you�d want this one. It�s
this permeability. It�s this thickness but if you�re doing this outside you�d want
this other one. It�s antibacterial. It�s more permeable.
That�s why I�m going to buy from her, instead of going to a big box store and picking
it out on my own. You have expertise at your business. Don�t think that that�s no invaluable
to people and don�t think that it�s not interesting; because, it is. That�s the
reason we shop with you instead of somewhere else.
Natalia: Awesome. Should we buy e-mail marketing to get new customers or new contacts?
Ron: I have to try to interpret that. I think they�re asking is it okay to buy a list
of contacts, for e-mail? Natalia: Yes, that�s how I interpret it.
Ron: The answer is no. Intuitively it makes all the sense in the world but this is where
digital marketing and traditional marketing are so different. With traditional marketing
I can buy a list of physical addresses and I can mail to you. You�ve got your mailbox.
It�s filled with junk mail. You don�t get mad you just throw it away. We�re way
more protective of our e-mail inbox. If you buy a list and you send to me without permission.
Even if I gave you permission at some point, but forgot or if you send to me too often.
If I don�t love your content, to me you�re a spammer and I can�t even say it and make
it nice. I�m not going to do business with a spammer.
I�m going to tell my friends not to so don�t become the accidental spammer. A lot of small
businesses buy lists and it backfires. I�ve never seen a positive return on investment
on a purchased list and I�ve done it for 25 years. I�m the grandfather of e-mail
marketing according to the press. I�m not sure if that�s a compliment or what. I�ve
never seen a positive ROI from a purchased list. You can build your list organically,
naturally, very quickly and very productively just by putting the sign-up link everywhere
you connect. Natalia: I think we have time for one or two
more questions. For a company to create a brand new Facebook page, so our new page has
a sad amount of likes. How many likes should I get on the page before starting to include
the Facebook page in my e-mails? Ron: Don�t wait. Start now. It doesn�t
matter. You can say you�re re-launching it. You�re not really re-launching it but
when they don�t see a lot of likes they�re not going to be unimpressed. You can even
give them an incentive to hit the like button. We have a tool at Constant Contact called
social campaigns. It creates what is essentially a like gate for Facebook. When I view your
Facebook page if I hit the like button, it unlocks something, some content. It could
be a discount. We find that expert content, insider information is more valuable. People
are never going to hit the like button if they don�t truly like you; because, they�re
putting their reputation on the line. Give them an incentive to hit the like button
makes it more likely they will. The results are the same, 91% more likely to buy from
you again, 93% more likely to recommend you to friends. Check out the social campaigns
tool in Constant Contact. They hit the like button. It unlocks. It could be a video. It
could be something they download. It could be ten calligraphy tips if you�re a calligraphy
store. This insider content is incredibly valuable to consumers today.
Natalia: How can I get lists when previous customers didn�t give out their e-mail addresses?
Ron: If they didn�t, I would try to connect with them in a different way then. One, I�m
always going to make it easy. I can put a sign-up book right on my counter. I can put
a poster in my store that says text to join or scan with QR code to join, every page on
my website. If they�re previous customers and I have some kind of contact information
like a physical address. I would e-mail them a postcard and say we�re launching this
really neat new e-mail system, where we�re doing newsletters, coupons and all kinds of
valuable information, go here to sign up for it and it�s likely that they will.
Again, don�t make it a buy my stuff promotion, but more about insider information. How you
ask really matters too. I know that the on the average 57% of us when shopping will give
up an e-mail address to a clerk at a store. That sounds great, but the average ask when
I go to shop, it�s like hey, you don�t want to give me your e-mail address do you?
Train your staff. They�re not asking for something. They�re giving something of value
away for free. They just need the e-mail address to deliver it. If you gave them chocolate
cake, and they were allowed to give chocolate cake to all the customers I don�t think
they would miss one. They would offer it to every single one. The
e-mail sign-up it�s like giving away chocolate cake. I�m going to send valuable information,
tips, resources, maybe even discounts on occasion. I�m giving away this really cool thing but
I need the e-mail address to deliver it. That�s how your staff needs to look at it. They need
to ask every time. We see businesses that are very strict about they have to ask every
time, getting 92% of call in traffic and 98% of walk in traffic to give up an e-mail address
just by asking every single time. If you don�t ask you don�t get it.
Natalia: Helene, I don�t know if you�re still on the line, just one question. Where
can I find free Microsoft classes and that will be the last question?
Helene: Hi, yes. Natalia: Okay, great.
Helene: You can find them through the [inaudible 00:56:21] but as well you can look at Microsoftstore.com
and find your local store, if you have a local store in the area and down below on the screen
you�ll see events and things that are hosted at the store. In addition office.microsoft.com
has many, many free tutorials on how to use Microsoft Office.
Ron: One quick question that I want someone to answer. Sue asked on-line how do you sign
up for the next one? Are invites being sent out for the 6/24 webinar? We have a lot of
our listeners who want to sign up for the next one, how do they do that?
Natalie: Yes, we will be sending out a thank you e-mail for attending which will have the
link and we�ll also send out another e-mail letting them know how to register for the
6/24 webinar. Everybody on here will get that information.
Ron: Great. Come on back. I want you all back. I want you to bring your friends.
Natalia: I think that�s all the time we have for questions.
Ron: Excellent. Thanks so much for having me everyone and for listening. I look forward
to talking to you again in two weeks. It�s going to be even more fun than today as if
that�s even possible. TC0206066003P-1
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